Archive for the ‘Worldviews’ Category

This is a GREAT blog post from Summit Ministries. It really gets to the roots (and I have searched and found more responses/rebuttals) of two main arguments I have been hearing throughout the campaign season, from people who have spoken to me about their thoughts on voting at all in this election.

The arguments from CHRISTIANS:

1: “I am a Christian American and I am not going to vote in this election because I don’t want to vote against my Biblical conscious.” (!!)

2: “Romney’s no different than Obama. I am not going to vote for the ‘lesser of two evils’ because they are both evil.”

Usually, the main concern I have found these Christians have towards Romney is that he is a Mormon and they just can’t vote for him because of it. One person told me, “I will be held accountable to GOD, so I can’t vote for either because they’re just not the ‘right ones’.”

LISTEN UP CHRISTIANS!

1: If only 15% of you “Christians” even voted four years ago, we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in now. NOT voting IS voting for the other side. You are giving your TACIT CONSENT, to put it in simple terms…

2: If you’re not registered to vote, stop complaining.

3: You’re NEVER going to get a candidate you agree with 100%. Jesus is NOT on the ballot.

4: Read ROMANS 13 and tell me now if the Bible doesn’t say Christians should get involved in government/politics.

5: DC is only as corrupt as you allow it to be. YOU are the ones who VOTE your leaders and representatives in office. Remember that.

<END RANT>

Now, be sure to read this:

Rapid Response: Can Christians Vote for Mormons?

Editor’s Note: Summit Ministries endorses neither political candidates nor political parties. While not an endorsement, this Rapid Response addresses two pressing questions many Christians are asking as the autumn elections approach: Is the Mormon Church a Christian church? May Christians vote for Mormons?

Kevin James Bywater is the Director and Resident Scholar of the Summit Oxford Study Centre. In his essay on Summit’s website, “Mormonism: A Survey and Biblical Critique,” he addresses these and other questions at greater length than we shall here. Kevin is a former fifth-generation Mormon who was born and raised in northern Utah. He is available to speak and consult on the subject of pseudo-Christian religions and many other subjects. Please contact him at kjb@summitoxford.org to request that he speak to your group.

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for president, come January 20th, 2013, either Barack Obama will begin his second term as president or Mitt Romney will begin his first. Romney would be the first Mormon to become President of the United States of America.[1]

Is Mormonism Christian?

Mitt Romney is a member[2] of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church or the LDS Church). His religious beliefs are a serious consideration for many voters. According to a November 2011 poll of the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of Americans hold that Mormonism is Christian.[3] However, we find that few Christians know enough about the teachings of the Mormon Church to discern whether it is a Christian denomination.[4]

So, is the Mormon Church a Christian church?[5] Let us look briefly at some central Mormon teachings:

  1. What and who is God?
  2. What is the nature of humankind?
  3. What is the nature of Scripture?
  4. How does one acquire salvation?

As we will see, Mormons use the same theological words as Christians. This alone gives the impression that Mormons are Christians. But that is a mistaken impression. With other pseudo-Christian[6] religions (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses), Mormons use Christian vocabulary but have a very different dictionary.[7] Thus they have a different worldview.

The Mormon Church holds that following the deaths of the first apostles, there was a great apostasy and the gospel and church authority were lost from the earth.[8] They were restored through Joseph Smith, Jr. in the early-1800s. Mormons thus see their church as the one true church, with other churches being corrupted and without proper priesthood authority to administer saving ordinances such as baptism or communion.[9]

What and Who is God?

The Mormon Church teaches that God the Father once was a man who progressed to become a god,[10] that he has a wife,[11] and that all humans and other spirits are their literal offspring.[12] Mormons reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity,[13][14] believing that God the Father, Jesus Christ,[15] and the Holy Spirit are three separate gods[16] who are unified in purpose.[17] Jesus is seen as the firstborn of God and his wife, with Lucifer being born later.[18] It is believed by Mormons that Jesus attained deity prior to his incarnation on earth.[19] He is our older brother and was literally conceived through a conjugal relationship between God the Father and Mary.[20]

What is the Nature of Humankind?

The Mormon Church teaches that all humans, prior to life on earth, were born as spirit children of God the Father and his wife(s).[21] Mormonism also teaches that Adam and Eve made a good and right choice in eating of the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden.[22] Now, as a result of the fall, humans go through mortality with the opportunity of becoming exalted gods[23] by believing the teachings and obeying the practices of the Mormon Church.[24]

What is the Nature of Scripture?

The Bible (King James Version) is part of the Mormon canon of Scriptures, along with The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price. However, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted in both transmission and translation.[25] Mormons usually hold that their church leaders have sole authority to interpret the Scriptures correctly.

How Does One Acquire Salvation?

The Mormon Church teaches, in effect, that Jesus refinances our sins.[26] The Church teaches that salvation is through baptism and other ordinances and principles. Even so, all people but a few[27] will find a future in one of three heavenly kingdoms, the highest being the celestial kingdom.[28] The baptized faithful will obtain a place in the highest heaven, the celestial kingdom, with the most faithful among them being exalted and become gods themselves, as families, able to produce children eternally.[29] It is only those faithful who live in the presence of Heavenly Father forever. According to the LDS Church, the gospel principles one must obey to live with Heavenly Father forever include being baptized by a Mormon priest, receiving priesthood authority, obeying the Mormon prophets and apostles, and being eternally married[30] in a Mormon temple.[31]

In transparent comparison with the Christian faith, one can only conclude that Mormonism is not another Christian denomination but a pseudo-Christian religion.[32] Most contrasts and differences are plain, sometimes admitted by Mormon leaders, and stunningly profound; they include the nature of God (eternal or emergent), the nature of Jesus Christ (eternal deity or spirit child of God and literal brother of all other spirit), the number of gods (one or many), the nature of the fall of mankind (Adam and Eve’s actions were bad or good), and the way of salvation to the eternal presence of God (faith in Jesus Christ or special works and ordinances). Again, we have only briefly discussed the differences.[33]

Is the Mormon Church a Christian church? No, it is not. As we noted above: Mormons use Christian vocabulary but not a biblical dictionary. As such, profound confusion reigns when Mormonism is seen as a Christian denomination.

This conclusion should not be seen as accusing Mormons of being bad citizens or unfriendly people. Indeed, Mormons may be your best neighbors, capable co-workers, or among your friends at school. As a subculture in America, Mormons are taught to express many values that Christians also hold.

Can Christians Ever Vote for Mormons?

Many Christians have voiced several objections to voting for Mormons, and that without regard for the candidates’ proposed policies. Below we address some of these objections.

“Choosing between the lesser of two evils is evil, so even if the other candidate is worse, I can’t vote for a Mormon.”

As Summit President Dr. Jeff Myers points out in the new Political Animal course, this is a misguided objection, because it misses one crucial point: according to Romans 3:10, all of us, not just particular political candidates, are shot-through with sin. If taken to its logical conclusion, this objection would disallow Christians from being involved in any civil or social activity, politics or otherwise.

We also must not forget that in the United States, voting is only one of our civic responsibilities.[34] If candidates are elected and do evil, it is the citizens’ responsibility to hold the officials accountable through exposure, protest, the judiciary, and the next election.

“Mormons don’t believe in the one, true God.”

While this is true,[35] we ought to remember that in a republic such as ours, we do not elect preachers-in-chief as our presidents; we elect the best person seriously on offer for the job. Nowhere does the Bible stipulate that the only people who are to hold political authority are Christ’s followers. Take, for example, the following biblical heroes: Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in Babylon, or Esther in Persia. The apostle Paul, in Acts 25, appeals to Caesar as a Roman citizen.

These biblical heroes were asked to work for the good of others in the confines of often-hostile government leadership. Yet God did not ask them to overthrow or only support believing leadership. He taught them to live justly and to promote societal justice.

“A vote for a Mormon is a vote for the LDS church.”

When we vote for a candidate, we do not vote for all his or her ideas or ideals. That is impossible: people change their minds, and we cannot know all of a person’s opinions. Support for any candidate is not an endorsement of all of that candidate’s convictions. Again, a helpful approach would be to voting for a candidate the same as one would hire a candidate for a job. In this case, the job is to exercise political authority within the constraints of the nations’ laws.

While there are objections to be considered in voting for Mormons, there are also reasons to vote for Mormons, or for anyone with worldview convictions that differ from our own.

It is Christians’ role to be a preserving agent of a society.

As Jeremiah 29:4-7 reminds us, we are to seek the welfare of our city — of our most immediate communities. In other words, we are to be preserving agents, not just of cultures, but also of good political processes. And in our own republic, sometimes preserving the political process involves voting against someone as much as voting for someone. Therefore, if a candidate would not be our first choice to fill a political position, we can vote for that candidate in the hope that a worse candidate does not win.

Politics in a fallen world demands prudence.

Naturally, objections may be lodged against any candidate’s policy positions. The careful consideration of these questions is what political prudence is all about. For more information on issues such as economic, political, and religious freedom, check out our past Rapid Responses, Journals, and essays.

Sometimes, we must look at the practical results of a particular candidate’s victory. Who will a candidate surround himself with to help execute the office’s responsibilities? In the case of president, one of the most overlooked — but perhaps most important — functions is to appoint justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, who then can serve as long as they like. In fact, presidents appoint literally thousands of people in their cabinet, to judicial positions, and to regulatory agencies. And many of these individuals serve for life or at least well beyond the term(s) of the president.

Which candidate will best support the ideals necessary for the flourishing of our society: religious liberty, economic freedom, respect for life, and a proper ordering of the spheres of society? Prudence dictates that we take such political decisions into account when deciding how to cast our vote.

Summary

To summarize, Mormonism is not Christian, but that is not the only (and maybe not the leading) consideration when Christians vote. Christians may vote for candidates who are not Christians, for at issue is not the leadership of a local Christian church or Christian denomination. In the race for president, for example, our goal is not to elect a preacher-in-chief but a commander-in-chief.

Political engagement is neither easy nor optional, as Dr. Jeff Myers reminds us. But when we are equipped with biblical wisdom and make prayerful, careful deliberation, we can play our proper role as citizens and seek to shape our society for the well being of others.

Taken from: http://www.summit.org/blogs/summit-announcements/rapid-response-can-christians-vote-for-mormons/

Questions? Comments? Obscene Gesticulations?

SPIT THEM OUT!

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Okay everyone. I just picked up this book (GRAVE INFLUENCE21 Radicals and Their Worldviews that Rule America from the Grave) today and no, I have not finished it yet, so it is not on the Recommended Books page. BUT… I DO HIGHLY recommend this book, that even though I have not finished it, I needed to share it with all of you ASAP–I could not delay another minute, thinking that some of you might want to eagerly read this amazing book in the summer as well.

So here is what I wanted to share with you NOW, being only 50 pages in the book. PLEASE take the time (about 15 minutes) to read each scanned excerpt I attached here for you.

At the university I attend, The Sierra Club has been “talking” to IGNORANT college students about how they want to “stop offshore oil drilling and preserve our resources for our grandchildren… BLAH BLAH & BLAH.” This was in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters right after the explosion in the Gulf.

I know of The Sierra Club because I took the time to “talk” with them… OR shall I say… pick this guy’s (a clueless Sierra Club advocate) brain by asking him HARD questions–A LOT of them, actually. For me it was a really fun and exciting “debate round.” Haha. (I won. He had no idea how to answer my Qs or what the answer was… He kept saying, “Uh, I don’t know. That’s a good question. I’ll have to find out.”) When I bid my adeus, he said,

“You ask too many questions.”

(Asking questions make them think.)

LOL. THAT made my day. He was trying to get me signed up as a member–are you joking me? So, just a heads up, they might be coming to your college, if you have not seen them around yet. And they are NOT only about oil and resources… Check the excerpt in the file.

Anyway, in addition to that excerpt, there are about 3-4 scanned pages regarding America and ISRAEL. A MUST READ.

And lastly, the writer of this book says, “…God uses the same template to judge all nations, and that template can be understood by studying what God said would happen to Israel if that nation disobeyed God and rejected His precepts and principles.”

He goes through Deuteronomy 28 starting in verse 24. Explaining God’s template towards Israel that can be self-evident comparisons to America today.

PLEASE READ THESE!!

Open GRAVE_INFLUENCE.ZIP to read the excerpts.

And then the entire book, if they interest you. It is TIME WELL SPENT!!

The Summit Ministries Student Worldview Conference was one of “thee” best experiences I ever had as a young adult. It was another one of those turning points in my life. I felt like I stepped onto a whole new level, with a lot of adventure. Not only did I take my very first solo flight across the nation from Florida to Manitou Springs, CO and was by myself for two weeks with the challenge to make new friends, but I left Summit with one of the largest burdens yet–to encourage, teach, lead and share my experiences, knowledge, and passion with adolescents and young adults alike (my peers). I was inspired and greatly encouraged at Summit because I had the wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded students from every where in the United States (including Hawaii) and Uganda, Africa. WOW.

The very week I returned (this was in June), I got to work. I came home with a two part Sunday School/Bible Study curriculum called “Thinking Like A Christian” and “Countering Culture,” both of which I presented to the Elders of my church in order to teach to the 10% minority of the youth group who were as excited as I was (and am) about worldviews. Having been approved, I took off and started the study in Fall 2010 with 16% of the youth group (4 high school students). This was great! We had SOOO much fun learning how to “think like a Christian;” and the best thing was that we all learned from each other. That included me. This was very promising to me that there are young adults out there who still are willing and seeking to step up to the plate and lead.

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. ~Colossians 2:8

After a week being home, I was off again. This time to Virginia Beach, VA at Regent University with my family for the National Christian Forensic Communication Association (NCFCA) Speech and Debate National tournament! Why was I there? It was all because of our HOLY GOD! This was my third and last year competing in the league and at the Regional Tournament, I once again did not make it to finals. YES, I was disappointed, BUT that did not cause me to question GOD for HIS WAYS. I just accepted it and moved on–to Summit, of course. 😀 While I was at Summit, my mother received a call from the National Board saying I was qualified to Nationals. That was amazing! What happened was this: 3 competitors, who had higher points than I were not going to the tournament for w/e reason, thus their slot rolled down to the next person–me! Now, who can’t say that was all God’s doing?

Looking back, I can now see that God’s answer to my prayer to qualify to Nats was never “NO,” but instead “WAIT.” And that was something new I learned spiritually.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. ~Proverbs 3:5-6

Not only that but I moved on the Semi-Finals in Nationals and was awarded fifteenth place in the nation in Illustrated Oratory.

In July 2010, almost a month after I returned from Summit, I started this blog.

TruthforAmericasYouth.WordPress.com

(The one you are reading now)

At Summit, one of the lectures we had discussed about how Christians can use the internet for things like social networking and blogging all for God’s Glory. And that’s what I wanted to do. I was so excited to start a blog as soon as I got back from CO, but the only thing that slowed me down was that I needed to find the right name for my blog and one that was currently not being used by anyone else… That was not very easy.

In September 2010, I organized a “Reading of The Constitutionevent, during the U.S. National Constitution Week, at the university I have been taking classes at. This was a first timer and a little intimidating as it was also my first time stepping out of my box on campus. With the help of some new Christian and politically conservative friends on campus, I was able to kick off this great event with Historian Dr. Jerry Newcombe as guest speaker, an official reading of the Constitution aloud by college students on microphone, and PIZZA (one of college student’s favorite foods, I learned)!

Today, April 7, 2011, I have been listed as a Staff Reporter for the University Press on my campus. For the past two months I have been contributing to the college newspaper by writing four storys, 3 of which were put to print. Journalism is a completely new writing style for me, however I have learned A LOT and quickly. Every story I have written required me to interview people like the County Commissioner, Professors, Campus Deputy Chief, students, and the Interim Provost. This is something I have been truly enjoying and it has been expanding my skills to a different level.

Bottom line is, Summit Ministries really helped me take off doing great things I would probably not have really “felt” like doing before. I definitely encourage young adults and parents to look into setting asside two weeks in the summer to attend one of the many sessions Summit Ministries has to offer. You will never forget it and you will be a whole different person. Trust me. I am.

PS: By the way, sorry about the loooong story; I do not normally write this much. I like to-the-point posts. But this was critical. I just felt REALLY compelled to share my story with you.

Ever thought of the problem of evil? Were you ever caught off gaurd when someone asked you: “If God is so good, then why is there so much evil and suffering in the world?”

Many times I was asked this question when I was sharing the Gospel with someone.

HERE IS THE ANSWER:

OMGoodness! If you’re like me, then you have a brain disorder… Sorry to say, but “science” says. lol.

Concerned? Then read the following. Every sentence is a joke to me and it appears the liberals are showing their true colors after all.

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 2:20pm by Jonathon M. Seidl

A group of British researchers believe they have found why people are conservative: it’s a brain disorder of sorts.

Scientists at the University of London say that conservatives have an enlarged “fear” area in their brains, and smaller areas associated with courage and optimism. The London Telegraph reports:

Scientists have found that people with conservative views have brains with larger amygdalas, almond shaped areas in the centre of the brain often associated with anxiety and emotions.

On the otherhand, they have a smaller anterior cingulate, an area at the front of the brain associated with courage and looking on the bright side of life.

The researches say there is a direct correlation between the sizes of those areas and one’s political views.

“We were very surprised to find that there was an area of the brain that we could predict political attitude,” Prof Geraint Rees, who led the research, told the Telegraph.

He added: “It is very surprising because it does suggest there is something about political attitude that is encoded in our brain structure through our experience or that there is something in our brain structure that determines or results in political attitude.”

But there’s just one problem: the research only studied a total of 93 brains — three politicians and 90 students.

The website Gawker gives the study the treatment it‘s due in a paragraph mocking the scientists’ conclusions:

So there you have it. I don‘t think it’s wildly extrapolating or jumping to any conclusions to say that this study definitively proves that conservatism is a brain disorder. I think that’s been proven by this 90-person study. Conservatives are all stupid brain-damaged idiots who are stupid and brain-damaged. And idiots.

It ends with an appropriate one word sentence: “SCIENCE.”

Wesley Smith over at First Things points out a couple more flaws in the study:

Notice “normal” brain structure is always the liberal.

Besides, what is “conservative” in the UK, may be middle of the road in the USA.  Does that mean our conservatives’ brains are even more convoluted?  And again, some people become conservatives after being liberal.  Look at Ronald Reagan and First Things founder, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus.

And while he contends political views are largely shaped by experiences, he wonders what might happen if the study’s conclusions actual gain traction:

But, if its all in our hard wiring, we’d better make political views a suspect category for civil rights and hate crime protection. After all, we shouldn’t punish or discriminate against anyone for being who they are.

UPDATE:

Tommy Christoper over at Mediaite notices the study was commissioned by actor Collin Firth in a “light-hearted” attempt to discredit conservatives, and it has yet to be peer-reviewed.

“I took this on as a fairly frivolous exercise: I just decided to find out what was biologically wrong with people who don’t agree with me and see what scientists had to say about it and they actually came up with something,” Firth admitted.

It’s probably fair to say this is a case of an already-held conclusion (not simply a hypothesis) searching for evidence.

Taken from TheBLAZE.com

SO… According to GallupPoll, 77%  (Conservatives) of Americans have a “disorder,” while 20% (Liberals) are “normal?”

GOT IT. : P


This past midterm election demonstrates what happens when Evangelicals show up and vote.

In the 2006 midterm election Evangelicals made up only 25% of voters. This resulted in Nancy Pelosi becoming Speaker of the House and Harry Reid becoming the Majority Leader in the Senate.

But in 2010 Evangelicals were 32% of the voters. This is an historical high for a midterm election and shifted the balance of power in Washington D.C.. 78% of Evangelicals voted for pro-life, pro-marriage Christian ideals. Evangelicals are the largest voting block in America and when we show up our values prevail.

Thanks to everyone who sacrificed to achieve this historic victory. Now we must look to the 2012 elections. Below is the list of the top ten things you can do to prepare: 

  1. Pray that America will truly be one nation under God.
  2. Share the gospel with your non-Christian friends and family.
  3. Register to vote and then actually show up.
  4. Get informed about our Christian heritage and the Constitution.
  5. Register your Christian friends and family to vote.
  6. Provide your Christian friends and family with useful voter information.
  7. Get your Christian friends and family out to vote.
  8. Teach or attend a Christian citizenship / worldview class in your church.
  9. Become active in a political party or organization.
  10. Become a candidate or support other qualified Christian candidates.

Taken from an CADC email: http://defendchristians.org/news/christian-participation-made-the-difference/

 

 

The Truth Project.  How many of you have seen the 12 week video series by Focus on the Family with author and teacher, Dr. Del Tackett?  If you have, how was your experience?

Here is my comment on this project.  Find a group near by where you live, for those who haven’t seen it yet.  I highly recommend it.

Well, this past Thursday, I just completed the entire “tour”, as Del Tackett calls it.  My church was hosting a group viewing and discussion of it.  And now, I am watching it again with the youth group at my church on Sunday mornings during Sunday School.

But WOW.  I just LOVE The Truth Project.  It is an amazing in depth tour of the Christian Worldview.  Every Christian should have a Biblical Worldview. Do you?

Did you know that ONLY 9% of professing Christians have a Biblical Worldview?  This was reported by the Barnas Research Group.

The Truth Project covers the following:

Take a look at this official extended trailer. Please be sure to watch the entire video below:

You DO NOT want to miss any of the Cross Examine video episodes with Dr. Del Tackett, teacher of the Truth Project, and John Rabe, who use to be a broadcastor.  This is a new Christian television series produced by Coral Ridge Ministries.

The program will air on Inspiration Network (Sunday mornings), The Church Channel (Monday evenings), and Daystar (Saturday evenings); or watch the entire episode online at the website.

The Question: How True is Your View?

Mosque, Cordoba House, and now Park 51 ?

Watch this:

Visit No911Mosque.org and see what they are doing!