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

4/22/2005

Why Is Christianity the Only Way?

For this series of posts, I want to respond to a comment made on my post on Tolerating the Intolerable:


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 think I'm going to go at it backwards and answer the last question first:

Why is Jesus any holier than YHWH or Allah?

Since this person is Jewish, I will respect that and leave out all vowels in YHWH. First of all, in the New Testament, Christ refers to himself as God, YHWH:

"I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am." (John 8:58)

So what makes that claim true? How can I say that Jesus really is God?

Well, as Lee Strobel puts it, "Anyone can believe that he or she is God. [But] Jesus didn't just consider himself God's Son, but he also fulfilled the attributes that are unique to God."

He was omnicient, omnipotent , and omnipresent. During His time on earth, as recorded in Phillipians 2, he emptied himself of his attributes when he was incarnated.

"He made Himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness." (Phillipians 2:7)

Collosians 2:9 states, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form."

And John 8:29 tells of his eternality, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Jesus was God and he did claim to be God.

How can we believe that Jesus was and is God? I'd like to take a look at the prophecies of the Old Testament.

You will have to admit that all prophecies of the coming Messiah were written some 400 years before Christ was born.

Many Christians will first point to what looks to be a fortelling of the Messiah in Isaiah 53, which points out 12 aspects of Christ's Passion:

He would be rejected, a man of sorrow, live a life of suffering, be despised by others, carry our sorrows, be smitten and afflicted by God, be peirced for our transgressions, be wounded for our sins, would suffer like a lamb, would die for the wicked, would be sinless, and would pray for others.

All of these things were fulfilled in the life of Christ, but many modern Rabbis reject that Isaiah was talking of a coming messiah, and insist that he referred to the Jewish Nation. Norman Geisler says, "It was common for Jewish interpreters before the time of Christ to teach that Isaiah here spoke of the Jewish Messiah. Only after early Christians began using the text apologetically with great force did it become in rabbinical teaching an expression of the suffering Jewish nation. The view is implausible in the context."

Lee Strobel lists some of the other major predictions about the Messiah (all fulfilled by Jesus):

  • He would be born of a Virgin (Genesis 3:15)

  • He would be of the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18)

  • He would be of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10)

  • Of the House of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16)

  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)

  • He would be heralded by the Lord's messenger (Isaiah 40:3)

  • He would cleanse the temple (Malachi 3:1)

  • He would be "cut off" 483 years after the declaration to
  • reconstruct Jerusalem in 444 B.C. (Daniel 9:24-27)

  • He would be rejected (Psalm 118:22)

  • He would have his hands and feet peirced (Psalm 22:16)

  • His side would be peirced (Zechariah 12:10)

  • He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)

  • He would ascend into heaven (Psalm 68:18)

  • He would site down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1)


  • Lee Strobel then goes on to say that the "exact fulfillment of so many specific predictions is such a persuasive apologetic that critics have reapeatedly raised objections to try and negate them."

    And I'm going to attempt to address some of those in my next post.
    Part Two: Objections Addressed

    4/21/2005

    Homeschooling Is Not A Good Idea

    [My NEW SITE is Coming Soon and the ONLINE HOMESCHOOL CONVENTION IS UP and you have to check out this blog]

    I'm going to get tons of hits from google on this one. Of course, it will be better than hits from the guy who searched for "Amish Speaking in Tongues."

    Scott Thomas believes Homeschooling is a bad idea. So do I agree with him? Nope.

    So why do I not agree with him and his article?

    Well, first of all, Mr. Thomas makes a few decent points, saying that public schooled teachers are trained to be the best in what they do. They go to college and get degrees, Ph.D's and whatever else. Most homeschooling parents would go under the "untrained" category.

    Point made and filed.

    So he goes on to say:

    "From my observation[s]...parents choose to home school as a form of protection for their children."


    And then goes on to list some of the bad things that homeschoolers may want to protect from.

    "I don't like all of that junk, either. But, at what price, protection?"


    So his next point to make is that homeschooling parents are not qualified for the job.

    "As one public school teacher told me, "As a teaching professional, I am deeply hurt by the Christian community's pull-out from the public school system. The (public school) teachers I know are excellent! And many of them are Christians! They have a wealth of experience and resources that can't be matched by home schooling parents. Not only are teachers highly-educated (all having Bachelor's degrees, and many having Master's or Ph.D's), but they are specialists in their fields. We go to conferences, read up on the latest research and have teams of Master Teachers who mentor educators new to the profession.


    "Most parents do not have the level of expertise that we do. The parents that I have seen home school their children often struggle along needlessly, comparing various curriculums, uncertain of what their children should know. Add to that children who are struggling with disabilities or learning to read, and the gap between what parents know about teaching and what the trained professionals know, widens. Most adults wouldn't rewire the electrical system of their home on their own, they lack the expertise to do it right. Many would hire a professional. That, in one sense is what teachers are hired to do."


    He's stuck on the knowledge only.


    "Let's give parents, most of whom are NOT great teachers, the option to send their kids to real, professional, great teachers."


    Let's just take a look at some official stats Mr. Thomas:

    "Dr. Brian Ray, in the most in-depth nationwide study on home education across the United States, collected data on 5,402 students from 1,657 families. Homeschool students' academic achievement, on average, was significantly above that of public-school students. In addition, the home educated did well even if their parents were not certified teachers and if the state did not highly regulate homeschooling.
    --Home educators are able to be flexible and tailor or customize the curriculum to the needs of each child.
    --In study after study, the home educated score better, on average, than those in conventional state-run schools (see table).

    [Table states that in Reading, Language, and Math those in Public schools scored 50, and homeschoolers 65-80 (percentile).]

    For learning disabled students, there are higher rates of academic engaged time in homeschooling and greater academic gains made by the home educated."... [P]arents, even without special education training, provided powerful instructional environments at home..."


    In regards to being socially able to function, you said "If you perceive problems with your public schools, you can choose, as a family, to be part of the solution, or you can run from the problems and home school."

    Well, as to those avoiding the problems:

    "--Studying actual observed behavior, Dr. Shyers (1992) found the home educated have significantly lower problem behavior scores than do their conventional school agemates.
    --Multiple studies show that the home educated have positive self-concepts.
    --Homeschool students are regularly engaged in field trips, scouting, 4-H, and community volunteer work, and their parents (i.e., their main role models) are significantly more civically involved than are public school parents."


    You were probably expecting all these stats and rebuttals, etc.

    I'd like to ask you if the teachers are bad and unqualified, how are homeschoolers getting such good stats when taking these tests? All of these homeschoolers are able to have a tailored education that many times is robbed them in public schools. Yes, there are teachers in public schools who are great teachers and are even Christians, but you can't assure me that all my teachers will be able to effectively and personally teach me so that I can learn well.

    And even if I had a Christian teacher, how would that help since the curriculum is totally Atheistic.

    Quoting from Jake Smith of Virtue Magazine answering the question if he missed anything from being homeschooled:

    "Of course you do! I missed hearing evolution being taught as a scientific fact; I missed the chance to be in a clique; I missed people trying to pressure me into drinking and smoking; I missed the chance to ignore people, just because they look, act or talk different than me."


    He's homeschooled and goes to a technical school with those in public schools, so he would know something about it.

    We do have to be careful thought that we aren't so protected "that we don't know how to engage those who don't share our values."(From the mailbag--My Uncle) He went on to say that sometimes we as Christians do the same, getting stuck in our protected churches, and not going and sharing to the society around us. But of course that doesn't mean that we need to send kids to public schools to do it. Most times, we are better grounded in our faith and are ready to respond to the society when the time comes to do so better than those in public schools.

    Now, before anti-Homeschoolers email me in droves, I hope you'll ask yourself if you really are, at the end of the day, someone who can honestly say that the public schools are showing the best statistics knowledge wise and social wise. Please show me the stats...and keep the response clean.

    4/20/2005

    Linkage Galore

    Talk about at lot of fun for liberals and conservatives alike! Go here to shoot paintballs at your least favorite website, or maybe you'd rather flood it?

    Liberal Bloggers go here

    Conservatives go here.

    By the way Catez, that was wrong (just kidding).

    HT goes to Rebecca Writes for that one.

    A Physcisicst's Perspective has moved! Still Thinking should do his site in my opinion.

    The Christian Carnival is up.

    Total Depravity and Divine Knowledge by Tim Challies (I love this guy and his site. I like his style and it's affected mine a lot). What in the world does that mean? Well, it has to be good with about 65 (er..make that 67 and growing) comments on the post. I won't steal anything from Tim, except to say that if you read anything or click on any links in this post, this is the one to visit.

    Catholic Blogs to visit: The Anchoress and I looked at theRoman Catholic Blog, and I stopped into The Corner. You can find more links from them.

    4/19/2005

    New Pope: And More

    Well, the new Pope has been elected by the conclave of Cardinals in the Vatican. And as you may well all know, his name is now Benedict the XVI.

    I was very happy to hear that Benedict is a conservative Pope, and we hope that he will lead to more reformation in the Catholic Church.

    What reformation? Don't the Catholics believe the same things as you do as an Evangelical?

    Well, not quite. I won't go into deep detail, but I believe that much of the Catholic Churches teachings are in error. They have almost created a religion of their own.

    I believe that there are many Christians who are Catholics. I believe it whole heartedly. They just have a different worship style, one that is much more formal. Their "good works" are just acts of their faith that follow belief in Christ.

    But I'm here to tell you, living in a state that has more Catholics than almost any state, most Catholics believe in a works religion. They believe it takes more than faith to get to heaven, and they do that by doing good works. It's by grace through faith that your are saved, not of yourselves, it is a gift of God. They have the wrong theology. If the Catholic church is teaching this, they are absolutely wrong. Benedict must believe that it is by grace you have been saved, and that works is just the fruit of your salvation.

    I will go on to say that we must remember that Christ did tell us to store up treasure in heaven. And how do we do this? By living a righteous life. Nothing we do can get us into heaven, and even when we get to heaven, will we not turn all of that treasure back to our Creator?

    A huge problem in the Catholic church is one that I found out just recently. They have removed the second commandment. And to keep it ten they've split the tenth into two parts.

    Just read it for yourself:

    "The Tenth embraces both the Ninth and Tenth of the Catholic division. It seems, however, as logical to separate at the end as to group at the beginning, for while one single object is aimed at under worship, two specifically different sins are forbidden under covetousness; if adultery and theft belong to two distinct species of moral wrong, the same must be said of the desire to commit these evils. "

    So they can keep worshipping Mary and other objects. And because they have learned their catechism well, they see no fault in this. But they must read Exodus 20:4,5:

    "You shall not make for yourself any graven image...You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them."

    I pray this pope will fight relativism as he has said he will. I like that, I like it a lot.

    4/17/2005

    Drudge: Boy, You're In Trouble With Me

    Matt Drudge (in the Times) on blogs:

    “I don’t read them. I like to create waves and not surf them. And who are these influential bloggers? You can’t name one because they don’t exist.



    Um, Matt. How about Glenn Reynolds? Hugh Hewitt? The guys at Power Line? Dude, you're totally missing it. He's in trouble with me on this one...

    And...

    Back in the 1990s Drudge was a believer in the empowering potential of the internet. In a speech he said, “We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices. Every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be.”


    Alex King Interview

    "I wonder if he has read Hugh Hewitt's book Blog, because before I read that I couldn't have told you who the "influential bloggers" were. But I'm sure someone like him could have figured it out though."

    Could be that Drudge might have a point?

    Patrick Ruffini on Drudge vs. Blogs:

    Bloggers are scratching their heads over this. After all, isn't Drudge the ultimate new media maven? Why is he saying this? The reason is actually quite simple.

    Competition.

    Blogs are a threat to Drudge's leadership of Internet media. Major blogs like InstaPundit, and emerging Drudge competitors like The Roth Report, The Daou Report, and Memeorandum may be big fish by blogosphere standards, but they are a small but emerging threat to Drudge's millions of daily uniques. They're the Firefox to Drudge's Microsoft.


    I'm with you all the way Patrick...he's right. Bloggers are a threat to Drudge, and he's not willing to help them out.

    Hypocrisy?

    The Political Teen,has some thoughts:

    Drudge is entitled to his opinion, however not when he steps over the hypocrisy line.


    Drudge cannot be really telling the truth...he must be reading blogs daily. There is no doubt about it. Lies? Could possibly be. Double crosser? Hmmm...should I go that far?

    InstaLink: He's talking about it: "Comparing Drudge to Microsoft? Them's fighting words!"

    That's right Glenn. We don't take to supposed friends turnin' on us.

    Also: When I search for blogs on the Drudge Report, guess what I get.

    4/16/2005

    I'm Still Thinking

    still thinking
    Still Thinking is a new blogger help business, there to help you! They are the one's helping me out with my site, and they may soon be able to do something for you. Check them out, they're awesome.

    Check out the Challies forums today. I've signed up and you should too!

    Jesus Ain't My Homeboy. How are you treating Christ and His Word? Have you noticed that Jesus seems to be the only major religious firgure that get's disrepected. And it's perfectly normal! I liked this from Rusty Lopez: "What is it about our culture that causes us to consider the creator of the universe just another one of the gang?"

    The English Standard Version is taking over the blosphere? Adrian Warnock is covering the story. So do I like it? Well, I'm no great scholar, but from what I've heard it's really close to the NIV. I would probably use it in my Bible study with no problems, but since I've already memorized Scripture using the NIV, I wouldn't just switch over to only ESV. I'm still looking at it, but so far I'm for it. Count me in for now Adrian.

    Radio Blogger says Mcain has switched parties. He might as well. These Democrats can't abuse the power of the filibuster. The good news is that Senator Frist will push for a showdown. He'll be backed by Senator Santorum and Senator Allen. On the Hugh Hewitt show "Senator Santorum began the program today, and the news was as bad as it gets. Do you have the votes to end the filibuster? "We're working on it." When will the vote occur? "Within a couple of months." Hmmmm....it better not be.

    Help Jim out. He's doing a 630 degree turn and getting Physically fit be losing 180 pounds. Pray for him and keep him accountable. His blog is so awesome.

    Don't miss the Online Homeschool Convention! Even if you're not homeschooled, I'm extending an invitation to you to infiltrate and see what we do and say. You'll like it, I'm sure.

    4/15/2005

    Fired for Talking Truth?

    Marty MIntoMarty Minto, Pittsburgh talk show host for WORD FM 101.5 was fired because he "alienated" listeners by entertaining a question on whether or not the Pope would go to heaven.

    "Minto said he responded to a question about whether the pope would go to heaven with the belief held by many evangelical Christians that a person must be 'a born-again believer.'

    'I said the question of whether a person is born again is something personal, something between an individual and the Creator,' Minto said. 'I believe it was a legitimate topic to discuss.'" (Pittsburgh LIVE)

    But he was taken into the office after his show and fired.

    "WORD-FM needs to function in this city in support of the entire church -- that means everybody -- and not focus on denominational issues," said Chuck Gratner, general manager of WORD-FM for the past 14 years.

    From what I've seen so far, I don't see any reason that they needed to fire him except that he supposedly "offended" Catholics. He didn't say the Pope was going to hell. He only said that he does not agree with some of the Catholic Churches teaching, and I agree with him. It needs to change.

    I don't know what WORD FM was doing...the Church is not going to be liked by all people, and they can't expect to not alienate some. It's a Christian station!

    But Gratner said, ""We ended our relationship" with him because of differences in how he conducted his show."

    If that's what they want, I guess they have the power to do so.

    What finally gets me is this:

    "The Rev. Ron Lengwin, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, said the diocese did not complain to WORD-FM regarding Minto's show. He said station management contacted the diocese to say that Minto had been fired. " (Pitt. LIVE)

    If you'd like to e-mail Marty Minto and encourage him, you can do so by clicking here.

    4/14/2005

    To Look Forward To

    As I prepare to make a new site, under a new host, I've been thinking about looking forward to things. Like looking forward to having a nice, crisp, clean, looking site. Or looking forward to hopefully finding my niche, which may be analysis, as well as keeping you up-to-date on missions around the globe, and of missionary's on top-secret projects risking their lives to tell the gospel of Jesus Christ*. Basically, I’m hoping to add some more to this blog that you’ll enjoy. That seems to be what God is calling me to cover on my blog. I hope you will enjoy what’s coming your way. I’m really excited about it, and I hope you will like it!

    So what about the spiritual life? What do you have to look forward to in the future? For me, I look forward to heaven. I look forward to it more than because it's a place of no tears, no pain, no sin, but so much more because I get to see my Savior face to face. It's beyond my wildest dreams. I want to live in a place where there is no more sickness. I want to live in a place where there is no terrorism. I want to live in a place where I can see my family and friends, and those who I've always wanted to meet. I've always wanted to walk down the golden streets, say hello to Peter, talk with Jim Elliot, then speak to Billy Graham. It will be so great to spend eternity talking to such great Christians. But the best thing is that I can see my Savior face to face, without any fear, because I am cleansed of my great sin because of his death on the Cross. He has forgiven me, and I am worthy through his blood to worship Him for eternity.

    You say that you don't believe in a heaven or hell. Well, when I look at it, I ask the question, "What if there is a heaven and a hell?" I don’t want to go to a hell. Whether it's there or not, I don't want to go there. However, Christianity does take faith. Faith believes in the unseen, and sometime the unexplained. As a Christian, I have faith there is a God. As a Christian I have faith there is a heaven and a hell.

    Many great apologists can tell you more, and perhaps allow you to understand what I'm saying better, but as a Christian, many things are not crystal clear. You say, "That's dumb, believing in the unseen--something you can't touch or feel." The difference of Christianity from other religions is that we worship a risen Savior. Many other religions worship dead prophets. I worship a risen Lord.

    I don't have time to do apologetics on such a topic, but what I'm telling you as my reader is that I'm looking forward to great things. I do not fear death, and can live each day with the Cross at my side, ready to live to the fullest, which is whatever God calls me to do. The Cross is all that's worth living for.

    *Not promising anything :)

    4/13/2005

    Quick Links

    I'm sitting here at the computer rushing around the blogshpere trying to pick some things up before I go to church tonight. Here's what I found interesting.
    Evangelical Outpost is having a syposium that you may be interested in writing for. But you'll either have to hurry and dig in your archives...the deadline is Friday. I've submitted already, so you can stay tuned to see what happens. There aren't that many posts, but they all seem to look really good! Check it out!

    I really like this blog. The video blogging is really neat...

    Lashawn Barber has an awesome site that I've been missing out on.

    Video Blogging? Maybe I'll try it out before I get my new site...or when I get my new one. What do you think? Should I go more with apologetics or politics? For some reason, I want to go with more analysis on current issues from a Christian perspective, as well as keeping you up to date with some interesting stories on persecuted Christians.

    Allthings2All has her latest post on her street team up. I've linked to the main site becuase you need to see all of her posts!

    4/12/2005

    Tolerating the Intolerable

    tolerating-the-intolerable
    Privatization: “To make private; especially : to change (as a business or industry) from public to private control or ownership”

    Our country has the mindset of “I’ll believe what I want to believe, and you can believe what you want to believe.” You know: Tolerance (“sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”). We have come to the point that we all have our own private religions practiced in our own private lives. You have absolutely no right to criticize someone’s religion (or lack thereof). If you do, you will be labeled as a bigot and intolerant.

    Bigot: “a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices”

    Intolerant: “unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters” or “unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights”

    There are no longer absolute, black and white, rules.

    Before I go on, let me give you two very different definitions of tolerance that I have come up with. First:

    “Negative Tolerance” — Acknowledging another human’s religion and understanding their right to freedom of religion. You respect their beliefs but do not accept them as truth.

    Then we have:

    “Positive Tolerance” — Accepting all religions as equally true, and allowing others to worship as they please because you have no right to criticize another’s truth.

    “It’s true because I believe it is true,” is the accepted statement of today. The problem with this statement?

    Say I believe it is all right to steal from a local gift shop because I’ve donated to it before but I never got anything in return for my services. So I decide I’m going to get my reward. But I get caught in the act. According to the view above, I didn’t do anything wrong. I believed it was fine to steal. It’s my truth, and you can’t say that it’s wrong. So with no moral absolutes, and nothing black and white, we have a society that truly has no law. But the law must be absolute—it cannot change from person to person.

    Increased lawlessness results from the view of no absolute truth. Because how can you condemn anyone if you believe in tolerating others beliefs? Yes, a tolerant person must even be tolerant of the intolerant. How can you call me a bigot if, according to your view of tolerance, it’s true if I believe it’s true?

    But for me as a Christian, the Word of God isn’t true because I believe it to be true. Rather, I believe it because it is true. The Bible is true whether you believe it or not. There must be absolutes or our society is headed to ruin.

    When you accept the view that many ways lead to heaven, you cannot include Christianity. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

    Everyone has the right to believe what he chooses to believe. However, I cannot and will not treat other beliefs as equal with The Truth. To do so would dishonor the holiness of God. Yes, you will call me intolerant and a bigot. But then again, I’m afraid the tables turn when you say that. Because how can you be tolerant of the intolerant?

    This is the reason we can and need to teach morality in our society today. The "tolerance" logic just doesn't work, and it turns on itself.

    As I said, increased lawlessness results from a tolerant and a pluralistic society. Everyone is free to do what seems right to them! We don't want to live in a society like that. No one wants to live in a nation where there is no law to protect them. So to promote morality is to promote the Law, which keeps us safe. To believe in tolerance and pluralism is to promote lawlessness, and a land that does not keep us safe. The choice is up to you--do you want to be under the mercy of the Law, or a nation with no law?

    All definitions from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

    (© Tim Sweetman, Revised Edtion)

    Series Continued Here

    4/11/2005

    Online Homeschool Convention

    Well, I think this is a really cool idea. An online homeschool convention! You're invited to be a guest "speaker," or rather a writer. You'll need to write or have written a post on homeschooling...something I'm not sure I've done!
    Now, what d'ya know? Spunky, creator of this online convention, was just one of the bloggers mentioned in the comment section of Lashawn Barber. Why? Well, Lashawn wanted to know who were the top overrated bloggers (5), and who were the underrated bloggers (5). Yours truly got to mention Spunky, as well as Virtue Magazine. So head over and vote! 99 comments as of today!
    What are you doing sitting around? He's done it again...made it on my blog once again. If you haven't checked it out, you're totally missing a lot.
    And don't miss my post today.

    UPDATEYour post for the convention just has to be by a homeschooler or homeschooling parent (or soon to be one). Thanks Spunky!

    What They're Saying About the Law

    The Law of God...the starting point for sharing the gospel. Here is what many Christian leaders are saying or have said about the Law and the gospel:
    A gospel which merely says "Come to Jesus" and offers Him as a Friend, and offers a marvelous life, without convincing of sin, is not New Testament Evangelism. (The essence of evangelism is to start by preaching the Law; and it is because the Law has not been preached that we have had so much superficial evangelism.) True evangelism...Must always start by preaching the Law."--Martin Lloyd-Jones
    The law puts the fear of God in men with love:
    The second use [of the Law] is to bring him unto life, unto Christ that he may live. It is true, in performing both these offices, it acts the part of a severe schoolmaster. It drives us by force, rather than draws us by love. And yet lvoe is the spring of all. It is the spirit of love which, by this painful means, tears away our confidence in the flesh, which leaves us no broken reed whereupon to trust, and so constrains the sinner, stripped of all to cry out in the bitterness of his soul or groan in the depth of his heart, "I give up every plea beside, Lord, I am damned; but thou hast died."--John Wesley
    We need to use and love the Law of God:
    "Never, never let us despise [the Law]. It is the symptom of an ignorant ministry, and unhealthy state of religion, when the Law is lightly esteemed. The true Christian 'delights in God's Law'(Romans 24:10-20)"--J.C. Ryle
    Sowing the seed with the Law of God:
    "The unsaved are in no condition today for the Gospel till the Law be applied to their hearts, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin."--A.W. Pink
    "One reason why this soil was so uncongenial was that is was totally unprepared for the seed. There has been no plowing before the seed was sown, and no harrowing afterwards. He that sows without a plow may reap without a sickle. He who preaches the gospel without preaching the Law hold all the results of it in his hand, and there will be little for him to hold."-Charles Spurgeon
    The Law, a silken thread...
    "You must preach the Law, for the gospel is a silken thread, and you cannot get into the hearts of men unless you have made a way for it with a sharp needle; the sharp needle of the Law will pull the silken thread of the gospel after it."--Robbie Flockhart

    Want to effectively share the gospel? Go to www.thewayofthemaster.com to find out how you can do it. Those who go to my church...this is what we use on Tuesday nights when we go out to the neighborhood to share the gospel with those who've visited our church. It's really great, and I'd like to see it used in street evangelism like they do in the Way of The Master TV show. It's a fantastic way to share the gospel...One of the best. I know that you don't need a "guide" or "plan of salvation" to share with someone, but they have some great points and teaching on their site to prepare you to be equipped to give the gospel to those around you.

    4/10/2005

    Jeremy Camp and Mercy Me!

    Last night I got to go to the MercyMe Undone concert, and got to hear Monk and Neagle (I'll have a picture of me with Monk soon), the Afters, JEREMY CAMP, and MercyMe.First we headed to Outback to get dinner with our group, and had a pretty good dinner. I was going to audio blog there, but decided to wait for the concert. So after that, we went to the Patriot Center in Virginia, and went right in to our seats (after going to the bathroom). Then we waited for the concert to start, so I decided to test out audio blogger. Of course, it was down, and was down the entire time we were there, and even when we left!
    First up we had Monk and Neagle do their act, which was really good, considering it was just those two guys and there guitars (and great voices.) They had some really good songs, and I'm going to get a CD ASAP! Unfortunately, they only sang three songs...But I did get to meet Monk!
    After them came the Afters, (pun intended), who were a rock/punk rock band, who did a good job. I had to laugh at the lead singer, who was going absolutely crazy...Even more crazy than all the other guys put together. To put it simply, they were rockin'.
    Then came the celebrated Jeremy Camp, who was only a special guest, but seemed more popular than MercyMe! He had a great act, and a great band. Actually, the drummer looked like my cousin who plays the drums on Wednesdays at our church. They also had one guy who was swinging his guitar all over the place, jumpin' all around, and...Well, you get the point. Jeremy Camp did a fantastic job...Singing and telling his story of God's grace in his life.
    Then the main act, which was really good. I would rate Jeremy as first place between him and MercyMe, but they still did a great job. Their point was to give a worship experience, and I'm sure Jake can agree, they did a great job doing it.
    No, Jake wasn't there, but he was there via my cell phone (or rather my mom's :) for the end of the show...after I finally figured out that Audio Blogger was down.
    After that, we got to go to Krispy Kreme and I got two free donuts because they were handing out free samples of fresh donuts. I love long lines.
    And then we got home at midnight...And had to get up nice and early for church. But I'm doing good...not super tired.
    In closing...I heard 3 people IM'd me at the same time while I was gone cutting grass and stacking wood before the concert...I must be a popular guy! Well, maybe not...

    4/09/2005

    "Just A Form of Euthanasia"

    Hospices across the country are pulling the plug on those not terminally ill. I just can't believe how euthanasia is creeping in. It's not right at all when someone is NOT terninally ill to just pull the plug on them. Life is precious, and those not terminally ill are not being called home. I can understand when someone's heart is the only thing still going because of a machine, and they're not ever coming back, they no longer need to suffer. But someone who does have physical problems (hey, don't we all?), they can't just have their plugs pulled. Life-manipulation is wrong.

    I've always loved this quote: "I'm not sure that those who are considered as "not contributing to society" are at risk of being killed because quite frankly most of our culture creates people who contribute little if nothing to our society. Mediocrity is praised and exceptionalism or excellence is put down. In that kind of society who really contributes?" --Karen of Scottsdale
    Bingo.

    He's back! The Voice in the Wilderness has returned to give us some thoughts on sin...and a taste of some German goulash he had at his great-grandma's 100th birthday (yum). Happy Birthday!

    Tim Challies always has it right. Of course, he has the same name as me. This time it's back to Saddleback Church, and some thoughts on Decisional Regeneration. I liked this quote in his comments section: "What disturbs me most about Rick Warren is what he doesn't say..." --Paint. Good point.

    Can you really do this? Well, let's see how you live up to Adrenalin's standards, here,here, and here.

    Them Poker-playin' dogs are repenting!

    Acknowledging 'manifold sins and wickedness' huh?. I had to laugh when I read that one. Our world is heading right down the path to the end of the world.

    Also, I was watching Fox the other day and enjoyed the first 5 minutes of the "No Spin Zone." So, hey, I get my weekly dose of getting to hear the big guys blast the ACLU. I love it. Absolutely love it.

    Blogger statement: I abhor it! (yeah, try to use some big words like that). I've turned traitor, and will soon be switching over to Word Press or Movable Type, under the URL of www.agenttimonline.com. I'll have more info on how you can switch over, but let me warn you. It costs a couple of bucks (a month.) But who won't want their site to look like this. Well, maybe not that good, but that's the genral layout. The site will be kind of secret-agent like or like a Sherlock Holmes theme. It will have a cool header, it'll be easy to read, and you'll love how it looks (ok...if I switch over in the next month it might look good in the next two months :)!

    4/08/2005

    God's Secret Agent

    God's secret agent
    UPDATE TRANSLATOR MARTYRED

    It is with a heavy heart that I come to you today. A couple of days
    ago I asked you to pray for our translator who had been kidnapped and that a $60,000 ransom was being demanded by those holding him. Moments ago I received word that he and his helper were both killed. The families have found the remains and they have been buried.

    These dear brothers were servants of the Lord and have now become martyrs for their faith and service to the Savior, Jesus. The translator was kidnapped in [unnamed country] where many in the [ another unnamed country] community live. He was translating our materials as well as a few other organizations into the [unnamed country's] language. It's the language of many of [the] Taliban. We have been working on this project for over a year. One person died of a heart attack. At another juncture, the computers with all of the translation were stolen. We had decided that the best thing for us to do was to have Chris from our office travel to [unnamed country] with our computers. We had secured a "safe place" for the translation work to be done. Chris would work with the translator and get the materials and bring it back immediately to the United States for production. We would then get it back into [another unnamed country].

    Two weeks ago, the translator said that he needed to have a body guard. We had agreed to hire a body guard for him to do this work. However, he was kidnapped a couple of days ago and then killed. My mind and heart is racing at this moment. I've never been in this situation before. I'm not sure how to respond.

    Right now there are a couple of things on my heart. First, we want to make sure that the two widows are taken care of. They have children. One brother from another organization is on his way to [unnamed country] right now to try to determine what the needs will be. STM plans to do what ever is necessary to make sure these dear ones are taken care of financially. Second, my first reaction is that we should double our efforts in broadcasting the gospel into [unnamed country]. We must not back down. I must run this by our Board of
    Directors first. But I'm thinking that I would like to start a fund in the name of this dear brother and that fund would be used to broadcast the gospel throughout [unnamed country] and the surrounding region.

    I will let you know more as the details are more forthcoming. We do not know who is responsible for this tragedy. Please pray for the following things:
    1) Victory through the cross of Christ.
    2) That God would keep believers from discouragement.
    3) That God would protect the church in the region from fear.
    4) That God would comfort the hearts of the widows and children.

    Thank you and God bless you.

    Sammy Tippit


    I'm sorry for not being able to reveal the countries due to security reasons. You can learn more by subscribing to Sammy Tippit's prayer updates. Please continue in prayer

    Sammy Tippit is a world evangelist, who has dedicated his life to going to the most dangerous places in the world to share the gospel. He was one of few evangelists who went behind the Iron Curtain, and has continued in service to God. His calling is to go to places where no one else can go.

    Please pray for him right now...

    "I'm presently in Louisiana speaking at an area wide evangelistic
    meeting. I was having lunch with some long time friends when I received a
    phone call from a colleague. What he told me was shocking.

    We have been working to have many of my evangelistic messages translated
    into a language (for security reasons, I cannot mention the language). It
    has been a real spiritual battle. Our translator has been threatened, the
    computer stolen, and it's been a very difficult situation. I just learned
    that our translator has been kidnapped and the kidnappers are demanding
    $60,000 ransom.

    One of our guys from our office was scheduled to meet our translator in a
    couple of weeks in a "safe place" to try to complete recording the
    translation work.

    I don't yet have all of the details of the demands and what is happening.
    Our partner that we've been working through is presently on his way to the
    area to try to find out more information. I must be very vague at this point
    in giving you information. I don't want to do anything to jepordize the life
    of our translator. But I do ask you to please pray for him. Please ask God
    to intervene in the situation. Thank you."

    One great question to ask yourself is, "Would I be willing to do that for the Lord? To be kidnapped, beaten, tortured? And if I would, why am I scared to share the gospel with those who need to hear? Why am I not being the agent of God that I should be?"

    Please pray for Sammy Tippit, his team, and his family. And especially that the Lord will work in this situation.

    4/06/2005

    Terri Schiavo: Ethics and Euthanasia

    Today's post was originally going to be on the Law, but I'll have to save that for later. Today I want to answer a friend of mine's question about Terri Schiavo and her situation. So let me dive into the world of ethics. First question she asked:

    "Is it really that black and white?"

    It will be (hopefully) when I'm done with this post. I understand your view of being able to sympathize and attempt to understand the other side of view. That's what all of us bloggers should be doing as we write on daily topics. But as to this situation in particular, was it really right to take Terri off of her feeding tube and kill her in that way? You said "you personally think it was wrong." And you also asked if it is black and white. That's where I think absolute truth comes in, and people start to wonder that if it's right for Michael Schiavo, then it's OK even if I think it's wrong. We have to be careful not to fall into that trap of believing their is no black and white standard. There is a standard for right and wrong—the Bible.

    So what does the Bible say about this? Well, a wonderful verse that really speaks out to me during these last few weeks is Proverbs 31:8:

    "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of those who are destitute."

    When I blogged on Terri for the last few weeks, I was standing up for her rights as a human being. No human being should be murdered in any way, and we should always err on the side of life especially since there was no written will. Only her "husband" had testimony of what she said.

    So what about her husband? Jake Smith of Virtue Magazine, a colleague and friend of mine, says it best:

    “Michael Schiavo, the husband and legal guardian of Terri, would have you believe he is a loving, loyal husband to Terri, saying that he is only trying to fulfill his wife’s wishes. But if he is really so loving, why has he been known to ask questions such as “When is she going to die?” and even asking if there was a way to accelerate her death. Can he truly be as loving as he is trying to act?
    What about loyalty, has he been loyal to his wife? Let’s take a look at his life. He has two children with his girlfriend he has been with for years. But she is not only his girlfriend, they have had a civil ceremony making them married in the eyes of the law! He is now married to two women at the same time, which makes him a bigamist
    All these facts continue to degrade his character (Read rest of article here).”

    You also were correct when you said that Michael Schiavo at first wanted to try to save Terri's life. But what really bugs me is that after he was awarded all that money in a malpractice suit, he did not use any of it to help Terri, as it was supposed to be used, but he used it all for lawyer expenses in his quest to legally murder Terri. And as we know, he succeeded in doing so.

    So to all readers: Would you starve your dog like this? Would you withhold food and water from it to kill it? Say it got hit by a car, and was in a really bad shape. But it had a chance of living. It wasn't dying, it was getting better and could get better with some time. You wouldn't starve a dog to death! And humans are so much more important than a dog, yet Terri was treated no better than a dog that is starved to death. She was given no chance to live as she should have been.

    You may at this point be tempted to say, "Poor Terri, why did she have to die such a painful death? Why not give her a lethal injection?" Basically, you're saying you believe in euthanasia. The whole issue is not how Terri died, but whether or not she was allowed to live and had the right to live. Will it be in the future that "worthless" humans are killed when they are unwanted?

    Why would Christians not believe she had a "right to die"? In this situation, Terri was not on life support. She was not dying. It was not artificially prolonging her life. So saying she has a "right to die" is promoting euthanasia and mercy killing in this country. Abortion is just like it, except we are saying we have a "right to kill." We do not have a right to take anyone's life. When a person is passing away, and we know they are going home to be with the Lord, we know that we are not taking their lives. When someone can live, we can't murder him or her. It's flat out wrong.

    We need to search the Scriptures to find the black and white truths placed there. It's great to look at both sides (one thing I did), and evaluate what is right and wrong. I don't think I'll ever forget the day that Terri died, because for some reason it seemed the beginning of something. Either the beginning of euthanasia or the beginning of a reformation here in the US I don't know. But I pray that it is not the beginning of euthanasia. We need to work to make sure that it is the reformation that happens...and go beyond praying for it.

    I hope this post clarifies to some degree on what I and many others believe about Terri Schiavo.

    4/04/2005

    Punditly Speaking

    Soccer PIc
    April 5...I'm adding some awesome links now:

    Virtue Magazine is up and running now, with some awesome articles such as:

    Sports: Handling it The Christian Way
    My article, or rather interview, with Bill Houston, radio announcer for Sports Spectrum and Words to Live By.

    And They Never Need to Know
    My favorite column, Logic Not Allowed, by a good friend of mine. Check it out, because it's as good as ever.

    The Contoversy Series
    A new addition to Virtue. This debate is on whether or not to watch The Passion. Interesting stuff.

    This has got to be the best issue yet, so head on over and read some really great articles. And if you want a little inside scoop, Virute may be going weekly in a few weeks...stay tuned for details!

    >>><<<

    Well, today I feel like doing some serious pundit-like linking and commenting. So here it goes:

    Teen Pundits
    Youngpundit. I finally got around to reading his blog! I've seen it everywhere, and never seemed to get to look at it. Let me tell you...I missed a lot by not reading. So head over and support a teen pundit!

    Speaking of Teen pundits, I saw this blog and thought it looked really nice (or really cool!) and have enjoyed it a lot. But I reccomend high speed internet to go there (which I don't have) because he has some really cool movies that you can watch. Forget TV, go to the Political Teen!

    Mentions and Roundups
    Hey, I entered one of my posts into this roundup at Pseudopolymath. It has some interesting articles (5 to be exact), just enough so that you can read them all! And who wouldn't like to be mentioned next to Jollyblogger and Catez Stevens of Allthings2All?

    Also, on my computer, my sidebar seems to be doing some weird stuff, and hopefully it will be fixed. Look for some quotes on my Column. And stay tuned to Virtue for an article on Sports and the Christian...(Article is called "Sports: Handling it the Christian Way"...an interview with Bill Houston)

    Teen Links
    Awhile back, a friend of mine started making a group of links, but I don't know if that has continued. But now there is a great list in the making of Teen Blogs. Check it out!

    More might come soon...stay tuned to this post!

    4/03/2005

    A Beautiful Sound

    Bible
    In my last post (not about the pope), I sat down and wrote straight from what was in my mind. I wrote about evangelism and getting down in the dirt and working for the Lord. Today, I'm doing the same thing.

    Today in Church I heard a beautiful sound. It was the sound not of a organ, a piano, or a choir. No, it was not a solo either. It was the sound of pages turning in Bibles. And when I heard that, I thought of the wonderful freedom we have, but also of the many people who read and don't do what they read!

    Looking back, all the things I said, when reading them again, seemed easy to do. But when you truly get out on the street and work to share the gospel, is it really that easy? Well, it can be. And then again it can't be.

    It can be when we understand that we have a wonderful task before us, one that the Lord is pleased about. We know Christ is with us, and we need to pray that the Holy Spirit is working on the hearts of those who are going to hear the message that we are going to deliver. We can know that it' s not us who is saving anyone, but it is the Holy Spirit. And we pray that he will use us for his glory.

    It can be hard when you're nervous, scared, or shy. It can be scary when you stumble over your words, and completely ruin your sentences. When you forget the Gospel and every verse you've ever learned. And it is in those times that I have seen the Holy Spirit work the greatest. We need to have that earnestness that people can see. They need to see that we care more than they need to hear our words. The Lord can help you with your fears. Lay all your burdens on him.

    But I must say that the biggest "fear" that we must have is the "fear" of carrying the gospel. We have such a huge responsibility to carry this Gospel and, according to statistics, we're not. I believe the last I read was that less than 5% share the gospel regularly. And that's being generous. That means more than 95% of Christians don't share the gospel on a regular basis. That's sad. They are either false converts, or they don't realize the great task that they must do.

    We so badly need to get out and share the gospel without fear!

    (If you are from my Church the majority of this post was actually written before today's sermon!)

    4/02/2005

    Pope John Paul II Has Died

    pope
    I found it very interesting to read some Catholic blogs* during this time of world mourning in the Catholic Church. You can see there responses and thoughts. The Corner, Maternal Optimist, The Fez, The Anchoress, Galley Slaves, and Mark Shea are just some of the Catholic Bloggers.(HT: Hugh Hewitt). Also check out the Pope Blog.

    As announced via an e-mail from the Vatican today:


    "The Holy Father died this evening at 9:37 p.m. (2:37 p.m. EST) in his private apartment. All the procedures outlined in the apostolic Constitution `Universi Dominici Gregis' that was written by John Paul II on Feb. 22, 1996, have been put in motion."


    The Pope Blog:

    In Latin, "The Pope has truly died," are the words that the Cardinal Camerlengo Eduardo Martinez Somalo pronounces to verify the death of Pope John Paul II


    A thought has been haunting my mind in these past few days. I do respect those who are mourning, and offer prayers to them. I am not a Catholic. The Pope does not have special meaning to me. But the question that haunts me is "Will the Pope go to Heaven?" And good catholic will probably say so and will disagree with a vengeance to those who say he will not. I will say that I do not know. I mean, who is really knows?

    If the Pope thought he could make it to heaven by his good works here on earth, he has not gone to heaven. If he accepted Christ as the only way to heaven, and put works in there rightful place, I believe he is in heaven.

    Fox News has more here.

    *I do not support or reccomend these sites, but am only listing them. See them at your own discretion (I think they are fine, just need a disclaimer.

    Homeless and Forgotten

    Dead endToday I headed out with my youth group to feed some of the homeless is DC. It was really a great experience, and it brought me to realize how much I have compared to these people who have to live on the street. We are really so blessed here in the US, and we need to realize that daily.

    So I've been wondering if I can find a spiritual application to give you. But is there? I believe there is one.

    Evangelism: Getting down in the dirt. Yeah, that's right. You need to get past prayer and get in and do the dirty work. I want to call you as my reader to take a step to get involved with evangelism. We need to hit the street, get in, and work for the Lord. And God will bless us as we see the Holy Spirit work in the lives of those you minister to.

    Get Involved:
    Ask your pastor about visitation or team evangelism
    Get involved with street evangelism or community evangelism (nursing homes, etc.)
    Make calls, write letters.

    All these things and more you can find out how to do in your Church. Or even better...you can start by talking to people today.

    There are those out there who are homeless and forgotten spiritually, and you can be the one to give them hope throught the Cross of Jesus Christ.

    4/01/2005

    False Converts: Lawlessness

    SupremeCourt
    Many of us believe the Church is slowly and surely falling away from God and His Word. Just look at these stats (HT: Way of the Master):

    62% of Americans claim to have a relationship with Jesus Christ
    (Barna Research Group)

    Only 10% (approx.) of Christians are involved in what the Gallup poll calls "practical Christianity. They are absolutely committed to prayer."

    91% of Americans lie regularly in their homes.

    86% lie to parents regularly.

    75% lie to friends...

    92% own a Bible

    11% read it daily

    (The Day America Told the Truth)

    90% Pray

    87% do not believe in the Ten Commandments

    A Barna Poll dated October 24. 2003 (in the LA Times) noted "half [of born-again Christians] believe a person can earn salvation based on good deeds even without accepting Christ as the way to eternal life." Read that again!

    And you think that's bad (those stats aren't even the most recent)? Just look at the next generation. Kids the same age as me:

    Of Christians watching MTV (via Youth Leader Mag):

    A whopping 42%

    Versus only 33% of non-Christians watch MTV (Barna Research Group). And it goes on...

    65% claim to pray daily

    72% believe the Bible

    66% had lied in the last 3 months

    And the list goes on and on, mentioning about every sin. And every one (with the exception of drugs and alcohol) was over 50%.

    So what in the world is happening to the Church? What's happening to teens like me, leaving the Church and living a life of sin? I think Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort say it best in their book, "The Way of the Master," when they said:

    Today there are many who name the name of Christ but who never 'depart from iniquity' (2 Timothy 2:19)."

    People like that are "false converts," those who '"ask Jesus into their hearts" but never turn from their sin. Their problem was at the beginning of their "conversion." They're just people who want Christianity with sin. They want to go to heaven, but they refuse to give up their lives of sin.

    What happened? Why do we have so many unregenerate sinners claiming to have Christ?

    Just go and look at some well-known tracts and books, CD's and movies, promoting this:

    "God loves you and wants you to have a wonderful life."

    Well, you might as well throw out your book on martyrs. God does promise a wonderful life for eternity, but does not promise us a wonderful life here on earth. Just look at one of my last posts. We are going to be persecuted, and we are going to be brought down by unbelievers. Of course, God is Love. The cross is what is worth living for. It is what truly gives us a full life.

    I believe that one of the reasons for false converts may be that they are breaking the second commandment, which is to not make and idols.

    I've found that people break this commandment not by making a physical god and bowing down to it, but rather by making a god of their own, similar to the One True God, but one who likes what they like and hates what they hate. It is a god who allows them to sin and still go to heaven. He is a god who tells them to have fun, who overlooks their sin, and helps them do wrong. This is idolatry. Making a god of your own in your mind.

    And let me tell you, our churches are full of these types of people. People who don't believe in hell. Who believe that Jesus sinned, and who don't believe in the second coming. They have their own god, one who is just a figment of their imagination.

    And those of us who do know who God truly is, preach a god that will appeal to the listener.

    I'm sure you've heard of these plays called Jesus, Superstar or something like it. It's the story of Christ as a rock star. And they are preaching a Jesus that appeals to their audience. And thus they are bringing in false converts.

    I can see in the future a Church dedicated to showing men their sin through the law, and showing them that they are not worthy enough to go to heaven. Not a church that preaches a gospel that appeals to their listeners and is close to true Christianity. We need to show people they aren't perfect. And the Law can help us do that.

    We've got to share the gospel with the law before lawlessness takes over.

    My prayer is that we can share this gospel, and make sure our friends are saved by testing them with the law and seeing if they still think they are good people.

    For more resources and to find out if you are a good person, click the button on my sidebar advertising the "good person" test. This post may have follow-up posts to further clarify my stand. Stay tuned for more.