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Jul
24

Evil Proves the Existence of God

Evil Proves the Existence of God Whenever something terrible happens on the news, like the murder of innocent people, atheists often rage and say, “This proves that God does not exist, because if God is good and all-powerful, then He would stop all of the evil in the world.” The truth, however, is exactly 180 degrees in the opposite direction. The existence of evil in the world can only be adequately explained within Theism (a system of belief that presupposes the existence of God). If God does not exist, then nothing can ever be called objectively evil. You can say that you don’t like this or that, but you cannot say something is true morally wrong. To say something is evil presupposes the moral categories of good versus evil, which presupposes an objective, universal moral law. Apart from God, there is no objective basis or standard for morality, since any objective moral law requires a universal Moral Law-Giver. If we are simply the result of a big bang, of matter plus energy, evolving through time plus chance, you can never get categories of right or wrong (or really any metaphysical concept for that matter), from molecules that blew up for no reason. Put more succinctly, you can’t get ethics out of a rock. The fact that a certain set of molecules eliminated another set of molecules may be pragmatically inconvenient for your personal, subjective set of values, but it cannot be declared morally wrong in any way. You can say you don’t like it, or you wish it hadn’t happened, but there is no reason to declare that anything truly moral or evil has occurred. If God does not exist then morality does not exist and evil does not exist and stuff just happens for no cause whatsoever, so just live with it and stop complaining. Molecules live, and molecules die. That is your logical and philosophical option if you reject God. Israel Wayne is an Author and  Conference Speaker. He is the Director of Family Renewal, LLC and Site Editor...
Jul
7

Who are the Most Influential Evangelicals in America? (2015)

Who are the Most Influential Evangelicals in America? (2015) Who are the most influential Evangelicals in America? TIME Magazine took a guess at The Top 25 Evangelicals a few years back, but I think things have shifted just a tad since then. I made one of these lists four years ago, and you’ll notice some changes.   Previously listed 4-5 years ago were: James Dobson, Rob Bell, Rick Warren, Charles Colson, Louie Giglio, T.D. Jakes, Brian McLaren, Kirk Cameron, Mark Driscoll & Sarah Palin. For the purposes of this list, by “Evangelical” I mean living, current Protestant Christians and I included the Pentecostal / Charismatic movement. This year I have chosen to exclude famous Christian celebrities like actors, sports heroes and politicians from this list, to focus more on those who are mostly known for their full-time ministry work. Here is my current subjective list of who I think the top 10 most influential Evangelical leaders (for better or worse) may be (in no particular order of importance): 1. Joyce Meyer According to the last data I could find, Joyce’s organization grosses over $116,000,000 per year. She is a mega-star who has a phenomenal global following. She is consistently one of the best-selling Christian authors in America. 2. Joel Osteen Best-selling author, Joel Osteen has become a rallying point for many in the Charismatic movement because of his positive, prosperity gospel message and his southern, friendly demeanor. His mega-church in Houston grosses over $600,000 in local offerings per week, not to mention the millions in donations they receive each year from around the world. 3. Franklin  Graham The son of famous evangelist, Billy Graham, Franklin is having a huge impact on the world through his work with Samaritan’s Purse, a world-relief organization with an annual revenue of $60,000,000. Because of his willingness to speak his mind on cultural issues, he is a frequent Christian spokesman on national television. He is also the President and CEO of his father’s BGEA ministry. 4. Ronnie Floyd When you are the president of the Southern Baptist Convention (the nation’s largest evangelical organization with over 50,000 churches and over 15,000,000 members worldwide), you will likely get the chance to be included on my list. Ronnie has unified both the conservative and more progressive elements of the SBC into a fairly cohesive unit at present, which is no small task! 5. John Piper Founder of Desiring God, Piper has become a rather “hip” face for the Reformed theology crowd and has a tremendous influence on people who don’t...
Jul
6

Are Some Sins Worse than Others?

Are Some Sins Worse than Others? There is a popular belief among many people (including Christians) that all sins are equal to God and, therefore, should be viewed as equal to all of us as well. I often hear people say that, if you have any sin in your own life, you shouldn’t speak against sin in someone else’s life. The argument goes that if you have a problem with gossip, you can’t say anything about someone else’s murder habit. I even heard a lady the other day equate driving without a seat belt as being an equal sin to rape! So is it true that there is no hierarchy of sin, and that no sin is truly worse than another? I believe this view is probably subconsciously based primarily on this passage: “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not murder.’ If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:8-13, ESV). The problem with taking this passage, in isolation to the rest of Scripture, is that God, in the Bible, DOES list some sins as being more reprehensible than others. Seven Abominable Sins that God Hates Proverbs 6:16-19: “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: Haughty eyes A lying tongue Hands that shed innocent blood A heart that devises wicked plans Feet that make haste to run to evil A false witness who breathes out lies One who sows discord among brothers The Death Penalty in the Old Testament Another argument that not all sins were deemed equal is the fact that some actions in the Old Testament were deemed worthy of the death penalty under civil law, but most were not. If all sins were equal in the eyes of God, they would certainly result in equal civil punishment by Him. Capital Crimes Included: Murder (Exodus 21:12-14; Leviticus 24:17, 21) Attacking or cursing a...
Jul
4

Life, Liberty and…Happiness? Really?

Life, Liberty and…Happiness? Really? In his Two Treatises on Government in 1698, John Locke properly recognized and explained that the main goal of government was to protect the “life, liberty and property” of the citizens. Locke said: “The great and chief end therefore, of Mens uniting into Commonwealths, and putting themselves under Government, is the Preservation of their Property.” This was the commonly held view of early Americans. It was, in fact, for this very reason of the violation of property that they revolted against England. Therefore, it is disappointing and spurious to consider a shift in thinking that was introduced by Thomas Jefferson (some suggest it was Benjamin Franklin’s idea) into the wording of the Declaration of Independence. (The change was accepted by the editorial review committee for the Declaration: Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.) “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Words matter, and this “liberty” taken within the wording of the Declaration (a document that is a kind of fixed moral reference point for many Americans) has helped to bend the American experiment away from the creation of Capital, to the pursuit of Hedonism. Now granted, the early American citizens took the phrase to primarily refer to the creation and preservation of wealth, but many in our society today see the phrase more as a protection of the sexual indulgences. This is much of what is wrong with contemporary Libertarianism. That subtle shift in thinking plays a major role in leading your nation being a leader in Free Market Economics, to the slippery slope of economic Socialism. The prohibition against stealing is addressed in the 8th Commandment (whether by the citizens or the government itself), and it is for the punishment of this and other crimes against Life, Liberty and Property, that God created government (1 Peter 2:14). Allowing citizens to create wealth through the Providence of God (Deut. 8:18), may, of course, produce a by-product of satisfaction or happiness, but making happiness (in and of itself) a chief end or pursuit is neither a Biblical concept nor a sound basis for government. Israel Wayne is an Author and Conference Speaker and Director of Family Renewal, LLC. He is also the Site Editor for...

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