Friday, March 31, 2017

Time For A Creationist Meme

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Why A Christian Should Be A Conservative Republican

Republican vs. Democrat
Conservative vs. Liberal
Part 1 Gay Marriage and Gender Choice
By Catholic Apologist Sean Dolan

  • In modern times, evil ideologies seem to be developing. “Women abandon their natural desires for one another, and men commit shameful acts with each other” (Romans 1:26-27). In many parts of the world, especially in Western Europe and the United States, the people have a growing acceptance of liberal ideas such as homosexual marriage, the choosing of one’s own gender, birth control, abortion, euthanasia, and the promotion of Islam as a religion of peace. When Christians or others who uphold similar views point out the deterioration in overall moral values in society, their opponents tend to depict them as merely being homophobes, Islamophobes, sexists, racists, and a longer list of other derogatory terms. They call us hateful, but are they right in calling us these cruel names? Do they have any valid reasoning to substantiate their claims? Should a real Christian lean on the side of Conservatism or Liberalism?
  • First of all, let us acknowledge that there are extreme forms of bias against each other on both sides. On the other hand though, when investigating the main beliefs to both sides of the debate, a Christian should be on the conservative side. In these next papers, we will look at the main beliefs of Liberals to explain why they are wrong from a biblical standpoint.
  • Gay Marriage:
          -One of the main liberal beliefs is gay marriage. This is morally unacceptable, for in Scripture we see that God intentionally made male and female, and that a man and a female will unite to become one. (Genesis 1:27, 2:24). God made for man a woman in the Garden of Eden. He did not make him another man. If gay marriage was morally acceptable, then why don't we see the creation of two men in Scripture?
          -One may say that there is no direct condemnation of gay or lesbian marriage in these passages, but farther along in this study we are told more directly that homosexuality is wrong.
  • Lot and Sodom (Genesis 19):
            -In the Book of Genesis, Abraham’s nephew Lot goes to Sodom and stays there a while. While there, two angels in disguise show up, and Lot takes them in. Then, the people of the city go to Lot’s house to demand for the angels so that they can have “relations” with them. This was abominable in the sight of God. Lot did not give them the angels. After a period of struggle, they escaped the City of Sodom. The corrupt men of that city did not go without punishment. After Lot leaves Sodom, God destroys the city along with Gomorrah, another evil city, by throwing meteors of fiery sulfur upon them. The two cities are known for their evilness. If what they had done was okay, then why would God destroy the cities?.
  • Condemnation in the Law:
          -“You must not lie with a man as with a women. This is a hateful thing” This is pretty clear that a man should not be acting gay. Marriage is for a man and a women, not a man and man or a woman and a woman" (Leviticus 18:22 JB)
  • Condemnation in the New Testament:
          -Some may argue that the Law was wiped out by Jesus or made inactive, but this is clearly wrong. Jesus Christ was simply the fulfillment to the Law (Matt. 5:17-20). The Apostle Paul even stated that the Moral Law is upheld by our faith in God (Romans 3:31). The New Testament Scriptures clearly condemn homosexuality, which means that it cannot be accepted.
“He answered, ‘Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made male and female and that he said: This is why a man must leave father and mother, and cling to his wife, and the two become one body?" (Matthew 19:4-5 JB).
            ^Though many may claim that Jesus never condemned gay marriage, He affirmed the original design that was intended by God in the above passage. Even if this argument isn’t enough, Jesus Christ never said that it was morally permissible. Saying nothing on it doesn’t mean it’s alright.
“That is why God abandoned them to degrading passions: why their women have turned for natural intercourse to unnatural practices and why their menfolk have given up natural intercourse to be consumed with passion for each other, men doing shameless things with men and an appropriate reward for their perversion” (Roman 1:26-27 JB).
           ^These two verses say that humans have chosen to reject God, who has made Himself evident through nature. Because of their rejection of His will, their reason has become darkened. As a result of this inherent spiritual corruption, these men and women were handed over to unnatural sexual desires. In short, this mental delusion lead them into homosexual acts, which is called “an abomination.” These two verses are the clearest condemnation of homosexuality in the whole New Testament. Homosexuality is unnatural and disgusting.
          -“You know perfectly well that people who do wrong will not inherit the kingdom of God: people of immoral lives, idolaters, adulterers, catamites, sodomites, thieves, usurers, drunkards, slanderers and swindlers will never inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 JB).
              ^Some translations have slightly different wording, but this is yet another outright warning against homosexual thoughts and behaviors.  It plainly states that they will not inherit the Kingdom of God, if they choose to remain in that state of sin. The term “Sodomites” refers to people who do homosexual things, as the people of Sodom did in Genesis 19. Other translations such as the NASB translate the word to mean "homosexuals".
  • A Logical argument:
         -We do not need Scripture to see the perverseness of homosexual actions. From the Natural Law, one can see that the pieces do not fit together, like mismatched pieces of a puzzle. Men can not procreate with men (and women likewise). It is against our natural bodily design. If gay marriage is morally acceptable, then that means everyone can do it. But if everyone does it, then the human race will not continue on because there will be no more babies born into the world.

  • “Gender Choice”:

           -“God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them”Genesis 1:27; 2:24 JB).
              ^God planned for every human to have a specific gender; male or female. This was set; never to be messed with. The Bible does not say that God gave man his own choice over what gender that we wishes to be.
  • The Law: 
          -“A woman must not wear men’s clothes nor a man put on women’s dress; anyone who does this is detestable to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 22:5 JB).
           ^God forbade people to even wear the other gender’s clothes. If it was wrong to do this, one should conclude that we shall not change our gender. 
  • The New Testament:
           -Review: Matt. 19:4/Rom. 1:26-27/1 Cor. 6:9-10
           -These passages condemn gender change. The Lord Jesus Christ, again, restates the theme found in Genesis. Just by looking at the sexual perversions that Paul condemned in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6, a person should conclude that gender change is evil.

Sola Scriptura And Divisions

  • Although this article is dedicated primarily to the Roman Catholic apologists who maintain that there are 33,000 (or more) Protestant denominations (in order to disqualify the principle of Sola Scriptura), the contents that are about to be presented hold true for all who tout the same argument around.  
  • There is a great deal of controversy between  the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and all of the Protestant churches due to the issue of "private interpretation". Private interpretation of Scripture is the concept of a person using his or her reasoning to make a judgment on a particular passage from the Bible. It is a more individualistic approach to determining what Scripture means.
  • Hierarchical structured churches always insist that we absolutely must have their leaders "infallibly interpret" the Scriptures in order to preserve absolute truth in doctrinal matters and thus aid in the prevention of division within the entire congregational body.
  • The claim that we need an infallible interpreter of Scripture is essentially the same as saying that the Bible is too difficult for the common people to understand. In other words, both arguments use the same logic in there premises in order to reach their conclusions. If Scripture is simple enough for us to comprehend without the need of an infallible interpreter, then why would we even need one in the first place?   
  • Consequently, the Church of Rome claims that Christians who rely on the Bible alone for the development of doctrine (instead of its Magisterium) will inevitably end up in a state of soul endangering confusion. In summary, one of the most common arguments raised against Sola Scriptura is that it unavoidably results in irreconcilable doctrinal contradictions and thus points to the need of an infallible teaching authority.
  • Scripture Is A Perspicuous Guide And Is Therefore In Need Of No Infallible Interpreter:
           -Scripture repeatedly implies and assures that its readers can understand its message (i.e. Deuteronomy 29:29; 2 Kings 22:8-13; Psalm 19:7-9; 119:97-105; 130; Matthew 22:29-32; Luke 1:1-4; 10:25-28; Acts 17:11-12; Ephesians 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 1:13; 3:15-16; Colossians 4:16; 2 Peter 1:16-21; 2 Timothy 3:15).
           -With the exception of 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus, all of the New Testament epistles were written to Christians in general: Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:2; Ephesians 1:1; Philemon 1:1-2; Colossians 1:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; James 1:1-2; Revelation 1:3-4.
           -Calls to read and obey Scripture demonstrates that we can understand it (Joshua 1:7-8; 23:6; 1 Kings 2:3-4; Matthew 12:3; 5; 19:4; 21:16; 42; 22:31; Luke 10:26; John 10:34; 1 Corinthians 10:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 2 Thessalonians 3:14; 1 Timothy 4:13).
           -The common people understood the teachings of Jesus Christ without an "infallible interpreter" (i.e. Matthew 11:25; 13:51; Mark 12:37). In other words, there was never an infallible interpreter sitting next to Jesus when He was teaching in front of the crowds. Neither do we see one in any of the sermons documented in the Book of Acts. Furthermore, the New Testament epistles to the churches of the first century say nothing about submission to an alleged infallible teaching authority who makes spiritual teachings simple enough for the common people to understand.
           -Three powerful observations that we can gather from the New Testament against the belief that it is too difficult for us to understand is that Jesus Christ did not always explain His parables to those who were confused by His teachings, He made individuals interpret the Scriptures for themselves, and held them accountable when they interpreted them incorrectly. He neither demanded the people who heard His teachings to blindly submit to Him nor instructed His disciples to act in such a manner.These actions clearly show us that God expects us to use our reason in order to discover the truth."Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" (Ephesians 5:17). 
           -Jesus usually attracted the poor, uneducated, and the common people. Anyone with a humble and prayerful heart can understand what God desires for mankind (salvation), apart from an infallible interpreter.  
  • Attacking Common Straw Man Arguments/ Misrepresentations Of Sola Scriptura:
           -"What use is an infallible book without an infallible interpreter?":
               *The above question can be likened to asking, "What is the use of an infallible God without an infallible human mind to understand Him?" He does not expect us to understand Him infallibly because our minds are finite. However, we can have more than sufficient certainty behind the meaning of Scripture. Now, I am certainly not saying that we can interpret the Scriptures in any random way that we desire. We have the obligation to examine Scripture in its proper context, compare our interpretations of particular Scripture passages to what other passages say about the same topic, use our common sense, and use study aids such as defining the proper meaning of specific Hebrew/Greek words and commentaries. 
           -"By What Authority Do You Interpret Scripture?":
              *We might as well retort by asking, "By what authority do you obey Ten Commandments?" These things are completely irrelevant to the issue of our own "personal authority", but rather, are things God is expecting us to do. He wants us to choose and act in accordance to His will. This in no way implies that no additional church authorities besides the Bible exist. They exist, but are under the judgment of the Scriptures because they are fallible. But we do not need "special authority" to search the Scriptures to discern God's will.  
           -Scripture is clear enough for readers to at least get the basic message of the gospel.  
           -An underlying, fundamental flaw to the argument against Sola Scriptura from church divisions is that it confuses misusing Scripture with the insufficiency of Scripture.
  • Religious Division:
           -The cause of religious division among churches is not the fault or difficulty level of reading the Bible, but rather, is a result of our own inherent sinful desires. In other words, religious division forms as a result of people refusing to accept the clear teachings of Scripture and an intentional lack of devotional study of the sacred Christian texts. It is not the fault of the Bible that people misinterpret it, but their own.
           -The mere fact that divisions exist within the Protestant body neither proves that the Bible is too hard to understand nor that the principle of Sola Scriptura is false. Furthermore, the fact that divisions exist within Protestantism does not logically prove that the Church of Rome has the solution to the problems. Refuting an opponent's argument(s) in a debate does not guarantee the accuracy of your own. Both sides can be wrong.          
           -While it is true that contentions within the Body of Christ over significant doctrinal issues are unfortunate and painful, they may sometimes be necessary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you” (1 Corinthians 11:19). We are called to publicly expose false brethren and separate ourselves from those who propagate heretical doctrines (Galatians 2:4; Romans 16:17). Although Jesus Christ emphasized spiritual unity (John 17), He never supported organizational unity. In other words, it is wrong to merely set aside our doctrinal differences for the sake of unity because truth cannot be mixed with error. So true conservative Christians must separate themselves from the liberals and other apostates in order to preserve doctrinal purity. Unity does not guarantee truth or preservation of the truths revealed in the gospel.
        -The New Testament reveals to us that churches had significant divisions over doctrinal and moral issues such as the ones located in the ancient cities of Corinth, Galatia, and Colosse. These first century churches had the same problems that exist in our local congregations today. Instead of simply appealing to the allegedly infallible Papal authority of the Apostle Peter for a short, clear, inspired declaration to settle matters once for all, Paul reasoned directly from the Scriptures with these divided churches. Not only did he reason in such a manner, but he also gave them supplemental scriptural material to furnish the discerning ability of the entire church for future generations. If we stay within the boundaries of God's wisdom as revealed through the testimony of Holy Scripture, then we will have no reason to be bitterly divided against each other (1 Corinthians 4:6).        
      -If individual Christians worshiped together, assembled to peacefully resolve disputes on doctrine, studied Scripture more often, and stopped taking it out of context, then religious division on significant doctrinal matters would gradually fade away. There would finally be unity in the Truth. But people need to stop looking at Scripture through the lenses of their church traditions, and let themselves see the truth of Scripture through the lenses of their own reason. People need to seek and discover the truth for themselves because it will set them free from the bondage of sin (John 8:32). 
      -According to Scripture, Christians are permitted to uphold their own views on minor-doctrinal issues (i.e. Romans 14:1-12). Therefore, the New Testament provides us with a list of essential Christian doctrines such as the Virgin Birth, the deity of Christ, and the elements of the gospel. It distinguishes between essential and non-essential doctrines.
  • Unity Does Not Prove Truth:
         -Let us test the argument that unity guarantees absolute truth to the claims of a religious group. If Mormons and Muslims held a unanimous consensus on all of the doctrines of their own religions (in the same manner as the Church of Rome claims), then would it not follow that they are the "true religions of our Lord Jesus Christ"? Of course not. No seasoned Roman Catholic would ever agree with the conclusion of such an argument. Furthermore, we must ask what happens when those two religions CONTRADICT each other on essential doctrinal points? The point of this hypothetical scenario is to demonstrate that unity does not prove truth. Even if the Roman Catholic Church was unified on many doctrinal issues (which is far from being the case), having a standard of unity does not logically make the professing Christian denomination the "one true church of our Lord Jesus Christ". All religions can make such a claim. Additionally, it is also possible to be unified in error.
  • A Hypocritical Double-Standard:
         -While it is true that there are many divisions within Protestantism, Roman Catholics who raise this argument against Sola Scriptura fall into the category of being hypocritical because they have just as many, if not more, divisions within the realms of their own denomination, even though they scarcely choose to recognize that fact.              
          -While the Church of Rome may appear to be fairly unified because of it is structured and organized manner under the headship of a worldly king called the pope, the unity in which Catholics appeal to is simply a delusion. It is simply a trick to deceive those who only look at things from a very superficial perspective, for there are significant theological differences among the Catholic laity, priests, scholars, theologians, and bishops. There are all sorts of societies, movements, and orders forming within the chambers of Roman Catholicism. Consider, for example, the existence of liberal and conservative Catholics. 
         -Many individual Roman Catholics are unlearned in regards to the official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. The vast majority flatly contradict many of the official teachings of the Catholic Church on issues such as abortion, artificial birth control, the death penalty, homosexuality, on whether priests should be married, letting females join the priesthood, stem-cell research, and much more. Roman Catholics are in a state of bitter division over additional issues such as creation/evolution, the material sufficiency of Scripture, charismatic occurrences, whether practicing Jews and Muslims can be saved without conversion, and whether Mary is the co-redemptrix. Catholic theologians are even divided over the interpretation of Vatican II documents! Although all of these significant divisions are hidden under the umbrella of Rome, the dramatic differences still exist and are still very severe in nature.        
         -In reality, comparing the unity of the Roman Catholic Church to Protestantism as a whole is like comparing apples to oranges. Catholicism is a group that is lead by an individual leader and occupies the same title all throughout its domain ("Roman Catholic"), whereas Protestantism is made up of individual churches with many different labels. Within Protestant Christianity, there is a general consensus as to what constitutes the essential doctrines of Christianity. Though it may shock some to hear this, there is a great sense of spiritual unity amongst all genuine Christians across all different denominations within the realm of orthodoxy. All genuine Christians accept the fundamental doctrines of the faith. We all have a sense of genuine love and fellowship toward each other. We are not lost and always contradicting each other, as Rome arrogantly claims. But it is true that doctrinal differences exist within Protestantism; with some being heretical. Every church group has its own set of divisions.
         -If Sola Scriptura cannot be the correct method of determining truth because of religious division among churches who claim to use this method, then the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches' method of using tradition to determine truth must also be invalidated because they contradict each other, as well. 

  • Refuting The 30,000 Protestant Denominations Myth:
         -This argument is derived off a complete misinterpretation of the World Christian Encyclopedia (David A. Barrett; Oxford University Press, 1982).
         -Out of the cited figure of 20,780 denominations, only 8,196 are labeled as being Protestant. According to Barrett's figure, 223 Roman Catholic denominations exist.
         -The figure of 8,000 denominations is pretty misleading because David A. Barrett separates "distinct denominations" according to their jurisdiction, rather than differing doctrinal practices and beliefs. In reality, these individual "denominations" only have slightly different beliefs. 
         -Then, Barrett breaks the Protestant section down into 21 major traditions, and the Church of Rome is subdivided into 16 different traditions. The word "denomination" in this context is best defined to mean "tradition".
         -Interestingly, the National Catholic Register agrees with me when I say that the 33,000 Protestant denominations argument is utterly false. 
         -In conclusion, the argument that Sola Scriptura does not work because it results in a endless cycle of confusion is based on a completely unfair case of intentional intellectual dishonesty.  

  • An Argument That Backfires:
          -If the Roman Catholic apologist still wants to use this totally false argument against the biblical principle of Sola Scriptura, then we can point out the fact that the same Word Christian Encyclopedia ranks Roman Catholicism as being the fifth worst when persecuting martyrs (total of: 4,951,000):