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Race: From an Outsider March 17, 2007

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Blog.
3 comments

To get myself back into the swing of things, I thought I would take some time to muse over something that has been such a big yet small part of my entire life. It’s big in that it has implications that are not apparent on the surface that must be dealt with, small because the sheer monotony of it all after all these years has rendered it virtually irrelevant.

I’m talking about race.

I can still remember that youthful, ignorant time when none of this mattered at all. I remember singing in Sunday school the song “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and having no idea what it meant when it said,”…red and yellow, black and white; They are precious in His sight…”

I have a vague memory of asking someone (I can’t remember who.) what it meant and beginning for the first time to grasp the concept of race. I finally recognized white people as white and black people as black (Though, to me, they looked brown, not black; and white people didn’t look that pasty. I could not for the life of me figure out why in the world they called American Indians “red” and Chinese “yellow.”).

Then, I have another separate memory of hearing about these people who have no definite race because they are equally or nearly equally composed of more than one race. I remember wondering what these people looked like. I remember wondering what it was like to have more than one race. Then I remember my parents informing me that I was one of these mixed kids.

I couldn’t believe it, at first. I looked at my parents and couldn’t see any differences at all. I looked at myself and couldn’t see any differences between me and all the other kids. Suddenly, I was conscious of the whispering and staring and pointing that we received whenever we set foot out the door because, at that time, interracial families were extremely rare.

Let’s hit the fast forward button to today. Things have changed a bit in that we are no longer such an oddity, at least, in the South. I’ve heard of odd things from other people who have recently ventured to that “blue” zone of the North, which I have not personally done since I was a little munchkin, or have moved from there. According to numerous personal accounts, the North is not a place where interracial families would want to live. The people up there even in big cities like Chicago still seem to view us as aliens from another planet.

So, for the most part, things are great. I have yet to meet anyone who is overtly racist, except for my aunt’s mother-in-law. Still, even when things are this great, there is still something missing. Most of the time I’m unconscious of it. It’s not something that I think about all that often; but whenever I encounter a “mutt” like myself, I can’t help but feel an extra sense of affinity to that person and a sort of joy at meeting someone who looks like me.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against anyone of any race. It’s just that one can’t help but feel like an outsider, a lone guppy among sharks. Part of the reason why has nothing to do with how people behave towards you. It’s a fact of reality that there are boundaries and cohesion among races. People are just more comfortable around people they look like. Just set foot into a room where you are the only person of your race and are surrounded by people who are of one race; and you will see what I mean. That’s the feeling that I have 24/7. To me, that is normal everyday average ordinary life, which, for the most part, I have gotten used to.

Still, another part of the reason has everything to do with how people behave towards you, whether it’s conscious or not. You do not belong. Most of the time, they know that. So they look at you as a stranger even after knowing each other for a while. This does fade after a good long time, thankfully; but the fact that it is consistent occurance without much of a breather does have an impact.
Sometimes the stranger attitude is more overt and never goes away. For example, if you are a white person looking at a half-black, half-white kid, what do you see? You see a black kid, right? If you are a black person looking at the same kid, what do you see? You see a white kid, right? Some people are quick and consistent in reminding you of this. The black people will refer to you as “white boy”, while white people will call you African American. (These days with the PC stuff around, they would not dare call you a “black boy” to your face.)

Of course, this is all assuming that you are not famous. When a “mutt” becomes famous, watch out! Suddenly, you find yourself in the middle of a great tug-of-war over which race you are. (Look at the battle over Tiger Woods a few years ago.) People on both sides demand that you choose a side and deny your true heritage. Tiger Woods did not give in; but some, such as Barack Obama, do cast one half of themselves aside because it is expedient to do so. It’s pathetic and maddening! Whenever I see this, I feel like spitting on the participants because it is pure hypocrisy. There’s no other way to look at it. (I do have to mention that, in such cases, the white half seems to generally have no claim by default.)

This is why I call myself an outsider. I am not famous. Therefore, I have no claim to my heritage. I do think of myself as being part of these races; but others don’t see it that way. So I have no race. I am a mixed-breed, a “mutt”. So all of us mixed-breeds must band together to form a new race, a race we can call our own, at least, until we become famous. 🙂

Death, Hell, and Apple Trees August 15, 2006

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Christianity, Religion.
1 comment so far

How can a loving God ever allow people to die and, especially, go to Hell? And what’s with that apple tree? Why would a loving God trap people like that? And what’s so bad about eating from a tree anyway?

Have you ever asked yourself this? Well, my answer to your questions is that God does all of this because He loves us. “He does this because He loves us?” you might ask. Yes, if He didn’t do this, we would be cursing Him for His coercion; but I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take this back a little bit by talking about death.

What exactly is death?

Most people would probably say that death occurs when the brain ceases to function; but this is an imperfect definition according to the Bible. For if death occurs when the brain ceases to function, then what is the second death in which there is no ceasing of brain function (Revelation 2:11, 20:6, 20:14, 21:8)? Also, the Bible is clear that a person continues to have thoughts without this brain after he dies whether or not he resides in heaven or hell (Luke 16:19-31); and thoughts are what truly matter and what people are concerned with, not the lifeless functioning of a computer.
Quite frankly, science has yet to figure out how a brain thinks on its own. The brain is basically a highly sophisticated computer. It stores information, sends out the information, receives information, has regular commands stored in it, etc.; but it does not reason, consider, or feel. Something is operating this computer. True, some theorize that if we make a computer sophisticated enough that it will eventually somehow think on its own; and there are computers that seem to think on their own; but we still have to program these computers to “think on their own.” Information had to be put into that computer. It isn’t really thinking on its own. It’s following commands and utilizing information that has been put into it. You can’t just create an advanced computer and expect it to come to life on its own. You have to also put in information, programs. It will never spontaneously come to “life” on its own upon creation.

So, then what is death? Death is a permanent separation. The first death occurs when the soul separates from the body; and the second death occurs when the soul is forever separated from God.
Think about it. When you mourn a death, you are not mourning the fact that a brain has ceased functioning. You are mourning the fact that you are now separated from that person, that soul who is dear to your heart, for the rest of your life and, maybe, for eternity if you are a Christian but that person did not accept the gift of eternal life.

So, when God warned Adam and Eve, who had never experienced death before, that they would die if they ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, He was warning them that He would cast them from His sight and protection, that they would no longer fellowship with Him.

So, why did God even set up this apple tree? Why put temptation in their way?

First of all, although the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is often portrayed in paintings and photos as being an apple tree, there is no indication in the Bible that this is actually so. More likely, the fruit this tree bore looked nothing like any of the fruit that we see today.

With that out of the way, we can discuss why God put it there.
Let me ask you something. If I asked you what kind of bread you wanted for a sandwich that I was going to make you and gave you the choice of either white bread or white bread, wouldn’t you wonder why I even bothered to ask you? In such a case, I am, obviously, determined to give you what I wanted to give you but offered you the choice just to say that I did; and, if you didn’t like it, I could say that you chose it.

God loves us and wanted our love in return. He gave us a truly remarkable gift, the gift of free will, that must exist in order for love to exist; but what good is free will if our only choices are the ones God wants us to make? Why bother give us free will?
If God had deprived Adam and Eve of the choice to disobey Him, how could anyone say that Adam and Eve truly loved God? It’s impossible.

Love must be a free choice, or else it is merely coercion. For love to be a free choice, there must actually exist choices.

That’s where the Tree comes in.
God loved Adam and Eve so much that He allowed them to choose to be separated from Him. He gave them ample warning that they would die (or be permanently separated from Him) if they ate it:

Genesis 3:1-3
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'””

Yet they still ate from it; but God, being the loving God that He is, gave them a path of redemption if they so chose to come back to Him.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This does not save us from the first death. Remember the first death is part of the curse God placed on man after they ate from the tree.

Genesis 3:19
19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

This is a temporary death for those who trust in God, though, for we will be reunited with our bodies born anew at the rapture.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.

With all of this explained, what then is Hell do you think?
So many times in the Bible good has been referred to as light and evil as darkness. What is darkness? Can you tell me? Darkness is the absense of light. If you try to find the particles that make up darkness, you will not find it because it is the absense of light that creates darkness.

In the same way, Hell is a place from which God has completely removed Himself in order to accommodate those who have chosen to reject Him. God loves us so much that He does not force Himself on us. If we do not want Him, He will let us go; but know that the absense of God means the absense of good because evil is the absense of good; and God is the definition of good.

God already cast Adam and Eve from His immediate presence; and this imperfect world is the result of only a bit of God removing Himself. How much more terrible is it when God completely removes Himself?

Therefore, Hell is the second death, the eternal separation from God.

Revelation 20:13-15
13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

This is the end of Part 1 in my series on God’s grace. More will come later.

Related Articles:
Part 1: Death, Hell, and Apple Trees

Is God Male? June 16, 2006

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Christianity, Philosophy, Religion.
3 comments

The most recent comment to my blog got me really thinking about something: Is God male?

I remember hearing people say that angels have no gender because they are spiritual beings who don't need one. I don't remember what the reasons for that are; but that made me wonder why God would need a gender.

It's true that God is called Father and Son; but are those gender designations or role descriptions?

To presume that God is male is to presume that God is somehow incomplete:

1 Corinthians 11:11-12
11
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

Men are only one half of the puzzle. Women are the other half.

Genesis 2:18
18
The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."

One definite indication that God has no gender is these verses.

Genesis 1:26-28
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 5:1-2
1 This is the written account of Adam's line. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them "man."

It is interesting to note that "adam" is the Hebrew word for "man".
Well, as you can see in these verses, God says the He will make man in His own image, in His likeness; yet goes on to say that "man" is both male and female together. This fact is made abundantly clear in Genesis 5 where it says that God created them male and female and called them "man".

Take particulate note of verse 27 in the first chapter, which says,"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."

It goes from singular to plural yet still being the same creature. This is also done in the fifth chapter which, as you can see, also goes from singular to plural while still referring to one being.

So what does this mean? Well, if you believe in the Trinity, the meaning becomes quite clear. If you look up at the verses from the first chapter that I have posted there, you will see that God refers to Himself as "we" and "us" and "our". This plurality is made even more apparent in the original Hebrew version, which, apparently, uses the plural form "elohim", meaning "gods" in English. Yet this plural form is used in a singular format.

Man was made in the likeness of God in that they were two separate beings yet one flesh, one person.

So why is this significant to determining the gender of God? Well, if God the Father and God the Son were both male (The Holy Spirit is more of an intangible being that seems to mostly do the bidding of the Father and the Son. This is made more firmly apparent by calling him the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost, using earthly terms that we understand.), then the image is imperfect. One of the two was represented imperfectly.

BUT, if God has no gender but rather the terms "Father" and "Son" are used to give us a picture of what role God has in our life using earthly terms that we understand, then gender would not matter in this picture, in this image of God. All that would matter is that the two be separate beings of one flesh, one person, which they were.

Genesis 2:21-24
21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." 24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

So why is God referred to as a "he"? Well, the angels are also referred to as "he". The word "he" doubles as a neutral term for both genders.

So why was Jesus, who was God the Son, a man? Well, there are various reasons why Jesus came down as a man. One would be that, at that time period, sons were viewed as equal with the father but not daughters.

John 5:18
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Another would be that Jesus had to come down as a man to atone for the sins of Adam, whom the woman is a part of. Take note, Jesus was born of Mary, a woman, but not of any earthly man. This means that Jesus lacks the Y-chromosome from an earthly man that is only passed down from father to son; but this does mean that Jesus had Eve's mtDNA, which is only passed down through the mother. Does this mean that Jesus did not descend from Adam? No, because Eve is Adam. Thus, God's promise to Eve that her offspring would "crush the head of the snake" was fulfilled, for Jesus was the only man ever to be born of only an earthly woman.

Another reason would be that no one would take a woman seriously.

Another reason would be to give the perfect picture of the church being Jesus' bride for whom He died for and whom He is the head of. A man, the head of the house, is supposed to lay down his life for his wife, not the other way around.

Ephesians 5:25
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

If God was male just because Jesus came down as a man, then God is also a bush since God appeared as a burning bush to Moses. God is also a pillar of fire and a cloud, which God appeared to the Israelites as. The Holy Spirit is actually a dove since that is how the Spirit materialized at Jesus' baptism.

But the most definitive piece of evidence is this:

Philippians 2:4-11
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death– even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

That clearly states that Jesus came in the likeness of a human and was found to be in the appearance as a man.
Now stop right there. Genesis says that man was created in the image of God. If that meant that man looked like God, then God would not have to make Himself look like a human and God would not have to make Himself look like a man because God would already have the appearance of a man. That is more proof that when God refers to "image" He is referring to the fact that Adam and Eve are two yet one and more proof that God is not male.
Jesus was a man, not by nature but by form. His blood could be shed for man to atone for our sins because it was the blood of a man but it was the soul of God, who is perfect.

The New Racism May 3, 2006

Posted by June in Artist Thinker Articles, Philosophy, Politics, Racism.
6 comments

I was going to do a piece on illegal immigration; but in light of Mr. Steele's column that I have posted here and that was featured on Rush, I am going to focus on something that has bothered me for some time. Racism.

We all know about white racism. It's been portrayed a thousand times in so many ways from books to movies to political speeches; but do we really recognize the new racism that has built itself on the remnants of the old? Do we see the discrimination? Do we see the hate?

No, I'm not talking about Neo-Nazis. I'm talking about the modern racism of minorities against white people. I'm talking about the fact that a white cop is branded as racist if he stops one too many blacks, while a black cop can do what he wants with whites. I'm talking about Hispanics who are deemed the victims of whites when they are the ones breaking the law. I'm talking about hate crime legislation, which consistently applies exclusively to crimes committed by white people against minorities creating the assumption that the murder of a minority by a white is somehow more wrong than the murder of a white by a minority. I'm talking about affirmative action that discriminates against whites and even Chinese, who are in no way a majority. I'm talking about the fact that whites were blamed for what happened to New Orleans even though whites suffered as well and even though whites from all across the country pitched in to help.

It's there. That racism is there; but we are unwilling to see it. We need to recognize it and deal with it.
When are we going to stop blaming the sons for the sins of the father? A majority of blacks proclaim themselves to be Christians, and a majority of Hispanics claim to be Catholic.

So why do we ignore such verses as:
1. Ezekiel 18:10-20
". . . 20 The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him."

2. Matthew 6:14-15
"14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

3. Luke 17:3-4
"3 So watch yourselves. "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him." "

It's annoying to be harrassed, sure. It seems that recently people have started branding us. This past winter my brother was ordered out of a movie theater by a police officer, who, by the way, was black, while he and I were saving seats for the rest of our party. The officer searched my brother's backpack and belt, which was a WWII pocket belt from an army surplus store, then confiscated the belt despite finding absolutely nothing of harm in it. What was my brother's crime? He was a slightly dark looking male with an army belt on. Boys walk around decked out in this stuff all the time; but my brother has been told that he cannot. Why? Well, likely because he looks a little Arab maybe? He's not; but he sort of looks like it to some people, I guess. To some he looks Hispanic, to others Arab, still others Chinese, and others even white… *shrug* It comes with the territory of mixed kids, I guess. People will see the pieces of you that they want to see.

By the way, I am certain that this white family sitting only a few seats away were the ones who alerted the officer and asked him to search my brother. I had noticed them staring at my brother and whispering when he walked in a little ahead of me. Plus, I noticed the same officer talking to them after he searched my brother. The worst part is that he was treated like a criminal with his belongings confiscated for no reason and did not even receive an apology. This wasn't the first time my brother has been searched; and I doubt it will be the last… The time before that a white manager had searched him.

This is all very annoying and embarrassing, as well as a violation of my brother's 4th Amendment rights; but does that mean we should blame all blacks and all whites for this? No! There are so many wonderful black and white people out there. Although there might be certain characteristics of a group of people, each person should be judged according to who that person is, not what he is.

Besides, in the end, minorities will be the ones who suffer the most. Affirmative action will get you into college; but it won't challenge you. It won't expand your abilities. It won't help you finish college.
This mindset of entitlements has done nothing to uplift the minority. You get your welfare check in the mail, sure; but you stay in your hole of poverty. You don't rise any higher. Your children don't rise any higher. Some even drop lower than you by committing crimes because the child believes he is entitled to the belongings of others who seem to be more fortunate than him.
In all of this, the minority remains bitter and hostile. It doesn't matter how much is given to him. It's never enough. So he loses out on one of the most important things in life: happiness. He barters it away for a welfare check, for moral indignation and superiority, for entitlements.

So I ask you how long we are going to ignore this? How long are we going to allow a race of people to be discriminated against?

Gas Prices April 23, 2006

Posted by June in Around the World, Artist Thinker Articles, Bureaucracy, Communism, Liberalism, Politics, Socialism.
2 comments

I hear people griping about the price of gas these days. True, the price is high; but that's what happens when hurricanes shut down oil refineries, when environmentalists require specific blends of gas, when inflation goes up, when OPEC raises the price of crude oil, when supply goes down and demand (such as the increase for demand in China and India) goes up, etc.

There's all this talk about windfall profits and how we should steal from oil companies to satisfy our own envy and greed. "But the oil companies deserve it! They purposely raise the price of gas because they know we need it!" is the cry. Well, where was that kind of talk only a few years ago when my father was worrying about whether or not he would have a job the next day, when the price of gas dropped to such low levels that companies could no longer keep paying their workers and began laying people off by the thousands and companies were shutting down one after another? Why didn't the evil oil companies or that one single person who controls the price of gas just simply raise the prices? Are they stupid or something? Did they suddenly get a philanthropic stirring in their hearts?
See how stupid that sounds? Supply and demand — that's the biggest factor in the current jump in price. If everyone collectively stops using so much fuel, stops going on those extra drives, carpools, walks when possible, etc. the price will fall back down.

One thing we could do to help lower the cost of oil even on average years when supply hasn't been cut down by a shortage of oil refineries or that special mandatory blend of gas is replacing the other blend and when the increase in demand caused by summer driving sprees isn't in effect is the one thing that these very same people who cry out about the prices refuse to allow, which is to allow for drilling in Alaska. Allowing American companies to get oil from our own country would lessen our dependence on foreign oil, most notably OPEC oil, which all too often comes from countries that have it in for the US. This would allow American companies to have access to cheaper crude oil, which will in turn force OPEC to lower its prices to compete and maintain their market.

"What about alternative fuels?" You might ask. Well, if such a thing exists or is even on the horizon, then why aren't you buying the cars that will allow for those fuels? If that's really an alternative right now or even in the near future, then it's the consumers' fault for not moving to those fuels, not the oil companies'. Capitalism accommodates the consumer. If there's a demand and if it's conceivable, you can bet it will be there. If you really want alternative fuels, start demanding it and start buying it. Don't start blaming other people when you, inevitably, don't because those new cars and fuels are more expensive, as I've been hearing about the alternative fuels that are being tested right now such as ethanol.

Oil is used for things other than gas, too. I definitely haven't heard of an alternative for those products. So oil will be around for a very long time, even if a viable alternative fuel shows up.

One thing that would really help would, probably, be if someone can find a cheaper way to make oil in an artificial manner. I've heard of these machines that allow for the synthesis of oil from shale; but I heard that it ends up being more expensive than bringing it up from the ground. I have a hard time understanding that since the things I've heard my dad in the past talk about how he gets oil from the ground are extremely complicated and expensive. (He once had to run off to deal with an oil rig that had dropped a 3 million dollar piece into the ocean. They never did recover it… That was only one piece of one oil rig.) These machines must be hard to operate and expensive to make.

Still, in the end, it is the consumer, OPEC, inflation, and these environmental regulations that determine the price, not oil companies. If you want a lower price, the immediate solution is to conserve your gas. Another thing that can be done is to get rid of environmental regulations. We can also decrease dependence on foreign oil by drilling in Alaska or more drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as Mexico is doing. The final uncertain alternative is to discover new fuels.

June

God’s Will Revealed? April 13, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Deism, Other, Philosophy, Religion.
7 comments

Last time I spoke on the existance of God and left you with a question that, hopefully, provoked some thought in you.

I suppose now you expect me to make the case for the Bible. After all, I have declared myself to be a Christian in any place I can here. But what good would that do? You won't believe it unless you open your heart and search out the truth for yourself.

Yes, I believe in Jesus and the Bible as being the Word of God. Now that I have said that, do you believe it? Or do doubts pop in your head? Maybe right now you are compiling all the lists of things you have searched out to prove the Bible wrong to yourself and are scoffing at the very idea of God giving mankind His Word and sending His Son to die for us. Maybe you will never be convinced that the Bible is anything more than a storybook. Maybe you believe that the Bible has some value but only as a book of philosophy on how to live a good life. Maybe you are one of those Christians who believes that the Bible is accurate in some areas but not in others and deem yourself as the arbiter of what is true and what is not rather than putting that right where it belongs and where assurance of accuracy can only be found, in God's hands.

The fact of the matter is that either the Bible is the Word of God, or It's a pack of lies. You have to choose one way or the other for the Bible and every document that claims to come from God. There is no middle ground. If one part of these books is a lie, then how could you possibly trust any of the rest of it?

So I am here now challenging you to seek the truth for yourself. Search where you have to search. Read some of my articles that I will later post on this subject if you wish. But I would rather you seek the truth for yourself. I have but one request: Keep an open mind about everything. EVERYTHING. This is not a game. If most of these religions are right, your soul is at stake.
What I ask of you though is to challenge, at least, some of what you have believed about the Bible's inaccuracies. Go to some Christian sources. Find their arguments on why those inaccuracies are a myth. Hold their proof up against the proof of the critics. Compare them side by side. Determine which sounds more reliable to you. If you find more questions along the way, again look for the arguments for and against what you have found. Again compare. This is my request. This is my challenge.

One thing I would like to point out, though, is something that you might find to be hard to believe until you look into it. And that is that everything good in this world has come from Christianity. The majority of the major religions in this world have gotten their inspiration from Christianity and the Bible. The Koran was written to mirror the Bible with some major changes and was written hundreds of years after the Bible spread. The Book of the Mormons was written with inspiration from the Bible. The Jehovah's Witnesses have gotten their version of the Bible almost directly from the Bible with some important revisions. I have heard it is said from a Buddhist that Buddha, who lived hundreds of years after Christianity spread, spoke of Jesus, which to me means that he could have derived some of his philosophies from the Bible.

Women's rights (The right to be treated with respect and dignity, not the right to treat your husbands like dog meat. There's a difference.), the Golden Rule, equality for all, etc. have all come from Christianity. Don't believe me? Search it out, or stay tuned.

Well, what about the Crusades? Is that what you are thinking? Well, let me ask you this. Would Jesus have approved? "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Being a Christian doesn't mean you are perfect or superior. It means you have been given the gift of life despite being the sinner that you are who doesn't deserve it. (Besides, the people who participated in the Crusades were professed Catholics. My grandmother is Catholic. My mother is a former Catholic. Some might skewer me for saying this; but it's not the same thing, especially the Catholicism that was practiced back then, which is markedly different from the current Catholicism which, in my opinion, has been softened in order to not lose membership due to the spreading of the Bible in native tongues. It's similar, but so are the Jehovah's Witnesses.)

Some have asked why we are so determined to convince others that Jesus is the way. "Why don't I just leave others alone and just believe what I want to believe without trying to convince others?" is something I have been asked. Well, for one thing, I think that everyone should have the opportunity to know the truth. For another, I don't want people to spend eternity in Hell. Also, if as many people as possible were Christians and did their best to follow what Jesus told us to do, then the world would be a better place. Plus, Jesus charged all Christians to tell the world about the good news. So that is what I am doing. Whether you believe in Jesus or not is entirely up to you. I've done my part.

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God's Will Revealed?

Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument March 14, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Deism, Other, Philosophy, Religion.
11 comments

Last time I talked about the myth of relativism and the theory of a gray world. With that cleared up, we can now see that there is indeed such a thing as universal truth. So what is it? How do we know; and who gets to decide what it is?

There is much scientific evidence for a Creator; but we cannot neglect the importance of the philosophical proof, which is what I will maintain as the focus of this article. The fact of the matter is that it is important for the survival and general contentment of mankind that there be a set of rules for all to follow. Not only is it important for basic person to person interaction, but also to justify the viability of principles that government is based on and the laws that it creates.

So who in this world is wise enough to set these standards up? If there is such a person, how could we possibly know that this is the real truth? What if he's/she's wrong? After all, even the wisest of individuals is only a human who is prone to mistakes and failures. Charles Darwin, a man revered by many, promoted racism. Just take a look at the full title of his book Origin of Species:

"On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life"

Of course, in a godless world, racism could very well be perfectly fine. After all, everything is relative.

Even some men I have admired have been quite racist. Much to my great sadness, Theodore Roosevelt was part of the eugenics movement, which promoted the extinction of "inferior races" by aborting the babies of or sterilizing black people. (I just have to smile at the thought that these eugenics people must be rolling in their graves at the fact that people like me exist. We are truly the abomination that they feared.)

So who does get to decide?

There could only be one being who has enough wisdom to make rules that will be to the benefit of the world; and that is the One who created it.

If there truly is no God, then we are all doomed to chaos.

And this can't just be the deist god who created the world then left it to its own devices. Such a god would have left this world in complete and total chaos, as well, because relativism would have reigned supreme. As I have shown, it is possible to discern the existence of God merely through some simple logic.
Thus, truth and good could be defined as the will of God. That turns us to our other dilemma:

How do we really know what God's will is?

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God's Will Revealed?

Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong? February 21, 2006

Posted by June in Agnosticism, Artist Thinker Articles, Atheism, Christianity, Communism, Deism, Liberalism, Other, Philosophy, Politics, Religion.
13 comments

 
I’ve heard it a thousand times. “The world is not black and white. There are things that are true for some people that aren’t true for others.”

Please excuse this simple-minded individual, but a world where truth is relative, in my opinion, would be hell on earth. Think about it. If truth were relative to each person’s own personal perspective and morals, then how could we possibly say that murder is wrong? Sure it’s wrong to us; but it’s not wrong to a host of people such as Ted Bundy, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Ted Kennedy, etc.

So what makes it wrong? Who said that it was wrong, and who are they that their morals and opinions be placed above everyone else’s?

If you think that the majority should rule the day, then what about things like the Aztecs sacrificing people from other tribes to their gods? The majority of Aztecs supported the murder of thousands of people from other tribes. Does that mean the conquistadors were wrong to come in and put a stop to it with the help of the neighboring tribes?

What about Nazi Germany? The majority of Germans at the time thought that it was perfectly all right to murder Jews.

What about Communist countries like China where innocent people are tortured and murdered for things like having an opposing opinion or converting to an unapproved religion?

What about the fact that the majority of the world still views women as possessions or beneath men? Western countries are really the only countries in the world that recognize women as equals. Is that right? Is that just?

If the majority said that dogs had 5 legs, would they be right simply because they are in the majority?

Also, if the majority rules, then why do we bother with this system of government that ensures the minority gets a voice?

I want to know. What makes murder, stealing, racism, assualt, rape, embezzlement, white GOP males, hick Bible-thumping close-minded fundamentalist Christians, and Southern cowboy Presidents wrong? Who says so, and who made him king of the world?

If you didn’t catch the sarcasm, go back and reread the last section until you get it because the significance of the hypocrisy I have satired is immeasurable. The fact of the matter is that, whether people like it or not, this is a black and white world. We can’t always find a pure white option; but there is such a thing as the lesser of two evils. One might say that that is proof that this world is gray; but think about it. Actually stop and think. How do we know which is the lesser of two evils? How do we know they contain any evil at all? We know because there is such a thing as black and white, good and evil. We just can’t get perfect good out of an imperfect world.

Just because gray-worlders insist upon closing their ears and their minds off to this truth, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Gray-worlders are simply people who are in the path of a tornado but close their minds, eyes, and ears off from the truth believing that they aren’t in it’s destructive path simply because they say they aren’t. As I like to say:

Truth never changes; opinions change.

Or, as President Abraham Lincoln so nicely puts it: “How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

Now to elaborate on the hypocrisy of the gray-worlders.
Gray-worlders would like us to believe that this world is full of relativity because it prevents anyone from judging their actions and allows them to condemn us for judging them. But STOP right here. Go back. Think about what I just said.
GRAY . . . . WORLDERS . . . . ARE . . . . CONDEMNING . . . . PEOPLE . . . . AND, THUS, . . . . JUDGING . . . . PEOPLE.

Get it? Do you see the hypocrisy now? Do you understand what I am trying to point out?

Gray-worlders use black-and-white arguments to propel the theory of a gray world.

They tell us that we are wrong for judging them, that a black and white world is wrong. BUT HOW COULD THEY POSSIBLY KNOW THAT AND, MOST CERTAINLY, PROCLAIM THAT?!! Truth is, supposedly, relative. A black and white world does exist because I think it exists. Since truth is relative to the person, the truth of a black and white world is true because it’s true to me. Can you see the hypocrisy? Can you see the chaos of such a ridiculous theory?

They tell us that we are closed-minded lunatics for saying that the world is completely black and white. They tell us that we are @#$&* for judging them, yet there they are judging us. There they are claiming with certainty that the world is gray when, if we truly are in a gray world, then there is no way that they could possibly claim that the world is gray because that right there is a black and white fact.

The only way you could claim that something is gray is if that means that it has pros and cons, qualities of good and evil, not relativism. Relativism does not exist.
When faced with this question, gray-worlders in the past have ignored me and reiterated their brainless arguments. Yes, I realize I am extremely sarcastic in this article. I have to admit (and I’m sure it’s obvious) that I am at the end of my rope with these brain-dead people who go round and round in a circle of the same argument without addressing mine. I guess I just need to remember: “Don’t cast pearls before swine.”

June

Related Articles
Part 1: Gray World: Why Is Murder Wrong?
Part 2: Does God Exist? — The Philosophical Argument
Part 3: God’s Will Revealed?