Tag: Truth

WHERE FREEDOM IS

Whatever our view of the beginnings of mankind, we can imagine the first humans having a huge amount of freedom…

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There-wherever it was-the first man and the first woman wandered the land. In every direction they looked they were free to roam. There were no streets, no traffic lights, no private lands, no “No Trespassing” signs, no busy roads, no Mc Donalds restaurants with one-way drive-in lanes and “stop” signs. It was all open, wild and free.

Adam and Eve, or if you like, “Aarg” and “Thug”, had no bills to pay, no car payments or mortgages to struggle with, no taxes, no boss to answer to, no fear of getting a ticket for riding their horses too fast, and no fear of getting locked up for trespassing or for trumped-up charges of collusion or lying to investigators. Their kids were content, attentive and helpful, because there was nothing to encourage them to be otherwise.

However (and in every human story there has to be a “however”) at some point in the virtual bliss of life along came Mr X: the new neighbor. Mr. X decided that he liked Thug, Aarg’s mate, very much, and also that the land the Aargs were living on looked a lot nicer than the land he was on. X plotted in his primitive but fertile mind how he might extricate Aarg and acquire what Aarg was enjoying, and make it his. He first attempted to “move in” on Mrs. Aarg, who wasn’t altogether against the idea of being acquired, because X, after all, was more handsome than was that guy she’d been stuck with for some time.

There ensued a battle between Aarg and X, in which X’s features were somewhat re-arranged, and he didn’t look quite so handsome or appealing any more. So X plodded off with his metaphorical tail between his legs.

However (and there’s another “however” already) while X’s pride and face were damaged his determination was not. Remembering that just over the hill lived that rather large and imposing man “Donk”, with his rather large and imposing sons, he took some trinkets: shiny rocks, fruit, and a nice jaw-bone hair brush, and went to make a deal with Donk. The following morning X, Donk and his rather large and imposing sons swaggered over the hill to where Arrg was banging some sticks on the cave wall- working on some pretty intricate para-diddles, and, with the gang behind him, he raised himself above Aarg, X declaring that he was now king of all he surveyed-including Mrs Aarg.

Aarg was forcefully employed twenty hours a day, digging for shiny rocks and cooking mammoth chops. He was confined to his cave at night, because everything else now belonged to X and his deputy, Donk. Aarg’s rent was two shiny rocks a day, for the cave which once belonged to him.

The worst irony of the story is that after some time, Donk’s slow but deliberate brain determined that he hadn’t done quite so well out of the deal as he could have, and X shortly found himself digging for shiny rocks with Aarg, and doing the dishes. He was, however, Aarg’s supervisor, so that poor old Aarg remained on the bottom social level of X’s kingdom.

I write this sad little story not because I believe, as the Communists do, that “property is theft”-I don’t: or as an example of how all unpleasant human circumstances come about. Obviously there are other causes of loss of freedom besides violent tyrants. Instead it’s intended to be a demonstration of how we as humans have moved from being once free to being under the thumb of the society we live in. We think we’re free in the West, but compared to the original freedom Aarg enjoyed, we’re rather constricted and constrained.

Step out of your door and you immediately find that there are places you cannot go, things you cannot do. Where once Aarg could wander and roam, you have an extremely limited path of legality and propriety. The fact that you can see buildings and roads and gardens and fields gives a false sense of freedom, because if you walk over someone’s lawn or through their house or over the field you’ll have the owner’s dog, or the owner or the police, chasing you. Don’t wander in the road or you’ll get squashed by a forty ton truck. Don’t drive too fast or go through the red light or you’ll get a ticket. Don’t try to explore that interesting structure or the security man will evict you and turn you in. Don’t say certain things in public or you’ll be verbally or even physically attacked or jailed.

Pay your bills on time or you’ll be on the streets in the cold. Pay your taxes or the weight of the government will come down on you. Don’t grumble too loudly against the government or you could be locked up for incitement. Don’t dress out of fashion or people will sneer and reject you. Vote to please those around you or lose your “friends”. Construct your sentences well and like all the right things and say all the right small talk and wear the right clothes and appear meek and yet at the same time confident and cool or people will shun you.

We, like Aarg, have been enslaved to the society we live in. To top it all off we’re enslaved by our mortality, and our lives are limited in time. What we like to think of as a free world and a free life is actually very restrictive.

However, true freedom can be found in the creator of all that we are and all that Aarg, or Adam, surveyed. This is the creator who has promised to restore what he originally made-this time under his own, good government. For life in this present world, the apostle Paul said:

“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

And Jesus Christ said:

“If you hold to my teaching, you really are my disciples. The you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

Freedom is to be found in Jesus Christ, and our Creator, who will be in us if we want Him, where no-one can take it away.

 

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THE POST-TRUTH POST

Two kinds of people are interested in the type of culture we live in today-those who are concerned about it, and hope and pray to reverse the negative trends, and those who are promoting the negative trends…

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Of course, the promoters, the drivers of our social and political world, don’t see their view as being negative. They’re heading, they think, towards a utopia in which all shackles of morality and propriety are totally removed; in which the old order of things is done away; in which the Judaeo-Christian world-view is abolished and forgotten.

I was listening to an interview with a member of Ravi Zacharias’ team, who was talking about our “post-truth” culture. We’ve moved, he said, from “post-modernism” into “post-truth”. Post-truth culture is one in which, as in post-modernism, truth is perceived to be subjective only (my truth is my truth, your truth is yours), but also one in which the facts don’t matter any more. What matters now is feelings and preferences.

This definition and observation didn’t tell me anything new. I’ve realized for many years that a large number of people-perhaps a majority- aren’t interested in genuine debate or inquiry in order to arrive at facts or truths. Instead, they’ve made up their minds already, based upon what they want to be true, even if it’s blatantly obvious that it isn’t. They only seek to bolster their views with any line of reasoning, faulty or not, which serves to intimidate and bash the “ignorant” and “bigoted” rabble.

In defense of my own ignorance and bigotry, I can say that I once held to many politically-correct tenets which I now see as being faulty or destructive. No-one can accuse me correctly of being uninformed and closed-minded, because I’ve seen both sides of the moral, political, philosophical and social divide.

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I use the word “divide” in its singular sense intentionally here, because if you haven’t noticed, our culture, ostensibly rich and self-proclaimed to be “diverse”, is actually shaping up to be two-sided and polarized. On the one side we have those holding to the traditional view of society and culture which is largely Christian in its morality; one-man one-woman marriages; a uniform view of right and wrong; an un-wavering patriotism; age-old work ethics, and a conservative understanding of immigration and societal growth in which those coming in do so legally, and with the intention of blending into what is already here.

On the other side of the cultural divide we have those pushing, particularly since the start of President Obama’s reign, with all their might to demolish all the above standards, and to replace them with anything else which suits their no-holds barred morality. The Judaeo-Christian view of things is the one obstacle in their road to Utopia.

The election of Donald Trump represented the worst thing which could have happened to the progressive agenda. Trump is no choir boy by any standards, but he did and does hold to the principles of a predominantly Christian culture, as outlined above, and he does take serious note that there are many millions who still see society in its traditional sense. Consequently, the effort to remove him has been driven by angry desperation, and a desperation which claims to be tolerant but which in fact refuses to listen, and which unashamedly negates any reference to objective, verifiable facts. Even the laws and constitution of the land are seen to be enemies in our post-truth age. And so my post returns to its starting point.

The throwing-off of Truth is nothing new. It’s been done over and over again, since the very beginning of man. Someone gets tired of living by the rules-particularly God’s rules-and here comes the abandonment of rational thought, and the embracing of anything which opposes it. It’s a prideful attitude which is destined for failure. The underlying belief is that either there is no God, no Person with any expectations of us, or that even if there is, he/she/it is irrelevant and not worth considering anyway. It’s rather like your left hand intently disliking the rest of your body and so deciding its going to go off and live independently of the rest of you.

We can no more live in a universe without God than we can live in a world without air. And unfortunately for those rebelling against the way of things, against the nature of the real universe governed by its creator, there is nowhere else to go. The One who ultimately controls all things, who gives and sustains life, does indeed have certain expectations. He also has no intention of giving away His universe.

EX-ING THE EXPERTS

I’ve had it with “experts”, of all shapes and sizes…it’s time to exorcise them from my view of the world entirely!

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For a large part of my life I’ve had an inbuilt distrust for “experts” in the secular world. You know-the ones who “must be right” because they went to X university and appeared on TV; the ones who tell us that we’re related to slugs; the ones who tell us that by eating hamburgers we’re destroying planet earth; the ones who so want us to be tolerant that they will not tolerate any other view but theirs, and the ones who tell us that candidate X (yes, I do like the letter “x”) obviously has no path to election.

I’ve also had an intrinsic distrust for those in the “religious” world who invent their own theology and call it Truth. You know-the ones who say that all religions lead to God (which God they don’t say-they just know it’s not the Biblical God); the ones who say that if you don’t speak in tongues you’re useless to God; the ones who say that Allah and Jehovah are one; the ones who say that John Doe is the latest Prophet and we all need to listen to him, and the ones who want to cut your head off if you don’t see things their way.

However, in recent years I’ve been distancing myself also from many “experts” within the evangelical Christian world. You know, the ones who are, metaphorically speaking, paraded on Christian radio and in the pulpits, and now behind microphones and guitars, as bearers of True doctrine. They went to X university, they’re good-looking, and they’ve written five hundred and sixty two million books on the subject, so they must be right.

There are Christian ministers and teachers who will tell you to “be like the Bereans” by searching the scriptures “to see if these things are so”, and who will then tell you how to be like the Bereans their way…

They’re the ones who say that they need X million dollars in the next two weeks to continue their ministry so “give as much as God is leading you to give”. They’re the ones who say that “God has a wonderful plan for your life” while Christians around the world get driven from their homes and slaughtered horribly by their persecutors. They’re the ones who tell me that I’m clearly a Jew and Israel-hater because I’m not a Pre-Trib believer; the ones who say that the early chapters of Genesis are merely poetic language to describe evolution- for example, that the word “day” really means billions of years and that God only told Noah to build a boat so he could float around on a lake for a while. They’re the ones who insist that Biblical wine is only grape juice, failing to explain why Paul would say that older women should not be addicted to “grape juice” (Titus 2:3).

I’ve had it with the “experts”. From now on, it’s me and my Bible.

 

 

 

IS THIS THE AGE OF ANTI-TRUTH?

Truth was once a universally-accepted standard which was “out of style”*. Then truth became whatever you wanted it to be. Now political correctness is attempting to muscle out of existence all opposing views of truth, in order to impose its own…

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Many people have written and commented on post-modernism, and on the “post-truth” age, as have I in my own small, humble, bumbling way. I asked, rhetorically, if anything is objectively true, or is truth only that which we personally or as a society imagine or decide for ourselves is true? Does the answer matter anyway?

In post-modernism, apart from an Almighty God as our Western world now is, nothing is objectively true. There’s no Truth with a capital “T”.  Nothing is incontrovertibly factual, and nothing is set in stone to measure all standards and opinions and decisions by: such truth is out of style. Law, belief, standards and truth itself, are now all, to use a popular euphemism, “fluid”. This is also why the US Constitution is increasingly under attack, or at least being bent out of shape for convenience.

Without that ultimate measuring stick of the Word of God-the removal of which was and is one of the aims of the anti-Church, anti-Christ movement, you’ve got your truth and I’ve got mine, and even if both views are in total opposition it doesn’t really matter, because we can still both be “right” and happy.

I here repeat an assertion of a colleague of mine who calls himself an atheist and a “rationalist”. To demonstrate just how rational he is, he told me that given enough time “anything” can happen, and gave an example by saying that in any universe, due to “the laws of probability” a man would somewhere eventually do backward somersaults through a hoop while being both swallowed and spat out by a whale.

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Of course, there’s no way of disproving my friend’s theory, but my point is that people-many people now-are prepared to believe patent nonsense, simply because it tickles them, appeals to their view of what truth ought to be like, and might I say, provides a colorful deviation from that measuring stick known as Almighty God.

There are, of course, downsides to this approach to truth. For example, under this kind of logic a politician or celebrity and his compliant media representatives can adjust, hide, twist and manipulate the facts and give a totally different story to the real one, but still be telling the truth- as he sees it. We all know out-workings of that little fallacy.

But it seems to me that those pushing for “fundamental change” in our society have already had some success in taking us all one step further, to a time in which the rest of us are being coerced into accepting one view of things; their rough road to Utopia. What they say is true is to their minds now objective truth-they being the gods of the new age, and any criticism of it is struck down with a hail of insults and accusations. It’s no longer enough for them just to have a wildly differing take on truth: any opposition to their opinion must now be destroyed.

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Political correctness, so-called “hate-speech”, and the accompanying self-righteous inquisition work to push the now old multiverse of truths out of existence: there can be only one acceptable view of things. Any dissension will land you, they intend, out of a job, out of business, and in prison.

What the rest of us are convinced is unquestionably true, such as the fact that men are born men and women women (barring physical mutation) they insist is an old lie-an oppressive construct of dark ages past. Old lies must be buried, burned, knocked down, abolished and forgotten. Truth as seen by all of humanity for all of the several thousand years of civilization is under attack. What most of us have known logically, instinctively, physically and empirically are the things which, opponents are determined, must be abolished and forgotten. We are in the age of Anti-truth.

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However, here’s some good news: the good news. Jesus Christ said,

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me  (John 14:6).

Yes, dear reader, no matter what may or may not be thrust upon our culture and our time by the enemies of Truth, there is an end in sight to all this madness and foolishness, and it begins with our acceptance of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ.

*  https://nickyfisher.com/2014/05/17/truth-is-out-of-style/

 

 

 

 

EVIDENCE AGAINST THE BIBLE-OR BIAS?

News stories have been published around the world purporting to have evidence of “another” mistake in the Bible. However, once again the “experts” have only shown their bias and their failure to actually read all but one or two Bible verses-if that.

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This time the “evidence” against the Bible concerns the Canaanites. Researchers believe they’ve found DNA evidence that ninety percent of modern day Lebanese are descended from the Canaanites. This, according to reporters as desperate to “disprove” the Bible as they are to “destroy Trump”, is evidence against the Bible, because according to the reports the Bible says the Canaanites were wiped out.

The Washington Post claims that “The Hebrew text offers one explanation for the destiny of the Canaanites: annihilation” (note 1). The obvious conclusion we’re supposed to make, based on the recent research, is that the Bible must be wrong. It continues:

Now a study of Canaanite DNA, published Thursday in the American Journal of Human Genetics, rules out the biblical idea that an ancient war wiped out the group.

Again, the Post is saying that the Bible is wrong because it says the Canaanites were wiped out but they’re still around.

This is, to put it very politely, an untruth. Yes, God wanted the Israelites to purge the land of Canaanites because of the evil they had descended to: killing babies in sacrifice, idolatry, sexual deviancy (sound familiar? See Deuteronomy 20:17-18). However, the Biblical record very clearly states that the Israelites failed in their mission, and did not, as the Post claims the Bible says, “wipe out the group” or “annihilate” the group, or destroy all their cities.

Here are a couple of examples of what the Bible really says happened, rather than the lies or the statements of very uninformed reporters, towards the end of the movement of the Israelites into the land:

“And Ephraim did not drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, so the Canannites lived in Gezer among them” (Judges 1:29);

“Zebulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, so the Canaanites lived among them…” (Judges 1:30);

Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron or the inhabitants of Sidon or of Ahlab or of “…(etc). (Judges 1:31).

Joshua chapter 9 tells the story of how an entire city of Canaanites survived by being deceptive.

As an aside, isn’t it interesting that what we are discussing is actually evidence FOR the Bible! The Canaanites did -and do- exist, in that very part of the world as recorded in the Bible.

Another error is seen in the Washington Post’s report. It states:

“University of North Carolina religious studies professor Bart D. Ehrman noted in a 2013 blog post that, beyond the Hebrew Bible …there are no references in any other ancient source to a massive destruction of the cities of Canaan.”

If this learned prof. had taken the trouble to look he would see, as we can see just from the few examples above, that the Bible says many Canaanite cities, including large ones such as Sidon, were not destroyed but continued to be inhabited.

A NOTABLE CANAANITE SURVIVOR

One most notable Canaanite who the Bible very clearly tells us survived was Rahab, a prostitute. Rahab was the woman who hid the Israelite spies in Jericho. For her faith she and her family were spared and blessed by the invaders (Joshua 7:25). Not only did she and her family of Canaanites survive, according to the Bible book of Joshua, but Rahab was in the lineage of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:5).

James in the New Testament noted that Rahab’s faith caused her to be considered “righteous” in the eyes of the Lord (James 2:25). This is the way-the only way-you or I can be reconciled to God, and it’s the message of the New Testament as well as being the veiled message of the Old. Paul said:

“…by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 ESV).

At least the UK’s Telegraph had the decency to print a correction in a similar report, though at the end, where most people don’t read. It said:

Correction: The original version of this story erroneously said the Bible claimed the Canaanites were wiped. However, elsewhere in the Bible, it says the elimination was not successful (2).

Anytime you read about “evidence” against the Bible or against the Creation, you need to do a little digging, and you’ll soon find that the so-called “evidence” is no more than bias and wishful thinking.

1 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2017/07/27/ancient-dna-solves-mystery-of-the-canaanites-reveals-the-biblical-peoples-fate/?utm_term=.8ded561fb03c

2 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/07/28/study-disproves-bibles-claim-ancient-canaanites-wiped/