Category Archives: Christianity

The Hand of God

Hand of God
A friend recently encouraged me to recall the times I perceived the hand of God on my life.

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How to Assess a Website’s Trustworthiness – Part 4

The Internet can leave the truth-seeker feeling pretty hopeless. For every website that says one thing, you can find another that says the opposite. How can you find the truth in over a billion websites of he-said/she-said?

The last three posts in this series suggested some ideas, but now I offer what I believe is the most important and reliable test:

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“What I’ve Been Told…”

Here at the public library, I just overheard a remarkable conversation.

A middle-aged woman with a couple of kids and a slightly older gentleman were sitting at adjacent computers. The woman was earnestly explaining that the Church does not consist of a building, but of people. She also said something I didn’t catch about the Rapture (the belief that when Jesus returns all true believers will be taken up to meet him in the clouds).

The man disagreed and said, “What I’ve been told is…”

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Why Is Hell So Important to Evangelical Christianity?

Last time, I promised this post would consider the purpose of hell. It has been so long since that promise that some of my readers may think that I have actually gone there, but fear not: I have not and neither will you.

Alive and well so far, let’s turn to the cheerful subject of why hell is so important to evangelical Christianity.

1) Without hell, Jesus’ death on the cross is meaningless.

Several years ago, one of my daughters, who was a Christian, said she was worried about going to hell. At the time, I was still a Christian too, but, in the midst of my four-year period of deep questioning, there were some things I had figured out. I assured her, “Don’t worry. The doctrine of hell is ridiculous. A just God would not punish anyone for an infinite amount of time for sins committed in this lifetime’s comparative blink of an eye. Infinite punishment for finite sins makes no sense.”

She immediately saw the truth of my argument and stopped worrying about hell.

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“The Gates of Hell Are Locked on the Inside”

There are some beliefs that are so morally reprehensible that to dignify them with even a one-word response would only add to their offense, yet so common among otherwise decent people that one feels compelled spend a thousand words refuting them.

The list of such beliefs includes the conviction that African-Americans were better off enslaved in the South than left to their own devices in Africa; the assertion that poor people are just lazy; and the cultural attitudes behind the “honor killing” of rape victims.

Akin to these, but even higher on the list, is the belief advanced by no less a Christian luminary than C.S. Lewis, that “the gates of hell are locked on the inside” because the souls confined there for eternity are in rebellion against God and do not wish to be with him in heaven.

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Holding Wife and Children Hostage

Men get a bad rap for being sex-obsessed — only concerned with how many notches they have on their bedposts. Yes, sex is important to men, but let’s remember that most men would literally risk their lives to protect their girlfriends or families. In fact, even men who “act like animals” would do this, for male animals, too, will fight to the death to protect their mates.

Let that be in the back of your head as you read Exodus 21:2-6.

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Does the Bible Allow Polygamy?

All the languages of the world are not sufficient to express the filth of polygamy. It makes of man a beast, of woman, a trembling slave. It destroys the fireside, makes virtue an outcast, takes from human speech its sweetest words, and leaves the heart a den, where crawl and hiss the slimy serpents of most loathsome lust. … The marriage of the one man to the one woman is the citadel and fortress of civilization. Without this, woman becomes the prey and slave of lust and power, and man goes back to savagery and crime.

So proclaims the great agnostic orator of the 19th century, Robert Ingersoll, in his meditation Some Mistakes of Moses.

But did Moses really make a mistake? Does the Bible allow polygamy?

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