Posts Tagged ‘religion’

Let this be a warning to all who thinks falling away is impossible if we open the door to or play games with sin.

When people that love God hear of the exploits of Miley Cyrus the natural inclination is likely disgust towards her & the entertainment media she represents. Correctly so. I have not personally seen, nor want to see what she did, but I also noticed the words of her dad:

He acknowledged there is “no doubt” that his family is being ruined by Satan.

It occurred to me that given that we, now alive in Him (Yeshua), were loved while we were yet in sin – let’s at least say a prayer for conviction for Miley. If her dad said that, I don’t know that it could have been spoken as a counterfeit. We should help carry the burdens other have – we must be a praying people!

Surely people have been delivered out of equally or more hellish bondage than she finds herself in. God doesn’t need her as a witness of His love and power of deliverance, but may she indeed be granted repentance & give glory to Him once she is delivered from the chains & the pit.

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Miley Cyrus tweeted: “You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements (carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, all the things that matter for evolution) weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in stars. So forget Jesus. Stars died so you can live.” She later deleted the tweet that stirred up much strife among her fans. Cyrus regularly attended church as a young girl and even took to wearing a purity ring as a sign of her Christian faith. In 2008, Cyrus, an already very wealthy 15-year-old told Fox News in an interview that it is her faith that keeps her “grounded” and admitted her desire to follow Jesus. “Live like Christ and He’ll live in you, and that’s what I want to do,” she said. Just a few years after her father Billy Ray Cyrus, popular country music singer, said in an interview with GQ Magazine that he regretted having her in the “Hannah Montana Show” and also admitted to having made serious errors as parent. Billy Ray confessed that the entire family got baptized and were cautious of the temptations within the entertainment industry before to going to Los Angeles. ”Somewhere along this journey, both mine and Miley’s faith has been shaken,” he said. “That saddens me the most.” He acknowledged there is “no doubt” that his family is being ruined by Satan.

Preface: If you think this is fringe personal opinion only, skip to the Scientific American article on this exact topic quoted below.

Did you know the “Big Bang” has some scientifically recognized problems in terms of things that don’t fit observed phenomena & actual measurements? Enter the “Horizon Problem”. But wait! …the “Inflation Model” was supposed to rescue it all – then again, isn’t that just a theory? (an increasingly feeble one at that – see below) …almost like “scientific faith” or hope? But science deals with facts only. Ok, well, many scientific models are not proven yet. Guess they should then be ignored then in any practical sense? Does it work out that way in practice? Nope. Scientific politics is apparently a relatively new branch in the discipline, sadly. Imagine questioning the Big Bang in “respectable” conversation. Try asking the next person that you talk to on the big bang topic for his/her option on the Inflation Model – since it’s really a required part of the whole theory!

The audio outlines the topic in brief & also touches on the idea that the speed of light has changed – as some scientific models seemingly require that it should have – otherwise prediction numbers also don’t crunch as they ‘should’.

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Scientific American Magazine – April 2011
The Inflation Debate – Is the theory at the heart of modern cosmology deeply flawed?
By Paul J. Steinhardt

DEFLATING COSMOLOGY?
Cosmologists are reconsidering whether the universe really went through an intense growth spurt (yellowish region) shortly after the big bang.

In Brief

– Cosmic inflation is so widely accepted that it is often taken as established fact.
– The idea is that the geometry and uniformity of the cosmos were established during an intense early growth spurt.
– But some of the theory’s creators, including the author, are having second thoughts. As the original theory has developed, cracks have appeared in its logical foundations.
– Highly improbable conditions are required to start inflation. Worse, inflation goes on eternally, producing infinitely many outcomes, so the theory makes no firm observational predictions.
– Scientists debate among (and within) themselves whether these troubles are teething pains or signs of a deeper rot. Various proposals are circulating for ways to fix inflation or replace it.

Thirty years ago Alan H. Guth, then a struggling physics postdoc at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, gave a series of seminars in which he introduced “inflation” into the lexicon of cosmology. The term refers to a brief burst of hyperaccelerated expansion that, he argued, may have occurred during the first instants after the big bang. One of these seminars took place at Harvard University, where I myself was a postdoc. I was immediately captivated by the idea, and I have been thinking about it almost every day since. Many of my colleagues working in astrophysics, gravitational physics and particle physics have been similarly engrossed. To this day the development and testing of the inflationary theory of the universe is one of the most active and successful areas of scientific investigation.

Its raison d’être is to fill a gap in the original big bang theory. The basic idea of the big bang is that the universe has been slowly expanding and cooling ever since it began some 13.7 billion years ago. This process of expansion and cooling explains many of the detailed features of the universe seen today, but with a catch: the universe had to start off with certain properties. For instance, it had to be extremely uniform, with only extremely tiny variations in the distribution of matter and energy. Also, the universe had to be geometrically flat, meaning that curves and warps in the fabric of space did not bend the paths of light rays and moving objects. Source: Scientific American

Wikipedia explains it as follows:

The horizon problem is a problem with the standard cosmological model of the Big Bang which was identified in the late 1960s, primarily by Charles Misner. It points out that different regions of the universe have not “contacted” each other because of the great distances between them, but nevertheless they have the same temperature and other physical properties. This should not be possible, given that the transfer of information (or energy, heat, etc.) can occur, at most, at the speed of light. The horizon problem may have been answered by inflationary theory, and is one of the reasons for that theory’s formation. Source: Wikipedia

The article continues…

…two galaxies in question cannot have shared any sort of information; they are not in “causal contact”. One would expect, then, that their physical properties would be different, and more generally, that the universe as a whole would have varying properties in different areas. Contrary to this expectation, the universe is in fact extremely isotropic, which also implies homogeneity. The cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), which fills the universe, is almost precisely the same temperature everywhere in the sky, about 2.728 +/- 0.004 K. The differences in temperature are so slight that it has only recently become possible to develop instruments capable of making the required measurements. This presents a serious problem; if the universe had started with even slightly different temperatures in different areas, then there would simply be no way it could have evened itself out to a common temperature by this point in time.

The magnitude of this problem is quite large. According to the Big Bang model, as the density of the universe dropped while it expanded, it eventually reached a point where photons in the “mix” of particles were no longer immediately impacting matter; they “decoupled” from the plasma and spread out into the universe as a burst of light. This is thought to have occurred about 300,000 years after the Big Bang. The volume of any possible information exchange at that time was 900,000 light years across, using the speed of light and the rate of expansion of space in the early universe. Instead, the entire sky has the same temperature, a volume 1088 times larger.

Line of Fire Radio – Dr. Brown Interviews Young Earth Creation Scholar Dr. Jonathan Sarfati. Listen to full audio here.

Big bang illustrations: (questionable)
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The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. (John 15:19 NLT)

…so what does it tell us if the world really loves the new pope?

Line of Fire Radio – 09.23.13 Reflections on the Pope’s Recent Comments and the Role of the Church in Society. Listen to full audio here.

When we’re debating truth claims of the Christian worldview, some concepts can be valiantly defended by the atheist side in a clinical way – in a way that doesn’t have to be intimately related to, at that point. Typically, the nihilistic implications are shied away from … but it comes closer to reality with a bang sometimes –

When you’re the atheist needing to provide comfort to close friend grieving over a family member – then, like in this case, you may realize that “the life of an atheist is a tad bleak”. You can’t say “she’s in a better place” of “you’re in my prayers”. As it turns out, you’re left with nothing meaningful to say…

Note that the trite treatment of prayer in the article is an inditement of the institutionalized, empty version of what much of the western world calls christianity (removed from Christ). The christianity that is characterized by church attendance vs church embodiment i.e. “the true body of Christ in the earth” won’t “fake it”. They won’t leave the world thinking that intersession is empty commitment, because it won’t be. The world isn’t foolish as far as knowing a fake. Followers of Jesus / Yeshua, should step up & be who they say they are or admit to being no more than “fair weather christian counterfeits”.

Audio below outlines this all in brief.

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AlbertMohler.com – The Briefing 09-25-13. Listen to full audio here.

Grieving as an atheist: a surprising dilemma

I can’t remember the exact moment I became an atheist. There was no epiphany moment. I simply moved away from religion gradually until the binds fell apart completely (those binds being agnosticism, which got tossed once I realized I was simply prolonging the inevitable). But since I became an atheist, I wouldn’t say it made any drastic changes in my life – until my best friend called me one day to tell me her mother passed away.

Although we live in different parts of the country (me in New York, she in Oklahoma), we still call each other weekly. But on that particular day the usual familiarity of speaking over the phone was eclipsed by the suddenness of tragedy. I couldn’t give a sympathetic hug or offer a shoulder to cry on. All I could offer were my condolences … which were what exactly?

“I’m sorry for your loss” felt too impersonal. That’s what you say to acquaintances, not best friends. “I’m here for you”, I told her, which still didn’t feel like enough.

I felt like I should have been saying the usual things: “God is with her now”, “She’s now in heaven” or “You’re in my prayers”. These phrases sound better because these are the phrases we’re used to saying. “She’s in a better place” provides a sense of hope and optimism. “You’re in my prayers” shows caring and understanding. But that day, as I stood there on the phone struggling to think of the right things to say, I realized I couldn’t say those phrases anymore. I couldn’t tell her I was praying for her because I wasn’t. I couldn’t tell her I thought her mother was in “a better place” because to me that place was a hollow grave.

I started to realize that the life of an atheist was a tad bleak. The more I spoke, the darker the conversation became. As I drawled on about how “there was nothing you could have done” and “it is what it is”, I started to feel like a black hole. When did atheism transform me into Daria?

But even if I were still a Christian and had the privilege to pepper my condolences with hopeful phrases of heaven and angels, those phrases might sound better, and sure they provide immediate reassurance (which is what they’re designed to do), but the phrases themselves are empty. When people say they’re praying for you, how often are they really? But saying “I’m praying for you” sounds nice, regardless if there’s any truth to it or not. We’re conditioned to say these phrases whenever we’re confronted with a tragedy, but we put little thought or effort into why we say them.

Last year Kim Kardashian was criticized for tweeting that she was “praying for everyone in Israel” in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The critics lashed out, accusing the Kardashian of supporting Israel in the ongoing Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Kim later added a new tweet saying that she was “praying for everyone in Palestine and across the world!” But amidst the mud-slinging, no one thought to realize how empty a phrase “I’m praying for ______” is, how little weight it has in being anything of significance. It’s merely a crutch, a thing we say to show that a) we’re aware of a tragedy, and b) we’re sorry for whoever died in said tragedy. The amount of people who actually make it to step 2 (physically praying) is a mystery.

To some readers, all of this might sound irrelevant. Religiously-charged phrases serve a single purpose: to provide comfort, reassurance. They help people make sense of tragedies they don’t understand. They make people feel good. They provide a sense of hope when people feel like they have none. So what hope do I have as an atheist? Am I doomed to go through life telling friends and family that, no, your grandma is dead for good. There has to be a better way.

During my second phone call to my best friend, I decided I would let her do the majority of the talking. After all, this wasn’t about me, it was about my friend, and I realized the best thing I could do for her was to simply be there for her and be a supportive listener. I told her she could call me any time she wanted, even if it was 4am, even if she just wanted to bawl in my ear. Even though I wasn’t armed with an arsenal of hopeful and optimistic phrases to make her feel better with, I realized that simply being a caring and understanding friend was more important. And isn’t that what really matters? – The Guardian

How did the West lose God? This reverse “new atheist” argument is made in a compelling new book that features family cohesion & stability as a driving force / enabler in a way not considered much before. Consider the more commonplace “fatherless home”, in the same vein, and how that has also been shown as a reliable indicator for children growing up with an atheist or agnostic worldview.

Listen to the interview for a good overview of the book.

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AlbertMohler.com, Thinking in Public – How Does Secularization Really Happen? A Conversation with Mary Eberstadt. Listen to full audio here.

Is “being dead to sin” properly explained from the pulpit these days? Further illustration in the audio below.

… have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (Romans 6:3, 4 NLT)

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Listening to Ravi speak is often a treat for me. When you listen & get to what happened in a classic eureka “moment of truth” in the life of a very wealthy, but embittered divorced man, you may know what I mean. It’s not a matter of just telling a story, it’s really having the true life tales to tell through encounters with people over many years … and then being able to share those encounters in an engaging way. 🙂

Let My People Think on OnePlace.com – OnePlace.com – What Answer for the Wicked Human Heart, Part 1. Listen to full audio here & Part 2 here.