Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’
I guarantee there wouldn’t be a problem if they had been referencing Allah and allowing the kids to pray five times a day facing Mecca.
A Louisiana lawman is livid over the federal government’s decision to cut off funds for two programs to help troubled young people, all, he says, because he refused to sign a pledge to bar prayer or any mention of God at their meetings.
Julian Whittington, the sheriff of Bossier Parish, La., told Fox News the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights defunded $30,000 for their Young Marines chapter as well as a youth diversion program. Federal officials objected to a voluntary student-led prayer in the department’s youth diversion program and an oath recited by the Young Marines that mentions God, according to Whittington, who blasted what he considers the government’s “aggression and infringement of our religious freedoms.”
“We were informed that these are unacceptable, inherently religious activities and the Department of Justice would not be able to fund the programs if it continued,” Whittington told Fox News. “They wanted a letter from me stating that I would no longer have voluntary prayer and I would also have to remove ‘God’ from the Young Marine’s oath.”
I must have missed the part of the 1st Amendment that mentions forcing groups to surrender their free speech and religious practices in exchange for federal funds.
“I flat said, ‘It’s not going to happen,’” he told reporters. “Enough is enough. This is the United States of America—and the idea that the mere mention of God or voluntary prayer is prohibited is ridiculous.”
Whittington further emphasized that he’s more concerned about the censorship than he is the lost funds.
“The money is not the issue,” he stated. “It’s the principle of the matter. What is going on here? Who is dictating what can or can’t be said in Bossier Parish?”
Thankfully, they’re not about to cave any time soon:
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington was greeted with loud applause and shouts of “Amen” when he said he will not remove God from the Young Marines program during its 27th class graduation ceremony today.
The program has lost about $30,000 in federal funding because of a voluntary prayer cadets recite.
“He doesn’t need the politicians,” Lindea McCroix, who’s 9-year-old daughter Savannah Truelove graduated. “God will take him through it.”
The department has never received a complaint about the voluntary prayer, which states “… I will set an example for all other youth to follow and I shall never do anything that would bring disgrace or dishonor upon my God, my Country and its flag, my parents, myself or the Young Marines…”
The prayer has been a part of the program since its inception 10 years ago. A random audit showing the federal funding sparked the controversy.
“We’ve never had one complaint from anybody for anything,” Whittington said, noting the department tried to compromise with the Department of Justice, which said God must be removed in order for federal funding to continue.
“I said, ‘Keep it. We’re not doing it. Game over.”
This is the kind of crap that the KGB would pull in Soviet countries. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
On Thursday the Examiner provided an exclusive report indicating that the Obama administration had implemented a covert program beginning in 2009 that was intended to spy on conservative, evangelical Christian churches.
That program involved infiltration — sending in government operatives to join churches for the purpose of data collection. The government snoops would keep their eyes and ears open for criticism of the Obama administration, talk of Tea Party participation, conversations about gun ownership, and a number of other issues.
But a special report issued today by Fox News indicates that the program went far beyond infiltration and snooping. The IRS was used to harass Christian churches if they were identified as places where large numbers of anti-Obama citizens congregated for worship.
The Obama administration, according to the report, considered any public criticism of administration policies to be political in nature and should therefore impact whether or not these congregations were allowed to gain or keep their tax exempt status.
Daniel Blomberg and Eric Rassbach explain at Fox News:
What most people don’t realize is that the IRS has been acting as the speech police for decades. Ever since 1954, when then-Senator Lyndon Johnson pushed for a law enabling the IRS to punish non-profits who opposed him politically, the IRS has been in the business of government censor. What’s worse is that one of the biggest targets of this censorship has been religious people and houses of worship. In fact, one of the IRS’s first targets in the 1950s was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was subjected to a searching IRS audit because of his religious advocacy for civil rights for African-Americans.
The IRS of course has the crushing power to deny or revoke the non-profit status of a synagogue, church, or mosque if it says something the IRS decides is too “political.” But it can also put houses of worship and other religious organizations through the wringer of intrusive, costly, and time-consuming audits.
There are two ways the targeting works. One way is for an outside group, often one that is anti-religion, to file a complaint asking the IRS to investigate a church they don’t like. The IRS responds to the complaint by opening an investigation and asking the church often hundreds of questions about its activities, with the threat of revocation of non-profit status. This is what lawyers call “selective enforcement” and it is unconstitutional. No one should be singled out in this way, especially because of collusion between the IRS and outside groups with an ax to grind.
The second way the censorship starts is for IRS officials to take their lead from high government officials, including the President, to decide which groups to target for disfavor. This is apparently what happened to the “tea party” groups, but religious groups have also been targeted in this way.
Don’t believe it? Just ask Billy Graham. Last fall, the famed Christian evangelist publicly advocated on behalf of a ballot measure in his home state of North Carolina, taking a position that the President and other high government officials publicly opposed. The tax man was knocking at the door almost immediately. And while the expensive, time-consuming audit eventually ended without any finding of wrongdoing by Graham, a message was sent to every other religious group that might oppose government policy: the IRS can use its audit powers to harass you or shut you down simply for saying what you believe. That kind of intimidation is wrong–and unconstitutional.
Obama deliberately chooses these kinds of radical, extremist religious leaders to guide his family and his faith. That tells you a lot about how radical his core beliefs really are. Obama doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a follower of the “Social Gospel,” which teaches collective salvation through good (government) works, not individual salvation by grace.
The pastor at the Washington, D.C. church where the Obama family celebrated Easter on Sunday said members of the religious right want blacks “in the back of the bus,” women “back in the kitchen” and immigrants “back on their side of the border.”
“It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back…for blacks to be back in the back of the bus…for women to be back in the kitchen…for immigrants to be back on their side of the border,” Rev. Dr. Luis Leon said in his sermon, according to the White House press pool report.
Reuters reporter Jeff Mason tweeted that Leon also said the religious right wants gays in the closet.
What a classy, uplifting sermon for Resurrection Sunday.
This isn’t the first time his nut-job pastor has said something like this, either. Where does he find these crazies? I’ve grown up in different church across the denominational spectrum all my life, and NOT ONCE have I ever a pastor give sermon that specifically bashed political opponents.
Every year, the federal government spends well over a trillion dollars more than it takes in. As a result, it has racked up seventeen trillion dollars in debt, most of it in the last decade. In seven years at current rates, the U.S. will need almost a fifth of the GDP from the rest of the world just to finance our national debt.
Just two of our federal entitlements, Medicare and Social Security, have “unfunded future liabilities” of $46.2 trillion. Total liabilities are $86.8 trillion or more. Entitlements and other mandatory spending will burden more and more of the federal budget in the coming years. At today’s burn rate, before long no realistic amount of tax revenue will be able to service the debt and fund the government’s basic functions.
We need not worry about the federal government defaulting, since, unlike U.S. states or private citizens, it can print the money it needs to pay the bills. It can and will do so if we don’t make a course correction fast. Massive monetary expansion will ultimately devalue every dollar in circulation and trigger the sort of hyperinflation that flattens entire societies in short order. That’s bad enough, but when government borrows and spends for our supposed benefit, somebody else will have to foot some or all of the bill. If our faith applies to every aspect of life, then it must have something to say about this moral outrage.
[...] In the twentieth century, more than a hundred million people were murdered by their own governments. And that was just in communist countries. History and scripture agree: because of sin, governments with too much power become propagators of evil and destruction.
This speaks directly to government debt, since deficit spending is a symptom of government doing more than it can or should. The federal government now borrows and spends with such reckless abandon that it is careening toward a global economic catastrophe. If Christians can’t muster the courage to speak out against what Rep. Paul Ryan has called “the most predictable debt crisis in history,” we won’t deserve to be taken seriously after the collapse.
Sadly, many Christians don’t know how to disciple our nation to turn the tide because they’ve never studied God’s design for economics or the Biblical role of government. They can’t teach what they don’t know. The key to real reformation, says R.C. Sproul, Jr., is for Christians to understand and work to implement Biblical economic principles:
Christian author and teacher R.C. Sproul, Jr. told CBN News Anchor Lee Webb that he believes it’s time to return to the basics when it comes to economics.
“When we’re left arguing about whether or not we should have a marginal tax rate of 45 percent or 48 percent, and the conservative is stuck arguing for the 45 percent we’ve had an insufficient reformation in our thinking,” Sproul said.
Sproul believes that reformation will happen only when we return to scripture to see what God has to say about economics. That’s why he produced a video series called “Economics for Everybody.” It’s a compelling, even entertaining approach to a topic many find boring.
[...] Sproul provides historical evidence that nations most influenced by biblical Christianity are nations that, by and large, have prospered. They are nations marked by decentralized governments and free markets.
But nations that reject God are marked by centralized power, tyranny, and no free markets. Unfortunately, he said he has observed some of those troubling trends in America now.
“The United States is not a free market. It’s an interventionist economy that’s been moving closer to socialism for over a century now,” he said. “I am not optimistic about our nation’s future economically.”
“We live in a country in which the state forbids me to hire a man unless I promise to pay him X number of dollars,” Sproul explained. “We now live in a country where I can’t hire 50 men unless I promise to buy them all health insurance, including access to abortion.”
“This is not economic liberty. This is not free markets,” he said. “We’re missing the fact that we’re the frog and the water is boiling.”
That’s why Sproul believes it’s not enough to think conservatively. We must think biblically and train our children biblically.
“It’s my conviction that education is always and everywhere religious,” he said.
“And it’s not a surprise that when 80 percent of evangelical parents have their children in the government’s schools that they’re going to embrace the religion of the government which is the worship of the state,” he said.
Sproul cautioned Christians to avoid despair. One way to do that is by returning to the beginning, to the Creation Mandate and begin to see that our work is part of worship.
If you have never watched the “Economics For Everybody” series, I highly recommend it! We cannot teach what we do not know!
This afternoon, faith leaders and Oregon United for Marriage Chief Petitioner Jeana Frazzini turned in 2,000 sponsorship signatures on the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative—twice the number of signatures needed to move into the ballot title process.
“With Oregon’s help, we did it,” Frazzini said. “We held 17 events across the state, mobilized hundreds of volunteers, and doubled our goal of 1,000 sponsorship signatures to advance the measure that will make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry in Oregon.”
[...] Over 70 clergy and faith leaders from numerous denominations signed the sponsorship petition, representing Protestant, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Lutheran-Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, Quaker, and Buddhist faith traditions.
Self-described “faith leaders” in Oregon recently published this “Faith Leader’s Declaration of Support of the Freedom to Marry.” It declares, in part:
We are Oregon & Washington clergy and religious leaders of many faiths, traditions, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities. We represent religious institutions, organizations, and movements throughout our state.
We declare that our faith calls us to affirm civil marriage equality for loving same-sex couples. We come from different political parties and philosophies and now lift our voices in unity to speak a faithful word for freedom and equality.
Our religious traditions and scriptures teach us that wherever love is present, God is also present. One of God’s greatest gifts to us is our human capacity to love one another. The ability of two people to enter into relationships and form families of love and care is one expression of this gift. It is holy and good. We therefore affirm the right of loving same-gender couples to legally enter into such relationships on an equal basis with loving heterosexual couples. [...]
“Wherever love is present, God is also present.” Actually, they have that backwards. Wherever GOD is present, true love is present, because God is love (1 John 4:8).
However, God’s definition of “love” is different than the many perversions of that word used by the world. Our culture uses the word “love” to describe everything from our favorite things, to adulation of celebrities, to outright lust. TRUE love is selfless and sacrificial. It wants God’s highest and best for the other person, and that best never includes condoning destructive and immoral behavior. True love encourages us to embrace God’s grace and forgiveness, not our sinful passions.
If they’re going to throw out God’s definition of love, and declare that sexual sins like homosexual relations constitutes “love,” why not adultery? Why fornication, incest, pedophilia, and bestiality? If “love is love,” and love is defined by sexual attraction, what’s the difference?
There is no scriptural justification for redefining love or marriage in this manner, which is why they don’t quote scripture…merely their empty, philosophical rationale. Paul warns us against this in Colossians 2:8: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”
Sadly, these “liberal Christians” haven’t heeded the warning:
Over the past several decades, liberalism has primarily defined itself by what it is not. Its message is “We’re not like those stodgy old traditionalists-we’re hip and accepting” (as long as they’re not asked to accept unchanging morality or the truth of Scripture). Liberal Christianity rejects the core tenets of Christianity, including the belief that Jesus is God, that all of mankind is guilty of sin and condemned to hell, that God sacrificed His Son to bear the punishment for our sins, that Scripture is the absolute, unchanging, perfect Word of God, and that the only path to salvation is through believing in Christ’s sacrifice and accepting His gift of eternal life by grace through faith.
In place of these tenets, liberal Christianity embraces a series of denials: Christ is not divine, mankind is not inherently sinful, the Scriptures are not authoritative and unchanging, heaven and hell are not literal, morality and theology are not absolute, and social mores do not flow from Scripture, but are an ever-changing product of our evolutionary enlightenment.
All of these beliefs allow liberal Christians to be more “comfortable” in the culture around them. The common message of the liberal Christian is that “God is love” and we need to speak to the rest of culture in the language of loving acceptance. “Love” here is code for the conviction that there is no absolute moral standard which humankind has violated. Hence, to believe in justice, morality, sin, punishment or an unchanging God is to be “judgmental” and “unloving.”
[...] Liberal Christianity undermines the Truth that has motivated so much good work. Liberal Christians reject the core tenets of historic Christianity. They have embraced the contemporary fancies of an ever-changing culture. They have nothing to live for, nothing to die for, and nothing to work for. For them, church is just another social club, devoid of power because it is not animated by transcendent truth and accountability for living in conformity with that truth. They have no authority for faith or action. They embrace a counterfeit Christianity, a pale image of the real thing, a hollow shell, a thin gruel that offers little sustenance for its followers or the culture at large.
As religious leftists, most of the “clergy” behind the gay marriage agenda are socialists, and have therefore already rejected what the Bible teaches about envy, theft, private property, debt, inheritance, and other principles of Biblical economics. Turning their back on God’s moral standard for sexuality and marriage is just the next step. They have traded sound doctrine for that which tickles their itching ears (2 Timothy 4:3).
I’m currently reading Bonhoeffer, about the battle between the Nazi-controlled state church which called themselves “German Christians,” and the Confessing Church, which stood for Biblical truth and urged Christians in Germany to reject the poisonous lies of National Socialism. Sadly, only 20% of religious leaders in Germany partnered with Bonhoeffer and the Confessing Church. 80% cooperated with Hitler, not realizing their mistake until it was far too late.
Millions of people were persecuted and killed because the German church went along with the prevailing lies of the surrounding culture instead of holding fast to the truth and being salt and light. The willful ignorance, willful blindness, apathy and inaction of much of the body of Christ is largely responsible for one of the darkest chapters in human history.
Have we learned our lesson? Sadly, it appears not. Religious leaders across America and Europe are once again allowing themselves to be guided by the culture instead of the Word, seduced by warm-and-fuzzy sounding arguments and a fear of being labeled a “bigot” if they don’t comply.
They launched the initiative on Valentine’s Day, of course.
It’s baffling to me how many clergy and religious leaders they have deceived into going along with this. They’re really going after the faith angle, twisting scripture and trotting out deceived people of faith to try and convince other believers to buy the lie.
It’s the CHURCH that needs to be turned back to its first love! How can we have walked away from such basic scriptural truth? Lord, bring your repentance and revival!
Daniel Smyth writes at the Washington Times about a new scheme in New York to use anti-discrimination laws to force pro-lifers to either compromise their convictions or go out of business:
New York could soon shut down Catholic and other health care providers for not offering or referring for abortions. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, with enough support in the New York state legislature, could sign a reproductive health act (RHA) this year. Among other actions, the act would declare that New York “shall not discriminate against the exercise of…[abortion] rights…in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.”
The New York State Catholic Conference argues this “no discrimination of abortion rights” provision could “permit state regulators…to require support for abortion from any agency or institution licensed or funded by the state.” As the state grants medical licenses, New York could deny licenses to — and thus shut down — such institutions as Catholic and other hospitals or clinics that refuse to support abortion. New York could also deny these institutions Medicaid payments and other funding, which some of these institutions need for financial stability.
Other provisions in New York’s RHA would establish abortion on demand in New York. For instance, the RHA would permit abortions until birth, allow public funding of abortion and repeal the requirement of parental notifications for minors’ abortions.
Sadly, this is only the latest example in a larger agenda to attack and marginalize people of faith:
Catholic adoption agencies have been forced to close their doors in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., because their religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by their jurisdictions.
A graduate student in Michigan was expelled from a counseling program because her religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by school officials.
Christian pharmacists in Illinois were told to find other professions because their religious beliefs regarding when life begins were deemed unacceptable by the state.
Private business owners are facing enormous fines because their beliefs about when life begins have been deemed unacceptable by the federal government.
Pastor Louie Giglio did not deliver the closing prayer at President Obama’s inauguration ceremony because his religious beliefs about marriage were deemed unacceptable by the administration.
[...] Compared with others around the world, people of faith in America enjoy extraordinary freedoms. Our lives are not in danger. We do not face imprisonment or torture for holding unpopular convictions.
Yet when people of faith are restricted from fully participating in society — owning businesses, entering the medical profession or providing much-needed charitable services — an intolerable trade-off has occurred. The government has exceeded its boundary, and the figurative wall between church and state must be strengthened.
[...] The tide has turned, and we have begun to see the emergence of a state-created orthodoxy. It deems support for traditional marriage unacceptable. It discredits those who believe that life begins at conception. It disfavors their faith — held for centuries by their predecessors — and creates a regulatory framework to prevent them from fully participating in the public square.
When the government says, “You can believe whatever you want, but you will be penalized if you exercise those beliefs,” we have entered dangerous territory. We cannot allow a religious litmus test to determine who may participate in American life. We must defend the Constitution not only in form, but also in effect.
Obama’s Pastor Calls Republicans ‘Enemies,’ Prays For ‘Battle,’ Chants ‘Forward!’ During Church Service
Obama sure knows how to pick the radical wackos. Never, in all my years attending different churches, have I EVER heard a pastor attack a particular group of people as “enemies,” ESPECIALLY over political differences!
I guarantee that if a pastor from a church that a conservative (Sarah Palin?) attended made comments about going into “battle” against Democrat “enemies,” the news media would be freaking out for a week about the “controversy” surrounding his “violent,” “extremist” rhetoric, demanding his resignation, and they’d have all the dirt from his past dug up within 24 hours.
At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”
Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.
In case Braxton missed it, America won its freedom 237 years ago, and the slaves were freed 150 years ago – by a REPUBLICAN. Obama isn’t leading anybody out of slavery. He’s leading them INTO slavery – the slavery of dependence on the Welfare State, which black conservatives like Star Parker call “Uncle Sam’s Plantation.”
But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”
So anybody who doesn’t immediately bow and cave to Obama’s political agenda is an “enemy?” Funny, I thought Jesus taught believers to LOVE their enemies.
The service ended with the pastor leading the crowd in a chant of “Forward.” Really.
This was no religious service. It was a worship service for the man Newsweek labeled “The Second Coming.” And if Obama thinks anything like the pastor he chose just before taking his oath of office, America is in for a long, narcissistic, imperial four years.
Where is the IRS to challenge the church’s tax exempt status for preaching politics from the pulpit? Oh, that’s right: they only enforce that against conservative churches that don’t worship at the altar of the Almighty Messianic Welfare State.
They won’t be happy until it is literally a “hate crime” to criticize sexually immoral behavior. Christians, it’s long past time to wake up.
We expect the “tolerant-oppressives” on the Left to attempt to smear Christianity as de facto bigotry; it’s just another weapon in their never-ending crusade to destroy religion. But the media and our White House taking an active role in such a thing marks a new era for Christians and Christianity, and, I fear, not a good one.
We have now officially reached a point where the elite media and a sitting president not only believe Christianity is bigotry, but that this bigotry is worthy of ostracizing from public life those who believe in the teachings of the Bible.
[...] What we’re seeing with the left and the media…is that believing in the teachings of the Bible, and more importantly, espousing and professing those beliefs, is now treated as though it’s hate speech, bigotry, homophobia, or worse.
How “tolerant.” The Gay lobby could give lessons in bullying.
Apparently a pastor only qualifies to offer a presidential benediction if they toe the Left’s twisted ideological line on all pertinent theological matters. Hmmm….isn’t that the position that European monarchs used to take: agree with them theologically, or face the consequences?
Leftist bloggers successfully convinced officials for President Obama’s Inauguration to pressure Pastor Louie Giglio of Passion City Church in Atlanta to withdraw from praying the benediction at the ceremony January 21. The Inaugural Committee had selected Giglio to pray two days ago because of his impressive work battling human trafficking and slavery around the world, and his amazing leadership of the Christ-honoring Passion conferences. Just last week, Giglio spoke to 60,000 students in the Georgia Dome for the Passion 2013 conference.
The leftist ideologues cared nothing for that and scoured the Internet until they found a recording of an old sermon Giglio recorded in the mid-1990s, in which he taught that the Bible defines marriage only as one man and one woman, and therefore, homosexual behavior is sinful. Even though Giglio has rarely preached on this subject and focused on helping the needy in the world, the lefties went bonkers, and demanded his ouster from the inaugural platform. Louie Giglio gracious acquiesed to the officials’ pressure and stepped down. His statement explains what his current work has focused on, and carefully avoids repudiating the Biblical view on marriage. Louie Giglio is seeing the bulk of his life’s work ignored and the totality of his decades-long ministry distorted by those who summarize it by one sermon he preached 15-20 years ago. This is a tragic slander, because Giglio’s Passion City Church is no Westboro Baptist.
For the past two decades he has spent his time getting Christians to focus on a topic dear to me — human trafficking. That has been his calling and focus. It is a worthy cause. More than 17,000 people are smuggled into the United States each year to serve as slaves, often in the sex trade. American children are kidnapped and enslaved. Louie has rallied Christians and the secular world to this cause.
But twenty years ago he gave a sermon that could be considered prophetic. He told Christians of the coming pursuit of an aggressive homosexual agenda and that they must not stick their heads in the sand and let happen what happens. You can hear that bit here.
He went further than that. He admonished Christians that, in dealing with the issue, they must do so without hate, but with love. They must not condemn, but lead to Christ. But he also said they must stand their ground.
In the sermon, Louie made clear that the secular world is against Christians on this issue. But most controversially, he said that gays can be saved from their sin by embracing Jesus Christ, through whom all things are possible. Listen to his statement. Louie Giglio’s grievous and offensive sin is that he dares to believe in sin.
[...] 2 Timothy 4:3-4 notes, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Secularists peddling a secular agenda in the name of tolerance have declared Truth to be myth and myth to be truth. They hear what they want to hear and condemn what they do not understand as intolerance.
Many young Christians either have embraced secularism in a bit of conformity with the modern world or choose not to even discuss it. Louie Giglio, for the last 20 years, has not discussed his views on homosexuality lest it distract people from embracing his cause on human trafficking.
But this should be a lesson for Christians. They will be forced to choose between this world and the next on these issues. This world is preaching a new religion of tolerance and a hostility to orthodox Christian beliefs. A time is coming where Christians will have to choose between the Word of God or the words of a bunch of secularists out to make the uncommon common and the common obscene.
A recent article in Christianity Today claimed that “fewer than 2 in 5 Americans say homosexuality is sin.” It’s not surprising, when you consider how much cultural propaganda most American Christians allow into their homes, while at the same time churches shy away from teaching about moral, Biblical topics that are considered too “controversial” or “political.”
Read “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian and you’ll understand why they’ve been so effective at indoctrinating the public with their lies.
This year, it has been a lot harder to get into the holiday spirit, what with the loss of our baby and a good friend, looming tax hikes and inflation putting the pinch on our budget, the murder of a young woman down the street from us, a shooting at our local mall, the massacre of school children in Connecticut, Socialists intent on imposing their agenda and stripping away our liberties, Islamic Radicals and Christian persecution on the rise around the world (emboldened by our own weak foreign policy), and a sleepy American church seemingly content to either blindly or apathetically sit on the sidelines, scanning the skies for a quick rapture getaway while leaving the world around them to self-destruct. It’s enough to make you want to throw in the towel.
Yet, while all the jovial music, decorations, parties, presents, feasting and celebration seem out of place in all this madness, the story of Christmas is exactly the reminder we need most. God incarnate came into a world of grinding poverty, injustice, oppression, religious legalism and hypocrisy, and routine slaughter of the innocent. The Father did not spare His Son from suffering the same ugly realities that we face, and many much worse.
And that is what we celebrate: Immanuel…God with us. The God who sees. The God who suffers. The God who loves unconditionally, who humbled Himself and gave His own life to save us. And the promise that one day, He will return and restore everything to rights.
Before leaving his 54 Christmas trees and giant gingerbread White House for a $4 million Hawaiian vacation at taxpayer expense, the President and First Lady took it upon themselves to explain to us lowly serfs what the Christmas season is really about.
CNS News has the transcript. Here are the key points:
THE FIRST LADY: That’s what makes this season so special – getting to spend time with the people we love most.
THE PRESIDENT: And this year, that’s especially true for some of our military families. You see, the war in Iraq is over. The transition in Afghanistan is underway. After a decade of war, our heroes are coming home. And all across America, military families are reuniting.
Spike the football for withdrawing troops from an Islamist-run Iraq and preparing to hand Afghanistan back over to the Taliban? Check!
Then they go on to thank military families for their sacrifice.
Our military families sacrifice so much on our behalf, and Barack and I believe that we should serve them as well as they serve this country. That’s why Dr. Jill Biden and I started Joining Forces – an effort to rally all Americans to honor and support our veterans and military families. Just go to joiningforces.gov to find out how you can show your gratitude for their service.
For my family and millions of Americans, it’s a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. To reflect on His life and learn from His example. Every year, we commit to love one another. To give of ourselves. To be our brother’s keeper. To be our sister’s keeper.
“Brother’s keeper” is a favorite mantra of Obama’s, which he continually attributes to Jesus Christ. Just one problem: JESUS NEVER SAID IT.
The original phrase from scripture is, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9) It was a sarcastic response from the murderer Cain when God questioned him about his dead brother. Essentially he was saying to God, “How would I know where my brother is? I’m not his babysitter,” when in fact he knew that he was guilty of his brother’s blood. Liberation theology has twisted Cain’s guilty response into an endorsement of socialist policies such as redistribution. Obama, as an adherent of Black Liberation Theology, has learned this misinterpretation so well that he continually quotes it as justification for his Marxist ideology, and now promotes it once again in his Christmas address as an idea he supposedly learned from Christ.
But those ideas are not just part of our faith. They’re part of all faiths. And they unite us as Americans.
ALL faiths promote your Marxist ideas, Obama? That would certainly come as a shock to most of their adherents! And this ideology certainly doesn’t UNITE Americans. If anything, his Socialist “faith” has done more to divide Americans than at any other time since the Civil War.
THE FIRST LADY: In this country, we take care of each other. And in this season of giving, it’s inspiring to see so many people all across America taking the time to help those most in need.
Yes, it is. But the greatest successes in charity and disaster relief come from PRIVATE CHARITIES, which your husband is doing his best to undercut and destroy.
So until next year, lowly serfs, politically correct holiday greetings.
LGBT activists have decided that God’s Word is “homophobic” (as if God is “afraid” of homosexuals), so they have taken it upon themselves to revise the Holy Spirit’s “bigoted” scriptures in their new “gay friendly” Bible:
Calling it “fabulous,” a publisher has come out with a new translation of the Bible that “resolves any homophobic interpretations,” deeming it the “Queen James” version.
[...] The “Queen James” Bible changes a total of eight verses in the King James Version that deal with homosexuality, which it says are used by “anti-LGBT religious activists” to condemn homosexuals.
“We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations,” the editors explain.
That’s like editing a letter from a friend to change their statements into things they never said, but you desperately want to hear, and then trying to pass your edited version as “what he REALLY meant.” Who do they think they’re kidding?
Unfortunately, probably a lot of people who don’t know any better:
On the genuinely positive side, it is good see a hunger for the Scriptures in the LGBT community, and the editors boast that the Queen James Bible (QJB) “is the perfect Bible for ceremony, study, sermon, gift-giving or simply to put on display in the home or church.”
On the totally negative side, to the extent professing LGBT Christians believe this translation to be accurate, they are deceiving themselves. And that would be tragic.
Take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a Christian struggling with homosexuality. You want to follow Jesus and obey the Scriptures, but you find yourself attracted to the same sex, through no conscious choice of your own. You pray for God to change you and often cry yourself to sleep, only to wake up the next morning with the same unwanted attractions.
You wonder if God hates you and has singled you out for condemnation: God, why won’t you change me and make me normal?
You hit rock bottom and are considering suicide when someone tells you that your homosexuality is a gift, that God made you this way, and that preachers are misinterpreting the Bible when they say you can’t be a practicing homosexual and a Christian at the same time. Then they hand you your very own copy of the QJB, and voila, all those negative verses are gone.
Can you imagine how tempting it would be to embrace this new “revelation”?
So, Leviticus 18:22 doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination” (King James Version). It really says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination” (QJB; Molech was a pagan idol).
And Paul didn’t actually write that “men who practice homosexuality” will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9; ESV). What he really said was that neither “morally weak, nor promiscuous” people will inherit God’s kingdom (QJB).
The problem, of course, is that the original Hebrew of Leviticus and the original Greek of 1 Corinthians do not say what the QJB says. Not a chance.
The editors have simply changed the Bible to fit their sexuality, opening up a Pandora’s Box of potential mistranslation. It would be like changing “Thou shalt not commit adultery” into “Thou shalt not commit adultery unless you are deeply in love and willing to divorce your spouse to marry your adulterous partner.”
The reasoning behind their hatchet-job on the original text is pathetic: they believe that the Bible is full of contradictions and errors anyway, and the King who commissioned the first English translation was gay. So I guess that means it’s OK to take ancient Hebrew and Greek texts and twist them to say something completely outside their original meaning:
The publishers explain that they called the revised version of the Bible the “Queen James” version because they believe that King James, who commissioned the Bible to be translated into English from its original Hebrew and Greek, was a bisexual.
“King James I’s many gay relationships were so well known that amongst some of his friends and court, he was known as ‘Queen James,’” the website for the publication claims. “It is in his great debt and honor that we name the Queen James Bible so.”
It states that it feels that God’s laws and the Bible itself are antiquated in a variety of ways, but that the publishers did not seek to change the text of other Scriptures of which it disagrees — only texts surrounding homosexuality.
“[T]he Bible is still filled with inequality and even contradiction that we have not addressed. No Bible is perfect, including this one,” the site continues. “We wanted to make a book filled with the word of God that nobody could use to incorrectly condemn God’s LGBT children, and we succeeded.”
“For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” ~ 2 Timothy 4:3
And now, apparently, deliberately mistranslated translations.
Heaven forbid American school kids learn the history of a popular cultural holiday from one of its primary sources. They might actually be EDUCATED!
A church in Little Rock, Ark., canceled one performance of “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” after an atheist organization complained and said students should not be exposed to a show with Christian themes as part of a school field trip.
Happy Caldwell, pastor of Agape Church, issued a statement on the church’s website on Wednesday, stating that while he believes the school was within its constitutional rights to bring students to the production, the church has nevertheless decided to cancel a Friday showing for students.
“It is not our desire to put hard working, sacrificial teachers and cast members in harm’s way,” wrote Caldwell. “What we want said is that we love our city, our schools, parents and families. People are at the heart of the matter to us.”
He also said Principal Sandra Register of Terry Elementary School took a “courageous stand” when she decided not to cancel the trip after learning that someone had complained about it.
The controversy began when a parent became upset at the school’s offer to take students to the church to watch the play, which is based on the “A Charlie Brown Christmas” cartoon and contains some Christian themes. Although the field trip was optional, the woman planned to allow her daughter to attend the production out of fear she would be singled-out by her classmates. The upset mother also contacted the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers (ASF), the organization that complained to the Little Rock School District on her behalf.
You know, when a Christian parent doesn’t want their kids participating in a voluntary field trip or activity, they don’t recruit legal thugs to make sure nobody else can enjoy the event, either. They simply keep their kids home, and that’s the end of it. Which group is really being “tolerant,” here?
The legal group “Liberty Counsel” is offering to help defend the rights of church and school:
Liberty Counsel has offered pro bono legal counsel and, if needed, legal defense to the Little Rock superintendent of schools and Agape Church to defend the right of students to attend the Merry Christmas Charlie Brown play at a local church.
[...] The fact that the play is being held at a local church with parental consent is of no constitutional import. Cultural activities that happen to occur at a religious or nonsecular venue are permissible in the educational context. If the district would have accepted an invitation from a local theater to observe aChristmas play, it is permissible for it to accept the invitation of a church for the same thing.
“Neither the school nor the church should back down. There is no constitutional violation when the Charlie Brown Christmas play is held off campus with parental consent. ‘Good grief,’ as Lucy would say. These atheists are ‘blockheads,’” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.
Cottondale Community Responds to Ban of Nativity Scene at School
View at WJHG News Channel 7
How sad…they school doesn’t want to do it, but they’re being threatened with lawsuits they can’t afford by bullies who want to squash anyone’s free expression that they’re “offended” by.
The Nativity scene has been part of Cottondale Elementary School’s Christmas display for many years, but it is absent this year.
The school’s administration declined to put it out this year, sparking some criticism by those who believe it should be on display along with the secular pieces like Santa Claus and Frosty the Snowman.
Cottondale Elementary School Principal Brenda Jones had spoken this week with Channel 7 in Panama City about the matter, but declined Thursday to speak with the Jackson County Floridan . In her interview with the television station, Jones cited a visit by an attorney which included a discussion about the need for schools to follow the laws demanding separation of church and state.
There is NO law on the books prohibiting religious holiday displays on public property. If there were, the school could be slapped with a ticket or fine. Instead, activist lawyers from groups of anti-religious bullies abuse the legal system to threaten costly lawsuits, forcing people to censor themselves and give up their 1st Amendment rights simply because they can’t afford to go to court to defend them.
This is intimidation and a gross misuse of our judicial system, pure and simple.
Former Jackson County School Board member Betty Duffee said situations like this make her glad she retired last year.
“I don’t’ think she had a choice,” Duffee said of Jones’ decision. “There are people in the community that are threatening to sue the school board (over separation of church and state issues), and it costs a tremendous amount of money to defend something you know you will lose; there’s no doubt about that. It’s not that we’re against it (the Nativity scene); it’s just that federal law prohibits it. An attorney for the school board and the superintendent came and talked to us all and to a group of ministers later that day in a separate meeting, and they made it very clear. We must observe the separation of church and state.
“It’s a tragic thing as far as I’m concerned, but the school system is not in any kind of shape to fight a lawsuit they know that they’re going to lose…I know it’s hard to see this happen, because it feels like we’re losing a freedom, but this is the state of affairs in this nation.”
The tragedy is that the school doesn’t understand their rights or how to defend them. Legal groups like Liberty Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom, and the American Center for Law and Justice stand ready to defend against exactly these kinds of 1st Amendment assaults.
Ray Windham has been the General Manager of Branning’s Garage across the street from Cottondale Elementary School for years.
The shop has never decorated for Christmas in the past, but this year, Windham said they would. He told us he had decided to proudly display the nativity scene Cottondale Elementary used to set up on their lawn, on his.
Not only that, Windham said he’s been encouraging other business owners to display nativity scenes on their property as well. It’s all part of a growing community effort to keep Christ in ‘Christ’mas- and in the schools.
Wednesday, community member Vicki Barber spoke with News Channel 7 about what she described as her “fire and calling” to bring God back into the schools. Barber, with the help of members from her church, Piney Grove Baptist in Cottondale, has planned to help set up the nativity on Windham’s property Friday, directly facing the school.
I gotta be honest…I don’t see how someone can call themselves a Bible-believing Christian while casting their vote in support of the most pro-abortion, anti-Israel, anti-religious freedom, most Biblically hostile president America has ever known.
What have they sold the innocent and themselves out for? For “free stuff?” For the glib, false self-righteousness of believing they can fulfill Christ’s mandate to help the poor by stealing from their neighbors?
Bill Blankschaen ponders “5 Things I Don’t Understand about Christians Who Voted for Obama“:
- Life. Obama’s record is one of the most radical in support of abortion. I could understand some thinking Romney might be soft on it, given his late-arriving public opposition. But between the two, one supports the killing of unborn children. The other does not. Again, I’m talking about Christians who supposedly are all about Scripture as the final authority. There can be no neutrality on this issue. You can’t sort of support abortion and sort of not. In the end, something is dead. How do you get around that? By narrowly defining life to after-birth?
- Marriage. I know we’re all supposed to pretend the Bible doesn’t say what it actually says. I know we’re all supposed to bow at the temple of tolerance. I’m pretty sure that’s why the angels told Lot to get out of Sodom. Because the city had refused to be tolerant. Not. Obama has stated clearly that he supports redefining marriage in opposition to how God defines it in Scripture. Romney supported preserving a Biblical definition. Any explanation here, especially from the 20%, would be welcome. And yes, I’m also asking the 95% of Protestant Christians whose skin God made darker than mine who supported Obama. If Kingdom comes before race, how does that vote get cast with a clear conscience? I love you, but I don’t get it.
- Religious Freedom. The HHS Mandate tramples our religious freedom, and it does so unnecessarily. Too many of us think that we can somehow all hold contradictory viewpoints and still make it all work out. Ideas have consequences. What the HSS mandate shows is that Obama values certain perceived freedoms (reproductive rights) as greater than other God-given freedoms. A vote for Obama was a vote to continue to restrict the freedom to freely worship God. 20%? Help me understand.
- Private Property. This concern will sound the least religious to most Christians because we have long embraced the Greek/gnostic thinking that the physical world is inferior to the spiritual, in spite of the fact that the second person of the Godhead will be forever be both spiritual and physical — as will we. God is the ultimate owner of all things. In his sovereignty, he has put His world into our care in general, but into individual hands in particular to steward on His behalf. “You shall not steal” is the clearest affirmation of private property there can be. And yet Obama has expressed that it is the role of government to correct God’s incorrect distribution and spread the wealth around according to another standard. While neither candidate was perfect on this issue, one candidate took a far less Biblical position than the other.
- Leadership. Admittedly, this is the vaguest concern of them all. I could likely find others on which Scripture is clearer for most. So I’m not taking some kind of adamant position on this one. But, as someone who has spent a lifetime studying leaders and leadership principles, I just don’t understand it. Biblical leadership principles — that is, all sound leadership principles, for they all find their foundation in Scripture — leave me confused as to why anyone would think him a sound choice. I know, critics are demanding that I reprint every leadership book ever written. I can’t in this limited space. But I’d be curious as to why that 20% thought Obama the better leader, the more Biblical, or even the wiser choice. I see him as very similar to another Biblical leader named Barak from the book of Judges, a leader who lacked the courage, vision, and integrity to lead faithfully. Or as Rehoboam who foolishly sought to crush his opposition and thus created far more conflict for those he led. Many more poor examples come to mind. But I don’t understand how evangelical Christians could see Obama’s leadership model as being Biblical. A little help?
So, yes. God is sovereign. And yes, I will be praying for President Obama. Just as I would be praying, I hope, for the political leader who may one day order the torch to light the sticks heaped around me. But that doesn’t mean I would understand how fellow Christians could have supported it.
Peter Heck asked the question before the election, “Is it a sin to vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats?” This was part of his answer:
[W]hile it’s certainly true that not every Republican is worthy of our support as Christians, any individual who runs under a platform that justifies the legal slaughter of innocent life made in the image of God is an unacceptable choice. Period.
Reading the list of supposed justifications for why Christians can turn a blind eye towards this outrageous offense, I imagine these Democrat apologists writing similar essays in the 1930s of how the Nazi Party was doing great things for infrastructure and social welfare programs in Germany. “Never mind that killing of the Jews thing,” they would essentially argue. That’s the underlying current of the Christian Democrat defense — “never mind the killing of the unborn beings made in God’s image thing.” That’s not to say that Democrats are Nazis, of course. It’s to say that there is something dreadfully wrong with your priorities and moral compass when you try to find ways to excuse genocide. As a believer, I cannot imagine justifying that to God.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? Christian Democrats used to find ways to justify their support of a party that promoted slavery. Now they do the same for a party promoting abortion. Tragic.
Mario Murillo thinks he’s identified the problem:
My concern is if there was a great shift in America and we did not know it. But the greatest concern is if it is true that 6 million born-again Christians voted for Obama because that is a massive earthquake in the Church. [...]
Why did 6 million Christians vote for Obama? There is plenty of blame to go around. I believe that the Republican Party ignored the fundamental changes in America and especially they lost sight of the concerns of women, including Christian women.
Then there was the Mormonism. I believe that Romney is an honorable man. I would love to see him touched by Christ to see the error of Mormonism, but I still believe that he would have been a great Chief Executive. However, many Christians could not get past his Mormonism. How that alarmed them more than the extremes of Obama is curious.
Finally, there is the real issue: Christians do not know the Bible. Christians have sat under pastors that do not teach Bible doctrine or call for commitment. Many of the posts I have read showed remarkable illiteracy about what the Bible says. They make remarks that remind me of Jay Leno’s man on the street interviews. Where they could not find Montana on a map, or name the vice president of the United States.
I believe that Obama is the crowning achievement of a celebrity cult nation, a nation that prizes style over substance. That same system is why celebrity pastors mishandle truth. Ask yourself, shouldn’t it bother you that your pastor sounds like he is quoting fortune cookies in the pulpit?
The great Bible dumb down has filled buildings but it has emptied our souls. Now we have a Christian constituency that can’t see anything wrong with secular situation ethics. Take for example, one of the most famous young female country singers in America. “I am a Christian but I believe in gay marriage because my pastor said we should not judge.”
With this sloppy agape on their mind, they went into vote blissfully unaware of the glaring contradiction of their faith. All they knew is that they were being cool and nice to people.
Matt Barber warns that “God will not be mocked“:
America has rebelled against God. She has shaken her fist at Him and arrogantly cried, “We don’t need you. We don’t want you. We know better than you. Now go away.”
And so He’s going away.
Hosea talks of judgment against the nation that “plays the harlot” before God: “Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them to the last man. Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!” (Hosea 9:12)
I grieve for my children. I grieve for America’s children. Evil won on Tuesday. An arrogant and rebellious nation has chosen, for her leader, an arrogant and rebellious man, whose arrogant and rebellious party has, as Pastor John MacArthur put it, “adopted the sins of Romans 1 as their platform.”
“This is a new day in our country,” he lamented. “Parties that used to differ on economics, now differ dramatically on issues that invade the realm of God’s law and morality.”
We have mocked God.
God will not be mocked.
[...] We excuse sin. We call that which God calls an abomination, “equality.”
We call that which God calls murder, “reproductive choice.”
We call that which God calls theft, “fundamental fairness.”
We “call evil good and good evil.”
America is divided and her president the divider. The scales have tipped. The 51 percent – the takers, the God-deniers and the subversive, now outnumber the makers, the seekers of righteousness and the patriotic.
Yet, soon after the election results were announced – after several hours of deep mourning for our nation, I found myself smiling. I found myself singing praises to the Creator of the universe: Christ, the way, the truth and the life. Jesus, Y’shua, the very image of God.
Indeed, I found myself experiencing joy.
Through it all, you see, He remains sovereign. His will is being done, even when it is not our own. He is faithful, though we are not. Victory is His. We are His. And so victory is ours.
Those of us who believe needn’t win every battle – any battle – to which we are consigned. We need only remain obedient. We need only remain faithful to his Word and to his commands. We need only remember that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Truly, though God has given over a rebellious nation to the party of Romans 1, we remain the people of Romans 8: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
Still, there will be condemnation for America. Things will get far worse before they get better – if they ever get better. As individuals, we will each stand before God and give an accounting – we will all face judgment. As a nation, we can only be judged in the temporal – in the here and now.
Have we reached the point of no return? Perhaps – perhaps not.
God is faithful. He has promised: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Christ is faithful. He has promised: “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25)
The rain is descending. The floods have come and the winds beat down on our great nation. I am thankful that our forefathers, wise men indeed, built America’s house upon Christ, the Rock.