Saturday, January 17, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King - Lying Liberal Lunatic Or Compassionate Christian Conservative? REDUX

A reporter once said, “When you make something a greeting card holiday, people forget the struggle and what you were striving for.” We have this holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. so I decided to do a little research to gain a better understanding of the man and his mission.

I will agree with most of his admirers that he was a man of passion, dreams, and faith. But I have concluded that he was either a liar and a phony OR he was not the true militant champion that the lunatic left imagines. If he were still alive today, I doubt that he would find comfort or cronyism among the ungodly left in the Democrat party.  And it is almost certain that he would NOT be chumming with the likes of the phony reverend, Al Sharpton, and I seriously doubt that he would have been intimidating voters with the Black Panthers, standing on the hood of a car yelling "burn it down," or marching in a mob calling for dead cops "now." 

Why do I think that? It is because of his own words. Here are some of his challenges and instructions for the black youths of his day and they are timeless, noteworthy principles that are consistent with Christian philosophy and conservative ideology and they deserve universal attention:

  • Character is more important than skin color. Common humanity, rather than race, should be the basis for relationships.
  • Reason without morality is dangerous. Intelligence plus character is the goal of true education.
  • Do your life's work as if God called you to it. And, no matter how small the job, do it with a sense of responsibility. If it falls your lot to sweep streets, sweep them like Michelangelo painted pictures, like Shakespeare wrote poetry, like Beethoven composed music.
  • Love is creative and redemptive and is absolutely necessary for the survival of our civilization. Love builds up and unites; hate tears down and destroys. Redemptive goodwill for one's enemies is the solution to race problems.
  • Bigots are everywhere. Some individuals must have the courage and moral strength to remain in their communities, no matter how bad they are, and seek to lift them to new levels of creative living.
  • Maintain your moral standards. A person who will stop dating you because you refuse to engage in a sexual act is a person who is not genuinely interested in you, and would make an undesirable mate.
  • It is wrong to be unjust, dishonest or hateful. We have moved from the theory of “survival of the fittest” to a theory of “survival of the slickest.” Everybody is busy obeying the 11th commandment -- "Do not get caught."
  • Humanism is another attempt to make God irrelevant. Without God, efforts turn to ashes and sunrises into darkest night. Christianity affirms a real, loving Father who works through history for the salvation of His children. Man cannot save himself, for man is not the measure of all things and humanity is not God.
  • Our capacity to deal with shattered dreams is ultimately determined by our faith in God. Genuine faith sees that, beyond time is God and beyond life is eternity. However dismal the present circumstances, we are not alone, for God dwells with us. Through Jesus Christ, God has taken the sting from death by freeing us from its dominion. Our earthly life is a prelude to a glorious new awakening, and death is an open door that leads us into life eternal.
Can anyone really imagine those kinds of words or challenges emanating today from the mouths of any of the racist, self-appointed spokesholes for the American black culture such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, rev. Wright, or ever Barack Obama? I think Dr. King would probably be much more comfortable in the company of great Americans like Justice Clarence Thomas, Dr. Walter Williams, Tim Scott, Ben Carson,, Rep. J. C. Watts Jr., and Major Allen West.

After realizing great victories in his work for civil rights, Dr. King anticipated that there were still difficult days ahead. “I would like to live a long life but I'm not concerned with that. I am not worried about anything. I fear no man. I just want to do God's will.”

Columnist Clarence Page once noted that, although King was a man of peace, almost anywhere in America where his name is now memorialized, some kind of violence or racial hatred is associated with it. He lamented, “How sadly we have protected Dr. King’s legacy. Our keeping of his name has fallen far short of his dream.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Don't Need A Thousand Tongues; I Don't Praise God Enough With The One I Have

Charles Wesley wrote O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing in 1739 to commemorate the first anniversary of his conversion to Christ.

The title comes from the seventh verse (which has been moved to the first verse in modern hymn books).  It is believed that the inspiration for this verse came from his friend, Peter Bohler, who once said to him, “Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Him with them all.”

Like most hymnbooks, ours has five verses.  Many Methodist books show seven and a few books contain ten verses.  But the original hymn had 18.  Most of the verses have been omitted because the hymn is just too long for most hymn singing.  A couple verses (12 and 17) were eliminated because of pressure from the political correctness crowd.

The exact order of the verses as originally written is uncertain but the order here is consistent with many sources:  

In the first part of the hymn, Wesley employs two verses (1 and 7) of Praise and Glory to God as parentheses around his personal testimony (2-6) of faith in his Savior.  

Verse eight is a prayer for assistance to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ to the world.  Then in verses 9-11, he expounds on the power of that name.

And then, in verses 12-17, he makes a general appeal to the lost world to turn from sin to Christ.  He closes with words of assurance in this life and the promise of our eternal hope.

1.         Glory to God, and praise and love
                    be ever, ever given,
By saints below and saints above,
        the church in earth and heaven.

2.         On this glad day the glorious Sun
                    of Righteousness arose;
            On my benighted soul He shone
                    and filled it with repose.

3.         Sudden expired the legal strife,
                   ’twas then I ceased to grieve;
            My second, real, living life
                    I then began to live.

4.         Then with my heart I first believed,
                    believed with faith divine,
            Power with the Holy Ghost received
                    to call the Savior mine.

5.         I felt my Lord’s atoning blood
                   close to my soul applied;
            Me, me He loved, the Son of God,
                   for me, for me He died!

6.         I found and owned His promise true,
                   ascertained of my part,
            My pardon passed in heaven, I knew,
                  when written on my heart.

7.        O for a thousand tongues to sing
                   my great Redeemer’s praise,
        The glories of my God and King,
                  the triumphs of his grace!

8.         My gracious Master and my God,
                  assist me to proclaim;
            To spread through all the earth abroad
                  the honors of Thy name.

9.         Jesus! The name that charms our fears,
                  that bids our sorrows cease;
            ‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
                  ‘tis life, and health, and peace.

10.       He breaks the power of canceled sin,
                   He sets the prisoner free;
            His blood can make the foulest clean,
                   His blood availed for me.

11.       He speaks, and, listening to his voice,
                  new life the dead receive,
            The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
                  the humble poor believe.

12.       Hear Him, ye deaf, His praise, ye dumb,
                  your loosened tongues employ;
            Ye blind, behold your Savior come,
                  and leap, ye lame, for joy.

13.       Look unto Him, ye nations, own
                  your God, ye fallen race;
            Look, and be saved through faith alone,
                  be justified by grace.

14.       See all your sins on Jesus laid: 
                 The Lamb of God was slain.
His soul was once an offering made
     for every soul of man.

15.       Harlots and publicans and thieves
                 in holy triumph join!
            Saved, is the sinner that believes,
                 from crimes as great as mine.

16.       Murderers, and all ye hellish crew;
                 ye sons of lust and pride,
            Believe the Savior died for you;
                 for me the Savior died.

17.       Awake from guilty nature’s sleep,
                 and Christ shall give you light.
            Cast all your sins into the deep
                 and wash the Æthiop white.

18.       In Christ, your head, ye then shall know,
                 shall feel your sins forgiven;
            Anticipate your heaven below,
                 and own that love in heaven.

This is a great hymn for doctrine, worship, and edification and, even though we never sing all eighteen verses,  it is worthy of occasional reading through in its entirety.





Thursday, January 15, 2015

Every Jot and Tittle

I was reading in Jeremiah 20 this morning when I noticed this strange language construction:

“The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.”  Jer. 23:20

Notice the auxiliary verb, HAVE used two times in this verse. 

The rule for using has vs. have depends on the personal pronoun that precedes it.  For pronouns in the first person (I and we) and some in the second person  (you, and they), use have.  If the pronoun is in the third person singular (he, she, or it), use has.

So why is that a big deal?  Well I dunno.  I’m not an expert on grammar and I know absolutely NOTHING about the Hebrew language or how this might read in the original text.  But it seems to me that the translators must have been smarter and more careful than me (or is it I?) and they probably took great pains to translate it accurately.  
It has been noted that there are many, many references, in every book of the Bible, to the tri-unity of God.  Could this be one of them?  Think about it.  The reference is to God.  The pronoun is singular (He).  God is one god.  However, the auxiliary verb used (have) indicates a plural subject (a tri-unity), the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Since God is one god in three persons, it seems that the language is accurate; He (The One and only God) shall not return until He (the Father, Son, and Spirit) HAVE executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.”  

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Missing Body Parts

I left my crew on the job one morning to go out of town on errands. When I returned, two of my employees were working but I noticed that my young apprentice, Eric, was missing. That’s when I learned that he had cut off his finger in my cement mixer and he was in the emergency room.

I rushed to find him still waiting for treatment after nearly three hours. Finally, the doctor unwrapped the stub and then asked me if I had the severed finger. I told him it was probably embedded in the cement somewhere and the chances of recovery was unlikely. He urged me to go back to the job site to try to locate it.

Back at the job, the men told me that Eric had been cleaning the mixer when the accident occurred. I looked inside and saw that most of the cement had been washed down and was still in the bowl. By then it had started to harden and was pretty stiff. I cranked it up to break the set and loosen the material so I could sift through it. Then I found a piece of metal screen, laid it over an empty bucket and began to pour out the material through the sieve.

Suddenly the stucco stained finger plopped onto the screen. It was a weird injury; the bone was not severed.  The finger was circumcised at the first joint so Eric's injured finger had an exposed bone sticking out the end.  I picked up the hollow finger tip, hosed it off and placed it in a used Carl’s Jr. soft-drink cup with some ice and headed back to the emergency room. About an hour later, the doctor announced to Rick’s mother and me that he had successfully reattached the finger.  It would be alright but he doubted that the finger would have a nail. Today Eric’s finger, although slightly disfigured, is in tact (with a finger nail), and fully functional.

We all just assumed that, once severed, the finger was unsalvageable and that Eric would have to adjust to his new handicap and get along without it. It never occurred to us to locate the finger until the physician told us to find it and bring it back.

The apostle Paul refers to the Church as the “body of Christ” where every member is a unique and special part of the whole. "Now all of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it.” ( 1 Cor.12: 27 NLT).
Sometimes, one of our “parts gets wounded or cut off and we act as though it is irrecoverable and that we will just have to get along without it. But every member is important to the Great Physician and has a vital function in the body. When one of our members is wounded or disconnected, we should go out to recover him, heal him, and restore him to his right place and purpose in the BODY.

Are You Chasing Goats Or Tending Sheep?

(This article was first posted on my blogsite on 10/31/07. With a few changes, I am reposting it here because of its relevance.)

According to Rick Warren, "Relationships are the glue that holds a church together. Friendships are the key to retaining members."

That's a cute bumper sticker sentiment but is it true? I guess the answer to that question really depends on whether your church's purpose is to raise goats or sheep.

Over a century ago in Europe, Charles Spurgeon wrote an article titled, "Are We Feeding Sheep Or Amusing Goats?" It is well worth reading. It is an amazingly parallel description of the church growth movement in contemporary American churches.

Is your pastor a shepherd or a goatherd? I found this definition of a GOATHERD in Wikipedia. It provides some very interesting and insightful correlations to the contemporary ideological deviations from fundamental orthodox worship in the Christian church.

A goatherd or a goatherder is a person who herds goats for a living. Similar to a shepherd who tends sheep for a living, the drover here herds goats. Goatherds are popular in countries where goat populations are natively high; for instance, in Africa and South Asia. Herding a goat is much more difficult than herding sheep as, unlike sheep, goats do not have a herd mentality and each goat will tend to stray farther in search of better foliage and grass. It is for this reason that, in these areas, goats are costlier than sheep.

From that definition, I offer the following observations and my comments:

  • Shepherds “tend” sheep; goatherds “herd” goats. The biblical pastoral work of a shepherd is to lead, guide, guard, feed, and protect the sheep. The more arduous task of goatherds is to relentlessly chase after the goats, round them up, herd them, drive them, and contain them.

  • Herding goats is much more difficult than herding sheep…goats do not have a herd mentality. Regarding sheep, Jesus said, ”My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.” I think the fact that a flock of sheep tends to stay together is noteworthy (If all the sheep follow The Shepherd, then all the sheep will naturally be together). Shepherds are charged with tending the flock (a flock is a singular entity, a cohesive group, a herd). So shepherding is relatively easy in comparison to herding animals that have no herd mentality.

  • Goats tend to wander and stray farther in search of better (or different) foliage and grass. They are continually seeking more; more fun, more stimulation, more programs, more variety, more adventure, new relationships, new truth, new revelation, strange fire, more, MORE and MORE garbage to sate their insatiable appetites for anything and everything that is new or different.

  • Goats are costlier than sheep. Churches that get caught up in the activity of amusing goats will require more money to fund more programs and hire more staff to keep them amused and satisfied with new gimmicks. Someone said, “What you win them with is what you win them to.”
Here are a couple other interesting notes from a different source about the grazing habits of goats:
  • Goats do not feed very long in one place but tend to pick a bite here and a bite there moving from place to place. You can probably see where I’m headed with this. Sheep tend to stay near the shepherd who has already prepared a grazing place that is safe for them.  Because pastors (shepherds) lead the flock, sheep will feed on the Word; goats will run from morsel to morsel, from proof text to proof text, and often from church to church.

  • Goats are used much more effectively than sheep for weed control. The reason is that they move into an area and strip it of everything they see and then move on. Also, they will, indiscriminately, eat almost anything including trash. Enough Said.
Having noted these distinctions between shepherds and goatherds, It seems to me that some churches should more correctly refer to their pastors as “Goatherders” unless or until they cease amusing goats and start tending to their sheep. When that happens, they might discover what Rick Warren has missed; that the Word of God and the Spirit of God are the glue that holds The Church together.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Charles Spurgeon On Sarcastic Humor

"I must confess that I would rather hear people laugh than I would see them asleep in the house of God; and I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave the people to perish through lack of reception of the message.

I do believe in my heart, that there may be as much holiness in a laugh as in a cry; and that, sometimes, to laugh is the better thing of the two, for I may weep, and be murmuring, and repining, and thinking all sorts of bitter thoughts against God; while, at another time, I may laugh the laugh of sarcasm against sin, and so evince a holy earnestness in the defense of the truth.

I do not know why ridicule is to be given up to Satan as a weapon to be used against us, and not to be employed by us as a weapon against him. I will venture to affirm that the Reformation owed almost as much to the sense of the ridiculous in human nature as to anything else, and that those humorous squibs and caricatures, that were issued by the friends of Luther, did more to open the eyes of Germany to the abominations of the priesthood than the more solid and ponderous arguments against Romanism.

I know no reason why we should not, on suitable occasions, try the same style of reasoning."It is a dangerous weapon," it will be said, "and many men will cut their fingers with it." Well, that is their own lookout; but I do not know why we should be so particular about their cutting their fingers if they can, at the same time, cut the throat of sin, and do serious damage to the great adversary of souls."

Charles Spurgeon

D.A.I.S.Y. The 5 Points of Arminianism For Dummies

Here they are;

Five Points of Arminianism for Dummies

in an easy to remember DAISY (the, "He loves me, He loves me not.") Acronym.

My thanks to Eddie Eddings at CALVINISTIC CARTOONS for the great-looking artwork.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Why Conservatives Cannot Win Arguments With Liberals

The old adage says, “Don’t raise your voice, strengthen your argument.”

That’s good advice for thinking people. That’s good for people who are interested in an honest exchange of ideas for the purpose of understanding and reaching reasoned conclusions. That kind of thinking works in a classic debate format where it is presumed that each side can intelligently make, rebut, and support substantive arguments.

But that doesn’t work with liberals. Liberals don't think - they feel.  In a true battle of wits, liberals can never win and they know it. That’s why liberals will always change the rules of debate.

Conservatives are clueless about this. If you want to win arguments with liberals, you have to learn to play dirty. You have to learn their techniques. You have to know how to beat them at their own game. And, even then, you will be disadvantaged. Conservatives have guiding principles; liberals do not. Conservatives believe in fairness; liberals believe in winning. Conservatives actually believe that truth is absolute. Liberals believe that truth is something to be fabricated or manipulated to achieve their objectives.

Here are the Liberal’s Rules of Engagement for Modern Debate as I have observed them.

1. Initiate the Debate. It has been said that he who frames the debate controls the outcome. Think about it. Where does most debate originate? Conservatives are usually too busy working and making positive contributions to society to be bothered trying to start some new crisis. Liberals, on the other hand, must always have some cause to rally around. Consequently they invent crises and conservatives are left to react.

2. Forget About Substance. Make every proposition emotional. If you can work up a few tears people will think you are sensitive and sympathetic; they will think you really care even though you don’t. It doesn’t matter what it is, if you engage the emotions of masses of people, you are well on the road to victory. That is why God invented children. Children are objects for liberals to exploit for their emotional purposes. Whales and homeless people are useful too.

3.  Control the language.  Co-opt phrases and change the definitions of words.  If the issue is queer marriage, change it to "marriage equality" so that people will think you are championing the cause of equality in opposition to those intolerant conservatives.  And don't refer to them as anti-gay; call them homophobic and bigoted.  As pertains to the subject of abortion, change the subject to women's health, women's rights, or pro-choice.  After all, in the arena of ideas, no one wants to be thought of as being against a woman's personal freedom to make choices regarding her own body. 

4. Never, NEVER Answer Questions.  If you answer questions, your ignorance and stupidity will be exposed.  Change the subject. This is called deflection. For example, if the subject is illegal immigration, accuse conservatives of racial discrimination.  If at all possible, do not try to argue on substance.  It was Ann Coulter who said, “Words are always bad for liberals.  Words allow people to understand what liberals are saying.”

5. Never Allow Opposing Arguments. You must not provide any opportunity for your opponent to articulate his point. Since you are right and they are wrong, it doesn’t matter what they have to say; it is irrelevant. The concept of polite dialogue is “old school.” You must develop the skills of over-talking, out-shouting, and filibustering. Do not give your opponent an opportunity to complete a sentence.  Conflicting points of view will only confuse the mindless masses and so they must be stifled.

6. Agree To Disagree. This is the final appeal when everything else fails. This is the smokescreen to use when you know you are losing the argument. This is the nuclear bomb of emotionalism and deflection. Even though your arguments are godless, stupid, emotional, convoluted, and lacking in substance, objectivity, truth, or validation, if you appeal to your opponent to “agree to disagree,” you will appear to be taking the high moral ground. Of course you know you will never agree to disagree with those stupid conservatives. But by employing this phony pretense, some of the dummies listening will think you are trying to get along and compromise for the greater good. Even though you are a loser, you will appear to be more tolerant and reasonable than your hard-nosed, unbending, dogmatic, narrow-minded opponent.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time (An open letter to Church change agents)

Okay, I get it.  
You wanted to do good. 
You wanted to increase your church’s attendance.
You wanted to help build the kingdom of God.
You wanted to win souls to Christ.
You looked around and saw other churches that seemed to be growing but yours was stagnant. Regardless of your sincere intentions, your church’s membership rolls were not increasing. 
You asked yourself, what were you doing wrong?  What was it about the church down the street that attracted so many more people?
Soon you became aware of new buzz words and phrases in the evangelical community that you had never heard before; phrases like seeker friendly, seeker sensitive, church marketing, felt needs, relational ministries, friendship evangelism, and purpose driven.
And you began to hear of strange and exciting new business models for church growth from marketing gurus like Rick Warren and Bill Hybels that seemed to be producing remarkable results. You read their books, you examined their promotional materials, and you listened to the seminar presentations.  And then you decided that you were doing everything wrong.  This is a new world.  Your old model was no longer relevant.  It was stuffy.  The music was not stimulating.  The preaching was too convicting.  People were bored and not engaged. 
That’s when you called your other trusted church leaders together to discuss, in confidence, a new paradigm to reach out into the community and attract the unchurched.  It would be great, you thought.  It would expand your ministry opportunities as unbelievers were drawn in and exposed to the gospel.  One of your men even suggested a radical change from the old ways; the formalism and liturgical practices that made unbelievers feel uncomfortable.  “We need to tear down all the (figurative) walls and fences and throw open the doors so that we can be attractive to the whole community” he said.
So your “leadership team” (your new term for elders or pastors) made the business decision without the knowledge of your congregation, and began its work to “lead” them into a radical new way of doing church.  It was subtle at first; a little insignificant change here and a cleverly crafted, upbeat success seminar speech masquerading as a sermon there.  Before long the signs were everywhere but most of the people were still not sure what was happening.
Oh, there were a few resistors who began to question your practices.  But you were ready, Rick Warren warned you about the “troublemakers,” and you were prepared to intimidate them into submitting to your authority or you would have to let them go.  Some would just go away quietly but there were others who saw your intentions and directly confronted you.  You knew that you would have to force them out for the sake of “unity.”
It all seemed like a such good idea at the time but “a deep and abiding passion to see our churches grow is a very dangerous thing." Andrew Heard.
It wasn’t long before your constitution was nullified.  Formal membership requirements were waived.  Your doctrinal statement was  stuffed away in a file drawer.  Church discipline became an obscure, archaic concept buried deep in church history.  The doors were thrown open wide open; everyone was welcomed to join in the profane worship and became active in your ministries. 
Along the way, there were rumblings of trouble on the horizon.  About a decade ago some of the major national leaders in the church growth, purpose driven movement, began to admit that they were wrong and that their methods were not working.  Why didn’t you stop to re-evaluate then?  Were you too far invested to give up?  Were you too proud to admit you were wrong?  Or were you just arrogant enough to believe that, although the experts failed, you knew better?
So here we are today, at least two decades into this alternative church growth plan (which is contrary to God’s plan).  How is that working out for you?  If you are paying attention, you probably already know that the newest "movement" is trending back to more traditional models.  And by now you are discovering that your “target market” has changed.  They are moving on.  They have grown weary of the same old worship bands singing that mindless noise that were so relevant and contemporary just five years ago. Some are moving down the street to the next “newest gimmick.” 
It has been said, “What you win them with is what you win them to.”  So, Pastor, if the Word of God is boldly proclaimed from your pulpit; if your primary focus is on preaching the whole counsel of God; if your congregation is fed a steady diet of expository preaching; if you boldly and unabashedly tell the truth about sin and constantly warn your people of it's consequences; if you are obsessed with the glory of God; you have a relevant church.  You don't need no stinkin' gimmicks. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Always Right; Sometimes Wrong!

If you have spent any time at all, on my blog, you may have noticed my name with this tag; "Always Right; Sometimes Wrong."

That descriptor is intended to state my political leanings. I try to be a conservative first and always regardless of any potential personal loss or inconvenience. That puts me on the Right. But the second part is a personal recognition and admission of the fact that I don't know everything.  Sometimes I am wrong.

I was wrong a few years ago when I worked with a church committee to craft a new constitution. When attempting to describe a model for the way a multiple church leadership staff should function, we wrote that the staff would make decisions by "consensus."  That was a mistake!

Now, I know what WE meant when we wrote it. In the first place, it was never our intention to ignore or overlook the authority of God's Word or the fact that Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. But, in matters of church leadership, where the Word of God was silent, unclear, or vague, it was our intention to attempt to achieve unity.

In fact, we even identified how that should happen. For example, if the team were considering a decision regarding a ministry or church action and there was disunity, the team would consider their decision based on known Revelation. If any person could not justify his preference or objection on the basis of a scriptural command or principle, he must concede to the majority. That is what we called consensus.

Unfortunately, that didn't work. Most of the people did not understand the concept nor were they able to differentiate between unity and unanimity. It was confusing and so, many decisions were derived by unanimous affirmations and, in essence, each of the team had affective veto power over the majority.

So, I repeat; I was WRONG.  Like compromise, consensus is a four-letter-word that really has no place in church leadership or polity. In fact the "Consensus Process" is a modern term for an old concept; "The Hegelian Dialectic."

What is that? Paul Procter describes it as "...a 200 year-old, three-step process of 'thesis, antithesis, and synthesis', developed in the late 1700's by a German named Georg William Friedreich Hegel that resulted in what we now know as 'group-think.' It is a system Dean Gotcher of Authority Research Institute, calls 'Praxis' that Socialists have used for centuries to seduce, seize, and control mass populations without warfare. It is also in full operation here in the United States under such names as: 'Outcome Based Education.' 'Goals 2000.' 'Sustainable Development.' 'School To Work,' 'DARE' and many more. It's all about embracing 'tolerance, diversity, and unity' for The New World Order. To put it in layman's terms, it's brainwashing."

"Here's how it works: A group gathers, and has agreed beforehand that each in attendance will ultimately surrender his or her own personal position on any given issue to the will or 'consensus' of the group after *processing to consensus* through dialog. In a Christian setting, the presupposition is that the group's will determines 'the will of God.' The group's 'facilitator,' whoever that may be, mediates between sides, be they 'good and evil,' 'for and against,' 'republican and democrat,' 'liberal and conservative,' etc., whatever the case may be, often instigating heated confrontations between the opposing sides for the purpose of suggesting compromise as the perfect solution to restore and maintain the peace and the relationships of everyone involved. The resulting outcome or *consensus* is then re-introduced if necessary, at the next meeting for more 'Praxis,' more dialog and more compromise until another 'consensus' is reached. Then the 'process' repeats all over again...and again...and again until the facilitator's desired outcome is achieved. Over time, the convictions and concerns anyone may have had originally are processed away beyond recognition or relevance leaving one and all to accept the facilitator's pre-determined outcome as the consensus of the group. It's no longer a question of what is right or wrong, good or bad, lawful or unlawful, but rather HOW WE ALL FEEL ABOUT absolutes, no conscience, no convictions, no laws, no Constitution, no Bible and NO GOD!!!...only consensus....and a contrived consensus at that. Pretty slick huh? That's the Hegelian Dialectic."

The rest of Paul Proctor's article, WILLOW CREEK HEGELIAN DIALECTIC & THE NEW WORLD ORDER can be read here.

Always Right; Sometimes Wrong!

first posted 5/11/09

WHY I DON'T LISTEN TO MAIN-STREAM MEDIA (and why I ignore environmentalist fear mongers).

Recent storms in Southern California have dumped nearly 10 inches of rain in some parts of Southern CA. I measured the rainfall in our area after the first few days and I had six inches.

So what did we hear on the news?   Here is the summary from this morning's broadcast:
We needed the rain but THE DROUGHT IS NOT OVER. This rain storm DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE. In order to be sufficient, we would need non-stop rain for 180 DAYS.

WHAT?  DIDN'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?  I don't know about you but, my scorched and dying landscape got plenty of much needed water, the dust on my roof and my cars was washed off, and my pool was well-filled. All of those represent water that I did not consume through the public utility thereby depleting valuable resources from a short supply. Multiplied by millions of households across the Southland, surely that must have made SOME difference. I'm surprised that the water czars aren't charging me for the rain water I used (but if any of them read this, they might try to figure a way to impose a rain water tax on all of us).

The obvious truth is that water levels in all our lakes and storage basins were raised, Much of it was absorbed into the ground and ground water resources were improved.

180 days; 180 DAYS? Are they kidding? It only took God forty days to flood the whole world. Those kinds of inane statements are insulting to the intelligence of NORMAL, thinking people (normal being defined as anyone who has not been subjected to influence of public education or brainwashed by left-leaning politics or bureaucratic propaganda.

Here is a real news flash for the ignorant (a couple generations ago, we learned this stuff in schools where people sent their kids to actually learn stuff); THE WORLD IS NOT RUNNING OUT OF WATER.  Sure, there may be local shortages in readily available resources but we do have water. The oceans are full of it. It evaporates, is distributed over the earth in the forms of clouds, comes down in the form of fog, dew, rain, or snow, absorbs into the ground and flows from streams to rivers back into lakes and oceans. Its called the hydraulic cycle. That is God's design for the care of His creation.

And today, through technology, we have the ability to channel those resources to the entire world. But politics and bureaucratic controls always get in the way. California is deliberately dumping billions of gallons of fresh water into the ocean because of some stupid little worthless fish so the whole, fertile, central valley has been turned from a thriving, bountiful breadbasket capable of producing enough food for the world, into an arid wasteland and the Southland is cut off. With all the coast line we have in California, there is no good reason for not having desalinization plants providing water to our metropolitan areas. Instead, we are about to invest somewhere north of a hundred billion dollars on a senseless, high speed rail system that nobody needs, and that will go from no place to no where, but I digress.

Nevertheless, thank God for the rain because, "He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; Who makes lightnings for the rain, Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries." Psalm 135:7

We deserve nothing from Him yet He is merciful and He answered our prayers by providing for our needs.
And He didn't get any help from Jerry (Moonbeam) Brown and Obama is too busy reigning over riots and screwing up our healthcare system.

If, after it is all settled, the water districts' resources have been increased by just ONE STINKIN' GALLON more than their demands, THAT IS A POSITIVE NET GAIN.  The pundits should do the math and stop insulting us.


Monday, December 29, 2014

Another great memory from my Summer in South Dakota

In 1956 when I was a young boy, I spent a whole summer vacation with my cousins on my Uncle Adolph's farm in South Dakota. That was an adventure I will never forget.

One of our favorite hot summer afternoon pastimes was to cool off in the stock tank. One day, while we were taking a dip, a lone calf came in from the pasture to get a drink. Like most boys, we had some mean streaks in us and decided not to share our water tank with him.

But it was hot and he was thirsty and persistent. In spite of his every effort to get near enough for a quick drink, we were determined not to let him; we kept him at bay by yelling and throwing dirt clods. Pretty soon he started lowing and so we began to mimic him. He got louder and we got louder. Then his mooing turned to a sound like I had not heard before. It was almost as if he were wailing but we just kept on tormenting the crying calf.

We were having great fun until, suddenly, I looked up and there, on the crest of the hill above us, stood every bull, steer, and male yearling in my uncle's herd. They were lined up like Indians in an old western movie. All at once, they started charging down the hill toward us.

We grabbed up our clothing and scrambled for the fence. I just barely made it over. All of them were snorting and pacing along the fence line almost as if to dare us to come back over. I think back at that event and realize that although that little calf was intimidated, he was never really in danger. Why? Because he was just one cry away from help and resources.

If God's creatures are that responsive to the cries of their own, how much more responsive must God be to the cries of His own? Just one cry away we have unlimited resources.

“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their cry”
Ps. 34:15

The Health of Our Church Is More Important Than Our Size and Comfort

I found this interesting and insightful perspective on worship written by Pastor Jason Robertson who was pastor at Murrieta Valley Church, Murrieta, CA. and posted on his blog, Fide-o.

Jason is now pastoring at Milldale Baptist Church and Conference Center in Louisiana.  


Blessed with One Worship Service

"About a year ago our church decided that we would no longer have two worship services on Sunday mornings. We made this decision based on our ecclesiology. We knew that having two worship services had caused a division in our church body and had robbed the body from enjoying the gifts and blessings of all of the members. Furthermore, we worship with the Lord’s Supper every Sunday and it was important for us to do so as one congregation.

So we did away with both our 8:00 am service and our 10:45 am service. We now only have one which starts at 10:15 am. In this one service our congregation is united in worship, Scripture reading, the ordinances, preaching, prayer, giving, and fellowship.

We knew this would cause seating issues and parking issues for us, but the health of our church was more important to us than our size and comfort. Six months later God blessed us with a move to a larger facility so that we could continue to meet as one body. The health and unity of our congregation has increased in ways that only can be understood by those who are in attendance.

I will write more on this subject in the future. But for now, I hope to at least draw the attention of pastors to this important issue of single vs. multiple worship services."
Go here for a little further reading from "The Deliberate Church" by Mark Dever.

Imagine that - a church that determines its practices based on biblical doctrines.  I found Pastor Robertson's second paragraph especially gripping.  You might have noticed; there is no drama, no dancing, no entertainment, no light shows, and no Starbucks coffee.  Those very things that congregations are supposed to do when they come together, (worshiping, Scripture reading, baptisms, believer's communion, preaching, prayer, giving, fellowshipping) are universal and those are the things that unite the body.  None of those activities require a church to offer different styles of services to engage and hold the attention of different demographic groups.  In fact, dividing a congregation by age or interest would be inimical to biblical worship.     

Foolish Arguments

“I’m into Jesus; I’m just not into church.”

That’s what the guy told me as he proudly boasted, "I worship God all day long, every day; I am constantly praising God and talking to Jesus. I don't have to go to church to worship God.” This kind of mindless drivel is akin to another hackneyed phrase, "I don't have to go to church to be a Christian."

I don’t generally go out looking for a doctrinal fight on purpose and it has been a long time since I engaged in an intellectual debate with an unarmed man BUT I just couldn’t help myself on this one. I jumped headlong into it.

The actual content of the ensuing debate is irrelevant here except to make a general observation. His entire attitude and his arguments clearly demonstrated a rejection of the absolute, sovereign authority of the Word of God.

When I answered one of his objections with scripture, his response was, “I disagree.”

So I reminded him that my arguments were not my own inventions, my ideas, or my opinions but they were, in fact, scriptural and that his disagreement was not with me but with God.

Then he employed the classic, inane, non-argument. He said, “SHOW ME IN THE BIBLE WHERE IT SAYS I HAVE TO…………..” (You can fill in the blank on this one; it doesn’t really matter what you put there. I have noticed that whenever a person has a problem with the authority of God is his life, he often deflects to this kind of stupid demand.

Needless to say, I lost the debate. Not because my arguments lacked substance, principle, or Truth. I lost because, in his final effort to outdo me, he stripped me of nearly 70% of my ammunition in one statement. He said, “and don’t give me any of that Old Testament stuff either; we are in New Testament times.”

That’s when I knew it was over. Without God’s Word, any supporting arguments we may have on any subject are only reduced to our own opinions. And that is where he wanted me-on an equal playing field in the emotional arena of subjectivity and personal preferences.

“O.K!” I conceded and I turned to walk away. And that really made him mad.

I learned a long time ago, the futility of trying to argue against stupid or emotional beliefs. In another post on this site, (“Don't Confuse Me With The Facts, I've Already Made Up My Mind”) the evidence is clearly presented that, introducing facts into a debate makes very little difference; people will believe what they want to believe regardless of evidence or truth.

“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him.” Proverbs 26:4

The Foolishness and Arrogance of Ignorance

I have an unusual tool that I bought over 50 years ago and it has NEVER been used. When I was in junior high school I needed to buy some drafting tools for a mechanical drawing class. The sales clerk helped me assemble everything I would need; the drawing board, T-square, triangles, mechanical pencils and, finally, one of those three-sided, twelve-inch rulers - the architectural scale. Most of them that he showed me were made of white plastic but I picked out a nice looking wooden one from the display cabinet and said, “I’ll take that one.”

“No, you need one of these,” he said as he kept pushing a white plastic one into my hand.  But I liked the one I picked and I was going to buy it.  He tried several times to tell me that what I had was an engineer's scale.

Engineer; architect, “Yeah, whatever!” I replied sarcastically.  I didn’t know why he was arguing with me over semantics.  After all, he was just a dumb sales clerk but I was the drafting student and I knew that those three-sided rulers where architectural scales.  He finally let me have it my way and he rang up my order.

When I got home and laid out my tools, I mounted some drafting paper to my new drawing board and began to draw.  That's when I realized that an engineering scale is NOT an architectural scale. Nothing on that scale was useable to me. It cost me several dollars to learn, the hard way, that I don’t know everything.

Sometimes people who have been “around the block’ a few more times try to warn us or save us some grief.  But we ignore them and insist on doing our own thing. Or someone tries to tell us something and we think we know better so we don’t listen. And when that happens, those people will often just quietly back off and let us suffer the consequences of our foolishness.

I keep that scale around to remind me to listen to the voices of reason and experience instead of just assuming I know it all.

“Any man who understands his own foolishness is already a little wise.” Jewish Proverb