Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal



Thursday, December 31, 2015

There Is Only One Army ISIS Fears



A journalist who spent 10 days with ISIS says there's only one army the Jihadis fear - Israel.

German reporter Jürgen Todenhӧfer, a former member of the German parliament who spent 10 days last winter in IS-controlled Iraq and Syria interviewing a number of militants and made it out alive, told the British news site Jewish News that although IS militants are not afraid of the western military power of the United States or European countries, the group's fighters fear military capabilities of Israel.

"The only country ISIS fears is Israel," Todenhӧfer explained. "They told me they know the Israeli army is too strong for them."

Story is here.

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Israel is the only genuine ally America has in the Middle East. It's also the only democracy in the region. It's unfortunate the current administration has, in essence, turned its back on Israel. While I am reformed for the most part in my theology, I adhere to Progressive Dispensationalism which views a role for Israel. If this understanding (upheld at Moody Bible Institute, Talbot Theological where JP Moreland & William Lane Craig reside, and most SBC seminaries including Dallas Theological) is correct, America turning its back on Israel will have grave consequences for us.

(Dispensationalism is an hermeneutical framework used to guide biblical interpretation. Although often presented as a series of administrations enumerating God's major dealings with mankind, the interpretive center of Dispensationalism is actually a distinction between Israel, the Church, and the Millennial Kingdom. The opposing viewpoint found in Reformed theology is Covenant theology, sometimes referred to as "Replacement Theology" in which interpreters view the church as the fulfillment of OT Israel. In this view, true Israel (the believing remnant) becomes the NT church and is expanded to include Gentiles. The OT promises made to Israel are fulfilled in the church. Progressive Dispensationalism somewhat combines the two viewpoints, but in a limited way.)

Some tenents of Progressive Dispensationalism:
  1. Essentially recognizes the more literal fulfillment of prophecy (which is Traditional Dispensationalism’s strong suit) but accepts how the New Testament authors quote and apply the Old Testament to the church (Traditional Dispensationalism’s most vulnerable point).
  2. Is not Replacement Theology; Progressive Dispensationalists assert that God will keep His promises made to “Israel according to the flesh,” the genetic descendents of Jacob.
  3. Acknowledges a future 7-year Tribulation followed by a 1,000 Millennium with Christ personally present and reigning from Jerusalem.
  4. Affirms that the nation of Israel (in the Millennium) will be exalted as a nation with a rebuilt Temple and sacrificial offerings (that the Messianic Age is compatible with Temple worship is demonstrated in Acts 21:17-26).
  5. On the other hand, it does see the church fulfilling many Old Testament prophecies (and thus differs from Traditional Dispensationalism on this point), but in a less literal sense or incomplete sense; Progressives break rank with Traditionals by concluding that the church was anticipated in the Old Testament (but not clearly). The term "mystery," when used in reference to the church, is not defined as "something previously unrevealed," (as in Traditional Dispensationalism) but "previously revealed unclearly."
  6. Views the church as being blessed through Israel; Progressives avow that God has never stopped working with Israel (some Jews now believe, and He is provoking others to jealousy); the Jews will rebuild the Tribulation Temple largely in unbelief; although the 144,000 will be saved during the earlier part of the Tribulation, most Jews will not believe until the Battle of Armageddon, as interpreted from Zechariah 12.
  7. Is a "now, but not yet" viewpoint - i.e., the Kingdom Age is breaking forth now, but will have a complete fulfillment during the Millennium.
The Evangelical Calvinist online explains the difference between Classic Dispensationalism and Progressive Dispensationalism:

This is a huge distinction between Classical (Revised) Dispensationalism and Progressive Dispensationalism. As noted by Blaising/Bock the rise of the church does not need to be seen as an interruption or secondary plan of salvation relative to Israel. Rather the nation of Israel provided the historic and ethnic vehicle through which the Messiah—Jesus would come and bring salvation to ALL NATIONS, including, Jews. The PD differs with classical dispensationalists most clairvoyantly at this juncture. There is not one plan of salvation for Jews and one for Gentiles—there is one plan of salvation for all.

BUT, here’s the caveat, unlike amillennialists, who believe in total continuity between Israel and the Church, PD still maintains a “functional role distinction” between Israel and the Church. In other words, both Israel and the Church have partaken of the same salvation—and part of this salvation is yet to be realized as God fulfills His promise to Israel (His Covenant people) to bring a believing remnant (ethnic Christian Jews) into Jerusalem where Jesus will literally rule the nations upon the earth (with His church, both Jew and Gentile) for a thousand years (see Revelation 20).

Michael Patton of the "Reclaiming The Mind" ministry elaborates on progressive dispensationalism below ...


Ultra-feminist declares herself pro-life, apologizes to Christians



In yet another display of God's marvelous grace, an ultra-feminist in Brazil has repented and adopted a pro-life position. In the video above, she apologizes and asks Christians for forgiveness.

Sara Fernanda Giromini first made herself known to Brazil and to the world under the alias “Sara Winter” in 2012, when she became the founding member of Femen Brazil, and led a trio of girls in a number of topless protests that garnered much media attention. However, only three years later, the young activist has done an about-face and has declared war on feminism and abortion, and is apologizing to Christians for her offensive behavior. She has also published a short book detailing the abuse and disappointment she suffered at the hands of fellow feminists.

... “I have repented of having had an abortion and today I ask for forgiveness,” wrote Giromini. “Yesterday marked one month after the birth of my baby and my life has taken on a new meaning. I’m writing this while he sleeps serenely on my lap. It is the greatest sensation in the world.”

“Please, women who are desperate to abort, think carefully about it. I was very sorry I did it. I don’t want the same for you,” she added.

... “I saw the feminist movement cover up for pedophiles,” Giromini warned. “I saw the feminist movement persecute women. … I am a witness to the fact that today in the feminist movement women are not of any importance but serve as fuel for the fires of hatred that the feminist sect cannot allow to die.”

Story is here.

Quotes from President Obama on Islam



President Obama’s quotes on Islam:
  1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”
  2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”
  3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”
  4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”
  5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”
  6. “Islam has always been part of America”
  7. “We will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”
  8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”
  9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
  10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”
  11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”
  12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”
  13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”
  14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”
  15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”
  16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”
  17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”
  18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”
  19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”
  20. “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”
Unfortunately, you look in vain for similar quotes from him regarding Christianity.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Contemporary Example Of How The World Is Easily Deceived



Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1, ESV)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. (Col 2:8, ESV)

The world is easily deceived. It began of course long ago in the garden of Eden. Since then history is replete with tragic example after deadly illustration of how easily the world is deceived.

In the OT, the nation of Israel - the chosen people of God - were deceived time and again until finally the nation was destroyed in judgement.

The ancient Greeks masterfully deceived the Trojans with their gift of the wooden horse.

In the early 20th century, scholars debated about whether the great Vermeer had painted a series of works depicting biblical scenes. Van Meegeren pounced on this opportunity and set to work carefully forging one such disputed work, "The Disciples at Emmaus." With tireless attention to detail, he faked the cracks and aged hardness of a centuries-old painting. He intentionally played on the confirmation bias of critics who wanted to believe that Vermeer painted these scenes. It worked: Experts hailed the painting as authentic, and van Meegeren made out like a bandit producing and selling more fake Vermeers.

After ­Charles Darwin published his revolutionary "On the Origin of Species" in 1859, scientists scrambled to find fossil evidence of extinct human ancestors. They sought these so-called "missing links" to fill in the gaps on the timeline of human evolution. When archaeologist Charles Dawson unearthed what he thought was a missing link in 1910, what he really found was one of the biggest hoaxes in history. The discovery was the "Piltdown" man, pieces of a skull and jaw with molars located in the Piltdown quarry in Sussex, England. Dawson brought his discovery to prominent paleontologist Arthur Smith Woodward, who touted its authenticity to his dying day. Although the discovery gained world renown, the lie behind Piltdown man slowly and steadily unraveled. In the ensuing decades, other major discoveries suggested Piltdown man didn't fit in the story of human evolution. By the 1950s, tests revealed that the skull was only 600 years old and the jaw came from an orangutan. Some knowledgeable person apparently manipulated these pieces, including filing down and staining the teeth.

In the 20th century, Joseph Goebbels (Hitler's Propaganda Minister) was a master at deceiving the German populace. And although Nazis perpetuated centuries-old lies, this time those lies would have their most devastating effects. Like never before, anti-Semitism was manifested in a sweeping national policy known as "the Final Solution," which sought to eliminate Jews from the face of the Earth. To accomplish this, Adolf Hitler and Goebbels, launched a massive campaign to convince the German people that the Jews were their enemies. Having taken over the press, they spread lies blaming Jews for all of Germany's problems, including the loss of World War I. One outrageous lie dating back to the Middle Ages claimed that Jews engaged in the ritual killings of Christian children and used their blood in the unleavened bread eaten at Passover.

More recently, when Bernie Madoff admitted that his investment firm was "just one big lie," it was an understatement. In 2008, he confessed to having conned about $50 billion from investors who trusted him with their savings. Madoff used the f­ormula of a Ponzi scheme to keep up the fraud for more than a decade.

Planned Parenthood deceives our culture into believing unborn babies are merely a mass of meaningless tissue ... and then turns around and secretly markets the valuable, harvested organs.

A contemporary example of widespread deception is found in the commonly-accepted wisdom that the Republican political party in the United States has a history of racism, while the Democratic political party is championed as the party of equality. Is this true? Do historical facts bear this out? While I do not identify with either Republicans or Democrats (i.e., see here what I write earlier), let's set the historical record straight on racism with respect to each political party, courtesy of Russ Paielli.

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A Short History of Democrats, Republicans, and Racism

The following are a few basic historical facts that every American should know.

Fact: The Republican Party was founded primarily to oppose slavery, and Republicans eventually abolished slavery. The Democratic Party fought them and tried to maintain and expand slavery. The 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, passed in 1865 with 100% Republican support but only 23% Democrat support in congress.

Why is this indisputable fact so rarely mentioned? PBS documentaries about slavery and the Civil War barely mention it, for example. One can certainly argue that the parties have changed in 150 years (more about that below), but that does not change the historical fact that it was the Democrats who supported slavery and the Republicans who opposed it. And that indisputable fact should not be airbrushed out for fear that it will tarnish the modern Democratic Party.

Had the positions of the parties been the opposite, and the Democrats had fought the Republicans to end slavery, the historical party roles would no doubt be repeated incessantly in these documentaries. Funny how that works.

Fact: During the Civil War era, the "Radical Republicans" were given that name because they wanted to not only end slavery but also to endow the freed slaves with full citizenship, equality, and rights.

Yes, that was indeed a radical idea at the time!

Fact: Lincoln's Vice President, Andrew Johnson, was a strongly pro-Union (but also pro-slavery) Democrat who had been chosen by Lincoln as a compromise running mate to attract Democrats. After Lincoln was assassinated, Johnson thwarted Republican efforts in Congress to recognize the civil rights of the freed slaves, and Southern Democrats continued to thwart any such efforts for close to a century.

Fact: The 14th Amendment, giving full citizenship to freed slaves, passed in 1868 with 94% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress. The 15th Amendment, giving freed slaves the right to vote, passed in 1870 with 100% Republican support and 0% Democrat support in congress.

Regardless of what has happened since then, shouldn't we be grateful to the Republicans for these Amendments to the Constitution? And shouldn't we remember which party stood for freedom and which party fiercely opposed it?

Fact: The Ku Klux Klan was originally and primarily an arm of the Southern Democratic Party. Its mission was to terrorize freed slaves and "ni**er-loving" (their words) Republicans who sympathized with them.

Why is this fact conveniently omitted in so many popular histories and depictions of the KKK, including PBS documentaries? Had the KKK been founded by Republicans, that fact would no doubt be repeated constantly on those shows.

Fact: In the 1950s, President Eisenhower, a Republican, integrated the US military and promoted civil rights for minorities. Eisenhower pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1957. One of Eisenhower's primary political opponents on civil rights prior to 1957 was none other than Lyndon Johnson, then the Democratic Senate Majority Leader. LBJ had voted the straight segregationist line until he changed his position and supported the 1957 Act.

Fact: The historic Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in both houses of Congress. In the House, 80 percent of the Republicans and 63 percent of the Democrats voted in favor. In the Senate, 82 percent of the Republicans and 69 percent of the Democrats voted for it.

Fact: Contrary to popular misconception, the parties never "switched" on racism. The Democrats just switched from overt racism to a subversive strategy of getting blacks as dependent as possible on government to secure their votes. At the same time, they began a cynical smear campaign to label anyone who opposes their devious strategy as greedy racists.

Following the epic civil rights struggles of the 1960s, the South began a major demographic shift from Democratic to Republican dominance. Many believe that this shift was motivated by racism. While it is certainly true that many Southern racists abandoned the Democratic Party over its new support for racial equality and integration, the notion that they would flock to the Republican Party -- which was a century ahead of the Democrats on those issues -- makes no sense whatsoever.

Yet virtually every liberal, when pressed on the matter, will inevitably claim that the parties "switched," and most racist Democrats became Republicans! In their minds, this historical ju jitsu maneuver apparently transfers all the past sins of the Democrats (slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow laws, etc.) onto the Republicans and all the past virtues of the Republicans (e.g., ending slavery) onto the Democrats! That's quite a feat!

It is true that Barry Goldwater's opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 probably attracted some racist Democrats to the Republican Party. However, Goldwater was not a racist -- at least not an overt racist like so many Southern Democrats of the time, such as George Wallace and Bull Connor. He publicly professed racial equality, and his opposition to the 1964 Act was based on principled grounds of states rights. In any case, his libertarian views were out of step with the mainstream, and he lost the 1964 Presidential election to LBJ in a landslide.

But Goldwater's opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act provided liberals an opening to tar the Republican Party as racist, and they have tenaciously repeated that label so often over the years that it is now the conventional wisdom among liberals. But it is really nothing more than an unsubstantiated myth -- a convenient political lie. If the Republican Party was any more racist than the Democratic Party even in 1964, why did a higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats in both houses of Congress vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act? The idea that Goldwater's vote on the 1964 Civil Rights Act trumps a century of history of the Republican Party is ridiculous, to say the least.

Every political party has its racists, but the notion that Republicans are more racist than Democrats or any other party is based on nothing more than a constant drumbeat of unsubstantiated innuendo and assertions by Leftists, constantly echoed by the liberal media. It is a classic example of a Big Lie that becomes "true" simply by virtue of being repeated so many times.

A more likely explanation for the long-term shift from Democratic to Republican dominance in the South was the perception, fair or not, that the Democratic Party had rejected traditional Christian religious values and embraced radical secularism. That includes its hardline support for abortion, its rejection of prayer in public schools, its promotion of the gay agenda, and many other issues.

In the 1960s the Democratic Party changed its strategy for dealing with African Americans. Thanks to earlier Republican initiatives on civil rights, blatant racial oppression was no longer a viable political option. Whereas before that time Southern Democrats had overtly and proudly segregated and terrorized blacks, the national Democratic Party decided instead to be more subtle and get them as dependent on government as possible. As LBJ so elegantly put it [in a famous moment of candor regarding his Great Society Plan] that was recorded for posterity), "I'll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years." [The source of the quote is Robert Kessler's book "Inside the White House"; he's never been proven wrong in any statement in the book.] At the same time, the Democrats started a persistent campaign of lies and innuendo, falsely equating any opposition to their welfare state with racism.

From a purely cynical political perspective, the Democratic strategy of black dependence has been extremely effective. LBJ knew exactly what he was doing. African Americans routinely vote well over 90 percent Democratic for fear that Republicans will cut their government benefits and welfare programs. And what is the result? Before LBJ's Great Society welfare programs, the black illegitimacy rate was as low as 23 percent, but now it has more than tripled to 72 percent.

Most major American city governments have been run by liberal Democrats for decades, and most of those cities have large black sections that are essentially dysfunctional anarchies. Cities like Detroit are overrun by gangs and drug dealers, with burned out homes on every block in some areas. The land values are so low due to crime, blight, and lack of economic opportunity that condemned homes are not even worth rebuilding. Who wants to build a home in an urban war zone? Yet they keep electing liberal Democrats -- and blaming "racist" Republicans for their problems!

Washington DC is another city that has been dominated by liberal Democrats for decades. It spends more per capita on students than almost any other city in the world, yet it has some of the worst academic achievement anywhere and is a drug-infested hellhole. Barack Obama would not dream of sending his own precious daughters to the DC public schools, of course -- but he assures us that those schools are good enough for everyone else. In fact, Obama was instrumental in killing a popular and effective school voucher program in DC, effectively killing hopes for many poor black families trapped in those dysfunctional public schools. His allegiance to the teachers unions apparently trumps his concern for poor black families.

A strong argument could also be made that Democratic support for perpetual affirmative action is racist. It is, after all, the antithesis of Martin Luther King's dream of a color-blind society. Not only is it "reverse racism," but it is based on the premise that African Americans are incapable of competing in the free market on a level playing field. In other words, it is based on the notion of white supremacy, albeit "benevolent" white supremacy rather than the openly hostile white supremacy of the pre-1960s Democratic Party.

[I must also add that the NAACP (National Association for Advancement of Colored People) was founded by Republicans, not Democrats. As recently as 2010, the Senate’s president pro tempore was former Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.).

When he was running for president in 2000, Vice President Al Gore told the NAACP that his father, Senator Al Gore Sr., had lost his Senate seat because he voted for the Civil Rights Act. Uplifting story — except it’s false. Gore Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act. He lost in 1970 in a race that focused on prayer in public schools, the Vietnam War, and the Supreme Court.

See here for more background on the racist history of the Democrat political party. ]

The next time someone claims that Republicans are racist and Democrats are not, don't fall for it.


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At heart, all deception is enabled by powerful spiritual forces in enmity with God in conjunction with the deadly sin nature inherent in every human being since Adam and Eve.  The Bible warns of worldwide deception at the end of age that will even ensnare many within the church (Matt 24:10; 1 Tim 4:1)

Cultural Collapse Theory



In April, 2014 "Roosh V" (pictured above with a a degree in microbiology who began a career as an industrial microbiologist but now authors for a living) authored an interesting thesis here entitled "Cultural Collapse Theory" where he articulates his perspective on the progression of cultural collapse:
  1. Removal of religious narrative from people’s lives, replaced by a treadmill of scientific and technological “progress.”
  2. Elimination of traditional sex roles through feminism, gender equality, political correctness, cultural Marxism, and socialism.
  3. Delay or abstainment of family formation by women to pursue careerist lifestyles while men wait in confused limbo.
  4. Decreasing birth rate among native population.
  5. Government enactment of open immigration policies to prevent economic collapse.
  6. Immigrant refusal to fully acclimate, forcing host culture to adopt external rituals and beliefs while being out-reproduced.
  7. Natives becoming marginalized in their own country.
Almost 2 years later, it's easy to see that he might be right. As he argues,

The Western world is being colonized in reverse, not by weapons or hard power, but through a combination of progressivism and low reproductive rates. These two factors will lead to a complete cultural collapse of many Western nations within the next 200 years. This theory will show the most likely mechanism that it will proceed in America, Canada, UK, Scandinavia, and Western Europe.

What Is A Cultural Collapse?

Cultural collapse is the decline, decay, or disappearance of a native population’s rituals, habits, interpersonal communication, relationships, art, and language. It coincides with a relative decline of population compared to outside groups. National identity and group identification will be lost while revisionist history will be applied to demonize or find fault with the native population. Cultural collapse is not to be confused with economic or state collapse. A nation that suffers from a cultural collapse can still be economically productive and have a working government.

He also offered his probability analysis of cultural collapse for different countries. For America, he sees the likelihood of 50-year cultural collapse as "Very high".

It is interesting that while writing clearly from a secular perspective, he recognizes the vital role of religion in the culture. And once abandoned, the die is cast for cultural collapse. He also views egalitarianism (now popular with the culture and unfortunately with much of the church) as a primary enabler of cultural collapse.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christianity Today on "Why ISIS represents real spiritual evil"

Earlier, I reflected here on ISIS being the resurgence of ancient evil. I see that Christianity Today offered an editorial here in Oct 2015 by Mark Woods entitled "Demonic State: Why ISIS represents real spiritual evil".

... some acts seem to have a particular quality of evil about them which goes beyond that. They aren't just wrong: they're demonic. And it seems to me that we shouldn't be scared to say that, and that often we are. 

Many Think Christians Are Bigger Threat Than Muslims



Reflective of the culture's growing suspicion and animosity towards Christians, a new poll reveals that 45 percent of the Democrats believe that Christians are a greater threat to America than Muslims. 72 percent of atheists agree. Surprisingly,18 percent of those who consider themselves ” very conservative” agree along with 29 percent of Protestants and 23 percent of Catholics.

While the sample of Muslims was very small, 100 percent said it is Muslims who are the greater danger.

The results are from a poll by Clout Research (here), a national opinion research firm in Columbus, Ohio. The telephone survey of registered voters was taken Dec. 18-27, except for the holiday, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.35 percentage points.

Poll results are here.

The Dangerous Fruit Of Egalitarianism



A woman who six times failed the physical test to become an FDNY firefighter is being given another chance — and this time, critics say, the fix is in.

“She’ll graduate, no question,” said an FDNY member. “The department does­n’t want another black eye.”

Wendy Tapia was allowed to conditionally graduate from the Fire Academy on May 17, 2013, even though she had failed the running test.

After swearing her in, the FDNY gave Tapia five more chances to run the required 1.5 miles in 12 minutes or less, but she couldn’t do it. She quit — never having worked a tour of duty.

Now Tapia, 34, is getting yet another chance to join The Bravest. She’s among a group of emergency medical technicians promoted to probationary firefighters and set to start the 18-week training academy Monday.

Tapia’s return comes as the FDNY has quietly eased its standards to ­admit more women.

Story is here.

"the refusal to accept any Islamic content to Islamic terrorism can collapse into comedy"



David Frum wrote a penetrating article here in The Atlantic in Feb 2015 highlighting the administration's refusal to acknowledge the obvious-to-a-blind-man problem of Islamic terrorism in an article entitled "Why Obama Won't Talk About Islamic Terrorism".

The president didn't label the Paris attacks "random" because he wished to avoid identifying the victims, but rather, because he wished to avoid identifying the motives of their perpetrators.

... Take a closer look for example at another much-discussed recent statement by President Obama about terrorism, his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. The president’s claim that “people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ” ignited a major ruckus. The fuss obscured something more remarkable in the speech, which is that there was no bookend reference to “terrible deeds in the name of Islam.” Instead, in every place where the word “Islam” might have been expected, the word “religion” was substituted.

... When mention of the Islamic inspirations of terrorists becomes truly inescapable, administration spokespersons will emphatically insist that their actions do not represent the true Islam. At times, the president has baldly claimed that “ISIL is not Islamic.” That locution soon collapsed of its own ludicrousness. 

... the refusal to accept any Islamic content to Islamic terrorism can collapse into comedy.

... The refusal to acknowledge the aims and direction of Islamic terrorism is central to the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism policy. They don’t often defend that refusal, but they systematically and self-consciously practice it. They generally conceal its purposes and consequences in phrases that sound unexceptionable to those who, like most of us, listen only casually.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Isn't It Arrogant to Claim that Only One Religion Can Know Spiritual Truth?



Tim Keller and Charles Garland wisely address this issue here.

... A common analogy is often cited to get the point across which I am sure you have heard — several blind men trying to describe an elephant. One feels the tail and reports that an elephant is thin like a snake. Another feels a leg and claims it is thick like a tree. Another touches its side and reports the elephant is a wall. This is supposed to represent how the various religions only understand part of God, while no one can truly see the whole picture. To claim full knowledge of God, pluralists contend, is arrogance. When I occasionally describe this parable, and I can almost see the people nodding their heads in agreement.

But then I remind the hearers that the only way this parable makes any sense, however, is if the person telling the story has seen the whole elephant. Therefore, the minute one says, 'All religions only see part of the truth,' you are claiming the very knowledge you say no one else has. And they are demonstrating the same spiritual arrogance they so often accuse Christians of.  In other words, to say all is relative, is itself a truth statement but dangerous because it uses smoke and mirrors to make itself sound more tolerant than the rest.

... relativism is itself a religious belief. It is a dogma. Relativism is. It has affirmations and denials and a missionary force. One of the affirmations of relativism is that God is ultimately unknowable. No one can know the truth about God. But how do one know that to be true? This assumes an ultimate understanding of spiritual reality. All religions are ultimately the same. All religions are following a path to God. It doesn't matter how you believe, it matters how you live. Do you see this? Those are religious statements. Those are matters of religious beliefs, dogma. Doctrines! If people say, "No, I'm not religious. I'm saying you can't know. I'm saying, Nobody can know the truth about God. I’m not claiming that I've got a corner on it." But if you look at it closely, the statements of religious relativism are every bit as dogmatic as the statements of the Koran or the Bible. It's a religious dogma.

... Somehow, the relativist has come to understand that he alone sees the full reality. He alone is in the airplane. He alone is the king who is not blind telling the parable of the elephant. Only relativism is timelessly and objectively true. Relativistic belief is accepted so it can be taught as public fact in America today even though we have seperation of church and state.  I hear nonsensical statements like it is because of religion that all war starts - of course it is because of religion, but religion is an inescapable part of the human condition.  Relativism also zealously fights to make sure no one believes in any absolutes while they must use their own absolute to establish this idea. 

14 Things Everyone Should Understand About Guns



Sean Davis authored an excellent piece here entitled "14 Things Everyone Should Understand About Guns" where he corrects common fallacies often spouted by so-called "experts" in the media. It's good reading for anyone who chooses to arm themselves.

As a public service to those who have opinions about guns but don’t really want to spend much time learning anything about them, I’ve compiled a simple list of 14 basic things everyone should understand before writing or talking about guns.

  1. Don’t Lecture Anyone On Gun Safety Until You Understand The Basic Rules
  2. Guns Are Inanimate Objects
  3. Modern Guns Do Not Accidentally “Go Off”
  4. “Semi-Automatic” And “Automatic” Are Not Synonyms
  5. “Clip” And “Magazine” Are Not Synonyms
  6. Gun Safeties Can And Will Fail
  7. So-Called “Smart Gun” Technology Is Not Reliable
  8. Handing Someone A Badge Doesn’t Make Him A Good Shooter
  9. The “AR” In “AR-15″ Doesn’t Stand For “Assault Rifle”
  10. High Capacity Magazine Bans Are Completely Counterproductive
  11. “Shoot To Wound” Is Absurd And Dangerous
  12. Hollow Point Bullets Are Actually Safer Than Standard Full Metal Jacket Ammunition
  13. Most Gun Owners Understand Gun Laws A Lot Better Than Gun Controllers Do
  14. “Universal Background Checks” Are Already The Law In Many States

Eurabia - The Islamization of Europe

(Caution - Viewer Discretion Advised)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

New York City to Fine Employers Who Refer to ‘Transgendered’ Workers by Birth Gender



Determined to force their broken worldview upon Christians, the New York City Commission on Human Rights announced new guidelines under the city’s Human Rights Law that may impose fines on employers who use masculine pronouns for male workers who wish to identify as women and vice versa. The Commission released its bizarre interpretive guide (here) to the law on Monday, which includes a prohibition on “intentionally failing to use an individual’s preferred name, pronoun or title,” such as “repeatedly calling a transgender woman ‘him’ or ‘Mr.’ when she has made it clear that she prefers female pronouns and a female title.”

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Islamic Propaganda and the Scientific Revolution



Merv Bendle pulls back the curtain here on Islamic propaganda that "Arab scholars were advancing the frontiers of knowledge long before Newton emerged from his study. From flying machines to theoretical physics, the Koran inspired them all"

... In reaction to their perceived subordination to the West, Muslims have sought arbitrarily to appropriate key scientific discoveries as their own, and to this end they have fabricated an alternative history of science. This places crucial discoveries associated with the Scientific Revolution not in the 17th century in the hated West, where they actually happened, but rather hundreds of years earlier in the ‘Golden Age of Islam’, from which it is alleged the crucial principles of scientific inquiry and the resulting discoveries were derived. In carrying out this propaganda coup, they have been helped immensely by the petrodollar funding of innumerable scholarly centres, professorial positions, academic bodies, and research projects, specially commissioned books and articles, and documentaries, along with the necessary promotion and marketing.

... At the core of this propaganda project are two fundamental conceits. Firstly, that the history of science can be seen as a steady progression of discoveries from ancient times until the present; and that, secondly, various works of Arabic or Muslim scholarship guided by the Koran and produced in the centuries prior to the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution either pre-empted or significantly shaped these later epochal events.  These themes re-appear continuously in Muslim apologetics.

The fundamental error undermining this entire approach is the failure to recognize that the history of science has not involved a steady growth in knowledge and that the Scientific Revolution was, in fact, an unprecedented intellectual eruption on a scale not seen since the Axial Age. It involved a massive paradigm shift away from the Aristotelian metaphysics that had underpinned Western science for 1700 years and scientific activity in Muslim societies for 700 years, sweeping these aside into the dustbin of history. In its place it introduced a mechanical conception of the universe that viewed it entirely as matter continually in motion through time and space and that behaved in accordance to invariant laws that could be expressed and exploited in terms of sophisticated systems of mathematics especially devised for the purpose. It was, in fact, revolutionary on a scale that is difficult to comprehend now in its aftermath, devastating and utterly transforming the landscape of thought in those Western societies where it occurred.

In its most rudimentary form, the Muslim attempt to hijack and re-write the history of science insists that the scientific method can be reduced to simple empiricism and attention to the natural world. Islamists claim that their religion pioneered this outlook (as if the tremendous engineering feats that characterized the Roman Empire and much of the ancient world were achieved by unworldly mystics!). Consequently, the UK-based Muslim postmodernist, Ziauddin Sardar, claims that Muslims developed the foundations of modern science by following the Koranic injunction to observe and reflect upon natural phenomenon. Indeed, according to Sardar, “The scientific method, as it is understood today, was first developed by Muslim scientists”, as Nidhal Guessoum points out in Islam’s Quantum Question: Reconciling Muslim Tradition and Modern Science (2011).  In Guessoum’s view, there are some 750 verses in the Koran that deal with natural phenomenon and therefore the study of nature by Muslims is “encouraged and highly recommended” by their Holy Scripture. Similarly, the leading Islamist ideologue, Sayyid Qutb, insisted that “Islam appointed [Muslims] as representatives of God and [therefore] made them responsible for learning all the sciences”, while Qutb’s ideological predecessor, Muhammad Iqbal, believed that the Koran provided an empirical methodology and epistemology that underpinned scientific inquiry.

... Although it slips frequently into absurdity there is a determined and coordinated international effort by Muslims to enshrine an alternative history of science that exalts the role of the Arabs and other Muslim scholars while downplaying and marginalizing the role of the Western scientists, philosophers and intellectuals whose titanic efforts produced the Scientific Revolution and transformed the world.

This bogus counter-narrative is widely accepted as valid in Muslim societies, where there are very high levels of resentment at the West and a strong desire to assert the superiority of Islam against all other faiths in all areas of life. It has also been able to gain considerable traction in the West because of the control exercised over the universities, schools and the media by the Green-Left, and because of the opportunistic and politically correct actions and utterances of our political leadership, exemplified by Turnbull, who have proven unable or unwilling to counter the Green-Left-Islamist united front or act (or empower others to act) as effective champions of Western Civilization and liberal democracy.


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Bruce Bawer develops the same thesis here correctly pointing out that ...

Needless to say, there are two main points to be made whenever the words “Islam” and “science” come up. The first is that Islamic culture, like none other on earth, has proven to be a remarkably powerful impediment to the development of anything remotely deserving of the name of science. The second point, a corollary of the first, is that the relatively few worthy scientific discoveries and inventions for which Islamic cultures can take credit have occurred in spite of, and not because of, any identifiable “Islamic” influence.

To put it bluntly, you could count all the Muslim winners of Nobel Prizes in science on one hand and have enough fingers left to crochet. This simple, straightforward fact is, in and of itself, a dramatic indictment of Islam, underscoring its intrinsic intellectual backwardness, its refusal to compromise in the slightest its foundation of primitive superstition, and the extraordinary degree to which it manages to suppress the inborn human curiosity about the natural principles that undergird the real world's workings. 

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Finally, watch this video of an honest assessment of the propagandic short film "1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets" which falsely claims that much of the science we take for granted was drawn from Islamic discoveries. In this response, he discusses the relationship between science and Islam.


The Complete Infidels Guide To The Koran

Video from Feb 2013 ...


Friday, December 25, 2015

ISIS Is The Resurgence Of An Ancient Evil



In 2014, New York Times author Peter Baker wrote of ISIS said “This is evil incarnate.” Few would disagree.

U.S. special forces reportedly captured a document from the ISIS terror group earlier this year that decrees the harvesting of human organs from so-called "apostates" to save the lives of Muslims (story is here.). Reuters reported that the document contained a fatwa from ISIS's Islamic scholars dated Jan. 31 of this year.

"The apostate's life and organs don't have to be respected and may be taken with impunity," says the document purported to be from the group's Research and Fatwa Commitee. "Organs that end the captive's life if removed: The removal of that type is also not prohibited."

It was claimed in February 2015 that 12 doctors in the ISIS-held city of Mosul were killed for refusing to remove patient's organs.

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Erica Belibtrue records here in Biblical Archeology Review (Jan/Feb 1991) the grisly history of the ancient Assyrian empire,

Assyrian national history, as it has been preserved for us in inscriptions and pictures, consists almost solely of military campaigns and battles. It is as gory and bloodcurdling a history as we know. 

Assyria emerged as a territorial state in the 14th century B.C. Its territory covered approximately the northern part of modern Iraq. The first capital of Assyria was Assur, located about 150 miles north of modern Baghdad on the west bank of the Tigris River. The city was named for its national god, Assur, from which the name Assyria is also derived.

From the outset, Assyria projected itself as a strong military power bent on conquest. Countries and peoples that opposed Assyrian rule were punished by the destruction of their cities and the devastation of their fields and orchards.

... The inscriptions and the pictorial evidence both provide detailed information regarding the Assyrian treatment of conquered peoples, their armies and their rulers. In his official royal inscriptions, Ashurnasirpal II calls himself the “trampler of all enemies … who defeated all his enemies [and] hung the corpses of his enemies on posts.” The treatment of captured enemies often depended on their readiness to submit themselves to the will of the Assyrian king:

“The nobles [and] elders of the city came out to me to save their lives. They seized my feet and said: ‘If it pleases you, kill! If it pleases you, spare! If it pleases you, do what you will!’”

In one case when a city resisted as long as possible instead of immediately submitting, Ashurnasirpal proudly records his punishment: 

“I flayed as many nobles as had rebelled against me [and] draped their skins over the pile [of corpses]; some I spread out within the pile, some I erected on stakes upon the pile … I flayed many right through my land [and] draped their skins over the walls.”

The account was probably intended not only to describe what had happened, but also to frighten anyone who might dare to resist. To suppress his enemies was the king’s divine task. Supported by the gods, he always had to be victorious in battle and to punish disobedient people:

“I felled 50 of their fighting men with the sword, burnt 200 captives from them, [and] defeated in a battle on the plain 332 troops. … With their blood I dyed the mountain red like red wool, [and] the rest of them the ravines [and] torrents of the mountain swallowed. I carried off captives [and] possessions from them. I cut off the heads of their fighters [and] built [therewith] a tower before their city. I burnt their adolescent boys [and] girls.”

A description of another conquest is even worse:

“In strife and conflict I besieged [and] conquered the city. I felled 3,000 of their fighting men with the sword … I captured many troops alive: I cut off of some their arms [and] hands; I cut off of others their noses, ears, [and] extremities. I gouged out the eyes of many troops. I made one pile of the living [and] one of heads. I hung their heads on trees around the city.”

... From the reign of Shalmaneser III, Ashurnasirpal II’s son, we also have some bronze bands that decorated a massive pair of wooden gates of a temple (and possibly a palace) at Balawat, near modern Mosul. These bronze bands display unusually fine examples of bronze repoussé (a relief created by hammering on the opposite side).

In a detail, we see an Assyrian soldier grasping the hand and arm of a captured enemy whose other hand and both feet have already been cut off. Dismembered hands and feet fly through the scene. Severed enemy heads hang from the conquered city’s walls. Another captive is impaled on a stake, his hands and feet already having been cut off. In another detail, we see three stakes, each driven through eight severed heads, set up outside the conquered city. A third detail shows a row of impaled captives lined up on stakes set up on a hill outside the captured city. In an inscription from Shalmaneser III’s father, Ashurnasirpal II, the latter tells us, “I captured soldiers alive [and] erected [them] on stakes before their cities.”

...  If anything, Sennacherib surpassed his predecessors in the grisly detail of his descriptions:

“I cut their throats like lambs. I cut off their precious lives (as one cuts) a string. Like the many waters of a storm, I made (the contents of) their gullets and entrails run down upon the wide earth. My prancing steeds harnessed for my riding, plunged into the streams of their blood as (into) a river. The wheels of my war chariot, which brings low the wicked and the evil, were bespattered with blood and filth. With the bodies of their warriors I filled the plain, like grass. (Their) testicles I cut off, and tore out their privates like the seeds of cucumbers.”


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The ancient Assyrian culture, renowned for its cruelty and barbarism, was infested with demonic entities like Pazuzu (featured in the movie "The Exorcist"; image is below). The old demons are back with a vengeance, accounting for the never-ending bloodthirsty rage of ISIS.


Beyond the Scriptural truth that demons can oppress specific individuals, is the doctrine of “territorial spirits” which maintains demons can afflict geographical areas, as well as national, ethnic or tribal, and religious groups. There is Biblical evidence for territorial spirits. Jesus called Satan the “prince of this world” (John 12:31) while Paul named him “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and “the god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4). “He leads the whole world astray” together with his angels (Rev. 12:9, NIV).

A strong argument for regional demonization is found in the three-week delay of the angelic messenger to Daniel who was opposed by “the Prince of Persia” (Dan. 10:12-13). Many scholars understand this to refer to an evil entity over the Persian nation, race, and land. Two classic references to Satanic domination over earthly kingdoms are when Isaiah and Ezekiel are addressing the kings of Babylon and Tyre (lsa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:12-16). An interesting case of seeming diabolic attachment to a geographic location is found in the “Legion” (Mark 5:1-20) begging Jesus not to send them out of the region. The glorified Lord called Pergamum the place where “Satan’s throne is” (Rev. 2:13, KJV). Jesus also spoke concerning the religious life of Smyrna, identifying the synagogue there as belonging to Satan (Rev. 2:9-10).

Demonic principalities are thus sometimes Biblically associated with places, tribes and nations. And given the opportunity to return they apparently can do so with a vengeance. With the rise of ISIS, the ancient foe against which the Jews first fought and the Holy Spirit subsequently subdued as the apostles brought the light of Christ to Mesopotamia, has now returned to infest the hearts and minds of modern day Assyrians with the same bloodlust as their ancestors. The irrational, barbaric and cruel violence in Northern Iraq and Syria is a resurgence of the ancient evil.

Secularist politicians cannot perceive the spiritual dimension of the powerful evil that is surging forth. They foolishly believe that a worldly cause of the evil can be identified and rectified, or that it can be reasoned with and a diplomatic solution is possible.

Staunchly secular humanist western culture naively believes itself to have reasoned everything out. In its' limited worldview there are no longer “things seen and unseen”; there are only things which science has not yet explained. This is precisely why, as Ambassador Ryan Crocker said, “we don’t understand real evil, organized evil, very well.” Adding to our impotence, the post-Christian and post-faith western leadership is no longer capable of offering meaningful public prayer, or even willing to credit heaven with anything but twinkling stars. A supreme example of this stunted worldview is found here in an article published in New Scientist in Nov 2015 entitled "Is evil a disease? ISIS and the neuroscience of brutality". The author concludes,

Fried is not a proponent of using drugs to treat Syndrome E. Instead, he thinks we should use our growing neuroscientific knowledge to identify radicalisation early, isolate those affected and help them change. “The signs and symptoms should be made widely known, so that people can spot them,” he says. When it comes to prevention, he thinks education is probably the key. And in that, at least, he agrees with his detractors.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair was scolded by his own government that “we don’t do God” and President Obama, who once foolishly defined the notion of “sin” as being “out of alignment with my values” would be very unlikely to attempt to humbly lead the nation in prayer.

ISIS is not "junior-varsity" evil.

In Aug 2014, Elizabeth Scalia prophetically wrote that the West lacks one essential tool to defeat ISIS. She said,

Only the tools and language of faith can comprehend the supernatural origins and depths of this evil — not only comprehend it, but confront it. In London, the black flag of IS was flown from the front gate of a housing unit. Journalists seeking information were threatened, and they eventually backed off; officials were slow to arrive and check it out. One local nun — one, singular – an older woman managing a community outreach center — took it upon herself to remove it, and she did.

Likely, she will have to do it again, and again. Likely, she has made a target of herself, to some diabolically disoriented mind, somewhere.

In the future – in the very near future, I fear — peaceful people of all faiths will need to take that sister’s small, risky move to heart, and follow her example. As Thomas McDonald said, we all did this. We will all have to act. We will have to recognize evil when we see it and be ready to confront it – not without fear, but in the knowledge that there is a power greater than evil, the genuine force for good, into which we may tap. A light that, when met with the black depths of darkness advertised by the flag of IS, cannot be overcome.

We are finally awake to, and witnessing, the first plumes of flame of a conflagration that wishes to devour the world. That our leadership may not yet want to admit it is almost understandable, but IS must be defeated and, as this editorial board recognizes, “it will not collapse on its own.”

It will be up to the people of faith to demonstrate – charitably, and consistently – to the secular West, and to its reluctant leaders, that governments will have to add the missing component of faith to all of its arsenals — military, rhetorical, and diplomatic. Only then will the thing that calls itself IS — in God’s own time, and not without great struggle — crumble before the Reality that proclaims I AM.

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Amen.

The demonic evil manifested in the rise of ISIS is frighteningly real and cannot be overcome with the force of worldly power alone, but ultimately only through intense and protracted spiritual warfare. We must take to heart the words of the apostle Paul to the Galatian church: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph 6:12)

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Mary, Did You Know? - Pentatonix


Police Forbid Singing Christmas Carols On Public Property


Last week, Christmas Carolers were told by law enforcement they could not sing Carols even if they were on public property. Activists will go back to the same abortion clinic on Wednesday,  December 23, at 12:00 P.M. to challenge the prohibition. Members to risk peaceful arrest before refusing to surrender their First Amendment rights. The abortion clinic is located at 900 South Washington St. in Falls Church, Virginia.

Leaders have contacted Alliance Defending Freedom, a nationally known public interest law firm specializing in religious freedom, to represent them. Rev. Patrick Mahoney, lead organizer of the event and Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, states;

"It is deeply troubling that a police officer would forbid peaceful pro-life activists from singing Christmas Carols on public property in Falls Church, Virginia. No American, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, should be harassed or intimidated by government and law enforcement officials for peacefully expressing their views in the public square. We want to sent a very clear message to the City of Falls Church that we will not be bullied or intimidated into silence or surrendering our free speech and First Amendment rights.  Even if that means risking arrest. We will also continue to be a peaceful and prayerful witness at abortion clinics sharing the beautiful message of life and hope for all women considering abortion."

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Why The Pulpit Must Be Political



Michael Sherrard, a pastor currently studying for his PhD in New Testament, offers commentary here on the necessity for pulpits to be political. It is reproduced in entirety below.

This time of year, my church doesn’t need a “5 Ways to Make Jesus the Reason for the Season” type of sermon. We are not in a time of peace. We cannot keep drinking our spiced eggnog pretending that all is well in the world. While we deck the halls with boughs of holly, there is a mob that has set fire to boughs of their own, and they are marching toward us.

Now, of course it is right to celebrate. I’m not saying otherwise. But pastors are not merely MC’s. They are watchmen. And when the enemy is before us, the watchmen better not have his head down wiping the eggnog off his ugly sweater as the walls are being scaled.

Rather than be caught defenseless, pastors must equip their people to engage a culture that is becoming increasingly hostile toward Christianity. And so, the pulpit must be political. Yes, I know that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world. Let’s get that out of the way. I already hear your objection: "We should care more about salvation than society." Sure, I agree. It is better to lose the world than your soul. But if you think that society can go to hell as long as people don’t, you’ve fallen for an old trick and you’ve misunderstood the nature of the gospel.

A politically silent pulpit is one that is catering to the secularist's agenda: “Keep your religious beliefs private. They are not wanted in society. They are no good to us.” And for some reason, we've bought into the propaganda of those that want to fashion a society after their own values. Somehow they have convinced us that the only good beliefs for society are the beliefs of atheists. But beliefs that are true are true for all and are good for all. It does not matter where they come from. And if the Christian message contains truth, the application of that truth is far reaching. It does not end at the capital steps.

Christianity is an all-encompassing worldview. Meaning, it is a set of true beliefs that affect all of life. The gospel itself has implications that go beyond ones eternal destination. We see this truth in Paul’s ethics. Pauline ethics might be summed up this way: because Christ humbled himself and died on a cross, so should you be humble and willfully offer up your life for the good of others (Phil 2:1-11). Our faith manifests itself in ways that benefit others, if it is a real faith. You must repress your hope in God to keep it private. I doubt you disagree with this. 

So why are politics off limits? Why is it right for us to sit back and allow harmful policies be legislated? Why shouldn’t we expose candidates that seek to preserve the right to kill babies? Why do we think we have to let atheists run our country? Are Christian teachings not good? Do they not promote human flourishing? Why do we think a Christian influence equals a theocracy? How have we become so simple minded about our civil responsibility? Pastors we have failed our people. If it is not our job to instruct the people of God on these things, whose job is it? 

When politics are ignored in the pulpit the message to the world and the church is clear: Christianity is irrelevant. It tells the world that what we care about is our little club, and it tells those in the club not to worry about what goes on outside. Subsequently, many in the church find it impossible to find fulfillment in life because life itself is apparently not worth redeeming. This leads to self-indulgence and things like “church shopping.” We use the church as a commodity to meet our needs. We consume the church rather than be the church. And the body of Christ becomes a glutton for the work of others instead of being a vessel passing out the common grace of our Lord.


Even though we know that the only way to find life is to give it away, we have sold a product that says otherwise. Let us change that. We understand that we are to seek the good of others. We understand that Christ did not redeem us for irrelevance, but to be agents of renewal. Therefore, let us turn our attention again to society and utilize all the tools at our disposal. As we eagerly await the Kingdom to come, let us not neglect the land we have be given. Let us be political. 

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Amen!! As Wintery Knight observes regarding Michael's commentary,

Now, the pastor got a lot of flak from nitwits for that post, and so he wrote them a response, with the title “No, your’e right. We should let the atheists run the country”.

Here’s the best part: (and then he posts this response by Michael)

Oh and you’re right, who cares who holds office. The Bible doesn’t say anything about voting and our role in democracy. (You’ll be happy to know I’ve also stopped teaching my kids math because Jesus didn’t say anything about that either.) Who cares if there are candidates that would exclude us from the first amendment. Religious freedom is overrated. I mean look how the church is growing in parts of the world where Christianity is illegal. We could benefit from a dose of persecution. You know, I think I’ll pray for it. Tonight I will huddle my family and pray that we will soon find ourselves in a country where I could lose my head for my faith. That sounds biblical.

"They attract deranged gunmen like porch lights attract moths"

This is what shooters and terrorists see when they see a Gun Free Zone sign ...



As Ken Blackwell (a former Ohio secretary of state and mayor of Cincinnati, and a senior fellow and policy board member of the American Civil Rights Union) noted in the Washington Times in Oct 2015 ...

Would you put a sign outside your house saying, “Doors unlocked,” or “We’re not home”?

An underreported study released a year ago by the Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), the organization led by America’s leading gun policy expert John Lott, found that 92 percent of mass shootings since 2009 have taken place in designated gun-free zones.

Or, as CPRC puts it, “Since 2009, only 8 percent of mass public shootings have occurred where civilians are allowed to defend themselves.”


“Gun-free” zones are purported to forestall gun violence, but in practice they attract deranged gunmen like porch lights attract moths. Why? Because deranged gunmen are crazy, not stupid. An identified gun-free zone literally advertises the ideal environment for committing mass murder.

... there’s Canadian killer Justin Bourque, who murdered three Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers in his attempt to start a revolution in New Brunswick in 2014. According to CPRC, “On his Facebook page, Bourque posted comics poking fun at how gun-free zones make these crimes possible.”

CPRC also notes that the 2012 Aurora, Colo., “Batman” gunman, James Holmes, drove past seven more-nearby theaters playing the movie to launch his attack at the one theater identified as a “gun-free zone.”

Holmes was able to murder 12 people and wound another 70 before he walked out of the theater and was arrested in the parking lot.

In contrast, Colorado Springs New Life Church gunman Matthew Murray was shot by an armed volunteer security guard after killing just two people in a crowded church service in 2007.

... It’s time to stop the slogans and the feel-good symbolism. We are blessed to live in a free society, but we’ll remain one only as long as the good guys have guns.

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Well said, Mr. Blackwell.

The Stuff of Science Fiction

This week, SpaceX (a private company) successfully launched their Falcon 9 rocket carrying 11 satellites to low-Earth orbit ... and then astonishingly returned the first stage booster back to a safe landing. Incredible.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'Moderate Islam' Isn't Working


Cheryl Benard has penned a lengthy editorial here with the thesis that "moderate Islam" isn't working.

Over the past decade, the prevailing thinking has been that radical Islam is most effectively countered by moderate Islam. The goal was to find religious leaders and scholars and community ‘influencers’—to use the lingo of the counter-radicalization specialists—who could explain to their followers and to any misguided young people that Islam is a religion of peace, that the term jihad refers mainly to the individual’s personal struggle against temptation and for moral betterment, and that tolerance and interfaith cooperation should prevail. The presence of local Muslim luminaries, taking the lectern to announce that what had just happened bore no relation to true Islam, has become part of the ritual following any terrorist incident in a Western country.

As director of the RAND Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth, I was an early proponent of this approach. It assumed two things: first, that because of a lack of education, or poverty or other handicaps, many Muslims had developed an incomplete or incorrect understanding of their own religion; and second, that the extremists were so much louder and had backing from various maleficent sources, and therefore were gaining larger audiences. The task therefore was to help moderate Muslims spread the word. Multiple and expensive programs were launched to fund religious instruction, radio and television shows, community outreach efforts and more.

With a track record of well over a decade, it does not seem as though this is working ... 

... Incontrovertibly, things are getting worse. We now have ISIS, a magnification of Al Qaeda. We have vicious branches springing up in nearly every part of the world. We have thousands of radical recruits streaming into Syria from Europe and the United States. We have Paris. We have San Bernardino.


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While much of what the author says is valid (particularly the Muslim emphasis on estrangement and resisting integration into the other cultures), she is missing the key point - i.e., that "radical" Islam is theologically the real Islam. It's the real deal. Biblical Christian values mean peace with love, kindness and compassion.  In contrast, the Islamic definition of peace is the entire world under Islamic Sharia law.

Those who truly understand the theology of Islam know that there really are no moderate Muslims in that the Qur’an teaches to hate all infidels (non-Muslims) and that jhad murder is not only perfectly acceptable but even ironically the fault of infidels (see here about 8 things the church needs to understand about Islam.) While there are undoubtedly many nominal Muslims who give Islam only a cursory place in their lives, those who truly subscribe to the teachings of Islam ultimately find themselves immersed in the Islamic worldview. Cheryl herself makes this point in her article,

Here is a typical piece of advice, issued to a young man who wants to know if it’s OK to play basketball during recess with non-Muslim fellow pupils.

“Allah has forbidden the believers to take the kaafireen as friends, and he has issued a stern warning against doing that. . . Elsewhere Allah states that taking them as friends incurs the wrath of Allah and his eternal punishment. . . One of the forms of making friends with the kaafirs which is forbidden is taking them as friends and companions, mixing with them and eating and playing with them…You should not sit and chat and laugh with them. . . it is not permissible for a Muslim to feel any love in his heart towards the enemies of Allah who are in fact his enemies too.”

"Radical Islam” is in truth the real Islam with a violent core deeply ingrained in the fundamental theology of its faith. Muslims who undertake Islamic jihad are not “radicalized,” they simply become religious Muslims who are carrying out Islam’s fundamental purpose which is to Islamicize the entire world through imposition of Shari'a law.

I also referenced an excellent comparative analysis between Christianity and Islam here by Doug Groothuis that drives home the stark theological differences. The god of Islam bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible.

Yes, "moderate Islam" isn't working ............ primarily because it's a theological anomaly in the Islamic worldview.

Judge Rules Pro-Life Centers Must Promote Abortion


A federal judge in California has ordered pro-life and faith-based pregnancy centers to promote abortion, because “the public interest would be served.” Story is here.

Why am I not surprised?

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared,  (1 Tim 4:1-2)

Mary, Did You Know?

Peter Hollens beautifully sings this acapella while alone in church. But watch who joins him ...


Monday, December 21, 2015

The Hijrah Into Europe


Politicians overwhelmingly deny the reality of what's happening in Europe with the refugee crisis, and the mainstream media ignores it. However, for those that want to know the truth, Robert Spencer enlightens us here.

The entire continent of Europe is being inundated with refugees at a rate unprecedented in world history. This is no longer just a “refugee crisis.” This is a hijrah.

Hijrah, or jihad by emigration, is, according to Islamic tradition, the migration or journey of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib, later renamed by him to Medina, in the year 622 CE. It was after the hijrah that Muhammad for the first time became not just a preacher of religious ideas, but a political and military leader. That was what occasioned his new “revelations” exhorting his followers to commit violence against unbelievers. Significantly, the Islamic calendar counts the hijrah, not Muhammad’s birth or the occasion of his first “revelation,” as the beginning of Islam, implying that Islam is not fully itself without a political and military component.

To emigrate in the cause of Allah – that is, to move to a new land in order to bring Islam there, is considered in Islam to be a highly meritorious act. “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance,” says the Qur’an. “And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” (4:100) The exalted status of such emigrants led a British jihad group that won notoriety (and a shutdown by the government) a few years ago for celebrating 9/11 to call itself Al-Muhajiroun: The Emigrants.

And now a hijrah of a much greater magnitude is upon us. Evidence that this is a hijrah, not simply a humanitarian crisis, came last February, but was little noted at the time and almost immediately forgotten. The Islamic State published a document entitled, “Libya: The Strategic Gateway for the Islamic State.” Gateway into Europe, that is: the document exhorted Muslims to go to Libya and cross from there as refugees into Europe. This document tells would-be jihadis that weapons from Gaddafi’s arsenal are plentiful and easy to obtain in Libya – and that the country “has a long coast and looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat.”

...  If you don’t accept the brave new world that is sure to bring more jihad and more Sharia to Europe, you’re a Nazi and a racist. Meanwhile, no one is bothering even to ask, much less answer, one central question: why is it incumbent upon Europe have to absorb all these refugees? Why not Saudi Arabia or the other Muslim countries that are oil-rich and have plenty of space? The answer is unspoken because non-Muslim authorities refuse to believe it and Muslims don’t want it stated or known: these refugees have to go to Europe because this is a hijrah. 

This is also Europe’s death knell.

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What is most remarkable is the fact that the European liberal socialists who largely welcome and embrace this turn-of-events, have truly signed their own death warrants. Once Islamization proliferates and Shariah is slowly and methodically erected (it may take 1-2 generations), almost all those things so near-and-dear to the hearts of most Europeans will be outlawed. And those who foolishly tried to castigate Christians for allegedly trying to "legislate morality" will discover how terrifying true morale legislation can be.

Having spent time in Saudi Arabia, people who are naive about Islam's true global aims need to spend a few months working and living in the Kingdom.

"We're losing the culture because we've been silent"



Churches in California are fighting back against the state's insane transgender law. Currently, California transgender students can use any bathroom or locker room in the public school system.

Jack Hibbs, pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills is leading the way, along with churchgoers across the state. Hibbs believes the Church needs to stand up.

"The Church has got to mobilize, the Church has got to get smart on how to confront the culture, how to address it lawfully with the right kind of heart, truth in love," he said.

"By all means we need to really make a difference by addressing the issues that are really ramrodded down upon our family and our faith and our values as Americans, as believers in this country," he added.

Hibbs says the time to be silent is over.

"The Church has been absent on these issues. The Church has been quiet. I don't know if we want to be discovered to be polite or what, but we're losing the culture because we've been silent,"

Story is here.

William Lane Craig Affirms The Power Of The Moral Argrument

I personally believe the moral argument is the most powerful one for the existence of God. Here, William Lane Craig affirms its power ...


Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Theology of Active Shooters



Clint Roberts provides superb analysis here of the theology of active shooters. It's must reading in entirety to understand the crazy world we now inhabit.

This new and surreal phenomenon –  an average citizen on an average day, either known to the site or a stranger to it, showing up armed for war and spraying bullets into as many bodies as he can – is now a regular enough occurrence to require standardized protocols for every school and business across the U.S. It’s the kind of “new normal” that, if our forefathers could have looked into the future and seen it, would have convinced them that we are in an end times dystopia.

And maybe we are.

... I am not suggesting that the typical jihad-inspired shooter has a sophisticated or well-thought-out theology. Most of them are brainwashed simpletons, either raised in the bubble of radical Islam and nursed with the milk of psycho death cult ideology, or maybe recruited over the internet where weak and confused minds can be overtaken after hours of cyber-submersion in a dark, propagandistic corner of the internet.

... Another unfortunate trend in the recent history of active shooter incidents involves the disgruntled American who believes that everything is going straight down the crapper and that he needs to take action – deadly action.

... Despite the fact that people of this kind sometimes refer to God or even use the name “Christian,” as certain Aryan groups have done in the past, the view of God they loosely maintain is anything but a Christian view. I have never heard or read any sort of coherent theology from them. Their god is a cultural idol that their small cult perpetuates and of which the members have only a hazy understanding.

The so-called “Christian Identity” movement, for example, has a thin concept of God as favoring the superior Aryan race, which is his true Israel. He forbids interaction with the corrupt lesser races and certainly allows for violence. As one scholar for the Christian Research Institute points out here, this racist group blends all sorts of spiritual heritages into their self-serving concoction of dogmas, including elements from classic Neo-Nazi writings, zodiac astrology, teachings from mystics and New Age writers, earth-wisdom from ancient Germanic and Druid traditions, and the occult.

... The third type of senseless public shooter is more difficult to comprehend than the other two, and in my opinion represents a more disturbing trend. While the other two types are engaged in what they perceive as a larger battle, these shooters live in a very small and self-absorbed world. They have no great ‘cause’ for which they are fighting, despite occasional reference in their delusional rants about systemic injustice and fighting for all of those who have been downtrodden or done wrong ... He has a myopic obsession with having not been liked enough by everyone or having been rejected by girls. He is the quintessence of a culture of victimhood. Everyone has done him wrong. His homicidal suicide plan is justified due to his having been bullied in so many ways by the world. He has, in some sense, elevated himself to the position of the most important being in the universe. He cannot see beyond his own tiny selfish world. There is no room for much of an understanding of God in such a frame of reference. He needs no suffering Messiah, for he is the suffering Messiah.

... Some of the truest statements are rarely uttered these days due to the unfortunate constraints of political correctness. You are not likely to hear any reference to the theological or otherwise religious views of people who commit atrocities. The voice of common sense, however, cannot be muted within our own minds. We all know that a person who believes wholeheartedly that God has commanded him or her to kill someone is a thousand times more likely to do so than a person who holds no such belief.

When a media story describes yet another murder by a radicalized Muslim, and mentions only tangential factors like poverty, without reference to the killer’s religious beliefs, every rational reader or viewer knows better. As I said before, there remains one supreme and overarching reason why the world has been subject to a long series of civilian murders at the hands of people professing belief in Islam: their theology.

... Christians believe that there is indeed a correct understanding of God, even though we think God is inexhaustible so as to remain out of reach to some extent. Enough has been revealed, we think, for human beings know the basic character of God, despite the mystery in which God will always be shrouded. If the mission of the Christian Church were carried out as we believe she has been instructed, then the world would slowly transform to a place with far fewer murders, much less hostility overall, resolutions of old grudges, dissolution of petty racism, and a whole lot of other things that are unquestionably beneficial for everybody. And it would all be theologically driven.

People would remain frail and prone to the same temptations to all of the same sins since the beginning of time, of course, but a right view of God’s purposes and commands would mean that people who decide to murder other people would at least know full well that they are inviting the condemnation of their Maker.

... The active shooter trend is a flashing neon sign that ought to remind us that human beings are broken in a profound way. Our minds have not evolved from barbarism to enlightenment, as is still often presumed. We’re still filled with false and confused beliefs and perspectives. Whereas once upon a time certain people believed that some of the women among them were bringing evil and disease into the community and thus hung them as witches, so today there are people who believe either that God has commanded them to commit atrocities or that there is no God or truth or meaning anyway, and thus murders are not wrong in any sense that transcends human opinion or civil law. One type believes that after slaughtering people and killing himself, he receives the reward of paradise; the other believes, presumably, that he escapes his perceived difficulties into the permanent silence of utter non-existence.

The right view of God would correct the psychotic theology of murder that guides the trigger-fingers of Islamic death-cultists. The right view of God would teach those with anger against the government or justice system how to address it and protest it in the ways God approves and advises.  The right view of God would certainly obliterate the self-serving racist ideologies that convince fools that people of the ‘enemy’ race are justifiable targets. And the right view of God would be a stabilizing intellectual and emotional force for people feeling desperate and depressed; it would give them perspective that offers them hope and a way forward.

... Yes God is Great, but not just any god.

*******

Amen. Well said, Clint. Thanks for a much-needed message for both the church and a disintegrating culture.