Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Prostitution in South Africa

Cape Town - An ANC MP on Tuesday proposed that prostitution be legalised during the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"It is one of the things that would make it (the tournament) a success because we hear of many rapes, because people don't have access to them (women)," George Lekgetho told a meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Arts and Culture in Parliament.

His suggestion was met with a groan of protest and chuckles from other MPs.

"If sex working is legalised people would not do things in the dark. That would bring us tax and would improve the lives of those who are not working," he added.

DA MP Sydney Opperman disagreed, saying one could not commercialise relationships.

"You cannot attach a price to the deepest union between a man and a woman and link it to our tax base." [GO TO SOURCE]

I must admit that I can accept it when we fall on one side of the fence or the other, but the South African government has turned "flip flopping" into an olympic sport.

These are issues that should be pro/con on the legalization of prostitution. Should we really modify our law to make space for visitors? Or is this some excuse to change the law and make it sound 'legitimate.'

In my opinion, there are far worse things than prostitution. That is, in a worldly sense. Prostitution is a sin and therefore ABOMINABLE. But to enforce religious rules on people who are not under God is not the manner in which Christians operate. Separation of Church and State is part of the baptist confession.

I say if they are toying with the idea of legalizing prostitution, they should just do it. Forcing MORALS on people is wrong. Also there would be a tax benefit. As for "commercializing relationships," I'm not sure whether it's that kind of relationship that the involved parties are looking for. The only bad side is it will not help the AIDS epidemic - I wonder if government has thought about that issue when they bend over for tourists. On the advantages - at least police will be chasing after thieves and rapists rather than women in unfortunate positions in life.

I think prostitution should be a MORAL position and not a legal position. But I am open to correction. Any ideas?

Surprised by Bush

"My only point to you is there are a lot of faith-based organizations that exist to help deal with very difficult problems," Bush said. "It starts with the notion that there is a higher power that will help people change their thinking.

"It's very important for everybody to understand that there is a commonality, that we all have to deal with the same problems in different ways," Bush said. "First is to recognize that there is a higher power. At least that helped in my life -- it helped me quit drinking."

Moseley interjected, "That's right, there is a higher power." [GO TO SOURCE]

This is promising. We always want to say how bad things are going and then the most powerful man in the U.S. says something like this. It's not Christianity, although it is implied in the article. I, for one, am hopeful.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What more can I ask for?

If God has given us eternal life, what more can we honestly ask for?

Surely our perspectives must change to look at God and just say "wow!"

I'm sure a "thank you" wouldn't hurt either.

My perspective on finding a wife

I'm kind of sick of girls telling me I'll make "some" girl very happy. For me that kind of sloppy figuratism has reached a point where I can't (and refuse to) believe it. Please don't take offense by this, I just feel I have something to say in the area. It may be of some help to others.

I'm well aware that PRACTICALLY I am the ideal husband - I cook, I'm happy to clean, I enjoy music (making, dancing, etc.) and wish to have a Godly relationship (which is the only worthy kind of relationship). I make a decent salary (for now) and while I'm no hulk I'm not skinny either. Girls constantly tell me I have a great sense of rhythym and that I wish to share that with the one woman I will spend the rest of my life with. I will love with passion unfailing and will refuse to give anything but 100%. Please don't assume this is pride, it's not. God has surely blessed me and for it I am overjoyed and in order to be thankful I am aware of what I am thankful for. More importantly He granted me the gift of repentance unto knowing His Son. I can ask for no more and He gave anyway.

Just so you know - I am quite well aware of my flaws. I do not assume they do not exist. I'm smelly, messy at times (making me a hypocrite in addition) and I can be selfish. I make inappropriate jokes and comments and I have a problem noticing details that may be important. I also have anger issues and have a problem making eye contact. But surely to add to my good points is that I can be honest about myself. I am also prepared to put effort into correcting them.

I know that if I wait on the Lord His grace will abound and He will gift me as He pleases. I admit I desire the gift, but I know not to EXPECT it. If I have any testimony from scripture, it is those who trust in God that wind up with the greatest blessing in Him. I know that IF I wait and IF God gives me a wife, she will be beyond my expectations. However if I demand and lament God may (graciously) give to me in my impatience. That opens the door only to suffering, and I do not wish that on anyone, least of all on myself. If God keeps me single, it is only to His glory I live, and then to His glory I will die. I have been consoled on this issue. I need no other council.

By demanding what I want, I only find loss. In asking for what I need, I am constantly absorbed by the awesome love of God.

No rock to stand on

An interesting article appeared in Christianity Today

"Megachurch pastor Rick Warren suggested Sunday that mainline churches need to reconcile with evangelicals to counter their mounting problem of membership decline.

“The reconciliation is that in a pluralistic world...we [Christians] need to be on the same team because we share the same Saviour,” Warren, of Purpose Driven fame, contended Sunday." [GO TO SOURCE]

But if you deny the existence of absolute truth, how can you expect people to absolutely agree with you? We, as Christians, need to unite. But it must be on the rock of the word as the absolute standard that sets the standard. Without the bible, what are we?

If we read the bible to determine what it says "to me," we actually have selfish motives. We should be reading the bible saying: "What has God said to His people?" It must say the same thing to everyone. It must say exactly what is said.

We are not to be worried about membership decline, we must lament those who depart - but they fall under the category of non-Christians. Our goal is to preach the gospel: We are sinners, there is a saviour!

Monday, January 28, 2008

What do you think?

How do we react to news like this?

"Space scientists and government officials are tracking two massive objects that are hurtling toward Earth, but only one, a dead satellite the size of a bus, is expected to hit somewhere on the globe.

Government officials said Saturday that a large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit Earth in late February or early March. And an asteroid at least 500 feet long will make a rare close pass by Earth early Tuesday, but scientists say there is no chance of an impact." [GO TO SOURCE]

Keep your eschatology* in mind. Are we hopeful for Christ? As my studies continue, news like this becomes less and less disturbing. I have to admit that partial preterism has a strong case for optimism.

*Doctrine of the end times

Monday, January 21, 2008

This week in living

I didn't get to blog this weekend because I was hectically busy.

In the first place, I quit my new job and got a newER job. I had to for the sake of my studies. So my evenings were a little shot because I got back late, which effected my bible studies.

I was not so happy because I wanted to read quite a lot of the bible and trying to read 50 chapters of the bible in one day is not recommended.

Well, I do have good news. I read 13 chapters from Exodus 20, my church is making me a member and I have to get into a study groove.

In the Exodus, I read about the Holy of Holies and the Ark measurements. All I can say is that God is quite specific. I don't understand how people can use the excuse "but the intention was right." How dare we excuse our sinful behaviour with intention? No, God requires absolute obedience.

And on the topic of absolutes, I learned something awesome from statistics. It's called the Law of large numbers: It basically states that given a set of random inputs, the average mean will approach the expected mean as the set of inputs increased. To give an example, if you flip a coin, what are the odds of it falling on heads? 50/50 right? Try prove that using actual flips! You may get heads 3 times and tails once! That isn't 50/50! But that is only four inputs! The more times you flip, the closer you will approach the expected 50/50!

Knowing that, you can actually talk to a post-modern. People sometimes throw away the thought of God due to the fact that interpretation is limited to the readers perspective. They hate Christianity because there are such diverse interpretations, and those interpretations cause divisions. But just because there are diverse interpretations doesn't mean there isn't an objective truth. The whole point of Christianity is to find out the truth, it's not imputed TRUTH, it's imputed righteousness! God's word itself tells us to study and be diligent. So post-modernism is no excuse.

Also my pastor made an awesome point last night. Some people reject limited atonement. They fail to realise that everyone limits the atonement. Either you limit it's power (I have to add MY faith to be saved) or you limit it's intention (Christ died to save His people Matt 1:21). Now to be honest I'd rather belong to the camnp that exludes unbelievers that tries to limit the power of Christs death, and I certainly refuse universilism.

Every corner I turn, I find no reason to accept Arminian theology. So many times in evangelism, people will ask "What about a guy on an island that has never heard of God? What about him? God is unfair to ask that people believe!" That is actually a very good argument, if you don't trust God to save people. Exposure to the gospel would be a great exuse to God on judgement day: "You never sent anyone to tell me to repent." People would be right if salvation was a work of man and they had less opportunity to repent than others. That is why I can say: "if God purposes to save that man, He will. Let's worry what you are going to do now that you know that you are a sinner in need of a saviour."

We are sinners. We need a saviour. Jesus Christ is the only one who can save. That is the gospel. That's what everyone (including Christians) need to hear. We never outgrow the gospel.

Praise the Lord. Grace and Peace to you!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bible study

I have decided that I will try to blog once a week. Just on the studies that I have been doing and the intersting things that I see. If I determine something is stand-alone blog-worthy, like the science thing underneath, I will separate the issues.

So I started reading the bible. I got a NKJV audio dramatised version. I have been through Genesis and Exodus 1 - 20.

Genesis was interesting. I have read it a couple of times, as well as my paster going through it at church. Plus my interest in creation/evolution has spiked the interest. So there has been much effort there. But I must say there are always some parts I cannot simple 'read straight through.' They require me to focus and go back:

  1. Genesis 2. I always need to look at it and make sense of it. But it's there and it's easy. The way I remember to look at it is that the word "formed" is past tense. So since the word includes a past preposition it's easy to see that God had done this thing in the past. Now since it is a translation and therefore not infallible, I can simplify what I mean by adding one word, without changing the meaning. In your KJV, just read (2:19) "And out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof." Now you can see what I mean. Easy right? But I can understand why the word isn't there. It's tautological when you see that formed is past tense. There's no need for it.
  2. The length of time Jacob serves laban. Later Jacob says it was 20 years he served Laban, but I always get 21 (3 sets of 7). I but what happens in Genesis 29 is that Jacob serves 7 years, gets Leah. A week later (literal days) he gets Rachael and works another 7 years. That makes 14 years, then he works another 6.
  3. The story of Judah and his sister. Just know that you leave Joseph for a chapter and this tells of Judah's way. It just effects me when I read it.

Then I started on Exodus. Never read it but I thought I knew it. What a bad testimony I am. I never knew Moses had two signs to show Pharoah on his first trip, the serpant and the lepourous hand signs. I thought there was only one. This is why everyone should read the bible instead of making assumptions like me.

Grace and peace to the reader!

A note on Science.

I watched a nice short DVD last night. One thing mentioned really gripped me. The fact that the first scientists, probably not all of them, were aware of God in some manner or another.

They came to that conclusion by way of a very reasonable assumption: I am a scientist. I want to be able to see the rules that govern the thing around me. That means first of all I must assume there ARE rules around me. If the world in which I live works according to rules, someone or something must have put these rules into place.

Notice how all these scientists managed to come up with a thing called LAWS. Gravity, for example. Since the departure from this basic presupposition, we have only been able to come up with THEORIES. Now theories are good, but they are not proven. Natural selection is a law since it is provable. Evolution, in the sense of mainstream understanding, is a theory, since it is not.

I said it once and I'll say it again. I think evolutionary theory is a solid place for people who wish to understand. I don't think it's for 'stupid' people. But everyone must be able to agree that it is only a theory.

But I was astounded to think that early scientists expected to come out with God, since they expected Him to have placed the rules there. What a great worldview to have! If you think it is weak, well then I challenge you to give me a sound explanation as to how you can expect the world to work as it is.

A worldview lacking in any sense of the devine tends to believe in chaos. I heard it said this week that everything tends towards chaos. Scientists of this nature would claim "well here we are! no matter how we got here, lets determine the mechanism." That is great as well. Just do not confuse the mechanism with the motive. You cannot assume since you think you know the mechanism you know the motive. Sure there are examples that show the mechanism is the motive (the human body, for example) but just because you can't see a motive doesn't mean there isn't one.

Science is about mechanism. Religion is about motive. Do not confuse these. Motive can definitly indicate mechanism (creation as dictated by Genesis, for example) but mechanism does not always dictate motive.

The Christian Problem

Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, "Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?"
- Genesis 30:2

I think there is one thing modern christians have wrong. It's their perspective. Where does all the strife come from? We all have different ideas about the bible and how we are supposed to read it. I can fight tooth and nail day and night with someone with even a slightly different theological viewpoint. Even on non-divisive issues. Obviously if you deny the Holy Spirit as deity, you can't really call yourself a Christian. So things like that we can and will separate on.

So perspective, where do you see yourself in your worldview? There is a great way to test your perspective. Imagine a train coming out of a tunnel into a snowy plain. Got that a train is coming out of a tunnel (through a mountain) into a snowy flat area1. Now I have to ask the westerners who read: "Where is the camera?" In your mind, you have a picture. Think about where the picture is taken from.

Now the western mindset (apparently) will put themselves high up outside the train. Almost floating above the train getting a "birds-eye" view of the scene, from without the tunnel. The more eastern minded person will have the camera inside the train, possibly hanging out of an imaginary "window."

I have to admit I had (and still have) the western response.

Now the problem is, is that in my mind I'm God. I put myself in His position. Now I realize it is a small thing, to be imagining a picture. But my response to such a small thing my give me insight into the larger things of life. I have to always say that God is in control. He knows the whole picture, not me.

I fear that too many of us do this. Maybe I'm the only one, but I doubt it. This is no definitive test either. I just found it very interesting.

The reason the Easterners have the humble position is they have a partially correct view of God. They mainly believe in an Agnostic style of God. I find Agnosticism to be a very intelligent position since it is in my Theology that God must be revealed to man, man can not know the Father without God drawing us to him(John 6:44). So in that they have found a correct position under God. The blame will fall under those who, knowing God, do not acknowledge Him as God (Romans 1:21).

Just a thought. Probably will attack evolution soon. Keep good by His Grace!

these thoughts did not come about from nowhere. I went on conference for my studies in computer science and a gentlemen spoke on eastern and western philosophy in computers. That's where I got the snow train thing.
1 Concept from a story called "Snow Train." I just can't find the opening line anywhere on the net :) So I modified a bit.

A new start to the new year

I haven't been on for a while since it has been holidays and then when those were over I have been at a new job. So it's more likely than not my blogs will decrease in number.

In addition to this I have decided upon two things:
  1. Read the whole bible
  2. Discover my eschatology

Number one is pretty obvious. I discovered my worst witness aspect is that I have not read the bible as a unit whole. This is actually a requirement considering my viewpoint of the bible (pedantic, narrow-minded view that it is the inerrant, infallible word of the one, and only, living God). Currently on Exodus so please don't hold thumbs yet.

Number two is VERY interesting. Has revelation 4 - 21 happened? Or is it going to happen. I have been listening to sermons by Doug Van Meter (Pastor at Brackenhurst Baptist) and he makes an ASTOUNDING claim. He says most has occurred in the first century. His position is known as partial pretorist. Be aware he still believes in the second coming and he knows why he believes what he believes, which cannot be said for a lot of Christians. You can get his sermons from our church website, or if you know me personally, I can make a copy. Unlike John MacArthur, my pastor does not charge ridiculous prices for his sermons. Sorry John, but it's true. I can't afford to be pre-mill at that rate :)

Luckily I will find a pre-mill pastor whose sermons are free and hopefully download those sermons. I thin John Piper is post-mill but I'll get his view. Then I'll find a pre-mill study.

That's what I'm up to at the moment. I know this blog isn't really supposed to be about personal stuff but I thought if you read it then you should know. Also I made a claim last year that I hope God keeps this faith in me and so far He has, just not in a bloggy way. I will try to make time.

God bless y'all!