Don’t take my word for it, Just think like me.

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by Joe Warner

In the bible, Paul considered himself the chief of sinners. He wasn’t proud of this achievement rather it was his sin that broke him and led him to the truth of Jesus Christ. It took him becoming blind before he could really see.

On You Tube we have plenty of sinners who are not only aware of their sin they create channels and award themselves titles of distinction for their lifestyle choice.

One particular individual has led him from being a one time Christian to a now de-converted atheist who has “seen the light”.

So profound was this person’s de-conversion that they took to the free “airwaves” that is You Tube to create a ministry of sorts. I find it humorous that many atheists actually closely resemble evangelical Christians in that they feel they have found the ultimate truth and must pass it on to the masses.

Sadly, you tube is loaded with atheists despite the fact they represent a very low percentage of society. In any case, what invariably happens, is that other atheists find these channels as an opportunity to congregate. They don’t have church or any other real gatherings to enjoy their like-mindedness or reassure each other that their position is the correct one. What happens then is the channel owner gets his or her ego stroked for believing like they do and actually build an audience.
It’s a sad attempt at fame, which Andy Warhol rightly said everyone gets at least 15 minutes of.

But here is where the funny part comes in. Recently, this king of all heathen-dom watched one of the Star wars movies, The Phantom Menace. In the movie, the Father of Anakin Skywalker, AKA Darth Vader is born due to a kind of immaculate conception. And this is the basis for the video. IF fictional movies and literature can pull an idea like this off then why couldn’t the bible.

There are several problems with this line of thinking. One is, in the movie we were watching it unfold and the characters of the movie had no idea what would transpire. This is why there are no writings of Jesus growing up or driving a “pod racer”. Because until he died on the cross and was resurrected and witnessed by many, his birth story did not have that exclamation point on it as of yet.

Secondly, just because literature has a similar story does not make every other non-fiticious work false. An example I pointed to with regard to the individual’s premise is that long before the ship the TItanic sank there was a work of fiction that described the sinking of a similar ship, by an iceberg, in the month of April, that did not have enough lifeboats. Eerily similar. Was it prophecy? Do humans have a perception for certain events? I don’t have an answer.

But one thing I do know is that atheists are renowned for their adherence to what can be proved and being completely rational. Yet their arguments seem to fall along these lines. “Santa Clause is fake, so God must be too”. Hardly a scientific conclusion and more of one that appeals to emotion.

Just like, “The character in the Phantom Menace claimed a supernatural birth, why should I believe the bible”. My answer is this, you can “believe” whatever you like. Humans do it all the time. They accept something as evidence and write something else off as nonsense. Especially if the answer fits their presupposition.

Atheists will come up with 1001 reasons why they don’t believe in a God. But when their science is challenged the answer is Richard Dawkins-ish. “We’re working on it”. Now I’m not suggesting one believe in God because of lack of evidence, rather give all evidence the weight it deserves.

The author of the Phantom Menace video premise suggested this idea, that flying on a winged horse required more evidence than a drive to the state of Atlanta.
But the fact of the matter is, each requires evidence specific to each case. While flying on a winged horse seems preposterous, flying to the moon would seem equally preposterous to a man from ancient times. How would you even explain your mode of transportation? So you see, invent a scenario that seems ridiculous compared to one that does not, it takes on a sort of “straw man” effect.

If one were to fly on a winged horse they would need to show evidence of the horse. Then again, maybe a 1000 witnesses would be enough. Or the person who flew it could be of such exemplary reliability that his word alone would be enough. It really depends on what the jury would be willing to accept to make a final verdict.

So why do we accept the idea of a “virgin birth” Ultimately because the bible laid out many prophecies as to the conditions of his arrival. He was witnessed by many and verified by extra-biblical recorders of history. An entire following was birthed as a result of what was witnessed in addition to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit by Christians everywhere.

Don’t take my word for it, ask God to reveal himself to you.
Or Don’t take the “Heathen’s word” for it. Think like he does. And you won’t get ridiculed.

Peace & Love out.

My God is a sick god…

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , on July 6, 2010 by Joe Warner

Many conversations with atheists seem to follow the same script. Freewill is a common theme followed closely by the idea of suffering.

A huge stumbling block for the non-believer, and admittedly, many believers, is the idea as to why God allows suffering.

I could go through many reasons to explain the why but I’m going to focus on the atheist angle here. The atheist tends to use the emotional argument that there is some small child suffering horribly in some corner of the world and because God allows this he is a sick God. Offering up the idea that this child has an eternal future is not good enough because the atheist does not believe in god so the idea of suffering sickens him.

As it should. Sin, suffering, and death should sicken any sane individual. However, in the world of the unbeliever, there is no god, no eternity, and no future. We simply rot in the ground and turn into worm food.

In my humble opinion, this is a much sicker world than one without god. So basically this innocent child is born into a horrible world, suffers and dies for no greater reason than to satisfy nature’s natural progression. We are simply the next link in the chain for a universe that came into existence from nothing as we crawled from the primordial soup, stood upright and then suffered and died due to the cruelty of nature.

One day, the universe will collapse, the sun may die out, or we could be hit on earth by a giant meteor. After all of humanity’s accomplishments and suffering and dying only to be but a forgotten memory in nature’s cruel progression.

And MY God is sick. Right.

Atheist understanding of christianity

Posted in Apologetics, Commentary, Uncategorized with tags on July 2, 2010 by Joe Warner

It’s late and I want to make an entry so I will keep it brief. Many of the online comments and videos I see from atheists seem to have an incredibly poor understanding of basic Christian teaching that it makes me wonder, do atheists really believe what they are saying, were they taught these poor religious understandings, or are they being deliberately deceptive?

There is a guy on you tube who goes by the name Tommyfromthebronx. He’s a nice guy, however his videos are laced with vulgarity and he is reminscienct of the rocky balboa character from the Rocky movies.

In any case, he recently released a you tube video where he goes on to make a number of statements and it was sad really. Sad because if this individual really believes the things he is saying, some of us really let him down.

This poor dude thinks that God created the ten commandments knowing that we could not live up to them as a means of deceit so that he could turn around and torture us for our failings.

This man does not understand what the purpose of the law is. God gave man the law as a means to be able to attain righteousness so we could see that we could not live up to this law and we would need a savior, not so we could be punished.

God made man in his image. God could not duplicate himself because the would be multiple Gods so he created something in his likeness, something that could house him. We are not God and a simple test to prove that is the law itself. Only Jesus lived up to the law, fulfilled it, and took it upon himself and no longer are we bound by the law but we are redeemed through Jesus who did what we could not.

And it only makes sense that out of all of the creatures in the universe, only one is right in God’s eyes and that is God himself, his own word mmaifest in the flesh as his begotten son, Jesus Christ. He became a flesh and blood man, a form which he will retain forever, died on the cross after much suffering and resurrected. Defeating death with death itself. Pure genius. If only we explained this better to atheists.

Joel Osteen

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2010 by Joe Warner

Thanks to the wonderful world of podcasts we have many choices as to what we can listen to regarding Christian content. I listen to not only the podcasts of sermons from my own church but those by well known apologists and evangelists on my iPod while I am out working.

Admitedly I do listen to Joel Osteen and I have read much of the feedback regarding Joel, both positive and negative. Much of the negativity comes from other Christians who complain that his message is not only unbiblical but outright heresy.

I would like to weigh in on my thoughts regarding Joel and let the chips fall where they may. Let me start out with what I don’t like about Joel’s style. Those that are pro Joel need not fear because I will go into the positive aspects a little later.

First off, I don’t like the beginning recitation where the entire congregation is led to say a repeated mantra at every service. One line bothers me especially and that is “today I will be taught the word of God”. Not so fast. Maybe I won’t hear anything remotely biblical.
Secondly, he sounds scripted like a candidate reading a speech. It’s not terrible but it doesn’t sound like an annointed word being led by the holy spirit.
I also don’t like the spinning globe in the background and the lack of crosses in the sanctuary.

Now let’s get to the better stuff. I first started listening to Joel at a very down period in my life. His messages were very positive and if you boil them down to the bare essence his message is ultimately to not let bad things in life get you down and have faith that God has it under control. This is a good thing, people.

If I was to call a Christian friend in a depressed moment I would hope he would do the biblical thing and lift me up and encourage me.
You see, what other Christians seem to complain about is that his messages are too and to a degree, they have a point.

But I challenge anyone to show me a Christian who is not faced or concerned with the very issues Joel addresses. Christians live in homes and 10 to one they would like a nicer one. I would bet that Christians also strive for success and advancement in the workplace.

When I hear from a Christian who lives in the wilderness wearing camel hair and living off the land then just maybe I may see some credibility in their argument. When I speak to other Christians guess what? They have jobs, they have adversities and challenges and many of them lack faith that they will pull through. From time to time, I even have a lack in this area.

It seems not only do Christians have issues with his discussions about attaining success in life they are also concerned more with what Joel doesn’t say. Many Christians seem to want a speaker who will continuously berate them and constantly remark on the dangers of hellfire.

I for one am a full believer in Jesus Christ and his work on the cross. I don’t need a constant reminder of hellfire because I am already a bible believing Christian. For those who are new to osteen, perhaps they will see Christians as being regular folk with the same needs they have and how encouraging the message actually is. Not, it isn’t always gospel but he does mention Jesus every single sermon.

In fact, he closes each sermon with a condensed sinner’s prayer. I’m not a huge fan of the sinner’s prayer but for some, it can be a decent tool.
Ultimately I do believe we should be focused on spiritual gain over material, without a doubt. But the fact remains we are in a completely different society than that of the bible writers. We have homes with mortgages, employers, and yes, money. We need it to live and we need it to eat. We aren’t walking around the desert eating manna as it falls from the sky.

Years ago I remember seeing the advent of what we would call the motivational speaker. Anthony Robbins made quite a good living encouraging people to be the best that they could with relationships, work, and other life matters.

Joel Osteen is not all that different than Anthony Robbins with the exception he does it with a God centered purpose. There are times when Joel focuses more on material advancement without spiritual development and for some, Joel may be the only sermons they are hearing and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

But the simple matter is this, most churches today do not operate anything like those of the bible days. There is an excellent book that is very critical of how we do church today called Pagan Christianity. And from it’s pages one can easily see we have come far afield of the practices they held. However the first century church had many of it’s own problems. If you doubt it, just read the bible.

Is Joel osteen the pastor you should get the majority of your gospel message from? Not really. You should be fed from variety of sources. We don’t eat at one restaurant and neither should you.

The bible teaches we are to encourage one another and Joel has a knack for it and when I need a God centered pick me up, he has some good words regarding faith and keeping a positive attitude.
That isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of doctrine he gets wrong but I have yet to see a preacher or speaker be 100 percent correct.

If you want a hellfire preacher that constantly knocks you around, you can find one. Then again, maybe you just need a friend to encourage you in a difficult time who will tell you God is in your corner and to keep him first and the rest may fall into place.

Then again, maybe when you face adversity you wre the type that would welcome the arrival of Job’s friends who have a negative spin on just about everything.

Without Jesus we are headed toward hell. But after we find the Lord we have to deal with hell on Earth and having a positive influence isn’t a bad thing.

Peace and love, out!

The anti-wager

Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2010 by Joe Warner

In Richard Dawkins book he mentions an alternative to Pascals wager wherein he states that perhaps wasting time in the event there is no god wastes what precious little time we have in life.
The question that nags me is that if there is no god then what do we do that is not a waste of time? A single meteor can wipe out all life on earth. The sun will one day take out the first few planets in our solar system so the question is, without god, without eternal life, where is the meaning? I’m sorry but I just don’t see it.

Scientifically speaking, time cannot be wasted. We are at it’s mercy as travelers one second passing at a time. What we experience comes and it goes. Since we see things due to reflected light we don’t even see what happens until after it happens. We’re speaking of nanoseconds but in a weird way, we are all living in the past. Light from other bodies in space has been traveling over such a great distance that we only see downstairs used to look.

There’s an old saying, you don’t seema uhaul moving truck behind a hearse because you can’t take anything with you. The contributions one makes or the moments of joy you experienced will be gone with you when we die. Life isn’t precious, it is just something that happened due to some scientific process. You aren’t anything special.

In the Christian view point everything has purpose. It makes sense for all eternity and makes injustices against us count for something.
It brings truth to the center again. Without god, your life matters not to the unfair and cruel universe, you are simply the luck of the draw.
Christianity tells us we are made in the likeness of our creator. We are more than the sum of our parts and there is moremto experience outside the boundaries of physical existence. Even physics is coming around to the idea of alternate dimensions and multiple universes.
Existence makes more sense with a god at the helm. It gives the entire mechanism purpose. The end product of atheism seems to be nihilism, and for me, that just does not compute.

Peace & love, out.

God watches porn?

Posted in Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 by Joe Warner

What a controversial title. This is an angle I recently read regarding the idea that God watches everything we do. The idea that God watches porn because we are watching it and he is watching us was made as a comment to mock God.
But this got me thinking. God is a witness to the sin, not a participant as the comment maker was trying to implicate God as some sort of accomplice.
But this would be akin to one of us witnessing a crime, such as murder, and implicating us for seeing it.

The repercussions of sin are actually far greate. Not only are we committing secretive crimes, they aren’t so secretive. Everything you do there is a witness and this witness just happens to be a judge. And as the criminal, you commit the crime knowing he is watching, essentially wagging your finger in his face.

And don’t forget, ther is another witness, and this one is an accuser. The prosecution, if you will. this figure is Satan and pointing the finger in your direction that your sin is the perfect example as to why you fall short and deserve damnation.

It’s a really good thing we have a good lawyer, Jesus Christ.

Peace & Love, out!

Pascal’s wager

Posted in Commentary, Uncategorized with tags on June 27, 2010 by Joe Warner

I watch a lot of videos and read the comments over at you tube. I’m not sure why I continue to do this. Maybe because it is like watching a car wreck in slow motion or because I feel a compulsion to correct a lot of the comments directed at theists, most of them wrong, regarding Christianity.

In any event, one recurring theme is that of Pascal’s wager. I’m not going to go into the formal definition of the wager but the simple idea is this; why take a chance that God does not exist because if he does you will lose out on all god has to offer?

Now, non theists like to jump on this wager as being unacceptable. I had one individual go as far as to say if one could not see it’s faults then they are insane. Wow.

I’m not sure about insanity but where Pascal’s wager fails is on the level of sincerity. Scripture is very clear that God isn’t looking for anyone tom serve out of obligation, fear, or chance. You wouldn’t want a spouse that behaved that way and neither would God.

Peace and love, out.