Monday, October 30, 2017

Does 1 Peter 3:19 Support Purgatory?

        "In it he also went to preach to the spirits in prison." (1 Peter 3:19)

        Some Catholics have interpreted the text of 1 Peter 3:19 to mean that Jesus Christ descended into Purgatory for admonition purposes. In other words, a number of Catholic apologists have identified the "spirits in prison" to be professing Christians suffering in the purifying flames of purgatory.

        This text is not referring to human beings suffering in Purgatory, but rather concerns Christ descending into Hades for the purpose of proclaiming His victory to the fallen angels. It means that the same Holy Spirit of God who resurrected Jesus Christ from the grave also enabled Him to use Noah as an instrument to preach repentance to other men during his earthly lifespan (during the construction of the ark which took place prior to the Genesis flood).

        Jesus preached the message of His triumph over sin and death to the fallen angels who have been imprisoned since the time of the flood. 1 Peter 3:19 is referring to a place for nonbelievers. This footnote from the Roman Catholic New American Bible Revised Edition should settle the matter:

        "3, 19: The spirits in prison: It is not clear just who these spirits are. They may be the spirits of the sinners who died in the flood, or angelic powers, hostile to God, who have been overcome by Christ (ch 22; Gn 6, 4; Enoch 6-36, especially 21, 6; 2 Enoch 7, 1-5)."

Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Myth That Religion Causes War

        It has been commonly charged by the people who categorize themselves under the umbrella of the atheistic worldview that most wars throughout the history of mankind were enacted in the name of religion. In other words, a large fraction of the secular critics of Judeo-Christian tradition maintain that the greatest amount of lives lost in the pages of previous ages was due to zealous religious people attempting to conquer other nations for the sake of their gods. Many atheists reason that if no religions existed, then the world would function peacefully because there would also cease to be controversy over the validity of contradictory sets of religions customs, traditions, and practices. Of course, the claim that religion is the number one cause of war has been advanced to give people the impression that the freethinker worldview is optimistically plausible. But if people actually devoted time to scrutinizing the premises of this anti-theistic argumentation, then they would readily know and understand that it is absolutely untenable.

        While it is impossible to deny historical atrocities such as the Crusades, it should still be pointed out that it is fallacious to paint all religions as being morally bankrupt. Moreover, this argument is historically inaccurate. Robin Schumacher noted the following,

        "An interesting source of truth on the matter is Philip and Axelrod’s three-volume Encyclopedia of Wars, which chronicles some 1,763 wars that have been waged over the course of human history. Of those wars, the authors categorize 123 as being religious in nature, which is an astonishingly low 6.98% of all wars. However, when one subtracts out those waged in the name of Islam (66), the percentage is cut by more than half to 3.23%."

        In his work titled Lethal Politics and Death by Government, Professor R. J. Rummel noted that death in battle was not usually inspired in the name of religion, but rather that naturalistic philosophies were the primary cause. Though religions may be used by governments to influence a large population of people to wage war, that still does not make religion the cause of war. Logically speaking, wars have oftentimes been fought among groups who adhere to the same religion. Consider, as an example, the American Civil War. Battles are, for the most part, conducted strictly for secular purposes, which can include but are not limited to controlling foreign territories or obtaining resources. Therefore, governments are the source of war, not religions.

        The idea of war is not limited to the scope of the human race. In other words, the notion of battle can even be found within the organizational ranks of the animal kingdom, from ants, to bees, and to monkeys. If religion is the cause of all wars, then would this not mean that animals have the intellectual and rational capacities to subscribe to a belief system? Consider also, that relatively few atheistic societies have existed throughout history. That fact in itself speaks volumes against the claim that religion is the cause of all wars because it renders impossible the process of comparing religious and secular societies.

        If it is true that religions can inspire people to act viciously, then it is also follows that the concept can influence people to act in accordance to what is morally good. Christianity is a religion that has been founded on principles of love, hope, generosity, and peace. Thus, one would have to be terribly misguided to assume that religion is inherently evil. Furthermore, we cannot consistently affirm the existence of moral values without a supernatural Law Giver. If we choose to abide by the relativistic moral code enforced by the secular worldview, then it follows that truth can be self-contradictory and thereby self-refuting. If we cannot uphold objective morals, then neither can we uphold objective human rights. There would also be no such thing as value, certainty, or purpose. In short, a society that tries to function independently of God's presence will inevitably collapse internally. Nevertheless, we can never condone the establishment of atheistic governments in the twentieth century that treacherously usurped power and inhumanly murdered several million innocent people. So it is incumbent to understand why religion is an indispensable support for continual survival of the human race.

        The information which comprises the structure of this essay reveals the utterly dishonest nature of the claim that religion is the number one cause of all wars. Such a claim is historically inaccurate, as well as it is philosophically indefensible. Governments cause war, not Christianity. All quarrels originate from the inherently lustful nature of the human heart (James 4:1-2). In fact, secular societies are more guilty of taking innocent lives. Consider the examples of non-religious dictators such as Hitler (a moral relativist), Stalin, Karl Marx, and Mao Zedong. The evidence clearly does not point in favor of the theory that most people throughout history have died in the name of spreading their religions.

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Evidence For Evolution And Fossils

  • Defining Transitional Fossils:
          -Evolutionists are notorious for claiming that they have found definitive proof for Darwinism through transitional fossils, which are organismal remains that purportedly reveal characteristic, behavioral, and adaptive transformations of animal species within the fossil record. In other words, they are fossils that inherited shared traits from ancestral groups. Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution maintains that descendant groups of organisms exhibit similar features from derived ancestral relatives. The express purpose of transitional fossils, also referred to as missing links, is to provide scientists with information regarding historical evolutionary trends. This concept is regularly illustrated through colorful diagrams in our science textbooks (transition series from ape-like species to human beings).
  • There Is No Such Thing As A Transitional Fossil:
          -Contrary to the widely promulgated Darwinian conviction that all fossils are transitional, scientists have never really discovered fossils going through intermediary stages of metamorphosis to become different animal species. We have neither found nor observed animals that were only half way or three fourths complete with an evolutionary process. What has been confirmed through the study of the natural world is the constant pattern of animals having complete anatomies and procreation after their own kindred. Thus, the overwhelming evidence that has been compiled against the Theory of Evolution has literally forced its advocates to desperately misinterpret fossil data to match currently hypothesized evolutionary models. It has rightly been said that Darwinists have mainly based their transitional diagrams on artistic proficiency. Now, this type of reasoning is purely pseudoscience. In fact, the claim that fossils lend irrefutable support to Darwinian notions is not an argument at all. It merely assumes the existence of transitional fossils and the validity of evolution to work backwards in proving that all presently existing remains of formerly flourishing organisms are transitional in nature. In other words, evolution has been used to prove evolution. Circular arguments are, by definition, irrational. Even if we grant the premises that all fossils accurately resemble their laboratory reconstructions and find sequences vindicating evolution, these factors would still not assist atheists in furnishing a case for their belief in macroevolution because there is no available method of determining which fossils are related. The fossil record can, at best, be consistent with Darwinism. We can also interpret the world to the exclusion of the evolutionary framework through the investigation of chemical, climate, and genetic reasons. 
  • Consider This Excerpt From Creation Today Commenting On The Severe Lack Of Transitional Fossils Which Darwinists Need In Order To Substantiate Their Theory Of Evolution:
          -"One of the most powerful pieces of evidence against evolution is the fossil record. If evolution occurred by slow, minute changes in living creatures, there would be thousands of times more transitional forms of these creatures in the fossil beds than complete forms. Since the billions of fossils that have been found are all complete forms, the obvious conclusion is: Evolution never occurred! Though evolutionists have stated that there are many transitional forms, this is simply not true. What evolutionists claim to be transitional forms all have fully functional parts. A true transitional form would have non-functioning parts or appendages, such as the nub of a leg or wing."
  • N. Heribert Nilsson, Who Is A Botanist, Evolutionist, And Professor At Lund University in Sweden, Admits That The Fossil Record Lends Absolutely No Credence To The Darwinian Hypothesis:
          -"My attempts to demonstrate evolution by an experiment carried on for more than 40 years have completely failed...The fossil material is now so complete that it has been possible to construct new classes, and the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as being due to scarcity of material. The deficiencies are real, they will never be filled."
  • Dr. Colin Patterson, A Senior Paleontologist At The British Museum Of Natural History, Said Concerning The Lack Of Evidence For Transitional Fossils:
          -"I fully agree with your comments on the lack of direct illustration of evolutionary transitions in my book. If I knew of any, fossil of living, I would certainly have included them. You suggest that an artist should be used to visualize such transitions, but where would he get the information from? I could not, honestly, provide it...Gradualism is a concept I believe in, not just because of Darwin's authority, but because my understanding of genetics seems to demand it. Yet Gould and the American Museum people are hard to contradict when they say there are no transitional fossils...It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another, and to find reasons why the stages should be favored by natural selection. But such stories are not parts of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test." (correspondence w. Sunderland)
  • As A Matter Of Fact, Charles Darwin Himself Recognized This Significant Dilemma For His Postulation In His Famous Book Titled The Origin Of The Species:
          -"If evolution had actually taken place we should expect that the fossils would provide evidence of a continuous gradual evolution of life from a simple original organism to complex advanced forms. There are countless millions of fossils out there, but they tend to fall into major groups and intermediates expected between these major groups are not there. This is one of the strong scientific arguments indicating that evolution from simple to complex never occurred."
          -"Darwin attempted to save his theory of gradual evolution by maintaining that intermediate fossils are not found because of “the extreme imperfection of the geological record.”69 Even Gould noted that Darwin’s argument that the fossil record is imperfect “persists as the favored escape of most paleontologists from the embarrassment of a record that seems to show so little of evolution directly.”70 But in the last few decades, this excuse has lost credibility."
  • David B. Kitts, A Former Student Of George Gaylord Simpson, Said That Fossils At Best Can At Best Be Consistent With The Evolutionary Worldview:
              -“Few paleontologists have, I think, ever supposed that fossils, by themselves, provide grounds for the conclusion that evolution has occurred. The fossil record doesn’t even provide any evidence in support of Darwinian theory except in the weak sense that the fossil record is compatible with it, just as it is compatible with other evolutionary theories, and revolutionary theories, and special creationist theories, and even ahistorical theories.” (“Search for the Holy Transformation,” Paleobiology (Vol. 5; Summer 1979), p 353)

    Exposing The Sexist Nature of Charles Darwin

    Related image



    Saturday, October 21, 2017

    Joy To The World

    "Isaac Watts wrote “Joy to the World” in 1719....Joy came to the world because God, our great Creator, loved His creation so much that He sent His Son to reveal His story, so that over time, His character and ultimate good will toward mankind would be recognized. The impact on earth of Christ’s birth will never diminish despite enemies’ attempts to stop it. John 21:25 says that the world would not be able to contain the books that could be written about what the Lord did while on earth. Since then many more testimonies of His transforming love have been and will be written."

    Anonymous

    Friday, October 20, 2017

    Homosexual Behaviors Are Unnatural

    "In respect to a man’s sexual powers, which are unitive and generative by nature, the one whose state is best would be a man as husband and father, just as for a woman it would be as wife and mother. This is how we know that homosexual inclinations are privations and that homosexual acts are disorders. It is not a matter of “who says.” Homosexual behavior cannot actualize sexual potential because homosexual acts can be neither unitive nor procreative. Like a withered limb, congenital deafness, blindness, or a genetic predisposition to alcoholism, homosexual inclinations are not part of what a human being is in his essence. These are accidental, not essential properties. In each case, there is something missing that out to be there. For instance, the limb ought to be able to move in its full strength, the ear ought to be able to hear, and the eye to see. The further a thing is from its perfection, the more defective or “corrupt” it is—just as blindness is the furthest defect of the eye. A privation of the good cannot itself be good. In fact, as St. Augustine said, evil is a privation of the good."

    Robert R. Reilly, “The New Gnosticism of the Homosexual Movement,” The Catholic World Report

    Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    Have No Fellowship With Sin

            "Bad company corrupts good morals." (1 Corinthians 15:33)

            Originally, the Apostle Paul wrote his first epistle to the Church of Corinth in response to the divisions which formed as a result of pride. Disputes arose from within this group of people because the source of contention was from the soul, sin. Individual members who made up the population of the Corinthian church were ensnared to fornication, adultery, incest, homosexuality, idolatry, and a host of other strains of carnal thinking. Another major problem that caused division within the church at Corinth was the rejection of Jesus Christ's resurrection. This led up to Paul pronouncing the expression, "Bad company corrupts good morals." By uttering this declaration, the apostle was telling his audience to avoid the people who denied that Christ rose bodily from the grave. Moreover, we can infer from this text that evil is contagious. In other words, sin can infect the human conscience in the same manner that a virus can invade cells of the human body. If we do not flee from evil, then our ability to discern what is good versus evil becomes tarnished. We find ourselves within the grasp of sin. Sin can take over our lives, and has been proven to be deadly to our souls.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2017

    C.S. Lewis On Reasoning To Atheism

    "Supposing there was no intelligence behind the universe, no creative mind. In that case, nobody designed my brain for the purpose of thinking. It is merely that when the atoms inside my skull happen, for physical or chemical reasons, to arrange themselves in a certain way, this gives me, as a by-product, the sensation I call thought. But, if so, how can I trust my own thinking to be true? It's like upsetting a milk jug and hoping that the way it splashes itself will give you a map of London. But if I can't trust my own thinking, of course I can't trust the arguments leading to Atheism, and therefore have no reason to be an Atheist, or anything else. Unless I believe in God, I cannot believe in thought: so I can never use thought to disbelieve in God."

    C.S. Lewis, The Case for Christianity, p. 12

    Tuesday, October 10, 2017

    Following Christ For The Right Reason

    "If you want to follow Jesus because He will give you a better life, that's idolatry. Follow Christ for the sake of Christ. He is worthy."

    Paul Washer

    Lust Is The Antithesis Of Love

    "Lust is in opposition to love. It means to set your heart and passions on something forbidden. And for a believer it’s the first step out of fellowship with the Lord and with others. That’s because every object of your lust—whether it’s a young co-worker or a film actress, or coveting after a half-million dollar house or a sports car—represents the beginnings of a lie. This person or thing that seems to promise sheer satisfaction is more like a bottomless pit of unmet longings. Lust always breeds more lust. “What is the source of the wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the cravings that are at war within you?” (James 4:1 HCSB). Lust will make you dissatisfied with your husband or wife. It breeds anger, numbs hearts, and destroys marriages. Rather than fullness, it leads to emptiness."

    Stephen and Alex Kendrick, “The Love Dare,” p. 117