Yet this is not the first time this particular church has deliberately violated with enthusiastic forethought what has traditionally been categorized as the theology of the body..
In 2014, the congregation appointed an interim pastor that was transgender, apparently to lead the church from bad to worse.
In defense of surrendering the congregation's pulpit to a transgendered pastor, the chair of the Calvary Baptist personnel committee told the Associate Baptist Press, “Quite simply, this is who we --- Calvary Baptist Church, specifically, and Christians more generally --- are called to be a place that reflects God's love and recognizes, affirms, and nurtures God's call in each of our lives.”
By such a statement, the reader is to assume that whatever warped inclinations an individual might feel are to be understood as the divine calling in our lives.
So if a pastor expressed a desire to and actually touched buxom teen girls inappropriately, does that mean that a church is obligated to celebrate such a ministerial candidate by granting the individual a position of leadership?
The advocates of progressivism will respond but the pedophile psychologically damages the underaged minor.
But what do you think “Pastor” Robinson is doing to his own children since he did not spring his desire to live in this manner on anyone until after becoming a father?
For now, it seems his wife is standing by him.
But will she continue to do so once his distinctively male appendage is hacked off like a whithered garden weed?
What those falling over the edge of rank apostasy and the vilest manifestations of paganism really mean when they invoke terms like “love”, “affirmation” and “nurturing” is that they will only support those plunging along with them into the depths of libertinism and licentiousness.
For would this sort of “church” stand by someone that admitted to uttering the “N-word” under their breath some thirty years ago?
Better yet, as a more revealing test of their sincerity, perhaps this congregation should welcome into its pulpit a fire and brimstone pastor that would expose these kinds of sheol-spawned delusions for what they really are.
By Frederick Meekins
It is ashame Southern Baptist cultural functionary Russell Moore has failed to grasp this particular axiom. In what amounts to a column posted at his website titled “Is There A 'War' On Christmas?” (the word “War” placed in quotations to no doubt undermine the seriousness of this concern), this particular theologian astutely analyzes and exegetes the seriousness of Christmas as the celebration of God incarnating in human form and how the flippancy in which that mystery is often approached is itself a symptom of the degree to which Western civilization has strayed from the straight and narrow.
However, Dr. Moore doesn't seem to grasp that these incidental slights that Moore seems to dismiss also point to the degree to which the culture has been deChristianized. For example, Moore writes, “But the huffing and puffing that we tend to do when marketers don't get our Christian commitments is, I think, a little bit off base.” Moore goes on to conclude, “...when we think about this war on Christmas, we shouldn't turn this into a fight for our right to party...And we need to remember that the darkness isn't overcome by sarcasm, or personal offense, or retaliatory insults, or boycotts of Wal-Mart or whatever it is.”
As part of his public persona, Russell Moore has positioned or branded himself as a minister sensitive to the concerns of particular favored aggrieved constituencies . For example, Dr. Moore serves as a token Anglo on the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and has released public statements that just about blame White people for the upheaval perpetrated during Black Lives Matter protests rather than the rampaging activists themselves.
These days linguistic tensions are so taunt with many of those in the majoritarian demographic walking around on egg shells for fear of a misconstrued verbal inflection resulting in a lost job or even threats of physical retaliation. As an historical reference one only need recall the outcry over Ross Perot's articulation of the phrase “You people”.
Therefore, if Christians in general and Evangelicals in particular see those in positions of leadership that don't mind instructing we mere dimwits of the congregation how we are to be in submission to them and to follow their example getting worked up into a froth over things considerable removed from the average American's daily purview of concern, why shouldn't it be expected for people to react vocally for the small yet existentially substantial things that they actually care about. For example, if we are expected to get worked up over someone manhandled by the police that deliberately decided to disobey la enforcement's perfectly justifiable instructions, shouldn't professional religionists such as Dr. Moore ought to express a little more sympathy for the common Christian feeling insulted that the holiday displays at the local mall or “big box retailer” don't seem sufficiently Christmasy?
Dr. Moore further observes, “...I think we need to keep in mind most of these issues that we take offense at are done by corporations ...[that] are trying to sell products. They are really not trying to offend constituencies...That's not good economics at all for anybody.”
Would Rev. Moore as dismissively let the actions of government he found questionable slide by without comment? After all, one of the purposes of bureaucracy (which it somehow never seems to achieve by the way) is to as efficiently as possible weigh, process, and prioritize the interests of the numerous factions that constitute an incomprehensibly complex technologically advanced society.
For example, if the average believer is to be persuaded that merchants harbor no nefarious intent by instructing that the greeting “Happy Holidays” be articulated rather than “Merry Christmas”, why shouldn't we believe that the misunderstanding is as simple in regards to something that the professional religionists might care about such as the effort to eliminate the tax exemption of the clergy housing allowance? It might, after all, merely be an attempt to raise revenue rather than as part of an orchestrated conspiracy to shackle ministers by undermining their freedom of religious expression to speak out on issues of moral importance (though it is never explained how authors and journalists are not similarly hindered by not being extended the same protection in the tax code).
Moore further observes, “...many, especially in the culture-making ...sectors in American life, see Christmas kind of in the same way that most Americans see Hanukkah. One knows about [it]...[But] They don't know the background story.” As such, Moore suggests that, instead of getting angry, we ought to instead teach those around us about the miracle of the incarnation and the blood atonement.
Always a good idea. But if these things aren't being taught, whose fault is that?
Perhaps the average pewfiller zooms in on retail establishments that blatantly thumb their noses at what Dr. Moore seems to dismiss as holiday trivialities rather than those that might appropriate the veneer of the devotional in pursuit of more trivial ends because deep down these believers have might have an inclination that something is askew but cannot hone in on something more specific. Many times they have not been taught much better than their secular non-churchgoing counterparts.
For example, as someone on the Southern Baptist payroll, does Russell Moore spend much time emphasizing and teaching what C.S. Lewis categorized as “Mere Christianity”? For it seems for much of the past year or so the theologian has spent an inordinate amount of time bashing Christians that got behind the Trump candidacy because, despite his faults, Trump was about the only presidential contender willing to admit that drastic action needed to be taken at the boarder.
Some might respond that it is not the place of a pastor or minister to co-opt the sanctified solemnity of the pulpit or even the clerical collar to wallow in the banalities of political affairs. However, that has not prevented Russell Moore and those of a similar mindset infiltrating the Southern Baptist Convention from speaking out on issues regarding immigration and related minority concerns.
These exegetical activists insist Scripture is inherently pro-immigrant as evidenced by the protections extended to the strangers dwelling in the midst of Israel. Yet seldom do these homilists point out that these outsiders were also compelled to live in respect of Israel's culture and the importance both the Old and New Testaments place upon abiding by the duly constituted laws of the nation's in which one happens to reside.
Dear reader, don't fall for the delusion that what Russell Moore and allied malcontents are simply calling for is the humane treatment of those that have no right or permission to be here as they are escorted from the premises of the United States as part of the deportation process. What they are in fact calling for is the elevation of deadbeats and agitators to a place of superiority over the average taxpaying pewfillers and citizens.
For among a list of ultimatums issued by Evangelical progressives posted on the Huffington Post was one demanding that White Christians DEFER to their counterparts of color. Will there be similar pleas from the authors published by that font of leftwing propaganda for protesters to DEFER to the instructions articulated by law enforcement during roadside encounters or to the rulings handed down by the judicial system? So much for assessing individual by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin.
Given the nature of the public pronouncements that he has become increasingly known for, it would be easy to assume that Russell Moore is transitioning from being a minster of the Gospel to something more of a COMMUNITY organizer not all that different than Barack Obama in his early days. Perhaps the best thing any Christian might do next holiday season is to direct their charitable dollars towards institutions other than those affiliated with Moore's wing of the Southern Baptist Convention.
By Frederick Meekins
“S” stands for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Laws of Thermodynamics stipulate that, within the universe, there is only a finite amount of energy and that over time this energy is dissipated into disorder or entropy.
From this, both the scientist and the theologian must come to similar conclusions. If there is only a finite amount of energy in the universe, by definition there had to have been some kind of starting point or things would have already reached maximum entropy in ages past. Yet we find that we are still here.
This alone is enough to cause the Steady State house of cards to come crashing down. However, from the remainder of their acronym, Geisler and Turek provide the apologist with additional lines of scientific evidence attesting to a moment of creation.
The letter “U” stands for universal expansion. In 1920, Astronomer Edwin Hubble deduced from the red shift in light that the universe is expanding outward from one particular point.
Traditionally, those embracing the idea of God creating the universe have held the notion of the Big Bang at arm’s length. The concept must be handled with caution because if one is not careful one can end up with a less than Biblical cosmology where matter is as eternally existent as God and not dependent upon Him for its existence. However, the expansion of the universe is itself a confirmation of the laws of thermodynamics as it points to a definitive point of creation because, if the cosmos was infinitely old, the universe would have collapsed back on itself by now.
The “R” in SURGE stands for “radiation” from the Big Bang. Discovered in 1965 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, cosmic background radiation was left over from the moment of creation and has not yet dissipated (81).
Yet another aspect of the cosmic background radiation attesting to a deliberate intelligence at work in the universe is the concept of “galactic seeds”, which serve as the “G” in SURGE. According to the theory of cosmic background radiation, this energy signature would not be uniform across the backdrop of space but instead be scattered about in concentrated pockets.
Geisler and Turek write, “These temperature ripples enabled matter to congregate by gravitational attraction into galaxies (82).” These seeds themselves attest to deliberation, as Geisler and Turek further elaborate, “The ripples show that...the universe was precisely tweaked to cause just enough matter to congregate to allow galaxy formation but not enough to cause the universe to collapse back on itself (83)."
The "E" in SURGE stands for Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. According to Geisler and Turek, the theory posits a need for an absolute beginning for space, time and matter since these are interdependent with one not being able to exist without the others. It was because of the theory of relativity that scientists were able to discover the expanding universe, cosmic background radiation and galactic seeds (84).
Despite the marvels of nature, a number of those most familiar with its technicalities and implications continue on in their unbelief. For example, some such as Robert Atkins attempt to evade the matter of how matter came about. In his “Creation Revisited”, Atkins postulated origins derived from mathematical points swirling about in nothingness which Ravi Zacharias pointed out to him after a debate moderated by William F. Buckley were actually something (80).
Others such as Robert Jastrow admit, "Astronomers now find they have painted themselves into a corner because they have proved by their own methods that the world began abruptly in an act of creation...That there are what I or anyone would call supernatural forces at work is now, I think, a scientifically proven fact." Yet according to Geisler, these minds continue on in their agnosticism despite the evidence. Hence the name of Giesler's book “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”.
The theist might be ready to let his guard down to rest thinking a decisive victory has been scored in the apologetic encounter. However, the battle is far from over.
For while the cosmological argument brings the unbeliever into a more theistic orbit, it hardly brings him to the embrace of a creator that cares about His creation or even relates to it on a personal level. The reluctant theist might even attempt to save face by countering that, even if some force or entity we have come to refer to as God set the universe in motion, what we see around us including ourselves is the result of random chance and deterministic consequences spanning back millennia.
By Frederick Meekins
Bibliography: Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”
Foremost among these is the Road Runner Tactic. Named after the famous Looney Tune character, the Road Runner Tactic shows that often the loftiest of notions upheld in secular academia provide no solid ground to stand on, bringing to mind the scenes where Wiley Coyote went over the cliff in these animated adventures because these ideas have the ground pulled out from under them as a result of being self-defeating and self-referentially incoherent (39).
For example, entire academic specialties base their justification for existence (and thus funding) on the assertion that "There are no absolutes". By this, a variety of intellectuals ranging from anthropologists to philosophers to literary theorists contend that no standard exists above or apart from the culture in which it is utilized and as such cannot be used to judge another society.
However, this is itself formulated as an absolute applicable in all circumstances. If one holds to the position in all situations, one has by definition refuted the position by inadvertently holding that absolutes do exist. And if this one can exist, why cannot others be discovered as the mind propositionally, existentially, and experimentally struggles to comprehend the inner and outer universes?
As one gazes outward from the self, among the first things one discovers is that something as a totality exists. And as with most issues in this contentious era in which we live, two philosophical divisions have formed regarding explanations how the things around us originally came to be.
A number of the foremost thinkers of Greek philosophy and the scribes of Hebrew revelation contend that the world and everything we see in it was ultimately caused by something from beyond that was complete in itself. Known as the cosmological argument, the justification for its conclusion can be stated in the following manner: “(1) Everything that had a beginning had a cause. (2) The universe had a beginning. (3) Therefore, the universe had a cause (75).”
In the early modern period before the development of a level of science and technology sophisticated enough to probe the very composition of the universe itself, philosophical counterparts to the traditional theistic conclusions arose. For example, opponents of the cosmological argument retorted that the conclusions calling for an “unmoved mover” were merely that of a personal preference and that an infinite regress backwards into eternity past was just as rationally valid as that of a moment of creation. Advocates of this position named it the “Steady State Theory” as it contends, as Carl Sagan would put it, that the universe is all there is, was, or ever will be.
While both the traditional cosmological argument with its starting point and the steady state theory with its assertion that things now are pretty much as they have always been might be coherent with the assumptions of those expounding them, the validity of each as a mental construct must be determined by how well they fit with the evidence at hand. With the advance of empirical science, one theory at this time clearly pulls ahead in terms of common sense and rational consistency.
By Frederick Meekins
Norman Geisler and Frank Turek. “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist.”
In fact, confusion over it and related concepts can be found at the heart of many of the disputes and issues tearing at the fabric of the early twenty-first century world. In “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek analyze why it actually requires more effort to remain an unbeliever and provide a number of tools the Christian can utilize to defend the faith in hostile situations before skeptical audiences.
Often, Christianity is downplayed and its influence minimized by secularists in the broader culture through the claim that the system is not objective. From this conjecture, critics diverge into two branches.
Older Modernists will argue that their perspective, superficially free of any prior faith commitments and extolling science as the ultimate foundation for truth, is the only objective viewpoint. Postmodernists, having grown weary of maintaining such a facade, dump the illusion of objectivity all together by postulating that every perspective is merely a matter opinion with no viewpoint being any more universally authoritative than any other. In “I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist”, Norman Geisler and Frank Turek endeavor to show how Christianity is the best faith alternative for successfully balancing the tensions between the objective and the subjective.
Whether the detached skeptic --- often holding a tenured university chair --- wants to admit it or not, everyone (including himself) holds to some kind of religious position. In their analysis, Geisler and Turek classify religious worldviews into the three broad categories of Theism, Pantheism, and Atheism (23).
The authors define the first category of Theism as the belief that a personal God created the universe but that He is distinct from it. Examples of theistic belief systems include Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
The second worldview category is Pantheism, the idea that the universe as a mystical totality is God. To better understand this and the differences with Theism, Geisler and Turek provide the following example.
In Theism, God is analogous to an artist and the universe His distinct artistic work that is separate from Him but with which He interacts. In Pantheism, God is the painting. Major pantheist faiths include Hinduism, Buddhism, and the New Age movement.
The third worldview category is Atheism, which denies the existence of God and often a spiritual or immaterial component of reality all together. Under this category, Geisler and Turek have included Religious Humanism because --- even though differentiated from its secularist cousin in that it gives lip service to the existence of a power beyond the material realm --- Religious Humanism still looks to man rather than God as the final authority.
The Modernist and the Postmodernist have further skewered the discussion in their favor by creating barriers between the notions of belief and facts. Geisler and Turek write, “Despite its apparent persuasiveness, the claim that religion is simply a matter of faith is nothing more than a modern myth --- it’s just not true. While religion certainly requires faith, religion is not only about faith. Facts are also central to all religions because all religious worldviews --- including atheism --- make truth claims, and many of those truth claims can be evaluated through scientific and historical investigation (23).”
There is indeed a degree of correlation between what a person believes and the world beyond the self. One only needs to point out that insane asylums and mental wards are full of people who for various reasons and as a result of assorted circumstances have had their minds severed from reality. And though we as a society must exercise vigilance and even vociferously oppose those who would infringe upon the freedom and dignity of those whose outlooks run counter to prevailing perceptions but do not pose a definitive bodily harm to those around them, Christians should advocate for their worldview as the perspective that best harmonizes the inner and outer worlds.
By Frederick Meekins
According to Geisler and Turek, a number of scientific discoveries come down on the side of the cosmological proof rather than the steady state hypothesis. To assist in remembering what these are, the authors have provided the acronym SURGE.
“S” stands for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The Laws of Thermodynamics stipulate that, within the universe, there…Continue
Posted on January 11, 2017 at 4:47am
Portraying themselves as erudite and sophisticated, the the co-called "cultured despisers of religion" attempt to trip up Christianity right out of the starting gate. Fortunately, Geisler and Turek provide the equivalent of intellectual judo in the form of a number of easily-mastered tactics that can deflect and even redirect the attacks of even the most degreed skeptics.
Foremost among these is the Road Runner Tactic. Named after the famous Looney Tune character, the Road Runner…Continue
Posted on January 2, 2017 at 2:40pm
Posted on December 27, 2016 at 11:46pm