Mark Hamill Is A Slimeball

What is Mark Hamill trying to accomplish? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

We have all heard it several times. Pro-lifers are not really pro-life. They are pro-birth. Once a child is born, they don’t really care. Never mind that we are the ones that run the centers to help mothers who have children and don’t abort. Never mind we have so many adoption agencies out there as well. The facts really don’t matter. The rhetorical punch is all that matters.

One such example is Mark Hamill who is known for playing Luke Skywalker as well as voicing the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. On Twitter recently, he decided to make a post and who knows what he was really trying to accomplish. It makes less and less sense. Anyway, here’s the link.

If you can’t access it, it’s basically a picture of the Joker and Harley Quinn saying “We will adopt your baby.” Apparently, the idea is that if you go with adoption, well you could get an evil pair of parents so you might as well kill the child just to be safe. It’s always in the best interest of the child to kill it apparently.

Now if Hamill wants to stick with the comics, we can do that. I am not a reader of the comics, but I do know how to do some research. I decided to look and see if I could find any superheroes in the comics adopted by evil parents. As it turns out, it was not hard to find.

It is not good in itself for anyone to be adopted by parents that are evil, but that won’t always be the end of the story. People if they want to can overcome a great deal. Fortunately, there are plenty more people who adopt children for the good of the children.

What looks like what is going on more is a sort of attack on adoption. Yet why should this be? What is accomplished by this? Perhaps the elimination of adoption somehow or having it presented as a less than noble alternative is a way to make abortion the best option. This does ignore what kind of option abortion is, but who cares?

Apparently, the abortion side wants it where you can’t win either way. Want to adopt? Well what kind of twisted people could adopt a baby? That’s too risky! Want to run a pro-life center? They will be attacked then. Yeah. It hasn’t been breaking news for some reason, but that has been happening.

Hamill meanwhile can deal with all the people who are ready to give pushback who have been adopted by loving parents. While I have shown there are superheroes who were adopted by supervillains, some superheroes were adopted by good parents as well. One such example Mark Hamill should know about is Luke Skywalker himself. Of course, none of this information that is more factual in nature is of any interest when one just wants to push emotional strings.

One aspect that should definitely happen in this country is that adoption should become easier. To adopt a child is much more expensive than is feasible for many people beyond the ordinary costs of raising a child. Perhaps if adoption was made to be as easy as possible, like abortion has been, then we could see more adoption.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Is Holston Home Practicing Hate?

Was a Jewish family the victim of hatred? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

In a news story, a Jewish Couple went to Holston United Methodist Home for Children. They applied to adopt a child, but they were turned down because of their Jewish faith. Immediately, the conclusion was hatred and discrimination. Is this what’s really going on? Is the home anti-Semitic?

No, actually. Let’s suppose a family came that was Messianic Jewish and this included being Jewish by birth. They had come to embrace Jesus as the Messiah and agreed with the statement of faith of Holston. Would they get to adopt? Yes.

It’s not about being Jewish in the sense of genetic, but about is the child going to be raised in a home where their spiritual needs will be met, including being raised to believe in Jesus. The Holston group doesn’t want them to be put in a family where they will be told something false about Jesus and risk having their soul be lost forever. Whatever you might think of their actions, that is not a bad motive.

Now some secularists might complain, but that is misunderstanding the way a religious faith operates. Meeting the material needs is good, but meeting the spiritual needs is absolutely essential. A Christian organization cannot in good conscience deny such needs.

Suppose it was a Jewish organization that wanted to insist children be adopted into the Jewish faith and would not let anyone who believes Jesus is the Messiah or disbelieves in God adopt a child. That is their freedom. Suppose a Muslim organization didn’t want to give a child to a family that denied that Muhammad was a prophet. That was their freedom. Suppose an atheist organization didn’t want to have a child placed in the home of a crazy religious fanatic. That is their freedom. No adoption agency is obligated to give you a child because you want one.

This is also not denying that the families could be good and loving families. It is just saying that the belief system is the most important aspect. Rightly or wrongly, that is how it is and Holston should not be forced to act within their statement of faith.

In another link about this story, there is an interesting quote.

“The Tennessee Constitution, like the U.S. Constitution, promises religious freedom and equality for everyone. Tennessee is reneging on that promise by allowing a taxpayer-funded agency to discriminate against Liz and Gabe Rutan-Ram because they are Jews,” said Alex J. Luchenitser, associate vice president and associate legal director at Americans United. “Laws like House Bill 836 must not stand when they allow religion to be used to harm vulnerable kids and people like Liz and Gabe who want to provide those children with safe and loving homes.”

It’s amazing that within the first two sentences, Luchenitser contradicts himself. The Tennessee Constitution promises religious freedom. Then he says because of that, the Holston agency cannot turn down a couple because they are Jews. However, that is part of the religious freedom of Holston, to see that children are raised in Christian homes.

No one’s religious freedom is being denied except for Holston’s honestly. They are being told they have to put a child with a family even if it goes against their statement of faith. The Jews are allowed to be Jews still and there are plenty of other organizations they can adopt from.

I’m also unsure what is meant by religious equality? Is this saying that all religions are equal? All one needs to do is study them to see that isn’t the case. Is it saying that all religious beliefs don’t matter? That’s something the state should have no say on. What it is doing now is essentially saying “Yes, Holston. We understand you think a child needs to be raised in an environment where they can grow up to embrace Jesus, but we don’t think that matters and you must agree with us.” The people complaining that Holston is discriminating are wanting to push a discrimination of their own actually.

In reality, discrimination is to some degree unavoidable. We all do it. We all have to do it. If I drive somewhere and I don’t think the area is safe, I lock my doors. (I do that anyway, but I definitely make sure my car is locked if I think there’s danger.) When we choose where to go to school or who to marry or who to babysit the kids, we discriminate. A person could show up at your door and say “I want to babysit your kids for you” and you have no obligation to let them do it.

Imagine being an atheist and hearing someone wants to tutor your elementary school children. Okay. You might be interested. Then you hear that they’re a young-earth creationist who wants to teach them science. Do you accept that? Are you being discriminating if you say no? Are you denying a child an education?

The problem with a story like this is it pulls at emotional heartstrings way too easily and most of us think on how we feel about the story instead of how the story is. When you hear the story, it’s too easy to assume anti-semitism at the start. When you look, it makes sense why Holston is doing this, and you could think they are wrong in their beliefs and/or actions still, but I would hope you would at least understand it.

Also, whatever faith you are or lack of faith you are, remember that as soon as the state takes a side on any religion whatsoever, they could just as well do the same to you. Do I want the state to determine that all atheist households are unfit homes and no one can let a child be adopted into one? No. I want every organization to have the freedom to choose who they want the child to adopt to barring some physical exceptions, such as registered sex offenders definitely can’t adopt.

Some have said the state should cease funding the Holston Home. If they want to, they are free to do so. The state can tell them that unless they adopt to all, then they can’t get federal funding. I don’t think I agree with that, but the state doesn’t owe them anything. Technically, we could even say it should be up to the state taxpayers since they are the ones who are providing the state with the money anyway.

There is no doubt this is a complicated issue hinging on personal and religious freedom. One thing to avoid is accusations of moral turpitude. I can understand why the Jewish family wants to adopt. I can understand why Holston only wants to adopt to Christians as is clear from statements on their website.

That’s also the first step in resolving this. Truly understanding where everyone is coming from.

Too bad we never seem to get to that step.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

 

In Happiness and in Health

Should this guy marry or not? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I saw a couple of days or so ago a post on Facebook about a bride who wanted to change her wedding vows. She wanted to take out the “In sickness and in health” part and replace it with “In happiness and in health.” Why? She didn’t want to be stuck with a husband with a long-term illness. She went to Reddit to express this and thankfully, got slammed repeatedly. The story can be found here.

Let it be known also that through my entire marriage of ten years, I had to care for my ex-wife in many ways due to her mental illnesses. If someone wants to come to me and ask if I would be willing to care for someone with long-term illness, I can say I already have. This is not to complain about her either. Had she wanted to stay and work on our marriage, I would have kept caring for her.

We’re going to be looking at key parts of this article.

“Claiming that she hates “taking care of sick people”, the bride said she wanted to “live my life to the fullest” without being burdened with an ill husband.”

Okay. This is mainly being written for this husband. Dude. Take a look at this. She has come out and stated that if you get stuck with a major illness, that you will become a burden. She wants to live her life to the fullest. What is that all about? Her. For me, it was a privilege to get to care for my ex when she was sick. So possible future husband, she only wants you if you are in good health. If you come down with some long-term cancer or something like that, well she will be gone. She is not willing to be 100% faithful.

“While she said she has “no problem” with caring for him if he was sick with a cold or flu, she wasn’t prepared to look after him if he had a “chronic” or “severe” illness such as cancer.

She also outrageously said that she would put any of their future children up for adoption if they had a disability, saying “taking care of a disabled child for more than 18 years is too much”.

The post sparked an angry response on Reddit, with thousands criticising the bride for being “selfish”.”

And look at this. This woman has also said she will do the same with children. Those aren’t going to be just her children. They will be yours as well. Do you want to have to say bye to your children because your wife sees them as a burden? Do you want to have to explain to them years later that you gave in to that kind of treatment?

Reddit users are calling her selfish? Rightly so. This lady is entirely selfish and marriage will not change that. Your marriage will be all about her.

“However, the bride justified her stance, explaining that she’d spent a long time looking after her sick parents and wanted a break.

“This is harsh, but I hate taking care of sick people,” she wrote.”

Traditionally, the parents of the bride pay for the wedding. I can imagine if this happened that her parents are so happy to provide for their daughter who says she hated taking care of them. She is right on one thing. It is harsh.

““My siblings and I were always taking care of our parents whenever they get sick and I just hate it, I’m sick of it and I hate feeling bound or obligated to take care of somebody.

“My life is full of moments and events like this and I just finally want to live my life to the fullest.

“I’m going to be married soon to my lovely partner and the best guy in the world. I’m so lucky and happy to have him by my side.” “

Once again, it’s all about her. Surprisingly at least, she didn’t end this by talking about how she’s the best woman in the world in her mind and her husband will be lucky to have her by his side. She’s lucky and happy to have him, until he gets cancer. Then it’s off to find someone else as he’s keeping her from living her life to the fullest. He’s only the best guy in the world if he’s healthy after all.

“In her post, the bride said her fiancé was unhappy with her request to change her vows.

“We have been thinking a little about our marriage vows,” she said.

“My fiancé is going to have a traditional Christian one: ‘I, _____, take thee, _____, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith.’

“I’m going to have an identical one but without the ‘in sickness’ part, I’m going to replace it with ‘in happiness’.”

I read “We have been thinking” as, “I have been trying to get my fiance to accept my new idea and he wants to go with this dumb traditional thing.” She is right that this is apparently a great guy. This guy is being clear in his vows. She’s wanting to change them meaning she’s not wiling to make the same commitment.

So to the guy again, here’s who is the one who’s least committed to the relationship. It’s the one who cares the least. You can give 110%, but it can still fall apart because of her actions. Do you want to risk that? Do you want to have a future divorce and be paying alimony and only get to see your kids when a judge says you can?

““My fiancé says that he will not accept this and he is very mad at me, he is even rethinking the whole thing.”

Good for him. He should. I encourage him to run for the hills and find someone more worthy.

““I just don’t want to feel obligated to take care of anybody sick for years of my own and only life.

“It’s so stressful and I think he is being very unreasonable right now, it’s just a marriage vow and I have the choice to change it.”

Look at that sentence. “It’s just a marriage vow.” For her, this is no big deal. Just a vow? This is her one and only life and you, hopefully no longer future husband, would ruin things for her if you got sick, which could well be beyond your control.” Note that you are being unreasonable in her eyes because you’re not willing to concede this whole thing to her.

“In response the extreme backlash, the woman said she was happy to care for her husband if he was suffering from a minor ailment.

“It depends on the disease, obviously – I’m going to have no problems taking care of somebody with a cold or some flu or some broken bones,” she said.

“However, if it’s chronic or severe and requires so much time and playing around (diets, restrictions, surgery risk, special conditions, frequent problems…etc) like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, disabilities, cancer… etc then no.

“I had enough of those in my life.””

Again, how much warning do you need? This woman is not marriage material. She is only so much committed. Now let’s look at children again.

“When asked whether she would care for their future children if they had a disability, she responded: “If they are abnormal and the tests detected that, then I honestly would abort them.

“I made this clear to my fiancé before, even though we are both Christians),” she said.”

If this lady wants to claim she is a Christian, she really needs to rethink what a Christian is. Christians do not abort children because they have inconvenient sicknesses. To the man here, she is willing to kill children that are also yours. Get out now, set up blocks on email and phone and Facebook, and never look back.

“Otherwise, I would give them up for adoption. Taking care of a disabled child for more than 18 years is too much, almost like the past repeating itself but somehow reversed roles and worse and I just … I just can’t do that.

“Obviously it’s not for all cases. Like, if they got it when they are [age] seven or eight then I’m definitely going to keep taking care of them.

“It will be very unfortunate but as a mother, I would do my best to make their life better.

“However, if they had a disability at [age] two or three then I’m sorry but I just can’t do that. It will not be fair for them and it will not be fair for me and it will not be fair for my husband.

“At least I would give them the chance for a loving family that is capable of caring for them before getting too attached to me.”

Since the husband is a Christian, husband, consider this. What did Jesus say about the least of these? How you treat them is a picture of how you treat Jesus? This is how she would see her own children!

I will say I am thankful Reddit has been hard on this woman. At least there are still people in this world who see marriage as a serious vow. I don’t know their worldview, but they are treating this seriously. Kudos to them.

To the man, again, get out now. If you marry and things go wrong, you can’t say you weren’t warned. The bride is right about this being a one and only life to an extent. You don’t get to replay this. You deserve better. If you are willing to be 100% committed, find someone else who is. Physical beauty that drives us men so much will fade, but unfortunately, her attitude will stay forever and as appealing as she might be physically, her attitude is just ugly.

Get out now.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

Our Failure To Give

Are we not giving enough in ministry? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

I’ve said before that I’m a game show junkie. If I’m reaching for the remote, my wife knows that usually I want to turn on GSN. Sunday, I’m watching one of my favorites, Idiotest. There’s a pair of ladies on there who are playing because they want to have enough money to go on a mission trip.

Okay. Let’s be clear right at the start. That’s awesome. People wanting to go on a show and win money not for themselves, but so that they can do something special in ministry. It’s the kind of thing that we should all aspire to. However, despite how great that is, it also indicates something.

The church is failing.

Can any of us imagine in the 1st century Paul going to Caesar and trying to earn more funds so he could do ministry work? Hardly. The church had to give and take care of its own. It was a fledgling movement, but still growing rapidly, and people had to look out for one another. There were people who were wealthy and there were people who were poor.

Whenever we as a church go outside of ourselves in order to raise up the funds, we make a silent confession before the world. That confession is that the church is not giving enough of itself. It must rely on those on the outside.

Back in January, I had Ty Benbow on my show to talk about abortion. One thing he said was that if every church in America adopted just one child every season of the year, we could end any abortion debate. Just one. Of course, not every family can do that. There are plenty of poor families. There are some who can give more than they are.

This also includes not just money, but time and services. Do you realize that if you give of your time that you are freeing up money that could go to greater causes that we can’t directly intervene in? If you volunteer to do something at your church, that means there’s more that can go somewhere else.

I recently wrote a blog where I mentioned the giving of 10%. I’m not saying the New Testament teaches the tithe. I think it instead teaches that the Lord loves a cheerful giver. Just that should be something to make us think. God loves a cheerful giver. Don’t we all want to be the kind of person that God loves? Then we should consider being cheerful givers.

Yet as someone said who commented, most pastors would be thrilled if their churches would give 10%. Many of them don’t. The poor of course I’m not really speaking about. Those who don’t have any money to give are not obligated to give, although the poor can give service in other ways. What I am contending for is that we can do something more.

Many of us will be tempted to think that a little bit can’t make much of a difference. By itself, one is absolutely right. Yet if everyone gives a little bit, a little bit can become a lot. If your local blood bank has a blood drive, it would be ridiculous and medically dangerous to think that you have to supply blood for everyone in need. It’s not ridiculous when you realize that when many people do that, then many can benefit.

It’s important to note that there are many pastors who have greed. It’s a sin that anyone can fall into. That’s also why I encourage churches to have upfront financial statements so everyone can see where the money is going to. Be aware pastors that you need to encourage giving, but if you overdo it, you will come across as greedy. Be aware also person in the pew that the church has to say it sometime and just because it’s said doesn’t mean greed is involved.

It’s great to see women going on a show wanting to win money for a mission trip. It will be even better when they don’t need to because the church does give enough as it is. Hopefully we can reach a day where the church is better known for generosity than they are for hypocrisy.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: The Birth of the Trinity

What do I think of Matthew Bates’s book published by Oxford press? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

How did we get to the Trinity? Of course, the Trinity was never born, per se, but how did the early church come to the idea? Was it in the Old Testament and we just hadn’t seen it all these years? Could it be they read Scripture in a way today that we’re not familiar with?

“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.

With burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased.

Then I said ‘Here I am. It is written about me in the scroll — I have come to do your will, my God.”

When the writer of Hebrews has this passage, he says that this is what Christ said. If we go back to where it comes from, Psalm 40, we don’t see Christ saying this at all. It looks like what the Psalmist is saying. How do we get to Christ saying this? Are we just reading into the text?

As good Christians, we don’t want to say that. After all, do we want to accuse the writer of Hebrews of eisegesis? In fact, we can go further and say that our Lord Himself used this kind of reading. Did He not ask the Pharisees whose son the Messiah is only to be told the Son of David. Christ responds with Psalm 110:1 “The Lord said to my Lord.” How can He be David’s son if David calls Him His Lord?

Bates says this is called prospological reading where the text is read from the perspective of a divine conversation going on. Sometimes, the Psalmist or prophet seems to give us a peek behind the curtain, perhaps unknowingly, to conversations that have taken place long in the past. (Well, at least to us. Since all of God’s actions are eternal these are eternally happening.)

The early church engaged in this and in fact, so did the early opponents of Christianity. This doesn’t mean that every reading like this is valid, but Origen and others did lay down some ground rules. Those are quite helpful for many who will think that this is an approach that can just lead to chaos and anything can mean anything.

Bates throughout this book that is incredibly inspiring seeks to enter us into a divine drama taking place and how the early church saw the text. Numerous texts are explored in-depth including countering various ideas, such as a popular adoptionist idea as has recently been argued for by Bart Ehrman. Bates also wants to return us to the idea of not divine identity but divine persons thinking we’re losing something of the idea of how we should speak of God when we don’t speak of persons.

Bates’s argument then is that when Christ came, the readers of the Old Testament indeed looked back in hindsight to see if they could see Christ speaking there, and they saw several passages. These they fit into the divine drama that had been taking place behind the scenes. This can also make us go back and read the Old Testament with new eyes. We’ve all known about this kind of reading before as we see it in the New Testament. We just never knew how seriously it was undertaken and what an impact it had.

If there was something I’d say I would like to see better, I think the title can be misleading. Every now and then there’s something about the Holy Spirit, but really very little. The book emphasizes more on the deity of Christ I think than the whole of the Trinity. Perhaps that can be saved for another work.

This is still an excellent book to read. If you want to see a fresh new reading of the text, try this one out. This is definitely an area that New Testament scholarship needs to further study.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

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