Archive for December 15th, 2008

Political Battleground: Embryo-Destructive Research

Monday, December 15th, 2008

The abortion happy Obama will most certainly roll back any and all rules dealing with stem cell research.
What many people do not realize is the embryonic stem cells have not yielded as good of results as the use of adult stem cells.
In other words, there is no reason to kill a baby to harvest it’s cells.

Soon after he takes the oath of office, president-elect Obama is expected to overturn President Bush’s executive order banning federal funding of research on human embryonic stem cell lines that were created after August 9, 2001. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) also has made it known that in the first 100 days of Congress she intends to push legislation that would establish a “regulatory framework,” or guidelines for embryo-destructive research.

Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania), who chairs the House Values Action Team, says he and other conservatives will fight to defeat the unethical effort to create and kill human embryos for experimentation.

“What we’re trying to do,” Pitts explains, “is fund ethical research using adult stem cells, cord blood cells, [and] these new IPS cells [induced pluripotent stem cells] — which are embryonic-like adult cells taken from your own body” — cells that he points out “have proven to actually work.”

Original Link.

Palin’s Church Severely Damaged by Arson

Monday, December 15th, 2008

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s home church was badly damaged by arson, leading the governor to apologize Saturday if the fire was connected to “undeserved negative attention” from her campaign as the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Damage to the Wasilla Bible Church was estimated at $1 million, authorities said. No one was injured in the fire, which was set Friday night while a handful of people, including two children, were inside, according to James Steele, the Central Mat-Su fire chief.

The 1,000-member evangelical church was the subject of intense scrutiny after Palin was named Sen. John McCain’s running mate. Early in Palin’s campaign, the church was criticized for promoting in a Sunday bulletin a Love Won Out conference in Anchorage sponsored by Focus on the Family. The conference promised to “help men and women dissatisfied with living homosexually understand that same-sex attractions can be overcome.”

Original Link.

Tax Holiday Bill Picks Up Steam

Monday, December 15th, 2008

One thing that helps the economy, almost over night, is putting money back in the pockets of the average rank and file, middle class worker.
I believe it is time to contact your representatives and tell them to support this bill.

WASHINGTON – Big business bailouts and “economic stimulus packages” are all the rage in the Capitol these days.

Most involve massive transfers of wealth from taxpayers to government-directed projects.

But a new and very different bill, proposed by a heretofore little-known congressman from Texas, is gaining traction from Republicans – and even a few Democrats, according to the sponsor.

It’s called “the tax-holiday plan.” And one version of it picked up support from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, the nation’s largest small business advocacy organization over the weekend.

“If Congress wants to jumpstart this economy, they need to do something to help small business owners gain confidence that now is a good time to grow their businesses and create new jobs,” said Dan Danner, executive vice president of the NFIB. “Passing a six-month payroll tax holiday would do just that by putting more money in the hands of small business owners to invest in their business and by giving employees more of their own money to spend wherever they see fit.”

Eliminating the payroll tax will have an immediate effect on employment, the NFIB said. The suspension of the 6.2 percent payroll tax on employers will decrease the cost of labor and will help employers keep people working during the recession, the organization said.

A payroll tax holiday also will directly increase the paychecks of lower-and-middle income taxpayers by 6.2 percent – the current portion paid by workers.

Something similar to that plan was introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas. The bill is HR 7309 that would require all federal income tax based on wages earned and FICA withholding to be left in paychecks for two straight months – dramatically increasing the amount each worker keeps.

Gohmert’s plan would be paid for by the remaining $350 billion bailout spearheaded by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and already approved by Congress and signed by President Bush. Even wage earners who do not make enough to pay income tax would get back their FICA or Social Security withholding under the plan.

“In a matter of months, Paulson and Bernanke have committed $7.7 trillion to bailouts while individually Americans will pay $1.2 trillion in income taxes for all of 2008,” Gohmert said. “We need to end the madness and implement a commonsense, free-market solution to our economic woes. My plan would cost less than the remainder of the bailout, but it would provide significantly more relief to taxpayers as well as a greater economic boost. Think about how much more of your paycheck you would see if you didn’t pay federal taxes for January and February 2009.”

Gohmert, who has already been backed in his plan by at least 35 members of Congress – all fellow Republicans – says he is getting interest from some Democratic colleagues as well.

“We’ve got a number of blue dog Democrats who are saying, ‘Give me more information, this sounds like something I could really support,'” Gohmert said.

Gohmert said he doesn’t care whether the bill comes to the floor under his name or a Democrat’s, but that either way, it will require the American people to mobilize.

“I think the chance this has to get to the floor – even under a Democrat’s name on the bill, fine by me – is if Americans rise up again, as they have a couple of times in the last two years, and let their voices be heard,” Gohmert said.

Gohmert says the plan is actually much cheaper than the economic rescue effort pushed by Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He says Paulson has roughly $350 billion left that “he’s probably not going to spend. I see that about the same time I notice the $7.7 trillion is estimated to be what Paulson and Bernanke may be throwing at the economy to try and get it to do better and more credit extended – like people who are failing in their mortgage to refinance and be able to finance the part they’re behind on.”

Original Link.

“What Is Sin?” by Jack Kelley

Monday, December 15th, 2008

Judging from the feedback I’ve received lately, some of us don’t know what sin is. The word comes from an old English archery term meaning “to miss the mark.” Jesus gave us the mark in Matt. 5:48 “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Anything short of that is missing the mark, and whether by thought, word, or deed, is sin. The main purpose of His three chapter Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) was to change our perception of sin. The Pharisees thought that if they obeyed the commandments they weren’t sinning and therefore didn’t need a Savior. To achieve their position of authority, they had to have lived such an exemplary life as to appear nearly perfect. This focus on perfection in their behavior made them arrogant, unsympathetic toward their weaker brethren. It had made them worse than useless in advancing the Kingdom. They were actually driving people away.

He began by saying that in judging our behavior, God would not overlook even the smallest detail of the Law. He said that even our thoughts would be held against us. Anger is as bad as murder, He said; lust is as bad as adultery, and so on. He said that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees we will certainly not enter the Kingdom. (Matt. 5:20) Later on He said that they were like whitewashed tombs which are beautiful on the outside but full of dead men’s bones. He said in the same way they appeared to people as righteous but were full of hypocrisy. (Matt. 23:27-28) The Pharisees were compulsive about their behavior, applying the Law to the most minute things in their lives, even giving a tithe of the herbs and spices that grew in their gardens. (Matt. 23:23) And our righteousness needs to exceed theirs? In all of their behavior they had achieved perfection.

Where Did That Come From?

Then where does sin originate if not in our behavior? In Mark 7:20-23 Jesus said: “What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’ ”

Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) This is what he meant. Satan brings evil thoughts to the threshold of our minds. If we immediately take these thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ, there’s no harm done. We’ve fended off an attack. (2 Cor. 10:3-5) But the moment we give them any consideration at all, we’ve sinned. Anger, jealousy, envy, lust, resentment, frustration, self-pity are some of the more obvious ones, but then there’s admiration, pride, self-satisfaction, self-righteousness and a long list of others that give glory to someone or something other than God. Our hearts being incurably wicked, we do two things that make us sinners. First, we harbor these thoughts, and second we think that because we don’t act on them we haven’t sinned. But whether acted upon or not, these and many more are all sins punishable by death. No one sees them, and they’re so natural to us that often we ourselves are barely aware of them. To all outward appearances we appear to be fine, upstanding examples of Christian goodness, but inside we’re rotten to the core.

Pastor Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, once said, “We aren’t sinners because we sin, we sin because we’re sinners.” It’s our nature. Those who claim to have stopped sinning simply don’t understand this. The best we can say about ourselves is that because of our conversion we’re perhaps a little more aware of our sins, but the research has shown that by and large most of us live lives that aren’t any freer of sin than our unbelieving neighbors. Like them, we’re after bigger and better stuff for ourselves while ignoring the needs of people around us. Like them we’re jealous of the success of others while crediting ourselves with our own success. Like them, we get angry about little things. Like them, we wish our lives were different. Like them, we have a secular world view.

But what has been most instructive to me lately is the way so many people actually think they’re no longer sinners, just because they’re saved. I guess the old saying is true. We all want grace for ourselves while demanding justice for everyone else. We want to be judged by our intentions but we want others judged by their actions.

As the Bible clearly shows, there is no hierarchy of sin. All sin brings death. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with being angry or envying the possessions of our neighbors or entertaining a lustful thought now and then, but we demand others stop their sinning or else be condemned. Please don’t misunderstand me. There’s nothing wrong with being uncomfortable around sinful behavior. There’s nothing wrong with deciding to withdraw from it. And there’s nothing wrong with demanding that the leaders of our churches adhere to Biblical principles about sin. But when we start saying that certain forms of sin disqualify a person for salvation, then we’ve put ourselves in God’s place and risk having the same measure we use in judging others, be used with us.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Matt. 7:1-2)

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37)

According to Biblical standards we all willingly, consciously and deliberately sin. The fact that some sins are more obvious to us than others is irrelevant. It’s what’s in our hearts that counts, and God sees them all. We forget that Jesus said every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 12:31) Every sin. And not just once. Enough to last a life time.

Repent And Be Saved

Read the rest of the article here.