The Ultimate Example of Moral Relativism 

Record-High Ratio of Americans in Prison - APNews.myway.com - Original
Record-High Ratio of Americans in Prison - APNews.myway.com - Archived

As Greg Koukl has talked about in a video on moral relativism (that I'm displaying below), a video I've wanted so many people I know to see so badly, each system of belief has a pinnacle, ultimate example of what that system produces. For example, the ultimate example of Judaism would be, say, Jesus; the ultimate example of Hinduism, Mahatma Gandhi; the ultimate example of modernistic atheism, Hitler and Stalin, and so on.

What is the end result of secular moral relativism though? Think about it. What does relativism say? All moral truths are equally valid and each person should decide for him or herself what is right and wrong without any outside influences imposed on them giving them direction. What does that ultimately produce? A sociopath, a person with no conscience. It produces a person that in an ultimate form bases the way in which they make choices upon what they think is right and wrong. Is that not what mass murderers do? Rapists? Thieves? "I think things should be this way and I will make it happen." They are deciding for themselves what is right and wrong, aren't they?

Why is the number of people in prison so high? And why are we the nation with the most people in jail per capita, more than any other nation!? Because moral relativism, evangelistically spread and lobbied for by secularists in our society (thus imposing their moral views on the collective society), particularly within major urban areas, is corrupting our society from the inside out and the statistics in the article above prove that to be the case. We have more and more people running around thinking they determine what's right and wrong (that there are no moral absolutes) and we are now morally and spiritually bankrupt as a result. And it is getting worse. Teens are growing up in broken homes, looking for answers, and then they hear from teachers, "You decide what's best for you." That is culturally frightening on a macro scale. Just as modernistic atheism produced characters like Hitler and Stalin, so postmodern atheism will produce people on an equal plain, excluding anyone who would hold to any form of absolute divine moral truth outside of themselves (which by the way is the only logical explanation for why something IS absolutely and definitively wrong, like the hacking up of babies in Africa by genocidal tribes).

And we think this is going to get better with one of the most extremely morally relativistic Presidents to ever possibly enter the White House, setting the tone for the rest of the country? I think not. "Change" is not always a good thing my friends. May we turn to Christ and ask for His mercy to 1) revolutionize people's thinking with the Gospel, and 2) prepare believers for hardship endured in the face of possibly being excluded for being exclusive. It's already beginning to happen in Britain in the form of law suits. And it will soon be here if cultural patterns continue to mirror that of Europe.

To download the audio from this video in MP3 format, click here.

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Tasered Bull - This is Awesome 

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Report on the Intelligence Community's Data Mining Projects 

http://www.fas.org/irp/dni/datamining.pdf

After perusing this document, the following projects are of particular interest:



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This is a Significant Find on Breaching Disk Encryption 

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I AM WHO I AM, I Mercy Whom I Mercy 

"Then Moses said to God, 'If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, "The God of your fathers has sent me to you," and they ask me, "What is his name?" what shall I say to them?' God said to Moses, 'I AM WHO I AM.' And he said, 'Say this to the people of Israel, "I AM has sent me to you."'" - Exodus 3:13-14

"Moses said, 'Please show me your glory.' And he said, 'I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name "The LORD." And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.'" - Exodus 33:18-19

In each of these sets of verses, Moses requests something of God and God responds with a grammatically identical statement about the essence of who He is. In the first set of verses in Exodus 3, Moses basically asks, "What is your name?" And the Lord's response is, "I AM WHO I AM." In the second set in Exodus 33, Moses asks God to show him His glory, His essence, as John Piper says, Moses wants to see the essentialness of God. What is it that defines the very heart of the glory of God? And the Lord's response, is, "I will make my goodness pass before you ... [and then He says, and this is the important part] I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy." In a very simple layout of both of these sets of questions and answers,

Moses:"Who are you?" God:"I AM WHO I AM" Moses:"What is the essence of your glory?" God:"I have mercy on whom I have mercy."

In the first response by God concerning His name, He makes a circular statement that He is the supreme authority, He always has been, always will be the infinitely powerful, almighty God, and that there are none like Him. The reason it is circular is because there is no higher authority by which to authenticate Himself. He authenticates Himself. "I AM WHO I AM." He is before all things and in Him all things hold together. "I AM WHO I AM." All things flow from Him and through Him and to Him. He is the infinite source of Himself, with no beginning and no ending. "I AM WHO I AM." So much is contained within this statement about who God is. You cannot put Him in a box. You cannot contain Him or size Him up. He is simply beyond anything we can possibly comprehend. He has made known to us everything we need to know about Himself in His Word. The Scriptures reveal to us what we need to know as essentials concerning Him, though He is infinitely unknowable. "I AM WHO I AM," is a perfect example. This statement is mind boggling and should cause us to sit in awe at who God really is, not who we want Him to be, which is an excellent bridging thought to the next point.

In second response concerning His glory, God is making a clear definition that strikes at the very heart of our disposition before Him: He is God, we are not. He created us for His purposes, not our own. That is a humbling reality for sinners who want to be their own god's, namely, all of us. "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy." This statement makes it clear that it is He who grants mercy toward sinners of His choice. Paul uses this very verse to lay out God's sovereignty in salvation in Romans 9. We are vessels in the Potters' hands. God is who He is, and He (literally in the Hebrew, according to John Piper) [mercies] whom He will [mercy]. In this verse, mercy in the Hebrew is used as a verb, not a noun, where God acts to accomplish something. This "mercying" is an act of God whereby He preserves whom He pleases from eternal destruction. It was accomplished ultimately through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is His choice whom He desires to turn from their unbelief and believe in Christ. We are in God's debt as sinners and if He chooses not to act to preserve us and leave us in our rebellion and evil disposition toward Him, who are we to ask why? Do we not deserve wrath for the way we treat Him and His honor? So is God obligated to save and have mercy? No. God does what He pleases and has pure, excellent, and holy reasons for doing what He does. This is the very essence of what it means to be God according to this verse: He determines man's destiny, and none can stay His hand or say to Him, "What are you doing?" (Daniel 4:35) And at the same time, the Scriptures clearly affirm that man is solely responsible for his rebellion. God is sovereign, man is responsible, is the most concise way to put it. The Scriptures confirm both of these truths, yet how they come together is not revealed.

"I [mercy] whom I [mercy]." Just let that sink in along with, "I AM WHO I AM." This is the very definition of who God is by God Himself! We would do well to pay attention to it, as uncomfortable as it may be.

This is so hard for the sinful human soul to accept though because it seems dehumanizing for God to have that kind of ultimate power over us. As naturally depraved humans, we want to be free from all constraints, especially when it pertains to our eternal destinies. We want control, we want the reigns. Is that not the air we breathe in this country? It appears to many as if God is just mean and arbitrarily saves some and not others. This thinking is in error though. The Bible paints a completely different picture than what sinful man would come up with from his own "brilliant" thinking (namely Greek Determinism). God has had an overarching plan from eternity to bring about the most glory for Himself. To do anything less would be to dishonor His own name, and for Him to be God, He must glorify Himself to the uttermost. Let's consider again what the verse is saying: "I [mercy] whom I [mercy]." This sounds strangely familiar to Paul's language in Ephesians 1:5-6, "In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved." There is one key phrase there we should hone in on: "to the praise of His glorious grace."

So we return to Moses' question, "What is the essence of your glory?" And God's unfolded response in the New Testament is, "My gracious choice of sinners to be saved by my grace through faith in the cross of Jesus." The essence, the essential glory of God is in his glorious grace, clearly demonstrated through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, on behalf of His chosen people. How beautiful! And it was planned from all eternity, before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). God has purposes in what He does that are always right, even if we cannot fathom them, even if we are scared by them. He is God, we are not. Bow before your Maker and mourn for your wickedness and beg Him to turn your heart to love Christ either for the first time, or if you do believe, for greater love for Him that you may find increasing rest, joy and peace in His presence.

To really see see the essence of the glory of God as revealed in these passages is to fear Him as we should and this causes us to flee to Christ for cleansing and mercy to change and conform to His image. We have no other hope, for there is no other name by which we are saved, as well as forever changed. However, at the same time, through Christ, we have no reason to fear God in His great wrath because we have been absolutely accepted on the basis of Christ's perfect work, not ours, obtained through faith alone. So we do fear God as the One who could have passed over us and who will execute wrath when Christ returns to judge man, and we don't fear at the same time because of Christ's work to save us from the eternal destruction we all rightly deserve. It is a reverential fear, keeping us from sin because we know how injurious it is to 1) His glory when we rebel against Him, but also 2) His glorious grace in Christ toward us. But it is also an assured hope that if God is for us who can be against us?

If this Gospel is at the center of your life, that God is for you despite your willful sinfulness and rebellion, think about how your worldview, your day to day perspective on every part of life would be radically changed (myself included, may God have mercy on me, a sinner). It is this Gospel that produces true heart-change, true repentance from wickedness, when we see the depths of how awful we really are, and yet how great is the love of God in the work of Christ for sinners. It is the same Gospel I myself must return to continually because of the proneness of my own heart to sin. Ask for God to sink the truths of the Gospel deep within your soul to change you in every area of your life. He did not have to "mercy" you who believe, He chose to out of eternal love. To the praise of His glorious grace!
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Redemption Accomplished and Applied by John Murray - A Review 

This book is an excellent, concise theological work on Christ's atoning work on the cross and how it is applied to the life of believers to save them, from its very inception until its final consummation. It is absolutely essential for believers to understand the depths of the value of the work of Christ on the cross and how that saves them, from the first granting of faith, to our glorification with Christ at His revelation when He returns to judge the world in righteousness. If we do not understand from the details given in the Scriptures of how we were saved, how we persevere in our faith (by Christ's power in us), and what will become of us in the end, we will not appreciate how amazing the plan of God has been from all eternity to save His people.

The first part of the book, consisting of five chapters, deals with the atonement of Christ, particularly its necessity, its nature, its perfection, its extent, and finally concluding remarks on the subject. The second part then deals with the Ordo Salutis, that is, the order of salvation. Before you even go into the Ordo Salutis though, you must first grasp the presentation of the work of Christ on our behalf in the Word. A fundamental misunderstanding at this point affects ultimately how you view that work applied to the life of the believer. I will not go into this here; you will just have to read the book. :)

In the second part, Murray shows from Scripture the process from beginning to end of how Christ's work is applied to us.

1) The believer to be saved by the atoning work of Christ is first effectually called by the Holy Spirit through the indiscriminate preaching of the Gospel.

2) Then, by the power of God alone in that call to salvation, the sinner to be saved is regenerated out of that state of sin we are all naturally born in, under the blindness and hardness of the wrath of God; that is by nature we were children of wrath like the rest of mankind (Ephesians 2:3).

3) Next, as a result of this regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, faith and repentance are produced in the soul (by Christ's atoning work), where the sinner desires Christ more than their sin, seeing it as repulsive and Christ as a beautiful and merciful Savior. In this work of the Spirit, we are given eyes to see, ears to hear, our hearts of stone are effectually taken out and a heart of flesh is put in its place that is loving, obedient and responsive to God, fulfilling the word of the Spirit spoken in Ezekiel 36:26-27.

4) Then as a result of this faith in Christ granted as a gift by the Father (Ephesians 2:8-9, John 6:44) that we may surely be saved, we are justified and counted righteous by Christ's work on our behalf.

5) Next, because of our justification, we are received into the fellowship of the saved, as a child of God, adopted into His kingdom as fellow heirs with Christ.

6) Over the life of the believer, sanctification occurs and the redeemed in Christ are progressively (albeit imperfectly) made more into His image (though this process is never perfected in this life until we die, which always keeps us in a humble state of empty-handedness before Him knowing we can only receive that which is granted by His loving hand).

7) As a result of the supernatural faith-sustaining power of God over the believers' life, never shall they turn back and abandon their Savior and thus be lost because they are born anew, adopted and can never lose that status. However it is not by their power but God's sustaining them.

The flip side of this coin though, or the negative side, is that if you see no supernatural, progressive, effectual work in your life (though not perfect of course!) and yet claim Christ as your Lord, it may be you don't have divine faith imparted by God, something the Scriptures tell us to confirm (Philippians 2:12, 2 Peter 1:5-11). A truly saved person will always be supernaturally changed by the work of God. To say otherwise is to call God's work of giving people new birth (i.e. spiritual birth from among the dead) a lie. The new birth always creates a new person, redeemed in the image of Christ (though, again, not perfect). No saved person permanently slides into and continues in deadly, soul-destroying unbelief concerning the things of God, manifested in visible evidences of blatant, perpetual sinning (i.e. the Carnal Christian heresy, spoken against clearly in 1 John). God will always work to preserve the saved by His power, and though they may stumble in grave sin even, God will always work to bring them back to Himself.

- Before speaking on glorification in the final chapter, Murray discusses how in each of these points within the sinner that is being saved, they are all in relation to our being united to Christ. This is important to note because each of these can seem to be separate from Him in some fashion. But rather, each of these is directly as a result of our being united to Him, and this unity pervades every point of the life of the believer, from beginning to end.

8) Finally, Murray makes the important note that many view glorification as occurring simply at death. However, he makes very clear that final glorification occurs when our bodies are reunited with our souls and we are resurrected from the death in the same manner as Christ was raised from the dead. He notes that it is a grave error to simply think of glorification in terms of just being done with this life and going to be with Christ (though that is definitely part of it). Rather he shows how we need to always be looking forward to the final resurrection when everything will be made anew and all of His people will be without sin, and we can enjoy our Savior forever in His presence, our greatest joy in all things.

This is an excellent book and should be read by every believer as a part of basic Christian curriculum because of how the process of our salvation in Christ is laid out so eloquently and beautifully by Murray.

Here is a link to order the book now on MonergismBooks.com:
http://www.monergismbooks.com/Redemptio ... 16909.html
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Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins 

"Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins ... Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant." - Hebrews 9:22, 15

It is posited by many that God can either forgive sins or pay the debt for them, but that he cannot do both at the same time. The verses above speak utterly to the contrary though, particularly the statement, "Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins." This seems to indicate that God forgives sinners their infinite debt against Him precisely through a blood-shed sacrifice. And even more precisely in Hebrews, Christ is the long-awaited, final sacrifice of the Old Testament that has secured an eternal redemption by His blood because it is of infinite value and worth, offered on behalf of "those who are called" by the Father (John 6:44), in order that they "may receive the promised eternal inheritance."

It is imperative to see that God doesn't do either a sacrifice or just forgive without any reference to how His honor and holiness have been disdained, but rather that it is through this willing sacrifice, namely that of Christ's on the cross, that He forgives us our debt. It is the only way to have peace with God now and for eternity. For those who believe, this should make us weep to consider what it cost Christ to be cut off from the land of the living so that God could have us as His own possession for eternity, when we were owed, deserved wrath forever. What awesome, free mercy is in the cross!

In the evangelical world, a majority of us want to think of God in merely "lovey dovey" terms alone without the uncomfortable truth of what we deserve and the horror of what it took for Christ on the cross to bear our wrath in Himself. Oh what cost to Christ, we cannnot even plum the depths of how it hurt deep within His being to be cut off from such an infinitely intertwined loving relationship with the Father from eternity!

God is holy, burning with justice and must make His glory and honor the highest priority in the universe, because, well, He's God, and to say that anything else in the universe is of greater value would be a lie. Our sinning against Him makes a statement about how we value His name and honor: we spit in His face and consider His name worthless and attempt to establish our own name and honor above His. Pure vile. But He is an all-consuming fire that never burns out, that will consume His adversaries who will not repent of this evil (Hebrews 10:26-27), and we are decrepit, God-hating, sinful children of wrath by nature (prior to conversion by the Spirit), even when to ourselves and each other we may look morally decent (on our terms, not the Lord's). The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament though and He has not changed one ounce in His glorious justice. In the New Testament, the only difference is that Christ has fulfilled all that was spoken in the Old Testament concerning the coming, final sacrifice for sinners, through faith and trust in that work. The point is, we are owed wrath not mercy. To say God owes us anything is to put Him at our feet, but He will not remain there. In fact, the very meaning of mercy is, "not receiving something you deserve." This is only granted by the Father. Beg Him for it on your knees if you have not been forgiven your debt against Him.

We offend God deeply with the ways in which we ignore Him in even our religious acts many times (let alone our blatantly God-hating acts). But how wonderful it is that through the eternally valuable sacrificial atonement of Christ alone we can stand in His presence without being obliterated by His sheer majesty. Considering this from Scripture should humble us and melt our hearts. And even more than that though, we can stand, by His life's work for us, having not only our infinite debts paid, but also having obtained for ourselves the reward Christ is owed for His perfect work offered to the Father for us. It gets no better than this. And on top of that, we find the true, deep soul satisfaction we are all longing for!

Instead of the wrath that should have been ours, not only do we have that removed from us through faith in Christ, but even better, we gain His infinitely valuable reward, fellowship with God for eternity! There is no joy greater than to be in the presence of the very being through which all that we enjoy came into existence! How wonderful. It is as if those who trust Him as their righteousness-replacement have never committed an evil act because He forgave the guilt of their sin by taking its consequence in Himself and then counted them righteous through His perfect life rendered to the Father. This is the Gospel, the wonderful work of Christ to unite those who believe to Himself.

This is the catalyst for all real life-change, growth in grace, knowledge in holiness and righteousness, all of which is revealed in Scripture. We cannot forgive, we cannot live in holiness before God, that is honoring Him in all we do, until this sets in and affects our souls from the inside out. In every way that we sin, it reveals the truth of our hearts, that is, it reveals ways in which we have not grasped the Gospel deeply enough in all our thinking and doing, at the most fundamental levels. But so goes the life of the believer, the perpetual struggle to fight for joy in Christ against the flesh with the amazing reality of the Gospel. Ask the Lord to open your heart and send His Spirit to reveal Jesus to you and His work in His life, death, and resurrection. It is your only hope to change and progress in holiness at all.

I have no other point with this article than to just praise God for the forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of Christ. I implore you to consider the depths of your sin (that is, ways in which you have ignored or shaken your fist at the glory of God) and the depths of God's love for sinners through the cross. Do not harden your hearts against this, but deeply consider these things. Do not think of God as having loved us by just loving us. Think of what it cost God to love you. Think about what you are owed. You were not owed mercy but wrath. God is in no way obligated to show anyone mercy. If you believe, it was only by the grace of God that you were rescued from this plight that befalls us all, namely hardness in sin and unbelief, resulting in eternal wrath under the condemnation of God. It took infinite forgiveness on the part of God through the sacrifice of Christ so that we could be reconciled to God! God had to become man, so that as a man He could do what Adam failed to do, and then as a result, we could be saved and experience glory and joy in the presence of God forever.
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Google Servers As Spam Proxies Now? Nah, Couldn't Be, Or ... 

Came across something rather strange today. I received my first spam message to my westerfunk.net account after quite a long time. So I decided to check out where it originated from in the mailserver logs. Well it was a Google IP (yes, I ran a WHOIS on the IP to make sure), and the reverse address was hu-out-0506.google.com. Looking into the headers of the email, I observed further down that the originating IP from the spammer to Google's servers was 87.223.185.13. This IP is in Spain apparently. Could it be spammers are now figuring out a way to use Google to start sending spam now via Google servers? I hope not ... here are the [edited] headers.
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James White Explains the "Peter Syndrome" of Roman Catholic Apologists 




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NOOMA Review by Greg Gilbert @ 9Marks Ministry 

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

This video series is apparently sweeping the country in youth groups. And while I don't doubt that there are a lot of good things that can be taken away from this series, we must pay very close attention to 1) how things are said (mainly the Gospel itself), and 2) what is not said (pertaining to the essential message of the Gospel). This series of reviews points out the high points of the series, but also the deficiencies when compared with the historic Christian faith message we have been entrusted with. Brothers and sisters, "We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it." (Hebrews 2:1) Error always starts out small, like a ball slowly starting to roll from the top of a hill. Then the ball gains momentum, and by the time it reaches the bottom of the hill it is speeding so fast you can't stop it, and the Gospel is lost and people are believing a lie craftily devised by Satan over time. One of the main ways Satan works to destroy the church is not so much persecution from without, but he comes and destroys the church from within by slowly (and sometimes rapidly) twisting the message just slightly. Church history proves this to be the case.
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