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My men's group recently asked me to share with other on-line Christians some tools and methods I use to lessen the electronic threats inherent to the Internet. So I wrote Electronic Hedges For OnLine Christians in March 2003 originally as an email. I decided to publish it here to increase availabliltiy and keep it updated. 'Tis a bit long but worth the read. I'll be reformatting it by catagory sometime to improve the readability.

Chuck Swindoll's "Insight For Living" has good Internet usage resources. Several of these resources feature Joe Dallas who is pretty sharp. Also, this related site is a good resource for recovering from sexual addiction.

Pardon my Blog...

Charles Colson founded Prison Fellowship after his conviction in the Watergate scandal some years ago. He emails well-thought commentaries every day or so called BreakPoint . Although I don't always agree with his analysis of an issue, his analysis is still thought-provoking and worthy of honest critique.

Sometimes his comments resonate a chord in me. Thus was the case when he wrote about "Academic Fables and Myths":
    ...the powerful myth that 'truth is whatever you sincerely believe.' It holds that, if you believe it, then it's 'true for you' and rules of logic and evidence don't apply.
Although the article applies to New Age beliefs, I find them also applicable to much of the pop-theology that passes for American Christianity. As a Christian employed in the sciences, this stings me deeply. I cannot fathom God giving us a logical brain useful in a logic-based existence and forcing us to embrace illogic to understand Him or the world around us. Insufficient data to draw a conclusion is one issue. But conclusions based on dreams and guesses are completely another, regardless of sincerity or basis in misapplied science or misinterpreted scripture. It is a poor scientist who cannot admit "I don't know" and fills the void with garbage.

If you are struggling with illogical teachings, be assured that you aren't alone and God is on your side. Jesus addressed the same struggles in Matthew 5 and 6, often called the "Sermon On The Mount". In Matthew 5:17, Jesus states his intent when he said:
    "Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."
Jesus immediately launches into addressing their hearsay beliefs ("You have heard it said") by stating what His Father meant by those scriptures and teachings. Basically, Jesus was attacking the pop-theology of his time, trying to straighten out the mess that others had made by misinterpreting the Scriptures.

And here we are, 2000 years later, a different set of people, Christian and non, fighting the same battle: "what do/should I believe about God?" We have basically the same old paganism repackaged as "New Age" for today's audience or some other guesswork-laden theology surfacing as the latest pop-theology. Like passing on an unwanted Christmas gift; "new" teachings are the same "old" teachings in a new box with different bow!

Now, of course, if you are depending on some little commentary in some little corner of the web (like this one) to solve this for you, TOO FREAKING BAD! But if you are trying to gather more information using "rules of logic and evidence" to make your conclusions, then God Bless you! This is a fight worth fighting.

Interesting observation:
"Of all musical instruments, I like the organ least. Christianity was mainly associated, for me, with ugly architecture, ugly music, and bad poetry." -- CS Lewis

Another Interesting observation:
A young boy complains to his father that most of the church hymns are boring to him because they are so far behind the times. His father becomes angry and states that "the hymns are good enough for your Grandfather and me, and they will serve you just as well". But the teenager says that not only are the tunes boring, but the words are meaningless ... the songs are just too old fashioned. Putting an end to the discussion, his father says to him, "Well, if you think you can write better hymns, then why don't you?" The son says that he will. He goes to his room and writes his first hymn.

The year was 1690, the teenager was Isaac Watts, and the hymn was "Behold the Glories of the Lamb". During the next few years he wrote other songs. "We're marching to Zion", "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross", and "Joy to the World" are among the almost 350 hymns he created. The lyrics were his own but sometimes the melodies were similar in origin to Luther's ... seized from the streets or from popular theatre.
-- Larry Norman, 1971

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