Archive for October 16th, 2006

Walking in the light

Monday, October 16th, 2006

5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

1 John 1:5-10 (New International Version)

I’m reminded of the story of the “Sun and the Cave”. In this story, the cave invites the sun for a visit. The cave which is dark, wants the sun to see what darkness is. Accepting the cave’s offer, the sun arrives in the cave and attempts to see the darkness. But the sun sees no difference, because it has brought its light with it. The darkness is dispelled in the light. It cannot exist in the presence of the light. It ceases to exist.
John uses the parallel of light and darkness to illustrate the difference between God (the light) and sin (the darkness). He admonishes the reader to realize that if one seeks darkness or remains in darkness, that one cannot be in the light. The light and the darkness cannot reside in the presence of each other. As in the illustration above, once the light comes into the presence of darkness, the darkness is dispelled. It ceases to exist.
John goes on to make the point that all have sinned. That refusing to acknowledge sin does not make it untrue.
The sinner, who asks Jesus to forgive their sins, will find a faithful Savior, one who will embrace the sinner and forgive them, holding true to the promises He made. A savior who will dispell the darkness and bring light into their life.

How to Accept Jesus into Your Life.

“Must things get worse in order to get better?” by Star Parker

Monday, October 16th, 2006

A survey just released by the Pew Center shows that 51 percent of Democrats are enthusiastic about voting in 2006 as opposed to 33 percent of Republicans. This is almost a mirror image of what the picture looked like in 1994.

A Pew Center poll also shows a precipitous drop in support for Republicans and the Bush Administration among white evangelicals. It’s now a little over 50 percent, whereas in 2004 it was closer seventy-five a percent.

Given the realities staring us in the face, none of this is a surprise. I know that these polls reflect the facts accurately just from reading my mail.

Republicans and conservatives are fed up with their party and their representatives. But can it be that anything is better than what we now have?

I’ve gotten letters telling me that I’ve sold out because I’ve written that we should not abandon the Republican Party because at least there is a chance of fixing it. What do we gain by allowing Democrats, who are wrong on everything, to regain power, just to express anger at wayward Republicans?

———-

Is the only path to electing Republicans who really believe in traditional values and limited government to throw out the current rascals, lock, stock, and barrel, and elect Democrats who will show us how bad things really can get?

There is no question that current Republican leadership has lowered the bar. But let’s not forgot just how free this country is. We ultimately get the leadership that we want and are willing to tolerate.

I think conservatives let our elected Republican officials off too easy these past years by tolerating an excessive growth of government that itself was symptomatic that there was a problem.

The answer is to get refocused, clarify our principles, and fix the party.

The question is if we’ll have to do it sitting on the sidelines while the Democrats turn what is bad into what is worse.

Original Link.

Hawaiians Reeling From Strong Earthquake

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Let’s thank God that the damage was not worse then it was, and let’s continue to pray for the people who have been displaced.

HONOLULU Oct 16, 2006 (AP)— Aftershocks kept Hawaiians on edge following the strongest earthquake in more than two decades, a 6.6-magnitude quake that caused blackouts, landslides and prompted vacationers to flee their hotels.

There were no reports of fatalities, but the state Civil Defense had several reports of minor injuries. Gov. Linda Lingle issued a disaster declaration for the state.

The quake hit at 7:07 a.m. local time Sunday, 10 miles north-northwest of Kailua-Kona, a town on the west coast of Hawaii Island, also known as the Big Island, said Don Blakeman of the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey.

Original Link.

“Faith of Our Fathers?” by Jack Kinsella

Monday, October 16th, 2006

According to the executive producer of the film, “Facing the Giants,” two hundred and eighty-four moviegoers made a first time committment to Christ after its screenings in Boston, Mass., and Syracuse, NY. So the Motion Picture Rating Association of America rated it ‘PG-13’ — one level below “For Mature Audiences Only.”

PG-13 is the rating given to movies with ‘strong’ (foul) language, excessive violence or nudity. In addition, it is evidently also the rating given to movies with strong moral content. A PG-13 rating means that no children under the age of thirteen can see the film without being accompanied by a parent or guardian.

The reasons for the punitive rating are myriad; first, it was produced by the Sherwood Baptist Church instead of by some Hollywood smut merchant. The second reason for the cautionary rating is because the censors were offended at the direct references to, (gasp!) Jesus Christ.

The rating stunned industry outsiders and insiders.

“It just amazes me that it can be PG because of faith,” accomplished NFL coach Dan Reeves said in a telephone interview last week to the Washington Times.

Earlier, Kris Fuhr, marketing vice president at Provident Films, a unit of Sony Pictures, told Scripps Howard News Service religion columnist Terry Mattingly that “it is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about.”

I beg to differ with Mr. Fuhr. It isn’t ‘faith’ that is being censored. It is faith in Jesus Christ. ‘Faith’ would not be an issue if the film dealt with Islam, Buddhism or Hindi.

For example, on September 14, 2006, seventh-grader Amber Mangum, who was reading a Bible in the school cafeteria during her lunch period, was allegedly approached by an employee working at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Prince George’s County, Md. In keeping with school policy, students are allowed to read books or engage in interpersonal communications during non-instructional time at school, including lunch periods.

But published administrative procedure of the Prince George’s County Public Schools provides that “[s]tudents may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray before tests to the same extent they may engage in comparable, non-disruptive activities.”

However, the complaint filed by Rutherford Institute attorneys alleges that the school official informed Amber that reading a Bible was a violation of the school’s policy and warned her that she would be subject to more severe disciplinary action if she were found reading a Bible at school again. In defending Amber’s right to read a Bible during non-instructional time at school, Institute attorneys have pointed out that according to the U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 guidelines under the No Child Left Behind Act, students have the right to read Bibles or other religious scriptures during lunch hour, recess or other non-instructional times.

So, even when it is legal, it is illegal for kids to read their Bibles, even in the cafeteria during breaks. Does it necessarily follow that it is only the Bible that is banned from schools? After all, the justification for banning the Bible is the 1st Amendment, which has been interpreted by the courts to mean EXACTLY the opposite of what is says.

The relevant part of the 1st Amendment says, “Congress shall make no laws respecting religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof.” The Supreme Court has ruled that any mention of religion in any public place is the same thing as Congress having passed a law endorsing it.

And, to ensure that religion does not get this Congressional ‘approval’ — without ever explaining HOW Congress is involved in the activities of 7th-graders at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Prince George’s County, Md, the Supreme Court ordered the prohibition of the free exercise of Christianity.

Wait, you say. The 1st Amendment says nothing about Christianity. Just religion. Are you saying the Supreme Court meant Christianity in its bizarre reading of the 1st Amendment?

Ummm, yes. That is exactly what I am saying.

In Volume 10, Issue 10 of your Omega Letter, (dated July 10, 2002), I outlined the cirriculum of the Byron Independent School District called “A Simulation of Islamic History and Culture” which is being paid for with public money. These students soon find themselves fighting mock battles of jihad against “Christian crusaders” and other assorted “infidels.” Upon gaining victory, our mock-Muslim warriors “Praise Allah.”

Students study the Koran, recite from it, design a title page for it, and write verses of it on a banner. They act out Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, including giving zakat (Islamic alms) and going on the pilgrimage to Mecca. They also build a replica of the “sacred Kaaba” in Mecca or another holy building.

Seventh graders adopt the speech of pious believers, greeting each other with “assalam aleikoom, fellow Muslims” and using phrases such as “God willing” and “Allah has power over all things.”

The curriculum presents matters of Islamic faith as historical fact. The Kaaba, “originally built by Adam,” it announces, “was later rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ismail.”

Really? That is Islamic belief, not verifiable history.

In the year 610, Interaction goes on, “while Prophet Muhammad meditated in a cave … the angel Gabriel visited him” and revealed to him God’s Message” The curriculum sometimes lapses into referring to “we” Muslims and even prompts students to ask if they should “worship Prophet Muhammad, God, or both.”

The simulation blatantly contradicts Supreme Court rulings which permit public schools to teach about religion on condition that they do not promote it.

The curriculum’s publishers, Interaction Publishers, thank two militant Islamic organizations by name (the Islamic Education and Information Center and the Council on Islamic Education) for their “many suggestions.” This is an absurdity equivalent to forcing school children to study Mein Kampf or Shintoism in the early 1940’s.

But not according to the federal courts. U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton ruled recently that the school district is not ‘indoctrinating’ students about Islam when it requires them to adopt Muslim names and pray to Allah as part of a history and geography class, but rather is just teaching them about the Muslim religion.

So, how is a federally funded school teaching them ‘about’ the Muslim religion NOT in violation of the 1st Amendment when a student reading a Bible in the cafeteria during a break is?

Byron Superintendent Peggy Green argued, “Dressing up in costume, role-playing and simulation games are all used to stimulate class discussion and are common teaching practices used in other subjects as well.”

And Excelsior Principal Nancie Castro maintained, “At no point do we teach or endorse religion; we teach about religions’ impact from a historical context. … This is the state-approved curriculum, using state-adopted textbooks and has been part of the instructional program in California for over a decade.”

So, can students at the Excelsior School in the Byron Independent School District engage in voluntary prayer? Sure. As long as it is to Allah.

But praying to Jesus violates the 1st Amendment.

The Apostle Paul warned Timothy: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-4)

For America, that time is here.

Original Link.

See our article “What Does the U.S. Constitution Actually Say About Religion?

“Shock Waves From North Korea” by Hal Lindsey

Monday, October 16th, 2006

The North Koreans successfully conducted a nuclear test explosion last week. With the announcement that Kim Jong il had successfully tested a nuclear weapon, the UN Security Council issued a statement saying it was ‘shocked.’ Shocked? Why?

Kim Jong il has been promising to test a nuclear weapon. He has said in no uncertain terms that he built his nuclear weapons to USE, not store against some future attack. The UN has being trying to re-engage Kim in the six-party talks aimed at stopping North Korea’s nuclear program.

But, since Kim Jong il has said all those things in no uncertain terms, it isn’t too surprising that the only one of the six parties not to show up at the meetings aimed at North Korea’s nuclear disarmament was North Korea. The test made North Korea the eighth member of the world’s so-called ‘nuclear club’ of nations. With the test, North Korea joins United States, Russia, France, China, Britain, India, and Pakistan as nations with the power to shatter worlds. Israel is also believed to have a nuclear arsenal, but the Jewish state refuses to confirm it. The UN Security Council immediately convened to ‘discuss’ the North Korean test, but there isn’t much to discuss, now. They waited too long.

One wonders how ‘shocked’ we’ll be by Iran’s first nuclear test. Will we be as amazed when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s assurances of Iran’s peaceful intentions turn out to be a smokescreen as we were by Kim Jong il? How specifically does a dictator have to outline his mad plan to Conquer the Known Universe before it won’t ‘shock’ the world to learn he wasn’t kidding? I am trying to imagine any average Joe being ‘shocked’ to hear of Kim Jong il’s nuclear test, or who would be shocked to hear of Iran’s.

But you can bet that Ahmadinejad was closely watching the global reaction to the initial reports, no doubt taking note of just how ‘shocked’ everybody was. It seems that, having announced his intentions to destroy Israel by fire, his refusal to allow nuclear inspectors, his defiant pursuit of enriched weapons grade uranium, and his openly discussed plans to start a global war of Islamic domination to bring about the return of the Mahdi … Ahmadinejad still has ‘surprise’ on his side.

Ahmadinejad has been carefully gauging the global response. From his comments, he’s learned all he needed to know. “The Iranian nation will continue its path of dignity based on resistance, wisdom and without fear,” President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying on state-run television.

Of course it can continue without fear. If Ahmadinejad had any lingering doubts that his nuclear program would meet any serious international resistance, the Western reaction to Kim Jong il’s defiant stance over its own nuclear program has put those doubts to rest.

Many Iranian newspapers voiced sympathy Tuesday for the North Korean regime. The hardline Resalat newspaper said in an editorial that Washington’s “expansionist policies make the world such a dangerous place, it is to be expected that countries seek such weapons as a deterrence.”

Iranian government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham told reporters that; “The root cause of this should be sought in the policy, behavior and method adopted by the rulers of the United States.”

There is no reason to believe that the Security Council will handle Iran any differently than it did North Korea. They will bluster and threaten and send strongly worded letters. And in the end, Iran will become the 9th nuclear nation. And the Security Council will hastily convene a meeting to discuss what to do next. As in the case of North Korea, they should have been discussing how to stop it.

But, as in the case of North Korea, by then it will be too late. As for Christians who believe and take at face value the Bible’s prophecies concerning the events that lead to Christ’s Second Coming, none of these things should be surprising.

Since these are clearly the “last days” the Bible prophets predicted would come, the world’s behavior keeps on fitting precisely into the scenario and combination of actions that will lead to the unveiling of the anti-Christ. It is this combination of insoluble problems that will drive the world to rush under his spell, as he solves them through Satan’s supernatural powers that will be at his full disposal.

The anti-Christ will bring a delirium of hope as he established what will appear to be a new age of global peace and prosperity. He will mesmerize the whole world until in the middle of the specifically predicted seven-year period that immediately precedes Jesus Christ’s return.

Original Link.