To my #nevertrump friends. So you are ready to burn down the Republican party because it no longer stands for the conservatism you hold. Where will you go? Will you create your own party? How long will that take? Do you really think there are enough conservatives who are active politically that will go with you to even matter? Here’s my fear about your plan:
Which direction do you think the country is going as a whole and do you really think there is any stopping it any time soon? We had 8 years of Obama and did conservatism get stronger or weaker? Let me answer for you: we got Trump. After 8 more years of Hillary we might just end up with a Bernie. With all these long term plans you have for conservatism and how you will make it a great contender again you seem to underestimate the weight of the Supreme Court, and the damage it has done over the last 40 years while still having a majority of “conservatives” for most the time. What do you think will happen when that damage is accelerated by having an undefeatable majority of 6 or more liberals on the court, which Hillary is sure to give us? Right now with just 8 justices we only see 3 voting consistently conservatively.
Unfortunately I do not believe there is a simple answer to the question of how one should philosophically vote in the presidential election. Therefore I do believe we should have patience with those with whom we disagree on how one should cast their vote. Since no non-voter will want to read this article, as there is no reason to read this if you do not vote, I will not attempt to argue anyone into why they should vote. Rather, my hope is to provide the voter with some things to think about, things I have wrestled with myself, as we attempt to think through what really are the issues and really what is at stake. Before I begin let me also point out that I think there is a difference in how one should vote between the primary’s and the election itself, and I will explain that more further in, but lets just state that I am speaking about the election in this article unless otherwise stated.
Americans are very pragmatic. Because American’s created pragmatism as a philosophy, it has really taken over much of American, and even Christian thinking. A simple definition of this philosophy (forgive me as I am not a PhD in Philosophy), is “the view on how to use things to achieve the success you want; something is true when it works for your ends.” In other words anything, say Religion for example, is only worth pursuing if it can be a tool to your success in what you endeavor. If Religion makes you happy, and fills your life with meaning, then it is worth pursuing, according to the Pragmatic. There is no ultimate transcendent truth in Pragmatism, the truth, or value of something is simply based on its perceived success. Thus great evil could be done in its name, say, the murder of millions of Jews if the perceived effect is the bettering of a country’s economy and standing in the world! (I’m not saying that Hitler was a pragmatic per-say, but there is a sense in which Pragmatism can simply be called: The ends justify the means, and surely Hitler had some of that in him).
If you have spent any time under good Bible teaching or have spent your own time studying the Bible deeply, you may have come to the belief that Prayer is always appropriate. Contrary to the title of this article, I would agree with that sentiment, however, that sentiment is broader than you think, and I am going much more narrow and specific with this article than you probably first assumed.
While Prayer is always appropriate, this doesn’t mean it is always sufficiently appropriate. Something can be appropriate, like calling 911 when your house is on fire and you wish to have a chance at putting it out; yet calling 911 isn’t sufficient to save your house. Meaning, that if you simply called 911, your house doesn’t magically stop burning, but instead it takes other actions to put out the fire. In the same kind of way Prayer can be appropriate, but not sufficient. Please note that I am not saying that God isn’t sufficient, however, He has orchestrated life in a way that we are to pray to Him, but He doesn’t always directly act in response and most often uses other humans to answer our prayers. My point is, Prayer doesn’t move all the responsibility off of us onto God so that we may simply sit back and consider our duty fulfilled. Consider the following examples to help illustrate what I mean: Continue reading
Certainly there are very smart people who are Atheists who have a track record of being very good thinkers. Yet, many atheists complain that they rarely, if ever, meet Christians whom they consider rational and good thinkers. Why is this the case? Is it true that Christians really are irrational and only Atheists are rational? Or as the Atheist would want you to believe: only rational people believe in Atheism because it is the rational view, and ergo only irrational people believe otherwise, and Christianity is otherwise, and thus it is full of irrational people. Nice when you can create logic that supports you, but bummer when it bumps into reality.
Contrary to popular belief, Atheism isn’t a more rational belief than Christianity, and although many Christians don’t disagree with the Atheist’s claim that most Christians are irrational, they too are mistaken. Atheists are just as irrational as Christians. You heard me correctly, but did you really? Notice I am speaking about people, not views, I didn’t say Atheism is just as irrational as Christianity, I said the person who believes Atheism is just as irrational as the person who believes in Christianity. Listen carefully (or should I say read carefully): every person on this planet is irrational, it is a human trait due to our fallen nature.
In the following essay I will attempt to argue that alcohol was created by God as something good to be enjoyed by His people, a good that has been perverted by the human heart, and our culture to only be thought of, wrongly, as evil, and I will seek to change such a man’s opinion. Even many Christians have alcohol in the “evil” category, or at “worst” in the neutral category, and I believe this is unbiblical, so let us begin.
Why does God create anything? Ultimately we do not know, but we do know that part of it is to bring God Himself Glory. How did God create everything? Genesis tells us that God created everything good, Gen 1:31. Everything includes natural things like hemlock, and it means for how the thing was intended. Everything also includes things able to be created by man, like alcohol, or things done by man, like sex, if the thing is used how God intended for the purposes God intended. So, the question I am posing today is simply: how does God view alcohol and namely its use by Christians? The answer might surprise you (to the American Christian): as something ultimately good.
Right off the bat I must admit I am opposed to all insurance in principle, as I believe mandatory insurance is the primary reason healthcare is so expensive and complicated. I am, however, a law abiding citizen so I buy the insurance I must to obey the law and survive in our insurance driven culture. Aflac and other insurance are what many call “luxury” insurances, which means they are nice but not necessities.
Many things we call “luxury” are actually counter to what I believe a sound financial plan entails. Call me old-school, but I believe in saving and only buying what you need / can afford, and not buying anything (as much as possible) on credit. I say don’t look to someone else for your own financial security or safety net, and this includes insurance companies.
Perhaps you have heard the argument by Stephen F Roberts, “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” He started using this argument back in the mid nineties, and of course its use and meaning has changed from time to time as different people used it and modified it from his original intention. Today my goal isn’t to go into detail why this quote is flawed from the beginning, there are no atheists who believe in one god, but to point out another flaw that often is over looked. Don’t worry I also am aware of the other major flaw in his argument, the mischaracterization of Christian belief, that he assumes all gods are equal in both definition and in the evidence for their existence and that Christians don’t dismiss all other gods for the same reasons he does. One last word to the positive of this error, Christians don’t believe in a God like any other. Christianity believes in a God who is the God of all gods, infinite, perfect in holiness, power, justice, and who is the only true and living God. All other gods in this world throughout history have been finite, imperfect, capricious, at times mean, and at other times indifferent and unreachable; all things that Christianity’s God is not.
Did you catch the other flaw in his argument? I am talking about the one that actually should make him the one pausing and asking the Christian for more information. Allow me the chance to help you see what I am talking about here. For this part please place yourself in the atheist’s chair and I am going to tell you a story that will show you what I am getting at.
Certainly the topic of vaccines, especially when related to parental rights, can conjure up great emotions and red faces. Now I don’t expect this short article will really change anyone’s mind, but I’m not here to just change minds, I’m here to help people think more clearly, and if clear thinking changes minds, then so be it, but changing them directly is not my goal. There are a few questions related to this topic I want to explore and a couple of responses that I want to put forth. What I will be discussing is the following topics, should the government care about vaccines, are parents the only ones with a say, and what is the role of love for one’s neighbor (neighbor used as Jesus used it: everyone you come in contact with)?
Right off the bat in case you decide to read no further I want to put before you one simple consideration. Continue reading
What we so often hear today, and this is not something new, is the age old heresy that God loves everyone so much that He will end up saving everyone. Of course there are many versions of this, but I observe the one about how God is love, people are basically good, so how could a loving God send basically good people to hell?
There is a theological and Biblical response to this that asks the petitioner to consider God’s Holiness, Justice, and the true nature of sin. This argument makes sense, and is true, but I do think goes over some people’s heads (and I don’t mean this to demean these people). If you are one of these people, to whom the idea of God’s Holiness, Justice, and the nature of sin just doesn’t seem to satisfy you, allow me the opportunity to present two additional considerations for you to mull over.
Many people call on his name or talk about him like they know him, but I know him and his name is Chance. Long ago his father Zeus sired him and his brother Nothing along with his sister Void. It took them many years to grow up and they all took different career paths. Nothing is very lazy and sits around all day being himself. Patiently, Void waits for others to fulfill her emptiness and when they approach she takes more of them then they intended to give her. It is my buddy Chance who really is the busy one and who really does all the work.
Upon the toil that no man knows, Chance brandished his mighty arm and beat the world into existence. Throughout the universe he rides the wings of the furious storm and makes sure that coin tosses are 50/50 heads and tails. He keeps the chance your airplane will crash at around 0.00001% and makes sure that when you play poker the royal flush you seek is only allowed to you at a 0.000154% probability. Yes, Chance is very busy, but yet he never seems to get tired.