October 1st, 2013
government-shutdown

The House Always Wins

The Power of the Purse as a Check and Balance

This is a guest post written by O.Shane Balloun. I keep seeing a lot of demurring over the propriety of the House's actions in refusing to fund the ACA. The protests based on the notion that the "will of the people" was done when ACA was passed both forget the politicking that was done to ensure its passage and, more importantly, ignore the fact that the will of the American people—at least as represented by biennial choices of representatives—changes. As conceived by the Framers of the Constitution, the House of Representatives was always supposed to be the pulsating agent of the People at large. Accordingly, the Framers devised to put the main scepter of power—money—into the hands of the House precisely so it could be used politically when the other branches were not obeying the current will of the people. No one can honestly say, even in spite of the 17th Amendment, that each Senator closely represents the will of the people of his state because his representation... Continue reading

September 11th, 2013

Claiming to be wise, they became fools

The title of this post is an excerpt from Romans 1 where Paul is explaining how those who abandon belief in God end up becoming fools. He also says they still know deep down that God exists, but they "suppress the truth in their unrighteousness". Richard Dawkins is a recent example of what Paul means. Yesterday, Dawkins defended "mild pedophilia" and claimed it did no lasting harm to him. This is a man who says that raising children in a Christian home is child abuse, but somehow mild pedophilia isn't. This is outright foolish. I would argue that his atheism is lasting harm from his experienced child abuse, at least in part. When real child abuse occurs, deep down the child's faith in being protected is marred. This experience, later on, threatens faith in a good God who is Protector. Thankfully, God is good, always always always taking the evil mankind does and using it for good. Thankfully, God is a protector to those who call him "Father", by putting their trust in Jesus. My... Continue reading

August 12th, 2013

God Loves The Sinner And Hates The Sinner [Audio]

Make sure you read the title correctly, especially the last word in the title. The bit I've quoted below is at the end of the audio. The complete audio has Scripture references that are crucial for understanding why the saying "God loves the sinner, but hates the sin" is misleading. God comes to us, not in our attractiveness, like 'oh I really love this person, I just hate their sin'—No! He finds me reprehensible because of my rebellion just like we find certain wicked people reprehensible because of their sin. And he's coming to us and he's dying for us in order that he might make us into the apple of his eye. So God can love us with the intent to save us even when he's hating God-despising rebels like us. And then when he saves us, he transforms us so that now he not only loves us with the intent to bless us forever, but he loves us with an ever-increasing delight in helping us make much of him." - John... Continue reading

August 11th, 2013
dota2-ti3

The International

The Championship You Probably Haven't Heard Of

The prize pool was over $2.8 million dollars. Sponsored contestants flew in to Seattle from Sweden, Eastern Europe, China, Malaysia, different parts of the USA, and spectators from all over the world. The winners of the tournament took home $1.4 million dollars. All of this is about a video game called Defense of The Ancients 2 (Dota2) Esports: Competitive video game playing and money is usually in the prize pool. I do enjoy a good pickup game of basketball, but I've never been into watching physical sports. Since I used to be an avid video gamer my heart is warm to the idea of esports. When a friend of mine and his brothers were taking a special trip out to Seattle, my old stomping ground nonetheless, to be spectators at the third The Dota 2 International, my interest was piqued. I started reading up on the game, the rules, the format, and I even squeezed in a handful of matches myself. All of a sudden the championship became relevant to me. The game is essentially a 5... Continue reading

May 6th, 2013

God-Esteem

Self-esteem often sounds like another way of saying self-love. The problem we have as humans is not that we love ourselves too little, but that we love ourselves too much. Whatever opinion we have of ourselves , we are beset with a preoccupation with ourselves." - Porterbrook, Pastoral Care II, Sheffield. Humans have rebelled against God, we have chosen self-rule, and now we try to justify ourselves. (Note the preoccupation with self). The Apostle Paul calls this self-justification "dirty rags" (as opposed to white cloth symbolizing a pure justification). This rebellion is sin and left alone we are hopeless. But, God came to earth as a man, Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion. Believers in Jesus receive a righteousness and justification from Christ, not themselves. Therefore: The radical nature of Christian theology means that it produces God-esteem. As a result, the individual is left worshipping God rather than admiring... Continue reading

March 31st, 2013

Support For “Gay Marriage” Is Unintended Hate Towards Gay People

"Gay marriage" is not a threat to the institution of marriage. If God created this world (and He did: Genesis 1:1), then marriage is His institution. He made it and defined it and that's never going to change. God is its arbiter. Marriage is not about tax breaks and it's not, at the head, about two people who agree to love each other. Marriage is not primarily about you or me or any of us. Marriage is between one man and one woman for the purposes of showing the whole world how God loves his people (the Church): Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church." - Ephesians 5:31-32 The laws of nations may say that marriage is something else, but that doesn't change what marriage is. Marriage (which includes and requires sex) is therefore supposed to be a testimony of God's love for His people. Anything that is outside of God's... Continue reading

February 10th, 2013

In For a Penny, In For a Pound

A couple of weeks back I wrote a post that explains how American slave owners dehumanized their slaves to justify slavery. I argued that this same argument underlies the legality and cultural acceptance of abortion, whether it is admitted or not. That same week, someone on the pro-choice side of things admitted this very point. Arguments that unborn babies are not yet human are becoming less believable in our culture because it's a fallacious argument in the first place and we are waking up to this fact. To maintain justification for abortion, our culture now must administer degrees of value upon human life. This devaluing of life is a marginalization of children. A lot of young people speak about having children negatively and young people who choose to have children are regarded with negative stigma. Abortion is the continuation of this thread. In all of my own sex education in public school, it was never recommended to me that a good time to have sex is when I'm ready to have... Continue reading

January 21st, 2013
mlk2

Repeating Tragedies of Repeating History

American Slavery was justified by a belief that blacks are not fully human. This is a lie. The effects of American slavery are still here. Dr. King resisted lingering oppression through non-violence. Today we can have an American President who is black. Praise God. It is the same lie that is threaded into the current legality of the calamitous depravity that is abortion. Those who are wise can see the same lie and will resist it. Martin Luther King Jr. is an example of how we should resist it: through resolute, committed, unmoving, non-capitulating non-violence. If only our President were wise with regard to this thread. History would look back at him with the same greatness that it assigns Martin Luther King Jr. Alas, when legal abortion is toppled, and it will be one day, we will probably not think of Barack Obama. We should pray for our... Continue reading

January 21st, 2013
arch-journal

Kingdom Shown

A Poem About Jesus - January 14th 2013

Jesus, Cross, His Kingdom shown, Through death and life, broken bread, A cup was poured, blood was shed, Now lifted high upon His throne. Christ who holds the Father's ear, To intercede for saints below, For those the Spirit is bestowed, To live and laud: all debts are... Continue reading

January 11th, 2013

Creepy “Art”

There are evil people in the world and people don't realize that progressing into evil can happen one inch at a time. Liking art is often a matter of taste, but sometimes it is so bizarre, disturbing, and repulsive that it truly is just a manifestation of an evil heart. Some evil people blow up buildings and murder children, while others paint. Thank God that some of them paint. There's a particular gallery in Fort Collins that seems to attract the kind of art I'm talking about. Few with children would ever buy any of it. It's creepy, disturbing, dark, I don't like it, but beyond my personal taste, some of it is evil. (Yes, I'm happily judging art). Now, it's easy for us to get distracted with words like "self expression", "cool", "that's your personal opinion/taste", and forget to think about why someone would choose to paint birds' heads on a naked body, snakes coming out of places they don't belong, bloody skulls in sexual positions, etc. Painting is a form of expression and... Continue reading