Tuesday, March 12, 2019

What do we make of the supposed conversion of Chris Watts?

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What do we make of the supposed conversion of Chris Watts, the one who murdered his wife and three kids?

First, we have to remember that Jesus can and does save. If Jesus can't save, then what's the worth of Christianity?

Second, this does not mean this guy is really repentant. He likely could be lying, but he also could be telling the truth. We may never know for sure on this side of the grave. However, just because someone identifies with or claims Christ does not mean it is so. Many identify as a Christian. However, being a Christian is more than just identifying as one. The word "Christian" means something; it means one has turned from sin to being a follower of Jesus and his ways. This means many who identify as one but don't live it are not really Christian. We have to remember Jesus' words to the ones who claim him but don't do what he says, "I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." An excellent example is Hitler. Many historians deny Hitler was a Christian, and for good reason. However, let’s say he identified as one. Did Hitler fit the definition of a Christian? No. Sitting in a garage and identifying as a car doesn’t make you a car. Nor does sitting in Church and identifying as a Christian make you a Christian.

Third, just because one is forgiven by Christ does not mean there are no consequences for sin. Just because we as individuals forgive a sinner does not mean one does not have to bear the consequence of his or her actions. A truly repentant person will take responsibility and make restitution to his or her fellow human beings ... including taking the punishment that is due him on earth. That is the role of govement on earth. Consider what Paul said in Romans 13:3-4 "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil." Sin, though it can be forgiven, still leaves scars.

Fourth, his actions were evil, pure evil. But, without excusing him, so were King David's and even Paul's! Both were repentant and received pardon from God, but there still were consequences. David lost a child and had many other family issues. David Wood would be a modern example of one who was evil but turned to Christ. As an atheist, he bashed in the head of his dad! He paid for his crime, and eventually became a Christ follower. We also must not forget that there are many abortionist who are murdering thousands and thousands of lives unrepentant and never receiving earthly retribution. What a double standard our society holds!

Fifth, we each have to look at ourselves, each have done evil. No, maybe not to the extent of this guy or Hitler or Stalin or to the level of an abortionists, but we still have done evil and need saving too. We have to remember we have been saved from our sins. Jesus says this in Matthew 6:14-15 "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Sixth, we have to remember that Christianity is full of paradoxes. Society thinks Christians are too soft and other times they think Christians are to hard. No wonder, on one end Christians are full of mercy, but on the other full of justice. On one end Christians are full of forgiveness, but on the other they are full of judgment. Christianity promotes both faith and reason, seemly opposites. These are not flaming opposites, rather they run in parallel. These types of paradoxes come from the nature of Christianity, based upon Jesus himself. Jesus was both fully man and fully God, seemly opposites. John says Jesus was full of grace and truth, seemly opposites. Jesus is one with the Father in nature, but separate in person, seemingly opposite but not. This is also why the word tolerance is not strong enough in Christian theology. Christianity rather teaches love. Love is a word in tension. It describes one dying for another while at the same time it is quick to point out evil, sin and badness.

Check out a good article on the Chris Watts case below.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What grounds pro-abortionist’s claim to “my body, my right”?

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Pro-abortionists say "my body, my choice" or in other words, since the fetus is my body or the fetus is living in my body, I have the "right" to cut it out if I want. In their mind, what grounds that "right"?

To answer this, I'm going to really make some controversial claims that some may not like. First, we know that it is scientifically false to think that the fetus is the "mother's body," if one thinks that. Second, we really don't have the right to do anything with our body as we please. First, some things can hurt other people, such as we should not go too fast or there are smoking laws. But even ourselves, we don't really seem to have the right to commit suicide, even though some are trying to make that too a "right."

To lay the ground work for my thoughts, I'm going to start off with the claim that one who is pro-abortion is NOT a Christian. I did not say "they don't identify as Christian", I said they are not Christian. Also, I'm saying they are not Christian in the present sense. If they repent and turn from sin to Jesus, they can be a Christian. I say this for biblical reasons. Abortion is murder and unrepentant murders don't inherit the Kingdom of God, Galatians 5:21.

Another essential point, all other god's beside the God of the Bible is a false god. This includes the gods of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. It also includes the god of self as seen in atheism and agnosticism. These are all false religions because the worship creation, not the Creator.

Past cultures, and non-secular, non-Christian cultures, the god's are usually made of wood, stone or metal. Material idols are strange in secular western culture, but I do think they are at the core the same. The god's are not material, rather immaterial, they are our ideas and our views of who we think god is. Isaiah 44 says, these are made in our image.

Either way, we run into a problem that the Bible points out in Psalm 115:3-8, we become like the object of our worship: Psalms 115:4-8 (KJV) "4 Their idols [are] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. 5 They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: 6 They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: 7 They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. 8 They that make them are like unto them; [so is] every one that trusteth in them."

Essentially, instead of our moral compass pointing true north, our moral compass is always pointing inward. It points to self, to my thoughts, to my heart, to my ideas. Thus, the idea of "I follow my heart", "I do what's best for me", "I don't want to be burdened", "I don't want to be offended", "I don't want my emotions hurt" ... me, me, me.

Thus, people who have a constant mantra of "my body, my right" are essentially worshiping themselves. They also have not balanced their rights with responsibility. They have not balanced their rights with the rights of others.

However, in a way they do have a right to their own body, but in another way they don't. God has given them autonomy and free will, but the body is still his. Those who want to do what they want to do with it are free to do it, but there are temporal and eternal consequences.

In addition, they also have a smaller number of "moral" items that they are worried about, one being "my right." However, the Christian has numerous moral laws that he or she abides by.  This is why I think we do have rights to our own body, but those rights to liberty and happiness (as the US founding fathers identified) come after the right to life. Thus, your liberty and happiness does not trump your progeny's right to life.

These rights also are grounded upon the person, not the Creator as the founding fathers claimed. If so, these morals, such as rights, are subjective and can be changed at whim. This is why some think slavery, rape and eugenics was maybe moral in the past for past people or for different cultures, but not for today. Our morality says they are wrong now.

When all is said and done, I think people think the line in the abortion argument "my body, my right" because they are god in their own eyes, thus, they call the shots.