27Jan

A Quick Argument Against Abortion

If a fetus does not have a right to life, then when does it gain a right to life? After it comes out of the womb? This implies that changing location suddenly gives a human a right to life. That’s obviously ridiculous. What about consciousness? Well we’re technically unconscious when we sleep or get knocked out, so do we temporarily lose our right to life? Surely not. Even six week old fetuses have some level of consciousness (http://www.ehd.org/dev_article_unit7.php).

Perhaps a certain level of consciousness gives a right to life, but that’s arbitrary. Why does that level of consciousness give a right to life? Suppose a person went into a coma but had a 100% chance of recovering. Surely it’s not moral to kill them during a coma. Furthermore, this implies that people with greater levels of consciousness are more valuable than others, which is clearly false. So a right to life must not come from the level of consciousness.

In fact, rights cannot come in degrees like consciousness does as the above example shows. This leave us with the best answer: We have a right to life because we are of a certain *kind* of being at the very moment of conception: a rational animal (aka being human). Kind, not degrees of consciousness, are what give humans the right to life. Since fetuses are humans, abortion is wrong.

23Jan

Questions about Entire Sanctification.

This is a brief excerpt from John Wesley’s book “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection.” Wesley tells us that these questions were written by a group of British Christians in the 1760s. I thought these questions were really insightful and got me thinking about sanctification in a totally new light. I especially think questions 7 – 12 are really interesting to think about.

QUESTIONS, humbly proposed to those who deny entire sanctification is attainable in this life.

1 Has there not been a larger measure of the Holy Spirit given under the Gospel, than under the Jewish dispensation? If not , in what sense was the Spirit not given before Christ was Glorified? John 7:39

2 Was that ‘glory which followed the sufferings of Christ,’ (1 Peter 1:11) an external glory , or an internal, viz., the glory of holiness?
3 Has God anywhere in Scripture commanded us more than he also promised us?

4. Are the promises of God respecting holiness to be fulfilled in this life or only the next?
5 Is a Christian under any other law than those which God promises to ‘write on our hearts?’

6 In what sense is ‘the righteousness of the law fulfilled in those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit?’

7 Is it impossible for anyone in this life to love God with all his mind, all his soul, all his heart and all his strength? and is the Christian under any command that is not fulfilled by doing this?

8. Does the soul’s departing from the body effect its purification from indwelling sin?
9. If so, isn’t it something else besides the blood of Christ which cleanses us from all sin?

10. If his blood cleanses us from all sin while the soul and body are united, is it not in this life?

11. If when that union of body and soul ceases, is it not in the next? and is this not too late?

12. (On the death bed;) what situation is the soul in, when it is neither in the body nor out of it?

13 Has Christ ever commanded us to pray for something he never intended to give us?
14 Did he not teach us to pray ‘your will be done on earth as it is done in heaven,’ and in heaven is God’s will not done perfectly?

15. If so, has he not taught us to pray for perfection, and if so does he not intend on giving it to us?
16. Did the Apostle Paul not pray according to the will of God when he prayed that the Thessalonians might be “Sanctified wholly and preserved” (in this world not the next, unless he was praying for the dead) and “blameless in body, soul, and spirit until the coming of Jesus Christ.”

17. Do you sincerely desire to be freed from indwelling sin here and now?
18. If you do, did not God give you that desire?
19. If so, did He give it to you to mock you, since it is impossible and can never be fulfilled?

20. If you do not have enough sincerity to even desire it, are you not worrying about topics that are too high for you?
21. Do you ever pray for God to “cleanse the thoughts of your heart” so you may “perfectly love him?”

22. If you neither desire what you ask, nor believe it is attainable, are you not praying in vein?

9Jan

My Soul’s Darkest Night

I wrote this poem reflecting a dark time when I felt as if everything was coming against me. It all stemmed from my intense self-hatred and guilt from continual sinning, the overwhelming sense of abandonment by God, the mundanness of life, and the absolute emptiness I received from those I loved. At night I’d have this sensation of a burning sea of blood gushing out of my soul. The only hope I had was the possibility of not waking up the next day. I’m only sharing this because I hope it shows that even during the darkest moments, God proves us wrong and rescues us.

Remind me of who I need to be when I have forgotten what Christ has done for me.
I forget and I fret. I feel my breath go stale and my heart shiver.
Love for God no longer has its flame; its last breath exhales into a cold mist.
Once so close, yet now so far. But within the lost flame I see a spark.
But I turn away because I’ve lost my way. All I could’ve been has gone astray.
No longer here nor there, I am nowhere; lost in an unsettling void.
Will I ever find my way back? Back to the man I thought I was?
Oh wretched man that I despise! May God sever me from the light.
Lonely despair shrieks through my veins. Tears drop like the midnight rain.
Oh God, my God! Why have I forsaken you? Have you forsaken me too? Read More »

23Oct

City Church Index

My goal with this post is to simply compile the most complete and comprehensive index of information on a concept called “city church” or sometimes “the local church.” This list will consist of information on movements, personalities who have tried to restore the city church in different parts of the world, it will also include many quotes, links to articles, some videos and essentially anything at all that I can find about the idea of a city church. I will not here provide a detailed explanation of what the City church is, but I will link to as many resources as I know of on the subject.  I may in some cases provide brief notes on the topic but this will not be necessarily true of anything.  Read More »

17Jul

Do You Feel Unworthy of God’s Salvation?

Before I became a believer, I did not want to accept His offer of salvation because I did not feel ready. A part of me thought that I needed to be worthy of it first. I told myself that the only way the gospel applied to me would be if God spoke to me or miraculously zapped my heart so that I suddenly found myself completely different. There were intellectual roadblocks too, but the heart of it was the deep unworthiness that pressed upon my conscience which prevented me from believing the gospel applied to me. I let my self-judgement rule over God’s offer of salvation in which He would personally judge me as righteous because of Christ’s sacrifice. I treated the gospel as a mere abstraction, rather than a personal offer. I’m here to tell you the good news: I was wrong.  Read More »

22May

Word of Encouragement: Undying Resolve for Holiness

It will take an act of God to terminate my resolve for holiness, but all it takes is one impulse of my flesh to fail that resolve. The secret is to continue in your resolve in the Spirit’s strength, so that when you do fall, you are not discouraged because His amazing grace is like a trampoline that catches your fall and propels you back up. If you fail this resolve daily, it takes persistent unbending faith in His unconditional love to hope in spite of your hopeless guilt.

Do not let your guilt and sin tear down your faith because His death on the cross covered ALL of your sins. Do you truly believe that? If you did, then no amount of failure will weaken your faith. Faith is dependence on God, so instead let your failure increase your faith. After all, if you keep failing then you must depend more on God who cannot fail. As you increase in this faith, your sin will decrease because you will walk in the freedom of the Spirit. Someone who walks in the Spirit is not striving to abide by the law because his mind and his desires are being transformed so it becomes a natural inclination. Read More »

18May

A Secular Argument Against Same-Sex Marriage

I know it’s considered unpopular, bigoted, and homophobic to be against SSM these days, but before you shut your ears, please hear me out and at least think about these questions: Why should the government be in the marriage business in the first place? If we remove marriage altogether, homosexuals and heterosexuals still have the freedom to love and be committed to each other. Why is a relationship license a basic human right but a friendship license is not a basic human right? I made this article for my political science class and even my Professor, who turned out to be in a gay relationship, said “Very nice paper, Gil. Well researched and argued.” So if a lesbian can hear me out, then maybe you can too.

What Is Marriage?

In response to the Supreme Court’s recent approval of same-sex marriage (SSM), those in favor of traditional marriage (TM) have argued that “before we can conclude that some marriage policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, or any other moral or constitutional principle, we have to determine what marriage actually is and why it should be recognized legally in the first place.” For example, TM supporters point out that someone cannot claim a right to life without knowing what life is and why human life in particular has a “right” to life when plants do not. The same principle applies to marriage; heterosexuals and homosexuals must justify why they have a right to marriage. Consequently, TM advocates argue that no right can be something society subjectively invents (otherwise rights can be changed to allow for murder and other crimes), but rather something society objectively discovers. In other words, this objection can be outlined in the following way: Read More »

11Mar

Should Christians Be Political?

Some people ask me: “Why are you so political?” or “Why are you so religious?” And I retort back with this: Because I’m made for truth, so I love truth. It’s only the truth that sets people free and that truth is Jesus Christ. I’ll speak the truth even if my voice goes unheeded. The prophets of old spoke even when they knew it wouldn’t change the Israelites’ hearts. Naturally then, knowing and speaking the truth is valuable in God’s eyes regardless of whether it changes anyone. In fact, I leave the changing of hearts completely up to God.

Sometimes I’ll get political because as a Christian, I believe only the gospel saves and the government can only conserve. I hear people say, “Stop being political. Stick to Jesus.” But it’s precisely because I am a Christian that I am a conservative. People are enslaved or deceived by the idea that the government can fix our problems. I am being political only in the negative sense, which is to point out what the government can not do. A conservative wants limited government because it’ll let politics stay in the background of our lives as much as possible so that we can focus on obeying Jesus’ commands.  Read More »

21Feb

Does Evolution Refute Purpose?

Objection: Evolution shows that organs do not have an inherent purpose.  We know that organs are the product of random mutation and natural selection – neither of which are directed toward some goal. Those with certain organs tended to be more conducive to survive than others and that’s all there is to it.

Response: Evolution doesn’t assign a purpose because it’s built not to look for purpose from the get-go. The goal of evolution has been to discover the efficient cause of life, not its teleology. If an organ like the heart was caused by random mutation and natural selection (R&N), this doesn’t entail that R&N can’t cause the heart to have the purpose of pumping blood through your circulatory system. For something to have a purpose, all that’s required is that it have a function or regular tendency toward a certain outcome. Under this definition purpose need not be driven by some conscious agent but can be completely unconscious.  Read More »

18Feb

Meditation: Isolating Yourself Is Wrong

“One who has isolated himself seeks his own selfish desires; he rejects all sound judgment.”(Proverbs 18:1)

The immediate question is why the text associates selfishness with pursuing isolation. Isn’t it okay to isolate yourself from crowds to spend time with the Lord as Jesus did? What’s wrong with not wanting to be with people if that just happens to be your personality? First we should keep in mind that Proverbs’ literary genre is proverbial wisdom. This means it’s written with short memorable phrases that are not meant to apply to every circumstance. A modern example would be the saying “practice makes perfect.” In general this saying makes sense, but there are times when natural skill makes perfect in a way that practice alone cannot achieve. Similarly, Proverbs isn’t saying that all cases of isolation are selfish but it’s merely saying that those consistently driven toward isolation often do seek their own desires.  Read More »