Inclusion of a resource/presentation does not indicate endorsement of the contents. Provided for educational purposes regarding perspectives in the fields of theology and religious studies. Issachar Bible Church is conservative Trinitarian not affiliated with any organized denomination at this time.

Monday, August 24

Is Peewee League Part Of The Darwinian Struggle?

NFL linebacker James Harrison has confiscated his sons' peewee football league participation trophies.

He opposes the idea that someone should be recognized for just showing up.

In Harrison's estimation, special acknowledgment should only be earned for being the best.
Perhaps the winner indeed deserves a larger trophy.

But shouldn't those that just show up be extended some kind of tangible token of encouragement or appreciation?

After all, if the discouraged did not show up, would the league exist long enough to lavish accolades upon the victors?

As justification for his hardline parenting, Harrison invokes his own struggles to achieve success.

According to news reports of this story, he played for a season in NFL Europe and was cut from the Baltimore Ravens before rising to prominence as a Pittsburgh Steeler.

But even when his performance was less than excellent, did not Harrison receive payment for services rendered?

So why can't a participation trophy be thought of in that particular light?

James Harrison apparently has what it takes to rise to the pinnacle of the athletic world.

However, it seems he has not yet reached the level of balance necessary for similar accomplishments in the field of parenting.

Had he allowed his sons to retain the participation trophies, these would have eventually been set aside as at best fondly remembered mementos of childhood.

However, snatched as these now have been, the entire incident will likely become one of those festering resentments that these children will struggle with well into adulthood.

By Frederick Meekins

Audio: An Analysis Of Francis Schaeffer's "The Church At The End Of The 20th Century"

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Monday, August 17

Headline Potpourri #77

If Megyn Kelly is so outraged over something Donald Trump said about women on his network television program, why does she work for Rupert Murdoch who has allowed media companies under his corporate oversight to produce some bawdy and demeaning entertainment regarding women over the years and decades? For the longest time, Married With Children was Fox Entertainment's signature program.

Regarding these women that Trump is accused of referring to as pigs and dogs, perhaps shouldn't we be told who they are before passing judgment as to the propriety of his remarks?

Filling in for Chris Plant, Steve Malzberg remarked that, because of his debate performance, Rand Paul will only appeal to Rand Paul fanatics. But what about the impression exuded by Chris Christie that would flippantly abandon the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How is it fanatically to point out that certain figures have their hands in both parties or that they are come-latelys to issues a number of the candidates have been fighting against for decades?

It is a valid question. If Donald Trump has run a number of companies into bankruptcy, why should the American voter be more confident in allowing this billionaire to administer the nation's tottering finances?

Too bad elitist culture is not as outraged over the barrage of commercials that constantly push feminine hygiene products (as well as male erectile dysfunction cures while we are at it) in viewers faces as it is over Donald Trump's allusion to feminine hygiene.

Of those sick and tired of Donald Trump constantly harping political correctness when someone dares ask him something that he doesn't like, maybe you now know how the rest of us feel about the excuse and threat of racism beating us over the head all day long.

The power elite are intertwined at the highest levels to the point that the boundaries between government, finance, and media are virtually indistinguishable. That reality makes one wonder if Trump is being opposed not because of the increasingly outrageous things to come out of his mouth but rather for exposing a number of the attitudes that may be allowed to slide by among the social engineering class if you have gobs of money to gloss over your appallingly gruff edges. Just think. Donald Trump at this point can merely shock. Many of the others in the circles he already runs in hold the power to destroy lives.

Too bad the culture is not as outraged over Donald Trump's disregard for private property as his remarks over immigrant vagrants and the female reproductive tract. One would think Donald Trump ought to be considered the perfect candidate. Self-absorption equaling Obama's and a proclivity towards debauchery matching Bill Clinton's.

In regards to Donald Trump. There hasn't been a presidential candidate to drone on about themselves using first person pronouns since, well, President Obama. At least Bob Dole had the decency to refer to himself by his own full name.

Perhaps Trump would be better suited as a shock jock in the tradition of Don Imus rather than in elected office.

Perhaps Rand Paul will muster himself to seize the mantle of blunt spoken populism from Donald Trump.

The concern regarding Chris Christie is to what extent will he invoke September 11th to cover over an appalling variety of Constitutional deprivations.

Donald Trump reminds of George Wallace. There is a great deal of truth to what he says. But upon further reflection, you are probably better off settling for another candidate.

The Justice Department is considering a policy that might place those accused of supporting ISIS in therapy rather than criminal detention. Opponents insist aspiring terrorists deserve harsher punishment. However, this should also raise concerns as it might lower the threshold for taking into custody critics of the Obama regime motivated by what secularist progressives would categorize as extremist political or religious ideologies.

Chuck Schumer is celebrated in his opposition to the Iranian Nuclear Deal as "the most prominent Jewish voice in the Senate". Does the media gush as excitedly when a legislator takes a strong conservative position based upon their Evangelicalism or Catholicism?

On Fox and Friends, Father Jonathan Morris criticized Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson for suggesting that America's tax system ought to be based on a flat tax system inspired by the Biblical notion of the tithe. It was the priest's contention that one should not base governmental policies and laws directly upon Biblical passages. Then on what grounds as a Catholic does he then advocate pro-life activism or even the pandering to immigrants that is beginning to take root in denominations both Protestant and Catholic? If the Bible is to provide little guidance in the sphere of government and society, should the state decide to tax religious property, will this cleric rank among the foremost in applauding such a fiscal decision?

A good laugh is being had that no one has ordered a sandwich full of bologna called “The Trump” at a Washington Area diner. But if someone had money to blow on a restaurant lunch, why would someone waste funds on something as blah and mundane as bologna? At McDonald's, there is a special of double cheeseburger and fries for $2.50. At Burger King, you can often get two chicken sandwiches for $5.00. Both of those meals are better than bologna and probably cheaper than a lunch at a greasy spoon where they will probably toss a fit if you don't leave a tip.

Regarding the chorus “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”, how does one know that the sweet expressions on each face are from the presence of the Lord? If the Devil masquerades as an angel of light, what proof do we have that the expression on someone's face isn't demoniacally inspired? Maybe they are holding back a chuckle at a dirty joke that they have recalled. Even more importantly, isn't it dangerous to judge an individual's spiritual state on such a cosmetic basis? What if the person had a scowl because their hemorrhoids were acting up? Shouldn't you just be glad that the person showed up rather than give them guff about their countenance appearing insufficiently Christian?

Praying for someone's physical needs is better than not praying for someone at all. If a congregation is going to be chastised for praying primarily for physical needs, isn't that edging dangerously close to gnosticism? In whether to pray for the physical or the spiritual, does a homiletical dichotomy of one or the other need to be imposed? Can't one pray for the physical along with spiritual empowerment. It's a safe assumption that the pulpiteer poo-pooing physical ailments on a given Sunday likely isn't experiencing any or is secretly as high as a kite.

In a sermon condemning the exaltation of the individual over the group, a pastor lamented the explosion of consumer choice that catered to the satisfaction of particular needs. Would ministers arguing along such lines prefer command economies where bureaucrats instead don't meet any needs at all? In the study of such societies, one notices that such regimes aren't all that big on religious liberty either.

In a sermon, a pastor went on to condemn individualism. Instead, the minister extolled the virtue of conformity. Given that the church the minister belonged to traces its heritage back to the Anabaptist movement, will the pastor endorse the principle that led to the persecution of his spiritual forefathers that the inhabitants of a particular region should all belong to the spiritual confession decided upon by the governing authorities?

An Anglican minister suggested that the success of a church can be measured by comparing the number that attend the worship service with the number participating in small groups. Small groups can be a wonderful ecclesiastical supplement if the topics addressed are of interest to an individual. You might be able to make the case that the individual is compelled by Scripture to attend worship service. However, there really isn't anything demanding a believer attend a small group if there are none that interest a person. Some just aren't inspired by the prospect of going to the dwellings of people that they barely know for no purpose other than spilling one's guts to the group in self-denunciation like in a prisoner of war camp.

On “The Kelly File”, Dana Parino suggested that Republican presidential candidates should meet with the Black Lives Matter movement. While she is at it, will she also counsel consultations with the Ku Klux Klan or the Aryan Nation?

In sharing his experience regarding a mission's trip to Kenya, a Nazarene pastor badmouthed the quality of fruit available in the United States compared to that available in a tropical nation. I think I'd rather have reliable electricity and indoor plumbing.

If Cuba is good enough to establish diplomatic relations with, shouldn't it be considered good enough for tourists to visit?

Given the number of steps involved, is it really all that much of a putdown that someone had to study all night for a urine test?

A meme with text attributed to Jonathan Edwards reads in part, “If you can preach Hell and the final judgment without lifting your voice and without pleading, you sir, do not believe in Hell.” If we are obligated to profess a predestinarian soteriology so thoroughgoing that there is no room for individual choice in the matter of salvation if we do not want our names smeared as heretics unworthy of basic constitutional rights in the form of the New World Order advocated by certain Calvinist sectarians, what does it matter if we mention Hell with either considerable theatrics or more so in detached blase passing? Not a single individual will end up in a region of the Afterlife other than the one in which he was preselected to be. One does not plead with an individual unless there is the possibility of the individual changing his mind.

The Shriners have banned the Confederate Battle Flag as offensive. Will related Luciferian secret societies also ban their homoerotic initiation rituals as offensive? Some researchers insist that the distinctive headgear of the Shriners known as a fez originates from Muslims dipping their cranial coverings in Christian blood. If nothing else, the fez is brimless so as to facilitate Islamic prayers. Should the secret society ban this form of haberdashery as well?

By Frederick Meekins

Tuesday, August 11

Should Christians Avoid Apostate Literature In All Instances?

In discussing how Christians grow over time, an Evangelical broadcaster remarked that in going through some old books he came across a couple of titles by Tony Campolo he had read about fifteen years ago.

The broadcaster confessed that, given what he knows of Campolo and the Word of God today, he would probably no longer read anything by Campolo.

Most Christians grounded in the Word of God and sound theology realize that Campolo is a borderline apostate if he hasn't already crossed over the line altogether.

If someone wants to avoid Campolo's works, so be it.

That's one's right in a free society.

However, such a proclamation in such a manner as to create the impression that no one ought to read these kinds of works under any circumstances if they want to retain good standing as a member of the broader conservative Evangelical community goes a bit overboard.

Regarding religious leftists such as Tony Campolo, should one decide to read works by such an author, the discerning must remain cautious to subtle error that says as much by what it does not say as by what it does say.

In other words, sometimes you have got to read between the lines.

But unless we ourselves conduct our own research or, perhaps more importantly are encouraged ourselves to do so, how can we be sure that those stymieing individual reflection and curiosity aren't simply out to control us for their own assorted ends?

The call to be like the Bereans requires nothing short of such sanctified suspicion on our own parts.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, August 10

Exaltation Of Southern Baptist Functionaries Grows Cultic

David Platt has been elected as the head of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board.

And with the level of blind devotion called for on the part of a number of prominent Southern Baptist personalities, things are not going to end well.

From a number of statements made by former Southern Baptist Convention President and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Paige Patterson, it is doubtful most Roman Catholics follow the Pope as uncritically.

For example, Patterson issued an ultimatum of ten demands that Southern Baptists are expected to abide by in relation to David Platt.

For example, obligation number four reads, “Recognition that there is not a more important man in the world than the President of the International Missions Board because of his potential to touch so many lives...for God.”

In that position, Platt is essentially an administrator and bureaucrat.

Should the President of the United States be praised for the brave acts of the American soldier?

Then why praise Platt over the toils of the frontline missionary?

Another demand made by Patterson in his ultimatum is even more disturbing.

Demand number seven reads, “Willingness to do whatever Dr. Platt asks that is not contrary to our deeply held convictions and is within our power.”

Ladies and gentleman, feel free to listen to anything David Platt has to say.

However, in the final analysis, make up your own mind as to what you will do with what the Lord has given you.

You answer to the Lord Jesus Christ, not David Platt, the Southern Baptist Convention, or any other organized church body.

For while David Platt is essentially teaching that anyone responding with anything less than a willingness to serve as canon fodder for God (as He no doubt whispers in Pastor Platt's ear) is a urine deprived excuse of a Christian, if Brother Patterson had had his way, the seminary Patterson heads would have opened its doors to eventual Islamist takeover.

Some will snap that these kinds of observations are inaccurate or over exaggerated.

However, nearly every cult tragedy or church abuse scandal began with these kinds of claims and admonitions suggesting how some particular leader was so far beyond the mere pewfillers in terms of spirituality who were obligated to bow at the feet of the exalted guru.

My advice to you is that it might be best to avoid Kool Aid offered either by David Platt or his more enthusiastic supporters.

By Frederick Meekins

Monday, August 3

Will Church Hopping Send You To Hell?

In a Youtube video, a pastor claimed that church hopping is a sin because it is God that places individuals in particular churches.

Then who is to say that it is not God that prompts individuals to go elsewhere?

As justification for his position condemning the practice of going from church to church, the pastor invoked the passage in Matthew 7:23 where Christ says, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

The pastor insisted that the issue was not that those surrendered to eternal damnation did not believe in Christ as Lord and Savior but rather that these workmen were ministering where they had not been assigned.

The pastor further taught that the individual believer is not cleared to find another church until God tells the PASTOR that it is time for you to leave.

And I guess, when the pastor tells you to drink the funny-smelling Kool Aid that burns as it goes down, you are expected to remain in the church for that as well.

Contrary to this podcast under consideration, if you leave one church to go to another, you shouldn't have to give an elaborate reason why.

By Frederick Meekins