Friday, January 30, 2009

Stoplights Don't Care If Your Heart Is Breaking

Relax, citizens-my heart isn't broken; the title has more to do with automated systems which we depend on which are soulless, lacking emotion.
Which brings us to why David Letterman isn't funny.
Bob and Ray were funny. Groucho Marx was funny. Jack Benny could evoke laughter with a raised eyebrow, even into his latter 39 years-what happened to Letterman?
He is stuck, like a soulless traffic light, doing his automated bits of comedy-top tens, head tilt with grimace, joshing with the band, insulting celebrities. He could do his monologue in his sleep, and possibly he does. But why isn't he funny anymore?
He's rich, so their is no hunger to succeed, to climb higher, to try harder. He gets paid the same no matter what numbers his show brings the network.
If he were asked to retire, I think he would jump at the chance to be free. He doesn't care whether audiences like him, or think he is funny.
It was a strong, emotional goodbye when Carson left his show. I don't think anyone will shed a tear for Letterman. It's hard to empathize with a sullen millionaire.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Un-Saving Faith

"1He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. 2They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3He said* to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” 4And He said* to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said* to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him." Mark 3:1-6

If you have just glanced through the passage above, please read it again, look closely at what was happening.
Through past events, they-the Pharisees- knew that Jesus was able to heal. They were watching to see if He would do such work on the Sabbath, showing Him to be, in their eyes, a lawbreaker.
Jesus did not break any of the Sabbath laws; in healing the man's hand He was obeying the greater law, and showing Himself to be Lord of the Sabbath.
"5After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said* to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored."
Jesus is not often known to be angry, but here it is recorded that He was angry, grieved at the hardness of their hearts.
Oh, they believed. They had faith that He could heal. They knew that such power came only from God. But that faith wouldn't save them.
They had God right in front of them, showing them evidence that was irrefutable. Because they could not refute what He did, or answer what He asked, they remained silent.
Does Jesus have cause to be grieved at the hardness of your heart?

Monday, January 26, 2009

This One Might Be Trouble

We have an opportunity unique to our lifetimes, and action taken now by President Obama and the Dem majority Congress could pave the way to a better future for...the Church. What?
I have been working over this thought for awhile now, and, although it seems counter-intuitive, I think that the best thing which could happen for Christianity would be to do away with all tax free options for religious organizations, from churches to Churches to Evangelistic coalitions to the Billy Graham Crusade.
Revoke the tax free status from every media ministry: radio, TV and internet.
Every Christian college, from Bob Jones to Dallas Theo, every charity hospital maintained by a religious organization should pay taxes on their properties AND their profits.
Every Catholic Cathedral, every Lutheran college, every Baptist seminary.
To be fair, all non-Christian religious organizations should be in the same tax-paying boat.
Does this sound crazy? Read on.
If a church or ministry is only viable due to its tax free status...then it is a bad church or ministry.
Let's start on the local. If my church were to lose its tax free status, would it dissolve? Would it be destroyed? No-mine is a solid church, and I don't believe that we would lose a single member over the loss of tax tree status. It would hurt, of course. But we would survive.
Many ministries are becoming 'property-rich' when their treasure is supposed to be being laid up in Heaven.
Solution? Lose the properties. Lose whatever the world profits you with, captures/charms you with, sidelines you with. A building or a college can't "own you" if you don't own the building.
Another point for losing the tax free status is: all of the false "Christian" scammers and rip off artists who preach Prosperity would have to go out and earn an honest living. Or starve.
Think of the loss of tax free status as being the instrument by which the Church can be scourged, separated from the unrighteousness being perpetrated in the name of Christ which actually defames and denigrates that Name.
The Church began in persecution, has thrived throughout the centuries due to the Holy Spirit working in the lives of believers. I don't believe that the Church would be damaged at all by this loss of tax status. It is the loophole through which many bulls of Bashan have stampeded.
Like cockroaches, the cheating and lying false 'Christian' scammers would survive, pushing 'vitamins or other miracle cures' just as they always do. But they wouldn't be doing those things in the name of Christ.
They wouldn't be affiliated with any Christian ministry. The cost would be too high.
I believe that President Obama would be interested in this proposal-the taxes collected from the Catholic Church alone could go a long ways towards financing his larger Government initiative. And it would make him even a bigger hero for those on the Left. That's called a win-win.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

God's Gonna Get'cha For That

Relax, pagans. You aren't the target; I am.
There's been some talk about the hypocrisy of Pastor Rick Warren invocating at the Obama shindig. If he's such a good Christian (so goes the talk), then what is he doing up there, consorting with the pro Abortion President?
Warren was also knocked for seeming to approve of the other invocator, some Bishop of Barton Welles or somewhere who seems to be kinda militantly homosexual.
Just kidding, kids. From the silly talks department of the Huffington Post:
"New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, a vocal gay rights leader, will open President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration with a prayer on Sunday's kick-off event at the Lincoln Memorial."
This Robinson was the one offering prayer to the 'God of our many understandings'. I think he was also wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey, but ...
the title of this post is, of course, one of the best known of the George Jones and Tammy Wynette songs, talking about Christians who are oh! so pious on Sunday after raising hell Saturday night, or being tee-totalers in public and drunks in private. There's also a line in there about 'dating' outside of marriage, so you could say that ol' George and Tammy (We're not the jet set, we're the Jones and Wynette set) were really giving Christians a hard time.
I approve.
Rick Warren will be judged by God for his actions, just as I will be for mine.
Every Christian makes mistakes, fails, screws up, etc. We aren't perfect. I think that Warren, in retrospect, will look back on this event with regret. He's a good man who may have allowed the spotlight to charm him.
By the way, I've never read his famous book-my life has never lacked purpose; I don't need to read any book but the Bible to find out what my purpose is.
The most famous passage from Micah says it all:
"8 The LORD has told you, human, what is good;
he has told you what he wants from you:
to do what is right to other people,
love being kind to others,
and live humbly, obeying your God." Micah 6:8

Friday, January 23, 2009

She's No Lady

Last night I was reading
"A Woman Rides The Beast" which is subtitled:
"The Roman Catholic Church and the Last Days"
written with enthusiasm by Dave Hunt.
The title refers to chapter 17 of the book of Revelations:
"3And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was clothed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a gold cup full of abominations and of the unclean things of her immorality, 5and on her forehead a name was written, a mystery, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.” Revelation 17:3-5
Yeahmaybe. I mention this book only because Hunt makes a good point-do you remember the passages describing Jesus being tempted by the devil?
" 8Again, the devil took* Him to a very high mountain and showed* Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10Then Jesus said* to him, “Go, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11Then the devil left* Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him." Matthew 4:8-11
When 'The' Antichrist appears, Satan will make him that same offer: the entire world can be his, if he will worship Satan. Jesus said no, the Antichrist will say yes.
Truth telling time. I wrote a story a few years ago, (which will never see the light of a computer monitor), in which a prospective Presidential candidate has an interview with the devil. The devil decides who gets to be President, and every American President throughout history has endured that same terrible interview, saying yes to the devil.
But there's always a price, and lets just leave it at that.
What are your aspirations? What is success for you? What defines being a winner?
When I was just a new baby Christian, I felt that I was swimming against the tide of the entire world. It was going one way, and I was now going in the opposite direction. And it was hard. I failed and felt like I was being swept back, carried away.
But now I am grounded, mature; my success is being at Peace with God, even if it puts me at odds with the entire world. I am a winner simply because God loves me, and has made me a winner.
‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’ Amen.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

That's going To Leave A Mark

Only a few short hours left before the End Of Days-just kidding-before the inauguration of the last President of the United States. joke!
I have a feeling that Obama gained quite a few votes merely on the assumption that his winning would drive us Conservatives into kaleidoscope conniptions. That the idea of him as CiC would drain our brain pans, make us cry, run off to Canada, or possibly dance awkwardly.
Sorry, happy campers and camp followers. Maybe next time, if there are any more nexts. joke duex!
Mankind (unkind) has trusted in many icons and saviors through the centuries. All the former saviors who were supposed to lead us into a bright future (which would turned out to be blind fools lost in the dark.
I am holding-my-breath-fascinated, waiting to see what Obama does to this world. I see some possible great things on the horizon, and I'm not being sarcastic in this part:

I think that the world is going to continue to get darker and more dangerous as the Obama admin belly flops on its face in full disgrace. The worse he makes things, the harder life becomes...and the more people may realize that there is no hope without God.
Every failed 'secular' empire throughout history has dehumanized man, outlawed God...and persecuted Believers. The result? More Believers. More Christians. Revival. Coming soon, God willing, to your hometown.
Is that where Obama may lead us? We shall see. Sooner than quicker. Keep oil in your lamp.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On An Unsanitary Dromedary In A Heap Of Self Delusion

One of the reasons I mistrust some elements of what is referred to as "Pentecostalism" is that hearts and emotions are engaged, with 'the experience' given more credence than it deserves. I'm writing this as one who was in Pentecostal churches for years, and found 'the experience' lacking Biblical foundation.
I would not waste much breath, however, attempting to dissuade a Pentecostal from the elements they have put their faith in. You can't argue against an emotion, though you can lose friends in the attempt.
But this post isn't about Pentecostalism, it's about unreasoning fools who are led by their emotions into self delusion, cutting off their heads to spite their feet. I have no friends to lose here.
If you click on the post title, you will click through to the Zombietime page where Zombie highlights the latest anti-Israel protest in California. Zombie is a photojournalist well positioned to keep an eye on the nutcases, as he/she lives in the San Francisco area. Zombie maintains gender anonymity so as to keep off the moonbat radar as much as possible.
Zombie, in the post, makes note that the gay activists boosting Hamas over Israel are in effect siding with their enemy against their friend. Being gay in Palestine under Hamas rule is a death sentence. Being gay in Israel is unremarkable.
Also of note: the anti-Israeli agitators in California are exercising their Freedom of Speech, calling for the destruction of one of the few democracies in the Middle East , Israel. But if they were 'Palestinian citizens' in Gaza agitating against Hamas...they would probably be killed. Those living in Gaza have only the right to remain silent, as blood is shed in their name.
Violent anti-war protesters? Peace warriors? Calling for peace while siding with the warmakers against the innocent? Fools, stupid fools, led by their sinful hearts to do evil in the name of good.
For those of you who have given up on deciphering the titles of my posts, to 'carry water' for someone is to act as their proxy; the anti-Israeli protesters in California are 'carrying the water' of Hamas, Hezbollah and ultimately Iran, the entity using Hamas and Hezbollah as proxies to attack Israel.
A dromedary is a camel, which can carry quite a bit of water. And there's a creek nearby somewhere.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Pray For Israel

I went out on the 'net looking for the biggest Israeli flag I could find, to put up here on this post. Pixel-wise it isn't too large, but the reality on the ground is pretty big.
May God Bless Israel as they are working to secure their borders, stop the war being waged against their innocent citizens, and simply exist.
Even if all of the world tells you that Israel is wrong...the world is wrong. The world is crazymad against Israel, without cause or reason. Go ahead-try to justify the attacks on Israel to me-you will flounder and eventually give up, as there is no justification. Don't buy into the hatred against Israel. If you take the side of savages, you become one.
God is watching. God will defend Israel, His special possession. You do not want to be on the wrong side of this conflict. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the city of the King of Peace.
Do you want to see an end to the bloodshed? Don't look for the Untied Nation to lift a finger, except to point an accusing one at Israel. Petition God, ask Him to do what Man cannot: bring Peace and end war.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Not Really A Book Review

Well. I've just finished reading a book which has made an impression on me, though possibly not the one intended by the author. This isn't really a book review, but more of a commentary on where I am as a Christian in 2009. Stand by for heavy rolls (Which was the alarm given aboard ship when we were about to hit rough water).
The book is "23 Minutes In Hell" by Bill Wiese, which details Wiese's visit to Hell which he alleges happened November 23, 1998.
I believe that Wiese is a sincere Christian. I believe that God does indeed continue to work miraculously in the world, in the lives of His children.
But hold on.
I am naturally suspicious of supernatural happenings, ESPECIALLY amongst Christians. Why?
It's my nature. And my training, so to speak. Here it is:
Christians are human; although we all have God's Holy Spirit indwelling us, we still are human, making mistakes, fouling up our lives, splitting amongst theological beliefs to the point where many disown our brethren because they 'believe differently'.
God's Spirit is unchanging-the difference lies in our humanity. I suggest that we are all basically ignorant-the level of our wisdom rises the more time we spend with God, studying His Word. But on this side of the veil, in this lifetime...we are ignorant.
Being ignorant, some of us are fooled-that's a terrible word to use for my bros and sis in Christ, but there it is: some are fooled.
We have an adversary who does all he can to destroy the Church, and he does so often by leading the foolish Christians away from solid Biblical precepts.
If we kept "Standing On The Promises" (I love that song) we would not fall for satan's swindles.
Back to Wiese's book.
According to Wiese, he was put in Hell for approximately 23 minutes until Jesus rescued him.
"Jesus reached down and touched my shoulder. My strength instantly returned, and I rose to my feet. My next thought was, Why did you send me to this awful place?
Before I could ask the question, He answered.
"Because many people do not believe that hell truly exists," He told me. "Even some of My own people do not believe that hell is real."
This does not compute. This exchange raised the red flag, so to speak, one of many in the book.
Was Christ suggesting that His Holy Spirit was incapable of getting Christians to recognize that hell is real?
That the Church, the body of Christ, is remiss in not preaching hell fire and brimstone sermons anymore?
Christ is saying that? According to Wiese, yes. According to me, no.
I believe that good scholarly pastors/teachers preach as God would have them preach. There are many bad unscholarly pastors/teachers who preach nonsense and blasphemy from the pulpit, and among that group you will find those who would accept Wiese's extrabiblical pronouncements without a quibble of unease.
Besides Wiese’s conversation with Jesus, I find the same old error being propounded more than once, that demons, fallen angels had sexual relations with women which resulted in there being giants on the earth.
The misused and abused reference verse is:
“1Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, 2that the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves, whomever they chose. 3Then the LORD said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.” 4The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.” Genesis 6:1-4
You will find churches that hold to this idea of demons and women bearing children as gospel truth. This is an example of the ignorance I mentioned earlier.
To put it in simple: the sons of God mentioned were Godly men, believers, who married unbelievers, becoming corrupted, being led astray by their wives.
“5Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7The LORD said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.” 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” Genesis 6:5-8
Noah was the last man standing who found favor in God’s sight. God didn’t wash away the rest of humanity because they were interbred with demons-they were evil enough on their own.
Wiese also misapplies scripture to suggest that satan and his demons are, in effect, in charge of tormenting souls in hell at this moment. To bolster this idea he takes literally the figurative language of Jeremiah:
“6 In dark places He has made me dwell,
Like those who have long been dead.
7 He has walled me in so that I cannot go out;
He has made my chain heavy.
8 Even when I cry out and call for help,
He shuts out my prayer.
9 He has blocked my ways with hewn stone;
He has made my paths crooked.
10 He is to me like a bear lying in wait,
Like a lion in secret places.
11 He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces;
He has made me desolate.”
Do you read of any demons torturing souls in that passage?
No-Jeremiah, very much alive, was speaking of how he felt abandoned/punished by God- ‘He shut out my prayer, He has blocked my ways, He has made my path crooked, He is to me like a bear, a lion, He has turned aside my ways, torn me to pieces, made me desolate.” God did all of that, not some demon.
Bottom line is: Wiese may very well have had a vision, and I would never want to suggest that God cannot do what He wants to...but theologically Wiese’s story doesn’t seem right.
He may be a sincere Christian, he may have a heart for the lost, but I am wary of extrabiblical revelations which are in conflict with Scripture. He does have quite a few references per chapter, and many many many authoritative quotes from scholars. You can look him up, buy his book; his ministry is called Soul Choice Ministry, so go for it.
Just ask God to affirm for you what is true.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Evidence That God Exists-Proof #169,758,452,068,559,215 (Approximation)

"Em Talon was her name. Past 70 years, just shy of six feet tall, and all alone. The human coyotes who wanted to kill her were waiting just outside the range of her Sharps rifle; they would catch her sleeping, and that would be it. She couldn't stay awake forever; so far she had gotten by with cat naps. But it was only a matter of time."

Em Talon would scoff at being part of a spiritual allegory, but that's okay-she was only the product of Louis L'Amour's imagination, notably in the book, "Ride The Dark Trail".

Em and her husband had homesteaded, built up their herds, made a great life in a wilderness of what would one day be Colorado. Fifty years on, her husband had been killed by men working for Jake Flanner, who wears the proverbial black hat in L'Amour's book. Flanner's men were now waiting to kill Em Talon.

By now, you see where I'm going with this: Israel made a homestead in a wilderness, established by God, legally set in their land by a league of nations. It was a wilderness, a broken down dump which had been treated as a contemptible wasteland for nearly 2000 years. In 1948 any peoples who did not want to live under the rule of the Israeli government were free to leave. Some stayed, accepting Israeli rule, becoming Israeli citizens. But many left and joined the surrounding nations who set on Israel with the intent of destroying the newborn state.
Israel won that war, and was established, started making the dump into a beautiful oasis.
Israel won the next war also.
And the next.
And the next.
And every skirmish and battle since 1948.

Jake Flanner had no legal right to the Talon homestead.
The obfuscating, lying peoples firing rockets into Israel have no legal right to the land they are attempting to steal. The 'refugee camps' where decades of peoples have camped on Israel's doorstep were an invention of the modern day Flanners: Arafat and the misnamed PLO. The camps only purpose is to provide an excuse for the continued war against Israel.

I mentioned in the title proof of the existence of God. Even if you have no faith in God, you can believe your own eyes: the hatred against Israel defies any reason or rule. To any impartial observer, Israel has the right to be safe within it's own borders. They have not had an inch of land given to them-it's all been fought for, and won in battle, many battles. To the winner goes the spoils, and Israel is the winner.
The hatred Israel inspires is spiritual; the world which wants to ignore God has to deal with His marker, His little state of Israel which He promises to make His throne when the surrounding nations become His footstool. Herod 2000 years ago tried to frustrate God's promised redemption by killing all the young boys born in Bethlehem. Later Satan tried to tempt Jesus to avoid the cross, and he was no more successful than Herod: epic fail, indeed.
The world is readying itself for the most epic failure of all time: to stop the return of the Lord by doing away with His throne, His special possession: Israel. It couldn't have been born a nation without God making it happen. It couldn't have survived all these years without His protection. Look at a map-Israel is barely a stone on the beach, compared to other countries...but that stone tosses the entire world into uproar simply by existing. That is proof of the existence of God.
postscript: if you haven't read the book, Em Talon was a Sackett, and other Sacketts came to her rescue.
I love happy endings.