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Monday, December 31, 2012

Trustworthy Answers in Untrusting Times

by John MacArthur - Article Link - gty.org
From the human perspective, life doesn't always make sense. It is a difficult journey with obstacles to face and pitfalls to avoid. All of us have asked the same hard questions: "Is there a God?"; "Does He really love me?"; "Why am I here?"; "Why did this have to happen?"; "What is life really about?"
Life is a process of seeking answers for the road ahead. But the real question is: "Where do I go to get the answers to those questions?" Philosophers can only speculate about the meaning of life. At best, they can suggest theories for the reasons of suffering, the existence of God, and other basic spiritual questions. In the end, philosophy's answers are totally unsatisfying. Even Bertrand Russell, perhaps the premier philosopher of the twentieth century and a man totally opposed to Christianity, admitted before he died that philosophy had availed him nothing.
I'll never forget a man I once met while hiking through the mountains of northern California. He was a graduate of Boston University who lived in an overturned Frigidaire box by a stream.
I saw him there and introduced myself. After describing his frustrating search for the meaning of life, he told me, "I've escaped."
"Well, have you found the answers?" I asked.
"No," he replied, "but I've put myself into a situation where I don't have to ask the questions!" Unfortunately, that is the best human wisdom can do.
Information, But No AnswersThe last fifty years have produced an information explosion unparalleled in human history. Yet with all we have learned and with all the volumes that have been written, modern knowledge has been unable to shed any new light on the most basic spiritual questions facing the human race. That's exactly the situation the Bible ascribes to mankind in the end times: "always learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Timothy 3:7).
Man has solved incredibly difficult problems in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, microbiology, and even space travel. But the true meaning of life stubbornly eludes those whose methods of pursuit are merely rational. They end up totally puzzled about life, death, God, man, sin, heaven, hell, love, joy, and peace.
The problem is that spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Corinthians 2:14). It's not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but human wisdom is defective because it is tainted by man's sinfulness and unable to perceive the things of God.
Trustworthy Answers from the Unchanging GodThat is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can't find on our own. It is God's Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Psalm 19 contains a hymn of praise to God for the wonders of His Word. It is also a marvelous lesson about the authority and sufficiency of Scripture to answer all the questions of life.
Perfect AnswersVerse 7 says, "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul." "Perfect" comes from a Hebrew word that means comprehensive, or complete. In other words, the Bible contains all the truth that is necessary to transform and restore the human soul.
Thus the Bible offers hope for those weighted down by a sense of their own failure. Because it is perfect truth, it can revive man's broken soul and offer new life to those defeated by sin and failure. If you are apathetic, Scripture will convict you of sin and show you your real needs. If on the other hand you are crushed with emptiness, guilt, and anxiety, God's Word contains truth that can transform your soul with new life in Christ.
Certain AnswersThe psalmist goes on: "The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (v. 7). Natural intelligence is at best a leap in the dark. Even the most perceptive philosopher will tell you that there is no certainty in human wisdom. At his best, man is totally inadequate in the pursuit of truth.
Not so with Scripture. God's Word is sure, certain, infallible, inerrant, and totally reliable in every sense. In contrast to human wisdom, which is based on academic pursuit, the Bible can make a simple person wise. What a fantastic promise! Whatever you need to know in life is covered in the Word of God. Study it for yourself. It will tell you how to build lasting friendships, how to develop communication skills, and how to build a solid marriage. All you need is an open mind, a receptive spirit, and an obedient heart.
Satisfying AnswersVerse 8 continues: "The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart." Everyone wants a happy and contented life. The problem is that people look for joy in all the wrong places. Real happiness cannot be found in pleasure and materialism. You can't find lasting joy in sinful self-gratification and the hedonistic pursuit of money, sex, alcohol, and drugs. All these things lead to a dead end.
God offers real satisfaction to people who obey His Word. He wants us to be happy. Too many people think of God as a joyless ogre who stamps out pleasure wherever He finds it. God does not look at mankind from heaven saying, "There's one having fun; get him!" He designed us so that the greatest possible joy comes as a fruit of our obedience to Him.
Best of all, the gladness He gives is not the kind that ends when the party is over. It is a rich, deep joy that operates even in the midst of life's most difficult trials. No matter what pressures you may face in life, He will strengthen and guide you through His Word.
Enlightening Answers"The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (v. 8). Scripture makes sense out of life. It helps us understand the depth of man's depravity without God. It is no wonder our world is filled with lying, cheating, murder, war, and tragedy. It is easy to understand why someone without spiritual understanding would want to escape into a box and hide!
What comfort does philosophy offer to someone who loses a child? What can human wisdom say to a person whose spouse has cancer? Only God's Word can speak with authority to the deep needs of life as it enlightens the eyes of those who submit to its truth.
The Bible may not always give easy answers to the hard questions we ask, but the truth it reveals is far superior to the pat answers of human wisdom. The Scripture declares the character of God. It shows Him as a loving, caring, all-wise, and omnipotent Sovereign who remains in control--no matter how bleak this world may seem.
Enduring AnswersVerse 9 says, "The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever." "The fear of the Lord" is parallel to "the law," "the testimony," "the precepts," and "the commandment" (vv. 7-8). It is another of the psalmist's names for Scripture. More than that, "the fear of the Lord" signifies the sum of man's response to God's Word.
The Bible, unlike any other book, endures forever. It is relevant in every generation--never out of date or obsolete. Though it is an ancient document, it never needs another edition. It has been translated to update the language, but for two millennia it has remained the same in content. It speaks to us as pointedly and authoritatively as it ever did to any generation since it was written.
Human philosophies come in and out of style. Every field of science known to man is constantly in a state of flux: changing, growing, discarding one maxim and replacing it with another. But one thing that never changes is the eternal Word of God.
True AnswersFinally, the psalmist says, "The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether" (v. 9). What a bold statement that is! God's Word is true. This is the unequivocal testimony of Scripture to itself. It is hard today to find anything we can count on for truth. The media, politicians, and even some preachers all have a reputation for lacking credibility. In fact, we take it for granted that they regularly distort the truth.
In a world of lies, people despair of trying to find the truth. That was even true in the time of Christ. Pilate, facing Jesus on one hand and an angry mob on the other, cynically asked, "What is truth?" (John 18:38), as if to say, "I give up"--just like the man in the refrigerator box!
Franz Kafka, the brilliant German novelist, used a parable to illustrate the futility of man's search for truth. He described a bombed-out city of rubble where death and ruin were everywhere. People had been crushed under debris, where they lay dying in agony. In the middle of this total holocaust, one solitary figure sits in a bathroom. Kafka calls him the defiant fisherman. He sits on a toilet seat with a fishing line dangling in the bathtub. There is no water in the tub, and obviously no fish, but the defiant fisherman keeps on fishing anyhow.
That, said Kafka, is what the search for truth is like. It is a futile quest for something that isn't really there. It is a worthless pursuit for meaning, while the whole world is dying all around.
It is a hopeless picture, but that is exactly what it's like to look for truth apart from the Bible. The natural man cannot find truth in the spiritual realm. He is spiritually dead and unresponsive to God (Ephesians 2:1-2). The only way he can find truth is if the spiritual realm invades his coffin of flesh.
That's exactly what the Bible does! It is a supernatural revelation from God that invades the human heart with the sum of spiritual truth we need to know. If you are looking for the transformation of your soul; if you are in need of true wisdom and real joy; if you long for eternal life, the only place you'll ever find it is in the pages of God's Word, the Bible. gty.org

Passion 4 Him: Dear Christianity Haters

Passion 4 Him: Dear Christianity Haters
By Dale V. Nobbman

The geo-political events of 2012 have in essence set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled in 2013

by Jimmy DeYoung
Listen to Today's Program Play

        When one stops to reflect on the geo-political events that were the top news stories in 2012, it seems like all of these news stories have an interesting connection and relationship with the prophecies of the Bible.

        Even a non-student of Bible prophecy has heard of the significance of the Jewish people returning to the land of their forefathers and the conflict that would cause among the Arab and Moslem nations in the Middle East.

        As observers of world history, which is actually unfolding before our very eyes on a daily basis, we can without much effort recognize that this world is quickly moving towards a time unique to what has been witnessed in the past or read about in the past.

Jimmy's Prophetic Prospective on the News:

        As we look back at the top news stories of 2012, we can recognize a movement in world events that align themselves with the end of time scenario that can be found in Bible prophecy.

        As a result of the Arab Spring in the Middle East, a Moslem radical was elected as President of Egypt and the civil war in Syria has intensified with the threat of chemical weapons of mass destruction entering the equation.

        Even with the pressure of the European Union, the United States and the United Nations on the Iranian leaders, there has been no change in the plans for the Iranian political, military and religious leaders to stop developing a nuclear weapon of mass destruction that will possibly be used on the Jewish state of Israel.

        Though not as well known as these other issues, the controversy surrounding the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and the Jewish preparation to build a Temple there, has to be the most solid evidence of a fulfillment of Bible prophecy describing the days in which we live.

        Ancient Jewish prophets foretold of a conflict when Egypt and Syria would move against Israel, Daniel 11:40-43. Malachi 1, Ezekiel 35 and the little Book of Obadiah foretold of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would be in place at the time of the return of the Messiah.

        Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:4 and Revelation 11:1 reveal that the Jews will prepare to build a Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem at a time of trouble during the Tribulation Period. Events in 2012 have indeed set the stage for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled in 2013.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Truth of the Nativity

by John MacArthur gty.org - Article Link
The Truth of the NativityThe story of the first Christmas is so beloved that singers and storytellers across the centuries have embellished and elaborated and mythologized the story in celebration. However, most people now don't know which details are biblical and which are fabricated. People usually imagine the manger scene with snow, singing angels, many worshipers, and a little drummer boy. None of that is found in the biblical account.
Christmas has become the product of an odd mixture of pagan ideas, superstition, fanciful legends, and plain ignorance. Add to that the commercialization of Christmas by marketers and the politicization of Christmas in the culture wars, and you're left with one big mess. Let's try to sort it out. The place to begin is in God's Word, the Bible. Here we find not only the source of the original account of Christmas, but also God's commentary on it.
We can't know Jesus if we don't understand He is real. The story of His birth is no allegory. We dare not romanticize it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the whole story meaningless. Mary and Joseph were real people. Their dilemma on finding no room at the inn surely was as frightening for them as it would be for you or me. The manger in which Mary laid Jesus must have reeked of animal smells. So did the shepherds, in all probability. That first Christmas was anything but picturesque.
But that makes it all the more wondrous. That baby in the manger is God! Immanuel!
That's the heart and soul of the Christmas message. There weren't many worshipers around the original manger--only a handful of shepherds. But one day every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue will confess He is Lord (Philippians 2:9-11). Those who doubt Him, those who are His enemies, those who merely ignore Him--all will one day bow, too, even if it be in judgment.
How much better to honor Him now with the worship He deserves! That's what Christmas ought to inspire.
Unvarnished Truth
Luke 2:7 sets the scene: "[Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
That verse is explicitly concerned with a lonely birth. There were no midwives, no assistance to Mary at all. The Bible doesn't even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was typical of first-time fathers, he would have been of little help to Mary. She was basically on her own.
Mary brought forth the child; she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths; and she laid Him in a manger. Where usually a midwife would clean the baby and wrap Him, there was no one. Mary did it herself. And where usually there would have been a cradle or basket for the baby, there was none. Mary had to put Him in an animal's feeding trough.
When Christ entered the world, He came to a place that had some of the smelliest, filthiest, and most uncomfortable conditions. But that is part of the wonder of divine grace, isn't it? When the Son of God came down from heaven, He came all the way down. He did not hang on to His equality with God; rather, He set it aside for a time and completely humbled Himself (Philippians 2:5-8).
Unlikely Testimony
Luke 2:8-20 describes the experience of the shepherds when Jesus was born. Think about that for a moment. Out of the whole of Jerusalem society, God picked a band of shepherds to hear the news of Jesus' birth. That's intriguing because shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups.
The very nature of shepherds' work kept them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. They couldn't maintain the ceremonial washings and observe all the religious festivals and feasts, yet these shepherds, just a few miles from Jerusalem, were undoubtedly caring for sheep that someday would be used as sacrifices in the temple. How fitting it is that they were the first to know of the Lamb of God!
More significant, they came to see Him the night he was born. No one else did. Though the shepherds went back and told everyone what they had seen and heard, and though "all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds" (v. 18), not one other person came to see firsthand.
Scripture doesn't describe how the shepherds' search for the baby Jesus actually unfolded, but it's not unreasonable to assume that they entered Bethlehem and asked questions: "Does anybody know about a baby being born here in town tonight?"
The shepherds might have knocked on several doors and seen other newborn babies before they found the special Child lying in the feeding trough. At that moment, those humble men knew for certain that the angels' announcement was a word from God. After their encounter with Joseph and Mary and Jesus, the shepherds couldn't help but tell others about what the angels had told them. They became, in effect, the first New Testament evangelists.
The shepherd's story is a good illustration of the Christian life. You first hear the revelation of the gospel and believe it (Romans 10:9-10). Then you pursue and embrace Christ. And having become a witness to your glorious conversion, you begin to tell others about it (Luke 2:17).
May God grant you the life-changing spiritual experiences and the ongoing attitude of enthusiasm and responsiveness that causes you to tell others that you, too, have seen Christ the Lord.
Adapted from God's Gift of Christmas.

Passion 4 Him: Who Is Jesus? - Correcting LDS Fallacies

Passion 4 Him: Who Is Jesus? - Correcting LDS Fallacies: Higley, Dennis and Rauni When an LDS person is asked the question, “Do you know Jesus?”, many will say, “Of course I know Jesus, I...

The Trouble with Technology

Microchip© 2008  - by Travis Allen - Internet Ministry Manager Grace to You
Modern religion is thriving in the world today.  Every day men bow at the altar of innovation, making sacrifices to a god called Progress.  Progress rewards its worshipers with tangible rewards from the technological treasure chest—HDTV, iPods, plasma screens, dual core processors.  The production of more sophisticated technology, and the money it generates, justifies the pursuit and the sacrifice.

But Progress is a false god and a true antichrist.  Its modern religion has boldly given mankind an unwarranted promotion while it has subtly marginalized the true God.  And it has enslaved its adherents with intangible chains, keeping them busy, distracted, and entertained as they strive to lay hold of a pipe dream.
A Recent History:  Moore’s Law
In 1965, Dr. Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, wrote an article that anticipated the age of the personal computer and established a model for the development of technology.   The article forecast the effective cost of computer processing power would be cut in half every two years—more complexity at a cheaper price.
Lower costs would enable manufacturers to increase the complexity of an integrated circuit, and Dr. Moore predicted a doubling of processing power and performance every two years.  That was a revolutionary idea at the time, an idea Caltech professor Carver Mead called “Moore’s Law.” 

Moore’s Law wasn’t merely an informed prognostication.  Dr. Moore had mapped out a formula for the technology industry that demanded efficiency and speed in research, development, and production.  Technology companies that failed to adhere to the two-year timeframe risked getting left behind. 

Dr. Moore and his colleagues were among the first to wed technology and business, first with Fairchild Corporation and then with Intel Corporation.  Soon, “every new idea that came along created at least one new company,” something Dr. Moore calls the “Silicon-Valley effect.”   Moore’s Law drove competitors forward in a race to be the first company to release the newest technology, resulting in rapid development of computing technology. 

Gordon E. Moore Intel Corporation developed the first commercial microprocessor in 1971, Intel’s 4004 chip, which kicked off the revolution in personal computers.  That was only the beginning.  Moore’s Law went beyond integrated circuits to advance the development of hard disk storage, RAM storage capacity, fiber optic data transmission, and digital imagery. 

Central processing units (CPUs) enter the market every year, and they are faster and smaller.  Researchers recently set a processor speed record of 500 GHz and simulations push the possible speeds up to 1 THz—that’s terahertz.  In comparison, the fastest dual-core processors available in today’s personal computers have a combined speed of 5-6 GHz.  As for size, Intel manufactured its latest processor, the Wolfdale, on a 45 nanometer (nm) chip (the diameter of an atom of silicon is around .2 nm).  Just ten years ago, chips were produced at 500 nm.  Enter the age of nanotechnology. 

The rate of development has been staggering; technology today is faster, smaller, more powerful, and more efficient than ever, and there are no signs of the trend slowing.  Advancements in technology continue to double every two years or less.  Even though Dr. Moore himself doubts Moore’s Law can go on forever, scientists are keeping the faith.   Some hope carbon nanotubes and quantum computing will replace silicon and transistor technology.  Salvation by innovation; Moore’s Law lives on. 

The Effect of Moore’s Law

Moore’s Law and the rapid evolution of computer processing, especially the advent of the personal computer, have changed the face of public and private life.  The decreased cost to develop more complex, more powerful computer processors has delivered the benefits into every sphere of life—business, engineering, science, medicine, the military, and beyond.  Moore’s Law has given scientists, engineers, and programmers a reason to put faith in the future—they’ve witnessed results and breakthroughs that were once unimaginable.  Impenetrable barriers continue to disappear as scientists come closer to them. 

The economic element of Moore’s Law, especially the success of Silicon Valley ventures, made Moore’s Law an attractive standard for other industries, even for society as a whole.  Expectations created by technology now fuel the insatiable consumer demand for Progress, in every industry, and innovation has become the key to every successful enterprise. 

But is technology a Trojan horse?  How does Progress benefit “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)?  What does innovation have to do with unchangeable truth and an unchanging God?  How does the modern, secular hope of future advancement affect core doctrines of the Christian faith? 

The demands of technology, progress, and innovation have affected modern perceptions, which in turn animate the antichrist spirit of the modern world.  That’s a strange thing to say, especially since the benefits of technology are so apparent.  But the subversion of God and His truth has been subtle because it’s cloaked in the robes of Progress.  More now than ever, the Christian gospel battles against an entrenched mindset of secularism in the popular culture.  Man stands at the center while God looks in from the periphery. 

Subversion of Wisdom

Honoring the Aged
The Bible teaches, “You shall rise up before the grayheaded, and honor the aged, and you shall revere your God” (Leviticus 19:32).  “A gray head is a crown of glory” (Proverbs 16:31).  Why?  Because the older generation is a repository of truth and wisdom.  Peter instructs young men to submit to their elders (1 Peter 5:5).  Paul commands older women to teach the younger women (Titus 2:3-5).  Leaders in the church are to be older men, called “elders,” who stand apart for their time-tested maturity and wisdom (1 Timothy 3:1-7Titus 1:5-9).  From cover to cover, the Bible promotes the honor of the aged because of their wisdom. 

But technology favors the young.  Technology advances so rapidly that even experts struggle to keep up with the pace.  New products hit the market almost annually with new user interfaces, new software, new updates, and young people with energy embrace the challenge to learn new things.  To them, the novelty is almost euphoric.

Not so with older people.  With age comes resistance to change (and that’s not always a bad thing).  You can almost hear a teenager’s thoughts:  “Why should I honor the older generation—they can’t even program a cell phone!”  The perception of youthful superiority enters popular culture via many different avenues, but technology reinforces it in tangible ways.  A Bible that elevates the wisdom of the old appears to support institutional power structures and suppress the bright new thoughts of the young. 

Maintaining Role Distinctions
The Bible clearly assigns different roles to men and women (1 Corinthians 11:3Ephesians 5:22-33Titus 2:3-5).  By God’s design, men are to be sacrificial leaders, faithful providers, and courageous protectors in society; women are to be submissive helpmeets, devoted homemakers, and nurturing mothers.  That role distinction between the sexes was almost unquestioned in human history until technology started leveling the playing field in the mid-twentieth century. 

For centuries, physical strength and battlefield prowess made the difference in provision and protection.  Today, anyone can program a computer, fly an airplane, and push a button to drop a bomb.  Because of technology, Peter’s concept of women as the weaker vessel (1 Peter 3:7) is a hard sell.  As Jonathan Rauch says in his article, “The Coming American Matriarchy,” “If there is a ‘weaker sex,’ it isn’t female.”   A Bible that assigns the leadership role to the man and the submissive role to the woman appears outmoded (at best) and chauvinistic (at worst) in the equalizing light of technology. 

Preferring the Original and the Steady
Technology also creates the perception that faster is better than slower, newer is better than older.  Quick repentance is prudent (Proverbs 28:13-14Isaiah 55:6-72 Corinthians 6:2), and a new heart and a new spirit are better than the old (Ezekiel 11:1918:3136:26), but, generally speaking, speed and novelty are not wise.  How do passages like Psalm 27:14 (“Wait for the LORD”) make sense to an impatient generation weaned on instant results?  What taste does a society that hungers and thirsts for the new have for an old gospel that has never changed?  A Bible that lists patience as a product of spiritual growth (Galatians 5:22) and advocates the original to the exclusion of the new-and-improved (Genesis 3:1-7Galatians 1:8-91 John 1:1-4) runs contrary to the spirit of the age. 

All those things (and there are others) create the perception, albeit an unwarranted one, that the Bible has nothing to say to the modern generation.  The values that accompany technology, progress, and innovation are turning biblical wisdom on its head; and, according to that thinking, the replacement doesn’t look like folly at all.

Subversion of God

The most damning aspect of this modern, secularized religion is the subversion of God.  As men continue to innovate for the sake of Progress, they produce new technologies that create the perception that man is pretty smart and God is pretty dumb.  To many, the Bible is outmoded, outdated, and out of touch with reality.  The new clerics are the scientists, the engineers, and the programmers. 

Every new scientific and technological breakthrough reinforces the popular sense that salvation comes through human innovation.  Human genius and hard work will overcome every obstacle.  Conversely, God is marginalized, diminished, and ignored in the modern world. 

Dr. Moira Gunn, host of NPR’s Tech Nation and BioTech Nation, conducted a fascinating question and answer session with Dr. Gordon Moore at the 2007 Intel Developers Forum.  At the end of the session, she gave him a refrigerator magnet that cited one of her basic tenets:  “If God didn’t make it, it’s Technology.”  You can’t miss the intentionality of the capitalization in that sentence. 

Dr. Gunn’s dictum is nothing new or novel—it’s as old as Romans 1:
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks; but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man. (Romans 1:21-23)
Belief in a god isn’t wholly incompatible with this new form of religion, but it’s a god without weight, power, or glory.  The true God is kept at arms length, and technology keeps extending the arm.  It offers distractions, entertainments, new gizmos and whiz-bangs, and all of it keeps the eyes of humanity diverted from the heavens and focused on the earth.  Modern religion herds humanity into an ever-tightening circle, closer to the self and farther from the God of salvation.

The apostle Paul foretold the effects of this modern religion long ago:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
On one level, technology is morally neutral.  Phones, computers, databases, silicon semiconductors, plasma televisions, and iPods are just wires, electricity, and bits of silicon encased in plastic—completely harmless.  On another level, a more subtle level, pieces of technology carry beliefs like parasites; they create perceptions like clever magicians.  Those beliefs, perceptions, and assumptions are not neutral—they breathe “according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2). 

Walking Carefully

As Christians, we walk a razor’s edge—we are in the world but not of the world (John 17:1114).  We use technology to work and develop and produce, but we must be wary of technology.  Progress is not our god, innovation is not our salvation.  We worship the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His Word, even though that puts us on a collision course with modernity. 

But today’s idolatry charms many Christians.  Many find themselves subtly distracted and gently allured by the benefits, entertainments, and conveniences technology brings.  Christians in the modern world must wake up and listen to an old warning:
Do not love the world, nor the things in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.  And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever. (1 John 2:15-17)
Living in the world and using its technology is dangerous business.  The forces that accompany technology are becoming more powerful, ubiquitous, influential, and consuming.  But there is a God who stands above it all, watching it fade away, who will one day call every individual to account.  “There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30). 

When we realize it’s all passing away, we’ll anchor ourselves in the bedrock truth of the immutable God.  We’ll subvert the world and its wisdom with the true wisdom of God’s Word.  We’ll proclaim the gospel of eternal salvation in Christ to a world that seeks temporal salvation in Progress.  And we’ll worship the unfading glory of the immortal God and scoff at the fleeting twinkle of the latest technological toy. 

Soli Deo Gloria!

© 2008 by Travis Allen
Internet Ministry Manager
Grace to You

[1] Gordon E. Moore, “Cramming more components onto integrated circuits,” Electronics Magazine 38:2 (April 19, 1965), http://download.intel.com/research/silicon/moorespaper.pdf.   
[2] Moore, “The Accidental Entrepreneur,” Nobelprize.org (December 3, 2001),http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/articles/moore/index.html
[3] Manek Dubash, “Moore’s Law is dead, says Gordon Moore,” Techworld (April 13, 2005),http://www.techworld.com/opsys/news/index.cfm?newsid=3477.  Dr. Moore once asked renowned physicist Stephen Hawking what barriers existed that would limit the growth of the integrated circuit.  According to Hawking, there are two—the speed of light and the atomic nature of matter.  Researches are already looking for a way around those barriers. 
[4] Michael Kanellos, “Gordon Moore on 40 years of his processor law,” CNET News.com (April 7, 2005),http://www.news.com/Gordon-Moore-on-40-years-of-his-processor-law/2008-1006_3-5657677.html
[5] Jonathan Rauch, “The Coming American Matriarchy:  The fairer sex gets ready to take over,” National Journal (January 15, 2008), reasononline, http://www.reason.com/news/show/124402.html.

New Law Being Introduced: Grandfathered Weapons be Registered Under the National Firearms Act

New Law Being Introduced: Grandfathered Weapons be Registered Under the National Firearms Act

Now It's the "Queen James Bible"

Now It Is the "Queen James Bible"?
by Ken Ham
A pro-homosexual group (which to my knowledge has remained anonymous) recently released a Bible "translation" that they say they've "edited to make homophobic interpretations impossible." This new "Bible" is based on the 1769 King James Bible. Now, the editors have called their new translation the Queen James Bible (QueenJamesBible.com) because they claim that King James's alleged homosexual acts led people in his time to refer to him as "Queen James." Whether or not that claim is true, this group has made a mockery of a beloved Bible translation and mutilated the Word of God to support their own anti-God agenda.
Now, the editors make the claim that "the Bible says nothing about homosexuality"-which is absolutely false and contradicts their own "translation" of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. We have articles available on our website that deal with this issue. I encourage you to visit www.AnswersinGenesis.org and read them for yourself.
So, how do the editors get around the clear strictures against homosexual behavior in Scripture? Well, they claim, "the Bible can be interpreted in different ways, leading to what we call 'interpretive ambiguity.'" Basically, they believe that we can never understand the true meaning of anything in the Bible because it was written so long ago-except that these editors seem to believe they've found the most accurate translation of the passages on homosexuality. This is totally inconsistent with their view of hermeneutics!
Of course, hermeneutics is the technical term for Bible interpretation. The hermeneutic we use at AiG is the historical-grammatical method, which really means we read the Bible "naturally," according to the genre of the passage. For example, the creation account of Genesis is historical narrative, so we read it as history. For more on the historical-grammatical approach, read Tim Chaffey's series "How Should We Interpret the Bible?" Part 1and Part 2.
Based on their faulty method of interpretation, these editors changed some key verses to try to claim that homosexual behavior is not a sin. I won't discuss every single change, but I think it's important to highlight one of the major flaws in how they approach God's Word.
You see, the editors' primary tactic is to paint many of the passages that condemn homosexual behavior as being written in the context of idolatry. For example, in the KJV, two passages in Leviticus are clear on this issue:
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)Now, these two verses are in chapters that list many condemned behaviors, such as bestiality, incest, and child sacrifice. But you see, the editors already believe that homosexual behavior is not a sin. Even though there is absolutely no manuscript evidence to support their "translation," they changed these two verses as follows (I've bolded the additions):
Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22, Queen James Version)
If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death. (Leviticus 20:13, QJV)
I should point out that not only is it wrong to make these verses solely about idolatry, but it's also important to know that God had already forbidden idolatry in the strictest terms (Exodus 20:3–6). But if they are going to be consistent, then these editors have to apply this method of interpretation to every behavior listed in these chapters. If homosexual behavior is acceptable outside of ritual pagan worship, then that would mean that incest, bestiality, child sacrifice, and a number of other behaviors are perfectly acceptable as long as idolatry is not involved! The editors make a similar claim with Romans 1-which is very clear on the sin of homesexual behavior.
Of course, the above are just a few in a whole series of issues with the Queen James Bible's translations. And the editors conclude their list of changes by writing, "The Bible is still filled with inequality and even contradiction . . . No Bible is perfect, including this one." Basically, the editors show that they don't believe the Word of God is inerrant in its original manuscripts or is understandable today. And what they've done is more than just editing-they've rewritten the Bible!
You know, this isn't the first attempt sinful man has made at "editing" the Bible. In fact, the very first example of "rewriting" God's Word is in Genesis 3, where the devil tempted Eve with "Did God really say . . . ?" Sadly, Adam and Eve really "rewrote" God's Word-and look what happened as a result!
These people who have mutilated God's Word for their own anti-God agenda will have to answer to God for that one day-and there will be a day of reckoning! I couldn't imagine standing before the Creator God and saying, "I hope you liked how we rewrote your holy Word. We just felt like those verses about homosexual behavior were unfair and outdated. We knew better than you did, and you obviously didn't want us to trust you in this area."
I encourage you to read our Pocket Guide to Social Issues for the biblical viewpoint on homosexuality and other issues. answersingenesis.org
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying

Government Dependents Outnumber Those With Private Sector Jobs In 11 U.S. States

by Brannon Howse
Source: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/

America is rapidly becoming a nation of takers. An increasing number of Americans expect the government to take care of them from the cradle to the grave, and they expect the government to dig into the pockets of others in order to pay for it all. This philosophy can be very seductive, but what happens when the number of takers eventually outnumbers the number of producers? In 11 different U.S. states, the number of government dependents exceeds the number of private sector workers. This list of states includes some of the biggest states in the country: California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii. It is interesting to note that seven of those states were won by Barack Obama on election night. In California, there are 139 "takers" for every 100 private sector workers. That is crazy! The American people have become absolutely addicted to government money, and it gets worse with each passing year. If you can believe it, entitlements accounted for 62 percent of all federal spending in fiscal year 2012. It would be one thing if we could afford all of this spending, but unfortunately we simply cannot. We are drowning in debt, and we are stealing more than a hundred million more dollars from future generations with each passing hour. No bank robber in history can match that kind of theft.
Yes, we will always need a safety net. There are many people out there that simply cannot take care of themselves. We certainly don't want to see anyone sleeping in the streets or starving to death.
But if the number of people jumping on to the safety net continues to grow at the current pace, the net will break and it will not be available for any of us.
For example, the number of Americans on food stamps grew from about 17 million in 2000 to more than 47 million today. It nearly tripled in just 12 years.
What will happen if it nearly triples again over the next 12 years?
The federal government even has a website (benefits.gov) that guides people through the process of figuring out what welfare programs they can take advantage of.
Overall, the federal government runs nearly 80 different "means-tested welfare programs" and more than 100 million Americans are already enrolled in at least one of those programs.
Yes, I realize that figure is very hard to believe. I had a hard time believing it when I first came across it.
And it is even more shocking when you realize that the figure of 100 million Americans does not even include those who only receive Social Security or Medicare.
Today, there are 56.76 million Americans on Social Security.
To support all of those Americans on Social Security, there are only about 94.75 million full-time private sector workers.
So there are just 1.67 full-time private sector workers to support each American that is on Social Security.
Medicare is also growing like crazy. As I wrote about the other day, the number of Americans on Medicare is expected to grow from 50.7 million in 2012 to 73.2 million in 2025.
How much farther can we push things before the entire system collapses?
In order to support this exploding entitlement system, we need a lot more Americans to be working good paying jobs.
Unfortunately, millions of good paying jobs continue to be shipped overseas and they aren't coming back.
We are even losing good jobs to our own prisoners. The United States has the largest prison population in the world by far, and the exploitation of that low wage labor pool has become a boom industry in America. Even Microsoft and Boeing are using prison labor now. Just check out this video.
Meanwhile, there are millions upon millions of law-abiding Americans that cannot find jobs and that cannot take care of their families.
So poverty and dependence on the government are absolutely exploding. We have a system that is so messed up that it is hard to even put it into words. The middle class is being viciously shredded, and most Americans just continue to applaud the politicians from both parties that are doing this to us.
Our economy is being gutted at the same time that the welfare state is experiencing unprecedented growth. Instead of giving us real answers, our "leaders" just continue to borrow, spend and print more money. We areabout to hit the debt limit again, and the Obama administration is saying that we should just do away with the debt limit permanently.
Most of our politicians don't seem to understand that they are systematically destroying our economy and the bright futures that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have.
But there are some politicians out there that get it. Unfortunately, many of them live in other countries. For example, Canadian MP Pierre Poilievre seems to have a firm grasp on what debt is doing to the United States. The following are some excerpts from one of his speeches...

"By 2020, the US Government will be spending more annually on debt interest than the total combined military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel."

"Through government spending the indulgence of one is the burden of another; through government borrowing, the excess of one generation becomes the yoke of the next; through international bailouts, one nation's extravagance becomes another nation's debt"

"Everyone takes, nobody makes, work doesn't pay, indulgence doesn't cost, money is free, and money is worthless."
You can see his entire speech right here.
And if we continue down this path it is most definitely true that our money will eventually become worthless at some point. Just today I was down at the grocery store, and a can of chili that I was able to get on sale for 75 cents a couple of years ago now has a "sale price" of $1.69. If the Federal Reserve keeps recklessly printing dollars, eventually we will be fortunate to get a can of chili for 10 bucks. Things cost too much already, and the Fed seems absolutely determined to cut the legs out from under the U.S. dollar.
Unfortunately, printing money is the only way that we are going to be able to service the gigantic amounts of debt that we are accumulating.
According to Chris Cox and Bill Archer, two men who served on Bill Clinton's Bipartisan Commission on Entitlement and Tax Reform, there is no way in the world that we could raise taxes high enough to pay for all of the obligations that we are currently taking on. They say that even if we taxed all corporations and all individuals at a 100% tax rate on all income over $66,193, "it wouldn't be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities."
Are you starting to get an idea of how much trouble we are in?
We don't have enough money to pay for all of this.
We are broke.
Our current economy is a debt-induced illusion, and we will soon be waking up to a tremendous amount of pain.
Are you ready?
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