Saturday, July 19, 2014

AN ABBREVIATED RESPONSE TO RIDICULE

( Please note this article is entitled an abbreviated response because of the endless number of questions those who ridicule Christianity usually will eventually ask. Responding to the first question, at least chronologically is a start, but since I am not claiming to be God and have all the answers, I usually like to ask the one ridiculing some questions about their beliefs and explanation before being buried under what they think is enough questions to make them right)


Time has gone by since my facebook friend, Chance Waller, ridiculed me and anyone who believes what he called the myth of Christianity. I didn’t want to mix the importance of discovering Who Jesus is with discovering what political ideology you identify with, so I have waited to respond to Chance’s attack. Your relationship to Christ is far more important than any of our opinions about temporal things and how to, or not to manage or govern society. It is my assertion here that if you disagree with my opinions on politics, you are far more likely to be right and you will be far less negatively affected, than if you do not live in a lifelong pursuit of following the One Who says He is the Son of God. 

For those political activists who suspect some kind of conspiracy is going on and for those who think they have already heard all about Christ and they think it is silly nonsense …. I would have agreed with you whole heartedly on both at one time in my life. But now it is easy for me to see all of the noise and all of the opinions and, sometimes even Christians, kept me from really seeing the Truth. I thought I had checked what I thought was pure total nonsense out, but I now realize I was prepared to reject Christ and, if not for Him (not me) I would have.  

Please read what some of you have read before no doubt – an explanation of just one of the “discrepancies” I would use to aggressively deny Christ when I did not believe. I would say, “You Christians live in LollaLand, You are in denial. It is obvious look at your ignorance about our planet…….” 

Oh, here we go again Chance….. Christians are not very smart because they can not explain every detail of creation. Well first of all who can? I would enjoy hearing Chance’s version of “in the beginning”, but what I find with people who ridicule Bible believing Christians is they simply refer you to their preferred reading. The whole idea of creation is so far beyond the brightest minds that they and their reading audience should realize they are talking above their pay grade. Every explanation could be said to sound mythical. 

I can tell you this, the idea that Christians must be crazy to believe the Bible because right from the start it makes conclusions that are proven wrong by science…… well that is just plain wrong.
 
But, what does the Bible really say about the age of the earth? In any case, there is no explicit verse, that relates the time of creation of the earth with any event in later books of the Bible. But implicitly: if we believe that the Bible is true from Genesis to Revelation, can we be sure that the earth near 6000 years old? This depends on how one would read and interpret verses from the Bible.

You decide. Your decision will not change what the truth is, but it may change who you are. Read the first two verses of the first book of the Bible. The first verse of Genesis already tells us that God created the heaven and the earth. Now, many people read this as a kind of summary of the remainder of Genesis 1. However, one can also read this as follows:

1) First, God creates heaven and earth.

2) Then, something happens. The text does not tell us what happens.

      3) After this has happened, the earth is without form - chaos, darkness.

4) Then, the text tells us that the Spirit of God visits this chaos, and how God turns the chaos in something good.

The seven days of creation are the first creation or are they a later creation? I think that God does not create chaos: if He creates something, it is good. So, after the first creation of heaven and earth, something has happened that made that the earth was no longer as God meant it to be. This may - but that is only speculation - have been the downfall of the devil/Satan and the angels that were cast from heaven with him. Or it may have been the meteorite impact that scientist conjecture that has taken place. Or, it may have been both of these. Or something else. In any case: something has happened that turned Gods first good creation into something chaotic, but we are not told in the text what it exactly was. Then, Genesis tells that God made the chaos into the world of which God saw that it was good.

With this interpretation of Genesis 1: 1-2, one cannot tell from the Bible how old the earth is. This is not a problem, as the Bible is no science book, but a book of faith.

The interpretation given may or may not be correct. It depends on the interpretation of the Bible on what it tells about the age of the earth. And hence, accepting the scientific theory that the earth is a few billion years old does not mean that you believe something that is in contradiction with the Bible. This Holy Masterpeice was written thousands of years ago and no book back in that day could line up with science better than scripture. Its doubters that are scientists may disagree, but the scientists that are believers are amazed by the Bible. 

Christianity shows us that there is a God that created the world, and us. God can make something good from chaos - and that is true, both for the world and its creatures, but also, he can make something good from our life when it is in darkness and chaos.

There is a misconception that science shows that God does not exist: science does not show that, and also, what science can show, is not in contradiction with the Bible. The misconception is harmfull, as it may prevent people from finding God as their father, helper, and redeemer.

The Bible does not tell us much about how old the earth is. Instead, the Bible tells us many other things - about the love of God for us, his plan for our lives, prayer, redemption, and much more. Instead of trying to convince people about one interpretation around some scientific fact that does not need to influence our lives, Christians should tell others about Biblical Truths like the salvation we can have through Jesus.

No King, but Jesus

 

SOME YOUNG ADULTS ANNOUNCE THEY HAVE SUPERIOR FACTS


It seems to me it is not unusual for young people to ridicule the habits of their elders. That has been popular among some in the thirty-five and younger group for a while. Generations waiting for their time to be heard and their time to right all of the wrongs in the world have always had some among them that felt their parents’ and grandparents’ generations were just stupid and didn’t have the courage or the brains to get things right. This current generation is no different.

This generation, just like mine, doesn’t like to hear someone try to win an argument by basically saying that “I am older than you and you just don’t understand yet.” But often they are poor listeners and have stopped listening before their elders have said something much different and much more relevant to the topic at hand. For example, I can’t tell you how often I have been interrupted by a younger person when they obviously expect me to tell them I know better because I am older when I am actually telling them I was alive and involved in a part of history that is relevant to the conversation.

As I have said, perhaps that kind of cross generational struggle to communicate is nothing new. Something new or at least new to me however, is the assertion by some young adults that they are actually smarter and better informed their elders. From what I can tell this arrogant confidence is based off of two mistakes. First, they would deny it perhaps, but when their guard is down I have detected they self identified themselves as having a better analytical than their predecessors because they have no appreciation for the way knowledge and learning accumulates and the newer generations stand on the shoulders of previous inventions, etc. Second, some of our young adults make the mistake of thinking they have an inside source and are able to get more accurate information.

“What!”, you may say to the idea of this source of better sources. I am not guessing…. In spending time discussing and debating and collecting information from young activist, there is a common idea among them that older people, and probably people in general that are just not as brilliant as they think themselves, are too busy listening to the news or reading a newspaper. They ridicule these activities and are very assertive in judging that people who get news this way are just a bunch of followers that are non thinking people who accept the company line, or what the government wants them to know or what a political party wants them to know. You can almost feel them roll their eyes and say. “bunch of  idiots”.

The problem is in all of their superiority of intellect (I am unsure where they get the data that says their generation is smarter because I must not have tuned in to their news source on this matter), I can not imagine, short of some kind of direct line to the CIA, where they have a better source than the rest of us.

A recent Pew poll shows they are more likely to watch Jon Stewart, but that would be a better source of humor not news. Making fun of people who watch CNN or Fox because one watches something else merely enforces the idea that one thinks they are smarter than others because they say so. The polls tell us this generation is more likely to get their news on the internet, but I would guess their excellent source, whatever it is, warns against inaccuracies and bias on internet news. And the internet is not just piped in to young people exclusively.

So what is it? Why are they so much smarter than the rest of us and what is their unique news source. Aren’t the young people who think they will have to spend their lifetimes trying to fix the messes previous generations made living in more comfort with more free time with more available information and choices than any generation that has ever walked on the face of the earth ? I know I am just talking about a percentage of young people, but I am still wondering what is up with all of the resentment and the inflated egos.

As for me, I make a point to watch programs that lean toward my viewpoint and ones that lean the opposite and I read a variety of newspaper online. And even though the Founders believed freedom of the press and competition would help keep government honest, I have never thought I have the “real news” while the rest of the suckers in the world are misinformed. I have seen too many local cover-ups by radio and print media to think everything is the way the media says it is. But who am I, but some “crazy old man” as I was called recently.

Below please find part of the information from the most recent Pew poll:

More Americans get news online than from radios or newspapers, Pew’s biennial study of news consumption habits says. Twenty-three percent of people living in the United States said they’d read a print newspaper the day before. That’s half the number who did so in 2000, when nearly 50 percent read a paper the day before. Twenty-nine percent reported reading a newspaper in any format.
 
Eighteen percent copped to reading a magazine in print the day before. And in wistful news, only 12 percent said they’d received a personal letter.

In more good news for trees:

[S]ubstantial percentages of the regular readers of leading newspapers now read them digitally. Currently, 55% of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48% of regular USA Today and 44% of Wall Street Journal readers.

The number of people relying on social media as a news source doubled since 2010, a finding my coworker Jeff Sonderman digs into in another post.

TV news’ audience is graying


TV remains the most popular source of news, but its audience is aging: “Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day,” the report says.

Twenty-eight percent of people 18-29 reported  local news regularly. In 2006, the report notes, that figure was 42 percent.

Many young people don’t consume news


It’s not surprising that more people under 25 get news from digital (60 percent) than “traditional” sources such as TV, radio and print (43 percent). One rather striking finding:

Fully 29% of those younger than 25 say they got no news yesterday either from digital news platforms, including cell phones and social networks, or traditional news platforms. That is little changed from 33% in 2010.

As before, the time people 18-29 spend consuming news, on average, is far lower than other groups. News sources are competing with social networking for the attention of people under 25, the study found: “as many used Facebook or another social networking site yesterday as got news from all sources combined (76% vs. 71%).”

Only 5 percent of people under 30 reported they follow news about “political figures and events in Washington” very closely.

“The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” had the youngest audiences: 39 percent and 43 percent are below 30. Thirty-two percent of New York Times readers are under 30, higher than any other newspaper surveyed and more than twice the percentage of “Daily newspaper” readers under 30 (12 percent).

Fewer people enjoy following the news


43 percent of people say they “enjoy following the news a lot,” the study says. That’s important because:

As previous news consumption surveys have found, people who enjoy following the news tend to get more news from a variety of sources. Fully 71% of those who enjoy following the news a lot watched television news yesterday, compared with just 41% of those who get less enjoyment from keeping up. And newspaper reading is much higher among those who enjoy keeping up with the news a lot than among those who do not (44% vs. 17%)

 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

KEEP THE PARTY'S IDENTITY - JOIN US AND BE ONE OF US

The local Republican party does not need to try and make the "tent" so big that we accept people or groups that will destroy the identity of the Republican party. In Liberty County Texas, we have enough like minded people that we will win every election. If people want to come and join, they should know we are going to talk about and promote the values and the people that honor the platform.

The first two things we need to talk about when discussing any threat to the Republican Party is who is threatening the party and what are they trying to do. Individuals in the Libertarian party (or closely associated with it) and an auxiliary group called the Republican Liberty Caucus is who I am specifically using as examples, but when answering the question, “what they are trying to do”, it would include any individual or any group who is working to change the fundamental identity of the Republican party.  

What am I saying about these people or these groups? I am not saying they are evil or they have no right to work for change….. but I am their beliefs have some very serious fundamental differences with the Republican Party platform. I am saying we can mindlessly talk about a party with enough room for everybody until the end of time, but if people in the Republican party want the party to really stand for something then it can not stand for everything.  There are groups who salivate over the power and the votes of both major parties, but they do not want that power or the votes to do what the people in those political parties want done. Nevertheless, here in Liberty County they speak loud and clear about what they want in meetings of their own, but they are much more selective when they sit in a Republican meeting. Or at least it would seem so since when I posted some of their groups’ own beliefs in their own words, I was called all kinds of names and there were all kinds of denials and waffling and posturing. 

The leader of the Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) I have discussed in a previous article. His name is Jeff LeBlanc and I will say it again, nice guy with a good head on his shoulders and many of his views are similar to real Republicans. The problem with him and his group participating unchecked in the local party may not be evident to most people. This group has a great deal of similarities with Republicans, but they say in their own material they will not take a stand on things like homosexual/gay marriage or right to life, and they also have expressed a libertarian view toward the military and trade. And perhaps the one thing most damaging is this auxiliary group is constantly deciding whether or not they will support this Republican or this Democrat or some third party candidate. That is certainly okay for an individual, but it is not acceptable routine from party officials or an auxiliary group. 

I will refrain from analyzing Mr. LeBlanc’s rebuttal of my objections because he clearly didn’t read or misread my post. He kept referencing the same material I had already posted about their refusal to take a stance on certain issues the party had clearly taken a stance on. Mr. LeBlanc himself takes a Republican stance on these issues and I want to think he is trying to bring their group over to his way of thinking. He could be a valuable asset to the Republican party.

So let’s look at an individual who identifies with the group. I don’t mind mentioning names because these are grown people involved in public discourse. They should do like I did for years and attach a name and a face to what they believe. Kaleb Brown’s posts when I posted the RLC own beliefs (unedited) on facebook is an example. When one thinks about how these differences would cause a huge split in the party and cause the kind of disunity that loses elections if we ever allowed enough of this kind of thinking to get to the state convention it. Here is his post: 

It is pathetic when an individual who shares almost the same exact political platform with others would work to destroy and discredit them because the groups platform doesn't state a stance on homosexuality. Grow up you childish little boy. Are they supporting it? Are they taking a different approach than you? This man would cut his nose off to spite his face. I've lost respect for this person ……” 

First of all, I commented on two specific things and two general ones and Kaleb chose to address homosexuality. But let’s take his reasoning on groups taking no stance on what is in the platform. Let’s go through the platform one plank at a time and think about groups that would call themselves Republican who would take no stance on party planks. And then let’s just throw in the fact that this group openly says things (post primary) like, “surely you are not going to vote for John Cornyn”. Kaleb calling me “a childish little boy” is the best part of his argument. When not being for party planks and candidates that the Republican party is promoting, it is easier to call the person that challenges you a name than to make any kind of argument to defend that kind of behavior. 

Let’s look at another person who makes bold statements that he is entitled to, but Republicans do not want to be identified with them. Keith Strahan is a lawyer and frequents his hometown to discuss politics and participate in some of the meetings of the groups I have mentioned. Here is one of his facebook post: 

Keith Strahan says, “The only solution is to decentralize power. The real issue at the time of the founding was how strong state governments were so it created a lot of conflicts. And, because of these conflicts, they needed to have some sort of federal government that oversaw said conflicts. My solution is to even start breaking down state government. Creating a free market of governments that would allow people to "vote with their feet."

Strahan continues,
Secession isn't only for the state. It's for the county, the city, and eventually, the individual. It's radical, I know. But start with that basic philosophy of the sovereignty of the individual, and see what you can build from there.”

Strahan talks about considering writing a new constitution as if the old one is no longer working. Libertarians like Strahan seem to want a system where liberty “is”, not a political system like the Founders envisioned where it requires continual vigilance. He is totally out of step with the Republican party and, even though he is a nice guy from a good Liberty family, if he were allowed to express these ideas as part of a big tent party, it would be embarrassing to the party. 

Then there is Robert W. Thornton, another Liberty grad. Here is his post to a pastor in the Cleveland area (Pastor Aubrey Vaughan) :

“Aubrey, you don't know my heart, so never presume, never presume anything about me. I do, however, possess the analytical brain of a scientist because God gifted the human race with higher functioning brains. I believe that the Bible is the gift of God. I believe that the Bible is Divinely inspired. I do not believe that the evolution of oral traditions until they were finally written by scribes 3,000 years ago until 1,700 years ago, edited by man to promote a priestly power structure in the early Roman Catholic Church, and written before our analytical brains fully comprehended the gift of life and this universe and world is inerrant. If you are not actively stoning people who break the laws in the Bible and forcing women in your faith community to be subservient to their men, then you are not following the Bible yourself.

Mr. Thornton continues,
As for our Founding Fathers, they did not create a theocracy. They were dominated by deists who actually did not fully accept Jesus Christ (i.e. Thomas Jefferson, who openly did not believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ and wrote a beautiful document from where we derive the American notion of liberty and George Washington, who would not receive communion in the latter part of his life and was a Freemason). Freemasons were an enlightenment movement. I should know, I am one. Isaac Newton was also a Freemason. They created a secular government which is guided by our innate morals that we learn from both faith traditions and humanity. My main point is that your mixture of politics and religion is the same in the "Christian World" as Islamic theocracies are to the Muslim world. The only "True Government" that you idealize will ever exist is when we are in the Kingdom of God. To take away someone's rights because they do not fit your narrow view is wrong.”

The highlighted comments above are not what Republicans believe. There are people speaking boldly and loudly in groups where they get plenty of support. They want the power and the votes to win elections.In some ways they are no different than our President. They want to “fundamentally change America.” Bless their hearts, some of them are amazed at how smart they are….. perhaps we have raised our children protecting them so much from negative or critical remarks that we have them thinking they are as good and as smart as their momma and daddy have told them they are. I like the party platform and like many, if we ever change what we stand for, count me out. 

We are NOT TRYING TO FORM A THEOCRACY! I have never met anyone that wanted the priest and pastors or any church to run the government. That is what a theocracy is – no matter what these folks say. They need to from a thrid party and convince people to agree with them instead of ripping the Republican party to shreds and giving the country to liberals.

 

Oh and by the way, just because everything isn’t perfect, we still have the best form of governing on earth…….and we do not need to implement a try anything attitude just because we want things to be better.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

SIMPSON-MAZZOLI - What You Need To Know In Short Form



Reagan signed it, despite opposition from some of his most important allies, such as The Wall Street Journal and Simpson-Mazzoli became law. Today people that like to stain Reagan’s legacy love to bring up all of the spending during his eight years in office and how he dealt with the border crisis caused by the economic boom his policies caused. As for the spending, the Congress passed budgets and Reagan made trade-offs (all of that is a conversation for another day). As for the subject of this article, free market conservatives opposed the bill’s employer sanctions: Simpson-Mazzoli marked the first time any law held Americans criminally accountable for hiring illegal aliens.

It was a bet on an underlying deal, amnesty for 3 million illegals in return for enforcement of the immigration laws, including at the border. As happens in Washington D.C., it turns out that Reagan was deceived (a/k/a) lied to by those politicians who would continue to psuh for open borders.

Conservatives got the amnesty but they were cheated out of the enforcement. And most of us who know history are not up for another horse trading session with an even less trust worthy Democrat party and a weasel President.

AYN RAND HAS MORE THAN TWELVE DISCIPLES


 

 

Some Christians have embraced Ayn Rand’s writing almost like a second Bible and talk about “freedom” and “liberty” in a way that sends warning signals to those of us who are not in love with her work. Some individuals who have joined Tea Party groups and other conservative groups quote Atlas Shrugged like ideas like they use to quote scripture. They seem to be as excited about her ideas as they were about their own personal salvation experience.  And in many incidents are far more outspoken about “revelations” from her than God Himself.  How Ayn Rand’s philosophy is nothing new and I would say does not warrant any review except for this phenomenon of competition with the teachings of Jesus Christ? Should Christians really be using Ayn Rand as some kind of pillar to build the nation and their lives on? While it once would seem to have been a rhetorical question, now the answer seems to be a resounding “yes” for some Christians involved in today’s political movements.

I hate that. If you know someone who has been “enlightened” good luck in talking to them. Their actions will speak louder than their intellectual nimbleness and skills to help atheist Ayn Rand and her ideas resemble Biblical truth. And their enthusiasm and new vernacular for at least parts of her philosophy will be easily seen and very perplexing. They will be a long way from the “give Caesar what is Caesar’s” and “obey government authority” debates of the Founding Fathers. They will talk about “liberty” and the need for as close to no rules and laws as possible in a way that does not resemble the government or the laws passed by Moses or Patrick Henry.

Ayn Rand as a reference for Christians to help understand the following scriptures seems like it would never have a time or a following in all Christendom, but it has. I will post a few for Rand fans to explain how Jesus words correlate to Biblical truth and their wheels will immediately start turning to defend her philosophy or to disavow their allegiance to parts of her “truths”.

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” – Matt. 6:24

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mat 22:39b

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” – Mat 5:42

But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion.” Luke 10:33

 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.‘” – Luke 18:22

More than likely any lover of Ayn Rand will, and in the past has, dismissed any criticism of her. They are too invested in what they first considered near mind blowing revelations about what government and society could and should be. But Jesus and the scripture need no help from Rand and any truth she may have discovered was already in plain sight of the Creator that she denies even the existence of. Rand, and other bright people in history, may be great examples of why Jesus foretold that children and the poor and downtrodden may have a better shot at Heaven as that great creative mind Rand recognizes (while not recognizing the Lord’s gift), is prone to wander and wonder and wander some more.

After posting thios article a Christian brother who I have a great deal of respect for (considering I have just met him), sent me this link: 


It is Jesus Christ from w\Whom all liberty comes. Political liberty is based on, and flows from, the liberty we have in Christ who by His obedience has redeemed us from bondage to sin and Satan. That’s why Leviticus 25:10, a passage pointing toward Christ’s work of redemption, was put on our Liberty bell.

MY OPINION ABOUT AFFILIATION WITH LIBERTARIANS HAS NOT CHANGED, BUT MY OPINION OF THE SAME IDEAS THEY HAVE ABOUT GOVERNMENT EXPRESSED IN THE BIBLE, AND THERE ARE SOME, IS BROADER.

 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

TARGET ASK CUSTOMERS TO LEAVE THEIR GUNS OUTSIDE


The following story is from the AP and is posted here for a reference and for any local comments people wouldlike to make:

NEW YORK (AP) — Target is "respectfully" asking its customers to not bring firearms into its stores, even where it is allowed by law.

In a statement posted Wednesday on the retailer's corporate blog, interim CEO John Mulligan said that Target wants a "safe and inviting" atmosphere for its shoppers and employees.
"This is a complicated issue, but it boils down to a simple belief: Bringing firearms to Target creates an environment that is at odds with the family-friendly shopping and work experience we strive to create," he said.
In many states, carrying unconcealed guns in public is legal.
Molly Snyder, a Target spokeswoman, said that Target's move is a "request and not a prohibition."
"We don't have any plans for proactive communication to guests beyond what Target leadership shared today," she added.
Target does not sell guns in its stores or on its website.
Target Corp. made the announcement as it faced pressure about its policy on the "open carry" of firearms in its stores. A group called Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gathered nearly 400,000 signatures for a petition asking Target to prohibit shoppers from carrying guns into its stores.
The group has said it is responsible for getting several chains, including Chipotle, Starbucks and Jack in the Box, to to make similar moves. It introduced the campaign after gun rights groups carrying loaded rifles frequently gathered in Target stores including Texas, Alabama and North Carolina to demonstrate in support of "open carry" laws.
"Such positive safety changes made by some of our country's leading retailers are proof of the influence of women and mothers," said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "As we look toward election season, we hope our legislators are taking notice that when women and mothers collectively raise our voices — and soon cast our votes, we are determined to leave an impact."
The Minneapolis company's stock added 36 cents to $58. 73 in Wednesday mid-day trading

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Edward Shauberger - Docket Call for Child Sexual Assault

It has been almost a year since Edward Shauberger was indicted by a Liberty County, Texas grand jury on two counts of child sexual assault, arising from contact his adopted daughters.  On July 2, 2014 Shauberger will have one of his first docket calls in the 75th  judicial district court in Liberty, Texas on the Child Sexual Assault charges.  Shauberger's court appointed attorney is Gary Dennison.  The Liberty Courier and it's supporters wonder if the court has stipulated that Shauberger is avoid contact with his daughters and/or other young women?