Friday, April 24, 2015

Matt 24 watch, 258: Wisconsin's shame -- where politicised judges, prosecutors and out of control police acting in a climate of Agit-Prop hysteria can take laws meant to rein in criminal syndicates . . .

Watch:



Read. (Then, read here for just how bad things can get. [And note here, how ISIS terrorists destroyed the church erected as a memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide, at the 1915 equivalent of Auschwitz, Der Zor. Yes, exactly 100 years ago, the forgotten Genocide. One, of the very first nation to declare itself a Christian people; some 1700 years ago.])

And then ponder what can happen when ruthless, amoral agit-prop radical activism gets out of hand and into the hands of the fundamentally lawless. Including, office-holders. Where, we also have to ask, what bewitched the legislators into passing laws as potentially undermining of basic civil rights as that and led them to apparently leave out adequate safeguards?

Don't say, no it cannot happen. 

It already has. 

Let us take due warning before swallowing demonisation, stereotyping and scapegoating of politically incorrect groups. Such as, these days, Christians who take their faith seriously. END

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Matt 24 watch, 257: US Senator Tom Cotton comments on the Obama Administration Iran Nuke "deal," even as Russia proposes to sell advanced S300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran

This is a case where I find myself (yet again) duty-bound to blow a trumpet of warning and say things which will be very hard to bear, but I must plead with us to listen.

For, we must at all costs not allow ourselves to be caught up in a march of folly.

After fruitlessly beating against contrary winds, Paul's ship ran
to the lee side of Crete, ending at Fair Havens. Rejecting Paul's
advice at ship's counsel, the majority chose to run for Phoenix
if a seemingly favourable wind arose. Only to be caught in a
potentially deadly storm through following appealing but
utterly unwise manipulative advice (HT)

Cf. the longstanding warning on Ac 27 here, to understand my point of view on how democratic polities are too often prone to manipulated marches of folly that expose us needlessly to destructive storms because we want our itching ears tickled by those who tell us what they calculate that we want to hear. 

And, if you have not yet seen this animation of Plato's Parable of the cave, I invite you to watch, pondering how shadow-shows projected on the wall for our benefit can mislead us into an utterly warped view of our world:



Then, please ponder this outline analysis of how to come to a sounder, more balanced basis for our thinking and view of the world:



(I invite a slow, careful reading here on in context to elaborate this. That includes our overall geo-political view and its spiritual dimensions, given the warning in Romans 1.)

Now, let me turn to the matter that stirs me just now.

Iran.

And, geostrategic moves by the US President, Mr Barak Hussein Obama.

Now, over the past week or so, leaders and people of the Caribbean waxed enthusiastic about US President Obama's recent visit to Jamaica, which involved a one day Caricom Summit. However, while it is appropriate for us to recognise the historic significance of the first black president of the USA, we must not allow this to blind us to seriously questionable policy agendas he has pursued across these six years that he has been President.

Yes, seriously questionable.

We need some context, before addressing the main headlined point.

For instance, the pro homosexualism stance his administration has taken the lead on clearly threatens freedom of conscience and targets Christians, not only in the USA but in the wider world. The associated pushing of a counterfeit of marriage -- under false colours of "rights" -- as though it were not associated with inherently disordered and destructive behaviour undermines the very foundation of stable society. Deliberately so. (Cf this recent article, this one also, and the list of articles and links under the porn-perversion agenda in this blog's right hand column for more on this.)

That is not irrelevant, for we can rest assured that such agendas will be written into any aid packages coming from the US Government to our region. For, in its eyes, we are backward homophobes. Indeed, that is a patent part of the backdrop for the UWI move to fire professor Brendan Bain, an AIDS treatment pioneer in our region because he dared speak the truth in an expert testimony given to a court in Belize.

We must keep our eyes open and we must not be naive.

That is the context in which I draw our attention to a recent TV news interview of US Senator Tom Cotton (cf. YouTube here), who earlier served as a US Army officer in Iraq and now serves on the US Senate Intelligence Committee:



In essence, there is no agreement, proper, but it is quite clear that the US under this administration is leading the world in exceedingly dangerous concessions and sanction lifting . . . where sanctions pose the only brakes on the process short of military action (and where strong enough sanctions just might bring down the Mullahs). Within months on this track, Iran could openly have not only nuke weapons but the means to make more and more of them as it sees fit. Where, Iran remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world, openly calls for the destruction of Israel and has built up its cats paws in Lebanon and Gaza for that purpose, and is engaging in extremely destabilising behaviour across the Middle East.

At the same time -- and not coincidentally, Russia has announced intent to go ahead with a long stalled deal to sell S300 sophisticated anti aircraft missiles to Iran. 

Such would effectively take an Israeli air attack off the table, and would make a US Attack on nuke sites in Iran far more difficult and costly. (This effectively would force Israel to use cruise missiles and/or rely on ability to knock out the air defense network; which points to backing them into the corner of having to seriously consider going nuclear with Iran. We can rest assured that Israel will not sit idly by while Iran goes to open nuke power status and starts to exert blackmail and nuke backed terrorism.)

Arab regimes across the Persian Gulf and in the wider Middle East (traditional enemies of the Persians), predictably, will feel strong pressure to go nuclear themselves; probably in partnership with Pakistan. Especially Saudi Arabia and Egypt; neither of which is particularly stable in the long term.

All of this deeply compounds Israel's challenges, and points to a dangerous global escalation, a C21 nuke arms race associated with the predictable rise of nukes backed terrorism.

The likely outcomes at this stage are all bad, ranging from merely horrific to unimaginably awful and bloody beyond belief.

I know, I know, this sounds strange to our ears and cuts across our knee-jerk tendency to support The First Black President of the USA.

We need to look beyond the handsome face and the historic achievement that marks the death of American Racism as a potent force, and realise that Mr Obama has put his face up as a front for a very radical agenda. An agenda, regarding which, we need to fearlessly ask and seek answers to some pointed questions.

For instance: why would the Obama Administration act in so patently foolish a geostrategic fashion?

Because of its deep rooted Alinsky-ite, neo-Marxian ideology.

Prof Obama at the Chalk-board, teaching from Alinsky's
Rules for Radicals framework for Community
Organizers (~ activists trained to harness grievances to
advance a radical, revolutionary solution based on
subverting and discrediting existing centres of influence
and power in the community, then becoming the new ones).
The focus here is corporations, banks, utilities and money.
An ideology that in effect assumes, implies and sometimes openly asserts, that the core thing wrong with the world is Eurocentric, White male dominated Western Civilisation -- so especially the USA -- and things associated with that. Including, the historic Christian Faith, deemed to be the root of evils inflicted on the world. After all, in earlier generations, Western Civilisation was called Christian Civilisation or Christendom.

Leading Scholar Bernard Lewis, in his epochal 1990 essay, The Roots of Muslim Rage, summed up the issue and its underlying post hoc fallacies of improper causal focus:
. . . The accusations are familiar. We of the West are accused of sexism, racism, and imperialism, institutionalized in patriarchy and slavery, tyranny and exploitation. To these charges, and to others as heinous, we have no option but to plead guilty -- not as Americans, nor yet as Westerners, but simply as human beings, as members of the human race. In none of these sins are we the only sinners, and in some of them we are very far from being the worst. The treatment of women in the Western world, and more generally in Christendom, has always been unequal and often oppressive, but even at its worst it was rather better than the rule of polygamy and concubinage that has otherwise been the almost universal lot of womankind on this planet . . . . 

In having practiced sexism, racism, and imperialism, the West was merely following the common practice of mankind through the millennia of recorded history. Where it is distinct from all other civilizations is in having recognized, named, and tried, not entirely without success, to remedy these historic diseases. And that is surely a matter for congratulation, not condemnation. We do not hold Western medical science in general, or Dr. Parkinson and Dr. Alzheimer in particular, responsible for the diseases they diagnosed and to which they gave their names.
A more balanced reading of global history would tell us that several age-long abuses trace to our common moral struggle and hardness of heart [--> which, has often been softened through the influence of the gospel; leading to reformation], multiplied by the corrupting influences of unaccountable power. Duly, multiplied by plain old fashioned folly. For reasons tracing to our being finite, fallible, morally fallen and too often ill willed, we are ever so prone to marches of folly. 

Often, such lemming-like marches over the cliff of disaster are driven by the attitude long since exposed by the prophet Isaiah 2,700 years ago when it cropped up in ancient Israel:
Isa 5:18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19 who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
20 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!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
    and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
    and deprive the innocent of his right!
24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,
    and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,
so their root will be as rottenness,
    and their blossom go up like dust;
for they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts,
    and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
    and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,
    and the mountains quaked;
and their corpses were as refuse
    in the midst of the streets.
For all this his anger has not turned away,
    and his hand is stretched out still.
26 He will raise a signal for nations far away,
    and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;
and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
27 None is weary, none stumbles,
    none slumbers or sleeps,
not a waistband is loose,
    not a sandal strap broken;
28 their arrows are sharp,
    all their bows bent,
their horses' hoofs seem like flint,
    and their wheels like the whirlwind.
29 Their roaring is like a lion,
    like young lions they roar;
they growl and seize their prey;
    they carry it off, and none can rescue.

30 They will growl over it on that day,
    like the growling of the sea.
And if one looks to the land,
    behold, darkness and distress;
and the light is darkened by its clouds. [ESV]
Yes, military folly and defeat are part of the judgement of destructive consequences against nations that stubbornly insist on turning their backs on God and his counsel in Scripture or by his spokesmen; twisting wrong and deeming it right and right wrong.

And that is exactly what we face today.

There may be little that we can do in the face of a gathering global storm of unprecedented dimensions. But, we can prepare to take refuge, we can decline to join marches of folly, we can watch and pray. We can get busy about preparing ourselves for hard times and for our part in the enduring mission of the church in and from our region. 

And we can stop being naive in the face of manipulators and their clever shadow shows intended to invert our thinking so we imagine good is bad and bad good, wisdom is foolish and folly wise, God is evil and the devillish and demonised good, and more.

It is time for us to stand even as spiritual and linked geostrategic tidal waves bear down on us:




It is time -- actually, we are very late as usual -- to prepare ourselves to be a global spiritual force to be reckoned with . . . especially across the 10/40 window from which so many of our ancestors came:




So, yet again in a Mordecai moment: why not now, why not here, why not us? END

PS: Discover the Networks has a summary of the Alinsky method that is well worth pondering:
In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution” -- a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted -- a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse -- to be followed by the erection of an entirely new system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “changes” are needed.

As Alinsky put it: “A reformation means that the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless. They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.”[1] 
. . . . Alinsky’s revolution promised that by changing the structure of society’s institutions, it would rid the world of such vices as socio-pathology and criminality. Arguing that these vices were caused not by personal character flaws but rather by external societal influences, Alinsky's worldview was thoroughly steeped in the socialist left’s collectivist, class-based doctrine of economic determinism. “The radical’s affection for people is not lessened,” said Alinsky, “… when masses of them demonstrate a capacity for brutality, selfishness, hate, greed, avarice, and disloyalty. It is not the people who must be judged but the circumstances that made them that way.”[5] Chief among these circumstances, he said, were “the larcenous pressures of a materialistic society.”[6] . . . . Alinsky maintained that radicals, finding themselves “adrift in the stormy sea of capitalism,”[8] sought “to advance from the jungle of laissez-faire capitalism to a world worthy of the name of human civilization.”[9]  “They hope for a future,” he said, “where the means of production will be owned by all of the people instead of just a comparative handful.”[10] In short, they wanted socialism.
That is what we are dealing with, and we need to ponder how those who lead factions steeped in subversion, manipulation, radicalisation and ruthless discrediting of the other will rule once they attain power. The answer is, of course, with the same cynically manipulative and destructive ruthlessness.

As Rules for Radicals advocates:

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." p.10. [And let us note, Marxism has always been quite varied in form, so, the sort of cultural/institutional subversion strategy advocated by Alinsky is not sufficient to remove him from the general frame of thought, whatever differences he may have had with say the Moscow orthodoxy. If you think Alinsky is not neo-marxian (which should be instantly recognisable from his vocabulary, controlling ideas and arguments), kindly cf. my response here.] . . . . 
"The first step in community organization is community disorganization. The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization. Present arrangements must be disorganized if they are to be displaced by new patterns.... All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new." p.116
[Key Rules:] 

 5. "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage." . . . . 
 

13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.  [NB: Notice the evil counsel to find a way to attack the man, not the issue. The easiest way to do that, is to use the trifecta stratagem: distract, distort, demonise.] In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...  
 

     "...any target can always say, 'Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?' When your 'freeze the target,' you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments.... Then, as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the 'others' come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target...'

 "One acts decisively only in the conviction that all the angels are on one side and all the devils on the other."
  
A warning.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Matt 24 watch, 256: Dr Alveda C King (of that family) on the need for religious freedom and mutual respect

Dr Alveda C King, a niece of the late Dr Martin Luther King,
Dr Alveda C King, pro-life advocate &
niece of Dr Martin Luther King
has a NewsMax column, and has commented on the recent Indiana case of media entrapment of the daughter of the owner of a Pizzeria used to feed a mob-rule media lynching frenzy and driving intimidation of the state legislature.


First she sets key context:
God said: "Be fruitful and procreate." From a biblical perspective, both abortion and homosexual sexual unions are deterrents to God's mandate on the sustainability of the human family. So the battle over who is right and who is wrong rages . . . .
Everybody, unconditionally, needs love. Many people desire, not necessarily need, sex. The sexual drive is a primal instinct. There is a difference between need and want. 
In this super hyper-sexual environment we live in, much of it artificially manufactured, people are crossing all types of lines, barriers and boundaries, sometimes without knowing or understanding what is happening. Breaking natural rules not considering consequences.
In other words, people are dying for lack of knowledge. Not knowing or agreeing with the purpose of things like marriage and sex. So in the name of lust, divorce, adultery, abortion, clandestine sexual encounters, gender confusion, and human abuse abound. 
Human beings, in general, have a hard time seeing beyond our own desires. Yes, that’s a very selfish yet human attitude. What's the solution?
She then focusses:
. . . hatred is not the reason Christians turn down offers of money to participate in gay weddings — love is. Christ gives his children two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Repeatedly, the Bible instructs us to share our love for God by obeying Christ's teachings. 
So how does our love for God conflict with gay marriage? 
God's word is clear. God ordained marriage between one man and one woman. For a Christian to contradict this teaching by participating in a ceremony that goes against God’s word would not only be disobedient, it would be to mock God. 
When Christian are asked to share our God-given talents to create a cake or floral arrangement or photograph for a gay wedding, it’s important to realize what is being demanded. Because no matter how much a merchant loves his or her customers, he cannot be expected to choose them over the Lord of his life . . . .
If we are asked to deny Jesus for a sale or even for the threat of financial and professional ruin, we know what — and who — is more important. God.
She asks for a reasonable position:
So, if someone is disappointed that a business owner will not serve a wedding because of religious beliefs, let's hope that more tolerance, common courtesy, and respect for that businessperson’s love for God would win the day. Instead of running to the courthouse to file a lawsuit to destroy someone’s business, maybe just walking across the street to another merchant would show grace and tolerance. It's a two-way street.
I would add, that we need to ponder:
He who would rob me of means to bread,
would rob me of my life;
He who would rob me of my children,
would rob me of my posterity;
He who would rob me of my conscience,
would rob me of my soul.

Is the sort of good-neighbourly consideration Dr Alveda C King calls for, likely to be the case? (Remember, we are talking of cake bake shops, photographers, videographers, pizzerias and guest houses here.)

Not, when there is a rage-driven polarisation and deep-rooted contempt leading to unwillingness to respect the Christian and historic view on marriage and family, backed up by a demand to affirm one's twisted (and demonstrably, patently unhealthy and even insanitary) behaviour in the teeth of thousands upon thousands of years of civilised consensus across the whole world on a matter pivotal to social stability, human thriving and the future of the race: marriage and stable family. An historic view, that, by the way is also naturally pretty obvious . . . and arguably, perhaps even a self-evident moral truth (i/l/o patent consequences and the undeniable XY-XX chromosome driven facts of our human, sexual nature) . . .  through the biological complementarity of maleness and femaleness as well as the need for sustained child nurture.

Things are so bad that it is worth excerpting a book-length summary of relevant evidence by Neil and Briar Whitehead that deserves to be far better known than it is. Clipping the introduction and summary:
The West has been subject to such a campaign of misinformation and disinformation in the last 20-30 years that its public institutions, from legislatures and judiciaries to the church and mental health professions widely believe that the homosexual orientation is innate—in the sense of biologically imprinted—and therefore unchangeable. 
The implications of this are that anyone who makes the scientifically true statements below is considered the one who is misinformed.

• sexual orientation is not inborn but develops over some years in response to an individual’s response to life events— as many human predicaments do
• homosexual orientation can change, i.e half the homosexual population naturally moves towards heterosexuality over time (without any therapeutic interventions), and further and faster with counselling and support
• The same-sex attracted are not 10% of the population but (including bisexuals) much closer to 2.5%
The West has lost its way on this issue, and today we are seeing the outcome . . . 

Those are quite strong words, but they are backed up by facts; facts, that are too often suppressed. Clipping the summary from Ch 1 in the 2010 online downloadable version (and of course, there is much more, with a lot of details; especially note the rebuttals to common myths):

No mainstream geneticist is happy with the idea that genes dictate behaviour, particularly homosexual behaviour.
• Genetically dictated behaviour is something that has so far been discovered only in very simple organisms.
• From an understanding of gene structure and function there are no plausible means by which genes could inescapably force SSA or other behaviours on a person. Genes create proteins not preferences.
• No genetically determined human behaviour has yet been found. The most closely genetically-related behaviour yet discovered (aggression in Dutch males) has shown itself remarkably responsive to counselling.
• If SSA were genetically dictated, it would have bred itself out of the population in only several generations, and wouldn’t be around today.
• Generally, geneticists settle for some genetic influence of rather undefined degree, most agreeing that many genes (from at least five or six to many hundreds) contribute to any particular human behaviour.
• A genetically dominated SSA caused by such a cluster of genes could not suddenly appear and disappear in families the way it does. It would stay around for many generations. So SSA is not produced by many genes.
• The occurrence of SSA in the population is too frequent to be caused by a chance mutation in a single gene. So a single gene is not responsible for SSA. Nor would many genes all mutate at once.
• SSA occurs too frequently to be caused by a faulty pre-natal developmental process, so it is not innate in that sense either.
• The widespread age-range of first homosexual attraction is very unlike the narrow time-spread of genetically driven phases of human life, e.g gestation time, puberty, menopause, making homosexuality very unlikely to be genetically driven.
 
The histone system which controls genetic expression is strongly affected by the environment, e.g nurturing, making searches for individual genes responsible for certain behaviours, mostly pointless.
• Same-sex attraction could be about 10% genetically influenced and opposite sex attraction about 15%. But this is weak and indirect, e.g genes making a man tall don’t also produce basketball players.
• SSA falls more naturally into the category of a psychological trait
A is A. 

Yes, A is A.

Even, when every rooftop is trumpeting the opposite and raging mobs roam the street demanding that we affirm the opposite.

A is still A.

Period.

Now, too, as I pointed out in my last post on this subject:
Sometimes, when truth is obscured and driven out, one of the most powerful things is to state the truth: A is A -- yes, A. 
The obvious thing,  is A is A
Namely, that Christians in our civilisation today, are being targetted because of our Bible-anchored belief that homosexual behaviour is inherently sinful, and onwards, that we do not get to define or redefine marriage, it is part of the God-given and naturally evident creation order for humanity. 
In Jesus' words -- in the face of a very similar situation of being challenged with loaded questions publicly posed by opponents:
Matt. 19:1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 
He answered, 
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. 
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?”  
He said to them, 
“Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” [ESV]
Whose report will we believe?
But in the end, it is going to take some courage and sacrifice to stand up to intimidation and bullying, to make it clear that there is such a thing as an uncrossable line of conscience under God.

That is why I went on to say:
We can hardly plead that we were not warned about the consequences of clutching an asp of sinful perversity to our bosoms. 
Now, there patently is no credible threat to the core human rights of homosexuals to life, liberty, proper fulfillment of oneself -- and no, the so called "my genes made me do it" concept has long since collapsed -- or property, etc.  
No, this is a brazen latterday witch-hunt that targets the indisputable fundamental rights of Christians to freedom of conscience, association and expression;  with an activist in false clothes of a reporter of news pushing for targets for a media lynching . . .
I am confident (I lived to see the collapse of Marxism!) that, at some point, as the ugliness that is going on becomes more evident, people are going to wake up from the homosexualist agenda spell and realise that there is no real sound basis for the persecution -- and blame- the- victim- by- smearing- him- or- her- as- a- bigot does not change that reality.

That is going to take time and courage and sacrifice on our part. And so, it is time to stand unflinchingly in the face of intimidation and threat, out of simple respect for our Lord and concern to avert a catastrophe triggered by the irreparable harm done to the foundations of stable society, marriage and family across our civilisation.

It is time to stand.  END

PS: As there is a stronghold of rhetoric trumpeted far and wide to promote a nexus of linked agendas, let me again list this blog's response:

Monday, April 06, 2015

VIDEO: A round-table declaration of a robust Christian answer to the increasing chaos and confusion of our civilisation

Paul Ankerberg hosts a roundtable discussion that we need to hear again and heed:


I hear a strong echo of themes sounded by the late Francis Schaeffer; in Robert Morey's opening salvo. 

Let us again put up two info-graphics, on Schaeffer's line of despair analysis . . . 




. . . and, the challenge of prophetic intellectual and cultural leadership in our day.




Food for thought, again.  END

Sunday, April 05, 2015

On Easter Sunday, a vid on Is this Jesus' face? (plus, the Case for Christ and the Jesus Film)

I have long found Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ a must-see vid, especially at Easter:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.

Today, just for a refresher, let us watch History Channel on the Shroud of Turin and "The real face of Jesus?" . . . never mind a few oddities such as references to Gnosticism:

History Channel - The Real Face of Jesus from the Turin Shroud from * on Vimeo.


(NB: I actually am pretty neutral on this relic, but with the linked cloth from Spain, the Sudarium of Oviedo, cf. here also, there is a reasonable chance this may be authentic.)

And of course, the Jesus Film is always worth a watch:

 


(For a change, you may want to look at the Gospel of John video, here.)

Food for thought. END

Friday, April 03, 2015

Matt 24 watch, 255: homosexualist agendas and bully-boy intimidation in Indiana . . . the canaries in the mines are choking

For quite some time, I have been content to let my longstanding remarks on the dangerous trends involved in homosexualist agendas stand.

However, the recent headlining of the intimidation of a Pizzeria in Indiana is simply atrocious. You may not be interested in radical agendas and the civilisational culture war they are pushing, but sometimes, such a kulturkampf is interested in targetting you.

Powerline:
Memories Pizza isn’t shut down now because of anything it did. It’s shut down because of what a daughter of the owner said. Crystal O’Connor was minding the restaurant’s business when a reporter asked her whether the business would serve pizza at a gay wedding, a ridiculous hypothetical. Memories Pizza has been punished for her answer.

The upshot is that any business owner in America (or his or her offspring) can be asked hypothetical questions about gay rights agenda items and, if they give the “wrong” answer, will be abused and perhaps run out of business. Even worse, we may not be far from a state of affairs when any employee in America can be grilled about gay rights. Give a wrong answer, and your employer can come under pressure. 

Who will stand up to the increasingly totalitarian tactics of the gay rights movement and its leftist supporters? Religious Christians will, but doing so tends to result in being fined and/or forced out of business . . . [U/D: Cf opinion piece here.]
Let us put this in context, first it is not even a reasonable notion that Pizza would be served at a wedding. Nor is a Pizza parlour sitting on the only supply of food or drink for miles around in a famine; life and health are not at stake here. 

Save, that:
He who would rob me of means to bread,
would rob me of my life;
He who would rob me of my children,
would rob me of my posterity;
He who would rob me of my conscience,
would rob me of my soul.
For shame!

(But, we deal with the shameless . . . )

Sometimes, when truth is obscured and driven out, one of the most powerful things is to state the truth: A is A -- yes, A.

The obvious thing,  is A is A.

Namely, that Christians in our civilisation today, are being targetted because of our Bible-anchored belief that homosexual behaviour is inherently sinful, and onwards, that we do not get to define or redefine marriage, it is part of the God-given and naturally evident creation order for humanity.

In Jesus' words -- in the face of a very similar situation of being challenged with loaded questions publicly posed by opponents:
Matt. 19:1 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 

He answered, 
“Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate. 
They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” 

He said to them, 
“Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” [ESV]

Whose report will we believe?

We will believe the report of the crucified, buried, Risen Lord:

The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel from Slaves4Christ on Vimeo.

 Period.

Likewise, we will believe the report of his Apostle:
Eph 4:17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 

18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 

20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[f] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

And again (is this not, manifestly, what is happening in our day . . . ):

 Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 

20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 

 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

[--> in the old days, in Pagan temples:



. . . latterly, too often in science textbooks, media presentations and museums:]




24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 

32 Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
 We can hardly plead that we were not warned about the consequences of clutching an asp of sinful perversity to our bosoms.

Now, there patently is no credible threat to the core human rights of homosexuals to life, liberty, proper fulfillment of oneself -- and no, the so called "my genes made me do it" concept has long since collapsed -- or property, etc. 

No, this is a brazen latterday witch-hunt that targets the indisputable fundamental rights of Christians to freedom of conscience, association and expression;  with an activist in false clothes of a reporter of news pushing for targets for a media lynching, complete with a howling, death-threat spewing media lynch mob.

This is an outrage, and one that stems from a problem long since highlighted by the prophet Isaiah:
Isa 5:Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,
    who draw sin as with cart ropes,
19 who say: “Let him be quick,
    let him speed his work
    that we may see it;
let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,
    and let it come, that we may know it!”
20 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!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    and shrewd in their own sight!
Is there a way forward? (Apart from, this looks more and more like a Mt 24 hard time? [Prophesies often lay out dynamics, patterns that can play out to one extent or another again and again; sometimes, termed "partial fufillments."])

A pastor, the Rev. C.J. Conner, has posed a suggestion for the immediate problem:
“We can’t trust our government anymore to uphold the Constitution,” he said. “We can’t trust our government to protect the rights of Christians, or just the right of any individual not to be forced to violate their deeply held convictions, and so we have to be a little bit smarter.”

The pastor, who said that he has been helping churches navigate these issues for decades, recommended that Christians and houses of worship alike take ownership and get back to the “basic Christian understanding of marriage.”

In doing so, he suggested that bakers, photographers and others who provide wedding-related services should engage in exclusive and direct contracts with Bible-believing churches.
While these business owners could still serve the general public — gays and lesbians included — for other occasions related to their services, weddings would only be afforded to contracted houses of worship and their affiliated church members.

“To have them engage in contractual obligations within their faith communities and not offer those services to the general public,” Conner said. “To kind of reclaim the sanctity of marriage, which the church has lost. We’ve done some things to lose some ground on some of these issues by not holding marriage in high enough value.”
 That sort of legal move might work for a time, but at a price; and only until the agenda activists figure out a new line of attack, and another, and another. They are energised by implacable hostility and will only pull back when their power is broken and their ideological scheme lies on the ground in the public square; in shattered pieces of exposed fallacies, myths and policy failure that is so bad it cannot be spun by agitprop experts any more.

That's what it took to break the agenda of the Marxists.

So, we have to wake up to a whole dimension of what a favourite "spiritual warfare" passage actually means:
2 Cor 10:For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . .
What are the spiritual strongholds to be destroyed?

Deceitful arguments, schemes of opinion and linked agendas that are intended to block people from the knowledge of God. Worldview conflict breaking the power of en-darkenment and resulting "chains of mental slavery." Leading, to resenting, resisting and turning from God, substituting myths and false symbols that represent such, that then cause us to spin out of orbit around the truth and right; falling into a tailspin of folly pretending to be wisdom, lies to be truth, wrong to be right, and more. Ending in debasing of mind, heart and life, all pretending to be the truth and the right.

So, we have a challenge to stand in our day, stand for authentic truth and right in a time where it is obvious that such will be increasingly not only rejected or misunderstood but willfully mischaracterised as evil, scapegoated, targetted and outright persecuted in a wave of jack-booted bully-boy intimidation and outright persecution.

So, I call attention to an extension of Francis Schaeffer's line of despair analysis:



. . . and to his call to prophetic, intellectual and cultural leadership:


At the first, this will be hard, and we may well pay a price of not only suffering persecution, but given the implacable hostility, there may be bloody persecution. Even, as there was under Nero in Paul's day.

But at length, the truth and the right will prevail. 

The time has come to stand and fight. END

PS: Previous posts and links on the porn-perversion . . . can you imagine, pornography is now regarded as an "industry" . . .  agenda: