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.

Wednesday, December 30

Why Study Philosophy?

Because of its reputation as an esoteric field thanks to areas within the broader discipline concerned with matters barely connected with everyday life, many ask, “Why study philosophy?” when confronted with the subject. Related to this are concerns and reservations raised by many sincere Christians regarding this area of study because of luminaries such as Friedrich Nietzsche and Karl Marx who used their formidable cognitive abilities to undermine the Judeo-Christian framework of Western civilization.

But in reality, philosophy can be a powerful tool capable of helping the Christian to better comprehend God's universe and to fulfill their Scriptural obligations as salt of the earth. In “Introduction To Philosophy: A Christian Perspective”, Norman Geisler provides the reader with a number of reasons why the study of philosophy is useful beyond the exercise of mental abilities (20-22).

For starters, philosophy can aide the individual in understanding human society. Though many fail to realize it, philosophical issues are found at the base of civilized life and how a populace approaches these issues will determine the very quality of life enjoyed throughout society.

For example, does a woman's right to reproductive choice outweigh the human rights of the tiny life growing within her? Or, is it just to discriminate against those who have done no wrong in order to benefit the descendants of those who have faced historic injustices even though these descendants currently enjoy a considerable degree of equality?

It has been said that America is the only nation based on a set of ideas rather than an accident of geography. Those seeking to solve these complex social issues had better offer justification beyond the brute power of the state if delicately balanced liberties are to remain intact.

Professor Geisler also points out that philosophy with its emphasis on clear thought can help liberate the individual from provincialism and clarify the meaning of Scripture. Many times what the Church considers holy writ are in fact human accretions added on for whatever reason. These might be legitimate or mere grabs at power whose origins have been forgotten in the distant past.

Besides assisting the Church in sifting between what is God's directive and man's opinion, legitimate philosophical inquiry can elucidate the holy reasoning behind a number of divine decrees. For example, through the application of reason and analysis, one can deduce that the Biblical dictates forbidding adultery are in fact rules set down by a loving Father rather than by a deity seeking to be a cosmic wet blanket.

It would be an accurate analogy to compare history's philosophical giants with the great military leaders of the past. Just as aspiring military officers study the strategies and tactics of these figures for the purposes of perfecting their own craft in order to defeat their battlefield adversaries, Christians must know their own opponents in the arena of ideas so that they might win souls for Christ and to retake social territories in the culture war (or at least prevent the loss of additional intellectual or moral ground).

For those turned off by military analogies and comparisons, John Warwick Montgomery suggested that the apologist must soak up the ideology of his day in a fashion not unlike a missionary learning a foreign language in order to communicate with those spiraling down the path towards eternal damnation. Philosophy, rightly applied, can be an immense help in the accomplishment of this task, especially when so much of contemporary thought is an eclectic mishmash of Nietzschean, Darwinian and Marxist ideology. With even a passing familiarity with philosophy, one is able to realize how many blows are struck at human liberty simply through poorly defined phrases and concepts.

II Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” For too long assorted factions within the Church have sought to sanctify their own ignorance. As a result, culture is reaping a harvest of bloodshed, blasphemy and disbelief.

It must be realized that God is the God of all creation, including philosophy when built upon a solid foundation. If Charlie Church is to reach out to Phil Philosophy, he must do so by showing that this field rightly divided also points back to the creator and sustainer of all things.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, December 22

Naive Religionists Eager To Find Shackles Under Their Nonsectarian Commemorative Photosynthesizing Lifeform

The scene is a classic one in terms of cinema. Depicted is an army defending its position with muskets or rifles drawn as the adversary marches steadily closer. To maintain awareness of the situation, a commanding officer reminds those under his authority to remain steady and not to fire until explicitly ordered to do so. Inevitably with the tension so thick, a trigger will release and a weapon fires before the desired moment.

Observers of America's cultural situation witnessed something similar in the developments that unfolded surrounding the 2015 Starbuck's Christmas cup. For whatever reason, the purveyor of shockingly overpriced caffeinated beverages decided to go with a plain red cup unadorned by any additional ornamentation with the exception of the company's mermaid logo. Absent were the snowflakes or decorations of Christmas cups past.

Christian Evangelist Joshua Feuerstein responded that this design alteration was akin to removing Christ from the celebration of His birth. Most Christians shrugged off such a reaction with a laugh or two, remarking that they really didn't care as they never purchased a $7.00 cup of coffee in the first place and weren't about to begin doing so now.

Others such as Lutheran theologian Chris Roseborough reflected that it is the duty of actual Christians rather than retailers to take the true meaning of the holiday to the broader unbelieving world. Still others such as Southern Seminary President and former Southern Baptist functionary Richard Land assured that there will indeed be a boycott of Starbucks nevertheless just to assure the captains of commerce that conservative

Christians are still capable of exerting economic influence. Yet an additional perspective contends that, since lack of a snowflake on a red cup has got to be the flimsiest of evidence of a war against Christmas that one could come up with, that must mean the war against Christmas must be about as real as flying reindeer. However, children born the day I published my first column regarding the effort to undermine Christmas are now nearly old enough to legally spike their eggnog.

These deprivations of liberty and subversions of culture have occurred with such regularity that I was able to assemble a sufficient number of these holiday-themed columns into my first book published in 2006 titled “Yuletide Terror & Other Holiday Horrors” and am well on my way to completing an even longer sequel. Among these apparently non-existent incidents ranked students denied the opportunity to attend a performance of “The Christmas Carol” because of the work's holiday-specific content, municipalities terrified to refer to their celebratory greenery by the traditional nomenclature, and students forbidden from distributing to classmates something as simple as a candy cane accompanied with a card interpreting the confection's origin from a religious perspective.

Even more disturbing than either Christians that don't celebrate Christmas over objections as to what they perceive as the holiday's questionable origins or outright unbelievers wanting to censor the Gospel message because of the offense of the cross comes an additional outlook that is apparently aroused by the prospect of cultural subjugation. This particular viewpoint was articulated in a ChristianPost column titled “Why Christians Should Lose The Christmas Culture War” by Jared Byas. Of his particular bias, Mr. Byas writes, “For me, defending God means letting go of 'Merry Christmas' so my non-Christian neighbors feel respected when I invite them to the holiday table. For me, keeping Christ in Christmas is not about winning the culture war --- but about losing it.”

If that is how Jared Byas gets his Christmas jollies, that is his own business. But just because his mental lights exhibit the symptoms of a loose bulb, there is no reason the remainder of us must also. If your neighbor is such a burro excretory orifice that they have a mental breakdown at the sight of religious symbols or even decorations where the religious meaning might not be quite as obvious, is there really much of a point in inviting them to this hypothesized nonsectarian holiday table? If we are to gradually set aside the traditions that characterize this particular season, perhaps the first to go is pretending to care about those that you barely give the time of day to the remainder of the year.

It might be one thing to tone down one's in your face religiosity in the attempt to reach out to an acquaintance overtly hostile towards true spirituality. However, this attitude of abject surrender is not without profound consequences.

Those such as Jared Byas elevating nicety to the status of something akin to the Prime Directive from Star Trek have failed to realize that God establishes different missions or objectives for what are conceived of as the distinct social spheres or what might be referred to as orders of creation in Augustinian theology. For example, Romans 13:3-4 stipulates, “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil...For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid: for he beareth not the sword in vain for he is the minister God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. (KJV).”

However, for someone that is thought of as a traditional minister in terms of church office that administers the sacraments or delivers the public proclamation of God's Word to draw a sword to settle an acrimonious debate on what color the new carpet in the sanctuary would be or to resolve a heated doctrinal disagreement in Sunday school class would be for such a pastor to overstep the boundaries of appropriate authority. Translated in terms of the Christmas issue, it might be in good taste that, if you invite the adherent of another faith over for Christmas, you don't berate them up one end and down the other as to the shortcomings of their errant belief unless they first proceed to attack you in like manner.

However, a culture or nation cannot necessarily afford to be as lenient in terms of its standards and foundational assumptions. For example, those that do not share in the assumption that values Christmas as a cherished celebration should be allowed to verbalize that they do not, articulate the reasons why, and pretty much allowed to continue along in their affairs without bodily harm or without fear of such to an extent that a person steeped in a common sense realism would deem sufficiently reasonable. However, that does not mean that the majority that value, celebrate, and derive meaning from the comprehensive narrative source from which Christmas is derived should be required to cower in silence for fear of upsetting those that do not or of receiving punishment for having done so.

In the attempt to position themselves as profoundly pious, it is quite evident that some fail to comprehend the full implications of what they are actually advocating. Jared Byas writes, “For me, keeping the Christ in Christmas is not about winning the culture war --- but about losing it.”

As in any conflict, sometimes the battles go on for so long and become so acrimonious that the involved parties can end up forgetting that for which they are fighting. The term “culture war” gained widespread notoriety in Pat Buchanan's speech at the 1992 Republican convention. In the address, the political analyst and former presidential candidate gave rhetorical voice to the proverbial Silent Majority noticing then that the embrace of progressivism and permissiveness on the part of various institutions such as academia, media and government was resulting in symptoms of noticeable decline throughout American culture and society.

Therefore, in calling for a surrender in the culture war those of the viewpoint shared by Mr. Byas think that what they are calling for is a truce on the part of all parties to simply play nice on the part of all parties irrespective of creed. What they are inadvertently giving the green light to is an anything goes mentality that will eventually result in the worst depravities and possibly even atrocities imaginable.

The veracity of this observation is already playing itself out in regards to the gay marriage issue. After standing up for years against the steady drumbeat to normalize this particular moral corrosion, many sincere Christians finally relented. They essentially said, “Fine, go ahead and do as you please in the privacy of your own bedroom. Just don't expect the remainder of us to stand around applauding in approval.”

This armistice of don't ask don't tell did not last long in terms of history's lengthy reach. For throughout this unfolding cultural revolution, the propagandists and social engineers insisted that the love between a couple of any combination imaginable was not dependent upon a piece of paper. But nearly as soon as those attempting to order their thoughts and their lives in compliance with the sanctified and the holy began to make peace with the fact that much of society was going to recognize such unnatural couplings as perfectly ordinary, additional blows were landed by the ephors of the judiciary that those objecting to the solemnization of wanton carnality would also be required to render the legal equivalent of acceptance and adulation.

In a court ruling upholding the right of conscience for the marrying couple but apparently not for the objecting merchant, a baker was threatened with financial ruination and the profound psychological trauma resulting from such for doing little more than refusing to bake a cake for a wedding that the baker believed to be an abomination in the eyes of God and for a couple not even likely to remain faithful to one another within the next couple of years anyway.

Libertines will snap why can't the baker just go ahead and bake the cake? Traditionalists can retort why can't the couple simply find another baker (which shouldn't be too difficult given that those of the couple's boudoir proclivities are often quite skilled in those crafts requiring a creative flair).

So what other freedoms and liberties is Jared Byas willing to surrender when he hoists the white flag in the culture war? Edmund Burke admonished that all it takes for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.

At the University of Mississippi, not only has the word “Christmas” been banned because it “connoted too much Christianity on campus” but so has the traditional color combination of red and green, having been replaced with red, blue, and silver. Commissars at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville decreed that in the future staff and student organizations must eliminate all religious themes and cultural allusions associated with designated celebration periods commonly referred to as holidays. But do such acts of censorship also apply to Muslim or secularist Jewish populations as well?

One waits with anticipation to hear of the commencement of orgies and human sacrifice. Think that remark goes a little too far?

It must be pointed out that the Nazis were also big on removing Christ and Christmas in favor of generic winter celebrations venerating nature, the state, and the COMMUNITY. As to the orgies, the University of Mississippi has changed the name of its celebration from the festive yet dignified “Grand Ole Christmas” to “Hotty Totty Holidays”. And with a name like that bringing to mind drunkenness and lewd behavior, academic administrators will still gawk on dumbfounded and flabbergasted at the expansion of the alleged rape culture supposedly reaching epidemic proportions on campuses across the country.

From the way Byas formulates his argument, it is assumed that insisting that the existence of Christmas be recognized is an inherently selfish act. This is evident in the phrase ...laying down my demand that the coffee shop I share with my non-Christian neighbors 'privilege' my religion.” The word “privilege” was no doubt deliberately selected in the attempt to link this issue with the revolutionary fervor of the Black Lives Matter movement with its constant drum beat of “White privilege” in the hopes of eroding resistance to increasingly extravagant demands. But are the motives for demanding a generalized respect for Christmas necessarily an either/or dichotomy between selfishness and altruism? Why can't it be a little bit of each?

In “The Wealth Of Nations'”, Scottish economist Adam Smith hypothesized that it was through the enlightened self-interest of numerous individuals making decisions on behalf of their own particular needs and desires that the great invisible hand was able to manifest the will of providence. This particularly brought about the distribution of a finite quantity of goods and services.

However, this theory can just as properly be applied to a Christian approach to the controversy surrounding the Christmas issue. In his call for abdication along this front in the culture war, Jared Byas believes that he I upholding the Biblical admonition to esteem others more highly than ourselves. And that principle does indeed have a place in adjudicating the relationship between specific individuals.

For example, if someone wishes you “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas” and they seem sincere in their extension of the sentiment, there is no need to go “Old Testament” upon them calling down holier than thou condemnation in how you go out of your way to maintain the theological formalities of the holiday. Such stridency might do more harm than help in advancing the cause of Christ.

However, what about addressing the attempts of unbelievers demanding that their own animosity towards traditional expressions of religion be granted a place of privilege so militant that in order to be satisfied an entire civilization is expected to lay down in what amounts to ritualized suicide? Therefore, provided one goes about it in a levelheaded manner, each time that you speak out against a censorship or deprivation of Christmas even if as little as letting someone know how much these radical activists tick you off, you are not being selfish.

You are in fact defending the right of someone else to enjoy Christmas unabashed in compliance with their particular convictions. Even more importantly, you are also lighting a candle against a pending Dark Age bent on plunging the world into an engulfing and pervasive tyranny.

By

Dr. Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, December 16

Tyrant Pastors Insist Congregations To Be Viewed Like Dimwitted Children

In an examination of alleged rebellion in the church, Pastor Jason Cooley compared rebellion in the sacred assembly to rebellion within the context of the biological family.

As an example, the pastor provided the illustration of a husband telling his wife to do one thing while the wife responds how she feels led by the Lord to go in another direction.

But provided that either alternative is equally godly, wouldn't a loving husband take into
consideration what the wife had to say and perhaps in many instances even defer to her suggestion?

So why wouldn't a pastor worthy of respect as such do similarly?

Rev. Cooley insists that, since such indolence would not be tolerated in the home, it should be just as quickly punished in the church.

Pastors insisting that they should be obeyed without question or hesitation like a parent in general and a father in particular need to be reminded of a fundamental assumption that cannot really be altered.

That is you have no say into what family you are born; however, an adult is perfectly free to up and leave any church in which they do not feel that they are being respected as a free human being.

This legalistic pastor admonished in this same homily posted at SermonAudio that one cannot have a foot in what would be considered a strict congregation in terms of the expectations imposed upon the members and the other foot outside in terms of refusing to relent to pastoral obedience.

So does Cooley intend to bestow a blessing upon those that depart such congregations to attend those that still adhere to essential Christian doctrine but which do not deem it necessary to clamp down so tightly regarding secondary matters?

Or will he hint at Hellfire in the attempt to frighten people from looking for more psychologically or methodologically balanced churches?

In this sermon, Pastor Cooley also criticized those that set out to establish churches on their own without proper authority.

By that, does that mean he intends to repent of being a schismatic and to return to the Roman Catholic Church?

By Frederick Meekins

Sunday, December 13

Terrorist Attacks Prompt Church To Downplay Its Open Border Homilies

In response to the terrorist attack in Paris, Pastor William Strum of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC remarked how dumb a nation had to be to grant entrance to swarms of refugees.

Both he and Senior Pastor Sean Harris suggested that the approach of targeting specific Jihadist leaders and cells would ultimately be doomed to failure.

Rather, the Western World must consider eliminating significant swaths of the Islamic population.

Yet in a SermonAudio podcast uploaded a little over a week prior to these remarks that addressed Hungary's refusal to admit Islamic refugees, Pastor Strum declared that, as a minister of the Gospel, that he would teach that these infidel indigents should be allowed entrance since it is our obligation to be more “Christian” than “American”.

Pastor Strum was previously so sure of his position regarding this issue that he announced in the podcast that he was requiring the students in his world religion class to write a paper on the Christian approach to immigration.

In Christian school jargon, that means the essay will likely be graded down if the approach taken by the student is not in agreement with the personnel opinion of the instructor.

Apart from not machine gunning down without warning those violating our borders without permission, the primary obligation of the American government is to protect actual Americans first and foremost.

If a nation decides not to admit a single immigrant, a society has fulfilled any so-called Christian obligation.

by Frederick Meekins

Friday, December 11

Legalist's Alternatives To Christmas Even Less Biblical Than Disputed Holiday

In his condemnation of Christmas, Pastor Jason Cooley suggests that parents in general and fathers in particular not impose an outright prohibition against the holiday cold turkey.

Instead, the minister suggests it might be better to phase things out gradually over time.

If so, then what is so wrong with these traditions and practices to begin with?

Applying this methodology to other so called “sins”, instead of dropping his three extra wives all at once, would the polygamist be allowed to release them back into the singles pool one at a time in elimination ceremonies reminiscent of the tribal council on Survivor?

Or what if someone has a mistress?

Is it being suggested that instead of romping with her three times per week, that the philanderer merely cut back to once per week for a whole followed by a period where she is still wined and dined but simply not bedded before the relationship is cut off entirely?

In his opposition to Christmas, Pastor Jason Cooley on a SermonAudio podcast remarked how he was trying to get his church to fast that day.

However, isn't elevating that to an implied obligation just as pagan or Romanish as the other traditions that this fanatic rails against?

For even if Baptists of this hardline variety insist that what they are doing is voluntary, the authenticity of your individual faith will be drawn into question if you fail to hop on board and go along with them.

Matthew 6:17-18 says, “But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and they Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.”

If a church body has the authority to shame or guilt trip people into semi-compulsory fasts, what's so wrong with the season of Lent?

And is not one of the condemnations of Christmas that no human, only God, has the authority to implement a mandatory religious observance such as a festival or holy day?

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, December 9

Catholic Media Invokes Christmas Imagery To Manipulate Refugee Policy


In the attempt to play on Christian sympathies at Christmas time, the National Catholic Register has posted a story titled, “No Room At The Inn, Why So Few Syrian Refugees Come To America”.

Firstly, the only ones that can be blamed for that are those that formulate the admissions policy.

Most Americans aren't held in much higher esteem by the secret society elites that run the upper echelons of the State Department and related agencies than the refugees applying for entrance.

It is doubtful your State Department gives a hoot what you think.

If the agency had it's way, those that run the place would probably like nothing better than to implement Prince Philip's proposal of systematic depopulation in the most diplomatic way possible where you would end up thanking them for doing you a favor in terminating your existence.

Secondly, Roman authorities ordered the swarms of whom Mary and Joseph ranked to report to their ancestral lands.

The United States did not compel the dispossessed to flock here only to slam the door in their face.

There is not a constitutional obligation to let them in.

Thirdly, enough with badmouthing what transpired at the inn after all these centuries.

How do we not know that the beds there weren't filled by other pregnant women also on the verge of giving birth or perhaps even elderly in nearly as much agony as Mary might have been?

Even if Mary had made a fuss that she was carrying the Redeemer, without angelic intervention to verify, why ought she have necessarily been believed in the first place?

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, December 8

The Purpose & Scope Of Apologetics


Apologetics exists as a field of Christian study to aide the believer in understanding his beliefs, why critics refuse to ascent to these eternal truths, and how these beliefs apply to broader intellectual concerns. Upon hearing of these applications of the discipline, those unfamiliar with such studies might conclude the field to be a subject preoccupied with trivial, esoteric arguments divorced from more pressing issues arising in the course of everyday life.

However, Apologetics does not have to confine itself to the halls of higher education. Apologetics does, in fact, have a role to play in the more popular forms of communication and cultural expression often looked down upon by more traditional academics and clergy.

Many students enrolled in formal degree programs and academic courses of Apologetics no doubt embrace aspirations of serving the Lord in the capacity of a pastor, missionary, or some other form of traditional Christian service. While these students are to be commended for such lofty goals, it must be noted that formalized education in Apologetics can also be good preparation for vocations involving more direct confrontation with the social and cultural realities of the day.

Such an assessment is not a detached observation. Rather it is one derived from my own experience of nearly two decades as a writer of editorial and op-ed commentaries. These efforts began in local newspapers but eventually migrated onto the Internet as that particular technology became more widespread and assessable.

One would not, at first glance, suspect a connection between Apologetics and scathing news analysis. However, Apologetics can serve as as useful tool to get at the ideas and assumptions concealed beneath the theatrics and hoopla surrounding most public issues.

Likewise, the Evangelical might be surprised by the receptivity of many of these public forums to the presentation of the Christian worldview since most believers have grown accustomed to a hostility towards traditional religious perspectives in the mainstream media. The point is not so much for the Christian to expect to anchor the nightly news on one of the major networks but to capitalize on those opportunities made available by new technologies contributing to the democratization of the means of mass communication.

The ability of the Christian to stake a foothold and win at least a modest audience in the tumultuous arena of public debate is predicated on the nature of truth itself. Romans 2:14 says, “Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, since they show that requirements of the law are written on their hearts...”

This reality serves as a gateway to an apologetic utilized by some of the most influential Christian thinkers. Dr. John Warwick Montgomery writes in “The Law Above The Law”, “...the fundamental function of the legal profession is to seek justice by seeking truth. The lawyer endeavors to reduce societal conflicts by arbitrating conflicting truth claims (68).” Similar things could be said of the journalist or columnist as these modern scribes chronicle the events of the day and attempt to relate them to the overall human condition.

Yet the Christian taking the insights of Apologetics into the public debate should not expect things to always go along peachy keen. After all, this is an age whose prevalent outlook of relativism stands in opposition to the absolute claims of the Christian faith. It, therefore, falls to the apologist to show the contemporary unbeliever, acculturated to the temper of these times, the disjunction that exists between what the average non-Christian publicly professes and the stable moral order the heart actually longs for whether the individual fully realizes it or not.

C.S. Lewis in “Mere Christianity” noted that when there is a disagreement between two individuals, “It looks, in fact, very much as if both parties had in mind some Law or Rule of...morality...Quarelling means trying to show that the other man is wrong. And there would be no sense in trying to do that unless (there was) some sort of agreement as to what Right and Wrong are (31-32).” If radical tolerance really was the ultimate principle around which the universe operated, argumentation would be pointless and perhaps impossible. Alister McGrath writes in “Intellectuals Don't Need God & Other Modern Myths”, “Lewis's point ... is that there is a core of moral constraints underlying human civilization (40).”

The Christian makes the argument for the superiority of his answer by comparing how well Christianity and the competing belief system in question measure up to various tests such as that of systematic consistency and coherence. By this test, the philosophical investigator examines how well the statements within a given worldview logically fit together and how these propositions square with the external facts. In the arena of public debate, this test is carried out by extrapolating from policies and ideas to their ultimate conclusions and how they either help or hinder both the individual and the nation.

For example, Winfred Corduan of Taylor University writes in “No Doubt About It: The Case For Christianity”, “Relativism plays the role of Zorro in the world of knowledge. It stays in concealment for long periods of time only to suddenly appear at crucial moments, conquer the day, and go back into hiding (37).” In other words, relativism might be good for tearing down dogmas, but there is no way an individual can live or a society govern by this perspective consistently. Because with no standard by which to cry “foul”, such an ethic naturally degenerates into the strong imposing their arbitrary will upon the weak.

Francis Schaeffer noted in “A Christian Manifesto”, “We live in...sociopolitical law. By sociopolitical law we mean law that has no fixed base but law in which a group of people decides what is sociologically good for society ...and what they arbitrarily decide becomes law (41).” So if society needs to kill a few million Jews or experiment on a few million fetuses, who is the average relativist to argue against these kinds of things when these atrocities are couched in the language of the “common good”? There might have been a time when Christians could have ignored the outside world with little peril; but as apologists such as C.S. Lewis, John Warwick Montgomery, and Francis Schaeffer have made know, that day is long gone if it ever existed at all.

Of the gains made by Christians in the discipline of Philosophy over the past several decades, J.P. Moreland says in “Evangelical Apologetics: Selected Essays From The 1995 Evangelical Theological Society Convention”, “In spite of these gains, however, it would be misleading to speak as if all were well on the battlefront. There is much work to be done...philosophical apologetics should be focused on those areas of study in which activity is underrepresented...Political and social philosophy would get my vote here (19-29).” This analysis has echoed this sentiment in calling for a Christian voice to address the pertinent issues of the day. This examination also embraces the spirit of Dr. Moreland's comments calling upon apologists not to ignore other forms of popular communication for the most part traditionally overlooked by Christian polemicists, primarily imaginative literature.

Bombarded with an unending twenty-four hour news cycle and conflicting streams of argumentation on nearly every conceivable issue, some overloaded minds simply turn off any alacrity they once had for the absorption of raw facts and refined logic. The desire to be entertained here in the twenty-first century shows few signs of letting up.

John Warwick Montgomery writes in “Neglected Apologetic Styles: The Juridical and The Literary” appearing in the same volume as J.P. Moreland's essay writes, “The...juggernaut of scientific technology has alienated many in our society...Might literary creativity offer a way through this labyrinth? Can literature succeed where other paths have failed (126)?” Unlike rational argumentation, which as to get around tenaciously held objections or what C.S. Lewis referred to as “watchful dragons”, stories have a way of infiltrating the defenses of the mind before one realizes what is happening (McGrath, 198).

The success of this approach is not predicated, however, upon literature for literature's sake. For although packaged in the regalia of high adventure, sympathetic characters and compelling settings, to literary sophisticates John Warwick Montgomery observes in “Myth, Allegory & Gospel”, “Chesterton, Lewis, Tolkien display...an infuriating combination or ingenuousness and genius. On the other hand, no 20th century writers in the English-speaking world have had such an ... extensive impact on the intelligentsia in the sphere of ultimate commitment (14).” Of Tolkien, Montgomery admits that some say of this fantasist that he “...limits his imagery to the symbols of Celtic and medieval myth and the verities of the Christian tradition that in the judgment of a recent critic ...'his earnest vision seems syncretistic, his structure a collage, and his feeling antiquarian.'. (14).” Yet “The Lord Of The Rings” has been heralded as the greatest novel of the twentieth century and the cinematic adaptations set in this imaginary realm are the box office hit of any Christmas season.

What these tales do is tap into a fund of themes, ideas, and images etched upon the human mind and soul. Lewis himself reflected upon the theories of Jung and Tolkien to account for the appeal of these timeless narratives. Jung believed that myths and fantasies verbalize symbols universal to the human psyche. Tolkien Christianized this idea when he said as quoted in “Myth, Allegory & Gospel”, “The Gospels contain...a story of a larger kind which embraces all of the essences of fairy stories (117).” John Warwick Montgomery further expounds, “To Tolkien and Lewis, tales such as “The Chronicles Of Narnia” can...serve as pointers to...Christian Redemption. Moreover, they will establish in the heart of the sensitive reader an appreciation of and a longing for the Christian story (118).” This technique works because, as Romans 1:20 informs, “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities --- his eternal power and divine nature --- have been clearly seen so that men are without excuse (NIV).” Thus, each human being's inbuilt curiosity regarding God and eternal things pops up in regards to the stories of good and evil so prevalent in contemporary popular culture.

With such names as Lewis and Tolkien attached to it, the average Christian might feel unworthy of employing an apologetic having grown synonymous with classical literature for fear of not properly honoring it. However, even those unlikely of ever penning a timeless epoch for the ages can still use speculative narrative to stimulate the imagination in the direction of religious truth. In fact, one does not even have to adorn the tale in the traditional medieval fantasy motifs popularized by this format since the underlying concepts being presented are much more important than the external trappings and regalia.

Though it might seem a bit clich├ęd now in light of the popularity of Left Behind and the crop of other End Times novelizations that popped up at the turn of the millennium, in a creative writing class during college I wrote a short story incorporating certain elements of a literalist eschatology such as the Rapture, the Mark of the Beast and Christian Redemption and placed them in a literary setting incorporating elements of the techno-thriller and police-state genres. The story was surprisingly well-received by a state university audience. Some of the students were kind enough to rank it among the best in the class.

It has been said that those who can, do; those who cannot, teach. Likewise, in the literary world, those who can, write; those who cannot, criticize.

Among those Christians who enjoy imaginative adventures but lack the creativity to craft their own speculative worlds there is more than ample opportunity to relate the symbols found in these narratives to Biblical truths. Some might consider it bizarre to comb science fiction and fantasy for parallels in Christian thought. Silly as it seems, it is not without precedence among secular academics to examine this kind of material through the analytical lenses of their own respective disciplines.

Such efforts have given rise to a group of semi-popular works one might classify as “Star Trek Studies”. One such volume entitled “The Ethics Of Star Trek” by Judith Barad, head of the Department of Philosophy at Indiana State University, examines the moral dilemmas confronted by these beloved characters created by the late Gene Roddenberry. It would, therefore, be just as legitimate to probe and analyze programs such as “Babylon 5”, “Stargate”, “Battlestar Galatica”, and “Doctor Who” as a form of apologetic outreach to an overlooked segment of the population, namely science fiction enthusiasts. The Blackwell Philosophy & Pop Culture Series already does something similar from the standpoint of secular philosophy.

II Corinthians 10:3-4 says, “...we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (NAS).” The Scripture acknowledges that the children of God are at war. In this conflict, it would not be strategically sound to have all the participants engaged in the same kind of combat. The army fights on the land, the navy on the sea. Still other agencies such as the CIA gather intelligence for the other branches and engage in other assorted activities not exactly fitting the mission profiles of the other services. Likewise, it is the mission of the apologist to gather information of the conditions outside of the Church and to relay that knowledge back to the body of Christ and to go into places where a pastor might not be accepted or appreciated.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, December 7

Pastors Needing To Get Somewhere Run All Over The Congregation

In a blog post at ChristianPost, it said that the most common reason a pastor leaves a church is because the pastor believes that they have taken a church as far as they can.

From the assorted scandals that erupt nearly constantly, I would have assumed it was because the pastor couldn't keep his hands off other men's wives or even underage minors.

But on a more serious note, why is it that a church has to necessarily “go anywhere”.

Isn't it enough that people show up each week, politely listen to the sermon, drop a few dollars into the collection plate, and wash and repeat the next week?

A pastor saying that they have to take a church as far as they can sounds like a pronouncement uttered from atop a dangerous precipice.

Primarily, it sounds like a pastor is willing to stomp all over a congregation in order to make a name for himself.

In such a situation as a member of the congregation or regular attender, if you don't go along with the pastor's outlandish schemes, you are made out to be some kind of dangerous subversive.
Slow and steady wins the race.

If you find yourself in a congregation where the church needs to “go somewhere”, you might very easily find yourself in the jungles of Latin America where the unsuspecting before they realize it are forced to line up to take the “spicy Kool Aid” whether they really want to or not.

Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, December 1

Church Bulletin Provides Little Comfort For Those Enduring Prolonged Suffering

A testimony on the back of a church bulletin detailed the spiritual journey of retailer J.C. Penney.

At a low point in his life at the age of 58, he found himself in a Michigan sanitarium. 

Here he cried out, “Lord, I can do nothing. Will you take care of me?”

Of that petition, the testimony reads, “God answered Penney's prayer for salvation and restored his health and wealth.”

Praise be to God.

However, the part about health and wealth raises a number of questions.

How is emphasizing that much different than the Osteenism that Independent Fundamental Baptists rightly preach against?

But what of those that God does not return to health and material prosperity?

Are not “no”, “later”, or “in a manner different from the way you asked” also answers to prayer?

If such souls do not receive restitution on this plane of existence, are we to conclude that the prayer requesting such was not sincere?

And what about when Penney croaked at 95?

Should that be taken that his prayer was not focused or directed, to use the faddish terminology we are hearing enunciated even in churches that go out of their way to assure how much they avoid prevailing theological innovations?

It can be uplifting to hear stories of those that find themselves in destitute or despondent circumstances that God elevates in this life to a level higher that from which the individual initially fell.

However, there also needs to be encouragement for those that sincerely seek God but who for whatever reason are for now denied the healing for which they ask.

By Frederick Meekins

St. Andrew The Apostle

The Feast of Saint Andrew the ApostleAlmighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew that he readily obeyed...

Posted by Anglo-Catholic Diocese of Saint Mary on Monday, November 30, 2015

Friday, November 27

The Lord's Sheep

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.John 10:27-28

Posted by Anglo-Catholic Diocese of Saint Mary on Monday, September 14, 2015

Wednesday, November 25

Will Christians Take A Ride On The Tyranny Buss?

In an analysis of Charlie Sheen's revelation that the actor is infected with HIV, Christian social apologist Scott Alan Buss pretty much blamed that development on all Christians.

In a column at his website FireBreathingChristian, Buss writes, “We see porn shops and strip clubs operating all across the fruited plain in direct violation of God's word.”

Those strip clubs are the fault of their owners and those that frequent them.

If you are Christian and you do not, you have nothing to answer for in regards to such smut peddling.

Even more disturbingly he writes, “We read about Muslims, witches, and even Satantists openly worshiping their false gods in the land in the name of all American/anti-Christian versions of 'freedom' and 'liberty'.”

Linked to that column is another titled “There Is No God Given Right To Worship False Gods.”
It would depend upon what is meant by that.

If that means that, after a life spent as an adherent of a false religion you go to Hell when you die, that is a correct statement.

But by that his pronouncement does Buss mean that the governing authorities should punish those advocating a perspective other than the religion officially sanctioned by those holding power?

In his condemnation of religious liberty, Buss insists that it is the epitome of statism to allow the adherents of non-Christian religions to worship publicly.

But what social institution would be charged with enforcing the law against those violating these statutes in his idealized Christian regime?

How is what he suggests little different than Iran that utilizes force, violence, and compulsion in the attempt to impose theological purity and uniformity?

The case can be made that there is less in the New Testament urging these as the preferred methods of evangelistic outrage than the long hair with which Buss is depicted in a number of photographs which Holy Writ counsels is a shame on a man.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, November 24

Will Refugee Crisis Exacerbate Obama's Messianic Psychosis?

In remarks overseas, President Obama categorized opposition or even reluctance to admit swarms of Syrian refugees to the United States as offensive and needing to stop.

And what if it doesn't?

The free speech of actual Americans is a higher constitutional priority than granting entrance to those who are not.

The President added, “We are not well served when in response to a terrorist attack we descend into fear and panic.”

Would he be as brave if he was not surrounded by multiple layers of security?

White House propagandists have developed a social media hashtag welcoming refugees.

Will these migrants --- either vetted or unvetted --- be allowed to congregate unrestricted in the vicinity of the First Family?

The President and his decreasing number of supporters in Congress insist that welcoming refugees is an American tradition.

At one point, so was marriage only being between a man and a woman.

Liberals certainly didn't mind altering that to suit their policy agenda.

In his support of flooding American cities with potentially Islamist refugees, President Obama asked are critics afraid of widows and orphans.

However, it must be remembered that Islamic societies do not necessarily gage the age of majority in the same manner as Western ones.

After all, it must be remembered that many of these savages think nothing of marrying nine year old brides and deriving carnal pleasure from them in the same manner mentally healthy men do with woman around their own age.

In an attempted compromise, a number of Republicans have suggested that perhaps a system could be implemented granting verified Christians resettlement priority.

The President insisted such a religious test was an outrage and unacceptable.

However, it is more of a humanitarian gesture than what Saudi Arabia is even extending to fellow Muslims, none of whom will be allowed into that desert kingdom but for whom mosques will be gladly built in Western lands as part of their religious obligation of planetary subjugation.

If religion is not to be taken into consideration in determining refugee status, why is the Obama administration denying it at a higher rate to Christian applicants than Islamic ones?

It is generally considered bad form at best and borderline treason at worst for Americans to criticize their nation or even its leaders while on foreign soil.

As such, shouldn't a similar standard apply to the President as well?

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, November 17

Southern Baptist Defending Hunting Undermines Other Christian Liberties

It would be a proverbial understatement to say that the death of Cecil the Lion at the hands of hunters touched something in hearts and imaginations around the world. The mark of a skilled theologian or apologist is the ability to take nearly any subject and try to view the topic through the lens of a Christian perspective.

The Baptist Press of the Southern Baptist Convention attempted to do this in regards to Cecil the Lion in an article titled “Lion's Death Occasions Defense Of Legal Hunting” by that news service's chief correspondent David Roach. Overall the examination of the topic was quite balanced.

On the one hand, the article recognized that the Bible allows for hunting in that man in this dispensation has permission to use the animals with which we share the world for our benefit and enjoyment. However, the article also pointed out that this activity must be undertaken only with a sense of solemnity and responsibility.

The really discerning theologian goes beyond what is plainly said to shine light on that which might not be noticed so easily.

Accompanying the text is a photo of former Southern Baptist Convention president and president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Paige Patterson. The caption reads, “Paige Patterson and his son Armour killed a roam antelope during a hunt in Zambia.”

Patterson was interviewed to provide a great deal of the article's theological context. Of his analysis, one really can't find much fault.

However, it really should be pointed out that the variety of antelope depicted in the accompanying photograph aren't known for a territory that overlaps geographically with the ecclesiastical stronghold of the Southern Baptist Convention in, well, the American South. That would mean that, in order to get within rifle range of such a creature, Paige Patterson would be required to travel a considerable distance.

There is nothing inherently wrong or morally alarming about travel. It is, in fact, one of the great blessings of the contemporary era that people can travel in a matter of hours distances that in decades or centuries past would have taken days, weeks, or even months.

However, the question must be asked. With what funds did the Pattersons travel to Zambia where they recreationally killed one of God's creatures? Did these funds come out of their own pockets or were these collected under the banner of some grandiose missionary outreach effort for the purposes of reaching the lost in the forsaken corners of the Third World?

Concern over this is sparked in part over the way in which conservative Evangelicals such as Southern and Independent Fundamentalist Baptists raise funds to conduct missionary outreach. No longer is the spiel formulate, “Look at those poor savages languishing in squalor. If you could spare a little, we might be able to increase their quality of life and also try to convince them that they need Jesus rather than their heathen witchdoctor to keep them out of Hell.”

Now, the missionary bordering on the fanatical blows into your church and drums up support for their overseas expedition by laying a guilt trip on the pewfillers as to how wretched the American culture and way of life is because the Land of the Free is not characterized by these Third World deprivations. By the time that the presentation is concluded, the donations are not collected so much to better the lives of the less fortunate but rather as some kind of penance for you having committed the sin of having been born in the United States. It is almost as if you are expected to thank these foreigners for accepting your money rather than the foreigners thanking you for your willingness to give.

Even if Paige Patterson is as clean as the wind-driven snow in terms of how the funds were obtained to finance this hunting safari, the issue is not settled. For to Patterson the professional religionist, your money that you earn is not yours to do with as you please within the parameters of morality even after you tithe or slip a little into the collection plate.

Rather, much of what you have is to be at the ready disposal of your ecclesiastical betters. Patterson has insinuated as such in a number of epistolary appeals.

One of these letters is titled “Ten Things That We Owe Dr. David Platt.” These are essentially ten disturbingly cultish pledges Dr. Patterson believes Southern Baptists are obligated to undertake in relation to the denomination's International Missions Board President David Platt.

Propositions seven and eight are particularly relevant in regard to this issue at hand.

Number seven reads, “Willingness to do whatever Platt asks that is not contrary to our deeply held convictions and within our power.” Principle number eight spells this out in more detail as it reads, “Willingness to make sacrifices in order to extend the kingdom of our Lord...and if the gospel is to go to the people of the world, without question Southern Baptists who believe in the world mission enterprise must be prepared for even more sacrifices.”

So whereas you are expected to flagellate yourself over and over in your mind as to whether or not you really need that day trip to the beach this year, Paige Patterson and his son expended the resources necessary to fly themselves to Africa. For despite such near messianic fervor lavished upon David Platt, it is doubtful that even his most enthusiastic supporters are able to walk on water.
Those conditioned to blithely accept nearly anything done by those anointed to these ecclesiastical offices will respond that Patterson might have been among the deprived heathen as part of some grand missionary undertaking. Surely such a servant of God has earned the right to relax in a manner of his own choosing.

In an open letter addressed to Southern Baptists regarding this topic to which Patterson is a signatory, it is written, “Revivalist and church historian Lewis Drummond once asked whether we would be willing to see our country brought to its knees financially if that is what it takes for revival to come to America. This may be that day.”

What such religious leaders are saying is that they hope to see you starving in the streets in the hopes that such suffering will break your will and bring you into compliance with the ecclesiastical elites. Don't worry though. Such prominent fat cats will not only always eat well but will continue to enjoy the privileges you are obligated to deny yourself such as opulent vacations such as oh, I don't really know, perhaps HUNTING SAFARIS TO AFRICA.

It is doubtful anyone in the upper echelons of the Southern Baptist Convention eats from discount grocery chains. In fact, at one time Russell Moore penned an article sneering down his nose at those frequenting such retailers as a way to stretch their nutrition dollar. One must ask is he as critical of those that do not so much hunt as way to provide subsistence for their families but rather as an excuse trot halfway around the globe for mere pleasure?

Paige Patterson is to be commended for his balanced yet eloquent consideration of the moral complexities surrounding the hunting issue. Let us hope that the leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention would be less pushy in those areas of life where the explicit oracles of God do not necessarily say as much as these theologians would lead those under their teaching to believe.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, November 4

Southern Baptists More Condemnatory Of Trick Or Treating Than Inner City Rioting

Of Halloween, theologian Albert Mohler posted on Facebook “Christians need to consider that there are pagan roots to many of the holidays on our calendar, but what makes Halloween different is that it alone is a celebration of paganism and the very attempt to recover in one means or another those pagan roots.”

It's rather instructive regarding the state of the Southern Baptist Convention, of which Mohler is one of the most influential voices, that among the ranks of the institution's leadership there is louder condemnation of youngsters trick or treating than of the Obama voters and welfare leeches that attempted to burn American cities such as Ferguson and Baltimore to the ground.

An article was published in the Fall 2015 edition of BaptistLife: the Newsjournal of the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network titled in the table of contents as “Loving Our Urban Neighbors”.

Interestingly there were no accompanying articles about loving our rural neighbors or even our trailerpark neighbors.

The article commenced with the following quote: “It's no question the spring riots in the aftermath of Freddie Gray's death sparked a national conversation about the rights of people who live in impoverished inner city neighborhoods. Many who took to the streets simply wanted their voices heard, their circumstances recognized, and their hopes and dreams acknowledged, too.”

Later in the article, these ecclesiastical propagandists praised that “..many of the rival gangs had come together, bonding over their shared commitment to protect their city.”

In other words, instead of robbing and killing each other, they decided it was probably best to loot local businesses and threaten any White folks happening to wander into these derelict territories.

In this era, do official Southern Baptist publications go out of their way to argue on behalf of legitimate concerns raised by the Ku Klux Klan, the militia movement, or even the Tea Party?

Liberal readers will respond in a heated froth that how dare anyone insinuate that grievances raised by at least the first two of that disreputable triad be categorized as valid.

Yet these questionable associations are probably no more criminal than the inner city gangs that the Mid-Atlantic Southern Baptist Convention insists upon referencing as if these criminal syndicates were no different than the Chamber of Commerce or the Kiwanis Club.

Wonder if Southern Baptist leadership would be so enthusiastic about this “conversation” if its offices were the ones being pillaged rather than the pharmaceutical counters of the local drugstore.

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, November 3

Ministries Condemning Halloween Less Than Ideal In Other Areas Of Doctrine & Practice

In an anti-Halloween sermon, a pastoress remarked how if those in Satanic or Wiccan covens are late for a ritual, they are punished by demonic entities. Instead of celebrating how the Christian possesses a degree of freedom not found in spiritually counterfeit systems of belief, the pastoress lamented lack of similar discipline in the ranks of the true church. If one wants to be such a ramrod stickler to detail with everything being done by the book to a fanatical degree with little room for forgiveness, what is a woman doing being a pastor in the first place?

It was argued in an anti-Halloween sermon that, if you trick or treat, you are endorsing a particular worldview. As such, if you use a light bulb, does that constitute an endorsement of Thomas Edison's occultic proclivities? Likewise, does driving an automobile endorse Henry Ford's alleged anti-Semitic inclinations?

The latest homiletical trick employed in anti-Halloween sermons seems to center around a proverbial immigrant (usually from Africa) that is profoundly disturbed and disappointed that America would have a celebration characterized by the motifs and symbolism associated with Halloween.

Interestingly, seldom do these accounts tell of an individual so persuaded as to the correctness of their convictions that this immigrant is willing to forsake the delights of steady electricity, clean water, and a reliable food supply in order to return to their less-developed but more innocent homeland.

On the Internet, it seems a number of AWANA clubs are just happening to hold their costume nights in the month of October. A number of them stipulated that the costumes must be non-violent. So that would mean there are a significant number of Biblical characters that a child would be forbidden from dressing as such as King David, Jael's wife, or the bear that ate the children that ridiculed Eli?
In anti-Halloween sermons as to why Christians should have nothing to do with Jack-O-Lanterns, the eponymous Jack is often said to have been eating a turnip when Satan tossed a coal from the fires of Hell to place in the vegetable to use as a torch throughout eternity. If the Christian is to be so worked up to avoid even a hint of associating with these questionable practices, does that mean we Christians should forgo eating turnips?

In a number of sermons, Pastor Jim Staley of Passion For Truth Ministries condemned not only Halloween but Christmas and Easter as well as celebrations unauthorized in Scripture. Therefore, the sincere Christian ought to avoid them in order to maintain their testimony (the blanket excuse one invokes when one wants something to be wrong but can't really articulate a very specific reason as to why). This pastor's suggestion might carry a bit more weight if he wasn't serving prison time for defrauding a group of elderly investors of nearly $3 million. For are not the stipulations against theft and mistreating the elderly more explicit than whether or not a child spends an autumnal evening ritualistically collecting candy around the neighborhood or an early winter one putting a popcorn string around a tree?

If a church condemns Halloween but holds Trunk-Or-Treat, isn't that the equivalent of erecting a pole dancing stage in the church basement to pat yourself on the back how that keeps men out of strip clubs and nudey bars?

In a condemnation of Halloween, a Christian podcaster said that he could not imagine Paul, if the Apostle had children, allowing them to participate in a Christianized version of a pagan festival so that they would not feel left out. But in the Book of Acts, did not Paul appear on the Areopagus where, in his outreach to the Greeks, he appealed to the assembled by referencing the altar to the unknown god and by quoting classical Hellenistic literature to them? Therefore, why can't certain aspects of the Halloween celebration be utilized in a similar manner?

There have probably been more children molested by pastors insisting upon the threat posed by tampered Halloween candy than children harmed by tampered Halloween candy.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, November 2

Cemetery Visitation Condemned As Part Of Halloween Hysteria

In a criticism of Halloween, a pastor condemned a Scandinavian custom where loved ones visit the graves of the departed on that day to light candles of remembrance as a form of mourning.

Unless participants are expecting to communicate with the dead through this custom, what passage of Scripture expressly forbids this practice?

The pastor insisted that Christians aren't to celebrate death but rather life.

As proof, he quoted the Scripture that the death of His saints is precious in the sight of the Lord.
Once again, a Scripture or doctrine has been invoked that has little bearing on the issue at hand in order to perpetuate the fraud of happy face Christianity.

In most instances, families do not visit graves to celebrate that the departed are six feet under.
The grave is visited as a grieving mechanism to honor what the individual meant to you.

Yet, from the impression given by this fanatic pastor, you are just about committing the unpardonable sin if you do anything but blot the existence of the departed loved one from your memory and never mention them ever again.

In Christian teaching, the grave site is also visited in recognition that the human physical form also possess value as we are not Gnostics.

But even more importantly, it is from that particular spot that the interned individual will rise in their glorified state during the Resurrection.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, October 26

Baptist Pastor Advocates The Abuse & Persecution Of Other Christians

In addressing the Oregon community college shooting, Pastor William Strum of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina observed in remarks posted at SermonAudio how this incident likely portends the increasing martyrdom of believers as America becomes markedly less Christian.

The minister then snidely remarked that we don't want that but would rather have our own rights.

The Christian should realize that in this world we will have trouble.

However, that does not mean that Christians should allow themselves to be walked all over when these abridgments move beyond the realm of verbal insults into the arena of physical attacks.

For example, should the pastor return home and find that he has been displaced from his residency, is he not going to stand up for his property rights?

What if he shows up to church Sunday morning to discover that Muslims have seized control of the sanctuary for their own purposes?

Is he going to slink away without even a protest?

Sometimes, in the rush to display their own sense of piety, it seems doubtful that a number of Christian leaders are even contemplating the implications of the radical passivity that they are attempting to condition the unsuspecting into accepting.

By Frederick Meekins

Thursday, October 22

Fundamentalist Hardliner Takes A Stand Against Everything Except That Which Matters

With some of these hardline Fundamental Baptists, it seems everything must be explicitly “religious” 24/7.

For example, in one SermonAudio homily, Pastor Bob Barton proudly detailed how he would not allow a church softball team because the purpose of the sacred assembly was not to sponsor such recreational opportunities.

Fine and dandy.

However, this is the very same kind of preacher that would about have a grand mall seizure in the pulpit if someone in the congregation joined a secular recreational league.

In his exposition, the pastor insisted it is not enough to avoid what God is against.

Rather, the believer ought to allow only those things in church which God has explicitly approved.

This is about the width of that proverbial needle the angel is always dancing upon from falling into religious fanaticism.

Using this particular standard, since there is nothing in the Word of God about indoor plumbing or contemporary toiletries such as bathroom tissue, should a church allow these on the property?

It's just ashame that, if the media is to be believed, that Pastor Barton did get not as outraged over two incidents of child abuse that were perpetrated within his congregation as he does against recreational athletics.

by Frederick Meekins

Monday, September 28

Episcopal Hierarch Threatens To Undermine Immigration Law

The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Eugene Sutton has posted a pastoral letter titled “Are Not These Our Children?”

The question is in reference to the swarms of illegal minors pouring over the border.

No, they are not “our children”.

They most likely “belong” to Mexico.

The phrase “our children” implies that their continued upkeep is our ongoing responsibility.

The only children you are responsible for are those that you procreate yourself or voluntarily agree to take care of through formalized arrangements such adoption and foster care.

The Bishop answers, “...the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland will take its marching orders from the Bible.”

This ecclesiastical functionary further clarifies, “who we are as Christians who base our ethical actions from the Holy Scriptures that remind us of the sanctity and dignity of every human being.”

If that is the standard that the Episcopal Church intends to rally around as fundamental Christian doctrine, does it intend to renounce gay marriage and ordination as well as abortion?

For these issues are much clearer in divine revelation than how the denomination is deciding to interpret and implement admonitions regarding the treatment of strangers.

The passage emphasized in the pastoral letter is from Matthew 25 which says, “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

There is nothing in that text demanding you turn over your house without question and allow it to be ruined beyond recognition.

It is an observation of fact that the Episcopalians are one of the denominations that revel in ornamentation and finery.

So is the Bishop a bigot and a snob if he does not invite the unmannered rabble into his cathedral to use the baptismal font as a toilet and urinal?

There is a proper way of doing things.

It is exactly because these individuals are worthy of dignity as human beings made in the image of God that they should be expected to abide by the laws and regulations imposed upon the remainder of the species.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 16

Theoanthrocide: The Death Of God & Man

Psalm 11:3 says, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” Without a doubt, the twentieth century ranks among the deadliest in all of human history and it seems the twenty-first will likely continue this appalling legacy. This era will also be remembered as a period of intense philosophical upheaval where the pillars of culture and belief were shaken and in many cases even shattered. A number of sophisticated liberals will contend that one cannot establish a link between these sociological developments because innocents have been slain in societies assenting to Judeo-Christian assumptions and not every unbeliever has been an ax-wielding serial killer. Yet it cannot be denied that in nations where the God of the Bible comes to play a role of decreasing significance, the value placed upon human life soon follows such a downhill plunge.

Exodus 20:3-4 reads, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image...” The Lord continues in verses 5 and 6, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: For I am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers unto their children unto the third and fourth generations of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto the thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.” Thus from the outset, evidence exists that consequences flow directly from one's attitudinal disposition towards the Almighty.

Usually, these consequences are thought of in terms of one's eternal destination. However, the warning that the iniquities of the father will be visited upon the children to the third and fourth generations dispels the notion of consequences being solely immediate. Rather, it indicates that ramification are possible within a wider social context. It therefore becomes evident that acknowledgment of and submission to the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob plays a fundamental role in ordering the individual's cultural and relational perspectives.

The requirement to yield to the God of the Bible is not intended to shore up the fragile esteem of a deity lacking in self-confidence. Rather, the foremost among the Commandments serves as a protective boundary designed to shield sinful individuals from falling prey to their own delusions as well as those of others.

In “The Universe Next Door”, James Sire lists a number of assumptions regarding the nature of God embraced by Christian theism. These include the following: God is omniscient, God is sovereign, God is good, and God created the universe and everything in it out of nothing other than through the power of His own Word (23-26). These assumptions are replete with ramifications for humanity's ethical situation. For if God is the benevolent, all powerful, all knowing creator and sustainer of the universe, it naturally follows that the plans and intentions established by His guidelines for man are therefore the best possible course of action. Obedience to the First Commandment bring the individual into compliance with the divinely ordained moral order and allows the individual to prosper the most from it --- if not in this life, surely in the next. Romans 12:2 says, “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” John 8:32 adds, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Rather than stifling mankind, the First Commandment allows for a liberation found in no other system of belief or religious thought.

Sadly though, the present age since the Fall in the Garden of Eden has been marred by sin and its consequences. Instead of complying with the First Commandment and accepting God's free gift of salvation found through belief in the work of Christ, man has consistently preferred to go it alone in a state of rebellion. Romans 1:21-23 says, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God....; but they became futile in their speculations. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of a corruptible man and of birds and animals and crawling creatures (NASB).”

It was not enough for man to bid God adieu and be on his way. Man's religious yearnings ran so deep that something had to fill the vacancy left by an evicted God. Throughout the twentieth and now into the twenty-first century, man has grown increasingly less-flustered about blatantly occupying without having to hide behind golden calves or Olympians sculpted from marble the throne once reserved for God Almighty alone.

Even though belief systems purporting to be theistic but opposing a sound Biblical conception of God present their own dangers, for the purposes of this brief analysis the most stunning ethical contrast is provided by none other than secular humanism. According to Tim LaHaye in “Mind Siege: The Battle For Truth In The New Millennium”, secular humanism holds to the following principles: God does not exist, man is all that does exist, and everything we see and experience in the world today arose through a process of evolution set in motion by the spontaneous generation of matter devoid of any divine creative impulse or overseeing guidance (185). As such, man finds himself alone in the universe, having to rely solely on his own finite intellect for survival and understanding. This state of existential self-sufficiency extends to the arena of ethics as well.

As with its theistic counterpart, the nature of humanism's system of ethics indelibly flows from its object of ultimate adoration. Thomas Oden in “Two Worlds: Notes On The Death Of Modernity In America & Russia” classifies the ethical motifs of modernity --- to which secular humanism serves as a backbone --- as autonomous individualism, narcissistic naturalism, and absolute moral relativism (33-35). Translating this into English, in the humanist system of ethics, values are ultimately determined by the individual in response to external stimuli and internal biochemical reactions without reference to any transcendent moral standard. As Francis Schaeffer notes in “A Christian Manifesto”, “From the material, energy, chance concept of final reality, final reality... must be silent as to values, principles, or any basis of law. There is no way to ascertain 'the ought' from 'the is” (48).” While humanist ethics might prove workable but spiritually unsatisfying in a world of one, problems arise when multiple individuals are required to engage in a high degree of social interaction.

Despite being based on faulty assumptions in violation of the First Commandment, many humanistic individuals, regimes, societies, and cultures do not necessarily set out to journey down the path of corruption and libertinism. Before his death, renowned entertainer and signatory to “Humanist Manifesto 2000” Steve Allen served as spokesman for the Parents' Television Council of the conservative Media Research Center in that watchdog organization's campaign to cleanup America's polluted broadcast airwaves. However, John Frame argues in “Apologetics To The Glory Of God” that the existence of objective morality is a theistic assumption with the ultimate choice being between God and nothingness (102). And since Humanism views life as little more than a random accident, there is little reason to respect it as a treasured and unique phenomena.

Casual observers might find it perplexing that a system of thought so focused upon the human organism ends up being so dangerous to and destructive of human life. Yet such is clearly the case when examined through the light of history and current events. The most outright examples of Humanism on the rampage against individual human life are to found in those regimes and societies that at one time or the other embraced totalitarian ideologies such as Communism or Fascism.
Of such sociopolitical theories, Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn in “Leftism: From De Sade & Marx To Hitler & Marcuse”, says regarding the viewpoints of those figures regarding the value of the individual human life, “The individual is subject to the will of the majority...He is a mere number in the 'democratic process', who can be added or subtracted...The individual is nothing --- the 'People' everything...The individual is a mere fragment of the collective masses (426).” In the system of humanism then, the individual is not the ultimate source of value per say as is the species taken as a whole. And this is where much of the trouble comes in at.

As discussed elsewhere in this paper, the human heart is constructed in such a manner as to require some focus of ultimate loyalty. For the totalitarian, such centrality of purpose is found in the state or ruling party. Since these finite political entities do not hold absolute sovereignty unlike God, these regimes basing their foundations on nothing but pure egoism cannot countenance a rival voice providing an alternative vision or critiquing the one preferred by the prevailing elite. This is because such an elite cannot guarantee the set of ultimate outcomes it desires and still grant the same degree of individual determination as God to those over whom they seem to exercise complete control. And since it must be remembered that the humanist version of the Golden Rile declares that those who have the gold make the rules, those overseeing these sociopolitical environments are able to tinker with the parameters of acceptability within their respective spheres to justify the elimination of the inconvenient as epitomized under the rule of Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.

The threat to life in nations purporting to value democracy and individual human rights may be more subtle that that found under totalitarianism, but the seductiveness of such is often spread across a far wider base. For whereas tyrants possess the power to eliminate their victims through the gulags and concentration camps shocking to most Americans, polite humanists discreetly discard those they deem an inconvenience through the sanitary privacy provided by a clinic while celebrating the deed as the epitome of self-actualization under the banner of choice. The hideous reality finds its most prominent expression in the issue of abortion where the violation of the First Commandment and the transgression of the Sixth come together in the amalgamation of a single act. Even though the numbers may be diminished in the sense that the tyrant slays untold millions and the wayward parents seeking an abortion instead bear responsibility of snuffing out one, the process leading to each of these outcomes share considerable similarity.

Analyzed from a philosophical perspective, abortion is quite often the result of assuming an ethical authority to which no human ought to be privy. The decision to abort is often the culmination of the principles discussed previously as these concepts move downward from the academic domain of the elites and into the lives of average citizens. The individual seeking the abortion --- whether they realize it consciously or not amidst their struggle and trying circumstances --- begins by assuming that they (not a deity transcendent to the passions of the moment) are the supreme arbiter of right and wrong.

And if no eternally objective standard exists outside of the circumstances of the human organism, one of the first things to go is truth, in this case represented in the form of scientifically accurate information and propositional axioms conforming to the facts as they actually exist. For example, in “Pro-life Answers To Pro-Choice Arguments”, Randy Alcorn confronts some of the common justifications raised in defense of this homicidal procedure. Perhaps the best argument illustrating this point is as follows: “The unborn is not a person with meaningful life. It's only inches in size, and can't even think; it's less advanced than an animal (Alcorn, 56).”

Objective scientific fact teaches that the fertilized egg constitutes a genetically distinct individual whose DNA will be no more complete at the age of twenty than at the moment of conception. And the criteria of “meaningfulness” used to judge the value of human life ought to send chills down the spine of every thinking individual. Since the unborn child is as human as any other soul dwelling upon the earth, what is to stop this qualification from being invoked as an excuse to sweep aside others deemed inconvenient such as the chronically ill, the emotionally depressed, or even those expressing beliefs countering prevailing cultural norms onto the societal garbage heap. If the ability to think determines the extent of one's humanity, can pro-choicers be said to qualify as people by their own standard?

With advances in technology, abortion simply becomes the tip of the biomedical scalpel. Genetic engineering, with its potential cures and promises to increase the quality of life for untold millions, might be even harder for Christians to grapple with. For unlike abortion, on the surface genetic engineering masquerades as a proposition in compliance with the noblest aspirations in support of human life. Yet like handguns and automobiles, these advanced technologies rather take on the moral intent of those wielding them in any given circumstance. Often those harboring the hubris of humanism hold to intentions far removed from the lofty goals of curing disease or ameliorating physical pain. Instead, those adhering to this particular worldview hope to harness these procedures to make manifest their version of an improved humanity removed from any constraints imposed by an external creator, regardless of the detrimental consequences likely to be wrought upon actual human lives.

To address this issue, one might be surprised to learn few better apologetic resources exist for the Christian than certain types of science fiction since this form of imaginative speculation often allowed a theme to be taken to its conceptual extremes. At the one end of the genetic continuum stands the possibility of a master race not unlike the horror envisioned by Adolf Hitler. This possibility was considered on the program “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda” in the form of a genetically engineered race know as the Nietzscheans who end up enslaving most other humans and plunging the transgalactic civilization know as the Systems Commonwealth into an age of lawlessness serving as the backdrop against which the ongoing saga unfolded .

While most prevalent themes seem to address the domination of humanity by these wayward laboratory experiments, the possibility exists for the reverse whereby man will fail to respect the Sixth Commandment protections of those conceived and modified in this revolutionary manner, instead looking upon such individuals as property rather than as fellow persons. Steps may in fact be taken to even alter or limit the fundamental human characteristics of such beings. One branch of such research known as transgenics hopes to introduce animal DNA into the human genome. Thomas Horn noted in a WorthyNews.com article titled “Transgenics: Creating Real Monsters” that such efforts in spirit violate the injunctions against bestiality found in Leviticus 18:23 by undermining the integrity between species with the possibility of “ultimately producing animal characteristics within humans.” These ideas have been explored in a number of television programs such as “Dark Angel” where one of the characters was forced to live life with the body of a human and a face evoking the features of a lion.

In a sense, one might look upon the study of Bible prophecy as a discipline where the seemingly unbelievable predictions of science fiction often take form in the concreteness of history. And while admitting that one cannot state with absolute certainty how God might permit the events of eschatology to come about, these horrors may very well transpire through the aide of a form of genetic engineering that recognizes no ethical limits and respects only the lives of those wielding power at the time. The Raelian movement, a religious sect that worships extraterrestrials as the creators of mankind, hopes to resurrect the dead by cloning them. Ultimately, this could provide the means whereby the Anti-Christ could pull off a counterfeit resurrection.

Other passages of prophecy sound like a transgenic nightmare. In particular, the locusts of Revelation 9 come to mind. These creatures are described as like unto horses prepared for battle, with the faces of men, the hair of women, the teeth of lions, and the tails of scorpions. Such creatures may come from the pit of Hell, but they could very well find their way from there through the route of some mad scientist's laboratory. In the vain attempt to reshape humanity in its own image, transhumanists could scar man's precious visage through such a narcissistic undertaking that, unless those days be cut short, no flesh would be saved (Matthew 24:22).

James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” The Ten Commandments begin to unravel in the lives of those who have not come to repentance in Jesus Christ. Should an individual or society fail to recognize God's rightful place as ruler of the universe, such individuals could unwillingly discover that they might not be around very long to enjoy the universe that God so lovingly created.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 9

Baptist Church Mocks The Pretribulational Rapture

In a SermonAudio podcast, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church in Fayettville, North Carolina mocked those holding to a pretribulational view of the Rapture. 

It was snidely remarked that most American Christians cannot handle the idea of enduring systematic global persecution. 

Maybe so. 

But unless this church offers survivalist training that includes the use of firearms and improvised explosive devices, aren't these pastors suffering profound cognitive dissonance as to what they profess to be coming? 

Even worse, wouldn't they be guilty of an appalling degree of pastoral negligence in failing to prepare those subjected to their spiritual teaching? 

Criticisms such as those enunciated by the pastoral staff are also thinly veiled insults that Americans have things too comfortable. 

But what about this particular congregation? 

For when the armies and operatives of the Anti-Christ besiege the nation, won't this church's sprawling entertainment center with its coffee bar and such make a tempting target? 

For this church is so rich that, despite going out of its way to inform the world how much the pastoral staff despises the American flag, there isn't simply a single flagpole on their property but at least five in front of the entrance to this sprawling complex in its SermonAudio profile photo. 

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, September 8

Let Hungerstrikers Starve

Ecclesiastical rabblerouser Jim Wallis went on a fast in protest over cuts to social programs in the Congressional budget.

Too bad he didn't starve to death.

That's so harsh, leftists will snap.

It must be pointed out that Wallis pulls these kinds of stunts on his own.

No vile conservatives withheld or denied him access to food.

Interestingly, in light of Wallis' acceptance of abortion and gay unions hidden behind verbal obfuscations to deceive all but the most discerning, apparently fasting might be one of the few Biblical practices that he takes seriously.

However, in his zeal to show how superspiritual he is, it seems Wallis can't even engage in this practice in an appropriately Biblical manner.

According to Matthew 6:16-18, aren't you supposed to comport yourself in such a way that no one else other than God is supposed to know that you are conducting a fast?

Wallis does not seem to so much utilize fasts as a way to draw closer to God but rather as a way to express his profound hatred of the American way of life and the free market system.

In his 3/13/11 Sojomail Newsletter, Wallis lamented, “I have been astounded how food is everywhere in our culture...America is obese because of the assault of food --- an idolatry made of something that was meant to both sustain us and bring community in our social relations.”

In other words, Wallis does not so much want you to make your own free decision to join him in this form of physicalized prayer.

Ideally, what Wallis longs to see is a deprivation imposed from above upon those in the despised “middling orders” unable to rise to the level of mystic contemplation preferred by Wallis and his gnostic elites.

By Frederick Meekins

Wednesday, September 2

Are Evangelicals Too Quick To Embrace Bonhoeffer As One Of Their Own?

In a column regarding Dietrich Bonhoeffer, shouldn't Cal Thomas have been a bit more reserved in his praise of the theologian executed by the Nazis?

Bonhoeffer should be honored for his stand against tyranny and for modeling many of the values Christians strive to incorporate into their own lives such as standing up for what they believe to be right even when it is not the popular thing to do.

But in terms of belief and doctrine, Bonhoeffer is far from being the ideal Christian many of our religious leaders uplift him to be.

According to Biblical Discernment Ministries, Bonehoffer undermined the sinlessness of Jesus, downplayed individual salvation (instead equating that eternal state with church membership), and suggested that Christ's Resurrection was not so much an historical event but rather a mythological one (a fancy way of saying that the event is probably just a story from which we can draw inspiration but not likely one that actually transpired).

In the Christian life, one's profession of faith must be backed by more than mere words.

However, since grace is by faith and that not of ourselves, neither can one rely on one's works if there is not a solid doctrinal foundation there to back up the eternality of such deeds.

It is when we downplay the objective reality of the Savior that we open ourselves up to a wide variety of spiritual delusions that not only endanger ourselves but also threaten those around us.

By Frederick Meekins