Monday, August 24, 2015

Ashley Madison, Our Outrage and Blindness

This week we all heard about a hacker group that released the names of the users of an Internet service called Ashley Madison,  which is set up to help people have an extramarital affair.  There has been shock and horror as names of Christians have been released.  Maybe we need to stop and take a look at what has brought us here and maybe the shock will become grief and hopefully repentance.

The group that claims responsibility said they wanted the site shut down. Apparently they think it's a bad idea for people to have an affair. The problem is they need to be working on shutting down the porn industry,  that would definately be David and Goliath.  The porn industry in this country is huge,  in size,  influence and income. The amount of money brought in by pornography is staggering and we may never fully know the extent. It's said that 50 to 75% of men have a pornography addiction and the rate is quickly rising among women. 1 in 2 Christian men is addicted to porn,  that includes Pastors,  Elders and Deacons. The problem is so much bigger than Ashley Madison.

Combine that with the soft porn that is all over media, and you have hyper-sexualization. My boys can't even walk to the video game store in the mall without seeing the Victoria Secret pictures in the mall. Teenage girls are wearing tiny bikinis that were once only worn in raunchy college movies. The problem is out of control and way bigger than Ashley Madison.

Satan has two huge weapons,  lust and greed and they are together in this country to create a mine field. Marriage as it stands today is bombarded with attacks. I have seen numbers that 50% of marriages report some sort of infidelity.  That is report,  who knows how high the actual numbers are.  Combine that with the porn addiction of many men and women,  the promiscuity of our population and the greed of Internet porn industries,  and Ashley Madison is born,  and of course it's successful. It's the next stage in our depravity. People want to have the dangerous and erotic and now there is a business to help you do it. The hackers may have released the names of the users,  but the company won't go away. How do I know? I see people arrested for prostitution in my local paper,  but there are still prostitutes in my town. I see people arrested for drugs and drinking and bad behavior, and they continue to do those things.

What do we do in response to finding Christians and Christian leaders on Ashley Madison? We realize the problem is much closer than we want to admit. We would like to say the issue is in Vegas and New Orleans and San Francisco. It's not,  it exists in the small towns,  in the Heartland,  in the Bible Belt,  in the church.  It exists in your home,  soft porn is finding it's way in through the TV,  magazines, Internet and all over sources of media. We must resist it,  pray against it and hold it at bay with all we can muster,  but don't be deceived. We cannot assume that this reality won't enter our homes,  our lives.  The individual who says they will never have an affair is often the first to fall when temptation comes along,  and it will come. Let's be aware,  let's be vigalent and let's pray for one another. Lust and greed are ever where,  and the temptation is great. We need God!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Believe a Review of Ralf Crawford's book.

I was intrigued by the title. Believe: Proof That God Is Real. The title and the book claims to be able to prove there is a God. I believe in God, but everyone wants some proof,  right?  So I read it.

It wasn't a bad read, and there were some good points made. The book is apologetic work,  and it makes good and rational arguments,  but unfortunately they cannot be considered proof. There are many things that validate the claims of scripture,  but nothing that can be tested in a lab and shown to be proof.

Science in the only way to have proof.  Science is the study of the natural world. God,  by definition,  is supernatural,  outside of the natural world,  so science cannot prove,  disprove or even test for God or anything about God. As Phil Vischer states in his video series "Do You Know What's In The Bible",  using science to test for God or miracles is the wrong tool.  It's like trying to tell time with a thermometer. Science can't tell us about things outside of the natural world. Since we can't study God with science,  we can't have proof.

The nail in the coffin I'm afraid came at the end of the book. The archeological claims of Ron Wyatt are suspicious at best.  He claims to have discovered,  among other things,  the Arc of the Covenant,  but has not produced any evidence outside of his own story. This is the last piece of questionable "evidence"  along with crying statues,  appearances of Mary,  and the Shroud of Turin.  All interesting points to consider,  but far from proof.

This is a fun read,  give it a try to learn a few things,  but I don't recommend buying a stack and giving it to all your atheist friends.  It's not going to convert them,  it will give them more ammunition about unsubstantiated claims. Some of the material is evidence,  but the book is far from "proof".