Friday, March 31, 2006

American Grace(land)?

Graceland became an official national landmark!

That's right: Elvis is on par with Washington and Lincoln.

If this isn't an indication of American idiocy, then what is?
There are no political and religious leaders to be found, so we exalt entertainers.

Go figure.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Who is the Greatest Man of the 20th Century?

That question has been answered by many: Billy Graham. He has been called the best, most influential figure of the 20th century. His influence includes millions of people and many presidents. Recognition of his name is even great among unbelievers.

But what of his doctrine and beliefs?

It is unquestionable that he preached the death of Christ, the love of God and the demands for a changed life. Yet that is merely a formal similarity with those in disagreement with the man’s doctrine and methods.

The belief of the man on other less public issues recently came to my attention. While browsing the bargain books at a local bookstore, I stumbled upon Kaski’s book: Quotable Billy Graham, [Testament Books, 2002].

What I found was disheartening:
"Asked about the eternal destiny of Pagans who never heard the Gospel, Graham admitted that there were “other ways” of saying “ ‘Yes’ to God.”
[McCall’s, Jan. 1978]."

Asked a similar question about the fate of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, etc., (latter in his life) he cautions: “I think that’s in the hands of God. I can’t make that judgment.”
[Good Morning America, April 30, 1997]

As for the polygamy practices of Muslims, Graham notes that the OT patriarchs observed this, concluding on the modern practice: “there must be reasons for that [polygamy], and I think that some of them are valid reasons.”
[Fox News Sunday, Jan. 2, 2000]

When queried about how to demolish racism, the solution espoused by him distilled to the basics of his message over the years: “ ‘I’m going to preach on the love of God and how we are to love each other.’ That is the key to solving the race problem in the world”
[Calgary Sun, Oct. 15, 1999]

His own confession about doctrinal importance is stunningly answered:
“World travel and getting to know clergy of all denominations has helped mold me into an ecumenical being. We’re separated by theology, and, in some instances, culture and race, but all of that means nothing to me anymore.”
[US News & World Report, Dec. 19, 1988]

The sincerity and energy of the man are not in question. Nor is the proper question of the greatness of his influence. What are in question are his methods and doctrines—do they match up with the Word of God?

That is the question.
And the answer is discouraging.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Family of Fuzzy Lobsters

Scientist recently discovered a new creature off of Easter Island.
The info (translated from the French) is at the end of the linked page.

What makes this facinating--besides its looks--is that the creature is so unique the scientist created a new family and genus!

Creation will always amaze and baffle science because creation reflects the wonders of God's infinite wisdom and creativity.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Simpsons Beat the Constitution

Statistically it appears that Americans know more about the Simpsons than their own rights.
According to a Freedom Museum poll of 1000 adults, only twenty percent of Americans can name more than one freedom listed by the Constitution (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances). More could name three of the American Idol judges than three of their political freedoms.

In fact, 22 percent could name all five Simpson family members. And only one--one in 1000 polled--could name all five freedoms.

It would be easy to lament the education level of Americans, or bemoan America's lack of political acuteness. However, these statistics (as with most statistics) cannot be naively reduced to preconcieved notions--it could be that this poll shows the power of capitalistic repitition.

TV, movies, commercial and internet naturally do not emphasize the latest political theory or modern fads in sociology. They shove the newest soap, greatest song and loudest car ads into our collective faces, as fast as they can and as much as they can. But, then, that is the nature of the beast. Carpet-bombing advertisements about the Constitution would make no money.

This poll is sad, but what is more depressing is the fact that most Americans would have it so. They like their entertainment and avoid difficult ideas. Slogans and sound-bytes are easy to digest; debating the nature and application of our freedoms is not so easy.

Biblically this is best remedied by faithful churches that challenge Christians to think, and to think biblically.