Two Talents

Faith-based expressions of a Christian.

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The King James Version of the bible

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I do not care for the KJV. I find it hard to read, frequently difficult to understand and outdated. My reasons for this are because it uses a form of English that we have never known, and which has not been common for centuries. Granted, it’s prose can sometimes sound stately (Psalm 23, for instance), but I’ve found that I commonly have to read a passage more than once in the KJV to grasp it because the language is foreign to me.

There are some zealots who believe that the KJV is the only inspired translation of God’s word. These folks are King James Only (KJO) advocates. They eschew modern translations as inferior and lacking. Amongst the most hardcore of the KJO crowd is the belief that  modern translations are the work of Satan himself and an outward proof of your lack of faith and salvation. Yes, the hardcore KJO crowd believes that if you use another translation you are not saved, thereby making use of the King James bible a legalistic work required for salvation. They also state that where there are any disagreements between manuscripts and the KJV, you side with the KJV. This is horrendous scholarship, since a bible translation comes from manuscripts, not the other way around, but KJO people must resort to such absurd lengths in attempts to validate their beliefs. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

April 16, 2010 at 3:10 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Adultery

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“You shall not commit adultery.”  {Exodus 20:14}

Adultery is the sin committed when one married person engages in sexual relations with someone other than their spouse. It is one of the Ten Commandments so we therefore know it’s a big deal to God. And should you be one of those who places importance upon the sin based upon where it falls on the list of the Ten Commandments, this one is listed right after the sin of murder and right before the sin of theft. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

April 14, 2010 at 5:06 am

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Mark Kielar on the prosperity gospel and helping the poor

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Written by Shawn

April 12, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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The morality of health care

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Try as I might, I can’t ignore this political issue. Yet.

There are two moral positions to consider when it comes to so-called “Obamacare”; the universal, or nationalized (i.e. government controlled) health care law of the land. The first is the easy position, which is that there are people in this nation who do not have health insurance. To hold to a belief that such is their tough luck is not only decidedly un-Christian, it’s also immoral. After all, isn’t the moral position one of equality for all and not wanting people to either be unable to seek proper health care, or to be placed in a position of financial ruin if they do? Of course, it’s not as simple an argument as that, because some Americans have access to health insurance but choose to not obtain it. Those folks convolute the situation, but even if we ignore them we still find a substantial number of Americans who do not have health insurance due to legitimate reasons.

On the other side of the coin is the cost of insuring those who are without health insurance because of legitimate reasons. If the cost issue were nothing more than me losing an extra $10 from each paycheck it would be difficult for me to argue against it, given the morality equation involved. If, however, insuring those without imperils the nation at large we encounter the moral issue of whether it is right to help a few at the ultimate great expense of the many. And by “great expense” I mean something beyond personal financial consequence. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Shawn

March 26, 2010 at 4:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Obamacare

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I am trying to avoid politics but since this is the talk of the nation I’ll throw in my two cents worth. I have been opposed to the House, Senate and Obama versions of health care, and here are my reasons why.

  1. We are already deeply in debt, teetering on the verge of being crippled economically for a very long period of time (if we haven’t already reached the tipping point). These versions of health care “reform” are incredibly expensive. We simply cannot, under any circumstances, afford to add to our already enormous debt. And to vote on pending legislation before everyone with a vote has read it, before it can be debated and before the Congressional Budget Office has weighed in with cost analysis is irresponsible and harmful to our nation.
  2. They can term it what they want but until certain issues are addressed it is not true reform. One of those issues is tort reform. The cost of insurance against malpractice suits is ridiculous for doctors. This gets passed along to someone in the end because doctors and hospitals are not going to absorb it (you needn’t have a degree in Business Administration to grasp that costs are passed on to the consumer). Trial lawyers are in bed with the Democratic Party and they don’t want this, so neither do the Democrats. Howard Dean, of all people, has admitted to that. Trial lawyers benefit from a litigious society; the reverse is not true. It is past due that this matter be addressed and some sanity be enacted. Also, buying off Congress members in exchange for their votes (i.e. the “Louisiana Purchase”) is nothing short of graft, bribery and should result in all parties involved being indicted for corruption.
  3. The Obamacare plan won’t kick in fully until 2014. If it passes do you trust the government to keep their hands off of the money allocated to it until 2014? I don’t. And what if, for whatever reason(s), medical costs increase between now and 2014? In either case the plan will begin in the red. Further, even if the government did not touch the monies allocated for Obamacare and costs did not increase, I am entirely certain that the government will find a way to make this cost more than projected. Either the estimates will end up being off or they will simply screw it up, but it will end up being over budget. As proof I ask this question: Please provide me with one government program that has consistently stayed within its budget, and whose budget has not swelled yearly. No such government entity exists that I know of.
  4. I fear that nationalized health care will result in 2-3 huge companies that are the only providers of private insurance. Smaller companies will be bought out or go out of business. Unless there are intelligent regulations put in place to deal with them, having such a small number of mega insurance companies providing 100% of the private insurance is bad for the consumer.
  5. If costs for private insurance goes up, and it seems certain to, what is to stop employers from saying, “If we get rid of health insurance for our employees we will save a ton of money, and they can go on the public dole and still have insurance, so let’s get rid of it”? Frankly, if I’m in charge of the bottom line at a corporation, a university or a smaller business I would be foolish to not seriously consider this.
  6. Speaking of small businesses, there will be a penalty for not providing insurance. Employers large enough to absorb it might find that the penalty is less than the cost of providing insurance. Small business, however, has no such option. If I own a coffee shop, or a landscaping business, and I simply cannot afford to provide my employees with health care, and the penalty for that is equally steep, I’m left with little choice but to go out of business. Our government, and Democrats in particular, are forever making it more and more difficult for small businesses to survive, let alone prosper. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy; slay them at your own peril.
  7. Why do citizens in Canada and Great Britain, two nations with nationalized health care, come to the U.S. for certain procedures? Why do those nations have waiting lists for major procedures, like heart surgeries and joint replacements? Because some policy wonk who works for the government has deigned the pecking order of health care procedures, not medical professionals. The man who performs my eye exams at Wal-Mart told me that if during an exam he finds that I have a serious ocular health issue he can pick up the phone and have an appointment for me to see a specialist in 3 days, maximum. And if it were a life-threatening issue he could arrange for me to be in surgery in one or two days, tops. He told me that under a nationalized health care plan he would be forced to navigate procedural red tape that would only add to the time it took for me to be cared for. He’s a doctor, so I take him at his word.
  8. I suspect that many who are in favor of Obamacare do not have insurance. To them I say: If the legislation is not good for the country please don’t support it. Why would you imperil our nation and our children’s future just to get health care coverage? Please do not punish everyone just because you do not have health care insurance!
  9. Look, of those who are uninsured many (who knows the exact number) have it available to them but opt not to obtain it because of cost. If it would mean you could not pay your monthly rent or mortgage payment I understand. If, however, it would mean that you cannot live the lifestyle you wish to have (i.e. no Droid cell phone,  no cable Internet and no Dish TV) then you are being incredibly selfish, not to mention uncharitable. My wife and I scraped along for the first several years of our marriage, living paycheck to paycheck, hoping to eventually improve ourselves. We did ultimately do things like purchase a new car and a home, but only because we made sacrifices along the way. And when we were making sacrifices I wanted a cell phone, like everyone else I knew had. I wanted a home, like nearly everyone I knew had. I wanted a new car, like many people I knew had. I wanted for my wife to buy a new wardrobe, like some people I knew could. However, luxuries have to wait until you have established yourself financially. If that means having to live frugally for 10 years but having health insurance, so be it. Life isn’t always what we believe to be fair. Was the life of Jesus fair? No! So please do not feel that you are owed something that the rest of us worked for, just because our society deems it a right.
  10. This is an extension of #9, but I am separating it for emphasis. I worked in my career field for 15 years before we bought a home! I worked in my career field for 17 years before we bought a new car! I worked in my career field for 19 years before we had a second computer in the home. I worked in my career field for 19 years before I bought a second new car (5 years after the first one we’d bought), which replaced the truck I’d been driving for 16 years!! If you expect to have everything my wife and I worked for in short order, without a salary that would allow for it, you will just have to wait like we did. Do not dare to insist that I make your life as comfortable as you desire it to be just so you can have free health care.

I suppose I ranted more the further I went, but I feel strongly about this matter. The incredibly sad thing about this is that capable minds, with input from people who have expertise in the field, could fashion true health care reform that offered insurance to those who truly cannot afford it without punishing those who have it and are gainfully employed. But that’s not how our government works, and so it appears we will end up with a monstrosity that only drags us further into the abyss as a nation.

Written by Shawn

March 18, 2010 at 5:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Worth reading

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Dan Phillips and Phil Johnson have responded to their atheist atagonists at the Pyromaniacs blog. You can read Phillips’ entry here and Johnson’s follow-up here. As is the custom with thier work, both are well done and, in my view, worth reading.

Written by Shawn

March 13, 2010 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Pat Robertson: Rider on the Storm

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Pat Robertson is claiming God spoke to him, though he isn't sure he heard God correctly. 

"If I heard the Lord right about 2006, the coasts of America will be lashed by storms," Robertson said May 8.

Okay, if God spoke to me and I wasn't sure I heard Him correctly, I'd ask a confirmation or follow-up question. Granted, God may not field that question, but I doubt he'd leave me uncertain of what He said. Then again, I don't believe God speaks to man this way anymore either–the time of God speaking through prophets ended when Christ was born.

Not only is Robertson claiming this, he got even more specific on his show this past Wednesday:

"There well may be something as bad as a tsunami in the Pacific Northwest," he said.

Predicting that there will be storms on the coasts of our country is a gimmie. Predicting no storms would be novel, but to predict that there will be storms on coastal areas is like predicting that the sun may shine in Miami. Making this more confusing is that Robertson claims to have been told this some months ago.

The founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network has told viewers of "The 700 Club" that the revelations came to him during his annual personal prayer retreat in January.

In the days of the true prophets, God did not expect them to tarry after He had given them a message to share. Unless He instructed them to do so He expected them to share the message with whom He'd told them to share it. So why did Robertson wait almost 5 months to share this message?

Of course, Pat Robertson hasn't shown that he's a believable prophet of God, even if you think God does still speak to man in this way:

Robertson has come under intense criticism in recent months for suggesting that U.S. agents should assassinate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine retribution for Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip.

God's people should not be calling for the assassination of foreign leaders, even if they are Commie egomaniac pot-stirrers. Also, we've no idea whether Sharon's stroke was for the reason cited by Robertson or due to something else, like, for instance, because he was/is quite obese and likely ate a poor diet.

If we have storms on the coasts, and we will, Robertson can claim authenticity. A tsunami is a rare thing, and if it does not come to pass I'm sure Robertson can give us some justifiable reason for that, such as God changed His mind, etc. Maybe he could blame Hugo Chavez for that.

Moral of the story: Don't trust anyone on this earth to speak for God. Let God speak for Himself. His words are found in the Bible. What mankind says about God is either their interpretation of the Bible (which could be right or wrong) or their personal opinion. Or, perhaps, they are just making it up for some reason.  

Written by Shawn

May 19, 2006 at 2:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized