Mother Hubbard's Cupboard

A look into the mind of one of the most random, crazy people in all the land.

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Location: East Peoria, Illinois, United States

A Lutheran seminarian eagerly awaiting the return of Our Lord. Soli Deo Gloria!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallow's Eve

Today is Halloween. It is the eve of one of the greatest of all feasts in the Christian church...that of All Saints Day. All Saints Day is a feast celebrating the fact that those who have died in Christ are in fact alive in him! It celebrates all those who have gone before us, and in a way also us as fellow saints on earth.

It is perhaps apt to have a holliday preceding All Saints Day that shows evil creatures running around the world.....for that is indeed a picture of what life is like on earth. But at the rising of the sun, those who believed in the Son are raised....and they are victorious over death because Christ himself was also victorious over sin, death, and the power of the Devil.

Praise be to Christ + !

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Politics of Abortion and the 2006 Midterm Elections

You can tell by the rhetoric in the media now that an election is coming up. This one is apparently big, even though many people don't think about anything other than the presidential election as big. We're deciding several important members of know, that other branch of the government we vote for? The big deal is that according to the polls, many of the races are tied neck and neck. Currently, the Republicans control Congress....after this election, the Democrats might. So why am I talking about politics? You all know I'm conservative....who cares? Well, there's a recent hot button issue that has, for lack of a better phrase, pissed me off!
Another person has done this issue justice as well in a very well written blog post.

Stem Cells, Parkinsons, Abortion, and Selective Scientific Ethics:
A new commercial has surfaced in the political arena. Michael J. Fox who was diagnosed with Parkinson's some time ago gives an impassioned plea for the passing of amendment no. 2 which will help sick people by supporting stem cell research. In the commercial he asserts that Missouri's new bill supporting stem cell research will be vetoed by the Republican Senator, Jim Talent, and that it will prevent cures for Parkinson's and other diseases (an add from a conservative perspective with such celebrities as Jim Caviezel, Patricia Heaton, and Jeff Suppan exists as well). I agree wholeheartedly with Rush that in this instance, it seems as though Fox is saying that Talent, and anyone who is against stem cell research is against cures. But there is a caveat in this: Fox uses "stem cells" and "embryonic stem cells" interchangeably in a political context. In actuality, "stem cells" is the broad name of a group of cells that has the potential to become another type of cell.

What are Embryonic Stem Cells?
To understand what embryonic stem cells are, we need to take a brief developmental biology refresher course. Humans are sexual animals who are diploid, that is we have two copies of our genetic material in our bodies. Humans have a male with haploid spermatozoa and a female with a haploid egg. To make the cells diploid, two haploid cells must come into contact (haploid means half, which refers to the sex cells as having a half compliment of the genetic material as the adult, so there is one copy of the genetic material of a parent in each) and in a certain way. Through copulation, a male ejaculates spermatozoa into the vagina of the female. As this occurs, a mature egg is waiting for fertilization in the woman. The sperm encounter the egg, and one sperm will make it in at a distinct spot on the egg. After fertilization, the two cells become one cell called a zygote which has genes from the mother and genes from the father....and a new cell with a unique genetic code is conceived. From that point, the cell begins to grow and new cells are added in a pattern termed radial cleavage. At this point, if a cell is taken away, it won't affect the final organism. Right before the ball of cells (blastocyst stage) begins to differentiate is when the embryonic stem cells (which are those cells that are dividing and growing) would be taken out of the developing human....however, when this is done, the individual dies.

Why is cloning considered in this discussion?
Cloning would be a way to copy the stem cells. There are other methods to get the stem cells to remain stem preventing differentiation while they are being studied, the stem cells will continue to divide and stay stem cells. This has however led to mutations in the older lines of stem cells. When the cell differentiates though, that's it.....the cell is locked into it's fate. By harvesting these stem cells, we can use the cells with a practically limitless ability to cure Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases.

Human cloning (usually under the guise of "therapeutic cloning") has also been mentioned in other contexts to this whole discussion, but in a much bigger way. The Scientist is a popular news journal of the life sciences (by popular, I don't necessarily mean "well known"). In that journal (or news magazine), human cloning has been mentioned in positive ways or with no emotion. The main writers and contributors are usually very divisive politically, and the main benefit of reading the journal is to see what some researchers out there really think about ethics (or lack thereof). The only sane people tend to be the readers themselves who write in ocassionally.

What are Adult Stem Cells and Blood Cord Cells?:
Adult stem cells are stem cells from a human adult. They are unlike embryonic stem cells in that they cannot become any cell in the body, but they can become a specific type of cell depending on what tissue they are taken from.

Blood cord stem cells are stem cells taken from the umbilical cord and placenta when a child is born, and they are stored for later transplant if needed.

Both can be taken without the injury or death of the living adult/baby/fetus/embryo at any stage.

But Aren't Embryonic Stem Cells the Best Stem Cells to Use?:
Theoretically yes in some ways. They can become any cell! But in other ways, it may not be so good theoretically. If the embryo is destroyed in the process of collecting its stem cells, then no matter what cell type you make that stem cell into, it won't have the same genes as the person you are giving them to. In other words, there is a chance for rejection of the stem cells by a person you are donating them to. If the person's own adult stem cells were used, that wouldn't be so much of a problem. If someone needs a hormone, an organ, etc. and you are using embryonic stem cells, you stand the chance of killing them outright because of a biological rejection of the material!

In another way, embryonic stem cells are too undifferentiated. What do I mean? If it can become any cell, you need to make SURE you have the right signalers in the patient you are giving them to so that it becomes the RIGHT type of cell. Once again, if you use adult stem cells, there is less of a range of cells they can become....and less of a chance for undesirable cells to develop.

But Hasn't Research on Existing ESC Lines Shown Promising Results?:
Absolutely not! Differentiation problems have killed people in other countries when ESC have been injected into them! The problem with using embryonic stem cells is that they CAN become any cell in the body.....leading in some animals to tumors.

Instead, adult stem cells have enjoyed much sucess in research and therapy. All one must do is seek and they shall find! You similarly help prevent possible rejection of the stem cells by the person you are donating them to.

Why Bring Politics into this?:
I bring politics into this, a usually religious blog because of the moral and ethical considerations involved. First, there is talk of cloning human beings of which I am against. Second, is the deception that exists in that people use terms interchangeably when they shouldn't simply to get their agenda enacted (everyone has an agenda, but you shouldn't further yours by deception). Third, this has VERY important implications for the abortion debate (by the way, Christianity has NEVER accepted abortion until very was denounced by church fathers so it is nothing new!).

We constantly think we live in a society that is better than our previous ones because we have science and reason, and our ancestors lived shorter periods of time, afraid of their own shadows and superstitious in all things. Sadly, we have ignored that we are no different from societies in the past. Where civilizations in the Promised Land had both orgys and child sacrifice to Baal, we are no different. Instead of an idol of stone we fornicate and abort to the glory of ourselves and our "freedoms"....but ultimately the blood of our innocent unborn children runs from the altar of convenience (paraphrased from Michael Tagge-"we are sacrificing our children on the altar of convenience"). We live in a society where we not only slaughter our unborn, we canibalize their remains for our own longevity and well-being.

If living another five or ten years must come at the expense of the total lifespan of the next generation, I want nothing to do with it. It is greed and convenience rolled into idolatry of the self and the epicurean lifestyle where we define life so that we don't end up hurting others for our own fun. I pray that God sends His Holy Spirit to help turn our nation, and other nations of the world from their folly and horrific sin. I ask that the Blessed Virgin pray for us and for our unborn children, and I pray fervently that Christ returns to end this suffering on earth......thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

If you find a Christopher Heren in the US and it isn't me.....something's wrong!

I have to thank Father Juhl for posting this on his livejournal. He had 30 people in the US with his name.....I have none! LOL!
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

how/'>">How many have your name?

Friday, October 13, 2006

What I've learned by watching "The Marine"

Today is dad's 55th birthday. We went for dinner at Katie's Cafe in Washington, IL.....and then went to a movie. The movie of choice (if you could call it that from what was available) was WWE's movie "The Marine." I learned many important things from that movie:

1. One marine is sent into an Al-Quaeda compound to rescue three marines....none are killed or injured, and much butt is kicked.
2. Real marines don't blink when bombs explode with fire right in front of their faces.
3. Real marines heal faster than Wolverine.
4. South Carolina state police cars can be shot to hell, have the tires blow out (and still drive just fine), and the top of the cab ripped off, but will blow up in a spectacular fireball ONLY when the marine is ready to leave the car and the gas tank is shot.
5. Buildings explode in gigantic explosions.
6. Buildings don't explode till the second someone jumps out a window or door.
7. Robert Patrick is still bad ass!
8. No explosion has shrapnel....just a ton of fire.
9. There are no unattractive women.....ever.
10. Highway patrolmen are very talkative and inquisitive.
11. There are alligators in the swamps of South Carolina.
12. Real marines can still run, swim, rip a bar out of a semi-truck, and carry their wives to the surface where they do CPR AFTER getting hit in the ribs with a sledgehammer.
13. There are psychos in every swamp.
14. Picking people up by the neck and dropping them through skids always does the trick.
15. A hostage is never shot no matter how much of a pain she is.
16. Killing your own men is preferrable to killing the loudmouthed, violent hostage.
17. Real marines need to stress that they're marines every few seconds.
18. A detective is the mastermind behind everything.
19. You can get cell phone service in the swamp.....can you hear me now?
20. Real marines can dive into the water after jumping 10 feet straight up.
21. Black men don't drive minivans.
22. Diamond thieves are idiots.
23. Real marines can track a group of diamond thieves through the swamp....and run full speed all day.
24. Real marines are allowed to chase the bad guys by the cops.
25. Video cameras exist in an office building....but apparently not a diamond store.
26. Music can be heard outside a cabin....fighting and smashing cannot be heard in the cabin.
27. The swamp is always shallow.
28. Diamond thieves always act real calm during robberies but always act skittish around the cops.
29. Real hot wives drink Diet Coke.
30. Being in an exploding gas station doesn't even knock a real marine out!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Yes....this freak is me :-D

Yes, this young ragamuffin is me! I'm enjoying one of my last visits to Murphy's Pub as an undergraduate.

This is baby.....she loves to lick people's hands and eat food.....she's kinda fat.

This was Spookie. We haven't found him nor will we probably ever. I miss the little snot :-( *tear*

Back before I taught....I was buff......I could bend whole cars in half! Darn know I fooled you.......what with the two toned skin for the face and body......yeah.......that's not an obvious doctored picture at all! Maybe it'll end up in "Internationalist Magazine" under some communist heading......they love to alter the meaning of pictures......they don't even need to fake them!

We Remember

Over the weekend, two graduates from East Peoria High School were killed in two separate attacks in Iraq. We remember the sacrifice of George Obourn Jr. and Kristofer Walker as they paid the ultimate price for us and those living in Iraq to have freedom. They may have both been only twenty years old, but they were not children or young adults. They were men who didn't just know the meaning of the word "sacrifice," they lived it.

Please pray for their families in their time of mourning, and pray for a quick and peaceful end to the armed conflict our country is facing. Let true justice prevail, let evil be defeated, and let freedom grow.

Time Warp

Did anyone ever see the old movie from the 1950s or 1960s based on H.G. Welles "The Time Machine?" The movie version (I haven't read the book) at the end has the main character going forward in time to rejoin the group of humans who he helped save from the Morlocks. He was going to rebuild their civilization since they had become like cows....coddled and not taught anything and used as food for the subterranean mutants. His maid notices at the end that he took three books with him. She is unable to figure out which books he took, and another scientist who is with her asks, "if you went, what three books would you take?"

If it were to repair civilization:
1. Holy Bible (Spiritual)
2. Gray's Anatomy (Medical)
3. A general chemistry textbook like Zumdahl's "Chemistry" (physical science)

However, an interesting alternative question would be: If there were a civilization either in the future or in another dimension or something (this is completely hypothetical and I'm assuming that in the alternate dimension they need Salvation....and obviously in reality Christ's church will never disappear from the earth, so they would have some aspect of Christianity in the again, hypothetical and for your own thoughts) and they needed salvation and Christianity....what three books would YOU take?

1. Holy Bible (New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha....and only because it has the Apocrypha)
2. Book of Concord (Systematic Theology)
3. A tie between ("The City of God" by St. Augustine or "The Human Condition" by St. Basil the Great)

This is a really hard question to answer....and many of your answers will obviously vary....I'm just interested.

Pax Domini

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Call Me a Liar Will You?

Grace and peace be to you from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Recently on the "Creation vs. Evolution" discussion board on MySpace, a question concerning the Holy Spirit came up. Similar to the prayer thread, many strange ideas began to pop up. The individual who began the thread asked about Christian mysticism and was interested in looking into the Holy Spirit. After explaining to him (and clarifying) a little more about what the Holy Spirit is, I gave him some famous Christian mystic sources and urged him to seek out a spiritual elder (like a pastor) for spiritual guidance.

However, a point was made that the Trinity was man-made. I countered with clear Scriptural examples. One man has seen fit to link to an article which he believes proves that the Bible declares Jesus to be man and not God. When I countered with the same examples from the Gospel of St. John (John 1:1-3, John 8:54-59). His response was: "These Gospels are hardly reliable pieces of work to use both historically and specifically to make any argument for Christ let alone that he was God. I had offered you a link yet it seems you chose not to look at it.
You offer me vague excerpts that must be interpreted, I offer you plain, strait forward examples."

To defend the divinity of Jesus and the threefold nature of the mystical Trinity, I have seen fit to respond to his link bit by bit. The full link can be found here. The main group is "True Grace Ministries" which claims to be an "interdenominational" Christian ministry, yet they are actually Unitarians as their other articles make evident. They believe the Trinity was established by the Council of Nicaea.......that is false. The idea was around in Christianity from its very foundation. Even the heretic Montanus who thought he was the paraclete rather than the Holy Spirit believed in a trinitarian formula. He was around in the mid-2nd century and even then there were concepts of the Christian Trinity.....the Council of Nicaea sought to make the Trinity coherent and avoid heresy. The best treatment on the subject that I have read is found in the late Jaroslav Pelikan's monumental opus "The Christian Tradition Volume 1: The Emergence of the Catholic Tradition (100-600)." Pelikan was not some quack hyper Christian historian, he was one of the most respected historians in his academic field (middle ages) and held a prestigious chair at Yale University in the history department. He was raised Scandanavian Lutheran and became Russian Orthodox later in his life. He joined his Father in Heaven earlier this year. From his work and his original sources it is clear that the assertion that the Trinity is a man-made concept that was put in place at the Council of Nicaea is patently absurd.

Introduction: The author claims that doctrine is something taught as the principles of a religion, and that dogma is a doctrine formally and authoritatively affirmed, but not necessarily proven. He then continues to say that the Trinity is a principle to be considered dogmatic. First of all, from the only definition of dogma the author seems to be using is "a settled established opinion, belief, or principle." We do not claim to prove such a doctrine with reason, but with Scripture. He intends to prove his point with Scripture....we shall read in context his passages and see whether or not they hold as much water as his historical claim does.

II. How the Trinity Became Doctrine: The author states that the Gospel was preached purely at the time of the Apostles but after their death, Pagan ideas began to creep in. He quotes prophesies in 2 Peter 1:20-21, 2:1-3 to infer that his assertion that Christianity began being controlled by the state. This cannot be the Jewish state, nor could it be the Roman state, as the Jews in the first century had no love of Christians and the Roman state tended to kill Christians or at least heavily persecute them......what state is this? Why does he not just come out and say Rome.....indeed if the state is being associated with Pagan MUST be Rome! That makes absolutely no historical sense! Feeding to lions and treating as third class citizens when not feeding to the lions is not dictating spiritual ideas! This echos much of the anti-Trinitarian rhetoric of members of the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons! If it were a true state dictator to would not be a slow creeping in, but a monumental change when St. Constantine the Great converted to Christianity and wished to see it unified!

He continues to say that the Trinity is not a Christian concept and that it was most likely influenced by Plato's "Timaeus." However, he continues to say that the trinity is actually an older idea which Plato simply "rearranged." He traces the trinity back to Hinduism with Brahma, Shiva, and Vishnu. He says that in Egypt the trinity was Kneph, Phthas, and Osiris (This is incorrect as far as I can determine, the Egyptian trinity would have been; Osiris, Horus, and Seth OR Isis, Osiris, and Ra OR Nuit, Hadit, and Horus OR Amun, Re, and Ptah which is the Supreme Egyptian Trinity where "his name is hidden as Amun, he is Re before men, and his body is Ptah" ). He says the Phoenician trinity was Ulomus, Ulosuros, and Eliun. He says in Greece that it was Zeus, Poseidon, and Aidoneus (this again seems to not make sense as Hades would have been the other of the three original male gods. He received as his abode, the underworld while Zeus got the sky (heavens) and Poseidon got the sea. The closest I can find of the name Aidoneus in this context is the Etruscan god Aita who is the god of the underworld and thus a parallel of Hades). In Rome he says they were Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. In Babylon and Assyria they were Anos, Illinos, and Aos. In the Celtic nations he says they were Kriosan, Biosena, and Siva. In the Germanic nations he says they were Thor, Wodan, and Fricco. He then goes on to say that other religions had trinities (and he left out Wicca!!). His point in all of this was to say that the trinity is not peculiar to Christianity. He forgot to point out that neither is the concept of a supreme uncreated being (Odin the All Father, the Great Spirit, etc.), a divine messiah (Egypt had many of those ideas), A cross (the Ankh), or an underworld (let me count the ways!). His argument seems to be that Christians think that the idea of the Trinity is unique to Christianity. He says it's not, but does not mention that its nature is. The Trinity in Christianity isn't seen as three gods but one god and three distinct is "triune." All of the other examples were either three gods or one god with different aspects to him. This is not to say that the persons of the triune God cannot be seen as different aspects such as the face of God or the breath of God, but they are also distinct persons, especially the Son as he became flesh and underwent an incarnation while being totally human and totally divine. All other religions with a divine messiah that I am aware of treat any divinity as mixed with his humanity, such as hercules who was 50/50 man/god. Jesus was completely human and completely God (Homoecious-"one house").

The next section is by far the most nonsensical part. He claims the Trinity is not mentioned in the Bible. Well, if the Gospel of St. John does not count, let's play by his rules....Truth still prevails. He claims that the New nor Old Testament mentions the Trinity and that "theologians today are in agreement that the Hebrew Bible does not contain a doctrine of the Trinity." There are many hypotheses concnerning the Trinity in the Old Testament (see here and here to start with!). He says that using Genesis 1:26 to prove God's plurality....and then does not finish the comment, but merely quotes from different encyclopedias. Genesis 1:26 is a good passage for the plurality of God. As is Genesis 1:1 as "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" uses a plural form for God! The Hebrew of God is El....if it were singular, but Elohim is plural! God in the Old Testament is called both Adonai Elohim (Lord God...plural form) and El Shaddai (God Almighty....singular form). God is also referred to as YHWH (the Tetragrammaton) which is related to the statement "I am who I am." Indeed, Genesis refers to God's Spirit hovered over the face of the waters! There is also a distinction in the Old Testament between an angel of the Lord and The Angel of the Lord. Many including myself believe that The Angel of the Lord is the pre-incarnate Christ. This makes sense in light of the event when Abraham is ready to sacrifice Isaac, and the Angel of the Lord stops him and says "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from ME your son, your only son" (Genesis 22:12). The Angel speaks as if he is God here....there is no interpretation necessary to see that! A final illustration I will leave with you also comes from Genesis. When Abraham was promised that he would have a son.....Genesis records that The Lord appeared to him as three men......there's an interesting number! It doesn't say that the Lord came down and two angels accompanied shows that the three men who appear are the Lord! At this point, can you safely say that the Old Testament does not speak about a plurality for God....indeed the Abraham covenent regarding Isaac has three men represent the Lord!

As to the assertion that the New Testament does not speak of a Trinity...again, that is pattently absurd! Many sources are present in the Gospel of St. John, but my MySpace opponent sees this Gospel as one which is unreliable....I will not use it nor the Revelation to St. John nor the epistles of St. John.....the disciple who Jesus loved seems to play no significant part in the theology of anti-trinitarianism.....why would THAT be :-/???? The Great Commission (Gospel of St. Matthew 28:19-20) clearly has Jesus telling the disciples to Baptize people in the name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. Now it might be added that the preceeding verse has Jesus saying that all authority on heaven and on earth has been given to him.....but before he tells the disciples that, they worship him! If Jesus were not God he would have told them not to worship him as this would violate the first commandment (and he earlier told Satan that worship is for God alone (Gospel of St. Matthew 4:10)!)! St. Paul also writes that "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form" (Collosians 2:9). The Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus at his baptism while the Father speaks from heaven is another poigniant picture of the Trinity! To say that the New Testament does not point to a Trinity or Jesus's connection to the Father as true God makes no sense! But you might say....Jesus never claimed to be God, nor did any of his followers push for this until the Council of Nicaea.....however, St. Paul clearly indicates Christ's divinity in his letter to the Philippians (2:6-11). If you want more Scriptural support for Christ's divinity......this is an excellent summary!

The writer goes on to state that Tertullian was either the first to coin the term Trinity or the first to use it to apply to God in Christianity.......but that is simply the was acknowledged that the Holy Spirit was God (Acts 5:3-4), that Jesus was God, and that the Father was was also acknowledged that there was ONE God because Scripture clearly taught BOTH! Therefore to say that he was the first to introduce it into Christianity from external Pagan concepts is wrong. The writer continues to say that greed and human egotism at the Council of Nicaea led to a yes/no answer regarding Christ's divinity or humanity......we know they accepted his divinity against the Arians....but they also believed he was a man, contrary to the Gnostics....which he leaves out. It is interesting to note that he then goes on to say that Christ's divinity and the Trinity contradict the Hebrew Shema ("Hear O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord" (Deut. 6:4))....but as was shown above concerning the plurality of does a lot of the same early biblical books. Unless the concept of the Trinity is correct this is a contradiction of God's Word, which the writer does not allow for.

III. The Father:
Genesis 3:5 KJV is seen by him to indicate that angels are also called gods....but that makes no contextual sense. Why would mankind want to be like the angels? The angels are simply spiritual beings with no physical nature....while man has both. The only being man could be jealous of is God himself!

Genesis 23:4-5: There is no way the Hittites believed Abraham to be a god as he infers. He infers that the language used is Elohim to describe Abraham........Abraham is the plural of God?! If he were being referred to as a Lord, he would be Adonai, not El or Elohim! While I could be wrong about the Hebrew word used....a quick Google search (and Google Scholar) with "Genesis 23:4-5" and "elohim" sends me......nothing but the article itself! Even if the language is correct, it is a reference to an OT patriarch by a Hittite....not a follower of Christ or of God! The context is once again wrong.

Exodus 7:1 KJV is aluded to as God calling Moses a god.....but it has God saying that he has made Moses a god to other words Pharoah saw Moses as a god.....this makes sense since Pharoah thought himself Osiris on earth! However, what does this have to do with the main premise?

He claims that the Angel of the Lord is referred to as a god....but this is not the case.....he refers to HIMSELF as THE GOD....vis a vis Abraham/Isaac as above. The writer then makes a blanket statement of "References to angels as gods are found in dozens of other places in the Bible." I'm waiting for the specific references.....unless it is in reference to the SAME Angel of the Lord.....thus the Angel of the Lord is God himself!

He claims that the judges appointed by Moses are called elohim (gods) (Exodus 21:6KJV and 22:8-9, 28)......but this is misleading as he is not discussing a being in direct connection to the Father as Jesus has been shown to be. His passage concerning the princes of Egypt again clearly show a non-connection with the Father....and one that cannot be interpreted into the Scripture (if indeed elohim is the word used to describe them), hence, not in the same context (Exodus 12:12).

Of all the New Testament sources....he uses the Gospel of St. John! And in a context where Christ is referring to himself as God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm confused by his reasoning (John 10:34). He cites 2 corinthians 4:4 as evidence concerning the god of this world being referred to as A god.....and in this verse and the VERY NEXT VERSES it says "..., so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:4b-6). Hence Jesus isn't just a god.....he is THE GOD and WITH the Father!

His final statement concerning the Father makes no sense if he takes Scripture as he seems to: "Since so many beings are referred to as gods, how do we know when the Bible speaks of the only true God -- the Creator of the heavens and the earth?" The answer is quick in coming! He refers to the personal name of God in the Tetragrammaton............and then says ONLY the true God ever received this title........then he uses the Gospel of St. John again (did his MySpace defender truly read this link???) (John 1:1,3). Christ declaring himself as "before Abraham, I AM (Gospel of St. John 8:58) when asked how he knew Abraham!? What is he thinking? He says that the Word and YHWH have a relationship....then begins with his next section.

IV. The Son: He states the name Jesus was not doesn't need to be for the name to be apt for the true messiah. Now it gets interesting.....he refers to the Word as Jesus....and Jesus was the Word made flesh....hence Jesus was around before the creation. But he says that the Word was begotten........then he goes on to question whether or not Jesus was truly God beginning with John 1:1 (you know, that Gospel I'm trying NOT to use for the article's defender?!) and says that it seems to be a straightforward passage. "And, on the surface, this statement seems to be a rather straight forward explanation of the relationship of God and Jesus. However, truth does not arise from single Bible verses taken out of context or blindly accepted without research and study." So he wasn't taking single verses out of context earlier???? What does he mean? He refers to an "authoritative Bible Scholar" by the name of Benjamin Wilson who says that this actually says that the Word was A god. I wondered why I'd never heard of this guy before.....well, there's a reason. He's the disciple of John Thomas who began the Christadelphian movement, which is a non-trinitarian group.........hence......this article and main group. This apologetics site addresses Wilson's title as "an authoritative Bible Scholar" as well as the true source for the strange translation that is missing from so many Bibles for John 1:1-3......including the original Greek sources.

He then goes on to quote numerous Scriptural references against Christ's divinity.
Psalm 2:7.....a poem......not chronological in time obviously, nor should it necessarily be taken at the face value the author takes it in. It is referring to the Christ, but it is referring to God speaking to him in eternity....and Christ was begotten in eternity. There is nothing wrong with this passage.

He quotes from Genesis about God making man and woman in OUR image........let me get this acknowledge that Jesus was around before the creation, but not yet human as the next passage you use (Deut. 18:15, Acts 3:22), and you acknowledge that he was begotten of his Father who was God.......and he wasn't God? What then was he? A unique being totally unconnected to his Father? That is impossible as that would contradict him being begotten of his Father.......Scripture also doesn't say that the Word was MADE....but begotten....hence so far the Nicene Creed is correct!

He quotes John 12:49 which has Jesus saying that his authority is given to him by the Father who sent him.........we do not doubt that "all things proceed from the Father".......there is no debate with this fact I believe this was used in the pre-Schism Nicene Creed in the third article (....who proceeds from the Father, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified....).

At this point it is interesting to note that God is now being referred to as Jehovah....Jehovah's Witness maybe???? He then says that "There are a large number of Bible verses which can be used to prove that Jesus was not God, but the Son of God. The chapter of this thesis, "VII. Bible Verses Prove Trinity False", lists over a hundred such texts." Over a hundered such texts???? There are that many concerned with Jesus's humanity? Wow....I'm looking forward to that section! I counted 99 verses he references for Jesus's non-divinity and only 93 proving the Trinity false....not hundreds....especially since some of the verses are repeated in both subsections!

V. The Holy Spirit: His description of what a spirit person is is interesting....but his final statement that "When the Bible speaks of God's Holy Spirit, it speaks of God's invisible active force. There is no Bible description which indicates that it is a person" is wrong. He uses Judges 14:5-6 and Romans 15:18-19 and says about Romans that pneumas is translated Holy Spirit. Okay.....his issue is that the Spirit is not a the writer's spirit a person....or something else? When he dies....does his energy go to Heaven/Hell or does his spirit which is seen as his PERSONAL ESSENCE? At this point the writer is becomming non-sensical and the true nature of the writings is starting to shine through!

He goes on to claim that the Holy Spirit is the reflection of God's personality, but it is not a person.....ignoring the fact that he even quotes Scripture where the Holy Spirit has the pronoun "he" (John 14:17KJV) and "itSELF (Romans 8:16KJV)." The Great Commission in the Gospel of St. Matthew makes NO sense if you are baptizing with the standard Father, Son, Holy Spirit formula....since the Father and the Son are actually then add the Father's reflected personality......that makes no sense....especially when the Holy Spirit has pronouns like "he" or "itself." Also, the Father gave all authority on heaven and earth to Jesus....but the Father still has can he give away authority and still have authority? Similarly.....does a reflection have any power apart from the source? No, the Spirit cannot be a reflection of God and have the traits given to it! There is only ONE way to correct the baptism instructions Christ gave his disciples.......if the Father and the Son are persons, but the Holy Spirit is not.......then it is not necessary to invoke the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit is a reflection of the Father and the whole Father is the better source for baptism.......OR......they are ALL persons and ALL connected as one God......present in the Old Testament and present in the New.

The author's statements concerning the "truth" of the Bible leave us with a Father God who begot a Son who had no part of God from the Father (in other words, it would be like a human begetting a dog.....the offspring of the human would be a human and be similar to the parent.....and if there's only one parent, the offspring will share in all the genes of the parent......hence, a begotten Son of the Father God must be God as well. We are also left with a Holy Spirit who is the invisible active power of God. A reflection of His personality who we must baptize in the name of......????? No, a reflection is nothing without its source. A reflection would not be called upon in Holy Baptism! To say it is God's reflection and not God is again an is OF God!

I hope the above is clear.....the writer of the article uses flawed logic and Scripture out of context. He uses incorrect translations from scholars who no one but adherers to the Christadelphian cult see as authoritative. He reasons poorly from history and uses logic that if carried through to its ultimate conclusion, treats Christ as an anomaly, begotten of a Father yet sharing nothing but the power given to him by the Father which the Father also keeps. This is Unitarianism using the New is wrong. In fact, it is interesting to note that the author accepts Scripture....but not the decrees of the SAME council! The evidence shows me that the Trinitarian formula WINS and is TRUTH!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son (+), and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever, amen!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." James 3:16

No funny links today. I'm not in the mood for them. I don't think the subject of today's post lends itself to such a jovial gift. The subject is the school shootings that have happened in the last week or so.

The latest school shooting was done to a group of young Amish schoolgirls, five of whom at the time of this post are dead. The murderer was a 32 year old milkman who "got revenge" for an event that happened 20 years ago. The event I believe was that he was mad at God for his young daughter passing away as an infant. The event has triggered much reaction from radio talk shows and the media. Many are saddened (and rightly so) by this event.

In an unrelated (or so you think) story, Republican House members are in a frenzy over IMs and e-mails describing solicitation of explicit sexual behavior with young pages. This has also triggered much reaction from radio talk shows and the media. Many are saddened (and rightly so) by this event.

Glen Beck talked about what was causing this......he focused on the lack of spirituality in today's society. He alluded to the Pope's message that received outcry from Radical Muslims and pointed out that the Pope's main point in that message was that faith and reason can co-exist. Of course, many hear that, and go on not accepting it. What does the Pope mean by his statement that faith and reason can co-exist? Why does this have ANY bearing on the two problems....and our problems throughout the world. Pay attention to the title passage.

The rise to power.....the "American Dream." I'm not against making a living or even making a lot of money....if you acknowledge the source and don't treat the people who supplied you with it as objects, and hence don't make money an idol. You see, a change in economic ideals in industry and companies has led to a "how can I make the most money" mentality. Let's face it, businesses are out to make money. They have to be and they should be, or else the business won't exist. However, the view on business used to be "unlimited wealth" in which two people could work together and make more money than if working alone.....that's how business was done sucessfully in American businesses (the ethical ones) until relatively recently. Now, businesses have a "limited wealth" idea, which is that there is only a limited amount of wealth out compete with me for the same money....hence, if I can screw you over, I can get your money.....pure and simple. This new mindset has made money into an idol. The unlimited wealth system fostered teamwork and better service to the customer whom you wanted for repeat business. The new mindset encourages bitterness, enmity, treachery, and a hurting of the consumer (and in some cases, your workers).

Politics obviously is the same way, and with all the money floating around, it can become hard to not be seduced by the money. This is an obvious case of selfishness. When St. Paul said that "money is the root of all evil, (1 Timothy 6)" he was referring to the love of money....which can also be translated to power....for money buys power and power cannot exisst without money. What is love of money? It is making it an the rich young man (St. Matthew 19, St. Mark 10) who wished to enter into the kingdom of God. He asked Christ what he must do since he kept all of the commandments. Christ knowing that the young man actually was breaking the first commandment by having an idol out of his money asked that he give all of his money to the poor and follow Jesus. The young man left sad because he loved his money.....that is the context of the passage concerning a camel entering the eye of a needle being easier than a rich man entering the kingdom of God.

At this point you might be wondering what my point is, bear with me as I still have to link selfishness to the shooter. The shooter was mad at God for letting his daughter die. My invertebrate zoology professor made the comment concerning cancer that a loving God wouldn't let that happen. The fact that evil exists and bad things happen to "good" people is a difficult fact to cope with. We see death all the time, many times it is senseless and meaningless and we wonder not only how God could use death to bring Himself glory, but how can he allow death if He is a loving God? To put this into context......including those of you who don't believe in a God, why do you or anyone else deserve the life you have? The fact that you have life and exist at all is a fact that must be acknowledged. Do you believe nature made everything you see and that it made you as well with no purpose? Do you believe it is illogical to believe in a God when we have rationality behind us? Rationale would tell us that you can't give something you don't have to begin with. Nature and matter do not have life nor do they have purpose innate to themselves. They must derive their life and purpose from another source....ala God. If there were no God who created you with life and purpose, how can you give life and purpose to something else? Can I say that I am sad about the Amish girls' deaths? Weeping would acknowledge purpose to begin with. Thinking the act is sick implies that there is a right and wrong.....the world is not just random actions. This is why I have been saying that nihilism is the ultimate and logical result of atheism. The fact remains that God MUST exist. Not just complexity in nature but the infusement of traits that are impossible without an ultimate source to those traits are a testament to a supreme, uncreated being....Aristotle's "uncreated first cause." As my Orthodox friend Chris McGarvey drilled into my head.....EVERYTHING good that happens from your conception to whatever life you have is by grace...that is, something you don't deserve. Grace given you by God.....hence all we can do for God is to fulfill his purpose for us....which is to glorify Him and be in a full personal communion with Him and the rest of mankind (sadly, mankind is not in communion because they do not all have God's Holy Spirit).

Here we see the selfishness inherent for profit, power, and revenge making an idol out of a man. When man is set up as an idol, we get a glimpse of hell on earth as the man runs from God and tries to make his rules, and when the evil in his heart breaks forth all suffer. He feels life owes him something rather than that he owes the giver of life all. Now I must ask, how are you different? When I discuss a person's final desitination, they will usually say they believe they will go to Heaven because they have been and are a good person......aside for the idea of his nonexistence THIS is the greatest trick the devil ever pulled! By what right have you to judge yourself....and by what standard?! You speak of God as if He were a boss in a job who owes you a wage and who is fair....well He is fair! He punishes all sin equally....and all have sinned. We are all born with it and we all commit it. Sin causes our hearts to be dead! It is this death that causes a void which we rush to fill with, ourselves, the world, our jobs, our families....but we cannot of our own power fill it with what originally gave us life.....we can accept no substitutions in this matter, for to choose wrong leads to a result too terrifying to think of. Thankfully, Christ's sacrifice is something we don't have to earn, it's something we don't have to work's something that redeems us by grace through faith alone. That is the good news!

Most of the world are like the Greeks though.....we think, this foolish rubbish.....a superstition of a bygone era infused with a little bit of the classic dark ages we see in the movies. We view the subordination of women, science, and sex to the church who sits on high and decides how things work by using a dusty book and a convoluted idea of a God who is judgemental if He even exists. The view of the Greeks is EXACTLY what most of today's world think. Why do you view it as rubbish? Do you find the Pope's statement that faith and reason can co-exist as contradictory? Perhaps you should realize that Christianity is a religion that makes no sense by traditional logic and shouldn't work.......God shouldn't exist because I can't test him.......PROVE to me Christ rose from the dead! I have heard many times people say they cannot believe in God because they are more rational and real-world-esque......what does that even mean? You sit in a material world devoid of meaning and attempt to make money to have some fun on the weekends and slave away during the rest of the week for what in the end?....NOTHING. Your plans will not come to fruition because there IS no plan. How is that rational? How is that logical? It isn't! Search for the truth.....I will pray for you.....I pray for our world. I wish for the cancer of sin to be cleansed from men's hearts so that evil will no longer be done and I pray fervently the prayer that Christ taught us, "Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be they name. THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN......"

A Christian's hope is not in this world. We should all recognize that even though this world is fallen and dead in sin, we receive the light of Christ and because of our faith, we do good works for others.....perhaps this helps sanctify nature, even though in the end it will all be destroyed and a new earth will be created. We must rejoice in the grace of God to give us what life and blessings we have.....hence we acknowledge that the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away....He knows more than we could ever know, and His love is something He desires to share with the whole world. The greatest commandment is love.

Pax Domini