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!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Pentecost, Cicadas, Atheists, and Logical Death Traps.....SUSPENSE!!!

Scripture of the Day: Old Testament - Ecclesiastes 5:1-20
New Testament - The Gospel According to St. John 8:1-20
Psalms: Morning - 42
Evening - 102, 133

Icon of the Day: Pentecost

Grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I deny the existence of cicadas. They do nothing good for me, they don't obey me, they make a sickly green goo on my shoes after I step on them, and I still suffer because they exist. This is of course ridiculous.....cicadas exist regardless of whether or not I get out of my house to see them or not. Before you stop and say, "whoah...that's not fair because you still CAN go outside and look at them," let me rephrase this with another more real analogy.

I can't see the Holy Spirit. I can't see wind. I can only see the effect of wind on an object, just as I can see the Holy Spirit work faith in someone. To observe them both directly goes against their purpose and nature. I can only see both when they are enveloped in a visible material. For the could be sand grains, or plant material blowing in the wind. For the Holy Spirit, it was a dove, or a person (a la Holy Trinity appearing to Abram at Mamre). What is fascinating however is that wind is can make measurements on it and direct it. You can tell where it is by what it is effecting. Now let's look at this Scriptural passage about the Holy Spirit, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

How fascinating that Jesus uses an analogy of wind with the Holy Spirit. It should not be surprising that at Pentecost (Acts 2), the Holy Spirit's coming is accompanied by the sound of wind. The Spirit is undirected by anyone other than the Father who directs it and the Son who sends it in tandem with the Father's will. We know where the Holy Spirit resides it moves has been revealed to us as Christians. The Holy Spirit is within all believers....for without His taking up residence in us and making us a temple....we would be unable to have faith in Christ. He is also found in God's life giving Word and Sacraments. What is fascinating is that many people read His Word and reject it.....and therein lies the problem with the Blasphemy Challenge. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit isn't a one time isn't something done is a long-running and continual sin. It is a sin of rejection and hatred of the Spirit which brings life for the sake of Christ's sacrifice. How can those atheists sit in a debate on national television, say they've read the Bible, and then say something about God being a megalomaniacal barbarian? Have they died for their atheism? The worst video on their website is a kid who isn't old enough to vote or even drive saying he doesn't believe in God and his mother goes nuts on him. I'm sorry....but this is unconvincing.

Brian, Kelly, and everyone at the "Rational Response Squad," let me know when you have atheists whose throats are slit, who are crucified, who are flayed alive, who are beheaded, who are drowned, whose families are slaughtered before their eyes, who are castrated, etc. THAT is true suffering......would you REALLY die for atheism? In the end you are faced with an inescapable truth.....your rationalism is nothing more than epicurianism. Carpe Diem!!! You would scream at the top of your lungs that this life is all there is. Let everyone alone and stop trying to control their lives. How dare you tell a woman abortion is wrong! How dare you tell us what is right and wrong as if you have a message from God! And of course, how dare you tell me I'm a sinner who is deserving of death, Hell, and judgement! Perhaps you would wonder why this loving God is sitting like a judge above waiting to strike down those who sin and offend Him. Perhaps you would wonder why those who have become Christians are vehement to defend the life of unborn children. Perhaps you wonder how some all-loving God allows evil to exist....and when you argue that He is morally obligated to stop evil and doesn't, you feel you've won some logical battle and should be awarded a medal for your troubles.

Take it....take the medal......but realize you haven't've failed. You act and your friends call us "dims" while you are the "brights." The brightness is merely your self-righteousness which blinds you to the ultimate truth.....namely, you are wrong, and have failed to develop any new argument that makes atheism tenable. How can God allow evil you say? Or perhaps we should phrase this the way popular culture does, "How can God let bad things happen to good people?" Such a question misses the point of sin and the crux of the Christian worldview.....the real question is, "How can God let good things happen to bad people?" I carry within myself a nature inherrited from our first parents that makes me tainted.....yet God lets me be born with a tainted nature mocking His own which He has given to me. I can breathe and live for 24 years having done MANY horrible and grievous sins, calling Him a liar and wallowing in mire which disgusts Him.....and yet I live! I can only stand in awe of this merciful and gracious God and say with the whole church, "Lord have mercy!" Of what do you have? hopelessness? After all, atheism breeds relativism and the belief in no life after death. If there is no life after death......what are you wasting your time doing atheist evangelism for anyway? The only way to explain it is that you hate God....regardless of whether you "believe" in Him or not. This is your original are born in attrition to God.....and unless the Holy Spirit works within you to make your heart contrite and are lost. God does not wish for this. This megalomaniac you claim to be the most heartless being in existence limited Himself to be born of a Virgin in a stable! He grew, was tempted, never had a family of His own, was mocked, rejected in His own hometown, healed many, taught many, and finally was wipped, tortured, and crucified for a crime He didn't commit.....bore the world's sins on His shoulders and in that moment God died. He rose again not to go back to Heaven and say, "wow, glad that's over.....they're on their own now," but to deliver US from the bondage of death...........and you claim that this God who became like you and I (in all ways except sin) is a horrible being???? Are you nuts????? Even as an enemy of God He loves you enough to not force you to love a sense YOU CONDEMN YOURSELF TO HELL!!!! Don't look at Him and say it isn't fair.....His love knows no bounds and while it pains Him to send you there because He desires all to be saved (1 Timothy 2:3).

Look at this evil, hateful God whom you hate with a relative mindset! "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time" (1 Timothy 2:1-6 ESV).

How can you sit there and say there are absolutes with regard to morality and then say that such an absolute is found within culture??? Such a statement is absurd because something absolute is based upon that which lasts has no end nor beginning.....society will end....those alive now who vote on laws will die and their laws will eventually be forgotten anway. Would you then look to Israel's laws in the Old Testament and say it was "absolutely moral" to do that which you have said you hate? How is it absolutely moral to honor God with all my heart, soul, and strength as it was written in the Old Testament laws and then say God does not have made that law a relative statement in your mind.....or an absolute statement about God's non-existence which contradicts your source for absolute morality. Face it......YOU LOSE.....GOOD DAY SIR!

You might wonder why I spent so much time on morality.....well, you as atheists speak in absolutes with regard to the evils of religion and belief in God, yet when behavior comes around, morality is relative. If religion is evil, why? What then is evil? Perhaps, like St. Augustine, you ponder the source of evil.....and to say men's hearts is not the end of the question. Like him you would have to ponder it until you came to the conclusion that if absolute evil exists, absolute good exists as well. The answer is that absolute good has always existed as the incorruptable triune God. Evil exists as the antithesis of God's will......thus God didn't create evil, but creation had the capacity for evil because God gave man free will.....and he chose to do that which was against God....and thus, evil stems from the heart of men, as a result of severence from God. What answer does atheism offer that doesn't leave me asking more questions that lead to self-contradiction. Christianity has the answers......but even this will not convert you. Apologetics is for defending the faith, not for evangelism......God operates through His Holy Spirit working through the proclomation of the Gospel......if apologetics has it, He will act, if not, the message will be for the prepration of the faithful for defending that faith which saved them from death.

As a Christian I defend the faith and spread the Good News not because I "have to," but because I "want to" help God save the lost......I want to help God do spiritual CPR. If you reject is YOUR OWN FAULT....not God's. God has given you life, even in your sinful state.......this alone should humble you!

May the God who made the innumerable stars and who became man so that man may become like Him bless and direct you to the true faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This is My Body....This is My Blood

Scripture of the Day: Old Testament-Song of Solomon 7:6-8:14
New Testament-The Gospel According to St. John 6:41-59
Psalms: Morning-99
Evening-8, 118

Icon of the Day: Christ blessing the elements of the Eucharist

The Doctrine of the Real Presence in Christianity: It is perhaps fitting that the daily lectionary for the New Testament today is the area in John's Gospel where Christ refers to His flesh as real food and His blood as real drink. I have been listening to several things today about how the Real Presence in the Eucharist is a Roman Catholic invention.....well, Protestants have another thing coming if they really think that, because the evidence is overwhelming that the church has ALWAYS had SOME form of literal reading of Christ's words. How do I know? Well, for don't get much more concise than...."This is my body.....This is my blood." The Jews who heard the conversation in John 6 left Jesus because they had trouble with the teaching that He is the manna from Heaven.....but it would be made clearer here....when He blesses the elements of bread and wine and connects them to His fleshly nature. It is also illustrated when He departs from the two at Emmaeus AFTER He blesses the bread! Not before...but after. So as Father Weedon said in the historical liturgy series on Issues Etc. in reference to this event....did Jesus REALLY actually leave them?

What church father before the end of the first millenium denies this fact about the Eucharist and who is not chided by the church catholic for practicing heterodoxy? None. Even St. Augustine who such scholars as Dr. James White quote as reading Christ's words symbolically matured and we are never told if the quote is from "early" or "late" Augustine. He also does not mention Martin Luther's thoughts on the issue, because while Transubstantiation is not accepted, the ancient orthodox and catholic understanding of the Real Presence is, as well as the sacramental nature of it. That is why Luther adored and even worshipped the consecrated bread after the Words of Institution (and why in our Divine Service it is written to make the sign of the cross as the Pastor says "This is my body....This is my blood.). This is not unorthodox nor idolatry....but wholly in keeping with the Old Testament representation of Christ in the Temple.....the bread of the Presence (yes, the P is capitalized....check out your Bible on this).

And now I must go.....for now.....Pax Christi.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Boy It's Been a While

Boy there's a lot to catch up on.

Funny Links of the Day: There's a little 300 in all of us
Family Guy hits the censor nail right on the head....take responsibility!
Tetris Ninjas
Drunk Squirrel.....and it's REALLY funny.
Ali G. vs. Kent Hovind
I don't think that was what the Professor REALLY meant.
Starcraft 2 is announced???? I guess that means I'll be like, 50 by the time it's released.

Scripture of the Day: Old Testament-Song of Solomon 6:4-7:5
New Testament-John 6:22-40
Evening-66, 116

Saint of the Day: Constantine and Helena (from yesterday)

Icons of month: Feast of the Raising of Lazarus
Palm Sunday
Christ cleansing the temple.
Maunday Thursday-Institution of the Lord's Supper
Jesus praying in Gethsemene
Good Friday
Holy Saturday-Christ's descent into Hell (1 Peter 3:18-20)
Easter Sunday
Ascension of our Lord

Debating God's Existence: Did anyone catch the recent Nightline debate with Way of the Master (WOTM) representatives Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort against the Rational Response Squad representatives Brian Sapient and "Kelly?" It With the exception of a poorly formed argument against evolution using transitional forms (I'm not a supporter of evolution by any means) from the WOTM group, their arguments were actually pretty good. The Rational Response Squad came across as both angry and their arguments were simply liberal philosophy and politics targetted at came across as if America is the worst nation on earth and that because we are a "Christian nation," we should behave more morally than the atheistic nations which are much more moral than we are. Well, that would be misunderstanding Original Sin for starters.

I'm sorry...for me, to be an atheist means that logically I would have to deduce that ultimately there was no meaning in anything, and if I could get away with anything I wanted to....I could....and then I would believe that nihilism would be the best philosophy. As the noted and late saint Jaroslav Pelikan said on his deathbed (or was rumored to have said), "If Jesus Christ rose from the dead, nothing else matters. If Jesus Christ didn't rise from the dead....nothing else matters." As Lent drew to an end and the church celebrated Christ's resurrection, we look at how we are forgiven at the cross and what made the sacrifice ultimately possible and allows us to overcome sin, death, and the Devil is the resurrection. As Christians we are "Easter Christians," but we PREACH Christ crucified as the Holy Apostle Paul says.

Getting back to the debate, it is sad that for starters, they had two evangelists debating rather than apologists. This was a debate that left me banging my head on the desk. For starters, I agree with James White that in public debates (not scholarly ones), AUDIENCE QUESTIONS ARE HAVE NO PLACE!!!!! How could they not refer to the Uncaused First Cause? The atheists believed some of the most ludicrous things....they believed that Jesus never existed and that the universe is eternal!!!! That's completely a denial of the evidence and all they do is close their eyes and say, "show me evidence that Jesus existed and was God?" They can't do it! This is really the most laughable part of the debate.....several atheists are becomming so vehement in their arguments that they are accepting some of the most ridiculous arguments. First of all....Jesus existed! Aside from the New Testament, most of the 1st century documents we have are in reference to Jesus and/or mention Christianity! I don't know how Kelly can say there is quite a bit of 1st century documentation otherwise....she hasn't read them! All that we have from the first century can fit on one of my shelves!

She also claimed (under her breath) that Josephus's comment concerning Jesus was a forgery....and there's an interesting fact about this. Eusebius most likely quoted the original Josephus document (Antiquities) and there is a mention of Jesus albeit with less than we have now. This is evidence that Josephus mentioned Jesus but SOME of the quote, not all of it, is a forgery. There is of course also Tacitus, and the other non-canonical Gospels. Anyway, it is an important debate is because this is the first time on a primetime major network a debate of this magnitude has it was a HUGE evangelism opportunity.

Anway....sorry, my mind is in many different directions. I'm also listening to the Open Lines Way of the Master Radio from May 18th....and there are some questions that I don't agree with the answers given (well....they deny the right there is a problem):
1. Does God repent of His actions....the Bible says He does change His is this possible? ANSWER: God changes His Mind which is behavior and action towards us IN TIME....God's Will is eternal and unchanging.
2. Where did the doctrine of Purgatory come about in Roman Catholicism (Todd said 1 Corinthians)? ANSWER: It's also in the book of 2 Maccabbees indirectly because there is efficacious prayer for the dead....though I don't think God speaks positively or negatively on the subject, it just happens.
3. When are we to worship? ANSWER: We should worship at all times...but we need to understand the difference between "sacramental" and "sacrificial"worship. When Holy Communion is offerred, it is considered a Divine Service/Liturgy/Mass where God is the primary actor and we respond secondarily.....and this type of service can happen anyday....but the church is called to offer it without fail on the Lord's Day which Scripture tells us the Apostles celebrated on Sunday.....and as Christians according to Acts 2:42 we are to follow in the spirit of Pentecost and "devote ourselves to the Apsotle's teachings."

Anyway....I'm going to bed :-). I pray that God's will is done on earth as it is in Heaven....this disunity among Christians is disheartening....even though I understand why it is here.

Pax Christi.