Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, is a part of TLC’s cash cow of reality tv shows. The show chronicles the daily life of “psychic medium” Theresa Caputo as she encounters the spirits in the world around her. Makes for great ratings if you are easily swayed and don’t have the facts, but that’s what I’m here for.
Once you know what’s going on here, you can see right through everything that is being done by this swindler.
Check out this video of her
A great merit of Sam Harris’ recent book The Moral Landscape is his bold affirmation of the objectivity of moral values and duties. To say that moral values and duties are objective is to say they are valid and binding independent of human opinion. For example, to say that the Holocaust was objectively evil is to say it was evil even though the Nazis who carried it out thought it was good. And it would still have been evil even if the Nazis had won World War II and succeeded in brainwashing or exterminating everyone who disagreed with them, so everybody who was left thought the Holocaust was good.
Molecules in Motion
Over the next few posts were going to look at objective morality. Top atheist disagree on whether there are or are not moral absolutes. Sam Harris says there is, and tries to explain it away in a very weak way. But people like Bertrand Russell and Richard Dawkins come to grips with the idea that without God there are no moral absolutes.
Think about the ramifications of that for a minute. If we are just molecules in motion such as Dawkins says and what is the point of doing good for anybody but yourself? If the whole point of living is to propagate your own genes, then what’s the point of helping anyone else across the world much less next-door?
If you chuck moral absolutes out the door anthend altruism and ethics are simply just illusions, they don’t exist. Even though we would like them to, we chastise others for not following them yet without moral absolutes they don’t exist.
If on Bertrand Russell’s worldview of moral absolutes not existing, then there is no reason to be outraged at the atrocities perpetrated by one people group on another. We can be outraged because we know deep down that it’s wrong. Somewhere deep inside of us we know without a doubt that murder and rape that all these things are wrong.
Turn that on its head for a second. Without God there is no basis for any of these things to be wrong. For us to say the murder, that stealing is wrong without God, what is that based on? Nothing. Nothing makes it wrong without God. We can try to say that it’s evolution and genetics and all these things that might help our species, but in the end all of these explanations fall short.
What questions have you heard people ask about morality?
This is awesome!
Check out this PSA revealing how psychics get seemingly impossible info on people!
Share this with everyone.
The Da Vinci Debunked?
Last week I introduced the topic of the “Jesus/Mithra Myth” theory. It looks at face value that Jesus story was highly influenced by Mithraism until you look closer at those pesky things known as facts. Facts are those things that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code, really has a problem with. His books are generally filled with fabrications based solely on fiction. If you have read The Da Vinci Code you’ll know that the main claim that Brown makes is (Spolier Alert….) that Jesus somehow survived crucifixion, (See here for the debunking of this theory and Here) and married Mary Magdalene and fathered children.
This sounds preposterous especially when put up against the facts. The book came out nearly a decade ago, but this idea of a married Jesus hasn’t died the way it should have, due to the preface in Brown’s book saying that all of it is factual. I suppose in fiction you can even fictitiously label fiction as fact in the preface. However just last week a woman came out with a fragment dating to the 4th century that she claims proves that Jesus was in fact married to Mary Magdalene.
Check out this video debunking this crazy notion.
Sorry this is so late in going up today, but unfortunately WordPress was being unhelpful earlier.
So as I introduced last Tuesday, the new segment for Tuesdays is going to be Apologetics Tuesdays. You ask what’s different being that I generally cover all things Apologetics? The idea for the new Tuesday segment is that I will scoop up questions that may be popular in the news or on Facebook throughout the week that are Apologetics related, and serve them up here. Feel free to add any comments or questions as we go along.
This week I thought I’d hit a topic that I really never thought I’d have to seriously hit.
Did Jesus……..Ever actually exist?
Really? I know it sounds crazy. In that question we are not positing that Jesus is the son of God, but no did He even exist? Now that probably sounds absolutely nutty to you as it should. The lady in the library today said, “Why do they buy such stupid books?” when she picked up a copy of agnostic New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman’s, book Did Jesus Exist?
She was confused that people actually stopped and questioned it. Now to Bart Ehrman’s credit, he is actually taking on the fringe craziness of the likes of Dr. Richard Carrier and others on the internet.
They claim that the story of Jesus was an amalgam of myth borrowed from pagan traditions such as the god Mithras. The problem is that these “borrowed traditions” date much later than the earliest writings we have of the New Testament.
The problem with these claims is that they are not using facts and checking the original sources of these pagan myths to even compare Jesus to. They purport something that sounds good against Christianity at first, until you actually dig into the source material they claim to be citing…..and you get a drastically different story.
Here is just one example of the Jesus/Mithras myth theory being debunked.
So you can see that these claims by these fringe skeptics and “scholars” are not based on fact, but rather chips on shoulders and straws grasped at.
Why do people even try to claim that He never existed? My guess is the accountability factor and what happens if Jesus really is the way the truth and the life. That would mean that our lives do have purpose, that each other person is created in God’s own image, and that we shouldn’t put ourselves first.
It’s a groundbreaking idea that shakes the worldview of our culture.
For the last few months there have been sporadic posts about apologetics and such, but starting today is Apologetics Tuesday. Basically I will take questions from all over the place, both from Christian and non-Christian sources and answer them.
Questions on morality, truth, creation, the universe, and whatever else comes up, the forum is yours.
The field of apologetics is hot right now. Why is that? People are hungry for truth. They are hungry for a way to properly express and communicate their faith to their friends and coworkers, without being afraid of what they might hear in response.
Now to clarify a heavily misunderstood point that is often brought up by Apologetics “opponents” in the Christian faith, that the Spirit is the only one who can convince someone of the truth. I totally agree, but we are called to share the truth in the most effective way possible. Being ignorant of a subject or topic isn’t an excuse for not sharing with someone, because, “The Spirit will get them or He won’t.” I don’t think that is a healthy mind set at all, but merely a cop out.
Diversity in Apologetics
We do in fact live in a diverse culture. What I mean by that is, a tactic or philosophy that you might use on one person, could be completely ineffective for others. For instance if you are talking to someone who is Jewish, you may not bring up the same evidence that you would to an atheist. The field is so varied and broad, that there is always something new to learn.
In dealing with a Jewish friend, I recommend starting the conversation about the Old Testament they were most likely given at their Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and reading Isaiah 53. you then ask them who they think that verse is talking about. I have read incredible stories of people who have come to Jesus after being presented with this subject.
So starting next week, Apologetics Tuesday officially kicks off. Send in your questions or comments and follow along!
What questions do you have?
Look where the mom comes from with the picture of the boy’s dad.
Really? I mean I can see a picture of a guy across the room pointing to what looks like a name-tag and say, “did he wear a name tag that maybe said…”
It’s not like they responded by recalling a memory, but she get’s a picture….from in sight.
These is the kind of “skills” that Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium, employs to con people and lie to them.
I have had a conversation with a former psychic (not former because he reformed mind you, but because he retired) who told me, of course he knew he was lying during psychic readings, but the help it brought people was enough for him….
Yeah after my jaw got of the ground, I thought about that for a minute. Notice when you see a psychic on tv, when they tell someone something that a loved one said, they only tell them things that make them feel better. It’s absolutely insane.
It shouldn’t surprise us thought that there are people in this life who lie and deceive, after all Jesus warned us about that all throughout His ministry.
Do not be deceived by these con artists, but put your trust into something that is absolute. If you want to talk about people who can communicate after death, then talk to the person who conquered death.
The fact that Jesus rose from the dead is not a con, it’s not a scam, but it’s truth.
That’s the question everyone has to answer before they start arguing their worldview on moral issues.
For instance when someone claims that Christianity has committed many vast “evils” over the centuries, you would have to assume that they have some system of morality that they are basing it on.
Atheists can’t do anything good?
Let me clarify a point that is very easily and too often misconstrued and misquoted by atheists.
The idea is that Christians believe that people who are atheists can’t live moral lives.
What is Absolute or Objective Morality
Now it doesn’t take very much effort to see that this notion is absolutely wrong. Of course people who don’t believe in God can live in a “moral” way. There is nothing preventing them from choosing to do something good or evil. That’s not where the crux of the argument really lies. Even the most diehard atheist, like Sam Harris, will tell you that absolute morality exists. that is, to quote Dr. William Lane Craig:
“To say that there are objective values is too say that something is right or wrong independently of whether anybody believes it to be so.”
They see from looking around in the world that certain things are right and certain things are wrong regardless of what the regime or government or people in charge say. The idea of murder is wrong regardless of whether someone such as Hitler thinks it was right.
They go to great lengths to point out all of the “evils” that religion has caused over the years, but there is a fundamental problem with this argument that is touted in lockstep.
The problem is that on an atheistic or naturalistic (the view that there is nothing beyond the natural) worldview, there is no reason for absolute morality to exist.
What that basically means is that if there is no God to give us a moral law, then everything we know about morality, right and wrong, good and evil, is just subjective. Your view is no more important than anyone else’s. Your view is no more right than anyone else’s. What that basically boils down to is that if there is no absolute morality than we cannot call the actions of Hitler, Stalin, or anything else that seems evil or wrong in the world.
If morality is a subjective mindset, then there is no reason not to charge forward and do everything in your power to better yourself and only yourself, leaving everyone else in the dust behind you. Even talk atheist by Richard Dawkins and Bertrand Russell knew this to be the case.
So yes without God you can act and be moral, but there is no foundation for morality other than God.
What responses have you heard to the moral argument?
How would you respond?
But we knew that going in to it.
One thing that irks me more than anything, are blatant double standards…especially when I’m on the other side.
When it comes to Christianity and embracing the culture there is a clear double standard between reason and emotion. Christians are not allowed to argue anything except for concrete fact. In fact the standard for using the Bible is miles higher than any other ancient text. Secularists ask the impossible of the Bible, while taking Caesar or Josephus or even Homer as “gospel”.
Also don’t dare try to use a personal experience or even mention an emotion or you will be lambasted. But when the same accuser launches into a speech about how mean God is for pain in the world, what is he appealing to? That’s right emotion.
The secular world likes to take Christianity and poke fun at it and throw blanket statements around about how Christians overuse the word faith. The problem is though, that these same people don’t understand what it is to have faith, but even more glaring is how guilty they are of committing the same intellectual crimes they accuse us of.
For instance if you were to watch a debate between William Lane Craig and any atheist, what you find is not the “rational reasoned and open minded arguments” that Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, or the late Christopher Hitchens claim to use. What you find instead are insults and attacks at red herrings that sound great to college students for a good laughter inducing sound bite, but hold no substance on their own.
It’s easy to get angry and sink to a nasty level, but Christ has called us to live above that. He told us that following Him is no cake walk.
“Take up your cross and follow me” not “Sit in your recliner and watch it unfold”
Embrace the culture in love. Dislike the double standard, but rise above it.
What double standards do you see?
At the time, Harry Blackstone was considered the world’s greatest magician. To this day, his legacy lives on not only through his extended family in the business, but through his legendary effects like the one seen above. Blackstone was also one of the few magicians able to bridge the gap from the vaudeville stage to the tv camera.
However to an audience full of people in Decatur, Illinois in 1942, he not only became the greatest illusionist of the time, but saved their lives as well.
Blackstone got word that the theater had caught fire midway through the act. As you and I know the one counter to freedom of speech that people always mention is, “Yelling fire in a crowded theater.” Knowing the pandemonium and danger that this would have caused had he stopped the show to tell the audience, Blackstone came up with a plan on the spot.
He told the audience that the conclusion to his show was something brand new that. Something no one had ever seen before. He said that it was so large that it must be viewed from outside the theater. The people in the audience naturally excited to see something like this, filed out of the room in a neat and orderly fashion row by row, at Blackstone’s instruction. No one tripped or trampled like they would had they known it was a fire.
Blackstone used his platform and his position to save hundreds of lives that day.
If you think about that, what influence do you have that people heed your advice? Perhaps at work or school? Do you just relay information when it comes to the Gospel, or do you invest your talents and your platform wisely into a unique way that causes people to stop and really listen to what you have to say?
The Gospel speaks for itself. The Spirit is the one who changes, but if we just throw the message out there like a ton of bricks, people are going to want to run. They aren’t going to care if they aren’t engaged. This is a sad but true fact of our entitlement and instant gratification culture.
Use your gifts and abilities to reach people today. That may be music, speaking, athletics, the list goes on and one. It may be something that doesn’t appear to be a gift at all. Use whatever God has blessed you with to reach others for him. The focus is on Christ, the goal is to bring him glory through our gifts and abilities. Start today. Don’t be afraid to use what God has given you for him.
What gifts do you have?
How many times have you had that feeling? Maybe you feel less than useful, or worthless? You look around at the rest of the world and they seem to be happy, but you are sitting in brokenness.
The beautiful thing about being broken though is letting God put the pieces back in the way he planned on. God’s plan for you is so incredible that if you just listen to him, it will be like you were never broken to start with. We despair and think there is no way that our situation can get any darker, until we let go and let God do amazing things.
The most evident way to see God is when we allow ourselves to get out of the way and see the amazing things he can do, but sometimes it takes us being broken to do that, but hold on. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and Joy comes in the morning.
You can’t win
This is a classic example of one of the oldest scams around. The idea is seen in many forms from cups and balls to nutshells and peas to three cards. The idea never changes though. The person controlling the items makes it seem as if you have a chance to win, but you don’t.
The idea is the same with any deception. You feel like you are doing right. You feel on top of the world, until the rug is pulled out from under you. Your walk with Christ can be the same way. If we take our eyes off of Jesus, we begin to fall. We begin to put our faith and trust in other things that will guarantee us failure. Satan would like nothing more than for you to feel like you are on top of the world only to be completely away from God.
This is sad, but this is how Christians wake up one day and can all of the sudden “justify” leaving or cheating on their spouse. The same way that any sin can be justified. We believe that it’s right, we believe that if it feels right than it must be right. That is a very dangerous mindset that only leads to bad.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
Don’t be fooled, keep your eyes on truth. The truth of Jesus Christ as mentioned in Hebrews 12.
How have you been fooled?
You climb out the window safe and sound, maybe a few bruises or scratches, but other than that you are just fine.
It’s no joke that the choices you make today will affect you for the rest of your life. It’s not just about making choices between where you will go to college, or if you will study hard or who you will hang out with.
…Because on the other side of street from where you just climbed out of your car, there sits the end of an entire families world. The idea of drunk driving looks so glorified in movies and tv, but truth be told when you make a choice like that, you are basically saying that your “night of fun” is more important than anyone else’s life.
I’m not trying to scare you, I’m just being real.
It’s not just about drunk driving. We talk about the fact that “It’s my life and my choices and it doesn’t affect anyone else.” That’s the problem with our world. We have this me-centric view about everything that we don’t even take time to stop and think how our choices can affect others. Drugs, alcohol, sex, all of these choices can seem totally harmless, but the consequences can change your life or the lives of complete strangers.
Put that on its side for just a second. Not only do those choices affect your life, but when it all comes down to it, there is really only one choice that carries the most weight of anything. It’s the choice between Christ and the world. Jesus came to this earth and died for us so that we can be forgiven for the choices that we have made. We tend to think that no one loves us in this world, but God loves you so much that he sent his son Jesus to die and rise from the dead because he loves you. No other reason. You are joy when it comes to Christ according to Hebrews 12.
This is the greatest choice you can make in your life. Not only will it change your life, but it changes eternity.
Understand something very important. The choices you make affect you and perhaps others for the rest of your life. Take a second today to make good choices. Tell others about the freedom that’s in Christ, and the choice they have to follow him.
What choices have you made?
When she landed that last move in her routine, Gabby Douglas knew she would be taking home the gold in gymnastics from the London Olympics. You could see the confidence beaming from her face as she graciously waited for her scores. After receiving the medal though, she made a statement that defined her. She said,
I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win win situation. The glory goes up to Him, and all the blessings fall down on me.
But I’m just a kid…
One of the things that I hear a lot about is, “how can I make an impact if I’m only a teenager?” Our culture has perpetuated a mindset of continued adolescence and the helplessness of teens to think and make decisions on their own. Paul clearly dispels this notion in 1 Timothy 4:12
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
I think Gabby really exemplifies this verse at age 16. You can do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if you are 6 or 60, God can use you if you are willing to give him your everything. A few blogs back I mentioned how the boy with the 5 loaves and 2 fish didn’t hold back from Jesus, but gave him his everything, and thousands were blessed because of it. You may think that there is no way to make an impact, but there is. You can start today.
It’s Up to You
It starts with your heart. With your attitude. To some, you may be the only encounter anyone ever has with a Christian. They can very well make up their minds about what a Christian is based solely on your life. Now that’s not necessarily the most fair thing, but it’s reality. Which is why at all times, we have to be wiling to give God our everything and hold nothing back. We have to shine in all situations so bright that people notice that there is something different about us. Matthew 5:14, Jesus says you are the light of the world. That’s no joke. This world is full of darkness. Your schools are full of darkness, and if you wait for someone else to shine, then you better be prepared to wait a long time.
It’s up to you. What are people going to think about Jesus based on your life? The time is now. You have to be willing to give God 100% and hold nothing back if you want to change this world. The world needs what you have, the world needs Jesus. You have the cure, why would you hold it back from a dying world?
Purpose in your Heart
Maker the choice today like Daniel. He was young a teen, when he made up his mind and purposed in his heart that he wouldn’t defile himself with what the world had to offer.
Make that purpose in your heart today to shine, and to use your platform whether that’s school, sports, Facebook, or whatever to tell the world about Jesus.
What’s holding you back?
What is your platform?
The videos above shows the danger in putting your trust in a lie. On the outside, it seems as if Sylvia Browne is “using her gifts” to help people. What she is doing however, is misleading and lying to people to swindle them out of their money and emotions.
Sylvia is just a woman who has trained in techniques of hot and cold reading in which she uses in a very skilled way. Notice the one thing that really sticks out though. When she is wrong, it’s the other person’s fault. She isn’t wrong, but the person is. Notice who Montel sides with. The woman is clearly wrong, yet they side with her. It’s ridiculous!
In our Christian walk it’s just as easy to get sidetracked into believing a lie. The only way to tell the difference between truth and deception is to be familiar with the Truth. When counterfeit detectors learn how to spot fakes, they don’t study myriads of fakes, they study the one real thing. The true $100 bill. There is no need to study all the countless combinations when you are so familiar with the real thing.
When we are close to Jesus, we can learn to spot the lies that this world has to offer.
What lies do you see everyday from the world?
That phrase has always irritated me. Some people used to use it as some kind of a back handed compliment. Now it’s the end all be all for a discussion with someone who doesn’t believe in God. In a world that is consumed by doubt yet obsessed with lies at the same time, this paradox causes a problem for Christians wanting to share their faith.
On one hand you are having to fight an uphill battle to counter the thoughts that Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has put in to so many people’s heads as gospel truth. I had a discussion with someone this week who was so totally sure that the Bible had changed over the years….because it just had to have been. After all that’s the statement that really started my fervor for apologetics.
Welcome to the Grand Illusion
The atheist acts as if we are all deluded magic fans. That we watch the stories in scripture unfold and somewhere deep down we don’t believe it. We know we don’t believe it, but we suspend that disbelief just to enjoy the show. Quite the opposite we enjoy the mystery that God is revealing to us because deep down we know that God has revealed Himself through creation. We know this deep down and repress that when we disbelieve.
The problem is, the atheist and the non-Christian no what they believe and why they believe it. That’s the reason that are conversations so often descend to the final answer of, “Well you just have to have faith!”
That one response is more damaging than it seems.
We know the merits of faith and how important it is to have faith. After all you are saved by grace through FAITH. Faith is important. Look throughout scripture at how many times the word faith is used. But make no mistake, the kind of faith that is talked about it reasonable and rational faith. God’s not asking you to believe that the world is flat. God is not asking you to buy in to something that is completely insane or ludicrous. The world will tell you that you are crazy for believing in a resurrected savior.
The reason that they make this claim that you are crazy is because we don’t know how to answer the questions that can be answered.
Starting with the NT I’m going to break down the question, “hasn’t the Bible changed over the years?” that has shaken so many people without need. I’m going to show you that we don’t have “blind faith”, but that are faith in Christ is rational, reasonable, and absolutely necessary.
Psychics and Mediums
If someone asked you afterwards, you could swear that you have no clue how a person could know that much about you. They knew about your grandmother, didn’t they? They knew about the word that she had inscribed on her necklace…wait how did they know about the necklace anyway?
This may be the thought process of someone who leaves a show with a medium. Someone who claims to be able to communicate with the dead. If you don’t know what to look for, then you might get bowled over into believing a lie. The worst part is, you won’t know that it’s a lie. The people you tell about it may not know that it’s a lie or a scam either. This feeling of revelation can change your world or shake the foundations of everything you believe……….
Behind the Curtain
That is, unless you know the truth behind what you’ve just seen or heard.
You would then be able to defend yourself and even tear down the lies. You would be equipped to deal with the junk that is slung at you as “gospel truth” without being afraid to wade into the waters of dialogue. Whether it’s on Facebook or at work or at a friend’s house, you can confidently stand up against the lies that this world throws at you.
A few weeks ago I detailed several of the techniques used by mediums and psychics to con people into believing the lies that they present. You can check out those posts here: Cold Reading and Hot Reading.
If you are watching unaware of what’s going on, you will be bowled over by the “power” that these people have, but if you know what to look for, you can shoot the right holes through their facade and it will fall.
What I’m talking about though is not just for psychics and mediums. What I’m talking about is standing up to any argument or debate that you may feel scared of entering.
If you have been on Facebook lately (I’m guessing if you are reading this than you are on Facebook) the topic of Chick-Fil-A has sparked all kinds of debate and false facts. If you don’t equip yourself and know what to look for, then you are going to get swept up into believing something that is a lie, much like a psychic.
Sifting Through the Bad
There is a lot of bad information out there. There are a lot of Bible verses being used out of context. It’s not okay to sit idly by and watch it happen. There is a way to defend the faith in meekness and love. In fact 1 Peter 3:15 requires us to do so. We are to always be ready give an answer for the hope that is in us in love. It’s okay if you don’t know every answer, but we are to make an effort to learn. Then you will be able to 2 Corinthians 10:5 those arguments.
For instance how would you answer, “Leviticus says you shouldn’t mix two types of threads, how do you justify your polyester blends?”
That’s a tough question at face value, but I assure you the answer is not nearly as difficult as it looks. Stay tuned here to find out the answer.