Friday, December 29, 2006

More Stupidity from the New York Times

Every now and then, I love to take a shot at the "Old Grey Lady," otherwise known as the New York Times. This bastion of American journalism loves to fancy itself as the "newspaper of record" and the all-wise arbiter of what should be acceptable for our society. Well, here's one for you to ponder and even sneer at. A great example of the paper's liberal secu-clergy cutting off the nose to spite society's face.

The link below will take you to a story in World Magazine written by editor Marvin Olasky. It concerns the infamous Angola Prison in Louisiana and how - horror of horrors - Christianity and a Christian warden are making a difference in what was known as the bloodiest prison in the South. Weapon-wielding assaults have plummeted from 321 in 1995 to 97 last year. Christian witness and Christian programs have made the difference. But the omniscient ones at the New York Times are incensed. How dare something make a positive difference in the lives of these inmates!

Funny, but isn't it the liberal media and activists who are always keening about rehabilitation, humane treatment and the horrible state of our criminal justice system?

Anyway, read..and do a slow burn. And think strongly about telling the New York Times where to put it.


World Magazine

Thursday, December 28, 2006



When Events Come in Like a Flood

This will indeed be a Christmas season to remember. I am certainly going to be processing it all for some time to come.

First, the passing of former president Gerald R. Ford. While Mr. Ford took positions on some issues further to the left than I'd like, I still respected him for doing his best to heal the country after the Watergate period. He conducted himself honorably while in office, stood for his principles, and most notably, conducted himself honorably AFTER leaving office. He continued what has been tradition for former presidents - not to be critical of or undermine their successors in office, and to be available to give counsel or serve when needed. Former president Jimmy Carter would do well to follow Mr. Ford's example from now on, but I am afraid he's too dense to take the hint. Anyway, Gerald Ford only had 2-1/2 years in office, but they were well served for the most part. I pray with all my heart that he knew Jesus as his Savior and is in the presence of Christ now.

Second, the passing of musician James Brown. I am certainly saddened by his death, which is doubly difficult for his family and friends coming right at Christmas. I am also saddened as I am uncertain of his walk with the Lord. As is usual with entertainers of his style, much is said about "singing and celebrating in Heaven." However, Mr. Brown's lifestyle didn't seem to quite jive with Christian conduct. He once said his music came from himself and God. I hate to say this, but God will not be authoring any song about being a human "sex machine." With Rev. Al Sharpton doing the funeral, I am even more in doubt. For those who are alive and remain, remember that God expects more than lip service faith. Saving faith produces fruit and a changed life. Musically, James Brown was not my cup of tea, but that has nothing to do with my comments. It's spiritual. If Rev. Sharpton does what he ought to do, he will remind people that they need to get right with God because they don't know when their time to die will come. Unfortunately, I have a hunch the reverend's "sermon" will be more political than anything else. There are many clergymen whose funeral messages indicate they believe unsaved people will be entering heaven. We hear it all the time. A pastor's role is certainly to bring comfort to the grieving, but it is also his duty to preach the Gospel and to prophetically rebuke sin. It does no one ultimately any good at all to see someone live a wild, non-Christian life and then assume "the saints go marching in." It doesn't work that way. What about James Brown's eternal destiny? Ultimately, that is in God's hands and He alone knows. I do know that He will not be mocked. And He will be just. No one will be in Hell who doesn't deserve to be there. No one deserves Heaven, of course. That's what Christ came to deal with through His shed blood on the cross. When someone has saving faith, that will be evident in their lives.

Third, the pending execution of Saddam Hussein. My prayer is for the salvation of Saddam's soul before they pull the lever. There will probably be plenty of rioting and bloodshed after the ex-dictator keeps his appointment with "Jack Ketch," but the sentence must be carried out. And the Vatican ought to shut up, quite frankly. I wish Rome had been as merciful when they were busy burning saints like John Hus at the stake.

Fourth, a local matter here in Illinois. The state wants to take away former governor George Ryan's pension due to his felony convictions. I am no fan of Mr. Ryan and believe he deserves to sit in the slammer for a while. But to take his pension penalizes his wife and family, who are not responsible for Mr. Ryan's wrongdoing. This is vengefulness on the part of the state's Democratic leadership, pure and simple.

Finally, things in the Middle East continue to percolate. I have often wondered if we are nearing the time for the fulfillment of the Oracle of Damascus in Isaiah 17. If Syria attacks Israel with missiles - especially missiles tipped with poison gas or other weapons of mass destruction - I expect Israel will destroy Damascus. In fact, they've already warned Syria about that potentiality. It wouldn't take much for the powderkeg to be ignited. As an aside, I don't believe the Rapture of the church absolutely has to happen first, either for the Damascus prophecy to be fulfilled or for the Gog and Magog (Russia) invasion of the Middle East. Something has to set the stage for the end-time "Man of Peace." Something so awful that the world will run to anyone who they think can bring peace at last. Even a false peace.

When I think about eschatology these days, I often ponder the words of the Apostle Peter regarding the future Day of the Lord . . . "Since all things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness . . . (2 Peter 3:11). Yes, I am aware that some theologians differentiate between the Rapture and the Day of the Lord, but I am talking in generalities for the time being. While I am premillennial in my eschatology, the Second Coming of our Lord ought to be something eagerly sought and anticipated by all believers. It is indeed the Blessed Hope of the Church. However, I am now hearing some pastors boast about never preaching on prophecy. They either don't understand it or they don't think it's relevant, which in and of itself is shocking coming from evangelicals. And the fruit this attitude bears is bitter.

Ever wonder why more and more Christians seem to be almost antinomian in their views of personal conduct and morality? Do they ever think about the Lord's promised return? How can they if they never hear about it in Sunday school or from the pulpits of their churches? In the Emergent Church extremes, one often hears about building the kingdom of God here on earth with little thought of Heaven (and no thought at all of Hell). Sounds like the 60s again, doesn't it?

Well, I am afraid the world is in for a big wake up call in the not too distant future. The church had better wake up before then. Big time.

Sunday, December 24, 2006



An Unexpected Christmas Eve Comment

Well, I said I'd be taking a few days away from the blogosphere unless something notable happened to make me post. Well, it has. And I don't know what to make of it.

For those of us with any age at all under our belts, we remember the ubiquitous holiday movies and television specials. We tended to look forward to them every year. Living out in the boondocks as I do, I watch satellite television much more than I do network or local television, but even on satellite, one can generally see plenty of Christmas-related offerings.

This year seems different. While I've seen a few Christmas-themed things advertized, the large majority seem to have NOTHING to do with Christmas. More appallingly, some movie channels are offering things that would be the LAST thing you'd expect to see aired at Christmas. I am talking about things like "The Omen," "Cape Fear," various slasher epics, etc. Or, you see a film ostensibly about Christmas only to find the storyline taking some perverse twist from what the season is supposed to mean.

A sign of the times? Perhaps. I truly don't think this represents the majority of Americans, however the media continues their juggernaut to form a society more akin to their secularist likings. Fox News Channel has commendably tried to buck the trend, but even some of their offerings raise my eyebrows. As an aside, ever wonder why the movie "The Nativity Story" hasn't been marketed or covered as well as "The Passion of the Christ?"

I expect we'll see more down the road. The wild-eyed left feels energized because the Democrats recaptured Congress. This would not have happened without the aggressive propaganda from the mainstream media. I am not saying the Bush Administration didn't have missteps. Believe me, I'm pretty irritated with George. However, one should not underestimate the impact the media had on this past election.

Finally, while I am ragging on the media, I want to climb on Fox News Channel's case. It does little good to comment on the outrage of the way the beauty pageant contestants are behaving, only to have you guys actually show the racy photos in question. Even the legitimate pageant photos are nothing more than soft core pornography. Years ago, you might have been able to watch a pageant with your family, even during the swimsuit portion. At one time, the swimsuits were modest. Now, they might as well be nude, and I have to wonder at the judgment of any parent (especially Christian parents) that would watch these things or allow their children to watch them. And the news channels don't need to show two teen girls French-kissing to get their point across. Believe it or not, some kids do watch the news. You shouldn't have to give the evening news or talk show programs an "R" rating.

Enough rant. You get the idea.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006



Merry Christmas from the Seventh Sola

I know some will find it odd that a Christian blog would post a "commercial" shot taken at the famous "Mall of America," but I am doing it to make a point.

Even at this blessed time of year for Christians, it is hard for many of us to resist the siren song of commercialism instead of remembering what this holiday is ultimately celebrating. I would like to remind us all (and yes, me too!) that we are praising God for the first Advent, the incarnation of His Son Jesus Christ in human flesh. He came to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead for our justification. He ascended to heaven after His resurrection, and those of us who are called by His name look forward to the soon time when His Second Advent will take place.

But for now, we remember with thankfulness the event that changed the world forever . . .

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.” When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. (Luke 2:1-20).

We will be taking a blogging break for several days, perhaps until the first of the year. However, if events occur that urgently need Seventh Sola treatment, we will post.

May you and yours have a most blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Saddam and Islamic Terrorism

The following link will take you to the wonderful Imprimis newsletter, a publication of Michigan's Hillsdale College. In the article, Weekly Standard writer and Hillsdale Visiting Fellow in Journalism Stephen F. Hayes examines the question of whether or not Saddam Hussein's regime was into terrorism. This has been an ongoing source of dispute, and Mr. Hayes' article sheds much needed light on this much obfuscated issue. By the way, the answer is yes.

Imprimis

Friday, December 15, 2006

The War on Terror vs. The War on Nazis

As some of you know, I love old films from Hollywood's Golden Age..roughly from 1930-1955. I watched a film this evening called "Hotel Berlin" made right at the end of World War II. At the end of this most excellent movie, they ran a scroll of the following statement from the "Big Three"..Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin:

Our purpose is not to destroy the German people - but we are determined to disband all German armed forces - break up the German General Staff - eliminate all German industry used for military production - bring all war criminals to just and swift punishment - wipe out the Nazi Party and Nazi laws from the life of the German people - Germany must never again disturb the peace of the world.

Interesting, isn't it?

Now, let's change a few words.

Our purpose is not to destroy the Islamic people - but we are determined to disband all Islamic armed forces - break up the Islamic General Staff or Jihad - eliminate all Islamic industry used for military production - bring all Islamic war criminals to just and swift punishment - wipe out the radical Jihadist Party and Islamic law from the life of the Jihadist people - Islam must never again disturb the peace of the world.

In World War II, the notice from the Big Three received the cheers of the world. Today, faced with even an uglier threat to Western civilization, most today would shrink away from calling a spade a spade in such fashion. I realize that there are differences between then and now, and that not all Muslims advocate the jihadist vision. However, the battle against the jihadists ought to be conducted in the same fashion. But we're too afraid to do it.

Think about it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Road to the Mark Part Two

In case you found my previous post a bit nutty, below is a link to a major article from a major Canadian paper, the Toronto Star. It discusses how "chipping" human beings will be routine in a few years, and how society will be lulled into it bit by bit.

Remember you read it here.

Toronto Star

Monday, December 11, 2006



The Road to the Mark?

I don't know how many people have caught the new credit card commercial out there. The name of the actual card is not important, but what the commercial symbolizes is.

In the commercial, it shows a plethora of people at a very busy restaurant. The music is that old piece used by old cartoons to illustrate mechanized movement - the name of the piece escapes me, but anyone who has watched old Looney Tunes cartoons would recognize it immediately. The cooks are flipping flapjacks like clockwork, the diners are picking up their plates and paying with plastic. Then, some unfortunate dolt (that's the impression left by the commercial) has the unmitigated gall to pay with cash, bringing the whole place grinding to an immediate halt. Several people crash together, strowing the contents of their plates all over. The cashier gives the man a very dirty look and hands him his change. The idea is, keep progress going by ditching cash and paying with your credit card. Don't get in the way of progress.

Now, the push for a cashless society is nothing new. In my high school days 30 years ago, they were talking about it in consumer economics. Prophecy students have noted the increasing trends and linking it together with this notorious verse in Revelation . . .

And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six (Revelation 13:16-8).

In the view of the Seventh Sola, I don't think for one moment that the merchants behind the credit card commercial have any clue about what is biblically prophesied. However, the enemy of our souls does. As history moves toward its denouement, it is certain that economic conditions will change to the point that the clamor to get rid of cash will grow deafening. This is part of the process of setting the stage. They are already bio-chipping people and animals. It's only a matter of time before some sort of technology is developed to make society cashless at last. It's convenient. It's secure. It's theft/fraud proof. It will save money in the long run. Lots of selling points. Nothing evil is intended.

That's how it will start. But good intentions are often taken over by evil people. That's how it will end.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

On Cult-like Evangelical Paternalism

The following is a revised version Kevin sent me after I posted the original. Due to time constraints, I have not edited it for formatting etc. as I did the earlier version.


By Rev. Kevin S. Johnson
Guest Columnist to The Seventh Sola,


My Dad was professor of aviation electronics at Jacksonville Naval Air base
in Florida during World War II. His brother-in-law, my mother's brother Claire,
was decorated with a Bronze Star medallion and three purple hearts for
fighting the Nazis in France in World War II. Consequently, I grew up with a love
for the country that he almost died serving. The hard-fought liberties we enjoy
are graciously bestowed by God Who creates men like my Dad and Uncle Claire
who risk life and limb fighting for them. This understanding of liberty should
be like our mother's milk if we are born in America. 2 Corinthians 3:17 tells
us “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is
liberty.”


Freedom and liberty involve the ability to make choices and not be in bondage
to the will of others. This is why it was left to the democracies of World
War II, led by America, to fight against the tyranny of dictatorship. The very
history of leaving European religious tyranny and then conquering a continent
developed cultural patterns in the United States that produced free God-reliant
men who didn’t live “by the leave” of others. Sadly, in this age of
convenience and self indulgence that ethos is being lost in the "land of the free"
because many are NOT being "brave".


Europe was once known as the “Holy Roman Empire” and, starting with the
Caesars, always had a history of strong armed father figure leaders and the lesser
others who were to “know their place.” Many accepted their lot and developed
a servile attitude. This is different from a “servant’s heart” which is
unselfish even to the point of laying down your life for a friend, —sometimes in
fighting dictators. The selfish self-centered people intent on climbing the
social ladder believe the lie of the dictator who tells them they have a
“servants heart” and are praised for their “service” to the cause of the dictator
and are rewarded. Hitler gave out iron crosses to those thugs who served him
well by killing the weak and innocent. Petty and servile men do not choose
liberty because that entails responsibility and they do not want the responsibility
that goes with making decisions. They are like little children who long to be
patted on the head by their oppressive leaders.


There will always be dictators like Saddam Hussein, and lesser dictators
(some in ecclesiastical garb and in pulpits) who are content to be rulers in their
own domain on a smaller scale, who will take advantage and encourage this
servile weakness in others. There is a name for this throughout history and it is
called “Paternalism”. “Pater” denotes “father” so Paternalism could be
called “father-ism.” Of course, we all are familiar with Roman Catholics
referring to their priests as “father” and the word “Pope” is derived from the same
root as “Papa”. There are misguided weak people who like paternalism because
it allows them the luxury of mental laziness by NOT THINKING FOR THEMSELVES
which takes energy and can be hard work. Jesus had something to say about
paternalism when He said in Mt 23:9* "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for
One is your Father, He who is in heaven.” I once counseled a young couple who
had allowed themselves to be enslaved to the sexual lusts of a petty
dictator/personality cult leader who insisted they call him “father.” The man allowed
him to have sex with his own wife and they still considered themselves
Evangelical Christians!


Of course, people who disobey Jesus in this by being paternalistic, or giving
in to paternalism, are not loving God with all their minds. Mt 22:37* And He
said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH
ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' No pastor/leader will be holding your
hand on judgment day at the Bema seat of Judgment before Christ where you will
have to give account for every idle word you have spoken. "But I tell you
that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it
in the day of judgment." —Jesus in Matthew 12:36. If every idle word comes up
most certainly how you voted or didn't vote at a church gathering will be
brought up and judged. How you resisted or gave in to overbearing leaders will be
brought up.


We are warned about overbearing leaders in 1 Peter 5:1-4

1* Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and
witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be
revealed,

2* shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under
compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain,
but with eagerness;

3* nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to
be examples to the flock.

4* And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown
of glory.


Though Paul considered himself the spiritual father of those he led to
Christ, he made it perfectly clear that it was incumbent on the individual believer
to behave properly so he could be rewarded by Christ in the future. He makes
this abundantly clear:

1Co 3:11-15* "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is
laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold,
silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become
evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the
fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he
has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned
up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through
fire."


There are those who call themselves Evangelical Christians but who act far
more like Roman Catholics in the worship of leaders and involve themselves in
personality based cults. Of course the cult leaders will never tell them they
are cultic or dictators. Dictators usually prefer names for their enterprises
that begin with “The People’s” or some such designation that obfuscates what is
really going on. Most who play on paternalism in Evangelical circles are
worldly wise enough to not insist they be called “father”. Some other designation
will do as long as it denotes AUTHORITY. When I have been asked whether I
insist on being called “Reverend” I usually reply I prefer “THE MOST REVEREND
PONTOON BOAT MAXIMUS.” I am poking fun at the Papists and their use of a pagan
Roman title used by the Caesars before them: Pontifus Maximus. After the rein
of Diocletian, Emperor Constantine, while claiming to be a Christian,
maintained the title "Pontifus Maximus.


When someone tells you that they should be listened to because they have a
manmade title and infers they should do your thinking for you, and make your
decisions for you, they are encouraging paternalism. It is false humility that
says “I should just leave the thinking to the experts." You can resist them and
be true to the American Christian heritage that has been purchased at so great
a cost, or you can consider yourself a servile medieval European serf that
believes “Father knows best” and let daddy do the driving. You can betray that
heritage or you can rise up like American generations before you and exercise
the true liberty that entails responsibility to think and to put that thought
into action by making decisions.


It is a paternalistic mindset that will lead to the rise of the final false
father figure of history known as the Beast or Antichrist! He will gladly make
your decisions for you. He will tell billions that they should just sit back,
relax and trust him. 666 anyone? I'm afraid we are already at a point in this
generation where many, if not most, would say,

“YES!”


Are we not to be good followers of Church leaders?

Yes! Heb 13:17 tells us to “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they
keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this
with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.” We should
follow our leaders as they follow Christ. The Apostle Paul lays down this
principle in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be imitators of me, just as I also am of
Christ.” Our following human beings is always contingent upon them following Christ.
WE, the individual believers, must judge whether they ARE or ARE NOT
following Christ! This is shown very dramatically by the words of the Holy Spirit’s
commendation of the Bereans in Acts 17:11 which states: “Now the Bereans were
more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with
great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were
so.” If the Apostle Paul was to be examined or judged by the individual
Bereans then ANYBODY who speaks or teaches you Christian doctrine must be judged by
how faithfully and accurately they are handling the scriptures. You must
determine how faithfully they are telling you ALL the counsel of God in the Bible.


Apostle John addressed the issue of a religious leader who was running on
pride and was so sure of himself that he was bringing people up on false charges
and putting them out of the church!

John says in 3 John 1:9 and 10:

9* I wrote something to the church; but Diotrephes, who loves to be first
among them, does not accept what we say.

10* For this reason, if I come, I will call attention to his deeds which he
does, unjustly accusing us with wicked words; and not satisfied with this, he
himself does not receive the brethren, either, and he forbids those who desire
to do so and puts them out of the church.


If your church is being taken over by paternalists do NOT let them drive you
out! We are told to stand firm. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free;
therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”
(Galatians 5:1). Going to church is NOT a passive activity where you are
supposed to be docile and just look to what you are receiving.


The Holy Spirit in Hebrews 10:23-25 tells us the reason for going to church
and it is NOT passive but proactive:


"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who
promised is faithful;

24* and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

25* not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but
encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


If you are not "getting your needs met" or are incensed at what you see
before you in your church you are not given leaving orders but "stand firm" orders
that tells you to encourage others in the fight and not desert them to the
paternalistic desires and dictates of personality-cult leaders who are not true
to what is taught in the scriptures at key points (or who neglect large
sections of Scripture in their teachings). It is they who insist it is the same as
loyalty to God to be loyal to them!.


Jesus said His ministry was about delivering from oppression:


Lu 4:18* "THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH
THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,
AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,



As Luther once said: "Here I stand and I can do no other"

Monday, December 04, 2006



The Wilderness Looks More Inviting All the Time . . .

What a week it's been. A snowstorm hits my part of the country and brings all to a standstill. It strikes me as metaphorical as well as meteorological. Why? Because of another kind of storm that has global ramifications.

A friend informs me that the Emergent/PD juggernaut has swept some more congregations away, this time out west. The individuals who raised doctrinal/biblical/methodological concerns were forced out of these congregations. It really is sad. Given the number of relationships shattered, congregations ripped apart, and new believers led astray or deeply wounded by these shenanigans, it amazes me how people naming the name of Christ can think this stuff bears good fruit. If this is good fruit, I'd hate to see the rotten.

As odd as it might seem, events around the world that you wouldn't think are connected might be after all. John Bolton is out at the U.N. The left (including some Republicans in Name Only) managed to stiff arm this fine man who represented the U.S. well out the door. This nation will rue the day.

Someone keeps leaking classified information to the New York Times, continuing to jeopardize our national security and undermine the administration. Whoever is doing this, it seems their hatred of George W. Bush is overriding what concern they ought to have over the damage to our country in the long run.

As we near Christmas, the hatred and contempt people have for Christians (and ultimately Christ) is rearing its head in bolder and bolder fashion. We allow Islamic crescents and Menorahs on public land, but a Nativity Scene is forbidden. Worse yet, a Nativity Scene is not allowed to be part of a CHRISTMAS event because of political correctness. Go figure.

Concerns are being raised over a new coin out from the U.S. Mint. The national motto "In God We Trust" has been relegated to the edge of the coin instead of the coin face.

Delta Air Lines shows a film on an international flight that would appeal only to a pedophile. Passengers object and their concerns are dismissed by the flight crews. Who, pray tell, having even a modicum of morals would want to see a young child gyrating in a sexual fashion mimicing a strip tease? In this day and age when abuse of children is constantly in the news, is this really the image a responsible business would want to put forth?

I could go on, but you get the point. My question now has to be, "How long, O Lord . . .how long?" And how is this all connected? Think about it. In the last days, things are said to go from bad to worse. The world wants to live without God, so the world is getting what it wants. The world is spiritually dead, and it's not going to leave a good looking corpse. As dark as it's getting, we who trust in God must always remind ourselves that this is only temporary. One day, He will make all things new and bring justice. In the past, I have wanted that day to be delayed so that more might come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior before it's too late. That wish is growing dimmer, and that is sad because I don't want my own love to grow cold. But the Lord has promised not to allow us to be tempted beyond our ability, and in that promise I must trust. One thing is certain. It's going to get worse in the relatively short term. A LOT worse.

EDITED TO ADD:

Okay, it's nice to have a brief reality check. I just had the privilege to hear a brief address by the president of the Baptist Union in one of the former communist countries of Eastern Europe. The things he had to say reminded me that people HAVE had it much worse than I have, or in America collectively. What will be interesting is if things get as bad here in America eventually. It could happen, and happen a lot more easily than we think.