My Questions To Atheists:

1. Did you ever have any “religious upbringing”? If so what denomination if any?
2. Do you say there is no evidence for God?
3. Do you feel that atheism is a worldview?
4. Are you certain there is no God?
5. If you are a materialist, what makes you think you can trust your own mind?
6. Can science prove that God does/does not exist?
7. Do you believe that Darwinian evolution is true?
8. How do you account for the resurrection of Jesus Christ?

Thanks for your answers.

God Bless
Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: EVIL

*Any act or event that is contrary to the good and holy purposes of God. Theologians generally distinguish between moral and natural evil. Moral evil refers to acts (sins) of creatures that are contrary to God’s holy character and law. Natural evils include harmful or destructive events in nature that occur throughout the course of history and that negatively affect creaturely life (e.g., earthquakes and famines). Some theologians (e.g., Augustine) emphasize that evil does not have independent existence as a “thing” but is either the moral evaluation of acts or the ultimate consequence or effect of such evil acts on creation.

* Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), p. 48

God Bless
Brian Mason

Why did God Let The Serpent (Satan) Into The Garden Of Eden?

Atheists love to bring up this argument stating that it would be wrong for God to do so, knowing what would happen. The first question I would like to ask the atheist is “from what moral standard would you be coming from?” If you present the argument as it being wrong for God to do so, then you must be coming from a moral standpoint.

Adam had a good grasp of what right and wrong was. He was an adult and had the free will to chose whether or not to take a bite of the fruit that Eve presented him with. It all boiled down to the freedom that God gave Adam to choose. The freedom to choose opens up the door for sin to entering; you make that choice.

God knew that Adam would sin. Adam and Eve were not automatons. They were tempted and the rebellion nature came through.

It was God’s will to allow Satan into the garden. Do you not think that even as parents we allow our children to do things that we know they will fail at, why would God be any different? It is by our failures that we grow and learn.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: Free Will

*The ability of an agent to make genuine choices that stem from the self. Libertarians argue that free will includes the power to determine the will itself, so that a person with free will can will more than one thing. Compatibilists typically view free will as the power to act in accordance with one’s own will rather than being constrained by some external cause, allowing that the will itself may ultimately be causally determined by something beyond the self. Hard determinists deny the existence of free will altogether. Most Christian theologians agree that humans possess free will in some sense but disagree about what kind of freedom is necessary. The possession of free will does not entail an ability not to sin, since human freedom is shaped and limited by human character. Thus a human person may be free to choose among possibilities in some situations but still be unable to avoid all sin.

God Bless
Brian Mason

*. C.Stephen Evans, Pocket Dictionary of Apologetics & Philosophy of Religion (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), p. 46-47.

Are You Sure You Can Study Bible Scripture?

Do you fall into the following categories?

1. Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Eph 5: 18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,
2. Are you seeking to be set apart aka holiness? 1Peter 1:14-16  As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
3. Do you hunger for God’s word? (1 Peter 2:2)14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Of course you must have invited Jesus into your life. Did you invite him to become your personal savior? Will you ALLOW him to be your savior? Big question!!!!!!!!!!!

Some atheists will suggest the Holy Bible is just a catalog of “fairy stories” If you think that is true, and of course tongue in cheek “you may be an atheist” (sorry big “redneck quote). Well being a skeptical person is not all that bad. I am always skeptical and want to know the truth. It has been demonstrated to me BIG TIME! I will assure you that atheism will not save.

I have been down every road you can imagine, but my heart, life and soul belongs to Jesus. And yes I am a sinner and ask for forgiveness.

If you are an atheist I ask you; do you KNOW there is no God? If you do please respond to me as I want to know your opinion to support that response as that is all you have. I also believe you have hope. Also, if you know there is no God, you must know everything about the universe?

God Bless

Brian Mason

Terminology Tuesday: Supralapsarianism

*Supralapsarianism is an issue within Reformed Theology (Calvinism) dealing with what may have happened in God’s mind regarding the logical order of his considering whom to elect into salvation before the foundation of the world. The word means “before the fall.” This position holds that God first decided that he would save some people and then second that he would allow sin into the world. By contrast, the infralapsarian (“after the fall”) position is the reverse in that it holds that God first decided he would allow sin into the world and second that he would then save people from it.

God Bless

Brian Mason

*www.carm.org

Buddhists Extremists Taking Christians Hostage

This is so troubling to me, especially from such a self-professing “peaceful religion”. Just more hatred toward the Christians of the world. Please pray for the “oppressed” and the “oppressors”. I wonder why Jesus Christ is so offensive to Buddhism?

Pastor, two others held in pagoda in attempt to force them back to Buddhism.
DHAKA, Bangladesh, April 23 (World Watch Monitor) —Buddhist members of an armed rebel group and their sympathizers are holding three tribal Christians captive in a pagoda in southeastern Bangladesh after severely beating them in an attempt to force them to return to Buddhism, Christian sources said.

Held captive since April 16 are Pastor Shushil Jibon Talukder, 55; Bimol Kanti Chakma, 50; and Laksmi Bilas Chakma, 40, of Maddha Lemuchari Baptist Church in Lemuchari village, in Mohalchari sub-district of the mountainous Khagrachari district, some 300 kilometers (186 miles) southeast of Dhaka. They are to be kept in the pagoda for 15 to 20 days as punishment for having left the Buddhist religion, the sources said.

Local Buddhists are considered powerful as they have ties with the United Peoples Democratic Front (UPDF), an armed group in the hill districts.

After taking the Christians captive on April 16, the sources said, the next day the armed Buddhist extremists forced other Christians of Maddha Lemuchari Baptist Church to demolish their church building by their own hands. The extremists first seized all blankets, Bibles and song books from the church building.

The sources said two UPDF members went to Pastor Talukder’s house at 7 a.m. on April 16, telling him to go to a Buddhist community leader’s house in a nearby village. The Buddhist leader also ordered all members of the Baptist church to come to his house, and about 15 Christians did so.

After a brief dispute, the Buddhists chose the pastor and the two other Christians and began beating them, seriously injuring the pastor. They then took them to a nearby pagoda for Buddhist baptism, shaving their heads and dressing them in saffron robes as part of a conversion ritual.

The sources said Pastor Talukder was bludgeoned nearly to death.

“The pastor was beaten so seriously that he could not walk to the nearby pagoda,” said one source. “Buddhist people took him on a wooden stretcher, which is used for carrying a dead body for burial or cremation.”

Pastor Talukder was treated in the pagoda with intravenous, hypodermic injections that saved his life, the source said.

The Buddhist extremists were said to be forcing other Christians to undergo Buddhist baptism in the pagoda and to embrace Buddhism.

A source in Khagrachari district told Compass that local UPDF Buddhists had been mounting pressure on the Christians since their church began in the area in early 2007.

“They gave vent to their anger on Christians in a violent outburst by beating the pastor and two others after failing several attempts in the past to stop their evangelical activities,” the source said. “They took them into a pagoda to convert them forcibly to Buddhism.”

In June the Buddhists had threatened to harm Pastor Talukder if he did not give up his Christian faith. The pastor escaped and hid in different churches for two months. Later he came back in the area and began his pastoral and evangelical activities anew.

“They also made threats and gave ultimatums to three or four other churches in the locality to try to force them to come back to Buddhism,” the source said.

‘Social Deviation’
Regional Sub-district Chairman Sona Ratan Chakma told Compass that the “three renegade Buddhists” are being kept in the pagoda for religious indoctrination.

“They became Christian, and they were breaking the rules and customs of the Buddhist society, so elders of the society were angry with them,” Chakma said. “That is why they were sent to a pagoda for 15 to 20 days for their spiritual enlightenment, so that they can come back to their previous place [Buddhism].”

Chakma said the Christians have not been tortured but given punishment proportionate to the gravity of their “social deviation.”

“They were punished so that they can come to their senses,” he said.

Under Siege
The Rev. Leor P. Sarkar, general secretary of Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship, told Compass that the UPDF’s ultimatum was of grave concern.

“This armed group issued an ultimatum that by April 30 all Christians should come back to Buddhism, otherwise all of them will face the same consequences,” said Sarkar.

Christians are virtually in a state of siege by the UPDF, he said. None of them go to church buildings on the traditional worship days of Friday or Sunday, instead worshipping in their own houses.

Sarkar added that the tribal Christians do not have any political conflict with the UPDF.

“They simply persecute them for their faith in Christ,” he said. “Their only demand to us is to go back to Buddhism.”

The UPDF’s order to give up their faith is a matter of life and death, Sarkar said.

“A ripple of unknown fear gripped the entire Christian community there,” he said. “Everybody took fright from that menacing cruelty. The everyday life of Christians is hampered, beset with threats, hatred and ostracism. So it is a social catastrophe.”

The church leader urgently appealed to local government officials to come to the aid of the kidnapped Christians.

The UPDF is one of two main tribal organizations in the hill districts, the other being the United People’s Party of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti, or PCJSS). The PCJSS, formed in 1973, had fought for autonomy in the region for 25 years, leaving nearly 8,500 troops, rebels and civilians killed. After signing a peace accord in 1997 with the Bangladesh government, the PCJSS laid down arms.
But the UPDF, a political party founded in 1998 based in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, has strong and serious reservations against the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord signed 1997. Claiming that the agreement failed to address fundamental demands of the indigenous Jumma people, the UPDF has pledged to fight for their full autonomy.

Last year the PCJSS demanded that the government ban the UPDF for their terrorist activities in the hill districts.

The Chittagong Hill Tracts region comprises three districts: Bandarban, Khagrachuri and Rangamati. The region is surrounded by the Indian states of Tripura on the north and Mizoram on the east, Myanmar on the south and east.
*http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org

God Bless

Brian Mason

When Does Life Begin? At Conception or Birth? Is There a Third Option?

I will start with objections from the so-called “Pro-Choicer” (abortion supporters) and attempt to answer them.

The first objection I always hear is “It’s a woman’s choice to abort, it’s her body and no one has the right to say what she should do with it.” Well that is all nonsense unless her body has suddenly grown two more arms and legs.

Second, the Fetus is not human, just an unviable tissue mass. This simply is a false premise that the fetus not human until he/she is fully developed. This is ridiculous as the “baby” has human DNA and is alive. Size does not determine life.

So when does “Life Begin?” I believe life is BEFORE conception and “continues” at conception since the sperm and the egg are both alive, and came together, thus producing a fertilized egg. Suggesting that the “thing in the womb” is alive, even if it is a zygote or a fully developed baby it is still ALIVE! The nature of it is then human. If it has human DNA and is alive it would be considered MURDER if it was ABORTED!

In Canada abortion is legal and on demand. These are at least to me startling and obscene statistics from statistics and reporting from the University of Ottawa:

It is estimated that 40% of all pregnancies in Canada are unplanned. Of these, about half are carried to term; the other half are terminated. There are about 31 abortions per 100 live births: 330,000 live births and 100,000 abortions each year. Roughly half are performed in hospitals, half in clinics.
In 2003, 103,768 abortions were recorded in Canada, about 15.2 per thousand women. The number appears to be declining by about 1% per year. There are about 39,000 abortions each year in Ontario, delivered in 76 hospitals and 6 clinics.
An exception is Quebec, where abortion rates are among the highest in the Western world. From 17,000 abortions per annum in 1978, they rose to 29,000 in 1998, and 31,000 in 2002, or a rate of 38 per 1000 births. School sex education programs are not universal in Quebec.
All the while abortions in Canada are provided on request and funded by Medicare.

Unbelievable!

Please God I pray for your justice!

God Bess

Brian Mason

Great Crucifixion Quotes

We are coming up to Good Friday and I have compiled for you a list of crucifixion quotes from Biblical and non-Biblical sources. I have left the best one for last!

“The earthly form of Christ is the form that died on the cross. The image of God is the image of Christ crucified. It is to this image that the life of the disciples must be conformed; in other words, they must be conformed to his death (Phil 3.10, Rom 6.4) The Christian life is a life of crucifixion (Gal 2.19) In baptism the form of Christ’s death is impressed upon his own. They are dead to the flesh and to sin, they are dead to the world, and the world is dead to them (Gal 6.14). Anybody living in the strength of Christ’s baptism lives in the strength of Christ’s death.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

“[Jesus] tilted His head back, pulled up one last time to draw breath and cried, “Tetelestai!” It was a Greek expression most everyone present would have understood. It was an accounting term. Archaeologists have found papyrus tax receipts with “Tetelestai” written across them, meaning “paid in full.” With Jesus’ last breath on the cross, He declared the debt of sin cancelled, completely satisfied. Nothing else required. Not good deeds. Not generous donations. Not penance or confession or baptism or…or…or…nothing. The penalty for sin is death, and we were all born hopelessly in debt. He paid our debt in full by giving His life so that we might live forever.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

As a reward for their efforts, however, those early Christians were beaten, stoned to death, thrown to the lions, tortured and crucified. Every conceivable method was used to stop them from talking.
Josh McDowell

Nobody’s perfect. The only one that ever was, was crucified.
Loretta Lynn

[There should be plenty of visuals to watch, including realistic depictions of the way Christ was tortured before his excruciating crucifixion. Caviezel, also a practicing Catholic, spent 15 days on the cross during shooting and was scourged so realistically that he dislocated a shoulder at one point.] There’s an immense amount of suffering on this, … Fortunately, God is helping me.
~ Jim Caviezel

It is a crime to put a Roman citizen in chains, it is an enormity to flog one, sheer murder to slay one: what, then, shall I say o f crucifixion? It is impossible to find the word for such an abomination.
Share
Marcus Tullius Cicero

If it has to choose who is to be crucified, the crowd will always save Barabbas.
Jean Cocteau

In a profound sense we may say that the crucifixion, however else we may interpret it, accuses human nature, accuses all of us in the very things that we think are our righteousness.
– Sir Herbert Butterfield
History and Human Relations.

And finally the prophesy of the crucifixion 1000 years before it happened:

Psalms 22:11-18 (HCSB)

11 Do not be far from me, because distress is near
and there is no one to help.
12 Many bulls surround me;
strong ones of Bashan encircle me.
13 They open their mouths against me—
lions, mauling and roaring.
14 I am poured out like water,
and all my bones are disjointed;
my heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength is dried up like baked clay;
my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You put me into the dust of death.
16 For dogs have surrounded me;
a gang of evildoers has closed in on me;
they pierced[g] my hands and my feet.
17 I can count all my bones;
people[h] look and stare at me.
18 They divided my garments among themselves,
and they cast lots for my clothing.

God Bless

Brian Mason

Why Do Roman Catholics Pray To Mary and the Saints?

A few days ago I found a prayer in the form of a tract that was given to someone near to me that is a Roman Catholic. It is called a Novena Prayer. By definition ***A novena (from Latin: Novem, meaning Nine) is an institutional act of religious pious devotion in the Roman Catholic Church, often consisting of private or public prayers repeated for nine successive days in belief of obtaining special intercessory graces.
The prayers are often derived from devotional prayer books, or consist of the recitation of the rosary (a “rosary novena”), or of short prayers through the day. Novena prayers are customarily printed in small booklets, and the novena is often dedicated to a specific angel, saint, a specific Marian title of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or it invokes one of the personages of the Holy Trinity.
Within the Roman Catholic discipline, novena prayers for public use must have an Imprimatur, Nihil Obstat, and Imprimi potest. These ecclesiastical sanctions are usually granted by a bishop or any ranking prelate for publication and approval.

This particular “novena” reads this:

****Novena Prayers To Our Lady of the Snows
Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen
Our Father Hail Mary Our Lady of the Snows, Pray for us.
ST. JOSEPH, pray for us.
ST. THERESE, THE LITTLE FLOWER, pray for us.
ST. EUGENE DE MAZENOD, pray for us.
GLORY BE TO THE FATHER.

Hebrews 12: 1-2 is very clear we are to have our eyes fixed on Jesus.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Mary herself, was greatly blessed, however she still needed a savior as she too was a sinner, see Luke 1:46-49,
46 And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
49 for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.

As for praying to Mary and the Saints, this is contrary to Biblical scripture as Jesus says in Matthew 4: 10,

10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.

Where in the Bible does it say that Mary is to be prayed to let alone the Saints? The Bible actually condemns such action. Read Exodus 20: 4-6

4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Here is a sample of Rome’s teaching of Mary the “mediator”:

“Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.'” (CCC, par. 969)

Here is what the Word of God says in the Bible:

1 Timothy 2: 5-6
5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people.

Does anyone see the obvious contradiction here?

I ask we pray for the Roman Catholic people, to see the true God and not worship Mary as they have raised her to level of Goddess. They will deny this but their own false doctrines states this clearly:

Mary is the Queen over all things: CCC 966, “Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death.”You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.”

Again check the Word of Jesus:

John 14: 6,
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

I see no other way!

God Bless

Brian Mason

*** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novena
**** Missionary Obiates of Mary Immaculate National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows Belleville Il, 62223-1160