logo
Jul
22

In Defense of Shame

In Defense of Shame Shame (and shaming) is something our culture seeks to avoid at all costs. It is deemed to be “unkind,” and therefore, “not nice,” and therefore something we should never experience, or hope for others to experience. Is that how God sees the subject? What is God’s view? Are we viewing this issue through the lenses of Scripture, or the lenses of secular culture? First of all, it might be helpful for us to define the term. Noah Webster’s 1828 dictionary says of the noun form: A painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done something which injures reputation; or by that which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal. Shame is particularly excited by the disclosure of actions which, in the view of men, are mean and degrading. Hence it is often or always manifested by a downcast look or by blushes, called confusion of face. And of the verb (as in “shaming” someone): To make ashamed; to excite a consciousness of guilt or of doing something derogatory to reputation; to cause to blush. The concept of disgrace is rooted in a universal moral law. There is an objective “right” and an objective “wrong.” There are truths that are true for all people, in all places, at all times. I believe the main reason people in our postmodern age chafe against the notion of shame, is that they also, even subconsciously, are fuzzy in their minds about the absolute nature of moral truth. Most people today, even Christians, essentially believe that all truth is relative, and that everyone has a different “truth,” or set of ethics that are right “for them.” God is, in His very nature and character, the standard that defines right and wrong. He IS truth. That which does not conform to His personhood is sinful. When we fall short of His righteous standard, our conscience alerts us that we are not living the way we should. (Ravi Zacharias has also spoken on this topic.) What does the Bible say about shame? Let’s examine some examples of God shaming the rebellious: “All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let...
Aug
10

Legal Does NOT Mean Moral!

Legal Does NOT Mean Moral! In much of Western Culture, there is a belief that if something is legal, it must be morally acceptable. Why do people think this way? In a previous post, I talked about how Friedrich Nietzsche shifted our cultural vocabulary away from speaking about morals (which are objective), to talking about “values,” (which are subjective). When morality becomes relativized (the belief that there is no objective moral truth, only personal, subjective opinions), there are only a couple of options left for a civilization to keep itself from being hurled headlong into the abyss of anarchy (making up your own rules), hedonism (living for pleasure), and utter chaos. Civil Law (which restrains society) will either be based on an objective moral law (which can only ultimately come from God), or man’s subjective opinions. Our society has rejected the concept of objective morality because it necessitates a moral law-giver (God), and the notion of a God to whom we owe our allegiance and submission has become reprehensible to many. So that leaves us with human opinions. If a society is detached from an objective moral law, the people will be governed by: 51% of the majority opinion in a country (a Democracy). An monoarchy (rule by a king, queen or dictator) An oligarchy (rule by a small group of elites who control everything) A representative Constitutional republic. Our nation has been, in concept, the fourth of these options. We are to be governed by the Rule of Law, and not by the mere whim of our leaders, or even of the people themselves. We have a couple of written documents from our nation’s Founding Fathers: The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. In a so-called “secular” society, that refuses to acknowledge God and be internally governed by His moral law (Self-Government), these documents (and the laws that have emerged from our law-makers since that time, have become, by necessity, a kind of moral plumb-line, or secular Bible for the American people. Therefore, whatever is established by a written man-made law or code becomes in the minds of people the definition of what is right or wrong, or acceptable and unacceptable. The problem with this, however, is that humans can be wrong, and their opinions can change. Today there are many things that are deemed legal. and therefore, at least subconsciously for many, moral and ethical. Abortion and homosexual marriage used to be viewed in our society as moral...
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...
Mar
12

“Whatever Works is Right” — The Danger of Pragmatism

“Whatever Works is Right” — The Danger of Pragmatism Ideas have consequences. You and I are often unknowingly influenced by various philosophies and ideologies. A faulty worldview that subtly impacts the lives of many Christians is Pragmatism. The Process and the End Result Pragmatism is the belief that the end result is all that matters. The ends justify the means. It doesn’t matter how you get from point A to point B, as long as you get to point B. The method or form you use is of no importance, as long as you achieve your goal. Whatever works is the best choice. This idea may look good on the surface, but in reality it isn’t Biblical, and it doesn’t work. Pragmatism, as practiced by Christians, is built on at least two false assumptions. Fallacy #1 “We can use our own human reasoning to figure out what is best for us, and determine God’s will for our life.” We must remember that we are finite, and God is infinite. The fact is, unless we are given a direct instruction from God, in His Word, we cannot always know what God’s ultimate plans might be in any given situation. Oftentimes we deceive ourselves by choosing to believe that what we want for our lives is also what God wants. Fallacy #2 Secondly, Christian pragmatists wrongly assume: “God cares only about the end result and is uninterested in the process.” This is proven wrong time and again in Scripture. God is concerned with our making it to our final destination, but He also cares how we go about getting there. Pragmatism finds its way into the many decisions in our lives; business, marriage, parenting, church life, economics, education and more. Pragmatism Examined In Scripture, we see many examples of Pragmatism and its results. In 2 Sam. 6 and 1 Chron. 13, the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Philistines. King David wanted to bring the Ark back to God’s people. The first act of Pragmatism was to assume that God didn’t care how they brought the Ark back, as long as it came back safely. A clue to their mentality is found in 1 Chron. 13:4, “the thing seemed right in the eyes of all the people.” Disregarding the specific Levitical instruction for the priests to carry the Ark, the people loaded it on an ox cart and led it along. Along the way, the oxen stumbled and the Ark appeared ready to fall. Uzzah pragmatically decided that the...
May
4

Why Government Needs to Get Out of Healthcare

Healthcare is not the domain of the civil government. Medical expenses, above and beyond the ability of an individual or a family to pay, falls into the category of a charitable need. In this essay, I will seek to outline how God has directed these needs to be handled in the Scripture. In the Bible, God has created various spheres of government: The Individual, the Family, the Church and the Civil Magistrate. Each of these spheres has been given authority over separate and distinct spheres and should never cross the jurisdiction of the other. This concept is called the doctrine of Sphere Sovereignty. When Paul was talking to Timothy about the care of widows in the church, he puts the responsibility squarely on the individual (in particular on the man) to care for widows who are in financial need (this falls under a charitable need). “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Timothy 5:8, ESV) If an individual and/or family cannot or will not care for their own relatives, then Paul directs the church to  provide for widows who meet the necessary requirements for church care: “If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.” (1 Timothy 5:16, ESV) What should be done for people who have no family and cannot find help within their local church? Well, they should find another church. Never is the Civil Magistrate given the role of being involved in charity. “For (the Civil Magistrate) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4) “(The Civil Magistrate is) sent by God for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” (1 Peter 2:14) The civil magistrate’s role is one of force, and the Bible forbids the concept of force ever being used for charity. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV) You can learn more of why government funding of charity (legal plunder), including tax-payer funded healthcare, is immoral HERE....

« Previous Entries

logo
© Israel Wayne.