Same-Sex Marriage Approval Logically Opens The Door To Darker Realities

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Everyone has a worldview that dictates how they view reality.  That view of reality contains ideas that have real consequences, and those ideas are championed through truth claims (E.g., Same-Sex marriage ought to be tolerated) that seep into the culture.

Unfortunately, when worldview truth claims are not tested through logic, but embraced through emotions, reality becomes twisted.  This results in calling what’s bad good, what’s wrong right, what’s false true, and what’s unrighteous righteous.  For professing Christians who support “Same-Sex-Marriage” I ask on what grounds?  Biblically it’s a twisted view of reality and part of the catalogue of sins for why God’s wrath has been unleashed (Rom.1:18-32).      

Now that same-sex-marriage is legal does it make it moral?  On what grounds is it moral, what’s the basis for it?  Whatever your answer friend, you’ll use words and thoughts to convey your view.  When this happens you and I come into the use of logic (Click for Primer Chart on Logic) whether done well or poorly.  Douglas Groothuis talks about this issue of logic and applies it to the same-sex-marriage decision.

“He argues that If same-sex marriage is moral, then any consensual sexual arrangement (involving marriage or not) is moral. Same-sex marriage is moral.  Therefore: consensual polyamory, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality are moral.  But (3) is absurd, since these acts are immoral. Therefore, it is false that same-sex marriage is moral; it is immoral.”

Part of the way Christians are to love God is with the mind, making proper distinctions and using logic well is one way we follow Jesus friends.  When we don’t use logic well, we fail to properly reflect our glorious God and hinder the cause of Christ rather than advance it. Therefore, how well are you thinking friend?

Check out his article at http://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/07/20/the-real-slippery-slope-logic-fallacy-and-american-decline/comment-page-1/#comment-1809

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A Question On Love: Does It Have any Ultimate Reference Point?

love-160aWhat is love?.  According to one cable commercial from the  Ad Council which sponsors the “One Love Campaign” it asserts that love has no race, love has no gender, and love has no disability.  But what “is” love?

That’s a metaphysical question about love’s nature, or what-ness.  In our relativistic society, love is what we say it is.  But, if there’s a Creator who grounds all that is true, good, and beautiful, then love has a specific meaning and it’s based on what the Designer and Creator says it is.

See my recent post “realtivism” @ https://answerstotuffquestions.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/true-truth-and-why-it-matters_what-are-the-three-enemies-of-truth_-part-4.pdf.

Also, consider the article, “What is This Thing Called Love?” by Douglas Groothuis who addresses this issue and explains the difference between the love of this world compared to the love of God the Creator.  It’s worth the read, just click on the link: http://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/07/13/what-is-this-thing-called-love/comment-page-1/#comment-1717

Like Water and Wetness Morality Can’t Be Separated From Legislation

The front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. Completed in 1935, the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, is the first to have been built specifically for the purpose, inspiring Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes to remark, ÒThe Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith.Ó The Court was established in 1789 and initially met in New York City. When the national capital moved to Philadelphia, the Court moved with it, before moving to the permanent capital of Washington, DC, in 1800. Congress lent the Court space in the new Capitol building, and it was to change its meeting place several more times over the next century, even convening for a short period in a private house after the British set fire to the Capitol during the War of 1812. The classical Corinthian architectural style was chosen to harmonize with nearby congressional buildings, and the scale of the massive marble building reflects the significance and dignity of the judiciary as a co-equal, independent branch of government. The main entrance is on the west side, facing the Capitol. On either side of the main steps are figures sculpted by James Earle Fraser. On the left is the female Contemplation of Justice. On the right is the male Guardian or Authority of Law. On the architrave above the pediment is the motto ÒEqual Justice under Law.Ó Capping the entrance is a group representing Liberty Enthroned, guarded by Order and Authority, sculpted by Robert Aitken. At the east entrance are marble figures sculpted by Hermon A. MacNeil. They represent great law givers Moses, Confucius, and Solon, flanked by Means of Enforcing the Law, Tempering Justice with Mercy, Settlement of Disputes between States, and Maritime and other functions of the Supreme Court. The architrave carries the motto ÒJustice the Guardian of Liberty.Ó The interior of the building is equally filled with symbolic ornamentation. The main corridor is known as the Great Hall and contains double rows of marble columns

“You can’t legislate morality” sounds like “You better not get wet if you jump into that ocean junior.”  That’s silly and lamentable.  By nature laws prescribe what one ought or ought not do.  Like water and wetness moral standards can’t be separated from their prescriptive design, nor can morality from any legislation.  Douglas Groothuis answers this issue succinctly, clearly and cogently.  Click http://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/07/08/should-we-legislate-morality/comment-page-1/#comment-1649

Happy pondering!

The Bible and Homosexuality

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There are two links below I’m offering for your personal study regarding the Bible and Homosexuality.  One has to do with the philosophy of Gender by Douglas Groothuis, and the other one has to do with “Gay” Apologetics, or “a Reformation We Don’t Need” from Stand to Reason.

Both are instructive, both are sober, both are well written and both are a good starting point to get clear on the issues.

http://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/07/02/the-philosophy-of-gender/

http://www.str.org/Media/Default/Publications/Aug%202015%20The%20Reformation%20the%20Church%20Doesn’t%20Need%20Part%201-1.pdf

Reflections From Mark’s Gospel: Chapter 12

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“CHRIST’S AUTHORITY REJECTED BECAUSE IT REVEALED HIS DIVINITY”

In this chapter Jesus harshly addresses the scribes and Pharisees.  He uses a parable to expose their wickedness they being the vine growers in God’s vineyard (vv.1-12) who desire to destroy him.  There’s also the account of the Pharisees and Herodian’s testing Jesus with the legality of the Poll tax (vv.13-17); then the consideration of marriage and the resurrection among the Sadducees (vv.18-27); followed by clarifying which is the foremost commandment (vv.28-34); leading into clarifying whose Son the Christ is (vv.35-40); and concluding with the widow’s mite (vv.41-44)

Jesus’ mastery at communicating truth—kingdom truth—was often biting, aggressive and offensive to God’s enemies. For the Pharisees and scribes to receive an indictment by Jesus regarding the motives of their heart came on the heels of their questioning his authority (vv.27-33).  The fact remains they understood who he declared himself to be, and that was the reason why so much tension obtained between the Scribes, Pharisees and Jesus.

Nevertheless, Jesus did not let them off “the hook” when they challenged him.  Jesus pushed back.  Note that the parable points to God as the owner of the vineyard—He’s Creator and thus owns everything—and the Chief priests, scribes and elders are the stewards—they rent the vineyard.  They are the lesser and they still refuse to submit to Christ.

The following section on the poll tax to Caesar is no different really.  Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God (v.17).  What belongs to God?  Everything!  It’s as if Jesus is commanding the community to get things right—meaning they’re off.  The elders and Pharisees are not in touch with who owns it all, but Jesus is.

The account of the Sadducees and their inquiry as to who is rightfully married to the widow after the resurrection is telling: (I.e., they did not believe in the resurrection because of their lack of knowledge).  They lacked scriptural knowledge and consequently of God’s power (vv.24, 27) Jesus said:

“Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God?….you are greatly mistaken” (vv.24, 27)

Notice the progression: not understanding God’s word leads to not understanding God’s power, which means that in order to understand God’s power we must first understand His self-disclosure in particular revelation.  If God is the creator, then he can easily raise the dead; if God can raise the dead, then he can transform our present state of being into a different one from this fallen condition.

As far as marriage goes, there won’t be any between present spouses (Contra Mormon doctrine), but between the Church and Christ yes, there will be!  This seems plain from the passage.

So, what do I make of all this?  I should heed Christ’s authority by recognizing He’s the Son of God who owns everything, who will raise me up on the last day and I must beware of blinding pride which, as with the Pharisees and Scribes, causes us to resist the Holy Spirit.  May this not depict me Jesus, but may your mercy, truth and grace ever keep me.

(SDG)

TRUE TRUTH and Why It Matters—“What Are The Three Enemies of Truth?” Part 4

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RELATIVISM: THE FIRST ENEMY OF TRUTH

The notion of relativism is an old idea, not a “hip” invention of the 21st century.  The book of Judges 17:6 says that in Israel, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes….  Again in Greek thought (Protagoras of Abdera) held that “man is the measure of all things” and that “truth is what appears to each individual”.[i]  Sadly, relativism is in vogue today such that true, truth seems archaic, civil interaction escapes us, and doing justice eludes us.

Christian Philosopher, Peter Kreeft quotes C.S. Lewis, on the importance of this issue which he called “subjectivism”.  In The Poison of Subjectivism, Lewis speaks on the perils of moral relativism and says:

“…it will certainly end our species and damn our souls.” Kreeft comments, ‘Please remember that Oxonians (those from Oxford University) are not given to exaggeration. He continues, why does he say, “Damn our souls?” Because Lewis is a Christian, and he does not disagree with the fundamental teaching of his master, Christ, and all the prophets in the Jewish tradition, that salvation presupposes repentance, and repentance presupposes an objectively real moral law. Moral relativism eliminates that law, thus trivializes repentance, and thus imperils salvation.”[ii]

This issue is a big deal and if you care about the truth pay close attention.  In this part we will be: looking at relativism as an enemy of truth that expresses itself culturally, societally, and individually.  Thus we will consider its implications and offer alternative solutions.  Click here for pdf.file      

[i] (Accessed 2/18/2014) from http://www.ucd.ie/philosophy/staff/mariabaghramian/Brief%20History.pdf

[ii] (Accessed 2/19/2014) http://www.peterkreeft.com/audio/05_relativism/relativism_transcription.htm#1

The Marriage Decision of the Supreme Court

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In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding marriage, there will be mixed emotions and thoughts—based on your worldview.  I’m glad we live in a country where we can talk, debate, and even agree to disagree—hopefully agreeably, and not with incivility (I.e. name calling, etc.).

I know many in the gay community are elated with the court’s decision but there are those within the community that are not[1].  I know many think this issue can only be viewed through scripture and tradition, but reason[2] and experience can also be good tutors.[3]  I also know that historically Christians have been swayed by the culture, rather than impacting it.  Many are the reasons, but two in particular are huge. There’s the unfortunate ignorance of the historic Christian faith and abandoning the life of the mind as a way to love God.   These two reasons produce souls without conviction who often reject Christianity’s truth claims (whether conscious or not).

Provided are two links that can help remedy the malady.  The first one is by Philosopher Douglas Groothuis’.  In his article, he challenges Christians in favor of same sex marriage to logically argue their case.  Among the values of this exercise is to replace the “parroting” of what’s in vogue with the presentation of a reasoned position.  Link http://douglasgroothuis.com/2015/06/27/a-challenge-to-christians-who-support-same-sex-marriage/

Secondly, Stand to Reason has helpful links to help our understanding of the issue(s) which also provide strategies for civil discussion regarding the marriage decision.  Link http://www.str.org/blog/more-resources-for-understanding-and-discussing-the-marriage-decision#.VZAf_flViko

ATTQ encourages the reader to consider these sites, and welcomes dialogue in the comment section concerning your thoughts, worries or even doubts about this issue.

[1] (Accessed 6/28/2015):  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22758434 “The gay people against gay marriage” by Tom Geoghegan, BBC News, Washington http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/  “I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage” by Doug Mainwaring

[2] By reason I mean “unaided reason” which comes under the rubric of general revelation—knowledge all people possess concerning God and moralsIt’s this ability to reason that makes it possible for humans created in God’s image to make proper, true distinctions—judgments of reality.

[3] (Accessed 6/28/2015) http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/03/9432/ “I’m Gay and I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage” by Doug Mainwaring.  Scripture teaches that God has spoken through two books: The book of nature (Ps.19:1-6; Rom.1:18-21) known as general revelation and the book of redemption called particular revelation (Ps.19:7-14)The former gives the general knowledge of God, the latter the requisite redemptive/salvific knowledge of God.  Too often Christians neglect the latter book to make their case and actually miss out on a good opportunity for dialogue and persuasion contra Paul (Acts 17).  This issue calls for both “books” to be considered at least by professing Christians.