5/05/2005

NOTICE: I'VE MOVED!

Please realize that I have moved to my new location, at www.agenttimonline.com, so make sure you stop by and visit and update your links, becuase I will automatically transfer you to my new site soon.

I hope you continue reading and enjoy the new site.

5/03/2005

Homeschoolers are Odd: Discrimination at it's Worst

NOTICE: This post has moved to my new site here. Please read it there and comment on that site. Thanks!

Scott Thomas....He "makes a few decent points", and I'm finally seeing it through his eyes in some ways. But he is seriously misguided about homeschooling. His facts are wrong, and his extreme bias is not to my liking.

Tim, you've been trying to compromise and be a nice guy. Why don't you just quit sitting on the fence? You know what, I think I will...

Well, I thought I was slightly agreeing with Scott, and did think that he had some good points. But I'm afraid that his second article in response to the e-mails he received has made me jump to one side of the fence.

"My point was not that home schooling isn't’t right for some. My point was it
probably wasn't’t right for most.

Whether or not you agree with my observations about home schooling, and if
we just look at the numbers of people who choose not to home school as compared
to the very small percentage who do it is obvious that most people agree with
me, you can not deny that home schooling is, relatively speaking, an oddity. I
find home schooling odd, and voiced my concerns...

How dare I think that
something you love so much is unusual? How dare I share heartfelt concern? I
think, therefore I dare."


Columnists and opinion editorial writers need to have a firm voice, and somewhat of a "not with the crowd" mentality. But he crossed the line in that article.

Kevin McCullough, blogger, radio host, and writer, defends homeschooling in his column.

We all agree that the public schools are there to offer children to learn at least the basics of how to read, write, add, subtract, and learn history.

But in his argument, Thomas leans on "teaching professionals" to make his point. As McCullough said, "Hardly an objective voice on the matter given the influence of teacher's unions." Question for you: If kids are being homeschooled, are they in public schools?

Your answer is, of course, "no." Next question: "Do Teachers get paid to teach children?"

Your answer this time is "yes." Last question: "If there are no children in public schools, are the teachers being paid?"

The obvious answer is "no." So we can't rely on this source, an obviously biased source.

But I enjoyed this statement from McCullough:

"An observation - no one is doubting that Christians make excellent teachers -
and nobody has argued that everyone need home school their children, and we
should all be grateful for the commitment of great teachers in the dismal public
schools. They are the only chance at a brighter future for these institutions."


Thomas makes a huge over-the-line statement in this paragraph:

"The data shows that most home schooled kids are white, come from middle to
upper class families, and live in the most desirable areas."


I can tell you first-hand that a large amount of homeschoolers in our homeschool group are African-American. You cannot make this into some racial, "class warfare" issue.

The majority of homeschooled family's do not have a two income family. They don't have four cars. "Making a choice between a second car, or their children's future is an admirable decision to be made. It is also one that deserves respect," said Kevin McCullough.

But did Thomas give respect? Not in the least. He rather labeled all homeschoolers as "odd."

These family's have fought for this right, this freedom. And we're still fighting it today, as found here (link coming soon) in my online column. But those who have fought for this deserve respect, not the label of odd.

He does not understand homeschooling, and it does not sound as if he has talked to many homeschoolers.

Lastly, I want to address Jetty Betty's statement on my last post on this topic, in reference to the teaching methods:

"The method of teaching is not the important thing. It is GOD!!!"

Well, I think I see where you're coming from. And from this statement I understand that you believe that as long as God is being taught, then it doesn't matter about the method of teaching.

I know you can go through public school and learn from the atheistic curriculum. But from this statement I'm not seeing God being taught in the public schools. That's not the important thing in public schools.

Let me reiterate...I do not think public school is bad for you, just not always the best choice. You aren't dumb if you go to public schools. You can function as an adult. But Scott Thomas has gone way to far in his statements on homeschoolers.

By the way Jetty Betty, I'll get back to you in ten years.

4/29/2005

Busy Weekend

It's coming soon, really soon. And there is no kidding about it. This site is one of the best designed on the web, based on some of the best site designs out there. But it's not just a copy...it's ten times better than a basic copy. It's unique in it's own way, allowing you to find what you want fast, and reading what you want to read easily and efficiently. It's Agent Tim Online.

Coming Monday, May 1 or 2. Rated G. Look for cool pictures
.

This weekend is going to be really busy for me...tonight I have a piano concert that I am attending. The tomorrow, I will be working on laying down ceramic tile in my kitchen, which will need to sit, and can have no one walk on it until sunday night. So we will be gone all day Sunday. But I will be here to write my very first post on my new site.

I've been working with Still Thinking in the design, and am really loving the website. You are going to be liking it a lot. If you get a chance, mention it on your blog, to your parents, friends, and co-workers. Sound good? The site looks awesome...you will be blown away at the change.

Pray for me as I do all this work this weekend and that as I start "fresh" on this new site, that God will use the blog for his glory.

If you wondered, all comments and past posts will still be there for you to enjoy! So you don't have to worry about that.

I wish I could tell you more...but I'll hang you in suspense...

4/28/2005

Great Stories...Great Lives.

iwojimaTwo nights ago, I picked up "Don't Waste Your Life" by John Piper and began to read the seventh chapter. I was struck with these stories to show what truly is "cool" in life. It's not the clothes, the friends, or your looks. It's more than that. And living your life the right way is being willing to give it away because you know Christ is all there is to live for.

The following stories are not for those with a weak stomach. But these stories are so great...and the word "cool" just can't encompass what these young men did for their country:

Jacklyn Lucas:

He'd fast-talked his way into the Marines at fourteen, fooling recruits with his muscled physique...Assigned to drive a truck in Hawaii, he had grown frustrated; he wanted to fight. He stowed away on a transport out of Honolulu, surviving on food passed along to him by sypathetic leathernecks on board.

He landed on D-Day [at Iwo Jima] without a rifle. He grabbed one lying on the beach and fought his way inland.

Now, on D+1, Jack and three comrades were crawling through a trench when eight Japanese sprang in front of them. Jack shot one of them throught the head. Then his rifle jammed. As he struggled with it a grenade landed at his feet. He yelled a warning to the others and rammed the grenade into the soft ash. Immediately another rolled in. Jack Lucas, seventeen, fell on both grenades. "Luke, you're gonna die," he remembered thinking...

Aboard the hospital ship Samaritan the doctors could scarcely believe it. "Maybe he was too young to die and too tough to die," one said. He endured twenty-one reconstructive operations and became the nation's youngest Medal of Honor award winner--the only high school freshman to recieve it.

Ray Dollins, fighter pilot at Iwo Jima:

The first wave of amtracs headed for shore. The Marine fighter planes were finishing up their low strafing runs. And as the last pilot began to pull his Corsair aloft, Japanese sprang to their guns and riddled the plane with flak. The pilot, Major Ray Dollins, tried to gain altitude as he headed out over the ocean so as to avoid a deadly crash into the Marines headed for the beach, but his plane was too badly damaged. Lieutenant Keith Wells watched it from the amtrac..."We could see him in the cockpit," Wells said, "and he was trying everything. He was heading straight down for a group of approaching 'tracs filled with Marines. At the last second he flipped the plane over on its back and aimed it into the water between two waves of tanks. We watched the water exploding into the air."

Military personel listening to the flight radio network from ships could not only see Dollins go down; they could hear his last words into his microphone. They were a defiant parody.

Oh what a beautiful morning
Oh, what a beautiful day,
I've got a terrible feeling,
Everything's coming my way.


William Hoopes of Chattanooga:

As a rainy morning wore into afternoon and the fighting bogged down, the Marines continued to take casualties. Often it was the corpsmen [medics] themselves who died as they tried to preserve life. William Hoopes of Chattanooga was crouching beside a medic named Kelly, who had put his head above a protective ridge and placed binoculars to his eyes--just for an instant--to spot a sniper who was peppering his area. In that instant the sniper shot him through the Adam's apple. Hoopes, a pharmacists's mate himself, struggled frantically to save his friend. "I took my forceps and reached into his neck to grasp the artery and pinch it off," Hoopes recalled. "His blood was spurting. He had no speech but his eyes were on me. He knew I was trying to save his life. I tried everything in the world. I couldn't do it. I tried. The blood was so slippery. I couldn't get the artery. I was trying so hard. And all the while he just looked at me. He looked directly into my face. The last thing he did as the blood spurts became less and less was to pay me on the arm as if to say, 'That's all right.' Then he died.

And let us never forget that poem there on the island of Iwo Jima:
When you go home
Tell them for us and say
For your tommorow
We gave our today


So where are the young radicals for Christ? Where are those who are out and doing what they've been taught? Are you someone who wants to be like these men in your Christian walk but are scared? I know I'm like that, and we need to get it together and model these men's lives. We need to live our life by proving to Christ that he is worth more than life. Can you do it?

4/27/2005

Stoopin', Smackin', and Slappin'?

It's a crazy world out there. And it's fool...er...full of people who are hating, who are living life out to get others different from them, and look for any opportunity to fight. So what do we do when we come into contact with people like that?

Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.
--Proverbs 26:4-5


Well, it seems our Voice in the Wilderness is in a situation where he must respond to a fool. Awhile back, I attempted to answer these questions asked by Adrienne, of That's So Adee along with my friend Jake, and found out a lot in response to what seems to be a very confusing verse.

Jake: "These verses from Proverbs tell us how to address a self confident, conceited, person who is acting foolishly. Verse 4 tells us when a person is acting conceited and haughty that we are not to stoop to their level and act the same way. If we do, then we are no better than they are. Sometimes people will challenge us with an attitude that is not Christian, hoping we will respond in like manner. For example, if someone yells at us or is angry with us, we should not respond in the same tone.

Also, my dad thinks that it is just a way of showing that it is a lose-lose sitiation, wheather you answer the 'fool' or not, you're going to have some kind of problem."

Tim: "Also, you sometimes need to expose the foolishness of fools, and other times not stoop to their level.

And one thing about Proverbs: It's really just general statements of truth. And it's not to be understood as prophecy or about certain effects and results as promises (according to the NIV study Bible). Proverbs is to give the benefits of wise living and the consequences of foolish living."


So what happens when someone comes up to you and punches you or someone you know? Wouldn't you knock them to kingdom come?

Logan attempted to make a scale in which he would knock out someone who maybe is a fool ranking somewhere from 6-10 (10 being the worst).

So does it work? Can you stick a fool into a category and then decide what your actions are based on your own ranking system. It's a thin line, and it may get harder if you try to make up your own way to decide what to do when you don't understand a verse.

Like Jake said, we don't need to stoop to their level. When they try to fight, and we decide to retaliate because "If someone hits you and you don't do anything then you will make the fool look wise in his own eyes." It won't becuase we aren't stooping to their level. They are so foolish, that they think they are wise in their own eyes, and it will please them that you have retaliated. The devil will use them.

I can put myself in your situation Logan, and so can many others, especially when you feel the rush of adrenaline when you hear someone mouth off, and you want to flatten their face. But we cannot do that. We must show that we have self control, and are wiser than they are. We shouldn't care what they think about us, but only what Christ thinks.

So, what if it comes down to Jr. trying to fight you? What if he jumps you, or your sister? Do you fight back.

Obviously, it is very dumb to allow someone to beat the living daylights out of you or your sister without doing anything. You can defend yourself. No more. You don't do anything more than beat him off of you, and get away without speaking any fould or degrading words. We should not be on the offensive in this case.

But I would hope it would not come down to something like that. It may seem like that, especially if you think about it a lot, and worry and even plan. But in the meantime, you need to do all you can to not do anything to aggrivate Junior. You need to be praying for him, and for you, to make the right decisions. You need to pray that God will work in his life and in your's as well.

So there is my two cents...everyone please tell me what you think and what you would do...praying for you Logan.

4/26/2005

Liar, Lunatic, Or Lord?

Most People would probably agree with me in saying that he was a great teacher, with great teachings that were very true. But they go on to say that he was just that--a teacher. Or just a prophet.

C.S. Lewis put it well:

"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a level with man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make you choice. Either this man was, and is the son of God: or else a madman or something worse.

You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His Being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."


This statement does get worn out. There is no doubt about it. But if you think about it, it holds so much truth. If Jesus' claims are false, then really there is just two more options left. He either knew that his claims were false...or he didn't know. I can't think of any other options.

So, was Jesus a liar?

If Jesus was a liar, he would have to be the biggest liar in all of history. He would be a demon, telling other that he was the only way to heaven. And to top it off he foolishly threw his life away by dying on a cross, something he claimed God led him to do.

Now, to those who say Jesus was just as great moral teacher because he would have been a huge hypocrite, teaching one thing and the next minute doing the opposite of what he taught. There is no way that he could have been a great moral teacher if his teaching was not backed up with actions. He would be what Josh McDowell calls a "deliberate liar."

But we don't see him as a deliberate liar. His actions do support his words. We see lives changed wherever Jesus was. People were changed for good. Men, women, children, even nations, were changed for good. I don't see a liar and terrible hypocrite being so pure and honest and true all through his life. It's nonsense!

Phillip Schaff:

"How in the name of logic, common sense, and experience, could an imposter--that is a deceitful,selfish, depraved man--have invented, and consistently maintained from the beginning to end, the purest and noblest character known in history with the most perfect air of truth and reality?"


The life of Jesus does not point him to be a liar.

But, hey, was he a lunatic?

Maybe he really thought he was God, and was very sincere, but just flat out wrong. I mean, couldn't that be a possibility? It certainly seems so.

I mean, if someone were to come up to you and tell you that they were Napoleon...Well, you'd probably laugh (hard?) then call the authorities if he was was insane like that. Who knows, he could hurt someone!

If Jesus claimed he was God, and was not, but really believed he was...He really was not in his right mind.

Again, I go back to the lifestyle of Jesus and point out his teachings, and his sayings. His teachings were too sound and great that it doesn't really point to the fact that he was a lunatic. Josh McDowell wrote of a Psychiatrist who said that all you have to do is read portions of Christs' teaching to patients, and that's all the counseling they need.

His intellect and theological knowledge do not point to a point of insanity, but of firm mental soundness.

So, was he Lord?

I'm not concluding that Christ was a liar or lunatic. So what else is there to choose from? To conclude that Christ is not a liar or a lunatic, is to conclude that he is Lord. Think about it...Which of these three "L's" are more probable? Christ is not just a great moral teacher...He's something that you have to choose.

Next, I will conclude this series with a defense on the reliability of the New Testament, and a complete wrap up on this series.

4/25/2005

Objections Addressed

In my last post on Why Is Christianity the Only Way, I began to answer a question by a secular humanistic Jew:

But how can you be sure that your way is right? What actual, physical proof do you have that says that Christianity is right and Islam (or Judaism, Hinduism, etc.) is wrong? All you have to go on is your faith and your particular holy book. What makes the Bible any more or less true than the Torah or Koran? Why is Jesus any holier than YHWH or Allah? There is no real way to know who is right in religion. Maybe none of the modern religions are right. Maybe Zeus et al. Are sitting up on Mount Olympus right now shaking their heads at us. Until we stop declaring that we are right and nobody else is, the world will constantly be in a state of turmoil. (Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, I'm an secular humanistic Jew.)


I started to answer the last question, why Jesus is holier than other gods (and also said that he was the One True God)*. I touched on just few of many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, and now will proceed to defend my stance to some regard.

One of the objections to these prophecies (or rather the reasons people give for Christ fulfilling the prophecies) is to say:

Christ purposely fulfilled them to make it look like he was the messiah.

This statement cannot stand, due to the fact that it would be impossible for Christ to decide to fulfill all the prophecies. How could he decide that his mother would be a virgin? How could Jesus choose that he would be born in Bethlehem? And what about the many things that happened around his death? Like his bones that were not broken, the soldiers gambling for his clothes, and even his betrayal for 30 pieces of silver?

So now you may say that the Disciples fabricated the story.

At this point many apologists will ask you if you would die for a lie. And of course you would probably say "no." But there are exceptions. I would go deeper and wonder why a disciple would write a gospel that teaches good, not evil and lies, and still stick a big lie in it. And to top it off, he really would die for that lie.

Now, perhaps you're saying that physics always foretell the future and are correct. Be realistic...They are mostly wrong. But Jesus' record of fulfilling prophecy is absolutely astounding when you look at it.

Many Jews, I would suspect, would tell me that the Disciples misinterpreted the prophecies when they wrote their gospels, especially the one's that seem to refer to Israel, not a messiah. Norm Giesler explains:

"The New Testament did apply certain Old Testament passages to Jesus that were not directly predictive of him. Many scholors see these references as being 'typologically' fulfilled in Christ...in other words, some truth in the passage can approprietly be applied to Christ even though it was not specifially predictive of him. Other scholors say there's a generic meaning in certain Old Testament passages that apply to both Israel and Christ, both of which were called God's 'son.' This is sometimes called a 'double reference view' of prophecy."


Lastly, what if Jesus accidentally fulfilled the prophecies?

The odds of that happening are overwhelmingly slim. Basically, it's impossible...Somewhere around 1 in 1,000,000. It's equal to the number of 1 1/2 inch squares it would take to cover all dry land on the earth. Not going to happen.

We can see that we can rely on these prophecies so far, and next I will look at why we can rely on Christ...Whether he's a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. Stay tuned.

*Error Fixed