When You Believe Nothing, You Will Believe Anything

Folks often seem to go to one extreme or another.

On the one hand there are those who can get so stuck on one idea that they won’t consider or permit any thoughts, arguments, or evidence to the contrary. They automatically dismiss anything that might smack of opposition and hastily label it “rubbish”, “stupid”, or “academic”.

On the other hand, there are folks so open minded that their brains have fallen out. They are gullible enough to follow anyone and believe anything without questioning.

Too often people “hole up” with a pet belief that caters to their agenda — then they sit back and call everyone else either “closed-minded” because they won’t consider the pet belief; or, they will label others as “gullible” for not rejecting some idea that does not support the pet belief.

There are those who believe Christianity is about checking your brain at the door and living by “blind faith”. That Christians will ignore the “reality” that the world’s biased version of “science” presents.

Even within the religious community there are those that think the things of God are unknowable and we should never question. Teaching people not to think or ask questions just sets them up for falling into a cult.

To the contrary, Jesus assures us that we should ask, seek, and knock and expect an answer…

Luk 11:9 And I say to you, Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.

James goes on to assure us that God wants us to have wisdom…

Jam 1:5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and with no reproach, and it shall be given to him.

Jesus reaffirms the commandment says that we should include our mind in our worship of Him…

Mar 12:30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment.

Our goal should not be to live in one extreme or another. We should be 1) willing to critically examine evidence and follow where it leads; and, 2) seek until we find the answer that convinces us completely.

There are answers to our questions, and these answers are knowable. The secret is not to stop just when we feel “comfortable” with the answer. We should be sure of the answer regardless of how we feel about it, or how it might go contrary to our pet doctrines, beliefs, and vain philosophies of men.

Col 2:6-8 Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone rob you through philosophy and vain deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the elements of the world, and not according to Christ.

We are admonished to be firmly established in faith. To have a rooted, well grounded foundation to build upon. That way

The world’s definition of faith is believing something without (or even spite of) evidence — which is actually just wishful thinking or mental assent. So it is understandable that folks who have this definition in mind think that the Christian faith is just “blind” belief that flies in the face of reason.

Actually, the term “blind faith” is an oxymoron. The Bible definition of faith has at its core the concept that faith is the result of “knowing” something is true. That faith is based on and according to laws, precepts, and promises that existed before, and will exist long after our current physical existence. According to the Bible, there is nothing “blind” about faith. Conversely the Bible teaches that faith comes only after our eyes are opened.

Rom 10:17 Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Ours is NOT a “blind faith”. It is not just blindly accepting some traditions or what some clever personality pandering for money has said.

It is based on something confirm-able, repeatable, and has withstood the test of time. It is based on hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

Build a good foundation from God’s Word to stand on, for if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.

Steps to Financial Freedom

Step 1: Build up $1000 in savings for emergency (something that threatens life, limb, or ability to work)

Step 2: Increase your net worth
a. Do not do anything that increases your debt. No loans, credit cards, etc…
b. Sell off or donate things you don’t need
c. Exchange high payment items for lower payment items
d. Choose free or low cost activities instead of high price excursions
e. Do it yourself instead of hiring contractors
f. Do crafts for gifts instead of high price presents that end up in the trash, storage, or garage sale for 10cents. It’ll mean more anyway.
g. Look for ways to cut expenses and save money. Get rid of leeches. Do you really need 500 cable channels? Getting rid of extra gadgets will also lower utility bills.

Step 3: Pay your food and utility bills; then, minimums on each debt bill, and anything left over send to pay extra on the lowest debt first.

Step 4: Once the lowest debt is payed off, then add what you were paying to pay off the next lowest. Repeat 3 & 4 until all debt is paid off. This gets results fast, and snowballs quickly.

Step 5: If you’re not already, work up to giving at least 10% of what you make (before taxes) to God. Put the next 10% into savings and investments. Give to God first, and ‘pay yourself’ next.

Step 6: Pay bills, then put anything else toward building a secure, non-volatile but accessible nest egg of enough money to meet your living expenses for at least 3-6 months.

Step 7: You’re there! You have security and no debt. Now you can breath easier, formulate a new budget and set immediate (within this year), near term (within 5 years), and long term (college, retirement, etc) goals.
a. Continue giving at least the first 10% to God.
b. Budget around 45% into savings and investments (at least 10% to long term savings and the rest for immediate and near-term goals — buying a house, saving for college, vacations, car, etc).
c. You can now use the remainder for living expenses and anything left over is short term goals, gift giving, activities, and “mad-money”.

Implement some self discipline:
1. If you can’t buy it with cash, you don’t need it. If there is something you want, it is far more satisfying to set goals and save up for it.
2. There is no ‘good’ debt, and you don’t need a credit rating if you have the cash to pay for it.
3. A house is not an investment, it is a home. Don’t commit to more house than you need. If you feel you ‘have’ to carry a debt, your mortgage should be the only one and you should work to pay it off early. Do not get a second mortgage or equity loan, and do not refinance.
4. Do not loan money to friends or family. If you can’t afford to give it to them to keep, then don’t.


There is a widespread belief that ‘balance’ means mixing a little bad in with the good. There are religions, philosophies, and even doctrines taught in some Christian circles that teach everything good is balanced by something evil. Light is balanced by dark, yin-yang, and so forth.

According to the Bible, God created everything, and everything He created was Good. Evil was introduced later through the rebellion of satan and man. Evil is not an agent of balance, but a disease, a blemish, an abberation, an agent of rebellion.

God intended that Love provide the balance and bridge between His goodness and our badness.

Situational ethics

Situational ethics is just a way of saying you base your decisions only on a quick survey of the environment and jumping with whatever seems popular at the time. Either that, or the typical knee-jerk firefighting that all too often characterizes the contemporary manager.

Instead, one should make the best decision they can at the time based on ALL information available at the time. “All information available” includes not only the current state of the environment, but the experience and expertise of everyone involved as well as the moral and ethical codes that keep it all in proper perspective.

Moral and ethical codes are the tried and true values that have withstood the test of time.
Integrity should be used the filter the noise generated in an ever changing environment and allow focus on the really critical points that should drive a decision.


Forgiveness is NOT about avoiding “punishment”.

Forgiveness is all about rebuilding relationship.

When I break God’s law, I can seek His forgiveness and with Him, the eternal slate is wiped clean because of Jesus. It is Jesus who bore God’s wrath and took my punishment for me, and God has promised to remember my sins no more.

But, all too often, this can lead us to think forgiveness should wipe away ALL consequences as well. We then make the mistake of believing that God is punishing us for our sins, when we are merely reaping the fruit we have sown.

There is always damage from transgression. If I do something to violate another person’s trust, I can repent and seek forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the first step in rebuilding the relationship with that person, but it will take time to regain trust and see full restoration.

In addition to trust, I will still have to face all the temporal consequences of my actions.

If I have broken man’s law, then I will still have to face man’s judgment system.

If I have abused and not taken care of my body, then I will have to deal with the possibility of disease and/or disability.

If I have sinned against another person, then I may never regain the same level of relationship I had.

If my sin has caused death, then I, and others, will have to deal with the loss.

Follow up from Getting What You Deserve

Getting What You Deserve?

Recently I ran across a conversation concerning judges taking pity on sex offenders and acting with leniency in sentencing. The question was asked “Is he [the sex offender] any less deserving of prayer and forgiveness than any of us?”

Deserving? We ALL *deserve* to be cast into hell. We need to be grateful for God’s mercy in not getting what we deserve because of God’s grace in Christ.

Justice: getting the punishment you deserve
Mercy: not getting the punishment you deserve
Grace: being given blessings that you do not deserve

Offenders do not *deserve* pity, love, forgiveness. We do not love others because they are deserving of it or have a “right” to it. We choose to love because we are loved by God even when we were unlovable. Out of the abundance of God’s love poured out on us, we turn and love others.

When/If the offender repents and receives God’s mercy and grace, then the ETERNAL consequences of his actions are forgiven.

As individuals, we are to love everyone, even the worst of offenders. You can love a person, and at the same time, hate their sinful behavior. Part of love is to hold others accountable for their behavior (Prov 13:24).

True, it is in the best interest of the family and victims to forgive and move on — keeping in mind that forgiveness does not mean immediate restoration of position and trust, and does not mean that the offender escapes accountability for his behavior. As individuals, we are to forgive after the same manner that we are forgiven.

Governments, however, are bestowed with a different set of responsibilities.

Law was instituted because of the hardness of people’s hearts. Mercy bestowed on a loving person is appreciated and promotes better behavior. Pity bestowed on a cold-hearted person is interpreted by that person as a reward for their behavior, and promotes more of whatever behavior is rewarded.

Governments and judges are charged with the responsibility to hold offenders accountable for the temporal consequences of their behavior. When they fail to do this, it comes across to society as permissiveness, advocating, and promotion of that behavior.

What this judge is saying is that it is OK, excusable, and justifiable to molest a child.

Instead of pitying the offender, what about the victims?

When is it OK for someone to act out their own selfish desires on an innocent child? What about the children whose lives have been ripped apart at the seams? Seems to me if anyone was to deserve pity, it would be the victim.

notes on homeschooling

– time with kids
– time as kids
– learn skills from a variety of ages instead of from a gang of 60 children of the same age
– learn to communication with people of different ages and backgrounds
– development of relationships is more important than accumulation of information or wealth (can’t take wealth with you, but relationships you build can literally last for eternity)
– closer, stronger family
– development of traditions
– exposure in a controlled environment to inoculate against destructive thinking
– Biblical world view
– love of learning
– learn to reason and think critically
– desire to learn
– learn how to form own opinion
– create ability/desire to research for oneself
– keep challenged
– spend extra time on difficult areas
– content and quality control
– learn “why” of history, instead of focus on who, where, when
– more options, variety, broad spectrum
– one on one
– individualized instruction