Wednesday, December 31, 2008

John Bolton Nails It Again!

Once again, the incomparable John Bolton reveals why the Democrats and some renegade Republicans wanted him out of the United Nations. The following is a mini-transcript from Fox News Channel's "Hannity and Colmes" program. Bolton as usual is spot on, hitting on the very thing that always drives me batty -- the double standard aimed at Israel whenever she defends herself against terrorist thugs.

COLMES: If you overreact, and you say you don't think Israel is, but if it's a disproportionate reaction, Turkey's prime minister says it's a crime against humanity. Sarkozy of France condemned the provocations, but he also said Israel is using a disproportionate use of force. Can you create a bigger problem if the response is disproportionate?

BOLTON: Well, I think this is the customary rhetoric that occurs every time Israel acts in self-defense. Look, the fact is it's not disproportionate use of force to eliminate the threat itself. You're not required only to fire as many rockets into Gaza as Hamas fired into Israel. That's what Israel says it's trying to do, but, as I say, the real judgment will be whether they're effective or not or whether they're seen as reaching farther than they're able to go.

COLMES: What should be the role of the United States? President Bush is on vacation staying in Crawford, he's had his spokespeople out front. He's not personally said anything. Should he be more involved? The impression is he's just leaving it all out for the next administration? Should he be more proactive at this point?

BOLTON: No, I don't think so. In fact, I think the administration made a mistake over the weekend at the United Nations in agreeing to a statement by the Security Council president that called for a cease fire. That can only mean stopping the Israeli military action. That's really what's at issue here, so I think the administration has already given away a lot of important ground.

COLMES: The president in Annapolis last year, about 13 months ago vowed that he would be fully involved, proactive, fully involved in a peace process. This seems not to be the case especially now that he's kind of laying back, seems not engaged here.

BOLTON: Well personally, I thought the launching of the Annapolis process was a mistake when it was started. There was no chance there was going to be real negotiation between Palestinians and Israelis. The Palestinians don't have anybody that can really speak for them. The Palestinian Authority has broken probably into two irreconcilable pieces, so I think the Annapolis process was a mistake from the outset.

RICH LOWRY, GUEST HOST: Hey Ambassador, it's Rich Lowry. Thanks so much for being with us.

Let's go back to this idea of a disproportionate Israeli response because it's a key part of the world reaction to this. Can you elaborate on this a little bit? Because I think there are a couple of key points. One, there's zero moral equivalency between Israel and Hamas. Hamas is a terror group with a maximless goal of exterminating Israel. And as you pointed out in one of your responses to Alan, a strictly proportionate response would mean Israel randomly firing rockets into Israel. That would be absurd — sorry, into Gaza. That would be absurd and immoral in itself.

BOLTON: Yes, well this whole idea of proportionate force is just something that's been dreamed up in U.N. and academic circles. Let me give you another example. Was the United States limited after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor to a proportionate response? We sink as many aircraft carriers and battleships as they sank, and we have to stop our use of force at that point? Of course not. We were entitled as a legitimate exercise of the right of self-defense to eliminate the threat, and that's what we did.

LOWRY: And Ambassador, why is it that Israel seems to be the only country in the world that evokes this kind of condemnation when it simply defends itself?

BOLTON: Well I think it's not only Israel, and this to me is one of the really important parts about this debate about the right of self- defense and this argument about the proportionate use of force. Because while the focus is certainly on Israel, Israel in a sense is a surrogate for the United States.

God forbid another attack comes against us, and we have a president who decided to respond to it, we will be criticized for the disproportionate use of force. We weren't criticized for overthrowing the Taliban, although, that was certainly a much larger operation than even the September attacks, but we were criticized for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.

The notion of proportionate force is something that can easily be turned against the United States. So the way this debate turns out over Israel has implications that go well beyond this current clash in Gaza.

What's Happened to Young Evangelicals?

I am pressed for time today, but enjoy this commentary by Phyllis Schlafly today. Well, maybe "enjoy" isn't the right word. I think she's right -- spot on, in fact. I've said many of the same things for years in terms of what's happened to our culture in general. But it doesn't give me any satisfaction to see why so many self-described young evangelicals voted for someone diametrically opposite of a biblical worldview.

On a side note, it's New Year's Eve. There are some comments in previous posts to which I plan to respond as soon as I can, specifically within the metas of these posts. But I can't today as I am pressed for time. I hope to get to it tomorrow.

In the meantime, a happy and joyous New Year. As Bette Davis once said, "it's going to be a bumpy night."

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The End of the United States?

When it comes to the future of the United States, we've all heard various predictions. We've heard from some that a new American renaissance lies ahead under the leadership of The One (Mr. Obama). We've also heard our share of doom and gloom. Now there's this Wall Street Journal article about a Russian academic -- Igor Panarin -- who predicts that the United States will break apart within a couple of years. Civil war and lots of unpleasantness.

Please take a moment to read the linked article, and then think about it a while. It's tempting to do what many others have done and laugh it off, but I think we'd be well advised to at least consider the possibility. We've fought one Civil War already, and it was a very bloody one. Why do we think such a thing is impossible now?

I don't necessarily buy the idea that other countries will gobble up portions of the United States, at least not right away. But it is certainly possible that our nation could collapse from within.

Think about it.

Late addendum: Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily wrote a column on this today. Worth reading.

Monday, December 29, 2008

An Atheist's Unintentional Message to Christians

I generally like James Taranto's column at the Wall Street Journal's on-line section. I am saddened that he describes himself as an atheist, but at least I'll give him this nod. He's not a hostile one, unlike many of his counterparts.

Below is a clip from one of his recent columns. I want you to read it carefully. Note especially the part in boldface . . .

Atheists Debate: Are Christians Evil, Insincere or Confused?

Christopher Hitchens and Heather Mac Donald, both atheists, are having an amusing debate about religion, prompted by Hitchens's outrage over President-elect Obama's choice of the Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. Hitchens argues that certain Christian beliefs are "bigoted":

"It is theoretically possible to make an apparently bigoted remark that is also factually true and morally sound. Thus, when the Rev. Bailey Smith, one of the deputies of the late Jerry Falwell, claimed that "God almighty does not hear the prayer of a Jew," I was in complete agreement with him. This is because I do not believe that there is any supernatural supervisor who lends an ear to any prayer. . . .However, if the speaker says that heaven is a real place but that you will not get there if you are Jewish, . . . then you know that the bigot has spoken."

Hitchens describes Warren as "a relentless clerical businessman who raises money on the proposition that certain Americans--non-Christians, the wrong kind of Christians, homosexuals, nonbelievers--are of less worth and littler virtue than his own lovely flock of redeemed and salvaged and paid-up donors," but he does not note that has carved out a lucrative niche for himself as an antireligious provocateur. He also describes evangelical Christians as "weirdos and creeps," leaving himself vulnerable to the charge of bigotry.

But these points are tangential. Mac Donald gets to the heart of what is wrong with Hitchens's argument: "I don't think it's fair to label a theological position as bigotry simply because it does not conform to secular principles." Indeed, an atheist has no business imputing bigotry to anyone except on the basis of attitudes toward worldly matters. It is bigoted to think Jews should not be allowed to join a country club or to live in Hebron, regardless of whether that belief has a theological predicate. To a true nonbeliever, a belief about who is going to hell or whose prayers God hears is mere nonsense.

Mac Donald, however, doesn't quite see it this way either. She speculates that Christians must not really believe all that stuff:

"But here's another possibility: Do modern Christians still believe with the same fervor as in the past all those unyielding doctrines of eternal damnation for the unbaptised and unconverted? They sure don't act as if they do. If they really were convinced that their friends, co-workers, neighbors, and in-laws were going to hell because they possessed the wrong or no religious belief, I would think that the knowledge would be unbearable. Christians surely see that most of their wrong-believing personal acquaintances are just as moral and deserving as themselves. How, then, do they live with the knowledge that their friends and loved ones face an eternity of torment? I would expect a frenzy of proselytizing, by word or by sword.
In previous centuries, when religion had the upper hand, religious differences meant more. But ours is a world dominated by the secular values of tolerance and equality. Either believers live with an extraordinary degree of cognitive dissonance between the inclusive values of their society and the dictates of their religion, or they unconsciously mitigate those bloody-minded dictates as atavistic vestiges from a more primitive time."

One wonders if either Hitchens or Mac Donald has ever met an actual Christian. We know quite a few who are neither bigoted, as Hitchens insists they are, nor insincere or confused, as Mac Donald speculates they must be. Could it be that the problem lies not with religious belief itself but with Hitchens's and Mac Donald's own poverty of imagination in understanding it?

We claim no special insight into this question; like Hitchens and Mac Donald, we approach it as a nonbeliever (although unlike Hitchens, we stopped worrying about whether other people think we are going to hell when we were about 17). But it occurs to us that there are other areas of life that reason alone is inadequate to explain.

The best example is romantic love. When a man loves a woman, he experiences her as being the most important thing in the world. Would Hitchens call him a "bigot" for believing that other people are of less worth and littler virtue than his own lovely companion? If the man also professes to believe in the equality of all people, would Mac Donald claim it must be either that either his love is insincere or that he is experiencing cognitive dissonance?

Of course not. "She is the most important thing in the world" makes no sense as a logical proposition, but that does not make it false. Its truth lies elsewhere than in the realm of reason. Our conjecture is that something similar may be said of the religious beliefs that infuriate Hitchens and mystify Mac Donald.

Unbeliever though she is, Heather MacDonald makes a spot-on observation in the boldface area. If we as Christians were really convinced that our loved ones were on their way to an eternity in Hell, wouldn't that make us more concerned, eager witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ? And even beyond our loved ones, wouldn't general, Christ-centered compassion make us more zealous to proclaim the life-changing Gospel to a lost world? Is it possible that we've either been intimidated into silence, or perhaps that we just aren't that concerned about it anymore? One correction, though. We'll leave the sword out of it, thank you. We'll leave that to radical Islam.

We're commanded to preach the Gospel. Who gets saved and when is up to God. But He has given us a role in the process, and it isn't optional. If the Lord has saved us and has done great things for us, we need to be eager and willing to share it. Of course, there is a right time and place for it, as well as inappropriate times and places. But all too often, we use that reason as an excuse not to say anything at all.

Heather, thank you for a good reminder -- albeit unintended -- to your Christian friends. I hope and pray you are drawn to saving faith, and soon. You too, James. And yes, even you, Christopher.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Israel Under Fire Again

According to this news story, Israel has begun a series of strikes on the Gaza Strip, provoked by a constant onslaught of rocket attacks from Hamas radicals. And of course, the global handwringing has begun. Arab states are fuming, and Western states are urging Israel to "show restraint."

I've made the point before and I'll make it again. If San Diego was the target of rockets from Tijuana, or if Seattle was the target of rockets launched from Vancouver, OR BETTER YET -- if Miami was under fire from Havana, do you suppose the government of the United States would "show restraint?" I think it's time the Israeli government told such carping governments to go pound sand. They have a right to defend themselves. Period.

If the Palestinians really want peace (I mean true peace, not the peace of the Quraysh), then they need to stop firing rockets into Israel. It's that simple. If the attacks stop, I guarantee you'll have peace.

But wait, you say. The Palestinians can't help it that they've got militants in their midst. Hmmm. I can pretty much guarantee you that if someone came into my neighborhood here and began firing mortars, action would be swift and severe. If law enforcement didn't handle it, my neighborhood would. Some of us out here are armed pretty well. And given the number of cheering demonstrations when these attacks take place in Gaza or the West Bank, it seems quite a few in the general population have weapons of some sort. They could stop it if they wanted to, but they don't want to stop it. The population cheers the attacks.

That means they'll have to pay the consequences.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Most Blessed Christmas to All . . .

But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. “She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus (Matthew 1:20-25).

Saving His people from their sins. That's what it's all about. What a gift, and what a Savior!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

2008 - The Year Shame Died

This commentary is worth reading and keeping. The author hits the nail on the head as to what is wrong with our "whatever" society.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Bigots, Haters and Studied Ignorance

What a shame -- here a couple of days before Christmas -- to have to post something like this. But I couldn't let it pass.

Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Bobby Kennedy and former wife of Andrew Cuomo, was on Fox & Friends this morning and accused evangelical pastor Rick Warren of "hate speech." The context was that Barack Obama's selection of Warren to deliver an invocation at his inauguration has caused huge controversy with homosexual activists and the far left.

Not to be outdone, openly homosexual Congressman Barney Frank chimed in. “Giving that kind of mark of approval and honor to someone who has frankly spoken in ways I and many others have found personally very offensive, I thought that was a mistake for the president-elect to do,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat, today on CNN’s “Late Edition."

I am beginning to get rather tired of this Goebbels-like propaganda, aided and abetted by the media who don't challenge them. Steve Doocy is supposed to be a devout Catholic, and I am surprised he let Kerry Kennedy's remark go by without a peep. And don't tell me that the Fox & Friends trio don't express their opinions. They do it all the time. But they didn't this time. So I'll do it. The real hate and bigotry is coming from the homosexual activists and their supporters. Just watch their demonstrations. They don't understand the motivations of Christians in the least, nor do they want to understand them.

First, to Ms. Kennedy. She just released a book on being a Catholic today, and her viewpoints on this do not jive with the teachings of Roman Catholicism. I think she needs to have a good talk with her bishop, and then repent of her insult to Bible-believing evangelicals AND her fellow Catholics who still believe what their church teaches on the subject. I am not a huge Rick Warren fan for other theological/methodological reasons, but his stance on same-sex marriage has been correct. It is sin. It is immoral. It is ultimately destructive to the family and to society.

As to the Congressman, what else is there to say. This man is -- and has been for a long time -- in unrepentant gross sin. Every day he draws breath is mercy and grace from God, and opportunity for him to repent. Like all of us, Mr. Frank might well wake up tomorrow in eternity. In Barney's case, it will be without Christ. He will be standing before the God he defies. Then it will be too late, and the result will be eternal separation from God in Hell. That's a tragedy, because it doesn't have to be that way. Will he listen in time? God alone knows.

Ultimately, that's where all of this ends up. From liberals like Kerry Kennedy to homosexual activists and their hangers-on, their problem really isn't with me, Rick Warren, or any other Bible-believing Christian. Their ultimate problem is with God Himself, who calls homosexual conduct an abomination and says plainly that those who practice it will not inherit His kingdom. That is the truth, but when those who practice and love this sin hear that warning, it drives them wild with rage. Rather than understand the love behind the warnings of God (and His people), they lash out in hate and anger. Their sin means more to them than righteousness.

It's funny, because when I say all of us have sinned, I do mean all. Christians are not lily white. All Christians have had to come face to face with their sin -- whatever form it takes -- and acknowledge it to God with repentance. All of us have had to admit that we cannot save ourselves. We need a Savior, and the righteousness that only saving faith in Christ produces. Only His blood can cleanse us of our sin, and only His Holy Spirit can enable us to live righteous lives. There is no other way. No other alternative. For anyone.

In the meantime, the modern-day Goebbelses will continue to spew their nonsense, and the steady drumbeat of lies will no doubt sway the gullible in sufficient amounts to help them further achieve their goals.

God help us.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Week

Well, we're finally here — Christmas week.

I imagine that my posting will be fairly sporadic this week, since I have a host of family coming in. But for this morning, as you look at the photo of the Star and Wise Men, join me in remembering what Christmas is really all about. It's easy to forget in this hectic, commercialized cultural swamp, but Christmas is all about the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to save His people from their sins.

More on that later. May God bless you today, and remember to be in the Lord's house with the Lord's people if at all possible.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Church Discipline in the News (Again)

This is one of those stories that just doesn't pass the smell test.

According to Fox News, a woman by the name of Rebecca Hancock (pictured) is upset that Grace Community Church in Jacksonville, Florida, is "threatening to make her sins public" as they carry out church discipline.

You can read the Fox news account through the hyperlink, but the gist is this - Ms. Hancock is alleged to be in unrepentant sin. The church followed the biblical guidelines for church discipline laid down by the Lord Jesus in Matthew 18. Here's what the Lord said:

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY FACT MAY BE CONFIRMED. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matthew 18:15-17).

Ms. Hancock refused to repent, and so the church began the discipline process, which incensed Ms. Hancock to the point where she left the church. She has now helped stir up an outcry in the general public about this mean old church threatening her reputation and the sensibilities of her children, who are still allowed to attend the church.

It goes without saying that the church is right in this matter, and the carping critics in and out of the media are wrong. As a member of a church, you agree to follow its bylaws and procedures, and are made aware of that when the church accepts you as a member. Ms. Hancock claims ignorance of those rules, but I'm not buying it.

For someone who is so concerned about her "sins being made public," don't you find it odd that she has no trouble talking to national media about the matter, including the situation that got her in trouble in the first place? The church wasn't about to go to the news media with this story. It's an internal matter in the congregation. But now that she's gone public herself, the story is fair game.

This isn't the only time something like this has happened. Numerous churches have been sued (another sin between believers) because they exercised church discipline according to the demands of Scripture. It's a classic example of unrepentant and likely unregenerate people trying to force a church to abandon biblical integrity rather than changing their own behavior. I for one am not going to sit silently and watch when this happens.

The media feeding frenzy has begun, and the church is facing withering criticism. I hope and pray that the leadership of Grace Community stands firm. I also pray that Ms. Hancock will do what she's supposed to do if she is a true Christian. Repent!


John Kasich subbed for Bill O'Reilly tonight and had a segment on this case, with radical feminist lawyer Wendy Murphy as his guest. I've never been more disappointed in Kasich. Murphy was inflammatory as usual and demonstrated no knowledge of church discipline much less Christianity. But Kasich described himself as a believer, and then sided with Murphy against the church. "We need grace, and grace is what it's all about." Hokum and bunkum.

I fired off an email to Kasich telling him that he'd better review Matthew 18 again, especially point three where the Lord instructs us to "tell it to the church" when someone remains unrepentant. No doubt my note will probably be ignored, but I had to send it. This kind of smear job makes me so mad. I'm glad I am out of broadcast journalism

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fun With Radical Atheists

A friend sent this to me today. Without checking Snopes, I am going to assume it's a joke and not a real event. Regardless, it's a real hoot, at least to me.


In Florida , an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel and declared, 'Case dismissed.'

The lawyer immediately stood and objected to the ruling and said, 'Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews hav e Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah. Yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.'

The judge leaned forward in his chair and said, 'But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.'

The lawyer said, 'Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.'

The judge said, 'The calendar says April 1st is 'April Fools Day'. Psalm 14:1 states 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God'. Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.'

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rewriting the Constitution?

Today in WorldNetDaily, it was reported that America is only two states away from the needed number to call for a Constitutional Convention.

This is something that surfaces periodically, and thus far, we've been able to stall such a move in its tracks. However, I think that the juggernaut might be difficult to stop this time around given the radical sea change in our culture's mentality. And that would be a catastrophe.

Calling a Constitutional Convention would in essence allow the scrapping of our Constitution as is, and enable it to be rewritten. I don't think I need to spell out what such an event could potentially do to the freedoms we have enjoyed for more than 200 years. President-elect Obama and several in his entourage have expressed their dissatisfaction with our current Constitution because it stands in the way of their idea of a utopian, socialist society. This is something that we dare not fall asleep at the switch watching. And I am talking at the state legislature level.

The Constitution of the United States is a precious document. It's a precious achievement, and has served our nation well since our founding. The Founding Fathers purposely made it very difficult to amend. But a Constitutional Convention would bypass this amendment process altogether.

We cannot let that happen.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

What a World, What a World . . .

As I remember the Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch getting hit by water, I remember her famous line, "Who could imagine that a girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness" or something close to that.

I am thinking of scandals tonight as I recover from my illness. Don't have too much steam to yell or scream, just wonder. I have roots in both Arkansas and Illinois. Both states are known for shenanigans in the political and criminal sense. Illinois' most recent national embarassment is Governor Rod Blagojevich. A bit further back, Arkansas gave us the Clintons and Jim Guy Tucker. Sigh.

I love both states. Both states have their redeeming qualities. Emotionally, I am perhaps a bit more drawn to Arkansas because that is where the bulk of my roots -- mom, dad, grandparents etc -- are from. I grew up in Illinois not by choice. My heart and soul are in the South.

But right now, I'm not proud of either.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Love . . . and Meaning It

The following passage from the Gospel of Luke is well known enough. It gets quoted quite often . . .


I wonder if any of us really understand the ramifications of this commandment of Scripture, and I mean in their entirety? What would be the results if we really obeyed it?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Bronchitis . . .

This pattern is all too familiar.

Flu. Yuck. Ache, cough, gag, sneeze, toss and turn.

Now, bronchitis. Cough. Lung burn. Phlegm. Yucky, thick, almost black phlegm.

Doctor. Antibiotic. Hydrocodone cough syrup. More staying at home and lying under vaporizer. Grouchy, owly temperament.

I am hoping (and praying) it doesn't end up in pneumonia like it has done before.

In the meantime, the world goes by. The governor of my state ends up getting arrested for corruption, but for Illinois and Chicago, what else is new? Between that, plus another Christmas display outrage and a so called "day without a gay" (wouldn't that be nice), and my things to vent about are piling up like my workload from the office.

But I just don't feel like waxing eloquent at the moment.

I'm sure you understand.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The Flu . . .

The Seventh Sola has been bitten by the flu bug. He will return when he doesn't feel quite so "in the crypt."

Saturday, December 06, 2008

From the Democrats' Founding Father . . .

Thanks to my friend Kevin, who sent the following to me this morning.

The quotes below are from none other than the late, great Thomas Jefferson. The Democrats of today like to claim him as a founding father. Well, I think they need to listen to him again. Unfortunately for the Dems, I think he'd wear an "R" behind his name he were alive today.

When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall
become as corrupt as Europe.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle
which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too
much government.

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms
is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
patriots and tyrants.

To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he
disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.

In light of the present financial crisis, it's interesting to read what
Thomas Jefferson said in 1802:

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Something to Consider

My cousin sent me the following "think piece" this morning. I thought it was cool, so I am posting it today as a break from heated arguments. (smile)

BTW, out of sheer laziness, I am leaving it in rough form without fixing spelling and punctuation. You can holler at me for it later.

As you might know, the head of a company survived
9/11 because his son started kindergarten.

Another fellow was alive because it was
His turn to bring donuts.

One woman was late because her
Alarm clock didn't go off in time.

One was late because of being stuck on the NJ Turnpike
Because of an auto accident.

One of them
Missed his bus.

One spilled food on her clothes and had to take
Time to change.

One's car wouldn't start.

One couldn't
Get a taxi.

The one that struck me was the man
Who put on a new pair of shoes that morning,
Took the various means to get to work
But before he got there, he developed
a blister on his foot.

He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid.
That is why he is alive today.

Now when I am
Stuck in traffic ,
Miss an elevator,
Turn back to answer a ringing telephone ...
All the little things that annoy me.
I think to myself,
This is exactly where

God wants me to be
At this very moment..

Next time your morning seems to be
Going wrong ,

The children are slow getting dressed,
You can't seem to find the car keys,
You hit every traffic light,
Don't get mad or frustrated;
It May be just that
God is at work watching over you.

May God continue to bless you
With all those annoying little things
And may you remember their possible purpose.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Born and Raised in the Christian Faith?

In the meta of my last post about Willie Nelson's marijuana offering to Jesus, a commenter expressed her outrage at my comments, and accused me of not doing my research before popping off a post. Here's a clip of what she said:

Willie Nelson has a strong faith. He was raised in the Christian faith by his grandparents in Abbott, Texas, and attended the Methodist church there. When he was younger, he taught church school. His first performance was at the church. He has recorded several acclaimed gospel albums. Two years ago, he purchased the Methodist Church in Abbott, to prevent it being sold, so that it could continue to hold church services.

So Willie has a strong faith. Faith in precisely what isn't specified, although the subsequent comments imply it's a Christian faith. That doesn't jive with the things I've seen and read over the years. More recently, I came across an item which documents Nelson's own comments on the subject. Take a look at this commentary by Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. While I've linked the entire article, I'll excerpt a comment here . . .

In a recently released book, Texas outlaw songwriter Willie Nelson says quite a bit about his rejection of the Christianity he once professed. Nelson was, for a time, a student at Baylor University and a member of a Southern Baptist church. Years of dissipation have left him far from those Baptist church pews. Now he holds to a pantheistic form of paganism, embracing everything from pop-Taoism to psychic powers to reincarnation. It is clear, however, that he’s rebelling against something, which is why it seems to delight him to talk about smoking marijuana in Jimmy Carter’s White House or lighting up a joint in the presence of Ann Richards, then the goveror of Texas. The tensions between Nelson’s longing for the Christians in his past and his longing to be “on the road again” are everywhere in his music. He is, after all, the man who sings both “Family Bible” and “Whiskey River.”

Aside from this commentary which clips from Nelson's book, I've seen other things through the years that have shown me that the singer is hardly an orthodox Christian.

This whole subject is very sad to me -- aside from Nelson's theological and spiritual deterioration. My real target for this post is actually something that is pretty widespread within a lot of churches. I'm talking about the erroneous, ignorant idea that because someone grew up attending a church -- be it Methodist, Baptist, or any other denomination -- and has done good works here and there, that makes them a genuine, regenerate, born-again, biblical Christian. That is not the genuine message of Christianity. That is not the Gospel. That is not the clear message of God's Word, the Bible.

For my errant commenter's sake, I hope she and others do a little research of their own on what the founder of Methodism would have to say about such an idea, Willie Nelson's theological beliefs aside. Both Charles and John Wesley would take issue with the idea that just attending a church or buying a building for a church earns you a spot in heaven.

All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. We can be saved only by saving faith in Jesus Christ and His shed blood on the cross for our sins. We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead for our justification. Once we are saved, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to live a godly life. Someone who is truly saved will obey God's Word out of love for God. Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments." (John 15:15). Someone who loves God and is a true Christian is not going to mock the God who saved him, and is not going to ignore or denegrate His Word. Period.

This doesn't just apply to Willie Nelson. It applies to everyone.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Willie Nelson Crosses the Line

I'll admit at the outset that I've never been a huge Willie Nelson fan. A good chunk of that stems from the fact that I don't like country music in general, although there are a few exceptions.

That aside, my distaste began with Willie's open advocacy of marijuana usage. This distaste was furthered along when I saw Willie's appearance in the 1979 film "The Electric Horseman." One of Willie's lines in the movie had him announcing his desire to go find a woman to perform an act that shall remain nameless on this family blog. Given his general unkempt appearance, I'd be amazed that any woman would want to get near him, much less do something like that. But I digress.

These previous things roused my disdain, but now my ire has been raised. On Bill O'Reilly's "Reality Check" segment, it was revealed that Nelson is releasing a Christmas-themed song/video, where he plays a Wise Man offering marijuana to the baby Jesus. The video shows Willie robed like a shepherd or a Wise Man, and shows the manger with marijuana plants and smoke around it. Blasphemous and disgusting.

To my knowledge, Willie Nelson has made no profession of faith in Christ. He has long been associated with far-left activism. Even without a personal confession of faith, you would think that he would at least have some restraint about insulting a good chunk of his fan base. The country-western audience is notoriously conservative. Maybe that's why Willie has branched more into the pop audience in recent years. Who knows.

The long and short of it is that I hope Nelson garners a huge backlash from this grotesque, insulting and yes -- blasphemous -- song and video. And now that I've expressed that hope, I will conclude with a question.

Do you think Willie will write and release a song/video about Muhammed smoking dope, or taking child brides to bed?

I think we know the answer to that one.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Sunday Prayer

Please join me today in praying for the people of India in the midst of their great tragedy. Pray that God will use this situation to draw many to Himself, and away from false gods.

Pray also that the ones who are responsible for the attacks (the ones who ultimately planned it and ordered it done) will be caught and brought to swift justice.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here's Another View . . .

This evening, I am in the mind to write a little love letter to the terrorists out there. My last post was similar, but I don't think I was graphic or clear enough in my attempt at communicating just how disgusted I am at their murderous ways. I hope they don't forget that America is not Europe. We still execute here.

In the last post, the electric chair shot was taken at the Cook County Jail in Chicago, back in the days when they were allowed to execute there. In Illinois, the death penalty statute at the time permitted counties with populations in excess of one million to carry out their own executions. Chicago is in Cook County, therefore they qualified. The last execution by electric chair in Illinois actually took place at the Cook County Jail in 1962. Cop killer James Dukes was the one who got fried.

Yes, that was the chair pictured in my last post. The shot was taken from the side, unfortunately without someone strapped in. In case the side view wasn't sufficient, you terrorists, take a gander at the photo in today's post. This photo is of the electric chair once used -- and now stored -- at Stateville Prison near Joliet. They're keeping it on ice just in case it should be needed again. There's a second one in storage also, once used at Menard State Prison near Chester. While Illinois now uses lethal injection, there is a proviso to bring these chairs out of mothballs if necessary. They're waiting for you terrorists, arms wide open.

Now, for the terrorists' contemplation. Imagine the brine-soaked sponge and electrode strapped to your shaved skull, perhaps with a bit of conducting jelly to aid passage of the current.

Next, imagine the second electrode strapped with another brine-soaked sponge to your right leg. Some states have used electrodes on both legs.

The current used varies from state to state. In Virginia, it averages about 1,800 volts. Here in Illinois, when we use the chair, we do it right. We use about 2,400 volts, in at least two or three cycles. We want to be sure you're cooked done.

Of course, things don't have to be this way. You could repent of your sins and turn your back on terrorism. Trust me, if you choose terrorism and what you think is martyrdom, you won't get 72 virgins. You'll be in Hell instantaneously after death. If you end up going to the chair, you'll burn twice. Once for a couple of voltage cycles, and then in eternity, way down deep in the Lake of Fire.

My Bible says that God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. I know that I am supposed to feel the same way as His disciple, but it's difficult. Your murderous acts are so despicable. Right now, I feel very little sympathy for you, except in wonderment how you could possibly be so deceived in believing that murder will merit you heaven. You fools. You stupid, stupid fools.

Lord, have mercy on them . . . and on me. It's been said often enough, and it's true. "But for the grace of God go I."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Muslim Terrorists . . . Grrrrrr!

For the record, not just Muslim terrorists. Any kind of terrorists. The incident in Mumbai (Bombay) India is revolting. Rather than caving in to these beasts, this incident should only serve to make lawful authority in each nation more resolute to hunt these animals down. And once they're caught . . .

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Be Thankful!

The Seventh Sola is taking a brief hiatus for Thanksgiving. So let me wish you and yours a wonderful day with family and friends, and remember to be thankful. Here in the United States, we are blessed with so much. It's sad to think that we might have to lose it all to be reminded of just how much we have been blessed.

And for believers, there is no excuse for not being thankful.

. . . Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful (Colossians 3:15).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reb Bradley: A Nation of Liberal Crybabies

WorldNetDaily has been advertising a new book by author Reb Bradley called Born Liberal, Raised Right: How to Rescue America from Moral Decline – One Family at a Time. In it, he makes a pretty convincing case about why our nation is in such straits. He was on Fox and Friends this morning to chat about it. In essence, we can thank liberals for the way our nation is turning into a country of whiny crybabies who are incapable of governing themselves. Here's an excerpt from the WND article on this book . . .

America is increasingly lacking in-self control, says Bradley. He says adults no longer restrain themselves from destructive actions and behaviors, because they have not been taught to do so as children.

"A few decades ago, people were just as human as we are in this decade," he writes. "Like us, they got angry, they lusted, they coveted, and they drowned their grief by one means or another. But in one important way, they were different from us – they had greater self-control. Because they were more self-restraining, they did not allow themselves to be ruled by their anger; hence the murder rate was markedly less. They lusted, but they had greater sexual self-restraint, so had sexual contact with fewer people and contracted fewer STDs. They coveted other people's money and possessions, but they had the ability to not act on their covetousness; hence fewer were compelled to steal. In the last 40 years we have lost the virtue of self-control. No longer is our society populated by individuals who can restrain or 'govern' themselves. To lack the capacity to control one's urges or passions is to lack what our nation's Founders called personal 'self-government.'"

Bradley contends that liberalism is the natural condition of the human heart and for people to be capable of self-government, they must be trained against their own nature.

"In this age of technology, one might say that liberalism is our 'default' operating condition," he writes. "Throughout our childhoods, our parents must work hard and change our settings to keep us from operating in our default mode. If parents are successful, we enter adulthood with our new settings fully locked in. Left untrained, all children would grow up liberal in their outlook."

"Liberals are merely inadequately trained children who grew up and now lead using principles they gleaned from their upbringing," he says.

All people are born liberal, Bradley writes, meaning they are ruled first by their emotions and passions.

"We come into the world determined to survive, and we vehemently express ourselves to get what we need: 'Waaa!' and Momma feeds us," he writes. "'Waaa!' and our diaper is changed' 'Waaa!' and we are put down for a nap. As infants, our strong will can keep us comfortable and alive – the more outspoken we are, the more our needs are met. However, as we start to grow, we no longer cry for our necessities – we crave pleasure, too."

These ideas are not really new, explains Bradley. They are just in need of rediscovery.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Interesting how the liberal mindset and instinct seem to go hand in hand with an unrestrained sin nature.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Word from Donald Grey Barnhouse

While doing my study on Romans, I found this wonderful quote from the late Bible expositor and commentator Donald Grey Barnhouse. This is a wonderful example of "he being dead still speaks."

“God will give a man brains to smelt iron and make a hammer head and nails. God will grow a tree and give man strength to cut it down and brains to fashion a hammer handle from its wood. And when man has the hammer and the nails, God will put out His hand and let man drive nails through it, and place Him on a cross in the supreme manifestation that men are without excuse.”

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Arrrrgh! Media!

This evening on The Fox Report, anchor Julie Banderas was interviewing former Mondale campaign manager Bob Beckel on the forming Obama Cabinet. In responding to a question about the supposed "centrist" nature of Obama's picks, Beckel said that, prior to Bill Clinton, there hadn't been a Democratic administration in 30 years.

Excuse me?

Let's count back. Bill Clinton. George H.W. Bush. Ronald Reagan. Jimmy Carter. . .

Jimmy Carter? Between Carter's 1977 election and Clinton's inauguration in 1993, that's 15 years. Not 30.

Before Carter, we had Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon before him. And Democrat Lyndon Johnson before him.

I would think there ought to be some minimum knowledge of history out there, don't you?


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Reining In the Courts

On my radio program as well as in other forums, I have long advocated reining in the federal courts because of the way they have usurped authority and far exceeded their proper constitutional role. Among the ways this can be done is by Congress exercising its constitutional power to restrict the courts' jurisdiction.

This linked article was written by former Attorney General Ed Meese for the Hoover Institution. I think his analysis and prescriptions to solve the courts problem is spot on. It is far beyond time to get control of this runaway train, especially because the left uses the judiciary to accomplish what it cannot accomplish legislatively.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What Is a Cult?

With yesterday's anniversary of the Jonestown massacre in Guyana, I thought it would be a good idea to review the controversial subject of cults. For starters, I will post the definition of "cult" we use at the Institute for Christian Apologetics. And that is . . .

Two or more people who have a real or imaginary need they are trying to meet or fulfill by believing that which is false about the Person and work of the biblical Jesus Christ."

On the surface, that seems like a very broad definition. One reason we did it that way was because of the litigiousness of today's society. I'd love to see a judge rule on that definition. But there are other reasons that we'll highlight later.

I am limited on time today, so I will leave it here for now. Discuss at will.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mickey!

Every now and then, we need a break from the cares of this life. So today, let's all wish a happy 80th birthday to Mickey Mouse. Although I can't get by without at least one editorial comment. If Walt Disney were alive, and Mickey were real, I have a hunch they both would be headed to the offices at Disney with willow switches in hand.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Cheers for Interstate Batteries

In the past several years, there has been a growing outcry aimed at businesses over the content of their advertising. Quite a bit of the outcry and complaint is justified. Have you watched the Super Bowl much since Janet Jackson's little "foip" incident? Those aren't the only ads out there that "push the envelope." Many are -- quite frankly -- disgusting.

But today, I want to give praise where praise is due. I want to give a shout out to Interstate Batteries.

How many companies these days spend money to spread the Gospel so openly? I personally think Interstate Batteries' "God's Love" ads are refreshing, and done in a very winsome way. Yes, I am sure the content could be theologically deeper, but I am still thankful. They at least can get people talking about the issue if nothing else.

They also provide the opportunity for each one of us to talk about it at the water cooler if and when it gets mentioned. Hey, maybe we can even mention it.

Anyway, kudos to Interstate Batteries. And here's hoping more Christian-owned businesses follow their lead.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Chilling Parallel

As much as I love Ronald Reagan, the previous post today is bumpable in light of what I just discovered in my study for tomorrow's Bible class. I just had to share it because of the obvious parallels for today.

Take a gander at this statement from the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. The subject is what befell the Roman Republic, ending up in dictatorship . . .

Inability of either aristocracy or democracy to hold equilibrium. Previous events had proved that a narrow, exclusive aristocracy was incapable of good government because of its selfishness and disregard for the rights of lower classes.

The heterogeneous population of later Rome was not disciplined to obey or to initiate just government when it seized power. This anarchy in the body politic opened the way to usurpation by individuals. No form of free popular government could live under such conditions.

Caesar said of the republic that it was “a name without any substance.” The law courts shared in the general corruption. The judicia became a prey to party interests. It succumbed to bribery and became the agent of oppression and injustice. Justice for all, and especially for conquered peoples, was impossible.

Bribery and candidates in arms prevented the proper functioning of elective assemblies. The whole people had become incapable of self-government, and were willing -- almost glad -- to be relieved of the necessity, even though this favored despotic authority.

Chilling, isn't it?

Quotes from the Gipper . . .

I'm a bit under the weather today, plus have lots to do for Sunday school tomorrow. In lieu of a post from me today, I thought we'd take a walk down memory lane with the late, great Ronald Reagan. Don't you wish we still had him with us?

'Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.'

'The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

'The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.'

'Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.'

'I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.'

'The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination.'

'Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.'

'The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.'

'It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.'

'Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.'

'Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed, there are many rewards; if you disgrace yourself, you can always write a book.'

'No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.'

'If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama's "Mandatory" Youth and Civilian Force?

Please read this WND article and tell me I'm dreaming. I am sure that the photo I chose for this post will no doubt cause controversy, but I'm trying to make a point here. I think people had best listen.

In America, parents are the ones to decide their children's education and activities, not the government. I think young people and old people alike should decide for themselves what they're going to do in life, what they're going to think and believe, and how they will serve their fellow man. The government has no right to mandate any such kind of service. It reminds me of the government-mandated "subbotniks" in the former Soviet Union, or worse yet, re-education camps for people who didn't think the way the government thought they ought to think.

Such "mandatory" training etc. might start out innocuously enough, but will it end as innocuously? A very good question. All we have to go on is the ideology of those advocating this kind of thing. It's not the Boy Scouts.

Of course, the media will gloss this over even though it's right out of the horses' mouth. Most people will look at you with glazed eyes and think you're a conspiracy nut. Obama and Rahm Emanuel could say it live on national television, and people would insist that they didn't say it. Down the Orwellian "memory hole" it goes.

I've said it before, and I'll keep saying it until proven wrong. This nation's voters asked for it, and boy, are they going to get it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Prediction of Obama "Dictatorship?"

We've discussed Barack Obama's apparent sympathies for Marxism on this blog, as have many other blogs and media. Now we get this. And from a Georgia Congressman, no less.

Fascism. Socialism. Marxism. Lots of labels. In a nutshell, they're all horrible.

It's interesting that we look at Hitler and the Nazis, calling them "right wing." But when you look at what "Nazi" stands for, it's "national socialism." Hitler railed against the communists, but really the only difference between them was that Hitler did allow for private industry under government constraint. The average Joe was in bondage and terror. Communism -- statists that they are -- also had a lust for killing as many people as possible. In the end, does the label matter if the end result is the same -- American citizens losing their freedom and their country?

I honestly don't know what Barack Obama and his supporters will do. I hope all of this is just the usual "awfulizing" by interested parties. Perhaps -- I hope -- that Obama will indeed govern from the center. But I have my doubts, if only because of the statements made by Obama and his supporters in their own writings and in public. If only because I have studied Marxists and radical socialists, and understand their modus operandi.

On the other end of the spectrum, we hear comparisons with Hitler along with the usual howls of outrage. But there is a historical picture to look at here. Hitler won in a democratic election with a minority of the vote. He announced ahead of time what he planned to do in "Mein Kampf," but no one paid attention.

Let's face it. Populaces can be very, very mind-numbed, ignorant and stupid. The term "bread and circuses" has a meaning.

If the worst is true about Obama and his incoming administration, will they get away with it? Will the moderates within and outside of his administration in the Democratic Party oppose such moves? Will the Republicans and independents have enough of a backbone to stand in opposition?

What about the rest of us? Should there be a real meltdown in this country, and the government -- of whatever stripe or political party -- tries to finally trash the Constitution and impose a dictatorship, is there enough of the Spirit of 1776 left in the people of this nation to oppose it? I don't know. I doubt it, for several reasons.

I'll explain in another post. For now, pray for America.

Late addendum: Tonight on Fox News' "Special Report," anchor Brit Hume referred to the above story and suggested that the Congressman was part of "Obama Derangement Syndrome," much as there was a "Bush Derangement Syndrome" on the left. I like Brit, so I find his remark unfortunate. I would remind him that if there are concerns about Obama's ultimate political philosophy, the seeds of the concern are in Obama's own writings, statements, history and associates. I would refer him to dig around in there for a while, and then reassess things.

There might well be a "derangement syndrome" with some eventually, especially if the concerns are proven groundless. But until we reach that point, I'd say the jury is out.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Romans - God's Perfect Plan of Redemption

I have just begun a teaching series on the book of Romans for a Sunday school class at my church. I'm sure I'll be posting tidbits here and there as we go through this foundational letter from the Apostle Paul. In the meantime, I really love this verse found in Chapter I . . .

For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes . . . (Romans 1:16).

Somehow, I think this verse will become very, very relevant to true Christians in the days ahead. It's hard to imagine being ashamed of the Gospel at the moment, but as pressure from an unbelieving, hostile culture steps up pressure against the church here in North America, I wonder how many will shine brightly, and how many will hide their light under a bushel?

It remains to be seen.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Another Episcopal Diocese Bolts the Communion

It appears there's been yet another defection in the Anglican Communion. This time, it's the diocese in Quincy, Illinois. The reason, of course, is the growing apostasy of the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. arm of the Anglican Communion. The chief reason this controversy has erupted is the decision to allow an openly homosexual bishop to remain in office.

I note with a grim chuckle that the head of the Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, said she "laments the departure." She doesn't lament it enough to repent, and the rest of the Anglican Communion doesn't appear to lament the schism enough to repent. And because of their incessant inclination to give the middle finger to Scripture, this schism will continue to widen as more Bible-believing Anglicans and Episopalians leave for more orthodox ground.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Homosexuals on a Rampage

I knew it was only a matter of time.

Since the election of Barack Obama to the presidency this past Tuesday, there have been a growing number of homosexual threats aimed at anyone who opposes homosexual marriage, especially churches and other religious groups. Some of the hate was unleashed even before the election.

One rather vile liberal radio host named Charles Karel Bouley was caught on tape unleashing a profanity-laced diatribe calling for the death of Joe the Plumber. Joe didn't even say anything about gay marriage, but his backing of John McCain was enough, as McCain stands for traditional marriage.

Now that the election is over, the venom is escalating. Today we heard about homosexual activists mounting protests outside of Mormon temples because the Mormons backed the ban. The homosexual lobby is calling for investigations into churches who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds, as well as calling for the revocation of churches' tax-exempt status. But it gets worse. Leftist and gay blogs are rife with obscenities and threats of actual violence against Christians, or any other religious group that stands in their way.

Such violence is not unprecedented. Shall we recall the scene in Sodom? Let's go back in time and read the Genesis account . . .

Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. And he said, “Now behold, my lords, please turn aside into your servant’s house, and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.” They said however, “No, but we shall spend the night in the square.” Yet he urged them strongly, so they turned aside to him and entered his house; and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” But Lot went out to them at the doorway, and shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” But they said, “Stand aside.” Furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against Lot and came near to break the door. But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. They struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway. Then the two men said to Lot, “Whom else have you here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city, bring them out of the place; for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.”

Both Old and New Testaments declare that homosexuality is a grave sin. The word "abomination" is used -- a very severe term. Homosexuality has been viewed as a moral evil in most societies throughout history. The problem we have today is that our society no longer has the moxie to oppose homosexual behavior on moral grounds. Many politicians and secular conservative groups who oppose such marriages make all sorts of dance steps around the issue. They say it's bad for children or harmful to traditional marriage. They'll hem and haw, or obfuscate. Or they'll just say they oppose the idea without any articulation of why. But the one thing they won't do is call it what it is -- immoral and evil. Once you surrender moral authority and the moral argument, you've surrendered the very thing that buttresses your opposition.

I am all for people holding politicians accountable on this issue, and being active politically to stand for what we believe in. But that's not enough. It's not even the main thing we as Christians should do. Our churches need to thunder the Word of God from the pulpit again. We need to begin getting angry, yet without sin. The Gospel, of course, is the ultimate solution to any social ill. Giving in to homosexual demands is not showing them love, as some misguided Christians believe. They need to be lovingly confronted with truth.

By all means, show a Christian witness to homosexuals. Be kind and polite. But don't compromise the truth as you endeavor to show Christian love. Sometimes love must be tough. Prophets call people to repentance out of love. It's the most loving thing you can do, because judgment is coming to those practicing this kind of immoral behavior.

On the political end, Christian citizens still have rights. We must remind our politicians who's ultimately in charge. And that goes for the White House, Congress, state and local governments, state and federal courts, school boards, college boards of trustees and all the way down the line. Homosexuals are a tiny minority, and their conduct is not a civil right. As Alan Keyes once said, "you do not have the right to do what is wrong." They have no right to force their behavior on society. And that brings me to my final concern.

Handling the Violence

I am afraid that the homosexual lobby feels cocky enough now to begin getting physical with people, just as bullies intimidate their targets on the playground. You don't respond to a bully by being Caspar Milquetoast.

Remember when gay activists invaded a Catholic church in New York some time back? They desecrated the host and did a number of other outrageous things during a worship service. Why didn't the men of the church get up and escort those vile thugs out of the building, by force if necessary?

Don't cite "turning the other cheek" to me either. Self-defense is permissible, as is protecting your loved ones and your property. A church is a public place to some extent, but it is also private property like a business. Churches have the right to protect their property, and order people off of it if they're behaving in an untoward way. By all means, call the police if you must and file a complaint, but if a protest turns violent, there isn't time to call 911 before someone gets hurt. The men in the church should act like men and deal with the threat.

What if they start harassing us at our homes, or -- God forbid -- even breaking and entering with the intent to do harm to us and our families? It can happen, especially if they feel emboldened by the recent political change in Washington.

If someone invades my home, it's a criminal act of violence. I can guarantee you that the invader would be greeted by the business end of a shotgun. Then I'll call the police and explain what happened. The long and short of it is, this kind of thing must get nipped in the bud now before it escalates any further.

Unfortunately, the election of Barack Obama and giving large majorities to the left in Congress will have serious consequences on this issue and many others. If you think you've got problems now, just wait. They're already arresting pastors in Scandinavia and even in Canada for taking a stand and speaking out against homosexuality.

The jackboots could well come marching up to your door next.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Socialism Is Still Bad News

NOTE: The following article is from K-House Ministries (Chuck Missler).

Most Americans might not really appreciate this, but the U.S. Constitution does not entitle anybody to health insurance.

It's true.

The Constitution does not require Congress to take money from those Americans who possess more and hand it over to those with less. It doesn’t even encourage Congress to subsidize farmers or pay for prescription medications. It just doesn't.

In Article I Section 8, the Constitution does say:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…"

It goes on to talk about securing patents for scientists and establishing postal offices and roads and supporting armies and maintaining a navy. It says nothing about feeding all the downtrodden. There were plenty of poor people back in the days of the Founders, and they did not once mention using taxes to feed 'em. Apparently, providing for the general Welfare did include maintaining roads and hiring judges and keeping the peace, and did not include buying tuna fish for single moms.

Does that mean we should let the poor starve to death? Should we leave our grandparents without support or health care? Of course not. It just was never supposed to be the federal government's job to take care of these things. Here's why:

- Congress is not an industry. It does not produce anything that can be sold. It must take money from the people in order to pay for anything.

- Governments are by nature wasteful. It's easy to overspend money when the funds come from somebody else’s hard work.

- Governments are run by imperfect humans and are therefore subject to mismanagement. For this reason, it is best to keep them small and easily managed, with very specified responsibilities.

- Governments are run by imperfect humans and are therefore subject to corruption. For this reason, it is best to keep them out of trouble by limiting their power. (Lobbyists and special interest groups could just go home were Congress kept within its constitutional limits.)

- Bigger government means more bureaucracy, more government fingers in private lives, and less liberty.

Socialism is corrupt by nature. As soon as Congress started taking money from taxpayers to give it to somebody else, the whole idea of private property was compromised. My property is not really mine if the government officials can stick me in jail for not giving some of it to them.

As George Mason University economics professor Walter E. Williams wrote recently:

"Whatever Congress wishes to give, it has to first take other people's money. Thus, at the root of the welfare state is the immorality of intimidation, threats and coercion backed up with the threat of violence by the agents of the U.S. Congress. In order for Congress to do what some Americans deem as good, it must first do evil. It must do that which if done privately would mean a jail sentence; namely, take the property of one American to give to another."

But...if the federal government did not take care of poverty, of health care, of the elderly, then who would do it! Who would take care of all these things that need serious attention?

We would, of course. We the people.

We are caring for people every day in communities all across this great nation without any government involvement. Unfortunately, we Americans have gotten so spoiled, we're in danger of losing the ability to properly govern ourselves. We think that "freedom" means license to do whatever we want to do. We think that "general welfare" means adding on to that massive government feeding trough. As we have stopped obeying God's Word and controlling ourselves, as we have gone lax in caring for our own families, young and old, we have found ourselves in an increasingly deep hole, surrounded by a growing number of government officials, along with red tape and high taxes, and... the poor still with us.

Let's get back to taking responsibility for ourselves, to doing what is right ourselves, and maybe we will find the federal government shrinking as a natural result.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now It Begins . . .

Therefore God gave them over . . . (Romans 1:24).

I will have more to say in the next few days over the likely consequences of Barack Obama capturing the White House Tuesday. These consequences are even more likely given Democratic gains in Congress. Scripture tells us we are supposed to pray for our leaders, and we'd better begin doing it now. I believe that my country has just made a mistake of monumental proportions.

I remember the late Peter Jennings of ABC News sniffing with disdain when the GOP won control of Congress for the first time in decades in 1994. (I'm sure he'd be celebrating now, along with the rest of the liberal media) He said that the country had thrown a temper tantrum. This was much more than a tantrum. It was more like going postal. You wanted change, America. You're going to get more than you bargained for.

I think there are many ways to analyze what happened, and I intend to do that in posts to come. There are several factors that contributed to Obama's win, not the least of which are several key missteps by Republicans. Yes, the Republicans bear a good chunk of the blame. Now they've exiled themselves from the political wilderness for who knows how long. Who knows if they'll have the opportunity to even recover given what's likely coming on this nation.

As an aside, did anyone see the AP story yesterday with the headline, "World Hopes for a Less Arrogant America?" One portion of the story said, "In much of the Islamic world, Muslims expressed hope that the U.S. would seek compromise rather than confrontation." One of the quotes in that section came from the foreign minister of Malaysia, who said, "I hope Obama wins because of the need of the world to see the U.S. represent a more cosmopolitan or universal political attitude."

Cosmopolitan?!? That takes a lot of cheek considering it comes from a part of the world where women are treated like chattels and Christians undergo severe persecution. We all know how the Muslim world is known for its forbearance and tolerance, don't we?

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

No Matter Who Wins the Election . . .

1. The Bible will still have all the answers.

2. Prayer will still work.

3. The Holy Spirit will still move.

4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.

5. There will still be God-anointed teaching and preaching.

6. There will still be singing of praise to God.

7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.

8. There will still be room at the Cross.

9. Jesus will still love you.

10. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him..

God has approved this message!

Sent to me via email this morning. Good stuff!

Election Day . . . Vote!

Well, it's D-Day. Or should I say "V-Day?" I'm over my cynicism, at least for the next 24 hours or so. Despite my enjoyment of Tony Banks' witty lyrics yesterday, I do believe that every American should exercise their civic responsibility and vote. I have no idea what the outcome will be, but I do know the One who is in charge, and it's not Barack Obama or John McCain. It's our sovereign God.

It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding (Daniel 2:21).

I'll have more to say in a day or two on the election and its aftermath. No matter who wins, there will be a lot of thinking and praying to do.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Wisdom from Tony Banks

Whenever we enter a political season, I really have to fight my cynical side. But from time to time, I have to give in to it.

These wonderful lyrics are by Genesis keyboardist Tony Banks. Enjoy!

(Tony Banks/Nik Kershaw)

They're kissing babies and telling me lies
They're taking over my television
They're making noises that sound so wise
Trying to influence my decision

Rituals old fashioned
With speeches so proud and passionate
Hope reigns, fears rule
I may be crazy but I'm not such a fool
No such fool

Red day on blue street
And this world promises everything
Old shoes on new feet
Again nothing changes
Red day on blue street

Here comes a man with a face so sincere
Here comes another with power on his mind
Both with a want for a word in my ear
Both with a message of hope for my kind

Heads of this nation
Fight lies with misinformation
And this gives, that takes
One or the other for the difference it makes
None at all

Red day on blue street
And this world promises everything
Old shoes on new feet again
Nothing changes
Red day on blue street

We are the chosen ones
You have asked us to serve you
We deserve you

It's going the way that we said it would
We say that you never had it so good
No one's a loser who plays our game
The difference is clear, we just changed our name
Nobody knows that it's just the same

Red day on blue street
Or how about
Blue day on red street
It doesn't matter, it really doesn't
It doesn't matter, it really doesn't

Somebody showing me the magical way
Somebody waving the key to my chains
They must believe I was born yesterday
They must believe I've got sand for my brains

Members historical
Woo me with words rhetorical
Blood runs, mud flies
Can't see a thing for the wool in my eyes
In my eyes

Red day on blue street
And this world promises everything
Old shoes on new feet again
Nothing changes

Red day on blue street
This world promises everything
Old shoes on new feet again
Nothing changes

Red day on blue street
Street, promises everything
Old shoes on new feet again
Nothing changes

Red day on blue street


P.S. By the way, I should say this for the record -- and it should be obvious by my previous posts. I think this election does matter. My concern is that, even by electing John McCain, we're only forestalling the inevitable. The entire mindset, morality and worldview of our culture has changed, and not by accident.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wisdom from Abraham Lincoln

Spoken by the future (and first Republican) president on January 27, 1838 . . .

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chests; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in the trial of a thousand years.
At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.