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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Killing Jesus" - A Commentary on the book co-authored by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard


In the book “Killing Jesus” the authors invest a great deal of effort into separating Jesus’ divinity from His humanity in an attempt to come up with an account of the events and issues leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and the motivation of those who took His human life. Though other reviews of this book are available including the one posted previously by adjunct professor of theology, David G. Bonagura, Jr., this commentary is intended to offer a brief but critical observation that can not be overlooked when it comes to the methodology used by the authors in presenting their opinions in the book, “Killing Jesus”.

In fact, separating Jesus Divinity from His humanity only creates a distorted account of Jesus as to who He was on earth; His life, His death, and His resurrection.

St. Jerome once said, "I interpret as I should, following the command of Christ: 'Search the Scriptures,' and 'Seek and you shall find.' For if, as Paul says, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, and if the man who does not know Scripture does not know the power and wisdom of God, then ignorance of Scriptures is ignorance of Christ."

The attempt to remove the Divine being of Jesus from His human form leaves only a human body without the principle attributes that make up each person for who they are. Without our minds or our spirits, we are a dead carcass. It is the mind and the spirit of each individual that motivates the body. A person’s choices are made through consciousness based in thought and rooted in knowledge. Jesus possessed the mind of God and He clearly knew who He was and His intent. His human body was motivated by His divinity and therefore His divinity can not be separated from His humanity. In these motivating factors rests the reasons for all He did and said during His human life. Without acknowledging who He was there is no factual way of analyzing or depicting Him, all that remains is a human body. Ignorance to scripture is in fact ignorance of who Jesus Christ was and is and no factual account can be made without knowing the subject as completely as possible.

Christians know throughout scripture that from the very moment Jesus was born, there were those such as Herod who sought to have Him executed. The reasons for His enemies wanting to kill Jesus varied slightly throughout His life but centered on the pride and power each of His adversaries attempted to retain. They did not believe He could be the Messiah, He did not fit the preconceived idea of how the Messiah would appear or the power He would project to gain for them the freedom they desired. Since infancy He would require protection from those who would have Him killed.  But to suggest His crucifixion was motivated primarily as a result of His overturning the tax tables in the temple is a drastic misconception ignoring many facts rooted in the records of both the Old And New Testaments pertinent to the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is True God and true man. We know this from the gospels:  “…though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians CH2: vs6-11)

 As an example of the lack of scriptural knowledge needed to understand who Jesus was while on this earth we can consider a recent airing of Bill O'Reilly's program, "The Factor". Recently a controversy arose that probably everyone has become familiar with to some degree; That is the controversy over the statements of Phil Robertson of the show “Duck Dynasty”. Although Mr. Robertson's presentation was crude to say the least, he expressed his Christian faith and referred to scripture when he mentioned certain life styles as being sinful and living such life styles would according to scripture result in a person’s loss of salvation and their damnation. The actual verse Phil Robertson was referring to in his scriptural reference was the following: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians CH6: vs9-10)

During the same comments, Mr. Robertson also referenced partial quotes from another passage being Romans CH1: vs20-32: “Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they (sinners) have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.”

 During the airing of his program, Mr. O’Reilly chose to do a segment on this controversy but with great caution, seemingly in opposition to Phil Robertson’s scripture references and chose to quote one biblical verse for his audience. That being; "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. 2 For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.” (Matthew CH1: vs1-2)

This contradiction created by one person (in this case Bill O’Reilly) trying to contradict or disprove a scripture verse that another person (in this case Phil Robertson) has made reference to is a common error of those who are not as familiar with scripture as they should be, and quoting scripture out of context. Scripture does not conflict with itself, but all scripture works together to teach the word of God. Therefore someone has to be misunderstanding the verses they are quoting. How do these passages interrelate in their teachings? The passage telling one not to judge others does not mean we are not to judge the actions of others whether sinful or not as Bill O’Reilly implied. It is a warning against passing judgment in a spirit of arrogance, forgetful of one's own faults. What we are not to do is judge the soul of anyone personally which Mr. Robertson did not do. He spoke of the sinful acts of others in general as is stated in scripture. The further proof of possessing a proper judgment is in the following final passage:

I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world. But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person. For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside. "Purge the evil person from your midst." (1 Corinthians CH5: vs9-13)

Why the authors of “Killing Jesus” chose to ignore the divinity and mind of Jesus for who He was according to all the historic content of scripture, I can not say. I can not say why Bill O’Reilly chose to present himself as having worthy knowledge of scripture to take a position quoting scripture to contradict scripture during his coverage of the controversy that arose from the comments of Phil Robertson. What I can say is, it would have been more advantageous and accurate to refer to the full person of Jesus Christ in his book "Killing Jesus", and also to invite theologians on his program to discuss the Phil Robertson controversy rather than present his illinformed position by attempting to invalidate scripture with scripture.

Of course, these are my opinions, but for those who do not like what scripture has to say in regard to today's social permissiveness but realize scripture is the inspired word of God, realize the following; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews CH13: v8) He does not change to suite the popular opinions of any era in society.

Speaking of "Killing Jesus"


A Review by David G. Bonagura, Jr. Adjunct Professor of theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York.
The quest for the “historical Jesus” – the supposed man beneath the accouterments of faith – rages unabated today, three centuries after the first of these now countless attempts appeared in book form. Since then, volumes have come and gone, all claiming to have found the “real Jesus,” through each author’s supposedly objective and faith-free interpretation of the epic events that occurred in Palestine two millennia ago. Yet this Jesus has still not been found. Instead, in these volumes, as Pope Benedict XVI explained in his own book about Jesus, we find “photographs of their authors and the ideals they hold.”
"Killing Jesus", by cable-news anchorman Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, is the latest such book to land on the best-seller lists. The authors explain that theirs “is not a religious book.” It is rather “an accurate account of not only how Jesus died, but also the way he lived and how his message has affected the world.” But in pushing the “Christ of faith” to the margins along with faith-conscious interpretations of Jesus’ words and deeds, we are left with the Gospel according to Bill O’Reilly – a dramatic political conflict between the leading religious and civic authorities of the first century, which had consequences for the whole world.
The greatest strength of Killing Jesus is its vivid descriptions of the physical and social backdrop to the stories told in the canonical Gospels. The landscapes of Nazareth, Capernaum, Jerusalem and its Temple are colorfully depicted, as are the complex social and political relationships between leading personalities and groups. The practical elements of domestic and ritual lifestyles underlying the Biblical accounts are also explained in detail, including the preparations for Passover in Jerusalem, where Jesus “sees the hundreds of temporary clay ovens that have been constructed in order that each pilgrim will have a place to roast his Passover sacrifice. . . .He hears the bleat of sheep as shepherds and their flocks clog the narrow streets, just down from the hills after lambing season.”
O’Reilly and Dugard thus provide a composition of place for all the major events in Jesus’ life: his baptism in the Jordan, his overturning of the money tables in the Temple, and above all, the intricate details of his Passion, from the type of flagellates with which Jesus was scourged to the “pleural and pericardial fluid. . .mixed with a torrent of blood,” that flowed from Jesus’ pierced side on the cross.
But if the book excels in physical and political descriptions, it’s wanting in historical interpretation. Time and again O’Reilly and Dugard present conjectures as facts and perform psychoanalysis on men whose motives remain unknown. The interpretation of ancient history, even after you’ve looked at the primary sources, requires careful discernment and reconstruction. Yet in Killing Jesus historical circumspection is often sacrificed in favor of a more sensational narrative.
Historical indiscretions appear in two forms. First, there are oversimplifications or even distortions of complicated facts, generally relegated to footnotes, including the dating and naming of Christmas and the timing of Jesus’ final Passover celebration. Second, unknown attitudes and motives are presented as facts without qualification in the narrative. At the last supper, for example, the authors declare that “Jesus is having trouble focusing on his final message to the disciples.” Really?
The greatest overreach, however, comes in the overly long account of the life of Julius Caesar, which outdoes the already garnished account by Plutarch, where Brutus’ stabbing of Caesar is deemed “an act of emasculation” against the dictator who refused to acknowledge Brutus as his progeny.
Fortunately, the account of the deeds and travels of Jesus of Nazareth is more reliable. O’Reilly and Dugard’s narrative closely follows St. John’s chronology of a ministry spanning three years, interspersed with certain events told by the Synoptics. The dialogues recounted between Jesus and his contemporaries are taken directly from the Bible with little embellishment, with the impassioned exchanges between Jesus, the Pharisees, and the Jewish Temple authorities featured as the heart of the narrative, which leads ultimately to Jesus’ death.
But here the authors’ disavowal of faith leads them to conclude that money – not claims about God or Judaism – is the real reason the Sanhedrin wanted Jesus killed. In interrupting the money flow by overturning the tables in the Temple, “Jesus has committed a grave offense,” and Annas, father-in-law of the high priest Caiaphas, desires to eliminate Jesus as “a cautionary tale for anyone who considers challenging the authority of the Temple courts.”
In the Gospel according to Bill O’Reilly, then, the trial of Jesus for blasphemy – a religious charge if there ever was one – is ultimately a front for protecting the position of the high priest’s family and the Temple’s money supply from a God-centered rabbi who spent three years preaching the Kingdom of God while insinuating that he was God’s Son. 
The historical Jesus remains undiscovered in Killing Jesus, and for good reason. By removing faith from the history, the authors have also removed much of the evidence for a comprehensive understanding of Jesus. O’Reilly notes that “[t]he Pharisees believe in miracles but not in Jesus.” Perhaps someday history will believe in faith and not only in itself.
 David G. Bonagura, Jr. Adjunct Professor of theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary, New York.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Nathan de Melo Brito Pires emociona o Papa Francisco I na Jornada Mundia...(One will understand without translation one viewed.)




RIO DE JANEIRO — Nathan de Brito brought Pope Francis to tears during one of his motorcades through the streets of Rio de Janeiro on July 26, when the boy broke past barriers to deliver an important message to the Holy Father.

“Your Holiness, I want to be a priest of Christ, a representative of Christ,” de Brito whispered into the ear of Pope Francis. De Brito, 9, had jumped hurdles and made his way to the popemobile wearing his Brazilian national soccer team jersey. The boy later told reporters about the emotional exchange, which was also captured on.

“I am going to pray for you, but I ask you to pray for me,” Pope Francis told him.

“As of today, your vocation is set,” said the Pope, moved to tears and embracing de Brito.

Onlookers noticed that the boy did not want to leave the Holy Father. Only after several attempts did the Popeʼs security detail finally take de Brito off the popemobile.

Once on the street, de Brito walked next to the popemobile, waving to Francis and blowing him kisses. One of the security guards stopped to console the boy before bringing him back to his waiting family.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima October 13, 1917


A Response to Rachel Held Evans CNN Article, “Why millennials are leaving the church”.


A Response to Rachel Held Evans Article, “Why millennials are leaving the church”.

Written by Thomas W. Bigham

The following is in response to an article written by Rachel Held Evans titled, “Why millennials are leaving the church”, published in CNN’s “Belief Blog” on July 27th, 2013. As the author has offered her valued insight both honestly and directly, such deserves the same in addressing her points of issue.

 

The following excerpts from her article and this writer’s accompanying responses will attempt to briefly address those concerns as they have been raised. I respond as a lay person and practicing Catholic. My responses are not to be construed as an official response of the Roman Catholic Church or any affiliation thereof, but specifically as one who had been separated for many years from all organized religion. It was only after the realization of my own errors and the pursuit of a deeper knowledge and understanding of Christianity that I had returned through the guidance of scripture to the Catholic faith.

 

Rachel Held Evans, Excerpt  #1:
“Many of us, myself included, are finding ourselves increasingly drawn to high church traditions Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, the Episcopal Church, etc. precisely because the ancient forms of liturgy seem so unpretentious, so unconcerned with being “cool,” and we find that refreshingly authentic.”

 

Response: I would only comment here that a number of changes over the last few centuries and even more so over the last few decades have caused many sincere Christians from various denominations to voice their concerns questioning the guidance of the faith they had followed. Jesus Christ did not adapt His teachings or His presentation to be more accommodating or acceptable to more people. He did not accept the opinions of others in determining the “best approach” for the biggest return, and he certainly did not conform to society’s popular opinions - and neither should His Church if it truly presents His teachings faithfully. Likewise, the Catholic Church has retained the consistency of His teachings for 2000 years even in the darkest of times, regardless of any particular era’s fluctuating social or moral standards. In fact, just as today, there were times throughout history the Catholic Church struggled in direct opposition to popular opinion. As was said, the Church can not care about what is “cool” or popular, especially when popularity infringes upon the truth and guidance provided to the faithful.    

 continued

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Catholicism – What is “the Fullness of Christianity"?

 
Many non-Catholic Christians have at times asked what is meant when one speaks of the fullness of Christian teachings in Catholicism and how can the Catholic faith claim to possess this fullness. For those who know the history and lineage of the Holy Bible, it is recognized the Bible’s origin is the Catholic Church. The many versions today and the alterations that are contained in those versions range from a subtle difference to a major redefining of what was intended in the original volumes dependant on the founder of the particular system of beliefs that took it for his or her own use while promoting their own assumptions of what it teaches. But the common factor among the majority of protestant denominations is the assumption that any person can read verses from scripture and determine what it means to them personally. Those verses that conflict with either the individual’s personal interpretation or the system of beliefs of their denomination are routinely disregarded as though holding no significance and this is a common practice.
 
The reason the Catholic faith is referred to as the fullness of the teachings of Christ or of Christianity is because in Catholicism, no verse is disregarded. The bible can, when kept in its entirety offer its own confirmation as to the accurate interpretation from one verse as compared to another. No verse in scripture is to be considered insignificant or to be disregarded, but all to be recognized as the “Inspired Word of God”. The practice of reading one verse or passage and self interpreting it while disregarding other verses or passages that conflict with ones self interpretation is misguided as scripture does not conflict with itself. When a person concludes through their own interpretation that a particular verse means one thing but opposes or conflicts with something else in scripture, it is a flawed interpretation. This is not to say there are parts of scripture that can speak to us personally but scripture in its entirety brings forth the intended teachings of Christ, not the intended opinions or desired wishes of others. By discovering we have interpreted a verse that does conflict with another verse, we should immediately go back and reconsider what the first verse is intending to tell us.
 
In Catholicism, all scripture is valid and to selectively choose to interpret some verses to support what seems more flexible or suitable to us and disregard those that conflict with our opinions, is to diminish the very intent and validity of all scripture, as there is nothing to validate our own choice in passages or verses with our personal interpretations as more valid than that of the verses we disregard.
 
An example of the many losses Christians suffer due to the disregard of parts of scripture in Protestantism as apposed to the true relationship one can embrace in understanding Christ's teachings in their fullness, one can reflect on the existence today of over thirty thousand non-Catholic denominations, all teaching or proclaiming various differences in their systems of belief. Yet according to scripture we are told; “God is faithful: by whom you are called unto the fellowship (solidarity) of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no schisms among you; but that you be perfect in the same mind, and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians CH1: vs9-10). As the source of the Holy Bible and the one Church founded by Christ to teach and guide the faithful until the consumation of the world, it stands to reason that the fullness of Christianity can be found within her.
 
Let us consider the totality of scripture and its origin that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit in truth and not misled by false direction.
 

Friday, March 1, 2013

American Secularism

“For what can be known about God is evident to them (His people), because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.

While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes. Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper. They are filled with every form of wickedness, evil, greed, and malice; full of envy, murder, rivalry, treachery, and spite. They are gossips and scandalmongers and they hate God. They are insolent, haughty, boastful, ingenious in their wickedness, and rebellious toward their parents. They are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know the just decree of God that all who practice such things deserve death, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans CH1: vs19-32)



Our nation clearly suffers the effects of our own abandonment of God and morality as it was first established according to the principles of faith of our forefathers. These are the motivating forces that lead us to the founding of our country. We can not be so foolish to believe we are in a relationship with God if we live opposing His teachings or kiss Him on the cheek while betraying His passion on the cross. But we can turn our country around and return to those principles by rediscovering our faith and begin living it once again while teaching our children of God and morality, but only by such a revitalization of faith will we recover. It takes only recognition of what we have become as a people over the last 50 years; what we have abandoned, to realize why we suffer today and the responsibility we have to out children in providing them the knowledge to live a life in a relationship with God rather than the meaningless pursuit of what will never fulfill or give purpose without Him.
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ending The Mass Slaughter of The Innocent

If we are to seek a relationship with our children by shielding them from the need to make an effort or the reality of failure to believe there is only success; or we believe we can establish a relationship with them mainly by taking them to a firing range to teach them how to shoot a firearm, or misguide them into believing everything they do is praiseworthy with nothing to be considered improper or lacking or insufficient, they will be greatly disappointed, aggravated and even subject to hostile actions once having entered the real world. They will find their efforts will at times be judged and they will be found lacking when compared to others; they will loose in competition; their belief they are entitled to equal shares in life’s rewards is false and they are not due what is not earned, and few people show respect for those who have no respect for themselves.
 
Do we hide the score so no team looses or do we teach them winning and loosing is the result of training and effort. Do we have the mindset to take our children to the firing range or some other misguided form of activity to build a relationship with them or do we take them to Sunday services and teach them of God, love and respect for self and for others including human life?

If we want to ever see an end to these mass slaughters of innocent people including our children in their class rooms, we must first accept the rise of such events comes from a lack of parental guidance in teaching faith morality and the love of God to our children. We live with a social mentality of irrational permissiveness supportive of unbridled abortions to the millions. We support same sex marriages against what is proper by science, nature and God in a nation with man made or no moral values. A nation that supports the taking of human life as deemed convenient most commonly to eliminate the responsibility of raising an unplanned child conceived in the casual and often careless acts we choose to amuse ourselves by.

The answer to these mass murders is not in gun control laws that only serve to restrict the law abiding. We must turn back to Christ, teaching our children faith and love of God; teaching them respect for self and respect for others and respect for human life as created by God. None of those who committed such horrendous acts of mass violence were raised in a family living their faith and attending worship services. None were raised living with God in their lives and none had self respect let alone respect for others. But most if not all found themselves alone and unfamiliar with God and often it seems they believed they were denied something they believed they were entitled to but did not receive yet had not been earned.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Euthanasia and Catholicism

What Is the Church's Teaching on Euthanasia?
 
by Fr. William Saunders
An article appearing in CatholicCulture.org
Pope Pius XII, who witnessed and condemned the eugenics and euthanasia programs of the Nazis, was the first to explicate clearly this moral problem and provide guidance. In 1980, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released its Declaration on Euthanasia which further clarified this guidance especially in light of the increasing complexity of life-support systems and the promotion of euthanasia as a valid means of ending life. The new Catechism (No. 2276-2279) provides a succinct explanation of our Catholic teaching on this subject.
Euthanasia
2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.
 
2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.
 
Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.
 
2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.
 
2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

Before addressing the issue of euthanasia, we must first remember that the Catholic Church holds as sacred both the dignity of each individual person and the gift of life. Therefore,


Friday, February 1, 2013

American Duplicity - Prayers of Convenience

“Do I lie to myself to see things as I want to? If I do, how then can I possibly identify and achieve the best for myself in life? How well would I do if I were to test my own level of honesty with my self and can I accept the answers?” What am I responsible for and do I control the course of my life?” How do I show self-respect to warrant respect from others? How do I justify my prayer requests of God without living according to His Word? Ten years ago the time came for me to ask such questions of myself. I lived a very secular life as so many people do today and believed “all that mattered was to live life in a manner “I considered” good and God would be satisfied with my choices”.
Today these are questions each and every person should be asking of them self not only as a part of this current American society, but as one of the many people responsible for the direction in values our society takes. Yes, we as individuals through the choices we make and the ideologies we support form our society when those principles are supported by the majority. But when the majority determines what notions will be adopted basing those notions on self gratification and willful ignorance to learn truth, the result has and always will be self destruction of that society.
It does not take a professional investigator to recognize today’s American society consists of an overwhelming number of people who publically choose to be ignorant to truth so as to retain or promote their ideologies regardless of how uninformed or misinformed they may be. They like what they believe and prefer to believe things as they do and are unwilling to accept anything different. They clearly and boldly profess this ignorance most commonly by holding the palm of their hand up to the face of any person who speaks words other than those they want to hear, or by flat out cutting off the other person in midsentence advising, “I don’t want to hear it”.They will associate mostly with politically and morally likeminded people to avoid hearing anything contradictory to what they believe and they believe what they do because it is more convenient to the way they wish to live or the self-gratifications they pursue.
The sad fact is, a vast number of Americans do not recognize the truth today. We have rejected morality and replaced it with a false sense of righteousness called “political correctness”. We do not abide in the commands of God and go further to create a stumbling block to others in their path to faith by misleading them into believing they may live the lifestyle they wish even though it may be in opposition to God’s commands.
And many no longer know how or when to feel embarrassed or to know shame to the point of publically supporting such distortions as those not only opposed to God, but science and nature as well. Same sex relationships and marriages, and unrestricted abortion mislabeled as “woman’s reproductive rights”. Let’s be honest. A woman expresses her reproductive rights when she willingly chooses to refrain or engage in the physical act of procreation. Once another human being has been conceived, a third life exists with its own unalienable rights bestowed by God alone. If we can feel the sorrow and outrage for a pregnant woman who is assaulted and as a result miscarries loosing her child, and in some states criminally charge the criminal, we can not claim that unborn child any less a human life because it is the victim of an un-wanting parent. Yes sin exists and political correctness is a perversity of God’s moral virtues created by man. Supporting and promoting those perversities is as much a matter of sin as the acts they promote. Yet, when we suffer the loss of lives by mass murderers such as the innocent children in New Town or several other public shootings all over our country, we stop broken hearted and in shock to pray, then many go back to the lives they lived never giving thought to the fact that those who committed these acts grew up with the void of never having been taught of God or faith by their parents. Some still insist they have a relationship with God even though they do not follow His commands.

1 John CH2: 3 The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his command ments. 4 whoever says, "I know him," but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: 6 whoever claims to abide in him ought to live (just) as he lived.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In response to Jennifer's comments in the previous post...

Thank you, Jennifer, for your thoughtful insight. I agree totally with your opinion. I also believe there are two issues expressed in the views you have revealed here.

One; that in an effort to understand why men commit evil, rape or any other crime of violence in our society, we through our so determined professionals in their various fields of psychology have too often taken these theories (which is what they are) and turned them into excuses for such violent acts. In my opinion, this is inexcusable.

It may be a benefit to understand why a person commits such acts but in most cases it does not excuse the act itself as there are many people who suffered comparable past conditions in their lifetimes but did not resort to such violent acts and even some who because of their past similar experiences became more guarded against such acts.

Secondly, I believe those people including juveniles who are prone to the thoughts of committing rape and other violent acts have in recent years become increasingly more influenced to go through with those acts because of the abandonment of morality and permissiveness in our society today.
Since the era of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, those now of the age group in their 50s and 60s can recall the general bonding within families and the union that existed in the family practice of faith and morality. For most, that bonding no longer exists – there is a void. Many born during subsequent generations, those children of more recent years have experienced the increased separation and lack of family bonding by the abandonment of parental teaching in faith and morality and many carried it further with their own children. Due to the many from that era who became parents during those earlier years after separating from the practice of faith and the subsequent failure of parents to teach their children faith and morality, there grew an increase in sexual relations outside of marriage and promiscuity, a lack of value in the commitment in relationships, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, and continues now as shown by the disregard for the true understanding of the value of marriage as we attempt to redefine it to suit same sex relationships - something defined as distorted in its essence by nature, science and faith.

It is clear to those who once knew the union and bonding of families through the practice of faith and morality that the abandonment of that family teaching and practice has led many of today’s younger women and men to a complete lack of recognition of self-respect as well as respect toward others which leads to one person’s infringement upon another and in some cases in extreme and vile ways. This in turn leads to diminished respect for life itself, hence the popularity today for unrestricted abortion rights.

Without appearing to place blame on one gender or the other, it is fact that it has always been the female who has had the greatest influence in society in the practice of moral virtues and the male who has had the responsibility to see to honor and protect the virtues of the female. In today’s society, both sides are responsible for the results of the lack of respect to self and others in this regard. Both sides have suffered loss.

It is rational to recognize the more freely open a woman is in the engagement of sexual relationships separate of true commitment, the less her virtues and his respect becomes an influence. Many men today do not see women as they once have; that is to say, due respect for moral virtues. Men certainly suffer their own lack of respect and moral virtues as a result of their lack of the same practice of faith and morality as once taught in the family setting. Many of these men have little to no self respect or respect toward others or even life itself in extreme cases because they themselves knew no true faith in God or moral teaching.

As a result of all of this, we see a society on the verge of financial collapse due to mankind’s extreme greed and carelessness at the highest levels of the corporate ladder and witness a society suffering a rapidly growing number of personal assaults as well as both juveniles and adults committing murder against their domestic partners, parents, strangers and even children in mass crimes. Our society has abandoned God and morality and in its place attempts to manufacture its own form of moral code calling it “political correctness”, which is a failed attempt to recognize human rights as something created by man rather than as that which is written in every man’s heart by our Creator and can not be rewritten. 

Do not be shocked to see the increase in these mass crimes when there is no expression of respect for self or others practiced in our society. But pray that those who do practice good will toward others will pursue the source of that good will and return to faith and morality realizing without God in our culture, we can not be the nation we once were.

Friday, January 4, 2013

A Lost Society?


There are many viewpoints, in fact arguments people offer in an attempt to justify the permissiveness of our society today, such as the “woman’s right to choose” or what has more recently been relabeled "a woman's reproductive rights". A tireless effort to retain the so determined legal validity of abortion, fought for more intently than our right to practice our faith even according to the constitution which supposedly provides us our freedom of speech. In reality, our permissiveness has become a quest in this country to justify and legalize immorality in general for nothing more than individual conveniences to a point of perverting the American culture that before this period thrived as one nation under God - but no more. IT IS NOT AND NEVER WAS within the scope of our Government’s authority to determine what moral values may be dispensed with or at what age a human life has no value beyond that which God determines and instills within each of us. The principles of God and morality were our foundation as a nation.When the foundation of any structure is removed, the structure weakens and will collapse.
 
Morality is not limited only to those who do believe in God. But we are going to pass beyond all the arguments and opinions and view points of the “most intelligent minds” of our day, our supreme court justices for example, and speak the truth of it all regardless of who’s "side" anyone might be on. I have to ask, do we not realize that a mentality of a society that denies the humanity of a preborn infant would certainly spawn the same mentality that raises children who commit mass murder of their classmates, or adults who commit mass murder on the most innocent children in their classrooms? Acceptance of legalized mass murder in the killing of millions of preborn children due most commonly to carelessness and the lack of self respect and self control can not breed healthy relationships, respect for life or respect for self let alone generate any kind of Christian love the majority of this society claims as a foundation of their faith. How many of us reelected a president who has refused to support the legalization of required medical intervention for infants born alive after a failed abortion determining it was better to leave them to die?
The time has long past...