Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Logical Fallacies of the New Age Movement

(This is an artical I originally wrote for my other blog, Kick the System [un]conformed)

Learning to see things through the
"lens" of the Bible.
"You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” - John 8:32
The "New Age" Movement is nothing new. No religion is new, but follows simple patterns of belief that can be categorized: where one is coming from, and how they view God, the world, and themselves. This is called a Worldview. What in the world is a worldview?? For example, two people can look at the same piece of evidence and both come to completely different conclusions. It all depends on how you look at it. It is like wearing colored glasses. Mine may be blue, yours may be orange. We could go look at the statue of liberty, agree on what we see, but both see it differently. The same thing is true about a worldview. How one sees God will effect how they see the world, and will effect how they see themselves, therefore determining how they act and think.
This being said, let's look at a very popular worldview: The New Age Movement. This includes cults, Eastern Mysticism, Agnosticism, Buddhism, Taoism, and more. What do they have in common, and what are the New Age movement's base belief-patterns and assumptions?

1. The New Age Movement sees truth as relative, strictly personal, and experiential.

One person may believe that God is real, another may not, but both can be completely true to each person. I know someone who has coined his own type of new age belief (which most "new age people" do) and believes that the God the the Bible is not limited to Scriptural "boundaries." So he is "free" to experience God as God reveals Himself. This may sound nice, but when it is put to the Scriptural test, it falls apart completely.
The truth is still the truth. The thing is, we don't
define that truth, we must seek it out.
I've always learned to test a logic question by applying it to the extreme, and to practical reality. As an example, when I was maybe 8 years of age, I thought I had to have at least three large bath-towels to dry off after a shower. My dad said that I only needed one. In fact, I could use a little washcloth and get myself completely dry. His reasoning was that as long as something was dryer than me, it could dry me. Well, I thought about that, and thought I'd apply that to the extreme. The ocean floor is quite wet, right? Well, if a kitchen towel is dryer than the ocean floor, then in theory one could empty the oceans with it, right? Well, while my dad did have some good points, and I may not have been looking at it quite right, I did prove that belief wrong. It may sound very silly, but it usually works if one uses common sense.

If one believes that religion is relative, they have to believe that science is relative. If one believes that the existence of God can be different for each person and yet true for each person, they must admit that each person can chose if gravity effects them or not. They would all have to agree that since the value of life is relative, that murder is perfectly acceptable. If the new age theory were taken practically, then 9/11 was just two sincere people living out their personal truth.
Christian rapper Lecrae states this in one of his (amazing) songs: "Someone once told me that there is no such thing as truth; I said 'if that is true then why should I believe you.'" Someone who says that there is no absolute truth is asking you not to believe them.

So, most importantly, what does God say about truth?

"Jesus said, “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one can go to the Father [God] except by Me." John 14:6

This is exclusive. This is TRUTH.

People don't like being told what is right and wrong, and so they deviate from the truth and claim their own.

The "Universal Moral Code" by
Kent M. Keith says nothing other
than what the Bible already
commands us to do.

2. General Acceptance of a Moral Code

Earlier, I stated that Buddhism is actually a form of new age philosophy. How is that, you ask? Well, as hard as people try and say that they have no bias, they still have rules they try to apply to others. Someone hurts them? They want justice. New Age leaders like Buddha? He introduced a code of conduct, so to speak, though he never wanted to start a religion. His "friends" compiled his teachings years after he died, and even these do not claim Buddha to be divine, nor divinely sent.
What we can learn from Buddhism is that while a religion or sect can claim that there is really no definite line of truth, they still have unwritten, unsaid standards for how themselves and others should act. There also seems to be a moral code ingrained in a person's conscience. The "fact" that we have conscience (whatever that is) is proof that there is some universal acknowledgement of a moral standard. The vast majority believe that rape and cold-blooded murder are wrong. How could one feel wronged when there is no right and wrong? Guilt would be nonexistent.

What does the Bible say about morality?

"...even if they do not have the Law, it shows they know what they should do. They show that what the Law wants them to do is written in their hearts. Their own hearts tell them if they are guilty." Romans 2:14-15

'For God will judge every act, even everything which is hidden..." Ecclesiastes 12:14

"Can anyone teach God anything, when He judges those on high?" Job 21:22

God created mankind, and God creates the rules.

3. The New Age Movement promotes self-idolization

Jesus has earned
His Lordship over
Heaven and Earth
 The whole question is about who is on the throne. Who sets the rules, who decides what's true, who rules your actions?
One does not claim the absence of absolute truth because he does not have important questions, but because he wants to make up his own answers. Humanity wants to live by his own rules and so he rejects God as the One who sets the standard of absolute truth.
So who is one the throne of your heart? Is it yourself, or your God?
One cannot claim to place a god of their own making on the throne of their heart, because to worship of god of one's own making is to worship one's own self. There are really only two options, as God states: "There is one Lord. He is Jesus Christ. He made all things." [1 Corinthians 1:6] If you are not following the One Lord, then you are following the devil.

How then shall we live?

So we see why multiple truths in conflict is a serious logical problem, but some people say is is better than the alternative: people groups and religious gatherings fighting and bickering amongst themselves. It sounds so much better to live and let live! But this is also a logical fallacy. We are not looking at every option here, and these two extremes sure leave out the Biblical perspective, which Bible-believing Christians need to learn to see the world through. One can still believe that there is one universal truth, and not fight with those whom they disagree with! I am good friends with many people who disagree with me on very fundamental levels, but because I also believe that they are made in the image of God, I respect and love them, and definitely don't think of myself as better than they are. But instead of me arguing this point, let me give you some Bible verses -

"But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15

Here, God tells us to told Christ as holy and pure in our hearts. This means no compromise whatsoever! But this is no excuse for bull-headedness and plain rudeness.
But even if we show every courtesy to those who disagree, there will still be distention that will come up. People will hate us because they hate the word of God, and we may be persecuted because of it. But no one can take away the truth, no matter how much they hate it, and even when the truth threatens our jobs, friendships, social status/reputation, or even our life, there is nothing worth giving up the truth! Nothing could replace it in our lives!

Buy truth, and do not sell it; buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23

"...The rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward." Psalms 19:9-11

"Never be guilty of sacrificing any portion of truth on the alter of peace"

Listen to the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. When any philosophy comes your way, test it by the only source of truth: God's Word.

"Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you and you be found a liar." Proverbs 30:5-6

Friday, March 22, 2013

Another outfit

Oops! I can't seem to get it right-side up

What I'm wearing --
White top ($2)
Army green tank top (hand-me-down)
Chocolate brown cordoroy pants ($4)
Funky green flats ($4.50)
Denim jacket ($3)
Floral earrings (gift from friend)
Hot pink purse (gift from sister)
Hair up in a bun

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Denim and kacki

What I'm wearing -
Denim button-up - $2.50
Tan kacki dress pants - $3
Hot pink Converse - $4.50
Yellow/white striped tank - $1
Blue printed headscarf - $.50
Green earrings - $5
Hot pink nail polish

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The winds of change

 It sure has been windy in our little Northern town! (aside from some snow storms that hill-dwellers don't find uncommon) And damp, and chilly, and altogether spring-like!  That's the thing -- change can be good, even if it's unpleasant.  I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to spring. In fact, I'm looking forward to a lot of things.  I'm looking forward to school (yes school!) next year, hopefully. I'm looking forward to getting my real driver's licence.  I'm looking forward to getting more hours at work and gaining experience. I'm looking forward to getting a change in hair style. I'm looking forward to unpacking my skirts, t-shirts, sandals, and capris. I'm looking forward to making new goals at the gym and getting stronger.  I'm looking forward to planting my garden soon, and trying to can fruits and veggies for the winter months. I'm looking forward to camping at a local state park in my little pup tent, and helping out our church's Camp-out Ministry.  I'm looking forward to being a better person.
 But one must remember that, while life changes without our helping it, we must not expect things to come to us simply because we feel they should.  Yes, one can hardly help but get taller and stronger from birth to adulthood, but nobody can sit back and expect to turn into a sports champion.  While life will teach us things by our simply being alive and living, we cannot expect to be wise and informed if we make no effort to be so. 
 The last month or two have been slow. I love winter, as I was born and raised in it, but apathy creeps into the most cheerful and active of households.  But as I feel the cold winds blowing, and the sun shine brighter, I'm filled with a new passion - one might call it "spring fever." I prefer to call it to "awe of God's creation," and attribute more of it to a good God rather than a season.  I look around and breathe in the air... ahhhh!
 I do expect I'll change quite a bit this spring/summer of 2013 -- a Christian active in their creator can hardly grow stale -- but I pray that I wouldn't change just for the sake of changing; that everything I invest in the future would also be an investment in eternity.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Voyage of the Dawn Treader Illustration

 I'm not sure what possessed me to draw this particular scene from the book, but I did, and it didn't turn out too badly. There are mistakes (like Eustace's head being far too large!) but I was fairly pleased with the rest of it.  I took a picture of this with my little camera, so it is rather blurry and angled oddly.
 Trying to capture the essence of each person's character, I drew Lucy first, knowing that she'd be scared and unsure. A little girl being sold into what kind of slavery unknown! 
 Then there was the ringleader... a rough but proud man, with probably little physical attractiveness, but still a sort of superior air compared to his conrads.  He reminds me of Vizinni in Princess Bride, but in a more serious way.
 His companions are misfits, and I tried to capture much diversity in them, while still remembering that they are notorious criminals who capture and sell people for a living. In hind-sight, I think I made them look too silly.
 Prince Caspian is, after all, a prince, and amidst his taste for adventure, he feels responsible and stupid for letting little Lucy and the sulky guest be in this position.  He is ashamed, but not afraid for himself. He's thinking of how much he's let everyone down, including the Seven Lords they are searching for. I messed up on him quite a bit, as you can tell. (Looks like he's wearing UGG boots!)
 Eustace was tricky, and I'm afraid he looks rather out of place, but that was the point.  He looked so sulky (his nickname) that nobody would buy him, even at half off! Now that has to be one ugly mug! He feels this is all his cousin's fault, he despises everything about this new place, and even though it doesn't seem like it, he is afraid and confused, and knows he's useless and a burden.
 Last but not least, it is Repacheep! He is a very proud fellow, and his stony expression (really, how does one draw an expression on a giant mouse's face?!) is his shame and indignance.  He is stripped and sold, and certainly not taken seriously. His very sword is confiscated and they are probably pulling his tail to watch him react!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

I have a home (lyrics by me)

Home by Michaela Danielle

I have come a long, long way
These roads are strange, I cannot stay
But I know what I’m looking for
Yes, I know where I’m going

Times are good and times are bad
These are not goals I should have
Something is brighter up ahead
There are better things in store

Chorus -
I’d give everything I have for this
Your Kingdom beating in my heart
I pray your will be done on earth
As it is up there, how great Thou art
My home, my feet, my love, my life
Wherever you would have me go
And I would sing your mercies great
O blessed assurance, I’ve a home

I’m despised by all the world
Those who’ve made this land their home
They don’t know they’re missing out
They see us as fools

Anything that they secure
Will dissolve; will not endure
I have crowns store up for me
And they are not eroding

Oh, oh, home

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Thrifted! (plus my outfit)

One my wall -
Light green paint
Compassion International PRAY poster (free after donation)
 Bible reading chart
Sunset/rise Calendar (Christmas gift from Grandma)
Old records of hymns (local thrift shop - $3)
My bed -
Reversible bedspread and shams (local thrift shop - $12)
Light green sheet set - (Walmart $10)
Various throw pillows (accumulated here and there)
Purple clip-on lamp (Walmart - $10)

That's what I get for buying my lamp at Walmart - the
clip broke, so not it just lies on my bed

Clothes -
Purple plaid button up - $3.50
Bonus! The original tags were still on, and it was initially $30!

White top - $2

Denim, three-quarter sleeves button up - $3
My outfit -

What I'm wearing -
White and grey layering tops (Walmart - $1.50)
Black dress pants (local thrift shop - $3.50)
Pink converse shoes (local thrift shop - $5)
Colorful, floral scarf (local thrift shop - $.50)

Simple, easy, and classy

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Spending cuts and an agenda?

It's no lie -- he likes to spend!
 President Barack Obama says the spending cuts will hurt us. (Isn't it the spending that he said hurt us... during Bush's administration) So he's cutting back on already increased spending.  Look, we're still spending more than we were last year... and we were broke last year.  I know, sometimes one must spend money to save money -- I understand that because I work in retail, and I have very budget-conscious parents. 
 Lets apply this to a family setting: dad makes money, and mom goes to the store in order to get what the family needs.  She may spend more on a $15, 25lb bag of flour rather than a $5, 8lb bag because it is the better deal, and she is a smart buyer.  She may even buy treats as a stimulus to encourage her kids to develop a good work ethic.  We look at that and say "Smart!"  But if she takes her hubby's credit card and goes on a spending spree because the budget plan doesn't seem to apply to her anymore, and she really just needed a "change," we say "Ludicrous!"
 I understand that I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of the political world, but why doesn't this make sense to other people?!?!  One can only spend more money than one has for so long, and then they must deal with the consequences.  America is not something to gamble with!
Some things are obvious

 And another thing I'd like to share my opinion on: the hubbub of Conspiracy Theories that are freaking everyone out, and going as far as dividing churches.  As "bad" as Barack may be, Christians are doing exactly what Satan wants them to if it inhibits them from coming together in the body of Christ, and taints the gospel.  God calls us to be His followers first, and after that anything else, whether that be a government agent or a stay-at-home mom.
 With that said, I'll try and make sense of some of this without making this post as long as the stream of red ink flowing out of the white house.
 Firstly, everybody has a personal agenda.  A salesperson's is to sell, a father's is to parent, a trainer's is to train, and a teacher's is to teach.  But it goes much deeper than that -- why does a teacher teach? Aside from the fact that it's their job, of course. Something drew them to that career, something is keeping them there, and something causes them to teach the way they do.
 Why do I work in a health and supplement store? Because I'm interested in health after a sickness that almost killed me. Why do I share my knowledge and time with others who come in looking for help? Because God showed me just how precious life is. This may be very different than what a co worker's motivation is, but nonetheless, here we are. We all have an agenda, and that isn't a bad fact!
 Taking a look at Barak's past. Raised and mentored by radical America-haters with no father to father him. That's why he does some of the things he does.  No, I'm not saying that he hates America. One can only speculate, and I'll leave the judging of a man's heart to God Himself. But when one looks at a person as a person, they see that we need to side with, not against humanity. Barak needs prayer, as the Bible commands us to do for those whom He's placed in authority over us.  The point is not to look for faults.  If you look hard enough into my life and focus on every on of my misdemeanors, ignoring all my good, you could write up a very convincing article on how I'm the anti-Christ.  I'm not telling anyone to side with me, and I'm not telling anyone to side with our currant President. I'm saying that one cannot close their eyes. We should fight against injustice and sin, not people.  We can fight against everything that Mr. Obama stands up for - abortion, gay marriage, etc - but not against him.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Skin Care and Makeup

  1. Earth Science Makeup Remover
  2. Thunder Ridge Emu Oil
  3. Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Concealer
  4. Physicians Formula talc-free liquid foundation
  5. Physicians Formula talc-free mineral foundation
  6. Almay icolor for blue eyes (discontinued!)
  7. Maybelline Falsies mascara
 I don't wear all this makeup every day. In fact, I usually don't wear makeup, but when I do, this is it.  I haven't found a black eye liner that I like, and I don't like much dark around my eyes, so I probably won't find one anytime soon. 
 Physicians Formula is a great, high-quality line, but more expensive than your regular drug-store cosmetics. I use makeup so little, and accumulate makeup as I have time and money, that I can justify it, and I'm very happy with their products, though I've only tried a few.  I have lots of freckles, and I like that the foundations don't completely block those out, but only even out my skin, and cover up the blemishes. Great foundations!
 As you can see, my hair is naturally very dark, my skin is very fair, and my eyes are a hazel.  Why am I using Almay's icolor for blue eyes?! Well, I guess I just like the faint, shimmery grey and iridescent white-ish grey.  I put a dab of the medium grey at the outer corners of my eyelids, and the lighter grey in the center and as a brow shimmer right under the arches.  Brown makes me look washed out, but I still sometimes use that in the summer when I have more natural color from being outside more.  I really don't use a blush very often, as I have a red undertone, and get warm and flushed easily (warm-blooded).
 I absolutely cannot go without emu oil for more than a few days. My skin is dry, and this is what works the best!  I use it on my face and body, and a little bit goes a long way.
 Earth Science chamomile green tea makeup remover is a liquid cleanser that is great for sensitive skin. Very gentle, but gets even the thickest, oiliest stage makeup off (I'm in theater).