Tuesday, August 29, 2006

John Wesley on Cheap Grace

From the works of John Wesley. I've changed the King James old English and added some clarifying comments in brackets []. The doctrine of grace, as taught by many these days, as in Wesley's days, is often on a dangerous slope towards gracelessness rather than real grace. Real grace is God working in us towards our becoming like Him. As Dr. Charles Ratz once said, "grace is not a clean white glove on a dirty hand".

All things God does for us are of grace - conviction, forgiveness, freedom from various spiritual bonds, joy, healing, vision, revelation etc. But grace, in many churches, is taught rather as a cover-up for sin rather than the means of freedom from sin. Sin is word that has poor use and little understanding these days but it basically means moral crime. Wesley addresses the problems of what we now tend to call "cheap grace" with his usual sobriety and wisdom. By cheap grace I mean any grace teaching that does not require a holy life ever tending towards Christ likeness, and that considers grace a mere covering of sin rather than a covering AND a cleansing.



Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?
Luke xxii. 48.

by John Wesley

1. "WITHOUT holiness no man shall see the Lord," shall see the face of God in glory. Nothing under heaven can be more sure than this; "for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. And though heaven and earth pass away, yet his word shall not pass away." As well therefore might God fall from heaven, as his word fall to the ground. No, it cannot be; none shall live with God, but he that now lives to God; none shall enjoy the glory of God in heaven, but he that bears the image of God on earth; none that is not saved from sin here can be saved from hell hereafter; none can see the kingdom of God above, unless the kingdom of God be in him below. Whosoever will reign with Christ in heaven, must have Christ reigning in him on earth. He must have "that mind in him which was in Christ," enabling him "to walk as Christ also walked."

2. And yet as sure as this is, and as clearly as it is taught in every part of the Holy Scripture, there is scarce one among all the truths of God, which is less received by men. It was indeed acknowledged in some degree, even among the wiser Heathens. Some among them allowed, that nothing would please God, but the sancti recessus mentis, et incoctum generoso pectus honesto; "a virtuous, holy mind, and an heart deep-dyed with generous honesty." But though they could not deny, yet how easily and effectually did they evade this! They fancied something else would do as well; that some rites or ceremonies, some external forms, or glorious actions, would supply the place of inward holiness. So the famous Roman entitles to future happiness, not only the good and virtuous, but all

Ob patriam pugnando vulnera passos,
Quique pii vates, et Phœbo digna locuti;
Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes.*

So, to fight for their country, to write good verses, or to invent useful arts, was abundantly sufficient, in the judgment of the wisest Heathens, to give men a place in heaven!

3. But this would not pass with modern Romans [roman catholicism]. They despised such gross imaginations. But though they did not allow these, they found out another way to get to heaven without holiness. In the room of them they substituted penances, pilgrimages, praying to saints and angels; and, above all these, masses for the dead, absolution by a Priest, and extreme unction. And these satisfy the Romanists full as well as lustrations did the Heathens. Thousands of them make no manner of doubt, but, by a diligent use of these, without any holiness at all, they shall see the Lord in glory.

4. However, Protestants will not be satisfied thus; they know this hope is no better than a spider's web. They are convinced, that whoever leans on this, leans on the staff of a broken reed. What then can they do? How shall they hope to see God, without holiness? Why, by doing no harm, doing good, going to the church and sacrament. And many thousands sit down content with this, believing they are in the high road to heaven.

5. Yet many cannot rest here. They look upon this as the very Popery of Protestantism. They well know, that although none can be a real Christian, without carefully abstaining from all evil, using every means of grace at every opportunity, and doing all possible good to all men; yet a man may go thus far, may do all this, and be but an Heathen still. They know this religion is too superficial; it is but as it were skin-deep. Therefore, it is not Christianity; for that lies in the heart; it is worshipping God in spirit and in truth; it is no other than "the kingdom of God within us;" it is the life of God in the soul of man; it is the mind which was in Christ Jesus; it is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

6. Besides, they see that, be this religion shallower or deeper, it does not stand on the right foundation; since "other foundation" for true religion "can no man lay, than that which is laid, even Christ Jesus;" since no one can have the mind which was in Christ, till he is justified by his blood, till he is forgiven and reconciled to God through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. And none can be justified, they are well assured, but by faith, even faith alone; seeing "to him" only "that believes on God who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousness."

7. What evasion now? What way could Satan take to make all this light of none effect? What could be done when that grand truth, "By grace you are saved through faith," was more and more generally received? What, indeed, but to persuade the very men who had received it, to "turn the grace of God into lasciviousness?" To this end Simon Magus appeared again, and taught, "that Christ had done, as well as suffered, all; that his righteousness being imputed to us, we need none of our own; that seeing there was so much righteousness and holiness in Him, there needs none in us; that to think we have any, or to desire or seek any, is to renounce Christ; that from the beginning to the end of salvation, all is in Christ, nothing in man; and that those who teach otherwise are legal Preachers, and know nothing of the gospel."

8. This is indeed "a blow at the root," the root of all holiness, all true religion. Hereby Christ is "stabbed in the house of his friends," of those who make the largest professions of loving and honouring him; the whole design of his death, namely, "to destroy the works of the devil," being overthrown at a stroke. For wherever this doctrine is cordially received, it leaves no place for holiness. It demolishes it from top to bottom; it destroys both root and branch. It effectually tears up all desire of it, all endeavour after it. It forbids all such exhortations as might excite those desires, or awaken those endeavours. Nay, it makes men afraid of personal holiness, afraid of cherishing any thought of it, or motion toward it, lest they should deny the faith, and reject Christ and his righteousness: So that, instead of being "zealous of good works," they are a stink in their nostrils.

And they are infinitely more afraid of "the works of God," than of "the works of the devil."

9. Here is wisdom! though not the wisdom of the saints, but wisdom from beneath. Here is the masterpiece of Satan: Farther than this he cannot go. Men are holy, without a grain of holiness in them! holy in Christ, however unholy in themselves; they are in Christ, without one jot of the mind that was in Christ; in Christ, though their nature is whole in them. They are "complete in him," though they are, in themselves, as proud, as vain, as covetous, as passionate as ever. It is enough: They may be unrighteous still, seeing Christ has "fulfilled all righteousness."

10. "O you simple ones, how long will ye love foolishness?" How long will you "seek death in the error of your life?" "Know you not," whoever teaches you otherwise, "that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?" "Be not deceived;" although there are many lie in wait to deceive, and that under the fair pretence of exalting Christ; — a pretence which the more easily steals upon you, because "to you he is precious." But as the Lord lives, "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." "Such" indeed "were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified," as well as "justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." You are really changed; you are not only accounted, but actually "made, righteous." "The law" — the inward power — "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made" you "free" — really, actually free — "from the law" or power "of sin and death." This is liberty, true gospel liberty, experienced by every believer: Not freedom from the law of God, or the works of God, but from the law of sin and the works of the devil. See that you "stand fast in" this real, not imaginary "liberty, wherewith Christ has made you free." And take heed you "be not entangled again," by means of these vain boasters, "in the yoke of " that vile "bondage to sin," from which you are now clean escaped. I testify unto you, that if you still continue in sin, Christ shall profit you nothing; that Christ is no Saviour to you, unless he saves you from your sins; and that unless it purify your heart, faith shall profit you nothing.

O when will you understand, that to oppose either inward or outward holiness, under colour of exalting Christ, is directly to act the part of Judas, to "betray the Son of man with a kiss?" Repent, repent! lest he cut you in sunder with the two-edged sword that comes out of his mouth! It is you yourselves that, by opposing the very end of his coming into the world, are crucifying the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame. It is you that, by expecting to see the Lord without holiness, through the righteousness of Christ, "make the blood of the covenant an unholy thing," keeping those unholy that so trust in it. O beware! for evil is before you. If those who name not the name of Christ, and die in their sins, shall be punished seven-fold, surely you who thus make Christ a minister of sin, shall be punished seventy-and-seven fold. What; make Christ destroy his own kingdom? make Christ a factor for Satan? set Christ against holiness? talk of Christ as saving his people in their sins? It is no better than to say, He saves them from the guilt, and not from the power, of sin. Will you make the righteousness of Christ such a cover for the unrighteousness of man? So that by this means, "the unrighteous" of every kind "shall inherit the kingdom of God!"

Stop! Consider! What are you doing? You did run well: Who hath bewitched you? Who hath corrupted you from the simplicity of Christ, from the purity of the gospel? You did know, "He that believeth is born of God: And whosoever is born of God sinneth not;" but while "he keepeth himself, that wicked one toucheth him not." O come back to the true, the pure, the old gospel! that which ye received in the beginning. Come back to Christ, who died to make you an holy people, "zealous of good works." "Remember from whence you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works." Your "Father works hitherto:" Do you work; else your faith is vain. For "will you know, O vain," O empty "man, that faith without works is dead?" Wilt thou know that "though I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing?" Wilt you know, that all the blood and righteousness of Christ, unless "that mind be in you which was in Him," and you likewise "walk as Christ walked," will only increase your damnation?

"If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about strife of words, whereof come railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth." Be no longer afraid of the strongest exhortations either to inward or outward holiness. Hereby God the Father is glorified, and God the Son truly exalted. Do not stupidly and senselessly call this legal, — a silly, unmeaning word. Be not afraid of being "under the law of God," but of being under "the law of sin." Love the strictest preaching best; that which most searches the heart, and shows you wherein you are unlike Christ; and that which presses you most to love him with all your heart, and serve him with all your strength.

11. Suffer me to warn you of another silly, unmeaning word: Do not say, "I can do nothing." If so, then you know nothing of Christ; then you have no faith: For if you have, if you believe, then you "can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth you." You can love him and keep his commandments; and to you his "commandments are not grievous." Grievous to them that believe! Far from it. They are the joy of your heart. Show then your love to Christ by keeping his commandments, by walking in all his ordinances blameless. Honour Christ by obeying him with all your might, by serving him with all your strength. Glorify Christ by imitating Christ in all things, by walking as he walked. Keep to Christ by keeping in all his ways. Trust in Christ, to live and reign in your heart. Have confidence in Christ that he will fulfil in you all his great and precious promises, that he will work in you all the good pleasure of his goodness, and all the work of faith with power. Cleave to Christ, till his blood have cleansed you from all pride, all anger, all evil desire. Let Christ do all. Let him that has done all for you, do all in you. Exalt Christ as a Prince to give repentance; a Saviour both to give remission of sins, and to create in you a new heart, to renew a right spirit within you. This is the gospel, the pure, genuine gospel; glad tidings of great salvation. Not the new, but the old, the everlasting gospel, the gospel not of Simon Magus, but of Jesus Christ. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ give you, "according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that, being rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all saints, what is the length, and breadth, and depth, and height; and to know that love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God!"

* The following is Pitt's translation of these lines from Virgil: —

"Patriots who perish'd for their country's right,
Or nobly triumph'd in the field of fight:
There holy priests and sacred poets stood,
Who sung with all the raptures of a god;
Worthies who life by useful arts refined,
With those who leave a deathless name behind,
Friends of the world, and fathers of mankind."

The Psychology of Atheism

An intersting article on atheism by a former atheist psychologist. Intersting in that the author uses exactly the same lame arguments to show the roots of atheism that atheists use to mock Christianity and religion. From here

The Psychology of Atheism

Professor Paul C. Vitz

The title of this paper, "The Psychology of Atheism," may seem strange. Certainly, my psychological colleagues have found it odd and even, I might add, a little disturbing. After all, psychology, since its founding roughly a century ago, has often focused on the opposite topic-namely the psychology of religious belief. Indeed, in many respects the origins of modern psychology are intimately bound up with the psychologists who explicitly proposed interpretations of belief in God.

William James and Sigmund Freud, for example, were both personally and professionally deeply involved in the topic. Recall The Will to Believe by James, as well as his still famous Varieties of Religious Experience. These two works are devoted to an attempt at understanding belief as the result of psychological, that is natural, causes. James might have been sympathetic to religion, but his own position was one of doubt and skepticism and his writings were part of psychology's general undermining of religious faith. As for Sigmund Freud, his critiques of religion, in particular Christianity, are well known and will be discussed in some detail later. For now, it is enough to remember how deeply involved Freud and his thought have been with the question of God and religion.

Given the close involvement between the founding of much of psychology and a critical interpretation of religion, it should not be surprising that most psychologists view with some alarm any attempt to propose a psychology of atheism. At the very least such a project puts many psychologists on the defensive and gives them some taste of their own medicine. Psychologists are always observing and interpreting others and it is high time that some of them learn from their own personal experience what it is like to be put under the microscope of psychological theory and experiment. Regardless, I hope to show that the psychological concepts used quite effectively to interpret religion are two- edged swords that can also be used to interpret atheism. Sauce for the believer is equally sauce for the unbeliever.

Before beginning, however, I wish to make two points bearing on the underlying assumption of my remarks. First, I assume that the major barriers to belief in God are not rational but-in a general sense- can be called psychological. I do not wish to offend the many distinguished philosophers-both believers and nonbelievers-in this audience, but I am quite convinced that for every person strongly swayed by rational argument there are many, many more affected by nonrational psychological factors.

The human heart-no one can truly fathom it or know all its deceits, but at least it is the proper task of the psychologist to try. Thus, to begin, I propose that neurotic psychological barriers to belief in God are of great importance. What some of these might be I will mention shortly. For believers, therefore, it is important to keep in mind that psychological motives and pressures that one is often unaware of, often lie behind unbelief.

One of the earliest theorists of the unconscious, St. Paul, wrote, "I can will what is right, but I cannot do it . . . I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind . . ." (Rom. 7:18, 23). Thus, it seems to me sound theology as well as sound psychology that psychological factors can be impediments to belief as well as behavior, and that these may often be unconscious factors as well. Further, as a corollary it is reasonable to propose that people vary greatly in the extent to which these factors are present in their lives. Some of us have been blessed with an upbringing, a temperament, social environment, and other gifts that have made belief in God a much easier thing than many who have suffered more or have been raised in a spiritually impoverished environment or had other difficulties with which to cope. Scripture makes it clear that many children-even into the third or fourth generation-suffer from the sins of their fathers, including the sins of fathers who may have been believers. In short, my first point is that some people have much more serious psychological barriers to belief than others, a point consistent with the scriptures' clear statement that we are not to judge others, however much we are called to correct evil.

My second point as qualification is that in spite of serious difficulties to belief, all of us still have a free choice to accept God or reject Him. This qualification is not in contradiction to the first. Perhaps a little elaboration will make this clearer. One person, as a consequence of his particular past, present environment, etc., may find it much harder than most people to believe in God. But presumably, at any moment, certainly at many times, he can choose to move toward God or to move away. One man may start with so many barriers that even after years of slowly choosing to move toward God he may still not be there. Some may die before they reach belief. We assume they will be judged-like all of us- on how far they traveled toward God and how well they loved others-on how well they did with what they had. Likewise, another man without psychological difficulties at all is still free to reject God, and no doubt many do. Thus, although the ultimate issue is one of the will and our sinful nature, it is still possible to investigate those psychological factors that predispose one to unbelief, that make the road to belief in God especially long and hard.

The Psychology of Atheism: Social and Personal Motives

There seems to be a widespread assumption throughout much of the Western intellectual community that belief in God is based on all kinds of irrational immature needs and wishes, but atheism or skepticism is derived from a rational, no- nonsense appraisal of the way things really are. To begin a critique of this assumption, I start with my own case history.

As some of you know, after a rather weak, wishy-washy Christian upbringing, I became an atheist in college in the 1950s and remained so throughout graduate school and my first years as a young experimental psychologist on the faculty at New York University. That is, I am an adult convert or, more technically, a reconvert to Christianity who came back to the faith, much to his surprise, in my late thirties in the very secular environment of academic psychology in New York City.

I am not going into this to bore you with parts of my life story, but to note that through reflection on my own experience it is now clear to me that my reasons for becoming and for remaining an atheist-skeptic from about age 18 to 38 were superficial, irrational, and largely without intellectual or moral integrity. Furthermore, I am convinced that my motives were, and still are, commonplace today among intellectuals, especially social scientists.

The major factors involved in my becoming an atheist-although I wasn't really aware of them at the time-were as follows.

General socialization. An important influence on me in my youth was a significant social unease. I was somewhat embarrassed to be from the Midwest, for it seemed terribly dull, narrow, and provincial. There was certainly nothing romantic or impressive about being from Cincinnati, Ohio and from a vague mixed German-English-Swiss background. Terribly middle class. Further, besides escape from a dull, and according to me unworthy, socially embarrassing past, I wanted to take part in, in fact to be comfortable in, the new, exciting, even glamorous, secular world into which I was moving. I am sure that similar motives have strongly influenced the lives of countless upwardly mobile young people in the last two centuries. Consider Voltaire, who moved into the glittery, aristocratic, sophisticated world of Paris, and who always felt embarrassed about his provincial and nonaristocratic origin; or the Jewish ghettos that so many assimilating Jews have fled, or the latest young arrival in New York, embarrassed about his fundamentalist parents. This kind of socialization pressure has pushed many away from belief in God and all that this belief is associated with for them.

I remember a small seminar in graduate school where almost every member there at some time expressed this kind of embarrassment and response to the pressures of socialization into "modern life." One student was trying to escape his Southern Baptist background, another a small town Mormon environment, a third was trying to get out of a very Jewish Brooklyn ghetto, and the fourth was me.

Specific socialization. Another major reason for my wanting to become an atheist was that I desired to be accepted by the powerful and influential scientists in the field of psychology. In particular, I wanted to be accepted by my professors in graduate school. As a graduate student I was thoroughly socialized by the specific "culture" of academic research psychology. My professors at Stanford, however much they might disagree on psychological theory, were, as far as I could tell, united in only two things-their intense personal career ambition and their rejection of religion. As the psalmist says, ". . . The man greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord. In the pride of his countenance the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God'" (Psalm 10:3-4).

In this environment, just as I had learned how to dress like a college student by putting on the right clothes, I also learned to "think" like a proper psychologist by putting on the right-that is, atheistic-ideas and attitudes.

Personal convenience. Finally, in this list of superficial, but nevertheless, strong irrational pressures to become an atheist, I must list simple personal convenience. The fact is that it is quite inconvenient to be a serious believer in today's powerful secular and neo-pagan world. I would have had to give up many pleasures and a good deal of time.

Without going into details it is not hard to imagine the sexual pleasures that would have to be rejected if I became a serious believer. And then I also knew it would cost me time and some money. There would be church services, church groups, time for prayer and scripture reading, time spent helping others. I was already too busy. Obviously, becoming religious would be a real inconvenience.

Now perhaps you think that such reasons are restricted to especially callow young men-like me in my twenties. However, such reasoning is not so restricted. Here I will take up the case of Mortimer Adler, a well known American philosopher, writer, and intellectual who has spent much of his life thinking about God and religious topics. One of his most recent books is titled How to Think About God: A Guide for the 20th Century Pagan (1980). In this work, Adler presses the argument for the existence of God very strongly and by the latter chapters he is very close to accepting the living God. Yet he pulls back and remains among "the vast company of the religiously uncommitted" (Graddy, 1982). But Adler leaves the impression that this decision is more one of will than of intellect. As one of his reviewers notes (Graddy, 1982), Adler confirms this impression in his autobiography, Philosopher at Large (1976). There, while investigating his reasons for twice stopping short of a full religious commitment, he writes that the answer "lies in the state of one's will, not in the state of one's mind." Adler goes on to comment that to become seriously religious "would require a radical change in my way of life . . ." and "The simple truth of the matter is that I did not wish to live up to being a genuinely religious person" (Graddy, p. 24).

There you have it! A remarkably honest and conscious admission that being "a genuinely religious person" would be too much trouble, too inconvenient. I can't but assume that such are the shallow reasons behind many an unbeliever's position.

In summary, because of my social needs to assimilate, because of my professional needs to be accepted as part of academic psychology, and because of my personal needs for a convenient lifestyle-for all these needs atheism was simply the best policy. Looking back on these motives, I can honestly say that a return to atheism has all the appeal of a return to adolescence.[2]

The Psychology of Atheism: Psychoanalytic Motives

As is generally known, the central Freudian criticism of belief in God is that such a belief is untrustworthy because of its psychological origin. That is, God is a projection of our own intense, unconscious desires; He is a wish fulfillment derived from childish needs for protection and security. Since these wishes are largely unconscious, any denial of such an interpretation is to be given little credence. It should be noted that in developing this kind of critique, Freud has raised the ad hominem argument to one of wide influence. It is in The Future of an Illusion (1927, 1961) that Freud makes his position clearest:

[R]eligious ideas have arisen from the same needs as have all the other achievements of civilization: from the necessity of defending oneself against the crushing superior force of nature. (p. 21)
Therefore, religious beliefs are:

illusions, fulfillments of the oldest, strongest
and most urgent wishes of mankind . . . As we
already know, the terrifying impression of
helplessness in childhood aroused the need for
protection-for protection through love-which
was provided by the father . . . Thus the benevolent rule of a divine Providence allays our fear of the danger of life. (p. 30)
Let us look at this argument carefully, for in spite of the enthusiastic acceptance of it by so many uncritical atheists and skeptics, it is really a very weak position.

In the first paragraph Freud fails to note that his arguments against religious belief are, in his own words, equally valid against all the achievements of civilization, including psychoanalysis itself. That is, if the psychic origin of an intellectual achievement invalidates its truth value, then physics, biology, much less psychoanalysis itself, are vulnerable to the same charge.

In the second paragraph Freud makes another strange claim, namely that the oldest and most urgent wishes of mankind are for the loving protecting guidance of a powerful loving Father, for divine Providence. However, if these wishes were as strong and ancient as he claims, one would expect pre-Christian religion to have strongly emphasized God as a benevolent father. In general, this was far from the case for the pagan religion of the Mediterranean world-and, for example, is still not the case for such popular religions as Buddhism and for much of Hinduism. Indeed, Judaism and most especially Christianity are in many respects distinctive in the emphasis on God as a loving Father.

However, let us put these two intellectual gaffes aside and turn to another understanding of his projection theory. It can be shown that this theory is not really an integral part of psychoanalysis- and, thus cannot claim fundamental support from psychoanalytic theory. It is essentially an autonomous argument. Actually, Freud's critical attitude toward and rejection of religion is rooted in his personal predilections and is a kind of meta psychoanalysis-or background framework which is not well connected to his more specifically clinical concepts. (This separation or autonomy with respect to most psychoanalytic theory very likely accounts for its influence outside of psychoanalysis.) There are two pieces of evidence for this interpretation of the projection theory.

The first is that this theory had been clearly articulated many years earlier by Ludwig Feuerbach in his book The Essence of Christianity (1841, 1957). Feuerbach's interpretation was well-known in European intellectual circles, and Freud, as a youth, read Feuerbach avidly (see Gedo & Pollock, 1976, pp. 47, 350). Here are some representative quotes from Feuerbach which make this clear:

What man misses- whether this be an articulate and therefore conscious, or an unconscious, need-that is his God. (1841, 1957, p. 33)
Man projects his nature into the world outside himself before he finds it in himself. (p. 11)
To live in projected dream-images is the essence of religion. Religion sacrifices reality to the projected dream. . . (p. 49)
Many other quotes could be provided in which Feuerbach describes religion in "Freudian" terms such as wish-fulfillment, etc. What Freud did with this argument was to revive it in a more eloquent form, and publish it at a later time when the audience desiring to hear such a theory was much larger. And, of course, somehow the findings and theory of psychoanalysis were implied as giving the theory strong support. The Feuerbachian character of Freud's Illusion position is also demonstrated by such notions as "the crushing superior force of nature" and the "terrifying impression of helplessness in childhood," which are not psychoanalytic in terminology or in meaning.

The other piece of evidence for the nonpsychoanalytic basis of the projection theory comes directly from Freud, who explicitly says so himself. In a letter of 1927 to his friend Oskar Pfister (an early psychoanalyst, and believing Protestant pastor), Freud wrote:

Let us be quite clear on the point that the views expressed in my book (The Future of an Illusion) form no part of analytic theory. They are my personal views. (Freud/Pfister, 1963, p. 117).
There is one other somewhat different interpretation of belief in God which Freud also developed, but although this has a very modest psychoanalytic character, it is really an adaptation of Feuerbachian projection theory. This is Freud's relatively neglected interpretation of the ego ideal. The super-ego, including the ego ideal is the "heir of the Oedipus complex," representing a projection of an idealized father-and presumably of God the Father (see Freud, 1923, 1962, pp. 26-28; p. 38).

The difficulty here is that the ego ideal did not really receive great attention or development within Freud's writings. Furthermore, it is easily interpreted as an adoption of Feuerbach's projection theory. Thus, we can conclude that psychoanalysis does not in actuality provide significant theoretical concepts for characterizing belief in God as neurotic. Freud either used Feuerbach's much older projection or illusion theory or incorporated Feuerbach in his notion of the ego ideal. Presumably, this is the reason Freud acknowledged to Pfister that his Illusion book was not a true part of psychoanalysis.

Atheism as Oedipal Wish Fulfillment

Nevertheless, Freud is quite right to worry that a belief can be an illusion because it derives from powerful wishes- from unconscious, childish needs. The irony is that he clearly did provide a very powerful, new way to understand the neurotic basis of atheism. (For a detailed development of this position see Vitz and Gartner, 1984a, b; Vitz, 1986, in press.)

The Oedipus Complex

The central concept in Freud's work, aside from the unconscious, is the now well-known Oedipus Complex. In the case of male personality development, the essential features of this complex are the following: Roughly in the age period of three to six the boy develops a strong sexual desire for the mother. At the same time the boy develops an intense hatred and fear of the father, and a desire to supplant him, a "craving for power." This hatred is based on the boy's knowledge that the father, with his greater size and strength, stands in the way of his desire. The child's fear of the father may explicitly be a fear of castration by the father, but more typically, it has a less specific character. The son does not really kill the father, of course, but patricide is assumed to be a common preoccupation of his fantasies and dreams. The "resolution" of the complex is supposed to occur through the boy's recognition that he cannot replace the father, and through fear of castration, which eventually leads the boy to identify with the father, to identify with the aggressor, and to repress the original frightening components of the complex.

It is important to keep in mind that, according to Freud, the Oedipus complex is never truly resolved, and is capable of activation at later periods-almost always, for example, at puberty. Thus the powerful ingredients of murderous hate and of incestuous sexual desire within a family context are never in fact removed. Instead, they are covered over and repressed. Freud expresses the neurotic potential of this situation:

The Oedipus-complex is the actual nucleus of neuroses . . . What remains of the complex in the unconscious represents the disposition to the later development of neuroses in the adult (Freud, 1919, Standard Edition, 17, p. 193; also 1905, S.E. 7, p. 226ff.; 1909, S.E., 11, p. 47).
In short, all human neuroses derive from this complex. Obviously, in most cases, this potential is not expressed in any seriously neurotic manner. Instead it shows up in attitudes toward authority, in dreams, slips of the tongue, transient irrationalities, etc.

Now, in postulating a universal Oedipus complex as the origin of all our neuroses, Freud inadvertently developed a straightforward rationale for understanding the wish-fulfilling origin of rejecting God. After all, the Oedipus complex is unconscious, it is established in childhood and, above all, its dominant motive is hatred of the father and the desire for him not to exist, especially as represented by the desire to overthrow or kill the father. Freud regularly described God as a psychological equivalent to the father, and so a natural expression of Oedipal motivation would be powerful, unconscious desires for the nonexistence of God. Therefore, in the Freudian framework, atheism is an illusion caused by the Oedipal desire to kill the father and replace him with oneself. To act as if God does not exist is an obvious, not so subtle disguise for a wish to kill Him, much the same way as in a dream, the image of a parent going away or disappearing can represent such a wish: "God is dead" is simply an undisguised Oedipal wish-fulfillment.

It is certainly not hard to understand the Oedipal character of so much contemporary atheism and skepticism. Hugh Heffner, even James Bond, with their rejection of God plus their countless girls, are so obviously living out Freud's Oedipal and primal rebellion (e.g., Totem and Taboo). So are countless other skeptics who live out variations of the same scenario of exploitative sexual permissiveness combined with narcissistic self-worship.

And, of course, the Oedipal dream is not only to kill the father and possess the mother or other women in the group but also to displace him. Modern atheism has attempted to accomplish this. Now man, not God, is the consciously specified ultimate source of goodness and power in the universe. Humanistic philosophies glorify him and his "potential" much the same way religion glorifies the Creator. We have devolved from one God to many gods to everyone a god. In essence, man-through his narcissism and Oedipal wishes-has tried to succeed where Satan failed, by seating himself on the throne of God. Thanks to Freud it is now easier to understand the deeply neurotic, thoroughly untrustworthy psychology of this unbelief.

One interesting example of the Oedipal motivation proposed here is that of Voltaire, a leading skeptic about all things religious who denied the Christian and Jewish notion of a personal God-of God as a Father. Voltaire was a theist or deist who believed in a cosmic, depersonalized God of unknown character.

The psychologically important thing about Voltaire is that he strongly rejected his father-so much that he rejected his father's name and took the name "Voltaire." It is not exactly certain where the new name came from but one widely held interpretation is that it was constructed from the letters of his mother's last name. When Voltaire was in his early twenties (in 1718), he published a play entitled "Oedipus" (Edipe), the first one of his plays to be publicly performed. The play itself recounts the classic legend with heavy allusions to religious and political rebellion. Throughout his life, Voltaire (like Freud) toyed with the idea that he was not his father's son. He apparently felt the desire to be from a higher, more aristocratic family than his actual middle-class background. (A major expression of this concern with having a more worthy father is the play Candide.) In short, Voltaire's hostility to his own father, his religious rejection of God the Father, and his political rejection of the king-an acknowledged father figure-are all reflections of the same basic needs. Psychologically speaking, Voltaire's rebellion against his father and against God are easily interpretable as Oedipal wish fulfillment, as comforting illusions, and therefore, following Freud, as beliefs and attitudes unworthy of a mature mind.

Diderot, the great Encyclopaedist and an avowed atheist-indeed he is one of the founding brothers of modern atheism-also had both Oedipal preoccupation and insight. Freud approvingly quotes Diderot's anticipatory observation:

If the little savage were left to himself, preserving all his foolishness and adding to the small sense of a child in the cradle the violent passions of a man of thirty, he would strangle his father and lie with his mother (from Le neveau de Rameau; quoted by Freud in Lecture XXI of his Introductory Lectures (1916- 1917), S.E., 16, pp. 331-338).

The Psychology of Atheism: The Theory of Defective Father

I am well aware of the fact that there is good reason to give only limited acceptance to Freud's Oedipal theory. In any case, it is my view that although the Oedipus complex is valid for some, the theory is far from being a universal representation of unconscious motivation. Since there is need for deeper understanding of atheism and since I don't know of any theoretical framework-except the Oedipal one-I am forced to sketch out a model of my own, or really to develop an undeveloped thesis of Freud. In his essay on Leonardo da Vinci, Freud made the following remark:

Psychoanalysis, which has taught us the intimate connection between the father complex and belief in God, has shown us that the personal God is logically nothing but an exalted father, and daily demonstrates to us how youthful persons lose their religious belief as soon as the authority of the father breaks down (Leonardo da Vinci, 1910, 1947 p. 98).
This statement makes no assumptions about unconscious sexual desires for the mother, or even about presumed universal competitive hatred focused on the father. Instead he makes the simple easily understandable claim that once a child or youth is disappointed in and loses his or her respect for their earthly father, then belief in their heavenly Father becomes impossible. There are, of course, many ways that a father can lose his authority and seriously disappoint a child. Some of these ways-for which clinical evidence is given below-are:

  1. He can be present but obviously weak, cowardly, and unworthy of respect- even if otherwise pleasant or "nice."
  2. He can be present but physically, sexually, or psychologically abusive.
  3. He can be absent through death or by abandoning or leaving the family.
Taken all together these proposed determinants of atheism will be called the "defective father" hypothesis. To support the validity of this approach, I will conclude by providing case history material from the lives of prominent atheists, for it was in reading the biographies of atheists that this hypothesis first struck me.

We begin with Sigmund Freud's relationship to his father. That Freud's father, Jacob, was a deep disappointment-or worse-is generally agreed to by his biographers. (For the supporting biographical material on Freud see, for example, Krull, 1979, and Vitz, 1983, 1986.) Specifically, his father was a weak man unable to financially provide for his family. Instead money for support seems to have been provided by his wife's family and others. Furthermore, Freud's father was passive in response to anti-Semitism. Freud recounts an episode told to him by his father in which Jacob allowed an anti-Semite to call him a dirty Jew and to knock his hat off. Young Sigmund, on hearing the story, was mortified at his father's failure to respond, at his weakness. Sigmund Freud was a complex and in many respects ambiguous man, but all agree that he was a courageous fighter and that he greatly admired courage in others. Sigmund, as a young man, several times stood up physically against anti-Semitism- and, of course, he was one of the greatest of intellectual fighters.

Jacob's actions as a defective father, however, probably go still deeper. Specifically, in two of his letters as an adult, Freud writes that his father was a sexual pervert and that Jacob's own children suffered from this. There are also other possible moral disasters that I have not bothered to note.

The connection of Jacob to God and religion was also present for his son. Jacob was involved in a kind of reform Judaism when Freud was a child, the two of them spent hours reading the Bible together, and later Jacob became increasingly involved in reading the Talmud and in discussing Jewish scripture. In short, this weak, rather passive "nice guy," this schlemiel, was clearly connected to Judaism and God, and also to a serious lack of courage and quite possibly to sexual perversion and other weaknesses very painful to young Sigmund.

Very briefly, other famous atheists seem to have had a similar relationship to their fathers. Karl Marx made it clear that he didn't respect his father. An important part in this was that his father converted to Christianity-not out of any religious conviction-but out of a desire to make life easier. He assimilated for convenience. In doing this Marx's father broke an old family tradition. He was the first in his family who did not become a rabbi; indeed, Karl Marx came from a long line of rabbis on both sides of his family.

Ludwig Feuerbach's father did something that very easily could have deeply hurt his son. When Feuerbach was about 13, his father left his family and openly took up living with another woman in a different town. This was in Germany in the early 1800s and such a public rejection would have been a scandal and deeply rejecting to young Ludwig-and, of course, to his mother and the other children.

Let us jump 100 years or so and look at the life of one of America's best known atheists-Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Here I will quote from her son's recent book on what life was like in his family when he was a child. (Murray, 1982) The book opens when he is 8-years-old: "We rarely did anything together as a family. Hatred between my grandfather and mother barred such wholesome scenes." (p. 7) He writes that he really didn't know why his mother hated her father so much-but hate him she did, for the opening chapter records a very ugly fight in which she attempts to kill her father with a 10-inch butcher knife. Madalyn failed but screamed, "I'll see you dead. I'll get you yet. I'll walk on your grave!" (p. 8)

Whatever the cause of O'Hair's intense hatred of her father, it is clear from this book that it was deep and that it went back into her childhood-and at least psychological (e.g. p. 11) and possibly physical abuse is a plausible cause.

Besides abuse, rejection, or cowardice, one way in which a father can be seriously defective is simply by not being there. Many children, of course, interpret death of their father as a kind of betrayal or an act of desertion. In this respect it is remarkable that the pattern of a dead father is so common in the lives of many prominent atheists.

Baron d'Holbach (born Paul Henri Thiry), the French rationalist and probably the first public atheist, is apparently an orphan by the age of 13 and living with his uncle. (From whom he took the new name Holbach.) Bertrand Russell's father died when young Bertrand was 4-years-old; Nietzsche was the same age as Russell when he lost his father; Sartre's father died before Sartre was born and Camus was a year old when he lost his father. (The above biographical information was taken from standard reference sources.) Obviously, much more evidence needs to be obtained on the "defective father" hypothesis. But the information already available is substantial; it is unlikely to be an accident.

The psychology of how a dead or nonexistent father could lay an emotional base for atheism might not seem clear at first glance. But, after all, if one's own father is absent or so weak as to die, or so untrustworthy as to desert, then it is not hard to place the same attribute on your heavenly Father.

Finally, there is also the early personal experience of suffering, of death, of evil, sometimes combined with anger at God for allowing it to happen. Any early anger at God for the loss of a father and the subsequent suffering is still another and different psychology of unbelief, but one closely related to that of the defective father.

Some of this psychology is captured in Russell Baker's recent autobiography. (Baker, 1982) Russell Baker is the well-known journalist and humorous writer for the New York Times. His father was taken to the hospital and died there suddenly when young Russell was five. Baker wept and sorrowed and spoke to the family housekeeper, Bessie:

. . . For the first time I thought seriously about God. Between sobs I told Bessie that if God could do things like this to people, then God was hateful and I had no more use for Him.
Bessie told me about the peace of Heaven and the joy of being among the angels and the happiness of my father who was already there. The argument failed to quiet my rage.
"God loves us all just like His own children," Bessie said.
"If God loves me, why did He make my father die?"
Bessie said that I would understand someday, but she was only partly right. That afternoon, though I couldn't have phrased it this way then, I decided that God was a lot less interested in people than anybody in Morrisonville was willing to admit. That day I decided that God was not entirely to be trusted.
After that I never cried again with any real conviction, nor expected much of anyone's God except indifference, nor loved deeply without fear that it would cost me dearly in pain. At the age of five I had become a skeptic . . . (Growing Up, p. 61).
Let me conclude by noting that however prevalent the superficial motives for being an atheist, there still remain in many instances the deep and disturbing psychological sources as well. However easy it may be to state the hypothesis of the "defective father," we must not forget the difficulty, the pain, and complexity that lie behind each individual case. And for those whose atheism has been conditioned by a father who rejected, who denied, who hated, who manipulated, or who physically or sexually abused them, there must be understanding and compassion. Certainly for a child to be forced to hate his own father-or even to despair because of his father's weaknesses is a great tragedy. After all, the child only wants to love his father. For any unbeliever whose atheism is grounded in such experience, the believer, blessed by God's love, should pray most especially that ultimately they will both meet in heaven. Meet and embrace and experience great joy. If so, perhaps the former atheist will experience even more joy than the believer. For, in addition to the happiness of the believer, the atheist will have that extra increment that comes from his surprise at finding himself surrounded by joy in, of all places, his Father's house.


Adler, M. (1976). Philosopher at large. New York: Macmillan.

Adler, M. (1980). How to think about God: A guide to the twentieth century pagan. New York: Macmillan.

Baker, R. (1982). Growing up. New York: Congdon & Weed.

Feuerbach, L. (1891/1957). The essence of Christianity. Ed. and abridged by E. G. Waring & F. W. Strothman. New York: Ungar.

Freud, S. (1910/1947). Leonardo da Vinci, New York: Random.

Freud, S. (1927/1961). The future of an illusion. New York: Norton.

Freud S. (1923/1962). The ego and the id. New York: Norton.

Freud S. & Pfister, 0. (1963). Psychoanalysis and faith: The letters of Sigmund Freud and Oskar Pfister. New York: Basic.

Gedo, J. E. & Pollock, G. H. (Eds.). (1967). Freud: The fusion of science and humanism. New York: International University.

Graddy, W.E. (1982, June). The uncrossed bridge. New Oxford Review, 23-24.

Krull, M. (1979). Freud und sein Vater. Munich: Beck. Murray, W.J. (1982). My life without God. Nashville, TN: Nelson.

Vitz, P.C. (1983). Sigmund Freud's attraction to Christianity: Biographical evidence. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 6, 73-183.

Vitz, P.C. (1986). Sigmund Freud's Christian unconscious. New York: Guilford, in press.

Vitz, P.C. & Gartner, J. (1984a). Christianity and psychoanalysis, part 1: Jesus as the anti-Oedipus. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 12, 4-14.

Vitz, P.C., & Gartner, J. (1984b). Christianity and psychoanalysis, part 2: Jesus the transformer of the super-ego. Journal of Psychology and Theology, 12, 82-89.


  1. Address: New York University, Department of Psychology, 6 Washington Place, New York 10003.
  2. I understand there is a sequel to the story of Adler. I've recently been told that about 2 years ago Adler became a Christian, and Anglican.

    © 1995-2002 Leadership U. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 28, 2006

DNA and information

Information is neither matter nor energy. It is metaphysical by nature. It is not sugars and enzymes. Information is something other than the matter that contains it. As such, ''Complex Coded Information'' (CCI) is something the standard macro-evolutionary theory cannot explain. Where does the information come from?

We call it the genetic code. The very word ''code'' implies an symbolic convention created for a specific purpose. The genetic code is such. It has semantics, syntax, pragmatics and is constrained to those rules. It also has exception trapping mechanisms built in.

As a written language is a set of symbols to which meaning has been assigned by some intelligence, and as a spoken language is a set of symbolic sounds to which meaning has been assigned by intelligent originiators, so DNA, as a Complex Coded Information System (CCIS), must necessarily have been originated by some intelligence.

Nature, by default, has no intelligence and so cannot itself be the origin of the genetic code. Therefore, some other intelligence must be responsible for it's existence. Coded information systems, such as language, do not arise in nature by itself. There is in fact no such thing as a language coming into existence without some intelligent entities 'inventing' it.

That it is very brief view of how the Intelligent Design theory looks at the information problem for neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.
DNA is a complex coded information system (CCIS)

Dr. Gitt's laws of information - Gitt, Werner, 1997. In the Beginning was Information, Christliche Literature-Verbreitung e.V., Bielefeld, Germany. Director and professor at the German Federal Institute of Physics and Technology, the Head of the Department of Information Technology

I know that Gitt's work, while extensive and in fact rather exhaustive, is not yet complete and no doubt contains some errors or unknowns as nearly all scientific theories do. Yet it "holds water".

Coded information obeys fundamental laws of nature which, in summarized form, can be expressed as follows:
  • It is impossible to set up, store, or transmit information without using a code.
  • It is impossible to have a code apart from a free and deliberate convention.
  • It is impossible to have information without a sender.
  • It is impossible that information can exist without having had a mental source.
  • It is impossible for information to exist without having been established voluntarily by a free will.
  • It is impossible for information to exist without all five hierarchical levels: statistics, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and apobetics [the purpose for which the information is intended, from the Greek apobeinon = result, success, conclusion].
  • It is impossible that information can originate in statistical processes.
Careful analysis shows again and again that the process: sender codes a message - receiver decodes and uses the intended information, does not arise without the active involvement of a living intelligence at some point.- Dr. Royal Truman
Yes I know some attempts have been made to refute Truman's paper on Information as well as Dr. Gitt's research - talkorigins of course - who else? They basically rant on his differences with Shannon's information theory and then wander off on poorly reasoned "rebuttals" with very little real content. Gitt's work is extensive and cannot be shrugged off so easily as that.

From what I've read thus far, all opponents of Gitt's ideas avoid the basic problem. Information does not exist in sugars and enzymes per se. Intelligence always ends up being assumed somewhere in the argument.

Given the above information, it is easy to see why neo-Darwinism fails from the start.

The source of the information contained in DNA, with it's data transfer protocols, coding protocols and error-control protocols cannot be natural. It requires intelligently designed protocols embedded into the very framework itself.

Communications protocols do not arise from nothing. The very term protocol implies communication conventions between two communicating entities. This intelligence is involved. Amongst humans at this time, TCP/IP (the communications protocol used for Internet and computer comm) is the most widely used, without which no such blogs or web sites would work.

The information travels the physical lines using TCP to insure correct data transfer from source to destination. Checksum algorithms are applied to insure error free messages.

Information in DNA also has transmission and error checking protocols used as well as the translation mechanisms of RNA. These, by default, cannot be acquired in mere matter. They must be designed. Error can never be detected without an obligatorily preceeding knowledge or convention on what is correct.

In computers we use binary coded information to make them work. 0's and 1's do a good job for use so far, but they are still limited. DNA does not use binary code. And so in that sense, standard information theory is insufficient for such systems.

DNA uses a 4 letter code ATGC. (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). RNA is (A,C,G,Uracil) This code base is far more effecient than binary for the transfer and use of biological information. This code base provides for frame shifts as well, such as the right-left shifts applicable to say, bytes or word sequences, in binary code.

There are three major types of RNA: 1) mRNA, messenger-RNA, which transfer the information about the aminoacid sequence from the DNA to the protein synthesis. 2) rRNA, ribosomal-RNA, which builds up the ribosome together with proteins. 3) tRNA, transfer-RNA, which transfers aminoacids to the ribosome for protein synthesis....

The translation process is the synthesis of proteins directed by a mRNA template. The information contained in the nucleotide sequence of the mRNA is read as three letter words (triplets), called codons. Each word stands for one amino acid.

see : http://nobelprize.org/chemistry/educational/dna/index.html
The complexity involed in all of this is mindboggling. Or as one molecular biologist put it, "genius beyond genius".

Dr. Royal Truman (Ph.D., specializing in organic chemistry), basing some of his analysis on Gitt, adds the following :
1. Information is more than the physical coding used to represent it. The sender and receiver must agree in advance on conventions to represent whatever is to be communicated in the future.
2. Information exchange requires that the frame of reference or context be agreed to in advance.
3. Random processes cannot generate coded information; rather, they only reflect the underlying mechanistic and probabilistic properties of the components which created that physical arrangement.
4. Information efficiency may be denser than implied by Shannon’s log2(n) equation, since a common basis of understanding exists between sender and receiver, often allowing implications with various degrees of certainty to be assumed by both parties, in addition to the raw data of the message.
5. In addition to the data encoded in the physical message the intention of the original sender must be considered. An encoding system can be devised to ensure transmission accuracy or to avoid understanding by an unwanted party.
6. A message allows information to survive over time. Assuming that the physical medium is not destroyed, there is some flexibility as to when the receiver can interpret the information.
7. The underlying meaning of coded information is external to the mere nature and properties of the sender.
8. The physical medium upon which a message is encoded is subject to physical laws such as a natural trend towards increased entropy in the long run (and thereby loss of ncoded information which is dependent on a physical medium).
9. Information content of messages is more easily quantified in a comparative than absolute sense.

One simply cannot avoid the inherent necessity of intelligence in this. An intelligent Designer is absolutely required. It cannot be accomplished by blind, unguided, unpurposing, mindless, speechless nature by mere random mutations + "selection pressures" + millions of years.

Indeed, no one has yet shown anything near like a stepped sequence of mutations that could have built such a CCIS. So what do Darweenies say about this fact? Basically, "It's ongoing research". Of course it is. And after 100 years or so, it's not gotten very far has it. ;-) Indeed, the more we discover, the more complex it gets. And the more complex it gets the less Darwinism suffices.

See : http://trueorigin.org/dawkinfo.asp for a far more complete analysis of the information problem - by Dr. Royal Truman

EU and Turkish troops in Lebanon

EU troops would be relatively understandable. But muslim troops? Sounds like grave foolishness to me.

We will now witness Israel being more and more surrounded by other nations' armies as prophesied in the scriptures. A gathering of muslim and EU troops (with a large number of Arab muslim soldiers) around Israel - howbeit only the Lebanese border for now - is a very, very bad idea. It is literally sending anti-semitic or partly anti-semitic troops to ensure peace with Israel! A gross contradiction between end and means.

This is also squarely placing the Turkish troops into a position where they can be most influenced by Islamic fundamentalist radicals. A very bad idea - especially coming from an Israeli! Once again we see in this the extent of Israel's good will and willingness to compromise to it's own disadvantage to resolve this conflict. That's what we've witnessed over and over again, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

It does not make sense, and is also yet another example of the world's blindness to the Eurabian phenomenon.

And the UN never makes nervous and angry pleas to muslim nations surrounding Israel to qualm their anti-semitic, anti-Israel doctrines. The UN rarely accuses the much larger, more populous Arab nations around Israel of co-operation with terrorists even though that co-operation is clear.

It has never accused these nations of refusing to receive their own people and make a Palestinian state for them in their more than ample territories. (One can literally walk across Israel - north/south in less than a day it is so small.) It has always ignored the evidence of the deliberate use of Palestinians as terrorist thorns in Israel's side.

The UN almost always focuses it's attacks on Israel. The whole thing smells of conspiracy. Though that word has become rather over used, it is nevertheless easily arguable if not empirically demonstratable.

The present "solution" of sending in Turkish muslim troops to Lebanon is a very bad idea and doesn't even make sense. The future Eurabian state sending in it's troops is also a bad idea. It won't work. The situation is going from bad to worse. Israel being surrounded by potentially hostile forces.

The world seems to ignore the muslim invasion of Europe as though it were not happening. Europe has already fundamentally changed because of this and other factors - see blog archives.

And oil & oil money can almost universally be found to be the deciding factor in all. Black gold.

Nations are being drawn into the very area where Armageddon will take place and one must seriously wonder if this is not in fact their ultimate goal - the destruction of Israel as the final solution to the mid-east conflict.

Is peace even possible in the middle east? YES! Both Arab peoples and Jews are the descendants of Abraham! They are brothers. Why should they not rather love each other for this?

But no peace is possible while people that believe Israel must not be allowed to exist as a nation are in control and supported by Arab nations. Not while the world condemns Israel for self-defence and for taking the offensive against terrorists. If Israel were the US, this conflict would have finished long ago because the US (nor any other major nation) would ever have tolerated what Israel has tolerated for so many decades.

Think about it - WW III is clearly on the horizon and no nation is ready for it.

Is there life elsewhere?

I understand the theological dilema that Xians face in regards to this question. But I see all the related fears and resistance as being unnecessary and harmful.

First, who cares what evolutionists think anyway?! "I want to know God's thoughts", said Einstein, "the rest is details".

So what if there's life elsewhere? If there is then God made them and He can handle the situation with ease. Why fear for what the atheistic evolutionists will say if life is found elsewhere? Of course they will cry, "evolution is therefore true"! They always have no matter what proof to the contrary is revealed.

And of course the cry will be just as unwarranted then as it is now. In fact a discovery of life elsewhere would only make the thing more difficult for them since they would then have another humungous set of phenomena to explain away! How did life start in the said elsewhere? The same questions will have to answered as are already necessary to answer now! They will only have succeeded in moving the questions back one more step and making the answers even more difficult to find in a Darwinian context!

The questions will become much harder for the staunch darwinists, in part, because they will then have to explain how the billionth of a billionth of a chance of life appearing spontaneously, occurred more than once in the universe.

For Xians or theists that is not the problem.

I've done a lot of research into the works and beliefs of the church, generally speaking, over it's existence in the past 2 millenia. And yes, I've even looked for what they said and believed about life elsewhere.

Did they mention ufos or aliens etc.? No the terms were not familiar to them. Did they speak about life elsewhere? Yes indeed.

They absolutely did not have any fears or qualms about whether ET was a reality or not. They viewed God as being infinitely capable of both creating and dealing with the whole "life, the universe, and everything" questions without even "working up a sweat" if you will.

Many of the great preachers of the past said things that clearly hinted at a belief in life elsewhere. They did not, nor would have been expected to, use our modern terminologies. No doubt there were also many who did not believe in such possibilities since there have also been periods where the church was extremely man-centered and had become paranoid (as all man-centered organizations do) - adopting an "anti-everything they couldn't understand" mentality.

Charles Finney in his many lectures on theology often spoke of the atonement as applying to all life in the universe :
"That the work of Atonement was the most interesting and impressive exhibition of God that ever was made in this world and probably in the universe." "Now, as it can never be expected, that the Atonement will be repeated, it is for ever settled, that rebellion in any other world than this, can have no hope of impunity." "We have reason to believe, that Christ, by his Atonement, is not only the Savior of this world, but the Savior of the universe in an important sense" "This world is to be turned back to its allegiance to God, and the blessed Atonement of Christ has so unbosomed God before the universe, as, no doubt, not only to save other worlds from going into rebellion," -- Skeleton Lecture of Theology - The Atonement.
Charles Spurgeon also made references to similar things. :
"It may also be, but I do not know, and so I cannot tell you, that we are, in future dispensations, to fill unto other worlds much the same office as angels fill to ours. Jesus has made us kings and priests×and we are in training for our thrones. What if in this congregation I am learning to proclaim my Master's Glory to myriads of worlds! Possibly the preacher who is faithful here may yet be made to tell forth His Lord's Glory to constellations at a later time. What if one might stand upon a central star and preach Christ to worlds on worlds instead of preaching Him to these two galleries and to this area! Why not?" - Sermon #1960

"We cannot tell but that in the boundless regions of space, there are worlds inhabited by beings infinitely superior to us" - sermon #151

"He had created worlds, I know not how many, but in them all He found no rival. Perhaps all the stars we see are worlds full of inhabitants who worship the infinite Creator" sermon #1786

"I have such a conviction of the power of Christ's death that if it were revealed to me that on the Cross He redeemed not only one world, but as many fallen worlds as there are stars, I could well believe it!" - sermon #2224
Enough quotes from two of the greatest preachers the world has known since the apostles. Many others could be quoted.

You see, not only did these men of God have no fears or hangups about life elsewhere, but they viewed it as a perfect possibility in harmony with Genesis and with all the more glory to God who created them all by His Word.

They were not under the influence of Darwinism, nor science fiction.

All the "ado about nothing" in the life elsewhere questions is based on fears and insecurities - not on scripture and certainly not on faith in God who is bigger than it all.

And all this talk about UFOs being demons is largely rubbish in my view. They may as well be angels for all we know - and we know spit about our own world let alone the vast universe of worlds that may or may not be "out there". The evidence for water being found of one Saturn's moons Enceladus, recently is certainly a surprise for many since as far as we know, where there is water there is also life - at least on our little blue planet.

As for UFO's, certainly Satan can disguise himself as many things and as the "prince of the power of the air" and capable of "transforming himself into an angel of light" may actually be involved in some of these "sightings" or alleged abductions - who knows?

Nevertheless I would encourage all of you, whatever your position, to be full of faith and courage and stand in awe at your Awesome King Creator who by His Word formed the ages and having "so loved the kosmos, gave His uniquely begotten Son so that WHOEVER believes on Him would have eternal life".

Let the horizons of your vision and understanding be expanded and blessed with His light on all things.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Amnesty International

From a roughly quoted article on USA Today:
Amnesty International on Wednesday accused Israel of war crimes, saying it broke international law by deliberately destroying Lebanon's civilian infrastructure during its recent war with Hezbollah guerrillas.

It said initial evidence indicates that such destruction was deliberate and part of a military strategy, rather than 'collateral damage.'

AI's claims that Israel "violated international laws banning direct attacks on civilians and barring indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks". "There is clear evidence of disproportionate and indiscriminate attacks."

AI said it would review Hezbollah's attacks on Israel separately.
Yet another example of AI's precocious use of biased reporting and ignorance to rail against Israel. Why is Israel targeted first? And why is Hezbollah only refered to with a note for further review?

Whatever. It's funny that these AI people do not seem to understand the very basics of terrorism and/or warfare. Hezbollah is a terrorist group that uses the Lebanese civilian population as human shields and deliberately sets up it's HQ's in areas with hospitals, schools and highly populated sectors. Not to mention setting up an HQ on the UN peace forces front doors to ensure that any, ever so slightly missed, missile attack on them will produce UN forces casualities! There is clear evidence that they even plant bodies in striken areas to make the body count look worse than it really is.

How can you trust such a diabolical group in anything they claim? You can't. Get rid of Hezbollah by whatever means is quickest and least severe on the surrounding peoples. Just as cited in my other article about the letter from a Lebanese American.

Infrastructures: Anyone who knows anything about warfare knows that to reduce an enemies strength quickly and effeciently strikes must be made upon the infrastructure used by that enemy. This is to ensure that the enemy cannot get supplies, cannot move quickly if at all and thus can be cornered and taken out more easily. Sad but true as usual in war.

All but the Shiite-Hezbollah supporting Lebanese population wants to see Hezbollah destroyed once and for all. They have murdrered thousands of Lebanese christians and thousands of their own people besides the above mentioned "human shield" techniques.

One must wonder what hidden agenda AI (or any other group or media) has up it's sleeve to be constantly pointing fingers in the wrong directions and failing to see anything but short term and shallow gaols based on somewhat erroneous views of human rights.

It is often the weakness of our modern world to behold the great and sublime, the dreadful and horrifying; and only see in it yet another news scoop or chance to blow some political trumpet.

War is hell. What do they think? Killing can be made more pleasant? Destruction more tasteful?

And what is this codswallop about disproportionate attacks? That's the way to do it if you wish to win quick and decisive victory in any war! You'd think they had used an A-bomb or something.

General Douglas MacArthur stated this himself and would have condemned any other way as a means of perpetuating the fighting indefintely.

Some quotes from Gen. MacArthur:
In war there is no substitute for victory...

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision...

It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it...

We have had our last chance. If we do not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door...

The problem basically is theological and involves a recrudescence, spiritual improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural developments of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh...

There are some who for varying reasons would appease Red China [referring to the orean conflict]. They are blind to history's clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement had led to more than a sham peace.
(Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964))
A wise man and one who feared God. He was right. We do well to heed.
Emphasis mine.

Israeli military men understand this. It's time we let them do it right and even help them, to the goal of ending the Islamic fundamentalist-induced mid-east conflict.

There can be no peace or negotiations with terrorists, ever. It is surely a form of moral insanity to pretend one can or ought to try to negotiate peace with kamikaze terrorists. Their very existence and nature prevent it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A letter from a friend on Hezbollah

A letter I got on Hezbollah:

Dear Friends,
You all know that I have actually been to South Lebanon in 1979-1980 and been shelled night after night by the PLO (I have pictures to prove it). I witnessed firsthand the plight of the Christian Lebanese people, I was further met with total media indifference when I came back to Quebec and tried to draw attention to the human suffering in Lebanon. Thus I find the below article interesting in view of manipulation of media and of world reaction for political ends. I have a lot of Christian Lebanese friends and regret that we do not get to hear their side of the story these days. Next time you see the news, notice their absence from the screen!

To view the entire article, visit HERE

Tuesday, August 1, 2006
All eyes on Lebanon
By Joseph Farah

Posted: August 1, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern

You know, it's funny.

For years I've been trying to get people to pay attention to the deaths and destruction and injustices being perpetrated on my beloved Lebanon.

And nobody cared.

When Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Liberation Organization tried to take over the country and make it his terrorist playground, nobody cared.

When people were dying by the thousands in the civil war, nobody cared.

When Syria had its boot on the neck of its tiny neighbor for 25 years, nobody cared.

When Iran dispatched Hezbollah terrorists into the country to undermine home rule by Lebanese, nobody cared.

When Muslims chased millions of Christians from the country, tipping the balance of power, nobody cared.

But now, all eyes are on Lebanon.

Do you know why?

Because Israel has tried to clean up this hornet's nest. Yet, all we hear about is how many Lebanese are dying.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

Guess what the total death toll is among Lebanese during the extent of this war - including Hezbollah terrorists, many of whom are not really Lebanese?

You better sit down.

The total death toll is just over 500.

Now, far be it for me to minimize death tolls. One innocent death is a tragedy. But this is the total - all terrorists, civilians, Lebanese army, everything.

The whole world is going nuts over this "slaughter."

What is needed is some perspective here. May I offer it?

Last month alone, U.S. troops in Afghanistan announced killing 600 "suspected" Taliban. That's one month alone. We've been occupying this foreign country since 2002. It began in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. U.S. forces went halfway around the world to attack a sovereign nation, to overthrow the government and kill as many people as it deemed necessary over the last five years to prevent more terrorist attacks in the future. Few would suggest that Afghanistan represents any imminent threat to the U.S. today. By the way, according to U.S. military spokesmen, a total of 1,700 Afghanis have been killed since the start of the year. That includes some civilians, some aid workers and more than 70 foreign troops.

But, last time I checked, there weren't demonstrations in the streets of the U.S. or elsewhere around the world over this war.

Instead, everybody is going ape over Lebanon.

By the way, the government of Afghanistan, installed by the U.S., is happy about the war. President Hamid Karzai wants to see the terrorists rooted out of his country. He recognizes it represents the best chance for his nation to be free.

Meanwhile, back in Lebanon, a government that has tolerated terrorist bases on its soil for years and years is suddenly indignant about Israel's retaliation against incessant attacks from those strongholds.

Does any of this make sense?

Do you think those screaming about the bloodshed in Lebanon really give a hoot about Lebanon? If so, where have they been for the last 30 years?

Why is Lebanon the top story in every newscast? Why is Lebanon on the front page of every newspaper? Don't you get the impression that the violence there is probably worse than anywhere else on the planet from this focus?

Clearly it is not.

And the only difference is who's doing the butt kicking in Lebanon.

As for me, an American of Lebanese and Syrian heritage, I don't want to see a "cease-fire." I want to see Lebanon freed of the terrorist blight, once and for all. I want to see Lebanon freed from domination by Iran and Syria. I want to see Lebanon be Lebanon. I don't want to see Lebanon suffer for another 30 years. It's time to clean up the mess and allow this poor, little country to heal.

And that means getting rid of the disease of Hezbollah - now.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More insanity in the middle East

Can you believe it? What can you say about a people that have a one track mind to destroy another people? What kind of up-bringing leads one people to persistently seek the death of another people at any cost to themselves?

Insanity? Or is it diabolically induced? It would seem to be the latter which in turn leads to the former.

Israel has discovered and destroyed a 150 meter tunnel built between Egypt and Gaza. A tunnel built for smuggling arms. Some details here. They expect to find many more. I have no doubt they will.

I mentioned that Israel stops about 20 suicide attackers each week. Terrorists attempting to kill their people for no better reason than this Islamic fundamentalist "doctrinal" error that claims Israel should not exit. Thankfully there are a few intelligent Muslims who strongly disagree with this "policy" - their lives are in danger as well. How's that for a religion of love!?

What would you do if some people tried to brake into your home 20 times each week to kill you?
Think it over before answering non chalantly.

What would you do if you further discovered that they are even digging tunnels between their house and yours to get to you to destroy you?

Would you turn the other cheek and call for more diplomacy? You'd be long dead and gone if you did so just once!

But Israel has been pushed into attempting diplomacy for decades with no good at all as the result. Sad but true.

If this kind of aggression were to occur in any other sovereign nation, the whole world would rise in disgust. Not when it is Israel. Why? That is the question no one is answering. And in fact that is the question no mass media propagandists are even asking.

No they're content to report with the usual, ever so subtle, anti-Israeli codswallop about how terrible Israel is to be moving out to remove the cancer, defending itself and acting justly towards those who seek it's destruction as one of the primary goals of their life.

The truth is that Israel should have wiped this aggressive force off the map long ago and had the backing and aid of the free nations. That's how WWII started. It was atrocious, but something had to be done against the vile plans of Nazi Germany's leaders. Why is it that no one today seems to call for similar action against Islamic terrorism when Israel is the target?

I get so sick of hearing the hypocritical UN and the cowardly mass media's call for diplomacy on this issue. Even Canadian general Romeo Dallaire thinks diplomacy is the answer simply because violence isn't. He says there is a need for men of peace but there are none.

Of course he is right, up to a point. Unfortunately, he ought to allow his experience in Rwanda tell him that peace is impossible with the devil. Absolute evil exists and is incarnate in this world in the form of terrorism and 100's of other forms against which decent people clamour each day. Rwanda was scourged by one such instance of this evil. Israel has been fighting it, mostly alone, for many long years.

You cannot negotiate with a nest of mad hornets. I hate to admit it but violent response is the only possible response to such evil under the current circumstances. Evil does not and cannot listen to reason.

The insane mandate of Islamic terrorists, "the Sabbath we will kill the jews and Sunday it will be the christians turn", cannot be responded to with dipomacy any more than diplomacy is the cure for cancer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Is this it? Has it started? Is Israel vs Hezbollah the beginning of the "Judgement Day War" (Terminator 2), Armageddon?

I fear that it is probable with so many 1st class morons running the UN and mass media propaganda running most of public opinion.

Get ready people.

In the Aug 2, 2006 Forbes article, Mideast War Rages With No End in Sight , the authors state:
The U.N. announced it would again postpone a meeting of nations that could contribute troops to help stabilize south Lebanon, saying it was premature to talk about deploying peacekeepers before imposing a plan for peace between Israel and Hezbollah.
(bold mine)

The people running the very dangerous and power hungry UN are such lollards it is amazing they could ever possibly get any kind of job whatsoever there at all. Dumb and dumber they are.

First they have no right to impose any peace plan involving a legitimate nation and any group of cowardly terrorists! Second, there is a nation called Israel but there is no such thing as a nation called Hezbollah. Thus, no talk of peace can be logical, in any rational terms, between a real nation and a band of coward killers named Hezbollah. They use their own people as human shields and sacrifice them to the cameras of the ignorant West to garner sympathy and hatred against their enemies! Diabolical indeed.

And there will never be peace between Israel and any nation that denies Israel's right to exist, and is bent upon it's destruction with no lesser position possible by their very creed! There can be no peace between Islamic terrorists and Israel - they are mutually exclusive. The latter exists in part, for the destruction of the former.

Many Palestinians write on their flags and speak daily, "The Sabbath we will kill the Jews, and Sunday it will be the Christians". Funny one never sees or hears this on the 6 oclock news!!

PEACE? With blood thirsty psychos like this? A true farce of historic proportions. The UN's blind leaders of the blind ought to be ashamed of themselves for even pretending that peace is possible in cases like this. You may as well talk of peace between a person and an angry nest of hornets. The only way to peace is to get rid of the hornets.

Once again this pompous and arrogant, OPEC/Islam fearing organization, falsely called the United Nations, is attempting to place itself in command of the world as they see it - through radical Islamic eyes.

In my view, it's only going to get worse this time. WW III? I sure hope not.

But if so, we all knew it was coming.

And thankfully, anyone who reads the bible knows what will be the final outcome.
"...Lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near"