All posts by Wintery Knight

https://winteryknight.com/

What is the definition of marriage according to Jesus?

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

I noticed that there is some silly Democrat running around harrasing Mike Pence because he accepts Jesus’ definition of marriage. What’s annoying about this particular Democrat is that he calls himself a Christian, despite being in a gay relationship with another man. I thought it might be a good idea to remind everyone what the actual definition of marriage is, according to Jesus.

Here’s what Jesus says about marriage.

Matthew 19:1-11:

1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.

2 And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one’s wife for any cause?”

4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female,

5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?

6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

7 They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”

8 He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.

9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

10 The disciples said to him, “If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11 But he said to them, “Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.

To be a Christian, minimally, is to be a follower of Jesus Christ. That means that we accept what Jesus teaches, on whatever he teaches about. We don’t overturn the teachings of Jesus in order to make people who are rebelling against God feel better about their rebellion. It is central to the Christian worldview that Christians care more about what God thinks of them than what non-Christians think of them. In fact, Christians are supposed to be willing to endure suffering rather than side with non-Christians against God’s authority.

Matt Walsh had a fine article about this issue.

He said:

As Christians, our goal is not to avoid being like the big bad “other Christians,” but to strive to be like Christ Himself. This is one of the advantages to having an Incarnate God. He went around acting and speaking and teaching and generally functioning in our realm, thereby giving us a model to follow. This is the model of a loving and merciful man, and also a man of perfect virtue who fought against the forces of evil, condemned sin, defended his Father in Heaven with sometimes violent force, spoke truth, and eventually laid down His life for those He loved (which would be all of us).

[…]This is what it means to believe in Christ. Not just to believe that He existed, but to believe that Christ is Truth itself, and that everything He said and did was totally and absolutely and irreversibly true forever and always. Many Christians today — not only the ones in the video, but millions alongside them — seem to think we can rightly claim to have “faith” in Jesus or a “relationship” with Him while still categorically denying much of His Word. This is a ridiculous proposition. We can’t declare, in one breath, that Christ is Lord, and in the next suggest that maybe God got it wrong on this or that point. Well, we can make that declaration, but we expose our belief as fraudulent and self-serving. We worship a God we either invented in our heads, which is a false idol, or a God who is fallible, which is a false idol.

If you really accept Jesus as God, then you can’t think he is wrong when he explains what marriage is. Period. End of issue.

Real Christians don’t make excuses for sin. Real Christians present the gospel. The gospel is that all men have rebelled against God and fallen short of perfect submission to and obedience of him. For this, they deserve to be separated from God eternally. Jesus paid the price for this rebellion on the cross, and anyone who accepts him as Savior and Lord will be with God eternally after they die. There is no salvation apart from Jesus. That’s what Christians say. And they say it regardless of how weird they look, and how many non-Christians don’t like them for saying it.

New study: there has been NO surge in “hate crimes” since Trump was elected

Is this "epidemic" of hate crimes just like the Smollett hoax?
Is this “epidemic” of hate crimes just like the Smollett hoax?

I see that a lot of people in the mainstream media are talking about a rise in “hate crimes” since Donald Trump was elected. I was skeptical, because these are the same people who droned on and on about the self-inflicted hate crime hoax of gay activist Jussie Smollett. Well, we finally got some research from a university professor on this, and guess what? The mainstream media lied again!

First, the facts. It’s undeniable that hate crimes reported to the FBI are up. The article below says that there’s been an increase of 17% since Trump took office. But there are two reasons for that: 1) the number of police departments reporting crimes to the FBI has increased, and 2) the majority of the newly reported hate crimes are hoaxes.

The far-left Detroit News reports:

The surge has little to do with Trump and his red hat brigade. This according to Will Reilly, a Kentucky State University associate professor, who extensively researched hate-fueled violence in America for his book Hate Crime Hoax.

“Almost all of that surge is due to the simple fact that in 2017 the number of police departments reporting hate crimes to the FBI increased by 1,000,” says Reilly. “The surge narrative is pretty dishonest.”

And what about hoaxes?

Reilly studied 409 reported hate crimes over the past five years that received media attention. They include incidents such as the racist graffiti at Eastern Michigan University and the minority woman in Grand Rapids who claimed a group of white men urinated on her.

“In major cases, almost all of them have been hoaxes,” Reilly says. “The number of hate crime hoaxes actually exceeds the number of convictions. The majority of these high-profile incidents never happened.”

The same article goes on to talk about the supposed epidemic of police violence against blacks. The mainstream media has a reason to blow that out of proportion – it helps their Democrat allies if more black people are scared into voting for Democrats than Republicans. You see, Democrats love crime. They want to disarm law-abiding civilians, restrict the ability of law enforcement to protect law-abiding people, import more criminals via illegal immigration, shorten criminal sentences, and give felons the right to vote. Bernie Sanders even wants people who are in jail to have the right to vote.  So, the media has been trying to smear police to make all of this pro-criminal “compassion” seem rational.

But:

It’s also a false narrative that white cops are targeting African American men, Reilly says.

In 2015, he says, of the 1,200 Americans killed by police, just 258 were black, and only 17 of those were unarmed and shot by white officers. And yet, his research indicates just 10 percent of the media coverage of police violence focused on the non-black victims.

“White guys shot by police under identical circumstances never become national stories,” Reilly say.

[…]“It’s worth noting that that interracial crime is not a huge threat in America,” says Reilly, who is African American. “Eighty-five percent of whites are killed by other whites. Ninety-four percent of blacks are killed by other blacks.”

There are some crimes that occur that are not reported by the mainstream media, though.

A rape and murder the media didn’t report

Here’s an example of a crime that won’t be reported in the mainstream media. It was reported in the New York Post:

The fiend busted for raping a New Jersey jogger before drowning her in a lake is an illegal immigrant from Honduras who had already been kicked out of the US twice before, authorities said Thursday.

Jorge Rios, 33, was deported from the US first in 2003 and then again in 2004, but snuck back across the border at some point after that, they said.

Surveillance video showed that Rios stalked Carolina Cano, 45, before he strangled her with a cellphone cord, raped and drowned her as she was out for an early morning jog in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park on March 24, authorities said.

Her disappearance was noticed when she did not show up for church.

This sort of thing is happening more and more frequently, as the Democrats are successful at preventing Republicans from securing the border.

Here is another case from Knoxville, TN, where an illegal immigrant who had prior arrests struck and killed a woman with his vehicle.

Well,the mainstream media had a lot to say about the fake self-inflicted hate crime hoax of LGBT activist Jussie Smollett. But they didn’t have a word to say about this church-going woman who was raped and murdered by an illegal immigrant. They can’t blame crimes committed by illegal immigrants on Trump, so stories like this are not newsworthy. The Democrat party needs all the help it can get from the news media in 2020, you know.

New study: same-sex attraction isn’t fixed

Young people seem to like gay marriage more than they like individual liberties

The Federalist reports on what researchers have found about the nature of same-sex attraction. Is it fixed? Or does it change over time? I think that gay activists would like everyone to believe that same-sex attraction is fixed, but to learn the truth, we should look at what the scientific research says.

Excerpt:

There is not only no scientific evidence that sexual orientation is immutable, there is conclusive scientific evidence that most people who experience exclusive same-sex attraction end up developing an interest in the opposite sex over time.

This is so well established by now that scholars are busy publishing methods to measure frequency of sexual orientation change in massive longitudinal studies of youth and young adults. (I.e., How many times in nine years can we expect a homosexual sexual orientation to change? Is the change associated with lifestyle habits? Who changes more frequently: males or females?)

That basic fact was already settled science when Obergefell  came before the Supreme Court. Half a dozen rigorous studies could be cited from the late 1990s and early 2000s, but the most noteworthy probably remains a Cornell-led study published in 2007.

In this study, Dr. Rich Savin-Williams examined a representative sample of more than 12,000 American youth, following each from the age of 16 to 22. Rather than rely on an individual’s reconstruction of his or her past based on current identity, researchers met with subjects three times throughout the six-year period. Each time, they asked individuals (via a computer, to protect privacy) whether they had had a romantic attraction to a member of the opposite or same sex since their last interview.

For instance, 17-year-old males were asked if, in the past year, they had had a romantic attraction to another male or female. About 1.5 percent reported only having a romantic attraction to other males. Five years later, when that 1.5 percent were asked about their romantic attractions since last interview, the overwhelming majority (70 percent) reported a 180-degree flip in their sexual orientation—they only had romantic feelings for women.

Similarly, among females, about 40 percent switched from exclusive same-sex attraction to exclusive opposite-sex attraction. Most of the rest (45 percent of the total) reported they had feelings for both men and women. Only 1 percent of women who, at 17, reported a full year of exclusive same-sex attraction reported a similar experience in the five years that followed.

This research is in agreement with previous research on identical twin studies reported by the prestigious science journal Nature:

When one identical twin is gay, there is about a 20% chance that the other will be as well. But because this rate is not 100%, it is thought that environmental factors play a role as well. One of the best characterized is the ‘older brother effect’: the chance of a man being gay increases by 33% for each older brother he has. The reason is not clear, although one hypothesis holds that the mother’s immune system begins to react against male antigens and alter the fetus’s development.

So, it turns out that homosexual behavior is a lot more related to free choices than it is to innate, fixed dispositions. That’s what the science says. It’s not what the politicians say. It’s not what the Supreme Court says. It’s not what Hollywood says. It’s not what journalists say. But it is what science has found to be true about the universe. We are in control of our behaviors, and we have to choose things that are likely to work out in the long-term – not just what feels good to us in the moment.

Whenever I hear gay activists complaining that they have no choice but to give in to their “innate, fixed, biological” sexual attractions, I always think about how I’ve never been married and have had to deal with sexual attraction to the opposite sex. As a Christian, there is simply no Biblical support for sex outside of marriage. So, that means that I’ve had to just live with not being allowed to act on my desires. In fact, this is the normal Christian life. There was a time when people had more skepticism about their feelings and desires, and they knew that self-control was a good thing. But now it seems as if everyone is so desperate to be liked that we tell everyone yes to everything that they feel like doing. We now consider every moral viewpoint as equal to any other – all the better to do what makes us feel happy. The important goal is that we all feel good right now, and who cares about the damage that our selfishness will cause down the road? We can just act surprised when that happens and pretend that there is no such thing as cause and effect. I can remember a time when Christians in particular had some suspicion about following your heart, because the heart was deceitful and selfish. I guess those days are over, and suddenly feelings are ruling over reason and self-control.

It’s pretty clear that not everything that a person feels like doing is good for them. A lot of decisions that people make to feel good right now lead to outcomes where they or the people who are depending on them will be harmed. For example, lots of people feel like staying home from a school exam, or staying home from their jobs, or drinking alcohol all night, or taking drugs. We used to have more confidence about telling people that not everything they wanted was good for them, and to have more self-control, and to think of how their decisions would harm others. Today, society has drifted away from objective moral boundaries and self-control toward subjective feelings and moral relativism, we are all finding it more difficult to tell people that they should choose to adhere to moral standards. We always seem to be looking to big government to make our irresponsible, reckless choices to be happy in the moment “work out” somehow.

Today, when people make poor decisions that wreck their families, hurt their kids, damage their health, etc. we are more likely to tax the people who haven’t been selfish and reckless in order to pay for government programs that “fix” the outcomes of the selfish, reckless people. In some countries, you can get free single mother welfare, free taxpayer-funded abortions, free sex-changes, free treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases, free rounds of IVF, and so on. Just do whatever you want and someone else who had more self-control than you did will pay for it for you. That’s why we have a twenty-trillion dollar debt, which we never had during the time when we still had the courage to tell people not to do things that were risky, and would be expensive to fix when they blew up.

When did it become normal to think that cause and effect were so unpredictable that people shouldn’t be blamed and held accountable for making bad decisions? When did it become normal to think that doing what feels good for ourselves should be rewarded with other people’s money, through big government programs? When did it become normal to take people to court to force them to celebrate your self-centeredness, just because their disagreement with what you were doing made you feel bad?

How a Bible-believing Christian won election to the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn
Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate Brian Hagedorn

First, let’s go over the news story for this blog post, and then I’ll have comments after. The news story comes to us from the purple state of Wisconsin, which recently handed former Governor Scott Walker a narrow loss to his Democrat opponent Tony Evers. The news story is about a recent election for a seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Here’s the story from National Review.

They write:

On Wednesday, liberal-backed Wisconsin supreme court candidate Lisa Neubauer formally conceded to conservative-backed Brian Hagedorn after the official canvas of the vote only increased Hagedorn’s lead of roughly 6,000 votes out of 1.2 million ballots cast.

As we reported last week, Hagedorn’s victory was nothing short of stunning. His campaign had been left for dead by some business groups in the state after his opponents attacked him as an anti-LGBT bigot for founding a private Christian school that upholds traditional Christian beliefs about marriage and sex. The Wisconsin Realtors Association withdrew its endorsement, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce decided to stay out of the race.

[…]The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reported that liberal groups backing Neubauer outspent conservative groups backing Hagedorn by as much as a 14-1 margin until the last week of the race, when the RSLC swooped in with a million-dollar ad campaign. It didn’t erase the disparity between conservative and liberal spending in the state, but did narrow the gap.

Here’s one of the ads that helped Hagedorn to win:

I was curious who the outside groups were campaigning against Hagedorn, and it turned out to be groups like Planned Parenthood, the big abortion providers who sell the body parts of children whose mothers didn’t want them. I guess they were afraid that he might put a stop to the taxpayer-funding of their business.

Basically, the question being decided in the election was “is it allowable for a Bible-believing Christian to hold elected office?”

And the answer in Wisconsin was, surprisingly, “yes”. A different National Review article explains how grass roots conservatives turned the tide:

The attacks on Hagedorn’s religious views “just lit an incredible grassroots fire,” says Brian Reisinger, a Republican strategist in Wisconsin who has worked for Scott Walker and Senator Ron Johnson. “They were calling this guy a bigot. They were saying that he was speaking to hate groups” because he had spoken to Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative legal group that backs religious freedom.

As a law student, Hagedorn also wrote on a blog that “Planned Parenthood is a wicked organization more committed to killing babies than to helping women.” The narrator in one TV ad claimed that Hagedorn would outlaw abortion “even when a woman’s health is in danger.”

I know we should be happy that Hagedorn won his election, and in a purple state no less. But reading about these attacks against Christians from the secular left really made me unhappy. It’s just so strange to see one group of people so committed to making other people celebrate their sexual behaviors against their own conscience. But maybe the bullying of Christians has come to a point where even ordinary people are starting to say “enough”.

This article from the New York Post explains:

Conservative activist Mary Magdalen Moser, a poll worker for the Republicans, sensed a turn in the tide. She was infuriated by the media’s treatment of Hagedorn — and she knew the populist coalition that put Trump in office would be electrified.

“Wisconsinites have always been a very open bunch,” she told me. “As long as you stay out of our way, we let you do your own thing. People were incensed that Neubauer went after Hagedorn’s faith.”

[…]“Trump and Hagedorn won because they didn’t back down,” said Moser, a 56-year-old who lives in Kenosha. Though she grew up in a Democratic home and has never registered with either party, she calls the treatment of Hagedorn a tipping point.

“Freedom of religion cannot be perverted into freedom from religion,” Moser said. “Tolerance must remain a two-way street, especially in our judicial branch.”

So, it turns out that mistreating evangelical Christians isn’t a winning strategy all the time. At least, it wasn’t this time. So what’s the way forward?

Well, I think that we who are conservative Christians need to do a better job of reading the news and sharing articles about how the secular left is using political power to silence and coerce Christians. The left is pushing an agenda in the culture that conservative Christians are predators, but the truth is we have less rights than non-Christians. Non-Christians don’t get dragged through the mud in public so they get fired. Non-Christians don’t get dragged into human rights courts for offending people.

I think we need to work on our brand as Christians, too. Being a Christian ought to mean things like chastity, sobriety, charitable giving, and stable marriages with lots of well-adjusted children. We should embrace our reputation as morally straight, and just try to show that off to others. Share when we make charitable donations. Share about our volunteering. Share about our marriages and children. Share about how much we show love for other Christians.

Have you heard about Dr. Angus Menuge’s ontological argument against naturalism?

Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division test the new M-17 pistol

My friend Seth mentioned to me that he likes the argument from reason, so I thought I would post something about it from a Christian scholar who I really admire. Dr. Angus Menuge offers the best (I think) argument for the proposition that theism is the best ground for our reasoning capability.

Let’s start with some information about Dr. Menuge:

Dr. Angus Menuge joined Concordia University Wisconsin in 1991. He earned his BA from the University of Warwick, England, and his MA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied philosophy, computer science and psychology. Menuge’s dissertation was on the philosophy of action explanation, and his current research interests include philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and Christian apologetics.

In 2003, Menuge earned a Diploma in Christian Apologetics from the International Academy of Apologetics, Evangelism and Human Rights, which meets each July in Strasbourg, France. His thesis, a critique of scientific materialism, went on to become the book Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2004).

[…]A frequent speaker, Menuge has given presentations on Christianity and culture, science and vocation, philosophy of mind, C. S. Lewis, Intelligent Design and the case against scientific materialism. He is a member of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.

Dr. Menuge presented a paper at a recent Evangelical Philosophical Society conference for students and professors of philosophy, and you can download the paper here as a PDF. I got these straight from the source, and got permission to post them, too.

Here is the introduction to the paper that Dr. Menuge read at the EPS conference:

The argument from reason is really a family of arguments to show that reasoning is incompatible with naturalism. Here, naturalism is understood as the idea that foundationally, there are only physical objects, properties and relations, and anything else reduces to, supervenes on, or emerges from that. For our purposes, one of the most important claims of naturalism is that all causation is passive, automatic, event causation (an earthquake automatically causes a tidal wave; the tidal wave responds passively): there are no agent causes, where something does not happen automatically but only because the agent exerts his active power by choosing to do it. The most famous version of the argument from reason is epistemological: if naturalism were true, we could not be justified in believing it. Today, I want to focus on the ontological argument from reason, which asserts that there cannot be reasoning in a naturalistic world, because reasoning requires libertarian free will, and this in turn requires a unified, enduring self with active power.

The two most promising ways out of this argument are: (1) Compatibilism—even in a deterministic, naturalistic world, humans are capable of free acts of reason if their minds are responsive to rational causes; (2) Libertarian Naturalism—a self with libertarian free will emerges from the brain. I argue that neither of these moves works, and so, unless someone has a better idea, the ontological argument from reason stands.

The paper is 11 pages long, and it is awesome for those of you looking for some good discussion of one of the issues in the area of philosophy of mind.

By the way, the epistemological argument from reason (P(R) on N & E is low) is the argument made by the famous Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga. I blogged about that argument before. It’s good to know BOTH of these arguments. They both work, and they are both awesome. If you put these two arguments together with William Lane Craig’s moral argument, that’s three strong philosophical arguments that are easy to use, but backed by solid analytic philosophy.

Powerpoint slideshow

But there is more than just the paper! At the EPS apologetics conference, which is meant for lay people as well as scholars, he presented this slideshow which I converted to PDF. The slides are easier to understand than the paper, but the paper is not too bad.

Positive arguments for Christian theism