Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Politics 101

I have been a political junkie all my life.  Really.  I remember my parents talking about the political races in Texas when I was just four or five.  Mom and Dad used to discuss Goldwater, LBJ, Nixon, and John F. Kennedy.  Being brought up in Texas with the name of Lynda, and the last name of Johnson, everyone use to ask me if I was "Lady Bird."  In junior high, still in Dallas, I plastered the bathroom shower with Bush bumper stickers, where I got them I do not know, and why my mother wasn't mad, I do not know that either!  I mean they were all over the tile in the shower.  I followed politics through high school and into college when I once voted for the wrong President, but we never mention that.  When my hero, Ronald Reagan ran for President, I honestly thought that the world was going to end if he did not make it into office.  What a great man.  
With this election cycle, the political, economic, civic, and historic side of me has taken over and invaded my heart, mind and soul in a bad way.  My husband would probably say I was demon possessed.   I am literally eating, sleeping, and following all my political web sites, talk shows, and congressional information that I can possibly put my hands on.  My family is really getting tired of hearing, "did you know what went on in the House today,"  or "you will never believe what (so and so candidate) said on the campaign trail today."  Although it is very gratifying when your twelve year old sits down and listens to the entire Presidential debate Friday night with you, and comments about socialism and it's evils.  Which brings me to the goal of this blog post.  As I have followed the candidates and the peoples comments of the candidates, I have noticed that ordinary people like you and me do not have a handle on the rudimentary fundamentals of civics, government or economics.
Whether you are very interested in this subject or not, you as a voter really need to be aware of the  issues that are driving our politics in this country.  I would like to recommend some resources to you for you perusal.  First of all if you haven't read the Constitution and the founding documents of this our great country, get a copy, read it and become familiar with it.  You can get free resources like this anywhere on the net, or go to The Heritage Foundation'sweb site and they will send it to you.  Check out Townhall.com, Drudge Report, American Thinker, and Politico.com.  

I would also like to recommend to you some books.  I was listening to Tony Snow one day on the radio, and he said that F. A. Hayek's book called The Road to Serfdom changed his life.  Well, I had already heard it was essential reading, but had never read it, so I pulled it off the shelf and read it.  Giving background and analysis about the road to National Socialism and Facism in Germany, Hayek warns against the same thing happening in our nation.  A chilling evaluation that could happen here too.  Modern Facism Gene Edward Veith is another one of those essential reads that pulls you in immediately.  Animal Farm by George Orwell should also be read by your junior high students as well as you.  Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell gives you the basic terms of the conservative, capitalist view point from one of the most brilliant ecomomists in the nation.   The Roots of Freedom; A Primer on Modern Liberty by John Danford  in a short 200 page book, Danford expains where our system came from philosophically, and why any other system leads to the loss of liberty.  He does a superb job of condensing the thoughts of Locke, Hume, and Adam Smith.  Which brings me to An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations written by Adam Smith.  Smith is the political and philosophical founder of the modern capitalistic system.  ReadAmerican Democracy by Alexis De Touqueville.  Go to David Barton's web site and you can find all the resources you would ever need about the founding fathers of this country, and what they really thought, did, and believed.  
I think I have given you at least a beginning.  And more importantly, I hope I have piqued your interest.  Send me your favorites too. 

Looking for the One and only One who can usher us His children into the Ultimate Utopia.........Lynn

Economics 101-There's no such thing as a free lunch!

My mind is not in a fog today,  but it has many, many concepts, current events, and cultural considerations flitting around from one synapse to another one, and I cannot figure out which concept to write about.  
My previous blog was on economic and civic considerations, and because of this I will continue on with more economic principles.  This is where it gets very difficult.  How do you make a blog on economics interesting enough for people to read it, research it, and then regurgitate it?  The politics and the media of the last century, with the exception of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, have propagandized the American public into believing that they are victims, individual responsibility has been given over to the government, class warfare (including rich and poor, black and white, gay and straight, religious and atheists, and  radical feminism) has been used to separate Americans from their moorings as Americans.  The schools have carried this philosophy to the young, and parents, to a certain extent, have abdicated their roles to teach their children not only (on our side) Christian beliefs, but what and why the United States is successful, and what it took to get where we are today, and the frailness of liberty if people are not vigilant at advancing freedom.  Christians have rarely seen the importance of teaching their young the link between the Biblical Worldview and Freedom, or to put it another way the link between Christianity and our way of life in this country.  They have taught the Bible well, but have placed a dichotomy between the sacred and the secular, instead of teaching that Christ is Lord of All of life; including economics, civics, psychology, etc, etc.  
I heard on the radio yesterday a man from either ABC news or CBS news giving his opinion on what the congressmen on the floor of the house were saying about the bailout.  I apologize for not getting the name of the man right, or the exact quote, but I have searched the web for an hour and have not found the quote or the opinion.  He was quoting one of the congressmen as saying that we should not go down this slippery slope to socialism by voting for the bill in question.  He said if he had to choose between bread and freedom, freedom would win out easily.  The commentator said that this thinking was empty headed and that he and most people in the US want their bread and their freedom.  I wanted to weep.  Have we come this far in our thinking that freedom should not cost us anything?  I was angry.  What about the men and women that not only chose freedom over bread, but counted their own lives as something worth laying down for the cause of freedom.  When we as an electorate want bread, we have already lost our freedom.  We are one of the few nations in history that have ever had freedom.  But that does not mean that we will always have it.    
Our framers were very wary of government.  When government becomes bigger and bigger, our freedom is slowly eroded.  This bailout of 700 billion dollars is so dangerous, to you and to me.  Whoever owns your treasure owns you.  Why should the American public through tax payer dollars pay for bad decisions and the consequences of those bad decisions?  Should we bailout the people who gave or took loans knowing that they could not pay for them?  Votes are bought through the bailout money from your pocket and mine.  This is not free market economics this is socialism pure and simple.  Capitalism is based on the free movement of all economic resources.  This is a reliance on the private ownership of property so that the allocation of those resources are encouraged by a decentralized government.  
At a recent women's retreat I struck up a conversation with a retired woman who was very upset about the government not giving the poverty stricken more money, houses, and resources.  I went to work.  Expressing to her the fallacies of her arguments.  It doesn't work, it doesn't encourage growth, it causes generations of a dependent class of individuals that in turn will vote for those that give them the handouts.  She mentioned the children of these people.  I told her of the example of Desire Street Ministries who moved into the worst part of New Orleans and over time, built a church, school, and resources for the children all without government help.  I enjoyed my talk immensely with this wonderful, generous woman.  She started the conversation saying "well if this feeds the children then I am all for being a socialist."  She said she could not trust the private sector and big corporations to be givers.  I asked her, "what makes you think that government can be trusted not to be greedy?"  "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (Lord Acton)  
Think about it this way.  Maybe if these loans, that should never have been granted in the first place, go under it will be better in the long run for the ones that are directly affected and for those of us that are indirectly affected.  If the loans are harder to obtain than they used to be, then the people of the US will be more responsible with their money.  If loans are harder to get even for those who want student loans and car loans this will be better in the long run for us all.  One of the reasons why the cost of college and universities, houses, and cars have risen is because loans have been so easy to obtain.  Those people selling their goods know that anyone can get the loans it then drives up the price of goods and services.  The government has made it so easy to get loans, and the market is then driven by government not supply and demand, so the people with the goods and services to sell, know this and the price of things rise.  If the opposite was true, it would then drive down the cost of things.  There is no guarantee for banks, businesses, etc to stay afloat, this is not a right that is written into our Constitution.   The government needs to get out of the way.  I just heard that the feds pumped more money into the market to help loans.  This is exactly what happened in the great depression and inflation eventually went out the wazoo.  What a mistake.  The feds in essence are saying, come, buy, loan, on the backs of green that do not add up to anything, those monies are just a psychological ploy.  
I was shifting from the blogs and news websites that I peruse everyday, and went to Drudge who linked to an article that was saying exactly what I have been saying.  I am so glad someone agrees with me! I was just going to link to it, but it is so good, I decided to print in all here.  
Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback
Posted: September 29, 2008, 8:03 PM by Jeff White

Marx’s Proposal Number Five seems to be the leading motivation for those backing the Wall Street bailout 

By Martin Masse

In his Communist Manifesto,published in 1848, Karl Marx proposed 10 measures to be implemented after the proletariat takes power, with the aim of centralizing all instruments of production in the hands of the state. Proposal Number Five was to bring about the “centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.”

If he were to rise from the dead today, Marx might be delighted to discover that most economists and financial commentators, including many who claim to favour the free market, agree with him. 

Indeed, analysts at the Heritage and Cato Institute, and commentators in The Wall Street Journal and on this very page, have made declarations in favour of the massive “injection of liquidities” engineered by central banks in recent months, the government takeover of giant financial institutions, as well as the still stalled US$700-billion bailout package. Some of the same voices were calling for similar interventions following the burst of the dot-com bubble in 2001. 
“Whatever happened to the modern followers of my free-market opponents?” Marx would likely wonder. 

At first glance, anyone who understands economics can see that there is something wrong with this picture. The taxes that will need to be levied to finance this package may keep some firms alive, but they will siphon off capital, kill jobs and make businesses less productive elsewhere. Increasing the money supply is no different. It is an invisible tax that redistributes resources to debtors and those who made unwise investments. 

So why throw this sound free-market analysis overboard as soon as there is some downturn in the markets? 

The rationale for intervening always seems to centre on the fear of reliving the Great Depression. If we let too many institutions fail because of insolvency, we are being told, there is a risk of a general collapse of financial markets, with the subsequent drying up of credit and the catastrophic effects this would have on all sectors of production. This opinion, shared by Ben Bernanke, Henry Paulson and most of the right-wing political and financial establishments, is based on Milton Friedman’s thesis that the Fed aggravated the Depression by not pumping enough money into the financial system following the market crash of 1929.

It sounds libertarian enough. The misguided policies of the Fed, a government creature, and bad government regulation are held responsible for the crisis. The need to respond to this emergency and keep markets running overrides concerns about taxing and inflating the money supply. This is supposed to contrast with the left-wing Keynesian approach, whose solutions are strangely very similar despite a different view of the causes.

But there is another approach that  doesn’t compromise with free-market principles and coherently explains why we constantly get into these bubble situations followed by a crash. It is centered on Marx’s Proposal Number Five: government control of capital. 

For decades, Austrian School economists have warned against the dire consequences of having a central banking system based on fiat money, money that is not grounded on any commodity like gold and can easily be manipulated. In addition to its obvious disadvantages (price inflation, debasement of the currency, etc.), easy credit and artificially low interest rates send wrong signals to investors and exacerbate business cycles.

Not only is the central bank constantly creating money out of thin air, but the fractional reserve system allows financial institutions to increase credit many times over. When money creation is sustained, a financial bubble begins to feed on itself, higher prices allowing the owners of inflated titles to spend and borrow more, leading to more credit creation and to even higher prices. 

As prices get distorted, malinvestments, or investments that should not have been made under normal market conditions, accumulate. Despite this, financial institutions have an incentive to join this frenzy of irresponsible lending, or else they will lose market shares to competitors. With “liquidities” in overabundance, more and more risky decisions are made to increase yields and leveraging reaches dangerous levels. 

During that manic phase, everybody seems to believe that the boom will go on. Only the Austrians warn that it cannot last forever, as Friedrich Hayek and Ludwig von Mises did before the 1929 crash, and as their followers have done for the past several years. 

Now, what should be done when that pyramidal scheme starts crashing to the floor, because of a series of cascading failures or concern from the central bank that inflation is getting out of control? It’s obvious that credit will shrink, because everyone will want to get out of risky businesses, to call back loans and to put their money in safe places. Malinvestments have to be liquidated; prices have to come down to realistic levels; and resources stuck in unproductive uses have to be freed and moved to sectors that have real demand. Only then will capital again become available for productive investments. 
Friedmanites, who have no conception of malinvestments and never raise any issue with the boom, also cannot understand why it inevitably leads to a crash.
They only see the drying up of credit and blame the Fed for not injecting massive enough amounts of liquidities to prevent it.

But central banks and governments cannot transform unprofitable investments into profitable ones. They cannot force institutions to increase lending when they are so exposed. This is why calls for throwing more money at the problem are so totally misguided. Injections of liquidities started more than a year ago and have had no effect in preventing the situation from getting worse. Such measures can only delay the market correction and turn what should be a quick recession into a prolonged one. 

Friedman — who, contrary to popular perception, was not a foe of monetary inflation, but simply wanted to keep it under better control in normal circumstances — was wrong about the Fed not intervening during the Depression. It tried repeatedly to inflate but credit still went down for various reasons. This is a key difference in interpretation between the Austrian and Chicago schools. 

As Friedrich Hayek wrote in 1932, “Instead of furthering the inevitable liquidation of the maladjustments brought about by the boom during the last three years, all conceivable means have been used to prevent that readjustment from taking place; and one of these means, which has been repeatedly tried though without success, from the earliest to the most recent stages of depression, has been this deliberate policy of credit expansion. ... To combat the depression by a forced credit expansion is to attempt to cure the evil by the very means which brought it about ...” 

The confusion of Chicago school economics on monetary issues is so profound as to lead its adherents today to support the largest government grab of private capital in world history. By adding their voices to those on the left, these confused free-marketeers are not helping to “save capitalism”, but contributing to its destruction.

Martin Masse is publisher of the libertarian webzine Le Québécois Libre and a former advisor to Industry minister Maxime Bernier.

Sad Day for the Country

I feel like the little old lady in the picture.  I am so very sad about what is happening in the country today.  The nationalization, another name for socialized financial market, bill that the House and the Senate democrats want to pass is a travesty.  Please before it is too late call your congressmen and your representatives.  Pray that this bill does not go through.  
Read the Preamble to the Constitution and see if it aligns with what some of the people in Washington want to do with this bill.  

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense,promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

 Our Constitution does not say that all of our financial decisions will be or should be taken care of by the government, but that is what this bill is all about.  Please go out there today, read The Communist Manifesto.  The Communists, as written down by Marx and Engels, advocate stirring up the lowly populace in a crisis, and manipulate them to hand over their liberty to the powers that be.  I am so sad.  

Friday, August 15, 2008

Rich Young Man- Modern Day Parallel

I was reading the account in Mark 10 of the rich young man. He came and fell before Jesus one day and asked how he could inherit eternal life. Jesus saw that the man kept all the commandments and aimed to be perfect in his life. Then Jesus looked at him and with love said "One thing you lack." He instructed the man to get rid of all he had and come follow him. The man's face fell and he walked away saddened because he had much and couldn't stand to lose it.
Two things leaped out of this passage at me and I started thinking about our own modern day experience of this.
First, the young man would have been considered the pinnacle of success in his day and culture. He had it all and I am sure that everyone talked about him being a success and a "nice guy." No one would have looked at him and saw anything lacking. Yet he was obviously searching since he came to Jesus. He knew that there was still a hole in his heart and was trying to fill it. Jesus saw the lack immediately and told him how to fill it. Yet the trappings of this world and his success were chains around him that drew him away from his salvation and all the answers to this life.
I wonder if this is how Jesus sees our successful modern world, especially in the West. We believe that we have or can get anything we need and end up blinded to what is real, true and our only hope. I can see it all around me and have to honestly admit that I get bound by these chains too. I walk away from the source of eternal life here on earth because I am stuck on the temporary material trappings I can see. I would say that these things are our modern day idols. Things that we put before God in our hearts and lives.
Second, the young man walked away. Jesus told his disciples that it is hard to get into the kingdom of Heaven when you are rich or chained closely to this world. They were astounded because they were also caught up in the outward perfection of the young man and missed the heart. Then Peter piped up about how they had left everything behind to follow Jesus. He replied that no matter what you leave behind for him here on earth, God will bless you 100 times for it here on earth and with eternal (as in forever) life and heavenly treasures there. God promises to come through for you above and beyond anything you can imagine if you will just choose him. The young man walked away because he could not see beyond the present or find the faith to choose God above all his stuff. But God has promised all of us that if we believe, He will come through!
Many people I know can't get beyond this big step of faith and so they never find the answer to all their questions and their heart's desire. Even those of us that have found a relationship with God need to ask ourselves if we are willing to put down all the trappings and let Jesus release us from the chains of this world so we can move forward. I encourage all of us to ask ourselves "What is lacking and am I willing to trust God for it? Will I lay down my idols for Him?"

Friday, July 25, 2008

How do I live and teach a Biblical Worldview?

I have been thinking a lot about my life and the lives of the future generations. First I put a disclaimer up that I am not an expert on parenting or teaching so please read my thoughts with an appropriate measure of salt. My husband and I don't have children but if we do go down that path someday, I certainly desire for my children to follow after God. But I also desire for the generations after me to do the same. I came across a verse today and it struck me with a new thought.

Romans 16:19
I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

As parents or teachers or followers of Christ, we need to be focused on the real genuine thing. God and who he is should be our focus. As Paul said, to be wise (having the power of discerning and judging properly as to what is true or right; aware, astute, perceptive) about what is good. Life, relationships, God. We need to be tuned into the authentic and holy versions of these things so we can know good. And on the flip side, innocent (free from moral wrong; without sin; pure, uncorrupted, unstained, unsullied) about what is evil.
What came to mind as an illustration is the way that people are trained to detect counterfeit currency. They spend all their time studying the authentic thing so that they are experts about all of the little nuances and details of the item. Then when they encounter a counterfeit, they instantly recognize it because they know the real thing so completely.
I believe that this is how God wants to relate to me and help me live a biblical worldview. I believe that he was also giving me a little revelation into how to help future generations do the same. God is what we need to know and what we need to teach!
Once again I am blown away with how God whispers to my heart and gives me insight. Bless his holy name!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Without the Trinity.........

Recently I have had to defend a doctrine that is foundational to our belief system as Christians.  Even in saying that we have a belief "system" has had to be defended in some ways.  Loving a debate, it has caused much study, and reflection.  In my store house of knowledge about the Trinity, I had little to fire back, but I thought that is was adequate.  I have discovered that the implications are more far reaching than I could ever plumb.  Why should we as Christians believe and defend the doctrine of the Trinity?  The early church fathers did not only defend this doctrine, but often brought their lives into grave danger defending it.  
One rabbit trail, remembering is important.  Throughout the Scriptures God tells us over and over to remember.  History is crucial to our understanding of everything.  One of the central themes of worship is to remember.   Consider these verses from Deuteronomy.
  1. Remember how God appeared before you in His awesome presence at Mt. Horeb (4:10)
  2. Remember how god redeemed you from slavery in Egypt (5:15, 15:15, 16:12, 24:18, 24:22)
  3. Remember the power by which he humbled Pharaoh (7:18)
  4. Remember how God provided for you as he led you through the desert for forty years (8:2)
  5. Remember how God gives you the ability to produce wealth as he swore to your forefathers (8:18)
There are a great deal more as well. Just pick up a concordance and look up the word remember.  
Also, if you look at the five sermons in the book of Acts, they all have to do with recounting 
the deeds of God in history and how He has fulfilled it all in Christ.  (Acts 2:14-36, 3:12-26, 4:8-12,
5:29-32, and 7:2-53).  
Christ also instituted the Lord's Supper to command us to remember His death
until He comes again. There is a past, present and future aspect to the Lord's Supper.  
I say all of that to emphasize the fact that we have to look back, we have to study and weigh
what we learn from the early church fathers, and the wisdom that we gain from them. We ignore 
them to our peril.
The early church fathers as well as the creeds that they wrote and defended, rejected out right
a dualism that separates the Father from the Son, either the human Son or the divine Son. This is 
what the Gnostics did, and they to some degree were defending the Trinity against a dualistic 
Gnosticism. The Christian faith does not separate the Creator God from the Redeemer God.  
The Gnostics and other heretics tried to separate the Godhead because some of them had bought
into the Platonic view of reality which states that the creation is evil. The material world is the
source of evil. Christ could not be divine and material at the same time. The Gnostics felt like He
was an "emanation" of divinity. During the Council of Nicea, the Nicene Creed was written, 
in 325 AD and confirmed by the Council
of Constantinople in AD 380.
The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Armed with the Scriptures, these men defended their Biblical, Orthodox faith against the philosophies of the day.  That means they knew the philosophies of their day, and guess what, there isn't anything new under the sun.  If you know the history of philosophy, and history in general and Church history in the specifics, then you know that what they were battling is the same old story that is out there today, just in a little bit more of a modern package.  

If you make Christ only divine then He could not be the second true Adam, and make all things right.  Living the perfect life that Adam was supposed to.  He could not be tempted in all things yet without sin.  He could not die.  Spirit's don't die.  If you make Christ only human, He could never be a perfect substitute, a perfect lamb, a perfect anything.  Then death would not have been defeated.  I hope you know that I am just barely scratching the surface.  

If you take away the belief of the Trinity you have a fragmented, shallow view of reality.  The ancient philosophers, beginning with the Pre-Socratics, debated why the world was multi-faceted, why could there be one, and also the many.  The only way this fits with reality is through the lens and belief of the Triune God. Why is God a personal God, because He dwells in the perfect unity of the God head.  Without the Trinity there would indeed be no relationships.  He is the basis for all reality.  Begin looking at the world around you and begin catching glimpses of this most beautiful doctrine and how it fits into reality.  It will amaze you how deep, how wonderful, how utterly unbelievable our God is.  

Praise be the Father, The Son, and to The Holy Spirit..........Awaiting the Bridegroom, Lynn

Questions to Ask about weighty matters (More on the Trinity)

When I was teaching Bible Study Methods to middle schoolers, I taught them to always question everything including the Scriptures.  Not necessarily in a doubting way, but ask questions of the Scriptures.  Why did Jesus go there?  What was Paul thinking at the time he wrote that?  Why did they do what they did?  What were they having to go through?  Etc....Etc....I want to encourage you to do the same thing, especially when reading, listening, or viewing something that is teaching doctrine.  Then, be a Berean and go to what you know the Scripture says about it, and always make that your default setting.  Always understand the universal principle of interpreting the Bible is to understand the unclear passages by comparing them to the clear passages.  Go to other Bible passages that touch on the same thing, go to different commentaries, pick apart the words, find the meanings, mull over it, chew on it, and digest it.  It takes time, energy, and thought.  Do not just accept a piece of literature, or a movie, or anything else just on feelings alone.  Think, Think, Think, and Study, Study, Study.  

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  
II Timothy 2:15

I want to address some questions that you should be asking yourself as you read The Shack.  Asking questions should be where you should begin with a novel like this one.  
  1. Does it point me to Christ?
  2. Does what I am reading Glorify God and His Word?
  3. Does it encourage me to mourn over my sin?
  4. Does it encourage me to rationalize my sin?
  5. Does it point me to Christ?
  6. Does it show me my utter poverty before Him, and increase my dependency on Him?
  7. Does it in any way, even subtly, teach works righteousness?
  8. Does it enlarge my view of God or weaken my sense of His majesty?
  9. Apart from how I feel, or how entertaining it is, does it match up with the teaching of Scripture?
I am sure you all could come up with better questions, and if you do please email them 
to me or leave them on the comment section of this blog post.
I also want to say, I am the first one to encourage reading of all sorts. Read the classics, 
read modern literature, read different view points of what Christianity teaches, but always 
come back to weighing it with a Biblical World and Life View. Truth is truth, no matter 
where it is found. If it is truth it is God's truth. The Biblical World View is far superior to 
anything that the world has to offer. Tomorrow I will post more on the Trinity.  
Today's post was to get you thinking.
My email is: omnibuscross@yahoo.com

Studying while waiting on the Bridegroom.........Lynn

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two Great Articles: D'Souza and Colson

I am out of town right now, and might not be able get back to my Trinity debate until I return, but wanted you all to be aware of two great articles.  One is by Dinesh D'Souza on his debate with Christopher Hitchens on Atheism.  The other one is concerning the human rights issue and our neighbors to the north by Chuck Colson.  Take the time to read them they are very good.  I will give you the links.  
D'Souza-The Absentee God?

Thanks for reading and Posting Comments.  I love to hear what you think and have to say.  
Awaiting the Bridegroom...........Lynn

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Go Backward to Stay Straight/More on The Shack

We as Christians ought to be the first ones to dig deeper to find answers than anyone else.  Acts tells us that it was profitable to be a "Berean."  The Bereans according to  Acts 17:11 says:
  "11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true."
We also are to study the Scriptures to see what is right and true. The Word of God is the basis for all that we believe.  If I were to say that the doctrine of Hell is an awful truth, which it is, and I then refuse to believe it, when I look at the Scriptures and I see the doctrine of Hell what will I do?  My beliefs must bend to fit the Word not the other way around.  
The Doctrine of the Trinity is one of the hardest doctrines to study in the Bible.  It does not fit anything that we have ever heard.  It is also something that we cannot completely reason out.  That is why the Trinity is especially vulnerable to heresy.  It is also why in the early centuries of the Church the doctrine was hammered out, fought about, and the early creeds centered on it.  The Nicene, The Apostles, and The Athanasian Creeds played a big part in trying to make the doctrine clear to the rest of the Church and to it's posterity.  Orthodoxy was born on the backs of Augustine, Athanasius, and St. Gregory.  The early church fathers stood their ground and were willing to give their lives for this doctrine.  Why?  Why is it so important not to believe that, as The Shack spells out,  that God the Father died on the cross with God the Son?  Why is it so important that God is a Father in the Bible not a woman?  These things and others in the novel are important and they are important not to believe them. They have far reaching implications for our orthodox faith. This is why Augustine wrote his great treatise, De Trinitate, to spell out the implications of the Trinity and to help us guard against heresy. His opening paragraph states:  
  "The following dissertation concerning the Trinity, as the reader ought to be informed, has been written in order to guard against the sophistries of those who disdain to begin with faith, and are deceived by a crude and perverse love of reason. Now one class of such men endeavor to transfer to things incorporeal and spiritual the ideas they have formed, whether through experience of the bodily senses, or by natural human wit and diligent quickness, or by the aid of art, from things corporeal; so as to seek to measure and conceive of the former by the latter. Others, again, frame whatever sentiments they may have concerning God according to the nature or affections of the human mind; and through this error they govern their discourse, in disputing concerning God, by distorted and fallacious rules....For he who thinks, for instance, that God is white or red, is in error; and yet these things are found in the body. Again, he who thinks of God as now forgetting and now remembering, or anything of the same kind, is none the less in error; and yet these things are found in the mind. But he who thinks that God is of such power as to have generated Himself, is so much the more in error, because not only does God not so exist, but neither does the spiritual nor the bodily creature; for there is nothing whatever that generates its own existence......This doctrine, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit intimate a divine unity of one and the same substance in an indivisible equality; and therefore that they are not three Gods, but one God: although the Father hath begotten the Son, and so He who is the Father is not the Son; and the Son is begotten by the Father, and so He who is the Son is not the Father; and the Holy Spirit is neither the Father nor the Son, but only the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, Himself also co-equal with the Father and the Son, and pertaining to the unity of the Trinity. Yet not that this Trinity was born of the Virgin Mary, and crucified under Pontius Pilate, andand roseburied,, again the third day, and ascended into heaven, but only the Son. Nor, again, that this Trinity descended in the form of a dove upon Jesus when He was baptized; nor that, on the day of Pentecost, after the ascension of the Lord, when "there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind,"[Acts 2:2] the same Trinity "sat upon each of them with cloven tongues like as of fire," but only the Holy Spirit. Nor yet that this Trinity said from heaven, "Thou art my Son," [Luke 3:22]whether when He was baptized by John, or when the three disciples were with Him in the mount, or when the voice sounded, saying, "I have both glorified it,and will glorify it again;"[John 12:28] but that it was a word of the Father only, spoken to the Son; although the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as they are indivisible, so work indivisibly. This is also my faith, since it is the Catholic faith."

Christian what do you believe:  The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

To read and be Berean like go to the entire contents ofAugustine's On the Trinity 

by clicking on the above text.

Going backward is the best way to go forward when it comes to orthodox doctrine.  I will explore more of the implications of the doctrine of the Trinity tomorrow on this blog.  I will spell out some of the ideas that William Young has written about the Trinity in his book and we will see where they lead.  

Book Review: The Shack by William Young

I have recently read the very popular book by William Young called The Shack.  It has sold more than a million copies so far and is on the New York Best Seller list.  The story is compelling and I was hooked in the very first pages.  It did get rather slow (a tiny bit) when Young begins teaching his theology lesson through the pages of the story.  I was very disappointed in his take.  I thought the premise of the book was brilliant, but it left me cold when he began teaching.  It still has value, but I think the value is far out weighed by his heretical bent of God.   Beware!  I cannot say it as well as the writer Tim Challies on his blog. He has an excellent pdf format book review on this important book.  Please read it all in thepdf format.  It is a wonderful review and a succinct Biblical view of the theology that The Shack purports to teach.    Please go to the following link:  The Shack  

Friday, July 11, 2008

Encouragement to do right

I was mulling over being discouraged over how things can look bleak for those that are trying to follow God and flourishing for those seeking self first. I often struggle with this and maybe you do too! Some verses in my study this morning jumped out at me as encouragement for both of us.
2 Cor 4:16-18- NIV
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Paul was sorely abused and misused for the gospel as he went around sharing. But he never gave in or gave up, he always did right and honored God above all else. Thinking about that got me going and 2 things stuck out to me.

1) Satan trys to discourage us from continuing in doing right be having us look around at how the rest of the world seems to be blooming as they do wrong. Comparison always leads to discontent and frustration. He wants to discourage you from hanging in there, doing right and trusting God to take care of you.
2) God is more concerned with our best internally than our lives externally. For instance, He would rather have you learn trust in him than give you a new car. Think about your own kids. Woudn't you rather your child learn honesty even when it is hard and change her character and life for the better long term than give her a new "littlest pet" that she will love for a minute and then forget all about?
He wants you to learn trust, righteousness and patience for the long haul, even if it is tough, rather than just give you a job or new place to live. He loves you enough to want your best instead of the temporary good.

So I hope this encourages you as much as it did me. May we bring glory to the King as we learn to follow after him. Keep your gaze upward!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Why is everyone talking about worldview?

Have you noticed that the word "worldview" is cropping up all over the place? Seems like every Christian speaker, teacher, TV program, radio station, and publication is talking about "worldview." Wonder why? Since a worldview is a system of making sense of the world around us, maybe people are feeling that the world around them is not making sense at all - at least not to anyone who really thinks about things. There seems to be a hunger in each of us to understand our world - to have a way of thinking that is integrated, not dis-integrated. When we watched the World Trade Centers become disintegrated, we were shaken to our very core. When we see people become disintegrated by bombs planted by human beings in the Middle East, we shudder. We don't like things that are broken, shattered, dis-integrated - including our own lives. I have found that the worldview espoused by God's Word to be the only worldview of integrity - it just makes sense - of everything! Shalom = wholeness; integrity; peace.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Women engaging Women for Christ

I am so excited about what God is doing, I just have to share a little!
I have had the opportunity to talk about a book that has been getting a lot of press lately, The Shack. Perhaps you have heard of it. It is a liberally creative allegory about the Trinity, life, evil and how we as humans relate to all of them. This book has some good points and some bad ones. I can safely say that I have not read it for spiritual understanding as much as to know what the world is reading and have some tools to open dialogue with others.
Just this week, I had the opportunity to chat with a woman that asked about the book, what I thought and what it meant. We had a lively discussion on what the true definition of God is and how relative perspectives don't lead to truth. She claimed that we can't really know truth and shouldn't hold others to our version of it. I presented some basic thoughts of God as the creator of truth so we have a moral standard and fiber of truth. We did not see eye to eye on everything but I know God created that opportunity to talk and to delve into spiritual matters.
Then I learned that another friend is hosting a summer book club and they are going to discuss this book. We discussed about the importance of knowing what you believe and why so you can engage the culture at their interests. I am encouraged that we can talk, share and perhaps learn more deeply from each other. Even when we may not agree!
I hope you are excited to have a meaningful conversation with someone this week too!

Monday, April 28, 2008

America The Beautiful

America, America, Land that I Love

After spending the weekend in Washington DC taking my husband's grandmother on a tour of the capital for her 80th birthday, I have been contemplating a few of the blessings that we have here in America.

Here are a few:

A beautiful land that God created, diverse and unique in each state. We come together to form a powerful and blessed place to live.

An environment of freedom. We saw many protestors and people with a cause out in the national mall and I was blessed by the fact that although we may not agree, we all have the right to speak out and participate in our country.

A place that honors our past and aims to inspire our future. As we visited the different monuments and memorials, I was in awe of the history that America shares and the future that it inspires. Lives have been lost, hearts broken and dreams shattered only for others to be created. I wish I could say thank you to all those who have sacrificed for America.

And lastly, while many may want to wipe God out of our history or stop acknowledging him now, He is everywhere in our nation's capital. In inscriptions, speeches, monuments and memorials, God's prescence can be felt. What a testament to the biblical worldview that our country was created upon and modeled to follow.

Take the time to visit and contemplate if you can.

God bless America,

Esther White

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What is True Wisdom?

Lynn’s Definition:
(these are my notes that I used to teach the women at my church)
Knowing that there is someone who is transcendent over me, who is the sovereign ruler of all deserving the whole earth’s allegiance; I look to Him for my very subsistence, my happiness, my sustaining grace and bow before Him who is the only one worthy of worship.


1. The quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
2. Scholarly knowledge or learning: the wisdom of the schools.
3. Wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
4. A wise act or saying.

What is Truth?  That which conforms to all of reality.   Truth is what we are to seek above all else-John 14:6  Jesus said He was the truth.  He encompasses all of reality, He is the metaphysical reality.  He is our 
ultimate question. 

False Views:
  • -Relativism; (is basically childish, and never gives you the outward focus that produces unselfishness.)  Truth is whatever you want it to be.
  • -Pragmatism; not external reality; it is what ever I think is right at the present time.  Truth is what works.
  • -Empiricism; can’t always be trusted.  Epistemology tells us we will be lost to things that cannot be. Truth is what we can sense and sensually perceive by our senses, such as justice, goodness, and morality, past and future events.  
  • Truth is what Reason declares, cannot be proven through reason alone.
  • Truth is what ever I feel; Affections.
Truth is:  
  • Truth is what corresponds to reality.  Jesus is reality.  He is the metaphysical reality.
  • -truth is discovered not created
  • -opposite (create reality; selfish, and the definition of insanity).
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” (1 Corinthians 3:19)
Have you ever thought about the things that you do not know, or the things that you have very little knowledge of? What about those situations that come into your life and you have no answers for? Have you ever sat across from a friend who is having much difficulty in life and said in your heart, “I have no idea what to tell her?”
Each of us have some insights, knowledge and wisdom, but the scope is usually fairly narrow and limited to our sphere of influence and knowledge. We are good at some things, maybe some special interests that we have sought to know more about., and have knowledge in areas that we are interested in, but do we have knowledge about it all? The older we grow the more we have knowledge and experiences that the young are yet to go through. Those experiences allow us to share with those that are young insights and wisdom that they have yet acquired. What we do know and have gained wisdom and foresight we are admonished to share with others. One of the best ways to demonstrate wisdom is to know our limitations.
What is wisdom? The Bible tells us,
“The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 1:7).
Fearing the Lord is more than just reverence awe. It is about knowing our limitations.
“Nothing is perfect except your words. Oh, I how I think about them all day long. They make me wiser than my enemies, because they are my constant guide. They make me even wiser than the aged” (Psalms 119:96-100).
Next time you think you are wise in your eyes, remember, you may be knowledgeable and have some insights in your small world, but compared to total wisdom, you (and I) know little. And even if we added all of our combined wisdom, compared to God’s, it is nothing.
Knowing these realities, how does that change you as a person? How will it affect your week?

Monday, April 7, 2008

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Book Review: The Reason for God by Tim Keller

Tim Keller, a pastor in the heart of New York City, writes with the mind of an apologist and a  pastor's heart.  He has labored in probably one of the toughest areas of the country and God has seen fit to bless his ministry with around 6,000 people coming every week to three services.  Having read many different apologetic books, this one is the best I have ever read.  It is easy to read, understandable, and has some wonderful practical ways in which to talk and witness to your non-Christian friends.  
What makes this very different from some of the other works that I have read, is his assumptions about the lost among us.  His premise is that with the rise of the atheistic books that have come out this last year, including The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens' book God is not Great:  How Religion Poisons Everythingamong others, the openness and rise of theism is also prevalent.  The other premise that is unique to Keller, is that he points out that even though relativism is the philosophical belief of the day (note my previous post on relativism), the young non-Christians that he witnesses to are not morally neutral at all.  In chapter nine titled The Knowledge of God, he recounts a conversation with a young couple that say that they are moral relativists until Keller asks them to tell them something that they believe is really wrong.  The woman says that repression of women is always wrong.  Keller says he agrees with her because all human beings are made by God and should be treated with human dignity.  Then he goes on to ask her why she thought it was wrong.  She responds saying that everyone knows it is wrong to violate the rights of someone.  He points out that that is a western view of human rights.  Not all cultures in the world would say that women are afforded the same rights as men.  Then Keller says if there is no God then we have evolved from animals. Is it wrong to trample on someone's (animal) rights, then?  The husband says yes.  Keller then asks him why is it not wrong for animals to eat other animals.  The young man only held humans guilty of trampling on others rights.  He then asks them, "Why this double standard? Why did this couple insist that human beings had to be different from animals? Why were animals allowed to act as was natural to the rest of the animal world, and not humans?  Why did the couple keep insisting that humans had this great, unique individual dignity and worth?  Keller makes the point, "People still have strong moral convictions, but unlike people in other times and places, they don't have any visible basis for why they find some things ot be evil and other things good.  It is almost like their moral intuitons are free-floating in midair-far off the ground."  (pp. 144-145)  
This view of presuppositional apologetics is not unique, but the way in which he approaches it is.   
The last part of the book is the best of all.  Keller presents the Gospel in beautiful language that personally I need to read and meditate on daily.  I read constantly, I have read over 300 books in the last 2 1/2 years, and this one is one of the best non-fiction books I have read.  
Please tell me what you think.  Either on this blog site, lynnsmusings.blogspot.com, or email me ominbuscross@yahoo.com.

Awaiting the Bridegroom.......Lynn

Monday, March 31, 2008

Shameless plug alert!

Okay, here's a shameless plug. Your are welcome to submit your own plugs, too!

Want to study the book of Acts with me? I am taking a look at how the disciples LIVED out the Kingship of Christ in Acts. This was the first example of New Testament Believers and Biblical Worldview. Click here to go to my blog.

End of shameless plug!

Friday, March 28, 2008

No Cussing!

Now this is an example of how to make an impact on culture! This is not a Christian website but this is definitely an example of ways that Christians need to stand up for our Biblical Worldview and make people think!!

A 14 year old boy, McKay Hatch in California got sick and tired of all the foul language his friends were using on a daily basis. He challenged them to stop cussing and they actually took the challenge. This started the No Cussing Club which is a source of inspiration and support to keep the members from using profanity. McKay says on his website: "Through the No Cussing Challenge I realized that I could use POSITIVE PEER PRESSURE on my friends. If my friends could say no to cussing, how much easier will it be for them to say no to drugs, violence, and pornography."

This teen inspired me in that God explicitly says in Proverbs 4:24: Put away perversity from your mouth, keep corrupt talk from your lips." If we are living a Biblical Worldview and obeying God's commands, cussing should not be part of our language. How does it affect our witness when we use languge that is offensive? Also, how much does it anger God when our speech is not glorifying to Him.

I didn't mean to get into a soapbox on perverse speech. I did, however, want to bring to light this example of how one boy impacted alot of people-He was on the Dr. Phil show for crying out loud. If one boy could make a difference in an area of life like this, how much more of a difference can we as Christians change the culture around us to reflect more of God's Kingdom!

check out the No Cussing Club Website: www.nocussing.com
Just some food for thought...


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thinking is a Lost Art in the Age of Relativism


 "Socrates sought to guide his student into authentic knowledge.  He did it via a method of discreet, guided questioning.  He engaged his student in dialogue (forcing) the student to think his way to a sound conclusion.  Socrates wanted to teach his student to think.  The goal of thinking is truth. With this method, knowledge is supported by understanding and the student goes beneath the surface to penetrate the truth of the matter."  R. C. Sproul

When a society, as a whole, adopts relativism as it's default philosophical underpinning, that society stops thinking.  Since there is no such thing as truth, all is relative, after that what is left?  The default setting for such a society becomes the way they feel in any given situation.  
I was watching television on Saturday morning with my twelve year old daughter.  She began watching the show "Amanda."  I have only watched this show one time, therefore, I do not know if it is always like this, but the entire show were sets of different parodies on the idiotic way that teenagers think in our culture.  I asked Rebekah if she knew what a parody was, and she said, "oh Mama, it is just supposed to be funny and stupid."  I took from that that she knew what the definition of a parody was!  It was one of the most refreshing shows I have watched in a long time.  It was actually trying to bring thought back into the culture, or in my idealistic point of view, it was getting kids to think of the stupid ways that they think.  It really floated my boat.   Maybe, that is how Jonathan Swift felt when he wrote Gulliver's Travels.  
One of the scenes was of a girl named Moody who was only guided by her feelings; thus the name Moody.  She decided not to go to her own Birthday party because she was sad about something "vague."  Her friends try to pull out of her what she is sad about, and she tells them the story of when she was a little girl.  Her mother had to go visit her sick aunt in Chicago.  She could not book a flight on any of the airlines, so she chose to go in a hot air balloon.  What brought on all of this sadness, is that Moody's boy friend gave her a balloon for her birthday, thus that was what precipitated the low "mood."  It gave her flash backs from days gone by. She spills her guts to her friends about her mother, and tells them that when her mother left in the balloon she never came back, and she is up there still.  Keep in mind this is all tongue in cheek, exaggerated, and really funny.  The friends listen and sympathize and then say, "ok, now lets go party."  It could have been an Oprah Winfrey show about the victims in our society who have lost their mothers to hot air balloon accidents!  
This has given me a great deal to ponder on.  Is this an indication that this current generation is seeing through some of the ridiculous antics that have been going on in their parents generation?  Does it give us hope that their are some young people out there that have gone down the road of "feeling" and found it wanting?  I believe it does.  "Let the little children lead them."  May we as adults, not give into the subjective culture around us.  Let us help to change the thinking of the young people that God has caused us to influence.  May we think, and change our thinking, in order to be able to lead and guide this coming generation and our children's children's generation into changing the way in which they think. 

Awaiting the Bridegroom......Lynn Cross
"Therefore, brothers, in view of God's mercy, I urge you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test what God's will is-His good, pleasing, and perfect will."
Romans 12:1-2