|I was unaware that Calvary Chapel had recently stopped distributing Rick Warren's written materials through their churches, and Chuck Smith has recalled one of his books that cited Warren favorably in the past. You can read about it from the perspective of an "apologist" within the Calvary Chapel movement here:|
I find this disheartening. While I certainly don't agree with all that Warren has done in recent years, I don't believe ecclesiatical separation is warranted in this case. Who does Chuck Smith think he is. Bob Jones III? Is the Calvary Chapel movement becoming a fighting "Fundamentalist" fellowship?
Was there no way for Warren and Smith to meet together behind closed doors and iron out their differences or find a way to agree to disagree agreeably?
Or, is it the fact that Warren's Purpose Driven Life has outsold all of Chuck's books put together that is motivating this?
It's another sad -- and unnecessary -- fracture in the Body....
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Latest Update 09.12.07, 14:21
Washington official says Israeli surveillance shows possible Syrian nuclear installation stocked by North Korea, Israeli Arab newspaper claims target of alleged raid last week was Syrian missile base financed by
Israel believes that North Korea has been supplying Syria and Iran with nuclear materials, a
The official added that recent Israeli reconnaissance flights over
Meanwhile on Wednesday the Nazareth-based Israeli Arab newspaper The Assennara cited anonymous Israeli sources as saying that Israeli jets "bombed a Syrian-Iranian missile base in northern
According to the Times, American officials confirmed Tuesday that Israeli jets launched an airstrike inside
The most likely target was, according to some administration officials, weapon caches sent by
North Korea commented on the incident Tuesday, calling it a "dangerous provocation", Chinese News Agency Xinhua reported on Tuesday
"This is a very dangerous provocation little short of wantonly violating the sovereignty of
"The Democratic People's Republic of
Perhaps it's my cynical nature, developed over long years of naive optimism and hoping against hope, only to witness the continual failures and perpetual depravity of human beings.
Still, when I heard the Bush Administration announce that the North Koreans were, out of the blue, surrendering their nuclear weapons, I thought they might have really found a way to gain leverage over the insane clown and his posse that run the Communist utopia we call "
The insane clown leader of NK is quite brilliant. He can run circles around American Presidents evidently. Look at what he managed to do. First, he couldn't maintain a nuclear weapons facility nor build more weapons -- his people are starving by the hundred's of thousands, and the nation is so broke that declaring bankruptcy would be an improvment. Second, they are under horrendous diplomatic pressure -- even by their leash-holders the ChiComs -- to stop their rebellious and irritating role as troublemakers. Third, the resulting economic sanctions only multiplied their suffering.
So, what's the solution? Here's the neat plan Pot-bellied dictator Kim Jong-Il cooked up.
(1) Sell all nuclear secrets and supplies to oil rich
This plan is genius -- really. Kim makes tons of cash coming and going -- selling to our enemies and selling us on the "I'm going straight" lie.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Leonard Pitts column “Six Years to Here” (September 10, 2007) demonstrates clearly that there is no resolve six years after the 9/11 attacks. But he tries to make the case that the resolve, once strong, has disappeared. Many of us have too late realized that the “resolve” Pitts speaks of never really existed.
The “telling difference” Pitts refers to between 9/11/01 and 12/7/41 does in fact have to do with a “political machine” that has “duped the nation,” but it isn’t the Bush Administration. Consider that:
Six years ago, Democrats voted to empower President Bush to prosecute the War on Terrorism “anywhere the terrorists were;”
Six years ago, Democrats recognized the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, even insisting on a Congressional vote to authorize military action in 2003 though it was legally unnecessary;
Six years ago, Democrats voted overwhelmingly with Republicans to authorize the Patriot Act to help our intelligence services be able to detect enemy threats before they produced more 9/11’s;
Six years ago, Democrats joined hands with Republicans and sang “God Bless America” on the Capitol steps;
In the last five years, the chief aim of Democrats has been to win back their power, not to win the War on Terrorism;
In the last five years, Democrats have revised history, claiming “there is no war on terrorism;” or that there “is no connection between Iraq and the War on Terrorism,” though they originally made the connection themselves;
In the last five years, Democrats have attempted to give constitutional rights to enemy combatants, while attempting to prosecute our military personnel in the execution of their duties to wage war;
In the last five years, Democrats have tried to undermine every step to secure our homeland from our enemies, chipping away at top secret programs or divulging them publicly to our enemies through the media;
In the last five years, one party is winning elections, while attempting to assure that our nation is losing the war, never missing a chance to undercut the War Effort for political gain and claiming to “support the troops” but not “the mission.”
Yes indeed, some of us Americans were duped. We believed that Liberals would finally recognize that there were evil people in the world who wanted to kill us, and they wanted to fight them. We believed that our survival as a nation was now more important to them than the next election. We believed we could count on their standing beside us in the fight. We believed the illusion. We bought the act.
My Dad, in the aftermath of Vietnam, once said, “Pray the Democrats aren’t on your side in the next real war.” His words were prophetic.
J. Dale Weaver, M. Div.
Friday, September 07, 2007
September 6, 2007 -- BRITAIN'S fertility regulator decided in principle today to allow scientists to create human-animal hybrid embryos for research.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) gave the go-ahead to controversial plans to create “cytoplasmic” embryos, which merge human cells with eggs from animals such as cattle.
Applications to proceed from researchers at Newcastle University in northeast England and King's College London can now be appraised by a licence committee in November.
Scientists argue such research could pave the way for therapies for diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
An HFEA consultation found that people were “at ease” with the proposals once the possible implications had been explained.....
The...embryos are therefore mostly human, with a small animal component.
Stem cells, which can grow into different kinds of tissue, are then formed.
The embryos could give researchers a large supply of stem cells to work with.
Scientists have had to rely on human eggs left over from fertility treatment, which are in short supply and often poor quality.
When I first heard this story, I asked myself the question, 'are they talking about England, or the Island of Dr. Moreau?'
That was a great -- and horrifying -- movie of my childhood starting Burt Lancaster as the "evil Doctor" who spliced the genes -- or genetically engineered -- crosses between men and animals. Without giving the end away, lets just say his experiments went awry as men became more like animals, and the poor animals became more like men. It was not only a movie nightmare, it was a moral nightmare.
So to will be these experiments approved by the British "fertility regulator" -- as if having a government office by that title isn't already sinister enough. Ostensibly, these "scientists" are hoping to "create" just enough life in these embryo's to engineer cures for diseases, the long promised miracle cures that they can never quite seem to perfect.
Of course, medical science and technology have made great strides in curing diseases and aiding those who suffer from various illnesses. Until recent decades, however, Medicine had a longstanding tradition all the way back to the Hippocratic Oath to "first, do no harm." Now, in the name of progress, with a promise of cures to the desparate and the frightened, they have jettisoned such moral notions. What could be more noble than surrendering your morality on your way to becoming a god?
The implications of these "experiments" go far deeper than the arrogance of "scientists" or the devaluing of human life. How long before human embryos become valuable commodities for sale to the highest bidder, and abortion becomes the means by which these "embryo's" are harvested for "special research?" Oops, some of that is already happening. How long before some "Dr. Moreau" decides that a Man-Cow hybrid, or Man-Dog, or Woman-Cat, or another cross-species amalgamation could prove lucrative as his own creation, or perhaps helpful as a servant in various mundane chores and tasks which other "full breed" humans just won't do?
These scientists are about to open a pandora's box as did Dr. Moreau on his fictional island. The results at the very least will further muddle the unique role of humans in the Creation, as well as cheapen the value of human lives. And perhaps worst of all, from the perspective of an animal lover, it would infuse those poor instictually driven beasts with something that to now has only belonged to humanity -- a fallen nature, a soul bent toward evil. If such a creature could have a soul at all.
The dangers are immense in this kind of foolish pursuit. It will become another "Tower of Babel" which must be struck down, for the sake of the very men who build it. For if it is not, our very noble "creations" could become the instruments of our destruction.
Thursday, September 06, 2007
In an August 10 interview on New Zealand's TV1 Close Up program McKellen was confronted by the interviewer questioning the truth of the rumour "He's the one, that when he stays in hotels rips the part of the bible out that criticizes homosexuality."
"Yes it is true," responded McKellen it's even tones. "Its Leviticus 18:22 that I object to, or is it 22:18, I've always got to look it up. Thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination. And they, I think the punishment for an abomination was being stoned to death," he said.
McKellen added, "I think it's rather obscene and pornographic, and shouldn't be there, so I remove it."
Asked how many bibles he has vandalized, McKellen replied, "I have no idea, but other people do it as well, people send me evidence that they have been removing that."
McKellen has been vandalizing bibles in the same fashion for at least a few years...."
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Gandalf has spoken. I've never been a Tolkein fan, and I didn't see any of the Lord of the Rings movies. C.S. Lewis and Narnia are more my speed. I'd heard before the movies were released, however, that Ian McKellan was homosexual, and it struck me as fascinating and quite ironic that so outspoken an individual about his "alternative" sexual proclivities could play such a moral and prominent character in a movie by a man who clearly saw his lifestyle as aberrant and unnatural. Tolkein would not have been pleased.
That's neither here nor there though. That McKellan has destroyed multiple copies of the Scriptures -- probably placed there by good people through the ministry of the Gideons -- is important though. That he defaces something not belonging to him, and in which he doesn't even believe, is telling. What has he to fear from it? It's not like a bunch of Bible-toters are coming to lynch him or burn him at the stake. It's just words on a page -- if his view of the world is right.
This story brought to mind an interesting Old Testament story, found in Jeremiah 36:14-16;20-21;23-24;27,28,30,31. I commend it to your reading -- and to Mr. McKellan's:
"Therefore all the princes sent Jehudi the son of Nethaniah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Cushi, unto Baruch, saying, Take in thine hand the roll wherein thou hast read in the ears of the people, and come. So Baruch the son of Neriah took the roll in his hand, and came unto them.
And they said unto him, Sit down now, and read it in our ears. So Baruch read [it] in their ears.
Now it came to pass, when they had heard all the words, they were afraid both one and other, and said unto Baruch, We will surely tell the king of all these words....
And they went in to the king into the court, but they laid up the roll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and told all the words in the ears of the king.So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king.
And it came to pass, [that] when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast [it] into the fire that [was] on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that [was] on the hearth.
Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, [neither] the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words....
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying,
Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned....
Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost.
And I will punish him and his seed and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring upon them, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and upon the men of Judah, all the evil that I have pronounced against them; but they hearkened not."
Ian McKellan should know that Voltaire declared during his lifetime the Bible would cease to be of interest and Christianity would die out. One hundred years later, Voltaire was in the ground and Bibles were being printed on his presses, in his former home. Talented people, brilliant minds, have come and gone, but the Bible continues on.
King Jehoiakim took an penknife and cut out the parts of the Bible he didn't like, just as did Mr. McKellan. He burned it. Thought it was "obsence" and "pornographic" I imagine. Jehoakim was killed by the Babylonians a few years later. But the Words of God were fulfilled.
You may cut up the words on the page, Mr. McKellan, but that doesn't negate their truth, nor will it keep them from coming to pass.
Monday, September 03, 2007
That little nun, from my perspective, however, lived a more truly Christian life than many leaders in large churches and denominations that I DO know. Yet, recently, the news media has trumpeted the fact that Mother Teresa, great and faithful Christian humanitarian, struggled with doubt and despair much of her life as a devout nun. The agenda of the media, of course, is to discredit faith -- the Christian faith in particular. For such a perceived champion of that faith to suffer doubt, to them, accomplishes their [evil] mission.
Maybe believers should "reframe" this issue, though. A proper understanding of Mother Teresa's context might help. This woman who had dedicated her entire life to the aid and help of the poorest and most disenfranchised in Hindu India, saw thousands, perhaps millions over her lifetime, of suffering, sick, starving outcasts. She nursed them to health in some cases, and watched them die in many others. She often held their hands, or hugged them to her, as they drew their last breaths. Her world was filled with hard realities: with filth, anguish, failure, demonism and inhumanity.
So, why shouldn't she see God in all that, right? God must have been all over that place! He hangs around in the presence of the poor and suffering, after all.....right?
You know, Mother Teresa may not have truly been a believer. I (nor anyone else) knows the heart of another at its core. And, obviously, there are always issues of the nature of Catholic doctrine and dogma. Catholic tradition can obscure Biblical truth from many Catholics. No doubt about that (I know, spoken like a true Protestant).
But I lean toward another idea of why Mother Teresa was plagued by doubts and despair. Remember all the suffering and death Mother Teresa saw? All the horrendous and deplorable conditions she ministered in? All the hordes of pitiful humanity for whom she attempted to care? Mother Teresa seemed never to see Jesus there, in her words. "Where is He," she would ask.
He was there. All the time, and Mother Teresa was either blinded to His presence -- or too humble to be aware of it. Jesus was there...In Mother Teresa. Even when she felt the most despair, as though Jesus had deserted her -- to the point that she cried out, "if there be a God forgive me!" -- Mother Teresa never quit. She kept ministering, giving, loving, feeding... That was not the weak, poor nun wandering the streets of Calcutta. It was Jesus -- in her. Through her? It was Jesus.
I don't pretend to know Mother Teresa's spiritual condition. I do know a picture of what it means to suffer for Christ. Mother Teresa is such a picture. She suffered for others. She was in anguish spiritually as she interceded on behalf of those souls in the gutters of Calcutta. Her spirit was impoverished that those she touched might have a chance to experience God's riches in Christ Jesus.
No, I don't know Mother Teresa's eternity, but I hope and pray that I can go to my eternity and face God having been a fraction of the example of Christian virtue that she was. Doubt like hers doesn't prove lack of faith -- persistence in the face of such doubt in fact proves the truth of faith. And in light of that, Mother Teresa may just be the "patron saint" of the doubting and despairing.