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, May 21, 2016

Why David Petraeus Really Wants You To Shut Up About Islamism



Christine Brim has written a must-read, eye-opening piece here entitled "Why David Petraeus Really Wants You To Shut Up About Islamism."

[For those that may not know, David Petraeus was according to Wikepedia ...

David Howell Petraeus AO (/pᵻˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7, 1952) is a retired American military officer and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from July 4, 2010, to July 18, 2011. His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) from February 10, 2007, to September 16, 2008.[4] As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.

... On November 9, 2012, General Petraeus resigned from his position as Director of the CIA, citing his extramarital affair which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation. In January 2015, officials reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell (with whom he was having an affair), while serving as the director of the CIA. Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information

Petraeus was guilty of not only adultery, but also the unauthorized sharing of classified information - something that would have quickly sent anyone else not among the governing elite to jail. Don't believe the old adage that nobody is above the law. There are all-too-often two different implementations of the law:  (1) for the elite, and (2) for everyone else.

Brim starts out her article thus ...

On May 13, the Washington Post published an online op-ed by former CIA director and CENTCOM commander David Petraeus, titled “Anti-Muslim bigotry aids Islamist terrorists.” The op-ed was noteworthy chiefly for Petraeus’ use of rhetorical clichés more commonly expected from the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Islamophobia Observatory,” including such standards as “inflammatory political discourse against Muslims and Islam,” “blanket discrimination on the basis of religion,” “those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims,” “those who demonize and denigrate Islam,” “who toy with anti-Muslim bigotry,” and the ever-reliable “demonizing a religious faith and its adherents.” Although the op-ed seemed to target Donald Trump, it also admonished all Americans to limit what we say about Islam.

Petraeus’s attack was so over-the-top, no expression critical of Islamic doctrine would escape his censorship. Have you criticized mainstream Islamic doctrine or the laws of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates? You’re demonizing a religious faith. Do you object to authoritative Islamic doctrines justifying jihad, proclaimed by both Islamic governments and non-state Islamic militants alike? Stop toying with anti-Muslim bigotry; you’re just aiding “Islamist terrorists.”

Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch expertly summarized Petraeus’s specious logic: “So the upshot of Petraeus’ argument is that we must not say things to which Muslims might object, because this will just make more of them become jihadis. His prescription for minimizing the jihad against the West is for the West to practice self-censorship in order to avoid offending Muslims.”
Brim then goes on in the article to reveal that Petraeus's real motivation in writing the article is clearly monetary. Private financial gain, not some sense of ethical morality.

Perhaps the Post should have let their readers judge for themselves if Petraeus’s financial interests in KKR, and KKR’s financial interests in the Middle East, were relevant to his op-ed demanding an end to criticism of Islam. KKR has been trying for the past seven years to enter private equity markets in Muslim-majority countries, especially in Dubai (part of the United Arab Emirates) and Saudi Arabia. During those same years, the governments of Dubai and Saudi Arabia hardened their laws against criticism of Islam at home, and increased their lobbying spending to shut down criticism of Islamic doctrine abroad.

...  KKR had hired Petraeus as chairman of the Global Institute for exactly these opportunities, as Henry Kravis announced in KKR’s May 2013 press release announcing the Petraeus appointment: “As the world changes and we expand how and where we invest, we are always looking to sharpen the ‘KKR edge.’” Petraeus would help with “investments in new geographies,” presumably in those Middle East and Central Asian countries he knew from his years as CENTCOM commander and CIA director.

Petraeus got to work, presenting a sunny view of reforms in the region in a December 2013 interview with the PrivCap newsletter (video and transcript highlights): “Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco. . . in each of these countries there have been far more reforms than I think most people recognize. You have to understand the culture. You have to understand the conflicting tensions in these countries to appreciate how much, say, King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia has really done in a state where there is a lot of conservative sentiment.”

...  In Washington, reputation is the drug of choice, dealt on every corner of the K Street lobbying corridor.

Brim astutely summarizes:

...  In Washington, reputation is the drug of choice, dealt on every corner of the K Street lobbying corridor.

... The typical case: a highly placed official with a sterling reputation retires, someone whose career gave him contacts with foreign governments and foreign business leaders. His reputation has a respectable public part, his resume, and a valuable private part, his contacts, especially foreign contacts who control emerging markets and have money to spend on lobbying. When this useful individual speaks at conferences or publishes an op-ed or testifies before the Senate, his past resume is all that is presented when he is introduced as a speaker or summarized in a Washington Post “ID” accompanying his op-ed.

But his current employers, partners, and clients? Not disclosed, and neither K Street customs nor government regulations require the disclosure. If his speech, op-ed, or testimony just happens to align with the interests of his employers, partners, clients? That’s a serendipitous coincidence, an irrelevancy. As KKR stated, “General Petraeus regularly writes in his private capacity.”

Anyway, what difference does it make? The rules are clear. If you’re inside the Beltway, you already knew, and you have no need to know if you’re anywhere else.
*******

David Petraeus is a tragic example of how corrupting an influence Washington DC is. It's a house of cards now built on money, power and sex that is unfortunately about to come crashing down.



Friday, May 20, 2016

Kirsten Powers - The Highly Reluctant Jesus Follower



I've referenced this before, but it's worth posting again. Here is link to Kirsten Power's testimony of her conversion to Christianity. Her testimony became Christianity Today magazine’s most-read Web story in 2013. Read it in entirety. Here's an extract ...

Of all people surprised that I became an evangelical Christian, I'm the most surprised.
In fact, the week before I met him, a friend had asked me if I had any deal breakers in dating. My response: "Just nobody who is religious."

A few months into our relationship, my boyfriend called to say he had something important to talk to me about. I remember exactly where I was sitting in my West Village apartment when he said, "Do you believe Jesus is your Savior?" My stomach sank. I started to panic. Oh no, was my first thought. He's crazy.

... I had found this man's church attendance an oddity to overlook, not a point in his favor.
As he talked, I grew conflicted. On the one hand, I was creeped out. On the other hand, I had enormous respect for him. He is smart, educated, and intellectually curious. I remember thinking, What if this is true, and I'm not even willing to consider it?

... We were meeting in an auditorium with a band playing what I later learned was "praise music." I thought, How am I going to tell him I can never come back?
But then the pastor preached. I was fascinated. I had never heard a pastor talk about the things he did. Tim Keller's sermon was intellectually rigorous, weaving in art and history and philosophy. I decided to come back to hear him again.

... Each week, Keller made the case for Christianity. He also made the case against atheism and agnosticism. He expertly exposed the intellectual weaknesses of a purely secular worldview. I came to realize that even if Christianity wasn't the real thing, neither was atheism.

I began to read the Bible. My boyfriend would pray with me for God to reveal himself to me. After about eight months of going to hear Keller, I concluded that the weight of evidence was on the side of Christianity.

... I suddenly felt God everywhere and it was terrifying. More important, it was unwelcome. It felt like an invasion. I started to fear I was going crazy.

I didn't know what to do, so I spoke with writer Eric Metaxas, whom I had met through my boyfriend and who had talked with me quite a bit about God. "You need to be in a Bible study," he said. "And Kathy Keller's Bible study is the one you need to be in." I didn't like the sound of that, but I was desperate. My whole world was imploding. How was I going to tell my family or friends about what had happened? Nobody would understand. I didn't understand. (It says a lot about the family in which I grew up that one of my most pressing concerns was that Christians would try to turn me into a Republican.)

I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don't remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I'll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, "It's true. It's completely true." The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.




Federal Judge Goes Ballistic on Department Of Justice



The federal judge hearing the challenge to Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration threw the book at the Department of Justice yesterday in a rare show of judicial force, the National Law Journal’s Zoe Tillman reported here. In an order that details material misrepresentations made by DoJ attorneys in his court (in layman's terms, they flat-out "lied"), Judge Andrew Hanen demanded a full list of illegal immigrants granted benefits in the lapsed time. Hanen then blocked DOJ attorneys from appearing in any court in the 26 states involved until they take an ethics course, and further demanded that Attorney General Loretta Lynch to report within 60 days about how she plans to correct the failures in the Office of Professional Responsibility. In order to litigate in any of the 26 states bringing the lawsuit — in either federal or state court — any DOJ attorney has to first take an ethics course, in a classroom, taught by someone outside of Justice:

Hanen’s order minced no words. He accuses government attorneys of a pattern of dishonest behavior and “bad faith,” and of deliberately deceiving the plaintiffs in the lawsuit in order to prevent an earlier request for a restraining order.

Lynch and any succeeding AGs will have to file an annual report with Hanen’s court detailing compliance in all 26 states — for the next five years. He also revoked the pro hac vice status of those attorneys who made the material misrepresentations (meaning that they cannot practice law unless admitted to the state bar in that jurisdiction) — and only did that, Hanen wrote, because he lacks the authority to disbar them outright. Hanen did take an opportunity to blame Eric Holder rather than Lynch for the sorry state of the Department of Justice

Wow.

Of course, none of this should surprise any observer of Washington politicians who have elevated immoral conduct and lying to a fine art. The corruption is appalling. In 2014, John Stossel wrote an article here entitled "Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice".

A group of Washington overlords — federal prosecutors — sometimes break rules and wreck people’s lives. President Obama may soon appoint one of them to be America’s next Attorney General. The prosecutorial bullying is detailed in a new book by Sidney Powell, “Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice.”  She reports that the Department of Justice’s narcissistic and dishonest prosecutors destroy people by doing things like deliberately withholding evidence.

DOJ's culture of corruption is not unique in Washington D.C.; indeed it's endemic, flowing down from the very top. But as I wrote earlier here, there comes a time when government becomes judgment from God. As I said then ...

As with the ancient nation of Israel, we "did what was right in our own eyes" and in turn, got the government we deserved. Yes, while we obviously need to thoroughly houseclean the leadership in Washington, national repentance must precede it. But unfortunately, just as with the ancient nation of Israel, it may require the destruction of a stubborn nation busily shaking it's collective fist in the face of God, to induce repentance.

The Muslim's Guide To Beating Your Wife



Thursday, May 19, 2016

Black Holes and Hell: Surprising Similarities


For a supercomputer animation of a theoretical journey into a supermassive Black Hole, watch this rendering by John Hawley at the University of Virginia:





There is an interesting exercise here positing that Black Holes and Hell have surprising similarities. Always having been interested in physics, this actually is something I had pondered for a while.

In fact, the more I think about it the more convinced I am that black holes are a sobering reminder from God to us of the terrible reality of hell. For everything that exists in this visible world in some way shows us something about the invisible spiritual world. as Romans chapter one shows us.

[The author begins by defining the two terms:]

Black hole: An area of space-time with a gravitational field so intense that its escape velocity is equal to or exceeds the speed of light.

Hell: The place of punishment of the lost or finally impenitent; the place of torment of the wicked.

[The first similarity drawn is that of "reality":]

It was said that a black hole is an area, an object at an actual location in the physical universe. The Bible describes hell in the same manner, as an actual place ... No effort will be made here to ascertain the exact location of this place called Sheol or Hades or hell, or even to distinguish between these various designations. All that is needed here is to know that the Bible does indeed portray hell or is equivalent as a real place, not just a state of being, although it is this as well.

[I might add that while Einstein's theory of relativity mathematically predicted the existence of Black Holes, nobody was sure they actually existed for several decades. Einstein himself did not believe they existed in reality. But because we can now observe their effects with increasingly sensitive instruments, we know that they do exist. Supermassive Black Holes are now believed to reside at the center of every galaxy.]

[The second similarity drawn is that of "nature" or "essence":]

Listen to this description of a black hole: "One of the end points of gravitational collapse, in which the collapsing matter fades from view, leaving only a center of gravitational attraction behind" (Answers.com black holes).

What an amazingly accurate description of what happens to an unbeliever after death and the soul departs to hell. At the end point of such a person's life, he collapses under the weight of God's judgment and that which was his earthly body, his physical form, fades from view, as it rots away in the grave. All that is left of what once was that person is his spirit. The Bible says that the spirit within us is where our attractions arise.

[The third similarity drawn is that of "the divide":]

For both black holes and hell, there is a dividing line that separates it from the rest of all that exists. For a black hole, this dividing line is called the (event) horizon, which completely encloses the collapsed matter. The horizon is an ideal one-way membrane: that is, particles and light can go inward through the surface, but none can go outward.

The Bible describes hell in a similar manner. Jesus once told a parable (Lk. 16:19-31) of a man in hell who desired to escape that horrible place of torment but could not because "a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us" (v. 26 NIV).

[The fourth similarity drawn is that of "determined destinies":]

General relativity shows that any star above approximately three solar masses that does not lose sufficient mass within its lifetime must inevitably become a black hole; it has no choice.

The same holds true for those human beings who freely choose not to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. That free choice carries with it inevitable consequences resulting in the final one of winding up in hell, from which there is no escape because it is the final destination. In both cases, for black holes and for those rejecting God, once that dividing line of either the event horizon or death is passed, there is no longer any opportunity for turning back: Destiny has forever been determined.

[The fifth similarity drawn is that of "the many and the few":]

... a star of more than three solar masses that does not lose some of its mass by ejection or other means will eventually succumb to becoming a black hole. There are many stars in the cosmos that are above this mass limit. In addition, more massive stars evolve more rapidly, enhancing the rate of formation of black holes. These two considerations imply a vast number of black holes in the cosmos.

[The sixth similarity drawn is that of "increase in size":]

"The black hole solutions of general relativity, ignoring quantum-mechanical effects, are completely stable. Once massive black holes form, they will remain forever; and subsequent processes, for example, the accumulation of matter, only increase their size" (from Answers.com, black hole).

"Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude go down, her throng and he who exults in her" (Is. 5:14 NIV).

[The seventh similarity drawn is that of "invisible":]

Black holes are invisible, since light cannot escape from them to make themselves visible (hence the name black holes). So how do we know they actually exist? We know it because of their effect on the matter of the universe around them. The same is true for hell and evil and the devil: We know they exist both because the Word of God says so and because of their effects upon us and our world, just as the Einstein equations of general relativity say that black holes should exist and we see their effects on the matter around them.

[The eighth similarity drawn is that of "loss of freedom":]

Remember that it was said earlier that the event horizon is that place in space where any object that passes that point is doomed to be captured by the black hole. Further details produce a revealing truth about human beings, so first this quote:

"The event horizon is a completely normal part of space, with no special features that would allow someone falling into the a black hole to know when he would cross the horizon. The event horizon is not a solid surface, and does not obstruct or slow down matter or radiation that is traveling towards the region within the event horizon" (answers.com black holes).
The similarity in human beings and free will is chilling.

... Just as a black hole captures forever all that falls into it past the event horizon, so does the human soul that has slowly been attracted to wickedness by its own desires eventually reach that point of no return in the event horizon of the human soul. When that happens, the final outcome is fully and irreparably determined, even though the person continues to live and has not yet died.

This hardening of the heart explains those instances recorded in the Bible where it is said that God hardened a person's heart to defy him (Ex. 9:12), such as the Egyptian pharaoh's heart. Read alone, out of context, such a verse might seem contradictory and inexplicable. But read in context with the preceding verses and the rest of the account of Pharaoh's defiance of God, there is nothing out of order, for he freely chose to continue his own hardening of heart many times before he had reached that point of no return. In God's hardening of that heart, he was simply extending Pharaoh's life for a short time on this earth before calling him to account after his death. Judgment had already been passed, but God has the right as God to let an evil person continue to live for a while for God's own purposes ...
*******

This video theorizes what would happen to someone falling into a Black Hole:



And I would add more five more similarities:

Ninth similarity: that of a "review of everything that's transpired prior"

(Watch the video above.) What's interesting is that from the perspective of one going into the Black Hole, this review happens in virtually an instant, while from the perspective of one outside the Black Hole, this review would seem to take much, much longer (virtually a lifetime). Similarly, one's entire life is reviewed before final judgment and consignment to Hell

"There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs." (Luke 12:2-3)

"Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts." (1 Corinthians 4:5)

Tenth similarity: that of "unimaginable power"

Black Holes are scary; it's the only part of the Universe that can truly destroy itself. Indeed, Einstein himself, whose Theory of Relativity opened the door to the modern study of Black Holes, noted that "they are where God has divided by zero." And it's been said that the gravitational singularity, where the laws of physics  and time collapse, is the most complex mystery of science that still defies human knowledge. Some have suggested that the supermassive Black Hole is the most powerful force in the physical Universe. Similarly, God's fearsome power in eternal  judgment is terrifyingly unimaginable.

It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:31, NIV)

Eleventh similarity: that of "unimaginable heat"

Recent studies suggest that Black Holes are much larger than previously thought. Computer models reveal that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the giant galaxy M87 weighs the same as 6.4 billion suns—two to three times heavier than previous estimates. Indeed, should anything have the misfortune of getting close enough to a supermassive black hole, whether it be gas, stars or entire solar systems, it would be sucked into oblivion. The gravitational pull would be so overwhelming that it would hurl gas and stars around it at almost the speed of light; the violent clashing would heat the gas up to over a million degrees.

" ... and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matt 13:42, ESV)

Twelfth similarity: that of "utter darkness"

We cannot see Black Holes themselves because no light escapes. Utter Darkness.

For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment (2 Pet 2:4, ESV)

... for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever (Jude 13)

Thirteenth  similarity: that of "endless time"

The laws of Physics break down at the center of a Black Hole - what physicists refer to as the "singularity". Time and Space no longer exist. Time has no meaning in Hell which is endless eternity.

"And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:46, ESV)

*******

Summary:

The Biblical Words used to describe Hell are eerily reminiscent of what we know as a Black Hole. I don't believe that Black Holes are actually Hell, but that they are physical reminders of an eternal, terrifying reality. Black holes have characteristics that can only be compared to what we know as Hell. They are black for a reason; they squeeze the light out of everything.  They are ravenous devourers of matter.

Once in, you can never escape. Gravity crushes matter, wringing-out its internal energy in the process. The energy becomes heat and light, which is sucked back onto the matter, roasting it with never ending flame.  Matter becomes a private Black Hole Sun.

Every whimper, cry, or radio signal for help; cannot be heard because light cannot escape the gravity. If you were in such a place all your thoughts, memories, and information would fall in with you. They would never leave you, and be always before your face.

Each meter deeper into the hole, would exert more pressure and more isolation. Anything that arrived before you could not be seen, and anything after could not be known about, because all information falls with the matter. You would be alone, pulverized and seared into a single piece of infinitely small space, with infinitely fast time (possible explanation for "Singularity"). Once all the energy had been squeezed out of every atom, only black gravity would be left - and that would be used to pull those behind. This is the fiery Hell of a black hole.

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  (Matt 10:28, ESV)


The Rise Of Radical Islam & Its Role In Biblical Prophecy – Dr. Robert Jeffress



"How Islam Created Europe"



The Atlantic has a story here that argues modern Europe was essentially defined by Islam.

Denys Hay, a British historian, explained in a brilliant though obscure book published in 1957, Europe: The Emergence of an Idea, that European unity began with the concept (exemplified by the Song of Roland) of a Christendom in “inevitable opposition” to Islam—a concept that culminated in the Crusades. The scholar Edward Said took this point further, writing in his book Orientalism in 1978 that Islam had defined Europe culturally, by showing Europe what it was against. 

... Islam is now helping to undo what it once helped to create. A classical geography is organically reasserting itself, as the forces of terrorism and human migration reunite the Mediterranean Basin, including North Africa and the Levant, with Europe. The Continent has absorbed other groups before, of course. In fact, Europe has been dramatically affected by demographic eruptions from the east: In the medieval centuries, vast numbers of Slavs and Magyars migrated into central and eastern Europe from deeper inside Eurasia. But those peoples adopted Christianity and later formed polities, from Poland in the north to Bulgaria in the south, that were able to fit, however bloodily, inside the evolving European state system. As for the Algerian guest workers who emigrated to France and the Turkish and Kurdish guest workers who emigrated to Germany during the Cold War, they represented a more containable forerunner to the current migration.

Today, hundreds of thousands of Muslims who have no desire to be Christian are filtering into economically stagnant European states, threatening to undermine the fragile social peace. Though Europe’s elites have for decades used idealistic rhetoric to deny the forces of religion and ethnicity, those were the very forces that provided European states with their own internal cohesion.

... Europe must now find some other way to dynamically incorporate the world of Islam without diluting its devotion to the rule-of-law-based system that arose in Europe’s north, a system in which individual rights and agency are uppermost in a hierarchy of needs. If it cannot evolve in the direction of universal values, there will be only the dementia of ideologies and coarse nationalisms to fill the void. This would signal the end of “the West” in Europe.


*******

The author, Robert Kaplan (who is one of the political and intellectual elites, see here), cannot come to grips with the true theology and ideology of Islam which has no desire to assimilate or incorporate - only to conquer. He is dangerously naive. Islam's idea of "evolving in the direction of universal values" is to subjugate and impose Shariah law upon an unwilling populace. He needs to read the warning here from one who has lived under Islamic rule for more than 30 years.

What I am about to share is the ultimate truth that has been lived, experienced and suffered by me for more than 30 years. This experience was gained by living in my home country of Egypt which is now a pure Muslim society. Like so many others I have been burned by this transformation. This transformation has seen me witness and experience Islam turn my home country to ruins and its followers are now threatening to bring the same fate to your own country.

When that happens, intellectuals like Kaplan will be the among the first to suffer extinction. Along with the overwhelming vast majority of the governing elite in the West, he needs to educate himself about the true nature Islam. As I wrote almost two years ago here:
  1. The word Islam does not mean "peace".
  2. Islam permits lying to non-Muslims (Kafir).
  3. It is the will of Allah and duty of all Muslims to bring the entire world under Shari'a (Islamic Law).
  4. Jihad (holy war) is the obligation of every Muslim.
  5. Jihad is ultimately the fault of the infidels.
  6. 500 years of Islamic aggression precipitated the crusades.
  7. Islam is not tolerant of other faiths.
  8. Islam permits husbands to beat their wives (Kor 4:34).

ISIS Executes 25 Civilians Using Nitric Acid



The ISIS Takfiri terrorist group has tortured and executed 25 people by nitric acid in Iraq’s embattled northern city of Mosul in Nineveh Province.

The Arabic-language al-Sumaria news website quoted an informed source as saying that the terrorists killed the people for cooperating with and spying for the Iraqi security forces.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Daesh (ISIS / ISIL) terrorists tied the people with rope and put them in a large basin containing nitric acid.

The source further added that the execution was performed in public to scare other people.
On May 13, ISIS terrorists also executed 11 residents of Mosul on charges of using mobile phones.

ISIS terrorists burned the entire five members of an Iraqi family alive in Kirkuk city on May 10 after accusing them of trying to escape terrorist-held territories.

In late April, ISIS members also executed 250 women in Mosul after the victims did not accept a proposal to temporarily marry the militants.

Story is here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Flush TARGET



Swimming In A Cesspool Has A Predictable Effect



Recently I had dinner with a strong Christian friend who was cofounder and CEO of a major technical corporation. The company has a sterling reputation and is a leading provider of high-quality, high-value engineering, scientific, and information technology solutions in intelligence, missiles, aviation, cyber, and space. This friend was careful to impart a Christian sense of ethics to the company, that has stood it well to this day.

He commented on the abysmal state of political leadership in the country. He said during his time as CEO, he was privileged to spend time with four different, powerful political leaders. Two of them were very well known at the national level. He came away from all four encounters convinced that all four were genuine, godly followers of Christ with a heart to serve.

But he reflected on the sobering fact that two of them were now under criminal indictment and the other two were caught up in power and greed.

I believe more than a few newly elected politicians head to Washington to serve with the best of intentions. But so pervasive and ingrained now is the corruption, greed, hypocrisy and lust for power in the Washington elite that I believe one of two outcomes is almost inevitable for everyone of them:
  1. they succumb and become one of the enablers of the freefall into debauchery, or
  2. so disgusted are they that they leave Washington politics after a short term of service in order not to be assimilated by the Borg
Swimming in a cesspool has a predictable effect.

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” (1 Cor 15:33, ESV)

The Truth about Target's Bathroom Policy



Transgender Identity—Wishing Away God’s Design



In March 2015, Owen Strachan commented here in an excellent editorial entitled "Transgender Identity—Wishing Away God’s Design".

Genesis 1:27 says God made them “male and female.” No matter how hard some people try, they can’t wish away this fundamental physical reality—and that’s a good thing.

“When you wish upon a star,
 Makes no difference who you are;
 Anything your heart desires
 Will come to you."


In the 1940 film Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket sang those famous lyrics to a woeful little wooden boy who wanted to become something different. The tale is touching. In our day, however, people no longer apply such inspirational messages in traditional ways. “Anything your heart desires” has been hijacked.

In ways that Walt Disney could not imagine, such slogans now inspire people to surgically remake themselves. Witness the spread of “transgender” identity, in which men seek to become women and women seek to become men. In 2015, this is no extraordinary occurrence. It is an increasing trend and a major worldview challenge to the Christian church.

The creators of Pinocchio, of course, did not have “transgender” individuals in view when they made their famous movie. They simply wanted boys and girls to dream big. As the West has lost its Judeo-Christian moral constraints and its traditional vision of manhood and womanhood, we have embraced a radical individualism. This mindset has created what theologian R. Albert Mohler Jr. has called a “culture shift.”

Radical individualism casts off all moral restraints in order to achieve maximum personal happiness. In my book Risky Gospel, I call this mindset Narcissistic Optimistic Deism.1 “I can do whatever I want,” many people think, “and God exists to make all my dreams come true.” This perspective has influenced how many people view their body. The body is not made by God for His glory. It is a blank slate upon which we may draw any identity, any self-expression, we choose. Use it, abuse it, do whatever you want with it. This is a neo-pagan idea ...

... We see the profound tension between God’s design and Satan’s attacks on this design. The Lord created man and woman and gives them specific roles to play for His glory; Satan targets man and woman and induces them to upend God’s design. God orders and structures; Satan tears down. God brings life; Satan destroys it. These tragic patterns are as old as the earth. They are not new, but they do morph with the times.

Western culture is making good on this rebellion.

... we should recognize that we are witnessing moral anarchy, as Western nations abandon all semblance of biblical authority.

... If we do not teach our kids about gender and sexuality, we can be assured that our unbiblical culture will. The culture-makers who disobey the Scripture are persuasive, forceful, and eager to indoctrinate our children




Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wondering What The End-Game For Socialism Looks Like? Look No Further ...



Wondering what the end-game for socialism is? Look no further than what is currently transpiring in Venezuela. Michael Snyder has a pertinent article here on the Venezuelan preview of the food shortages, looting and economic collapse on the American horizon.

The full-blown economic collapse that is happening in Venezuela right now is a preview of what Americans will be experiencing in the not-too-distant future. Just a few years ago, most Venezuelans could never have imagined that food shortages would become so severe that people would literally hunt dogs and cats for food. But as you will see below, this is now taking place. Sadly, this is what the endgame of socialism looks like. When an all-powerful government is elevated far above all other institutions in society and radical leftists are given the keys to the kingdom, this is the result. Food shortages, looting and rampant violent crime have all become part of daily life in Venezuela, and we all need to watch as this unfolds very carefully, because similar scenarios will soon be playing out all over the planet.

The funny thing is that Venezuela actually has more "wealth" than most countries in the world. According to the CIA, Venezuela actually has more proven oil reserves than anyone else on the globe, including Saudi Arabia.

... Social order continues to unravel as the economy systematically implodes. The Venezuelan economy shrunk by 5.7 percent last year, and it is being projected that it will contract by another 8 percent in 2016. Meanwhile, inflation is raging wildly out of control. According to the IMF, the official inflation rate in Venezuela will be somewhere around 720 percent this year and 2,200 percent next year.

If people are able to get their hands on some money, they immediately rush out to the stores to use it before the prices go up again. This has created devastating shortages of food, basic supplies and medicine.

Electricity is also in short supply, and a two-day workweek has been imposed on many government employees in a desperate attempt to save power. Violent crime is seemingly everywhere, and most law-abiding Venezuelans lock themselves in their homes at night as a result.

... How did such a thing happen to such a wealthy nation?

Here is Business Insider's explanation:

The real culprit is chavismo, the ruling philosophy named for Chavez and carried forward by Maduro, and its truly breathtaking propensity for mismanagement (the government plowed state money arbitrarily into foolish investments); institutional destruction (as Chavez and then Maduro became more authoritarian and crippled the country's democratic institutions); nonsense policy-making (like price and currency controls); and plain thievery (as corruption has proliferated among unaccountable officials and their friends and families).

Are not the same things happening here?

The U.S. government is mismanaging our money too. During Barack Obama's eight years in the White House, the U.S. national debt has risen by more than eight trillion dollars. We waste money in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable, and at this point our national debt is nearly the double the size it was just prior to the last major financial crisis.

Institutional destruction is also a legacy of the Obama regime. With each passing day, our society resembles less and less the Republic that our founders originally intended, and it resembles socialist dictatorships more and more. We may as well not even have a Constitution anymore, because at this point nobody really follows it.

The third thing that Business Insider mentioned, "nonsense policy-making," is a perfect description of what has been going on in Washington, D.C., these days. Perhaps that is why Congress only has a 12.8 percent approval rating right now.

Lastly, thievery and corruption are also out of control in our nation too. The elite and special-interest groups spend massive amounts of money to get their favorites into office, and in turn those politicians shower their good friends with money and favors. It is a very sick relationship, but that is how our system now works.

We are sitting on the largest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, and our debt-fueled prosperity is completely dependent on the rest of the world lending us gigantic amounts of money at ridiculously low interest rates and continuing to use our increasingly shaky currency which we are debasing at a staggering pace.

We consume far more than we produce, and unlike Venezuela we aren't sitting on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil. The amount of "real wealth" that we actually have does not justify our current standard of living. The only way that we are able to live the way that we do is by stealing consumption from the future. One study has found that our debt level is the highest that it has been since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and yet we continue to race down this road to economic oblivion without even thinking twice about it.

What you sow is what you will reap.

*******

Ed Morrissey echoes this theme here in an entry entitled "Venezuela headed for an economic collapse — or worse".

Venezuela is a bomb,” says opposition leader Henrique Capriles, “that could explode at any moment.” One reason for that potential social explosion — an economy that has imploded, despite the country’s vast petroleum resources. As Nicolas Maduro imposes emergency decrees and attempts to shield the Chavista socialist government from its opposition, people are swarming into the street … and starving at home, and dying in Venezuela’s hospitals.

This is what “democratic socialism” looks like when it runs out of other people’s money, folks:

PRI’s John Hockenberry details the descent of Venezuela from a comfortable liberal democracy to an impoverished third-world socialist nightmare.

*******

Those who are deluded into thinking socialism is the answer to our problems need to read what I wrote last March here. And as I observed here, Heaven is neither socialist nor democratic. As I summarized then,

If Heaven is not a socialist paradise then, it also is not a democracy where everyone is an island unto themselves. Neither is it a republic with elected representation. In the strictest sense, it is also not a dictatorship. All these forms of government are the result of life in a fallen world that is infected and infested by sin. Ultimately all forms of earthly government fail because all have fallen leaders that are subject to temptation and sin. The founding fathers of the United States wisely recognized this Biblical truth and accordingly sought to implement limited government with strict checks and balances. Although it succeeded for some 2 centuries, ultimately sin now apparently has its' inevitable effect.

 The kingdom of Heaven is a monarchy with a single, sovereign, benevolent King. That's why it's referred to as the "kingdom" of God and of Heaven. When queried by Pilate, Jesus affirmed He was indeed a King but that His kingdom was not of this world.

 The Sovereignty of God is the biblical truth that all things are under God's rule and control, and that nothing happens without either His direction or permission. God works not just some things but all things according to the counsel of His own will (see Eph. 1:11). His purposes are all-inclusive and never thwarted (see Isa. 46:11); nothing takes Him by surprise. The sovereignty of God is not merely that God has the power and right to govern all things, but that He does so, always and without exception. In other words, God is not merely sovereign de jure (in principle), but sovereign de facto (in practice).

 We are wise to be wary of all earthly forms of government. All those who foolishly place their hope and trust ultimately in an earthly form of government are doomed to disappointment and despair.

Only the KING of Kings can bring everlasting peace and joy.



The Real Goal Of The Trans-Gender Nazis




Stella Morabito elaborates here on the ominous trans-agenda that is ultimately about control and not "rights".

The transgender movement has strong totalitarian overtones that Americans (especially certain senators) don’t fully understand. How else to describe a crusade with such far-reaching consequences for First Amendment rights? The legal destruction of gender distinctions will inevitably dissolve family autonomy, thereby uprooting freedom of association. Free expression becomes “hate speech” if one doesn’t fall into line with the directives of the transgender lobby or its pronoun protocol. Freedom of religion takes a direct hit any way you look at it.

Under the guise of “rights,” the transgender movement can serve as convenient cover for consolidating and centralizing power under an ever-expanding State. Once we allow the State to refuse to recognize that children result from the male-female union, we grant the State more power to separate us from our children. As power becomes more centralized in the State, the individuals and institutions of the State, inevitably flawed, end up owning our personal relationships. With weakened mediating institutions—family, churches, private associations—we lose the buffer zones that stand between individuals and an encroaching state.

Free expression becomes ‘hate speech’ if one doesn’t fall into line with the directives of the transgender lobby or its pronoun protocol.

Contrary to popular belief, this push to eliminate distinctions of sex from law and replace them with variable and sundry perceptions of gender does not do what it promises. It doesn’t simply provide us with a panoply of gender identities from which we can choose, like the 50-something identities available on Facebook  Rather, it’s the setup for a gender vacuum. As you enter this vacuum of gender-neutrality, less and less separates and protects you from the State.

Let’s think this through a bit more. If gender distinctions are erased in law, all marriage will become legally obsolete. The elites pushing same-sex “marriage” have known this all along. If you thought it was really marriage equality they were after, see point three in this Federalist article, “Bait and Switch.”

If we agree to change language to suit the transgender lobby, we ultimately agree to destroy in law the entire basis (sex distinctions) for the only union that can result in autonomously formed families. The implications for privacy and personal relationships are vast, and we need to understand that.

If you think you’ll be able to cultivate and preserve strong personal relationships in this new matrix, you are mistaken. That can’t easily happen in a system in which your familial relationships are not acknowledged or respected by the State. This gender-neutral scheme obliterates the template for the family as a unit. And if the family is no longer accepted as a union that originates through the union of male and female, there is no real basis for the State to recognize any family as an autonomous unit. Without any such obligation, children become more easily classified as state property and our personal relationships are more easily controlled by the state. If that sounds totalitarian, that’s because it is.

The legal erasure of gender distinctions, especially as they relate to the conception, gestation, and birth of children, would effectively cut us off from our spouses and children in the eyes of the law. How can it be otherwise? Yeah, maybe in the bargain we’ll retain the right to “freely” call ourselves male, female, or other. But once we’ve in essence sold our birthright, this is nothing more than a bowl of pottage.

... According to Singer: “Orwell reasoned that if a government could control all media and interpersonal communication while simultaneously forcing citizens to speak in politically controlled jargon, it could blunt independent thinking.”

As we navigate the labyrinths of identity politics, we must never forget that forcing changes in our language forces changes in our thoughts. And in the case of gender identity, this means accepting language that universally redefines—or perhaps more accurately, un-defines—us all.


*******

Stella is correct. The trans-gender Nazi's have succeeded with their fascist agenda far faster than anyone thought possible, including themselves. As I noted earlier, the astonishing speed that the political leadership and culture swallowed this poison is attributed to two things:
  1. a wholesale rejection of the true knowledge of God by the culture
  2. powerful demonic forces at work
Written almost two thousand years ago, Rom 1:21-32 describes our culture to a tee.


Political Correctness Has Destroyed The Army’s Readiness And Morale



Earlier I noted here, ex-Navy SEAL Carl Higbie's warning that to stop our rapidly-sinking cultural ship was the immediate need to " throw ‘politically correct’ out the window". A year ago, Ray Starmann spotlighted here how political correctness has effectively devastated the U.S. military.

Stricken with morale and readiness problems, it is also under attack from leftist social engineers who are determined to remake the Army, even if they have to destroy it.

In the 1980’s, men who carried the burden of terrible lessons learned in Vietnam rebuilt the U.S. Army. They created a spectacularly professional force that annihilated Saddam’s legions in a defeat not seen since Agincourt.

That Army is nearly extinct.

... The brass is more worried about their retirement checks than an institution that has been around since the Massachusetts boys went live in 1775. The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, sits calmly on the bridge of the U.S. Army Titanic, sipping Pentagon coffee as the Army collides head on with an iceberg.

Under Dempsey, whom Senator John McCain called “An echo chamber of the Obama Administration,” the Army has become a repository for every crackpot feminist fantasy conceived in a Berkeley coffeehouse.

Two weeks ago, male Army ROTC cadets were ordered to parade around several college campuses in red high heels, in order to show their concern for sexual abuse. Current Army training involves classes that portray the Bible, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence as sexist documents.

The Army has been ordered to allow women into the combat arms and special operations. Previously, women were denied these jobs because women do not possess the upper body strength that the combat arms requires. Women are also more prone to injuries and there are hygienic concerns as well.

Logic means nothing to the Obama administration. President Obama doesn’t understand that the Army exists to defend the nation. It’s not Valerie Jarrett’s pet social engineering project.

... The warrior culture is slowly being strangled to death by political correctness. A few real leaders still survive, but they’re relics of a bygone era, who will be swept aside like chimney soot in the vast cultural revolution that has engulfed the Army.

Anyone suspected of not complying with sexism training or whispering comments that are thought to be politically incorrect is purged with the speed and finality of a Soviet commissar’s rubber stamp.

Under the Obama administration hundreds of high-ranking officers from every service have retired or have been forced to retire because they didn’t fit in with the current climate.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Consequences of an Idea: The Social Cost of Redefining Marriage

This is the most brilliant expose I've heard to-date on the subject, powerfully delivered by one of the most influential Christian thinkers in America today - Robert P George . His credentials? He is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, where he lectures on constitutional interpretation, civil liberties and philosophy of law and serves as director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. George is the Herbert W. Vaughan senior fellow of the Witherspoon Institute, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.
 
He delivered this speech just before the Supreme Court decision last year redefining marriage, with remarkable foresight and wisdom.
 


Princeton Professor: "Transgenderism" Is Ludicrous & Superstitious

 
A noted Princeton University professor has attacked the very notion of transgenderism, saying that the belief “that a woman can be trapped inside a man’s body” is ludicrous and superstitious, with no basis in medical fact. Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton, sent out a tweet late Sunday evening questioning the science behind the transgender movement, in reaction to the Obama administration’s threatening letter to educators mandating accommodation of gender-confused teenagers.

Read more here.

A quarter of pregnancies now end in abortion

One in four pregnancies end in abortion every year, according to research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Guttmacher Institute. Story is here.

BBC is 'too Christian' and 'could broadcast Muslim prayers' to reflect growing multi-culturalism

The BBC’s religious output is too Christian, an internal review by the Corporation has concluded, opening the way for more programmes on other faiths. A report by Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC’s head of religion and ethics, has suggested Muslim, Hindu and Sikh faiths should get more airtime. One Muslim leader suggested the review could lead to Friday prayers from a mosque being broadcast in the same way that Christian church services currently feature in the BBC’s schedules.
Story is here.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

An Open Letter to Methodist Pastors From an Ex-Lesbian



[Note:  This letter should be read and received by ALL pastors - not just Methodist ones. Sadly, many pastors while recognizing the sinfulness of homosexuality, choose to remain silent on the sidelines out of a misguided "fear" of offending. They fail to recognize that the gospel ... by nature ... is offensive. Read here what I wrote earlier.]

Dear Methodist pastors,

There are things I urgently need for you to know. And there are things I desperately need you to tell me.

I shudder to think where I'd be today if my pastor had not been bold enough to tell me the truth regarding homosexuality, a lifestyle in which I lived for thirty plus years. Methodist pastors, please take time out of your busy schedule to read my humble plea.

First, I need you to tell me in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is a sin. Show me what the Bible says and tell me that the Word of God is eternal and does not change with the times. Please don't tell me that you won't address it, or give me your own opinion on the subject. Because I want the truth, not your silence or your opinion. If I don't see homosexuality squarely as a sin, I will be headed for an eternity in Hell.

Methodist pastors, when I come to you seeking answers, I need you to boldly speak the truth in love. My very salvation depends upon it.

Next, please let me know that Jesus' death on the cross was enough to cover any sin I have committed, including that of homosexuality. Please tell me that every sin, no matter how minor or major it seems, is an affront to God. If you don't, I will feel like my sin, because it feels more embarrassing or shocking, is harder for God to forgive than the others and I will be left with the wrong impression that homosexuality is the unpardonable sin. It's not.

And last, I need you to tell me to repent. Please tell me that true Christianity calls for genuine repentance of all sin, including homosexuality.

And, Methodist pastors, if I try to make excuses to live in my sin, stand firm, because my eternal destiny hinges on it.

Then, and this is so very important, tell me that God's power, mercy and grace are more than enough for me to live in absolute freedom. If you don't, I will think that homosexuality is the only sin for which God's power isn't enough. It is.

When I was looking for truth and answers, I walked into a church, just like yours, for the first time in years. I started attending regularly, and started feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit in my heart as I learned what it meant to be a follower of Christ.

I mustered up the courage to speak with my pastor and shared that I was homosexual, thinking it was an unchangeable fact. When I walked out of my pastor's office, I had received the unchangeable truth: Homosexuality is a sin. God hates all sin. God loves me. Jesus died for me. I needed to repent from all sin.

The cross was enough to forgive me of all sin. God's power delivers me from all sin. Jesus is enough, even for those that struggle with homosexuality.

Methodist pastors, speaking truth no matter how difficult, does not have to end with people running for the exits. I am living proof! I have completely renounced the homosexual lifestyle, am a devoted follower of Christ and live in truth, victory and freedom every day of my life!

I will forever be grateful to my pastor for holding to the truth of God's Word, and pastors, the congregants in your Methodist Churches will be the same.

With all gratefulness, humility and sincerity,

Linda Italiano, Ex-lesbian and Born-Again Christian

“To fix this problem, we’re gonna have to throw ‘politically correct’ out the window. We’re gonna have to – God forbid – kill some bad guys. And we’re gonna have to do it now.”



Ex-Navy SEAL Carl Higbie (web site is here) was a member of the Navy Seal team that captured the Butcher of Fallujah, only to later be accused of prisoner abuse. His Navy Seal assault team captured the most wanted man in the Middle East–the Butcher of Fallujah, Ahmed Hashim Abd Al-Isawi. But instead of receiving the hero’s welcome the SEALs deserved, they were charged with prisoner abuse after Al-Isawi alleged they’d abused him. Carl Higbie was a witness for their defense at the courts martial. When he went public with his account of what happened, the Navy fought him tooth and nail. But Higbie fought back–and he won.

In his own words from a radio interview on Friday, May 13th,

“It was a little bit crazy how the whole thing went down. I was deployed under Bush, and then again under Obama. The stark differences between the rules of engagement, and the tempo, and the general atmosphere of the commanders that were overseeing us was completely night and day.

We went out and we caught this bad guy – which, by the way, was almost impossible. It was a nightmare to get approved, to go get the operation, because what President Obama and the Administration did was, they said, ‘We’re just gonna stop actioning targets. We’re going to stop going to kill and get bad guys, because it’ll make it look like the war’s over, because there’s nothing for our troops to do.

But the enemy gets a say in whether the war is over. So we finally got approval to go get this guy. We get him, we bring him back, flawless operation, not a shot fired. The team just did a phenomenal job, everybody on the team. We bring him back, and he bites his lip, he claims we abused him. NCIS clears us, and says the guy’s full of crap.”

After his trial, he wrote "Battle on the Home Front" to express his frustration with the prosecution, the death of a friend due to what he described as blind adherence to obsolete procedures, and the overall state of military culture.

Higbie said we’re now seeing the results of an electorate were “98% of Americans chose not to serve.” While he said there was nothing wrong with the decision to avoid military service, the electorate has been voting for political leaders who “don’t have any experience with war.”

“Forty years ago, we had 80 percent of Congress was veterans. Now we have less than 20 percent,” he pointed out. “I mean, that’s a staggering statistic, and that is why we’re losing the global war on terror right now. It’s because we don’t have people with A, the willpower, or B, the knowledge, to faithfully and properly execute a combat war.”

“To fix this problem, we’re gonna have to throw ‘politically correct’ out the window,” he advised. “We’re gonna have to – God forbid – kill some bad guys. And we’re gonna have to do it now.” 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Public education is no longer "free"; it can cost your kids dearly




For parents that are waffling on the wisdom of pulling their kids out of public school into either private education or home-schooling, here's the final nail in the coffin of public education ...

The Obama administration is sending a letter to every public school district in the country ordering them to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their "chosen" gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate. The letter is signed by officials at the Justice Department and the Department of Education. While the letter does not have the force of law, it does warn that schools that do not abide by the administration’s interpretation of civil rights law may face lawsuits or loss of federal aid.

Public education is not "free". It increasingly extracts a devastating and immoral cost on impressionable, formative children. Families availing themselves of this federal "benefit" may well find themselves paying dearly for the rest of their lives.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told NBC 5 when news of the White House directive just broke that “this will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it.”

He also said Obama completely thwarted the will of Congress and the people in order to enact his own vision of how transgenders should be treated.

“President Obama, in the dark of the night, without consulting Congress, without consulting educators, without consulting parents, decides to issue an executive order … forcing transgender policies on schools and on parents who clearly don’t want it,” Patrick said.

In a press conference with reporters, Patrick also vowed not to yield to Obama’s “blackmail” approach to enacting his agenda.

“He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Patrick said, during a press conference. “Well in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”

Bravo.

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. (Matt 18:6, ESV)

A classic example of how the culture increasingly looks to self-proclaimed experts for enlightenment



Bill Nye, the self proclaimed "science guy", is a charlatan. He has no credentials or expertise with respect to global warming or weather science, at all. Not one iota. Even committed evolutionists find him detrimental to their cause, as Robert Tracinski noted in Dec 2014,

I find something condescending in his hyperkinetic manner, as if science couldn’t actually be interesting and exciting in its own right, as if it could only be interesting if the guy trying to explain it to us is bouncing off the walls. It all seems like Science for People with Attention Deficit Disorder. So you get travesties like Bill Nye supposedly explaining evolution using emojis. It’s as dumb as it sounds, which is a shame given how important the theory of evolution is. All of that is harmless enough, I suppose—more a waste of an opportunity than any active kind of evil. If not for the fact that the “science guy” is out undermining the basic creed of science.

Jeff Dunetz noted last month that Bill Nye is many things - but, he's not a real 'Science Guy':

Bill Nye, who goes by the nom de plume, “the science guy,” said in an interview with Climate Depot's Marc Morano, that he doesn't mind the the idea of jailing people who are skeptical of the manmade global warming hypothesis.  Nye's attack on the First Amendment would be an extreme one for anybody. But, when one considers that the children's TV entertainer is NOT A SCIENTIST and has, at times, even been ridiculed by climate experts, his comment(s) are even more outrageous.

Dunetz lists Nye's "qualifications" as the "science guy":

Nye, who has been a vocal supporter of the climate change hypothesis, isn't any more qualified to speak about climate science than any other non-scientist:
  • He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, and worked at Boeing in the mechanical engineering department,
  • His entry into TV was not because of any science expertise, but because he won a Steve Martin look-alike contest and began moonlighting as a stand-up comic by night,
  • Eventually, he quit Boeing and became a comedy writer and performer on a sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live! The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy."
In other words, Nye's qualifications as a climate scientist are based on the fact that he looked like Steve Martin and did comedy about science. If he looked like Rodney Dangerfield, Nye might still be working as a mechanical engineer.

... the liberal Washington Post's weather editor Jason Samenow (who actually has a master's degree in atmospheric science from the University of Wisconsin) viewed Nye speaking about climate change on MSNBC and was motivated to write a column absolutely eviscerating the children's TV star. Samenow said that Nye's performance "was one of the most flawed discussions of meteorology I’ve ever seen on a national network."

David Harsanyi is the latest to call Nye out here:

Bill Nye fashions himself a voice of rational thought and scientific inquiry. His shtick has gotten him into classrooms and on an endless loop of evangelizing TV appearances. Yet nearly every time he speaks these days, Nye diminishes genuine science by resorting to scaremonger-y nuggets of easily dismissible ideologically-motivated nonsense.

In stark contrast to Nye's "chicken-little-the-sky-is-falling" hysterics, Harsanyi backs up his position with facts and statistics.

*******

Nye is a classic example of how the culture increasingly looks to self-proclaimed experts (who are in reality, frauds) for enlightenment.

Particularly on moral issues.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Our Created Solar System - What You Aren't Being Told

"To sum up, I think that all suggested accounts of the origin of the solar system are subject to serious objections. The conclusion in the present state of the subject would be that that the system cannot exist."
Sir Harold Jefferies
English mathematician, statistician, geophysicist, and evolutionary astronomer
The Earth: It's Origin, History, and Physical Constitution
p. 359

*******

Spike Psarris was previously an engineer in the United States’ military space program. He entered that program as an atheist and an evolutionist. He left it as a creationist and a Christian. His is the best video I've encountered on the topic with outstanding technical content, professional production and numerous references. While easily accessible for the lay-person, it has enough content to keep those already familiar with the subject interested. It's must-viewing in entirety ... especially for those whose faith is shaken by the apparent veracity of evolution, or those that have been brainwashed to swallow evolution as not only a plausible theory but as "proven fact." Whose model (evolutionist or creationist) is a better match for the evidence? As he wisely observes, "The evolutionary model requires more faith than the creation model. When you reject the truth, you have to accept a lie."


Prima Facie Evidence Of The Moral Fiber Of The Current Administration



While the overloaded Veterans Administration denies treatment for lack of resources to veterans seriously wounded in combat, "transgender" veterans now demand the VA cover the cost of their "sexual reassignment" surgery (see here.) Given the moral fiber of the current administration, it will probably be approved with crucial resources redirected from combat-wounded veterans.

Last Jan, Peter Labarbera chronicled here in-depth the radical and immoral transformation of America under this current administration, listing the:
  • 3 LGBT-inclusive pieces of Legislation Signed Into Law
  • 15 Openly- LGBT Federal Judicial Appointees
  • 7 Openly LGBT Federal Ambassadorial Appointees
  • 111 Policy / Regulation Changes

Brutal Accounts of ISIS



Stories of ISIS victims are emerging, and they're unbelievably brutal.

One account told of a couple whose children had been captured by ISIS militants. When they answered their door one day, they found a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being raped and tortured.

Another recalled a Christian woman from Mosul who answered the door to find ISIS foreign fighters, demanding that she leave or pay a jizya tax.

She asked for a few seconds, her daughter being in the shower, but the fighters refused to give her the time. They put a torch to the house, burning and eventually killing her daughter.

The girl died in her mother’s arms, but her last words were “Forgive them.”

These were the stories that emerged from a conference on Christian persecution that took place in New York City on Thursday.

... Fighting back tears, 15 year-old Samia Sleman told about her six months as an ISIS captive. Speaking through a translator, the Yazidi teenager said that her family was captured in August of 2014. Her father, uncle, and grandfather are all still in ISIS captivity.

Their captors separated the men and the women and took their possessions. For the thousands of women in captivity, they raped the girls as young as seven years old and forced them to convert to Islam. Some of the older women were deemed unworthy to keep as sex slaves and killed.

Story is here.

North Korea: Life in the camps


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Trickle-Down Culture



Drawing upon history and Wilberforce's fight against slavery in England, Eric Metaxas wrote a brilliant essay here on what he characterizes as the "trickle-down culture" and the importance of reaching the cultural elites with the gospel. It is must-reading in entirety. (He is quickly moving into my top-five picks for contemporary authors/apologists.)

.... my favorite smartguy didn’t know what most American fifth-graders know. Why? Because for the last fifty years he had been living among the intellectual and cultural elites of Manhattan ...

... What does this have to do with changing the world? Everything. Because, for good or for ill, it is the cultural elites who determine much of what goes on in the rest of the culture, who can set the tone and content of the cultural conversation. They can determine what we sneer at and what we ooh at and ahh at. Not that they are trying to do this. It’s just the way things are. They tend to have the tv pulpits and the Conde Nast photo spreads. And the folks in Topeka who watch them… don’t. You’ve heard of trickle-down economics? Let me introduce you to trickle-down culture.

... As we have said, the first aspect of their success has to do with their theological view that one must prove one’s faith though one’s works, that the two cannot be separated. Wilberforce and his friends lived at a time when there was no false division between faith and works, or between evangelism and social outreach. These were simply two sides of the coin that was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The great 17th century evangelist George Whitfield spent as much time establishing orphanages as preaching – and he preached 18,000 sermons. Caring for widows and orphans, feeding the hungry, and helping the poor were all explicitly and exclusively Christian ideas, so atheists, agnostics, and nominal Christians were neither involved in them, nor in abolition.

... Wilberforce and his network of friends are a model of how Christians can and should engage culture. But since the his time – alas – serious Christians have fallen far from that high-water mark of cultural engagement. So how has this happened? And how might we return?

... Christians have always struggled with how much they should be separate from the wider culture. It’s a crucial balance to strike. It’s tempting to mock those who today or in the past have separated themselves entirely, but often they’ve done so with good reasons, such as a desire to preserve their faith, to keep the secular or pagan culture from destroying it. Of course that’s why God called the Israelites to be separate from the pagan cultures around them. Another good reason has to do with wanting to protect one’s children from harm. Nonetheless, in the last century, Christians on the whole have pulled back too much from the wider culture, retreating when they ought to have advanced, or at the least, held their ground and fought.

... Wilberforce shows us that we mustn’t buy into the silly Hobson’s choice of being either “in the world” or “not of the world”. Christians with integrity need to figure out how to be both simultaneously. We cannot escape God’s command that we be holy, even as He is holy. Being hip may not by itself lead those we meet closer to Jesus. We may have to be authentic and courageous, too, and may have to take stands against things in our culture, risking unpopularity. Striking the right balance may be even more difficult than deciding whether to shave our heads or use mousse.

... Often we have engaged the culture – if it can be called that – only for the purposes of evangelism. We’ve sometimes acted as though “getting everyone saved” was the only real project we should be involved in, as though that would solve all of the other, larger cultural issues. Perhaps if we led enough people to faith – the upsidedown McCulture, like a flipped kayak, would at some point suddenly right itself with a single Super-sized McSplash. But often we have not even cared about the culture at all. Many of us have thought that since the Lord would be returning around the year 1994–2000 at the latest – what did it matter if everything was going to Sheol in a handbasket? This is the standard Dude-it’s-all-gonna-burn theology, which permits complaining about the culture, but not doing anything about it – besides, of course, rescuing people from it before it all burns. This tack has the double disadvantage of being unbiblical and not working. Indeed, it has backfired badly, because without Christians involved in it, the culture only got worse.

... But when we hide in a separate Christian subculture, with its own celebrities and music and “literature” and “Paintings” of LightTM, we often lose the ability to communicate effectively with those who are outside. We begin speaking to ourselves, often with kitschy inside-the-camp aphorisms (“Commission: Possible!”) – and become less and less able to speak to those who are different from us. That, of course, is the enemy of evangelism. We grow more and more fearful and suspicious of those outside the camp, until we slowly begin to think of them as a hostile “other” whom we must destroy, rather than broken and exiled parts of our own selves, whom we are commanded by God to heal and restore. Within the plastic palisades of Fort ChurchianityTM, we will care little if the world outside perishes. We’ve put in our stock of Slim Jims and water purification tablets, and are content to wait for the Rapture, perhaps even gleefully wondering what all those fools who didn’t listen to us will say once they realize we were right and they were wrong. But what is that but a nerd’s revenge fantasy cast in religious imagery?

... having an us vs. them attitude toward the wider culture is unbiblical. Paul quoted pagan poets and philosophers to put his points across. He didn’t advocate their worldviews, but he took from them what was valuable, what was universally true, and he used it to point to the one who is Truth.

... People who thought they could hide in small towns far from places like New York – found that their children were going upstairs to watch their own tv’s, and getting the values of New York and Hollywood elites anyway.

... Among the most crucial moments in history was when Wilberforce, newly converted, went to talk with his old friend, John Newton, the slave trader turned pastor. Wilberforce was sure that becoming a Christian necessitated retreating from the world, and his elite circles. He knew that his friends in high society and politics would now mock him and his beliefs, and he knew that the temptations of the world were powerful, too, and would be easier to avoid if he retreated from the world. But Newton famously told him not to do this. Newton suggested that perhaps God would use him in politics and high society. Perhaps God had given him his talents and position for that reason. Wilberforce’s assent to Newton’s advice led to all that followed, led to the Clapham Circle, and to the end of the slave trade and slavery, and to the improvement of life among the poor, not just in Britain, but around the world. The social conscience we think of as a given among most people in Western societies can be traced back, in large part, to that conversation and that decision.

... To reprise our cultural trickle-down theory, the worst thing about the anti-elitist approach is that it most hurts those at the bottom of the social ladder. By giving in to our pride and abandoning the elite culture of places like New York City Christians have hurt the rest of the culture by allowing a secular worldview to dominate the whole culture, just as it did in England before. Surely a God who would have us humble ourselves and pray for demon-worshiping cannibals would have us humble ourselves and reach out to pro-choice television anchors, too.

... I hope that by bringing a higher level of cultural conversation to New York City, in a small but significant way, we are blessing the city and the culture and those within it – these elites who have education and wealth and power and influence, but many of whom have never seen or heard this wonderful Gospel that some of us have had the infinite privilege to have seen and heard and accepted. By sharing it with these in a way that humbly attempts to communicate in a language they might understand – and by risking their scorn – we hope to honor the One who risked our scorn when he humbled Himself to communicate it to us. This is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no other. Amen.