Archive for January, 2013

31
Jan
13

Recession? Depression? Double Dips?

I’m no expert in finance but I find the graphs at this site are interesting, showing periods of recession in the USA since WWII.

The graph I find particularly interesting is the last one that shows the state of the economy during the different presidential periods.

http://advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/GDP-Current-Release.php

One reason I post the link is because of the “prophecies” I’ve written about before. These graphs show how wrong those predictions have been.

https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/12/03/the-14-predictions-apology-were-still-waiting/

https://onesimusfiles.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/false-prophecy-and-the-role-ofsecular-experts/

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30
Jan
13

“Stop Insulting Our Intelligence!”: recommended article

Article about a “well timed” anti-Semitic cartoon in a British newspaper.

See article here:

http://www.newantisemitism.com/2013/01/stop-insulting-our-intelligence_29.html

26
Jan
13

Australia Day Holiday

Saturday 26th January is Austraya day (or Invasion Day to the Indie Genius population).
We get to celebrate the arrival of the First (white) Feet on Sydney soil, when the original load of Conflicts arrived to take the land off the inhabitants who didn’t live here (according to advance scout Terry Null-ears who didn’t hear anyone shouting “Hey! We was ‘ere first”.)

For the alternative history behind this holiday see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Day

And for the true history of Terry Null-ears in Australia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_nullius#History_in_Australia

25
Jan
13

AAAAGHHHH!!!

AAAAGHHHH!!!

How else can I respond to some of the sad, twisted, deluded, straight out lunatic ideas that I’ve seen promoted as being legitimately Christian? And this week seems to have thrown up some of the worst examples I’ve seen in a long time.
I’ve been following the opinions being shared on a topic on this blog here: http://www.revivalschool.com/civil-war-in-the-usa-the-visions/

I’m not even sure where to start in trying to determine why and how such aberrant views can be expressed by some of those commenting after the article, but maybe the best place is the beginning.
And the beginning is the opening article: “CIVIL WAR IN THE USA? – The Visions”. The article closes with the questions:

Could civil war be coming to America? What should the Christians’ response be?

What is the basis for this line of questioning?
It comes from a collection of “visions” but how reliable and legitimate are they?
Are they something that should be raised publicly and around the world as something that should be of genuine concern?
Maybe – but what has been the fruit produced by the promotion of these “visions”? Is there evidence that anyone has been inspired into Godly action through being “forewarned” of this “prophesied” civil war?

It’s maybe inevitable that the promotion of such unsubstantiated ideas would flush out some of the warped beliefs revealed in the replies to the article some of which I’ve found to be extremely disturbing. It think the beliefs of some of the commenters could even help to make these predictions become “self-fulfilling” prophecies.

One person writes:

“From what has been said, let’s start using guns now rather than later to take on the enemy whoever they may be and known to us. Let’s board up our homes from inside to keep the enemy out. Let’s have those who have guns in the Christian church protect us from what is coming.”

Another commenter continually poses a hypothetical challenge of how others would respond to a situation where:

“…people are raped and slaughtered before your very eyes, day after day, month in and month out…”

And he advocates the taking up of arms by Christians to prevent this (hypothetical) mass abuse and murder.

A favourite example to raise in support of armed resistance is that of Hitler and Nazi Germany and how inaction (that is lack of violent action) by citizens allowed the rise of Hitler and his mass-murder of Jews.
There are also several references to alleged FEMA death camps… a favourite fear-inducing claim of conspiracy adherents.
Articles like the “Civil War” post can’t help but bring out the religious lunatic fringe, and anti-government “christian” militants.

One thing seems to have been missed in all of this talk of rebellion and civil war – (a lot of which has been stirred up through anti-Obama sentiments*). The majority of wars and dictatorships throughout history have come about due to the actions of extreme “CONSERVATIVES” like those advocating the legitmacy of “Christian” violence (I would include the communist regimes under the label “conservative”) and rarely if ever through the actions of so-called “Liberals”.
As misguided as “liberal” ideas may be they don’t usually try to force those ideas and their politics upon everyone through violence. At the worst they just ALLOW sinners to sin, they ALLOW people to have abortions or to live a homosexual lifestyle – they don’t force those things upon unwilling participants.

Ironically that is very much the approach God Himself takes. He doesn’t force people into obedience. He doesn’t force people into righteous behaviour. He doesn’t force His standard upon anyone. He allows them their disobedience and unrighteousness. He gives people over to the things they desire above Him and His ways. He gives people over to the sinful desires of their hearts. He gives them over to their shameful lusts. He gives them over to their depraved minds. Whatever they choose in place of Him He will give them freedom to follow (see Romans 1).

And neither does He force anyone to an eternity in hell (the lake of fire) – He made a way of escape from that destiny through personal sacrifice. He gave His Son so that whoever believes (trusts) in Him can escape that terrible future. He tells us that He sent His Son NOT to condemn, because mankind was condemned already. He came to SAVE us from that condemned state. He came to give LIFE (abundantly) – Life to those who give up their own lusts, sinful desires and corrupt thinking by handing themselves over to Him through Jesus.

Such a liberal God, freely giving to us what we did not deserve.

______________________________

*Obama is reportedly the most threatened President in US history. One report I heard suggests he’s received more death threats than all previous Presidents combined. I wonder how many Obama-hating violence endorsing “christians” secretly (or not so secretly) rejoice over that.

25
Jan
13

Beginning Until Now

5 2013

There will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.

Matthew 24

23
Jan
13

How Fictional can “Christian Fiction” Be (while remaining “Christian”)?

[subtitle: Can a Christian Write Non-Christian or Even Antichristian fiction?]

I recently wrote about my early writing ambitions, the study I did and the stories I wrote. Those ambitions never came to fruition but I haven’t given up on them. However things have changed significantly since those University days. Back then there were few restraints on what I wrote – I could tackle any topic, any style and any genre without too much concern. But now I see things differently.

At that time I was going through a spiritual crisis, battling with the beliefs I’d held throughout the previous decade or more. It was a time of questioning and the pushing of boundaries, trying to come to terms with what I did or did not believe and what I SHOULD believe.

My spiritual condition could be summed up in this (paraphrased from memory) description of a character in Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children: “he could not worship a God in whom he could not wholly disbelieve”. To me this describes someone caught between two camps. On the one hand not certain enough of the reality of God to fully devote his life to God; on the other hand not certain enough of God’s non-existence to cast aside all restraint to live a totally God-less life.

It was several years afterwards that I emerged from that crisis with a renewed faith, a development that has consequences for any writing ambitions that I’ve retained. I feel there ARE now restraints on what I write and how I write. There are responsibilities that twenty years ago I didn’t feel were relevant. There are types of writing that wouldn’t be appropriate for me to tackle, to state the obvious: pornography.

But the “restraints” go further than personal moral convictions and extend to the type of spiritual reality that a story portrays. A good friend of mine suggested that there are serious problems with any story that leaves God and the gospel of Jesus out of the equation. To my mind this doesn’t mean that every story a Christian writes (or reads) should contain specific references to these important spiritual realities, it just means that a Christian’s fictional world should remain consistent with the foundational spiritual truths they claim to embrace. The framework of a fictional world created by a Christian writer needs to have Christian realities at its core – even if that core is not specifically mentioned.

I became even more convinced of this yesterday when I read the following on the blog of a Christian author where he describes a major plot-point of his first published novel:
“…a man who’d been used by God to raise someone from the dead was sacrificed to a pagan deity. His soul was effectively imprisoned and the Land was cursed. That curse was maintained by each successive generation. One of my protagonist’s goals becomes to “free” this healer and return his soul to God.

Several reviewers pointed out that, in the real world, this was impossible.
And I pretty much agree.”

Further into his article he decries what he labels “the Theology Police” (a term he “wield[s] with lotsa snark”) who would criticise his story’s premise.

I have a very serious problem with the attitude the author is conveying. He seems to suggest there is absolutely no responsibility on Christian authors to remain true to even the most basic of the spiritual truths their alleged faith upholds. As if they can cast aside foundational truths to portray an alternative spiritual worldview all for the sake of story. As if the story takes priority over truth.

I’m sure many will agree with him and disagree with me – pointing out that he is an author writing fiction, that there are no limits on what he should be able to write in his own created fictional world.

Of course any fiction writer can create whatever reality they think suits their story – but whether that fiction writer can still legitimately refer to themselves as a Christian writer, or by the more flexible label of “writer who is a Christian” is debatable. For the writer (and reader) with no strong religious conviction all of this wouldn’t be an issue. But to someone believing in a genuine spiritual battle in which there are personal eternal consequences the situation ought to be entirely different.

In the case mentioned above, the author himself recognises the problem with the scenario his novel presents: as if the “soul” of a Godly many could be imprisoned after death and need to be freed to return to God.
What kind of spiritual “reality” and God is that portraying? And does it really matter as long as it’s entertaining?
I’d say it is a false reality and a false God, and YES it does matter.

Personally I’d prefer to read a well written secular novel by a non-believing author than one written by a Christian that protrays a counterfeit spirituality and a false God.

At least with the non-Christian author I have no false expectations about what I’d be reading.

23
Jan
13

The American Patriot’s Gospel

See the article at this link. It contains insightful commentary as well as an interesting work of art.

http://weeping-jeremiahs.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/the-american-patriots-gospel.html

These days it is refreshing to see someone not caught up in that ugly religious hybrid that blends christianity with US patriotism (often dominated by the latter).




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