Saturday, November 14, 2015

Did Nazis (and Hitler) Practice Christianity?


I just read this article:

http://atheism.about.com/od/adolfhitlernazigermany/p/NaziChristian.htm

It made me really sad. The author's views are incredibly clear.  The obvious goal of that article is to represent Christianity as evil and violent.  If the author has to use extreme interpretations or fantasy as a primary information source, he does not seem to mind. Portraying history seems to very low on his priority list. One book is cited as well as a few links to other articles on about.com, but that appears to be the extend of sources cited. Mostly the author appears to rely mostly on his own intellect to fabricate the content he produces.  He might be a great atheist, but he does a horrible disservice to reality and truth.

No True Scotsman Fallacy

The atheist author brushes aside any argument that Nazis were perhaps calling themselves Christians while actually behaving in that exact opposite way a Christian should behave. He mentions the "No True Scotsman Fallacy" in a way that seems to imply that Christians can re-interpret any actions after the fact if Christians wish to disavow them. The only problem with applying this fallacy is that it has limitations. Someone is not making a fallacious argument just because someone asserts they are.

It would appear to me that one can only fall into this fallacy if they use subjective statements to back their claim that someone is behaving in a way that is not true to their claimed beliefs. Christianity does not make that mistake. We have a guide which is the final authority on what is and is not "proper" behavior for a Christian.  The bible has been around for almost two thousand years and is the standard by which all human behavior can be categorized as either Christ like or not.

Some key things to point out from the Bible:

Jesus never instructed his followers to kill, attack, or hurt anyone.
Jesus was a Jew and being a Christian means wanting to be more like Jesus. You cannot advocate hating and killing all Jews and be a true Christian.


Did All Christian's Support the Nazis?

The atheist article implies that the majority of protestants supported the Nazis because it was consistent with their faith. This is a very false statement.

I suggest you start your reading here:

Nazis planned to exterminate Christianity - creation.com
http://creation.com/nazis-planned-to-exterminate-christianity

quote from that article:
"As early as 1937, Protestant churches issued a manifesto objecting to Nazi policies, and the Nazis retaliated by arresting 700 pastors."


Suggested Books

If you really interested in known more about the Christian church during Nazi Germany (and about how Christians should view governments today), then I suggest you try these books:

God & Government: Charles W. Colson: 9780310277644: AmazonSmile: Books
http://smile.amazon.com/God-Government-Charles-W-Colson/dp/0310277647

When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany: Erwin W. Lutzer: 9780802446565: AmazonSmile: Books
http://smile.amazon.com/When-Nation-Forgets-God-Lessons/dp/0802446566/


Why should I read a book from a Christian author? Won't I see similar bias to the atheism article?

This is a reasonable question, but I think you will find, in general, that Christian authors try very hard to represent reality.  There are always bad apples that identify with a larger group that give the larger group a bad name.  This concept appears to entirely slip past the atheist author of the Nazi article.


Here are some things to consider about a Christian author vs. an Atheist author:

- Telling the truth is a primary tenant of the Christian faith. Christians believe that lying is a sin and has real consequences.

- Atheists have no such framework to discourage lying.  In fact not just atheists, but our culture as whole seems to accepting lying more and more.

- You will see in these books that the Christian author will at times criticize choices made by the Church or by certain Christians. This is because the goal is not to portray Christians as perfect, but to convey some other idea or truth the reader could benefit from.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Are People Born Homosexual / Gay and what does it mean?

This is a complex topic, but here are some thoughts to considerThis post is clearly not comprehensive. There is much more information that can be found on this topic. The thoughts below may perhaps be a different angle that some have not considered.

Are people born gay?

This article does a good introduction into this topic and some of the implications:

Born that way - creation.com
http://creation.com/born-that-way

Due to living in a broken, sinful world brought forth by original sin,  we are all born with sinful desires. So, we might be asking the wrong question.  The real question might be:

If I am born with predisposition to a certain behavior, does that automatically make that behavior good, valuable, useful, and worthy of praise?


Substitute the word gay with a long list of other words (i.e. liars, cheaters, thieves, alcoholics, etc...) and see if the arguments still make sense.


Different Uses of a Word
I think that our current culture defines "gay" as same gender attraction.  I think a more accurate view for biblical Christians is to define gay as someone who acts upon same gender attraction. As we mentioned earlier, everyone has sinful desires, but only those who act upon those desires are sinning. If you use this definition, as I think is more accurate, then nobody is ever born gay.  You can be born with predisposition to same gender attraction, but that does not have to define you or be your primary identity.  We are more than the sum of our genetics.

[I've changed the section below to give it content that I hope reflects my views a little better]

Legal Implications?

Often when someone is investigating this topic they are really exploring other related topics like laws and innate attributes of a person (attributes that a person has at birth that they did not choose).  My thoughts on these issues are as follows:

Legal standing
All people are created equal and should have equal legal standing before the law. regardless of everything else. We are all equal in God's eyes. we are all sinners. However, it is important to note that equal does not mean the same. Women and men are equal but different; intentionally unique. We should all have equal legal standing, but that does not mean that men should be able to use the women's restroom.

Innate
Regarding the use of innate things about a person. I think that the word innate might not be specific enough by itself to address the ideas that people are exploring these days. I am not sure what words to use to be more specific, but lets try innate attributes and innate behaviors.

We will define innate attributes as attributes that make up who someone is entirely separate from how they behave. These attributes are almost always something that can be seen with the eye or observed/measured in some way. Examples: hair color, skin color, eye color, blood type, length of legs, DNA, country of origin, etc....

We will define innate behaviors as those behaviors that one does not choose, but that a person feel strongly drawn to, possibly starting from birth. We will also include ideas, thoughts, and desires in this category because those are the seeds of behavior.

Regarding laws and creating protected classes:  I believe that only innate attributes should be used and innate behaviors should be excluded. Otherwise we open up Pandora's box with a very large list of potential classes.  Someone might feel like certain behaviors chose them and not the other way around, but is that enough to create a protected class for them?

This is not to say that only innate attributes should be used to create protected classes. I am saying that if innate factors are the fundamental concept used to decide if a class should be protected or not, then I believe innate attributes (and not behaviors) are the relevant factors.  There may be other innate factors that should be included, but at this time this is what I have come up with. The main point being that we should be very careful what we consider innate enough to make it a protected class.

Final Thoughts
As the article I linked to says, we all need the gospel. Homosexuals need God, as does everyone else. Only when we pursue the one true God, and let that pursuit change us, can we find the strength to live in a broken and sinful world.


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Does Death have a Purpose?


I do not want to get too theological, but the world was created by God without death. Death entered the world with Adam sinned and forever made this world broken and cursed.


However, even in this broken world death can have a positive effect.  Sometimes the death of a loved one is the only thing that can get through to us.


  • Death reminds us what is important in life.
  • Death makes us challenge what we value.
  • Death reminds us we are mortal and makes us think about life after death.
  • Death can bring our families closer.
  • Death can remind us we are loved by many people.
  • Death can bring us closer to God. 
  • Death can make someone who believes in no God and no after life, reconsider.
  • Death can get our attention in ways that nothing else can.
  • Death can make us think about how we invest our time.
  • Death can make us reach out to people we would normally ignore.
  • Death can make us improve our lifestyle choices.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Have you been Decieved? Common Lies

Here are some common lies that our culture struggles with. Have you been deceived?


LieTruth
Pursuing happiness is my purpose.Happiness is fleeting. You were created for more than seeking pleasure!
Love is a feeling.Real love is a decision and a choice. It must be grown like a plant. Infatuation does not equal love.
Truth is what I feel it is.Truth is absolute and is dictated by reality.
I'm a pretty good person, I'll probably go to heaven when I die.We are compared to God not to the worse person in society. We all fail when compared to God. You need more than being good.
If I don't feel "in love" anymore, then I need to move to a new relationship.Love is so much more than a feeling. You need to understand what love is before you look for happiness in the wrong places.
Life has no meaning or purposeGod created you. You are not an accident.You are not the result of random chance.
Real men do not express feelingsReal men have feelings, express them, and they even cry sometimes!
Women and men are interchangeableWomen and men are equals, but they have different strengths. We should embrace this, not ignore it!
I cannot help the way I am.Yes we are born faulty and sinful, but we can overcome that! Do not give in.
New means better, improved, superior!Newer does not always mean better. New lies seem to commonly replace old truths. Mankind likes to think we have progressed beyond some things, when really we just recycle our problems into newer problems!
I know what is best for me.Just like a small child, we often demand our way because we know it is best. However, just like a small child, we are often wrong. What we want is often bad, wrong, unhealthy, dangerous, and the cause of many of our major issues without us realizing it.

and so many more.  A comprehensive list would be huge!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I have given this some thought, perhaps you should look into it?

*Note: If someone sent this article to you, then they care about you! Spend a few minutes to read the article below. It cannot hurt.  It might be the best time investment you've made in a long time.

I am analytical by nature. I am skeptical at first of most everything I see, read, hear, etc...

I am not an idiot. I am not a fool.  I am not happy believing a myth just because it makes me feel good. It has to be real. I am not happy to follow a behavior system simply because it might produce good citizens or good people. It has to have the power to change me. It has to have the power to save me. It has to have the power to help me when I am: lost, hurting, lonely, depressed, tired, over whelmed, confused, and scared.  In other words, I want more than a warm fuzzy feeling about what I accept as true. It has to be supported by reality and be more powerful than me.  A doorknob or a statue just does not cut it!

In other words, I've given my worldview some thought; perhaps even more than you. Have you ever considered your worldview and how it shapes the way you see the world?  Yes, you have a worldview!  We all do.  If you've never intentionally thought about or shaped your worldview then your worldview has been created passively by your experiences, things you have accepted as true, things you have observed, and things you have incorporated into your thought processes.

My worldview is based on the premise that the Christian Bible is 100% true. All 66 books. This may seem foolish to some, but let me go a step further and assert that:

- I believe the Bible is accurate from Genesis (the first book) to Revelation (the last book)
- I believe a biblical worldview describes the goodness and the evil we see in the world around us better than any other explanation.
- I believe that science does not disprove the Bible, but supports its accuracy.
- I believe a biblical worldview answers all the big questions in life better than any other option.
- I believe that Bible gives great advice, provides great wisdom, and gives us great boundaries.
- I believe that living outside the boundaries God sets has serious consequences.


In other words, I believe the Bible is true and that the Bible accurately describes the reality we see each day. You do not have to take my word for it.  I am not asking you to immediately accept my views as accurate. I just want you to consider that your worldview matters. Exploring your current worldview and researching the merits of my worldview are something you should make a high priority! Do not wait until it is too late.

A distorted worldview can utterly destroy your life and leave huge devastation in your wake.  A proper worldview: gives you fulfillment, purpose, helps you make healthy choices, and explains all the big questions in life (where did man come from? what is man's purpose?  Does my life have meaning?  where does evil come from?  etc... ).  Failing to intentionally shape one's worldview can be very dangerous.  It is like gambling with your future and with the future of any people who you have the power to shape their worldview.

Alternative Views
I do not live under a rock, despite what some people may think. I am well aware that every religion in the world makes truth claims about our world and reality.  I am aware of the advancements of science over the last century.  I am aware that some people have discarded the Bible as a fair tale long ago.  It might be popular to believe all of these other views are simultaneously true, but that cannot be. Many of their claims contradict another religions claims.  Proposing 17 answers for the question, 1 + 1 = ? does not make all of them true or none of them true. One of them is still the only correct answer, it just creates a lot of noise so that you might miss the correct answer. 

I would like to finish by saying: questioning your worldview and actually changing the way you have seen the world for many years, can be extremely challenging.  It takes courage, strength, intelligence, and perseverance.  You have to give yourself permission to accept conclusions that are unpopular, uncommon, and possibly difficult to accept.  I think you can do it. It might be the best choice you have ever made!


Suggested reading resources:

This section covers the reliability of the Bible:  Bible Questions and Answers - creation.com
http://creation.com/bible-questions-and-answers

The Q&A section covers a wide range of great topics: history, genetics, the origin of life, archaeology, aliens, ethics, the age of the earth, science, geology,  etc.....

Q&A - creation.com
http://creation.com/qa#Some%20key%20articles

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Planned Parenthood - The Unnecessary face of abortion

Update: This link goes to an article which posits the idea that Planned parenthood does not do as much good as they claim and is probably not needed at all. Something to think about.

Defunding Planned Parenthood and Women's Health Care Access
http://dailysignal.com/2015/08/03/the-truth-about-defunding-planned-parenthood-and-womens-access-to-health-care/



Original Post:
There is a lot of controversy around abortion and Planned Parenthood. I have strong views on abortion, so I understand the controversy. However, it seems that leadership somewhere in our society is intentionally associating things that could be separated in order to create controversy, conflict, and deception.

Pro-life people appear to see the this issue like this:
murder = evil
abortion = murder
Planned Parenthood = abortion
Planned Parenthood = evil


Planned Parenthood advocates generally direct debate with these points:
  • Yes, Planned Parenthood gets federal funding, but the money does not go to abortions.
  • Planned Parenthood does so much more than abortions, if you defund them or kick them out of a community, then women's health / care will decline in that community.
  • .. and some other points which focus on the moral and legal areas of abortion, but I will focus on the previous two points for this post.
 Why does a community have to choose between allowing abortion and getting other family planning services or getting neither?  If Planned Parenthood really cared about "women's health services" than they would do something to distance themselves from abortion and focus and real health services.

If I was the director of Planned Parenthood, here is what I would do:

  • Immediately form two companies: one called Planned Parenthood that offers all the less controversial services that actually help communities.  The other company would have a different name and would only offer controversial services like abortion.
  • Request that all federal funding be directed to the new company called Planned Parenthood, that offers no controversial services. 
  • This way the claim that "Federal dollars do not pay for abortions" would actually be true and easy to check.
I doubt this will ever happen due to government / corporate cronyism (where the line between a corporation, government, and money is blurred beyond recognition).


Note: This article should be construed to mean that I support planned parenthood or any of the horrible actions they have done.  If any crimes were committed, then perpetrators should face consequences.  Even if no crimes were committed I do not support abortion.


About My Views
I am pro-life. For more information on my views regarding abortion see my other post: 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Your View of Sex may be a huge Lie!

 This sermon video is awesome. It covers a brief history of how we got to where our current culture's view of sex came from.

WHY JESUS CREATES SEX - Pastor Mark Driscoll
http://markdriscoll.org/sermons/why-jesus-creates-sex/