Monthly Archives: September 2016

On Homicidal Massacres

Join Ethics and Sociology Professor Alleged Lee Neutral and his undergraduate coexisters as they address the question: Why is Homicide Wrong?

* * * * * * *

Professor Alleged Lee Neutral – OK class, on this anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks and with other mass murders in mind, we are going to divert from today’s somewhat planned lecture. I want to give each of you an opportunity to address the question, Why is Homicide Wrong?

Class Clown – What do you mean by “wrong?”

Diverse groans and suppressed laughter

Prof A.L.N – Shhh! He actually raises an excellent point! So in your forthcoming serious answers, please include what you mean by WRONG. Who will be first?

Garden Variety Secularist – The ideas of right and wrong have evolved to help us to endure as a society. A species that doesn’t kill its own individuals is more fit to survive.

Prof A.L.N – So you believe that right and wrong are pragmatic constructs?

G.V.S. – Pretty much. Morality is just a helpful trait which has developed in the human species. There are no ethical absolutes, all is relative.

Class Clown – So…it sounds like you are absolutely sure that there are no absolutes.

Both professor and class ignore the comment…but a few think about it, briefly…

Prof A.L.N – Then, G.V.S., you maintain that what is wrong today might become right tomorrow, if it helps our species survive under changed circumstances?

G.V.S. – Well, yeah, I guess that’s…er…right…

Class Clown – But it might be wrong again the day after tomorrow – am I right or wrong?

More groans, less laughter, but most people would rather die than think. Besides, who cares what a clown says?

Eeko Greene – You make a good point, friend G.V.S! For example, I have come to believe that anything which pollutes Mother Earth is WRONG. The health and welfare of the planet has been under increasing assault by human activity since the Industrial Revolution. Humanity is murdering the Earth!

I can’t deny that I personally do not want to be a homicide victim, but in the long term it will be good if our species goes the way of the dinosaur. The continuation of human society at all costs is wrong because it is a subordinate concern to the continued equilibrium of the global ecosystem.

Prof A.L.N – So maybe someday homicidal massacres will become good things? After all, they get rid of a lot of humans, no?

Eeko Greene – (with indignation) Well, of course I wouldn’t say THAT!

Prof A.L.N – Why not? Wouldn’t that be consistent with your long term view? If anthropogenic climate change threatens the Earth, and the welfare of the global ecosystem is paramount, then mass eliminations of the human parasites would be RIGHT, would they not? There’s lot of good fertilizer in mass graves!

Eeko Greene offers no response

Prof A.L.N – Anyone else?

Marx the a-Theist – The concept of right and wrong is just an opiate, cleverly concocted by the oppressor class. It is a tool for controlling the masses. And when the universe ends in heat death, nothing that ever happened will have mattered. Actually, it doesn’t matter now. I find it liberating to face that and live my life like Sinatra sang: MY WAY. I look out for number one. Ultimately, taking another life or nurturing another life…love or hatred…have no meaning. We live, we die, end of story.

Eerie silence in the classroom as all sense the grim despair of the viewpoint just expressed…

Prof A.L.N – Anyone else?

Biblical Christian – If it is possible for anything at all to be wrong, obviously righteousness – the quality of being right – must be real. God is righteous. He made us human beings in His image, and therefore originally perfectly righteous like Him. But the human race did not continue as God made us. According to the Bible…

Lefty Adhominem (interrupting) – Gimme a break! Religion is the cause of more death and destruction than anything else in human history!

Prof A.L.N – Ms. Adhominem, I tend to agree with you, but please wait your turn, let him finish!

B.C. – False religion is behind much mischief and violence. But as I was saying, something happened which we call the Fall. Humanity rebelled against the Creator and became guilty before Him. Our natural state is no longer one of righteousness, but we are beset with a depraved corruption which extends to all of our being. In fact, false religion is just one symptom of that. Thankfully, our Creator has provided a way for us to be rescued and restored!

So WRONG is anything contrary to the standard of righteousness which God gave us. Homicide is wrong at all times and in all places and applies universally to all mankind because it is an assault on the image of God.

* * * * * * *

Lefty Adhominem and a few others abruptly leave the class and head for the no free speech safety zone on campus, thus demonstrating that diversity and tolerance are a joke there.

B.C. is ordered to the Dean’s Office when he is reported as speaking offensively; his use of the term MANkind is offered as an example of his bigotry, and he is reprimanded.

The class clown later seeks out B.C., who tells him about Jesus and His Gospel, and the clown’s life is changed forever.

Previously published elsewhere, June 18, A.D. 2016

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Some Manuscripts Say…

Among God’s servants are those called to be Bible scholars. They are mighty in the Scriptures as was Apollos (Acts 18:24). The word of Christ dwells in them richly; they are treasure troves of godly wisdom and knowledge for God’s people.

Others, professing to be wise, have become merely educated fools; they are Bible scholars in name only. They often trot out the VARIANTS in the ancient Greek manuscripts in an attempt to justify their unbelieving response to God’s holy, infallible, inerrant, and fully authoritative written word.

Variants are alternate readings of portions of Scripture. 5,700 ancient manuscript fragments or portions of the New Testament have survived to the present. The word manuscript means “hand written.” Before the printing press, Scripture and other literature could be copied only by hand. These alternate readings of Scripture passages were made accidentally or deliberately by copyists (scribes). English translations of the Bible often include footnotes about variants.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke – with no variation – all record that the Lord Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Those skeptical of this precious promise from the lips of the Son of God attempt to make their case this way: “We can’t deny that variants exist, so how can we regard Scripture as the infallible word of God?”

Faith does not deny that variants exist, but it denies that they can destroy the word of God. Faith has confidence that the God Who inspired Scripture has acted to preserve Scripture…and amazingly, we find that the history of the transmission of Scripture over many centuries, even with the variants, makes a powerful case for God’s providential preservation of His Word!

There is an abundance of faithful teaching by true Bible scholars on this subject, and disciples who are fascinated or even troubled by this issue can readily find sound books and other resources on it that will edify and satisfy. For now, let’s articulate a few basic principles:

1. Spelling “Doesn’t Count” – The impact of the vast majority of the variants could be called INsubstantial or it could be called UNsubstantial. Use either form of that word, and the meaning remains the same: of no consequence. Correct spelling standards were even weaker in the days of manual copyists. If two manuscript fragments of the same Bible passage have two different spellings of a clearly recognizable word (a name, for instance) there is really no issue. Again, this is the case with the vast majority of all variants.

2. Multiple Choice, not Fill in the Blank – Variants present us with a choice, NOT a complete unknown. In other words, our question is, “was the original reading A or B?” We don’t have cases in which the question is, “was the original A, B, or neither?” By comparing manuscripts from different lines of transmission, we can come to a reasonable conclusion that honors the whole Bible. And in the cases where the original reading still remains uncertain, we find that regardless of whether it was A or B, the accurate preservation of the passage overall IS certain.

3. Older is Not Necessarily Better – When multiple, more recent manuscripts from different “family lines” of transmission give us the same reading, and one very old manuscript gives a reading that was not passed down over the centuries, this can indicate that the very old manuscript was not copied for the very reason that it was known to be corrupt!

This can be illustrated by this writer’s copy of the “New World Translation,” a deliberately altered (for example, at Colossians chapter one) version of the Bible. It is kept for reference, i.e. when interacting with those trapped in the major cult which produced this book. It is never used for devotional purposes, or in teaching. It remains on a shelf…in mint condition as a volume, but worthless for other than apologetic purposes. So can be the case with old manuscripts. Perhaps they survived for many centuries because they were not used! Meanwhile, trustworthy manuscripts were used, wore out, and were replaced by newer copies.

To sum up, the Christian disciple need have no fear in trusting faithful English translations of the Bible. There is far more certainty for the Bible’s conformity to the autographs (original manuscripts) than for that of any other ancient writing. Let the current generation of educated fools try to cast aspersions on the Bible! Their skeptical theories will eventually disintegrate, as have all previous ones. As orthodox Bible scholar Dr. James White said, “The burden of proof lies upon the skeptic who asserts corruption of the primitive New Testament text.”

Previously published elsewhere, July 13, A.D. 2014 

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Assessing the Hourly Wage

What is a human life worth? The Biblical world view includes the thankful recognition that human beings have the exalted privilege of being made in God’s image and are capable of serving God here and enjoying God in heaven forever. Those with that world view would answer that question by saying a human life is of incalculable value.

But is there at least one way in which, perhaps unconsciously or thoughtlessly, we actually do quantify the value of human life, and at a very low rate? Even before we discuss what the minimum hourly wage should be, or what any hourly wage should be, let’s consider the entire concept of reckoning the value of work…an integral part of human life, by that measure.

New Zealand passed the world’s first national minimum wage laws in the 1,894st year of grace. All businesses and industries across the entire country were covered by it. Australia and the U.K. followed suit soon after. America’s first federal minimum wage was introduced by Franklin D. Roosevelt in A.D. 1938. Minimum wage was set at 25 cents an hour, which works out to about $4.00 per hour in today’s money.1

Please follow along with some basic arithmetic. Excluding Saturdays and Lord’s days, the 2016th year of our Lord will have 261 days. Let’s assume an employee is compensated for all of them, either because he actually works or because of paid holidays, sick days, personal days, and vacation days.

Let’s further assume that the employee earns $15.00 per hour, and works an 8 hour day. There are 2,088 work/holiday/sick/personal/vacation hours in those 261 days. So figuring the employee’s gross (before taxes) pay for one year is simple: 2,088 hours X $15.00 = $31,320.00

Consider: this means that both the employee and his employer believe that a significant portion of the former’s life (one third of most of the days of the year) has that monetary value. Let’s figure the value of the employee’s time at that rate for ALL the hours of the year:

366 days (it’s Leap Year) X 24 hours X $15.00 per hour = $131,760.00. So, both parties in this hypothetical employer/employee relationship reckon that to be the value of one year of a human life.

Let’s suppose the employee lives 70 years. $131,760.00 X 70 = $9,223,200.00. What if an employee’s hourly rate of compensation is not $15.00, but $150.00, for an annual wage of over 92 million dollars. That is a lot of money by anyone’s standards. But isn’t it a negligible pittance, as is all the money in the world, compared to the real value of a human life?

To sum up, one aspect of western civilization for well over a century has been the concept of the hourly wage. Has that cheapened our collective estimation of the value life? What if both employers and employees began to consider the grounds of compensation not in terms of mere hours but in terms of the value and quality of work? Would that serve to reverse the trend and restore a much higher regard for the value of human life?

1. pushprofile.com/history/history-of-minimum-wage/

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