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Surveying Spirit
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Editor's Letters

These are some correspondences that I was lead to share on this site. Any commentary is welcome.

NEWEST ARTICLE:
I have emailed this to our local Newspaper,Bill O'Reilly and all
those who are on the Judicial Nominating committee.
Date: Saturday, August 02, 2003
Subject: Questions that Beg Action
 
 
 Dear Sirs,
 
 
       Is it not Federal law which prohibits discrimination by employers against (prospective) employees based upon their religious affiliation, race, age or sexual orientation; and should this law not also protect government employees and/or "applicants"?
       Yet there exist in the legislature factions intent on ignoring the qualifications of nominees in order to persecute them for the source of moral foundations. Doesn't it seem a flagrant violation by legislators of anti-discrimination law?
       Though some opposed to nominees state that their objections are based on the nominee's personal opinion rather than their religious beliefs(?!) Not objecting to the nominees' legal opinions or the A.B.A.'s, "Well Qualified", assessment of the nominees' ability to perform the duties of the post being sought.
       By looking beyond their ability  to do the job, aren't the opposition legislators exercising a First Amendment violation of the nominees' civil rights, which all elected and appointed officials swear an oath to uphold?
 
JUSTICE: Swift or Obstructed ?
       Are there not cases before the federal circuit and appellate courts which, for want of an appointed judge, go unheard? How many nominees have been or are being blocked or denied regardless of their legal qualifications merely because a contingent of law makers disagree with their " deeply held beliefs", yet seem to miss the fact that it is their own "deeply held beliefs" which are an impediment to the judiciary system?
       Is it a lack of faith in the law and in the justice to prevail that causes these legislators to act, with seeming disregard for the citizenry of their respective states and districts, in a manner which suggests that they really do not want the resolution of cases over which they cannot determine the out-come?
       The Constitution of the United States of America, written in that most elusive and enigmatic of foreign tongues, "legalese," contains the means for its own interpretation and expansion; can it bear the strain? Is it a tapestry of law and justice, or merely a wad of politico-fodder?
       "Gentlemen", let the work of justice and governance resume !!!
 
Sincerely,
Matthew J. Lyons
of Blairsiville,Ga.

My beloved wife was surfing one day and left a prayer at a particular site at their invitation. Some responses accepted the prayer in good spirit,others got rather upset. Below is an example and my response to it.
 
"Save your christian b.s. for someone who cares.
I personally believe: christianity is a sign of intellectual weakness,having to believe in something greater than your self in order to get through life and face death. 2,000 year old cult of hypocrites."

Dear Sir; My wife shared your note with me and I feel compelled to respond. With respect for your right to choose,and in the interest of Truth and sound science,I ask your indulgence while some facts are herein expressed. I will refrain from "preaching" as I offer some morsels for your cogitation. Keep in mind that making sound decisions requires sound information. If the "evidence" presented is
representative of only one side of an issue then one's right to choose has been subverted and one's intellect insulted.A few areas to consider are...
THERMODYNAMICS: Physics has proved repeatedly these foundational principles.
1. The Law of Conservation of Energy. Simply put,energy can be stored,transfered or transformed but never destroyed.
2. The Law of Entropy. Expresses that all systems tend toward the state of lowest energy and least complexity.
Talk about fudementalism. These are irrefutable facts about the basic composition and operation of the universe we inhabit. Honestly consider which model adheres to these laws.
A. All of the energy and matter existed in one place in time,exploded in a release of energy and elementary particles which,while traveling trough an immense volume of presumably empty vacuum,started to coallesce into such significant orders of higher complexity as we are and see today?
B. Everything started out in place with the highest available energy and complexity,then (in accordance with the affore-mentioned laws) began it's decline toward maximum entropy.
As one uses a flashlight,does the beam get brighter? The longer the time since eating,the less hungry one gets?

ASTRONOMY/COSMOLOGY: Observations indicate that the light of stellar objects is shifted into the red end of the spectrum. No scientist, regardless of personal bias, disputes this fact. Causes?
A. The assumption of Doppler shift gives rise to the assertion that,as objects move away from the epicenter of "the big bang",the light shifts correspondingly as said objects accellerate away from each other.
B. Begin with the suggestion that everything was formed in place with specific angular momentum and regular motion. It has been proven that the speed of light is decellerating over time,which produces red shift. And adding the effect of relativity light must travel further when passing gravitational fields thus taking more time to reach earth than would a straight path.
DECREASED MAGNETIC FIELD INTENSITY: At the current rate of decay,if the clock is turned back, the earth's magnetic field increases. While it is a fact that increased magnetic field promotes longevity,"mainstream" science is not quick to report that when the clock is wound back to the 'hood of 10,000 years ago,the field becomes too strong to allow the formation and proliferation of the basic organic compounds which,theoretically, resulted in us.
GEOLOGY/PALIENTOLOGY: Fossils and the rock layers containing them.
A. A little water over a looooonnng time. Fossilization requires quite extensive periods.
B. A lot of water over a laaarrge area in a short time. Fossilization can happen rather quickly. In "A" the strata are dated by "index fossils" contained in the sedimentary rock. The fossils are dated by the layer of rock in which they're found. (we chasin' our tails here?) It may sound like a reasonable method,however; if fossilization requires multiple thousands of years minimum to occour,explain how entire stands of trees stand verically fossilized through several geologic layers which supposedly took millions of years to form.
BIOLOGY: Cells contain dynamically symbiotic systems in order to function. They express "irreducable complexity" which means that the living organism cannot survive if it lacks a single "cog" in the works.
Adaptation,a.k.a. mutation,while providing the mechanism which enables the survival of an organism does not provide for that organism to "ascend" into a more complex organism. Any adaptation to a change in environment serves only to shuffle and or discard the available information,it is not able to create new information.
Kinds and kindreds,speciation and racism. A wolf and a chihuahua are both canine,chimps and orangutans are both primates. Humans,whether dark, light, tan or albino, are humans. Cetaceans have similar structures in their pectoral fins to those in our arms,and bovine forelimbs; all known as the radius and the ulna. Does this prove a common anscestor? It proves that the radius/ulna team are functional structures in a variety of applications.
Sir,if you acknowledge it or not, you exercise faith in the scientists,the research and their interpretation of the data upon which you base your bias. As do I,and honestly, I once held the same beliefs. I grew up on P.B.S. and N.A.S.A. with a "Star Trek" vision of the future. But the biases of secular peer review in their own community expressed,to me, less veracity and more uncertainty. Chaos Theory,dynamical
systems, non-linear equations really spoke volumes to reveal the fact of creation(mind you, this was before I accepted Jesus)!!!
It is your right to be biased,in fact,I have a problem with the concept that objectivity can be expressed by any human individual. But,please,unless you have given great consideration and ponderance to all of the available data, refrain from employing the cloak of intellectual enlightenment as the basis for your beliefs. The inferrence is that you do not believe a Christian capable of being a physician, engineer,physicist or economist. We do not "have to believe in something greater than ourselves," we CHOOSE to!!! And you choose not to as is your right. I harbour no ill-will toward you and I wish that were mutual.
Go in peace. I will send no further un-sollicited correspondance.

"A wise man will hear,and will increase learning;and a man of understanding shall attain to wise counsels" Proverbs 1:5

Sent to a Brother in the Lord concerning the Sabbath...
Greetings and God's abundant Grace & Blessings;

I feel compelled to first make a few comments in regard to the application of spiritual gifts in and among the various parts of the body of Christ; The epistles speak of the above as a means by which the body is edified. My personal belief about these gifts and parts is that God, knowing each of us intimately, recognizes that we are unique and for that reason has established many roads that lead TO Christ. Because His knowledge, wisdom, and soverignty are beyond our
comprehension, and the vast array of needs in the world requiring a variety of methods to address, He has equipped people to be His blessing to others and present the Gospel in ways that grow His Kingdom. I believe that God is non-denominational and that the body of Christ transcends "party lines". While Pentacostals, Churches of Christ and God, Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, etc. all preach different doctrine, or insist that a particular gift or fruit is sole
evidence of one's salvation, I believe that, in any denom. are some who truly exhibit the Spirit of God and edify, glorify and exemplify our Lord
Jesus Christ. Further, I do not suggest that I have a full
understanding of God's will, plan or purpose. I am a "young" Christian, (little over two years,) and expect much more growth is required before my walk is a full-time testimony of Jesus. By employing the term "born again" doesn't Jesus express that Christianess is a process rather
than a single event?
On to the matter at hand.

PART ONE:
As I enjoy some antics, this will start with semantics.

When most people speak of The Commandments, they tend to start in Exodus Ch.20. My belief is that if we look a bit farther back, we see a
greater emphasis on the Spirit rather than the Letter of the Law. (oh,b.t.w.,I'm curious. are the Ten Commandments on the stone tablets
essentially "the bill of rights" of the Mosaic Law,or should they be held apart?)

According to Scripture, God's first Commandment is, in fact, "Let there be light." Which would make, by this line of reasoning, the fourth
Commandment, "Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yeilds seed,..."You may be thinking, "Matthew, stop being silly, you know I'm talking about His Commandments to His people." I beg your indulgence, brother. Was it Louis Carroll who wrote, "Begin at the beginning and continue on 'till you come to an end."?
O.K. God's first Commandment to His people, "Be fruitful and
multiply... " and second, "...but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat..." I include Gen. 1:28 as a commandment because it seems a two-fold statement; Blessing as in the Hebrew tradition of a father blessing his children, and directive as imparting His purpose for creating them/us.
When we get to the seventh day of creation we see that the act of inactivity is the blessing and sanctification of the day.
In Gen.4:7, "If you do well, will you not be accepted,..." Thus far we have little explicit definition of good, evil and the line between.
Could it be inferred that humans are born with inherant knowledge of good, then, having learned (of) evil, become subject to our own will/
desires/ emotion? It was after eating of the forbidden tree that evil became the issue. It seems that the ingestion of said "fruit" also altered human heredity, since we are , to this day, suffering from that ill deed.

So, Cain slew Abel and God punished him. The sentance for that act is most intriguing; seperation from God and those who had not killed.
Not and out-right death sentance, rather life at hard labor and the unbearable expulsion from the presence of God.
Through the course of time, few inhabit the earth who find favor in God's sight, and probably fewer who seek it. "But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This is the genealogy of Noah, Noah was a just
man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God." Gen. 6:8-9
No record of the manner in which Noah walked with God, merely the inferrence that he was not wicked.

I must beg your pardon at this point, and continue this discourse another time. I promise to more closely address the issue in the next
part.

May your ministry edify the Body and you be Blessed abundantly!!!
Your brother in Christ Jesus; Matthew


"Greetings in the Name of Lord Jesus the Christ!

You have as a favorite quote on your website that "Matter doesn't matter." Could you have a website without matter? I realize what you are saying,but what DOES matter,and your website chooses to ignore,is the living word.Why choose old English to represent Jesus on your website and not for your daily life? He does not deserve any less.
From death he did rise and will come again.
Move on with him now to be ready for then.
Mark H........
http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ChristianFaithAlive"

Salutations in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
 Thank you for your comment and query regarding
my choice of Scriptural translation. The "subject" line expresses the reason for my use of KJV which I'll explain/ defend shortly(though,admittedly,the concept of "defending" a Biblical translation to a brother in Christ seems illogical,even absurd).

No! I am not a King James Version "zeallot". In all honesty; I would sooner expect one of them to object had I not used KJV. And No! I did not use it to avoid confrontation with those who seem to believe the English scribes of olde had a corner on the understanding and transmission of the Holy Word of God. These folk also seem to forget that their favoured version was translated from even older texts of other tongues.

Praise be to God our Father, who sent His Son,that through Him we may receive His Holy Spirit,by Whom comes revelation of His mysteries!!!

The text available to me at the time He was speaking most profoundly to my heart was a "Readers Digest Condensed" version of the Bible.Which I read virtually in it's entirety resulting in my acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Even this text was sufficient, in combination with the "still small voice" in my heart, and sermons by and discussions with a local pastor, to dispell my previous notion that the Bible was self-contradictory. In relating this to some of the afore-mentioned KJVz's, they have,unconsciously(?), denied the omnipotence of God and His "inerrant, infallible,eternal Word" by stating that He only endorses the use of one translation. This seems to me a direct contradiction to 1Timothy 2:4 (and the related verses) by excluding those without access to the "Authorized" version.

The Word expressed prevails beyond the constraints of text!!! Our Lord did not say,"he who has eyes to see,let him see,"or,"I will write My Word on the tables of thine eye." You,brother,well understand that it is the Holy Spirit who brings Spiritual knowledge to spiritual "ears".
Else,how would one explain the fact that some,never having held a Bible of any translation or transliteration, are compelled to their knees in acceptance of salvation in Christ by the hearing of a sermon or an answer to prayer for a personal word or provision.

To God's Glory,He made us each unique. Not to trust that He knows how to communicate Himself to each of us uniquely is to deny that we are His creation.

Shortly after turning to Jesus, I was given an NIV Study Bible. And it sufficed for a time to spur growth in my new walk along the Way. The Lord then provided me with a Strong's Exhaustive Concordance with Hebrew/Chaldee and Greek Dictionaries. Being an older issue, it is keyed to the KJV. Obviously one cannot reference the King's English from the "americanized" NIV.Switching from NIV to KJV to Strong's became tiresome so I was "weened" from NIV. My wife and I have several translations; Amplified,Life Application, New Living Testament, etc. I have only recently noticed the availability of Strong's keyed to NIV and have not yet acquired one. While I know it is not prerequisite to understanding the Word of God, I am often led to research certain words and their root derivations in order to understand and express the origin and or historicity of certain concepts.

The remaining factor is that, as stated; God,knowing how we each think, will prompt us to turn to the version He supplies or calls us each to use for personal understanding. That is why you do not see a Scripture referenced on the site without the inclusion of the chapter and verse.God wants us to understand Him and makes provision for each of us to do so!!!

With the stipulation that,regardless of the translation, His Word not be used out of context I trust The Holy Spirit to reveal the Gospel and I have no objection to His choice of translation for your use. I do expect, brother, the same consideration from you and hope that your desire to know the motivation behind my use of the KJV is simply an area of curiousity rather than an attemp at rebuke.

May God Bless and guide your ministry to His Glory and the increase of His Kingdom in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Sincerely, Matthew Lyons

P.S. I welcome any reply you have and pray that, if the Spirit moves you so, you are at liberty to post this to your site, as I wasn't sure if this would fit on your message board.



Do you agree or disagree with my beliefs ? I'd love to hear from you. Check out my "Contact Me" page to send me e-mail.


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