Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what we see happening in the United States today is an apt illustration of why the Confederate flag was raised in the first place. What we see materializing before our very eyes is tyranny: tyranny over the freedom of expression, tyranny over the freedom of association, tyranny over the freedom of speech, and tyranny over the freedom of conscience.
In 1864, Confederate General Patrick Cleburne warned his fellow southerners of the historical consequences should the South lose their war for independence. He was truly a prophet. He said if the South lost, “It means that the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy. That our youth will be trained by Northern school teachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by all of the influences of History and Education to regard our gallant debt as traitors and our maimed veterans as fit subjects for derision.” No truer words were ever spoken.
History revisionists flooded America’s public schools with Northern propaganda about the people who attempted to secede from the United States, characterizing them as racists, extremists, radicals, hatemongers, traitors, etc. You know, the same way that people in our federal government and news media attempt to characterize Christians, patriots, war veterans, constitutionalists, et al. today.
Folks, please understand that the only people in 1861 who believed that states did NOT have the right to secede were Abraham Lincoln and his radical Republicans. To say that southern states did not have the right to secede from the United States is to say that the thirteen colonies did not have the right to secede from Great Britain. One cannot be right and the other wrong. If one is right, both are right. How can we celebrate our Declaration of Independence in 1776 and then turn around and condemn the Declaration of Independence of the Confederacy in 1861? Talk about hypocrisy!
In fact, southern states were not the only states that talked about secession. After the southern states seceded, the State of Maryland fully intended to join them. In September of 1861, Lincoln sent federal troops to the State capital and seized the legislature by force in order to prevent them from voting. Federal provost marshals stood guard at the polls and arrested Democrats and anyone else who believed in secession. A special furlough was granted to Maryland troops so they could go home and vote against secession. Judges who tried to inquire into the phony elections were arrested and thrown into military prisons. There is your great “emancipator,” folks.
And before the South seceded, several northern states had also threatened secession. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island had threatened secession as far back as James Madison’s administration. In addition, the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware were threatening secession during the first half of the nineteenth century–long before the southern states even considered such a thing.
People say constantly that Lincoln “saved” the Union. Lincoln didn’t save the Union; he subjugated the Union. There is a huge difference. A union that is not voluntary is not a union. Does a man have a right to force a woman to marry him or to force a woman to stay married to him? In the eyes of God, a union of husband and wife is far superior to a union of states. If God recognizes the right of husbands and wives to separate (and He does), to try and suggest that states do not have the right to lawfully (under Natural and divine right) separate is the most preposterous proposition imaginable.
People say that Lincoln freed the slaves. Lincoln did NOT free a single slave. But what he did do was enslave free men. His so-called Emancipation Proclamation had NO AUTHORITY in the southern states, as they had separated into another country. Imagine a President today signing a proclamation to free folks in, say, China or Saudi Arabia. He would be laughed out of Washington. Lincoln had no authority over the Confederate States of America, and he knew it.
Do you not find it interesting that Lincoln’s proclamation did NOT free a single slave in the United States, the country in which he DID have authority? That’s right. The Emancipation Proclamation deliberately ignored slavery in the North. Do you not realize that when Lincoln signed his proclamation, there were over 300,000 slaveholders who were fighting in the Union army? Check it out.
One of those northern slaveholders was General (and later U.S. President) Ulysses S. Grant. In fact, he maintained possession of his slaves even after the War Between the States concluded. Recall that his counterpart, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, freed his slaves BEFORE hostilities between North and South ever broke out. When asked why he refused to free his slaves, Grant said, “Good help is hard to find these days.”
The institution of slavery did not end until the 13th Amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865.
Speaking of the 13th Amendment, did you know that Lincoln authored his own 13th Amendment? It is the only amendment to the Constitution ever proposed by a sitting U.S. President. Here is Lincoln’s proposed amendment: “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give Congress the power to abolish or interfere within any state with the domestic institutions thereof, including that a person’s held to labor or service by laws of said State.”
You read it right. Lincoln proposed an amendment to the U.S. Constitution PRESERVING the institution of slavery. This proposed amendment was written in March of 1861, a month BEFORE the shots were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
The State of South Carolina was particularly incensed at the tariffs enacted in 1828 and 1832. The Tariff of 1828 was disdainfully called, “The Tariff of Abominations” by the State of South Carolina. Accordingly, the South Carolina legislature declared that the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were “unauthorized by the constitution of the United States.”
Think, folks: why would the southern states secede from the Union over slavery when President Abraham Lincoln had offered an amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing the PRESERVATION of slavery? That makes no sense. If the issue was predominantly slavery, all the South needed to do was to go along with Lincoln, and his proposed 13th Amendment would have permanently preserved slavery among the southern (and northern) states. Does that sound like a body of people who were willing to lose hundreds of thousands of men on the battlefield over saving slavery? What nonsense!
The problem was Lincoln wanted the southern states to pay the Union a 40% tariff on their exports. The South considered this outrageous and refused to pay. By the time hostilities broke out in 1861, the South was paying up to, and perhaps exceeding, 70% of the nation’s taxes. Before the war, the South was very prosperous and productive. And Washington, D.C., kept raising the taxes and tariffs on them. You know, the way Washington, D.C., keeps raising the taxes on prosperous American citizens today.
This is much the same story of the way the colonies refused to pay the demanded tariffs of the British Crown–albeit the tariffs of the Crown were MUCH lower than those demanded by Lincoln. Lincoln’s proposed 13th Amendment was an attempt to entice the South into paying the tariffs by being willing to permanently ensconce the institution of slavery into the Constitution. AND THE SOUTH SAID NO!
In addition, the Congressional Record of the United States forever obliterates the notion that the North fought the War Between the States over slavery. Read it for yourself. This resolution was passed unanimously in the U.S. Congress on July 23, 1861, “The War is waged by the government of the United States not in the spirit of conquest or subjugation, nor for the purpose of overthrowing or interfering with the rights or institutions of the states, but to defend and protect the Union.”
What could be clearer? The U.S. Congress declared that the war against the South was NOT an attempt to overthrow or interfere with the “institutions” of the states, but to keep the Union intact (by force). The “institutions” implied most certainly included the institution of slavery.
Hear it loudly and clearly: Lincoln’s war against the South had NOTHING to do with ending slavery–so said the U.S. Congress by unanimous resolution in 1861.
Abraham Lincoln, himself, said it was NEVER his intention to end the institution of slavery. In a letter to Alexander Stevens who later became the Vice President of the Confederacy, Lincoln wrote this, “Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect than it was in the days of Washington.”
Again, what could be clearer? Lincoln, himself, said the southern states had nothing to fear from him in regard to abolishing slavery.
Hear Lincoln again: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it.” He also said, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so and I have no inclination to do so.”
The idea that the Confederate flag (actually there were five of them) stood for racism, bigotry, hatred, and slavery is just so much hogwash. In fact, if one truly wants to discover who the racist was in 1861, just read the words of Mr. Lincoln.
On August 14, 1862, Abraham Lincoln invited a group of black people to the White House. In his address to them, he told them of his plans to colonize them all back to Africa. Listen to what he told these folks: “Why should the people of your race be colonized and where? Why should they leave this country? This is, perhaps, the first question for proper consideration. You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffers from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this is admitted, it affords a reason, at least, why we should be separated. You here are freemen, I suppose? Perhaps you have been long free, or all your lives. Your race is suffering, in my judgment, the greatest wrong inflicted on any people. But even when you cease to be slaves, you are yet far removed from being placed on an equality with the white race. The aspiration of men is to enjoy equality with the best when free, but on this broad continent not a single man of your race is made the equal of a single man of our race.”
Did you hear what Lincoln said? He said that black people would NEVER be equal with white people–even if they all obtained their freedom from slavery. If that isn’t a racist statement, I’ve never heard one.
Lincoln’s statement above is not isolated. In Charleston, Illinois, in 1858, Lincoln said in a speech, “I am not, nor have ever been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races. I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races from living together on social or political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white.”
Ladies and gentlemen, in his own words, Abraham Lincoln declared himself to be a white supremacist. Why don’t our history books and news media tell the American people the truth about Lincoln and about the War Between the States?
It’s simple: if people would study the meanings and history of the flag, symbols, and statues of the Confederacy and Confederate leaders, they might begin to awaken to the tyrannical policies of Washington, D.C., that precluded southern independence–policies that have only escalated since the defeat of the Confederacy–and they might have a notion to again resist.
By the time Lincoln penned his Emancipation Proclamation, the war had been going on for two years without resolution. In fact, the North was losing the war. Even though the South was outmanned and out-equipped, the genius of the southern generals and fighting acumen of the southern men had put the northern armies on their heels. Many people in the North never saw the legitimacy of Lincoln’s war in the first place, and many of them actively campaigned against it. These people were affectionately called “Copperheads” by people in the South.
I urge you to watch Ron Maxwell’s accurate depiction of those people in the North who favored the southern cause as depicted in his motion picture, “Copperhead.” For that matter, I consider his movie, “Gods And Generals” to be the greatest “Civil War” movie ever made. It is the most accurate and fairest depiction of Confederate General Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson ever produced. In my opinion, actor Stephen Lang should have received an Oscar for his performance as General Jackson. But, can you imagine?
That’s another thing: the war fought from 1861 to 1865 was NOT a “civil war.” Civil war suggests two sides fighting for control of the same capital and country. The South didn’t want to take over Washington, D.C., no more than their forebears wanted to take over London. They wanted to separate from Washington, D.C., just as America’s Founding Fathers wanted to separate from Great Britain. The proper names for that war are either, “The War Between the States” or, “The War of Southern Independence,” or, more fittingly, “The War of Northern Aggression.”
Had the South wanted to take over Washington, D.C., they could have done so with the very first battle of the “Civil War.” When Lincoln ordered federal troops to invade Virginia in the First Battle of Manassas (called the “First Battle of Bull Run” by the North), Confederate troops sent the Yankees running for their lives all the way back to Washington. Had the Confederates pursued them, they could have easily taken the city of Washington, D.C., seized Abraham Lincoln, and perhaps ended the war before it really began. But General Beauregard and the others had no intention of fighting an aggressive war against the North. They merely wanted to defend the South against the aggression of the North.
In order to rally people in the North, Lincoln needed a moral crusade. That’s what his Emancipation Proclamation was all about. This explains why his proclamation was not penned until 1863, after two years of fruitless fighting. He was counting on people in the North to stop resisting his war against the South if they thought it was some kind of “holy” war. Plus, Lincoln was hoping that his proclamation would incite blacks in the South to insurrect against southern whites. If thousands of blacks would begin to wage war against their white neighbors, the fighting men of the southern armies would have to leave the battlefields and go home to defend their families. THIS NEVER HAPPENED.
Not only did blacks not riot against the whites of the south, many black men volunteered to fight alongside their white friends and neighbors in the Confederate army. Unlike the blacks in the North, who were conscripted by Lincoln and forced to fight in segregated units, thousands of blacks in the South fought of their own free will in a fully-integrated southern army. I bet your history book never told you about that.
If one wants to ban a racist flag, one would have to ban the British flag. Ships bearing the Union Jack shipped over 5 million African slaves to countries all over the world, including the British colonies in North America. Other slave ships flew the Dutch flag and the Portuguese flag and the Spanish flag, and, yes, the U.S. flag. But not one single slave ship flew the Confederate flag. NOT ONE!
By the time Lincoln launched his war against the southern states, slavery was already a dying institution. The entire country, including the South, recognized the moral evil of slavery and wanted it to end. Only a small fraction of southerners even owned slaves. The slave trade had ended in 1808, per the U.S. Constitution, and the practice of slavery was quickly dying, too. In another few years, with the advent of agricultural machinery, slavery would have ended peacefully–just like it had in England. It didn’t take a national war and the deaths of over a half million men to end slavery in Great Britain. America’s so-called “Civil War” was absolutely unnecessary. The greed of Lincoln’s radical Republicans in the North, combined with the cold, calloused heart of Lincoln himself is responsible for the tragedy of the “Civil War.”
And look at what is happening now: in one instant–after one deranged young man killed nine black people and who ostensibly photo-shopped a picture of himself with a Confederate flag–the entire political and media establishments in the country go on an all-out crusade to remove all semblances of the Confederacy. The speed in which all of this has happened suggests that this was a planned, orchestrated event by the Powers That Be (PTB). And is it a mere coincidence that this took place at the exact same time that the U.S. Supreme Court decided to legalize same-sex marriage? I think not.
The Confederate Battle Flag flies the Saint Andrews cross. Of course, Andrew was the first disciple of Jesus Christ, brother of Simon Peter, and Christian martyr who was crucified on an X-shaped cross at around the age of 90. Andrew is the patron saint of both Russia and Scotland.
In the 1800s, up to 75% of people in the South were either Scotch or Scotch-Irish. The Confederate Battle Flag is predicated on the national flag of Scotland. It is a symbol of the Christian faith and heritage of the Celtic race.
Pastor John Weaver rightly observed, “Even the Confederate States motto, ‘Deovendickia,’ (The Lord is our Vindicator), illustrates the sovereignty and the righteousness of God. The Saint Andrews cross is also known as the Greek letter CHIA (KEE) and has historically been used to represent Jesus Christ. Why do you think people write Merry X-mas, just to give you an illustration? The ‘X’ is the Greek letter CHIA and it has been historically used for Christ. Moreover, its importance was understood by educated and uneducated people alike. When an uneducated man, one that could not write, needed to sign his name please tell me what letter he made? An ‘X,’ why? Because he was saying I am taking an oath under God. I am recognizing the sovereignty of God, the providence of God and I am pledging my faith. May I tell you the Confederate Flag is indeed a Christian flag because it has the cross of Saint Andrew, who was a Christian martyr, and the letter ‘X’ has always been used to represent Christ, and to attack the flag is to deny the sovereignty, the majesty, and the might of the Lord Jesus Christ and his divine role in our history, culture, and life.”
Many of the facts that I reference in this column were included in a message delivered several years ago by Pastor John Weaver. I want to thank John for preaching such a powerful and needed message. Read or watch Pastor Weaver’s sermon “The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag” here:
The Truth About The Confederate Battle Flag
Combine the current attacks against Biblical and traditional marriage, the attacks against all things Confederate, the attacks against all things Christian, and the attacks against all things constitutional and what we are witnessing is a heightened example of why the Confederate Battle Flag was created to begin with. Virtually every act of federal usurpation of liberty that we are witnessing today, and have been witnessing for much of the twentieth century, is the result of Lincoln’s war against the South. Truly, we are living in Lincoln’s America, not Washington and Jefferson’s America. Washington and Jefferson’s America died at Appomattox Court House in 1865.
Instead of lowering the Confederate flag, we should be raising it.
Many Bible believing Christians are members of the HFIB club. The acronym stands for hate, fear, ignorance and bigotry. To be inducted into HFIB all one has to do is oppose homosexual “marriage” or—gasp!—proclaim that homosexuality is a sin against a holy God.
For example, talk show host Montel Williams labeled social conservatives hateful bigots for disagreeing with the High Court’s broad interpretation of the U.S. Constitution regarding same-sex “marriage.” Montel has chosen sides, it seems – he’s taken the side of the totalitarian and intolerant left.
In a piece by ChristianExaminer columnist Michael Foust entitled Talk show host Montel Williams compares gay marriage opponents to ISIS, Taliban, Foust writes:
Williams made the comments Friday, hours after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage. On Facebook he criticized those on the “uber-right,” which apparently is a synonym for most if not all social conservatives. In the same context he referenced Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. Williams said that “hate, ignorance, fear and bigotry” had lost when the Supreme Court handed down its decision.
“In its typical fashion, the uber-right that so many of us on the center right find to be akin to the American version of ?#?ISIS or the Taliban, frezilly predicted the end of the world, including several members of Congress, who with all the style and hyperbole of an ISIS recruiting video, yes, let’s start with Louie Gohmert, proved they lacked the mental fortitude and emotional stability to hold elected office.
“Some members of this, the American Taliban known as the far-right, even threatened to move to Canada without realizing GAY MARRIAGE HAS BEEN LEGAL THERE FOR IONS. Frankly, I’d be happy to see them go, I just think it would be akin to an act of war to dump the uber-right on another country, sort of like dumping radioactive waste on a neighbor’s yard.”
Some of his fans were miffed by his remarks. One fan wrote: “Montel — the Taliban would whack the heads off of you and all gays. You have disgraced yourself in saying that any American who disagrees with YOUR opinion is the Taliban or ISIS.”
Good point. There are pictures circulating on the Internet of ISIS thugs in Raqqa throwing a man accused of being gay off a building while a crowd of people watched the atrocity. Many of them climbed buildings to get a better look.
Fouts also fills us in on Montel’s tantrum on Twitter:
“Those who went into full scale freak out today over #LoveWins threatening to leave USA ARE AMERICAN ISIS/TALIBAN,“ Williams wrote.
Later, he retweeted a Tweet from someone who agreed with him: “Montel, I agree with u completely They hate the same people ISIS hates 4 the most part & they ignore Christs words 2.”
One person, Mike McIntyre (@mcintyremike), wrote, “Montel, I have long respected you. You don’t think someone can like the outcome but hate the way it came to be?”
Another follower, TJ (@chinn_tj), replied, “WOW! I may be on the right but I’ve never threatened to blow somebody up!”
A third person, “Janilyn” (@Geckogal55), wrote, “So I see the persecution of #Christians has now started.”
Billy Hallowell of The Blaze wrote, “YOU CALLED ANGRY AMERICANS MAKING A SILLY COMMENT ISIS. I’m perplexed.” Williams retorted, “feel free to unfollow me then. Don’t let the door hit you.” (bold theirs)
When he railed against Louie Gohmert (R-Tx), what was it he said? Oh, I remember. Rep. Gohmert “proved [he] lacked … mental fortitude and emotional stability.” Is this not a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
No matter what you may think of Louie Gohmert and Tony Perkins, to compare them to Islamic terrorists that line innocent people up and behead them for the crime of professing a belief in Jesus Christ goes beyond the pale. What Williams conveniently forgets is that words have power. Words can inflame unstable people to violence. I mean, think about it. What if a Christian media personality used the same words as Montel chose to describe the five Supreme Court Justices who shredded the U.S. Constitution because they’d like to see sexual deviants marry anyone they want to. The backlash would be horrific.
It’s too late for an apology from Montel Williams, not that one will be forthcoming. The damage has already been done.
A Slap In The Face To Conservatives
After the decision came down, that same night the White House was lit up like never before. Red, blue, green and yellow lights stood out against a dark backdrop, giving the appearance of a gigantic rainbow flag. It was impressive to be sure. But we all know that the rainbow is the LGBT symbol. This celebratory display at the people’s house no doubt offended the majority of those that pay the electricity bill. For President Obama to make this sort of statement is a slap in the face to traditional Americans who support Normal Marriage. The administration is well aware that a large number of people in this country oppose redefining marriage. What struck me is that the president chose not to use his high office to unite Americans; he chose to gloat over judicial activism that ushered in counterfeit marriage.
What some Americans may not be aware of is that back in 1996 when Barack Obama was running for Illinois state senate he said he was in favor of same-gender “marriage.” (Here’s a video of Anderson Cooper taking him to task on flip-flopping on gay “marriage.”) As it turns out he supposedly “evolved” on the issue and decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. Let us not forget that during a 2008 debate held at Saddleback Church he looked Rick Warren squarely in the eye and said, “For me as a Christian it’s [marriage] a sacred union.” Sacred union is a religious term that describes a union between a man and a woman. Now he’s back where he started in 1996, supporting counterfeit marriage.
Mr. President, I have news for you. You have rejected the clear teaching of Scripture on homosexuality.
You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. And you shall not lie sexually with your neighbor’s wife and so make yourself unclean with her. You shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. And you shall not lie with any animal and so make yourself unclean with it, neither shall any woman give herself to an animal to lie with it: it is perversion.
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.
Mr. President, you’ve made a choice to reject God’s unambiguous command not to engage in homosexual acts. Bear in mind that anyone who rejects what God expressly says is in essence calling Him a liar.
Woe to you.
Mr. President, you can instruct your staff to light up all the monuments in Washington D.C. to celebrate the left’s victories over the “uber right” but that won’t change the fact that whatever victories they achieve will be short lived. I say this with confidence because I count on the FACT that in the end, God wins.
Homosexual Agenda—Berean Research
The US Supreme Court “gay marriage” ruling – how we got to this, and what do we do now?—MassResistance
Any [teaching] that is good is in the Word of God, and any that is not in the Word of God is not good. I am a Bible Christian and if an archangel with a wingspread as broad as a constellation shining like the sun were to come and offer me some new truth, I’d ask him for a reference. If he could not show me where it is found in the Bible, I would bow him out and say, “I’m awfully sorry, you don’t bring any references with you.” ~ A.W. Tozier
There’s an ongoing debate as to whether or not Bono, U2 front man and one of the world’s most recognized rock stars, is an authentic Christian, although he states that he is. Many Bible believing Christians have looked at the evidence and have come out and said that, although he professes Christ, he’s not a true Christian.
So let’s examine the evidence.
On his belief about Jesus Christ, Bono said this:
I believe that Jesus was, you know, the Son of God.
Does he mean the Jesus who’s the Second Person of the holy Trinity?
In 2005 after the release of his book “Grace Over Karma” he stated:
The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled. It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.
He’s right. It’s not our own good works that gets us to heaven “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” that saves us. (Eph. 2:8-9)
In 2014 Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, interviewed the rock star on his radio broadcast and said this:
[H]e’s known great success, both in his career as a musician, and in his work as a global advocate for the poorest of the poor. He’s also the co-founder of The ONE Campaign, and their motivation is to help people who are suffering.
All of this is true. But that means he’s a do-gooder. It does not make him regenerate.
Not surprisingly, when Daly invited him on the show conservative Christians who are aware of some of the controversial things he has said over the years thought it was a mistake. Many people wondered why a pro-family leader of Daly’s stature would pass him off as a Christian by saying, “he’s a believer in Jesus Christ, and professes Christ as his Savior. In fact, Bono’s spiritual journey has been greatly influenced by a mutual good friend — Eugene Peterson, who’s the author of The Message. And he’s also written a great book called Run With The Horses that has had a great influence on Bono and many of us.”
I don’t have the space to address my concerns with Eugene Peterson or The Message Bible he penned – it’s a parody of the Bible. So links are included below.
Looking at the things Bono has said (I’m coming to that) although he professes a belief in Christ clearly he doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Moreover, his social views are decidedly “progressive.” In fact, his religious beliefs blend nicely with emergent gurus such as Brian McLaren, Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo. These men are leftists who are leading the Church away from Sola Scriptura into what Ken Silva referred to as the “emerging cult of the new liberal theology.” The controversial movement, called the Emerging/Emergent Church (EC), seeks to reach the unchurched with their unbiblical version of the Christian message. In so doing they have cooked up a cauldron ofsyncretism stew.
So – what’s important to know about EC leaders is that their aim is change and their plan, and they do have one, is to dismantle historic orthodox Christianity and bring forth a “new paradigm,” a “new kind of Christianity.” Be wary of words such as story (story of God, story of Jesus)… becoming… conversation… missional… reimagine… tribe… deconstruction… vision, etc. Emergents are “Christ followers,” they are “Social Justice Christians.”
Social Justice Christianity
The moniker liberals who profess Christ prefer is Social Justice Christian. One conservative blogger commented that Bono is “social justice, ecumenical, globalist, Agenda 21 promoting.”
He’s all of that for sure. Bono’s an activist and philanthropist with a stated goal to eliminate world poverty. Because he’s hugely popular people want to know what he thinks about this and that. So naturally he takes every opportunity to promote causes he cares about including HIV/AIDS infection in Africa and third-world debt relief. Tom De Weese of the American Policy Center once quipped that he “dogged political leaders around the world, using his rock star status to pressure them into accepting his brand of global guilt.”
So – should it matter to Bible believing Christians that Bono is a “progressive”? Should we be concerned that he’s spreading Social Justice Christianity around the globe? I mean, he’s telling people about Jesus, isn’t he?
Well, yes, it should matter to Christians that a person as famous as Bono is promoting an unbiblical version of Christianity and a “different Jesus.” Many people idolize celebrities. Adoring fans hang on their every word. And, sadly, many Christians don’t read their bibles so they not only are ignorant of its teaching, they lack spiritual discernment. In other words, they’re easily influenced by celebrity but not so much by the Bible.
When it comes to a LIE-celeb such as Bono, the question we must ask ourselves is this: What gospel is he sharing, the true Gospel of Jesus Christ or is he sharing another Jesus…another spirit…another gospel (2 Cor. 11:4)? If it’s the later then it makes him a false teacher.
The Apostle Paul spoke out against counterfeit Christians:
And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Cor. 12-15)
Elliott Nesch of The Waundering Path writes:
How many of those who have been saved from extreme poverty through Bono’s ONE Campaign are now saved from their sins through the same effort? Can social justice, debt relief, and elimination of the AIDS epidemic bring glory to God when it is completely unconnected to the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? (Source)
A very good question.
Can’t We All Just COEXIST?
Lighthouse Trails Research (LTR) has a piece entitled Focus on the Family Gives Bono a Platform – Another Example Where 2 +2 Don’t Add Up. LTR shares a quote by Christian researcher Berit Kjos from her book Protect Your Child From the New Age & Spiritual Deception:
U2’s 2005 tour was aimed at joining all religions into a unified global spirituality. To emphasize the coming solidarity, the word “COEXIST” was featured on a giant screen. The capital “C” pointed to the Islamic crescent, the “X” symbolized the Jewish Star of David, and the “T” was a reminder of the Christian cross. Bono led massive crowds in a vibrant chant: “Jesus, Jew, Mohammed—It’s True!
Not everyone approved. Singer/songwriter Tara Leigh Cobble said, “He repeated the words like a mantra, and some people even began to repeat it with him. I suddenly wanted to crawl out of my skin. . . . Was Bono, my supposed brother in Christ, preaching some kind of universalism?”
“I felt like I was witnessing an antichrist,” said her friend.
In one song, “God’s Country,” Bono belts out the words, “I stand with the sons of Cain,” The Bible tells us that Cain “was of that wicked one, and slew his brother” (1 John 3:12), not exactly someone who a Christian would want to be found standing in agreement with.
Kjos later says:
Are Christian leaders speaking up and warning others about Bono? No, on the contrary, reveals one Christian journalist:
“One of the leaders being promoted today by those purporting to be officiating the way for our young people—to include Bill Hybels, Brian McLaren, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell—is ‘Christian’ Rock star Bono of U2, whom many emergents view as their ‘prophet’ and the main icon of their movement. In Bono’s rendition of Psalm 23, he alters the entire thrust and message of this beautiful psalm to something that sounds nothing less than blasphemous. For example . . . he alters the wording to say ‘I have cursed thy rod and staff. They no longer comfort me.’” [This rendition of Psalm 23 is documented in The Submerging Church DVD.]
And in the summer of 2005, Rick Warren attended the Live 8 Concert with Bono where he was made the official pastor at the event. Rick Warren did not issue a warning at the event about Bono, leaving the impression on thousands of young people’s minds that Bono is OK. (from chapter 17, HPC)
Bono Helps Gay’s Win The Day
Bill Muehlenberg of Culture Watch is one Christian who isn’t standing up for Bono. And he isn’t concerned about issuing a warning either. Muehlenberg came out swinging after Bono threw his support to Bible torturing radical gay activists who were out to legalize same-sex “marriage” in Ireland. Homosexuals were ecstatic to have a rock star behind them in their effort to legalize same-sex “marriage.” Pink News reported:
Irish singer Bono, speaking ahead of the band’s latest world tour, said “Marriage is an idea that transcends religion.”
Bono, who is from a mixed Anglican and Catholic family, told the Irish Times:
“[Marriage] is owned by the people. They can decide. It is not a religious institution.
“As far as I know, Jesus wasn’t a married man and neither are most priests talking about it. It is not a religious idea.
“In my mind, commitment is one of the most impossibly great human traits. It is a hard thing to hold on to, and anything that brings that together is a totally wonderful thing.”
Gay-affirming Bono does not understand the implications of tossing aside God’s plan for marriage—one man one woman for life—so that men can marry men.
Muehlenberg had these harsh words for U2’s front man:
Another clear-cut acid test of Christian commitment has to do with the issue of homosexuality. If you get someone trying to tell you that homosexual marriage is just peachy and Jesus would be fully supportive of it, then you know you’ve got a religious fraud on your hands, and you should give him a very wide berth.
One so-called believer who has worried me greatly for years has in my eyes nailed his coffin completely by his recent support of sodomite marriage. Bono and U2 are going utterly brain-dead in supporting the Irish vote on homosexual marriage.
So if you think Bono is some sort of great Christian, you better think again. This comes from the U2 website:
On Friday Ireland votes in an historic referendum on legalizing same-sex marriage. Here’s what the band say: #voteYes.
“Commitment, love and devotion are some of the most impossibly great human traits. Trying to co-opt the word marriage is like trying to make love or devotion gender- or religion-specific. And that has to stop. Marriage is human-specific: a human commitment, one that transcends religion, transcends politics. It should be encouraged wherever, whenever and between whomever that love, that devotion and that commitment exists. #voteYES”
This has got to be one of the most idiotic things I have read in a long time. We expect atheists and militant homosexual activists to come up with sheer baloney like this, but someone who calls himself a Christian? This man is a fool, in the biblical sense of the word. (Source)
The bottom line is this: A person cannot profess a belief in Jesus Christ and live like the devil. Like so many so-called Christians, Bono takes Christianity cafeteria style – he picks and chooses what pleases him and avoids what doesn’t.
Christianity is serious business, brethren. Jesus requires much of His sheep. “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
Do you love Him?
“Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Do you get your guidance from the Bible?
Bono does but only when it suits his purpose.
The Homosexual Agenda—Berean Research
Does the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge—Marsha West
U2’s Bono, Unorthodox Superman—Elliott Nesch
What is the goal of the NAR
loons leaders? To transform society into the kingdom of God on earth.
John Burton has written a piece entitled “Ancient and Emerging: 5 Major Changes Coming to the Church.” Before you get all excited, or maybe even concerned over those changes, you should know a bit more about Burton. As it turns out he’s a “prophet in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) movement. According to his blog, John Burton, he “has been developing and leading ministries for over 20 years and is a sought out teacher, prophetic messenger and revivalist. Burton has authored ten books, has appeared on Christian television and radio and directed one of the primary internships at the International House of Prayer (IHOP) in Kansas City.”
That Burton was associated with IHOP-KC could only mean that he has served under IHOP’s Pied Piper Mike Bickle. I spent quite a bit of time researching Bickle for a piece I wrote and discovered his strong ties to the NAR or what some refer to as Dominionism. Also identified was his involvement with the Kansas City Prophets (KCP). According toPastor Ken Silva, the KCP:
brought grandiose claims that a ‘new breed’ of super prophets were beginning to arrive on planet earth who would change the world forever. These so-called prophets were a group of men that coalesced around a church known as the Kansas City Fellowship, pastored by Mike Bickle, that attracted a following of other likeminded churches in that region. (More on the KCP here)
It gets worse. Mike Bickle believes that God speaks to him in an audible voice. But here’s the kicker. He has visited heaven – twice. On one visit he told false teacher Bob Jones:
I stood in this room and it had…clouds, it was a room only maybe 20 by 20 or 30. It was a little room. It had clouds in the bottom, on the top and the walls…I stood there, I was at the Lord’s left hand, and I stood there, this was not a dream, this was as real as life here…I know it wasn’t a dream or a vision… (There’s more to the story here)
I included Bickle’s background and a snippet of the tall tale he spun on his alleged visit to heaven to highlight the fact that he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
So here’s my question: why is John Burton proud of his association with a false prophet who’s the main man at IHOP-KC? IHOP –KC is viewed by many mainstream scholars as a cult because it is a “false, unorthodox, extremist” sect of Christianity (dictionary.com).
On his blog Burton calls himself a “prophetic messenger and revivalist.” Revival? What revival? There’s no sign of any sort of “revival” in America or any place else (except an occult revival), so the “revival” the so-called prophet refers to is……where?
Before I get to the 5 major changes “Prophet” John B predicts, those of you who are unfamiliar with the nuts and bolts of the NAR should know what we’re dealing with. Over the years it has had many handles such as Kingdom Now; Latter Rain; Joel’s Army; Manifest Sons of God – they keep changing the name as if this will allow them to keep their heretical teachings hidden.
What is the goal of the NAR
loons leaders? To transform society into the kingdom of God on earth.
How do they hope to accomplish this lofty goal? By taking control of various aspects of society. (Here’s the plan)
Apologetics Index describes it as a:
Leading figures in this seemingly loosely organized movement claim that these prophets and apostles alone have the power and authority to execute God’s plans and purposes on earth. They believe they are laying the foundation for a global church, governed by them.
They place a greater emphasis on dreams, visions and extra-biblical revelation than they do on the Bible, claiming that their revealed teachings and reported experiences (e.g. trips to heaven, face-to-face conversations with Jesus, visits by angels) can not be proven by the ‘old’ Scripture. (emphasis added )
So, keeping John Burton’s background in mind—especially the part about his affiliation with IHOP-KC– here’s what this so-called prophetic messenger revealed about the future:
I call this the ancient and emerging church. Ancient because it’s rooted in scripture; emerging because the biblical structure has been largely forsaken. What will this ancient and emerging church look like? Here’s just a small peek into a grand shift in the structure of the church:
1. Services will become more like prayer meetings. One of the greatest indictments on the church today is that prayer is not the driving force. Today, people tend to choose churches based on the appeal of the teaching and the worship instead of the fervency of prayer. If the church was a house of teaching, or a house of worship, that would make sense, but it’s not. The church is a house of prayer for all nations. Every person in the church will function as a burning intercessor and the services will be marked by this unified groan of fiery prayer.
2. Personal need will give way to personal mission. Today, churches are often more like organic, socially driven hospitals. People tend to use the church as a way to meet their personal needs instead of serving it as a minister of God. This is going to change. Of course, there will still be personal ministry and true needs will be addressed.
However, instead of the church functioning as a hospital, it will once again function as a mission-driven military. The mission will take precedence. The saints will be equipped for service, not for personal survival. In this ancient and emerging model, their will be MASH units that will take very good care of the wounded with the primary purpose of getting the soldier back into battle. Apostles will again lead with governmental authority and pastors will be seen as the main leader less and less as they focus more on shepherding and less on primary leadership.
3. Teaching will be minimized while instruction is emphasized. Teaching is mostly for personal edification while instruction is mostly for corporate assignments. Today, most churches focus on teaching principles of scripture, providing truths that will help Believers navigate through their lives and giving nuggets of biblical info. While there will still be important Bible teaching, apostolic instruction will emerge as a necessary new ministry.
There is enough Bible teaching online, on CDs, in books and on video to turn every one of us into personal spiritual giants. We need to take it upon ourselves to grow. What is lacking, however, is apostolic leaders, military commanders who give instruction and assignments to a ready army. Teaching is personal growth-based while instruction is a call to corporate action for the sake of mission fulfillment.
An example of apostolic instruction is this: The apostolic leader gives a corporate assignment for everybody in the church to fast for a week and then show up together to prayer walk through the city streets. It’s a corporate call to action versus biblical study. It’s mission focused versus personal growth focused. Personal growth will be largely our responsibility between services so we can be ready to respond to the corporate instruction where we will receive our assignments.
4. We will gather together most days of the week. The 24/7 church will again emerge as the church drives culture instead of reacting to culture. Cares of life will lose their power as we simplify our lives and put corporate prayer and mission ahead of most everything else.
This may be the most challenging change for Christians. Today, Sundays are the days to set aside for corporate worship while we give precedence to our ‘normal lives.’ In The Coming Church, the very reason we live will be to pray on fire together every day, receive apostolic assignments and then move out into our lives as kingdom ambassadors. It wouldn’t be surprising if a tithe of our time is what became the standard. Two to three hours a day, whether it’s in the morning, afternoon or evening, or even in the late night hours, will be given by every believer to praying on site together with others, ministering and giving ourselves to intercession-fueled kingdom ministry. Of course, much of what we have been giving ourselves to will have to be eliminated so we have the time necessary to devote.
5. Worship will be supernaturally driven. There is a new sound coming to worship, and it’s not simply a new style. There is a supernatural, otherworldly groan of intercessory worship that will explode out of the entire body as a new breed of trembling worship leaders lead the way into the shock and awe of the glory of God. We will no longer simply sit in a pew or stand with a raised hand while a familiar worship song is sung.
The prophetic, groaning sounds of Holy Spirit facilitated worship will make it normal to shake and fall to our faces as we cry Holy! The natural, logical sing-a-longs will be no more. We will have a hard time standing as God’s Shekinah and Kabod glory resides in his church. Worship teams will practice less and pray in the Spirit with tears in their eyes more.
Of course, this is an extremely limited glance into the many, many changes that are coming. I wanted to share this to provoke you to preparation. There is much that you and I enjoy in the church, or that is comfortable to us, that we will have to let go. Again, the coming church will be troubling and shocking, but it will result in the power and life that we have been crying out for.
God is about to answer that cry.
This is…..nauseating. My head is spinning. Seems the Church is in for some BIG changes, at least according to “Prophet” John B. Notice that the changes he purports would empower a few and turn the rest of us into mere puppets. Sound familiar? The message he’s sending is that we mustn’t hold to God’s sacred Word as our final authority. No. We must abide in what those who are supposedly hearing from God tell us. I mean, really? Coming from someone with his decidedly unbiblical theology it’s pretty easy to figure out where this rubbish came from.
Hint: The Evil One
We are not to fear evil, brethren. We are not to back away from it. We are not to cower in the corner. We are commanded to:
Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Standtherefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel… Ephesians 6:10-19 (emphasis added)
I’ll close with this admonition: Stand against the schemes of the devil!
Dominionism and the Rise of Western Imperialism by Sarah Leslie
Dominionist are on the move…and they mean business by Marsha West
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 “…in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Colossians 2:9
John 1:10 tells us that everything seen and unseen was created ex nihilo by the spoken Word of the Son of God, which means that Jesus Christ was active and present long before His incarnation, therefore eternally co-existent with the Father. (1) Jesus Christ is therefore God just as the Father and Holy Spirit are God, thus the Word of the Old Testament’s creation account is Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the Word. His Word is Truth even as He Himself is Truth, the same today as yesterday and for always. Thus Jesus Christ does not change and as He is the starting point for the reasoning of the faithful, then Christians must reject the neutrality principle and doubt, its’ ugly twin, the long unchallenged principles in evolutionary modernism’s longstanding war against the Word of God—the Book of Genesis in particular—in all its parts… historical, prophetical, geographical, linguistic, and doctrinal. (2)
When Paul affirms in the Lord that his Gentile readers should no longer live as Gentile pagans do in the futility of their darkened minds (Ephesians 4: 17-24), he speaks to all pagans from antiquity to our own age (i.e., neo-pagan modernists) who reject the pure knowledge of the Holy Trinity and vainly think of themselves as “enlightened” when in reality they are “en-darkened.” Their ignorance is not a lack of education, and some of them are brilliant in their own way, but such brilliance is wasted on vain imaginings and wisdom of this world which will not get them to heaven, thus utterly foolish and futile, especially when combined with hardness of heart toward the truth of the gospel in Christ (Matt. 13:14-15; John 12:40; Acts 28: 26; Rom. 11:8)
“En-darkened” modernists claim scientific neutrality as a general operating assumption. Two applications of modernist thought evidence this: evolution (anti-creation account/relentless change/relativism), an inverted exegesis that deconstructs and reduces man in the spiritual image of the Trinity to evolved ape, and deconstructionism (destructive criticism/critical theory). Along with evolution, deconstructionism is a form of relativism or nihilism that for more than eighty years has been spilling into and contaminating our moral and culture sustaining institutions from seminaries and Biblical scholarship to academia, law, media, arts, and politics, thence our minds, individually and collectively. (2)
The origin of the neutrality principle is the Garden of Eden. Its’ father is the Evil One who tempted Eve to approach the question of eating from the forbidden tree in a neutral, unbiased fashion. He slyly suggested that she adopt a neutral position in order to decide who was right, God or the snake. Like modernists of our own age Eve doubted and therefore rejected God’s Word as authoritative and conclusive. As a true neutralist she determined for herself which choice to take. (Gen. 3:4-6)
Todays’ Christian Church and Western culture have for so long been saturated with evolutionary modernist claims of scientific neutrality paired with intellectual and moral autonomy that the ungodly neutrality principle which forbids the existence of immutable Truth and moral absolutes has been thoroughly ingrained in us. It is so constant and we are so accustomed to it that even within the church we fail to discern it.
Neutrality Principle, Deconstructionism & the Historical-Critical Method
For evolutionary modernists of both pagan and pantheist persuasion to choose to not believe the Word of God on an individual level is one thing. But in the past few hundred years the world has been witnessing a strange yet consistent phenomenon: institutionalized Biblical deconstructionism issuing in a concerted drive,
“…on an institutional level to rubbish the Scriptures altogether. It is nothing new of course. It’s just the scale of the enterprise which takes the breath away. And it’s not just international. It’s global.” (The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, Bill Cooper, p. 7)
The first Biblical deconstructionists—the ancient “fathers” of today’s Biblical deconstructionists—were various Gnostic pagans in the first centuries of the Christian era.
The methodology employed by the early Gnostic pagan Marcion for example, was to masquerade as a scholar concerned only for truth while really getting rid of everything he was offended by, especially the entire Old Testament which he deconstructed by reducing in its entirety to an unhistorical myth. In a nutshell, this is the same method employed by modern Biblical deconstructionists.
Fourth-century Fathers such as John Chrysostom, Basil the Great and Ephraim the Syrian, all of whom wrote commentaries on Genesis, specifically warned against treating Genesis as an unhistorical myth or allegory. John Chrysostom strongly warned against paying heed to Gnostic heretics,
“…let us stop up our hearing against them, and let us believe the Divine Scripture, and following what is written in it, let us strive to preserve in our souls sound dogmas.” (Genesis, Creation, and Early Man, Fr. Seraphim Rose, p. 31)
As St. Cyril of Alexandria wrote, higher theological, spiritual meaning is founded upon humble, simple faith in the literal and historic elements of Genesis as Revealed by God and one cannot apprehend rightly the Scriptures without believing in the historical reality of the events and people they describe. (ibid, Seraphim Rose, p. 40)
Today it is commonplace for resuscitated Gnostic deconstructionism, otherwise known as the historical-critical method of Biblical scholarship, to be regarded as scientific, thus enlightened, neutral and objective. Recent decades however, have witnessed a much needed rising awareness that the historical-critical method serves particular ends thus always arrives at certain conclusions. In the meticulously researched work of intellectual history, “Politicizing the Bible,” Scott Hahn and Benjamin Wiker greatly add to this awareness by bringing to light the appropriation, deconstruction and paganization of scripture by politically motivated interpreters.
Shining a powerful light of truth on the techniques taken for granted at divinity schools worldwide, Hahn and Wiker trace the origins of the modern historical-critical method deep into the Middle Ages and the Renaissance “showing the deliberate Erastian project of subjecting the Bible and with it the Christian faith to the power of the State.” (4)
Through painstaking research Hahn and Wiker clearly demonstrate that the historical-critical method is grounded in the philosophy of Averroes, the writings of Machiavelli and Marsilio of Padua among others, together with the political projects of Henry VIII, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke, and the quest for an empire of science on the part of Descartes and Spinoza.
The authors argue that nothing can be rightly understood about the historical-critical method and the politicization of Scripture if close attention is not paid to the great cosmological shift that occurred in the seventeenth century. What the shift yielded was both a secular (anti-supernatural and wholly naturalistic or pagan) understanding of the universe, philosophy and scientific method and a secular-pagan understanding of man and politics:
“The two occur as part of one revolution because the shift in the meaning of nature includes human nature as well.” (p. 257)
With respect to the work of modern scriptural scholars, the great shift means that in order to comprehend the assumptions and methods of their own craft they have to understand the history of the philosophy and science grounded in the cosmological shift.
As a synopsis of the monumental philosophical and scientific shift and its’ abominable effects on modern biblical scholarship and Christianity, Hahn and Wiker offer the following example from the highly influential nineteenth century scriptural scholar David Friedrich Strauss. Strauss is almost invariably the first of the modern critiques studied in the typical survey course taken by students of Scripture in graduate school. The key introductory chapter of Strauss’s “Life of Jesus Christ Critically Examined” is entitled “Development of the Mythical Point of View.” In it Strauss declares,
“…matter-of-factly that an ‘account is not historical,’ and hence ‘the matter related could not have taken place in the manner described,’ wherein ‘the narration is irreconcilable with the known and universal laws which govern the course of events. Now according to these laws, agreeing with all just philosophical conceptions and all credible experience, the absolute cause never disturbs the chain of secondary causes by single arbitrary actions of interposition.” (pp. 257-258)
In other words, miracles (i.e., creation ex nihilo, Christ’s Resurrection) cannot happen. For Strauss, the exegetical assumption that miracles are fictions is based on naturalistic philosophical-scientific assumptions.
Underlying Strauss’s assumptions is an entirely naturalistic (secular-pagan), self-generating machine-like cosmos, a mathematical-mechanical view of the evolving universe, an idol of defiant, rebellious mans’ mind in continual antagonism to the supernatural Judeo-Christian cosmology.
It was Descartes, Hobbes, and Spinoza who redefined nature so that it was ontologically mathematical and mechanical, thereby paving the way for the universe to be entirely law-governed, self-contained (closed to the supernatural), self-sustaining, mechanical and evolutionary. This view necessitated that the active, living, creating, and redeeming Holy God of Old and New Testament be redefined as a deistic god that created matter, mechanical mechanisms and formative evolutionary processes that over time allows things to make themselves, or a divine evolutionary force (pantheism) within nature, or be simply rejected by the more radical of the radical Enlightenment. (pp. 272-273 &544)
In the “new pagan” god-man centered cosmology, the gap between the Mind of God and the mind of man, and the supernatural and natural were closed. Thereafter, the exalted mind of the god-man and the content of the mathematical-mechanical universe defined what method was appropriate to its illumination:
“If the universe is fundamentally mathematical and mechanical, then of course the method of illumination must be mathematical and mechanical. ” (p. 545)
In the god- man centered universe, the redefined God’s wisdom does not exceed man’s wisdom. This being so, Unitarianism, liberal Protestant theology, Roman Catholic Teilhardism, evolutionary theism, Hugh Ross’s vastly popular progressive creationism, and all other forms of evolutionary Christianity as well as New Age pantheism are the products of the exalted wisdom of god-men who adopted a man-centered universe entirely in accord with their own capacities.
The approach to the Word of God followed suit, meaning that an evolutionary modernist understanding completely defines the ‘new’ approach to the interpretative deconstruction of the Bible:
“Since miracles had been excised from nature, they had to be removed from the text. Since nature was entirely defined by mathematics, knowledge of mathematical-mechanical laws displaced prophecy, and so prophecy had to be removed from the text. In fact, since there was, with pantheism, assumed to be an identity of the logos of nature with the Logos of God, scientists who studied the logos of nature provided the highest revelation possible, thereby demoting the revelation contained in the Bible as at best puerile. All that was left, so it seemed, was the moral message of the text, and the focus on the Bible as merely moral reinforced its politicization.” (p. 544)
All that is left is a desacralized book of moral messages for evolutionary modernist Christian theologians and intellectuals such as columnist Ross Douthat, leading Richard Dawkins to ridicule him for bracketing “Biblical fundamentalists” with atheists and accusing both of making the same mistake,
“…of thinking that the correct way to read the Bible is literally, as do Ken Ham or Al Mohler.” (Ross Douthat doesn’t understand atheism, Richard Dawkins, Oct. 5, 2011,whyevolutionistrue.com)
Douthat criticizes New Atheism said Dawkins, for thinking that we go after only the fundamentalist version of religion while “ignoring the sophisticated versions propounded by sophisticated theologians like John Haught and sophisticated intellectuals like himself” who see much of the Bible, particularly the Genesis account as metaphor. Douthat makes this clear in a New York Times article:
“It was a peculiar spectacle, to put it mildly: An atheist [Coyne] attacking a traditionalist believer [Shea] for not reading Genesis literally. On the merits, Coyne is of course quite correct that some of the details of the Genesis story seem to contradict what science and archaeology suggest about human origins. (For instance, the claim that Adam and Eve were formed from the dust of the ground and a human rib, respectively, not from millennia upon millennia of evolution, the suggestion that they lived in a garden near the Tigris and the Euphrates, not a hunter-gatherer community in Africa, and well, you get the idea.) But then again some of the details of the Genesis story seem to contradict one another as well, in ways that should inspire even a reader who knows nothing about the controversies surrounding evolution to suspect that what he’s reading isn’t intended as a literal and complete natural history of the human race.” (Why Atheists Need Fundamentalists, Douthat, Oct. 4, 2011, New York Times)
Dawkins zeros in on the contradictions in Douthats’ argument, pointing out that if Ken Ham, Dr. Albert Mohler, and other faithful believers, or ‘fundamentalists’ as Douthat labels them did not take the,
“…stories pretty literally, including the tales of Noah and the flood, the Genesis stories, the tale of Adam and Eve and their Original Sin, and, of course, the whole Jesus mythology (then)we’d have no creationism in America, and the story of Jesus would be a convenient fairy tale, like that of Santa Claus, rather than an object of universal veneration.” (ibid)
Exposing Douthats’ double-mindedness, Dawkins argues that while much of the Bible is dismissively relegated to the category of fanciful metaphor by Douthat,
“I’m sure that when he goes to Mass each week he recites the Nicene Creed, affirming his belief in these truths : ” Jesus is the son of God – God is the creator of heaven and earth – Jesus was the product of a virgin birth – The crucified Jesus was resurrected – Jesus will come again to judge us all – Our sins will be remitted through baptism – There’s an afterlife for the good folks.”
Dawkins then asks,
“Tell me, Mr. Douthat: are those allegories, too? When you mouth them in Church each week, are you saying what you really believe? If not, why do you call yourself a Catholic?” (ibid)
Douthats’ embarrassing peccadillo exemplifies that of increasing numbers of modernist theologians, intellectuals and Christians throughout the whole body of the church who waver between serving the Lord and serving Baal:
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.” 1 Kings 18:21
In 1 Thess. 2:13 the Apostle Paul summarizes and clarifies the issue at hand, which is whether the Revealed Word of God is received by the Christian Church as the word of “enlightened” men or “for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.”
“Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge?….Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.” Job 38: 2-4
Dear reader, who do you place your faith in? Is it in pride-inflated foolish modernists who with their scissors have cut apart the Bible and with their words without knowledge and vain pretensions set themselves up against the knowledge of our Lord? They are the blind leading the blind into hell. Or is it in the Lord Whose Word is Truth, even as He Himself is Truth, our Lord and Savior Who,
“….if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved?” Romans 10:9
1. The Wonder-Working God, Jared C. Wilson, p. 38
2. Pushing the Antithesis: The Apologetic Methodology of Greg L. Bahnsen
3. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis: A Study in Three Parts, Dr. Bill Cooper
4. quote from review by Prof. David Jeffrey, Baylor University, editor, The King James Bible and the World It Made; Politicizing the Bible, p. vi
For a number of years a woman I know, I’ll call her Rachel, has wrestled with giving her life to Christ. She admits she really wants to, but how can she when she’d have to serve a God who allows murderers into heaven and sends “good people” to hell? It would be awkward to have to explain to her husband, family and friends that they’re bound for hell if they reject Christ. In other words, Rachel won’t play by God’s rules because His rules make her uncomfortable. In her way of thinking the God of the Bible is too punitive for her sensibilities. And besides, what kind of God would allow a serial murderer into heaven who professed a belief in Christ only minutes before going to the gas chamber while at the same time condemn “good people” to hell for their unbelief?
Liberals like Rachel require a more palatable religion, one that’s all-inclusive and, of course, fair. They desire a warm fuzzy God. The liberal’s ideal God is a sort of jolly ol’ St. Nick figure. The liberal’s jolly ol’ god has a Naughty and Nice list but his heart is so big that he often overlooks naughty children’s indiscretions (even the ones who are unrepentant) and delivers the goods to them anyway. He’d be unloving if he didn’t bend a little.
Rachel has yet to place her faith in Christ because it’s unthinkable that God would send “good people” to hell. Her major stumbling block is that she’s acquainted with a number of “good people” who aren’t Christians — and are a whole lot nicer than some Christians she knows.
Rachel contends that a just God wouldn’t send nice folks to hell for all eternity simply because they reject Jesus Christ.
But the Bible says otherwise. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” ( John 14:6).
People like Rachel sincerely believe they could do a far better job of running the universe than the One who created it. Talk about chutzpah!
No human being has the wisdom to determine if a person is fundamentally good or evil for the simple reason that no one knows for certain what’s in a person’s heart! No one can ever truly know a person’s motives.
For those who hold to a relativistic worldview, good and evil, ethics and morality are simply cultural inventions and cannot be objectively defined. Liberals perceive the Bible as a book of myths and fables, thus it mustn’t be taken seriously. Those who do take the Bible seriously are considered “unenlighted” – a bunch of addlepated dunderheads.
Unbelievers carp that the Bible should not be the standard by which we judge good and bad. So my question is, if not the Bible, then what standard do we use to determine ethics and morality? And how should right and wrong be determined? By consensus opinion?
Another one of Rachel’s grievances against Christianity is that many so-called Christians behave the same as unbelievers. In other words, the lives of Christians she comes in contact with are inconsistent with what they profess to believe in. They claim Jesus Christ as their personal Savior, but they lie, cheat, steal, binge drink, sleep around, view pornography, plus they’re lazy. In other words, they act like Christians.
Rachel has a point.
Many people want Jesus to be their Savior — because they know they’re dirty rotten sinners. But they’re unwilling to humble themselves before the throne of God and put their complete trust in Him. Obedience comes at a cost (take up your cross and follow me) and the price is too high. They may believe in Jesus Christ, that He’s the Savior of the world and all. But their pride gets in the way of allowing Christ to take the helm of the ship. As poet William Earnest Henley noted:
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll:
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
In order to make my point, I created three typical Christians.
Michelle professes faith in Christ. She attends church every Sunday, sings in the praise band, mans the coffer bar, and attends an occasional Bible study. She rarely shares Christ with anyone, unless she’s forced into it, whereby she quickly spouts the condensed version of the gospel to avoid making the person feel uncomfortable. Her excuse is that evangelism is not her spiritual gift. Michelle believes God has gifted her with the ability to sing. Her voice rivals Judy Garland’s so she really belts out a song in church. But when it comes to sharing her faith she’s as timid as a mouse. She feels that as long as she’s in a committed relationship, having sexual relations is not sinful. Nor is aborting a child. Michelle became pregnant and had an abortion so as not to bring an unwanted child into the world. She also swears like a sailor and dresses like a Hollywood pop-tart.
Jeff accepted Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade when he was a teen. Ever since then he has tried to be a good person and lead a moral life. Unless his kids have a sports event, the family is in church most Sundays. He and his wife participate in a small group that meets in their home for Bible study and prayer. Jeff is generous with his time, talent and treasure. He tithes 10 percent of his income and is always there to lend a hand. One thing Jeff enjoys is getting together with the guys for Monday night football at a local sports bar. He limits his beer intake to two schooners because any more than that could impair his driving. Jeff believes he has the spiritual gift of evangelism and often brags about sharing his faith with dudes he meets at sports events or bars. When Jeff does his income tax he uses “creative accounting practices.” On occasion he views pornography on the Internet and thinks it’s no big deal. Unbeknownst to his wife he regularly emails a woman he met in a chat room.
Michelle and Jeff profess Christ. They both consider themselves good people and for the most part they try to live godly lives – but they’re quick to admit they’re not perfect! They reject the “fundamentalist fringe” of Christianity and the “fundies” constant harping on God’s holiness. God knows we all have our faults, so why does a pastor need to belabor the point? Michelle and Jeff do the best they can, and at least their hearts are in the right place. In the long run going to heaven is what really counts anyway, and since they accepted Christ (on their terms), they’re there! They may get through the pearly gates by the skin of their teeth, but at least they’ll be in!
Michelle and Jeff typify a lot of church-goers. All they need is enough of God to feel comfortable. Neither one of them want the fire and brimstone God the “fundies” preach about. That God is too harsh, too judgmental – way too scary! That God can be mean!
Wilber Reese sums up the attitude of a large number of contemporary Christians:
I would like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don’t want enough of him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant.
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb not a new birth.
I want about a pound of the eternal in a paper sack.
I’d like to buy 3 dollars worth of God, please.
Far too many Christians are looking for an ecstatic experience – they’re not looking to be transformed. Why? Because transformation involves change. Change takes work. It’s often slow and at times painful.
For transformation to occur believers must immerse themselves in the Bible. It’s the instrument God uses to conform His people to the image of Christ. And by the way, there is no such thing as a solitary Christian. No one should try to do Christianity on their own. Christians are a part of a body — the Body of Christ — with Christ as the head. Members of the church body are designed to function together as a whole. Moreover, they are meant to lean on each other when the going gets tough. Every believer should have a friend they can call at a moments notice. This friend can assist with good advice and hold them accountable.
It’s not uncommon for the Christian to “crawl off the alter” and slink back into the world every once in a while. Some believers can’t seem to shed what Paul calls our “flesh” because it’s like slipping one’s feet into a favorite pair of shoes. But God will deliver us “out of the body of death.” (Romans 7:24-25)
Listen to what Paul has to say about transformation:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12: 1-2).
If you’re a Christian, you must present yourself “holy and acceptable to God!” Offering your life to Christ, holy and pleasing, is a prerequisite for discernment. If this were happening, discernment wouldn’t be almost non-existent in the visible Church. Sadly, professing Christians are dependent on the government for their education, health care, food, shelter, retirement, and all sorts of other “stuff.” And it doesn’t help that God’s people are involved in a whole host of unbiblical practices, including Eastern mysticism, which God expressly forbids. I’ve already covered this topic in “Got Meat?” so I won’t belabor the point.
Returning to Rachel, it hasn’t been lost on her that most professing Christians she knows share her liberal worldview. And they behave like heathens! This means (a) they’re unaware of God’s rules; (b) they’re aware of what the rules are but lack the will to conform. A religion that breeds hypocrites turns Rachel off. For that reason she has chosen to concoct a user-friendly religion with an open-minded god that has very few rules, a god that loves and accepts everyone. Before I move on, it’s important to point out that Christians who have no desire to live their lives in accordance with what the Bible teaches could very well be false converts.
Rachel’s generic god does not require an atoning sacrifice for our sins. I mean, please. The atonement thing is so yesterday! “Self” has replaced the Savior of mankind. In other words, “I” will go to heaven, but “I” will make it on “my” own, without anyone’s help, because “I” deserve it. So move over Jesus!
Generic god is very cool. In fact, he/she is so cool that there’s no penalty for sin! Man is judged solely on his good deeds….or whatever. Rachel assumes her performance on Earth will pass muster and that generic god will welcome her into his/her kingdom when the time comes. But what happens if Rachel’s performance doesn’t pass muster? Wishy-washy Generic God can always be persuaded to change his/her mind.
Rachel is well aware that the God of the Bible offers no hope for those who reject His Son:
Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ (Matthew 7:23).
What did Jesus mean by, “the will of my Father?” God’s will is that we repent of our sins and put our faith in Christ. Performing miraculous signs and wonders, doing good deeds, and being a “good person” does not cut it with God. Here’s the reason:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
I’ll close this with one last comment about Michelle, one of the women mentioned above. If you recall, Michelle claims she doesn’t have the gift of evangelism, so she’s off the hook when it comes to sharing the gospel. Really?
Not according to Paul:
I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith” (Romans 1:14-17). (emphasis added)
Does the Bible really say we’re not to judge? By Marsha West
A culture of counterfeit Christians By Marsha West
Book: The Holiness of God By R.C. Sproul
Book: Know What You Believe: A Practical Discussion of the Fundamentals of the Christian Faith By Paul E. Little
On a recent trip to Germany I took a day off to visit Sigmaringen, on the upper Danube some 20 miles north of Lake Constance. This town of ten thousand with a massive castle towering over it – or, more precisely, this castle with a town attached – interested me as the site of a little known, eight-month long melodrama at the end of Second World War.
It was here that Marshal Philippe Pétain, Chef de l’État Français, and several hundred Vichy government officials and prominent German sympathizers and collaborators of different hues, were brought by the Wehrmacht on 8 September 1944, as the Allies advanced across France. The leaders were installed in the castle, other ranks in the town below. They were followed by their wives, hangers-on, and mistresses. By the end of September a veritable French enclave was in place, some two thousand strong, which survived until the long-dreaded arrival of de Gaulle’s First French Army on 24 April 1945.
The initial impression is operetic: pure Leharian pastiche, an unreal world in which France’s prominent collabos are but a parody of their former selves. There is also a more sinister image, however: Sigmaringen as a trap, an open prison in which the principals go on with their performance, but at the same time watch helplessly as the end of the show – and for many the end of their lives – is approaching steadily, relentlessly.
This town and those bizarre eight months are erased from France’s collective memory. They belong to the past which many older Frenchmen would rather forget, while the young neither know that past nor care for it. “Fench Sigmaringen” is relegated to the margins of memory. The Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen family are back home. The castle’s magnificent halls and about a tenth of its 300 rooms are open to guided tours, but there are no Petainist mementos of any kind. A richly appointed color book about the castle disposes of the French episode matter-of-factly in a single sentence.
That episode started on the night of 17-18 August 1944, when the Germans evacuated Vichy. The first stop was Belfort, in French Alsace, but after only two weeks the Allies’ rapid advance made the move to Germany necessary. The 88-year-old “Lion of Verdun,” Marshal Pétain, did not want to go. He claimed he’d rather stay on France’s soil and defend his record, come what may; but the Germans decided otherwise. From that moment he declared that he regarded himself as a German prisoner, and cut off all formal contacts with German officials. He communicated with the outside world through Dr. Bernard Ménétrel, his personal physician and confidant, the widely detested “Cerberus of the Seventh Floor.”
Sigmaringen was a far cry from the summer of 1940, when Pétain offered France “the gift of his person” in the aftermath of the military collapse of the French army – and the political and moral collapse of the Third Republic. The old soldier embarked on a “national revolution,” a belated attempt to purge the defeated country not only of its party-political intrigues, leftist radicalism, masonry and corruption, but also – more ambitiously – of the legacy of 1789 and the subsequent “anti-France” (in the memorable phrase of Charles Maurras). He became part-monrach, part-father of the nation. His image was everywhere. Maréchal, nous voilà! became the de facto anthem of the French State (no longer la République). Liberté, égalité, fraternité were replaced by the distinctly anti-Jacobin sloganTravail, Famille, Patrie. Marianne was gone, replaced (informally) by the saintly image of the Maid of Orleans. The countryside was celebrated as the source of national strength, and the Catholic Church was brought back into public life. The ancient Francisca became the official coat of arms.
Pétain’s problem was that the proponents of outright collaboration with Germany had no time for such romantic pursuits. They accused Pétain of attentisme which could deny France her rightful place in the New European Order. They were divided into two camps: the more moderate collaborateurs – embodied in the opportunistic figure of Pierre Laval, who was appointed prime minister in early 1942 – and an array of fanatical collaborationistes, based in Paris, who wanted a clean break with Pétain’s “reactionary paternalism” and an outright alliance with Hitler. With the Wehrmacht occupying France’szone libre in November 1942 they became more powerful. The Germans – ever mistrustful of the French – were nevertheless careful to keep all three groups evenly balanced in an elaborate cadrille, conducted by the Reich’s ambassador in Paris (and self-avowed Francophile) Leo Abetz.
The members of these three factions, Pétainists, collaborateurs and collaborationistes, hated each others’ guts. Suddenly, at Sigmaringen, they found themselves sharing the same quarters and facing a similar, unpleasant future. The maréchal, occupying the palatial seventh floor of the castle, would pretend not to see Laval (the sixth floor occupant) if he passed him in the courtyard on the way to his car which was taking him out of town, every day after lunch, for walks in the countryside.
Those walks were elaborate affairs. Alone among the exiles Pétain had a Citroen and a driver, but he was not allowed far from town. Followed by his Gestapo detail in two black Opels, he would stop 5-6 miles outside Sigmaringen and start a brisk walk through the woods accompanied by one of his military orderlies. The Germans would follow at a respectful distance. After an hour and a half he’d be back, in time to return to the castle for the afternoon radio news.
Laval, “L’Auvergnat,” suddenly forced into inactivity, busied himself preparing his defense for the trial in Paris which he knew awaited him sooner or later. The former Socialist practiced speeches to the imaginary jury in front of his wife Jeanne and a young private secretary. (All his documents and notes were taken away when he was eventually arrested, as he repeatedly complained at the trial.) He had created too many enemies during his long political career, and especially during the 28 months as prime minister at Vichy. Hardly anyone talked to him.
On the third floor are the quarters of the Government Commission, the five-member cabinet in exile formally known as the Commission gouvernementale française pour la défense des intérêts nationaux. It can do little and does even less, but its members are jealous of their theoretical turfs and prerogatives. Like in earlier years back home they continue to denounce their political and personal enemies to the Germans, less to score some points, more out of pure spite.
The Commission’s chairman, the devious Marquis de Brinon, succeeds in having Dr. Ménétrel arrested by the Gestapo in November 1944 on the false accusation of contact with the Allied intelligence services. (Ménétrel survived the war, but was promptly arrested on his return to France in May 1945.) Brinon cracks jokes about Pétain, refers to him as “notre poster girl” (in English). “France is a country of disasters and lunches,” he quips one day after a less than satisfactory meal ofKartofels. “There are no more lunches now, only the disasters remain…”
Joseph Darnand, an ultracollabo, is the Commission’s Secretary of Interior Affairs (“except there’s no interior and no affairs,” Brinon comments). Decorated World War I hero, far right activist in the 1930’s (Action Française, then Croix-de-feu, and a Cagoulard to boot), and an SS Sturmbannführer, in 1942 he founded the volunteer Service d’ordre légionnaire (SOL). It became the dreaded Milice française– directly subordinated to him – in January 1943. He has brought some 10,000 faithful Milice members to the barracks in nearby Ulm, and plans to use them for a last stand. “Brave but obtuse,” according to Brinon.
Marcel Déat, the “minister of labor,” is for some reason the only member of the Commission with the rank of ministre. A Great War veteran and officer of the Légion d’honneur, a socialist until 1933 and a far right activist thereafter, he founded the pro-Nazi Rassemblement national populaire (RNP) in occupied Paris in 1941, and the French Legion of Volunteers (Légion des volontaires français, LVF) a year later. In 1944 it was incorporated into the French SS division Charlemagne.
Journalist Jean Luchaire, commissar for propaganda and information, is more polished than these two gentlemen but ideologically close to them. He starts a local radio station (somewhat ironically called Ici la France!), and a daily newspaper, predictably called La France, which was published until April 1945.
Freiherr Cécil von Renthe-Fink, Ribbentrop‘s envoy to Vichy, was also there, with little to do. The Ambassador is no longer welcome at Pétain’s table. M-me Laval, an open Germanophobe, does not allow him to the sixth floor either. He nevertheless soldiers on, busying himself with the procurement of provisions for the enclave amidst the looming collapse of the Reich.
In the town below there are several well known names from the world of French arts and letters. Actor Robert Le Vigan, openly homosexual and a drug addict, is the chief announcer for Ici la France. Poet Abel Bonnard, with similar proclivities (hence his nickname, “la Gestapette”) and the only member of the Academie to be expelled from its ranks, is a famous wit. On the account of frequent moves, he calls the Germans “notre agence Thomas Cook.” Laval is for him l’Auvergnat de Danube, Pétain “our dethroned monarch.”
Famous writer and virulent antisemite Louis-Ferdinand Céline is also there. After the war he wrote a hallucinatory novel about Sigmaringen, Castle to Castle (D’un château l’autre). Céline’s Sigmaringen is a dramatic stage and a paranoid anteroom for De Gaulle’s épuration légale trials which are already under way. The atmosphere of quiet desperation was briefly interrupted by a week of hope at Christmas 1944, during the initial stage of the German offensive in the Ardennes. Only Pétain maintains calm dignity in his self-imposed isolation, eating well and sleeping soundly. For Céline, Sigmaringen was the perfect backdrop for a romantic German tragedy or a Wagnerian musical drama, with a touch of Hollywood.
Commission officials and their wives eat together in the sumptuous dining hall. The fare is mediocre, even though they have menus based on four ration cards each. The atmosphere is morbid. In the evening they gather at the salon des dammes, not because they cherish each other’s company (quite the contrary) but because it is warm. Their cavernous rooms are not. Déat obsessively plays the lexicon, a version of scrabble, for hours on end. Darnand smokes his pipe in silence and reads papers. The ladies play cards. In the evening they listen to Radio Paris, and the news is grim. On 9 November they learn that journalist and Pétain’s biographer Georges Suarez was executed. On 6 February it was the turn of Robert Brasillach, whose last, sarcastic words were “Long live France, anyway!” (Vive la France, quand meme!) They had no command responsibility and no official functions. If they were shot on the account of their writing, the denizens of the castle could expect no mercy.
And so their lives went on, for eight long months, until a few days before the arrival of de Gaulle’s First Army on 24 April 1945. Only Pétain returns to France voluntarily, where a trial and a death sentence await him, commuted to life in view of his extreme old age and Great War record. Céline, his wife and cat manage to reach Denmark, where he lays low for some years after the war. No such luck for Brinon, who fails to get a Swiss visa and ends up before a firing squad in 1947. Laval managed to reach Spain on the very last German plane out, but Franco – pressured by de Gaulle – sends him back for a quick, brutal trial and execution on 7 October 1945. Darnand is captured in northern Italy in June, tried, and executed three days after Laval. Luchaire is recognized quite by accident in Innsbruck on 18 May 1945 by a French officer who had been a Gestapo agent in Paris until July 1944. “Haven’t you been shot?” asks Luchaire. “No, but you will be!” is the answer. Of the leading castle denizens only Déat and Bonnard, both sentenced to death in absentia, evade the firing squad. The former lived under an assumed name in Italy, the latter under his own in Spain.
Schloss Sigmaringen, like the Alcazar of Toledo, is one of those places which have a physical presence and a metaphysical quality. The French enclave of Sigmaringen was no longer life, not yet death. As such it is an apt metaphor for all of us, here, today.
During the Oscars last Sunday night, winner Patricia Arquette, Boyhood, admonished America to work for women’s equal pay. J.K. Simmons, Whiplash, invited Americans to phone their parents and thank them. Michael Keaton, Birdman, told the audience how thankful he felt for his life and his son.
All of the winners and losers spoke eloquently about their fortunes and misfortunes in the American film making business. Ironically, legendary Clint Eastwood’s epic film, American Sniper, out-grossed all the other top Oscar winning films combined. The academy ignored his movie.
The movie, Selma, produced by Oprah Winfrey, didn’t fare very well. If you remember, back in the era of Dr. Martin Luther King, African-Americans marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama to force this nation toward voter rights and Black rights in the American pantheon.
Since that time, America evolved to see African-Americans like Colin Powell become Secretary of State; Clarence Thomas and Thurgood Marshall served on the Supreme Court; Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State; Barack Obama became president and much more as US Senators, governors, mayors and House of Representatives feature African-Americans from every walk of life.
African-Americans dominate the NBA, NFL and major television shows such as “Scandal” and “How to get away with murder.” American Blacks head up Fortune 500 companies.
With all of their success, a black dance group pranced on the stage at the Oscars with a highly racially charged routine depicting their struggles against White America. At one point, they all raised their hands, shouting, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” They referred to 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri who lost his life after he robbed a convenience store and charged a police officer.
Six African-American witnesses testified that Brown wrestled the police officer for his gun in the police squad car and they testified that Brown charged the police officer with intent to overpower him. Riots and carnage resulted in burning down a good portion of the city while Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson charged racism and ruthless police tactics.
In reality, Michael Brown showed up in several videos where he viciously beat an old man senseless and his crime sheet showed a budding criminal who would reach jail or death, whichever came first.
Somehow, major Black leaders lay the blame on White America for all of Black America’s problems. Even Barack Obama said that Trayvon Martin, a budding criminal in his own right, could be Obama’s son.
Black Americans omit or ignore numerous aspects of Black crime, poverty, illiteracy and prison sentences.
First of all, the latest statistics show that 6,000 Black on Black killings occur annually in the USA via strangling, guns, knifes and beatings. No Black leaders whisper a word about how to solve such horrible numbers. They don’t condemn their own actions, but they always condemn Whites.
Second, 73 percent of African-American children arrive out of wedlock and into welfare with a single mother annually. None of the Black community that screams at the Brown and Garner killings, breathes a word about the irresponsible actions of Black teen girls and their boyfriends. They live on welfare provided by the American taxpayer. Is it any wonder that the African-American family devolves into fatherless families, rogue children, violence, illiteracy, shoplifting and cyclical dependency on taxpayers?
Third, figures show that Black American teens quit high school by 50 to 60 percent in our major cities. Millions of African-Americans guarantee their poverty, homelessness, joblessness and fatherless families. They choose their conditions.
Fourth, millions of Black Americans fill our prisons in a response to their choices to deal, consume and transport drugs. Each African-American chooses prison when they choose to break the law.
Fifth, a whopping 48 million Americans failed themselves as to education, personal responsibility and personal accountability as they subsist on food stamps provided by American taxpayers. Millions of Blacks stand in the ranks of those who gain EBT cards (Electronic Benefits Transfers) for food stamps and free housing.
Each person, Black or White, suffering lack of an education and making poor choices, brings a personal tragedy into the fabric of American life. Our inner city projects like Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Atlanta, Houston, Denver and Los Angeles—bear witness that we must change our national priorities.
Instead of massive financial disasters of 13-year wars created and maintained by bankers and the Military Industrial Complex, we need to fund national educational systems that work for our youth. We need all male and all female schools with dress codes to take the sexual intrigues out of the classrooms. We need to teach parents how to parent their children by mandatory classes before marriage. We need to pay teachers and mentors ample money to create discipline and respect for education.
We need to stop endless and massive legal immigration, that injects 1.2 million people annually, who take jobs from our working poor. We need to reduce all immigration to less than 100,000 annually instead of the current 100,000 every 30 days. We must elect Congressional leaders who garrison troops on our Mexican border to stop in excess of 500,000 illegal aliens jumping our borders and into our workforce annually. If not, we cannot and will not solve mass unemployment of Black America. The past five presidents and Congresses did nothing to help Black or White Americans as to jobs. In fact, Congress forces our poorest into more poverty by mass immigration.
We need Black national leaders to lead, guide and inspire African-American youth to participate in the American Way of Life. Whether Black America likes its past or not, it now must deal with living in a highly educated, highly industrialized 21st century country.
We need all the angry Al Sharpton’s, all Black entertainers, all sports heroes and political leaders to stand in front of Black audiences and thank their lucky stars for living in America. If Black Americans lived in the unending violence of Africa for a few months, examples—mass murderer Boko Haram, Somalia, Sudan, Congo, millions dying of AIDS, etc., they would change their mantra of “Hands up! Don’t Shoot!” to “How lucky I am! Praise the Lord!”
Have Black Americans wondered why all those millions of starving African immigrants clamor to come to America? They die by the millions in Africa from starvation, AIDS, cholera, Malaria, genocide wars and worse.
If we hope to maintain a viable civilization, we all need to buckle down to education, jobs, lawful communities and civil participation. If not, we all face Ferguson, Missouri’s in our own towns across the nation, especially in our cities where the cauldrons boil with contempt for law and order. You heard the marches, “Kill cops now!”
Once our nation loses its respect for law and order, we all face what occurs in Africa, the Middle East, Mexico and Paris, France daily. It’s not going to be pretty for anyone.
This month, former Mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani said, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that that President Obama loves America,” said Giuliani at a New York dinner. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”
As a red-blooded American who loves my country, I second Giuliani’s assessment of Barack Hussein Obama. We do not know Obama. We question his origins, his fraudulent Social Security number, his forged-backdated Selective Service number, his hidden college records, his foreign beneficiaries as to money for Columbia and Harvard, his mediocre grades that led to those top colleges accepting him, and his whereabouts during his formative years. He spent millions of dollars to seal his high school records, his college records, his passport and more. No one steps forth to talk about any high school or college classrooms he shared with them. He’s a ghost on the American landscape, but he’s in charge of leading our country.
We know that he wrote a book, Audacity of Hope, where on page 261, he said, “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
That single statement illustrates his deepest Islamic religious cognitive choices that violate every single aspect of the American Way of Life and our Constitution. His Koran’s ultimate prime directive seeks to destroy free thought, freethinking, free choice of religion, free choice of governance and women’s rights. In other words, according to his quoted words, he loves the holy call of the music of Islam over the Stars and Stripes, our Pledge of Allegiance and our national anthem.
His father(s), whether it was Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. or Frank Marshal Davis, whom he resembles without question or his stepfather, LoLo Soetoro, all devoted themselves to Islam, proving itself to be the most violent-barbaric religion on the planet.
Lolo Soetoro lawfully adopted and changed Obama’s name to Barry Soetoro as an official Indonesian citizen. When Obama applied for scholarships to Columbia University, he used his Indonesian citizenship to gain scholarships. That single fact alone makes Obama ineligible to serve as an American president.
Nobody knows the reality of Obama’s childhood because every single legal record remains locked up in sealed records. At some point, history will uncover the mystery of Barack Obama. It won’t be pretty.
In the meantime, in six years, he subverted the American worker by not enforcing our immigration laws at the border or internally by arresting employees of illegal aliens. He knowingly assisted and continues to assist illegal aliens jumping our borders and already working within our country in violation of our laws.
He broke our U.S. Constitution numerous times ending lately in overstepping his Constitutional authority by granting a counterfeit amnesty for 20 million illegal aliens.
He continually lied to the American public via the Benghazi cover-up where he personally failed to act, which led to four Americans being killed by Muslims. Ironically, Obama hired eight Muslims in his immediate circle to help him with Islamic prime directives to dismantle America’s dominate religious base: Christianity. Obama remains intent on turning our country into an Islamic refugee holding pen—that sooner or later will erupt in major violence, much like in Europe.
In fact, Obama scoffs at Christians when he defends Muslims for their barbaric violence, which manifested in Paris, France in January and this month of a Jordanian pilot being burned to death in a cage with cameras rolling.
And yet, Barack Hussein Obama chastises our country in favor of the violence of Islam: “Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.” Fact: Europeans fought the Muslims in the Crusades. Fact: Muslim women remain slaves in their own countries with no rights.
He covered-up, along with his U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the “Fast and Furious” gun trafficking at our borders that killed more of our border patrol officers. The cover-up continues as of this date.
While in office, he understood that African-Americans suffer job losses and depressed wages at the hands of endless legal and illegal immigration—yet does nothing to solve the problem. A mind numbing 1 in 4 Black American males cannot secure a job. A stunning 73 percent of African-American “out of wedlock” children face life with a single mother living on welfare, which equates to complete disintegration of Black American families. Instead of taking action favoring our suffering African-American millions living in poverty, Obama plays more golf and takes more vacations than any other president. He follows the Black Caucus in Congress that plays a similar game of doing nothing for Black constituents across America.
While in office, Obama watched food stamp recipients jump from 36 million in 2008 to 48 million in February, 2015. In other words, he hasn’t and won’t do anything to bring jobs to those Americans, but he will engage illegal acts against our Constitution in favor of 20 million illegal aliens and their employers.
Obama never served in our U.S. military. He doesn’t know a platoon from a company. He never worked a job in his life, thus doesn’t know what American workers must endure.
Whatever Obama loves, it’s not America or Americans. His words, his “Islamic gang sign” that he features prominently in his trips around the world shows that he loathes America and Americans. I for one, as a red-blooded American, would like to see Barack Hussein Obama brought up on charges of failure to defend our country, our way of life and our citizens. I would like to see him tried, convicted and impeached.
Centralization is dehumanizing the world! As the frightening specter of global governance looms like a dark cloud over the scant freedom our world has enjoyed the status of the individual and his options are under siege.
Recent decades have seen giant corporations gobble each other up reducing competition and eroding the diversity consumers formerly enjoyed. Decision makers are remote from the public making any kind of complaint extremely difficult. Retail business no longer considers the individual important. Their markets are vast and their concern is for segments.
Ten massive corporations now control the world food supply: Nestle, Pepsico, General Mills, Kelloggs, Associated British Foods, Mondelez (Formerly Kraft Foods), Mars, Danone, Unilever, and Coca Cola. See the Chart here. http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/10-Corporations-Control-What-We-Eat.png
The concentration of power is frightening. Over 80 percent of Beef is controlled by four companies http://www.hcn.org/issues/43.5/cattlemen-struggle-against-giant-meatpackers-and-economic-squeezes/the-big-four-meatpackers-1 , four companies control over 60 percent of the Pork market, and chicken producers are similarly concentrated. Half of seed production is owned by four companies and Monsanto with over 85 percent has a lock on corn and soybeans. Read more here. http://www.chaionline.org/en/compassion/reality/reality_food_controls.htm
Trade Agreements have opened world food markets allowing producers to ship food around the world. The volume is so large and the types so diverse that proper inspection is almost impossible.
Bramble men of the new world order are not concerned with people. Their interest is in a Babelian Tower of power. As this power structure is being formed they control people with propaganda that includes lies, distortions, false flag attacks, sexual deviations, and ubiquitous competitive sports.
New enemies and new terrors are constantly being invented and as these new bogeymen are trotted out new incursions on individual freedoms are astride.
We are regaled with the idea that the world has shrunk and that world government is a necessity to control the world’s corporate behemoths. Transportation and communications have become faster and more efficient but the world’s nations are still distant from each other. World trade and world government has been planned and is being imposed on the world over the heads of the people.
The Bramble men are remote and mysterious. Like the tiny airplanes that spray unknown substances in our skies they are so far above the results of their decisions that they are never confronted.
When the traditional family is designated as the primary form of government wide spread tyranny is impossible. The preservation of freedom is a simple matter: De-centralize power by vesting it in fathers as heads of families and require obedience to God’s Law. Close all of the Socialistic government agencies rescind the volumes of federal law and begin anew. The solution is simple but it requires the hand of God in the affairs of men.
We need to produce powerful resistance to business mergers and buyouts with particular emphasis on the giant corporations. Multinational corporations that own numerous independent companies should be required to return them to independent status and future mergers and buyouts should be contested. De-centralization is a bitter enemy to tyranny.
Government power must be returned to states and towns with federal responsibilities restricted to the defense of the nation. International meddling should be stopped and our Founders recommendation to avoid such involvement obeyed.
Libertarians have produced some excellent rhetoric but they have failed to unite under a workable plan. Criticizing the progress of the Babelian state is only useful for educational purposes; it does nothing to stop its progress.
Decisions that affect local communities should be adjudicated by the heads of individual families. This is the ultimate de-centralization. Voting should be restricted to fathers. We must take back our cities and towns.
The family is now in shambles with arrogant humanists showcasing their inability to conduct their lives in a rational manner by supporting the cognitive dissonance of multi-culturalism, abortion and homosexual marriage. When anarchy is allowed to reign in our most brilliant minds insanity quickly overtakes the nation.
The Libertarian call for strictly limited government and maximum freedom is on target but libertarians have too much faith in human intellect and lack the righteous, immutable yardstick that sustains a free society. If the distorted intellects of human beings are the source of a new legal structure tyranny will again progress. God and His Law must be paramount. Men will always resort to tyrannical policies if left to their own devices.
The long standing premise that humanity must be ruled by an elite group of superior individuals is a fallacy that contains a molecule of truth. Humanity cannot rule itself. Democracy is a failed form of government. However, failed as it is, it cannot be corrected by imposing the will of gentry that is no better at ruling than the mob they intend to rule. Man was not created to govern himself and the ONLY way to enjoy maximum freedom is to live under the merciful rule of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
John Lennon’s song “Power to the People” is truer than its author realized. Power must be returned to the people but only when the people are restrained by the perfect commandments of the One True God; those that are not are as dangerous as our current tormentors
The Bramble men hate Christianity because Christianity encodes freedom for the individual. Their objective is control while God’s objective is individual freedom. Christianity de-centralizes while despots centralize. This is the core of the battle.
The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is unchanging. He did not alter His intentions when He sent His Son to die for the sins of His chosen people. He is a merciful God whose intention was to save His people in spite of their disobedience. When His mercy was rejected the original covenant was broken and a new covenant was made with Christians. Henceforth the ONLY path to God is through His son, our Savior, Jesus.
Christians, God’s saved and chosen people, are now vested with a responsibility to obey God’s Law and work to bring His creation under His dominion by obedience. When we point to sin we must provide God’s remedy. Sin is disobedience. The remedy is always obedience to His commandments.
Humans cannot create freedom on their own. Man’s proclivity to sin distorts his ability to find righteousness and truth. His redemption is in the Word of God which contains a description of the actions that will turn away His judgment and bring His blessing.
Work against centralization. Support de-centralization
Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon, author and host of a successful TV show, has involved himself in some, um, questionable cures for what ails you. According to a Fox News report, a recent study showed that “Half of Dr. Oz’s health advice is bad.” Die-hard Oz fans will more than likely ignore the study results and continue tuning into his TV show for advice from him and the panel of doctors that appear regularly, even knowing that Oz and the other doctors often recommend products straight out of Quacksville.
Our idols would never steer us wrong, would they? I mean, Oz wouldn’t allow his fans to purchase remedies that have little basis in fact or that many in the scientific community agree are bogus. Test the “cures” and you will find that, in some cases, what they recommended is on par with the sort of thing you’ll find in a witches brew – bat wings, spider legs and crow bones.
From the Fox News report:
The researchers found that about half of the suggestions offered by these shows either contradicted what other scientific studies had found or had no verifiable evidence at all to stand behind them, and that potential conflicts of interest were seldom mentioned.
The study looked at 40 random episodes from each show—instead of simply, as Belluz points out, “cherrypicking the worst offenders”—to get the fairest assessment. In general, each episode offered up about a dozen health recommendations, so the researchers were able to cull 479 health tidbits from Dr.
Oz’s show and 445 from The Doctors. Most of the shows’ suggestions involved dispensing general medical advice, followed by non-weight-loss dietary tips; the Doctors professionals tended to repeat the mantra of seeking out a health care provider.
But while the benefits of many of the claims were talked about in a general way, specific benefits and magnitude of those benefits, possible drawbacks, and costs were virtually ignored, the study found.
The researchers’ conclusion? “Consumers should be skeptical,” and we should ask ourselves “whether we should expect medical talk shows to provide more than entertainment.” (Dr. Oz’s “magic bean” recently lost the study that supported it.) (Fox News’ link. Emphasis added.)
This is not the first time I’ve reported on Dr. Oz. In early 2011, I wrote a piece to alert the Church that SBC pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren had elicited the help of three doctors to write a plan (Warren is all about plans) to promote health and fitness for his church located in Lake Forest CA. What struck me was that all three doctors hold New Age/New Thought beliefs. Moreover, the trio is involved in what some deem questionable medical practices. One of the docs Warren asked to help with his endeavor to lose much needed weight and start his journey to better health was Dr. Mehmet Oz. The end result was The Daniel Plan.
I noted back in 2011 in my piece titled “Rick Warren Introduces the ‘Devil Plan’” that:
Oprah Winfrey’s “favorite doctor” is a Muslim and has been influenced by the mysticism of Sufi Muslims. Moreover, he is keen on the ideas of cultist mystic Emanuel Swedenborg:
“As I came into contact with Swedenborg’s many writing I began to understand Swedenborg’s profound insights and how they applied directly to my life.”
Swedenborg believed he could pass between the life to come and the present. What is more he claimed he had conversations with spirits of the dearly departed as well as angelic beings:
“[T]he spirit world was comprised of a number of concentric spheres, each with its own density and inhabitants. There is no such thing as hell or eternal punishment. Those spirits who find themselves in a hellish place after death can evolve toward a higher spiritual plane.
“In spite of it being granted to him ‘to be constantly and uninterruptedly in company with spirits and angels,’ Swedenborg did issue a caution in regard to receiving counsel from just any spirit that might manifest with an alleged personal message. “When spirits begin to speak,” he wrote in Miscellaneous Theological Works (1996), “care should be taken not to believe them, for nearly everything they say is made up by them.…They love to feign. Whatever be the topic spoken of, they think they know it, and if man listens and believes, they insist, and in various ways deceive and seduce.” (Source)
Dr. Oz is a practitioner of Transcendental Meditation:
“When I meditate, I go to that place where truth lives. I can see what reality really is, and it is so much easier to form good relationships then.”
Do a Google search on Dr. Oz and you’ll find posts from people complaining that he’s irresponsible because he promotes things which have no scientific evidence to support them. Until something is proven, doctors should not promote it as it could endanger lives. One example of an unscientific practice he promotes is Reiki, which New Agers believe to be a “guided Universal Life Force Energy.” Dr. Oz’s wife is a Reiki Master. “Reiki,” he said, “is my favorite treatment that could change the future of medicine forever.” He also pontificated:
“I think [Reiki] may be ultimately the most important alternative medicine treatment of all. And we are embarking on this whole new vista of opportunities, it broadens dramatically the spectrum of where we might be able to go in our bodies, and this is the area of energy medicine.”(Source)
It is rather curious that Rick Warren would team up with a man whose fame he owes in part to New Age High Priestess Oprah Winfrey. Dr. Oz’s worldview more closely aligns to New Age Spirituality than to historic orthodox Christianity. (Source)
It is unlikely that those who are not Christians will recognize the danger in some of the beliefs held by Dr. Oz. However, the serious Christian should find his fondness for the world of the occult deeply troubling. Even though Paul makes it perfectly clear in 2 Corinthians 6:1 that believers must not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers, Pastor Warren wasn’t the least bit concerned about partnering with a Sufi Muslim. Without question Muslims reject the God of the Bible, thus they’re unbelievers. Yet he chose Dr. Oz and two other doctors, both of whom are steeped in Eastern mysticism, to collaborate on a “biblical” health and fitness plan. Sadly, because of Warren’s foolhardiness many undiscerning Christians think there’s no problem purchasing the products and participating in the pagan practices pushed on the public by the three mystics.
In November 2014, adoring fans learned that their beloved Mehmet admitted to a congressional committee that the “Magic” diet bean that he promoted had no scientific backing. The reason he gave for defrauding the public? “[H]e’s in the business of hope “to get folks to … rethink their future…” (Source)
People, especially evangelicals, need to rethink taking any sort of advice from this man. Likewise, folks should rethink taking advice from popular pastors who stray from preaching the true gospel of Christ from their pulpits and instead put all their energy into clever plans to make their congregations feel better, look better, and “be all that you can be.”
Is it God’s will for His people to live “Your Best Life Now”? A growing number of professing Christians like to think so. But nothing could be further from the truth. Anyone who takes time to read/study the Bible will quickly learn that God’s will for His people, as long as He allows us to remain here on Earth, is to…… suffer. (Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:15-19; Acts 14:22) This could mean mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. (Corinthians 4:8) But, “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) And by the way, Christians are not meant to be alone in our suffering. The Lord’s intention is for the church to provide a safe harbor for those who are suffering, a place where we can go and have our needs met, where we can find comfort, peace and rest for our souls.
I’ll close with one of many warnings the Apostle Paul passed on to the early Church, a warning that the man who has taken on the task of shepherding Saddleback Church’s sheep has failed to take seriously.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. (Ephesians 5:11)
Rick Warren and Dr. Oz on Fame and Fitness—video
Rick Warren Publically Called To Repentance For Statements About Uniting With Catholics—Amy Spreeman
The Low Information Evangelical Part 1 Part 2—By Marsha West
Cancerous Humanistic Law…
The confusion that comes from attempting to manage a nation (or the world) without the immutable justice that is provided by God’s Law is plainly apparent in the United States of America!
Dishonesty, fraud, and immoral self-concern are rampant throughout our society. Politicians are elected by making promises they know they cannot keep and a conniving and unreliable press and media purposely misinform the public.
Private property is no longer safe from unscrupulous policemen and avaricious politicians. During a ten year span in the late Twentieth Century federal, state, and local governments seized the property of over 200,000 Americans. A stub from a marijuana cigarette left or planted in an automobile can warrant seizure of the vehicle. Land occupied and owned by private citizens can be expropriated without recourse. Children can be taken from their parents when nude pictures of a new baby are deemed pornographic.
Private homes, cars, boats, and cash are all vulnerable to the zealous hand of the state. One legislator maintained that 80 percent of the victims of property seizure under the drug laws have never committed any crime.
The litany of government murder and mayhem is depressing to review and the complete lack of proper oversight is astounding. Government officials and local police can invade property; destroy possessions; beat up, falsely charge, and arrest the obviously innocent; illegally invade privacy; lie; cheat; falsify evidence, and physically injure and murder American citizens without reprimand or accountability.
Serious problems begin with police demands that innocent citizens comply with their orders when no crime has been committed. The doctrine that suspicion allows forceful action has given authorities absolute power over those they are hired to serve. Absolute power vested in human beings is always misused.
In 1644 Samuel Rutherford published a book entitled “Rex Lex, The Law is King”. This sentiment was echoed by the Founders of the United States. When the law is king there is freedom, when the king is law there is tyranny. If the government of a nation is bound by law the people can enjoy freedom; when the citizens of a nation are bound by law and the government’s decisions are arbitrary, the citizens are tyrannized. This condition is more and more prevalent in the United States where the government ignores the law but imposes thousands of incomprehensible laws on citizens.
One wonders what kind of race relations we would have between Black and White citizens if the government has stayed out of the affairs of it subjects. Slaves were freed by government decree and integration was accomplished by government force. Technology would soon have made slavery untenable and freedom would have evolved at a slower and more orderly pace. Black progress would have come by Black achievement and not by government edict.
Ostensibly to protect us the State has inserted its power into society. Hundreds of professions now require government licenses: Barbers, dentists, teachers, plumbers, electricians, masseuses, interior decorators, tattoo artists, etc. etc. Recently I paid a thousand dollars to a dentist who worked about an hour drilling out a molar and capping it. I wonder what that manual procedure would have cost if the dental profession was free from licensing.
In 1988 the Rehnquist Supreme Court decided that checkpoint searches were legal since they were imposed equally on all drivers. This decision by the High Court essentially nullified the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and showcased the practice of allowing human opinion to encroach on the letter of the law. The United States of America, founded as a nation of laws, is now a nation where the king is the law. When the law is no longer king power replaces law and citizens are subjected to the arbitrary decisions of the power structure.
The following famous case, seldom recounted in detail, is a prime example.
In 1989 a White Supremacist named Randy Weaver was targeted by the BATF. He was the victim of the sting operation perpetrated by an undercover agent who urged and intentionally sold him two illegal sawed off shotguns. The BATF then changed the date of his trial so that he did not appear resulting in a warrant for his arrest. Weaver and his family lived in a remote mountain area where he retreated from what appeared to be a government vendetta. His retreat was surrounded by BATF agents who began a lengthy surveillance of his home.
According to an article in the Washington Post, “The marshals called in military aerial reconnaissance and had photos studied by the Defense Mapping Agency.” They installed long range spy cameras, they read all of his mail, and even found the exact dates of his daughter’s menstrual cycle planning an arrest using that information.
In 1992 agents trespassed on Weavers property with machine guns. When fourteen year old son, Sammy, heard their dogs barking he grabbed his rifle and went with a friend, Kevin Harris, to see what was happening. The marshals shot and killed one of the dogs infuriating Sammy who fired a shot in their direction. Randy Weaver yelled at his son to come back. When Sammy turned he was shot in the back and killed. Kevin Harris then aimed his rifle, shot and killed one of the marshals.
The death of a marshal infuriated the Government and an FBI hostage rescue team was dispatched with orders to shoot to kill any armed person seen outside the home. Several hundred agents were dispatched to the area. Weaver had put Sammy’s body in a shed outside the house and when he went to pay his last respects he was shot and wounded. As he struggled back to the house his wife, Vicki, carrying a ten month old baby in her arms held the door. A sniper shot her in the face killing her instantly.
In eleven more days Weaver surrendered. He and Kevin Harris were charged with the murder of a U. S. Marshal. The government tried to prove that Weaver had conspired to have an armed conflict with the government and that Harris had fired first. As the trial went on the government case fell apart and the FBI was found to have fabricated evidence.
Weaver was found not guilty but was convicted of not appearing for the 1991 trial and violating his release conditions. He could have gotten a fifteen year sentence but the judge decided he had suffered enough and released him on time served.
In subsequent suits sizeable sums of money were paid to both Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris in out of court settlements.
Gerry Spence, Weaver’s famous and very capable lawyer said after the trial that someone must answer for these needless deaths. No one has. Lon Horiuchi, the shooter went free and the government agencies circled the wagons. FBI director Louis Freeh promoted one of the lead agents, Larry Potts, to the Bureau’s number-two position.
It is doubtful that justice would have resulted from this trial had it been held in another venue.
The power structure set up to enforce a just administration of the law is stained with a military-like elitism. Their esprit de corps allows rampant violations of law and justice without interior oversight.
In 1993, at Waco, Texas the government did it again when the FBI and local authorities brought an overwhelming military type siege against a religious cult known as the Branch Dividians burning nearly a hundred men, women and children to death in a fire that they were responsible for setting. Read about this siege here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_siege
Following the genocide at Waco a high ranking official explained: “These people had thumbed their nose at law enforcement”. It is this assumption by federal and local police that causes minor incidents to escalate into mayhem and death. Only tyrants require innocent citizens to obey whimsical police commands. Police personnel who expect conformance to unnecessary orders create resentment and hamper their usefulness. When they expect obedience to commands that are not legal they become unable to get obedience to those that are.
As we have forsaken law we have embraced confusion. While our jails are full and overflowing with more inmates per capita than any other nation, our law enforcement is busy running sting operations to incarcerate more law abiding citizens by turning them into criminals. Policepersons sit under computer screens finding anyone who downloads child pornography – they don’t arrest the people who produce and put it on the net, only those who view it!
The BATF has undercover agents who attempt to lure unsuspecting citizens into purchasing illegal firearms. Drug enforcers arrest peaceful users subjecting them to long mandatory prison sentences. Local police departments dress female officers in provocative outfits and send them out on the street to tempt citizens with cheap sex, arresting them when they succumb. With our jails overflowing it is time they stopped this madness.
Have you considered that when you vote for a Congressperson or Senate person or even a local state representative you are voting to vest another person with the right to write and pass additional law when we already have more laws than a citizen can know and understand? Isn’t that insanity?
Yes, gentle reader, we need to stop all this humanistic legal cancer, return to God’s simple mandates and enforce them without prejudice. Did I hear someone say that God’s Law was for ancient Israel and no longer applies to modern society? I wonder, my friend, if you believe that the Triune God of the Bible has changed? Do you not know that He is the same today, yesterday and always and that His immutable standard is applicable throughout the ages?
Freedom is impossible when law is the product of the capricious minds of human beings and can logically be disobeyed by those whose opinion differs. Freedom requires the absolute standards of the One True God.
Much of the information in this article came from James Bovard’s excellent book “Lost Rights”. Bovard’s book, published in 1994, is an outstanding rendition of the thousands of injustices perpetrated by an unjust and tyrannical government. The travesties are so numerous and so blatant that reading about such utter depravity is shocking and depressing; it helps to put the book aside and take it up later with a fresh spirit.
You Are The Slave…
Recently I received a book about the history of Islam. It is written in inviting prose and covers in detail the saga that unfolded through history from the time of the birth of Ishmael and Isaac. On the cover is the bust of a soldier armed with a rifle on a background tinted in blood red. The Tile of the book is “The Blood of the Moon” written by Dr. George Grant and published in 1991. It is a great read. I recommend it.
Grant contends that Islam is a religion that cannot be stamped out by the sole use of military force. Nevertheless he seems to support both Israel and the United States military. The book provides a clarion call for resistance to an Islamic plan to use brutalities to bring the world under their control.
I have just finished reading through several of R. J. Rushdoony’s books for the second time. . His writing platform has King Jesus enthroned and active in the affairs of the world. Rushdoony provides superb explanations of the implications of a thorough, literal interpretation of Scripture. He maintains that righteous government requires righteous citizens.
Good books written by capable thinkers invariably avoid the obvious existence of conspiracies. We have progressed from the empires of Rome and France where large portions of the world fell under tyranny to quests for new world orders that hope to extend hegemony over the entire earth. Like the airplanes that spray chemicals in our skies the public and most good commentators ignore reality, preferring instead to live in the comfortable but dangerous world of fantasy.
Chalcedon Foundation has published another collection of Dr. Rushdoony’s musings entitled “Our Threatened Freedom”. It is a collection of radio spots recorded in the early 1980s. As with all of Reverend Rushdoony’s commentaries they are incisive and pertinent. They cement the necessity of freedom in creating a prosperous society and pinpoint the insanity of allowing humanism to gain control. Over and over again Rushdoony documents the irrational chaos created by overzealous humanistic government. The book produces extensive evidence that the checks and balances incorporated into our Constitution are not working.
Unfortunately, Rushdoony does not entertain the premise that irrational chaos is being purposely created throughout the world because chaotic societies are easier to dominate. There is no mention of the yearly Bilderberg meetings (See Here) where the wealthy and powerful meet to discuss and implement their collective agenda. There is no mention of Zionism, which is a conspiracy, or the International bankers who control currencies, a power which is tantamount to control of the food supply. David Rockefeller’s long time promotion of world government now confirmed in his book “Memoirs” is not cited.
There is an element of irony in the fact that theologically sound Christian teaching maintains that the Triune God created the world and even in these rebellious and barbaric times is in firm control of current events. This fact allays the fears and striving of those that oppose the power seekers. God controls the world and will always do so in spite of the evil efforts of those He created.
Coincidentally, Presidential candidates are often invited to the Bilderberg meetings prior to running for office.
Princeton’s Martin Gilens and Northwestern’s Benjamin I. Page have published a study that concludes “–ordinary citizens have virtually no influence over what their government does in the United States. And economic elites and interest groups, especially those representing business, have a substantial degree of influence. Government policy-making over the last few decades reflects the preferences of those groups — of economic elites and of organized interests.” Read here and here.
Conspiracies are ignored because “conspiracy theorists” are widely considered a bit whacky. The word “conspiracy” has been demonized to prevent the expression of truth.
The plotters have made great progress in the past several decades World government wonks have become leaders in most Western nations and as the United States military does the bidding of the Zionists, hegemonic progress is occurring in the Muslim world.
Influential neocon Max Boot lobbies for perpetual war seeking the destruction of all enemies of Israel using the United States military. It has been going on for a long time. Boot is supported by scores of wealthy, influential neocons in powerful positions throughout the nation; he also has the media and a horde of wild eyed Evangelical Christians that make his current position almost impregnable. We are a giant puppet being controlled by a midget puppeteer creating an anomaly that is regularly ignored by prominent American authors. Read here and here
Jacob Hornberger (Future of Freedom Foundation) describes the current condition of our nation: “Is the situation here at home bad? We both know it is. Invasions, occupations, torture, indefinite detention, embargoes, sanctions, foreign aid, empire, militarized police, drug raids, asset forfeiture, infringements on civil liberties, IRS, income taxation, Federal Reserve, fiat money, welfare, minimum-wage laws, and economic regulations. The welfare-warfare state is destroying our freedom, morality, prosperity, and independence. We need to smash this immoral and destructive apparatus out of existence!”
Hornberger is on target with his description and the need to “smash this immoral and destructive apparatus out of existence”. However, he fails to identify exactly how it is to be smashed!
There are some cracks beginning to appear in one conspiracy that could bode for future confrontation. Publisher, Editor and writer, Tal Brooke, has used his SPC (Spiritual Counterfeits Project) Journal to bring some light to our current dilemma. In the latest issue 38.1 and 38.2 he has authored an incisive piece entitled “The Messiah of a Divided People”. In a paragraph describing the ancient Elders of the Sanhedrin he describes their dissatisfaction with a Messiah “who went like a lamb to the slaughter” preferring one that would defeat the Romans, install Zion as the world ruler and appoint them as rulers of the world
He writes, “This was, and remains, their aim and expectation. They would be the world’s five star generals and judges, Jerusalem would be the center of the World Court. And they could tell Caesar to roll over like a dog. They could walk into the city of Rome and take anything they wanted. They could occupy the palace, they could execute judgment on the multitudes of the treacherous. The world would finally be theirs as they believed Isaiah had promised them. And these Elders would rule the entire earth from Zion. This remains the goal.” (Emphasis mine.) . (For copies of the SPC Journal call 510-540-0300)
The same issue of the SPC Journal contains articles by Jewish Christian writers Steven Wohlberg and Steven Sizer. Confrontation is not about hatred but about justice, peace, truth and righteousness for all people.
Talmudic Zionists realize at least two goal by supporting perpetual war: They destroy the United States of America, a supposedly Christian nation (a religion they overtly hate), and at the same time contribute to the safety and power of neo-Israel. Christianity seeks to bring the Creation under the dominion of the Triune God by peaceful means; Talmudic Zionists by stealth; and Islam by siege.
What will happen when these various power structures conflict? Will the bankers dominate; the Zionists, the international Bilderbergers, Islam, or the business tycoons? Will the Christian Triune God allow His world to be controlled by evil forces as punishment to rebellious Christians? Or will Christians repent and allow the sword of the Spirit to Challenge the enemies of Christ? Time will tell.
Wake up America. It is not our elected officials who are setting policy for our nation. Instead, it is the money barons, the Zionists, the Bilderbergers, and the international business tycoons. That is at least a partial reason why elected officials do not keep their pre-electoral promises. Obedience to the enabling masters is mandatory and retribution for disobedience is severe – note the fate of Presidents Reagan and Kennedy.
President Nixon set the stage for China to decimate the U. S. economy; President Carter gave away the Panama Canal; the Patriot Act was written long before 9/11, and Obamacare was constructed before his election. The agenda is set in place before the presidents are elected and the people are expected to blame the puppet president rather than the invisible power centers that are actually setting policy. The system is working.
It is time for American voters to understand that the candidates for President of the United States are pre-selected and only those obedient candidates are allowed to gain the office. Voting is a sham to placate the populace.
Overt slavery has been eradicated in most of the Western World but the often denied sinfulness of men has put the entire world under a threat of becoming a massive slave plantation.
“Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday [August 27], sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory. The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week.”
None of the photos accompanying this New York Times story online showed any of these Russian troops or armored vehicles.
“The Obama administration,” the story continued, “has asserted over the past week that the Russians had moved artillery, air-defense systems and armor to help the separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk. ‘These incursions indicate a Russian-directed counteroffensive is likely underway’, Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said. At the department’s daily briefing in Washington, Ms. Psaki also criticized what she called the Russian government’s ‘unwillingness to tell the truth’ that its military had sent soldiers as deep as 30 miles inside Ukraine territory.”
Thirty miles inside Ukraine territory and not a single satellite photo, not a camera anywhere around, not even a one-minute video to show for it. “Ms. Psaki apparently [sic] was referring to videos of captured Russian soldiers, distributed by the Ukrainian government.” The Times apparently forgot to inform its readers where they could see these videos.
“The Russian aim, one Western official said, may possibly be to seize an outlet to the sea in the event that Russia tries to establish a separatist enclave in eastern Ukraine.”
This of course hasn’t taken place. So what happened to all these Russian soldiers 30 miles inside Ukraine? What happened to all the armored vehicles, weapons, and equipment?
“The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.”
Where are these photographs? And how will we know that these are Russian soldiers? And how will we know that the photos were taken in Ukraine? But most importantly, where are the fucking photographs?
Why am I so cynical? Because the Ukrainian and US governments have been feeding us these scare stories for eight months now, without clear visual or other evidence, often without even common sense. Here are a few of the many other examples, before and after the one above:
- The Wall Street Journal (March 28) reported: “Russian troops massing near Ukraine are actively concealing their positions and establishing supply lines that could be used in a prolonged deployment, ratcheting up concerns that Moscow is preparing for another [sic] major incursion and not conducting exercises as it claims, US officials said.”
- “The Ukrainian government charged that the Russian military was not only approaching but had actually crossed the border into rebel-held regions.” (Washington Post, November 7)
- “U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip M. Breedlove told reporters in Bulgaria that NATO had observed Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops enter Ukraine across a completely wide-open border with Russia in the previous two days.” (Washington Post, November 13)
- “Ukraine accuses Russia of sending more soldiers and weapons to help rebels prepare for a new offensive. The Kremlin has repeatedly denied aiding the separatists.” (Reuters, November 16)
Since the February US-backed coup in Ukraine, the State Department has made one accusation after another about Russian military actions in Eastern Ukraine without presenting any kind of satellite imagery or other visual or documentary evidence; or they present something that’s very unclear and wholly inconclusive, such as unmarked vehicles, or unsourced reports, or citing “social media”; what we’re left with is often no more than just an accusation. The Ukrainian government has matched them.
On top of all this we should keep in mind that if Moscow decided to invade Ukraine they’d certainly provide air cover for their ground forces. There has been no mention of air cover.
This is all reminiscent of the numerous stories in the past three years of “Syrian planes bombing defenseless citizens”. Have you ever seen a photo or video of a Syrian government plane dropping bombs? Or of the bombs exploding? When the source of the story is mentioned, it’s almost invariably the rebels who are fighting against the Syrian government. Then there’s the “chemical weapon” attacks by the same evil Assad government. When a photo or video has accompanied the story I’ve never once seen grieving loved ones or media present; not one person can be seen wearing a gas mask. Is it only children killed or suffering? No rebels?
And then there’s the July 17 shootdown of Malaysia Flight MH17, over eastern Ukraine, taking 298 lives, which Washington would love to pin on Russia or the pro-Russian rebels. The US government – and therefore the US media, the EU, and NATO – want us all to believe it was the rebels and/or Russia behind it. The world is still waiting for any evidence. Or even a motivation. Anything at all. President Obama is not waiting. In a talk on November 15 in Australia, he spoke of “opposing Russia’s aggression against Ukraine – which is a threat to the world, as we saw in the appalling shoot-down of MH17”. Based on my reading, I’d guess that it was the Ukranian government behind the shootdown, mistaking it for Putin’s plane that reportedly was in the area.
Can it be said with certainty that all the above accusations were lies? No, but the burden of proof is on the accusers, and the world is still waiting. The accusers would like to create the impression that there are two sides to each question without actually having to supply one of them.
The United States punishing Cuba
For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We haven’t heard that for a very long time. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote in the United Nations General Assembly on the resolution which reads: “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”. This is how the vote has gone (not including abstentions):
|Year||Votes (Yes-No)||No Votes|
|1993||88-4||US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay|
|1995||117-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1996||138-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|1997||143-3||US, Israel, Uzbekistan|
|2000||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2001||167-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2002||173-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2003||179-3||US, Israel, Marshall Islands|
|2004||179-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2005||182-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2006||183-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2007||184-4||US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau|
|2008||185-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2009||187-3||US, Israel, Palau|
|2012||188-3||US, Israel, Palau|
This year Washington’s policy may be subject to even more criticism than usual due to the widespread recognition of Cuba’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Each fall the UN vote is a welcome reminder that the world has not completely lost its senses and that the American empire does not completely control the opinion of other governments.
Speaking before the General Assembly before last year’s vote, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez declared: “The economic damages accumulated after half a century as a result of the implementation of the blockade amount to $1.126 trillion.” He added that the blockade “has been further tightened under President Obama’s administration”, some 30 US and foreign entities being hit with $2.446 billion in fines due to their interaction with Cuba.
However, the American envoy, Ronald Godard, in an appeal to other countries to oppose the resolution, said:
The international community … cannot in good conscience ignore the ease and frequency with which the Cuban regime silences critics, disrupts peaceful assembly, impedes independent journalism and, despite positive reforms, continues to prevent some Cubans from leaving or returning to the island. The Cuban government continues its tactics of politically motivated detentions, harassment and police violence against Cuban citizens.
So there you have it. That is why Cuba must be punished. One can only guess what Mr. Godard would respond if told that more than 7,000 people were arrested in the United States during the Occupy Movement’s first 8 months of protest in 2011-12 ; that many of them were physically abused by the police; and that their encampments were violently destroyed.
Does Mr. Godard have access to any news media? Hardly a day passes in America without a police officer shooting to death an unarmed person.
As to “independent journalism” – What would happen if Cuba announced that from now on anyone in the country could own any kind of media? How long would it be before CIA money – secret and unlimited CIA money financing all kinds of fronts in Cuba – would own or control most of the media worth owning or controlling?
The real reason for Washington’s eternal hostility toward Cuba has not changed since the revolution in 1959 – The fear of a good example of an alternative to the capitalist model; a fear that has been validated repeatedly over the years as many Third World countries have expressed their adulation of Cuba.
How the embargo began: On April 6, 1960, Lester D. Mallory, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action which … makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”
Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted its suffocating embargo against its everlasting enemy.
The United States judging and punishing the rest of the world
In addition to Cuba, Washington currently is imposing economic and other sanctions against Burma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, China, North Korea, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, South Africa, Mexico, South Sudan, Sudan, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, India, and Zimbabwe. These are sanctions mainly against governments, but also against some private enterprises; there are also many other sanctions against individuals not included here.
Imbued with a sense of America’s moral superiority and “exceptionalism”, each year the State Department judges the world, issuing reports evaluating the behavior of all other nations, often accompanied by sanctions of one kind or another. There are different reports rating how each lesser nation has performed in the previous year in areas such as religious freedom, human rights, the war on drugs, trafficking in persons, and sponsors of terrorism. The criteria used in these reports are often political. Cuba, for example, is always listed as a sponsor of terrorism whereas anti-Castro exile groups in Florida, which have committed literally hundreds of terrorist acts over the years, are not listed as terrorist groups or supporters of such.
Cuba, which has been on the sponsor-of-terrorism list longer (since 1982) than any other country, is one of the most glaring anomalies. The most recent State Department report on this matter, in 2012, states that there is “no indication that the Cuban government provided weapons or paramilitary training to terrorist groups.” There are, however, some retirees of Spain’s Basque terrorist group ETA (which appears on the verge of disbanding) in Cuba, but the report notes that the Cuban government evidently is trying to distance itself from them by denying them services such as travel documents. Some members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have been allowed into Cuba, but that was because Cuba was hosting peace talks between the FARC and the Colombian government, which the report notes.
The US sanctions mechanism is so effective and formidable that it strikes fear (of huge fines) into the hearts of banks and other private-sector organizations that might otherwise consider dealing with a listed state.
Some selected thoughts on American elections and democracy
In politics, as on the sickbed, people toss from one side to the other, thinking they will be more comfortable.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)
- 2012 presidential election:
223,389,800 eligible to vote
128,449,140 actually voted
Obama got 65,443,674 votes
Obama was thus supported by 29.3% of eligible voters
- There are 100 million adults in the United States who do not vote. This is a very large base from which an independent party can draw millions of new votes.
- If God had wanted more of us to vote in elections, he would give us better candidates.
- “The people can have anything they want. The trouble is, they do not want anything. At least they vote that way on election day.” – Eugene Debs, American socialist leader (1855-1926)
- “If persons over 60 are the only American age group voting at rates that begin to approximate European voting, it’s because they’re the only Americans who live in a welfare state – Medicare, Social Security, and earlier, GI loans, FHA loans.” – John Powers
- “The American political system is essentially a contract between the Republican and Democratic parties, enforced by federal and state two-party laws, all designed to guarantee the survival of both no matter how many people despise or ignore them.” – Richard Reeves (1936- )
- The American electoral system, once the object of much national and international pride, has slid inexorably from “one person, one vote”, to “one dollar, one vote”.
- Noam Chomsky: “It is important to bear in mind that political campaigns are designed by the same people who sell toothpaste and cars. Their professional concern in their regular vocation is not to provide information. Their goal, rather, is deceit.”
- If the Electoral College is such a good system, why don’t we have it for local and state elections?
- “All the props of a democracy remain intact – elections, legislatures, media – but they predominantly function at the service of the oligarchy.” – Richard Wolff
- The RepDem Party holds elections as if they were auctions; indeed, an outright auction for the presidency would be more efficient. To make the auction more interesting we need a second party, which must at a minimum be granted two privileges: getting on the ballot in all 50 states and taking part in television debates.
- The US does in fact have two parties: the Ins and the Outs … the evil of two lessers.
- Alexander Cockburn: “There was a time once when ‘lesser of two evils’ actually meant something momentous, like the choice between starving to death on a lifeboat, or eating the first mate.”
- Cornel West has suggested that it’s become difficult to even imagine what a free and democratic society, without great concentrations of corporate power, would look like, or how it would operate.
- The United States now resembles a police state punctuated by elections.
- How many voters does it take to change a light bulb? None. Because voters can’t change anything.
- H.L. Mencken (1880-1956): “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
- “All elections are distractions. Nothing conceals tyranny better than elections.” – Joel Hirschhorn
- In 1941, one of the country’s more acerbic editors, a priest named Edward Dowling, commented: “The two greatest obstacles to democracy in the United States are, first, the widespread delusion among the poor that we have a democracy, and second, the chronic terror among the rich, lest we get it.”
- “Elections are a necessary, but certainly not a sufficient, condition for democracy. Political participation is not just a casting of votes. It is a way of life.” – UN Human Development Report, 1993
- “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain!” I reply, “You have it backwards. If you DO vote, you can’t complain. You asked for it, and they’re going to give it to you, good and hard.”
- “How to get people to vote against their interests and to really think against their interests is very clever. It’s the cleverest ruling class that I have ever come across in history. It’s been 200 years at it. It’s superb.” – Gore Vidal
- We can’t use our democracy/our vote to change the way the economy functions. This is very anti-democratic.
- What does a majority vote mean other than that the sales campaign was successful?
- Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius: “The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.”
- We do have representative government. The question is: Who does our government represent?
- “On the day after the 2002 election I watched a crawl on the bottom of the CNN news screen. It said, ‘Proprietary software may make inspection of electronic voting systems impossible.’ It was the final and absolute coronation of corporate rights over democracy; of money over truth.” – Mike Ruppert, RIP
- “It’s not that voting is useless or stupid; rather, it’s the exaggeration of the power of voting that has drained the meaning from American politics.” – Michael Ventura
- After going through the recent national, state and local elections, I am now convinced that taxation without representation would have been a much better system.
- “Ever since the Constitution was illegally foisted on the American people we have lived in a blatant plutocracy. The Constitution was drafted in secret by a self-appointed elite committee, and it was designed to bring three kinds of power under control: Royalty, the Church, and the People. All were to be subjugated to the interests of a wealthy elite. That’s what republics were all about. And that’s how they have functioned ever since.” – Richard K. Moore
- “As demonstrated in Russia and numerous other countries, when faced with a choice between democracy without capitalism or capitalism without democracy, Western elites unhesitatingly embrace the latter.” – Michael Parenti
- “The fact that a supposedly sophisticated electorate had been stampeded by the cynical propaganda of the day threw serious doubt on the validity of the assumptions underlying parliamentary democracy as a whole.” – British Superspy for the Soviets Kim Philby (1912-1988), explaining his reasons for becoming a Communist instead of turning to the Labour Party
- US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941): “We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.”
- “We don’t need to run America like a business or like the military. We need to run America like a democracy.” – Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate 2012
- Democracy Now!, October 30, 2013
- Huffingfton Post, May 3, 2012
- Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba(1991), p.885 (online here)
- For the complete detailed list, see U.S. Department of State, Nonproliferation Sanctions
- U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Terrorism 2012, Chapter 3: State Sponsors of Terrorism,” May 20, 2013
Bill Johnson is no stranger to controversy. For one thing, he claims to be an apostle, as in the unique position held by the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. He was given this high honor by C. Peter Wagner who holds many titles himself, including president of Global Harvest Ministries, chancellor of Wagner Leadership Institute, convening apostle of theNew Apostolic Roundtable, and my personal favorite: presiding apostle of International Coalition of Apostles (ICA). So for the purpose of this article I’ll dub him Presiding Apostle Peter or PA Peter for short. What’s important to know about him is that he’s sort of like the pope of the “new apostolic-prophetic movement.”
Following is ICA’s definition of modern day apostle:
An apostle is a Christian leader gifted, taught, commissioned, and sent by God with the authority to establish the foundational government of the church within an assigned sphere of ministry by hearing what the Spirit is saying to the churches and by setting things in order accordingly for the growth and maturity of the church.
What role do the so-called apostles play? There are a couple of tasks, says PA Peter. First, apostles are to “set things in order” and “they’re to assure that the body of Christ is operating on the basis of sound, biblical doctrine.”
Sound biblical doctrine my Aunt Fanny!
PA Peter and his self-proclaimed apostles and prophets are out-and-out false teachers! These men and women (yes, there are women apostles) are well aware that accusations of heresy have been leveled against them by a large number of highly regarded orthodox Bible scholars and still they continue the pretense.
In this two part series you’ll discover the many twists and turns the new apostolic-prophetic movement has taken over the years and why those of us who are in an online discernment ministry believe it is a clear and present danger to the Body of Christ, thus we will continue warning the brethren. (Acts 20:31)
Now, keep in mind that the men and women involved in this heretical movement are sincere in their belief that they’re in the same league as the Old Testament prophets and the Lord’s hand-picked disciples who later became the Twelve Apostles. The leaders have convinced their followers that the office of apostleship is not reserved for a select few, as the Bible teaches. Moreover, they’ve led people to believe that Christ is once again choosing apostles and prophets to preside over His Church. Listen to Got Questions’ dire warning:
Those claiming the office of apostle seek authority equal to, or at least rivaling, the authority of the original twelve apostles. There is absolutely no biblical evidence to support such an understanding of the role of apostle today. This would fit with the New Testament’s warning against false apostles (2 Corinthians 11:13).
So – if it’s true that Christ is giving authority to a select few apostles and prophets why, pray tell, would our Lord give it to individuals who possess questionable character? I’ll have more on this in a moment.
Suffice it to say C. Peter Wagner and Bill Johnson believe that the Lord has given them the authority to rule over the Church. So – if it’s also true that the so-called apostles arecalled by Christ to form a government to control the Church and that they will hold Church leaders accountable then who, pray tell, is going to hold them accountable?
Without getting too far afield, since the new apostolic-prophetic movement’s inception it has been referred to in a number of different ways, i.e. Dominionism…Latter Rain…Joel’s Army…Manifest[ed] Sons of God…Kingdom Now…Charismatic Renewal…Positive Confession and a few others. Its current handle, New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), was coined by Presiding Apostle Peter in the 1990s. He “reinvigorated the Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of God false prophecies about a great endtime revival accompanied by signs and wonders.” As I said, NAR leaders teach that God is restoring the lost offices of church governance – and they are His chosen ones to bring it to fruition!
Do not be surprised:
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 2 Timothy 4:3
In Paul’s final warning to the Church he never suggested that they embrace new movements. On the contrary, he warned that they would not listen to the truth. CommentatorMatthew Poole clarifies:
Having itching ears; for their ears itch, and they must have those that will scratch them. The disease of lust in their souls brings forth an itch in their ears, that they will have a mind to hear only such as will by scratching please them.
Shall they heap to themselves teachers, will be finding out teachers, not according to God’s, but to their own hearts; and there will be plenty of them to be found, they shall heap them up, choosing them without any judgment, regarding nothing but whether they will not be smart upon their lusts. (emphasis in original)
Paul’s message throughout his entire letter was that the church must “follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me” (1:13); “guard the good deposit entrusted to you (1:14); “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also” (2:2).
Unity Over Doctrine
Now to Bill Johnson, head pastor of Bethel Church (BC). BC’s leadership holds to the theology of the Word of Faith (WoF) movement. WoF doctrine teaches the occult belief that:
He [God] framed the world with His words. You can’t build without substance. He took words — faith-Filled words were God’s substance. Here, essentially, is what God did. God filled His words with faith. He used His words as containers to hold His faith and contain that spiritual force and transport it out there into the vast darkness by saying ‘Light be!’ That’s the way God transported His faith causing creation and transformation. (Source)
One word: unscriptural!
BC also has its roots in the early1980s movement dubbed by C. Peter Wagner the Third Wave (TW).
Following is an excerpt from Apologetics Index. What they’ve laid out here should help prevent people from getting drawn into TW:
[D]istinctives of the Third Wave movement include — but are not limited to — the following:
- The baptism with the Holy Spirit is identified with conversion. This is unlike other Pentecostal movements, in which the baptism with the Spirit is either a separate and/or a recurring experience.
- the belief that the spiritual gifts are valid for today; that Christians can ask for, receive and learn how to use these spiritual gifts (and become better at using them with practice.
- the belief that the primary use of the spiritual gifts is for ministry in the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit – both to bless and heal those inside the church and to minister to those outside the church (“Power Evangelism.”). This ministry includes healing the sick, casting out demons, prophesying, etcetera.
- active promotion of unity — sometimes at any cost (e.g. the Toronto Blessing Movement ‘s acceptance of certain Word-Faith teachers. “Unity over doctrine“
- the belief that people, Christians included, can be possessed (or ‘demonized’ — or ‘oppressed,’ something seen as a lesser form of possession) by evil spirits with or without their consent
- the belief that objects or places can project evil influence and act as conduits for demonic oppression
- the belief that traumatic events, either in our lives or in our ancestral past, can make us particularly vulnerable to demonic influence, possession or oppression
- the belief that some Christians — using appropriate spiritual gifts — can identify and cast out demonic spirits
- a general acceptance of Kingdom Now theology, which has led to the practice of so-called ‘Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare‘ or SLSW — an unbiblical concept in which Christians identify (through ‘spiritual mapping‘) and then target (with SLSW) ‘Territorial Spirits.’ (all links are AI’s) (Source)
WoF and TW leaders are false teachers. (You’ll find the names of these as well as many other false teachers on my website.) Over the years self-proclaimed apostles and prophets have managed to coax undiscerning individuals to involve themselves in some of the strangest physical manifestations imaginable. Those who participate in church services where “signs and wonders” take place like to blame their crude behavior on the Holy Spirit. Now, try to imagine giants of the faith such as John, Peter, James or even Paul “drunk in the spirit,” crawling on all fours barking like a dog, clucking like a chicken, jerking and twitching, rolling on the floor, laughing themselves into a convulsive state. People involved in NAR have done these things in the past and continue them to this day. When I think about it, it really wouldn’t surprise me to witness Apostle Bill on all fours, nose in the air, howling like a wolf. But I digress.
Two Super Apostles Restore A Fraud
During the alleged Lakeland Outpouring aka Lakeland Revival in Florida, a story hit the news that put NAR evangelist Todd Bentley in a bad light. It was revealed that that the rock-star evangelist was in an adulterous relationship with a female intern – and suddenly all hell broke loose. In my column “We have had enough of false prophets” I scrutinized the NAR’s leaders and pointed out that Apostle Bill,
calls those who exposed Todd Bentley as a false prophet “sharks.” He also says:
“I’ll never blame the opponents [sharks] of this outpouring for Todd’s choices [sin]. However, it had a greater effect on the outcome than any of his critics will likely own up to in this lifetime. History proves this.”
Apostle Bill and fellow apostate – oops! — apostle-prophet Rick Joyner decided to involve themselves in Bentley’s “restoration process.” Just so you know, Rick Joyner’s the founder and Executive Director of MorningStar Publications and Ministries and is a big promoter of the “new breed” of apostles and prophets.
Both Bill Johnson and Rick Joyner, who are seasoned apostle-prophets, claim to hold the title “Super-Apostle” and/or “Super-Prophet” which is comparable to holding the high office of cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. Chew on that for a moment. As an aside I should mention that some “Super-Apostles” have been accused of using cultic mind control techniques on those they prey upon.
Listen to Apostle Rick pontificate about how he sees himself:
Even though I have not been able to go to journalism school, or even Bible school, in many ways I would not trade my education for anyone’s. Like Paul, I can say that what I received I did not receive from men.
I mean, really, are we supposed to believe him? And why would we?
Now, back to Bentley. Bringing this man under submission took place following his divorce and after he married the Proverbs 7 woman, who, by the way, wasn’t the only woman he had an extra marital affair with. Apostle Bill was well aware that the fraud-evangelist had had a prior dalliance. Both “Super-Apostles” knew that he was drunk during his Lakeland stage act yet they chose to return him to ministry. But, then, no one has ever accused NAR leaders of doing much of anything by The Book.
Todd Bentley is no more qualified for ministry than is disgraced televangelist/prosperity preacher Jim Bakker, who was incarcerated for fleecing the flock (fraud). After his release from prison, what did Bakker do? Still craving attention, he returned to public ministry.
So – how should churches handle a person in a leadership role when he/she brings shame on the Name of our Lord Jesus? I’ve already addressed this topic in my column entitledDoes the Bible Really Say We’re Not to Judge? In a nutshell the biblical way to handle it is for the church hierarchy to apply an appropriate level of discipline necessary to bring the person to true repentance. Church leaders who have a “moral failing” must publically repent of his/her sin against God. They then must seek spiritual guidance and accountability and move out of the limelight altogether. Once the person’s restored, he/she’s most often encouraged to serve the Lord behind the scenes. Sadly, this hasn’t been the case with Todd Bentley. And the reason for this is that the self-appointed Super Apostles Bill and Rick found it in their hearts—not in the Bible—to reinstate the man to public ministry.
I’ll close part 1 with a plea from a genuine apostle:
I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. (Romans 16:17-18)
Part 2 coming up!
Strange Fire Conference Q&A—Phil Johnson interviews John MacArthur
The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson–By John Lanagan
- Peter Wagner launches WLI Seattle, Sonrise Chapel, Feb. 3, 2008–Around 54:00 into the session, Wagner responds to a question during the Q&A. He tells the audience that when the Holy Spirit stopped revealing things through the written Word, He kept on revealing new things to us through the “Rhema Word.” He claims that the Holy Spirit still speaks to us today by giving us information that you cannot find in the 66 books of the Bible, info that the Bible doesn’t address, but it’s not contradictory.
Why I Must Speak Out Against the NAR and Bethel Church—Tony Miano, host of Cross Encounters radio, discusses, among other things, the music of BC’s music team Jesus Culture (more below). Listen to Tony tell of his Twitter chat with Beni Johnson, Bill’s pastorette wife.
Bill Johnson…scroll down—Apologetics Index
New Apostolic Reformation/Dominionism –On Solid Rock Resources
Bethel Church’s Music & Entertainment:
The Holy Spirit Makes A Movie? I Don’t Think So…—Amy Spreeman
Watch And Weep:
Try this Bethel Redding Snack Pack—My Word Like Fire
“French aircraft were due to begin their first reconnaissance flights over Iraq,” France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced on September 15. Britain is already flying reconnaissance missions over Iraq. Several other countries – Arab ones included – say they are willing to support the air campaign. None seem interested in pledging any ground troops, however.
“Well, you will hear from Secretary Kerry on this over the coming days. And what he has said is that others have suggested that they’re willing to do that. But we’re not looking for that right now,” Chief of Staff Denis McDonough waffled on “Meet the Press” on Sunday, September 14. “We’re trying to put together the specifics of what we expect from each of the members,” he added, which is one way of saying the United States is finding it hard to persuade other countries to provide ground forces – something the self-designed leader of the “coalition” is unwilling to do. Also on “Meet the Press” James Baker noted that the biggest problem “of course, is who are our, quote, ‘partners on the ground’ that the president referred to in his speech. And I don’t know where they come from.” Let it be noted that Baker put forth an ad-hoc strategic plan that was, in fact, far better than the one outlined by Obama. He suggested joining forces with China, Russia, Iran, Syria and others, following a non-UN-sponsored international conference of genuine international leaders.
There are no “partners on the ground” for now, and those that the Administration wants to groom for the role are worse than none: McDonough conceded that ground troops are needed, “that’s why we want this program to train the [Syrian] opposition that’s currently pending in Congress.” In my curtain-raiser on President Obama’s much-heralded speech of September 10, posted two days before he delivered it (“Obama’s Non-Strategy”), I warned that he – disastrously – still counts on the non-existent “moderate rebels” in Syria to come on board, and still refuses to talk to Bashar al-Assad, whose army is the only viable force capable of confronting the IS now and for many years to come. In short, “he has no plan to systematically degrade the IS capabilities, no means to shrink the territory that they control, and certainly no strategy to defeat them.”
Obama’s address to the nation on September 10 confirmed all of the above, but it also contained numerous non sequiturs, falsehoods, and delusional assertions that need to be addressed one by one. (The President’s words are in italics.)
I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
This is an audacious statement of intent: not what the U.S. and America’s unnamed “friends and allies” will try to do, but what they will do to destroy an effective fighting force of some 30,000 fanatical jihadists at the time of this writing, and rapidly rising – an army, in fact, which is well armed and equipped, solvent, and highly motivated. Regardless of the coherence of Obama’s proposed methods – more of that later – what he announced is the beginning of yet another open-ended Middle Eastern war in which the United States will be fully committed and in which the “job” will not be considered “done” until and unless the IS is “destroyed.” Newt Gingrich is already salivating at the prospect of America spending “half of a century or more hunting down radicals, growing reliable self-governing allies, and convincing friends and neutrals to be anti-radical.” This nightmare is good news – at home – only for the military-industrial complex, and abroad for the jihadists of all color and hue. “Half a century or more” of such idiocy can only accelerate this country’s road to bankruptcy, financial as well as moral.
Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Osama bin Laden’s death did not make one scintilla of difference. Al Qaeda’s (AQ) leadership is not a snake but a hydra: you can “take out” a hundred of its leaders today, and another hundred will take their place tomorrow. Successfully killing scores or thousandsof jihadists should not be confused with winning against jihad. More importantly – and Obama seems to be oblivious to the fact – al Qaeda is not a hierarchical organization, but a state of mind and a blueprint for action. Its non-affiliates, too – in Nigeria, Libya, Syria, the Philippines, Kashmir etc. – follow the same guiding principles and seek the same millenarian objectives. As any counterterrorism expert can tell you, “targeted” drone killings are doing more damage than good by angering local populations – which suffer “collateral damage” – thus providing an inexhaustible pool of fresh recruits for the jihadists (quite apart from legal and moral considerations).
We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia.
It is breathtaking that Obama should imply that Yemen and Somalia are his administration’s success stories that should be emulated in the campaign against the IS. As Nicholas Kristof noted in The New York Times, “Obama may be the only person in the world who would cite conflict-torn Yemen and Somalia as triumphs.”
Yemen is an ever-growing hotbed of terrorist activity regardless of (and more likely partly due to) more than 100 American airstrikes since 2002, which killed some 500 militants and over a hundred civilians. (When Yemeni kids are disobedient, their parents have a new tool of enforcing discipline: “A big American drone will come and get you!”) The Department of state admitted in its most recent worldwide terrorism report that “of the AQ affiliates, AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) continues to pose the most significant threat to the United States and U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen.” Its success, according to the report, is “due to an ongoing political and security restructuring within the government itself” [i.e. no effective government and no reliable security forces]. “AQAP continued to exhibit its capability by targeting government installations and security and intelligence officials, but also struck at soft targets, such as hospitals,” and it continues to expand territory under its control. Somalia is an utterly failed state with no functioning government, and al-Shabaab’s terrorist base from which complex operations are launched against soft targets in neighboring countries (notably last year’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate mall, which killed at least 67 people).
If this is the model for the anti-IS campaign, then even a century of Newt’s “hunting down radicals, growing reliable self-governing allies, and convincing friends and neutrals to be anti-radical” will be a fiasco – albeit on an infinitely grander scale.
We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.
The fruits of the war in Iraq are all too visible. It cannot be stated often enough that America’s war against Saddam – who never threatened the United States, and opposed Islamic terrorism – produced the IS, which is now treated as an existential threat which requires another American war to eliminate.
In Afghanistan the Taliban is well poised to make a comeback one, two, at most three years after the end of the American combat mission. It is able to carry out attacks in the center of the capital, Kabul, the latest of which – on September 16 – killed three members of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force. Safer, indeed.
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.
This is surreal. Obama may have been born and raised a Muslim, but he claims not to be a Muslim now; it is therefore as preposterous for him to pass judgments on the Islamic bona fides of Muslim entities as it would be for the Saudi king to decide whether the Orange Order of Ulster or the Episcopal Church are “Christian” (a purely technical parallel, of course). In any event, Obama’s theological credentials were established with clarity in the aftermath of James Foley’s beheading by the IS, when he declared (also in the context of absolving Islam of any connection with the IS) that “no just God would stand for what they did yesterday and what they do every single day.” Since they did what they did, this unambiguous statement means that – in Obama’s opinion – either there is no God, or God is not just.
Contrary to Obama’s assurances, Islam does condone the killing of infidels (non-Muslims) and apostates (Shiites) – they are not “innocents” by definition. And of course Muslims have been killing other Muslims – often on a massive scale – ever since three of the four early caliphs, Muhammad’s immediate successors, were murdered by their Muslim foes. It is immaterial whether ISIS is true to “Islam” as Obama chooses to define it. It is undeniable that it is true to the principles and practices of historical Islam.
Obama either does not know what he is talking about, or he is practicing a variety of taqiyya. As Nonie Darwish put it bluntly in the American Thinker on September 12, Obama does not want to go down in history as the one who destroyed and extinguished the dream of resurrecting the Islamic State. Under his watch Islam was placed on a pedestal and that helped revive the Islamic dream of the Caliphate:
Muslims felt that Obama was their man, under whom they had a chance to achieve their powerful Islamic state. Obama himself was not happy with the military takeover and destruction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Jihadist ambition had to move away from Egypt to war-torn Syria and Iraq. For more than two years, Islamists have carried out flagrant and barbaric mass terrorism – beheadings, torture, kidnapping, and sexual slavery of women, men, and children. Obama ignored the problem until it blew up in our faces with the beheading of two Americans.
Even if he could defeat ISIS, Darwish argues, that would turn him into an infidel enemy number one of Islam – one who supported Muslims in their dream of the Caliphate by looking the other way, only to later crush it. Obama therefore cannot be honest about this dilemma regarding ISIS; “a dilemma between his duty to the USA, the country he chose to lead, and his dream of becoming the hero of the Muslim World who taught the West a lesson on how to treat Muslims. Obama will not obliterate ISIS but will contain it, as he said. He will eventually kick the can to the next administration, not only because he hates wars as he claims, but because he does not want to be enemy number one of Islam and the Muslims.” That is Obama’s dirty little secret that explains his paralysis before ISIS, Darwish concludes: “Ironically, the man who claimed to have healed the relationship between the West and the Muslim world will go down in history as the one who helped the rise and the bloody fall of the Islamic State and perhaps America itself.”
And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.
Obama does not know the feelings of some ten million people under IS control. Many of those who did not cherish life under its black banner have already fled to Damascus, Baghdad, or Erbil. There is no doubt that it is successful in attracting thousands upon thousands of new recruits every month. And as I wrote in the current issue of Chronicles, the Caliphate is a “state” whether we like it or not:
Traditional international law postulates the possession of population, of territory, and the existence of a government that exercises effective control over that population and territory: a state exists if it enjoys a monopoly on coercive mechanisms within its domain, which the caliphate does. After all, unrecognized state entities such as Transnistria, Abkhazia, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh command their denizens’ overwhelming loyalty and exercise effectively undisputed control over their entire territory. Some international jurists may cite the ability of the self-proclaimed state’s authority to engage in international discourse, but that is a moot point. The capacity to control a putative state’s territory and population almost invariably leads to such ability, regardless of the circumstances of that state’s inception: South Sudan is a recent case in point, and the creation of Israel in 1947 also comes to mind.
ISIS controls an area the size of Montana in northeastern Syria and western and northwestern Iraq. It has substantial funds at its disposal, initially given it by the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Turks, Qataris, Bahrainis, UAE donors, et al., and augmented to the tune of half a billion dollars looted from the Iraqi government vaults in Mosul and Tikrit. It is effective in collecting taxes, tolls, and excise duties. With no debts or liabilities, the existing stash and ongoing cash flow makes the emerging Caliphate more solvent than dozens of states currently represented in the UN. It has enough oil and derivatives not only for its own needs, but also to earn the foreign exchange needed to buy all the food and other goods it needs from abroad.
ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple.
It is not that (see above). This statement reflects a conceptual delusion which ab initio cannot provide the basis for a sound strategy. Obama’s own State Department declared as far back as July 23 that “ISIL is no longer simply a terrorist organization” – or at least that is what Brett McGurk, deputy assistant secretary for Iraq and Iran, told a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on that day. “It is now a full-blown army seeking to establish a self-governing state through the Tigris and Euphrates Valley in what is now Syria and Iraq.”
And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
It does have a vision. That vision is eminently Islamic in its millenarian strategic objectives, in its tactics, and in its methods. It is no more utopian than Obama’s vision of an “indispensable” America, which – as he put it at the very end of his speech – stands for “freedom, justice and dignity,” an America which defends those “timeless ideals that will endure long after those who offer only hate and destruction have been vanquished from the Earth.”
In its self-proclaimed status as a caliphate, the IS claims – in principle – religious authority over all Muslims in the world, and ultimately aspires to bring all Muslim-inhabited lands of the world under its political control. Last June ISIS published a document which announced that “the legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas.” It rejects the political divisions established by Western powers in the Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1917. Its self-declared immediate-to-medium-term goal is to conquer Iraq, Syria and other parts of al-Sham – the loosely-defined Levant region – including Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and southeastern Turkey. It is a bold, even audacious vision, but a vision it most certainly is.
In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide.
There is absolutely nothing “unique” in the IS fighters’ brutality. They are only following the example of their prophet. Muhammad executed Meccan prisoners after the battle of Badr in 624AD. He condoned the killing of women and children besieged in Ta’if in 630. He and his followers enslaved, raped and forced into marriage Jewish women after he massacred the men of the Jewish tribes of Banu Qurayzain 627 and Banu Nadir in 629. He even “married” one of the captured Banu Nadir women, Safiyya bint Huyayy captured after the men Banu Nadir were massacred. He did not “threaten” the Jews of the Arabian peninsula with genocide, he carried that genocide so thoroughly that not a trace of them remains to this day. Christians living in the IS who want to remain in the “caliphate” face three options according to IS officials: converting to Islam, paying a religious tax (jizya), or “the sword.” This choice is as conventionally Islamic as it gets, having been stipulated many times in the Quran and hadith.
But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional U.S. action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days… I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.
The would-be coalition of Sunni Muslim “partners” includes those who had been aiding and abetting ISIS for years, and who have neither the will nor the resources to fight it. As I wrote here last week, those countries’ military forces are unable to confront an enemy which consists of highly motivated light infantry, knows the terrain, enjoys considerable popular support, and operates in small motorized formations:
On the basis of its poor showing in Yemen it is clear that the Saudis in particular are no better than the Iraqi army which performed so miserably last June. Even when united in their overall strategic objectives, Arab armies are notoriously unable to develop integrated command and control systems – as was manifested in 1947-48, in the Seven-Day War of 1967, and in the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Their junior officers are discouraged from making independent tactical decisions by their inept superiors who hate delegating authority. Both are, inevitably, products of a culture steeped in strictly hierarchical modes of thought and action. Furthermore, their expensive hardware integrated into hard to maneuver brigade-sized units is likely to be useless against an elusive enemy who will avoid pitched battles.
An additional unresolved problem is Turkey, which is staying aloof and will not allow even U.S. facilities in its territory to be used for the air campaign. Erdogan is definitely not a “partner,” and Turkey continues to tolerate steady recruiting of ISIS volunteers in its territory as well as the passage of foreign jihadists across the 550-mile borderit shares with Syria and Iraq.
The most important problem in creating a coalition with Obama’s “Arab partners” is religious, however. The leaders of all Sunni Arab countries and Turkey are well aware that, contrary to Obama’s claims, ISIS is a Muslim group firmly rooted in the teachings and practices of orthodox Sunni Islam. They are loath to ally themselves with the kuffar in fighting those who want to fulfill the divine commandment to strive to create the Sharia-based universal caliphate. Those leaders are for the most part serious believers, and they do not want to go to hell.
Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy. First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts … so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.
The Shia-dominated Iraqi army is not to be counted upon, as attested by its flight from Mosul, and it cannot be counted upon to cooperate with the armed forces of the overtly anti-Shia regimes, even if in the fullness of time they provided ground troops. The Kurdish pershmerga also would be loath to treat Saudis or Qataris as brothers-in-arms. Even if they were capable of major operations, which they are not, both the Iraqi army and the peshmerga would be perceived by the Sunni Arab majority in northwestern Iraq as an occupying force with the predictable result that the “caliphate” could count on thousands of fresh volunteers. Obama’s “regional allies” could end up helping their Sunni coreligionists fight the Shia “apostates.” They regard the IS in western Iraq and northeastern Syria as a welcome buffer against the putative Shia crescent extending from Iran to the Lebanese coast. As for the “Iraqi forces,” they are devoid of any offensive potential now and that will not change for years to come.
Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition… In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.
“The Syrian opposition” is ideologically indistinguishable from the IS, militarily ineffective, internally divided, and far keener to renew its stalled fight against Bashar al-Assad than to fight the Caliphate. America’s would-be “coalition” partners have indirectly indicated that they are aware of this fact: several mentioned Iraq when announcing the proposed military measures last Monday, but none made any mention of the challenge next door.
Obama’s present heavy reliance on the “Syrian opposition” is at odds with his own doubts about its viability, which were openly expressed in an interview with New York Times’s Tom Friedman only a month earlier:
“With ‘respect to Syria,’ said the president, the notion that arming the rebels would have made a difference has ‘always been a fantasy. This idea that we could provide some light arms or even more sophisticated arms to what was essentially an opposition made up of former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth, and that they were going to be able to battle not only a well-armed state but also a well-armed state backed by Russia, backed by Iran, a battle-hardened Hezbollah, that was never in the cards.’”
Now, however, Obama is rejecting cooperation with Damascus – the only realist course with any chance of success – and is relying on a “fantasy” scenario to create some boots on the ground. No lessons have been drawn from Libya’s collapse into bloody anarchy, or from the failure of America’s decade-long effort to train and equip the Iraqi army, which disintegrated when faced with the IS three months ago. Such fiascos notwithstanding, Obama wants to build up a Syrian rebel force as one of the pillars of his strategy – that same force of which he said to Friedman on August 8 that “there’s not as much capacity as you would hope.”
We will continue providing humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.
“Tens of thousands of Christians” is a hundred-fold reduction of the magnitude of the problem that long-suffering community has faced in the region since the start of the Iraqi war in 2003. Obama’s statement is the exact numerical and moral equivalent to saying that “hundreds of thousands of European Jews” were at grave risk at the time of the Wannsee conference. As Peggy Noonan wrote the other day in the Wall Street Journal, “genocide” is the right word to describe the plight of the region’s Christians, noting that “for all his crimes and failings, Syria’s justly maligned Assad was not attempting to crush his country’s Christians. His enemies were – the jihadists, including those who became the Islamic State.” As well as those, let us add, who are now being groomed by the President of the United States to fight the Islamic State. No wonder he is deliberately and cynically minimizing the plight of his protégés’ Christian victims.
This is our strategy.
Lord have mercy!
This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
My Administration has also secured bipartisan support for this approach here at home. I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL.
This is disputable. Obama refers to the authorization originally concerning action against al-Qaeda, treating as a blank check for starting a new war of unknown magnitude and duration.
This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years.
Deja-vu all over again. On the grimly positive note, more Yemeni and Somali-like “successes” may be needed to accelerate America’s eventual return home.
America is better positioned today to seize the future than any other nation on Earth.
It would be a cliché to state that Obama is either deluded or stunningly cynical. He is both, of course, I’d say roughly 60:40.
Our technology companies and universities are unmatched; our manufacturing and auto industries are thriving. Energy independence is closer than it’s been in decades. For all the work that remains, our businesses are in the longest uninterrupted stretch of job creation in our history.
Cringe again: tasteless, self-serving inanities that have nothing to do with ISIS or strategy. Obama’s psychopatic narcissism trumps that of the Clintons, impossible as it may have seemed.
Abroad, American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists.
“The world,” indeed, minus Russia, China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Iran, South Africa, and scores of lesser powers on all continents (save Australia) which have the capacity and the will to reject Obama’s audacious and increasingly absurd notions of global leadership.
It is America that has rallied the world against Russian aggression, and in support of the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny. It is America – our scientists, our doctors, our know-how – that can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola. It is America that helped remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people – or the world – again.
There is no “Russian aggression,” and “the Ukrainian peoples’ right to determine their own destiny” was brazenly undermined by the State Department/CIA-engineered coup d’etat in Kiev last February. It is preposterous for Obama to take credit for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons – it was Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic coup which got Obama off the hook when Congress and the public at large expressed their opposition to the intended bombing of Syria. But yes, American scientists and doctors definitely “can help contain and cure the outbreak of Ebola.” That was the only true statement in Obama’s address. Its relevance to his anti-IS strategy is unclear.
And it is America that is helping Muslim communities around the world not just in the fight against terrorism, but in the fight for opportunity, tolerance, and a more hopeful future.
… especially in places like Marseilles, Antwerp, Malmo, Dortmund, and Dearborn, Michigan.
America, our endless blessings bestow an enduring burden. But as Americans, we welcome our responsibility to lead. From Europe to Asia – from the far reaches of Africa to war-torn capitals of the Middle East – we stand for freedom, for justice, for dignity. These are values that have guided our nation since its founding.
Obama wouldn’t know the founding values if they hit him in the head. He is the worst president of the United States in history after all. That is no mean feat, considering the competition.