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Songs of Sacrilege: Sin City by Genitorturers

This is the fifteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is Sin City by the Genitorturers, an industrial metal band from the United States.

Video Link

Lyrics

When the tracks are leading home to the limits of hell
We’ll yell, life sure is swell! In Sin City
In the streets where the servants of silence dwell
The visions of the wicked are sure to sell! In Sin City
On the quickest strip goin’, cum holy high rollin’ with me
Get you cash cup flowin’, cum holy high rollin” with me
Let your holy mother blow your fears away
Get on your knees and play!
In the heat where the Savior of Sodom dwells
Join hands with the women who squirm in hell, In Sin City
Because the lord has mercy on the women who sell
Their pussies to the preachers who burn in hell, In Sin City
The Devil’s home for the depraved
Where the souls are never saved
That’s why the holy rollers say
Get on you knees and pray
To breathe in Sin City
To lie in Sin City
Get high in Sin City
Let your holy water wash away your shame
Cause the judgment day is just another game
On your knees and pray!

Satan is Behind the Push in Ohio to Legalize Marijuana

jesus

According to Bryan, Ohio resident L. Jay Nafziger, Satan, the head toker himself, is behind efforts to legalize marijuana in Ohio. Nafziger had this to say in a letter to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News:

Did legalizing alcohol in the USA make our world a better place to live in? Why not ask one of the thousands  who have had a loved one tragically killed by a drunk driver.

Did legalizing abortion make the world a better place to live in? Definitely not for the millions of unborn children who never had the chance to live outside the womb.

Has legalized tobacco smoking made the world a better place to live in? Long before medical science “proved” that cigarette smoke is not good for the smoker or anyone else, good, old-fashioned, outdated, uncommon, common sense could tell a person that drawing smoke of any kind into your lungs over a period of time will probably cause problems.

So who is to say that legalizing pot will make the world a better place to live in? Time and time again, many FDA  approved “safe” prescription drugs have been pulled off the market because they were found to be “not so safe” after all.

I will admit that I think it is hypocritical for any government, society or culture to accept and allow alcohol, abortion and tobacco while not allowing marijuana. But then, on the other hand, how about this gateway drug thing? If marijuana is legalized, why not heroin and methamphetamine, and why limit prescription drugs?

Why not get rid of all hypocrisy and judgement and let anyone do anything they want to at anytime as long as they are not “hurting” someone else? And it could all be so good for the economy! Did you just detect my sarcasm?

The greatest evil of all is not alcohol, abortion, tobacco or marijuana, but Satan himself, the father of lies. One of his biggest lies is that we (human beings created in the image of God) can/should disregard the laws (ten commandments) of God (creator of the universe and everything in it) and instead, find happiness and fulfillment in life by “doing our own thing if it feels good, do it.” Then, when we get into trouble and aren’t feeling so good, he (Satan) offers us a short term solution or “fix” like alcohol, abortion, tobacco or marijuana, which can ultimately cause us more pain and dissolution than we had in the beginning.

My  new,  progressive,  updated,  upgraded,  evolved  mindset of 2015 says, “No, do not legalize pot.” Any outdated mindset that keeps another “evil” from being legalized is far better than any updated mindset that says “smoking marijuana is good for you.” How can a person know for sure that they are not being lied to, not by just another human being but by Satan himself?

God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. John 3. 17.

Jesus is the way, not cannibas. Jesus is the truth, not cannibas. Jesus is the light, not cannibas.

I think Nofziger’s letter speaks for itself. He asks “did you just detect my sarcasm?” No, but I did detect the signs of a fundamentalist lobotomy.

I have several questions for Nofziger. If God is the creator of everything, who created marijuana? And tobacco? And alcohol? If drinking alcohol is a sin, was Jesus sinning when he drank wine and turned the water into wine? What about the verses in the Bible that suggest giving a sick and dying man alcohol to ease his suffering? If marijuana can ease the suffering of someone, shouldn’t they be permitted to use it?

I did like the last sentence of his letter: Jesus is the way, not cannibas. Jesus is the truth, not cannibas. Jesus is the light, not cannibas. Ignoring the fact that Nofziger misspelled cannabis, I think Christians churches should start an evangelistic campaign that touts the superiority of Jesus to being high on marijuana. Get High on Jesus!

reefer madness

Reefer Madness

Songs of Sacrilege: We’re All Going to Hell by The Bastard Fairies

This is the fourteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is We’re All Going to Hell  by The Bastard Fairies, an American music group from Los Angeles.

Video Link

Lyrics

All you Mormons who like cussing, you are going to hell
All you preachers who like fucking, you are going to hell
Little boys that choke the chicken, you are going to hell
It’s the nature of evolution, the dinosaurs went to hell

-CHORUS-
Hell hell hell it’s a wonderful place
It’s a place of fire and brimstone

All you Christian politicians, you are going to hell
Magic Jesus apparitions send you to hell
Buddhist monks without god you are going to hell
Those of you dissecting frogs, you are going to hell

CHORUS

(talking)
I need a beer
-Can opening-
Ha-ha that was pretty good
Ahh. Okay

All you Catholics wearing condoms, you are going to hell
All us fatties eating bonbons, we are going to hell
Unbaptized babies learn to limbo, purgatory is hell
And your religion is a gamble and you are going to hell

CHORUS

Check this shit out x 2
It’s gunna change your life x2

There once was a man who thought that if he ate all the pages in the bible he could kill most anything
In 1913 he died of a stroke when he tried to eat the book of kings

Eat the book of kings x2

Songs of Sacrilege: Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones

This is the thirteenth installment in the Songs of Sacrilege series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Today’s Song of Sacrilege is  Sympathy for the Devil by The Rolling Stones.

Video Link

Lyrics

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
I’ve been around for a long, long year
Stole many a man’s soul to waste

And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the Tsar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general’s rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(Woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
Who killed the Kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me
(Who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I’m a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(Woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(Who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(Who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what’s confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(Woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
(Who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
(Woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politnesse
Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
(Who who)
But what’s puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
(Woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(Woo woo)

Tell me baby, what’s my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what’s my name
I tell you one time, you’re to blame

Oh, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What’s my name
Tell me, baby, what’s my name
Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name my name is rick I say

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who rick
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo

 

IFB Doctorates: Doctor, Doctor, Doctor, Everyone’s a Doctor

ifb preachers importance

I know a lot of Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) preachers who love being called Doctor.  They expect church members to call them Doctor and their undoctored colleagues bow in reverence to them. In the IFB church movement, to have a doctorate means you have arrived, that your dick is bigger than your fellow pastors.  Having a doctorate gives one an air of importance and respectability. Go to any of the big IFB conferences and you’ll find the scheduled speakers list littered with the names of men who have a doctorate. But, here’s the thing, the majority of preachers sporting a doctorate didn’t earn it. Most likely, one of their preacher buddies, who just so happens to run an unaccredited college, gave them their doctorate. Or, they did minimal coursework at one of many IFB diploma mills. Either way, their doctorate is nothing more than the plume of a peacock. Look, look, look at me, I am special, I am important, I am a Doctor.

Even at the IFB college, university, and seminary level, many of the professors have doctorates that were granted to them by the institution they are teaching at or some other unaccredited college. I spent 25 years in the ministry and I came in contact with a lot of Doctors. In every case but one, the doctorate was either honorary or “earned” through minimal work done at a diploma mill.  The only person I knew that had an earned doctorate was Tom Malone. Dr. Malone had a PhD in education from Wayne State University.

Christian Bible College is a good example of an IFB diploma mill:

costs christian bible college

Course Costs Christian Bible College

course requirements for christian bible college

Course Requirements for Christian Bible College

Andersonville Theological Seminary is another good example of a diploma mill:

doctor of theology andersonville

Course Requirement for Andersonville Theological Seminary

costs andersonville

Costs Andersonville Theological Seminary

I know several IFB preachers who advertise that they have a doctorate in counseling. Andersonville offers a doctorate in counseling, complete with licensure from the National Christian Counselors Association. (NCCA) Here’s what Andersonville has to say about their counseling doctorate and NCCA licensure:

counseling doctorate andersonville

Counseling Doctorate Andersonville Theological Seminary

This has all the making of a Holiday Inn commercial: I’m not be a licensed, qualified counselor but I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

I suspect that most IFB church members don’t have a clue about how their pastor got his doctorate. They naïvely assume their pastor is just like their medical doctor or a professor at the local college. They likely think their pastor went through the rigors of a PhD program and is eminently qualified to teach them the Bible. Little do they know that their pastor’s doctorate is nothing more than a high-five from a friend who operates a college or a piece of paper given to him after paying a fee and doing minimal course work.

On one level, who cares? But, many of these “Doctors” are counseling people with serious mental health problems. A troubled church members goes to their pastor thinking he is qualified to help them. After all, they have a doctorate in counseling, right? They are just as qualified as the psychologist at the local clinic, right? Unbeknownst to the church member is that their pastor’s doctorate is little more than words scrawled on used toilet paper.

As Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story.

Doctorate sporting IFB preachers are like Diotrephes in III John: they love to have the preeminence. Go to an IFB church or conference and watch how Dr. Bob or Dr. Jack or Dr. Paul are fawned over and treated like gods.  I wonder when these Doctors last preached on James 2:

My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; and ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

(see The Evangelical Cult of Personality)

April Blog News

for your information

Thank you for reading The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser. What follows is the April 2015 Blog News.

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Health Update

April 9th, I have an appointment with a surgeon, Dr. Dale Sloan, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. I continue to have loss of weight, loss of appetite, spikes in body temperature, and a sharply elevated SED rate. I have been dealing with this for four months now. Six weeks ago, I started having dull aching pain on my right side. Two weeks ago, I started having sharp and aching pain in my left side. At first I thought it might be pleurisy or inflammation, but it has not gone away so I suspect it is something else. Pancreatitis? Gall bladder? Hopefully I will know more after I see the surgeon. He has requested all my recent records and tests.

Last month I said I was planning on avoiding doctors. Unfortunately, my body did not get the memo.

As I mentioned in a previous post, last Sunday I had a nasty fall that resulted in a sprained ankle and a nasty contusion on my leg. I am fortunate I didn’t fall down a concrete abutment into the canal. If I had, I wouldn’t be writing this post. I did get some awesome photographs which I plan to share later.

Songs of Sacrilege

Thank you for all the submissions for the Songs of Sacrilege Series. If you come across a song that is irreverent towards religion, makes fun of religion, pokes fun at sincerely held religious beliefs, or challenges the firmly held religious beliefs of others, please leave the name the song in the comment section or send me an email.

Questions

I have asked readers to submit questions they would like me to answer. If you have not yet asked your question, please do so. I hope to start answering them later this week.

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You can contact me via the contact form. If you would like to text me from time to time, please use the contact form to send me your cellphone number. Once I receive your number, I will send you a text. I text back and forth with several people who read this blog and I’d love to do the same with you. I promise, no naked selfies. Maybe me in a speedo or me showing off my 36 pack, but no naked selfies.

All Are Equal, All Are Welcome, but Not Really

same sex marriage

Here’s a recent comment I saw on Facebook:

My Church stresses inclusivity. All are welcome. By grace through faith anyone can enter the kingdom of God. We will find out at death, but right now it is above my pay grade. I only accept it.

I am in favor of equal treatment for all humans. I am not in favor of gay marriage. The Bible does define marriage as a man and a woman. I know at least one person from several gay couples. I have no problem. Their decision. God will separate the sheep from the goats. We are all going to be surprised who we find in Heaven or Hell. We may make a judgment, but God is the judge.

This Evangelical Christian thinks his church is inclusive, all are welcome. But is it? Can a gay person be a pastor, Sunday school teacher, nursery worker, or youth worker. Of course not. Their wicked lifestyle precludes them from doing anything in the church but sitting in the pew. The goal is to convert the gay and rid him of his Sodomite lifestyle. Once delivered from his sin, then he can serve in the church.

This Evangelical, like many namby-pamby Christians, says it is up to God to judge gays. Does he really believe this? Of course not. He doesn’t want to look like the bigot that he is, so he plays the God is the final judge card. However, since this person believes the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God, he already knows God’s opinion on homosexuality. Why is he afraid to say what God has said on the matter? Come on, tell the truth: All practicing homosexuals will go to hell when they die and be tortured by God for all eternity.

He wants us to believe that there will a lot of surprises in heaven. Really? Isn’t God’s Word clear? The Bible says in I Corinthians 6:9-11:

 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

and in Revelation 22:13-15:

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.

Seems pretty clear to me…there will be NO homosexuals in heaven.

This Evangelical Christian says he “supports equal treatment for all humans” and then turns right around and discredits what he said. He supports an equality that is defined by the Bible. Since God defines marriage as one man-one woman-for life, same-sex marriage is a sin. He realizes this makes him look bad. After all, he is denying same-sex couples equal protection under the law and the same civil rights he enjoys, so he plays the HEY I KNOW A GAY COUPLE card. This is the same card played by racists.

He desperately wants to be seen as a nice guy. I know a lot of Christians like this. Good people, nice people. Great neighbors. But, they have beliefs that are hateful and discriminatory. They want us to separate the belief from the person, love the person hate the sin. However, like a skunk and his smell, you can’t separate a person from his beliefs. This Evangelical’s beliefs stink like a factory farm on a warm July day. Try as he might to spray perfume on his beliefs, they still stink.

A Ruckmanite Sighting in Delphos, Ohio

peter ruckman

Peter Ruckman, pastor of Bible Baptist Church, Pensacola, Florida

A Ruckmanite is an Independent Baptist, 1611 King James Only, follower of twice divorced, thrice married Florida Baptist preacher Peter Ruckman. Ruckmanites believe  the 1611 King James version of the Bible is the p-e-r-f-e-c-t word of God for English-speaking people. They are generally known for having bombastic, hateful personalities. They think they are the smartest person in any room and consider Bart Ehrman an illiterate hillbilly.  Ruckmanism is quite popular in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) churches.

You can check out Ruckman’s literary work here.

Over the weekend, Polly and I took a road trip south of here and ended up in Delphos, Ohio. As we were checking out Delphos, we stumbled across a Peter Ruckman follower or at least a person who buys signs and bumper stickers from Ruckman’s bookstore. Here’s some of the photographs I took of the Ruckmanite’s home and automobile.  I think the photographs will tell you all you need to know!

ruckmanite delphos ohio (2)

Yes, that is the Israeli flag

ruckmanite delphos ohio (3)

ruckmanite delphos ohio (4)

ruckmanite delphos ohio (5)

ruckmanite delphos ohio (6)

ruckmanite delphos ohio (1)

Look closely at the window and you will see a Confederate flag

The Advocatus Atheist: Seeing the World through the Eyes of an Atheist

advocatus atheist My friend Tristan Vick, is making his latest book, The Advocatus Atheist: Seeing the World through the Eyes of an Atheist, available for FREE, Kindle version only. Tristan is a great guy. Over the years, through every crazy twist and turn of my life, Tristan has been a friend to me. I encourage you to take Tristan up on his FREE Kindle book offer.

You can check out Tristan’s other books here.

Tristan also has a blog, Advocatus Atheist.

Please note that the free book offer is a limited time offer.

Ken Ham Say Dinosaurs are in the Bible Because They Have to Be

dinosaurs noahs ark

Ken Ham, CEO of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum, and a staunch defender of young earth creationism, believes that dinosaurs are in the Bible.  His proof? I’ll let Ham speak for himself:

To understand dinosaurs, we need to look at what the Bible teaches us about Earth’s history. We also need to recognize that the word dinosaur wasn’t invented until 1841, as a word for a particular group of land animals. According to Genesis, God created everything in six, literal, 24-hour days. Land animals were created on Day Six of Creation Week .

Since dinosaurs are land animals (some people think that certain flying and marine reptiles were dinosaurs, but these actually aren’t classified as dinosaurs), they must have been created on Day Six as well. Originally all dinosaurs, like everything else, were created vegetarian . They didn’t begin to eat meat until after Adam and Eve rebelled against God.

The reason we have a number of dinosaurs buried in sedimentary layers is because of the global Flood described in Genesis 6–8. This catastrophic Flood would have ripped up miles of sediment, trapping and burying creatures that weren’t on the Ark as it was re-deposited. These creatures turned into fossils that we dig up today. After the Flood, dinosaurs died out for many of the same reason species die out today: changes in climate, habitat, lack of food, human predation, and so on.

Dinosaurs aren’t a mystery when you start with the history recorded in God’s Word. The Bible perfectly explains dinosaurs. They are just another example of the incredible variety of creatures that God created in the beginning…

Simply put, since God created everything, and the universe is only 6,019 years old, God not only created dinosaurs, they roamed the earth at the same time as Adam and Eve.

For Ham, it’s not about the science. In Ham’s world, the Bible is an inspired, inerrant, infallible book. When it speaks to matters of science, it is absolutely, infallibly correct. No matter what science tell us, no matter what archeology tells us, no matter what geology tells us, no matter what biology tells us, the BIBLE trumps all of them.

Let this be a reminder of why it is a waste of time to talk to, debate, or argue with young earth creationists. Their minds are shut off to anything but their narrow, literalistic interpretation of the Bible. Arguing science with them never works. Until they come to see that the foundation of their system of belief, the Bible, is not what they claim it is, there is no hope for them. Before Jerry Coyne can do his job, Bart Ehrman must do his. Until the Bible is shown to be errant and fallible, their interpretations will remain inerrant and infallible.

Comic by Dan Piraro

Hey Girlfriend, Jesus is Way More Muscular than Your Boyfriend

Here’s the latest from Paula Hendricks, a writer for the Lies Young Women Believe

Video Link

According to Hendricks, big biceps come from Jesus and no matter how big a man’s muscles are, Jesus’s muscles are b-i-g-g-e-r. Jesus has bigger muscles than Arnold Schwarzenegger. However, when Arnold said, I’ll be back, he kept his word. Jesus? 2,000 years later, we are still waiting.

Luck, Fate, or Providence?

god is in control

As a Christian, I believed that God was the sovereign ruler of the universe. I believed God held my life in his hands. I believed God controlled every aspect of my life and that life and death were determined by God alone. I believed I wouldn’t die one moment before it was my time to go, that God penciled a death date next to the name of every person ever born. I believed that God had a purpose and plan for my life. I thought this way for almost 50 years.

I have faced numerous circumstances where I could have easily been killed. Accidents, stupid mistakes,exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals,  bad decisions by myself or others, serious sickness, and being at the wrong place at the wrong time…I could have and should have died long before today.

But, here I am, and until 2008 I gave the Christian God all the credit for my continued existence. God wasn’t finished with me, I told myself, wiping my brow after surviving a near brush with death. As disease and pain continued to ravage my body, I lived with the calm assurance that God still had plans for me. In some ways, this is a great way to live. No worries…God’s on the job and nothing will happen unless God wills it.  The Apostle Paul had the same view:

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39

I willingly subjected myself to a life of poverty because I thought if God wanted me to have more money or a better house and car he would give it to me. When I began to have health problems in the early 1990’s, I saw them as a test from God. God wanted to make me more holy or stronger. God wanted to root out the deep and secret sins that no one but him could see. And no matter how painful the process was, I knew that God loved me and was in charge of everything.

God’s providence, the belief that God knows what’s best for us and doesn’t give us more than we can bear, is actually fatalism. While the Christian convinces themselves that they are a free moral agent, their belief system says differently. Proverbs 16:9 states:

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Proverbs 20:24 states:

Man’s goings are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Consider these verses:

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. Psalm 115:3

As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. Genesis 50:20

that bringeth the princes to nothing; he maketh the judges of the earth as vanity. Isaiah 40:23

This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6

O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not God in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. In your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand you. II Chronicles 20:6

Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. I Chronicles 29:11,12

I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Job 42:2

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Isaiah 46:9,10

Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?  Romans 9:21

Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? Lamentations 3:37

Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places. Psalm 135:6

But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth. Job 23:13

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

For the Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back? Isaiah 14:27

The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand: Isaiah 14:24

And these verses are but a small sampling of the verses that declare that God is the boss. He is in control of everything. Of course, this opens up a huge problem for Christians. If God is in control of everything, if nothing happens that God does not decree, purpose, and plan, what about sin and evil? At this point, most Christians run from their beliefs, denying that God has anything to do with evil and sin. However, the Bible says:

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Isaiah 45:7

That’s right, the Bible says God creates evil.  No matter how a Christian might object, if they believe in a God who is in control, then they must also believe that he is to blame for evil and sin. Dance any theological or philosophical jig one might, there is no escaping God being the creator of evil. But, but, but…no buts. Either God is the CEO of the universe or he is not. Either he is the first cause, the beginning and the end, or he is not. Either is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords or he is not.

Believing this way had a profound effect on my life. Instead of realizing that much of what happens in a person’s life is due to good or bad luck, I saw God behind every action, event, and circumstance. Like King David, I said:

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. Psalm 139:11,12

God was omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. For those not schooled in the omn’s, God was all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere.

In 2008, God lost control of my life as I began to reclaim my life and the personal responsibility that came with it. No more trusting God’s providence or letting go and letting God. No more puppet strings or “trusting” God to work out everything in my life according to his purpose and plan. As I began to reorient my life according to fact and reason, I was forced to reinvestigate past claims of miracles, moments when God reached down and supernaturally kept me from harm or death. I concluded that every God sighting in my life but one could be explained through natural means. All the supposed answered prayers were really Bruce or someone other Christian answering the prayer.

None of us know how our life will be beyond the next breath. For all I know, this could be the last blog post I write. The Bible is right when it says:

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

No one knows what tomorrow will be like. We can plan for the future, but we have no promise that things will work out for us. Life is crap shoot. Live to your 50’s and you will realize you are lucky to have made it old age. The best any of us can do is make responsible decisions based on reason and probabilities and hope things work out for us.

Yesterday, Polly and I took a road trip to Ottoville, Fort Jennings, and Delphos. Like most of our trips, I took my camera equipment with me. As we were wandering around Delphos, we stumbled upon a lock from the era of the Miami and Erie canal. Getting down to the lock was a bit treacherous for me. I wanted to get as close as possible, so I gingerly walked down the concrete abutment to the lock. I didn’t fall, slip, or trip. Lucky me, I thought.

After ten minutes or so, I was ready to return to the car. I had two paths I could take. I could retrace my steps or make a big step and little jump to ground level, Polly said she would give me a hand, so I chose the latter. Polly reached down, took my hand, and began to help me up. And then, our world went crazy. Polly couldn’t pull me up completely and I violently fell forward, knocking both of us to the ground. If my weight had been balanced slightly the other way, I would have no doubt went careening down the concrete abutment into the canal. The fall would have likely killed me.

The good news? My cameras escaped damage, though one of them does have a slight scrape. The hood on the lens kept it from being smashed. Polly ended up with bruised knees and I ended up with a twisted ankle and hip and a nasty, bloody contusion on my left leg. It is still oozing slightly today.

I know I was lucky. I should have retraced my steps. This was the safe and prudent choice. However, Polly was standing right there and she said she would help. Why not, right? She helps me out of the recliner and car all the time. What neither of us counted on was how difficult it is to pull up a 350# man. When Polly pulls me out of the car or the recliner I help her. This time? I was dead weight and I almost literally became so.

Lesson learned.

As we were eating lunch today, our daughter with Down Syndrome began choking. Due to her disability, she has a thick tongue and can easily choke. Today was different. For the first time, she couldn’t clear her throat. Polly administered the Heimlich maneuver three times before the food was dislodged. I was one second away from calling 911.

This scary circumstance reminded us that we need to pay careful attention to how our daughter eats her food. I talked to her about chewing her food, taking small bites, and not eating hurriedly. She was scared, we were scared, but we all live to face another day. Our daughter could just as easily died on our living room floor. Living in the rural area we do, sometimes it is impossible to get quick emergency help.  We were lucky, and we know it.

Every brush with death should cause us to reflect on why it happened. Were we culpable? Could we have made a better or different decision? Sometimes, shit happens. A satellite could fall out of the sky and flatten me. I could be on a plane piloted by a man who intends to commit suicide at 25,000 feet.  While others might be culpable for my death, I was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Living is dangerous proposition. Smart is the person who understands this and acts accordingly. Thinking that God has the whole world in his hands only leads to delusion and discouragement. God isn’t coming to save the day. Just last week, a German airline pilot flew a plane into the ground killing everyone on board. I am sure, mixed in with the screams, were pleas to God to stop the plane from hitting the ground. Prayer lost out to physics and everyone died.

How about you? How do you live your life? How do you determine risk? Have you every escaped death after making a decision that should have ended your life? If you once believed in the sovereignty of God, how does a world without a God affect your decision-making process? Please share your thoughts in the comment section.