Archive for October 30th, 2006

Lest None Can Boast

Monday, October 30th, 2006

6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:6-9 (New International Version)

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he explains the concept that we cannot be united with God without the bridge of Jesus Christ. Our best efforts at “goodness” and “righteousness” are like “filthy rags” compared to God’s (Isaiah 64:6).
It is amazing to me how many people have a problem understanding this. It’s almost as though unless we can take credit for doing it ourselves, it is meaningless.
How can we have this attitude about a free gift, the gift of salvation, given freely by God, through the blood of Jesus Christ?
Paul tells us “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God…”
A free gift from God. Free. Totally Free. No Charge. Free.
What is the free gift?
Salvation, an eternity with God, saved from the torments of Hell, in Heaven with the very creator of the universe.
All we have to is accept that Jesus is who He says He is. The son of God, who came to earth in order to live as a person, except sinless, and to die, as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, removing them from us forever.
Can we do it ourselves? Paul writes “not by works, so that no one can boast.”
No, we can’t do it ourselves. We need Jesus.
Jesus says “”I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).
Please accept Him.

Council Prayer Case Raises Broader Free Speech Concerns

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It sure gets tiring having to go over this again and again.
Saying the name “Jesus” in a public forum, even a governement one, is not establishing a government run religion.
Not being allowed to say the name “Jesus” in a public forum, even a government one, is a direct violation of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Plain and simple.

(CNSNews.com) – A case in which a local government official was barred from using the name of Jesus Christ during a prayer at a council meeting raises the issue of free speech rights not only of public officials but ultimately of anyone linked to the government in any way, a civil liberties legal group argues.

“The question in the case is whether or not a public official can in any capacity have that kind of private speech,” John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, told Cybercast News Service.

“Our argument is if they can’t, then there really isn’t any kind of free speech for any kind of public official eventually. It’s a dangerous doctrine to be arguing – eventually that can apply to anything.”

Moreover, Whitehead said, the restrictions could ultimately even apply to people who aren’t public officials at all.

“What ‘government speech’ means is that if it occurs on government property, if the speaker is in any way tied to the government – this could be a public school student at a graduation ceremony – if it’s a government platform then whatever they say is considered ‘government speech,'” he said.

“It does away with the First Amendment totally for any speaker in that kind of forum,” Whitehead added.

The Rutherford Institute is representing Fredericksburg, Va., city councilman Hashmel Turner in an appeal against an August court ruling that went against him.

Turner was prohibited from invoking the name of Jesus Christ when it was his turn in the rotating schedule to pray at the opening of city council meetings.

The appeal argument revolves around the interpretation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

However, representatives for the city of Fredericksburg also cite the Establishment Clause in their argument.

“Our argument is that the Establishment Clause in general limits or prohibits the ability of the government to promote or endorse religion particularly in a sectarian way,” said Elliot Mincberg, senior vice president of People for the American Way (PFAW) Foundation, which is working in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU.)

According to Mincberg, the danger is opening the door for heavy handed government involvement – something PFAW is trying to prevent.

“A situation where the government appears to be taking sides and promotes a particular religion is part of what the Establishment Clause was designed to prevent because that’s what makes religion more free for everyone – not to have the government try to put their thumb on the scales.”

The suit was dismissed by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2006. Both sides expect the case to go all the way to the Supreme Court.

“They think this is an opportunity to go all the way to the Supreme Court and make some fundamental changes in Establishment Clause law,” Mincberg said, referring to the Rutherford Institute. “I hope that’s wrong.”

“We are hopeful that even the now more conservative court would realize and would re-affirm the rules and the doctrines that have been applied in this area,” he added.

Whitehead hopes the courts, including the Supreme Court, will re-evaluate the current position.

“[The courts] really have to look at what public officials can or can’t say in terms of religion. They’ve got to examine how far this concept of government speech can go,” he said.

If there is no change in the status quo, Whitehead sees big government getting out of control.

“If it’s carried to its logical conclusion, on any kind of government property you’re not going to have any rights. People better think twice about it,” he said. “It kind of makes a mockery out of the whole thing of chaplains in the Senate and the president being sworn in on a Bible – those things eventually will have to go.”

Mincberg concedes that government involvement is a problem.

“One very important way to protect freedom of religion is not have the government take sides,” he said.

For Whitehead, the heart of the matter is a question of public officials being allowed free speech.

“They should have a right to express their private opinions – a right to follow their faith,” he said.

Original Link.

Israel to step up operations in Gaza

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Many of us said at the time that evacuating Gaza and giving it up to the slimy pali Holy Land occupying terrorist was the wrong thing to do. Now the Israeli military is going to have to go back into the area and try to put a stop to rampant arms smuggling and continued rocket attacks.
My heart is very heavy for God’s Chosen People. Not only is the world trying to obliterate them, but their own government is trying as well.
Pray for Israel.

Psalm 68:19
Barukh Adonai yom yom ya’amos-lanu ha’El Yeshuateinu.
Blessed be the Lord, who daily carries our burden; the God of our salvation.
Selah. – Psalm 68:19(20h)

JERUSALEM – The Israel Defense Forces in the coming days will expand its military operations against terrorists in the Gaza Strip, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told the Knesset today.

“Israel is operating against Hamas centers in Gaza. We will expand the operations, but we will not remain for an extended period in Gaza,” Olmert said.

The prime minister did not publicly announce the new measures he approved for operations in Gaza, which came after a meeting Thursday with the senior IDF leadership.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005. Since then, Palestinians regularly have fired rockets at nearby Jewish communities. Terror groups reportedly smuggled hundreds of tons of weapons into the Gaza Strip as terror leaders there openly tell WND they are preparing for a confrontation with Israel.

One week ago, WND broke the story the Israeli military was set to present battle plans for approval by the government here for a large-scale Gaza offensive, including possible reoccupation of parts of the territory, according to senior IDF officers.

The officials said the offensive is “crucial” for Israel’s security and would be the largest military operation launched against Palestinian terror groups in Gaza since Israel evacuated the territory last year. But the officials said they were worried the Gaza assault may be “watered down” by Olmert for political reasons.

As WND reported, senior IDF officials told Israel’s Knesset earlier this month more than 20 tons of weapons have been brought into Gaza from the neighboring Sinai desert in the last 10 months alone, including a large number of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

WND also obtained a report by the intelligence branch of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party which stated Hamas has smuggled between several hundred and 1,300 tons of weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip, including advance rockets; anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles; rocket-propelled grenades; raw explosives; rifles; ammunition; and other heavy weaponry.

Yuval Diskin, director of Israel’s Shin Bet Security Services, told the Knesset last month there are major fears Palestinian terror groups are “turning Gaza into south Lebanon.”

Diskin was referring to the Lebanese Hezbollah militia’s development in south Lebanon of large rocket and weapons arsenals for use against Israel.

In a deal brokered in November by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Egypt-Gaza border, once controlled by the Jewish state, now is manned by Egyptian and Palestinian security officials and observed by European monitors. The monitors reportedly have fled their duty several times the past few months.

Israeli security officials have noted multiple breaches in border security, including the open transport of terrorists and weapons across the border. They say several key sections of the border are penetrable, and smuggling tunnels that snake under the border are “thriving.”

Since Israel’s Gaza withdrawal, Palestinian terror groups have been regularly firing rockets at Jewish communities neighboring the Gaza Strip. The targeted communities are inside what is referred to as “pre-1967 Israel,” meaning territory certified by the international community as unquestionably part of the Jewish state.

The IDF launched a major ground invasion of Gaza in June following the raid of an Israeli military installation just outside Gaza during which Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kidnapped. Since then, most Israeli operations inside Gaza were surgical and mostly utilized small numbers of ground troops.

Original Link.
Hebrew blessings courtesy of Hewbrew for Christians.

BBC Reviewing Programs for Bias

Monday, October 30th, 2006

The British Bias Corporation (formerly known as the British Broadcasting Corporation) is surprised that people might believe that they are biased. So in response to this, they are going to hold an “impartiality review” to find out if it’s true.

London (CNSNews.com) – Amid continuing fallout here over allegations of liberal bias at the British Broadcasting Corporation, a senior executive at the public broadcaster has lashed out at the press for making “mischief.”

With critics having complained for years that the BBC is left-leaning and anti-American, the BBC has embarked on a lengthy “impartiality review” of its news programs.

Accounts of a seminar held last month in London and involving top BBC reporters and high-profile figures were leaked to the British press this week.

Washington correspondent Justin Webb was quoted as saying that the BBC constantly treated America with “scorn and derision” and that he had to go to senior management to fight against this bias.

The BBC “diversity czar” Mary Fitzpatrick reportedly said during the seminar that she was fine with Muslim newsreaders being veiled. Many in the group admitted concerns about offending Islamic sensibilities.

In addition, seminar attendees allegedly agreed that it would be acceptable to throw a Bible in the trash as part of a comedy sketch, but not the Koran, and that they would line up for an interview with terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

The BBC press office has made no official comment on these reports, but in a brief article on the broadcaster’s website, News Director Helen Boaden wrote that reports of the seminar had been “distorted.”

She said that the discussions held had been hypothetical, designed to produce debate and ideas, and that they did not represent BBC policy.

The broadcaster was not a liberal “chattering class club” as frequently depicted by the London tabloids, Boaden wrote.

“It’s a shame that the newspapers have made mischief with the seminar,” Boaden said. “But we won’t let this small storm put us off trying to get impartiality right.”

Marc Landers, a Scotland-based American who monitors the BBC for bias, said he has seen the broadcaster poison the atmosphere over the years with its anti-Western, anti-American and pro-Islamist reporting.

Since Landers first came to Britain in the 1970s, he had witnessed it turn countless British friends and acquaintances against the U.S., he told Cybercast News Service.

On his website, USS Neverdock, Landers has spent the last several years documenting instances of BBC bias.

Original Link.

Inmates in UK Given Halloween Day Off as Religious Holiday

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Tomorrow will be a special day for certain inmates of UK prisons. All pagan inmates will be given the day off to celebrate Halloween, which is apparently a religious holiday now. Murderers and rapists will be given the day off to celebrate satan. Are you kidding me? It seems to me that the reason these people are in these prisons in the first place is the influence of satan, so why would they be given a day to celebrate him? Completely unbelievable!

Hundreds of Pagans serving prison sentences are to be given the day off work for Halloween out of respect for their religious beliefs.

Prison Service bosses have instructed staff to grant the convicts, who include Devil worshippers and Satanists, special privileges on Tuesday.

While fellow prisoners sew mail bags and undertake other jail work, the Pagans will be allowed to celebrate their ‘holiday’.

They can use certain artefacts, including rune stones, flexible twigs and hoodless robes, provided they are kept in their cells or worn during communal worship. Robes with hoods are banned for ‘security reasons’, however.

The move is revealed in Home Office documents handed to The Mail on Sunday, which disclose that prisons have been instructed to allow inmates to pursue their religions so the Government can avoid being sued by prisoners.

The orders, issued by the Prison Service’s Director of Personnel, Gareth Hadley, apply to every religion from Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism to Hinduism and Islam and, in the interests of equality, Paganism, too.

Original Link

Spanish aid worker kidnapped at gunpoint in Gaza City

Monday, October 30th, 2006

But wait a minute, I thought that the Islamic terrorist gave Spain a pass since it rolled over and died (in other words, went into appeasment mode) after they were bombed. Could it be that slimy pali terrorist don’t care about anything but being violent slimy terrorist?

Palestinian gunmen on Monday abducted a Spanish aid worker in the central Gaza Strip, the latest in a wave of kidnappings of foreigners, Palestinian security officials and colleagues of the man said.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the media, said the man was forced into a yellow Skoda at the edge of the town of Khan Younis.

The hostage was identified by colleagues as Roberto Vila, a 34-year-old aid worker with the Cooperation Assembly for Peace, a Spanish charity group.

Celine Gagne, a fellow worker, said she and Vila were on their way out of Khan Younis after visiting a project for handicapped children when three or four men carrying Kalashnikov rifles stopped them.

“They asked me to stay behind,” she said. The gunmen then forced Vila into their car and sped away, she said.

According to other sources, Palestinian gunmen kidnapped two foreign journalists.

Palestinian gunmen have kidnapped a series of foreign journalists and aid workers in Gaza over the past two years, usually pressing the government for money or job guarantees. In most cases, the hostages were quickly released, and none of the hostages have been seriously harmed.

Original Link.

Blog Update Complete

Monday, October 30th, 2006

OK, so they didn’t lie. It was fairly painless.
Let me know if anything looks wrong or different.
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve

Blog Update

Monday, October 30th, 2006

It’s that time again. Time to update the blog software.
WordPress claims this is a quick and painless procedure, but having delt with computers since the 80’s, I feel this is probably a lie.
I’ll be doing the upgrade in a few minutes, so please hang in there if the blog goes away for a bit.
Worse case is I will put it back the way it was (I did make a backup).
Thanks and God Bless!!
-Steve

“What it means to live by Muhammad’s words and deeds” by Bruce Thornton

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Ambrose Bierce once quipped that war was God’s way of teaching Americans geography. He could have said “teaching us history,” for the enemy is emboldened by our ignorance not just of where he lives but of how he lives, his beliefs and values, and to understand these traditions we must understand their history. Unfortunately, in the current war against Islamic jihad we persist in ignoring the documented history of Islam and its beliefs, accepting instead the spin and distortions of various propagandists, apologists, and Western useful idiots.

This imperative to know the enemy’s beliefs is particularly important for understanding the jihadists, for Islam is a fiercely traditional faith, one brooking no deviation from the revelation granted to Muhammad and codified in the Koran, Hadith, and the sira or biography of the Prophet. As Robert Spencer shows in his invaluable resource The Truth about Muhammad, in these sources Muhammad is presented as “an excellent model of conduct,” as the Koran puts it, his words and deeds forming the pattern for all pious Muslims to follow. “Muslims,” according to Muqtedar Khan of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, “as a part of religious observance, not only obey, but also seek to emulate and imitate their Prophet in every aspect of life.” The facts of Muhammad’s life, then, are paramount for understanding the beliefs that warrant and validate jihadist terror.

Presenting those facts clearly and fairly is precisely what Spencer accomplishes in his new book. Spencer has been for years a bastion of plain-speaking truth. Through books like Islam Unveiled, Onward Muslim Soldiers: How Jihad Still Threatens America and the West, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (And the Crusades), and as director of Jihad Watch, Spencer has courageously presented the simple facts of Islamic history and thought that too many Americans, including some in the current administration, ignore or distort. Spencer’s new book continues this important service of arming us with the facts we need in order to understand an enemy who wants nothing from us other than our conversion, death, or subjection.

———-

As Spencer concludes, “The Qur’an . . . commands much more than defensive warfare: Muslims must fight until ‘the religion is God’s’ — that is, until Allah alone is worshipped. Later Islamic law, based on statements of Muhammad, would offer non-Muslims three options: conversion to Islam, subjugation as inferiors under Islamic law, or warfare.” So much for the protestations of tolerance and co-existence constantly peddled by jihad’s Western publicists.

———-

Given all this evidence, as Spencer writes, “It is nothing short of staggering that the myth of Islamic tolerance could have gained such currency in the teeth of Muhammad’s open contempt and hatred for Jews and Christians, incitements of violence against them, and calls that they be converted or subjugated.” And this historical evidence is ratified by contemporary events that show modern Muslims following to the letter the example of Muhammad, from continuing persecution of Jews and Christians in Muslim lands, to the riots and calls for violence that attended (and validated) the Pope’s quotation of a Byzantine emperor’s observation that violence in the service of religion is Islam’s sole innovation.

Spencer concludes with some common-sense suggestions, most importantly demanding that so-called “moderates” condemn jihad and teach against religious intolerance in their schools and mosques. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen, given the power of Muhammad’s example of enmity against unbelievers, and given the arrogant intolerance and unwillingness to compromise that typify too many Muslims. The anxiety about appearing “racist” and the sentimental idealization of the “other” dominating American society make it even more unlikely that any politician will challenge Muslims about the facts of Mohammad’s words and deeds that jihadists today use to justify their actions. Unless we heed people like Robert Spencer, it seems that only another graphic example of jihadist violence within our borders has a chance of teaching us the history of the enemy.

Original Link.

Leading UK Imam: It’s OK To Kill Gays

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs is reporting that an Imam in the UK is preaching that it is OK to kill gays.

The leading imam in Manchester confirms that he thinks the execution of sexually active gay men is justified, the rights group Outrage reported.

Arshad Misbahi of the Manchester Central Mosque confirmed his views in a conversation to John Casson, a local psychotherapist.

Casson said: “I asked him if the execution of gay Muslims in Iran and Iraq was an acceptable punishment in Sharia law, or the result of culture, not religion.

”He told me that in a true Islamic state, such punishments were part of Islam: If the person had had a trial, at which four witnesses testified that they had seen the actual homosexual acts.“

”I asked him what would be the British Muslim view? He repeated that in an Islamic state these punishments were justified. They might result in the deaths of thousands but if this deterred millions from having sex, and spreading disease, then it was worthwhile to protect the wider community.“

”I checked again that this was not a matter of tradition, culture or local prejudice. ‘No,’ he said, ‘It is part of the central tenets of Islam: that sex outside marriage is forbidden; this is stated in the Koran and the prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had stated that these punishments were due to such behaviours.’”

Original Link.

“Squelching Support of Biblical Marriage and Religious Freedom” by Michael G. Mickey

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Nothing has changed concerning Satan since his fall, as detailed in Isaiah 14:12-14:

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

From the time of his fall until now, Satan’s singular goal has been to be like the Most High, a goal he will never achieve but will never relent in trying to reach. One of Satan’s tactics is to put his unique spin on every aspect of what God has ordained in an effort to steal it for himself. As this is true, is it any wonder that Satan is in favor of same-sex marriage, for example? Of course not!

Genesis 2:23-24: And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

As we just saw, God defined marriage from the very dawn of humanity, in the Garden of Eden no less! If God had wanted marriage to be anything other than what it presently is, albeit under attack and losing ground, he could’ve made Adam another man to be his companion, but He didn’t.

God made a woman to be man’s life companion and equipped her sexually to bear children, both male and female, that God’s institution of marriage continue from that point forward as the foundation of the family. It is for these reasons Satan, by his very nature, has been working to undermine marriage from then until now! What better way for Satan to do this than to twist marriage and the traditional composition of the family as he is today, in defiance of the Most High?

As disturbing as witnessing God’s institution of marriage being torn asunder by those who seek to create a new form of marriage is to watch, Satan has outlined an ingenious plan to go along with it – a plan to end religious freedom, particularly religious freedom of the biblical variety.

Do a Google or Yahoo search on the homosexual agenda’s efforts to stifle religious expression by making it “hate speech” to even suggest that the homosexual lifestyle is in opposition to the Word of God and you’ll find a lot of interesting reading to be sure!

Sure, you’ll get some propaganda from the homosexual and liberal community mixed in with your search results, but the discerning Christian will find plenty of ammunition to realize that Satan’s goal of making same-sex marriage the law of the land is only an opening salvo in what is rapidly evolving into a fierce fight between those under Satan’s influence, whether they believe that to be the case or not, and those who stand in alliance with God – a fight that will ultimately be decided, in this wicked world at least, by activist judges like those who continue to twist the US Constitution in whichever direction necessary to lead our nation further and further from God’s will.

The fight is on!

As we saw in the recent case of Luis Padilla, a Cargill Foods employee fired for merely asking that people support traditional marriage via a sign in the back window of his personal vehicle, people are already being harassed and even fired for expressing an opinion that isn’t pro-homosexual, even before same-sex marriage becomes widely accepted. This incident didn’t take place in secular Europe, communist China or Iran either but in Harrisonburg, Virginia! Right in the land of the free!

The original bone of contention between Padilla and his employer was, as touched on briefly earlier, a message displayed on Padilla’s personal vehicle: Please, vote for marriage on Nov. 7. Cargill Foods believed his truck, via the words on its back window, “contained a message that other employees could have “reasonably construed as a show of hostility and intolerance toward homosexuals.”

If that doesn’t have Satan’s signature all over it, I don’t know what does! “Please vote for marriage on November 7” = a show of hostility and intolerance toward homosexuals? BAH! What a bunch of baloney!

Padilla, it should be noted, has since gotten his job back as noted in a Cybercast News Service article, but there’s probably far more to the story of how he got his job back than Cargill Foods realizing his firing was “all a big misunderstanding.” Nonetheless, we see where this trend is headed – directly toward the suppression of freedom of speech and religion, particularly freedom of speech and religion that is supportive of uniquely Christian values, as this is what the powers of darkness are orchestrating in the bigger picture.

A glimpse of things to come?

The secular European Union, the revived Roman empire of Bible prophecy which will someday be led by the Antichrist himself, tends to be a looking glass into where American society is heading, in my opinion. As such, my eye was caught by an American Family Association article that indicates an American think-tank is concerned by where the EU is headed in terms of media regulation. The following are excerpts of interest from the article in question (emphasis added mine):

*The European Union is considering regulations that would impose similar restrictions on Internet sites that include audiovisual content to those currently imposed on broadcasters in the EU.

*Ross contends the initiative would present a danger when applied — that is, who decides what content is reasonable and what is not. “We have a First Amendment in this country, and I think we want to continue to adhere to that,” he says.

*Ross believes U.S.-based ministries and advocacy groups that express their opposition to abortion or homosexuality, for example, could find themselves at odds with European regulations. “It certainly could affect any group that has a position that somebody else might take offense at,” the Foundation spokesman says.

What kind of evil is going to fester in a world where one can be fined, censored or imprisoned for “offending” someone? And we’d be foolish to think that we, as born-again Christians, will be able, in any manner, to be “offended” by anyone under these guidelines!

Christians, believe it or not, there is a grand plot underway in the United States and around the world to squelch biblical marriage and religious freedom of the Christian variety! While everyone involved in these wicked schemes would say that such efforts are not specifically anti-Christian in nature, it’s interesting to note how often it is that when someone gets burned, as Luis Padilla did recently, they are found to be of Christian background, persecuted for upholding Christian principles.

Or is it just me?

Original Link.