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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The old time religion

[Note: I can't find that I posted this before, so I am posting it now. I also can't find the original source of the comment, but I believe it came from Elder Stanley Phillips, who recently passed away.]

‘Tis the old time religion,
‘Tis the old time religion,
‘Tis the old time religion
And it's good enough for me.

It was good for Paul and Silas,
It was good for Paul and Silas,
It was good for Paul and Silas
And it's good enough for me.

Each generation, every believer must for themselves search the Scriptures and see if what they believe and practice was good enough for Paul and Silas. It is not enough to take the word of current believers as to what they think Paul and Silas believed!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This day...1865

Abraham Lincoln died April 15, 1865. He was shot the night before on April 14, 1865, while attending the play called Our American Cousin at Ford's Theater. This was the first successful attempt to assassinate an American president. The event continues to capture the minds of the American people nearly 150 years later. The name John Wilkes Booth is well-known, but he had several co-conspirators and assassinations were also planned for Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson.

Here's some reading you might find interesting:
* 10 odd facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination -- "Where was General Grant?"
* Abraham Lincoln's assassination -- "On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth...fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln...only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered...at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War."
* The forgotten man who almost became president after Lincoln -- "...if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House."
* Lincoln's Missing Bodyguard -- "What happened to Officer John Parker, the man who chose the wrong night to leave his post at Ford's Theater?"

Monday, April 14, 2014

Trip the links fantastic

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

* African-American Gospel Music Timeline -- "The Fisk Jubilee Singers set out on their inaugural tour to raise money to help save Fisk University from closure. Eventually becoming an international tour, the choir brings the sacred music of African Americans the attention of the world."
* A Holistic View of Song Leading -- "Many song leaders develop technical competence in their craft but they do not develop emotional intelligence."
* A woman who lives in the past: the 1930s, to be exact -- "The owner of a historical consultancy company, Teeuwisse, 41, lives her work, forgoing most modern belongings and conveniences of the 21st century in favor of a life straight out of the 1930s."
* English Is Crazy! A Poem -- "This is for anyone who is occasionally frustrated by the oddities of English spelling."
* Everything You Don’t Know About Tipping -- "The most critical step in avoiding Ambiguous Tipping Situations is just knowing what you’re supposed to do...if you’re in the average range, you’re fine and forgotten. If you’re in the low or high range, you’re noticed and remembered. And service workers have memories like elephants."
* Families Protest Alabama Lawmaker's Racist Comments -- "Alvin Holmes said, 'I will bring you $100,000 cash tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama. I will go down there and mortgage my house and get it in cash in 20 dollar bills and bring it to you in a little briefcase.'"
* Life Lessons From Marina Keegan's Posthumous Book of Essays -- "With this week’s publication of “The Opposite of Loneliness,” Marina Keegan’s posthumous collection of essays and stories, comes a gift no one ever fully wants to receive — bright and youthful wisdom from a talent who died too soon."
* Pharaonic seal found in ancient coffin in Israel -- "Israeli archaeologists unveiled on Wednesday a 3,300-year-old coffin containing a signet ring bearing the name of an Egyptian pharaoh among the remains of what they believe was a local nobleman."
* The gay marriage bigots strike again -- "Who could possibly have predicted that the drive for equal marriage rights for homosexuals would take a turn into bigotry and intolerance?...numerous critics denied it would ever happen — and then implied that if it did, the homophobic bastards would deserve it anyway."
* Two moms, a baby and a legal first for U.S. gay marriage -- "Last month a baby in Tennessee made history: Emilia Maria Jesty was the first child born in the state to have a woman listed on the birth certificate as her 'father'."
* Vikings in London: Just Like Family -- "Vikings have long had a special place in British lore, not least as the guys who got there first."
* What's Closer to Texas Than Texas Is to Itself? -- "Finally, you have something to show your out of state relatives, who ask if why you don't visit your distant cousin in Corpus Christi more often..."
* Where I Stand -- "...this conversation best belongs in true relationships, around dinner tables, over coffee, in real life, and I still believe that."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

4 False Theories of The Empty Tomb

FOUR FALSE THEORIES OF THE EMPTY TOMB
The resurrection of the dead is one of the principle doctrines of Christianity -— in particular the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Seeking to refute Christianity, infidels and modernists have fabricated numerous stories in en attempt to explain ‘away the empty tomb and deny the resurrection of Christ. Their attempts are totally unbelievable and would be humorous if not so serious a subject. Their ludicrous concoctions take more faith than simply believing that a miraculous event took place. The empty tomb cannot satisfactorily be explained except on the basis of a resurrection. Let us look at the four most common theories used to “explain” the empty tomb.

THE DISCIPLES STOLE THE BODY
This is the oldest explanation, invented by the priests and elders. The appearance of other explanations is sufficient to prove that it was never quite satisfactory.

The disciples were not the sort of people who would do such a thing. This would have been deliberate fraud on their part and cannot be reconciled to their character, doctrine, and behavior in later life. It unreasonable to suppose that not one of them, even under torture and threat of death, ever admitted to any deception.
The account of the soldiers is completely contradictory. Can we believe that all these professional guards sent to secure the tomb would be asleep at one time? And if they were asleep, how would they know what happened to the body? The story actually incriminated the soldiers, and if it had been true, the priests would have been the first to seek their punishment!

The condition of the grave-clothes testify against this theory. If the disciples had stolen the body, they would have not taken the time to unwrap Jesus and leave them. They would have been in a hurry —- they would have just snatched the body, grave-clothes and all. It is not probable that a cowardly group of men who fled the crucifixion would have come back to steal a body. And if they did, why was not a diligent search made of their houses?

Those who want to believe a lie don’t mind believing a poor one. This story would not hold up in the first century, and will not hold up today.

JEWISH OR ROMAN AUTHORITIES REMOVED THE BODY
Though at first glimpse this might sound like a possible explanation, it will not withstand close scrutiny. Why on earth would want to move the body? What possible motive could they have had? None whatsoever! But if they did remove the body, why did they not say so? They could have stopped the preaching of the resurrection (which they so despised) by the revelation of the fact that they moved Jesus’ body. They could have called for witnesses those whose task it was to remove the body, and if necessary they could have produced the mouldering remains. They did not because they could not.

THE WOMEN WENT TO THE WRONG TOMB
Others try to explain away the pmnti 4rn*
going to the other tomb, the terrified women ran away. Later they decided that the young man was an angel announcing that Jesus had risen from the dead. This clever story omits the fact that the young man was an angel, and the phrase “He is risen” from his statement to the women. They also ‘forget’ that the young man tells them to meet Jesus in Galilee. If this could be true, why did the disciples not double- check the facts presented by the women to see whether or not it was so? If the women had merely went to the wrong tomb, the priests could have pointed out the true tomb and completely silenced forever the preaching of the resurrection.

HE WAS NOT DEAD
This theory asserts that Jesus did not really die, but only swooned from exhaustion from the pain and the loss of blood. When placed in the cool tomb, he revived and went out and shewed himself to his disciples and they ignorantly believed he had risen from the grave.

The fact that no such story was ever conceived till near the end of the 18th Century should be enough to expose it as phony. But let us go further. Romans, Jews, and his disciples were ALL convinced that he was dead. The soldiers were experts at execution and the priests were obsessed with killing him -- it is inconceivable that they would be so careless. Besides, would three days in a cold, stuffy tomb without food, water, or medical attention tend to revive a man who had been through the cruelties that Jesus had gone through? NO! It would have blown out any flickering life that might be left. But, even if he had revived, could he have freed himself from the grave clothes that bound him? Lazarus had to be loosed. Could he in this weak condition have rolled away a stone that three women would not attempt; then frightened the Roman guards and walked miles to Galilee on pierced feet?? And finally, CHRIST WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PARTY TO SUCH A DECEPTION!

It is clear that these theories are unacceptable when exposed to common sense. Only those deliberately set on denying the resurrection could be so foolish to espouse any one of these ideas. The Bible in its purity and simplicity is always easier to believe than such hair-brained tales as these!

Reprint from The Baptist Waymark

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Angry birds

I have heard talk about a game called "Angry Birds". I don't know anything about it, but it must be about some birds who are angry. The world seems to be filling up with people who are "angry birds" -- they screech in hatred and peck with viciousness in order to get their way (or if they don't get their way). Many would be quick to point out the recently deceased Fred Phelps as one such example. And they would be right. But the affliction affects all sides. Here are two recent "angry bird" incidents.

Chili's and autism
* Chili's Cancels Autism Awareness Fundraiser After Pro-Vaccine Pressure -- “Autism exists whether or not we can all agree on a cause, and to take money away from an organization helping these children and their families is selfish and cruel.”

Brendan Eich and Mozilla
* Mozilla's Gay-Marriage Litmus Test Violates Liberal Values
"Disinclined to stop at personal persuasion, they waged a pressure campaign that could be summed up as 'change your mind, or else.'"
"The forced resignation of Brendan Eich will have a chilling effect on political discourse...Calls for his ouster were premised on the notion that all support for Proposition 8 was hateful, and that a CEO should be judged not just by his or her conduct in the professional realm, but also by political causes he or she supports as a private citizen."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Quotin' it right

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” -- Winston Churchill

“When a man is old enough to do wrong he should be old enough to do right also.” -- "Rachel Arbuthnot" in A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

“Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.” -- "Lord Illingworth" in A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

"Some folks are just a little rough around the edges -- too bad they have lots of edges!" -- copied

"If you don't enjoy spending time with yourself, why do you imagine anyone else will?"

"The only way to coast is downhill." -- Zig Ziglar

“The pain you feel today is the strength you feel tomorrow.” -- copied

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Golden Rule

What is usually called "The Golden Rule" is attributed to Jesus Christ. It is an high ethic of reciprocation and altruism. In America we usually say, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Luke 6:31 records, "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." It is companion to "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Mark 12:31)

A satirical "Golden Rule" has also been developed: "He who has the gold makes the rules."

When we hear that we chuckle, and think how the truth of it is often played out in society. The wealthy and powerful set the rules by which the poor and weak must abide. 

But God is more wealthy and powerful than all the wealthy and powerful. He has the gold, and He makes the rules. 

The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. Haggai 2:8
What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it. Deuteronomy 12:32

He who has the gold...

...dies like everyone else. According to God's rule: "It is appointed unto men once to die."

The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all. Proverbs 22:2

Monday, April 07, 2014

More Linkin, Abraham

The posting of links does not constitute an endorsement of the sites linked, and not necessarily even agreement with the specific posts linked.

Barna Describes Religious Changes Among Busters, Boomers, and Elders Since 1991 -- "The three oldest generational segments of America’s population have been actively redefining their faith over the past two decades."
Dewey President Williams -- "As a child, Williams was instructed in the singing of Sacred Harp or shape-note hymns by his grandmother in the kitchen of her house."
How math illumines our infinite God -- “In Mathematics Through the Eyes of Faith, Gottfried Leibniz, the co-founder of calculus, thought that 'most scientific problems need infinitesimal calculus because everything in nature bears the signature of an infinite author.'”
Lawyers: The purpose of marriage is procreation -- "Marriage exists for its procreative potential, not just as recognition of a loving relationship between two people, and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees, lawyers for an Oklahoma clerk said in a new court filing."
Make a joyful noise: The revival of sacred harp singing -- "...people singing power chords!"
Mom Pleads for Help in Search for Missing Nursing Student -- "Bahia Bisharat was last seen on March 19 at St. Charles Community College near St. Louis, and her car was found in the parking lot..."
Party of the rich: In Congress, it's the Democrats -- "Republicans are the party of the rich, right?...But in Congress, the wealthiest among us are more likely to be represented by a Democrat than a Republican."
Poetry is a Way of Seeing: A Conversation with Betty Adcock -- "I feel my roots grow in both sides of the south’s past: the poor-white, dirt-farming majority and the plantation-owning minority. I know more than one thing because of that."
Racial Imaginaries and Folklorization at the Society for American Music -- "My session also featured Florida State musicology doctoral candidate Sarah Kahre, who presented a fascinating paper on what revisions of the tune “Boylston” in different editions of The Sacred Harp tell us about revisers priorities."