Thursday, December 28, 2017

What is Reality, Part 3...Reality as Eternal & Self-existent Truth

Reality as Eternal & Self-existent & the Truth, Part 3

Continued from:
What is Reality Part 1...Reality as Matrix
What is Reality Part 2...Reality as Self Created

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Countless people have had their faith either derailed or severe doubts were caused by issues regarding our origins. Hence, it is important that we understand the four basic answers to the origin of reality. In previous weeks we looked at 1 and 2 and saw their logical absurdity and unbiblical nature.
Unbiblical views always lead to irrationality.

1. Reality is an Illusion
2. Reality is self-created
3. Reality is eternal and self-existent
4. The self-existent Creator made reality

Today I want to look at the prevalent notion that the universe is eternal. Before we do that, I want to affirm my basic presupposition: the Triune God created the universe and has spoken to us in His Word. That being the case, I already know that this option (#3) is unbiblical and will, of necessity, lead to irrationality.

Having said that, unlike options 1 and 2 which are analytically false—false by definition and logically absurd—there is nothing analytically false about creation being eternal, though it does lead to irrationality because its unbiblical.

Once we’ve established that anything exists, then the notion of a self-existent cause is not only logically possible but logically necessary. Something HAS to be self-existent and eternal since something exists now.

If ever there were a time when there was absolutely nothing (and by nothing I mean absolutely nothing, not a vacuum full of energy, etc.) , then what could possibly exist now but ….nothing? Ex nihilo nihil fit—from nothing, nothing comes.That is why philosophers say that the basic philosophic question is: why does something exist rather than nothing?

Everyone has heard of the theory of the Big Bang. The theory goes like this: 15-18 billion years ago there was a point of singularity that exploded  and expanded into our present universe. Prior to the explosion, all space, time, matter,and energy was compacted into a pinpoint. So goes this theory. Many cosmologists, and non-scientists, also assert  that this singularity existed for backwards eternity in a stable fashion. Or they assert that it created itself out of nothing. This latter explanation we shall dispense with as being analytically false. Ex nihilo, nihil fit.

So, the 64 million dollar question is: what happened before the alleged Big Bang? And many astronomers and cosmologists answer by saying that they don’t have to answer that question. Really?!

“So, you’re telling me that you have created a model that allegedly explains everything, and existed forever, but you don’t have to explain what happened for backwards eternity before the ball of wax exploded?! No sir, that is a monumental cop out. You have to answer that question. And please don’t say that special laws existed then because that is known as special pleading in logic."

You see, backwards eternity is not simply a very long time. Not even a very, very, very, very long time—it is backwards eternity. And nothing in a singularity, no matter how compacted, could retain its energy forever. The notion of eternality of matter and energy is absurd for two reasons: it needs a cause, and no compaction of energy can simply be forever. Basic thermodynamics asserts this….and again one cannot plead for special physics laws at this point which have never been observed before, without special pleading and circular reasoning. Heisenberg’s and Planx’s work does not explain this phenomenon as some assert. It is not nothing causing something as its been erroneously interpreted.One reason many scientists are fleeing from the Big Bang, other than its intellectually suspect, is because it implies a finite beginning for the universe, which implies a Creator. Something has to be self-existent and eternal. I’ve lived long enough to see the “assured results of science” to be turned on its head again and again, so I’m not easily drawn into theories like the Big Bang.

As Warner Gitts of NASA said: “My considered opinion is that as long as we try to explain the universe apart from the Creator and without regard to biblical affirmations given by him, we will continue to be dazzled by a succession of ingenious cosmological ideas, none of which will remotely resemble the truth.”

For the rest of the time I’m going to explain the biblical view of origins, and at the bottom leave links to consider regarding the notion of the Big Bang, which I have serious doubts about, for biblical and scientific reasons. For example, given the huge explosion theory, there shouldn’t be galaxies—explosions expel matter outward and fairly evenly, and the beauty and symmetry of some galaxies are a thorny problem for the Big Bang theory. To me, the Big Bang is a cosmic cousin of the intellectually bankrupt notion of macro-evolution. Indeed, there is no way to square an old earth/universe with biblical teaching.

Theologians speak of God’s aseity as one of His attributes. Aseity has to do with the independence and self-existence of God. He alone is the Supreme Being, unchanged, self-existent and eternal, He exists by the necessity of His own Being. He cannot, not be. Human beings are contingent, derived creatures. There was a time when I was not, and I am constantly changing. But Ultimate reality is the Tri-personal eternal communion and love between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Before there was space and time; before there was a universe, the Triune God has existed for all eternity. He, and He alone, can sufficiently explain the existence of His universe. Any attempts at autonomous reasoning at this point leads to unreal views of reality.

When God revealed Himself to Moses at the Burning Bush, which symbolized the inexhaustible energy and power of the self-existent Creator, He called Himself “I Am who I Am.” ..Yahweh. This covenant name of God conveys the truth that He alone is self-existent. All of His creatures, including the cosmos, are dependent upon Him for their existence. Any attempts to explain ourselves or reality apart from Him is sinful and leads to irrationality, as we’ve seen over and over.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Reality is not an illusion, its not self-created, it is not eternal. Instead, as this key verse states so clearly, God created the universe ex nihilo in the relatively recent past.
Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Dalai Lama Meets Tibetans & People from the Himalayan Region

Bengaluru, Karnataka, India - Before His Holiness the Dalai Lama went out this morning, filmmaker Bharath Subbarao and his wife Soumya introduced him to ‘Mandala’, a newly launched app dedicated to bringing Buddhist wisdom and the best insights of psychology together in a clear and accessible way so that people may apply them in their everyday lives. The app is introduced and guided by Thupten Jinpa, a former Buddhist monk who completed his training as a Geshe Lharampa at Ganden Monastery and went on to earn a BA in philosophy and a PhD in religious studies at Cambridge University. He has served His Holiness extensively as a translator since 1985 and has translated and edited numerous books by him.

The app, which is presently available in English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese, offers talks and conversations that bring together Buddhist wisdom and scientific insights under the heading Learn. Well-known scientists and writers like Daniel Goleman contribute. Under the heading Live, are a series of guided meditation practices, while there is also an option to discover and delve further into key Buddhist concepts under the heading Explore.

His Holiness was pleased to see that guidelines to help people find peace of mind and develop a warm heart could be made so easily and clearly available to them.

A short drive brought His Holiness to the King’s Court section of the Palace Ground. A spellbound crowd of more than 2500, mostly young Tibetan students, but also including about 300 Bhutanese and others from the Himalayan Region waited to listen to him. All expenses for the event were met by Ganden Jangtse Monastery.

Received by Chief Representative Chophel Thupten, His Holiness was given a traditional welcome at the door. Inside the hall, a group of singers and musicians performed for him. He beamed with pleasure as they played. Chophel Thupten presented a brief report of achievements and aspirations for the future, before requesting His Holiness to address the gathering.

“I’ve been busy visiting the settlements here in Karnataka,” he told them. “I caught a cold which left me feeling tired, but now I’m here in Bengaluru and very happy to meet you all.

“Tibetans faced great hardship in their own land. However much we tried to accommodate ourselves to the problems that arose, we were ultimately unable to reconcile the conflicts we encountered and fled instead into exile. Indian Prime Minister Nehru took great personal responsibility for helping Tibetans. I met him first in Peking in 1954, then again in India in 1956, before coming into exile in 1959. At his instigation the Government of India did whatever it could to help us. Here in Karnataka, Chief Minister Nijalingappa went out of his way to offer us support.

“Tibetans in Tibet have an undaunted spirit and an unswerving devotion to our religion and culture. Wherever we’ve ended up in the world, whether it’s in India, Europe, the USA, Canada, or Australia, we haven’t forgotten that we are Tibetans. It’s in our blood. The 150,000 Tibetans who live freely in exile are a source of hope to their brothers and sisters in Tibet. We have been successful in keeping our heritage alive. Since we came into exile, many people who weren’t acquainted with them before have taken interest in our religion and culture. Scientists in particular are taking a growing interest in what we know about the mind.

“In the past, study of philosophy and logic, as well as learning about the mind, were largely the preserve of monks in the centres of learning. It wasn’t something people in the ritual monasteries or nunneries paid attention to. However, in exile monks in those monasteries and nuns in their nunneries have taken up the study of logic and philosophy. Throughout the Himalayan Region from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh lay people too are becoming 21st century Buddhists by studying what Buddhism is about.

“How many of you can recite the ‘Heart Sutra’ from memory? The main thrust of the teaching is emptiness. It shows that things exist in dependence on other factors, therefore they don’t have any independent existence of their own. Experts in quantum physics have told me that what are new insights for them today find resonance in what Nagarjuna wrote about dependent arising long ago.

“Modern science is new to us. We had no acquaintance with it in Tibet. More than 30 years ago, to satisfy my own curiosity I entered into discussions with scientists. What I learned led me to believe that science could complement what we already know. Some old Abbots were not easily convinced, but eventually they came round. I explained that I could find no contradiction in combining our two approaches to knowledge.”

His Holiness explained that as far as political affairs are concerned, he has retired. He semi-retired after the leadership election in 2001 and fully retired after the election of 2011.

He recalled Nehru advising him that the USA was never going to go to war with China over Tibet. Subsequently, in 1974 it was decided not to seek independence for Tibet, nor to make further appeals to the UN. Nehru stressed that sooner of later we would have to negotiate with the Chinese authorities. The Chinese constitution includes provisions for the autonomy of Tibet, which should be implemented. Tibetans in Central Tibet, Kham and Amdo need to be able to protect their identity and culture. His Holiness pointed out that the Middle Way Approach developed once Deng Xiaoping began to relax restrictions and expressed a willingness to talk. After the craziness of the ‘cultural revolution’, he hoped that common sense would prevail.

His Holiness remarked that the undaunted and unwavering spirit of Tibetans in Tibet and the efforts of those in exile have ensured that the Tibet issue is not forgotten. He reiterated the necessity of keeping Tibetan culture and language alive.

His Holiness lamented the huge loss of life in war over the last century and that violence is still going on. He observed that when Mahatma Gandhi put engaged in ahimsa, non-violent resistance his opponents regarded it as a sign of weakness. And yet in the end he was successful.

His Holiness told the students that he is convinced that if ancient Indian knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions can be combined with modern education, it will make a significant contribution towards peace in the world.   

In answering questions from the audience he advised that death is a natural process and that everyone who’s born will die. What can help at that moment is to have a peaceful state of mind and a warm heart. He stated that women can become religious leaders and mentioned the examples of Shugseb Jetsun and Samdhing Dorje Phagmo. He added that after pursuing a rigorous program of study, 20 nuns were last year awarded the first Geshe-ma degrees.

A girl from Ladakh acknowledged that His Holiness regularly refers to himself as a simple Buddhist monk, but Tibetans and Himalayan people also know him as Chenrezig. She asked if he had anything to say about that.

“This year in Ladakh, a young girl asked me straight out, ‘Are you a God?’ and I told her ‘No’,” His Holiness reported, laughing. “The First Dalai Lama, Gendun Drup had visions of Avalokiteshvara and Tara and the Dalai Lamas from the 2nd until the 13th all had visions. I was born in a very remote village near Kumbum Monastery in Amdo. The search party was sent there as a result of visions the Regent saw in the surface of Lhamo Latso Lake, a lake activated by Gendun Gyatso, so you might say this Dalai Lama was recognised by Palden Lhamo. I have a strong karmic connection to the previous Dalai Lamas, so she helps me.

“I’ve had several dreams indicative of the past. In one I had been held as a prisoner in ancient Egypt and was released by order of the Pharoh. I’ve also had dreams indicative of my close connection to the Indian adept Krishnacharya and to the founder of Drepung Monastery Jamyang Chöjey.

“Be that as it may, every one of us has had a previous rebirth. The important thing is to lead a meaningful life here and now.”

His Holiness gave transmission of the mantras of Buddha Shakyamuni, Avalokiteshvara, Manjushri and Arya Tara, as well as the four line verse for taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma and Sangha and generating the awakening mind. In a final piece of advice he asked the young people to help others if they can, but if they can’t, that to avoid doing them any harm.

original link & photos

Friday, December 22, 2017

What is Reality, Part 2..Reality as Self-Created

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

Continued from What Is Reality, Part 1...Reality As Matrix Illusion

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

This is the second in a four-part series on reality: how did the universe come into being? What is reality?

Anyone who is serious about sharing their faith effectively needs to understand the different views on how the universe came to be. Satan doesn’t just attack physically but through doctrines that dishonor God as both Creator and Redeemer. Unbiblical views of cosmology have led many people away from God and His precious gospel. That is why they are doctrines of demons.

The most basic philosophical question is: why is there is something rather than nothing? We looked at the first explanation for reality as an illusion last time, and saw its irrationality and unbiblical nature. Let me remind you of the four basic explanations of reality as we confront it.

1. Reality is an illusion
2. Reality is self-created
3. Reality is self-existent and eternal
4. Reality was created by self-existent God

So, this time we shall look at the notion that the reality we confront each day is self-created. Many who believe this notion don’t necessarily say this explicitly, but it’s what they mean.

The statement/proposition ‘self-created’ is what is known in logic as being analytically false. It is false by definition. It is a logical absurdity. Every unbiblical view of reality is at odds with biblical epistemology (view of knowledge and how we attain it) and logic, and leads to irrationality; these basic principles of logic are not negotiable.

For something to create itself, the effect has to be its own cause which flies in the face of not only logic but science as well; nothing has to create something; it has to exist before it existed; and it has to be and not be at the same time and in the same relationship. This violates the law of non-contradiction in order to create life. And as we said, all non-biblical views of origins violate logic at some point, and more importantly the Word of God, as expressed in Genesis 1:1 and innumerable other places. But, as we’ll see, the utter irrationality of this notion has not prevented it from popping up in various forms and becoming very popular.

Imagine this discussion: 1.“Who made the grass?”  “God did.”…2.”Who made you?” “God did.”…3.”Who made God?”  “God made Himself.”  Sorry, but not even the omnipotent, Living God could create Himself! It’s logically absurd. He’s always been, and He is the Supreme Being, from whom all other being is derivative…including human beings. To be, or not to be..that is the question. Indeed!
During the Enlightenment in the 18th century, the French Encyclopedists (e.g. Diderot, d’Holbach)asserted that the ‘God hypothesis” was no longer needed as a sufficient cause of the universe. In place of God, they posited spontaneous generation as the causal factor behind all reality. Things just simply begin to be.

For example, they noted  that there was a puddle in the road, but soon after mosquitoes were being formed. Hence, it appeared that the insects were spontaneously generating(self-creating). Without the benefit of microscopes many such anomalies must have appeared as mysterious. However, as thinking people, these folks should have remembered the basic maxim-ex nihilo nihil fit—out of nothing, nothing comes, and they should have come to the conclusion: “We don’t know.” But they seized upon these examples because of their anti-God assumptions and extrapolated them backwards to creation—self created.

Today the notion of spontaneous generation has been thoroughly debunked as ludicrous in scientific circles. We now know that there all sorts of microscopic entities that can explain many of the past mysteries. You may recall this being discussed in High School biology.

Surely the notion of spontaneous generation is passé, right? Not so fast because there is the field of physics! One Nobel Prize winning scientist stated that the universe came into existence by a ‘gradual spontaneous generation’! In other words, you can’t get something from nothing quickly but, given enough time, it will happen! Sheesh.This reminds me of the saying: “A rose by any other name is still a rose.” What this Nobel Prize winner is asserting is still self-creation, which is logically absurd. No matter how long the interval, spontaneous generation cannot occur.

The Hubble Telescope has given us astonishingly lovely pictures of God’s cosmos. It has also caused one very famous astrophysicist to say that that 15-18 billion years ago the universe exploded into being. The key word is ‘being’. If had said that 18 billion years ago matter was shaped into its present form, then there would not have been anything logically wrong with his comment (though you many disagree with the time factor) But, my question to this astrophysicist is this: what was there before this explosion? Non-being…nothing? To say that the “universe exploded into BEING” is making an ontological and philosophical statement. If that’s what he is saying, then that is philosophical nonsense. Non-being cannot explode into being. Or, nothing cannot explode into something. Maybe that’s not what he meant, but there are others who would argue in this fashion.

The esteemed Stephen Hawking, leading cosmologist, co-authored “The Grand Design” in which he argued that the universe was self-created. This notion is absurd, as we’ve seen, because it would have to exist before it existed…or there was an effect without a cause. All of his comments about gravity miss the obvious point: where did gravity come from?  If he is going to say that the universe is self-creating then he needs to be stick to it and frankly say that nothing created something…but the most intelligent people can shroud absurdities in so much abstruse language that it sounds profound, when in reality it is absurd nonsense.

The most frequent form of self-creation today is creation by chance. Since I was in college, I developed a fascination with cosmology and cosmogony, but I am not a scientist, nor the son of a scientist! I am definitely not a physicist.  I applaud the developments in the area of theoretical physics.
However, I can observe and analyze the way that they interpret the data and the conclusions drawn(which is often subjective and hidden assumptions peek through)as well as their propositions to see if they are rational. One doesn’t have to be a physicist to see if their propositions are logically absurd or not.

Arthur Kessler stated that the reigning principle of chance in physics made God an anachronism; outdated and unneeded.

Over and over we hear highly intelligent scientists assert that the universe was created by chance. It was created by the impersonal plus time plus chance.

Take an example of flipping a coin. What are the chances of it landing on ‘heads’? Fifty-fifty. But what did ‘chance’ have to do with the outcome of the coin flip? Nothing, it is simply a way of speaking of mathematical possibility.

However, the notion of chance has taken on mythological status—even ontological status. Ontology has to do with being. But when you thing about it, chance is nothing. It is not a thing. It does not have extension or energy. It is no-thing, nothing. Chance has no power because it is ontologically nothing. It has no causal power. Again, chance is merely a way of expressing mathematical probability regarding an event, but it can’t cause anything.

However, many physicists and other scientists assert that chance created the universe! Not a chance! Yet, if you dress your verbiage up in enough abstruse, technical details, as scientists often do, they get away with saying that chance created the universe, when chance can’t even flip a coin!

When scientists state that the universe was created by chance, then they are necessarily implying that it was self-created, which is a logical absurdity.  You may couch it in scientific jargon so that it seems profound, but it isn’t. It grieves my heart to see so many college students mis-led by the logical jibberish of professors that sounds so persuasive to them regarding the origins of reality.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Wrong views of reality and how the universe came into being have to be debunked if we are going to be faithful to Christ. And some views of origins naturally lead to occult activity (e.g. illusion). Hence, we need to lovingly ‘destroy’ arguments raised up against the knowledge of God…but do so with tears.

When I was in college, I coined a term for myself which I wanted to use as rule: seek epistemological humility. It seemed to me that many of my professors were quite the opposite. They were seeking knowledge of God’s world in an autonomous fashion, and that always leads to hubris and irrationality. Autonomous thinking is the attempt to analyze and interpret God’s world apart from God’s Word. Does that sound wise to you? Remember Proverbs 1:7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge/wisdom.”

In physics, and in every academic field, it is important to be able to say “I don’t know or I don’t understand” when we bump into a mystery we can’t unravel. In God’s world we should expect and rejoice in mysteries. That is proper epistemological humility before God’s wondrous, and mystery filled creation, which reveals His wisdom and other attributes(Romans 1:18ff). However, it is quite another thing to say, in light of these mysteries: “Nothing is producing this event.” In order to say that, one would have to know all the variables yet unknown to science. In other words, one would have to be omniscient to say: “It had to be nothing that caused that event, because it seems unfathomable and contradictory to me.” That’s not only bad theology, its bad science as well.

Self-creation is absurd because the effect has to precede the cause, or nothing gives rise to something. More profoundly, it is anti-biblical. We know from scripture this blessed truth: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Amen.

Since God is your Creator then you are accountable to Him. And since He is infinitely holy, then we all have fallen short, way short, of His glory.  Your problem is not metaphysical; it is moral and spiritual. You don’t need to overcome your finitude by union with the Absolute. No, we need a Personal Savior from our sins. Jesus died and rose again so that we might have eternal life. We are saved by the finished work of Christ on the cross, plus nothing. Lift up your empty hands of faith today and bow before the Lord as your Savior and Master, and the angels will sing in heaven over your eternal salvation!

Next time we’ll look at reality as self-existent and eternal.

Here is part 3:

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Dalai Lama on the Three Principal Aspects of the Path

Three Principal Aspects of the Path

Mundgod, Karnataka, India - An estimated eight thousand people, almost entirely Tibetans and people from the Himalayan regions, gathered to listen to His Holiness the Dalai Lama teach this morning. Monks filled the assembly halls of both Ganden Lachi and Ganden Shartse Monasteries, while the remainder of the crowd spilled out onto the yard outside. Large video displays and towers of loudspeakers allowed them to remain in touch with what was going on inside.

His Holiness took the stairs from his apartment down to the temple where he paid his respects before the enshrined images and greeted the distinguished Lamas before ascending the throne.

“Our original plans changed because I caught a cold,” His Holiness explained. “I was tired after the ordinations in Drepung, but today, after a day’s rest, I feel better.

“Ganden is the mother monastery of our tradition, founded by Je Tsongkhapa, which Gyalwa Gendun Drup described so well in his ‘Song of the Eastern Snow Mountain’.

Above the peaks of the eastern snow mountains
White clouds float high in the sky.
There comes to me a vision of my teachers.
Again and again am I reminded of their kindness,
Again and again am I moved by faith.

To the east of the drifting white clouds
Lies the illustrious Ganden Monastery, Hermitage of Joy.
There dwelled three precious ones difficult to describe
My spiritual father Lobsang Drakpa, and his two chief disciples.

Vast are your teachings on the profound Dharma,
On the yogas of the path's two stages.
To fortunate practitioners in this Land of Snows,
Your kindness, O masters, transcends thought.

“Je Rinpoche was one of the greatest personalities to serve Buddhism in the Land of Snow. A Japanese scholar once told me he felt that reading what Je Rinpoche wrote you can tell the kind of person he was.

“Having come here to Ganden I decided to give this teaching so I won’t have visited without doing anything constructive.

dre“Je Rinpoche’s teacher Jetsun Rendawa inspired a generation to take special interest in the Middle Way View—including Je Rinpoche. Rendawa’s vast intelligence was compared to the unobstructed expanse of space. Now when we read Je Rinpoche’s writings based on his reading of numerous Indian commentaries we can trace the steady evolution of his view. Likewise, his works on Guhyasamaja illustrate the way his understanding of the illusory body clarified.”

His Holiness remarked that the tradition of studying the classic texts and great treatises was upheld by all Tibetan Buddhist Traditions, each of which also engaged in the application of epistemology and logic. He noted that while the Nalanda Tradition was influential in both China and Tibet, Dignaga’s and Dharmakirti’s major works on logic are all available in Tibetan, whereas only one small text of Dharmakirti’s was translated into Chinese.

Early Sakya scholars Kunga Nyingpo, Drogon Chögyal Phagpa and Sakya Pandita paid particular attention to the rules and function of logic. Rendawa was an heir to that tradition. He was among several superb scholars who deeply influenced Je Rinpoche. Another was Lhodrak Namkha Gyaltsen who gave him instructions in Dzogchen. His Holiness commended Tsongkhapa not only for being learned in many fields, but for applying what he learned in practice. This pattern of study and practice was maintained at the Three Seats of Learning around Lhasa—Ganden, Sera and Drepung---and Tashi Lhunpo.

“Here in exile we have kept up this tradition and now nuns too have taken up rigorous studies. The determination of the people of Tibet serves as a constant source of encouragement. The tradition we uphold is the pure tradition of Nalanda—I urge all of you to continue to keep it up.

“Tsakho Ngawang Drakpa wrote to Tsongkhapa from Eastern Tibet asking how to practise the Dharma. He received this ‘Three Principal Aspects of the Path’ in reply and the reassurance, ‘If you follow my words, I’ll guide in all your lives and when I manifest enlightenment, I’ll teach you first.’

“I must have received transmission and explanation of this text from Tagdrag Rinpoche, as well as from Ling Rinpoche and Trijang Rinpoche”

His Holiness explained that this text begins with an appreciation of the difficulty of finding human life and the importance of turning away attraction to this life. He remarked that this is different from the approach of the ‘Foundation of All Excellence’ that more closely follows the pattern of Atisha’s ‘Lamp for the Path’.

He digressed to mention that 3 or 4 years ago a Chinese scholar from Columbia University told him that he had explored Chinese historical documents. They reveal the existence of three empires—Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese—as well as the fact that from the T’ang to the Qing dynasty—the Manchus who ruled at the time of the 13th Dalai Lama—there was no mention at all of Tibet being a part of China. What is also clear is that after Shantarakshita helped set up Samye Monastery, there were Chinese monks in the Department of Unwavering Concentration. In due course, Kamalashila, Shantarakshita’s disciple, came to debate with them.

By the 11th century King Jangchub Ö was so concerned by the decline of Buddhist traditions in Tibet that he requested Atisha to compose a text to restore them. The result was the ‘Lamp for the Path’. His Holiness explained that that text, and other subsequent Stages of the Path texts, begin with the need to rely on a Guru or spiritual mentor. His Holiness feels strongly that it’s more appropriate now to follow the approach of ‘Ornament for Clear Realization’, which starts by introducing the Two Truths, the Four Noble Truths and the qualities of the Three Jewels.

The Four Noble Truths were taught on the basis of causality. All Buddhist schools teach them. However, only when we understand the third noble truth---cessation—will we begin to understand what the Buddha’s teaching was about. Related to understanding the origin of suffering are the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising—and the first link is ignorance, which is to misconceive reality. It can be countered by understanding emptiness. As Aryadeva recommends in his ‘400 Verses’:

First prevent the demeritorious,
Next prevent [ideas of a coarse] self;
Later prevent views of all kinds.
Whoever knows of this is wise.

His Holiness’s close reading of the text elaborated on the determination to be free, the advantages of developing the awakening mind of bodhichitta, as well as the disadvantages of not doing so. He pointed out that unless you train the mind to aspire for Buddhahood, you won’t achieve it. In touching on the disadvantages of a self-cherishing attitude and the advantages of cultivating concern for others he quoted Shantideva:

Whatever joy there is in this world
All comes from desiring others to be happy,
And whatever suffering there is in this world
All comes from desiring myself to be happy.

The crux of the correct view is that things do not exist the way they appear. Despite appearances things are empty of any intrinsic existence whatsoever. His Holiness quoted a verse from one of the 7th Dalai Lama’s songs of experience:

Just as a cloud disperses in the autumn sky,
In the vision of my mind as being inseparably one with emptiness
All experiences and perceptions dissolve;
I, an unborn yogi of space.

Coming to the end of the text, His Holiness clarified that the paradoxical lines of the penultimate verse,

Appearances refute the extreme of existence,
Emptiness refutes the extreme of nonexistence;

represent the Consequentialist Middle Way (Prasangika-Madhyamaka) view, which also asserts that things exist merely by way of designation. He concluded with the comment that this short text presents the very essence of the Buddha’s teaching. He recommended that his listeners build on it by carefully scrutinizing particularly what Je Rinpoche has to say in his treatises on the Middle Way View.

“I thought I would like to teach for an hour and a half, and now it’s been two and a half hours. I often tell people that once I start I can talk and talk. I’d like to thank everyone who has made this occasion possible. I’d also like to thank you all for your prayers for my good health.”

original link and photos:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Rapture And The Second Coming Are Two Events

Hello everyone. I hope your having a wonderful Sunday and getting ready for the holidays. I chose this subject because I am asked about it quit a bit lately.

There are very many misunderstandings that come from confusing these two events. In today's world we see the signs everywhere that show us that the return of Christ is near. We speak not of the Rapture, but of the Lord's ultimate return to the earth with all His saints. According to the book of Revelation, this coming of Christ occurs after the Rapture and differs from it in at least two ways.

The Rapture will be a secret event in which Christ will be witnessed by believers only. His Second Coming, on the other hand, will be a public event. Everyone will see Him. Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him. Even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. This is also called in revelations 'The Day Of The Lord.'

The "second coming" is found in Zech.14:4-5; Jude 14; you will find Christ returning with all His angels in Mt.24:30-31 and His entire Church following Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, in Rev.19:14 [A sign of the righteous acts of the saints, as found in Rev.19:8, NIV], in His massive armies from heaven. Which makes it quite impossible for any such thing as a post-trib rapture.

The entire text by Jesus, from Mt. 24:4-31 is an amplification of Dan.9:27, where God has decreed Israel to go through the 70th and final week/the seven year tribulation. Which the Church will not go through, according to 2 Thes.2:3 and 7-8. The antichrist is all three of the "he's" in Dan.9:27, the very same person found in Dan.7:23-27; 8:9-12 and in 9:27.

In Christianity there are so many churches rewording the Word of God. Adding to it all kinds of the things. Like different factions if you will that have beliefs of Christ. But not all are honest we have to do our own research. Without Christ dying on the cross we'd never be forgiven of sin. That's why He shed His blood on the cross. He knew that was His demise before it ever came. See, I'm trying to answer 3 questions at once in one blog.

People are entitled to their own opinion and have a right to freedom of religion. But I dislike denominations. It divides us. Fighting about who is right or wrong when the focus should be on the ONLY book God's Word (Holy Bible) that has made sure to stand the test of time. Why is that? There is no gospel greater than Jesus Christ. (Depending on what you believe) Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth as they say the word Bible stands for that.

Satan and his demons know their time is near. They know the bible inside and out. So they are corrupting people and this world in an attempt to drag as many souls of people to hell. They hate our guts! Demons aren't our friends as many will say. They do turn on you. You best keep away from anything to do with the occult like these 'Christian Witches'. We call that 'Luke warm' in Christ.

One foot in and one foot out. It doesn't work. The churches are becoming corrupted. Not all, please no emails. I'm not saying all churches. There are some very fine churches doing good things for the community. That's what they do with the tithes they receive. Every time a disaster happens everyone says 'where's all the churches with free food and clothing?' Well it takes money to provide help. That is why we tithe to GOD. God will bless those who give and those unable to give too.

What can we do? Always be on the alert and ready to suit up our armor of God and be ready to go to battle when attacked. But spiritually. It's hard to fight when we can't see. So these vile creatures attach and oppress and torture and kill and possess etc....They don't want to go back to hell saying they failed. They will fight a deliverance/exorcism to the bitter end. I've known some to last a week. I kid you not. I truly have nothing to gain by making this up. Remember, I grew up in this. It was so confusing at times but the Lord always kept me safe when anyone rang the doorbell late at night. It usually means trouble and the kind my dad could only help. But I've always been protected as this is a calling. If it wasn't I'd be bad off after all these years.

They say Demonologists die young. A lot have but certainly not all. If your faith slips one bit you're open. We already have bounties on our head by Satan and his nasty looking creatures THAT DO NOT SCARE ME ANYMORE. Stand your ground.  Profess the name of Jesus Christ. Don't let the paranormal activities around you distract you for a moment. It's very dangerous doing deliverances setting people free. It takes time and knowledge and guidance from an elder of the same faith as you. Opinions will differ. And that's ok.

I hope I've addressed the emails I received Friday night about a few subjects. Some things don't have an answer until we're on the other side. No one knows everything. That attitude opens doors. This is not a game. No summoning!! Please don't. Those things are so very hard to get rid of once in. They will drive you to suicide, make you seem mentally ill. A lot of real mental illnesses exist, but some are possession, in my humble opinion.

'It's not over till it's over. Not until that trumpet sounds.'

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Friday, December 15, 2017

What is Reality, Part 1...Reality as Matrix Illusion

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

What is reality…what is really real? If one is serious about defending their faith, then they need to wrestle with this issue. Though there are innumerable variations in the answers to this question, they can all be subsumed under one of these four answers. Reality is:

1.    An illusion
2.    Self-created
3.    Self-existent and eternal
4.    Created by self-existent, eternal God

How do we explain the world that we experience and perceive on a moment by moment basis? In this blog we’ll consider the explanation that the world is an illusion.

My presupposition is that the Triune God exists and has spoken to us in His Word. Hence, intellectual autonomy is foolish, self-destructive, and leads to irrationality. Intellectual autonomy is the view that people have the right to examine and define God’s world/reality without being subject to God’s revelation. How can anyone imagine that ignoring the Master of created reality could be a wise decision? It only leads to profoundly unreal views of reality.

In Proverbs 1:7 (the organizing principle of Proverbs) we are told that we must fear the Lord (loving reverence)if we are to be able to attain a correct understanding of God’s reality/world. Lack of this fear will lead to folly and unreality. Knowledge and wisdom are closely related but there is a distinction: knowledge is a correct understanding of the nature of the world (reality) and our relationship to it and God as creatures of the great King. Wisdom is the acquired knowledge of how to live in God’s world in a way that is pleasing to Him, and that includes right thinking. A teachable heart before Yahweh as the only God is the key to growing in both knowledge and wisdom.

In the Matrix movies, especially the first two, an obvious theme is that of illusion and reality. This is not a movie review, so I’m not going into detail regarding it but only mention it because it was enormously popular and borrowed themes that have become popular in recent days.

Neo discovers he is living in an illusory world, and it raises important questions: is what we perceive really an illusion? Can we trust our perceptions?

It seems that the movie series borrowed heavily from Gnostic, Hindu, Buddhist, and Neo-New Age ideas which have become ensconced in our culture. There are variations in their conception of reality being illusory but the main theme is that mankind has become ignorant of our true condition. We have become ignorant of our inner divinity, and the goal is not salvation but enlightenment. At the risk of over-simplification (because each of the religions mentioned above has a different idea of how this illusion started and the specifics of the illusion) each one does see life, in some sense, as an illusion.

Let’s not miss the forest for the trees: the consistent theme between all the worldviews mentioned above is the denial of the distinction between the transcendent Creator God and His creation. Instead, in one form or another, they affirm that whatever divinity exists is entirely immanent—coextensive with the universe…to the extent that it really exists. Again, the variations are so mind-boggling that it’s difficult to know where to start. So, let me quote from Walter Martin:

“Illusion or Maya….The material world to monists and pantheists is not real in the sense that it is a lower form or low vibration of the Higher Existence (God) or the Highest Vibration (Spirit). If all is God or all is One, then what we think is reality is said to be an illusion of Spirit; it is a slow vibration of the same substance which then takes on the illusionary (solid form). If we speed it up, it would disappear as spirit.” (W Martin, The Kingdom of the Occult, pg 210).

Some go so far as solipsism which is the view that only my mind is real and all else is a dream or illusion. One problem with this “game” (and I don’t know anybody who seriously believes this view) is how you express this view to another ‘person’? You HAVE to assume another person/mind exists outside your own. Forgive the crudity, but when I first heard this argument as an 18 year old philosophy major, I thought to myself: “Well, a good swift kick to the shin would show the utter stupidity of that game!” I stick by my initial, crude reply…it doesn’t pass the existential test—what we know intuitively about reality.

So, how does a Christian respond?

1. First, with Jeremiah (ch 9:1) we should weep for our generation that has become so lost that it has become unhinged from reality as a result of jettisoning God; they deny the very reality in which they live. What a horrible mess our quest for autonomy has brought about.

2. If one states that all reality is an illusion, then that assertion is itself an illusion, and therefore not true.

But what does a biblical worldview say about reality being an illusion?.God does not have to have “His papers stamped” by us, so I humbly presuppose that the Triune God exists and has spoken true truth to us about Himself and HIS reality. There’s plenty of evidence to support Christianity, but that’s beyond the scope of this blog.

3. Genesis 1:31 is God’s perspective on His material creation. Despite the invasion of sin later (ch.3) the creation retains its goodness (1 Timothy 4:4)and reveals God’s attributes Romans 1:18ff). This verse states that God looked at ALL he had created and declared it “very good”…there is a sense of wonderment and delight in all that God had created…physical and spiritual. Space and time was created first and then the rest of universe, with the earth as His temple. So, you have an objective reality being created in the finite past, AND God rejoicing in His objective creation. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly, God is transcendent: the Creator is distinct from His creation. Distorted views of reality begin by confusing this crucial distinction—creator and creation become co-extensive, and the fundamental duality (not dualism) at the heart of reality is lost. In the biblical view there is God, and everything else…the universe. In the biblical view, God is both transcendent and immanent—the Holy Spirit and supremely in Jesus Christ.

In many Neo-New Age ideas, there is a primacy of the spiritual; in some sense it is more real…or the material is altogether illusory.That view is on a collision course with the Genesis account of the creation of reality. Even some Christians view the spiritual realm as more important, but that’s not the biblical view.

As C.S. Lewis said: “God must love matter because He made so much of it!” How true!

4. In a biblical worldview, the spiritual and material realms are both real and neither is more important, nor is either an illusion. The notion of the world as an illusion is utterly foreign to the Hebraic mindset and a biblical worldview. Moses was acutely aware of pagan distorted notions of reality and this creation account is utterly unique in the ancient world in its view of objective reality in relation to the transcendent God. Moses was educated in the myths and magick of ancient Egypt, and it was into this cultural setting which was steeped in paganism, polytheism, pantheism, ect that Genesis was written; to refute these demonic delusions and illusionary thought. Moses self-consciously wrote Genesis to show that the only Living God created all things and to clear up distorted views of reality.

 5. Genesis 1-2 God presents the material world as objectively real, independent of our senses. What we see IS real because it was created by God, the author of all life. It certainly was not created by an inferior or even evil god. The first three chapters of Genesis provide the fundamental presuppositions of reality which the rest of the bible rests upon. So, it is no wonder that Jesus and Paul refer back to these chapters in dealing with controversies of their day, providing us with a model for dong the same.

6. The notion of the world being illusory undercuts the scientific enterprise. In Genesis 1:28 we are given the cultural mandate to have dominion as God’s image-bearers. We are to lovingly take care of God’s good creation and explore it. AN Whitehead and Oppenheimer, neither of whom were Christians, said that modern science could have only started in a biblical worldview/milieu because it assumes that a reasonable God created a reasonable universe which can be discovered by our reason. The notion of the world as an illusion, could never have given birth to modern science.

7. The entire drama of redemption was enacted in space and time on the earth. To assert that the material realm is an illusion is to imply that the cross of Christ was an illusion as well. Certainly that is a doctrine of demons.

8. Prophesied in Isaiah 65 and re-stated in Revelation 21-22, heaven will be here on a renewed earth. Hence, we see the eternality of the material realm is central to God’s plans for eternal glory. In Romans 8 the physical realm groans for freedom now, and since Jesus’ death was cosmic in scope, when He comes back the entire physical cosmos will be freed from the ravages of sin. Heaven is not an illusion—it is the dwelling place of God. And we shall see Him face to face forever here on this renewed earth. Praise God!

9. Basic reliability of sense perceptions:

I made the earth and created man on it;
it was my hands that stretched out the heavens,
and I commanded all their host.
For thus says the Lord,
who created the heavens
(he is God!),
who formed the earth and made it
(he established it;
he did not create it empty,
he formed it to be inhabited!):
“I am the Lord, and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:12, 18)

Notice the train of thought in this text. First and foremost it is God-saturated! He states over and over that He is the One who created reality. We must perceive His creation through His eyes. There is an affirmation of the Genesis account of Yahweh as the Creator of the objective heavens and earth…which existed before any human perception of it—God’s perception is primary! Second, God states that He created this world so that it would be habitable and inhabited; especially by mankind who alone are made in His image. If God created the world specifically to be inhabited then that has enormous ramifications.

Yes, the world is fallen and full of sorrow and suffering, but the answer is not to deny the reality of reality or suffering, but to see it and weep, and seek to alleviate its effects.

From the outset, God created the world to be inhabited by all sorts of creatures but primarily by His image bearers. And as such He gave us our sense perceptions in order to function and relate to the world and to each other.

Are our senses reliable? If you place an oar in the water, it appears different than it is, but that is due to an optical illusion, and not an illusion at the heart of reality or a denial of what I call: THE BASIC RELIABILITY OF THE SENSE PERCEPTIONS.

Immanuel Kant asserted that we could only see the phenomena but not the real thing in itself (noumena) In other words, we can’t trust our sense perceptions to give us an accurate understanding of reality itself. How sad, but that is what happens in autonomous thinking—it leads to irrationality and unreality.

However, He who made the world and sees it, also made our eyes and all the five senses in order to function fruitfully in His world. And He also made the categories of our finite brains to correspond to external reality. Is that not what you expect God to do if He created us to live fruitfully on this earth? What we see with our eyes, and our brains process, does correspond to reality external to us. Why? Because God created the world to be inhabited.. Hence, He gave us the necessary tools to inhabit it fruitfully and to carry out the cultural mandate in Genesis. So, for Christians, there simply is no problem with whether we can trust our perceptions of reality. When God brought the various animals before Adam in order to name them, the assumption is that Adam saw God’s creation clearly and accurately enough to be able to taxonomize it. In order to till the garden and enjoy its beauty, then all five senses had to be functional.

God made our senses and so we can joyfully affirm and know that we can trust the basic reliability of the sense perceptions. God created them, so any notion of their unreliability would be impious. The same God who made all of reality, also made His image bearers to be able to accurately perceive and categorize external reality.

However, if we are random products of evolution, then all we are is matter/energy in motion, and our skulls filled with brain gas, leaving us with no basis to trust either our thoughts or our perceptions of the world. How can we know, in the macro-evolutionary scheme, that external reality conforms to our perceptions of it? We couldn’t.

Dear friends, the world is not an illusion. Not only did God create and rejoice in the material reality He created, but our eternal existence will be lived out on a new earth! (Revelation 21-22)

Jesus did not come to save us from ignorance relating to an illusion, but to save us from the wages of sin. The drama of redemption was accomplished in space and time on this objective planet. And Jesus died in order to set the cosmos free as well—all of created reality, (Romans 8) from the effects of the historical Fall. Thus, for followers of Jesus, the material realm is not an illusion to flee from but the renewed earth will be the arena in which we shall experience His goodness for all eternity!  And that is no Matrix…it is utter, sweet, real, reality!

Read Part 2 here:

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

In the Path of the Buddha & Gandhi

Dharamsala, HP, India - There was a brisk chill in the air and the Dhauladhar Mountains stood stark against a bright blue sky as His Holiness the Dalai Lama drove to the Government College in Dharamsala this morning. He had been invited by the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, whose aim is to propagate the life, mission and thought of Mahatma Gandhi, to attend a Convention for Global Peace focussing on the Path of the Buddha and Gandhi. On arrival His Holiness walked the whole length of the front row greeting members of the audience, shaking their hands and having his photograph taken with them.

The entire gathering stood for the national anthem, following which His Holiness joined in the lighting of the lamp and offering floral tributes to the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. Students from Kulu sang an extensive invocation. Gifts were presented to the various guests on the stage.

Vice-Chancellor of the Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Kuldip Chand Agnihotri, speaking in Hindi, remarked that recalling the Buddha and Gandhi today can contribute to world peace because the essence of the Dharma is ahimsa, non-violence. Shri Laxmi Dass of the Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti spoke of the dangers of conflict and distrust in a world where nuclear weapons exist. Professor Samdhong Rinpoche expressed the hope that the gathering would point the younger generation in the direction of world peace. He drew attention to the example His Holiness the Dalai Lama has set in ensuring that the struggle for freedom in Tibet is non-violent.

“Respected elder brothers and sisters and in particular, younger brothers and sisters,” His Holiness began. “I always address people this way because we are all the same as human beings. Differences of religious faith, race or nationality are of secondary importance in the context that we are the same in being human. Focussing on such secondary differences gives rise to conflict. This is how we make problems for ourselves and reducing them is the responsibility of each and every one of us.

“These days, when I wake in the morning and start my meditation, I often wonder how many people have been killed and how many children have starved to death while I peacefully slept.

“People create these problems and people have to solve them. Those of us who belong to the 20th century will be gone after ten to fifteen years, but those of you who belong to the 21st century must work to make a happier world. You have the opportunity and the responsibility to do this. To start with you have to cultivate inner peace. Peace in the world can’t be created through anger, hatred and jealousy.

“Both Buddha Shakyamuni and Mahatma Gandhi were Indians, shaped by Indian traditions that involved transforming their inner world. They did not achieve inner peace through prayer alone, but by tackling their negative emotions. Traditions for generating peace of mind are important today. We too need to understand what gives rise to inner peace and what destroys it.”

His Holiness mentioned that he has heard of Sadhus who meditate naked, deep in the mountains where they cultivate inner heat through their practice, but he has not yet had the opportunity to meet and talk to any of them. He reiterated that to achieve peace of mind, we have to tackle our negative emotions. Ancient Indian psychology had a profound understanding of how to do this. He recommended that we approach such knowledge today less in a religious spirit than from a practical, secular and academic point of view.

Quoting the Buddha’s famous dictum ‘As the wise test gold by burning, cutting and rubbing it, So, bhikshus, should you accept my words after testing them, and not merely out of respect for me,’ His Holiness confirmed that the masters of Nalanda University examined what the Buddha taught in the light of reason. The knowledge they transmitted is contained in the more than 300 volumes of literature translated mostly from Sanskrit into Tibetan. He announced that compendia of extracts are being translated into Hindi, English and other languages.

“While modern India is making good material development it has tended to neglect its heritage of ancient knowledge. Fortunately, we Tibetans, chelas of Indian gurus have preserved much of this tradition. Today, what’s important is to combine modern education and technological prowess with the ancient knowledge of the workings of the mind and emotions that shaped the Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi. India is the only country where this can be done.

“In my discussions with modern scientists I’ve learned about the new insights of quantum physics. However, the great physicist Raja Ramana told me that he found that these were anticipated centuries ago in what Nagarjuna wrote. Similarly, where modern scientists tend to view the mind in terms of sensory consciousness, ancient India had a highly developed understanding of the depth of mental consciousness.

“On the basis of your ancient heritage I believe you Indians have the potential to make a great contribution to the welfare of humanity. Buddha Shakyamuni emphasised the dependent arising of phenomena—pratityasamutpada, but he also stressed the importance of karuna, compassion. Mahatma Gandhi looked like a beggar, but was highly educated and wise. We have the opportunity to follow the ancient Indian traditions that gave rise to these exemplary figures. This is something that we can do—that’s all, thank you.”

His Holiness then returned to his residence, but the Convention for Global Peace focussing on the Path of the Buddha and Gandhi will continue for a further two days.

original link & photos:

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Is Crystal Meth an Entity?

Hello everyone! I hope you're having a great Sunday. It's hot here due to humidity and heat factors. It's been in the mid eighties the last few days. In Florida the weather here happens to be highly bi-polar. It can change on a dime with little warning. It really messes with your sinuses or allergies. Not to mention colds and viruses. My poor sister who hardly gets sick is down. That's what I hate about this time of year. They are literally harassing people to get flu shots. They have bandit signs (little signs that stick in grass) everywhere you go that has a pharmacy or near one wants to set up a appointment and are very pushy about it.

Crystal Meth An Entity?

I was online and came across a video on YouTube called ' Meth Is A Entity'. This person was trusted by certain people to film the smoke being blown while using crystal meth. Well when they would slow it down by a few frames it was frightening what I was seeing. It was not paredolia/matrixing. It's only this drug that people get crazy scared saying skeletons and demons are chasing them. They heard cackling and demonic growls in their ears.

Most not all, have some type of demonic encounter with this drug. It always seems to be this drug the most that causes a epic evil environment. Look what it does to people after six months of use. Most have terrible sores on their faces thinking they had spiders or something crawling on them so they scratch very hard, leaving scabs and scars on their faces. They don't realize what they are doing to themselves at that time.The drug has the mind so clouded that you can't know right from wrong.

Nothing like this drug does that to such a large capacity. I'm aware drugs make people hallucinate. Most of them do however, crystal meth and the demonic go hand in hand it seems. More and more people are now talking about this. They see now there might be a problem. All drugs are. But the crystal meth stories I hear are heartbreaking. They are the stuff nightmares are made of. But we do have protection. The glory of God will free you from this! Hallelujah! Isn't that great news? You don't have to live this way.

God can be everywhere at once unlike Satan and demons. The Lord will be with you every step of the way. He won't forsake you. Don't let this drug take more lives. Or yours. You deserve a better life and it can be done. Don't listen to that voice in your head making you feel useless or unloved. Satan wants you to believe it so it brings you down any further. That voice is Satan spewing lies at you. Not good enough, your life doesn't matter etc.  he did it to me during my addiction to OxyContin to treat a painful case of Endometriosis. They stopped me cold turkey after 3 years and I thought I was dying and it was withdrawl.

I had the the chance to sit down with someone who has been on crystal meth for ten years. The number one problem is the fear of withdrawal. The pain, chills, fever and then it starts in on the person's head. They felt like they were going crazy. Until he saw about six shadow figures in his room on the wall in the air. Just utter torment. So from what I gather is that many want to quit but fear the long withdrawal stages with physical and mental torment. I was also told it takes about a year to completely detox at times depending on the person's tolerance.

This person wanted to detox slow at first then take it away. These rehab places have certain pills that take away 75% of discomfort so people can focus on getting better instead of being unable to join in on group therapy due to the nausea, vometing etc....Then the mind games start and its when people can't take those demonic side effects. They will drive you insane.

Most people fear these withdrawals since your so sick you can't even lift your head up to make a phone call. It's hell pure hell excuse my French. Then the mental tormenting I'm told just never stops. Many suicides have taken place by people wanting out but feel the drug has too much of a hold. The Lord is all we need. Demons must flee in the name of Jesus. Speak it loud with authority and claim that it has no right to your body, mind, soul or spirit. Fear is what they feed on. Take it away then they know they are messing with a powerful Christian or Catholic etc..there is a way out. There always is. God won't ever forsake us. Satan is the father of all lies remember that.

There are so many places who will help you in a manner you can still function so know there is help. Prayers needed? Let me know and I will pray for that person and for God to always give them favor in life. This world is going evil faster than I thought. Please know help is out there.

Written By Jennifer L Auld

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Christianity vs. Paganism

By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (ESV, but partially personally translated..Romans 1:18-25, bold added)

There is a visceral yearning to know that life is meaningful and has a basis for universal morals-the 2 are connected.And countless young people are seeking meaning in paganism. This is not merely an academic debate. In our spiritual quest for meaning, some of you are deeply confused or struggling…

Fundamentally, there are only two worldviews, and they are mutually exclusive: one based on the ultimacy of creation, which is paganism, and the other is based on the ultimacy of the self-existent Creator, which is Christianity. Paganism is not just another religious rival to Christianity, it is its antithesis or opposite because it denies the duality at the heart of all things (not dualism)—the transcendent Creator and His creation. As Camille Paglia put the difference: In the beginning, God vs. In the beginning, Nature.

From the text in Romans, pagans are guilty of the ‘great exchange’ (which is not so great) because they suppress the knowledge of the true God, and exchange it for the lie (definite article in Greek)-- which is worship of nature. As you can see from the text, this displeases God immensely.
I realize that paganism is an eclectic religion with many beliefs under its wide umbrella, but I trust that I express the hallmark of paganism accurately.
First, let me state emphatically that pagans do not worship Satan; they worship nature. Many don’t even believe in Satan.  Lucifer factors in for many, but I don’t have time to pursue that.

“Paganism sees the world as self creating (or perpetually existing) and self-explanatory. Everything is made up of the same stuff, whether matter, spirit, or a mixture. There’s one kind of existence, which, in one way or another, we worship as divine (or of ultimate importance) Though there is apparent differentiation and even hierarchy, all distinctions are, in principle, eliminated, and everything has the same worth. This is “Homocosmology”, a worldview based on sameness. The classic term for this is ‘paganism’. Worship of nature.”

”The only other option is a world that is the free work of a personal, transcendent God, who creates ex nihilo (from nothing). In creating, God was not constrained by or dependent on any preexisting conditions. There is God, and there is everything that is not God—everything created and sustained by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This worldview celebrates otherness, distinctiveness. We only worship as divine the distinct, personal, triune Creator, who placed essential distinctions within the creation. (male/female, right/wrong, humans/non-humans, etc.) This is “heterocosmology”, a worldview based on otherness and difference. This is Christianity. (Peter Jones, The Other Worldview)

The Triune God structured the fabric of the cosmos on a principle of distinctions within unity, reflecting the very nature of the Trinity…answering the One and Many (unity and diversity)problem philosophers have argued about for millennia. Something you can see as soon as you step outside and see the astonishing diversity but underlying unity of nature.  The interpersonal communication between the members of the Trinity gives meaning to human communication. Paganism lacks this.

I say this gently, but Paganism does not have any evidence to support its veracity—unless you count its antiquity and experience as evidence.  But in the Garden of Eden, the first humans, Adam and Eve, were monotheists. It was soon afterwards that the ‘great exchange’ became exceedingly common. Nevertheless,  the evolutionary theory of religion has been debunked, which is precisely what the Word of Truth reveals happened. This is a crucial point but I can’t address it in detail. Perhaps a part 2…

 And its vast variety, which is seen as paganisms strength, is actually its weakness. Celtic, Nordic, Egyptian gods-which gods do you choose? It is like a spiritual smorgasbord in which WE determine what god exists for us. What kind of god is it that depends on our belief to exist? And are these gods strong enough to put all your weight on for meaning….especially in trials?

In Christianity, there is a consistent and persistent insistence that the Living God is the only God that is really there—who has spoken to us true truth in human language in the bible—not exhaustively, but truly. But there are no agreed upon sacred texts in paganism to subject to scrutiny to see if they are historically reliable, as there are in Christianity. The Old and New Testament documents have been subjected to intense and rigorous analysis— have been shown, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be reliable and trustworthy regarding historical details, and without contradiction or error, and supported by the archaeological evidence in astonishing detail. Albright and other archaeologists state that no findings in archaeology have ever contradicted the bible—and many findings confirm the astonishing accuracy of biblical record.

Hundreds of fulfilled prophecies…Dozens of fulfilled prophecies of Jesus (e.g. when, where He would be born)which will blow your mind-one in trillion 13th power as one converted Jew estimated…convincing evidence for the resurrection, evidence of the reliability of gospel narratives, evidence of design and personal Creator ect..If you are interested in this evidence, there are many lines of evidence to support Christianity (see Lee Stroebels books ) for honest seekers to pursue. Christianity is logic on fire, eloquent reason-an adequate basis for meaning, without unscrewing your head. No other religion claims God has entered space and time and left “footprints”. Certainly paganism can’t claim this.

One pagan wrote, in response to overwhelming evidence for Christianity:”the value of a religious faith is not how much it can be factually proven, but in the way it nurtures and facilitates a relationship between the worshipper and the divine. That is a metric that can only be evaluated by the people involved”.  In Christianity, it’s not an either/or. Rather we can confidently embrace the Lord with all of our heart because we know in our minds it’s true, because of the evidence.

Experience is a form of evidence—does it work? Christianity ‘works’ because it’s true, not vice versa. Numerous folks I know, like Laura Maxwell  (please see her Facebook page, “A Spiritual Quest”), used to be pagans and relied on their spirit guides and practiced various forms of divination, but when they began to question what they believed, they were attacked by these same entites, which God calls demons, and were freed by the saving power of Jesus of Nazareth, the God/man who died to set us free from demonic oppression.  I have helped dozens of families with hostile haunts. It is through the name of Jesus, and only through the name of Jesus, that unclean spirits are forced to leave—I’ve seen this with my own eyes many times. Pagan tools or means of cleansing houses is at best a temporary solution. My friend Dana Emmanuel has written an excellent article on faulty, pagan cleansing methods. She used to head a well-known paranormal investigation group.

Sage and other Spiritual Cleansing Techniques by Ex Paranormal Investigator – Dana Emanuel November 16,   this article has to do with all forms of spirit communication

It grieves me to say this, but the vast majority of hauntings can be causually traced back to various forms of pagan divination—tarot cards, EVP's, Ouija boards, etc.; this is empirically verifiable. When you attempt contact with spirit realm, which God lovingly forbids, then you are jumping into a diabolical domain. And you will be oppressed, whether you realize it or not. I ask this lovingly, but how many of you who are pagans have paranormal activity in your home?  All paranormal activity is demonic activity.

If you accept the Big Bang, then the scientific principle of Occam's Razor shaves away any notions of polytheism, and leaves us with one Creator. And Darwinism has faltered in the face of concrete facts and hard reason.

The only adequate pre-condition for meaning and morals is the triune God who has spoken true truth to us in the bible. As the great philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein cried out in despair that Nature was silent regarding the most basic questions-meaning. Nature cannot be self-explanatory as pagans assume. Nothing is big enough or personal enough to give us an “outside perspective”. How can we know something as basic as the meaning of life, unless Someone outside and above Nature communicates with us?  The universe, as physicists tell us, is not infinite and neither are the finite pagan gods…and nature is fundamentally impersonal. We NEED revelation from our Infinite/personal Creator to find meaning. Otherwise we are self-referential…trying to give ourselves meaning.  If we are merely the products of evolution-impersonal plus time plus chance, then we are personal warts on the face of an impersonal universe. Impossible to find meaning in that scenario.

If you saw a pool of spilled milk on the kitchen floor, you wouldn’t ask the spilt milk how it got there. You would ask a PERSON how it got there. I say this gently, my contention is that pagans (in a sense) ask the spilled milk how it got there when they look to Nature to explain nature and the meaning of life and morals. Like a pool of milk, Nature is not a Person nor is it infinite—it does not have the transcendent, Personal perspective to explain to us the “spilt milk”—the meaning of life and guidance in morals…and divination of nature and the universe is the same thing. Starting from ourselves and the universe we live in, our perspective is so severely limited, we are left painfully clueless. Why look to astrology or divination of nature when you can talk to the all-powerful, all-loving Creator of Nature for guidance or comfort? Besides, God condemns divination, in all forms. (Deuteronomy 18).

In the homo-cosmology of the pagan system, there is no qualitative difference between humans and the animals or even between humans and the grass…because all is one, and there are no creational distinctions, and all is equally endowed with the divine. There is no basis for a unique human dignity. Yet each of us knows deep down that there is a profound distinction between us and animals., not to mention the grass. Ironically, with its focus on nature, paganism is profoundly unnatural because its contrary to everything we existentially know about ourselves and nature.

Pagan gods and nature are finite. However, as Jean Paul Sartre, the atheistic French Existentialist, stated that “if a finite point does not have an infinite reference point, it is meaningless and absurd.” Everything is a finite point. You are..I am…From the finite, expanding universe to finite humans, we are ultimately absurd in pagan system, because there is no infinite reference point to give any of reality meaning. Nothing is big enough—not their gods, nor the universe…nothing is personal enough either. But the Christian God is infinite and personal, on the high order of Trinity…the only sufficient reference point to give life meaning.  He is both transcendent and immanent, as opposed to paganism where all is immanent.

The Living God has spoken to us regarding the meaning of life-love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength…and your neighbor as yourself. Simple, but simply profound and life-changing. An existential walk with the Creator of the universe who is too great NOT to care about all of our needs and fears.

Perhaps one will herald science as supportive of paganism, but Christianity is a necessary pre-condition for science.

Both AN Whitehead and Oppenheimer, neither who were Christians, stated that modern science could only have arisen in a Christian millue because the early modern scientists presupposed that a reasonable God created a reasonable universe, whereby man (who is created in His image) by use of his reason could discover God’s reasonable scientific Laws.  In other words, there is meaning.

They agree that paganism and its view of nature and reality, could never have given rise to modern science.

What about morals? You may express moral outrage at what Christians and their God have done. And Christians have acted horribly at times, and for that I’m sorry. But does the pagan system of homo-cosmology (sameness, fusion of opposites, as Jung said) have a sufficient basis for objective truth or morals? In this case, pagans are adamant that objective, absolute truth does not exist. Truth/morals is relative and subjective. I ask,” Are you Absolutely certain that absolutes do not exist”-that is a self destructive statement. In that system, right and wrong are human constructs. If that is the case, then the Marquis de Sade is correct…as is Dostoevsky…what is, is right.

Nature, for all its beauty and alleged divinity, is red in tooth and claw..full of cruelty. Natural disasters kill millions every year. The survival of the fittest is the credo of nature. Nature can’t be our guide. Without objective,moral absolutes, all we are left with are sociological or statisitical averages, or preference…morals as morals cease to exist…and who could say that Hitler was wrong, in a pagan system?  And yet nobody lives this way because they can’t. If one cannot live with the logical ramifications of their belief, then something is wrong. Some cultures have embraced pedophilia, cannibalism, polygamy…what if they claimed it helped them find self-realization and helped psychologically to embrace the divine within, who could say definitively they are wrong?  The 20th century was the bloodiest in history because the tyrants denied the reality of real morals. It leads to a horror of great darkness.

For the Christian, morality is permanently revealed in the bible, and is based on the unchanging character of the Triune God. Hence, moral absolutes exist and we can make ethical evaluations and distinctions. I add, they are given as a loving guide from a loving Father: Like tracks for a train to run on. What would happen if one day the train said that it was fed up with the constraints of the tracks, and jumped off the tracks? It would quickly wreck because it was MADE to run on the tracks…finds freedom within the form of the tracks.

Pagans are explicit in insisting on their autonomous freedom by jumping off the very tracks that were meant to guide and protect us from wrecking.  I know from talking to pagans that the desire to cast off all exterior moral constraints is central to the pagan mindset.

However, like the train, humans find freedom within the form of the tracks of normative biblical ethics, as well as security and protection. We punch ourselves in the face when we sin. God’s moral laws are woven into the very fabric of nature, as well as our conscience. Pagan ethics are unnatural because they ignore the God who created both humans and nature. Is it wise to brush away your Maker and then worship what He made?

In the bible the infinite/personal God communicates with finite/personal creatures and tells us what we couldn’t discover on our own. He alone can explain the spilled milk…give meaning and moral direction to our lives.

Please read the gospels and ask God to reveal to you who Jesus really is. He is your Creator and will give you eternal life if you bow before Him as your Savior and Lord.

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Dalai Lama: Our Future Is Very Much in Our Hands

Dalai Lama: Our Future Is Very Much in Our Hands

December 1, 2017

New York Times - This is an article from Turning Points, a magazine that explores what critical moments from this year might mean for the year ahead.

A crack in a floating ice shelf in Antarctica reached its breaking point and calved a huge iceberg, setting it afloat in the seas. It’s a fitting image for a world that feels under pressure and on the verge of, well, everything — ready to break off and set itself free. The global political temperature is on the rise, the future of truth is under debate and the specter of nuclear conflict hovers. We asked His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his thoughts on how to cope.

We are facing a time of great uncertainty and upheaval in many corners of our planet. When it comes to making the world a better place, concern for others is tantamount.

Our future is very much in our hands. Within each of us exists the potential to contribute positively to society. Although one individual among so many on this planet may seem too insignificant to have much of an effect on the course of humanity, it is our personal efforts that will determine the direction our society is heading.

Wherever I go, I consider myself just one of 7 billion human beings alive today. We share a fundamental wish: We all want to live a happy life, and that is our birthright. There is no formality when we’re born, and none when we die. In between, we should treat each other as brother and sister because we share this commonality — a desire for peace and contentment.

Sadly, we face all sorts of problems, many of them of our own making. Why? Because we are swayed by emotions like selfishness, anger and fear.

One of the most effective remedies for dealing with such destructive patterns of thought is to cultivate “loving-kindness” by thinking about the oneness of all the world’s 7 billion humans. If we consider the ways in which we are all the same, the barriers between us will diminish.

Compassion enhances our calm and self-confidence, allowing our marvelous human intelligence to function unhindered. Empathy is hard-wired in our genes — studies have shown that babies as young as 4 months experience it. Research has shown again and again that compassion leads to a successful and fulfilling life. Why, then, do we not focus more on cultivating it into adulthood? When we’re angry, our judgment is one-sided, as we aren’t able to take all aspects of the situation into account. With a calm mind, we can reach a fuller view of whatever circumstances we face.

Humanity is rich in the diversity that naturally arose from the wide expanse of our world, from the variety of languages and ways of writing to our different societal norms and customs. However, when we overemphasize race, nationality, faith, or income or education level, we forget our many similarities. We want a roof over our heads and food in our bellies, to feel safe and secure, and for our children to grow and be strong. As we seek to preserve our own culture and identity, we must also remember that we are one in being human, and work to maintain our warmheartedness toward all.

In the last century, the inclination to solve problems through the use of force was invariably destructive and perpetuated conflict. If we are to make this century a period of peace, we must resolve problems through dialogue and diplomacy. Since our lives are so intertwined, the interests of others are also our own. I believe that adopting divisive attitudes runs counter to those interests.

Our interdependence comes with advantages and pitfalls. Although we benefit from a global economy and an ability to communicate and know what is happening worldwide instantaneously, we also face problems that threaten us all. Climate change in particular is a challenge that calls us more than ever to make a common effort to defend the common good.

For those who feel helpless in the face of insurmountable suffering, we are still in the early years of the 21st century. There is time for us to create a better, happier world, but we can’t sit back and expect a miracle. We each have actions we must take, by living our lives meaningfully and in service to our fellow human beings — helping others whenever we can and making every effort to do them no harm.

Tackling destructive emotions and practicing loving-kindness isn’t something we should be doing with the next life, heaven or nirvana in mind, but how we should live in the here and now. I am convinced we can become happier individuals, happier communities and a happier humanity by cultivating a warm heart, allowing our better selves to prevail.

original link & photo:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Is It Possible to be Certain & Humble?


By Reverend Mark Hunnemann

18 No one has ever seen God; the only God,[f who is at the Father's side,[g] He has made him known. (John 1:18)

17 Sanctify them[b]in the truth; your word is truth. (John 17:17) 

One of the most frequent objections to Christianity is that they are arrogant for making claims for certainty: arrogant for claiming to be right, arrogant for claiming others are wrong, and even arrogant for claiming to know anything with certainty. It seems much more ‘humble’ to tell people that they can believe whatever they want to, and that all roads lead to the top of the mountain, as long as you’re sincere. It seems more humble to say: “I don’t know for sure, but as for me, I believe x,y, and z.”

Folks are naturally drawn to claims that are couched in uncertain terms because it does not demand a verdict or a change of heart-allegiance. From my experience, no matter how kind, gently, or loving one states certainty regarding truth, it will be ridiculed for being, well, arrogant…abusive..mean-spirited.

The US Constitution protects the equal rights of all religions, as it should. However, it is a short, but profoundly misguided step of logic in the mind, to go from equal rights of all religions to equal VALIDITY of all religions. That is a non-sequitor—it does not follow.

In addition, the claim that we can’t know for certain is an absolutely certain claim about uncertainty! Thus, it is a self-destructive belief/assertion.

But more to the point, we need to re-examine how we are defining ‘humility’.

First in the philosophical community, and then trickling down to popular culture, the definition of humility has undergone a profound change. We live in a culture which has been described as being in the death grip of ‘escape from reason.”,(see Francis Schaeffer, Escape from Reason) and this intellectual odyssey away from antithetical reasoning has led to a profound epistemological (the validity, nature, and limits of knowledge) skepticism.

I’m trying to shorten my blogs, so I’m not going to explain how the developments in philosophy (e.g. Hume, Kant, and Hegel) have profoundly impacted how we view the notion of certainty and knowledge acquisition. Maybe next time when I’ll discuss the basic reliability of the sense perceptions, which has been profoundly undermined in our culture.

The bottom line is that today, humility has become synonymous with ‘uncertainty’; to be uncertain is considered humble or open-minded—a virtue. But to be certain, especially about religious matters, is considered arrogant and close-minded—a vice. Whether we like it or not, that is the spirit of the age we live in.

This shift poses real problems for Christians who believe that we can have certain knowledge, not about everything, but certainty regarding God, salvation, who Jesus is and what He did, and how we can go to heaven.

God is the Lord of linguistics, and though human language is fluid, a concept as profound as humility (or arrogance) must be defined by the Living God, and not by a culture in a rebellion against Him (Psalm 2).

Our certainty has nothing to do with Christians themselves or our innate abilities. Rather, it is all grace dependent. And if it’s grace-dependent, then we have nothing to boast about in our certainty, but only humble gratitude before the Lord. Thus, we can be both certain and humble. Let me explain.

God has revealed true truth in His Word. If it were not for God’s purposeful, grace-full intention to reveal true (not exhaustive knowledge but true knowledge) knowledge about Himself via the Scriptures, we would know nothing regarding the main questions of life. General revelation through nature is true, but it lacks specificity regarding the issues mentioned above, and unaided human reason cannot attain accurate saving knowledge of God.

When it comes to crucial questions like: what is God like; how do we get to heaven, what happens after we die, who is Jesus and what He did, Christians have a solid foundation for being certain in our knowledge and claims: God’s gracious and clear revelation to us in the bible. I wonder how often bible believing Christians thank God for the immense treasure we have in the bible, and how lost we’d be without it?

In the Reformation debate between Erasmus and Martin Luther, Erasmus chided Luther for being overly bold in his assertions regarding how we are saved—Luther was insisting with utter certainty that we are saved by faith alone (which means by Christ alone). Luther, in characteristic fashion, replied: “God does not speak out of both sides of His mouth, and the Holy Spirit is not a Skeptic.” What he was saying is that, since God’s Word is clear, then we must be lovingly bold in our assertions, or it will imply that God has not spoken clearly to us, which would reflect poorly on His character and communication skills. One could say that it reflects a lack of humility to NOT speak with certainty because we are putting our fallible, finite minds in judgment above God’s gracious revelation. Or perhaps we fear what people will think of us if we speak the truth boldly. But Paul said that he was ‘not ashamed of the gospel…”, and neither should we. (Romans 1:16)

Jesus was the most humble Man who ever lived and yet He looked at the Sadducees and said: “You are wrong.” (re: their denial of the afterlife).

In John 1:18 Jesus exegeted the Father. Meaning that He explained what God is like because He IS God! Jesus, the Incarnate Word is the Ultimate revelation of what God is like. In John 17:17 notice that it does NOT say that ‘Your Word is true’ (adjective…though it is true), but that IS truth (alatheia, in Greek, noun) This implies that God’s Word does not simply conform to some other external standard of ‘truth’ but that it is Truth itself. It embodies truth and is the standard of truth against which everything else must be compared and tested. In fact, in Jesus, Truth is a Person (John 14:6). Certitude and humility are friends, not foes, due to God’s gracious revelation of Himself in the Incarnate Word and Inscripturated Word.

Christians can be both certain and humble because our knowledge is not based on ourselves, but in the self-revelation of the Living God. It is not arrogant to speak with certainty regarding matters God has spoken clearly on. It is living in humble reliance upon Him, and knowing that we don’t live on bread alone…

God didn’t go to such great lengths to reveal Himself in order to leave us in uncertainty! Unlike paganism/occult in which WE search for hidden knowledge/mysteries, in biblical Christianity it is God Himself who reveals and explains the mysteries to us—things we could not have known otherwise.

When I write a blog and make strong assertions, I do so with a humble reliance upon the God who, in His kindness and love, has revealed Himself through the Inscripturated Word as well as the Incarnate Word. Both are utterly certain! Not all things are equally clear in the bible but many things are crystal clear—sometimes it takes hard work to arrive at certainty. And when the Word is clear, then we are ill-advised to preface our comments with: “In my humble opinion…” There is certainly a place for those prefatory comments, but my thought is: why blog on something which you’re not certain about? Folks don’t care about my opinions, they want to know what GOD says!

So, let us not shrink back from speaking with confident, bold, loving certainty regarding matters the bible itself is clear about. Speak the truth in love, and not fall prey to false, worldly definitions of humility. We can be both humble and certain! Praise God! Humble certainty is what God wants us to have; it’s part of our inheritance as His children. And the world desperately needs us to be valiant for truth--declaring His glory, for His glory!

Mark Hunnemann is the author of Seeing Ghosts Through God's Eyes: A Worldview Analysis of Earthbound Spirits. It's also available in eBook format.