13 words

In Ecclesiastes 6:11, we read, “For there are many words which increase futility. What then is the advantage to a man?” I’ve spent a number of years of my life studying the Bible, and I’ve come to the conclusion that this verse pretty much sums up the whole thing. You look at most religions, and they all have these elaborate Scriptures, and what are they all really? “Many words.” Solomon (or whoever) had it exactly right.

Good religion does not need many words. In fact, here’s a good religion that takes precisely 13 words to express: “Our purpose is to make life better for ourselves and those around us.” We could elaborate on these 13 words, of course. We take care of ourself first (so that other people don’t have to do it for us), then we make life better for our family, our neighbors, our friends and co-workers, our community, our country and our world. And we focus our efforts where the circles are smallest, since that’s most efficient. But still, 13 words sums it up.


Gospel Disproof #34: Progressive sanctification

Today’s Gospel Disproof comes (again) from our friend Eric, who writes:

Salvation is ALL of grace and none of human merit so there is no grounds for boasting and certainly one is given no reason to think that the unsaved are “ even worse than you”.

Eric is partly correct. No matter what you may hear people say when giving their testimony, no matter what the Bible says about how the blood of Jesus “cleanses us from all sin,” and no matter how earnestly the Apostle Paul argues that believers have been freed from sin, “sinners” without God are no worse than believers with God. Or to phrase it in less negative terms, accepting Jesus doesn’t really make you a better person.

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“No, gay sex is not harmless. They’ve done scientific studies that show it causes microscopic tears in the lining of the rectum.”



“In other words, you can’t even see it?”

“Um, well no, I guess not.”

“So what’s the big deal? That’s hardly a reason to deny two people the right to marry each other.”

“It’s not the amount of damage, it’s the principle of the thing. The Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so whatever damages our bodies is wrong.”

“So just use lubricant. If there’s no friction there won’t be any tears.”

“That’s not the point either. That kind of sex is wrong because it has the potential to harm the body.”

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God vs suffering

Over at the other blog, we’re wrapping up William Lane Craig’s attempt to look like he’s solving the problem of evil without actually confronting the real issues. Interestingly, one of his arguments suggests that the problem may be unsolvable by evangelical Christians.

Craig’s argument is that God might have a good reason for allowing human suffering, if it allows us to attain a better knowledge of Himself. According to Christian teaching, the Ultimate Good for mankind is to know God, and therefore it’s possible that a good God might co-exist with human suffering (which Craig has substituted for the more difficult problem of evil). But even if we assume that knowing God is a good thing, there’s nothing about this assumption that makes God any more likely to co-exist with suffering, and in fact makes it a whole lot less likely. See below the fold for the reason why.

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“I’ll never understand atheism. I mean, there’s tons of evidence for God.”

“Like what?”

“Like morality, for instance.”


“Exactly. Everybody knows that there’s a real right and a real wrong. You can’t just make it up and call it morality. It has to come from God.”

“So in other words, you’re telling me that all moral values come from an unmarried Father, and illegitimate Son, and a guy that got someone else’s fiancée pregnant.”

“Yes, that’s—wait, what?”


Archbishop defies president, society

Bit late, but I wanted to comment on this one. According to USATODAY.com, Archbishop Timothy Nolan (Grand Wizard head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops) is putting pressure on President Obama to try and stop his senseless rush towards tolerance and civil rights for gays.

Dolan said the bishops are especially upset that the administration and opponents of DOMA are framing their argument as a civil rights issue, which he said equates “opposition to redefining marriage with either intentional or willfully ignorant racial discrimination.”

Right, because framing is something that only conservatives are allowed to do, for example by pretending to “defend marriage” and by refusing to address gay marriage as anything other than an attempt to “redefine” it.

Why can’t Catholic archbishops tell the truth about what they hate and what they’re doing to try and stop it? Simple: the Church is using sex to sustain Christianity, and they’re scared to death of losing control of it. That’s why they always refer to THEIR definition of marriage as THE definition of marriage. As soon as there’s any competition for the Catholic definition of marriage, the Church loses an important competitive advantage. They’ve spent literally thousands of years training people to assume that the Church controls their access to sexual fulfillment, and that only the church can provide them with a legitimate outlet for their sexual desires, through the “sacrament” of marriage. Break this monopoly, and disaster ensues, because without the threat of sexual frustration, what’s left to draw people into the faith? The Holy Spirit? Gimme a break!

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Gospel Disproof #3: Christian homophobia

One sure sign of a made-up God is that the people who make Him up invariably ascribe their own prejudices and biases to Him, in order to make them officially binding on everyone else. Christians and their Jewish predecessors demonstrate this by their traditional portrayal of God as a virulent homophobe and bigot who does not wish merely to deny gays the right to get married, but wishes to deny them life itself, if they are ever so presumptuous as to become intimate with each other as heterosexuals do.

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