John 7:25-29

First off, I would like to thank Mikael for his comment on last night’s post. It has been said that to like what you do and know that it matters must be a source of great enjoyment. I simply love getting to speak about these matters and have people come and indicate to me that they get it. This is a most important topic also.

For those just joining us, we are going through the Bible and we’re in the New Testament now and the gospel of John. We are looking for understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity and looking at the way Jesus saw himself and the way those around him saw him. Tonight, we’re going to be in John 7:25-29. Let’s go to the text.

25At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? 27But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

Already, there had been a plan set forth to kill Jesus. The leaders in power saw him as a threat and he could have been seen that way for a number of reasons. First off, there was the fear that people would want to make him a king and go off then and try to conquer Rome. While the Jews did not care for Rome, they also knew that they could not defeat it. But couldn’t Jesus do that if he was the Messiah? Why yes he could. But we saw back in John 5 that since Jesus healed a paralytic and told him to take up his mat and walk on the Sabbath, that since he instructed a man to “break the Sabbath”, then he could not be the Messiah.

The leaders would also want to protect themselves from the wrath of YHWH. Since this guy was such a lawbreaker, he would bring defilement to their land. YHWH had punished them in the past for following false prophets. They would not be punished again!

And of course, the usual reason of politics. They had their own power base to protect.

Yet the Jews in the audience have a struggle. They knew where he came from. When the Messiah comes, no one will know where he comes from. There are a number of points that need to be considered with this.

First, they saw Jesus as coming from Galilee, when he was really born in Bethlehem. Of course, the scribes of Herod in Matthew 2 knew the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. It could be that the Jews weren’t familiar with this passage, which I’m skeptical of, or they interpreted it differently, which is more likely, or even more so, they had the idea of when the Messiah comes AS Messiah, it wold be a sudden appearance by him.

Next, Jesus cries out and the word is quite emphatic to describe the action. This is an important point. Where Jesus is from is not just Bethlehem or even Galilee. It is from the Father. His identity is tied up with the Father and Jesus makes the remarkable claim that the Jews don’t know the Father. 

Christ also says he was sent by the Father pointing to his pre-existence. He both comes from the Father and is sent by the Father. He comes from the Father who is true. Therefore, Christ is true in what he says.

Tomorrow, we shall look at more of this discourse.

John 7:16-18

Hello everyone. I wish to thank Donald first off for the compliment to last night’s blog. I am an enjoyer of compliments and I believe that we not only don’t give them enough but we don’t thank people enough when they are given. The church is to be a group that encourages one another and this is one way we do that. For tonight, we are continuing the gospel of John and we will be looking at John 7:16-18 tonight. As usual, our goal is to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity.

16Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. 17If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 

Jesus says his teaching is not his own. It comes from the one who sent him. Isn’t this a strong argument against the Trinity?

Again, I must ask “How?”

A large part of our problem when we dialogue with some people is that we assume some things are problems when they really aren’t. They may be things that we don’t fully understand, but that is not the same as saying that they’re a problem for our worldview. 

If someone wants to assert that something is a problem, I would suggest looking at it from another point of view, and namely the opposite one. Let’s suppose that Christ had really said this:

“My teaching is entirely my own. It has nothing to do with the God who sent me.”

Not only would Trinitarianism have a problem, any idea that Jesus was a sinless person would have a problem as well as he is teaching something that does not come from God. As it is, Jesus at this point is saying that what he has is not something that he has made up. It is true because it came from God. Jesus is described in the Bible as a prophet also, and he is the prophet par excellence, and in being such, he would certainly give a message that was from God.

Jesus’s way to test it was to have people live it out. Jesus’s advice though is not true because it works. It works because it’s true. His teaching was the true fulfillment of the Law. Christ did not teach against it but rather he was its greatest teacher in that as he taught, he was showing people the real intent of the Law and how it was that God desired that they live.

Jesus then points out that if someone speaks on their own to gain honor, how can he be trusted? He could be making something up just to win favor for himself. (Keep in mind honor was huge in the ancient world. It mattered more than life itself.) However, if one came for the honor of another, he could be more easily trusted as it would cause shame for him from his audience and his patron both if he did not give a true message from the one who sent him. Jesus is saying that since he seeks the honor for the Father and not for himself, then that increases his credibility. 

As we go through this chapter, we will see more of Jesus’s teachings and come to a greater understanding of them.

Jesus: Our Sustenance.

Hello everyone. I hope you enjoyed the back-up article I put up yesterday. It was one that when I thought about turned out to be life changing. I still wish though that I could adhere to the principles for a long time that I often teach myself but too quickly if I learn a truth, I find I forget it on the applicational level and I must simply ask for your prayers in that area. (I could actually use your prayers regularly as the DeeperWaters blogger does have his own struggles.) Tonight, we will continue going through the book of John and studying the doctrine of the Trinity. We’re going to be in John 6 and reading verses 53-59.

53Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

I really don’t like to go into secondary issues. I am a Protestant, but I do hold that Catholics who believe in Christ as savior and Lord are my Christian brothers and sisters. However, this passage does affect our Trinitarian understanding and I’d like to demonstrate that. I also have no desire to lower the eucharist or Communion meal, but I honestly do not see Jesus speak about that and I think speaking about that here lowers what Jesus is really saying. Now you can use the Eucharist or Communion as a reminder of what he is saying here, but remember it is the reminder that reflects the ideal that is given in this passage.

Let’s look at the first four verses of this passage. I believe that what Jesus is getting at is to compare himself to the manna in the wilderness. Had the Israelites not had that, they would have died. It was what kept them going through the wilderness. The manna was their sustenance.

Christ is comparing himself to that and what is he saying? He must be our sustenance. He must be our life. Apart from him, we are dead. We can have no true life unless it is life in him. He must be that which sustains us through our wilderness. He must be that which we rely on throughout our lives.

Now I do see the Eucharist or the Communion as partially reminding us of that, but considering for many of our churches that’s hardly a full meal, I don’t think that’s the point. I believe those were established to remind us of the new covenant. They could be hinted at here, but they are not the topic. The Jews would not understand a Passover meal being spoken of here. They would have understood Christ as our sustenance. A lot of them didn’t agree of course, but they understood. (In fact, they didn’t agree because they did understand.)

Let’s look at verse 57. Jesus says that he lives because the Father lives. Is this going against the Trinity?

Again, I must ask, “How?”

In Trinitarian thought, Jesus is begotten of the Father eternally. The Father is begotten of no one nor does he proceed from anyone. If there is no Father, there is no Son to be begotten. Because there is a Father, there is the Son also. To say Jesus lives because of the Father does nothing to deny their interconnectedness. 

Considering Jesus’s life is from the Father then, he points to that as he is the conduit by which that life is transferred to us. Note that this was said in the synagogue of a major city. The message would have then been well known and as the text indicates later on, many left at this point and ceased to follow him.

Will you be one of them or will you agree with Peter? “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Living and Thinking Trinity

I’ve had company over today and am thus really busy so for tonight, I’m putting up an article I’ve got in back-up on the Trinity that I’ve put up elsewhere on the web. Enjoy!

What one believes will ultimately affect their view of reality. Because I believe each key on my computer I hit will produce the letter I want, I have no hesitancy about pushing a button on my keyboard. Because I am on the top floor of my house and believe in the law of gravity and also believe that I am not Clark Kent, I am not going to jump out the window. Yet how many people say that they believe the Trinity and haven’t thought of any ramifications for it beyond “Well I have the right God so I’m going to Heaven and I can beat up Jehovah’s Witnesses when they come to the door.”


Let me state this clearly at the beginning. If you are a skeptic of the Trinity, this article is not directly for you. You could gain some insights into my thinking by reading it, but this article has mainly been written for the Trinitarian. This is a work by which I hope, you will begin to think of the Trinity. Too often, the church has been seen as possessing dead and lifeless doctrines from a dead and lifeless God. We believe that God exists, but do we believe that he is living?


I will contend that he is living and the Trinity touches all Christian doctrines and as an effect, when we have the vertical aspect of the Trinity in the proper position, the horizontal aspects of how we should live morally will fall into place. This will also benefit those of us who do deal with Arians, for if we have a personal commitment to the doctrine, we will not so easily be swayed from it. One could sway me from trusting the friend I’ve made yesterday, and don’t know much about, but you could not sway me from trusting the friend I’ve known for several years on a personal level.


The Trinity shows us that God, by his nature, is relational. When we look in the account of the bush in Exodus 3, we find that God describes himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This should not be glossed over, for there are many ways God could have described himself. He could have identified himself as the creator, the one who cast out Adam and Eve, the one who sent the flood, the one that blessed Abraham with a child in his old age, or the one who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. However, God points to the covenant relationship.


It is certainly a fair question to ask why God created mankind or even angels for that matter. To the Arians, we could ask why the first being God supposedly created (And this in the sense of bringing into existence that which was not in existence before. The quote of Arius was “There was a time when the Son was not.”) was created as a personal being as well. There are only two reasons that God would have created and that would have been either need or desire.


Now if we have it out of need, then we have a problem. When I was an undergraduate in college, my systematic theology (Or as I called it as the further writing will show on this class, systematic heresy) professor said that God created man because he needed someone to love. My professor was devoted to his faith, but I believe dreadfully lacking at this point.

If God creates out of need, then he is in fact, less than his creation. It is not then that creation depends on God for its existence, but that God depends on creation for his own as well. In effect, God would have been at the mercy of Jesus, the “first-created”. After all, if Jesus had rejected God and chosen to not love him, then what would God do?

One could say that God could destroy Jesus and then create another, but we would then have the situation where God treats people based on what they do instead of who they are. It’s worth noting that God never destroyed Lucifer when he rebelled, nor did he destroy any of the angels that rebelled with him. True, some of them have been locked away and are in punishment now, but that is a far cry from ceasing to exist.


In effect, God would only love if the creation loved him. However, we read in 1 John 4:19 that “We love because he first loved us.” But if the other view is true, then God would love because we first loved him. Let us be clear that whatever God does to a person, he does out of love. As hard as it may be for some to imagine, when God allows someone to go to Hell, that is still an act of love as he is honoring the choice of the individual.


The other option is that God created out of desire and here, we have the clue as to what love is. God created because in the Trinity, there was an everlasting relationship of love. Man was created so that he might come and join in the dance of love that has been going on for all eternity.


The kind of love this is that God has invited us into is the best kind there is. This love is one that seeks the best for the other above himself, the truly selfless love as is our example in Philippians 2. When we see the Father, he is glorifying the Son in the New Testament such as at the baptism or the Transfiguration. When we see the Son, he is pointing to the Father. When we see the Holy Spirit, he is almost inconspicuous for being so silent, for he is always pointing to both of them to give them the glory. No person of the Trinity seeks his own good above that of the others.


The best example I can think of would be sexuality. The most personal relationship we can have on Earth, is meant to be a mirror to lead us into the relationship that will take place in eternity. In the relationship, one has the three steps of revelation, followed by trust, and then fellowship.


I will have to say at this point that as a single man, I do not speak from personal experience on the sexual relationship, however, this can be seen as a benefit on my part. As most single guys who want to get married, it is a dream and desire of mine as well, but yet, one does not know necessarily why except that we have been designed to have that desire.


Should this be any shock to those of us who believe in Heaven, where we know that there are things there that we could never begin to imagine? We long for Heaven, and yet, we do not know exactly what it is about it that will be so wonderful, but we know that it will be wonderful. In the same way, the single man longs for his honeymoon not knowing why it will be wonderful exactly, but knowing that it will be.


In sexuality after all, the purpose is to be that each person is seeking the enjoyment of the other above themselves. As the maiden says in the Song of Solomon, “Thus, I have become in his eyes like one bringing contentment.” (Song of Solomon 8:10) A paraphrase would be that the maiden knows that she will bring joy and satisfaction to her lover when he beholds her beauty, and this even before the fellowship.


Hence, if one practices in pre-marital sex, one is not being a Trinitarian, as that is using the other to get your own joy instead of seeking the joy of the other. Furthermore, it is insisting that one gives trust before the revelation. This should also point out that sex is to be relational with two people. Any solitary act would be disallowed then.


Furthermore, if the act is supposed to be a mirror of the Trinity, and if the experience itself is to be a moment of Heaven, then could we not get a clue as to what heaven is? Heaven would become getting to fully experience the Trinity as the Trinity is. The main joy of Heaven will be in sharing in the life of God himself for all eternity.


If we are supposed to seek the good of others above ourselves in sexuality, then why not in all other things as well? The Trinity does not allow for anyone to be a loner. No person in the Trinity is to be classified as an individual as no person would exist apart from the existence of the others. While we value independence in America today, the lesson of the Trinity being a community itself, as was the view of the people at the time of the Bible, is interdependence.


Thus, each person in the body of Christ is to seek the benefit of the other above himself. They are to see themselves as part of a community. Each person will have to have established bonds of trust with others in the body working together. One cannot picture the Son acting without the Father. One should not picture a person acting separate from the body of Christ.


It has been said before that being is more accurately to be described as being in relationship to. This is how we would say the persons of the Trinity differ. They differ not in their nature but in their relationships to one another. Existing then means that one is involved in a relationship of some time. After all, it is not good for the man to be alone. (Genesis 2:18) Persons are never to be seen as a hindrance to Christianity but as the reason for Christianity.


We should also recognize the unique value of each person. The reason the Trinity can love the world is because the Trinity loves one person. If you cannot love one person, you will not be able to love the world. Let this be a reminder to us in the Great Commission as well that all need to hear the gospel. If we are to love the world, then surely we can love our neighbor next door.


We will love as well because we already have that flowing bond of love. The writings of John say over and over that we are to be known by our love. It is when we love one another, that we will be mirroring the relationship of the Trinity. It is when we follow Philippians 2, that we will be mirroring the relationship of the Trinity. To do otherwise is to profess Trinitarianism but live Arianism.


In closing, my plea to the church is to learn to think Trinity. Ponder the relationships of the persons within the Trinity. Think about their existence of their love that they have shared for all time. Think about how that love has overflowed in allowing you to exist and to grant you salvation. If you haven’t received salvation yet, consider this as an opportunity to be invited into the most perfect relationship of love for all time, one so awesome that it will take eternity to realize how awesome it is.

John 6:43-51

Hello Everyone. Our visit with the JWs went well, although we did have a surprise. There was only one JW who came. We had a really good talk and I believe it went well. I ask my readers to pray that God opens up the hearts of the JWs that my roommate and I are witnessing to and that he will also give us the knowledge that we need and also the wisdom to use it as we ought. In this field, it’s not enough to just have the knowledge. It also requires that you have the proper information on how and when to use it. It’s tempting to come out with the Trinitarian guns blazing, but that just won’t work. 

For now, let’s turn to the text. John 6:43-51:

43“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Some of you might be wanting me to post my thoughts on the Calvinist/Arminian debate in this verse. Keep wanting. I wish to say that now because I want any reading through this section to know I try my best to avoid commenting on what I consider secondary issues. Deeper Waters is a blog that is interested in defending Mere Christianity. Perchance if this ministry ever broadens, that might change. For now, it is going to be Mere Christianity.

Jesus states that all who learn from the Father come to him. This fits in with the Trinitarian understanding as if you truly wish to know the Father, you will come to the Son. To refuse the Father is to refuse the Son and to refuse the Son is to refuse the Father. It’s a kind of all-or-nothing deal.

He also tells us that no one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. This brings us back to John 1:18. When the text says no one has seen God, it means no one. It does not say no man has seen God. This would mean that while the angels are in his presence, they never get to see him as he is. 

Only Christ can see the Father for he bears the nature of the Father. He is the only one who can truly know the Father in all that he is. For us to understand God, it has been said that we are practically fleas sitting on the backs of elephants.

Christ connects this with everlasting life. If we believe him, we have everlasting life. John has a constant emphasis on truth in his gospel so much so that Christ is said to be the truth in John 14:6. This could be in part to counter pre-Gnostic tendencies that were creeping up in the church.

He then compares himself to the manna in the wilderness. Those who ate of it died, but if anyone eats the bread that he gives, he will live forever.  What does this mean exactly? Since the next section focuses on that aspect, then it would be good to cover that when we get to it.

Which should be tomorrow’s blog. See you then!

John 6:35-40

We’re going through Scripture trying to come to a deeper understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity. Right now, we’re in the New Testament and the book of John. Last time, we saw the feeding of the 5,000. Keep that story in mind and if you want to get your Bibles to see the surrounding context of John 6:35-40, which is our text for tonight, I not only invite that but encourage it. For now, let us look at the text:

 35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

I wrote about the feeding of the 5,000 because not only is it in every gospel, and it is the only miracle that is apart from the resurrection, but because it is the background to this account. What happens here is because the feeding of the 5,000 took place and the people are looking to see if Jesus is the Messiah.

Now some of you might think that they were coming to make him a king. They were. There wasn’t really a distinction. After all, when the Messiah came, he would raise an army and go and deliver the Jews from Rome and restore Israel to the golden political age that they once had under David.

The Jews have asked about Moses providing bread and Jesus has just declared that he is that bread. This will be explained more when we get to another passage later on in this text, but for now, Jesus is declaring that he is like the bread in that while the bread kept them going physically in the wilderness, Jesus will keep them going spiritually.

The text also says Jesus has come down not to do his will but the will of him who sent him. He is speaking of the Father. What does this mean for Trinitarianism? Since Jesus is not doing his own will but that of the Father, does that mean he is not fully God?

What on Earth would make someone think that?

How could Jesus be the one who is fully God and yet not be doing the will of the Father? It would seem that if they were in such tight unity that the two would go together. Jesus does not have a rogue will where he goes against the Father. Naturally, I believe he had a human will of course, but that was one he submitted to the Father, like any good man would do.

The problem for anti-Trinitarians so often is they see this submission and assume that that refers to a lesser nature. When we get to a later text in the epistles, one even the Jehovah’s Witnesses use in “What Does The Bible Really Teach?”, we will find that this is not so. Those familiar with that book can look at the lesson on who Jesus is and see if they can figure out the argument. Hopefully, they will.

Submission only proves one thing. It proves the Son submitted to the Father. It does not speak of the nature of the Son, which is where the anti-Trinitarian must go.

We shall continue tomorrow.

Feeding of the 5,000

Okay. Once again we are back to looking at the doctrine of the Trinity and the more I go through this, the more important I see the doctrine as. I am in a debate at the moment with someone who is saying that how we describe the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and their relationship doesn’t matter. It most certainly does! A non-Trinitarian concept is not just a different religion but a different God altogether. Right now, we are in the gospel of John and going through looking for clues to this wondrous doctrine and seeing how Jesus sees himelf. Today, we are going to be looking at the feeding of the 5,000.

This miracle is interesting as aside from the resurrection, it is the only miracle that is recorded in all four gospels. Not all record the feeding of the 4,000, including John himself, but all do record the feeding of the 5,000. It is John who adds the extra part on that tells us more about what made this event so amazing to the people.

Keep in mind that the people were looking for a prophet like Moses to be the Messiah. One miracle of Moses was that he was the one who God used to provide manna in the wilderness while the Israelites wandered for those forty years. Jesus is encountering now a crowd that has come to see him and is hungry and is asking his own disciples how they are to provide food. Philip tells him that eight months wages would not provide a single bite for everyone that is there. Philip looked straight at his wallet. Of course, can we really blame him? Christ wanted to reveal to Philip the enormity of the situation and if Philip’s accessment was correct, it was most certainly an enormous one.

However, one boy comes forward and he has a small offering with him. For all we know, it could have been lunch for him and his friends. It certainly would not be enough to feed 5,000, and that’s not counting women and children. However, Jesus does accept the offering and he prays over it and then has them be handed out to the crowd that is already waiting.

When Moses gave the manna, each man was to take as much as he needed. When Jesus feeds the 5,000, each man takes as much as he wants. This is something greater than the manna in the wilderness. God’s generosity is extending even more at this point. Each person there eats and they eat until they are satisfied. There are even leftovers. Christ has the disciples go and gather them and from the few barley loaves they gather twelve baskets full of remains.

It is at this point that the people realize the kind of person in their midst and they say that he is the prophet Moses spoke of. While they are correct, their problem is not their correct accessment of Jesus but their incorrect accessment of the Messiah. They were expecting a political leader who would break the bondage of Rome. They were reading their own time into the text. Christ did not come to set them free from Rome. He came to set them free instead from the greater prison of sin.

While we do see Christ’s miraculous ability to provide food here, the main reason for this passage being studied today is that it sets the stage for what comes next. Seeing as we’ve covered the walking on the water already, we will skip ahead instead to the next portion the next time we discuss the doctrine of the Trinity.

Political Correctness and the Death of Truth

I am going to be putting on hold for tonight our usually Trinity series again because I have been pondering more the situation involving the Miss USA pageant between Miss California and Perez Hilton, which I did blog about Monday night. I spoke to an official in this town yesterday on the problem being that of what is called Political Correctness. The answers given are supposed to fall into that category.

There was a time when truth mattered. There was a real world out there and you could know something about that world and what you said about that world mattered. What you said would either be true or false, but it would be one or the other. The goal was to find truth about that world.

A number of things changed over time. Descartes made man the focus of reality first with his idea of “I think, therefore I am.” Man wanting to find truth began with himself then. Would it not be better to say that because man exists, he thinks? After all, there was still reality before I came along and if I got snuffed out of existence, that would not  mean the end of reality. In the end, it leaves man creating the reality as Descartes went by what he thought of as clear and distinct ideas. I have had many clear and distinct ideas in my time. Many of them turned out to be wrong also.

Then we move on through time with man trying to find what is true and we get to Kant who tells us that it is not our knowledge that conforms to the world but the world that conforms to our knowledge. We do not know the world as it is, the noumena. Instead, we know the world as it appears, the phenomena. 

At this point, I believe the idea of truth out there started to die and the seeds of postmodernism was born. God was jettisoned through higher criticism, anti-supernaturalism, and Darwin’s evolutionary theory. Man was left alone in a cosmos and it was a dangerous one. 

Yet if we cannot know the world, then what are we to seek to do? If there is no truth out there, then there must only be truth that is for me and truth that is for you. There can only be my truth and your truth. 

If truth does not ultimately matter, then what are we to say matters? It must be our feelings. Thus, it is no longer giving an answer to a question that describes the way the world really is in the eyes of the person who is asked. Instead, it is about giving an answer that does not offend people. After all, there is no truth to the answer that matters. 

Suppose someone does believe something truly hideous, such as the idea that *shudders* marriage is meant for a man and a woman. That is fine. Just keep it to yourself. After all, it is your truth. You should by no means make it binding on everyone else. It is personal. It is your world. 

In this way, science also becomes the main authority. Do not misunderstand me. I am not saying there are no areas where science is an authority. When I go to see a doctor, I want that doctor to be a scientist of medicine. When I fly on a plane, I want it to be the brainchild of a man who understands the science of flight and how to make a plane that can fly. 

Science can tell me how much my body weighs, but it cannot tell me if I am my body. Science can tell me what reactions occur when a man encounters poison in his system, but it cannot tell me if I ought to have put the poison in that man’s system. Science can tell me how life arose, but it cannot tell me if life is good.

Religion is seen as none of that as it is seen as that which we cannot know. God is included in the noumena. If you want to have a religious belief, that is fine, but it is your religious belief and it is true for you. It must be something subjective as there is not truth out there in the matter that can be known.

This is the kind of thinking going on behind people who say “Don’t like abortion? Don’t have one.” It is akin to saying “Don’t like murder? Don’t commit one.” It is as if morality is a personal taste and we do something just because we don’t like it. Why yes. That is why I live a life of chastity. I just get such a great thrill out of it every single day. 

It is the reason we dare not offend someone. In the past, if you called someone a fool, it could be because they truly were a fool and it might have been the best thing you could do to point that out. Debate opponents in the past did not hesitate to let their opinions be known of the ideas they were debating and the persons they were debating. Let’s not forget that our Lord had strong words as well both for his opponents and his own disciples. 

If there is no truth that can be known however and only feelings matter, then such talk cannot be allowed. Do not dare call the heretic a heretic! The ideas that he holds are not what matters. It is how he feels about himself that matters. 

We live in a world of subjectivism then and as long as we live in this world, we might as well try to get along. Do not think of the good, the true, and the beautiful. The good is not out there when moral relativism holds the day. We speak of progress but not in any particular direction. We do not ask what anything is any more and especially not if it is good. Truth is a weapon that is used to bludgeon others and truth claims are seen as oppressive and arrogant. As for beauty, it simply lies in the eyes of the beholder. If you see something as beautiful, then to you it is beautiful, but there can be no beauty in the thing itself.

Hence Political Correctness. Do not say what offends. Say what people want to hear. Do not try to make your ideas conform to the world. Instead, try to conform the world to your ideas. There can be no rational discussion. If someone is against homosexuality, it is for purely religious reasons. There can be no other reasons and religion is something that cannot make a claim of truth. Thus, you are being oppressive and trying to push your truth on other people.

If it is purely subjective, then there is nothing to discuss. Instead, point to the person’s character in each case. Try to paint them as a villain being oppressive to the world around them. Try to have them be seen as tyrants with the truth. How dare you impose your morality on me! Who are you to judge?

Enter an area without proper study. After all, it is simply your truth vs. another person’s truth. Do not seek to learn for there is nothing out there to learn. There is only experience. Naturally, we do not question another person’s experience normally. I do not question that the Mormons have a burning in the bosom. I question the proposition they wish to see affirmed by that burning in the bosom. 

What’s the solution to this madness?

I suggest we start with what most of us realize before so-called higher-thinking gets a hold of us. That there is a real world out there and that we can know things about it. We do not know it exhaustively, but there are things that we can know. If we are wrong, we find out through the appropriate method be it science, history, philosophy, theology, or any branch thereof. 

This includes truths about things other than the physical world. This means that theology is a science. That there are truth claims that can be made about God as he is seen in a religious belief and some of these claims could actually be true and we can use the minds that we have, and that he maybe even gave us, to try to figure this out.

Let each field learn its own place. I believe philosophy is great for finding philosophical truths and science is great for scientific truths. Now of course there can be overlapping as each helps the other. Science can show me the universe had a cause. Philosophy can tell me the nature of causality. Theology can tell me the nature of the cause. History can tell me how that cause revealed himself in the space-time continuum. These are not fields opposed to each other as truth cannot contradict. If there is truth in one field, it will not contradict truth in another field. They are simply different tools with the same goal.

If we offend people, we offend them, but we must remember that the goal is to correct their faulty thinking. It is not most important how a man feels about his ideas. It is most important whether those ideas are true. We Christians are to be people of the truth. If an idea is true, we need to affirm it. If we have to call a spade a spade in order to get them to the truth, then so be it. Our Lord did after all.

I look forward to the day when man again begins a quest for the good, the true, and the beautiful and this time does not look within him but outside of him. All of these things are greater than he is. He is the servant of them. They are not the servant of him.

John 5:41-47

Hello again everyone. Today, we are going to be continuing our look at the doctrine of the Trinity in Scripture. We’re in the NT now and we’re in the book of John. Our goal has been throughout to try to see the self-understanding of Jesus and try to see the inter-relations that are going on between the three persons of the Trinity. The more I learn the doctrine of the Trinity, the more I am amazed with it and my recent encounter with Jehovah’s Witnesses, which will continue Saturday, left me in even more awe. 

Our text tonight is John 5:41-47.

41“I do not accept praise from men, 42but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

 45“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

Jesus does not accept the praise of men? How does this go with the Trinity. He is not talking about worship here. He is talking about rather the endorsement. He does not go to humans to get his credentials. He goes straight to God. Jesus did not go around seeking glory in the eyes of the crowd but rather in the eyes of God. 

This is what Christ condemns them on and let it be clear that Jesus was tough with his opponents. Where did we get this idea of gentle Jesus meek and mild? Look at the accusation he gives starting in verse 42! He’s talking to the Jews and telling them that he knows that they don’t have the love of God in them. 

In fact, he makes it as a knowledge claim! Look at these people! These were the ones following the Law of YHWH meticulously! They were studying the Scriptures as Christ himself acknowledged. They were living in defiance of a pagan empire and resisting all that was coming in from it! They had been willing to die in faithfulness to YHWH and Jesus says they don’t have the love of God in them?

We Christians must learn to take the words of Christ seriously even if we don’t like them at times. Some of us may feel our feathers ruffled a bit in our Politically Correct society. Jesus was not Politically Correct. My friend Ergun Caner once stated “If it’s politically correct, it’s probably biblically corrupt.” PC is a cancer killing our society as it kills truth. It does not allow real discussion of the issues because that could hurt someone’s feelings.

Christ looks at that generation of Jews and tells them that the love of God is not in them. Now this is not a charge against all Jews for all time, but just the ones that denied who Jesus is. The same could be said of any Gentile also who denies who Jesus is. No one should get special condemnation for being Jewish, but they don’t get special benefit at the cross either.

Jesus tells the Jews that they’re ready to accept anyone else in another name, but they don’t accept him. The implication is that if they believed the Father, they would believe him. They are looking to look good in the eyes of one another, but they are not seeking the praise of God. This must have been an amazing claim to the Jews listening at the time.

However, Jesus takes it further and says that he is not their accuser. Instead, their accuser is Moses. What he says is remarkable. First off, it implies that he knows that Moses wrote about him. It also implies that he knows what Moses will be doing on the last day. Finally, it implies that the listeners who paid so much attention to the Law did not believe what Moses wrote.

At this point I conclude with the thought of if we’ve really looked at Jesus and how he must have seemed to his contemporaries. Have we really considered these words or have we just read them from time to time without letting them reach us?

Perez Hilton and Miss California

We’re interrupting our regular Trinity series to talk about an event that has been the discussion on a number of blogs today and that’s the story of Perez Hilton and Miss California. Miss California was given a question from Perez Hilton on Vermont’s recent approval of same-sex “marriage.” In speaking of this he asked “Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or why not?” 

Miss California’s answer was that she was raised that a marriage was to be between a man and a woman. She did not want to offend, but that is how she was raised. 

A video of that can be seen here:

First off, congratulations to this girl for standing up and truly saying what she believes in. Some might be tempted to say she it would be seen as highly unpopular, but it seems the audience didn’t think so. It seems even a liberal state like California in their recent elections don’t think so either. Perez may say she got booed, but I sure heard a lot of applause.

Perez Hilton put up a reply. I will warn you all. It has profanity in it so if the kiddies are around, don’t listen.

What was his answer? His answer was that she is a dumb….well…I won’t say that next word here. Perez described her as someone with half a brain. Now he may say it’s not because of her answer on the topic of homosexual marriage. Personally, I’m not buying it.

I have also heard that Perez has since apologized for what he said about her, but I wonder why? Did he apologize because he doesn’t think that’s what she is? Does he think then that it could be that she really does have a brain?

There’s something about this that amazes me. This is always the crowd that we’re told we should be tolerant of. Strangely enough, when you disagree with the tolerance crowd, they’re not so tolerant. If you present an idea that is contrary to theirs, they no longer want to listen to you.

Indeed, the comments I see about this lady on Hilton’s blog are hardly flattering. (To be fair, some from our side are saying a number of things about Hilton that I wouldn’t recommend. Biblically, I do believe that homosexuality is a sin and one the Bible mentions in saying that those who practice it will not inherit the kingdom of Heaven, but I don’t think telling him he’s going to Hell or calling him terminology other than homosexual is really going to make a difference.) I’m sitting here watching this and wondering “Where is the tolerance?”

True tolerance is not like this. In biblical tolerance, you disagree with the idea and you defend the person’s right to say it. You accept the person in fact as a person without accepting their behavior or ideas. Here’s a novel approach for the debate. If you disagree with your opponent, tell them why they’re wrong and then have them discuss why they disagree with you.

Some people might think some people are only against homosexuality for religious reasons. In fact, this is usually the assumption that is given today. However, does this excuse really work? For one thing, if the religion is true and it really does come from God, then I would say if he condemns homosexuality, we really ought to listen. It won’t work to write off the religion entirely just because it disagrees with you.

Second, while I do agree the Bible condemns homosexuality, I don’t think homosexuality is immoral because the Bible condemns it. I think the Bible condemns it because it is immoral and there’s all the difference in the world between those ideas. When I argue against it, I argue from natural law.

Perez also speaks of how he thinks Miss California should have answered. No Perez. Here’s how Miss California should have answered. She should have answered with her opinion like she did. She should not have given an answer you wanted to hear just because it would be PC or something you wanted to hear. When you ask someone for their opinion on something, you should expect to get their opinion on it and you should accept that it’s their opinion. Now you can debate them on that opinion, but it’s childish to ask their opinion and then whine because that’s what you got.

Perez has said that it should be left to the states to decide. Okay. Does that include California? The state recently spoke. Does that mean the homosexual activists are going to drop the idea of going to the courts instead? If you think it should be legal, then accept it for now and argue in the public square and maybe you can get another election on the topic.

However, that is also not the point. The question was asked if states SHOULD follow suit. It’s a moral question. Even if every state does follow suit, does that mean that every state should follow suit? The only reason they should allow it is if the people believe it to be moral or at least morally neutral. The only reason to disallow it is because it is immoral.

Miss California spoke her opinion. It’s what she was asked for. The homosexual community wants me to believe that I should be tolerant, but by their own definition of tolerance, many of them don’t follow suit. Now I hope there are some out there who are homosexual who while they disagree with Miss California, they have a greater problem with Perez Hilton for his response. 

Now some may ask if I’m tolerant. You bet I am. I just am not accepting of immorality. I will not look at immorality and call it morality just to please some people. If I think something is immoral, I will call it immoral. Now you have all right to debate me on that issue which is the way the system works, but I will still call it such. However, it won’t stop me from viewing the person as one who holds the image of God and someone Christ died for and who God loves and who I should also.

Do I expect the homosexual community to agree with my opinion on marriage? No. Of course, if some do and want out, great. There are a number of Christian groups out there who are delighted to help out. However, until then, we simply come together and discuss the issues. Perez may think Miss California is bringing division. She is not at all. It is those who refuse to go to the public square who are divisive.

Furthermore, let’s suppose she is causing division. So what? What is she causing division over? I would rather be divided with someone over the truth than united with them in lies. Is the idea of the unity one where all accept homosexual marriage as legitimate? If that’s the case, then count me out. I will be as divisionary as I can.

For Miss California, I say that I applaud her for not only saying her opinion, but also for saying one I believe to be right and one that she had to know would not be popular with some in the crowd. Cheers to you Miss California. I believe that in reality, most of America is on your side as well.