Thursday, November 30, 2006

Defending our Military

Please check out the link below to James Taranto's "Best of the Web" column at the Wall Street Journal's online editorial page. James, whom I have had the pleasure of interviewing on my radio program, has been posting letters from our military personnel and their families regarding their level of education AND their patriotic commitment to our country. It is refreshing and encouraging in light of the insulting remarks made in recent weeks by blowhards like Congressman Chuck Rangel and Senator John Kerry. Need I also say the letters give the lie TO the insults?

The vast majority of Americans, including me, are proud of our troops regardless of their class or level of academic success. The shame is on people like the abovementioned, cynical politicians whose hate for the president and lust for power outweighs their already questionable judgment.

I hope the next elections bear that out.

Opinion Journal

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Christ at Christmas - The Last Straw?

Below is a link to an AP story that will raise your blood pressure right before the Christmas holidays. In light of this event, I am strongly thinking about writing the word as "CHRISTmas" to make a point from now on.

It seems that a Christmas event in Chicago known as "Christkindlmarket" has given the new film, "The Nativity Story," the heave-ho under pressure from city officials. The reason? Non-Christians might be offended by the New Line Cinema picture.

This has rightfully outraged many in Chicago, but I think it's time that the outrage spreads a little. How long are we going to tolerate this nonsense? Islam and other religions might offend me, but I have no problem with them celebrating holidays important in their faith, including public displays. Should I change that view in light of this?

I find it interesting that another public authority approved a Jewish Menorah and a Muslim crescent in a display, but refused a Nativity scene as it might "offend" non Christians. Why is Christianity being singled out? Perhaps its because we've become too much like sheep in ALLOWING it to be singled out. This is a majority Christian nation, but we are being ruled with a rod of iron by a non-Christian minority. This is patently ridiculous.

Christians are not known for rioting and pillaging whenever their sensibilities have been offended, so perhaps the city of Chicago feels safe in sticking one in their eye. I don't want Christians to lower themselves to violence, and indeed, a true Christian led by the Holy Spirit would not engage in it. However, we do have economic and political power if we'll choose to exercise it. I recommend that people make it clear to the city of Chicago that they will pay economically for this, in addition to paying at the ballot box next election. Conventions should be cancelled, performances should be moved outside the city, basically anything that helps generate revenue for Chicago ought to be curtailed until there is a reversal of this idiotic decision and an apology. It's time we showed that there is a price to pay for offending Christians. A big one.

I am tired of this stuff. And I hope you are too.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Michael Richards Controversy

I'm a bit pressed for time this weekend, but I do want to ask a simple question about the Michael Richards racial slur controversy. It's hard to turn on the television without hearing about it in one form or another.

It goes without saying that what Mr. Richards did was wrong. He deserves the rebukes he's been getting. However, has anyone even mentioned that what the young black men did was wrong as well? Not only was it rude to enter the club and make a lot of noise entering a performance, but they began heckling Mr. Richards during his routine. Was that not a bit rude also? Most comics, of course, are able to turn events like that into lemonade or ignore them, but Mr. Richards lost his cool, to his detriment. But it wouldn't have happened in the first place if these rowdy guys had behaved like gentlemen and kept their mouths shut.

It didn't take long for them to find high profile jurismatrix Gloria Allred to help them make the talk show circuit and eventually the courtroom, did it? I guess the smell of greenbacks quickly overrode their "hurt, pain and suffering."

What would have been appropriate would have been for Michael Richards to apologize personally to these young men, and later to the crowd at the club. The young men should have apologized to the comedian for being disruptive. Then all would have been forgiven and forgotten. But the fact that a nationwide incident had to be created has left me more than a bit cynical.

While I am at it, let me address the attitudes that people like "Reverends" Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get upset about. Why is it that they get so steamed about so-called racism, and then turn a blind eye to the behaviors that might well provoke some of those attitudes? Rap, hip-hop and the like dominate the scene these days. Watch a video or walk down a street corner in certain neighborhoods and what do you see? Swagger, thug-like behavior and lewdness are in your face. Criminal behavior is often celebrated and glorified. I have to roll up my car windows and turn my own radio up full blast at stoplights to drown out the obscenities and graphic sexual innuendo blasting from the high-powered systems in the next lane. Did they ever stop to think that the attitudes by which they are rightfully offended are provoked by such behavior?

Look what happens when respected African-Americans such as Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell decry such behavior and urge more gentleman-like or lady-like conduct. They get called "Uncle Toms" and a host of other gratuitous insults. It's maddening.

By all means, let's condemn racism and give it the shame it deserves. But the purported victims of said racism also need to look in the mirror at their behavior. And clean it up. There's enough blame to go around for everyone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving from The Seventh Sola

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Stop Calling Them Christians!

This week, Lebanese government official Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in Lebanon. It was a tragic murder, as Mr. Gemayel was committed to freeing Lebanon from both Syrian control and from jihadist control. As tragic as this story is, I was even more saddened to see how the media colored the story. One remark in particular from the AP story really bothered me. It was alleged that rival "Christian" groups might have been involved in Gemayel's assassination. Keeping in mind that this could easily be misinformation from the radical Muslim side or even secularists, I have a bone to pick with the way this kind of story is handled in the media. I have seen this time and again and I am really getting tired of it.

From the days when "Protestants" and "Catholics" were killing each other in Northern Ireland to other conflicts around the world, this kind of obfuscation and inaccurate reporting serves only to distort global understanding of what true Christianity is. True, born-again, regenerate Christians do not go around killing each other, especially for the reasons inherent in this awful conflict. The idea is obscene.

While not overlooking the fact that a true Christian can and does fall into sinful behavior from time to time, that is not the case here. These people are nominal at best, or more accurately, labeled Christian in a traditional sense. Faith in Christ, a desire to live a life pleasing to Him, and sharing the Gospel has nothing to do with these peoples' agendas. Their concerns are political and territorial. If there are people waving the Christian banner and committing revenge killings, they had best go back to biblical square one and see what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself had to say on that question.

I am not speaking of defense of one's home or family from harm. I am not speaking against Christians in legitimate military or police service of their countries defending their nations or keeping order in their communities. I am talking about individuals or private armed thugs engaging in tit-for-tat murders or assassinations and trying to claim that they're murdering for the sake of Christ. For the sake of truth in labeling, I call on them to drop "Christian" from their self-identification until they actually read Scripture and come to saving faith in the Lord.

When that happens, they just might wake up and discover that shooting each others' skulls off in rage, resentment and hatred is hardly the act of a regenerate, Spirit-filled Christian.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Scarlett Johansson: Shooting Herself in the Foot

Scarlett Johannson is in the same camp as many in Hollywood. She doesn't have much use for President Bush or conservatives. Below is a link to a story in Contact Music, in which Ms. Johansson mocks Mr. Bush for his "unrealistic" stand on abstinence and wildly distorts his views (and that of conservative Christians). Then, in an almost breathtaking statement, she proudly hails her own "social awareness" in announcing that she gets tested for HIV twice a year.

Earth to Ms. Johansson. Did you ever stop to think that if you followed biblical guidelines on sex, you wouldn't NEED to get tested for HIV twice a year? Are you really that clueless? Apparently so.

I love it when God allows things like this to happen. Intending to score a big one for the left and the libertine lifestyle Hollywood favors, her verbal firecracker blows up in her own fingers instead. I hope more people than me notice the irony.

Contact Music

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Seventh Sola Poll/Query

Given some of the events in the U.S. of late, from O.J. Simpson's sicko ruminations on killing his ex-wife and her friend, to other ongoing degeneration of our culture, I would like to pose this question.

I'm sure many of you remember what the allusion to "bread and circuses" means. The decay of the Roman Empire and her constituents had led to a culture that was debased and easily mollified by increasingly grotesque entertainment. The debauchery permeated their society. Eventually Rome fell. In fact, many civilizations and cultures have followed that pattern.

Of course, I have a Christian eschatology, so I expect the final denouement of the world system to end in a certain way, but let's leave that aside for the moment. Here's my question. In your opinion, has America reached the "bread and circuses" stage yet? Are we doomed as a society? Your comments and insights are welcome, but please - no trolling, and please be civil.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Is Europe Finished?

My apologies for the paucity of posts. I have been locked in staff meetings all week. I have a bit of time today to post a link to a recent book review by Daniel Pipes. He is taking a look at a provocative new book by columnist Mark Steyn, who makes the case that Europe is finished, soon to be taken over by radical Islam and other non-Western mindsets. He views America as the last "Western" country, and warns us to take heed before what is happening to Europe happens to us.

I would argue that it's already happening here. But read Mr. Pipes' review, and mull it over. I'll hopefully have more to say on this issue later. The link is below.

Daniel Pipes Column

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Reminder Regarding The Fallen

I received the following commentary today from Bill Ellis, who writes with the Assist News Service. I am posting it here in its entirety, as it's a good word in the aftermath of the recent scandals in the church.


None escape the wrath of immorality

By Bill Ellis
Special to ASSIST News Service

SCOTT DEPOT, WV (ANS) -- Immorality, the sinfulness and perversion of the human soul, leaves no person with an exempt status. The ancient sage was correct in concluding, "There is none righteous, no not one." A first century writer stated, "All have sinned."

Nobody is immunized to ward off or delay the effects of evil. None ever become so educated, rich, powerful or influential that they cannot be touched by immorality.

In the span of my brief life there have been three presidents, all of the same political party, who have openly lived sexually immoral lives. They were unfaithful to their wives. They dallied with impure sexual relations as though they carried no lasting consequences. They paid a heavy price for their sin. However, no one political party has a monopoly on immorality.

I have also known men and women, from every imaginable profession, who have failed themselves, their families, friends and colleagues with their loose, unethical and evil lifestyle. They have embarrassed themselves and all who knew them.

One night in an elegant hotel lobby, a drunk, who was a well-known businessman in his city, staggered with a loudmouth while clutching his beer and babes in his dishelved condition. Our eyes met. I wondered where his faithful and caring wife was. We met again a few days later and he profusely apologized for his despicable appearance and conduct.

The greatest enemy of the church is not the ungodly world in which it exists, but rather the rotten and immoral behavior of those who profess to be its members.

I have known many of them, but they will not be identified. They were preachers, attorneys, bankers, newspaper editors, soldiers, policemen, educators, teachers, coaches, coal miners, factory workers, business executives, medical doctors, university professors, actors, musicians, politicians, presidents, members of Congress, governors, athletes and just about everybody else you care to mention. They all had one thing in common. They were immoral, sinful, ungodly hypocrites.

What happens in the face of such blatant immorality? Families, businesses, governments, colleagues and many others are hurt, shattered, disappointed, discouraged and troubled. My heart always goes out in compassion for those who are devastated.

What do we do with the person who has failed so miserably? Cast them out into the trash dumps with the wrecks of society? Absolutely not. A man who knew about the ravages of sinful and immoral living, of humanity's sin against man, gave this advice: "Dear friends, if a Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path" (Galatians 6:1, NLT).

I have prayed earnestly for fallen preachers, fathers in prison, women who have become the sexual toys of evil men, the president of a nation, the man next door. We pray for the fallen and do what we can to lift them into the presence of the One who has the power to forgive and restore shattered lives. We can also write or call with an encouraging word and let them know we will be their friend.

What happens to your faith and mine when others fail? I think mine is strengthened. I realize that I must ever be vigilant. I must guard my own soul and life. We should all remember the words of St. Paul, "Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I Corinthians 10:12, NKJ).

My faith is not based on what others do or how they live. My friends and I may also fail. We should look to only one person as a living example of how life should be lived. The only person I know who can always be that perfect mentor and example for life is Jesus Christ. Like Governor Pilate, "I find no fault in this man."


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What to Make of Ted Haggard

By now, most are aware of the horrible news out of Colorado Springs — the fall of NAE president Ted Haggard over immorality. The secular regressives and the media are having a field day with this, while Christians are rightly deeply grieved and angered over yet another high-profile Christian leader embarrassing himself, his family and the body of Christ.

I will say this for Pastor Haggard. Thus far, he and his church seem to be approaching this correctly. Haggard has been removed from the pulpit and dismissed from his church, and he is being required to undergo church discipline in view of eventual restoration to fellowship. This is good and right.

However, this situation ought to cause all of us to take a step back and evaluate how things get in this pass to begin with. Over at WorldNetDaily, columnist Jim Rutz this week discussed how a “strong pastor” system tends to increase the vulnerability for tragedies like this to happen. I think this is a legitimate criticism, and indeed a biblical one. We hearken back to the Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals, and wonder why the church as a whole hasn’t learned the lesson yet. Some will be quick to label this a Pentecostal/charismatic problem, however there have been enough scandals over the years involving non-charismatics to mute this canard. I think the former generate most of the headlines because they are the ones most out in the public eye through media they own or purchased air time.

I have had much time to reflect on this issue, and I think the problem lies in the fact that we as a church have forgotten what holiness means. We have also lost sight of the fact that we serve a holy God, a consuming fire, who will not tolerate sin in His presence. Mention the term “holy living” now and you’ll get called a slew of names by fellow Christians. You’ll get called a “legalist,” a “Puritan,” “dour,” “out of touch,” “behind the times” and a whole host of pejoratives.

What do we watch on our televisions? What books do we read? What movies do we go see in theatres or (if we don’t dare be caught out in public) what DVDs do we rent to watch in the privacy of our homes? How many times do we tell our children to cover their eyes when nudity pops up on our screens, or say in righteous tones “oooh, bad language!” in an effort to supposedly teach them such things are no-nos? Churl that I was as a child, my first thought when confronted with such adult hypocrisy was, “Oh really? If it’s that bad, then why are YOU watching it, oh godly example of mine?”

There was a time when Christians eschewed worldly entertainment because of the filth contained therein. There are plenty of Bible verses that speak of guarding our hearts and minds against such filth. The Bible says it is . . . disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret (Ephesians 5:12). Why then do we make excuses for the things we allow in our homes to see ourselves, or allow our children to see, listen to, or buy? I do not ask these questions to put unbiblical strictures on to people. If we restrain ourselves from taking part in things like this, our heart attitude ought to be that we are doing so out of love for a God who gave Himself for us, and paid a very costly price over evils such as this. It ought not to be a grudging observance of a "don't do" list so we can appease an angry deity. If we loved God as we ought to love Him, I wonder if we as a whole would do many of the things we think we're free to do under so-called "Christian freedom." I don't think Christian freedom is a license to sin.

For some in Christian apologetics work, there is a bit of reality to the statement that AT TIMES, one must read or see something to be able to comment on it intelligently, especially when taking on an issue in public. However, if we are not careful, that proviso is easily abused to excuse watching or seeing something just because we want to see it. We try to put sanctified clothing on what is in essence our own carnality. When Christians begin making excuses to participate (and fund) evil, we set the stage for not only our own downfall, but also the downfall of those who are not spiritually mature and look up to those who are older in the faith for guidance and discipleship.

So there we have it. I think we all ought to take Ted Haggard’s fall seriously, and to prayerfully allow the Holy Spirit to shine His light into our own lives. If you’re like me, I think there is a lot of junk that could be cleaned out of the attic and replaced with what God’s Word commands . . . Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you (Philippians 4:8-9).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Cherrypicking of the Left

Time for Solameanie's overtly political post of the day.

As the country (the U.S.) prepares to cast votes on Tuesday, let me say at the outset that I am not satisfied with GOP leadership over the past several years. My displeasure has little to do with the War on Terror or Iraq, but rather in that the so-called conservative party does not govern in a conservative fashion. They pay lip service to the idea. They also take conservative evangelicals for granted and sneer at us behind closed doors. And they think we're not aware of it. All of this makes me mad, but it doesn't make me mad enough to turn power over to the Democrats. The reasons are that the Democrats are governed by the kook fringe of their party, and the positions they take on social issues fly against everything I believe as a Bible-believing Christian.

The left loves to cherrypick "rights." They cynically play the word "freedom" like a crap shoot. Cases in point..they fume and fuss about the Administration's efforts to catch terrorists by wiretapping selected overseas calls, and wave the spectre of lost freedom in the air. They would have you believe that the Bush Administration is one step away from Adolf Hitler. However, if you press the issue of free speech i.e. being able to speak forthrightly about moral issues (especially on college campuses, schools and increasingly the workplace), you will be quickly censored or shouted down if they have their way. They want to strip you of your right to defend your home and family through keeping and bearing arms. They believe that if someone breaks into your house to rape your wife and children, the friendly officers at 911 can take care of it. Don't you dare use or possess a firearm. If you shoot a crook, they'll prosecute you and allow the crook (should he survive) to sue you for damages.

Those are only a few examples of leftist mendaciousness. Their view of freedom is much different than mine. I have a hunch it's different than the majority of Americans, that is if the majority of Americans could see them with their masks stripped away.

I realize that there are conservative Democrats who do not support how far left their party has become. I am not talking about them. I am talking about the types that Lenin and Stalin considered "fellow travelers" or "useful idiots." They find plenty to criticize at Guantanamo, but find plenty of excuses for Stalin's gulags.

I hope America goes to the polls with eyes wide open on Election Day. Things degenerate by increments so it's hard to notice the decay. But decay it does. And will. That's a certainty.

Friday, November 03, 2006

John "Alice in Wonderland" Kerry

I'm pretty pressed for time today, so this will only be a brief comment.

As most of you are already aware of Sen. John Kerry's unbelievably idiotic gaffe regarding the intelligence level of U.S. troops, I don't need to revisit it. But I do want you to be aware of what is going on before your eyes, as it's a classic example of our current generation's chief problem. Words mean things, but Kerry and his ilk don't want you to believe that.

If any of you have ever read "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll, you'll notice the characters Alice meets have quite unique ideas about truth and words. It's postmodernism in novel form. Most notable is the quote from Humpty Dumpty. "A word means precisely what I want it to mean. No more. No less."

Isn't that just what's going on here? Kerry said what he said. Word order, definitions and all. He said it. Loud and clear. But he would have you believe that he was talking about President Bush. However, it is clear from his remarks that this is nothing more than spin and damage control. Ranks up there with Bill Clinton's famous thigh-slapper, "it all depends on what 'is' means."

Wouldn't it be nice if we could change what words mean at whim? Along with that, let's change Bible verses around that inconveniently get in the way of what we want to do. Doctrine? Truth? Absolutes? Principles? Away with them. We can change them like the driven snow when they become a nuisance.

Sorry, Charlie. Words mean things. Ideas have consequences. And they will bite you. Hard.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dr. Dobson Responds to Dick Armey

I would normally try to avoid a conflict such as this, but the mainstream papers made much out of former Republican House leader Dick Armey's attack on Dr. James Dobson and Christian conservatives. To their credit, the Associated Press/Fox News allowed Dr. Dobson to write a response. I post a link here for your perusal. It is truly sad when people who are supposed to be brothers in Christ and ought to be allies end up fighting each other in this manner. As things stand, I have to back Dr. Dobson in this one. I hope and pray they can be reconciled before their argument does more damage to the conservative cause, and more importantly, to the cause of Christ.


Fox News