Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A Third Party Candidate Can't Win

At least, the way our Electoral College works a third party candidate can't win. To back this up you only have to examine the 1992 presidential election. Here's a nifty chart I borrowed from Wikipedia.
In order to win the presidency you must first gain enough electoral votes from the states to add up to 270 votes before the other guys do. Unfortunately this seems quite impossible for a 3rd candidate. Even a popular one like Perot did not have enough electoral votes to even carry one state. In fact all he served to do was to split the anti-Clinton vote between two candidates. States like Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missouri, which are commonly red states, went to Clinton in 1992. Does this mean that these states magically became full of Democrats just in 1992 when they are commonly red? Not at all. It means that the people who didn't want Clinton to win in those states were busy being split over two other candidates. Now these states alone, even if removing Perot was enough to carry Ohio, would have not been enough. But if you look at the popular vote what would have happened if the 18.9% of people who voted for Perot had voted for Bush instead? It probably would have made enough of a difference in the blue states to make them red. That would have been roughly 60million for Bush and 45million for Clinton. It makes you wonder how that would have effected the outcome of the electoral vote as typically it reflects the popular vote. A third party candidate does nothing but split the vote. Period. A third person can not get enough electoral votes to carry enough states to equal 270 votes. Even if a third person was poplar enough to carry some states the most they could hope for is prevent anyone from getting 270 votes in which case the House of Representatives would make the final choice. Only then could they hope to win.

So what do you do? You don't like either candidate! Well, did you vote in the primary? For the time being the primary seems to be where you go to vote for who you want to be president and the general election is where you go to vote against who you don't want. And just simply not voting has the same effect as voting third party. If the Republicans who sat home and didn't vote, and the Gary Johnson voters had voted for Romney in 2012 it would have been neck and neck and Romney might have won. Obama would not be president and we'd all be better off. It would seem the two party system and the electoral college go hand in hand. If you don't like your party's candidate the primary is where you go to change that next time. That's where the real fight is. It worked in 1980 and we got 8 years of a great president.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jesus is the ONLY way

I'm not posting this to be hateful to other religions, but to speak against one belief in particular. There is a belief among some that all "religions" are valid and are different paths to the same God. That of course is untrue. If there were ANY other way to bring you to heaven other than sacrifice Jesus on a cross don't you think God would have spared Jesus from that sacrifice? Of course it was the only way.
Also, the way Jesus gave is not a "religion" in the same way other beliefs are "religions". A religion is a set of rules and works in which one must struggle to follow in order to win favor with God, and hopefully the right to enter heaven. This of course is not the way Jesus taught. Jesus did everything that needs to be done. All we have to actually do is repent and have faith in him. There's nothing we can do to pay the sin debt we have earned. Only Jesus was able to pay our infinite sin debt.

 Let's see what scripture says:

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Here Thomas has just asked Jesus how to get where Jesus is going (heaven) and Jesus answers him. Here Jesus states without question that there is no other way there but through him. 

Acts 4:12
 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

These are the words of Peter. A man had been healed by Jesus's followers and Peter had been asked by what power had the man been healed. Peter proclaimed to them that asked that it was Jesus, the only name given for salvation by God. 

Galatians 1:6-9
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.
Here Paul warns that if anyone preaches a message other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ, whether it was a man or an angel, then that person is cursed. Strong words I know, but there can be no mistake here. Paul is stating outright that there is no other way but Jesus and if anyone preaches another way then they are accursed. Many other beliefs state that they believe their way to be true because an angel visited them, or their religion's founder, and taught them the way. Here Paul states outright that even that angel is cursed of God and is lying.


Once again I do not hate people of other "religions". I simply want to refute the claim that all "religions" are paths to the same God. Again, if there were other paths to God then God would not have put Jesus through being hung on a cross for our benefit. If I am to call myself a Christian, and trust my eternity to every word that came out of the Lord Jesus Christ's mouth, then I must trust every word. And Jesus said it himself that there is no other way. This is good news though! It's better to have faith in Jesus and KNOW you are going to heaven then struggle through a set of do's and don'ts and ceremonies and rituals and rules and hope that you have followed them all well enough to find favor with God and be rewarded. God is good to provide this one and only way to Himself.








 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Angels

There are quite a bit of misconceptions about angels. Most of these we see in TV shows and movies. I want to separate truth from those misconceptions. First of all, Angels are NOT dead people. Many TV shows depict angels as people who have passed away and are trying to earn their wings somehow. The truth is angels are not, nor have they ever been human. They are unique creations. They are spiritual beings having no physical body. They can however take on any appearance that suits their purpose. In the bible we see them mostly being messengers for God. They announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds for example. God has also sent them to protect his people at times. Angels always obey God. They always point to God. They always give glory to God. An angel that does not is called a demon. Angels are not to be worshiped. No angel will ever seek worship. An "angel" that seeks worship is also a demon. You do not pray to an angel. There are a creation of God, not any sort of deity to be prayed to.
Lucifer was once an angel. He basically thought he deserved to sit on God's throne and was cast out of Heaven. 1/3 of the angels fell with him according to the Bible. One common misconception about Lucifer, also known as Satan, or the Devil, is that he is in Hell and rules it. He is not. Hell will be his final destination along with others who reject God, but he is not there now, nor does he, or will he ever rule it. He will be sent there to be punished like everyone else there. He has not yet been sent there. Those events are yet to come and are foretold in the book of revelation. Satan occupies the same space we do. The Bible calls him the prince of the power of the air. Meaning he is here with his demons tempting man and attempting to steer people away from God. Because he hates God he wants as many people to perish in Hell as possible. He also hates people because we are made in the image of God.

Unlike angels human beings can be redeemed. A demon can never be saved and become an angel again. However, Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross paying for the sins of humanity we can be redeemed in the eyes of God. Humanity is he crown jewel of God's creation and we are the only beings he has provided this way of redemption to. We are created in the image of God, angels aren't. Even the angels can't be saved. That is how much God loved us. The next time you feel down about yourself remember that God loves you more than the angels and sent Jesus to die for you. If you turn to Him you will be saved.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween

There is a lot of arguing over  whether or not a Christian should participate in Halloween. My opinion is that it depends on the condition of your heart. If you have Jesus in your heart then Halloween is just a fun time to put on a costume and eat candy regardless of what it means to pagans. Likewise if you don't have Jesus in your heart Christmas is just a time to put up a tree and exchange gifts regardless of the fact that to Christians it is the celebration of the birth if our Lord. So chill out, put on your costume and eat your candy. Simply doing so is not worshiping the devil.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

My thoughts on the Trinity

As a protestant Christian I do hold to the teaching that God is three in one. Not that there are three Gods, but that one God exists as three distinct persons. At first this might seem like alot to wrap your brain around. How can one anything exist as three? Some have so much difficulty with the teaching that they abandon it all together. Some try to explain it in various ways to make it easy to understand. I think of it as this way. The remarkable thing isn't that one God can exist as three distinct persons. The remarkable thing is that our infinite, limitless, all powerful God ONLY exists as three distinct persons. God is infinite. He can exist as any infinite number of distinct persons yet he reveals himself to man as only three. That's how I see it anyway.

An Absurd Observation

I have recently, though I've head this said before, heard of someone make an observation which was quite absurd. This person made the observation that Jesus was not a Christian. This observation comes from a lack of understanding of who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to be a Christian. I will give several reasons to clarify why this observation is absurd.

First of all what is a Christian?
A Christian is someone who has repented of their sins and placed their faith in Jesus as Lord to save them. Through the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross a Christian is forgiven of their sins. They have a personal relationship with God.

Who is Jesus?
Jesus is 100% God and 100% man. He is not a God/man hybrid. He is completely both. God is three in one. (I blog about that here) The three in one God consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus is God the son. Jesus is also called the Son of God. This is true because he was born of a virgin and had no human father. Like wise He often calls himself the Son of Man due to his humanity and human mother. God the father, through the Holy Spirit, conceived the baby Jesus. However, this was not the beginning of His existence. He is God, so Jesus existed before his birth as a man.

scripure:
John 1:1-5,14 ESV
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it... 14And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and
truth.


Why did Jesus come? This one is simple. Jesus came to save that which was lost. That is, he came to save us. Who is lost? Everyone who does not know Jesus.

Scripture:
Luke 19:10 ESV
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost


Romans 3:23 ESV
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God


This observation is usually made because Jesus observed old testament law and commandments. So it is often argued that Jesus was a Jew (by faith, not heritage). To accomplish his goal to save that which is lost Jesus had to become our substitution. Not only was his death on the cross our substitution to pay the sin debt we can not afford to pay ourselves(See "Why is Hell Forever?"), His life was also a substitution for our own sinful lives.
Jesus had NO sin.
(scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT
For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
)
This means he observed God's laws and commandments to the letter. When God looks at a Christian he sees no sin because of this, He just sees the perfect life of Christ. This is why Jesus observed God's laws and commandments. He came not only to die in our place, but to fulfill the law perfectly in our place, two things we can not do. So yes, Jesus DID practice what we would call Judaism.

So, because Jesus is God and not just a man who started a "religion" based on some new ideas, and has no sin, and has no need for salvation he has no need to BE a Christian. This makes the observation that Jesus was not a Christian rather absurd.

However, you are not Jesus. You do sin. You do have a need for the loving, open arms of Jesus. They are open for you always.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Prosperity?

I had to write this blog because there is a growing movement in the modern church which is most dangerous. It is sometimes called the "prosperity gospel" or "word of faith" movement. I'm also going to pick on one leader in this movement because judging by the size of his flock he is leading many astray. Simply put this movement teaches that God wants believers to be wealthy. It teaches that the price Jesus paid on the cross not only brings spiritual, but material prosperity as well as physical healing. Leaders in this movement encourage believers to pray to the point of demanding that God give them financial success. You'll sometimes hear them say "name it and claim it". Some will even go as far as to say Jesus had a nice house, and was wealthy himself. They teach if you just have enough faith then your faith is a spiritual force that will cause you to obtain your wealth and healing. If you do not prosper you simply don't have enough faith.

Let me be perfectly clear. Jesus Christ did NOT die on the cross to give you a big house, an SUV, or designer clothes. Jesus Christ died to take the punishment for your sins so that you may be saved. If Christ died just so you could have THINGS then he paid much to high a price for your STUFF. Sure God chooses to bless some believers with more financially, some he chooses not to according to HIS purpose.


Now, I said I was going to pick on one of their leaders. That leader is Joel Osteen. He stands on his stage with his big smile and teaches exactly the false gospel I described before. Then, he gets on national TV, and when faced with the question that any truth teaching pastor should jump at the chance to answer YES! to, he waffles. Observe:



(by the way, here is the CORRECT answer from the bible:
(John 14:6) Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
(Acts 4:12) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.)

He was even given more than one chance to say yes, and he did not. My wife use to watch him now and then. I watched him once, and the one time I watched him he altered the bible to fit his sermon. A good pastor will pick a scripture and expound on its meaning. This joker writes a feel good sermon and shoe horns the bible to fit it. I showed my wife the above video and she no longer watches him. Why should he want to say Jesus is the only way though? He wants people to buy his door stops he calls books. He doesn't want to offend anyone.

Be very careful. The bible gives a strong warning:

(Galatians 1:8-9)
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

This is the danger of the prosperity gospel. It's a feel good movement meant to fill seats and fill offering plates and sell books. But there is no substance to it.

This I proclaim with great importance! Jesus died on the cross to give you much more than a big house or a fancy car. He died on the cross so you could have a mansion in Heaven, not on earth. He died on the cross so that you may be clothed in HIS righteousness not designer clothes. Most of all he did it because he LOVES you! Trust in him, acknowledge that He alone is Lord, Repent of your sins and he WILL save you!

I wrote a blog in 2007 that fits this topic well:

http://super-hampster.blogspot.com/2007/04/parable-of-parachute.html

Friday, September 16, 2011

Things that don't work.

Sometimes God lets things happen to show human beings that it won't work.  As humans we gravitate on wanting to do things on our own. I believe that was what most of the Old Testiment was all about. God set up a system to where if they would obeyed His laws He would be their God and they would be his people. The problem with that is His standards are too high for us to acheive. This system of doing to gain favor with God does't work. He knew it wouldn't. He had to show us that so when He gave us a system of grace we'd get it. The same goes now for why I think God let Obama win in 2008. America had to see that liberalism doesn't work. Judging by all the elections since he took office I'm hopeful that we're getting the hint.