Saturday, January 30, 2016

Kickiing Against the Pricks or Goads

Kicking against the pricks was a saying well known to people in agriculture. The phrase was familiar to archaic Greeks and Romans and the Jewish people living under Roman rule. It was used to say that someone was struggling with a deity.

Pricks is derived from the Greek word Kentron. It means something is sharp. Laktizo is a Greek word meaning to kick or fight back.

The goad or prick was a stick with a pointed metal tip that the farmer used to prod the ox along while plowing. The farmer would poke the ox to steer it in the correct direction. The animal at times would struggle against the goad, which may it go deeper into the ox's skin.

Saul was persecuting Christians. Jesus spoke to him and ask why he was persecuting him and said it was hard for Saul to kick against the pricks. The expression insinuates that Saul suffered from persecuting Christians. We don't know exactly how, but maybe it bothered his conscience.

So when we fight against God, we are kicking the pricks and causing pain for ourselves. This is a good lesson teaching us to obey God. We need to remember, He is pointing us in the right direction.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Against Religion and Prayer, Joann Sfar


After the terrorist attack on Paris, in November of 2015, Joann Sfar requested that people stop hashtagging #PrayForParis. He emphasized that religion wasn't needed in Paris. People that tagged showed an alliance with Paris under siege reported U.S. News & World Report.

 The cartoonist has the right to free speech; he can make that request.

But it is sad and a sign of the times, when disliking prayer is on the rise. According to, Sfar included an anti-religious missive in the post. He draws for a French newspaper that previously mocked Christians and the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, said

Galatians 6:7 says: Do not be deceived: "God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap."

Those that mock God will reap the fruits of their mocking. Galatians warns against this result telling people not to be deceived. It's a warning that everyone should heed.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Godly, Devout, Pious


Godly, devout, pious. Theses words pertain to living a moral life and believing in God according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

The Greek word for godliness is eusebia. Strong's Greek Lexicon # G2152 explains eusebes means pious. The Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines pious as having or showing a deep respect for God and religion.

The origin of devout is the Latin word devotus. It means devoted according to the Oxford Dictionary. Synonyms for pious are dedicated, reverent, godly, saintly, and churchgoing. Thus, someone who is godly, devout, or pious lives a moral life while believing in God. A devout person is devoted to God.

Some antonyms for devout are false, dishonest, disloyal, insincere, cold, and unbelieving. These opposites to devout mark the unbeliever's traits and attitude toward God.

Paul wrote in first Corinthians 15:32 about false teachers that were in the church at Corinth. They said that Christ did not rise from the grave. These teachers believed only in an earthly life. The false teacher's viewpoint about life damaged the belief of the people they influenced.

First Corinthians 15:33 says: "Do not be deceived: Bad company ruins morals." Associating with impious company will ruin our morals. The key word is deceived. Deception is a lie and Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). It isn't necessarily, a sudden bad influence, for we might resist for a while, but gradually give in to temptation.

Dutiful is not a popular word today. It means conscientiously doing your duty. One synonym for dutiful is respectful. The Christian has the duty to speak God's truth, which is The Truth, to people. Speak it when asked about your beliefs or when challenged. Speak out about sin. Speak out about abortion, adultery, taking God's commandments from court houses, taking crosses down, forbidding manger scenes on public property, taking pray out of schools, and generally removing God from the public's view. The aforementioned list of wrongs are disrespectful of God's word, Him, and the well-being of society.

A synonym for duty is ought. Ought is a word used to articulate moral duty. For example, we ought to obey The Ten Commandments. These commandments direct us towards our duty to God and people.

The Ten Commandments

Being religious concerns belief in divinity. Some synonyms for religious are devout, pious, holy, scriptural, churchgoing, pure, priestly, and believing.

Scriptural means something relates to scripture. It means in accordance with the scriptures which means in harmony with or conforming to. The Scriptures are the Old and New Testament. They are the word of God. A religious person in Christian terms is a person that believes and lives by scripture.

William McGuffey stated: "Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man."

The deep respect for God and religion as expressed in the word pious is the root foundation of society as it once was. The disastrous results of disrespect, irreligious attitudes, and unbelief  are obvious for anyone to see, if he doesn't stop up his ears and cover his eyes.

As we live in the today's world, what do we see but a disintegration of morals, an increase in selfishness, and an onslaught of sensuality as a floodtide.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mother Teresa, Christopher Hitchens

Creative Commons License
Photo by Sa.balamurugan at Wikimedia Commons
No Changes made to photo

Christopher Hitchens was an atheist. That is well-known. Mother Teresa was a Catholic nun. That is well-known. Hitchens vilified her with unfounded accusations.

He made a documentary called Hell's Angel. The title is disrespectful. His arguments were controversial, lacking in truth,  and the uninformed believed him.

It isn't surprising that an atheist would attack one of God's great servants. Mathew 5:11 says: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."

According to William Doino, Jr. at First, Hitchens never interviewed anyone that the Missionaries of Charity took care of for his documentary, yet he said he was defending the poor from Mother Teresa. He said she exploited them.

I looked at Hell's Angel. It is full of ad hominem assaults against her. An ad hominem appeals to emotions and prejudice. It doesn't appeal to reason nor the intellect. Another definition for ad hominem is to attack the opposition's character instead of answering his argument.

Hitchen's called Mother Teresa "a presumable virgin." That is an ad hominem attack. He attacked her character and her person.

Hitchens shows in his documentary, Mihir Bose, explaining why he thinks Mother Teresa was politically involved against abortion. She talked to Margaret Thatcher about abortion. When any country legalizes abortion, what is really a moral issue is made into a political issue. Mother Teresa was speaking from a moral stance.

Bose goes on to say that she is "part of the Western agenda, where the West is still part of the Third World." His statements come from a political attitude and within themselves show this to be true.

How can a non-believer understand that someone has a calling to help the poor? It is outside of their paradigm.

Hitchens also criticized her because she received awards from people for her charitable work. Is it her fault that many admired her charitable work? He stated that her rewards weren't from heaven. Being an atheist, he doesn't believe in heaven.

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve ( Colossians 3: 23-24.)" Mother Teresa was dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ. How can an atheist understand that?

She was criticized for converting people to Christianity by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

 "It's good to work for a cause with selfless intentions. But Mother Teresa’s work had ulterior motive, which was to convert the person who was being served to Christianity. In the name of service, religious conversions were made. This was followed by other institutes, too." These statements were reported by the Times of India, as reported by the Washington Post.

Christ told his disciples to go out and convert all nations. Plus, notice the name of her order, The Missionaries of Charity. What does a missionary do? Convert. What does charity mean in the biblical sense? Love.

Mother Teresa understood that every person is precious to God. That is the principle she went by.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Lucifer is Coming, DC Comics, Supernatural, Fox Show

Apparently, the idea for the show is adapted from the DC comics title The Sandman. Lucifer Morningstar, is a character in the comic book. Comic books many times use mythology as a starting point for their stories. But the Bible isn't mythology and shouldn't be treated as such.

The problem here is using biblical characters in ways that put an unbiblical spin on the characters. In Supernatural, the TV show, the devil supposedly rises from hell to earth. The problem with that notion is that biblically speaking, he hasn't been cast into hell yet. He roams the earth like a roaring lion, seeking those he can devour (Job 1:7).

In 2009, tweets about the show Supernatural, saying that Lucifer is coming caused quite an uproar. This concerned the season 5 premier. Twitter got many complaints and removed the tweet about the devil.

In the upcoming Fox show called Lucifer, the character is depicted as bored. What? The devil never bores of his evil work. He hurries along trying to do as much damage as he can, while he has time. He will never tire of lying to people and causing evil to happen, and garnering lost souls for hell.

The premise of the show undermines the truth of the Bible. It twists God's word. It is spin at its worst! The description of the show also says that he is unhappy. This is ridiculous. He is the ruler of his unholy realm. He isn't sad.

The description of the show by Fox says Lucifer felt something that alarmed him. The writer questions whether it could be compassion or sympathy. This is his response to a savage murder. Wrong.

"You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it (John 8:44)."

The Bible says the devil/Lucifer was a murderer from the beginning. So, depicting him as compassionate is a mischaracterization. It's false as Lucifer is false. It says that he is the father of lies. That sums up his role in getting this disturbing show on TV for people to gobble up like sheep to a slaughter.

Fox also says he will be charming you through your TV.

"But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)." The serpent, also called Lucifer charmed Eve into committing the first sin, called original sin. Fox is telling you that he is charming and that's okay. It isn't okay. Be aware of this deceit.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Raca, Fool, Worthless

Raca is a contemptuous term. Jesus said in Mathew 5: 22 that someone that says raca to his brother is in danger of the council. That was the Sanhedrin that convened in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Obviously then, this is a serious matter, when one calls another raca. The 1910 New Catholic Dictionary quotes Saint John Chrysostom. This saint comments that it means, "despised, vile, dirty, poor." It quotes Saint Jerome thusly: in the sense of good-for-nothing. It also means foolish or intellectually inferior according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Apparently, that one word is many insults in one package. It also means empty-headed according to Strong's Concordance. An insult to someone comes from the speaker's heart. The bible contains many passages that talk about the condition of the heart. This name calling indicates that hatred is in the speaker's heart.

The root meaning of raca is to spit. We spit something out that tastes bad, or we spit out mucus. People sometimes spit on others, when they are mad.

Jesus talks about the sixth commandment: Thou shalt not murder. He expands into a more profound spiritual meaning that they hadn't heard before. He points out the grave problem of an angry spirit. It can lead to murder. He explains that anyone unjustifiably angry with someone is answerable to God. The Jewish community in the first century knew the ten commandments. They knew that murder is a sin and that a murderer is answerable to God.

Jesus exhorts that name calling is a sin. This is a refinement in the understanding of the law. It's an example of Jesus fulfilling the law. An unrighteous anger that causes someone to lob insults is the same anger that leads to committing murder. He clarifies the full meaning of the sixth commandment.

This attitude of anger lies in the heart. God searches the heart of man. The bad attitude is morally wrong. The intention of the heart, when someone insults another clearly comes from hatred. The feeling beneath the insult is the sin. It is the contemptuous feeling accompanying the verbal abuse that comprises the sin.

Thus, in Luke 24:25 Jesus isn't being inconsistent when he calls two of his followers foolish. According to Barnes' Notes on the Bible, the Greek word used is different than the insult word discussed. The one Jesus' uses means dullness in the sense that they hadn't paid enough attention to what the prophets had foretold about his death and resurrection.

Index Blog Website Fast

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Paradigm Shift or Standard Fare

clipart from

A paradigm represents how something can be copied. It also represents ideas about how to do things and how to think about the world. The shifting of the morality paradigm has been happening since the sixties. One could argue since the fifties, but it gained a little speed then and more in the sixties. Now, the paradigm shift has become the standard fare.

Morality has taken a colossal beating compared to yesteryear. Immorality has become more the standard fare of these days. One wonders how far it can go.

The Bible tells us that Jesus said this in Mathew verse 22. "If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened." In verses 12 and 13 Jesus says that "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."

The increase in wickedness is obvious to anyone that has lived from the 1950's until 2016. Though some might not call it wickedness, they can hardly say that the general outlook on life hasn't changed or that the culture generally holds the same values. There has been a paradigm shift.

Jesus also tells us that many people's love will become cold. People will be more cold-hearted. Just take a look at the news and you can see that prediction coming true.

Homosexuality, divorce, fornication, and abortion are accepted as the norm. Of course, these things have always gone on, but the increase and the acceptance of immorality as normal, that is a paradigm shift.

Cursing in public, movies, books, and articles is accepted as the standard fare these days. Don't leave out political and corporate corruption that is downright zealous. Violence has increased in life, movies, and novels. Blatant sexual content in films and books and pornography gone rampant are big slices of today's fare.

For younger people this isn't a shift. It is normal. It's the way the world is. But which way will these young people go in a world without a moral foundation?

Not to give the impression that the world was perfect 60 years ago. But 1956 wasn't nearly as morally bleak as it is today. Bleak though it is, we aren't without hope, we have a solid moral foundation to learn about and stand on through reading the Bible and believing in Jesus the Christ.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Greed (1924) and Wall Street (1987)

This is a reflection on greed. It's a comparison of how greed is portrayed in two films. Greed (1924) is a silent film. The movie examines the wickedness of greed and shows the corruption that greed engenders.

Wall Street (1987) on the other hand uplifts greed as a virtue. Gordon Gekko, a character in the movie, says "greed is good." A vice becomes a virtue. But a virtue relates to morality and a vice is immoral. It's an evil habit. That's a switcheroo! It's not a totally unexpected change in attitude, according to the Bible, but definitely unexpected by many people. The Bible says that in the last days people will call good evil and evil good. Bingo!

This concept of greed as a virtue was also popularized by Ayn Rand (1905-1982). This quote from Gore Vidal sheds light on her promotion of greed.

Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society....To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.— Gore Vidal, 1961

Ayn Rand's books have had a tremendous negative influence on American society. She has affected even people that never read a word of her writings. Her ideas have filtered into popular culture, such as movies, and into society in general.

Conversely, the Eric von Stroheim film Greed, portrays the dehumanization of the characters that become greedy over money. This web of evil involves jealousy, lack of loyalty to a friend, alcoholism, violence, stinginess, and obviously, greed.

In the beginning of the twentieth century, a movie shows greed for what it really is. Close to the end of that century, a movie distorts what greed is.

How does this reflect on our societal values? Where are these values coming from? Which side of the divide do you stand on is the most pertinent question.

Clipart dividers from

Clipart money bag from

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Seven Deadly Sins: Greed

Clipart from
We see examples of greed all around us. Some people aren't satisfied no matter how much wealth they accumulate. Their greed is never satisfied. Sports figures that want more money as if they don't make a lot of legal tender. Corporations going out of the country because of lower wages and no benefits for the employees.

Fast food corporations have subtly increased their profits by offering what? More. Supersize! Encouraging people to eat more unhealthy food. Of course, the companies increase their profits because it costs more than the normal size.

But gluttony is associated with greed in meaning too. So wanting to eat too much food each day is a form of greed. A form that all-you-can-eat and fast food restaurants have tapped into, weirdly, the greed on both sides feed each other.

It has become customary for stores to be open seven days a week. What's the point of that? Obviously, to make more money. Greed for money and lusting for power are tied together. People can be greedy for power.

Setting the business world aside, individuals can be greedy too. A person can envy what someone else has. That is a form of greed. Those greedy thoughts can be wrought by a poor or a rich person. One definition of greed is selfish lusting for something.

Having money isn't wrong. Greedily cheating people to get money and hurting people in any way to get it is wrong. Being stingy is wrong. Being envious of what another has is wrong. Greed is a sin.

Prosperity preaching involves greed. This preaching isn't biblical. God knows we need money in this world. He doesn't want it to be our god.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Upset of Poise

Debate and Not                                            

Dialogue Four

"The Upset of Poise"

Characters: Mr. Ishbak Knot and Mr. Match Mooting

"You upset Quibell, yesterday."
"Suppose I toppled her applecart."
"As a member of Philosophers of It All, I object."
"There is no rule against jarring another's thought. I daresay that is what the society is about."
"But about reality. Not about pretend. We aren't children," said Ishbak.
"I am a child of  the Lord."
"Will you never stop inserting God the Invisible into conversations?"
"No. We call ourselves Philosophers of It All and He made all of it."
"Despite you're delusional side, we like you too much to vote you out."
"Quite so."
"Besides, we hope to get you on the right path."
"The road of destruction is wide. Anyway, it is unbelief that is delusional."
"How so?"
"The antichrist will deceive unbelievers. It is happening now. They will not love the Truth and repent, and be saved. This means both the gospel and Jesus Christ."
 "I wish you had a real argument."
 "It is not that the unregenerate didn't hear the Truth or understand it according to Colossians. The Lord said that in the last days scoffers would come," said Match."
"I guess, you mean atheists, but we've been around for a long time."
"He infers that the rate becomes exponential as it is now."
"You can't prove that."
"A look at the news and the world shows an increase of scoffers, disbelievers, wars, and earthquakes."
"Earthquakes. Now you're delving into something solid. You should stay away from that. It's scientific."
"Yes it is and there were more earthquakes in Oklahoma in 2014 than the total for five years before that. Which was a small number. And 2015 saw more increase. Before 2014 there were few earthquakes in Oklahoma," said Match.
"So? That's just one state, and they drill for oil there."
"They do. Seismologists are documenting an increase the world over."
"Maybe we should keep you away from the news too. You're distorting it with your religious viewpoint. You're comparing the facts to a dystopian story. If you're figures are factual," said Ishbak.
"Seismic activity is measurable."
"But you're dystopian story has nothing to do with it."
"You mean the book of Revelation."
"There are many dystopian stories. Yours is just an ancient tale. By definition a dystopia is imaginary."
"Actually, it is a utopian story. Christ wins. The good wins."
"A utopia is an imaginary world too."
 "Usually, but the new world Christ creates will be real. What we have now is an increase in sin, therefore, evil is increasing."
"Oh Evel Kinevel! There isn't any such thing as sin."
"What do you call murder, theft, and lying?"
"Doing wrong."
"The Bible calls those evil deeds wrongdoing or sin."
"There you go retreating to the Bible."
"If someone steals your car, do you think that is a very reprehensible act?"
" Of course, we've talked about this before."
"Quite. That is one of the definitions of sin: a reprehensible act. See Merriam Webster."