Sunday, January 22, 2012

Yahoo promotes those who would deny religious liberty to Christians (and other theists), but denies access to those pointing out the absurdity -- and intolerance -- of their position

Those enjoying the benefits of the freedom founded on Christ's teachings would deny that liberty to those who follow Christ. Shameful hypocrisy.

The article in question was approved by Yahoo's editors, but some comments critical of their intolerance have disappeared. My response to the nonsense hosted here:
To declare oneself an "atheist" is to declare a belief regarding deity. So, to be consistent, the author must advocate that only agnostics be allowed in government. They're the only ones not asserting a position on god(s).

Besides the obvious self-disqualification of his "argument," this atheist would protect religious liberty by denying it to Christians and other theists, the overwhelming majority of humanity. Brilliant.

It was Christians who founded a "nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Who professed the self-evident truth that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

(What can you expect from someone who considers both the Skeptics Annotated Bible a reliable source of information and the slaughter of the most innocent and helpless among us something worth defending?)

Godless ideologies (Nazism, Communism) resulted in the extermination of tens of millions of innocents in the last century. On the other hand, it is the Bible's teachings that have resulted in the equality, liberty, and prosperity of Western Civilization.

The ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence and codified in the Constitution are the direct result of the Christian worldview of their creators. Even those Founders who were not some sort of traditional Christian (nearly all were) were shaped in their thinking by the Christianity which permeated their civilization. Recall Thomas Jefferson, cited often in arguments against Christianity and religion in public life, who called Christ's teachings the most sublime in human history and most freeing for Science, Liberty, and the human mind.

As for violence in the Bible, (besides accounts of human evil) none was committed in service to religious intolerance. Capital punishment under the Mosaic Law was for the people of Israel only, a contract into which they entered voluntarily. Divine judgment against Egypt was carried out by God, not Man. Judgment against Canaan was for unspeakable evil (child sacrifice in devotion to Molech, for example; it is worth noting that Israel itself later suffered the same fate for the same sins). Nowhere do you find commands to war against unbelievers to make the world Hebrew.

Defaming Christ has to be the most vile and ridiculous element of this slander. The Son of God committed no sin, spoke only the truth, healed the sick, raised the dead, died for the sins of the whole world, and resurrected, commanding His people to love even their enemies and going so far as to not only pray for His murderers, but to die for the sins of all (even those who hate Him). Jesus taught a separation between the civil and the religious ("Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's"), the equality of all ("Treat others as you want to be treated"), and the value of all ("What you do to the least of these, you do to Me.").

Perhaps it is the suicidal ignorance of the Christ-hating left who, in their zeal to destroy Christians and Christianity, will ally themselves with genocidal, totalitarian pedophiles, but there is one major "religion" which commands the enslavement and slaughter of all who refuse the "invitation" to convert. That's the only belief system which has -- for fourteen hundred years -- waged offensive warfare against "unbelievers." That's Islam.

No, Andrew Riggio's confused. His false moral equivalence between Christianity/Judaism and Islam is absurd and despicable. Don't throw Muhammad's dirty bath water on the Baby.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Verbum Domini 1.5: What is the true God like?

THE BIBLE SHOWS US GOD'S NATURE
For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed (Malachi 3:6).
God is unchanging; eternal.
But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).
God is omnipotent (all-powerful).
He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, "Do you love me?" and he said to him, "Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you." Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep" (John 21:17).
for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything (1 John 3:20).
God is omniscient (all-knowing).
"Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD (Jeremiah 23:23-24).
God is omnipresent (present everywhere).
Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy (Leviticus 19:2).
God is holy.
The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness . . . (Exodus 34:6).
God is merciful, gracious, slow to anger (patient), always loving, and always faithful.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).
God is love ("loving").
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
God is faithful, just, and forgiving.

DOES GOD WANT TO SAVE ALL OR ONLY SOME?
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:1-2).
God wants ALL people to be saved.

ONE GOD, OR THREE?
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one (Deuteronomy 6:4).
The word translated as "God" here is "Elohiym"; literally "gods." The Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge states regarding this verse:
Simeon ben Joachi says: "Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim. There are three degrees, and each degree is by itself alone, and yet they are all one, and joined together in one, and are not divided from each other."
This parallels part of the explanation of the Trinity in the Athanasian Creed:
And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance . . . .
"Elohiym" is found also at the Creation:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth" (Genesis 1:26).
(Some try to argue that "elohiym" used here is the royal "We" or that God is speaking to the angels. The latter doesn't fit at all, since God and the angels would be creating Man in their image and likeness.)
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:19-20).
(New Advent notes regarding this passage:
The phrase "in the name" (eis to onoma) affirms alike the Godhead of the Persons and their unity of nature. Among the Jews and in the Apostolic Church the Divine name was representative of God. He who had a right to use it was invested with vast authority: for he wielded the supernatural powers of Him whose name he employed. It is incredible that the phrase "in the name" should be here employed, were not all the Persons mentioned equally Divine. Moreover, the use of the singular, "name," and not the plural, shows that these Three Persons are that One Omnipotent God in whom the Apostles believed. Indeed the unity of God is so fundamental a tenet alike of the Hebrew and of the Christian religion, and is affirmed in such countless passages of the Old and New Testaments, that any explanation inconsistent with this doctrine would be altogether inadmissible.)
Here Christ names the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Baptism.
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace (Numbers 6:22-26).
And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3)!
Just as with "elohiym," we see again the use of three in YHWH's blessing His people and in describing His nature.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all (2 Corinthians 13:14).
Here the Apostle Paul names the Trinity in his benediction.
And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:16-17).
In Christ's baptism, we see all three Persons of the Trinity present.

REVIEW
YHWH reveals Himself as one God, three Persons. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. All three are called "God," all three do the acts of God, and the characteristics of God apply to each equally.

Christians use the word "triune" to describe God: "Tri" means "three," "une" means "one." "Trinity" is the "Three-One."

The Church has summarized its understanding of YHWH in three major creeds, the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian. Here is the Athanasian Creed, from the Christian Classics Ethereal Library:
Athanasian Creed
1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic[*] faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

44. This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
*"catholic" means "universal"

Now it's official: Obama befriends the Muslim Brotherhood

More good news, from here:
The Muslim Brotherhood? Even Mubarak knew they were bad news, outlawing them for their "Islamist ideology" (just plain "Islam") and historic ties to militants (read "obedient Muslims").

As Commander-in-Chief of the United States of America, how can Obama be unaware that the Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated in its own words to "eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within"?

Befriending those sworn to your destruction? Neville Chamberlain tried something similar. How'd that turn out?

This is like Jews befriending Hitler. Or Ukranians befriending Stalin. Or hens befriending the fox.

What is Obama thinking? First, he gives a speech from Al-Azhar, the head of Sunni Islam -- which, by the way, makes genocide, pedophilia, rape, and slavery in Allah's name "beautiful" -- and demands that the Brotherhood attend. Then he helps overthrow the despots of various Islamic states, the end result of which is the B'hood's rise to power. (But when the people of Iran protested against Islamic Allahocracy? Obama was eating ice cream.)

Now, he's making it official: B. Hussein Obama is Islamic terrorism's BFFWB*. He thinks that you're too stupid to realize it or too perverse to care. Obama's counting on your hatred of Christians and Jews to lead you to ignore the fact that ascendant Islam tolerates nothing but Islam. That means no atheists, homosexuals, progressives, etc.

Will you defend Obama's alliance with Islamic jihad and your own destruction?
*Best Friend Forever . . . With Benefits

Monday, January 02, 2012

Verbum Domini 1: God tells us about Himself

Is there a God?
An atheist says: “There is no god.”
An agnostic says: “I don’t know if there is a god.”

What does God say?
The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good (Psalm 14:1).
THE NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
How can we know about God?
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork (Psalm 19:1).
For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
All people know about God from Nature.
They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them . . . (Romans 2:15).
And all people know about God from Conscience.

The natural knowledge of God tells us that there is a God Who is wise, powerful, and holy.

THE WEAKNESS OF THE NATURAL KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
What is the weakness of the Natural Knowledge of God? We don’t know:
1. Who the true God is
2. About the promised Savior from sin (Jesus)
Why does God give people natural knowledge about Himself?
The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us . . . (Acts 17:24-27)
God gives people knowledge about Himself from Nature and Conscience to lead them to seek Him.

THE REVEALED KNOWLEDGE OF GOD
How can we know what God is really like?
No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known (John 1:18).
Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."
Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father' (John 14:8-9)?
God shows us what He is really like through Jesus.

From where does this Revealed Knowledge come?
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me . . . (John 5:39).
no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:16-20).
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world (Hebrews 1:1-2).
God reveals Himself to us through the Scriptures. These were written by His Prophets and Apostles, who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Apostles told the world about what Jesus said and did.
"Bible" means "book."
"Scriptures" means "writings."
REVIEW
The Bible tells us:
"Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other" (Isaiah 45:22).
1. Who the true God is
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).
2. Who our Savior is: Jesus