Thursday, November 30, 2006
This time of year is always depressing for me. All the political correctness, commercialism, and the awkward sense of compulsion to buy gifts out of obligation instead of love always get me down. I feel like Charlie Brown felt, when he said, “I almost wish there weren’t a holiday season. I know nobody likes me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?”
I am feeling even more depressed than usual this year because I recently lost a close friendship over a bitter argument about a moral issue. I am angry, sad, and all torn up inside because what this friend believes in is very harmful to many people and it is oppressive to all God-fearing people. I have lost much sleep and skipped many meals over this. The fact that this friend claims the name of Christ makes it all the more troubling. I feel much godly sorrow for this friend and I am fearful that she will be under God’s wrath on the Day of Judgment. I hope that someday her heart will be broken so that she will not have to go to hell. Psalm 119:136 says, “Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed.” II Peter 2:7, 8 says, “if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.”
I am also feeling depressed because of the weight of my own sin. My anger has crossed over from righteous anger to sinful anger many times because of this wickedness that my friend believes in. That is one reason that I decided to put an end to the friendship (she probably wouldn’t have wanted to continue the friendship after what I said anyway). “Do not let the sun go down on your anger.” I haven’t been keeping that commandment very well lately. Various sins are more tempting to me now because they temporarily alleviate my emotional pain associated with my anger, sorrow, and separation from this friend. I have gone back and forth many times in mind about whether or not it would have made any difference if I had said things in more loving way, quoted some more scriptures, explained things more clearly, or left out some things that weren’t relevant to the main issue. I rewrote in my mind the last two letters I sent to her hundreds of times. I wonder if I should have said more before cutting her off for good. Maybe I was selfish, wanting to get it over with so that I could get over the pain sooner.
I have, however, found some things to thankful for in all of this.
I have learned that I should hold my tongue (actually, not pressing the “send” button on an email) while I am in a state of intense anger. I know now that I should take several days or even several weeks to cool down and think clearly before responding to something like this.
I am not sorry that I stood up for what I believe in. This is something that I have not done very well in the past. This experience makes me even more determined reach others with the real Gospel of Christ in opposition to the hollow, watered-down, feel good, apostate religion of outward appearances.
I have hope that someone reading this article will be edified.
This trial has given me certain insights about why certain passages of Scripture are adjacent to each other. Some examples include verses 19-20 and 21 in the first chapter of the book of James and verses 21-22 and 23-24 of Psalm 139.
Many Christians teach that people have a void in their lives and if they would just “accept Jesus” then he would fill it. In reality, people who are not saved usually do not feel any kind of spiritual void, unless something very bad has recently happened to them. But there is a way to reach such people even if no such “bad thing” ever happens to them.
I am here to tell you that Christians do sometimes feel lonely and empty. Becoming a Christian does not instantly make everything all better, followed by living happily ever after. We expect to have trials, tribulations, persecutions, temptations, and godly sorrow for those who are not saved. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27) That is hard for me to do right now.
Like the late Peanuts cartoonist Charles Shultz, I can see myself in many of the Peanuts characters, like Linus, for example. To explain the real meaning of Christmas to Charlie Brown, Linus read Luke 2:1-14, which says at the end, “...peace on earth and good will toward men.” Romans 5:1 indicates that God does give the believer peace in the midst of his troubles, but it is peace with Him (so that he is no longer under His wrath as he was in his unbelief). It is not peace with the world. I long for the coming of the Savior and to finally be free from the influence of this wicked world system. The Resurrection of Jesus is the hope that keeps me going. It proves to me that he has triumphed over the world. It is what gives me peace.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Christmas season, starting with the great and uniquely American Thanksgiving holiday through well past the first of the New Year and into January was always a lovely and uplifting time. Giving thanks, recognizing the reason for the season, Jesus, and anticipating what a bright and hope filled New Year will bring is an annual celebration.
My earliest memories of Christmas was the smell of a freshly cut pine tree. The needles you would soon feel if you walked barefoot anywhere near those trees. The white sheet that neatly hid the tree stand and served as an efective backgrownd for our presents. My dad’s lovingly and painstakingly decorating with large blue, white, red and green lights and with ornaments used over and over taken from neatly packed boxes that dad meticulously stored in the basement on the top shelf in the old fruit cellar in the basement on the house on Trafalgar Avenue. The crowning star fixed at the top of the tree. Oh, and don’t forget the tinsel which always was the frosting on the cake.
It is the anxious anticipation of receiving gifts, wondering and hoping for whatever that characterized Christmas. Getting everything I wanted and maybe nothing exactly what I wanted at the same time. Going to bed in anticipation of the gift and the waiting and waiting until morning and time to open the gifts. Dad usually didn’t open his gifts until after the lunch meal and eventually we joined him in waiting to open our gifts, too. But we never could wait as young children. We always had to open the presents as soon as possible. Uncles and Aunts visited and they were always appreciated bringing practical gifts. .
We always had a real tree at Christmas time. Even when my brother died and my sister and I moved to different parts of the country. I would always come home at Christmas and made sure we always had a tree. In a sense, I guess I never grew up especially at Christmas time. The last few years that my parents lived in their home; I even brought real living Christmas trees with the round ball of dirt wrapped in burlap. After Christmas I took them to my home in the country and planted them. Two of the trees made it. Those two trees and good memories are what remain of those 50 or so Christmases.
Each year those two trees will have an opportunity to grow as will my appreciation of and those and now this special season and that special Person who is the true meaning of Christmas. It was Jesus, who was crucified on a different kind of a tree. Christmas I am finding is a time of giving and not so much a time of getting. . .
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
"From Abraham to Jesus” describes itself as “a traveling museological experience across the United States”. It cost me $12.95 by paying advance, it would have been $3.00 more at the door. I saw the show in Columbus, Ohio. The show now will be moving on to Nashville, Tennessee beginning December 6th. The following is an excerpt from the show's website.
People who have never been to the Holy Land – and people who have – can now experience the next best thing through “From Abraham to Jesus”. This traveling exhibit features the largest collection of sacred texts and artifacts from the Holy Land – more than 340 -- ever to visit the United States. Precious artifacts making their inaugural visit to the U.S. include ancient weapons dating back to the Bronze Age, ivory fragments from the palace of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, Greek coins from the age of Alexander the Great, Jewish coins from the time of the Maccabees, and the ossuary (bone box) archeologists believe held the remains of Simon the Cyrene, who carried the cross for Jesus.
"From Abraham to Jesus” is a nearly 40,000 square foot high-tech entertainment experience designed to help visitors see, hear and feel 2,500 years of Biblical history. . . It uses photomurals, thematic sets, digital surround sound, the first 3D video shot in Israel, state-of-the art lighting and narration, combined with a musical score produced by national recording artist Don Moen. . .
The exhibit opened Sept. 15 in Atlanta and is traveling to 27 other cities across the United States and Canada before closing at The Meadowlands in N.J., on Dec. 21, 2008.
Before I entered the Bazaar area, a large open area where various books, DVDs, art-work, etc. were displayed for sale, I saw a group of Amish, sitting on benches in front of the exhibition hall room where “From Abraham to Jesus” was being held. They obviously had been through the exhibition. This must be “G” rated if the Amish patronized it, I thought to myself.
I had purchased and printed off my ticket on my computer and printer at home. Wonder if the Amish folk did that too? Anyway, I got in line and was handed a set if headphones and what looked like a calculator/mini remote control device. I quickly found out that little device was to be my tour guide through a series of over 50 stops for the next two plus hours. I began working my way through an organized maze of displays. Interspersed between “tour stops” were large curtains depicting various scenes or characters of the Bible such as Abraham offering his son Isaac, and ending with the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus. In between there were realistic and life-sized sculptures of Roman soldiers, a donkey carrying grapes from the spies returning from scouting out the Promised Land, even a sculpture of two archeologists sifting through soil at an excavation site.
The exhibition took me through the various periods of history including the Bronze Age, the Roman Era, etc. and the various tour stops primarily artifacts shown in well lighted display cases. There were posted explanations at nearly every stop to explain more in-depth the narrative provided by the tour-guide-in-a-box, a retired archeologist and his grand-daughter who offered on going commentary and some small talk.
What impressed me most was seeing the various artifacts from different periods of Jewish Old Testament history. Though it was not a religious oriented display, but more historical and archeological, there definitely was a respect for, validation of and authentication throughout for the Judeo-Christian Bible and its accounts of recorded history. More and more archeological discoveries support the existence of the biblical accounts exactly as portrayed in the Book of Books for thousands of years.
The exhibition started with a video, which overviewed the exhibit and also ended with another video summarizing the Holy Land “journey”. In between, I listened and learned at each of the 50 or so stops. At some I was able to repeat the recorded tour guides narrative, just by punching in the number of the tour stop. This truly was a self and guided tour. It was worth the time, money and effort to exposure myself to this unique learning experience. In retrospect this was a well planned and well designed experienced for the true follower of Jesus or other seeker of truth and knowledge.
I got a little glimpse at what life in the Holy Land was like across a continuum of time, a period of thousands of years. Did the Amish enjoy this unique venue as much as I did?
Monday, November 27, 2006
I had the great privilege to hear 'the rest of the story’ about Islam from a former radical islamic fundamentalist political leader and trainer on Saturday morning at a local school. On Thanksgiving Eve I had heard Dr. Daniel Shayesteh speak at a local church. See last Friday and Saturday’s postings.
Dr. Shayesteh was born in Iran. He became a radical Islamic fundamentalist and helped usher in Ayatollah Khomeini’s regime in 1979. After his initial elation with Khomeini rise to power in Iran, Daniel, within a couple of years, became disenchanted with Khomenini.
It seems that once Khomeini was in power he reneged on his promised political reforms, including promises of freedom and more democracy. It took this radical fundamentalist two years to “see” how he was fooled by this religious-political leader. Daniel then joined the political opposition and was pursued as the enemy by the Islamic regime.
Daniel eventually escaped Iran, went to Turkey. While in Turkey he met a group of Iranian Christians and evetually became a born-again Christian. He and his family eventually emigrated and settled down under in Australia. He was to have returned today to Australia after visiting the U.S. for several months.
Some of the truths I learned from this convert-to-Christianity were:
· Islam is a really a religion of hatred, cruelty and anger.
· The god of Islam is cruel and impersonal.
· Women are treated as domestic animals under Islam (but without PETA advocacy)
· The Koran is filled with hatred for infidels, idolaters, pagans, and unbelievers (translated: Jews, Americans, moderate Muslims, and all other non-Islamic fundamentalists).
· Islam has done a good job of concealing its real intent, that of world domination. America is a restraining force against Islam.
· Muslims will turn on their “friends”. Watch out for Saudi Arabia.
· Saudi Arabia has tremendous influence in America using its great wealth to influence Americans to be more “understanding”, ”tolerant” and friendly toward Islam, all the while getting ready to blow us to kingdom come.
· We must know the Bible, study it and live it. The Bible is the bottom line source for of America’s, and much of the rest of the West’s, freedom. Daniel pointed out that we are turning our back on the very thing that gave us our freedoms – God and the Judeo-Christian Bible and the truth and principles it contains.
We have much to learn from this fundamentalist Moslem turned fundamentalist Christian. You can read more about him and order his books on his website, Exodus from Darkness.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Just who do you think you are, the epitome of goodness and virtue? That you would ban religion (Christianity) and believe your music would go on forever? Prick your finger with a pin, force out some blood, and put it on a cloth. Put the cloth in a jar and close the lid. Open the jar the next day and see if it doesn’t stink. This shows that you are mortal. One day you will die and your music will die as well.
In Turin, Italy there is a burial shroud with the image of a man on it. He was flogged, crowned with thorns and crucified. The cloth has dust on it from the rock on which it laid with the corpse. The blood on the shroud is fresh and not decayed. Thus, the person whose image is on that shroud is immortal. The flesh did not decay, though the spirit was gone from the body. His words will remain.
In getting rid of Christianity you have some problems.
1. Jesus said, “On this rock I will build my church and he gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Considering that your lifestyle, the judiciary, and each false religions are separate gates to hell. All of these gates together will not prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ.
2. Suppose you were able to get rid of Christianity. What would it accomplish? Would the homosexual lifestyle then be able to flourish unhindered and without guilt or shame? There was a place where this once happened. The place is called Sodom and Gomorrah and all the cities of the plains, God rained down fire and brimstone on the place and destroyed it by fire. The end result of homosexuality is the judgment of God. It is not dependent on religion. God’s promise is that those societies which accept homosexuality will be cast out by the land in which they live (Genesis 18:20 – 19:30), Leviticus 18:22 – 28). Sir Elton, just because you have fame and fortune in this life does not put you above His law.
3. Every knee will bend and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christi is Lord to the glory of God the Father. Religion or no religion every human being conceived will appear before Jesus for judgment. Every adulterer and fornicator will appear before Jesus. Every homosexual and lesbian will appear before Jesus. Sir Elton, even you will appear before Jesus in judgment. It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment. The unbeliever dies, goes to hell then is judged and cast permanently into the lake of fire. Elton John, this is your destiny unless you repent.
4. Jesus was born without sin and lived a sinless life. He took within Himself the sins of the whole world. On the cross He received the judgment of God against those sins, including yours, Sir Elton. You must confess to God that you have sinned and desire God’s forgiveness, and invite Jesus into your heart and life. Jesus promises to come in and to make you a new person. The fruit or proof of this happening is ending your evil lifestyle.
Elton John, you are like the Pharisees who not only refused to enter the kingdom of God, but also hindered those who wanted to enter the kingdom. By stopping the preaching of God’s truth, you would hinder those who would enter into the kingdom of God.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Thanks for your comment. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” [Matthew 7:7-8] “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. [Proverbs 9:9] Jesus Christ said that you shall know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you free.
It sounds like you are a seeker. The Judeo-Christian Bible is the ONLY real source of TRUTH. All other “religions” will not bring you into a living, personal relationship with a personal God. The god of Islam is impersonal and cruel. The God of Christianity is personal, loving as well as patient and just.
The only thing epilepsy shows is that the prophet was human. He as a warrior and I am not so sure a warrior could lead in battle as the prophet did in conquering the nations that he did if he was a severe epileptic. Regardless, the visions this prophet had were extra-biblical. The God of the Bible would not have authored or sanctioned some of the things that are attributed to the god of the Koran. Much of the Koran is contradictory to the TRUTH found in the Judeo-Christian Bible and as are the writings of Joseph Smith’s (Mormonism) or Mary Baker Eddy’s (Christian Science). Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism are all false religions. Despite widespread disagreement among both well intentioned, but deceived people, as well as who are totally insincere, there is but one way to God. That way is through Jesus Christ and the tenets of Judeo-Christian TRUTH.
Matt, I appreciate your comments. You wrote, “I don’t think that there is anything in the Qu’ran that says that Jews or Christians should be hated, killed, or mistreated (though they would have fewer rights under Sharia law). . .” I heard Daniel Shayesteh, who I wrote about yesterday, speak again this morning. He spoke at a public meeting near my home. Could it be that whenever the Qu’ran refers to “unbelievers”, “pagans”, “infidels” or “idolaters” it is referring to or including Jews and Christians? I think so. Daniel Shayesteh learned the Koran in Arabic and taught it and the tenets of Islam to radical terrorists types in his younger days as a fundamentalist Islamist leader. In his book, the Difference is the Son, a Study of Islam and Christianity, on pages 59 and 60 he explains and quotes the Qu’ran,
The hatred towards the children o Isaac was revived in Mecca at this time even more intense than before the birth of islam, since Jews and Christians started to reject and ridicule Muhammad’s claims. Muhammad turned his sword against the Jews and Christians, killing many both openly and secretly calling it the battle of God against unbelievers;
Make war upon such of those to whom the scripture have been given as believe not in god, or in the last day, and who forbid not that which God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the trurth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled. The Jews say, ‘Ezra (Ozair) is son of God.’ Such the sayings in their mouths! They resemble the saying of infidels of old! God do battle with them. How are they misguided! (Q.9:29-30)
In talking to fellow blogger “Sam” tonight, he said that he had heard recently on the radio that some of the translations of the Koran are sanitized English versions with many of the more controversioal passages removed or changed so as not to appear as radical as they really are. This is not surprising, since one of the main tactics and ways of operating on the part of Islamic teachers is to lie and to deceive as a means for advancing the ultimate end.
One thing that surprised me was that Daniel mentioned that 90% of Iranians today desire freedom and democracy like American. They also like America and wonder why we do not help them.
Matt you also wrote, “I tend to think of the Muslim religion as being like Mormonism or some other such cult (a bit further away from the truth perhaps and the doctrines are very difernt. . ." Not only is Islam much further from the truth it is much more violent than most any other cult or “religion”. Actually, all religions, except true Christianity, are false and inferior.
I wholehearted agree with you though with your closing statement, Matt, when you wrote, “Any false teaching is dangerous. Any human being without the real Jesus Christ has the potential to (do) horrible things.” Islam is most definitely a false, misleading and harmful religion.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Both "moderate" Christians and Muslims are woefully ignorant of what the core of their respective religious ideologies entail. They are cut out of the same cloth, a humanistic worldly orientation. You might draw the comparison between the Christian “religion” and the Moslem religion, and conclude that there is not much difference. About the same difference these days, maybe, as between Republican and Democrat politicians.
BOTH ARE BLIND FOLLOWERS
In other words, nominal Christianity and nominal Islam amounts to the same thing, a mere form of religiosity. Warning: ff you are looking for a discussion that is bound or constrained by political correctness you might as well stop reading now.
THE REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY
True fundamental Christianity and true fundamental Islam are another story. True Christianity involves a personal relationship with the living God and has been the powerful force for good through the last 2000 years, while Fundamental Islam has been a hate-filled political movement and force for ill will bent on suppressing mankind under the pretext of a religious ideology for the past 1,300 years. True Christianity frees human beings, while true Islam enslaves them. These two worldviews personify good (Christianity) and evil (Islam) in this realm of life. They are diametrically opposed to each other.
IS ISLAM A RELIGION PEACE?
The testimony of Daniel Shayesteh offers a power demonstration of what I have said so far in this article. Daniel was born in Northern Iran he grew up in a nominal Islamic family. By the age of 9 he was able to recite the entire Koran in Arabic. Eventually Daniel became deeply involved in the Iranian Fundamentalist Revolution of 1979. He was a key Muslim political leader and taught Islam in Iran. After the second year that Ayatollah Khomeini was in power, Daniel became very disenchanted with Islam and even had to escape his political prosecutors in Iran. He fled to Turkey.
While in Turkey he went to school and attempted to go into business with a fellow Iranian émigré he met in Turkey. Unfortunately this business partner absconded with Daniel’s share of the money which he invested in their business partnership. This left Daniel high and dry. He was lost. He knew it. Eventually he was befriended by a group of Iranian Christians who showed Daniel great love and compassion. He had a dramatic born-again experience and became a Christian.
He eventually immigrated to Australia where he studied theology and started a ministry called Exodus from Darkness and now serves as a missionary to the Muslims in different parts of the world.
I personally heard Daniel share this past Wednesday evening that one of the chief tactics of the so called Islamic religious leaders is to brainwash the citizenry of a nation, convincing them that Islam is a harmless religion of peace. This is a lie. The core principles of Islam, according to Daniel are filled with anger, cruelty and hatred. Hatred for Jews, hatred for Americans and even hatred for moderate Muslims, who are ignorant of the real intent of the Islamic political movement disguised as a religion. Sharia law is a part of fundamental Islam practiced in a growing number of Islamic nations. A theft will lose a hand for stealing; a man might lose his head for converting to Christianity. Islam is a religion of peace indeed!
After Daniel become a Christian he came to a deep appreciation and love of his wife, Muslim men typically treat their women no better than a domesticated animal. This conversion experience changed Daniel, he began to see the beauty of his wife. He was totally transformed. Eventually, Mary, his wife, also became a Christian as did their three children.
A LIFE OF HOPELESSNESS
Daniel indicated that Muslims see no hope in this life; all their efforts are geared toward the afterlife. Allah is a cruel god. It is right and proper to lie for Allah as long as it advances the cause of Islam in the world. The afterlife is primarily based on a person’s good works in this life outweigh his evil works. In contrast the true God is powerful yet loving and offers hope for the present as well as the future. Our salvation is not dependent on our works, but on the mercy and grace of God and the provision of Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for our sin on the cross. Islam does not recognize Jesus as being God.
ISLAM IS MORE ABOUT POLITICAL POWER AND PERSECUTION
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and other radical Islamic political and religious leaders would like to destroy Israel and America. They especially see America and Israel as forces standing in the way of worldwide Islamic domination. In fact, just recently Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, promised "a colossal showdown" with America and Israel in Lebanon. A religion of peace it is most definitely not!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
The celebration we now popularly regard as the "First Thanksgiving" was the Pilgrims' three-day feast celebrated in early November of 1621 (although a day of thanks in America was observed in Virginia at Cape Henry in 1607). The first Thanksgiving to God in the Calvinist tradition in Plymouth Colony was actually celebrated during the summer of 1623, when the colonists declared a Thanksgiving holiday after their crops were saved by much-needed rainfall.
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620, sailing for a new world that offered the promise of both civil and religious liberty. For almost three months, 102 seafarers braved harsh elements to arrive off the coast of what is now Massachusetts, in late November of 1620. On December 11, prior to disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact," America's original document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.
The Pilgrims were Separatists, America's Calvinist Protestants, who rejected the institutional Church of England. They believed that the worship of God must originate in the inner man, and that corporate forms of worship prescribed by man interfered with the establishment of a true relationship with God. The Separatists used the term "church" to refer to the people, the Body of Christ, not to a building or institution. As their Pastor John Robinson said, "[When two or three are] gathered in the name of Christ by a covenant made to walk in all the way of God known unto them as a church...."
Upon landing in America, the Pilgrims conducted a prayer service, then quickly turned to building shelters. Starvation and sickness during the ensuing New England winter killed almost half their population, but through prayer and hard work, with the assistance of their Indian friends, the Pilgrims reaped a rich harvest in the summer of 1621. Most of what we know about the Pilgrim Thanksgiving of 1621 comes from original accounts of the young colony's leaders, Governor William Bradford and Master Edward Winslow, in their own hand.
They begane now to gather in ye small harvest they had, and to fitte up their houses and dwellings against winter, being well recovered in health & strenght, and had all things in good plenty; for some were thus imployed in affairs abroad, others were excersised in fishing, aboute codd, & bass, & other fish, of which yey tooke good store, of which every family had their portion. All ye somer ther was no wante. And now begane to come in store of foule, as winter aproached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degree). And besids water foule, ther was great store of wild Turkies, of which they took many, besids venison, &c. Besids they had aboute a peck a meale a weeke to a person, or now since harvest, Indean corne to yt proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largly of their plenty hear to their freinds in England, which were not fained, but true reports.
-W.B. (William Bradford)
Our Corne did proue well, & God be praysed, we had a good increase of Indian Corne, and our Barly indifferent good, but our Pease not worth the gathering, for we feared they were too late sowne, they came vp very well, and blossomed, but the Sunne parched them in the blossome; our harvest being gotten in, our Governour sent foure men on fowling, that so we might after a more speciall manner reioyce together, after we had gathered the fruit of our labors; they foure in one day killed as much fowle, as with a little helpe beside, served the Company almost a weeke, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Armes, many of the Indians coming amongst vs, and among the rest their greatest King Massasoyt, with some nintie men, whom for three dayes we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed fiue Deere, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed upon our Governour, and upon the Captaine, and others. And although it be not alwayes so plentifull, as it was at this time with vs, yet by the goodneses of God, we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
-E.W. (Edward Winslow) Plymouth, in New England, this 11th of December, 1621.
The feast included foods suitable for a head table of honored guests, such as the chief men of the colony and Native leaders Massasoit ("Great Leader" also known as Ousamequin "Yellow Feather"), the sachem (chief) of Pokanoket (Pokanoket is the area at the head of Narragansett Bay). Venison, wild fowl, turkeys and Indian corn were the staples of the meal, which likely also included other food items known to have been aboard the Mayflower or available in Plymouth, such as spices, Dutch cheese, wild grapes, lobster, cod, native melons, pumpkin (pompion) and rabbit.
By the mid-17th century, the custom of autumnal Thanksgivings was established throughout New England. Observance of Thanksgiving Festivals began to spread southward during the American Revolution, as the newly established Congress officially recognized the need to celebrate this holy day.
The first Thanksgiving Proclamation was issued by the revolutionary Continental Congress on November 1, 1777. Authored by Samuel Adams, it was one sentence of 360 words which read in part:
Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received....together with penitent confession of their sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor; and their humble and earnest supplications that it may please God through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance.....it is therefore recommended...to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feeling of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor...acknowledging with gratitude their obligations to Him for benefits received....To prosper the means of religion, for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth "in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost".
It was one-hundred and eighty years after the first day of thanksgiving in America, that our Founding Fathers officially recognized the day by proclamation of the Constitutional government. Soon after adopting the Bill of Rights, a motion in Congress to initiate the proclamation of a national day of thanksgiving was approved.
Congressional Record, September 25, 1789
Mr. [Elias] Boudinot (who was the President of Congress during the American Revolution) said he could not think of letting the congressional session pass over without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:
Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God....
"Mr. [Roger] Sherman (a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution) justified the practice of thanksgiving on any signal event not only as a laudable one in itself, but as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ....This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion; and he would agree with the gentleman who moved the resolution....The question was put on the resolution and it was carried in the affirmative.
This resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who readily agreed with its suggestion and put forth the following proclamation by his signature:
A NATIONAL THANKSGIVING
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and
Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness":
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplication to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our national government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a government of wise, just and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, AD 1789
After 1815, prophetically, there were no further annual proclamations of Thanksgiving until the Civil War, when Abraham Lincoln declared November 26, 1863, the last Thursday in November, a Day of Thanksgiving. In early July of 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg had occurred, taking some 60,000 American lives, and President Lincoln traveled to the battlefield four months afterward, in November, to deliver the "Gettysburg Address." Deeply moved by the sacrifice of these soldiers, Lincoln first committed his life to Christ while walking among the graves there. He later explained:
When I left Springfield [to become President] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.
During this time of internal strife in the United States, and at this turning point in his own spiritual life, President Lincoln issued the following proclamation.
PROCLAMATION OF THANKSGIVING BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence....
In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign states to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict, while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.
Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shuttle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than theretofore.
Population has steadily increased notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the battlefield, and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.
No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners, or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.
In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Abraham Lincoln (October 3, 1863, passed by an Act of Congress.)
That proclamation was repeated for the following 75 years by every subsequent president, until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving Day up one week earlier than had been tradition, to appease merchants who wanted more time to feed the growing pre-Christmas consumer frenzy. Folding to congressional pressure two years later, Roosevelt signed a resolution returning Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November, as Congress in 1941 permanently set the fourth Thursday of each November as our national day of Thanksgiving.
Roosevelt's inclination to manipulate Thanksgiving for commercial interests foretold much of the secular nature of "thanksgiving" to come. But, amid the oppression of secular materialism in advance of that December day when we give thanks for the birth of Christ, oppression vastly different but somehow remarkably similar to that experienced by our Pilgrim forefathers, we are still at our core, a nation deeply blessed by God. In our age of great, widespread physical and material comfort, our deepest deficits are spiritual ones -- most especially, a lack of accurate perception of the depth and breadth of the bounties that God alone has bestowed upon us. Too often, we look to government as the provider and guarantor of the many blessings we enjoy, rather than to our Heavenly Father. And, also too often, we forget to gratefully cherish the best of our national blessings, that liberty for which our Pilgrim forebears were willing to risk all comfort and security. As Abraham Lincoln noted so many years ago,
...[It is] announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord....It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people.
On this Day of Thanksgiving, may God rest your heart and mind, may He bless and keep you and your family, and may He continue to extend His blessings upon our great nation, guiding us one and all by His Word. May He impress upon us the spirit of our forefathers, their soul-deep craving for freedom, expressed with courage and wisdom, as we meet the particular challenges of our days.
No people on earth have more cause to be thankful than ours, and this is said reverently, in no spirit of boastfulness in our own strength, but with the gratitude to the Giver of good who has blessed us.
And let us always approach our Heavenly Father with true thankfulness - not just today, but every day - by acknowledging our utter dependence on Him to supply our wants and needs, for in Him we live and move and have our being. Even self-reliance is, at its root, reliance on Him:
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Roberta Combs of Christian Coalition also wrote today that Thanksgiving “is America's holiday! It is our heritage, which spans 385 years. A monument at the gravesite of the first 51 Pilgrims to die in their new country states in part, "History records no nobler venture for faith and freedom than that of the Pilgrim band. In weariness and painfulness, in watching, often in hunger and cold, they laid the foundations of a state wherein every man, through countless ages, should have liberty to worship God in his own way. May their example inspire thee to do thy part in perpetuating and spreading the Holy ideals of our Republic throughout the world."
One way to count your blessings is to use the alphabet, here is what I thank God for today.
For the great freedom which we so take for granted, demands personal responsibility not a license to serve our own selfish desires.
Babies symbolize life. Babies are can be encouraged toward good, or they can be rejected, abused and taught despicable evil.
When done right church is a body of believers and true followers of Jesus Christ who demonstrate the Savior, Jesus’ and God’s great love.
A visiting Burkina Faso (Africa) Pastor was at an unlimited buffet, said, “Please take my picture in front of this food my people will never believe me.”
To be able to daily behold the beauty of God’s creation either in stars looking through a telescope or through a microscope viewing a cell.
Family & Friends
How blesed are those who come from families where there is love and closeness. How blessed we are to have a good friend or many.
What a great God we serve. He rules over all. He is most worthy of our best praise and worship.
Be it a humble ram shackled shack or a Castle fit for a rock star, there is no place like one’s home. Just ask any nursing home resident.
For the ability to think, to reason, to read, to listen, to make decisions, to find solutions to complicated problems or simple ones.
He is the Savior of the world. He is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.
Everyone remembers that 42 years ago today, on 11-22 J.F.K was shot. He was an inspirational leader who stood up to the evil empire.
For the soldier’s love for his country that he would risk his life to die so that the radical activist can burn the flag in some protest.
To be able to move freely from place to place without the assistance of a cane or a walker or a wheelchair.
Hearing the trickle of water flowing in a tiny creek, the sound of crickets, and the crack of thunder after a flash of lightning.
Everyday brings a swarm of new opportunities to learn, to live, to love, to listen, to laugh . . .
For the sacrificial selfless love of a mother for her child, and for the steady, protective, secure love of a father for his daughter.
Times when I can just get away from the rat race and the rats, and be alone to read a book or take a leisurely walk on the rails to trail path.
God’s gracious provision of Jesus Christ, who paid sin’s penalty on the cross. My freedom to choose to accept or to foolishly reject Jesus.
The assurance that there are absolutes in life, like man’s depraved condition, God’s unlimited love and blessing of freedom.
For the times that I feel a part of movement, a cause, a part of some worthwhile endeavor.
The great privilege and duty in a republican democracy is having a say in who will represent me.
For health and health insurance that is there if I need it and all the associated medical and dental care, preventive and prescriptive . . .
The seasons of life, how much more I now appreciate youth and vigor and being able to do the things I did when I was younger.
To be truly free, unlike a caged animal. To make good choices during the rest of my life using my freedom for the benefit of others, and doing all to the honor and glory of God.
I wish you and your family a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving and God’s richest blessing.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Man, how Wal-Mart has changed these days. It is no longer the wholesome family-owned family-oriented business they once were. It has grown to be a large greedy money grabbing operation even willing to compromise its founding principles. As a result, several Christian pro-family organizations are calling for people to avoid shopping at Wal-Mart the Friday following Thanksgiving to bring this fact to Wal-Mart’s attention.
The purpose of this boycott is to point out the deliberate move on the part of Wal-Mart to reject its pro-family tradition and to begin to practice “diversity” by pandering to the homosexual, lesbians, transgender and bi-sexual and other anti-family forces. A WorldNetDaily article reports that it seems that after years of getting beaten up by these radical homosexual and other left wing groups, Wal-Mart has succumbed to the pressure and now is joining and even financially supporting some of these groups.
A boycott is a good idea. I for one will join the boycott. I will do my shopping elsewhere and encourage others to do the same. I think Sam Walton, founder of the Wal-Mart chain, would die again if he knew what the greedy leaders were doing with his company today. Partnering with China and pandering to homosexuals even contributing money to the homosexual cause.
In checking one of the organizations which had called for the boycott, the American Family Association’s website this evening, I saw were AFA was calling off their boycott due to a statement issued by Wal-Mart today:
Respect for the individual is one of the core values that have made us into the company we are today. We take pride in the fact that we treat every customer, every supplier and every member of our individual communities fairly and equally.
We are working hard to make our corporate contributions reflect the values of our customers, communities, and associates. As Sam Walton said, “Each Wal-Mart store should reflect the values of its customers and support the vision they hold for their community.
Wal-Mart will not make corporate contributions to support or oppose highly controversial issues unless they directly relate to our ability to serve our customers.
Wal-Mart does not have a position on same sex marriage and we do not give preference to gay or lesbian suppliers. Wal-Mart does have a strong commitment to diversity among our associates and against discrimination everywhere. [Emphasis added]
This statement issued by Wal-Mart seems to be very politically correct and in and of itself is very weak. Wal-Mart has already made overtures to homosexual groups, joining a homosexual chamber of commerce association and contributing to homosexual causes, I think I will join the Friday boycott despite this statement or AFA’s recall of the boycot. Wal-Mart executives prove to me that you really will discontinue supporting the radical leftists’ causes by your actions and not merely by your soothing words. Wal-Mart and America it is time for both of you to wake up and return to your roots . . . and your founding values.
Monday, November 20, 2006
I had not seen a football game all year. I once was an avid football-baseball-basketball fan until I caught the political bug and began following first the ’06 primary elections, then the just completed fall (appropriately named as the GOP fell soundly in both houses of Congress) elections.
After enduring years of post Woody Hayes football with the likes of Earl Bruce and John Cooper, who never could seem to be able to beat Michigan, I knew that with Coach Tressel this game would be special. Since I have not hooked up my television (I was a TV-aholic, too) I occasionally listened to the Bucks or Browns games on the radio.
Sitting in the theater watching the huge movie screen image broadcasting Channel 5 TV from Cleveland, we had to put up with the pre-game hype until kick off. Most impressive, though, was Mitch Album’s timely tribute to Bo Schembechler who died on Friday, the day before the big game. What a rivalry between Woody and Bo, ten years and their record was 5-4-1, advantage Bo. Wow, would Bo’s passing give Michigan an edge, something else to motivate them, win one for ol’ Bo?
The game itself was close, like the 10 year record between Bo and Woody. Back and forth first Michigan was ahead, and then OSU was two touchdown in front going into halftime. Bursting out after the halftime intermission Michigan roared back to nearly catch Ohio State. Back and forth, up and down it went. The game came down to the last minute when Michigan tried an on-side kick off. But sure-handed Cleveland Glenvile’s Ted Ginn secured the ball and that was all she wrote. But up until that point either team had a chance to win.
Michigan and Ohio State played over 100 games over the course of their storied rivalry, but this one has to be among the best, if not the best. The game certainly was one of the greatest of this century at the very least, maybe the last hundred years.
There even was a radio personality from WMAN radio who during commercials gave away tee shirts, buckeye coats and sweatshirts and Frisbees, and even a Kodak digital camera. We even had our own cheerleaders, guys yelling “””OOOO HHHHH””” and the crown of 500 responding “””IIIIIII OOOOO”””” whenever Ohio State did something good. We booed when we ESPN-ABC TV showed Michigan’s coach Lloyd Carr or the Michiganders as cameras panned the crowd.
This was truly a game that transcended being a mere sporting event for the die-hard sport fans only. It was also a bromide for Ohio conservative voters who saw many GOP and conservative candidates get crushed in the game played on eleven-seven earlier this month.
Overall, what really impressed me was the quality of both team’s performance, the leadership of the coaches, Carr and Tressel, and quarterbacks play under pressure and obstacles, both Henne and Smith. I sure would like to see the level of poise, professionalism, performance and leadership in the political arena and from our politicians as I saw Saturday afternoon emanating from the Horseshoe in Columbus, Ohio.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Is Jesus God?
Yes. God the Father calls His son Jesus, God, in Hebrews 1:8, 9, “Unto the Son He says Thy throne O God . . . therefore God, even thy God.” In the book of Revelation, the writer, John, is about to worship the angel and the angel tells him not to do so; instead John is told to worship only God. We see that when God brings His first born into the world He tells the angels to worship Him. Jesus also accepted worship from men. Scripture says He will not give His glory to another. Revelation 22:8,9 and Romans 1:25.
Jesus is a friend who will stick with you, like a brother. He says that if you hear Him knocking at your heart’s door and if you invite Him into your heart, make a willful decision to accept His provision of complete forgiveness, then He will enter into your life and He will have a personal relationship with you and He promises that He will never leave you.
Is Jesus Human or is Jesus God?
He is both. Jesus was born of a virgin with no human father. It had been prophesized years earlier in Old Testament writings that a virgin would conceive and bear a son. It was by divine intervention that Mary’s egg, which was human, was fertilized. Therefore since His mother was human Jesus is fully human. Jesus had a human mother and God is His Father. Since His Father was God, He also was fully God. See Matthew 2:11, 28:9 and Hebrews 1:6.
Jesus was a male. He was circumcised on the eighth day according to God’s law. See Luke 2:21, 23 and Leviticus 12:1-3.
In What Ways is Jesus Different than Any Other Human Being?
a. He was begotten by God. God is His Father. He is the Son of the Highest.
b. Sin dwells, or exists, in the flesh of every man and woman and child, but sin did not reside in Jesus’ flesh. See Romans7:17, 18, 23 and John 14:30.
c. People did not exist prior to their conception. However, Jesus existed before His conception as God. His going forth is from eternity. See Micah 5:2.
d. He upholds the universe by the word of His power.
e. No man could give up his life in the same way the Jesus did. He gave up the Spirit at the precise time of His choosing.
f. He arose from the dead never to die again.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Friday, November 17, 2006
Speaking of Democrats returning to power, TD recently sent me the following email which apparently has been circulating in cyber space. I thought it was an apt preview of things to come next January when Democrats assume power.
Tax his land, tax his bed, tax his table at which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule, (and) teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his cow, tax his goat, tax his pants, (and) tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirt, tax his work, (and) tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink, (and) tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beers, if he cries, then tax his tears.
Tax his car, tax his gas, find other ways to tax his a**.
Tax all he has then let him know that you won’t be done till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers, then tax him some more, tax him till he’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave, tax the sod in which he’s laid.
Put these words upon his tomb, “Taxes drove me to my doom . . .”
When he’s gone, do not relax its time to apply the inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel permit tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road usage taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax’
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, state and local surcharge taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Taxes
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
COMMENTS: Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids. What happened? . . .
CONCLUSION: If this is what Hard-core Liberal Representatives Nancy and Steny have in store, we will have a repeat of '04 in '08 . . . Conservatives will nix '06, for sure . . .
Thursday, November 16, 2006
As a libertarian, I think we may agree on "the separation of School and State," in a first best world (or perhaps vouchers in a second best world). However, alas, we don't live in that world, and I don't think we will for some time.
There are a lot of intermediate steps that could be taken between getting rid of the public schools altogether (which I favor) and vouchers (which are better than nothing, but far from fair). We could pass a state and/or federal law which would exempt from school levies people who are not parents or guardians of public-schooled children. We could pass laws which give parents the right to choose what is taught in the public schools, with no exceptions based on church and state separation arguments. We could get rid of the Department of Education and the State Board of Education and all federal and state standards and turn the public schools completely over to local control. We could pass laws that get rid of the requirement that a child must reside in the district that a public school is located in order to attend it. This would give parents more choice and would improve the quality of schools because it would create competition. There are police officers who do nothing but check up on people to make sure that they and their kids are really living in the district where they are going to school. What a waste! These cops’ efforts could be instead used against the criminals who are really hurting people. Getting rid of compulsory attendance laws would also free up police resources to fight real crime.
I do not want to give Christianity any preferential treatment over any other religion. I only want that Christians not be forced to pay taxes to support an ideology that they are against. This argument over whether the United States is or was a Christian nation is not that important to me. The fact of the matter is that 90% of people who sit in a church pew on a given Sunday are not regenerated believers. I believe in doing what is right in the here and now. If I lived in a nation that had a different religious heritage, I would be pushing for the same sense of fairness, justice, and liberty that I am pushing for here. History is important, but what we are struggling against here goes beyond a historical argument. I strongly believe that Christians are being persecuted in this country.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Not only is America being invaded by the millions by illegal aliens, while our President and most politicians are conveniently blinded to that invasion. We all sit idly by while the Twin Towers, the minds and hearts of our children and many morally upright citizens are being attacked, corrupted, destroyed, and are figuratively beheaded! Who is the enemy? This enemy is as insidious as any Islamic-terrorist or extreme hard-core liberal politician, it is the Pornicator.
HOW TO DEFEAT THE PORNICATOR
The best strategy to stop the Pornicator is to hit him where it hurts, the proverbial pocketbook. What can you and I do? We can:
1. Cancel subscriptions to Playboy, Penthouse and other sexually oriented magazines.
2. Cancel subscriptions to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax and other sexually oriented television channels.
3. Avoid satellite channels that provide X- or R-rated material.
4. Avoid video or music stores that rent or sell X-rated video or music DVDs or CDs. One useful movie review site, which reviews the content of movies. One example is the heavily advertised film Borat, which this service labels “abhorrent” and rates it as offensive to everyone.
5. Avoid retail stores and newsstands where pornographic materials are sold.
6. Do destroy any pornographic material so that you are not tempted to create or feed an addiction.
7. Avoid visiting porn internet websites. Each view earns some Pornicator a fee.
8. Discipline yourself to avoid porn. Buy and use filtering software for yourself and your family. See a report of the top ten internet filtering programs at http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/
9. Plan your trips and stay only in porn-free hotels. Visit www.cleanhotels.com for advice in finding a clean hotel.
10. If you find yourself addicted to pornography you can find help through, Help! Someone I Know Has a Problem With Porn from Focus on the Family.
11. Christians are not immune to addiction to porn. One ministry that offers help to Christians is Pure Life Ministries.
12. Here are a few pro-family organization which work hard to help communities clean up the streets and airwaves.
a. American Decency Association, www.americandecency.org, educates its members and the general public on matters of decency, initiates, promotes, encourages and coordinate sactivity designed to safeguard and advance public morality consistent with biblical Christianity.
b. Citizens for Community Values, www.ccv.org, is a grassroots organization concerned for the well-being of the community, its families, and the future of its children.
c. Enough is Enough, www.enough.org, is working to make the Internet safer for children and families.
d. Morality in Media, inc., www.obscenitycrimes.org, tries to make the public aware of the collapse of television decency standards.
We merely identified one great plague that has befallen America. Porn is no joking matter. The statistics are staggering both in terms of money involved and lives affected. Make A Good Choice, separate yourself from exposure to this toxic pollutant of mind and spirit.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
PORN IS ANTITHETICAL TO GOD’S INTENDED DESIGN
Fundamentally, pornography takes what God has created as good and beautiful and turns it into slime and waste worthy of the worst city dump. It destroys lives, relationships, marriages, families, churches, sensitivities . . . nations. Like abortion it cheapens, devalues and demeans human life. Like homosexually, it is immoral, deliberately chosen misbehavior. Acceptance of pornography is admission of an immoral, or at best, an amoral worldview.
PORN IS ALL AROUND US
There are veritable array of pornography from innuendos on inane TV shows or TV commercials to hard core adult videos pandered in “adult” bookstores, sent in unmarked packages through the U.S. Postal Service or sold via credit card transactions stealthily over the internet. It can be seen in the glossy men’s magazines, you see sex selling products on TV, you see the producers pushing the envelop more and more on TV and the PG-13 movies should be renamed partly gross and R movies, renamed raunchy. You see it in the cultural arts, theater and so-called works of art. You hear it on spoken by shocck jocks on FM and satelite radio. You see sex-filled novels by the hundreds everywhere. Pornography is even served up in the public schools under the guise of “enlightened” sex education to innocent unsuspecting children and their mostly unaware and even uncaring parents. America, you could say has become a sex crazed society.
HOW HARMFUL IS PORN?
Pornography corrupts the minds and hearts of men, women and children. It is of no moral value whatsoever. It is a corrupting influence. It degrades and reduces sex to a pure animal drive devoid of any moral conscience of right and wrong, it actually seers the conscience of the user. It is as addicting as drugs, too much food or alcohol. There is absolutely no redeeming value in pornography. Like illicit drugs it is only of “benefit” to the pusher.
Pornography is a detrimental to the individual, to the family, to society. Pornography often leads to addiction. It may also cause severe problems with intimacy in marriage and indirectly impacts families. It may even drive an individual into incestuous behavior and thereby traumatizing children or other relatives. Pornography may lead to exploitation of women and crimes against them such rape or even murder. It may lead to child molestation or pedophilia or other child abuse. It may lead to the highly ignominious sex trafficking where children or women may be purchases as sex slaves.
The following quote from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council pretty well sums up the inherent “value” of pornography:
The evidence linking hard-core pornography to sex crimes against women and children and social ills such as divorce, adultery, and family breakdown is overwhelming. The idea that pornography is a victimless crime should be consigned to the ash heap of history.
Tomorrow we will talk about how we might begin to combat the affects of this prevalent and pernicious cancer in our society.
Monday, November 13, 2006
WHAT IS PORNOGRAPHY?
Let’s start right off with a definition. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines pornography as writings, pictures, etc. intended primarily to arouse sexual desire. From a strictly biblical viewpoint by its definition this behavior would indicate that is immoral. Traditional one-man, one-woman marriage is the only legitimate, God-ordained means of sexual gratification. So from this standpoint alone it is wrong, it is against God’s law.
PORN IS BIG BUSINESS
Various forms of pornography have always existed. The fact that Pornography is a $12 Billion dollar a year industry in America tells how popular and pervasive it is. Today the internet has proliferated pornography as never before. A significant percentage of persons who use the computer also visit porn sites. The marketers of porn are clever and try innumerable ways to trap their victims. The marketers take advantage of man’s basic depravity and really take full advantage of it. They tempt with temporary excitement and pleasure, all the while counting on the addicting nature of the experience to drive sales of their particularly putrid products.
Initially the peddlers of porn offer free photos, videos, etc to lure the unsuspecting, the lonely, the foolish, the adventuresome, the voyeur, the cheating husband or wife, even and especially the innocent child. Everyone using a computer is potentially a customer, a consumer of porn.
CHILREN ARE A FAVORITE TARGET OF PORNOGRAPHERS
Especially insidious is the fact that pornographers deliberately target children. http://www.cp80.org states on its website that youth aged 12-17 are the largest consumers of pornography on the internet. Libraries who try to regulate the use of computers are often thwarted by the despicable ACLU which screams that children have a right to be seduced by the vilest of filth. With friends like the American Civil Liberties Union neither children nor parents need enemies.
In the next article we will talk about how pornography benefits or hurts the individual and society.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
The other day I drove into Robert L Walsh Memorial Park and saw a sign that read, “Park closes at dark.” I though of the times I had camped and walked through the area before it became a community park. How much more freedom I had before the government took control of the area. There was a time when a man and his friends could go into a park at night and it would not be against city regulations to do so.
Jesus often took His disciples into the Garden of Gethsemane, which by today’s standards would probably be in violation of the park’s posted regulations Jesus, we read, also prayed (God forbid!), no doubt “in Jesus’ name” which today is also against Navy regulation. There was a man in the group of disciples who stole from the treasury of Jesus’ evangelistic enterprise. What’s more the embezzler did it with the full knowledge of Jesus. The question today would be how much did Jesus know and when did Jesus know it. Today, Jesus would be accused of being an accessory to the crime of theft because He knew about it and did nothing about it.
There is a bible account of Jesus reattaching a man’s ear back on him after Peter slashed it off. Today Jesus would be practicing medicine without a license. Jesus was in the company of a subordinate who had a weapon. So Jesus would be guilty of weapons charges.
Jesus did many things which by today’s standards and even according to the customs in His day were considered wrong. Yet, scripture says He was without sin. So, who is in error, Jesus or Society? It would be good if you came to the correct answer before you appear before Jesus in judgment. Jesus is the Judge of all the earth.