Why Akathleptos?

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

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

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

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



Thursday, August 31, 2017

In stark contrast to the Burning Man festival ... light versus darkness


The Burning Man festival epitomizes all that is wrong with our culture


The Burning Man festival is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada during Labor Day weekend. The event markets itself as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles: "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace.

In reality, it is a demonically-inspired gathering of wiccans, satanists, goddesses (white witches), nudists, and a consortium of other lost party-goers, who converge on the hot Nevada desert for a Labor Day weekend of “glorious Hell on earth.” Pagans have migrated from Canada, Brazil, Germany, Russia, and 25 other countries to an isolated corner of Black Rock Desert in Nevada. Participants engage in trance, perform rituals, burn sacrifices to pagan gods and goddesses, dance in the nude, engage in sex, and otherwise “express” themselves and become one with Gaia. The Burning Man itself is a 40-foot-high effigy of the “Spirit Cave Man” (sacred to local Indians and New Agers) which is torched, together with just about everything else, at the close of the festivities. (For the secular perspective on the debauchery of the BurningMan festival, see here.)

George Otis Jr., president of The Sentinel Group (a Christian research agency), attended the Burning Man festival with a colleague. He wrote of the experience:

On Saturday night, the hell-themed [festival] reached its crescendo in the form of a drama….These people were literally celebrating the fact that one day they would enter hell. To simulate their journey, the camp’s center stage was transformed into the “Vestibule of Hell.” The guest of honor was none other than “Papa Satan.”….As the lecherous Papa Satan bowed in mock chains before a placard reading “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved,” a group called “Idiot Flesh,” [supposedly Christians] dressed as hooded executioners, began to play a discordant dirge accompanied by flashing strobes. When the crowd started its torchlight procession toward the Gates of Hell and an eerie, sculpted castle called The City of Dis, I sensed an unmistakable chill in the air. Our march had been joined by unseen, malevolent guests….nudist and a moving sea of devil banners [also] moved around us….At the tri-tower City of Dis, our descent into the Inferno reached a demonic sanctuary….While massive loudspeakers pumped out a hellish bass tone accompanied by tormented screams….people dressed as demonic insects celebrated by copulating with other captured souls. It was a scene that looked as if it had been plucked from a horrific nightmare. Mesmerized by the evocative music, the performers began to chant, “Devil’s delight, fire tonight!” Wood piles inside the towers of Dis were ignited, causing orange flames to belch forth from the eyes and mouths of demonic gargoyles built onto the turrets. As the heat became more intense, the entourage danced around the towers. Satan had defeated the church. Otis continued the report by confessing, “I had to remind myself that what I had witnessed at the Burning Man Festival was happening right here in the United States–not in the temples of India or the deserts of Sinai.”

Thirty years ago, Burning Man began as a small beach gathering in San Francisco. Initially held during the Summer Solstice, it quickly took on a life of its own and was moved to Nevada in 1990. Ever since then, this eight-day party has not stopped growing, and people literally fly in from all over the world to witness one of the most bizarre spectacles in America.



It has been described as a “dystopian hellscape” and that description is not too far from the truth. Revelers from all over the world will dance, carouse and “express themselves” in a temporary city that has been created entirely by its citizens. This festival is part Mad Max, part Woodstock and part Eyes Wide Shut, and many “Burners” look forward all year long to these eight days of completely unrestrained hedonism. During these eight days, people openly and freely use illegal drugs, and the authorities don’t seem to mind. Public nudity is also constantly on display, but once again law enforcement is nowhere to be found. Actually, if they are there it is usually to participate in the debauchery. The biggest draw of all, however, is the casual sex that is absolutely rampant at Burning Man. And it isn’t just one on one sex that we are talking about. That would be way too boring.

You will find nudists (lots of them), palm readers, neopagans, "ecosexuals," witches, sorcerers, shamans, New Age gurus, "goddesses", Satanists, "polyamorists" and just about every type of fetishist you can possibly imagine.

Burning Man is America's largest occult festival and perhaps the largest celebration of hedonism on the entire planet. It graphically illustrates all that is wrong with our culture - paganism, pride, drug- fueled hedonism and demonic worship.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

True self-sufficiency in this fallen world is rooted in genuine faith in the one true God - not the civil government

Tyler Durden says here what most are afraid to admit -  a full-blown civil war is materializing in this country.

The country is committing suicide as we speak.  The push for revision and redaction in all the history books has been on for some time.  Now we’re seeing actual mobs of demonstrators surrounding these historical statues.  The push is on.  On August 19, demonstrators in Detroit gathered to protest and demand removal of a statue of Christopher Columbus.  In all the major cities, the push to remove these statues along with protests continues.

..... There is a civil war coming, as it is the domestic initiative that must be pursued to bring the United States down to the canvas…rendering her ineffective when the foreign initiative…an attack comes…to give the final count.  In both battles, nobody will be able to retreat to a neutral corner.  If the U.S. stays intact, then the NWO loses, and vice-versa.  These protesters (paid and genuine) are but a sampling of the platter to be served…a buffet right out of Pandora’s box.


*******

I think he is correct. Barring dramatic and profound spiritual renewal, the raging conflict in the spiritual realm will ultimately break forth in the material realm. We are clearly headed towards a dystopian future.

And precisely when the country is at each other's throats, will come the external attack as Durden theorizes, in a final effort to stamp out the United States as we know it. Christians need to be sensitive to the indwelling Holy Spirit to discern what proactive courses of action they should undertake to prepare - i.e., where they should live, where their kids should be educated, where they should be in fellowship, what practical steps they should take, etc.. Clearly, some geographical parts of the United States are not wise places to be when the hammer of judgment falls.

My wife was watching the news yesterday covering the disaster in Houston. She was struck by the sense of entitlement of many of those affected and their complete and utter dependence upon the civil government - i.e., "Nobody told us to leave". (You live in an area prone to flooding [i.e., see here] and had to be told to leave when a monster storm was on the way?) Decades ago, most in this country were self-sufficient. No longer. The government has successfully inculcated an attitude of dependency upon much (most?) of the populace. Many now depend upon government for virtually everything - i.e., food, water, shelter, education, healthcare, condoms, abortions, cell phones, entertainment, transportation, even spending money ... and most dangerous of all ....... the determination of moral right and wrong.

Several years ago I met a pastor from the inner city of Philadelphia where he had ministered for close to four decades. He shared how during that time he witnessed a gradual change in his congregation from a dependency upon God to a dependency upon the government. As their dependency upon government took root, their self-sufficiency disappeared, their faith waned and attendance at church evaporated. Many abandoned the faith as government became their God. The final nail in the coffin was the relative moral decree by government of right and wrong.

True self-sufficiency in this world is rooted in genuine faith in the one true God. But dependence upon almighty God has been foolishly and largely replaced by dependence upon a fallen civil government. Only God is self-existent and self-sufficient. All other creatures are dependent upon someone or something. If our dependence is upon an institution in this fallen world (like civil government or worse yet - self) then we are sitting on a 3-legged chair and collapse is inevitable sooner or later. But if our dependency is on the true, transcendent God ... then we become self-sufficient in this fallen world.

Dependency upon anything in this fallen world is like the house built on sand (Matt 7:24-27) which dangerously dims one's moral radar. It also blinds one to the warning signs - i.e., they are unable to figuratively see the cultural F5 Tornado on the horizon bearing down on them.  Dependency upon the civil government is like a drug that may feel great at first but ultimately ruins you, as made starkly clear in the video below ...



Pray for national repentance and spiritual revival, but depend ultimately on the one true, transcendent God (not the government) and prepare for dark times ahead. Be wise.

Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5, ESV)

I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil 4:13, ESV)

The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty (Prov 27:12, ESV)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"We have nothing less in the tomb of Christ than the beginning of a new universe"

Particle physicist Dame Isabel Piczek believes the Resurrection of Christ astoundingly created a true event horizon, sending information shockwaves instantly throughout the entire Cosmos that a new universe was beginning.


When does the cultural insanity hit the breaking point?


Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4:8)

Stella Morabito astutely oberserves here that America is now in full mass delusion mode, orchestrated by the media, Hollywood, academia (and I would add - political elites).

.... The reality of what takes place in the public arena is always secondary to any projected illusion.

.... The polarization of America didn’t happen overnight. It’s actually not even all that real. It’s been teased out over many decades by media, entertainment, and academia in order to reap the agitation we’re seeing today. 

Consider these choice quotes from Alinsky’s book “Rules for Radicals,” which serves as a guidebook on the art of cultivating hatred in people: “The organizer must first rub raw the resentments of the people of the community; fan the latent hostilities of many of the people to the point of overt expression . . . an organizer must stir up dissatisfaction and discontent; provide a channel into which people can angrily pour their frustrations . . . your function – to agitate to the point of conflict.”

Here’s another choice quote from that piece of work: “The one thing that all oppressed people want to do to their oppressors is sh-t on them.” The trick is to get people to conjure up the illusion of white hoods behind every bush, and redefine the word “hate” so it applies to anybody who thinks a thought independent of elitist groups like the SPLC.

Alinsky knew that a few power-hungry elites like himself couldn’t simply undermine a free nation on their own. He needed drones to do his bidding—mob mobilization papered over with the euphemism “community organizing.” This is why totalitarians—from Marx to Lenin to Stalin to Mao to Castro and so on—always depend upon agitating and mobilizing masses via the abuse of mass media. Real debate is anathema to that goal, which is why free speech is always such an enemy of tyrants. Free speech is an essential antidote to any form of slavery.

.... An oft-quoted proclamation from Bolshevik power-monger Vladimir Lenin goes like this: “The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses . . . We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth… We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn toward those who disagree with us.”


*******

Ultimately, it is truth that is the target. Reality is replaced with illusion. This is happening worldwide and not just in the United States. Deception is the name of the game and the enemy plays it very well. When truth is cast aside, insanity quickly becomes the norm. To wit, a California first-grader was sent to the principal’s office for "misgendering" a male classmate  who was reintroduced to the class as a girl (see here.) Official guidelines issued by the British Medical Association (BMA) are urging doctors to refer to expectant mothers as “pregnant people" (see here.) Harvard University in the US is going to remove the word "master" from academic titles, after protests from students who claimed the title had echoes of slavery (see here.) An Afghani registered sex offender accused of attempted child-stealing in Australia, had all charges against him dropped after a judge determined "cultural differences" were a factor (see here.) Canadian passport holders now have a third option for sex - "X" (see here.)

The blog here at Come Reason ministries wonders when cultural insanity hits the breaking point?

People have basically decoupled themselves from reality. We have seen it in the transgender issue where people not only wish to believe their desire is enough to change the reality of their biology; they demand that everyone else reinforce their desire. We've seen it in spoiled college kids who think if they only hear opinions and ideas about how they want the world to be, they won't be "triggered" and therefore bad things won't happen to them. We've seen it in every televised police pursuit where each felon seems to really believe that he or she can unilaterally escape an entire police squad wit radios, spike strips, and helicopters to track their every move. How do those always end?

While it's easy to point at each scenario and shake our heads, I'm wondering when will enough be enough?


*******

When indeed? Just as Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) went insane after pridefully declaring himself independent of the one true God who had blessed him (Dan 4), the same thing is happening with America. And as history demonstrates, it will end either (a) when national repentance occurs, or (b) when the culture is in ruins.

Monday, August 28, 2017

We Still Don't Seem To Have Gotten The Message


As I listened to my local church yesterday, Christian radio all this weekend and conversed with fellow Christians, I heard appropriate pleas for prayer and assistance for the catastrophic flooding unfolding in Houston.

But missing is a call for repentance.

Indeed, I have heard no one anywhere plea for repentance as a result of this tragedy. In Jan 2005, after the cataclysmic Indian Ocean tsunami that killed 250,000 people, John Piper wrote here that "The point of every deadly calamity is this: Repent."

Unfortunately, we still don't seem to have gotten the message. Our deafness will have consequences.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

This is just the beginning ...

Houston is the most populous U.S. city to elect an openly gay mayor. Annise Danette Parker has been elected Houston Mayor three times, serving since January 2, 2010. She is also infamous for demanding some of the city's pastors hand over their sermons for scrutiny. In 2014, the city of Houston issued subpoenas demanding a group of pastors turn over any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or Annise Parker, the city’s first openly lesbian mayor. Any ministers who failed to comply would be held in contempt of court. (Ultimately she was forced to withdraw the illegal supoena.) Houston also has a large and diverse LGBT community and hosts the 4th largest gay pride parade in the United States. Indeed, Houston is somewhat of a mecca for homosexuality (see here.)

The catastrophic flooding was caused by a category 4 hurricane which made landfall 4 days after a rare total solar eclipse. Earlier I wrote here that not everyone is perceptive to heed divine signs and warnings.

Ask yourself these questions:
  • How sovereign is God?
  • Is His creation purposeful or meaningless?
  • Does He allow coincidence?
Interestingly, in Aug 2015 Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj (a Hindu converted to evangelical Christianity with pioneer evangelistic outreaches to people groups among whom Christ Jesus is little or never named) shared a story at a conference of how an angel of the Lord spoke to him about the city of Houston. He shares this starting at the 33-minute mark in the video shown below.

“When we landed at Houston airport, we came out of the plane and we walked on the bridge. As soon as I stepped foot on Houston Airport, I heard the voice. I think this angel followed me. He said, “This city will be destroyed by a massive flood.”


Barring national repentance, this is just the beginning of sorrows for the nation. Far worse is yet come.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)

This Graphic Says It All


Saturday, August 26, 2017

Married People Have The Best Sex


Researcher Patrick F Fagan asserts that intact, married couples enjoy sex the most, based on data from the National Health and Social Life Survey. According to psychotherapist and couples’ sex expert Esther Perel, marriage is when your sex life really begins (see here.)

Society may have us believe that all the passion will drain away from your relationship, but it turns out getting married could actually lead to the best sex of your life.

.... “[Your sex life] doesn’t end when you take your vows,” she told audiences at last month’s Goop wellness summit. “This is when the story starts.” 


*******

She is merely echoing Biblical truth. Philip Yancey writes in his article entitled "Holy Sex - How it ravishes our souls",

The attempt to reduce human sex to a merely animal act, however, runs into unexpected problems. The more we learn about human sexuality, the more it differs from how the animals do it. Most obviously, humans come vastly over-equipped for sex. The human male has the largest penis of any primate, and the female is the only mammal whose breasts develop before her first pregnancy. Virtually all other mammals have a specified time in which the female is receptive, or in heat, whereas the human female can be receptive anytime, not just once or twice a year. In addition, the human species is one of very few in which females experience orgasm, and humans continue to have sex long after their child-bearing years have passed. Why are we so oversexed?

Relationship is the key. Human beings experience sex as a personal encounter, not just a biological act. We are the only species that commonly copulates face-to-face, so that partners look at each other as they mate, and have full-body contact. Unlike other social animals, humans prefer privacy for the act. In many species, females openly advertise their receptivity with swollen, colorful genitals, and the male and female mate in full view of the group.

Zoologists puzzle over the oddities of human sexuality, unable to find any evolutionary advantage in sex that does not directly lead to reproduction. Some conclude that for humans sex represents a huge waste of time—certainly true if the point of sex was fertilization rather than relationship.

... Schizophrenic is the best way to describe modern society’s view of sexuality. On the one hand, scientists insist that we are organisms like any other animal, and that sex is a natural expression of that animal nature. The pornography industry (which in the U.S. grosses more money than all professional sports combined) happily complies, supplying sexual images of the famous and the anonymous to anyone willing to pay.

But when people truly act out their animal natures, society frowns in disapproval. John Nash gets slapped for telling the truth. A few states in the U.S. allow legalized prostitution, but no parents encourage their daughters to pursue such a career. Hollywood may glamorize adultery onscreen, but in real life it provokes pain and a rage sometimes strong enough to drive the wounded party to murder the rival or jump off a bridge.

The root cause of this schizophrenia is the attempt to reduce sex between humans to a purely physical act. 

*******

I know in my own case having been married for more than 4 decades, that the sex just keeps getting better and better. Why? Because sex is the physical manifestation of the spiritual union and a deepening relationship with my wife. The stronger our relationship becomes, the more powerful the physical expression of that relationship becomes. What were glorious fireworks on our honeymoon has now strengthened into thermonuclear explosions of pleasure.

Drink water from your own cistern, running water from your own well. Should your springs overflow in the streets, your streams of water in the public squares? Let them be yours alone, never to be shared with strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. (Prov 5:15-19)

Friday, August 25, 2017

It's A Culture War, Stupid


Truth is lacking, and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. The Lord saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice. He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no one to intercede ...... (Isaiah 59:15-16, ESV)

George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington, D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center, writes here that - like it or not - the church is engaged in a deadly culture war with enormous stakes.

And that is one reason why the Church must engage the culture war, not only in Canada but in the United States and throughout the West: to warm chilled souls and rebuild a civil society committed to human dignity.

Then there is the civic reason. To reduce a human being to an object whose value is measured by “utility” is to destroy one of the building blocks of the democratic order—the moral truth that the American Declaration of Independence calls the “inalienable” right to “life.” That right is “inalienable”—which means built-in, which means not a gift of the state—because it reflects something even more fundamental: the dignity of the human person.

When we lose sight of that, we are lost as a human community, and democracy is lost. So the culture war must be fought.


*******

Is is precisely because the church largely sat on the cultural sidelines the past 40 years that evil has prevailed. I know many Christians who refused to engage an increasingly assertive and determined enemy, and instead wanted to simply "love Jesus". But James 2:20 reminds us that faith without works is dead. Love is only half of what it means to be Christian; the other half is putting that love into action, by shining the light of truth into the darkness no matter the cost. Hebrews 11:33 reminds us we are God’s hands to “administer justice” in a lost and dying world. Augustine said, “Charity (i.e., love) is no substitute for justice withheld.”

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Striking Similarity With The Chinese Cultural Revolution & French Revolution


Helen Raleigh details here the disturbing similarities between America's cultural anarchy and the Cultural Revolution of China in the 1960s.

America is clearly undergoing a Cultural Revolution that is eerily similar to Mao’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which took place in China in the 1960s. Maybe Karl Marx was right after all when he declared that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

China’s Cultural Revolution was triggered by a group of students at Beijing University, the most elitist college in China. They called themselves the Red Guards because they worshiped China’s communist dictator Mao and his socialist/communist ideology feverishly. In their manifesto, they questioned the usefulness of knowledge, and condemned their professors and university administrators for harboring “intellectual elitism and bourgeois tendencies” and for stalling China’s progress towards a communist utopia.

Mao immediately realized that he could use these over-zealous and ignorant teenagers as a political tool to purge his enemies and shape society to his own liking. 

..... The entire country fell into lawlessness and chaos.

..... The Red Guards firmly believed that in order to build a new world, they had to wipe out the old one. So they traveled around the country, eradicating anything representing China’s feudalistic past: old customs, old cultures, old habits, and old ideas. Museums, temples, shrines, heritage sites, including Confucius’ tomb, were defaced, ransacked, or even totally destroyed.

.... if you think that level of violence and lawless will never take place in America, just watch the videos of violent protests at Yale, Berkeley, and Middlebury College. Fringe groups such as Antifa insist that violence is justified against anyone they deem  to be haters, racists, or fascists. Once again, after these groups honed their vicious tactics on college campuses and faced little consequences or push back, they took their tactics to the “real” world. 

...  We should be alarmed by the similarities between today’s American cultural revolution to China’s Cultural Revolution. Let’s never forget that evil can come from the pursuit of progress.  American’s cultural revolution is endangering the Republic


*******

Words of wisdom from someone whose family was directly affected by the insanity of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Just as the Chinese students were useful idiots for Mao, the immature, idealistic and naive American students are merely puppets of the wealthy elites who envision a dramatically different America and are pulling the strings. But the American version has the potential to wreak far more destruction since basic truths that have been universally accepted since time immemorial (i.e., gender identity) are overthrown. Unchecked, it will spark a conflagration that will ultimately reduce America to smoldering ash.

As Ravi Zacharias warned, there are “no definitions left anymore” for foundational concepts such as life, marriage and sexuality. As Os Guinness pointed out, when the lid blew off in the French Revolution, the Church was thrown away as well ...... and after over 200 years, the French church has still not recovered. Guinness is correct that America is on the high seas without a chart or a compass because we have lost the very moral boundaries that God gave us.

Augustine famously said that truth is like a lion; you don't have to defend it. Let it loose and it will defend itself. As we descend into the abyss, arm yourself - first and foremost - with Truth and be prepared to wield it no matter the cost. Not the ever-changing so-called "truth" of the world, but the unchanging transcendent Truth. While it will surely enrage the enemy and goad violent and destructive reaction, it will also gloriously free those who accept it. It is our only hope to stop the ongoing insanity. Otherwise we are well on the road to repeat the French Revolution and Chinese Cultural Revolution, in which case, you are well advised to also physically arm yourself ....... especially if you are responsible for the welfare of the weak and defenseless.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

He is the returning Lion welcomed by some but the worst nightmare for most


The French government has decided the mere sight of children with Down syndrome on television is an unhappy intrusion on the national conscience. J.D. Flynn, a parent of two children with Down syndrome, chronicles it here. He writes,

We’re unwelcome in Iceland because of Down syndrome.

This week, CBS News reported that only one or two children with Down syndrome are born in Iceland each year. And that Down syndrome has been “basically eradicated from Iceland.” The story reported that Icelanders—some Icelanders, at least—perceive aborting disabled children as an act of mercy—“preventing suffering for the child and for the family.”


*******

What is happening in France and Iceland is a reflection of a world spiraling into destruction. What history condemns the Nazis for, is now gleefully practiced and celebrated in "intellectually-advanced" countries where insanity is increasingly the norm. A veil of oppresive darkness is settling over the globe.

But well beyond the darkness - a powerful, piercing transcendent light that will change everything forever - is drawing near. He is the returning Lion welcomed by some but the worst nightmare for most. His brilliance will obliterate evil. As C.S. Lewis wrote about the great lion in “The Chronicles of Narnia”, He is not safe but He is good.

The King is coming back.

For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night (1 Thess 5:2)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2:40 of Transcendence


During the solar eclipse yesterday, I was privileged to be at the center of totality in White House, TN. I have experienced partial eclipse before, but a total solar eclipse is absolutely nothing like it. Nothing can prepare you for what you will see and experience. There are no words to describe it and no video can capture the experience. (In the video above, the corona is bright enough to wash out the black sun on the phone camera. At the moment of totality, you see a black sun surrounded by a halo of iridescent silks strands reaching out hundreds of thousands of miles into space against a dark sky, surrounded by a 360 degree sunrise on the horizon.) A total solar eclipse is truly a mind-bending, other-worldly transcendent experience when time seemingly stops. There is no more spectacular spectacle available to us in all creation. There are three options for someone who witnesses this spectacle:

  1. their heart is so hardened that it is merely an interesting physical phenomenon
  2. they will be inclined to worship the creation
  3. they will be impelled to worship the Creator who can orchestrate such magnificence with astounding power and precision.

Option 3 was my experience. The video above is of the moment totality occurred. I’m now a umbraphile. Below is an extraordinary picture taken by a friend. As spectacular as the picture is, it doesn't do it justice.



Virtue is selfless; Victimization is selfish


..... one of the few administrators willing to criticize the tidal wave of intellectual intolerance on campus is expecting “a mess” when the new semester dawns.

Oklahoma Wesleyan University President Dr. Everett Piper gained tremendous notoriety in 2015 when he wrote an opinion column decrying universities for coddling student demands for safe spaces and the eradication of ideas that don’t mesh with the orthodoxy of political correctness. In that column, he famously declared that a college is not a daycare.

..... “Oh, it’s going to be a mess ....... You will see protests. You will see riots. You will see the results of teaching victimization and vice for decades. When you teach victimization, you don’t get anything but vengeance and violence.

“The only thing that rescues us from this vicious cycle is to start teaching virtue. Virtue is selfless. Victimization is selfish.”

..... What’s taught today in the classroom will be practiced tomorrow in your courtrooms, in your living rooms and in your communities,” Piper said.

“The proof of that is turn on the news, listen to your show, go Google the news and you see these angry, red faces of 21-year-olds who are demanding that any contrary idea, anything they don’t like and makes them feel uncomfortable, be silenced.

“It’s ideological fascism. It isn’t academic freedom. We must confront this with the truth. Otherwise, we will not be a free society and a free culture,” he said.

Read about it here.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Not Everyone Is Perceptive


When the star of Bethlehem appeared announcing the birth of Jesus, only the magi apparently were perceptive enough to recognize what it meant.

Jesus said the most momentous event in the future will be His return. Though preceded by signs that believers will recognize (1 Thess 5:4), most of the world will be caught unaware as from a thief in the night. Though they experience the same signs, they will be scoffing (2 Pet 3:3-4).

Scripture is clear that solar and lunar eclipses can be a primary sign (the "darkened" sun and "blood" moon) of impending judgment. From a posting here on Biblical Archeology web site entitled "How Lunar and Solar Eclipses Shed Light on Biblical Events" ....

In the closing days of his life, Herod the Great was presented with a crisis called the golden eagle incident. Herod had placed a golden eagle over the entrance to the Temple. Although he professed that it was an offering dedicated to the Lord, it was regarded as a desecration of the Temple by two rabbis, Matthias and Judas, who provoked a group of more than 40 individuals into pulling down the eagle. Herod’s soldiers captured and executed many of the participants; Matthias and Judas were burned alive. After relating this sordid incident, Josephus comments that the night after Matthias and Judas were executed by burning, there was an eclipse of the moon (Antiquities 17.6.2-4/17.149-167). 

This is the only reference to a lunar eclipse in all the writings of Josephus. Perhaps a modern historian would not have mentioned it, judging that an astronomical event like an eclipse is independent of the activities of man, unless it preceded some important occasion such as a battle and so influenced a decision such as whether or not to go to war. In the ancient world, however, an eclipse was regarded as an omen or portent whenever it happened. For Josephus, the eclipse in the night after Herod put to death the two protesters was a sign of displeasure from God. This is shown by the fact that Josephus describes, immediately after the mention of the eclipse, Herod’s physical suffering, a suffering from which he could find no relief until his death at some time between the eclipse and Passover. In the Antiquities passage, the eclipse and Herod’s torment signified the same thing: God’s solemn judgment on Herod after he put to death individuals more righteous than himself.

Another famous eclipse, this time of the sun, may have played a part in the account of Jonah and the Ninevites. The time of Jonah’s preaching in Nineveh can only be estimated very generally from the Bible. Second Kings 14:25 says that Jeroboam II, king of Israel, restored the northern and eastern borders of Israel according to the word of the Lord spoken by the prophet Jonah, son of Amittai. Jeroboam II began a coregency with his father Jehoash in 793/92 BC and reigned alone from 782/81 to late summer or early fall of 753 (Thiele 1983: 116; McFall 1991: 45; Young 2005: 245). Assuming that Jonah’s prophecy of restoration came early in the reign of Jeroboam, Jonah’s ministry would have been in the first half of the eighth century BC, i.e. from about 793 to 750 BC. During this time the Assyrian Eponym Canon records an eclipse of the sun that occurred in the eponym of Bur-Sagale, in the month of Simanu. Modern astronomical calculations date this eclipse to June 15, 763 BC, and show it was a total eclipse as it passed near Nineveh. For historians, the importance of this eclipse is that it provided an absolute date that allowed assigning BC years to the yearly eponyms of the Assyrian Eponym Canon (AEC). The accuracy of the AEC dates was later confirmed when new inscriptions were found, and also when compared to the data derived from Ptolemy’s Canon for the century for which the Canon overlaps with the AEC, 747 to 648 BC (Thiele 1983: 71).

Could the Bur-Sagale eclipse be part of the reason why Jonah, when he finally got to Nineveh, found a city that was serious about repentance? This has been suggested by various writers, and if true it would suggest that Jonah’s trip to Nineveh took place during the reign of Ashur-Dan III, who reigned from 773 to 755 BC.......

Such a correlation of Jonah’s ministry with the Bur-Sagale eclipse and other events in Assyrian history is speculative. In contrast, the usefulness of astronomy in determining the chronology of two important New Testament events is now on a firm footing. The first of these is the date of Herod’s death, for which the lunar eclipse on the night after the burning of Matthias and Judas plays a decisive role. For many years the prevailing opinion was that the eclipse mentioned by Josephus was the one that modern astronomical calculations date to the 13th of March, 4 BC. However, in 1880, F. Riess stated that Herod did not die in 4 BC, “but soon after the eclipse in 1 BC, because the other data, namely the numerous events that took place between the eclipse and the Passover, could not be squeezed into the four weeks available in 4 B.C.” (Filmer 1966: 284). There were only 29 days between the eclipse of March 13, 4 BC and Passover that year, insufficient for the many activities that Josephus relates happened during that time, whereas there were an adequate 89 days between the eclipse of January 10, 1 BC and Passover that year. In addition only about one-fourth of the moon was fully eclipsed in 4 BC, whereas in 1 BC the eclipse was total. W.E. Filmer, writing in 1966, also corrected the notion that Herod died in 4 BC by showing that this date arose because historians did not realize that Herod’s sons back-dated their reigns to 4 BC. Herod had assigned them to various posts at that time, although they did not begin their independent reigns until 1 BC when Herod died. Filmer’s ideas were accepted in Jack Finegan’s Handbook of Biblical Chronology (1998: 298-301), and have been expanded and defended by Andrew Steinmann (2009; 2011: 219-54). Steinmann also discusses new research on the Quirinius Census (Luke 2:1,2) that agrees with the 1 BC date for Herod’s death. These more recent studies are consistent with the writings of the majority of early Church Fathers, who dated Jesus’ birth, which necessarily was before the death of Herod, to sometime in either late 3 BC or early 2 BC. The many considerations that support Herod’s death occurring in early 1 BC are therefore in agreement with the dates of lunar eclipses and dates for the start of Passover in the years 5 to 1 BC., as calculated by modern astronomical methods.

Astronomy again comes into play in the discussion of the year in which the Messiah was put to death and rose victorious from the grave. The four Gospels relate that the Crucifixion took place on the “Day of Preparation” for the Sabbath, i.e. on a Friday. It was also the 14th of Nisan according to the official Jewish calendar in use in the first century AD. Astronomical calculations allow only two years in the range from AD 26 to AD 36 in which Nisan 14, the first day of Passover, was a Friday. The years are AD 30 and AD 33. The first of these has been advocated by several writers who maintained that the 15th year of Tiberius cited in Luke 3:1 for the start of Jesus’ ministry refers to the 15th year of an assumed coregency between Augustus and Tiberius that began sometime between AD 11 and AD 13, rather than starting the 15 years at the death of Augustus in AD 14. However, all extant coins and inscriptions date the reign of Tiberius as beginning in AD 14. The age of Jesus when He began His ministry, “about 30” (Luke 3:23), is also more consistent with the Crucifixion in AD 33 than in AD 30, as are events related to Roman policy and the actions of Pilate. A full discussion of the issues involved is found in Andrew Steinmann’s From Abraham to Paul, page 219 n. 329 and pages 257 to 289. Jack Finegan, who previously advocated AD 30 for the Crucifixion and Resurrection, now advocates AD 33 (1998: 340, 368). In these considerations, astronomy narrowed down the possible years to two choices. Other criteria were then employed to decide between the two choices, criteria that rule quite definitely against AD 30 in favor of AD 33. The death of Christ therefore was on Nisan 14 (Friday, April 3), and His Resurrection on Sunday, April 5, AD 33.

In 1872, J.R. Hind published a paper in the British scientific journal Nature in which he noted that the “moon was eclipsed on the generally received date of the Crucifixion, AD 33, April 3.” Bible scholars paid little or no attention to this observation, because the best astronomical calculations available at the time showed that the eclipse would not have been visible from Jerusalem. In the 20th century, however, there was a major advance in the accuracy of historical astronomical calculations, due largely to studies of the change of the earth’s rate of rotation over the centuries. Using ancient astronomical observations from Babylon and China, the rate of slowing of the earth’s rotation is now known precisely enough so that the timing of events such as the rising of the moon or the sun as viewed from any point on earth and at any time in the last 2000 years can be known within about three minutes (Humphreys 2011: 90). 


In 1981, a British scientist who had learned of the improvements in astronomical accuracy thought it might be interesting to revisit calculations for the eclipse of AD 33. Colin Humphreys, who was teaching at Oxford at the time, asked Oxford astrophysicist Graem Waddington to determine whether the lunar eclipse would have been visible at Jerusalem, and if so, at what time it would have been observed. Very fittingly, their findings were published in the same scientific journal that had published Hind’s study 111 years earlier (Humphreys and Waddington 1983). The results were as follows. Moonrise in Jerusalem on the evening of Friday, April 3 AD 33 was at about 6:20 p.m., right after sunset. The part of the moon that appeared first was in the full shadow (the umbra) of the earth. After several minutes, the remainder of the moon was seen; this lower part was in the partial shadow of the earth (the penumbra). The eclipse lasted until about 7:11 p.m., at which time the moon was restored to its usual brightness and coloration.




.... This then is the problem for the skeptic. The lunar eclipse, especially with the unusual darkening that only occurs in those places on the globe that observe it at sunset, did not happen at an arbitrary time, even an arbitrary time in the earthly ministry of the Son of God. It happened on the day that Christianity has always maintained was the most important day in the history of the world since Creation: the day on which the Lamb of God died for the sins of mankind. The Resurrection, two days later, was God’s sign that Jesus was who He claimed to be, the Messiah whose suffering and death were for our sake (Is 53:5,6,8,10,11,12), after which He would rise from the dead (Is 53:10,11; Ps 16:10,11). 

Jewish rabbis have historically taught that a lunar eclipse indicates judgment upon the nation of Israel, and a solar eclipse warns of judgment upon the Gentile nations. The lunar eclipse that began at 3 in the afternoon (when the moon we still below the horizon in Jerusalem) on Friday, Apr 3rd, 33 AD (the day of the crucifixion) and rose and was a "blood moon" that evening portended disaster for Israel. (You can confirm for yourself that a lunar eclipse occurred Apr 3, 33 A.D. over Jerusalem starting at 3: 00 PM and rising above the horizon in the evening after 6:00 P.M., using Stellarium - open source astronomy software.) Jesus confirmed the coming judgment before his death when He warned the residents of Jerusalem to weep "not for him" but for themselves. Undoubtedly the vast majority of people in Jerusalem ignored both Him and the lunar eclipse as nothing of catastrophic significance happened for almost 4 decades. Then cataclysmic judgment fell in the form of the Roman legions of Titus.

When nothing apparently happened after the tetrad of 4 blood moons on Jewish high holy days of Passover and Sukhot (Tabernacles) in 2014-2015, most (including many believers) scoffed. But they forget that almost 40 years transpired after the death of Christ before terrible judgment finally fell on Jerusalem.

The fourth-century church fathers Eusebius and Epiphanius of Salamis record that before the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 the Jerusalem Christians fled to Pella in the region of the Decapolis across the Jordan River.

"The people of the Church in Jerusalem were commanded by an oracle given by revelation before the war to those in the city who were worthy of it to depart and dwell in one of the cities of Perea which they called Pella. To it those who believed on Christ traveled from Jerusalem, so that when holy men had altogether deserted the royal capital of the Jews and the whole land of Judaea…"
— Eusebius, Church History 3, 5, 3

"This heresy of the Nazoraeans exists in Beroea in the neighbourhood of Coele Syria and the Decapolis in the region of Pella and in Basanitis in the so-called Kokaba (Chochabe in Hebrew). From there it took its beginning after the exodus from Jerusalem when all the disciples went to live in Pella because Christ had told them to leave Jerusalem and to go away since it would undergo a siege. Because of this advice they lived in Perea after having moved to that place, as I said."
— Epiphanius, Panarion 29,7,7-8

In our learned age, most people now regard a total solar eclipse as merely an interesting astronomical phenomenon, and many view it as a celebration time for "eclipse" parties. But when two total solar eclipses crisscross the United States 7 years apart and paint a giant "X" near the geographical center of the nation, the perceptive ones see something else: a divine warning. And if nothing happens immediately after the second eclipse in April 2024, many ... including more than a few believers ... will surely scoff.

In contrast to the many scoffers though, the relative few perceptive ones will heed the divine warning.

2010 Solar Eclipse Over Easter Island


Total Solar Eclipse in Patagonia 11 July 2010




Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A total solar eclipse at the beginning of the month of Elul “is an especially bad sign”


The earliest recorded historical total solar eclipse is the famous Assyrian eclipse, also known as Bur-Sagale (Bur-Saggile, Pur-Sagale or Par-Sagale) eclipse. It was a total solar eclipse that occurred on 15 June 763 BC (proleptic Julian calendar) over ancient Nineveh, shortly before Jonah appeared to pronounce impending judgement on the wicked city within 40 days.

The 2017 Aug 21st total solar eclipse’s timing is meaningful according to the Jewish calendar. Incredibly, it comes precisely at the beginning of the month of Elul on the Jewish calendar – a time of repentance for the nation. Just a few hours after the path of darkness of the Aug 21st eclipse departs the coast of South Carolina and the sun sets, the Hebrew month of Elul begins, ushering in a 40-day period of repentance corresponding to the period Moses spent on Mount Sinai repenting for the Jewish People. From the first of Elul to Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, is 40 days.

Written by Rabbi Moshe ben Yisrael Benyamin in Safed in 1894, the Yalkut Moshe notes that when a solar eclipse occurs at the beginning of the month of Elul, “it is an especially bad sign,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News (see here.)

According to Jewish tradition, the month of Elul is the time that Moses spent on Mount Sinai preparing the second set of tablets after the golden calf incident (Ex. 32; 34:27-28). He ascended on Rosh Chodesh Elul and descended on the 10th of Tishri, at the end of Yom Kippur, when repentance was complete. Elul marked the beginning of a period of 40 days that Moses prayed for God to forgive the people for worshipping the golden calf.

The number "40" is prominent in the Bible. In the Old Testament, when God destroyed the earth with water, He caused it to rain 40 days and 40 nights (Gen. 7:12). After Moses killed the Egyptian, he fled to Midian, where he spent 40 years in the desert tending flocks (Acts 7:30). Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights (Ex. 24:18). Moses interceded on Israel's behalf for 40 days and 40 nights (Deut. 9:18, 25). The Law specified a maximum number of lashes a man could receive for a crime, setting the limit at 40 (Deut. 25:3). The Israelite spies took 40 days to spy out Canaan (Num. 13:25). The Israelites wandered for 40 years (Deut. 8:2-5). Before Samson's deliverance, Israel served the Philistines for 40 years (Judg. 13:1). Goliath taunted Saul's army for 40 days before David arrived to slay him (1 Sam. 17:16). When Elijah fled from Jezebel, he traveled 40 days and 40 nights to Mt. Horeb (1 Kings 19:8). The Lord Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the wilderness and there were 40 days between His resurrection and His ascension. In addition, I already noted the prophet Jonah gave the people of Nineveh 40 days to repent before judgment would fall.


*******

On August 21st, 1914 (again, at the start of the Jewish month of Elul) a total solar eclipse crossed over Eastern Europe shortly after the outbreak of World War I. The eclipse traversed the Ottoman Empire, signaling its' imminent end.



Of course, most will laugh off any suggestion the Aug 21, 2017 eclipse is anything but a spectacular astronomical event for our entertainment. But those who are wise will see something else. Given the rapidly deteriorating moral climate in America, the eclipse is a call for repentance on the part of the United States. The Aug 21st eclipse will cross the entirety of the country from northwest to southeast. The fact there will be yet another total solar eclipse across the contintental United States in 7 years (2024), this time from southwest to northeast, painting a giant bullseye on the nation should give one pause to reflect.


The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes (Joel 2:31, ESV)

Planned Parenthood is a wildly successful Trojan Horse implanted and supported by the ultimate White Supremacists


Daniel Payne states the politically incorrect here, correctly asserting that the epitomy of white supremacy is the sacred cow of liberals - Planned Parenthood.

It is a rich if tragic irony that the same progressives denouncing Richard Spencer and demanding that municipal statues be torn down for their alleged white supremacist qualities are themselves closely aligned with a white supremacist-tied group. I am speaking, of course, of Planned Parenthood, which is to the abortion-loving Left what Adolf Hitler’s bunker would have become to fascists had Germany not demolished it in the late 1980s: a sort of holy shrine upon which adulation and adoration can be fixated.

The racist, eugenicist roots of Planned Parenthood are well-documented, as is the paranoid racial and eugenic visions of its founder, Margaret Sanger, who spoke of her desire to create “a new race with a racial soul” in the United States, once cheerfully spoke before a women’s Klan meeting, desired to “keep the doors of Immigration closed” to those “whose condition is known to be detrimental to the stamina of the race,” and yearned to accentuate “the better racial elements in our society” so as to erase from the population “defective stocks—those human weeds which threaten the blooming of the finest flowers of American civilization.”

...... It is also in killing black people that Planned Parenthood really shines. Around 941 black babies are aborted in this country every day. Planned Parenthood, netting more than a third of the abortion market in the country, is responsible for 329 of those daily deaths. That averages out to a little more than 120,000 black abortions at Planned Parenthood per year, or around a third of the total abortions the organization performs—this from a demographic that makes up about 13 percent of the United States population. According to the Guttmacher Institute, black women get abortions at five times the rate of white women.

If you were a white supremacist who wanted to sharply reduce the black population to make way for more whites, what would you be doing differently than Planned Parenthood?

..... ... Spencer, the lily-white organizer of the infamous tiki-torch protest in Charlottesville last week, is a proponent of legalized abortion, precisely because it does very well the thing Spencer is most enthusiastic about, i.e. reducing the number of black people in the United States. 


*******

Indeed. Planned Parenthood is a wildly successful Trojan Horse implanted and supported by the ultimate White Supremacists.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Mind-Blowing Difference Between A Partial & Total Solar Eclipse

God uses such awesome phenomena to point us to the transcendent - and warn us there is far more to His creation than most people realize. Even this atheist is profoundly spiritually affected by the experience.
 
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes (Joel 2:31)
 


The Divinely Mandated Relationship Between Man & Animal

This movie clip is from the Richard Gere movie "Hachi: A Dog's Tale", the true story of the most famous Akita. Hachikō (ハチ公, November 10, 1923 – March 8, 1935) was an Akita dog born on a farm near the city of Ōdate, Akita Prefecture, Japan. He is remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, whom he waited for more than nine years after his owner's death. In 1924, Hidesaburō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Hachikō, a golden brown Akita, as a pet. Ueno would commute daily to work, and Hachikō would leave the house to greet him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The pair continued the daily routine until May 1925, when Ueno did not return. The professor had suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, while he was giving a lecture, and died without ever returning to the train station in which Hachikō would wait. Each day, for the next nine years, nine months and fifteen days, Hachikō awaited Ueno's return, appearing precisely when the train was due at the station.

......a powerful demonstration of the truly remarkable relationship between man and animal, that was instituted by God.



Last known photo of Hachiko's death along with his owners wife Yaeko Ueno (front row, second from right) and station staff in mourning in Tokyo on March 8, 1935. (Photo provided by Shibuya Folk and Literary Shirane Memorial Museum)



Monday, August 14, 2017

Googling Moral Purity


The dog above rejects the truth when confronted with a box of car parts he chewed up. His behavior mirrors the culture when confronted with truth that contradicts its' deformation of reality.

Regarding the firing this week of software engineer James Damore by Google for his thougthful treatise on gender differences, theologian R.R. Reno hits it out of the park here with his essay entitled "Googling Moral Purity".

 ...... the cultural logic is the same. Our ruling class relies on “diversity” and “inclusion” to legitimate its supereminence. This makes the attendant ideology sacrosanct. Any public dissent becomes explosive, because it threatens the legitimacy of our current social system, which is characterized by an increasing concentration of wealth and power among just a few at the tippy-top.

.... CEO Pichai, the Google founders and board members, and the rest of top management are very rich people. Meritocratic ideology helps them justify their wealth, but only up to a point. Merit alone can’t explain why a smart, hard-working person deserves a net worth measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

This is where do-goodism kicks in.

.... The tech industry has been blessed by an adulatory press and worshipful politicians. Wall Street and other more established centers of wealth and power, not so much. They have had to adopt a more painstaking approach to securing ideological justification for, and political protection of, their supereminence: the diversity-and-inclusion project. It is this approach that now plays an important role in justifying the extraordinary concentration of endowment assets and cultural prestige in just a few schools at the top of our university system.

.... Today’s elite Americans are no longer interested in suffering and sacrifice of that sort. I doubt that any children of the one hundred richest Americans served in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m willing to wager that not a single child of the richest 10,000 Americans did so. For more than a generation, the Ivy League was cleansed of the unpleasant presence of ROTC. Today, the people at the top serve us by benevolently administering the diversity-and-inclusion project. Google’s leadership is willing to set profits aside in order to “do the right thing.” That’s their sacrifice.

*******

Even secular psychoanalysis recognizes that courage to face the truth is "the guiding principle, the North Star of psychoanalysis" (see here.)

It takes courage to face the truth because the truth comes will all sorts of anxieties, disappointments, and responsibilities which we would rather avoid.  The truth can be painful.  It can be challenging.  It means we must pull our heads out of the sand and do something to help ourselves—wake up, get up, stand up, pony up, man up, grow up.

But the culture at large can't face the truth. In so doing, it foolishly follows Alice down into Wonderland.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Truth Is Still Evident Even When We Try To Hide It

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines tweeted the following pro-gay message in honor of Amsterdam’s Gay Pride festivities, featuring three sets of rainbow-print seatbelts: one with two “female” ends, another with two “male” ends, and the last with one male and one female end.


“It doesn’t matter who you click with,” the airline wrote in the caption. “Happy #PrideAmerstdam.”

However, it's quite obvious that the only seatbelt set that functionally "works" is the third set with male and female ends. The other two sets are useless; you can only "click" with the third set.

As this blog notes,

If KLM equipped its aircraft with set number one or number two, its entire fleet would be grounded for safety reasons. And if even one passenger’s seat was outfitted with double male or double female ends, the plane would not even be allowed to pull away from the gate because of the safety hazard presented to that one passenger.

Only the set of “complementary” seat belts protects passengers from harm. The others have no real value. In fact, they invite danger.

One of the best responses to the airline’s tweet came from Rick Canton: “Fly Royal Dutch Airlines, where your only chance of surviving a crash is buckling up the heterosexual way.”

..... In this way, the KLM ad offers a perfect explanation of why same-sex “marriage” is an impossible notion.

Truth is still evident even when we try to hide it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

There Are Three Options When We Encounter Truth



Earlier I wrote here about the classic deception regarding electric cars - i.e., that they are more "eco-friendly".  Sure enough as documented here, the toxic mines required to produce the required rare elements are devastating. And Forbes admits here that selling Teslas is a losing proposition.

So here we have a car pushing $100,000 paid for in no small part by you and me, no matter whether Tesla paid back their federal loan or not.  The small comfort is that we are off the hook for any default on that loan, but it would be more comfort if we weren’t all compelled—completely against most of our wills—to shell out around somewhere around $10K (depending on state) for every one that goes out the door.  The more they sell, the more we pay.

The only way to stop this craziness is for the company to stop making cars.   If demand drops much, or California goes into a major fiscal crisis (they’re working on it), oddly enough, Tesla’s bankruptcy will save the rest of us some money.

The hoopla surrounding Tesla (and other electric) cars is a classic example of the deception that occurs when people invent their own reality.

When we encounter previously unknown truth, we face one of three options:
  1. We can ignore the truth and live in denial, suffering the consequences sooner or later. This option is a ticking timebomb since all truth is absolute and affects everyone.
  2. We foolishly try to modify the truth to fit our pre-conceived worldview and subsequently live in a fantasy. Sooner or later however, truth in the form of reality will invade our fantasy world with catastrophic consequences.
  3. We acknowledge the truth and modify our worldview to incorporate it. This is not always easy because our fallen desires play an important role. Quoting Col Jessup in the scene above from the movie "A Few Good Men", many people can't handle the truth and thus foolishly resort to either option 1 or 2.
Option 3 is the only one that will set us free.

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32, ESV)

A Culture Of Death


University of Chicago Professor Jerry Coyne wrote here on his personal blog that, “If you’re allowed to abort a fetus that has a severe genetic defect, microcephaly, spina bifida, or so on, then why aren’t you able to euthanize that same fetus just after it’s born?”

“I see no substantive difference,” Coyne continued.

This is the logical conclusion of his naturalist worldview that ascribes the origin of life to random, menaingless chance. Citing a recent pro-baby-euthanasia column in The New York Times by Gary Comstock, a philosophy professor at North Carolina State University, Coyne argues in favor of administering “a lethal injection of…a barbiturate” to gravely ill babies who are suffering as they die.

Comparing newborns to dogs and cats, Coyne claims that “some day the practice [of killing disabled newborns] will be widespread, and it will be for the better.” Coyne cites favorably the position of Princeton philosopher Peter Singer, who has also argued in favor of killing disabled newborns. “

This is apparently already allowed in the Netherlands,” Coyne points out. In the Netherlands, the “Groningen Protocol,” a medical text circulated among physicians in that country, is used in order to determine when it is acceptable to end the life of a newborn. The Dutch government has approved of this protocol.

“When religion vanishes, as it will,” Coyne argues, “so will much of the opposition to both adult and newborn euthanasia.” [emphasis is mine] Coyne would have been at home in Nazi Germany. But what's really terrifying is that a growing number of people are embracing his worldview.

In 2015, Scott Buss asked here, "But what was it about our culture before its embrace of “legal” child sacrifice that paved the way for the open, ongoing systematic murder and dismemberment of tens of millions of baby boys and girls in America?" 

He answered by quoting Prov 8:36 - "all who hate me love death.”

Whomever rejects the one true God of life, loves death itself. As our culture firmly rejects the Author of life, it is snowballing into a culture of death.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Behold


Abortion Isn’t ‘Liberty,’ It’s Murder


Daniel Payne presents the truth here that abortion is murder in contrast to the bizarre claim of feminist author Lindy West that it's "liberty". He notes the dangerous and frightening perspective shift of abortion advocates from one of "rare but necessary", to an alarming one of "positive good." This is a fatal example of people shaping fantasy "truth" to fit their preconceived worldview instead of letting real truth shape their worldview.

In response to the news that congressional Democrats are willing to fund pro-life Democratic candidates, feminist author Lindy West has written what may be the consummate latter-day pro-choice movement essay. Horrified at the thought that liberals might be even mildly flexible on the abortion question, West declares: “This issue represents everything Democrats purport to stand for…[T]o be anti-choice on a policy level is absolutely indefensible from an economic justice, racial justice, gender justice and human rights standpoint.”

“Abortion is not a fringe issue,” West writes. “Abortion is liberty.”

It’s not. It’s actually murder......

Monday, August 7, 2017

Time for Truth: Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, and Spin

Os Guinness is a Christian with a PhD in Philosophy from Oxford. In this video he asserts that the West has witnessed the end of the "heroic stand on truth" that was seen in such events as the fall of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany. At the Veritas Forum at Stanford in 2002, Guinness argued that truth is something which confronts us, causing us either to shape our desires according to truth, or to (try to) shape truth according to our desires. Now - 15 years later - the cultural situation regarding truth has dangerously deteriorated much further into the abyss ......


Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Height Of Hypocrisy


Most proponents of global warming (they had to change the name of their cause to "climate change" since the Earth is actually cooling down, not warming up) are notorious hypocrites. In their $150,000 Teslas which they proudly advertise as "green" (the fact is that before they've even turned the ignition for the first time, they've already pumped 8 years worth of CO2 into the atmosphere that a gasoline-driven car would; see here) they pompously herald themselves as champions of ecology.

The Oscar-winning hypocrite of them all is former Vice-President Al Gore who flies in private jets (pumping far more emissions into the atmosphere than anyone who flies commercial) all over the world to climate changer conferences to proclaim the sky is falling. Now comes the revelation that his private residence in Nashville devours 34 times more electricity than the average U.S. household (see here.)

On Friday, Al Gore’s sequel to “An Inconvenient Truth” – “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” – arrives in movie theaters across the country. But there’s another inconvenient sequel worth noting and, like most sequels, this one is even worse than the original.

Gore’s hypocritical home energy use and “do as I say not as I do” lifestyle has plunged to embarrassing new depths.

In just this past year, Gore burned through enough energy to power the typical American household for more than 21 years, according to a new report by the National Center for Public Policy Research. The former vice president consumed 230,889 kilowatt hours (kWh) at his Nashville residence, which includes his home, pool and driveway entry gate electricity meters. A typical family uses an average of 10,812 kWh of electricity per year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

It gets worse.

Last September alone, Gore devoured 30,993 kWh of electricity. That’s enough to power 34 average American homes for a month. Over the last 12 months, Gore used more electricity just heating his outdoor swimming pool than six typical homes use in a year.

..... the home’s green facelift wasn’t enough to offset Gore’s colossal energy consumption.

Despite spending more than a quarter-million dollars on making his home more environmentally friendly, his energy consumption is higher than ever.

Those 33 solar panels generate about 12,000 kWh of electricity a year – way more than enough energy to power a typical American household. Gore is such an enormous energy hog, however, that his gigantic rooftop solar array produces just 5.7 percent of the electricity he uses in his home, or enough to power his home for a measly 21 days a year.

The article is spot-on with its' claim that Gore "has manipulated environmental concerns into a big business." It's all about money, not the environment. Jesus cautioned us that we would know deceivers by their fruit, not by their words (Matt 7:16).

The Final Salute


Friday, August 4, 2017

Toeing the Party Line & Drinking the Kool-Aid


LTG Herbert Raymond "H. R." McMaster (born July 24, 1962) is a United States Army officer and currently the U.S. National Security Advisor. On February 20, 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump named McMaster to serve as his National Security Advisor following the resignation of Michael T. Flynn on February 13. McMaster "intends to remain on active duty while he serves as national security adviser."

You do not achieve 3-star rank in the military without toeing the party line. McMaster gained his third star under President Obama who was notorious for purging the military of senior leaders (i.e., see here) with worldviews that did not align with the President's  - a worldview that was hostile to Israel while accomodating of radical Islam, and with calamitous ideas on social experimentation and change. McMaster clearly echoed Obama's worldview or he would never have achieved 3 stars.

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick wrote recently that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is purging pro-Israel staff from the National Security Council (NSC), turning the administration against President Donald Trump’s policies. In a Facebook post, Glick noted that “all of these people” whom McMaster has fired this week — Rich Higgins, Derek Harvey, and Ezra Cohen-Watnick — “are pro-Israel and oppose the Iran nuclear deal, positions that Trump holds.” She noted that the firings were the latest evidence that NSA McMaster is “deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump”. See here.

There is little question that LTG McMaster dutifully and faithfully drank the kool-aid coming up through the ranks, publicly making such bizarre remarks as "the Islamic State is not Islamic". As Raymond Ibrahim warned in March 2017 here on the Middle East Forum, "it seems we are going right back to being "willfully ignorant" of reality." [Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum.] Former NSC officials report here that ‘everything the president wants to do, McMaster opposes.’ Why? Because McMaster remains loyal to the previous President who gave him 3 stars and who clearly shaped his worldview.

A.Z. Mohamed (a Muslim born and raised in the Middle East) wrote an open letter here over at the Gatestone Institute to LTG McMaster warning that the NSA Security Advisor's worldview is not in accord with reality.

In other words, as al-Kalbani has confirmed -- and contrary to what McMaster has been telling his staff and his commander-in-chief, President Trump -- Muslim terrorists are Islamic, and the term "radical Islamic terrorism" is apt, accurate and extremely "helpful."

Having lost his apparent mentor, McMaster is feeling the pressure according to this report, having grown “increasingly volatile” and "frequently blows his top in high-level meetings." Unfortunately, the longer the political and military leadership anchor themselves in a self-concocted fantasy worldview, the more violent, catastrophic and destructive it will be when reality finally - and rudely - intrudes.

Therefore do not be foolish ... (Eph 5:17, ESV)

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Its' deadly fruit is on the horizon


Dion Pierre and Peter Wood articulate here, the disturbing state of affairs that not only permits but encourages racial hatred in contemporary college instiutions. [Peter W. Wood is the president of the National Association of Scholars. Dion J. Pierre is a research associate at the National Association of Scholars.]

Four days after James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on a group of Republican congressmen at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, Trinity Professor Johnny Eric Williams sided with anonymous blogger “Son of Baldwin,” who proposed that black emergency personnel should let wounded white people die rather than lend assistance. Baldwin posted his opinions under the hashtag, #LetThemF******Die.

Professor Williams linked Son of Baldwin’s statement, adopted the hashtag as his own, and posted some additional denunciations of white Americans for “their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system.” Referring to all “self-identified ‘whites,’” he wrote, “The time is now to confront these inhuman assholes and end this now.”

.... Trinity’s dilemma is in large part a matter of a double standard, created to coddle black radicals on campus. The prevailing view among colleges and universities is that robust declarations of racial resentment by African-American professors or students should be considered within the bounds of academic freedom. This allowance is a one-way street. Similarly abusive language from a white or Asian professor would almost certainly be met with severe sanctions.

.... colleges and universities have appointed so many faculty members who present themselves as authentic voices of black rage. It is plainly difficult to call someone to account for doing exactly what he was hired to do. Rage-filled black professors are not going to lose their positions for expressing rage.

..... campus rage has much more to do with late 1960s decisions by colleges such as Bowdoin to structure black experience in college in a way that guaranteed perpetual maladjustment and resentment. Hire professors of resentment studies who favor black segregation, and you will get more resentment and more desire for segregation. Insist that many black students be admitted at a lower standard of performance than other students, and you will get students primed for the resentment narrative. When these students rebel, high on the list of their demands is the appointment of still more professors of resentment studies.  There is now a plain career track for people like Johnny Eric Williams, who specialize in their own rage.

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The rising rage in what are supposed to be higher institutions of learning, is symptomatic of a serious problem. Jesus spoke about the source of violence. One of the most revolutionary and shocking of Jesus’ teachings is that human violence originates in a deeper place. The sin of violence has already begun before blood is spilled or words wound. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.” (Matt. 5.21-22).

The tolerance of appalling statements and refusal of collegiate authorities to discipline such outrageous behavior does not bode well for the culture. Violence and murder originate with anger and rage in the heart. Its' deadly fruit is on the horizon.