Archive for June, 2012

Father’s Day Edition

Posted on June 17, 2012. Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , |

As I was shopping for Father’s Day cards I realized America doesn’t have too much respect for dear ol’ Dad. According to Hallmark, the only thing that will pull Dad away from having a beer while he’s watching TV in a cloud of his own flatulence is a rousing game of golf (though, admittedly, I did let my son get a bathroom humored card). If you turn on a “family” TV show, Dad is typically caricatured as chauvinistic absent-minded fool.

Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While I realize television characters and card illustrations of fathers are made in jest, I do think it’s a pretty accurate depiction of how degraded the man’s role in the American family has become. It seems that that the responsibility for the family is increasingly falling on the shoulders of Mom, rather than Dad. In many families,  Dad may (or may not) bring home the bacon, but Mom does too and also determines how finances are allocated, how children are raised, what church to attend and the rules that govern the household while Dad enforces whatever Mom decides is law. And when 50% of marriages end in divorce and 40% of children are born out of wedlock, many times Dad simply isn’t around at all.

Even though it’s ‘normal,’ having a physically or emotionally absent Dad has it’s downsides. Boys without fathers are twice as likely to drop out of school, twice as likely to go to jail, and four times as likely to be treated for emotional/behavioral problems as boys with a father. Girls are more likely to become sexually active earlier in life, have lower academic performance, and are more likely to use drugs and alcohol without an engaged father.

Despite what the world says, God has high expectations for fathers. Of course women have roles to fulfill (certainly the never-ending pile of laundry), but responsibility for the family ultimately rests on men of God (1 Cor 11:3, Eph 5:23). Most husbands love the idea that their wives and children should submit to their authority, however they don’t care for the responsibility of command. Men cannot take a passive role in their children’s lives; leaving them to learn the ways of the world from music, movies, and public schools. Instead they must remain engaged, providing for their families as Paul said, “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Tim 5:8). ‘Providing for’ does not only entail physical needs. God calls men to be leaders for their families, “ Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord” (Eph 6:4). God revealed His instructions for life to us in the Bible. God’s instructions cover how to relate to one another in marriage, friendship, and other relationships, how to handle our finances, how to view politics and our work. He even covers vomit-eating dogs (Prov 26:11). God calls Christian men to be active, constantly teaching their families about Him and demonstrating His love through their actions (Deut 6:4-9). They are to live a life worthy of their families’ respect.

This Father’s Day take time to reflect on the awesome responsibly God has entrusted on Christian fathers. Don’t just give him a card or a tie, offer him love, respect, encouragement, a prayer and if he’s been especially good, the remote.

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Apologetics III: It’s the Doink Doink

Posted on June 3, 2012. Filed under: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

 Law and Order is catchy, don’t try to deny it. The original series started back in 1990, and has had several spin offs (Criminal Intent, Trial By Jury, and every woman’s favorite, Special Victim’s Unit…it’s Elliot), launched video games, movies and automatically qualified Fred Thompson to run for president. And of course, there’s the doink, doink. Perhaps people watched just for Iced T’s acting, but I think what attracts people to the show is the desire  to see the bad guys locked up and justice done (all in under an hour too!). This brings me to (probably) my final post on apologetics: the moral argument.

Have you ever thought about how every society, whether it is some remote island in the South Pacific or  even your home town, has a moral code? Usually the legal codes is representative of the moral code, for example murdering someone is ‘wrong’ and it’s also illegal. But there are other ones that we perceive as wrong that aren’t necessarily illegal, like adultery. And then there’s the laws that that don’t make any sense (who cares if someone goes fishing for whales on Sunday …on Lake Erie).

While each culture may disagree on what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong,’ it’s hard to deny that morality does in fact exist (Romans 2:14-15). Atheists, agnostics, and relativists claim that they do not believe this to be true, but if you actually push them on it, they’ll eventually contradict themselves. While some will suggest they are satisfied (a human construct) with there being no morality, they always have someone/thing in their life that they love or gives them pleasure, perhaps a spouse, dear old grandma, or cause such as helping Sarah McLachlan save the puppies. The problem is that in order for them to ‘love’ these things, there must be a God that gives these concepts their intrinsic value.

If we are all simply highly evolved self-aware star dust that magically appeared on its own 14 billion years ago, love, hate, passion, envy, right, wrong, every emotion is a figment of our imagination. They are all human constructs that we invented to cope (also a self-made concept) with life (and the fact that we are lying to ourselves is neither good nor bad). It does not matter if you are a working in a lab to find and cure for cancer or if you’re Hitler seeking to slaughter millions of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies, and other ‘undesirables.’ Human rights don’t actually exist, so genocide and letting people wither away in pain is ‘fair’ game.

Skeptics like Dawkins and Provine say that they don’t see anything wrong with having a moral code and also not believing in God, but they are on borrowed capital when they use such terms as ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Without an absolute truth, these words have no meaning. Ironically, these men are some of the ardent proponents for fighting for groups that the Church has ostracized, like homosexuals, and also call for the Church to stop lying to people about creationism because it’s ‘wrong.’ At the other end of the political spectrum, Ayn Rand championed individual rights, while failing to see that the individual only has worth if he has a Creator that gave it to him. Otherwise man has just as much purpose as an ant, and squashing his ‘individual rights’ is just as acceptable as never recognizing such rights to begin with (good news for all those tyrants).

Though there are a number of other ways to go about ‘proving’ God exists, I personally believe the moral argument is the strongest. Though some can deny the universe needed something to bring it in existence or that they aren’t amazed when a perfectly unique baby enters the world, few can deny right and wrong. Case closed: doink doink.
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