Below are Journal entries, eclectic commentary, and information bulletins for site additions in 2007. Kind thanks to my dear wife for proof reading these comments from time-to-time. Most recent posts are shown first:
January through June 2007 is published as a separate page due to the large file sizes for this year.
As we close out this year, I wish to thank each and every one of you for your faithful support, prayers, and encouragement. There has been opposition, but we strive to always keep it in perspective: "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before [it hated] you." John 15:18. We wish to share a brief note sent to us that we believe is representative of deep and low-profile work of the Holy Spirit that is taking place.
Thank you for your faithfulness in giving me the resources and tools to evaluate ideas and doctrinal content on my own via your web site. While I think that I would personally benefit from a regular correspondence with you, I have found that I can get just about any information that I need via withChrist. I would be in real trouble without the website and the links to MJS's work.
If you ever become weary or discouraged that your efforts are not bearing fruit, I can tell you, they are. I am teaching a small group (4) THE COMPLETE GREEN LETTERS and we are only half way through the book after one year. The group (one has a Catholic heritage) is experiencing significant growth and of coarse I am too as the teacher.
I am making a donation and hope that it helps with your costs. It seems so insignificant compared to what I have gained via your faithfulness to your ministry.
Growing, and of course Resting in Christ
The goal of so many ministries, so-called, is to create dependency among those being taught and security (psychological, emotional, and material) for the leaders. Without the truth of the Cross (identification) for genuine spiritual growth in all involved, this adverse dynamic assuredly leads away from the knowledge of truth and God’s love. We trust you find our goal to be different.
"Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God" 2 Corinthians 2:17.
As several are aware, my deteriorating health forced me to take a leave-of-absence from work in early October. Various ongoing disabilities have led to my "unofficial" retirement. I anticipate that my employment status will be resolved in 2008. Again, your prayers are deeply appreciated. With the Apostle Paul we identify:
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you" 2 Corinthians 4:7-12.
Progressive or so-called "liberal evangelicals" is a full-out oxymoron. Their leaders have long abandoned the fundamental tenets of historic evangelicalism. They do not share our foundational commitment to Christ, for their "Christ" is NOT the Christ of the Bible, their "God" is NOT the God of the Bible.
Many of the younger religious progressives are currently enamored with cult figures of the Emergent movement. As charismatic/Reformed Mark Driscoll observed, “…the emergent church is the latest version of [religious] liberalism. The only difference is that the old liberalism accommodated modernity and the new liberalism accommodates postmodernity.”
The Christian Left is not on the same page as evangelicals when it comes to “truth” or “love.” For them, there is no universal truth (tenet of postmodernism) and their concept of love, so-called, equates to postmodern tolerance and acceptance. Their motive for so-called “conversations,” is to gain accommodation and concessions from mainstream evangelicals. Beware!
In conjunction with posting many of Miles Stanford's polemic papers on the subject of demonism and the Vatican's recent emphasis upon exorcism (Pope's exorcist squads will wage war on Satan), one faithful reader and correspondent asks "Is this for real?"
Answer: The popularity of demonism in Western evangelical circles dates back to the 1960s. Whereas, exorcism has been a part of Catholicism for many centuries. Demonism/exorcism fits nicely with the 1 billion members' superstitions and ignorance of the Word of God. Having been born into a Catholic family, I've seen first hand Catholic fear and terror toward things supernatural. The Roman Catholic clerisy is then able to leverage this and maintain control over the worldwide fleeced flock. Catholicism being the archetype, Pentecostal/charismatics have joined forces in undeveloped countries around the world. The level of spiritual wreckage and bondage is unfathomable.
A former Catholic/charismatic brother living in Bombay, India writes:
Your replies are always insightful and very helpful. Thanks so much for taking the trouble. We finally may have hit on the right doctor and medicine which seems to be working, but still too soon to say more.
You have been right all along, the situation was not demonic, but appears to be psycho-somatic and treatable. Please do continue to keep us in your prayers, for we have been quite stressed out in this last month.
"Not a hair of the believer can fall without his Father's permission. Satan and his minions are but the unintentional instruments to accomplish God's blessed will; they can do nothing more than He allows them to. If trials come as a host against us, we know the Almighty is between us and them. They will but work out for us His own purposes of love (Rom. 8:28,29)." --Samuel Ridout
It is well to keep the above thought in mind when one surveys the compounded error and heresy circulating throughout today's evangelicalism. I am rather stunned (not surprised) that one ersatz evangelical, mega-church minister can swill the lethal cocktail of Open Theism, Charismatic-demonism, and Emergent postmodernism, as well as order a round for his so-called friends. It does sort of leave him wild-eyed and brings back memories for me of the late '60s, early '70s, The Beatles: Love is All You Need, Jim Jones/The Peoples Temple.
One thing that we can always count on during the holiday season is bad theology. Bad theology is beliefs NOT based on Scripture. Bad theology allows individuals to feel 'religious' without truly being accountable to God. The dominant themes at Christmas are of course--peace and love. Despite all their jib-jab, the unsaved world is disconnected from the reality of both.
Speaking to the religious leaders of his day Jesus said, “Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky (weather), but you cannot [discern] the signs of the times.” Matthew 16:3. NKJV.
At this point in the age, external conflict and division are the status quo, (< Click and read the referenced article) but internal peace and love are available to the genuine child of God. Yes, this is an inclusive reality!
"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NKJV
Genuine love has always remained elusive for the world. Liberals express much braggadocio in this regard. But little do they grasp that they don't experience the genuine article. Are such judgments possible?
"But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you.” John 5:42. NJKV
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15 NKJV.
God is both Love and Light. "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him." 1 John 4:16. "...God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." 1 John 1:5 NKJV. "God has never acted in love at the expense of light." -- William Scroggie
Global warming...caused by man-made CO2? The battle still rages.
"It is as Essential to Keep the Two Adams Apart as it is Israel & the Church." MJS
"Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right." CHS
The fact that the Internet is loaded with exposés of Purpose-Driven Rick Warren and the Emergent-Emerging movement reflects the so-called discernment ministries' inability to understand theological cause and religious effect. One commentator recently lamented the popularity of these heresies throughout the churches of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)--a principle constituent of inclusivistic evangelicalism in America. However, the official doctrinal position of the SBC is non-dispensational, so what can really be expected? For many centuries, non-dispensational Christendom has been working to usher in a "kingdom" promised under Israel's future New Covenant. They are at odds with God's own plan. Yes, there are dispensational individuals and churches here and there, but the vast majority of believers are crippled and thus vulnerable to error as well as heresies.
For a three-part, but concise exposé of the Emergent-Emerging movement and discussion of the Scriptural meaning of "kingdom," follow these links.
One reader's recent epiphany.
"I have been looking for being with the "right" group to keep us from worldliness; but no group can do this.
"I appreciate your site so much for it being there for the Lord to use in my life - a life that has been redeemed by Him but not lived with Him."
Over the past eleven plus years, I have literally received hundreds of earnest requests for me to read and critique this or that book, author, or viewpoint. While much as been accomplished, the explosion of both print and electronic media makes the task simply impossible. Sad to say, my library already contains numerous books waiting to be read...and those profit-motivated publishers keep printing more. What Christians really need, for living out the truth of Romans 12:1-2, is the ability to evaluate ideas and doctrinal content on their own. As we look to close out this year, we remain committed to the goal of providing you, our Christian readers, with the tools and resources to effectively discern right from wrong, truth from error.
One of today's most prominent advocates of "unconditional love" is Dr. Gregory Boyd*. Dr. Boyd (an Open Theist, charismatic demonist, and Emergent postmodern) has written as entire book on the subject entitled: Repenting of Religion: Turning from Judgment to the Love of God. I have posted a very powerful review of the book here. Even the younger evangelicals are beginning to sense that something is deeply wrong.
* Dr. Boyd is a preeminent, modern-day heretic. After surviving a vote in 2000 to dismiss him from his professorship at Bethel University (Baptist General Conference), he resigned in March 2002. This book should be understood as a personal diatribe, one of a growing number of cathartic responses, against conservative evangelicalism.
The new President of Moody Bible, Dr. Michael Easley, appears in tune with the Apostle Paul's teachings of identification. See a number of his messages touching upon Romans 6. I have been able to listen to only a few, so I'll withhold comment at this time. Since Dr. Easley has written only two books, both non-doctrinal, little is available to help understand his views. Dr. Easley graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary (1985) and wrote a flap endorsement for the most recent edition of Charles Ryrie's classic, Dispensationalism.
Moody Bible's doctrinal statement would seem to be clear enough. Despite the founder's (Dwight L. Moody) revivalistic emphasis and his successor R. A. Torrey's doctrinal carelessness, subsequent leadership was able to steer the institution on to higher ground, i.e., "non-charismatic, dispensational, and generally Calvinistic." While the institution is silent, the tenure and influence of William R. Newell and his Romans: Verse by Verse is clearly evident. However, maintaining that ground has always been a challenge as Moody appeals to a broad spectrum of evangelicals and fundamentalists. It was likely the cancer of demonist doctrines largely promoted by Fred C. Dickason (now Emeritus) that forced the Trustees to issue an Addendum to the 1928 position. Sadly, Moody Press still publishes books by authors who promote demonism. One can only hope that much of the damage is past. PS. I will make an effort to scan and published several MJS polemic papers on the error of demonism. PSEUDO-DEMONISM: A Cancerous Plague upon the Body of Christ
The crisis in leadership appears to be taking its toll upon both Democrat and Republican political parties. Little can be done to bridge the cultural chasm that spans multicultural America (all credit to public education), which will further send a destabilizing message to the rest of the world and in particular the Middle East. The struggle between supporters of Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Ron Paul has opened a wide gulf among the conservative electorate. No candidate appears capable of unifying the Republican ticket. Fortunately, the election is not next month. Does anyone have Newt's phone number?
Having read numerous commentaries over the past several weeks, there is a very encouraging trend in both Old and New Media. Religious and political discussions are actually becoming substantive. Real questions are being asked and those questioned are attempting to provide real answers. If the electorate/public is listening, they're getting an education that was never provided during their years in public school and college. May the Holy Spirit use these opportunities to convict and awaken a slumbering giant.
Over on Townhall.com, one theologically-astute, former Mormon, who has studied the LDS for more than thirty years, states: "Mormon theology is more like a mix of Scientology and Islam." Their "family values" moniker is window dressing for the unsuspecting seeker.
Mitt Romney continues to dig a deeper hole regarding his Mormonism. Be assured, Mormonism is a cult...and has always been a cult, by reason of their radical unorthodox position on the nature of God and the Person of Jesus Christ. Contra some media voices, strongly held opinion supported by broad research is never "bigotry."
Based on my forty years of living in the West and interacting with numerous Mormons, they are adept at parroting evangelical (biblical) language so as to mislead and deceive their audience, with the goal to secure an unmerited level of acceptance within Christendom. Criticism is most often deflected by redirecting attention away from doctrine and toward "family values." They prey on the naive and religiously illiterate.
Over the past century, dozens of books have been written documenting the heterodox, polytheistic beliefs of Mormonism. However, it's their ability to look the public square in the face and lie about what they believe that should be of concern to the electorate. If they'll lie about their religion, which they esteem so highly, what else are they willing to lie about?
The Mormon who understands his religion does not believe in the Trinity, nor that God was preexistent and complete. The Creator vs. creature distinction is not clearly maintained. Their God (Elohim) was once human but evolved into a "progressive" spirit being, who has the capacity of "eternal increase." This lays the basis for the polytheistic nature of the Mormon religion. The most famous of all Mormon aphorisms states, "As man now is, God once was; as God now is, man may become." According to Mormonism, Elohim has spawned "spirit children," which are ethereal beings existing in a heavenly realm awaiting entry into the time/space world. Procreation and the family is the portal by which these pre-existent beings gain entry on Earth. For the Mormon, Jesus Christ is the zenith of spiritual evolution.
"Among the spirit children of Elohim, the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ, to whom all others [spirit beings] are juniors." Smith, GD, p. 70.
"He is essentially greater than all others, by reason of His unique status in the flesh as the offspring of a mortal mother and an immortal, or resurrected and glorified Father." James Talmage, DC, p. 472.
Mormons rely upon the public's general religious illiteracy to theologically mislead and misrepresent the teachings of their religion. However, the truth of what they really believe can be gained from their own writings and websites.
"Because of the iconic quality of the presidency, many Americans will feel discomfort with the mainstreaming of a marginal faith that a Romney presidency would represent. It's one thing to listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir or to elect Harry Reid or Orrin Hatch. It is quite something else to elect a Mormon President. Americans accept partisanship and diversity in our legislators. But the presidency is supposed to unite the nation, and for many, Romney's reassurances can't address the apprehension they [evangelicals] feel in their guts.
"Mormonism's history as a secret religion compounds the problem. Historic Christianity has prided itself on being an open religion. When the early Christian fathers were fighting the Gnostic heretics, they contrasted the public nature of their faith and practice with the secret knowledge and covert rites of their adversaries. Because Mormonism continues to practice secret rites, it is a religion not well adapted to a society that thrives on transparency."
(click on text for source)
Please take a moment to remember in prayer those touched by the Colorado shooting tragedy. The emerging facts are indeed bitter for all, particularly these two groups of charismatic believers. This reality should remain crystal clear, only the truth of the believer's identification with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection (both position and condition) is sufficient to answer to the passions of the life we receive from the First Adam. Efforts to doctrinally circumvent what God has established in the realm of biblical sanctification prove time-and-again to have grave, adverse side-effects. Do not believe those who claim that only "values", not theology, are important. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
"Liberty is the prevention of control by others [human tyrants]. This requires self-control and, therefore, religious and spiritual influences; education, knowledge, well-being." Lord Acton
"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." John 8:36
The upcoming Presidential election may be the most unique in American history. Discussions regarding the role of religion in both private and public life, in the life of political candidates, and separation of church and state, all seem to be rising in a frenzied pitch.
A current Christianity Today poll (see below) shows that 65% percent of the total webzine’s readership (largely evangelicals), believe that political candidates should explain their religious beliefs. Four decades of polemic Christian writers have persuaded evangelicals that:
A person’s religion (or lack thereof) determines their worldview.
Worldview determines one’s political views & values, and
Political views & values sooner-or-later translate into legislative laws & policies.
(click on graphic for source page)
The fact that evangelical Christians understand the dynamics which shape public policy unnerves both political power elites as well as multiculturalists. Neither the elites nor multiculturalists desire to be transparent regarding their respective agendas.
In January 2008, the public will be hit by a multiculturalist media blitz designed to blunt evangelical Christian participation by dominating the dialogue regarding the “proper” role of religion in the public square—multiculturally defined of course. Great efforts are being made to alter the original intent of the Founder’s Article VI of the US Constitution: “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” Click on the graphic below, and then watch the trailer.
(click on graphic)
New Media heavy-weight Hugh Hewitt, executive producer for the above movie, has it wrong. Article VI of the Constitution addresses what government may not require (a religious test) on potential office holders. It was NEVER the Founders' intent to proscribe religion as a basis for the electorate’s evaluation of political candidates. This DVD is a ploy to neutralize the political strength of evangelical Christians. It operates upon the destructive principle of the supremacy of the lowest common denominator.
Just like the Liberals' effort to change the meaning of separation of church and state and deny evangelicals the right to participate in the political process, this assault seeks to create the politically-correct method for selecting, supporting, and installing political candidates. Beware!
PS. Due to public education and the rise of multiculturalism, the Nation is undergoing a form of Balkanization. How ironic the situation when one considers it was the public education hucksters who claimed that the common schools would bring about “cultural unity.”
Diane and I watched the DVD Amazing Grace this past week. The movie provided further motivation to expand our knowledge of 16th-18th century British and American history. The movie is based on the true story of William Wilberforce, the 18th century evangelical Christian and elected member of the English Parliament (politician), who struggled in his devotion to God and the cause of abolition of the English slave trade. Wilberforce has something of an epiphany when he discovers he can serve God and fight social evil via political means. Wilberforce was a colleague of John Newton* (author of the hymn from which the movie is titled) and Thomas Clarkson, both evangelical contemporaries and abolitionists.
* The son of a slave-merchant and sea captain, he later was forced to join the Royal Navy during his teens. While attempting to desert, he was arrested in West Africa and became the abused servant of a white slavetrader's black wife. In 1747, he was born-again during a violent storm in the North Atlantic.
Also during this past week, a faithful reader sent me a link to John F. MacArthur's 2002 message, The Deadly Dangers of Moralism. In reading the sermon, I was rather surprised to find a similarity-in-spirit between MacArthur's view (reaction?) to the so-called "Religious Right" and the attitudes of John Darby and the Plymouth Brethren toward political involvement. Given MacArthur's fondness for Reformed evangelical writers, his either/or emphasis regarding the eternal and the temporal struck me as odd and inconsistent. For example, he writes:
"...therein lies the mandate for the Christian in the world: The ministry of reconciliation to God through Christ, which brings about righteousness, transformation, and a new creation. There is, however, today in Christianity, in its evangelical element, an emphasis on another kind of effort. It is an effort to produce [cultural] morality. And this is growing rapidly. I have through the years addressed the issue on a number of occasions, but it seems as though it needs to be addressed again, because the interest is only being heightened today. There is a call to Christians to get involved in calling our nation to a higher level of morality; in engaging ourselves, with all of our energy and all of our resources, all of our time and money, in an effort politically through the media, through pressure groups, to change the moral character of our country."
Shockingly, John MacArthur spoke the following:
"...salt and light are not moral influence, but gospel witness and the power of holy living."
Superficially, he continued:
"There is no New Testament model for political action. Jesus didn't try to overthrow slavery; neither did Paul; neither did any of the Old Testament."
This is the classic argument from silence. True, the Bible is not a "political action" manual, but neither is it a model for science, medicine, or a number of intellectual disciplines. Should we thus reject the realms of science and medicine? Does brother MacArthur truly believe that Jesus or Paul had no moral problem with the dehumanizing social arrangement of slavery? For consistency, should we adopt the same argument for the modern practice of abortion since it was never mentioned by Jesus or Paul? Sadly, some Christians have. I hope readers become suspicious that something is not right here.
If MacArthur was simply being critical of Christians with misplaced priorities, then I could heartily agree. But if he's trying to short-circuit any spill-over of the "righteousness, transformation, and a new creation" upon the public square, then he like the Plymouth Brethren** before him has gone beyond the Risen Christ and the Apostle Paul in seeking to rigidly define the format of how Christians should "shine as lights in the world."
While Paul's primary expectation was for individual Christian morality to permeate the local ecclesia (read 1 & 2 Corinthians), he did not accept the surrounding "crooked and perverse generation" as some status-quo to be ignored. Further, had ignoring the social/political status quo been the Risen Christ's desire for the remainder of the age, the Holy Spirit would not have inspired Paul to write Romans 13:1-7 explaining the role of government as a moral placeholder. It would have been an entire waste of time. Other portions of Paul's epistles can also be cited to refute this extreme either/or emphasis.
** We can all thank John Darby and the early Plymouth Brethren for recovering the Pauline truth of our identification with Christ in His death, burial, resurrection, and our ascended position of "in Christ" before the Father. However, their brethren histories tragically testify that something went seriously wrong. In an effort to formulate an appearance which corresponded to the believer's heavenly position, they emphasized extreme forms of separation which took them "out of this world." 1 Corinthians 5:10.
Darby was an extremely strong personality (all leaders generally are) who sought to rigidly define the specific outworkings of Christian sanctification. Since believers were seated in the "heavenlies," total separation from "the world" was required--pursuant to JND's judgment of the matter. His anti-political sentiments extended deep into the social processes which were in great upheaval upon the Europeans. On the subject of participating in elections (voting) he wrote:
"I write a line in haste, having at heart the course of the brethren with regard to these elections1 which are about to take place. I found that the brothers at V. had scarcely reflected at all on the bearing of an act [voting] which was making them take part in the course of the world.
"It seems to me so simple that the Christian, not being at all of this world, but united to Him who died and rose again, has no business to mix himself up with the most declared activity of the world, by an act which affirms his existence as belonging to the world, and his identification with the entire system which the Lord is about to judge...
"But is it not true that this voting, as an act of identification with the world (in the very forms which it assumes in the last days), ought to be avoided as a snare by all Christians who understand the will of God and their position in Christ? Always true (I have been acting upon it for twenty years), it is doubly true now."
Letters, Volume I; Montpellier, France; March 24th, 1848
1 "The French Revolution (1789–1799) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe." "The French presidential election of 1848 elected the first-and-only President of the Second Republic. The election was held on December 10, 1848 and led to surprise victory of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte with 75% of the votes."
The outcome of Bush's Annapolis Peace Conference was no surprise. Representatives for the so-called Palestinian Arab peoples are of one mind with the Muslim world, i.e., "No recognition of Jews nor of any Jewish state in the Land of Palestine." From their perspective, both the Jewish and Christian traditions are myth and historical footnotes. Of course, this warms the hearts of western secularists.
"In an interview from Washington, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday, Nov. 28, the US president does not negotiate in the Palestinians’ name, does not represent them and his words are not relevant to the Palestinian cause. On such issues as recognizing Israel, said the Palestinian negotiator, Bush is not competent to determine how we act. If the US president seeks an exchange of territory, he can do this with Mexico." DEBKAfile
Erekat's comment regarding "exchange of territory" and "Mexico" is a vague reference to America's expansion into southwestern lands (i.e. TX, NM, AZ, CA, NV, UT) previously claimed by Spain and various native tribes before them. Erekat must see some parallel between Israel's so-called "occupation" of Palestine and America's "occupation" of the southwestern United States. Both Arab and Muslim worlds view the Abrahamic and Palestinian Covenants of the OT as sinister mythology rather than theological fact.
It is the fantasy of the liberals and the Left that some "middle ground" some "compromise" is possible. It is not. The goal for both Palestinian Arabs and the Muslim world is for Israel to compromise negotiate itself out of existence. To understand why, order and watch FAREWELL ISRAEL, Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam. Now that Annapolis is over, the fighting should expand rapidly, this time from both the northern and southern borders. Israel is a nation under siege.
Tomorrow I'm scheduled for surgery at 9:00 am. Due to my chronic spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease, I require a fusion of the C5-C7 cervical vertebrae. Again, I thank all of you for remembering me in your prayers. The Father always proves himself gracious toward his children. If everything goes well, I'll be home on Thursday...Lord willing.
PS. The surgery went well. Given the nature of the procedure, my recuperation will likely take several months. Thank you for your prayers and kind notes.
Before becoming a born-again Christian, I had little appreciation for history. Like a majority of American students, my textbooks had a strong 'economic' slant (Marxist) which caused two things to happen. For me, studying history became 1) exceedingly boring, and 2) disjunctive--similar to watching early black-and-white, silent movies. Only after becoming a believer did I come to understand that the history being taught in secular, state-funded institutions had been effectively stripped of adequate religious content. Without an understanding of these religious dynamics, history becomes a jumble of names, places, and highlighted events.
So, you might ask, "I know very little, so what book would you recommend." I'm glad you've ask that question. I asked the same question of Miles Stanford nearly forty years ago. While my library today contains several dozen "church" history books, I started my collection with Lars P. Qualben's evangelical, one-volume: A History of the Christian Church. This handy textbook (35 chapters/649 pages) was originally published in 1933, had at least 21 subsequent printings, and covers the period from A.D. 1 to the mid-1960s. While out-of-print, used copies can be located using Google search. Some of you may want to add the book to your holiday gift list.
Former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan declares the 'End of America' in his new book, Day of Reckoning: How Hubris, Ideology, and Greed Are Tearing America Apart. Despite the gloom-and-doom, he still sees hope. Because of public education and the publics’ unwillingness to resist both spiritual and political-correctness tyranny, I don’t.
Buchanan, a Jesuit-educated, traditional Catholic, ran for
the White House under the Republican Party (1992, 1996) and Reform Party (2000).
Since the institutionalized Christian church in
Neither conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan, nor mantle-carrying libertarian Ron
Paul*, has understood the inherent moral and philosophic bankruptcy found in the
principle of public education.
return-school-prayer-to-the-classroom advocates, both have foolishly worked
to “resurrect our public
school system.” Sorry, public
education is worse than dying; it is the corpse which fights the lid on the
coffin. Barring some genuine Holy Spirit
awakening (not the pseudo "revivals" spoken of by lame charismatics and Arminian
* To his credit, Paul does defend the rights of parents to home school. However, Christians must never confuse the right to home school with the ability to successfully home school your children.
God's Outlaw, The Story of William Tyndale (DVD - 1986) is an accurate historical portrayal of the born-again British Christian who, in the face of great opposition from Catholic religious/political authorities (e.g., Thomas More), translated the NT and several books of the OT into the English language. Deemed a 'heretic' by Rome, Tyndale (1494-1536) was martyred for his beliefs and translation work. A contemporary of Martin Luther and other Reformation leaders, he was strangled and burned in Vilvorde town square near Brussels, Belgium. America's evangelical freedoms were purchased, in large part, with Tyndale's participation in 2 Corinthians 4:12 sanctification. Genuine spirituality does not come cheap.
A Philosophical Slap In The Face To Liberals - As the Republican Presidential primary picks up speed, some candidates continue to carefully move in a more conservative direction. Having to balance personal convictions (maybe) with voters' perceptions, they are forever triangulating potential outcomes. Such is the case with Mitt Romney's recent remarks regarding the future of Roe vs. Wade and how abortionist doctors should or should not be held accountable.
"The presidential campaign of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney told Cybercast News Service on Wednesday that Romney does not favor punishing women who have abortions but does favor punishing abortionists, perhaps even with incarceration.
"'You know,' Romney replied, 'I don't see putting doctors and women in jail. I don't believe that's ever been part of our history, even when states were able to put in place effective pro-life legislation.'
"'I haven't seen provisions of that nature ever being proposed. But I do believe that the next step that should be taken is to overturn Roe v. Wade, and to no longer have the Supreme Court impose its one-size-fits-all philosophy on the entire nation. There will be steps beyond that, of course, but the next step is to overturn Roe v. Wade,' he added.
"'Governor Romney does not believe that abortion legislation should punish women who have abortions. Governor Romney recognizes that we must be sensitive to both lives involved in these situations, the unborn child and the mother.'
"'The people who should be held accountable for violations of this nature,' Rhoades said, 'are the people who perform an illegal abortion, the penalties of which could include anything from disciplinary action to incarceration.'" CNSNews.com
Romney is being forced to comment theoretically on these highly sensitive issues because he still lacks support from tens of millions of voting evangelicals. Unfortunately, the press exchange didn't specify which abortionists (prior or future) would be subject to legal action.
On the other end of the block, full-fledged panic and disbelief is racing through the publicly-educated liberal crowd. Using a '60s phrase, "They're totally freaked out!" You can almost hear their tongues wagging, "Who would ever have imagined that 'right-wing kooks' would seek to criminalize a procedure on par with blowing your nose." "Governmental intrusion at its worst!" To discover or be told, "You're not God," is a message few liberals can successfully deal with.
My wife astutely remarks, "It's easy for secular societies to dismiss the humanity of the unborn (as well as the elderly) when no "bond" has formed; the self-centered individual simply doesn't want to be inconvenienced." The question for me is, "Which candidate has the courage to face down and dismantle the government-funded educational system that's guilty of spawning today's pro-abortion, liberal mindset?"
11/23/2007 (6:00 am)
This a special alert to our regular readers. Rising tensions are reaching a critical point in the Middle East over the significance and influence of the upcoming Bush/Rice "Annapolis Conference" schedule for November 27, 2007. Debkafile intelligence sources highlight the current crisis in Lebanon as well as November 20th & 21st Al Qaeda threats against Israel and the US. It is unclear why Al Qaeda would feel the need to issue threats since Israel's current leaders appear eager to nonsensically give away more "land for peace." Al Qaeda may simply not want to appear left out of the current dynamic in the eyes of the Muslim world.
Click on picture to enlarge.
If these attacks materialize, expect the current negative pall over global markets and the US dollar to grow worse. Readers should position themselves accordingly.
As I mentioned in the prior post and to
elaborate further, few Americans accurately understand the history of
religious liberty, both in
“After their victory over Charles I, the Puritans took steps to turn
“On December 16, 1653, Cromwell introduced a written constitution called
the Instrument of Government. It
provided for complete religious freedom for everyone
as long as their religious beliefs did
not require the overthrow of the government.
Religious freedom therefore extended to everyone except Catholics.
At the time,
America's Founding Fathers modeled their concept of religious freedom upon Cromwell, in as much as liberty was NOT to be extended to religious-based "revolutionaries or terrorist." It is philosophical nonsense and self-contradictory to assert that religious liberty should be granted to individuals or groups committed to overthrowing the very governments extending such liberty. Muslims understand the stupidity of America's Left (e.g., ACLU). Traditional Muslims, those faithful to the Islamic tenet of global theocracy via imposition of sharia law, are NOT entitled to America's religious liberty and legal protections. Their religious tenets are contrary to America's political tenets of both democracy and republicanism.
What do Islam, Catholicism, and Mormonism share in common? Despite the amillennial nature of the last two, all are historically committed to theocratic religious rule. Numbers of Muslims, Catholics, and Mormons are in denial of these facts.
Both radio talk-host Hugh Hewitt and presidential candidate Mitt Romney are on their pseudo-bigotry rant again. As a combination of tough attorney-type and shrewd business executive, their political game plan is very short on principle. The most recent dust-up pertains to the use of negative phone calls (push polling) aimed at Romney as well as Mormonism (allegedly*) ahead of the presidential primaries in New Hampshire and Iowa.
Both Hewitt and Romney continue to falsely sling about the term “bigotry” when describing any and all who would choose to include religious beliefs as a legitimate issue when evaluating a political candidate’s qualifications for office. Neither is this evaluation “un-American,” as Mr. Romney falsely claims. Both are grossly wrong on the nature of America's so-called religious freedom.
The Court’s current interpretation of religious freedom differs greatly from the concept implemented by the early American colonies and Founding Fathers. While the Framers laid down no religious test for holding political office, the subject of religion was never off limits. Kooks and cultist, both then and now, were free (more-or-less) to practice their beliefs in social isolation. Nowhere in the history of America is it written that kooks and cultists must be granted acceptance by the majority community! This is a new dogma of the radical post-modernist America.
Hewitt, an "expat Catholic" often found in evangelical circles, refuses to publically acknowledge the cause-and-effect links between:
• religion (or lack thereof) and worldview
• worldview and public policy
• public policy and life-on-the-street.
Just like homosexuals, who politically coat-tailed the black community, American Muslims are loving every point of argument by Messrs Hewitt and Romney! If Mr. Romney’s Mormonism cannot be spoken of relative to his bid for office, then neither can the religion of the most Sharia-adherent Islamist. Mr. Hewitt doesn't appreciate the problem here. The Islamist jihad strategy simply becomes 1) run for political office, 2) cry “bigotry” when anyone raises the issue of how their Islamic perspective is influencing their political (policy) behavior. It should be self-evident that the Founding Father's religious freedom was never meant to extend to individuals or groups subversive to the Republic. It has already been established that Muslims’ so-called ‘inter-faith dialogue’ is a ruse meant to trick and mislead the "infidels." Further, it is no secret that all genuine followers of Islam are theonomic and foresee a day when Islamic rule covers the earth.
* Controversy is swirling around both the what and the who. No source or evidence has been published to substantiate that the phone calls actually took place. So far it's all hearsay. An investigation is underway in the New Hampshire Office of the Attorney General. With so much at stake, it could be a carefully-timed media ploy designed to highlight fictitious religious bigotry and thus garner public sympathy for Mitt Romney.
Roe vs. Wade is the most evil piece of legislation in all of modern history…maybe all history. Modern abortion is the moral equivalent of ancient child sacrifice to the false deity Moloch/Topheth (an abomination in God's sight) recorded in the OT books: Leviticus, 1st & 2nd Kings, and Jeremiah. Now beyond the sanctioned murder of millions of innocent children offered up to Darwin's theories, Roe vs. Wade also enshrines the insidious idea of the absolute autonomy of women (and mankind in general), thereby resulting in flagrant moral anarchy, a radical humanism which screams, “There is no God but ourselves!” and cultural devastation. Ten of thousands of marriages and families, maybe more, have been destroyed by the leaven of contumacy and women zealously believing they were accountably to no one, the least being their husbands. Is there a breeze blowing in another direction…? Maybe so.
Simple economic concepts can fall on deaf ears during generational conversations. Our materialistic standard of living has continued to rise on account global capitalism, mass production, and the wide variety of inexpensive goods (largely imports) available, NOT because of increased purchasing power. If wages don't increase by at least the CPI inflation rate, a family is falling behind in purchasing power and possibly their standard of living as well. Let me share a real life example of what I'm talking about.
I well remember trying to get my late mother to grasp the concepts of the consumer price index (CPI) and the declining value of the dollar as a unit of currency. I don't think I ever really convinced her of the fact that the purchasing power of the US dollar was not a constant, that it was declining, and that she and my dad were actually better off financially during their post-WW2 generation, when compared to subsequent generations. However, the proof was a rather simple one.
In 1957, I remember seeing and asking questions about my parent's 1040 income tax return. Being the inquisitive and analytical child, I made a mental note of the fact that my dad's construction business (single-family homes) had earned taxable income of approximately $25,000. How much would his business need to earn in today's (2007) dollars to provide an equivalent level of purchasing power? Answer: $185,489.32.* The calculation is easy using the US Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI calculator.
* The calculation is in gross dollars and doesn't factor in the loss differential for being in a higher tax bracket.
The Lynching Date is Set by Jan Markell. Scroll down the CWN page to see the article. Also read: Olmert sets new condition on Palestinian talks. If you really want to understand what is or is not happening, order and watch FAREWELL ISRAEL, Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam. Also, Rice: Israelis must be prepared... The so-called "peace" being offered to the Jewish state is one of dhimmitude.
Richard Land (Southern Baptist) has advised Mitt Romney (Mormon) to "give a Kennedy-style speech"* regarding evangelical concern over the potential effect Romney's Mormonism might have on Administration policy if he is elected President. Since Mr. Romney appeared to "change his mind" regarding the subjects of abortion and gay-marriage, one can only wonder why the politician didn't foresee this problem and change religions as well. Of course, my comment erroneously assumes that such changes can easily be made.
* In 1960, then-presidential candidate John F. Kennedy (Catholic) gave a speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association assuring them that he would not let his Catholic faith dictate his Administration's policies. "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters — and the Church does not speak for me." Of course, this was overly simplistic and thus misleading. As we now know, his liberal worldview (Catholic) played a substantive role in policy formation. All politicians operate within the context of their particular worldview.
It continues to amaze me that Christians, of all stripes, buy the rhetoric that their religious freedoms remain in tact because they are free to attend a church service on Sunday or a public gathering during the week. Nonsense! Believers aren't being fed; rather, 'goats' are being entertained. Most of my correspondents despair at the tragically low state of teaching and preaching. However, the problem is two-fold. The public education system has spawned a Nation of illiterates, so that both leaders and those lead are intellectual cripples. Even the viral Left is now willing to acknowledge and lament. The fact that public education is a black hole, extending its tentacles in all directions and calling for increased funding, doesn't seem to bother citizens--yet. The answer? Separation of School and State. Despite my strong belief in the sovereignty of God, I despair (emotionally) regarding the unwillingness for Christians to stand for truth.
Here is some wise commentary from the late physican and Covenant minister Dr. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' 1958 book Authority. Speaking of the necessity for the new birth and supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit, he wrote:
"Just as a man may have an intellectual conception of, and give an intellectual assent to, the truth about Christ without really receiving Him and becoming a Christian, so he can do exactly the same with the Scriptures.
"I emphasize this, first, because I fear that we as Conservative Evangelicals have sometimes tended to fall into this trap. We have indulged in a form of rationalism, which is not really in accord with our position. There is a real value in these arguments, but in the end (as the Protestant Fathers themselves taught) no man can truly believe in and submit himself to the authority of the Scriptures except as the result of the 'testimonium Spiritus internum'. It is only as the result of the [supernatural] work, and the illumination, of the Holy Spirit within us that we can finally have this assurance about the authority of the Scriptures. This is just to say in other words what the apostle Paul states so clearly in 1 Corinthians 2: 14: 'The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.'
"There is no question about this matter. We can put it bluntly in this form. A man who is not a [born-from-above] Christian cannot believe in the authority of the Scriptures. We should not expect him to do so. We are wasting time if we argue with him about it. It is futile for us to confront the modern rationalist or unbeliever and say, 'First of all we must have an agreement about the Bible. Do you believe the Word of God? Do you accept its authority or not? If you do not, we are not in a position to discuss with you.' Such reasoning is entirely false. It puts the cart before the horse. If he is not a [born-from-above] Christian, he cannot possibly accept the authority of the Scriptures. It is only the [born-from-above] Christian who does so.
"But I emphasize this for a second reason. If was approach this problem along the line of argument, primarily, there is the gravest danger that we may well compromise our own position. I believe that some of our grandfathers [in the faith] did just that in the last century. They were terrified by the 'modern knowledge' that had come in with the advance of science. They were over-anzious about the statements of biology and geology. Many of them, therefore, took great pains to reconcile the Bible with this 'new learning'. There was a tacit assumption that the 'new learning' was of necessity right. I detect, I fear, a tendency among certain Conservative Evangelicals to do this same thing today. There is a fear of what is called 'Science'. Science has become the supreme authority; and in a spirit of fear men are ready to make concessions which in my opinion should never be made at all.
"If you study the history of science you will have much less respect for its supposed supreme authority than you had when you began. It is nothing but a simple fact of history to say that a hundred years ago and less, scientists were teaching dogmatically and with extreme confidence that the thyroid gland, the pituitary gland and other glands were nothing but vestigial remains. They said that they had no value and no function whatsoever. Now this is not theory. It is fact. They asserted dogmatically that these were useless remains. But today we know that these glands are essential to life. Without arguing in detail about scientific matters, I say that it is not only lacking in faith and un-scriptural, but it is ignorant to accord to 'Science', 'Modern Knowledge' or 'Learning' an authority which they really do not possess. Let us be scientifically sceptical with regard to the assertions of 'Science'. Let us remember that so many of their assertions are mere suppositions and theories which cannot be proved, and which may very well be disproved, as so many have been disproved during the past hundred years."
Two articles, one new and one from January 2006, are causing a stir among conservatives and the Republican base. Readers should examine Townhall Gregg Jackson's Romney Secrets The Media Are Hiding From You and NRO Sally Pipes Unhealthy in Massachusetts. New Creation believers should be cautious regarding any candidate endorsed by sly talk-show personality Hugh Hewitt. What is at work is a carefully crafted agenda to use postmodernist inclusivism as a club to silence objectors and then to seize power. Both Romney (Mormon) and Hewitt (Catholic) fall far short of acknowledging our Nation's form of government and heritage in the evangelical Protestant tradition. What they both share in common is rejection of biblical authority. I recommend reading D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones' book entitled Authority, Banner of Truth, 1984, as well as The New Tolerance, McDowell & Hostetler, Tyndale House, 1998, if you haven't already read them.
Whereas the economic/financial dynamics are different than back in the '70s, the American public and potentially the rest of the world are about to experience an unpleasant shock--albeit in differ forms (e.g., rising prices/inflation vs. unemployment). If you live in the US and haven't been paying attention, the cost of almost everything has been rapidly going up, except maybe for items being massed produced and imported from China. WalMart, Costco, etc. have stocked their shelves with lots of bargains for US consumers.
The global markets (e.g. currency and commodity markets) are reflecting the declining role of the US dollar as the global reserve currency of choice. In short, dollar denominated assets and liabilities are precipitously falling in value, while fixed or "hard" assets are re-pricing upward to reflect the glut of US dollars chasing them. All levels of government (and not a few private citizens) have been on a spending binge at the expense of US taxpayers--i.e., largely the middle class. Since Congress has caved in to environmentalist wackos and the Left and have choked off domestic oil/gas exploration and production, expect to see $4 to 5 $6 to 7 dollar gas at the pump.
Despite the highly-publicized problem of subprime mortgage securities (the chicken gizzards of the securitization process) and large current housing inventories, real estate prices will continue to move upward in price over a 5-to-10 year horizon. Don't panic and sell; hunker down and ride out the storm--again. A modest home is the best investment average Americans can participate in.
Little does the current crop of federal, state, and local politicians understand the resentment building in the 80-million strong Boomer generation who have worked 30-45 years and who currently still believe they can retire on fixed incomes and social security, which are both dwindling in value.
Footnote: Due to electronic finance, trade, and modern mass transportation, the global economy and financial system is far more interconnected than a simple aggregation of national economies. Because of this connectivity, what happens in the United States has a profound impact upon every other nation and peoples of the world. That is why French President Nicolas Sarkozy is warning the US Congress and the Administration regarding the implications of the US dollars slide.
It was good to see Southern Baptist Albert Mohler find some spine. Mormonism Is a Sincerely False Gospel and Evangelical Theologian: Bottom Line is Mormons are not Christians. Further, Romney Advised Not to Equate Mormons, Christians.
However, the absolute worst public theology award for 4th quarter 2007 must go to Southern Baptist Richard Land, who stated on October 19th that Mormonism is a fourth Abrahamic religion. “Judaism being the first, Christianity being the second, Islam being the third and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints being the fourth."
Land's comment is seriously wrong on a number of levels.
Should all this information have some bearing upon our evaluation of who is fit to serve in the highest office of the land? Of course it should! It's absolutely reasonable to believe that whether an individual is atheist, Muslim, homosexual, New Age, Christian or whatever, those beliefs WILL influence their decision-making abilities and affect how they discharge political power. To believe otherwise is to defy reality.
Sadly, most believers are (insert denomination here) first, and Christian second. What I mean by that is that their primary religious identity is rooted in a particular ecclesiastical group, rather than in biblical revelation--the Written Word--and a personal relationship with the Glorified Lord Jesus Christ--the Ascended Living Word.
This is not an argument for discarding church history (ahistoric) or throwing away denominational distinctions and espousing non-denominationalism, which always gravitates toward being non-doctrinal and ecumenical. Rather, we seek to inspire growing believers to comprehensively embrace biblical truth and thereby transcend the limitations of their denominational identity. As Miles Stanford often said:
Our life in this world is to be the expression of our growth in Christ and fellowship with Him in Glory. “If [since] ye were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God… For ye died, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:1–3, ASV). Abide above, for the burden below!
Islamic Geeks Unity; More Virgins in Waiting. DEBKAfile Exclusive: Al Qaeda declares Cyber Jihad on the West. "In a special Internet announcement in Arabic, picked up by DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources, Osama bin Laden’s followers announced Monday, Oct. 29, the launching of Electronic Jihad. On Sunday, Nov. 11, al Qaeda’s electronic experts will start attacking Western, Jewish, Israeli, Muslim apostate and Shiite Web sites. On Day One, they will test their skills against 15 targeted sites expand[ing] the operation from day to day thereafter until hundreds of thousands of Islamist hackers are in action against untold numbers of anti-Muslim sites."
Again, I encourage readers to obtain and watch the FAREWELL ISRAEL, Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam DVD while you still can.
Trick or Treat? Not only did the members of Willow Creek Community Church get taken for millions in their support for Bill Hybels' seeker sensitive approach to ministry, a recent multi-year study finds only "wood, hay, and straw" (1 Cor. 3:12-15). Hybels recently confessed:
Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
It's happened again! During my 38+ years as a born-again Christian, I've lost count of these events. I picked up the local newspaper (liberal rag, don't subscribe) and read the headline. Investors Wooed at Church: Man accused of fraud met contacts through area congregations. The ponzi dupes numbered 300 and the estimated loss was tenatively put at $11 million. $11 million!!
How can so-called evangelical believers be so utterly stupid and gullible? It's really rooted in their charismatic desire to witness and participate in miracles...today!! Forget the math and numbers; didn't Jesus multiply the loaves and fishes? "Then God showed me a marvelously unique way to manage my development business so that I could accomplish multiple projects simultaneously and bring others into the process for their own personal financial blessing (he promised returns of 15 to 20 percent) at the same time," the man said. "Wow! What a God."
Several area evangelical mega-churches were involved. The con man held positions with civic organizations as well as was an upstanding "deacon" at one of the more prominent glitz and tits 'worship' services. Despite the church's non-denominational (stealth) appearance, it's associated with the Pentecostal Assembly of God USA denomination. Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker, also Assembly of God, bilked millions from their followers. Aggregate losses over the past decades would likely go into the hundreds of millions. They really do pine for the Las Vegas scene...albeit with religious themes.
Of course it would be bad manners and politically incorrect to point out that a majority of these financial and sexual scandals occur among charismatic, Pentecostal, and Anglo-Catholic churches. Coincidence, or heretical theology??
Start by reading 10/24 post.
SOS Rice is desperate. She's swallowed the myth that peace is achievable in the Middle East. [Why? View the DVD to find the answer.] Meanwhile, Israel's Olmert sounds alarm: Iran has crossed red line for developing a nuclear weapon. It’s too late for sanctions. More foreign policy disasters in the making. Rice taps Clinton, Carter for Middle East advice. Cheney may be the only one with his head on straight and not concerned about a legacy.
Start by reading 10/24 post.
Hanging Tough in Oklahoma?? Sadly, much of today's red-state conservatism is an illusion. Democrats have always dominated most levels of Oklahoma state government, and despite the state's 'Bible-Belt' image, its numerous churches are predominantly left-of-center--the true bellwether of what citizens really believe. Thus, it is no surprise to see only 16% of the State legislature with the intelligence and moral courage to be able to decline a complementary, embossed copy of the Koran! I suspect the results wouldn't be much different in the other 49 States and DC.
"...[Democrat] Gov. Brad Henry's Muslim advisory council is offering personalized Korans to lawmakers to mark the state's centennial, with each copy to be embossed with the Oklahoma state seal and the recipient lawmaker's name. The all-Muslim group -- plain-vanilla-named the American Ethnic Advisory Council -- asked lawmakers to notify it if they didn't want a Koran, which the group described as 'the record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad.' So far, 24 [of 149] have declined." Diana West - Townhall. Brackets mine.
Start by reading 10/24 post.
I have no way of knowing who and in what numbers the withChrist.org Journal is read. I have intentionally avoided advertisements and electronic gimmickry to promote it, since the heart of this ministry is largely one-on-one correspondence with hungry-hearted Christians wanting to grow in their spiritual lives. We trust that God, in His sovereignty and present work of the Holy Spirit, will lead believers to us by word-of-mouth and use of search engines. This approach has not disappointed. Time-after-time I'm witness to the divine timing of both letters received and the effectiveness of our personal responses. Correspondents testify similarly of the reality of God's hand and power in this low-profile ministry. Nevertheless...
Sound the Shofar! In light of my post yesterday, I wish to bring to readers' attention some deadly serious events now occurring among influential religious liberals and neo-evangelicals. Read: Christianity Today's (CT) online The Peacemaking Process - A call to evangelicals to respond to a significant Muslim overture and A Christian Response to 'A Common Word Between Us and You', by the liberal Yale Center for Faith and Culture. These are the religious equivalent to WWII's Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who sought the appeasement of Adolph Hitler. Remember: God has never acted in love at the expense of light (truth). The so-called "love" spoken about by CT and the Yale Center is a pseudo-love based upon postmodernist sympathies.
Muslim leaders have identified and targeted the soft evangelical* and weak fundamentalist realms as key obstacles in their march to global conquest. Due to the liberal and neo-evangelical predisposition for compromise and conciliation, U.S. evangelicals are foolishly playing into the historical Islamic trap of "peace with justice." For centuries, Muslims have use this language as a ruse for dhimmitude of Jews and Christians. It is imperative that every reader of withChrist.org purchase and intently watch FAREWELL ISRAEL, Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam - NOW!
* Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox realms are perceived by Muslims as impotent in the military sense and thus pose little to no threat to the current revival of Islamic power. From the Islamic world's perspective, the current "crusade" is being waged by the "evangelical crusader" George W. Bush, and thus Muslim leaders are driving for interfaith dialogue and "common ground" with evangelicals.
Since the 9/11 Attacks, numerous books have been written seeking to educate both Western leaders and public about the dangers of Islam, not so-called "Islamic extremists." Over the past several years, I have recommended several authors and websites: Robert Spencer, Answering Islam, Joel Richardson, and David J. Jonsson, etc.
Now comes a recommended movie available on DVD. FAREWELL ISRAEL, Bush, Iran, and the Revolt of Islam, written and produced by Joel Gilbert. View the trailer.
This 2½ hour "political documentary" is loaded with explanations of Islamic doctrine and history, as well as examines the Islamic worldview--both ancient and modern. Joel Gilbert is not a Christian; rather a Jewish Zionist*. Understandably, he views the history of Christianity as the history of Christendom, with little to no grasp of biblical eschatology. Nevertheless, the DVD is well worth the price of $14.95 plus shipping.
Mr. Gilbert is a graduate of the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies and London School of Economics and Political Science (BA 1986, Economics and Politics). He has studied under several renowned Islamic history experts, as well as lived, studied, and traveled the Middle East, including Egypt, Israel, Morocco, and Pakistan. He speaks both Arabic and Hebrew.
Christians, with a strong understanding of the OT, NT, and church history, will be able make the contextual integration of biblical eschatology as the documentary moves from chapter to chapter. Be prepared for a vigorous mental exercise.
* Since withChrist.org is premillennial in its view of end times, and believes that the nation of Israel was exclusively given the land by God via various covenants, and will occupy that land during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ, we would likely be classified as Christian Zionists, by enemies of both Israel and Jews.
This week's "Keen Sense of the Obvious" award goes to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual head of the world's 77 million Anglicans (Episcopalians in America). For some unfathomable stirring of conscience, he mustered the courage to utter:
"Something has happened to our assumptions about the life of the unborn child."
1967* + 40** = 2007. Zechariah's warning to Bush and Condi - by Hal Lindsey. W has a problem with imbibing, but not from alcohol.
* Six-Day War - Jerusalem under Israel control.
** a biblical generation.
Joel Olsteen is the most high profile 'health & wealth' religious figure currently in America. He is not born-again; he is not Christian. CBS has run a 60 Minutes documentary on his "ministry." Based in Houston, Texas, he presides over a multi-million+ dollar operation.
Texas is the center of America's oil and gas industry. The geography from Houston to Corpus Christi has been dubbed the "Gold Coast." Money and wealth flow to such a level that a majority of Americans would be shocked to witness both the opulence and materialistic excess. However, to evangelicals this is the promised worldly blessing of the Abrahamic Covenant--replacement theology.
Joel Olsteen’s message of pure humanism is presented in the genre of Southern evangelicalism with enough Christian lingo to fool.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate to themselves teachers to suit their own passions…” 2 Timothy 4:3
But there is something more to the worldly Olsteen success phenomena. His cherub-like, effeminate aura is nothing short of the Evil One’s ploy to deliver a liberal/humanist arch-typical “christ” to the world.
"For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." 2 Corinthians 11:13-15
Despite my premillennial, pretribulational view for the end of the age and Christ's Return (including global catastrophism*), I generally avoid alarmists. However, I feel my views are shifting...maybe a lot. Truly the West, including America, are in decline, but I never believed I would live to witness such a rapid rate of cultural decay. Not only has sexual perversion and murder (e.g. children missing, women raped, innocents gunned down, etc.) reacted epidemic size, America is in the midst of its own civil war, accompanied by a moral collapse of Caligulan proportion.
A. A. Hodge of Princeton (1823-1886) did not engage in hyperbole when he foresaw the end fruits of public education:
"I am as sure as I am of Christ's reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has ever seen." "It is self-evident that on this scheme, if it is consistently and persistently carried out in all parts of the country, the United States system of national popular education will be the most efficient and wide instrument for the propagation of Atheism which the world has ever seen."
Currently, there is no sign of either a spiritual or moral awakening, and West is in 'free-fall'. A full barbarian invasion is taking place before our very eyes...at least for those who have eyes to see.
* Sorry Al Gore, but you're a Johnny-come-lately. Have you considered knighthood, sainthood, or maybe auditioning for one of high-profile roles mentioned in Revelation 13?
Don't miss Dr. David Instone-Brewer's article, What God Has Joined, What does the Bible really teach about divorce? Because the subject of divorce and remarriage are so emotionally charged, Instone-Brewer's books should be read by every Christian leader and particularly every local pastor. An expanded version is here.
Please read the sad article Bush: All religions pray to 'same God'. One wonders if George Bush held these views when he was a candidate for office, but just concealed them from evangelical voters and leaders. Can his religious illiteracy be explained by the possibility that he never enrolled in Religion 101 or by the fact that he's never seriously studied the subject on his own? I've often felt that the Left's characterizations of W being a "dummy" were largely unfair, BUT maybe his knowledge of religion has been solely drawn from the book, Religion for Dummies, or some other postmodern, ecumenical fairytale.
While it's easy to by cynical, I want to believe that it's his liberal Methodist X neo-evangelical orientation that's led him to such politically-correct nonsense, rather than cowardice to speak truth. What has hindered him from knowing the truth? Regarding the historical claims of both fundamental Christianity and fundamental Islam, is he truly as ignorant as he appears? Or...has he somehow rationalized or been led to believe the deception that theological accommodation is the best approach to address and neutralize the more strident (faithful) elements of Islam and bring about religious "reform"? Historically, liberalism has often led into the realm of syncretism. Bible-believing Christians may never know George Bush's genuine thoughts of the subject.
Given the often paradoxical nature of our world, it would not surprise me to discover that Bush's earnest motives for bringing about world "peace" and "freedom," were in fact, "empowering terrorist leaders whose ultimate aim is for Islamic law to govern the world by proclaiming Islam a 'religion of peace'." (To understand this comment, please read the Bush article at WorldNetDaily.)
How the Christian views and deals with adversity has always been an important topic. To one degree or another, we all will face trials during our sojourn on earth. Failing to accurately understand the nature of crisis events can delay our spiritual growth toward maturity. The following are excerpts from recent correspondence.
The fact that the medical doctors are unable to pinpoint the root cause of your son’s serious problem does not automatically classify the difficulty as an “obvious Satanic attack.” Physical, emotional, and mental disease are common to all humanity on account of the Fall and our congenital inheritance from the First Adam. We can never obscure the truth that we are sinners confined to temporarily inhabiting “corruptible” bodies. It is the failure of the entire charismatic movement to understand this fundamental truth that leads to seeing Satan and demons at the center of all adversity.
Yes, you must rise above the demonist level and REST in your “crucified…and ascended position in Christ.” Further, being unable to sleep and depression are not uncommon, trust me on this one. As a parent, you are understandably concerned about the wellbeing of your son and are experiencing the feelings of helplessness that come to all of us during life’s adverse events. Nowhere in the Word are we promised “deliverance” from the adversities that are common to all men.
Any charismatic “binding and rebuking” is ineffectual, since you can only speculate regarding what might be taking place in the spiritual realm. Yes, the spiritual realm and various spirit beings (e.g., angelic) exists, but a preponderance of the NT (dispensationally interpreted) does not support charismatic ‘spiritual warfare’. We need not “wrestle” directly with our defeated Foe. Satan and his demons are to be “resisted” by resting in the truths of God’s sovereignty and our position of “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).
Christian Conservatives Consider Third-Party Effort. The liberal Left-wingers are dancing with glee at this scenario--a fundamental split in the GOP. The so-called 'third-party' would likely form from some combination of 'second-tier' Presidential candidates. They, including former US Ambassador Alan Keyes, took the stage (The All-American Presidential Forums) at historically-black Morgan State College, Baltimore, MD. If you missed it, watch or listen here.
Also, the prior Values Voter 2008 Presidential Debate should also be watched. Interesting results for Mike Huckabee and Alan Keyes. Keyes may be the only candidate who intellectually understands how public education destroyed the American Republic and has enough courage to talk about it.
The Internet has proven itself a powerful, communications alternative to liberal mainstream media (MSM). This new medium is truly democratic in nature, and together with powerful search technology like Google, MS Live, and others, is effective in pairing knowledge providers with knowledge seekers. Such is the basis for withChrist.org's twelve years of successful ministry. Given the truths of 1 Corinthians 3:7-9, we do not view ourselves in "competition" with other genuine works of the Holy Spirit; truly it is only "God who makes things [spiritually] grow." "For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Cor. 4:20).
Few average Americans understand the cesspool of vile, sacrilegious debauchery in which the homosexual community revels. Mocking God and the things of God has moved from avant-garde to subculture mainstream. Here is news coverage by Concerned Women of America on San Francisco's Folsom Street Fair. This is prima facie evidence that elements of American society have created a paraphiliac subculture which dwells in a nocturnal sewer. Warning: first two links contain graphic and offensive material.
With the Psalmist we ask, “How long will the enemy mock you, O God? Will the foe revile your name forever?” Psalm 74:10. NIV
Twenty-first century Western societies often struggle to understand Middle Eastern cultures during the times in which both OT and NT were written. In Matthew 5:32, Jesus said, "But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."* The Greek word translated as "sexual immorality" or "fornication" is porneia, which is sometimes translated "adultery," but is much larger in scope and does not exclude homosexuality. The Jewish culture (men) to whom Jesus spoke had manufactured some very creative reasons to divorce their wives. He condemned these rationalizations. A modern-day example of this same practice has been reported in the Saudi Arabian kingdom (Muslim). See Saudi divorces wife for watching male TV host. Since Islam is law-based, the hypocrisy factor is huge.
* God hates the behaviors (sin) which breach the marriage covenant and which lead to divorce, yet recognizes a basis for justifiable divorce--vis-à-vis a sin-cursed world . A biblical understanding of marriage, divorce, and remarriage must be based on a comprehensive evaluation of everything the Bible has to say on these subjects. Ancient ex-biblical literature is helpful in giving added context and clarification to the meaning of texts. The lack of understanding regarding the nature of sin, and its relationship to human sexuality, is a major contributing factor to religious fanaticism in all its manifestations.
For wholesome family entertainment (all ages), rent The Greatest Game Ever Played. "With a pint-sized caddie (Joshua Flitter) at his side, amateur golfer Francis Ouimet (Shia LaBeouf) shocked the world at the 1913 U.S. Open when he outplayed defending British champ Harry Vardon (Stephen Dillane)." This 2005 movie is an inspiring true-life story based on actual events. Don't miss it!
The 7/22/2007 edition of the far-Left New York Times Magazine did a piece on the libertarian, Congressman Ron Paul. Paul (being antiwar, anti-drug enforcement, and anti-Medicare) is something of oddity compared to the other Republican presidential candidates. His political disciples are reported to be notorious for stuffing electronic polls and thus distorting results in Paul's favor. The fact that he's a Republican presidential candidate demonstrates the "big tent" diversity of the GOP. Despite living in the 21st century and current threats from Islamic jihad-theocracy, Ron Paul is an isolationist when it comes to foreign policy. Of course, he labels it "The Foreign Policy of Freedom." Like the Left, he ignores the fact that Muslim terrorists are driven by a global vision of Islamic religious supremacy. He occupies the other end of the spectrum from someone like geo-stratigist Thomas Barnett.
Ron Paul was raised Lutheran (liberal), largely attended Episcopal* churches (his five children were baptized therein), but now is said to attend a Baptist (?) church. Nevertheless, his liberal religious upbringing clearly shines through. The NYT articles quotes Paul as saying, "I was annoyed by the evangelicals’ being so supportive of pre-emptive war, which seems to contradict everything that I was taught as a Christian." "The [Christian] religion is based on somebody who’s referred to as the Prince of Peace.” While Mr. Paul does honorably hold to a number of conservative views, he demonstrates a total lack of knowledge regarding the dynamics of the biblical Age in which we live. Politicians will ignore this biblical fundamental to their (and our) peril.
* Like the United Methodists, the Episcopal Church-USA has been ultra-liberal for decades.
From time to time, visitors will ask, "Is [religious leader's name] saved?" With any such question there are several ways to answer, two of which are always wrong. 1) No one can know with certainty whether someone else is saved or not. This answer contradicts a fundamental premise of both OT and NT--i.e., that the truth of election and salvation can be known and that assurance of salvation is possible. This answer has become popular due to the rise of postmodernism. 2) I am 100% certain of someone else's salvation. This statement assumes that one can never be deceived. With regard to others, certainty is possible but never absolute.
The most important point to always keep in mind is that the biblical Good News (Gospel) is set within the context of the biblical Bad News (truth of the Fall). To the extent that one rejects or ignores the truth of the Fall, one will not feel the need to embrace the biblical Gospel.
"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." Galatians 1:6-8
A recent correspondent asks about the Pre-Wrath Rapture doctrine. Since eschatology is neither my forte or passion, I pointed him to four commentaries which seek to refute the theories of Van Kampen and Marvin Rosenthal. See R. Huebner, T. Ice, G. Zeller, and R. Graff. Note: withChrist.org does not agree with the Arminianism of either Mr. Zeller or Mr. Graff.
Regarding the prior post, one reader gained an understanding of why and how this so-called "Christian" would go so far as to convert to Islam. "He finally accepted sovereignty and love in a Creator/Sustainer (Minus Redeemer!) and repentance/submission, but to the wrong god, Allah! What will this man do with his sins?!" Of course the answer to his question is "Nothing." The teachings of Islam and Muslims reject the truth of the Fall, and view sin as "ignorance and pride." Consequently, religious works are a necessity to supposedly mitigate the effects of the latter.
I'm back from the "adventure." Traveled to the end of the road in Minnesota's Boundary Waters Wilderness Area, was ferried eight miles by skiff up Moose and Sucker Lakes, then proceeded an additional fourteen-plus miles by canoe into the "Land of Ten Thousand Lakes." The water was beautiful, the fishing poor, and the return trip included some harrowing experiences. With two young boys along, safety was foremost and prayer a daily occurrence for me. God's mercy and grace were very evident.
I spent some time in conversation with a former acquaintance (Arminian evangelical from thirty-five years ago), who has since abandoned his faith*, more-or-less. Since his "Christian" life was based upon the myth of free will and all the attendant baggage, it's hard to say whether he was ever truly "saved" in the biblical sense. A clear understanding of salvation (both justification and sanctification) requires a clear understanding of what it means to be "lost." Sadly, he is representative of the widespread theological wreckage--the unspoken results of America's long-standing emphasis upon revivalistic-style evangelism. I was reminded of a statement by the late Dr. Kenneth Good:
"Theological Liberalism, which we utterly abhor and publicly repudiate, and with which we will have no fellowship, is based upon human rationalization to the total or partial exclusion of divine revelation. Arminianism is philosophically identical. Its presuppositions are the same. Humanistic reasoning is placed in direct opposition to divine revelation. The difference between Liberalism and Arminianism is one of degree and not of kind. Both are the children of humanistic rationalism. Arminianism therefore produces the soil in which Liberalism can flourish."
The essential teachings of Jacobus Arminius (1560-1609) actually date back centuries to heresies that corrupted the Roman Catholic Church (e.g., Pelagius). In turn, these deeply-ingrained humanistic concepts are passed denominationally--from generation to generation. This graphic, of the Anglo-Catholic family of denominations, illustrates the transfer of these tenets over nearly sixteen centuries.
It's little wonder that evangelicalism continues its downhill slide and churches continue to loose ground to various forms of heresy and apostasy. L. S. Chafer wrote:
"The Arminian is deprived of the exalted blessing which is the portion of those who believe the sublime facts of predestination, election, and the sovereignty of God, because he hesitates to embrace them in their full-orbed reality. Having incorporated into his scheme the finite human element, all certainty about the future is for the Arminian overclouded with doubts. Having made the purpose of God contingent, the execution of that purpose must be contingent. By so much the glorious, divine arrangement by which the ungodly may go to heaven, is replaced by the mere moral program in which only good people may have a hope." Systematic Theology, 3:282
* Bitter disillusionment results when the Arminian ponders the seemingly ineffectual spread of Christianity against the backdrop of global acceptance of either secularism on the one hand or Islam on the other. A high level of angst is created for any individual whose doctrinal beliefs exclude the truth of election and falsely believes that God "waits" for each individual to exercise autonomous "free-will" to effect their salvation.
I will be in 'gone fishin' status for the next week. So, email correspondences will be placed on hold until I return.
Despite the 'phoo-phoo' practice among Arab leaders of dyeing their hair and beard, the supposedly recent picture of OBL doesn't adequately resemble his 2004 mug shot. I think the guy on the right (2007) is a double. The real OBL is likely feeling the flames or soon will be. But the intelligence community will know for sure using digital voice analysis. Remember, Muslim terrorists will not go away by ignoring them and their global war will not end until Christ finally crushes them at His Return. Until then, the West and its allies will need to wage both defensive and offensive military actions--like it or not.
Given my nearly thirty-years experience in the banking industry, I'll share some brief comments regarding the sub-prime mortgage problem. First, liberal and socialistic U.S. politicians garner votes from the envy class by passing legislation which allows mortgage brokers to make loans to people with bad credit or with marginal ability to repay the debt. Stated politely, the liberals in Congress help facilitate acts of consumer self-adulation and gratification. Without guidelines, competition rewards those businesses willing to take on more and more risk. Like the Penn Square debacle back in the early '80s, the mortgages (debt) are sold at a discount to hungry investors looking for high-yield bargains. Caveat emptor! With every economic downturn (they're normal and always occur), the most egregious risk-takers experience losses. No kidding. Seeking to defy economic realities is like repetitively trying to beat a train to the crossing. When the 'wreck' occurs, these same politicians look around for someone other than themselves to blame. It's all a rather disgusting process. The current situation is much MSM hype and not a major problem for either prudent consumers or prudent investors. Let those who bought CMOs (collateralized mortgage obligations) take it in the shorts.
Today was a very difficult day. We had to put down, due to old age, our beloved pet of eleven years, Cookie Monster - http://lenslight.com/Canon20D/_mg_0037.htm. Bending theology for a moment, Cookie's gentle nature and never-ending capacity to love was as "Christian" as it gets. Hopefully, pets reflect something of their owners.
Spending time at home this holiday weekend, I came across this wonderful example of the extended truth of Romans 1:20. First, David Bolinsky's presentation at the TED Conference. David Bolinsky is a former lead medical illustrator at Yale, and is one of the creators at XVIVO who made the movie The Inner Life of the Cell. See the best trailer here. The reason these computer animators successfully portray the sub-microscopic biological activities is the mathematical coherence between all spheres of reality. In short, mathematical order (intelligent design) is an expression of the God of order. Fractured order is the result of the Fall.
Consistent with my 7/29.1/2007 comment, Duncan Hunter finished #1 (41.1%) in the Townhall.com Texas Republican Straw Poll. This reflects realities that the main-stream media (MSM) fear. This conservative straw poll may be something of a bellweather.
The Left has come to seethe with contempt of born-again Christians and conservative religionists. So strong is their hatred that they mentally align themselves with Islamic terrorists and hope for Islam to snuff out all things Christian. See Dinesh D'Souza's February 2007 interview with Bill O'Reilly about his book, The Enemy at Home; click on YouTube video. And for a more in-depth presentation, David J. Jonsson's Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance.
As I've written in the past, theology or 'worldview' forms the basis for political views. This is true for even a secular society. A candidate's theological views will affect their future political policy decisions, and so it is perfectly reasonable to question them regarding their religious views. For example, back in July nine conservative journalists were allowed an audience with President Bush and then asked him questions regarding his "theological perspectives." Consistent with my prior observations (11/24/2006), George Bush erroneously believes in the universal value of both spiritual and political (democratic) "freedom." He demonstrates that he doesn't understand the religious and philosophical tenets upon which the original Founders established the Nation, and thus relies upon his liberalized Methodist theology as a framwork for making key decisions. Click on the blue text below for the entire source article.
"People have said, you know, this is Wilsonian, it's hopelessly idealistic. One, it is idealistic, to this extent: It's idealistic to believe people long to be free. And nothing will change my belief. I come at it many different ways. Really not primarily from a political-science perspective; frankly, it's more of a theological perspective. I do believe there is an Almighty, and I believe a gift of that Almighty to all is freedom. And I will tell you that is a principle that no one can convince me … doesn't exist."
Nothing could be more wrong. President Bush and his Methodist heritage are biblically out-of-touch with the truth of Romans 11:32. "For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all." Consequently, he grossly misconstrues Islam, Muslims, Jihad, and so-called Islamic "terrorists." See Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't, by Robert Spencer.
Contrary to Wesleyan/Methodism, biblical freedom is freedom from the power of sin. Both the historic and the contemporary notion of "freedom" held by Wesleyans and Methodists is rooted in the humanism of the eighteenth century Enlightenment, not the truth of the Word of God. Yes, "freedom from sin" was part of John Wesley's early message; however, being an Arminian he never really understood the truth about sin.
It is the Enlightenment's notion of autonomous freedom which underlies the so-called: woman's "right" to choose an abortion, homosexual "rights", and the "right" to play footsy in public bathrooms [Senator Larry Craig is Methodist and this is no coincidence]. Except for a small number of liberalized Muslim intellectuals living in America, Mohammad and the billion+ world of Islam (Muslims) have no appreciation for this notion of freedom. In their view, the fruit of this autonomy is moral license. And the evidence is strongly in their favor.
Thus, they despise and hold Western democracies in contempt. The fundamental tenet of Islam is obedience to Allah, not autonomy. The word Islam means "submission" or total surrender of oneself to God. The word Muslim means "one who submits (to God)."
One gains some interesting perspective while maintaining a truth-based website on the Internet. Occasionally, someone will write, "But you really don't understand the Bible," followed by their own exposition on what some particular portion of Scripture "really" means. I don't fault them for seeking to read and interpret the Word. This was one of the great freedoms gained from the blood spilled throughout history and especially during the time of the Reformation. However, I do fault them when they ignore their own humanistic presuppositions underlying their interpretations. For example, the most common is the presumption that mankind has "free will," the ability to make autonomous and unfettered choices, combined with a lack of knowledge regarding God's determinative will in both corporate and individual election. All three of these truths (specific revelation) are only found in the Word and never gained from 'general revelation' experience. Imagine for a moment, reading biblical texts without any understanding of either elections, and with a deistic Deity far removed from the affairs of mankind. Not only will large portions of Scripture need to be ignored, but the remainder must be twisted to fit this pre-defined template. While common, this approach produces "religions" far removed from biblical (Bible-based) Christianity.
For those who might of watched the CNN special "God's Warriors" this week, a word of confirmation. Yes...it was uber-twisted nonsense. The Ted Turner (rabid secularist) hacks attempted to construct an argument of moral equivalency between Jewish orthodox activists, Islamic terrorists, and politically-active Christian evangelicals. Anyone who groups individuals who blow up innocent women and children in their drive for global theocracy with Americans exercising their democratic and civic right to vote are...well...grossly illiterate, unrighteous, and wicked. Next week, I'll share with you how I really feel.
The doctrinal truth of eternal security is an important one. For most born-again Christians, it represents the first doctrinal life crisis, due to the fact that the newly-born believer's assurance rests on feelings rather than Scriptural facts. Once the initial conversion feelings fade, the babe in Christ wonders whether they've "lost" their salvation...since they don't "feel" saved. And of course, there's typically an adequate number of Arminians standing about to suggest that it's a real possibility. Due to the effects of evangelical revivalism upon the Christian community, growing believers often restructure their lives from top-to-bottom, rather than beginning with a sound foundation and building upward. Little do they realize that their insecurities stem from failure to understand what Scripture has to say about 1) their lost estate (volition, but no free will), and 2) their personal election to the Body of Christ. Had they received this teaching early, the truth of eternal security would simply and logically fall into place. But, this is the ideal and represents only a small fraction of today's believers.
Consequently, their has always been a need for teachings on the subject of eternal security. Three short and one long dissertations sit on my home library shelf. They are:
These works typically deal with the so-called "problem" texts, i.e., those texts which appear to support the contention that born-again believers can loose their salvation. Note: Arminians love to argue about these verses and ignore texts which support security. Do not waste your time with their arguments. I encourage readers to print and study the three shorts above. PS. No endorsement of the end site is implied by any such links.
FYI - Junk mail on the Internet is a ubiquitous annoyance. I took a look at my email statistics for the past 30 days. SpamArrest intercepted nearly 2,000 emails, an average of 67 each day. Eighty-seven percent (87%) or 1,740 are spam/junk; thirteen (13%) or 260 were valid. However, I routinely must scan the 1,740 for genuine new visitors who failed to get through because the auto-return authentication was blocked by their own filter. Thank you to our faithful supporters who graciously help fund the cost of the SpamArrest service.
As the 2008 Presidential election nears, the so-called progressives, liberal Left*, and atheists are mounting a two-prong attack upon religious conservatives. Their goal is to have evangelicals and others vote the Left's perspective, OR as secularists desire, NOT AT ALL! The later is a subtle but devious ploy to manipulate and disenfranchise conservative religious voters, based on a twisted interpretation of the phrase, separation of church and state. Never mind the spirit of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for the progressive Left and atheists, it's all about seizing and maintaining power.
A recent propaganda piece sent to us asks the question, "Where in your BIBLE does it say to involve yourselves in Ceasar's [sic] business?"
An. Both the OT and NT are replete with examples and references of individual believer's involvement in the political process. Within the community of believers, a false dichotomy is often set up by those seeking to emphasis the Christian's "higher calling" to engage the spiritual realm. However, Christians are responsible for setting personal priorities (1 Corinthians 10:23), rather than mandated to legalistically adopt an either/or approach to participation.
We are living during an era known as the "times of the Gentiles," where political power resides with Gentile (non-Jewish) nations. Israel's theocracy has temporarily been set aside. While the Church has no divinely-delegated political power, today's standard is for truth and those who proclaim it (Christians) to inform Gentile political powers of their rights and responsibilities pursuant to Scripture (e.g., Romans 13:1-7). Further, under America's constitutional, representative, democracy, the Founding Fathers wisely devised a system for these rights and responsibilities to be shared with the citizenry. This was done in hopes that the abuses associated with concentrations of political power would be held in check--i.e., "checks and balances."
It was inevitable? Some of the high priests of atheistic secularism are on the verge of changing their dogma...again. A case of the facts 'beating the honest ones into submission'? During the '90s and turn of the century, the worlds of astrophysics and cosmology were stood on their head. Scientific observations suggested (theory-hypothesis) that the Universe, post "Big Bang," expanded faster (cosmic inflation) than the current speed of light, assumed by Einstein and the modern academy to equal a fixed 186,000 miles per second. Could Einstein's assumption be wrong? The secularists tremble. If validated, the new findings will call into question the simple mathematical formula used by the elites and evolutionists to calculate the age of Universe at billions of years. Of course, time warping and space dilation already challenges, but these concepts are way over the head of average folk. Now, a pair of German physicists claim to have repeatedly broken the speed of light (quantum photon tunneling) in the laboratory. If true, this moves the theory into the realm of hard science. Expect to hear about a big fight in the the so-called "science community."
Evangelicals and Catholics Not Together?
While I'm still thinking about my comments respecting the Vatican and Pope's recent reaffirmation of their unique ecclesiological status, readers should enjoy Albert Mohler's blog article, No, I'm Not Offended. Dr. Mohler demonstrates how to respectfully disagree with others, even adding a touch of humor. The Roman authorities, however, will likely not see the humor. I am seeking to fully clarify my understanding of the Vatican's concession that:
"It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches [Eastern Orthodox] and ecclesial Communities [Protestants and other sects] not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them." "...there are 'numerous elements of sanctification and of truth' which are found outside her [Catholic Church] structure..." Underline emphasis mine.
Dr. Mohler erroneously writes, "The Roman Catholic Church does not deny that Christ is working redemptively through Protestant and evangelical churches, but it does deny these churches which deny the authority of the papacy are true churches in the most important sense." I believe he's not reading their statements carefully enough. "...elements of sanctification and truth" do not constitute any direct salvific operation by the Godhead. Rather, they see them as simply tickle-down "blessings" from Catholicism itself, making "possible" future "communion with the Catholic Church" and their contrived "Eucharistic Mystery." According to official church doctrine, Christ does not work directly on earth, but rather exclusively through the agency (apostolic succession) of the papacy ("Successor of Peter" as well as "Vicar of Christ"), magisterium, and various Catholic councils.
Put simply, the Roman Catholic Church rejects the possibility of "born-again" individuals outside the "true" sacramental systems of Roman Catholicism and "oriental" [Eastern Orthodox] Churches.
Over the past few weeks, I've received some interesting email. Here are some excerpts which readers may find interesting.
I reside in a small town south of Nashville, TN called Franklin, TN. It's a very wealthy area with a giant church on every corner and every school, movie theatre, and gym is rented out each weekend for this or that new church. And yet, there are no less people depressed or no less people struggling with anxiety disorders and divorce. A religious community indeed--but no less bankrupt in their daily experience than those never hearing of Christ (nothing unfamiliar to you I'm sure).
A warm thanks,
I heard on the radio yesterday that the top current favourite read of Labour M.P.s in this country [England] is Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion". Unlike the situation in the U.S., none of our politicians even try to use theistic "credentials" to persuade us they are worthy of office. Neither, it seems does the electorate require it of them. England is changing fast and the madness increases daily. Many of the "ancient landmarks the fathers have set" are being bulldozed away.
In His precious Name,
TIME magazine has an interesting multi-media page, Denomination Nation which highlights the demographics of Mainline Protestants, Evangelical Protestants, and Roman Catholics (I'm not sure of the level of inclusiveness with the "All Religions" tab), and How We View God: Authoritarian, Benevolent, Critical, and Distant. Even the liberals are discovering how religious "views shape our politics." Don't put too much confidence in the accuracy of these polls.
It appears that a majority of the American electorate still prefer a genuine theist holding the highest office of President. They want a President who genuinely shares their basic Judeo-Christian frame of reference—worldview.
However, the problem with most of the current candidates is that you don’t know whether you’re getting more or less of this basic theism. Some (naturalists and atheists) appear to want to conceal what they believe, while others likely don’t know and are even puzzled by why it should even matter. This last group should be disqualified from all political office by default.
For example, given the kooky and cultic*, false gospel doctrines of Mormonism, most religious conservatives feel uncomfortable with Mitt Romney’s ability to rationalize, to straddle fences, all the while being touted as “a good Mormon.” But, what does being a good Mormon really mean in the context of being President? Is someone gullible enough to embrace Mormonism really fit to hold the highest office of the land?
See this "Mitt Unpluged" video. In the video, Romney states, more-or-less, that Mormons in public office are "free" to make policy decisions which are not in line with their religion. He even emotionally claims that some Mormon church leaders are pro-choice, despite the cult's anti-abortion stance. Ok, so what is the driving philosophic basis for a Mormon's public social and political decisions? Anything goes? The burden is upon Mr. Romney to explain this to the public. And the public has a right to know...contrary to the claims of his defenders.
Likewise, the public is getting better at spotting fraud and candidates “getting” religion for political expediency. Even the secularist Left is mocking their own candidates. Maybe "anti-theists" like Christopher Hitchens can help the naturalist/atheist politicians come out of their closets. If candidates cower before the American electorate on the subject of belief, how can they face an imperialistic Islam bent on the subjugation or destruction of the West? This is a religious war!
* The term "cultic" is here used in the traditional evangelical sense, i.e., any group which denies Jesus Christ is fully God, the Second Person of the Trinity.
Given the general challenge of understanding the Synoptic Gospels1 from a Pauline dispenstionaI perspective, I've added a page regarding the dispensational distinctions between the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. See:
The quotes are by-and-large from LSC's Systematic Theology, MJS's Polemic Papers, and RAH's Dispensational Truth.
1 Many believers have or continue to sit under Sunday-after-Sunday sermons which presuppose a covenant or amillenial interpretation of the Synoptics. In my 20 years as a Catholic, I received a steady diet of "readings from the Gospels," with no sound explanation.
The number of 'loose screws' among the liberal Left is simply innumerable. Since the secular Left believes religious conservatives (aka, the nefarious "Religious Right") control the political process, it's only fair for me to disclose my 'determinative choice' for the Republican primary ticket for 2008. If my 'dream ticket' materializes, look for a call by hyperventilating liberal activists for a congressional investigation of withChrist.org, as well as so-called fairness legislation over the Internet. These candidates have a lot to offer America; I don't care about the order. Here we go...
2008 Republican Presidential Candidate: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
2008 Republican Vice-Presidential Candidate: Congressman Duncan Hunter
The posting has slowed due to summer projects. Despite my five surgeries (double hip replacements 10 months ago), I'm healthy enough to climb ladders and recoat the roof. I'm pain-free...in no small part to the prayers of faithful supporters, together with medical technology and good doctors. I've always been a 'handyman' around the home and cannot bring myself to hire work done. Think of all the $$ one saves being a "do-it-yourselfer." PS. Taking my time with the RC review mentioned 7/15/2007.
With the death of the flamboyant Tammy Faye Messner, the secular press identifies her and her former convicted-felon husband, Jim Bakker, as "evangelical" and "fundamentalist," despite their Pentecostal Assemblies of God and bizarre charismatic affiliations. The heavily-biased MSM (mainstream media) enjoys each and every opportunity to besmirch Bible-believing Christians by identifing them with kooks and clowns. Yes, the doctrinal content of what one believes does matter. Over time, one's beliefs do have consequences.
This past week Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI (aka Joseph A. Ratzinger) issued a letter on the Use of the Roman Liturgy prior to the Reform of 1970. This letter was actually preceded by a statement from William Cardinal Levada, CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, regarding, Responses To Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church. Bottomline, the current Pope is seeking to resurrect in the public eye the more exclusivistic view of the "True Church," which was widespread prior to the Vatican II Council. Ultraconservative and traditionalists believe that many of the problems in today's Catholic denomination flow out of Vatican II. I'm taking my time to carefully read through these documents and then I'll have more to say in a subsequent Journal post.
Across town, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle its clergy sexual abuse cases for at least $600-650 million (yes million!) to 500 plaintiffs—an average of $1.2 to $1.3 million per person. While this is so far the largest payout, similar litigation has yielded multi-million dollar settlements in Boston, MA; Orange County, CA ; Covington, KY; Tucson, AZ; Spokane, WA; Portland, OR; Davenport, IA, and San Diego, CA. Some of these well-healed archdioceses have sought bankruptcy protection from the courts.
While contradictions abound in our day, does it not strike you as odd that the religious bureaucracy which claims to be the one true Church, in apostolic succession from Christ Himself, should be entangled in such a massive global sex scandal? What's further amazing is how Catholics (from the top to the bottom) can rationalize the situation in their mind. Behold the power of pride.
There are basically two types of politicians: the windsock and the anchored. In a post post-Christian culture, windsocks out number the anchored politicians, 100-to-1.
A “windsock” is the bright orange, sometimes orange and white, conical sock on the ends of runways to help pilots know which way the wind is blowing for takeoffs and landings. Thus, a windsock politician is one that changes their views and positions based on the near-term direction of public consensus. For windsock politicians and political parties, politics is solely about getting and maintaining power. They fundamentally believe absolute truth (right and wrong) is unknowable, and thus morals and social views are relative to the consensus of the public at any one time or place. These politicians are not absolutely devoid of principle, since their values are founded upon democratic humanism (the consensus views of humanity) and their method is typically Machiavellian pragmatism (the will to power combined with what works best). Thus, the windsock politician is insulated from the charge of hypocrisy, since consistency is not at issue and changing one's view is in fact consistent with their underlying "family" values. Accordingly, the windsock politician has set up secular "Science" as the ultimate authority in all things.
By contrast, the anchored politician's views and positions are rooted in something beyond themselves (an impossibility in the mind of the humanist), and beyond the consensus views of humanity as well. Most often these are tradition, or truth (exclusive to Judeo-Christian revelation), or some combination of the two. For these politicians, the basis of their views is anchored and thus less subject to the shifting views of humanity.
Such were the political beliefs of America's Founding Fathers who sought to tempter the concept of democracy with constitutional and representative government, as well as a Constitution and Bill of Rights anchored upon the acknowledgement of "Nature's God," and endowment "by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." These references were not idle figures of speech; rather, they were clear assertions of the role of transcendent authority in the affairs of men.
Since, anchored politicians hold to transcendent values, inconsistency is possible and thus the charge of hypocrisy (being inconsistent with anchored values) can legitimately be leveled. The Liberal and Left understand this and attempt to exploit any real or even perceived hypocrisy for political advantage. Again, this is consistent with their Machiavellianism. Thus, the social views and policy decisions of leading right-of-center Presidential candidate (e.g., Romney, Thompson, etc.) are being carefully scrutinized by the humanistic, Left-leaning press.
The art and trial of living based on principle must be taught at home and then be put into practice at school, then in the workplace. Some get the training at home, but are unsuccessful holding to those principles in school or in the workplace. In a post post-Christian culture, principles and teachings of virtue never even get a start at home. We've even come to place where the “family” is thought to be an unnecessary social arrangement.
As a follow-up to my 7/2 entry, I wish to pass along a recommendation, as well as some warnings--general and specific. First, the comment regarding the condition of locals churches touched a nerve, as I had suspected it would. One reader responded, "I teach Sunday school for adults, but it is a constant frustration dealing with all the baggage people bring from other denominations. Thanks be to God for the internet and sites like yours that bring some measure of comfort and relief."
Faithful correspondent, Frank Johnson of South Carolina passed along the following online resource. The audio sermons of Dr. John Whitcomb (available at SermonAudio.com) generally provides some good supplemental material in an easy-to-listen-to format, including some wholesome humor at no extra charge. From 1951-1990, Dr. Whitcomb was professor of Old Testament and theology at Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Indiana. His teachings have centered upon Biblical creationism, dispensational (traditional) theology, premillennial eschatology, and presuppositional apologetics. Click on the following for a summary of the differences between Pauline, Traditional, and Progressive dispensationalism. However, take note the following:
For a group who considers themselves the intellectual elite of Planet Earth, Liberals and the Left have some remarkably odd behaviors and illogical ideas. Take their fear of "theocracy." For several decades, dozens of American and European secularists have been railing against the agenda of the so-called sinister "Christian Right." Dozens of books have been written seeking to warn the public of this supposed danger. Of course, Christian theonomists do exist, but their numbers and influence are far overrated.1
By contrast, Islamic theocracy is both lethal, widespread, and growing. A global war is raging and people are dying in numbers. And yet, not even a 'peep' out of these anti-Christian secularists. Their bigoted passions rage at the possibility of Western legislation that would limit deviant sexual activity, while seemingly unconcerned about the execution that awaits them under Sharia law for the identical behavior. Do these Western "infidels" believe they will somehow be spared from death with the advent of a global Caliphate?
Answers and insight can be found in Global Threats Leading to the Leftist/Marxist – Islamist Takeover, 3-31-2007 and Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist-Islamist Alliance, David J. Johnson, Xulon Press, 2006.
1 Heaven On Earth?, The Social & Political Agendas of Dominion Theology, Bruce Barron, Zondervan Publishing House, 1992.
Better than one of every three emails received at withChrist.org mentions the dismal condition of the correspondent's local church. Many are tired of the same old routines: the special speaker, another round of messages on "How To Discover Your Spiritual Gift," split services so as to accommodate different musical tastes, "spiritual" retreats, fund raisers of various kinds, and this list goes on-and-on. In addition, the leaders of the more conservative evangelical fellowships seem to be continually drawn into both doctrinal and moral controversies. There is a rather simple explanation to this problematic situation.
Nearly a century ago, theological liberalism infiltrated and progressively captured the Nation's leading seminaries, and then the churches affiliated with those institutions. In response, fundamental and evangelical believers (of various persuasions) put their doctrinal difference aside and formed various interdenominational and nondenominational alliances. These groups and churches resemble the rainbow-colored graphic below. Today, the so-called Christian landscape across America consists of largely liberal/postmodern denominations and 'happy-family' "community" churches. The typical handful of generally sound believers find it increasingly difficult to financially support both the real estate and staff salaries.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with (tolerate) sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths." 2 Timothy 4:3,4.
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