The Sin Many Christian Men Are Loath to Repent

'IT'S DIFFICULT TO SLUT-SHAME KIM KARDASHIAN,' STATES GQ. BY GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING CHILDREN, THE MAGAZINE’S EDITORS REASON, ‘KIM FINALLY EARNED THE RIGHT TO TAKE OFF ALL HER CLOTHES.'

‘IT’S DIFFICULT TO SLUT-SHAME KIM KARDASHIAN,’ STATES GQ, WHOSE ABSURDIST EDITORS ADD  THAT, BY GETTING MARRIED AND HAVING CHILDREN,  ‘KIM FINALLY EARNED THE RIGHT TO TAKE OFF ALL HER CLOTHES.’

Tom Lance, Senior Pastor of the Grove Community Church in Inland Southern California, recently received a copy of GQ magazine in the mail. He was taken aback because he certainly had not subscribed to the men’s magazine.

Then he remembered buying a few subscriptions from his grandson – who was participating in a school fund-raising drive – and that he left it to the lad to choose the magazines his grandfather would receive.

So that’s how Pastor Lance received GQ’s 10TH ANNUAL LOVE, SEX & MADNESS ISSUE. It features a nude Kim Kardashian on the cover holding a strategically-placed leather jacket. The cover also teases a salacious article inside:  Jesus That’s Hot! A Very Christian Sex Scandal.

Now, the initial thought of this Christ follower was that the pastor found himself under spiritual attack.

That the devil knew the pastor’s wife would be on a women’s retreat when the magazine showed up unexpectedly in his mailbox. That the evil one sought to tempt the respected pastor to give in to sexual sin as King David did when he adulterously lay with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite.

But Pastor Lance saw things differently, he told the members of his megachurch.

He didn’t think the devil was leading him into temptation, he said, but that God was testing him. Much as He tested such Biblical figures as Abraham, whom the Almighty asked to sacrifice his son Isaac to see if there was anything Abraham would withhold from his Maker.

Well, Pastor Lance was equal to the test the Lord set before him. He left the magazine in its shrink-wrap and threw it in the garbage where it properly belonged.

That raises a question for all of us men (including yours truly) who consider ourselves faithful Christ followers:  if we unexpectedly received some  magazine in the mail with an unclothed (or scantily-clad) woman on the cover, would we throw it away or see what’s inside the shrink wrap?

The suspicion here is that many, if not most, would peek inside.

That’s based on a disquieting 2014 survey commissioned by Proven Men Ministries and conducted by the Barna Group. It found that more than half of men who profess to be “born-again” Christians admit to viewing pornography at least once a month. And nearly one in five confessed to a porn addiction.

It stands to reason that, if a Christian man either views pornography once a month (or more regularly) or, worse, has an uncontrollable porn problem, he wouldn’t hesitate to flip through the pages of GQ’s so-called LOVE, SEX & MADNESS ISSUE.

As to the half of us who do not view pornography once a month, who do not have a porn addiction, let us not think ourselves exemplars of sexual integrity. For many, if not most, of us commit sexual sin in other ways.

Indeed, most Christian men would agree that the following are unacceptable in the eyes of the Lord: Extramarital affairs. Consorting with prostitutes or “escorts.” Frequenting strip clubs. Watching porn.

Yet many of us think the following perfectly acceptable: Viewing “pictorials” of scantily-clad or partially-nude women in GQ’s annual LOVE, SEX & MADNESS ISSUE or Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue. Patronizing such so-called “breastaurants” as Hooters or Tilted Kilt. Ogling professional sports sirens like the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders or the UFC Octagon Girls. Following barely-clothed selfie queens on Instagram or Vine. Or simply checking out skimpily-attired temptresses at the local gym or public beach.

Jesus made it clear what He considers sexual sin. The man who but “looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

He is no different in the eyes of the Lord than the man who has sex outside of marriage. The unmarried man who pays a woman for sex. The man who buys a lap dance from a stripper. Or the man addicted to pornography.

All men, including those of us who are Christ followers, are susceptible to the “lust the eyes, and the lust of the flesh.”

So let those of us who routinely look lustfully upon women confess and repent our sin before God, ask His forgiveness and pray that we will be led not into temptation but delivered from ungodly sexual desire.

 

Elon Musk Says No to God, Yes to Computer Simulation

MUSK SUGGESTED TO HIS FELLOW TECH INDUSTRY “INFLUENCERS” THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A UNIVERSE THAT CAME FORTH NOT FROM THE MIND OF GOD, BUT, MORE LIKELY, BY A COMPUTER SIMULATION

MUSK SUGGESTED TO FELLOW TECH INDUSTRY “INFLUENCERS” THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A UNIVERSE THAT CAME FORTH NOT FROM THE MIND OF GOD, BUT, MORE LIKELY, BY A COMPUTER SIMULATION

In “Our Town” the Pulitzer Prize-winning play authored by Thornton Wilder, one of the characters, Rebecca Gibbs, tells her older brother George about the sick friend of hers, Jane Crofut, who received a strangely-addressed letter from her minister:

Jane Crofut The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; The Earth; The Solar System; The Universe; The Mind of God.

Nearly 80 years after “Our Town” was first performed at McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey, Elon Musk appeared this month at Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

The CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla suggested to his fellow tech industry “influencers” that we are living in a universe that came forth not from the mind of God, but, more likely, by a computer simulation. And he bases his fantastical belief on video games.

“The strongest argument,” said Musk, “for us being in a simulation probably is the following:

Forty years ago, we had pong. Like, two rectangles and a dot. That was what games were. Now, 40 years later, we have photorealistic, 3D simulations with millions of people playing simultaneously, and it’s getting better every year. Soon we’ll have virtual reality, augmented reality.

If you assume any rate of improvement at all, then the games will become indistinguishable from reality, even if that rate of advancement drops by a thousand from what it is now. Then, you just say, okay, let’s imagine it’s 10,000 years in the future – which is nothing on the evolutionary scale.

So given that we’re clearly on a trajectory to have games that are indistinguishable from reality, and those games could be played on any set-top box or on a PC or whatever, and there would be billions of such computers or set-top boxes, it would seem to follow that the odds were in base reality is one in billions.”

When asked point blank if he personally believed that all of us are but blissfully unaware simulants (“Sims” ) living in a world that really does not exist in a universe that is nothing more than a string of 0’s and 1’s, Musk responded, matter-of-factly: “Probably.”

That’s an extraordinary leap of faith by Musk. Indeed, in 2013, the tech genius sat down for an interview with Rainn Wilson, on the actor’s YouTube channel, “SoulPancake.” Wilson asked Musk, “Can science and religion coexist?” And Musk replied, “Probably not.” Yet, Musk is promulgating a belief that is a bizzaro version of creationism.

Daniel Jackson, who blogs for the U.K. weekly The Spectator, suggests that a neologism is required for Musk, and others who share his doctrine, who can’t be considered atheists, per se, because “atheism” means “without God.”

No, Musk and others who worship at the altar of technology, who believe the world as we know it was created by computer simulation (or perhaps some other manifestation of science fiction), might be best described as “Creathiests,” as Jackson suggests.

The irony is that the compulsion of Musk and other of his fellow tech industry influencers to explain how we got here – computer simulation, alien seeding of the earth, evolution, panspermia – actually confirms the veracity of the Bible.

Indeed, First Corinthians advises us that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” Like science fiction movies – including “Source Code (2011) ,” “Inception (2010),” “The Matrix (2009),” “Surrogates (2009 ),” “Vanilla Sky (2001),” “The Thirteenth Floor (1999 )” and “Total Recall, (1990)” – that have influenced beliefs by wise men like Elon Musk that the 7.4 billion people on this planet really don’t exist.

The CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is so confounded he told the technology faithful that “maybe we should be hopeful this is a simulation,” and that we are living in some sort of cosmic time loop. Otherwise, Musk fears, the time will come when “when civilization will cease to exist.”

Well, those of us who are Christ followers, are unafraid of the end of civilization as we know it. For we look forward to the day, prophesied in First Thessalonians,  “when the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.

And the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

How God Used Hollywood to Topple a Tyrant

FILM WAS BUT AN INSTRUMENT THE ALMIGHTY CHOSE TO BRING ABOUT HISTORIC CHANGE IN BUCHAREST.

FILM WAS BUT AN INSTRUMENT THE ALMIGHTY CHOSE TO BRING ABOUT HISTORIC CHANGE IN BUCHAREST.

In his latest Facebook post, the two-time Academy Award-winning actor Tom Hanks urges his legion of fans to see the documentary film “Chuck Norris vs. Communism.”

Directed by Ilinca Calugareanu, the film is set in 1980s Romania, under the rule of the notorious Nicolae Ceausescu. It is a testament, Hanks suggested, of “The power of film! To change the world.”

Well, film played a role in the transformation of Romania from the communist state it was during Ceausescu’s 22-year reign of repression to the free, democratic society it is today.

But it was the power of God that toppled Ceausescu’s regime. And film was but an instrument the Almighty chose to bring about historic change in Bucharest (as opposed to, say, the fire and brimstone he used to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, or the ten plagues he visited upon Pharaoh’s Egypt).

Indeed, “Chuck Norris vs. Communism” tells the story of how the advent of the VCR enabled the Romanian people to secretly watch Western films, which was strictly forbidden by the Ceausescu government.

VCRs were smuggled into Romania, where a unit fetched roughly the same price as an automobile. Enterprising Romanian entrepreneurs “held home-based viewing parties,” according to the Journal of Religion & Film, and “created an underground economy of illegal film watching.”

Hollywood action films were a favorite of Romania’s underground moviegoers. And Chuck Norris was the biggest draw – thus the title of the documentary Hanks declared a must-see.

But the real star of the documentary is not Norris but Irina Margareta Nistor, who in 1980 graduated college in her native Romania with a degree in foreign languages, and who thereupon went to work as a translator for Romanian state television.

In 1985, Irina was approached by a colleague who asked if she would be interested in dubbing foreign films, which was verboten in Ceausescu’s Romania. But 28-year-old Irina was willing to take the risk.

So she was introduced to Teodor Zamfir, an enterprising entrepreneur who smuggled into Romania VHS tapes of Hollywood films. And between 1985 and 1989, the year Ceausescu’s communist regime was finally turned out of power, Irina dubbed more than 1,000 movies.

She would work from 8:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon Romanian state television, censoring content for government-approved broadcast. Then she would stealthily walk two blocks to Zamfir’s apartment, where she would dub films until midnight in an improvised studio he set up in his basement.

It was dangerous work. And Irina had no idea what might happen to her if her forbidden activities were discovered by the Securitate, Ceausescu’s secret police.

But God was with the young Romanian woman with the husky, high-pitched voice (as documentarian described it) that became one of the most recognizable in the communist country.

Indeed, Irina managed for a number of years to remain out of the cross hairs of the secret police – whom, she suspected, knew who she was and what she was doing in Zamfir’s basement, but tolerated her subversive activities, because like many Romanians, they enjoyed re-dubbed Hollywood films.

That all changed when Irina dared to do a voiceover for “Jesus of Nazareth,” the BBC miniseries helmed by the Italian director Francisco Zeffirelli – which was rebroadcast on NBC in 1981, winning an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Special Drama,” and re-rebroadcast four more times through 1990.

In “Chuck Norris vs. Communism,” a Romanian filmgoer remembers attending a secret screening of “Jesus of Nazareth,” during which fellow filmgoers were openly weeping during the crucifixion scene.

Such cinematic depictions of the Gospel were new to the Romanian people, as religious services were outlawed by Ceausescu’s government and even references to “God” were banned.

Several Romanian clerics were interviewed for the documentary and they attested that the bootleg VHS films from Hollywood not only had salutary effect on the social lives of the repressed Romanian people but, also, importantly, their spiritual lives.

It was not long after Irina Margareta Nistor made her Romanian re-dub of “Jesus of Nazareth,” which attracted to her the unwanted attention of the Romanian secret police, that the Romanian revolution began. That very well saved the young woman from arrest, imprisonment and maybe even death.

As to Ceausescu, the judgment of God fell upon him.

The Romanian tyrant was weighed in the balances and found wanting. And God put an end to his reign.

Is Donald Trump Evil? The Religious Left Thinks He Is

TRUMP'S BIBLE

DONALD TRUMP, THE PRESUMPTIVE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, ENJOYS FAR MORE SUPPORT AMONG EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS THAN HILLARY CLINTON, THE DARLING OF THE RELIGIOUS LEFT.

“Christians are ‘called to resist’ Trump.” So read the headline accompanying a polemic authored by Rev. Dr. David Gushee, Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia.

It was published this past week by Religion News Service, which provides left-of-center religious news and commentary to more than 100 media outlets, including the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune and Huffington Post.

The “call” to which Gushee referred is a statement (which he helped draft) that was released last month by “a multiracial group of Christian ministers and scholars.”

The group condemns Donald Trump, they say, because the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee “promotes racial and religious bigotry, disrespects the dignity of women, harms civil public discourse, offends moral decency, and seeks to manipulate religion.”

The Trump “phenomenon,” as Gushee put it, “challenges Christians at a core moral level.” And nothing less than “faithfulness to Jesus is at stake in how American Christians respond.”

Indeed, wrote Gushee, there were “two particular moments in 20th-century history in which groups of Christians made major statements claiming that the very purity of the faith was at stake and that a failure to resist represented a failure to follow Jesus.”

Those two instances, according to the Mercer theologian, “were Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa.”

This is the narrative Gushee and his friends on the religious Left are promulgating about Candidate Trump – that if he is elected president, the United States will transmogrify into Germany under Adolf Hitler, or South Africa under Daniel François Malan (on whose watch apartheid was instituted).

So, suggests Gushee, those of us who count ourselves Christ followers must resist Trump – which, presumably, means we should cast votes for Hillary Clinton in November).

In fact, in previous of Gushee’s writings, the theologian-turned-political activist has exalted the presumed Democratic presidential nominee like she’s but one notch below the Virgin Mary.

As he sees it, “Hillary’s mainline Christian faith” is “about love and service, not judgment,” in contrast to “the conservative evangelicalism mainly being offered by the Republicans.”

And here’s what you won’t hear from Madam Clinton, Gushee wrote, approvingly: “Nothing about America as a Christian nation or America’s Christian heritage. Nothing about defending Christians or protecting Christianity or religious liberty. Nothing about rolling back gay rights or abortion. Nothing about America’s dangerous slide into secularism. Nothing that involves attacking people of other faiths or saying we need to keep them out.”

Well, who wants a president who refuses to acknowledge America’s Christian heritage? Who won’t stand up for religious liberty? Who dismisses the Apostle Paul’s warning that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God?

Who is sanguine about the yearly slaughter of the unborn? Who prefers that America be a strictly secular state, rather than one nation under God? Who refuses to recognize that radical Islamists pose a clear and present danger to the American people?

That’s the kind of president the Rev. Dr. David Gushee and his friends on the religious Left desperately want.

But for those of us on the Christian right, who do not share the decidedly unBiblical worldview of Gushee and like-minded ministers and scholars, we find Donald Trump the more palatable choice.

The Christ Follower Who Saved a Billion People

NORMAN BORLAUG, A DEVOTED CHRISTIAN, WAS THE FATHER OF THE 'GREEN REVOLUTION.'

NORMAN BORLAUG, A DEVOTED CHRISTIAN, WAS THE FATHER OF THE ‘GREEN REVOLUTION.’

Forty-five years ago this past Friday, Norman Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. “More than any other person of (the) age,” the Nobel Committee stated, the Christ follower had “helped to provide bread for a hungry world.”

Indeed, Dr. Borlaug, who grew up on an Iowa farm, who earned a Ph.D in plant pathology, was the father of the “green revolution.” His breakthroughs in breeding high-yielding crops averted the mass famines widely predicted during the 1960s.  In so doing, he “alter(ed) the course of history,” the New York Times eulogized in 2009.

In his Nobel Lecture, Borlaug noted, “Man’s survival, from the time of Adam and Eve until the invention of agriculture, must have been precarious because of his inability to ensure his food supply.” And even the invention of agriculture did not free man from fear of food shortages, hunger, and famine.

“That such catastrophes occurred periodically in ancient times is amply clear from numerous biblical references,” said Borlaug, a baptized and confirmed Lutheran. Then the Nobel laureate proceeded to quote several Old Testament scriptures.

“Thus, the Lord said: ‘I have smitten you with blasting and mildew.’” “The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered… The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.”

Borlaug’s life’s calling occurred when he was but a lad, growing up on a farm in Iowa. “He’d wonder,” his sister Charlotte remembered, “why in some areas the grass would be so green, then over here it wouldn’t be.”

That God had anointed Borlaug to feed the world’s hungry was evident by a remark the Nobel laureate told a biographer.

“When wheat is ripening properly, ” said Borlaug, “when the wind is blowing across the field, you can hear the beards of the wheat rubbing together. “They sound like the pine needles in a forest. It is a sweet, whispering music that once you hear, you never forget.”

Like the still, small voice of God.

Borlaug’s de facto ministry began in earnest in 1944 when he joined the Rockefeller Foundation’s Mexican hunger project. The goal was to boost the underdeveloped country’s wheat production to feed its growing population.

When Borlaug arrived in Mexico, he was almost overcome with despair, as the New York Times recounted. The soils were depleted. The crops were disease-ridden. And yields were so low Mexican farmers could hardly feed their own families, much less a hungry nation.

But the Lord was with Borlaug. During his 16 years with the Mexican hunger project, he succeeded in breeding high-yield, disease-resistant, semi-dwarf wheat. And by the early 1960s, Mexican wheat output had increased to six times the levels of the early 1940s.

The Mexico miracle prompted the governments of India and Pakistan to seek Borlaug’s help, after which the two nations ordered shiploads of his wheat seeds. And, much like Mexico, both India and Pakistan saw exponential increases in their wheat harvests, enabling both nations to avoid famine.

Then Borlaug lent his God-given gifts to a project in the Philippines to work on rice, the staple crop for roughly half the world’s population. Employing the same breeding process he used to develop Mexican wheat, Borlaug developed new varieties of rice that produced several times the yield of traditional varieties.

Borlaug’s contribution to humanity can hardly be overstated. As Gary H. Toenniessen, the Rockefeller Foundation’s director of agricultural programs, said in 2009 – the year Borlaug went to be with the Lord – half the world’s population (goes) to bed each night after consuming grain descended from one of Borlaug’s high-yield varieties.

And that is why the Christ follower has been called “The Man Who Saved a Billion Lives.”

Indeed, that’s exactly what Christ, Himself, foretold more than 2000 years ago as He sat down to the Last Supper with His disciples.

“Most assuredly,” the Lord told them, “he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will also do; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

There’s a War on Christmas and Christmas is Losing

PRESIDENT OBAMA, THE PROFESSED CHRISTIAN, DARED NOT  SEND A WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS CARD DEPICTING THE  NATVITY. INSTEAD HE REPLACED THE VIRGIN MARY AND THE CHRIST CHILD WITH  THE OBAMA FAMILY DOGS.

PRESIDENT OBAMA, THE PROFESSED CHRISTIAN, DARED NOT SEND A WHITE HOUSE CHRISTMAS CARD DEPICTING THE NATVITY. INSTEAD HE REPLACED THE VIRGIN MARY AND THE CHRIST CHILD WITH THE OBAMA FAMILY DOGS.

Today is the first day of Advent, which marks the start of the pre-Christmas season. It is observed by many, if not most, of the Catholic faithful. And it is in popularity among Protestants, particularly those of us who count ourselves evangelical Christians.

Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. During that four-week period, the Christian faithful prepare for the commemoration of the birth of Christ.

Satan hates Advent. That’s because he wants to take the “Christ” out of Christmas. He doesn’t want Christmas to be a Godly “holy-day.” Rather, his aim is to reduce the birth of Christ to an unGodly, secularized “holiday,” on a par with, say, Halloween.

And, lamentably, Satan and his minions have largely succeeded in hijacking Christmas.

Indeed, no longer is Christmas a celebration of Christ’s birth, but the worship of Mammon. It begins the day after Thanksgiving, which is aptly named Black Friday. It is a day of orgiastic buying and selling in America’s temples of commerce.

Meanwhile, the evil one’s useful idiots have driven Christ out of the public square during Christmas.

That begins at the White House, where the president of the United States, who claims to be a Christian, sends out Christmas cards that do not mention Christ. Like last year, when the White House Christmas card featured the Obama Family’s two dogs – rather than, say, the Virgin Mary and the Christ child – with the secularist message:

“In this wondrous season, may the spirit of the holidays bring you strength and happiness.”

And Obama is not the only elected official doing the work of the devil; taking the Christ out of Christmas.

In 2014, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio declared that New York City public schools could no longer have holiday concerts featuring songs in which the lyric “Christmas” was sung. “I don’t hate Christmas,” de Blasio claimed, “but it’s not about me, it’s about the thousands of children that don’t celebrate Christmas, and could find it offensive.”

Then there are the atheists, and their sympathizers, who use the courts to attack Christmas.

That’s what happened this past April when a three-judge panel of the liberal Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco outlawed the Nativity scenes depicted on large dioramas in Santa Monica, California’s Palisades Park.

Those dioramas had been erected in the park every Christmas season since the 1950s.

That’s why the redeemed of the Lord should stand up for Christmas during Advent. For the Word of God promises that if we resist the Devil, he will flee from us.

Could the Doctrine of the Trinity Be Wrong?

THE TRINITARIAN DOCTRINE WAS GIVEN THE IMPRIMATUR OF THE POST-APOSTOLIC CHURCH AT THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA.

THE TRINITARIAN  DOCTRINE WAS GIVEN THE IMPRIMATUR OF THE POST-APOSTOLIC CHURCH AT THE FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA.

“Who do men say I am?” Jesus posed the question to his disciples as they went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi. John the Baptist, Elijah or other of the prophets, they answered.

“But who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked them. And while 11 of the 12 disciples were uncertain, Peter responded, “You are the Christ.”

This account, taken from the Gospel According to Mark, appears in slightly different form in Matthew and Luke, the other two synoptic gospels. What is noteworthy is that in none of the accounts does Jesus say He is other than the Son of God.

He does not say He is, at once, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

It is because of that ambiguity that in 325 AD the Roman emperor Constantine the Great – who reputedly converted to Christianity 13 years earlier – summoned some 300 bishops of the post-Apostolic church – including Philocalus of Caesarea Philippi  – to the lakeside city of Nicaea to decide who the church believed Jesus to be.

And 1,690 years ago this past week, the so-called First Council of Nicaea concluded two months of ecumenical debate with the decision that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and the same.

That bestowed the church’s official imprimatur upon the disputed doctrine of trinitarianism, leaving a mark on Christendom that endures to this very day.

Indeed, those who refused to accept the conclusions at Nicaea were condemned as heretics – like Arius, the Alexandrian presbyter who accepted the divinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but who challenged the idea of a triune “godhead” made up of three coequal, coeternal supreme beings.

Arius believed God the Alpha and the Omega; the beginning and the ending; the One Who was, Who is, and is to come; the Almighty.

He believed Jesus to be, “the first born of all creation,” the “only begotten Son of God.” He held that Jesus and God were of like essence, but not the same essence. He also taught that Jesus was perfect and unchanging; that He was in all things subject and obedient to the Father; that He was sent to earth to take away the sin of the world.

As to the Holy Spirit, Arius did not think it an actual being, but the illuminating and sanctifying power of God, which was indeed divine, but unequal to either the Father or the Son.

In today’s Christian church, be it Roman Catholic or Protestant, those who bend towards the Arian view, who question the “mystery” of the Trinity – that “the Lord is one,” yet  He manifests Himself as three distinct beings – are perceived as having theological views that border on the blasphemous.

But the Trinitarian doctrine is extremely problematic. It requires those who read the Word of God to convince themselves that it doesn’t really mean what it plainly says with respect to the relationship between God and the Son of God.

Indeed, if Jesus is God, and God Jesus, as most Christian churches espouse today, why did Jesus say, in the Gospel According to John, “I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I.”?

Why did Jesus advise his disciples, in the Gospel According to Mark, all would one day see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory, but that of that day and hour no one knows, “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the father.”

Then there’s the passion of Christ, from the Garden of Gethsemane to the cross at Golgotha.

As the Lord prayed in the garden, He cried out, according to Mark’s gospel, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Then on the cross, the Gospel of Matthew tells us that, about the ninth hour Jesus cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

If Jesus and God were one and the same being, then the Lord need not have asked the Father to spare Him the ordeal that awaited. He could have decided so Himself. And he needn’t have asked God why He had forsaken Him. Because He would have been asking Himself why He had forsaken Himself.

Because the Trinitarian doctrine has been accepted wisdom in Christendom since the First Council of Nicaea nearly 1,700 years ago, we accept it today as gospel truth. But it is abundantly clear, not from church traditions, but from the words of Christ Himself, that the doctrine is wrong.

Who Says There is No Proof of Life After Death?

TNT'S  DRAMATIC SERIES, 'PROOF,' PONDERS WHETHER THERE IS LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE.

TNT’S DRAMATIC SERIES, ‘PROOF,’ PONDERS WHETHER THERE IS LIFE BEYOND THE GRAVE.

Ivan Turing is a tech billionaire. Dr. Carolyn Tyler is a cardiothoracic surgeon. Their divine appointment informs the plot of “Proof,” a dramatic series with decidedly religious overtones, which airs on TNT.

Turing, played by the actor Matthew Modine, is terminally ill. He wants to know whether there is life after death. So he recruits Tyler, played by the actress Jennifer Beals, to investigate.

The surgeon reluctantly agrees. But only after the billionaire (who bears a striking similarity to the late Steve Jobs) makes her an offer she can’t refuse – leaving his vast fortune after he dies to the hospital where she practices.

Turing chooses Tyler because he secretly knows the surgeon’s back story. She is one year removed from the accidental death of her teen-aged son. And she herself had a near-death experience (NDE) when traveling abroad on an ocean liner that capsized during a tsunami.

During her NDE, Tyler saw her deceased son reaching out his hand to her, welcoming her to the afterlife. But later she attributed what she experienced to hallucination.

That’s how those without a faith life, those skeptical of life after death, explain away evidence of the hereafter. But those of us who are Christ followers know better. For the Scripture tells us that God “has put eternity in (our) hearts.”

And as to skeptics who insist there is absolutely no scientific evidence of life after death, they are dead wrong.

Indeed, scientists at the University of Southampton spent four years examining more than 2,000 patients who suffered cardiac arrests in 15 hospitals in Great Britain, the United States and Austria. It was largest ever medical study of near-death and out of body experiences.

In findings published last year in the journal Resuscitation, the scientists reported that nearly 40 percent of those who survived described some kind of “awareness” during the time they were clinically dead, before doctors restarted their hearts.

One particular patient, a 57-year-old man, recalled leaving his body entirely and watching his resuscitation from the corner of the operating room. Despite being “dead” for three minutes, he recounted the actions of the nursing staff in detail and described the sound of machines in the OR.

That cannot be attributed to anything other than life after death, suggested Dr. Sam Parnia, who led the study. “We know,” he said, “the brain can’t function when the heart stops beating,” as it did in the cases of those who suffered cardiac arrest, who lived to attest to their near-death experiences.

The Southampton study corroborates the testimony of Dr. Eben Alexander, the Harvard-trained brain neurosurgeon who authored the 2012 book, “Proof of Heaven,” which topped the New York Times bestsellers list.

Like the fictional Dr. Tyler, the real-life Dr. Alexander was skeptical of near-death and out-of-body experiences, dismissing them as figments of the imagination of medicated patients.

Then, Dr. Alexander contracted a severe case of bacterial meningitis, which put him in a coma for seven days, during which, he said, he experienced the afterlife. Like the “man in Christ,” according to the Apostle Paul, who either “in the body” or “out of the body,” he didn’t exactly know which, was “caught up to the third heaven.”

The third heaven, to which Paul referred on second reference as “Paradise,” sounds very much like the heavenly realm Dr. Alexander visited during his coma. In that realm, wrote the neurosurgeon, “Love is, without a doubt, the basis of everything.”

Indeed, Dr. Alexander continued, “This is the reality of realities, the incomprehensibly glorious truth of truths that lives and breathes at the core of everything that exists or will ever exist, and no remotely accurate understanding of who and what we are can be achieved by anyone who does not know it, and embody it in all of their actions.”

That is what awaits the Christ follower on the other side of the grave. And to one who has faith, no further explanation is necessary. And to one without faith, no plausible explanation is possible.

The Supreme Court Shakes Its Fist at God

HOMOSEXUALS DON'T 'DISRESPECT THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE,' WROTE JUSTICE KENNEDY. THEY  ‘RESPECT IT SO DEEPLY THAT THEY SEEK TO FIND ITS FULFILLMENT FOR THEMSELVES.’

HOMOSEXUALS DON’T ‘DISRESPECT THE IDEA OF MARRIAGE,’ WROTE JUSTICE KENNEDY.
THEY ‘RESPECT IT SO DEEPLY THAT THEY SEEK TO FIND ITS FULFILLMENT FOR THEMSELVES.’

The U.S. Supreme Court must think God asleep. In its most odious decision since Roe v. Wade, which over the past four decades has resulted in the slaughter of more than 57 million unborn children, the High Court on Friday declared homosexual marriage a Constitutional right.

In a majority opinion at odds with his putative Catholic faith, Justice Anthony Kennedy suggests that those who oppose “marriage equality” just don’t get where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are coming from.

“It would misunderstand these men and women,” wrote Kennedy, “to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law.”

Well, there’s a reason lesbians, gays and others who lie with strange flesh have been excluded from marriage – civilization’s oldest institution. It’s because they are an abomination in the eyes of God – if not Justice Kennedy, and fellow Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

And much as the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade condemned more than 57 million unborn babies to death – a staggering number considering that  the U.S. has suffered fewer than 1.4 million military deaths in all its wars combined – the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges will yield unintended consequences that this nation will come to rue.

Indeed, if there is now a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage, it is not hard to imagine that every conceivable perversion of marriage eventually will be countenanced under the law.

Consider, for instance, David Epstein, who in 2010 was a 46-year-old Columbia University political science professor, who sought fulfillment for himself and a 24-year-old woman with whom he enjoyed a consensual sexual relationship.

The problem for Epstein was that the young woman was his daughter, which got him arrested on charges of incest. The professor’s attorney argued, “It’s okay for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?”

Kody Brown similarly invokes same-sex marriage in defense of his lifestyle. The star of the TLC reality show “Sister Wives” former Utah resident has found fulfillment through his polygamous relationship with his four brides and their 17 children.

Attorney Jonathan Turley represented Brown and his so-called “plural family” in a 2013 case in which a federal court struck down the Beehive State’s ban on polygamy. On Friday he said the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges “resonates with our arguments.”

Then there’s the nightmare experience of Naila Amin, a 15-year-old Pakistani-American who grew up in Queens, New York. Following a Pakistani custom, the girl’s parents married her off to a 28-year old cousin back in their native country. Over young Naila’s protests, they put her on a plane and off she went.

Forced marriages of under-age girls are prevalent in certain immigrant communities the United States, though they currently are outside of the law.

But in the brave new world of laissez-faire marriage the High Court has given us, immigrant parents will need not send their under-age daughters to Pakistan, India, Somalia and other such backward countries to be wed against their will.

Child brides will be given in marriage right here in the United States and it will be perfectly legal.

The five justices whose redefinition of marriage upended more than 200 years of American law, and repudiated more than 6000 years of God’s law, think they have done this nation a supreme service.

But what they really have done is bring us closer to the day when the outcry against this fallen nation is so great, and its sins so very grave, that the Almighty will punish its peoples as He punished Sodom and Gomorrah.

Could ‘Strange Sound From the Sky’ Signal End of Days?

‘AND HE SHALL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH A GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET, AND THEY SHALL GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER.’

‘AND HE SHALL SEND HIS ANGELS WITH A GREAT SOUND OF A TRUMPET, AND THEY SHALL GATHER TOGETHER HIS ELECT FROM THE FOUR WINDS, FROM ONE END OF HEAVEN TO THE OTHER.’

The UK’s Daily Mail published a news story last weekend speculating on the source of a “strange sound from the sky” that has been heard across the globe for nearly a decade.

Witnesses told the Mail that what they heard sounded very much like the blast of a trumpet. And that it was so loud it shook the ground beneath them.

In a sidebar, the Mail listed seven possible theories, from the unremarkable to the fantastical, that could account for the strange sound from the sky.

The first six included (in order) tectonic plates grinding, atmospheric pressure, trains shunting, construction work, aliens, a HAARP (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) weapon and aliens.

But the theory that caught this Christ follower’s attention was seventh on the list – the seven trumpets of heaven ushering in the Apocalypse, as foreseen by John of Patmos, author of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

To non-believers, that might be a laughable proposition. But not to Christians.

Indeed, on the cusp of the new millennium, Newsweek published a cover story – “Prophecy: What the Bible Says About the End of the World” – that included a poll in which 71 percent of Evangelical Protestants (as well as 28 percent of non-Evangelical Protestants and 18 percent of Catholics) said they believed the world will end, as written in Revelation, in a battle at Armageddon between Christ and the Antichrist.

Well, this Christ follower counts himself among the 71 percent of evangelicals who believes the end-times prophecy of John of Patmos. But unlike many today who believe the end of days is imminent, I am unconvinced.

Because Christ, Himself, declared that “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

Yet, that has not deterred false prophecies of the end of days.

That includes the so-called “Great Disappointment,” which occurred in 1844 when Christ did not return to Earth as predicted by the Baptist pastor William Miller, who had urged his followers to give away all their worldly possessions.

There was also Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society (the sect known today as Jehovah’s Witnesses), who published a text in 1877 in which he predicted the rapture of the saints in 1878 and the second coming of the Lord.

Edgar Whisenant, an end-times zealot, authored the book “88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988,” and somehow managed to persuade Trinity Broadcasting Network to air special programming leading up to the rapture.

Then there was Harold Camping, the Christian radio show host, who predicted in 2009 that the rapture would take place May 21, 2011, and who lamented that he was “flabbergasted” that it didn’t happen.

Because there have been over the past two millennia so many who have been misled by end times predictions that have proven false, most Christ followers today think there next to zero chance that the rapture, the Apocalypse, the return of Christ will happen in their lifetimes.

And they almost certainly are right.

Yet, there remains that next to zero chance that ours is the generation that shall see the sign of the Lord’s coming, and of the end of the world.

And when that great and terrible day comes, when all the tribes of the earth mourn, when they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, he will send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet.

A trumpet that might very well sound like that strange sound from the sky that has been heard around the globe.

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