Sunday, September 20, 2015

Remembering Genesis in 2007

It's hard to believe eight years have gone by since Genesis' 2007 reunion. The photo to the right was taken at their first of three shows in Chicago—the first two of which were sold out. And as always, the concert was fantastic. Great lights, great sound, intriguing LED video displays. At the time, that was the largest LED screen yet on stage. More trend-setting.

In the years since then, the fans have been yearning for another reunion or album—especially with Steve Hackett and Peter Gabriel back in the lineup. Sadly, since Phil Collins injured his spine during this tour and underwent surgery, he has not been able to play drums, at least to his accustomed standard. When he did his most recent "Going Back" album a few years back, he had to tape the sticks to his hand with gaffer tape because he had no feeling in his hands. So this makes any reunion pretty unlikely unless there is a divine miracle for those damaged nerves.

Be that as it may, I'm thankful to the guys for decades of great music and a lot of fun. If this 2007 show was indeed their last hurrah as band, I'm glad I got to see them play. One last time. They're in my prayers.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Gay Marriage: What's An Official to Do?

Right now, I'm sure most of you have heard/read of the big blowup over the county clerk refusing to issue marriage licenses, citing her Christian faith. Knowing I'll eventually get asked my view of the subject, here it is. I see I only had one or two posts last month, so maybe this will help begin catching me up for September.

Being a Bible-believing Christian, I must subscribe to biblical standards on this issue as an individual. The Bible makes it clear that we are to obey the laws of the land unless they demand that we disobey God. We are not, and never have been, a theocracy. An elected official in a secular, statutory position such as a county clerk cannot pick and choose what laws they will or will not obey. I believe the clerk must resign her position until the law is changed, or delegate issuing the licenses to someone else such as a deputy if allowed to do so by statute. 

Now, if the state were to order me as a minister of the church to marry someone in disobedience to biblical standards, that I would refuse to do as the state has no authority over the church. The state also cannot command individuals (or churches) to violate God's Word - and if it tries, we must disobey no matter what the cost. The Bible itself makes clear that, at times, there will be consequences for adhering to our faith, up to and including death.

The America of the 2000s is not the America of the early to mid-20th Century, or of 1776. The culture and demographics have changed, and there is no longer a Christian consensus in the country. Ironically, part of the reason for that is because the church abandoned its prophetic role in the culture, opting for the "social gospel" and watered-down faith for the sake of popularity. The faithful preaching and teaching of God's Word has been largely abandoned except for a remnant. Unless God grants a miraculous spiritual revival, things are only going to get worse from a biblical perspective. We were warned about this in advance by the Lord Jesus Himself. Why are we so surprised? 

As an interesting aside, the late King Baudouin of Belgium temporarily abdicated in 1990 because the Belgian parliament had passed a pro-abortion rights law. He could not grant Royal Assent to the bill in good conscience, but to refuse Royal Assent would have provoked a constitutional crisis. So he abdicated for 24 hours until the law was promulgated by ministers, and then he reassumed the throne. That was probably the most peaceful way of dealing with it, but I would think he could have just refused assent and let the chips fall where they may since refusal of assent is supposed to be a crown right. 

But we're in America, not Belgium.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Debates or a Root Canal? Hard Choice.

I am going to have a hard time watching these FNC "debates" with 10 Republican candidates. I've expressed some of my dissatisfaction before, but it needs saying again.

These are not debates. They are press/news conferences, with the candidates answering pre-selected questions from news media, who quite often let their bias-slip show under their dresses. Aside from having a completely ridiculous number of people running, making it impossible to really AIR OUT any issue, you are not going to get a clear or accurate picture of the candidates and how they stand with any detail. Sound bites do not tell you anything of substance. 

If we want a DEBATE, then we need to have two of them at a time or some workable ratio. It needs to be under traditional debate rules—the kind you would encounter in any high school or college forensics program, assuming you can still find one. The moderator if there must be one MODERATES and does not become part of the debate. You choose the issue, and then you let the candidates slug it out about why their ideas are superior and why they disagree with their opponents. No name calling. No smart aleck remarks. No impugning of motivations or character simply because they have a different point of view. Keep it on the facts.

1. Here is what I would do on said issue. My opponent wants to do this, but I disagree, and here is why I think his/her ideas will not work. Here's why mine will.

2. The opponent has the same chance, and both candidates (again under TRADITIONAL debate rules) has the chance to offer rebuttal.

Keep it off the networks. Put it on C-Span, where there won't be any commercials or other interruptions, and they won't be worried about time. Yes, it won't be "sexy" television, and the reporter/anchor/moderators will miss a chance to show the rest of us great unwashed their unmitigated brilliance. They won't get to zing a candidate with an editorial crack and then cut the candidate off so they can't respond either. If I was running the debate, they'd get hauled out of the auditorium by the scruff of their necks.

It wouldn't please the media, but we the people—the voters and the taxpayers—might just learn something of substance. And if we can't be bothered to pay that kind of attention to the issues of the day, we might as well be called Orwell's proles, stay home, live at the pub, and enjoy our collective ignorance while our statist overlords mother hen us to death. You see, we're too stupid to manage ourselves. ‪#‎CynicismOffTheChart‬

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Unborn Babies and "Parasites?"

The ancient cult of Molech in action.
Abortion raises heated feelings on all sides of the issue. I get it. As a former radio guy and news director, I've known that a long time and have covered many a protest and news conference. 
Earlier this morning on Facebook and Twitter, I saw a posting referencing a tweet put up by author Anne Lamott, a theological liberal and favorite among Emergent Church types. I saw the original tweet in question, too. Lamott tweeted out support of Planned Parenthood in the midst of the current controversy over PP and their alleged sale of organs and other body parts from aborted infants. Because I know of Lamott's views on other issues, the fact that she's a liberal on the subject of abortion did not surprise me at all. 
What DID surprise me is what an individual tweeted in DEFENSE of Lamott. This particular individual acknowledged the humanity of an unborn child, then proceeded to call the unborn baby "parasitic" and the mother the "host" of the parasite until birth. 
I am just aghast. Seriously?!? Are we really that far gone in our society? Is our conscience seared that badly? Think this one through just a little. If you're an expectant couple, when you anticipate the birth of your child, watching a plate or ashtray wiggle on Mommy's tummy as the pregnancy gets farther along, do you see your little child to be as a "parasite?" I mean, when you think parasite, you think of an intestinal worm, body lice, etc. But an unborn baby? 
This is just too much. If that is the mentality some have, then it's not too large a leap for me to imagine the cult of Molech coming back, and people throwing their firstborn into the flaming arms of the idol. The one good thing in something as ghastly as this is that I'm seeing many who have been pro-choice or pro-abortion rights are rethinking their position on this issue.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Cecil" and Misplaced Outrage?

I suppose before I head into what I want to say, I'd best put up a "disclaimer" of sorts. Or at least a run-down of what my views on hunting and fishing are.

I love nature and wildlife. It's part of God's creation, and man has been charged with stewardship of that creation. However, I am not a pagan who worships "Earth Mother Gaia" or a radical environmentalist who thinks the best thing that could happen to the planet is for all human beings to die.

I have no problem with going hunting. I would never hunt just to kill an animal and have its head as a trophy on my wall. I would hunt for meat to feed myself or the family. Never simply for "sport." I do not like these big game hunts in Africa or other parts of the globe. It's simply killing an animal to have a photo of yourself with the game you bagged or again, to mount or stuff the animal for a brag piece in your house. There may be other reasons to kill animals, such as the rabid dog, the nuisance raccoon that's attacking you or your kids from under your back deck, rats in the attic, etc. But I would not hunt just for the sport of it. And in that light, the story about the killing of "Cecil" the lion is a sad one for me.

Now, having said all that, I am getting a little bit aggravated at the ginned up outrage around the planet over this. To drive a dentist into hiding? Seriously? If you don't like these hunts, then lobby the governments of the countries in question to ban them.

But now, my real sense of outrage. I wish some of the media and folks having a virtual stroke over the shooting death of a lion would show some of the same outrage at Planned Parenthood and the alleged infanticide for sale racket going on there. I think killing an unborn child and selling off its organs is far more egregious an offense than a big game hunt.

But our current generation's sense of proportion has been cockeyed for a long time now.