Translations

Monday, October 31, 2022

MOLLY'S BIRTHDAY FUN - at Age Seven! (published 10-31-2022; article #369)

 Introduction

Greetings, dear reader, on Halloween! The weather has been morning rain to cloudy afternoon. The sun peaks out at times. Trick-or-treaters won't get wet this evening.

Most importantly, today is Molly doggy's birthday! She is seven years young. Molly was born, probably, in February 2015. She had escaped her original owner, to visit friends, on Halloween of 2015. Molly was about eight months old. After we got Molly, we started counting her birthday on Halloween every year. Molly likes the day that we picked!

Molly's Birthday Photographs!

Late this morning, despite the wet and cloudy conditions, Molly had fun with Gordon and me – while Gordon, of Bi-County Propane, filled our backyard propane tank! (Bi-County Propane doesn't have a website, but you can reach a real person by phone – with no robot asking you questions! I recommend them highly, if you need propane!)

I took the two photographs, below, at 11:34 AM. Molly likes Gordon! Well, Molly likes everyone!

Howdy, Molly! I was trying to get her to stop long enough for that first photograph.

Molly is looking right at you! Say hello! Do you see the intelligence in her eyes? She's standing beside Gordon. Thanks, Gordon, for allowing me to include part of you in the photograph!

 Molly's “Molly-TV” Video!

We often watch M*A*S*H, on MeTV, when Molly is inside with us in the evenings. I joke, by calling it “Molly-TV.” Well, Molly-TV is live, as of this article! Enjoy her first program (1 minute, 8 seconds)!

I couldn't hold my camera and continue playing “plastic bottle game” with Molly! We continued the game after I'd stopped recording. I was speaking in my “Molly language,” which she likes.

I have a human language. I have a Molly language. Molly understands my Molly language. I can understand her language – by her expression, how she cocks her ears, how she turns her head, how she looks at me, and how she barks. I understand Molly language well enough.

Conclusion

Happy birthday to Molly! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I love our ol' puppy!

I'll continue my series on Christian Evidences, but I needed to write this article today. The depth of my theological studies, by the way, indicate that “all good dogs to to heaven!” My reference is Second Opinions 3:16! You are welcome to quote me on that!


Friday, October 28, 2022

CHRISTIAN EVIDENCES (APOLOGETICS): Introduction (published 10-28-2022; article #368; series article #1)

4/7/2017 Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash. Free to use under the Unsplash License.

Introduction

Hello, dear reader! You are uniquely you. You may be a first-time or regular reader. Thanks for stopping by! I started this article yesterday. I published it today, 10/28/2022, Friday.

Yesterday, at 12:15 PM, website analytics showed, at that minute: all time views 157,831 (since 3/6/2006, so far), 10/27/2022 84 (so far), 10/26/2022 169, this month 2,259 (so far), and last month 2,325. In the last 24 hours (as of 10/27/2022, at 12:15 PM), viewers were from: United States 63, India 11, Netherlands 6, Germany 5, United Kingdom 5, Taiwan 4, Japan 3, Austria 2, Canada 2, China 2, Russia 2, Belarus 1, Spain 1, France 1, Israel 1, Iran 1, and Poland 1.

You, dear reader, are still uniquely you. I write as if we're talking one to one.

Inspiration for this Article (in New Topic Section)

Being retired, I'd thought, yesterday, about running a couple of errands, or hiking, or touching up the paint on the front porch rocking chairs. I thought about fixing the knob on the door between the kitchen and laundry room.

Yesterday, before sunrise, however, I had checked my Folks, to Whom I Subscribe section and found that brother Phil Robertson had published an article the evening before. I read and commented on his article: “Let’s Talk About What’s Really Wrong with Our Elections: I’ll vote on November 8, but I’ll pray more.” By Phil Robertson, on “Unashamed with Phil Robertson,” 10/26/2022. Mine was the twelfth comment.

The tenth comment was from another brother in Christ, Jim Richardson. He has an active website that I enjoy visiting at times. Jim writes well. Yesterday, I commented on his article: “Inward Parts: A most incredible filtration device,” by Jim Richardson, on “From My Brain To Yours,” 10/23/2022.

Brother Jim replied with his comment, which suggested that I read his article on the same topic: “First Cause: Did you know that every design has a designer?” By Jim Richardson, on “From My Brain To Yours,” 9/7/2022. Jim's articles of 9/7/2022 and 10/23/2022 affirm that God exists, based on the argument from design. Jim articulated the affirmative quite well. Thanks, Jim!

Yesterday, using Search My Website, I looked for “Christian Evidences,” “proof God exists,” and “apologetics.” I found articles, which I've written over the years, that touch on those topics. My Logic - Theology - Deep Stuff Topic Section has 37 articles. I glanced through each article.

I realized that my website does not yet have a full article, or series of articles, on Christian Evidences (or Christian Apologetics). The Religion/Apologetics section, of my website, links to seven websites that provide articles on the topic.

I've preached sermon series on the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, and the deity of Christ. When we lived in Charleston, Missouri (1986 - 1992), I wrote a series of newspaper articles on the topics. I may be able to retrieve those old sermons and newspaper articles from floppy disks.

Introduction to Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Series

This is the introductory article to my new Topic Section series on Christian Evidences (Apologetics). I stand on the shoulders of many fine scholars. In college, I sat at the feet of scholars, who taught Christian Evidences. My library includes several books – which I have read, written by scholarly authors – on the subject. The purpose of this series is to encapsulate my lifelong study on this topic into website articles.

My articles publish in chronological order (Website Archive). Articles on other topics will intermix, chronologically, with articles on this topic. The Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Topic Section will contain each article, as I publish them, in topical order.

This series will be available, freely, for readers to share with others. It could be utilized, freely, by preacher training programs, to teach Christian Evidences to students.

My plan – Lord willing, over several months – is to add articles to this topic section. Additional articles will be on the following subjects, in order.

Does God exist?

The ultimate question is: does God exist? If God does not exist, then matter is all that exists. There is no human soul. There is no life after death. I will affirm and prove that God exists. I will use the following three arguments as proof. Each argument, alone, verifies that God exists.

The moral argument: If absolute moral law (morality) exists, then a Divine Lawgiver exists. Absolute moral law (morality) exists. Therefore, a Divine Lawgiver, God, exists.

The teleological argument: If the creation (i.e., the universe, the earth, the human body, etc.) indicates intelligent design, then an Intelligent Designer exists. The creation indicates intelligent design. Therefore, an Intelligent Designer, God, exists.

The cosmological argument: If the universe is not eternal, then an Eternal First Cause has always existed. The universe is not eternal. Therefore, an Eternal First Cause, God, has always exited. A simpler form is: If something exists, then something or Someone has always existed. Something (i.e., the cosmos and all that is in it, including the earth, you, and me) exists. Therefore, something or Someone, God, has always existed.

What is the nature of God?

Proving that God exists does not prove the nature of God. What is the nature of God? What is God like?

Evidence from reason and nature will affirm certain aspects of God's nature. The full answer to the question, however, will include the answer to the next question.

Is the Bible the solely-inspired written word of God?

Many so-called inspired books exist. Some of them predate the Bible (Old and/or New Testaments). How do we know that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God?

In contrast to other so-called inspired books, I will affirm that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God. I will do so by arguments from the accuracy of the Bible, the unity of the Bible (in theme, purpose, and doctrine), and biblical prophecy.

Proving that the Bible is the solely-inspired word of God will confirm that all other so-called inspired books are not inspired by God. I will not need to examine all the so-called inspired books (e.g., the Koran, the Book of Mormon, the many Hindu writings, etc.) – if the Bible is verified to be the only book that God inspired. My library contains the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and Hindu writings. I read them decades ago.

I will mention, briefly, how the canon of scripture (66 books, 39 Old Testament, and 27 New Testament) is verified. I plan to suggest website links that explore the art and science of textual criticism – a subject that is separate from Christian Evidences.

Is Jesus the Son of God?

Once I have proved that God exists and that the Bible is his solely-inspired, written word, then I will affirm that Jesus, the Christ, is God – the eternal Word who became flesh, dwelt among us, died as the atoning sacrifice, arose, and ascended back to heaven – and that he is the only path to salvation.

The affirmation will prove that Christianity (as opposed to other world religions) is the only (exclusive) way to God and to salvation.

Conclusion

Yesterday – as I concluded the introduction to this new Christian Evidences (Apologetics) Topic Section – I had wondered if I should have just gone hiking!

I will have my work cut out for me. Of course, I've spoken and written on this topic before – in sermons, in newspaper articles, and in one-on-one evangelism. I need to encapsulate my work in this website article series.

My work stands on the shoulders of authors, educators, and speakers, who have instructed me. Today, as I publish this introduction, many others have written (books and website articles) on this vital topic. My future articles on this topic, Lord willing, will link to several of those sources.

Why do I undertake this significant task? I have national and international readers, who may need to read what I will, Lord willing, continue to write. They may wish to share my writings with others. Preacher training programs may wish to use my article series to teach Christian Evidences to students. I trust that I am sowing on fertile soil.

I am still just one poor beggar, who continues to try to help other poor beggars find the Bread of Life. As the inspired apostle Paul wrote to the Christians at Corinth: “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit” (2 Corinthians 2:17, NIV). All my articles are free – and they always will be.

Phil Robertson, Jim Richardson, many others, and I are trying to bring the Light to the blind. In his same second letter to the Christians at Corinth, the apostle Paul also wrote:

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4, NIV)

Perhaps this article series – as I continue it, over several months, by God's grace – will help readers unblind themselves to the Light. Readers who already know and see the Light may use my articles to help the blind, whom they know, to see the Light.

You, dear reader, are still uniquely you. I write as if we're talking one to one.


Saturday, October 22, 2022

ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSING: Molly is Guilty! (published 10-22-2022; article #367)

Photograph by M. Fearghail, 10/20/2022, 2:33 PM, “Molly in yard TIED - stop invading other yards!”

Introduction


Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart
(Source: Born Free Lyrics. (n.d.) Lyrics.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/5261251/Andy+Williams/Born+Free.)

The quote is the first line of the well-known song, “Born Free.” Clicking the source link finds the full lyrics and history. “Born Free” was also a very good movie. (Why are few, if any, movies like that anymore?) By the way, I detest “govermint” time! We don't set those clocks back until 11/6/2022!

Yesterday morning – in the darkness of “govermint” time – I was up, to see Mrs. Appalachian Irishman off to work – in the darkness. I started singing loudly my improvised lyrics version of “Born Free!” Thankfully, I was not recorded!

Molly (our ol' puppy) will be seven years young, officially, on Halloween. (See my 6/19/2021 article, on Molly.) Age is not slowing Molly down! This article is on Molly's illegal border crossings. Then, I affirm an argument by analogy on USSA illegal border crossings. The conclusion will encourage Molly and all illegal invaders to stay in their own yards!

Molly's Illegal Border Crossings

About a year ago, the box – that holds the battery, for Molly's “stay in the yard” collar – broke off. Molly had continued to stay in the yard – with no illegal border crossings into neighbors' yards. We'd thought, “Good doggy!” We didn't replace the box or use the “stay in the yard” collar. Molly had known her boundaries!

On Tuesday, 10/18/2022, being retired, I was in my home office. Mid-morning, I saw Molly in the yard of a next door neighbor! She came running to me when I called. I tied Molly to a front porch post, with a long lead line. (The photograph above is Molly, in the front yard, on the lead line. I was in our dining room. To me, the blinds and the window screen make Molly look as if she's in jail!)

Molly seemed to have apologized. I retrained her on the yard boundaries. To be on the safe side, I ordered a new battery box and new batteries, but I trusted Molly again.

The next day, Molly stayed in her boundaries – until mid-morning – when I saw her in the subdivision road! This time, Molly did not come to me, when I called! Instead, she darted into various yards, all the way to the subdivision entrance (to our west). I could not get Molly to come to me. I walked back home. I'd given up. A good neighbor, whom Molly had visited, brought her back home. (Thanks, Chuck!)

On Thursday, I no longer trusted Molly to stay in the yard! She stayed in the basement, until I returned – after my haircut and truck wash. Again, I tied Molly on the lead line to a front porch post. The weather has been sunny and warm enough all week. I walked Molly around our yard, marking the border. We talked. She knew that I still liked her but that I was upset by her illegal border crossings.

Yesterday, the birthday of my youngest brother, the error was mine. The cool morning had kept Molly in her basement condominium. I had planned to bring her upstairs, to hang out in the living room, about mid-morning. I was distracted, by trying to figure out when my Tuesday order (new battery box and new batteries) would arrive.

Molly had decided to visit our neighbor, Chuck, again! He brought Molly back. I apologized to him. It was my fault this time. (Sorry, Chuck!)

At 6:33 PM, my Tuesday order arrived! Molly, as usual, spent the evening on the couch, between Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and me. Before bedtime, I set the battery box and new battery on the “stay in the yard” collar. Molly and I went outside, in the dark, to retrain her on the border.

Today, the good news is that Molly has relearned her boundaries! She stays in the yard. If she tests her borders, then the collar reminds her with a little shock. Molly does not like those little shocks! Molly is now, officially, a “good, ol' puppy” once again!

Illegal Border Crossings

On Wednesday, Molly's illegal border crossings – into neighbors' yards – brought the illegal border crossings – into this once great nation – to my mind. The thought inspired this article.

My 8/5/2022 article linked to my 8/5/2022 podcast – on “Illegal Analogy.” I really don't want to write another article on this subject, but I will. I have to do so. The blind need to see the light. I'll shine the light another time, on this tiring topic.

The various media sources repeat, ad nauseam, on this topic. Early this morning, I happened to notice a TV channel that Mrs. Appalachian Irishman was watching. I don't recall which network. The commentator contrasted the lower number of illegals, who had invaded this nation, during President Trump, to the much higher number, who continue to cross the border illegally, under President Biden.

I will not drone on further. I'm tired of this obviously easy topic. Secure the border! Stop the illegal invasion! The socialists think that they are adding more socialist voters. They continue to transform this once great nation into the Socialist Utopian Oblivion that they desire.

As many of my like-minded readers, I continue to stand. Our property border is secure. No illegals (humans or domestic animals) invade our property. Well, a neighbor's dog visits at times, but she's allowed short visits. Wild animals have no borders. They are “born free” in the wild. Turkeys, deer, rabbits, squirrels, and such visit at times. We don't care for the skunks that visit rarely.

Conclusion

This argument by analogy is concluded. Molly knows her borders again. She won't cross illegally into another neighbor's yard. I stopped Molly's illegal border crossings.

I wish that humans would stop crossing the border illegally into this once great nation. The “powers that be” know how to stop them. They are not ignorant. The “govermint” wants the illegal invasion to continue – at least until election day, on 11/8/2022 – two days after we get off “govermint” time! We'll see what happens.

By the way, today, the Tennessee Vols beat the UT Martin Skyhawks, on homecoming, 65 - 24. (I thought that a Skyhawk was a car that Buick made a few decades ago.) I named the game the “Tennessee football civil war” – Tennessee Knoxville against Tennessee Martin (northwest Tennessee). My Dawgs have an open date today.

My 10/19/2022 article proposed a bet, with my UT Vol readers. I've had no takers yet. I forgot that some UT Vol readers could be ladies, who don't mind wearing pink.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

10-15-2022 Football Review: GA Bulldogs compared to TN Vols (published 10-19-2022; article #366)

Introduction

I had taken the above photograph on House Mountain, on Saturday, 10/16/2010 – my 71st hike there. I was at the lower middle bluff, looking west, of course. My 10/24/2010 article includes all seven photographs that I had taken. The orange glow, at sunset, was breathtaking. I hiked out in half-moon darkness.

Rocky Top still has an orange glow of victory, after the game last Saturday. My 9/18/2022 article reviewed the 9/17/2022 football games that Georgia and Tennessee played. On Saturday, 10/15/2022, my Georgia Bulldogs (Dawgs) and the Tennessee Volunteers (Vols) each played different teams, at 3:30 PM. I flipped back and forth between the TV stations – staying on the Georgia game mostly. It was a pleasant football Saturday.

The Georgia - Vanderbilt game ended earlier. Tennessee snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Alabama! Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I watched the entire final half of the fourth quarter. As a Bulldog follower, the final minutes of the Tennessee - Alabama game were certainly entertaining and somewhat humorous! I did not endure the tension, frustration, then elation – as Tennessee fans did. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, however, did get tense, frustrated, then happy. Molly (our doggy) and I enjoyed witnessing her emotions! My wife still sips a little orange Kool-Aid.

Georgia (#1 AP/Coaches) vs. Vanderbilt, 3:30 PM

Georgia's 100th homecoming game blew out Vanderbilt (the hapless “Commode Doors”), 55 to 0. Georgia dominated, allowing only 150 yards and gaining 579 yards in total offense. Early Sunday morning, I enjoyed reading “Bulldogs Blast Vandy In Homecoming Win,” on Georgia Dogs, 10/15/2022, 07:01 PM.

Georgia's first homecoming game, on 11/18/1922, was a loss to Vanderbilt: Georgia 0, Vanderbilt 12. (Source: “Homecoming Games,” on Georgia Dogs, 3/31/2009.) A hundred years later, the tale of two teams is different!

Great win, Dawgs! Win out the rest of the season! The final five games are 10/29/22 Florida, 11/5/22 Tennessee, 11/12/22 Mississippi State, 11/19/22 Kentucky, 11/26/22 Georgia Tech! The open date is 10/22/2022.

Tennessee vs. Alabama, 3:30 PM

The Vols' last win over the Crimson Tide was 15 years ago, in Knoxville – on 10/21/2006 (my youngest brother's birthday). The Vols won 16 - 13. In 2006, I was self-employed, as a life and health insurance “sales professional” (salesman). Dad (Earl Ferrell, 9/17/1927 - 1/25/2008) was still with us and doing well enough.

Fifteen years ago, Tennessee was ranked #7 in the AP poll. Alabama was not ranked. (Source: “October 15, 2006 AP Football Poll,” on College Poll Archive.) The Vols finished the 2006 season, under Phillip Fulmer, as AP #25, with nine wins, four losses. (Source: “2006 Tennessee Volunteers Schedule and Results,” on Sports Reference.) The Crimson Tide finished 2006, under Mike Shula, unranked, with six wins, seven losses. (Source “2006 Alabama Crimson Tide Schedule and Results,” on Sports Reference.)

Coming into the 10/15/2022 game, Tennessee was ranked #6 in the AP poll and #8 in the Coaches poll. Alabama was ranked #3 in both the AP & Coaches polls. (The rankings are from ESPN week seven,10/9/2022.)

The day after the win, I read “No. 6 Vols Take Down No. 3 Alabama As Time Expires, 52-49,” UTSports.com, 10/15/2022, which states in part:

The Vols, who scored their most points ever in the 105-game series, improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC, securing their first triumph over the Crimson Tide since 2006. In surrendering the most points since giving up 54 to Sewanee in 1907, UA fell to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in league play.

Also of note, Tennessee has defeated four ranked teams for the first time in a regular season since 1998. That year, it took care of No. 17 Syracuse, No. 2 Florida, No. 7 Georgia and No. 10 Arkansas.

I also glanced at “Football History vs University of Alabama from Nov 28, 1901 - Oct 15, 2022,” on UTSports.com. The Vols have 39 wins, 59 losses, and 7 ties – from 11/28/1901 to 10/15/2022. The losing and winning streaks are shown.

After beating Alabama, Tennessee ranked #3 AP, #4 Coaches. Alabama dropped to #6 AP/Coaches.

Josh Heupel, 2021+ (ongoing, 13 wins - 6 losses), may be turning the Vols around! Since Phillip Fulmer (1992 - 2008, 151 wins - 52 losses), the “coaching carousel” has been: Lane Kiffin (2009, 7-6), Derek Dooley (2010-12, 15-21), Jim Chaney (2012, 1-0), and Butch Jones (2013-17, 34-29). Wait! I forgot to add Jeremy Pruitt (2018-20, 16-19)!

Conclusion

Great win, Vols! Win five out of your remaining six games – 10/22/22 UT Martin, 10/29/22 Kentucky, 11/12/22 Missouri, 11/19/22 South Carolina, 11/26/22 Vanderbilt!

On 11/5/2022, I plan, Lord willing, to wear my Georgia Bulldogs T-shirt as I watch my Dawgs beat you! Go Dawgs!

Would any Vol fan readers like to wager a friendly bet? I won't bet money. If the Vols win, I'll buy and wear Tennessee football shirts the next week. If Georgia wins, Vol fans who “bet” with me must wear pink shirts the next week.

Any Vol fans willing to bet?


Tuesday, October 18, 2022

HERITAGE DAYS: Age 13, Crossbow, & Sorry, Vendors! (published 10-18-2022; article #365)

Photo by Koray Guler on Unsplash.

Introduction

I started to write this article on Saturday, but chores and college football overruled. Today, the weather is cloudy and cooler, and we have about an inch of snow on the ground – believe it or not?

On 10/14/2022, Friday, some of the Fearghail clan gathered, at the home of my youngest brother and his family. The gathering included a new teenager and crossbow shooting! The day was wonderful! The weather was sunny and not too warm.

I'll mention Rogersville Heritage Days, before I conclude. I must “apologize” to the out-of-town vendors.

Fearghail Heritage Day

I didn't take any photographs. My semi-intelligent phone was in our 2012 Nissan Sentra. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman had her phone, but she's not the photographer that I am. My youngest brother did record our singing of “Happy Birthday,” which I sang in Russian.

On that Friday, the youngest daughter, of my youngest brother and his wife, attained her first year as a teenager! We drove up to join the celebration!

Before the birthday dinner (or lunch, as Yankees call it), the conversation flowed from topic to topic. By my instigation, the conversation turned, for a “movement in time,” to the use of various words.

The need to “visit the restroom” was mentioned. My humor had asked, “So, you need to go to the crapper?” Thomas Crapper improved the design of the commode. I'm glad that my last name isn't another name for the lavatory – as Crapper's is! By the way, the Good Lord won't spank you for saying “crap,” but your mother might!

After birthday dinner and ice cream cake, we all went out to the back yard. Their two dogs were glad to see us! I enjoyed playing with them. Later, once we returned home, Molly, our doggy, had to sniff on us a while!

The highlight was target shooting, with a compound bow and arrows! I hadn't shot a regular bow and arrow since high school. The Boy Scouts taught me how to shoot a bow and arrow. A high school buddy and I made bows ourselves. We'd cut and shaped either hickory or elm and attached line. We had to buy arrows, since the ones that we'd made were not perfectly straight.

I watched as my youngest brother and two daughters shot his compound bow. I decided to try. I'd never shot a compound bow before. I took some time, to figure out the process. I took one shot. I hit the target, about 30 yards away, a little low and to the left of dead center! I tried to set up for another shot, but the compound bow didn't want to cooperate with me. I need to practice the use of a compound bow. I may do that. We couldn't find one arrow that had been a stray shot. I guess that someone found it, after we left.

That Fearghail heritage day made a good memory – as a straight arrow shot to the target center!

Rogersville Heritage Days

I last mentioned Rogersville Heritage Days, in my 10/10/2021 article. Mrs. Appalachian Irishman and I had visited Heritage Days last year. That article includes two photographs.

On Friday, my youngest brother and family did not want to go walking around Main Street on Heritage Days. That was fine with us. We had a Fearghail heritage day instead.

I honor the good heritage of my hometown. My 8/7/2021 article – which has viewers almost every day – confirmed that Rogersville is the second oldest town in Tennessee, not Dandridge! (Our Dandridge friends never did rebut my proof!)

I'd like to have seen at least a couple of cousins and some high school friends – if we'd had enough time. We enjoy, well enough, the walk up and down Main Street, glancing into some of the vendors' shops. We might have bought some Winesap apples, if any were for sale. We're not interested in the usual items that vendors sell.

Many, or most, of the street vendors are not local. They come in from out of town. So, I must apologize to those out-of-town vendors. No sale this year! Not even a stop by to glance!

Conclusion

An arrow must be straight, to be a straight shot. A crooked arrow will not shoot straight, even if aimed by the best marksman.

The Fearghail clan gathering affirmed that the daughters of my youngest brother and his wife are growing up straight as an arrow. They will “shoot straight” in life, since they are being raised right.

Are you a straight or crooked arrow? Shoot straight in life. The marksman's target is the heavenly center!


Wednesday, October 12, 2022

DENOMINATIONALISM: 2012 Discussion Continued (published 10-12-2022; updated 10-26-2022; article #364)

Introduction

I awakened about 5 AM, roughly an hour or so early for me. I told Mrs. Appalachian Irishman, who was up already, as usual, that I was fine. I'd had a dream about Mom (Betty Lou Wood Ferrell, 11/24/1932 - 12/27/2000) and various other family and friends, at the homeplace. I won't share the details; however, it was neither pleasant nor unpleasant. The dream had weird moments. I still wonder why I couldn't get the living room curtains (which were green, not antique white) to stay in place properly! (“Antique white,” apparently, is the fancy word for white that has a sandy color to it.)

“Microcrap” wanted me to reboot, to install an update. I gambled that it would work, and it did. Afterward, for some reason, I started checking through some old folders in “File Explorer” (the yellow folder stuff on a computer). I found a forgotten document in an old yellow folder.

The discovery of that forgotten document inspired this article. My God is bigger than that! Please continue reading, to understand. This article is deep and theological, in contract to my humorous article yesterday.

2012 Discussion

Just over ten years ago, in September, 2012, I had browsed upon a website, which has since been renamed, but which is still active. The renamed website is Pre-Denominational Christianity. In 2012, it was named Preacher of Truth.

I had read “It Doesn’t Taste The Same: The Problem of Denominationalism,” by Jon Mitchell, Preacher of Truth, 8/30/2012. The content of the article had compelled my comment. The forgotten document, which I found in an old yellow folder on my computer, still contains my records. From my records, I found the active website and the 8/30/2012 article. That article shows 22 comments. My comments are still included.

My first comment, a simple question, was on 9/11/2012, at 9:14 PM. I had asked:

Are all those who are in so-called denominations lost, bound for hell? Why or why not?

The author replied the next morning, in nine paragraphs, which did not answer my question directly. I continued the discussion that evening (9/12/2012, 8:41 PM), by asking:

May I infer from your comments the answer of “Yes,” to my initial question? May I further infer that the reason is due to not being saved, due to not perfectly, or accurately, interpreting and following scripture, and it alone?

Later that evening (9/12/2012, 9:23 PM), the author replied:

Yes to both questions, with the qualifier again being that this is what the Bible teaches.

The next day, 9/13/2012, at 6:37 PM, I continued, by asking:

Are you, sir, then, saved, because you perfectly, or accurately, interpret and follow scripture?

I did not receive a reply; therefore, on 10/16/2012, at 7:52 PM, I indicated the lack of reply and asked the same question again:

Are you, sir, then, saved, because you perfectly, or accurately, interpret and follow scripture?

Apparently, I'd visited the author's website for a few days, to find no reply to my 10/16/2012 question. I had moved on.

2022 Continuation

Early this morning, however – while checking through those old computer folders in “File Explorer” – I discovered the author's reply, of 10/22/2012 – six days after my 10/16/2012 question (same as my 9/13/2012 question). His reply was:

Good question, M. Fearghail. No, I’m not saved because I perfectly interpret and follow scripture. The scriptures teach that we are to continually grow in knowledge (2 Pet. 1:5-8; 3:18), which implies that our knowledge of scripture is continually growing as well.

I’m saved because, due to God’s grace, he forgives me whenever I, in my efforts to study and obey his Word, come to realize that I have not properly interpreted and/or obeyed his Word, and repent.

It all comes down to God’s grace and our obedience, the latter of which cannot happen without proper interpretation.

Today, ten years later, I continue, by this article, my discussion with the author, which I'd started, on 9/11/2012. I will also comment later today, on the author's 8/30/2012 website article, after I publish this article. My comment on his article will include the link to this article, with my invitation for him to respond by commenting on this article. I will not continue the conversation on his article after today – since his original article was on 8/30/2012 and my article is today.

The author's 10/22/2012 reply was circular reasoning. He began by stated: “I’m not saved because I perfectly interpret and follow scripture.” He concluded, however, by stating that “our obedience . . . cannot happen without proper interpretation.” I wonder if “proper interpretation” meant the same as “perfectly interpret,” in the author's mind, on 10/22/2012. Merriam-Webster defines the adjective “proper” as “7a: strictly accurate: correct.” That dictionary defines the adverb “perfectly” as “1: in a perfect manner. 2: to a complete or adequate extent.”

The author, on 10/22/2012, appeared to have affirmed that saving obedience (in faith) to Christ is based on “proper” interpretation (and following) of scripture. His 9/12/2012, 9:23 PM, reply affirmed his stance that Christians in “denominations” are lost and bound for hell.

The author is welcome to read at least two of my articles (among others on the topic): WHY I LEFT (Published 3-7-2009) and BIBLE and FAITH DISCUSSIONS - CHRISTIAN VIEWPOINT (published 1-31-2021; updated 9-17-2022). There, he will find my published stand.

Conclusion

My still unfinished and unpublished book, “Light at the End of the Tunnel,” will include the following tribute to my mother:

in Memory of
Betty Lou Wood Ferrell (11/24/1932 – 12/27/2000),
the finest Christian I have ever known.

My mother was a Christian. She attended a Baptist Church. Mom was saved by her genuine and active faith in Christ. Her faith was not perfectly accurate, in certain points of doctrinal understanding (i.e., church organization, etc.). She told me that she was immersed, to please God, as He requires.

Christ's church is composed of the saved. His church is one body. His church started in the first century AD. Several church groups started during the Protestant Reformation, including the Baptist Church. The Church of Christ was started by Alexander Campbell and others. Christ's Church -- which includes members of the Church of Christ, the Baptist Church, and many others – is one body – composed of those who are saved by God's grace, through their active and loving faith response. Their faith may be inaccurate on certain non-essential doctrinal points. Their active and loving faith saves them – not their “proper interpretation” of scripture (on non-essential points).

I can unpack and expand, in detail, everything that I've written. I await the comment, here, by the author of his 8/30/2012 article.

My God is bigger than that!

Updated 10/26/2022

As of Wednesday, 10/26/2022, 14 days have passed, since I published this 10/12/2022 article. Website analytics verifies that this article has views into the three digit range. It is nearing and may soon overtake my 20th most viewed article. The viewer total increases daily. My analytics does not identify viewers – only viewer counts. (My website has always secured viewer privacy.)

The author of the 8/30/2012 article receives email notices of comments on his articles. He reviews, to approve or reject them. He posts the comments that he approves. I have the same option to screen comments. I used to do so. I delete spam comments, after they post.

As of this update, the author has not chosen to publish my 10/12/2022 comment, on his 8/30/2012 article -- to continue our discussion of ten years ago. I will cite here, therefore, my 10/12/2022 comment to his 8/30/2012 article:

     Today, 10/12/2022, I happened to notice that
     I had not seen your 10/22/2012 reply to my
     10/16/2012 inquiry. Thank you for your reply.
     I apologize that I see it almost ten years later.
     My 10/12/2022 article at
     https://www.appalachianirishman.com/2022/10/denominationalism-2012-discussion.html
     is my response (almost ten years late). I invite
     you to reply, if interested, on my website
     comments. I will not continue our conversation
     here.

The author is still invited to publish my, above, 10/12/2022 comment on his 8/30/2012 article and to comment on my 10/12/2022 article. He is welcome to use my “Contact Form” to email me directly.

The author – similar to Baal, for whom his prophets called – may be “. . . deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (1 Kings 18:27, NIV)