Frederick Meekins is an independent theologian and social critic. He holds a BS from the University of Maryland in Political Science/History and a MA in Apologetics & Christian Philosophy from Trinity Theological Seminary. Frederick holds a Doctor of Practical Theology through the Master's Graduate School Of Divinity in Evansville, Indiana. Dr. Meekins is pursuing a Ph.D. in Apologetics through Newburgh Theological Seminary.

Friday, August 18

Headline Potpourri #99

Those outraged at third rate comedian Cathy Griffin holding a severed cranial effigy of President Trump have been condemned as “snowflakes”. But did the left create the snowflake phenomena where Black students now demand Caucasian-free environments in order to feel safe and women fear molestation if they watch the new Wonder Woman movie with a man under the same roof?

And are Trump's tweets appreciably more corrosive to the vitality of the Republic than Bill Clinton attempting to pin the blame for the Oklahoma City Bombing on Rush Limbaugh or insisting that the only reason Rush stood up for Janet Reno in one particular instance was because “she was attacked by a Black guy”? And more recently, are Trump's remarks really any more outrageous than those of Barack Obama blaming America's problems on those bitter clingers unwilling to surrender their guns or their God?

As part of his condemnation of Alex Jones, Kevin Swanson quoted from a work on conspiracies by Gary North. If we are to disbelieve in the existence of shadowy powers and forces manipulating events, people, and institutions largely from behind the scenes, do both Swanson and North repudiate North's opus “Unholy Spirits: Occultism & New Age Humanism”? For in that work is a chapter examining from a Christian perspective the very UFO's that Swanson's podcast derided the believers of.

Fuss has been made over the drama that unfolded regarding a resolution submitted by a Black pastor at the Southern Baptist Convention calling for the condemnation of the so-called Alt Right. Do the proceedings of predominately minority denominations come to a screeching halt with accompanying media coverage if the token White in these typically leftwing ecclesiastical affiliations offers a proposal that has been submitted primarily to thumb one's nose at the prevailing demographic of the organization's membership?

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson hypothesized that the appeal of conspiracy theories is a form of gnosticism. By that, he did not mean the traditional heresy amalgamating Christian terminology with various Greco-Roman mystical philosophies in order to create a spirituality that denies orthodox doctrines such as those regarding the incarnation. Rather, Swanson meant that those drawn to these speculations enjoy the thrill of secret knowledge most fully understood by those within the particular group. And how is that much different than predestinarian Calvinism that holds Christ is only accessible by those already selected to rank among the soteriological elite?

Regarding the increasing number of Christian leaders advocating that youth not go to college. Are they going to provide decent paying jobs for those that heed this admonition? More importantly, are they going to provide jobs for those that heed this advice but disagree with them on some asinine secondary issue that some of these hardline sectarians are infamous for espousing? After all, you are less likely to openly disagree with the benighted leader if doing so strands you up excrement's tributary without a paddle.

In an analysis of the Southern Baptist resolution against White supremacy, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church on their SermonAudio podcast equated racialist sentiment with commemorations beloved by traditionalist American Christians such as Mother's Day and the Fourth of July. These clerics insisted that neither has a place in a Sunday morning worship service. So does this church pass over Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month as well? More importantly, does this church ever intend to remove from its SermonAudio profile page the photo of the congregation's building surrounded by multiple American flags?

For an unproduced Wonder Woman screenplay that might have emphasized the “woman” over the “wonder”, it has been stated that even an alley of women (meaning he lavishes boatloads of money on infanticide fronts such as Planned Parenthood) such as Josh Whedon must be held accountable. It was an UNPRODUCED screenplay! That means his take on the story was already deemed not good enough to proceed into further development Isn't that accountability enough? It's not like he committed a war crime deserving of a human rights tribunal at the Hague.

In the discussion of his book “The Vanishing American Adult” at the Hoover Institution, Senator Ben Sasse provided the anecdote regarding students of the college he served as president of not climbing twenty feet up a ladder in order to decorate a campus tree for Christmas. Given that Senator Sasse's academic specialty is America's Jude-Christian foundations, perhaps he would care to elaborate where in holy writ maturity is defined by a willingness to risk one's life and well being for the sake of decorating yuletide shrubbery. Should someone fall from such a height and profoundly disable oneself, is Senator Sasse and his merry band of radical freemarketeers going to deny the injured coverage for ongoing care?

Leftwing religionists are shocked at the reluctance of the few discerning Southern Baptists that remain to get onboard the resolution to condemn the alleged White supremacy of the Alt Right. That reluctance is probably because those that study these sorts of things realize that often this kind of rhetoric is commonly invoked to frighten into silence and compliance those refusing to applaud radical minority supremacism and professional agitation. Maybe certain Whites were not so keen on the Alt Right resolution because they are weary of Convention propagandists constantly praising minorities but going out of their way to foment Yankee varieties of White guilt.

If Neil de Grasse Tyson is supposedly qualified to hand down opinion on nuanced environmental regulation and policy when his expertise is in Astronomy, why aren't Donald Trump's pronouncements regarding science when the President's expertise is in businesses negotiation?

It was said in a sermon that, after you die, whatever sins you have not confessed, you will be held accountable for. And how exactly will these sins be held against us if we are not blocked entrance to Heaven on the basis of what we have done but rather allowed entrance on the basis of what Christ did? If it was announced earlier in the year that Baptists should be all gungho for Lent, this almost sounds like the acceptance of Purgatory is not far behind.

Outrage has erupted over Donald Trump Jr clandestinely meeting with a Russian lobbyist with ties to that state's military intelligence agency. Shouldn't the outrage be even more with the administration under whom such a person was allowed to take up residence in the United States? If you are so stupid as not to realize such an individual is going to continue their life's work of subterfuge and subversion, you really ought not to be working in government especially in regards to national security. In a podcast discussion about finding a church, a pastor remarked that he was leery of the average Christian that comes into a church with an agenda to fix the things that are wrong with a congregation from their particular viewpoint. But shouldn't the same sense of vigilance be applied to new pastors storming in when things prior to their arrival weren't necessarily out of whack to begin with?

In condemning the Wonder Woman movie because of the character's pagan origins, does homeschool activist Kevin Swanson also intend to condemn the study of mythology and authors such as C.S. Lewis and Tolkien that employed such motifs in their fantasy narratives?

To some, it's apparently a greater outrage that President Trump doesn't own a dog than that President Obama used to eat them.

For converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, broadcaster Kevin Boling insinuated that Hank Hanegraaff was a heretic. The episode discussing such was bluntly titled at SermonAudio, “Hanegraaff's Theosis Heresy”. So if a rigorous separation is to be maintained between Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy to the point that there can be very little in terms of good relations between the adherents of these differing interpretations of Christianity, shouldn't Boling have been more critical in his interview of Rod Dreher when interviewing that author about the “Benedict Option”? After all, Dreher is an adherent of Eastern Orthodoxy just like Hanegraaff.

If Jenner did not want his “transition” turned into late night comedy fodder as the former Olympian lamented to host Jimmy Kimmel, he should have confined his escapades to prancing around in frilly lingerie at home with the curtains closed.

An episode of Generations Radio celebrated the demise of liberal arts colleges in the role of educating young minds. Apparently it's not enough simply to teach these disciplines from a Christian perspective. Rather the entire system of classroom instruction is flawed. All well and good. However, if this is the route that conservatives and Evangelicals want to go, there must also be protections put in place so that access to knowledge is not restricted to the few preferred by the cliques that run most churches and religious institutions.

Regarding these ministries, theologians, and pundits opposed to college education. They are awfully specific in getting their point across that the truly pious and devout ought not to go. However, these same “authorities” startlingly nebulous in detailing what alternative path one is expected to pursue in order to secure a reasonable living.

Michelle Obama has once again chastised the American people. Now she claims we never saw past her skin color. Probably because either a functionary directly a member of the Obama regime or a propaganda lackey in the mainstream media had to inform the American people about this fact nearly every hour on the hour.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, August 11

Headline Potpourri #98

It was lamented in a SermonAudio podcast that the average worker does not stay at a job for more than five years. But so long as the worker puts in a reasonable day's labor and usually has the future job lined up before the current position is left, is this really an issue for pastor's to hand down authoritative pronouncements regarding? If most employers no longer have your back for an entire career since, as the Fox News pundits enthusiastically beam, such is the nature of 21st century capitalism, shouldn't the employees take advantage of this as well if jumping ship is to their contractual advantage?

A pastor remarked that Christians ought not to be seen engaged publicly in interactions that might be categorized as bickering or disagreements. If so, whose interpretation is going to be allowed to prevail in regards to issues or incidents where Christians can come to differing conclusions? If the reasoning for this position is that such makes the church look bad in front of the unbelievers, does this mean that since it is doubtful that the garden variety reprobate knows the difference between the two, that Baptists should not openly disagree with Vatican pronouncements? If one preacher says that women can indeed wear pants or that Christians can take anti-depressants if struggling with the physical aspects of depression, does that mean a pastor that disagrees should otherwise remain silent?

So if the Southern Baptist Convention is going to condemn the “Alt Right Movement” but say nothing critical of minority supremacist groups such as Black Lives Matter and La Raza, perhaps predominately White congregations should withdraw from this organization established nowhere in the pages of the Bible if they want to be “sola scriputra” and see how long it lasts without these funds or personnel.

So after rightfully hounding Obama hard for eight years, is the official Fox News position now that the slightest criticism of a presidential administration will result in wide scale violence or even the collapse of the Republic?

It was remarked in a SermonAudio podcast that Jesus would not have been a conservative nor a liberal because He did not get involved with politics. Likely true, but that really doesn't have prohibitive bearing for those instinctively draw to that area of life primarily because the aforementioned social spheres were not the direct intent of His purpose. Without this kind of clarification, one could argue that the Christian Scientists are in a sense correct to avoid involvement with the medical establishment because Jesus did not come primarily to attend to minor physical pains and ailments.

An episode of Ancient Aliens hypothesized that Judeo-Christian religious institutions were the ones responsible for casting Lucifer or Satan in a negative light. Instead, the program suggested, we ought to consider other myths from around the world where a fallen cosmic being bearing light, from a sense of beneficence, bestowed rudimentary technology and enlightenment upon the earliest human beings and cultures. But if the Judeo-Christian belief system is to stand accused of promulgating propaganda against Satan, why shouldn't we assume that Satan would not take steps through his Luciferian devotees to formulate a narrative interpreting events in a manner where he would appear to be the hero? He is, after all, referred to as “the father of lies”.

In the Hoover Institution interview of Senator Ben Sasse, one gets the impression from these snob academics that probably sip dainty cups of tea with their pinkies outstretched that we are expected to willingly die grizzly deaths or endure permanent mutilation for the purposes of fulfilling the social vision of those that have likely never gotten a single grain of dirt under their manicured nails.

In a SermonAudio podcast, a pastoral staff lamented the tendency of the contemporary newsroom to denounce the contemporary system while profiting from it. And how is that much different from the typical congregation or pulpit?

The Southern Baptist Convention condemned the dangers posed by the “Alt Right Movement”. Did this ecclesiastical association ever come out as forcefully about Black Lives Matter associates looting electronics stores or ghetto brats playing the knockout game? Usually when those kinds of outrages take place, about the closest thing to a response from the Southern Baptist in crowd is Russell Moore rending himself homiletically in sack cloth and ashes over how ashamed he is to be a White Southerner.

Fascinating. On these nature documentary programs the narrators and the interviewed drone on and on about humans living in the “animals' environment”. Then these productions turn around and lament or even condemn the reality that our species has dared to carve out designated environs in which people are expected to dwell. Maybe those making these kinds of complaints out to offer themselves up for elimination by the elements or applaud when such a fate befalls their own offspring.

Interesting. When Prince Phillip befalls a serious infection he seeks hospitalization and we are all expected to come to a screeching halt to express concern in hopes that he will pull through. But didn't he at one point express a desire to be reincarnated as a biological plague for the purposes of killing off vast swaths of humanity? So why does he seek medical attention while the rest of us are expected to willingly die in the name of environmental preservation?

Leftist media is condemning Donald Trump for admitting that he would not want poor people in administrative positions overseeing the economy. So which of the journalistic elite directly entered their prestigious correspondent position from that of being a Walmart greeter or gas station attendant? How is what Trump said any worse than someone admitting that they wouldn't want an Amish carpenter as Secretary of Defense?

I dreamed I had to guide my mom away from a pack of hyenas circling the perimeter of the extended care facility where she stayed temporarily.

In a podcast, Russell Moore pondered why church attendance is declining. At least in regards to the Southern Baptist congregations that would do things the way Russell Moore would approve of, maybe a significant number are tired of getting bashed over the head for little more than happening to be White and conservative individualists in terms of their political ideology.

During the “News In Focus with Adam MacManus” segment of the 6/22/17 edition of Generation's Radio, it was said that the best protection against terrorism is to share the Gospel with refugees from Islamic nations. However, this assertion is in contradiction of the Calvinist soteriology held by the broadcast's benefactor Orthodox Presbyterian Minister Kevin Swanson. For if God preordained that hardly any refugees were to come to Christ, that would in no way one way or the other neither increase nor decrease the chance of preventing a terrorist attack. If one intends to maintain belief in presdestination, one is forced to admit that all this appeal was intended to accomplish would be to frighten listeners into compliance in terms of monetary contribution.

On an episode of Generation's Radio, Kevin Swanson and his cohost mocked the listeners of Alex Jones as wearers of tinfoil hats that think the world is controlled by aliens from outer space and lizard people. Some of Jones' theories could be construed off the deep end. However, they really aren't that much more out of line than some of the notions peddled by Swanson such as that an intense interest in Little House On The Prairie could lead to lesbianism and that those not married by 25 years of age are the moral equivalent of the town's deadbeat lush.

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson flat out admitted that he would not want Alex Jones to be a member of his church. Swanson went on to argue such a position because he believed that Jones would be disruptive when the provocateur did not get his way regarding so-called “secondary issues”. But why is Swanson's viewpoint presumptively assumed to be the one that ought to prevail in this theoretical ecclesiastical scenario? Applying Swanson's own worldview presupposition, should a church refuse membership to an outspoken individual that holds to Swansonite positions that the only legitimate form of education is home education or that young adult women having reached the age of majority should still be denied by their parents the opportunity to pursue formal higher education and career opportunities outside of the family home?

Feminists are outraged that Donald Trump complemented an Irish reporter on the beauty of her smile. Given that she was probably from the British Isles, maybe the President was just surprised that she had any teeth at all. It must also be asked were these critics as condemnatory of Bill Clinton when he intimately probed Monica Lewinsky's oral hygiene?

On the podcast of Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, Christian skepticism of climate change was condemned as “premillennial eschatalogical residue”. Wonder how long until such highfalutin terminology will be invoked to justify the curtailment of the liberties and the ultimate persecution of those holding to particular theological interpretations disputing the prevailing consensus imposed by prevailing technocrats.

It was explicitly stated on Ancient Aliens that dragons never existed. Seriously? The whole series is predicated on the assumption that what humanity understands as mythology and religion is merely the attempt of our forbearers to understand extraterrestrials. But somehow it the belief in dragons that apparently goes a step too far.

Many of the victuals available for purchase at Whole Foods are as ugly as the hippies shopping there. If that is what food is supposed to look like, I think I have lost my appetite. Ironic how the same beatniks complaining the loudest about food being overly packaged at other retailers are noticeably silent about the items for sale at this supermarket being just as tightly wound in cellophane and related hydrocarbon byproduct. Cereal for $5 a box is a bit much when I am used to getting it for 99 cents at Pennsylvania food outlets such as Sharp Shopper and Go Grocery Outlet.

In an episode of his podcast. Phil Vischer lamented the pervasiveness of consumerism. As such, does he intend to renounce and return the fortune he accumulated from the creation of Veggie Tales, probably the epitome of Christian consumerism and disposable income?

It was conjectured on the Phil Vischer podcast that the election of Donald Trump was a statement that we only care about ourselves. As an alternative, at the time of the final decision, were we supposed to elect Hillary Clinton with that statement of caring about others implemented in the form of higher rates of confiscatory taxation and projections of acquiescence or capitulation abroad? A nation doesn't have to be overly aggressive, but ultimately the government of such exists to protect the interests of those foremostly within the borders of such jurisdictions holding sanctioned status. Do you ever hear China or Russia go out of their way almost in the anguish of a mental health crisis in need of therapeutic intervention over how pathetic they feel for standing for their respective interests?

A pastor preached that God cannot forgive a sin that is not explicitly confessed. So what happens if someone dies before the nightly review of daily shortcomings or if someone forgets a particular sin such as eating one potato chip too many if this is apparently the path certain Baptists want to start walking down?

If missionaries to Africa can wear culturally significant apparel in honor of the people group they are attempting to reach, does that mean missionaries to ComiCon or MUFON can wear Starfleet uniforms in the pulpit? Can missionaries to Appalachia wear camo pants and a flannel shirt or are hillbillies too White to be granted this exception?

In a sermon, a missionary insinuated that it is not enough to use the gifts God has given us on behalf of the Body of Christ. We must also ask if He wants us to use these gifts on behalf of a part of the Body of Christ apparently on the other side of the planet. So basically one ought to set aside the elderly in one's family as this missionary and his wife have essentially done.

In a church choir's Fourth of July celebration, the verbal narration claimed that those crafting and implementing the Declaration of Independence did not draw swords but rather their pens. But wouldn't their effort have been futile if not for those Americans that did?

A Yahoo headline laments that Trump planned to have supporters bused in to his Poland oration. How is that appreciably different than the tactics utilized by Black Lives Matter or related Sorosian agitprop groups? At least Trumpites aren't likely to loot local businesses for electronics and haircare products.

Hobby Lobby has been convicted of smuggling over 5000 artifacts from Iraq. As part of the judgment, Hobby Lobby is obligated to return the disputed antiquities. However, will these items be respected as they ought as historical treasures? Or will they ultimately be destroyed at the hands of Islamic extremists?

Am beginning to wonder for the best way for Trump to have exerted influence over policy would have been to remain a commentator. With Fox News seemingly unraveling from the inside, the time would have been ripe for the news network the mogul had hinted at establishing.

Mark Zuckerberg remarked that Facebook has the potential to fill the role once played by the physical church in people's lives. However, the concern is not so much that people will gravitate towards these more ephemeral fellowships. Rather the greater concern ought to be the extent to which Facebook will be the determinant in what will be allowed in terms of doctrine and belief given the social network's track record of intervention that some might categorize as censorship.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, August 3

Headline Potpourri #97

HeadIn Berlin, Barack Obama assured in a planetary oration that this is not a time to hide behind a wall. Does that include the wall that he recently had built around his Washington, DC mansion purchased for no other reason than so his daughter could finish out the school year?

If movie theaters can schedule female-only viewings of Wonder Woman why can't Christian bakeries prepare heterosexual-only wedding cakes?

A headline states that “Men Are Freaking Out Over Women-Only Wonder Woman Screenings”. But aren't they merely applying the logic that they've learned from the radical activists bent on literally rioting in the streets to the drum beats of tolerance and inclusion? What about the activists freaking out to such an extent that two White women were driven out of business for merely selling burritos? How is a theater that refuses to admit men to a showing of a particular movie morally different than a country club that refuses to admit female or members of a different race? Why do these dykes hate men so much that they have to be in a male-free theater simply to watch a super hero movie?

In answering a question about whether a child should be forced to attend church, Russell Moore responded in the affirmative. Moore's reasoning was that the role of the parent is to be the primary evangelizer in the life of the child. But if Moore wants to be known as a Calvinist, isn't he required to concede that according to his professed soteriology that it does not ultimately matter whether the parent evangelizes or not as to whether or not that the child ranks among the saved?

In examining why a child might not want to go to church, Russell Moore suggested against a family finding a new church where everyone might be happy. This path was counseled against not because of a concern regarding the doctrinal compromise that might result. Rather, one is obligated to remain in a church because of a nebulously articulated “accountability”. Didn't Jim Jones make a similar argument before distributing the disturbingly spicy fruit punch? Unless your are on the payroll or hold some position of uncompensated authority, you are allowed to leave a church for whatever reason you want. This is especially true if you as a parent determine that the physical, emotional, or spiritual well being of your child is on the line. You make such determinations for your family, not the deacon board or the pastoral staff.

If “body shaming” (often meaning criticizing someone for dressing like a skank) now receives the condemnation once reserved for racial slurs, shouldn't people remain just as silent regarding those that wear socks with sandals and/or cargo shorts? At least socks with sandals in no way violates any Biblical injunctions regarding immodest dress.

It was said in a Nazarene sermon that hospitality is treating strangers like family. As such, does that make passing gas in their presence the highest compliment you can pay someone you don't know? It was said in a Nazarene sermon that hospitality is the practice of extending friendship to and receiving strangers. In the same sermon, it was insinuated that Middle Eastern cultures are much more hospitable than America. But isn't America's largely free market economy based upon the premise of extending service to those one does not necessarily know? If one gets uppity regarding the exchange of currency involved, you are not pro-kindness but rather anti-capitalist.

In a Nazarene sermon, it was insinuated that Middle Eastern cultures are much more hospitable than those of the West. But doesn't the fact that most Americans do not systematically execute at this time entire demographics and alternative lifestyles that we disagree with theologically or even politically and that we often lavish those violating our borders with extensive welfare benefits counter such a claim?

It was said in a Nazarene sermon that the ancient Israelites were under the command of God to bring those not part of the dominant culture on the fringes of society in in order to care for them as if they were family. However, nowhere in the Holy Text does it command the Israelites to so despise being Israelite that they are to abandon their Israelite ways. Nor is this generosity to be extended to the point of existential vulnerability to those insisting under threat of violence that the Israelites cease being Israelites and instead surrender to these outside marauders.

A church that could be characterized primarily as White in terms of its underlying demographic orientation has scheduled an outside consultant who happens to be Black to address the congregation on the topic of race and the Gospel. No doubt they will be berated for their shortcomings in connection to this controversy. Wonder if predominately Black churches hire White speakers these days to come in and give them the proverbial “what for” as to how those of that particular phenotype might straighten up and fly right in terms of not looting commercial districts following unpopular jury verdicts, the impropriety of the knockout game, and the imperative of abstinence to combat the propensity to out of wedlock parentage.

In a Nazarene sermon on the Epistle of Jude, if you zero in on verses 3-5 and 20-22 and harp on “lack of hospitality and community”, you've sort of missed the exegetical point. The text is more about those engaged in carnal immorality and the need to warn about these sorts of sins in a firm but loving manner. The passage has nothing to do with whether or not you've let enough people into your to rifle through your stuff.

A SermonAudio sermon warned about a pastor that eventually fell into sin because he was apparently aroused when his wife wore sexy boots. So is the moral of this homileticical tidbit that even in the bedroom that Christians are obligated to wear frumpy Duggar denim skirts?

It was said in a sermon posted to SermonAudio that mature people try new food. If a church claims that all doctrinal pronouncements are to be sola scriptura, where is this command handed down in the Holy Text?

According to homeschool activist Kevin Swanson, the Christian ought to avoid Pirates Of The Caribbean because the cavorting ribaldary of the protagonist might tempt the viewer towards drunkenness. Utilizing this logic, shouldn't one avoid most Presbyterian churches because, during my time of attendance at one, it was rather disturbing the number of times the mention of alcoholic beverages were alluded to in order to encourage attendance at a variety of young adult functions.

Pirates Of The Caribbean was condemned by homes school activist Kevin Swanson over the use of a supernatural object in the story to break a curse. So does he also intend to offer equal condemnation of Tolkien's “Lord Of The Rings” for utilizing nearly the exact same plot device?

Homeschool activist Keven Swanson condemned Christian fans of the Pirates Of The Caribbean series. He rightfully noted that historically pirates were wretched individuals. But why no condemnation of Patch the Pirate? No one looks to build a systematic theology upon Jack Sparrow. However, Patch the Pirate is utilized as a pivotal component of the evangelistic outreach to children in numerous fundamentalist churches.

The proverbial catch 22. Because both battery and oil were changed just recently, could not take my motorized conveyance through emission inspection (yet another pointless tax). Was told I had to run it everyday for seven days. I have never driven seven consecutive days in my entire life. So as citizens of the New World Order we are supposed to be punished for failing to keep our vehicles off congested roadways and apparently as citizens of the New World Order we are also to be punished if we try to keep our vehicles in good maintenance and off the roadways. If someone gets pulled over by a policeman and subjected to the typical sorts of verbal harassment as to where you are going (“to bed your wife, officer”) that makes it sound as if not filing the terrestrial equivalent of a flight plan is somehow a criminal offense, perhaps should just tell them that one has to drive for seven consecutive days to qualify for the emission inspection.

In the memetic criticism, James Comey is being compared to J. Edgar Hoover. But despite his faults, wasn't Hoover masterful in bending both government and media to his will rather than as appearing as the epitome of an indecisive wimp? At the zenith of Hoover's power, the President would be the one leaving the presence of the FBI Director shaken rather than the Director with his tail tucked between his legs. Can one even characterize Comey as possessing a zenith?

On Rachel Maddow, Dan Rather was in a panic over Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, likening this particular subversion to a psychological Pearl Harbor. If the Holocaust is to be reserved as a reference solely for the victims of that atrocity, why are the victims of Pearl Harbor not to be extended a similar degree of respect? But more importantly, did Rather ever speak out against this sort of fifth column operation in the heyday of such tomfoolery during the second half of the twentieth century.

If regular believers are to be condemned as “consumer minded” if they go from church to church over non-doctrinal matters, will pastors that leave for reasons other than doctrine such as salary be similarly chastised? After all, if a pastor is free to pursue a deal or situation more to his benefit, why can't a parishioner be allowed to do the same?

Regarding the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise while playing baseball, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe remarked how things in America have become so partisan and how we have been pulled apart. As a devoted Clintonista, hasn't he ranked as one of the ringleaders of this acrimony for nearly three decades?

Iran has condemned Donald Trump's condolences noting the irony of state sponsoring Islamist terror is now the victim of Islamist terror. Now that we've gotten these obligatory communications out of the way, perhaps we simply ought to sit back and watch each side blast the other into the arms of the seventy-two virgins that turn out to be dessicated crones.

It was remarked in a podcast discussion between Southern Baptist functionary Russell Moore and Senator Ben Sasse regarding the danger posed to the church by perpetual adolescence that a 15 year old's theology is not fully formed. I'll grant that. If in a Baptist or fundamentalist environment one's entire life it might take a while to realize just how full of it some operating under those particular theological descriptors just happen to be.

Russell Moore remarked that politics is not the most important thing in our lives. But didn't he not that long ago toss a fit when many Evangelicals came to the decision that, at the time, Trump was the least objectionable of the onerous selection?

Too bad the Pacific Ocean isn't big enough for two large ships to avoid plowing into one another. Sympathies extended to the injured, but overwhelming negligence or incompetence on someone's part.

Those booing the protest of the assassination scene at Shakespeare in the park are the same ones that probably applaud the looting of businesses and the blocking of highways following unpopular trial verdicts.

Russell Moore remarked that, in most healthy churches, the youth often collected the offering and went on missions trips. First, often it is not he fault of youth if in a church that the only ones allowed to handle the collection plate are on the other side of the Social Security threshold. Second, nowhere in Scripture does it say that parents are obligated to handover their offspring to die in the Third World because the youth pastor wants to go on some tropical adventure. Let them sacrifice their own children.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, July 10

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 3

It could be argued that the primary perspective allowing so many of the other outlooks to take hold that would have seemed downright silly, bizarre, and even inimical to human liberty to previous generations of mainstream Americans is none other than Postmodernism. Modernism held that man --- through observational science and objective reasoning --- could on his own without reliance on God's revelation derive truths roughly equivalent to those once deduced from religion and even improve upon those areas in which credentialed experts had concluded ecclesiastical authorities had fallen short. Postmodernism holds, in the words of J.P. Moreland, that "...there is no such thing as objective reality, truth, value, reason, and so forth. All of these are social constructions, creations of linguistic practices, and, as such, are relative not to individuals but to social groups that share a narrative (208)."

The average person may not be aware of the obtuse and technical debates that go on in academia regarding the nature of history or whether or not there is a definitive interpretation to a classic work of literature or even if there are works of literature worthy of distinction as such. However, on some level just about everyone (with the exception of those in a persistent vegetative state whose lives are actually endangered as a result of the amoralism Postmodernism advocates) is familiar with the perspective of ethical relativism.

Francis Beckwith defines moral relativism as, "the view that when it comes to questions of morality, there is no absolute objective right and wrong; moral rules are merely personal preferences and/or the result of one's cultural, sexual or ethnic orientation (211)." This sounds quite enlightened philosophically, but as Beckwith points out, in such a system the belief that unjustified killing is wrong is reduced to the level of individual predilection such as one might have for one variety of ice cream over another.

The relativism upon which Postmodernism rests is undermined by its own assumptions and is ultimately held in place only by the sheer power of those that profess it. The unfortunate thing is it is through this mindset that such elites tend to propagate themselves and to marginalize those failing to embrace a form of diversity where everyone is compelled to espouse the same set of principles.

Inherent to Postmodern relativism is the assumption that no objective standard exists. Beckwith observes, “If the mere fact of disagreement were sufficient to conclude that objective norms do not exist, then we would have to believe that there is no objectively correct position on such issues as slavery, genocide, and child molestation; for the slave owner, genocidal maniac, and pedophile have an opinion that differs from the one held by those of us who condemn their actions (215)."

Yet especially in regards to the issue of child molestation, unless one has been severely traumatized oneself or deliberately decided to wallow in humanity's basest perversities, one recoils in horror at the prospect of there being no higher justification protecting the innocent from such horrors. Beckwith assures, however, the fact that objections can be raised regarding such practices itself lends credence to moral standards existing above the fray of human affairs. For to insist that there are no absolutes is itself to invoke an absolute.

The human tendency to formulate moral codes, even when those cultures and individuals deriving these fall short of the aspired ideal, is a powerful tool in the hands of the apologist to point the seeker towards the existence of God. If nothing exists beyond the physical realm, man is the highest authority with the state being the highest of his institutions. In such an environment, “what is” becomes “what ought” with the nation possessing either the largest army or the nation most willing to use force in extending its policy objectives both within and beyond its borders determining this for the greatest percentage of the world’s population.

Thus for standards to exist against horrors such as slavery and genocide beyond human preference and circumstance, they must be rooted in a source existing above, beyond, and yet accessible to human beings and their institutions for the purposes of reflection and implementation. Paul Copan writes, “The existence of a good personal God, who created humans in his image, offers a simpler and less-contrived connection, a more plausible context to affirm human value and rights as well as moral obligations (87)." Since human beings posses conscious personhood, the source of the standards we are to live by must also possess this quality.

Sexual debauchery and drunken carousing might provide a shallow satisfaction for a short while; however, after awhile the typical soul longs for something it perceives as having a more solid foundation. Indoctrinated now since nearly the first day of school as to the shortcomings of Western civilization, many young skulls full of mush as Rush Limbaugh once categorized naive students are turning to what are described as Eastern religions or systems of belief in their pursuit of purpose and meaning.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, July 3

Leftist Theologue's Animus Towards America Extends To Nation's Very Name

Sometimes a notion or a concept can seem insightful upon its initial articulation, but after additional consideration it seems rather vapid or out of touch with reality. For example, published in the December 2016 edition of “Christianity Today” is a column titled “Christianity Without An Adjective”.

On the surface, such a goal seems laudable as it is a reminder not to sublimate Christ to any particular ideology or social philosophy. However, such an admonition fails to take into consideration why many today feel the need to articulate a modifier when describing their particular brand of Christianity and how this admonition to avoid doing so just as easily plays into the hands of the adversary.

“Christianity Today” began in the second half of the twentieth century in order to defend sound Biblical Theology in an intellectually respectable and rigorous manner before a public whose institutions of thought had already turned markedly hostile towards religiously orthodox ideas and perspectives.

In particular, “Christianity Today” was intended to stand as an alternative to more leftist publications such as “Christian Century”, “Commonweal”, and “Sojourners Magazine”. These publications often tended to promote a more liberal outlook on a variety of social, cultural, and theological issues to the point where the fundamental doctrines of the Christian faith were denied but the Christian terminology retained as a way to understand reality even if these definitions were reconceptualized in compliance with the radical fads of any given moment of the lengthy print runs of these respective publications. Coming briefly to mind was an article published a few years ago suggesting in violation of Hebrews 9:22 that the shedding of blood really wasn't all the necessary for the remission of sins after all.

Those holding to a more traditionalist understanding of the faith once delivered unto the saints were not the ones that attempted to alter the rules in the middle of the game or the very game itself. As such, why are we obligated to be the ones verbalizing a flagellating remorse in order to differentiate ourselves from those that deny essential doctrines such as the Incarnation of Christ, His Resurrection, and heterosexual marriage as the only valid form of carnal relations between human beings?

From the article, the discerning reader also comes away with the impression that this crusade against descriptive modifiers is also a front through which to ensnare Evangelical Christianity in the leftist fads of White privilege and racial guilt.

K.A. Ellis writes, “A Christianity qualified by any adjective now feels restrictive for good reason.” That means that, .by tying Christianity to any one particular understanding, one ends up feeling guilty when making common cause with universalists, moral subversives, and any number of garden variety unbelievers.

The author continues, “...As I mentioned in a previous column, that is why some are calling themselves 'Christian Americans' rather than 'American Christians'.” In other words, the truly pious or devout (those truly “sold out to Jesus” as they used to say hoping to manipulate prospects into “surrendering” to full time missionary work) have severed all meaningful ties with an identity other than their Christian one.

Yet while this is praised with one hand, the author turns around and ignores this ideal with another. What the writer probably intended to convey was that this condemnation of Christians identifying themselves in part by their particular nationality is only to be applied to those that invoke the term to signify a sort of benevolent sternness that, while desiring to advocate as much goodwill as possible to the external world, when the time comes is not going to be passively kicked around by the advocates of malevolence and tyranny.

For example, K.A. Ellis referred to Stanley Hauerwas as an “American theologian” and not as a “theologian from America”. It should be pointed out that Hauerwas is noted for markedly leftwing views.

Those that like to pat themselves on the back by playing word games in the attempt to trip people up but in the process expose just how devoid of actual wisdom and commonsense those whose primary purpose in life is to put on display just how broadminded they think themselves to be will no doubt make a fuss that in this particular instance the word “American” was paired with the word “theologian”. As such, this new standard being advocated does not apply.

However, this was not the only instance it was violated in this particular article. Ellis writes, “...we are more in concert with the orthodoxy of the two-thirds world Christians, especially those in the underground church.”

Shouldn't Ellis have formulated the phraseology as “Christians in the two-thirds world”? So if we are to so despise America that we get jacked out of shape upon hearing the linguistic combination “American Christians” why ought those living elsewhere get an easy pass?

Worthy of note is the admonition to be “in concert with the orthodoxy of two-thirds-world Christians, especially those in the underground church.” Just what exactly does that consist of?

Does Ellis mean the strong stance against homosexuality and similar carnal lifestyles that have prompted a number of ecclesiastical functionaries to take a bold position against the wanton licentiousness allowed to fester in certain branches of the Anglican Communion by seeking their apostolic oversight under a select number of African bishops rather than traditional Western prelates? Or instead, is this sentiment articulated more in solidarity with the tendency of some in these less developed lands to prefer a less than free market and more communal distribution of resources where profit does not so much accrue to those that earned it but rather to those that shout their grievances the loudest or are perhaps the most proficient at acts of violence?

It is imperative that Christianity be articulated in such a way as to grab the attention of those that are spiritually adrift. However, their eventually comes a point where those attempting to reach the lost by adopting much of the way that the lost view the world around them become virtually indistinguishable from the lost and end up losing much of their way as well.

By Frederick Meekins

Saturday, June 17

Those Denying God's Existence Should Forsake His Cash As Well

An article titled “Christian School Teacher Fired After Deciding To Live 2014 As An Atheist” attempts to place the onus for such a state of occupational limbo on organized religion. But isn't it even more the fault of the educator in question for attempting to turn his crisis of faith into some kind of theological publicity stunt?

According to the article, Ryan Bell was a Seventh Day Adventist minister and adjunct professor whose leftwing support of gay marriage and variance with his denomination's eschatology resulted in his resignation from the Hollywood congregation he pastored. He was forced from his teaching positions from Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University when Bell publicly announced his intentions to live as an atheist for a year to see if that particular worldview more accurately reflected his spiritual state where disillusionment caused him to question a number of his most deeply held beliefs.

The press account puts the blame for the hardship Bell would have to endure on these respective institutions of higher education. After all, Bell pointed out in the article, he has utility bills to pay and children to feed.

But shouldn't these employers be applauded for assisting Bell in taking his experiment in atheism to its logical conclusion? For Bell is not a minister in the Unitarian or Episcopal Churches so wishy washy in their core doctrines and beliefs that they are at times willing to keep outright unbelievers on their respective payrolls.

According to the article, Fuller Seminary and Azusa Pacific University both require faculty to adhere to a statement of faith seemingly quite broad in terms of Christian specifics if these institutions of higher education claiming to be Evangelical openly embrace Seventh Day Adventism. What Dr. Bell has said is that, at the time this all came to a head in 2014, he no longer believes the bare bones required by these schools.

As such, if Bell for the time being no longer believes that there is an all powerful being sustaining the universe and providing a means whereby fallen men might be brought back into fellowship with Him, why shouldn't Bell also forfeit the salary provided by those that do believe in such in a context that already doesn't sound all that picky or particular regarding what are commonly referred to as secondary theological matters? After all, when the unbelievers are holding the administrative reigns and catch a whiff of doctrinal content they aren't particularly fond of they aren't exactly all that magnanimous either.

For example, in “Reason In The Balance”, popularizer of Intelligent Design Phillip Johnson chronicled the case of a Biology Professor that suggested that the complexity of even the simplest lifeforms pointed in the direction of a designer. Whom or what that might be was left up for the student to decide as the professor made no suggestions as to whether that designer was God in yonder Heaven or little green men zooming about the cosmos in a flying saucer. For engaging in the free exchange of ideas in an environment supposedly priding itself on such intellectual dynamism, this professor was booted out the door.

Adherents of Intelligent Design have faired little better in other settings. For example, a scientist lost his job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory for simply expressing an interest in Intelligent Design.

Yet that very same facility explicitly stated in its public propaganda how its administrators supposedly appreciate innovative perspectives. Apparently believing that a Higher Power is behind the grandeur of the universe has little to do with building better rockets with the exception, of course, of boosting the esteem of Muslims in regards to that civilization's developments in mathematics from nearly a millennium ago. President Obama was quite explicit in making that an aeronautical agency funding priority despite their being barely a cent available for manned extra-atmospheric travel in the form of a space shuttle or lunar expeditions.

Did the atheists that got all worked up on behalf of Ryan Bell rush to meet the material needs of the occupationally displaced adherents of Intelligent Design or flagellate themselves in shamefacedness over the way the establishment media expects Christians to upon hearing of the hardships caused by the failure to at first compromise and then ultimately set aside these minimal standards derived from a set of very rudimentary beliefs one would think nearly anyone even wanting to be employed in a Christian setting would agree to? After all, it is not like Fuller Seminary these days enforces a no movies under any circumstances rule.

Proponents of the decision to impose penalties upon the bakers refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings insist that we ought to be willing to accept such punishments with little comment as the price for standing for convictions at variance with established social norms. In the case of those professing some manner of public unbelief such as itinerant academic Ryan Bell, this is to be yet another of the expanding network of exceptions and double standards.

by Frederick Meekins

Thursday, June 1

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 2

Academics get the ball rolling on a more widespread denial or misunderstanding about the divine existence of Jesus by first calling into question and raising doubts about the validity and accuracy of the Biblical accounts pertaining to the life of the Messiah. Often such efforts are commenced under the banner of an epic endeavor such as "The Quest for the Historical Jesus" or "The Jesus Seminar" where professors with impressive scholastic credentials such as John Dominic Crossan claim to be doing the truly devoted a service by scraping away centuries worth of theological barnacles to get at the simple Jesus that existed before the executors of his reputation elevated the compassionate Nazarene handyman to religious superstar status. However, closer examination of the actual historical record reveals scholars advocating such a viewpoint are as mired in fiction and fantasy every bit as much as Dan Brown.

Throughout political and religious history, one of the most time-tested tactics to undermine one's opponent is to attack the credibility of his messengers or heralds. That is why the so-called "cultured despisers of religion" have spent so much of their effort to drag the Bible in general and the Gospels in specific into disrepute. For if one begins to doubt the authenticity of these ancient documents, it is often not long until one begins to question the claims of and about the Savior Himself detailed within those pages.

First and foremost, the apologist must show that the Bible can go toe to toe with what is considered established, factual history. In his essay, Quarles compares the New Testament with the Roman Annals of Tacitus (106). Of this work, Quarles points out no complete sample of the manuscript survived from the time it was written around AD 115 to 117, with only two fragments known to exist and the earliest complete manuscript of the text dating back to the ninth century. Regarding the New Testament, the earliest surviving manuscript, the Vaticanus, is dated at AD 325, several centuries closer to the time of the New Testament Autographs.

However, the superiority of the New Testament as an authentic historical document does not end here. For whereas only two ancient fragments of Tacitus have been discovered, numerous portions and segments of the New Testament have been discovered that are believed to date often just a few decades from the time the originals were believed to have been written.

One could easily conjecture there would have been more of an opportunity to perpetrate some kind of forgery in regards to the writings of Tacitus. Yet we find no clever professor having academic laurels bestowed upon his furrowed brow for bringing into question our entire understanding of the Classical World or Ron Howard producing from such speculation a summer blockbuster bringing in sufficient box office receipts so he can finally afford that realistic toupee or hairweave he has desperately needed for so many years.

More importantly, how many (other than the most enthusiastic of historians) would really have their epistemological and moral worlds shattered if it was eventually discovered that the likes of Tacitus, Julius Casear, or even Plato and Homer were frauds? Thus, the documents of Scripture are not only historically authentic, but so is the account of an individual whose meaning and significance far transcended the ordinary.

The Christian can be assured of this because not only are the Biblical documents historically authentic in terms of their mechanics in how they came down to the contemporary world but also in terms of being reliable in regards to the credibility of the internal content. For example, if the Bible was nothing more than propaganda literature, in all likelihood those compiling the documents would have taken considerable care to downplay the faults of the movement's earliest leaders. However, this clearly did not happen.

In Church History, Christ's handpicked Apostles are considered the closest any human beings can come to epitomizing the ideal qualities of leadership. However, before being imbued with the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Testament is rife with instances where the pillars of the Church were closer to the human rather than ideal side of the lofty concept.

For example, John's mother is depicted as a social climber who wasn't fully aware of what she was getting her sons into when she went right up to Christ demanding that her sons be placed at His right hand in the coming kingdom. And though many view Peter as the unyielding rock upon which Christ built the Church, given his bumbling and cowardly nature, he seems no more competent than any of us and certainly neither a figure militant nor triumphant.

Thus, from such attention to the details that could have easily been brushed over if those penning the New Testament had been out to perpetrate either a religious fraud or to craft an inspirational but still a nevertheless fictional narrative, the believer gains a confidence that the Bible may be just as truthful in regards to its much more majestic claims as well.

Since the Bible itself teems with historical respectability, those serious about considering its claims ought to examine what is said about the text's central character, Jesus Christ. Certain skeptics wanting to pat themselves on the back just how broadminded they can be claim they applaud the so-called "ethics of Jesus", insisting that He was a good man but did not claim to be deity.

However, the Bible tells us otherwise. In Matthew 12:40, Jesus said, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

And since we have no reason to disbelieve the legitimacy of the account, Jesus did indeed rise from the grave. Secondly, at no time did Jesus condemn those that claimed He was God despite the rigorous monotheism of ancient Judaism. Of special interest to the skeptic will no doubt be Thomas who, like his counterparts in contemporary academia, was reluctant to accept the reality of the risen Jesus without more tangible proof. Upon examining Christ's wounds first hand, Thomas declared in John 20: 28, "My Lord and my God."

In previous eras, such would likely bring us to the end of an evangelistic apologetic discourse since respect for (though perhaps not always adherence to) Scripture was ingrained throughout the culture. However, today there are so many worldview alternatives to select from that the believer must not only state what Lee Strobel has termed "the case for Christ" but also begin to plant the seeds that will assist the seeker to disentangle themselves if they so desire from the webs of deception in which they are entrapped. The Christian cannot assist in this process unless they themselves are familiar with at least the basic tenets of their own faith's most prominent competitors.

By Frederick Meekins

Friday, May 19

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 1

Here at the beginning of the twenty-first century, Apologetics as an evangelistic endeavor and intellectual theological outreach finds itself in something of a paradox. When the West thought of itself in terms of resting on broadly Judeo-Christian assumptions, the discipline was not as desperately needed while most within the church at least knew of the field's existence as a subject. At the time, the less practically inclined among the membership dabbled in the subject by contemplating abstract questions and topics. However, as society moves away from Biblical assumptions and the church finds itself in desperate need of the discipline to prevent both individuals and nations from sliding into the abyss, it seems very few even know what Apologetics is and those that do are often contemptuously dismissive of this kind of scholastic undertaking in favor of a more pietistic or even mystical approach to the Christian faith.

In the anthology “Passionate Conviction: Contemporary Discourses On Christian Apologetics”, Paul Copan and William Lane Craig have assembled a number of essays rallying the faithful as to why Apologetics is necessary and tackling head on a number of the greatest challenges to the Christian faith prevalent in the world today.

Renowned futurist Alvin Toffler has remarked that the changes sweeping over society are akin to waves that can be so unsettling that they leave those they have rolled over in a state of shock while leaving those still riding the crests of previous conceptual epochs dumbfounded as to how to address the changing situations around them. Particularly hard hit has been the humanities, of which the areas of study such as philosophy, religion, and thus ultimately apologetics happen to be a part. Unlike previous eras of world history in which the average individual often dealt with a limi

ted space in terms of both mental and physical geography, today even the poorest resident of the twenty-first century West finds himself bombarded constantly with opposing worldviews. These come at us in the forms of an omnipresent media establishment, the swarms of people pouring over our borders from every conceivable corner of the globe, and the shocking number of our own countrymen willing to abandon the worldview this civilization was built upon in favor of any number of alternatives that turn out to be less than solid upon closer inspection.

It is said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The confusion characterizing the spiritual scene today would not have come about unless there had been a widespread abandonment of what Francis Schaeffer termed the “Christian consensus”, what C.S. Lewis referred to as “Mere Christianity”, and what those wanting to cast the most ecumenical net possible might characterize as the Judeo-Christian belief system. G.K. Chesterton is credited with observing that the problem that arises when we abandon orthodox theology is not that we won’t believe in anything but that we will believe in anything.

The pillar or keystone of Christianity setting it apart from all other religions and philosophies is that Jesus as the only Begotten Son of God and second person of the Trinity came to earth by being born of the Virgin Mary to live the sinless life no man could, to die on the Cross as payment for our sins and to rise from the dead so that all that believe in Him might spend eternity with God in Heaven. This is what is known as the Gospel message.

All excursions into error (no matter how seemingly ancient or modern) begin as either an outright denial of or failure to recognize these fundamental truths. This can be seen in terms of both popular and academic culture.

In terms of his own theory of Apologetics, Ravi Zacharias has postulated that there is a highest refined level of philosophy that eventually filters downward to the general population in the form of mass media and entertainment. This is true of other academic humanities as well and is not a phenomena confined solely to technical philosophy.

The first decade of the twenty-first century, renowned primarily for its advances in electronic entertainment, experienced a publishing phenomena that gripped the public imagination like few things else in the form of a novel titled “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown. Underlying the suspense of this thriller is the conjecture that Jesus was not divinity in human form but rather simply an outstanding human teacher no different than anyone else but elevated to godhood for political purposes at the Council of Nicea.

Provocative as those heresies might be, what really set the book off like wildfire was the assertion that among those otherwise mundane things Jesus did as an ordinary human being was to father a child by Mary Magdalene. It was through this lineage, rather than through any organizational church structure, that true Christian teaching was passed down through history through the intermarriage of Christ's descendants with the royal houses of Europe, especially the Merovingian of France. Of these astounding claims and their alleged justifications, Charles Quarles writes in the essay “Revisionist Views About Jesus” in “Passionate Conviction”, “This fact coupled with the enormous popularity of the book and the film require thoughtful believers to respond intelligently to the claims of the Code (96).”

It seems odd that so many --- both Christian and non-Christian alike --- would allow a popular novel to either so shake their faith or to allow it to justify what they already believe. Quarles writes, “Those whose faith is shaken by Dan Brown’s claims lose their faith far too quickly. If they will take the time to investigate Brown’s claims, they will find that his statements about biblical and historical Christianity are a comedy of errors and lack historical evidence (108).” Thing of it is though, Christianity has been maligned and discredited for so long in the halls of higher learning that the average person thinks such radical skepticism is the default position of the open, educated mind.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, May 16

Organizationally Top Heavy Church Admonishes Parishioner Austerity

In a podcast discussion centering around the issue of Baptist political involvement posted by the staff of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, one of the participants remarked that God might not be that interested in religious freedom in America because Christians live too comfortably in this nation and are not only reluctant to speak out as a result but even refrain from overseas missions trips. Mind you, the criticism might carry more weight if Berean Baptist Church was some rundown shack along a country highway or in the middle of some cornfield.

However, from its website, its programs and facilities remind one more of a religious Disney World or at least a Chuck-E-Cheese rather than a facility conducive to the kind of solemn austerity that one voice on its multi-pastor staff seems to be calling for. And that brings us to the first criticism.

From my own experience, the Baptist churches I have attended or am quite familiar with usually had a singular pastor on staff. Rarely was there even an assistant or associate pastor.

The most godly pastor I probably ever knew actually worked also as a full-time letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. However, Berean Baptist Church has around six pastors.

And it seems even this number is insufficient to cover how many pots this ecclesiastical organization seems to have its fingers in. For under their oversight, comes not only a board ten deacons but also an administrative council consisting of five directors.

If we are going to be hyper-Biblical how everyone else is to abandon their preconceptions about what constitutes the American way of life in favor of world missions to the pygmies, in what Scripture do we find the office specifically designated “Director”?

Yet in further addition, reporting to this top heavy managerial structure are a total of nine additional employees. After all, you probably need someone with coffee barista experience to serve up the muffins and cappachno in the church cafe.

Also troubling are a number of the questions on the application and renewal application to serve as deacon in this church. For example, the questionnaire asks potential deacons are they not only faithful to their wives in body but also in thought.

For starters, so long as these stirrings have not been taken beyond the level of thought, is this really the business of a church busybody? Who in their right mind is going to confess this sort of thing to someone else other than to Christ?

And while we are on the issue of Baptists that want to “out catholic” the Catholics in terms of legalistic works righteousness, even more disturbing is the question asking is the diaconial aspirant willing to resign if he no longer supports the vision of the church as articulated and interpreted by the senior pastor. How is this requirement any different in spirit than the Papalism this brand of Baptist is infamous for railing against?

Any deacon worthy of the office is loyal to God first, then the welfare of the church, and then perhaps lastly the pastor. Any church that requires this degree of loyalty to a mere human being has moved beyond the boundaries of sound religion into the worst characteristics of nepotistic bureaucracy.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things. However, it is wrong when those themselves living on pretty much what cannot be characterized as anything other but an easy street look down from their pulpit perch to enunciate why you ought not be enjoying what you have likely earned from a day's labor probably far more honest than any the one verbalizing such condemnation has likely toiled away at in a very long time.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, May 4

Gullible Believers Guilt-Tripped Into Free Labor

According to Dave Wager of the Silver Birch Ranch on an episode of “Standing For The Truth”, if pastors are really interested in teaching their young people a lesson, they ought to bring them to his facility to do dishes for a week.

In other words, what he is interested in is no cost labor.

It is claimed such measures are needed to teach youth these days the value of work.

What then is to teach these kinds of rackets that, just because an organization adds the term “Christian” to their name or mission statement, it does not mean believers are henceforward obligated to comply with outlandish demands for their time and treasure?

For does not the Bible say that a workman is worthy of his hire?

If so, if Dave Wager needs dishwashers, why can't he provide a market based wage?

If he cannot afford it, perhaps his enterprise or ministry ought to close up shop.

After all, for aligning himself with those that want to get back to simple, unencumbered New Testament Christianity, perhaps Pastor Wager can point out in what Epistle or Gospel retreat centers or Bible camps are elaborated upon.

If anything, isn't the earliest analogy of where the conspicuously pious could go to labor for the purposes of deepening their sense of spirituality and religious devotion the medieval monasteries which are often condemned in these circles as Roman Catholic accretions to divine revelation?

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, April 30

Faulty Theology Leads To Faulty Conceptions Of God's Will

Glenn Beck has been stricken with a crippling neurological disorder.

The prognosis given estimates that he might have between 5 to 10 years before he is disabled or incapacitated.

In the announcement of his ailment at The Blaze, Beck confided that his doctors informed him that, if he did not stop working, his condition would get worse.

However, Beck did not believe that God was necessarily telling him the same thing.

Beck is to be commended for doing all that he can with whatever time he might have left.

However, who is not to say that such illnesses are not God's way of telling an individual that it might be time to slow down a bit or that their efforts are required in what to our mortal perceptions might seem to be less meaningful endeavors?

Then there is the truth so few are going to possess the courage to mention.

As a Mormon, Beck professes a belief in a seriously flawed understanding of the Gospel and divine revelation.

Not only that, but the power and knowledge possessed by the Mormon conception of God is not as complete or comprehensive as that postulated by more orthodox understandings of Christianity.

With these under consideration, how can Beck thus be assured that what he construes to be a divine urging for him to continue on at a breakneck pace really is an encouragement from the Heavenly Father?

And even if it is, what assurances does a Mormon possess that a well-meaning but ultimately ineffective God is even able to deliver for Beck the good that is intended irrespective of earthly outcome?

In such a situation, mustn't the prudent inquire if the compulsion Beck believes is driving him forward might just as likely be a malevolent force or entity attempting to both end Beck's work as well as imperil his immortal soul?

By Frederick Meekins