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Archive for the ‘O: Atheism’ Category

Darwinism and Morality

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our New Uploads page.]

Until about fifty years ago in America, lasciviousness, adultery, and fornication were almost universally deemed reprehensible. Divorce was shameful, pornography was underground, and homosexuality was illegal. These elements are now on open display and enjoy wide approval—and participation.

Is our nation stronger or weaker because of these changes? Are families/homes more or less secure? Is the “misery index” for individuals greater or less? Do more or fewer people turn to chemical “solutions” for failure to find “purpose” in life? Are we experiencing more or fewer individual murders by abortion and mass murders? To ask is to answer.

Many “whys” might be suggested to explain the unarguable decline in national morals and ethics. Arguably, they all go back to a single taproot: Charles Darwin and his evolutionary hoax. Before his theories caught on in the 1870s, Western nations, though divided between Protestant and Catholic, were united in accepting the Biblical view of man as the apex of the creation of the Almighty, Self-existent God. Man had a purpose—to glorify God—and the Bible set forth man’s behavior that would do so.

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“Enemies of the Cross”

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In the mildest of his epistles (in terms of rebuke and correction), the apostle Paul nonetheless warned the Philippian saints of “enemies of the cross of Christ” (3:18–19), which he at one time was. He thereby vividly aligned those who lived contrary to the Gospel with the former Saul of Tarsus in his most zealous days of persecuting the Lord. Notably, Paul here made the cross the apex, summary, and symbol of Jesus’ earthly life and work (His purpose in coming, His doctrine, His church, et al.).

In this context the apostle specified three identifying marks of these enemies, who still thrive all about us:

  • “Whose God is the belly”—These are those who live only to satisfy fleshly appetites. They live by the philosophy, “If it feels good, do it.” The gross breakdown of sexual morality in our nation over the past half-century is a graphic manifestation of “belly-worship.” “Bibliolatry” also reveals itself in hedonisms ranging from road rage to alcohol consumption, drug addiction, gambling, and various criminal acts (some of which, politicians in the highest circles of power are guilty). As America has increasingly cast aside the Bible (and God with it), its righteous restraints of continence and self-control have increasingly vanished. “Belly-worship” is simply unmitigated selfishness, which is a good working definition of Secularism and Humanism.
  • “Whose glory is in their shame”Glory here refers to that of which men can justifiably be proud, thus things men ought to honor. The enemies of Calvary have turned things upside down, proudly parading behaviors which they should count disgraceful. No more apt description than this could be drafted of the homosexual practitioners and their defenders. In step with them are those who advocate removing all restraints in the entertainment media on nudity, sexual acts, and cesspool language. All who participate in and boast of any evil deed have thereby made themselves “enemies of the cross.”
  • “Who mind earthly things”—These live only for time, with little or no thought beyond (which is why their “bellies” are their god). Theirs is the old Epicurean credo: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Cor. 15:32). Humanism, its modern incarnation, denies the immortality of the soul, the Resurrection of the body, and the realm of spirits.

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Annihilationism—A Spiritually Fatal Innovation

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Manuscripts page.]

Introduction

Hell has fallen on hard times. The most frequent reference to it nowadays is as a term of cursing, swearing, or intensification of expression. Others use it in a weak attempt at levity: “I want to go to Hell; after all, that’s where all my friends will be.” Many moderns have tried to take the murky-gray road of claiming—at the same time—to believe in the existence of Hell, but professing to know of no one who does anything sufficiently evil to go there. It is historically demonstrable that outright denial of Hell to any great degree, or its companion, loss of belief in Hell, are phenomena of relatively recent times. How has this come about?1

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Judgment Day Surprises

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles page.]

One of the recurring themes of the New Testament is that of the final accounting that all men must make before their Creator—The Day of Judgment. Jesus described it in some detail (Mat. 7:21–23; 25:31–46). The final New Testament book emphasizes The Judgment near its close (Rev. 20:11–15). Hardly a New Testament book fails to mention it. In spite of the emphasis on this theme, it will prove surprising in many ways:

  • It is real: All who deny the existence of the true and living God (i.e., atheists, humanists, pagans, et al.) will awaken—too late—to the fact that the Bible was true after all.
  • When it will occur: No one can know when Jesus will return in judgment (Mat. 24:36, 42). The time of its occurrence will be a surprise to everyone.
  • The purpose of it: It will not be a trial or a day of inquiry to determine guilt or innocence; the Lord will know who the saved and lost are beforehand (2 Tim. 2:19). It will be a day of sentencing—to eternal punishment or life (Mat. 25:46).
  • The standard of it: Judgment will not be according to Protestant or Catholic creed books, the religion of one’s parents, the decisions of church councils, or the words of the pope or Mohammed. God will judge all by the spiritual law under which they lived. Concerning all who have lived since Calvary, Jesus said, “The word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
  • The basis of it: We will not be judged based on our: (1) profession of faith: “Not everyone who saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat. 7:21a), (2) good intentions: “When I have a convenient season, I will call thee unto me” (Acts 24:25b), (3) sincerity: Saul of Tarsus was sincere in his belief that he must oppose Jesus (25:9), (4) zeal: Paul said his Jewish brethren had “a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10:2), or upon any other bases (e.g., promises, wealth, social standing, parentage, et al.). We will also not be judged comparatively with others.

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Recognizing and Interpreting Synecdoches

[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Manuscripts page.]

Introduction

Both literature and the spoken word abound with figures of speech—words or phrases that are used to mean something other than their normal or literal meanings. Figures of speech are actually a “language within a language,” and in everyday speech we do not stop to think about them, but we immediately and automatically “translate” them. The Greeks called these “tropes” (from tropos, a turn) because they represent “turns” or variations from the normal and literal meaning of words. We expect the poet’s pen to be filled with figures, but prose contains its share of them, too. Additionally, both formal orations made from the public platform and ordinary daily conversations are liberally sprinkled with such word pictures. In fact, I have already used several figures in the foregoing comments (e.g., the spoken word for millions of words, the poet’s [singular] for all poets, pen for the actual words written by poets, filled with for containing many, the platform for any place of public address, liberally sprinkled with for frequently occurring, and perhaps others that have escaped me [escaped me for my failure to see them]).

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