Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Seventh Sola on Sick Leave

Well, the annual bronchitis/pneumonia bug has struck hard at my household. My stepdad got it first, my mother caught it from him, and I caught it from both of them. We're all sicker than all-get-out. Needless to say, I'm not much in the frame of mind for writing and posting.

Therefore, I'll be taking a few days off to recuperate, Lord willing. Unless something really earth-shattering happens, I'll try and resume posting by Monday at the latest. Have a good "rest of the week," all, and stay well.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Whole Language? Nah!

This will seem like an unusual post in light of the past few weeks, but The Seventh Sola deals with all sorts of things.

My sister sent me the following as a joke. The idea is that if you can read the following, you're among a very special crew. Well, honestly, it's not that hard for me to make it out. Although it's supposed to be a joke, I can see the "whole language" crowd glomming on to this as some sort of vindication for their wacky ideas. As far as I am concerned, the "whole language" concept is merely an excuse for illiteracy. Here's the paragraph...how did you do?

Don't even think about using spell check!!!!!!!!


fi yuo cna raed tihs, yuo hvae a sgtrane mnid too. Cna yuo raed tihs? Olny
55 plepoe out of 100 can.

i cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde
Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the
olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be
in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it
whotuit a pboerlm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter
by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot
slpeling was ipmorantt!


Don't buy it, parents! Phonics all the way!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Without Natural Affection

By now, most of the country has heard about the case of 3-year-old Loic Rogers, found dead in a septic tank. The link below will take you to the story. It turns out that there is a divorce and custody dispute between the parents of the boy. I know what I am thinking, and I hope with all hope that it's not the case. But I suspect charges will be filed very soon in this matter.

The Bible talks frequently of the last days and what conditions will be like. One verse that always has stuck in my mind is 2 Timothy 3:3, which says people will be "without natural affection." That particular chapter is very instructive, and it has a whole lot more indictments to make that apply to this particular generation with a vengeance.

Pray for this family, and for all who have had their children taken from them. And parents..NEVER leave your children alone. Even for a moment. NEVER! To do so is to risk being yet another headline. I think most of us could do without that type of "fifteen minutes of fame."

AP Wire

Friday, January 26, 2007

Spade + Spade = Religious War

I am sure most of us have heard the expression "let's call a spade a spade." Let's do it now, shall we?

With the current war in Iraq, much verbosity is being expended at "civil war," "factionalism," etc. One would hope that common sense and reason would carry the day. Why must they be "Shiites?" Why must they be "Sunnis?" How about all of them being "Iraqis?" How about pulling together to salvage a country? Well, they can't. Their respective Islamic interpretations don't allow for such a thing. There is no such thing as patriotism in Iraq. I question whether there is such a thing in any Middle Eastern country. The type of patriotism I am talking of seems strictly American.

There is another side to this question. Our government loves to talk about "ideology." But they refuse to recognize that this particular war, as are most of them in that part of the world, is religious in nature. That is why it will take other measures to stop it.

A friend of mine co-led a tour to Israel a few years ago. He did an on-camera interview with an Israeli official, and made the point in the course of the interview that the struggle was with Islam. The Israeli official ordered the videotaping to stop. With the camera off, he told my friend the following.

"Since Israel's founding, we have called this an Arab-Israeli dispute. That limits things to the countries that surround us. If you make this an "Islamic" dispute, you have doubled if not tripled our enemies."

That ought to tell us something. No matter what...the World Trade Center (1993 and 2001), the Cole...Somalia..Madrid...Indonesia..Thailand..etc. The enemy is radical Islam. It's a religious war. And because it is religious, the war is driven by loyalties transcended by national flags and the usual constraints to which most of us here in the West hold. The only way to win this war is to recognize if for what it is, and press for total defeat of the enemy. Unconditional surrender. Our enemies already have that idea in mind. They want our unconditional surrender.

For all of our sakes, that had better not happen. We'd better begin fighting this war in earnest. Or else.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007



Are We In Crisis Mode Yet?

The following is a special commentary on the state of the church by Jill Martin Rische, daughter of the late apologist Dr. Walter R. Martin. Jill and her husband, Kevin, have been guests on my radio program several times. I am glad to see them both carrying the torch so faithfully carried by Jill's father until his untimely death in 1989.

Many Bible-believing, conservative evangelical scholars are deeply concerned about the state of American Christianity. I urge you to read Jill's column and consider it prayerfully.

Crisis in the American Church
By Jill Rische

What is happening to the leadership of the Church today? Why do so many seem to care more for popularity and publishing contracts than for the souls of men and women dying in their sins? Since when does preaching the gospel take a back seat to public image?
Mega-church pastors preach sermons casting Judas as a poor, misunderstood guy caught up in the politics of his time. Maybe he didn’t mean to betray Jesus—it was his destiny after all, so how can it be fair? Maybe God forgave him in the end. Other pastors spend Sunday mornings bottle-feeding their sheep before sending them out to the coffee shop in the lobby; still others talk about everything under the sun except what will happen to people who turn their backs on God. And then we have some front-line defenders of the faith—Christian apologists—worshipping with Mormons in their Tabernacle and making plans to celebrate Joseph Smith’s birthday. Bringing up the rear are the prosperity name it and claim it preachers who shout about faith, and then beg us for money. I ask you: where is their faith? Why do they ask me for money when they can ask God? And why do they visit doctors and schedule surgeries?
We are looking apostasy in the eye . . . it is coming.
The Church has bought into the “whatever works for you” philosophy that saturates our world. They simply refuse to offend anyone. Strobe lights and giant TV screens in the sanctuaries—coffee shops in the lobbies—where is the reverence for God? Where is the humility in His presence?
In July, 1961, Dr. Vernon Grounds wrote a short, but powerful article for my father's Religious Research Digest. In light of today's Christian leadership crisis and the "keep people comfortable" philosophy, the question remains relevant: Should we soft-sell the gospel to avoid offending people, or should we tell the truth in love—a truth inherently offensive? Do we call religions like Mormonism that pervert the Gospel of Jesus Christ "New Religious Movements" or do we call them cults? If people are going to Hell, is it our responsibility to tell them what will happen if they reject Christ?
Dr. Grounds had this to say on the subject 45 years ago:
Tact, graciousness, and courtesy are virtues which ought to mark the disciples of history's greatest Gentleman. But though in His gentleness, Jesus Christ never broke a bruised reed, He was by no means a “soft-sell” preacher. He spoke the truth in love, to be sure, yet His words were like sword thrusts and hammer blows. He did not lull the mul­titudes to sleep; He did everything, in Robert Louis Stevenson's phrase, "to stab them wide awake."
Very different is the ministry of some twentieth-cen­tury pulpiteers whose sermons are as hard-hitting as milk­weed down. The Carpenter, who could drive home truth with staccato power, would pour holy scorn on our modern vendors of "sweetness and light." Indeed, today our Lord might be held up as a red-light example of tactless, negative preaching. Nevertheless, such preaching is precisely the salt needed by the insipid stew of our secular culture.
Hence, the faithful minister of the Gospel whose preach­ing is as sharp and direct as an arrow hitting the mark some­times seem to be tactless and negative. Like a surgeon he must cut in order to heal. He must unmask lies, even pious lies, which keep souls from salvation. He must pulverize illusions so that life can be rebuilt upon the solid foundation of reality.
Plainly, therefore, we must stress more than the pas­toral ministry of comfort and love. We must stress the prophetic ministry of criticism and judgment.

Where are the voices of truth today? Where are the soldiers of the cross? Living in times like this, I miss my father more than ever. Walter Martin pulverized illusions. He used sword thrusts and hammer blows. Culturally, he was a tough New Yorker raised by my grandfather—a tough New York judge—but he tried to balance his in-your-face attitude with love. He passionately loved people; he loved them enough to tell them the truth.
In a world of people pleasers, the children of God must be heard. We are the light of the world and salt in the open wounds caused by false doctrine.
And in the end, Jesus prefers salt to sugar.


Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com

Tuesday, January 23, 2007



Hillary-Care and the Governator

Today, I am happy to post below a link to an article written recently by Dr. Ron Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, California. Ron and noted apologist Dr. James White will be guests on a couple of radio programs I am co-hosting this evening, albeit on different subjects.

In his article, Dr. Gleason notes the oddity of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger hawking socialist health care, and nails the "Governator" to the wall on the subject. Ah-nold's stance isn't all that surprising to me. Being married to someone out of the Kennedy clan must have SOME influence on the fellow after all. But Arnold is also an immigrant from Europe, where cradle-to-the-grave socialism is the norm. No matter that it doesn't work and never will work, these types know nothing else and seem permanently enamored of the idea.

If you want to have fun, watch Prime Minister's Questions on C-Span some Sunday night. Apart from the hilarity of their very loud, heckling debates, you will also hear great examples of what's wrong with socialized medicine. Which leads me to the question..why do American politicians want so desperately to begin it here?

Would be president Hillary Billary Rodham Clinton tried to ram it down America's throat during her beloved hubby's first term. She failed, thank the Lord. But now that she is finally admitting her lust for Pennsylvania Avenue, she's resurrecting the idea. Make no mistake - she is bound and determined to control your life no matter what you think, because you are part of the great unwashed and just don't know any better. You need her and fellow liberals to run your life for you. (snort)

That, in truth, is really what is ultimately going on. Power and control. These people aren't at all interested in better health care for the masses. They want control. They want to reshape our country into their own Utopian vision. And they might just get away with it this time, unless enough people wake up and stop them dead in their tracks.

After you check out Dr. Gleason's column, do some more research on just how "wonderful" socialized medicine really is. Go visit Eastern Europe and Russia where the socialist/communist ideal was pursued with a vengeance. Go and see how third-world things really are there. Then ask yourself if that is really what you want here in the good old USA.

I don't. Not now, not ever.

Dr. Ron Gleason

Monday, January 22, 2007

Is Sundance Really Something to Celebrate?

I have often asked the question through the years as to why liberals - when they must find something to defend - usually defend the indefensible. They almost always seem to land on the wrong side of the moral dilemma.

Well, get a load of this. Recently, actor Robert Redford made the news with his criticisms of the Bush Administration. His comments came while gearing up for this year's Sundance Film Festival. Fox News had a nice little piece on the other day where they made it pretty clear that your film wouldn't get much notice at Sundance unless it reflected a proper liberal point of view. So much for freedom of expression.

It was bad enough that we have to have the Dakota Fanning controversy about child sex and rape on film. Now, as you will see when you click the link below, now Sundance wants to celebrate bestiality. I kid you not. Now, before I get screamed at, yes..I know that not all liberals advocate such things. That being said, I wish I'd see those who do NOT advocate this kind of garbage be quite a bit louder in their censure. Think it'll happen?

The folks at Sundance ought to be ashamed of themselves for even giving this kind of tripe publicity. If this is what it means to be liberal minded, no thanks. I never did cotton to swimming in a cesspool.

Sun Sentinel

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A Tale of Four Sons (Edited and Added)

Before church this morning, TCM had a movie on called "Four Sons" starring Don Ameche. It was the tale about how a family - and a nation - was split apart by the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia. Of course, the Czechs ceded the Sudetenland to the Germans without firing a shot. The ethnic German family in the story was torn apart..one son joined the Nazis while another remained faithful.

Since the initial post this morning, I can now complete what I wanted to say now that I have time. There are so many lessons in that 1940 film that I believe could and should apply to our time today. This film powerfully depicted how a once loving family could be torn apart by differences over political beliefs (and need I add theology). In fact, it reminded me strongly of another film from that era called "The Mortal Storm" starring Robert Young (Father Knows Best and Marcus Welby M.D.) and Jimmy Stewart. How many families in Germany and the nations later conquered were torn apart by events? Only eternity will reveal.

Students of history have long analyzed the events that led up to the global conflagration in World War II. After the first world war, weakness set in like gangrene in a plethora of ways. Weakness in a country's political leadership. Weakness in a country's populace who would surrender rather than fight for their freedom. Rather than bringing peace, surrender and submission only invited more bloodshed down the road. We saw how it was possible to take over entire nations without a shot being fired. All with a veneer of legality.

From what angle should we look at the underlying questions? The war with radical Islam? Their ideology doesn't use the swastika, but their lust for global domination is the same as the Nazis, as well as their lust for blood. And the world seemingly shies away from confrontation with these wild-eyed, frothing zealots. Some cartoons get published offensive to Islam, and they riot in the streets demanding apologies. They burn buildings down, firebomb cars, hijack airplanes, blow up pizza parlors, and care not at all if there are women, children, or other innocents around. They worship death.

The pope merely quotes an historical figure and his attitude toward Islam as part of a larger call for dialogue and peace. No matter. The Islamic street erupts in rage. Ironically, it escaped their notice that by pulling the violence trigger in protest, they only proved the view held in the quote, as well as the view many have - that the Islamic religion cheers and advocates violence. I watched several interviews on television after these incidents, and noted with interest that attempts to reason with Islamic apologists fell flat. But there's a reason for that. These radicals do not define "peace" the same way we do. There are a whole lot of words that mean one thing to us, and quite another thing to the jihadist.

Case in point - remember the late Yasser Arafat. He was notorious for making poignant calls for peace in English, and then when he was before an Arabic audience, calling for jihad. He even told his radical audiences that when he called for peace with Israel and the West, he meant the "peace of the Quraysh." Don't know what that means? You'll have to look into Islamic history to understand that one. In essence, it means sue for peace and bide your time until you are strong enough to rise up and vanquish your enemy. It's only a charade. But the American/Western media was either too stupid or too cowardly to pick up on Arafat's hypocrisy. I'll leave it to you to question whether there were even worse motives.

Contrast this with how radical Muslims can insult Christians with impunity and nothing is said other than mild protest. Part of Islamic theology is that "God has no son." One can say that to a Christian, and the Christian (provided he/she is bold and obeys the Lord in "earnestly contending for the faith once and for all delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3), will politely disagree and strongly refute him, and that is all. However, if the Christian were to say to one of these radical Muslim crazies that Muhammad is not God's prophet, they will try to kill the Christian or at least beat him senseless. Remember when Arafat's thugs took over the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem? They not only took it over, but desecrated the interior. Imagine what would have happened if Israelis or American G.I.s had desecrated a mosque.

What's the plain truth? What should be done? Keep in mind, I am talking about a STATE response to the terrorists. As individual Christians, we should obey the Lord and share the Gospel at every opportunity with Muslims, praying that the Lord will change their hearts and draw them to Himself in saving faith. However, from a governmental perspective, it must recognized that there is no negotiation possible with the radicals. They must be resisted and defeated - and the price they pay for their aggression must be high enough to deter future aggression.

Those who are in charge of our defense as a nation MUST understand the nature of the enemy we are facing and what drives them. Our governments (as well as our people) must understand that this isn't just going to go away like a spring thunderstorm. These people will wait days, months, years or even decades to hatch their vengeful plots. They must be watched constantly and slapped down hard at even a hint of aggression. Just as Germany went through de-Nazification..so the radical elements must be purged out of the nations where they are. Moderate Muslim governments need to prove their moderation by cracking down hard on the radicals in their midst. They need to purge this hateful ideology from the schools and mosques. What of the noble Western idea of freedom of religion? Well, that ends when you want to take everyone else's freedom away. I have no intention of being "dhimmi" class in America. I hope you don't either.

In the case of rogue nations whose governments are made up of the radical elements, there will be no option other than containment in the short term. In the long term, we could well be talking about regime change.

The final fly in the ointment of all this is, of course, the attitude of other nations who hate America and the West. It was said once that nations have no allies, only interests. That is often very true and it's sad. It would be nice to count on the support of other countries in the face of this conflict, but the national interest of other nations will not always match ours. Some nations in fact even take great joy in causing us trouble. America could well be fighting totally alone in a sea of hate.

You might be tempted to ask the question, "Where is your theology in all of this? As an evangelical who holds to premillennial theology, doesn't that bear anything in your thinking?" Well, of course it does. However, I have purposefully not brought my theology into this yet. I have analyzed this strictly in secular terms. Here is the struggle I have often had in pondering difficult issues such as this.

I totally believe that the world is progressing according to God's timetable. I believe that there will be a rapture of the church, an end-time effort at a global or regional government headed by an Antichrist, and that the huge battles described in Scripture will take place. As things happen around me, what is the proper stance and role that I should take as a Christian? Of course, I am told in Scripture to "look up, for my redemption draws nigh." But I am also yet in the world and am a citizen of the United States. As long as I am on this earth, my primary purpose must be to glorify God through His enabling, and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as He provides the opportunity. I am to stand up for truth and to do what is right, governed by His Word. No matter what happens. I do not have all of the particulars of that worked out, as I don't know precisely what will happen in my neck of the woods. If the last seven years of world history as we know it will be the worst ones ever, who is to say the seven years prior to that won't be the worst up to that time? Here in America, we have never really known persecution or battles on our own soil past the Civil War. The terrorist attack on September 11th was a wake-up call, but it looks like lots of people have rolled over and gone back to sleep. They seem to think that if we take our toys and go home, that the rest of the world will leave us alone. I don't think so.

Ever wonder why the United States seems to be left out of many end-time scenarios? The United States doesn't seem to be much of a factor in biblical prophecy. Could it be that the United States as an entity won't be around any more? I don't know.

What about the division of families? While I personally know of no families within my acquaintance driven apart in the SAME fashion over ideology as depicted in the films, I have no doubt that it has happened as one individual in a family embraces a hateful ideology and it splits the family. I suppose the Cindy Sheehan situation could come close as the bulk of her family does not appear to embrace her radical anti-Bush/anti-war activism. As Christians become less and less liked in our culture, I can well see families suffering conflict in future as non-Christian family members pressure believing members into being less vocal about their faith, or pressuring them to abandon it altogether. That would certainly not be a new development, but it will get worse.

However all of this pans out, I do know this. As individual Christians and as the church corporate, we'd best stop playing games and get serious about our faith. Serious about our walk with Christ. If we are placing our trust in anything other than Him, we are in for a rude awakening when that rug gets yanked out from underneath us.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Dakota Fanning Controversy

The link below will take you to Kingdom Advancer's blog. I highly recommend reading his commentary on the Dakota Fanning controversy. I couldn't have said it any better.

For those who are unaware, Dakota Fanning is a highly acclaimed young actress - age 12. An upcoming movie of hers features some rather "in your face" sexual situations including a rape and mutual "pleasuring." There are many of us who have raised concerns over the years about the increasing sexualization of young people by filmmakers and ad pitch men. This film is just another step in a very bad direction.

As an aside, why is it that liberals never seem to be vocal about defending virtue? Why can't they defend celebacy, purity, innocence, morality and the like. Whenever they raise a squeal to defend something these days, it's usually the indefensible. All in the name of "art", "freedom of expression" or "free speech." Unless you're conservative, then they want to censor you.

Anyway, kudos to Kingdom Advancer for nailing it spot on.

Kingdom Advancer

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Out of the Emergent Church - A Personal Testimony

The Emergent Church controversy continues to rage within evangelicalism. The Seventh Sola and other blogs have dealt with this serious error in theology, as have numerous Bible scholars and theologians. However, the item below is worth perusing as it is a personal testimony from someone who had been involved in the movement that doesn't like being called a movement. Read, ponder and pray.

Original Link to Article:

Chr. Worldview Network


My Journey Into and Out of the Emergent Church
By Jason Carlson

The growing influence of the so-called emergent church movement has generated much interest and debate in recent times. As a columnist for the Christian Worldview Network, people often ask me for my take on the emergent church movement. Thus, the purpose of this article is simply to offer my humble perspective on the emergent church movement, based upon my unique firsthand interactions with many of its leaders, many of whom I count as friends in-spite of my disagreements with them.

My initial entrance into the emergent church conversation came about six years ago while I was a student in seminary. One of the key figures in Emergent, the official title of the organization that is the primary voice for the emergent church movement, Doug Pagitt (Pastor of Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis), is a close friend of mine. Doug had a profound influence on my life during his time as my youth pastor when I was in high school. Between my years in youth group and my entrance into seminary, Doug became intimately involved with many of the key movers and shakers who would eventually form the organization, or “generative friendship” as they call it, which is now Emergent. During these formative years of Emergent, actually back then it was called The Terra Nova Project, Doug invited me to many of the early gatherings of this group, it was at these events where I was introduced to and spent much time with people like Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, Pagitt and others.

During my interactions with my friends from Emergent, I was challenged both intellectually and spiritually through what I encountered, and I was really forced to wrestle with what I believe and hold dear. Over the course of about three years of fairly regular interaction with members of Emergent and participation in many of their gatherings and events, I became increasingly concerned over what I believe are serious deviations from biblical truth taking place within the Emergent “conversation” (how they refer to the movement). Many other commentators have drawn attention to these dangers within Emergent, but here are some of the key errors that I observed, errors that eventually led to my disengagement with the movement:

- A highly ambiguous handling of truth.
- A desire to be so inclusive and tolerant that there is virtually no sense of biblical discernment in terms of recognizing and labeling false beliefs, practices, or lifestyles.
- A quasi-universalistic view of salvation.
- A lack of a proper appreciation for biblical authority over and against personal experience or revelation.
- Openness to pagan religious practices like Hindu Yoga and incorporating them into the Christian life and Christian worship.
- Openly questioning the relevance of key historical biblical doctrines such as the Trinity.
- An uncritically open embrace of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.
- An unbridled cynicism towards conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism.
- A reading of scripture that is heavily prejudiced towards a social gospel understanding.
- Little or no talk of evangelism or saving lost souls.
- A salvation by osmosis mentality, where if you hangout with us long enough you’re in.
- And many other things that I won’t get into…

Needless to say, today I no longer actively participate in the Emergent conversation. While I do maintain my friendships with many people involved in Emergent, I cannot openly participate in or support this movement due to my spirit’s uneasiness with the errors I listed above. I am not ashamed to call the people I mentioned above my friends, but friends don’t always have to agree; and sometimes the best thing a friend can do is to point out the error in the other’s ways. So, for now you could call me a friendly critic of Emergent.

How did I make it out of my time in Emergent to return to a solid Christian worldview? I owe it all to my parents who raised me with a deep appreciation and respect for God’s word and the truth it reveals. For as far back as I can remember, my parent’s trained me in a biblical Christian worldview. I was taught from a very young age to test all things by God’s word and I was regularly exposed to the writings and teachings of great Christian apologists and theologians like Josh McDowell, Norman Geisler, Ken Ham, and Walter Martin. Through reading solid Christian scholars and attending numerous high quality Christian worldview-training conferences, like Worldview Weekend, I was equipped with the tools I would need later in life to discern truth from error.

Parents, you cannot take lightly the influence that a godly, biblically based upbringing can have on your children! Each generation will be faced with their share of trials, tribulations, and errors which threaten the integrity of the church, but when our young people are raised up with a firm foundation in God’s truth, they will be able to discern truth from error and will have the tools they’ll need to overcome any challenge to their faith.

If you would like more information on Emergent and the emergent church movement from a solid biblical perspective, I would highly recommend D.A. Carson’s excellent book, Becoming Conversant with the Emergent Church.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Supremes Punt On Eminent Domain Abuse

It looks like the Supreme Court wants to hold on to "stare decisis" no matter how egregious their previous error. In this case (no pun intended) I am talking about the court's refusal yesterday to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling upholding a municipality taking private land and giving it to other private developers for economic gain. Legal stealing is what I call it. This is the fruit of the so-called "Kelo" decision pushing the government's eminent domain authority to an historic, riduculous and unjust level. This is Chuck Missler's take on the news:

EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PRIVATE GAIN

On Tuesday the Supreme Court refused to consider a much-anticipated case that observers hoped would clarify the court's opinion on issues of eminent domain. In the case of Didden v. Port Chester, city officials in Port Chester, New York seized private property and turned it over to a developer. Due to the circumstances of the case, some consider it to be one of the worst examples of eminent domain abuse in recent years. In June of 2005 the Supreme Court shocked and frightened land owners across America by ruling that private property can be seized by the government and sold to private developers in order to generate tax revenue and spur economic growth. That case, Kelo v. City of New London, opened the floodgates for local governments to use eminent domain for private gain.

In Kelo v. City of New London the Supreme Court changed its interpretation of the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation. Historically, the government’s right of eminent domain has been invoked when land is needed for a distinct public purpose – such as a highway, school, hospital or military base. The words "for public use" and "without just compensation" in the Fifth Amendment were meant to provide safeguards against excessive, unpredictable, or unfair use of the government's eminent domain power. As a result of the court’s decision in the case of Kelo v.City of New London, however, cities now have wide power to bulldoze residences for projects such as shopping malls and hotel complexes in order to generate tax revenue. The Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified such redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Facing high unemployment and general deterioration, the city of New London, Connecticut sought to find ways to improve its economy. In 2000, the city approved a development plan that would put in office buildings, a waterfront hotel, and a health club down by the water. When they approved the plan, however, the city gave the developers power to condemn houses whose owners remained unwilling to sell. The city argued that it would be for public good to develop the city and encourage tourism and create jobs, and for that reason, those homes could be seized - and the Supreme Court agreed.

In her dissent, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor criticized the court's decision to expand eminent domain to include such development. She wrote that, "under the banner of economic development, all private property is now vulnerable to being taken and transferred to another private owner, so long as it might be upgraded." That, she notes, could include just about anything.

It is important to note that the Bible clearly establishes the importance of private property. In fact, God instituted the concept of private property in the Ten Commandments. Are we not told “Thou shalt not steal?” Also, in several of Jesus’ parables he indicated his respect for personal property and private gain. Likewise, there is nothing in the epistles that contradicts the right of private ownership and profit.

A free society depends on voluntary compliance with law. Christians comply because they believe in a God who watches our every move and holds us accountable, even when government does not. Those without belief in God and absolute truth have no motivation whatsoever to comply voluntarily and so an ever-increasing corpus of law must be imposed by the government to achieve order. In doing so, the government separates itself from morality and oftentimes can become the chief lawbreaker. The Supreme Court giving local governments the green light to confiscate private property in the name of redevelopment is evidence of this trend.


_______ _______ _______

The only way this will ever be reversed is if enough people get mad and begin exacting a personal price from politicians and judges who engage in this type of chicanery. Throw the bums out, to put it mildly. The economic well being of the greedy developers ought to be targeted as well. If we lose the right to private property and being able to protect it from unlawful seizure, we are on the way to becoming another Soviet Union.

I use the term unlawful seizure purposefully. Just because the Supreme Court says something is constitutional doesn't mean that it really is. They have proven their ability to twist and distort the historic meaning of the document. A postmodern court if you will. A return to strict constructionism is a must and that can only be accomplished by gaining control of both the legislative and executive branches. The legislative must be willing to impeach and remove judges who abuse their power, and reverse fat-headed rulings of the court by legislation. Under the constitution, the Congress has the power to restrict the courts' jurisdiction. None of this will be easy, because our society will need to be rebuilt from the ground up. A whole new generation needs to be re-educated. The left has had a stranglehold on education, the media, and a host of other cultural influencers. The leftist idea of government is that government is God, and people ought to be like good sheep or "proles," as Orwell put it. You won't be successful at the governmental level until you are successful in turning the local level around and begin putting traditionalists in power in ALL branches of government.

We'd better start soon, or we might well discover that America has become the People's Republic of Westernia.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007



National Geographic and Abortion

If you have time, check out National Geographic's televised series "In the Womb." Today's "Drudge Report" had a photo taken from this series showing human triplets in the womb and their interaction with each other.

I have seen clips from this same series showing elephants and other animals, but it's the human pictures that are the most intriguing to me. Especially because it raises a very important question.

As medical science advances, the evidence is all the more in-your-face that abortion is taking an innocent human life..as innocent as human beings can possibly be in this world. This series shows the babies' facial expressions, eyes opening and shutting, multiple babies reacting to one another in the womb including touching and gripping one another. They don't look much like "clumps of tissue" in these wonderful photos.

Anyone think this vivid, stunning series will change anyone's mind on abortion? Of course, to the rabid left, abortion is a sacrement much like communion is to a Christian. However, one would hope the conscience is not completely seared. If this doesn't make any impression, then nothing will outside of a divine miracle on the heart.

By the way, the photo above has nothing to do with abortion. I just wish I was in the Ozarks resting..and that's as close as I can get right now.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Stunning Statement -Animal Euthanasia

While researching a subject recently, I came upon the following statement in Wikipedia's article on animal euthanasia. The entire article is linked below, but for now, read this excerpt:

Euthanasia is typically performed in a veterinary clinic or hospital, or in an animal shelter, and is usually carried out by a veterinarian, or a veterinary technician working under the vet's supervision. Note that euthanasia is performed at the discretion of the attending veterinarian, who may refuse an animal owner's request to euthanize if he or she feels it is not medically or ethically necessary (so-called "convenience" euthanasia).

Note especially the words in bold. "Not medically or ethically necessary." Isn't it interesting that a veterinarian can refuse to act in a case like this when it's an animal being put down. I am glad that they have these scruples, even if it's an animal.

However, contrast this with the radical abortion-rights movement, where it is thought that you ought to be able to kill an unborn child for any reason even until right before birth. They fight any attempts to outlaw the partial birth abortion technique, something that is NEVER medically necessary. The abortionist waits until the baby has nearly passed through the birth canal. Then, a pair of scissors is plunged into the child's skull. The brain is vacuumed out. Next, the child's skull is crushed like one would crush a pecan in a nutcracker. But it's just a clump of tissue and not a child. Right.

Now certainly, there are doctors who refuse to perform abortions for moral reasons. Here in Illinois, our pro-abortion Democratic governor is pushing to make it illegal for pharmacists to refuse dispensation of RU-486 or other abortifascents on moral grounds. Suppose the state eventually makes it illegal for a doctor to refuse to perform an abortion. What then?

We've come to a sad day in America where animals are placed on a higher level than human life. Some will go to any lengths to defend so-called animal rights and push people to go vegan, but defend legal abortion tooth and nail. Go figure.

Maybe someday they'll decide to make a small effort to make up for the loss of the children by utilizing their remains in some beneficial way to society. Hmm. Perhaps they could take the skins of babies aborted late-term and make lampshades out of them. I'm sure the Nazis left behind some instruction manuals on how to do it. Think of what a conversation piece this could make in the art-deco apartments of the hoity-toities in Greenwich Village or Manhattan.

A sickening idea? You bet it is. But it wouldn't surprise me at all given the current seared-conscience state of our culture. Give them time.

Wikipedia

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A Pastor's View of Roman Catholicism

The following article is used by permission of the author. I am posting it because I see an increasing "come home to Rome" mentality among some evangelicals. The fondness of the Emergent Church for ancient monastic practices in pursuit of "mystery" is also troublesome. I am posting the column unedited. I would only add that, in my view, Rome's position on soteriology (how we are saved) and justification are even greater errors than ecclesiology (doctrine of the church).

-0-

Nature of the Roman Catholic Church
As They Perceive It


By Larry E. Miller
Larry Miller has ministered in South Louisiana for over 35 years,
30 years as Pastor of Berean Bible Church in New Orleans.
He is currently Director of Equippers Ministry International,
Baton Rouge, LA

Perhaps you have noticed some “changes” in the Roman Catholic Church. Since Vatican II (1962-65) you may have noticed that most Roman Catholics feel free to eat meat on Friday, their mass is usually not conducted in Latin, it is no longer a mortal sin to attend a Protestant Church and other “surprises.” You may have experienced conversation with a Roman Catholic neighbor or friend and found yourself surprised at similarity in language and understanding.

You may have also noted more “agreements” with them, particularly as we engage in the culture wars in the United States. Roman Catholics and evangelicals are often “lumped together” by the mainstream media as dangerous. This is often because we do agree on many moral issues such as abortion, capital punishment, traditional view of family and marriage, and homosexuality. Timothy George called this an “ecumenism of the trenches.”

But also as you observe, perhaps by attending a Roman Catholic funeral or wedding, there are apparent “differences”—they often bow before a statue of Mary during the wedding ceremony, they plead for God’s mercy on the deceased at a funeral, or they may exhort the faithful to pray for the deceased so as to reduce time in purgatory.

As you observe the American, and even perhaps the worldwide, scene, you may wonder what the deeper levels of theological agreement and disagreement may be. Are most Roman Catholics my “brothers and sisters in Christ?” Do they really believe in salvation by faith alone or faith plus works? Have they changed their view of papal infallibility? Surely they do not really believe the wafer becomes the body of Christ and the wine the real blood of Christ, do they? Do they really believe the Roman Catholic Church is the only way of salvation? Are the differences in their church and my church or the evangelical church down the street mere window dressing or different ways of expressing our common Christian faith? Or are the differences rooted in core, substantive, real differences on foundational issues such as authority, the nature of the church, the means of salvation and the nature of the Cross work of Christ?

In the book Is the Reformation Over? Mark Noll and Carol Nystrom review eight different post Vatican II dialogues between Protestant groups and the Roman Catholic Church. They concluded that after these dialogues spanning over thirty years “The most serious differences were rooted in ecclesiology, contrasting versions of what the church is and how it functions.”2 In my review of this book (see article in the July/August 2006 issue of Voice) I included a number of grave concerns about the implications and directions of the book. However, I agree with the authors that the Roman Catholic Church is different from what most evangelicals understand the biblical meaning of church and this ecclesiastical difference is at the core of what separates Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In this brief article some of the most important characteristics of the Roman Catholic Church, as they describe them, are included. Council of Trent, Vatican II and post Vatican II sources are used.3 The Roman Catholic Church is not monolithic in that all the people, not even all the priests, agree completely regarding some of the following areas. I present the official dogma of the hierarchical church and, based on my studies and years of ministry experience in a predominant Roman Catholic culture, it is this hierarchical official dogma that most impacts and influences the life of Catholic lay people at the parish level.

Authority in the Roman Catholic Church

Their perceived authority rests on three pillars. First is their view of apostolic succession. The official Roman Catholic dogma declares emphatically that the apostolic authority to govern the church belongs to the Pope and bishops.

That divine mission, entrusted by Christ to the apostles, will last until the end of the world (Mt. 28:20), since the gospel which was to be handed down by them is for all time the source of life for the Church. For this reason the apostles took care to appoint successors in this hierarchically structured society . . . . Therefore, this sacred synod (Vatican II) teaches that by divine institution bishops have succeeded to the place of the apostles as shepherds of the Church, and that he who hears them, hears Christ.4

Though there has been effort in Vatican I and Vatican II, as well during dialogue with various Protestant groups, to clarify or “tone down” papal infallibility or supremacy, the view of the Church is clear.

Just as, by the Lord’s will, St. Peter and the other apostles constituted one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter, and the bishops as the successors of the apostles are joined together . . . . For in virtue of his office, that is, as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme, and universal power over the Church. And he can exercise this power freely.5

According to this understanding, “the power of binding and loosing,” which was given to Peter (Mt. 16:19), was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head (Mt. 18:18; 28:16-20).6 Do you want forgiveness? Go to the Roman Church. Do you want truth? Go to the Roman bishops or Pope.

If one wants to look for the “real power” of the Roman Catholic Church it may be found in the concept of apostolic succession. It gives the Pope and bishops ultimate and almost total authority within the Church in all matters.

The second pillar of their authority is their view of Scripture and Tradition. The definitive text, approved by a near unanimous vote, became the “Dogmatic Constitution in Divine Revelation” in the Vatican II documents. It states,

Consequently it is not from Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about everything which has been revealed. Therefore, both sacred tradition and sacred scripture are to be accepted and venerated with the same sense of devotion and reverence . . . . Sacred tradition and sacred scripture form one sacred deposit of the word of God, which is committed to the Church.7

So to this day the official Roman Catholic position is that Tradition is authoritative alongside, if not above, Scripture. As an example,

. . . when the dogma of Mary’s assumption was declared in 1950, the absence of any reference to it in scripture was acknowledged. But, it was added, “. . . we know Mary’s ascension into heaven through tradition.”8

The third pillar of their authority rests in the arena of hermeneutics. The official position of the Roman Catholic Church is that its “approved” teachers are those with the ultimate authority in interpreting the Scriptures. “The task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church.”9 The teaching office is the magisterium which includes “all who proclaim the word with authority in the Church. It generally refers to the Pope and the bishops.”10

So whatever the official Church says the Scripture means is what it is supposed to mean to the Catholic lay person. If the people accept this aspect of dogma, it provides the Roman Catholic Church overwhelming control of the people. And many of them do. As an example, my wife was dialoguing with a Roman Catholic acquaintance. She asked him if he read the Bible and it seemed to say something different than his priest, which would he believe. He quickly responded, “my priest.” She then asked, “What if he is wrong and it is an issue of salvation.” His response was “well, in that case he would go to hell and not me.”

Role of the Church in Salvation

Two issues should be sufficient to illustrate the strategic and life destiny determining difference in their understanding of the Roman Catholic Church and what we as conservative evangelicals might understand the Bible to teach.

The first is the sacrament of baptism. Baptism by water into the Catholic Church, normally by a bishop or a priest,11 makes one a Christian.12 It removes original sin13 and starts one on the way toward heaven. So fundamentally one can become a Christian only through water baptism by an ordained Catholic priest or of necessity some one else.

This is why in the pre-Vatican II days Protestants were considered condemned and headed to hell.14 In the post-Vatican II era we are considered “separated brethren,”15 and perhaps may get to heaven through some sort of “baptism by desire.”16 This remains a bit mysterious to me.

However, according to their core thinking this salvation comes only through the Roman Catholic Church and initially only through water baptism.

The second is the overall sacramental nature of the Church. The Catholic Church is a sacramental church. They observe seven of them—baptism, confirmation, the Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony.17 A quick look at the Eucharist will be sufficient to give us a “flavor” of their view of the church and sacraments.

Normally only Roman Catholic priests ordained by the authority of the Pope are permitted to conduct the sacrament of the Eucharist.18 The priest can pronounce the words that call God into action and He (God) converts the bread to the body and the wine to the blood of Christ.19 As this, and other sacraments are experienced, grace and righteousness flow into the soul of the recipient, independent of their level of faith. Speaking of the sacraments in general we note the following statements from Catechism of the Catholic Church, “This is the meaning of the Church’s affirmation that the sacraments act ex opera operato (literally: ‘by the very fact of the actions being performed’), i.e., by the virtue of the saving work of Christ, . . . It follows that the ‘sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God.’ . . . The Church affirms that for believers the sacraments of the New Covenant are necessary for salvation.”20

Christ and the Church Are One

Repeatedly those who study the similarities and differences between Protestanism and the Roman Catholic Church conclude that the most basic difference is in the way each looks at the church. The Roman Catholic system sees everything through the lens of the Church. One will find language in their 1994 Catechism about the nature of the Church with which we would agree. However, their views of ecclesiology take them far beyond what most evangelicals would understand from biblical teaching.

The following material is taken from Is The Reformation Over? by Noll and Nystrom as they review The Catholic Catechism. From this author’s viewpoint, it provides a good summary of the implications of this extreme view of Christ and the Church as one.

This basic confession (“Christ and his church are one”) explains why Catholics can offer salvation through baptism into the church. It is why the pope (as the vicar of Christ) can speak without error in matters of faith and morals. It is why Ignatius, who died in 110, could say that only priests in connection to a bishop, in connection with the pope (as Roman Catholics would understand in their reconstructed history), can offer valid sacraments. It is why Protestants may not share a Catholic Eucharist. To do so would acknowledge the authority of the pope as representing Christ through his church. It is why a church marriage is unbreakable. It is why Cyprian, who died in 258, could say “No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother.” It is why Mary is called the Mother of the church; she is the mother of Christ. It is why the church can interpret the keys given to Peter as authority to forgive sins. It is why the church is self-correcting (the whole body cannot error in matters of belief). It is why the word of the church is higher than individual conscience and reason. [A friend recently related this story to me. He asked a friend of his if he was looking at the green grass in front of his Catholic Church and the priest told him the grass was blue, what color would the grass be. The friend replied, “the grass would be blue.”] . . . . It is why Catholics view the Protestant Reformation as such a drastic mistake—a splintering of the church is an attack on Christ himself.

If Christ and his church are one, then a great deal of Catholic doctrine simply follows naturally. In a word, ecclesiology represents the typical difference between evangelicals and Catholics.21

And I would add that for the Catholic Church it appears that ecclesiology replaces biblical soteriology.

Furthermore, for those of us who take the Bible as our final authority, it is valid to ask the same question that Michael Horton asked, “Is the Catholic Church an acceptable Christian communion? Is it authentically Christian?”22

FOOTNOTES

Timothy George, “Catholics and Evangelicals in the Trenches,” Christianity Today, May 16, 1994, 16.
2 Mark Noll and Carol Nystrom, Is The Reformation Over?, 2005, 113.
3Using the Walter Abbott and Joseph Gallagher English translations of the Vatican II documents, The Documents of Vatican II, 1966 and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Liguori MO: Liguori Publications, 1994.
4Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, 39-40.
5Ibid., 42-43.
6Ibid., 43.
7Ibid., 117. Also, the 1994 The Catechism of The Catholic Church, 26, indicates this is the ongoing Roman Catholic Church position..
8G.C. Berkouwer, The Second Council and the New Catholicism , 1954, 108.
9Abbott, The Documents of Vatican II, 118.
10Ibid.
11The Documents of Vatican II, 146, 149, 152. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, page 317, par. 1120 and 352, par. 1256.
12The Catechism, 342, par. 1213, 1215; 346, par. 1227; 350, par. 1250; 352, par. 1257; 354, par. 1266, 1267.
13Ibid. 114, par. 405; 350, par. 1250; 353, par. 1263.
14 Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent, trans. H. J. Schroeder, 1941, 197-98. Note canon 24. “If anyone shall say that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works, but that those works are merely the fruits and signs of justification obtained, but no cause of its increase—anathema sit. (197-98) It is impossible to miss the intent and mood of this statement and others. And the fathers of the Council knew full well what they were doing. “On June 21 Marcello Cervine (afterwards Pope Marcellus II) reminded them that no preceding council had dealt fully with this doctrine and that Luther’s doctrine of justification by faith only was at the root of most of his errors on the sacraments, the power of the keys, indulgences and purgatory. . . , when in October a vote was taken on the question whether justification is inherent or imputed, the latter was rejected by a vote of 32 to 5. In other words, the Council opted for a transformationist view of justification. (204-05)
15 The Documents of Vatican II, 342. John H. Armstrong, “The Evangelical Moment?” in Roman Catholicism: Evangelical Protestants Analyze What Divides Us and Unites Us, ed. John H. Armstrong, 1994, 302.
16The Catechism, 353, par. 1260.
17Ibid., 341, par. 1210.
18The Documents, 146, 149, 152. The Catechism, 317, par. 1120; 352, par. 1256.
19The Catechism, 394, par. 1411; 384, par. 1375.
20Ibid., 319, par. 1128, 1129.
21Noll and Nystrom, 146-47.
22Michael Horton in Christianity Today, July 18, 1944, in article entitled, “Resolutions for Roman Catholic and Evangelical Dialogue”

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Dialectic and Insensitive Christianity

In his column today, commentator and apologist Paul Proctor cites a rather curious question printed in a Christian publication. The entire commentary is linked below, but here's an excerpt:

Christian Post reporter, Lillian Kwon, poses a dialectic question for our consideration in her January 4th article, "Is Christianity Insensitive to Other Religions?"

Now I ask you - Does the question sound like something that advances a biblical principle or a U.N initiative? Unfortunately, this is the direction of the dialectic church and many of its missionaries today - steering Christians and their proselytes toward that one-world religion of tolerance, diversity and unity you've read so much about in this column.

A dialectic question, usually offered by change agents and facilitators in a group setting, is designed to present a false and distracting premise in order to encourage dialog between opposing positions with a predetermined outcome in mind - which, more often than not, involves the compromise of absolutes and the advancing of an alternative agenda. Whether or not Christianity is insensitive to other religions is beside the point - and frankly, it is an absurd and dangerously deceitful question that puts the bold and courageous presentation of the Gospel under a dark cloud of doubt - suggesting Christians should be more broadminded and less critical of that which contradicts the Word of God.


I want you to focus long and hard on the dialectic and its purpose. This process has infiltrated much of life in America including governments, churches, schools, public bodies etc. The purpose is to effect change. While the process in and of itself is not ALWAYS a bad one depending on the purpose, by and large it ought to be held suspect and at arms length. It's history of use by communist or ultra-left change agents certainly ought to give people pause.

God's Word and God's Word alone should govern how the church and invididual believers operate. Our lives, habits and ministries must be governed by Scripture enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Engels, Marx and "facilitators" have no business in the life of the church and in the proclamation of the Gospel. And in terms of proclaiming the Gospel, the very cross itself is an offense and stone of stumbling according to the Lord Jesus Himself. We need to quit handwringing and get on with it. To know that you need a Savior, you must first realize that you are a sinner. That requires confrontation, clear teaching of Scripture and unapologetic evangelism. Love is not always mush or mealy-mouthed. Sometimes love requires toughness.

In today's world, it is considered insensitive and unloving to say that God judges sin, and that those who rebel against Christ will spend eternity separated from Him. In truth, it is about as unloving as one can be to fail to preach the entire Gospel, including the bad news before you get to the Good News. Compromising or watering down the truth accomplishes nothing and has eternal consequences.

Paul Proctor Column

Monday, January 08, 2007

Pray for Drs. Al Mohler and D. James Kennedy

For those who have not heard, Dr. Al Mohler of the Southern Baptist Convention and Dr. D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries were both recently taken ill. Dr. Mohler has a pulmonary embolism that developed after recent surgery to fix scar tissue adhesions. Dr. Kennedy suffered a massive heart attack. Both of these incidents took place after Christmas.

Please continue to lift these faithful men of God in prayer. Losing such strong theological conservatives would indeed be a great loss in these days of challenge.

Friday, January 05, 2007

American Archipelago?

The following is a column written by a friend and fellow broadcaster, John Loeffler. He has graciously granted me permission to repost it here, and I do so in hopes that it will make all who read it to stop and think. We can hold our different political opinions, but our historic freedom in America is something to be cherished. Those who think it can never be lost should think again...and again.

Personally, I am having a tough time with the notion that President Bush is personally intent on destroying American freedom in the same fashion and for the same reasons as did the Nazi regime John references in Germany. Bush's actions have been with the intent to protect the country from Islamic terrorists. However, no matter how well intentioned, any chip away at the constitutional protections enjoyed by Americans can always be exploited later on by those who do indeed have malicious intent. The fact that there are high-powered individuals who long for one-world government is no secret, and it is not the bugaboo of conspiracy theorists. Those who back the idea are quite open about it. Is Bush a clandestine one-worlder? Who knows. Presidents of both parties have had strong links to those who are one-worlders.

All I know is that we must strongly defend the freedom of America, while not allowing Islamofascists to exploit it and take advantage of it to push their own malign agenda.


What Will Stop It?
Lesson #1 en Route to the Gulag

by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel Radio Program
Used by permission.


Americans have enjoyed so much freedom for so long, they have forgotten that freedom is a fluke in the history of the world; not the norm. Our freedoms were hard-won over hundreds of years of human tears. The current view that freedoms are somehow self-sustaining and "obvious" ignores a primary rule of the political universe, well established in human history: governments and those in them always gravitate toward power, money and control; power for themselves, confiscating money and property from their people, who then have to be controlled lest they protest too much.

The founding fathers thoroughly understood this, having experienced a lack of protections first hand. They understood that government is a necessary evil, not a paternalistic good. In assembling the Constitution, they knew that only a clear statement of citizens' rights would prevent power money and control from having their way.

Every one of our rights was established to protect individual citizens, the minority against the majority and to block abuse of power. "Shall not be infringed" was designed to prevent government encroachment; not as a guide for a "delicate balance" between "liberty" and "security." Delicate balances always collapse uni-directionally toward power, money and control and away from individual freedom!

Lessons from the Looking Glass

Since 911, conservatives have been falling all over themselves to blow gaping holes in constitutional protections, demonizing those who object as giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "This is a war," they rant, "and we're defending freedom!" Now catch the illogic of this: We are going to protect freedom by demolishing the very legal protections that guarantee it.

In 1933 Germany faced a crisis. The country had just come through a horrible post-World War I decade of economic chaos and massive inflation. Tensions between the communists and the fascists were fierce. Both parties had substantial seats in the national parliament -- the Reichstag.

On February 27, 1933 the Reichstag building itself was set aflame by arsonists. Germany's newly-elected Chancellor, Adolf Hitler, quickly blamed the deed on his chief political rivals, the communists, accusing a mentally-deficient Dutchman by the name of Marius van der Lubbe of setting the fire. Van der Lubbe was tried and subsequently executed. Still many suspected something was amiss. The conflagration was so massive and so rapid, that the hapless van der Lubbe couldn't have been a sole operator. Indeed, took 60 years before conclusive evidence surfaced that the Nazis had actually set the fire as a ruse for blaming the communists!

Germany's new chancellor, Adolf Hitler, approached the aged president, Paul von Hindenburg, warning that their country was on the verge of a Bolshevik revolution and that emergency measures were required to handle the situation; measures Hitler assured him would only be temporary.

Reluctantly, von Hindenberg issued a warm fuzzy executive order entitled, Die Verordnung des Reichspraesidenten zum Schuetz von Volk und Staat (Ordinance of the Reichspresident for the Defense of People and State). Has that Vaterland Security sound to it, doesn't it?

The Verordnung suspended those portions of Germany's constitution, which were equivalent to our Bill of .Rights - temporarily, of course. However, once the rights were suspended, power and control quickly took over. The Nazis shut down the dissenting press. Political rivals were "disappeared" off the streets and hauled off to Dachau concentration camp (ten years before the Endloesung (Final Solution) was determined at the Wannsee Conference!). Squads of SS began spying on all the potential citizen criminals to see whose ideas were not politically correct so they could be branded enemies of the state.

Shortly thereafter, on March 24, 1933, the Ermaechtigung Gesetz (Empoerment Law -- Law to Remove the Distress of People and State) passed the Reichstag 441-94, which gave Hitler the power to run things by executive order. In the avalanche of bad legislation was included the Heimtuecke Gesetz (Treachery Law), which made opposition to Nazi Party policies equivalent to treason against Germany. This meant you couldn't criticize government policy without being an enemy of the state. This was in essence the very same argument being made by conservatives that if you oppose Constitutional violations by Homeland Security, you are giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The Nazis used this law to imprison dissenters.

Since the German populace had been disarmed, no one could fight back. An atmosphere of fear settled over Germany as the long night of the black shirts began. Everyone - Jews especially -- hunkered down, hoping that it would all blow over and get better. But it never did. Once constitutional limitations against abuse were suspended - for the good cause of defending the Homeland -- they never came back.

But We're Not Nazis!

Oh, but we're not Nazis. We love freedom. Really? When Hitler came to power, the majority of Germans hailed him as the salvation of Germany. They were the good guys, or so everyone thought. It is crucial to remember that the entire Third Reich was a totally legal event, including the Holocaust! The people voted it in. Even after the war, many Germans were still wondering what had happened those last 15 years.

Witness the worldview changes that have occurred since the radical left flower child revolution of 1960s. Americans have experienced such historical revisionism in schools that few can tell you what the Bill of Rights contains and why those rights are so important. America has been in a constant state of self-demonization to the extent that Constitutional rights are viewed as the obsolete product of dead white slave owners.

Communism is alive and well on college campuses. For thirty years college students have been fed a steady diet of anti-American propaganda, attacking capitalism and exalting socialism with an all-powerful state as the ideal form of government. Indeed, Americans have accepted most of the major tenets of the Communist Manifesto, thinking they embody the essence of a free society. Moreover, American students have been encouraged to think of themselves as citizens of the world rather than the U.S. The Constitution is seen as a block to the emerging need for environmental harmony and global governance.

Americans have come to accept the core belief of Postmodernism; that there is no such thing as absolute truth or morals. Since there is no such thing as absolute truth, there is no such thing as absolute law. It all depends on what your definition of "is" is and the law can be tortured to say what we want it to say. As such, it can be used to convict anyone who needs to be convicted, since their rights can be defined away because it's all a matter of definition. Besides, many Americans believe that rights are something that are "deserved" rather than inalienable. And, after all, politically incorrect people don't deserve rights.

The Bill of Rights itself is under severe attack by means of thousands of laws which curtail the exercise of the rights or end run its prohibitions. The Bush administration seems determined to abolish habeas corpus and to suspend individual rights at will, merely by definition of an enemy combatant. The list of abuses is virtually endless. Every day, American citizens are routinely having their rights violated thanks to some legal precedent, which was established early on - usually leaving them little recourse because the law has been distorted so badly and the system has been rigged against them. The slide towards money, power and control is proceeding virtually unabated.

In a free society, rights protect the individual from the government. In a dictatorship, rights protect the government from the people. If enough legal precedents for end-runs of all the protections contained in the Bill of Rights are allowed to continue unchecked, where will those precedents be taken by future leaders when all protections have been dismantled? What will stop the tyranny that will invariably follow? Nothing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pat Robertson's Predictions

I hate to say it, but I must. I think it's about time that people (and that includes my fellow Christians) rank Pat Robertson among those who can be called false prophets.

Why would I say such a harsh thing about someone who is elderly and has been a respected evangelical broadcaster? To begin with, Scripture says it. Not specifically about Pat, but he clearly falls under the Scriptural proscription:

When a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:22).

There are other Scriptures that deal very strictly - and with condemnation - for people who claimed to be speaking a word from the Lord, only to have their so-called "revelation" prove to be false. Pat Robertson has been very adept at saying that the Lord told him this and that over the years, and Pat has made predictions based on these purported conversations he has had with God. Well, there's just one problem with that. Several of Pat's predictions have glaringly never come to pass.

The test of a true prophet of God is that he must be 100 percent accurate. In Pat's own words, he's "got a pretty good track record." I hate to break the news to the old fellow, but "pretty good" won't cut it when you claim to be speaking for God in saying certain events are going to take place. You blow it once, and the Bible is clear. No one is to listen to your prognostications again.

This sort of nonsense only serves to bring shame and derision on the body of Christ as a whole. I find it more than frustrating that many of the most prominent Christian broadcasting outlets are in the control of people like this. Yet people keep on giving them money and putting stock in what they say. Biblical illiteracy carries a heavy price.

Dan Phillips over at TeamPyro has a great post today on "impressions" from the Lord. I recommend reading it and then some. The link is below:


Team Pyro

Tuesday, January 02, 2007



PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!!!

No More Britney, Paris, Lindsey..ad nauseum!

For the second day of 2007, a mini rant.

Since I first began watching Fox News some years ago, I have largely enjoyed the experience. However, there is one trend to which they contribute that I am finding quite tiresome. In fact, I am sick of it. Not merely because of my own broadcast journalism experience and pride in what CAN be an honorable profession, but also simply as someone who wants to watch a news broadcast to see real news. And that is the trend toward tabloid journalism. I hate to even CALL it journalism in that context. I don't know if Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes is ultimately responsible for the degeneration, but this is happening on their watch.

I really don't want to see blurred photos of a pantie-less Britney Spears getting out of a car. I don't care if she passes out at a nightclub. Insert the name of said celebrity in said misbehavior. Any one or two will do. I don't watch the news for that purpose. If I want to know what these fudgeheads are doing, I can buy a National Enquirer or Globe at the supermarket (which I won't). That's where it belongs. Not on a national newscast.

Sadly, many other news outlets are borrowing from Fox's template. It's "fast," it's "edgy."

It's nauseating. Stop it. Please.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Nothing to post today..just wanted to wish all a most blessed 2007. For those of you who are believers in Christ, I pray this coming year will find you growing in your faith with multiple opportunities for ministry. For those of you who are not believers, I pray that this year will find you coming to saving faith in Jesus Christ!

The Seventh Sola continues to take a holiday break in the meantime.