Monday, October 20, 2008

Bumper Sticker Theology

Ok. To start off with, this may offend some people. I myself, have used some of these catchphrases in the past, and regret it. I don't want people to get the wrong idea, and think that I'm attacking people who use these phrases. Rather, I'd like to think that I'm offering them a challenge. I don't personally think, that the following sayings are Biblical (in the context in which they are said). They're "pop-Christian" sayings which cause more confusion than clarifying anything. If any of these sayings are common in your own vocabulary, please consider the problems with them and what they evoke. I realize that most people use phrases they heard others use, and so forth, but let's not do something just because someone we know does it. Let's do something because it's accurate and right. Here are some catchphrases:

"Ask Jesus into your heart!"

This statement is totally inaccurate. The verses "It is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me" (Gal. 2:20) and "Behold, I stand at the door and knock" (Rev. 3:20) are taken out of context and misappropriated in support of "asking Jesus into your heart." When Paul said Christ lived in him, he meant that he had sacrificed his will to Christ. Rev. 3:20 was written to a group of Christians, so it doesn't refer to salvation but to allowing God to do His will in you. This statement has been turned into a phrase to support a false gospel in some instances (That if you somehow ask Jesus into you're heart at a particular moment you're now saved). There is no "magical" phrase which saves you. Jesus saves you. You must repent and have faith, not "Ask Jesus into your heart."

"Christianity is all about loving the sinner, and hating the sin."

This is another statement which I believe is extremely inaccurate. Is this really what Christianity is about? What did David mean when he said, "Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord, and abhor those who rise up against you?" in Psalm 139:21. Separating the sin from the sinner is not something God does. He doesn't send the sin to hell does he? Of course not! God sends the sinner there. Can you hate and love something at the same time? Yes you can. They aren't diametrically opposed. You can desire for justice to be carried out on those who disobey without repentance, while at the same time, hoping that they will repent.

"There's a God-shaped hole in your heart that only Jesus can fill."

Plain and simply- NO THERE'S NOT! What Bible verse is this based on? Many popular Christian "evangelists" and authors use this term. To just give one example: Greg Laurie- "We each have a hole in our heart, a spiritual vacuum deep within our soul - a 'God-shaped blank.' Possessions won't fill this hole, nor will success. Relationships alone cannot satisfy this emptiness, and morality, in and of itself, falls miserably short of occupying this space. In fact, even religion cannot fill the void in our heart." Ok, so why is this wrong? Well first of all, using this as a draw card for salvation, is borderline heresy in my opinion. You come to Christ because you're a sinner, He paid your price, and you are repentant. NOT BECAUSE YOU ARE LONELY OR UNSATISFIED WITH YOUR LIFE! Preaching this message creates false converts (See Hell's Best Kept Secret by Ray Comfort). Scripture says, "they are filled with all unrighteousness" (Romans 1:29). "The hearts of the sons of men are full of evil" (Ecclesiastes 9:3), and they have an evil spirit working in them (Ephesians 2:2). False assurance is certainly given, when a void that doesn't exist is supposedly filled.

"Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship!"

I understand what people mean when they say this. They are trying to say, "In Christianity, we focus on having a relationship with God, rather than working for salvation." I only wish they would say that, instead of "It's not a religion, it's a relationship!" Christians keep trying to redefine what religion means, so they can be "cool" and not "old fashioned..." cuz we all know "religion" is an old fashion word, and "relationship" is culturally just way cooler. Give me a break. Christianity is a religion. It's true religion. What does the book of James say about this?
"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless. This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." - James 1:26-27
As we can see, James contrasts true and false religion. Christianity is true religion, all other religions are false. Let's not try to redefine things in order to look cool.

"You aren't supposed to be comfortable in your Christianity."
In a sense, no you aren't. From a worldly standpoint we aren't to be sitting at home doing nothing, and not using our spiritual gifts. However, there is a godly peace which accompanies those who do his will.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philip. 4:6-7
Therefore, I believe there is a comfort in Christianity. The Holy Spirit is even called "the comforter" by Jesus. It's just not a worldly comfort.

"Salvation is a free gift."

While this statement is accurate in a sense, it gives a wrong perception. It has come to mean something that cannot be supported scripturally. Salvation is freely available, yes, but it could cost you everything that you have and are. If salvation is free, why did Christ say, "If anyone desires to follow me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Luke 9:23)? It looks to me like salvation requires you to crucify your own selfish desires daily and trust God to know what is best for you. I'm not supporting a works-based view of salvation. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves. But if our lives don't reflect the change, then have we really received God's grace?
Yes, anyone can have salvation. But most people aren't willing to make the sacrifice required to receive it. Let's not provide one side of the coin (salvation being freely available), without showing the other (a sacrifice being required on the part of the sinner...not to earn it, but rather to affirm ones faith in it). This phrase can be beneficial if used in context, but it seldom is used that way.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Expose the Radicals

A new group on Facebook: "" attempts to expose Liberal/radical professors in our American Colleges. I encourage everyone with a facebook to join.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oil- Why it's so Expensive

If this sounds dry, basic, and like I'm rambling on, I'm sorry...I'll try to make it interesting. I want to sort of give a short lesson (for lack of a better term) on economics to make this issue make more sense.

Many people refer to the "oil companies" and the "government" as if they are two entities in total agreement and character. I'd like to point out that "oil companies" is plural, and that "government" is made up of tons of disagreeing people. There are many oil companies (Shell, Chevron, Lukoil, Mobile, Exxon, etc.) and many political ideologies in Washington (Liberals, Conservatives, Moderates, Libertarians, Socialists, etc.). Now then, you're probably wondering why I established these two facts. Well simply, it's to tell you this. Both the oil companies, and the government are in constant competition. The oil companies are competing for your money, and the government is competing for your approval (and votes). So therefore there isn't one entity referred to as "oil companies." Rather, there are many different oil companies at war with each other for your money. Why would they be after your money you might ask? Well, plain and simply they want to make a profit. That is the goal of any company. Therefore, in an effort to make a profit, oil companies attempt to attract you, the customer. How do they do this? They run commercials, they post signs, and they most importantly offer you a lower price then their competitors. At the same time, other companies are doing the same thing. This results in the lowest price a company can get away with, while still making a profit, the price you pay. Now lets go back to the government for a minute. . . The government is also looking for a profit too. Therefore they tax the oil companies. This makes it harder for the companies to make a profit, thus they shift the price onto the customer. Therefore the customer has to pay extra in order to achieve the same quantity of a product. The government taxes all the oil companies equally, therefore competition is still alive, and no company is favored over another. Now then, a realization that must be established in the midst of all of this is the fact that we live in a world of limited resources. Oil is no exception. Oil becomes limited when more people use it, because there is more being consumed, and therefore less available. When third world countries become industrialized, they demand oil. A higher demand requires a higher price. (Hypothetical example: China demands oil so much, that it is willing to pay more for it then the U.S. is. The oil companies want a profit, so they go to China and sell their oil. In the meantime the U.S. still needs oil, so the price is jacked up to meet the price of China. When other countries get added to the mix, the price can become a lot higher.) Now then, part of the reason oil is so expensive is transportation (it costs money to get here), the demand for the oil (what other buyers are paying), and the taxes on the oil companies (what the government imposes). If we could drill for oil off the coast of the gulf of Mexico and in Alaska, as well as convert coal to oil, we would drop the price because two factors would be changed. The transportation of the oil would reduce, and the demand for the oil would reduce because more would be available. The only thing that would still keep the price the same way is the government, if they decided to increase taxes. Therefore, once again, mistrust should be against those in Washington who tax, rather then the oil companies who simply are trying to make a profit for whatever price you're willing to pay. As for the global warming issue....Maybe I'll tackle that another time.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ben Stein Exelled in Expelled

Go to "" for more info:

Ben Stein's "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed," is by far the best movie I've seen in quite some time. It's actually a docu-drama on the free speech crises in modern academia; specifically when it comes to sharing one's opinion on the origin of the universe. Ben Stein catches the Darwinists red-handed, and uncovers what none of them want you to know. Filled with entertaining cartoon and old movie clips (to satirize and simply), this documentary is by far the most amusing one I've ever seen. I encourage everyone to see this film, not just for its entertainment value, but also for its accuracy and seriousness subject matter. There is an excellent challenge towards the end of the film that goes out to everyone, whether scientist or not. I won't tell you what it is, because it would spoil the ending for you. Please, GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It's worth the eight bucks to support something positive from Hollywood.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

1 Tim. 2:9-15, The Role of Women

If I could some up this entire section in one sentence, I’d say, “Woman are to be humble.” Paul is responding to the distracting manner in which women would convey themselves. By drawing attention to themselves they were essentially stealing from the Lord. This principle can be applied to men just as it can to women, however in the case of the Ephesians it seems that woman were the main culprits. Paul’s instructions for women to, “adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,” shouldn’t, I believe, be seen as a legalistic set up of rules. Rather Paul is instructing a principle, and giving specific examples of the violation of that principle. The principle is that women should be clothed “modestly and discreetly.” Modesty refers to the idea of being orderly and decorous. There is an underlying humility that is to motivate the female when she dresses herself. Discreetly refers to having self control over sexual passions. In short, women are not to distract the men by drawing attention to their body during a worship service especially. Women use to braid jewelry into their hair as a sign of wealth and beauty. This is what Paul was referring to when he mentioned braided hair. The gold, pearls, and costly garments are likewise signs that someone is rich. This probably caused a great deal of jealousy inside the church, as rich women allured men with their bodies, and flashed their wealth before those who were poor. Paul contrasts this prideful attitude with the action of “good works.” Women are to humble themselves to the point of being a servant to others, not trying to get others to serve them.
Paul switches gears slightly starting in verse eleven. He’s still talking about the role of women in the church, however he now addresses the problem of women leadership. Of course, in the time that Paul was writing women weren’t held in high esteem by Greek or Jewish culture. The church would have been a place for women to gain freedoms that hadn’t been granted to them in the world. However, some women were taking these freedoms way to far. They were being disruptive in the church services, and even exercising authority over men. Paul’s instructions to the former was to “quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” Women were to learn in the context of church. How could they learn if they weren’t quiet? I’m not sure whether it was gossip that was going on during the services, or outbursts of emotional zeal, but whatever it was, it was disrupting their ability to learn and submit to authority. To the latter group (those exercising authority over men) Paul states, “ I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.” I do not believe Paul is prohibiting them from teaching in every single circumstance because in Titus 2:3 he instructs older women to teach younger ones. Likewise, in Acts 18:26 Priscilla and Aquila privately instruct Apollos. However, women are not to teach men in the context of church. This doesn’t mean we can’t have women professors teaching men things that don’t have to do with theology, in a different context. However it does mean that there should be no spiritual authority over men given to a woman. Many try to take Paul’s words in this passage and somehow say that they are “just cultural.” In other words, back in Paul’s day, women shouldn’t have taught men because of the cultural setting, but today things have changed. It almost sounds like an application of evolution to the society. Nevertheless, the text does not allow one to do this. Why? Because Paul’s argument is not based on culture but on something that transcends culture. His argument is based on creation. Paul writes, “For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression.” While Adam is the one responsible for the fall of man ultimately, partially because he wasn’t deceived, but willfully sinned (Rom. 5:12-21); Eve violated her subordinate role as man’s suitable helper. Eve left Adam’s security and assumed his headship onto herself. This left her vulnerable to the deceptions of the devil. In short, Adam was created first, and Adam was given the authority to lead Eve, not the other way around.
The last verse in this section is perhaps the most difficult verse in the whole Bible to interpret. Paul writes, “But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.” We know this can’t refer to salvation because of all the other passages that make it clear we are saved through grace. So what could this mean? Since it says, “shall be preserved,” we know that it’s a future tense. It’s not referring to Eve. I believe the best explanation for the verse is this: Women were the initial instrument that caused the human race to fall into sin. Therefore, by raising up a godly generation they can be freed from the mark of having set humanity on this wrong course. Women, unlike men, have a unique ability to shape children. There is more of an emotional connection, as well as a sacrifice in time that goes into raising kids.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Theological Look at Theistic Evolution

I must admit, ever since I was young, I have always been trained with the belief that God created the earth in six literal days, without a gap, and certainly without biological Macro evolution playing any part in the process. Every time I went to a museum that referenced any fossil as being over a “million years in age” my parents would kindly explain why that wasn’t true, and how that contradicted Scripture. I thought that every Christian believed the earth was less than ten thousand years old, and couldn’t fathom why anyone who believed the Bible would also hold to Darwinism. I even remember one time when I was about 11, crying for over an hour when I found out that one of my close relatives believed in evolution. My initial response was, “If my relative believes in evolution than they can’t be saved, and if they aren’t saved, then they aren’t going to heaven!” That thought frightened me a great deal, and although I’m reasonably convinced that this particular relative of mine is in fact saved, I still struggle with the idea that a soundly saved Christian can believe in Evolution. Before I continue, I must also let you know that my education regarding origins hasn’t been a complete fundamentalist-Christian indoctrination program. My parent’s made sure to give me both sides of the debate while I was home-schooled, and since those times I have had many experiences in College with Darwinian thought. Creation apologetics has become a bit of a hobby for me. I find the scientific arguments for it fascinating, the theological arguments water proof, and the philosophical arguments (my personal favorite) extremely potent. In this short Theological look, I don’t want to address anything scientific, or anything philosophical; in fact, I don’t even want to address the incompatibility of Macro evolutionism and Genesis. All I endeavor to do is answer that old question that used to trouble me so much. Is believing Macro-evolution a heresy?
In discussing the topic of Macro Evolution, It must be clearly understood that there are two distinct types of Theistic-Evolutionists. The first group I will call the “Ignorant Theistic Evolutionists”. This is a group of many shades and colors, because there are many different degrees of ignorance. It should be noted that the word “ignorant” is not meant to be a cut in any way, shape, or form. Ignorance simply means “without knowledge”. I myself am ignorant in so many topics it’s not even funny. Ignorance does not have to disqualify someone from becoming saved. When I got saved at 6 years old, I had no clue what a virgin was, but I didn’t deny the fact that Mary was a virgin. Someone can be saved and not completely understand every detail about the fundamental doctrines. Therefore, in my opinion, it is entirely possible for people that hold to this belief to be born-again.
The most ignorant of the Theistic Evolutionists are the ones that simply haven’t put the time into studying both Genesis and Darwinism. They haven’t addressed the issue, and therefore it really isn’t even an issue for them. Others in the Theistic Evolution camp have put more time into studying the issues. They may know Darwinism like the back of their hand, and they may even know a lot about Genesis, but they haven’t thought through the ramifications of reconciling the two. It’s only a matter of time before these educated individuals become aware of the contradictions that come about when the biblical account is put in conflict with Darwin.
The second major group I’d like to address in the realm of Theistic Evolutionism is the “Rebellious Theistic Evolutionists”. This group, in my opinion, is full of unregenerate people who aren’t saved. They have studied both issues, they see the contradictions within the two world-views, and they have rejected the biblical account. I don’t think I need to extensively point out the importance of Genesis or the vital doctrines within the Creation account since most Christians at least generally understand them. I will quickly summarize them so it can be clearly understood where it is I’m coming from, just so no one gets the wrong idea.
Our most important characters in the Bible believed in a literal Genesis. Jesus, Moses, Paul etc. commonly talk about Genesis as if it is literal truth. Also many important doctrines come directly from our Creation account. The total depravity of man, the trinity, the Adamic dispensation, the first reference to Christ (“the seed of the woman”), the role of woman, the role of man, and insights into the nature of God just to name a few. The most important and fundamental doctrine within Genesis is the doctrine of original sin. In Romans it says that “Death came by sin”. Now let’s put this in perspective. If death came by sin, and Theistic evolutionists believe that there was Millions of years of death before Adam (the first man) sinned then we have a heresy. Death is not what brought man into the world. Man is what brought death into the world according to Scripture. Sin is what “brought forth death”. If sin really didn’t bring forth death then it would be logical to assume that God was the one who brought forth death. A God who would bring forth death is a different God then the God of Scripture. It is imperative to have the right Jesus in order to be saved. “Rebellious Theistic Evolutionists” have really knowingly accepted a heresy.
A sub-group that can fall into either category is the “Allegorical Theistic Evolutionists”. I believe there are people from this group in both the “Ignorant,” and “Rebellious” camps of Theistic Evolutionism. I commonly will run into, or here, about people who say, “Genesis was just an allegory. It wasn’t meant to be taken literally!” Some people haven’t studied English enough to differentiate between genres of literature and have thus been duped by supposed experts. Unfortunately, I have to believe that others just use this phrase simply to be accepted in certain “Christian” circles.
There are many ways in which to combat this attack on Genesis. You could use scientific and philosophical arguments, but I fear that a belief in Darwinism is more of a theological error than anything else. Here’s the way I’d approach someone who insists that Genesis is allegorical. I’d Talk to him/her about how to interpret scripture using hermeneutical principles such as, “Authorial Intent”, “Scripture interprets scripture”, and “Contextual Insight”. If the author(s) of Genesis intended something other than literal interpretation, then what kind of interpretation did they intend? Both Jesus and Moses refer to Genesis as literal truth. The context of Genesis in its entirety is written as a literal account. Why would we assume that only the creation account is allegorical? What does each element of the creation account refer to if it’s symbolic? I never have gotten a straight answer to that question. In short, “What reason within the text is there to conclude that Genesis is an allegory?” We don’t assume that Jesus was in the tomb for three million years do we? We conclude that “a day” means “a day” in that scenario. Show the evolutionist that the order of creation doesn’t match Darwin’s order in the process of evolution. Ask him/her why God can’t do things the way He said he did them. These are only a few of many questions to ask someone who says, “Genesis is an allegory”.
If someone responds and says that Genesis isn’t literal because “a thousand years equals a day in the sight of the Lord,” then gently point out that it’s “thousands”, not millions of years. Also point out that the context of Psalm 90:4 is allegorical. ALLEGORICAL!! You mean to say that it’s an allegory and not literal? Yes, that’s precisely what I mean. Verse 2 says that the “mountains were born”. Were mountains really born? I don’t think so. If you read the whole chapter, it’s obvious that it’s an allegory. It says in verse 4 that “a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it passes by, Or as a watch in the night.” Notice the word “like”. It doesn’t say “is”, it says “like”. The context of the Genesis account and Psalm 90 are also talking about two totally different things. But what if someone uses 2nd Pet. 3:8-9?; where it says, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” First point out that the context is judgment, not creation. Secondly, point out that it says, “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” If a thousand years are like a day, I guess it cancels out the thought that a day is like a thousand years doesn’t it? You see, it makes no sense. It’s cherry-picking scripture to make it conform with pseudo science. It’s a pretext, not a context. The point of both passages is that God’s realm is outside of ours. What may seem long to us isn’t long to him. God wouldn’t write something from a perspective that excludes us from understanding. The Bible was made for man to comprehend and obey.
In conclusion, Theistic Evolution is a heresy when taken to its logical outcome: i.e. having death before sin. Also, it is possible to believe in evolution and still be saved if one believes out of ignorance. In all honesty, I personally know many people that are Theistic evolutionists, and I can still have godly Christian fellowship with them, because I understand that they haven’t totally considered all the consequences of Darwinist thought. If you are a Theistic Evolutionist reading this, please keep in mind that your salvation rests upon the finished work of Jesus Christ, not your belief about creation, however it is essential that you have the right Jesus. The question you must ask yourself is, “Do you?”

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Libertarians and Marijuana

Alright, so I've done a few long school projects on Marijuana, the medical effects of it, and the legalization aspect of it. When I was 16 I thought that it should be legalized. Let's be honest, on the outside, the argument for legalizing marijuana is very attractive. It will be taxed thus adding to the governments revenue (When libertarians use this argument they really don't think too hard. On one side of their mouth they say, "Less taxes!" and on the other side they say, "Tax Marijuana!"), and it will eliminate the black market. Will it really eliminate the black market though? Or will it just make black market mainstream? Every convenient store that sells Marijuana will now be part of the former "black market." In reality, the black market hasn't been eliminated, it has just been redefined and expanded. Anyway, I digress. The main argument that libertarians (and liberals) use in their argument for the legalization of marijuana is this: "Alcohol and cigarettes are legal, why not marijuana?" The simple question to ask someone who says this is: "Alcohol and cigarettes do enough damage, why would you want to add another one to the list?" Some folks from the medical marijuana crowd say that they "need" marijuana for their cancer treatment. First of all, marijuana is already available in a pill form, and second of all, there are tons of better medications out there that are more effective. Why settle for something mediocre (and expose others to it's smoke) when you don't have to? The last argument that libertarians like to use is surprisingly one that I agree with (partially). They say that the federal government doesn't have the right to regulate marijuana. This is true (even for cocaine, meth, etc.), unless it is being shipped across state lines. Most libertarians however go further and say that it shouldn't be regulated period. This is where i have to disagree. States do have the authority and the right to regulate anything to protect their populace. I wrote this really short, but hopefully informative paper on marijuana last semester. Hopefully you'll find it interesting and enlightening.

Marijuana, or “grass” as it’s sometimes referred to, comes from the green or brown hemp plant Cannabis. The flowers, leaves, stems, and seeds of this plant are all used to create the highly addictive street drug. Of the hundreds of names used for this drug, some of the most common include, “aunt mary, boom, chronic, dope ganja, gangster, hash, herb, kif, mary jane, pot, reefer, sinsemilla, skunk, and weed.”1 Palmately compound leaves, with Serrated leaflets, make this annual dioecious herb, a pretty-looking plant.2

Marijuana continues to be the most used drug in the United States with 69 million citizens over twelve having tried it. Though Cannabis is “indigenous to central Asia and surrounding regions2, It is the second most common drug (after alcohol) found in the blood stream of injured Americans.3 Despite Prohibition, Marijuana is the fourth largest cash crop in the Unites States. “Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia” all have marijuana as their number one cash crop.4

Marijuana and other cannabis products are usually smoked. . .most often in loosely rolled cigarettes known as "joints." Some users will slice open and hollow out cigars, replacing the tobacco with marijuana, to make what are called ‘blunts.’”12 Marijuana can also be added to any baked product. Cookies, Brownies, and tea are some of the more common substances mixed with the drug. I recently heard on the news that a police officer’s wife “spiked” his spaghetti with Cannabis.

More than just pretty-looking and addictive, this plant has become a hot political issue in recent years. Many groups advocate the legalization of marijuana for mainly libertarian reasons. For instance, one prominent website called Marijuana Legalization Organization advocates legalization on the grounds that “People have a basic right to make choices for themselves as long as their actions do not harm others.” They go on to say that, “The government is wasting our time and money by prohibiting marijuana” due to the high cost of prosecuting offenders and not taxing it. Many people are also quick to point out that, “Alcohol prohibition did not work, and there is no logical reason to believe that marijuana prohibition is a better idea.”5 Groups on the other side of the argument are quick to rebuttal such statements by calling marijuana a “Gateway Drug”6, meaning that once it is legalized, other drugs such as cocaine will also follow suit. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration notes that if Marijuana were legalized it would result in a higher amount of people using it. Examples such as Holland and Alaska during the seventies and eighties can be used to prove this point.7 Most anti-marijuana legalization websites though, focus on the effects of the drug. “Illegal drugs are illegal because they are harmful.

The THC in marijuana has been proven to influence the activity of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain. “The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem solving; loss of coordination; and increased heart rate… One study has indicated that an abuser's risk of heart attack more than quadruples in the first hour after smoking marijuana.”.8 Marijuana’s long-term effects have also been seen to negatively effect the lungs and immune system. “A study of 450 individuals found that people who smoke marijuana frequently but do not smoke tobacco have more health problems and miss more days of work than nonsmokers.”

Another issue that has become a big topic in recent years in the issue of “medical marijuana”. The Providence Journal quoted Joycelyn Elders, M.D stating that, "The evidence is overwhelming that marijuana can relieve certain types of pain, nausea, vomiting and other symptoms caused by such illnesses as multiple sclerosis, cancer and AIDS.” U.S. Senator Bill Frist, M.D. though said, “I believe that marijuana is a dangerous drug and that there are less dangerous medicines offering the same relief from pain and other medical symptoms.”10 The medical community will probably debate this issue for quite awhile. In the meantime, “Marinol, a pill made up of marijuana's most psychoactive ingredient, THC, is available by prescription.”11 Though, not available in a “smoke-able” form, I have been told by one member of the medical community that some doctors encourage chemo-patients to buy it off the streets.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Romans 1:18-32, The Unrighteous Society

Throughout this entire section of Scripture, I can’t help but notice the extremely scary correlations that are observable in our own society. I believe that Romans 1:18-32 isn’t solely referring to individuals, but also to whole communities. Throughout all of time nations have risen and fallen. Some fall because they are defeated by another nation, and others fall because of internal turmoil and moral degradation. This passage perfectly outlines the general order by which a society crumbles from the inside. Ironically, Rome fell only about three centuries after this was written. The roots for the moral bankruptcy that caused Rome to fall had already been laid in Paul’s time. God’s abandonment had started. I similarly observe God’s merciful hand being withdrawn from America in our day. The 1960s verified that God was leaving men to their inner profane impulses, but the groundwork had been laid long before when men gave more credence to the creature then to the Creator (Darwinism).
Verse 18 starts out with a powerful word; “wrath.” In the Gk this word has been translated as anger, indignation, and vengeance. By implication, this word connotates the idea of Divine punishment. God’s punishment is revealed against all the unrighteous people who suppress God’s truth. How is this punishment revealed? It is revealed when God removes His restraining hand and lets sinners follow their depraved lustful passions. Where do these lustful passions start? With the choice to exchange the glory of God for idolatry. This was the main problem in ancient Israel. God punished the nation of Israel when they “played the harlot” with other gods. In the same way (although Israel is His chosen people) other nations and peoples will also be judged when they deny what He has made evident to them. What has he made evident? Creation and Conscience. Every man knows there is a God because he can look out and see the result in creation, and likewise every man has a moral law written on their hearts. This serves to leave them without any excuse. Therefore, the first result of a sinking society is the practice of idiolatry. In America this occurred when Darwinism was first practiced in biology class. We are taught to worship “mother earth” rather than Jesus Christ. The second result of a society that God is abandoning, is sodomy. Women, who usually serve to keep society intact, “exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural.” The rise of feminism and its counterpart lesbianism are clear markers that this process has occurred in our country. In the same way men also practice this horrendous exercise, “receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.” I take the “due penalty” to mean the sexually transmitted diseases that dominate the homosexual community. Those who sexually sin are not only shaking their fist at God, but they are reaping the just reward for their wrongdoing. The third result of a crumbling society is a whole host of sins (unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; gossip, slander, hate for God, insolence, arrogance, boasting, inventing evil, disobedience to parents, lacking understanding, untrustworthiness, un-lovingness, being unmerciful, and giving hearty approval to others who sin). Why do societies crumble and resort to this kind of debauchery? Simply because they do not acknowledge God. This applies to the natives on Bongo-Bongo, as well as to the highest pinnacles in Western society. If God is not recognized, there will be consequences. This passage lays the groundwork for Paul’s justification of God’s judgments being righteous.