Est. May 2008

11 November, 2015

On the Starbucks Cup Kerfuffle

Lots of ink spilled over Starbucks' decision to serve their beverages in plain red cups for the holidays; the biggest complaint is that it's offensive to Christians.

Now, there are plenty of people who've pointed out that the previous designs on the Starbucks cups have pretty much said 'Christmas' without having any kind of Christian themes at all, so obviously it's not the removal of an actual Christian theme that's causing the indigestion.

I think, perhaps, I know what did it.

20 October, 2015

Sanctuary Cities

In light of an upcoming Senate vote on the legality of 'sanctuary cities', Christian Post ran an op-ed titled 'Congress: Sanctuary CitiesAre Biblical, Don't Scapegoat Them'. 

Except that sanctuary cities  are not biblical.

The authors turn to Numbers chapter 35 and church tradition to make their comparison, but a reasonable analysis of both shows the glaring differences between the two.

First, the so-called 'sanctuary cities' are actually called 'cities of refuge' in the Old Testament.  They were ordered by God to protect the accidental manslayer; this is obvious from verse 11 of Numbers 35: ' ... then you shall select cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person without intent may flee there (emphasis mine).'  And God made His intentions clear on their use in verses 15 through 25.

Traditionally, 'sanctuary' was and is a concept whereby the church provides protection for anyone who asks for it for any reason, and is restricted to the confines of church property – it ends at the door of the church or the gate of the monastery/convent.

Compare both of these with the idea of 'sanctuary cities' and you can see it's a bastardization of both – providing protection anyone for any reason on a citywide scale.

There's nothing biblical about them.  There isn't even anything churchy about them.

18 October, 2015

Fake Christians

It could be seen as humorous that the Westboro 'Baptists' are calling anybody a 'fake Christian' or a 'hypocrite', but that's exactly what they've decided to do regarding Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who refused to sign same-sex mirage licenses.

Their beef with her is that she's been married and divorced multiple times; thus, in their own hysterical words, "Her husband is Dwain Wallace, who she married when she was 18-years-old. It does not matter how many years you pile on! It was adultery at the beginning, adultery in the middle and it is indeed adultery today!"

Except that all that happened before she came to Christ.  And as anyone who's got a lick of Scriptural understanding knows, when you've come to Christ, everything you've done before is washed away, and you begin a new life, as Paul so eloquently put it in First Corinthians.

Following the Westboro-ite's bizarre logic – that your pre-conversion sins follow you post-conversion – then none of the apostles, none of the Jewish Christians; none of the Roman, Corinthian, Galatian, Ephesian, Philippian, or Colossian Christians was a 'true' Christian; neither were any of the church Fathers, nor is anyone who sinned before their conversion.

Which is patently false; Scripture proves it.

So, if the Westboro-ites are looking for 'hypocrites' and 'fake Christians', their best bet would be to take a look in a mirror.

09 September, 2015

Just a Pinch of Incense

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about the case against Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who spent time in jail for refusing to sign same-sex mirage certificates. 

Why wouldn't she sign them?  She's a Christian, a fairly new convert, and she understood that by placing her name on those certificates she would be tacitly approving of SSM, something no Christian can do.

She had asked for accommodation for her faith, and was refused; the judge found her in contempt of court and jailed her because, in paraphrase of his words, a monetary punishment would not be enough to force her to obey (emphasis mine) his order.  And then, once she was incarcerated, he authorized (some say 'bullied') deputy clerks to sign the certificates in her stead.

Something which could – and should – have been done in the first place, as Michelle Davis, writing at Allen West's site, points out. 

In about AD 112, the Roman governor of the province of Bithynia and Pontus – Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (also known as Pliny the younger) – wrote to the Emperor Trajan. He had a bad case of Christians, and wanted to know what to do with the practitioners of the illegal sect.

Trajan's response was this:
You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians. For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard. They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance. (emphasis mine)
Sound familiar?  Renounce your beliefs and prove it by burning some incense to the gods and you won't be punished.

Renounce your beliefs and prove it by signing these SSM certificates and you won't be punished.

Ms Davis refused to burn the incense; the Christian bakers, florists, photographers, B&B owners, and others refused also.

And they were punished.

Ms Davis' punishment ought to be a wake-up call to practicing Christians everywhere: persecution will increase.

And this is all far from over.

27 August, 2015

Behold the Lowly and Surprising Octopus

That would be the California two-spot version (the picture to the right), which was the subject of genetic research done by a combined team of scientists from the U.S., Germany, and Japan.

From the looks of it, 'their just-released findings present deep problems for the theory of evolution'.

How so?