Root of Evil Addendum….

By jreighley - Last updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011

After discussing this on Facebook, I would like to add a bit to my previous post…

Facebook is not the cause of this problem..  All that Facebook does is provide a shortcut to a destination.  If you are struggling in your marriage, and you are looking for an alternative, It used to be a lot of work to recruit somebody to be naughty with.   For many, facebook significantly shortens that process.   Once you reach the destination “adultery” You can’t undo your trip.

Some may argue that Facebook is no different than any other form of communication.  I am not sure I agree with that.  Certainly you can communicate via telephone, but that takes some level of premeditation.  You have to hunt down the number.  Facebook tends to organically connect you with your entire past, and it requires very little premeditation.  In many cases it becomes a little rude not to interact.

As physical boundaries come down, we need to evaluate what mental boundaries we put up in their place.  If we don’t, we are likely to find ourselves in a place we never thought we would be.

I am not advocating avoiding Facebook..  Just remember to think things through before you act.  Maintain healthy boundaries.

 

Filed in Christianity, Freedom, marriage, Technology • Tags: ,

Facebook is not the root of all evil. But….

By jreighley - Last updated: Thursday, March 10, 2011

A recent study by a group of Divorce lawyers claims that 20% of all divorces cite facebook as a factor.

Some people dismiss this idea as ridiculous.   I don’t.  I think I have seen it go down a few times within my group of facebook friends. 15 or 20 years later you notice a couple divorcing their spouses and back together with a flame from the old days.

Facebook is revolutionary in its ability to connect people to their past.

If you have been intimate with somebody in the past you have defeated about 85% of the barriers to being intimate again. Plus there is the dangerous adventure factor that makes it even more tempting.

I can certainly see how it happens, but facebook can really only exasperate an existing problem. If your eyes where fixed on the person whom they belong to, you would not be likely to stray.

More commonly, I also see facebook as a comfortable, but  way-too-public rumor mill.   One spouse grousing about another (for good reason or not) can sometimes yield hefty threads of friends taking sides on an issue.   This can make a woman feel unloved, and a man feel disrespected (Eph 5:33).  The public nature of the disagreement and the spectator encouragement can make a bad situation even harder to reconcile.  It is hard to reach a compromise on an issue when everyone is telling you that you are right, and they are wrong.

Relationships take a lot of work.  I don’t think they make a good spectator sport.  I cringe a lot at  some of the stuff I see on facebook.

I would not oversell the evilness of facebook however.   Evil is not an affirmative force. Darkness cannot penetrate light. Temptation is something that we retreat into, it is not something that overtakes us.

HT: Todd Rhoades

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Thanks, NERD.

By jreighley - Last updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A few days ago, The New York Times posted a Rock Paper Scissors game.

I always thought it would be fun to use RPS to teach myself to program some artificial intelligence.

The NYT game is happy to tell you how it works.   I was kinda surprised at how rudimentary it was.  It only looks at your throws and tries to discern a pattern in them..    It doesn’t consider the interaction with it’s own throws, or if you tend to play differently after a win or a loss etc..

I got to thinking, I could replicate the algorithm it is using, predict what it thinks I am going to throw, then throw the defeating throw every time.   I bet I could really rack up the wins.

I know I have the skills to do this.  It is a huge but irresistible waste of time.  Uh oh.

Thankfully, a quick Google search revealed that spontaneoussymmetry had already done it.

Thanks, NERD.   Saved me some serious trouble.

 

 

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The Eschatology of a Lie.

By jreighley - Last updated: Monday, March 7, 2011

Lies are all around us.  What do we do with them?

One thing that I have found effective is to attach the eschatology to the lie, and hand it back to the person who gave it to you.  “You are telling me this,  And they are telling me that.   One of you is lying.  I don’t know which one.  But you do, they do, and God does.  I can’t sort it out nor do I need to.  I will do what I believe is right based on the information that  I know to be true.”

If you are a God fearing liar, this puts you in a very uncomfortable position.  Lying gained you nothing but a lie on your undeniable resume that you will give an account for in the end.

Lies are incapable of changing truth.  I do think that we forget that in this day and age.   We have bought into the idea that perception is reality, therefore when we change perception we change reality.

Perception is actually the sin filter that we use to justify our ungodly actions.    It is our attempt to destroy God’s reality and build a replacement reality that is more to our liking.

But our reality is irrelevant.   If we walk off a cliff there is still a sudden stop when we hit the bottom weather we believe in the cliff or not.  Sin leads to destruction weather we believe it does or not.

In the end, lies are powerless.  Truth always wins.  Lies can only distort perception, it is powerless against reality.

 

Filed in Christianity, Doctrines of Grace, Eschatology • Tags: , , , ,

The Bell tolls again.

By jreighley - Last updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

When you ask a bunch of provocative questions in an attempt to start a conversation, is it legitimate for people to complain and point accusing fingers when your ploy  works?

 

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Word Proposal :Thethupha

By jreighley - Last updated: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I propose a new word to replace the what I believe is the most commonly used phrase in America.

When one of the high priests or priestess of gluttony hands you your idol, they almost invariably say “There’s That For Ya”.  Listen for it.  You will be amazed.  At Starbucks, Dairy Queen, McDonalds — pretty much anywhere you buy stuff to stuff your face with.    It is the Mantra of the great American gluttony religion.   I am amazed 2 or 3 times a day.

When you start to think of this phrase as a religious mantra, it almost makes me want to avoid the drive through altogether.  The phrase is like fingernails on the chalkboard, convicting me of my sin.

Anyway, it America would waste a lot less syllables if we just invented a new word.  We could save 2 syllables per trip if they just barked “TheThuPha” at you as they handed you your stuff.  Some of the worst offenders use the phrase 2 or 3 times over the course of one transaction.

Anyway, enough of this,  I think it is time to run get a mocha.

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More on the Rob Bell stuff..

By jreighley - Last updated: Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Seems like the bulk of public opinion is disapproves of Justin Taylor’s treatment of Rob Bell…   (Taylor has not read Bell’s book yet, but is judging it based on the promotional materials)

I think that Rob Bell has built a track record, and there is plenty of reason to be critical and discerning about Bell’s teaching.

Mark Driscoll had obviously done his homework before he gave this talk two years ago.   (He addresses Rob Bell’s writing and teaching about 40 minutes in)

On the other hand. It is not unlikely that Rob Bell Lands where I land on hell… We will see when the book comes out.  There are a lot of solid evangelical Christians who believe in a more figurative hell.  CS Lewis, John Stott, Tim Keller, NT Wright etc.  So long as we agree that it is a very bad place that worth avoiding at all costs, I don’t think we necessarily breach orthodoxy much.

Filed in Christianity, Eschatology • Tags: , , , ,

Rob Bell Rescues Ghandi from Hell.

By jreighley - Last updated: Monday, February 28, 2011

I just wanted to use that headline.   I don’t have anything much to say about it.  (Regarding this)

It is interesting how we assume some people must be  “good enough”   Where do you draw the line??  That is always what it comes down to.   By what standard do we judge?

It is not our lack of good deeds that condemns us, it is the existence of a single bad deed.  Sin would ruin heaven.

Filed in Christianity, History • Tags: , , , ,

John MacArthur’s timely comments on George Washington’s birthday

By jreighley - Last updated: Monday, February 21, 2011

Choice John MacArthur quote from the Christian Post article “Influential Evangelical: Mideast Uprisings Violate Biblical Command

But from a biblical perspective, MacArthur maintained that the protesters are in violation of the biblical command to “submit to the powers that be because they’re ordained of God.”

“I would have wished the American government, which has a history of Christianity, would have risen up and said ‘this is wrong, this is forbidden for people to do this, this is intolerable,” he said.

“I’m not saying Moammar Gadhafi is the best leader; I’m not saying that Mubarak is a great, benevolent and just leader, not when he’s got $70 billion in his own pockets at the expense of people,” he clarified.

But, he stressed, believers are commanded to live orderly, peaceful lives, subjecting themselves to whatever the government would be.

It will be interesting what happens in Southern California as it’s longtime Christian leaders fade into old age and questionable judgement.  (See last week’s post regarding Chuck Smith)

In thinking of such things, I am reminded of a very powerful message that Mark Driscoll delivered to the New Frontiers movement in the UK regarding the life of movements. The audio here The audio is well worth the hour if you have it.  Prophetic and pastoral on a massive scale.

Filed in Christianity, Freedom, History, Politics • Tags: , , , , ,

There is no such thing as a flashdark.

By jreighley - Last updated: Monday, February 21, 2011

Flashlights are a pretty neat invention.  You can swing them in a particular direction, and things suddenly appear before your eyes..

If you ever want to have fun, go down to your local store and ask the clerk if they have any flashdarks.  Just like a flashlight, but with the opposite function.   You shine it at something and it fades into darkness before your eyes.

The idea is fairly preposterous.

This is why I believe we error when we believe evil to come from an affirmative source.  Evil is merely darkness.  It is a void.   It cannot be created or instigated.  You cannot make somebody evil.

Some may argue that this is unbiblical.  That Satan is the affirmative source of evil.   I disagree.   Satan’s only weapon is lies.  Lies are a lack of truth.  He can convince us to be comfortable in the dark, and he can convince us to flee and fear the light, but darkness has no power of it’s own.

I think that when we thing of evil as a power, we tend to fight it incorrectly.  No matter how hard you swing at darkness you are not going to hit it.  It isn’t there.  It cannot be defeated because there is nothing to defeat. The way you fight darkness is with light.  No amount of darkness can resist even the smallest light.  The darkness loses every time.

Truth is true.  Lies die.  Most of us believe convenient lies,  and that allows us to justify doing things that are harmful or destructive to others or to our own legacy.  I think in our heart of hearts we know that the lies are lies.  Shading ourselves from the light does not change our nature at all.  We are what we are weather anyone sees it or not.

In the end, our shelter of lies will be exposed, and we will be who we are.  Darkness cannot and will not overcome the light.  So we can come to peace with the truth now, or we can continue on our destructive self deceptive path.  In the end light will win.

Filed in Christianity, Eschatology • Tags: , , , ,