Monthly Blog Archives for
His Master's Voice
|Copyright © 2007 - All rights retained by author|
|Written by: C. W. Booth|
February 11, 2007
I Hate Political Correctness
Political Correctness (I capitalize it because it now full well carries the weight of a religious movement) has turned the minds and practices of some into a convoluted mush. Not that such folks inherently lack a sound mind, but the fear of being accused of comporting oneself in a politically incorrect manner has bullied them into silly behavior. Consider a few examples:
At a massive regional fishing exposition, a large transparent tank filled with quality bass is used to demonstrate fishing lures and tackle to the public. Of course, the point of the presentation is to sell fishing lures to the amassed fishermen based on showing off the superior fish catching capability of their equipment. Fishermen watch because they are interested in finding ways to improve their hooking and landing ratio of big fish. However, due to fear, the exhibitors now remove the hooks from their lures during the demonstration so that no fish in the tank ever becomes "accidentally" hooked and landed. It's as if they are saying, "See our stuff doesn't hurt fish--hooks, what hooks?" Who is fooling who???? The whole reason the stuff is for sale is so that guys can take it outside, hook a fish, and put it in the boat. But they won't show us the hook-set in public due to fear. Sigh…
At Fortune 500 companies, diversity sensitivity training is being conducted in huge numbers. Having taken several of these compulsory courses in different companies, I have learned one thing about their brand of political correctness: all beliefs, practices, aberrations, and moralities are to be tolerated, except historical Christianity, which is fair game for derision and is always compared to Hitler's Third Reich. Sigh…
In the public school system, all religions are to be accommodated. Especially Islam and Wicca and their respective literature (e.g. Qur'an, Book of Shadows). However, a Christian is actively prosecuted by authorities for praying "in Jesus name," conducting Bible studies, or attempting to share with others the prime tenets of their faith. This is especially ironic since Christianity (in fact it is Christ in the Bible) actively instructs followers to love and do good to those who do not believe, whereas Islam endorses the violent annihilation of unbelievers, and Wicca provides for casting spells on their enemies--but Christianity is politically incorrect. Even Russia now embraces the use of the Bible in their classrooms. Sigh…
Political Correctness is not the same as tolerance, sensitivity, or politeness. The most politically correct among us can be the most intolerant (assuming they are intolerant toward the proper religion), the most insensitive (so long as they are insensitive to the correct race, gender, or religion), and impolite (given that they are rude only to targeted peoples).
Political Correctness is just as the name infers: it is a following of the fickle waves of impulse that drive the never stable interests of the politically powerful. Political Correctness is not based on genuine values or ethics, it is based on political expediency alone. When the interests, desires, aspirations, or goals of the political elite change, so changes what is classed as being "Politically Correct."
Political Correctness is just that of which the Bible warned:
then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you, having eyes full of adultery that never cease from sin, enticing unstable souls, having a heart trained in greed, accursed children; forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but he received a rebuke for his own transgression, for a mute donkey, speaking with a voice of a man, restrained the madness of the prophet. (2 Peter 2:9-16)
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:5-8)
As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, (Ephesians 4:14-15)
As Christians, let us judge our thoughts, our opinions, our behavior, and our words not against the ever-morphing gel of political correctness, but against the enduring and solidly stable Word of God.
February 20, 2007
Free Digital Bibles w/ Software: E-Sword -- Excellent!!!!!
Like so many others, I have become jaded and tired regarding all the scams on the internet. Free software offers never seem to be genuinely free; even if they get no money out of you, the spyware they put onto your machine can be very costly. Or, the software is so poorly written and hard to remove that you hit yourself in the face each time think about it.
Surprise!!!!!! E-Sword is great. It is far more than just a collection of downloadable, FREE, digital Bibles.it is also search, cross reference, lookup, and reading software. The software works, really works, and seems very professionally done. Even better, there are Latin, Greek, and Hebrew texts available for those who read and study the Word in original languages.
Frankly, I use E-Sword almost every day, only grudgingly going to Libronix or MegaBible in those few instances when E-Sword does not do what I need done. Oh yes, I did spend some money on E-Sword--I bought the NASB version (inexpensive)--but it is not necessary to pay out cash if you just want some of the free English or ancient language versions. And it has a boat load of FREE commentaries and study aids.
This must be among the best offerings on the internet. And now, no Christian with an adequate internet connection has any excuse for not having a digital Bible on his/her PC.
By the way, the website would appreciate donations if you feel so led, but it is not required to get this outstanding tool.
Go to: http://www.e-sword.net/
End of unsolicited commercial.
February 25, 2007
My wife attended a play recently, Camelot. She is something of an Anglophile and a King Arthur fan. Further, she very much enjoys watching the acting abilities of Michael York. I am not so much a fan of the theatre or Arthur, and opted not to go with her.
She was surprised to discover that she had claimed the last of the "cheap" matinee seats (the only price ticket that genuinely fit within our limited budget). It was third tier balcony, the view obstructed by a metal railing bar. High above the performance, my wife sat and thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle, crying as Arthur (Michael York) yelled for the young man to go spread the message at the end of the story.
No need to feel badly for my wife. She so loves the theatre and the theme of this particular play that she felt privileged to see it live and witness the practiced strains of the orchestra. Third tier balcony seat, behind a railing, notwithstanding. She came home bubbling over with her tales of the drama, enthusiastically comparing this production to her favored memories of musicals past. She was happy and counted herself blessed to have been a part of the action.
And that I think is my personal picture of heaven. I have no grand illusions about myself. I am an obscure servant of the Lord who has done nothing great. I sin daily and feel wretchedly for it. There are no teeming masses waiting to thank me in heaven for leading them to the Lord. I have not taken the gospel into unreached regions. I am just an ordinary and obscure Christian who will watch at a distance the genuinely great accept their crowns.
Yet, I will be in heaven. Though I will not be numbered among the giants of the faith, the martyrs, or the widows who gave their last penny to the Lord, I will be there. Sitting in the third tier balcony, peering through the rail that partially obscures my view, I will be there praising God and counting myself blessed that He has saved me and allowed me to be part of the action. And at the end of the "day," when I retire from worship to my sleeping cubicle (the real meaning of the word "mansion"), I will smile, bubbling over with fresh memories and enthusiasm at having been in the presence of the King of Kings.
February 27, 2007
Tomb of Jesus and His Wife?--Tomb Raiders Revisited
Sooner or later every Christian is likely to hear the recent news that a film maker has sold a "documentary" which claims that the tomb of Jesus and His family has been found 5 miles outside of Jerusalem--the bones of Jesus still in the stone coffin. James Cameron, of fictional movie "Titanic" fame, is the driver behind this release.
Since the movie has not yet aired, little can be said about the content except for what Cameron and archeologists have already discussed. The tomb, found during a construction project almost 30 years ago, was assessed by archeologists at the time and determined to be of little significance or historical note. Apparently the tomb dates to about the time of Jesus, the Christ, and contained 10 stone coffins. Names on some of the coffins seem to be of the most common names of that era: Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and Mary. Another coffin is said to bear the name Judah, though the name of that personage has no known historical connection to Joseph or Mary, and certainly not to Jesus Christ.
Few but the most liberal of anthropologists (or antiquarians for that matter) give this find any marks for relevance to Christianity. It is most probable that this find, while amusing as a coincidence or a statistical curiosity, has virtually nothing to do with Jesus Christ, his half-father Joseph, Mary the bride of Joseph, or Mary Magdalene, whom Jesus healed. Such names were in widespread use before the Christ was born, and even wider use after His resurrection.
Obvious problems associated with making the claim that this find is Jesus, His mother, His half-father, and others, begins with the location of the tomb. Lying some 5 miles outside of Jerusalem, it stretches the credulity of the first test. Jesus was executed at the hands of the Roman soldiers via crucifixion on a hill called Golgotha, the skull. Historically and logically this site has been said to be just outside the city walls of Jerusalem, giving the city residents a chilling view of the events (for the Romans this was the primary point of the exercise), and offered the Roman soldiers the close and safe proximity of the garrison should the zealots get out of hand during the execution.
Jesus was buried "nearby" (literally, "right at hand") to Golgotha, in haste, because of the Jewish day of preparation (John 19:42). In those days 5 miles distant was not nearby, or right at hand, it was a journey. Further, the fact that Mary and the disciples came and went "in the dark of the early morning" or by running indicates that the tomb was quite close to their place of residence within the city of Jerusalem. Also, there is fairly good reason to believe that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher actually encompasses Golgotha and the actual tomb. (Note: the church now resides inside the city walls, however, in the 1st century it was just outside the Jerusalem city wall, which is in keeping with Jewish tradition regarding not having cemeteries inside the city.)
Other obvious problems with "finding" the occupied coffin of Jesus include: all the documented gospel accounts of His being seen alive become false, the disciples gave their lives for a lie, Paul was not an eyewitness of the resurrected Lord (as he so often claimed), there is no historical documentation celebrating Jesus' marriage (an institution He favored, by the way), and there is no way to determine if the names on the coffins in the tomb were someone's idea of a good joke.
One reason that the site of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher has such credulity is that from the first day following the resurrection, the disciples made pilgrimages to the empty tomb, beginning with Mary and Peter. Everyone in Jerusalem would have known the site, and would have been giving directions to it constantly. And tourists, like in any century, would have left graffiti on it as a way of saying, "I was here." It would have been an easily identifiable landmark for centuries, which is why the protective buildings were erected over and around it, eventually becoming the churches they are today. If Jesus had never been executed and instead lived a married life, one wonders why so much fuss was made by the residents of the day over the site of Golgotha?
One final comment: Christians ought to know that Jesus was buried in a rich man's tomb. Nicodemus obtained permission from the Romans to give the body a proper Jewish burial. He put the body in a new tomb where no one was ever buried before. That Cameron's tomb and coffins were for rich people (and not for poor people like Jesus, Joseph, and Mary) is not evidence against his claim as so many recent blogs have alleged. Rather, the very existence of a skeleton that needs to be placed into a coffin is all the evidence needed to argue against this being the final resting place of the Creator of the universe.
Well, let's just add this one to the growing list of religious wannabes, like the Judas Gospel and the DaVinci Code, that have tried without success to unseat the Christ from His throne. It is interesting that Cameron has decided to show us a dead false Christ, and by that, sadly, perhaps a few will be led astray. How much worse will it be when living false Christs come onto the scene?
"And then if anyone says to you, 'Behold, here is the Christ'; or, 'Behold, He is there'; do not believe him; for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. (Mark 13:21-22)
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