Posts tagged ‘Christ. God. Religion’

Dear Muslim – Citizens and Refugees – Read “Seeking Allah,Finding Jesus, by Nabeel Qureshi

When Muslims flee Muslims to predominantly Christian countries for refuge, the claim that Islam is a Peaceful Religion dies a thousand deaths for every “good”Muslim that bad Muslims chase away.
The world is watching millions of refugees flee Islam, each refugee is a testament to the terror of Islam.

It is frustrating.
Well meaning and good people actually defending Islam unknowingly contribute to Muslim suffering .
We debate if Islam is a peaceful religion, when in fact it is both extremes.
This one thing will always reveal it as evil in the end. “No other God but Allah and no other religion but Islam” is the single most important objective in Islam, and this objective is drummed into Muslims through daily calls to prayer five times a day and broadcast from Mosques even in America. Islam demands no seperation of church and state. It is antithetical to democracy and freedom of speech. Islam beliefs call for jihad until the whole world is subdued for Allah. Only through thoughtful study of the Quran ,Hadiths, and the history of Muhammad and Islam that we can see Islam for what it really is.
Good Muslims flee bad Muslims and come to other countries, but bad Muslims eventually follow.
Good Muslims need to throw off the shackles of Islam for a completely peaceful religion, Christianity.

The most frustrating thing about talking to others about Islam, is that Islamic scriptures and commentaries are so violent and revolting to the civilized mind that quoting them sounds like lies to whoever hears you quote them. “No way is that true!” I repeatedly hear this from people who blindly defend Islam.

Yes. We dare not imagine an evil so unnatural, it inevitably engenders disbelief and denial. I get that. Why would anyone create a religion of violence and hate? But see it for what it really is. The World Trade Center fell as thousands of innocent people died and millions watched in disbelief, all of which was the result of a cult of hate.

Dear Muslim refugees. In the spirit of Christian love, I compel you to become Christian and flee from Islam, and be reconciled to God through faith in Christ. You have been lied to by your teachers.
God is a Father to all of mankind, and Jesus Christ is God Incarnate.
Your window of opportunity of freedom to choose your religion will not linger long if Islam follows you here. The Mosques and Imams will follow, and the daily prayers will drum once again from daybreak to sunset, and you and your loved ones will be lost. Now is the hour, today is the day.
Come to God through belief and acceptance of Jesus Christ, God incarnate. Only perfection can dwell with God. Only God is perfect. Only God could pay our sin debt on the cross.

“I am the way the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by me.”

Watch “Road Trip Q&A 3: What about Peaceful Verses in the Quran?” on YouTube

The Ultimate Dooms Day Prepper – The One Thing You Need to Know to Be Victorious Through the Great Tribulation

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Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.”

I personally enjoy the study of Biblical end times prophecy.

The book of Revelation is the only book that states that the reader WILL be blessed in reading it.

But I’m also aware that the subject engenders fear in many.

If that wasn’t bad enough, most would agree that the Biblical prophecies and visions are hard to understand.

Nobody wants to live in fear of those days as they approach or as they unfold.

That is why I am eager to share this most remarkable truth.

If you only understand and believe one thing from the book of Revelation,make it this truth from chapter 12 and verse 11 that one thing. I also believe that if you miss this one truth, even if you understand everything else this book is about, you miss everything.

The book of Revelation from the Bible is the End Times, Last Days book that tells the prophecy about all the events leading up to the Battle of Armageddon and Christ’s Return, the millennium, and the Great White Throne of Judgment.

What is the secret clearly revealed to us?

It comes in three closely related aspects, the central of which is belief in Jesus Christ as savior.

First – “They overcame him,(satan),by the Blood of The Lamb”…

Those who have asked Christ and believed have Christ IN them.

Jesus said,”Greater is he who is IN you than he,(satan),that is in the world.”

The gospel of John 3:16 reads,”For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Jesus is “The Lamb of God”,who died to pay for our sins, who rose in victory from the grave, and gives eternal life to all who ask by faith. He will hear your prayer today.

Second- “and by the word of their testimony”,…

Those who have trusted Jesus Christ as savior refuse to deny Him, no matter what happens.

Jesus said,“Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.”(Luke 12:8,9)

For love,Jesus suffered openly for us to save us. We can honor Him as servants who are not above our Master.

Thirdly- “they did not love their lives to the death.”

The only way I see anyone having enough courage to remain unmoved from our testimony for Jesus in the face us death, is to love Jesus more than life itself.This is what He did for us on the cross.

King David said of God, “Your loving-kindness is better than life.”

Here’s the coolest thing about Revelation 12:11,… Since it is a prophecy it hasn’t happened yet.

Since it hasn’t happened yet, we can choose whether or not WE are the ones it prophesies about.

Remember,we can overcome by the Blood of The lamb.

It’s our choice.

Just ask Him to save you, and you have the most important thing to face anything that life could throw at you. And nothing or nobody will ever be able to take eternal life or Christ from you.

All because He first loved us,

May God richly bless you!

They Gave Christ a Cross, Not Guessing that He Would Make it a Throne

ChristBetweenTwoThieves

“He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

~James Stewart~

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“It is a glorious phrase of the New Testament, that ‘he led captivity captive.’ 

The very triumphs of His foes, it means, he used for their defeat. He compelled their dark achievements to sub-serve his end, not theirs.

They nailed him to the tree, not knowing that by that very act they were bringing the world to his feet.

They gave him a cross, not guessing that he would make it a throne.

They flung him outside the gates to die, not knowing that in that very moment they were lifting up all the gates of the universe, to let the King of Glory come in.

They thought to root out his doctrines, not understanding that they were implanting imperishably in the hearts of men the very name they intended to destroy.

They thought they had defeated God with His back the wall, pinned and helpless and defeated: they did not know that it was God Himself who had tracked them down.

He did not conquer in spite of the dark mystery of evil. He conquered through it.”

James Stewart (1896–1990) was a minister of the Church of Scotland

—————-

” And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh,

He has made alive together with Him,

having forgiven you all trespasses,

having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us,

which was contrary to us.

And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

 Having disarmed principalities and powers,

He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.”

(Colossians 2:13-15)

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Life, Creation and Wisdom – We See So Little of All That Really Is

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Men look up into the sky at night and marvel in wonder at the sheer number of stars and the vastness of the universe.

Yet with our most sophisticated telescopes today we can see that far more is actually there  than the unaided eye can see.

The voids of blackness begin to fill in with the light of discoveries previously unknown.

You may then realize that in a similar way that you can never know it all.

But rest assured you CAN know the one who does know it all, and He calls each of the heavenly host by name.

He is God, and has also promised;

as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

(I Corinthians 2:9)

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;

blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 

(John 20:29)

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions

jesusandalostlamb

We are saved by Grace. We know this as God’s unconditional  and unmerited love.

Some very wise people question, “How can God’s love be unconditional if I will be sent to Hell for all eternity if I reject Christ as my Savior.”

The answer is found in the realization of understanding the difference between God’s unconditional love to us,

(God so loved the World)

Christ’s having satisfied those conditions for us,

(That He gave His only  Son)

and our having met the only condition for the restoration of a relationship with God.

(that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.)

 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God personally settled the condition for us to be restored to a relationship to Him.

He took responsibility for our debt on Himself.

All He asks is that we freely receive His offer.

He will also allow us to reject Him, 

But we must then accept responsibility for that decision

ourselves.

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The following link is to a half hour audio by Ravi Zacharias on this subject.

I gave it my own title because Ravi actually covers a lot of theological ground on most occasions, and covered this subject well here.

God’s Love is Unconditional but A Relationship with God is Conditional – All Close Relationships Come With Conditions.

“WHAT ANSWER FOR THE WICKED HUMAN HEART, PART 1 OF 2”

In this audio,Ravi Zacharias reveals how he is often invited to speak with some of the world’s richest and most influential people.

On one occasion, Ravi was invited to go on a private yacht owned by a very wealthy man who had recently come to Christ through attending a Ravi Zacharias event.

 Before the speaking event,this man told Ravi that he only came to fulfill a promise to his own wife that he would be there.

Ravi then told the man that having fulfilled his promise to be there, he could leave at any time while he is speaking if he chooses, and that would be okay.

Instead, the man accepted Christ as his Savior at the event.

This man then invited many of his own friends, and Ravi, to a private yacht cruise along the coast of Sicily.(perhaps in hope they would find new life in Christ as well).

This audio tells of a man on that cruise who also became a Christian when he finally understood true love and relationships all have conditions for them to exist.

Yacht

Yacht (Photo credit: WaterpoloSam)

Born the Way God Intended – A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality and the Futile Search for a Biological Cause

Immanuel

“He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.”
(Genesis 5:2)
Dear friends,
No claim clearly stated in the Bible has ever been disproved, or ever will be. The science that supports God as Creator is always right, solid , and withstands testing.
The Theory of evolution,”Darwinism”, is erroding as the result of research centering on DNA ,”genetics”, archeological research, and more.
The same latest research is eroding the false assumption that Homosexuality is biological in origin.
Oddly enough, most articles that claim evidence for a developmental stage hormonal link will also rely heavily on evolutionary theory, and natural instincts of  animal species as evidence.
Bad science coupled to more bad science does not make good science.
Most articles on this subject will not provide credible resources to support their claims.
Most will not provide any support for their claims beyond vague references.
Don’t let public schools teach your children that being gay is natural.
 I believe society has many issues that will only become worse as we continue to mis-diagnose the sexual and psychological roots of homosexual behavior.
There is definitely a phycological issue, but also a growing sexual issue as more people see sex purely as a means of pleasure and escape, much as with a substance addiction.
Society is not even considering what we could become if we are wrong about homosexuality, and society is wrong.
What nature truly makes obvious about the difference between boys and girls is also supported by science,
and the Bible.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
(John 8:32)

The following article is written from the scientific standpoint. All claims are heavily supported by

solid,credible scientific research.

Any suppositions are stated as such.

A complete List of supporting references are provided at the end of this reprint.

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“This Is The Way God Made Me”

A Scientific Examination of Homosexuality 
and the “Gay Gene”

Brad Harrub, Ph.D. and Bert Thompson, Ph.D. and Dave Miller, Ph.D.
© 2003  Apologetics Press, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Reproduced by Permission from Apologetics Press, Inc.

he trumpets were left at home and the parades were canceled.  The press releases and campaign signs were quietly forgotten.  The news was big, but it did not contain what some had hoped for.  On April 14, 2003, the International Human Genome Consortium announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project—two years ahead of schedule.  The press report read: “The human genome is complete and the Human Genome Project is over” (see “Human Genome Report…,” 2003, emp. added).  Most of the major science journals reported on the progress in the field of genetics, but also speculated on how the information would now be used.  The one piece of information that never materialized from the Human Genome Project was the identification of the so-called “gay gene.”Homosexuality has been practiced for thousands of years.  Simply put, homosexuality is defined as sexual relations between like genders (i.e., two males or two females).  It was Sigmund Freud who first postulated that parental relationships with a child ultimately determine the youngster’s sexual orientation.  But this “nurturing” aspect has effectively given way to the “nature” side of the equation.  Can some behaviors (e.g., alcoholism, homosexuality, schizophrenia) be explained by genetics?  Are these and other behaviors influenced by nature or by nurture?  Are they inborn or learned?  Some individuals believed that the answer would be found hiding amidst the chromosomes analyzed in the Human Genome Project.The human X and Y chromosomes (the two “sex” chromosomes) have been completely sequenced.  Thanks to work carried out by labs all across the globe, we know that the X chromosome contains 153 million base pairs, and harbors a total of 1168 genes (see NCBI, 2004).  The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the Y chromosome—which is much smaller—contains “only” 50 million base pairs, and is estimated to contain a mere 251 genes.  Educational institutions such as Baylor University, the Max Planck Institute, the Sanger Institute, Washington University in St. Louis, and others have spent countless hours and millions of research dollars analyzing these unique chromosomes.  As the data began to pour in, they allowed scientists to construct gene maps—using actual sequences from the Human Genome Project.  And yet, neither the map for the X nor the Y chromosome contains any “gay gene.”What is the truth regarding homosexuality?  Too often, speculation, emotions, and politics play a major role in its assessment.  The following is a scientific investigation of human homosexuality. 

Behavioral Genetics and Civil Rights

In an effort to affect public policy and gain acceptance, the assertion often is made that homosexuals deserve equal rights just as other minority groups—and should not be punished for, or forbidden from, expressing their homosexuality.  The fight for the acceptance of homosexuality often is compared to “civil rights” movements of racial minorities.  Due to America’s failure to settle fully the civil rights issue (i.e., full and equal citizenship of racial minorities), social liberals, feminists, and homosexual activists were provided with the perfect “coat tail” to ride to advance their agenda.  Using this camouflage of innate civil liberties, homosexual activists were able to divert attention away from the behavior, and focus it on the “rights.”

The argument goes like this: “Just as a person cannot help being black, female, or Asian, I cannot help being homosexual.  We were all born this way, and as such we should be treated equally.” However, this argument fails to comprehend the true “civil rights” movements.  The law already protects the civil rights of everyone—black, white, male, female, homosexual, or heterosexual.  Homosexuals enjoy the same civil rights everyone else does.  The contention arises when specific laws deprive all citizens of certain behaviors (e.g., sodomy, etc.). We should keep in mind that these laws are the same for all members of society.  Because of certain deprivations, homosexuals feel as though “equal” rights have been taken away (i.e., marriage, tax breaks, etc.).

Skin color and other genetic traits can be traced through inheritance patterns and simple Mendelian genetics.  Homosexuals are identified not by a trait or a gene, but rather by their actions.  Without the action, they would be indistinguishable from all other people.  It is only when they alter their behavior that they become a group that is recognized as being different.  If we were to assume momentarily that homosexuality was genetic, then the most one could conclude is that those individuals were not morally responsible for being homosexual.  However, that does not mean that they are not morally responsible for homosexual actions! Merely having the gene would not force one to carry out the behavior.  For instance, if scientists were able to document that a “rape gene” existed, we certainly would not blame an individual for possessing this gene, but neither would we allow him to act upon that rape disposition.  Neil Risch and his coworkers admitted:

 

There is little disagreement that male homosexual orientation is not a Mendelian trait.  In fact, a priori, one would expect the role of a major gene in male homosexual orientation to be limited because of the strong selective pressures against such a gene.  It is unlikely that a major gene underlying such a common trait could persist over time without an extraordinary counterbalancing mechanism (1993, 262:2064).

Evan S. Balaban, a neurobiologist at the Neurosciences Institute in San Diego, noted that

 

the search for the biological underpinnings of complex human traits has a sorry history of late.  In recent years, researchers and the media have proclaimed the “discovery” of genes linked to alcoholism and mental illness as well as to homosexuality.  None of the claims…has been confirmed (as quoted in Horgan, 1995).

Charles Mann agreed, stating: “Time and time again, scientists have claimed that particular genes or chromosomal regions are associated with behavioral traits, only to withdraw their findings when they were not replicated” (1994, 264:1687).  It appears that the gay gene will be added to this category of unreplicated claims.

The real issue here is homosexual actions that society has deemed immoral and, in many instances, illegal.  Since no study has firmly established an underlying genetic cause for homosexuality, arguments suggesting “equal rights” are both baseless and illogical.

 

Real Statistics

Anyone who has tuned into prime-time television within the past few years has observed an increasing trend of shows featuring characters who are homosexual—and proud of it.  It seems as though modern sitcoms require “token” homosexuals in order to be politically correct.  The perception is that these individuals share the same apartment buildings, offices, clubs, etc., with heterosexual people, and that we need to realize just how prevalent homosexuality is.  So, exactly what fraction of the population do homosexuals actually represent?

The famous Kinsey Institute report often is cited as evidence that 10% of the population is homosexual.  In his book, Is It a Choice?: Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gays and Lesbians, Eric Marcus used the Kinsey studies to demonstrate that one in ten people is homosexual (1993).  In truth, Kinsey never reported figures that high.  The Kinsey Report clearly stated that: “Only about 4 percent of the men [evaluated] were exclusively homosexual throughout their entire lives….  Only 2 or 3 percent of these women were exclusively homosexual their entire lives” (see Reinisch and Beasley, 1990, p. 140).  However, there is good reason to believe that the real percentage is not even this high.

While no one has carried out a door-to-door census, we do have a fairly accurate estimate.  Interestingly, these statistics came to light in an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 26, 2003, in the Lawrence vs. Texas case (commonly known as the Texas sodomy case).  On page 16 of this legal brief, footnote 42 revealed that 31 homosexual and pro-homosexual groups admitted the following:

 

The most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States is the National Health and Social Life Survey (NHSLS).  The NHSLS found that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual (Laumann, et al., 1994).

The study also found that only 0.9% of men and 0.4% of women reported having only same-sex partners since age 18—a figure that would represent a total of only 1.4 million Americans as homosexual (based on the last census report, showing roughly 292 million people living in America).  The resulting accurate figures demonstrate that significantly less than one percent of the American population claims to be homosexual.  The NHSLS results are similar to a survey conducted by the Minnesota Adolescent Health Survey (1986) of public school students.  The survey showed that only 0.6% of the boys and 0.2% of the girls identified themselves as “mostly or 100% homosexual.”

The 2000 census sheds even more light on the subject.  The overall statistics from the 2000 Census Bureau revealed:

  • The total population of the U.S. is 285,230,516.
  • The total number of households in the U.S. is 106,741,426.
  • The total number of unmarried same-sex households is 601,209.

Thus, out of a population of 106,741,426 households, homosexuals represent 0.42% of those households.  That is less than one half of one percent!

But since most people are not mathematicians, we would like to make this point in a way that most individuals will be able to better comprehend.  If we were to start a new television sitcom, and wanted to accurately portray homosexual ratios in society, we would need 199 heterosexual actors before we finally introduced one homosexual actor.

And yet modern television casts of three or four often include one or more homosexual actor(s).  The statistics from the 2000 census are not figures grabbed from the air and placed on a political sign or Web site to promote a particular agenda.  These were census data that were carefully collected from the entireUnited States population, contrary to the limited scope of studies designed to show a genetic cause for homosexuality.

 

Is Homosexuality Genetic?

It is one of the most explosive topics in society today.  The social and political ramifications affect the very roots of this country.  But is the country being told the truth concerning homosexuality?  Is there really a genetic basis for homosexuality?

Former democratic presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean signed a bill legalizing civil unions for homosexuals in Vermont.  In defending his actions, he commented: “The overwhelming evidence is that there is a very significant, substantial genetic component to it.  From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people” (as quoted in VandeHei, 2004).  Dean is not alone in such thinking.

Homosexual Population Pie ChartMost people are familiar with the idea that research has been performed that allegedly supports the existence of a gay gene.  However, that idea has been a long time in the making.  Almost fifty years ago, the landmark Kinsey report was produced using the sexual histories of thousands of Americans.  While that report consisted of a diverse sample, it was not a representative sample of the general population (Kinsey, et al., 1948, 1953).  In 1994, Richard Friedman and Jennifer Downey published a review on homosexuality in The New England Journal of Medicine.  In reviewing Kinsey’s work, they noted:

 

Kinsey reported that 8 percent of men and 4 percent of women were exclusively homosexual for a period of at least three years during adulthood.  Four percent of men and 2 percent of women were exclusively homosexual after adolescence (1994, 331:923).

With this “statistical information” in hand, some sought to change the way homosexuality was viewed by both the public and the medical community.  Prior to 1973, homosexuality appeared in theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the official reference book used by the American Psychiatric Association for diagnosing mental disorders in America and throughout much of the rest of the world.  Homosexuality was considered a sickness that doctors routinely treated.  In 1973, however, it was removed as a sexual disorder, based on the claim that it did not fulfill the “distress and social disability” criteria that were used to define a disorder.  Today, there is no mention of homosexuality in the DSM-IV (aside from a section describing gender identity disorder), indicating that individuals with this condition are not suitable candidates for therapy (see American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Physicians treating patients for homosexuality (to bring about a change in sexual orientation) frequently are reported to ethics committees in an attempt to have them cease.  Robert Spitzer lamented:

 

Several authors have argued that clinicians who attempt to help their clients change their homosexual orientation are violating professional ethical codes by providing a “treatment” that is ineffective, often harmful, and reinforces in their clients the false belief that homosexuality is a disorder and needs treatment (2003, 32:403).

Thus, the stage was set for the appearance of a “gay gene.”

 

Simon LeVay—Brain Differences

The first “significant” published study that indicated a possible biological role for homosexuality came from Simon LeVay, who was then at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California.  In 1991, Dr. LeVay reported subtle differences between the brains of homosexual and heterosexual men (1991).  LeVay measured a particular region of the brain (the interstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus—INAH) in postmortem tissue of three distinct groups: (1) women; (2) men who were presumed to be heterosexual; (3) and homosexual men.

 

LeVay’s Reported Findings

LeVay reported that clusters of these neurons (INAH) in homosexual men were the same size as clusters in women, both of which were significantly smaller than clusters in heterosexual men.  LeVay reported that the nuclei in INAH 3 were “more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the women.  It was also, however, more than twice as large in the heterosexual men as in the homosexual men” (1991, 253:1034).  This difference was interpreted as strong evidence of a biological link to homosexuality.  LeVay’s assumption was that homosexual urges can be biologically based—so long as cluster size is accepted as being genetically determined.

 

Diagram showing INAH area
Diagram showing INAHarea.  LifeART images copyright © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.

Problems with LeVay’s Study

When looking at the methodology of the LeVay study, one of the key problems is that the study has never been reproduced.  As William Byne noted, LeVay’s work

 

has not been replicated, and human neuroanatomical studies of this kind have a very poor track record for reproducibility.  Indeed, procedures similar to those LeVay used to identify nuclei have previously led researchers astray (1994, 270[5]:53, emp. added).

Additionally, of nineteen homosexual subjects used in the study, all had died of complications of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  AIDS has been shown to decrease testosterone levels, so it should be expected that those who suffered from that condition would have smaller INAH.  Byne continued his comments on LeVay’s work.

 

His inclusion of a few brains from heterosexual men with AIDS did not adequately address the fact that at the time of death, virtually all men with AIDS have decreased testosterone levels as the result of the disease itself or the side effects of particular treatments.  To date, LeVay has examined the brain of only one gay man who did not die of AIDS (270:53).

Furthermore, in a scientific environment where controls and standards are a necessity, LeVay did not possess a complete medical history of the individuals included in his study.  He therefore was forced toassume the sexual orientation of the non-AIDS victims as being heterosexual, when some may not have been.  In addition, bear in mind that he had no evidence regarding the sexual orientation of the women whose brains he examined.  LeVay has admitted:

 

It’s important to stress what I didn’t find.  I did not prove that homosexuality is genetic, or find a genetic cause for being gay.  I didn’t show that gay men are born that way, the most common mistake people make in interpreting my work.  Nor did I locate a gay center in the brain (as quoted in Byrd, et al., 2001, emp. added).

Many have argued that what LeVay discovered in the brains of those he examined was only a result of prior behavior, not the cause of it.  Mark Breedlove, a researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, has demonstrated that sexual behavior has an effect on the brain.  In referring to his own research, Breedlove commented: “These findings give us proof for what we theoretically know to be the case—that sexual experience can alter the structure of the brain, just as genes can alter it….  [I]t is possible that differences in sexual behavior cause (rather than are caused by) differences in the brain” (as quoted in Byrd, et al., parenthetical item in orig.).  Considering this type of research, it makes sense that a homosexual lifestyle (and/or the AIDS condition) could alter the size of the nuclei LeVay was measuring.

What exactly did LeVay find?  In actuality, not much.  He did observe slight differences between the groups—if you accept the method he used for measuring the size of the neuron clusters (and some researchers do not).  When each individual was considered by himself, there was not a significant difference; only when the individuals involved in the study were considered in groups of homosexuals vs. heterosexuals did differences result.  Hubbard and Wald commented on this lack of difference:

 

Though, on average, the size of the hypothalamic nucleus LeVay considered significant was indeed smaller in the men he identified as homosexual, his published data show that the range of sizes of the individual samples was virtually the same as for the heterosexual men.  That is, the area was larger in some of the homosexuals than in many of the heterosexual men, and smaller in some of the heterosexual men than in many of the homosexuals.  This means that, though the groups showed some difference as groups, there was no way to tell anything about an individual’s sexual orientation by looking at his hypothalamus(1997, pp. 95-96, emp. added).

Being homosexual himself, it is no surprise that LeVay observed: “…[P]eople who think that gays and lesbians are born that way are more likely to support gay rights.” In a Newsweek article, LeVay was quoted as saying, “I felt if I didn’t find any [difference in the hypothalamuses], I would give up a scientific career altogether” (as quoted in Gelman, et al., 1992, p. 49).  Given how (poorly) twisted LeVay’s data are, and his own personal bias, his abandonment of science may have ultimately been of greater service.

 

Brain Plasticity—A Fact Acknowledged by All Neuroscientists

Today, scientists are keenly aware of the fact that the brain is not as “hard-wired” or permanently fixed as once thought—an important factor that LeVay failed to acknowledge.  One of the properties of plastic is flexibility—many containers are made out of plastic so that they will not shatter when dropped.  In a similar manner, the brain was once considered to be rigid, like Ball® jars used for canning—but we now know the brain is “plastic” and flexible, and able to reorganize itself.  Research has shown that the brain is able to remodel its connections and grow larger, according to the specific areas that are most frequently utilized.  Given that we know today that the brain exhibits plasticity, one must ask if the act of living a homosexual lifestyle itself might be responsible for the difference LeVay noted?  Commenting on brain plasticity, Shepherd noted:

 

The inability to generate new neurons might imply that the adult nervous system is a static, “hard-wired” machine.  This is far from the truth.  Although new neurons cannot be generated, each neuron retains the ability to form new processes and new synaptic connections (1994).

Interestingly, since Shepherd’s textbook was published, additional research has even documented the ability of neurons to be generated within certain areas of the brain.  This information must be considered when examining comparative anatomical experiments such as LeVay’s.  These cortical rearrangements that occur are not as simple as unplugging a lamp and plugging it into another socket.  The changes observed by researchers indicate that if the brain were represented by a home electrical system, then many of the wires within the walls would be pulled out, rewired to different connections in different rooms, new outlets would appear, and some would even carry different voltages.  Due to the colossal connectivity that takes place within the brain, any “rewiring” is, by its very nature, going to have an effect on several areas—such as INAH3.  Scientists understand these things, yet LeVay’s work is still mentioned as alleged support for the so-called gay gene.

 

Bailey and Pillard—
The Famous “Twins” Study

One of the most frequently cited studies used in promoting the genetics of sexual orientation is a 1952 study by Kallmann.  In this famous work, he reported a concordance rate (or genetic association) of 100% for sexual orientation among monozygotic (identical) twins (1952, 115:283).  This result, if true, would prove nearly insurmountable for those people who doubt the biological causation of homosexuality.  However, Kallmann subsequently conjectured that this perfect concordance was an artifact, possibly due to the fact that his sample was drawn largely from mentally ill and institutionalized men (see Rainer, et al., 1960, 22:259).  But Kallmann’s research opened the door to twin studies in regard to sexual orientation.

Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard, researchers at Northwestern University and the Boston University School of Medicine, carried out a similar experiment, examining 56 pairs of identical twins, 54 pairs of fraternal twins, 142 non-twin brothers of twins, and 57 pairs of adoptive brothers (1991, 48:1089-1096).  Bailey and Pillard were looking to see if homosexuality was passed on through familial lines, or if one could point to environmental factors as the cause.  Their hypothesis: if homosexuality is an inherited trait, then more twin brothers would be expected to have the same orientation than non-twin or non-biological brothers.

 

Their Reported Findings

  • 52% of identical (monozygotic) twins of homosexual men were homosexual
  • 22% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
  • 11% of adoptive brothers of homosexual men were homosexual
  • 9.2% of non-twin biological siblings reported homosexual orientations (Bailey and Pillard, 1991, “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation”)
  • 48% of identical twins of homosexual women were likewise homosexual
  • 16% of fraternal (dizygotic) twins were likewise homosexual
  • 6% of adoptive sisters of homosexual women were likewise homosexual (Bailey and Benishay, 1993, “Familial Aggregation of Female Sexual Orientation”)

 

Problems with Bailey and Pillard’s Study

While the authors acknowledged some of the flaws with their research, they still were quoted in Science News as saying: “Our research shows that male sexual orientation is substantially genetic” (as quoted in Bower, 1992, 141:6).  However, the most glaring observation is that clearly not 100% of the identical twins “inherited” homosexuality.  If there was, in fact, a “gay gene,” then all of the identical twins should have reported a homosexual orientation.  And yet, in nearly half of the twins studied, one brother was not homosexual.  In a technical-comment letter in Science, Neil Risch and colleagues pointed out: “The biological brothers and adoptive brothers showed approximately the same rates.  This latter observation suggests that there is no genetic component, but rather an environmental component shared in families” (1993, 262:2063).  In fact, more adoptive brothers shared homosexuality than non-twin biological brothers.  If there was a genetic factor, this result would be counter to the expected trend.  Byne and Parsons noted:

 

However, the concordance rate for homosexuality in nontwin biologic brothers was only 9.2—significantly lower than that required by simple genetic hypothesis, which, on the basis of shared genetic material, would predict similar concordance rates for DZ [dizygotic] twins and nontwin biologic brothers.  Furthermore, the fact that the concordance rates were similar for nontwin biologic brothers (9.2%) and genetically unrelated adoptive brothers (11.0%) is at odds with a simple genetic hypothesis, which would predict a higher concordance rate for biological siblings (1993, 50:229).

A more recently published twin study failed to find similar concordance rates.  King and McDonald studied 46 homosexual men and women who were twins.  The concordance rates that they reported were 10%, or 25% with monozygotic twins—depending on whether or not the bisexuals were included along with the homosexuals.  The rates for dizygotic twins were 8% or 12%, again, depending on whether bisexuals were included (King and McDonald, 1992).  Byne and Parsons commented: “These rates are significantly lower than those reported by Bailey and Pillard; in comparison of the MZ[monozygotic] concordance rate, including bisexuals (25%), with the comparable figure from Bailey and Pillard (52%)” (p. 230).  They went on to observe: “Furthermore, if the concordance rate is similar forMZ and DZ twins, the importance of genetic factors would be considerably less than that suggested by Bailey and Pillard” (p. 230, emp. added).

Another factor that may have had a drastic affect on the results of this study (and other similar studies) centers on methodology.  Bailey and Pillard did not study a random sample of homosexuals.  Instead, the subjects were recruited through advertisements placed in homosexual publications.  This method can be deemed questionable because it is highly dependent on the readership of those publications and on the motives of those who respond.  Thus, it may lead to skewed results—for example, inflated rates of concordance in identical twins owing to preferential participation (see Baron, 1993).  Hubbard and Wald observed:

 

The fact that fraternal twins of gay men were roughly twice as likely to be gay as other biological brothers shows that environmental factors are involved, since fraternal twins are no more similar biologically than are other biological brothers.  If being a fraternal twin exerts an environmental influence, it does not seem surprising that this should be even truer for identical twins, who the world thinks of as “the same” and treats accordingly, and who often share those feelings of sameness (1997, p. 97).

In summarizing their findings, Byne and Parsons stated: “Critical review shows the evidence favoring a biologic theory to be lacking” (50:228).  Commenting on Bailey and Pillard’s report, researchers Billings and Beckwith wrote:

 

While the authors interpreted their findings as evidence for a genetic basis for homosexuality, we think that the data in fact provide strong evidence for the influence of the environment (1993, p. 60).

When evaluated scientifically, twin studies fail to provide any valid support for the longed-for “gay gene.”

 

Dean Hamer—The Gay Gene
on the X Chromosone

Two years after Simon LeVay’s report, a group led by Dean H. Hamer of the National Cancer Institute allegedly linked male homosexuality to a gene on the X chromosome.  His team investigated 114 families of homosexual men.  Hamer and his colleagues collected family history information from 76 gay male individuals and 40 gay brother pairs as they searched for incidences of homosexuality among relatives of gay men.

In many families, gay men had gay relatives through maternal lines.  Thus, they concluded that a gene for homosexuality might be found on the X chromosome, which is passed from the mother alone.  They then used DNA linkage analysis in an effort to find a correlation between inheritance and homosexual orientation.

 

Their Reported Findings

Because many of the families with a prevalence of homosexual relatives had a common set of DNAmarkers on the X chromosome, Hamer’s group assumed a genetic etiology.  Of the 40 pairs of homosexual brothers he analyzed, Hamer found that 33 exhibited a matching DNA region called q28—a gene located at the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome.  In summarizing their findings, Hamer and colleagues noted: “Our experiments suggest that a locus (or loci) related to sexual orientation lies within approximately 4 million base pairs of DNA on the tip of the long arm of the X chromosome” (1993, 261:326, parenthetical item in orig.).  This discovery prompted Hamer and his colleagues to speculate:

 

The linkage to markers on Xq28, the subtelomeric region of the long arm of the sex chromosome, had a multipoint lod score of 4.0, indicating a statistical confidence level of more than 99 percent that at least one subtype of male sexual orientation is genetically influenced (261:321, emp. added).

It is important to note that Hamer did not claim to have found a “gay gene,” or even the set of genes, that might contribute to a propensity for homosexuality.  According to Chicago Tribune staff writer, John Crewdson, what Hamer claimed to have found was “statistical evidence that such genes exist” (1995).

 

Problems with Hamer’s Study

One of the most significant problems with Hamer’s approach is that he and his colleagues did not feel that it was necessary to check whether any of the heterosexual men in these families shared the marker in question!  Would it not be useful to know whether or not this “gay gene” is found in heterosexuals?  Even if only a few of them possess the gene, it calls into question what the gene or the self-identification signifies.  Additionally, Hamer never explained why the other seven pairs of brothers did not display the same genetic marker.  If this is “the gene” for homosexuality, then one must assume all homosexual individuals would possess that particular marker—and yet that was not the case in Hamer’s study.

In a letter to Science, Anne Fausto-Sterling and Evan Balaban pointed out some of the additional problems with Hamer’s study.  They noted:

 

Despite our praise for aspects of Hamer, et al.’s work, we feel it is also important to recognize some of its weaknesses.  The most obvious of these is the lack of an adequate control group.  Their study demonstrates cosegregation of a trait (which Hamer, et al.  have labeled “homosexuality”) with X chromosome markers and the trait’s concordance in homosexual brothers.  This cosegregation is potentially meaningful if the mother is heterozygous for the trait.  In this case, segregating chromosomes without the markers should show up in nonhomosexual brothers, but Hamer, et al present no data to that effect (1993, 261:1257, emp. added).

Fausto-Sterling and Balaban continued:

 

This sensitivity to assumptions about background levels makes Hamer, et al.’s data less robust than the summary in their abstract indicates….  Finally we wish to emphasize a point with which we are sure Hamer, et al would agree: correlation does not necessarily indicate causation (261:1257).

In other words, Hamer’s methodology leaves something to be desired.  One also should keep in mind that Hamer’s sampling was not random, and, as a result, his data may not reflect the real population.

George Rice and his colleagues from Canada looked intently at the gene Xq28.  They then observed: “Allele and halotype sharing for these markers was not increased over expectation.  These results do not support an X-linked gene underlying male homosexuality” (1999, 284:665, emp. added).  Rice, et al., included 182 families in their study.  They noted:

 

It is unclear why our results are so discrepant from Hamer’s original study.  Because our study was larger than that of Hamer et al., we certainly had adequate power to detect a genetic effect as large as was reported in that study.  Nonetheless, our data do not support the presence of a gene of large effect influencing sexual orientation at position Xq28 (284:667).

That is a tactful way of saying that any claims of having found a “gay gene” were overblown, if not outright false, and that Hamer’s results are dubious at best.  Commenting on the study of Rice and his colleagues, Ingrid Wickelgren remarked: “…the Ontario team found that gay brothers were no more likely to share the Xq28 markers than would be expected by chance….  Ebers interprets all these results to mean that the X linkage is all but dead” (1999, 284:571, emp. added).

In June of 1998, University of Chicago psychiatrist Alan Sanders reported at the meeting of the American Psychiatric Association that he, too, had been unable to verify Hamer’s results.  Looking for an increase in Xq28 linkage, Sanders’ team studied 54 pairs of gay brothers.  As Wickelgren indicated, Sanders’ team had found “only a weak hint—that wasn’t statistically significant—of an Xq28 linkage among 54 gay brother pairs” (284:571).  Commenting on the validity of Hamer’s study, Wickelgren quoted George Rice: “Taken together, Rice says, the results ‘suggest that if there is a linkage it’s so weak it’s not important’” (1999, emp. added).  Two independent labs failed to reproduce anything even remotely resembling Hamer’s results.

 

Changeability of Homosexuals—
Evidence Against Genetics

An individual born with diabetes has no hope of changing that condition.  Likewise, a child born with Down’s syndrome will carry that chromosomal abnormality throughout his or her life.  These individuals are a product of the genes they inherited from their parents.  Homosexuality appears to be vastly different.  Many people have been able to successfully change their sexual orientation.  [Truth be told, some individuals experiment with a variety of sexual partners—male/female—often, going back and forth.  One might inquire if the bisexuality denotes the existence of a “bisexual gene?”] Ironically, however, the removal of homosexuality as a designation from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association has kept many physicians from attempting to provide reparative therapy to homosexuals.

Robert Spitzer conducted a study on 200 self-selected individuals (143 males, 57 females) in an effort to see if participants could change their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual (2003, 32:403-417).  He reported some minimal change from homosexual to heterosexual orientation that lasted at least five years (p. 403).  Spitzer observed:

 

The majority of participants gave reports of change from a predominantly or exclusively homosexual orientation before therapy to a predominantly or exclusively heterosexual orientation in the past year (p. 403).

In summarizing his findings, Spitzer declared: “Thus, there is evidence that change in sexual orientation following some form of reparative therapy does occur in some gay men and lesbians.” He thus concluded: “This study provides evidence that some gay men and lesbians are able to also change the core features of sexual orientation” (p. 415).

Six years earlier, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) released the results of a two-year study stating:

 

Before treatment, 68 percent of the respondents perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, with another 22 percent stating that they were more homosexual than heterosexual.  After treatment, only 13 percent perceived themselves as exclusively or almost entirely homosexual, while 33 percent described themselves as either exclusively or almost entirely heterosexual (see Nicolosi, 2000, 86:1071).

The study also reported:

 

Although 83 percent of respondents indicated that they entered therapy primarily because of homosexuality, 99 percent of those who participated in the survey said they now believe treatment to change homosexuality can be effective and valuable (p. 1071).

These data are consistent with the ongoing research project of Rob Goetze, who has identified 84 articles or books that contain some relevance to the possibility of sexual orientation change (2004).  Of the data reported, 31 of the 84 studies showed a quantitative outcome of individuals able to change sexual orientation.  These are not studies that merely speculate on the ability to change; they actually have the numbers to back it up!  All of these data come on the heels of warnings from the Surgeon General, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and all of the major mental health associations, which have issued position statements warning of possible harm from such therapy, and have asserted that there is no evidence that such therapy can change a person’s sexual orientation.  For instance, the 1998 American Psychiatric Association Position Statement on Psychiatric Treatment and Sexual Orientation noted:

 

…there is no published scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of reparative therapy as a treatment to change one’s sexual orientation….  The potential risks of reparative therapy are great, including depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior (see American Psychiatric Association, 1999, p. 1131).

Thus, physicians are caught in a quandary of a double standard.  On the one hand, they are told that it is “unethical” for a clinician to provide reparative therapy because homosexuality is not a diagnosable disorder, and thus one should not seek to change.  Yet, they contend that not enough studies have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of reparative therapy.  The message is loud and clear: “Do not do this because it is unethical to ask a homosexual person to change.  However, truth be told, we have not collected enough data to know if a person can safely change his or her sexual orientation.”

In situations where sexual orientation is being measured, studies face serious methodological problems (i.e., follow-up assessment, possible bias, no detailed sexual history, random sampling, etc.).  But even given these serious shortcomings from behavioral studies such as these, there are sufficient data to indicate that an individual can change his or her sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual—something that would be an impossibility if homosexuality were caused by genetics.

 

Conclusion

Consider the obvious problem of survival for individuals who allegedly possess a gay gene: individuals who have partners of the same sex are biologically unable to reproduce (without resorting to artificial means).  Therefore, if an alleged “gay gene” did exist, the homosexual population eventually would disappear altogether.  We now know that it is not scientifically accurate to refer to a “gay gene” as the causative agent in homosexuality.  The available evidence clearly establishes that no such gene has been identified.  Additionally, evidence exists which documents that homosexuals can change their sexual orientation.  Future decisions regarding policies about, and/or treatment of, homosexuals should reflect this knowledge.

 

References

American Psychiatric Association (2000), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,(Washington D.C.: American Psychiatric Association), fourth edition, text revision.

Bailey, Michael J., and Richard C. Pillard (1991), “A Genetic Study of Male Sexual Orientation,”Archives of General Psychiatry, 48:1089-1096, December.

Bailey, Michael J. and D.S. Benishay (1993), “Familial Aggregation of Female Sexual Orientation,”American Journal of Psychiatry, 150[2]:272-277.

Baron M. (1993), “Genetics and Human Sexual Orientation [Editorial],” Biological Psychiatry, 33:759-761.

Billings, P. and J. Beckwith (1993), Technology Review, July, p. 60.

Bower, B. (1992), “Gene Influence Tied to Sexual Orientation,” Science News, 141[1]:6, January 4.

Byne, William (1994), “The Biological Evidence Challenged,” Scientific American, 270[5]:50-55, May.

Byne, William and Bruce Parsons (1993), “Human Sexual Orientation,” Archives of General Psychiatry, 50:228-239, March.

Byrd, A. Dean, Shirley E. Cox, and Jeffrey W. Robinson (2001), “Homosexuality: The Innate-Immutability Argument Finds No Basis in Science,” The Salt Lake Tribune, [On-line] URL: http://www.sltrib.com/2001/may/05272001/commenta/100523.htm.

Crewdson, John (1995), “Dean Hamer’s Argument for the Existence of ‘Gay Genes,’ ” Chicago Tribune, News Section, p. 11, June 25.

Fausto-Sterling, Anne and Evan Balaban (1993), “Genetics and Male Sexual Orientation,” [technical-comment letter to the editor], Science, 261:1257, September 3.

Friedman, Richard C. and Jennifer I. Downey (1994), “Homosexuality,” The New England Journal of Medicine, 331[14]:923-930, October 6.

Gelman, David, with Donna Foote, Todd Barrett, and Mary Talbot (1992), “Born or Bred?,”Newsweek, pp. 46-53, February 24.

Goetze, Rob (2004), “Homosexuality and the Possibility of Change: An Ongoing Research Project,” [On-line], URL: http://www.newdirection.ca/research/index.html.

Hamer, Dean H., Stella Hu, Victoria L. Magnuson, Nan Hu, and Angela M.L. Pattatucci (1993), “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation,” Science, 261:321-327, July 16.

Horgan, John (1995), “Gay Genes, Revisited,” Scientific American, 273[5]:26, November.

Howe, Richard (1994), “Homosexuality in America: Exposing the Myths,” American Family Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.afa.net/homosexual_agenda/homosexuality.pdf.

Hubbard, Ruth and Elijah Wald (1997), Exploding the Gene Myth (Boston: Beacon Press).

“Human Genome Report Press Release” (2003), International Consortium Completes Human Genome Project, [On-line], URL: http://www.ornl.gov/TechResources/Human_Genome/project/50yr.html.

Kallmann, F.J. (1952), “Comparative Twin Study on the Genetic Aspects of Male Homosexuality,”Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 115:283-298.

King, M. and E. McDonald (1992), “Homosexuals Who are Twins: A Study of 46 Probands,” The British Journal of Psychiatry, 160: 407-409.

Kinsey, A.C. W.B. Pomeroy, C.E. Martin (1948), Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders).

Kinsey, A.C. W.B. Pomeroy, C.E. Martin, P. H. Gebhard (1953), Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Philadelphia, PA: W.B. Saunders).

Laumann, Edward O., John H. Gagnon, Robert T. Michael, and Stuart Michaels (1994), The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

LeVay, Simon (1991), “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure Between Heterosexual and Homosexual Men,” Science, 253:1034-1037, August 30.

Mann, Charles (1994), “Behavioral Genetics in Transition,” Science, 264:1686-1689, June 17.

Marcus, Eric (1993), Is It a Choice? (San Francisco, CA: Harper).

NCBI (2004), “Human Genome Resources,” [On-line], URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/genome/guide/human/.

Nicolosi, Joseph, A. Dean Byrd, and Richard Potts (2000), “Retrospective Self-reports of Changes in Homosexual Orientation: A Consumer Survey of Conversion Therapy Clients,” Psychological Reports, 86:1071-1088, June.

Rainer, J.D., A. Mesnikoff, LC. Kolb, and A. Carr (1960), “Homosexuality and Heterosexuality in Identical Twins,” Psychosomatic Medicine, 22:251-259.

Reinisch, June M. and Ruth Beasley (1990) The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex (New York: St. Martin’s Press).

Rice, George, Carol Anderson, Neil Risch, and George Ebers (1999), “Male Homosexuality: Absence of Linkage to Microsatellite Markers at Xq28,” Science, 284:665-667, April 23.

Risch, Neil, Elizabeth Squires-Wheeler, and Bronya J.B. Keats (1993), “Male Sexual Orientation and Genetic Evidence,” Science, 262:2063-2064, December 24.

Shepherd, Gordon M. (1994) Neurobiology (Oxford: Oxford University Press), third edition.

Spitzer, Robert L. (2003), “Can Some Gay Men and Lesbians Change Their Sexual Orientation?,”Archives of Sexual Behavior, 32[5]:403-417, October 5.

VandeHei, Jim (2004), “Dean Says Faith Swayed Decision on Gay Unions,” The Washington Post, p. A-1, January 8.

Wickelgren, Ingrid (1999), “Discovery of ‘Gay Gene’ Questioned,” Science, 284:571, April 23.

 


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The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Creativity – The Loss of Inspiration and Innovation

Demolition

Demolition (Photo credit: hoskarsson)

“In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” 
― George Orwell

“Truth is so obscure in these times, and falsehood so established, that, unless we love the truth, we cannot know it.”
― Blaise Pascal

Deconstructionism of truth is prevalent in today’s society.

“There are no absolutes”, is the theme of Deconstructionism.

(also known as Relativism,Existentialism and Postmodernism)

The negative effects are broad and damaging to society, industry, and politics.

No facet of society is left unharmed by the denial of truth.

Until we believe there are truths that we can believe in, we will have nothing in which we can invest belief, for truth is the subject,and belief is the action.

Conversely, to the degree that we are sure of that which we believe, to that same degree we will have confidence, courage, and willingness to take risk.

Truth gives solid ground for the activation of belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

Belief is as essential to innovation as water is to life.

Truth, belief and innovative creativity are interdependent.

Truth inspires us to believe we can achieve new possibilities.
Truth is called,”light”, in the Bible, enabling us to see possibilities.

Without belief that something came be done that has never previously been done, nothing new would become reality,

because we would not believe it can be done, and would therefore not attempt to do it.

That is how truth fosters belief ,creativity and innovation.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

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The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Belief in the Bible – The Biggest Threat to Any People

A bible from 1859.

A bible from 1859. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It is impossible to enslave, mentally or socially, a bible-reading people. The principles of the bible are the groundwork of human freedom.” 
― Horace Greeley

“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”

(The Apostle Paul – Galatians 4:16)

The vast majority of modern Americans believe everything is relative and there are no absolutes.

Deconstructionism of truth, and the growing sceptisism regarding the authority ,accuracy and relevance of the Bible as the source of all truth, is creating a generation of people who feel lost and alone.

In this environment, anyone who has absolute faith and belief in a given truth, and states it as such, will likely be considered rude, pushy ,over bearing ,and judgemental.

The inevitable degradation of society will follow any people who abandon truth.

Without truth as a basis for what can be known, we cannot hope to solve the problems we face because we cannot build upon what is known since we deny that anything can be known!

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”

(John 17:17)

The source of truth is the Bible. The living , breathing Word of God is Jesus Christ.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

(John 1:1-5)

 “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:  who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

 (John 1:14,15)

May the light of truth of Jesus Christ the Savior, shine in our hearts and minds.

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The Deconstruction of Absolute Truth and Unity – The Reason Society Can No Longer Reason

 

Brumidi, Constantino - Apotheosis of Washingto...

Brumidi, Constantino – Apotheosis of Washington, detail E Pluribus Unum – 1865 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them:

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.”

(Matthew 12:25)

 

E pluribus unum

E Pluribus Unum, (Out of  Many ,One), is part of the history that made us a great nation and that made the world a better place for many.

We need an anthem of basic truths that inspires us to live in unity again.

These basic truths once formed a general basis for consensus,unity, and resolve for improving our society.

Without a clear definition of right and wrong, truth and error, everything will be a blend of gray without clear meaning.

~Reasoning is based on what is known, such as truth and facts~

To solve problems, reach solutions, make a diagnosis,theory, hypothesis, create, and improve anything, we need known truths to build upon.

(Educated guesses if you will, things we can say we are confident we know).

And the more sure we are, the bolder we will be in our attempts to make solutions to problems.

And the more of us who agree on basic truths, the more frequent and soon we will come to consensus on issues that demand our solution.

But without basic fundamental truths to unite us, we will remain divided, and will fall.

Without a basic assumption that anything can be known, we cannot hope to begin to reason solutions to our problems

by building educated guesses upon known fact and truth

because we deny that truth even exists!

 (such as presuppositions, ideological underpinnings, hierarchical values, and frames of reference)

Truth activates belief, and belief attempts things that doubt ignores.

This is the heart of realizing new realities and achievement.

Related terms are postmodernism, existentialism, and deconstructionism, but what all of these terms have in common is the abandonment of surety in truth.

Without the ability to say with can be confident of anything, we will likely lack the confidence to do or achieve anything.

This is also true in our attempts to create art or theater, be it novel or feature-length movie.

Is it any wonder that good theater seems more miss than hit?

Is it any wonder that the great art, theater and literature is in the past, or is based upon older literature or re-made movies ?

Is it any wonder that the overall approval ratings of government and officials is at an all time low?

Is it any wonder that the greater portion of change our politicians bring is for the worse?

Is it any wonder that political parties almost always make decisions down party lines ?

Is it any wonder that scientific and political debate quickly degrades into personal attacks?

Is it any wonder that thoughtless and absurd political dealings threaten the fabric and integrity of our American government ?

(These men and women are supposed to represent our finest leaders and patriots).

Is it any wonder that ,”we the people”, are often called,” we the sheeple”?

(If we deny the ability to absolutely believe anything we will likely fall for anything).

Is it any wonder that the best days of American ingenuity seem to be behind us?

Yet,we can rediscover truth as a nation and a people.

We can build the basic absolute truths that serve as a basis for consensus.

“Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through Me.”

(John 14:6)

Jesus is the truth.

If we reject Jesus, we reject the truth, we lose the way, and we forfeit life as a people, and a nation.

If we know Him we know truth.

Jesus is the way. If we know Him we know the way.

Jesus is life. If we know Him we know life.

This is where you can start.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross

Jesus Falls Beneath the Cross (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(Yes. It is that simple. Jesus did all the heavy lifting on the cross).

Just believe and receive Him and His love gift of life that He bought with His blood for you.

Pray ,and He will hear you.

Write me, and I will rejoice with you.

And I pray  that we all can one day soon, rejoice in unity as a nation.

Out of many, one.

The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – from “The Bible” Series on the History Channel – 4 Minute Video- An Easter Reflection

This video from the History channel series ,”The Bible”, depicts Christ’s sacrifice and death on the cross.

It is my hope and prayer that each of us can see God’s love through the suffering Christ endured for us.

He died so that we can live.

But death could not hold Him.

Sunday is coming.

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16 , The Bible)

2012 in Review for Christ Centered Teaching – Sharing Christ’s Good News With The World

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 9,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 16 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

“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

Christianity and Islam – The Basic Fundamentals of Different Fundamentalisms

Map showing the relative proportion of Christi...

Map showing the relative proportion of Christianity (red) and Islam (green) in each country. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The essence of any religion is the fundamental truths it is founded upon.

That would comprise a religion’s Fundamentalism.

A “Fundamentalist”,is one who attempts to strictly adhere to a religion’s fundamentals.

The word fundamental can mean something  good or bad, depending on a religion’s core truths.

The Supreme Doctrines of Christianity and Islam are polar opposites.

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:34-40)

“Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21

God wants us to love Him, and has provided the ultimate reason to desire to love Him by loving and giving His one and only Son, Jesus Christ as a sacrifice, the just for the unjust, on the cross. God WINS our love and trust.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16)

In contrast to that, Islam means,”Submit to Allah”, and force is the means Allah’s word, the Koran, imposes.

Free will is forcefully denied by this fundamental belief of Islam.

(Read the following quotes from the Koran)

Qur’an:8:39 “Fight them [who do not believe] until all opposition ends and all submit to Allah.”

Ishaq:324 “He said, ‘Fight them so that there is no more rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must have no rivals.'”

Qur’an:8:65 “O Prophet, urge the faithful to fight. If there are twenty among you with determination they will vanquish two hundred; if there are a hundred then they will slaughter a thousand unbelievers, for the infidels are a people devoid of understanding.”

Qur’an:9:5 “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

Qur’an:9:29 “Fight those who do not believe until they all surrender, paying the protective tax in submission.”

Qur’an:47:4 “When you clash with the unbelieving Infidels in
battle (fighting Jihad in Allah’s Cause), smite their necks until you overpower them, killing and wounding many of them. At length, when you have thoroughly subdued them, bind them firmly, making (them)captives. Thereafter either generosity or ransom (them based upon what benefits Islam) until the war lays down its burdens. Thus are you commanded by Allah to continue carrying out Jihad against the unbelieving infidels until they submit to Islam.”

Free World listen!! It is clear! Democracy was born out of Christinity’s “Unalienable rights” and the belief that “all men are CREATED equal”. 

Allah demands we all SUBMIT to him. Or die.
Islam is fundamentally tyrannical.

God’s desire is for us is to LOVE Him, and He personally came down to us to die for our sins and defeat death for us.

What more could He do ?

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

God did this to set is free from sin and death. Christianity is fundamentally liberaiting.

“If the Son of Man sets you free you shall be Free indeed.”

Different core beliefs, different fundamentals, different fundamentalists.

Additional verses and links

Qur’an Sura 4:34, “Men have authority over women because [Allah] has made the one superior to the other… Good women are obedient… As for those from whom you fear disobedience, admonish them and send them to beds apart and beat them. Then if they obey you, take no further action against them…”

http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php

 

Ravi Zacharias Answers Stephen Hawking – Part 2 – Video 14 min.

Stephen Hawking declared that God was not needed for the universe to be created.
Theologian Ravi Zacharias and Dr. John Lennox,( a triple doctorate in science and philosophy from Cambridge university where Hawkings also studied, and has studied and is Professor of Mathematics at Oxford), respond to Hawking’s claim.

Ravi quotes Cambridge Professor John Conwell who states of Hawking’s claim;

“Dare I suggest the oracular Steven Hawking is not in keeping with the philosophers and theologians of our day instead of the other way around ?”

Ravi Zacharias Answers Stephen Hawking – Part 3 – 20 Min.

“Hawking has done himself a disservice.” Ravi Zacharias

Ayn Rand on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967 – She Was An Atheist

Ayn Rand,Author of Atlas Shrugged, First Appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, 1967

Part 1 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Part 1 -This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

Part 2 – This is the same interview from a different source in case the first one has been removed again-

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~
Faith owns the comprehension of things eternal.
Reason owns the comprehension of things temporal.
The eternal transcends the temporal.

Carson did an incredible job interviewing Rand. Although the video is 26 minutes long, the basis for her beliefs and philosophy are revealed in the first few minutes.

He starts right off by asking her,“What are the basic principles of your definition of objectivity and of your philosophy you believe in ?”

Her answer said it all, “The basic principle of objectivism is that man must be guided exclusively by reason.”

This glaring hole in her philosophy exposes her atheism,which she openly professed to believe.

We all have the right and freedom to choose our own path and destiny, but to deny the laws that govern the means of arriving at our desired destination belong to our creator, whom she openly denies to exist.

“The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

The laws of reason and nature do not dictate the actions or ability of the Creator.

Rather, God dictates the laws that apply to us, and He lives beyond those limitations.

To believe in God’s unlimited abilities is to have faith, which transcends reason.

The seeds of postmodernism can be found in her belief that we should arrive at the same moral truth purely by reason.

Time has proven Rand is wrong.

She believed that altruism and self interest were in opposition to each other and that society must choose one or the other.

Yet she even conceded to Carson that philosophy had many definitions for morality and what is ethical.

Rand believed in capitalism. What she failed to see was that capitalism only works so long as democracy is sustained.

Democracy is dependent on freedom, and freedom requires personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility requires a moral standard. Jesus is that standard, and His sacrifice is our model.

A moral standard is sameness.

This is where Ayn Rand has been proven wrong.

The predominate philosophy today is postmodernism, the belief that,”what you believe is okay for you and what I believe is okay for me.”

Postmodernism does not fulfill Rand’s vision of a single standard for morals and ethics.

Having come from an extreme socialist country, Russia, she clearly disavowed forced altruism,which is what socialism is.

But Rand however did not disavow Communism’s atheism. For had she embraced Christianity, she would have seen in Christ, the inspiration for self sacrifice that most of our founding fathers saw and followed.

Jesus Christ is the supreme symbol of moral standard many signers of our Declaration of Independence followed when they willfully gave their lives and possessions for a higher ideal.

Ayn Rand’s philosophy is anti-socialistic, which would appeal to fiscal conservatives who do not have a well developed religious philosophy.

The problem is that Ayn Rand’s philosophy is also fatally anti-democratic.

Selfishness leads to greed, which is not only morally wrong, it is killing our politics, banking system, government and people.
And when self becomes the god of a nation, democracy fails.

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (NIV Bible)

Proverbs 19:17 “He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord,
And He will pay back what he has given.”

“Mankind suffers from two excesses: to exclude reason, and to live by nothing but reason.” ~ Blaise Pascal~

Breakthrough Discovery of DNA – We Are Far More Intelligently Designed Than We Knew Before

wpid-20140808_193404_2.jpg

“It now seems to me that the findings of more than fifty years of DNA research have provided materials for a new and enormously powerful argument to design.”

~Antony Flew ~ 

Anthony Flew was the most vociferous atheist of the 1970’s, 80’s, and 90’s. and then he discovered the similarities of the Biblical account of word based creation in the Bible and word based DNA in all living things and people.

Scientists continue to discover that we are far more intelligently designed than we previously knew.

“After all, says Gerstein,(one of the Gnome Project leaders), it took more than half a century to get from the realization that DNA is the hereditary material of life to the sequence of the human genome. “You could almost imagine that the scientific programme for the next century is really understanding that sequence.” (Mark Gerstein, a computational biologist at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, who helped to design the data architecture for ENCODE project involving over 500 scientists)

Scientists have discovered that at least 80 % of our DNA is active in all our biological processes.
Prior to these results scientists believed only 2 percent of our DNA to be active and the rest was ,”junk DNA”.
This new clinical study proves that DNA is far more intricate and complex than previously believed.

The new results are a blow to the Evolutionary Theorists of Darwinism.

The fact that the Genesis account of creation in the Bible shows that ,”God Spoke, and it was,”has long been the Intelligent Design community’s greatest scientific evidence for proving God created everything.

Life ,and all living things have DNA.

DNA is a language. The words often used in reference to DNA and its function are, gnome, code, all meaning information in sophisticated sequence and sophisticated purposes.

Given the fact that there are only 4 letters to the DNA alphabet, and this scientific team thinks science will be about deciphering its meaning for the next 100 years ?, its safe to say we are not here by accident.

Our DNA reflects the Genesis record of creation in the Bible where everything came to be through the spoken word and language of Almighty God.

DNA is a detailed record and result of what God said at the creation of all living things.

But Christians have always been in the place where science will eventually arrive.

Psalm 139:14
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

The link below is to one of the many articles released.

http://www.nature.com/news/encode-the-human-encyclopaedia-1.11312

God has a promise and eternal hope for you and me. This time it involves becoming a new creation. This is God’s promise.

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

The Lonely Sparrow -The Prince of Preachers Reflection on Psalm 102

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Aus...

English: A male House Sparrow in Victoria, Australia in March 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

This stood out in Spurgeon’s commentary on the first part of Psalm 102:

 

Can you relate?

 

“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind,”

 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

 

 

Psalm 102:1-7

A prayer of an afflicted man. When he is faint and pours out his lament before the Lord.

1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord;
    let my cry for help come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
    when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
    when I call, answer me quickly.

For my days vanish like smoke; 
    my bones burn like glowing embers.
My heart is blighted and withered like grass; 
    I forget to eat my food. 
Because of my loud groaning
I am reduced to skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl,
like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake; I have become
like a bird alone on a roof.”

“Verse 5. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. He became emaciated with sorrow. He had groaned himself down to a living skeleton, and so in his bodily appearance was the more like the smoke-dried, withered, burnt-up things to which he had previously compared himself.”
“It will be a very long time before the distresses of the church of God make some Christians shrivel into anatomies, but this good man was so moved with sympathy for Zion’s ills that he was wasted down to skin and bone.”
“Verse 6. I am like a pelican of the wilderness, a mournful and even hideous object, the very image of desolation. I am like an owl of the desert; loving solitude, moping among ruins, hooting discordantly. The Psalmist likens himself to two birds which were commonly used as emblems of gloom and wretchedness; on other occasions he had been as the eagle, but the griefs of his people had pulled him down, the brightness was gone from his eye, and the beauty from his person; he seemed to himself to be as a melancholy bird sitting among the fallen palaces and prostrate temples of his native land. Should not we also lament when the ways of Zion mourn and her strength languishes?”
“Were there more of this holy sorrow we should soon see the Lord returning to build up his church. It is ill for men to be playing the peacock with worldly pride when the ills of the times should make them as mournful as the pelican; and it is a terrible thing to see men flocking like vultures to devour the prey of a decaying church, when they ought rather to be lamenting among her ruins like the owl.”
“Verse 7. I watch, and am like a sparrow alone upon the house-top: I keep a solitary vigil as the lone sentry of my nation; my fellows are too selfish, too careless to care for the beloved land, and so like a bird which sits alone on the housetop, I keep up a sad watch over my country. The Psalmist compared himself to a bird,—a bird when it has lost its mate or its young, or is for some other reason made to mope alone in a solitary place. Probably he did not refer to the cheerful sparrow of our own land, but if he did, the illustration would not be out-of-place, for the sparrow is happy in company, and if it were alone, the sole one of its species in the neighbourhood, there can be little doubt that it would become very miserable, and sit and pine away.” 
“He who has felt himself to be so weak and inconsiderable as to have no more power over his times than a sparrow over a city, has also, when bowed down with despondency concerning the evils of the age, sat himself down in utter wretchedness to lament the ills which he could not heal. Christians of an earnest, watchful kind often find themselves among those who have no sympathy with them; even in the church they look in vain for kindred spirits; then do they persevere in their prayers and labours, but feel themselves to be as lonely as the poor bird which looks from the ridge of the roof, and meets with no friendly greeting from any of its kind.”
Heavenly Father,
Turn our hearts toward you in Christ.
Break our hearts with what breaks yours.
Open our eyes to Jesus and everything we are and have in Him!
Save us as a people and a world who needs you.
In Jesus name.
Amen

 

His Name Is JESUS – A Psalm By C.C.T.

We fell

and He came from the highest place

And He purposely took the fall for us

He saved us Himself!

God didn’t send another

He became one of us

to personally save us!

Why would He do that?

Life can be so hard

so miserable

so painful and hopeless

and worse!

Why would He do this?

Because He owns everything?

And everyone?

He made us

and all that is

It’s all His

and He is love!

and He loves what He made

because in the beginning it was good

very good!

But evil separated us

So He came from His throne

by a humble virgin

in a humble stable

with humble witnesses

shepherds of sheep

and grew in a humble family

learned a humble trade

and when His Hour was to come

He chose humble followers

fisherman

tax collectors

and He washed their feet!

and told them”the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”

“He who will be greatest must be a servant of all.”

He was so different from His contemporaries

they were proud self-seeking and greedy for gain!

and for that they hated Him

because the common people loved Him!

so evil men plotted to kill Him

but He knew it

that was why He came

it was the passover festival

when they recall God’s mercy and salvation

by sacrificing a lamb

a perfect lamb without spot or blemish

Jesus was that lamb!

the only man who never sinned

would pay for the sins of many

betrayed by a kiss

of a former follower

under the cloak of darkness

they came to take Him

but He was waiting for them

to freely give Himself!

A trial of lies

they mocked Him

and beat Him

and crushed a crown of thorns on His humble head

they lashed His humble back with hooked whips

and spit upon His humble face

and plucked His humble beard

yet He opened not His humble mouth

He waited humbly as the charade unfolded

though they said,”I find no fault in this man!”

the authorities gave in to political pressure

and washed their hands of responsibility

for this humble,innocent servant

who never beguiled or hurt anyone

yielded His humble body

to a humble cross

for all of us

He made the journey from the highest place

to the lowest place

humility never went so far

or loved so perfectly

to be so despised and rejected by men

“He came unto his own,

and his own received him not.”

“But as many as received him,

to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:”

His name is Jesus.

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