Posts Tagged 'End Times'

Satan is Not God — and it Irks Him

Over the weekend I received a comment on my post last week Demonism or the Depravity of Man? from a reader that raised a good point and which I’d like to address.

My reader said this in regards to the post:

“I can agree with you that people have a very misguided view of the innate goodness of man.

I’d have to disagree with Chafer about Satan. In John 8:44, Jesus says to the Jews, “You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. …” They wanted to carry out the desires of the devil and indeed they did most brutally murder him. That doesn’t sound like “And certainly he does not prompt them; for they are the natural fruit of an unrestrained fallen nature…”

Man is depraved and therefore a useful tool to carry out the devil’s desires.”

In my original post I was pointing out that contemporary portrayals of Satan and demons as vile, murderous beings bent only on gross evil and the torment of hapless souls were not accurate. To do so, I used some quotes from a book called Satan by Lewis Sperry Chafer.

But I see from the above-quoted comment that there is more to the matter than I discussed, and that Chafer has presented.

I think the best encapsulation of Satan’s nature now is that he is consumed with exalting himself and attacking God. He hates God and wants to do anything he can to thwart His will and plans. Satan wanted desperately to get our Lord to sin before he reached the cross, or, failing that, to kill Him outright before He could do the work He’d come to do. Because once Jesus Christ reached the cross and bore the sins of the world, it was over for Satan, although it’s clear he’s still in denial about that fact.

Currently he also attacks Christians, in whom God lives, in any way He can. He might use a religion to do that, such as Islam, whose Koran instructs its followers to kill Christians.  Or he might choose to do whatever he can to mess up their service and their witness, either by thwarting them, persecuting them, even killing them, or by drawing them away from truth with a counterfeit and duping them. These latter mostly involve the nice guy Satan, or, in light of having just watched The Incredible Hulk, how about the Bruce Banner version?

As he sees his time coming to an end however, (particularly in the Tribulation period), he will abandon his outwardly respectable veneer and show himself for the monster that he is, so unhinged he’ll order his minions to attack the very grass of the field, just because God made it.

Which would be the huge green guy version, going about roaring and smashing things in his rage.

This is all in Chafer’s book; he is not saying Satan never indulges in gross and immoral sins, just that he has given us a skewed view of his personality and his purposes. A view that sees him as gross and immoral and not only incapable of producing any of the good things in the world, incapable of even liking the good things.

I think he does like the good things, just as long as he doesn’t have to acknowledge them as coming from God. In fact, I think he even sees himself as good and right, someone who truly wants  to make everything in the world work well, because it reflects well on him as the leader. His goal is to be like God, as I’ve said, and thus to show himself able to do everything God can do. And before sin appeared, God’s kingdom was righteous and well-ordered.

But Satan isn’t God. So when things don’t go as he likes — as they inevitably will — he’ll throw a fit, and do whatever his deranged nature prompts in the midst of his fury. [Back to The Hulk again]. For now, being restrained by the hand of God, he cannot act freely, but during the Tribulation, when that hand of restraint is removed, and he grows more and more desperate to accomplish his goals, his true nature will be revealed.

Designer Faith

I thought I was done with the Barna survey, but it seems I am not. Because in thinking about the last two bits of information, in addition to something else I came across yesterday, I find I’m being led to do at least one more post on this subject.

I was initially surprised to learn that the Barna Group’s numbers indicated that more than half of self-identified born again believers and almost three quarters of American adults don’t believe Satan is real,   then not so surprised upon learning how very few Americans — even among the born again Christians — hold to a Biblical worldview any more. The lack of a Biblical worldview in part explains the disbelief in Satan… but how is it that so many of our countrymen lack one?

The other thing I came across yesterday was an opinion regarding the controversy over whether the Bible is to be taken literally or figuratively, and that kind of clarified things for me, especially taken in combination with one last bit from the Barna Group’s research.

The writer of the opinion did not believe that basic Bible stories were to be taken as literal, real, historical events but were merely instructional tales. Or at least some were. Others might not be. In any case, the individual defended this viewpoint with the claim that there are many things that can’t be known and thus chose not to question everything and demand that all be defined.

This was not the first time I’ve encountered the opinion that spiritual things are not to be questioned too closely, nor defined in too much detail. It always sounds lofty and somehow more spiritual than the mundane, prosaic activity of trying to make everything fit.

But yesterday, it finally  dawned on me that a person with this viewpoint is primarily concerned with what they believe the Bible says, not what it actually says. And by choosing not to question or seek to define their terms, they pretty much cut off all chance of finding out what it really says.

Imagine  if a scientist did that!  

– Oops!  I forgot! Some of them do!

Okay but they’re not supposed to, and many of them don’t. The whole point of science is to find out about our world, and the way to do that has always been to question and define. The way to understand anything is to do that, even the word of God.

Especially the word of God, I would say.

Which is why I advocate learning from a pastor who has been rigorously prepared in the original languages, the historical settings at the times of writing, and the various categories of doctrines as they are found and/or developed throughout the Bible. You can’t just sit down and read it for yourself without knowing any of these other things and expect to really understand it in depth. Yet that is what many do.

Or so I had thought. In fact, it would appear that most don’t really read it at all…

Last year, an article in USA Today last year called Designer Faith  reported on another Barna Group survey which found that “people no longer look to denominations or churches”  for their theological edification but have made of it a do-it-yourself project. Or, as the article was subtitled, “are tailoring religion to fit their needs.”

“By a three to one margin (71% to 26%) adults noted that they are personally more likely to develop their own set of religious beliefs than to accept a comprehensive set of beliefs taught by a particular church.” 

When it comes to the born again Christians, the number decreases, but not by much and still makes the majority for  61% of them favor an “a la carte” approach to the development of their theological beliefs. 

Worse of all, “leading the charge in the move to customize one’s package of beliefs are people under the age of 25, among whom more than four out of five (82%) said they develop their own combination of beliefs rather than adopt a set proposed by a church.”

As George Barna said, “America is headed toward being a country of 310 million people with 310 million religions.”

It’s kind of amazing and at the same time creepy to see things playing out as the Bible warns.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires… ”    ~ 2 Ti 4:3

More From Barna: Biblical Worldview

Yesterday I posted the stats about the surprising number of people in the United States who do not believe Satan is a “real force” (let alone a real “person”). Even among self-identified born again Christians, he is only believed to be real by less than half of them.

The same Barna survey  I quoted from also provides some explanation as to how and why this situation has come to be.

In the survey investigating Changes in Worldview Among Christians, the Barna Group identified 6 salient points of belief necessary for one to qualify as having  a “biblical worldview.” These were believing…

    • that absolute moral truth exists;
    • that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;
    • that Satan is a real being or force;
    • that no one can earn their way into Heaven through good works;
    • that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth;
    • and that God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.

In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview. The results?

Only 9% of American adults  were found to have a Biblical Worldview. Nine per cent of Americans!

Even more surprising, out of those who self-identified as “born again”  Christians,* only 19% were found to agree with all  six  of the points constituting the survey’s “Biblical Worldview”  listed above. That’s less than a quarter of those who call themselves “born again!”

“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some (believers) will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons…”  ~ I Ti 4:1

*For the survey, “born again Christians” were defined as “those who said they have made a personal to commitment to Jesus Christ that is important in their life today and that they are certain that they will go to Heaven after they die only because they confessed their sins and accepted Christ as their savior.”

I have to say, however, that I would not have qualified as born again in their survey since I take issue with the insertion of a making “a personal commitment to Jesus Christ,” having certain knowledge of eternal salvation, or confessing one’s sins for salvation.  

My definition of a born again Christian is anyone who has believed in the atoning work of Christ’s substitutionary death on the Cross for eternal life. And that’s it.

Or, as Acts 16:31 puts it:  

 “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved…”

What is Truth?

“What is Truth?”

That’s the famous last question asked by Pontius Pilate of Truth Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ. (I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.) Immediately after asking this Pilate turned away, indicating he had no interest in an answer. Or perhaps that he didn’t think Jesus had an answer… or even that there was an answer to his question.

In researching Roman culture, I’ve learned they had a very similar more to that which is dominating our post-modern culture these days — a problem discerning or even believing in absolute truth. The honorable Roman felt it was important to be tolerant of other faiths. They would even make altars and offerings to the gods of other faiths (witness the Temple of the Unknown God Paul references in Acts 17), and in return they expected the proponents of those faiths to reciprocate. (The Jews’ continued failure to do so, is pretty much what provoked the Romans to destroy their Temple and Jerusalem and scatter them about the empire in the first and second centuries.)

The problem with tolerating all other faiths, in the sense of making they equally valid or “right”,  is that you negate the truth of any of them. And pretty soon you have no truth, as Pontius Pilate expressed.

This thought train was sparked by an article I read today in The Independent on post modernism by Jay Merrick (PoMo: Everybody’s doing it)

Here’s how it starts:

“Forty years ago, we lived “modern” lives. Ideas, emotions and actions seemed ordered, and part of a zeitgeist of confident restraint that originated in the science, mass-production, architecture and art of the 1930s.

“Now we are profoundly immersed in the tortuous, commercially controlled currents of postmodern design and thought, and its weapons of mass psychic deconstruction. Has this made our lives richer in meaning, or just richly vacuous?”

I confess, overall the article was a bit over my head, and much of it centered on the postmodernism of art, architecture, fashion and literature, all of the sort that has never held even the slightest interest for me. Art that takes the most banal of subjects and tries to make something out of them, as if a golf ball is equally as interesting and important subject matter as the material Michelangelo presented in the Sistine Chapel. Fashion chosen to be deliberately ugly, architecture that jabs and slashes or incorporates humongous chairs or concrete suitcases, just because.

As I read his descriptions, it seemed to me almost a deliberate turning away from things that made sense to things that didn’t, from authority on even the smallest of levels. “They” designed socks to be worn on the feet, thus we shall wear them on our heads; “they” say that art should celebrate beauty or drama or truth or the divine… we will make art that celebrates the ugly, the boring, the silly, the profane… It’s an affected, fancy-pants version of “you’re not the boss of me” and I’ll do as I like.

I’m pretty sure that’s what Merrick is saying in this next paragraph…

 “Postmodernism duly arose in an uncoordinated blitz of individualistic artistic and intellectual objections to the more or less failed idea of rationalised lives and environments.”

He goes on…

 “The novelist Martin Amis warned us that postmodern people “over-existed”. Our postmodern, supposedly self-designed lives are embedded in these modes of over-existence. We’ve accepted the commercial, social and semiotic propellants that have ensured over-consumption in the guise of entertainment. Blizzards of imagery and opinion form a chimera of endless, conflicting possibilities without beginning or end; we seem to crave maximised senses of fractured movement, overlay, ennui and nowness.

“And it’s the hundred times a week we hear, or utter, that most über and craven of postmodern words – whatever.

“Modernism’s either/or mindset has been obliterated by this pervasive whateverness. Few of us now imagine any prospect of lives in which ideas, behaviour and outcomes can be clearly determined. To many, the details of the present must seem increasingly indeterminate or ambiguous; which duly turns our perceptions of the past and the future into cabinets of equally trivial curiosities, rather than illuminating points of perspective.”

<snip>

“The and/but vibe now suffuses almost everything we think and do. Surface has become more important than depth. Style – or, more accurately, stylee – trumps coordinated articulation; disbelief is more acceptable than belief.”

<snip>

“One can’t help fearing that the sheer psychic tonnage of postmodernity’s “undecidable things” is rendering most of us terminally passive and far more interested in ephemera than, say, socio-political ethics, or the implications of Facebook’s plans to calibrate and inter-link the media product preferences of their users…”

If you believe in nothing, if every faith or belief system is equal, then none of them mean anything. How can they? How can you accept the notion that God exists and also that He doesn’t? That He cares, and that He doesn’t. That there is eternal life and there isn’t. That the Bible contains truths we need and yet it doesn’t.

Saying all are equal, brings one down only to one’s own ideas, which are always going to be unstable, since the whole point of this postmodern everything goes is that there’s no absolutes. And an absolute truth is, by definition, stable. Without it, one will be tossed here and there by every wind of false teaching. Whatever sounds good today, whatever works today, whatever I want today, but the result is a life of doubt, and shifting shadows, a life that is “like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind,” roiling and endlessly rising and falling, going it knows not where.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Earthquake in DC?

An earthquake in Washington, DC? That was my first incredulous thought on opening the Drudge Report yesterday and seeing the headline. Whoa, that is weird!

To make things even weirder, there was one in Colorado on the same day, a 5.3 tremblor centered in Trinidad, near the state’s southern border. Coming on top of all the tornadoes, droughts, wildfires, snowstorms, floods and now hurricanes… I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s warnings of great earthquakes and famines just before He comes back. (Matt 24:7,8)  It seems obvious that God is trying to get people’s attention with all these weather events. Of all the things people are struggling to deal with now, weather is the one most obviously out of our hands.

I think I mentioned when writing about the tornadoes that a number of people remarked how since tornadoes rarely went through cities, everyone thought that somehow the presence of a city warded them off. After Joplin and Tuscaloosa, that notion has been retired, and the reason cities are being hit now is because there are more of them. I just think the only reason more tornadoes haven’t hit cities in the past is because God didn’t allow them to.

I was still in that line of thinking today when I learned that in the recent DC Earthquake both the Washington Monument and the Washington National Cathedral were closed indefinitely because of damages suffered from the EQ. The Washington Monument was found to have a 4″ crack in the top of its pyramidion, and the National Cathedral sustained millions of dollars of damage including numerous cracks in its limestone blocks as well as the loss of several of its pinnacles.

It struck me as significant that the two structures found to have enough damage from the quake to warrant closure to visitors were major and well-known icons of our country.

The Washington Monument, begun in 1848 and finished after the Civil War in 1884, is the tallest obelisk in the world, and was built to honor our first president, George Washington. (Interesting that perhaps our last real/full term president is George W. Bush… ). According to Wikipedia, “As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, [Washington] built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.”

Now that monument has a small crack in it, just as our great nation is suffering cracks in its strength, its financial security and its position of being respected by the rest of the world.

The Washington National Cathedral has been designated by Congress as our “National House of Prayer” and serves as an icon for our nation’s religious life which has been for most of our history, predominantly Christian. It too has cracks and damage to its first floor and, as mentioned, its pinnacles  — cracks and falling pinnacles that serve as an illustration of the inexorable crumbling of our allegiance to Christianity, not so much as a nation, but as a people. Fewer and fewer attend church, more and more adhere to eastern religions, or none at all, and our laws and culture are growing increasingly hostile toward our faith.

From there I thought back to the Twin Towers, symbols of America’s economic strength — turned to rubble, with a mosque planned to be built atop the remains.

The Pentagon — split open when one of the hijacked airliners flew into it. The heart of our military strength, pierced by a handful of ignorant, hate-filled men armed with box cutters. Yes, it’s repaired now, but who would have thought such a thing could ever even happen? Of all places, wouldn’t the Pentagon be most impregnable?  Apparently not.

Taken together, it all makes for an interesting picture. One I don’t think is coincidence, given the times in which we live.

“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity; in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgments that you may live and multiply, and that the LORD your God may bless you in the land…

But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You shall not prolong your days in the land…

…I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendents… ”       ~ Deuteronomy 30:15-19

 

In The Last Days

A couple of days ago, after my 15 minute increment of wrestling with ch 1 — which had problems I couldn’t seem to even get my mind around, let alone resolve — I went to Drudge and clicked on a link to see what was going on with the riots in England. After a cursory glance at the photos, I was about to click away without reading anything, when I believe the Holy Spirit said to me, “Karen, you are writing about a riot in Ch 1 and this is real-time info on rioting.”  I blinked at the screen. Whoa!  What a doofus I am.

So I read about what was going on, looked at photos, and listened to the two drunken girls gloating as to how they’d gotten to “show the rich we can do whatever we want.”  By now many of you have probably heard of that.  The next day, the riots being on my radar now, I was very interested in a piece Rush Limbaugh brought up  by British commentator Max Hastings in the UK Daily Mail Online called Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated, welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters  , August 10, 2011. It’s a fascinating article, some of which I’ve lifted to share with you, though I recommend you read it in entirety.

Hastings starts out as many have, trying to figure out why these people are doing these things. The first riot came out of a protest over the shooting of a local man, which as facts came out did not seem anything worthy of protest.  People who break into shops and run out with armloads of iPods and other goodies do not seem to be focused on the injustices allegedly done to one of their own. Anyway, I found Hastings’s comments fascinating, not only in their own right, but for the condition he related might be used in this novel I am currently writing. It’s amazing how much this fits with what I’m doing.

So, on with Hastings, who is as I said, attempting to come up with a reason to explain the rioters’ actions.

“Of course it is true that few have jobs, learn anything useful at school, live in decent homes, eat meals at regular hours or feel loyalty to anything beyond their local gang.

This is not, however, because they are victims of mistreatment or neglect.

It is because it is fantastically hard to help such people, young or old, without imposing a measure of compulsion which modern society finds unacceptable. These kids are what they are because nobody makes them be anything different or better.

“A century ago, no child would have dared to use obscene language in class. Today, some use little else. It symbolises their contempt for manners and decency, and is often a foretaste of delinquency.

If a child lacks sufficient respect to address authority figures politely, and faces no penalty for failing to do so, then other forms of abuse — of property and person — come naturally.

A key factor in delinquency is lack of effective sanctions to deter it. From an early stage, feral children discover that they can bully fellow pupils at school, shout abuse at people in the streets, urinate outside pubs, hurl litter from car windows, play car radios at deafening volumes, and, indeed, commit casual assaults with only a negligible prospect of facing rebuke, far less retribution.

He spends a few paragraphs detailing the troubles various authority figures — from adults in general to teachers to policemen — have in attempting to control their behavior.

So there we have it: a large, amoral, brutalised sub-culture of young British people who lack education because they have no will to learn, and skills which might make them employable. They are too idle to accept work waitressing or doing domestic labour, which is why almost all such jobs are filled by immigrants.

They have no code of values to dissuade them from behaving anti-socially or, indeed, criminally, and small chance of being punished if they do so.

They have no sense of responsibility for themselves, far less towards others, and look to no future beyond the next meal, sexual encounter or TV football game.

<snip>

They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.

Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’

Sobering, to say the least.  And as I read the article I couldn’t help thinking of 2 Timothy 3:1-4

“But realize this, that in the last days, difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy (anti-establishment), unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…”

As I said, I recommend you read the entire article HERE.

Reallocated to Occupy

Today on the Drudge Report, I came across an article posted on Alex Jone’s Info Wars site about a new Rasmussen poll showing that Americans are now “pre-revolutionary.”  The article stated that only 17% of the population believes the U.S. government has the consent of the governed. The rest of us do not.   The article’s author, Paul Joseph Watson, cited Rasmussen pollster Pat Cadell as saying “there is a sea of anger churning” out there among Americans wanting to “take their country back.”

Watson also hearkened back to 2008 when InfoWars warned of coming economic troubles that would precipitate “global rioting,” which clearly we are seeing today with the riots that have gone on in Greece, the Middle East, France and most lately, London. There are signs as well of coming unrest here in America, not only from the aforementioned pre-revolutionary Americans, but in the rising incidences of crime and thefts, especially the flash mob violence that’s been occurring at various cities — most recently at a state fair in Wisconsin…

But the creepiest part of all was when Watson referenced, in conjunction with the warning of global rioting, an 2008  article in the Army Times  about a newly instituted program that “re-allocated”  US troops returning from Iraq to training programs that would teach them how to “occupy America” (Watson’s words), run checkpoints and deal with  “civil unrest and crowd control”.  The Army Times presented the new program as one wherein soldiers would be called on to provide aid and “protection”  during times of disaster like Katrina or a terrorist attack, but admitted the idea of using American soldiers to control Americans is a “first.”  According to Info Wars’ Watson, however, such a deployment is not just a “first”, but totally violates the principle of  Posse Comitatus, a US federal law passed in 1878 prohibiting military personnel from serving in a law enforcement capacity on non-federal property.

So… it sounds good — send in US troops to help restore order, render aid, protect people during a terrorist attack…but with if the unrest comes from within? What if it comes from this rather large group (83%) of Americans who feel their elected officials have run off with their country and are driving it off a cliff?

Mount Pleasant frog, anyone?

The Unruly, Unrestrained Jet Stream

“Record snowfall, killer tornadoes, devastating floods: There’s no doubt about it. Since Dec. 2010, the weather in the USA has been positively wild. But why?”

So starts an article published in Science@Nasa last June called What’s to Blame for the Wild Weather?

(Shall I add extreme drought and heat leading to horrific forest fires that have both scorched the southwest and are even now burning up Oklahoma?)

Some say it’s because of La Nina,  a band of cold water that sometimes stretches across the Pacific, and affects global weather patterns. We’ve had La Nina conditions before, however, and not all these weird weather problems.

NASA climatologist Bill Patzert doesn’t think it’s La Nina either.  “La Niña was strong in December,” he says. “But back in January it pulled a disappearing act and left us with nothing – La Nada – to constrain the jet stream. Like an unruly teenager, the jet stream took advantage of the newfound freedom–and the results were disastrous.”

“By mid-January 2011, La Niña weakened rapidly and by mid-February it was adios, La Niña, allowing the jet stream to meander wildly around the US. Consequently the weather pattern became dominated by strong outbreaks of frigid polar air, producing blizzards across the West, Upper Midwest, and northeast US.”

And that wasn’t all it produced as spring came and the unruly jet stream continued to be uncontrolled. Russell Schneider, Director of the NOAA-NWS Storm Prediction Center, explains:

“First, very strong winds out of the south carrying warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico met cold jet stream winds racing in from the west. Stacking these two air masses on top of each other created the degree of instability that fuels intense thunderstorms.”

According to NASA author Dauna Coulter, “Extreme contrasts in wind speeds and directions of the upper and lower atmosphere transformed ordinary thunderstorms into long-lived rotating supercells capable of producing violent tornadoes.”

And climatologist Patzert adds, “The jet stream — on steroids — acted as an atmospheric mix master, causing tornadoes to explode across Dixie and Tornado Alleys, and even into Massachusetts.”

I love his description of an unruly jet stream, free to roam about as it chooses — with devastating results. Because what a parallel to a people who have rejected God and gone their own way.

Especially when you combine the weather problems with the economic woes, the war issues, the rising crime, the emergence of mobs of young people running amok in various cities from Chicago to DC to Orlando…  I really do think God is trying to get our attention…

Read the article and look at the pictures HERE.

Burning the Koran

I am fascinated by all the uproar over this pastor in Florida who announced plans to burn some Korans on Saturday, the anniversary of 9-11. Yes, apparently after pressure from the media, General Petraeus, our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, ex-President Clinton, Franklyn Graham, the FBI and President Obama, he has agreed to abort his burning, allegedly because he was promised the proposed mosque in NY would be moved. But to me the man himself is nothing compared with what his threat has revealed not about Islam, but about Americans. Or at least those of our new Ruling Class.

Does nobody in any position of authority or power in this country see anything wrong with the fact that because some little known guy in a small town in America is going to burn some Korans the entire Muslim world is now having a cow, demanding we forbid this desecration of their holy book … or else they are going to exact violent retribution? ? 

The media implies that because Muslims think their Koran is from God, then we all have to. But what if we don’t? In fact, I don’t. I think the Bible is the only book that’s actually the word of God. And if others want to burn it, I don’t have a problem with that. They are using their volition to reject truth and God can handle it. He’s not intimidated by any of it. His Word goes on, despite the antagonism of unbelievers. He will not only preserve it despite their attempts to destroy it, He will use their wrath to bring praise to Himself! 

“We can do nothing against the truth but only for the truth.” 2 Co 13:8

“For the wrath of man shall praise you…” Ps 76:10

And given that, just for a bit of contrast… in May 2009 Bibles translated into the local languages of Afghanistan were sent by an American church  to soldiers at Bagram AFB, Afghanistan, presumably to pass out to Afghani’s. They were confiscated because military regulations forbid any attempt at evangelizing the natives, which the church didn’t know and apparently some of the soldiers didn’t either. In any case, they were confiscated by military officials and… burned. Article here.

Muslims burn our flag, burn effigies of our presidents, kill people because they are Christians (in fact at one of the cow-having sessions, they chanted “Death to Christians.”) and I’m sure they’ve burned their share of Bibles.

People use the name of Jesus Christ as a pejorative all the time — as well as indulge in other demonstrations of complete disrespect and even hatred and disgust toward Him — and there are no riots, no chantings, no death threats. But make a cartoon of Mohammed with a bomb in his turban and you are anathema, excoriated on the world theater and threatened with death.  Threaten to burn a few hundred Korans and ditto.

The media gasp and wring their hands. “Do you know what that Pastor said?? He said Islam is of the devil, and Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. Oh! Horrible! How hateful!”  The ABC reporter I watched seemed absolutely aghast. So I’m wondering… where is all this vaunted tolerance the left is forever promoting? If the guy wants to burn some Korans in what amounts to his backyard, what’s the big deal? Why does anyone even have to know about it? If they are so tolerant, why do they react in shock and horror and severe disapproval for Christians who say they’re the only ones who have the truth, even as they bend over backwards to tolerate muslims who say the same thing (ie, only they have the truth) and, if possible, back it up by killing anyone who disagrees with them.

And then today, tying in with my last post on Echelon, it turns out the Gainesville church has a website that provides information and the preachings of its pastor which was just shut down by its Internet host. According to a report on AFP

“GAINESVILLE, Florida — The small Florida church that has sparked global outrage with its plan to hold a Koran-burning event had its website pulled from the Internet on Thursday by its host.

Dan Goodgame, a spokesman for the San Antonio, Texas-based web hosting firm Rackspace, told AFP the evangelical Dove World Outreach Center church had, “violated the Offensive Content section of its Acceptable Use policy.”

The policy forbids content or links to material that is “excessively violent, incites violence, threatens violence, or contains harassing content or hate speech; and creates a risk to a person’s safety or health, creates a risk to public safety or health, compromises national security, or interferes with an investigation by law enforcement.”

By the way they are applying this, my church at gbible.org could also be seen as violating the offensive content section of an acceptable use policy, especially when back in 2001 my pastor did a series on the Arab-Israeli conflict that included direct quotations from the Koran showing exactly what it preached.

Whether he intended this or not, I think Terry Jones is making a very good point. When he, small as he is, cannot burn a few Korans without out the whole world throwing a tizzy — “Oh, no! the muslims are going to react. They might riot, they might kill people. They will hurt our soldiers. This will make them really mad…”

 Helloo? They’re already mad, they’re already hurting our soldiers and killing people. They already think we’re the Great Satan, so… we’re going to quiver in fear because of their threats? Over something as petty as all of this?

In fact, the FBI is concerned because already there have been reactions from home grown terrorists vowing retribution. But then again, they are concerned on a daily basis about terrorist attacks, not because of cartoons, or some guy burning Korans but because they already hate us because we aren’t them. We are wicked and degenerate and evil in their sight. We need to be converted or killed…that’s their agenda.

So it really doesn’t matter what the spark is, the fire is already smouldering and has been for a while. And furthermore, every time we do something they don’t like or don’t do what they want us to do (as with the Cordoba House Mosque project) they threaten us with “oh no, the terrorists will be upset. We don’t know how they’re going to retaliate…”

Isn’t that extortion? And appeasement and wimpiness in the extreme on our part?

Whether Terry Jones ever actually burns any Korans, he has made it clear just what sort of religion we are up against. One that freely admits its purpose is to make everyone on earth submissive to it, that kills and persecutes people of other faiths in all the countries where it has power and wants to someday do the same in the countries where it doesn’t. Jones agrees what he’s doing is provocative, but I believe it’s not so much the muslims he wishes to provoke, but us. Because, says he,  “If we don’t [burn these Korans], when do we stop backing down?”

Addendum: Rush has a lot to say on this and the mosque issue, along with what I think was a hilarious conversation with a completely clueless caller about the Koran burning thing HERE.

Rush was masterful in the way he handled it.  Afterward he noted that there was never a country called Palestine, that after WWII the British owned (by way of victory in combat) what was at the time called Transjordan. They gave the land to the Jews. However, if there never was a country with the name of Palestine, there was a Roman province of that name — the former province of Judea, renamed after the Bar Kokhba rebellion of 136 AD when the emperor got ticked off with the Jews who just wouldn’t stop trying to take back Jerusalem (even after it had been razed in 70 AD) and banned them from entering the city at all. He also renamed the province “Palestine” after their old enemies the Philistines. All of this several hundred years before Mohammed had his Visitation.

Which I think is a rather cool irony in present times.

UPDATE:  Michelle Malkin’s column on The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage provides a list and retrospective of all the things that have sparked outbursts of Muslim Outrage: underwear, sneakers, teddy bears, dresses, fast food snack packaging, cartoons, religious frescos and even beauty pageants.

ALSO: Flashback to 2007 when Muslims destroyed crosses and Bibles and an entire church.  Christians in Gaza Fear for Their Lives…

Early Warning

Over the weekend I started reading a book called Early Warning by Michael Walsh, who used to be music critic for Time magazine. (It shows – he sneaks in all sorts of musical references, like naming a character after a character in the opera Turandot or using Elgar’s Enigma Variations to introduce a discussion about cryptology). The biographical material at the back of the books says Walsh was born on the US Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, comes from a long line of American servicemen dating back to the Spanish-American War, and grew up among veterans and intelligence officers in duty stations around the world. Which grants him a degree of credibility for what he’s writing about.

Early Warning is a “Jack Bauer novel”… that is, its set-up is very much the same as that of 24 — the hero, supersecret operative “Devlin” is part of a supersecret security agency buried in the National Security Agency, a man who pretty much answers to no one but himself and has direct access to the president whenever he wishes. I’m only about a third of the way through, and the story is apparently a continuation of earlier tales, but it seems Devlin may have as traumatic a history as Bauer has ended up with. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying it.

And then on p100 I came to a part about wiretapping, which is no longer about faux telephone servicemen connecting wires in boxes, but is in fact, more like the Kraken released from its lair (we saw Clash of the Titans recently)… a many tentacled beast far beyond our ability to control. I knew we were on our way to this situation; I did not realize we were there.

Here’s what Walsh says, writing in the thoughts of one of his characters, the director of the NSA:

“The Black Widow was the in-house nickname fo the NSA’s Cray supercomputer at Fort Meade. Forget privacy — no matter what the sideshow arguments in Congress were about the FISA laws or civil liberties, the Black Widow continued to go remorselessly about her job, which was to listen in on, and read, all telephonic and written electronic communication, in any language, anywhere in the world. It was the old Clinton-era “Echelon” project writ large, able to perform trillions of calculations per second as it sifted and sorted in its never-ending quest for key words, code words, patterns…

[snip]

“…The Black Widow not only heard all and read all, she could sense all: the technology had advanced to such an extent that the Widow and other Cray supercomputers like her — including the Cray XT4, known as the Jaguar, and the MPP (Massively Parallel Processor) housed at the University of Tennessee– could read the keystrokes of a given computer through the electrical current serving the machine. And all linkable.”

Well at that point I put down the book and went Googling. I’d thought the Black Widow might have been made up but what about the Cray XT4 Jaguar?

Real. Even has its own Wiki article here.

The Massively Parallel Processor?

Also real.

And so, to my surprise, is the Black Widow. Here. And here.

Note in both of these  latter references, one of which is the Cray Press Release, there’s nothing directly said about spying, other than the fact that these highly advanced supercomputers are provided to the government… presumably for research, since that’s all that’s mentioned in the release.

I did find some references to spying in a book review in the Baltimore Sun by David Wood. Reviewing The Shadow Factory by James Bamford, Wood says,

“Most convincingly, Bamford guides the reader through the NSA’s greatest challenge: staying ahead of the explosive growth in volume and types of communications.

“Voice traffic alone increases 20 percent a year. Digital cell phones and fiber-optic cables vastly complicate the eavesdroppers’ job. Today, the NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the “Black Widow,” scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. That’s harder than it sounds: For purposes of speed and encryption, many of these communications are transmitted in fragments. The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages. Storing all this data, Bamford reports, is already an enormous headache for the NSA.”

Full article here.

Since this was not an article on the NSA but a review of a book about the NSA, and since it seemed these words were only here reported as having been written by Bamford in the book, which I’ve not read, I went looking for corroborating information.

And came across ECHELON : ” a term associated with a global network of computers that automatically search through millions of intercepted messages for pre-programmed keywords or fax, telex and e-mail addresses. Every word of every message in the frequencies and channels selected at a station is automatically searched. The processors in the network are known as the ECHELON Dictionaries. ECHELON connects all these computers and allows the individual stations to function as distributed elements an integrated system. An ECHELON station’s Dictionary contains not only its parent agency’s chosen keywords, but also lists for each of the other four agencies in the UKUSA system [NSA, GCHQ, DSD, GCSB and CSE]“

So it does seem to be credible. I found the above link through Elizabeth Pratt’s blog The End Time where in one post she writes about Echelon and the computers and how easy it will be for a one world dictator to force everyone to carry the mark of the beast. With GPS and satellite surveillance, with the government having the ability sift through all electronic communication…they will be – maybe already are — able to keep tabs on everyone, and I would even guess using satellite surveillance and/or infrared they could find those without the mark (since they’d show up as a warm body without the proper signal from their implanted microchip”) so they can round them up for “beheading”. Elizabeth quoted from Rev 20:4 “…And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand…”and when I read it, I thought, Does it really say beheaded? Indeed, it does.

Well, I can see how a preference for caves and paper communication might develop in such times!

In any case Ms. Pratt has a lot of interesting thoughts and information, charts, maps, etc, so if you’re interested in seeing how close we are to being able to keep track of absolutely everyone as well as everything they are saying to each other, electronically, at any rate, I recommend her post

Thankfully, all who’ve believed in Christ won’t be here for the actual Tribulation where they’ll be forcing everyone to get a Mark, but it’s amazing to see things that 50 years ago were unheard of, developing right in line with Biblical prophecy.


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