As society changes, we begin to accept new norms. For instance, homosexuality is now not taboo or a mental illness, but an expression of self that is celebrated. Same with transsexuality.
To be frank, if the Bible is true, these thoughts are sinful. But the problem is that society teaches us that they are OK. So instead of labeling the thoughts as wrong, begin to accept them as a part of ourselves.
So you see, as society works one way, God works another. In this case, norms train our developing youth to label thoughts as good or normal that are anything but. So instead of being a troubled kid or someone going through a hard time or trying to find himself, he finds himself in something he shouldn’t.
If we can’t identify the sin, there is no way to overcome it. If you can’t see the devil, you can’t defeat him.
Living with depression, you hear this phrase a lot. Most of us accept it, perhaps after some hesitation. I want to break it down.
The fact that I have thoughts means that I am separate from my thoughts. To observe thoughts, whatever makes me me is separate from whatever makes these thoughts. I think a good analogy is looking at your reflection in the mirror. You can see your reflection, but it’s not exactly you. It’s an image of you.
My thoughts are not part of the physical world. They exist only in my mind. While something may exist in my mind and the physical world, it is only necessary that they exist in my mind.
If thoughts exist, but not in the natural world, thoughts are evidence of the supernatural world. Not to mention, after we have a thought, we have the ability to act on the thought or not. This is the power of the will. To essentially say ‘no’ to a thought. That would make will power the ability to say ‘no.’ And I think that is a pretty good definition.
But if we have the power to say ‘no’ to a thought, we are not machines at all. The world cannot be deterministic because we have the ability not to act on a given thought. If we can say no, we are free. And if we are free, determinism is false.
Thus, because the mind produces thoughts and we can decline to act on them, both naturalism and determinism are false.
I was reintroduced to Christian Universalism on Reddit this evening. If true, this belief system is a game changer: something that should change everything about how you view your life and afterlife. But if false, it could be one of the most widespread and damning heresies of all time.
First off, think about the teachings of Jesus: about the narrow gate, the Parable of the Sower, and even the Great Commission. If all are eventually saved, what is the point of spreading the gospel?
I think it’s a heresy. What is the point of Paul talking about the elect if we are all, in fact, elect? What is the purpose of salvation if there isn’t something that we are being saved from?
So while it’s a very powerful idea, I’m afraid that universal salvation is just that: an idea. I don’t think the Bible supports it. The Bible seems to be very clear in its language that not all make it to the finish line.
Until relatively recently, there were two camps of people when it came to eyesight: extramission and intromission. Those who believed in extramission believed that light rays exited the eyes causing sight, and those who believed in intromission believed that sight was the result of light entering the eyes.
First held by Empedocles, extramission theory was held by Plato, Euclid, Ptolemy, and even Da Vinci. I say this to say: this theory was not just passing idea. Some of the greatest thinkers in history held that it was true.
Of course, that doesn’t make it true. To me, that just makes it worth exploring.
My theory is not exactly the same as these thinkers. I am not proposing that we see by emanating rays from our eyes. I am just proposing that, under certain conditions, the eyes can emanate light.
I think these reasons in tandem makes a strong case. And lastly, I propose that you test for yourself in Smell with Your Eyes. Because I think that if you can experience it for yourself, you may just believe it too.
So something I stressed here was finding our natural state. I called it the ground state and viewed it as something to strive for. The problem is that humanity is damned. That’s the easiest way to say it. No one left to their own devices goes anywhere but down.
So the question Why does God send people to hell? is an easy one to answer. He doesn’t. Humanity is doomed. God simply offered a lifeline: a path to righteousness. Humans, in their natural state, go to hell. It takes the supernatural to save us.
I recently wrote about love being kind, and what I think that means. There was an interesting application when you take that and apply it to what the Bible says about God.
God is love, and love is kind, therefore God is kind. And kindness is action. Therefore, God is action.
I think this is a powerful takeaway. God is not potency, but action. Think of the perfectly complete triune God prior to the creation of the universe. Why create anything? Because God is action. In his perfect holiness he leaves no stone unturned, no good action undone. He does not sit idly by and watch us suffer, he takes an active role in our lives.
Perhaps the ultimate act was when he became man to save the world from their sins. He did not simply sit and watch the world burn, he sent a perfect and living sacrifice to right the wrong from the fall and to give all who believe in him the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.
People who lose an eye have certain psychological ramifications, and I wanted to see if any of my previous research could shed any light on these victims. Perhaps, a new course of treatment could help those who suffer from conditions related to their eye loss.
So in our article about rethinking balance, we examine how light may have other functions inside the body. If light enters the body, and plays a role in the equilibrium process of the brain and eye, removing an eye would naturally impede this process. And while I don’t have the magical ability to give people sight back, I think if we could carefully allow light to enter the body in the same way, we could perhaps minimize the psychological effects of this organ loss.
So in the engineering of prosthetic eyes, I would make certain that light is allowed to pass through the device, into the eye. If I’m right, this should mitigate some of the side effects.
If experience is evidence, the main source of justification of these past events is our memory. Memory is a record of true propositions. It can be reliable, or not. But to remember something is to believe it to be true. And our memory serves as the path to all knowledge by way of this justification.
We are creatures of truth, and our memories serve as evidence of our past.
My memory has seemed to wane recently, and I’ve learned how dependent I was on it. When I lose justification about whether I said something or not, did something or not, I lose confidence. And if I don’t have internal justification with my memory, I seek external validation.
I’d be afraid to say something because I can’t remember whether I’ve already said it or not. I’d be scared to do something because I can’t remember if I’ve already done it or not. So I’d play a game of tact. I’d say it in a way that could be taken as my second time to say or do something.
Even facts that I know are based in memory. While my memory may not be the justification itself, it is the source of the justification. For example, I know that Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world. But how do I know that? I read it online. How did they know it?
So if knowledge is based on this justification, our memory, mine is waning. I still know the same things, yet I have less and less confidence in them. I keep trying to justify the justification: refusing to accept my memory. Instead I look for further evidence or justification of the memory that I do have. I basically don’t trust that what’s in my mind matches what’s in reality. And without the justification, my knowledge is just beliefs. True beliefs, but beliefs nonetheless.
I think I missed the mark on my post about Quantifying Character. In that post, I essentially rank actions as positive or negative, with having inaction labeled as zero. But I don’t think that’s quite right.
See neglect is inaction, and it’s negative. The opposite of neglect is kindness. But since Paul tells us that love is kind. Love is the opposite of neglect. Love is action. Neglect is inaction.
It’s similar to a sin of omission. I think most people can agree that lying is wrong. And telling the truth is right. But when it comes to omitting an important part of the truth, while still telling the truth, it’s wrong. The devil’s lies are full of bits of truth.
I’ve personally struggled with neglect, thinking that since I wasn’t doing anything, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. Well, I was wrong.
You hear these words throughout the Bible. And all this time I thought it was just a catchy salutation. But it’s much deeper than that.
Since we know that the present moment is all that there is. That the past is history and the future is unknown. God is with us in the present. Here and now.
In this world, you can only be absolutely certain of the present moment. Perhaps you have a bad memory, or no memory. And you could die before the sun rises tomorrow. But right now just is. There is no escaping it.
But the promise of the Gospel is eternal life. That after our life on earth, we will continue to live with God for all eternity. So that, in Christianity, what we know for sure is the present moment and forever.