Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 29, 2011
|“||We [Anonymous] just happen to be a group of people on the internet who need — just kind of an outlet to do as we wish, that we wouldn't be able to do in regular society. ...That's more or less the point of it. Do as you wish. ... There's a common phrase: 'we are doing it for the lulz.'||”|
We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
Hmmm. "Do as you wish." What a phrase. If you look back in history, this is very similar to what notorious British occultist Alistair Crowley once said. His philosophy was pretty much, "do what thou wilt."
I also find the last bit interesting. "We are Legion." Biblically astute people will recognize this phrase as coming out of the demon-possessed man set free by the Lord Jesus. Alistair Crowley's philosophy, borne out of the demonic. And a plan of action using the words of demons - evil creatures all.
Somehow, it just makes sense. And like all devils, there is a final destination for them. It won't be pleasant. And they won't be allowed to "do what they will."
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
There has been lots of buzz about the new film, "The Iron Lady," starring Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher. Even her friends and supporters are divided about the film's merits and fairness to Mrs. Thatcher's legacy.
Here is a link to Nick Robinson's view of the film. Nick is one of the BBC's political analysts who began covering Mrs. Thatcher toward the tail-end of her tenure at No. 10 Downing Street.
As many of my readers are aware, I'm generally not one who likes new films. I am firmly stuck in the Golden Age of Hollywood (1930-1955) and especially film noir. And it has to be black and white. However, this is one that I will be interested in seeing.
I have often wished we had an American Margaret Thatcher. We no longer have Ronald Reagan, and none of our current GOP offerings are Reagan. I think I'd take Margaret Thatcher — even with diminished mental faculties — over what our current offerings are on both sides of the political spectrum.
I know I'll have to pick someone to support eventually. But I'm sure not thrilled about the prospects.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
As you'll see from this Christian Post article, the commander in question basically told a group of militant atheists to go pound sand when they demanded he take down a Nativity scene erected at the base.
I'm glad, and three cheers to the Air Force. I agree with his assessment of the Constitution, and I would even go farther than him.
It never ceases to irritate me when I consider how the courts and modern politicians have distorted the so-called Establishment Clause beyond recognition. All this provision of the Constitution was intended to do was to prevent Congress from establishing a state religion, with the Church of England as a comparative example. Congress shall not "establish a religion, nor PREVENT THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF." That's all it means. No more, no less. It was never intended to ban Nativity scenes or anything of the sort. A Nativity scene is not establishing a state church.
If our Founding Fathers were still alive—men who might actually know a little something about the Constitution because they wrote it—they would be aghast at what today's courts and politicians have done. And someone would get quite the lecture.
As a final aside, I can't help but be amused a bit with militant atheists. They're so threatened by something in which they claim not to believe. Some atheists I know personally actually share my opinion, finding it amusing as well.
Monday, December 26, 2011
time, the victims are the subscribers to the global security think tank
"Stratfor," shorthand for Strategic Forecasting.
Here is a link to Forbes Magazine's" article on the infuriating event, if
you want the whole story. Below is the pertinent paragraph on what happened:
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
When you get a few minutes, read this linked article about Janet Boynes and her ministry. Janet herself is a former lesbian. Aside from her wonderful testimony about being set free by the power of the Gospel, the most telling thing to me about the article was the level of hate and vitriol she has endured since leaving the lifestyle. That goes against the approved narrative, you see.
But our God has the power to change anyone's life, no matter how deeply into sin the individual might be.
That's the hope of the Gospel and the love of Christ.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
That in turn led me to remember the Simon and Garfunkel song, "Hazy Shade of Winter." That song contains the lyrics . . .
"But look around,
leaves are brown now
And the sky
is a hazy shade of winter
leaves are brown
There's a patch of snow on the ground."
Don't ask me why my mind works the way it does. I could blame it on my early years in radio, where I had to listen by force to song after song in all sorts of different genres. But it is what it is.
The photo was taken last winter while I was driving to work early one morning. It had been snowing overnight and the sun was trying to peek through the clouds. Many people would find such a scene gloomy, and no doubt Paul Simon had the gloominess of winter on his mind when he wrote "Hazy Shade." But to me, every season has its beauty. I see a stark sort of beauty in that cold picture, with cold snow on the ground, a cold freeze in the air, yet the light of the sun managing somehow to break through the frost and shine its light.
Isn't that what happened on the first Christmas Day long ago? A light broke out into a cold, dark world with the promise of eternal hope. The child in that manger was actually God Incarnate, who grew to become a man, and our Savior. He gave His life on the cross for our sins, and rose again from the dead to justify all who would believe in Him as Savior and Lord.
That ought to warm our hearts even though the outside might be frightful. Our Savior is the greatest gift of all.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
There are times when I dread the end of the year. And it's not because of Christmas. Indeed, Christmas is a wonderful reminder that we serve a sovereign God who is in firm control of His creation.
No, my dread has more to do with the endless re-run of all the horrible stories from the previous year. We'll have to re-live the Japanese tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster, the death of Kim Jong Il, economic turmoil, political turmoil, scandals, and a host of other grim fare followed by hand-wringing and prognostication about what 2012 will bring. Many are expecting disaster, and are making plenty of money selling the idea and how to escape it unscathed. People get ready! It's coming!
Far be it from me to not recognize that we live in a perilous, fallen world. We do. Christians such as myself believe that things on the planet will indeed get much worse before they get better. In fact, the last seven years of this world order will be the worst ever experienced by mankind. We are told by the Lord that . . . For those days will be a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will. Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days (Mark 13:19-20).
When we look at the world right now, it does seem like it's too much for anyone to solve. Europe is in a world of hurt with debt, and the United States seems bound and determined to jump off the same cliff like a herd of lemmings. Everyone wants cuts, except don't cut their piece of pie.
Thank the Lord that He knows the end from the beginning. And thank the Lord that He came to earth, took on the form of a man, died on the cross for my sins and rose again from the dead for my justification. And thank the Lord that He will return one day to receive His own.
That really is the Christmas message — the one true hope of fallen mankind.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The issue of caring for the poor has always been a concern in the Christian world. Jesus was concerned about it, and the Old Testament has plenty of passages dealing with being charitable.
However, in this day and age, the government has gotten involved in the picture and it's no longer the sole purview of the religious community to care for the needy. And the government, of course, handles things through confiscatory taxation. The far left confiscatory crowd loves this, of course. I often wonder if their concern is really for the poor, or if it's solely for perpetuating their political power. Give out money and get votes in return.
Thanks to Dan Phillips for pointing out this essay on the subject. I also posted this over on my Facebook page, and no doubt it will get plenty of comment.
I am getting tired of the Sojourners-types and Democrats saying that conservatives don't care about the poor. It's a canard and a wearisome one. We do care. We just have a different way of going about it than picking other people's pockets by force.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Saturday, December 03, 2011
Thursday, December 01, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well. But they have done this to fulfill the word that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’ (John 15:18-25).
Rather sobering analysis, isn't it? Hence my statement that most Americans don't have a clue about who Jesus really is. To many, he's just a religious figure or great moral teacher. He's no different than Mohammed, Buddha, or any other spiritual teacher. Others have a vague notion that He is the Son of God, and have a basic knowledge of the Christian story, but no more than that. It has no meaning or bearing for their own lives.
If most recognized Him for who He truly is — God Incarnate who came to this world in human form, died on the cross for our sins and rose again from the dead for our justification — and will return again soon to judge the world and everyone in it . . . they probably would have a much more hostile reaction unless the Lord was in the process of drawing them to Himself in saving faith.
It's a clue to me that we as individual believers and as church congregations need to do a much better job at evangelism. And people will respond in two ways as they hear the Gospel, maybe three. They will repent or they will get angry, as the Wesleys used to point out. Or they will be indifferent and put it off until later, which could have eternally deadly consequences, as no one is guaranteed a tomorrow. After you die, it's too late.
But as long as they are allowed to have this vague notion of Jesus as the gentle shepherd on the mountainside and moral teacher who did a lot of good, they'll be content with that. That's not threatening to their personal autonomy and self-centered pursuit of their own goals in life. Jesus as Lord and Judge is disconcerting, disquieting, and even frightening. So they'll fight that tooth and nail. Yet the Lord in His mercy will save some.
It really is as C.S. Lewis once brilliantly put it . . .
"I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -‑ on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg ‑- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse."
Then Lewis adds: "You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to."
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Sunday, November 27, 2011
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Friday, November 25, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
As the creator of the New Baptist Covenant, Carter sought to make “a positive, non-exclusive program of sharing the Gospel of Christ” that lacked “the legalistic interpretation of Scripture.”
The New Baptist Covenant has a three-fold mission that involves creating “an authentic and prophetic Baptist voice,” emphasizing “traditional Baptist values, including sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” and the promotion of various social causes like feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and protecting religious diversity.
When you flesh out what he means by "legalistic interpretation of Scripture," you will no doubt find holes large enough to accommodate a Greyhound bus. Carter is clueless not only about "traditional Baptist values," he's also clueless when it comes to biblical doctrine.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Given the Catholic Church’s ban on contraception, the bishops’ position shouldn’t come as a surprise to Ms. Pelosi — but she still manages to be baffled by the their concern for conscience protections for health insurers who might not want to have to cover birth control just to be able to provide other types of health insurance.
Similarly, she was skeptical earlier this year that Republicans would fight for conscience protections for health care providers out of any noble motive. Republicans must want women to “die on the floor,” she said, just because they don’t want to compel health care providers to assist with abortions.
She still thinks that — only more so, if that could possibly be.
“[Those who disagree] may not like the language,’’ she told The Washington Post, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing [that puts women at risk.]”
Shame on us! How dare we have a conscience!
Remarkable, isn't it? A "devout" Catholic who "honors and loves" her faith, yet blasts it because she finds its moral teachings on a social issue politically inconvenient. And this hysterical phrase about women "dying on the floor" is demagoguery at its worst.
I really hope Nancy gets politically clobbered on this one. As a matter of fact, the Pope should excommunicate her and teach her a lesson.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Conservative pundits and bloggers (and the occasional TV reporter -network biases aside -) have done their work in revealing the true nature of these "Occupy" protests that began in New York and have now spread to other cities.
Try as they might, the talking heads and liberal politicians who have tried to tie these agitators and professional squallers to the Tea Party have largely failed. They have little in common, and certainly are no where near in comparison in behavior with the vast majority of Tea Party protests, Town Halls and demonstrations. For one thing, the Tea Partiers made their point, and then they went back home. First, they cleaned up the grounds where they held their events, and often left them in better shape than they were when they got there.
Not so this bunch. They're anarchist or communist in many cases and not very unified in message, with the exception of wanting to cause as much agitation as possible. Many demand the entire overthrow of our free enterprise system in favor of some sort of socialist communitarian utopia. They are damaging things, vandalizing, urinating and defecating on public and private property, spreading disease, with reports of rapes and other crimes. They're quite a bunch.
In our American system, we don't handle protest the same way they handle protests and agitators over in Europe - even in "democratic" Western Europe. When things get out of hand there, out come the water cannons and the truncheons until the crowd is broken up and dispersed. We're reluctant to do that here, as we really value First Amendment protections of freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Here's one of the problems as I see it. Many of these "Occupiers" are not engaging in peaceful, lawful protest. They're acting like criminals. From what I can gather, there is nothing really constructive about what they want, except some vague slogans and catchphrases about "overthrowing Wall Street." The real culprits are the "community organizers" and wealthy types (reminds me of George Soros) helping to fund this kind of stuff behind the scenes. They're well trained in Saul Alinsky methods in raising a ruckus, with a touch of Cloward-Piven thrown in for good measure. Create as much havoc and strain on the system as possible until it cracks and breaks under the pressure.
If these people get their way, the very rights and constitutional protections they demand are the first ones they would waste no time in taking away from the rest of us if they got their way. In their world, owning and operating a successful, profitable business would be nigh impossible. They really are iconoclasts interested only in destruction.
My one hope is that people are finally beginning to weary of their antics. As I've mentioned earlier, even liberal mayors out in California, Oregon and elsewhere are beginning to see that enough is enough. Mainstream America is really beginning to get irked, and this will only end up hurting the Occupiers in the long run. Rather than getting their way, the ones they want elected to office will be defeated in a landslide.
I'll conclude by saying this, and for many on the outside, it will be a surprise coming from an American. I don't mind legitimate demonstrations. I don't mind orderly, lawful demonstrations. I support free speech. But I do NOT support lawbreaking and disorder, nor do I support the shutting down of lawful commerce and the normal warp, woof and life of a city just so a bunch of do-less good-for-nothings who haven't bathed in weeks can stand out and block traffic to yell and scream at the top of their lungs. I think they need to stop it and stop it now. Do something constructive. Run for office, or support candidates who feel the way you do. Do it nationally, do it statewide, and do it locally. Get a job. Help at a soup kitchen. Mentor a young boy or girl who needs a role model. Join the Peace Corp. Join the mission field, that is assuming you're a Christian (and from what I've seen thus far, there aren't many). But knock off this nonsense.
Otherwise, I'm fine with the authorities bringing in the water cannon and using all necessary force to restore order. Read Romans 13 if you think I'm being over the top. The state's job is to maintain order.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
For today's post, we make a friendly visit to our friends at the BBC in the United Kingdom.
First, on a happier note, there is a story about Queen Elizabeth and other notables attending a service/observance reflecting the 400th anniversary of the venerable King James Version of the Bible. It would have been nice to have seen some more evangelical representation in the story, but at least it's largely a positive account and respectful.
The next story is not so pleasant. Are you ready?
It appears there's a new Spanish-origin play about the Lord Jesus on stage in France, and it's causing quite the controversy. Here's a clip boiling down the dispute to a nutshell:
Another senior Catholic cleric, Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon, condemned what he said was Garcia's depiction of Christ as "madman, dog, pyromaniac, messiah of Aids, devil-whore, no better than a terrorist".
Garcia himself said his play, which depicts the life of Christ through shocking images of contemporary consumer society, was a reflection of everyday reality.
Too bad we can't just be satisfied with the biblical account. That describes the life of our Lord quite accurately, and most importantly, offers up the purpose of His earthly sojourn - God the Son becoming our sin-bearer, laying down His life, dying on the cross for our sins and rising again from the dead for our justification.
I expect we'll continue to see stuff like this and much worse as time moves on toward the Lord's return - this time as judge. Sir Ian McKellen can tear out all the pages of Scripture he likes when he finds Gideon Bibles in motel rooms. Dan Radcliffe can tell the BBC and other media how much he "hates" Christians and others who call homosexuality what it is - sin. The world can continue on hating God, hating His Son, and hating His people. And it will until God says enough.
And until we get to that point, Christians will go on lovingly proclaiming the Gospel. The Lord will lovingly and graciously draw people to Himself in salvation, and the Lord will go on building His Church. And one day only known by Him, He will return and receive His people to Himself, and we will be with Him for eternity.
And there will also be a final judgment of all who reject Him. Final and eternal. Repent while you still can.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Thus far, I haven't had much to say about the "Occupy Wall Street" frumpuses going on in New York and other cities across the country. Although I knew largely who and what was behind it and that it had little to do with the same kind of spirit that drove the Tea Party gatherings last year, I wanted to wait and see if what I expected came to pass.
And yes, largely it has. The "Occupiers' have shown themselves to be largely nothing but ne'r do well left-wingers, anarchists, communist-socialist sympathizers who are more interested in disruption and bringing down the country's system more than they are actually accomplishing anything positive or wholesome. They're right out of the Saul Alinsky/Cloward-Piven school. The Tea Party was largely civil and organized, had a constructive message, and moreover, they cleaned up after themselves and went home. This bunch seems to attract every kind of lout, with rapes, vandalism, sanitary problems, violence etc. now being daily occurrences, or so it seems. Many of them seem to be anarchists. Literally.
It's doubly telling to me that even liberal Democratic mayors in Oakland (right across the water from Berkeley and San Francisco) and other locations have had a gut-full, and are beginning to order the protesters to disband, cease and desist.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for legitimate protest, and the right of the people to bring their grievances to governing authorities in a respectful, orderly manner. We have the right of free speech, which is precious.
But you do not have the right to rape, pillage, vandalize, trespass on private property, disrupt legal commerce, and the other high-jinks being performed by the Occupy crowds. Most of them don't even have the foggiest idea of what they're doing out there. They've said their piece, now they need to go home. And if they're not willing to go home, then they need to be given new digs in the closest county jail.
Monday, November 14, 2011
I've always been a fan of Bryan Duncan, dating back to the time when he was lead singer of Sweet Comfort Band. If I had to pick a favorite solo recording of Bryan's, it would be his album "Strong Medicine."
According to this news item at Christian Music's website, Bryan is planning a new album and he'd like some help from his fans and supporters.
A clip from the release says that the purpose of doing this through Kickstarter is to help "fund the release of his 23rd album and the re-issue of eight out-of-print CDs. The campaign runs through December 16, 2011, and, according to Kickstarter’s policy, must reach its goal to receive any funding." Here's more . . .
Kickstarter.com is a web site that describes itself as a new way to fund & follow creativity. “The cool thing about Kickstarter” says Duncan, “is fans get to be a part of my music project. That’s a lot better than re-tweeting something I said or tagging me in a photo.”
Duncan’s supporters can also receive special incentives for participating in the Kickstarter campaign - autographed albums, house concerts, duets in concert or on their own albums -- and the chance to talk with Duncan by phone or videoconference.
“My fans and I share many of the same experiences. We’re all just learning what it means to experience God’s grace in all of life’s circumstances. Interaction with them often is the inspiration for songs,” Duncan says. “ So it’s exciting to have a way to connect with some of them during the writing and recording process.”
Duncan views music as a calling, so he’ll be writing and singing as long as he’s able, with or without a record company.
“If you’ve got a calling, you’re compelled to do it -- regardless of how painful it gets or what everyone else thinks about it. I’m grateful, though, that there are people who have listened to my music and supported me for so many years.”
I plan on contributing, and I'd encourage you to do so as well.
As a final note, Bryan, along with Sweet Comfort Band-mates Randy Thomas (Allies) and Rick Thomson, are working on a new SCB album. In part, this will be in memorial of SCB founder and bassist Kevin Thomson, who passed away last year after a long illness.
As to whether there will be an SCB tour, it remains to be seen. Pray for God's provision and direction for Bryan, Randy and the band.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Well, it's happened again.
I don't know what it is today with these young stars and starlets who vocally identify themselves as Christians, only to compromise their testimonies by crude, sinful or idiotic behavior.
Do I need to make a list? Katy Perry, who decided to tip her bonnet to lesbianism (I Kissed a Girl and I Liked It). Miley Cyrus, former Disney star of Hannah Montana, who has done all sorts of fun things including pole dancing and seeming endorsement of pre-marital sex plus homosexuality. We had the brother band "Hanson," who identify themselves as evangelical Christians, yet refuse to talk about their faith and at least one got his future wife pregnant out of wedlock.
Now we have Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. This group of brothers have identified themselves as Christians. So please tell me why Joe felt the need to have rapper "Lil' Wayne" appear on his solo album and contribute "explicit lyrics." Here is a brief account of things.
"Let no corrupt speech proceed from your mouth." I could give you a whole host of other Scriptures that are pertinent to the subject. But I am beginning to wonder whether I should bother.
This up and coming generation of professed believers seems to have forgotten the Word of God. They have a "whatever" attitude, and don't you DARE judge them. Even though Scripture makes it plain we are to exercise judgment on the behavior of believers in the church. No matter.
Wanna have sex outside of marriage? Go for it. Wanna cuss up a blue streak in the name of being "authentic?" Go for it. Don't bother us with what Scripture says, especially when Jesus says - "If you love Me, keep my commandments."
We are not saved by commandment keeping. But our desire to be obedient to the Lord is a pretty good bellwether of our spiritual health. Do we love Him, or do we not?
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Beware of open microphones.
They always used to tell us that in radio broadcasting. Anytime there was a microphone present, you had the potential of being broadcast over the air. Watch your mouth.
Too bad President Obama and French president Nikolas Sarkozy didn't learn that lesson. Or perhaps they don't care. As this published report indicates, Obama and Sarkozy engaged in some trash talk aimed at Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Personally, I'm glad they got caught. We have long suspected Obama of being anti-Israel and his actions thus far have borne that out in my humble opinion. As for Sarkozy, I'm not surprised given Europe's general anti-Semitism. I think he's probably on his way out in the next French election, but we'll see.
I can only hope Obama is on his way out as the U.S. president in the next election. Sadly, he can still do a lot of damage to the country between now and January 20, 2013.
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Now and then I have my introspective moments, usually triggered by something I see around me. Today is one of those days.
For some time now, I've been increasingly bothered by the growing inability to distinguish between saved and unsaved people. I don't mean to suggest that saved people (meaning those having a saving faith and relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) don't struggle with the sin nature and stumble from time to time. I am talking about those who claim such a relationship with the Lord, yet their lifestyles, choices and speech does not reflect anything at all of the Savior — His holiness, His purity, His love, His zeal and passion for truth, not to mention His zeal and passion for the lost.
Today, we have believers who think nothing of enjoying pornography or skating as close to it as they can get. We have believers who don't just enjoy a sip of wine at dinner, but routinely get roaring drunk out at the bars without an afterthought — except perhaps bemoaning their hangovers.
We have a whole host of young evangelicals (and some not so young) who think it's perfectly okay to fornicate (sex outside of marriage) or to see just how close they can come to it without actually "going all the way." And then there's the language thing. Most of us stumble with our tongues from time to time, especially when greatly angered. And most of us with the indwelling Holy Spirit feel horribly convicted about it and their hearts are repentant. But not the current crew in this generation. They cuss like sailors and are proud of it. Some of it can even come from the pulpit.
More and more, it's a matter of pride to look as gaudy and worldly as possible. Between the nose rings and ear-lobe rings the size of Frisbees, and tattoos almost to the point of making people look like cave paintings, it almost makes you feel like you're going to get mugged or smell the distinct whiff of body odor the closer you get. But maybe I'm thinking of the Wall Street protests. I'll have to think about it a while.
But what about God's Word? What about the Lord's commands not to engage in sex before marriage? What about not letting corrupt, vulgar speech proceed out of your mouth? What about the myriad Scriptures condemning drunkenness? What about not putting any marks on ourselves? Oh, please. You're being a legalist. Who are you to judge my heart? I know I'm going to heaven, so what I do really doesn't matter.
How antinomian. And quite frankly, how tragic, especially from people who say they identify with the One who paid the price for our sins on the cross.
Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep my commandments." Think about that one a while.
We are not saved by commandment keeping. We are not saved by works and performance. But our obedience is a sign and a testimony that we have been saved.
I have to wonder how many out there these days truly are.
Friday, October 28, 2011
Now and then the subject of "guardian angels" comes up, and as usual, we get a plethora of opinions about them. Sometimes they are biblically sound and reasonable, and others are really whacked-out with little basis in Scripture, or a verse is cherry-picked and a whole doctrine is built around it, which is an exegetical no-no.
I look at my own life and how the Lord Himself has engineered things to take care of me and my family. While angels might have been involved in some of it, I have to give the Lord Himself the glory for how things work out. Today I received one more of those little "God moments," and I'll get to in in a moment. But let me tell the whole story first.
When I first moved out from Rockford, IL, to my little rural village about 40 miles off, I had really prayed for a good location, especially keeping in mind that I would be taking my elderly mother and stepfather in to live with me eventually. I needed a good, peaceful quiet location for them so they could live out their last years in a modicum of comfort and peace.
The Lord seemed to confirm every step of the way, and I ended up in this little village. Come to find out, the chief deputy sheriff of the county is a believer, and goes to a nearby Evangelical Free Church — my denomination. He lives right up the road from me. His mother and father live next door to me, and keep an eye on Mom for me when I have to be away on business. His mother in law — also a believer — lives right up the road. A further jump up the road on the outside of the village, there is another dear couple who attend my church and are in the Sunday school class I teach. They walk by my house and say good morning every day.
But it gets better. I ended up having to switch banks because my bank went belly up, so I switched to a local branch in the main town nearby. The bank manager turns out to be a believer who goes to my church!
Once when Mom needed a caregiver during the day post-surgery, I chose a local firm to help and the first one they sent out here turns out to be a believer who loves the Lord, and she took excellent care of Mom.
Today, my car broke down, so I took it to the local Buick dealership for service. The man who runs their shuttle service to take me back home recognized my voice, and it turns out he is a believer and attends my church.
It seems like the Lord has graciously surrounded me and my mother with His people. It is such a blessing and encouragement to both of us. The enormity of the blessing hit me rather forcefully this morning, so I just wanted to say "Praise God," and have you join me in offering Him glory and thanksgiving. He always looks after His people!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
This one really takes the cake.
No doubt, many of you have heard that Christian apologist William Lane Craig has been trying to get virulent atheist Richard Dawkins to debate on the subject of God's existence etc. Dawkins generally refuses to accept these challenges, but this time he really irritated me.
Check out this little London Guardian column on the subject. A key reason Dawkins says he refuses to debate Craig is the idea that Craig would defend a God who is "guilty of genocide." What a hoot and what a load of malarkey. I suspect the real reason is that William Lane Craig would hand Dawkins his head.
Note also the undercurrent smug arrogance of Richard Dawkins. As if he has the right to sit in judgment on an omniscient Creator for executing righteous judgment that only He has the right to execute. Mr. Dawkins ought to do some research on Canaanite culture and some of their grotesquely wicked practices before he gets in a huff at God. Oddly enough, if he doesn't believe such a God exists, it's interesting that he gets so excised over the subject.
Richard Dawkins can feign anger and outrage at William Lane Craig and other Christians all he wants. But his real problem is much more serious. Deep down inside, denials aside, Dawkins KNOWS there is a God, and that he is one day going to have to stand before that God and give an account for himself. That makes him angry and full of wrath, much like the reality of this causes Satan to have great wrath, because he knows his time is short.
Unless Dawkins has a serious change in attitude, repents of his sins and acknowledges Christ as Savior, Lord and God, their future encounter will not go very well.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I don't know if you've ever heard of 30-year-old Stanley Thornton, Jr. He's the man who wants to live like a baby. If you haven't yet heard of him, I'm sure most of you have heard of Dr. Keith Ablow, who recently contributed this opinion piece to Fox News Channel.
I remember something of this story before, and it made me pretty mad. It's making me mad again, and I think Dr. Ablow is spot-on in his criticism of both the government and modern-day psychiatry/psychology.
At its root, psychology is "study of the soul." I have little use for it, and my attitude has been formed from personal experience witnessing its tender, loving ministrations in the lives of loved ones. Studying the history and background of psychology hasn't helped, especially when you consider the atheistic Freud and the occult leanings of Jung. Sounds to me like they got most of their ideas out of the pit, if you get my meaning.
I don't mean to suggest that there aren't real psychological problems. I also don't mean to suggest that there can't be psychological issues with underlying medical causes i.e. chemical imbalances etc. But in my humble opinion - based on the truth of God's Word - you can't ignore the spiritual, especially the role of the demonic in deceiving people.
Sometimes people don't need a pill. Sometimes they just need a good kick in the pants. And the Gospel.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Thanks to Frank Turk of Pyromaniacs for the heads up on a very thought-provoking essay by Michael Stokes Paulsen, who serves as University Chair and Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. Professor Paulsen is also the co-director of its Pro-Life Advocacy Center (“PLACE”).
The essay can be seen here at The Public Discourse website. It deals with the troubling subject of abortion, and makes the case that some minds might be changed on the subject if they realized that many abortions are being done on the basis of sex selection. And the ones harmed the most? Females.
Oh, the tragic irony of it — the thought that some women are hell bent on "the right to choose," and it turns out that females are the ones getting aborted.
And when I say tragic, I mean it.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
As with most supporters of Israel, I was pleased to see IDF soldier Gilad Shalit released from his captivity by Hamas terrorists. This linked article from the BBC has more details of Sgt. Shalit's release.
The thing that I find particularly galling is that young Shalit was freed only after Israel bit the bullet and agreed to release 1,000 Palestinian terrorists. Israel freed 477 Palestinians on Tuesday, including people convicted of murder and of planning suicide attacks. Another 550 jailed Palestinians are to be freed next month under the deal. To get one young man freed, they had to let more than 1,000 killers or would-be killers go. And of course, global attention is applauding the terrorists and continuing to condemn Israel.
I suppose you could look at it this way - at least Israel will no longer be responsible for the feeding and housing of these thugs. And we can hope that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not hesitate to order severe military strikes should any of these released terrorists return to their murderous ways.
But for now, I will celebrate young Gilad's release, and I can only imagine what he endured in captivity. I will also continue to be amazed at the double standard aimed at Israel by the bulk of the media and the international community.