Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Atheistic Contributions to Apologetics

I've been reading Geisler's Christian Apologetics  again. This is the 4th or 5th time. It's hard reading for someone such as me with my limited linguistic skills. Still, I've always been driven by an insatiable thirst for logic and have been pleasantly surprised by the contributions made by atheistic arguments for the correction of erroneous assertions made by ill informed Christians. I won't go into all of these points of contention for the sake of space, and of course, you always have the option of reading the arguments yourself. I would recommend reading material representing both sides.The sound of one hand clapping is no sound at all except the echoing of one's own bias, ingratiating ones own ego, or more to the point, a simple cowardly waste of time.

I've decided to go with two cosmological arguments against theism for an example of the atheistic defense of the non existence of God.  The principle of causality to atheism or rather that causality leads to an infinite regress is a very common defense used by Bertrand Russell via his "Why I Am Not a Christian" expose. It goes something like this. If everything needs a cause, then so does God in which case he would not be God. If God does not need a cause, then neither does the world. If the world needs no cause then neither does God. Hence, whether every thing needs a cause or doesn't need a cause there is no God. If we push the principle of causality all the way and insist everything needs a cause, then we launch on an infinite regress and never reach a first cause or what theist's would call God.

 The second example we can label "Causality leads to a self caused God" as Sartre presented in his work "Being and Nothingness." It goes something like this. Everything must have a cause in itself or out side of its self. If we arrive at a cause that no longer has need for any cause outside of itself [God],then this cause must have the cause for itself within itself. That is, that God must be a self caused being. But, a self caused being is impossible; for to cause oneself to exist, one would have to exist prior to his existing, which is impossible. Another way of stating this is, only what does not exist needs its existence to be caused. But to cause existence one must exist; nothing cannot cause something. Hence God as a self caused being cannot exist. 

 These two arguments are intriguing in their own way. Of course, Christian theology doesn't believe God needs a cause, or that He is self caused. The Bible tells us that God  identifies Himself simply as "I Am." We believe God is un-caused, or to say it another way, that God is a necessary being. The question then becomes, "How is that defensible?" Geisler states that "Causality need not lead to an infinite regress." He believes that this is based on a misconception of the principality of the principal of causality. Or better, it is a confusion of the principle of sufficient existential causality and the principle of sufficient reason. The latter affirms that everything needs a cause. This would seem,as the atheists observe, leads to a contradiction of God being His own cause. But Aquinas, for example held that only finite, changing,dependent beings need a cause. This does not lead to a contradictory self-caused Being, but to a non contradictory un-caused Being. For if only finite beings need a cause, then when one arrives at a non finite [i.e. infinite] being it does not need a cause. Hence, from Aquinas' principle of causality the series would legitimately stop at a first, Uncaused Cause of all finite beings.  

The principle of existential causality does not lead, as does the principle of sufficient reason, to a contradictory self-caused Being. Rather, since only finite, dependent beings need a cause it leads to an infinite and necessary Being that does not need a cause.

Geisler goes on further in his rebuttal but this is sufficient for the basis of my personal perspective. Critical thinking on both sides, while sometimes lacking in presentation, does indeed lead to self analytical correction. Self defeating statements are laid bare upon examination and exposed. One of my favorites is about truth. People let it spill out their mouths only to confirm their own lack of forethought, but revealing an extensive degree of proficiency in mimicry. It always goes something like this; "Truth is subjective and can't be known." Of course, what they are saying is they want you to accept this statement as true, that truth can't be known. When I was younger I repeated a lot of silly mantras I'd heard without an inkling of critical thought. I used to say you can't legislate morality. I'll let you think on that one for a while. If you can't figure that one out I've wasted my time. 

I'm rabbit trailing again. My whole premise, once again, is not to bash the atheist. I believe they're wrong; but along the way they've played a great part through their challenges of theism in correcting my own misconceptions and perspectives. Geisler's book has stripped away many invalid arguments, but laid a solid foundation for an incredibly effective approach for giving an answer to anyone seeking for truth.

One final thought, in following the metaphysical arguments to the end, we find that for the Christian, God is pure actuality, or as the Bible says He is the great "I Am". We are contingent, or rather we are finite. We don't have to exist. We are confined to the realm of potentiality. We need a cause to exist. Hence the whole basis for examination of the infinite regress position. There is no potentiality in God. He is pure goodness without possibility of being other than that. He is pure Justice, Compassion, and Mercy. He can't be more or less than this. This is pure actuality. For the atheist, he arrives at nothing, absolute nothingness, and believes that from potentiality comes actuality.

At the end of the day none of this lead me to or from my belief in God. Jesus said to "Seek ye first the kingdom of God". I did. I asked and received. I'm almost embarrassed at some of the undeniable things God so graciously did to assure me of His reality. My consuming interest in pursuing theology isn't to just bolster my faith, or to give an answer. I'm still kind of a dork of sorts, and I still want to learn and at times even to be corrected. This is, of course, not nearly as extensive as it needs to be. Just trying to stir the pot a little. My pot has burn marks from not being stirred enough. (;<)

"In the beginning, [time] God created the heaven [space] and the earth [matter]. Genesis 1:1  

Recommended reading for a more exhaustive examination of Methodology, Theistic apologetics, and Christian Apologetics: Christian Apologetics by Norman L. Geisler

Monday, May 29, 2017

When The Left Is Right

I was recently introduced to a thriller called "Arlington Road" by my son after also watching a PBS documentary on the Oklahoma bombing. I've just recently been watching tube stuff more than I've been reading. I'm a just a little bit confused as to how the left became the right, or to be more precise how conservative suddenly became right wing racist with a splash of white supremacy Christianity thrown in for embellishment. A slick bit of propaganda for sure. I tend to lean towards the sarcastic far more than I sometimes should, but the outright mockery on both sides of our political arena seems to be substantiated by nothing more than mantras fed by propagating machines to a gullible mass more than willing to splash them all over social media [FB]. 

The Hitler label is a favorite one. We all seem to somehow be Hitler-like when in reality Hitler was like us. He was a big fan of a lot of our political solutions and agendas. We'll see some in a bit. I'm going to just highlight some of our historical  background to shed some clarity on our white supremacy legacy without a lot of commentary.

1619- Arrival of the first slaves in America, England forbids states the right to abolish slavery until the "Declaration of Independence"
1787- US Constitution written. 3/5ths clause Article 1, Section 2 allows southern slave owners to count slaves towards representation to almost double representatives  in congress - 50,000 slaves instead of 30,000 for 1 representative - slavery was already abolished by most northern states

1789- Northwest Ordinance prohibits slavery in Federal Territories. This consequently allows Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to come into the Union as free states.

1808-  Congress abolishes slave trade

1820- Most Founding Fathers  are dead and Jefferson's Party, the Democrats are majority party in Congress. The Missouri Compromise is passed reversing the Northwest Ordinance enabling slavery in half the Federal Territories. For the first time Congress promotes slavery since the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

1850- Fugitive Slave Law passed - Northerners to return fugitive slaves or pay huge fines. Democrats are controlling party. Free blacks in the North are kidnapped and taken to the South to be sold into slavery. 20,000 free blacks flee to Canada. Undergroud railroad is formed.

1854- Democratic Congress passes Kansas-Nebraska act allowing slavery where it was previously forbidden.

May of 1854- Anti-slavery Democrats, Free Soilers, Whigs, and Emancipationists  form a new party, the Republicans, to fight slavery and promote equal rights for Americans, and to promote a return to the principles of the Republic and Founding Fathers.

1856- Republicans enter their first presidential race with John Freemont and William L. Dalton. Their first party platform consisted of 9 planks; of which 6 were for black equality and civil rights.

1856- James Buchanan, Democrat, defends slavery platform stating "All efforts of the abolitionists are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous effects and all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people."   

1857- Democratic led Supreme Court gives us the Dredd Scott Decision reducing Blacks to property without any legal recourse as persons. This was duplicated by Hitler's court making Jews non-people. Supreme Court Judge Roger Scott Taney, stated " Blacks had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and ... the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

1860- Lincoln is the Republicans candidate running against Stephen Douglas. The Republicans plank blasted the Dredd Scott Decision and Fugitive Slave Law and announced it's goal to end slavery and win civil rights for blacks. Democrat's platform praises the Fugitive Slave Law and Dredd Scott Decision handing out copies of the former.

1860- The election splits the Democrat Party. Both sides support slavery but the North is against secession. Northern Democrats support Douglas while the South supports John C. Breckenridge. Lincoln wins with just 40% of the popular vote and 59% of the electoral vote. Democratic response - Southern Democrats left Congress and took their states forming a nation they described as "The Slave Holding Confederate States of America". Northern Democrats support slavery and are opposed to civil rights but strongly oppose secession.

1862- Republicans abolish slavery in Washington D.C.

1863- Republicans issue The Emancipation Proclamation freeing all the slaves in the southern states

Republican majority starts passing civil rights laws. S.99 Secures equality in the courts for black people; before this they were not allowed to testify and couldn't bring suit so they were excluded from the legal process.

1864- S.145 gets blacks equal pay in the military - Senate HR establishes Freedman's Bureau.

1864- George McClellan runs against Lincoln for president. Campaign rhetoric comprised "nearly 1 million white men have been sacrificed --- Lincoln has declared his intention to convert it [the war] into a forcible abolition and negro equality socially and politically.

1864- Republican platform promotes 13th Amendment. Congress has 200 members, 118 republicans and 82 democrats, w/137 voting to prohibit slavery. All the republicans and 19 democrats voted to end slavery.

1865- Civil War is ended - Reconstruction begins. 2-12-1865; the first African American, Henry Highland Garnet, speaks in the halls of Congress. 

Side note: 12-4-1800 Congress authorizes church services to be held in the capital. By 1867 the largest church in Washington was the Capital.  

1865- 11 Southern States take an oath of loyalty to the laws [civil rights] by swearing on not only the Bible and God but on the Holy Evangely of God [Jesus].

1867- July 4th in Houston Texas the Republican Party was founded by 120 Blacks and 20 Whites. For a few years Republicans were the majority party of most Southern States and moved quickly to protect voting rights, prohibit segregation, establish public education, open public transportation, state police, and schools to black Americans.

Black Republicans in State Legislatures: Texas 42, Louisiana 95 Representatives and the first 32 Senators, Alabama 103 Representatives, Mississippi 112, Florida 30, S. Carolina 190, N. Carolina 30, Virginia 46, Georgia 40.
Democratic response was not to honor the laws they swore to and said slaves may be free but not citizens of their states.

14th Amendment was passed giving citizenship to the freed slaves in the state in which they lived. Not a single Democrat voted for the 14th Amendment. Now blacks can be elected to the Federal government.

 1872-Currier and Ives present the "1st Seven Blacks", picturing former slaves that attained Federal seats in Congress. See "Neglected Voices" website for speeches presented by the 1st 23 congressmen. You might need a dictionary. 

15th Amendment passed : Blacks cannot be denied the right to vote because of color.

1861 to 1875- 23 civil rights laws are passed by a Republican controlled Congress.

1866- A wing of the Democrat party is formed - the Ku Klux Klan - to prevent Republicans from gaining office. They terrorize Blacks with floggings and public hangings and promise relief only if they promise not to vote Republican with violation resulting in death.

1868- In S. Carolina the KKK push card [picture of Republican members of legislature - 50 black and 13 white with names on the back] was used to identify potential targets. After the Reconstruction period 4800 republicans were hanged, 1300 white, 3500 black.

1871- Federal law passed to punish Klan violence.

1876- Democrats regain partial control with a majority in the House. Violence in the South escalates. It will be 89 years before another civil rights law is passed.

1892- Democrats regain control with the Presidency, Senate and House. They repeal all the civil rights laws, the Klan laws, the force laws, and anti-segregation laws. They introduce the Black codes, poll tax, property tax, and grandfather clause. 11 ways to keep Blacks from voting - Literary tests 20 pages long, hide and seek polling places for Republican booths to keep people from finding them and considerable voter fraud.

1910- 40,000 KKK members march in Washington. KKK thrives in the 20's 30's & 40's.

1920- "Birth of a Nation"- 1st movie in the White House, with Democrat Woodrow Wilson as President, depicts the Klan as heroes saving the South. Former President Teddy Roosevelt had appointed a number of blacks to office and was criticized for inviting Booker T. Washington to come to the White House. Wilson removed all black appointees. Hitler was alive and well and very impressed.

1928- Democratic Presidential campaign handout reads as follows: " What happened when the Republican party was in power in Alabama". 
" If you believe in white supremacy vote the strait Democrat on November 6th." 
Hitler was alive and well and very impressed.

Dwight D. Eisenhower [Republican] submits Civil Rights Bill and Voting Rights Act. Both are killed in Congress by the chairman of the judiciary, a Democrat.. Riots in Birmingham during John F. Kennedy's term prompt him to re-introduce  Eisenhower's bills. Kennedy is assassinated. 

1964- Civil Rights Bill passes under Lyndon Johnson. Democrats need a simple majority. They have 315 members but come up short with only 198 or 62% of their party. Republicans vote is 83%. Shame on the 17% of partisan Republicans that didn't vote yes because of politics.  

60's -The beginning of the liberal landslide. Evolution replaces God in the Public Schools, teenage illegitimate birthrates and drug use explode, Democratic party dives into a Socialist Utopian deluge with the Republicans following suit, but at a slower pace. Abortion is legalized. Still true to the democratic position that some people are property to do and dispose of as they see fit. Black Americans make up 11% of the population with a disproportional amount [ 35%] of the abortions in our country. For every 100 births, 53 black Americans are victims of abortion keeping Margaret Sanger's legacy alive. To take an objective look at socialism and the welfare whiplash on black families would take another thread of history to unravel dating back to the early 1700's. So here we are left with a Democratic flip-flop tactic of laying the blame on the party that was formed in response to their blemish on society leaving them floundering on the rocks of their own ingenuity. 

This has been just a legislative peek at our white supremacy heritage. To get a greater perspective on all of the political battlefields and the war on slavery you'll need to dig into our Christian heritage, which means going back to pre-revisionist historical accounts not based on our present proletarian guided versions that allow only an economic cause and effect account. Prepare for your eyes to be opened and find a rich black history with heroes of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. It's one of which Black Americans are not always portrayed as victims. It's history enough to fill several posts if I can find the time, or better yet, if you find the time.   
                                                                                                            David Barton of Wallbuilders is the best resource I've found for American History. He owns over 100,000 original documents from before 1812. Definitely the best source for American Black History.  Find out more at this link ---      https://wallbuilders.com/links/  

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Long and Short of It

It's Mothers Day and I just have to scrutinize my wife's motherly and wifely attributes. In other words I'm going to give you the long and short of it. She's a might short in stature but awfully big in character. Her early circumstances as regards family life were somewhat lacking in love and care and still she's the most caring person I know. She regards difficult situations not as excuses but opportunity for change. She believes in long prayers not because she's wordy but because the needs are lengthy. Her time with the Lord exceeds that of many. Her woman's cave is filled with journals full of thoughts and notes from her study. Her poetry flows out of her like a river because she fills herself so abundantly with the word. She loves my daughter unconditionally, declaring whole days as princess movie days. She gets her to do things I can never do and I watch in amazement as they head outside doing all these girly things. My wife is big on expectations but not short on love. Today she'll be inundated with texts from our grand-kids. She's not the normal grandmother. She's real. She has encouragement that accompanies the expectations. My wife loves my son Gabe. It's kinda like getting a double dose of me. Okay, now let's throw in Seth, our other son, and she should be going over the edge. She's not! She dreams of family togetherness, the kind she didn't get when she was a child. She chooses to give what she didn't get. Our other two lovely daughters are a living testament to motherhood because they took the best of her and ran with it. Her fondest hope is that they will out distance her and embody the truest picture of motherhood.  She's my perfect wife, my biggest fan with my music. She's not a rocker but somehow in her eyes my rock is different. She loves my mom and is in contact with her almost daily. If I don't get her the valentine she's still secure in my love for her. Actually, her cards are so much better than anything you can buy, that I'll use that as my excuse. In looking at the over all picture I'd have to say my wife is short on short-comings, and long on virtue [that means all the good and important stuff], and there you have it, the long and short of it. This is why it's Mothers Day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Well hello so good to see you ….. once again

With the seasons and the reasons

Came the bleeding and the healing

And wasting of all my time

Sorry it took me such a long, long time

Before I could make sense of this mixed up mind

I figured it out and cast out the doubt

Then You made me shine

I felon my knees, You made me to see

Now I’ve found my stride

I looked behind, Lord I looked ahead

I dumped my garbage and off I went

Made my connection, yes to the Head

I found redemption and a brand new friend

Now lift me from the water and lead me though the fire

Fly me like an eagle, fly me higher and higher

I figured it out and cast out the doubt

Then You made me shine

I fell on my knees, You made me to see

Now I’m keeping my stride

Lost in a world of lifeless lies

Buries the truth their darkness denies

I’m in a race, race to the end

I’ve found a place, a place I’ve never been

I got a peace and a brand new heart

I had forgiveness from the very start

I lost my arrogance and I’m taming my pride

I’d like to take you along while we have the time

We’ll figure it out and cast out the doubt

Then he’ll make us shine

We’ll fall on our knees He’ll help us to see

Then we’ll find our stride

This is just a happy little good morning song to the Lord. A greeting, a thank you, an apology, a state of belief and intention and of course the hope of helping someone else to know who the Lord is.

Written and recorded in March of 2017 by Gordon Bieber


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter Sermon 2017

I had to save this sermon from last Sunday just because it was so good. It's certainly good enough to listen to any day of the year.  Highlight and right click the link below and select "Go to..."


Saturday, April 8, 2017


Many people are consumed with attaining a status of sorts, a notoriety if you will, based on some enlightened insight or revelation. It's usually nothing but recycled philosophic rhetoric raised from the grave. I'm only bringing this up because I watched a clip of Brian Mclaren, a popular emergent leader. He's busy recreating Christianity to make it more appeasing and relevant to a new generation of believers.  This is what he said, "This is one of the huge problems with traditional understanding of hell, because if the cross is in line with Jesus' teaching, then a primary meaning of the cross is that the kingdom of God doesn't come like the kingdoms of this world by inflicting violence and coercing people, but that the kingdom of God comes through suffering and willing voluntary sacrifice, right? In an ironic way, the doctrine of hell basically says no but that's not really true. In the end God get's His way through coercion and violence and intimidation and domination just like every other kingdom does. The cross isn't the center then, the cross is almost a distraction and false advertising for God. I heard one well known christian leader, who I won"t mention his name, I heard him say it like this, 'The traditional understanding says that God asks of us something God isn't capable of Himself, God asks us to forgive people, but God isn't capable of forgiving. God can't forgive unless He punishes somebody in place of the person he's gonna forgive. God doesn't say to you, forgive you're wife and then go kick the dog to vent your anger. God asks you to actually forgive. And there's a certain sense, that a common understanding of the atonement presents a God who's incapable of forgiving unless He kicks somebody else.'"

It's hard to know where to start after hearing that. He attacks and then ridicules the basic foundations of Christianity. He obviously doesn't care much for hell, suffering and pain, substitutionary atonement, the trinitarian doctrine, and the holiness and judicial aspects of God. I've no doubt he's a nice enough guy but he's not a Christian. Lets start with a look at free will. God created us with the gift of choice. Sin is absolutely impossible without freewill. Love is absolutely impossible without free will. So, what does that have to do with Brian and his gospel? Everything! Sin, if you like, can be likened to the thorn in our life according to our "traditional understanding of Christianity." We know that this is the basis for our separation from a holy and just God. Because we have free will, we may be inclined to let this thorn of sin fester, even though we know the infection to come will lead to death. We also know the removal of the thorn to be painful. If we choose not to let God remove the thorn Brian would say that the separation to follow [hell] is false advertising and a distraction for God. God can't forgive and get's His way by inflicting violence and coercion? First, let's address the "God get's His way" business. 2 Peter 3:9 says it's not Gods' will that that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. It's not Gods will that separates, it's their will. Remember the free will God gave us that also makes loving Him possible. 

"God can't forgive unless He punishes someone else." Brian clearly doesn't understand trinitarian doctrine. Jesus is divine. I would concede that his argument had some validity if this wasn't so. But the Bible states that He's God with us, our Creator, that he came out from God, and "the Word was made flesh'. According to Brian's teaching, there has obviously been a lot of distraction and false advertising for not only God but Jesus all through the old testament by those misunderstood old Prophets. The idea of a coming Redeemer was not breaking news. It's interwoven throughout the Bible. Sacrificial love, propitiation, substitutionary atonement, were a part of God's plan from the start, before the beginning. Jesus our Lord and Saviour, the Word become flesh,was God the Son hanging on that cross. It was sacrificial love aimed at reconciliation and the bridging of the gap between us and "a beyond our understanding Holiness." Pain and suffering, God's absolute will? Absolutely not. It's a loving Father taking the thorn from the flesh of His children. It was something men looked ahead to and waited for.  The child may kick the dog, but to let the behavior go on unabated to the demise of the child without making a path of resolution is not a Father that loves. Still the child decides. Hell is a choice.The Father's Holiness and love is real and not impugned. The cross is still the center. The cross is still the only way to bridge the gap between us and God. God most assuredly forgives and from the beginning made that day to come a reality through His Word. Now we look to the day of His return. If He kicked anyone it was Himself. Accept Jesus, the Son of God, the Word made flesh for this one point in time in which redemption was made a reality for you.

Easter is coming once again and we will celebrate the game changer. Our hope will be realized. The thorn was removed because we had faith in the Redeemer. Death for us becomes life forever with the grave robber. Our sentence has been repealed by sacrificial love for those that chose to believe. Hell is the only other option. It's a choice, it's the separation from God only for those that would have it no other way. Choose God.

Brian has successfully made his mark and has established a huge following. He has joined the ranks of others like Rob Bell, Paul Young [The Shack], Rick Warren, Peterson [The Message] and a host of others that are busy redefining Christianity to give us their hip christ and a palatable religion that co-exists with the other world religions that will bridge the gap to a union of diverse theology we can all embrace. This not only doesn't make sense [diversity and union] it also effectively negates the need for the real Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

I do think Brian is sincere, just sincerely wrong. He doesn't represent Christianity, just another blemish on it. I do think he would do well as a yoga instructor and would find an increasingly growing market for a following there and for making his mark more suitable to his teaching on hell.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

THY WILL BE DONE or thy will be done

Last week pastor Stephen,started his sermon with some quotes from famous atheists on their death beds. They are as follows: 1."While I lived I provided for everything but death. Now I must die and I am completely unprepared to die." 2. "Until this moment I thought there was neither a God nor a hell. Now I know and feel that there are both and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the almighty." 3. "My philosophy leaves me utterly forlorn. I feel like one caught in the merciless jaws of an automatic machine not knowing at what time its great hammers may crush me." His final words slipping into eternity were, "There is something very wrong, there is something very wrong!"

The third quote was from a man that helped author the satanic bible. I'm not here to presume his damnation or to induce a terror afflicting tactic. After all, God is love. I'm just predisposed to a common sense approach to this extremely unpopular and uncomfortable doctrine of hell belonging to the Christian faith. Not unlike others, such as forgiveness before being forgiven, loving others as you love your self [enemies included], it's a package deal.. All though, the love doctrine is a favorite, my common sense thingy tells me I ought not to be stupid concerning adversaries prone to winning at all costs. I'll leave that one alone for now. My point, simply put, to accept the Christian faith is to accept the whole of it or leave it alone. I'm not apart of the evolving theology crowd and I don't mix and match my religions.

"Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thine name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." There it is! My whole defense of the hell doctrine right there in the Lord's prayer. In fact, as my common sense approach dictates, let's condense it to just four words. "Thy will be done." How can it be God's will, you might ask, to send someone to hell. After all,2 Peter 3:9 says "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." Well, it's obvious to any rational person that  freewill tips over that apple cart. I obviously don't propagate universalism, like the shackers, not to mention their dismissal of substitutionary atonement and their trinity desecration. People are "cast into outer darkness" or hell. Jesus said so. Still, God is love, and so far at least we've established it's not God's will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. There's the rub. people aren't prone to repent. Their really good at saying their sorry, but not so good at inconveniencing themselves with the task of repentance. In John 7:17 Jesus says "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or I speak of myself." I'm sorry, but doing His will not only brings resolution to your doubts, but also is a big big part of your repentance. We can never reach a deeper level of faith without trying on His shoes. That's why Paul can cry out what a wretched man is he. You'll never know how really bad you are til you try the walk. So does God send people to hell? Yep. His will wishes it not to be .... their will demands it. This is the point at which they are finally freed from God. This is their moment of victory. The battle of wills is over and the severance is complete and final and yet God is still love. They can tear down and trod asunder every thing else but His holiness remains and still God is love. Read the love chapter in Corinthians to see all the wonderful things love is. It truly is inspiring, but what is of far more significance to me is the all that  "profits me nothing" without love. What you won't find is that love forces its self on another to impose compliance. God is longsuffering towards us right up to that last breath, loving no less, when at last he says, "thy will be done." The war of wills is finally over and their victory over God is the loss of love and the seduction of self is complete.

Did Jesus still die on the cross for them? I'm convinced of it. Do I believe in substitutionary atonement? I do! The shackers view that sin is it's own punishment is heretical. Yes, sin has consequences, unpleasant to say the least, but it is not it's own punishment. If that were true, Jesus died on the cross for nothing. That may seem a little harsh now, but better than facing that realization in hell after the rejection of Jesus' sacrifice for them.  Expiation or propitiation? I believe it was both.  Is salvation simply a matter of belief in Jesus? I believe that with all of my heart. Although, when I say I believe what he says, I believe that this is also doing what he says. Do I believe God is the only source of love? I do. God creates everything and everything that comes from God is good. Evil is only the perverting of goodness. Do I believe in heaven? With all my heart. I'm almost certain on judgement day that I'll not be able to stand in the presence of the reality of true holiness. I am sure of one thing, that the shame that I feel, that kept me going, and that this present world tried to rid me of, is going to be washed away by the God that loves me, the God that is love, and His will, will be done.

Getting back to Stephen's sermon, it ended with Paul's last recorded words. 2 Timothy 4:6-8 "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is now at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing." There you have it. Stop reading Facebook so much and start reading your Bible more. Search out God's will and what he has for you now and what could be yours forever.

One last question. Can I prove God exists? Nope, God does that for those that seek Him.

Mathew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.