Sunday, January 29, 2012

"From my cold, dead hands"

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

Rudyard Kipling’s poem was written nearly 100 years ago.  It is a poem for our times.  When a society becomes complacent and yields to its self-indulgent nature, (“all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins”) it is evidence that the empire is in decline.

The Gods of the Copybook Headings  by Rudyard Kipling

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
 I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
 Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
 And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
 That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
 But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
 So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
 Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
 But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
 That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
 They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
 They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
 So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
 They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
 But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
 And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
 (Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
 Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
 And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
 By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
 But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
 And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.” 


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Barbarians at the Helm

Our nation experienced a cultural revolution in the 1960’s.  It was the decade of the anti-establishment counterculture.  It was the decade of deception.  The Woodstock crowd believed that by dropping all the social mores regarding sexuality they would experience freedom.  They swallowed that lie hook, line, and sinker only to realize that sexual freedom is a short-term pleasure that leads to long-term bondage.  Breaking away from the social constraints of previous generations brought a certain liberty but not without a price.  Those who wanted to participate in this freedom had to embrace a ‘new’ way of thinking.

The focus was always narcissistic.  It was the ‘me’ generation.  How might I find more satisfaction in life?  Self-sacrifice had become a nerdy concept that belonged to the people who wore thin ties and white shirts.  The rise of the hippie generation was marked by the questioning of all authority, especially the ultimate expression of authority, God himself.  The existence of God was questioned in the April 8, 1966 issue of Time Magazine which featured the headline, ‘Is God Dead?’  If God was dead then the absolute truth that he had authored must also be dead.  Relativism paved the way to confusion and hedonism.  With no moral absolutes to guide them and no God to answer to, youth attempted to fill the void in their godless hearts with sex, drugs (LSD) and psychedelic music.

The barbarians were at the gates.  They had no god and they had no restraints.  They had come to liberate society.  They failed to realize that by eliminating the restraints they would introduce chaos.  A life with no parameters will eventually find itself wrecked in a ditch to nowhere.  Bad thinking will always lead to the development of warped values.  When we embrace warped values it leads to poor behavior.  Thus, poor thinking leads to bad behavior.  The consequences are as obvious as the nose on our faces.  If God is dead than life has no value. 

Evolution was not so much about explaining where we came from, it was about eliminating the very idea that God exists.  When a generation bought into the idea that we were not created in the image of God, then life lost its sanctity.   History does repeat itself.  Stalin’s belief that there was no God led to the murder of tens of millions of people.  When Hitler believed there was no God it resulted in the murder of six million Jews and ten million Christians.  When Americans began to question the existence of God they slipped down the slippery death culture slope.  Fifty million unborn babies have been slaughtered in the last forty years.  No society has ever survived without a set of absolute moral values. 

Forty years ago the barbarians were at the gates of American culture.  Today, they run the country.  Bad thinking has led us to financial ruin.  It has polarized us as never before.  We have replaced the Ten Commandments with government mandates.  Society cannot function without a set of absolute morals.  Our inner most consciousness, that which continues to shout at us that there is, indeed, a God, calls constantly for the elimination of murder and lies and abuse in our society.  Without a God and a scriptural standard to enforce those values and to transform the minds and hearts of evil men, the barbarians at the helm have devised their own way to seek to control the horde of cultural peasants.   Political correctness is an attempt to control our speech, our thoughts, indeed, the very way in which we live our lives.  The great irony is that the Cultural Revolution was supposed to bring liberty and freedom but instead it has made us slaves to a cultural change induced by criticism and ridicule and severe consequences for those who refuse to conform.  While many Americans tremble in fear of Islamic terrorism, they fall victim to the social terrorism promulgated by the ruling barbarians.  The God of Creation has been replaced by the gods of tolerance and philosophical relativism.  Failure to bow to these gods will earn you the title of social bigot and expose you to the wrath of the social elite.

The punishments for failure to conform to the group-think of relativism and the refusal to jump aboard the politically correct bandwagon are varied.  At the least, you will be castigated from society.  Your speech is free and protected by the first amendment only so long as it resonates with the message of the barbarian bullies.  Should you stray from their ‘truth’ you could find yourself in the unemployment line, grieving over how you will save your home and family. 

So what keeps the peasant masses from picking up pitch forks and rushing the castle?  The barbarians exercise the same ploy used by the rulers of ancient Rome.  It is the ‘bread and circus’ approach of controlling the potential malcontents.  Make sure everyone has been fed and open the coliseum to provide entertainment, especially feeding a few Christians to some hungry lions.  The American masses are fed well through a socialist welfare system and instead of a car in every garage there is a big screen television on every living room wall.  Lyndon Johnson wasn’t thinking well when he told the millions who lived in the inner city that they were not responsible for their behavior (absolute truth), instead, their behavior was caused by the poverty they lived in (relativism). This way of thinking creates an illusion that God and his moral standard are unnecessary to affect man’s behavior.  Men, especially white men, the oppressor turned savior, would ride into the ghetto on his white horse and offer salvation to the suffering. The pumping of massive amounts of money into the slums would eliminate poverty which, in turn, would eliminate crime.  Sadly, an entire generation bought into the utopian lie and the Puritan work ethic demonstrated by our founding fathers evaporated into thin air.  This was poor thinking.

The hope of America is to start thinking well again.  That can be accomplished by a return to biblical principles.  The Bible supports the ownership of private property.  The Bible teaches absolute truths and rewards concepts such as self-control and self-sacrifice.  Jesus emphasized the importance of good stewardship, taking care of the property we own.  Jesus said to treat others as you would want them to treat you.  He promoted the idea of a strong work ethic and then enjoying and sharing the fruit of our labor.  The free enterprise system set up by our founding fathers works well but only if there are moral restraints to govern the actions of men who struggle with depraved human natures.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10)  The seed from which wisdom springs is a reverential fear of God.  When we fail to pay him homage, when we set up our humanistic, materialistic idols, we lose the influence of the only omniscient One and we think poorly, we lose our sense of what is valuable and important in life and then we behave poorly.  If only we would call upon our Creator and our Savior.  He has promised, Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24) 

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How Facebook Can Get You Fired


             Facebook has taken over the world.  It now has over 500 million users.  One of every thirteen people on earth now post to the network.  50% of its users check Facebook as soon as they get up in the morning.  Over 700 billion minutes per month are spent on Facebook.   It has so suddenly become a dominating factor in our culture that leaders in the workplace are panicky to develop policies to control the beast.  It is a trick to apply policy while policy is still evolving.

            Many are seeking direction from the National Labor Relations Board to help them fight the Facebook battle.  A labor law passed in 1935 known as the Wagner Act allows workers to gather and discuss conditions in their workplace.  This law protects them if they want to complain and organize others for the purpose of improving the working environment. 

            If it is evident that the intent is constructive and there is dialogue regarding the issues at the workplace then the workers are likely covered by law and they can take liberties granted by the freedom of speech provision of the first amendment. If they are not dialoguing and they simply go on a rant about their boss or their workplace they may find themselves jobless.  Verbal threats against the boss or coworkers can earn you a pink slip.  Employers may have great difficulty determining the variations in the meaning of the word 'jerk' and just how harmful that word is.  Most employers are not going to give a critical employee the benefit of the doubt.

            The employer must take great care in making a judgment about the activity the employee is participating in.  If the employee is discussing wages and working conditions with other employees on-line then this behavior is covered by the Wagner Act.  If the employee is expressing his own personal gripe and revealing a chip on his shoulder his employer may be within his rights to ask for his termination.  It is hard to draw the line regarding how much and what kind of negativity is protected by law.  If an employee used a work-place computer to voice his complaints is he still protected? 

            Many social network users don't seem to grasp just what the public domain really is.  Some think the information they submit goes only to a select group of friends and any other who reads their posts are really not interested.  High school students need to be aware that it is a common practice of college registrars to check Facebook activity and personal profiles before sending out acceptance letters.  If you are applying for a job it is likely that the organization will dig up any digital dirt you've left lying around on your social networks.

            Carelessness can leave you in the unemployment line.  A local man who worked at Bruster's Ice Cream was angered by his boss.  He texted his frustrations to another employee using some language to describe his boss that is  unsuitable for print.  His boss called him shortly after and fired him.  He had accidently sent the message to his boss rather than his co-worker.

            Nucleas Research, an IT research company, conducted a survey that showed that 77% of workers access Facebook from work.  Activity on social networks results in an average reduction in productivity of 1.5%.  (Computer World, July, 2009)  If a company exists on a 2 % margin of profit, blocking Facebook may make or break the company. A study at Ohio State University found that students who use Facebook get lower grades than those who do not.

            Several years ago Horace Mann, a private high school for many of New York's elite, was the focus of a social networking scandal.  A student had sent an inappropriate picture of herself to her boyfriend who in turn eagerly forwarded the picture to his friends.  The female student seemed to be ignorant of just how trustworthy her boyfriend was and how quickly something like that could go viral on the internet.  She suffered greatly for her indiscretion.

            Employees, students and other Facebook participants must continually remind themselves that posting on Facebook is not like writing in your private diary, its more like posting on a billboard located on an interstate highway.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is Newt’s Appeal to Evangelical Christians?

After the candidates circled their wagons in Iowa and the dust had finally settled, it was Santorum by 34 votes.  Newt Gingrich came in a distant 4th with only 13% of the vote.  You may have wondered if Newt really had the heart to blaze the grueling trail to the presidency.

If his team was hoping to do better in ‘Newt’ Hampshire they were bitterly disappointed as he came in a distant 4th again.  Prospects for winning the nomination were pretty dismal going into South Carolina without having broken into the top three in the previous two contests.

Newt’s campaign boasts something the others can’t.  Last summer he went on vacation with his lovely wife only to return to a campaign that was in shambles with his staff jumping ship as if it were the Costa Concordia.  The political pundits declared the Newt campaign dead in the water.  But Newt did what all evangelicals love to relate to, he resurrected.  As if one miraculous resurrection were not enough, after being declared dead again after Iowa and New Hampshire, Newt experienced a second resurrection in South Carolina.

Newt Gingrich shellacked Mitt Romney by winning 40% of the vote surpassing his opponent by a whopping 13%.  The media’s bobbleheads were in a tizzy to try to explain what had happened.  Most all of them could drone on about how Newt captured the evangelical vote but nary a one could explain why evangelicals have a heart for Newt.  Hadn’t Newt been reprimanded by the House ethics committee for being reckless in regard to following the House rules back in 1997?  Didn’t he receive enormous amounts of money for consulting Freddie Mac (FMCC) in 2006, the same Freddie Mac that needed billions of taxpayer money to bail them out after the company foolishly approved an ocean full of high risk loans? 

The pundits pondered how evangelical Christians could jump on board the Newt band wagon when he has been married three times and divorced twice?  Newt graduated from Baker High School in Columbus, Georgia, in 1961.  He married Jackie Battley, his former math teacher in 1962 when he was only 19 years old and she was 26.  They had two daughters together.  In 1980 Newt and Jackie were divorced amid many spiteful and unproven accusations.

Newt married Marianne Ginther six months after the finalization of his divorce with Jackie.  Marianne accused Newt of requesting an “open marriage” and timed the release of her accusation to coincide with the closing moments of the South Carolina primary. “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”  Newt denied he ever made the request and refused to bicker with his former wife. Newt and Marianne had divorced in 2000 having had no children. Later that same year Newt married his third wife, Callista Bisek, 23 years his junior.

The debris that litters the life of Newt Gingrich looks like the landscape in Birmingham after the tornados of April 2011.  The political career of such a man should be buried deeply, very deeply under all the trash.  So, what happened in South Carolina?  Why would evangelical Christians vote for a man carrying so much baggage?

Evangelical Christians would never condone such behavior but they find it refreshing that Newt is humble and honest about his past transgressions.  Newt is not denying the failures of his past.  He is not splitting hairs over the meaning of the word ‘is’.  He is not vehemently denying his shortcomings and then making cameo appearances on national television to explain away his iniquities.  Newt simply says, “On my bleakest days (referring to his moral failures), I knew that my sin was sin.”  He goes on to describe his remorse and repentance and declares himself forgiven by a merciful Savior.

Christians are taught to forgive others just as they have been forgiven.  “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” (Gal. 6:1)  Christians are aware that many of those who are casting stones at Newt Gingrich live in glass houses with closets full of skeletons. They are not too troubled by that because “we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)  Who hasn’t participated in a stoning at some time in their lives?  Isn’t there a period in every life when each one realizes he/she is “like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean?” (Matthew 23:27)

Evangelical Christians find themselves supporting Newt Gingrich because they know the power of forgiveness.  Newt claims he has been forgiven.  Christians have all experienced the shame of sinfulness.  Truly born-again Christians have received the grace of forgiveness that radically transforms a worthless life into a life that boasts eternal value.  Newt garnered so many evangelical votes because Christians felt they had ‘been there, done that’.

Would Christians react the same way to a liberal candidate who had committed such surly transgressions and sincerely repented?  Absolutely, with unequivocal certainty!  Would Christians vote for him? Not without evidence that he had been “transformed by the renewing of his mind”.  (Romans 12:2)   True repentance causes the old to become new.  Conversion to Christ brings extreme change to one’s worldview. 

A converted Christian candidate will no longer be an advocate for the murder of the unborn.  A truly born again Christian will no longer promote sinful lifestyles of sexual promiscuity under the guise of acceptable alternative lifestyles.  Those who are authentic Christ-followers will repent of their sin and pursue a life that is characterized by righteousness and holiness. Christians desire to fill an obligation to vote for the candidate whose worldview best matches theirs.

Newt Gingrich won the hearts of evangelical Christians because he is an imperfect man who found forgiveness in the perfection of Christ.  They accept his claim that he is forgiven.  They see him as a man who has been broken and then repaired.  They hope and pray that he has experienced complete restoration and that he will be faithful to his promise to “uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse.”  And they hope he will also demonstrate such fidelity to the God he serves.

In South Carolina, the evangelical Christians demonstrated that their hope that Newt was being honest was greater than their fear he was but another wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Would Einstein Think Us Insane?

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity was “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  We have now completed three years under the Obama administration and no one on his staff is asking, “Are you better off now than you were three years ago?”  In February of 2009 President Obama spoke on the TODAY show.  “ … If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”  2 ½  years later Obama was singing an altogether different tune.  In November of 2011 he said, “We’re going to have an America where everybody has opportunity. And that’s going to take some time…”

Under the Obama administration the national debt has grown to $15.2 trillion.  That is more than our entire national economic output.  In 2008, 67% of American youth voted for Obama.  Today, 3 million of them are unemployed.  In a few months we will see if they satisfy Einstein’s definition of insanity.

While Americans are fed a steady stream of poppycock from the press, they may be missing the most important issue.   Millions are concerned about Iran’s ability and determination to make an atomic weapon.  Newt Gingrich recently said the greatest threat to America is an EMP (Electric Magnetic Pulse) attack.  Daily we have our fear of terrorism stoked by some isolated incident that happens in a foreign city far away.  But the real threat to our national security is our own national debt.  A nation that can’t pay its bills is a nation that is making itself vulnerable to other nations posturing as our friends.  How long can our nation claim sovereignty when its purse strings are being controlled by another?

If you’ve read this far into this article you may have already forgotten the $15.2 trillion figure.  We tend to forget quickly what we can’t understand.  What is $15.2 trillion?  What is $1 trillion for that matter?  Are there a trillion grains of sugar in a wheelbarrow?  Are there a trillion grains of sand in a dump trunk?

If you gave away a million dollars every day since the birth of Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago you would only have given away about 75% of a trillion dollars.  A trillion dollar bills stacked on top of each other would stretch 68 thousand miles.  That would be 8 trips around the world.

But our national debt is $15.2 trillion.  How can you visualize this massive about of money?  If we had 15 trillion dollars bills and began to lay them down end to end we could stretch them from the sun to the planet Saturn!  If we began paying down the principle of our debt by submitting $100 million/day it would take us 394 years to pay it off.

Hans Lippershey invented the telescope over 400 years ago.  It wasn’t long before scientist were looking into space and attempting to approximate the number of stars they were seeing.  Some claimed to see a thousand stars, others made seemingly outrageous claims of seeing be at least 10,000 stars in space.  Today we know that there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy.  100 billion represents only 1% of our national debt. 

Jerry Robinson, author of Bankruptcy of Our Nation, laments the $500 billion we must pay on interest payments.  In one year we have spend more on interest payments that we have spent on the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, Department of Veteran’s Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury, Department of Labor and the Small Business Administration COMBINED!  Since 1988 our Congress has spent over $8 trillion in interest payments which is enough to buy an elite sports car for every taxpayer in America. 

So what must be done?  President Obama presented his idea to the Washington think tank, the Brookings Institution, in December of 2009.  The nation must “spend its way out of this recession.”  Now, assuming most of us are not insane, what would you do if your family was facing a bankruptcy?  If you were about to have your home foreclosed and your car repossessed, what sort of family financial plan would you formulate?  We don’t need Dave Ramsey for this one.  We would stop spending money and start saving money so we could pay down our debt.  As practical as that seems, the federal government refuses to adopt that plan.  It seems they are leaning toward insanity when they find themselves drowning in the ocean of debt and they decide diving deeper will save them.

Jesus told a parable about a wise man.  He built his house up.  His counterpart, a foolish man, built his house on sand.  The economic morass in which we find ourselves isn’t totally the fault of the present administration.  The American economy finds itself on a sandy foundation because we stacked a pile of bad economic decisions atop each other over a period of many decades.  It resulted from politicians who were more interested in building a bridge to nowhere in order to get reelected than they were about an economy they would leave to the next generation.  It’s about going deeply into debt to live high on the hog and passing that bill onto our children.

Christ never condemned the wealthy but he had a lot to say about how we are to handle money.  He taught 38 parables and 16 of those had something to do with money.  He said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)  The Apostle Paul gave good advice to his younger protégé, Timothy; “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”  Christ is condemning those who love money more than they love God.  His harsh words are for those who have set up a money idol and they've relegated God to the back burner of their lives.

The dark clouds gathering on the horizon are very discouraging.  The Psalmist gave a warning for all those who ignore God; “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.”  (Psalm 9:17)  But there is a ray of hope that pierces through that dark cloud; “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Who Am I? Why Am I Here? Where Am I Going?

The basic philosophical questions of life are three:  “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going?”  You can tell one’s worldview by the way they answer these questions.  Up until about 150 years ago the answers to these questions were mostly based on man’s understanding of God as the Creator of all things.  Then, like a slow moving locomotive the age of enlightenment appeared. Slowly but ever so surely it was declared that truth might be known by following the rails of reason.  The concept of God was placed on the back burner while men searched for truth through their own methods of logic. 

Having evicted God from the train, men began to develop atheistic ideas that were vacuous in content.  The result was a carving of hopelessness in their hearts.  God had affirmed to man that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. (Proverbs 9:10)   The depraved state of men’s minds was made vulnerable by the absence of the fear of God.  Men began to develop absurd arguments that the complex and beautiful world in which we live was all a “mysterious accident”.  They propped up these arguments with nonsensical statements such as, “Something came from nothing”.

One NASA scientist seems to have recognized the folly of trying to reason our way to truth without the help of a Supreme.  Robert Jastrow said, ‎"For the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

Though these three questions are life’s most important, Americans in general are very apathetic about finding answers to them.  The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) reveals that the number who claim to have no religious affiliation increased from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2008.  When asked about having purpose in life,  28% told a Lifeway survey that “It’s not a priority in my life to find my deeper purpose”.  The collective reply of many younger Americans regarding the discovery of the wisdom of God is a resounding “whatever”!

Who Am I?

None will question the great value of humanity.  The atheist doesn’t deny the value of humans but he refuses to believe that the source of our value is God.  The Atheist makes the absurd declaration that the ultimate source of the universe was an accidental collision of atoms.  Somehow, the souls and consciousness of men was spawned by a once in a trillion coincidental event that formed a primordial soup that cradled first life.  They believe that we are here merely by chance and that we have no ultimate purpose. Our lives are merely a quick flash in the pan and then we will merge into everlasting darkness never to be remembered again.  This worldview leads to nothing but deep meaningless and despair.

The Christian believes that man has great value because God created him.  “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  (Gen. 1:1)  We are the crown jewel of his creation.  If one wants to study atheism, go to the philosopher, not the physician.  Those who study the complex intricacies of the human body, its heart, its eye, its hearing mechanism have too little faith to declare it all happened by accident.  They believe there must be intelligence behind such complexity.

Why Am I Here?

The atheist who rejects the existence of God and gabbles that the universe was an accident and mankind has no purpose looks into a bleak, black future.  If there is no intelligence behind the existence of man, if we are simply here by chance, then we have no more purpose than a housefly or a cockroach.  The atheist philosopher, Bertrand Russell, lamented the meaningless life:  “…all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and…the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins…”  For the atheist, life is meaningless, the universe will eventually slip into extinction and all men will be swallowed up by a dark hole of nothingness.

The preacher in Ecclesiastes felt this same despair when he mourned the emptiness of life without God:  “"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Everything is meaningless!" (Ecc. 12:8)  Job, at the height of his suffering groaned about the aimless life, “I despise my life…my days have no meaning”.  (Job 7:16)

The Christian finds fulfillment in life by accepting the provisions of God through the Son.  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”.  Christ’s followers soon come to realize that a search for meaning is meaningless apart from the Messenger. Jesus declared that he had come to replace the empty void in our lives with a rich and satisfying life.” (John 10:10)

Where am I going?
The atheist believes that the universe will eventually drift further and further apart until the energy and heat and gravity will no longer affect the heavenly bodies.  Just as the universe will cease to exist, man will also cease to exist.  Death is simply an eternal sleep.  From nothing we came and to nothing we shall return. 

The Christian strongly disagrees with the atheist.  The Christian doesn’t believe we came from nothing nor does he believe we are on the road to nowhere.  Solomon makes a solemn comparison when he says, “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both:  As one dies so dies the other…All go to the same place; all come from dust and to dust all return.” (Ecc. 3:18)

Christians understand that Christ is coming back again.  He has not promised us emptiness, he has promised us restoration.  He will renew his creation and establish a new kingdom.  He will rule that kingdom with perfect justice which will result in everlasting peace.

The atheist finds no significance in his life.  The Christian realizes that he has unfathomable significance because he was created in the image of God.

The atheist finds no meaning in life.  The Christian agrees with Solomon’s proclamation that life is indeed meaningless apart from God.  “…here is the conclusion of the matter, fear God…”  (Ecc. 12:13) 

The atheist has no hope for his future.  The Christian revels in the truth of Christ’s resurrection.  He has brought us “into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”  (1 Peter 1:3)  He has gone to prepare a place for us. (John 14:3) and he promises he will return for us. 

Life overflows with meaning, purpose, and hope for those who will believe.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family Ad - John 3:16

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

John Wayne's The Hyphen

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

California Indoctrinating Young Children Toward Gay Lifestyle

Teaching children they can choose their gender.  Is this recruiting for gay alternative lifestyles under the guise of an anti-bullying agenda?  GLSEN is not about educating our children, its all about indoctrinating them.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

The Tale of the Swine

The Tale of the Swine

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The True Witness

All of mankind must answer the ultimate question, does God exist?  This question cannot be ignored.  God has ‘set eternity in the hearts of men’. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)   There is an innate desire rooted deeply within the heart to know the living God.  There is a void, a vacuum within every heart that yearns for a knowledge of the Holy One.   How might we satisfy this inner yearning?  ‘No one has ever seen God.’ (John 1:18)   No man has ever heard his voice nor have they walked any distance with God as though he were a man.  The great dilemma was how to fill the great gulf that separated God and man. The magnificence of his beauty and the glorious sight of his face was enough to kill a man.   "You cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live."  (Exodus 33:20)  Yet, the Bible makes clear that men who fail to believe in his existence are without excuse.  Paul wrote to the Romans these words:  ‘what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them’.  (Romans 1:19)  

Men may realize God’s existence by observing the beauty of nature.  Have you not looked at the glory of a majestic mountain, have you not seen the rush of Niagra or looked upon the vastness and depth of the great ocean and not said to yourself, “There must surely be a God”?  Paul reaffirms the revelation of God through nature when he says ‘For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.’ (Romans1:20)  

We will be without excuse on the day ‘every knee shall bow’ (Romans 14:11)  before the Creator of the universe.  One will say, “I saw no evidence that you existed”.   The jury will gasp that they he not see God in the great overflow of the Divine manifested in his creation.  Another will say, “But I wanted so much to eat, drink and be merry and so I thought I would delay the issue until a later date.”  In the movie, Rocky 3, Balboa’s opponent, Clubber Lane, is asked about their upcoming match.  Lane replies, “I pity the fool!”  Will there be anyone there at the judgment to ‘pity the fool’ who exchanged the blessings of eternity for a few short moments of earthly pleasure?  Some on that day will look into the face of the One who came to earth, submitted himself to the torture of his enemies, who allowed himself to be brutally nailed to a cross and took upon himself the sin of all mankind as he died a cruel death.  And they will say to him, “I just didn’t take it seriously”.  Heaven will surely echo the gasps of the multitudes as they witness such arrogance and carelessness.

How might we believe in God?  We might consider all the evidence and logically conclude that he exists.  We might look at the rotation of the planets and the revolution of the heavenly bodies and come to a rational conclusion that what we are observing has to be a result of intelligent design.  We might consider the fact that there is good in the world, there is a standard of morality and that standard must certainly have an Origen.  God has certainly made it possible for us to arrive at a point where we have an unshakeable belief in the existence of God because we have followed the road of reason to such a conclusion.

But those who arrive at the door of belief by following the road of rationality might find themselves deprived of a personal relationship with the God they believe in.  God wants not only that we believe in him, he wants us to have relationship with him.  You can’t have relationship with someone you can’t see, with someone you can’t talk to, with someone impossible to know.  So, God sent his only begotten son to reveal himself to us.  The Father sends his son as an eyewitness, a primary witness to reveal to men the true nature of God, ‘He testifies to what he has seen and heard’. (John 3:32)  What has he seen?  He has seen the face of God.  What has he heard?  He has heard the voice of the father. 

All other prophets who shared truth could only claim that they had a partial grasp of the whole truth.  Jesus boldly declared that he was the truth.  John the Baptist came with a message, he pointed ahead to the One who was yet to come.  But Jesus didn’t come with a message, he was the message.  The apostles revealed the way to God and to heaven.  Jesus proclaimed, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life.’  (John 14:6)  

Believing that God exists is only the first step to having a meaningful, fulfilling personal relationship with him.  The foundation of this relationship is provided by the reality that God chose to reveal himself to us through his Son.  The Christ that rose out of Bethlehem revealed himself to many people.  He had family and friends and followers who saw his face, they heard his voice and walked with him from place to place.  One important thing they learned as they walked with Jesus was that he could not lie. (Titus 1:2)  Jesus told them, “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father."  (John 16:28)   He wrapped himself in human flesh, fulfilled his mission and returned to the Father.  No other person has ever existed before conception.  This means he was the incarnate Christ.  This means that he was God.

We will be judged, not by our belief in him, even Satan believes that God exists.  We will be judged by our relationship with him.  I believe in the existence of God but I want to experience this ‘love that surpasses knowledge, I want to be filled with the measure of all the fullness of God.’ (Ephesians 3:9)  ‘I want to know Christ’.  (Philippians 3:10)  

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

He Loved Me Still

At the moment in life when a boy feels himself becoming a man I began to ask some earnest questions.  Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?  I sought answers in science class, in conversations with family and friends and by defiantly disobeying my father's wishes that I not waste time reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.  I began to explore other areas of thought and belief outside of the Christian worldview my parents had taught me.

I left church services believing that one’s spirituality was based on external behavior.  I knew a lot of Protestants and Catholics who acted Christian on Sunday but lived like the devil all week.  My Catholic friends rationalized their sinful behavior by going to Mass and confessing sins once a week.  My Christian friends would say a quick Saturday night prayer in preparation for church on Sunday.  I was disillusioned and disappointed.  I saw their hypocrisy and I despised in others what I knew was rooted in my own soul.

Bitterness began to eat away at me.  My parents worried much about the direction I was taking and so they sent me away to a Christian boarding school.  For the first time in my life I saw young people who really seemed to live an authentic Christian life.  I was skeptical.  I studied their lives and searched for flaws.  They didn’t seem to struggle with anger like I did.  They were not eaten up with bitterness like I was.  They had a peace that surpassed my understanding.  I learned that God loved me, that he could forgive me and that living a Christian life was possible through the grace of God.  I began a journey, cover to cover, through the Bible as a high school junior. 

God came to life through the scriptures.  I was envious of others around me who seemed to be living on a different plane of reality than I was living.  I went to chapel services.  I attended revival services.  I realized that my own moral failures and my own selfishness was what had separated me from Christ.

I learned that I could be restored.  My first year in that boarding school was pretty traumatic.  I struggled with my belief.  I tried to find fault in the professing Christians around me.  I thought I had to understand and comprehend salvation before I experienced it.  I finally came to realize that I could never really know Christ if I failed to repent of my sins.

I gave my heart to Christ.  I said 'yes' to God.  He invited me into relationship with him.  Shortly after he called me to teach and preach the truth of God.  I finally knew who I was, I knew why I was created, I knew where I was going.  Unfortunately, I lost my way for awhile.  I was Gomer in the book of Hosea.  I sought out others lovers, other gods.  I worshipped other idols. I was asking God for a divorce.  I wanted to enjoy the pleasures of sin. Even though I turned my back, the Hound of Heaven followed after my fleeing soul like the dog pursues the rabbit.  He would not cease seeking after me.  His love never faltered. He refused to let me go.  I sought divorce from God and he would have nothing of it.  I turned back to Christ on the day I realized that in my deepest agony, in my darkest moment, that he still loved me.

The Persians tell the story of the wife of one of Cyrus’ generals.   The general’s wife was accused and convicted of treason.  The king sentenced her to death.  When her husband comprehended the gravity of her situation he rushed into the throne room of the king and cried out in despair, “Oh Lord, take my life instead of hers.  Let me die in her place.”  The king felt compassion for them and said, “A love like this must not be spoiled by death.”  He set the woman free.  As they walked briskly away from the throne room the husband asked his wife, “Did you not see the compassion in the eyes of the king?”  She replied to her husband, “I had no eyes for the king.  I saw only the man who was willing to die in my place.”

Jesus is the groom who was not only willing to die but actually did die for the unfaithful bride.

Donald Gray Barnhouse wrote a book entitled God's Methods for Holy Living. In that book he tells a story about a young British aristocrat who married and then went off to fight in WWI.  His bride wrote him a letter and apologized for not writing more often.  She said she was extremely busy in a local hospital taking care of the wounded who had returned from war.  The young man received some leave time and so he went home to surprise her.  He went to the hospital where his young wife was supposedly working but she wasn't there.  He checked her flat and she wasn't there either.  Someone slipped up to him and said, "She will probably be at a tea dance at the Ritz today."  The husband went there and found her with another man.  He divorced her.

At the beginning of the same war, there was a young couple in love in the western part of the U.S.  They had planned to marry and the young man was suddenly called off to war.  On the day before he was to be shipped out the young woman said to him, "I know that it is not quite the date for our wedding, but you might be ordered overseas immediately; you might be killed, and I would much rather go through life bearing your name than go through life always explaining that the man I loved had been killed in the war.  So let's be married now."  They were married the next day and the husband was shipped out to France and the young bride sat lone in the little cottage that was to be their home. 

She was very lonely, of course.  Day after day she would write to him, she thought of him constantly and she sent him gifts.  Months passed and on one particular day she was so lonely she sat some pillows by the fire place and spread her husband's letters in front of her and she began to read them.  She began to cry.  Suddenly, as she was weeping over the letters she heard a step on the front porch.  The door opened and there was her husband.  He had sent a telegram telling her that he was coming but the message was lost and he had arrived unexpectedly.  She leapt to her feet and ran into his arms.  All the months of waiting, all the moments of loneliness, all her pent up fears were released as she wept in his arms.

The groom is going to come for his bride.  He seeks you even though he finds you flirting with the world?  He loves you even though your heart has grown cold with hypocrisy and unfaithfulness.  The love of this groom is too deep to fathom.  He will never file for divorce.  He loves you even in your adultery, even when you’ve given your heart to other gods, to your own idols. Jesus is searching for the unfaithful bride, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”  (Rev. 3:20)  Oh that you might know such love, such wondrous love!

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Failing Schools: Focus On Symptoms Or Find A Cure

Grading our government schools.

There are people all over the country who are enraged by the fact that our country has recently been leaning more and more toward socialism, or perhaps more accurately, toward fascism. These same people who rave against the socialist policies enacted in government and business seem to be just fine and dandy when these same methods are being used in the behemoth American educational system.

Public schools are often referred to as government schools.  The government has a monopoly on the establishment and enforcement of laws in this country.  Government schools enjoy a monopoly when it comes to educating our youth.  The system is supported by public taxation.  There is always a large pool of money available.  If parents choose to withdraw their children and enroll them in a private school or educate them at home they are still required shell out money in support of their local public school.  Parents who make this choice end up paying twice.  Public education’s dependence on compulsory taxation explains a lot about what is wrong with government schools.  The quality of the product is always improved with competition and quality always declines in its absence.

The methods of educating public school children are similar to the assembly line of an early 20th century factory.  They are to report to the same place at the same time with the same teacher every day.  They all sit in identical seats and each one must remain in the same seat day after day.  The teacher unpacks a prepared standardized curriculum which rarely changes from year to year.  All the students are evaluated in the same way at the same time on the same day.  This method of factory produced pupils will frustrate the gifted child and discourage the struggling child.

The most important element in the politically correct philosophy of the government educational system is the self-esteem of each child.  Some schools prohibit teachers from using red ink to grade papers because a paper with many red marks on it could prove devastating to the self-esteem of the child.  Children can no longer measure their athletic skills against their opponents because competition has been eliminated on the playground.  Everyone is a winner, everyone gets a trophy and everyone leaves feeling good about themselves.  Do you wonder why the Occupy Movement is inundated with millions of 25 year olds who think very highly of themselves and wonder why the government hasn’t already paid off their educational loans and provided them with a house to live in?

Real achievement is attained when students grasp the intrinsic values of striving for excellence, when they understand that competition will be a permanent part of their adult life and hard work and a healthy dose of innovation will be the path to success.  Are educators doing our students an injustice when they dump truck loads of praise on middle school students who still use their fingers to add and subtract and on high school students who think Chicago is the third largest state in the union? 

One of the more disturbing things I experienced having worked fifteen years in public education was watching certain students march across the stage and receive their diploma even though I knew and all the other teachers and administrators knew they could not read.  They gripped their diploma with smiles on their faces, the principle shook their hands, their parents hooted like owls and they experienced the euphoric feeling of having finally finished a twelve year educational marathon.  They were done a disservice, they were socially promoted and they were lied to and many of them became very disillusioned and distressed when they discovered they couldn’t fill out a job application.  Most of them lacked the simple math and language skills to work at McDonalds.

Tax payers have shelled out trillions of dollars to educate American youth.  You would expect some outstanding results after making such an investment but the truth is that poor academic achievement and the high school drop-out rate remains a huge problem.   Drop-out rates are measured in different ways.  Some districts don’t count those who dropped out during the summer or those who dropped out to get married.  But rates have consistently been between 10% and 20%.  Anywhere from 40% to 80% of our students fail the standardized tests first time around.  U.S. students are not being prepared for the global economy as evidenced by the fact that they scored 25th in math skills among 34 countries tested while China ranked first.  Obviously there is little correlation between the amount of money spent and academic achievement.


This is a common argument used against public education along with the accusation that government schools are breeding grounds for promiscuous sex, venues for excessive violence and they are used as vehicles to indoctrinate our children with theories of evolution and socialism.  Perhaps when we observe these things we are really only viewing the symptoms rather than the actual disease itself.   Perhaps the real problem is that we as Christians cry out vehemently against socialism in any other area of our society but we incomprehensibly continue to tolerate socialism in our educational system. Perhaps the real problem is that we have abdicated our God-given responsibility to educate our children to an anti-Christian government.

Christians are against murder.  We don’t oppose murder by fighting against certain methods of murder.  We protest murder in all its forms in every situation.  Perhaps we are failing when we disapprove of the methods of public education rather than the institution itself.  We combat the symptoms instead of the disease. 

The Bible clearly grants the state very limited power (Romans 13)  The government’s responsibility to its citizens is to protect them and punish those who would do them harm.  That’s it.  That’s all the Bible says about the obligations of government to its people.  There is nothing in the Bible that states that it is the government’s responsibility to educate our children.  The responsibility to educate children belongs exclusively to the parents. (Deuteronomy 6)  Government schools are often governed by the greed of those who can’t wait to get their grubby hands on the public coffers and by parents who love the idea of educating their children at their neighbor’s expense.  Would it be too extreme to say that government schools are not scriptural?

The government has successfully removed all evidence of the existence of God from public schools.  Teachers will be arrested for uttering the name of Christ.  R.C. Sproul, Jr. said, “All of reality exists so that God’s name would be known and the government school says you can’t name his name.”  The government sets schools up to be anti-Christian.  If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) how can our children learn wisdom and knowledge if the foundations for such learning have been removed? 

A civilization finds itself in great peril when its institutions blatantly ignore God and wink at evil.  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Isaiah 5:20)  Parents must counteract what their children are learning in government schools.  God loves life and it is immoral to kill a baby still in the womb.  God meant for men and women to enjoy sexual relations and to use it as a means of procreation, he is angered when we use his gifts for our own perversions.  God created the earth and we must never be so blatantly bold as to take that glory away from him and give it to another.

The state schools have crossed the line into territory where they have no business being.  Parents,  don’t let the government teach their values to your children. 

 “We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done…which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.”  (Psalm 78:4-6) Government schools have no commitment to the truth in these verses.  This responsibility belongs to parents and the body of believers who call themselves Christians.

Kevin Probst - Teaches History, Government and Apologetics at the high school level in Columbus Georgia.