Much To Talk About- 40

#1. Who Is Responsible?

This may be a touchy subject but I feel it needs to be discussed because some people are under erroneous ideas about who is responsible for the act of marriage. I realize that many people may disagree with me on this and that is fine.

There was a time when I was considering marrying a woman and I was searching for a minister to perform the ceremony.

There was one who was willing to do it but he sad he required x number of counseling sessions because he was responsible. Well I gave him a funny look as to me, he wasn’t. He didn’t bring my friend and I together, he didn’t twist our arms to get married and he actually had nothing to do with the marriage save to perform the ceremony.

Nothing made him responsible yet for some reason he felt he was. It bothers me and so does this article by another pastor found at the above link.  His letter seems to be very exclusive and unfriendly. Also it looks like he is using the act of marriage to evangelize and to me that just doesn’t sit right.

Ecc. 3 tells us that there is a time for this and a time for that which means that there is a time to evangelize and a time not to and a wedding is not the time to evangelize. There is more to Christianity than evangelizing yet that seems to be the only activity that gets the attention.

Please understand that I perform weddings for couples where both the man and woman are Christians. My role is that of a Christian minister. I am unable to be a part of a wedding where either the husband or the wife will not be fully committed to Christ. The most important foundation of a marriage is the faith commitment of the couple. Both the husband and wife must demonstrate when they meet with me that they profess Christ as their Lord and Savior; and they must share with me the specifics of their Christian testimony. If you are not certain about your faith, I would be happy to share with you what it means to be a Christian.

These words bother me and it makes me wonder what impressions the unbelieving couple have as they walk away from this guy’s office. Pastors and Christians do not own the institution of marriage, God does and he has left it open to all heterosexual couples no matter their religious belief or unbelief. The only people left out of the open invitation are same-sex couples.

The above attitude makes me think that the pastor is undermining his own work by such a hard stance and creating stumbling blocks where none should have been built. Now I am not going to say what others should do in this situation because those licensed to perform marriages need to consult with God and see what he wants them to do with the requests for wedding help.

I do know that the blanket attitude illustrated above certainly locks God out of giving direction and using the pastor to win souls or plant seeds. I am not against evangelizing but to evangelize seeds need to be planted first, they need to be watered and fed, then harvested.

Too often pastors and churches leave out the first two steps in their zeal to add another notch to their Bible. Even something as simple as a performing a wedding ceremony can work for the cause of Christ if the Christian participation is done correctly.

With my experience, if I do finally get married I, as a believer in Jesus, will look for a judge over a Christian pastor or some other alternative as I have no confidence in any Christian pastor and I do not want them thinking they are responsible for my and my fiance’s decision. They aren’t. The couple is responsible for their wedding and marriage and I do not agree with the trend to pass the buck to someone who is not part of the wedded life.

#2. Racism or Excuse for Ganging Up on Someone?

I am using Christian Post for the link only as this story is found everywhere and nothing said here reflects upon CP. I have heard some of the comments and I did not find them racist in intent or content. Given the context, he was having a normal discussion with a girl about her flaunting certain men in front of him and putting him in an embarrassing position.

BUT given this day and age, people do not look for the truth and opt to put their own interpretation on his words, then attack their own ideas while placing them in Sterling’s mouth. I also see a group of people who do not like Sterling taking advantage of a golden opportunity and are or have ganged up on him in hopes of creating the ‘perfect society’ in the NBA.

As a believer, I cannot take sides on this issue but have to look for the truth, not only in the context of the words spoke but also in the behavior of those making a mountain out of this molehill.

Believers cannot take the popular way if that is not the right, just, fair, honest way to go and in this case, all we see in this issue is a kangaroo court implemented against a man who is not liked. In situations lie this, the believer must stand for the right way to go even when the offender is not a popular person and is a slum lord among other offenses.

The reason for this is because to side with all the players and the NBA is to side with the removal of rights of privacy, the violation of free speech, the suppression of having frank private conversations and so on. These atrocities are completely ignored by those who have turned a blind eye to how the offending words were made public.

The believer cannot side with those who cry the loudest simply because the accused is a person of low character or integrity. Nor can they side with the popular crowd when the charge is the flavor of the month, in this case–racism. Justice has to be applied even when those making the accusation are a minority group of people and it has to be applied even when the majority disagrees.

Jesus went for what was right even though the law said otherwise for he knew the motivation behind the accusations. The verse, ‘ye who are without sin cast the first stone’  applies in these situations and those words should be taken seriously as Christian evaluate similar issues.

#3. Using The Correct Media

The owner of Formerly Fundie has written two posts on this topic and CP has one as the member of a singing group made the error of using the wrong media to voice his questions.

He used twitter and that social media option is far too limiting to discuss serious questions like same-sex marriage. If one has questions, it is usually best to go back to the old-fashioned ways of doing things and schedule a meeting with someone who you can discuss such things with, in person.

Nothing beats the old-fashioned ways. Not only do you avoid the immediate angry responses from those who disagree with you or do not understand what you are asking. You also get time to think through the answers before making a decision about your own point of view.

“I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is “wrong.” I care more about how it says we should treat people.”

This is one of the questions he posted and it is clear where he made his mistakes. One i s obvious. He said he ‘didn’t care about Scripture…’ and that is not a good way to start a discussion.

The second mistake is not so obvious. The words of tweet do not convey very clearly what he is trying to say but it does expose a little ignorance on the part of that person. In dealing with issues like same-sex marriage believers cannot stop their investigation with the few verses in the Bible that speak directly about homosexuality.

Once a person finds out that God calls it a sin, the believer then must search for and read all the verses on sin and what God says about it and how to treat it. The issue of searching for answers is not for twitter or most social media outlets. It is for person to person discussion, personal reading and research and for in-depth analysis with the help of Holy Spirit.

One of the things the church has lost in today’s age of technology is that time-consuming personal work and communion with God. We want everything right now and in 140 characters or less and that does not do any topic justice.

I am not talking about scholarly research work but biblical work where God leads the way and points the truth out to the searcher. A lot of problems can be avoided if one returns to the old-fashioned way of doing things.

#4. The Demand for Redundancy

The letter fascinates me. It has a couple of mentions of the Lord Jesus Christ, but none of the traditional theological elements one will expect if one is steeped in the letters of Paul. No mention of Jesus’ crucifixion, much less an interpretation thereof as an atoning sacrifice. No mention of an afterlife at all, much less of the resurrection of Jesus.

These are the words that draw my attention. I have seen this before where unbelievers demand that God repeat everything over and over to make a book of the Bible valid.  They want God to keep everyone at square one where all we get is the initial message and are never given any other information in which to grow.

Here you see that McGrath wants James to repeat what Paul already taught, what the Gospel writers already recorded and more, in order for him to accept the book of James as a biblical book.

God doesn’t have to be redundant and he has more to teach than just the few items scholars want taught. James doesn’t have to mention Jesus’ crucifixion because we learned all about that by reading the gospels. Believers need more teaching in order to learn what God wants them to do and James covers territory not covered in the other books.

Because certain books of the Bible leave out mentioning of certain biblical events  doesn’t mean they are not written by God or should be omitted from the Bible. It means that people need to sit up and pay attention for there is more God wants believers to learn.

But if this is an authentic letter by James the brother of Jesus, then it may take us far closer to the earliest form of Jewish Christianity than anything else in the New Testament.

James the brother of Jesus is not the only James in Jesus’ circle. According to the archaeological study Bible there was the James the son of Zebedee and James the son of Alphaeus so the candidates for authorship are a few.

One thing that is interesting in the biography on the book of James is the discounting of James the son of Zebedee because he died approx. before 50 AD but later in the same biography the editors state that the book could be dated to some time before 50 AD. So James the son of Zebedee cannot be removed from consideration for authorship.

The key to authorship of the books of the Bible is that the human author is not the important issue. We do not know exactly which human opened God’s word and if we did the opponents of the Bible would have more ammunition to support their accusations that the Bible is a human written book and not a divine one.

In other words, it doesn’t matter which James wrote the book of James, because in reality it was God who penned its words and all the words of the Bible.

#5. When People Criticize…

The following comes to mind in light of some Internet theological smackdowns I’ve been reading lately, as well as my own working through the muddy fields of publicly criticizing and being criticized.

Peter Enns doesn’t like to be criticized or so it seems  as we see from this article. But criticism comes with the territory. Even Jesus faced it from his own people and their religious leaders.

If one is going to be a professor, teacher, pastor or even publish on a blog on the internet one needs to be prepared to be criticized as there will always be someone who disagrees with your point of view.

Most bloggers that I encounter end up banning me because in reality, they only want to preach to their particular choir and do not want to have their views challenged. The Bible does provide instruction on how to deal with those who criticize– ‘turn the other cheek’; ‘do unto others…’; ‘gain wisdom…understanding…knowledge…’; and on it goes.

The Bible is filled with instructions on what to do, it just might not contain the exact words you want to see. There is another form of criticism that is popular out there and it comes from those who do not like fundamentalism

These people criticize and reject large parts of the Bible simply because they do not want to do what God wants but follow what they want to do. The books of Kings, Chronicles, Judges Samuel and others detail what happens to those people who take that road.

They want to do what is right in their own eyes and ignore what is right in God’s eyes.  They distract believers by their pointless criticisms of God, Jesus and the Bible. They do not want to know the truth, they just want excuses to reject all three. They also want to take as many true believers away from Christ as possible, that way they do not have to feel guilty about their decision to side with evil.


In Colorado’s Mesa Verde National Park, a large 1,000-year-old structure long thought to be an Ancestral Puebloan water reservoir may not have been built to store water after all, a new study suggests.Instead, the so-called Mummy Lake — which isn’t a lake and has never been associated with mummies — likely held ancient ritual ceremonies, researchers say.

This bugs me no end. It seems that modern archaeologists and researchers feel that ancient people had nothing to do except pray, doing religious ceremonies and sleep. Sorry but I disagree with this new assessment of this area and find it repulsive.

With no written material extant by this group of people, there is no way that modern archaeologists can turn a water reservoir into a ritual religious area. One of the things that distorts the past and the ancients are those modern archaeologists who mis-identify so many ancient remains.

Not every large building is an ancient temple nor is every ancient figurine a fertility goddess but that is all we get from those archaeologists who reject any form of religion and God. Kind of ironic as unbelieving  archaeologists claim so much in the past is religious.

So I am on record as disagreeing with this updated conclusion and I disagree with so many ancient buildings and figurines are religious related.

Challenging Statements

Evolutionists make a lot of statements in their justification of their rejecting the Bible. The following statements are taken from Anarchy Evolution in a World Without God by Greg Graffin & Steve Olsen

#1. I’ve often encountered authorities who rarely stray from worn-out dogma and overbearing expectations for allegiance (pg. 2)

The ‘worn-out dogmas’ is the typical put down evolutionists hurl towards scripture references that denies an evolutionary model for origins. The word ‘dogma’ means:

a :  something held as an established opinion; especially :  a definite authoritative tenet

b :  a code of such tenets <pedagogical dogma>

c :  a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative without adequate grounds

:  a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church

And evolutionists have to attack dogmas because the dogma does not allow for alternatives to be included in the discussion. The problem that evolutionists have is that putting down dogmas only reflects badly upon them and demonstrates their lack of character and integrity.

#2. Many religious people, for example, believe that without religion there can be no morality. (pg. 3)

Maybe some religious people think that but most Christians wold word that quote differently.  They would say that ‘without God there can be no morality’ and this has been proven true throughout history.

From the Bible we have this exampled by the book of Judges and it is a theme that is repeated throughout the book:

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord… (6:1 NASB)

Without God there is no morality and people have the freedom to choose if they want to follow God’s way or not. We also see this in history not just North Korea, but WW2 Japan, The Mongols of Genghis Khan fame, The Nazis,  The Communists of Russia, China, North Viet Nam and Cuba… and on it goes. When God is removed from the picture the idea of morality becomes subjective, weak and vulnerable.

#3. Science, which is based on the naturalist perspective, also is about questioning and not settling for dogma. When a new idea comes along that fits the evidence, we must change our mind about the old ways. (pg. 6)

Then when does one settle on an idea for what is truth or the correct answer? The authors do not realize it but the answers to those questions turn into scientific dogma thus their questioning becomes something they do not like.

The naturalist then has to come up with new questions to satisfy their discontent. The other question is, what new idea would fit the supposed evidence? So far, evolutionists have not been able to produce any real evidence to support their ‘new’ ideas.

All their ideas are stuck in conjecture as they search for the supposed evidence to back them up but the authors forget that science is not about answers or the truth so their quest will never end. Their ideas will then be challenged by others who disagree with their use of the evidence.

Dogma or in this case, Genesis 1 doesn’t change even when challenged thus it stops this endless pursuit of ideas and allows for people to concentrate on more important issues as their questions about origins have been answered.

Evolutionists do not want answers and they do not want God. That is why they attack certain dogmas. They think that ‘doing science’ means endlessly pursuing answers to questions they do not want answered.

#4. But on important questions, we must seek the truth, even if the truth is difficult to accept. (pg. 7)

What the authors really means is– they expect the Christian to toss aside the truth of the Bible and accept the secularists’ false ideas. The evolutionist doesn’t want the truth and they do not have an open mind when it comes to God creating all things.

The evolutionist talks a good game but they never follow through. Their minds are closed as soon as a person mentions any point that includes God, the Bible and creation. The truth is difficult for the evolutionist to accept because it means throwing out 150 years of scientific work, tossing out their false theories, and say good-bye their life’s work and they do not want to do that.

#5. Naturalists find creativity in the physical universe , not in the workings of an immaterial god. (pg. 144)

It is a strange statement to make because  no one looks at a painting and says it has creativity, not the painter who painted it. Only when God is involved do the evolutionists make such irrational and unrealistic comments.

To say such a thing about a painting is an insult to the painter and the painter would let the evolutionist quite clearly in no uncertain terms how badly the insult hurt.  The evolutionist is fortunate that God is patient and gives them a chance to repent of their error-filled ways.

To say that the result of God’s creative act is creative and not God is an insult to God. How could the painting be creative when it possesses no ability to create? The same with the earth and universe–neither possess any creative talent thus to attribute God’s talents to lifeless objects is a direct attack on God.

#6. From an infinitely small and infinitely dense point, the constituents of the universe burst into existence and rapidly expanded. (pg. 145)

The authors talk about ideas fitting the evidence but there is no evidence for such an event nor is their any evidence that all that we see in the universes was somehow magically contained in that tiny little point.

What the evolutionist, the naturalists and Big Bang enthusiasts try to do is change the evidence to fit their theory. They reject the truth and now must come up with some idea to fill the void.

Secular scientists will accept almost any replacement idea as long as it does not include God. Doesn’t matter how ridiculous the theory, as long as it removes God from the picture. The movie Expelled made this perfectly clear as one scientist thought life came to earth via crystals.

#7. …the Large Hadron Collider in Europe, to smash subatomic particles into one another with tremendous force to investigate what occurred during the first moments of the Big Bang. (pg. 145)

The problem with this is that the secularist has not proven that origins took place via the Big Bang method. You will notice that with all the experiments conducted with this collider not one collision produced anything remotely close to what theorist claim how planets, stars, solar systems formed in the beginning.

So far all they have done is convince governments to spend billions of dollars, needed elsewhere, just so they can have their own crash toy. Crashing objects does not create but destroys but you can’t convince secularists of this fact.

#8. In fact, nowhere in this brief history of the universe is God’s intervention necessary. (pg. 150)

No Christian says that God intervened. We say that God created and that is the truth. To make such a statement one has to be able to prove their alternative is actually the truth but the authors never did, nor has any astronomer or naturalist.

When one creates, they do not ‘intervene’ in already existing pieces of art. They take raw materials and fashion those uncreative objects and turn them into something beautiful. God didn’t have to take any existing raw materials and fashion his work of art, he created the raw material and then turned it into something beautiful.

That is one of the differences between naturalists and Christians. The naturalist has to have the raw materials already in existence, then have it miraculously and magically put itself together into some work of art randomly.

The Christian sees God behind it all. A being so powerful all he had to do was speak and the raw materials were there. Then speak again and the raw materials were turned into a work of art, filled with detail so accurate and minute that there is no hope for the naturalist to remove God from the picture.

The naturalist is stuck with the random method, because anything else leads to a supreme being. Their alternative doesn’t work but they can’t change or they would be agreeing with God and the Bible.

Archaeological Discovery

This has just hit the news

Here is a better link:

Archaeologists have discovered the final resting place of at least 50 royal Egyptians — including princes, princesses and infants — while excavating a trashed tomb at the Valley of the Kings.

Hieratic inscriptions (a cursive form of hieroglyphs) revealed that most of the mummies in the tomb were related to two pharaohs, Thutmose IV and Amenhotep III, who ruled during the 14th century B.C. The dead included at least eight previously unknown royal daughters, four princes and some children, the archaeologists said.

Here is a link to the photos

The adult mummies in KV 40 are largely fragmentary, likely torn apart by grave robbers, but infant corpses in the underground burial chamber remain intact, said researcher Susanne Bickel, of the University of Basel in Switzerland. And while most infants who died would have been buried in a simple fashion at the time, royal children buried in KV 40 seem to have been given a proper mummification, Bickel added.

Just so you know, these mummies could have been torn apart at any time over the past 4,000 years. The previous paragraph gives a 19th century date for the fire but that too is up for debate.

Studying the new-found mummies and their scattered grave goods could shed light on the lives of people in the pharaohs’ royal court, Bickel and her colleagues said.

For me this would be a little difficult to achieve since the archaeologists have admitted that most of the material possessions have been looted previously. They would be studying very sparse evidence then leaping to very unverifiable conclusions.

My other problem with this inconclusive study is that the archaeologists will make a very broad application of the scant materials found even though the remaining evidence doesn’t give any indication of broad use of the same materials.

Here is a link to  photos of an earlier discovery (5 years). Thought it would be interesting to place them here

Another discovery:

An elaborate array of linear stone lanes and V-shaped structures has been discovered on an underwater ridge in Lake Huron, marking what is thought to be the most complex set of ancient hunting structures ever found beneath the Great Lakes, according to a new report.

Researchers based at the University of Michigan think the roughly 9,000-year-old-structure helped natives corral caribou herds migrating across what was then an exposed land-corridor — the so-called Alpena-Amberley Ridge — connecting northeast Michigan to southern Ontario. The area is now covered by 120 feet (347 meters) of water, but at the time, was exposed due to dry conditions of the last ice age

I would challenge the conclusions of these archaeologists but I do not have the time right now. Suffice it to say that I think they are wrong as they go on the assumption that the world has not changed and that there was no global flood interrupting life on this planet.


Two Quotes

#1. Science and Faith

Now, it is true that, within the scientific community, there are more atheists and fewer “traditional” believers than in the population at large. But whose fault is that when the “traditional” believers drill into their children’s heads that to accept the power of science to know the workings of the natural world is atheism and materialism? It is not that science, or the methodological naturalism that powers it, is inherently atheistic, it is that the “traditional” theists have made it a self-fulfilling prophesy.

In their haste to promote secular science and attack all alternatives to that field of study, evolutionists (of all varieties) always distort the problem.  First, there is no ‘power of science’, science is very limited in what it can do.

It relies more upon assumption than fact and more on conjecture than answers. What evolutionary or secular scientists do not understand is that there is a boundary surrounding the field of science, one it cannot cross though so many unbelievers take science across that boundary everyday.

Science is a field that discovers things that exist, it can help explain the actions of what we find in God’s creation but what it cannot do is say how everything came to be. That area of life was not placed in the realm of science and those that try to move origins under the ‘authority’ of science are committing a wrongful act.

Science is not an authority on life. It can only explain certain aspects of life, not rule over it. We do not need a scientific explanation for everything nor do we need a scientific explanation for why things exist or people do the things they do.

The thing is, people need to respect the boundary and keep science in its proper place. What is wrong about science is when its people and supporters try to usurp the role of God and proclaim that God is wrong.

Christians can do science but they cannot use science to say God is in error. Science is not omnipotent, omniscient, nor is it all-powerful; it is very limited and its limits do not include origins.

Christians do need to explain to their children their students how science is to be used correctly and tell them to stop at the boundaries in order for them not to sin against God. Science is a field of research created by God so we learn more about him and what he did. It is not a field of study that gets to over-rule the bible.

So it is okay to use certain aspects of science, we just have to participate in that field God’s way not the secularists’ way. God’s way includes finding the truth and answers even though the secularists opposes such moves. We also keep science out of the issue of origins for nothing was originated the scientific way.

#2. It Is Not Wisdom

Even though the link is for McGrath’s site it is not McGrath that is going to be talked about. The quote in question comes from Rachel Held Evans, who seems to think that she is an expert on everything biblical.

It’s not capitulating to culture to change your mind based on new information. It’s wisdom

The obvious observation aside, that she wouldn’t know wisdom if it hit her on the chin, this is a very bad idea.  It is an excuse to toss out biblical teaching for secular culture’s popular ideas.

Notice how she bypasses biblical teaching on true and false information and basically states that new information is true without even a glance at the possibility that that new information comes from sinful false sources.

She is also encouraging people to disobey God and that is never a smart idea. The Bible tells us to be not afraid of those who can only kill the body but o him who can kill both body and soul. Miss Evans blatant disregard for God and his teaching puts her in very dangerous waters.

It is not wisdom nor even wise to exchange biblical teaching for secular cultural ways even if the cultural ways has science, history and other subjects on its side. Both God and Jesus set their followers apart from the world and gave them different rules to follow

The NT tells us, ‘be ye in the world not of it’ which tells us to forsake secular ways and follow biblical teaching. Not vice versa as Miss Evans is teaching. Real wisdom tells us to think before we leap and compare the details of what is being taught. it tells us to look for the source of the information, to check to see if it is true or false teaching and so on.

We do not just toss aside a biblical truth in favor of secular ideas just because the latter is popular and the former is not. Nor do we do so if the supposed experts agree that the latter is better than the former. We have to ask what is this ‘new information’ and where will it lead us?

In certain cases we can clarify our biblical teaching with new information but we do not toss it out in favor of the majority opinion. Case in point:

The book of Proverbs tells us that ‘spare the rod spoil the child’ and for generations many people took that to  mean that severe corporal punishment was the only way to go. But as correct new information came along, we saw that the word ‘rod’ simply meant ‘discipline’ not methodology. If we spare the discipline then the child will be spoiled.

New information can help but it must come from true sources which clarifies biblical teaching not from secular, sinful, blind sources which seeks to replace biblical teaching for its improper and useless forms of disciplining.

Miss Evans is a very misguided and deceived soul and she should focus on getting her own life right with God before going around the nation leading others to sin and disobedience. As it stands, she is not representing God but helping evil in its quest to destroy as many of God’s creation as possible.

Look for the true information to help you for it will keep you in obedience to God and his word. Being obedient and sticking with the truth is how we will hear those words, ‘well done thou good and faithful servant .’

A News Roundup

#1– The Jesus Wife Fragment

#2– Archaeology

#3– Digs, Conferences and Tours

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To apply, simply send a letter to BAS dig scholarships, 4710 41st St., NW, Washington, DC 20016, or send it by e-mail to, stating who you are, where and why you want to dig—and why you should be selected for a scholarship. We require your mailing address, email, phone number and the names, addresses and phone numbers of two references. Applications must be received by March 14, 2014.

#4. History


The Korean Tragedy-3

I know tragedies happen all over the world and this one is not the first nor will it be the last but as a teacher of Korean students, this one affects me deeply. I am not discounting the Nigerian school tragedy at all and feel almost the same about that as I do this one but there are a few words I want to share on this situation and one image that I do not think any one will be prepared to handle.

First the few words:

Much talk, mostly in the former of complaints and accusations, has taken place over the students’ obedience and how both it and the Korean culture contributed to the deaths of the students but those complaints are wrong and the accusations misguided–

so many people have complained about the children being obedient and that is what caused their deaths BUT that is what everyone wants–obedient children. you can’t have it both ways. the captain and his crewed erred greatly here not the Korean culture or the obedient students

The blame falls solely upon the Captain and the crew because they were well aware of the law of the sea and that Korea subscribed to it yet they ignored it. We can draw a parallel to believers and the word of God here if we so choose.

Many believers ignore what God says in the Bible even though they claim to be a follower of his and so many others suffer for that false claim. SO much so that the spiritual rescuers cannot reach everyone in time.

I am constantly sad these days as I read the different articles on the ferry sinking and what has made it worse is the following image:

If you get a chance to rescue people in danger, make sure you look everywhere even in the most unlikely of places.

It was a dark day in this country on Friday when the confirmed death toll surpassed the total amount of survivors. We believers know that God is watching over all of this and that we cannot stop death from taking place but it doesn’t always make it easy to endure.

Believers need to be strong in these times and not let their faith falter. Why did these students or other children have to die? Sometimes the only answer is ‘I do not know’ . Don’t make up bad answers for that will undermine anything else you attempt to do in the future. Just be honest and look to Jesus to get you the right answers even though the bereaved will not accept them at those moments.

The Captain and most of the crew have been arrested, and it is said that soon the rest will be as well. It is expected for there is nowhere else to place the blame. People will try to blame God but he did not do this.

He provided a means of rescue, the Captain and the crew, who knew the law yet they decided to run for their own lives instead. This tragedy provides us a good example of wanting all to be saved but not all will be.

One can only imagine the sadness of God who wants all to be spiritually saved yet he is failed by so many of his creation and many are lost.

I have been accused over the years of taking joy at the judgment seat in seeing people sent to hell yet I cannot take joy in that. I will be just as sad then as I am now. It is sad to see so many people choose darkness over light.

Maybe this tragedy will spark true revival here and in North Korea so that we can rejoice at the judgment seat instead of being sad.

Please pray for the parents, relatives and friends of those lost in this tragedy and for the girls stolen in Nigeria. Evil will get worse if believers do not do something.

Much To Talk About-39

#1. The Jesus Wife Fragment…Again

This fragment is hitting the news again and that link argues against the validity of the fragment. Here is another link to more details of the story

Here are the keys to this issue:

1. Even if it is not a forgery this fragment does not shed any light on Jesus or his life.

2. The words spoken by the person named Jesus in that fragment are not spoken by the true Jesus.

3. The fragment was not written by someone who knew or followed Jesus.

4. Too much information is missing and there is no way to corroborate its contents.

An ancient document or fragment discovered does not mean its contents automatically speak the truth. Frauds, liars, enemies of Christ existed in the ancient world just like they do today.

#2. Translating Badly On Purpose

I said to myself concerning humans, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but animals.”

A number of translations insert a word such as “like” to avoid the meaning of the Hebrew text being conveyed to readers.

If you have ever taken any language courses one of the first things you learn in doing translation work is that you cannot do a literal translation and have the words make sense in the target language.

Many secular corporations have found this out the hard way and have lost money because of their poor translation habits. Now here McGrath is ignoring the rule of translation where the translator is allowed to insert words to make the translation coherent.

He is translating badly on purpose in order to attack those who reject any form of evolution. It is another act of desperation on his part. We know that God would not call humans animals in 1 verse alone while every other verse regarding God’s description of humans makes them higher than the animals and not descendent from them.

In fact, if McGrath is going to use scripture to prove his evolutionary views then he needs to be honest and admit that no verse states that humans descended from a common ancestor that spawned all other creatures.

We have the passages in Genesis where God makes it clear that humans were created differently than the animals. If McGrath wants to use scripture he needs to use the whole picture and not those fragments which he can twist to make it seem he has support for his alternative ideas.

And so conservative Evangelical Bible translations often reinforce the entrenched opposition to science by obscuring in translation those things in the Bible that might help readers.

The only people obscuring what the Bible actually says are those like McGrath who abuse verses like Ecc. 3:18.

#3. Humans Do Not Need Statues

Penn State University isn’t involved. The Paterno family isn’t involved. But State College might soon have another Joe Paterno statue all the same.

I disagree with how Mr. Paterno was treated at the end of his life and after BUT no matter how good a man he was there should not be a statue raised in his honor. I don’t just disagree with this one but any statue that is made to honor humans.

Years ago I heard that the American people were in need of heroes as their real heroes were dying  or had died out.  This desperation to have someone to influence their lives for good has led to the rash of misguided labeling of different people as heroes.

If America needs a hero maybe Christians should lift up Jesus for he did make the ultimate sacrifice for all, not just a few. He suffered so that all may live and that is one of the requirements for being named a hero. He also led a good life, healed many people and on it goes.

I do not want to take away from any contribution to society Mr. Paterno’s life made but it was not enough to be revered like a deity. Hero worship is not a Christian teaching and believers should discourage their children from participating in it.

Charles Barkley once said that he was not a role model for children and it is a sentiment I agree with. Professional athletes and other famous people should not be used by parents to guide the lives of their children.

Believers should be pointing their children to Christ and encourage them to use Jesus as their role model.

#4. Discovery Does Not Necessarily Mean Participation

A 2,000-year-old stonemason’s chisel that may have been used in the construction of Jerusalem’s Western Wall has been unearthed at the bottom of the structure along with a number of Second Temple-era objects, claims an Israeili archaeologist.

Some of the artifacts, which include a Roman sword, cooking vessels, a gold bell, coins and a ceramic seal, would suggest the Western Wall, a holy site for both Muslims and Jews, had not been built by King Herod at all.

Eli Shukron, an archaeologist working for the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), found the chisel last summer during a dig near a tunnel at the lower base of the Western Wall.

One of the things that bothers me about archaeologists is that they keep looking for construction tools at completed ancient construction sites. It won’t happen or if they do it was a tool that was lost, misplaced, left behind or never had anything to do with the construction of whatever was on the land where it was found.

If archaeologists knew anything about construction they would realize that once the building or structure was completed the people building  would remove their tools and store them wherever they did back then and wait till the next job to come along.

This is not something that is a modern invention but would be practiced in the ancient world as well. Tools cost money and construction workers look after their tools. They do not want to keep spending money on the same tool .

Egyptologists continue to look for construction tools at the sites of the Pyramids, but they are always disappointed. Why? Because whatever machinery the Egyptians used to move the blocks and set them in place would be dismantled and moved to the next site or stored away until they were needed to help on the next construction job.

If they were not to be used anymore, they could have been sold for ‘scrap’, stored away or left to rot BUT they would not be left at the site of the pyramids for they would be in the way of the people using the sites.

It is possible that that chisel was used on the western wall but we will never know because there is no way to verify its use. We can’t even say it was lost by its owner for the same reason.

#5. Questions, Questions

As an adoptive parent, I’ve heard all the questions.

We get it– you don’t mean to offend, but the questions are still rather off-putting and sometimes downright dehumanizing…Please pass along to anyone who might come in contact with an adoptive family so we can finally get the world to realize that if you wouldn’t say it about a boob job, you probably shouldn’t say it about adoption.

In reading this article and watching the video until I couldn’t stomach it any more I felt that the people saying those things were over-reacting and forgetting that all the people who ask those annoying questions they do not want to answer do not gather in one place at the same time to hear the answers to those questions.

There are just some things you have to endure if you make private things public. I do not like the word ‘boob’ being used for a woman’s chest because the word means ‘mistake’ and God did not make a mistake creating those two body parts.

With that said if a person tells me that they had a chest enhancement or that their wife had one, I would be asking those annoying questions because those people suddenly, and without encouragement from me, made it my business by telling me about it.

If you do not want to hear those adoption questions, then do not tell anyone you adopted children. The over-reaction I see in that post and video is the lack of understanding on the part of those who adopted. Some people are just not trained in the correct social graces the adoptive parents want others to have.

Demanding that others change to fit your desires is not a biblical teaching. It is a personal pet peeve which most strangers or non-close friends would know about and would not be able to side-step in order to not upset the adoptive parents.

One thing I have noticed over the years, and those two adoptive parents are not an exception, is that some parents hide behind their children when demanding that others do as they want. I know a guy here who thinks that just because he has a daughter he now gets to tell others what they can or cannot do.

It is not Christian behavior to act in that manner but people do not care. They want others to do as they want so they take every opportunity and use any excuse to force their ways on others. These same people will complain vehemently if their behavior is used back on them.

The best advice I could give to adoptive parents is–grin and bear it or just ask Jesus to grant you patience to handle the insensitive inquirers. Don’t be boorish like those two parents are.

#6. Nothing Is Perfect

I am growing weary about all things Evangelical, just like at times I grow weary when I open that closet door in her room. So, here are 5 reasons why American Evangelicalism reminds me of my kid’s bedroom:

First, only The Trinity is perfect so my title refers to earthly things only. Please do not read anything else into that title. Second, who is this guy that Evangelicals must worry about hm becoming weary of their practices and need to change for him?

Last I looked he was not God or a member of the Trinity thus Evangelicals do not need to please him. In fact, no true believer needs to please him, he is not their God and they do not worship him.

He also does not give the true believer their marching orders–only God does that and if he doesn’t like what Evangelicals do, then his complaint would be with God not the true believer.

He is also not the parent of Evangelical so why is he getting weary of their behavior? He is not the one who teaches believers right from wrong and if I remember correctly, he is not even a member of the Evangelical church and if he is, he is free to leave if he doesn’t like how things are going.

Evangelicals are not perfect but they need word from God, not someone who follows after alternatives, to change. Also, just because someone who does not believe God declares Evangelicals are a mess or in one doesn’t necessarily mean that a mess exists. He is on the outside looking in and is not privy to all the goings on in the Evangelical world.

Most likely, the author of that post is upset because he is not allowed into the Evangelical circle because he would bring false teaching with him. He is merely angry due to his sour grapes and instead of removing the sinful beams from his own eyes, tries to remove the specs from the Evangelicals’ eyes.