Saturday, June 30, 2007

Interesting sermon on Baptist churches

"Problems with the Baptist Church"

I don't agree with all of it, and Pastor Jeff Arthur from Elizabeth Baptist Church in Bancroft, WV preaches with a little different style than me, but I liked a lot of what he has to say including this: In a lot of Baptist churches there is more emphasis in spreading the doctrine of election than there is in spreading the Gospel. Pastor Arthur is unapologetic about his holding to the doctrines of grace, but he also recognizes as I do that we don't get out of the Great Commission because of Calvinism. In fact just the opposite is true. We can get so caught up in being Calvinists that we forget to be evangelists. We quote Spurgeon but forget what a great preacher of repentance he was, what a great evangelist he was.

Interesting stuff, I am going to try to listen to more of his sermons.
Finally, a rational comment on the atomic bomb

A Japanesese politican, Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, made the following comment recently...
...the dropping of an atomic bomb on Japan by the United States during World War II was was an inevitable way to end the war, a news report said Saturday.

"I understand that the bombing ended the war, and I think that it couldn't be helped," Kyodo News agency quoted Kyuma as saying in a speech at a university in Chiba, just east of Tokyo.

That is a completely valid statement, especially when examined in the context of Japan in 1945, not 2007. But people have a hard time thinking rationally about the use of atomic weapons...

Kyuma's remarks drew immediate criticism from Japanese atomic bomb survivors.

"The U.S. justifies the bombings saying they saved many American lives," said Nobuo Miyake, 78, director-general of a group of victims living in Tokyo. "It's outrageous for a Japanese politician to voice such thinking. Japan is a victim."

Japan is a victim? Uh, Japan was the aggressor here. The Japanese were seeking to conquer the Pacific, and they were the ones who attacked Pearl Harbor. They were the ones to participated in war crimes in China and Korea. Japanese soldiers were the ones bayoneting Americans on the Bataan Death March.

The atomic bomb was horrific and I hope we never have to use them again, but it ended the war that the Japanese started and likely saved more lives (American AND Japanese) than would have been lost in a conventional bombing campaign and a ground war. I would also argue that the horror of nuclear weapons prevented the Cold War from turning into a shooting war and World War III. It is high time that people in Japan, America and around the world stop perpetuating the myth that the Japanese were just minding their own business when the evil American imperialists dropped a couple of atomic bombs on them without provocation.
It's a dog, not a person

In what is the dumbest controversy surrounding Mitt Romney to date, he is being taken to task for strapping his dog crate on top of his car and travelling with his Irish setter in said carrier. Keep in mind that this is in 1983, so an "incident" from 24 years ago is causing a kerfuffle today.

The typical animal rights nutcases are out in full force barking at the moon:

Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, told Time magazine's "Swampland" blog: "If you wouldn't strap your child to the roof of your car, you have no business doing that to the family dog!"

Hey Ingrid, there are lots of things we do with dogs that we don't with children...

You wouldn't put your kid in a plastic crate to take them to the doctor, but you do with your cat or dog going to the vet.

You don't potty train a child by using a crate, but that is the preferred method for dogs.

You don't give your kids bones to chew on, but doggies love 'em!


Because they are DOGS, not little people in fur suits!

I like dogs as much as the next person, but they are in no way comparable to a person. It completely delegitimizes any argument about this "incident" because PETA is so over the top, and so out of the mainstream, because to Ingrid and her ilk there is no difference between a person and an animal. Should you strap a dog in a crate (24 years ago) to the top of a car? Probably not, but because it is not safe for the dog to do so , not because you wouldn't strap a crate with a kid on top of your car.

As a side note, Romney's people seem to spend an inordinate amount of time messing around with little fires like this. That doesn't bode well...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dr. Mohler on mormonism

Dr. Albert Mohler featured the question of whether mormons are Christians on today's Albert Mohler Show. Worth giving it a listen, especially at the 32:50 mark when a suave guy calls in (me). I don't sound all that great on the radio...
He is going to be engaging in an online debate/forum with a mormon (Orson Card perhaps?) on BeliefNet, a forum that I hope will allow him to systematically and honestly lay out the stark differences between mormonism and Christianity.
The blog debate is here online. Card is rolling out some oldies but goodies in his defense of mormonism! He startes his rebuttal of Mohler off with the question of who gets to define what makes on a Christian? Well, Christ does I imagine and He did so in His Word, so if what you teach is contrary to His Word, then by definition you are not a Christian! Card is a gifted writer but is in over his head theologically (as most anyone would be against Mohler)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Creation Museum Exceeds Expectations!

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Creation Museum is well ahead of expected visitors in it's first month.

Since its opening May 28, 31,711 visitors have come to the $27 million Creation Museum

Praise Him for that, that is over 30,000 people who have heard the truth of God's Word! At that pace, which will probably slow down, that would far exceed projections....

Mark Looy, vice president for outreach for the Answers in Genesis ministry, previously said the ministry's goal for the year would be
at least 250,000 visitors."

This would allow the museum to break even.

But if it keeps at this pace, the museum could top more than 549,000 visitors during its first year.

By comparison, Paul Bernish, a spokesman for Cincinnati's National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, recently told The Enquirer the center has drawn about 500,000 visitors since it opened in 2004. (A huge monstrosity of a musuem, I formerly worked across the street from it and the place was perpetually empty)

They can figure on 12-15 more this fall when we go down!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Goat that is. Our nanny goat Bantu had her first baby today, which is a big deal for us after a couple of ill fated attempts at breeding goats and sheep. Pretty cute and with a couple of videos to boot!

and another...

Very cute!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

From the parenting Hall of Fame... reported the wedding of Windy Hager and Brenton Wuchae (Brenton is the guy since they both have kind of androgynous names). So what? Well what might jump out at you is the age of the bride and the groom. The groom is a robust 40 years old. The bride? She is all of 16. But it is OK, because her parents signed off on the nuptials.


Yes indeed, her parents gave permission for their 16 year old daughter to marry a man who amounts to a pedophile and child molester. They may have been "dating" for a few years.
During Windy's freshman year, her 38-year-old track coach, Brenton Wuchae, began taking a more active interest in her, offering to give the 14-year-old rides home from practice.

For those keep count at home, that would make him 24 years older and who knows what was going on between them when she was 14. Her parents began to suspect there was something going on, but were apparently helpless to do anything about it...
"We've tried everybody. We've been to the law. We've been to the school board," Betty said. "Our family has come and tried to talk to her. We've had people on the phone with her for hours — family, friends. We've been to our pastor asking for guidance. We've been to his pastor."

She is 16 years old. You can't stop her from seeing a 40 year old guy? Notice it is everybody else's fault that she wouldn't stop seeing him. How about if you exert some authority as a parent. Don't let her go out with him. If he calls or texts her, take away her cell phone. Somehow, kids survived without cell phones and email for years. Can't keep her away from him at track practice? No matter how much she loves track, she needed to stop. If you wait until it is too late to exert authority over your kids, this is what happens...

Meanwhile, the Hagers say Windy withdrew, refusing to speak to them until she asked them to sign a consent form so that she and her coach — a man more than twice her age — could get married.

Although anguished, her weary parents gave in.

"Signing those consent forms was the hardest thing I did in my whole life, but we had to move on, it was going to kill us all," Dennis said.

Maybe the harder thing, but the right thing, would have been to be parents and put a stop to this. She is 16, she is a child! Sixteen year olds do not dictate terms to parents. Better that she be mad and refuse to talk to them, rather than her "marry" a pedophile. They just had to "move on", it was "killing them". That comes with the territory. Surrendering to the whims of children is not good parenting, it is criminal neglect. This guy should be in prison, not on a honeymoon with a sixteen year old girl.

If some pedophile wanted to marry my sixteen year old daughter, I would give him something alright but it wouldn't be consent to marry my daughter.
Vacation Bible School Hijinks!

I am experimenting with uploading videos to YouTube from VBS and then posting them on the webpage for the church, so here is my first experiment with doing of the youth from Illinois, Amelia, gets a pie in the face!

Friday, June 22, 2007


The Cincinnati Enquirer ran a feature on the upcoming sequel to "Bruce Almighty" called "Evan Almighty", a modern take on Noah. As part of the interview, they quoted Steve Sjogren of West Chester. Mr. Sjorgen said:

In "Evan Almighty," God tells the Noah character that the best way to change the world is by committing "random acts of kindness," a phrase close to Sjogren's heart.

"I didn't coin that," the minister says. "Jesus did."

Huh? I am not sure where Christ "coined that phrase" but let me check my Bible again. I could have sworn that what Christ commanded us to do in the world was proclaim the Gospel, make disciples and baptize them...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

What is wrong with this statement?

An aide to Senator Sam Brownback sent an email with the following statement with has led to a bunch of backpedaling and apologies:

Among the statements: "Theologically, the only thing Christianity and the LDS church has in common is the name of Jesus Christ, and the LDS Jesus is not the same Jesus of the Christian faith" and "The LDS church has never been accepted by the Christian Council of Churches."

So what is egregiously wrong about that statement?

Well, nothing. Nothing except that it is the truth, minus any political spin. In fact most early mormon leaders would probably agree with such a statement, from a different angle. But of course this has led to hand-wringing, sad statements rueing the "bigotry" of telling the truth about mormons, etc. Of course the real problem is that for a Republican candidate, the fact is that mormons are about as sure a thing as there is in the electorate and you don't want to offend a huge block of in-the-bag voters. Even if those votes come at the expense of truth...
Senator Brownback phones Mitt Romney to apologize. I wonder if he took the time to ask him what his church teaches about Christ? Again, being a mormon probably shouldn't be a campaign issue, but what the staffer asked is a perfectly legitimate point, the Jesus of mormonism is NOT the Christ of the Bible.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Protecting kids from Tony the Tiger and Cap’n Crunch

Kellog became the latest corporate giant to roll over for a threatened lawsuit.

WASHINGTON - Kellogg Co., the world's largest cereal maker, has agreed to raise the nutritional value of cereals and snacks it markets to children.

The Battle Creek, Mich., company avoided a lawsuit threatened by parents and nutrition advocacy groups worried about increasing child obesity. Kellogg intends to formally announce its decision Thursday.

The company said it won't promote foods in TV, radio, print or Web site ads that reach audiences at least half of whom are under age 12 unless a single serving of the product meets these standards:

_No more than 200 calories.
_No trans fat and no more than 2 grams of saturated fat.
_No more than 230 milligrams of sodium, except for Eggo frozen waffles.
_No more than 12 grams of sugar, not counting sugar from fruit, dairy and vegetables.
Kellogg said it would reformulate products to meet these criteria or stop marketing them to children under 12 by the end of 2008.

Whew, good thing that got handled!

"By committing to these nutrition standards and marketing reforms, Kellogg has vaulted over the rest of the food industry," said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "This commitment means that parents will find it a little easier to steer their children toward healthy food choices — especially if other food manufacturers and broadcasters follow Kellogg's lead."

Parents “steering” their kids to healthy choices? Does your six year old have a credit card and their own car? If not, then how about you show some backbone as a parent and tell the child that you will eat this and you will not. Our kids don’t eat many vegetables, but that is my issue, not Toucan Sam.

Jacobson's nutrition advocacy group, along with two Massachusetts parents and the Boston-based Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood, had served notice in January 2006 of intent to sue Kellogg and the Nickelodeon cable TV network under a Massachusetts law to stop them from marketing junk food to kids.

Hey "Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood", here is a thought: TURN OFF THE TV! If you don’t want your kids being bombarded with commercials, turn off or remove the TV. We did, and my kids are far less materialistic than they were in the days of digital cable. Commercials are designed to sell stuff, and if you voluntarily allow your kids to watch TV, they are going to see commercials, and those commercials are designed to sell their product.

Stop blaming everyone around you for your lack of resolve as a parent.

We have devolved into a culture where everyone else is responsible for the raising of children. We want kids, but don’t want to give up any toys or vacations or lifestyle, so we pay a day care to warehouse them all day. We don’t have time for family devotional time (I am guilty of this), so we expect the church to teach our children everything they need to know about their God. We can’t be bothered to read to our kids, so we ship them to school to take care of their education and “socialization”.

I am by no means a perfect parent, but I don’t blame society/TV/corporations/my parents/my church/the neighbors/the weather on my failings. Where I fall down, where I fail to act as a godly parent, the blame starts and stops squarely with me.

Perhaps that was a bit over the top. Perhaps not. But what is our society going to look like in 100 years? Or even more pertinent, will it be here or will we have succumbed to our own success, surrendered to Islam, given in to apathy. We better stop worrying about Boo Berries and start worrying about the direction of our society.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Great video on the origins of the Book of Mormon

Despite the popularized version that the mormon church peddles today, the original story of the translation of the golden plates that formed the book of mormon is quite different....

(HT: Mormon Coffee)
Further proof of the results of the degradation of marriage

Why we need to define marriage as exclusively the union between one man and one woman...

When homosexuals started to clamor for the right to marry, many warned that doing so would so weaken the foundations of marriage that every crackpot and deviant would demand the same rights. We were told we were alarmist homophobes. Now this from Yahoo! News...

Fundamental Mormons seek recognition for polygamy

By Jason Szep Tue Jun 12, 7:17 AM ET
CENTENNIAL PARK, Arizona (Reuters) - When Ephraim Hammon returns home from a day of working construction near Arizona's border with Utah, he's greeted by his wife SherylLynne. And then by his wife Leah.

Polygamy, once hidden in the shadows of Utah and Arizona, is breaking into the open as fundamentalist Mormons push to decriminalize it on religious grounds, while at the same time stamping out abuses such as forced marriages of underage brides.

The growing confidence of polygamists and their willingness to go public come at an awkward moment for mainstream Mormons, who are now in the spotlight as Republican Mitt Romney, a prominent Mormon, seeks the U.S. presidency.

Wow, no one saw this coming! Predictably, fundamental mormons claim that they are fighting the same struggle as the civil rights movement, the same argument we hear from homosexual advocates....

Her husband likened the struggle for acceptance with the civil rights movement. "It's like the work Martin Luther King did in relation with African Americans," he said, holding year-old Ava, one of his eight children, in the living room of his three-story home in Centennial Park, a dry, dusty Arizona town run by polygamists near the Utah border.

The thought that those fighting for equal rights for those born of one skin color being compared to those who choose a deviant lifestyle, whether homosexuality, pedophilia or polygamy is grotesque and rightly riles up civil rights activists who see that the comparison is ridiculous. The article does point out in several places that fundamental mormons are in many ways more true to the original church than the modern, sanitized mormon church..

Excommunicated by the church, they see themselves as true believers in Mormonism as practiced by founder Joseph Smith.

Historians say Smith took at least two dozen wives, some of them before 1843, the year he announced a revelation from God saying polygamy was a crucial key to entering the Kingdom of Heaven...

I did love this line...

"I don't think the revelation that Joseph Smith received came from Christ," said John Llewellyn, a retired Salt Lake County policeman who once practiced polygamy but now campaigns against it. "I think it came from his Y (male) chromosome."

Exactly right. The polygamy revelation of Joseph Smith was nothing more than a cover for his adultery and license to commit even more of the same. Marriage must be defended now before it is completely destroyed in this society.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sacré bleu! (Part deux!)

Not only have the French elected a conservative, pro-American president, it appears they are poised for a major conservative landslide in the parliament.

PARIS (Reuters) - French conservatives were headed for a parliamentary landslide after a first round legislative election on Sunday, bolstering President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to implement wide-ranging reforms.

A jubilant right said voters had decided to give Sarkozy the tools to carry out his pledge to boost growth, cut taxes and slash unemployment, but the left and centrists said a crushing right-wing majority was unhealthy and threatened democracy.

Zee world iz going crazee! At least the leftist are consistent, in America and overseas, a conservative win means the end of the world and democracy. It is funny how conservatives winning a democratic vote always seems to mean the end of democracy. Irony alert!

A wasted effort

Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia threw a 9 inning shut out today, only gave up 3 hits and one walk over those nine innings. An absolute gem. And the Indians lost. They couldn't scrape together one run in nine innings and lost in the 12th. One stinkin' run and Sabathia is the first 10 game winner. What worse feeling can a team have then letting down their starter, who threw a complete game shut-out and you couldn't score one run against the REDS of all teams. The Tribe goes 1-2 against the awful Cinci Reds and the Tigers creep closer. These are games you have to win if you want to win the pennant.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

A powerful message from John Piper

Dr. Piper doesn't beat around the bush, he states it outright. The health, wealth and prosperity Gospel is not the Gospel, it is heresy. Christ came to save His people, but for some people that is not enough. They want more. They want cars and money and fame. The disciples didn't get that. Christ didn't have that. The Savior is the suffering servant. How dare we demand He fulfill our material needs. God forgive us for tolerating this heresy in our midst.

(HT: Reformed Baptist Thinker)

Why fans voting for the baseball All-Star Game is dumb

The current standings for the All-Star ballot on show the AL catchers race like so...

1.Rodriguez, I. Tigers 469,696
2. Mauer, J. Twins 438,365
3. Varitek, J. Red Sox 413,153
4. Posada, J. Yankees 392,908
5. Martinez, V. Indians 206,377

Now Victor Martinez is in fifth place, over two hundred thousand votes behind I-Rod. The fans say that I-Rod is the best catcher in the AL. What do the stats say?
Martinez is hitting .318. I-Rod is hitting a respectable .287. Martinez has 12 HR and 53 RBI. Rodriguez has 6 HR and 30 RBI. Martinez is has an OPS (On base plus slugging) of .931, Ivan .734. Almost double the RBI, double the HR, .200 points higher in OPS and Cleveland leads the AL Central. Posada has a slightly higher OPS (.984) but still trails Martinez with 7 HR and 39 RBI. Joe Mauer has only played in 29 games, has a whopping 1 HR and 14 RBI, with an OPS of .922.
Every number points to Martinez, through June 8th, having a much better season than any of the other catchers, and yet he is in a distant fifth place in the voting. This is why the fan voting system is stupid.
Goth Eucharist and Rock n' Roll Services

CNN has a video piece on a "trend", Goth or dark Eucharist services in the Church of England, designed to draw in younger people who find church "irrelevant".

On the one hand, it can be easy to say that at least these people are coming to church. They may be opening up a Bible, they are gathered together, they may even be believers. It is sometimes too easy to point to church services that don't look like ours and

But on the other hand, this smacks of trying to make what is naturally attractive to the elect and conversely foolishness and abhorrent to unbelievers seem more culturally relevant. If a person is born again, regenerate, they don't need to have a service that is more relevant to them. The Gospel message is the great unifier. I believe very firmly that when you try to make the Gospel and the world more compatible, it is always the Gospel that is forced to compromise and there can be no compromise with the only Gospel that saves.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Yet another controversial Surgeon General

President Bush has nominated Kentucky cardiologist Dr. James Holsinger to be the surgeon general (which is pretty much a huge waste of a position, but I digress). Dr. Holsinger is eminently qualified:

Holsinger served as Kentucky's health secretary and chancellor of the University of Kentucky's medical center. He taught at several medical schools and spent more than three decades in the Army Reserve, retiring in 1993 as a major general.

Holsinger received his bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky, master's degrees from the University of South Carolina and Asbury Theological Seminary and a doctorate and medical degree from Duke University.

I especially like that he is both a real general and Surgeon General!

So what is the issue? It appears that Dr. Holsinger is a crazed Christian radical, a member of that well known right wing denomination the United Methodist Church:

As president of the Methodist Church's national Judicial Council, Holsinger voted last year to support a pastor who blocked a gay man from joining a congregation. In 2004, he voted to expel a lesbian from the clergy. The majority of the panel voted to keep the lesbian associate pastor in place, citing questions about whether she had openly declared her homosexuality, but Holsinger dissented.

Sixteen years ago, he wrote a paper for the church in which he likened the reproductive organs to male and female "pipe fittings" and argued that homosexuality is therefore biologically unnatural.

Of course we get a well reasoned argument from the other side:

(Christina) Gilgor, the gay rights activist, called the paper "one twisted piece of work."

Even things that are plainly true are unspeakable if they cross the homosexual agenda.

It is plainly true, Scripture aside, that men and women are designed to be sexually compatible and homosexual activity is by it's very nature unnatural. Despite the biological evidence, despite the very clear Scriptural and cultural norms that are millennium old, deviants still seek to redefine their behavior as normal, and in fact suggest that to believe otherwise is what is truly abnormal.

Dr. Mohler devoted his radio show today to addressing this farce. It is growing clearer every day that they day is coming when it will not be permissible for Christians to hold any deeply seated beliefs if those beliefs impact their decision making process at all. Decisions made in a church, under church authority, are now considered by some as a disqualifier for public office. I wonder how far away the day can be that anyone that dares attend a church at all will find themselves ostracized in polite society and banned from public office?
Tenn. wife sentenced in preacher's death

Mary Winkler shot and killed her husband, a Tennessee preacher, with a shotgun, in the back, while he was laying on the bed.

For killing her husband, she got sentenced to 3 years in prison and she could be out in as soon as 60 days. 60 days for shooting and killing her husband.

Note to self:
  • Be nicer to wife
  • Change the combo on the gun safe

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Good Shepherd and His sheep

My favorite speaker at the 2007 Toledo Reformed Theological Conference was Dr. Steven Lawson from Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama. He looks and sounds kind of like the first President Bush, so I was not sure what to expect but his three sermons of John 10 were absolutely dynamite. Those three sermons on John 1o are now available for free through the New Reformation Ministries. These are highly commended. I am using the basic outline of them when I get to John 10 later this year (just started preaching in John, preached on John 1:1 this morning). Listen, enjoy and be edified!

CAMPONTHIS: The Sword and the Trowel
...pulling down strongholds

Hard questions from Steve Camp, but vital ones...

Steve Camp asks some pointed questions, in an unusually brief posting on his page...

Reader, are you doing service in the Lord's war, which he is now waging? You know the errors of Rome, are you doing anything to withstand them? You see the Popery and iniquity of the National Establishment, are you in your measure exposing it? Infidelity is still mighty, do you contend for God and for his Word? Sin still reigns over millions, do you seek their salvation? If not, why not? Are you yourself on the Lord's side? Oh may the grace of God lead you to trust in the great bloodshedding of Jesus, by which he has put away sin; and then may his love constrain you to aid in dragging down the ramparts of evil.

Are we sitting on the sidelines and watching? Clucking our tongues and wagging our heads over the iniquity of the world, over the errors that abound, but never speaking up? Too many of us sit by and watch, complaining about our needs not being met when the greatest need of the world, the Son of God, is blasphemed and mocked. So many churches pray for revival, but I say what we need is not revival so much as reformation. We need not a revived sense of religious fervor, of empty moralism. What we need is a return to the truth of God, to know who we are fervent about. Reformation must precede revival, or what we are left with is empty religion, or worse, dangerous fanaticism. Camp rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and probably makes a lot of potential friends into enemies, but we need the continued clarion call without compromise we hear from Camp and James White and others to keep the sheep from getting too content in grazing on God's providence with our heads down and never looking up to see the wolves that have left the woods and are among us today.

Sovereign Lord, we pray for a new reformation.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Go Cleveland!

While I stopped watching the NBA over a decade ago in disgust, I am keeping a small amount of interest in the Eastern Finals as we may get to see, in one weekend, the Indians sweep the Tigers in a four game series and the Cavaliers eliminate the Pistons. After that performance in Game 5, Lebron may have killed the heart of the Pistons, a team which by all rights should have polished off the Cavs in a four game sweep. I love this video of James dunking right in Rasheed Wallace's face. Lebron is 22. 22!