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Biblical Logic: Non Sequiturs "Denying the Antecedent"

Hebrew for Christians
BS''D
Denying the Antecedent

Definition: Any argument of the following form is invalid:

If p then q
Not p
Therefore, Not q.

Examples:

  1. If you were to get hit by a car when you are six, then you would die young. But you were not hit by a car when you were six. Thus you will not die young.

    (Of course, you could be hit by a train at age seven, in which case you still die young.)

  2. If I am in Minneapolis then I am in Minnesota.
    I am not in Minneapolis.
    Therefore, I am not in Minnesota.

    (No, I am in St. Paul, Minnesota.)

Proof: Show that even though the premises are true, the conclusion may be false. In particular, show that the consequence B may occur even though A does not occur.

References
Barker: 69, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 26, Copi and Cohen: 241


 

Biblical Logic: Non Sequiturs "Affirming the Consequent"

Hebrew for Christians
BS''D
Affirming the Consequent

Affirming the Consequent is a formal fallacy, meaning that unlike some other fallacies you have seen, the problem with this reasoning has to do with the form or pattern of the argument itself.

That is, any argument having the following form is invalid:

If p then q
q
Therefore, p.

Examples:

  1. If Napoleon was killed in a plane crash, then Napoleon is dead. (if p -> q)
    Napoleon is dead. (p)
    Therefore, Napoleon was killed in a plane crash. (q)

    Notice that the premises are both true but the conclusion is false.

  2. If I am in Minneapolis, then I am in Minnesota.
    I am in Minnesota.
    Therefore, I am in Minneapolis.

    (Of course, even though the premises are true, I might be in St Paul, Minnesota.)

  3. If the mill were polluting the river then we would see an increase in fish deaths. And fish deaths have increased. Thus, the mill is polluting the river.

Proof: Show that even though the premises are true, the conclusion could be false. In general, show that q might be a consequence of something other than p. For example, the fish deaths might be caused by pesticide run-off, and not the mill.

References
Barker: 69, Cedarblom and Paulsen: 24, Copi and Cohen: 241


Note:
There are vaild forms of reasoning that use conditional statements, such as Modus Ponens and Modus Tollens.

GotQuestions: ““Do faith in God and science contradict?”

 

What are your thoughts on this week’s QOTW? – http://www.gotquestions.org/questweek.html

 

“Do faith in God and science contradict?”



17 Comments »

  1. Comment by Rd

    God created all physical laws, gravity etc. We live in earth and universe He also created.
    Ungodly so called scientists want you believe it does conflict. It doesn’t. Suggest:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org
    http://www.icr.org

    They ministries clearly brings out this subject.

  2. Comment by Richard Broch

    Shalom ya`all,

    Suggested reading related to this question – Psalm 104, The Lord`s care over all His works.

    Now, I believe that all inventions (from the wheel on),medical breakthroughs, astronomy, the I-pod, and any other scientific discovery, or progress realized since the Creation originated with Almighty God. Amen.

    I say He planted and processed all these ideas in the finite minds of human beings with His infinite powers, and allowed them into fruition.
    God has utilized scientists, professors, and doctors for His purposes through the years. He even had a physician (Dr. Luke) write a couple books of His Bible(Luke and Acts).

    So, we can partake of science as long as we don`t worship the human inventor or the product; credit where credit is due. God said that NOTHING happens without Him knowing about it.

    The story goes – A group of scientists approached God and told Him that scientific know-how has risen to the point that mankind can now do everything and anything. And to prove their point, they were going to construct a live human being. God said,”Go for it.”

    So they proceeded with shovels and buckets to go outside and get some dirt for their project.
    God then said,”Get your own dirt.”

    Grace and Peace.

  3. Comment by Glenn Dowling

    To the writers of the “GotQuestions.org” below – basically, it’s a fairly good treatment of “faith and science.”

    However, several things that would help a believer – and especially, an unbeliever (In my opinion) :)

    1. Faith is a free gift from God – and comes from “hearing the word of God.”
    2. Faith (of any kind) must have an object – in the Christian faith, the object is Jesus Christ.
    3. Saving faith is not something one conjures up because we are gullible, ignorance, or fooled – OR are well read, or not well read.
    4. AND – “believing” about God is not faith in God – “even the demons believe and tremble.”

    Glenn Dowling
    Bryan, Texas

  4. Comment by Robert

    Do faith in God and science contradict? Quite the reverse, knowledge of science INCREASES my faith in God. The more I learn about the universe, the more my faith in God increases.

  5. Comment by Debbie

    No, I don’t think God and science are mutually exclusive. As scientists delve deeper and deeper into the essence of being, they are only proving who and what God is. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (HEB 11:1) My faith can believe that God made quarks!
    MARANATHA

  6. Comment by Ahmed1rfan

    To me God = law and Science is = Signs!
    According to Science of signs the universe is rule by A1Law, rule of right hand law thus according to Science there is only A1GOD!
    Even more amazingly i find that unit and tenth of golden Ratio 1618 corresponds with the covenant of all religions being 18, just as well as it corresponds with the palm of each right hand that depict the darkest of three lines to be a 1 and an /\rc, the /\ is basically an 8 in Hebrew Arabic chinese and most of the rest world religon maths, and 18 stands for Torah, Amidah, bendictions, Vedas, Mudras, Total eclipse, Antikythera Machenism, even Quran suggest a cave numbered 18 as refuge in times of afflictions and trials of anti-Christ, the Sura Kahaf.
    Mention of rule of right hand law by science matches the signs of Torah Quran and Bible that mention the appearance of a right hand of God in end times! For me this digital age has a digital sign of God himself, we just need to meditate in what it is trying to tell us through the rule of right hand law and the constant number 18!
    I seriously now wonder if Torah was a Digital book of right hand based on two mathematical digits 18, wisdom of which later was constructed into Arc of Covenant to be found later, and i find it re appear in 1901 at Antioch(Antikythera). i have so much to say, am glad to find this blog. The ensign has been raised, and it is none other than a scientific digital ensign!

  7. Comment by bruce

    deuteronomy 29 :29 explains it all.

  8. Comment by Alan Jackman

    Your dissertation on God verses science was good as far as it went. But it could and should have gone further. It didn’t explain how in Genises we read that the world was made in six days, including man, when we know there were millions of years between the formation of the earth and man. And Adam named all the animals of the earth? Come on. Adam never met a dinosaur. The dinosaurs were here long before man and were destroyed long before man. I’m not suggesting that God didn’t create everything. I’m just suggesting that science has taught us that it didn’t happen the way Genises says it did. For the most part, Genises is a fairytale writtn so uneducated men of the day could have some understanding of the beginning of the universe. Try telling any one of them what we know today and they simply wouldn’t get it.

  9. Comment by rani

    Ahmed1rfan,
    didn’t you write this on the 18th??

  10. Comment by ceseeley

    Ahmed1rfan and All;

    Ahmed1rfan, I can comprehend some of what you are sharing, where is it coming from … from where did you learn all of this … it is new to me to a certain extent?

  11. Comment by Mimi

    I look to my faith for the answer “A thought on the faith of the scientist
    “The scientist’s condition as a sentinel in the modern world, as one who is the first to glimpse the enormous complexity together with the marvellous harmony of reality, makes him a privileged witness of the plausibility of religion, a man capable of showing how the admission of transcendence, far from harming the autonomy and the ends of research, rather stimulates it to continually surpass itself in an experience of self-transcendence which reveals the human mystery”.
    - Pope John Paul II, 7/17/85.”
    http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci80111.html
    http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci79031.html
    http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci85073.html

    God Bless, Mimi

  12. Comment by Rambo

    RD
    I visited the sites you suggested, and find truth there. I also find issues which Mr. Ken has not addressed. Particularly, GEN 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

    God was speaking to Satan… and clearly refers to “thy seed.” Of course Cain killed Able, and Jesus references this in John 8 and Mat 23 identifying the ancestors of the Pharisees (not those deceived like Paul) being Cain descendants. Two seeds… a Satanic seedline, and a Scepter seedline. Makes one kind of wonder what actually happened in the Garden? But, we haven’t figured out what happened in Noah’s tent! I’ve regressed to where God created DNA…

    RICHARD, Shalom dude! I certainly appreciate giving credit where credit’s due! I can appreciate not worshipping the scientist, we pray for them, well, the good ones! They all aren’t good any more than all auto mechanics are good… the same goes people in all disciplines including theology, whether formally studied or not. God invented electricity, Ben discovered it, Edison invented the light bulb after a thousand failures, talk about faith!

    God, Creator… and we all work within His creation, including Edison.

    ROBERT! Man… keep studying science! We need more Christians in the sciences. The devil never sleeps, so we need to burn the midnight oil! There’s entirely too much illiteracy in theology and science. I find more faith in the Good Book studying science than I find faith in listening to theologians! In fact, it’s my experience that the confluence to these two rivers we call reality, one river is abstract, and the other river is concrete, where we find truth!

    How does one measure weight (gravity)… we’ve got that one, concrete knowledge. How then does one weigh faith? We have to depend on One who came from a totally abstract world! Science continues to surge forward with discoveries and inventions… how is our faith advancing? How do we know we have faith? Demonstrate that one person’s faith is greater than anothers? Jesus did! What did Jesus see… what did Jesus hear that convinced Him the Centurion had faith uneen in Israel? What did Jesus hear that convinced Him that dog of a mother begging for crumbs had faith…

    I disagree with the fork in the river representing conflict between faith and science. I propose the confluence of science and the Word offers the most ultimate faith we can find in these flesh bodies, which are in fact, the confluence of flesh and spirit. Jesus had perfect flesh, and perfect spirit!

    AHMED, really fascinated with your broad knowledge of other religions to capture the underlying Arc /\. I’ve shared with my son that Pi was used to construct the pyramid, /\, of Giza built by the Hebrews, a couple thousand years before Archimedes laid claim to Pi’s discovery.

    Pi is used to calculate the area of a circle… the orbit of our planet is eliptical with the sun being off center. Noting the four calendar events in orbit: spring equinox (daylight reigns over night), fall equinox (night time exceeds daylight), winter solstice(longest night, shortest day) and summer solstice (longest day, shortest night). Plot these celestial events on the orbital path, draw a line between the equinoxs’ and another between the solstices, we find the figure of a cross… is the sun in the middle where these two lines intersect? If our planet’s orbit were circular, we’d find an “x”. Jesus was conceived on the winter solstice, resurrected on the spring equinox, born on the fall equinox… will Jesus return on the summer solstice? Thanks for contributing…

    Rambo

  13. Comment by alvin

    As Bruce stated in #7, Deuteronomy 29:29 does figure into this discussion.
    We are responsible to follow God in the revealed things and the secret things belong to Him.
    From time to time God reveals things which were secret in previous periods. Example: 1 Corinthians 15:51,52 “I show you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, because the last trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised incorruptible. We shall be changed!”
    Science learns new things and corrects previously taught errors all the time.
    So does the church.

    God knows everything.
    Scientists do not.
    Preachers do not.
    Though the Bible clearly states that the earth is hung upon nothing, preachers misunderstood the Bible in previous centuries and taught a flat earth.
    More recently, while I was a child, preachers were teaching that dinosaurs never existed.
    Currently, scientists who are christians are raising opposing theories to some of the unsupportable theories with which secular scientists contradict the existence of the christian Creator God. Unfortunately, some of those very elegant theories are being taught as fact in some of the churches by people who do not know the science involved well enough to teach it. So errors will be made in church teaching once again, that will give ammunition to those who suspect there is no God. And possibly harm the faith of little children as they progress in learning and see that what they were taught in church was too simplified to be true.
    The teaching against a Genesis flood is presently being counteracted by a hydraulic theory involving breakup of subterannean caverns in a specific theory of a pre-existing firmament different than what exists today.
    The Bible does teach the flood of Noah, but not a specific explanatory theory for what earth conditions caused or contributed to it.(You can, however,find sea fossils in North Dakota museums at a specific depth also found at the same depth in many other places around the world, which fits well with a universal flood). The Bible does not teach that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, though one word in the new testament is often mistranslated whale. (Jonah was swallowed according to the Bible by a specially prepared sea creature.) So church preachers have tried to prove whales swallow people and they come out alive.
    The facts involving the speed of light and development and lifetimes of stars contradict a 4th day creating of stars either in the 24 hour day sense or the 1,000 year day sense, and church preachers have defended both positions, trying to provide evidence from scripture. But Genesis only says “He created the stars also”.
    Bottom line? What God says is true. What we may believe He meant is just as likely to be proved unreliable as the wildest theories of the secular scientists.

  14. Comment by ceseeley

    All;

    How can faith in Science and God contradict? Science is constantly revealing God!!! Science and Faith in God contradict when it is a false Science that eliminates academic freedom … a false science that has an agenda that doesn’t follow the Proper Scientific Way of reasoning, measuring, recording … etc.!!!

    As mentioned in Comment #7 by bruce, Deuteronomy 29:29 is a great Key to all of this because God will only allow Science to discover as much as God wants it to discover:

    Deu 29:29 The secret [things belong] unto the LORD our God: but those [things which are] revealed [belong] unto us and to our children for ever, that [we] may do all the words of this law.

    One can only hope with the new Space telescope, that will replace the Hubble Telescope, that a glimpse of the outer edge of the third Heaven, where God dwells along with being everywhere else, that that edge will be slightly revealed!!!

    Deu 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens [is] the LORD’S thy God, the earth [also], with all that therein [is].

    1Ki 8:27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?

    2Cr 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

    Some astronomers have stated that as they probe deep into the Universe, it seems to be surrounded by a Phenomenal Glow which one can wonder if that is the Luminescence of the Third Heaven!!!

    There is hope for Christians that will inherit Internal Life because someday we will know as we are known!!!

    1Cr 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

  15. Comment by Mimi

    Ceseeley,
    Excellent Post & thank you for all the Scripture that you share with us.
    God Bless YOU,
    Mimi

  16. Comment by Debbie

    Rambo,
    Your theory on Pi was interesting. Are you sure He was born on the fall equinox? We had a long debate on that in our small group Bible study and decided there was not enough information in the angel’s discourse to Zecharias in the LUKE account to draw a definite conclusion. The fact that He put do death on Passover, resurrected on the Feast of First-Fruits and started His Church on the Feast of Pentecost speaks to me. MMMMMM….

    I read GQ’s article on the Pre-Adamic Theory, but don’t think that is what I believe. I keep going back to GEN 1:1 and the verb (bara) for “created.” It can mean transformed or re-created. I can believe there was a war in heaven when the angels rebelled and were separated in elect and fallen. I could believe that God cast Lucifer out and strange things happened. The dinosaurs, the steaming jungles all trashed into an enormous ice age. Then God transformed the earth….LOL!! Well, it is strictly a viewpoint and my own so I am not claiming doctrine. God is in control, but it helps me in my own mind. So, my theory is based upon one little Hebrew word, (bara)

    I have been unable to find this on the internet, but is there any scientific evidence that the area behind the north star it is empty? I heard a teacher saying that is where the third heaven is located (2COR 12:2) and thus, “the sides of the north.” (PSALM 48:2; ISA 14:13) Not verifiable, but fun for me to visualize. Somehow, I just don’t see science and God as mutually exclusive. I believe some scientists have set out to prove there is no divine power and in the process have become believers.
    MARANATHA

  17. Comment by alvin

    Debs’ theory in #16 ” I can believe there was a war in heaven when the angels rebelled and were separated in elect and fallen. I could believe that God cast Lucifer out and strange things happened.”

    has at least this much scriptural support in Ezekiel 28:11-19 where the former beauty and fall of Lucifer to become the father of lies called Satan. Jesus mentions him in passing in Luke 10:18 “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning”.

    Sincere honest doubt is one of the paths to faith. Josh Mcdowell is one of the more recent people who have travelled that path to faith. A reporter turned Christian recently wrote a book about his journey from disbelief to faith. Many years ago an archeologist named Ramsey ended up proving the historical accuracy of the of the book of Luke though he began from a position of doubt. Atheists can make excellent baby christians.

Family Talk Series with Dr. James Dobson: (Audio) Being Jesus to Your Neighbors Pt 2

Being Jesus to Your Neighbors – II
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Yesterday, best-selling author and pastor Lee Strobel explained that Christians are called to be evangelists. Many of us might find that prospect daunting, but Strobel reassures us that evangelism is an “unexpected adventure!” Don’t miss Part II as Pastor Strobel shares more practical ideas regarding how as believers can “be Jesus” to our neighbors. Listen to Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson today!

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Family Talk Series with Dr. James Dobson: (Audio) Being Jesus to Your Neighbors Pt 1

Being Jesus to Your Neighbors - I
Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Are all Christians called to be evangelists? On today's broadcast, best-selling author and pastor Lee Strobel answers "yes!" to that question and describes how evangelism is "the unexpected adventure!" He reveals practical ideas for sharing your faith with strangers and how to pray for the unsaved. Learn how to put your love for Christ into action by listening to Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson today!
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YOU: What Do You Believe? "New Age Psychology - New Age psychology sees health problems as mindset problems since our mindset is responsible for our health."

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New Age Psychology - New Age psychology sees health problems as mindset problems since our mindset is responsible for our health.

 

New Age Psychology – Introduction

New Age psychology is closely tied to the belief that we can hasten the progress of evolution by achieving a higher consciousness, which is the central goal of the New Age movement. Psychology provides the means to achieve this goal. Ken Carey puts it this way, “Everyone anywhere who tunes into the Higher Self becomes part of the transformation. Their lives then become orchestrated from other realms.”1

 

The psychological branch of New Age that emphasizes higher consciousness is sometimes referred to as “fourth force” psychology. According to John White, “Fourth force psychology covers a wide range of human affairs. All of them, however, are aimed at man’s ultimate development—not simply a return from unhealthiness to normality—as individuals and as a species.”2

 

“Ultimate development” represents the only truly healthy mindset in the New Age movement. Marilyn Ferguson explains ultimate development this way: “Well-being cannot be infused intravenously or ladled in by prescription. It comes from a matrix: the body mind. It reflects psychological and somatic harmony.”3

 

Our measure of consciousness affects our body and soul, and only a constant state of higher consciousness ensures our mental and physical well-being. Psychology, therefore, plays an important role in the Cosmic Humanist worldview for two reasons: it can hasten the realization of a collective God-consciousness and it works to ensure perfect health for each of us.

 

New Age Psychology – Mind over Matter

New Age psychology sees health problems as mindset problems since our mindset is responsible for our health. People suffering through painful sickness or disease are doing so because they have not yet achieved higher consciousness. Shakti Gawain says, “Every time you don’t trust yourself and don’t follow your inner truth, you decrease your aliveness and your body will reflect this with a loss of vitality, numbness, pain, and eventually, physical disease.”4

 

Vera Alder explains how failure to follow our inner truth or connect with our “God within” may even be responsible for criminal tendencies. She says, “A criminal or an idler will be recognized as a sick individual offering a splendid chance for wise help. Instead of being incarcerated with fellow unfortunates in the awful atmosphere of a prison, the future ‘criminal’ will be in much demand.”5 Criminals who connect with their higher consciousness are also able to lead healthy lives spiritually, physically, and ethically.

 

Ferguson explains the effect of achieving higher consciousness on our all-around health: “Health and disease don’t just happen to us. They are active processes issuing from inner harmony or disharmony, profoundly affected by our states of consciousness, our ability or inability to flow with experience.”6

 

Shirley MacLaine explains that enlightened people who maintain higher consciousness can help others solve their problems, magnifying the importance of higher consciousness: “Somewhere way underneath me were the answers to everything that caused anxiety and confusion in the world.”7

 

New Age Psychology – Achieving Higher Consciousness

Meditation, sometimes with crystals or mantras, is often the method New Age psychology (fourth force psychology) employs to induce higher consciousness. A writer in Life Times magazine states emphatically, “My message to everyone now is to learn to meditate. It was through meditation that many other blessings came about.”8 Higher consciousness is one of the blessings derived from meditation, as is the ability to channel spirits. Kathleen Vande Kieft says, “Almost without exception, those who channel effectively meditate regularly. The process of channeling itself is an extension of the state of meditation . . . the best way to prepare, then, for channeling is by meditation”9

 

Channeling refers to the Cosmic Humanist belief that spirits will sometimes speak to and through a gifted person who is engaged in meditation. Elena, a spirit allegedly channeled by John Randolph Price, describes beings like herself as “angels of light—whether from earth or other worlds. They search, select and guide those men and women who may be suitable subjects.”10

 

All Cosmic Humanists embrace meditation as an important tool for attaining higher consciousness, although not all consider channeling essential. New Age psychologists suggest that practices such as channeling, astrology, firewalking, Ouija boards, and aura readings are a means to enhance the state of higher consciousness achieved through meditation.

 

New Age psychology is based on communing with the God within. This is a fundamental difference between New Age and Christian meditation. New Age meditation focuses on the God within, while Christian meditation focuses on the God without. Christians focus on God—who is Maker, Sustainer, Provider, Redeemer, Lord, and Judge—and on His objective, external revelation of truth to us in the Bible.

 

The children’s book What Is God?, which teaches Cosmic Humanist meditation to children, clearly illustrates the difference between Christian and New Age meditation. The book says, “And if you really want to pray to God, you can just close your eyes anywhere, and think about that feeling of God, that makes you part of everything and everybody. If you can feel that feeling of God, and everybody else can feel that feeling of God, then we can all become friends together, and we can really understand, ‘What is God?’ So, if you really want to feel God, you can close your eyes now, and listen to your breath go slowly in and out, and think how you are connected to everything, even if you are not touching everything.”11

 

New Age Psychology – Conclusion

New Age psychology provides the jargon and the tools for Cosmic Humanism’s relentless pursuit of higher consciousness. Before utopia or the New Age can be achieved, many more people will have to evolve past their present pain into an awareness of their godhood. Psychology’s goal is to direct this effort.

 

New Age psychology provides tools to help people achieve higher consciousness, but each person chooses those applications that seem most appropriate—firewalking, séance, hypnosis, etc. Meditation, however, is required of everyone. The value of the tools is measured by the amount of pain they cure. Higher consciousness implies wellness and thus anything leading to higher consciousness will necessarily reduce physical, spiritual, and mental pain.

 

According to Marianne Williamson, even life-threatening disease is just a sign of an unhealthy psyche. She says, “Healing results from a transformed perception of our relationship to illness, one in which we respond to the problem with love instead of fear.”12

 

If we find the right tools, Cosmic Humanists believe, we can cure the cancer by curing the mind. The tool Williamson recommends is visualization—that is, imagining events happening in the future and then willing these events to come true. Williamson suggests, “Imagine the AIDS virus as Darth Vader, and then unzip his suit to allow an angel to emerge. See the cancer cell or AIDS virus in all its wounded horror, and then see a golden light, or angel, or Jesus, enveloping the cell and transforming it from darkness into light.”13

 

Cosmic Humanists believe that if we choose the right psychological tools, we can save ourselves. If we are God enough, our redemption is in our own hands.

Learn More!

 

Notes:

 

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

 

1 Ken Carey, in a speech at Whole Life Expo (Los Angeles, CA), Feb. 1987.

2 John White, Frontiers of Consciousness (New York, NY: Julian Press, 1985), 7.

3 Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher,1980), 248.

4 Shakti Gawain, Living in the Light (San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1986), 156.

5 Vera Alder, When Humanity Comes of Age (New York, NY: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1974), 82.

6 Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy, 257.

 

YOU: What Do You Believe? "Islamic Economics - Economic justice requires economic well-being for all believers. To accomplish this, Islam requires almsgiving, taxes, and inheritance restrictions."

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Islamic Economics - Economic justice requires economic well-being for all believers. To accomplish this, Islam requires almsgiving, taxes, and inheritance restrictions.

Islamic Economics – Introduction

“Islamic economics is rooted in Islam’s particular worldview and derives its value-premises from the ethico-social teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.” (Khurshid Ahmad)1

 

Islamic and Christian approaches to economics bear some similarities as well as some differences. As a facet of the Islamic approach to sociology, Islamic economics is “an evolving discipline” in the modern world.2 While Islam ruled parts of the world for centuries, in more recent times Muslims have faced the trials of Western colonialism. “The Muslim society of today is not yet a society on its own,” explains Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi. “It is still under the shadow of the Western system: and, as such, it is doubtful how ‘representative’ of the Islamic ethos its current behavior can be.”3 Naqvi implies that the contemporary economic practices and systems in Muslim nations might not finally accord with Islamic scripture, the Qur’an, or tradition.

 

Muslims insist that human nature, motivation, and work must reflect the ethical convictions of Islam. Thus, as Naqvi explains, “Islamic economy is part of the religion of Islam which covers the various branches of life.”4 Because of this, Muslim scholars insist that their approach to economics is superior to both the capitalism of the West and the socialism or communism of the East, precisely because both systems lack a sound religious ethic. In Islam there is neither separation nor distinction between religious and secular facets of life.

 

Islamic Economics – Under God

Muslims believe that human beings are created by God, were delegated authority over creation, and one day will give an accounting of how they have used the good resources God has provided (see Genesis 1:28). Abdalati explains, “The actual and real owner of things is God alone of Whom any proprietor is simply an appointed agent, a mere trustee.”5 Like the Christian view of economics, we term this approach to economics as stewardship of one’s property and resources.

 

The belief in final judgment, one of the five pillars of Islam, places all actions under divine scrutiny: no action is hidden from God (Qur’an 9:105), and he is the most just of all (95:8). God expects Muslims to feed the poor, give alms, help orphans, provide loans without interest (to Muslims), not hoard food, and not gamble. Islamic economics, however, is not just a series of prohibitions. Muslims are to work hard and share their wealth with fellow Muslims in need. They can earn income, amass wealth, and enjoy all good things.

 

Islamic Economics – Four Foundational Principles

Naqvi, the National Professor in Economics of Pakistan, presents four foundational principles for the Islamic approach to economics (several of which are discussed at greater length in other disciplines, as we will note): unity, equilibrium, free will, and responsibility.

 

Unity

In Islamic theology, God is a stark unity, a single divine person without partners. He is the Creator of all things, the one to whom all humans will give account. As such, all humans should submit to God, which is nothing other than being a Muslim (i.e., one in submission to God). This submission entails aligning all desires, ambitions, and actions with God’s will, a will expressed in His commands. “My service and sacrifice, my life and my death, are all of them for God, the creator and Lord of all the worlds” (6:162). Corresponding to the unity of God is the unity of humanity. Though divided by national boundaries, fractured by war, distinguished by religious convictions, all humans are intended to be Muslims and the whole world an Islamic state. Thus, a Muslim’s actions toward others bear on his or her status in the final judgment. Economic resources must never be used contrary to this vision of universal unity of the Ummah, the Muslim community.

 

Equilibrium

“Verily God has enjoined justice and kindness” (16:90). Muslims must reflect justice and kindness in all social institutions, including economic life. Justice and kindness relate not only to economic transactions but also to the care of the less fortunate members of society. As such, “the needs of all the least-fortunate members in Muslim society constitute the first charge on the real resources of the society,” observes Naqvi.6 Islam affirms the value of private property, as well as the inevitable economic disparity among people. But Islam also affirms that there is a basic standard of living (e.g., food, clothing, shelter) due to all people. Thus regular warnings are given to the wealthy (59:7; 70:24–25).

 

Free Will

Muslims believe we are responsible for our beliefs and actions. Such responsibility presupposes that we have wills that allow us to choose to do right or wrong. Muslims see free will as a gift from God to be used only for good. Muslims deny that we are born with a sinful nature, but affirm that we are capable of virtue as well as of vice. Thus greed, selfishness, gluttony, exaggerated materialism and the like are expressions of our nature gone astray. Naqvi summarizes the role of free will in the following way: “In the final analysis, we can say that, notwithstanding the differences of emphasis, there has been a tacit agreement among theologians that man is responsible for his acts, and that God, by His very nature, is just in deciding man’s fate according to his deeds. Concomitantly, therefore, man must have freedom of will in shaping his destiny.”7

 

Islamic Economics – Responsibility

Corresponding to free will is responsibility. Not only are we responsible to God, we are also responsible to our fellow humans. Almsgiving is central to being responsible in our economic activities and “mostly takes the form of giving to the poor and the needy.”8 Hoarding our wealth at the expense of the well-being of other Muslims is prohibited. “You will never come to piety unless you spend of things you love” (3:92). Muslims believe that by giving we become better people and fulfill our moral responsibility to God, ourselves, and our fellow human beings. Some even believe that generosity can atone for sins.

 

As a final note, economic justice requires economic well-being for all believers. To accomplish this, instituted within Islam are zakat (almsgiving for the sake of the poor), jizrah (taxes levied against unbelievers within the Islamic community), and laws regarding inheritance.

 

Islamic Economics – Conclusion

While the principles underlying Islamic economics are well-noted and set forth by Muslim scholars such as Abdalati and Naqvi, current economic policies and practices in Muslim nations might not (indeed, do not) bear out the ideal vision presented. “A small wealthy class rules many Muslim nations while the masses are extremely poor,” observes George Braswell, Jr. “In some countries the government collects zakat; many people resent the zakat and question how the money is used. Islam prohibits usury, yet this prohibition is seldom followed either on an individual or national level.” But even if these conditions are not supposed to pertain in Muslim societies, the oppression, alienation, terror, and death, and expulsion of non-Muslims remains characteristic among almost all Muslim nations.9

 

Learn More! Notes:

 

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

 

1 Syed Nawab Haider Naqvi, Islam, Economics, and Society (London, UK: Kegan Paul International, 1994), xiii.

2 Ibid., xiv.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid., 2.

5 Hammuda Abdalati, Islam in Focus (Indianapolis, IN: American Trust Publications, 1977), 128.

6 Ibid., 27–8.

7 Ibid., 35.

8 Ibid., 32.

9 The Voice of the Martyrs illustrates this observation with impressive regularity (www.voiceofthemartyrs.com).

YOU: What Do You Believe? "New Age Economics - The New Age believes that we can trust the world to grant us material blessings because we, as part of God, ultimately control reality."

 

New Age Economics - The New Age believes that we can trust the world to grant us material blessings because we, as part of God, ultimately control reality.

 

 

You are here: Worldviews >> New Age Economics

New Age Economics – Introduction
New Age economics is shaped by the need for a world system of self-government. In this light, some Cosmic Humanists call for a universal system of exchange. Vera Alder describes the monetary system of the future: “As . . . individual needs would largely be supplied on the ration-card system, the need for handling of money would dwindle. There would, of course, be a universal currency the world over. There would be a central bank.”
1

Because of their belief in individual autonomy, Cosmic Humanists do not discuss specifics of a world economic system just as they avoid concrete political declarations or definitive legal systems. Marilyn Ferguson believes, “Both capitalism and socialism, as we know them, pivot on material values. They are inadequate philosophies for a transformed society.”2 Marianne Williamson adds, “Like everything else, money is either holy or unholy, depending on the purposes ascribed to it by the mind. We tend to do with money what we do with sex: we desire it but we judge the desire. It is the judgment that then distorts the desire, turning it into an ugly expression.”3

New Age Economics – Universal Enlightened Production
A
ccording to New Age economics, all concern with the marketplace will be moot in the coming transformed New Age. People of the future will not be concerned with choosing vocations that will meet their needs or those of their neighbors. Rather, people will choose vocations in accordance with their inner voice, the voice of God. Coupled with a reliance on our inner voice is the belief that positive thought creates wealth, often called universal enlightened production.

New Age Economics – Higher Consciousness = Higher Income
The core of New Age economics is the belief that if we all allow our inner voice to lead us, no one in society will want for anything. Shakti Gawain says, “We make a contribution to the world just by being ourselves in every moment. There are no more rigid categories in our lives—this is work, this is play. It all blends into the flow of following the universe and money flows in as a result of the open channel that’s created. You no longer work in order to make money. Work is no longer something you have to do in order to sustain life. Instead, the delight that comes from expressing yourself becomes the greatest reward.4 Gawain also says, “The more you are willing to trust yourself, and take the risks to follow your inner guidance, the more money you will have. The universe will pay you to be yourself and do what you really love!”5

Randall Baer concurs with Gawain on the results of positive thinking. In New Age success philosophy, “the more attuned a person is to the ‘Universal Mind’ the more the universe will demonstrate this level of enlightenment by mirroring more ‘god-money in action.’ The more enlightened a person is, the more money and success will naturally occur in life.”6

To Cosmic Humanists, God wants us to prosper materially, and by getting in touch with our higher consciousness, we are able to ensure ourselves a high income. Williamson believes that if we want something and focus on it, we will probably attain it. But God may want us to have something even better, so our focus should be more on attaining higher consciousness than on material blessings. Williamson believes that we can trust the world to grant us material blessings because we, as part of God, ultimately control reality. She believes that “[o]ur purpose on this earth is to be happy.”7 In a similar vein, Kevin Ryerson says, “God does not work for you; God works through you.”8

New Age Economics – Conclusion
The New Age tends not to be concerned with economic theory because economic systems are only applicable in unenlightened societies. When people achieve higher consciousness, the God within will lead them to make wise economic decisions, and economic systems will cease being necessary.

People who are led by their higher consciousness will achieve material success and need not be concerned about the success or failure of particular economic systems. Poverty will thus gradually disappear as more and more people are led by the God within.

Since human nature is basically good, we can solve our economic dilemmas as we get in touch with our goodness. Cosmic Humanists believe Christians are wrong to believe that we have a sinful nature. According to Shirley MacLaine, greed, envy, slander, theft, covetousness, etc., are only “a manifestation of the need for human love”9

According to New Age economics, greed and poverty will cease to exist. People will work together harmoniously to increase and share wealth. Williamson says that “God does not require sacrifice.”10 Rather, the God within wants to bless us with happiness and material success.

Learn More! Notes:

Rendered with permission from the book, Understanding the Times: The Collision of Today’s Competing Worldviews (Rev. 2nd ed), David Noebel, Summit Press, 2006. Compliments of John Stonestreet, David Noebel, and the Christian Worldview Ministry at Summit Ministries. All rights reserved in the original.

1 Vera Alder, When Humanity Comes of Age (New York, NY: Samuel Weiser, 1974), 48–9.
2 Marilyn Ferguson, The Aquarian Conspiracy (Los Angeles, CA: J.P. Tarcher, 1980), 326–7.
3 Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles” (New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1989), 168.
4 Shakti Gawain, Living in the Light (San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1986), 110.
5 Ibid., 142.
6 Randall N. Baer, Inside the New Age Nightmare (Lafayette, LA: Huntington House, 1989), 140.
7 Ibid., 171.
8 Kevin Ryerson, Spirit Communication: The Soul’s Path (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1989), 160.
9 Shirley MacLaine, Out on a Limb (New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1989), 291.
10 Williamson, Return to Love, 158.

Fact? Christian: Contents

Fact? Christian: Cover

AskABibleTeacher: (Jews and Gentiles, Dominion Theology / Post Millennialism, The Q Document) -Jack Kelley

Jews and Gentiles

Q. In Matthew 15:26 and Mark 7:27 the Lord Jesus referred to Jews as “children” and to the Gentiles as “dogs”.  In Romans 10:12, Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11 I read “there is no difference?” What brought about the change?

 

A. In Matt. 15:26 the Lord said, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” His point was that it wasn’t right to take something meant for one group and give it to another group. His comments were not meant to be demeaning to Gentiles.  He proved that when He commended the Gentile woman for her faith and delivered her daughter from demon possession.

Paul was showing us that in the Church there is no difference between Jew and Gentile but all are one in Christ. All believers are saved by grace and will go in the rapture and receive their inheritance as part of the Church, whether Jew or Gentile.

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Dominion Theology / Post Millennialism

Q. What do Dominion Theology / post-millennial believers think about the anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation?

 

A. Taken literally the term post-millennial means after the millennium. This view holds that the Millennium took place in heaven during the first 1000 years of the Church Age and is now over. Advocates of Post-Millennialism can have different views of end-times prophecy.

Postmillenial Preterists believe that most of the book of Revelation was fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., and that many of the prophecies in the New Testament point to that time. They contend that Nero was the anti-Christ and the Great Tribulation resulted in the fall of Jerusalem. (Some believe that all prophecy including those referring to the 2nd Coming has been fulfilled.)

Postmillenial Historicists believe that the Book of Revelation prophesies the history of the Church from the Apostolic Era to the future Second Advent of Jesus Christ.

Postmillenial Idealists believe that the strange individuals and creatures and events of Revelation symbolize types of people or institutions throughout church history, and represent the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

Believers in Dominion Theology claim that the Church will subdue the Earth and take dominion over it, citing Genesis 1:28 as their authority.  They believe it’s necessary for the Church to accomplish this before the Lord can return.  As you can see, none of these groups interpret end times prophecy literally.

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The Q Document

Q. At our Minister’s Bible Study class a few weeks ago, we were studying the book of Matthew and he casually mentioned that Matthew didn’t write the book of Matthew.  After I questioned him on why he felt that way, he indicated there was strong evidence that someone named “Q” wrote the several of the gospels.  I had never heard about this before nor had any other students in this Bible Study class.  Can you tell me more about this “Q” Gospel and what are your thoughts on it?

 

A. The so-called Q or source gospel hypothesis is based on the unproven claim that Matthew, Mark and Luke are not original, but are all derived from an earlier document that has never been found. (The letter Q stands for the German word “quelle” which means source.)

However, the originality of all 4 Gospels is accepted by every major scholar who believes the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.

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AskABibleTeacher: (Islamic Anti-Christ? Follow Up, The First Horseman Of Rev. 6, Giving Account To The Lord) -Jack Kelley

Islamic Anti-Christ? Follow Up

Q. In a recent answer you said you believe the anti-Christ could be Muslim.  I think that your scenario is unlikely.   I read in the book of Daniel that – the whole reason he is the anti-Christ, that is the anti-messiah, is that he is a false Jewish religious leader, and not the “Muslim” 12th Imam.  Israel would thus never accept him, and we know that the state of Israel “will receive”  the anti-Christ.

 

A. In Matt 24:15 Jesus warned all covenant keeping Jews to flee into the desert when the Abomination of Desolation (the anti-Christ standing in the Temple claiming to be God) takes place. This will include both Old Covenant Jews and Messianic believers who missed the rapture.  After that the majority of Jews left in Israel will be unbelievers who won’t be concerned about the religious beliefs of their leaders.

Also, in Ezekiel 44:7-8 we see that one of the first things God will do upon returning to the Temple after the 2nd Coming will be to accuse the Jews of bringing uncircumcised foreigners into His sanctuary and putting them in charge.  This can only be a reference to the anti-Christ and the false prophet and confirms they won’t be Jewish.

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The First Horseman Of Rev. 6

Q. The most common interpretations of the rider on the white horse in Rev. 6:2 are: 1) Christ, 2) Anti-Christ, 3) Military conquest, and  4)  “Proclamation of the Gospel of Christ in all the world” (I don’t remember hearing this before).  My view has been the Anti-Christ but the fourth view is very interesting. What do you think?

 

A. I’m convinced that number 2 is the correct choice.  Those who pick number 4 subscribe to a false teaching called “Dominion Theology”  which holds that the church will convert the world to Christianity and become a dominant force before the Lord comes back. Although popular among Charismatics, this teaching is inconsistent with the Bible which says as the end approaches the True Church will become weaker (2 Timothy 4:3, Rev. 3:8) not stronger.

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Giving Account To The Lord

Q. The Bible states that on Judgment Day, everyone (those who’ve accepted Jesus as well as those who haven’t) will give an account for every thought, word, and deed either good, bad or indifferent. My question is: WHY?   When I go before God to give my account, to what end does it serve? Even if He gives me total recall of everything, I know none of my answers are good enough to satisfy Him, and I know what a wretched mess I am.  What’s the point?

 

A. I’m not sure what verse you’re referring to, but 2 Cor. 5:10 says that as believers “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

This is a reference to the Bema Seat judgment that happens after the rapture. Paul also spoke about it in 1 Cor. 3:10-15 where he said that our works that meet the test will earn us rewards while those that don’t will be burned up. He said that regardless of the outcome of the judgment we’ll still be saved.

In 1 Cor. 4:5 he said that the test for these works will be the motive of our heart as we performed them, and since we usually can’t discern our own motives it will be necessary for Him to reveal them to us when we give account. I think we’ll all be greatly surprised at which ones are credited to us and which ones are burned up. To my knowledge, this is the only judgment believers will experience.

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J.VernonMcGeeArticles: About Jesus Christ "His Only Son"

Articles by Thru the Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee photo

His Only Son
J. Vernon McGee


 

And they came to the place which God had told them of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me….And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son. (Genesis 22:9-12, 15, 16)

 

I have a question to ask: Did Abraham do it? No, he did not offer his son, but God says to him, "Because you have done this thing…." You see, Abraham believed God, and he went far enough to let you and me know - God already knew - and to let the created universe know that he was willing to give his son. And so God counted it to him that he had done it. Abraham is justified by faith, but he is also justified before men by his works. He demonstrated that he had that faith.

And "hast not withheld thy son, thine only son." Notice how God plays upon that - because He gave His only Son.

Through this incident, God is making it clear that there will have to be a Man to stand in the gap, there will have to be a Man capable of becoming the Savior of the race if anyone is to be saved. That is a great lesson given to us in this chapter. Abraham said that God would provide Himself a Lamb, and they found a ram and offered it. But God did provide a Lamb nineteen hundred years later in Christ. God stayed Abraham's hand and did not let him go through with the sacrifice of Isaac because it would have been wrong. God spared Abraham's son, but God did not spare His own Son but gave Him up freely for us all.

J.VernonMcGeeArticles: About Jesus Christ "The Rejected Shepherd"

Articles by Thru the Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee photo

The Rejected Shepherd
J. Vernon McGee

And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; and the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. (Genesis 46:31–34)

They had the same problem in Egypt in that day as we had in the western part of the United States. I remember when I was a boy in West Texas that, if a man tried to raise sheep in that area, he was in trouble. He found he didn't have any friends at all, and I mean he was in real trouble. Just so, the Egyptians didn't care for shepherds.

It is interesting that the Word of God has had so much to say about shepherds. These people were shepherds who raised their own sheep, and they still do in the land of Israel. "Shepherd" is the figure of speech which is used to describe our Lord. He is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep. He is the Great Shepherd of His sheep who watches over them today. He is the Chief Shepherd who is yet to appear. He even calls Himself the Shepherd.

And, my friend, He is an abomination to the world. He is not received today. I am speaking of the real Jesus Christ. Liberalism has concocted a Jesus that the world will accept. They have made an idol that doesn't even look like the Lord Jesus of the Bible. The one they talk about is not virgin-born; he never performed miracles; he did not die for the sins of the world; and he was not raised bodily from the dead. The Jesus of the liberal never lived. There is no record of a Jesus like that. The only One we have records of was virgin-born, performed miracles, died for the sins of the world, and arose bodily from the grave. That is the Shepherd whom the world doesn't like. He is still an abomination to the world.

FocusOnTheFamily: "Bullying"

Focus on the Family

Bullying

As a parent, there are four ways you can provide support to your child when he is being bullied.

  1. Don't wait for your child to talk about it. You might need to poke around with different terms: "Is someone picking on you at school?" "Is anyone starting fights with you at recess?"
    Some bullies threaten to harm your child or members of his family if he tells. Your child may also hesitate to talk if he feels guilty for allowing himself to be bullied. Keeping communication lines open will assure your child that there is hope.
  2. Watch for nonverbal signs of bullying. Does your child want to stay home? Does he keep losing his lunch money? Is he hungry right after school even though he took a big lunch? These are all possible warning signs.
  3. Encourage your child to make friends. Being with one other buddy might deter a bully. Most go for kids who are alone. While peer support does not replace adult intervention, it does provide an emotional safety net and, most important, it can help restore lost hope.
  4. Let school authorities know what's going on in a discreet manner. Your child may fear that if you "do something about it," it will make things worse. Keep the same "easy touch" in mind if you know the parents of the bully and decide to contact them. Being aware of these dynamics can help you know how to respond.

Even if your child isn't a victim, it can be beneficial to have a discussion about this topic. Who knows? Your child might become a protector of someone being bullied, or he may even decide to show compassion to a bully who feels guilty about how he's treating others.


The Wounded Spirit

Many adults carry some kind of psychological hurt from their childhood years.

Bullying. It's a childhood rite of passage. Just ignore it. You'll get over it.

Except most likely you won't. Frank Peretti knows this firsthand. He's one of the many walking wounded who suffered at the hands of classmates — and sometimes teachers. His is a wounded spirit, and he believes a large number of adults carry some kind of psychological hurt from their childhood years. And the cycle continues. A recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that nearly a third of children in sixth through 10th grades had either bullied or been bullied.

The best-selling author of supernatural thrillers such as This Present Darkness, The Visitation and The Oath, the 50-year-old Peretti did not have a very pleasant childhood. His was a loving home; the problem came at school but grew from much earlier roots.

Shortly after birth Peretti was diagnosed with cystic hygroma, a growth on the side of his neck that grew so large it threatened to strangle him. Barely two months old, he was rushed to the hospital, where doctors tried to remove as much of the mass as possible. After 10 days in the hospital, he went home, "a tiny bag of bones with a long scar and black sutures that made it appear as if my head had been nearly severed and then sewn back on," he says.

Peretti underwent many surgeries in the following years, and because of his physical struggles his body did not mature as quickly as other children's. Aside from the scar on his neck, the most obvious symptom of his malady was his tongue: swollen to the point it stuck out of his mouth, black, scabby and oozing. If Peretti ever wanted to forget about it, his classmates were sure not to let him. Not only was his tongue grotesque, but it left him with a speech impediment.

A virtual prison

Peretti describes his junior high school years, particularly the physical education classes, in harrowing terms. Going into the locker room meant sure torment from the stronger boys — just about everyone, that is. Being slammed up against lockers. Snapped with wet towels. Name-calling. And a coach who seemed not to notice or care. He felt trapped.

Peretti grew up in a Christian home, and "what you learned at home, you conducted yourself accordingly at school: You obey your teachers, you do what the teachers tell you."

Peretti blames the school system's sense that "that's just the way things are" for some of what he endured. "There's the idea that somehow manliness is equated with cruelty; if you're cruel, if you're tough, if you one-up everybody physically, that makes you a man," he says. "That's the way it was in gym class anyway. The teacher's demeanor just permeated the rest of the class. But in that environment, that suck-it-up, no-pain, be-a-man environment, you're not going to complain about being picked on. And Mom and Dad said I had to be there. The teachers said I had to be there. No one, not one adult anywhere, said, 'You know what, Frank? What's happening to you is wrong. You shouldn't be putting up with that.'"

The bullying extended beyond the school yard. At a neighborhood store, where a classmate worked, Peretti needed help finding the deodorant aisle. The boy took him there and pretended to be helpful, picking up a spray can and asking if that was what he needed — just before spraying the deodorant in Peretti's face. In pain and humiliation, Peretti stumbled outside, collapsed on the curb and cried from the deep anguish in his soul.

He retreated into his own world at home, picking up an interest in movie monsters such as Frankenstein and the Creature From the Black Lagoon. "What made monsters cool to me was they were ugly," he says. "They were rejected. They were misunderstood. They were picked on, but the thing about monsters I liked was they seemed to have some kind of control over the situation. They weren't victims. They made victims."

But one teacher finally made a difference. It was something as simple as noticing a downcast young boy and taking the time to ask a simple question: How are you doing? Such concern from an authority figure was a revelation to Peretti, and it inspired him to write a note to the gym teacher, detailing what he had to suffer every day in P.E. class.

"I wrote pages and pages," Peretti says. "I worked on it every free moment that day. I worked on it at home. I just prayed so much when I was writing the letter." He then put the multiple-paged, single-spaced, both-sides-of-the-paper note in the teacher's mail slot.

A few days later, the gym teacher gruffly called Peretti into his office. Peretti was expecting the worst. Incredibly, the coach and a guidance counselor had arranged for Peretti to be exempted from P.E. "He was real kind," Peretti says of the teacher, still sounding a bit amazed. "He smiled at me. I told him, 'If you were a girl, I'd kiss you.' He just smiled back and said, 'You're welcome.' It just took one teacher to care. One teacher to ask me how I was and not make excuses and shrug it off."

Peretti believes more teachers and principals need to show such concern. While in no way excusing Dylan Klebold or Eric Harris, the two gunmen at Columbine High School, Peretti says he does in a way identify with them. "At Columbine, my word, the kids were slammed against lockers, they were squirted and pelted with food in the lunchroom. They were being run off the road by the jocks in their cars. There were kids actually getting to class by going outside the school building and circling around and coming in the other way so they wouldn't be picked on in the hallways, and all this going on in a school environment, and nothing was done about it.

"If you've got the disposition to let anger fester, and that's what happened with Klebold and Harris, something is going to happen. They had so much anger. These guys were pretty warped in the first place, but if I had that kind of disposition, and I was back in seventh grade, and I had Mr. _____ for a gym teacher, and I had a gun, who knows? I was a Christian, so I had a moral base to prevent me from doing anything like that."

But, he is quick to add, many children today do not have that base and are immersed in a culture of violence and decadence.

The making of a bully and a victim

"Where does it start?" Peretti asks. "At some point in a child's life he becomes the inferior one, the different one, the ugly one, the fat one. For whatever reason that shapes the way he interacts. He becomes retiring, quiet — either that, or overly compensating and defensive. It's like painting a sign around your neck: 'Beat up on me because you'll get away with it.' You begin to expect to be treated that way, and the other kids pick up on that like an animal smelling prey."

And everyone, even victims, can in turn be bullies themselves.

"I think human nature, being what it is, it's kind of the natural thing we do," he says. "It's easy to be mean." He remembers one of his own victims, a boy in his Boy Scout troop. "I remember how I and the other scouts would make him the fall guy. I don't think we were real cruel, but we were hard enough on him."

Girls can be bullies just as much as boys, he adds. "Boys are more into the physical stuff. The girls are more into the social. They'll ostracize, insult, leave out, ignore, put down a girl."

Peretti divides bullies into two basic types. "One is the bully who bullies because he has a deep troubling need of his own. He's picked on or he's got a very unsuccessful life. Trouble at home, an underachiever, for whatever reason, he has a real need to elevate himself by picking on somebody else.

"The other kind of bully is the one you may not expect: the very successful kid. The good student, the athlete, the kid who has everything going for him. He falls into a trap of thinking it's just the cool thing to do, especially with his friends."

Whichever type of bully, the results can have lasting implications. In Peretti's case, they affected a major life decision. He had been accepted at Seattle Pacific University and was in a college office for administrative matters before the school year started.

"Some upperclassman came in — had his letterman's jacket on, big guy — and immediately made some snide comment: 'Oh, this must be a poor, dumb freshman.' I went outside and said it's not going to happen again. I am not going back to the seventh grade. I didn't go to Seattle Pacific University. I didn't go to college until I was 25. That was a life decision born out of a wound that began when I was a child."

And whether bully or bullied, the wounds are often carried for life. He cites a friend whose two boys were being harassed at a Christian school. What made it worse for the dad, however, was that he had been a bully during his school days.

"He said, 'I'm on the other side of this. I still remember the names and faces of the kids I picked on, and I'm troubled today with their memory and the haunting question of whatever happened to them.

'Are they still carrying wounds that I put there?'"


The New American Girl

Violence from girls is on the rise. Here's what you as a parent need to know and do to help your daughter.

A young teen grabbed another girl by her hair and shoved her to the ground. When the girl hit the concrete, the teen hit her one more time and then walked away. The victim had been one of her friends.

Bystanders would not be able to pick this angry teen — with the violence simmering beneath the surface — from any other at a mall. She looked like the girl next door, except she had embraced a theory: You've got to take care of yourself; get them before they get you.

She explained her philosophy: "If a guy is a player, I'll play him first. If my parents make me mad, I'll make them pay."

Some are calling this breed the "New American Girl." She's more physical, not afraid to be aggressive or go after what she wants, and she takes care of herself. A report from the Population Reference Bureau states that national arrest statistics for simple and aggravated assaults by girls have been climbing for more than a decade and continue to rise.

While some girls resort to violence, others are turning their independence into a positive. They aren't afraid to succeed in sports or politics. They stand up for their convictions. They chase their dreams.

The challenge for parents of girls is to model strength without violence, set limits and consequences and explain how aggression can be destructive to them, their relationships and others.

0- to 3-year-olds: Set Limits

Babies aren't born with radar telling them how far they can go with their behavior. They learn limitations from their parents. Toddlers may resort to kicking or hitting a parent or sibling when they are angry. This behavior is an invitation for parents to set boundaries.

  • Be direct. When toddlers hit, show disapproval immediately. Tell them "no" firmly. Hold the child's hands gently and look into the child's eyes as you say no.
  • Be consistent. Toddlers will be confused about their limitations if one day they are disciplined for a behavior and the next day they get away with it.
  • Pray. After the boundaries are set and the child has consistently been disciplined, pray that God will give your child an obedient spirit to serve Him.

4- to 7-year-olds: Little Mean Girls

If a teacher has sent a note home saying that your daughter is being mean to another girl in class, your instinct may be to ignore it or place blame on others. Don't.

A growing social trend among 4- to 7-year-old girls is to label some as "Little Mean Girls." Those girls are the ones who find it socially beneficial to tell lies, secrets or rumors about classmates, to exclude peers or to give others the silent treatment. They use relational aggression.

Step One: Parents should search for the whole story. Is your child the instigator? Does she feel that she has to join in with whatever friends are doing to keep friendships intact? Is she going along with the crowd?

Step Two: Be her role model. If you gossip about the teacher or others in front of your child, she learns to do the same. Let her know that this is unacceptable behavior for everyone, including you.

Step Three: Gently teach spiritual truth. It may be socially acceptable in the second grade to isolate another girl, but show your daughter why it is wrong biblically.

Step Four: Let her know that you are available to listen or talk with her when she feels aggressive toward another person or pressured to join in. Assure her that you will work together to find a more positive way to handle the situation.

8- to 12-year-olds: Self-Injuring

A 12-year-old scratches her arm with the sharp edge of a ruler. When her parents confront her, they discover deeper cuts on her legs. If your daughter is self-injuring, your instinct may be to punish her, but this may only increase the risky, self-violent behavior.

The underlying factor behind self-injury is often an inability to express emotions or fears. The 12-year-old heard from her friends that cutting herself would make her feel good, and the release of endorphins do make her feel better, if only temporarily. As a parent, you should:

  • Address the issue immediately.
  • Look deeper for the real problem.
  • Let her know that she is valuable to you and to God; eliminate shame from the process.
  • Pray with her, if she is open to praying with you. Pray for her silently if she isn't.
  • Seek help from a Christian counselor if you believe her self-injury is ongoing.

Teens: Tracking Violence

Is your daughter becoming more violent? Sandy Austin, author and veteran high school counselor on the scene after the Columbine violence, believes there are more stresses in girls' lives, and many are not equipped with healthy ways to deal with their anger and frustrations. "Look for unresolved issues that they may not have processed thoroughly, including losses, rejection, unmet expectations, betrayal and insecurities, and invest in the help they need to work through it."

You can partner in that process. Conflict and frustration is a natural part of life, and teens are watching to see how we deal with it. Don't avoid conflict or paint a false picture of harmony when real issues are simmering in the home. By talking about it and working as a family to resolve conflict, teens learn how they should act or react when they face it themselves.


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