Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Slope Gets Slipperier

Last night, I did something I rarely do, i.e. watch a foreign film. Turner Classic Movies aired it. It was called "Au Revoir, Les Enfants," and was the late director Louis Malle's semi-autobiographical tale of being in a Vichy France boys' school during World War II. The basic plot line involved two boys, one 12 and the other 13. The older was a Jewish boy being hidden by the Catholic leaders of this school, and the younger boy was from a well-to-do French family. The Jewish boy was the most unpopular boy in class, but the two kids bond and form a friendship. Later, when the Nazis came into the school to find hidden Jews, the younger boy inadvertently gives his friend away with a glance, and the Jewish boy is taken off to a concentration camp where he is later murdered by the Nazis.

Now in and of itself, this is a tragic, moving story. It was well acted and well shot. But I have a problem with it in light of the growing culture war in this country. The film was full of the young boys -- pre-teen and teen -- using profanity, sexual innuendo, disrespect to parents (the younger French boy swore at his mother and said that he hated her -- although he really didn't) and a host of other things. Just a couple of the disturbing scenes involved the 12-year-old in a bathhouse with the other boys, and it showed him lying down in a bathtub thinking of his beautiful young piano teacher and masturbating. His hands strategically covered his genitals, but you clearly got the idea of what he was doing. The priest came in to get him out of the tub so another boy could use it, and the kid looked up with a big grin at the priest's disapproval, saying, "I can't help it." The same character was also shown waking up in the night, swearing when he discovered that he had had a nocturnal emission, and then trying madly to clean it up before it was discovered.

My point is, why? Why show all this? Of course, things like that probably happened, but is it really necessary to tell the story? It also annoys me from another standpoint. This was an older film -- almost 20 years old -- but the inappropriateness is timeless. The Christian moral reasons are obvious, but even the non-believer ought to appreciate this issue in light of the global problem with child sexual exploitation. That issue wasn't quite as big in the news 20 years ago as it is today, but that fact alone ought to make programmers here in the States think before they air things. Of course, when you have a host of entertainment executives who somehow think things like this are endearing artistic statements . . . sigh.

Foreign film has always been explicit. The late Hollywood Production Code was strictly an American convention, although it died in the mid-1960s. But there is still some restraint among American filmmakers. And that brings me to my main point with this post. Remember the flap over Nicole Kidman's recent film about a child being her reincarnated husband or some such rot? They shared a nude bathtub scene together.

Years ago, that would have been unthinkable. Today, while there was an outcry, it was largely ignored. Again, it seems to me that the entertainment industry is intentionally using the "frog in the kettle" and slowly pushing the envelope of standards down ever further. I have always loved Turner Classic Movies because of the old films they show from Hollywood's Golden Age. In the past couple of years, however, they have been broadening their spectrum and the change hasn't been a good one. Last month, they highlighted films with gay and lesbian subtexts. Now, we have child sexuality flung at us in the midst of what would otherwise have been a very touching story. What's next?

I'll leave it to your imagination, like the old Production Code. Anyway, as a barometer of our culture's health, it's a bad sign. Now, what will we do about it? Roll over and go back to sleep? Probably. And I am afraid that when we finally wake up, the nightmare we just had will be all too real.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Liberal "Tolerance"

A lot has been said over the past several years about the subject of "tolerance." It's usually a bludgeon word aimed at conservatives (theological and political) with the direct or implied charge that said conservatives are "intolerant."

Today, I just want to comment briefly on the theological end -- more specifically why biblical Christianity is so "intolerable" to liberals. As an aside, before anyone begins hemming about documentation, footnotes and specifics, forget it. This isn't a master's thesis or term paper. What I have to say can be easily substantiated yourself if you do a little looking. Just read some newspaper archives.

Liberals these days are full of tolerance for just about anything under the sun. After the 9-11 attacks, I was especially amused (in a grim sort of way) when the left fell all over itself being apologists for radical Islam. The recent situation of the Muslim imams who got booted off the airliner for their questionable behavior is a case in point. Hearing the histrionics of the left, you'd think we were about to send them off to Bergen-Belsen. They'll appear on talk shows, write columns, blog, file lawsuits, file "friend of the court" briefs, picket, and basically anything else it takes to call for the rest of us to be "tolerant." No profiling allowed, even if a certain group of people are the ones guilty of using airplanes as weapons of mass destruction, or any other method of killing people. It's really touching to see their tenderness of heart in action.

But let a Bible-believing Christian speak up truthfully about the Christian faith's real meaning, or proclaim the Gospel (or worse yet, call something sin), and the fireworks begin. Why is that? Why is it so objectionable when someone voices Christian sensibilities? After all, we're supposed to believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religion, aren't we?

It's really very simple. Christianity -- the real kind and not the mushy, doctrine-light ecumenical variety -- is exclusive. It doesn't just claim to be one way. It claims to be THE way. The only way to being made right with God. It also does something unforgivable. It confronts human sin with demands for repentance. It will not gloss over evil behavior and calls it what it is. That is just not acceptable to this culture of political correctness and false tolerance.

To the left, you can hold any point of view you like just as long as you accept other points of view as equally valid. Note very clearly what I just said. To the left, it is not enough to simply "tolerate" other views. They want other views ACCEPTED as equally valid. No one is allowed to be viewed as "wrong," especially in matters of faith and belief. To the left, the only "wrong" belief is biblical Christianity, simply because it presents itself as the "right" way. The only way. A common maxim you might hear is "there are many paths up the mountain, but the view from the top is the same." Biblical Christianity will have none of this in any way, shape or form. Scripture is clear about the Lord Jesus Christ . . . And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12).

This fact alone makes biblical Christianity a mortal enemy to the left -- as well as to the entire world system. And please, let's not have any canards like the Crusades or the Inquisition thrown up as examples of violent Christian intolerance. The Roman Catholic Church does not represent true biblical Christianity. It didn't then and it doesn't now. (Put that in your mitre and smoke it, Benedict!!) No one with a sane, clear-thinking mind could read the New Testament and come away with the idea that the Gospel is to be spread by the sword. But that's only fact. Who needs facts when there's a political or evil spiritual agenda to be pursued.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Liberals Hi-Jack the Judicial Process . . . Again!

This special report details the latest move of Senate liberals and their leftist puppet masters to block any constitutionalist from serving on the federal bench.

By Andrea Lafferty
Executive Director
Traditional Values Coalition

Senate liberals are back to their old tricks in trying to block every qualified judicial nominee that President Bush sends to the Senate for a vote.

The latest target is former Mississippi Judge Leslie H. Southwick, who is an Iraqi war veteran. According to media reports, Senator Patrick (Obstruction) Leahy, head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, opposes Southwick for numerous reasons. Among them is the fact that he’s a white southerner. Leahy claims there should be more racial diversity on the federal bench, but he and his leftist allies raged against Judge Janice Rogers Brown, a conservative Christian African-American when she was nominated by President Bush to serve on the DC Circuit Court.

The fact is that liberals only want leftist, activist judges on the federal bench – regardless of their race. If they can’t find corruption or incompetence in a nominee, they’ll distort their record or lie about them. That’s the typical strategy used by groups like People for the American Way.

Undoubtedly, Judge Southwick is also being targeted by liberals for his honorable service in the Iraq war. He felt so strongly about defending our nation from Islamic terrorism, that he left his position on the Mississippi Court of Appeals and volunteered to serve in Iraq with the Mississippi National Guard. Earlier, he had requested and received an age waiver in order to enlist! In 2003, he transferred from a non-combat unit to the 155th Separate Armor Brigade with the full knowledge that he would likely be sent to Iraq. His unit was, in fact, sent to Iraq near Najaf in August 2004. In 2006, he transferred back to the Joint Force Headquarters in the Mississippi National Guard. For his honorable service, he received a letter of commendation from Major General Harold A. Cross, the Adjutant General of Mississippi.

President Bush nominated Judge Southwick to serve on the 5th Circuit Court on January 9, 2007. His nomination has been stalled by liberals on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Rumblings on the far leftist blogs indicate that Southwick’s nomination is probably being stalled because of his military service in Iraq. One wild-eyed leftist wrote of Southwick: “We don’t need any more goose stepping, KKK supporting, gay and black hating, racist, bigoted hillbilly judges ready to put half of America into ovens.” (Google discussion group, soc.retirement, June 8, 2007)


Solameanie's Comment on the Above:

I agree with the sentiments expressed by Ms. Lafferty in this report. Note especially the ridiculous comment by the leftie blogger about putting "half of America into ovens." This is a comparison to what Hitler did with the Jews, and is really an obscene, imbicilic charge. I could bring up what leftists such as Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot did with their populace, but that wouldn't be nice, would it? To say that this judge, or other conservatives, want to do such things is simply ludicrous. The person who said this doesn't belong in an oven, but in a rubber room on plenty of thorazine.

Such talk, however, is what we have to look forward to in the coming election year. It will only get worse, and more stupid.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Uncertain Way

Looking back at the 1992 Republican Convention, I can remember how Pat Buchanan was roundly thumped for stating openly what most of us realized internally -- that America was embroiled in a serious culture war. Word has it that President Bush Sr. and his wife, Barbara, were especially annoyed at Pat's message. Well, we all know what happened. President Bush lost the election to Bill Clinton, and America was served with eight years of scandal. Thanks to him, an entire generation of children was exposed on the nightly news to subjects many parents would gladly have deferred to another time. An entire generation was sent the message that lying was perfectly acceptable, even under oath in a court of law. We can see how much of today's entertainment has gradually sunk into the cesspool. We live in a society where gross sin is applauded and encouraged by a loud vocal minority, so much so that the majority feels bullied into silence. Pat Buchanan was right, on this one at least.

Now we are faced again in the coming months with a choice. But now, what kind of choice will we make, and what REAL choice is there between candidates? None of them -- at least the front runners -- really gets the job done as far as I am concerned. America is in much more trouble than she realizes.

There is really only one way for this nation to be pulled out of its moral morass, and that is to get back on the path of righteousness. Repent, pray and seek the face of the Lord. If we don't, judgment is certain. Many (including me) feel that America is already under judgment. I pray earnestly that the Lord is not yet ready to say to us as He did to Israel . . .

The end has come for My people Israel. I will spare them no longer (Amos 8:2).

The United States is not Israel, obviously. But God is still in the business of judging nations as well as individuals.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Three Cheers for Mayor Naugle!

Every now and then, a politician stands up and does the right thing no matter how loudly leftist activists spew. As you'll see from the link below, Mayor Jim Naugle in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, has his hands full with homosexual activists who are trying to bully their way, as usual. To his credit, Mayor Naugle is standing his ground and doing exactly the opposite of what they're demanding (that is if you can understand them through their spittle). They're even shouting out "shame on you" to the mayor, when in fact THEY'RE the ones who ought to be ashamed.

If you can, send a message of encouragement to Mayor Naugle, and make it plain you'll happily do business in Ft. Lauderdale. If more people -- public officials included -- begin standing up to the pink and rainbow juggernaut, we can begin to reverse this trend of evil people trying to force approval of sodomy down the throat of society.

. . . and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them (Romans 1:32).

The Summer of Terror

Today, I am reposting an article by Dr. Earl Tilford that appeared recently in Front Page Magazine. It's worth reading and pondering, and reminds us once again to view the mainstream media with askance. Add a lot of politicians to that reminder.


“There is nothing so dreadful as a great victory … excepting a great defeat.”
—Sir Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington

A lot has happened in the past two weeks to refocus attention on terrorism and the global war against Islamist Jihadists in which the United States, Israel and, indeed, the Judeo-Christian world is engaged. Indeed, the war may be entering a critical phase. Soon, U.S. forces may be in Pakistan hunting down al Qaeda and Israel may be heavily engaged in Gaza exterminating Hamas. Furthermore, the sooner the United States deals with Iran the better.

Iran is at war with the United States and has been since 1979. The world cannot tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. Normal parameters of deterrence will not work with an enemy anxious to die prompting an apocalypse. If Tehran goes nuclear, it will use its bombs—and not just on Israel.

In the 1970s, I served as a warnings indication analyst on the intelligence staff at Headquarters Strategic Air Command. My job was to examine intelligence data and provide warnings in advance of possible enemy action. We watched Soviet bomber and submarine operations, monitored communications, especially those associated with missile forces, and kept track of the movement of principal Communist Party leaders. I tried to think like the enemy. Let me apply that technique to see what Tehran might come up with as a possible “threat assessment” concerning possible military action by the United States.

President George W. Bush has stated that a nuclear-armed Iran is unacceptable. Although his political capital is low, events may force his hand sooner rather than later. If Bush does not act this year, it is less likely he would take decisive action in 2008, an election year. There are risks in any military operation. If an all-out conventional attack to denude Iran of its nuclear capability works and Iran is unable—or unwilling—to respond effectively, the president’s approval ratings may soar and the Republicans could find themselves big winners in November 2008. On the other hand, if it fails, as any half-hearted attack is likely to do, Bush could face impeachment and the Republican Party will be consigned to political purgatory.

The American political left may have misread the public’s dissatisfaction with the war. Most Americans want to defeat al Qaeda, Hezbollah, associated groups and nations that sponsor them. It is inaction that frustrates the public. Historically, during the Vietnam War, public support for the war effort rose sharply when the United States took concerted action like mining Haiphong harbor and bombing North Vietnam purposefully during Operation Linebacker I, the air power response to North Vietnam’s “Easter Offensive” of 1972. Additionally, while the media and the political left excoriated President Richard Nixon for the so-called “Christmas Bombing” (Linebacker II), the American public overwhelmingly approved. Ultimately, the continuing din of negative politics may push Bush to act sooner rather than later.

Currently three carrier battle groups are operating in the Persian Gulf. Their approximately 300 naval aircraft, coupled with hundreds of cruise missiles, along with the several hundred U.S. Air Force fighter-bombers stationed in the region, provide the United States with an enormously powerful air advantage. If the United States strikes, the blow must obliterate Iran’s nuclear-weapons-making capabilities, “decapitate” the government and degrade its ability to respond militarily. This cannot be a half-baked operation.

Central Command recently changed leadership from an Army general to a Navy admiral, possibly presaging a shift from the tactical and operational orientation of day-to-day combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to a more strategically-oriented approach appropriate to a wider and more encompassing war carried into Iran and Pakistan.

Additionally, Israel must move soon to destroy Hamas in Gaza or face continuing and increasing harassment from rockets and terrorists. If Israel moves on Gaza, Syria and Hezbollah will respond with strikes at the Golan Heights and rocket barrages into northern Israel from Lebanon. Two Israeli armored divisions and an infantry division are moving into place in southern Israel. Again, this is a matter of timing. While Israel lingers, its enemies gain strength. Imagine dealing with this problem after Tehran has nuclear weapons. Imagine what Hezbollah or Hamas would do if they gained access to nukes.

War is a sure and effective way to end—not just to deal with—evil. War should never be undertaken lightly nor engaged in with half-measures. The United States is at war with Iran. Whose rockets and roadside bombs daily kill Americans in Iraq? Iran’s. What terrorist group ranks as No. 2 in taking the lives of Americans? Hezbollah, funded and controlled by Iran.

Douglas MacArthur said it best: “In war there can be no substitute for victory."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Glorious Buffalo National River

Today's post is a light one, and a good thing after such a spell of bad news and grim subject matter.

Next month, Lord willing, I plan on heading south to Arkansas' Buffalo River for a few days of sun, trail hiking and crystal clear water. If you haven't been there, I recommend it highly. It's one of the most beautiful places on earth. You can stand in the river neck deep and still see your feet. Slow, meandering currents of warm water will hit your body, followed by a little blast of cooler water that opens your eyes wide. In the spring, it's an excellent stream to float because the water flow is higher and you get some great rapids. In the summer and fall, the water flow lessens and the lower stretches of the river are good for a nice, leisurely paddle. I personally enjoy wading the river and exploring. Whatever you do, it's a good way to relax and forget about the cares of life for a while.

Here's hoping and praying my "long weekend" trip happens. I need the break.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reflections on Tammy Faye, With Regret

It's a long way from Minnesota, where Tammy Faye Bakker Messner grew up, to the plains of Kansas where her ashes were finally laid to rest. I know that I am probably treading into a minefield here, saying what I am about to say regarding Tammy Faye so soon after her passing. However, the Bible didn't allow a mourning period before recording what happened with Ananias and Sapphira, so I will bypass the usual courtesies and sympathies in favor of a larger lesson.

I take no joy in Tammy's passing. Indeed, as I - along with millions of other Americans - viewed her wasted countenance on Larry King, I felt a great sadness. It was a sadness made all the more pronounced by the only conclusion I could draw in watching her. It was apparent to me that Tammy Faye had apparently learned nothing from her ordeal, even when staring eternity in the face, and after a huge amount of physical suffering.

The last image of her on this earth -- that emaciated, skeleton-like countenance covered by a thick veneer of gaudy makeup -- actually paints a better picture of the spiritual reality than I could ever hope to describe. It pains me to say that, and I know many will view that remark as "cruel and insensitive." Liken it to the sensitivity of a physician who knows the treatment he is about to give will be excruciating, but is still necessary for the eventual cure of the patient. We have to face the truth, no matter how much it hurts.

After Tammy died, the news came out (no pun intended) that an openly homosexual "pastor" officiated at her private funeral. In her last remarks on Larry King, she praised the gay community for "accepting her." In fact, when asked about her support of homosexuals by King, she retorted "it's the sick that need a hospital." Unfortunately, in Tammy's spiritual hospital, there seems to have been no mention of repentance and turning AWAY from homosexual behavior as being part of the cure. Interestingly, Tammy's support of the gay community extended even back to her PTL days. Speaking of PTL, that's yet another story I can tell to illustrate my concern.

The late, renowned apologist, Dr. Walter Martin, had been slated to appear on PTL with Jim and Tammy Bakker to talk about cults, especially Mormonism, if I remember correctly. Before Dr. Martin went on the air, he was admonished by Tammy not to use certain words in referring to cultists because she didn't want them offended. Well, needless to say, Walter took a deep breath and went on to tell the plain truth about cults, knowing he would probably never be invited back. He knew that this "ollie ollie oxen free" theology would accomplish nothing but to leave people in their sin. It wasn't long afterward until PTL began its downward slide.

What legacy is Tammy leaving behind? Her son, Jamie (Jay) Charles Bakker, pastors a postmodern church in New York. He reportedly says God told him that homosexuality is okay. His church is supposed to be a church for those on whom the evangelical church has stomped (read that, those whom the evangelical church has told that they need to repent of their sin). That is hardly Christian love -- to leave people in their sin. But it's fully of a piece with the spirit of this age, having a form of godliness but denying the power.

I'll be the first one to admit that some in the church often shoot the wounded. The biblical doctrine of restoration needs to be taught, proclaimed and practiced much better than it is. However, there is one vital part without which restoration cannot take place. And that is repentance. Going off in a huff and starting some "church" where Scripture is ignored and sin doesn't matter is hardly fixing that problem.

I will say it again for emphasis. As sad as it is to say, the last image of Tammy Faye Messner is vividly illustrative of what the church of today has become. A corpse with a brightly painted veneer, a hospital that only spreads more illness, and an empty theology of misdirected "love." True biblical, Christian love proclaims the Gospel as it is, that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead for our justification. We are dead in our trespasses and sins, but Jesus alone provides the way out, and hope for life eternal. Only through Christ can we repent of our sins and find forgiveness. A faith where there is no repentance is no faith at all.

Will Tammy be in heaven? I can't be the judge of that. Only God knows. Oddly enough, I believe Ananias and Sapphira are probably in heaven. God struck them down in discipline, not damnation. Even if that were the case, I'd hate to be taken home in disgrace rather than after a lifetime of godly service.

Friday, July 20, 2007

A Call to Arms!!!

I haven't had time to post much this week, but I am logging on enough to issue a call to arms, figuratively speaking.

I have had it with automated phone answering systems at places of business. While I can grudgingly manage one, it is near impossible for my elderly folks. They can't understand it quickly enough to press the right buttons at the right time.

Aside from that, now I am tired of managing them. All such systems do is send the signal that said business really doesn't want to bother with its customers. Supposedly a time saver, all they really do is frustrate and waste my time. In the literal seconds it would take me to tell a warm body operator who I am and who I want, instead it's "say or punch this...say or punch that. Do you want this or that..and on and on and on. More often than not, the cussed system disconnects me before I can even TALK to a warm body. I've had enough and I want everyone to join me in taking action.

Open warning to any and all merchants and firms. If you want my business, answer the cussed phone. If I hear a machine answer (unless it's after hours and I would logically need to leave a voice mail), I will hang up and not have anything to do with you again. Furthermore, if you have some need to call me, I will not answer your calls even if I owe you money. You can negotiate my voice mail or send me a certified letter. If you can find me.

Automated operators are growing like a cancer and they've got to be stopped. Our system is already Soviet enough as it is in terms of no longer being "the customer is always right." Now it's "take it or leave it."

I'll leave it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Time to Head for the Border?

The photo posted here was taken last year on my trip to see Lake Superior. It's as close to Canada as I've ever been, barring flyovers in a plane when I was headed overseas to Europe. When things seem like they're getting out of control in this country, heading up to a little cabin up in the Northwest Territories has seemed like a pretty inviting idea. But not being totally escapist in my mentality, I won't do it. What tempts me these days? It's because I am convinced that the United States is heading for major divine judgment.

I have long felt this way, even before I heard Dr. John MacArthur speak on the subject recently. As reflected in an earlier post, John is convinced that God has given America over to her sins as described in Romans 1 and other Scriptures. I believe he is right for a host of reasons. Needless to say, this idea has provoked controversy. In the past when I have mentioned this on my radio program, I hear from people from pastors to other Bible students who insist that America is still being largely protected because we're the lighthouse and exporter of the Gospel to the world. That might have been true at one time, but today that idea is highly debatable. The overall question here, of course, is this. Does the fact that faithful, devout Christians still live in the United States somehow exempt this country from experiencing God's wrath or discipline? I say no.

While I would love to post a lengthy treatise on this subject, for tonight I will suffice with just one example from Scripture. Look at the example of the prophet Daniel and his friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. The book of Daniel in the Old Testament relates the history. Israel had fallen into sin and rebellion against God, so God was sending Nebuchadnezzar and his armies to punish them. Daniel and his friends were faithful, but that didn't stop God from allowing them to be hauled off to Babylon just like everyone else. It was truly a horrible time for Israel, both saint and sinner alike. Imagine how it must have felt to the prophets to see all this coming, and everyone turning a deaf ear. Imagine what it must have been like for Daniel to be faithful, and yet experience being hauled off by force to a foreign land where your immediate future was uncertain. We can't fathom such things today in our experience.

As awful as this was, God had a purpose. And it wasn't just to punish Israel and bring her to repentance. God used Daniel in a mighty way while he was in captivity, bringing glory to Himself and setting the stage for Daniel to receive God's revelation about the end of days.

What if God brings severe judgment on the United States in the days ahead? It could come in many forms, but regardless of what form it takes, it will be painful. How will believers in Jesus Christ respond? Will we be faithful in adversity and faithful in our witness to the culture? Or will we be weak, bemoaning our circumstances and blaming God that our heretofore comfortable lifestyle has come to a crashing halt?

I fear many will be caught out of the blue due to very poor teaching from their churches. The thought of God's judgment and hard times doesn't mesh well with the current happy-wappy, carnival style message preached from many pulpits and on many "Christian" television and radio programs. But we're not going to escape this by pretending it's not coming and that it isn't happening when it does come. We'd best do what believers are supposed to do -- sound the prophetic warning and call the nation to repentance. We dare not be silent when God expects us to speak. He said as much through the prophet Ezekiel, whose warning is recorded . . . When I say to the wicked, ‘You will surely die’, and you do not warn him or speak out to warn the wicked from his wicked way that he may live, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand (Ezekiel 3:18).

The media are abuzz with reports on the increased level of terrorist chatter. It is believed that we are in store for another hit. The media and intelligence analysts are abuzz with rumors of war in the Middle East before the end of summer. Who knows how things will domino if that happens. America's enemies around the globe seem to be coalescing with the common goal of standing against us or causing us harm in some fashion. Our government (and I include all branches in this) seem like they have totally lost all rhyme and reason. They're incapable of governing, choosing instead to play silly political games, or to make gross errors in judgment in terms of military and foreign policy. Fecklessness reigns supreme.

What's going to happen? I don't know. But we'd better be ready. Is there a chance for the nation to repent? Yes. God's mercies are new every morning. But in all honesty, I don't see it happening. Not with the current middle-finger attitude the majority in this country seem to be displaying when the subject of righteousness comes up. No, I am afraid the stick is going to have to fall across America's back, and fall hard.

Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy (Habakkuk 3:2).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bart Simpson's Nudity

Has anyone else (in the Christian community) found it a bit odd that there has been very little said over the new Simpsons movie, and the fact that it shows the 10-year-old character of Bart Simpson with full frontal nudity?

Perhaps it's a reluctance to be called prudes. Perhaps it's reluctance to make a mountain of what the majority in our culture would see as a molehill. But comment I must.

All this is is just another step downward. Today, just a nude cartoon kid on a skateboard with genitals visible. What comes down the road now that this envelope has been pushed? We hear a lot of complaints out there about the growing cancer of child pornography and pedophilia. Does not this brief cultural moment indicate something? Never mind that the scene isn't sexual in nature per se. It doesn't matter. There are some who will get titillation out of it. I think the creators know this full well, and they enjoy doing things like this to tweak people who get offended. Matt Groening even admitted as much.

Okay. Fine. Laugh all the way to the bank. It won't be so funny in a few years, should God continue to put up with this growing decadence. It definitely won't be funny when God finally has enough.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pandering to Christians for Votes

Below is a link to a story in Time Magazine, which documents the Democrats' new drive to incorporate God into their politics. Now, before I comment, let's establish a given. No party has a monopoly on pandering to groups they feel will turn into voters for them. However, no pandering quite offends me as much as using the Christian faith as a manipulative tactic to gain voters.

I have no problem with candidates who have sincere religious beliefs speaking out about them, and finding things in common with the public for whom they are trying to appeal. However, when I read the article in Time, it was so obvious to me that the consultants, campaign managers and yes -- some of the candidates -- are simply using "God words" in a cynical attempt to appeal to Christians who might be on the fence between the Republican and Democratic parties. It's even worse when you actually look at the supposed Christian theology of some of these candidates. I don't mean on things like feeding the poor and clothing the naked either. I am talking about the deity of Christ, the inerrancy of Scripture and other very, very important theological points. Left to their druthers, they wouldn't even bother talking about religion. They find it uncomfortable. However, there are votes to be snookered out of people, so they're going for it full steam.

I have no use for Republicans who really aren't that religious but use "God words" to appeal to Bible-believing Christians. Their private lives often give them away later, and even more often, they go back on their promises once they get in office. But this article struck me as really egregious and offensive. I hope and pray that true Christians are discerning enough not to fall for it.

Time Magazine

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An Episcopal-Muslim Priest????

Below is a link to a column written by Dr. Al Mohler, a Bible scholar, seminary president and pastor whom I respect immensely. In it, he rightly gives a good kick in the slats to an Episcopal "priestess" who claims she can be a Christian and a Muslim. I'm not making this up. It would be hysterically funny if not so sad. I have commented before on the fact that the Anglican Communion needs to get its house in order, and this is just more proof in the pudding.

Dr. Al Mohler Blog

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Kennedy's Wide-Open Yap Contributes to Global Warming

In the news this morning, I see that Robert Kennedy Junior is calling any politician who disagrees with global warming treasonous, and calling for them to be treated as traitors. I don't know whether to call this a real hoot or an outrage. Maybe it's a bit of both.

Aside from the sheer stupidity and arrogance of Kennedy's gasbag comments (must be something he inherited from Teddy), I think the man needs a refresher course in the meaning of treason:

trea·son (noun)
violation of the allegiance owed by a person to his or her own country, for example, by aiding an enemy.

Since when is disagreement with highly questionable "science" and demagoguery -- not to mention the far left-wing political baggage connected with it -- tantamount to treason? Perhaps I should ask Kennedy if he believes in global governance and the subordination of the United States to some other supra-national body such as the United Nations? If he or any other politician wants to sell out our country's sovereignty, perhaps that makes him more guilty of treason than it does someone who thinks global warming is just a lot of hot air (and I don't just mean from the alimentary canals of bovines). This kind of frothing at the mouth from Kennedy and his ilk is just one of many reasons people are increasingly sick of politicians.

Recently, Dr. John MacArthur spoke at a National Day of Prayer event and gave his opinion that God is largely abandoning America due to America's sin. When we look at the growing number of disasters - from floods to fires to murders to war to whatever -- it's hard to disagree with him. I'll comment more on this issue later, but I will say this now. Just because there are faithful believers remaining in a nation, that doesn't mean the nation itself won't fall under divine wrath. Just ask Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The False Gospel of Global Warming

A friend of mine who is a meteorologist at a nearby university sent me the following link with a genuine evangelical perspective on the global warming craze. It's a bit lengthy, but highly recommended. This article is a good warning to well-meaning believers who allow themselves to be blindly co-opted into a cause -- a cause that only helps lead people astray into yet another false religion. We are indeed to be good stewards of God's creation, but not in the manner the hyper-environmentalists suggest. In the end, the whole global warming kerfuffle is being used to impose draconian global control on people. The totalitarians always need some crisis to help stampede people into their clutches. Global warming is no different. Read and discern.

Laodicean News Beat

Friday, July 06, 2007

Debates, Arguments and Knock-Down Dragouts

In the latter part of Acts 14 and on into chapter 15, we see an interesting battle breaking out in the early church. Here's a glimpse of the passage, beginning where Paul and Barnabas had just enjoyed great ministry success:

From there they sailed to Antioch, from which they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had accomplished. When they had arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all things that God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles. And they spent a long time with the disciples.

Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.

Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren. When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.” The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.

After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.” All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.

In recent months, I've been increasingly disgusted, disenchanted and discouraged by arguments within evangelical churches that, in my view, ought not to even be happening. Pastors, theologians and laypeople disputing the substitutionary atonement of Christ, the reality of objective, absolute truth, biblical sexuality, and a host of other serious issues are again being fought over when they ought to be settled issues. There have been times that I've wished I had the power to bang a gavel down and say, "Enough! No more debate! This is the way it is, and this is the way it's going to be. If you don't like it, get out of the church and stay out!"

But as we can see from the Scripture passage above, arguments and debates over theological issues aren't new to our generation. They were there even in the early days of the church, when the apostles who had been taught directly by Jesus were still alive and had to be consulted to straighten things out. And in this passage, we have an issue no less than the very nature of the Gospel itself being debated -- whether salvation was by grace through faith, or were human works of righteousness involved.

Thankfully, the Bible records for us how the debate ended. The doctrine of salvation by grace through faith was affirmed in ringing fashion, with the Apostle Paul later declaring in his letter to the Galatians . . . But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).

As tiring and as frustrating as it gets, there will always be battles over truth and theology as long as we're on this side of heaven. God has indeed left us His Word, where most of these issues ought to be settled. Those who ignore or bypass His Word will be held accountable by Him, as will those who twist His Word to mean things He never intended. In the meantime, what are we to do? Again, His Word speaks:

Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints (Jude 3).

The reason Jude delayed his desire to write about our common salvation and instead wrote of "contending" for the faith was not just a passing fancy, but a serious reason:

For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (Jude 4).

Things haven't changed much, have they? Let's keep contending for truth. We have no other option.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Independence Day

While many will wax eloquent today, I won't do any more today than this..to wish you a happy holiday. Along with it, I will offer a prayer that more of us will actually take the trouble to remember the principles on which this country was founded, and to acknowledge how many out there (some within this country) are eager to take all of it away. Above all, I'd like us to remember what the Lord Jesus Himself said about freedom:

"You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free."

How sad that so many today are unwilling to acknowledge that there is an absolute, objective standard of truth, preferring instead a "Mush God" and a mushy concept of truth that changes like a chameleon. We're about to reap the fruit of that mindset in spades.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

When God Abandons a Nation

I had the pleasure of attending the Shepherd's Conference earlier this year, and heard Dr. John MacArthur open God's Word along with other fine Bible teachers. Recently, I have had several urge me to get a copy of Dr. MacArthur's recent message for the National Day of Prayer. Apparently Focus on the Family has been airing it, but I had not heard it yet.

I have long been concerned about just how far along the United States is on the timetable of God's wrath. Join me in listening to the message linked below. I expect it will be very sobering, and justly so.

Dr. John MacArthur/FOF

Monday, July 02, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Read the story linked below and weep. Shouldn't this send some sort of message to our society that something is seriously, seriously wrong? Or have we become so besotted and self-centered that we can't hear the warning?

Between the whining of the ultra-left wanting to surrender to Islamofascists, heresy taking over in many churches that ought to know better, and this..one has to wonder just how much longer this country has left before the Lord finally has enough and lays the proverbial stick across its back.

Anyway, here's the story. And wait for people to defend our libertine entertainment, voyeuristic news and "freedom of expression.'

CNN Reports