Response to “An Unbeatable Challenge to All Christians”

Response to “An Unbeatable Challenge to All Christians”

This week I had to write something in the form of a response, like a Letter to the Editor or some such, to a challenge against Christianity. I was not surprised to run a search on it and finding someone’s attempt to do exactly that, going so far as to call it “unbeatable.” The challenge was more than a little insulting, basically stating that all Fundamentalist Christians believe the verses given to be commands from God to dash children upon rocks and slice open pregnant women. You can read it for yourself if you like, but I highly recommend not doing it unless you are strong of both stomach and patience. I was briefly enflamed. Then I realized where this man was coming from. He was not angry about the so-called “commands,” but that God seems to do nothing to relieve his suffering.

The following is my apologetic response:

RE: Your challenge posted at http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/DebunkingChristians/Page21.htm

You are right to bring this up. Unfortunately, you also bring up verses that do not challenge God’s “command” of to “dash children upon rocks.” This is the problem with any verse or passage taken out of context. So, let us look at your primary arguments up close before I show you the passages that, just maybe, you meant to post instead of these and why those might be taken out of context as well.

You start your argument with Psalm 137:9, “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.” This is not a command from God but the final line of a lament song by the captive Israel under Babylonian rule. This last line is in anticipation of what the prophets have said about being released, verbatim, yet also refers to a verse before others you quoted, Isaiah 13:14, “And it will be that like a hunted gazelle, or like sheep with none to gather them, they will each turn to his own people, and each one flee to his own land.” Again, this is not a command by God nor is it even referring to the Israelites against Babylon, but is a prophecy, a prediction, of what is to come, seen in the verses following as the Medes coming against the Babylonians.

Likewise, there are two ways to take the verse from Hosea (13:16). If taken figuratively, it speaks of the “dashing” of a fertility cult in the Holy Land, using a metaphor to make “clear” that this is what was being spoken of. More likely, however, is it is speaking prophetically of one of a few atrocities another country would commit against Samaria, namely Assyria as seen in 2 Kings 8:10. In fact, the only verse you have offered that remotely comes close to the assertion that it was “God’s command” is 2 Kings 15:16, and even then it is referring to the actions of a shameless king of the increasingly fallen Israel, continuing to rebel against both God and man.

Thus, I must ask at this point, are you questioning “God’s command” or with God’s lack of doing anything about these atrocities? Among other verses that answer this question in Psalm 78 is this one, “How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert!” God grieves the sins of us all. Psalm 103 says, “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.” God is compassionate and yet, “He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.” Each of the verses you give are, at best, God allowing things to happen yet notice that these are warnings given to people to turn themselves back to Him. He could have forced them, but then what would be the point of free will?

I did promise that I would point to verses that more directly tie in with your written complaint. They are all in Genesis and Exodus and each one has to do with God’s judgment. I noticed this long ago and would like to point these out to you because they go along with those verses from Psalm 103 I quoted. Adam and Eve, the only humans in the Garden of Eden, were forced from the garden for their sin, their disobedience to God, and yet were also given a prophecy of what was to come. “Cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” God took away the garden, His garden, leaving only the untamed wilderness for humanity to attempt to tame, suffering. In one move, humanity relegated itself to a life of suffering instead of an eternity with God. Twice after this, with Noah and the flood and with Lot and Sodom (and Gamorrah), God passed judgment on lands “full of sin” while saving those who are found to be “righteous.” Abraham was later promised the “Promised Land” of Canaan for his family yet was not given it within his lifetime because it was not yet time. It did not become time until generations later, after the land had become fully corrupt, and, yes, God then commanded the Israelites to go in and slaughter all, leaving nothing of the old cultures left. This is, perhaps, what you were thinking of when you posted those other verses as a challenge.

Keep this in mind, that God waited generations in hopes that humanity would return to Him before doing anything. As Psalm 103 stated, God is patient and slow to anger. To put it more bluntly, read Job. God gave him the best response about why bad things happen, that Job could not possibly understand God’s wisdom in letting these things happen nor could any of us. Despite your challenge to Christians, your challenge to God, God still loves you. Challenge Him if you will. His love never fails. Just read the end of the book.

Sincerely,

Monte “Longhaul Preacher” Pescador

www.longhaulpreacher.space

“What is Evangelicalism?” A Tribute Sermon

“What is Evangelicalism?” A Tribute Sermon

The “New Evangelicalism” movement is attributed to three particular leaders. We recently lost one of the most iconic of all of the evangelists of this generation, Billy Graham. So now might be a good time to take a look at what it really means, by definition, action, and tone, to be “Evangelical.” Because, as the movie line goes, I don’t think it means what most think it means.

#PewDiePie, Anti-PDP, and the State of the Gaming Industry

The Rights, The Wrongs, and Society's Pulse

Regarding the article There is no ‘heat of the moment’ in video games…

I will not usually use the Longhaul Preacher blog for any kind of political statement if I can help it, but this article from Polygon/MSN News is like an open wound to me because it underscores the need in society for family friendly material and the need for increased industry and parental responsibility.

I both agree and disagree with this writer, Mr. Owen S. Good, in the context that there is no excuse, that it showed something within the player’s personality to let loose with a word he obviously uses, just not normally on his podcasts. Mr. Good is correct. Whether or not PewDiePie meant it in a racist way is actually beside the point. This is his real, off-screen personality. Welcome to the Hollywood factor, folks, he is a human being. I have been working on my mouth ever since I became a father and it is not easy. I thank him for the apology and pray that he continues to work on that. Tripping up and apologizing is easy. Repentance takes work.

On the other hand, the writer is also making excuses for the gaming industry (and, in turn, the movie and TV industries) at the same time by saying “it is just a game” and that there is no “heat of the moment” because it is “just a game.” There is a reason for the ratings system and the way Mr. Good excuses his way through the “lack” of a “heat of the moment” is the reason for the failures of the ratings system: Society no longer cares.

Take, for example, the highly popular Grand Theft Auto series. It exploits and celebrates crime up to and including murder of innocent civilians and emergency personnel and is loved by a great many gamers and game reviewers. I have never even so much as liked it, and yes, I have been introduced to it and have played it. I find it vulgar, distasteful, and not for anyone under the age of 21 if that. I have seen horror games with more tact. Yet, it is highly popular. Some might even argue it is a series more popular than Call of Duty and Halo combined, at least internationally.

Here’s the thing: I am a counselor by Masters Degree if no longer professionally (too many counselors in the state of Colorado) and I have seen both in study and in my own practice the numbing of America. We complain as children take guns to schools and shoot them up, but the children are so numbed to such an idea that it is becoming increasingly popular. There is no shock value. In that sense, Mr. Good is absolutely correct, there is no “heat of the moment” because there is no longer any “heat.” How did we get that way? Slowly through the transformation of entertainment. Westerns didn’t use to show blood. Any blood that was shown in any great amount was usually in horror movies and was so fake as to be laughable, the so-called “B-rated” movies. But now days everything has to be more and more real with greater detail. I’m all for real, but do we seriously need to exploit and celebrate the worst of humanity to do it? Do we really need to feed it to our children in as heavy doses as we do soft drinks and candy if not more?

So let’s not give the gaming industry as a whole a break on the PewDiePie dialog thing. We created games that do cause trauma to the brain. There is “heat of the moment.” It may be in small doses, but even minor trauma builds up. We use to be afraid of showing our kids horror movies of any kind before bed because “they might get nightmares.” What ever happened to that kind of responsible parenting? What ever happened to that kind of caring?

And I am not saying I am perfect, either. Showed little Freya Brave the other day, a Disney movie, and it gave her nightmares all night. My mistake. Forgot about the bear fight scenes. I just thought she’d like seeing a strong girl, Merida. Shoot, my parents have the story of taking me to see Bambi and I apparently cried and had nightmares about Bambi’s mother for days. Trauma exists in entertainment. We just need to be careful how it is fed to our children.

The reality of the world can wait, at least for our children.

“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:5–6, NASB

Thanks for reading, y’all, and God bless.

Thanks, y’all!

Thanks, y’all!

Big Thanks to all who have supported us in prayer...

I just wanted to thank everyone again for supporting me and my family in prayer through 2017. We have had so many setbacks as to cut my podcasting time to the point of nothing and y’all have been noncritical of me for it. I can’t wait to see 3.0 of Star Citizen finally come out, as I am sure all of you SC fans are, yet know I will likely not have time to try it until well after it is finally released. That is the nature of putting family first.

So just to let everyone know, I have a BOOK (notebooks are books, right?) of podcasting ideas, just no time to do them at the moment. If you’d like to help out, things I’m looking for are voices (preferably in the northern Denver area) for voiceover dramas, artists for same, and, of course, Patreon patronage would help with the daycare costs so I’d have more time. Even a dollar a month would be of help.

Thanks again, all. We’re off to see my side of the family and watch the eclipse together. God be with you til we meet again.

“Abba! Father!”

“Abba! Father!”

What does it mean to say that we have adoption through God the Father? Galatians 4:1-7 is examined in this sermon based on a manuscript written for MIN-601, Christ-Centered Preaching, for Grand Canyon University Theological Seminary, June 2017, by the Longhaul Preacher himself.

Thank you, everyone!

Thank you, everyone!

Breaker, breaker, into the black...

I’d like to thank everyone for their patience this year. Just got back from the blistering heat of Phoenix for the week and feeling worn, but want to share with you both a sermon from the class I am in that I was not able to do and what Cloud Imperium has been saying. As well, it is nearing the 1 year anniversary of Longhaul Preacher and I want to start work on updating some old but still popular topics like Careers and Exploration. Hope to talk to you soon.

God bless and thanks again.