The Four Questions

 

What is the origin of life?

What is the meaning of life?

What is the source of morality?

What is our destiny?

 Daily on campus we tell the students that any religion or philosophy has to answer the questions of origin, meaning, morals and destiny. At Indiana University recently, an atheist asked, “Who are you to say that a belief system has to answer these questions?”

I answered, “These are questions that all thinking men ask. That is why a moment ago you asked me about evolution. You want to know how it all started. Everyone asks, “What does that mean?” Or when you say something is meaningless, you are assuming something else in meaningful. Children very soon start asking, “Why?” They intuitively know there must be an answer. Often times they can ask some difficult questions. We have all said that an action is good or an-other action is bad, or someone is good or someone else is evil. What is your standard of judging actions and judging people? We all do it and we all have a standard. There is not a person here who has not wondered what happens after death. Christianity offers the most reasonable and coherent answers to these four basic questions of life.”

One fellow who was responding positively to my teaching asked, “How can you say that because Christianity has the highest ethical code that it is necessarily the right code?” I answered, “Should we not accept the system that promotes the highest good over the lesser good? Should we not choose the best over the better? Should we not believe the system that offers the most freedom and which best promotes the physical and mental health of mankind?”

When I demonstrated that God’s existence is necessary, just as a building requires a builder, a painting requires a painter, a sculpture requires a sculptor, etc., a girl asked, “How do we know that the creator is the God of the Bible?”

I answered, “Not only does creation testify to a creator but to a loving creator who has supplied everything we need in order for us to be happy. None of the gods of other religions so loves that he takes upon himself  human flesh and is willing to suffer at the hands of his creation. Our God loved so much that he came to serve his creation, not to be served. And he gave his life as a ransom.” Christianity is unique in that two millenniums ago when the nations were still sacrificing men unto their pagan gods, the true and living God became a man and sacrificed Himself unto men.

Bro. Jed

Happy Birthday, Mr. President

 

On your birthday, I think of Charlemagne (Charles the Great) (742-814), King of the Franks, who was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope in 800 AD.

Charlemagne made Western Europe great again by reuniting Western Europe and reviving education and culture after the Western Empire had fallen three hundred years earlier. By the sword and the cross, Charlemagne became the father of Europe and the great defender of the Christian religion and the Western Church. Like his grandfather, Charles the Hammer Martel, Charlemagne is credited with saving Europe from the Saracens.

The story of President Donald J. Trump has yet to be told. Christians pray that you will fulfil your destiny to make America great again and to protect the Church from the pagans from within (the Democrats and their cohorts) and without (the Muslim hordes). May your success and greatness even surpass that of Charlemagne as you act according to God’s will.

How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

   Terre Haute’s historic downtown houses of worship sponsored a Stained-Glass Sunday Afternoon, which I toured today. I am a member in one of these churches, which has spectacular windows including one behind the altar, which I have meditated on virtually all of my life, that depicts Jesus’ Resurrection flanked by Peter and John.
   Most of these churches were built in the early 20th Century and feature Gothic Revival architecture. So much of our faith can be revealed through architecture and especially the stained glass, which relates Biblical history, particularly the life of Christ. Before the invention of the printing press in the late 15th Century stained glass was crucial in conveying the message of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Savior.
   Many, who have lived in Terre Haute for all your lives, have never been inside these lovely places of worship. Now you will have to wait until next year’s tour. Or better yet, if you don’t have a church home, visit a historical church on Sunday morning, wherever you live. Or if you don’t care so much for history, all the churches have a certain beauty, which is the Spirit of Christ dwelling in the soul’s of the congregation. One doesn’t have to have the stained glass.
   Sometimes, I feel like I am a prisoner of history. I have a master’s degree in U.S. history, I taught the subject for over five years; I own a home built in 1925 in the historical district of Terre Haute and there are so many aspects of our modern culture to which I cannot relate. Most of the hymns I enjoy singing are over hundred years old. I read few modern authors.

All’s Well That Ends Well.

I was listening on the radio to the local news from Ventura, CA. The biggest story was the rescue of a cat and dog from a fire. The rest of the news was also inconsequential.

I got to thinking how the vast majority of Americans go about their daily activities peacefully and busily but without major crisis, unless there is a death in the family.

Then the national news came on, which anxiously speaks of a nation in crisis. The new mantra is “breaking news,” which is intended to take our breath away. Each day has become “a busy news day.”

   I don’t suppose most Americans watch network or cable news. They don’t care about the alleged Russian and Trump election connection, nor any other issue on the National News. They might tune to get a report on the latest terrorist attack but within 10 minutes it all gets repetitive. And anyway, it happened far away from you and me.

Life goes on folks. Be thankful that you are living a quiet and peaceful life with family and friends in your hometown. But don’t neglect the real question, “Where will you spend eternity?” This life will soon be over even for those of us that are most healthy and vigorous.

Put your faith in Christ and all will work out well at the finish. Make the church of your choice the center of your spiritual and social life for the sake of the Lord and your family. In church you will meet the best people who can be your friends for life. And remember, all’s well that ends well.

JOIN BROTHER JED LIVE!!!

This Summer, Brother Jed will be starting a teaching series on the Book of Acts.   It will be held live Every Tuesday at 7am, Starting on June 6th.  Don’t Miss it!

“Trump is General George C. Patton”

I can understand why conservatives like Jonah Goldberg, David French and Bill Kristol remain anti-Trump. They are the literati. Trump in their mind is a hardly literate buffoon.

Jonah Goldberg is General Omar Bradley. Trump is General George C. Patton. Goldberg and Bradley are colorless, polite, courteous, reticent, gentle, dull, dependable, and respect the chain of command. Trump and Patton are colorful, cussing, outspoken, impulsive, independent, flamboyant, glory-seeking and victorious.

   Bradley and Patton were polar opposites personality wise and it is widely known that Bradley did not like Patton either personally or professionally. While Bradley was concerned about gaining a good press, Patton did not trust the press. Patton slapped the cowardly soldier; Bradley reprimanded Patton for doing so.

It took Patton, not comparatively low-energy Bradley, to win the presidency and to be victorious over two political dynasties, Bushes and Clinton’s. Trump was the street fighter, willing to get down and dirty with Hillary.

No other Republican could have carried Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania but Trump. Bill Kristol encouraged the genteel David French to run on a Conservative Party ticket against Trump and Hillary. Such a campaign would have gotten nowhere.

The National Review represented by Goldberg and French has been the primary magazine influencing conservatism since the mid-fifties. The Weekly Standard published by Kristol has been in thick of the battle for neo-conservatism since the mid-nineties.

These literati were battling while Trump was building a crass business empire, entertaining millions with a TV show and often supporting liberal causes. They must see Trump as an upstart and Johnny come lately to the conservative cause. Trump is philosophically more of a pragmatist than a conservative. Yet, he may end up doing more for conservatism than Ronald Reagan.

Brietbart News flashed on the scene in 2007 and eventually supplanted the National Review and Weekly Standard as the loudest voices on the right. Upon the death of Brietbart in 2012, Steve Bannon took over the Brietbart website and last year Bannon became instrumental in Trump’s victory.

Now Steve Bannon is chief strategist in the Trump administration! The National Review and The Weekly Standard no longer have the influence these publications once had. The literati are polar opposites tactically compared to Bannon and Trump. The literati operate as critics of our culture. Trump is a leader determined to Make America Great Again.

AS THE WORLD TURNS

   This year we have been introduced to the term Fake News. Daily, we hear about Breaking News. What ever happen to the plain old News?
   When the Soap Operas reigned in day time TV, it used to be said, that you could miss a show for weeks or even months and tune in one day and you hadn’t missed a thing.
Each episode ended with with a cliff-hanger, not ever coming to a conclusion even at the end of a season. Breaking News is the cliff-hanger of Cable News.
   Donald J. Trump has been the leading character since he entered politics. He is the main character and all news worthy events revolve around him. These days the journalists and pundits themselves all want to become part of the drama. One can be sure Hillary is anxious to write herself back into the daily news narrative.

1916 vs. 2017, which is the richer time to live?

   Never Trumper, George Will is at it again! His disdain President Trump is clouding his thinking. Will’s article recently appeared in the National Review [My comments are set off with arrows]:
   Having bestowed the presidency on a candidate who described their country as a “hellhole” besieged by multitudes trying to get into it, Americans need an antidote for social hypochondria. Fortunately, one has arrived from Don Boudreaux, an economist at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center and proprietor of the indispensable blog Cafe Hayek.
   He has good news: You are as rich as John D. Rockefeller. Richer, actually.
Boudreaux says that if you had Rockefeller’s riches back then, you could have had a palatial home on Fifth Avenue, another overlooking the Pacific, and a private island if you wished. Of course, going to and from the coasts in your private but un-air-conditioned railroad car would be time-consuming and less than pleasant. And communicating with someone on the other coast would be a sluggish chore.
> It was not until into the 1960’s that most Americans would have had air conditioning to >drive across the country in their private cars.
   Commercial radio did not arrive until 1920, and 1916 phonographs would lacerate 2017 sensibilities, as would 1916’s silent movies. If in 1916 you wanted Thai curry, chicken vindaloo or Vietnamese pho, you could go to the phone hanging on your wall and ask the operator (direct dialing began in the 1920s) to connect you to restaurants serving those dishes. The fact that there were no such restaurants would not bother you because in 1916 you had never heard of those dishes, so you would not know what you were missing.
>The average American in 1916 would have rarely gone out for dinner. Wives and mothers >still cooked wonderful homemade meals, likely with fresh baked bread and pies. This was >better than your best restaurants of our day.
   If in 1916 you suffered from depression, bipolar disorder, a sexually transmitted disease or innumerable other ailments treatable in 2017, you also would not know that you were missing antibiotics and the rest of modern pharmacology. And don’t even think about getting a 1916 toothache. You can afford state-of-the-art 1916 dentures — and probably will need them. Your arthritic hips and knees? Hobble along until you cannot hobble any more, then buy a wheelchair. Birth control in 1916 will be primitive, unreliable and not conducive to pleasure.
>If you suffered from depression, which would have been called melancholy in 1916, you >would have likely been advised to, “Snap out of it,” and most would have. Bipolar disorder >was not a term in usage. One would have more likely been considered eccentric. >Respectable people waited for marriage to have sex in 1916 and then they still wanted to >have large families. Granted dental care is much improved.
   You could enjoy a smattering of early jazz, but rock-and-roll is decades distant, and Netflix and Google even more so. Your pastimes would be limited, but you could measure the passage of time on the finest Swiss watch. It, however, would be less accurate than today’s Timex or smartphone.
>People had better taste for music in 1916. Rock n Roll would have been considered to be >noise from the jungle. In 1916, we had the “National Pastime,” Baseball. George Will >would have been happy because Wrigley Field, then known as Weegham Park, was opened >in 1916. The swiss watches were accurate enough, men were proud to have one.
As a 1916 billionaire, you would be materially worse off than a 2017 middle-class American; an unhealthy 1916 billionaire would be much worse off than an unhealthy 2017 American of any means. Intellectually, your 1916 range of cultural choices would be paltry compared with today’s. And your moral tranquility might be disturbed by the contrast between your billionaire’s life and that of the normal American.
>Then the home was a place for culture, likely with a piano as the centerpiece and someone >in your family probably knew how to play it well. People read books by great American >authors like Hawthorne and Mark Twain and, yes, they read the Bible, which is the >foundation book of cultured living.
   Last year, a Bureau of Labor Statistics paper described the life of workers in 1915. More than half (52.4 percent) of the 100 million Americans were younger than 25, life expectancy at birth was 54.5 years (today, 78.8) and less than 5 percent of Americans were 65 or older. One in 10 babies died in the first year of life (today, 1 in 168). A large majority of births were not in hospitals (today, less than 1 percent).
>John D. Rockefeller did just fine without modern medicine; he lived a long healthy life, >dying at the ripe old age of 97.
>Few people today come close to reaching that age. When we figure that more than a >million babies are annually murdered in the womb by their mothers, we may be worse off >today. Certainly, we are morally worse. My wife gave birth to our last two in our home by >choice and we thought we got better care from the mid-wife than the doctors who assisted >in the birth of the previous three.
   In 1915, only about 14 percent of people ages 14 to 17 were in high school, an estimated 18 percent age 25 and older had completed high school, and nearly 75 percent of women working in factories had left school before eighth grade. There were 4 renters for every homeowner, partly because mortgages (usually for just five to seven years) required down payments of 40 to 50 percent of the purchase price.
>An eight-grade education in 1916 was better than a high school education a hundred years >later. Women were mostly still at home serving their husbands and children in 1916. Back >then, many people still gradually built their own homes, adding on as the family increased >in size. Homes were more likely to be passed down through the generations.
   Less than one-third of homes had electric lights. Small electric motors — the first Hoover vacuum cleaner appeared in 1915 — were not yet lightening housework. Iceboxes, which were the norm until after World War II, were all that 1915 had: General Motors’ Frigidaire debuted in 1918.
>Oh my, they did not even have microwaves! How did they ever survive?
So, thank Boudreaux for making you think about this: How large would your net worth have to be to get you to swap the life you are living in “hellhole” America for what that money could buy in 1916?
>We are all thankful for advancement in technology and the material improvements of >modern life. But are folks really better of then when the home was still intact and the >church was the center social life? Aren’t we better off with President Donald J. Trump than >the “progressive” Woodrow Wilson? He was reelected in 1916 on the slogan, “He kept us out >of war.” Within in a year, he was shipping our doughboys to Europe to fight WW I.

SATAN INSPIRED POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

    The left’s use of language to win the “Cultural War” has been so insidious, that I can only conclude that it is satanically inspired.
   One of liberals most successful semantic campaigns is promotion of the so-called “gay” agenda. We end up adopting their language by calling them “gays.” Thus, putting a positive impression on their abominable practices. Even the term “homosexual,” which was not in usage until the late 19th Century, is a morally neutral term.
   The lefts support of “Planned Parenthood” sounds so reasonable and even family orientated, when in fact the organization is anti-marriage and anti-family and their philosophy has led to an alarming high rate of illegitimate babies [bastards].
Other terms the left has cunningly invented or employed to promote their socialist agenda are social justice [who could oppose that?], multi-culturalism, diversity, racism and tolerance. Their creation of new words and their redefinition of old ones are enough to publish a big fat dictionary of political correctness.
   The right has incorporated most of the semantics of the left in the public debate. Thus, losing the first battle of the Cultural War. Conservatives been generally dull in combating this war for words.
   Pat Buchanan is an exception. He thought up the term “Cultural War.” Regrettably, the old warrior was roundly criticized by many fellow Republicans for using this militant language at the Republican convention in 1992. We need more wordsmiths on the right like Brother Pat, if we have any hope of defeating socialism.
   With so many Christian conservatives, the Holy Spirit ought to inspire us to come up with the power words we need to combat political correctness. We can start by restoring the old fashion word SIN to our vocabulary, and in regards to abortion, BLOODY MURDER.
   I attribute the left’s semantic genius to the devil because leftists are really not as smart as they think they are. The talk show host, Michael Savage, has said, “Liberalism is a mental disorder.” Savage employs psychobabble against the liberals. The truth is, liberalism is not a mental disease; it is wickedness, selfishness, thievery, etc.
The left was able to win the semantic war by its long march through America’s key institutions, that control the language–the government schools, academia, the media, Hollywood and the music industry.
   Even the church has infiltrated by the language of the left. Many of the Christian colleges founded in the 18th and 19th Centuries have closed, not being able to compete with the tax supported state institutions of “higher learning.” The ones that have survived, endured by implementing liberal jargon and teaching the same curriculum at the state universities.
   Pastor David Coke in his Preface to my book, “All Trumped Up,” identifies great leaders as those who speak a common language. It is not the new language, of social media, millennial’s and academics. “It is the language of the past, the language of TRUTH. Sadly, this language has become extinct in modern leadership and has been replaced with the language of religious and political correctness.”
   Rev. Coke explains, “Donald Trump speaks the language of truth fluently: pronouncing, repeating, pausing, and inflecting, in perfect diction, those words and phrases which describe REALITY. The ‘dictionary’ of this language is the Bible, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America and the lives of those men and women who gave themselves for its preservation.”
   President Trump’s forerunner was Patrick J. Buchannan. Trump is not the wordsmith that Brother Pat is; Trump’s language is the language of a man of business, who is able to communicate to the common man, whose vote put him in the White House.
   Trump is as wise as the serpent, when he calls the leader of North Korea “a smart cookie.” Whereas liberals and establishment conservatives simply see Kim as “crazy.” As long as he is regarded as mental case, he remains a formidable foe. Trump understands that he is dealing with a very calculating young leader, who with his late father has succeeded in manipulating both Republican and Democrat administrations for decades. Trump, who is the master of “The Art of the Deal,” has the craftiness to outsmart the communist enemy, Kim.

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