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Some Things Said… (Aug 05)

The definition of the word cult

(From Merriam Webster online at

Function: noun, Usage: often attributive, Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate. 1: formal religious veneration: worship, 2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents, 3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents.

This last week Brent Kercheville located a website for “recovering” former members of the churches of Christ. The website at is self explanatory and teaches that many churches of Christ are nothing more than cults using cult like tactics to maintain control over their apparently unsuspecting adherents. It is not clear who are the attendants or principals behind the site.

I would strongly urge readers to take a look at the site, and what is listed as their purpose. Though I think it is misguided, it is not without some support or they wouldn’t be around. Personally, I have seen churches that went this way and that, but Ive never known a church (sound or otherwise) where they collectively participated in the types of activities mentioned at this site. No one is holding members hostage to either dogma or for other unusual reasons. The tactics mentioned are not employed by believers in God. At the same time, apparently no one is responsible any longer for what they do or for their own decisions – we are just easily led away and taken captive at every turn. Yet the truth is that God doesnt want anyone who doesnt desire to serve him, and we must willingly act in accordance with his will and out of our own desire to serve him. It is at all times an individual issue and responsibility. We certainly always can at any time turn and walk away as many have and will. –Richard Vandagriff 08.06.05

Excuses and Alibis

There are many who find a good alibi far more attractive than an achievement. For an achievement does not settle anything permanently. We still have to prove our worth every day: we have to prove that we are as good today as we were yesterday. But when we have a valid alibi for not achieving anything, we are fixed, so to speak, for life. –Eric Hoffer, from The Passionate State of Mind, as quoted by Thomas Sowell in his book, Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

Abstinence Foes Launch Strange Attack

With at least a third of college students in Uganda making good on their abstinence pledges and the AIDS rate in the African nation plummeting, those who oppose chastity education have hatched a strange new argument: efforts to prevent Ugandans from having sex outside marriage have been too successful.

The contention is that young people are waiting too long to get married and have children, meaning the resulting population rate will not be able to sustain a successful economy. As a means to their end, these anti-abstinence groups, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, are pouring millions into Uganda to promote condom use…

Leslee Unruh, president of the Abstinence Clearinghouse, said the “too effective” rationale is proof the anti-abstinence forces are getting desperate. “For a researcher to look ahead,” she said, “and think that these young women are not going to get married because they are going to abstain is ridiculous.” –from CitizenLink, Focus on the Family, in a staff report dated 08.01.05

Tribal Government Opposes Same-Sex Marriage

Efforts by a lesbian couple in Oklahoma to leverage Cherokee Indian sovereignty rights to gain a foothold in the fight for homosexual marriage have, to date, failed, The Washington Post reported.

Kathy Reynolds and Dawn McKinley received a marriage application from the Cherokee tribal government last year. After a wedding ceremony was performed by a licensed minister, the women attempted to file the application with the tribal courts to have the marriage legally recognized — but a tribal judge had issued an injunction prohibiting the two from becoming the first same-sex couple to be married under Cherokee law. –unknown source.

Historical relativism

…History is not a parlor game used to prove a political point.–Victor Davis Hanson.

Welcome to the nanny state:

To all the kids who survived the 1930’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us. They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes. Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one actually died from this. We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because we were always outside playing!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were okay. We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We played with mercury from broken thermometers, held it and we learned how neat a liquid metal was.

We did not have PlayStations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms. We had friends and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever. We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them. Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all. And you are one of them… Congratulations!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good. And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were. –from an unknown source on the World Wide Web.

The intelligent design bogeyman

Our secular popular culture is throwing a fit over President Bush’s endorsement of teaching in public schools the controversies surrounding Darwinian theory. Note that the president did not recommend that the teaching of Darwinism be banned in public schools, merely that the theory of intelligent design (ID) ought to be taught as well. Bush said, “I think part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought.”

The main players in the ID movement are not even insisting on that much. Discovery Institute, for example, opposes the mandatory teaching of ID in public schools but favors requiring students to be exposed to criticisms of Darwin ‘s theory. But whether you believe ID theory ought to get equal billing with Darwinian theory, some lesser treatment, or that students should at least be apprised of alleged chinks in the Darwinian armor, what’s all the fuss about?

Don’t academics purport to champion free and open inquiry? What, then, are they so afraid of regarding the innocuous introduction into the classroom of legitimate questions concerning Darwinism?

Don’t take my word for it. Consider the words of Darwinist Richard Lewontin of Harvard. “Our willingness,” confessed Lewontin, “to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to understanding the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for the unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment to materialism. … materialism is absolute for we cannot allow a divine foot in the door.”

…So is God the real bogeyman for some Darwinists? Is that why they fight to suppress any theory, like ID, they fear might allow God’s “foot in the door”?

…As one recent signatory, the prestigious Russian biologist Vladimir L. Voeikov said, “The ideology and philosophy of neo-Darwinism, which is sold by its adepts as a scientific theoretical foundation of biology, seriously hampers the development of science and hides from students the field’s real problems.” –David Limbaugh, excerpted from his article at 08.05.05.

Mother Nature?

Nature is but a name for an effect, whose cause is God. –William Cowper

Article contributed by Richard Vandagriff and Mark Zaveson

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