Monday, November 17, 2014

Are Stores Open Thanksgiving Deserving Of Wide Scale Divine Retribution?

Granted, retailers opening on Thanksgiving might not have been the most family-friendly or magnanimous gesture in relation to their employees. However, the response on the part of certain theologians and critics might have gone a bit overboard.

In particular, one such condemnation intoned that from this alteration in commercial operational policy that America is an evil nation worthy of God's judgment.

So because Walmart was either open on Thanksgiving or opened their doors later that evening, nuclear destruction and annihilation or something comparable should rain down across the nation. That is, of course, what is usually meant by the euphemism of “God's judgment”.

To justify this hardline response to opening stores on Thanksgiving beyond simply frowning upon the decision to actively wanting to see lives ruined because of it, Biblical prohibitions regarding the Sabbath are often invoked.

The intentions might possess a nobility in that these sentiments attempt to construe all of reality through the light of God's word and theology derived from it. However, in terms of religious jurisprudence, the position falls a bit short in terms of serving as a platform upon which one can stand to look righteous in calling for blatant ruination and upheaval.

God no doubt delights when His children offer up gratitude for what He has provided and is angered when this appreciation is not evident. However, it does not follow that one cannot express gratitude in a scheduled ritualized manner prior to engaging in orderly commerce later that same day.

One might even claim that God does not really care one way or another to a great degree about the statutory observance of Thanksgiving Day. It may come as a surprise, but there is nothing found within the pages of the canon of Scripture demanding the observance be commemorated a particular Thursday in November.

It must also be asked to what extent do those enforcing Thanksgiving Day under the Mosaic regulations upholding the Sabbath want these punishments and prohibitions enforced? From Exodus 20:9-11, it is learned that the Sabbath is the seventh day of the week. Jehovah is quite explicit about this.

In our system of chronometric tabulation, Saturday is the Sabbath. What the vast majority of Christians celebrate each Sunday (especially in the morning) is technically not the Sabbath but rather the Lord's Day to commemorate the bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

These have been conflated in the minds of many, especially those under the sway of a strict legalism. However, these days are not the same.

So are those demanding compulsory observance of the Sabbath willing to turn themselves over for execution should they find themselves violating the extensive prohibitions regulating the day? For according to Exodus 31:14, that is the stipulated punishment for those failing to observe the Sabbath of the seventh day if such a regulation still applies beyond Deuteronomical Israel.

When those attending compulsory Sabbath observations return home, do they intend to walk rather than operate a vehicle? For that is the extent to which the most observant Orthodox Jews adhere to the exactness of that divine decree. Senator Joseph Lieberman would not even place his own subway fair card into the electronic ticket-taker.

Furthermore, do those deliberating to make such a chore of relaxation intend to only eat leftovers from the night before or unheated prepackaged foods? Because if the true believing Christian must abide by every Biblical decree in excruciating detail for fear of befalling God's indignation, the preparation of consumables is forbidden as well.

Those more interested in ruining everyone else's celebration rather than simply maximizing their own will respond that simply pointing out what is said plainly in certain passages of Scripture downplayed as a result of those advocating them not wanting a greater majority of Christians to grapple with what is being said actually obscures the greater truth of the principle that is being conveyed. Fair enough.

If not for the principles conveyed by God to the Hebrew forefathers of the need for rest and reflection, mankind might have never comprehended the need for a work environment beneficial for all sides of the economic transaction. Before this revelation, for the most part laborers were little more than fodder to be worked until they dropped and quickly discarded.

However, are those insisting up a slavish adherence to the letter of the law really getting that point across when their homiletical formulations cause the listeners to stop and wonder if what really gets the motors of these scriptural exegetes running is rather body counts, the destruction of property, and overall social upheaval. For are not these in some form or another what is meant by the phrase “God's judgment”?

In these times of widespread debauchery and systematic subversion of Western culture, one usually tries to distance oneself from feminist critiques and condemnation of traditional religion. However, if one desires to be an honest observer of the human condition, one is forced to admit that only a man sitting back with his feet propped up would construe Thanksgiving Day as a Sabbath free from labor.

On the classic sitcom “Home Improvement” starring Tim Allen, one of the wittiest lines ever uttered on the series was verbalized when his sidekick Al Borlin quipped that dinner does not make itself. The remark was very similar to an observation made by my own mother.

If a man fails to realize that Thanksgiving is not some magical occasion where one of the most delicious dinners of the year just sprouts fully formed on the table in a manner akin to manna from Heaven, it is most likely that a woman in either the form of a wife, mother or even unwed concubine has spent much of the day laboring away in preparation.

Interestingly, those often complaining the loudest about the growing irreverence with which the day is treated are not absent from the kitchen because they are given over to the higher spiritual pursuits such as prayer, Bible study, or theological contemplation. Instead, they are plopped in an easy chair or on the sofa watching the most typical of entertainments. And I am not talking about the Westminster Kennel Club but rather NFL football.

The conspicuously religious claim that they are opposed to retailers being opened on Thanksgiving because their delicate consciences are disturbed by something so crass and base as mere commerce being transacted on such a solemn occasion. Then why do they have their peepers glued to the boob tube?

It is quite instructive that this contempt for free market exchange is limited to when it is engaged in by the laboring and servile classes. For the last time I checked, it is doubtful that the players, assorted team personnel, or the media conglomerates were putting on a complimentary exhibition game.

No doubt, millions upon millions of dollars exchange hands to orchestrate whatever number of games take place on this particular day. I am not really aware of the exact number. I usually watch the dog show while eating canned pasta just so I can say I had spaghetti for Thanksgiving.

So why are those deciding to go shopping on Thanksgiving more worthy of having death and misery inflicted upon them more so than those instead either attending the football game or even watching the event on television? Confronted so boldly about what it is that they are advocating, those previously enunciating a desire to see God's wrath dispensed over something as commonplace as going to the mall might attempt to linguistically backpedal by claiming that, in their call for judgment, they did not mean to wish misery or death upon those participating in a disputed activity or behavior.

I've pretty much been in or around Christian circles my entire life even if I don't feel welcomed within them entirely. The phrase “God's judgment” rarely has connotation other than that of sorrow and lamentation unless in rare instances where one is referencing the rewards that will be bestowed upon the believer for the good deeds they did honoring to Christ.

Furthermore, in the vast majority of instances, it's not like those participating one way or the other were prevented from enjoying the primary festivities of the Thanksgiving celebration or were not duly compensated in some manner.

For example, though likely not a universal beneficence bestowed on all employees, most laboring to make the sales happen were probably paid some kind of overtime. If not, such personnel were probably not compelled to work beyond their normal allotment of hours for that particular week. As such, they were payed with their scheduled adjusted to be off at another time.

Of even less moral concern ought to be the ones deciding to participate in these sales events on the consumer side of the transaction. For example, many of these sales were designated to commence well after the customary dinner hour.

As such, by that point in the evening, most would have already cogitated upon whatever thoughts of gratitude would have otherwise fired within their respective synapses. Most are in a turkey-induced catatonia, bloated and passing intestinal gas as they glare in a stupor into the television.

Interestingly, if we are raising the opposition to the opening of retailers on Thanksgiving to the level of Biblical law worthy of incurring divine retribution for violating, it must be pointed out that the commencement of these sales technically aren't even occurring on Thanksgiving. In the context of Hebrew culture and religious jurisprudence, the rendering of the day is not determined from midnight to midnight as occurs in the contemporary system. The day is instead rendered from sundown to sundown.

If one wants to be a stickler to Biblical detail, it must be noted that many of these Thanksgiving sales often commence well after dark. Therefore, under Sabbath prohibitions, it is no more immoral to shop from the disputed 8 to 11:59 PM than it would be during the 8 to 11:59 AM period Black Friday morning.

Those wanting to impose the Old Testament as binding civil legislation insist such must be done because God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. So if Americans deserve nuclear annihilation, plague, or whatever manifestation of the Apocalypse tickles your particular eschatological fancy for simply going to the store on Thanksgiving, should our nation also be destroyed for altering the method of rendering the days in compliance with the interpretative principle just enunciated?

It can indeed be upsetting to see what one perceives as our culture moving away from Godly foundations. However, enunciating a desire to see lives ruined and destroyed for such is probably a greater violation of explicit Biblical imperatives (such as the careful invocation of judgment) than the modification of a practice that (though commendable and worthy of continuation) is more of an interpretive application of the divine imperatives to begin with.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Church History Sermon Fails To Consider Profound Lesson

In a sermon on the importance of church history, it was argued that the church rather than the biological family was the primary social and psychological relationship in the life of the believer.

That might provide a degree of comfort if one's biological family is urging one to engage in blatantly anti-Biblical behavior.

However, such a grandiose sentiment itself needs to be circumscribed by carefully delineated boundaries.

You will always have a higher priority to those through whom you came into the world.

There is something downright shameful regarding some of these missionaries that will willingly die on behalf of the Pygmies in the African bush but hardly give a second thought to their aging parents here in America.

In classical Christian thought, this is the idea of subsidiarity, that your most profound obligations are to those closest to you.

Secondly, by insisting that a more profound loyalty is owed to one's church family than one's biological family can expose the gullible to a shocking litany of potential abuse on the part of church leaders.

For Jim Jones will live in infamy for conditioning numerous followers to place obedience to church structure over the well being of spouses and children, with the coercion and manipulation he subjected them to in the isolation of the jungle ending with hundreds dead.

It is a shame that a sermon purporting to admonish the need for the Christian to heed the lessons of history failed to take into account one of the twentieth century's most profound.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, November 8, 2014

ABOUT MY NEW BOOK “OBAMA IN THE SKY WITH DEMOCRATS”

By David Lawrence,Ph.D

I blog for Tea Party Nation,  American Thinker, Daily Caller, World Net Daily, Intellectual Conservative and Eagle Rising. 
Lately I have written political poems. Most poets are liberal but I am a conservative poet.  I am trying to tell our side of the story.  I am well-published and have published several books which can be found on Amazon:com.
The Editor-in-Chief of Eagle Rising, Onan J. Coca, loved them so much that he just published my book on Amazon:  OBAMA IN THE SKY WITH DEMOCRATS.
I have excerpted some quotes from my book, “Obama in the Sky with Democrats.”
1
I think of ISIS cutting the heads off of children….
If you can’t hate your enemy you can’t love yourself.
And in a loveless world heads roll like religious bowling balls.
2
The Koran reads like Reservoir Dogs.
It is the religion of death,
A pulp fiction of blood.
Where oh where has Tarantino gone?
Into a celluloid film of Muslim beheadings.

 3
Obama is playing God again,
Picking the dead instead of jellybeans from a Presidential jar.


4
I understand the inconvenience of children, of life,
                                Of the world, of religion.
I do not understand kicking up your heels in a ho down of death,
Dancing to abortion’s music.

 5
Al Gore is crawling across the Arctic on his knees,

Worried that he will fall through the ice,

Crack a bone,

Lose his Nobel Prize to someone with a graduate degree

In climatology.

6
Obama, your icon is Pinocchio.  You can’t get out of the way of your own nose.
7
I wish I had Obama’s good posture. 
He has put too much unnecessary weight on my shoulders.

8
Forgiveness is a fault that leads to redundant terror.

You dance in your self-approbation like a mirror that has fallen in love with itself.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Church's Opposition To Holidays Borders On The Cultic

In the equivalent of the self-denunciation that occurs in a variety of cults and Vietcong prisoner of war camps, the congregation of Grace Fellowship Church in Davenport, Iowa celebrate assorted holidays by not only being harangued by their pastor as to what wretched Christians they are if they are caught participating in these festivities but they are also expected to confess to one another just how much they despise these occasions as evidenced by a number of sermons posted at SermonAudio.com..

In an anti-Halloween sermon, the pastor remarked that any parents that have taught their children about Santa Claus are guilty of having lied. He then remarked how delighted he was of his son for having responded to an inquiry that Santa Claus was a wicked elf from the north. So the moral of that story must be that falsehoods are acceptable then they advance the family theological agendas and pecularitiies.

In a sermon condemning Halloween and nearly all other holidays, the pastor suggested that if you enjoy the accouterments of a particular celebration, you can partake of it at another time of year. As an example, he suggested saving your marshmallow peeps until May or June.

But if you are required to live your life in such a controlled and contrived manner, aren't you still living still beholden to that particular holiday? And more importantly, isn't such an individual still seeking the approval of man rather than God?

In an anti-Halloween sermon, the pastor made the argument that Trick Or Treating was wrong because the custom encourages children to dress up as something they are not and to hoard something that “appeals to the flesh” (that being candy). So in the case of this preacher, it would not be a sin for him to dress as a donkey because he's certainly a dumb you know what.

In a sermon on Halloween, it was claimed that the customs of Halloween are designed to take children away from God at an early age. Couldn't something similar be said about legalistic churches and Christian schools pushing children away from God with too many nitpicky and asinine rules?

The pastor devoted a portion of his assorted tirades exposing that Frosty the Snowman was based on a lie. Who over the age of six believes he is real? Even the History Channel hasn't stooped that low yet. By singing about Frosty, you are no more worshiping Frosty than you would be worshiping Calijah The Wooden Indian or worshiping The Gambler by singing those classic songs.

Particularly unsettling and disturbing were the verbal confessions members of the congregation were expected to engage in order to receive approval and affirmation from the pastors and elders.

One gentleman confided how much he had wanted to celebrate Christmas the previous year but instead submitted himself to the eldership of the church. Buddy, the elders might have say as to whether or not the church building is decorated for Christmas. However, they don't have any say whatsoever as to what you do in your home.

In being prodded further by the leadership as to why he no longer celebrated Christmas, this individual responded because the authority in his life had instructed him as such. At no time did he clarify whether or not by that he meant the Holy Spirit or rather merely those holding position at church. If you are going to relent to pastoral control over your life to such an extent, please for the sake of your family, decide for yourself now if you are going to let the pastor sleep with your wife and molest your kids when he comes asking or drink the sour Kool Aid when he orders it.

Another seeking approval during this protocultic ritual admitted in her confession to tossing out a Fischer Price Nativity set because of the adoration her granddaughter exhibited towards the Baby Jesus figurine. The grandmother reflected, and rightfully so to a certain extent, that often we prefer the adorable Baby Jesus that is not a depiction of the Christ of wrath and judgment.

But shouldn't we be cautious about tossing out the messianic baby with the baptismal water? Isn't there a profound and beautiful truth in God in Christ condescending to our level by becoming one of us?

There are indeed both gentle and wrathful sides to God. And in the spirit of the Book of Ecclesiastes, there is a time and purpose to contemplate each of these under Heaven.

Would it be better to deny this obviously spiritually sensitive and receptive child the tender side of Jesus and instead replace Him only with the hard-edged disciplinarian Jesus that the most thoroughgoing Fundamentalists seem to have a preference for? About the only thing the child is going to retain of this entire encounter is that granny tossed out such a beloved toy or decoration. Her family will no doubt sit around twiddling their thumbs years down the road baffled as to why the child is no longer close to God.

A pastor opposed to the celebration of Christmas remarked that no one that has considered the material he has made available regarding the subject and prayed seriously about the topic has told him that despite these that they will continue celebrating the holiday. The statement was made to promulgate the impression that there is little chance for the true believer to come to any conclusion other than that of this particular pastor.

However, there are at least two other alternatives.

Firstly, the individual believer could have been convicted by the Holy Spirit that there is something more profoundly wrong in that particular congregation than the celebrating of Christmas. Concluding such, they retreat hastily from that particular assembly and flee to another house of worship.

Secondly, they might have considered what the pastor had to say, came to a different conclusion, and felt their was no need to inform the pastor of the decision. Especially in light of those matters where the individual is granted some measure of personalized conviction, it is not really the preacher's business what goes on in your home. If this brand of theology and ecclesiology makes such a fuss over Roman Catholic confession, they can't really then invoke some kind of expectation that you are obligated to blab about everything you do.

In these churches where the congregations don't celebrate Christmas, is it out of a desire to please God or have they been so brainwashed by the pastor that they are afraid of ticking him off?

A pastor can repent of celebrating Christmas as much as he likes. However, it is really not his place to homiletically manipulate and coerce you into doing so.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Assistance Applicants Crying Poor Mouth Live High On The Hog

A coworker of an associate is considering having his pregnant wife apply for WIC.

Yet this individual can afford a $30,000 SUV and a $10,000 loan that went primarily to provide his wench with a wedding or engagement ring.

The couple, despite apparently considering nutritional assistance, can apparently afford an Iphone 6 when there was nothing wrong with the cellphone that they already have.

Out of curiosity, I researched the WIC requirements for the state in which the couple resides.

Two of the criteria are interesting.

One allows for a new mom with a child up to six months of age.

Another criteria allows for mothers breastfeeding infants up to a year old.

One might make a case to extend this program to the mom while she is pregnant or is breastfeeding.

However, as soon as the whelp shoots from the birth canal of a mother that does not intend to breastfeed, there is no need to continue this nutritional assistance to her.

For the baby is not directly dependent upon her for nourishment as in the other examples that might justify the entitlement program.

Why not go ahead and provide the father with food for his own consumption as well?

He is, after all, the one that is traditionally still actually going to work while the mom is loafing about on maternity leave.

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pastor Baffled Why Christians Reluctant To Embrace Death At The Hands Of ISIS Or Ebola

A pastor mused during a sermon that he wondered why so many Christians were reluctant to die.

It was then remarked you can either die at the hands of ISIS or from Ebola, so you might as well have a positive attitude about it.

Do those making such statements in a religious frenzy actually stop to consider how it is to perish as a result of such necrotic modalities?

Regarding the concern Christians often express regarding death.

Why are we at fault regarding the survival instinct God has imbued into nearly every form of life?

Furthermore, if Scripture says that those that hate God love death, wouldn't it therefore follow that as the most correct religion that Christians would be the most averse to this disputed metabolic state?

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, October 17, 2014

Could The President's UN Remarks Undermine Religious Liberty

In an address before the United Nations, President Obama proclaimed to the planetary assembly, “No children --- anywhere --- should be educated to hate people.”

The President went on to clarify, “There should be no tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents.”

The President suggested that this could be accomplished in part by composing a “new compact...to eradicate the corruption of young minds by violent ideology” and by “contesting the space that terrorists occupy --- including the Internet and social media.”

Such proposed policies sounds like a prudent course of action to take against those out to destroy the American way of life.

But in deciphering the double talk that spews from the mouths of political elites like phlegm during flu season, the discerning grow concerned as to whether or not such rhetorical pronouncements will only be used against the jhadist menace.

Given the President's fundamental ideological orientation as a socialistic secularist, what safeguards are to be put in place that these strategies won't be used against Americans of a conservative Evangelical or Roman Catholic persuasion?

For example, when the average American hears Obama insist that no child anywhere should be taught to hate other people, images of toddlers and preschoolers being indoctrinated by a giant plushy mouse as to the glories of not only killing Christians and Jews but of their own suicide martyrdoms.

However, in the eyes of the crowd that Obama runs with, propagating hate can consist of little more than publicly reading those passages of Scripture critical of homosexuality or peacefully insisting that professing belief in Christ is the only path to eternal salvation.

In fact, columnist Mark Steyn was dragged before a Canadian human rights tribunal for remarks not too much more rhetorically forceful than those made by Obama on the floor of the United Nations by simply exposing what jihadists had themselves articulated.

Obama suggested that different faiths should come together to speak out against this violent worldview.

It depends upon what the President means by that.

Fine and dandy if he means a respect for human decency being enunciated individually from behind each pulpit in a wide variety of houses of worship.

However, if the President is suggesting that widely diverging faiths are obligated to open their pulpits to one another free of doctrinal criticism as to where these guests measure up and fall theologically short, the government will have taken a step one too many to the point where its agencies will likely become the next great threat to our own liberties and well being once the identifiable terrorist menace has been identified and appropriately dispatched.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Ebola: Sitting Ducks

By Ronald R. Cherry, M.D.

A Spanish nurse has contracted Ebola – in Spain – while caring for a Spanish Priest who became infected with Ebola in West Africa. The Priest died of Ebola, so let’s pray that his nurse survives.

“A nursing auxiliary in Madrid has tested positive for Ebola after treating a patient in the Spanish capital, according to Spanish newspaper El Pais. The case is believed to be first in which a person contracts Ebola from a source outside of Africa. While the woman has not been identified, El Pais reports that she is 44 years old, married without children, and originally from Galicia, though she has worked for more than 15 years in Carlos III Hospital in Madrid. She has not left Spain or come in contact with the Ebola virus except for her work in treating Manual García Viejo… The newspaper notes that the nurse brought herself to Alcorcón hospital's emergency room after experiencing a fever, and was tested twice for Ebola, both times with positive results. Co-workers tell El Pais they are shocked by the contamination, given that the hospital used "extreme" protection against the disease.”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/10/06/Spanish-Health-Worker-Becomes-First-Ebola-Patient-to-Contract-Disease-Outside-of-Africa

 
The Spanish nurse likely became infected with Ebola via airborne transmission. No doubt she had extreme protection against direct contact with the body and body fluids of the Ebola patient, but that is not good enough.

"Being at first skeptical that Ebola virus could be an aerosol-transmissible disease, we are now persuaded by a review of experimental and epidemiologic data that this might be an important feature of disease transmission, particularly in healthcare settings... We believe there is scientific and epidemiologic evidence that Ebola virus has the potential to be transmitted via infectious aerosol particles both near and at a distance from infected patients, which means that healthcare workers should be wearing respirators, not facemasks... We strongly urge the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to seek funds for the purchase and transport of PAPRs [powered air-purifying respirators] to all healthcare workers currently fighting the battle against Ebola throughout Africa – and beyond." Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/09/commentary-health-workers-need-optimal-respiratory-protection-ebola

Airborne transmission of Ebola probably accounts for this case and others, such as Dr. Brantley who also exercised extreme caution - except not enough caution - he did not use a HEPA-filtered full face respirator. Under CDC guidelines health care workers are protected against direct contact but not against inhalation or eye exposure to microscopic contaminated droplet nuclei, which cannot be seen and which can travel across a room with air currents, and which can remain infectious for about an hour and a half. The potential for this strain of Ebola is exponential, and we have 300 million un-vaccinated sitting ducks - we Americans. Our government has failed in its primary duty – to defend and protect the American people. I believe our pharmaceutical companies would have developed Ebola vaccines years ago were it not for Big Brother.
 
Read more here:
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Broadcaster Hints Ebola Plague Could Be Retribution For Violating Mosaic Dietary Guidelines

On the 8/5/2014 broadcast of Viewpoint, Chuck Crismier examined the threat posed by the Ebola virus.

In his analysis, he pointed out that the virus can be spread through the fruit bat, which a number of Africans consume as part of their native cuisine.

Crismier interjected that such a practice is not Biblical.

If the apologist is insisting that Old Testament dietary regulations are binding upon New Testament non-Jewish believers, he is not correct.

In Matthew 15:11, Christ Himself counsels that an individual is not defiled by what goes into one's mouth but rather by what comes out of the elocutionary orifice.

This New Testament alteration of the Old Testament law seems to be sustained by a number of other passages.

In I Timothy 4:4, the Apostle Paul asserts that ALL foods (not just the list of Mosaic kosher foods) can be enjoyed with thanksgiving.

To clarify that God was the God of both the Jews and the Gentiles, in Acts 10 Peter was instructed to eat from a selection of foods that up until that point that he had been conditioned to avoid as unclean.

God would not have compelled Peter to do something that was still a violation of God's law.

It's not like Peter was told to marry a man or to offer worship up towards a false god.

It is a correct observation that very few Americans would want to eat a bat.

However, is Chuck Crismier going to insist that he has never eaten or since repented of partaking of crab, shrimp, or lobster which are also forbidden under Old Testament dietary guidelines since these creatures are essentially underwater coach roaches?

Likewise, if Chuck Crismier believes this strongly about strict adherence to the Mosaic law in its entirety, does he intend to broadcast an episode of his Viewpoint news and cultural analysis program condemning the Duck Dynasty clan for the consumption of yet another food clearly forbidden in the pages of Old Testament revelation?

And what about the fast food industry such as Burger King and McDonald's?

A common complaint among certain factions of the more doctrinally enthusiastic is that contemporary Evangelicals are insufficiently Hebraic in their approach to the interpretation and application of Scripture.

So if Africans are to be condemned for consuming bats which might be one of the very few food items available to such impoverished populations, does one have to be consistent and declare an all out crusade against the All American cheeseburger?

By Frederick Meekins

Religious Leftists Agitate Politically

According to the 10/15/2014 issue of the Christian Century, a coalition of religious leftists is launching a campaign to encourage voter registration in low income and immigrant communities.

In other words, populations likely to elect candidates more likely to promise the largest handout payments.

This mobilization effort plans to organize under the banner of Let My People Vote.

Mind you, these are likely the very same agitators insisting that the pro-life, pro-family, and pro-American policy preferences of Religious Right organizations such as Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition cheapen the cause of the Gospel.

by Frederick Meekins

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Republican candidates actually fairly moderate compared to Democrats on social issues, despite media's biased coverage

By Robert Pickup, Jr.

William Saletan writing at Slate says that “Aiming at a broad electorate candidates are looking for issues where the public agrees with them and dodging issues where they might lose votes.”  This goes without saying when it comes to politicians, but then Saletan only devotes one sentence to Democrats not wanting to talk about the economy.  He then devotes the rest of his article blasting Republican cowardice on social issues saying “They don’t want the election to be about these issues, even in Red States.”

His first example of a Republican trying to “weasel” out of a social issue question is in the Virginia Senate race between Democrat Senator Mark Warner and Republican Ed Gillespie.  Speaking about contraception Warner said “the Supreme Court in Hobby Lobby got it wrong.  I don’t think a for profit corporation ought to be able to interfere in an employees health care choices.”  Warner doesn’t seem to understand that case however.  The Hobby Lobby case limited the ability of the Government to force privately owned companies to violate the owners religious beliefs.  Hobby Lobby still provides many forms of contraception’s in their Health Insurance plans.  Warner also said that Gillespie would vote to overturn Roe V Wade.  Again the Senator gets it wrong.  As Gillespie rightly responded “there is not going to be a vote to overturn Roe, that’s a Supreme Court decision.  I’m running for the United States Senate.”  It’s no surprise that Warner is raising social issues to attack Gillespie, he voted for the unpopular Affordable Care Act and voted with Obama 97% of the time.  That is problematic for him amongst Virginians. 

Saletan moves on to the Arizona Governors race between Democrat Fred Duval and Republican Doug Ducey.  When asked about same sex marriage Ducey said that “on an issue like this a Governor doesn’t make the decision.  This decision is decided by the people.”  However this is no longer the case.  Liberals are all for Democracy until they don’t get what they want, then they go to the courts.  According to the New York Times “20 Federal courts in a row had ruled that State bans on same sex marriage, or on recognition of marriages performed in other States, were unconstitutional.”  Many Pundits believe this issue will be fully put to rest by the Supreme Court very soon.  

Saletan then discusses probably the most well known Governors race this election cycle.  That is the Texas Governors race between Republican Greg Abbot and Democrat Wendy Davis.  When asked about their views on abortion Davis talked about her filibuster of an abortion bill.  She said “I have stood on the Senate floor for 13 hours to assure that this most private of decisions could be made by women.”  In actuality the bill didn't take away a woman’s choice.  The Washington Post wrote that the legislation would only ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital surgical centers.  As Abbot said “women still have 5 months to make a very difficult decision.”  Only after that  did the State have “an interest in protecting innocent life.”  This is right in line with what most Americans want.  According to a collection of polls gathered by the AEI most Americans support first trimester abortions.  However they oppose second and third trimester abortions and support restrictions such as parental notification.  

As we can see far from being cowards on social issues, Republicans are being very moderate compared to these extreme leftist candidates.  They are trying to concentrate on issues that matter most to people.  These issues according to Gallup are Jobs, the economy in general and the Federal deficit.  Gay marriage, contraception and abortion didn’t even make the list.  Democrats know that by raising these issues they can distract voters from the fact that they have caused, made worse or ignored the issues that matter most to their constituents.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is The Southern Baptist Missions President More Interested In Your Stuff Than Your Soul?

There is no pleasing some theologians unless you word to the most exacting detail everything the way that they would.

A Facebook meme attributed to Southern Baptist International Missions Board president David Platt is quoted as saying the following: “Accept him? Do we really think Jesus needs our acceptance? Don't we need Him? Jesus is no longer one to be accepted or invited in but one who is infinitely worthy of our immediate and total surrender.”

Is there really a reason to get one's backside up on one's shoulders over a pastor or evangelist that phrases the soteriological appeal in terms of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior?

Granted, as part of the infinite triune Godhead, Jesus can hobble along quite fine without us no matter how much Pastor Platt believes world missions might collapse without his particular brand of religious over-enthusiasm.

What it simply means when someone accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior is that the person assents to the truth and validity of the claims and conditions made in the Gospels.

What is interesting is Rev. Platt's phraseology of immediate and total surrender.

Traditionally, that is what occurs when the sincere individual comes to a saving knowledge of Christ, meaning one makes a concerted effort with the help of the Holy Spirit to resist those more sinful desires.

However, what Platt may mean by that, given the perspective taken in a number of his books such as “Radical” and his sermons available on sites such as Youtube, is a bit different.

To Platt, it is not so much that your life and possessions are Christ's to determine directly how these are to be used to His glory but rather that is to be determined by your betters up the ecclesiastical food chain.

According to sermons from the likes of Rev. Platt, in taking up your cross, it is not sufficient to endure a particular struggle or trial that has come into your life but rather that you are to think of yourself as on the way to execution in terms that you are supposed to be wracked with profound guilt for a standard of living above that of the subsistence level.

However, religious superstars such as David Platt are to enjoy a semi-luxurious lifestyle flying across the country and around the globe having accolades and wads of cash tossed in their direction over how wonderful they are for being outraged that you have what you have.

Christ Himself says in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

The text does not say that Jesus will beat down the door.

Customarily, when someone knocks at the door, it is your right to either open the door to invite them into your dwelling or to decline their request along with whatever it is they might be happening to bring you.

But then again, we are in the age where apparently the theological celebrities know more than Christ ever did.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pastor Apparently Selective In What Pagan Practices He Condemns

In a sermon titled “The Satanic Deception Of Halloween” posted at SerrmonAudio.com, Pastor James Cooley details the history of how black cats came to be connected with this autumnal celebration as the spirit familiars of witches and as a result of an alleged Druidic belief that cats were the reincarnated souls of evil people.

To this, the podcaster interviewing Pastor Cooley remarked that he knew there was a reason why he did not like cats.

Pastor Cooley concurred with an “Amen.”

But who is it that created cats?

Surely it was not Satan.

Was it not the God that we are supposed to be so dedicated to that we can't even participate in a festival that does not possess any meaning for most other than dressing up in a silly costume to collect candy from door to door?

Cats are not inherently evil.

That is merely the connotation they have been imbued with from a cultural and literary standpoint derived from subjective existential or psychological sources.

In other words, from nothing more than what someone happened to think or feel regarding them.

Should something be abandoned because a number construe a conceptual or ontological category to be evil rather than it actually being so?

So does this include Fundamentalist Baptist Churches?

For years, that form of ecclesiology's most ardent adherents rightly condemned the pedophile scandals that wracked the Roman Catholic Church.

However, it turns out that nearly the same perversion had gripped a number of hardline Independent Fundamentalist ministries.

Therefore, isn't it logical to contend that there have been more innocent people hurt in a spirit of appalling wanton sin perpetrated by those that should have known better than were ever hurt by cats exhibiting a similar degree of deliberate malice?

So does that mean we should refrain from attendance at these particular houses of worship to avoid offending the weaker brother?

Often, the conspicuously pious will homiletically insist that Halloween ought to be avoided altogether not so much to refrain from actual wrongdoing but to avoid the appearance of such and out of the necessity to separate from unclean things as counseled by Scripture.

As such, shouldn't we also consider the source of this sentiment against cats if the propriety or impropriety of a thing is to be determined not so much by how it is practiced today but rather by ideas affiliated with it at the time a custom came into existence?

By the pastor's own admission, this particular prejudice is supposedly Druid in origin.

Thus, if we are to severe all connections with Halloween for being pagan in origin, why not this unfounded contempt for felines as well?

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Left now Equating Obama's Foreign Policy with Bush's

By Robert Pickup, Jr.

Liberals are so upset with Obama's foreign policy they have begun to equate it with Bush's.  Paul Rosenberg writes that Obama, in his recent speech announcing war against ISIS denounced them in terms similar to President Bush. According to him this bodes badly for our chances to defeat them. The President went rogue when he said "It (ISIS) has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way." This is too black and white, too Bush esque for Rosenberg's taste. He quotes Sun Tzu's "Art of War" to show us that you need to know your enemy to be able to defeat him. By ignoring ISIS vision of the establishment of an Islamic State President Obama, according to Rosenberg is taking the neo conservative route of mindless violence.

There is much wrong with This logic. To begin with he tells us an example of Obama being nuanced is when in his ISIS speech he says "We cant erase every trace of evil from the world." This is really just another of the Presidents famous straw man arguments since no one is arguing that we do such a thing. He just says this to make himself look more responsible and reasoned than his political opponents. In reality President Bush never stated we should erase all evil from the world or even that all Islam was the problem. Bush's nuanced view of the war on terror was on display when he said "ours is a war not against a religion, not against the Muslim faith. But ours is a war against individuals who absolutely hate what America stands for."

Further President Obama has never shown he understands the vision terrorist organizations have going all the way back to 2001. He sat in Jeremiah Wrights church when he said that America was to blame for 9/11, that our chickens had come home to roost. Obama was then quoted as saying that the main reason for the attacks was that the terrorists lacked empathy. Then again after the attacks on our embassy President Obama blamed it on a video that degraded the prophet Muhammad. Contrast that with Bush's view of the terrorists vision, "their attacks serve a clear and focused ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane...whatever its called this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits Islam to serve a violent political vision: the establishment, by terrorism and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom." This is exactly the vision Rosenberg wants Obama to recognize in ISIS.

What Rosenberg believes is the Presidents nuance is just his attempts to obfuscate the real motivation of terrorists because he is unwilling to confront them. The beheading of an American citizen awakened the public to the threat ISIS poses, forcing the Administration into action. We can only hope Obama takes the Bush approach which led to victory in Iraq instead of his nuanced approach which led to an ISIS on the march.

Robert Pickup Jr is a constitutional conservative from Massachusetts.  He likes to write conservative responses to liberal op-eds. His personal website is conservativecontrarian.wordpress.com.

Ezekiel Emmanuel, Health Care is meant for Seniors

By David Lawrence

I always hated Rom Emanuel.  I think he was a ballet dancer or something when he was young.  His mom sent him to ballet school. After the 2008 presidential election, President Barack Obama appointed Rom Emanuel to serve as White House Chief of Staff.
 
Every time I saw him on television he was arrogant, pompous and nasty.  This is not a digression.  A person’s personality often results in failed deeds.  He contributed to a failed president, Barack Obama.
 
His brother, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, is even more arrogant than he.  When I saw him on television he reminded me of the devil.  There was an evil beneath his medical ideas.  He pontificated about how long people should and shouldn’t live and how his flawed Affordable Care Act was a magnificent piece of legislation that would help everyone that it didn’t hurt.
 
Ezekiel spoke about how we should shovel money over from keeping seniors alive to the young and healthy. We could afford healthcare for seniors if Emanuel hadn’t assaulted us with ObamaCare where millions of people lost their doctors and their health care.  He also had to waste more money on deductibles and premiums. He put us more in debt so that we couldn’t afford to cover our seniors.  And yet ObamaCare started as a spin-off of Medicare which was designed for the old.  Has Emanuel forgotten our priorities? Health care is designed for Seniors.
 
Sarah Palin worried about death panels.  Obama made fun of her for such an absurd idea.  But Ezekiel openly promotes euthanasia which is subtly embedded in Obamacare and no one makes fun of him.
 
Ezekiel accuses people of living past seventy five of using up health care’s resources.  He suggests that by knocking off people over seventy-five that we will have more money to minister to the young. He never thinks that if utopian naïfs like Obama didn’t waste money on his colossal bureaucratic health program or solar panels or the ideological EPA that we would be able to afford health care for our senior citizens.
 
Never have I known of a society cruel enough to kill its elderly.  Only Ezekiel would follow in this Nazi approach.  And he is a Jew?  Didn’t he learn anything from the demolishment of our people?
 
There are so many people past their seventies who have contributed to society.  What about Yeats, Grandma Moses, Kissinger, Barzun, etc.  Why doesn’t Ezekiel decide to exterminate young people with IQ’S beneath one hundred or cripples?
 
Ezekiel has no heart.  He is all illogical logic.  He is the failure of modernity caught in the strictures of make-believe progress.  He reminds me of his brother, Rom, who presides over the city with the most shootings—Chicago.  He reminds me of his former boss, Obama, whose ideas fail to meet the test of pragmatism. 

 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Does Enslavement Uplift Spirits?

Islamic propagandists are insisting that women that wear hijabs have a higher body image.

If a woman wants to wear such an outfit, that might be her business.

However, isn't the more pressing issue at hand the women being forced to wear these getups in areas where the particular form of extremeism such garments exemplify is on the rise?

Is one to conclude that the jihadists that hacked off the breasts of Christian women were instead simply trying to liberate these women from body dysmorphic disorder?

Regarding adherents of this creed that parade about in full heathen regalia to the extent that even their faces are concealed.

What assurances does an instructor in an academic setting have that it's the same student that shows up everyday adorned in such a potentially deceptive manner.

What if a member of the Ku Klux Klan showed up making their daily rounds in public in complete costume?

Tolerancemongers will insist what the Klansman is doing is intended to excite a spirit of fear and express hatred.

But so is the Mohammedan.

For such ensembles are not donned so much out of sincere religious devotion but out of contempt for our liberties that allow such subversives to cavort about without opposition or even question.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Apparently Only Certain Deaths Worthy Of Nazarene Reflection

A Maryland Nazarene Church has posted on its Facebook page photos of candles lit for those mourning Michael Brown and in support of the work to end racism.

It might be one thing to light a candle on behalf of his memory as a human being.

However, if he had not met his parting from this world in a manner that could be exploited to further assorted politically correct agendas, would this church have lit a candle for him?

Given that his church is located in the Washington/Baltimore corridor with its own disturbingly high rate of homicide, does this church post photos of candles lit on behalf of other murder victims explicitly by name?

Tagged on to the name of Michael Brown is mention of “our work to end racism”.

There is really no proof that the Michael Brown incident had anything to do with racism.

The foremost examples of racism involved surrounding this issue were of those that rampaged in the streets of Ferguson.

Does this Nazarene church intend to post candles lit beseeching divine protection for the shopkeeper brutalized by Michael Brown in the last hour of his life and the owners of the property pillaged by his supporters?

Or has the Church of the Nazarene been so given over to the social gospel embraced by much of the Emergent Church to the extent that the leadership of this particular congregation contends that property owners get whatever they deserve at the hands of the allegedly disadvantaged?

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Analysts Rush To Defense Of NFL Player Accused Of Child Abuse

Charles Barkley insists that the beating of children by athletes should be overlooked because that form of discipline is a “Southern Black thing”.

Will he be suspended from his broadcasting duties like the correspondent that simply asked why Janay Rice would deliberately marry a known domestic abuser?

Will Black media personalities insisting that the beating of their youth by parents is just the way things are done down South insist that Paula Deen's fortune be restored because what she said in the privacy of her own home to her husband that resulted in no bodily injury is just the way things were done down South?

Since it was the way things use to be done, are those applauding the beating of a four year old to the point of bodily injury going to also tell us that it's also appropriate to deny children wholesome affection such as hugs or that to lavish attention and resources on one child to the point of neglecting other less desirable children in a family for no legitimate reason is acceptable.

Those kinds of things use to go on as well.

According to former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, the propriety of a parental action such as a beating is to be determined by the pile of money or status that accrues to the recipient of such tactilely intensive correction.

If Adrian Peterson has approximately seven children by near as many women none of which he is married to, there has obviously been some kind of shortcoming or breakdown in the parental process somewhere.

Adrian Peterson's methods of discipline are being justified or overlooked on the grounds that that was the way things were always done.

Peterson is estimated to have fathered seven children.

He refuses to disclose the answer to this question himself definitively.

Nor does it sound like he is married to any of the mothers.

In those heralded golden days of yore invoked to justify the bruising of a four year old, didn't you usually get married before procreating that prodigiously?

Perhaps we should hold off a bit before lavishing this reprobate with father of the year accolades as some in certain conservative circles seem eager to bestow upon him.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Southern Baptist Missions President Applauds Family Neglect In God's Name

In a sermon titled “The Gospel Demands Sacrifice” posted at YouTube, President of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board Daniel Platt emphasized the Gospel requirement that our love for Christ should surpass even what we have for family.

As an example, Pastor Platt praised John Bunyan who was tossed into prison for refusing to stop preaching when ordered to by Anglican authorities despite the hardship endured by his family in general and his blind child in particular.

The Christian should not deny Christ.

However, Bunyan was initially imprisoned for preaching without a license.

Whether we agree with that or not is a secondary matter.

Often in a fallen world, the situations are so bad that the individual is forced to prioritize from a list of less than ideal options.

From the Wikipedia entry on John Bunyan, one gets the impression authorities were not initially inclined to imprison Bunyan until he blurted out that he'd be out preaching again the next day.

That causes one to ponder was it necessarily Christ that Bunyan was infatuated with or the adrenaline rush one can get from a good fight.

I Timothy 5:8 admonishes that those that do not take care of their own family are worse than an infidel.

The same ones praising John Bunyan for in their minds putting Christ in a proper place above the needs of his family would turn around and heap condemnation upon others for not taking care of the Bunyan urchins.

However, shouldn't taking care of the spiritual and physical needs of these children have been the foremost life's mission of the Bunyan parents?

Why couldn't have Bunyan been as an upstanding Christian example ministering to the needs of his ailing child and instead return to spreading the Gospel to others behind the back of authorities at a later time?

Jesus did indeed counsel that the believer's love of family should look like hate in comparison to that for Him.

However, the most profound expression of devotion to Christ may be in loving our family members in those times we feel like loving them the least or get distracted by a cause we deem much more exciting than the mundane duties of this world.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, September 15, 2014

Halloween Sermon Exposes Minister's Desire For Religious Dictatorship

In part one of a sermon series titled “Halloween: A Biblical Critique Of James Jordin & American Vision”, Brian Schwertly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America did not argue against the autumnal celebration on the traditional grounds that the celebration was pagan per say.

Rather he argued against it from the standpoint of the Reformed belief against the impropriety of man authorizing holy days not found in Scripture.

In this homily, he seemed to praise and certainly did not criticize Scottish authorities at the time of the Reformation that forbade under penalty of law those celebrating such commemorations after Presbyterianism became that nation's established church.

However, if man does not have the authority to compel extra-biblical holy days, on what grounds does one then forbid an individual from incorporating these practices as part of their individual devotion after they have been informed that observation of the day is not necessarily a requirement?

For does not Romans 14:5-6 seem to indicate that these sorts of matters are more in the realm of individual conscience?

In a sermon against Halloween, Presbyterian Brian Schwertly described a prank he use to engage in during that particular time of year where he would light a bag of, in his words, “poop” on fire and leave it on someone's porch.

Instead of remorsefully recounting this story in a tone of repentance, he actually laughed about it.

If Halloween really is as evil as the hardline Fundamentalists make it out to be, wouldn't that be the equivalent of fondly recalling before the congregation how Buffy down at the gentleman's club would twirl as she was giving him a lap dance?

Wouldn't an ultalegalist such as himself consider a person exhibiting such glee in the House of God insufficiently contrite?

Yes, he should be classified as an ultralegalist as he insinuated at another point in the sermon series that Roman Catholics and Arminians should be denied citizenship in the idealized Christian Reconstructionist regime.

In the sermon “Halloween: A Biblical Critique Of James Jordin & American Vision, Part 2”, Brian Schwertly examined the argument that Christian participation in Halloween is valid and legitimate as a way of ridiculing the power of Satan.

Schwertly contends that such a perspective is inappropriate in light of Jude 1:9 in which it is suggested that even the mightiest of angels are cautious about underestimating the Old Deluder.

However, it has been suggested that often conceptualizing of evil in a literary or narrative form similar to a fairy tale can assist the young in placing these kinds of fears and terrors in a proper perspective.

Why can't the symbology of Halloween play a similar kind of role?

But more importantly, perhaps the argument about justifying Halloween as a way of minimizing Satan's influence through good old fashioned ridicule came about as a result of the need in some of the more rigorous wings of Evangelicalism to always find itself in an “on position” in terms of some grand outreach effort or engaged in some never-ending confrontation.

Can't a kid just go out for a night dressed in costume to collect some candy without it being as if the Apocalypse was looming or the fate of the world hanging in the balance?

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Is Chief Southern Baptist Missionary More Eager To Bash America Than Convert The Heathen?

David Platt has been elected president of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board.

The pastor is also author of “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From The American Dream”.

A description of the tome at Amazon.com reads, “It's easy for the American Christian to forget how Jesus said how his followers would actually live...They would, he [Jesus] said , leave behind security, money, even family for him.”

Here we go with yet another attempt to use missions not so much as a methodology to bring those in other lands to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ but rather as a pretext to bash the American way of life.

For how are those things listed above: security, money, convenience, and family any different than what the inhabitants of nearly every other country on earth desire?

If one does not consider security all that important, perhaps one should be willing to exchange places with the persecuted and slaughtered Christian populations of Iraq and Syria.

Without money and security, it is doubtful that Rev. Platt would have wiggled his way into a megachurch pastorate nor American's rich enough to purchase his reflectively narcissistic manifestos.

God has indeed blessed America with an abundance of these things that have enabled Pastor Platt to become something of a celebrity in Evangelical Christian circles but which he begrudges the remainder of his fellow countrymen and coreligionists.

Is there a reason why we must flagellate ourselves in shame because of what God has given us?

For example, on the list it is insinuated that loyalty to family even when they are not tempting you towards things forbidden by God is not so much a strength but rather a weakness.

Yet the very same leftwing religionists that applaud the renunciation of bourgeoisie values insist that we must embrace nearly every illegal that pours across the border because these new arrivals are such family oriented people (even though the relationship arrangement being admired is not so much pro-child as it is the mother being afraid to cut off carnal access whenever daddy comes home sauced three sheets to the wind).

Interestingly, most of the migrants pour here for the same things we are supposed to be wracked with guilt over like Phil Donahue for possessing.

In his acceptance of the presidency of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board (a body found nowhere in Scripture if one is going to argue how we as Christians could lead more spiritually meritorious lives if we were more willing to embrace penury and destitution), “We talk all the time at Brook Hill [the church Platt pastors] about laying down a blank check with out lives, with no strings attached, willing to go wherever He leads, give whatever He asks, and do whatever He commands in order to make His glory known among the nations.”

And that is absolutely correct.

However, that blank check is to be written out to God, not so much the prelates and functionaries operating in His name through the organized church.

As Ann Coulter quipped, how come no one can serve God in America anymore?

It is about time religious leaders stop bashing those in America leading the perfectly ordinary lives that keep the mundane operations of a complex society functioning so robustly that there exists sufficient leisure time for a particular class to arise that enjoys nothing more than to wallow in this kind of existential criticism.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, August 29, 2014

Did you see what Obama posted on his Facebook page?

I created this in less than two minutes, and I'm not that great with graphics, basic amateur. Stay tuned, the article on Townhall about it is coming out on Monday, "I Can Destroy Your Reputation and Career in Two Minutes." I will explain the next two photos then.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Pastor Would Make Church Membership More Like Prison Sentence

According to Pastor Corey Dyksta in a sermon posted at SermonAudio.com on the topic of church membership and separation, a Christian is only allowed to withdraw membership from a congregation over profound doctrinal disagreement or error.

But what if an individual can find a church of comparable teaching that is a better subjective or existential fit?

Why should someone in the name of an outdated understanding of ecclesiastical identity renounce other components of overall well being that could increase one's comprehensive quality of life such as companionship and opportunity?

Many of these rinkydink congregations rank among the same ones that would bash an individual for going to another church for “selfish” reasons and then turn around and slug even harder with the other rhetorical fist these same souls not married by the age of 25 despite there being no one appealing in the congregation or if the person does nothing more than fill a pew in a church where there is only one Sunday school class that the pastor sits in on to shout down anyone that might raise a sincere question or differing perspective still within the parameters of Biblical acceptability.

In this sermon on church membership and separation, Pastor Dykstra insisted that the Christian is obligated to hold formalized membership in a local congregation.

He then proceeded to argue that church membership should be viewed like marriage.

However, nowhere in Scripture is one obligated to be yoked to a human spouse.

If anything, the Bible lists both the glories and downfalls of both the single and married states, allowing the individual to select for themselves the path that they believe will minimize the inevitable miseries of this life while attempting to maximize its fleeting pleasures.

In continuing the marriage analogy, Rev. Dykstra suggested that the ability to pick up and leave a church is a moral outrage comparable to no fault divorce.

Would pastors holding to such an ecclesiology prefer the dissatisfied and disenchanted just remain in the congregation and drag the whole vibe down?

Even more disturbing is the insinuation that one cannot leave without deliberate or explicit fault being assigned.

So if these ecclesiastical potentates had their way, would they smear you with some kind of mark akin to Hawthorne's scarlet letter where no other church would ever take you in?

So be it.

What is to prevent the clerically dispossessed from banding together to establish their own churches?

And what if these loose associations began bearing spiritual fruit?

In the idealized theocracy or theonomy, would establishmentarian denominations use the weight of law and the use of force commonly referred to as violence inherent to the enforcement of such to destroy these fellowships?

If so, what makes those holding to such a position any better than the worst of the Medieval papalists that those of the extreme Reformist perspective spend an inordinate amount of time railing against?

In the sermon, Pastor Dykstra mentioned a sect from the time of the Reformation known as the Nicodemites, a reference to the influential Pharisee that came to Jesus who, though sincerely curious, came to Jesus in the middle of the night so as not to endanger his status and position as a member of the Sanhedrin.

This label was used to describe those drawn to the claims of the Reformed message but who were reluctant to embrace this interpretation of the Gospel for fear of leaving behind the modalities of worship and religious expression they had known their entire lives.

The term was intended to be applied condescendingly.

However, as conveyed in the Gospel of John, chapter 3, one does not get the impression that Jesus was irritated with Nicodemus for coming to Him secretively indicating potential ambivalence to the implications embracing the Messianic claims would have in the life of such a foremost Jewish voice.

Rev. Dykstra claims the label accurately describes those that waffle as to what congregation it is that they actually want to be a part of.

He goes on to assert that, when one leaves a particular church, what you are saying is that you no longer want to fellowship with the saints there.

It says nothing of the sort.

What about those that stay in the church and get their rearends so high up on their shoulders that they will no longer have anything to do with those that could have their spiritual needs better fulfilled elsewhere?

You don't need the pastor's permission to remain someone's friend.

If you are afraid that remaining friends with someone that has left the church but otherwise still walking in the faith will set minister off, other than a cordial but distance greeting each Sunday, DON'T TELL THE MINISTER THAT YOU ARE STILL THEIR FRIEND.

The world is in a profound state of turmoil and decline.

Instead of complaining about how often a particular visitor is or is not there and whether or not they have agreed to a commitment sufficiently arduous to placate the rigors of the professional religionist, perhaps it might be more prudent to convey the basics of salvation and moral living in the brief time that any particular soul might be brought into contact with a specific congregation.

By Frederick Meekin

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Should Churches Purge Members That Minister Beyond Denominational Limitations?

In response to learning of a number in her district that pursued ordination online, a United Methodist bishop posted on a blog a threat to withdraw from membership anyone she catches committing this crime against the church.

Now would that be a punishment or a reward to be forced off this sinking denominational ship?

The bishop justifies such a hardline position because, “It is an affront to those who have worked hard, studying many years in seminary, spending much money, making many personal sacrifices when others, maybe unknowingly, seek ordinations in an easy, anonymous way.”

One will note that no where in the explanation is God or Christ even mentioned.

That is because, other than the basic criteria listed in Scripture, He leaves it up to the individual to follow the path that is best suited to their own particular calling.

The United Methodist Church is only one expression of the broader Bride of Christ.

Those employed by a United Methodist Church or seeking a career in such might have to abide by the rules that the denomination establishes to determine who it allows to minister as part of its brand.

However, their exists a Christan world beyond this one principality within the larger kingdom.

So long as someone holding one of these alternative ordinations does not try to seize control of a United Methodist Church, they should use the credential to minister in any way possible that is open to them.

The average member is only in church between one and maybe three hours per week.

If someone in the remaining hours of the week wants to fill that time going about their Father's work and they for the most part profess the same basic theological and philosophical worldview as you do, it is the epitome of arrogance for you to punish them simply because they don't hold a certificate with your seal of approval emblazoned upon it.

Any church that seeks to control those not on the official payroll or those that have not agreed to the parameters of ministry within a specific denomination has come dangerously close to elevating the organizational structure above the Christ that it claims to worship.

About the best thing that could possibly happen to someone that looses their membership over such a petty and minuscule offense for simply feeling a call to ministry that ecclesiastical elites fail to recognize is to set up some kind of Methodist or Wesleyan-style church of their own.

It might not be what they have been accustomed to, however, given that these are generic theological labels or categories, should you decide to apply them along with a few distinct modifiers to create a somewhat unique variation on the given theme, there really isn't much that religious power brokers can do to stop you

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Moral Analysis Of Physician Assisted Suicide

It is often difficult to judge someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes. As such, one of the most challenging situations imaginable would be for someone in optimal health to counsel the terminally ill as to the proper response to legal physician-assisted suicide.

In this contentious debate, ghouls in lab coats give those wracked with the most horrible of afflictions the impression that the only alternatives available are a life of agony or an end hastened by an IV drip. However, those in the middle of this debate who relish neither the prospects of drawn out pain nor speeding up death as an end in itself can provide a bit of solace in light of life’s most intense existential crisis for their loved ones and colleagues.

Many times if these cases are looked at more closely, one does not find someone that is all that eager to embrace death as they are to ease overwhelming physical and emotional suffering. The goal in such situations ought not be to prolong life beyond what was intended but rather to allow the person’s existential voyage to reach its conclusion at a natural pace in a more serene manner.

Therefore, the best course of treatment to counsel the terminally ill consists of the various options to control the pain. Rae points out that, though there are cases where pain cannot be controlled, these instances are rare and should not be precedent-setting examples upon which a comprehensive policy is based (188). It is Rae’s assertion that most cases can be controlled through a high-enough amount of medication.

Under the principle known as “the law of double effect”, medical personnel could be permitted to administer a sufficient quantity of drugs to alleviate the pain even if one of the possible side effects of the treatment is death (188). To some, this may sound little different than euthanasia; however, the distinction of motive is critical as the patient and medical professionals are not deliberately seeking to end life but rather to alleviate suffering aware of the knowledge that death might be an potential outcome. When you come down to it, this would not be all that more ethically ambiguous than any other risky but necessary medical procedure.

In his lectures for the Trinity Theological Seminary courses in Apologetics, John Warwick Montgomery astutely observed that each of us is more preoccupied about our own deaths and those of loved ones than we are willing to admit. Even for Christians, that appointment none will be able to avoid other than through Christ’s Second Coming might not spark as much apprehension if we had better assurances from the medical community that everything within its power was being done to make the transition into the next realm as comfortable as possible.

In regards to the issue of physician-assisted suicide, its proponents often attempt to turn the tables on their Christian opponents with the following argument: “Since Christians should show mercy and compassion, they should therefore approve of physician assisted suicide.” While this may be difficult to counter initially in light of the immense pain the terminally ill often suffer from, upon closer reflection one will realize that mercy and compassion are not as intrinsically linked with this disputed medical practice as we have been led to believe.

For starters, often the terminally ill are not so eager for a headlong rush into death as they are terrified of becoming a burden or facing the cessation of life in this world alone. Thus, in such circumstances, mercy and compassion would manifest themselves not in a desire to let the dieing do themselves in but rather by standing alongside them as an advocate against maltreatment or to stand beside them as a companion, holding the hand of the ailing letting them know they are still loved despite their failing bodies and that they will be missed each day until we ourselves will be resurrected with them in eternity where we will no more endure the sorrow of death.

If the advocates of euthanasia point out that while such efforts might diminish psychological anguish they do little to ease overwhelming pain, the Christian can respond that the goal ought not to be so much hastening death but rather directing research efforts towards addressing this physical trauma. As Rae points out, the cases where pain cannot be managed are increasingly rare; and in especially challenging cases under the principle known as “the law of double effect”, physicians are justified in increasing the patient’s level of medication to levels nullifying the pain even if one of the potential side effects is death. In such a scenario, death is not the intended result but rather an unintended consequence.

In these debates, it is often considered impolite to call someone’s motives into question. However, since the advocates of physician-assisted suicide have already insinuated that Christians leery of this practice rank up there with the Marquis De Sade for allowing suffering to continue, it would be a fair question to ask whether euthanasia’s enthusiasts are really all that concerned about the comforts of the critically ailing or simply hide behind such a seemingly humanitarian posture out of more materialistic motivations.

For despite hiding behind a cloak of compassion, many calling for physician-assisted suicide are just concerned about the bottom line, claiming that limited resources would be better directed towards salvageable human capital. As former Colorado Governor Richard Lamm said, “We have a duty to die”, no doubt emphasizing this obligation for the common man rather than his own loved ones.

By Frederick Meekins