Saturday, May 27, 2006

# 148: Abortion: Solution?

This blog is a repeat of #117. Is there any spiritual guidance from the Bible on this hot-button issue? Sadly to say, without making vague assumptions from only two verses, the Bible is silent. “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. For A TIME WILL COME when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts the never nursed.’" Luke 23:29. [emphasis added]. The question remains, has that time finally arrived? Is it a blessing at this time not to bear children since there is so much trouble and ungodliness in the world? No comment. Another Bible verse is Jeremiah 20:17. “For he did not kill me in the womb, with my mother as my grave.” The holy prophet Jeremiah was mistreated to such a great degree by the Jews that he wished he had been killed in the womb. Does that justify abortion? I don’t think so. And still I am sure there may be some in the world who wish, at times, that they had been aborted. Does that make abortion legal in the sight of God? No. When Roe versus Wade came into existence in 1973, neither Congress, the President, nor the general voting public had a say as to that decision. The Supreme Court exclusively handed down that decision to make it law. If the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, the outcome will be the absence of legal abortions except, hopefully, under extreme conditions such as German measles in the first months of pregnancy, when a mother's life or physical health is in danger, or when the child is likely to be born gravely deformed or mentally retarded. Also, I believe it should include cases of provable rape and incest. Nevertheless, pro-life will in no way stop abortions in this country. What it will bring into existence is an era of illegal abortions. Additionally, it will be a crime for the abortionists and also for women who have abortions. They both will be classified as criminals—America will then have a new breed of law-breakers. Making it illegal will cause much harm by driving it into the “back alleys”—as it was called when abortion was illegal—without much, if any, expertise or any type of supervision to ensure the utmost sanitation. If pro-life is enacted, for certain, many more unwanted and unloved babies resulting in unhappy babies will be born, and at the same time a few women will die or have lifetime complications from illegal or self-imposed abortions. Prohibition of abortion-on-demand will most likely result in conditions possibly being worse than it was before Roe v. Wade because of all the present-day sexual promiscuity, especially among the college and school kids. Here is another condition that wasn’t around pre-1973 that will make abortion much easier to obtain: the internet. Actually, greedy Americans with criminal minds could set up Websites overseas or even Canada, or any country where abortion is legal. They, most likely, will offer self-help abortion kits with instructions and equipment whereas a female, with a little help from a friend, can perform her own abortion. Here is what an ad may look like: ABORTION KITS: SAFE, EASY, AND INEXPENSIVE. INCLUDES DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS AND ALL NECESSARY EQUIPMENT AND STERILIZERS. ALL ONE NEEDS IS A LITTLE HELP FROM A LOVED ONE OR FRIEND. STATE HOW FAR ALONG YOU ARE IN YOUR PREGNANCY. SHIPPED ON SAME DAY AS ORDERED. YOUR KIT WILL ARRIVE IN 7 TO 10 DAYS. FOR FASTER DELIVERY, SEND AN EXTRA $00.00. MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE IF NOT SATISFIED. COST IS ONLY $000.00 PLUS SHIPPING. Then the package will, possibly, be shipped from a secret location with a false return address from the United States, making it more difficult for the law to catch up with them. And then, just as bad as that, “professionals” (and some not so professional) will have a heyday on the internet by somehow soliciting their services in ways similar to the way child porn is done. A good example of prohibition’s failures is when a law was enacted in 1920 which prohibited the consumption of all intoxicating substances in the United States; that law was in effect until 1933. Did it work as planned? A big NO! In fact, there was just as much illegal making, smuggling and drinking of alcohol (bootlegging) as there was before the law was enacted. “The adoption of nationwide prohibition was followed almost at once by widespread violations of the federal laws. Illicit distilling increased to great proportions, and the phrase “home-brew” became very common. Many deaths were reported from drinking denatured alcohol. Flavoring extracts and medicinal preparations were used widely for beverage purposes, often with harmful or fatal effects (Funk & Wagnall's Encyclopedia). The same type of rejection/non-adherence of the law may result if/when pro-life is legalized. Of course, the public will never know exactly how many abortions are performed illegally, because of the secrecy, but we will hear of the ill and deadly effects. The only way we can approximate the count is by the annual birth rate. The higher the birth count, the more successful the anti-abortion law. If the birth count remains about the same as the last few years, the pro-life endeavor was a flop. How does God feel about this abortion issue? I would leave Him out of the equation, even though I believe the destroying of the embryo or fetus is killing in His sight. I believe God could remain ambiguous in this matter; for this reason, the more people on earth, the more evil he has to contend with. Additionally, unloved, unwanted, and unhappy children/adults are the best candidates for evil behavior. Am I attempting to say God approves of abortion? Absolutely not; it is just something for everyone to think about. Repeating, let me end with this thought: If abortion were prohibited—and there is a good chance it will be with John Roberts as Chief Justice and Judge Samuel Alito’s nomination almost a certainty—and a woman really wants an abortion, apart from the internet, there will ALWAYS be those who are ready to fulfill the desires of the public—demand and supply—be it an unethical doctor, nurse, or inexperienced person who wants to make a fast buck. In summary, just because the Supreme Court legislated immorality in 1973 doesn't mean it can legislate morality effectively in 2006. As ungodly as abortion is, I personally predict there will NEVER be an amiable solution to abortion, regardless of whether we end up with pro-choice or pro-life.

Friday, May 26, 2006

# 147: Filling The Void

One of the main reasons God is not real to many people, though they may claim to believe that God exists, is because He is invisible. It is extremely difficult to believe something actually exists in an invisible, enigmatic realm that is totally foreign to human beings. For that reason, God is not a source of benevolent influence, even to those who claim to be Christians, since He is not the dominant theme on their minds. Since God is invisible, the only way to take up the slack as a means of making God a real, living, dominant entity, is to have Christ-like faith/belief.

Along with faith and belief, when one uses plain old-fashioned LOGIC, the visible worlds provide persuasive evidence as to the existence of some sort of invisible, intelligent, supreme force or energy. As I have written numerous times in this blog, something as complex and gigantic as our universe, to say the least, COULD NOT have come into existence on its own, and for no apparent reason. And more convincing evidence is the formation of life, creating itself out of nonliving chemicals, etc., and for no apparent reason, just by chance. For the intelligent and scientific community to believe the above scenarios without any concrete theories on their genesis is hard for many to comprehend.

Then some wise guys/gals will ask, “Where did this force you call God come from?” This is my response: “Before I answer that question, I want you to make me any type of ‘physical matter’ out of nothing. When you have accomplished that tricky feat, I will tell you where my God came from.” I actually believe that the majority of people, even some nonbelievers, secretly believe there must exist some sort of metaphysical, supernatural power, because it is only logical, based not only faith, but also on the aforementioned, apparent impossibilities.

Now, to get back to everyday matters: Since God is shrouded in mysticism, His abode (heaven) is also a place of misunderstanding and uncertainty when it comes to what heaven is like. The question I ask is this: Since heaven is portrayed as the epitome of bliss, why is it that so many, if not all, Christians want to go to heaven, but few, if any, want to die to get there? There are several possibilities: 1) Many will say they are not afraid to die, but not right now. 2) They are not certain they will be going there; possibly hell is waiting for them. 3) They don’t know if there really is a heaven; what hard evidence, other than faith, is there that heaven really exists? Maybe it’s all a big hoax? 4) Their lives on earth are going so well; how could heaven be any better? 5) They may believe their time has not yet come. 6) They are afraid of the unknown. 7) The most legitimate reason is for parents who still have young children to raise. I am certain there are many other personal reasons for wanting to avoid death. What is the reason you want to go to heaven, but don’t want to die just yet to get there? Give yourself an honest answer. If you want, leave a comment. Of course, we can understand why agnostics and the like don’t want to die; for them, physical death is the end of everything.

Since the majority of the world’s population believes in the existence of a benevolent God, why is this world so full of people who live such ungodly lives (God is little or no part of why they do what they do)? One reason is this: out of sight, out of mind. God does not have an impact on how they live their lives, repeating, because God and what He stands for is not on their minds; their minds are on worldly matters. That may be the main reason those who claim to believe in God in their hearts don’t believe God is relevant as to what they do. Most won’t admit it, but God has little influence on their lives. Remember, whatever people think of/on the most is what controls their lives.

I truly don’t believe that most Christians know what God expects from them. That is the main reason for “Religion’s Crime Against God” and this post. First of all, they don’t take God seriously. He is just a free pass to eventually go somewhere they don’t want to go at this time. Other than that, I don’t know why they say they “believe in God.”

The most provocative verse in the New Testament consists of only two words: “pray continually.” 1st Thessalonians 5:17. Who is capable of living life on this earth and still obeying that command? Why did the Apostle Paul write such a command? Either he was deranged or actually knew what he was talking about. The reason was, and more so, still is, as previously mentioned, that our lives are controlled by what we think. What percentage of our waking hours are our minds on Godly matters? This is an incriminating question. That question will verify what was written in the above paragraphs, that our devotion to God may be nothing more than a lot of Sunday-morning gobbledygook.

Again, the question comes down to this: Do we take God seriously? The stark evidence is the ungodly condition of Americans and most likely the world. Need proof? If you watch any TV, you know what I mean: mind-boggling trash. Can you believe that “American Idol” recently got more votes than the last national election? TV is an accurate barometer of where the majority of Americans have their minds. Shame on a people who have printed on their money, “In God We Trust.” No one can make a fool of God and get away with it forever. Are we Americans making a fool of God? Good question. The New Testament has the answer. I am certain God is jumping with joy over our great “Godly” country. I am being facetious.

Here is another topic I have written on extensively, and will be repeating because it will have an impact on this subject: “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.” This subject will elaborate on what was mentioned in the third paragraph # 4: “Their lives on earth are going so well; how could heaven be any better?” When a person is living the good life, this is what happens: God is put on the back burner. Out of sight, out of mind. That good life is exactly what most Americans are seeking. That is what our capitalistic form of government was based on: wealth and prosperity. Wasn’t it Benjamin Franklin who was influential in the creation of our Constitution? Wasn’t it he who made up the famous cliché concerning life’s values: “Healthy, WEALTHY and wise”?

Wasn’t it upper-class aristocrats who made up and signed our Constitution? They were creating a democracy, not a theocracy. How dare they incorporate God into our Constitution while ignoring what God’s Son teaches?. Did they know what Jesus Christ taught in the New Testament? God has only to do with theocracies. A democracy that is formed by the upper class is not a true democracy, regardless of how many checks and balances it may have. It always was—and still is—a government: of the people, by the people, for the rich. The present White House with Bush in control is all the evidence we need to see what happens when the rich, greedy, heartless, and stupid get in control. I will continue to write about this man, because to him, God is out of sight, out of mind.

Bush is a rich, ungodly man who claims to be a born-again Evangelical Christian. How could that be? He is a liar, a cheat, and a murderer of several thousand of our fighting boys and girls, not to mention the thousands of Iraqis still dying, along with the thousands on both sides permanently wounded; and let us not forget the thousands of weeping widows and widowers, children now with only one parent, both Americans and Iraqis. I can hear their cries: “I want my daddy, I want my daddy,” or “Where is my mommy?” Orphans are saying, “I want my mommy and daddy back; please give me my mommy and daddy—I love them.” These children were robbed of something (a genetically alike father and/or mother) that never can be replaced the rest of their lives, even after Bush is dead and gone, which can't come soon enough–I write these words with tears in my eyes because these little ones don’t understand. Along with that, the brokenhearted mothers and fathers and all the other human carnage including both Iraqis, Americans, etc.

Bush also is a thief, robbing Americans by putting us in debt to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. For him to start this stupid and unnecessary war is a disgrace to this country, and for the real Christian community. In short, our Commander in Chief is personally responsible for all this harm and heartbreak, with still much more to come. For that and more, he is the modern-day chief devil of devils, in the flesh. I would love to take credit for writing this last sentence, but I can’t, because it came straight from Jesus Christ Himself. Check out the Table of Contents # 135 on the beast. His # is 666—the most disgraceful stigma Bush is responsible for is that he gave the world at large an ugly picture of what Americans are like.

Getting back to how wealth, especially in America, takes control when God is out of sight, and out of mind. . . Isn’t it funny how we Americans love to be wealthy—no, it isn’t—when that’s the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ teaches in the New Testament? The complete New Testament hasn’t one good word concerning the desiring for or having material or financial wealth. There are several dozen New Testament verses telling of the harm of wanting to be rich, or actually being well-off. I will mention only a few. Mark 10:23. “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 1st Timothy 6:9-10. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. [Of course, most “christians” who have wealth will adamantly deny that they love money]. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” Luke 6:20. “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” James 2:5. “Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” Again, there are many, many other verses that corroborate the above, in essence saying the same thing. Here, most likely, is the reason the poor are better candidates to enter God’s kingdom: Since life, genetics or environment has treated the poor and misfortunate segment of society cruelly, they may have a greater desire to be looking for anything better than this life.

Whenever I bring up this topic, I receive more non-biblical flack than any other subject. There are many reasons wealth and the desire to be prosperous are damaging, if not deadly, to the Christian; the biggest damage is that it puts God in second place: out of sight, out of mind, if even that, as to life’s values. The best, if not the only way, this anti-prosperity teaching is countered by its church-going opponents is to bring up a few rich characters in the Old Testament like Abraham; though a man of faith, he was a liar; Solomon, a womanizer; Job was one person with character. Jesus Christ clarified the Old Testament belief that material wealth is a sign of God’s blessing–click on # 116, “What Money Can and Cannot Buy.” In almost every case, it failed to produce character and loyalty. Hosea has this to say when people are content with worldly security: Hosea 13:6. “When I fed them [Israel], they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” Did we in America put God out of sight, out of mind (did we forget God)?

God does not, cannot, and will not play second fiddle to anything or anyone that replaces devotion and obedience to Himself. Almighty God is number one, and must be worshiped as such. As I mentioned previously, Jesus Christ turned most of the world’s values upside down, although many “christians” who blend in very nicely with the ungodly crowd won’t acknowledge that fact. Let me ask you a hard question: Can you distinguish Christians from pagan nonbelievers after checking out where they live; what is of importance to them; the type of vehicle/s they drive; their investments and financial statements; what type of pastime activities they engage in; the type of TV they watch; the sports they follow, etc.? I will bet my bottom dollar there isn’t much, if any, difference between the two groups.

If the above sounds ridiculous to you, prove me wrong according to the New Testament. If you can’t, you better change your ways or else. This glorification of Christ-like poverty and degradation of wealth does not play well in America or the world, regardless of what Christ or this post teaches. As you can tell, Jesus Christ nor this blog plan on winning a popularity contest. What is written in this blog may be the cause for the final damnation of our great, wealthy, and powerful country. God forbid. Out of sight, out of mind.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

# 146: Grace is Free but, Not Cheap

Grace, most likely, is the most complex and misunderstood concept in the Christian life. That may be the reason I’ve subconsciously neglected to write about it, although I did mention grace minimally in post # 98. The dictionary gives a dozen or so meanings. Then, at the very end, it mentions the theological meaning: “the unmerited love and favor of God toward mankind, etc.”

Actually, I feel incompetent, as it were, in my attempt to give the full meaning of grace’s potential impact on the Christian life. Nevertheless, I, with God’s help, will do my best: Grace is the ONE ingredient that bestows potency to Christianity. Without it, one has mere religion and morals (human effort), if even that. This is where all other religions are doomed to failure in their quest to please God. By that, I mean that by grace, Christians are FREELY GIVEN all that Christ ever accomplished while on earth: His goodness, holiness, obedience, perfection, etc. (the actual status of Jesus Christ), before the fact, in response to our whole-hearted belief. This is not just an honorary status. That is a vicarious exchange: We give Him our sins, and He gives us His perfect life. As we begin to comprehend and believe the paramount importance of this amazing gift, we will come to the conclusion that grace is the framework that sustains all we are and do; our complete Christian experience is in vain without it.

As can be surmised, we don’t have to work for our Salvation; the fact of the matter is that it is served to us on a silver platter. Nevertheless, as confirmation of our faith to God and company, we still must work (through obedience to the gospel message) to display our appreciation and love for God—which makes us perfect in His sight—for having saved us by His grace from eternal damnation. Wow! That is the main motive behind our desire to live the perfect life, which most certainly won’t come easy.

These last two short paragraphs most likely contain the most profoundly poignant information in this entire blog, which could easily be pondered for a lifetime.

The only reason grace must be given as a free gift is because its unique value is of greater worth than humankind is capable of presenting. It’s not for sale, and it can't be earned; repeating, it is freely given only in response to belief. It also has more depth than human words can fully describe; therefore, I must somehow continue in my attempt to go beyond words.

First of all, grace is not a free ticket to heaven. Even though no one is worthy of a place in the presence of God, yes, we are given entry by grace because of our belief in what Jesus Christ did for us. Therefore, grace and belief cannot be separated; they are the main concepts that give us the power and motivation to live as God requires.

How does one know with certainty that they are experiencing God’s grace and not just using the word “grace” when it applies? Answer: Grace, coupled with belief, is [singular] the most powerful force humans can experience, which allow us to obey the seemingly absurd—according to worldly standards—commands of Jesus Christ. In other words, the proof is in the life. Examine your life against what the New Testament teaches, and not what your church leader says. If nothing else is remembered in this complete post, remember this: I reiterate, if you are a genuine Christian, you, in God’s eyes, have the exact same status as Jesus Christ (a sinless god in the flesh), although I sometimes use the term “clone-of-Christ-in-the-making.” If anyone believes that statement, what is there he/she wouldn’t do to fulfill the requirements of grace? Grace empowers us to live up to our belief.

Shame on me for not bringing this topic up more often.

After reading this post, if you don’t fully understand the power of grace when it is synchronized with belief, that’s okay. If your motives are pure in your devotion to Christ, the meaning will come, but only to the degree that your life is going in a Godly direction. What I am attempting to say is this: Explain the birds and the bees to a child that hasn’t reached puberty yet; he/she can memorize all that you are teaching, and believe every word, but until he/she matures as a preteen or early teen, they won’t fully understand what you are talking about. The same is true with our spiritual puberty. Everything in its good time. The life of Jesus Christ must be experienced, if even in a small way, before Christianity becomes real. Knowledge is not experience. Case in point: A man can write a detailed book on childbirth, but still can’t experience the birth of a child. There is a gigantic gulf between knowledge and experience, especially in the Christian life; one should never equate knowledge with experience.

One thing is for sure: Grace is not a crutch to be used as an excuse to sin. I have heard this alibi more times than I care to remember: “If I do sin, the blood of Christ will forgive that sin.” They then quote 1st John 2:1. “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But IF anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ the Righteous one.” John is not talking about premeditated sin; the word “IF” implies that he is talking about inadvertent sin. Here is why I say that: Go to the same book, 1st John 3:6. “No one who lives in him keeps on sinning.” Here is what the Apostle John also says in verse 9: “No one born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed [the life of Jesus Christ] remains in him . . .” [emphasis added]. Grace can do nothing about premeditated sin. If anyone continues to live in that sort of sin, it is sure evidence that some serious renovation is needed in that life. Yes, grace erased our previous filthy life of sin, and grace will even forgive an extremely occasional, unintentional sin.

Many times, it seems to us that we deserve grace because of the effort we put into living the Christian life. This is untrue. In this, we are deceiving ourselves. The only thing that God asks of us is to have faith (active belief) in what He has done for us through Jesus Christ. That does not seem very hard to do on the surface. He says, “Just believe Me.” We must come to Him with genuine belief, with no other goodies, thereby receiving His grace.

Let me make this very clear: Belief and grace must at all times be active to be of any value to God or anyone else. But belief and grace are misunderstood, in that yesterday’s belief lacks spiritual substance today. Our past is nothing more than bygones, be it good or bad, though it is influential as to who we are and what we do today. Therefore, yesterday’s grace, as good as it was, was meant for yesterday. The kind of belief that saves must be fresh every day, renewed and active for grace to continue to be given. Grace cannot be continued if we choose to disbelieve what we believed yesterday. This would be evidenced by a life of disobedience.

When God's grace is given to us, it is a spiritual noun, but when we receive it and assimilate it into our lives, it is converted by love into a powerful active verb that gives us and makes us what Christ is. If we don't use it, it was given in vain, and we lose it. Grace is not something we pin on our lapel as an ornamental award to display our sanctity to others. Repeating, grace is the ammunition we receive via the Holy Spirit for our spiritual weapons (our faith) as we fight the unending battle against the evil one. Without that ammunition, our faith is man-made and self-oriented, making us unresponsive to the Commander’s orders.

Where grace reigns, there is no room for pride. Amen. God's grace makes us into a people we don't deserve to be. Without the power that is released by grace, all our efforts to please God are in vain.

A good description of the value of grace can be made when we compare it to the value of our belief. Our lifetime of belief—if we could put monetary value on it—might be worth one dollar to God in comparison to the value of His grace, which would be worth trillions of dollars, plus some. This is why grace could be called free. Yet, that one dollar of our belief is more valuable to God than the whole inanimate universe that cannot cry out His name in joy, but must function according to the laws of physics. Though He can resort to making the stones (like myself) cry out, grace goes out the window when those who take on His name keep silent concerning the all-important, hard-edged truths that many don't care to hear or accept.

One final note must be fully acknowledged before a true understanding of grace is given to us by Christ: God has no way other than grace to free men from the triple snare of self, sin and Satan, from our first accepting Him as our life, to the last breath we take. In other words: Our belief is not worthy of His life no matter how good and perfect our belief is. Although our belief by itself is unworthy of Salvation, He still gives grace when it’s joined with faith because He is a gracious God. He could act in no other way toward those who truly desire Him. He is a God of love, but He is stern to those who don't display belief in Him with their lives. True grace cannot be given to those who do not desire God. They will, by their own choice, be left on the outside (without God).

In conclusion: Everything in our Christian life is a result of God's loving, merciful, and powerful grace. Without grace we would be nothing, could do nothing, and would have nothing, including his Holy Spirit. God's trump card is grace, which He had up His sleeve until Christ came. The devil and his cohorts cannot comprehend the power of God that is released through grace, which enables us to live a life that is pleasing to God. Could you imagine trying to live the Christian life without grace? Our dynamic belief in God continually activates and renews God's life-giving grace.

This post, especially paragraph 2 and 3, may need to be read more than once, in an attempt to get the full extent of the influence God’s grace has on the genuine Christian life.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

#145: Just a Touch of Hell

Jehovah God is loving, merciful, forgiving, gracious, compassionate, etc. He expresses these qualities/attributes to anyone who desires to live and believe as He desires. But to those who live as His enemies (anyone who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior by faith and obedience to all He commands), He is a vengeful God. Hebrews 10:30. “It is mine to avenge; I will repay . . .” Revelation 19:2. “For true and just are his judgments, He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” Also, there is a multitude of verses in the Old Testament telling of God’s vengeance to those who displease Him. I will mention just one at this time. Nahum 1:2. “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.”

Even though we live in the age of grace, God’s grace does not apply to stubborn nonbelievers, of course, unless they decide to venture into the realm of belief in God. To His enemies, He is a stern-faced avenger–eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Most of that revenge will be manifested in a place many don’t believe will exist: hell (eternal separation from God). Some would call that scare tactics. Yes, that could be so, but more important than that, it is only fair for God to somehow attempt to tell everyone the consequence of living in a way that violates the laws of love for God and neighbor. There are over twenty New Testament verses that speak of hell or a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. That is strong biblical evidence that a large venue consisting of eternal torment is actually a part of God’s reality. Mark 9:43: “. . . where the fire never goes out”– That will be waiting for all who are God’s enemies.

There are many types of objectionable behaviors that are offensive to God. Most likely, several of the most grievous are “christian" hypocrites and those who exploit children. As for those who have read any of this blog know, I have already written extensively on church people that are hypocrites. Now it is time to speak up on crimes against children. There are three verses in the first three gospels which are just about identical, and they tell the consequences of crimes against children: Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, and Luke 17:2. “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.”

This next section is extremely graphic; blogger discretion is advised. I have known of childhood abuses for some time, as we all have. It upsets me more than anyone can imagine when I hear of these abuses—I have four children of my own and five grandchildren. I have either an extremely sensitive natural or God-given empathy when it comes to children being mistreated. I heard of one atrocity several days ago on TV news that was most likely one of the worst. In fact, I wish I had never heard it. Since I did, I was inspired to write this blog.

A subhuman monster, even below the animal level, went to Russia to adopt a five-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed baby girl. He must have had false documents showing that he was married (otherwise, the Russian authorities would not have consented to the adoption) or he had a female accomplice, married or not, in America, waiting to be sort of a surrogate mother to the little girl (making her conform to his orders).

The first day they arrived in America, he started to abuse her sexually, with a Camcorder rolling. Now put yourself, if you can, in the place of this little girl. She didn’t know what was happening or why. Most of what he did to her was—and still is—available on the internet. This treatment went on for over five years. He nearly starved her to keep her looking young, and kept her locked in the basement much of the time. They finally caught the bas . . . . She is now thirteen years old, and was asked to tell her story to Congress—as I write this, I can’t stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks. What bothered me even more was when the news anchor said there are thousands worldwide, at this time, in her hideous situation. No one could imagine the rage that came over me at that time and hasn’t left yet, at what is going on in this world. When older females are abused–and many are—in evil ways, at least they may understand, to a degree, why this is happening to them, and it possibly allows them to cope a little better.

Then there are children who are bought or kidnapped in countries like India, China, etc. that are put to work as slave laborers. These children are never allowed to see the light of day, just work, work, work. Besides that, there are children that are bought or kidnapped and made into professional prostitutes as very young girls. Then there are the Internet predators who prey on young girls in chat rooms. Let's not forget the diabolic Internet homosexuals that love preying on young boys, along with the shameful Catholic priests who do their dirty work in the name of Jesus Christ. Has the world always been this evil, or is it happening more now than ever? If I dwell on this subject too long, it will literally drive me mad. Let’s not forget what is happening in the genocide of children and adults in Darfur, Africa: something that is difficult to believe. What right does anyone in America have to sing, “It’s a big wide wonderful world we live in”? Answer: out of sight, out of mind. They just stick their heads in the sand and say, “No skin off my back; I am doing just great.” Shame on you.

The accomplices to these internet predators (those who get turned on by this disgraceful and disgusting display of filth) are just as guilty as those who actually create the videos. If it wasn’t for them, internet child porn and other means of electronic porn would not exist. Have men always been this way, but had no way of fulfilling their ungodly desires? If that is true, I am ashamed of being a member of the masculine gender.

Why haven’t computer scientists and other computer and electronic geeks found a way of tracking where this filth originates and where it’s being received? If we can put a man on the moon and back, and make other great accomplishments in electronics, why can’t we get rid of this type of devil-inspired stuff? If extremely intelligent engineers were given big bucks as an incentive by the government to do just that, instead of blowing billions on the stupid Iraq war, we could soon have this internet child porn—and the worse than hellish abuse these young, helpless, innocent victims go through—come to an end.

Now, let me suggest appropriate punishment for these heartless, animalistic, depraved freaks. This next paragraph or two might be too much for some people to even read; again, discretion is advised. DEATH BY SLOW TORTURE. These wild animals deserve the most extended, intense torture possible. Think about this: Somehow, have all the world leaders come to a consensus that this problem must be solved once and for all. Make the punishment so severe that these non-human perverts, after seeing the consequences, would think twice before engaging in any type of child abuse. The only countries that have no need to participate are the Muslim countries, since most Arabs are brought up to be extremely modest when it comes to exposure of the human body. In these countries, any sort of child porn is nearly nonexistent.

Every country is responsible for making torture chambers to the specifications initially agreed upon. Now, this would be a more than fitting form of torture: Dig gigantic holes in the ground, about eight or nine feet deep and a hundred feet or so in area. Leave the bottom and sides of the hole just as the backhoe left the dirt. Every four feet, drive wooden posts into the ground. These posts should be about eight feet tall. All the posts would be four feet apart in all directions; next, put the main bearing beams to rest on these posts; next, onto the beams, put the ceiling joists; next, on top of them, put some ¾-inch exterior plywood; next, on top of the plywood, put a layer of dirt about eight inches or so deep. Planting grass on the dirt is optional. We now have a perfect torture chamber just fitting for the deeds these guilty pieces of filthy scum deserve: dirt floors, dirt walls and a lot of torture poles; also, a few small vent holes in the ceiling will be the only light and ventilation they receive, along with one stairway with a heavy steel door.

Those sentenced to death by slow torture will receive a speedy trial with no chance of appeal, plea bargain, probation, clemency or any other form of leniency. The law prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment in America must be amended, but only for child abuse.

Since they are not humans—according to ethical human standards–give them inhuman treatment. Shackle every prisoner to a post, hands above their heads and feet fastened to the bottom of the post. This is the way they will remain until death. But we don’t want them to die very quickly, so we will feed them and give them water. Here comes the nasty part: They now will be tortured daily and systematically by men or women with strong stomachs, or even by the victims or their friends and family. Those doing the torturing will be required to wear protective gear and gas masks to prevent the spread of contagious diseases. For good pay, they will torture these men and women according to specific instructions. Remember that we want these perverts to live as long as possible. The torture will be severe but not life-threatening.

Here is what it will be: hot soldering torches to make small burns on all parts of the body; razor blades to make small cuts; pliers to squeeze fingers, toes, private parts, ears, noses, and if there are any other protrusions. A hammer to hit wherever, but not too hard on the head; we don’t want them to die too soon. Electric shocks, but not too long or to cross the heart, to prevent death by electrocution. Legs and arms are the safest places. Since all the feces and urine will be left in place, this will be a great place for flies and rats. So we throw in a few rats and some fly larvae just for good measure. Also a few snakes for “pleasant dreams.” Why not include a few hundred vampire bats to do their blood-sucking served on a platter? These perverts and even a few women accomplices will all be stripped naked. Then, there will be no place on the body the torture crew can’t access.

For food and drink, a collection program of scrap food from restaurants, markets, and other places where scrap food would be available—which usually goes into the landfill—will be a cheap source of food. For drinking: river water. Some will of course refuse to eat or drink, hoping to die as soon as possible. These will be force-fed. Since their hands will always be above their heads, all food will be administered by special teams. When some refuse to eat or drink, they change their minds quickly when extra shots from the hot flames of the torch are applied to sensitive parts of the pubic area. The longer they remain alive, the bigger bonuses the torturers will receive.

The stench that is emitted from these sites via the vent holes will be unbelievable, as will the horrendous sounds of continual screaming; therefore, locations a great distance from living areas must always be selected. When some start to die, which will happen to all eventually, they will be left on their poles. As their bodies decay, the stench becomes even worse. Eventually, after the rats and bacteria have done their job, all that will be left is a bunch of skeletons. After everyone is dead and decayed, the bulldozers can fill the gigantic stinky hole, wood beams and all. All that is left is a mound of dirt with one cross on the top. After that, another location is picked, but it need not be as large since internet porn, most certainly, will be on the decrease.

Eventually, all types of child exploitation will hopefully be a thing of the past. To let those who may have engaged in child exploitation know exactly what is going on in these torture chambers, viewing via Camcorders will be used to take vivid pictures of the ongoing torture and ungodly screaming, along with time-lapse videos showing the slow process of death by slow torture.

The moral (punch line) of the above torture is only to display “JUST A TOUCH OF HELL.” Can anyone imagine anything being more painful or for a longer duration? Most of us just don’t think about the real hell that is reserved for all predators of young children, along with those who don’t live and believe as Jesus Christ dictated in the New Testament. In hell, whether it will actually be fire or just a metaphor for the pain (separation from God) that fire creates, will be similar to that of a hot torch. That pain will endure for eternity. In fact, hell, as it is described in the New Testament, is so gruesome that it is dismissed as reality by many, since a loving God could never do such a terrible thing. Fire, hell and the pain that will accompany it are so prevalent in Scripture–close to 40 to 50 verses–that hell just can’t be ignored. This continual, excruciating pain in hell is something we as physical beings could not endure or fathom.

Here is the thing: At the end of time, in heaven, I am certain all who are blessed by God for their belief and obedience to Him, including God Himself, will experience permanent amnesia as to the existence of what is going on in hell, or even that there is a hell, or even who is in there. The reason I make this speculation is because there could be no tranquility of mind, which will be the norm, for anyone in a heavenly environment with negative thoughts of loved ones, family, and friends that never made it. After all that has been said, God does not want anyone to live as He requires out of fear. Love for God and neighbor must be the incentive to do things God’s way. Of course, that love does not come fast, easy or cheap. The Bible, along with this blog, testifies in detail to the formula of avoiding hell and being accepted in heaven.

Another thing that concerns me is that the vast majority of people, religious or not, believe that there is a God because logic says there must be an intelligent metaphysical force/energy out there of one form or another, because something as significant as our gigantic universe couldn’t just have happened on its own, and for no rhyme or reason (just by chance). And still they take this logic lightly and do nothing about it; they just do what comes naturally. That type of belief in God is less than worthless when it comes to being qualified as citizens in the company of Almighty God.

The reason for “Religion’s Crime Against God” is to get concerned people thinking about the unpleasant aspects of God and life they may not desire to think about. “For-profit” religious institutions can’t/won’t talk about those distasteful topics for fear of dwindling finances and membership; therefore, week after week, they just keep shoving that pleasing holy bull, which churchy people love. On the contrary, this blog glories in that hard-edged stuff that is required by Christ from all who claim His name. We (including Christ) don’t want your money; we desire only one thing: your full-time, loving devotion to the cause of Jesus Christ, and not your Sunday-morning, entertainment-type Christianity. Amen and amen. Since massive “death by slow torture” is an extremely unique concept, I would appreciate your positive or negative input. Feel free to share this post with your friends.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

# 144: In Greed We Trust

Why are so many people greedy in our world? Webster’s definition for greedy: “wanting or taking all that one can get, with no thought of others’ needs; desiring more than one needs or deserves; covetous, implies greed for something that another person rightfully possesses.”

What is/are the underlying reason/s for greed? This is a difficult question which will be examined in this post. Before that examination, let’s look at the many camouflages Americans use to legitimize their greed by using desirable euphemisms: “the good life”; “ambitious”; “the American dream”; “having our needs met”; “well-off”; a disguise wealthy “christians” use: “resources for world evangelism”; “prudent”; “having it made”; “necessary security for old age”; “financial independence”; “a great source of happiness”; “prosperity”; “life is good when one has money”; and many more. It could be that potential insecurity of one sort or another is most likely the underlying reason for greed—or is it? On the surface, many want to be looked up to by others, and therefore believe excess wealth (material or financial) will make them feel and look successful and important. If that is the case, why do some, like myself, feel secure with little substance, while others feel insecure with much?

Without a doubt, America, with its desire for excess riches, is the greediest and wealthiest nation that ever existed. Are we aware that greed is the driving force behind wealth, which makes us the richest and most looked-up-to of all nations? That is the type of role model we have been presenting to the world. Of course, we wrap our greed into things that seem beautiful, appealing and necessary. Are we as Americans aware of this ungodly though ecstatic situation we are in? I don’t think so. We have given greed a pleasant connotation: the go-ahead sign. I do know that greed, with all its desirable disguises, is insidiously contagious.

Let’s see at what age greed starts to set in: most likely, when the child is old enough to recognize the difference between a big piece of apple pie from a smaller piece, and therefore wants the bigger piece. At that age, a child feels as if he/she is the most important person in the family and even in the world. Could that be what we humans secretly believe about ourselves? If that is the case, I can understand why we feel we deserve the best and the most of whatever.

This is where genuine humility may be the cure-all. A truly humble person will automatically put him/herself at the bottom of the totem pole. If humility is the answer to greed, where does humility come from? I would love to say from God, but there is one problem with that answer: There are many extremely humble people that don’t believe in God. Could humility also be a genetic trait? I think that would be a more plausible answer. The reason I say that is because in the animal kingdom, we see dominant siblings at birth, taking control—wanting the biggest piece of the goodies mom or dad brings into the nest/den.

Does that mean that if one is born dominant, he/she is prone to being greedy all his life? I am sure nurture can play a part in greed, in that greedy parents may propagate greedy offspring. (Monkey see, monkey do). No matter if it is nurture or nature, a feeling of innate insecurity can/does contribute to the situation.

Now to the spiritual implications of greed: When one sees a greedy person that claims to be a Christian, something is out of whack. Greed and love for God and neighbor cannot coexist, which tells me a greedy person is not a Christian, regardless of how loud he/she shouts it from the rooftops. The New Testament attests to that statement with at least 12 verses that tell of the consequences and danger of being greedy. I will quote only two: 1st Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the GREEDY nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” [emphasis added]. Ephesians 5:5. “For this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or GREEDY person–such a man is an idolater–has any inheritance in the kingdom of God.” [emphasis added].

Jesus Christ is the Christian’s exclusive role model for godly humility. How can Jesus be called humble after the way he treated the religious leader of His time, as presented in the 23rd Chapter of Matthew? Jesus rightfully called them every nasty name under the sun, so to speak. That is what Christ-like humility is all about. To be humble while in a position of power is quite different than humility resulting from a feeling of being inferior because of defects or shortcomings. Christians are endowed with godly power; that power is to be used to SHOW and TELL their immediate world what Christianity is and IS NOT, while refusing material or financial compensation; lack of self-interest displays Godly humility. And when the gospel message is rejected, quietly and humbly walk away. In short, having a coercive attitude is not in the Christian constitution (the Bible).

Let me tell my experience of how my greed was overpowered by Christian humility. At the time, I was aware of my greed but never believed it was harmful, nor did I call it that. As I grew into the likeness of Christ, I felt a great amount of security from being one of His. For some reason, I didn’t seem to need financial or material security anymore. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. Slowly but surely, I needed and wanted less and less material things and self-centered attitudes. The closer I drew to Jesus Christ, the less concerned I was with my material security. For me, it is hard to believe I now am where I am. Greed in my life has gone. Of course, humans are a bit lenient when it comes to self-examination, and I may be no exception. In fact, I am much more content, appreciative, and thankful with the little I now have than with the plenty I had as a younger man. Along with that, no one could pay me big bucks to return to that life of wealth and greed; it mostly was a life of annoying stress and unnecessary responsibility, which seemed normal at the time.

I need to drive this point home: As one can see, I was there. I know firsthand what money/greed cannot buy or do. That type of life of ALWAYS WANTING MORE is of no more value than a mirage (something that falsely appears to be real). I’m not just blowing smoke. In the end, it will display itself as not being able to produce what it is chalked up to be. Another allegory: The pot at the end of the beautiful rainbow will turn out to be filled with fool’s gold. Remember the song the Beatles sang in the sixties? “Money can’t buy me love.” Truer words were never spoken. Think about this: When you love someone, they are your business, and when someone loves you, you are their business (of course, if there is a response—otherwise it is a different story). Who do you love? Who loves you? An unfailing love is what we all desperately need—God’s love—and from that love comes genuine security; at that point, greed has been defeated.

A newborn baby feels secure in its mother’s bosom. As the baby grows, still the mother’s arms are a secure hideaway when he/she faces pain, hunger or other distressing circumstances. As children grow up, and mother’s arms are not available anymore, they look for another place to feel secure. That is when greed sneaks in and forcefully whispers, “Come to me and I will make you secure.” At a young age, greed is most likely not financial wealth, but can be position, wanting to be smarter than others, wanting one’s own way, peer pressure, etc.

What God freely gives, above and beyond Salvation, love, etc. is a secure place to get away from the rat race of the asphalt jungle. That place is in the arms of Almighty God. Could there be a more secure place? Although wonderful, security that is given by God is only a fringe benefit (windfall) and not the essence of belief in God through Christ.

Only thing, even though we receive Salvation free of charge (by grace), it is not cheap. It is an arduous journey; it will cost us just about everything we once valued as important. That statement is in conflict with what conventional religion has taught us. SINCE THE TRUTH HURTS, that is the reason this blog is vehemently hated by most, if not all, organized churches. Organized religion is an institution where the word “greed” is never mentioned. In its place, the treasured word “prosperity” is used.

As in the Old Testament, God wanted His people Israel to prosper. Problem: The prosperity the Lord gave Israel sinfully acquired two tagalong bedfellows: greed and pride, two attitudes the Lord hates. God is showing Christians in 2006 that prosperity is not conducive to Godliness. The Lord God speaking through His holy Prophet Hosea in the Old Testament says this in Hosea Chapter 13, verse 6: “When I fed [prospered] them, they [Israel] were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.” Listen to what the apostle Paul says about the Old Testament: 2 Timothy 3:16. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness . . .” Of course, much of the Old Testament teaching has been superseded by the teaching of Christ, after the revealing of God's Grace. Greed and pride were, time and again, the downfall of Israel, and most likely, will be ours.

What an abrupt shock the Jews got when The Lord Jesus Christ came on the scene. He announced that it was not those dressed in purple with excess money or material goods that were blessed by God, but the poor that were more viable candidates for eternity. This new teaching by Christ could be one of the main reasons the vast majority of Jews–who love wealth and power—never, to this day, accepted Jesus Christ as their coming Messiah. Also, the organized christian church per se, wanting the best of both worlds, accepted Christ in word, but rejected His new teaching, although they will emphatically deny it. The clergy's verbal defense is this: “What you say is in error; it is a matter of interpretation. Being prosperous does not mean one is greedy. We now live in a totally different culture, to the point where being prosperous, not greedy, is not only accepted but necessary in this dog-eat-dog world.” Jesus’ response: “Sure; what else is new?”

In conclusion, it could be said that greed, more than one needs, is the damnation of humanity, even when the majority of the world’s population would give their right arm to have the wealth and prosperity that greed can produce. Try to imagine a world without greed. It is possible now in one’s own personal world. But sad to say, words have little or no power of expressing the joy and contentment that is produced when living without greed (always wanting more).