Friday, October 31, 2008
People like this woman should be sterilized and their children should be removed for their own protection and in the interest of national security.
This is what Obama means when he says,
"Spread the Wealth Around."
We're all in trouble.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
And inside school, a weeklong campaign involving poster-making, games, assemblies, and other activities designed to “raise the level of drug awareness,” takes the center of attention as well-meaning teachers and parents really believe that their meaningless, superficial acts of symbolism over substance is really going to “make a difference.” How is it that, by having little children wearing red ribbons, wristbands, or red T-shirts is going to solve the illegal drug use problems in our world? And do we really want the public school system to introduce our little children to the subject anyway?
All of this is organized and promoted nationally by the Red Ribbon Coalition which, by its own admission makes the following statement on their website: “…it is important for you to understand that Red Ribbon Week will not - nor is it intended to - fix the drug problem in America.
A little closer scrutiny of their site reveals that some of their intended goals include “social marketing,” and “social norms marketing” which is, in reality, social engineering.
I think the methods used by my parents’ generation worked pretty well. When I was in elementary school, I didn’t know anything about drugs; all I knew is that everyone stereotyped “drug addicts” as some dark, evil, undesirable element of society that we were to shun and avoid. They were “bad,” we were told, and not to be glamorized or emulated..
My first personal experience with a “drug awareness program” began when I was in Jr. high school. We were warned about the dangers of glue sniffing. For those of you who are under 35 years of age, there was a time when assembling model planes, ships and cars actually required knowing how to follow written instruction and actually gluing the parts together. Today, the nanny government has replaced parental supervision and model building is a snap. But, I digress.
Back in those days, we all had access to model airplane glue and most of us had been using it for years. But suddenly, my curiosity was piqued and I had to find out for myself, what it was like to squirt the glue into a paper bag, bury my head in it, and inhale. The good intentions of well-meaning people to make me aware resulted in my experimentation. But hey, what do I know? You might just dismiss my experience as anecdotal and ludicrous so let me offer something more compelling. Here are some excerpts from an article reported by ABC News and soon to be published in the American Journal of Public Health:
Study: Anti-Drug Ads Haven't Worked
Report Finds $1 Billion Campaign to Curb Teen Drug Use May Have Encouraged It
"Despite extensive funding, governmental agency support, the employment of professional advertising and public relations firms, and consultation with subject-matter experts, the evidence from the evaluation suggests that the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign had no favorable effects on youths' behavior and that it may even have had an unintended and undesirable effect on drug cognitions and use," the report said.
In other words, teens who specifically said they had a lot of exposure to the campaign messages were no less likely to stay away from marijuana than those who did not.
There is also a small amount of evidence that indicates the anti-drug campaign may have had the opposite effect for some teens. In one part of the analysis, teens who recalled seeing 12 or more anti-drug messages per month were actually more likely to start using marijuana than those who had seen fewer anti-drug messages per month.
They concluded that the campaign was unlikely to have had favorable effects on youths and may have had delayed unfavorable effects. The evaluation challenged the usefulness of the campaign.
The bottom line is that the very campaigns and ad programs designed to prevent illegal drug use actually encourage it. But I guess the facts don’t matter. The important thing is how good we all feel about our intentions regardless of the outcomes. But the real question remains; do you want the school, which is probably miserably failing to teach reading, writing, counting, and thinking, to take the responsibility to provide social, behavioral, and moral education to your child? This is one more compelling argument for home-schooling.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Illustrated by Peter Stevenson
copyright (c) 2002 by Egmont Books Limited
Friday, October 24, 2008
But recently I have been wondering what I would look for in a church should I decide to make a change. Then it occurred to me that there are no churches good enough to join. The problem is that churches, as we know them today, should not exist at all. They are all corrupt; they are all unbiblical. I think I will start my own.
Where would we meet? We won’t need to rent a building or purchase a facility. We will just meet in my family room. That’s EASY. An intimate, Christ-centered community established primarily on relationships; just me and my wife and a few other like-minded folks who care to join together with us for support, conversation, and fellowship.
In my church planting plan, the first thing I would do is consider the name. I would avoid any name that would associate my church with a denomination. I would avoid names that might distinguish my church on doctrine. After all, how many Episcopal or United Methodist or Presbyterian churches did the Apostle Paul start? Those kinds of name only serve to be divisive or exclusive. A name like “FAMILY ROOM CHURCH” might be good. It’s comfortable, non-threatening, and inviting. Or maybe I would choose a name that is pretty simple or easy like maybe, yeah, that’s it, “EASY CHURCH.” That’s good; church should not be hard. I’ll keep it simple and EASY.
I think church should be more about ownership, community, unity, and relationships. It should be organic, Not organizational. It should be about the Body, NOT the Business. Church, after all, should not be characterized by non-essential programs and liturgies and complex institutional structures. All that stuff just gets in the way of what church should be. EASY CHURCH will be different.
Do you see how EASY this can be? We wouldn’t be bothered by the pressures that drive so many people to feel like they must “do their church thing” every week. We would not have to attend this service and go to that activity and meet on that committee and take kids to their functions. We would not be compelled to “check off” the list of all the prescribed legalistic elements and formalities of traditional church. It would be guilt-free, EASY CHURCH where we could just come as we are (I could just come in my pajamas), enjoy God, and love others.
And, in my EASY CHURCH, we will have no need of trained clergy. Where in the Bible does it say that pastors must have seminary degrees anyway? The Bible says the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. We would just simply let the Spirit of God flow through our meetings and do whatever He wants to do. If He leads us to worship, we would be free to spend the whole time worshipping. At other times we might just devote the entire time to embracing, loving, and comforting a member who is hurting. Maybe we’ll just sing, or pray, or share. Or maybe someone in the group might be moved to open a book to bring a relevant study for personal growth or perhaps someone might open the Bible and bring a message from God. We will not be forced to sit in rows like mindless spectators to listen to some preacher’s speech, but instead, we will all lovingly interact and dialogue about how God may be speaking to each of us individually. And we would not need to worry about getting out on time to go eat. In my family room, we would just eat together while we do church. That’s biblical. And for communion, we could have real bread and wine; not just some little stale, tasteless wafer with a watered down grape juice teasers.
In EASY CHURCH, our prayers would be more focussed and and our ministries could be centered on meeting our needs. As a small, loving, relational community, we would devote ourselves to each other. We would invest in each member’s individual and personal spiritual formation. Our concerns would be more about our deeds; not our creeds. We could use our time and our spiritual gifts to minister to each other rather than concerning ourselves with fruitless, academic exercises like teaching divisive doctrines. EASY CHURCH will be an environment where it will be EASY to do the Word; not just hear the Word.
Yes, the more I think about it, the more excited I get. Can’t you just feel the love? I think we have all been “doing church” wrong for too many years. A smaller, more primitive, essential, and simple kind of church really makes good sense to me and it is biblical. Like my family room church, the early churches were all house churches.
On second thought, I think I will furnish my family room with comfortable recliners and call my church, “EASY CHAIR CHURCH.”
“SIMPLE CHURCH” is a re-definition of church rising from the conversation between Christianity and the culture and worldview of postmodernism and could be seen as a subset of the Emerging Church.
Wikipedia has more information on “SIMPLE CHURCH” here and a Google search will provide plenty of information about this rapidly growing movement.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
1. “truth that comes from the gut, not books” (Stephen Colbert, Comedy Centras “The Colbert Report,” Oct. 2005)
2. “the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true” (American Dialect Society, Jan. 2006)
Suzanne Fields suggested that if Descartes were alive today, he would have to write, “I feel, therefore I am.”
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Pastor Morris Brooks has enumerated the following fifteen key indicators in his post, The Seducing Spirit of Our Age at his blog, Pressing On:
- When "evangelism" takes priority over theology
- When confrontation is traded for comfort
- When results are more important than truth
- When sin is defined as poor choices, bad decisions, falling down, failure, or having problems
- When requiring commitment is exchanged for providing convenience
- When preaching and teaching is replaced by speaking and conversation
- When pastorisms are substituted for Scripture
- When doing what's right gives in to doing what works
- When fellowship becomes community
- When the sacred becomes like the secular
- When being relevant is more important than being righteous
- When being distinct gives way to accommodation
- When book studies replace Bible studies
- When our focus is all about life change instead of saving faith in Christ
- When worship becomes man-centered entertainment instead of God-focused exaltation
Thursday, October 16, 2008
It was in those days that I was first asked by our music pastor to sing a solo for a Sunday evening service. I picked a Ralph Charmichael song that had a nice, catchy melody and was heavy on warm-fuzzy sentiment; it was sure to be a crowd pleaser.
When I told my music pastor what I was going to sing, he firmly informed me that I could not sing that song in our church. He explained that there were some doctrinal problems with it. I thought he was a bit overly stuffy but, nevertheless, I submitted to his leadership and chose another "approved" song.
I was thankful for that kind of pastoral leadership in our church then. Those were the days when even the music in the church was a matter of pastoral oversight. That is what pastoral leadership is required to do; to guard the doctrinal purity and the truth of the Word communicated whether it is spoken, written or sung. As it turns out, he was right and I was young and lacking in wisdom and discernment.
The Church needs more pastoral leadership to teach people what is right and appropriate when it comes together for corporate worship. Sadly, too many modern churches have removed the responsibility of music from the pastors and relegated it to praise and worship leaders, many of whom lack sufficient understanding of true biblical praise or worship but who are skilled at leading the congregation in, as one person has described it, “mindless eyes-closing, body-swaying, being-moved-by-the-pretty-tune singing.”
“Public character is no evidence of true greatness, for a public character is often an artificial character.” In other words, if you want to know what a man is really like, you should watch him when he thinks no one is looking.
The textbook used a real life example to illustrate. The man was a Brigadier General in the Continental Army and a patriot leader in the American Revolution. He was a war hero of the battle of Saratoga, the battle that turned the war. His public credentials were quite impressive.
But he also had a private life. It was his responsibility to dispatch food and supplies to the troops at Valley Forge but he sold wagonloads of their provisions on the black market while Washington’s men were freezing, starving and dying. Later, Benedict Arnold sold out West Point to the British for money. He was tried and convicted of treason.
His private life was a better indicator of his true character than his public life. The textbook continued with this statement. “It is in the private life that we are to look for the man. Private life is always real life; that’s where a man is always sure to act himself.”
In the late 1800’s Robert Ingersol espoused that leaders should be elected for their public competence and their private lives should be disregarded.
Does it really matter whom a candidate associates with or what questionable moral and political principles he has articulated in the past or how he has been enriched at public expense? It is frightening how so many people today are willing to overlook a person’s private life in the political or public arena. If Benedict Arnold were alive today, he might be very electable.
“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:2.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
When at long last the pastor dares assay the pulpit, ask him if he has a word from God. If he does not, then dismiss him. Tell him you can read the morning paper, digest the nightly commentaries and think through the day’s superficial problems and manage the community’s weary drives and bless the sordid baked potatoes and green beans ad infinitum better than he can. Command him not to come back until he’s read and reread, written and rewritten until he can stand up, worn and forlorn and say, “THUS SAITH THE LORD.”
And when he’s burned out by the flaming Word, when he’s consumed at last by the fiery grace blazing through him, and when he’s privileged to translate the Word of God to man finally transferred from earth to heaven, then bear him away gently and blow a muted trumpet and lay him down softly, place a two-edged sword on his coffin and raise the tomb triumphant, for he was a brave soldier of the Word, and ere he died, he had become a spokesman for his God.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Whether or not Obama is "THE ONE" is arguable and I certainly wouldn't go so far as to speculate that he is the Antichrist, BUT it sure seems like the world is anxiously racing to crown and embrace a KING OF THE EARTH.
Watcher's Lamp is a blog dedicated to monitoring spiritual deception and world events from a Biblical perspective. Here are several headlines of recent new events from around the world in just the past few days:
United Arab Emerates: Europe’s failure to unite shows the need for global leadership
The Philippines: World Bank Head: G7 can’t handle this crisis
Australia: Wall St plunges as global crisis worsens
From the UK's Telegraph - Russia Calls For New World Order
From the Scotsman - Scotland: The New World Order Emerges Out of Global Chaos
From Forbes.com - NEWS ALERT: Brave New World Upon Us
From newswithviews.com - Christians Partner With Pagans For a Better World
Other related articles: The Global Solution to the Wall Street Crisis
India Calls For Global Crises Center
From the UK's Times Online: Britain's Prime Minister: We Must Lead The World To Financial Stability
And this video clip from Glen Beck: New World Order is the Endgame
All of this and more can be read at Watcher's Lamp
Saturday, October 4, 2008
One remark during the cross-examination especially caught my attention. In her testimony, the girl said that, when he was confronted about his misdeed, her father said, “Well, if I did anything that upset you, I’m sorry.”
What do you do with lame, disingenuous apologies like that? That happens frequently. Someone does some outrageous, hurtful deed and then, when confronted, flippantly offers that kind of a meaningless, half-hearted response. What does that mean anyway? Does it mean if you’re not upset, then he’s not really sorry? Does it mean he’s only sorry that you have been offended but he’s not remorseful about his deed? Or does it mean that he is only sorry that he was found out?
I have been told by someone who has repeatedly and habitually committed the same trespass, that, just because he said, “sorry” I must forgive him because Jesus commanded us to forgive seventy times seven. In this classic example of deflection, suddenly the attention is off the offender and turned to the supposed “sin” of the offended for not being willing to forgive.
And then there is this insane statement that I often hear. We must forgive unconditionally because God forgives us unconditionally. But is that true? Does God forgive us unconditionally? I just don’t see it that way.
The Apostle Paul clearly describes two kinds of remorse for sin. One kind is like the lame apology described above. It is the “sorrow of the world” and it produces death. True sorrow for sin produces repentance worthy of exoneration and leads to salvation which is the condition for real forgiveness.
"For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter." 2Corinthians 7:8-11
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Some people call McCain a "RINO" (Republican In Name Only). Rush Limbaugh coined a new term that I think is more appropriate -"Jello Republicans".
What choice do we really have? There are NO CONSERVATIVE candidates in this coming election - until now.
Finally a true conservative has emerged. His offer to help was rejected by the Republicans and he was totally ignored by the Democrats.
Now, through a grassroots movement that is sweeping across America, this unknown TRUE CONSERVATIVE is capturing the hearts of the people and making national news.
Check out this short video clip. Take my word for it; this is really the ONE to vote for.
Always Right; Sometimes Wrong
My name is Ralph Petersen and I approve of this message.