|February 22, 2009||Posted by Anthony under Blog, Christianity and Culture, General, morality, theology|
There is another way that the business mindset permeates the Christian churches. The idea that the health of the ‘corporation’ can be measured by the bottom line is rampant. For example, let’s say that a church is struggling financially. Something must change. The solution is to eliminate staff positions. The staff members are turned out into the wind, their livilhood stripped away. The bottom line improves. Conclusion: this is a healthy body.
But it is nonsense. It is nonsense because in the body of Christ, unlike in corporate America, you cannot have ‘health’ at the expense of the brothers and sisters. The bottom line is not the only measure. Indeed, in that it is a measure at all, what it measures is entirely different.
Now, financial realities are financial realities. The point here is not that you can’t have situations where you have to cut staff (or programs, whatever) the point is that you can’t just cut people loose and think that now you’ve improved the body or that you’ve ‘come through a rough patch.’ If the people who have been cut loose are forgotten by the congregation or body of believers and are abandoned by them, I assure you, you haven’t improved the health of the body. Done in this way, you will likely have created very bitter former staffers and in some cases drive them out of the church. But it is important to see that doing it this way is far from intentional. It is the natural consequence of thinking of the congregation’s ‘corporate’ nature as essentially like an American corporation’s nature.
|February 21, 2009||Posted by Anthony under Blog, End Times, morality, original sin, politics, theology|
I had an invigorating debate this evening with a gentleman who took issue with my analysis regarding the potential overthrow and occupation of the United States, per my book series, Birth Pangs. The blog entry the gent was replying to was my own critique of some Russian analyst arguing that the US is due to collapse in 2010. Apparently the vital flaw in my critique was that I didn’t reject outright the possibility that the US could disintegrate, ever. We are so big and mighty, goes the argument, that we will never be overcome by foreign foes. More likely in this gent’s view is that America descends into another civil war.
While I personally rejected the Russian analyst’s view, it is important to understand why: Igor failed to predict or specify a catalyst. This is what the gentleman who inspired this post himself overlooks: a ‘catalyst’ can happen at any time. We have no assurances for the future. Anything can happen tonight, tomorrow, next week, or next month. At that point, all bets are off. Yes, even for America, ‘big and mighty.’
My Birth Pangs series skips over the 50 to 100 years between now and then and sprinkles catalysts throughout but more importantly links actions and beliefs with consequences- consequences which a study of history and human nature render almost all but inevitable. Inevitable, that is, if nothing is done in the meantime, or when certain points of decision are reached, the ‘right’ decision is made. ‘Right’ decisions are predicated on there being people with the ‘right’ mindset. Ensuring that the ‘right’ mindset exists at that time requires groundwork be laid far earlier… say, now.
|February 21, 2009||Posted by Anthony under atheism, Blog, General, morality, theism, theology|
So you see, either way you go, either rejecting the existence of the Christian God or accepting it, the atheist possesses some sort of moral standard by which to measure the conduct of God and the terms he lays out. But I find this all very ironic. After all, the whole point of disgust has to do with people being eternally punished by God and how unfair and indecent that is but when it is pointed out that the Bible further describes this eternal punishment as an eternal separation from God (relationally), shut out from his presence forever, they are not satiated? I mean, isn’t that what they wanted? If God turns out to be real and they hate him so much don’t they actually want there to be something like ‘hell’ where God will leave them to their own devices?
Yes it is. Here you see one of those classic “there is no pleasing them” scenarios. Even if there is a God they don’t like him and would rather in that case spend eternity separate from him, but when that actual opportunity is presented to them from the same texts they reject God as being unloving and Christianity (and religion in general) as fear mongering. Dudes. You’re getting what you want. Why complain?
Of course, we Christians understand that getting what you want isn’t all it is cracked up to be.
|February 13, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, atheism, Blog, Christianity and Culture, General, morality, original sin, philosophy, politics, theism, theology|
Atheists and secular humanists quite obviously argue that we humans are all alone and that humans themselves determine their worth, their value, their ‘intrinsic’ dignity. The problems with this ought to be self-evident but atheists are crafty folks. History reveals clearly that humans can change their minds about the ‘worth,’ ‘value,’ and ‘rights’ of humans (usually other humans). For example, the Nazis depersonalized the Jews with consequences I need not expand on. Atheistic communist regimes depersonalized dissidents and capitalists with consequences I need not expand on. The atheistic apologetic on the point is that actually this goes to show the dangers of ‘religion.’ For, you see, anyone who ever does anything nasty, no matter what their ideology, is, by definition, acting religiously. In this way, atheists can always keep their hands clean.
However, it misses the point. The fundamental point has to do with our basis for decrying what the Nazis and communists did. If humans themselves are the sole and final arbiters for determining and dictating human value then no one can complain about what humans decide. Oh sure, the do complain. But in doing so they betray the inconsistency of their position.
|February 12, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, atheism, Blog, Christianity and Culture, General, morality, politics, theology|
My blog is racking up some nice numbers lately and much of that can be credited to a recent post about the California Octuplets. I’d like to make some clarifications.
In the first place, I stand by my general assessment that as Christians and pro-lifers, since we believe embryos are real persons, the Octuplet outcome is much better than the alternative, which of course is death.
While it is true that the mother in this case probably doesn’t deserve charity, again, as pro-lifers our concern isn’t exclusively for the mother, but also for the children. It is difficult to understand why they don’t deserve charity. They are in this world and so we should care for them. Let the secularists say, “They cost the state 1.3 million dollars, so screw them!” That option is not available to us.
|February 10, 2009||Posted by Anthony under abortion, Blog, General, morality, politics|
What would have been their fate had they not been implanted? I suppose eventually they would have been destroyed. This doesn’t seem like a good solution to me. After the embryos have been created, I find myself happy that they have been given a chance at life.
While in the main the woman strikes me as a pretty loopy in the net analysis I’m glad she did what she did, at least insofar as the embryo implantation goes.
My main point of resistance is not with the implantation but with the creation of the embryos in the first place. In my mind, it is here where the ethical questions should have been played out by the doctors and by society at large. Do we really want to be generating thousands upon thousands of embryos that will be stored indefinitely and then, at the last, destroyed? I am all for helping parents conceive and have children and receiving medical help if necessary, but I am not for creating embryos that one does not plan to implant.