Cannot Be a Believer Litmus Test

From a post on my personal Facebook account:

Facebook postThis article is especially troubling for two reasons. First, it implicitly establishes a religious test for a government appointment, which is unconstitutional. Second, Russell Vought is unable to flat-out say that you are lost without Jesus (although, in fairness to him, he does mention, multiple times, the centrality of Christ to salvation).

It is pretty much taken as fact that now that faith equals blind faith. That if you don’t believe in scientism and materialism…and instead have a worldview that includes the supernatural…the reason and logic portions of your brain are either shut-off or so heavily degraded that you cannot be trusted to lead in the public realm. Yet, given throughout history, scientists and other great thinkers frequently (most often?) have believed in something beyond that which we can taste, smell, touch, hear, or see…that which we can measure…it proves faith does _not_ equate to illogic and/or unreason. If anything, belief in a God of order (versus randomness)…and a Being who reveals Himself…aided in scientific discovery by adding confidence that the Lord’s ways in the physical realm could also be discovered, converted into scientific theories and laws, and be used as a foundation for more discoveries, theories and laws.

Faith is _not_ equivalent to blind faith. Even in our little church here in Strasburg we stress individual research and reason. The great principles of science are a boon to theology, and theology is not hampered by the philosophical (not scientific) rule that the supernatural is off-limits. We can truly allow the evidence to lead us where it may…instead of setting arbitrary boundaries that hamper truth, not aid it.

Finally, nobody but God knows the eternal salvation of any individual. I have often said we’ll be surprised by who we see in heaven…and who we don’t. But logic and reason also say that, for instance, Islam and Christianity cannot both be right (although they can both be wrong). If Christianity is right, everything that points people away from its God…whether it be Islam, Buddhism, scientism, or <fill in the blank here>…is an impediment to everlasting salvation. Does that mean every atheist or Hindu or Muslim is damned? No. However, it would be quite unloving (and unreasoned and illogical) of me not to tell non-Christians the path they are on leads to eternal death, not eternal life.

However, as Vought tries to point out during his testimony, that does not mean that on this side of eternity I will treat anyone differently based on what path, as horrible as it may be, they have chosen. We are all afflicted with the same disease (sin)…and we are all navigating this troubled, chaotic world together.

God is love. He has so much more to do to my heart to make my love even 1% of His, but I do love you regardless of your faith.

And don’t let anyone fool you…we all have faith in something.

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/448393/watch-bernie-sanders-unconstitutionally-impose-religious-test-public-office

Thoughts? Please comment below…

Interpreting Away the Great Comission

Intricate cross blocked by hand with German flag colorsI read a truly disturbing article last night:

“Why German Protestants Will Stop Converting Muslims”

Basically, a draft document for the Protestant Church in Germany nixes the idea of evangelizing Muslims:

The Church does not only categorically rejects the conversion of reform-minded Muslims but outright dismisses all missionary work directed at Muslims.

There is so much wrong in the article you should read the whole thing yourself, but here is the explantion of why the Great Comission (Matthew 28:16-20) doesn’t apply the same way it did the last two millenia: [Read more…]

Proving There Is A God, Sodom Found (Maybe), and Scientists Reducing Faith

 NewspapersI saw three interesting articles on the Internet today. The first says there is no way to prove there is a God:

“Why God Cannot Be Proven: A Star Trek Argument”

Basically, it claims you can always posit that anything that seems supernatural is actually just a smarter alien using non-supernatural means that seem magical to us.

I would suggest, instead, it fits my saying that “proof is in the eye of the beholder”—that people will not believe what they don’t want to believe. However, in fairness to the writer, proof of an infinite being might itself be infinite, and we have finite brains. We may have no choice but to have faith bridge the gap…

But that faith would still be based on evidence versus the false modern equivication of faith with blind faith.

The second article says they may have found the biblical city of Sodom: [Read more…]

Traditores Higher Frequency

Traditores Higher FrequencyTraditores is proud to announce that in a week it will begin its first broadcast show, Traditores Higher Frequency. Please visit its home page for more information about the when and the what.

And, of course, please listen in! 🙂

P.S.  The web address for Traditores Higher Frequency is http://thf.fyi.

It Is Wrong. Full Stop.

Pistol with french flag pattern in handThere are times when the word “but” should never occur in a sentence. One of them is when apologizing. Just apologize. Don’t say, “I’m sorry, but…”

Well, unless you really aren’t apologizing.

Another time to not use the word “but” is when someone murders someone else. For instance, say, when radical Islamist terrorists kill 12 people at a satirical French magazine.

It is wrong. Full stop.

I do not believe in needlessly offending anyone—I am a Romans 12:18 kind of guy. But, whenever I think of this horrendous act I don’t care what they did or said or ate for breakfast.

It is wrong. Full stop. [Read more…]

2015 Stats

Thanks to Jetpack by WordPress.com, here’s a look Traditores’ site stats

“A good word for #the15…but Fahrner left out Ephesians 5:11”

Laodicean ReportThe Laodicean Report gives a quick review of “My Advice for #the15” page:

“A good word for #the15…but Fahrner left out Ephesians 5:11”

Good news is that I may not have included Ephesians 5:11, but I sure agree with it. 🙂

Thanks for reading and reviewing it @laodiceanreport!

P.S. And no qualms with “the LR editors have concerns with some of Fahrner’s beliefs” — there is a reason why I originally humorously titled it “Why I Am a Heretic.” 🙂

Better Watch Out…Here Come the Tone Police!

Tone Police 'speak the truth in love' badge #2Traditores is proud to announce the formation of the Tone Police!

The Tone Police are Christians who encourage those who “speak the truth in love” to emulate the Tone Police Commissioner, Jesus Christ, while doing so.

You can read more about…and join…the new force at TonePolice.org.

P.S. Although its “work” is serious, we officers of the Tone Police don’t take ourselves too seriously. Book ’em , Danno! 🙂

“I have the right to doubt, am I using it?”

20140328-095300.jpgI listen to old-time radio all night, specifically 20th Century Radio. This morning, after my wife’s alarm unintentionally went off (doh!) and my youngest daughter (not considering it is two hours earlier here, doh!) texted, “Happy Thanksgiving,” Night Beat’s “Target for a Day” episode was playing. The main character, reporter Randy Stone, had been falsely accused by a competing paper’s gossip columnist of committing a murder that a another man was, midnight that day, to be executed for. The death row inmate’s wife completely believed the article and was going to kill Stone the very moment her husband’s life was ended. There is more to the plot, but given the recent Ferguson, Missouri situation (and the Trayvon Martin one before it), Stone’s monologue at the end seemed especially apropos and sage:

But by the same token, would you past the test? How good are you at telling the lie from the truth? Does the truth vary according to your personal convenience? Black one day, white the next?

The next time you read anything, ask yourself, “I have the right to doubt, am I using it?” Because it is too dangerous living in a world of misinformed people. There is a reason why the lie is the tyrant’s favorite death weapon. It’s killed more people since the world began than all the armies and automobiles put together.

The Bible, a much more reliable source of wisdom than a radio drama (or leaders, politicians, and the media with agendas), states this much more succinctly:

Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment (John 7:24, English Standard Version).

Pray for the families and friends of Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, but also pray that your judgment of those two young men…and those who ended their lives…is not “according to your personal convenience.” For…

For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you (Matthew 7:2).

Like Christmas Music? Try radio.countdown2.christmas

Santa with treeOur sister Christmas site is countdown2.christmas, and it now has it’s own Christmas music station thanks to Radionomy! Although a bit more is mixed in, its playlist is based on our “Christmas Album Must Haves”. Trust me, it’s the best Christmas music on this planet :-), so you should give it a listen: http://radio.countdown2.christmas (Yes, there is really a .christmas domain extension now…)

Link Round-Up

I’ve been amiss in sharing links, perhaps in part because I don’t want my posts to always be negative. So, with little commentary, here are some articles for review…

One overall comment…linking to an article does not mean I agree with it…

Do You Have a 5-4 Faith?

U.S. ConstitutionIn a decision yesterday that was a win for religious freedom, the U.S. Supreme Court found in favor of Hobby Lobby and some other companies, ruling that they cannot be forced to provide insurance coverage for certain types of birth control they consider abortifacients.

Although I am more a glass half full kind of guy, I guess I don’t see this as good news? Why?

Because even though the U.S. Constitution says this…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

…the victory was by only a single vote.

Liberalism generally gains incrementally, but once they win a battle it is no longer up for discussion. Sooner or later it’ll be 5-4 the other direction and, permanently, we will have government officials who know your faith better than you do, just as Justice Ginsburg does in her dissent:

[Read more…]

Free Will == Brain Background Noise?

A brain filling via a funnelThe concept of free will could be little more than the result of background noise in the brain, according to a recent study.

Okay…

According to the research, published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, decisions could be predicted based on the pattern of brain activity immediately before a choice was made.

Well, looks like we can get into a bit of a “Does foreknowledge require predestination?” argument. But avoiding that tangent…

“The state of the brain right before presentation of the cue determines whether you will attend to the left or to the right,” Bengson said.

Well, a few thoughts: [Read more…]

Differences Between the Two Largest Presbyterian Denominations

PCUSA logoYou may have heard that the Presbyterian Church (USA) just moved to divest of three companies doing business connected with Israel (strike 1) and to allow their ministers to bless same-sex marriages (strike 2). However, this comparison of them and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) shows they, from a Christian and biblical sense, struck out long ago:

“13 Differences Between the PCA and the PCUSA”

The article compares women’s ordination, biblical inerrancy, abortion, homosexuality, divorce, Confession of Faith, Calvinism, evangelism (and exclusivity), the relationship between the local church and the denomination, denominational governance, creation and evolution, political involvement, and worship.

Sounds like a lot, but it’s relatively short. It is written by a PCA minister, but I suspect it is fairly accurate about the PCUSA.

P.S. My views of same-sex marriage are discussed in “Beliefs” and my view of homosexuality is spoken to in “What I Think About Homosexuals and Homosexuality.”

P.P.S. I probably should note that although I agree far more theologically with PCA than with PCUSA, there is a reason I am not a member of either. 🙂

(The PCUSA logo is used within normal “fair use” guidelines.)

Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag

Sudan's flag and coat of armsUPDATE: It looks like Meriam will be released?:

Sudanese authorities are to free a woman who was sentenced to death for having abandoned the Islamic faith, a foreign ministry official says.

Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth to a daughter in custody, will be freed in a few days, the official told the BBC.

Abdullahi Alzareg, an under-secretary at the foreign ministry, said Sudan guaranteed religious freedom and was committed to protecting the woman.

Khartoum has been facing international condemnation over the death sentence.

(From “Meriam Ibrahim: Sudan ‘to free’ death row woman.”)

Until she’s actually free (and safe), don’t stop praying for her and letting the Sudanese government know of your concern (please see my original post below).


I am not a fan of open letters, especially between Christians. However, I don’t see how a government can be encouraged to do what is right outside of public outcry, so below is what I penned to the Sudanese embassy based on Franklin Graham’s suggestion:

I encourage everyone to follow the link Franklin gave…

http://www.sudanembassy.org/index.php?option=com_breezingforms&Itemid=13

…and do the same. One does not have to be a Christian to know that, as a world, we have to fight for religious liberty.

Hello,

I know that courts can sometimes hand down rulings that the government does not agree with, and I hope that is the case with the recent one sentencing Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag to lashings and death. No one should be punished for changing his or her faith, regardless of what the change was. It is even more a farce if Amnesty International is correct:

“Amnesty International said the woman, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood” (from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-27424064).

Please do the humane and honorable thing and set aside the conviction and sentence, and make legal and/or constitutional changes that mean nobody can be similarly convicted of adultery and apostasy. As a religious man I appreciate the concern for keeping people within a faith, but nobody who converts thanks to fear (direct like this or otherwise) is truly a believer. Even if this approach was effective, it is criminal and abhorant.

Please show the world this court does not reflect Sudan.

My best,

Alan

UPDATE: Alas, originally typing my letter in very small font in a web form on an iPad, I had “humane an honorable” when I meant “humane and honorable.” I changed it in the quote above so it would read the way intended.