Posts from the ‘moral law’ Category

Ravi Zacharias Appeals to America – “What will it take for us to wake up to the avowed threat of our time?”

Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia.

Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Adolf Hitler told the world what he was planning to do. The naïve of that time did not take him seriously.


Rand Paul: “Senator Obama once showed great concern to safeguard US freedoms. But as president, he rides roughshod over liberty.”

It took one of the bloodiest and most senseless wars in history to stop that genocide orchestrated by him. What will it take for us to wake up to the avowed threat of our time?”

Ravi Zacharias

“Unless we have a moral principle about such delicate matters as marriage and murder, the whole world will become a welter of exceptions with no rules.”

G.K.Chesterson

“Dear Friend,

It has been a little over two weeks since the atrocity was committed in Boston by the murderous intent of two young men. University students supposedly on scholarships, family on welfare payments, and all the benefits of receiving, with no moral obligation. How sad it is to see the face of that little eight-year-old boy who had just come to have a fun day with his family only to become a part of the death list and a victim of a cold blooded and calculated act. What parent can ever get over that? What country can afford to not stop and ask “why” until we know the truth?
 
How does one make judgments on such matters? How do we examine our own beliefs so as to deny such people with violent intent their murderous goals?
 
I travel an awful lot. I visit countries that do not like Americans. With that prejudice in many a country, I am quizzed as to why I am there. In the Middle East on more than one occasion I have been asked to come and meet the Chief of Intelligence and quizzed. This is the way my last quizzing went in Syria about three years ago:
 
“Mr. Zacharias, we know you are visiting here. We just want to caution you not to get engaged in any political activity or make any comments on politics.”
 
I assured them I would honor that. Then he went on to say, “But you are very welcome here. We need people like you.”
 
It was astounding to hear that. Why would he make such a comment when the prevailing religion there was not my faith, nor what I came to preach?  For one, he knew the Christians there posed no threat to the regime but were a peaceable minority. The rest of the conversation made it clear. But there was obviously more to why he said that. I asked, “Can you tell me what you think of the situation in this part of the world?”
 
With beads in his hand as he compulsively scrolled through them out of sheer habit, he quietly said, “I don’t give this part of the world more than five years, and this whole place will blow up.” Rather taken aback by such a drastic pronouncement, I asked him what he meant. It was clear that they knew of rebellious forces working to topple the government and spread turmoil in that area. Ironically, when it all happened, including his own assassination, our media naively branded it “The Arab Spring.” Really? Is that what we are witnessing in Libya, in Egypt, in Iran after the Shah? Is that what spring looks like politically?
 
This ignorance or deliberately distorted way of thinking, supporting bloody and ruthless acts to supposedly topple dictators, is precisely what that part of the world is now experiencing. Suddenly, revolutions are the “in” thing and any establishment is at risk, as forces that destabilize are gleefully supported by the media elite, the intellectual elite, and the entertainment elite. We pontificate without the slightest understanding of history, religion, or of cultural distinctives. The average citizen is once again sacrificed at the altar of demagogic factions each seeking the power to enforce and dictate.
 
This abysmal failure in the media elite, to understand history and worldview, now puts America facing possible extinction herself. Those are not overstated words. 
 
When one gets on to a plane, you hear, “Your safety is our first priority.” Evidently, in the journey of life itself, our power brokers don’t feel the same for their citizens. A visitor’s rights seem to be the first priority; those who seek our destruction are given greater privileges than our children who enjoy and love this land.
 
Something is wrong. Dreadfully wrong. Our definitions are at an all-time confusion, our values at an all-time low, our fiscal policies at an all-time danger, our beliefs at an all-time peril, and yet we want to tell our young people that we are building for their future.

Do our leaders ever sit down and read the primary sources to understand what lies beneath these worldviews to which we are pandering? We brand a religion “peaceful” or “great” without even reading its text. Only an uninformed person can make such sweeping statements. This does not assure us that our safety is a priority.
 
There is so much one can say on what needs to be done to provide for our safety. I simply resist the temptation and will not go into all of that, but rather respond in two ways. First, we must ask our political representatives to convene a formal study on this particular worldview of millions who have explicitly or implicitly screamed for our destruction.

Adolf Hitler told the world what he was planning to do. The naïve of that time did not take him seriously. It took one of the bloodiest and most senseless wars in history to stop that genocide orchestrated by him. What will it take for us to wake up to the avowed threat of our time?
 
Second, I suggest that the rights we give our immigrants must be granted only by strict means of scrutiny. I went through that when I first moved to the west. My brother and I were quizzed thoroughly. I respected that. But that was over four decades ago. We are now politically correct and politically endangered at the same time. As I write this, I am about to depart for one particular country. I will be there for five days. To get a visa, I had to list all the countries I have visited in the last ten years. That was a task and a half. Did I object?  No. They are protecting their political system and they have a right to demand of me disclosure that they feel is necessary to keep their values intact. Anyone without subversive intent will not be afraid of such scrutiny.

But in our homeland we have become so all-encompassing that the only thing we don’t have any more is “values.” Interestingly, that was a term coined by the nihilists and existentialists to replace absolutes. When absolutes went, values came. When counter values came, our own values went. When our own values went, we watch a little eight-year-old boy blown to bits and the ones doing it tweet to their friends “LOL.” Such subversives do not fear our legal system. They know the perverse way in which their defenders can use it.

When hate can laugh, decency is crying and America stands at the crossroads of choosing the path of Right or else to bury what is right in the ever-shifting quicksand of so called “rights.”
 
This is a sad day as we mourn the decimation in Boston. But sadder days are ahead unless we understand what we are dealing with here. What happened in Boston was a deadly atrocity. Our failure to stem the rot will be a suicidal tragedy. We have confused what is lawful with what is legal.
 
Chesterton said it well: “For under the smooth legal surface of our society there are already moving very lawless things. We are always near the breaking-point when we care only for what is legal and nothing for what is lawful. Unless we have a moral principle about such delicate matters as marriage and murder, the whole world will become a welter of exceptions with no rules. There will be so many hard cases that everything will go soft.”
 
This is America today. We do not know the essential difference between what is lawful and what is legal. Our moral reasoning is dying before our eyes. Nobody knows this better than the lawless.”

 

Christ Centered Teaching is committed to not accept donations.

Though this ideal situation is unlikely to continue forever, we are committed to sustain it indefinitely as an ideal accommodation to the free Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Nevertheless, it is our sincerest pleasure to promote worthwhile ministries such as Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. In fact, this is the first time Christ Centered Teaching has recommended its readers to consider doing so.

The link below will take you directly to RZIM for donations.

http://rzim.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=45b75085e6ab57e339ea89d67&id=37e5301b09&e=db221c7bff

English: Ravi Zacharias signing books at the F...

English: Ravi Zacharias Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ethos,Pathos,Logos – The Image of God

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a ...

Bust of Aristotle. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek bronze original by Lysippos from 330 BC; the alabaster mantle is a modern addition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God created man in His image.

Aristotle identified three primary areas of influence and response that comprise the mind, heart, and soul of mankind.

He called them Ethos, Pathos, and logos.

God is sovereign and all Powerful- this is Ethos

God is the author of wisdom and is all knowing- this is Logos

God is Love and so loved the world He gave His Son – this is Pathos

The Psalms puts it this way;

Psalms 139:1-4 “O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways. For there  is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.”

God knows us, understands us, comprehends us altogether because He loves us.

His pathos brought His ethos and logos to our rescue.

His pathos / love bridged the gap between us and God through Christ.

God wants our love as well.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6)

The most remarkable thing about what God requires from us is that He gave all of himself for us in Christ first.

He expressed all His ethos, pathos, and logos for our benefit through the cross.

Is God not worthy of all our love in return?

Pascal on Mankind and God

image

“Man would desire to be great and sees that he is little; would desire to be happy and sees that he is miserable; would desire to be perfect and sees that he is full of imperfections; would desire to be the object of the love and esteem of men, and sees that his faults merit only aversion and contempt. The embarrassment wherein he finds himself produces in him the most unjust and criminal passions imaginable, for he conceives a mortal hatred against that truth which blames him and convinces him of his faults.” ~Blaise Pascal~ (Pensees)

“America is Lost on the High Seas of Time, Without Chart or Compass” ~Ravi Zacharias~

RaviZacharias

“Every heart has the potential for murder. Every heart needs a redeemer.

That is the message of Christmas.

The world took that child and crucified Him.

But by his triumph over death He brings life to our dead souls and begins the transformation within.

Unto us a child is born and He shall save us from our sins.”

~Ravi Zacharias~

http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=45b75085e6ab57e339ea89d67&id=43e1a268bb&e=db221c7bff

Dear Friend,The tragedy that shook Newtown, Connecticut, and indeed the entire nation, defies analysis.
What must have gone on in the mind of this young man for him to walk into a school of little children and wreak such devastating carnage numbs the soul.
At the same time this was happening, I was under the surgeon’s blade for minor surgery. When I left the recovery room and returned home, among the first pieces of news on my phone was the news of this mass killing. Something within me hoped that I was still not clear-headed, but I knew deep inside that I was reading an unfolding story of horror and tragedy.
What does one say? What is even appropriate without violating somebody’s sacred space and their right to scream in protest?I am a father and a grandfather. I simply cannot fathom the unbearable weight within a parent’s or grandparent’s heart at such a personal loss. It has often been said that the loss of a child is the heaviest loss to bear. I have no doubt that those parents and grandparents must wonder if this is real or simply a terrifying nightmare. My heart and my prayers are for them and, indeed, for the family of the assassin. How his father will navigate through this will be a lifelong journey.
When a mass-killer like this ends by taking his own life, there is an even deeper sense of loss. Everyone wants to know, “Why?” Not that the answer would soften the blow but it would at least give some clue, some release to speak, to hear, to try to work through. But all we are left with is twenty-eight funerals and lifelong grief. To all of those who have suffered such loss, may the Lord carry you in His strength and bear you in your grief. You will be in our thoughts and prayers.
My own attempt at saying something here is feeble but carries a hope that somebody listening will make this world a better place. My heart goes back to Angola Prison in Baton Rouge where I met such people whose savagery took them to that destination. It was interesting to see a Bible in every cell and to hear many talk of how it had become their only means of life and hope. Someone with me said, “If we had more Bibles in our schools maybe we would need less of them here.”
To the skeptic and the despiser of belief in God, I know what they will respond. I am quite convinced that the one who argues against this ends up playing God and is ultimately unable to defend any absolutes.
Hate is the opposite of love and while one breathes death, the other breathes life. That is what we need to be addressing here. The seeds of hate sooner or later bear fruit in murder and destruction. Killers are not born in a moment. Deep beneath brews thinking and the animus that in a moment is uncorked. We are living in a society that nurtures hate on many sides with the result that lawlessness triumphs.Even in ideal settings, killing can take place. Murder began in the first family when a brother could not stand the success of his sibling. The entire history of the Middle East–five millennia–is a tale of two brothers. Centuries of killing has not settled the score. Maybe in Adam Lanza’s case we will find a deep psychological reason behind what he did. But that does not diminish the reality that there lurks many a killer whose moment will come and the nation will be brought to tears again. We can almost be certain of that.Yes, we can discuss all the symptomatic issues—security, gun control, early detection signs, and so on. These are all worthy of discussion. But it’s always easier to deal with the symptoms rather than with the cause.The fiscal cliff is tame by comparison to the moral devastation ahead if we do not recognize the malady for what it is. Hate is the precursor to murder. Jesus made that very clear. Playing God is the dangerous second step where we feel we are the ultimate judge of all things and that we have the right to level the score.

Here, I would like to address our political leaders and media elite:

You may personally have the moral strength to restrict your ideas to mere words but many who listen to you do not. To take the most sacred privilege of democracy and transform it into the language of aggression plays right into the hands of hate-mongers. This is not the language of a civil society or of wise leadership. It is not the ethos of a culture of co-existence. It is not the verbal coinage with which we can spend our way into the future.

Our political rhetoric is fraught with division, hate, blame, and verbal murder. Our young are listening. Remember that what you win them with is what you win them to.

As for the entertainment world, what does one even say at a time like this?

Calling for gun control and then entertaining the masses with bloodshed is only shifting the locus from law to entertainment. Do our entertainers ever pause to ask what debased values emerge from their stories? The death of decency is audible and visible in what passes as movie entertainment and political speech.

This is the same culture that wishes to take away Nativity scenes and Christmas carols from our children.

God is evicted from our culture and then He is blamed for our carnages.

America is lost on the high seas of time, without chart or compass. The storms that await us will sink this nation beyond recognition if we do not awaken to the rapid repudiation of the values that shaped this nation.

The handwriting is on the wall. Freedom is not just destroyed by its retraction. It is destroyed even more painfully by its abuse.

There is one more thing.

It is so obvious but is seldom ever addressed. All these recent mass murders have been done by men. Many of them young men, yes, even mere boys.  Jonesboro, Columbine, Virginia Tech, now Newtown.

Is there something within our culture that doesn’t know how to raise strength with dignity and respect?

Is this how boys are meant to be? From bloodletting in hockey games while thousands cheer to savagery in school shootings while thousands weep, we must ask ourselves what has gone wrong with us men? Where are the role models in the home? Is knocking somebody down the only test left for strength? Is there no demonstration now of kindness, gentleness, courtesy, and respect for our fellow human beings?

One young man on death row in Angola Prison told me that he started his carnage as a teenager. Now in his thirties with the end of the road in sight, he reached his hand out to me and asked me to pray with him. Life was lost at the altar of power and strength.

The Bible only speaks of one remedy for this:

the transformation of the heart by making Christ the center.Those who mock the simplicity of the remedy have made evil more complex and unexplainable.

Every heart has the potential for murder. Every heart needs a redeemer. That is the message of Christmas. The world took that child and crucified Him. But by his triumph over death He brings life to our dead souls and begins the transformation within. Unto us a child is born and He shall save us from our sins.

Before the first murder was committed, the Lord said to Cain, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at the door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

To gain mastery over sin there is only one way. 

Just as Victoria Soto put herself in the way so that the children in her class might live, Jesus Christ put himself in the way that we all might live.

That is the beginning of the cure for us as individuals and as a nation.

All the laws in the world will never change the heart.

Only God is big enough for that.

Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias

Talking About Homosexuality – Dr. Tim Keller

s

“Acknowledge that often when this topic comes up the rhetoric gets heated – and those who represent the Christian position are not always respectful of those who disagree, nor do they have sound reasons for their position. Christians have no more or less of a right to tell other people how to live their lives than anyone else. But we all have ways we think the world should be; and we all have the right to try to contend for these views respectfully. The gospel – that we are saved only by sheer grace – should help Christians to do this without self-righteousness.

Homosexuality is not God’s original design for sexuality – sex is designed for marriage between a man and a woman. But that belief should have no impact on a church’s or a Christian’s desire to love and serve the needs and interests of all their neighbors, including gay people, people of other faiths, and so on.

Note that there is not widespread division over what the Bible says about homosexuality. All three branches of Christianity (Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant) agree – on at least four things: one, that every mention of homosexual practice in the Bible says that it is wrong; two, that it is specifically prohibited in both the Old and New Testaments; three, that it did not just reflect the prejudices of the day – it cut against the views of ancient cultures; and four, that the whole arc of the Bible begins with a heterosexual marriage (Adam and Eve) and ends with the vision of one –the wedding feast in the book of Revelation.” Tim Keller

The Starry Sky Above, and The Moral Law Within – Written On The Hearts of All Mankind

English: , Prussian philosopher. Português: , ...

Prussian philosopher Immanuel Kant        (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Two things awe me the most. The starry sky above me, and the moral law within me.”

Immanuel Kant – 18 Th.  Century philosopher

Kant’s works in mathematics were an early influence on Albert Einstein.

Influenced by Newton’s work, Kant correctly laid the theory for the formation of the universe from gaseous nebulas – in the late 1700’s !

Kant also correctly theorized that the Milky Way was composed mostly of stars like our sun.

Still, His works of philosophy and reason are seen as even greater contributions.

I find it very interesting that such a great thinker would find both creation and human conscience the two things that ,”awe,” him most.

The reason I say that is because the Bible speaks specifically to both as empirical witnesses of the existence of God.

“The Starry Sky Above Me”

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

(Romans 1:20)

“The Moral Law Within Me”

“Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.)”

(Romans 2:14,15)

I believe the two immutable realities of the Moral Law Within and The Starry Sky Above are the reasons why those of use who resist them become angry so quickly and to such a severe degree.

Self Centered Pride – The Plight of All Mankind

How often have we reflected on worldview of Self Centered Pride and how it contributes to the plight of all mankind.

An  examination of selfishness in contrast to selflessness will always reveal still deeper truth.

To more fully understand pride we must go all the way back to the earliest recorded and preserved documents on Earth called the Bible.

In summary,
Lucifer and a third of the Angels where cast out of Heaven because Lucifer wanted to be ,”like the Most High”, and convinced of all the angels to follow him. (Isaiah 14)

Satan, (as he is called since the fall ), recognized self-centered pride as the weakness of mankind as well, and tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden by saying she ,”will be like God”. Mankind is cast from Paradise and God’s presence. ( Genesis 3)

Satan accused Job ,and questioned God’s justice, as recorded in the book of Job.

Satan tried to tempt Jesus for  40 days in the wilderness.  Jesus was Hungary so Satan tempted Christ to turn rocks into bread. The Devil was trying to get Our Lord to think of himself. The Devil then tempted Jesus with offering all the kingdoms of the earth to Jesus if he would only bow down and worship him,( that is, worship him like God). (Matthew 4).

The Devil also turns men’s hearts and minds away from the truth when they hear it. (Mark 4:15).

Satan will be bound and thrown into the bottomless pit, and sealed inside it for one thousand years during Christ’s Kingdom here on Earth, before the Great White Throne of Judgement. ( Revelation 20:2).

The Kingdom age ensues and every day is better than the one before with Christ himself ruling over all the Earth for one thousand years. (also known as the Millennium Age).

Then Satan will be loosed once more to tempt mankind. I think the Devil will be used for the purpose of separating true followers from those whose hearts are not with God.   The purpose is to give all men everywhere the only alternative to serving God. Pride causes us to want to serve self.  Satan will appeal to man’s self-centered pride as he did leading to his own fall and the rebellion in Heaven, and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. he will serve to led a rebellion so that all who are not truly following God because they love Him, will be separated from those who do serve God because they love Him. (Revelation 20:7).

Then the Great judgement Seat of Christ will take place. The books will be opened and all whose names are written in the book of Life, will be welcomed into Heaven. ( Revelation 20:11).

Jesus said,”therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before my Father in Heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him will I also deny before my Father in Heaven”. (Matthew 10:32, 33).

%d bloggers like this: