Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Only ONE "Truth"?

As mentioned in a previous article, modern thinking
HATES the "Exclusivity" of the Christian message:
That Jesus Christ is the one and only way for Mankind
to be reconciled to God. The popular mindset of
Postmodernism says, as Oprah Winfrey said to a Christian
guest of hers recently, "I'm fine with your faith statements
as long as you don't say YOUR faith is 'true' and MY faith
is 'false' "...

But notice the fundamental Presupposition that is at
the heart of this mindset (which, by the way, is something
I think most of modern society "feels" more than "thinks"):
There Can Be No "One Truth".

Not only is THIS, itself, a Truth Statement, but it denies
outright its opposite, that there just very well MAY be
"One Truth" which applies to all people everywhere.
A legitimate Quest for Truth must not begin by presupposing
its conclusions...

So it would seem that even the Postmodernist wants to talk
about "Truth" in absolute terms. OK, fine, so the next
question usually is, how then can any ONE individual arrive
at "Truth"? Volumes have been written by thousands of thinkers
over thousands of years on this philosophical subject, of course,
and a serious Quest for Truth takes most of us a lifetime;
but consider this:

MOST of what we assert to be "True" is based on three things:
Reason (is the statement Reasonable; does it "hold water"
Logically), Authority (does the person making the statement
have the Credentials and Credibility to do so), and
Eye Witness accounts (what did the person making the statement
SEE or HEAR or TOUCH). Using these rudimentary tools, we
follow the EVIDENCE (the sum total of the three) until we
reach a point of, "Beyond Reasonable Doubt" (as in court).

When we have arrived at "Truth", using these methods, most
of us continue to examine our Case, looking for holes,
building support for the weak spots, and being willing to modify
parts of the Case when better Evidence presents itself.
But having done so, we become far more comfortable using the word
"Truth" because we've actually DONE some "homework" on the issue...

So what is at the heart of Postmodernism's loosely-held
belief -- their "truth statement" -- that There Can Be No
"One Truth"? Well, in addition to the probability that
most modern "thinkers" have not actually gone to the trouble
of researching and solidifying their World View (the Media
are among the most vocal preachers of today's "Collective Relativity"),
I believe it has to do with three things:

1. They do not realize that the very ACT of believing
"X" to be TRUE must mean, then, that its exact opposite,
"Y", is FALSE. You simply can NOT believe that two
absolutely OPPOSED positions might BOTH be true; and...

2. ...they are uncomfortable with this, because it begins to
fly in the face of their basic "truth statement" (i.e.,
There Can Be No "One Truth"). Quite simply, they lack the
Courage to stand up and say to anyone else, "You are Wrong".
They call that kind of stance "Extremism", a charge which
carries a lot of weight in a post-9/11 world...

3. But I believe the REAL reason is this: Postmodernists know
in their hearts that a real BELIEF in a real God (who really
has put His moral law inside us and will hold us Accountable)
would mean that they must set aside their own agendas and
pursuits of pleasure and/or fulfillment and focus instead on
worshipping this God and obeying His Will.

In a word, they are UNWILLING to do this. The first sin in
the history of the Universe, committed by Lucifer, was PRIDE:
"Not Thy Will but MINE be Done..." And it is this "back that
breaks but never bends" which constitutes the basis of the
assertion that "There Can Be No 'One Truth' ", because One Truth
means Obligation, a bowing-down, a yielding of an assumed
"right" to determine "one's own truth".

Even Christians must "die" every single day to this natural desire
to assert one's own will over the Will of God. With the help and work
of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we Christians are all a "work in progress".
Who does the Postmodernist have to help him?

And is banking EVERYTHING on the weak assertions of Relative Truth
worth the RISK if, in the end, they're proved horribly WRONG??

Sunday, November 21, 2004

The Exclusivity of the Faith

Those of us who are Christians are beginning, more and more,
to experience the same kind of Hatred to the fundamental
message of our Faith that our Founder did:

Jesus Himself claimed, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life;
no man comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6),
and again, "...he that has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

And His disciples knew immediately, after Jesus ascended to
heaven, the central theme of their calling: "...there is no other name
under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)

The Jewish leadership of Jesus' time, and the civil leadership under
which most of the Church has lived for the last 2000 years, HATED
what our World today HATES MOST about Christianity:
The Exclusivity of the message.

Jesus' Jewish contemporaries snorted with indignation as the son
(rumored to be illegitimate) of a poor carpenter, from regions outside
of Jerusalem, rose in that city and claimed to be GOD, and to be
the Only Way of Salvation for all men.

At Pentecost and beyond, many ofthe earliest members of the Church
were routinely persecuted and even murdered (some in the most
gruesome fashion) for expressing the same kind of "Intolerance".

And there is nothing that the World of today HATES more about the
Christian faith than this same position of Exclusivity. "Who are you
to say that Jesus is the 'only' way to God?" they demand. "We all
must find our OWN 'truth' " they say, "there IS no 'One Way' "...

It does no good to share Bible verses with someone repulsed by
The Message. Indeed, Our Lord Himself was abused, beaten, tortured,
and finally brutally murdered for insisting He was the ONLY Way to God.

It is only in the power of the Ressurection that Jesus' claim as the
Only Way comes raging back as indeed THE TRUTH. Not only is the
literal Ressurection of Christ a matter of historical record (and how many
other "ways" to God feature their Founder rising from the dead???),
but it is still relevant in the experience of every single Sinner who
comes to the point of accepting Jesus:

The Bible says we were all "dead" in our sins until we were "raised"
to New Life in Jesus Christ: SALVATION! And not just TO God, but
also FROM OURSELVES (and from our "own truth").

Until a person realizes just how desparately they need fixing, there
is no point in discussing broken-ness. You don't often find a person recoiling
against the singularity of Jesus' message AFTER they've laid down their
weapons and have come to understand just how deep and how profound
their Sinfulness is; no, those reactions come only from a mindset that believes,
deeply, that there are many "ways" to God, and that any one of us can
pick-and-choose what "our way" should be...

Osama bin Laden shares this belief: He and his terrorist cohorts sincerely
believe that God is inspiring their murderous hearts, and that their networks
of Evil are God's tools to carry out His will. They each believe they will be rewarded
in Heaven with any of a number of things (7 virgins, etc.).

We may very well be entering a period in human history where Western Civilisation
begins experiencing the kinds of persecution of Christians that has gone on in
Eastern countries for hundreds and hundreds of years. The fuel of that HATRED
will stem from our refusal to temper the central theme of our Faith:

Jesus Christ -- God, born of a virgin, lived the first and only sinless life, was murdered
and yet rose again, and whose Blood satisfies God's righteous requirements -- is in fact
the ONLY way back TO God. All other ground is sinking sand...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Thoughts on Arafat's passing

I won't pretend to know a whole lot when it comes to
the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in the Middle East;
known Terrorists seem to side with the Palestinians, and
civilized nations (such as the USA) seem to side with
Israel; that should tell us all a LOT about who's
"right" and who's "wrong" in that conflict...

Another thing seems clear: Israel clearly has the FAR
greater Military power; if they wanted to, I suppose they
could quickly eliminate all of Palestine from the face
of the Earth, and end the conflict with brute force.
They've chosen not to, and are, instead, the victims of
relentless bombings by the PLO and other terrorist
organizations. Again, what does that tell us about who
is "right" and who is wrong?

Instead, I'll let the two sides do their own talking:
(Copy-n-Paste these links into your Web browser, then hit ENTER)...

Here's a link to an organization critical of Arafat:
And here is a link to an article by Paul Findley, known in Congress
as "the friend of Arafat":

CONCLUSION: As with all other matters, GOD will
sort out the Right and Wrong, in the end, and everybody
will get what they have coming to them...

Why Kerry Lost

With all the post-mortem analysis going on of the
defeat of John Kerry in this past election, I thought
I'd toss out some thoughts of my own...

Here are a few reasons why I believe Kerry lost:

1. Both parties took BIG money from corporations,
so Kerry couldn't really hit on that; job growth during
the first Bush administration was (and is) a matter
of debate; and ANY President can only do so much
to stimulate the Economy... But this President understands
far better than Kerry that the more the government
gets OUT OF THE WAY, and the more TAX RELIEF
that can be established, the more SMALL BUSINESSES
can start and thrive. The secret to a growing economy
is Small Business, and Kerry failed to emphasize that
fact nearly as much as President Bush did.

2. I'm not too keen on the idea of "Moral Values"
becoming a political issue, and the Press has had a party
with this ever since it became an Exit Poll statistic.
But the fact that Americans -- by the millions! --
voted for President Bush with Moral Values in mind,
shows how deeply concerned Americans STILL are about
issues like Abortion and Gay Marriage, and how much
they STILL think that Character matters. Kerry
was viewed by these voters as a Liar, a Clinton-esque
Slippery Snake, and as having no solid Core of beliefs
which go beyond one's own limited mind and which
rise above MTV, fads and trends, polls, and reality TV shows.
The plain fact of the matter is that EVERYONE has
a World View -- a RELIGION -- that guides their actions
and policies and decisions; apparently American voters
prefer the President's Theistic World View over Kerry's
Humanistic (i.e., Man-centered) World View.
It's that simple.

3. In their gut, nearly 60 million American voters despised
the Intellectual SNOBBERY of Kerry and Edwards, and of
the Upper North East and West Coast regions that think
like they do; 60 million Voters used their ballots to strike back.
Apparently these two "emperors" could not see that they had
no clothes, and the only ones impressed by their pomp
and presumption were themselves and their high-minded
constituents. I read today a comment by a democratic party
analyst that Kerry was "much more intellectual" than
President Bush...

Let's break that down for a minute: How would someone
MEASURE that? What does a silly statement like that even
mean? It's clear that Kerry was a more accomplished
public speaker than the President, and that he wasn't
prone to the same kind of "creativeness" with the English
language that the President is... But most of us know SOMEONE
(a friend, a brother, a father-in-law) who is perhaps a "blue collar worker"
and/or who has never been to college, but who is intelligent,
smart-as-a-whip, and worldly-wise; someone who knows when
to fight (and HOW!) and when to yield, someone who works
hard, who is strong (mentally, emotionally, and physically),
and who is tough, respectful, honest, and consistent...

The only thing that person "lacks" -- in this context -- is the
spit-n-polish, Ivy-league school VENEER that Kerry displays...

This, then, is "Intellect"?? The country would obviously rather have
a candidate more like the former and less like the latter...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Values, Truth, and Tolerance

Without a doubt, the world of Political Commentary
is absolutely BUZZING right now over the emerging
Theme of the election: MORAL VALUES.

While "Morality" and "Values" can be dangerous political
fodder, it's GREAT to watch as people everywhere are
having discussions (some polite, some not) over the most
important considerations of human existence.

But what do these words mean? Whose "values"?
"Truth" according to whom? Why is it that the "Red"
states are quickly being cast as the "moral value" states
while the "Blue" states are being characterized by some as...
well, what?

Here is one person's commentary:

VALUES might be things like Hard Work, Equality,
Thrift, and Responsibility. Certainly the "Red" states
have no corner on these Values; but when you add
the adjective "Moral" to the word "Values", the
combination takes on a whole new twist:

Now you're talking about Values which are viewed as "Right"
or "Wrong"; so, for example, in W, you have a President
who VALUES the One-Man-One-Woman institution
of Marriage, because he believes it's RIGHT and that
any perversion of that arrangement is WRONG.

And while he may VALUE civil rights granted by some
consitutional interpretations of the Supreme Court,
his MORAL VALUE on, say, Abortion is that it is
(in nearly all cases) WRONG.

But where do assessments of "Right" and "Wrong"
come from?? And who are we to make them??

Well, it depends on what you believe; it depends on what
you have come to accept as the TRUTH.

If you believe the Bible, you will view its contents as
the TRUTH; the same can be said of the Torah, the Koran,
and any other sacred writings of your World View.

But it doesn't stop there: MUCH of what we assert to be
"TRUTH" we accept on the authority of the Source from which
we discover that Truth: Astronomers tell us the Sun is 93 million
miles from Earth; I assert this to be "True" because I accept
their authority. I could, if I chose, launch an investigation into
the facts and attempt to ascertain for myself if that is
the case, but I don't because I'm satisfied with their authority.

The "Search for Truth" is something many of us have done -- or
still do! -- with as much vigor and curiosity as we can muster,
and some of us are very open-minded to just about any serious,
plausible Viewpoints out there...

But there is an important point to make here, and it regards what
is sometimes referred to as "EXCLUSIONISM":

If you regard position "X" as being absolutely TRUE, then you,
by definition, regard it's exact opposite, say, position "Y", to be
absolutely FALSE. The human mind simply cannot hold two
diametrically-opposed positions to BOTH be true at the same time
(a room cannot be completely DARK and completely LIT at the
same time...).

Does this make you "exclusive"?? Of course not! You've arrived
at "X" because you've done your research, inquired into all the
authoritative resources you can find, granted that some of "X"
sounds a little fantastic, and yet you've still come out in the end
convinced (by Reason, by Authority, and by Eye Witness Accounts)
that "X" is TRUE and "Y" is FALSE.

A man like George W. Bush is not afraid to stand up and say
publicly that he believes ONE thing to be TRUE and another to be
FALSE. That kind of courage, applied to traditional Moral Values,
is what the Electorate saw in him this past Tuesday.

One more point:
Every single human on this planet is a sentient being whom God
loves and cherishes with all His heart. Unfortunately, most of them
will not choose to love Him in return, and will spurn His Will for them
in favor of their own. "Tolerance", for the Christian, does NOT mean
viewing Abortion or Homosexuality with anything less than God's
own righteous anger; it means demonstrating Warmth, Compassion,
and Caring to those around us who, apart from God, will NEVER
experience the Joy and Fulfillment He made them for...

A NOTE about the VOTE

Well, my candidate won on November 2.
My choice for Governor of Missouri won too,
so for me, it was a good night.

Here is an assortment of thoughts about what
transpired in our country in this election:

1. I was very very happy to see that the winner
became clear in only a day and a half or so. A process
that dragged out into days and weeks -- as in 2000 --
would have been very hard on this country.

2. I believe John Kerry demonstrated a lot of grace
and dignity in his concession of the race; I was surprised
and glad to see that. The same cannot be said for his
running mate, John Edwards; comments like, "this fight
will go on!" seemed very anti-climactic...

3. I thought one of the most fascinating statistics to
come out of the voting activity, all across the coutry, on
November 2 was the fact that -- according to Exit Polls --
fully 22% of the respondents said MORAL VALUES
was their top voting concern this election (of those, 84%
voted for President Bush). Interesting! I was thrilled
to see that that particular dynamic was high on the minds
of voters; seems the Media and Radical Left-Wingers
are out of touch with an Electorate that cares about
the MOST important things...

4. Some quick messages go out to various people/groups:

Michael Moore: Apparently getting "creative" with the Truth
did little to fool the voting public...

New York Times, Time Magazine, CNN, Oprah Winfrey,
Al Sharpton, and any and all other LIBERAL public figures
and Media outlets: Popular Vote AND the Presidency!
Need we say more?? Is it possible that these entities are
simply Out Of Touch?? This is relevant not just because
President Bush won in both categories, but because (again)
the Exit Poll data show that your Leftist views are shared
by FAR LESS of the Electorate than you try to lead us all
to believe...

5. On that last point, I have always believed that it is largely
some of the mainstream Media and a host of liberal Public Figures
who incessantly beat the drums of DIVISION in this country.
I believe that any two intelligent, rational adults can sit down
and discuss even the most divisive of issues (e.g., Abortion)
without becoming hateful toward one another. We are characterized
too often by the Media as being "anti-" this or "anti-" that, and
images we are shown on TV and in the magazines only include
the extremists among us who are mostly full of Hate.

"Speaking the Truth in LOVE" needs to become not just a
Christian mantra, but a manner of behaving toward one another
REGARDLESS of where we each fall on the political spectrum...