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February 09, 2009

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bigTom

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John

I like this article. It's interesting. Keep the philosophy coming.

sondra

Mr. D., you continue to amaze me with your intellect and insight. I "got" most of what you said, but can you explain these two sentences for me?

"We can spend our time crucifying the admonishers, or we can discover whether they are pretenders or prophets by casting the probing eye inwards and seeing if the emperor really has no clothes. And make no mistake, we would be best served by doing the latter."

Philip France

Firstly protesting the utterly childish post by bigTom, I both praise and criticize the esteemed Mr. Duke's article.

I am an amateur, but accomplished student of God's word. One of the most fundamental keys to understanding scripture is to understand difficult verses in light of clear verses. This one is abundantly clear: I John 1:18 - God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. Sewlyn had it right when he said that our God is love. He is incorrect when he asserts that God exacts punishment. This would be darkness, rather than light (and by extension, love) no?

We are behooved to know our enemy. The great Chinese General Sun Tzu wrote a timeless volume stressing this (The Art of War, for those of you who enjoy blissful ignorance). The enemy has a name. It is Satan. The devil is his job description (transalted literaaly from the Greek and Aramaic texts of which our English Bibles were derived, it means "the accuser"). Our enemy has been inordinately successful in convincing us to blame God for his evil "handiwork". Needless to say that I am disappointed that the esteemed and brilliant Selwyn Duke failed to mention this in his op-ed.

I urge you to read Matthew, chapter 4, verses 1-11. In it you will see that Satan makes some interesting offers to the Son of God in exchange for his worship. Did he have the goods or not? Would Jesus not have called his bluff if he did not acknowledge that Satan had such authority?

Satan has had the dominion over the heavens and earth ever since he usurped it from Adam during the fall. Christ Jesus has won this dominion back from him to the extent that we believe he has done so. To the extent that we do not believe this, our salvation shall not occur until he returns again in glory. And he will.

Xander

"This one is abundantly clear: I John 1:18 - God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. Sewlyn (sic) had it right when he said that our God is love. He is incorrect when he asserts that God exacts punishment. This would be darkness, rather than light (and by extension, love) no?"

I have to respectfully disagree with you here. When a father punishes his son in order to correct his behavior and make a better person out of him, doesn't he do so out of love? Inversely, wouldn't ignoring that bad behavior and allowing it to shape the child's character for the worse be a true act of hatred?

Biblical history is replete with examples of God punishing His beloved children. When they turned from Him, He visited countless punishments upon ancient Israel, but restored their land each time they repented. If punishment was an evil act, God would allow His followers to descend into moral deviancy with no worldly consequences, thus they would not correct their mistakes and they would pass into Hell after death -- If you ask me, that act of passivity would be much more hateful and evil than any worldly punishment.

Furthermore, can't it be easily observed that God punishes iniquity in this lifetime? Increasing sexual immorality the world over has wrought a geometric increase in the number of known STDs, for example. Giving yourself over to sin has many physical, emotional and psychological consequences -- God doesn't always need floods and pillars of flame to correct our behavior.

Walt

I do not believe God acts to punish individuals on a case by case basis. Through the Bible, we are given "Commands" and advice. The commands and advice are not given as to be a burden but as a blessing. There is a natural order of things. The natural order is within Gods plan. God's original plan however, did not have evil as a part, nor is it a part today. Satan’s plan is the inverse of God's. Satan wishes to destroy the object of God's affection...his people. God knows this and has given us "The Word" (John 1:1) to survive the world and the deeds of its prince. Within the natural order, consequences follow actions. The "Commands" and advice in the Bible are our only source of Truth in a fallen world. A map trough the gauntlet if you will. If we follow the map not only will we have eternal life with an adoring Father, but we will avoid the predetermined earthly punishment for failure to adhere to his natural order...the consequences of actions. The consequences are not just physical ones like STDs and the like but emotional strife and dissatisfaction. The Word, both in a physical and literal meaning "...was not sent to condemn the world, but that we may have life, and have it more abundantly." John 10:10b. I certainly am not here to say God never acts to punish a person or deed as sent by a strike of lightning, but such behavior is not displayed too often in scripture. Off the top of my head I can think of Jonah, Cain, Ahab and Lots wife. I know there are more but I believe they are the exception and not the rule. However, God does judge and punish Nations in their time....ouch!

Philip France

Walt's post is very good. Xander's post is a humanistic understanding of God's Word, which is to be of no "private interpretation" (II Peter 1:20).

Ancient man attributed all acts, good or evil, to God for two primary reasons: 1. They were mindful of the 1st Commandment wherein there shall be "no other gods before me" and 2. Satan had not been fully exposed until the advent of Jesus' ministry on earth. Satan is hardly mentioned in the Old Testament.

The negative consequences that are visited upon sinners throughout the Bible and history are the works of Satan, not God. Walt mentioned John 10:10b, a very valuable verse declaring Jesus' "mission statement", if you will. The first part of that very same verse is Satan's "mission statement": "The thief cometh not but for to steal, and to kill and to destroy." This phrase is worded deliberately so as to show that Satan has no other purpose but these three goals. He has had millenia of "practice" at this and he is quite successful. The repitition of the word "and" is a Figure of Speech known as "Polysyndeton" (or many "ands"). The purpose of this Figure is to add emphasis to the items between the "ands".

The Bible appears to many to be (aside from historical text and devotional passages) a book of rules. It is not. Taken as a whole, it is a love story. It tells the greatest story of love; the love of The Father for his creation. Jesus Christ is the hero of the story and the subject of The Bible from Genesis 3:15 to Revelation 22:21.

God's plan of salvation is to restore mankind to oneness with him that Adam originally enjoyed when he was created "in His image". Jesus Christ was the human sacrifice that replaced the Old Testament offerings that substituted for temporary approach to God. This salvation is available this very day, but will be fully realised for those who believe on Jesus after the events recorded in I Thessalonians 4:15-18. For all others, the prophecy recorded in the Book of Revelation apply.

Walt

Good stuff Philip! I enjoy the comments on this site almost as much as as Selwyn's stuff. As iron sharpens iron.

Mike

Indeed Phil very good stuff. I even hate seeing you waste your time arguing with Nihil.. He's Plankton.. He couldnt smell where you defecate. Let sleeping dogs lie.

Philip France

Mike,

I am very grateful for your kind words (toward me, that is). I appreciate your opinion about Mr. Plankton, but let me run this by you: I believe that clear-headed thinkers preach to their own choirs too often and not enough to the lunatic fringe, or even benign liberals, for that matter. Regardless, truth is a clarion. I think of this as ringing a bell that cannot be "unrung" and that we should speak the truth regardless of how it is accepted.

My friend, we need to take our Republic back, if it has to be one sound-byte at a time. Your thoughts?

Walt

I would have to say I agree with you Philip. Nihli is new here (at least his screen name is). He is obviously a liberal but we all have no idea how left he really is. In a forum where reason, logic and cooler heads prevail, the argument for personal and economic freedom will always prevail (the right). Ad Hominem tactics never further the discussion, nor are they designed as a tactic of persuasion; but a tactic of confusion and exit. One reason I would like to keep it cool, is the conversion of David Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz was born into a Communist home, raised as a communist, and acted as one in his adult life...however, David Horowitz saw the flaws of the left, defected, and has become a very powerful voice of reason. I do not know what turned on the light for Horowitz, but I would imagine it was logical arguments and observation and not because he was tired of being called a Marxist, pinko, commie, red diaper baby, and so on; the inverse...they feed on that. The art of persuasion is not one of quick returns. As a matter of fact from the very beginning of this constitutional republic of united states there have been naysayers. Of course back then men were much more educated in history, and the art of communication. AS a matter of saving the Union and preserving the constitution, a number of our founders participated in the "Federalist Papers." Most Americans have no idea what they are, nor could most Americans comprehend the content due to lack of vocabulary. This is sad. The Federalist Papers are not an easy read, nor, I imagine an easy write. But they are a treasure; not only relevant in the 18th century but today as well. Wisdom is timeless.

Mike

Philip once again I agree with your logic: "I think of this as ringing a bell that cannot be "unrung" and that we should speak the truth regardless of how it is accepted." Great point. We allow them to dictate the conversations, to decide whats important and what isnt. We lose when this happens. We cannot fall prey to being labeled insensitive or haters or whatever new term they've come up with to label anyone that disagrees with their opinions. They give credance to the phrase "One man speaks a falsehood and a hundred repeat it as true." Its like one lies and the other swears to it. What can we do though? I so want to take back our country. I certainly want to leave it better than it is for the sake of my children and the other children that have no say at this point in what is happening. The thing that I dont understand is why so called "heavy hitters" like Rush, Savage, Hannity, Beck and other Conservatives are not standing behind Keyes and Berg on this issue with Obama's eligibility. Any ideas? I know some die-hard liberals and they fimly believe this issue is moot... That he has proven that he is a "natural born citizen" by posting that document on his web site. We simply have to unite and energize the sleepers among us who feel the same way about our great nation.

Philip France

Mike and Walt, I appreciate your compliments and I welcome you into my bosom as fellow Patriotic Americans that can think with their intellect and not through the kaleidoscopic filter that is our human emotions.

Mike posits the question that "why the heavy hitters", et al, are not backing Berg and Keyes. I have heard Savage speak on this subject and I reluctantly agree that it would be bad for our nation as a whole. While I dispute Obama's election; not only on the grounds of his natural-birth status but also because of the rampant voter fraud that no doubt added to his electoral numbers in immense capacity; his support from the pants-peeing press and how they would portray any investigation and dismantling of his election would result in strife and discord.

My hope and prayer is that common Americans will feel Obama's incompetancy and lurch toward Marxism in their wallets, in their gun safes and in their very freedom to disagree. I pray that the good people of the United States of America will awaken from their slumber and ask, "What happened?" while they were watching baseball, football, "All My Children" and "American I-Dull".

In the meantime; let sensible, sober people like you, Walt and I; with the help of great thinkers and voices like Michael Savage and Selwyn Duke never relent on the opportunity to shout down the lunatic fringe. They are a very small, albeit loud, minority. Let's show them to be the mentally disorded psychopaths that they really are... and their useful idiots along with them!

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