Biology Class Failure

Sadly, this woman obviously failed to attend biology class in high school. She was born a female and she will die a female. No person ever has, nor ever will, give birth as two genders. Even sadder is the judgment from God awaiting all that approve of this level of depravity unless they repent and confess their sin and turn to Christ. The little post will supposedly make me a bigot because I do not believe there is such a thing as being transgender, but so be it. I would rather be right with God and His Word then to seek the praise of men.

Brothers and sisters, do not allow yourself to be fooled by the world. The world hates a sovereign God and thus will do all it can to try and thwart His purposes. They will fail miserably just as Satan will. We, who are true believers, must continue to renew our minds as we become more like the Lord Jesus Christ.

For those who would think that true Christians are merely bigots and unloving and not Christlike, your own judging merely shows the intolerance of the liberal left. God has not changed His mind, nor has His word changed. God created male and female. God created marriage, NOT the government.

These days are wearisome to be sure, but the Lord has not failed to fulfill any of His promises. For those who would wonder, “Where is the promise of His coming?” Do not fear, for our redemption draws nigh.

 

My post-election thoughts.

Trigger warning: some brutal honesty ahead.

 

img_1214TO THE OVERPAID CELEBRITY HACKS
Oh, the horror! The end of the world is coming. Hurry, pack up and leave the country (like you promised you would).

 

TO THE SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS
See above.

 

TO THE TRUMP SUPPORTERS
img_1028He better be as good as he claims to be (and you say he is).

If he really wants to break from the establishment, a nice place for him to start would be 1). Restoring the lost concept of liberty in a nation that boasts it as its foundation. 2). Preserving the sanctity of life in the womb AND in unnecessary foreign wars by bringing an end to both of these profit-making vehicles of death.

(I won’t be holding my breath.)

 

TO THE RANK AND FILE HILLARY SUPPORTERS
img_1218Now that the election is over, please, stop the fear mongering. It got old with all the frightful “What evils Trump might do if elected” rhetoric all the while conveniently ignoring “What evil Hillary did do during her entire criminal career.”

And relax. Trump will not be nearly as bad as you painted him over your past year-long effort to make Hillary look better. My advice for next time, nominate a candidate whose platform has some legitimate accomplishments instead of propping up your entire campaign on, “My opponent said a mean thing.”

 

img_1200TO THE CHRISTIAN VOTERS
It was nice for some of you to finally wake up and declare that politics is utterly corrupt, and for even considering voting for a third party candidate instead of whatever RINO was paraded out for you to vote for.

Unfortunately, many of you only came to this conclusion after your “saviors” Carson and Cruz fell from contention. Only time will tell if you crawl back to your political idols like a dog returns to its vomit. For those who will never go back, welcome! It’s nice to have you.

 

CONCLUSION
For the second presidential election in a row I have chosen to vote for a candidate based on his stance on the issues, instead of voting for the lesser of two evils. And although my guy didn’t win (or even come close), I feel good about my vote (not dirty like so many other voters said they felt yesterday).

img_1212So, how do I feel today? I’m glad to finally see an end to the Clinton crime family, it’s unabated corruption, and its shameful scandals.

Jezebel and Ahab have fallen. Good riddance.

My Gay Conundrum

My Gay ConundrumCar

In many ways, I am a curmudgeon, refusing to cooperate with the culture on a host of issues. The push for euphemistic terms in all aspects of society particularly gripes me – from “sanitation engineers” to “gays”; I see no reason to go along with the subtle, evil scheme to redefine the terms that describe life.

Having said that, here’s my “Gay Conundrum”:

In 1999, I bought a used Ford Escort station wagon; it was purple (very much like the one in the picture). While my car was a deep, rich shade of purple – opposed to a light, soft shade – many in my circle of family and friends had fun telling me my car was “gay”. One brother in Christ gleefully called this car (upon which were several bumper stickers witnessing for Jesus) my “LAMBDA-mobile” (look up LAMBDA on the Internet if the significance of this term is lost on you).

In 2000, my employer was laying people off. A VP, with whom I was friends and related to in Christ Jesus, told me how he was pressured to “protect” homosexuals during the layoff as he was to do so with historically protected minorities. He joked that his best protection against being laid-off was to declare himself “gay”. I told him that I embraced the “gay” label – with the explicit acknowledgment that my use of the term hadn’t fallen into the Humpty Dumpty redefinition process. Coupled with my driving a purple car, how could I lose? At any rate, he and I both survived the RIF. I gaily drove on in my purple chariot, not offended by the comments of friends and family who made fun of my car. Dark purple, as any student of ancient history knows, was a sign of royalty and honor. And that little purple Escort wagon was the best car I had owned. And it had a luggage rack on the top!

Until the summer of 2006. A young woman, driving her first car, blissfully ran through a red light and smashed into the driver’s side rear of my beloved car, rendering it “uneconomically repairable” – with increasingly debilitating electrical failures.

As news of this tragedy spread, my dear friend who labeled my car “LAMBDA-mobile” told me I should file a “hate-crime” report with the police and the homosexual activist crowd. Certainly, this blatant attack on the public declaration of my gayness was a hate crime!

Here’s the rub: I do not subscribe to the Orwellian view of “hate crimes”. A.) What are non-hate-crimes to be called? “Love crimes”? B.) Motive should not be a constituent of the crime, but a consideration in the punishment. “Hate crimes” is a PC accommodation of Orwell’s infamous “thought crimes”. (If you have not read George Orwell’s 1984, correct this deficiency at once!)

So here I sit: a gay man whose LAMBDA-mobile was taken away too early. What’s a gay man to do? Sadly, my replacement car is a non-descript but tasteful silver – not “gay” at all. Has my identity been stripped from me? Has the “hate-crime” committed against me taken that away? No – a thousand times no! A man is not defined by his car. He is defined by his motorcycle!

Just kidding about that last part (although my dear wife of more than 30 years would agree that I spend too much time with my motorcycle).

I am struck by the insanity of defining crimes by attempting to see into the perpetrator’s mind and make his mental state a crime unto itself. Does one man’s hate for another make the taking of life or property any worse? In our post-modern culture, where the only truth is that perceived to be truth by hearer, it’s nigh impossible to convince any authority that facts matter more than perceptions. This is the fundamental reason so many churches are awash in false teaching and why education is a train wreck. People have lost the ability to think, the schools have not been teaching children to critically examine anything. This environment cannot help but give birth to “zero tolerance” policies that criminalize boys who “shoot” one another with their fingers or a banana.

Co-opting the word “gay” to mean homosexual is another symptom of this mindset. People taking offense at anything they would rather not hear is another. All these things – hate-crimes, “gay” conversations, zero-tolerance, thin-skinned offended folk – are the outworking of a post-modern mindset where meaning is assigned by the receiver of the information and no moral absolutes exist. This brings me to an interesting quote I saw on the Internet recently – with no idea who said it. But it pulls all this gay conundrum of mine into perspective and brings it full circle.

To be offended by what someone else says is your own choice, as you don’t have to care about what other people think, and nothing has actually happened to you. Information merely passed from their [sic] mind to yours.

In other words, you actually want to stop certain information from being communicated. You must believe that you have some sort of right to dictate not only what people can and can’t communicate, but they can and can’t think.

To be offended is to take the first step in being a totalitarian megalomaniac.

If any of us were honest, we would admit to holding to one or more ideas that fit into that ugly picture painted in the quote above. The recent hub-bub about florists and pizza parlors that refuse to service homosexual weddings shows how many “conservatives” have fallen into this unfortunate world of political correctness. These well-meaning people have drawn their line of support for these businesses based on religious expression and the freedom we have in that arena. They ignore the fundamental rights being trampled on – freedom of association and ownership of private property.

20 or 30 years ago countless businesses had signs displayed notifying patrons of the store owner’s right to refuse service to anyone. The market taught them which policies were beneficial. Now, “conservatives” ignore the Constitutional issues, agreeing that government ought to enforce “anti-discrimination” – meaning businesses cannot refuse service to anyone. The government should not discriminate – they are funded by everyone. Privately owned businesses are free to discriminate (even though we have laws that forbid it); yet the only discrimination allowed in this new version of Wonderland is against those who are accused of having historical advantages – either real or imagined. Facts don’t matter. The inferred or assumed injury is judged by how serious or outrageous it sounds, not by the facts of the matter.

When it’s all said and done, I am not as gay as I was 10 years ago. This world has lost its mind and I’m weary of it. But in the larger scope of eternity, that’s a good thing – for all who are truly in Christ, this world is not our home. The trials and craziness we experience here serve mainly to remind us of the Fall and how serious sin is – that which infects us and that which we do. So the message for my fellow saints is simple – fix your eyes on that which is unseen, remember His words, from John 14:1-3 (ESV) “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” And that’s really good news for all those who are in Christ Jesus.

Marriage – what’s the Big Deal?

MarriageMarriage

There’s something more basic than homosexual activism and the resulting ruling by black-robed oligarchy declaring marriage a basic right that must include two (will it soon be three or more?) men or women.  States must offer and recognize marriage licenses for these couples. This is interesting because there are myriad licenses issued by the states that are not honored automatically by other states (concealed handguns, medical, law, plumbing, hair dressing) and there is no out-cry that basic human rights are being violated or that the national government has an obligation to “level the playing field.”

Search the U.S. Constitution and copy down every phrase that touches on marriage. …

 

 

 

I’ve printed them above for handy reference: there aren’t any!

How the national government determined it has a role in marriage (beyond tax policy) is another mystery. Post-modernism runs rampant in the court system, leading me to call the chief justice Humpty Dumpty – who told Alice words had whatever meaning he wanted them have whenever he used them. We are no longer a country ruled by law – we are ruled over by an oligarchy of folks in black robes who think they know better than anyone else what truth is, while denying the very truth found in the charter document of this country. They are to interpret laws and lower court cases, not make law up or imagine what the legislature meant nor be the country’s “Dr. Phil.”

Now we who know and belong to the Creator see the battle lines. The system of this world is at war with the creator of this world. Because they cannot see the One Who created this world, or them, they conclude He is imaginary. The Bible says people like this have become futile in the understanding (Rom 1:21 & Eph 4:18).

The Word of God tells He created marriage – giving Moses the reason and composition for this relationship that was announced to the creature before the Fall (Gen 2:24). Jesus confirmed this as YHWH’s plan in Matt 19, adding “So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Notice this – “what God has joined together”; marriage is a covenant (Mal 2:14) that God created and that He calls each couple into when He joins them together. This is made clear even when man doesn’t consider a relationship marriage, as Paul teaches (1Cor 6:16) that that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her. For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.”

We can observe two things regarding the recent Supreme Court ruling: when two or three men get a marriage license, they are not married. The creator of marriage defined it as between a man and a woman. Man is by nature a liar and when the one known as Obama celebrates this ruling and when the oligarchy declares marriage to be a right for anyone and all combinations of people they are all defying God and heaping up judgment on themselves. Those who claim Christ yet join with the reprobates celebrating this latest abominable ruling are revealing themselves as enemies of Christ, not brothers and sister of Him.

Marriage is the only place given where sex can be enjoying as a gift from God – Hebrews 13:4 (KJV) Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. YHWH declares He will judge adulterers and sexually immoral (the phrase used in other translation where the KJV has whoremongers). Man is a fool in thinking he can contrive myriad relationships that will be fun (for a season), for he soon thinks something is not right for he tries to get society to approve of his sin (Rom 1:18, 32; 1 Pet 4:1 – 5). Judgment for violating the marriage covenant called for death in the Old Covenant (Gen 38:24; Leviticus 20:10-16) and calls for excommunicating a church member (1 Corinthians 5:1, 9 – 11). Paul teaches us “The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.” (1 Corinthians 6:13) and tells Christians to “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  On account of these the wrath of God is coming.” (Galatians 5:19-21) He also tells us (1 Thess 4:3) that it is God’s will that Christians abstain from sexual immorality.

Another aspect of marriage that makes it unacceptable for man to redefine: YHWH uses it as a metaphor to describe the relationship between the church and Jesus (Eph 5:31, 32). This is why the attempted deconstruction of marriage by our political leaders is so seriously evil. Judgment is coming for those who celebrate such wickedness – Rev 2:14, 20; 14:8; 19:1 & 2. Read those passages and see how those evil persons will end.

God has given us marriage as the only release for our sexual desires: (1Cor 7:2) — But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. There is no provision for a man to have a man or woman to have a woman – those desires are sinful and God will not honor them.

And man, as much as he tries to cover it up and talk louder about how sin is not sin, will not escape God’s judgment.

Romans 1:18-25 (ESV) For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

Romans 1:26-32 (ESV) For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

May God have mercy! Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

It Was a LIE!

Any Christian with basic knowledge of the Bible knew it was a false tale – a lie – from the very Heaven

beginning. But how many professing Christians were taken in? We who claim Christ should not be such easy targets for deceptive tales that rail against the Word of God given to us.

Now, the publisher, author, his parents, and who all else who was involved in allowing this take the country by storm admit is was a lie! Of course, the Washington Post has the story – when has that paper not delighted in trying to bring disgrace to the body and name of Christ.

Read it before they take it down – click this sentence to open the story on the Washington Post web site.

Here’s how it opens:

Tyndale House, a major Christian publisher, has announced that it will stop selling “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven,” by Alex Malarkey and his father, Kevin Malarkey.

The best-selling book, first published in 2010, purports to describe what Alex experienced while he lay in a coma after a car accident when he was 6 years old. The coma lasted two months, and his injuries left him paralyzed, but the subsequent spiritual memoir – with its assuring description of “miracles, angels, and life beyond This World” – became part of a popular genre of “heavenly tourism.”

Earlier this week, Alex recanted his testimony about the afterlife. In an open letter to Christian bookstores posted on the Pulpit and Pen Web site, Alex states flatly: “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven.”

Our Newest Contributor – Sony Elise

Hello Defending Contending Readers,

Sony EliseI want to briefly introduce a longtime friend of our family, Sony Elise. While she may not be writing as regularly as some of us, I know that what she shares by way of encouragement will be a blessing to you. It has been a while since we have had a Christian lady sharing here and I thought this would be a great addition. While nobody agrees 100% in every area, I know she loves the Lord and bathes everything she does in prayer.

She is a homeschool graduate and has been an editor for magazines and books for almost 25 years. Currently, she works with her brother, Israel Wayne, in a ministry called, “Family Renewal” and she also runs her own Christian editing business, Sony Elise Editing Services. For further details, you may follow the listed links.

Welcome to DefCon, Sis. Sony.

DefCon Writer is on YouTube

20130702-073500.jpgIn addition to blogging and co-hosting a radio program, I also maintain a YouTube account. I have recently begun posting new video blogs there that I wish to share with our readers. In the past, my video efforts were more in the area of highlighting the need for biblical evangelism so as to encourage other brethren to preach the gospel to the lost. However, more recently I have felt burdened to produce videos that encourage and edify the body of Christ to be serious about our faith. It is my conviction that we as Christians need to delve deeper into the Word of God because it is the only source of truth, the only thing that can truly answer the problems we face today. To that end, I have posted two videos (which are linked below) that I hope and pray glorify God and equip the brethren. It is my intent to produce similar videos in the weeks to come. I ask you to consider watching and sharing these videos with other Christians. I also welcome questions and suggestions for future videos. If you have any thoughts on what else you would like to see covered, please email me at defendingcontending@gmail.com.

The Separation of Church and Truth

Cover_RLV_Issue64“Do I have to be a bigot to be a Christian?”  That was the question that Jeff Cook asked in his recent article in Relevant Magazine following the shocking announcement that Exodus International, a ministry focused on homosexuality and the so-called LGBT community, was closing after issuing an apology for “years of undue judgement” and “imprisonment” in an “unbiblical worldview.”  In short, the efforts of Exodus International to speak truth to the homosexual community over the years is now a thing of the past.

Apparently Exodus International had answered Cook’s question with a triumphant “no!”  But it is my allegation that such a question is not only misframed, but it is also misleading.  The better way to ask this question, rather than using the politically charged and culturally expedient word “bigot,” is to ask: “Must one hold to a standard to be a Christian?”

Toward the end of his article, Cook not only tells us that “Christian bigotry” is repulsive and “antithetical to love,” but he also attempts to attach a rough description to it; namely, that it is “irrational devotion to one’s opinions at the exclusion not just of other opinions but of other people.”  I wish to use this description as the framework by which we can peer into the rest of the written piece as a whole.

To begin with, Cook tries to point out, at the expense of 1 Peter 2:9-11, that too often, the Christian wrongly “perceive[s] moral differences as camps as “us” and “them.” marking our opponents and so commencing an ideological war.”  But of course, as 1 Peter 2 points out, it is the very nature of the Church that we are a separate people, called out and chosen.  But how does this logically lead to a situation wherein our enemy are those unchosen and not called out?  Cook assumes that to believe in a separation is to suddenly make others the enemy.  That is a clear distortion of the doctrine of Scriptures.  Regarding whether we have commenced an ideological war, we must affirm that any statement of belief or system of ideas, any creed whatsoever, is an ideology.  And any time written or spoken words are used to express those creeds, especially when they lie in disagreement with the world, is to “commence” a war.

But it is important to note that the war is against the lies of this world and, as the author himself admits, is not against flesh and blood.  There is nothing in our standing strong for the truth that should indicate we are waging war on people.

Now, since our doctrines and systematic theology is mutually exclusive with that of liberalism, (see Christianity and Liberalism by J. Gresham Machen). we apparently fall within Cooks description of a bigot.  We hold to “opinions at the exclusion… of other opinions.”  But the remarkable irony in this description lies in the fact that his entire article points to a view that is mutually exclusive with my own view.  Does this make him a bigot?  If he disagrees with, say, the Calvinist view of election, whereas I affirm such a doctrine, we must face the fact that Jeff Cook is guilty of bigotry.  For how can God both unconditionally elect his chosen people and at the same time not practice election?  To say this is possible is, to use his own word, “irrational.”  Surely Cook would object here by noting that he doesn’t hate the Calvinist, just disagrees with the doctrine.  And I and fine with that.  But cannot I use the very same objection when accused of bigotry for holding to the immorality of homosexuality?

To believe is to exclude other ideas, but it is not to create enemies out of human beings.

Moving away from the matters of belief and bigotry, we must shift the conversation toward Cook’s claims about God Himself.  Cook predictably opines, citing the Romanist Thomas Aquinas, that “God displays his power, not by eliminating all His opponents but by converting them.”  What is slightly humorous about this statement is that it is a clear breach of the postmodern desire to avoid absolutes.  On one hand the option is this: God displays his power by eliminating all His opponents.  On the other hand the option is this:  God displays his power by converting them.  Both Aquinas and Cook choose the latter.  But this does not mean that to disagree with them is to choose the former.  No, we take a different view altogether: “What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.”  (Romans 9:22-23).  To be clear, we hold that God “eliminates” some of his opponents, but also “converts” others.

From the faulty assumption that God’s “mission is to bring all men and women to Himself,” Cook concludes that “our main concern cannot simply be who is ‘right’ but who is redeemed.”  Such a conclusion is remarkably frustrating.  First, as for “who” is right, we hold that Christ is right.  He is the very truth, the very word, that became flesh.  He is the “who!” And we as Christians ought to follow in his glory and proclaim His name!  Second, to say that we as humans ought to be concerned with “who is redeemed” is to say that we ought to take upon ourselves the role of God Himself! Who is or who is not redeemed is a matter for the Lord, not for us, his lowly servants!  That Cook puts this forward in a Christian magazine is absurd and quite concerning.

Off and on throughout the rest of the article, this idea continues to be pushed that if we work on “relating” to the unsaved and “acting” in the right way toward them and being “bound” to our neighbor, then and only then can we convince others that following Christ is a “respectable, rewarding, and an attractive pursuit.”

There is so much wrong in this method. (1) “Relating” to the unsaved does nothing to glorify God if by “relating” we are mimicking or approving their actions.  (2) “Acting” in a specific way so as to convince them that Christianity is the “way to go” is simply a way denying that “faith comes by hearing” the proclamation of the Gospel. (3) “Bound” to one’s neighbor is a distortion of Paul’s statement that he is a servant to all.  To make this concept more Biblical, we ought to realize that we are bound by the Word, bound by Christ, and then we, with Christ, practice the art of servant hood.  But we are not bound to other people.  No, Christ set us free to be bound to Him and to Him alone.  Lastly, by doing all these things, God forgive us if our intent is to convince others that Christianity is a “respectable, rewarding, and an attractive pursuit.”  Christianity is hard.  It leads to persecution.  It is mocked.  It is frustrating.  It is demonized. What is the Christian life? A hip coffee house?  A theme park?

No, the Christian life is a Pilgrimage.  We are on a weedy and pothole-ridden path home.  But home, in the presence of God’s glory, is where we can rest and receive our reward.  And home can only be our future if we “repent of our sins and believe the Good News” (Mark 1:15) which of course, is a “stumbling block” to some and “nonsense” to others (1 Cor. 1:23).

DOMA Declared Unconstitutional by the Supreme Court

supreme-court-of-the-united-states-logo-gif-1Today, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision on the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. In a 5 to 4 decision, the Court ruled the law was unconstitutional. The decision now opens the door for the federal recognition of same sex marriages. There are going to be lots of commentary of the next several hours, days and weeks, so I will add little here about the merits of the decision. Much smarter folks than I will do a far better job of it. My concern is more about what does this mean for the individual Christian.

My first reaction is to ask those who are in utter shock by this, “did you really expect anything less?” I do not wish to sound trite or accusatory here. But in truth, there have been many, including those of us here at DefCon, who have tried to sound the alarm that trying to win moral victories through questionable alliances with worldly organizations was wrong. For the church to be unequally yolked with government bureaucrats and false religious systems was to deny God had any power or sovereignty over the situation. It was, in essence, a refusal to believe in the power of His word alone. Yet, American churches and Christians around the country have made repeated compromises in hopes of moral victories. With each new fight, we were willing to acquiesce a little ground each time in hopes of gaining at least some victory. Now the ground beneath us has been eroded away. Are you really that surprised?

My second thought is this, for years many Christians have warned about the growth of seeker friendly churches, the acceptance of false teachers into the Christian fold and the erosion of the true gospel message. Repeatedly those Christians have been told to be silent by the Evangelical church at large. We have been accused of being divisive, judgmental and down-right mean. We were told that we needed to accept a wider tent concept of Christianity. “Doctrine divides!” has been the battle cry of those who believed that it was wrong to hold to a biblical standard of how to define what the church actually is. As a result, more goats have invaded the pews and the true message of the gospel has been supplanted with self help messages that only reaffirm the unregenerate sinner’s belief they are actually good at heart. With no message that people are wretched sinners in need of a righteous Savior, are you really surprised at today’s decision?

My final thought is this, Christians, you have been commanded by the Captain of our salvation to proclaim the glorious message of the gospel. Have you been doing this? Or have you believed that such a command did no apply to you? Did you leave it to your pastor alone, or have you been willing to step out in faith to proclaim the truth the Jesus Christ came to save sinners? I ask this because that is the only real answer to the situation we currently face. Our nation is embracing a pagan and sinful ideology that utterly rejects the Lordship of our Savior. No amount of political machinations can change the a human heart bent on this course. As we have seen in a very short time, a political victory established with installment of DOMA has now been ripped from our hands. So, was it ever a real victory? Or was it merely a speed bump that slowed things down for a brief moment in time? I would say it was clearly the latter.

The heart of man is desperately wicked, forever tainted by the stain of sin. Therefore, all efforts to bring man under the submission of moral law, which is a noble effort as society benefits from it, is bound to ultimately fail. Man will always reject the law of God because he is bound in chains to his sinful flesh. He will always reject God’s authority in favor of his own. Thus, while we as Christians can and should seek to establish a nation that is founded on godly principles, we should never place our hope in that. It is only the preaching of the gospel to lost souls, preaching that is covered in serious study of the Word and intense prayer, preaching that trusts in the sovereign, supernatural working of the Holy Spirit, that frees man from the bondage of sin. That is what we are called to today.

Christian, if you are staring at the TV right now, wringing your hands over this decision, remember this, God is still God and He is still on His throne. You have not been called to rescue a nation from bad politics. You have been commanded to preach the gospel to a lost and dying people. There are souls today that are rejoicing over this decision because it frees them to further pursue the sins of the flesh. Other rejoice because they see it as another nail in the coffin of Christian principles. Even more will just see it as a necessary change to everyone’s personal morality. Yet, none fully realize they are in rebellion against their Lord and King. They do not comprehend the wrath and judgment to come. My question to you is, do you care more about this decision because it makes your life more difficult, or because it reveals the heart of a people in desperate need of salvation in Jesus Christ? Let us be busy about our Father’s business. Let us be preaching the gospel.

A New Direction

Street SignHaving been the head administrator for the last several months, I have been blessed to work with some truly wonderful brethren and to interact with a great many of our readers personally. Having been here for nearly two years, I believe that many of the articles we have written have truly been beneficial and God honoring. And I believe those articles have helped many readers to understand the holy nature of God better, causing them to glorify the Lord. With that being said, I have also had the opportunity to be moderator of the comments and the interactions we have with our readers. I have seen the reactions that some of the things we have written cause, not all of the reactions we have received have been pleasant, or even God honoring. In fact, there have often been times where things have gotten downright snarky.

Now, I have never been one who feels that Christians should cower in a corner and not stand up for the truth. I believe that we must stand and proclaim the only truth there is, the word of God. If we were to fail to proclaim the truth for fear of how we would be received, we would be sinning against God Himself. We must not, in fact cannot, compromise the truth of the gospel. However, in standing up for the truth, it is possible for us to be so caustic or arrogant in what we say that we can do just as much damage as we hope to defend against. I fear that in our efforts to defend the solid truths of the gospel, we as a blog, have crossed that line on more than one occasion. The result has been that we have engendered a spirit of divisiveness and even bitterness among ourselves and our readers. For this, I must sincerely apologize.

As Christians we are called to proclaim the truth of the gospel to a lost and dying world. And we are to do so with all the love and compassion we can possibly show. We are heralds of the true and living gospel, proclaiming salvation through Christ alone. We are also called to use our gifts to edify and strengthen the body of Christ. To build it up for good works that glorify our Savior. If we fail to obey these commands from our Lord, we are indeed in sin. Many times throughout the run of this blog, various authors have attempted to make the call for all of us to eliminate the sometimes caustic and arrogant attacks we level at each other. There have been pleas to speak the truth in love and compassion, both to the lost and the saved who frequent our pages. Yet, I continue to see the end result of that which we have posted. I have seen the arguing and spitefulness we have been responsible for. Thus, we have failed to heed our own call.

Now, in fairness to my gifted pool of contributors, I know that the proclamation and defense of the truth will always have its detractors. There will be no end of those who wish to argue and pervert the truth. Therefore, now matter how much love and compassion we write with, there will be those who seek to stir up strife for their own gain. It is not those who concern me. It is those with whom we are true brethren, those with whom we may disagree but are yet in the faith, that we have sometimes eviscerated with our words that I am compelled to apologize to, and ask forgiveness from. While none of us have ever set out to purposefully harm our brethren, our desire to defend the theologies we are passionate about has sometimes been misplaced. As lead administrator, it is my duty to keep this matter in check. I have failed in this and ask for forgiveness from those we have hurt.

One reason I believe that much of this is has occurred is that we are part of that blogosphere that is known as “discernment” ministry. We have long tried to warn believers that there are enemies in the camp. However, in our zeal to defend the bride of Christ, we have sometimes gone after even true brethren for even perceived minor wrongdoings. This has created that spirit of divisiveness and bitterness I mentioned above. While we are supposed to defend the truth of God’s word, we are also to evidence our faith by how we love the brethren. But we when have wrongly taken them to task, what we have actually shown is that we are very good at eating our own.

To that end, I want to say that as head administrator, I am changing the direction of DefCon. I want to take us out of the discernment arena and get us back into the gospel arena. Henceforth, our articles will focus on those things that teach and edify the body, rather than be a constant barrage of what is bad in Christendom. We will seek to teach and expound, building up the body to magnify God and do good works. We will write about how Christians should interact in this world from a gospel centered worldview, about the absolute need to be busy proclaiming the gospel, on things which educate them on areas of biblical parenting, relationships, etc. Along the way, it may be necessary to warn our readers against obvious goats in the camp. We will write about these assaults on the gospel, but no longer will it be our sole focus.

With this new direction will come new responsibilities for us as writers. We must keep our motivations and feelings in check. We must balance our passion for the truth with our need to love our brethren, and even our enemies. We must strive to honor God and His word above all else. I ask our readers to pray for us during this time of transition. Petition God that we would be honest, faithful and true to His word. That we would be a blessing to Him and not a curse. I also ask that you would stand with us, continue to read and comment on our articles. Be encouraging where we are getting it right, and call us, lovingly, into account when we blow it.

Defending Contending has been a blessing to a great many people over the years. As the broken and busted vessel that God has blessed to run it, I desire to see it be an even greater blessing in years to come. I thank you all for your continued prayers and support. May God bless us as we seek this new direction for His glory.

The Noble Criminal

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John 18:40“Give use Barabbas!”

There are many in this country today who have watched as the drama surrounding the hunt for Christopher Dorner has unfolded. And while many have been hoping for and anticipating his capture, there has been also, curiously, a small crowd of voices which has been applauding his actions and hoping for his exoneration. The purpose of this post is not to debate the merits of the case or to argue for his guilt or innocence. Any comments in that vein will be deleted as quickly as possible. You can argue that somewhere else.

The point I want to make is this: this approving crowd should not surprise us. Jesus Himself said “Men love darkness rather than light” (John 3:19). It has been that way ever since sin entered the world. We have an early example from Mt Sinai. While Moses was up on the mount, the people were wantonly carousing at the foot of the mountain in a drunken orgy worshipping the golden calf–while God was speaking to Moses the very Law these people were corrupting!

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But we don’t have to go back that far in time to see why it shouldn’t surprise us that people are actually supporting this murderer (OK, alleged murderer). Think back to 1994. A white
Ford Bronco carrying OJ Simpson was leading LAPD on a low-speed chase through Los Angeles. People were lined up on bridges over the freeway to watch. Were these people hoping that a fugitive from the law would be caught and brought to justice? No. They were encouraging this fugitive to continue running from the law. (Again, not debating OJ’s guilt or innocence. Just sayin’).

And there is another trend. Not necessarily new, but it does seem to be more prevalent over the last several years. That is the concept of what I call “The Noble Criminal”. You see him (or her) in many movies these days. The team of bank robbers who are only robbing the bank to right some dastardly wrong or because one of the character’s loved ones is dying (usually due to the greed of the bank president or some other such embodiment of evil). Examples of these are movies like “Ocean’s 11” or “Tower Heist”.

tower-heist11 oceans11

Then we have movies where the drug dealer or the prostitute or…well, you name it. Whatever the criminal enterprise, there are probably many, many movies glamorizing and glorifying whatever criminal you can think of. The most recent and most egregious (to me anyway) example of this was “The Sopranos”. OK, let’s get this straight. The mobster–the head of a Mafia family, a man who did not hesitate to kill anyone who crossed him–he was the good guy. The police and FBI who were trying to catch him–they were the bad guys. And people wonder why there are folks supporting Christopher Dorner. It is because we have a culture where The Noble Criminal is looked upon as a hero while those who are charged with apprehending him are evil.

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But these are really no different than the crowd that stood at the Praetorium that day as Pontius Pilate stood before the teeming crowd, asking them which man they would have released. Would they have Christ–the innocent Lamb of God, the Man who had committed no sin, the Man who was the perfect embodiment of righteousness and godly perfection? Or would they have Barabbas–a murderous villain, a man who had most likely committed crimes so vile and horrible the writers of Sacred Writ dared not even name them?

“Give us Barabbas!!”

To see that man’s will is inclined toward evil, simply read the headlines. Many would rather have Barabbas than Christ.

Civil Disobedience and the Christian

The concept of civil disobedience is not new. Neither is the question of how far a government imagescan go before the Christian is permitted to disobey. This concept of civil disobedience is/ought to be an escalation from the peaceful petition that ought to be the Christian’s first response to objectionable laws. Was Rosa Parks right in her act of civil disobedience? How do we answer such questions?

We must be informed by the Word of God – not our personal preferences and presuppositions.

World Magazine recently published an article focused on this question, you can read it here. Here’s a small excerpt:

Does submitting to civil authorities mean obeying laws that are immoral? We are commanded by God to share the gospel. What if a law barred us from doing so, even privately? We see that obeying government authorities isn’t absolute. It should be clear to Christians that unless there is legal recourse against obeying a law that compels us to sin, we are justified in disobeying it. Is it a sin to offer employees “mini-abortion drugs”?

It is clear from Scripture that Christians are able (obligated, I contend) to disobey the governing authorities if proclamation of the Gospel is outlawed – see Acts chapter 4. Is that the right standard to compare other issues to, as if they become justifiable since Gospel proclamation is?

This question of submitting to political authority has been addressed here at Def Con in the past – see this post as brother Conrad Mbewe examines part of 1 Peter.

The question of disobedience to the governing authorities must be anchored in Scripture – as with anything of import. If God has given us instructions, we who claim to be His must submit to what He was revealed to us! Do you have a pet issue (perhaps home schooling) that would cause you to reflexively rebel against the governing authorities without seeking wisdom from God in humility?  We must be on guard against these issues that are close to us – for it in these that we are most vulnerable to slip into disobedience to God, thinking we are merely exercising our rights – forgetting that we are aliens in this present age, with our citizenship and home in a city whose builder is God.

Since I mentioned home schooling, let me briefly comment on that. In the US of A, it is not now and never has been against the law to home school your own children. Read that carefully. It is not now and never has been against the law to home school your own children. It has been and still is in many places in this country against the law to home school your children in lieu of sending them off the approved institution, but never illegal to home school in addition to the approved educational process. The Bible clearly holds parents responsible for training (educating) their children in the things of God. Rightly done, this covers all academic areas. But the Bible also records for us humble servants of YHWH who submit to pagan education and work diligently to prosper their pagan rulers (Joseph and Daniel come to mind). We must seek wisdom from God’s Word before we decide to go against the governing authorities – for there is no governing authority except those that have been established by God.

So – is it right and honorable to refuse to provide medical insurance that covers abortion? Certainly! The law is set up to allow people to pay for non-compliance. It is a very high price tag for businesses that might cause them to completely change their business model (contractors or part time employees) or liquidation. But think on this: the Bible does not reveal God’s will for man-made institutions. He has created government, family, and the church. Those institutions have responsibility before God as does each individual. A Christian who owns a company has a responsibility before God and he has the same obligation to seek wisdom from God’s Word on this as with personal issues. (Not being addressed in this article are those hell-bound folk who will also answer to God and have no grace to cover them on Judgment Day.)

The Christian that wants to participate in civil disobedience ought to step back and think. Rebellion is as witchcraft. Failure to rightly submit to the governing authorities is rebellion, is as witchcraft. Is that something we want to play games with? 1 Peter 2 gives a “Reader’s Digest” version of God’s commandment:

    Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Let’s wrap up with the obvious text, Romans 13, which includes this nugget: “whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.” Read the whole chapter, with a humble attitude. I know it’s easy to despise a government that does not rule the way I want it to. I like my elected officials to have an affection for and submission to the Constitution (at the national level) just like I like my church elders to have an affection for and submission to the Scriptures. But civil governments are mostly occupied by folks not reconciled to God, while church leaders ought to be – and therefore, subject to stricter standards. Most of the things that cause me to consider civil disobedience do not meet the biblical test – they reflect my fleshly desires or my innate sense of self-righteousness. How do you see yourself?

Okay. Your assignment. Voddie Baucham preaching on Romans 13 in two sermons. Listen to part one and part two before commenting. It wouldn’t hurt to listen to Conrad Mbewe’s message from 1 Peter (at the link early in this article). Then let’s discuss like mature, humble blood-bought children of the Creator God and Ruler of the universe.

Important Article Regarding Mark Cahill

Recently, CARM published an article regarding evangelist Mark Cahill. This article was authored by my friend and mentor, Tony Miano, who has had direct interaction with Mr. Cahill. The article was written as a public rebuke of Mr. Cahill’s uncharitable and derogatory treatment of Christians who believe in the Doctrines of Grace. Mr. Cahill has been spoken to privately and publicly on several occasions regarding his unbiblical behavior, however, he continues to publicly decry those who believe in reformed doctrine, going so far as to even refer to them as worshipping a false god. Because of his continued unbiblical behavior, this article been written to caution Christians in their dealings with him.

The article was not written in an effort to be judgmental of Mr. Cahill, nor to decry his Arminian beliefs, rather it was written to caution the brethren in supporting him until such a time as he repents of his mistreatment of other Christians. Part of the article reads as follows:

“Throughout my conversation with Mark, I asserted that I do not believe Calvinists and Arminians worship different gods or believe different gospels. I assured him that so long as we agree we are saved by the grace of God alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone (the Jesus of the Scriptures) we are brothers in Christ. I told Mark I would welcome the opportunity to evangelize the lost with him, and he was welcome atop my box to open-air preach, anytime. Sadly, by the end of our phone conversation, Mark would not affirm me as his brother in Christ. I repeatedly asked Mark if I was his brother in Christ. He refused to answer.

Sadly, Mark Cahill’s ongoing campaign to marginalize, vilify, and otherwise mistreat Calvinists has necessitated the writing of this article.

This article will document how, for more than two years, Mark Cahill has quietly and behind the scenes engaged in a campaign of misrepresentation, malignment, and malevolence toward Christians who ascribe to Calvinism and to those who associate with Calvinists. The timing of this article coincides with the recent publication of Mark Cahill’s new book, The Watchmen, in which he speaks disparagingly about Calvinism. It also coincides with the recent development of Mark speaking disparagingly about Calvinism during some of his recent public speaking engagements.”

I encourage the readers of this blog to go to the main article here and read it in it’s entirety.

I do wish to make the disclaimer now that this is not going to be an open forum to assault and argue the viewpoints of Calvinists and Arminians. This article is for the sole purpose of calling a Christian brother to repentance. Therefore, comments that are submitted which intend to do otherwise will not be allowed. Please read the CARM article and share it with others. And please be in prayer for Mark Cahill that he would repent of this behavior and be reconciled to his brethren. Thank you.

The Mormon Moment? Religious Conviction and the 2012 Election

To vote or not to vote…that is the question. At least it has been the question at Defending. Contending. for many months now. We have all discussed whether a Christian should or can vote for a Mormon candidate…or if we should or can vote for a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage candidate, or if we should just stay home and not vote at all. Previous articles: Mormon President?, Vote for Mormon?

I don’t have a solution for the good readers of DefCon, as this is split along many different lines of conviction. However, I do offer this interesting video of a round table discussion at Southern Seminary this week. The title tells the story:

“The Mormon Moment? Religious Conviction and the 2012 Election”

The roundtable discussion features Albert Mohler, Russell Moore, Greg Gilbert, and Mark Coppenger. This video contributes to the conversation and helps each of us think through the issue from several angles. The panel discusses what Mormonism is, where they have appeal to our society, how it is a false gospel, and what impact a Mormon President of the USA might have on the world stage.

 

(you may have to press “play” twice)

**** This video is in no way an endorsement for either candidate or an endorsement for not voting, but a contribution to the discussion.****

Southern Seminary Resources Website

Panel Discussion MP3 Download

Book recommendation: “Escape from the World Trade Center” by Leslie Haskin.

I fully understand that this will be a very controversial post (perhaps the most controversial post in DefCon’s history) and I’ve even been reluctant to post it (opting to leave it sitting in pending drafts for quite awhile). But even if it causes some to cease their readership of this blog, the truth needs to be told.

For almost a year now I’ve been revisiting the events of 9/11/01, without prejudice or preconceived notions, and I have come away shocked with what I have discovered. The more I look into the events of that day the more I am convinced that we have not been told everything about what occurred on that September morning almost eleven years ago.

So when this short book written by  professing Christian Leslie Haskin (detailing her escape from one of the three WTC towers that fell on September 11, 2001) became available for free on Kindle (from the longer book Between Heaven and Ground Zero), I download it. I was curious to read a survivor’s account of that day to see if it corroborated more with the government’s official version of the events of that day, or instead, with that of the mounting evidence pointing to a conspiracy of the magnitude never before seen in this country.

In this book, Haskin tells of her upbringing in a Christian home, her eventual turning from the faith, and how the events of September 11, 2001 brought her back to her faith in God. Haskin has written a few other books and she’s been a guest speaker around the country (and has even appeared on The 700 Club). But it was the details of her escape from WTC Tower One that I was most interested in and she did not fail to deliver. What I read in her account contradicts the official version of what happened on that day, and corroborates the evidence pointed to by conspiracy theorist’s (term not used pejoratively) to prove that not everything we’ve been told to believe about 9/11 is true.

As for the book itself, I found that the placement of Scripture throughout it seemed to be sporadic and random and it became somewhat distracting. Oftentimes the verses cited were completely out of context with the storyline. I also did not find the writing to be as polished as it could have been, as the jumping back and forth between 9/11 and other events in her past didn’t flow well to me and seemed somewhat disjointed. And the overuse of ellipses was very taxing, offering an unprofessional appearance and tone to her writing.

I also wouldn’t recommend this book on the grounds of theological meatiness as it is weak on doctrinal distinctions. I understand that this book is not meant to be a theological tome, but with the profuse employment of Scripture throughout it I would have hoped for a little more solidness in the biblical message she was trying to convey, instead of the man-centered, Hallmark card flavor it carried.

You can read more reviews of the book here where others had similar criticisms about the book.

But in spite of my above cited dissatisfaction, I still highly recommend this book because of the valuable information contained within it as the author details the things she saw, smelled, heard, and felt during her escape from the terror in her tower; things that should cause every American to ask questions without fear of being marginalized with ad hominen attacks pejorative labels like “crazy conspiracy theorists.”

So what is it in Haskin’s book that contradicts the official governmental 9/11 conspiracy theory and instead supports an alternative 9/11 conspiracy theory?

Continue reading

248 children found murdered.

I wonder if the murder of these 248 children will get as much attention (including around the clock news coverage) as the Colorado murders. Methinks the answer, sadly, is no.

Why? Because murdering 12 people in a movie theater is a crime, but murdering 248 children in their mothers’ womb is a “choice.”

It’s what happens when the culture of situational ethics and the culture of death collide.

From RT.com:

A fishing trip in Russia’s Urals ended with cries of horror as a man found canisters filled with human embryos, some already shaped to baby bodies.

­Lids on the bright blue containers apparently unlocked as the canisters hit the ground, and many embryos spilled out. The little bodies, no longer than 15 centimeters, shrank, turning into mummies.

A friend of mine called at night and said he went fishing and wanted to get some wood for his fire. He found some abandoned water canisters and wanted to take them for his house. And when he came up, he saw… little baby bodies,” a local told Russia’s Channel 4.

Arriving Monday morning, police found 248 embryos aged 12-16 weeks in and around the four canisters. Labels attached to tiny hands and legs listed family names of assumed mothers and some digit codes, which may refer to the pregnancy period, date of abortion or the hospital where the body originated from.

The 50-liter canisters filled with formalin seem to have been thrown out of a vehicle not far from a road leading to Nevyansk, a town on the slopes of the Ural Mountains.

Nevyansk authorities immediately said the canisters could not have originated in their town.

Our area is too small; we can’t have so many stillborns, miscarriages or artificial abortions,” they said.

Later it was revealed that the horrifying content was “biological waste” from at least three hospitals in Ekaterinburg, the region’s major city.

It appears a waste disposal company has failed to carry out its duties properly,” remark local authorities as the investigation continues. The Ministry of Health has been requested to determine which companies provide embryo disposal services to Ekaterinburg hospitals.

In Russia, embryos are subject to immediate disposal as they are classified high hazard waste. Prior to disposal, they are to be kept in special packages, not in canisters with formalin. It is also out of practice to attach labels with any information, at least in Ekaterinburg hospitals.

But the bodies found near the Urals not only fall out of this description – the labels show they may have been stored for over ten years.

Some medical experts believe the embryos might have been meant for studies or other purposes, as they contain stem cells. The cells are widely used for immune illnesses treatment and in cosmetic procedures.

Prosecutors are talking tentatively of criminal charges, but most probably the guilty party will bear an administrative punishment.

See more here (with news video).

The Fall of the United States of Rome. (Repost)

Martin Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) offers a sobering warning from the grave:

“If the West goes down and is defeated, it will be for one reason only: internal rot. . . . If we continue to spend our lives in jollification, doing less and less work, demanding more and more money, more and more pleasure and so-called happiness, more and more indulgence of the lusts of the flesh, with a refusal to accept our responsibilities, there is but one inevitable result—complete and abject failure. Why did the Goths and Vandals and other barbarians conquer the ancient Roman Empire? Was it by superior military power? Of course not! Historians know that there is only one answer: the fall of Rome came because of the spirit of indulgence that had invaded the Roman world—the games, the pleasures, the baths. The moral rot that had entered into the heart of the Roman Empire was the cause of Rome’s ‘decline and fall.’ It was not superior power from the outside, but internal rot that was Rome’s ruination. And the really alarming fact today is that we are witnessing a similar declension in this and most other Western countries. This slackness, this indiscipline, the whole outlook and spirit is characteristic of a period of decadence. The pleasure mania, the sports mania, the drink and drug mania have gripped the masses.”

The passing of blogging pioneer, Jim Bublitz.

Coming on the heels of Phil Johnson’s announcement of his retiring from blogging, it is with sadness that I report that I’ve been notified by Lyn of Saved by Grace (and confirmed by Lane Chaplin on his Facebook page), that retired blogger, Jim Bublitz, has passed away.

Bublitz, who retired from blogging due to illness in 2008, was one of, if not the blogger, who inspired me to enter the world of blogging. In fact, Jim’s blog, Old Truth, was the first Christian blog (along with Ingrid Schleuter’s Slice of Laodicea) that I came across and was the inspiration and impetus behind the blog you are reading right now.

You can still read Jim’s blog (which I encourage you to do) at OldTruth.com.

I do not know any further details of Jim’s passing, but I’m certain more information will come out in the next few days.

Please keep the Bublitz family in your prayers.

A video on the LDS by the BBC.

This was a well done piece on Mormonism by the BBC.

Although the impetus for the documentary was presidential candidate Mitt Romney, this video uses his potential presidency as a springboard to delve into Mormonism’s seedy underbelly (unfortunately they never mention such morsels as Mormonism’s racism and blasphemous doctrines like Blood Atonement, paying for your own sins in Hell, and their god having physical relations with Mary to conceive Jesus . . . just to name a few).