Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rhino Briefs (Feb. 22-28)

Some of this week's fun and funny highlights from other Well-Meaning Bloggers With Different Ideas.


  • So what if evil enemies attacked our nation? Do we still have the tenacity to survive? Or are we now a nation of wimps who will just roll over and give up? Thomas Sowell, suggests that America may be on A Fatal Trajectory.
  • What kind of a god are we peddling? Dan Phillips, in this post at Pyromaniacs, laments that, too often, “what the church does…is to try to repackage God, as if he were yesterday's widget, and sell Him as useful. I wish I could say this is seldom done, but you'd know I was lying. I've seen books, I've heard sermons, I've seen ads that present God as the best way to get what we want, to achieve our dreams, and as the ultimate Enabler of our agendas.This is the god of Balak, the god who can be manipulated into serving our desires. The god of paganism.”
  • “Brevity is the soul of wit” and Daisy’s comment about Obama’s speech this week says it best, “All I can say is a spoon full of sugar does NOT help the baloney go down any easier.” The Laurel Wreath
  • The Mom Song is available again. The You Tube video was a great hit for a couple days until it was pulled for copyright protection. Now, it is back up and running again and the lyrics appear on screen. Everything moms say in a twenty-four day condensed down to under three minutes. This is hilarious fun.

Monday, February 23, 2009

My Religion's Not Old Fashioned But It's Real Genuine

I don’t know why, for some reason, an old song keeps coming back to mind these last few weeks. I remember this old record from my childhood. It was one of my mother’s favorites and I played it and sang along when I was about eight years old.

For those of you who don’t know, records are what we used to have in the "old days" before eight tracks, which came before cassettes. Actually, records even pre-dated vinyl LPs (long play albums). They were made from slate. Slate records were heavy, rigid, and fragile. They would shatter into pieces if dropped. Here’s a little record trivia for you; how many grooves are there on a record? (Answer, Two; one on each side.)

Anyway, back to the subject – the song that keeps haunting me is an old country/western Gospel song titled, “My Religion’s Not Old Fashioned.” As near as I can tell, it was written and recorded by Hank Snow but I think the recording my mother had was sung by Stuart Hamblin.

These days when it seems that everyone is trying to dumb down or repackage Christianity so it is more attractive or relevant to a modern, enlightened, me-centered culture, it is comforting to know that there is nothing new under the Sun. This song was popular over a half century ago and, apparently, they struggled then with the same slippery slope of liberalism and creeping modernism that is prevalent in Christianity today.

OK, so the song is a little hokie; it's not your typical modern country music where your wife is cheating and your truck is wrecked and your dog ran away and there's no more whisky in the bottle. But there are several things I like about it. First, the singer actually knows how to play the guitar. Second, the lyrics are wholesome. Third, anyone can understand the lyrics without an interpreter. Fourth, the melody is easily understood and recognized (that's because there really is a melody). And finally, I like the song for its doctrinal soundness and its solid, conservative message that Truth is unchanging; the same Gospel that saved sinners then still works today.

You can hear it as originally recorded on this video clip. I have reprinted the words below:








MY RELIGION'S NOT OLD FASHIONED



There is but one real religion that redeems a sinners soul.
It's as timeless as the ages and it never will grow old.
My Lord Jesus, he's the power; he’s the way, the truth, the life,
And that way has never changed since he spoke the words out loud.


My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine,
Two and two makes four to-day as it did in my Lord's time.
Modern day wont make a difference, you can't alter truth or time.
My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine.


In this world of wild confusion, we are often led astray,
When we hear the words 'old fashioned' as men speak of God to-day.
My Lord doesn't deal in fashion, He's more timeless than the seas
And His words still hold the power as they did in Gallilee.


My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine.
Two and two makes four to-day as it did in my Lord's time.
Modern days wont make a difference you can't alter truth or time.
My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine.

Some are prone to take the Bible and usurp the words of Christ.
They admit He came here one time but He'll never make it twice.
Do not tempt the Bible's prophecies as such men rue their life,
There is darkness in their future but there's life in Jesus Christ.


My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine.
Two and two makes four to-day as it did in my Lord's time.
Modern days wont make a difference you can't alter truth or time.
My religion's not old fashioned but it's real genuine.

Two Presidents: Two Opposing Ideologies

The Politics of Despair:
Obama said that he could not assure that every item in the stimulus plan would work as hoped.
"Doing nothing is not an option." The nation will slip into a crisis so deep that "we may be unable to reverse" it. "We can't afford to wait. We can't wait to see and hope for the best." Barack Obama



The Promise of Hope:
“The economic ills we suffer…will not go away in days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this last and greatest bastion of freedom." Ronald Reagan



A Socialistic Solution:
Regarding our current economic situation, "It is only government that can break the vicious cycle." Barack Obama

A Conservative Solution:
“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” Ronald Reagan

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rhino Briefs (Feb. 14-21)

Some of this week's fun and funny highlights from other Well-Meaning Bloggers With Different Ideas.

  • Ellery at Trail Boss has an interesting conspiracy theory about how the stimulus plan might have been purposefully designed to suck his blood.

  • Eddie Eddings at Facets of Grace in a quote by John Macarthur shows that a certain proof of error is when people demand tolerance.

  • A really funny cartoon by Eddie at Calvinistic Cartoons illustrates how we can be obnoxious with grace.

  • Stan McCullars graphically illustrates the hypocrisy of the lefty lunatics who are outraged at comparing their new anointed king to an ape.

  • What do you get when you mix Christianity and Islam and sprinkle it with a dash of charismania? See the video at A Little Leaven.

  • Defending Contending features a short video clip showing how one church’s pastors will do anything (except preach the gospel) to get people to come to church.

  • And, finally, I cheered when I watch this CNBC video of Rick Santelli’s Rant of the Year.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Bend Over And Smile

gang rape n. Rape of a victim by several attackers in rapid succession.
gang'-rape' (gāng'rāp') v.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth EditionCopyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

MEET THE PERPS.



How did that feel?


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dear Barry,


You don't mind if I call you Barry, do you? After all, I have written so many letters to you that I feel like we should be on a first name basis.
I just have a quick question for you. Sorry to bother you with this but I have asked several other people and they just don't know how to answer. I mean since all the changes that have resulted from the beginning of the new world order, there is just too much confusion; things are not like they used to be.

Anyway, here is my question:
My wife and I are trying to buy a house and we have completed the credit application but, we need to know, TO WHOM SHOULD WE SEND IT?

On second thought, I'm sure you will never get to this letter; you are a very busy man with all the responsibilities of family life and travel and trying to change the world at the same time that you cannot possibly take the time to respond to every little request so I'll just send it directly to you.
By the way, it's been about 30 days since your coronation and I still haven't seen my share of the wealth.
Sincerely,


Monday, February 16, 2009

I Won The Excellence Award At Calvinistic Cartoons

I can't believe I won. I finally get a Certificate of Award.

I have been lusting after one of these awards for several months now and finally IT"S MINE!!!

The Award was for the winning entry in the Random Word Writing Contest over at Calvinistic Cartoons. The challenge was to write a paragraph using the following four randomly selected words: fly, ice, Noah, and lightbulb.


Posted here is my winning contribution to the world of creative writing:


In all of creation, I don't understand why God created the fly. I have tried everything I can think of to rid my life of these pests.


I spread honey on a block of dry ice thinking that maybe they would stick and freeze. That didn't work.


I tried one of those zapper contraptions that attracts insects to a special lightbulb. That didn't work.


I am mad at Noah and when I get to Heaven I am going to give him a piece of my mind. He had both of them on that ark and he didn't smack'em when he had the chance.


Thanks Eddie Eddings for awarding me this coveted honor. I will frame it and hang it on my office wall between my Doctorate Degree in Rhinocerology from the University of Neushorn and my Charter Member Certificate from the Fellowship of Well-Meaning Gentlemen With Different Ideas. My Mom will be soooo proud.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Did Chuck Schumer Really Say That?

Did He Really Say That? Please tell me I didn't hear what I though I heard. Chuck Schumer said that Americans don't care about pork in the Stimulus Plan.

So Here is my very first (and probably not my last) letter to Chuck Schumer.





First of all, Chucky Baby, I DO care about all the pork in this SPENDulus plan.


Second, If you are insulted by my disrespectfulness in calling you Chucky Baby, then pay attention. I am insulted by the way you tried to trivialize and ridicule those of us who are opposed to this massive and insane giveaway by referring to it as having a little "porky" stuff in it.


One more thing, IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY!!!





Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What I Want For My Birthday

My birthday is coming up soon and THIS IS WHAT I WANT!

I WANT IT!
I NEED IT!
I HAVE TO HAVE IT!

I have enough ties and socks. I need to lose some weight so don't give me chocolate.

I WANT THIS!!!!

If I don't get this, then I guess I'll be happy with one more rhinoceros

BUT I REALLY, REALLY,

REALLY WANT THIS.


Besides, it is really practical.





De-programming Liberal, Brainwashed Students

Thomas Sowell, a great man and brilliant conservative thinker, makes a valid observation in his recent post, De-programming Students. In his introductory paragraph he writes, “Letters from parents often complain of a sense of futility in trying to argue with their own children, who have been fed a steady diet of the politically correct vision of the world, from elementary school to the university.”

And then he goes on to suggest ways to try to give your students a balanced perspective and to consider both sides of an issue before making a judgment. OK, that sounds good; in fact it is biblical. Only a fool decides a matter before he hears it.

But Thomas Sowell missed the most important and obvious point. These parents, who are now frustrated with their little mind-numbed, liberal robots, have exactly what they bought. They sent them to public schools for the very indoctrination they now despise. They paid good money to send them to the universities of higher secular humanism. They said to their children, “Listen and learn.” And so they did. Then, after subjecting their children to sixteen years of daily liberal brainwashing, they lament the fact that their kids can’t think. Then it is too late for buyer’s remorse. A few books or conversations about hearing both sides cannot undo all the damage.

Amazingly, there are still multitudes of, supposedly, conservative and Christian parents who still support and defend public education as though it is innocuous.

There was a time when the purpose of education was to teach young people how to think. Today, the purpose of public education is to teach young people what to think.

Parents- Beware! They are serving "Kool-aid" to your children.



Monday, February 9, 2009

A Review Of THE SHACK

Have you ever noticed how many Christians always need to have something new? Ron Livesay, a friend of mine, reminded me that, in just a short time in recent history, we have seen the proliferation of so many Christian books and fads that capture the imaginations and allegiance of multitudes of "dumb sheep." Often, these fads result in unorthodox Christian Movements. Just a few that come to mind are “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” “In His Steps” (that resulted in the WWJD movement), “The Prayer of Jabez” (remember all the Jabez Junk?), and the very popular New Age theology of, “The Purpose Driven Life (or Church).”

I think movements in the Body of Christ are like movements in our physical bodies; they come along frequently with regularity and they usually stink.

One of the newest fads to suddenly burst on the scene is a piece of fiction titled, THE SHACK, by William Paul Young. It has been endorsed as the most significant piece of Christian fiction in our modern world. In fact, I have learned that one church is using this book in its adult education curriculum and some of the people are actually placing table models of a shack on display in their homes. Eugene Peterson said on the cover of the book, “This book has the potential to do for our generation what John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress did for his. It’s that good!”

WOW! That is a pretty amazing claim and so it merits some serious discernment.
Ron Livesay, who has written A Review of the Shack, warns that it might be wise to back off that praise just a hair. Comparisons to Pilgrim’s Progress are absurd. The huge difference between the two books is that Pilgrim’s Progress was an allegory based on biblical truth, whereas The Shack claims to be an allegory to teach truth, but it is based on someone’s unbiblical definition of the nature of God and His desire for a “relationship” with us, which is man-made nonsense.

One defense of THE SHACK stated that since it is fictional and allegorical, we need not worry about what it teaches. But that is precisely the problem. If one ignores the fact that this book teaches false or inaccurate doctrines, the power of that false teaching to deceive unsuspecting readers is amplified. A well-written allegory about God (like Pilgrim’s Progress) would most certainly not have Him making false statements and, in this book, there are many false statements made by the three persons of the fictitious “trinity.”

In A Review of the Shack, Mr. Livesay exposes eight unbiblical views of important Christian doctrines that are briefly summarized here:

1. An Unbiblical View of Scripture – This book presents a very low view of the Scriptures and elevates our experiences and feelings at least to the level of the Word of God.

There are at least two serious deficiencies in the way the author presents divine revelation. First, there is the implication that God would not have committed His Word to the “ancients and uncivilized” without also speaking directly to “moderns” and “educated Westerners.”

Second, it implies that we are all powerless to understand what God has said in His Word unless it is “properly interpreted” and that it must “be moderated and deciphered by the proper authorities and intellects.”
The truth is that all believers have an anointing to understand the Scriptures, we have the very author of the Scriptures indwelling us and illuminating us to understand, and we are commanded to study the Scriptures in order to be “approved unto God.”

2. An Unbiblical View of God – The god of THE SHACK is not the Almighty, Sovereign God of the Bible, and this “god” should be rejected.

Mack, the main character of the book, a man who went to seminary, describes a god who has no control over his creation, who does not violate the choice or will of humans but actually submits to humans, and who is fully human and lives in the present.

The Scriptures are clear; anyone who worships any “god” other than the God of the universe, through the person of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, is worshipping a false god.

3. An Unbiblical View of the Trinity – There are those who believe that by reading THE SHACK, one can finally understand the Trinity. However, not only does THE SHACK not explain the Trinity, it actually propagates confusion and false teaching about it.

All three persons in the fictitious trinity are declared to be fully human with all the (human) limitations that entails. It is a trinity with no hierarchical authority or chain of command. In fact, when Mack questions the godhead on the subject, both god the father and Jesus admit their own confusion and ignorance. According to them, they have no need of order in the godhead.

One of the more disturbing aspects of this false trinity is that god the father also died on the cross and bears the same wounds as the son.

The Bible makes it clear that all three persons of the Trinity have distinct functions, and that Jesus Christ submitted Himself to the will of His Father.

4. An Unbiblical View of the Incarnation – The Scriptures do not teach that either the Father or the Holy Spirit is ever revealed in human form. Jesus Christ is truly the God man. Although some would teach otherwise, He never did cease to be God, nor did he lay aside His power. He did lay aside His glory, and He voluntarily chose not to use some of his power. Yet in this book, “Papa” (the name of the father) states that even his ability to do miracles “proves that Jesus is truly human.” Jesus never drew upon his nature as god to do anything. He only lived out of his relationship with the father in the very same manner that he desires to be in relationship with every human being.

The implication is that Jesus Christ did what He did on this earth because of a relationship with God the Father that each of us can also experience and that we too can do all those things if we only get our relationship right. This idea that Jesus did what He did as an enlightened human who was in touch with God is the New Age idea that we all have the potential to tap into the “Christ consciousness” and evolve into a higher state of enlightenment.

5. An Unbiblical View of the Nature of Man – According to the god of THE SHACK, “Humans are not defined by their limitations, but by the intentions that I have for them; not by what they seem to be, but by everything it means to be created in my image.”

Man is portrayed, not in his sinful, disobedient state of condemnation, total depravity and inability, and in need of a Savior, but only in terms of his decision to either be in a relationship with the godhead or to remain independent.

God’s purpose, in regard to man, is summarized by the false holy spirit in the following statement to Mack:

“…if anything matters, then everything matters. Because you are important, everything you do is important. Every time you forgive, the universe changes; every time you reach out and touch a heart or a life, the world changes; with every kindness and service, seen or unseen, my purposes are accomplished and nothing will ever be the same again."

This Universalist statement, like other statements in THE SHACK, strokes the ego of man, but man does not need his ego stroked. What he desperately needs is the message of redemption from sin through the Lord Jesus Christ.

6. An Unbiblical View of Salvation – In THE SHACK, god is disappointed that we chose independence over relationship, but he still wants that relationship with all of his children, although he would never impose his will on any of us. He will try to help us see the need for a relationship with him by gently persuading and convincing us. He (“Papa”) declares, “I desire a relationship with every human being.” But nothing is ever said about salvation or redemption. One can only assume that this relationship is the THE SHACK’s equivalent of salvation.

Regarding faith,“Papa” says, “I’m not asking you to believe anything.” This is in conflict with Scripture, which emphasizes “belief” and “faith” repeatedly.

THE SHACK promotes the heresy of Universalism. In several place we learn that all people are God’s children. “Papa,” himself, says, “In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.”

When Mack asks Jesus what it means to be a Christian. His response is both startling and interesting, “Who said anything about being a Christian? I’m not a Christian…Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims…I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.”

In another place, “Papa” again emphasizes the universal nature of salvation, and places the responsibility for the completion of the work of salvation squarely on humans. “You asked me what Jesus accomplished on the cross; so now listen to me carefully: through his death and resurrection, I am now fully reconciled to the world…the whole world, Mack. All I am telling you is that reconciliation is a two way street and I have done my part, totally, completely, finally. It is not the nature of love to force a relationship but it is the nature of love to open the way.”

If God is fully reconciled to the world, why does the Scripture command men to be reconciled to God? The rationale behind the above paragraph is the old idea that “salvation is of God, but man has to do his part.” This is simply not true. There is no part in salvation that man can do. Left to our own devices, we would all surely perish.

7. An Unbiblical View of Christian Living – There is real resistance today among many Christians to the idea of “rules” for Christian living. Some will not even accept the idea of “principles” or “guidelines.” Many would prefer to go to a seminar on Christian living than to read, study, and obey the Bible. This (unbiblical idea of Salvation being about “relationships, not rules”) is underscored in THE SHACK. Jesus answers a question from Mack by saying, “You’re not supposed to do anything. You’re free to do whatever you like.”

The holy spirit of THE SHACK (who is supposed to guide us into all truth), tells Mack that “The Bible doesn’t teach you to follow rules. …you will hear and see me in the Bible in fresh ways. Just don’t look for rules and principles; look for relationship – a way of coming to be with us.”

Real Christian freedom is freedom from the power of sin and victory over sin, not freedom to sin. In Christ, we have freedom to do what is right, not freedom to do anything we please.

8. An Unbiblical View of Judgment – “Papa” addressed the subject of judgment, with the following three statements that are contradictory to Scripture: “I am not who you think I am. I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It’s not my purpose to punish it; it’s my joy to cure it.” “I don’t do humiliation, or guilt, or condemnation.” “The God who is – the I am who I am – cannot act apart from love!.”

Conclusion – This review of THE SHACK (presents sufficient evidence to bring us to the) following general conclusions:

There is an unhealthy ignorance of the Scriptures in the church today that cannot be remedied by encouraging people to read and study books like THE SHACK. There is a great need today to get back to the study of the Bible, the very Word of God. THE SHACK is written from an unbiblical perspective and attempts to undermine sound doctrine. Therefore it should be ignored and/or opposed by Bible-believing Christians. Anything that contradicts the Word of God is false teaching.

The book makes an effort to “humanize” God and bring Him to our level, thus making us feel better about ourselves. It plays very well into the modern (man-centered) false gospel of “self-esteem.”

The god of THE SHACK is not the God of the Bible. He is portrayed as weak and unable and unwilling to control his creation and to rule in the affairs of humanity. The God of the Bible is all-powerful, totally in control, and ruling in the affairs of men.

Every pastor, youth worker, Sunday school teacher, Christian school administrator, Christian school teacher, and anyone else who leads others spiritually has the responsibility to sound the warning against false teaching. Failure to do so failure to fulfill the command to protect and feed the flock of God.

It is very difficult to watch many professing Christians “turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:4). It is important to make every effort to point people back to the truth. “…in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil…” (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

There are several warnings in the Scriptures about false doctrine. We are told “that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love...” (Ephesians 4:14-15). This warning is given because it is necessary. Many will be deceived by false doctrine if no one stands for the Truth, even if it is unpopular to do so. Truth always trumps falsehood, and we must not back away from our responsibility to “…contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). God’s Word does not change. Truth does not change. In order to stand for truth, it is often necessary to point out the contrasting falsehood.

Note – Ron Livesay’s, A Review of the Shack with supporting Scripture can be read in its entirety on his blog, Buffalo Noise.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are You Smarter Than A Fifth-Grader?

See if you can pass this multiple choice vocabulary test.


Pick the word or phrase that is closest in meaning to each word.

A. REFUND
  1. A welfare check
  2. Food stamps
  3. Assistance
  4. An amount of money given back to the original payer

B. REBATE

  1. A welfare check
  2. Food stamps
  3. Assistance
  4. A returned part of an original payment


If you are uncertain and need a little help you may use the following hints:

  1. None of the answers is 1,2, or 3.
  2. None of the answers is printed in blue.
  3. The correct answers are in bold red type.
  4. The correct answer to both questions is 4.

If, after using the above help, you still don’t get it, you must announce to the world, “I am

(pick one of the following):

  1. a Democrat
  2. a Congressman
  3. a Liberal
  4. an Idiot
  5. a Moron
  6. All of the above

and I am NOT smarter than a fifth-grader."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Ministry Outside Of The Box

A few days ago, A Little Leaven noted that "some Purpose-Driven / Seeker-Sensitive Churches apparently have much more important things to do on Superbowl Sunday than hold evening church services." Posted here are just a couple examples of how some church leaders justify viewing a football game as an option to the preaching of the Word of God.

And in the comment string, one contributor actually suggested that “…it could be a great witnessing opp. Why? (because)Warner is a great christian man.”

So the stream commenced with much arguing, some who insisted that it was a matter of personal choice and others who were critical of the church leaders who purposefully incorporated this diversion into the practice of the church.

Now I am not a football fan and I did not watch the Superbowl game. But I must admit, I did not attend our evening service on Super Sunday. And, taking my cue from some of those church leaders, I can justify my actions and I am very comfortable about it.

You see, my wife and I were busy that evening doing ministry outside the box. We went out into the presence of unbelievers to enjoy some food and fellowship at one of our favorite restaurants. It was great. There were so many unsaved people there and that provided a great opportunity for God to work through us. We didn't "hit them over the head" with our religion but, I'm sure our non-offensive evangelism was effective in showing and sharing the love of Christ with them. Many of them observed us as we bowed our heads and gave thanks to God for our food. What a wonderful time we had together; we talked about church and family.

Even the Apostle Paul said, "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God" (I Cor. 10: 31-32).
Our prayer is that many, who were there that night, would see that Christians are regular people and that we can have fun too. Who knows; maybe they liked what they saw in us and might be attracted to God because of our life-style evangelism and silent witness among them.

Please pray that our ministry efforts will bear much fruit.