Archive for July 19th, 2007

“Brand Name Salvation?” by Jack Kinsella

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Store brand toasted oat ring cereals aren’t really Cheerios. They are made from oats, by the same processes, oftentimes in the same factories by the same employees, but they come in a different box, and therefore, they cost about a third the price.

When you pour them in your bowl at breakfast time, they look like Cheerios. They taste like Cheerios. But stores can’t call them Cheerios, so they aren’t Cheerios.

If they called them Cheerios, they’d have to charge the higher price for them to help General Mills pay that cute little bee’s salary for buzzing around the box.

General Mills Inc., tells you their brand of Cheerios are superior to the store brand. That’s why they cost so much more. Exactly how they are superior isn’t clear, but millions of people walk right by the store brand and buy the more expensive box.

But nobody eats the box. The nutritional value isn’t in the packaging, it is in the product. It isn’t the contents you are paying for.

It’s the box they come in.

According to a recent document signed by Pope Benedict XVI, God is like General Mills.

It isn’t the message that Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins, rose again on the third day, and extends an offer of pardon to all who repent of their sins and trust Him for their salvation that is important.

It’s the messenger.

The Pope explicitly said that non-Catholic Christians aren’t true Christians and that non-Catholic churches are not true churches.

Christ ‘established here on earth’ only one church,” said the document.

Other Christian communities such as Protestants “cannot be called ‘churches’ in the proper sense” since they don’t have what’s known as apostolic succession – that is, the ability to trace their bishops back to the original 12 apostles of Jesus.

It was “difficult to see how the title of ‘Church’ could possibly be attributed to them,” said the statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, purporting Roman Catholicism was “the one true Church of Christ.”

The Vatican statement said that non-Catholic denominations, since they can’t really be churches, “do not have the means of salvation.”

What is this statement really saying? In a nutshell, it is saying that the “means of salvation” is a church, not faith in Christ.

It can’t be understood to mean anything else. It can’t be twisted to mean anything else. If the ‘means to salvation’ is restricted to the Catholic Church, then it is church membership, not Jesus.

———-

Catholic apologists argue that the Church is constantly in the process of re-evaluating its positions on plenary indulgences, baptism, purgatory, etc., or that it doesn’t teach those positions today.

The fact is, the Vatican DOES teach those positions, and if it changes its mind, it is either the equivalent of God changing His mind, (which the Bible says is impossible) or it MUST be a case of the Vatican dictating the terms of salvation to God.

Neither of which makes any sense.

This is a good place for the chicken and the egg question. Which came first? Salvation or the Church? Was the thief who was crucified beside Jesus a Catholic? (Even Peter wasn’t a Catholic yet.)

Yet Jesus said to him, based on the thief’s confession of faith, “This day thou shalt be with Me in Paradise.”

Catholic dogma elevates Peter to the position of the first Pope based on his answer to a question Jesus posed to His disciples.

“When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, He asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that Thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” (Matthew 16:14-15)

Since that was the wrong answer, a buzzer sounded, and then Jesus asked the Double Jeopardy Question.

“He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:16)

“That’s absolutely correct! You win the Double Jeopardy Round. Tell the audience what he’s won, Johnny.”

“And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)

“That’s right! For being the first one to correctly answer the Double Jeopardy Question, you win the Ring of the Fisherman! You are officially the First Pope.”

The fact that Jesus is the “Christ, the Son of the Living God” was NOT the Rock upon which He would build His Church, the Vatican teaches. Instead, the Vatican claims that PETER is the Rock upon which the Church would be built.

The whole “Christ, the Son of the Living God” part is therefore irrelevant.

Since Peter is “the Rock” — and not Christ’s Deity that the Church would be built on, Christ was addressing Peter, (and his successors) and NOT those who put their faith in Christ, when He said,

“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

If this were the correct reading of these passages, that the Lord was giving Peter the keys to heaven and the power to bind or loose in heaven, then the context of the next verse would mean the Church would never consist of any more than those present on that day.

“Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ.” (Matthew 16:20)

The Vatican argues that this particular verse was negated by His subsequent giving of the Great Commission.

But they also deny that His claim that He, Jesus, was the only way to heaven (“I am the way the truth and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by Me”) has any bearing on Peter’s (and his successor’s) authority to let people in, or exclude them from heaven.

It’s all quite convenient.

Only three verses after Jesus Christ elevated Peter to the position of Pope, giving him God-like power and authority, Jesus specifically calls Peter “Satan.”

“But He turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23)

That’s not quite so convenient. So, therefore, it is irrelevant.

Please understand this: I am NOT saying that no Catholic can be saved, even though the Pope says no non-Catholic can be saved. One can be a Catholic and be saved, if one puts their faith in Christ for their salvation and merely attends a Catholic Church.

What I AM saying is that nobody can be saved solely by membership in the Catholic Church or that membership is the Catholic Church is necessary for salvation.

Nobody can be saved by keeping the rules the Catholic Church. Paul says anyone who seeks to be justified by the Law will be judged by the Law.

Both the Bible and honest self-evaluation make it clear that nobody can keep every single tenet of the Law. And “whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

The idea that God divides sins into minor (venial) and major (mortal) is not supported by Scripture. And if He does, which sins are which is a closely guarded cosmic secret.

If breaking the Ten Commandments qualify as mortal sins, then the Vatican is in violation of the prohibition on graven images. Therefore, the Catholic version of the Ten Commandments omits that one.

(Don’t take my word for it. Look it up for yourself. The official Vatican version omits Exodus 20:4 and then divides Exodus 20:17 into two parts so as to still add up to ten.)

The pronouncements of the Vatican CANNOT be the “means to salvation.” Salvation is a “gift of grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Faith in Peter does not qualify. Keeping Church Law does not qualify. Doing good works does not qualify.

Being baptized does not qualify. Going to confession does not qualify. Receiving communion does not qualify. Receiving last rites does not qualify. Obtaining plenary indulgences does not qualify.

The Bible outlines the qualifications for salvation.

“But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For HE is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, EVEN THE LAW OF COMMANDMENTS CONTAINED IN ORDINANCES; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:” (Ephesians 2:13-16)

The Pope is a man. The ordinances of the Vatican are not Biblical, but the ordinances of men. The Vatican’s legacy from Peter IS Biblical, but it isn’t that Peter is “the Rock”.

It’s legacy is from three verses down: “Thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.”

There is but ONE Rock upon which Jesus Christ built His Church; the confession of faith that Jesus “is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” It isn’t the messenger that saves us.

It is the Message.

Read the complete article here.

San Diego Proclaims Gay Pride Month

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Month? It used to be week or day, now we are celebrating what God calls an abomination for a whole month at a time? All we hear from the gay community is that they just want to be treated like everyone else. Ever heard of “Straight Pride Month”? No. Enough said.

After hearing fervent opposition, the San Diego City Council unanimously adopted a resolution introduced by Mayor Jerry Sanders to designate July as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month.”

Previous resolutions have honored the “gay pride” festival held each July in San Diego, but this apparently is city’s the first to designate an entire month, according to festival representatives. The council did approve a Lesbian and Gay Archives Month” in 1992. President Clinton declared June 2000 to be “Gay and Lesbian Pride Month” is the U.S.

Council President Scott Peters and member Toni Atkins introduced the resolution along with the mayor.

Original Link

Obama Says Sex-Ed For 5 Yr. Olds “Right Thing To Do”

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Barak Obama, or ‘Obamination’ as I like call to him, told Planned Parenthood (number one enemy of children) that teaching kindergarteners about sex is “the right thing to do”. The right thing to do? Apparently what we really need to be teaching 5 year olds is how the liberal agenda is allowing children to be killed by the thousands every day through abortion. The liberals want to spread their pro-choice (or “Anti-Life”) ideas to children to indoctrinate them from an early age for the liberal agenda and Obama’s comment is proof of that.

ABC News’ Teddy Davis and Lindsey Ellerson Report: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is “age-appropriate,” is “the right thing to do.”

“I remember Alan Keyes . . . I remember him using this in his campaign against me,” Obama said in reference to the conservative firebrand who ran against him for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Sex education for kindergarteners had become an issue in his race against Keyes because of Obama’s work on the issue as chairman of the health committee in the Illinois state Senate.

“‘Barack Obama supports teaching sex education to kindergarteners,'” said Obama mimicking Keyes’ distinctive style of speech. “Which — I didn’t know what to tell him (laughter).”

“But it’s the right thing to do,” Obama continued, “to provide age-appropriate sex education, science-based sex education in schools.”

Original Link

Adultery Offsets

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

Using the Al Gore “I purchased carbon offsets so I can preach to everyone else that they must be green while I don’t have to” logic, now our political leaders caught with their “hands in the cookie jar” so to speak, can buy their “offsets” too. At least in this cartoon they can. Let us hope that it never actually comes to this.

Adultry Offsets

Original Link.

Bush, Hillary, Michael Moore Said to Greatly Exaggerate Stats on Health Care

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

I’m telling you folks, you do not want national health coverage. The Bits and Canadians I have as friends tell me the same thing: The waits are terrible. One friend told me about his getting a broken leg. He went to the emergency room to get it treated. After waiting for 24 hours, it was finally splinted. Seven days later, he finally got in to see the Orthopedic Surgeon, who finally set it and cast it. This is what you can expect if we get nationalized health care. No thanks!!!

President Bush, Hillary Clinton, Michael Moore and much of the mainstream media are incorrect when they claim the number of Americans without health insurance to be 40 to 50 million, with the actual number possibly under 10 million.

So says the Business and Media Institute, a Virginia-based division of the Media Research Center, a nonprofit watchdog organization designed to bring balance and responsibility to the media.

“The actual total is open to debate,” says BMI analyst Julia Seymour. “But there are millions of people who should be excluded from that [high] tally, including: those who aren’t American citizens, people who can afford their own insurance, and people who already qualify for government coverage but haven’t signed up.”

She notes government statistics also show 45 percent of people without insurance are not completely in dire straits, as they’ll have coverage again within four months after switching jobs.

“Accounting for all those factors, one prominent study places the total for the long-term uninsured as low as 8.2 million – a very different reality than the media and national health care advocates claim,” said Seymour.

The BMI report notes the number of the uninsured who are not U.S. citizens is nearly 10 million on its own, invalidating all the claims of 40-plus million “Americans” without health insurance.

In a May 31 speech, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., said: “It’s really indefensible that we now have more than 45 million uninsured Americans, 9 million of whom are children, and the vast majority of whom are from working families.”

ABC News medical expert Dr. Tim Johnson cited the incorrect data as he praised a “bold” and “politically brilliant” universal health-coverage plan on the April 26 edition of “Good Morning America.”

“It’s bold because it does propose to cover all Americans, including the 47 million now who are uninsured, within five years,” said Johnson.

Seymour also labeled Michael Moore’s new film “SiCKO” as a “propagandumentary” and pointed out the director’s website claims a very high number of uninsured: “There are nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance.”

She says subtracting non-citizens and those who can afford their own insurance but choose not to purchase it, about 20 million people are left – less than 7 percent of the population.

“Many Americans are uninsured by choice,” wrote Dr. David Gratzer in his book, “The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care.” Gratzer cited a study of the “nonpoor uninsured” from the California Healthcare Foundation.

“Why the lack of insurance [among people who own homes and computers]? One clue is that 60 percent reported being in excellent health or very good health,” explained Gratzer.

“Proponents of universal health care often use the 46-million figure – without context or qualification. It creates the false impression that a huge percentage of the population has fallen through the cracks,” Gratzer told BMI. “Again, that’s not to suggest that there is no problem, but it’s very different than the universal-care crowd describes.”

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit group often quoted in news reports, puts the number of uninsured Americans who do not qualify for current government programs and make less than $50,000 a year between 8.2 million and 13.9 million, far less than the mantra of 40 to 50 million.

Original Link.

Turkey Bombards Northern Iraq, Iraq Says

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

With all due respect to the Iraqi government, if you are going to allow terrorist to operate out of your territory, then you need to be attacked. Terrorist of any kind should not be given shelter by anyone at any time.

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government said Turkish artillery and warplanes bombarded areas of northern Iraq on Wednesday and called on Turkey to stop military operations and resolve the conflict diplomatically.

The claim occurred amid rising tension and Turkish threats to strike bases of the Kurdistan Workers Party or PKK, which has been launching attacks against targets in Turkey from sanctuaries in Iraq.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told The Associated Press that the morning bombardment struck areas of the northern province of Dahuk, some 260 miles northwest of Baghdad.

Col. Hussein Kamal said about 250 shells were fired into Iraq from Turkey. He added that there were no casualties on the Iraqi side of the border.

“We have received reports that the Turkish government and the Turkish army have bombed border villages. The Iraqi government regrets the Turkish military operations of artillery and warplanes bombing against border cities and towns,” al-Dabbagh said.

“The Iraqi government calls for ceasing these operations and resorting to dialogue,” he said, insisting that Iraq wants “good relations with Turkey.”

Earlier Wednesday, Kurdish guerrillas staged a bomb attack against a military vehicle, killing two soldiers and wounding six others near the Iraqi border, the state-run Anatolia news agency said.

The attack occurred close to the Iraqi border, near the town of Cukurca in Hakkari province, Anatolia said. Military helicopters flew the injured to hospitals as military units in the region launched an operation to hunt down the attackers, it said.

Last week, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Turkey had massed 140,000 soldiers along the border _ a figure the U.S. disputed. Zebari said troop levels in the region were often increased during the spring and summer in response to increased activity by PKK.

U.S. officials cast doubt on the figure.

Turkish officials have repeatedly said they are considering military operations against the PKK in Iraq, a move that the United States fears would cause further instability.

Original Link.

“‘It’s Not That Bad’ is the New Standard for America” by Tony Beam

Thursday, July 19th, 2007

I despise blackmail….it is the cowards way of profiting at the expense of someone’s moral failure. Whatever we may think of the behavior of the one being blackmailed we should be equally outraged at those who would gleefully use bad news as a good investment.

Having said that, I also despise the steady lowering of acceptable public standards of behavior which is the result of our culture’s embrace of relativistic thinking. The latest adherent to the “it’s not that bad” mantra of morality is the New Jersey Pageant Board of Directors. Twenty-two year old Amy Polumbo, who is scheduled to represent the state of New Jersey in the Miss America Pageant later this year, was contacted by someone who told her if she didn’t give up her crown racy pictures of her would be sent to the pageant committee. It turns out the despicable blackmailer picked the wrong victim and the wrong pageant committee. When word of the attempted blackmail leaked out, Miss Polumbo went on the offensive, refusing to give up her crown and vowing to publish the pictures herself after the pageant committee ruled on her case. The Committee looked at the pictures and agreed that although the pictures show her in “not a ladylike manner” they didn’t rise to the level of requiring her to give up her crown. According to Mark Soifer, a representative for the Miss New Jersey pageant, the directors were unanimous in their decision.

I am glad the blackmailer was foiled and I applaud Amy Polumbo’s refusal to be blackmailed but I am disappointed at the New Jersey Pageant Directors decision to lower the standard for contestants from respectable behavior to behavior that is “not that bad.” But alas, that is the trend in our culture. I looked at the pictures and immediately the question came to my mind, “not that bad according compared to what?” Nudity would have been worse I suppose but how much worse? Two of the pictures show Miss Polumbo engaging in what can only be characterized as a drinking party with her friends. She is seen lifting, not a mixed drink or a beer or a glass of champagne, but a shot glass of what appears to be straight whiskey. Another photo shows her boyfriend biting her breast through her clothing while she smiles at the camera. She claims this particular picture was supposed to be a private moment but if that is true, someone should have informed the 25 or so people in the picture with her they should have gone home early. Another photo shows her with a different man (not her boyfriend) with his hand on her breast.

I suppose by today’s agreed upon lowered standards these pictures are “not that bad.” But I thought the purpose of pageant programs was to encourage a higher standard for their participants. By allowing Amy Polumbo to retain her crown the directors are endorsing her behavior as normal for a college student. Polumbo’s mother, Jennifer Wagner, was said to be shocked when she saw the pictures but I guess after she had time to think about it her shock turned into “just normal college pictures.” I wonder how many parents of aspiring Miss whatever’s would be happy for their impressionable daughters to grow up and follow Amy’s path to drinking parties and inappropriate sexual contact. Would most parents in America consider the pictures I have described as “normal college behavior?” Unfortunately for our culture’s sake the answer is probably yes.

Polumbo defended her actions by admitting, “It’s not in a ladylike manner. I’m not a robot. I’m a human being.” Is that supposed to make us feel better? Are people who believe in a higher standard than engaging in irresponsible drinking and public simulated sex acts robots? I guess the new “not that bad” standard leaves us with the either or choice of being a robot or a human being. A robot is a mindless being which operates at the mercy of its programming. As human beings, we are supposed to have the moral capacity to rise above our basic instinctive programming. God has given us the ability to discern between right and wrong and the power to restrain ourselves from engaging in whatever behavior suits us at the moment. It is that ability that separates us from the animal (and the robot or mechanical) kingdom.

When Amy Polumbo found out her “not that bad” pictures would not cause her to have to forfeit her crown she said, “I want to thank the public. I also want to thank God for getting me through this.” Since she introduced the idea of God into her situation by thanking Him for seeing her through her ordeal she might be interested to know how her assessment of His standards lines up with His Word. Timothy was probably about Amy Polumbo’s age when Paul wrote to him, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe” (1 Tim. 4:12 NASV, emphasis mine). That sounds like a much higher standard than “not that bad.”

Original Link.