2018 Not Great

2018 Not Great

I am pretty sure there are those out there asking “What happened to Preacher?” And that is a fair question that deserves a fair answer. 2017 was bad enough, trying to help out in my wife’s office while going to school, starting up the VO business etc. 2018 has been inundated with things like three bouts of stomach flu passed through Freya to me, getting the knee finally repaired and the issues that resulted from that, and even a couple of respiratory ailments also passed through my daughter. 2018 has not been a good year.

And now one of my best friends is down after having MAJOR (all caps for a reason) heart surgery and I’m taking over for him at the law office until he recovers. I had planned on doubling up on classes for the Summer to finish off the MDiv program, but now I spread it back out to finish in November while struggling to keep up hours and keep everything flowing. And before you ask, no, it is not my wife’s fault. Rebecca has been incredibly strong through all of this year, only getting sick herself maybe twice and often asking if there is anything she can do to make my life easier instead of asking for more help on things she desperately needs done.

Life isn’t about ease or want. It is about struggle. Even if you don’t believe in God and believe Charles Darwin was an absolute atheist, a follower of Nietzsche before Nietzsche, you must realize that you are basically saying all of life is a struggle to survive and procreate and nothing more. In God’s eyes, however, that is far from the truth. Yes, life is struggle, but we put it upon ourselves. We assumed ourselves to be greater than God and it got us kicked out of Eden. We assumed ourselves to be better than God and, after generations, God passed judgment on lands “full of sin.” God let go of His chosen people when they turned away from them, sent His Son to redeem the world, and yet the world continues to do exactly what those chosen people did…

Complain and gripe about how “horrible” God must be because they struggle and suffer.

Only none of it is God’s fault.

Do you or do you not want free will?

Then who’s fault is it?

When a child is learning to behave, to eat right, to bathe, to brush teeth, and complains, do we give up or do we expect better of them?

We are His children, whether we like it or not, and He expects better of us, yet we turn towards suffering and struggle and complain that it is His fault.

Think about that.

And meanwhile don’t worry about me. I’ll get back out of this time hole eventually and back to podcasting and sermonizing. Y’all just love your families and be good to each other until I return.

This is Longhaul signing off.

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.

NASA Gravity Assist Podcasts

From Dr. Jim Green, NASA’s director of planetary science, FYI.  Please share this opportunity notice with anyone interested…

“Our solar system is a wondrous place with a single star, our Sun, and everything that orbits around it: planets, moons, asteroids and comets. What do we know about this beautiful solar system we call home?  It’s part of an even larger cosmos, with billions of other solar systems.

I’m excited to tell you about a new podcast series. It’s called NASA’s Gravity Assist. Please join me as I talk with some of the greatest planetary scientists of our time. We’ll discuss and explore what’s in our solar system, its origin and its evolution.”

Gravity Assist podcasts may be found at:  https://www.nasa.gov/gravity-assist

What about the Pioneer?

Longhaul's Take on the Pioneer Debate

I started this one two weeks ago, but then got stalled out before I could finish adding video to it. Sorry for the delay in getting this out, but this is about my personal take on the Consolidated Outland’s Pioneer construction ship. It is not a popular opinion. But take a look and decide for yourself if my point is valid.

PS: Going to be attempting to learn Adobe Premier Pro and Adobe Audition December 20-January 3 (my school’s break time) and would like suggestions on books to learn from. Please comment below.

PSS: Still waiting on both a specialist with an opening in schedule and Medicaid to sign off on knee surgery. Prayers absolutely welcome and thank you for your support.

PSSS: I… Nevermind… I forgot.

$1 a month through Patreon would be great: https://www.patreon.com/LonghaulPreacher

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