Posts Tagged Culture
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the recent controversy over Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the popular show Duck Dynasty. His recent comments made to GQ have been criticized by the liberal media incessantly for the past couple of days, “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”
In response, GLAAD, a LGBT activist group, sparked interest in the comments by calling Phil’s religious conviction on sin, specifically homosexuality, vile and extreme, “littered with outdated stereotypes and blatant misinformation.”
A GLAAD representative, Wilson Cruz, even went as far as to say that “Phil’s lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe.” He goes on, “Phil’s decision to push vile and extreme stereotypes is a stain on A&E and his sponsors who now need to reexamine their ties to someone with such public disdain for LGBT people and families.”
The stage was set. A&E the mummer’s part; GLAAD enters the prompter’s box and the play was ready to start — a typical Hollywood drama.
However, this play wasn’t destined to have a happily ever after for the politically correct elitists. Though Phil was suspended from the show indefinitely, there was a huge backlash on both GLAAD and A&E. Many people are refusing to support A&E by watching any of their programming; some are signing online petitions to bring Phil back on the show. The bottom line: many, many people want Phil back and believe that both A&E and GLAAD surpassed their authority in trying to censor him.
In defense of Phil Robertson and the rest of the Duck Dynasty clan, I want to make a couple of points:
1. A&E had absolutely no right to fire Phil for his comments. It seems A&E is in violation of the Civil Rights act of 1964, which protects employees from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
(a) Employer practices
It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –
(1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Some might say that A&E isn’t firing Phil for his personal religious beliefs. An official statement from A&E says otherwise:
We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series ‘Duck Dynasty’…. His personal views in no way reflect those of A&E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.
It seems that A&E is openly admitting they’re suspending Phil for his personal religious beliefs — a direct, unmittigated violation of the Civil Rights Act. GLAAD is all about standing up to discrimination — except when Christians are discriminated. Where’s the left on this one?
2. Phil, though coarse, was completely Biblical in his statements. Contra Wilson Cruz, Phil’s comments are in-line with the Christian community — at least the Christian community that listens to what the Bible has to say. Romans 1: 26-28; even the passage that Phil paraphrased to GQ, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, clearly and concisely articulates that homosexuality is a sin. However this doesn’t mean we treat homosexuality any different from the many other sins we commit, sometimes on a daily basis. All sins are laid down on the cross through the authority found in the sacrifice of Christ.
I support Phil Robertson, his family, and all the unspoken Christians around the world being censored, discriminated, or worse due to their belief in Christ. Jesus warned us this wasn’t going to be an easy ride, that the cross will bear down on us at points in our lives. Though we may have it easy here in America, the land of “In God We Trust”, it’s moments like these that make us realize that there are those that wish to silence the Word and let the ways of men rule the land. Hold dearly to your right to spread the Word and never forget the price of its purchase.
Merry Christmas, and in the words of Phil Robertson:
We are all created by the Almighty and like Him, I love all of humanity
David P. Gushee wrote an USA Today column titled in big bold letters “Christian politics create unholy alliances”:
“They are at it again. Republican presidential candidates are trolling for conservative Christian votes. Christian political organizers are trolling for Republican candidates’ attention. (The next occasion will be the Republican candidate debate sponsored by The Family Leader in two weeks at a church in Des Moines.) The Democrats, too, will make some effort to join this game, as they did in the 2008 cycle.”
This is what he had to say about politicians “abuse of Christian symbols”:
“Politicians continue to use and abuse the language and symbols of Christian faith in order to win political support. They speak of God, Jesus, Christian faith and Christian values. They bow their heads in prayer at a million chicken dinners. Then Christian voters — perhaps flattered, perhaps reassured — think that these evocations of holy Christian symbols and terms actually mean something.”
Mr. David Gushee submits that the “trolling” conservatives are using “Christian values” (gasp!) as a means of winning “political support” (double-gasp!) from Christian America (blasphemy!). For Mr. Gushee’s sake (and I expect about 40% of the rest of America) we ought to have a set of earplugs and blinders at the ready when watching the presidential debates. It’s for our own good; us “rank-in-file Christians”. We just don’t what’s good for us. Wait? When was politics decreed sterile of worldviews? Christianity tugs a worldview behind it; when a candidate associates himself with this worldview, we acquire some deep insight into the mind of that candidate. So, I guess my main question is this: how is it wrong for a politician to articulate his worldview truthfully? This question seems to be inaccurate, actually. Gushee isn’t angry at politicians expressing any old worldview; it’s the Christian one that irks him. Why ought politicians hide their religious beliefs? Is politics some sort of sacred ground in which the candidate is purged of all his Christian worldviews and then – enlightened in the ways of the secular humanist – is prepared to run the presidential race? It seems quite contrary to our intuition. A candidate’s religion usually dictates the ethics that he conforms to. Therefore, when a candidate submits that the Bible is the source of his moral standard, that’s a good thing to know ; understanding the worldview of the person you’re voting for is appropriate and ought to be encouraged.
A Reason To Believe Christianity Is False?
I was browsing the internet when I found a post on an atheist website that said the following:
“What is it that makes people believe in God at all? It seems to me that gods were invented by men to explain things they didn’t understand. But we understand a lot more today (though of course the frontiers of science are always speculative). Given that it’s impossible to have an explanation for everything (because then that explanation would demand another explanation — “But Mommy, why is it that way?”), why not just take the universe as we find it, rather than positing some incredibly complex cause for which we have no evidence?”
He is using the above argument as one of the many “reasons [he] think[s] Christianity is false”. In the first part of the paragraph, he says that people who consider themselves “religious” are, in fact, weak-minded individuals that are psychologically handicapped. These intellectually restricted people use religion as a tool to explain things “they don’t understand”. Therefore, Christianity is false.
Even if religious people were really weak-minded, how is this a reason to think Christianity false? To determine the truth value of someone’s beliefs you don’t explain his or her psychology — you address his or her beliefs directly. If I prove that scientific methodologies were developed by intellectually crippled people, how does it follow that science is false? In logic this type of argument is dubbed a non sequitur fallacy. The conclusion of the argument (Therefore, Christianity is false) does not follow from the premises (Religious people are weak-minded).
“Why Not Just Take The Universe As We Find It”?
In the second part of the paragraph, the atheist is claiming that Christianity’s view on origins is complex in nature and is thus breaking Occam’s razor. However, Occam’s razor is merely a rule of thumb in science — not a law. It’s just another guideline that is commonly broken in the scientific method. On top of this, it seems the designated level of “unwarranted complexity” is completely arbitrary. When is something too complex? When does it cross the line? It seems “complexity” is purely relative to the person asking the question. If I was an amoeba, I might think the idea of humans existing an exceedingly complex solution to why things like computers and the like exist (I’m pretty sure amoebas aren’t that smart, but you get the point).
The atheist’s argument seems very weak. However, in spite of this many an atheist affirm and hold to the same logic and arguments he is making. When faced with a person like this, all you have to do is show that to prove a belief wrong, you must do more than describe the psychological condition of the individual. Address the person’s belief first, then you can start having discussions about the actual person.
Free will and the nature of God can be pretty confusing stuff. A lot of people have a bunch of different opinions about it. I’m just gonna’ give you some of my thoughts on the subject:
How Free Is God?
About the only time this question arises is when we start asking, “Can God do everything?”. Some people start to say, “Yeah, He’s God. Duh!”. But after a little thinking, they then realize He cannot (1) be illogical and (2) be immoral. A logical God, I think, is a given, but what about the God and immorality? Does God have the ability to be immoral? If not, is God really free?
God by definition doesn’t have the ability to be immoral. When the Bible says “God is good”, it’s basically saying “God’s nature is that of perfection”. God is the supremely perfect moral being of the universe. But the question arises, “Doesn’t this infringe on God’s free will?”. I’ll use an analogy by Harry Frankfurt:
‘Imagine a man with electrodes secretly implanted in his brain who is presented with a choice of doing either A or B [for our purposes, we’ll let A stand for good and B stand for evil]. The electrodes are inactive so long as the man chooses A; but if he were going to choose B, then the electrodes would switch on and force him to choose A. If the electrodes fire, causing him to choose A, his choice of A is clearly not a free choice. But supposed that the man really wants to do A and chooses it of his own volition. In that case his choosing A is entirely free, even though the man is literally unable to choose B, since the electrodes do not function at all and have no effect on his choice of A. What makes his choice free is the absence of any causally determining factors of his choosing A. This conception of libertarian freedom has the advantage of explaining how it is that God’s choosing to do good is free, even though it is impossible for God to choose sin, namely, His choosing is undetermined by causal constraints. Thus, libertarian freedom of the will does not require the ability to choose other than as one chooses.’
Since God’s nature is that of moral perfection, God will necessarily choose (A) freely and thus will never be forced to choose (A). Although it’s an impossibility for God to choose (B), God still has free will. Think about it. A limitation in the range of possible choices is not the same as having no choice at all. If God is faced with a choice of either doing a particular set of good actions, (a), (b), and (c), or a particular set of bad actions, (x), (z), and (y), His inability of choosing (x), (z), and (y) does not negate the fact that He freely chose (a), (b), and (c). In light of this, we can say with ease that God is actually free.
70% of Americans believe that many faiths lead to eternal life a survey said. As the excerpt reads from the study:
America remains a nation of believers, but a new survey finds most Americans don’t feel their religion is the only way to eternal life — even if their faith tradition teaches otherwise. The findings, revealed Monday in a survey of 35,000 adults, can either be taken as a positive sign of growing religious tolerance, or disturbing evidence that Americans dismiss or don’t know fundamental teachings of their own faiths. Among the more startling numbers in the survey, conducted last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: 57 percent of evangelical church attenders said they believe many religions can lead to eternal life, in conflict with traditional evangelical teaching. In all, 70 percent of Americans with a religious affiliation shared that view, and 68 percent said there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their own religion.
A Common Mistake…
The statement “Many (or all) religious faiths can lead to heaven.” doesn’t even come close to making sense let alone follow the rules of logic. Different world religions cannot all be true or lead to the same destination because they make mutually exclusive truth claims about salvation, God, ethics, and even the very nature of heaven itself. The law of non-contradiction states that it is not possible that something be both true and not true at the same time and in the same context (I sounded smart there :D). That is to say that two opposite or antithetical propositions (contradictory statements) cannot both be true at the same time and in the same way (We all know this. Oranges can’t be apples in the same time and manner), the very thing the advocates of religious inclusivism (The belief that all religions lead to a sort of salvation or “happy place”) affirm.
Ehem, We’re Aren’t All The Same…
It is wrong to say that salvation is inclusive because many religions dictate that salvation is exclusive in nature. How can person #1 say “Mormonism and Islam can both lead to heaven” if person #2 says “Islam is the only way to heaven” and person #3 has a totally different view of heaven ? (For Mormons, ‘heaven’ is when we get to rule our own planets. Cool!)
A Failure On Our Part…
And yet, 70% of Americans believe this pretty dang absurd idea of inclusivism. Why? Maybe it’s because Americans are watering down the Church’s message. Maybe it is because most Christians just don’t really care anymore. Or maybe it’s a combination of all three. Recent studies have shown that Americans don’t even have a rudimentary knowledge of their own religion and the other ones around them. The study also showed that even if he/she attended church weekly, he/she scored only 4% better than people who attended monthly/yearly and only 3% better than people who attended church seldom or never. Pretty sad….But don’t give up! The Church is on our side! Or maybe not….
The “How Can I Get Rich” Gospel…
The Church has watered down the gospel into a mere self-improvement strategy for wealthy (or poor) Americans looking to enhance their lives. Is the reality of Christ’s resurrection and rulership really being rejected for a Gospel of prosperity, greed and compromise. Seriously?? Who would have thought 30 years ago that so many of the nations major denominations would be seriously debating allowing homosexual ‘unions’, and that some would adopt such practices as ‘Church’ doctrine. The reality is now that the Bible, and the risen Christ have been abandoned for a new kind of gospel – a gospel of humanism and social/political acceptance. They have in essence become part of the world system and actively participate in furthering the objectives of political correctness. The church has become too preoccupied with becoming accepted by society rather than becoming accepted by Christ.
1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
Being a Christian teen is hard. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed that the majority of youth culture is pretty hostile towards Christian principles. Even supposed “Christian” teens completely ignore what the Bible has to say. People who do hold true to Christianity get mocked, ridiculed, etc. Why? I think it’s because we do too much preachin’ and not enough teachin’. And by preachin’ I mean that we do an awful amount of hellfire and brimstone. We’ve heard way too many conversations like: “Why ought I believe in Christianity?” “Because your going to hell! Hurry! You’re gonna’ die one day”. All this does is turn people off about Christianity. The solution? Well I think we need to have an understanding of what is right and wrong and how to stand up against false doctrines. We must have an understanding of our own beliefs and the beliefs of others. In fact, there is a name for this: apologetics (and no, this doesn’t mean to apologize for your faith). It’s how we either intelligently defend our views or deconstruct others. Most of you might be asking: “How in the world am I gonna’ be able to that?”, you’re in luck because that’s the whole point of this blog. Hey! Can you comment below name some objections that pose the most trouble in your Christian faith?
Doubt that you have to be able to defend your faith? Let’s see what the Bible has to say:
Titus 2:6-8: Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
1 Timothy 4:12: Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Peter 3:15: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.