Once Upon a Time, America

2013/10/07

Once upon a time God decided to bless some people with a child.  And despite all the worldly odds, this child was born, and she came into the world as so many other children before her did.  However; there were many who were angry about this child being born, and they did all they could to put an end to her life.  They attempted attacking her, and hurting her in a variety of ways, but thanks to God’s provision and protection; the child survived.  In-fact; God was so gracious that He made it very difficult for many who would do her harm to actually even get to her.  And those who could get to her, God miraculously defended her, against all the odds.  And the young child was fully aware of this and she was thankful and appreciative.

As the child grew God blessed her far beyond any child that had come before.  She was wealthy, she was strong, she was smart and hard working.  She was prosperous in all she did, and God’s protection remained upon her, and all knew that she was special to the Lord. 

But then something terrible happened… the child, though still young, began to wrongly think that she was responsible for her own success, and so she no longer acknowledged God in all her ways… and as much as she chose not to retain God in her knowledge, God gave her up.  Not only that, but since she believed that she was responsible for all her success, wealth, and strength, she began to force others to bend to her will, and she used her great wealth and strength to do this.  She also used her wealth and strength to exploit her weaker neighbors, and impose her will upon others who lived in the neighborhood.  Many were under her authority, but they did not mind her heavy handedness and sin, since they were also recipients of the blessings that she had received.

Over time her rejection of God grew from simply not acknowledging Him in all her ways to outright rebellion and disobedience, until it came to the point where she was openly, willfully, and happily cursing God, spitting in His face, disobeying Him with joy and gladness.  She gleefully committed sin and flaunted it before God.

Of course the consequences for this behavior began to show.  The child was stricken with sickness and began to suffer loss in various ways, and yet she continued in her open rebellion and unrepentance.

Finally one day God asked those who were under the authority of the child, “What shall I do with this one who has rejected me, and who has no fear of God, and no love for her fellow man?”  And the people said, “Heal her of her sickness, and she will be well.”  Other said, “Remind her of her youth, and she will be well.”  And God saw that they loved her greatly and it grieved Him in His heart, for they loved the child more than they loved Him and His ways, and so God said, “Since you have loved the child more than you have loved your Creator, you too will suffer what is about to befall her.”

And those under the authority of the child were angry with God.  And as calamity fell upon the child and those under her authority the child and those with her cursed God all the more. 

 

Who is this child?  Her name is the United States of America.

A working timeline of Amillennialism? Maybe, Maybe not, but interesting none the less

2012/06/28

In the mid 1800’s a new form of eschatology was formed.  It is known as dispensational – pre-millennialism.  Dispensational – pre-millennialism is the most common form of eschatology today and it is unbiblical.  It is the type of eschatology presented by Hal Lindsey, Tim LaHay, Jerry Jenkins, etc… which states; The rapture of the Church will occur just before the Anti-Christ is revealed and the tribulation begins.  Seven years of tribulation will ensue, and then Christ will return again (is this a 3rd coming?).  At this time Satan will be bound and the millennium will begin.  After a thousand years, Satan will be released yet again and Christ will defeat him once and for all and usher in the New Heavens and New Earth.

Prior to the 1830’s, almost every Christian scholar, theologian, pastor and layperson believed in what is known as Post Millennialism, Historic Premillennialism or Amillennialism.  Amillennial eschatology is laid out as follows.

Satan is bound at the cross of Calvary and held for a figurative 1,000 years (not necessarily a literal 1,000 years).  This is known as the Church Age and the millennium.  During this time the Gospel will be preached to all the nations.  After this time, Satan is released and goes out to deceive the nations once more.  This continues until Christ’s 2nd Coming at which time the Church is raptured.  We meet Christ in the air and immediately return to earth in order to watch Him defeat Satan once and for all.  At this time judgment takes place and Christ ushers in the New Heavens and New Earth.

Now let’s look at these events individually

 

The first event is the binding of Satan at the cross of Calvary

‘How can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? And then He will spoil his house’

(Matthew 12: 29)

In Luke’s account the strong man is represented as armed and guarding his palace or residence. But once disarmed by a stronger opponent, he is deprived of his spoils (Luke 11: 21-22). Christ’s claim, then, is crystal clear. He has ‘bound’ Satan and can plunder his house at will…Satan cannot successfully resist Christ. The tyrant has been defeated. He may and does counter-attack, but he has already lost the war. He knows that his time is short (Revelation 12: 12). So do his minions as they ask Christ, ‘Art thou come hither to torment us before the time?’ (Matthew 8: 29). They know that torment awaits them in hell, a place ‘prepared for the devil and his angels’ (Matthew 25: 41).

Satan is bound by the cross of Christ. There the serpent’s head was crushed and the forces of evil routed. So certain was Christ of victory as He went to His cross that He could say emphatically, ‘Now is the judgement of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out’ (John 12: 31)..it (also) needs to be remembered that the atonement is retrospective…in its efficacy, as well as prospective. In other words, it relates equally to all post-Fall history, whether for us it is past or future. It is trans-historical.

Old Testament believers (too) were saved by that cross, exactly as are New Testament believers. The blood of bulls and goats could not, and did not, cleanse their sin, but it did prefigure Christ’s effectual sacrifice on the cross. New Testament believers have vastly greater knowledge of what happened at Calvary than the saints of old, but in terms of justification they have nothing essential that Old Testament believers did not have.

Christ’s death redeems from transgressions those who were ‘under the first covenant’ (Hebrews 9: 15)…the truth that the cross relates equally to all human history since the Fall, means that Satan has always been ‘bound’ by the cross and able to move only as God permits him (see Job 1: 12 and 2: 6). This does not mean that the sacrifice left the situation unchanged. There has been a significant change, in that Satan’s activity has been further curbed and restricted, so that he can no longer deceive the nations (Revelation 20: 3)…(meaning) he cannot frustrate the Great Commission or prevent the spread of the gospel throughout the world…of course Satan is still a dangerous enemy. A dog on a chain is circumscribed in its movement, but within that sphere it can be dangerous. So it is with Satan. His movement is restricted by a sovereign God – as the book of Job makes clear – but the Christian is nevertheless exhorted to wear the armour of God. Only thus can he ‘quench the fiery darts of the evil one’ (Ephesians 6: 16)…Scripture strikes a careful balance between presenting Satan as ‘bound’, yet as dangerous as a hungry lion (1 Peter 5: 8).

Overall, Scripture sees Satan as clearly under God’s power. Calvin sees Satan serving God in spite of himself, ‘Because with the bridle of His power, God holds him bound and restrained, he carries out only those things which have been permitted to him; and so he obeys his Creator, whether he will or not, because he is compelled to yield Him service…’ (Institutes, 1:14:17). That was supremely the case at Calvary (compare Acts 2: 23).

Because Satan is on a leash, and the Christian is delivered from his authority…(being) now indwelt by the Holy Spirit and ‘sealed’ by the Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 4: 30), Christ’s people can succesfully resist the devil (James 4: 7). But to do so consistently they must use the means that God has provided. Satan fears those who delight in God’s Word and who pray believingly. Contrary to some modern teaching, the Christian is ‘kept by the power of God’ (1 Peter 1: 5)….Satan lays his snares and tempts the Christian, but he cannot compel him to sin. If and when the believer sins, it is his own doing to be confessed as such (Romans 6: 14; James 1: 14-15). …to believe and teach, as some do, that a Christian can be demon-possessed is a monstrous error that runs counter to all that the Bible says about the believer. It is utterly grotesque to think that the Holy Spirit and an evil spirit can reside together in the same person…many so-called ‘deliverance ministries’ of our day are blighted by this false doctrine and are doing incalculable damage to anxious souls.

Another great result of Christ’s victory over Satan and his underlings is the assurance the Church has in obeying the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 19-20). In going forth as Christ has commanded, the Church knows that Satan cannot frustrate God’s purpose. His Word will not return to Him void, but will accomplish what God desires, gathering His Church out of the world until the end of the age (Isaiah 55: 11)…every time a sinner is saved, whether demon-possessed or not, Christ has ransacked Satan’s house!

The Second Event is the Millennium

The millennium is the church age – the time when Satan is bound (though not powerless) and most amillennialists say we are in the millennium now.

The 3rd Event is the release of Satan

This is what I want to mainly focus on in this article.  Could it be possible that Satan was released in the 1800’s (strangely enough, about the time that dispensationalism was created).

Let’s look at what happened then.

1830 (approx.) – Dispensational Pre-Millennialism is created

1830 – Mormonism is created by Joseph Smith

1859 – Darwin publishes “Origin of Species”

1848 – Christadelphians are formed by John Thomas (Thomas belonged to the Disciples of Christ, who at the time were teaching that Christ would return in 1866, but he soon had a falling out with them and began his own sect)

1848 – Karl Marx publishes the Communist Manifesto

1861 – Abraham Lincoln begins the Civil War and ignores the U.S. Constitution’s granting of individual states rights

1879 – Christian Science is created by Marry Baker Eddy

1884 – Jehovah’s Witnesses were formed by Charles Taze Russell.

1884 – Fabian Society (Fabian Socialism) was founded in England.  Members included Eleanor Marx (the daughter of Karl Marx), George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells

1889 – Unity School of Christianity is formed by Charles Fillmore

1895 – The Fabian Society forms the London School of Economics

In the 1900’s the deceptions grew

1913 – The Federal Reserve is created.  It was planned at a secret meeting in 1910 on Jekyll Island, Georgia by a group of bankers and politicians, many of which are either professors at or graduates of the London School of Economics

1919 – Prominent British and American Fabian Socialists establish the Royal Institute of International Affairs in England and the Institute of International Affairs in the U.S.  Two years later the institutes are reorganized into the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)

1920 – the League of Nations is founded

1922 – The CFR endorses World Government in its magazine Foreign Affairs

1928 – H.G. Wells publishes The Open Conspiracy: Blue Prints for a World Revolution.  In this book Wells states; “Open Conspiracy must weaken, efface, incorporate and supersede existing governments… it is the natural inheritor of socialist and communist enthusiasms; it may be in control of Moscow before it is in control of New York… the character of the Open Conspiracy will now be plainly displayed… it will be a world religion.”

1931 – Students at the Lenin School of Political Warfare in Moscow are taught:

“One day we shall start to spread the most theatrical peace movement the world has ever seen.  The capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will fall into the trap offered by the possibility of making new friends.  Our day will come in 30 years or so…”

1932 — Plan for Peace by American Birth Control League founder Margaret Sanger (1921) is published. She calls for coercive sterilization, mandatory segregation, and rehabilitative concentration camps for all “dysgenic stocks” including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians and Catholics.

1933 – FDR takes the United States off the Gold Standard (roughly 30 years later John F. Kennedy would attempt to remove us from a fiat currency and would by assassinated.  One of his successors (LBJ) first acts was to put us back on the gold standard).

1933 – The First Humanist Manifesto is published.  Co-author John Dewey, calls for a synthesizing of all religions and a “socialized and cooperative economic order.”  One of the signers of the manifesto, C.F. Potter said, “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

1933 — The Shape of Things to Come by H.G. Wells is published. Wells predicts a second world war around 1940, originating from a German-Polish dispute. After 1945 there would be an increasing lack of public safety in “criminally infected” areas. The plan for the “Modern World-State” would succeed on its third attempt (about 1980), and come out of something that occurred in Basra, Iraq. The book also states: “Although world government had been plainly coming for some years, although it had been endlessly feared and murmured against, it found no opposition prepared anywhere.”

1934 — The Externalization of the Hierarchy by Alice A. Bailey is published. Bailey is an occultist, whose works are channeled from a spirit guide, the Tibetan Master [demon spirit] Djwahl Kuhl. Bailey uses the phrase “points of light” in connection with a “New Group of World Servers” and claims that 1934 marks the beginning of “the organizing of the men and women… group work of a new order… with progress defined by service… the world of the Brotherhood… the Forces of Light… and out of the exploitation of all existing culture and civilization, the new world order must be built.”

The book is published by the Lucis Trust, incorporated originally in New York as the Lucifer Publishing Company. Lucis Trust is a United Nations NGO and has been a major player at the recent U.N. summits. Later Assistant Secretary General of the U.N. Robert Mueller would credit the creation of his World Core Curriculum for education to the underlying teachings of Djwahl Kuhl via Alice Bailey’s writings on the subject.

1945 – the United Nations is created

1948 – UNESCO president and Fabian Socialist, Sir Julian Huxley, calls for a radical eugenic policy in UNESCO; it’s purpose and it’s philosophy he states:

Thus, even though it is quite true that any radical eugenic policy of controlled human breeding will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake that much that is now unthinkable may at least become thinkable.”

1954 – Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands establishes the Bilderbergers, international politicians and bankers who meet secretly on an annual basis

1954 – Senator William Jenner said:

Today the path to total dictatorship in the United States can be laid by strictly legal means, unseen and unheard by the Congress, the President, or the people… outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system, another body representing another form of government, a bureaucratic elite which believes our Constitution is outmoded and is sure that it is the winning side…. All the strange developments in the foreign policy agreements may be traced to this group who are going to make us over to suit their pleasure…. This political action group has its own local political support organizations, its own pressure groups, its own vested interests, its foothold within our government, and its own propaganda apparatus.”

1961 – The U.S. State Department issues a plan to disarm all nations and arm the United Nations. State Department Document Number 7277 is entitled Freedom From War: The U.S. Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World. It details a three-stage plan to disarm all nations and arm the U.N. with the final stage in which “no state would have the military power to challenge the progressively strengthened U.N. Peace Force.”

1973 — Humanist Manifesto II is published:

1993 – CFR member and Trilateralist Henry Kissinger writes in the Los Angeles Times concerning NAFTA: “What Congress will have before it is not a conventional trade agreement but the architecture of a new international system… a first step toward a new world order.”

1996 – The United Nations 420-page report Our Global Neighborhood is published. It outlines a plan for “global governance,” calling for an international Conference on Global Governance in 1998 for the purpose of submitting to the world the necessary treaties and agreements for ratification by the year 2000

2001 – George Bush, signs into law the Unconstitutional Patriot Act

2001 – The SORT Treaty is signed beginning the implimentation of the UN’s “Global Governance.”

2010 – The START Treaty is signed further implementing the UN’s “Global Governance” plan.

2011 – 2012 – Barak Obama creates and signs into law Obama Care, an unconstitutional health care plan that uses tax payer monies to fund abortion, and possibly euthanasia

The premise of this thesis is this:  If Dispensationalism is incorrect, and I believe it is, and Amillennialism is correct, and I believe it is.  Then it is quite possible that Satan was released in the 1800s.  If this is correct, and there’s no guarantee that it is; then we could be very near the time of Christ’s return.  In-fact, according to Scripture the only thing that remains is the revealing of the Anti-Christ (as it could easily be argued that the falling away has already occurred – See 2nd Thessalonians 2:3)

The timing of the rapture and a theory

2012/03/13

The Timing of the Rapture

 

1st Corinthians 15:50 – 53

  1. I.                   What is this passage talking about?
    1. a.      The way we can know is by asking, what event takes place when we are all changed in the twinkling of an eye?
    2. b.      The answer is: It’s talking about the rapture
  2. II.                When does it happen?
    1. a.      At the last trumpet (see verse 52)
    2. b.      Notice that the dead are raised fist, then we also rise imperishable

 

1st Thessalonians 4:13 – 18

  1. I.                   We can discern that the Thessalonians were concerned about what happens to the dead at the time of the rapture
    1. a.      Paul tells them that they will come back with the Lord when He comes.
  2. II.                What signs are given in this passage?
    1. a.      Jesus returns with a shout and a trumpet blast

                                                              i.      At this time, the bodies of the dead will be glorified and their spirits who have been with the Lord will re-enter the glorified bodies

                                                            ii.      Based on what we saw in 1st Corinthians, we too at this time will receive glorified bodies (this is the rapture of the Church).

  1. III.             Which trumpet blast is this?
    1. a.      Is there a trumpet after the last trumpet?

                                                              i.      We saw in 1st Corinthians 15:52 that it takes place at the last trumpet, is this a different trumpet?  Is there more than one rapture?

 

2nd Thessalonians 2:1 – 12

  1. I.                   Verse one makes it very clear what this passage is talking about.
    1. a.      The coming of the Lord and our being gathered together to Him
  2. II.                What are the signs that Paul gives to the Thessalonians so that they will know they not missed it?
    1. a.      The rebellion comes first
    2. b.      And the man of lawlessness is revealed

                                                              i.      Both of these things happen before the coming of the Lord and our being gathered together to Him

                                                            ii.      What is our being gathered together to Him? 

  1. 1.      Answer: The rapture
  2. III.             Who or what is restraining the man of lawlessness?
    1. a.      Paul assumed his readers already knew what was restraining the man of sin
    2. b.      In verse 7 he says the mystery of lawlessness WAS being restrained at the present time – WHILE the man of sin was being restrained. 

                                                              i.      This tells us that the man of sin/lawlessness was being restrained but there was still some sort of lawlessness that was still taking place.  In other words, this restraining did not completely stop the devil from doing things

  1. IV.             What did the restraining pertain to?
    1. a.      Matthew 12:28-29

                                                              i.      Here Jesus was saying that Satan was bound, in order for the miracles to occur

  1. 1.      Were people still wicked?  Yes!  Where they still sinful?  Yes!  Were people trying to attack the Gospel and Christ Himself?  Yes!

                                                            ii.      The binding of Satan refers to his inability to stop the forward progress of the Church – “The gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church.” 

  1. b.      Acts 14:15 – 16

                                                              i.      In past times (before Christ) only Israel was privy to the truth of God (Romans 3:2)

  1. c.       Revelation 20:1 – 3

                                                              i.      What does the binding of Satan pertain to?

  1. 1.      Being able to deceive the nations

                                                            ii.      When did it happen?

  1. 1.      Remember Revelation is a series of parallels, not a long chronological book, but a book that tells the same events over and over from different perspectives.
  2. 2.      Answer: The binding of Satan happened during Jesus 1st Advent, and specifically at the cross.

                                                          iii.      What about the thousand years?

  1. 1.      Many want to say that the 1,000 years are a literal thousand years… but in doing that they must also say that the chain Satan is bound with is literal as well, and I know of no one who is willing to do that, as Satan is a spirit being, not a flesh and blood being.
  2. 2.      If the thousand years are literal, and we take this interpretation, then we must say that Satan was released between 1,030 and 1,110 AD
  3. 3.      If the thousand years are a figure of speech meaning “a very long time” (as the phrase ‘a thousand years’ is often used in Scripture) then Satan could have been released at any time between Christ’s 1st Advent and now, or sometime in the future. 
  4. 4.      If we take the premillennial dispensational view, then the binding of Satan is yet to come and we must take Jesus’ Words in Matthew 12:28-29 as meaning something else.  But even if we do that, we must remember that the binding of Satan has to do only with his ability to deceive the nations. 
  5. d.      How does all of this apply to the Restrainer?

                                                              i.      Several views have been offered up

  1. 1.      The early Church felt that since the restrainer is spoken of in the neuter gender in verse 6 and the masculine gender in verse 7 (in the original Greek language), that it must either be an angel or a form of government or power.  That would mean that it could’ve been seen as either the Roman Empire and the rule of law established by God
  2. 2.      In the 1800’s dispensationalists offered the interpretation that the restrainer might be the Holy Spirit.  But they had problems with this themselves in the sense that the Holy Spirit is always spoken of in the masculine gender, and how does one “remove” the Holy Spirit?  If the Holy Spirit is removed how does anyone get saved?
  3. 3.      Modern dispensationalists have said that the restrainer is the Church, and that the Church is removed through the rapture (a pre-tribulational rapture – but again we’ve already discussed this and will discuss it more in a moment).  The problem with this view is that but this would be the only time the Church is referred to in the masculine gender, everywhere else the Church is referred to in the female gender.  On a side note, some Reformed theologians also say it is the Church, but not in the sense of being raptured, but in the sense of the falling away.  They say that the Church becomes so ineffective in spreading the Gospel that it results in more and more lawlessness, and the love of many growing cold
  4. e.       Thus there is not a consensus of agreement on who or what the restrainer is.  What is clear is that in the original Greek language the restrainer is spoken of as hindering the man of lawlessness, not as completely halting his activity.

 

Matthew 24

  1. I.                   We see tribulation occurring to the saints in verse 9
  2. II.                We see the apostasy or rebellion in verse 10
    1. a.      Notice Jesus encourages His listeners to endure to the end
  3. III.             In verse 15 we see the abomination of desolation
    1. a.      We must ask ourselves is this the man of lawlessness spoken of by Paul in 2nd Thessalonians 2?

                                                              i.      It would seem so, as he is spoken of as standing in the holy place (see 2nd Thess. 2:4 for comparison)

                                                            ii.      Since this is the same man of lawlessness, then what we’ve learned in 2nd Thessalonians applies here as well.

  1. 1.      Again notice that Jesus is talking to believers in verses 16 – 20
  2. 2.      And then comes great tribulation (no mention of a rapture yet; but Jesus does say that the days will be cut short for the sake of the elect.  If the elect have been raptured, why then must the days be cut short?)
  3. IV.             Verses 29 – 31
    1. a.      Notice it’s immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days that the Son of Man appears in the clouds
    2. b.      We see the trumpet in verse 31 and the gathering of the elect to Him.

                                                              i.      Is this the rapture?

  1. 1.      Answer: Yes, it would appear so

                                                            ii.      When does it occur?

  1. 1.      After the tribulation
  2. 2.      After the man of sin has proclaimed himself to be God
  3. V.                In verses 36 – 39 Jesus gives us the example of Noah
    1. a.      What happened with Noah?

                                                              i.      He was put inside the ark, judgment came, and he remained in the ark until the earth had been purified and all the sinners were destroyed

                                                            ii.      In like manner, we will be raptured, and meet the Lord in the air (again after the anti-Christ has been revealed and after the tribulation), we will be with the Lord in the air as He destroys the anti-Christ and all who follow him, and as He destroys the earth with fire and remakes it, and we return with the Lord to the earth where we will rule and reign with Him forever.

 

My Theory

My theory, and it is just a theory, is that we are in the tribulation right now… That Satan has been released and that he is again deceiving the nations.  I think we are seeing the falling away (ie. the apostasy and rebellion spoken of in Scripture), and that soon the man of lawlessness (the anti-Christ) will be revealed.  I think we are seeing the love of many grow cold in the fact that many professing Christians are unwilling to share the Gospel, and the result is that the Church is growing smaller.  I think we are seeing the deception that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 on the rise through this false teaching of the word of faith movement and these pseudo Charismatic churches (Benny Hinn, Joel Olsteen, Kenneth Copeland, etc…).  And I think that before long, and possibly in my lifetime, the Lord will return.

Are we ready?

Bible + Pop Culture + Humor = the twisted mind of a McKinley

2011/08/31

I think I’ve finally figured it out.

My wife is eagerly awaiting the new instalment of the Twilight film franchise.  She loves them.  I enjoy them myself, but give me Indiana Jones or a super hero flick over Twilight any day.  But again… I have seen them, and something struck me just the other day, that caused me to do some humorous thinking (not to mention post this little blog).

It came to me as I was preparing our Sunday sermon… You see; I’ve been preaching through the Book of Genesis, and over the last few weeks we’ve gone over chapters 25 – 27 – which just so happen to be dealing with the characters of Jacob and Esau.  And I have come to believe that the author of the Twilight series was heavily influenced by this biblical story.  In-fact, one of the characters in the books and films is named “Jacob.”

Here’s what we’ve got… in the biblical account there are Jacob and Esau.  Esau is described as “hairy.”  He is a manly man, and the strong, out-doors type.  He is a creature of voracious appitites, and driven by his carnal nature. The biblical  Jacob is… I wouldn’t say effeminate, but he is “less manly” than Esau.  He is described as a “man of the tents,” meaning that he was more concerned with the affairs of the estate and what was happening around him.  But he is also one who gets in the way of Esau and ends up stealing what he wants (the birthright).

So what has been done in the Twilight film is that you have two young (or at least they appear that way) men.  One’s name starts with an “E” (Edward not Esau) and the other is named Jacob.  One is older than the other, but then the roles are reversed.  The Twilight Jacob is the hairy one (he’s a werewolf), and he’s got the appetites of the biblical Esau.  Edward is by far “less manly” than Jacob, and he’s a brooding sort who is concerned with what’s going on around him and such, whereas Jacob is the strong, out-doorsy type who lives for the moment.

Again; the roles are reversed as it is the Twilight Jacob who is trying to sneak in and steal the girl from Edward, whereas the biblical Jacob stole the birthright and blessing from Esau.

Now it’s quite possible that I read all of this into the film, and that the author of the books had no intention or even an inkling of doing this… but it is a pretty amazing coincidence.  Regardless, it’s a good formula for a successful novel…

Just think about it.  You take a Biblical story line, modernize it, change a few details like the names of the characters and you all of a sudden have a best seller.

Some examples might include:

The stroy of David is changed to the stroy of a U.S. President.  His name is Daniel.  He begins as a soldier or CIA opperative (ala Jack Ryan), and serves under a twisted, cruel, or incompetent POTUS (the Saul character).  He eventually becomes President after a series of trials, and is a good POTUS, but not without his flaws (an adulterous affair), and he pays heavy consequinces for his sins.

The stroy of Samson could be made into a super-hero film.  Where you have this incredibly powerful main character with un-matched super powers, but also flaws galore.  The part of the Philistines would have to change to some secret society or something along those lines, with plans of world domination, and our hero continually thwarts them, while at the same time, is a self serving ego maniac.  But finally he is betrayed by someone he loved (the Delilah role), but in the end, he sacrifices himself to save the world.

You could do this with any biblical character… you could set Jonah in a war setting (say WWII), where he is a strongly nationalistic soldier for one side, and his beloved country is about to wipe out his hated enemies with a thermo-nuclear device, but for some reason (maybe because of the loss of civilian life) he goes to his hated enemies and warns them…

Daniel could be set in a post-apocalyptic, Mad-Max type setting…

On and on it goes.

Yup, I think I’m on to something here… I had best get to writing.

My Thoughts on the Downed Chinook

2011/08/10

The more I hear about the downed chinook in Afghanistan, the more it stinks to high heaven.

Initially we heard that a chopper was downed and all 30 men on board were killed.  Then we heard that those 30 men were Navy SEALs.  Immediately buzzers went off in my head.  Then the reports came out that these SEALs were sent in to rescue Army Rangers from the Taliban.

Here’s my take on this.  First of all you don’t ever cram your entire special opperations team into one helicopter.  You don’t, for precisely this reason.  If the chopper goes down, you’ve lost your team.  There is no opperational reason to put your entire team into one chopper.  Only an idiot would do this, or someone with evil intentions (more on that in a moment).  Secondly; why send SEALs when an airstrike would work?  There is no need to send any ground forces when an airstrike would work.  So unless the Rangers were being overrun, why send the SEALs?  The Rangers obviously weren’t overrun, because the only report I’ve gotten was that the chopper was downed, not that an entire company of Rangers was over-run.  Apparently the Rangers made it out fine, so no support (especially from Navy SEALs) was necessary.  Thirdly; why send SEALs at all?  Especially the same SEAL team that became national heroes for killing OBL?  Marines, 82nd or 101st Airborne, or more Rangers would’ve been more suited to do the job.  Fourthly – the whoe mess gave the Taliban a victory.  The Arabic websites are claiming such, saying things like “We got the assassins.”  Fifthly; it was the wrong type of aircraft for the type of mission.  The chopper was a CH-47 Chinook, when it should’ve been the modified MH-47.  The MH-47 is a modified version of the Chinook, configured for special opperations, and equipped with countermeasures.  Most folks will tell you that the CH-47 is little more than a thin-skinned, flying coffin.  Sixthly – Army spokesmen have said that the Chinook was piloted by “regular” pilots and not pilots from the 160th SOAR (the 160th SOAR are the pilots who regularly fly spec opps troops.  They are specially trained and the best of the best when it comes to pilots).  Lastly; the whole thing smells like a set up.  It sounds like someone didn’t want SEAL Team 6 talking.  That’s why they put them in a death trap of a chopper, that’s why SOAR piolets weren’t flying the mission, that’s why the Taliban knew they were coming.

Conspiracy theory?  It absolutely sounds like it.  I think that there should be an investigation, that we need to check for leaks in Special Opperations Command, and the CIA (or even higher up), and heads should roll.

If it wasn’t a set up then whoever was in charge of this mission should be removed from duty for being a complete idiot.

Ok… just my thoughts.  Comments?

His and Her Diary (for the same day)

2011/06/30

I received this as an email.  I found it funny.  Thought I would share.

His and Her Diary (for the same day)

Her Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was  acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it.  Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; he said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it.  On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior; I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep –

I cried.

I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

His Diary:

Boat wouldn’t start; can’t figure out why.

Why don’t they get it?

2011/06/29

The Oklahoma Baptist Messenger ran the following guest editorial today (6/29/11).  I replied to it.  I will post a link to the Messenger, and copy and paste both the editorial and my reply.

Guest Editorial: How to win the culture war

By Staff • June 27, 2011 • 1 Comment

by Paul Moody

How can Christians win, in the culture war that is raging in our nation?

In the first place, we must have unity of spirit. Colossians 1:10 says, “I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.”

Can we agree that our nation has been in a moral decline for many years? Can we agree that if our nation’s moral decline is going to be reversed, it will be because Christians are motivated to address the problem?

The objective of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Committee of the Capital Association is to develop awareness of the moral and social issues impacting our society and to encourage our churches to effect positive change. With this in mind, I want to call to your attention nine moral issues facing our nation as identified by Charles Stanley in his sermon of July 4, 2010, called “Turning the Tide.” The nine moral issues are as follows:

1. America’s national debt, now exceeding $14 trillion, is driving us to bankruptcy.

2. The steady movement toward socialism, where the government takes more and more responsibility for things not spelled out in the Constitution.

3. The squashing of religious thought in numerous public arenas.

4. Confusion and corruption in America in both the public and private sectors.

5. Growing opposition by a group of Americans to Christians praying in public events and using the name of Jesus in their prayers.

6. A tide of terrorism spreading throughout our nation.

7. Government leaders are moving to distance us from support of Israel.

8. The fact that the people of America have aborted more than 50 million babies since Roe vs. Wade.

9. Homosexuality and abandonment of the biblical view of marriage by an ever growing number of Americans.

Stanley’s solution to the moral crises in America was to ask those who heard his message to commit to pray for our nation.

I would agree that STEP ONE must be for God’s people to pray daily for the restoration of the Judeo Christian ethic and value system our nation was founded on and that it permeate every aspect of American life. We need to pray that God will give wisdom to the officials we have elected to state and national office.

STEP TWO is for Christians to commit to becoming educated to the moral issues of our day. If you go to our website, http://www.cbaokc.org and then click on ERLC, you can find the following information to be very helpful:
1. You can find the name, address and phone number of your state and national officials.

2. You can examine the moral issues identified in “action alerts” by such groups as the National Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the State ERLC and the Capital Association ERLC. You can also increase your awareness of the moral issues by clicking on http://www.richardlandlive. Richard Land is President of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He hosts a daily talk show on the Internet. Land encourages people to call in and discuss the issues of the day. He maintains offices in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville, Tenn.

3. Other links on our website are, Reclaim Oklahoma, American Family Association, Focus On The Family, KQCV Bott Radio, National Right To Life Committee and Wall Builders.

STEP THREE is to put “feet to your prayers.” Armed with knowledge of the moral and ethical issues facing our nation and what needs to be done to make corrections, we must communicate our thoughts to our elected officials. For too long, Americans have left the governing of our states and our nation to those we have elected to office. The complaint among many is “I don’t have time to concern myself with the affairs of state.” This has gone on so long that many of our elected officials ignore what the vast majority of Americans want to see happen relative to restoring the values we hold dear. It’s time we Christians wake them up to the fact that our government is “of, by and for the people.” We believe in the Constitution of the United States. We believe we should follow it and adhere to it.

I believe America’s greatest days lie ahead. This hope is rooted in the thought that more Christians are going to rise to the occasion by becoming more informed about the issues that threaten our nation’s very survival—that more Christians will determine to elect Christians to office who promise to reduce the size of government, enforce the laws of the land and insist on the highest standards of ethics on the part of those holding office.

America has a great history of patriots who have served their country well for more than 200 years. It is a privilege and an honor to live as free people in this great land. Let us never take our freedom for granted. God looks to us to be the “salt and light” to the world that Jesus spoke of in the “Sermon on the Mount.”

Let me summarize what I hope more of us will commit to do. Pray daily for our nation and her leaders. Become informed on the moral and ethical issues facing us. Communicate with our elected officials regularly so they know we stand behind them in their decision making process as long as we are moving in the right direction.

Paul Moody is chairman, ERLC Committee, Capital Association

—————————

MY REPLY IS AS FOLLOWS

Ken McKinley says:

The culture war will not be one by electing Christian leaders. It will not be won by giving money to conservative groups or causes. It cannot be won through politics or legislation. That’s fighting the war using the enemies tactics. The heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. The things that we see happening in our country (such as same sex marriage, abortion, removal of prayer, etc…) are wrongly said to be things that are going to bring judgment upon America, when in-fact they are types of judgment upon America. The way we are going to win the culture war isn’t outlined above. It’s outlined in Scripture. Step 1 – Christians need to pray and repent. 2nd Chronicles 7:14 doesn’t mention godless unbelievers, but speaks of God’s people who are called by His Name. It is we (Christians) who need to humble ourselves and pray, and turn from our wicked ways, and seek His face. We need to repent. We demand that the world live like Christians when in reality they are stilll in bondage to their sinful nature. Step 2 – Share the Gospel with the unbelieving world. Until they are born again, they are going to live in accordance with their old nature. They need a heart transplant, and to be born from above in order to first of all see the condition they and the nation are in. Until then, those without Christ may or may not approve of same sex marriage or abortion, or any of the above, but nor do they condemn it or reject it as sinful. Sharing the Gospel is not doing social action. It is a verbal proclimation of a man’s lostness and Christ’s provision of salvation. Though social action may open the door for sharing the Gospel, the Gospel has not been shared until the verbal proclimation of it has been given (how shall the beleive unless they hear?).
The Gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation. It is the means that God has chosen to use to save sinners. Our world and our naiton will continue on it’s downward slide until the Gospel penetrates the hearts of sinners and changes them from the inside out. Until then, all the political and legislative action, and all the writing to senators and congressmen, is just the useless wranglings of men. Politicians are not another CP, that we can give our money to and feel good about doing our part. Until we as individual Southern Baptists get off our pews and share the Gospel with each and every person we know. Nothing will change. Our culture will continue its downward slide and our conversion/baptism numbers will continue to decrease.

The Gospel for the Middle East

2011/03/24

I believe that part of our “problem” with the Middle East is that we truly have no clue when it comes to understanding what motivates the people and the leaders, or what drives their culture.  Islam is more than just a religion, it is a gigantic system that governs and controls the lives of more than 1.2 billion people around the world.  It has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components and they are all intertwined. 

So when you hear Imam’s pray that Africa would be the first Islamic continent, how deep and wide does such a sentiment ring?  Egypt is a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Middle East, as well as in the entire Mediterranean region.  However; for the last few decades Egypt was seen by the Islamic world as a “liberal” country at best and as a “secular” country by most.  Before Mubarak stepped down Imam’s lamented that he was too secular, that he was too kind towards Israel and America, and even that he did not force his wife to wear traditional Islamic garb “suitable for women” (Sharia asserts that a Muslim head of state must rule by Islamic law and preserve Islam in its original form or he must be removed from office).  Sharia leaves little wiggle room for most Muslim leaders (though Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems to fit in quite nicely).  Because of this; Muslim leaders (especially those tied to the international scene), play a dangerous game.  They have to appear Islamic and anti-west, while trying to get along with the rest of the world.

Where we tend to make our mistakes is in thinking that if they are friendly towards us, then they are our friends.  That; and the fact that Sharia Law states that “A Muslim head of state can hold office through seizure of power and through force.”  Where this causes problems with the “civilized west” is that we fail to understand that this tenant of Sharia means that every Muslim leader out there will most likely turn to brutality and tyranny just to hold power and survive.  It’s king of the mountain with guns and tanks.  So… when a “secular” leader is over thrown or protested against in favor of the more pious (ie. Fundamentalist)  Muslim who would be a leader, the choice isn’t one that can be deemed “good” or “bad”, but rather it is one of “bad” or “worse.”  Especially for those of other faiths in the region. 

What then does the Middle East need?  Barak Obama has shouted the “protestors” praises from the rooftops, but why?  Does he believe that democracy can rise up in a nation that has never experienced it in history?  Can it?  Or maybe we should ask, “Should it?”  Perhaps Obama believes that if the Middle Eastern countries can move towards democracy, then they can also move towards socialism/communism?

Does Egypt, or Libya, or Yemen, or Syria, or (insert your Middle Eastern country of choice here) need democracy?  Do they need Sharia Law?  Or maybe Communism?  Or anarchy?  I think they need something more than a governmental, or financial system.  I think they need Jesus Christ.  You see; within every man there is a corrupt nature that separates man from God.  We are totally depraved.  What that means is that not every human being is as sinful as he or she could be, but that every human being is sinful in every aspect of themselves (mind, souls, thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, etc…) to the point that they are incapable of altering their condition and incapable of saving themselves from the consequences of their condition. 

There is no real peace in democracy, socialism, communism, social reform, civil justice, social justice, oligarchies, etc…  Any form of government may for a season make things appear better and improve standards of living, but a man in and by himself cannot mend himself morally to attain the state of social and moral bliss and moral innocence that he lost through Adam’s transgression in the Garden of Eden.  True freedom and liberty only comes from knowing the One true God through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

A Concern about Semi-Pelagianism

2011/02/22

So over the last year I’ve read David Platt’s Radical, Francis Chan’s Crazy Love, Hugh Halter’s The Tangible Kingdom, Marty Duren’s The Generous Soul, and a few others like them.  I’ve enjoyed all of them, but “a shadow and a threat has been growing in my mind.”

Below are a few concerns I have. 

I honestly don’t think we in the west have a good understanding of poverty and wealth.  We as Christians need to be generous, and be giving, but the answer to the worlds pressing needs of hunger, medical care, and poverty isn’t in our giving.   Wealth is created in places where the rule of law is upheld, property rights are secured, where people are encouraged to be entrepreneurs, and where there is sufficient social capital to encourage risk-taking.  Could it be possible that God in His sovereignty moved Christianity westward for the purpose of:  1. Blessing us (as in the promised blessings of the covenant with Abraham and his seed – ie Christians)?  2. Having a logical faith born out of western thought (Greek and Roman logic) as opposed to the mystical faith of the near and far east?  3. Building His Church in a free market system that would allow His people to more readily fulfill the Great Commission and bless others?

Should we in our attempts to alleviate the poverty of our world teach the world the principles of capitalism, liberty, and push for a republican or democratic form of government rather than simply building water wells that can easily be confiscated by warlords who will use such things as means of manipulation and control or am I way off base here?

I honestly think that there is a tendency within man due to our fallen nature to look for a works based salvation through things like missions, giving and Mercy Ministries, etc…

     “Being involved in mercy ministries may help to commend the gospel, which is why Jesus taught, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16). Displaying God’s compassion and kindness by our actions is a good and appropriate thing for Christians to do. But such actions are not evangelism. They commend the gospel, but they share it with no one. To be evangelism, the gospel must be clearly communicated, whether in written or oral form.  When our eyes fall from God to humanity, social ills replace sin, horizontal problems replace the fundamental vertical problem between us and God, winning elections eclipses winning souls.” (Mark Dever, excerpted from The Gospel and Personal Evangelism.  Emphasis mine)

Could it be possible that:  1. Many think that by simply giving, going on mission trips, going to church, serving in a church setting, giving to the poor, building water wells in Africa, etc… that they are meriting their salvation, or at the very least, favor with God (ie. Mother Teresa complex).  2. Many practice what they call “friendship evangelism” because they are fearful of proclaiming the Gospel?  That in their minds, befriending another is the equivalent of the sharing the Gospel even though the Gospel is never proclaimed?  3. Many within our churches are not even Christians themselves and by calls to these good and necessary works that we are misleading them?

I honestly think that there are many within our churches who don’t understand what the Gospel is, and what the Great Commission is.  So… what is a disciple?  1. A disciple is someone committed to another person and his teaching. Christians are called to be disciples, and we are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ: that is, people who follow Him, who are committed to Him and to His will as revealed in Scripture.  2. How do we make disciples?

It is a command to reproduce, to multiply and grow the Church with people who follow Jesus, who are committed to Him and to His will as revealed in Scripture.  We do it by baptizing them

Baptism is the New Testament sign of admission into the church. We read in Acts that new converts were added to the number of believers, and that the church grew.  This should remind us that the making of disciples is the responsibility of the church. It is not primarily that of extra-ecclesiastical teams or evangelistic organizations. Since it is our duty, we need to ask, “What are we doing to realize the goal of adding new converts to this church?” The Lord Jesus has given us our marching orders: are we obeying him?  Secondly, it reminds us that being committed to Jesus means being committed to his visible church. The baptism mentioned here is not “spiritual” (no church can administer that), but the physical ordinance. Membership in the local church is the evidence that you have really become a disciple of Jesus, for he calls us into fellowship not only with himself, but also with sinners like ourselves in a local church

We do it by teaching them to obey all His commands.  This implies a life-long commitment, again, in a setting that allows us to teach them (ie. The Church)

I honestly think that much of what we’ve been reading and studying (these concepts of being missional and generous) isn’t wrong, but it’s a reaction to what is seen as wrong within large, white, wealthy, orthodox (ie. SBC, Presbyterian, and Reformed/semi-reformed) churches.

Do we see this emphasis on the predominantly black and Hispanic churches?  Do we see it in the charismatic/Pentecostal churches?  Do we see it in circles outside of the large, white, wealthy, orthodox churches?

Is this a repackaging of Liberal Theology?

“…the emergent church is the latest version of liberalism. The only difference is that old liberalism accommodated modernity and the new liberalism accommodates postmodernity.” (Mark Driscoll)

Is it the “Moral Majority” but with a different focus (Instead of focusing on elections and politics it focuses on the social ills)?  And if so will the results be similar? (A generation that is relational rather than politically active, but still not sharing the Gospel message and saving souls)

So in conclusion; I have to ask myself – Did Christ come to us primarily as a Savior who delivers us from God’s just wrath, or did He come primarily as a moral example of how we ought to live, how we ought to treat one another, and how we should form communities?  God is not pleased with us based on what we do.  Joining in crusades against social ills, poverty, corporate greed, global warming, racism, etc… does not win the pleasure of God.  He is and can only be pleased with us, when we are found in His Son – Jesus Christ, our Lord.

“Many church leaders trumpet their belief that the gospel is more about ethics than the work of Christ on our behalf. They appeal to bettering the world around us as a task that is opposed to and more pressing than seeing our own rebellion and poverty, which prove our need for reconciliation to God through the life, death and bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. This unbiblical bifurcation of orthopraxy and orthodoxy, and foundational preference for the former, is just plain contrary to the Christian gospel.” (John Hendryx, excerpted from The Emergent Church and the Gospel)

  1. Right living doesn’t equal right doctrine.  In reality it is the reverse
  2. Ethics are not what separates Christianity from all other world religions, they all offer ethical programs that are similar to ours
  3. Thus we must be careful that we are not confusing our good works as the Gospel, and we must be careful that we are not teaching the Church’s members that good works are the Gospel and equal to evangelism. 
  4. We must be sure that we are fully explaining to them that these works and acts of generosity and ministry are merely a means of opening doors so that we can evangelize and fulfill the Great Commission

What is, Isn’t

2010/11/04

There was a lot of talk from Tea Party folks and others about State’s rights recently.  The only problem (or I guess you say “concern”) I have over that, is that from listening to these folks they’ve misunderstood the meaning of that phrase.  This probably stems from a lack of knowledge when it comes to original intent.

Instead of State’s rights, they mean States’ rights.  But it shouldn’t be States’ it should be State’s; and the word “rights” shouldn’t be “rights” but “Powers.”

Why?

In the founding concept of American liberty, the primary purpose of government is to guarantee the rights of the people, which are derived from God.  To accomplish this primary function of government, the power to govern was divided between a person’s State and The (several) States as a group (AKA the central government).  States’ is the plural possessive.  It references The States as a group and is thus the same as saying Federal Rights.  So it seems that people today have lost part of the basic concept before they even got started. 

But again I would even argue that they’ve misunderstood the difference between “rights” and “powers.”  Remember; rights are given to the people by God, not to their state, not to a group of states, or to a central government.  States do not have rights; they have powers to govern that have been granted by the sovereign people.  That is the concept of American liberty.  Government at every level is supposed to execute only those powers for which the people have granted the authority.  Any debate that begins with the “Rights” of any government at any level, has most likely been lost from the outset.  Even if the effort seems to have initial success, in the end, it only winds up chipping away at our God given rights.

So; it should be easy to identify what State’s Rights (or more accurately, State’s Powers) are not.  States’ Rights are not a slogan to be used to stop Obama-Care, or Obama-Cap and Tax, or any other of the Obama socialist programs coming out of Washington D.C. like a swarm of locusts.  States’ Rights are not a slogan to stop the Bush Patriot Acts or Bush CAFTA and other expensive trade agreements.  By the same token, States’ Righs are not a slogan to stop DFACS from illegal search and seizures, or some idiot telling me that I’ll be fined for the dust from my field blowing into my neighbors field.

States’ Rights are not the answer because once you concede Rights to any government entity you have lost that Right.  Even worse, is that your children and grandchildren will never even know that it is something that you lost and that they were denied. 

Today; the debate should be about how State Powers will be used as a check on Federal Powers to guarantee our God-given Rights.  It should be about how delegated Powers given to the Federal Government will be used to guarantee our God-given Rights in areas that extend beyond the State in which we live.  Otherwise, all the rhetoric, and all the use of today’s improper definition of States’ Rights will only determine how fast we go over the cliff.

Most of us got out and voted because we see that American liberty was rapidly approaching that cliff.  But until government (both State and Federal) began to move in the realm of their delegated authority once more, all we’ve done is slow the speed in which we’re approaching it.

We must demand that all levels of government keep their hands off our God-given Rights unless the people grant them a Power to do so.  If those we’ve elected are not willing to abide by this restriction, we should retire them quickly.

Arguing about which level of government will do a better job abusing our God-given Rights makes for interesting partisan battles, but it’s a formula for failure year after year, election after election, and generation after generation – as we have seen.  After all, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it


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