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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sunspots 619

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: A Christianity Today writer tells us why Down Syndrome children are valuable.

Fox News reports that some Muslim refugees are converting to Christianity, in Europe.

(and health) From a blog: "What I'll say to my Children if I'm Diagnosed with Alzheimer's." (Thanks to a regular reader for the link.)

Ethics: A Sojourners article says that President Trump's lies are putting us on the brink of a moral crisis. The article notes other lies from other Presidents, but claims that Mr. Trump's lies are bolder, more frequent, and, apparently, deliberate.

History: The History Blog reports on a toilet seat that was made nearly 2,000 years ago.

Listverse tells us 10 interesting things about trains. (Some of these are about Japanese trains.)

Humor: (sort of) Listverse tells us 10 stupid things that the CIA did years ago.

Politics: FiveThirtyEight and other sources, including Scientific American, indicate that President Trump's recent roll-back of environmental regulations affecting coal won't have much effect -- the coal industry, and coal miners, aren't going to be helped significantly.

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 41

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:


If ye know these things happy are ye if ye do them. John 13:17.

Let us apply the preceding principles to a few practical matters such as are constantly coming up for decision.

1. A Call to the Ministry. A young man finds himself the subject of a strong impression to devote his life to the ministry.

He is an honest believer and anxious to make no mistake.

He knows that such an impression may come from Satan, or friends, or fancy, and desires not to be deceived on the one hand, nor to resist God on the other.

He commits all to God, asks for promised wisdom from above, and then proceeds to see if the leading bears the divine stamp: "S. R. P. R."

1. S. Is it Scriptural? It is evident that a call to the ministry is in harmony with the Word. So he does not need to tarry long at this point.

2. R. Is it Right for him to respond to such a call? If he finds that in so doing that his circumstances are such that he will be compelled to wrong his family, or his creditors, or others in so doing, that fact will settle the matter, either that the impression is not of God, or else that the time has not come to put it in practice. If, however, all is right he is prepared to pass to the next test.

3. P. [Providential] If the impression is of God the way will open for him to either begin the work or to prepare for it.

When God calls a person to preach he notifies the church of the fact, and she, if awake, opens the door for him. Sometimes, however, she is asleep, and hence does not hear this summons from her Head to this act.

I know of a young man whom God called to preach. The Word was "like fire shut up in his bones." His gifts were not as apparent on the surface as with some, and pastor and official board after considering his case, declined granting even an exhorter's license. He kept right with God and awaited providential indications. At once doors opened, and invitations came for him to aid in revival meetings. He did so. Great success attended his labors. Scores and hundreds were converted. The pastor and official board saw their mistake, and unsolicited, reconsidered his case, sent him local preacher's license, and he is now one of the most successful soul-winning pastors in the Michigan Conference.

The way always opens if the call is of God, for of all such it is written: "Behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it."

4. R. Next comes the application of the final test -- Is it reasonable?

A person unenlightened by the Holy Ghost, and trained to think that success lies only in the accumulation of cash would say no.

But God's child, with divinely anointed eyes, will see things differently.

If he has no voice or other gifts for the work, either hidden or manifest, that will settle the matter; but if he has, and the above tests are all met, then this one will soon be settled. Given the fact of over 800,000,000 souls who never heard the gospel, the fact that God has revealed it as His will that they shall all be reached as speedily as possible, the fact that the demand for a wise, consecrated Spirit-baptized ministry, is always greater than the supply, that a perfect avalanche of souls is rushing to doom each year, with no energetic, adequate effort being made to save them; and common sense responds in the affirmative, and these four voices through which God speaks to men's minds unite with the Spirit's call, and the conviction that he must preach becomes so strong that, like Paul, he feels, "Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel," and if the "fullness of the Spirit" be claimed, it will soon become the delight of his life.

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Sunspots 618

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: (And Politics) Christianity Today on how Hispanics, including some legally in the US, are now afraid to attend church (and for some valid reasons.)

Christianity Today also reports that recent executive orders are cutting off efforts to evangelize Muslims in the U. S. So is the attitude of white evangelical Christians, who are far more likely to fear Muslims and support the attempted travel bans than is the population at large.

Christianity Today discusses the importance of contemporary worship, and even defines it.

Finance: Listverse reports on 10 typos that led to some really awful consequences.

Health: The New York Times reports that, in Canada, people with cystic fibrosis live, on average, 10 years longer than they do in the US. The difference is mostly due to better insurance in Canada. The same report indicates that Canadians live about 2 years longer than Americans do.

Politics: (And Science) General Mattis, the newly installed US Secretary of Defense, believes that climate change is a real threat that our military needs to take seriously.

Shepard Smith, of Fox News, stated that that network had "no evidence of any kind that the now president of the United States was surveilled at any time in any way, full stop.”

Science: (And politics, unfortunately) The Weather Channel on why scientists believe that humans are contributing to climate change.

Wired warns us that the bananas many of us like to eat may soon be gone, because of the way we concentrate large agriculture on just "the best" types of plant.

FiveThirtyEight assesses the possibility of reproduction while in space, and finds that it's probably difficult or impossible for higher animals, based on very little research.

Wired has posted an amazing 4+ minute video of the surface of Mars. A longer video covers much the same material, but with on-screen captioning, so you can tell what you are seeing.

Image source (public domain)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Sins we can commit with our tongues

In spite of the title of this post, we aren't really capable of sinning with our tongues. Our heart, our brain, our character, commits sins, some of which are expressed by the tongue. (And also, in the 21st Century, by texting, e-mail, blogs, in print, and through social media.) As Jesus put it: Matt 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man.19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies. (All Bible quotations from the World English Bible, which is public domain.)
Note that the latter two are sins expressed by the tongue. The others, not so much. But all of them "come out of the heart."

There are some "tongue sins" mentioned in Scripture. Two of them are from the Ten Commandments:

Exodus 20:7 You shall not misuse the name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who misuses his name. (There is a text note in the WEB, as follows: or, You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain.)


16 You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. 

The first of these two would seem to indicate that careless use (is there any other kind?) of "OMG," or what that abbreviation stands for, is sinful. Perhaps a more serious violation of that commandment would be to claim that God wants someone to do (or not do) something, when that action, or inaction, is not really of God. Perhaps most of the Crusades were examples of such misuse of God's name, for example.

As to false testimony, probably most lying is also sinful. (But see "Lying, deceit and dishonesty in the Bible," which points out a few examples where God seemed to have condoned verbal deceit. In no case did God condone such deceit where it was to the unfair advantage of the deceiver over others, or where it was to escape a deserved penalty.) When in doubt, I should tell the truth, especially under oath.

Mat 5:22 says that we aren't to call anyone a fool. That would seem to include co-workers, family members, politicians that we disagree with, as well as others.

Paul warns against foolish talk in Ephesians 4:29 and 5:4. James 3:10 says that we shouldn't curse. Jesus said that we should not swear, but just speak the truth - Mat 5:37. See also James 5:12.

Gossip is idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others … (Wikipedia) See Romans 1:29, 2 Corinthians 12:20, 1 Timothy 5:13.

Slander is a false or malicious claim that may harm someone's reputation. (Wikipedia) See Matthew 15:19, Ephesians 4:31, Colossians 3:8, Psalm 101:5

There are other ways that we can sin with the tongue. One is to express pride in ourselves, or those in our family or group, to the low-rating of others. Another is that our talk may be overly self-centered, because we are overly self-centered. I can't document this, but someone said that there was a study done on phone conversations, and the word "I" occurred more often that any other. If I'm self-centered, I don't listen much, or at all. Using our tongue too much, when we should be attentively using our ears, can be sinful.

Enough of what we shouldn't do. What should we use our tongue for? 
David said:
Psalm 15:1 Yahweh, who shall dwell in your sanctuary?
Who shall live on your holy hill?
He who walks blamelessly and does what is right,
and speaks truth in his heart;
he who doesn’t slander with his tongue,
nor does evil to his friend,
nor casts slurs against his fellow man;
in whose eyes a vile man is despised,
but who honors those who fear Yahweh;
he who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and doesn’t change . . .
Isaiah 50:The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught,
that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary
It seems that the Bible teaches that the worst sin of the tongue is not any of those mentioned above. Rather, the worst sin of the tongue is failing to praise God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for who He is and what He has done. 

There are at least two hundred passages in the Bible about praising God. A few of them are below.

Revelation is a book that is difficult to interpret. But one thing seems clear. God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is to be praised:

Revelation 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

“Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty!
Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.
Who wouldn’t fear you, Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you only are holy.
For all the nations will come and worship before you.
For your righteous acts have been revealed.”
Luke 19:36 As he went, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 He answered them, “I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out.”
Hebrews 13:15 Through him, then, let’s offer up a sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of lips which proclaim allegiance to his name.
Acts 2:46 Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved.
Luke 23:46 Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”
There's plenty of praise in the Psalms, such as:
Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name.
For Yahweh is good.
His loving kindness endures forever,
his faithfulness to all generations.
Here's the last of the Psalms, in its entirety:
Psalm 150:1 Praise Yah!
Praise God in his sanctuary!
Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power!
Praise him for his mighty acts!
Praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet!
Praise him with harp and lyre!
Praise him with tambourine and dancing!
Praise him with stringed instruments and flute!
Praise him with loud cymbals!
Praise him with resounding cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise Yah!
Praise Yah!
May my tongue be an expression of my integrity, uplift others, and praise God. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 40

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:

One Must be Dead. Dead to sin, to self, and dead to the world.

So dead to all voices from sinful and doubtful sources that they will influence our actions no more than if they had been silent. In the stillness of the funeral of self the voices from the skies are clearly heard. Therefore, "likewise reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Be Filled with the Spirit. This is the all important preparation. It includes all of the others. It gives an insight into Satan's devices that can be possessed in no other way. It gives the ears a keen discernment that will detect the slightest deviation of any impression from the four-fold harmony.

"To him who is crucified to self," says Dr. Watson; "The Holy Spirit grants an illumination and direction, incomprehensible to imperfect believers. He can discern in the providence of the Father a special significance and minuteness which others are blind to. He can detect clear indications of God's will in the written Word which others grossly stumble over, and besides these he can hear that inner voice of the Spirit, can know the touches of a divine finger on his soul impelling him along his
God-given orbit."

Fully possessed of the Spirit, the soul becomes a magnet which draws to itself all good impressions, but leaves the dross behind.

It is, therefore, a qualification of being divinely led of such paramount importance that Jesus would allow no preacher, after the opening of the Holy Ghost dispensation, to go forth without it, and the church in its purity as it came fresh from the mind of God selected only those thus filled to oversee her temporal concerns. Acts 6:3.

He who meets the above conditions will be at his best to discern the nature of all impressions. Though like Job he may sometimes be sorely tried, yet God will not permit him to "walk in darkness."

Above all the din of voices which are not divine, he will be able to hear the still small voice saying: "This is the way, walk ye in it." Though Satan may come as an "angel of light," yet his presence will pale before the celestial sunshine which illuminates within, and his icy waves of false light will be lost amid the burning beams of the sun which never sets. Hallelujah! 

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.   

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunspots 617

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

The Arts: The prize-winning Welcome image award winners, science-related graphics.

Christianity: (and History) Christianity Today gives brief biographies of five women every Christian should know about.

(and Science) Paul Nelson, one of the experts interviewed in the new film, "Is Genesis History?" wishes that he had said something additional to what was recorded of him on film. To specify, he believes that there are more than two alternative beliefs about origins, and, thus, more than one belief which may be held by Christians.

Benjamin L. Corey tells us that reading the Bible is probably not as simple as some of us think it is.

Computing: GhostBrowser should be useful to some of you. You can be connected to more than one Facebook (or other such sites) site at one time.

Gizmo's Freeware reports on two items, both available through your browser. One web site tells you your IP address, and the other tells you your screen resolution.

History: (And Humor, and The Arts) Listverse reports on 10 valuable items found, and purchased cheaply, in Thrift stores (Goodwill, etc.).

Literature: (and Christianity, and The Arts) Ken Schenck, an expert in philosophy, Christianity, and more, reviews The Shack, (The book, not the film) herehereherehere and here. See also a post by E. Stephen Burnett, about the book. Burnett is less happy than Schenck seems to be, but, as he says, it's complicated.

Politics: Wired assures us that nobody is spying on us by means of our microwave ovens.

Science: Mars is the planet most like earth, but FiveThirtyEight tells us that getting there, and living there, will be difficult.

National Public Radio reports on major steps toward synthesizing the genome of yeast organisms. Are humans next?

Listverse reports that there are laws or treaties in place to cover the possibility of contact with an alien race.

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 39

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:

Humility. The proud, self-willed man seeks not to know God's voice. Voices from below with him drown out all others. Not the haughty but "the meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way." From the wise and prudent and self-sufficient, God's guidance is hid, but "revealed unto babes," the teachable, humble, Christlike.

Dependence on God. It is fatal to divine guidance to trust unduly in self, or friends, or books. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding."

Human understanding is finite and errs. God's is infinite and can not err. Hence the "whole heart" of him who would be divinely led must go out to God for the knowledge of His perfect will.

Guidance Must be Claimed. Jesus says of this as of all His priceless gifts: "Ask, and ye shall receive."

Must be Sought with Pure Motives. Of those who seek for selfish ends it is written: "Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss."

Be Prepared for Surprises. God very probably will not decide as you expect.

"You must remember," writes the author of The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, "that our God has all knowledge and all wisdom, and that, therefore, it is very possible He may guide you into paths wherein He knows great blessings are awaiting you, but which to the short-sighted human eyes around you seem sure to result in confusion and loss. You must recognize the fact that God's thoughts are not as man's thoughts, nor his ways as man's ways; and that He who knows the end of things from the beginning, alone can judge of what the results of any course of action may be."

When Saul of Tarsus cried out: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" the answer was doubtless as surprising to him as a stroke of lightning from a clear sky; but he was ready for the surprise and welcomed it.

When I asked God to reveal His will to me concerning my life-work, I had no more idea of many things that have since been revealed than a heathen has of holiness or heaven.

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.   

Friday, March 10, 2017

God's goodness

God is good.
God’s original creation was good.
We can overcome evil with good.
There is good news!

There are over 600 occurrences of “good,” or variations on it, in scripture. Below is a sample. Many of these are much like other occurrences not listed. Warning: all of them are out of context! Quotes are from the public domain World English Bible.

Genesis 1:31a God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (In this chapter, there are six previous references to a good creation.)

Psalm 31:19a Oh how great is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you,

Psalm 34:8 Oh taste and see that Yahweh is good. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Psalm 16:2 My soul, you have said to Yahweh, “You are my Lord. Apart from you I have no good thing.

Psalm 84:11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.

Psalm 106:1 Praise Yahweh! Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever. (A similar phrase occurs in several Psalms.)

Amos 5:15a Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the courts.

Nahum 1:15a Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace!

Matthew 12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things. (Luke 6:43 For there is no good tree that produces rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that produces good fruit.)

Matthew 19:17 He said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God.

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, 19 and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Quoting Isaiah 62:1-2)

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Acts 13:32 We bring you good news of the promise made to the fathers …

Romans 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 12:21 Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Test all things, and hold firmly that which is good.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. 18 Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Sunspots 616

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

The Arts: (and Sports) National Public Radio reports on how to practice effectively.

Christianity: A Relevant writer tells us that worship may be personal, but it isn't private.

Computing: Gizmo's Freeware has posted about a utility which can find deleted files.

Ethics: National Public Radio reports that scientists have been able to culture human embryos for 14 days or more, and discusses the ethical implications of this.

Food: A Relevant writer says that 40% of the food in the US is thrown away, and that's a stewardship problem.

Health: NPR says that, if you wonder what happened to a supposed miracle cure of some kind, wonder no more. About half of news stories about medical breakthroughs are about items that are found not to really help us.

Politics: (sort of) Listverse discusses alternative facts.

Wired on Mr. Trump's accusation of illegal wiretaps by the Obama administration.

Science: Scientific American says that the District of Columbia cherry trees will probably bloom earlier this year than they ever have.

National Public Radio reports on possible finding of the oldest fossils ever found.

Image source (public domain)

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp, 38

In a previous excerpt, Knapp stated that there are four features of "impressions" from God. These are Scriptural; Right (consistent with good morals); Providential (in harmony with God's will); and Reasonable. His discussion of "Impressions from Above" continues:

Patience. "Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him." Jesus never seemed hurried, and yet how busy!

He who tramples beneath his feet the great Scriptural truth that "He that believeth shall not make haste," and is too hurried to candidly canvass the matter, and closes his eyes to reason and God's providences, is "too much possessed of self or Satanic influences" to be led by holy influences. In order to be divinely led we must, says Upham, "cease from self and from its turbulent and deceitful elements; cease to place ourselves and our personal interests foremost and keep our own plans, purposes and aims in entire subjection. For instance, when we ask God to guide us, we must not at the same time cherish in our hearts a secret determination and hope to guide ourselves. . . . The existence of undue eagerness of spirit is an evidence that we are in some degree afraid to trust God, and that we are still too much under the life of nature."

God says:" Be still and know that I am God," and such stillness is frequently necessary to enable one to discern the harmony of the four voices through which God speaks to the soul.

All who can say with the psalmist, "I waited patiently for the Lord," will soon with him be able to add: "And He inclined unto me and heard my cry."

He who attempts to test impressions in a nervous and hurried way, is as unwise as he who would listen to a response from a telephone in that manner. In both cases confusion instead of satisfaction will be the result.

Excerpted from Impressions, by Martin Wells Knapp. Original publication date, 1892. Public domain. My source is here. The previous post in the series is here.  

Friday, March 03, 2017

Homosexual activism and public opinion - what about adultery?

I recently read an article, entitled "The six ways homosexual activists manipulate public opinion." (The article was published in 2012.) The "six ways" included "claim victim status." The article concentrated on that, and discussed hate crimes against homosexuals, and how homosexuality is treated in college campus discourse and regulations. There is documentation for these two ideas, in particular. In the first place, the author claims that most crimes against homosexuals are perpetrated by other homosexuals, and that there are also more crimes by homosexuals against heterosexuals than the reverse. In the second place, university policies often seem to suppress any suggestion that homosexual activity might be sinful, and students, and sometimes faculty, are sometimes punished for saying so. Christian student groups have been severely penalized for refusing to allow practicing homosexuals to be group officers.

I don't doubt either of these claims, although I have no easy way to check them. I have seen other documentation of the second claim, and, expanding it, believe that speaking about what the Bible says about homosexuality is coming to lead to disagreement, and even legal penalties, in society at large. (See my post on how "hate speech" is coming to include merely saying that I think homosexual activity is condemned in the Bible.)

OK. Suppose these claims are true. One thing that would have been expected to happen is that homosexuals would appear more often in films, books and TV programs, and other media. Does anyone doubt that this has happened?

But the alarmism seems a bit odd, or at least not broad enough. It is doubtful that most homosexuals have agreed to adopt a particular agenda towards achieving acceptance and suppressing resistance to acceptance, even though they usually seem to want acceptance of their behavior. It's hard to organize any group that large. 

But, more important, where is the alarm over adultery and various forms of heterosexual sex outside of marriage, which have gradually become more "acceptable" over the past decades? Adulterers, and sexual partners without marriage, have made great inroads into popular culture, and, currently, there doesn't seem to be much said about that. Most of the sexual activity, implied, or actually shown, on network television, and, apparently, on pay-for-view sources such as HBO, is between heterosexual people who aren't married. I'm guessing that most pornography is heterosexual in nature, not homosexual. People who have committed adultery, or had sexual relations without marriage, are accepted, even sometimes put forward as role models. For an obvious example, few people, or none, seem to have been bothered by the adultery committed by the current President of the US (before he was a serious candidate). This is not to attack Mr. Trump, or to deny the possibility that he has been forgiven of that sin, but to indicate the widespread acceptance of adultery in our society, even by many so-called conservative Christians. In Mr. Trump's case, especially by conservative Christians.

To put it another way, Democrats often seem to accept, even glorify, homosexual behavior. Republicans are less likely to, but they seem to accept heterosexual sins, including adultery, which, after all, is forbidden by one of the Ten Commandments. At least as long as the heterosexual sinners claim to be against big government.

I quote from a previous post:
Is homosexual activity the worst sin? No. See what Jesus said in comparing Sodom to the people of his day, in Matthew 11:20-24, and Luke 10:1-12Romans 1 indicates that homosexual behavior is a symptom of a worse sin, idolatry or unbelief.

Homosexual activity is not even the worst sexual sin -- it's not part of the 10 commandments. There's a list of curses for sinful activity in Deuteronomy 27:15-26. Four such were curses for sexual misconduct, and they didn't include homosexual activity. (That does not, of course, make homosexual activity acceptable for Christians. [Or anyone else])

Thanks for reading. This post was edited on March 27, 2017.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Sunspots 615

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Christianity: A Relevant writer says that we're called to serve immigrants, legal or illegal.

Health: (Sort of) Listverse has 10 descriptions, from people who died, or thought they would, on what it's like to die.

History: A report on the report of the finding and salvaging of the Hunley, the first submarine to bring down an enemy ship in war. The Hunley sunk in the Charleston, SC, harbor.

Listverse on why the Germans voted the Nazis into power.

Politics: Authorities in so-called Red States are working to eliminate the effects of climate change, but they don't call it that, according to Scientific American.

Science: Scientific American reports on the discovery of 7 planets, around a star that's "only" 40 light-years away, which planets may be suitable for life.

Scientific American also explains the mechanism of the poison that apparently was used to assassinate the half-brother of the North Korean leader.

Bees (not honeybees) have been shown to learn how to do a task by watching another bee do it, according to Nature.

Sports: (Not really) A Relevant writer says it's time for Sports Illustrated to stop publishing the annual swimsuit issue.

(And history) Listverse on 10 sporting events that influenced subsequent events strongly.

Image source (public domain)