Tuesday, September 11, 2012

09/11/2012 - Thought for the Day

For the last time . . . . No, secularists are not trying to remove God from the public square.

We only object when he's driven there in the mayor's motorcade.


Alan Wakefield said...

Dear Tommy,
Just because Jesus has been banned from the motorcade, are we to assume there is NO spiritual influence projected by that mororcade?
Have you ever heard the phrase "satan's greatest gambit is convincing people he does not exist?"
While you may have heard that idea, you may not believe in satan. In that case I, as a Believer, will say, in the case of Tommy Holland, satan has been eminently successful.
But it goes further, and deeper than that. I have Biblical evidence (which is a given you reject) those who do not believe in the "god of this earth (satan)," (Holy Bible, New Testament, Book of 2nd Corinthians, chapter 4, verse 4 [KJV]) truly worship satan. Here is the evidence: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship
him (satan, see 13:4), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Ibid, Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter 13, verse 8. There is ONLY one way to have your name written into the Book of Life, "Ye must be born again." Ibid, Gospel of John, chapter 3, verse 7.
Can you accept the possibility this life is merely a test to determine where each of use will spend eternity? Do you know of a third destination, other than Heaven or Hell, for where each of us will spend eternity?
God will send no one to Hell, that is strictly a matter of personal choice. God has laid out the rules of the game, the only true choices are Christ or satan. There is NO third option.
If you are familiar with some of the greatest minds in western history, brilliant minds in any field you can name, and if you are further familiar with the spiritual faith and belief of those men and women, you would rightly judge me the most arrogant of men were I, without well documented evidence, to reject the spiritual testimony of those men and women.
These men and women are my “witnesses” in support of my personal faith. Their faith has become part of my faith in God and His Word. Were I to reject the Bible and the testimony of these “witnesses,” you would rightfully and logically ask, "By what authority do you reject the word of men and women like Blackstone, Locke, Coke and Montesquieu, Pascal, Napoleon, Shakespeare, Rousseau, William Penn, George Washington, Thomas Jeferson, Samuel and John Adams, James Madison, the signers of the Declaration of Independence, John Marshall, John Hancock, Daniel Webster, Benjamin Rush, Roger Sherman, William Gladstone, Benjamin Disraeli, Gallileo, Sir William Hershel, Charles Darwin (Yes, Darwin), Pasteur, Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Queen Victoria, Abigail Adams, Queen Elizabeth I, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Johannes Gutenberg, Sir Isaac Newton, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Michael Faraday, David Farragut, Lord Nelson, Douglas MacArthur, John Harvard, Elihu Yale, Jedidiah Morse, Noah Webster, William Holmes McGuffey, Lord Acton, Edmund Burke, Charles Dickens, Simon Greenleaf (trilogy, Rules of Evidence to be Used in Our Courts of Justice), Alexis DeToqueville, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, etc., etc., etc. What evidence could I possibly present to contradict the faith of those mentioned and so many, many more of the bright lights of history not mentioned? Take my word for it; I have not scratched the surface in terms of numbers of “witnesses.”
You, and any reasonable observer, would laugh me to shame if I tried to counter the faith of the greatest thinkers in history. And I would be ridiculous indeed, if I simply rejected their conclusions without carefully examining their evidence.
Love, Alan (Ibid, Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 44)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for commenting, Alan.

You raise an interesting point concerning the holding of a position when others hold the opposite belief. A commitment to humility would demand that we take the wisdom of others into account.

Wouldn't that make life so much simpler? How remarkable it would be if, when confronted with a confusing or compelling issue, to simply discover the belief of some other bright person, and then adopt his or her position. No more weighing of evidence, no more seeking counsel, no more conducting trial experiments or gathering reliable data--just listen to whatever they say and then believe likewise.

Of course, there might be a danger in such an approach. Suppose the person in question is wrong? Suppose he or she was misled? Wouldn't it be foolish to blindly accept their beliefs if there's a chance their beliefs--regardless of how comforting they might be--don't align with reality?

And, as always happens, suppose two seemingly equally bright individuals hold equal but opposite positions on some crucial matter? How does an interested third party decide between the two? It doesn't take much effort to find clever fellows who argue on opposite sides of all sorts of moral and ethical issues, such as abortion, or capital punishment, or the teaching of Creationism in science classrooms. How are we to choose?

One method, as you mentioned, would be to rely on a sacred text, and for many, that's enough. In fact, it was enough for myself for much of my life. But a careful examination of the Christian Bible has led me to question the simplistic notion that the words we read are the direct thoughts of a Creator God who's deeply concerned about our moral fiber. In essence, there are those who feel that the Bible is God's ideas about man, and there are those who feel it is man's ideas about God.

Another method, as you mentioned, is to name long lists of noteworthy people who are said to believe as we do. Of course, truth is not determined by popular vote, as we all agree on. There was a time when the vast majority sincerely agreed that the sun revolved around the earth, and they were all wrong.

And of course, not all noteworthies believed equally. Some of them held very questionable beliefs. Isaac Newton believed in an orderly God, but he also believed in Atlantis, a missing continent as big as Eurasia and Africa sunk beneath the sea, and he held other occultic beliefs. George Washington believed in a Deity and also owned slaves.

Likewise, there have been great minds that have for various reasons eschewed the traditional evangelical position. Thomas Jefferson praised the morality of Jesus and excised the miracles of Jesus from his Bible. Charles Darwin originally studied to be a parson, but his natural studies led him to declare himself an agnostic. What's more, Socrates believed in God and called him Zeus. Consider Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking, both brilliant scientists who don't espouse religious views.

Again, how is an interested person to choose between the beliefs of one great mind or another?

As for the idea that Satan has lulled us into disbelief, the notion is compelling, but unfortunately it is unfalsifiable. One could say the same of a menagerie of diabolical creatures such as Loki, Rakshasa, or even Darth Vader. If we allow ourselves the idea that a lack of belief in a being is somehow evidence of that being's manipulations of our minds, then we leave ourselves open to all sorts of malicious and ultimately futile thinking.