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American presidential election cycle since the establishment of the two party system reveals an interesting pattern. The pattern shows Americans re-electing conservative administrations more often than liberal ones. (source) This is the epitome of the Thermidorian Reaction. The Thermidorian Reaction was so named after the events of the post-French Revolution. (source) What happened was that French people admired the Americans & their successful revolution. But just as is often the case today, people misunderstand what Americans mean by freedom & liberty & what revolutionaries from other countries mean by it.
America finds itself in a present financial crisis, with talks of bailouts & collapse of the markets. Some people are blaming what they call greedy business people, some people are actually claiming it is capitalism & the freemarket at fault. If only we had seen the signs...no not the signs of this present gloom but the signs that for the last decade have been posted in front of many of the new home editions around the country. You know, you've seen the signs such as:
No folks, those signs aren't reflective of capitalism nor are they reflective of American principles. We see these signs & statements not only in the housing market but also other industries. It is offensive to think someone can gain what it takes honest people years of hard work to obtain.
Microsoft launched its new Office Suite & didn't seem to tell any of us poor hacks using the older versions that the older versions wouldn't be able to open the newer version files. For example, by default the Excel 2007 file format is .xlsm instead of .xls -- I know, I know I'm geeky.
So anyway, I just wanted to share that there is a work-around. It is a converter that you can download from the Microsoft website (no scary 3rd party) that will automatically covert the files into the older version.
You can download it from here:
I haven't been posting comments because when I re-set the website I had not yet configured the forms to allow for the person to input their name. It has been my policy not to post unnamed comments. I also wanted to get some spam protection working before I opened up comments.
Anyhow, unregistered users can now make comments on content. The comment will wait for approval (another layer of spam protection & to keep foes from going off on tangents).
I am beginning to accept some registered users. Utilize the CONTACT link to the left to request registration. The present advantage of a registered user is to comment without moderation. I may add more stuff later but right now I am utilizing this site more like a personal blog than a community forum.
As the American Presidential election heats up, we get to see a peek at the topic we're told never to talk about in public -- faith/religion. Politicians have long sought to use religion to frame their messages, yet without using too much of it so as to be labeled a "fanatic". The 2008 elections are no different. First, we saw Barak Obama initially downplay the racist & anti-American ideas of his church of 20 years & then he finally had to distance himself from the church all together or risk sinking his campaign. Next, Obama was depicted as a "messiah" because of his lofty promises of "change" & of "healing" things as massive as the entire planet. Now, when Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice President candidate is energizing the core Christian base of the Republican Party & Obama sees his lead slipping away, Obama & supporters are using a new religious themed line:
The comparison is meant to be a jab at the fact that though many question Obama's lack of executive experience, Palin's experience as a governor is equated with the supposed killer of Jesus Himself.
Ok, when even my Dad, an admitted computer neophyte/newbie knows about the new Google Crome browser & asks me if I tried it yet I guess it is time for me to look into it. I downloaded it at work & will do so at home. I currently use Firefox both places. I typically don't have crash problems with Firefox as I do Internet Explorer but Google Crome's even more minimal approach promises to be even less susceptible. I already like the Google Crome feature of having a most often visited tab that shows thumbnails of the pages.
Anyhow, download it & give it a try: http://tools.google.com/chrome/
Let me know what you think.
Every American child was taught the nursery story about the three little pigs that each built houses of different materials. These modern day parables have biblical parallels such as a man who builds his house on the sand (Mt 7:26). One thing that has crept into Christian thinking is the notion of opinion-based theology. Opinion-based theology disdains people having or showing any expression of certainty or surety, in spite of the fact that Heb 11:1 tells us that faith is exactly the point of being SURE & CERTAIN.
As I come off of my former promotion of a heresy (hyperpreterismi), this site is going to have a focus on examining heresy & how Christians can accidentally & purposely fall into heresy. I will eventually get back to other topics, but please bear with me through 2008 as I deal with heresy issues. This is extremely important not only to me but to all readers since heresy doesn't normally come knocking with a name badge, "Hey, I'm heresy", but rather heresy sneaks into your mind, your heart, your theology. And while you subscribe to a heresy, you may think it is not you that has a problem, but all the "close-minded" people that are trying to warn you about the heresy you are caught in. (heretics tend to think of other people as "close-minded" or too simple to understand the supposed great knowledge to which the heretic has attained).
So, my question to the reader & to myself is, IS ANYTHING HERESY TO A HERETIC?
This was turning out to be the first presidential election since I became politically active that I was going to not vote. If McCain had selected Mitt Romney or some other slick RINO politician as his vice president running mate, I would definitely be sitting out this year's presidential election. I would rather have an out & out liberal like Barak Obama in office (without me actually voting for him) than to let people think that the kinds of things McCain spouts is really the ideological core of conservativism -- since it's not.
But by selecting someone like Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, I might just vote after all. Why you ask?
When heresy rises in an evangelical body, it is never frank and open. It always begins by skulking, and assuming a disguise. Its advocates, when together, boast of great improvements, and congratulate one another on having gone greatly beyond the “old dead orthodoxy,” and on having left behind many of its antiquated errors: but when taxed with deviations from the received faith, they complain of the unreasonableness of their accusers, as they “differ from it only in words.” This has been the standing course of errorists ever since the apostolic age. They are almost never honest and candid as a party, until they gain strength enough to be sure of some degree of popularity. Thus it was with Arius in the fourth century, with Pelagius in the fifth, with Arminius and his companions in the seventeenth, with Amyraut and his associates in France soon afterwards, and with the Unitarians in Massachusetts, toward the close of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries [& hyperpreterists in the twenty-first century -- my addition because it fits so well in this list of heresies]. They denied their real tenets, evaded examination or inquiry, declaimed against their accusers as merciless bigots and heresy-hunters, and strove as long as they could to appear to agree with the most orthodox of their neighbours; until the time came when, partly from inability any longer to cover up their sentiments, and partly because they felt strong enough to come out, they at length avowed their real opinions.
In this day in age we are told to be “moderates”, “bi-partisans”, “independents”, “open-minded”, “tolerant” among other synonyms that all boil down to being a compromiser. Ideas become nothing but mere opinions to be accepted or rejected with no more validity than the next.
If you adhere strongly to an ideology you will quickly be labeled “extreme”, “partisan”, “rigid”, “close-minded”, “intolerant”, perhaps even “mean-spirited”. Ideology becomes irrelevant & inconsequential in the face of so many ecumenicists. Sure, people will wear their ideals like a boyscout patch but hardly will they ever push their propositions beyond the comfort zone. Be it political or theological ideology it seems the days when ideals meant things is gone. We are left with vague concepts that speak from the “heart” -- as if the heart & mind are disconnected.
THE WHITEFIELD & WESLEY EXAMPLE
One of the most often used examples of why we Christians should be ecumenical in our dealings with other people who advocate & support false doctrine while calling on the name of Christ is the relationship of George Whitefield & John Wesley.
For a little background, Whitefield & Wesley were Methodist preachers in the mid-1700s. While Whitefield followed in the Protestant & Reformed theology which advocated God's predestination of believers & grace, Wesley adopted the Arminian concept of man's freewill & only God's foreknowledge but not fore-ordination of believers. Perhaps this would not have caused such a problem except that as Whitefield went to America to preach, he left his ministry in England to Wesley & Wesley's brother Charles.
Sometimes when Christians take a strong stance in contending for the faith (Jude 1:3), especially against teachers & teachings that are clearly unchristian, they are accused of being motivated by "self-righteousness", "bitterness", "hate", or of being "heteric hunters". One of the Church's most staunch defenders of the faith was a man named Athanasius of Alexandria Egypt.
Athanasius lived in the 3rd-4th century & is known for his fight against one of the very first heresies within the Church. This heresy was called Arianism after a man named Arius. In summary, Arianism taught that Jesus was not one with the Father & that Jesus was not divine & that the Triune nature of God was incorrect.
Athanasius would occupy almost his entire adult life with combatting the teaching of Arianism. My question is, does this mean Athanasius was merely a bitter, heretic hunter?
Does God just know things ahead of time? Does He just allow things or does God actually delcare & plan ALL things that happen? This is a foundational question for every Christian. What you answer to these questions determines what you think about the character & nature of God Himself & in turn affects every other thing you believe about God's motive, including His love.
Many Christians will say God is "Sovereign" or completely in control yet when that belief is pushed into every facet of God's nature, they may recoil. It repulses us to think that God is even in control over the most heinous activities that occur. This do NOT mean God is responsible for the activities.
UPDATE: See the 6 part YOUTUBE version of this discussion:
In the first place, every deviation from truth is a sin. It is not simply a sin for me to do a wrong act, but it is a sin for me to believe a wrong doctrine. Lately our ministers have absolved us all from obeying God in our judgments; they have told us point blank, many of them, in their drawing-rooms, and some of them in the pulpit, that we shall never be asked in the day of judgment what we believed. We have been told that for our acts we shall be responsible, but for our faith we shall be irresponsible, or something very much like it; they have told us plainly, that the God who made us, although he has authority over our hands, our feet, our eyes and our lips, hath but little authority over our judgments; they have told us, that if we make ever such blunders in divinity, they are no sins, so long as we can live right lives. But is that true?
The Reformation Polka has been making its rounds on the Internet – first simply as the lyrics as originally written by Robert J. Gebel & then as a song set to music played on a traditional laud & sung by a man known simply as Fugli. Later the song was set to a visual presentation first as a flash format & then as the youtube video.
Now I’d like to present a line-by-line explanation of the lyrics. Important names, places & concepts will be hyperlinked for people interested in more detail.
If your church or group decides to try to sing this song, please record it and send me a copy (contact). I would love to share your rendition with others. It would be fun!
TKC was started in 2004 (see here) more as a personal journal for the writings of Roderick Edwards. As time went on, friends & readers wanted to interact & participate. The site then was restructured as a community site. As Roderick passed through various theological perspectives, the site attracted individuals associated with those perspectives. For some time, Roderick had embraced the hyperpreteristi view (hyperpreterism = believing Jesus returned in AD70, the resurrection of the believers already happened, & the Judgment is done) & thus TKC was for a few years devoted to promoting that view. In about early to mid 2007, Roderick aggressively began to doubt & oppose the hyperpreterist view, mainly due to the fact that hyperpreterism is built on the premise that almost 2000 years of historic Christian interpretation has been wrong when it comes to eschatology. Roderick saw how arrogant & erroneous this was & began to openly question the leaders of the hyperpreterist movement.
By early 2008, it became obvious that a purge of several years of hyperpreterist material from the site was going to be necessary. This was being done manually but there remained many articles laced with the hyperpreterist sheen. In late July 2008, a software issue caused the site to be inaccessible for a few days. During this time, Roderick considered & adopted the idea to completely start over with the site. A clean install of the underlying software was implemented & Roderick began to work on reformatting the basic structure & look of the site.
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