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



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Truth is hate for those who hate the truth



Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20)

With his shaggy beard and rumpled, olive-drab fatigues, Fidel Castro presented himself to the world as a modest man of the people. At times, he claimed he made just 900 pesos ($43) a month and lived in a “fisherman’s hut” somewhere on the beach. But Castro’s public image was a carefully crafted myth, more fiction than fact. “While his people suffered, Fidel Castro lived in comfort — keeping everything, including his eight children, his many mistresses, even his wife, a secret,” wrote Juan Reinaldo Sanchez, Castro’s longtime bodyguard. Sanchez’s book, “The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Líder Maximo,” describes his former boss’s hidden life of political ruthlessness, mistresses and greed. Story is here.

Jerry Newcombe regales us here with the truth (unpopular with progressive liberals) regarding Fidel Castro.

The left chooses to idolize the wrong people, and Castro is no exception. I see people on occasion wearing Che Guevara shirts, and I think to myself, “What happened? Is your Adolf Hitler shirt in the wash?”

... on socialism that it seems that “every generation has to relearn this lesson” that socialism fails and ushers in nothing but death and misery ...

.. Valladares reflects on those he saw who were killed, many of whom were Christians: “I thought about all of those men who marched to the firing squads with a smile on their lips; I thought about the integrity of those martyrs who had died shouting, ‘Viva Cuba Libre. Viva Christ the King. Down with Communism.’ And I was ashamed to feel so frightened. … My heart rose up to God, and I fervently prayed for Him to help me stand up to this brutality, and do what I had to do. I felt that God heard my prayer.”

By 1963, such condemned men were gagged before they were shot, lest their cries be heard, “Long live Christ the King” and “Down with Communism.”

Hollywood is a bastion of progressive liberals who live in a concocted fantasy world with no anchor in reality. Read here about 9 Hollywood naive stars who were seduced by Castro. In 2009, Humberto Fontova theorized here why Hollywood was so enamored with Castro.

While of course there are diehards like Bernie Sanders who have cemented themselves into a powerful delusion, it's usually the young and innocent - the "useful idiots" - who are enamored with the idealism of socialism. Ships without rudders, they are prey for the diehards who suck them into a worldview that promises utopia but inevitably ends as a nightmare.

Jonah Goldberg observes here that even in death, Castro still has 'Useful Idiots'.

At least when people note that Hitler built the autobahn and Mussolini made the trains run on time, they're usually being ironic. To listen to some Castro defenders, you'd think the scales of justice can balance out any load of horrors, so long as the substandard health care is free and the schools (allegedly) teach everyone to read.

As much of the American left is openly mooting whether or not the American president-elect is a dictator-in-waiting, one has to wonder whether they would take that bargain: No more elections, no more free speech, no more civil liberties of any kind, but socialized medicine and literacy for everyone! American political dissidents, homosexuals, journalists and the clergy, just like in Cuba, can languish in prison or internal exile, but at least they'll be able to read the charges against them.

Such un-nuanced arguments always make leftist eyes roll. In a blog post titled "Castro: It's Complicated!" University of Rhode Island professor Eric Loomis cautioned against thinking "in terms of simplistic moral judgments." It seems to me that when people want to ban simplistic moral judgments, it's usually because simple morality is not on their side.

... But among serious leftists, Castro's radical chic is secondary. For them, Fidel's revolution provided the slender hope that America was on the wrong side of history. It was a symbol of resistance -- intellectual, political and spiritual -- to Western yanqui hegemony. They loved Cuba for many of the reasons they hate Israel (despite its exemplary literacy rate and universal health care system). They think -- wrongly -- that Israel is an extension of Western colonialism while Cuba was a rejection of it.

Ben Shapiro wrestles here with the fascination of progressive leftists for dictators.

When evil Cuban dictator Fidel Castro finally died last Friday, the left seemed deeply ambivalent. President Obama noted "the countless ways in which Fidel Castro altered the course of individual lives, families, and of the Cuban nation," as though Castro had been some sort of high school guidance counselor. Former President Jimmy Carter recalled all the wonderful times he spent by the sea with Castro, the sun gleaming off the waves. He said, "We remember fondly our visits with him in Cuba and his love of his country." Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau -- aka handsome Bernie Sanders -- described Castro as "remarkable ... a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century."

Meanwhile, around the world, dictators wept in solidarity with Castro. Palestinian Authority dictator Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in the 11th year of a four-year term in office, ordered the flags dropped to half-staff around his trashed territory. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Cuban President Raul Castro, saying, "Free and independent Cuba, which (Fidel Castro) and his allies built, became an influential member of the international community and became an inspiring example for many countries and nations." Chinese dictator Xi Jinping called Castro "a close comrade and a sincere friend," adding, "His glorious image and great achievements will be recorded in history forever."

What were Castro's great achievements? He presided over the economic destruction of one of the most quickly developing countries in Latin America; he arrested and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of dissidents; he caused the self-imposed exile of millions of Cubans; he watched and participated in the drowning of thousands of Cubans attempting to escape his prison island; he worked with mass murderer Che Guevara to murder political opponents. Castro was, simply put, one of the worst people in a century full of awful human beings.

So why did the left emerge to pay its respects this week?

Because at least Castro sought utopia.

Radical leftism believes that the quest for a utopian world, a world free of unfairness, justifies any cruelty against individuals. Individual rights are obstacles to communal greatness. The bricks of the tower of Babel will be mortared with the blood of those sacrificed on behalf of the vision.

... Dictators everywhere are safe so long as leftism reigns. And leftism will continue to reign so long as men dream of a collective heaven on Earth ...

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As our culture accelerates into paganism, Christians who refuse the seduction and stubbornly decline to relinquish their tether on truth will pay an increasingly high price for their faith. Yet as the distinction between us and the world becomes greater, our witness becomes more and more powerful.

And in the end, we will still be standing when all around us burns into oblivion.

Why Apologetics Still Matters Today


Joseph Hartropp authored an excellent article here entitled "A Reason For Hope: Why Apologetics Still Matters Today". Recommended reading in entirety.

Good apologetics is rooted in a love of people, taking them and their questions seriously, instead of just preaching at them and assuming its their fault if they don't understand.

Another reason apologetics is so important, is because it lays the groundwork for theology, and good theology matters. If we say that there are no good reasons for Christian faith, or that Christianity really is just a bit absurd and nonsensical, then how do we justify trying to say anything reasonable about God? Especially considering how non-believers might grow into the faith if they are converted, good apologetics sets a precedent for reason, study and asking good questions that is integral to good theology, preaching and discipleship.

... That said, apologetics is not everything. While some Christians can get a bad reputation for making no sesne at all, some Christians can be so wrapped up in apologetics that rather than being helpful to outsiders, they come across as smug, more-clever-than-thou Christians who are only interested in winning arguments. They may also be missing out on the more intimate and experiential sides of faith, or the truth that not all of faith can be explained with mere logic and reason.

God has given us a heart and a soul as well as a mind. They are all important aspects of what it means to be human, and all are essential in knowing God too. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Same Disastrous Destiny Awaits Us



Jesus Christ has officially been declared the King of Poland. Jesus was named the King of the country at a ceremony Saturday attended by Poland’s president Andrzej Duda. The ceremony took place at the Church of Divine Mercy in Krakow. Story is here.

"In our hearts, rule us, Christ! In our families, rule us, Christ! ... In our schools and universities, rule us, Christ,” the ceremony’s prayer said. “Through the Polish nation, rule us, Christ! ... We pledge to defend your holy worship and preach Thy royal glory, Christ our King, we promise."

"We entrust the Polish people and Polish leaders to you. Make them exercise their power fairly and in accordance with your laws. ... rule us, Christ! Reign in our homeland and reign in every nation – for the greater glory of the Most Holy Trinity and the salvation of mankind."

Said Bishop Andrzej Czaja after Saturday’s ceremony: "It is not a declaration of Christ the King, because he is king. It is not a declaration of Christ the King of Poland. His kingdom is not of this earth, and his dominion is over the whole universe.”

It's noteworthy that Poland was instrumental in stopping the Muslim invasion of Europe in 1682 at the gates of Vienna. (See here.) What a difference between the Polish government that is not ashamed of their Christian heritage, and the U.S. government which has all but formally repudiated the country's Christian lineage.

Long ago at a trial in Jerusalem, leaders denied the kingship of Christ (John 19:15), which ultimately lead to the tragic destruction of the city in 70 A.D. (Luke 19:41-44). And unless, the United States changes course (i.e., repents), the same disastrous destiny awaits us.

He'll try and hold off committing suicide to make another video


Monday, November 28, 2016

Why Sex Cannot Ultimately Be Bought Or Sold



Scripture presents sexuality as unifying, powerful, affirming and mysterious. Sexual sin is in a category unto itself (1 Cor 6:18). It's noteworthy that the final state of willful rebellion against God is characterized by homosexual sin (Rom 1:24-27).

In the highly recommended book "Sex and the Supremacy of Christ" (here), John Piper asserts that

"sexuality is designed by God as a way to know God more fully ... the ultimate reason (not the only one) why we are sexual is to make God more deeply knowable ... There is a reason Scripture uses sexual terms to describe the relationship between God and his people - both positively (when we are faithful) and negatively (when we are not.)"

In other words, God empowers humans (created in His image) with sexuality so that we might have a hint of the joy and ecstasy of what it is to know Christ supremely. The reason then that Scripture warns against the misuse of sex is that it distorts the true knowledge of God. Remember that "knowing" someone in the fullest sense is defined sexually (i.e., Gen 4:1; Matt 1:24-25, etc.)

Why then cannot sex ultimately be bought or sold?

Because nothing sacred can ultimately be purchased or bargained for.

Under Caesar's Sword

There's an important new documentary that highlights how Christians are responding to persecution around the globe. (Web site is here.)



One hundred years ago, one-third of the population of Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople, was non-Muslim. It was home to hundreds of thousands of Jews and Christians. Today, Istanbul, now the capital of the modern state of Turkey, is less than one percent non-Muslim. This did not happen by accident. What's more, the same forces that turned one of Christianity's great cities into a virtual Christian-free zone is still at work throughout the world.

These processes and possible Christian responses to them are the subject of an important new project, "Under Caesar's Sword," and a short documentary by the same name. The project is a joint effort of the University of Notre Dame and the Religious Freedom Center of the Berkley Center at Georgetown University. The goal of the "three-year, collaborative global research project" is to investigate "how Christian communities respond when their religious freedom is severely violated."

A study by The International Society for Human Rights states that Christians are "the victims of 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world." Christians are also "the only religious group that is persecuted in all 16 of the countries highlighted as egregious offenders by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in 2012."

Pew Research Center found that between June 2006 and December 2012, Christians faced harassment and intimidation in 151 countries, the largest number of any religious group.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

12 Reasons Science Shows Conservative Women Have The Best Sex



Joy Pullmann explains here why a new study of 19,000 people in European countries found "very right-wing" people are the most satisfied with their sex lives.
  1. We’re Okay With Men and Women Being…Men and Women
  2. Waiting for Something Makes It Better
  3. A Lower Number of Sex Partners Makes for Better Sex
  4. The More You Do It With One Person, the More You Both Like It
  5. Turns Out Hookups Aren’t Very Sexy
  6. We Know Chaotic Love Lives and Missing Parents Suck
  7. We Know Sex Isn’t Everything
  8. We’re Not Scared of Children
  9. Marriage Alleviates Relationship Anxiety
  10. Pornography Is a Proven Libido-Killer
  11. We Actually Care About Women
  12. We’re Romantics At Heart

Friday, November 25, 2016

Selling Their Soul on Black Friday for Trinkets

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matt 6:19-20)

This is the end-game for greed ...


German Muslim Migrants Torch Community Center Over Lack Of Chocolate



Muslim migrants – angry that they weren’t being given “enough Nutella, Gummibears and chocolate” – burned a conference center to the ground in Dusseldorf, Germany, during Ramadan, according to German Red Cross employees. The migrants caused nearly $10.6 million in damage to the building used as a major hub to house refugees on June 7, the Express reported here Monday.

It was during Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting in which Muslims avoid eating meals during the day. The community center canceled its regular daily lunches, even for non-Muslims. But it provided meals during the early mornings and late evenings. For non-Muslims, the center provided cold food and snacks during the day. Those snacks included Nutella, Gummibears and chocolate.

But a gang of Muslim migrants reportedly grew angry that the day-time treats were in short supply by nightfall. So the migrants set fire to the hall, which housed 280 people. As they torched the building, the migrants reportedly shouted, “There isn’t enough Nutella, Gummibears and chocolate.”

*******

Islam, by nature, incites violence. It's called the "religion of the sword" for reason. No other faith produces such extremism on a widespread scale.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fool's Gold



For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight (1 Cor 3:19)

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth (John 16:13)

The mineral "pyrite" is an iron sulfide whose metallic luster and pale brass-yellow hue give it a superficial resemblance to gold ... hence the well-known nickname of fool's gold. In contrast to real gold, it's worthless.

The best opportunity to sucker people into buying fool's gold is to banish real gold from the marketplace. After a sufficient period of time passes with the real gold "out of sight" and "out of mind", it becomes much easier to delude the populace into believing that fool's gold is the genuine article.

When truth is out in the open and can be contrasted with the looney worldviews of progressive liberals and other assorted miscreants, it's no contest. Just as genuine gold unveils the folly and worthlessness of fool's gold, so does genuine truth unmask the foolishness of the world's "wisdom".

The only alternative then for those trafficking in lies is to banish truth from the public square. And that is precisely what is happening - and why it is happening. Genuine truth is excoriated as racist, homophobic, sexist, xenophobic, islamophobic - you name it. As such, truth is automatically classified as inappropriate for public consumption and perhaps even illegal. Once banished from the public square, the enemy has free rein to market his deadly deception.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of those who buy into the fool's gold ruse discover too late that they have been duped.

On the other hand, those who have cast their lot with truth will never settle for fool's gold.

Islamic Terrorists Tend To Be Rich and Educated



The Gatestone Institute published here research that indicates Islamic terrorists tend to well-off and educated.
  • "The better young people are integrated, the greater the chance is that they radicalize. This hypothesis is supported by a lot of evidence". — From a report by researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam.
  • "The proportions of [Islamic State] administrators but also of suicide fighters increase with education," according to a World Bank report. "Moreover, those offering to become suicide bombers ranked on average in the more educated group."
  • Britain's MI5 revealed that "two-thirds of the British suspects have a middle-class profile and those who want to become suicide bombers are often the most educated".
  • Researchers have discovered that "the richer the countries are the more likely will provide foreign recruits to the terrorist group [ISIS]."
  • The West seems to have trouble accepting that terrorists are not driven by inequality, but by hatred for Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian values of the West.
  • For the Nazis, the "inferior race" (the Jews) did not deserve to exist; for the Stalinists, the "enemies of the people" were not entitled to continue living; for the Islamists, it is the West itself that does not deserve to exist.
  • It is anti-Semitism, not poverty, that led the Palestinian Authority to name a school after Abu Daoud, mastermind of the massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

9/11 mastermind: Al Qaeda favors 'immigration' to defeat USA



The jailed architect of 9/11 revealed that al Qaeda's plan to kill the United States was not through military attacks but immigration and "outbreeding nonmuslims" who would use the legal system to install Sharia law, according to a blockbuster new book.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed also predicted that intelligence officials using so-called "enhanced interrogation" techniques such the waterboarding he experienced would eventually come under attack from weak-kneed U.S. politicians and media.

... the plan is to fill the country with like-minded Muslims through the country's easy immigration laws and by having babies, and then using the U.S. legal and welfare system to turn the country into a system like Iran.

Story is here.

Boy Born With Two Percent of Brain Stuns Doctors Years After Mom Refused Abortion



A now four-year-old boy who is defying the odds after being born with only two percent of a brain was featured this past week in a U.K. documentary about his miraculous story. Noah Wall first made headlines in 2014 as his mother shared about how she and her husband repeatedly refused recommendations to abort and have been pleasantly surprised at her son’s progress despite a grim prognosis.

Shelly Wall had been advised months into her 2012 pregnancy that her son had spina bifida, chromosome abnormalities and hydrocephalus. As he was not expected to survive, doctors recommended an abortion—again and again.

“We were offered termination five times,” Rob Wall recalled in the new documentary “The Boy Without a Brain.” “It was never an option for us. To me, we wanted to give Noah that chance of life.”
The couple did, however, make funeral arrangements, but on March 6, 2012, Noah was born—alive. His parents were thankful to hear his first cry.

Noah was paralyzed from the chest down and required surgery for a large hole in his back. He also had only two percent brain tissue—the rest being filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which required the implantation of a drain. But as time went by, Noah progressed like other toddlers—talking and singing and smiling, and defying the odds.

Now, years later, doctors are now stunned to find that Noah’s brain has grown substantially and is nearly fully functional.

Story is here.

The Bubble


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Making It Easier To Trash Your Wedding Vows



As the promo says here, welcome to "Divorce Hotel" - a "positive new start".

Welcome to DivorceHotel: Authority in the field of divorce

DivorceHotel is the international founder of ‘Divorcing in a positive way’. We regard your separation not only as the end of your marriage, but especially the beginning of a new phase in your life.

If you decide to divorce, we can help you to do so quickly, skillfully and affordably, in a way that suits you best. At DivorceHotel you can choose from an office divorce, a hotel divorce over a weekend, or an online divorce.  All our solutions underline our hotel-philosophy. This means all procedures take place on neutral territory, in a more relaxed environment and with all kinds of comforts and facilities at your disposal. We will never treat you as a client, but as one of our most esteemed guests. You are welcome, let us serve you and support you in settling your divorce in as positive a way as possible.

DivorceHotel, created by a company in The Netherlands, has expanded to Upstate New York. By the end of this year, DivorceHotel plans to be in Los Angeles.

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Yet another step in denigrating the sanctity of marriage.

Can You Trust The Press?


Monday, November 21, 2016

Of all the Trojan Horses planted by the Obama administration to "transform" America, "transgenderism" is the most abusive and will implode with the greatest devastation



Katherine Kersten educates us here on how destructive "transgender conformity" is to the culture.

.... What’s behind the transgender movement, a cultural tsunami so powerful it can tear apart even so traditional an institution as Nova Classical Academy? Transgender ideology advances under the banner of progress and enlightened thinking. Yet its fundamental claim—that a human being can change his or her sex—“is starkly, nakedly false,” according to Dr. Paul McHugh, who served for twenty-six years as psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Johns Hopkins pioneered sex-change surgery, but abandoned it in the 1970s after research revealed that it did not improve the mental health of patients.

... In short, the use of sex-reassignment treatments in children amounts to a massive uncontrolled experiment. Such an unscientific approach to irreversible, life-altering treatments is indefensible in the age of “evidence-based” medicine, when lengthy clinical trials are generally required for federal approval of a new medication.

... Transgendered men do not become women, nor do transgendered women become men. All . . . become feminized men or masculinized women, counterfeits or impersonators of the sex with which they “identify.” In that lies their problematic future.

... How can our nation, so proud of its allegiance to science, have fallen prey to an ideology founded on the false claim that a human being is free to choose whether to be a man or a woman? The transgender crusade is closely linked to the recent crusade for same-sex marriage. Both spring from the same philosophical source—a decisive shift in our society’s idea of the nature of the human person.

... Today’s transgender crusade can be seen as the latest manifestation of this denial. It is inherently authoritarian, as other latter-day Gnostic projects have been, because it has to be. Nature and common sense oppose it. In the “Gnostic dream world,” as Eric Voegelin once put it, “non-recognition of reality is the first principle.” Critics who persist in drawing attention to reality must be discredited or silenced. Otherwise, the Gnostic fantasy world crumbles.

Soviet authorities silenced dissenters with late night knocks on the door. In the U.S., the tool of choice is weaponized civil rights. Critics of transgender ideology are denounced as bigots—guilty of the only sin left in our post-Christian world. 

... The federal government is now in the vanguard of the transgender crusade. The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice are threatening K–12 schools with legal action or loss of federal funds if they do not embrace the movement’s goals. The Department of Health and Human Services is attempting to compel doctors to treat gender-dysphoric children with cross-sex hormones even if they believe such treatment would be harmful. In addition, the federal government now pushes states to prohibit therapies that challenge the assumptions of transgender ideology.

... As time passes, the transgender campaign’s inability to fulfill its promise of happiness to gender-dysphoric individuals will become clear. Likewise, its costs will become undeniable. Men and women who received irreversible, life-changing “sex-reassignment” treatment at an age when they were intellectually and emotionally unequipped to give informed consent are likely to begin filing lawsuits over the damaging side effects they sustain, including lifelong infertility.


*******

That such a worldview so disconnected from reality was eagerly embraced and forcefully implemented so fast by so many, reveals just how far the culture has drifted from the real world and is now living in a man-made, house-of-cards fantasy that is doomed to collapse. A number of health clinics, hospitals and a university have joined the state of North Dakota in a lawsuit against a new federal regulation that demands that doctors – all of the estimated 900,000 in America – be ready, willing and able to perform gender-transition procedures on children - even if the physician believes such treatment would harm the child.

Of all the Trojan Horses planted by the Obama administration to "transform" America, "transgenderism" is the most abusive and will implode with the greatest devastation.

"People are not only unable to find out about the truth but also become unable even to search for the truth"



In Oct 2015, Nick Short warned here that the American public was "not only unable to find out about the truth but also become unable even to search for the truth".

Pieper was describing a world in which reality has given way to narratives as societies can no longer discern the difference between what is real and what is fake. Non-stop distractions are deliberately used by those in power as instruments of policy for the purpose of preventing people from paying attention to reality. Propaganda is used by those in power to manipulate language, thought, and opinion in a way that causes the progression from thought to action artificially. When the public is reduced to a state where people no longer care about the truth and are unaware of what that truth even is, propaganda takes hold and shows them what to do. The world Pieper was describing is the world that we live in today as more and more Americans are subjected to a bombardment of propaganda that is based on the ever changing news cycle that predominates our lives.

Ultimately, he warned that,

.... propaganda is used by both the media and the current administration in order to further an agenda that is not rooted in reality.

*******

Of course, it's not just the "current administration" that seeks to veil truth. It's characteristic of a fallen world drifting deeper and deeper into apostasy. As C.S. Lewsi, wrote, wise people will immunize themselves against the "great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of [their] own age". And just how can one do that? Only by vaccinating themselves with the absolute truth of Scripture.

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance (Prov 1:5)

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Preview of Paradise

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them. (Isa 11:6)


Heritage Foundation 2017 Assessment of U.S. Military



2017 Assessment is here.

Our analysis concluded with these assessments:

Army as “Weak.” The Army’s score remained “weak” for reasons similar to those cited in the 2016 Index. The Army has continued to trade end strength and modernization for improved readiness for current operations. However, accepting risks in these areas has enabled the Army to keep only one-third of its force at acceptable levels of readiness, and even for units deployed abroad, the Army has had to increase its reliance on contracted support to meet maintenance requirements. Budget cuts have affected combat units disproportionately: A 16 percent reduction in total end strength has led to a 32 percent reduction in the number of brigade combat teams and similar reductions in the number of combat aviation brigades. In summary, the Army is smaller, older, and weaker, a condition that is unlikely to change in the near future.

Navy as “Marginal.” The Navy’s readiness score increased from 2016 Index’s “marginal” to “strong,” but only by sacrificing long-term readiness to meet current operational demands. While the Navy is maintaining a moderate global presence, it has little ability to surge to meet wartime demands. Deferred maintenance has kept ships at sea but is also beginning to affect the Navy’s ability to deploy. With scores of “weak” in capability (due largely to old platforms and troubled modernization programs) and “marginal” in capacity, the Navy is currently just able to meet operational requirements. Continuing budget shortfalls in its shipbuilding account will hinder the Navy’s ability to improve its situation, both materially and quantitatively, for the next several years.

Air Force as “Marginal.” While its overall score remains the same as last year’s, the USAF’s accumulating shortage of pilots (700) and maintenance personnel (4,000) has begun to affect its ability to generate combat power. The Air Force possesses 1,159 tactical fighter aircraft, which normally would support a score of “very strong” for capacity, but the lack of ability to fly and maintain them, especially in a high-tempo/threat combat environment, means that its usable inventory of such aircraft is actually much smaller. This reduced ability is a result of funding deficiencies that also result in a lack of spare parts, fewer flying hours, and compromised modernization programs.

Marine Corps as “Marginal.” The Corps continues to deal with readiness challenges driven by the combined effects of high operational tempo and low levels of funding. At times during 2016, less than one-third of its F/A-18s, a little more than a quarter of its heavy-lift helicopters, and only 43 percent of its overall aviation fleet were available for operational employment. Pilots not already in a deployed status were getting less than half of needed flight hours. The Corps’ modernization programs are generally in good shape, but it will take several years for the new equipment to be produced and fielded. As was the case in preceding years, the Index assesses that the Corps has only two-thirds of the combat units that it actually needs, especially when accounting for expanded requirements that include cyber units and more crisis-response forces.

Nuclear Capabilities as “Marginal.” Modernization, testing, and investment in intellectual and talent underpinnings continue to be the chief problems facing America’s nuclear enterprise. Delivery platforms are good, but the force depends on a very limited set of weapons (in number of designs) and models that are quite old, in stark contrast to the aggressive programs of competitor states. Of growing concern is the “marginal” score for “Allied Assurance” at a time when Russia has rattled its nuclear saber in a number of recent provocative exercises; China has been more aggressive in militarily pressing its claims to the South and East China Seas; North Korea is heavily investing in a submarine-launched ballistic missile capability; and Iran has achieved a nuclear deal with the West that effectively preserves its nuclear capabilities development program for the foreseeable future.
In aggregate, the United States’ military posture is rated as “Marginal” and is trending toward “Weak,” a condition unchanged from the 2016 Index.

Overall, the 2017 Index concludes that the current U.S. military force is capable of meeting the demands of a single major regional conflict while also attending to various presence and engagement activities—something it is doing now and has done for the past two decades—but that it would be very hard-pressed to do more and certainly would be ill-equipped to handle two nearly simultaneous major regional contingencies. The consistent decline in funding and the consequent shrinking of the force over the past few years have placed it under significant pressure. Essential maintenance continues to be deferred; the availability of fewer units for operational deployments increases the frequency and length of deployments; and old equipment is being extended while programmed replacements are either delayed or beset by developmental difficulties.

The military services have continued to prioritize readiness for current operations by shifting funding to deployed or soon-to-deploy units at the expense of keeping units that are not deployed in “ready” condition; delaying, reducing, extending, or canceling modernization programs; and sustaining the reduction in size and number of military units. These choices and their resulting condition, driven by the lack of funding dedicated to defense, hazard America’s ability to secure its interests now and erode America’s ability to shape conditions to its advantage by assuring allies and deterring competitors.

As currently postured, the U.S. military is only marginally able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Truth Hurts

Reason magazine’s Remy Munasifi just dropped a hilarious parody version of the late Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” mocking “Saturday Night Live’s” awkward funeral for Hillary Clinton. His lyrics point out that many of the concerns those have about a Trump presidency — that he will run amok with power — could have been curtailed if the Left had stood up to President Obama.


Liberal Hypocrisy Exposed

Caution:  Viewer Discretion Advised For Language


Friday, November 18, 2016

Psychiatry Professor: ‘Transgenderism’ Is Mass Hysteria Similar To 1980s-Era Junk Science


Richard B. Corradi, M.D., professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, warns here that the current Transgenderism’ craze is nothing more than mass hysteria similar to 1980s-Era "Junk Science".

... transgenderism as a normative lifestyle may be a hard sell. While fair-minded people can agree that gays or people with gender confusion should not be discriminated against, the general public doesn’t appear to be ready to accept gender as simply a social construct or that people can be whatever gender they choose. These contentions, the conceptual foundation of transgenderism, fly in the face of reality: the biological difference between the sexes.

... The movement’s philosophical foundation qualifies it as a popular delusion similar to the multiple-personality craze, and the widespread “satanic ritual abuse” and “recovered memory” hysterias of the 1980s and ‘90s.


... Such popular delusions are characterized by a false belief unsupported by any scientific or empirical evidence and have a contagious quality that overrides rational thinking and even common sense. This all-too-human tendency to suspend individual critical judgment and go along with the crowd is greatly facilitated by social media. Most important, however, the cause has received the imprimatur of “experts.” The very people who should know better have bought into the hysteria. Just as “mental health professionals” a generation ago supported the child abuse delusions, and even participated in prosecuting the unjustly accused, so too have they fueled the fire of the transgender delusion.

... Unlike medical diseases, psychiatric disorders have no diagnostic biologic markers—no physical findings, laboratory tests, or imaging studies. Psychiatric diagnoses consist of symptom checklists determined by committee consensus. It should come as no surprise that the process is exquisitely reactive to prevailing cultural and political winds. Absent biomarkers that define illnesses, there is no end to the mental and emotional conditions that can be called psychiatric disorders. It can be extremely profitable for an activist special-interest movement to succeed in getting its cause legitimized as a mental disorder, not least for a pharmaceutical industry poised to retarget psychotropic drugs to treat any new mental illness.

... Only prelogical children and psychotic adults believe in magical thinking, that “wishing can make it so.” Yet “gender dysphoria” is characterized as “gender incongruence:” a feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s “assigned” (birth) gender, and a wish to be otherwise-gendered, makes one a different person. To reclaim one’s true (desired) gender identity may require sex-reassignment surgery, a treatment for the “new diagnostic class” of gender dysphoria sanctioned by the APA. The torturous vocabulary the DSM manufactured to label the possible gender spectrum variations would be laughable were it not so tragic.

... Unfortunately, good advice is sometimes hard to come by. Afraid of being seen as “behind the times,” “ignorant,” or “bigoted,” people who should know better are unwilling to rely on their own common sense and the wisdom of generations.

If a four-year-old girl, who, afraid of being displaced in her parents’ affection by a new baby brother, announces that she is a boy, wise parents do not begin treating her as a boy. They do not assume she is transgendered. Instead, they embrace her and assure her that she is their precious little girl whom they love. Parents who allow prepubescent children to choose whether they want to be male or female have relinquished their role as rational adults, and are themselves in need of psychiatric consultation.

Clearly forming a stable personal identity is a complicated business. For some people it is prolonged, and some never achieve it. 

... The LBGT movement has achieved enormous success in exploiting the psychological vulnerabilities of people who lack a coherent sense of self, providing both activist leaders and a “noble” cause with which to identify. Flush with success following the Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision, the movement has taken on an aura of invincibility.

... Who are the opposition? True to identity politics, they are cast as a mob of bigoted haters who would deny the transgendered their basic human rights. There can be no other explanation for why someone might believe that transgenderism defies both reason and the laws of biology.

The demonized, of course, are those of religious faith. Much of the Western world has become secularized and anti-religious, but a strain of strong religious belief still remains in the United States. These adherents to a code of sexual morality that differs from the LGBT sexual liberation agenda, albeit foundational to the Judeo-Christian value system for millennia, are seen as the last bastion of opposition. Consequently, expressions of sincerely held religious belief are attacked as hateful and bigoted. Believers are mocked as unsophisticated rubes and rednecks, desperately clinging to their guns and religion while resisting the inevitable triumph of rational modernity.

The liberal mainstream media is chief among the institutions in lock-step with the divisive tactics of identity politics. Glowing anecdotal accounts and individual testimonies of people who have had sex-change surgery regularly appear in fawning media reports that support and encourage the transgender craze. Transgendered celebrities in particular are commended, and the person’s preferred gender pronoun always dutifully applied.

Any religious or moral opposition to the movement is reflexively characterized as hateful and discriminatory. Nowhere to be seen are the accounts of disillusionment and depression by those who regret having had surgery. In neglecting compelling clinical evidence and research in support of the common-sense notion that surgery is not a treatment for a psychological disorder, the psychiatric profession is certainly most culpable (although one wonders what has become of responsible reporting and the honored tradition of investigative journalism).

... There appears to be no limit to efforts to silence dissenters. Religious believers are being demonized, and many fear even freedom of the pulpit is in jeopardy. There is no hesitation in using courts to impose the will of a tiny minority on the general public, even to the extent of changing the bathroom practices of the entire nation.

.. Historically, contagious popular delusions that deny common sense and fly in the face of reality eventually run their course. This will likely be the fate of the transgender craze. But before it collapses under its own weight, many people will suffer irreparable harm.

*******

For those of us still tethered to reality, Dr. Corradi states the obvious. I might add that powerful demonic forces are behind this current "rage" that strikes at:
  • the sanctity of self - i.e., the very heart of what it means to be made in the image of God as male and female.
  • the sanctity of marriage (which symbolizes the relationship between Christ & His church)
  • the sanctity of family
The enemy has unleashed a powerful weapon of delusion on our culture. Most alarming is that a significant part of the church has tasted the fruit of deception and brought into the lie. And while reality will hopefully sooner or later cause its inevitable demise (as happened with the "junk science" of the 1980s), many people will indeed suffer great harm before common sense takes hold again.

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)

"I See Dead People"



And Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead." (Matt 8:22)

In the 1999 movie "The Sixth Sense" a young boy confides to a child psychologist (who is himself ironically dead and doesn't yet know it) that he sees dead people.  He adds that the dead are "walking around like regular people.  They don't see each other.  They only see what they want to see.  They don't know they're dead."

From the mouth of babes. How scriptural. I'm sure the scriptwriter had no idea that he was penning actual truth. The Bible affirms that prior to our regeneration in Christ at the moment of justification, we are spiritually dead (in sin) with physical death inevitable. Thus, I do in fact, see dead people walking around like regular people that only see what they want to see, and that don't know they are dead. And I see them all the time, everyday and everywhere. They are oblivious to reality.

Christians tend to get upset and frustrated at dead people who don't know they are dead and act precisely like they are dead. We often foolishly focus primarily on trying to alter their deadly habits instead of raising them from the dead with the power of the gospel. Physical intervention may be an appropriate immediate response but it should not be the prime focus. If we saw someone attempting suicide, of course we should physically try to prevent it - but we must also seek to intervene at the core cause of whatever prompted his desperate action. Otherwise, even a successful physical intervention is only a stopgap measure to their eventual successful suicide.

While I'm hopeful the newly-elected American administration will put the brakes on our dizzying descent into paganism, I'm also realistic and understand that physical action and restraint is ultimately nothing more than a pain reliever and band-aid ....... temporary relief at best.

The only true hope is the new life that Jesus revealed to Nicodemus in the gospel of John.

America Decided to Drain The Swamp & The Alligators Are Not Happy



Christian Todd Starnes articulates his view here on what happened in America with last week's election..

... I’ve lived in New York City for more than a decade now – and I’ve seen firsthand the contempt for country folks like my father – people from Rural America.

As I wrote in my book, “God Less America,” I feel like a Duck Dynasty guy living in a Miley Cyrus world – where right is wrong, wrong is right – it’s as if our values have been turned upside down.

President Obama called us bitter. He said we were the kinds of people who cling to guns and religion.

... Hillary Clinton called us deplorable – irredeemable.

"To just be grossly generalistic, you can put half of Trump supporters into what I call the 'basket of deplorables. Right? Racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it."

The only thing deplorable was Hillary Clinton's basket of grossly generalistic comments.

"And unfortunately, there are people like that and he has lifted them up," she went on to say. "He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people, now have 11 million. He tweets and retweets offensive, hateful, mean-spirited rhetoric."

Her campaign portrayed Conservative Catholicism as a “bastardization of the faith” and seemed to imply that Evangelicals are a bunch of impoverished country bumpkins.

We were mocked by Hollywood and dismissed by Academics. We were marginalized by the media – bullied and belittled by sex and gender revolutionaries.

But all that changed on Election Day.

... We the People have decided that it’s time to drain the swamp.

It’s time to restore traditional values. It’s time to protect the Constitution. It’s time to defend our sovereignty. It’s time to save unborn babies ....

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Judge Napolitano: Why Taxation is Theft, Abortion is Murder, & Gov't is Dangerous

(Judge Napolitano served as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge and a visiting professor at Brooklyn Law School; he has written nine books on legal and political subjects.)

From an interview in 2011. Aside from being intelligent, well-read, an expert in constitutional law and an articulate historian, he is also quite the theologian quoting Aquinas; his argument against abortion is bulletproof). His statement that the "only material things that will save us" are "guns & gold" is interesting.


Government Trying To Change Teens Sex Without Parental Consent



A team of "advocates" for "transsexuality" from a school district and a medical services organization to county social workers have decided that a 17-year-old minor is “emancipated” from his parents and want to go ahead with male-to-female sex-change treatments with no further permission. A lawsuit is being brought against St. Louis County in Minnesota, its public health chief Linnea Mirsch, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis County School District, Cherry School Principal Michael Johnson and others.

“This is an outrageous abuse of power by multiple agencies,” said Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which is working with local attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson of Minneapolis on the case.

“To treat a minor child without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation is a violation of the trust placed upon the human service sector and its governmental oversight agencies. To give a parent no recourse to intervene in this situation is an egregious violation of constitutional rights,” Brejcha said.

Story is here.

*******

What did we expect would happen when no state requires parental consent for a minor to get contraception, and a minor can get an abortion in some states without parental consent? This is yet another step down the slippery slope towards the scenario pictured in Scripture of a despotic and controlling world government at the end of the age.

Perhaps the new administration can buy us some time, as Josiah did in ancient Israel, before judgment finally fell.

A surge of Islamist hyper-extremism in the Middle East



A new report here from the Christian Foundation Aid To The Church entitled "A surge of Islamist hyper-extremism in the Middle East" warns of  “the emergence of new phenomenon of religiously motivated violence which can be described as Islamist hyper extremism, a process of heightened radicalisation, unprecedented in its violent expression.”

This Islamist hyper-extremism, the report notes, is characterized by an extremist creed and a radical system of law, systematic attempts to annihilate or expel all groups that do not conform to their outlook, cruel treatment of victims, effective use of the latest social media, and well-resourced support networks.

This new phenomenon has had a “toxic impact” on religious liberty around the world, the report adds, with violent Islamist attacks taking place in one in five countries around the world – from Sweden to Australia and including 17 African nations, since mid-2014.

In parts of the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq, “this hyper-extremism is eliminating all forms of religious diversity and is threatening to do so in parts of Africa and the Asian Sub-Continent,” the report states.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A New Creation


We can hardly do the truth if we don’t know what the truth is



Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matt 7:24-27)

We tend to think of theologians in the professional sense - i.e.,  as someone who has graduated from seminary and has aThD after their name. People like Wayne Grudem, Tim Keller, John Piper and J.I. Packer.

But in fact, everyone is a theologian in some sense, There are no exceptions. Everyone has some concept of the existence (or non-existence) a divine being. Whenever someone expresses an opinion on Jesus, they are practicing theology whether they know it or not. Agnostics possess a theology that decrees uncertainty. An atheist is a theologian whose theology says there is no God. Some theologies may be very simple (i.e., that of a small child) while others may be quite complex.

R.C. Sproul often hears people push back with an almost hostile attitude toward the study of doctrine, saying things like, “I don’t need all that doctrine — doctrine divides. All I need to know is Jesus.” Sproul says he likes to ask them, “Well, who is Jesus? As soon as you start to answer that question,” Sproul observes, “you’re in theology. It’s unavoidable.”

The question then, is not who is a theologian, but how good of a theologian? The answer is immensely important because one's theology is inevitably the foundation of their worldview. Worldviews guide individual decisions and actions; what one believes determines how they live their life.

Unfortunately, most people hold to a theology that is shaped by experience, friends, cultural trends, teachers, books, movies, music, the Internet and a myriad of other things ... the vast majority of which have no basis in truth. Facebook theology is a recipe for disaster.

Theology is the foundation for every person's worldview. Bad theology equals a bad foundation for a worldview that at best leads to a distorted understanding of reality - at worst, a fatal perspective. Good theology is a solid foundation on which to build a worldview that affirms reality as it really is.

No one gets to opt out of thinking about the questions regarding God even if they don’t believe in God. You might not think much about God or what God does and doesn’t do in our world. Your Bible  (if you even have one) may be weighted with dust, your prayers might be rusty from neglect and church might rate alongside paying taxes. Even still, you are a theologian because your actions reflect your perception of God.

The question is not whether you are a theologian (you are) but whether you will be a good one. Good thinking about God depends not so much on having advanced degrees in theology, studying lots of scripture or commitment to God’s cause. While these things are important, it does not guarantee that you actually have an imagination about God that fits the kind of God that God really is.

If we want to know God, we must be careful to refrain from assuming that we know where to start because God is so different from us. We must allow Him to reveal Himself to us on his terms and avoid trying to fit Him into our preassumptions. God is not a list of characteristics or a set of categories that determine what He does and does not do. He is personal and the nature of God is revealed ultimately not as a text book, a theology class or even a sermon. God is revealed in a Person. If we don’t get this about Him, then we can miss every subsequent question we might have about God and theology.

In the Old Testament, the greatest threat to the security of Israel was not external; rather it was the false prophet within the gates who would distort and direct people away from truth. If we're wise, we will let the collective wisdom of the church throughout the ages lead us into a deeper understanding of Scripture and greater discernment regarding heresy.

We can know the truth and choose not do the truth, but we can hardly do the truth if we don’t know what the truth is.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Facts On Jihad & The Crusades


Are You Suffering From 'TARD'?



Are You Suffering From 'TARD'?

Trump Acceptance Resistance Disorder (TARD) is a pattern of pathologically dissociative and psychotic behavior, first observed in the late hours of November 8th 2016, and increasing in severity with passing time. Sufferers of TARD often exhibit pronounced cognitive dissonance, sudden bouts of rage, uncontrollable crying, suicidal ideation, and extreme sadness. Individual sufferers often display signs of paranoia and delusion; in acute cases psychotic episodes have been observed.

TARD is different from being upset about the results of the 2016 presidential election; People with TARD are unwilling or unable to accept reality, despite irrefutable evidence.

According to the DSM-V, individuals with TARD exhibit most or all of the following symptoms:
  • Telling others they are moving to Canada
  • Fixated on fantasies about the Electoral College
  • Protesting an election no credible source contests the outcome of
  • Exclamations that “Someone” should do “Something”
  • Acute change in demeanor from pompous and arrogant to fearful and combative
  • Claim that anyone who disagrees with them is some combination of Racist, Sexist, Bigoted, Homophobic, and actually some sort of Hitler persona
Causes and Mechanisms:

TARD was directly caused by the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. For many, both in America and worldwide, this was a shocking and unexpected outcome; their preferred news sources telling them it was impossible and having failed to inform them that the alternative candidate was in such ill health she got chucked into the back of a van like a kidnap victim.

Diagnosis:

Diagnosis of TARD is straightforward. Ask the patient if Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. Some patients will become agitated, and may attempt to deflect. It’s critical you press them on the issue, even if they start babbling about ‘muh triggers’. A sufferer of TARD will begin to ramble incoherently, often displaying three or more of the symptoms within a short period of time.

Treatment:

The only known effective treatment is exposure therapy. The patient must be repeatedly exposed to reality.

Guillaume Bignon - A French Atheist's Journey To Evangelical Christian Theologian

This is a powerful testimony. (Guillaume's web site is here)


Sunday, November 13, 2016

To Understand How Bad The Seed Is, You Need Only Examine The Fruit


By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Matt 7:16-18)

Riots, violent protests, intolerance, assaults on people who voted for Trump, parents punishing their children who voted for Trump in mock school elections, employers demanding employees resign who voted for Trump, calls for mass protests on inauguration day, racism and sexists charges, college students demanding excuse from mid-term exams because they are too "stressed" and access to "safe" rooms with play-doh and coloring books to "unwind" from the stress. There are calls to boycott New Balance — its sneakers have been publicly burned — because an official said Trump would be better on trade issues.

Fake reports of “hate crimes” committed by supporters of President-elect Donald Trump are sweeping the nation. Meanwhile, real crimes continue to be committed by anti-Trump rioters in dozens of cities across America. One fake “hate crime” involved a Muslim woman at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who claimed that she had her hijab torn off by two white males. Lafayette police now report that she “admitted that she fabricated the story.”

Progressive liberals are in the throes of a massive mental and emotional meltdown.

All this stems from a lawful and transparent election.

Most telling of all, to date not a single top-level leader in the Democrat party has spoken out against this behavior. Not one. Nothing like this transpired by the opposition when Obama was elected to office twice.

To understand how bad the seed is, you need only examine the fruit.

As progressive liberalism now comes to full fruition -  i.e., lawlessness, violence, anarchy, destruction, intolerance, narcissism, anger, selfishness, racism and sexism - it becomes increasingly evident how bad the seed is. Ironically, progressive liberalism is the antithesis of the very ideals it claims to champion. By nature, it suppresses truth for it cannot withstand comparison. So it buries truth and markets its own ever-changing relative counterfeit. Those that drink its Kool-Aid will soon discover its true nature. But unfortunately, for many, it will be too late. For progressive liberalism has sown it deadly seed not only within the culture, but also the church.

Conservative Christians are told that if we don't become more enlightened and progressive, we will become irrelevant to society as our numbers decline. In reality, the opposite is true: We will only be relevant to the extent we hold fast to Biblical truth.

In 1974, a German theologian named Gerhard Meier wrote a controversial book entitled "The End of the Historical Critical Method," (here) arguing that many mainstream seminaries were destroying the faith. Seminary students were told that Moses didn't write the Pentateuch, that the prophets didn't predict the coming of the Messiah, that Jesus didn't really rise from the dead, and that the Bible was not truly God's Word, among other things. These seminary students would go on to become pastors and preach the progressively liberal message they had learned to their congregations ... but in reality had nothing of substance to give them. The congregants came to church services expecting to find strength and guidance and to grow in faith and hope, to learn how to cope with difficult circumstances. Instead, they found pastors full of unbelief. Consequently, cathedrals that seated 3,000 people would eventually have 30 in attendance on Sunday morning.

Yes, liberal churches can grow because of an "itching ear" message, as pastors tell the people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear. This is one of the reasons that Jesus said that the road to destruction is broad (Matthew 7:13). In the long run though, sustainable life and growth is not possible where compromise with the world is the hallmark.

It is the progressively liberal churches that embrace abortion, homosexual practice, gay marriage (an oxymoron) and compromise of biblical truth, that have experienced the steepest decline in membership. They also have far lower commitment levels from their people.
  • Wikipedia notes that, "At the time of its formation, the UCC [United Church of Christ] had over 2 million members in nearly 7,000 churches. The denomination has suffered a 44 percent loss in membership since the mid-1960s ... As of the 2014 Annual Yearbook of the UCC, membership is listed as 979,239 members in 5154 local churches."
  • The Episcopal Church had a membership of 3.4 million in the mid-1960s; today, that number is slightly over 2 million.
  • The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has dropped from a membership of 4.25 million in the mid-1960s to 1.8 million today, a number that is expected to decline rapidly in the coming years.
These are some of the very churches that have led the cultural charge on liberal causes like the redefining of marriage.

As noted in a 2011 report by the National Council of Churches, while many liberal, so-called "mainline" Protestant churches were declining in membership, "strong figures from the Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) suggest an increase in the number of adherents to Pentecostal groups ..." (quoting Rev. Eileen Linder; recent reports from the AG do confirm this growth trend, both in the USA and abroad). Spirit-filled churches that hold to conservative moral values are outgrowing all other religious expressions, as the respected statistician David Barrett has documented for more than three decades.

When people truly encounter the risen Christ, they will gladly forsake everything and follow Him. And where people hear the truth, they are ultimately set free.

The Most Dangerous Worldview Says "Loving Yourself Is The Greatest Love"



Michael Brown speaks the truth here as he blasts the "coddled generation that wasn't taught to grow up."

... But there are millions of others who have been coddled all their lives, almost never taught to lose or be put in their place or take full responsibility for their actions ... 

Just consider this scene from our campuses on the day after the elections, as reported by the Wall Street Journal: “At Tufts University, arts and crafts were on offer. And the University of Kansas reminded students via social media of the therapy dogs available for comfort every other Wednesday.”

... And then this, from the University of Michigan: “There was a steady flow of students entering Ms. Boynton’s office Wednesday. They spent the day sprawled around the center, playing with Play-Doh and coloring in coloring books, as they sought comfort and distraction.”

Need I add the standard caveat: “I am not making this up!”?

... even though millions of conservative Christians would have been terribly upset had Hillary won, do you think that students on Christian campuses would be sitting with therapy dogs and coloring books to comfort them in their grief?

But none of this should not surprise us in terms of the anti-Trump reaction on at these colleges and universities.

These are the same campuses with “safe zones” and with guidelines against “microagressions.”

And these are the same young people whose number one rule sometimes appears to be, “You shall not offend me or hurt my feelings!”

... In the end, the problem is not with an age group as much as it is with a mindset, and it is a mindset that simply doesn’t work in real life – unless you want to be playing with Play-Doh to ease your pain when you’re married with kids and grandkids.


*******

I would substitute the word "worldview" for "mindset" in his last paragraph, for it really is their distorted perspective on reality. Jesus strikes at the very heart of the sin of self-centeredness with this unequivocal declaration: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). To deny oneself means letting go the material things used to gratify self. To deny oneself is to let go of selfish desires and earthly security and focus instead on the interests of God (Matthew 6:33). The mindset of “he with the most toys wins!” is seen for the fallacy it is. Denying oneself turns us from self-centeredness to God-centeredness. Self is no longer in charge; God is. Christ rules our hearts.

ISIS HR manager discusses career opportunities within Islamic state


Saturday, November 12, 2016

A Disturbing Example Of Progressive Liberalism

This mother is now under investigation. She threw her 8 year old son out of the house for voting for Trump in a mock school election - and had the gall to post the video herself. This is a disturbing example of progressive liberalism's intolerance for any view that contradicts their fantasy worldview.


The Media Admits That Middle America Was Right About Them



Will Rahn, political correspondent and managing director, politics, for CBS News Digital, issues an unusually frank mea culpa here that middle America was correct about the media bias, arrogance and hubris.

More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

... The audience for our glib analysis and contempt for much of the electorate, it turned out, was rather limited. This was particularly true when it came to voters, the ones who turned out by the millions to deliver not only a rebuke to the political system but also the people who cover it. Trump knew what he was doing when he invited his crowds to jeer and hiss the reporters covering him. They hate us, and have for some time.

And can you blame them? Journalists love mocking Trump supporters. We insult their appearances. We dismiss them as racists and sexists. We emote on Twitter about how this or that comment or policy makes us feel one way or the other, and yet we reject their feelings as invalid.

... Journalists, at our worst, see ourselves as a priestly caste. We believe we not only have access to the indisputable facts, but also a greater truth, a system of beliefs divined from an advanced understanding of justice.

... Our theme now should be humility. We must become more impartial, not less so. We have to abandon our easy culture of tantrums and recrimination. We have to stop writing these know-it-all, 140-character sermons on social media and admit that, as a class, journalists have a shamefully limited understanding of the country we cover.

What’s worse, we don’t make much of an effort to really understand, and with too few exceptions, treat the economic grievances of Middle America like they’re some sort of punchline. Sometimes quite literally so, such as when reporters tweet out a photo of racist-looking Trump supporters and jokingly suggest that they must be upset about free trade or low wages.

We have to fix this, and the broken reasoning behind it. 

Meanwhile, the publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly. But the real reason is not regret over their obvious bias and actions to "create" news rather than report news (the same letter bizarrely asserts that they covered both candidates "fairly"), but a rising fear they will go bankrupt. Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., the paper’s embattled publisher, appealed to Times readers for their continued support. (Income for the Times has been dropping precipitously as more people realize there are other truly-independent avenues of news available.)

“We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” the letter states.


*******

Will is refreshingly honest and I appreciate his humility. The New York Times is acting out of hypocrisy to save its existence. Actions speak louder than words. Time will tell if other journalists come to the same conclusion. But I won't be holding my breath - the allure of power is just too tempting. As I wrote earlier here, wise people tune out the media and spend their time in productive pursuits.

Friday, November 11, 2016

No, It's not about politics - it's ultimately about worldview



Yes, there is intolerance in the land. But it's almost all one-sided.

There's a story here about a boss telling his employees who voted for Trump to resign. Demonstrations and rioting occurs protesting a legal and valid election. Actress Lea DeLaria said she wants to 'take out' Trump supporters with a baseball bat. An 11-year old boy was assaulted by several classmates in his Texas classroom, after he said he supported Donald Trump in a school mock-election. School officials suspended the children suspected of the attack, which took place Nov. 9 at the Stafford intermediate school near Houston, Texas. The election triggered a flood of calls on Twitter and other social media outlets for the president-elect to be assassinated.

Donald Trump-haters are burning, trashing and flushing their New Balance sneakers because the shoe company merely stated that President Obama disregarded trade concerns and America is moving in the “right direction” under Trump’s trade policy. People magazine faces a backlash against the brand following positive coverage of president-elect Donald Trump. Using #BoycottPeopleMagazine, a range of Twitter users have called for celebrities to withhold content from the Time Inc. brand and for readers to cancel their subscriptions.

Nothing like this was done by the opposition when Obama was elected.

A professor at University of Michigan postponed an exam after too many students complained about their “very serious” stress. Columbia University postponed midterms, a Yale University professor made an exam optional, a University of Iowa professor canceled classes and a University of Connecticut professor excused class absences — all because their students just absolutely could not function knowing that they’d have to live in a country where their president would not be the president that they wanted. And it’s not even just the students — a University of Rochester professor canceled all of his meetings with students the day after the election because he decided he just could not bear to talk about it with them. (Academia, which lives in a fantasy-land, does not grasp that this kind of behavior is exactly why Donald Trump won. As Carl Schwitcher said, "The postgraduate facts of life disabuse people quickly of the fantasy world that exists in academia.")

Okeefe's undercover video proves that thugs were paid by the Democratic party to spark violence at pre-election Trump rallies.

Shocking footage out of California shows a high school girl being viciously beaten by another student for saying she supported Donald Trump on Instagram. Another shocking video out of Chicago shows a mob of young black men viciously beating an older white man because he voted for Donald Trump, dragging him through the streets as he hangs out of the back of his car. The clip shows the thugs repeatedly screaming, “you voted Donald Trump” as they assault the victim from every angle while others steal his belongings.

“You voted Trump,” the mob screams, “You gonna pay for that sh*t.”

A second video of the incident which is dubbed with the “F**k Donald Trump” song, a phrase now being chanted by “protesters” across the country, shows one of the attackers driving away in the man’s vehicle while his hand is still stuck in the window as the car drags him down the street.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was prevented from speaking on a college campus. Activists are embraced who shut down speakers in a country with the constitutional right to freedom of speech. People are publicly shamed for the slightest deviation from liberal orthodoxy. Houston's lesbian mayor illegally demanded the sermons of city pastors. The state of Georgia is demanding copies of the sermons and related notes of a lay pastor who was fired by the Department of Public Health after he spoke in church on the Biblical position of homosexuality.

The Pew Research Center concluded in a study here that liberals, who ironically champion themselves as beacons of tolerance, are actually much more intolerant than conservatives. The New York Times confesses here in an editorial that intolerance is a real problem among liberals.

Universities are the bedrock of progressive values, but the one kind of diversity that universities disregard is ideological and religious. We’re fine with people who don’t look like us, as long as they think like us.

O.K., that’s a little harsh. But consider George Yancey, a sociologist who is black and evangelical.

“Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black,” he told me. “But inside academia I face more problems as a Christian, and it is not even close.”

While it may be tempting to chalk this up to intolerance on the part of the political Democratic party, it's actually not about politics.

It's ultimately about worldview.

When a worldview jettisons absolute truth as its anchor and establishes itself as the final arbiter of truth, it abandons true freedom and tolerance. Genuine truth does not fear opposition for it knows it will ultimately be found to be the "real deal" through honest and objective comparison. On the other hand, relative truth can welcome only points-of-view that don't contradict those espoused by it. Relative truth must banish all opposing views for it knows as the counterfeit, that it cannot stand alongside genuine truth. Real truth becomes irrelevant.

A worldview that rejects absolute truth must by definition, become intolerant. This explains the increasing hostility towards the genuine truth of Scripture which cannot be permitted into the public square in any shape, form or fashion. The counterfeit would be unmasked.

Why then is such intolerance mostly one-sided with the modern Democratic political party?

Because the party is now inhabited almost exclusively by progressive liberals. And progressive liberalism is the champion of relativism. Progressive liberalism, having rejected the concept of absolute truth, are the intolerant ones. All views are welcome except any that conflict with them.

Senator Elizabeth Warren lied about being part-Cherokee to get a job at Harvard and Harvard took full advantage of Warren's lie, bragging to The Harvard Crimson about her minority status during one of the near-constant student protests over insufficient "diversity" in the faculty. Warren also listed herself as an Indian in law school faculty directories. But there is zero evidence that she has Indian heritage. When confronted with the facts that there is no credible evidence of Indian heritage, she simply dug her heels into her lie. Why? Because - for her - it IS true. She merely creates her own reality independent of truth.

Apparently though, there are limits to how much untruth will be accepted. Rachel Dolezal, NAACP leader of Washington state Spokane chapter, lied for years about being black. She posted a picture of a black couple on her Facebook page, announcing them as her parents — while her real mom and pop were actually white and living in Montana. The African studies instructor eventually severed ties with her biological parents, telling a local television station they hadn’t spoken in years. After the NAACP fired her, she was interviewed about the deception and astonishingly said that he was not dishonest because she "considered" herself black. She created her own fantasy that had no bearing to actual reality.

Genuine truth is powerful.  So powerful, that many can’t handle it.  While everyone may claim to want to know the truth, the reality is many can’t accept it.  An example is the alcoholic, whose problem is painfully evident to everyone except him/her.  He/she is simply unwilling to face the truth.

Late night television comedy in America is overwhelmingly hyper-political and hyper-liberal. Absurdity is at the heart of comedy. Mockery can be a way to show that something or someone defies logic or is otherwise absurd. Late night comedy showcases the genuine fear progressive liberals have towards truth.

Truth can revolutionize one’s life.  But encountering genuine, absolute truth can often be quite disconcerting. The Bible is filled with such examples. David when confronted with the truth is his sin with Bathsheba (2 Sam 12:1-10) accepted it and it changed the rest of life. In contrast, the rich young man could not accept the truth of his condition (Mark 10:17-22). People migrate into relativism because they are unable to accept the truth. Progressive liberalism cannot allow genuine truth to disrupt its man-made version.

Mallory Millet exposes their worldview here in her opinion piece entitled "Hillary Clinton's Worldview: A Eulogy".

With such amoralists, there is no primary truth.  Truth is relative and changing.  Hell is their Heaven.  Lies are their truth.  This is why it's so easy for Obama and Clinton to lie and lie again and again, to obfuscate endlessly.  This explains their contempt for the Constitution, which they consider a document to be changed by activist judges, societal whim, and cultural turn or wave.  

Alinsky famously dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals, the subject of Hillary's thesis, to Lucifer, "the first radical who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that, at least, he won his own kingdom."  In 1972, he said in a Playboy interview, "If there is an after-life and I have anything to say about it I will, unreservedly, choose to go to Hell. Hell would be Heaven for me. All my life I have been with the have-nots.  Over here if you're a have-not you're short of dough.  If you're a have-not in Hell you're short of virtue.  Once I get into Hell I'll start organizing the have-nots.  With a smile.  They're my kind of people."

... This is the real basis of Hillary's philosophy, Hillary's Progressivism.  Truth is a lie, and lies are truth.  This is how we get the Jane Fondas, Lois Lerners, Loretta Lynches, Elizabeth Warrens and Huma Abedins of our time.

Today's phenoms such as Beyoncé, Madonna, Bruce Jenner, Nicki Minaj, etc. are direct results of this mutation of our national character.  These purveyors of pansexualism shaped by Sigmund Freud and the pursuit of the Pleasure Principle and orgasm-worship, formed into a false Marxist humanism smashing family life, infiltrating education, law, media, the military, unions, materializing socialist revolutionary politics at a mass level.  

Progressive liberals fear the truth. This is why they immediately castigate anyone who seeks to question or confront the validity of their worldview as a "racist", "sexist" "homophobe", etc. Trump was in the public eye for at least thirty years. He was never accused of racism until he opposed a Democrat. Deep down, they know their worldview cannot withstand scrutiny. Their tactics, as old as Eden, manipulate through half-truths and fear. Their worldview tells them what their itching ears want to hear (2 Tim 4:3), not the hard truth that they need to hear. But reality inevitably slaps them in the face at some point. As Pat Boone observed,

“Donald Trump's unprecedented, emphatic win is a tremendous rebuke, a humongous... slap to the pompous, pampered Hollywood super-rich, supercilious, super brainwashed, over privileged crowd,”

Beliefs are not merely intellectual appendages. What one believes truly matters for beliefs ultimately determine how they live their life. What we are witnessing now is the fruit of a worldview that abandoned absolute truth long ago and exchanged the truth for a lie (Rom 1:25).

If we reject absolute revealed truth in favor of our own home-spun version, the die is cast: we lose our perspective on reality. As Victor Hanson (historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University) observes, "From hacked e-mail troves we received a glimpse of the bankrupt values of Washington journalists, lawyers, politicians, lobbyists, and wealthy donors. Despite their brand-name Ivy League degrees and 1 percenter ré​sumé​s, dozens of the highly paid grandees who run our country and shape our news appear petty and spiteful — and clueless about the America that exists beyond their Beltway habitat ... Reading about the characters who inhabit the Clinton campaign e-mail trove, one wonders about the purpose of their Yale degrees, their tenures at Goldman Sachs, even their very stints in the Clinton campaign."

He concludes by asking, "Was the end game to lose their souls?"

Indeed.

No, it's not about politics - it's ultimately about worldviews.