Monday, January 30, 2006

Tenets of Faith -- Just for the Record

I affirm these essential doctrinal truths and principles of the Christian Faith:

We believe:

1. that both the Old and New Testaments constitute the divinely inspired word of God, inerrant
in the originals.

2. in one God existing eternally in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

3. that the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, became man without ceasing to be God, in order
that He might reveal God and redeem sinful men.

4. that the Holy Spirit came forth from the Father and the Son to convict the world of sin, of
righteousness and of judgment; and to regenerate, sanctify, comfort and seal those who
believe in Jesus Christ.

5. that man is totally depraved in that of himself he is utterly unable to remedy his lost

6. that salvation is the gift of God who brought to man by grace and received by personal faith
in the Lord Jesus Christ, whose atoning blood was shed on the cross for the forgiveness of

7. in the water baptism of believers, symbolizing the believers union in the death and
resurrection of Jesus Christ; in the observance of the Lord's Supper commemorating the
sacrifice of our Savior for all mankind.

8. We believe the life of the believer is to be separated from the world by consistent conduct
before God and man, and is to be in the world as a life-giving light.

9. We believe in the personal and visible and bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I agree with and uphold these essential truths with the fellowship of which I am a part, and by whom I am ordained into Gospel ministry. SEE:

Should this statement leave any questions unanswered or tenets unclear, I also affirm the statement of faith of the National Association of Evangelicals, which is found at

My theological philosophy is generally "Reformation Arminian," (as opposed to Calvinist) and I tend to be "baptistic" (as opposed to other denominations) on many issues. Honestly, though, I think many of those "lines" and differences are manufactured by "made-with-hands" human organizations or Satan himself to keep The Church divided.

As some have read in earlier posts, my understanding of the organization of the "church" defies neat, nutshell descriptions.... I affirm "That the true Church is composed of all such persons who through saving faith in Jesus Christ have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the Head."

Now at least you know where I'm coming from Theologically :-D

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Gloves Off: On The War Against Islamofascism

I haven't directly commented here on the War Against Terrorism before, but today's events in Israel regarding the Palestinian elections provide a good opportunity.

Seventy percent of Palestinians voted yesterday to elect Hamas -- a radical terrorist group whose written and commonly known goal is the absolute destruction of Israel in particular, Jews in general, and any nation (re: United States) that supports them. Hamas is directly supported by Iran, who immediately made public its praise and support of the new terrorist state, along with other Islamofascist terrorist groups and nations.

I won't go into great detail, but a short primer on modern Islamic terrorism is appropriate here. The "Palestinians" were little more than desert nomads from a number of Arab nations after WWII. Those nations didn't want them, so they wanted them to remain in the region of Palestine -- a protectorate of Great Britain. When the US and Britain (largely at the behest of Evangelical Christians in these nations) supported the creation of a Jewish state, Israel, the Palestinians became a problem.

Israel became a nation in 1948, and was immediately attacked by half a dozen Islamic states. Within a few weeks, Israel almost doubled their size against superior, better armed forces and with no standing army. When the so-called "Palestinians" fled the Jewish state, they were slaughtered -- NOT by the Jews, but by OTHER Arab states....Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt....They didn't want them!

With the rise of Yassir Arafat (actually born an Egyptian), and his "Palestinian Liberation Organization," modern Islamic terrorism was born. First lead by grand mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini of Jerusalem, the fledgling Palestinian movement to destroy Jews began. Husseini, who was also related to Arafat and his mentor, even supported and fought on the side of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi's during WWII, supporting his "final solution."

From the 1950's and 60's onward for about 30 years, the primary target of terrorism was Israel. The dynamics of the Cold War also figured into Middle East politics, with the United States and the "West" supporting Israel, and the Soviet Union and the "Eastern Bloc" of Communist nations supporting the Arabs.

Then, in 1979, the Iranian Revolution destroyed any American or Western influence over the Islamic states of the Middle East. The US supported Shah of Iran was overthrown and the Ayatollah's became both the religious and political despots of a modern day Persia (Iran). The taking of hostages at our embassy by Iranian revolutionaries was merely a portend of things to come. After 444 days -- and it was no accident that it was on the inauguration day of Ronald Reagan -- the hostages were released. Still, the atmosphere had been created for Islamic extremists to grow and thrive. Their violence planted seeds of certainty that they knew would eventually bear fruit against the weak infidels of the West. Their martyrs became the bricks that built the foundation of the future Islamic kingdom that would destroy the infidels and rule the world.

The United States regarded the increasing attacks at the hands of Islamic terrorists as little more than international relations "mosquito bites." Even when the attacks were major, little time or energy was dedicated to response and recompense. Consider some of the attacks that occurred through the 80's and 90's: The Lebanon Marine Barracks bombing - 1983; The Achille Lauro cruise ship hijacking - 1985; Downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland - 1988; First World Trade Center Bombing - 1993; Riyadh Saudi Arabia Military Compound Bombing - 1995; Khobar Towers Bombing - 1996; American Embassy Bombings in Tanzania and Kenya -- 1998; Attack on the USS Cole in Yemen -- 2000; And finally, 9/11/2001....The one that got our attention.

The responses to all of these attacks were, at best, anemic, like the Clinton regime's cruise missile attacks on empty camps in Afghanistan and an aspirin factory in the Sudan. Other times they were harmful, like the Reagan Administrations withdrawal of Marines from Lebanon rather than invading in force and hunting down Islamic Jihad, or the usual response of the Clinton regime -- to do absolutely nothing. In any case, the Islamofascist terrorist organizations and the nations that supported them understood the import of these attacks -- they are at war. They had to destroy the Zionists, kill the Jews, create a kingdom for Allah.

On the other hand, the West didn't -- and to a large extent still doesn't -- understand what that means. "War" is something that happened in the distant past, when our grandparents or great grandparents were young. The world can't go through that kind of desperate struggle again, can it?
A simple answer is, 9/11....

Though the West in general and the United States in particular may not recognize it, we are currently engaged in World War III. The enemy now is Islamofascism, just as virulent as Nazism in World War II, and far more widespread. Wherever Muslims are, there are, in their midst, Islamofacist. They share the same goal as the Nazi's -- the destruction of Jews, and world domination. And they are willing to fight for it -- to give anything to attain it. How much are we willing to sacrifice to stop it?

In a war, you don't win by withdrawing from the battle as some spineless, politically correct liberal elites are demanding. You can't peacefully co-exist with fanatics who will never be satisfied with anything less than your total destruction. You have to fight with all your might -- to fight fire with fire.

Yesterday's election demonstrates that very few Muslims in the Middle East (less that 3 in 10 among the Palestinians) have any interest in peace or co-existence. The vast majority are firmly dedicated to the Islamofascist agenda. And when you consider that Iran is perhaps only months from attaining nuclear weapons, and that intelligence indicates many of Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction were secreted out of the country to Syria before the coalition invasion, and Al-Queda continues to attempt to find ways to attack US interests at home and abroad, anyone with an ounce of common sense will conclude that we are, indeed, in World War III. To conclude anything else is utter foolishness and invites absolute destruction not only of our freedoms, but quite possibly our very lives.

It's time to take the gloves off. Democracy among the Palestinians did not produce good results -- but at least it produced honesty. Finally, it is clear that we as a civilization are at war with another civilization -- one that is diametrically opposed to our own worldview both politically and religiously. War is certain, but peace can only be achieved against Islamofascism AFTER victory is won. Then there will be peace -- but what kind of peace will it be? The peace of freedom, or of tyranny?

J. Dale Weaver, M. Div.

Monday, January 23, 2006

The Spirit of Treason

I don't have to write a long blog on the issue of treason among some here in the United States during a time of war. People like Ted Kennedy, Dick Durbin, Patrick Leahy, John Murtha, Howard Dean, Al Gore and other Democrats in elective office make that case for me perfectly.

During a time of war, to advocate "withdrawal" from the field of battle against an enemy who is bent on our destruction is not merely surrender, it is suicide. To deny the President his constitutional duty and responsibility to gather intelligence about the enemy is aiding and abetting our enemies. Declaring that the President has "betrayed" this country while at the same time advocating betrayal by badmouthing our troops and accusing them of the same war crimes that our enemies boldly commit is beyond the pail. To accuse our soldiers and intelligence officers in time of war of "torture" without any evidence -- but with certain knowledge that our enemies do torture and worse -- is inconceivable to loyal, patriotic Americans... But not to these traitors.

No, these fools are not motivated by patriotism or some noble concern for the preservation of liberty and the constitution. They are motivated only by their lust for their own power. Their "crimes" may not meet muster to be charged for treason by the letter of the law, but they are certainly in the spirit of treason. And these people should be treated as the Benedict Arnolds they are.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Controversy: NBC's "The Book of Daniel"

I've not done a great deal of "social commentary" here, but that's about to change. Last week, NBC premiered a new TV show, "The Book of Daniel."

No, it doesn't deal with the great Hebrew prophet by that name. No, the show doesn't seek to answer questions regarding Bible prophecy. It is a "drama/comedy" that deals with the life of an Episcopal priest and his dysfunctional family, and his personal "talks" with "Jesus."

Most Christian's opposed the airing of this series because of the way it portrayed Christians. Okay, I can see why that's an objection. Every member of this priests TV family are dysfunctional. Not just dysfunctional -- screwed up! Now, I've known screwed up families before. The reality is, Christian families can be -- and sometimes ARE -- dysfunctional. In some cases, they ARE really screwed up. In my experience, however, all families have problems, but few unchurched families are as insane as NBC's family, much less Christian families. What really bothers me about this aspect of "The Book of Daniel" is the not so subtle insinuation that this family is as it is because they are "Christians." Do they say that? no, not directly. But that idea is implicitly set forth. Still and yet, is that why I think this series is problematic? No...

The biggest difficulty I have with the series is the way it portrays Jesus. Don't get me wrong -- the fact that Jesus (in the series) has a biting wit and can be sarcastic isn't bad. In fact, I LOVE that! I often tell people (tongue-in-cheek, of course) that my two spiritual gifts are sarcasm and facetiousness. Clearly in the Gospels Jesus IS sarcastic at times -- contrary to what many good evangelicals might say.

The irritation I have, is the way "Jesus" so easily dismisses what the Bible clearly said. One instant I recall is when this priest quotes a Bible verse verbatim from the Gospels. "Jesus" then scoffs and shaking his head, says, "where do you people get this stuff?"

That troubles me. He got it from the Bible, from the words of Jesus Himself. To portray "Jesus" as questioning -- or denying -- the very Word upon which faith in Him is based may be funny, but it's dangerous. Funny I get, but that borders on blasphemy.

In short, I don't particularly object to Christians being portrayed as troubled people -- they are -- though not to the over-the-top extremes "The Book of Daniel" indicates. I don't mind a Saviour who is portrayed as having a quick wit and a sarcastic disposition at times -- He was, and IS. What I DO find unacceptable is that this "Jesus" isn't true to His own words, His own virtues and characteristics. Contradicting the Bible in its description of Christ is an attack not only on the Word, but on the One who gave us that Word.

I won't be watching this series. I'll tell NBC and my local affiliate that I won't watch -- and I might just discontinue viewing NBC as a whole. That's my choice. NBC and Hollywood may choose to keep on running this series and other such junk. That's their choice. I don't have to agree or to like it -- not yet anyway. But, in the end, Hollywood will run out of money before I run out of convictions.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Defining Yourself

If you want to really get a good idea of who you are, of what you're all about, here's a good exercise to engage in..... Plan your own funeral.

Seriously, down to the last detail. Songs or hymns sung; readings of Scripture, literature, poetry; those who will officiate and those who will eulogize; even what you'd like to be said, preached, remembered...

My Dad told me about the funeral of my Great Aunt last week. She was nearly 93, the last sibling of my late paternal grandmother. He told me it was maybe the nicest funeral service he'd ever been to. She clearly gave the service -- and her life -- a lot of thought. She included everything, planned every detail. She even wrote a poem herself for her memorial service! That takes a great deal of reflection and introspection.

How many of us are willing to do that? To sit, and spend time just reflecting on who we are, what we've done, why we're here? To lay out a plan for what people (one would hope) should think of you, and how they will bid you goodbye?

Most of us are repelled by the idea of death -- especially our own. And in all honesty we don't like to contemplate the far too numerous failures and missed opportunities in our past. Looking back and seeing our faults can be as painful and uninspiring as looking to the future at our certain, impending expiration.

Then again, planning our own funeral -- our own formal recognition of departure from this world to the next -- may actually help us not only to face our appointment with death, but it could encourage us to live better in anticipation of it. When I go, I want to have made plans not only about how others will remember me, but to prepare for what awaits me. And part of that preparation is to live purposefully now, in focus and on target.

Life does not merely end in death. Life is an introduction to eternity. We should concern ourselves not only with planning our funeral, or even with how we'll fare and where we'll be in eternity -- but with how we'll be remembered -- with the legacy we leave after we've gone.

Plan your funeral. It might not only give you an idea of how you'll die, but about how you ought to live until then.