Happy New Year everybody. Enjoy the parties and bowl games.
My beloved Spartans have finally made it to a bowl game. They have a tough match up against Boston College (especially when they have 5 players missing). There are some good articles there is one here.
I don't like to have a mediocre attitude, but already MSU has surpassed my expectations for the year. Coach Dantonio has done a wonderful job and I hope they win. The good news is that Spartan fans were faithful and there will be a great turnout. Time is getting short for predictions, but here is mine.
MSU 41 BC 35
Matthew 1:21-23 "'And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.' So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel' which is translated, 'God with us.'"
This will be my last post until after Christmas. I wish you all a joyous time celebrating our savior's birth.
Like most kids I grew up believing in Santa Claus until I was in first or second grade. I am wondering if this is the best way to go when I become a future parent. On one hand I think that it might be confusing for children to tell them someone exists, tell them to be good and have them find out that it was all a hoax. What will happen when I tell them about God and Jesus? Will they become skeptical? . I don't know of any circumstance which that happened, but why lie to your children?
The main reason I can come up with to support the Santa Claus lie is that kids are not as innocent as they once were. They don't use their imagination like they once had to. Granted they can if forced to, but are we forcing children to mature more faster with the entertainment (cartoons, toys, etc) that they are exposed to? Today young children want cell phones and ipods.
I can see both sides in the situation and am glad that I have a long time before I have to make a decision. What approach do you take? Is this an innocent act to liven up the holidays? Or is it a method to dupe your children for personal reasons? Note that in this question I am not implying that you are replacing Santa with the real meaning of Christmas, just adding.
Okay, this may a harsh title, but I am wondering who you find as a respectable theologian. Who do view as credible and trust their opinion? Who do you avoid and not recommend?
I am not saying that you copy people's opinions or not intelligent enough to form your own conclusions, but if your like me you use resources and will usually not use one that your are not familiar with the author or organization.
The purpose of this is because I tend to limit myself to only a few select people and organizations because I simply don't have the time to look into random people every time I am looking at resources. At Timm's blog there was much comment on someone I have never heard of and thought it would be interesting to find out about other people (not necessarily controversial ones) I could look into.
I myself am very fond of John MacArthur. I also like Norman Geisler. I don't really care for Max Lucado because it seems that he writes a book every month. I think Charles Stanlely is right on when it comes to doctrine, but question him about his divorce and still being a pastor. Someone who I avoid is R.C. Sproul. I disagree with many things he teaches.
This will also give a GENERAL guide to what people believe. I don't want to stereotype, but obviously if someone likes Tim LaHaye, then they most likely support the pre-tribulation position.
I happened to accidentally come across this site that gives a list of celebrities who publicly admitted they are atheists. Some I either knew or figured they were such as Lance Armstrong, Warren Buffett, Ron Reagan Jr and Andy Rooney. However there were some I were surprised at like Bill Gates, Billy Joel, Jodie Foster and Barry Manilow. Of these the most surprising to me was David Horowitz who is an agnostic. For those who don't know him, he is a conservative author. I have met him before and enjoy his work.
The purpose of this is basically for your personal interest. I don't know if you will view people differently knowing their religious beliefs or not, but I found it interesting.
Here is the link to view the complete list.
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The question is what is the biggest cause for moral destruction in America? I usually don't do this, but six people answered other. Here is a chance to specifically name the cause and explain your reasoning.
Mitt Romney is scheduled to make a speech concerning his Mormon faith Thursday December 6, 2007 (article). Many are questioning the idea if it will benefit his chances at winning the republican nomination. Mike Huckabee’s strong surge is mainly credited to evangelical Christians.
"This speech is an opportunity for Governor Romney to share his views on religious liberty, the grand tradition religious tolerance has played in the progress of our nation and how the governor's own faith would inform his presidency if he were elected," Kevin Madden, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement. "Governor Romney understands that faith is an important issue to many Americans, and he personally feels this moment is the right moment for him to share his views with the nation."
I think this is a mistake that will backfire. As I understand it, Romney will not talk about any Mormon theology, but rather religious freedoms and possibly some similarities between Mormonism and Christianity. The majority of Christians do not believe Mormonism to be a part of Christianity for many reasons, one in particular is the fact it added to the Bible. Romney will not answer questions to the likes of where he believes the Garden of Eden was, thus resulting in people being disappointed in the speech and possibly being turned off by him if he equates Mormonism with Christianity.
Others try and compare this situation to the one experienced by John F. Kennedy and his Catholic faith. I do not view this similar at all. First, the main skepticism regarding Kennedy was the fear that he would take orders from the Pope. However, more importantly even though Protestants and Catholics have some doctrinal disputes, they would both view each other as Christians.
Doctrine doesn't matter to Romney:
“There is one fundamental question about which I often am asked. What do I believe about Jesus Christ? I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Savior of mankind. My church’s beliefs about Christ may not all be the same as those of other faiths. Each religion has its own unique doctrines and history. These are not bases for criticism but rather a test of our tolerance.”
Romney's attempt for plurality is theologically retarded at best. I hope people do not fall for smooth talking and well written speech, but look at the motive.
Christianity does not receive the same respect as other religions. Sure there are stereotypes about them all, but it seems Christians get the bulk of it. Some may say that the Bible warns of persecution and Jesus forewarned us. While I agree, I think a lot of it has to do with a one sided view of Jesus’ humbleness and humility. This one sidedness is making Christians weak.
Before anyone responds that I am implying that Jesus is not loving, humble and so on. I know He has those characteristics He says it Himself that He is meek (Mathew 11:29). But was He this way towards everything? Absolutely not, He was not meek towards man’s will, but rather to His Father’s will. Yes He did show compassion, but not submissive like He was towards God the Father.
We know this from the two incidents of cleansing the temple. I say two because as I read it I see Matthew 21:12 and John 2:14-16 as separate events because of the description. Jesus stood firm when it came to the issue of worship. In addition, think of the multitudes He spoke to. Can you picture Jesus speaking to a multitude in a timid voice?
Furthermore, Jesus’ words indicate that we should not be weak. Matthew 10:16 “Behold I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” This means we should not be taken advantage of, yet not sin either. It is also interesting how many times bold, boldly or boldness appears in the Bible in reference to how we are suppose to present the Gospel.
Lastly, I would like to mention the analogies of Christians to soldiers. For instance, the armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20. Also the apostle Paul writes in 2 Timothy 2:3-4 “You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” You may say this is describing the persecution as I mention earlier, but I would ask what soldier does not fight back?
I purposely did not cite from Revelation because I believe that Jesus’ first coming served a different purpose than His second coming. This subject was prompted by the increase of oversensitivity I see Christians having recently.
Every year we see stores advertising Christmas or holiday. Many Christian organization such as the American Family Association urges stores to not shy away from Christmas. Some people are passionate about emphasizing Christmas so much that they boycott stores that avoid Christmas and use Happy Holidays. Governments have been affected as well by calling state Christmas trees "holiday tree".
What are your thoughts about this matter? Do you specifically shop at stores that use Merry Christmas? Do you respond to store associates with Merry Christmas? Do make sure your Christmas cards say Merry Christmas? Or does it even matter to you?