Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thought for the Day:

"We fight not for glory nor for wealth nor honours; but only and alone we fight
for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life."

Declaration of Arbroath
April 6, 1320

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"When You Wish upon a Star"

Today I have read some excerpts from Christopher Hitchens' new book, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. So much to comment on, so little time. For this post, I'll concentrate on one little gem.

“There are four irreducible objections to religious faith:… and that it is
ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.”

Okay Mr. Hitchens, I'll take the bait on this one. If I could design life my own way, here's how I'd do it.

Item # 1 on the Wish List Hit Parade: I'm am an inherently good and nice person. Any shortcomings I have are the result of bad nurturing. I can overcome those shortcomings by working hard to be good. What exactly is goodness, though? That brings me to...
Item #2 on the Wish List Hit Parade: I will create my own moral code. I will be able to live by the rules I have created. If anyone does not like my moral code, it's too bad, so sad for them.
Item #3 on the Wish List Hit Parade:I'll do lots of good works (according to my standards) and everyone will love me.
Item #4 on the Wish List Hit Parade: I am autonomous. I can control myself and my life.
Item #5 on the Wish List Hit Parade: When I die, I'll have eternal peace. I'll either totally evaporate into nothingness or I'll go to some great collective human consciousness that is shared by everyone. I haven't decided which. I'l let you know when I figure it out.

Let's take a look at the reality list in Christianity:

#1 Christian Reality:I 'm a sinner. I was born that way and I can't blame anyone else for it.
#2 Christian Reality: I have to follow God's moral code.
#3 Christian Reality: Working really hard to follow God's moral code doesn't get me anything. I already broke the law and He doesn't like that.
#4 Christian Reality: God is sovereign. He doesn't let people do any old thing they want. I have to depend totally on the work of someone else ( i.e. Jesus Christ) or things will get really toasty for me.
#5 Christian Reality: When I die I'll be held accountable. If I don't have anything other than my own goodness to present to God, then it's off to the lake of fire I go.

Christopher Hitchens, come on down, you win today's award for unmitigated gall!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Allah who?

Pakistan has banned a play that makes fun of burqas. Comments from a Pakistani lawmaker courtesy of Reuters:

"They have committed blasphemy against the Prophet (Mohammad)," Razia Aziz, a female lawmaker from the Islamist opposition alliance, told the National Assembly.

Blasphemy according my dictionary sources is:

'A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God '
'The act of expressing lack of reverence for God '(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
'Impious or profane speaking of God' (The Reader's Digest Great Encyclopedic Dictionary)
'Impious utterance or action concerning God'(

Yet Muslims have the unmitigated gall to say that Christians are polytheists.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Is Christianity Deficient?

"Perhaps Christianity, despite its many great qualities, needs to be balanced out by other more worldly elements, such as attachment to nation states."

This was the parting shot by the blogger Fjordman at the end of an essay titled A Christian Background for Political Correctness?

While I found most of Fjordman’s essay to be very well done, I have to comment on his final statement quoted above. Biblically based Christianity is not an impediment to loyalty to one’s nation. Christ himself said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” This tells us that the civil government is a legitimate institution sanctioned by God. The Bible states very clearly that governing authorities are instituted by God and should be respected (Romans 13:1, 6).

This, however, is not to take the form of a grudging recognition of the government’s power over us. Instead, we are to pray for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Praying for others is an active form of love. Not a touchy feely warm fuzzy love, but a form of love in action. I believe there is nothing unchristian about the concept of identifying oneself with a nation state and having a love for that nation.

So are Christians to do what ever their government says? Of course not. The Bible shows us the example of Daniel and others who would not bow to false gods. If the laws of our nation are in opposition to God’s laws we have an obligation to stand against them. However, if we do live under a system that grants us freedom of religion do we have a right to defend that system from those who would have us worship false gods? I would say that it is more than a right. It is a duty.

Contrast all of this with the Islamic notion that only the laws of Islam are valid. Muslims are taught that only Islamic law should be followed in all matters, religious or civil. They say that they ought not to follow the laws of men but of God only. Christianity, on the other hand makes it clear that the governments instituted by men are done so within God’s sovereign power. It would seem that the Islamic god is too small to control the world unless every person on the planet adheres to Islam. The God of Christianity has no such problem and is quite able to use the governments of men for His own purposes.

There is no need for additions, deletions or corrections to Christianity. It is perfect as it is. The fault lies in our sinful selves and our propensity for twisting Christian doctrine to suit our own agendas.