June 30, 2014

In Their Own Words VII: It’s Not Design, It Just Looks Like Design

[An ongoing series about the profoundly ironic theological / philosophical quotes that scientists or those in academia make.]

I guess militant atheists like Richard Dawkins are going to show up in this series more than other people for reasons that will become quickly evident. It is mainly because Dawkins is aggressively anti-theistic and is prone to making copious amounts of unsubstantiated or untenable statements. Some of his statements are downright logically incoherent. They are often robustly filled with flawed thinking and warrant exceptional scrutiny to show why they are flawed. Why such scrutiny? Because the statements are being made by a highly revered expert in his given field. 

The problem is that he often steps outside of his field of expertise to make his imprudent statements and usually doesn't even realize he has done so and neither do most of his supporters. This is why I am here, to show where he went rogue. I also do it to show how he went from scientific genius to philosophical neophyte. When he does this he destroys any credibility he might have had by showing that he is often incapable of sound philosophical reasoning. It is sadly amusing that a hack like me can call this man's bluff on some of these ridiculous statements and show where he philosophically or logically committed a faux pas.

So let us now launch into the fool's paradise of Dawkinisms.
The world is divided into things that look designed, like birds and airliners; and things that do not look designed, like rocks and mountains. Things that look designed are divided into those that really are designed, like submarines and tin openers; and those that are not really designed, like sharks and hedgehogs. The diagnostic feature of things that look designed is that they are statistically improbable in the functional direction. They do something useful - for instance, they fly. Darwinian natural selection, although it involves no true design at all, can produce an uncanny simulacrum of true design. An engineer would be hard put to decide whether a bird or a plane was the more aerodynamically elegant. ~ Richard Dawkins [Big ideas: Evolution, New Scientist, Sept 2005]

Let us chalk this comment up to one massive (rambling) circular argument. Dawkins asserts by assertion alone (or premise alone) that sharks and hedgehogs are not designed, and further says that there is no design in nature (fallacy of composition). Therefore natural selection is not a design process. Did he pull this assertion out of a magician’s hat like a hedgehog? Where is his proof or evidence for such a sweeping generalized and grandiose  statement? Obvious answer: He doesn’t give one. He is therefore making an additional fallacious argument called an Appeal to Authority in which he makes himself his own highest credible authority. His authority of course comes from the fact that he is an uberly-educated evolutionary biologist (heavy emphasis on evolutionary). 

Dawkins hypothesizes that natural selection "just is" without having any deeper cause of design. For me, this begs the question. If natural selection “just is”, then why does it strangely mimic design perfectly to the extent that it is indistinguishable from design? Is this some type of evolutionary survival trait to trick humans who are the only ones capable of seeing and recognizing said design? I think not. Why is there any order at all let alone order that is definable by sentient beings such as a human? Even Albert Einstein had said the following:
“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is so comprehensible.” ~ Albert Einstein
The truth is many religions claim deities that are self-existent and self-explaining or they are "just there" without cause. Instead Dawkins adds nothing to the argument here. Instead of a god that “just is”, Dawkins just replaces a god (noun) with a process (verb) called natural selection that "just is". Frankly, a process that “just is”, is more unsettling than an idea of a god that "just is". Why? Because Dawkins has resorted to an explanation of all existence riding on a process (verb) that has its roots in an infinite regress or nothing of substance rather than an entity that is ontologically distinct (noun). This still begs the question: How did the process start? Something (noun) has to have initiated the process (i.e.: Aristotle's Uncaused Cause). 


At times Dawkins makes little sense in his fanatical and emotional diatribes against theism. I therefore make little sense trying to explain his philosophical mistakes. Mostly because he uses highfalutin ten dollar words that people need dictionaries to understand when five dollar words would work just fine. 

Then of course we have Dawkins hero, Charles Darwin and a digression caused by Origin of Species…
About weak points [of the Origin of Species] I agree. The eye to this day gives me a cold shudder, but when I think of the fine known gradations, my reason tells me I ought to conquer the cold shudder. ~ Charles Darwin [Letter to Asa Gray-The Correspondence of Charles Darwin 1860 (1993), Vol. 8, 75]

Darwin knew his theory of evolution could not properly explain the irreducible complexity of the human eye (or other eyes for that matter) and it made him uneasy. Richard Dawkins in his typical obnoxious manner attempts to refute the idea that the eye could not evolve but in truth Dawkins never explains how the eyes can be essentially wired backwards in the skull (in layman’s terms). In theory this is a “bad design” yet it still works as if it had been designed to work properly even though it is purposely wired backwards. Science has now shown that the “crossover” design of the retina not only works well….it is the optimal design for visual acuity and color separation [1][2].

Of course we then have Darwin clarifying some earlier statements that he had made years earlier in the first publishing of The Origin of Species. He is actually adding to the theories he postulated about evolution in this addendum. A fact that is conveniently glossed over or hidden by virtually all of modern science. My guess is this is because no one in the science field has been clever enough nor intelligent enough to pose a new or improved idea on that of Darwin. It is ironic though that even Darwin expected someone to improve on his theory but virtually no one has. Everybody took the theory of evolution and ran like an angry ape with it.
But as my conclusions have lately been much misrepresented, and it has been stated that I attribute the modification of species exclusively to natural selection, I may be permitted to remark that in the first edition of this work, and subsequently, I placed in a most conspicuous position—namely, at the close of the Introduction—the following words: “I am convinced that natural selection has been the main but not the exclusive means of modification.” This has been of no avail. Great is the power of steady misrepresentation; but the history of science shows that fortunately this power does not long endure. ~Charles Darwin [The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection with additions and corrections from sixth and last English edition (1899)]

So we now have 155 years since the first printing of The Origin of Species and no one could come up with a better idea than evolution with all of its flaws? We are talking about flaws that are mounting daily the deeper science digs into the cell’s design and DNA. No one could improve upon the theory when even its own originator expected that someone would? This is either a major oversight or the biggest group of underachievers in the history of humanity.

It is my unsubstantiated speculation (see what I did there?) that it isn’t the fact that no one thought they found a better theory than evolution. I believe it is something else completely. My unfounded theory (oops, did it again) is that the system of the world which stands dead against the God of the Bible and everything He represents had found their workable solution/theory to exclude God from human society so they ran furiously with it. 

Yes, it had flaws but by the time someone bothered to look at the flaws, the theory had entrenched itself in the halls of academia and in many godless elitist circles including government positions. This is all that would be needed to replace God in the educational system which would go on to indoctrinate billions and billions (as Carl Sagan would say) over the next century and a half and it continues even today. There is now too much vested interest in perpetuating the lie instead of admitting science might have been wrong. It would damage the credibility or legacy of too many "important" people.

In closing I’ll say this, what is most peculiar is that Darwin never excluded the possibility that the other “means of modification” could possibly be metaphysical in origin. Of course he never came right out and said this...but he didn’t not say it either. Remember, this was a man that originally was studying to become a clergyman (Christ's College, Cambridge). It isn’t until after his theory of evolution is published that Darwin begins to drift from the faith of his father and his youth.

Sadly, had Darwin or Dawkins spent more time trying to find ways to integrate God and the Bible into their theories instead of discounting a theologically based conclusion they might have very well found more continuity between the two than discontinuity. Why? The Bible is clear that God is indeed the Designer and a God of order (1 Corinthians 14:33). Instead of a workable hybrid theory…in its place we just have a error-prone godless view of reality that is becoming more riddled with holes as the months and years transpire. Instead of an improved theory we see the ever diminishing returns of an outdated theory.

Gurney, P., Is Our ‘Inverted’ Retina Really ‘Bad Design’? J. Creation 13 (1) p.37–44, 1999; creation.com/retina.

McAlpine, K., Evolution Gave Flawed Eye Better Vision, New Scientist 206 (2759), 8 May 2010.

June 28, 2014

In Their Own Words VI: We’re Replacing Your Religion with Ours

[An ongoing series about the profoundly ironic theological/philosophical quotes scientists or those in academia make.]

The Humanist Manifestos were/are three official sets of papers drafted and signed separately over the course of seven decades. The first manifesto was drafted and signed by a number of high-profile atheists back in 1933. The second was ratified in 1973 and the third in 2003. The manifesto or screeds (creeds) are generally accepted as the dogma that has been summarized by atheist and humanist John J. Dunphy as a "Religion for the New Age”. John Dunphy’s exact quote as the intended aim of these manifestos (by atheists) is the following.

“…. a viable alternative [to Christianity] must be sought. That alternative is humanism. I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call “divinity” in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level— preschool, daycare, or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the never-realized Christian ideal of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved. Then perhaps we will be able to say with Tom Paine that “the world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” It will undoubtedly be a long, arduous struggle replete with much sorrow and many tears, but humanism will emerge triumphant. It must if the family of humankind is to survive.” ~ John Dunphy-Humanist Magazine (Jan/Feb, 1983, p. 26)
Make no mistake about it, Dunphy’s statement is not a tongue-in-cheek joke or misstatement. If anything it might be a Freudian slip but not a mistake. The goal of the Humanist Manifesto and atheists in general is to replace your religion with their religion: Atheism. Atheism is a religion because it relies on metaphysics to believe what they claim. Their claim is a belief in no god and therefore a belief in self-reliance. This religion’s pinnacle and god is man or mankind. The educators today are not just viewed as teachers but priests of a pagan religion --just like Baal, Moloch and Dagon of the Old Testament. The Humanists have no intent of offering alternative views. Teaching without balance or alternative views should be considered indoctrination or propaganda

Right from the beginning it was the Humanist intent to infiltrate even the earliest educational institutes including preschool. The above statement even has the audacity to borrow principles of the Bible (love thy neighbor) and graft them into their lofty ideologies that they dare to exalt against God (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). This is done to turn their religion into a syncretistic blend of Christianity and atheism. They will then slowly phase out the Christianity until only atheism and godlessness remains.

They are intent on turning our children into atheists. To this point in time they have been moderately successful in doing so too. We need only look at how many educated atheists are produced by our colleges and universities. They have made institutionalized education into elitist temples of godlessness. Although we can clearly see this in colleges, what we have often failed to recognize is that it is also in our high schools, intermediate and even elementary schools. In correlation to this is a little known fact about one man in particular. Add to this atheist strategy the enigmatic but highly influential John Dewey.

John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with philosophy of pragmatism. He was also a major voice of progressive education and liberalismDewey considered two fundamental human organizations —schools and civil society—as being major topics needing attention and reconstruction in the 20th century to encourage experimental intelligence in plurality. Dewey made a case for the importance of higher education not only as a place to gain content knowledge, but also as a place to learn how to live (indoctrination). So he believed in indoctrination and pluralism. In other words Dewey believed that revealed truth does not exist and that anything that can be called truth must be determined experimentally. He was an atheist and a naturalist / empiricist. 

In today’s jargon he was also what is called a postmodernist or a person that believes all truths can be true and all opinions equally valid, even though logic says otherwise. The ironic thing about Dewey’s disbelief in absolutes is that he did not extent this ideological belief to his theories on institutionalized education. According to Dewey the educational system must be infiltrated and brought into alignment with a single Humanist agenda which ruled out God and/or religion. In this way he was hypocritical and ideologically inconstant…which is the hallmark of the demonic. Saying one thing, doing another as long as it fits one's agendas. He also believed in evolution, that beliefs and morality should be examined scientifically and that change in belief is inevitable and desirable. Never mind that by saying this he is making unscientific claims about metaphysical truths using a belief system founded in the physical. In all his lofty academic intelligence he was being epistomologically self-contradictory.

The thing that makes all these facts startling is that Dewey was a Secular Humanist that had an extraordinary impact on the American educational system (and therefore American government indirectly) in the early parts of the 20th century. He was one of the original 34 signers of the first Humanist Manifesto (1933) whose intended goal was to replace your religion with theirs. At least 33 of 58 original signers of the "Secular Humanist Declaration" were educators. The most frightening fact about Dewey is that he had pervasive influence over colleges and universities (American and abroad) and he passed off his godless agenda to countless others that have affected the state controlled education of our children to this day. This is amazing considering the fact he’s been dead for half a century.

So what is the bottom-line on John Dewey and the Secular Humanist agenda in general? Simple. Dewey and the organization he was part of was demonic yeast among the leaven. A small amount of contaminant placed in the exact location at the exact time it needed to be there managed to infect everything. This blight permeated nearly every aspect of the American society/culture. It has now been firmly set in place and institutionalized and is effectively assisting in the derailment of not only morality...but truth itself. It has also made many educational institutions untrustworthy and pose a threat to our children's Christian ideologies if we send our children to them for "education". In reality, we're sending them to indoctrination. 

Humanists initially passed themselves off as not being a religion or religious but even one of their own (Dunphy) in his 1983 article affirmed this proselytizing fact. Because of this, Dewey and Secular Humanists access to our educational institutions might have independently poisoned the well of the entire American educational system (therefore a large portion of the world after World War II). Sadly, this also means that Dewey and Secular Humanists played a huge part in spreading spiritual death worldwide.

June 26, 2014

Lament for the Evangelical Male, Part IV: Qui Dilexit Nos

Qui Dilexit Nos ~ He Loves Us
In this final post I present the final two of the four essentials for an evangelical male that wishes to take hold of his spiritual leadership role...

Men Must Be Providers

Men must provide for those under them and offer provision. This isn’t just for the father or husband but also for the military leader and civic leader. Any good leader worth their weight in salt knows that to be a great leader, they must provide the tools and needs to those they lead to be able to do the tasks and duties set before them. Just like a man provides food, clothing and shelter to his family, so too a military leader must supply ammunition, discipline and the basic necessities like food and shelter.

Ephesians 5:29 ~ “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church”

1 Timothy 5:8 ~ “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

It is a Godly man’s first priority to provide the basic needs of survival for his immediate family. This then branches out on principle to his spiritual family in the Church. He is even to provide for the poor and downtrodden of society. In reality, the poor have been placed in the care of those God has already blessed with sustenance and shelter. We can at least give of our surplus which in America is pretty commonplace. If you can read this post on a computer, you should be helping the poor get on their feet. In truth the role of a man I a family, in a church and in society is a servant. A man is to serve as protector and provider.

The biggest enemies of this character trait in a man are self-love, laziness, sloth, pleasure-seeking and the one major sin that encompasses them all: Idolatry. The idolatry of today usually takes the form of work, money, possessions, sex and believe it or not…a man’s wife. When a man dedicates too much time to one of these or invests too much trust in them, he has effectively taken that trust (faith) away from God. Real men put God first and leave the rest in faith to God. This is a Christ-like quality that must be strived for in the character of men.

Above all men must above all provide proper biblical teaching. This means preaching the Gospel not only to themselves but also to their family and evangelizing their neighbors what the opportunity presents itself. Not only did Jesus provide us with sound teaching, He provided us with a way of escape from the condemnation we deserved. He provided that escape through His own life and He did it because He loved us...

Men Must Love

Yeah, I know, this is a tough one. Actually...not really. It’s only tough one if we accept the effeminate version of loving that the evangelical church and the culture have been passing off on Christian men. The version that says man must cow-tail to his wife’s every whim. That never chastises his children for fear of angering his wife. The men that are essentially viewed as “whipped” by the culture. One the other hand it is not the version of love from the culture that says if you loved me you would have sex with me. That is just lust, nothing more. Neither of these are the “love” I speak of. I speak of the unconditional love of 1 Corinthians 13. A love that doesn't keep account of wrongs. That loves no matter what. Not just wives either but also the brethren. It is the love Jesus Christ showed us when He died on the Cross for our sins. That is love.

Real men love their wife and children 
Real men love their neighbors
Real men love the true Church 
Real men love Jesus

It is the love of the marriage bond as it was originally intended in Scripture. The covenant relationship between your God, your spouse and God. It is a sacrificial love that bleeds when it has to but chastises and stands its ground when it has to. It is the love where God has commanded us to love our wives and we obey because we need to. It is a love that is willing to actually suffer wrongs and still love. It is an understanding love that seeks to reconcile where it can but not at the cost of the Gospel. It is a love because Jesus first loved us.

John 13:34 ~ "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

1 Peter 3:7 ~ “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.”

1 John 4:19 ~ “We love because he first loved us.”

Men must also love one another the way Jesus commanded the disciples. WE need to love one another EXACTLY as Jesus loved us.

John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

Real men will excel when they show love, such as giving, gentleness, consideration, kindness, servant hood, and self-sacrifice. I will be honest when I state that I fail on many of these fronts but that is the whole point. It is also the reason we are called together in fellowship so that we share the responsibility of lifting one another up when we stumble from our sin. Who will better know the struggles of a man but another man? Certainly not an effeminized church that caters to the androgynous version of Christianity that is now being passed off in America and abroad?

How much the aforementioned traits are present or not present in a man’s life will be a very good indicator or whether or not a man is a real man who bases his life on Scripture or just a cultural poser that changes his role with the seasons. Men must be vigilant to preserve their biblical masculinity while simultaneously allowing women to maintain and exalt in their femininity. There is no shame in adhering to these biblical roles. All must be rounded out with constant prayer.

I believe if men were more consistent in living out their proper roles as outlined in the Bible, many women (and men) would more readily submit to their leadership. Most people can spot a counterfeit a mile away. In my own experiences I have found that women are especially good at seeing right through the guises and deceptions of men. We all have or had mothers so you know exactly what I am talking about. There is a difference between masculinity and childishness. There is a difference between diplomacy and despotism. It is an issue of maturity and love both of which Jesus had in abundance. Both of which many men seem to have in short supply.

June 25, 2014

Lament for the Evangelical Male, Part III: Reconcilio Spiritus

[Reconcilio Spiritus ~ Restore Spirit]

As I have always done...I will not just complain about the current condition of the Church and the Evangelical male residing within it. I will also offer suggestions as a person who points out the shortcoming should. So how do evangelical men gain back the god-given leadership roles that they have either forfeited or had taken from them by the acculturated church? How does an evangelical man gain back the blessing of the Spirit to take up their leadership roles? How is the Spirit breathed back into the life of men's spiritual leadership? I now present to you what I believe are the essential four elements that will allow this to happen, two in this post and two in the final post. 

Once the superfluous frills and negotiables have been stripped away from the equation we have four main ideas. The following will be a combination of the principles behind the first two posts in this series. I will present from Scripture what I believe are absolute musts for biblical men of God to assure that they properly claim their God-given birthrights. These following characteristics are requirements not options

[1] Men Must Lead

Man was given authority over the garden/earth. Adam also had power over naming the animals. God then placed Eve in the garden and she was to assist Adam in his work. Eve helped as Adam led. As the story of salvation continued in Scripture we see people like Abraham who led (sometimes poorly) as did David. The men of Israel were instructed to be spiritual leaders in their homes and it was also men who were involved with the Temple and spiritual matters of the entire nation. Men were also given the role of civic leadership positions in the nation (Saul, David, Solomon, Rehaboam, etc.). This only changed when the roles are either abdicated by men or usurped  as in the case of Athaliah. In the New Testament we see the Apostles of Christ are all men. The writers of all the New Testament Gospels, Letters and Epistles are men. Even the Church Fathers are all, well, Fathers...men. As we would expect from a biblical pattern, we see women very helpful and assisting the men at all points too, just as God created them in their complimentary roles.

Also in the New Testament we see that men are to be the head of the marriage relationship because God’s authority followed top down from God to men to women to children. Women were to submit to the husband’s spiritual leadership. This is in no way a critique or judgment of women’s abilities. It is merely the way God has commanded that things be structured.

Ephesians 5:22-23 ~ “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

In any project or work, there needs to be a leader or chaos and disorder ensue. It is men that God prepared for this role. Leadership roles are therefore developed not only as an innate function of the man as given by God but it is also cultivated by men for men to lead justly and properly. Where this training isn’t provided by the Scriptures….things get really ugly fast (Ahab, Jeroboam, Solomon after marrying pagan wives, etc.). 

This ability to lead will obviously be easier for some than others but all men are called to be leaders of their household. All of these instances require teaching the next generation. We are currently failing to do this and it shows not only in the Church but also in society. When we ignore God and the Bible, God gives us over to our ignorance. He ignores us. Without His restraining grace….things get really nasty.

Hosea 4:6 ~ "my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children."

We need to teach our young men the characteristics already mention in this series about Christ. Men need to be filled with the Spirit through immersion in the Scripture and prayer. They need to love and pursue the will of the Father. They need to vehemently preach the Gospel both themselves and to others---this one is paramount to all the others. Men must be holy or at least try to be. They must be compassionate toward others. They must serve others in a sacrificial manner. They need to be gentle when doing all these things. Men obviously must be a leader. They need to show initiative. When necessary men need to stand their ground and confront bad teaching or errant behavior. This is especially true when doctrinal issues arise. Men cannot be man-pleasers in these situations. When issues arise men must be decisive and courageous. Men must also be diligent and industrious in supporting themselves and their loved-ones. Above all men must be humble and meek in our service to others. We must not do it begrudgingly expecting accolades and attention but rather do it out of kindness and a pure heart.

If not, men will crash. They will be humble and weak-willed which produces effeminate men or they will be bold and not meek which leads to anger, rage or damaging behavior. Above all, all the characteristics above must be tempered with wisdom that is of God.

[2] Men Must Be Protectors

As the leader of the spiritual household a man’s job is also to protect his wife and children not only physically but especially spiritually. The man will have to answer to God for the failure of his family to become godly people. This is a heavy onus but it is expected. The natural fallout of having to protect his family is that men (plural) will therefore be protectors in the Church too.

The Old Testament is clear that men constituted armies in matters of protection for cities, women and children

Numbers 1:2-3 ~ “Take a census of all the congregation of the people of Israel, by clans, by fathers' houses, according to the number of names, every male, head by head. From twenty years old and upward, all in Israel who are able to go to war, you and Aaron shall list them, company by company. 

We see the same in David’s army

1 Chronicles 12:1-2 ~ “Now these are the men who came to David at Ziklag, while he could not move about freely because of Saul the son of Kish. And they were among the mighty men who helped him in war. They were bowmen and could shoot arrows and sling stones with either the right or the left hand; they were Benjaminites, Saul's kinsmen.

The New Testament even exhorts us to “act like men”, which is to say, be courageous, tenacious and staunch defenders of what they have been given charge over. It also immediately follows up this imperative with the fact that this courageousness needs to be tempered with love or it can inadvertently become senseless brutality if we don't.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 ~ “Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love

Above all we must protect the spiritual lives of our family both immediate (wife, children) and extended (Church) through concerted/strategic prayer and sound biblical teaching. We must never be more than a thought or a word away from preaching the Gospel. It is why we are still here on earth. Let's be quite serious on this one. Jesus had the utmost concern for our protection. He has willingly laid down his life for his sheep to protect us from ourselves, from our own sin which would've condemned us all to Hell. In return for our repentance of sin we are given the Spirit as the down-payment on eternity. 

John 10:27-29 ~ “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”

[Concluded in Part IV]

June 23, 2014

Lament for the Evangelical Male, Part II: Tamquam Alter Christus

[Translation: Tamquam Alter Christus ~ As If Another Christ]

In the previous post I spoke of the thing that most troubled my spirit in the church today. It was the sidelining of the men in the church to a secondary role or elimination of their influence completely. I attributed this fact to basically one of two things. Either the men were disqualifying themselves through abdication of the their god-given role in leadership or by the relentless pressure of the culture that tells men in the church that they are only men and therefore secondary or an afterthought. I intend with this post to show what biblical masculinity is and get the Bible back into the minds of the Church. This will then put Godly men back where they belong. Leading their families and leading their people in the Body of Christ.

The average man in the church body cannot follow the culture’s lead. It is leading them to a spiritual abyss. Men are reaching towards ideals and ideologies that are not biblical and are damaging the Church's spirituality. As a whole I am noticing more and more men with issues revolving around depression or abdication of their proper roles in the home and in society. Of late, the feminist movement which was a reaction to the abuses of women in the past has now outgrown its originally intended purpose into an ungodly and unbiblical monstrosity that has pervaded society and in so doing has contaminated the church.

So what is a Godly man? The best place to see this lived out is in the life of Jesus Christ. Can we be like Jesus perfectly? Of course not…but we need to turn to Him as a role model. We also need to turn to Him in repentance acknowledging that our sin entraps us. This post will predominately be Scripture that give us a clear picture of Jesus as a male leader and role model. It will be followed by a third and fourth post applying some of these principles to men's lives today.

Jesus: A Perfect Man

Jesus was the only perfect man so it is He that other men should emulate.

1 Peter 2:21-22 ~ To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

Jesus’ character showed men what men should be. We need to look to Scripture for clarification of this point.

Of first importance we see Jesus had an eternal mindset. He did the will of the Father not his own desires. He was filled with the Spirit of God. He preached the Gospel to other men and women not a Prosperity Gospel or Health and Wealth nonsense that crumbles when suffering and pain begins. Above all Jesus distinguished Himself above mere men because of His overt holiness.

What Was Jesus’ Attitude?

Jesus did the Will/Work of the Father

John 5:30 ~ “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

 John 8:28-29 ~ So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.”

Jesus was Filled with the Spirit

Luke 4:1 ~ And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness.”

Jesus Preached the Gospel/Jesus Was The Gospel

Mark 1:14-15 ~ “Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

Jesus Preached Gospel not Prosperity

Matthew 10:34 ~ “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Jesus Was Holy and Sinless

1 Peter 2:22 ~ He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.”

Philippians 2:8 ~ “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Where Was Jesus’ Heart & Compassion?

Jesus Served Others

Matthew 4:23 ~ “And he went throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction among the people.

Luke 4:18 ~ ““The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed”

Jesus Was Sacrificial

Luke 22:42 ~ “saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.

Philippians 2:6-8 ~ “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Jesus Was Gentle

Matthew 11:29 ~ “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Where Was Jesus’ Courage and Zeal?

Jesus Was A Leader

John 6:2 ~ “And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick.

Jesus Showed Initiative
Mark 6:34 ~ “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things. 

Jesus Was Confrontational When Warranted/Not a Man Pleaser

Mark 11:15-17 ~ “And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 

Jesus Was Decisive and Courageous

Mark 8:31-32 ~ “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly…”

Jesus Was Responsible and Conscientious

John 17:4 ~ “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.
John 19:30 ~ “When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

Jesus Was Diligent and Industrious

John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”

Jesus Wasn’t A Quitter

Hebrews 12:2-3 ~ looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Where was Jesus’ Meekness and Humility?

Jesus Served Others

John 13:12-17 ~ “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

Jesus was Not Proud, Did Not Crave Attention

John 8:50 ~ “Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge.”

John 8:54 ~ “Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ “

John 17:1 ~ “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you”

In a third part of this lament I will attempt to tie the Scripture into a coherent applicable picture for the modern evangelical male to follow.

[Continued Inn Part III]

June 21, 2014

Lament for the Evangelical Male, Part I: Ductus Ad Mortem

[Translation: Ductus Ad Mortem ~ Leadership Near Death]

"Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice!" ~ Psalm 130:1

Where are the godly men of this age?

O my God, I cry out by day, and you answer not; by night…" ~ Psalm 22:3

Where O' Lord have the Godly men gone?

This is an issue that has been severely troubling me and grieving my spirit. It is about the slow disappearance of modern evangelical male. It is also about the church seeker-sensitive movement’s influence on the male churchgoer that has predominately been a catastrophic negative towards men in general. I lament the modern evangelical male and his growing irrelevance in the church and in the culture at-large. Basically the new way of doing business in a seeker-sensitive age has spiritually castrated men. Those that have not been neutered are, as a body of men, growing smaller and insignificant. 

The modern church has removed the concept of masculinity from spirituality and feminized men to appeal to the modern societal norms. Based on my first-hand experiences the modern church is now geared to reach the emotional and spiritual needs of women. This of course is deliberate and saddening in that it is biblically topsy-turvy. It should be geared towards the spiritually designated leader of the family which is the male and those men are to assist the sisters and wives as teachers and exhorters. Instead, the evangelical church immediately sends the message that men are subordinate in roll, an afterthought or a hangers-on. An accessory to the church experience but certainly not necessary. This is not biblical and churches geared towards this are sorely misguided. They are spiritually doomed for failure right from the start.

For men to be relevant in these types of churches they must take on more effeminate roles and mentalities. If you ask the men in these churches why they go to these types of churches the answer will most often be that it is fulfilling for the man’s wife and the daycare goes all the way up to teen years for his kids. Spiritually this is wrong on two fronts. It is a failure of men to take a leadership role not only in their church but also in the home. If society produces the leaders that lead the local communities and country, it stands to reason that the things which underlie the society or community/culture holds direct sway on the leaders society produces. It is clear that true Christian men cut from the leadership cloth are not part of this failing cultural equation. I suggest that this is because the churches are not producing them. This therefore destroys society which produces the leaders we see in charge now. Our civic leaders are utter failures and many spiritual ones are the same.

Second, it shows a failure of the church itself to properly educate the body. What is even more disturbing is that many pastors and elders in these churches rarely make matters any better. They often condescend and talk down to the men. They don’t speak in the language of other men, they speak a combination of metrosexual gibberish and emotionalism that rarely touches the hearts of men.  

It should not come as a surprise that this is pretty much the cultural mold for men too. Accessories and add-ons but not active players or primary movers in the game. Sadly, I believe we are just seeing the feminist mentality move from the culture into the churches. Why? Because the church has allowed too much of the culture to enter the church and not enough of the church is released to the culture. The church is no longer the molder of the society but rather the society is shaping the church. 

Postmodern subjectivity and pluralistic truth is dictating to an entity (the church) that should be broadcasting objective God truths to the world. We are not being the city on a hill. We are becoming a hidden safety box for hording sin and godlessness.

I blame this erosion on Gospel-less preaching and Christ-less Christianity. The “preaching” of morally neutral "sermonettes" and inoffensive self-esteem speeches from the likes of Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyers. I also blame the men themselves for not taking hold of their God-given birthrights to spiritual leadership. I place the failure on spinelessness and lowered standards of some church leadership. The rest of the responsibility is to be placed on the postmodern idea that all truths are equally valid and the feminization of the Church by gender / sexuality driven agendas of the culture that we’ve allowed to subvert the Church.

What I am NOT blaming are the Biblical standards themselves. Some will say they are too high. I in turn will say that you are challenging an omniscient God and it is a fool’s errand. If you lower the standards, anyone can meet them and that is exactly what is happening in the church. God calls us to more….He has called us to holiness. It needs to be a love for God and love for our brothers and sisters that bring us to church. As men we cannot be dragged kicking and screaming to the pews by our wives and girlfriends.

Men that are willing to step forward and speak and teach truth are usually categorized and labeled as “harsh” and “unloving” because they are not soft enough about hard truths. As soon as a man stands on the hard truths and authority of Scripture he is classified as too archaic and old-fashioned…a relic of the past (aka: hell fire and brimstone). Never mind that the Body of Christ was vastly more biblical and masculine in days past as evidenced by its effects on the society. The same effects which we rarely see nowadays except in rare cases. The Bible itself is abounding with statements of condemnation for sin and that one must be convicted of their sin before they can honestly repent of it. A conviction of sin requires a sense of guilt. That guilt comes when we see how far short of God and Scripture that we fall. Again, I see a watered-down message of the Gospel at the core of this plague…and it grinds me to powder.

What has happened to the masculine male biblical leader O Lord? The man who encourages other men upward without shaping them into effeminate shapes or squashing them into female molds so they are more palatable for the culture? Where is the standard-bearer who makes rising to standards spelled out in Scripture attractive? Where is the man who makes spirituality appear desirable and even necessary and do it without lowering the standards of holiness? Where is the shepherd that will lay down his life for his sheep? A shepherd that, when they get close to other men, their words and behaviors speak things into actions? Where are the men whose behaviors speak of innate strength given by God. That when others see these men together at close range they see even tighter bonds not hypocrisy and religious trickery? A leader that emphasizes the diversity of the men and celebrates the uniqueness and unity that builds a grace-emboldened and spiritually defensible assembly?

Where are these men Lord? Men who can sleep soundly at night with clean consciences? Where are the morally and ethically pure men of this age that can live comfortably in their own skin? Where have the men gone that lead others to follow suit in living their lives so that their families, finances and free time are all filtered through the lens and the life of Christ? Where are the men who will unabashedly proclaim the Gospel within their own homes to teach their own wife and children to fear and love the Lord? Men who treat their wives like Jesus treated the Church? Where are the men who orbit closely to the Gospel daily, hourly…every second of the day? Where are the mainline pastors that treat the other men as brothers struggling with sin, not children lost in their immaturity?

Where are the men that instill a sense of responsibility and actually expect the men to live up to that bench mark of accountability? Where are the firm pushes (not prodding and finger-pointing) towards Christ and the Gospel? Where are the leaders who are not afraid to tell other men exactly why their lives are such a mess because of sin they have not dealt with or sin that has not been repented of? Men that will empathize with other men's struggle over unfilled lives and deadend careers at midlife. Where are the men that inspire but do not coddle? Where are the men that are not belittling but encouraging and builders not destroyers?

Where is the man that will not mince words and “tell it like it is”? The man who wears his heart on his sleeve and is never afraid to. The man who will intelligently use words to educate his brethren and will pull them upward to higher ground spiritually and intellectually without insulting their intelligence? Where are the leaders of Christ’s body that will challenge men in a way that will draw them forward in a compulsion even they themselves won’t fully understand once the Holy Spirit gets hold of them?

Where have the men gone that will go out and buy Sibbes, Calvin, Owens, Baxter, Tozer, Lewis, Warfield, Spurgeon and hundreds of others to hand out generously to their brothers (and sisters)? A man that understands the shared and manifold grace of these types of writings and their positive effects on the Body of Christ? The amazing amount of blessing that comes from these now deceased godly men that came decades and centuries before this generation we live in. Men that have faded into obscurity in our culture for the same reasons today’s men have but are as sound as the apostle’s teaching?

I was guilty of being faint of heart when proclaiming the Gospel…but no more. I was shallow and self-serving. I was living down to the low standards set on men by the culture. But no more. I am calling prophetically to these men to step forward in boldness before the culture completely takes over and inundates our churches with postmodern apathetic mire. Do we really need to accept the cultural stereotype that evangelical males are ignorant backwoods country hicks? The stereotype that says they are ignorant, unthinking, dense “haters”. Do we really need to accept this mindset as the norm not only in the culture but in the church also? 

I scream NO!

The truth is that the evangelical male is quickly becoming a myth. A mysterious piece of American (and world) folklore that was once talked about by our fathers and grandfathers but is now rarely seen or heard from. They have been badgered and hunted to the verge of extinction through unrelenting cultural strangling that has plagued the Body of Christ. They have been led astray by bad doctrine and Biblical illiteracy to become the stragglers of the pack. Therefore these men have become easy prey for the predators of the world. A generation of men who have little or no fear of God but are afraid they might miss the 1:00pm kickoff of their beloved football game if the 11 o’clock service runs over. A generation of men who have lost God and therefore have totally lost their way.

Where are these men Lord? The men with the fear of God? A fear of God which is the true beginning of wisdom? Where have they gone? I lament their disappearance. Please come home to the Lord gentlemen. It is where you belong. It is what you’ve been created for. I call to you to come with me as we seek the face of the Lord together.

Where have you gone brother? How do we turn this unbiblical monster around?

I'll offer some Scriptural support in the next post...

June 19, 2014

In Their Own Words V: Believing Science Will Have All The Answers

[An ongoing series about the profoundly ironic theological/philosophical quotes scientists make.]

Let us start out with a quixotic atheist quote that immediately forces us to beg a question.

“We are all given a gift of existence and of being sentient beings, and I think true happiness lies in love and compassion.” – Adam Pascal, musician and actor

This statement from Adam Pascal immediately begs the obvious question, who gave the gift? Additionally, man is given sentience by God because God created man in His image and part of God’s image is obviously sentience or cognizant self-awareness or the ability to feel, perceive, or to experience subjectivity. 

Genesis 1:27 ~ “So God created man in his own image...”

What is even more ironic about this statement is that there are many philosophers and scientists who believe that all aspects of consciousness (like sentience) cannot be subject to scientific investigation. Some will argue that some subjective experiences will never be explained therefore they have to stay in the realm of the metaphysical. Conversely and argumentatively, it is not surprising militant atheists like Daniel Dennett disagree. According to an article citation by Stanford University on
Eliminative Materialism, Dennett believes all aspects of consciousness will eventually be explained by science. To this point in time, that has not happened. Dennett is taking a metaphysical leap of faith. The irony here being that Dennett's statement is based on his belief. In other words, it is merely his opinion with no empirical evidence to back it. By saying he believes science will eventually have the answers is to make a leap of faith that he cannot prove.

We then have the brilliant but cosmologically conflicted (and deceased) Carl Sagan.

"The idea that God is an over-sized white male with a flowing beard who sits in the sky and tallies the fall of every sparrow is ludicrous. But if by God one means the set of physical laws that govern the universe, then clearly there is such a God. This God is emotionally unsatisfying... it does not make much sense to pray to the law of gravity." ~ Carl Sagan

The irony of Carl’s statement here is that the Bible never even tells us that God is an old man with a beard but specifically tells us God is spirit. Jesus Himself tells us this fact.

John 4:24 ~ “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What is further ironic about Sagan’s statement is his reference to law and governing of the universe. One must first ask the question: Who was the one that allowed the universe to be so structured that there would even be laws to govern it? Furthermore, how and why was the universe created in such a way that it loaned itself to human inquiry? Why was it structured in a deconstructable manner at all? Yet it is indeed structured in such a way that make it deducible by human reason and intellect. We look at the periodic table of elements and they are predictable and, well, periodic. Structured folks. Why? I suggest it is because everything is made in accordance to a plan. God in the Bible has told us of things like gravity indirectly.

Other scientists such as Steven Weinberg have even recognized this fact and have stated as much.

 “...how surprising it is that the laws of nature and the initial conditions of the universe should allow for the existence of beings who could observe it. Life as we know it would be impossible if any one of several physical quantities had slightly different values.” - Professor Steven Weinberg [Nobel Laureate in High Energy Physics]

The Bible tells us the following.

Colossians 1:15-17 ~ The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Hebrews 1:3 ~ “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Furthermore, had Sagan and other non-believers had a better understanding and appreciation of the Law and its principles, their eternal security might have been secured. If they (or even believers) had a much better understanding of the Law’s principles, they would see that it all points to Christ who maintains the laws of physics that Sagan speaks of. What is a shame is that Sagan also makes a mistake common to too many Christian belief systems. He appeals to emotion saying that his emotional needs are more important than his science which he lives and dies by. The truth is that his desire for emotional fulfillment has nothing to do with scientific truth.

If Sagan and others like him understood that it is God behind gravity and forces that hold or push things apart in the universe, then praying to the person behind those forces wouldn’t seem as absurd as praying to the force itself. In reality, God is the so-called law (a metonymy for power) that holds things together in the universe. So praying to Him in lieu of gravity doesn’t really seem that absurd does it? Come to think of it...God is even responsible for the nonscientific human responses such as Carl's emotions.
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