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« Targeting Guns: Good News, Bad News and Insight | Main | »

March 24, 2009

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 Robert Berger

This is sort of funny but it does nothing but stereotype those who don't subscribe to conservative doctrine. Liberals don't necessarily raise their kids so permissively and to be such brats.Nor do they necessarily"hate" guns,and want the government to into every ne's home and confiscate weapons. Many just don't want it to be so easy for deranged individuals do just walk into any gun store,purchase a ton of weapons and massacre people.
But on the serious side, many conservative and highly religious parents DO raise their kids to be just as narrow-minded,intolerant and self-righteous as they are, and into thinking that there is some kind of sinister homosexual plot to "recruit" kids into homosexuality and to enable gays to molest as many kids as possible, and that gay marriage is a "threat" to "traditional" marriage, and all that garbage.
And these parents are also terrified that if their kids learn about Darwin etc, it will turn them into godless,immoral,hedonistic and commie monsters, etc., and that any one who doesn't subscribe to their religious ideas is doomed to hell. Now THAT's frightening.

John

Sorta funny? It's hilarious. I haven't laughed so hard since I saw that feminist slip into a puddle of slush at a pro-choice rally.

Walt

Well Robert I guess I fit right into your neatly packaged stereotype of a conservative for the most part. However, I prefer my children learn the "theoretical" conclusions of Darwin. His ideas which are still accepted today by corporate academia are as silly to a person of logic today, as the flat earth ratings in the early post Columbus days. I think high school aged children, should be exposed to Darwin's lunacy in an elective history or philosophy class, right along side of creationism; not science class. Our kids are not learning nearly enough of the facts and laws of the world, why bother with teaching them theory? - That is if cross species evolution even qualifies as theory nowadays.-

As far as "narrow minded and intolerant..." Just liberal lingo that exposes an existential world view. Can there be no truth? Is there no right and wrong? Must it all be gray? Perhaps if one developed a logical perspective on counter to "gay marriage,"-for instance- baring all religious interjections, would that suffice? I doubt it. You see Biblical principals are all quite logical and reasonable. The Bible is the treasure map to the utopia you seek. As mankind has been allowed to retain past knowledge, we can see the wisdom, logic and reason of the Bible. We have less of a need for faith in the unseen as the wisdom and logic become more apparent. If you choose to accept the truths of the Bible as a "religious zealot" relying upon only faith in the unseen, or if you accept the truths as self evident based on logic disregarding the spiritual entirely, or are in the middle somewhere; society profits. We need to settle on a right and wrong good and bad. "...the gray is always evil" Ayn Rand.

Nice article Selwyn, I am always looking for new and exiting ways to irritate liberals, now my kids can join in.

jh

To Walt.
Yes, there is truth. There is right and wrong. God is true and right.
However, how can we ever possibly presume to perfectly know God's will and God's truth? You say the Bible. I agree, but with caveats. The Bible is no straightforward decoded treasure map. It is a wonderful book, full of wisdom and insight. But, some of this wisdom and insight is contradictory.
How does God intend us to resolve these contradictions and come to understanding? By giving us intellect. Humbly praying and using our intellect we can strive to understand the Bible in all its complexity, and work towards true understanding. We all interpret the Bible with our intellect- how else do we understand it? How else do we resolve its contradictions- an eye for an eye vs. turn the other cheek (for a very basic example)? How else do we work out how to express the love for our neighbour we are required to do? We are all imperfect sinners, and the wise amongst us must recognise that every human's understanding of the Bible, liberal or conservative, may be incorrect. Our personal best understanding of God's truth may be wrong. To misquote George Orwell- 'To see what is God's will needs a constant struggle'. It is for this reason that tolerance and shades of gray are to be respected.

Selwyn. We are ordered to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. We are ordered to remove the log from our own eye before we judge the speck in anothers. Does this article really do you justice?

Jason

The article is bad because it stereotypes liberals.....but let me get this straight - It's the conservatives that are bad and should be stereotyped. Did I understand you correctly?

Philip France

jh;

Your input and inquiry demand serious discussion but first I must indulge my intellectual urge to provoke Robert Berger (and I must qualify this by expressing my delight that Robert is not so incorrigible as to cease from reading and commenting on Selwyn's website).

Robert said: Many just don't want it to be so easy for deranged individuals do just walk into any gun store,purchase a ton of weapons and massacre people.

Dear Robert, please name one such individual. Just one, please?

Now returning my conversation to jh, You said the following: "We all interpret the Bible with our intellect- how else do we understand it? How else do we resolve its contradictions"

With all respect, I must confront you on your flawed logic. To begin with, the Word of God has no contradictions. God is perfect, and it follows that His Word must also be so. There are apparent contradictions in the English translations of the Bible, with each ensuing revision employing the particular theology of its translator or revisionist. That is why the fundamental understanding that God's Word is perfect and without contradiction is critical to its understanding. If a passage appears contradictory, further study is required. I have devoted most of my life to this understanding and the results are more than satisfying.

Part of your posted statement was also that "We all interpret the Bible with our intellect". While I respect this statement as commonly held opinion, please allow me to enlighten you on the truth of this subject, as defined for us in II Peter 1:20-21:

"Knowing this first(FIRST - my emphasis)that no (my emphasis again, NO) prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. (V.21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

We are not at liberty to "interpret" scripture and we should know this FISRT. How then does scripture become interpeted, you logically ask? Answer: It interprets itself. I am the beneficiary of valuable training in this regard so I appreciate your ignorance (no disresoect intended). The word "private" in the above quoted Biblical verse is translated from the Greek word "idios" (from which we have our English words 'idiot' and 'idea' and, following naturally, our word "ideolology"). Transliterated accurately here, it should be thought of as "one's own": That the prophecy of the scripture should not be of "one's own private interpretation".

Progessing logically, your next question should be, how can we interpret the Bible if we are not at liberty to interpret it ourselves? This is a very good, valid and logical question. The answer is this: The Bible interprets itself. This can be achieved through careful study and scrutiny. In fact, it is joyous and delightful to discover. In my personal experience, it is irreligious and liberating.

You see, the more that you scrutinize and study the Word of God, the more you see its perfection. This is in abject contrast to studying man-made artifices: the more that you study them, the more evident their flaws and imperfections.

If you or anyone else cares to know of the treasures within God's wonderful and matchless word, and/or to know the love of Christ (which, incidentally, "surpasseth knowledge") I am your faithful servant; in honorable and faithful service to my Lord and Savior.

jh

Hi Philip.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond in so much detail. I agree with much of what you say. The Bible is a joy and an inspiration.

I would come back to you on two points if I may however. I agree that God, and therefore any Words of His, are perfect. However, I do not believe it follows that the Bible is therefore perfect. The writings of the Bible are man's writings, and but an imperfect mirror of the wonder of perfect God. Yes they are God-breathed, inspired by our Lord, and the holiest and most insightful piece of writing that exists in the world. These holy men who wrote the Bible however were not perfect. They were sinners, like me, and as I am sure you would wisely recognise, you too. They were therefore unable to write perfect truth. The Bible is our path to the truth. It doesn't provide us with a laid-out truth. Instead, we have to have faith and humbly submit to our Lord.

My other point would simply be to do with our understanding of the word interpret. This does not mean we are at liberty to choose the meaning of the Bible. We must strive to understand God's will through it, and pray for wisdom and insight. However, we have to use our God-given intellect to understand it. Philip, you say you have been trained, which I have no doubt must have been very valuable. Therefore, you understand the Bible through this training. You use your trained intellect whenever you read it and attempt to understand it. This training was done by man. It may be very wise, but not all of it will necessarily have been correct. We are all imperfect, just as God is perfect. We therefore need to humbly ask God for wisdom, and recognise that we cannot ever understand infinite God and His Word completely. We must strive for truth to the best of our abilities, and intellect is something God has given us to use in this quest.

I look forward to your response.

 Robert Berger

I don't remember his name, but that deranged young Korean American fellow who killed all those people at Virginia Tech was only one of a whole series of deranged individuals who just barged into gun stores and then slaughtered people. There have been quite a few of these massacres. If it had not been so easy for these lunatics to get these guns, things might have been different.
Nobody objects to registering and testing people before they can drive. Why should it be any different with guns? Is this such a terrible infringement on our rights? How would YOU like it if some pathetic madman just easily purchased guins and killed a bunch of people in public including some one in YOUR family?

Walt

Robert,

Just a brief historical perspective- In the early days of the modern day nation if Israel, strict gun control laws were in force. In those days it was very common for lunatic Islamic gunmen to go on a shooting spree in a mall or restaurant. As a counter action to the bloodshed, the government of Israel relaxed their gun control laws and actually encouraged citizens to pack iron. The result was favorable, lunatic gunmen were neutralized, with extreme prejudice by citizens, often before they could get off more than a shot or two. The count of these types of assaults nearly vanished; such a rampage meant certain death to a gunman. Well that is not the end of the story. As we all well know the lunatics are hell bent on killing. They no longer use firearms in Israel...they use bombs, IEDs and suicide belts, filled with various explosives, nuts, bolts, nails, glass, ball bearings etc. They are much more effective killers than a man with a gun.

The moral of the story is- Evil people will do evil. Guns or no guns.

Walt

Great reply Philip! I probably don't need to follow up to jh's question since Philip did a pretty good job but since jh addressed me, I thought I better follow up so it didn't look like I was avoiding or neglecting the question.

jh said, "But, some of this wisdom and insight is contradictory. How does God intend us to resolve these contradictions and come to understanding?"

Well not really. All of the apparent, assumed or implied contradictions in the Bible have been addressed over and over. There are rail cars full of books on theology. If you have an issue with one thing or another trust me it has been discussed before. Are all of the commentaries you may come across on a topic right? Absolutely not! People are imperfect but the Word of God is not. The answers are out there, you just have top seek them out.

The second point I would like to pass on is when reading and studding the Word, do it with others...with those of equal knowledge, more knowledge and less knowledge of the word. Paul had Barnabas and Timothy; everybody needs peers of the same heart. If you read the Bible on your own, and try to chase down all of the mysteries of the world by yourself, you will either become confused or start a brand new denomination or even a cult. It has happened more than once.

Avoid single verse references. If you truly want to understand a part of scripture bring it into the full context of the chapter or the book.

Study the context and timeframe of each book and understand the author. Leviticus is probably the most vilified book in the whole Bible. It is a tough read. I had a real hard time with that book, it shook my faith bridge. However, reading commentaries on why, when and to whom the book was written, as well as discussing it with others really helped.

I would highly recommend getting involved in an organized study group called the "Truth Project" by Focus on the Family. It is a 10 or 12 part DVD study that really helps build a foundation. Who is God? Who is Man? Why is man? Who was Jesus and why? What is sin and why does God allow it? All sound simple but are quite profound questions. They are covered in the Truth Project class. Check out this website. www.thetruthproject.org
They probably have a small group organized in your area.

Take care
Walt


Philip France

Dear jh,

Thank you for your kind words and for your intellectually honest inquiry.

I shall begin my response to you by stating that I do not believe that I have cornered the market of Biblical knowledge and that I hold in the back of my mind that I might be wrong about aspects of my Biblical understanding. I can say with all confidence that I have endeavored to understand God's Holy Word more so than the average individual, if not the "average" Christian.

I would encourage you to reconsider your opinion that the Holy men of God were flawed, and therefore their prophecy reflected their human frailties. You accurately used the term "God-breathed" in your reply. That term comes from II Timothy 3:16 and its Greek origin is the word "theopnuestos". You are spot-on in your usage.

The prophets and holy men who recorded Holy Writ did so faithfully and accurately. Over the years, challenges in translations, incorporation of translators' and revisionists' theologies as well as historical events (such as the conversion of Roman Emporer Constantine, for one) have served to cause us to entertain such doubt.

Be not mistaken. The original Word of God is indeed and in truth perfect. The holy men of God to whom this wisdom was revealed recorded His will accurately. How can I be so certain?

In my studies, I have come to learn that EVERY word of God's Word has extraordinary significance. Some of these examples are as follows:

Numbers have significance. Not only the numbers themselves, but also the number of times words occur. The geneologies that seem so boring become exciting when we account for the significance of numbers.

Figures of Speech. We use figures of speech as a matter of routine and haphazardly. In The Bible they are used with mathematical exactness and scientific precision to emphasize certain points. There are 212 Figures of Speech used in The Bible and up to 70 varities of any one figure. This study can consume a lifetime in and of itself.

Idioms, Orientalisms and Biblical Culture. There are phrases in The Bible that seem strange or even meaningless in our Western understanding of the English words that we are reading. Delving into understanding these is truly eye-opening. Many of the cultural colloqianisms remain to this day, facilitating our study.

Translations from earlier and more gutteral languages: There are no original manuscripts extant. So how could we possibly know what the original message was? We accomplish this by comparing extant texts and the historical implications of when they were issued. In doing so, one can see where text was abrogated or modified or added to or subtracted from.

This all sounds so complex but yet it is not. Walt mentioned that there are truckloads of reference materials from which we can eductae ourselves. That said, I refer to the foundational doctrine that if we approach The Bible convinced that it is the word and will of the Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth and that His will and word are perfect, we can subject errors in our understanding (or in translation) and continue our search to its Godly-intended conclusion. As I mentioned previously, this work is joyous and liberating. God's own word declares that his wisdom is "easy to be entreated".

By my estimation, 90% of The Bible interprets itself right where it is written. You do not need a Concordance, a Lexicon or an Interlinear text to understand John 3:16. It's meaning is plain and clear.

Finally, as with all of God's wondrous works, there is an indisputable elegance; an unspeakable beauty. As I have worked God's word, I achieve the status of pursuasion in seeing this elegance, knowing that flawed and sinful humans such as you and I and all of our other friends here could never have organized thought with this level of brilliance. Add to this an understanding that The Bible is a love story: The story of the love of our Creator for that which He has created.

I will close this diatribe with the following thoughts:

II Timothy 2:15

"Study to shew thyself approved unto a God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.".

The words "rightly dividing" are translated from the Greek word "orthotomounta", whose root word is "orthos" (from which he derive English words such as "orthopedist" and "orthodontist"). It means "straight" or "right". In this verse, we are exhorted to study (this is from the Greek word "speudo" from which we have our English word "speed" but the inference is not haste, but efficiency of effort)to make a perfectly right cutting (dividing)of God's wonderful and matchless word.

To my friend Walt and anyone else that has been fascinated by this dialog, I encourage you to obtain the very best book that I have read that is based on Biblical study. The title of the book is "Jesus Christ Our Approach Offering" and it was written by David Bergey of Redlands, California. It won't be easy to find, but it WILL be worth your effort.

jh

Thanks Walt. A very interesting and helpful response.

Sherry

Very funny, indeed! I thoroughly enjoyed your article, Mr. Duke.

Walt

Since this article was about annoying liberals, I would like to recomend to everyone. If you can check out CSPAN and see if they are re-running the Obama speech at the G20. I watched it tonight and is was the best peice of slapstic comedy I have ever seen. When he was giving his speech he looked down at the teleprompter every 3 or 4 seconds. This may sound unPCesque but he looked like Stevie Wonder. After his speech he took questions. I counted the UUUUUUhs...In answering six questions he used the word UUUUUUUh 201 times...I did'nt know that was a word. I thought Gordon Brown was an embarassment to England...Obama showed him up big.

Sally

Refreshing to read a sage and sane response to a terribly biased montage of insulting and stereotyping rhetoric that perpetuates the 'us and them' divisiveness existing in our society. 'Conservative' and 'Liberal' have been used and abused beyond their useful and meaningful applications to the principles and directives on which they were meant represent.

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