Sister Octomom and Her Minions

Just when you think the Octomom circus cannot get any more bizarre, Halloween strikes early at the Suleman household:

Octomom

Yes, Nadya “Octomom” Suleman dressed up not only as a nun, but a pregnant nun. As if that weren’t enough, she decked out her brood in “devil” costumes. Because nothing says love more than making your child look like the spawn of Satan*. The only thing missing was this woman carrying a sign saying, “I’m carrying Rosemary’s baby”.

This whole thing reminds me of the first time I attended a “harvest festival” at a church. Biblical character costumes were in abundance. For example, you had a few Samsons, Davids et al, but strangely enough, no Jezebels or Whores of Babylon. Comic book heroes were strongly represented as well, but perhaps the most disconcerting was the kid rocking the costume represented to the right.

Problem ChildThat’s right, at a church “harvest festival” someone dressed their kid up as Lucifer*.

I’m not here to hand-wring over the wisdom/folly of these festivals but if you are going to attend one of these “Non-Halloween Celebrations That Just So Happen To Fall on Halloween”, you might want to leave the pitchfork at home, no?

I guess one could make the case that Satan is a Biblical character?

*Yes I know that in all likelihood the prince of this world looks nothing like what pop culture thinks he looks like. For this, I must quote CS Lewis

I know someone will ask me, “Do you really mean, at this time of day, to reintroduce our old friend the devil-hoofs and horns and all?” Well, what the time of day has to do with it I do not know. And I am not particular about the hoofs and horns. But in other respects my answer is “Yes, I do.”

I do not claim to know anything about his personal appearance. If anybody really wants to know him better I would say to that person, “Don’t worry. If you really want to, you will Whether you’ll like it when you do is another question.”

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Legalism: An Equal Opportunity Employer

Let me preface this by saying that many of my fellow Christian countrymen have no idea what an “evangelical” is or are aware that they fall under this umbrella, but I must use the term for simplicity’s sake.

soup
No booze for you!

For some reasons, it has become endemic for Mexican evangelicals to refuse booze with the battle of cry “Soy Cristiano” [“I’m a Christian”], a proclamation that is received with jeers questioning the sexual orientation of the teetotaler. The implication of the “battle cry” is that one of the marks of the Christian is teetotalism. Of course, that’s not the case. CS Lewis correctly, though not politically, remarks that:

Mohammedanism, not Christianity, is the teetotal religion.

Now, there are Christians who do abstain from alcohol and we have our reasons for it. However to go around telling others to do the same would be legalism. It is equally egregious to make teetotalism a mark of a Christian. Again I must use Lewis’ words here,

One of the marks of a certain type of bad man is that he cannot give up a thing himself without wanting every one else to give it up. That is not the Christian way.

The following story brought all this to mind: “Veiled Muslim woman says Texas shopkeeper turned her away”, why?

Because of the words of the rejected woman: “We’re Muslim; this is the way we dress…”

So does it mean that a Muslim woman who doesn’t cover her face is unchaste? Much like the assertion of certain legalistic Christians that anyone who lets alcohol touch their lips is committing a grave sin?

Legalism is an equal opportunity employer.

Abstinence is Not “Realistic”

Or so says Bristol Palin, daughter of Alaska Governon Sarah Palin, insofar as teenagers are concerned. As we all know, thanks to an inordinate amount of salacious and even sneering reporting, Bristol (below with her little one) is a teen mom.

bristol-palin

I’m not here to criticize Ms. Palin’s views. In large part because she’s half-right.

Given the pressures today’s teenagers face (though let’s not pretend that teenagers of yesteryear didn’t face similar pressures), Ms. Palin has a point.

Of course, peer pressure doesn’t justify behavior one way or the other but that’s a side note.

She’s right in regards to the unregenerate, those who lead their lives without God, or merely pay Him lip service. Speaking as one who’s lived most of his life without God’s special grace, I can attest to this.

To those outside of God’s special grace, what incentive is there to abstain from, as CS Lewis put it, “the monstrosity of sex outside of marriage”?

Though I would argue that peer pressure is not quite the motivator that our own fallen, natural urges are.

As for those who are regenerate, that is awakened from spiritual death by the Holy Spirit, not only is abstinence realistic, it is expected.

You can ask former Laker great, A.C. Green who had a 16-year NBA career and remained a virgin throughout. Given the cadre of attractive young women who seek to jump in the sack with NBA players, I can’t say it was easy for Green (insert joke here).

However, because he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead him through temptations that most of us will never know, A.C. obeyed Our Lord and showed that for God’s children, abstinence is realistic.

His teammates even sent women to Green’s hotel room to try to “break” him. So even under the most trying of circumstances, it is realistic to abstain from sex outside of its intended place, marriage.

Here is a piece that Sports Illustrated did on A.C. Green.

For the record, I think Green’s (below, left) abstinence throughout his average NBA career is more impressive than all of Michael Jordan’s (right) well-documented on-court achievements.

acgreen

This almost looks fark’d

Human Brain ‘Hardwired’ to Believe in God? No Way!

At least that is what the following piece from the Daily Mail reports,

Brains ‘are hardwired to believe in God and imaginary friends’

There is really not much one can add to what the story says. I suppose the backhanded compliment aimed at those who accept reality (God exists) could be pointed out.

Also, lest anyone actually accept what, denial aside, all know to be true (God exists), the story makes it clear that the researchers behind these studies “stress” that these results don’t indicate that God or gods do exist.

Of course. I know from experience that taking off the blinders is not humanly possible even under the best of circumstances.

C. S. Lewis hit the nail on the head in Mere Christianity,

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex.

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to
satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing.

Long before he penned those words, Augustine of Hippo said this,

Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in thee…

Without question, the idea presented by these two is not original. One gets the feeling they were drawing from a much older source, the Apostle Paul, who inspired God’s expired Word and shared it with the world.

It is truly astonishing how much some of the things said in the Daily Mail piece give testimony to what Paul wrote to the 1st century church at Rome,

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing to be wise, they became fools… Romans 1:18-22 (emphasis mine)

Colt McCoy is Mortal

Well he’s not in the technical (read: theological) sense, see here:

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. — CS Lewis

But in today’s win over previously undefeated #6 Oklahoma State, the Texas Longhorn QB (below) showed that he does not sip nectar or sup on ambrosia.

AP

Yes, McCoy had a “bad day”. He threw 2 interceptions (one was stricken from the record thanks to a dumb roughing-the-passing penalty) and lost a fumble. But to the Heisman Trophy front-runner, a “bad day” is an average quarterback’s career game. Here are Colt’s number in today’s closely contested game:

38 for 45 (that’s a whopping 84% completion rate), 391 yards, 2 TDs
10 rushes for 41 yards, 1 TD
1 Favre-like rocket pass
1 INT, 1 lost fumble

Here are other thoughts from a random UT alum/fan watching this instant classic from the comfort of his home in Houston:

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Black Pride

It is a terrible thing that the worst of all the vices can smuggle itself into the very centre of our religious life. But you can see why. The other, and less bad, vices come from the devil working on us through our animal nature. But this does not come through our animal nature at all. It comes direct from Hell. It is purely spiritual: consequently it is far more subtle and deadly… — CS Lewis on Pride

No, the title of this post is not in reference to any racial identity movement, but rather to what Lewis references in the above quote from his classic, Mere Christianity.

It is in reference to the sickening and soul-sucking sense of superiority one feels upon hearing the consequences that result from the poor choices of others.

Yesterday, our youth pastor (JB) came in from the bullpen and preached a stirring sermon on a familiar story, Jesus’ parable of the so-called prodigal son.

JB described the older son in the parable, who couldn’t bring himself to celebrate his younger brother’s return from the figurative dead, as the son who wanted nothing more than to please his dad, by abstaining from as many things as humanly possible. He followed the description by faux applause.

With this son, it was about externals, the easy way to perdition, as the unrepentant Pharisees Jesus scolded came to find out.

Personally, at this point in my A.D. life, I find myself more like the older son. As JB aptly observed, “maybe we have forgotten what it’s like without God.”

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Reason and Faith

Ever since I started reading CS Lewis, I’ve been interested in reading some of the figures who influenced him. One of these was English journalist (among other things) GK Chesterton (1874-1936).

Another favorite author of mine, Ravi Zacharias, often quotes Chesterton (right) so with this in mind, I sought to obtain a copy of what appears to be Chesterton’s seminal work , Orthodoxy.

The book was been quite enjoyable to this point (don’t expect this to change) and I can see a lot of Lewis in the writing (I know it’s the other way around).

In chapter 3 (“The Suicide of Though”) Chesterton points out the following,

Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.

If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, “Why should anything go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?”

Sounds reasonable doesn’t it?