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



Saturday, October 31, 2015

Public-sector Christians, pray at your peril. The state does not approve.


Lawless Judges Have Created an America Where Praying Gets a Man Suspended from His Job

Yesterday, Joe Kennedy, an assistant high-school–football coach in Bremerton, Wash., was suspended. His offense? Kneeling for a short on-field prayer after football games. According to multiple news reports, for the last several years Kennedy has waited until each game ends and the players leave the field before walking to the 50-yard line and offering a quiet prayer for his students. He never asks anyone to join him, nor does he stop anyone who wants to do so. Moved by his example, a number of players pray beside him — and at least one agnostic student takes the opportunity to enjoy an “uplifting” moment of meditation.

By the school district’s own admission, despite seven years of mid-field prayer, no student complained. Indeed, district administrators weren’t even aware of Kennedy’s routine until “an employee of another district” mentioned it to them. At that point, the district — claiming liability risk — demanded that Kennedy stop praying at mid-field, offering to provide him a “private location” instead. Kennedy declined, continued praying at mid-field, and was summarily suspended. I agree with Kennedy’s lawyers — my friends at the Liberty Institute — that the district likely violated his right to religious liberty. But it’s doubtful the district would have taken action against Kennedy absent two extraordinarily malicious, anti-Christian legal doctrines developed by our lawless federal courts.

Story is here.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Frightening Preview of the Coming World Dictator Prophesied in Scripture

The Paranoid Madness & Demonic Depravity Of Absolute Dictatorial Power - A sobering study in how easily and thoroughly absolute power corrupts fallen man.

The Real Threat To Marriage (No, It's Not Same Sex Unions)



As damaging as they are for the institution of marriage, same-sex unions are not the most pressing threat today. The most ruinous threat is the law of no-fault divorce.

First introduced by the Bolsheviks as a means of undermining the power of the church in post-Revolution Russia, unilateral no-fault divorce eliminates any requirement for an aggrieved spouse to prove that his or her partner has violated the vows of marriage before being granted dissolution. Prior to the institution of no-fault divorce, parties seeking a divorce had to provide legal evidence of one of a handful of marriage deal-breakers including abuse, abandonment, cruelty, or adultery.

That changed in 1969 when then-Governor Ronald Reagan (himself a divorcee) launched the divorce reform revolution by leading California to become the second state in the union to permit unilateral divorces based on “irreconcilable differences.”  (Reagan later called it the biggest mistake of his political career). Other states soon followed California's example, leading in the 1970s to a surge (triple digits by some accounts) in the skyrocketing number of divorces. All 50 states now sanction no-fault divorce. Marriage is now the only legally binding contract that a person can arbitrarily break without the consent of the other party without facing any penalty. Given those terms one has to wonder how modern marriage is considered a contract at all.

More than 80 percent of divorces in the U.S. are now no-fault divorce. For those who may argue that no-fault divorce was necessary to protect abused wives, domestic abuse and abandonment has always been grounds for legally ending a marriage. Evangelical blogger Matthew Lee Anderson pondered here if the church is failing to focus on the more pressing threat. He said,

 As long as there is no political will around divorce than [sic] it seems like our main concern is keeping gay people out of marriage rather than restoring marriage itself ...

... On marriage, though, evangelicals have mostly thought in conservative and defensive terms.  When the marriage movement started, the immediate cause was undermining the no-fault divorce regime. The first book I read on marriage policy, Maggie Gallagher and Linda Waite’s influential The Case for Marriage, barely mentioned gay marriage. But when that question came to the forefront, the marriage movement seemed to lose its progressive edge.  Rather than replacing unjust laws, marriage advocates instead focused on further entrenching in American law the traditional definition of marriage while expanding the social benefits that go along with it. The law may be a tutor, but it is not strong enough to stitch back together a fraying social fabric.

... defense is the wrong mindset.  And it was always the wrong mindset. In the middle of a vibrant marriage culture, the fundamental principles, goods, and practices of marriage are handed down and inculcated through transmission. We can only have traditional marriage if marriages are properly traditioned, and the failure to form and educate the young with respect to the importance of a traditional Christian sexual ethic left them on their own when it came to navigating their relationships with the opposite sex.  Is it any wonder that those who had pseudo-marriages they called “relationships,” who chronically dated, and who had to find their own path through the courting phase are now in favor of inscribing such a preference-based mentality into the law?

He concludes by forcefully arguing the church should reconsider returning to the marriage movement’s roots: ending the no-fault divorce regime. 

Jesus shocked His disciples when questioned by the Pharisees on permissible grounds for divorce by asserting both the God-mandated sanctity and inviolability of the marriage union except for cases of martial infidelity (Matt 19:1-10). While divorce was uncommon among the Jews, it was permitted by the Pharisees. Some teachers allowed divorce for literally any reason that displeased the husband — even poor cooking. (Rabbi Akiba who was a leading Rabbi of the latter 1st century and is referred to in the Talmud as Rosh la-Chachamim [Head of all the Sages], taught divorce was permissible "if he [the husband] found another fairer than she".) No-fault divorce was the understanding of many of the 1st-century, religious Jewish leaders on the subject and is light-years from Christ's teaching on marriage.

If we take Scripture's extraordinarily high view of marriage at face value, then we must push for a return to a system where divorce is granted only in the most extreme cases, holding couples to a two-year waiting period, and penalizing the party who breaks the marriage contract without cause. Unquestionably, the net result would be inducing people to think twice before jumping impulsively into (or out of) a marriage.

What good is a contract if it’s not enforceable? If the church is serious about really wanting to protect the institution of marriage in our culture, top priority should be reforming no-fault divorce laws instead of merely opposing the expansion of the institution of marriage to all couples.

"Jesus hung out with the tax collectors and sinners, yes, but he didn't teach them how to extort more money or sleep with more men"



Speaking at the Southern Evangelical Seminary's annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics at Calvary Church earlier this month, Michael Brown believes "the gay revolution has within itself the seeds of self-destruction" and that the church has sold its soul to be relevant He further argued that the moral chaos in culture and society is the reason that the LGBT Movement and agenda has flourished. He also pointed out that polyamory, couples living together, and the breakdown of gender distinctions is celebrated and uplifted in secular culture.

Perhaps his most important point is that the moral basis of our faith is not polling results. Far too many Christians look to polls instead of Scripture for moral guidance.

Story is here.

Reason To Consider Pulling Your Kids Out Of Public Schools

Results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress tests published by the Department of Education’s National Center for Educational Statistics. Reason to consider pulling your kids out of public school into either private school or home-schooling.




Thursday, October 29, 2015

Mapping the Frenzy of Europe's Migrant Crisis

Europe is experiencing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. An interactive map created by the Finnish company Lucify shows the journeys of over a million migrants who have made their way across Europe from Africa and the Middle East over the past three years. The map, created by Finnish company Lucify, uses monthly figures from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees to show the scale of the movement. Each dot represents 25 people, or one bus load, and by hovering over a country you can see how many migrants it has taken, or in the case of African and Middle Eastern countries, how many they have lost.

If the map below doesn't work for you, the originating web site is here.

Warning To The West On Muslim Immigration - Wake Up!



An Egyptian woman, under the pen name Magda Borham, has written a letter to the West, warning of their immediate danger from Islamic invasion via "immigration." And she has a brutal message for Americans. Having lived in Egypt for more than 30 years she states,

"Nobody else in the world knows Islam and the mentality of Muslims more than those who have suffered by having Islam as a part of their life. If you listen to the cries of the Copts of Egypt, the Christians of Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan and all the other Muslim countries you will hear the descriptions of the horrors of Islam. See and feel the tears of the minorities in every Islamic society. These tears will tell you the true stories of Islam. Hear the blood of the ex-Muslims pounding.  It's their blood that is shouting out every single second asking the rest of the world to 'Wake up!'"

She clarifies what few Americans understand: Islam is not just a religion; Islam is also a totalitarian political ideology. She believes Islam is the clearest and most present danger to America's existence. She warns Americans that they will suffer the same fate unless they end the senseless immigration policies that are enabling Muslims to freely invade with the intention of destroying America from within.

Her warning is here.

Do Dogs Go To Heaven?



Dominic Lynch struggles here with the question whether dogs go to heaven. While he affirms that dogs possess a spiritual nature (something I also subscribe to), he concludes dogs do not go to heaven:

About a year ago, I unexpectedly lost my 13-year-old yellow Labrador. I was heartbroken. Ruby had been part of my family since I was in grade school. She saw me grow up and go to college; I saw her age gracefully from a young puppy full of energy to an old hound who enjoyed life. Her passing was like losing a family member—because she was a family member.

But despite my sorrow, I don’t believe she’s going to heaven, canine or otherwise. Imagining a loved one (including pets) resting peacefully in the Great Beyond is a comfort to many people. But in the case of dogs—indeed, any animal—the possibility that they will join us in eternal bliss is a long shot, if not purely impossible.

He concurs with Thomas Aquinas’ conclusion that animal souls are not intellectual souls, and as non-intellectual souls they are not subsistent souls. This implies that the intellectual property human souls inherently carry makes them eternal.

This is actually something I have wrestled with. One must be careful not to be dogmatic since Scripture is silent on this issue. Unlike Dominic, some reject that dogs even have a spiritual nature - something that Wesley Smith also refuted here in Christianity Today:

We have come a long way since Descartes claimed that animals are mere automatons without the capacity for pleasure or pain. We now know the contrary is true: They experience. They suffer. They grieve. They love.

When it comes to our relationships with pets, we not only take them into our homes: We welcome them deep within our hearts. In fact, some become so attached that they yearn to be with their pets throughout eternity. C. S. Lewis speculated on the eternal fate of animals in The Problem of Pain, suggesting that at least tame animals might enter heaven through their relationship with humans, in the same way that humans do through their relationship with Christ.

Wesley also correctly cautions that there is a danger that the question of pets in heaven could distort our understanding of eternal life as described in Scripture and Christian tradition. If we are not careful, we could cross the line into a sentimentality that shrinks our eschatological expectation. 

Karen Swallow points out in the same Christianity Today article that:

Yet the Bible teaches that God does save animals. For example, God brought Noah two of each kind of living creature in order to save them from the Flood. God chastised reluctant Jonah about the need to save not only the human inhabitants of Nineveh, but also its many animals. Such salvation is not, of course, quite the kind invited by the altar call. Even so, it should not be overlooked.

God not only saves animals. At times, his covenants include them. God's covenant with Noah included "every living thing of all flesh" (Gen. 6:18-19, KJV). In Hosea, God proclaimed a covenant "with the beasts of the field, the birds in the sky and the creatures that move along the ground" (2:18, niv).

She concludes:

.... I have put away my childish thinking about heaven. Scripture describes eternity not as an ethereal cloud-top existence, but as both spiritual and material, just as our life is now. It is a new heaven and a new earth (2 Pet. 3:13) where "creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God" (Rom. 8:21). As foretold in Isaiah, animals will be there. "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat … and a little child will lead them" (11:6). Perhaps God will honor my acts of naming the animals by bringing Gracie, Kasey, Myrtle, Peter, Oscar, and so many more there, too.

Ben Devries correctly highlights Christ's assertion that not even one sparrow is ever forgotten by Him.

Wesley's conclusion (which is also mine) is wise advice ...

So do pets have souls? Do they go to heaven? God knows. For now, "we see through a glass darkly." Instead of speculating or making strained proof-texts, let us instead give thanks to God for the great gift of joy he has given us in our pets. Let us be confident in the knowledge that whatever his plans for our animal friends, all will be perfection and light.

4-Year Old Chooses Heaven Over The Hospital



A heartbreaking story ...

Our daughter, Julianna, is a funny, smart and beautiful 4-year-old who happens to have a severe neuromuscular disease.

In 2014, we had three PICU admissions for respiratory failure. She endured countless procedures and spent weeks at a time trying just to breathe. She got weaker with each admission. Eighteen months ago, she could walk with a walker. Today, she has a hard time sitting up and requires BiPAP (noninvasive ventilation) around the clock.

Last fall, we made the difficult decision to enroll in hospice. It didn’t feel right, but we were told that we could revoke it at any time. The plan was to try it out, get more support at home and go to the hospital again if she got sick.

A few months after we started hospice, Julianna made it clear to us that she does not want to go to the hospital again. Like so many kids who have had to face life-threatening illness, she is wise beyond her years — but she is still only 4 years old. I do not think that she will survive another illness, especially without aggressive intervention.

Julianna understands this too. We have had some remarkable, uncomfortable, humbling conversations about heaven.

Story is here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Apostasy Is A Process; It Does Not Occur Overnight




It's tempting to hope the growing apostasy in American culture is local and that other Western cultures are holding fast. Sadly, that is not the case. Bill Muehlenberg from Australia has a blog called "CultureWatch". Why does he write? As he says,

We live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values, the decline of civility, the denial of truth and the elevation of unreason. Many people are asking, “Where is our culture heading?” This website is devoted to exploring the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. It offers reflection and commentary drawing upon the wealth of wisdom found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It offers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems. It will discuss critically and soberly where our culture is heading ...

In 2008 he penned an entry here on his blog entitled "The Bitter Fruit Of Apostasy". Some excerpts,

Some denominations have so jettisoned the basics of the Christian faith, that they can only be described as apostate. And when the basics of the faith are abandoned, then anything goes. We have a perfect example of this in Francis Macnab, a Uniting Church minister in Melbourne. According to a story in today’s Age, the minister has taken his theological liberalism to its logical outcome. Here is part of what the article said:

“‘The Ten Commandments, one of the most negative documents ever written.’ With that provocative claim posted high over two city streets, controversial cleric Francis Macnab yesterday launched ‘a new faith for the 21st century’, a faith beyond orthodox Christianity. Dr Macnab says Abraham is probably a concoction, Moses was a mass murderer and Jesus Christ just a Jewish peasant who certainly was not God. In fact, there is no God, in the usual sense of an interventionist deity – what we strive for is a presence both within and beyond us. Dr Macnab, a noted psychotherapist and executive minister at St Michael’s Uniting Church in the city, said the new faith was necessary because the old faith no longer worked. ‘The old faith is in large sections unbelievable. We want to make the new faith more believable, realistic and helpful in terms of the way people live,’ he said.”

... The important point to note here is that these things do not arise in a vacuum. Apostasy does not occur overnight, but is part of a process.

The Uniting Church has been known for decades as a denomination which has for the most part abandoned orthodox Christian teachings and has adhered to rabid theological liberalism. Thus Macnab’s new faith is simply the logical outworking of a watered down and corrupted faith.

.... God is dethroned in liberalism, and man is deified. It’s the oldest trick in the book. It worked in the Garden with our first parents, and it’s been occurring ever since. Thus the liberal theologians stand as one with their atheist colleagues, as they embrace naturalism and deny supernaturalism.

Dorothy Sayers, perhaps better known for her Lord Peter Wimsey crime detection novels, was also very concerned about the importance of sound doctrine. In 1940 she gave a very important address entitled “Creed or Chaos”. She was quite right to argue that when we abandon creed and doctrine, we end up with chaos.

... Sayers put it this way: “Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as bad press. We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine – dull dogma as people call it. The fact is quite the opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness.

... She also said, “The thing I am here to say to you is this: that it is worse than useless for Christians to talk about the importance of Christian morality unless they are prepared to take their stand upon the fundamentals of Christian theology. It is a lie to say that dogma does not matter; it matters enormously. It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe. It is hopeless to offer Christianity as a vaguely idealistic aspiration of a simple and consoling kind; it is, on the contrary, a hard, tough, exacting, and complex doctrine, steeped in a drastic and uncompromising realism. And it is fatal to imagine that everybody knows quite well what Christianity is and needs only a little encouragement to practice it. The brutal fact is that in this Christian country not one person in a hundred has the faintest notion what the Church teaches about God or man or society or the person of Jesus Christ.”

... Of course Jesus warned about this very thing.

For example, he warned about false prophets who would come along and deceive many: “For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect – if that were possible. So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time” (Mark 13:22-23)

Paul and Peter also warned about this apostasy. Paul gave this warning in 2 Tim. 4:3,4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

Peter said similar things: “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves” (2 Peter 2:1).

So we should not be surprised by such apostasy. It should shock us, grieve us, worry us and move us. But it should not surprise us. It will probably only get worse. All the more reason for those of us who still are true to Christ to redouble our commitment to him and to defend Christian theology anew.


*******

If anything, the situation has further deteriorated 8 years later. The article makes the important point that apostasy is a process; it does not occur overnight - a principal thesis that Kevin Swanson powerfully drives home in his 2013 book "Apostate - The Men Who Destroyed the Christian West". The book argues persuasively that apostasy is indeed a process, not an event, that afflicts both individuals as well as a culture collectively.

Apostasy is a process because far fewer people are deceived and/or seduced outright by the end-game right off the bat. Rather, the enemy seductively leads us one small step at a time to the edge of the cliff until finally we fall. Satan will often spend years, even decades and sometimes centuries, sowing seed that lays the foundation for eventual apostasy. Apostasy is an acquired taste, attained by nibbles through extended time of an ever-increasing distortion of truth ... until finally, absolute truth is outright rejected. As I wrote earlier here, deception is Satan's most powerful and effective weapon, explaining the frequent warnings in Scripture to constantly be on our guard:

I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:29-30)

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith (1 Cor 16:13)

Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. (1 Tim 4:16)

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions (2 Tim 4:3)

... there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed (2 Pet 2:1-2)

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 (1 Tim 4:1)

I would identify apostasy as a 3-part process:
  1. the rejection of Sola Scriptura
  2. the distortion of Biblical truth
  3. the rejection of Biblical truth
Sola Scriptura means "Scripture alone" and was one of the cornerstones of the Reformation. It is often misunderstood as meaning that Scripture alone is the only source of truth. That is not what the Reformers meant. They recognized truth can be found elsewhere in addition to Scripture - i.e., history, experience, reason, general revelation, etc. BUT with the principle of Sola Scriptura, the Reformers affirmed that the Bible alone is the rule by which all other truth must be judged. Any truth I may derive from reason must be filtered through and judged from the perspective of Scripture. All other sources of truth aside from Scripture are fallible. In other words, the Bible alone has ultimate authority in matters of faith and practice and it alone is the objective and infallible source of truth.

The first step towards apostasy is the rejection of Sola Scriptura whereby other sources of truth are elevated to authority at least equal with (and sometimes even above) Scripture. (An historical example is the Mormon church which elevated three other texts with equal authority to the Bible - Book of Mormon, Doctrines & Covenants, Pearl of Great Price.) Once Sola Scriptura is rejected, the door is wide open for apostasy and the enemy can begin his campaign of deception in earnest. Sola Scriptura is the deadbolt lock keeping apostasy safely at bay.

The second step in the process of apostasy is the inevitable distortion of Biblical truth. At this stage, fallible sources of truth now have equal (and sometimes even superior) authority to Scripture. It is now just a matter of time until absolute truth becomes grossly distorted. Prior to saving faith, we are all "legally blind" in the sense that we are unable to discern or grasp absolute truth. After saving faith, if we abide by the principle of Sola Scriptura, we are supernaturally equipped with spiritual glasses (i.e., a worldview) that slowly become clearer and more accurate (as we mature in Christ) with respect to reality. Just as a badly nearsighted person can see 20/20 with corrective lenses, so too we begin to see things as they really are through the absolute lens of Scripture. But if we abrogate Sola Scriptura, we forfeit the only lenses that enable us to see reality as it really is and our worldview is open to deception from literally anything.

The final stage is the rejection of Biblical truth - outright apostasy. When the distortion of Biblical truth becomes so great as to reach "critical mass", we have gone over the cliff and become an unwitting tool for the enemy. At this point, Biblical truth is so distorted that it no longer serves as a reliable guide; it becomes like a GPS gone haywire that leads us the wrong way up a one-way street to our deaths. Or we have entirely replaced Scripture with some other fallible source of truth.

How far and/or how fast the process of apostasy progresses is a function of several factors - i.e.,
  • strong versus weak fellowship with true, orthodox believers
  • church leadership that exercises loving correction and discipline versus leadership that just wants to "love" people (see my earlier entry here on a misguided understanding of love)
  • spiritually mature elders versus elders that are new in the faith and appointed for reasons other than spiritual maturity
  • formal accountability versus "rubber-stamped" accountability
  • continuing theological education versus a mentality that says "I don't have time for that; ministry is more important"
  • doing theology in community versus "lone-ranger" theology
  • etc.
The further down the road towards apostasy, the faster the pace and the more destructive it becomes. Think of a snowball rolling down a hill.

... “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

Church Hosts "‘Drag Gospel Festival"



A United Church of Christ congregation in Massachusetts recently hosted what it called a “Drag Gospel Festival” in support of the homosexual and transgender members in its assembly.

“God is good all the time! That means God is a diva, and girl, Jesus is fierce!” wrote Serenity Jones, the congregation’s “drag queen in residence” on the FCS website.

“What do drag queens or drag kings have to do with Jesus or the gospel?” he asked. “We at FCS believe ‘God don’t make no junk.’ So whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered or still playing hard to get, Jesus loves you and so do we! Amen baby! So come and get yours at this here church!”

The United Church of Christ, well outside of Biblical orthodoxy, was the first American religious group to ordain homosexuals and affirm abortion, Last year it filed a legal challenge against North Carolina’s same-sex “marriage” ban, asserting that it violates the free exercise of religion among clergy.

Story is here.

Teacher Tells 7th Grade Class That God Is A Myth And Answers To The Contrary Would Warrant Lower Grades

Jordan Wooley, a straight-A student at the West Memorial Junior High School–part of the Katy Independent School District (ISD)-said she and her classmates were told by their reading teacher that God is not real and that answers to the contrary would warrant lower grades.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Planned Parenthood Training Staff to Perform Illegal Partial-Birth Abortions?



The Center for Medical Progress released its 11th undercover video investigation of Planned Parenthood Tuesday in which it shows a Texas-based abortionist describing how she manipulates a baby's position in the womb to pull it out by its feet and trunk first. The technique the abortionist describes, according to pro-life groups, is the same procedure as an illegal partial birth abortion.

In the video, which was recorded during a conference for abortion providers on Oct. 12, 2014, Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas abortionist Dr. Amna Dermish is seen describing the methods she uses to perform between 250 and 300 abortions a month, up to 22 weeks gestation, at a clinic where she's the sole provider.

"My aim is to get the specimins out intact," she says, before recounting how she was trained by Planned Parenthood's Senior Director of Medical Services, Deborah Nucatola, to move the baby to a breech position "using ultrasound guidence."

"With further gestation [babies] I will sometimes do that [move the baby to a breech position] if it's a ceplialic presentation [head first] just 'cause it's easier to get, so — it really makes a difference. Just go up the spine," she says, using her hands to show a pulling motion.

Story is here.


Overstock Stockpiles Food & Gold For Coming Collapse



The chairman of the American online retailer Overstock, Jonathan Johnson – who’s also running for governor of Utah – said his company is so sure a financial collapse is on the way, the firm’s leading executives have accumulated and set aside about $10 million in gold and silver coins to cover the costs of payroll and keep both employees and operations in the black. Overstock's Chairman Jonathan Johnson is as vocal an opponent of the fiat system, and Wall Street's tendency to create bubble after bubble

Johnson explained how Overstock is taking advantage of Utah’s laws that allow it to use gold as a legal tender, via coins based off the one ounce gold coins issued by the Treasury Department.

He said, Zero Hedge reported: “We are not big fans of Wall Street and we don’t trust them. We foresaw the financial crisis, we fought against the financial crisis that happened in 2008; we don’t trust the banks still and we foresee that with QE3 [quantitative easing] and QE4 and QE [upcoming], that at some point there is going to be another significant financial crisis .... We would be prepared when that happens,” he said. “One thing that we do that is fairly unique: we have about $10 million in gold, mostly the small button sized coins, that we keep outside of the banking system. We expect that when there is a financial crisis there will be a banking holiday. I don’t know if it will be two days, or two weeks or two months. We have $10 million in gold and silver in denominations small enough that we can use for payroll.”

Story is here.

*******

I would add one other thing to his wise advice on preparing for the coming collapse. Arm yourself - especially if you are responsible for others (i.e., a family). Here's a report that Europeans are now scrambling for guns with the ongoing huge Islamic influx. In Austria (the one European country where citizens can legally own a weapon), all firearms are now sold out. In other European countries it is extraordinarily difficult to legally obtain a weapon. While 2nd Amendment rights still exist in America, that can change overnight. (If you have no experience with firearms, you must obtain proper training as well as ensure that all weapons are safely secured at all times.)

Ex-Transgenders And Homosexuals Come Out Of The Closet



The Federalist has an article here entitled "Ex-Transgenders And -Homosexuals Come Out Of The Closet" who "dare to speak the truth".

No matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it may be to LGBT people and their supporters, the rates of transgender regret and suicide remain high and therefore cannot be dismissed as unimportant. Research has shown that more than 60 percent of transgenders suffer from comorbid disorders. To me, that proves transgenders are misdiagnosed a majority of the time. Comorbid disorders are a direct cause for the staggering and shameful attempted suicide rate among transgenders of 41 percent.

.... Perhaps the most amazing truth during the conference will come from the stories of Janet Boynes, a former homosexual; Regina Griggs, parent of a former homosexual; Andrew Graham, a former homosexual; Dawn Stefanowicz, who was raised by a gay parent; and even myself, a transgender regretter.


xxxxxxx

The author, who has transgender surgery regret, also highlights the legal ramifications of the LGBT agenda. As I reported earlier here, it is biologically impossible to change gender and John Hopkins (who was first in the U.S. to perform transsexual surgery) no longer performs it, having concluded it is a mental disorder requiring treatment, not surgery.

The Third Jihad - Radical Islam's Vision for America

This is the 1400 year-old war that few know about ...


Monday, October 26, 2015

The Death Of Classical Music And Classical Theology



Anna Goldsworthy, an accomplished pianist, mourns here in The Monthly about the rapidly disappearing art of listening. Regarding classical music, she observes that "American figures suggest that the average age of attendance at a symphony concert in 1937 was 30. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported that the largest proportion of attendees at classical music concerts in 2009–10 was the cohort aged 65–74."

There is an intriguing quote in the essay by musicologist Lawrence Kramer that, "All music trains the ear to hear it properly, but classical music trains the ear to hear with a peculiar acuity. It wants to be explored, not just heard … it trains both the body’s ear and the mind’s to hearken, to attend closely, to listen deeply, as one wants to listen to something not to be missed.”

I find much the same phenomenon that she bemoans with respect to classical music is unfortunately occurring throughout the church with regard to theology. Peruse any "best-seller" list of Christian books and you usually find motivational books and biographies. If there are any theological books, they are almost always what I refer to as "cotton candy theology" - i.e., flashy and imparting a short-lived sugar high, but short on nutritional value. Cotton-candy theology tends to eclipse the magnificent, life-changing, absolute, transcendent truth of Scripture. From Cotton-candy's perspective, Scripture is usually either (a) granite that is only superficially scratched, or worse yet (b) malleable with endless subjectivity and relativism.

In short supply on almost all best-seller lists is what I refer to as "classical" theology - i.e., such works as ...
  • Grudem's or Pannenburg's Systematic Theology
  • Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion
  • Athanasius's On the Incarnation
  • Pascal's Pensees
  • the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture
  • Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica
  • NT Wright's monumental Resurrection of the Son of God
  • the Westminster Confession of Faith
  • William Lane Craig's Reasonable Faith
  • JP Moreland's Love God With All Your Mind
Sadly, these and similar works are increasingly unknown to the church-at-large except perhaps by "professional" theologians, some pastors and seminary students. Walk into any Christian bookstore (which are increasingly hard to find due to online book purchases) and look for the theology section. If one exists, it's inevitably in a back corner, occupying one or two shelves.

Just as there is no shortage of classical musicians but an appreciative audience trained to listen, so there is no shortage of contemporary theologians producing "classical" works worth plowing through - i.e., authors such Wayne Grudem, John Piper, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Doug Groothuis, Tim Keller, NT Wright, William Lane Craig, JP Moreland, RC Sproul, etc. The problem is dwindling readership for their works, and the fruit is an increasingly stunted church with respect to classical theology.

Read the following extract from "On The Incarnation" by Athanasius from the 4th century A.D. and compare it to the depth of most contemporary writings ...

For this purpose, then, the incorporeal and incorruptible and immaterial Word of God entered our world. In one sense, indeed, He was not far from it before, for no part of creation had ever been without Him Who, while ever abiding in union with the Father, yet fills all things that are. But now He entered the world in a new way, stooping to our level in His love and Self-revealing to us. He saw the reasonable race, the race of men that, like Himself, expressed the Father's Mind, wasting out of existence, and death reigning over all in corruption. He saw that corruption held us all the closer, because it was the penalty for the Transgression; He saw, too, how unthinkable it would be for the law to be repealed before it was fulfilled. He saw how unseemly it was that the very things of which He Himself was the Artificer should be disappearing. He saw how the surpassing wickedness of men was mounting up against them; He saw also their universal liability to death. All this He saw and, pitying our race, moved with compassion for our limitation, unable to endure that death should have the mastery, rather than that His creatures should perish and the work of His Father for us men come to nought, He took to Himself a body, a human body even as our own. Nor did He will merely to become embodied or merely to appear; had that been so, He could have revealed His divine majesty in some other and better way. No, He took our body, and not only so, but He took it directly from a spotless, stainless virgin, without the agency of human father—a pure body, untainted by intercourse with man. He, the Mighty One, the Artificer of all, Himself prepared this body in the virgin as a temple for Himself, and took it for His very own, as the instrument through which He was known and in which He dwelt. Thus, taking a body like our own, because all our bodies were liable to the corruption of death, He surrendered His body to death instead of all, and offered it to the Father. This He did out of sheer love for us, so that in His death all might die, and the law of death thereby be abolished because, having fulfilled in His body that for which it was appointed, it was thereafter voided of its power for men. This He did that He might turn again to incorruption men who had turned back to corruption, and make them alive through death by the appropriation of His body and by the grace of His resurrection. Thus He would make death to disappear from them as utterly as straw from fire. (On The Incarnation, Chapter 2, The Divine Dilemma and its Solution in the Incarnation, 8)

If you find that short excerpt "above your head", I fear you are in the majority. "Classical" theology that is akin in depth to something like Paul's exposition in either Romans or Galatians, trains the mind to "listen" deeply. It helps open our spirit to the great unchanging transcendent truth of Scripture. Just as the music aficionado must train his/her ear to classical music in order to understand and appreciate it, the same is true for the Christian. Grasping the deep transcendent truths of Scripture does not happen automatically at conversion. Training of the mind and discipline is required - indeed, that is part of what sanctification is all about. Even giftedness in Biblical teaching is no guarantee - i.e., consider the situation of Apollos in the early church as recorded in Scripture (Acts 18:24-26).

As the Monergism web site observes,

".... theology is not just an interest or hobby that we can add to our list of favorite activities and diversions. It pertains to the whole of our lives, and must shape and inform our thoughts and activities in every sphere of our existence. Without the knowledge of God, the knowledge of ourselves becomes distorted and futile, and any meaning and ultimate satisfaction becomes utterly impossible."

RC Sproul insightfully states,

"More than just a mental grasp of the content of biblical theology is needed, for spiritual maturity only comes as we receive the Word in our hearts and allow it to transform us through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only the Spirit can give us the willingness and the ability to respond to divine revelation in this manner. Still, because spiritual maturity requires theological study, there can be no growth without it. Consequently, no believer can bifurcate absolutely the work of the professional theologian from the task of the layperson." (emphasis is mine)

He goes on to hit the nail on the head with this conclusion,

".. the real question is not whether or not we are going to be theologians but whether or not we are going to be sound theologians."

Clinton E. Arnold, Professor of New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, comments here in his noteworthy research paper entitled "Early Church Catechesis And New Christians Classes In Contemporary Evangelicalism" on his conviction of the superficiality of the training/teaching for most new believers today. Definitely worth reading in entirety, here are some excerpts ...

I had also been doing some reading in the Church fathers about how new Christians’ classes were conducted in the early church and came away deeply convicted about the superficiality of what we were doing. There was such a rigorous plan and commitment by church leaders in the first four centuries to ground new believers in their Christian lives .... 

The time is fortuitous for a re-exploration of the early church practice of training new believers—a practice they called the catechumenate, derived from the Greek word katechein, meaning “to teach” or “instruct" ... 


Perhaps the most significant motive for the shift away from the apostolic practice of baptizing immediately after profession of faith to a time after substantive training, mentoring, and preparation had to do with “the concern the ministers of baptism had from the very beginning for the sincerity of the conversion of the candidates ....


When we begin to examine the sources of the early Christian catechumenate, we discover that it often took place over a three-year span.  The Apostolic Tradition reflects the practice of instructing them for a span of three years: “let the catechumens hear the Word for three years”. A three-year period is also attested in the Apostolic Constitutions and the Testamentum Domini. Clement of Alexandria also alludes to a three-year catechumenate (Stromata ...


Part of the motivation and concern for a lengthy process was rooted in a desire to foster solid spiritual formation and to protect these new believers against sin, heresy, and apostasy (emphasis is mine) ...


By contrast, many evangelical churches today place a minimal emphasis on the training of new believers, especially when compared to the prominence and importance of the catechumenate in the ancient church. Some churches find it adequate to have a four-week members’ class prior to baptism and the acquisition of church membership. Others may have a six or eight-week new Christians’ class. How many contemporary evangelical churches, however, have a plan for training new believers over a two or three-year span? ...


As we consider the lives and writings of the most well-known church leaders in the first four centuries, it is amazing how many of them devoted themselves to the task of teaching new believers ...


There are four key features from the catechumenate of the early church:

  1. Immersion in the Word of God.
  2. Teach them the central doctrines of the faith.
  3. Spiritual and moral formation.
  4. Deliverance ministry
*******

Dr. Arnold speaks with wisdom born from years of study and reflection; his conclusions are proven by time. The church in the early 21st century ignores him to our loss.  Personally ... the more I learn, the more I realize just how very little I actually know. It's quite humbling.

Academics Increasingly See Christianity as a Sickness to be ‘Treated’



William Briggs has a disturbing article here exposing that academics increasingly view Christianity as mental illness. (Nothing new here - Paul the apostle was accused of insanity 2000 years ago by Porcius Festus, procurator of Judea [Acts 26:24].) The author warns that academics often,

make a place for religion, but only religion drained of the transcendent. They deride “variants of Christianity” that are “literal,” have “a view that humans need salvation, and a focus on the spiritual world as superior to the natural world.” But the authors applaud sects that have thrown off all this superstitious stuff, namely “liberal, progressive Christian churches with a humanistic viewpoint, a focus on the present, and social justice.”

Academics also often assert that,

... children are “indoctrinated” or are “targeted for indoctrination” to religions. “Christian teachings that sound true when they are embedded in the child’s mind at this tender age can feel true for a lifetime” [emphasis original]. They say, with evident disapproval, “To date, parents are afforded the right to teach their own children whatever doctrines they like.” That “to date” speaks volumes. They say if left alone and unbothered with the supernatural, children’s “amazing capabilities” will “emerge with the right conditions like a beautiful flower in a well-attended garden.” Purple flowers, doubtless.

.... In Bible-believing Christianity, psychological mind-control mechanisms are coupled with beliefs from the Iron Age, including the belief that women and children are possessions of men, that children who are not hit become spoiled, that each of us is born ‘utterly depraved’, and that a supernatural being demands unquestioning obedience.

... humanity has been going through a massive shift for centuries, transitioning from a supernatural view of a world dominated by forces of good and evil to a natural understanding of the universe.

As we already see frequently happening in the culture, there is outspoken advocacy for a removal of orthodox religion from the public square. Briggs properly warns us that,

Given current trends, they might just get their wish. In the mean time, they might want to visit North Korea or the killing fields of Pol Pot, or the gulags of the former Soviet Union. These were all led by new men cured of the transcendent.

There has always been a strong correlation between mind-altering drugs and the demonic



A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reveals that more than two-thirds — some 69 percent – of patients using anti-depressants do not actually meet the criteria for depressive disorder. The study finds that many individuals who are prescribed and take antidepressant medications may not actually have a depressive disorder, and that such drugs are often used by patients who do not meet the diagnostic criteria of depression.

According to the research, among the users of antidepressant medications, 69 percent never met the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD), and 38 percent also never met those for obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder – for which the antidepressant medications are sometimes prescribed. The study is here.

While of course there are appropriate times and circumstances for prescription drugs, unfortunately our culture increasingly turns to powerful mind-altering prescription drugs to medicate symptoms of underlying conditions that require spiritual resolution - or worse yet, are even normal.

Earlier I wrote here about someone I met someone who was an alcoholic years ago and underwent treatment which "successfully" treated the alcohol addiction, something he was quite proud of. However he was a prescription medication drug addict when I met him; he had merely transferred the addiction from alcohol to legal drugs.

Psychiatrist Dr. Julie Holland penned an op-ed here in the New York Times earlier this year in which she cited that at least one of every four women in America is now on psychiatric medication, as opposed to one of every seven men, a situation Holland described as “insane.” Holland observed that women are emotional and sensitive by design – qualities that are generally “a sign of health, not disease.” According to Holland, “women are nearly twice as likely to receive a diagnosis of depression or anxiety disorder than men are.” Her concern is that the uptick in prescriptions for psychiatric medications is “creating a new normal, encouraging more women to seek chemical assistance.”

"Women have learned that their normal feelings of sadness and anxiety – while they may be uncomfortable – are symptoms of pathology,” Holland wrote. “We need to … appreciate them as a healthy, adaptive part of our biology.”

It's wise to remember that the Greek word translated as sorcery in the NASB in Gal 5:20 is "pharmakeia" (see Strong concordance here.) It is the origin of the English word "pharmacy". There has always been a strong correlation between mind-altering drugs and the demonic. The out-of-control drug problem in our culture is a marker for powerful, demonic spiritual forces at work.

Couple spends $440,000 on surgery to look like dolls



Meet Quentin Dehar, 23, and Anastasia Reskoss, 20, the young couple from France turning heads and raising eyebrows all over the world. According to the Daily Telegraph, "the couple has spent $440K on surgery to look like dolls." Quentin Dehar, 23, and Anastasia Reskoss, 20, have splurged an eye-watering $440K on two boob jobs, four nose jobs, lip injections, butt implants, cheek fillers, ear reshaping surgery, Botox, eye bag removal surgery, fake tanning, teeth whitening, nail extensions and veneers.

Story is here.

*******

Perhaps there is no more tragic story than this one to illustrate the sad truth that people will sometimes go to any lengths, no matter how costly, for an illusion of perfection (albeit seriously distorted in this case). More importantly, this says volumes about their vanity and self-perception. While most of us do not have that kind of money to splurge, I suspect far more people than we realize have the same feelings of frustration with the cards they have been dealt in life. Only Christ can truly satisfy and fulfill us.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Death Of Europe



(In the picture above, Muslim 'refugees' gleefully burn down tents and supplies provided by their hosts - to emphasize that they are not receiving what they feel entitled to by virtue of their mere arrival on non-Muslim shores. This is a migration fueled by greed rather than need. Europeans for the most part seem unwilling to recognize what is happening and how it will end - Daniel Greenfield offers us his perspective on the death of Europe as we know it below.)

European leaders talk about two things these days; preserving European values by taking in Muslim migrants and integrating Muslim migrants into Europe by getting them to adopt European values.

It does not occur to them that their plan to save European values depends on killing European values. 

The same European values that require Sweden, a country of less than 10 million, to take in 180,000 Muslim migrants in one year also expects the new “Swedes” to celebrate tolerance, feminism and gay marriage. Instead European values have filled the cities of Europe with Shariah patrols, unemployed angry men waving ISIS flags and the occasional public act of terror.

..... the problem isn’t one of modernization, it’s medievalization.

27% of Moroccans and 21% of Turks in the Netherlands are unemployed. It’s 27% in Denmark for Iraqis. And even when employed, their average income is well below the European average.

Critics pointed out in the past that a multicultural America can’t afford the welfare states that European countries have. Now that those same countries are turning multicultural, they can’t afford them either.

Europe invested in the values of its welfare state. The Muslim world invested in large families. Europe expects the Muslim world to bail out its shrinking birth rate by working and paying into the system so that its aging population can retire. The Muslim migrants however expect Europe to subsidize their large families with its welfare state while they deal some drugs and chop off some heads on the side.

Once again, European values are in conflict with European survival.

The European values that require Europe to commit suicide are about ideology, not language, culture or nationhood. But the incoming migrants don’t share that ideology. They have their own Islamic values.

Why should 23-year-old Mohammed work for four decades so that Hans or Fritz across the way can retire at 61 and lie on a beach in Mallorca? The idea that Mohammed would ever want to do such a thing out of love for Europe was a silly fantasy that European governments fed their worried citizens.

Mohammed doesn’t share European values. Nor are they likely to take hold of him no matter how often the aging teachers, who hope he gets a job and subsidizes their retirement, try to drill them into his head. Europeans expect Mohammed to become a Swede or a German as if he were some child they had adopted from an exotic country and raised as their own, and work to subsidize their European values.

The Muslim migrants are meant to be the retirement plan for an aging Europe. They’re supposed to keep its ramshackle collection of economic policies, its welfare states and social programs rolling along.

But they’re more like a final solution.

Mohammed is Fritz’s retirement plan. But Mohammed has a very different type of plan. Fritz is counting on Mohammed to work while he relaxes. Mohammed relaxes and expects Fritz to work.  Fritz is not related to him and therefore Mohammed sees no reason why he should work to support him.

European social democracy reduces society to a giant insurance plan in which money is pooled together.  But insurance is forbidden in Islam which considers it to be gambling. European social democracy expects him to bail it out, but to Mohammed, European values are a crime against Islam.
Mohammed’s Imam will tell him to work off the books because paying into the system is gambling. However taking money out of the system is just Jizya; the money non-Muslims are obligated to pay to Muslims. Under Islamic law, it’s better for Mohammed to sell drugs than to pay taxes ......

Europe is drinking rat poison to cure a cold. Instead of changing its values, it’s trying to maintain them by killing itself. The Mohammed retirement plan won’t save European Socialism. It will bury it.

Blog is here.

Blog is here.

ISIS graduates its first class of junior jihadists



NEW photos released by the Islamic State this week has underlined a scary fact: that the terrorist group is churning out scores of junior jihadists thanks to intensive training camps. The images uncovered by Vocative reportedly show the extremist group’s first graduating class of soldiers at its Afghanistan training camp, highlighting that the group’s ambitions extend far beyond the Middle East and have moved into the increasingly unstable country. About 24 armed men were photographed doing various drills and exercises, including those with what appears to be anti-aircraft machineguns.

Story is here.

"Billionaires Are A Paranoid Bunch"



(Jesus warned us about the difficulty the rich would have entering the kingdom of Heaven [Matt 19:23-24] because of the deceitfulness of their wealth [Mark 4:19] The vast majority of us will never win the lottery ... primarily because of the grace of God! He knows we could not handle it and it would destroy any meaningful relationship on our part with Him.).

To protect the exterior of their homes, some townhouse owners add a blast film to their window panes, which means they don’t shatter in an explosion and are all but impenetrable. Inside their mansions or lateral living apartments, most of the super-rich have two codes that open their safe(s) — one if everything is normal and another if they are what security folk call ‘under duress’. Key in the duress code and armed private security guards will arrive at the house in less than three minutes.

Ultra-high net worth households also demand that their telephone and internet communications are encrypted. ‘I’ve been to some houses that look more like the NSA [America’s National Security Agency just outside Washington DC] than a family home,’ jokes one of London’s leading security consultants. Mobile phones have tracking devices to help protect family members in a kidnap situation.  

And don’t forget the smoke. Not the Cohibas in the fumoirs many wealthy men — and the odd woman — like to retreat to after dinner. Some homeowners have installed systems that billow out fog that disorientates intruders. 

... Valuable artworks can be injected with tiny microchips linked to the home’s security system. If they are moved without warning, they automatically trigger a lockdown of the house and the police are alerted. 

... Most exotic are the so-called SmartWater Index and Smoke Cloak systems. This is the last line of defence in a burglary. In the very unlikely event that an intruder does make it into a house and escapes without being caught, the chances are he or she soon will be. Not only will police have images on CCTV, but a smoke gun can be activated remotely once security personnel monitoring the CCTV realise something is wrong. The gun can create a mist laced with unique, synthetic DNA that is so fine it goes unnoticed, yet lingers on skin for weeks and shows up under UV light. Thanks to unique markers, it can be traced directly back to a specific home. ‘It makes the chances of catching the culprit way higher,’ says a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police.

... Being super-rich is not just about being super-paranoid, of course. It’s also about having more fun than the average bear and London’s super-prime homes have plenty of new ways to show off. Charles McDowell, one of London’s leading super-prime property agents, recalls viewing one home with a solid gold safe that rose out of the floor whenever the owner wanted to remind himself — and his guests — how filthy rich he is and what appallingly bad taste he has.

.... Others are content with avoiding the everyday hassles of life — for instance, reversing the car out of the garage. The latest homes come with garages equipped with a turntable so that the owner can drive in and out without looking over their shoulder.

... If you want bragging rights these days, you need your own submarine, which floats out of a sub-sea compartment in your superyacht. ‘It’s a toy, but if the worst happened, it could also be an escape route,’ says one prominent London tycoon with a weakness for Monaco-berthed superyachts — provided they have military-grade radar jammers and missile and torpedo defences. 

Like most things the super-rich do, the race to get the latest security has become a competition to see who can lavish the most on the most outlandish kit.  

Story is here.

Persecuted and Forgotten


Saturday, October 24, 2015

German Pastor Pays A Price For Faithfulness



Germany was the birthplace of the Reformation and was once a base for world missions. But much of Germany today is covered by a profound spiritual darkness, as are most Western nations. Those who refuse to compromise on the teaching of scripture pay a price. Bremen Pastor Olaf Latzel knows full well that there is a cost for speaking out boldly -- especially in today's Germany, where traditional Christian teaching is viewed by many as bigoted, hateful, and even "un-Christian."

Latzel has been attacked in the media, investigated by the local government, and even denounced by fellow pastors. His crime? Refusing to bend a knee to political correctness.

"I'm only preaching the Gospel in a clear way," Latzel said. "I think it is my duty to do this preaching in this way for our Lord."

In his sermons, Latzel cuts no corners. He soft-pedals nothing. To some, he might sound mean when he attacks other religions. But Latzel is standing against what he sees as a spirit of compromise that seems to have swallowed Germany and the German state church. In the process, he has angered the German establishment and even a lot of German pastors. Latzel said the chief battle in the German church today now is over who God is.

According to Latzel, some Christian pastors have said "Allah and Jesus Christ, the Christian God, is the same god."

"But if you ask a Muslim, 'Does your god have a son?' he would say no!" he continued. "Our (Christian) God has a son; his name is Jesus Christ. So, they are not the same."

"If you speak out loud and clearly about the truth of the Bible, that there's only one way to heaven and this way is Jesus Christ, there is only one God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and there is no other god beside Him, then you have a problem," he said.

Seventy German pastors gathered in Bremen this year to denounce Latzel behind a banner celebrating "diversity." The public prosecutor investigated him for hate speech and then cleared him, and the Bremen parliament passed a resolution against him. It was reportedly the first time a German pastor has been condemned by a German parliament since World War II.

But far from backing down, Latzel said the real problem is that, in his estimation, most pastors in Germany's state church have not been born again.


"I think over 80 percent of the pastors in the national church in Germany are not reborn," he said. "And that's a great problem, and because of this, they make their own doctrine. The Bible is the Word of God; it's our law, chapter by chapter, book by book, sentence by sentence, letter by letter."

Story is here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

The LGBT Nuclear Weapon



A proposed bill in Congress, "The Equality Act" found here, would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “to include sex, sexual orientation and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation.” It would gut the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act so LGBT-based discrimination complaints could be brought against churches that follow the Bible's teaching that homosexual behavior is a sin. It would unilaterally change public school desegregation standards “to provide for the assignment of students without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.” Churches that hold to biblical beliefs about sexuality would theoretically not be immune.

At a recent event in Chicago hosted by the “gay”-rights group Human Rights Campaign, LGBT leaders discussed their agenda, according to a report from Windy City Media Group. One aim is passing the Equality Act. HRC President Chad Griffing predicted it would be “the biggest legislative battle in the history of our movement.” And he claimed the movement has the strength “to decide elections,” with its “10 million” voters.

He also charged that Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., was attacking families with his plan for the First Amendment Defense Act, which would protect people and groups from unwarranted attacks and lawsuits when their actions are based on their religious beliefs about marriage. The Equality Act, sponsored by Rep. David, Cicilline, D-R.I., has been referred to the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice. It guts the protections written into the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, declaring that beliefs cannot provide a claim, defense or basis against the progressive agenda of the LGBT special interests. Violators would answer to the U.S. Department of Justice, which would act if it receives a complaint from someone who claims to suffer discrimination.

It becomes clearer every day that it was never about "equal rights" for homosexuals, but about forcing evangelical Christianity from the public square.

$5000 Fine For Objecting To A Man Entering A Woman's Bathroom


A new ad campaign launched Wednesday warned voters in Houston, Texas that they could face up to $5,000 in fines if they object to men using women’s bathrooms under the city’s controversial LGBT “Equal Rights” bathroom ordinance known as Proposition 1 on the ballot in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections.

Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins said that while the ad draws attention to the bathroom issue, voting against Proposition 1 is also about religious liberty.

"This ad draws voters' attention to the fact that if parents — or anyone — dares to block a man from entering a woman's restroom, they are subject to fines up to $5,000 under Proposition 1. Proposition 1 is about a lot more than even bathrooms. It's about criminalizing religious liberty. The ordinance also gives the government new grounds to impose punishing fines on bakers, florists, planners, musicians and others who refuse to yield their religious beliefs to this new morality." Perkins said in a statement here.

Here Are All The Unreleased Planned Parenthood Tapes



GotNews.com has obtained all of the Planned Parenthood tapes but the lawyers representing the National Abortion Federation wants to censor them and us.

.... A person in plain clothes with a gun on his hip also arrived at Charles C. Johnson’s home. Johnson didn’t know who this person was & called the police. The man turns out to have claimed to be a process server and threw the documents down on the ground outside Johnson’s home.

We will continue writing about them as our attorneys inform us that GotNews.com is not subject to any temporary restraining order concerning David Daleiden. The law firm wants GotNews.com to turn over all texts, emails with Daleiden. This is easy. There aren’t any.

We are moving from the Planned Parenthood tapes being about the sale of organs to the unconstitutional restrictions on First Amendment.

Meanwhile the hacker Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer has torrented the rest of the tapes for your viewing displeasure.

Videos are here.

Training A ‘Caliphate Cub’ To Navigate An Obstacle Course Under Live Fire



A small boy crawling through an obstacle course while seemingly dodging bullets is shown in a video recently released by the Islamic State. The video clip posted on the Facebook page of an IS militant, Abu Aisha al-Kazakhi, shows a young child clad in military fatigues, struggling to pass under a barb wire obstacle course and shouting “Allah akbar,” or “Allah is the greatest.” The clip was reportedly taken during one of the training sessions for “the Caliphate Cubs” in a training camp to prepare them as the “next generation” of IS militants. In the video, the child not older than 10 crawls like a commando while live bullets hit the dirt just a few inches around his body. 

Story is here.

The Fruit Of Islam In Young Children


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Partying While The House Is Burning Down



When discussing the abysmal moral decline of American culture, a counterargument often heard is along these lines ...

Sure, American has some problems. But nothing like every other nation! We don't force pregnant mothers to abort because of a strict 1-child policy (China). We don't kill people for changing religion (Pakistan). We don't prohibit Christianity (Saudi Arabia). We don't imprison and torture Christians (North Korea). We don't encourage and sponsor terrorism (Iran). We don't have a Pedophile Politcal Party advocating for the legalization of child pornography and the lowering of the age of consent to age 12 (Holland). etc., etc.

Such rationale is both fallacious and dangerous. It's the same reasoning often employed by unbelievers who reject God's judgement of their personal sin and are quick to point out others who are "worse" than them - perhaps even confessed Christians. "You mean God will accept that rapist/murderer who repented before death, and yet reject me if I don't repent? I've never murdered or raped anyone!" It's easy to find others worse than oneself.

In the Old Testament, apostate Israel naively believed it was safe from the judgement of God because (from its' perspective) the iniquity of the surrounding nations was greater. Yet, God used a morally "worse" nation (Babylon) to effect judgement upon His rebellious people (Habakkuk 1:5-6). From God's perspective, the sin of Israel was worse than the pagan, surrounding nations (Amos 1-3). Why? Because of the light it had been given (Ps 147:19-20). Jesus warned that more is required from the one who is given much (Luke 12:48). The greater the light, the greater the responsibility. Shockingly, Jesus said the judgement for those 1st century Jewish villages and towns that rejected His earthly ministry and testimony, would be worse than the final judgement for Sodom (Matt 11:20-24).

America was given a great light in which she walked in for a while. Now, not only having rejected the light but openly mocking it and partying like there is no tomorrow, judgment is inevitable. While I believe judgment is now inescapable, it may however be temporarily delayed by the potential reforms of a Josiah-minded leader.

At a time when Hebrew prophets like Jeremiah were warning of the coming judgment to the people of Jerusalem and Judah, the Lord mercifully raised up a leader who did, in fact, love the Lord his God and loved His Word - Josiah (2 Kings 23:25). A godly king, Josiah passionately sought the Lord in his private life and pursued bold, sweeping reforms in his public life to get the Jewish nation turned around and headed back in the right direction.

As a result, God in His sovereignty graciously chose to forestall the promised coming judgment for more than two decades. But judgement was still inevitable (2 Kings 23:26-27). During Josiah’s tenure in power, the Jewish people experienced one of the greatest periods of repentance, reform and revival in their ancient history. When Josiah died, new leaders emerged that tragically turned away from the Lord, leading the people astray. Judgment came to the nation in 586 B.C. with the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at the hands of the Babylonian army.

Remarkably, God delayed the prophesied and certain judgment of Jerusalem and Judah for 22 ½ years beyond the life of Josiah. This means that 53 ½ years passed between the time Josiah ascended to the throne to the time divine judgment came to pass in 586 B.C. under the reign of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.

I believe our imploding nation has crossed the event horizon and judgement is now inevitable, sooner or later. However, as with Josiah, I also believe it is possible to delay the now-certain judgement. May God raise up a modern-day Josiah for America.

Did the high priest enter the Holy of Holies with a rope around his ankle?



Did the high priest enter the Holy of Holies in the Old Testament temple with a rope around his ankle? Almost every Christian has heard this at one time or another. But is it true?

Answer - Apparently not.

As reported by Archaeology & The Bible, you may have heard this story before. It has been said that that because the high priest could be killed by God in "Holy of Holies" if not properly prepared according to Divine instructions, a rope was routinely tied around his ankle. Then, if he dropped dead, his body could be dragged out. Various versions of this claim have been repeated in Christian and Jewish circles. As yet, we have not located the original source, but apparently it originated long after the last Jewish Temple was gone. The biblical and historical evidence indicates that there was no rope, at least not in any common use.

Dr. W.E. Nunnally, a professor of Hebrew and early Judaism, has reported:

“The rope on the high priest legend is just that: a legend. It has obscure beginnings in the Middle Ages and keeps getting repeated. It cannot be found anywhere in the Bible, the Apocrypha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Josephus, the Pseudepigrapha, the Talmud, Mishna, or any other Jewish source. It just is not there.” [2]

The Biblical Studies Foundation (loosely associated with Dallas Theological Seminary), similarly reports that their research has put the “the rope around the ankle-or-waist-or-maybe-the-leg” legend “to rest.” They also point out that Aaron was to wear a blue ephod with bells on its hem (Exodus 28:31-35), when he entered the Holy Place (not the Holy of Holies) (Leviticus 16:2-4). When he enters the Holy of Holies, he washes and wears special linen garments, not the ephod with bells. “If there are no bells to jingle, there is no need for the rope either.” [3]

A Messianic Jewish Fellowship points out the potential difficulty of dragging a dead priest out of the Holy of Holies:

“You could only drag out the priest if he died in the Holy place. The way the curtains of the temple were designed, the priest could not have been dragged out of the HOLY of HOLIES. The veil was made using many layers of cloth. The thickness was over three feet. The curtains overlapped and made a small maze through which the priest walked…” [4]

References:
  1. Dr. W.E. Nunnally is Associate Professor of Early Judaism and Christian Origins at Central Bible College and Adjunct Professor of Hebrew at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary
  2. “All in the Family: The Visions and Vanities of Sam Hinn,” The Quarterly Journal, Vol. 16, No. 4, (St. Louis: Personal Freedom Outreach), http://www.pfo.org/allinfam.htm
  3. Biblical Studies Foundation (Garland, TX), http://www.bible.org/docs/qa/qa.asp?StudyID=462
  4. Zion Messianic Jewish Fellowship Congregation (Austin, Texas), http://tzion.org/articles/Temple1.html

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We Are Reliving The True History Of How The Islamic World Came Into Existence



Christians could soon be extinct from entire regions of the world, according to a new report from the UK Catholic group, Aid to the Church in Need. This week, the group released its latest bi-annual report "Persecuted and Forgotten?".

"Christians are fast disappearing from entire regions - most notably a huge chunk of the Middle East but also whole dioceses in Africa. In large part, this migration is the product of an ethnic cleansing motivated by religious hatred," the report says. As a result of the persecution against Christians, a massive exodus is happening in parts of the Middle East, notably Syria and Iraq.

ACN's report says Christians are now the most persecuted faith group in the world, citing the International Society for Human Rights 2012 report, which estimates that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination were against Christians

Report is here.

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We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world—much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian—came into being.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.”  In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.” Ongoing reports from the Islamic world certainly support this conclusion.  Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators.

In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was at least one million.  Today fewer than 400,000 remain—the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading. The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshippers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg.

Now as the U.S. supports the jihad on secular president Assad, the same pattern has come to Syria: entire regions and towns where Christians lived centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls that it’s a “sacred duty” to drive Christians away.

In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs—which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came—was murdered.  One teenage Syrian girl said: “We left because they were trying to kill us… because we were Christians….  Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house.”

In Egypt, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their homeland soon after the “Arab Spring.”  In September 2012, the Sinai’s small Christian community was attacked and evicted by al-Qaeda linked Muslims, Reuters reported. But even before that, the Coptic Orthodox Church lamented the “repeated incidents of displacement of Copts from their homes, whether by force or threat. Displacements began in Ameriya [62 Christian families evicted], then they stretched to Dahshur [120 Christian families evicted], and today terror and threats have reached the hearts and souls of our Coptic children in Sinai.”

Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are the Arab world.  But even in “black” African and “white” European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.

In Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled.  According to reports, “the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north “where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out… there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, church and Christian property has been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded.

Even in European Bosnia, Christians are leaving en mass “amid mounting discrimination and Islamization.”  Only 440,000 Catholics remain in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure.  Problems cited are typical:  “while dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches.”

“Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism,” said one authority, who further added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were “persecuted for centuries” after European powers “failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire.”

In Ethiopia, after a Christian was accused of desecrating a Koran, thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes when “Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.”

In the Ivory Coast—where Christians have been crucified—Islamic rebels “massacred hundreds and displaced tens of thousands” of Christians. In Libya, Islamic rebels forced several Christian nun orders serving the sick and needy since 1921 to flee.

In Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, where nary a Sunday passes without a church bombing, Christians are fleeing by the thousands; one region has been emptied of 95% of its Christian population.

In Pakistan, after a Christian child was falsely accused of desecrating a Koran and Muslims went on an anti-Christian rampage, an entire Christian village—men, women, and children—was forced to flee into the nearby woods, where they built a church, permanently resided there.

In Somali, where Christianity is completely outlawed, Muslim converts to Christianity are fleeing to neighboring nations, including Kenya and Ethiopia, sometimes to be tracked down and executed.

In Sudan, over half a million people, mostly Christian, have been stripped of citizenship in response to the South’s secession, and forced to relocate.

To anyone following the plight of Christians under Islam, none of this is surprising. History is repeating itself. Often forgotten is that, in the 7th century, half of the world’s entire Christian population was spread across what is now nonchalantly called the “Muslim world.”  Then, Islam, born in the deserts of Arabia, burst out in a series of world-altering jihads, conquering and slowly transforming these once Christian nations into Islamic nations. In order to evade sporadic persecution and constant discrimination, over the centuries most Christians converted, while others fled.  A few opted to remain Christian and live as barely tolerated third-class subjects, or dhimmis, according to Sharia law. They eventually experienced something of a renaissance during the colonial and post-colonial era, when many Muslims were Westward-looking.

But today, with the international resurgence of Muhammad’s apostate religion, these remaining Christians are reaching extinction, as Islam’s 1400 year mission of supremacy and global hegemony continues unabated—even as the West looks the other way ......  that is, when it’s not actually supporting it.