1 2 3 4 5 9 | bottom
Quote# 141699

Perhaps the hardest question I’ve personally asked about the Bible is, “Why does God kill babies in the Old Testament?” I’ve never doubted God’s goodness, but if I’m being honest, seeing God command the death of children in the Old Testament has been very difficult to grapple with.

We are taught from a young age at church that God is love. We are told he is the kindest being who has or ever could exist. But then as we grow older we begin to read books of Scripture like Hosea and we read that God condones “little ones” being dashed against the rocks and pregnant women being torn open. If people don’t fully reject God because they find these things repulsive, often times people come to the conclusion that the Old Testament and the New Testament are divided. The Old Testament is about the God of anger but in the New Testament God changes and becomes a God of love.

There is a better way, however, to interpret these difficult passages. Everything in the Bible becomes much clearer when we have Jesus and the Gospel in mind. Jesus said that all of Scripture is actually about him (Matthew 24:27, John 5:39). Therefore when we read about children dying in the Old Testament we must think, “How does this point to Jesus and the Gospel?”

Everything in the Bible points to Jesus Christ, even the death of babies.

Why Does God Kill Babies in the Old Testament? Answer: Man’s Sin

There are many places in the Old Testament where God commands people to wipe out other people, including women, children, and even infants. Common examples include the death of the first born babies in Egypt when Pharaoh refused to release the Israelites (Exodus 11:1-10), the total annihilation of Sodom and Gomora which included the children (Genesis 19:23-29), God’s command to Saul to destroy Amalek including “both man and woman, child and infant” (1 Samuel 15:3), and throughout Deuteronomy God commands the people to destroy the people in the lands they will be invading (Deuteronomy 2:34; 3:6; 20:16-18).

Why does he do this? Why does God kill babies throughout the Old Testament? When Moses receives the 10 Commandments, God said:

You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)

The simple answer to why God killed babies in the Old Testament is because of their parents’ sin. When we do not understand the scope of sin and the punishment a holy God requires of those who transgress against him, we will not understand how God could command the Israelites to destroy whole nations, including their children and infants.

The Death of Babies Does Not Mean God’s Love Is Lower Than We Thought. It Means Man’s Sin Is Greater Than We Thought

We get upset and confused when we read about God commanding the Israelites to wipe out groups of people, including children and infants, because we think this is not fair. By “not fair” we mean those children did not deserve to be killed. The Bible affirms this. It never says God punished the children for the children’s’ sins. In fact, all those children who died all went to heaven.

2 Samuel 12 gives us some good context here. David and Bathsheba sinned in adultery. They had a child through that affair. It states:

13 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “Yes, but the Lord has forgiven you, and you won’t die for this sin. 14 Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the word of the Lord by doing this, your child will die.”

15 After Nathan returned to his home, the Lord sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah’s wife. . . .

22 David replied, “I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, ‘Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means “beloved of the Lord”), as the Lord had commanded. (2 Samuel 12:13-15, 22-25).

The child dies because of David’s sin, not its own sin. But the child does go to heaven as we see in 2 Samuel 12:23. As we will talk about later in this article, all of this seems to foreshadow the death of Jesus. The first born died, which is a theme we see throughout Scripture. Surely this points to Jesus, who is the ultimate atoning sacrifice. When God chooses Solomon, David and Bathsheba’s second child, this shows God’s desire to restore what was lost because of sin, just as he restores those who put their faith in Jesus.

God “punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate [him]” (Exodus 20:5) is the law that was enforced when God commanded the death of babies in the Old Testament. This law does not cast a shadow on the love of God but a light on the sin of man. When we read about the deaths of babies in the Old Testament, the response should not be, “Wow, God’s love is so small.” Rather, we should say, “Man’s sin is so bad. Thank God Jesus came to pay this price so we do not have to.” When we read about the punishment of sin, we should say, “That’s why Jesus had to come.”

(Note: There is a biblical difference between “kill” and “murder.” Kill is used when you have the right to take a life. Capital punishment, war, and in other such contexts it is never murder since taking life here is appropriate. Murder occurs when you take a life and you do not have that right. God can never murder anyone since he is sovereign over all life. When and how we all die is God ordained. He decides when we will enter into our eternal destination. Whether it be at two weeks old our 102 years old, God is the one who decides when our time on this earth begins and ends.

Also, in the context of when these laws were given, Israel was a theocracy. Thus the commands were given literally by God himself. God lived with them in the tabernacle and the temple and showed himself in visible ways through incredible and miraculous ways (parting the red sea, appearing as a cloud of fire, producing water out of rocks, manna from heaven, etc.). These extreme laws were validated by God’s extreme clarity and manifest presence. As we will discuss next, the New Covenant changes our relationship with these laws. God is not dwelling among us like in a theocracy. Thus any argument to obey or recreate new laws like these old law are unbiblical.)

Children Should No Longer Be Punished for Their Parents Sin Because the New Covenant Replaced the Old Covenant

What makes this whole topic even a bit more confusing at first glance is that in other parts of Scripture God says that children should not be held responsible for the sins of their parents or ancestors. Ezekiel 18:1-4 states:

The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. 4 Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die.

So does Exodus 20:5-6 contradict with Ezekiel 18:1-4? No. It is important to realize that the Bible is a progressive narrative outlining God’s redemptive plan for humanity. The Bible has a story line and there are many seasons in the Bible which are different than other seasons. Exodus 20:5-6 is describing the penalty for sin. Ezekiel 18:1-4 is pointing to the ultimate solution for sin in the cross of Jesus Christ. Our children will not need to pay for our sins because our sins are paid for by God’s Son. Look at the movement found in Jeremiah 31:27-33, for example:

27 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast. 28 And it shall come to pass that as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring harm, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, declares the Lord.29 In those days they shall no longer say:

“‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’

30 But everyone shall die for his own iniquity. Each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.

31 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

Ezekiel 18:3 says “this proverb shall no more be used” and Jeremiah 31:27 says “the days are coming” and Jeremiah 31:29 says, “no longer say.” Why were these proverbs about children being punished for their parents sins once relevant but then we have passages speaking about the day when they will no longer be relevant? Jeremiah 31:31 states, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant . . .” Of course we know this New Covenant is accomplished through Christ. Christ is the reason the punishment of our parents’ sin should no longer affect us. 2 Corinthians 3:7-11 again shows us how the Old Covenant was never meant to last but was to be replaced by the New Covenant ratified by the blood of Christ:

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory? 9 For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, the ministry of righteousness must far exceed it in glory.10 Indeed, in this case, what once had glory has come to have no glory at all, because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if what was being brought to an end came with glory, much more will what is permanent have glory.”

The Old Covenant brought through Moses “was being brought to an end.” In other words, no, the Bible does not contradict itself. When Exodus 20:5-6 says the children will be punished because of their parent’s hatred towards God, this reminds us of the terrible consequence of sin. That was the purpose of the law, to show us how terrible our sin is, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin” (Romans 3:20). Human sin was present before the law, but when we are given the law we become aware of how wrong our sin actually is.

While Exodus 20:5-6 and passages about God commanding babies and children to be killed in the Old Testament show us how terrible human sin is, Bible verses like Ezekiel 18:1-4 and Jeremiah 31:27-33 point to the coming solution in Jesus Christ. We are living in the days talked about in those Bible passages. Christ has come. Christ has died for our sins. Therefore no one needs to bear the punishment of sin anymore. Now the only people who will be punished for their own sin are those who refuse to allow Christ, God himself, to take their punishment on himself.

Jesus came to fulfill the law, including the law that children will have to pay the remaining balance on their parent’s sin.

The Death of Babies Mentioned in Hosea Remind Us of the Gospel

Hosea is a beautiful book that contains historical accounts that actually happened. However, this is clearly also a book that points to Jesus. God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute, Gomer. Hosea marries her, has children with her, but despite all his kindness and love towards her she returns to her life of prostitution. Instead of killing her as she deserves for her betrayal, God tells Hosea to purchase her back again (Hosea 3:1-5). Clearly this is a picture of Christ and his church. He saves us from our sin, he gives us good gifts, we still rebel, but he still pays the price of our sin and takes us back again and again because of the work of Christ on our behalf.

When you read further in Hosea, God begins to prophesy through Hosea about the sins and consequences of rebellious people. Notice in every passage where there is a promise of severe punishment like the death of children, there is also a very clear explanation that this consequence is due to sin:

. . . as Shalman devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. So will it happen to you, Bethel, because your wickedness is great” (Hosea 10:14-15).

“. . . Even if they bear children, I will slay their cherished offspring.” My God will reject them because they have not obeyed him; they will be wanderers among the nations (Hosea 9:16-17).

Notice that these massive consequences of sin are “because your wickedness is great” and “because they have not obeyed him.”

Sometimes It’s Not About Punishment. Sometimes God Allows Children to Die Because of the Choices of Their Parents

I’ve never heard an atheist or someone who despises God for the death of children in the Old Testament say something like, “God could have taken away the adults freedom and allowed their choices not to matter thus saving the children.” No, they want it both ways. They don’t like the idea of God being God but they also don’t like it when he allows people to feel the weight of freedom. When nations sin, God often removes his favor. When enemies invade, the children suffer because the parents’ actions caused God’s favor to be removed.

In Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus tells a parable where a servant could not pay a great debt owed to his master, “Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt” (Matthew 18:25). Here the Old Testament and the New Testament mirror each other in that it shows the consequences of our sins actually can affect other people, including our children. The wickedness of Nazi Germany brought Allie bombs to the whole country of Germany, killing not just soldiers but many innocent babies. The consequences of sinful adults in war often affect innocent children.

Human sin never happens in a vacuum. Your sin never just affects you. Just read through Joshua 7 and see how Achan’s sin caused God’s favor to be removed from his community. Eventually his sin caused the death of his whole family. Likewise, all humans have been given the weighty gift of real freedom. But real freedom has real consequences. No one could stand living in an existence where our choices really didn’t matter, where human freedom was just a mirage. And yet in our sin we also complain about human consequences.

Consequences are an essential ingredient to true freedom. We are free whether we like it or not, therefore our sin will hurt other people in our lives whether we like this truth or not. When you don’t go to work, your kids don’t have food to eat. When adults go to war with one another, children die. That’s the reality of our world. Likewise, that’s the clear takeaway when we see the how the parent’s sin caused the death of their children in the Old Testament. The parents were given a true choice to protect or not to protect their kids. When they forsook God, they forsook his favor and protection and the children suffered the consequences of the parent’s choices.

As horrible as this reality is, God uses this fact – the fact that our sin is so evil it will affect the innocent in our lives – to reveal to us just how evil our sinfulness really is. Nothing will awaken you more to the atrocity of your sinfulness than when you see it hurting those you love most.

In Matthew 18:27 it adds, “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.” The way God cancels our debt is through the blood of Christ. The point God is making through the death of innocent children due to the sin of their parents is not to show that God is hateful but to show how great and wicked our sin really is. Only when we realize this will we rely on the sacrifice of Christ as we should.

Why Did God Kill Babies in the Old Testament? He Ultimately Didn’t, Man’s Sin Killed These Innocent Children. Sin Always Produces Death

Everything in the Bible is about Jesus and his Gospel. God even uses the sins of parents which bring great consequences of evil upon innocent children as a means of pointing everyone to our need for Jesus. The death of babies in the Bible is not because of God’s wrath, but because of God’s wrath in response to evil sins committed by people. Man’s sin brings God’s judgment and removes God’s favor, and often the result of this horrible atrocity results in children being affected.

But this is why Jesus came to save us. He came to save us from these awful sins and the consequences of them. So when we read of babies dying at the command of God, we must praise God for the gospel which is able to save us from such divine wrath towards sin. We must reexamine our poor understanding of how awful our sin really is. We mustn’t blame God, we must blame human sin for the death of babies in the Old Testament. This should then awaken in us a greater appreciation and love for the gospel of Jesus Christ which alone can save us from such wrath.

Next time you come to a difficult passage in Scripture, filter it through the lens of Jesus and the Cross and see if it does not become instantly clear. God killed his own son in the New Testament so none of us would have to see the effects of human sin that are so clearly displayed in the Old Testament.

Mark Ballenger, AGW 15 Comments [12/26/2018 1:19:39 AM]
Fundie Index: 10
Submitted By: Denizen

Quote# 141698

It's right for God to slaughter women and children anytime he pleases. God gives life and he takes life. Everybody who dies, dies because God wills that they die.

God is taking life every day. He will take 50,000 lives today. Life is in God's hand. God decides when your last heartbeat will be, and whether it ends through cancer or a bullet wound. God governs.

So God is God! He rules and governs everything. And everything he does is just and right and good. God owes us nothing.

If I were to drop dead right now, or a suicide bomber downstairs were to blow this building up and I were blown into smithereens, God would have done me no wrong. He does no wrong to anybody when he takes their life, whether at 2 weeks or at age 92.

God is not beholden to us at all. He doesn't owe us anything.

Now add to that the fact we're all sinners and deserve to die and go to hell yesterday, and the reality that we're even breathing today is sheer common grace from God.

I could make the question harder. As it was stated, it doesn't feel hard to me, because God was stated as the actor.

My basic answer is that the Old and New Testaments present God as the one who has total rights over my life and over my death.

"The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord" (Job 1:21). How he takes away is his call. He never wrongs anybody.

How would you state it to make the question harder?

The part that makes it harder is that he commands people to do it. He commanded Joshua to slaughter people, okay? You've got human beings killing humans, and therefore a moral question of what is right to do.

The Bible says, "Thou shalt not murder," yet God says to Joshua, "Go in and clean house, and don't leave anything breathing! Don't leave a donkey, child, woman, old man or old woman breathing. Wipe out Jericho."

My answer to that is that there is a point in history, a season in history, where God is the immediate king of a people, Israel, different than the way he is the king over the church, which is from all the peoples of Israel and does not have a political, ethnic dimension to it.

With Joshua there was a political, ethnic dimension, God was immediate king, and he uses this people as his instrument to accomplish his judgment in the world at that time. And God, it says, let the sins of the Amorites accumulate for 400 years so that they would be full (Genesis 15:16), and then sends his own people in as instruments of judgment.

So I would vindicate Joshua by saying that in that setting, with that relationship between God and his people, it was right for Joshua to do what God told him to do, which was to annihilate the people.

But that's much more complex morally than saying that God does it. He can cause a flood and kill everybody on the planet except 8 people and not do a single one of them any wrong. But he didn't ask anybody else to do that. It gets difficult when he uses others.

An example of this right now is that God has given the sword to the government (Romans 13:4). Therefore I believe the government has a right to take a rapist and a murderer and to put him in jail. Or to kill him.

I think capital punishment is consistent with Genesis 9 and consistent with God's character, because of the value of man: "The blood of a man shall be shed for taking the blood of a man" (Genesis 9:6) But that's very different than saying that anybody can go around killing people.

So God has his times and seasons for when he shares his authority to take and give life. And the church today is not Israel, and we are not a political entity. Therefore the word we have from the Lord today is, "Love your enemy. Pray for those who abuse you. Lay your life down for the world. Don't kill in order to spread the gospel, but die to spread it."

John Piper, Desiring God 20 Comments [12/26/2018 1:19:30 AM]
Fundie Index: 9
Submitted By: Denizen

Quote# 141697

The way you phrase your question you are trying to preordain your reply as intended in the wording of the question, that in the absence of all other things God is guilty, he is mean and heartless! He is not a caring God. This is a fallacy on the grandest of proportions; for you do not take into account what God gave us.. that is the most important issue for you to examine and think about; this is God’s granting of the concept of “Free Will to Man”.

This is a difficult concept to understand in the historical past as it relates directly to past, presence and future actions as well. What we have come to know as “Civilized Man”;man’s history is spotted throughout with violence, death, destruction, war’s & civil unrest. I firmly believe that God wants us to love him as Christ taught us, with all of our hearts, mind & spiritual souls. He did not make us his slaves for whimsical amusement, he gives us free reign to accept & approach him in the fullness of our love toward him; in which case he may decide to intervene on our behalf or use us to effect other people’s actions & feelings to accomplish his goal for the betterment of mankind.

God is infinite in his wisdom & love for us, we cannot judge his reasoning or purpose. The only thing that we can do is to try to obey, understand his love and carry out what God speaks to us thru that little thing known as “the little voice in our hearts & minds known as the conscious” of man. Man has a the propensity of doing good or evil to our fellow man. That is my & your choice. You decide, it’s up to us individually.

Jim Demetrakis, Quora 9 Comments [12/26/2018 1:19:16 AM]
Fundie Index: 4
Submitted By: Denizen

Quote# 141696

on sanduskys wife turning a blind eye to her husband molesting children




A spouse cannot be compelled to testify against a spouse for a reason. They're a single unit in the eyes of the law, as well as emotionally (for many/most couples). And come on, they are both old as fuck. It's way less upsetting to think that your husband was pilloried unfairly in court than it is to accept that you are married to a child molester--even if that does mean calling dozens of victims liars. It's easy to talk tough online. But I'm not even married yet, and I can't say I would likely do anything differently in her position.

Rachellelogram, The straight dope 11 Comments [12/26/2018 1:18:39 AM]
Fundie Index: 7

Quote# 141695

ISTM that Dottie Sandusky and the posters to this thread share a common premise, i.e. that the accusations against Sandusky are all-or-nothing. Either all are true down to the last detail, or all are false and Sandusky is a persecuted saint.

The reality is that it's possible that some accusations are true and some are not, and within valid accusations, that some details are true and some are not. Meaning that while based on all evidence Sandusky was a serial child molestor, that does not preclude the possibility that other opportunists also jumped in with a chance to score a financial settlement, settle an old score or whatever. And it does not preclude the possibility that some genuine victims are misremembering (or possibly even misrepresenting) details of or relating to their abuse.

So it's possible - just possible - that Dottie Sandusky is simply relating the truth as she knows it: she did not in fact ever hear any suspicious sounds coming from that basement. And either the victim in that case was not a genuine victim, or he was a genuine victim who misrembered after the years how loud the sounds were, or perhaps even misjudged it at the time etc. etc.


Where she's going wrong - assuming this is true - is in making the leap to the assumption that this accuser's entire story must be fake, and that the other accusers' stories must also be fake, and so on. However, this is a premise shared with many others on the other side of the issue, who assume that since the evidence shows Sandusky to be a serial molestor it must follow that the particular detail of this kid making noise in the basement must also be true.


View Post
So, she should call her own son a liar and ignore that her husband molested him? And, if she doesn't do that, but accepts that her son is telling the truth, then what - she should believe that he was molested, but all of the other kids were lying? OK, so maybe not all of them - maybe she just believes he moslested half of them - does that really change anything at all? I think if she said, "yeah, turns out he was a serial molester, but I never heard anything from the basement that one time" people might actually buy it. But right now she's landing square in the 'blind eye' camp and it's not unreasonable to assume she probably knew something was going on and chose not look too hard.

I wouldn't put too much into the "own son" bit.

Matt Sandusky is not the Sandusky's biological son and is not someone who was raised by the Sanduskys. He is a former juvenile delinquent who became their foster child at the age of 17 and was adopted at age 18. (
cite
.)

There's no particular reason for Mrs. Sandusky to find Matt Sandusky any more credible than any other accuser, and her feeling of betrayal would be even stronger.



Fotheringay-Phipps, The straight dope 2 Comments [12/26/2018 1:18:25 AM]
Fundie Index: 3

Quote# 141692

About China
This is simple.
If the capitalist class answers to the government, and is beholden to them, the country is socialist because the state has control over them, ultimately. The state can tell the businesses what to do, but may choose not to unless the policies are beneficial to the state. regardles of if there is a form of capitalism allowed. State capitalism is run by the state, and the workers have a benefit access to Healthcare and housing and generally their quality of life tends to be better.
Under nazi rule, the workers were take advantage of, if you weren't leibensborn or German born, you had no rights, while China has 133 constitutionally protected minority classes
I f
T h e
C a p I a l i s t s
A n s w e r
T o
T h e
G o v e r n m e n t
The country is socialist.
Cuba ussr China, Venezuela
If the capitalists control the government
USA UK EU, they are capitalism based.
period.
Being a capitalist means you own land or a business or a house. Living under capitalism doesn't make you a capitalist.
Also, imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism. Therefore
China
BY
DEFINITION
CANNOT
BE
IMPERIALIST
laika

Gulag the Liberals, Facebook 11 Comments [12/25/2018 2:53:27 PM]
Fundie Index: 6

Quote# 141690

I can understand how they can be happy. Most people would be very happy to live a life in which you would be able to do WHATEVER you feel is right, regardless of what that was (as long as you weren’t arrested for it). Not believing in God frees people from the guilt and pangs of conscience that accompanies the belief that some Higher Power may hold you responsible for the choices you make. If you can convince yourself that there is no Higher Power, then you will believe that no one will judge the choices you make. In this way, atheism is sort of a faith, a deep hope and belief that there is no God.

If you don’t believe in God, then you live only in the here and now and have little concern about others and their circumstances beyond the amount of concern that the human laws and regulations insist you must have (for example, an atheist would avoid t murder, NOT because some “God” said that murder is wrong; rather, they would not kill someone because of the knowledge that they would be arrested and put in prison, losing their freedom.) They don’t worry about consequences or obligations beyond what society would require of them. They believe that if they are “good people” in the eyes of society, keeping human laws, then that is good enough. Atheists are also content in their belief that humans can solve every single problem on Earth and that whatever problems humans cannot solve are not worth worrying about. They don’t worry much about death and disease or intractable poverty or hunger because either they believe that humans will eventually solve those problems, or they believe that those problems are the evolutionary “lot in life” of people who are not the “fittest” and that the laws of evolution will take care of the matter soon enough. No point in caring or worrying about it at all.

Finally, they think of themselves as individual little “Gods” or “Goddesses” in that they believe that they, as imperfect human individuals, are the sole source of moral authority in their lives, that whatever their personal situational ethics dictates is what they do, and they alone have complete control over their own fortunes. Each one lives as they want to live with no outside sources of ethical rules (other than the laws of imperfect human governments). If it is not legally mandated, you don’t have to do it. If it “feels good” to you personally, then do it. They feel no obligation toward any universal source of authority and believe themselves to have attained ultimate freedom.

I can understand how some folks could think this is happiness.

brensgrrl, Daily Kos 13 Comments [12/25/2018 2:51:59 PM]
Fundie Index: 6

Quote# 141689

Also, Trump did not want the suicidal transgenders in the military because it is so expensive to cope with their medical demands.

church mouse guy, BaptistBoard 14 Comments [12/25/2018 2:51:47 PM]
Fundie Index: 9
Submitted By: Kang

Quote# 141688

Sermon 7: The Lord’s Supper

By Bro. Steven R.

When we take communion, we may see it as a little cracker and a shot glass filled with grape juice. However, it symbolizes much more than that. Ir is simply a symbol of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Papists claim that it is a literal reception of the Lord's body and blood, but this is flat out heresy. God has banned cannibalism! "Consubstantiation" as practiced by liberal Lutherans and Episcopalians is also mystical hocus pocus. Papists have "Eucharistic adoration" where idolaters worship a piece of bread! It is NOT Jesus! It IS a mockery! I Corinthians 11:2 says "Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you." These are ORDINANCES. The Bible says absolutely NOTHING about "sacraments!" You will go to Hell if you dare mock God by claiming that "sacraments" do the work of God on command!!! Heresy is what this simply is!!!!!!!!!! Just like baptism is an outward symbol of an inward transition into a life of Christ, which BABIES CANNOT CHOOSE IN THEIR INFANCY, the Lord's Supper doesn't contain the body and blood of Jesus, and if some atheist loser takes a cookie it is NOT a hostage situation! It IS A SYMBOL AND NOTHING MORE, PAGAN IDOLATERS!!!!!!

"For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." Ye do SHEW the Lord's death, not recreate it and act like cannibals! It is a MEMORIAL, and NOTHING ELSE! Jesus spoke in parables and metaphors, and any idiot can plainly read that it is a SYMBOL except papists and other heretics apparently. The cup was not filled with wine as it is known today, but it did not cause drunkenness since the Bible says to stay away from strong drink, so if you have communion and you use wine or WATER as the Mormons do instead of grape juice, you are simply a HERETIC! "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

Some Baptist churches nowadays have these little soup crackers that they pass out for communion. That’s also WICKED! You need to BREAK bread in order to symbolize the body of Christ which was broken for you!!! Get some unleavened bread and BREAK it and share it along with the grape juice! We need to have a seriousness even with the mere elements in which we use to obey Christ! No Wonder bread like the Mormons either! LEAVEN IS NOT PURE! UNLEAVENED BREAD IS THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE A RESPECTFUL MEMORIAL! Some Baptist Churches celebrate the Lord’s Supper every week! Only do it once a month or quarter or year so that it’s a special memorial and not rote paganism like the Papists and the Episcopagans!

Therefore, eat only if you are of clean mind and spirit! Do NOT take the Lord's Supper if you had premarital sex and did not repent! Do NOT take if you got drunk the night before or engaged in self abuse right before church! GET RIGHT WITH GOD! THERE IS NO MORTAL SIN, THERE IS NO VENIAL SIN, THERE IS NO PURGATORY, THERE IS JUST SIN! THERE IS JUST HEAVEN AND HELL! IF YOU DO NOT REPENT OF YOUR SINFUL WAYS AND YOU DIE WITHOUT HAVING REPENTED AND WALKED AWAY WITHOUT SIN YOU WILL BE DAMNED! SIN IS SIN! NO HERESY, APOSTASY, LUST, FORNICATION, ADULTERY, THEFT, LYING, SELF ABUSE, CURSING, TAKING THE LORD'S NAME IN VAIN, OR ANYTHING ELSE! NO POPERY! WORSHIP ONLY GOD! DO NOT EAT AND DRINK DAMNATION! LET THE COMMUNION PLATE PASS YOU BY IF YOU ARE NOT RIGHT WITH GOD!

Steven R., SimplyChristian  15 Comments [12/25/2018 2:51:40 PM]
Fundie Index: 7

Quote# 141687

[Regarding a picture of a Women's March protestor carrying a sign saying "Please Note the Lack of Nazis at Our Marches"]

And now, presenting the Memey for “Most Ironic Meme”!
This popular meme took a different light when a recent bombshell report from Tablet Mag revealed that from the very beginning, several of the Women’s March lead organizers were anti-Semitic. In fact, from the very first meeting, anti-Jewish slurs and conspiracies were reportedly discussed, and became a sort of dark family secret that was hidden from the public.
As the movement progressed, meetings of leaders often became heated, as “you people” and “the Jews control all the money” style insults were hurled openly. Ties to the notoriously anti-Semitic Nation of Islam became apparent, as some leaders like Linda Sarsour attended their rallies and even hired NOI members as security detail. Eventually, most Jewish members left the group, and even notable celebrities like Alyssa Milano distanced themselves from the group over their ties to anti-Semitism.
Ironically, unbeknownst to its followers, some of the Women’s March leaders held views lurking beneath the surface about Jews that would be welcomed at a neo-Nazi meeting.
Source referenced:
https://www.tabletmag.com/…/is-the-womens-march-melting-down
For a complete list of the 2018 Memeys (updated in real time):
http://memepoliceman.com/the-2018-memeys/

The Meme Policeman, Facebook 6 Comments [12/25/2018 2:51:32 PM]
Fundie Index: 4

Quote# 141686

So, my third semester of Nursing School is finally over. I made an A on a final and that pulled my grade out of the weeds to pass a class. I studied for 5+ hours a day for over a week and met with my study buddy in the same cohort every chance we got. That A is a reward for all of my hard work and now I can relax and enjoy my Christmas break.

I called my Mom when I found out I passed because I knew she would be grilling me when I got home and, at the end of the day, I just want to retire to my room and watch tv/play video games without her going on and on about the subject for hours. She immediately said that she'd be praying every night for me and my A was the "work of God." I'm not a religious person and retorted with, "Or maybe it was all my studying for the past week and a half." "But He helped you remember everything." "Yeah. Okay, Mom hangs up"

pressatoplay30's mother, /r/raisedbynarcissists/ 11 Comments [12/25/2018 2:51:10 PM]
Fundie Index: 6

Quote# 141684

I was listening to a very popular radio host one day, who claims to be a Christian. He claims to deeply love God in every way. He is married with children. Yet one day I heard him tell his listeners that he goes to massage parlors from time-to-time, to have beautiful women massage him. I was saddened when he said that, wondering what kind of wife didn't care if her husband went to be massaged by other women. God is a jealous God, and something is wrong with anyone who is not jealous over their spouse. In America's sicko society today, where married couples “swing” with other couples sexually, it is horribly evil.

Only in a sinful, carnally-minded society do people go get a massage, letting someone of the opposite sex usually) put their hands all over you from head-to-toe. It is just plain wrong.

When I hear someone say that they're going to get a massage, I know that they're not right with God. Oh, I know, everyone has a bad back, or a bad leg, or some other health problem that they use to justify getting a massage; but it doesn't matter. It is sinfully for a man to have a woman putting her hands all over him (unless it's his wife). Massages are unscriptural and sinful, because they potentially arouse sexual desires (at least in a healthy, normal man) and often lead to sexual immorality during the massage. God calls all believers to a life of holiness.

A wife who doesn't mind if her husband gets a massage by another woman; probably dresses like a whore, has a loose past of fornication, approves of abortion, accepts homosexuality, et cetera. Only an immoral wife would approve of her husband getting a massage by another woman. You should be jealous over your spouse, just as God is jealous over His own (Exodus 20:1-5).

Massages are sinful. No one should touch you except your spouse. Even a man touching a man is creepy. No man should massage another man.

David J. Stewart, Jesus is Savior 18 Comments [12/25/2018 2:50:42 PM]
Fundie Index: 8

Quote# 141681

[If you could exterminate your ideological foes without any blowback or sanction, would you?

I leave people alone who mind their own business and don't use their vote to compel others to abide by mob wishes.

It would however be very tempting with the rest...
]

This speaks to the very nature of the human experience over thousands of years on this planet. History is pretty much rinse and repeat. It just so happens that we've passed the tipping point in this country and more precisely, in the entirety of Western Culture where we desperately need another war against each other. To answer your point, no, I wouldnt randomly exterminate liberals. I would want to meet them on the battle field where we would fight until every last one of the other faction were eliminated. It is wholly impossible for a group that believes:

1. in Christian America
2. that abortion is evil
3. that being gay/tranny is evil
4. taking as much money from us as the government does is evil
5. forcing people to render services to people they dont want to is wrong
6. that private ownership of the means to violently overthrow government is necessary to the cause of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
7. that Biblical morality is key to our civilization and freedoms

to ever compromise with todays left who believe the total opposite. You cannot bridge that type of chasm peacefully. People need to die.

lokmar, ThirdRailForum 10 Comments [12/25/2018 2:48:16 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: Citizen Justin

Quote# 141677

Over the weekend I was involved in a conversation revolving around the release of The Nashville Statement (you can read the article on that here). Due to the subject nature of the statement, the conversation got pretty heated. And unfortunately, some shots were fired in my direction. This conversation reminded me greatly of the importance of standing firm upon God’s word, hence the title of this article.

The intent of this article is to in no way show the shots that were thrown my way for what they were. But to encourage the readers of this site to stand firm on God’s word, even if that makes us unpopular and sometimes even hated. A grim reality of the times we’re living in is that if we as Christians do not acquiesce to the opinions of those who sit on the more liberal side of the fence, we will be loathed. We will be told that we are not “loving” or are “taking scripture out of context”, two things that I was accused of with no evidence (I requested a defence of these accusations that was based in scripture, and they never came). It is an unfortunate reality, but it is one that we must be prepared to face.

We were warned about this by the Apostle Paul in his second letter to Timothy, particularly in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. Yet just one verse later in 2 Timothy 4:5 we are reminded of the importance of standing firm upon God’s word. It is this encouragement that I want to use for the core of this article.

But first, let me offer up some context for the reason for writing this article.

Why I Am Writing This Article

As already stated, this article comes out of a discussion I was involved in over the weekend on Facebook in relation to the release of The Nashville Statement. A discussion that became unnecessarily heated.

I won’t go into too much detail on the conversation as I don’t think that is fair to the people involved. But what I will say is that I got involved in this discussion by adding in a Biblically accurate defence for the understanding that both Jesus and Paul did address the issue of homosexuality during their ministries.

I met some very harsh opposition from two people in particular, due to the fact that I was willing to stand firm on God’s word, unlike them who wanted a more “loving” response, meaning a response compromising my integrity as a Christian. At one point I was told that I should not be pursuing full-time ministry due to not affirming the LGBT choice of lifestyle. Needless to say, I found this rather hurtful and unnecessary, whilst at the same time being fairly comical. The conversation was ended when I was blocked on Facebook by the original poster after they accused me of being unbiblical and ungodly. For both of these strong accusations, a defence was requested, one was never made.

This altercation really reminded me of the urgent need to commit to doing some solid Biblical teaching on subjects like this. This is because the unfortunate reality seems to be that without this said solid Biblical teaching, many people will start to conform to the patterns of this world, something we’re warned not to do in Romans 12:2.

It is this desire to bring in some solid Biblical teaching on the subject that I want to use as the basis for the remainder of the article.

How Can We Stand Firm Upon God’s Word Today?

Now just to offer a bit of a preamble to this section here. I subscribe to what we would call reformed theology. In a nutshell, reformed theology has a high view of both God and scripture. Believing in the sovereignty of God, the authority of scripture, and salvation by grace alone. If you want a bit more information on reformed theology, Got Questions have put together a good introduction to it on their website. So some people may call be a fundamentalist (I was in the altercation), but I’m OK with that. Because I believe in the fundamental truths of scripture. Plus between you and me, if you ever get called a fundamentalist or a “fundie”, it’s always a dig from people who compromise on scripture for the sake of their opinion. But let’s get back to the question at hand.

How can we stand firm upon God’s word today? The answer to this is relatively simple actually, it’s the outworking of that answer that can get complicated. We stand firm upon God’s word today by refusing to compromise to the truths that God has revealed to us in scripture. So that’s the simple part.

The complicated part is the outworking of this.See, it’s all too easy to consider compromising scripture. Let’s take the example of you having a gay friend (it’s an appropriate example considering the reason for writing this article), many people would feel it’s more “loving” or more “Christ-like” to affirm their lifestyle.

See, it’s all too easy to consider compromising scripture. Let’s take the example of you having a gay friend (it’s an appropriate example considering the reason for writing this article), many people would feel it’s more “loving” or more “Christ-like” to affirm their lifestyle. The issue with this is that the Bible clearly defines this lifestyle as sinful, and Jesus gives clear instruction that once someone is forgiven, that they are to go and sin no more (John 8:11). However, unfortunately, pop culture has decided that our identity as a person is found in our sexuality, whereas as Christians our identity should be found in Christ (Galatians 2:20).

We have to always remember that Jesus is at the very core of what we do. It is upon the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and His resurrection from the dead by God that we receive true salvation (Romans 10:9). And it is the on the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah in which He has decided to build His Church, we see Peter confirm Jesus as Messiah in Matthew 16:16 and Jesus’ statement that this is the grounding of the Church in Matthew 16:18. So it is Jesus Christ who is at the center of the Church, not man, and we must always be mindful of that.

We must also remember that God has breathed out His word, He has inspired it, and therefore it is inclusive of the authority of God, we see this in 2 Timothy 3:16-17. This is not to say that the Bible is higher in authority than God, but it is on the same level, as the Bible is the chosen tool of God that He reveals His will and direction for our lives through. So as Christians we should never put the Bible to the side. Neither should we come up with silly arguments such as we should focus on Jesus’ teachings, despite the fact that Jesus’ teachings are all found in the Bible.

A conscious decision must be made by us as believers to follow the instruction that Christ has laid out for us in His word. We are told in Psalm 119:89 that His word is settled forever in heaven. This means that we have no right to change the doctrine that Christ has laid out for us through His word, no right to change it at all. We need to decide to fall in line with scripture, whether we agree with it or not. God is the final authority here, not us.

I cannot stress that last point enough, God is the final authority here, not us.

So the question then becomes, if God is the final authority, not us, how does that affect how we should interpreate scripture? That is a question for our next article.

A Closing Encouragement

Before we close I wanted to give a brief encouragement to those who desire to stay true to scripture. At times doing this can be very difficult, sometimes we’ll face opposition from Christians who think they’re doing right by God and others. What we need to remember is that Jesus has told us that if we truly love Him, then we are to keep His commands (John 14:15, John 14:23). God’s desire for us is to ultimately give Him all the glory, and we do this by honouring what He has commanded us to do in His word … the Bible.

So if you encounter hostility in doing this, remember that Jesus met this same hostility, and take comfort in the fact that we have already been forewarned that this would happen.

In this encounter over the week, the original poster mentioned that I should be forgiven because I didn’t know what I was doing (lots of Biblically inaccurate overtones there). However, I did know what I was doing, and it was standing firm upon God’s word. It will always be my intention to do this, I hope you will share in that with me.

Mark Jones, Theology Review 4 Comments [12/25/2018 2:47:14 PM]
Fundie Index: 4

Quote# 141676

Seventy-four years later, he still has no regrets. In a report broadcast on Thursday 29 November, on the German public broadcaster ARD, Karl Münter is surprised by the question: "Why should I have regrets? The old man asks, 96 years old. On the night of April 1 to 2, 1944, he was one of a few dozen young soldiers, members of the 12th SS "Hitlerjugend" ("Hitler Youth"), who massacred 86 civilians in Ascq (North), near Lille, after the train they were in had been attacked by resistance fighters.

Pursued by the French courts, Karl Münter was sentenced to death in absentia, in 1949, in a resounding trial in which sixteen other former SS defendants were accused of having participated in the massacre then described by Le Figaro as " Oradour du Nord » . In the interview broadcast Thursday night, he says he shot no one, his role was limited to monitoring the arrested French. But he considers that the shots were legitimate: "If I stop the men, then I have the responsibility. And if they run away, I have the right to shoot them. Too bad for them ! "

From this time, Karl Münter does not seem to regret much. Faced with the camera, he claims that the SS did not commit "any crime" during the war. On the extent of the Holocaust, he also has doubts: "There were not as many Jews here at the time. This has already been refuted. I recently read somewhere that this figure of 6 million is not true. I do not believe it, " he says.

If he does not leave his quiet village of Lower Saxony, where he has rebuilt his postwar life as a house painter, Karl Münter sometimes makes an exception. As on the day of early November when he went to Thuringia for a meeting organized by nostalgic of the Third Reich, in the presence of the vice president of the neo-Nazi NPD party. Invited as a "witness of the time" , he has dedicated dozens of photos, like the one he keeps preciously in an old album and shows it, at age 21, blond as the wheats and face poupin, in his uniform SS non-commissioned officer.

[...]

On the spot, the stupefaction is all the more intense as the name of Karl Münter is far from unknown. It was indeed out of oblivion thanks to the complaint filed in Germany, in 2014, by Alexandre Delezenne, whose great-grandfather had been murdered by the SS seventy years earlier. As a result of this complaint, the German investigators found traces of Karl Münter, waking the victims' descendants with the hope of a new trial. But on March 27, the prosecution of Celle (Lower Saxony) put an end to the prosecution. The reason: Article 54 of the Schengen Agreement, which states that a person already tried by one of the signatory states - even without attending his trial, as was the case of Münter, in 1949 - can not be prosecuted for the same facts by another State bound by the same agreement. The other argument against a new trial was that Münter had been convicted for "war crimes", which had been prescribed after thirty years.

Karl Münter, International News 4 Comments [12/25/2018 2:45:56 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: JeanP

Quote# 141675

(=Note: As entertaining as this is, popcorn unfortunately cannot be passed through the computer. I apologize for the inconvenience)

ANCIENT HISTORY: Did Noah Know Adam?

A little over a month ago I heard someone say that Noah may have known Adam. This is something I hadn’t really thought about before if I’m honest. However, after giving it some more thought, I came to the conclusion that this would be an interesting piece to write about.

Similar to my piece on the name of the Apostle Paul (which you can read here), sometimes subjects you haven’t put too much thought into can be the most fascinating things to look into. So that’s what we’re going to look into here in this article.

Before diving into the content of this article, I’d like to give some background as to why I’m writing this. Since last year I have been combing through the Bible looking for dates. This is to allow me to come up with a chronology from what the Bible indicates. Currently, I am about half way through the book of Joshua. This project has been on hold for a while, however, I do have data up until the book of Joshua, including the book of Genesis.

This data includes the number of years that are inclusive of the life of Adam and the life of Noah. So with that being said, let’s dive into the article and examine this question.

Could Noah Have Known Adam?
To start answering this question, we need to look at the life of Adam. We first need to answer how many years he lived for, and then we need to move on to the life of Noah. We also need to investigate how much (if any) of a gap was there between the death of Adam and the birth of Noah. So let’s investigate that, shall we?

The Life of Adam
Adam was the first man to be created (Genesis 2:7), He was created by God on the sixth day of creation. He and his wife Eve later rebelled in the Garden of Eden, eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and were subsequently kicked out of the garden. Shortly after this, Adam Eve bear their first two children, Cain and Abel. Cain killed Abel, and Cain was then cursed to wander the earth because of his actions (Genesis 4:10-12). After Cain’s banishment, we don’t hear too much of Adam in the Bible, other than about the birth of his next son, Seth (Genesis 4:25-26). In Genesis chapter 5 we learn about the Genealogy from Adam to Noah, where we are told a few more details about the timeline of these events.

These details are:

Adam was 130 when he fathered Seth.
Adam lived another 800 years after Seth was born, fathering other sons and daughters.
Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
This is confirmed in Genesis 5:3-5.

So that’s the life of Adam in a nutshell. Now to figure out whether he could possibly have known Noah personally, we need to do a little more maths. But first, let’s look at the life of Noah very briefly.

The Life of Noah
Noah is most well-known for the flood narrative. An epic tale of the world being flooded by God to do away with the world’s wickedness, and to remove the threat of a heinous invasion. Noah was the son of Lamech. Lamech fathered Noah at the age of 182 (Genesis 5:28-29). Noah was the grandson of Methuselah, and in terms of Adam, Noah was the 8th Great Grandchild of Adam. Meaning there were nine generations between Adam and Noah.

God asked Noah to build an ark and to take him, his wife, his sons, and his son’s wives onto the ark. They remained on the ark when the flood came for forty days and forty nights. Eventually, they left the ark and were tasked with repopulating the earth.

Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died (Genesis 9:29). His death occurring 350 years after the flood, which started when Noah was 600 years old. 100 years after Noah fathered his three sons, Ham, Shem, and Japheth at the age of 500 (Genesis 5:32).

So now we have some basic details on the lives of both Adam and Noah, let’s try to figure out if the two of them could’ve in fact known each other.

Did Noah Know Adam?
To calculate whether Adam knew Noah, we have to calculate the number of years between the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah. Then we will have to see if that number is greater than the number of years between Seth’s birth and Adam’s death. Essentially we’re asking was there more than eight hundred years after the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah.

Below is a basic chronology table of the birth’s in the genealogy found in Genesis 5, and the number of years between them:

....


As you can see from this table, the number of years between the birth of Seth and the birth of Noah is 1,056 years. This is 256 years greater than the time between the birth of Seth and the death of Adam. Therefore it is my conclusion that Adam and Noah would not have known each other personally. My these figures we can see that Adam would’ve already been dead for two centuries before Noah was born.

I have no doubt that Noah would’ve known of Adam, however, I cannot say that Noah would’ve ever met Adam on this earth. Although it is interesting to think about this possibility and to speculate on the times of conversations that the two of them would have had, the Bible does not support this idea that Adam and Noah could have met.

Although this may not be the response some may have hoped for, we do actually have another aspect of Noah’s timeline of life that is extremely fascinating. That being that Noah would’ve died 10 years after Abraham was born. So depending on where Noah was living at the time of Abraham’s birth, it is actually possible that Noah could’ve known Abraham up until the age of 60, as Abraham was born 290 years after the flood subsided.

But that’s for another article.


Mark Jones, Theology Review 11 Comments [12/25/2018 2:44:11 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: CC

Quote# 141674

So yesterday I was on Facebook and numerous articles came across my news feed, all relating to someone I’ve had a lot of respect for over the years, that is Eugene Peterson. For those who don’t know who Peterson is, he is best known for his work in putting together one of the world’s most popular paraphrase Bibles, The Message. The Message came in at number 10 of the most popular Bible translations of 2016 according to Nielson. Because of the success of The Message, Peterson has long been in the public eye. But this past week he has come under a little scrutiny because of an article that was released by Religion News Service entitled Eugene Peterson on Changing His Mind About Same-Sex Issues and Marriage.

However, as with most stories that come out on the internet, there’s a little more to this story than meets the eye, so let’s investigate and try to get to the bottom of this issue that has the Christian online world in a bit of a storm. Let’s dig in shall we.

The RNS Article

The article is quite interesting, the contributor Jonathan Merritt introduces the piece by saying he wants to investigate Peterson’s views on homosexuality and gay marriage, as it is a very hot topic in the world today. This is certainly the case when you look at the way the world is today.

The question Merritt asks Peterson is interesting here, as is Peterson’s response. The question asked is what is the morality of same-sex relationships, and has your view changed on this over the years? Below is Peterson’s response to the question.

...

“In my own congregation — when I left, we had about 500 people — I don’t think we ever really made a big deal out of it. When I left, the minister of music left. She’d been there ever since I had been there. There we were, looking for a new minister of music. One of the young people that had grown up under my pastorship, he was a high school teacher and a musician. When he found out about the opening, he showed up in church one day and stood up and said, “I’d like to apply for the job of music director here, and I’m gay.” We didn’t have any gay people in the whole congregation. Well, some of them weren’t openly gay. But I was so pleased with the congregation. Nobody made any questions about it. And he was a really good musician.”

Peterson closes his answer by saying:

“I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.”

One thing to be immediately aware of here is that Peterson answer does not actually bring Scripture into play, but solely focuses on his experience with people who are of a homosexual persuasion who identify themselves as believers in Christ. Peterson also states that this would not have been his answer 20 years ago, the question is why? This is an assumption, but here’s my guess, gay marriage was not being pushed down the throats of society in 1997, whereas it is now.

Merritt then follows this initial question up with the question of would you ever perform a same-sex wedding ceremony, Peterson’s answer is YES.

This response has led to many Christian outlets writing response pieces on this. Including The Gospel Coalition, Church Leaders, and Christianity Today.

However, that is not the end of the story here, as Peterson has since retracted his comment on performing a same-sex marriage.

Peterson’s Retraction in the Washington Post

In an article released yesterday (13 July) entitled Popular Author Eugene Peterson: Actually, I Would Not Perform a Gay Marriage, Peterson retracted his comments on being willing to perform a same-sex wedding ceremony, saying.

“When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that.”

Peterson says a lot more on the subject than this, so I would encourage you to read the full article as we won’t be covering every detail covered in the retraction story. However, Peterson did clarify what his view on homosexuality and gay marriage was in the following statement:

“To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything.”

Peterson carries on with this:

“When I told this reporter that there are gay and lesbian people who “seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do,” I meant it. But then again, the goodness of a spiritual life is functionally irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. We are saved by faith through grace that operates independent of our resolve or our good behavior. It operates by the hand of a loving God who desires for us to live in grace and truth and who does not tire of turning us toward both grace and truth. There have been gay people in a variety of congregations, campuses, and communities where I have served. My responsibility to them was the work of a pastor—to visit them, to care for their souls, to pray for them, to preach the Scriptures for them.”

Peterson closes the statement by saying that he regrets the confusion caused by the interview, this coming on the back of the statement earlier in the article that he prefers questions ahead of time to allow him to prepare appropriately for the interview that is to come.

RNS responded to this in an article released yesterday entitled Eugene Peterson Backtracks on Same-Sex Marriage. The article basically goes down the line that Peterson’s retraction is yet another blow to those who identify themselves as gay Christian’s and that God doesn’t love them any less because yet another prominent voice in the Church has stated that they do not affirm same-sex marriage.

Peterson’s retraction also came on the heels of Lifeway Christian Stores saying that they were considering pulling Peterson’s work out of its stores due to Peterson’s apparent new view on same-sex marriage.

So with all this information, and more in the sources linked below, what are we to make of the comments of Peterson on the subject of homosexuality and is it even relevant?

Getting to Grips With All of This

The honest answer to this subject is that there is no straightforward answer that will please everybody. However, on the question of is this relevant, the answer is a resounding yes.

A number of weeks ago I came across a comment on a Facebook thread about homosexuality, where a commenter asked: “Why are Christian’s so obsessed with homosexuality and gay marriage”? I responded to that question by saying that we are no more “obsessed” with the subject than those who are for homosexuality and gay marriage are. In fact, if you look deep into the debate, most of the time Christian’s are responding to something on the subject, not actively seeking out ways to predicate our view.

The hard truth is that the Bible does not affirm homosexuality, people can argue that Jesus never directly talks about homosexuality and therefore does not have a view on the subject, and therefore we should be “more like Jesus”. However, this argument is an argument from silence and is extremely lacking. For starters it ignores what Jesus says about marriage, that is to be between one man and one woman (a la the book of Genesis), and it also fails to have done a strong investigation on Jesus’ last days’ prophecy, which seems to include a reference to gay marriage in it. So, in reality, Jesus may very well have addressed gay marriage, without using the words gay marriage.

This may upset people who are wanting God to affirm this lifestyle for any reason. However to get the Bible to do this would require the altering of doctrine, ignoring God’s instruction in His word, or manipulating that said instruction to make it what those who want this affirming to say. But I do need to be blunt here and say that homosexuality is just like any other sin noted in scripture, the only real difference between homosexuality and any other sin is the mainstream attention it gets and the twitching ears who listen to big-name “Christian’s” who support same-sex marriage and homosexuality.

The fact of the matter is that as Christian’s it is not our responsibility to judge on this issue, and I mean judge in the Biblical sense of pronouncing a punishment on someone, that’s God’s job, not ours. We are to teach people the word and show what God says on the subject in a manner that is full of grace and truth. It’s like the cliche says, we are called to love the sinner, not the sin. There is a vast difference between saying that God says what someone is up to is a sin, and saying they heinous and full of sin. Because without the grace of God we are all heinous and full of sin.

Whatever your views of Peterson’s comments are, people need to know the love of God and the truth of His word. This means that we shouldn’t cave to societal pressure that tells us that tolerance is affirmation and acceptance, rather than what it actually means. As Christian’s we need to let the love of God be what stands out, and that is a love that is so loving it tells people the truth.

What do you think about Peterson’s recent comments? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Mark Jones is the Lead Writer at Theology Review. Mark is currently studying theology at Spurgeon's College, working towards completing the Church Training Initiative before moving on to their degree course. Mark has been a Christian since 2001, and now spends a lot of his time studying and researching various topics affecting Biblical and Church History. This has led him to start Theology Review, a place for thought and discussion on historical and current theology.

Mark Jones, Theology Review 4 Comments [12/25/2018 2:44:04 PM]
Fundie Index: 5

Quote# 141672

Introduction
"Bait and Switch" is an experiment to find out whether small, personal home pages and Web sites of large organizations get identical treatment from blocking software companies in deciding what to block.
Most censorware products attempt to block "hate speech", with "hate speech" usually defined to include derogatory statements based on sexual orientation. (The definitions used by the different companies are usually published on the company Web sites; current definitions at the time of the experiment are collected here)

We collected some of the anti-gay statements from the home pages of four well-known conservative sites: the Family Research Council, the Focus on the Family, the Official Dr. Laura web page and Concerned Women for America (none of these sites are currently blocked by any of the programs that we tested). We then created one different "bait" Web page for each of these organizations, with the "bait" page consisting of quotes taken from the organization's Web site, without telling the viewer where the quotes came from. The "bait" pages were submitted for review to each of the blocking companies (through anonymous Hotmail accounts so that the companies wouldn't know the submissions were coming from Peacefire).

In all cases, the blocking companies agreed to block the pages we submitted in their "hate speech" categories. We then contacted the blocking companies to ask if they would block the organizations whose Web pages were the sources of our anti-gay quotes.

So far, all of the censorware companies in our experiment have been back-pedaling since then, saying that they will not block the pages which were the original sources for the anti-gay quotes. Naturally, Peacefire does not advocate censoring these pages, but only because we are against censorship in general. If blocking software claims to block sites which "denigrate people based on sexual orientation" -- as almost all censorware companies claim to do, in their published definitions of "hate speech" -- then the sites that we listed clearly meet those criteria.



The "bait" pages

We have set up local mirrors of each of the following "hate sites" since most of the free home page services currently hosting the pages have policies against "hate" -- so now that the following pages are going to get a lot of attention, they stand a good chance of getting deleted from the free page servers. Our local mirrors are identical to the originals, except for banner ads and cookie-setting scripts that have been removed.

Under "Quote attributions", we have also included the original location of each quote that appeared on the "bait" pages.

http://members.tripod.com/bryan_cody/
Comprised of quotes taken from the Focus on the Family site at http://www.family.org/
Local mirror | Quote attributions

http://www.geocities.com/terence_mason/
Comprised of quotes taken from the Concerned Women For America site at http://www.cwfa.org/
Local mirror | Quote attributions

http://www.angelfire.com/mt/firstjohn1976/
Comprised of quotes taken from the Family Research Council web site at http://www.frc.org/
Local mirror | Quote attributions

http://members.theglobe.com/plexicraft/
Comprised of quotes taken from Dr. Laura at http://www.drlaura.com/
Local mirror | Quote attributions



Why were some blocking programs left out of the experiment?

We submitted sites to SurfWatch, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, Bess, WebSENSE and SmartFilter. Most of these products comes with a secret database of sites that are blocked by the software (Net Nanny works off of a combination "bad word" and "bad site" list that is viewable to the user, although there is no way to tell in advance what sites will get blocked by the "bad word" filter). Most other products, such as WebChaperone and Cyber Sentinel, block sites solely on the basis of keywords that appear on the page and do not operate off of a blocked-site list, so the experiment would have been meaningless with them since they have no direct control over what sites get blocked. One product, I-Gear (made by Symantec), was left out of the experiment because we never got any response to the emails we sent suggesting sites to be blocked. CYBERsitter was excluded since long-standing legal issues between CYBERsitter and Peacefire precluded us from contacting them.

SurfWatch, Cyber Patrol, Net Nanny, Bess, WebSENSE and SmartFilter, PeaceFire 0 Comments [12/25/2018 2:43:23 PM]
Fundie Index: 5

Quote# 141671

Greek & Roman are considered as ‘Dead languages’ because they are not relevant in today’s world. But this doesn’t apply in the case of Sanskrit . Even today the oldest compositions of the world “Vedas” are learned and they are recited in altar sacrifices(Yajna) & other occasions. The classical Sanskrit is used in worship & religious ceremonies and few interested people & researchers learn this language for reading religious scriptures & research materials in it’s original form. There are even today few villages in India, where Sanskrit is the mother tongue of the people. Whereas, on the other side, neither Latin is used today in European churches nor any village or community speak Greek or Latin as their mother tongue.

Ritesh Kumar Gupt, GLORIOUS INDIA  6 Comments [12/25/2018 2:43:14 PM]
Fundie Index: -1

Quote# 141670

What a Christian Nation Should Do About Syria



ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Syria is a Muslim nation. This means that it cannot be reformed or turned into a democracy. It can only be contained. This sober reality should govern all our interactions with the Muslim world.

To be drawn into another ground war in a Muslim country, no matter how much satisfaction it might give to war hawks, is useless unless the goal is to subdue it, Christianize it, and govern it. Since nobody is talking about doing that, it’s best for us just to stay out of there. Getting involved on the ground will simply result in more carnage among America’s finest young soldiers for no long term benefit.

The purpose of our military cannot be to respond to every atrocity across the globe. Atrocities like the one we witnessed last week in Syria abound everywhere in the world. The purpose of our armed forces is to protect the American people and their security and safety. Syria represents no direct threat to America’s interests, and thus I believe it is a mistake to spill American blood and spend American treasure there.

There is a moral principle involved here also. We as a sovereign nation should respect the sovereignty of other nations. To invade their lands, unless they represent a direct threat to us, is to trespass where we have no moral right to be. At some point, unless we want to colonize the entire world, we must accept the tragic reality that in a fallen world man’s inhumanity to man will continue apace, particularly in Muslim lands and in the godless totalitarian lands of communism.

I believe we were justified in going into Iraq, since every intelligence community in the world, mistaken though they may have been, believed Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction and had pledged to use them against us. At some point, especially when the threat comes from the Muslim world, you have to start believing them when they say they want to kill you.

Likewise, we were justified in going into Afghanistan since the 9/11 attacks on American soil were spawned there. The blood of those 3,000 Americans cried out for vengeance.

So, while I believe we were right to go into Afghanistan and Iraq, I believe we were wrong to stay. After we had neutralized the threat - by dethroning the Taliban in Afghanistan and Saddam in Iraq - it was time to come on home, mission accomplished, with only a solemn warning to those nations: don’t make us come back, or next time we may bomb you back to the Stone Age.

President Bush’s decision to try to bring democracy to Iraq was predicated on a fundamental error in judgment, that such a thing is even genuinely possible in a Muslim land.

Islam is not, as President Bush foolishly and disastrously believed, a religion of peace. It is a religion of war, violence, and death and has been for every one of its 1500 years. It is dangerous to believe that Islam is simply a benign religious alternative to Christianity.

There is the further sobering reality that our interventions in the Middle East have made things noticeably worse for our Christian brothers and sisters. Saddam needed Christians because they were the only honest, trustworthy people he could find to help him manage his country. Once we took him out, what little protection the church had under Saddam vanished like smoke, and now the Christian population in Iraq is a fraction of its former size.

Christians in Syria know that Assad is a bad guy, but again, he had provided them with a modicum of protection and stability that no successor will. Christians in Libya knew that Gaddhafi was a bad guy, but he too provided some protection for the Christian community, protection that is completely nonexistent since we took him out.

Bottom line: our military intervention as a Christian nation in Muslim lands has only created chaos and instability, and made things measurably worse for our fellow Christians. And we have, in my judgment, been guilty of moral transgression by inserting ourselves where we have no right to be.

With regard to ISIS, our focus should be quite simple: keeping ISIS out of the U.S. That means implementing President Trump’s travel ban, and extending it to include way more than six nations. It means extreme vetting for every Muslim refugee, none of whom should be allowed into America if there is even the slightest doubt about the risk they may pose. (No one has a right to immigrate to the United States.) It means aggressive monitoring of every Muslim community and every Muslim mosque, as New York did under mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg.

As a Christian nation, our sole role in Syria should be focused on getting every Christian who wants out of Syria to safety in America. Let’s ask the churches of America to each sponsor one Christian refugee family from Syria, and accept the responsibility (no government dollars involved at all) to sponsor them and resettle them in America, and help them to integrate fully into American society.

As far as Muslim refugees are concerned, if Islam is, as all the elites insist, a “religion of peace,” then among the 57 Muslim majority nations in the world there must be a plethora of havens of tranquility for Muslim refugees. Let’s help them find a place in a nation that shares their religious ideology, while we protect the integrity of our own culture and its values.

One of the reasons so few Syrian refugees are Christians (99.5% of them are Muslims) is because the refugee camps are run by brutal Muslim forces who make such camps virtual death camps for followers of the cross.

Let’s use American influence to make the refugee process a safe one for Christians who would like to flee Syria in order to live in a Christian country. Other than that, except to come to the aid of our one true ally in the Middle East, Israel, let’s just stay out of there.

Bryan Fischer, One News Now 7 Comments [12/25/2018 2:43:07 PM]
Fundie Index: 7

Quote# 141668

Jesus has been protecting me the last two nights. It's strange; I've been for 5 years afraid of exorcisms and other things, afraid of admitting there's anything demonic in my life. But the effects are obvious, both for good and evil. When we have sex with these imaginary women, we are letting bad spirits f**k us. We are opening the doors to harassment, obsession, and eventually possession.

Think about something. Is there a possibility that the voice you hear in your head, that the feelings that wash over you when you are being remotely aroused (i.e. not with a woman, or not even sometimes near a computer), that this is a spirit that is trying to sleep with you? To seduce your guard down and rape you? To make you think it's you and to hide inside your own feelings? What if it were possible that, yes we are at fault for what we decide, but that temptation to this obviously destructive practice, that this temptation was a pull from demonic sources?

It dawned on me the other night while I was lying down that there was something 'on' me. Someone else here on /r/nofapchristians said the same thing about some other situation, but it dawned on me that what if there was some spirit that would try to sleep with me when I was trying to fall asleep? I mean, it's not like a person who crawls into bed with you. It's not that obvious. But there is still something there, that washes over me, that overtakes common sense and reality - the reality that it's just me in my bed and not very romantic.

wsba910am, r/NoFapChristians 9 Comments [12/25/2018 2:42:53 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: skybison

Quote# 141667

We are all having sex with demons. It feels like a simple urge. It feels like some kind of harmless feeling. Then it takes control, and we're an obedient slave to it. Think of the last time you masturbated but didn't have porn. Heard any voices that weren't there, like a woman moaning? Felt something against your heart or your body that aroused you? A pull?

What about when you watch porn? It's a 2-dimensional screen. So, why are you turned on by it? Why do you think you're having sex with this woman, while you're really just touching yourself? Is it really fantasy, or is it a reality that we just choose to ignore? I mean, we're all Christian. We all at least pretend that there's a spooky devil out there trying to get us. But what if it's really true? What if it's closer than we think? Think about it: When you're masturbating, is it really your highest and most aware/thoughtful self playing with your hand down there? Or is your brain turned off in a sense, and it's something else that's taken over?

These are evil spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, incubi and succubi that prey on our desires for connection and validated sexuality, and they entice us through an addiction to cheap pleasures that we can get without having to risk any hurt by connecting to a real person.

Listen to God. Pray for his angels to countenance you and stand against the evil one. Tricks don't work. Ask for God to shield you and to send his powers to defend you against the attacks from demons.

I am not suggesting that anyone who has masturbated or watched porn is possessed by demons. Possession can happen but only after a long and 'given up' exposure to PMO, kind of like it took the eagle a lot of times to sell his feathers one by one to the vendor for mice so he wouldn't have to hunt. But eventually the eagle became unpinioned and couldn't fly when the vendor attacked him and enslaved him.

So, while you may not be possessed, I suggest that some of you are. And the greatest obstacle to possession, to enslavement, to harassment even ... is not knowing who it is who seduces your guard down. Him who is weakening you one ejaculation at a time, tricking you into thinking it feels good to be spiritually raped. You are letting a spiritual demonic whore fornicate with you.

Rebuke it in the name of Jesus Christ. Send it packing. Shut up the gates and stop sleeping with the enemy. God doesn't say "Thou shalt not sex". God made your penis and your vagina. And he wants to guide them into where they'll be used in a healthy way, not abused in secrecy. The enemy and his agents (sometimes teachers, parents, relatives, peers, exes, etc.) will hurt you and blame God as the evil one, but these are lies. All you have to do is think. Did Satan make the penis? God doesn't make mistakes or things that don't matter. God is on our side. Trust him.

It's the enemy who is trying to sleep with you and trick you into thinking that it's all you. It is your fault to cooperate and if you sin, in the sense that you and I decide. But wake up.

wsba910am, r/NoFapChristians 11 Comments [12/25/2018 2:41:01 PM]
Fundie Index: 3
Submitted By: skybison

Quote# 141666

In a recent Steven Crowder YouTube video, Alexa, the interactive virtual assistant built into Amazon’s Echo, was asked the question, “Who is the Lord Jesus Christ?” Her answer was short and to the point: “Jesus Christ is a fictional character.”*

We may gasp at that shocking response, but the answer really shouldn’t surprise us. We live in a day and age where biblical truth is marginalized and the once-distinct line between reality and fantasy is blurred. Nowadays, a fetus isn’t a person, there are more than two genders, and Lucifer is a semi-fallen angel with a heart of gold on a successful Fox TV series.

No wonder Alexa can answer the question as she does. The existence of the biblical Jesus is up for debate in these wishy-washy times, so why mince words just to appease a fading orthodoxy in Christianity? Besides, any post-Christian church can still flourish these days without objective truth or a historical basis in fact. Today’s “spiritual-but-not-religious” people are more informed by their emotions than by an external revelation from the one true God. Jesus is now whomever they want Him to be, as long as it “feels right.”

Mark Steyn, in fact, gave the scathing opinion that many mainline Protestant churches, especially in Europe, have turned Jesus into nothing more than a soft-left political cliché. According to their sentimentality, Steyn writes:

“…if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally friendly car with an “Arms are for Hugging” sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi imams.” ? America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It.

So how did Jesus Christ, whose incarnation divided the world’s measurement of history, begin to be relegated to fictional status? The Bible has shown us that the attacks against Jesus have always been about tearing down His legitimacy in one way or another, and this is no exception. The current approach, however, is to lump the historical Jesus together with every “Christ figure” that mankind can conjure up in its imaginations. In fact, Jesus warns us of this sort of thing: “If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect” (Matthew 24:23–24).

Current signs indicate that we are allowing the real Jesus to lose His distinction among the mythological “Christs” of the present world. Therefore, who’s to say which Christ is hard fact and which Christ is idealized fiction? To be sure, Western society’s current obsession with mythology and other popular products of the imagination, both new and ancient, have brought us to a point where the biblical Son of God is no more significant than any other literary or cinematic character imbued with religious symbolism. Jesus, it seems, has become just another “archetype” among many in which to inform our postmodern spirituality.

The concept of archetypes, first theorized by Carl Jung, put forth the idea that universal mythic characters, or archetypes, reside within the collective unconscious of all humanity and have emerged through our art over the centuries. Not surprisingly, this Gnosis-based theory has so infiltrated the religious sentiments of the current population that a savior like Jesus Christ doesn’t have to exist in reality; it is only the internalized “idea” of what He symbolizes that brings one closer to enlightenment and divinity. Who needs the Son of God slain on the cross when we can find comfort in an imaginary archetype of sacrificial love and acceptance that allows each person to rise to the higher Self by their own power?

Sadly, the dependable eyewitness accounts of the New Testament now have to compete with the fantastical tales of the Marvel/DC universe, Hogwarts, Middle Earth, or even Narnia. In the end, the Gospel record is far too mundane for a world mesmerized by glowing screens filled with CGI candy. Jesus and the apostles, much to the chagrin of some, never wore superhero costumes, flew Firebolt brooms, or slew mythical creatures with swords or light sabers. Is it any wonder, then, that the mythic archetypes of our popular culture are considered more compelling than the real men of God who toiled in a ministry that often brought ostracism, suffering, and ignominious death?

The Confusion Of The Younger Generation

My immediate concern, of course, is for the younger generation growing up in this current crusade of make-believe and religious skepticism. It’s one thing for grown-ups to deal with these assaults upon truth, but young children are not intellectually developed enough to make a distinction between what is real and what is imaginary. Some people who are involved in early education, even in the most progressive schools, have found this to be true in their experience:

“A child who spends too much time in a world of fantasy may find it difficult to relate to others, to interact in a group, to be in the here and now. It can also be scary for a child… When a child under 5 or 6 hears a fairy tale with a wicked witch, they then also imagine this witch to be real as a child of this age has a very concrete understanding of the world. They visualize it as if it is real as they are not yet able to clearly separate fantasy from reality.” – Montessori And Pretend Play: A Complicated Question

This childhood interaction between fact and fiction can be even more complicated when you, as a Christian parent, begin to introduce your child to the real person of Jesus Christ. This should be an exciting and joyful truth to share with your little one as you begin the process of rearing your child under the instruction of God’s word, but it can oftentimes be a difficult education if Jesus has to compete with Santa Claus, Superman, or Harry Potter as the object of your child’s fledgling hero-worship.

Recent research has proven this confusion among children to be a real issue. Case in point, a 2014 research study at Boston University where it was discovered that young children with a religious background were less able to distinguish between fantasy and reality compared with their secular counterparts:

In two studies, 66 kindergarten-age children were presented with three types of stories: realistic, religious and fantastical. The researchers then queried the children on whether they thought the main character in the story was real or fictional.



While nearly all children found the figures in the realistic narratives to be real, secular and religious children were split on religious stories. Children with a religious upbringing tended to view the protagonists in religious stories as real, whereas children from non-religious households saw them as fictional.



Although this might be unsurprising, secular and religious children also differed in their interpretation of fantasy narratives where there was a supernatural or magical storyline.



“Secular children were more likely than religious children to judge the protagonist in such fantastical stories to be fictional,” wrote the researchers. “The results suggest that exposure to religious ideas has a powerful impact on children’s differentiation between reality and fiction, not just for religious stories but also for fantastical stories.”



– BBC News, Study: Religious Children Are Less Able To Distinguish Fantasy From Reality

The researchers concluded (as most college researchers are prone to do) that exposure to a religious education is probably the main culprit in a child’s difficulty in identifying fact from fiction. This conclusion, however, seems to indicate an anti-biblical bias that completely ignores the alternative possibility. Why is religion the problem? Isn’t it just as plausible that fictional stories involving magic are the real cause of confusion, especially when these fanciful tales, like Pharoah’s magicians, are the ones mimicking God’s miracles in the Bible?

In light of Scripture, this alternative conclusion is clearly confirmed. For starters, God is not a God of confusion. God’s word will not return void, but will accomplish what He pleases and will prosper in that thing for which He sent it. Over and over again, the Bible confirms that scriptural instruction from the word of God is essential to a child’s proper upbringing. It keeps them far from folly, equips them for good works, and makes them wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus (Proverbs 22:15 / 2 Timothy 3:14-17).

The one thing that is likely to undermine this God-ordained training is when an unaware parent interjects inappropriate fantasy stories from movies and literature as a compatible resource for their child’s development. This misstep is compounded when the parent’s reason for doing this is not because Disney movies or similar entertainments have any legitimate educational value, but because they don’t want their children to miss out on what the popular culture has to offer, even if it contains unbiblical content. To be blunt, raising children with such an indiscriminate use of worldly influences is almost a cultural form of Moloch worship which the faithless Israelites succumbed to when they delivered their infant children over to paganism for the sake of their temporal prosperity (Psalm 106:34-39).

Think about the possible consequences. Should we really be surprised when little Suzy suddenly has trouble maintaining the reality of Jesus walking on water after watching Luke Skywalker use the Force to levitate himself? And what should Suzy’s parents do after this happens? Do they let Suzy try to figure it out for herself or do they attempt to adequately explain the unexplainable to a kindergartner? And does it really matter at this point?

Some may suggest (and rightly so) that we can’t always shield our children from the world’s influences and the confusion these things might engender. Surely this is part and parcel of the average childhood and will no longer be an issue once they grow older and gain the intellectual capacity and religious understanding to correctly divide fact from fiction or right from wrong.

This is a valid point, and yet not particularly the issue at hand. The concern is not so much in how such exposure might temporarily affect a child, but how it might impact the child later on and into adulthood. A childhood immersed in “make-believe” might well lead to a misguided adulthood that finds more “truth” in paganism or occultism than in the Bible. It might also lay the groundwork for the idea that God’s word is just another fairy tale of human invention. And eventually, these adults might find themselves falling into the ditch of full-blown skepticism or atheism.

This possibility, in fact, was recently explored in a research study titled, Make Believe Unmakes Belief?: Childhood Play Style and Adult Personality as Predictors of Religious Identity Change. Published in 2014, the study looked into the relationship between childhood imagination and religiosity, finding that people who intensely engaged in pretend play as children were more likely to change their religious identity later in life, with apostasy being the largest category. As reported by Merrill Miller:

“The study assessed the role of ‘pretend play’—creating and acting out imaginary scenarios in made-up worlds—in the childhoods of individuals… and found that individuals who did not change their religious or nonreligious identification were less likely to have engaged in pretend play. Converts and switchers, however, were more likely to have played pretend, and apostates were the most likely to have often engaged in pretend play.” – The Humanist, Are Nonbelievers More Imaginative? A New Study Suggests They Might Be

Why were children who actively pursued a fantasy world more likely to abandon their religious upbringing as adults?

“The study’s author, Christopher Burris speculated that the higher correlation for apostates is because of the shift from structure — common among religious institutions — to unstructured — that is found in pretend play. ‘The realm of the nonbeliever is much less structured than the realm of belief is,’ he explained. ‘People’s cognitive, intellectual and emotional needs are not met sufficiently by faith traditions, so they strike out on their own way.'” – Massarah Mikati, Deseret News

The Biblical Approach For Christian Parents

The Bible, of course, has already anticipated the possible spiritual fallout from cultivating a child’s wild imagination instead of grounding them in reality and the clear instruction of God’s revelation. The biblical remedy?

Train up a child in the way that he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

This is not to say that Christian parents shouldn’t encourage their child’s emerging creativity. But it should be grounded and fostered in reality. To truly instill an active and abiding love for God and neighbor, a child’s imagination must be connected to this real-life task and to exposing the child to those faithful people in their lives who emulate Christian duty in their various talents and occupations.

Even without the benefit of this biblical insight, Dr. Maria Montessori made the academic observation that reality was the key to a more profitable imagination:

“The true basis of the imagination is reality, and its perception is related to exactness of observation. It is necessary to prepare children to perceive the things in their environment exactly, in order to secure for them the material required by the imagination. Intelligence, reasoning, and distinguishing one thing from another prepares a cement for imaginative constructions… The fancy which exaggerates and invents coarsely does not put the child on the right road.” – Spontaneous Activity in Education p 254, Chapter IX

Don’t misunderstand this point. Pretend play is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is an activity meant to assist children in processing the real world around them. “For example, if they see an excavator at work in the street,” writes one teacher, “they may then be attracted to working with a model of an excavator, to reading books about construction vehicles and to play based on this. This is a child’s imagination at work.”

The fact is, even children themselves would much rather engage with real-life activities when possible. Many educators are well aware that a child is much more excited by helping Mom or Dad prepare a meal in the kitchen than pretend-cook with a toy stove. And Scripture finds great wisdom in this approach. Notice how God instructs His people to teach their children in the course of their daily activities:

You shall teach [the words of God] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. – Deuteronomy 6:7

Here we see no significant time set aside for daydreaming or chasing after empty phantasms. This is an all-encompassing lifestyle that weaves God’s truth into one’s daily labor from dawn to dusk, and from childhood to adulthood. It is the command from Genesis and throughout the Bible to bear fruit in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:10) “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature. – 1 Corinthians 14:20

The Mature Approach For All Christians

Where is this maturity of which Paul speaks? Truly, one of the problems with American Christianity today is that too many professing believers have failed to see the importance of sobriety and maturity as a biblical imperative for discipleship. They twist the meaning of Luke 18:16-17 and simply refuse to grow up. They see their childlike fascination with games, fairy tales, and the playthings of their youth as a crowning virtue instead of a possible impediment to spiritual growth. In turn, these parents immerse their children in the same enthrallments and find great satisfaction in molding little ones into their own image, forgetting that the Bible instructs them otherwise.

On the contrary, God is the only object of wonder we need to focus on:

We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. – Psalm 78:4

I ask you: How could anyone fully submit to this sacred task if Jesus is only viewed as a mythological “archetype of Christ” or a good teacher who said wise things but never really existed except in our collective unconscious?

Any confusion about the reality of the Son of God is never going to serve this dark world, especially in an age where fantasy is actively usurping real life. As Christians, we have a holy calling to go into the world to make disciples, not to go into a fantasy-land to do so. God’s word and the Holy Spirit have shown us the only mind-altering vision we need to ignite our passion. We need to humbly submit to our Lord’s charge to deny self, follow Him, and stay true to our Gospel witness and testimony for the sake of the lost.

We know, of course, that shielding people, young or old, from the counterfeit fictions of this world won’t guarantee their eventual conversion. Ultimately, it is only by God’s grace and power that hearts are changed and the lost through faith are saved. Yet, we also know that if salvation does come to an individual, it won’t be because of fairy tales or myths, but despite them. Our job as Christians is to stay on point with the pure Gospel message, and not capitulate in any way to the world’s insatiable desire for an alternate reality. To give in to that desire does nothing more than bring confusion and cast doubt on the existence of the living Savior and the faith that brings eternal life.

The next time Alexa, or anyone else, dares to tell you that Jesus is a fictional character, ask them what the Bible says about Him. Why? Because the biblical answer to that question is the only response that truly holds the power of the Gospel to heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recover the sight of the blind, and set at liberty them that are bruised (Luke 4:18).

“Whom do you say I am?” – Jesus Christ, Matthew 16:15

The Sacred Sandwich, C. R. Carmichael 8 Comments [12/25/2018 2:40:35 PM]
Fundie Index: 4
Submitted By: Denizen

Quote# 141665

Jesus is the most real person I have ever met. I wrote a book recalling 300-plus- conversations He and I have had together called The Still Small Voice of Jesus. I met His Father first, 50 years ago.

I was homeless, totally alone in a strange town, friendless, unemployed, sick, destitute, and my car lien was being foreclosed due to the long-term illness and job loss. I said “God, I don’t know if you’re real, but if you are, I need help, and I’m willing to listen.

I did not know who Jesus was at the time, but I knew that Christianity revolved around Him. I also knew that if “something” could intervene in my life so I would have a place to live, someone to care about me, food, time to recuperate so I could eventually find a job, a way to pay off my car lien and finance a new loan, that “something” would have to be God/Jesus.

I knew one person in that town, my doctor’s nurse. I had been discharged after six weeks in the hospital far from anyone I knew, and used most of my money to rent a room. The day that I prayed asking God if he was real was three weeks later. I had no way to pay the next month’s rent. I had just enough to buy some food. The next day I went to the grocery store, but started sobbing in the check out line. The woman ahead of me turned around and it was my doctor’s nurse - the only person I knew. She immediately befriended me and invited me to come home with her. The next day she and her husband invited be to live with them until I was well enough to work again. Neither one of them knew me, and I had never met him.

The next day I met a man in a waiting room, he was idly reading a newspaper and we struck up a conversation. He was fascinated by my background. I had been a scientist with NASA on Apollo Eleven, and the first lunar landing was just a week away. I was waiting to speak with a bank lending officer about getting a loan for my car and just then he called me in. The stranger went ahead of me and told him to give me anything I wanted. He was the president of the bank - and knew I was unemployed, just out of the hospital. The next day my unemployment compensation came in so I could make the payments.

In three days every impossible need I had cried out to God about, was met. How could I NOT believe God was real? If God the Father was real, then God the Son is real. God is a trinity, whether he moves as Father, Son or Holy Spirit, He is real. Because Jesus allowed Himself to be made a living sacrifice as a way for humans to receive eternal life, the Father honors the Son above himself, and would have us call Jesus, Lord. He has promised that whatever we ask in faith, in Jesus’ name we will receive. (Asking in faith means we are just assuming God wants to have something for our own purposes, but we KNOW that what we ask is according to His revealed will.)

I have received MANY miracles in my life, praying in the name of Jesus. I was miraculously healed of diabetes, stage 4 kidney disease, and dependence on a walker due to weakness in my legs - overnight. I went from not being able to walk three feet un-aided to being able to walk half a mile without aid. It has been three years since I needed a walker. Once I was unemployed and $1,000 short of being able to pay my mortgage and utilities for two months. Two months in a row total strangers handed me a check for $1,000 saying “God told me to give you this.”

Yes. God/Jesus is real.

Maggie Eriksson, Quora 6 Comments [12/25/2018 2:40:27 PM]
Fundie Index: 6
Submitted By: Denizen

Quote# 141664


There seems to be entirely too many people in this thread who are entirely too willing to dismiss completely abhorrent behavior as "kids being kids." It's very disquieting.


I think parents are looking for the best possible outcome. I believe that parents should have that right to raise their kids. Parents should be trusted to make family decisions until they have proven themselves to be lousy parents. Any attempt to be premptive in these types of issues will cause more harm than good.


you're OK with that? Why do we send any molesters to jail then?


when did I ever say i was ok with anything to do with molestation. I said for best possible outcomes families in most cases could best handle it themselves. When you involve social workers who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground and have an agenda going in you are flirting with disaster worse than the molestation.



View Post
Really? Really? This sounds more like people who have been badly victimized blaming themselves for what happened. Even assuming that a little girl who was asleep/lying there did "want it" (ugh), how does that make the guy any less of a molester--how is he supposed to know the girl wanted it?

These posts are starting to make me feel like I took a left turn off the the Fighting Ignorance one onto some Incest Is Best site.

Just the opposite of what you are saying, the adult is always at fault. What it does say is that a big part of the damage associated with molestation is a result of repressed guilt and shame and blaming themselves. Often they feel guilt about getting someone else in trouble when they feel it is their fault. It is always the adult fault regardless of wether or not a kid was flirting with them.

The young Dugar boy souns like he has some serious issues while in a lot of cases all the parties involved grow up to be responsible well adjust adults with no interference from law enforcement. Trying to be too preemptive and bringin law enforcement or social workers too soon would end up compounding the damage done.


Yeah, I'm not seeing the difference between that and "kids will be kids." And, just because "nobody said it was right" doesn't mean that people are not dismissing this. 'Dismiss,' in this context, meaning that the people chalking this up to "teens doing stupid stuff" are not reacting to this with nearly enough revulsion.

I have no idea what the statistics on things like this happening are but I do know that it is common enough to be considered a challenge of raising kids that we all hope we will never face. Adding guilt and shame to a bad decision driven by hormones does nothing for either of the children involved. It does not have to be a dramatic life changing event. If it does happen a best outcome might be turned into a learning experience and a little blip in the childrens lives.

This reminds me of homophobia, kind of a contest to see who can show the most disgust. Everyone is afraid if they don't show major revulsion they will appear to approve of this behavior. Evidenced by the number of politicians and civic leaders who come out the strongest against it.



I really don't see why it would be a bad thing for someone to feel guilty and ashamed about molesting someone. Why should hormones be a get out of jail/guilt free card?

They should feel guilty if they are normal kids, if they don't feel guilty they may have deeper problems. They also need to learn to forgive themselves and move on. there is a process involved in this that starts with an apology. If an apology is not possible then simply resigning themselves to never repeat behavior like this again is all that should be neccessary to resolve them of guilt and allow them to live a normal life.

Believe it or not, hormones are a powerful drug that can influence behavior. Some kids aren't driven as much as others and some have better self control. But the bottom line is that if they learned their lesson they should feel good about forgiving themselves and moving on.





HoneyBadgerDC, The straight dope 0 Comments [12/25/2018 2:40:19 PM]
Fundie Index: 4
1 2 3 4 5 9 | top