MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

Why Do You Challenge Us?

August 31st, 2007 Viewed 1379 times

church

It’s again come up, the question of why I write what I write, the tone that I write it in, and a continued question as to why I continue to lecture women in the post about whether a woman could become President of the United States.  I started writing the following as a comment, but figured that everyone would benefit from understanding my passion for God’s Word:

My form of helping people is to show them the high calling of Christ, to show them what they can be when they throw off what culture and society tell them is right and look to the Lord. That’s the whole point of this blog. The culture and society are constantly pressuring each individual to be and to do things their way. They tell you what to wear, how much to wear, when to have sex, whom to have sex with, when to eat, what to eat, where to work, etc. The culture is a slave driver, asking you to blindly follow it wherever it wills and belittling those who would dare to stop and ask the question “Why should I?”

The most powerful word that we have is “No.” No, I won’t have sex before I’m married. No, I won’t wear a shirt baring my midriff. No, I won’t cheat on my wife. No, I won’t skip church on Sunday because the football game is on.

So, yes, I challenge you to think (not you literally, but you as in all readers). I’d like to think that I don’t shy away from hard topics, but ask the question “Why?” What’s the answer the question– if the answer is “because this is how we’ve always done this” the answer isn’t good enough. We are living in an age where that’s the main answer.

For all of my younger life I did a lot of things because that’s what I was trained. It wasn’t until I was older that I actually stopped to try to think “Why do I believe what I believe?” How do I backup a philosophy with the Word?

Why choose the Bible? Because the Author of the Universe has something to say, and I can pretty much be sure that He has a greater understanding of the weakness of my frame and how I will react in day to day lives than anyone else. By knowing not only what He expects from me, but why and how I know it, I can rest assured that He will take care of the rest. But when I decide I know better, I know that I’m in for correction.

Does that make any sense?

Abortion Raises the Quality of Life

August 31st, 2007 Viewed 1643 times, 1 so far today

I’ve been involved in an abortion debate that started simply because I commented on how Russia prefers to encourage their people to have children instead of how we in the U.S. choose to abort them.  I have been told that I’m depriving the poor people of Russia the ability to get out of poverty, that I’m not thinking of the children, and that my religious views have clouded my judgement.

The current thread of that discussion is talking about definitions– what is a baby, what is a fetus, is it alive or a glob of cells– and although that would also be an interesting discussion (some of which we’ve been through before), I’d like to take you back to the start of the discussion– the impact of abortion on the country as a whole.

You see, we in America are following after our European brothers and are facing a critical situation– The current birthrate in America is less than what is needed to maintain our population level.

For two decades we have been below zero population growth.  Every day more people die in America than are born.  Any increases in population since 1972 have been due to immigration.  The sociological perils we face are not those of population explosion, but population reduction.

But that’s the U.S.  In Russia, it’s far worse:

In April of 2000 the Russian State Statistics Committee issued a monthly report stating that the country’s death rate is twice as high as its birth rate.  The country literally shrinks by 2500 people each day.  The decreasing number of people, especially young and productive workers, will only increase the economic and security problems in Russia.

If the current birth and death rates stabilize, in 2050 Russia will have 116 million people compared to 147 million today.  Since 1994 approximately 70 percent of all pregnancies ended in abortion.  One in five Russian couples are infertile, partly because of lasting health effects abortions can have on a woman’s body.

It makes you sick.  It also makes you wonder who is the heartless one– the one that argues against abortion, or the one that argues for abortion at any cost?

And then there’s the problem of the effect of abortion on the economy of a nation.  You see, abortion has a way of propagating through the generations.  The child that you kill today will not be able to have children tomorrow.  In turn, that child will also not have grandchildren.

Countries with low replacement rates are trying to do something about it– that should tell you something.  France offers child bearing incentives.  Russia (as was mentioned) is having camps and special days hoping for conceptions and babies.  Why?  Because our children are the key to the future.

Our children will be the ones caring for us when we’re old.  They’re the ones that will be working, paying taxes, and paying for the support we will have in the future.

Legalized abortion has resulted in over 20 million fewer taxpayers in America to support the elderly.  “Population loss from abortion on demand is already responsible for past and future economic, employment and tax revenue losses and is eroding the solvency of Social Security.”

Again, look at the numbers:

In 1980 there were over four people of wage-earning age for each retired person; in 2020 there will be only two.  By 2040 there will be one and a half.

Looking at the numbers, abortions are foolish for at least two reasons:

  1. They are selfish, putting themselves in front of the life of their child
  2. They are eliminating what will supply the country with funds in the future.

Some choice, eh?

 

Unless otherwise credited, facts taken from
Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments Expanded & Updated

Can a Woman Be President of the United States?

August 30th, 2007 Viewed 9604 times
This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Woman President

We live in an interesting time– not unique, but interesting.  For the first time in history it appears as though a woman has a good shot to be on a major party ticket for the office of President of the United States.  I say not unique because there has been a 25 women candidates for President in the years that this country was around.  There were four of them in 1996 alone! Vice Presidential candidates number more than I want to count.

The question we will be looking at in this new series is not should a woman be President, but can she legally be President.  To do this, we’re going to look at:

  • The Founders point of view
  • The Language in the Constitution
  • Equal Rights Amendment
  • Political Weapon

It should be a fascinating study.  Since I don’t believe any Supreme Court would ever take a woman that was duly elected out of office, it’s my suggestion that if we find that she should not be in office (not a foregone conclusion) they should take up the issue before the primaries rather than after.

Are You a Stumbler?

August 29th, 2007 Viewed 1449 times

So I’ve finally done it.  I went and signed up with Stumble Upon.  I had been resisting for some time, but after Cordelia submitted this blog to Stumble and I had seen someone else do it as well I decided that I would finally take the plunge and see what it was all about.

Basically, Stumble Upon is a service that lets you see content throughout the web.  But not just any content, high rated content.

Basically, they have you install a toolbar and then ask you what categories you are interested in.  You simply press the stumble button and they’ll show you some content from the web.  Then, you can press the thumbs up button, the thumbs down button or stumble again.  You can also choose different segments to stumble from (as seen in this illustration from the site).

From what I understand, here’s how an article gets stumbled:

Someone submits an Article

First, someone submits an article to the site.  This can be anything from a blog’s front page to a single image to a video file.  They assign an appropriate description to the item and away it goes.

Your Friends Stumble Upon It

This is key.  You see, there are two modes to stumble upon– one is the one I mentioned above– that one you only see high rated content.  The other is the friend section– where you can see things your friends submitted and can rate it.  So, simply put, if you have a lot of friends that stumble upon your sites, then you can get your sites seen by the community at large (depending on how good your content is!).

Your Content is Good– You’re Seen By Lots of People

This is the scenario you want to be in.  Your blog or page of your blog is submitted, it’s highly rated, and you get traffic like you wouldn’t believe.

Stumbling Takes You Where You May Never Have Gone

One of the great things about Stumble Upon is the fact that you get not only high rated content, but you also get to see things that you may not have found otherwise– resources, tools, and content that’s both amazing and interesting.

Oh, and one more thing.  The Stumble Upon plugin also has the feature of putting ratings in your Google search.  So, when you search for something, you get the Stumble Upon ratings for the results and you can look at the results with a 5 star rating system.

If you join, let me know, and we can become friends!

Is Your God Santa Claus?

August 28th, 2007 Viewed 1558 times
This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Who is Your God?

Santa CandleToday we’re going to look at the first idea that people have of God– that of Santa Claus.  No, I’m not saying that a majority of people worship Santa Claus as God, but what I am saying is that a lot of people expect God to be like jolly old Saint Nick.

Beliefs

  • God exists to make people happy.
  • He sits up in Heaven bearing many gifts that He gives to his good children.
  • He has a list of who is naughty and nice, and only gives gifts to the nice ones.
  • As long as I’m good and do the right things, all will be well with me.
  • He’s a jolly old man, like a Grandpa, and he loves everyone.

Problems

  • God is known more for His holiness and justice than He is for His love. (Isaiah 6)
  • Sometimes those that follow God whole heartedly have died in many different ways (Jim Elliot), or have endured affliction in this life.
  • God sees all things and judges all things– not just what we do, but also what we think. (Matthew 5:27ff)

Conflicts of Faith

The main problem with the belief that God is a type of Santa Claus is that when bad things happen there is no way to reason this against what has happened.

For example, I was reading in a recent Newsweek where a Chaplin in our armed forces was having a struggle with his faith.  Why?  Because he could not understand how the God that he believed in could allow his comrades not to come back, could allow innocent civilians to die, and could allow the atrocities and body counts he was seeing.  You see, his perspective of God was askew.

He saw God as someone who always answers your prayers in the affirmative, who’s out to just do blessings and he missed the fact that God is also a God of justice and holiness that sometimes meets out punishment on the ungodly.

What I Write About

August 27th, 2007 Viewed 1252 times

Terri asked me a good question on the post where I asked if you believed Jessica Biel— one that may be on a lot of your minds, so I thought I would use a post to answer.

I have a question. It’s going to sound confrontational and for that I am sorry, but I am curious.

Why are so many of your posts about women and what they should or should not be doing? And I don’t mean this Jessica Biel stuff, but all the other posts about Christian behavior for women. It seems skewed. Each time I have visited here, I have wondered why more of the posts don’t concern general Christian themes, or posts for men.

Is this purposeful?

I don’t find her question at all confrontational as much as informational.  In fact, it caused me to reflect all weekend.  So, I looked back over my posts for this month.  I’ll spare you the details, but what I found was that there were four things that got a majority of post time: Women’s Issues (the modesty series and my weekly commentary on abortion), Technology (fixing trackbacks, website reviews and weekly tech help), Marriage/Parenting (Who creates the bonding, teen online conversations, and culture at large), and General Christian topics (KJV Only, How to fight addiction).

So, I’m probably not as balanced as I can be– but when it comes to what to write about, I think that there are a few main things that drive my topics:

  1. What I’m interested in.  This goes without saying.  If I’m not interested in it, I’m probably not going to put in the time necessary to write something.  I have so many things that I read see and think about that it’s hard to write it all (just look at my del.icio.us links and then multiply it by two for the non-computer topics floating around in my head.
  2. How long does it take?  I’m a dad with kids.  I get only a few hours a week to do this and I have to make them count.  If I were to spend hours doing research from something (which I have done) I would only get one post out that week and then where would we be? 🙂  It’s a tough one, but it’s true.
  3. Who is my audience?  To be blunt, my audience (you the reader) is mostly ladies– and more specifically, ladies who have asked my opinions about ladies issues.  I was asked about what I thought was modest, what I thought about marriage, etc.  Being a married guy, and reading a lot of parenting books, relationship books, etc., it’s something I’m thinking about (hence the new Weekend Kindness focusing on relationships!)
  4. What my friends are talking about.  I read a lot of blogs (headlines, parts of posts, full posts).  That which is the current item of discussion in my circle tends to drive some of the topics that I talk about.

Does that help, Terri?  I do write about more than women’s issues, and if I were back to writing four posts a day I think you’d see that.  Hopefully you’ll come back more often to see my other topics and realize that there’s really a lot to discuss.

The Secret is Out

August 26th, 2007 Viewed 1618 times

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on Vacation Bible School and had some interesting things to say:

Vacation Bible School, or VBS, differs by denomination, but churches that offer it share a common goal: to expose children to the Gospel, and maybe, just maybe, recruit their families into the church. For Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., VBS is the most effective tool of evangelism, the impetus for 26% of baptisms in 2006. Nearly three million children and adults attended VBS at Southern Baptist churches last year, resulting in 94,980 “decisions to receive Christ as Savior” and 280,693 “Sunday School prospects discovered,” according to Southern Baptist Convention statisticians. “Vacation Bible School is today’s revival,” said Jerry Wooley, the VBS specialist for LifeWay, the SBC’s publishing agency.

My first thought here is “Wow.”  Having argued against doing VBS because of my belief that it has lost its way, I’m staggered at the statistics.  Some churches have VBS as their biggest outreach budget item.  Some are seeing children and parents start attending their church because of VBS.

However, they also say that people are aware of what they are getting into– mainly, that the Gospel will be shared.  When comparing VBS with other summer activities, they know that they will be told that they need to make a decision for Christ, which I believe is a good thing.  It needs to be transparent.

So, what about your VBS?  If you ran one, how was your turn out?  Did you get any decisions for Christ?  Any new people coming to your church?

Do You Believe Her?

August 25th, 2007 Viewed 2352 times

I don’t usually like to go into a situation where I doubt what they are saying is true.  Said slightly differently, I want to believe what you say.  So, I’m finding it rather difficult to believe Jessica Biel when she says:

I definitely worry about how my family would react. You can’t help thinking about your dad or brother seeing something. I don’t have to be fully naked for the movie. I haven’t decided exactly about the nudity. It’s a tough one. I’m considering it but it’s a very scary thing to do. It definitely feels vulnerable to be naked in front of anybody, let alone a film crew.

Why am I having this problem?  As Alexandra Foley reports at Modestly Yours in an article entitled Biel: Stop Me From Posing Nude Again!:

But consider the contract she signed that, according to the article, “details the bare minimum fans will see – including shots of her breasts (nipples from the front and side) and her butt (side view only).”

So, here’s a woman who claims she’s conflicted.  She doesn’t want to be exploited (pictures of her body all over the Internet) but she wants to do the movie.  I believe that this is a case of actions speaking louder than words.

To me, if you didn’t want to do the nudity in the movie, you don’t do it.  There’s a principle here.  If you say “Oh, I don’t want to do this”, but then you do it anyway at worst you’re tempted and gave in and at worst you’re a liar/hypocrite.

The Long Term Effects

August 24th, 2007 Viewed 1816 times, 1 so far today

I have a fear when it comes to birth control.  It’s not just the whole “you could be aborting your own child” fear– though that is very real.  I fear that we are going to find out soon that those ladies that opted to mess with their hormones in order to try to keep from being pregnant are going to have serious long term consequences.

First things first.  Doug had a brilliant comment on the topic of Delaying Parenthood:

I think its worth noting in this thread (I think it was mentioned in the referenced thread), that most forms of birth control are actually abortion. Many Christians looking to delay their pregnancy use any of the methods that their D[octor] recommends without looking into what the method actually does. Many forms of birth control are centered around the concept of keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus (Whether that be something blocking it from doing so, or convincing your body you’re already pregnant so it won’t prepare for it to implant). In the process they abort the could-be-baby. As a result the process of “delaying” is really the process of “exterminating”

This is something that we’ve said many times– simply because it says that it does not permit pregnancy does not mean that it does not kill the baby (the fertilized egg).

But what I alluded to in the introduction is something not quite so concrete.  If you’ve read any of the labels on modern contraception you’ve no doubt seen that there is a period of time after you’ve stopped taking the pill or other hormone drug where you cannot become pregnant.  Bethanie at The Desire of My Heart is sharing her story of what is happening in her life as far as pregnancy— and what scares me is to think that her ovarian cyst and birth control may be linked:

Sometime in late summer 2003 I went off the pill. In October I was late. “Man”, I thought, “That was easy”. I had expected it might take a year and I was anticipating the wait. I did my figuring and I could be 5 weeks along. We were going to wait until 6 weeks to go to the doctor. But, of course we all but shouted it from the mountain tops that we were sure we were pregnant.

— snip —

Somehow, we managed to get the X-ray tech. to tell us that she didn’t see a baby. You know how there not supposed to say anything. I had to stay there at the hospital while they faxed the pictures to my doctor. She called the hospital just to talk to me. She said that I ovarian cysts. She said that one of them was so big that it needed to be removed.

Something tells me that these hormone therapies effect women in unpredictable ways– and may even harm the children when the hormone is still in her system but she’s ceased taking it.

What Do Your Clothes Say About You?

August 23rd, 2007 Viewed 1758 times, 1 so far today

Doonesbury Leave it to the left leaning cartoon, Doonesbury, to hit the nail on the head.

In a strange way this comic wraps up exactly what we’ve been saying about modesty– that what we wear says a lot to the people around us.  Granted, Doonesbury’s terrorist is trying to say that anyone not wearing a burqa is a prostitute, and we would think that the outfit she is wearing is borderline if not ok, but the point is still made.

What do your clothes say about you?

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.