Sunday, December 24, 2006

PREACHING THIS MORNING...'Joseph: Son of David'. To what sort of man would God entrust His only Son? One who showed demonstrated obedience and respect for God's law, and not only raised Jesus, but also his sons James and Jude.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


In the continuing effort to discredit and stop abstinence education a new study reveals that "Even grandma had premarital sex, survey finds":
More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings.

Now I'm skeptical that 90% of people over the past 60 years has pre-marital sex, but even if we concede the point for the sake of discussion, it doesn't matter. Should we stop anti-smoking campaigns because we might find that 80% of people have had a cigarrette? The study seems to make no difference between someone who may have been involved with one partner one time and someone who is promiscuous with multiple partners over years and years.

The dominant culture is insistent that sexual freedom be glorified, and anything that hints at moral disapproval of sleeping with whomever whenever one gets the urge must be quashed.

That people sinned in the past is no shocking news. From a health standpoint the fact that people have been involved in pre-marital sex has no bearing on the very real dangers. From a spiritual standpoint the fact that people have and do sin has no bearing on the fact that it's still wrong.

Friday, December 15, 2006


The 21st Century's apostle of unity Rick Atchley (not to be confused with Rick Astley) has led his church--oh, I'm sorry, the elders did it--to add an instrumental service:
The Richland Hills church in Texas — the largest of the nation’s 13,000 a cappella Churches of Christ — has decided to add an instrumental worship assembly with communion on Saturday nights.

Jon Jones, an elder and former pulpit minister at the 6,400-member church, told the congregation Dec. 3 that Richland Hills’ elders “fully and completely” endorsed the decision....

Senior minister Rick Atchley — a national leader in efforts to foster better relations with instrumental Christian Churches — told the congregation the decision should help ease crowding at Richland Hills’ two Sunday morning services. Moreover, he said, it will allow the congregation to “reach more people who need Christ.”

It's a move that will allow the congregation to fit in better with the Christian Church fellowship that Atchley has been desperate to crack. As predicted on this site, any concessions for the 'unity' that Atchley desires will always be to the left. The Christian Church is probably glad to have a 17,000 member church join the long as they do it on the Christian Church's terms. Atchley and the elders at Richland Hills seem happy to capitulate.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Newsweek has just broken the story that Jesus is a Jew, and that Judaism and Christianity share much in way of worldview. Breaking news, indeed.

During this time of the year it was nice to see them bring some perspective to the nativity story:
[I]t is important to note that Christianity's origins lie more in the image of the empty tomb on the Sunday after the crucifixion than they do at the crèche. It was their fervent belief in the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth that convinced his followers he was, as Peter put it, "the Christ, the son of the living God" who had told them of a new way of salvation: that he would die and rise again, thus effecting the forgiveness of sins and offering a portal to eternal life.

Just so.

I recently saw the virgin birth referred to as the 'greatest miracle'. While great enough to be trumpeted by angels and declared by a star, the greatest miracle is not the baby in the manger but rather the empty tomb. Everything hinges on the latter.

Friday, December 08, 2006


One of the things that has kept me away from Theosebes over the past weeks has been teaching a couple of history classes at the local community college. Sometimes one gets new historical insights from students that make it all worthwhile. Tonight while grading some quiz IDs on Martin Luther I came across this:
His views did generate much support but caused much controversy as well. He ultimately gained more than he lost though because he had a religion named after him. The Lutheran Church.

The secret of the Reformation solved!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Some are attempting to force out Jewish commentator Dennis Prager for his comment about recently elected Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison who announced his intention of being sworn in to office using a Koran rather than a Bible:
"Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible," he wrote in a column titled, "America, Not Keith Ellison, Decides What Book a Congressman Takes His Oath On."

"If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress," Prager wrote, adding that using the Koran "undermines American civilization."

I agree with Prager that Ellison's election does 'undermine American civilization', but insisting he swear on a Bible will not alter who or what Ellison is. Even swearing in on a Bible is a tradition rather than a requirement, as there can be no religious test for American elected officials. No test, of course, other than the consent of the voters. Of course, American voters have elected all sorts of scoundrels who have sworn on the Bible, but turned out to be scoundrels despite it what they swore on.

I know nothing of Ellison save that he is a Muslim. He may very well be a devout man and a stand-up fellow. Once elected I think it would be strange to expect him to use anything other than a Koran to swear on, just as if the Jewish Prager was elected would I think it strange if he chose a New Testament for his swearing in.

The real issue is the very fact that voters did elect a Muslim in the first place. It does show a shift in the American mindset, and one that ultimately points to a loss of confidence in Western civilization itself. That is the root issue, and one that the flap over a swearing in ceremony masks.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two cases related--well, somewhat--to religion, including the infamous 'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' case:
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether a high school student has a right to display a banner saying "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" during a school event.

The court's ruling, anticipated early next year, is expected to clarify how far school officials can go to control slogans on banners, T-shirts and other items at school-sponsored events, the Los Angeles Times said Saturday.

The case arises from Juneau, Alaska, where a principal removed a student's "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner. Joseph Frederick unfurled the sign on the street outside the school in 2002 as the torch for that year's Winter Olympics passed. Principal Deborah Morse suspended Frederick, who sued her, alleging her actions violated his right to freedom of speech under the First Amendment. A federal judge in Alaska rejected the claim by Frederick, but he won before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court also agreed to decide whether taxpayers have the right to challenge President Bush's faith-based initiative as an unconstitutional promotion of religion. Taxpayers normally cannot legally dispute how the government spends money, but the court made an exception for religion.

The 'Bong hits' case primarily is of juvenile interest, but the faith-based initiative case is of more relevance. I have very mixed feelings over the court ruling on the faith-based initiative. While I firmly believe that faith-based initiatives will ultimately prove to be a Trojan horse for governmental intrusion into churches (eg, forcing governmental 'equal rights' regulations on churches), I also grow weary of the war against public expressions of religion. One suspects the new Congress may put an end to the faith-based initiatives, however.