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Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Terry Jones Quran (Koran) Burning Is Just One System Of Idolatry Versus Another

Posted by Job on September 9, 2010

Terry Jones, pastor of Dove World Outreach Center, is planning to commemorate the 9th anniversary of September 11th by burning copies of the Qu’ran (Koran), which is regarded as the holy book for those who practice Islam. These intentions have horrified a great number of people. Many of them, including of course Muslims and also Bible-believing Christians, are no doubt sincere in their intense opposition to this event. Many others, however, are of course grandstanding hypocrites who passionately defend and take pleasure in similar attacks against Christianity and those who practice it. However, there is another group of hypocrites that figure prominently in this controversy, as they were the ones who laid the very groundwork for such a thing as this to happen with their words, doctrines and deeds. Many Christians involved in “religious right” politics are falling over themselves to denounce Jones and his actions as un-Christian, taking full advantage of the opportunity to publicly exhibit their opposition to bigotry. These religious right Christians have spent decades preaching the false gospel of what can be called “Americhristianity“, a syncretism of (false) Christianity and America worship. Realize this: Terry Jones is being consistent here. He is only practicing what his religion preaches, and so is the “Ameri-Christian” who commits a “hate crime” against a Muslim, illegal immigrant, abortion doctor, homosexual or what have you. For the religious right sorts to disseminate their idolatrous doctrines and then disavow the consequences is no different from the imam who preaches jihad and then distances himself from the suicide bomber. Now do not get me wrong, only a tiny percentage of Muslims commit violence based on their religious beliefs. But make no mistake: the same is true of Ameri-Christians.

This should not surprise anyone, as violence is a logical consequence of idolatry. A look at Romans 1:18-32 shows us the evil that following dead idols causes: being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful, etc. Muslims get angry over a Florida pastor burning a Qu’ran? Well, a Florida pastor received death threats from the Ameri-Christians in his own congregation over his removing the American flag from the pulpit! His motivation? Wanting the church to focus on Jesus Christ!

Time to rewind a bit. A lot of people have made false equivalence between burning Bibles and burning the Qu’ran. This is apples and oranges because where Christians merely respect and cherish Bibles, Muslims actually regard copies of the Qu’ran as holy. Essentially, to the Muslim, the Qu’ran is an idol. Christians have no such view of the Bible, because Christianity holds that only God is holy. Thus, the only way to be holy is through a connection to or relationship with God. Born-again Christians are hence holy because God grants us this status through Jesus Christ, and also because God’s Holy Spirit indwells the Christian. So, in Christianity, one commits no sin against anything holy by burning a Bible. Instead, the Christian commits a sin against that which is holy when he sins against his body by breaking God’s commandments to us (see 1 Corinthians 6:18). (Among those commandments? Not to be an idolater!)

So why the difference between the Christian view of the Bible and the Muslim view of the Qu’ran? Return to Romans 1:18-32. It tells us that early in the history of the human race, beginning with Adam and for a time thereafter, man knew God. Now this may give pause to Christians who are conditioned to see God’s being known to man, particularly in a special or religious sense, through Old Testament Judaism and Christianity. Please recall that the Bible is not a comprehensive history, but concentrates on that which is necessary for salvation. Also, the Bible does speak of those who had a relationship with him prior to the calling of Abraham, a group which includes Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedek and Job. The Bible says that men began to call upon the Name of Yahweh in Genesis 4:26. “Call upon the Name” means to worship. Now God had been worshiped prior to that, for remember Abel’s sacrifice, an act of worship that God accepted. Also, the divine Name Yahweh was already known to humanity at that time, as Eve used it in Genesis 4:1 on the occasion of Cain’s birth. So, whatever development that Genesis 4:26 is supposed to refer to exactly, it is clear that at that stage, humanity had knowledge of God by worshiping Him using God’s personal Name.

However, by Genesis 6, things had changed. The population of the earth increased, and man became extremely wicked. Mankind had perverted himself, and as a result the earth was filled with violence. The cause of this? Again, Romans 1:18-32 says that wicked imaginations, perverse natures and violence comes from idolatry, and it also strongly suggests that at this time mankind completely gave himself over to this practice. Verses 21-25 read:

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Mankind ceased to worship God, the unseen Spirit, and instead worshiped creatures, meaning things that are created. This included the use of tangible, physical objects that represent entities or ideas – idols – in worship. And to the idolater, the creature, or its symbolic representative stand-in, is itself regarded as “holy”, and even may be considered to have magical or supernatural powers. If nothing else, the idol is a very valuable, cherished and beloved possession because of what it represents to its owner. So, mankind totally gave himself over to rejecting the holiness of the Creator in order to embrace the idea that things created – whether by God or man – were worthy of this reverent status instead.

Because this mindset was embedded in fallen humanity, God condescended to mankind’s status and incorporated some elements of it in the Sinai religion given by Moses to the Jews. Because of this, in Old Testament Judaism, certain days, holidays (or “holy days”), observances, places, objects and rituals were declared holy. However, we must realize that these things were so because God declared them to be as such. Also, God had His purposes. For instance, things that came into contact with God’s presence or were used in giving offerings to God had to be set apart and purified in order to teach Israel about God’s sinless nature and man’s sinfulness. Further, other things were declared holy because of Christological typology.

So what must be emphasized is that things like the temple, the altar, the ark of the covenant, the burnt offering tools etc. were not holy in and of themselves, but were only so because of their identification with God, their proximity to His presence and their use in His plan. It was never an endorsement of the idea that objects, places, rituals or even ideologies were to be considered holy, contained some spiritual or magical powers, imparted grace, and treated that such. So, when Jesus Christ fulfilled all things concerning the Sinai religion that was used as a schoolmaster to bring us to Him (Galatians 3:24-25) the idea of “holy things” ended. Evidence of this was the ripping of the veil of the temple.

However, the desire of people call things other than God holy did not end. As a consequence, Islam reveres not only its books, but its (alleged) prophet, buildings, cities (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem), and even nations that are fully under Muslim control as holy. But the issue here is that it is not unique to Islam, but is also present in false versions of Christianity. Consider Catholicism (Roman and Orthodox) with its sacraments that according to their teachings impart grace, and its seemingly endless assortment of “saints”, icons, relics etc. that are targets of “veneration” because of some spiritual or mystical reason or other.

What does this have to do with Terry Jones? Well, his Ameri-Christianity is more of the same. His Qu’ran burning is not being done for theological reasons. If it were, he would also burn the Book of Mormon, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower Magazine, and articles from other false faiths. Instead, Jones is singling out the Qu’ran because he has bought into the right wing dogma that Islam constitutes some sort of threat to the American way of life. And since Ameri-Christianity is this blend of certain – but not all – Christian doctrines and some – but again not all – American ideas and traditions, in the eyes of the Ameri-Christian like Jones, an attack on one is an attack on the other.

Make no mistake, whether they support this Qu’ran burning of Jones or not, religious right Ameri-Christians worship the creature besides the Creator. This great nation of ours is but a creature. Further, as Old Testament Israel was the only nation to be created by God, it is a creation of men. And God did not create our institutions or system of laws as He did with Old Testament Israel. Instead, men created democracy (where the Bible only deals with monarchy and theocracy), men created capitalism (which did not even exist until the groundwork for it was accidentally laid by John Calvin), and men created the concept of individual and human rights (the result of Enlightenment philosophers’ taking portions of the Roman Catholic concept of natural law that they found useful and applying it to the secular arena). Ameri-Christians have taken these works of human hands to be the result of divine providence, and quite possibly even divine revelation, and therefore in their eyes to oppose them is to oppose God, and supporting them is part and parcel of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can turn on conservative talk radio – or even Christian radio – at any time and hear so many Christians profess “I believe in and support the Bible and the Constitution 100%” when the truth is that not only does one not have anything to do with the other, but that the worldviews of the Bible (divine revelation) and the Constitution (humanism and deism) are opposed. The Bible is the Word of God, the Constitution is the word of Caesar. Render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but give to God that which is God, and never shall the twain be intermixed!

Now again, let us go back to the Biblically established truth that idolatry leads to violence and apply it to Ameri-Christianity. How many Christians accept without question the idea that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were justified in order to protect the American way of life because it includes the ability to practice Christianity freely? How many of us even justify this concept with thinking like “America needs to remain free and prosperous so that American Christians will have the financial resources to sponsor missions and help the poor in third world countries.” Well dear Christians, the early church of Acts was neither free OR wealthy, yet they managed to evangelize the Roman Empire AND meet the needs of the poor!

Consider another example. How many Christians advocate – or would refuse to criticize – the killing of a robber that is only taking money or property and not physically endangering anyone? Truthfully, very few, because we have the conviction that “we have the right/responsibility to protect our private property.” Now do not err by bringing up the law given to Old Testament Israel concerning executing thieves. A person operating under New Testament doctrine knows that human life is more valuable than property, and that it is better to spare a thief in the hopes that he might hear the gospel down the line than to blow him away after the manner of some Clint Eastwood or Charles Bronson movie. This is further evidence that mammon (possessions, “rights”, and the pleasures and passions that we obtain from them) is the true god of the Ameri-Christian.

Consider that such people live in fear of losing their freedoms, their rights and way of life. Well, what freedom, what rights does a slave have? What way of life does a slave enjoy except that which his master dictates? Now the legitimate Christian is a slave to Jesus Christ. The slave of Jesus Christ is able to find joy, peace, fulfillment and all else that he needs whether he is free prince in America or an oppressed pauper in Indonesia. Ameri-Christians reject slavery to Christ in favor of the idea of being their own masters. Being Christian is merely another lifestyle decision that they choose for themselves, and quite frankly they would find practicing Christianity under adverse or oppressive conditions to be more burdensome than liberating.

Thus, it would not surprise me the least if an Ameri-Christian is far more likely to suffer the experience of enduring living in a poor, oppressive overseas regime as a member of the military and therefore willing and ready to kill if ordered to do so by the creature than as a missionary sharing the gift of eternal life if ordered to do so by the Creator. To such a person, making such a lifestyle sacrifice in order to mete out death in defense of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is more agreeable than doing so in order to share the message of life and life more abundantly. And we can only imagine what such a person would think of the one who is a conscientious objector because of the teachings of Jesus Christ on the Sermon of the Mount! For the Ameri-Christian, “the American way of life” is morally and theologically prior to the New Testament.

This ideology is guilty of recognizing one of the main themes of the Sinai religion of the Old Testament. Consider the offering altar. It could only be made of earth, or of a single stone. It could not be made of hewn stone or constructed in any way, because the tools used to make the altar were unholy, and that which was holy was not allowed to mix or come in contact with that which was holy. That was a principle that held for everything and everyone that came into contact with God’s presence, or was used in making an offering to God. If anything common or regular came into contact with anything or anyone that was supposed to make an offering to God or be in God’s presence, then the thing that was supposed to be holy had to go through a purification process.

This was supposed to teach Christians that God is unique, separate and holy and cannot be mixed with or attached to anything worldly, common or unclean. That is what Ameri-Christianity does. It takes the worldly, common things (culture, economics, politics, ideology) and attempts to fuse it with the holiness of God’s Holy Spirit and presence. The result is something that is no longer clean, holy or spiritual, and hence no longer legitimately Christian. Think about that the next time that you hear someone declare that America is “a Christian nation.” Such a thing cannot exist, because it is a mixture of a common creature (America) with a Holy Creator. The very tools that were used to construct America defile it, making it an unworthy altar, and we cannot make an acceptable offering to God on an unclean altar that God rejects. Thus, the person who in any sense joins being American with being Christian is only capable of making an offering to God after the manner of Cain. And let us recall that this same Cain slew Abel, who made the acceptable offering.

And this is why the actions of one Terry Jones, and also of the many other religious right Ameri-Christians doing their best to distance themselves from him because being associated with them hurts their economy in the American political mainstream that they desire and need to remain relevant and powerful in, should be taken notice of. Again, Ameri-Christianity is idolatry. Idolatry leads to violence. And the primary target of idolatrous violence is going to be any non-idolaters that are available. As Galatians 4:29 tells us, those who are of the flesh persecute those who are of the spirit, just as Cain slew righteous Abel and Ishmael persecuted Isaac.

And remember the prediction of Jesus Christ in John 16:2! Can it be that Ameri-Christians may believe that by persecuting us for being “un-American” that they are doing God service? Consider the Glenn Beck rally, where not a few evangelical Ameri-Christians joined this dominionist crusader in his Mormonism worship rally. If the economic problems continue, illegal immigration persists and the American way is threatened by enemies like Iran and North Korea abroad and liberals at home, will the refusal to join ecumenical/interfaith Americanism movements be seen as a betrayal of God? Judging from Ameri-Christian David Barton, who states that we should “judge Beck by his fruits” (meaning his effective support of the religious right agenda), you can guess the answer. So, Christian, what are you going to do when the Ameri-Christian comes for you bearing chains and staves to deliver you to the authorities? Will you stand? Or will you wilt and refuse to profess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all?

That, of course, presumes that you are indeed a Christian and not an Ameri-Christian. Which are you? Today you must make your stand. If you worship God, worship Him only. If you worship Baal, worship Baal only. How long will you halt between two opinions? If you are on the Lord’s side, then flee the syncretism! Come out of Babylon and the abomination of her idols immediately! Otherwise, when Babylon falls – and she will fall – you will with her.

If you are unsaved and are not under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I urge you now

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If you are saved, then here is a prayer. Father God in the Name of Jesus Christ, please lead and guide me so that I can discern that which is holy and that which is not so that I may follow the former, spurn the latter, and worship you only in spirit and in truth as you desire and require. Amen.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

What If It Were A Ground Zero Church Instead Of A Ground Zero Mosque?

Posted by Job on August 17, 2010

When you consider the Ground Zero mosque controversy, I cannot help but think of the Orthodox Idolatry post at Judah’s Lion (courtesy of PJ Miller) of concerning the lengths that Christians will go to in order to defend the American system because they perceive the American system to be some Christian ideal and the result of God’s providence and part of His special plan for the redemption of mankind with a unique role in salvation history, and as a result defending America is tantamount to defending the gospel of Jesus Christ itself. From Calvinistic covenant theologians like D. James Kennedy who proclaim America to be the crowning achievement of that system to free will Christians who want the power of man to choose or resist God’s grace to be constitutionally protected by the most powerful nation on earth, there is a lot at stake in claiming that there is Godly virtue in America’s secular freedoms, secular freedoms that are truthfully – according to Judah’s Lion – are actually morally neutral. Nothing of real spiritual value is morally neutral – meaning that it can be used for either evil or good – because God cannot be the origin of evil (James 1:12). Instead, it should be stated that things that are morally neutral can be used to perform God’s purposes. And that is no evidence of the virtues of morally neutral – or amoral – things because even things that are incontrovertibly evil have been used to fulfill God’s purposes too (as in the slaughter of the innocent Jewish children by Herod, which fulfilled a Messianic prophecy).

Now a lot of things have been written by Christians on this mosque topic. So, I will focus on two issues: the need of Christians to submit to the government (Romans 13) and the need of Christians not to be hypocrites. On the first, the Bible makes it clear that failing to obey or respect the law when the law does not force Christians to violate scripture is a sin. To put it another way, attempting to defy or subvert legitimate government is a sin, because legitimate government is a servant of God because of its serving to restrain evil. This means that not only are we to adhere to the law ourselves, but we are to desire that others do so also, and further we are to desire that the law is applied justly, which means fairly and evenly.

With that in mind, make no mistake: the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the applicable state and local laws give Muslims the right to build this mosque. For Christians to go about looking for ways to hinder or intimidate Muslims from exercising and enjoying their legal rights is to attempt to subvert and reject our system of laws. It would make the Muslims the lawmakers and Christians the subversives, the rebels, the seditionists. It would be Christians attempting to subvert the rule of law and undermining a just application of them. Other nations, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, do not have any pretense of equal treatment under the law. They do not have an equivalent to the Bill of Rights or the equal protection clause. So those nations can have different sets of rules for religious minorities and be justified in their own eyes. But it is America who has those things, and there is no justification for a Christian to attempt to prevent a nation from living up to and enforcing its own laws. Indeed, the Christian who does such a thing is guilty of promoting injustice and lawlessness.

Now a lot of people have taken the stance “it is legal but it isn’t right” under the grounds that it is offensive. The problem is that the First Amendment and other applicable laws are designed specifically to protect things that are offensive. To pretend otherwise is ridiculous. Now of course, most people are willing to respect the wishes and feelings of the majority. That’s not the point. The point is that they have no legal obligation to. Instead, the law is designed to protect people who have no regard for the majority, and indeed are opposed to the majority.

I don’t believe that a lot of Christians, especially those of a conservative political persuasion, have come to grips with the true nature of the founding of our country. This country’s founding was an act of rebellion, sedition, treason or what have you against England, who (notwithstanding the Native Americans) were the rightful rulers of this nation. Rebelling against a colonial power was a radical act, and it was justified not with the Bible, but with the radical Enlightenment thought that produced – among other things – the murderous French Revolution and ultimately spawned socialism, fascism and communism. So why are we surprised that a bunch of radical seditionists would produce a Constitution that protects the right of radical people to express themselves and organize? So, back then, it was the deists, humanists, rationalists, atheists, unitarians, freemasons (Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and similar) plus Jews and Roman Catholics who demanded these protections from our overwhelmingly Protestant nation, and thanks to a revolutionary (seditious) mindset that overthrew the previous experiences of nations from the Roman Empire to Calvin’s Geneva to Bunyan’s England which taught that the long-term survival of a nation (we have only been in existence 300 years!) requires limiting religious freedom, they got it.

Now if it is time to state that the founders were wrong on unfettered religious freedom, fine. But should this reckoning be led by the very Christian leaders who supported the war in Iraq to “defend our religious freedoms and to give the Iraqis religious freedom too!”? If there is a fight to keep Muslims from imposing sharia law on Christians at home, the Christians who supported imposing western style democracies on sharia law on Muslims abroad should not be the ones to lead it. The reason is because such Christians do not support true justice or the rule of law, but instead only want to use these institutions to benefit Christians (and increasingly Jews, Mormons and Roman Catholics, who now all get to be called “Judeo-Christians”). We cannot continue to ignore that our system of laws was created in order to give a bunch of rebellious people that included in their ranks not a few deists and unitarians the “freedom” to reject legitimate Godly authority, which means that we also cannot persist in acting surprised that everyone from the Muslims to the feminists to the Marxists to the homosexual activists to the atheists have used this same system to pursue their agendas also.

Please note that I did not say “co-opt” or “hi-jack” because that would be dishonest. Instead, it can and must be said that these groups are properly utilizing our system according to the manner that it was intended. Our system was created by rebels for rebels. People who are appalled at the rebels of today (i.e. Muslims, homosexuals and other liberals) have forgotten how appalling the American Revolution was to the British! That’s right, the current tea party folks who oppose this mosque on the basis that it will become a breeding ground for terrorists (which it will be, trust me I have no illusion about Islam) conveniently forget how the British very properly viewed the original Tea Party and those who followed after them. Do you believe that the British had any higher regard for George Washington than many Americans have for Feisal Abdul Rauf? Why do you believe that they should have for the man that led a rebellion against their nation that killed many British soldiers? You don’t believe that the British cared any less for their soldiers fighting in America back then than we care about our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan today? (And when you consider that unlike our troops occupying sovereign nations, the British troops were fighting to defend territory that was lawfully and properly theirs from traitors and seditionists?)

So, Christians who believe that by opposing the mosque they are defending America have simply deluded themselves as to what they are defending. It should be clear based on the Bible and our history (by this I mean actual scripture and history and not what we wish the Bible and our history to be for our own political or patriotic purposes) that seeking to either break the law or to intimidate Muslims to abandon their legal rights in order to oppose this mosque is not a legitimate expression of Christianity, which renders under Caesar that which is Caesar’s and submits to higher powers. As building this mosque will not stop a single Christian sermon from being preached or evangelist from being sent, contriving excuses to refuse to respect the law and the decisions of legitimately elected leaders (i.e. Bloomberg and Obama) makes the Christian guilty in this matter. And please, no speaking of how that site is “sacred ground.” Sacred in what sense? Not in a Christian sense, because the New Testament speaks only of the church’s identification with Jesus Christ – and through Jesus Christ God the Father – and it’s being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The New Testament no longer even affords much special significance to Jerusalem or the temple. Biblical Christianity respects no concept of “sacred ground”, only an elect people, and stating otherwise is political idolatry.

Now the second issue is even easier: hypocrisy. Suppose this former Burlington Coat Factory site had been purchased by a Christian pastor for the purposes of building a church, seminary or similar. And suppose that the state and city governments were to deny the building of it. Suppose that the logic was that it would be inappropriate, insensitive, and a provocation. Suppose Mike Bloomberg and Barack Obama were to say “building a large church so close to Ground Zero would be an act of declaring that site a Christian site and this nation a Christian nation, and that would dishonor the memories of the Jews, atheists, Hindus, Wiccans and Muslims who died on September 11th, and it would also dishonor the non-Christian soldiers who are fighting for our freedoms.” What if devices or tricks such as declaring this Burlington Coat Factory to be some sort of historical landmark site or changes to zoning laws were done to prevent this “Ground Zero Church” from being built, and demands were made to respect it as “sacred ground.” Suppose that someone were to even propose that building a church on a site that Muslims regard as triumphialist – one where they believe themselves to have obtained a great victory over the west – would be considered a religious and ideological “counterstrike” that would incite and inflame “moderate Muslims” and provoke attacks from Islamists. What would be the response?

We know the answer. Many of these very same Christians would invoke the First Amendment and every other law in the books to support the church being built. The same laws that we are demanding that Muslims either abandon or be denied in this case, most of these same Christians would want to be enforced to the fullest extent possible were the roles reversed. The Alliance Defense Fund, the American Center For Law and Justice, and other similar organizations would be working overtime, as would so many Christian leaders and opinion-makers. They would reject the “this isn’t about the First Amendment … you can build a church anywhere, just not here!” excuse. And you know what, they’d be 100% correct in that hypothetical situation just as they are 100% wrong now.  Do not mistake me, I am a Bible-believing Christian who fully knows the difference between Islam and Christianity. The issue is that our laws respect no such difference because they were written by people who wanted a legal code that recognizes no distinctions between Martin Luther and Thomas Jefferson. Our laws can show no favor on Christians or disfavor on Muslims because in going with Enlightenment humanism, our founding fathers chose darkness over light. So then, what is the justification for Christians to completely cast aside the golden rule – let alone the rule of law – with regards to this matter? Simple: there is none. Instead, you have so many professing Christians that are standing up defending the right to treat Muslims in a manner that is not only illegal, but is not the treatment that they would want to receive themselves. (Again, no claims that “I would respect sharia law if I were living in Saudi Arabia” because this isn’t Saudi Arabia. This is America, and the Bible demands that American Christians be subject to American laws and rulers, not that we try to seek ways to justify violating our laws and defying our leaders.)

Now does this means that Christians should support and defend this mosque? Of course not. Christians should never willingly play a role in the promotion of another religion. (Ecumenical Christians who do so with Roman Catholics and Mormons as well as dispensationalists who do so with Jews, please take note.) The idea that we have to defend the freedom of other religions in order to defend our own freedoms is not supported by the Bible. It is akin to claiming that we have to defend homosexual marriage in order to protect state recognition of heterosexual marriage, or defend abortion in order to make sure that those who wish to have children will be allowed to. Also, it takes the position that the protection and advancement of the church comes from the state and not God. Some Christians, especially those of the liberal bent, would claim that the Bible commands us to speak up for the marginalized and dispossessed and make sure that they receive justice. It is my position that such people would be employing questionable hermeneutics and a faulty application based on them in a case like this. Allow me to say that it would be the duty of a Christian who holds a post in civil government to do his job and follow the law with respect to Muslims in this case. Beyond that, it is the duty of our civil government to protect the First Amendment rights of Muslims. Christians should simply allow our civil government to do its job with respect to Muslims seeking to practice their religion and not interfere.

Ultimately, this Ground Zero mosque is a great example of the dangerous deceptions of political Christianity, both right and left. Political Christianity causes us to error in our thought, speech and actions, and divert those things from what God in His New Testament actually told us to do, which is to go and make converts and disciples and to live under submission to Jesus Christ ourselves.

Update: Following Judah’s Lion has the best commentary on this topic to date.

Thousands of Jesus followers around the world are being persecuted and even martyred for their faith. And just like the Amish who forgave the man who murdered their little girls, these believers endure hardships and persecution with the grace that should remind us of the Savior upon that cruel tree.

But in America a mosque is proposed to be built and millions of people who profess Christ get all up in arms and sound the alarm. The “alarm” they sound is not a call to sacrificial prayer for the souls of the Muslims who will frequent this mosque, but it is a caterwauling about America and the indignity of such a building. And these are people who doctrinally say they believe the Bible.

Evidently they do not.

What more can be said?

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Posted in Bible, Christianity, evangelism, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ, religious right | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

On Franklin Graham And The Pentagon’s Rescinding Their Invitation

Posted by Job on April 26, 2010

You may have heard about how Franklin Graham was disinvited to a Pentagon prayer service because of his refusal to rescind comments that he made attacking Islam, as it is the subject of not a little controversy. Two thoughts.

1. Some use incidents as these as evidence that America is turning away from Christianity. My position is that nations and governments are all of the world, and as such have rejected Jesus Christ and will be judged by this same Jesus Christ. While the rejection of Jesus Christ by our nation and its institutions is perhaps more overt in some respects than in the past, and while there probably are indeed fewer legitimate Christians in America in terms of the percentage of the population than there were in times past, America is still as it always was … of the world. The church of Jesus Christ is the ekklesia, the elect that is called out of the world. Further, America is just one of many nations that has existed and will exist in human history. While God has used America’s Christians to do a lot of great things (i.e. in missionary evangelism), let us not fall into the deceptive thinking that America has a special standing before God; that America is or ever was in some sort of covenant relationship with God, or any of the other myths of American culture and tradition. There was only one nation brought into existence as an act of special creation by God with the purpose of being the light to the nations. That nation was Israel, and Israel’s purpose was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God did not create America or any other nation to carry out the purposes that Jesus Christ – God in the flesh – already accomplished.

2. For the record, I agree with what Franklin Graham said against Islam. This places me in league with virtually all of the supporters of Graham in this controversy. The point of divergence is that I will apply what Graham said against Islam to Judaism, Mormonism, Roman Catholicism and any other false or heretical religion or belief system that denies God’s revelation and exalts itself against the God of the Bible. So Graham attacks Islam, suffers (minor) consequences for it, and is the evangelical hero of the moment in some quarters. But suppose Graham were to say the same about Judaism? These same people wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole. Many of them would be front and center denouncing Graham as anti-Semitic and hateful, and they would by no means be limited to premillennial dispensationalists. The very same people who run their little “Jihad Watch” websites and blogs reciting violent statements in the Koran ignore that the very same exhortations to commit genocide and kill nonbelievers appear in the Old Testament, making them perfectly valid for Jews to practice. They know full well that Jews are operating in darkness because they reject the New Testament revelation – that of an explicitly fully revealed Jesus Christ – that puts the Old Testament into context. Yet had Graham gone after Jews the way that he did Muslims, how many people would find his being expelled from the Pentagon prayer event to be overly objectionable? The same number as would had Graham said those things against Roman Catholics and Mormons. The conservative evangelicals on the religious right, who rely on conservative Catholics, Mormons and Jews, would in particular be apoplectic. Which, of course, is why you rarely hear evangelical leaders speaking against those false religions anymore.

Yes, I know that Franklin Graham made those comments after September 11th, when Muslims killed a great many Americans. But in addition to Graham’s unwillingness to challenge Roman Catholics on their many heresies because he is an ecumenical sort like his father, it is curious that Graham was moved to such strong speech by Muslims’ killing Americans but not Americans’ killing Muslims. What does Graham think of our overthrowing the Iranian government over oil profits? What does Graham think of our overthrowing the Iraqi government to put Saddam Hussein in power, and then sponsoring Hussein’s Iraq government in a war against this same Iran (after they turned on us) that killed millions of Muslims? What does Graham think of first war against Iraq, which happened because Hussein invaded Kuwait as part of a scheme to get OPEC to raise oil prices because our proxy war against Iran left his nation broke? What does Graham think of the crushing sanctions against Iraq after the first Iraq War, or the second Iraq War? Apparently, it is just fine for America to kill millions of Muslims with wars, proxy wars and sanctions. We’re America, and we can do whatever we want, right? But when the Muslim world responds to our killing millions of THEM by killing a few thousand of US, this is how Graham responds (and keep in mind, this was Graham’s softened public relations backtrack from his original, harsher comments)? Graham talks about how Islam treats its women when America invented pornography and is trying to impose legalized abortion on the rest of the world through the U.N. and other NGOs?

Here is a quote: “Graham later wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal saying he did not believe Muslims were evil because of their faith, but “as a minister … I believe it is my responsibility to speak out against the terrible deeds that are committed as a result of Islamic teaching.”  Fine. But let’s hear Graham, as a minister, replace “Muslim” with “Jew”, “Mormon”, “Roman Catholic”, “Jehovah’s Witness” or “AMERICAN” in that sentence. Theologically, he would be justified. But if he did, the same people defending him over this now would have rejected him over it. The reason is that these people aren’t interested in legitimate Bible-based Christianity. If they were, it would be Muslim, Mormon, Jew, Catholic … six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Instead, these people are fighting political and cultural battles. Because after all, politics and culture – the world – is the only sphere where preferring the Muslim to the Jew or Catholic makes sense. It’s the only sphere where an aggressively hostile attitude towards Muslims can coexist with the “Christians must support Israel!” mindset when in truth there is no New Testament justification for EITHER.

Now again, what Franklin Graham said against Islam was 100% true. The problem is that the same people who supported Graham in what he said against Islam would abandon him in a heartbeat were he to say the same against Jews, Catholics, or for that matter whatever policy that got us into this Iraq/Iran mess. The reason for this double standard, this hypocrisy is worldliness, and this worldliness is not something that can be blamed on the people that had Graham disinvited from the prayer event.

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On The FBI Arresting The Hutaree “Christian” Militia Because They Made Threats Against Muslims

Posted by Job on March 29, 2010

First, allow me to say that nothing in the Bible justifies having a “Christian” militia. Quite the contrary, when Peter assaulted the Jewish temple guardsman who came to arrest Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ rebuked Peter, healed the man whose ear Peter cut off, and told Peter “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” The early church faced severe persecution, with the Roman Empire killing millions of Christians over 300 years, yet never at any time was there an armed resistance against the persecution. Those people took the words of Jesus Christ literally when He said that those who would be persecuted for His sake would be considered blessed, and followed the example of Peter and John who considered it a blessing and honor to be counted worthy to suffer mistreatment for Jesus Christ’s Name.

And it goes without saying that threatening violence against a Muslim or anyone else is – as this Hutaree “Christian” militia allegedly did –  clearly incontrovertibly a sin. People like this have to realize that Jesus Christ began His ministry during the time of armed uprisings by Jews against a very evil, tyrannical Roman government. (However, it should be noted that had the Jews not taken up arms against the Romans, the Romans would have generally left them alone.) The Jews were looking for a political messiah to defeat the Romans and re-establish a sovereign, Davidic kingdom. Many false messiahs promising just that came, and many followed Jesus Christ hoping that He was a messiah of that sort. They even mistook the miracles that Jesus Christ performed as evidence that He would use power from God to defeat the Romans.

However, when Jesus Christ made it known that His mission was not to establish an earthly kingdom, many lost interest and followed others, the ones who Jesus Christ referred to as “thieves and robbers”, which in the vernacular of the day referred to the seditious false messiahs leading rebellions. Jesus Christ repeatedly and consistently told His followers that it was wrong to rebel against Rome (especially violently) and that was what the significance of issues like paying taxes to Rome were all about. Later, Paul wrote Romans 13 about submitting to Rome as opposed to rebelling against them, and Peter wrote that Christians should pray for their leaders rather than rebel against them. And in the Olivet discourse, Jesus Christ told His followers not to defend Jerusalem from the attacking Romans, but instead to flee.

Needless to say, Jesus Christ’s words were rejected. He who came in the Name of God they did not follow, but those who came in their own name, including the false messiahs, they followed. This pattern of rejection of the true Messiah and His spiritual message and their embrace of false messiahs who offered a message of this world (i.e. political liberation, which included many economic benefits as well) was best symbolized when the Jews demanded that Pontius Pilate release the seditious murderer Barabbas – one of those involved in the violent liberation movements – in the place of Jesus Christ. By continuing to reject Jesus Christ and follow such people in their violent uprisings against Rome (they failed to listen to not only Jesus Christ but to even secular and Jewish leaders like Josephus and Yochanan ben Zakkai), the Jews brought the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD upon their nation, which resulted in the death of over 1 million Jews and the destruction of the temple (which fulfilled the near term “this generation” prophecies of the Olivet discourse). And in 132 AD, still following false messiahs like Simeon bar Kochba who promised that God would use them to defeat the Roman Empire, the Jewish liberation movement suffered their final defeat by the Romans, who burned what was left of Jerusalem to the ground, renamed it, and made it a capital crime for any Jew to re-enter the city. So, no Jewish liberation projects would exist for over 1700 years until 1897 when Theodor Herzl formally created the Zionist movement (although pre-Zionist movements had existed since at least the French Revolution).

So, by forming “militias” and certainly by threatening Muslims, these people do nothing but reject anything resembling the true literally interpreted teachings of the New Testament. By doing so, they reject Jesus Christ for Barabbas, and for that matter Jesus Christ for the Jews who delivered Christ to the Romans to be killed, and had Barabbas released in His stead. So let it be clear … the teachings of the New Testament and the unfolding of history (not only Jewish history, but the violent, failed “revolutions” of certain Anabaptist and Donatist Christian groups, as well as the violent death of the very vicious Ulrich Zwingli) supports nothing of the kind.

Still, we must wonder why it took mere threats against Muslims to bring the FBI down against these people. Unless, of course, they had evidence that these groups were going to act on their threats. So far, the FBI has everything sealed. Right now, a lot of LEGITIMATE Christians and a lot of conservatives are wondering about the double standards … why were these “Christians” arrested when other groups – including Muslims – who make similar threats all the time go free? I do not deny that there is not some element of this going on, or that the Obama administration does not have a propaganda motive to do this shortly after the passage of health care legislation and during the rise of the Tea Party movement and things of that nature. So, this is as good a time to go after conservative anti-government groups as any, and this provides fodder for anti-Christians who have long wanted the government to start ramping up their activities against Christians, starting with illegitimate Christian movements but only until going after their real targets – legitimate Christians – can be justified.

However, we must have the ability to acknowledge that in general, if armed groups make threats, the government shouldn’t just sit around and wait for them to act on their threats. (For instance, “making terroristic threats” is indeed a crime.) So, the issue should be whether the threats against Muslims made by these groups were legitimate. If the government doesn’t reveal the nature of these threats the way that they did with the many Muslim terror suspects that they have arrested, then that is indeed a cause for concern. Especially since “making terroristic threats” is a common offense, so common that a lot of people don’t even know that it is illegal.

Now as a Christian, my position is always going to be not to make terroristic threats. It is not only a sin in and of itself, and it is also against a legal code that does not cause Christians to violate scripture, which makes it also a sin by violating Romans 13. However, Paul according to the Acts narrative asserted not only his Christianity, but also asserted his Roman citizenship when it was in the interests of the gospel of Jesus Christ to do so. Now again, though this Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian outfit, as a law abiding citizen of this country I am curious as to precisely what it was that made the FBI go after this group of people making terroristic threats while ignoring the many others. We do have a right to know precisely such a thing, and it is in our interests to pursue these rights to their fullest extent. The reason is that Jesus Christ commanded us to discern the times, and if these charges against the non-Christian Hutaree militia are spurious or are evidence of clear double standards, legitimate Christians can use it to take note of the times that we are entering.

Christian militia group arrested, allegedly threatened Muslims, Hamas-linked CAIR plays victim card

P.S. I purposefully resisted making an issue of the Hutaree militia’s premillennial dispensational beliefs. The reason is that I am 100% certain that there are very many legitimate Christians who are dispensationalists. The Hutaree group is not a legitimate Christian group. So, associating legitimate Christian dispensationalists with people like the Hutaree militia that have rejected the true teachings of Jesus Christ while adopting some themes or ideas … how is that different from associating Christians with Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, or, say, Muslims who affirm the virgin birth? Now though I am no longer a dispensationalist, I am not going to use this as an excuse to go after Christians who are.

Now so-called Christians who use their dispensationalist beliefs in a manner like John Hagee (who demanded that George W. Bush attack Iran to “defend Israel”, and gave one of his many failed prophecies that the attack would happen before the end of Bush’s presidency with the rapture to occur soon after) and to whip up a fearful frenzy and hatred against Muslims that may lead to threats and violence … THOSE associations (between one false Christian who rejects the Bible but finds dispensationalism useful like Hagee and another) I can countenance, though I will not pursue them myself at this time. The issue is not differing views on eschatology, but those who accept the teachings of the New Testament versus those who reject it. Using premillennial dispensationalism to have your feet in both camps (meaning the church and the world) is what leads to stuff like this. However, this is by no means limited to premillennial dispensationalism. After all, Ulrich Zwingli, who massacred members of his own Bible study because they refused to join his church-state, was an amillennialist.

Update: Confederate Yankee says that the FBI claims that the militia was plotting to kill police officers. That angle is repeated here. Confederate Yankee is skeptical, but his reasoning for being skeptical – that police officers represent the local and not federal government – is wanting.

Posted in Bible, Christianity, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Jesus Christ | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 42 Comments »

The Proper Christian Response To The Nalid Malik Husan Terror Attack: Concentrate On The Gospel!

Posted by Job on November 6, 2009

With regards to the crime and tragedy of Nalid Malik Husan’s attack at Ford Hood, Texas, where he shot at least 31 people, killing at least 12 people including women and civilians while screaming Allahu Akbar (and motivated by his desire not to be deployed against Iraq (or Afghanistan) as part of a force invading a fellow Muslim and Arab nation) allow me to propose a proper Christian response.

1. Prayer. We must pray for those wounded. We must pray for the families and loved ones of the wounded and deceased. We must pray for those who witnessed or responded to this horrific event, especially police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, nurses and doctors. We must pray for the counselors and therapists, both Christian and non-Christian, who will aid people deal with the physical, mental and emotional aftermath of this carnage. And yes, we must pray for the loved ones of Nalid Malik Husan and – presuming that he survives – Husan himself for his conversion to Christianity. Finally, we must pray that the body of Christ responds in a wise, Biblical manner to this event. We must pray that Christians discipline those who fail to respond in such a manner, and that we reject those who respond in a manner that does not honor Jesus Christ.

2. Evangelism. This is the primary way that the New Testament teaches Christians to deal with the non-Christian world, which is sharing the faith of Jesus Christ. This terror attack may cause an increase in fear, hatred and government action. Or it may cause people’s hearts to be desensitized and grow cold. With either reaction, the appropriate Biblical response is to go out and tell as many people as we can, or more accurately as many people as God leads us to, about the kingdom of heaven. Whether Jew, Gentile, Muslim, atheist, Hindu or a person involved in a false expression of Christianity, we must tell people that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who is God, that He is the only way to heaven, that His sacrifice on the cross is the once and for all payment of sins, and there is salvation in no other. This evangelism should not be event-driven, as some attempt to exploit this event or the fear that comes as a result of it. We should not indulge in the sort of “this is why Christianity is better than Islam” triumphalism, for that is a political and cultural worldview argument engaged in by people whose heart is with this world, not those who consider themselves pilgrims, for whom the world and the evils and hardships thereof are not worthy to be compared to the glory of eternity with Jesus Christ. Also, such a message is more useful to preaching to the false Christian cultural chauvinist choir than winning any converts, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Instead, this tragedy should serve is a reminder that this is truly a wicked, fallen world that we live in, one ruled by the evil one, the prince of the power of the air who is Satan, and that evil and death and judgment are the fate of the world and the people not redeemed from it through Jesus Christ’s blood. Events like this one, wars, famines, floods, wildfires, earthquakes, oppressive political regimes etc. should all remind us of this fact, they should remind us of the teachings of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount, the Olivet discourse, the parables on the kingdom of heaven, his teachings on last things (New Jerusalem and the lake of fire), and serve as a burning fire shut up in our bones to go forth and obey the commandment of Jesus Christ given in the great commandments, to go and make disciples of all men, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If we go forth and keep this great commission commandment, then God will use us to save whom He will, and we will be as drink offerings poured out before God, and by our evangelism God will be praised, honored and glorified.

3. Resist temptation. For many, the temptation to indulge in an improper and non-Christian response will be very strong. Many quarters will use this as an excuse to fan the flames of hate against Muslims. Others will use it as an attempt to attack Biblical Christianity with its stand that Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven as well. However, for many the primary temptation will be a political and cultural one, the opportunity to assert Christianity’s superiority over Islam because of western culture and politics, because it is a superior worldview. Well, the west will come under the judgment of Jesus Christ along with the rest of the sinful world, and on that day the western cultural and political systems will be judged as part of Babylon and fall with the rest, including but not limited to the Arabic cultural and political systems. Further, even if the western worldview is superior, it is still a WORLDview, making it worldly, not holy, not of God, and not something that will last forever in New Jerusalem, but instead is something that will be consumed with this world when it is destroyed with fire. The western worldview will have no part in the new heaven and the new earth that Christians inherit. Further, incidents like this should remind Christians that true followers of Jesus Christ do not give themselves over to passions of revenge, hate, or reprisal. Christians are not to get involved in those things directly, nor in the indirect channels that the political debate allows us to. Where in the past, reprisal to incidents such as this may have been lynch mobs, the current political context allows us to simply demand a toughening and extension of the Patriot Act, profiling, immigration crackdowns, gun control, invading etc. While those issues may have their merits, the fact is that they have nothing to do with Christianity. Read the New Testament, especially the teachings of Jesus Christ. The church was never promised peace, prosperity or an easy time, but rather only conflict, warfare and persecution at the hands of the world that has rejected Jesus Christ. Christians have often forgotten that message by walking in agreement with the world. So Christians should reject the foolish idea that by taking political actions we can somehow make this country and world safe and better for Christians and the spread of the gospel. Take, for instance, the war on terrorism: it has been a disaster for Christians all throughout the Muslim wolrd, especially in Iraq.

So instead of trying to take revenge (or the offensive) against Muslims through political means, we should remember that Jesus Christ alone is to whom judgment was given, that God alone is the one capable of executing vengeance, and that Jesus Christ alone will conquer and rule the nations with a rod of iron, and that Christians cannot and should not perform judgment, vengeance, or rule in Jesus Christ’s place. (Of course, this does not preclude civil governments from doing what is necessary to punish crimes and defend its citizens from criminals and aggression from other nations, see Romans 13 with regards to that issue, but instead those actions are at best the just and necessary ones and should not be viewed as Christian in any sense.) Our job is not to pretend to be Jesus Christ and to usurp His place, but instead to obey and serve Jesus Christ so that He will act through us as His Body.

So in summary, the Christian response to this event is prayer, evangelism, and resisting temptation. Please realize that this should be the Christian response to all events. Thank you.

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Christians Beware Of The FBI Muslim Terrorist Arrests!

Posted by Job on October 30, 2009

A series on persecution and suffering by the Desert Pastor’s Wife got me thinking about all of these arrests of alleged terrorists by the federal government. Let me tell you something: these arrests are shams. As a matter of fact, the whole “war on terror” thing is a sham. For instance, how can we be involved in a war on terror when Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s biggest sponsors of terrorism, is a key ally and trading partner? We have a base in Saudi Arabia, and we force our servicemen stationed there to obey shari’a law. Also, how can we be in a “war on terror” when we are pressuring Israel to give up half its land to terrorists, thereby rewarding the PLO, Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, Iran, Syria and all those other entities for their decades of slaughtering Israelis and Americans? One does not have to be a “dispensational Christian Zionist” to recognize that madness, or to ask ourselves why a nation committed to a “war on terror” is so bent on creating a nation in such a strategically vital area that will be governed by either the P.L.O. or Hamas. And those are just a few examples.

And that brings us to these domestic “Muslim terrorist” arrests. The issue is that the people that they are arresting aren’t terrorists. Oh, of course, I am not denying that there aren’t violent Muslim terrorist sleeper cells in this country. It is that the government isn’t going after them. Instead, in order to make it LOOK like they are doing something about terrorism, they are scouring the prisons and the Internet for disaffected Muslims, sending undercover government agents to fill their heads with ideas of jihad, even supplying them with terror plots, plans, weapons and materials that these fellows would have never had the ability or initiative to come up with on their own, keep prodding and pulling them when these ne’er do wells lose interest or get cold feet, and then once these government-recruited guys take their government-provided weapons to carry out their government-provided plans, the government arrests them. And these are “investigations” that take years of planning, huge sums of money, and a boatload of manpower to carry out, all to catch people who would have never gotten anywhere near committing a terrorist act were it not for their being strung along by the government, and this does nothing but divert law enforcement (and the media and the citizenry) from real threats, which includes but is not limited to the actual trained terrorists filtering across the Mexican border. So it is not only entrapment, but politically motivated and pernicious entrapment.

The worst part is that nobody cares about our entrapping Muslims that are no threats while ignoring Muslims that are. One side, I guess you can call them conservatives, is simply glad that we are arresting Muslims. Their goal is deporting as many of the several million Muslims from this country as possible and going to war with as many of the 1 billion Muslims in the world as is necessary to preserve western civilization. So, even though they know that these arrests are sham ones that ignore actual terrorists, they figure that the media publicity generated by each arrest brings us that much closer to electing politicians willing to wage a global war against Islam. The other side is strange. Under normal circumstances, liberals would protest entrapping even people who are likely to commit crimes, but in this instance they are largely silent concerning people who lack the ability, means or motivation to become a terrorist. Perhaps their silence is due to feelings that the Obama administration’s arresting these people helps undermine the idea that Obama is a Muslim plant sent to take over our country. I do notice when I peruse the left-oriented news sites more than a little bit of “see right wingers, Obama IS dedicated to fighting the war on terror!” whenever these arrests take place. It makes one wonder:  if Obama were anything other than a Democratic president accused of being a Muslim traitor, would the left be more vocal about these “law enforcement” practices, especially those targeting (religious and racial) minorities? In any event, the result is both the right and the left being silent in the face of the pervasive misuse of government power to suit their own agendas.

An even more revealing fact is that the government is not denying that they are practicing entrapment. Now when the government does things that they shouldn’t – whether by accident or policy – they instinctively lie, obfuscate, stonewall and cover up. But in several of these cases, including this one in particular, the government all but admitted going after people not so much for their crimes as their thoughts.

Not even the prosecutors contend that Sadequee was close to committing a terrorist act or that he ever joined a terrorist organization. The trial — like that of co-defendant Syed Haris Ahmed, who was convicted in June — illustrates prosecutors are focusing on potential threats as well as real ones, lawyers said.

“The real issue in this case is where is the line between First Amendment speech, however disquieting, and real criminal activity,” said Jack Martin, who defended Ahmed and says the two cases are almost identical. “It is hard to say where that line is drawn. … There is always the issue in any conspiracy case of what is talk and what is an agreement to take action.”

U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said after Ahmed’s conviction that the case didn’t involve an imminent threat because the idea was to arrest terrorists before their attacks succeed.

“In the post-9/11 world we will not wait to disrupt terrorism-related activity until a bomb is built and ready to explode,” Nahmias said then. “The fuse that leads to an explosion of violence may be long but once it is lit — once individuals unlawfully agree to support terrorist acts at home or abroad — we will prosecute them to snuff that fuse out.”

That really is not much more than saying that this fellow was arrested for thought crimes, of having radical, violent views and inclinations. Because of the “war on terror”, it is now acceptable to bait people based solely on what they  believe – not because they pose any actual threat – and then arrest them. So what is going on here?

Realize that in this country, radical changes in government policy, including law enforcement, cannot happen quickly. (Or at least they cannot change quickly right now.) You have to spend years, decades even, laying the groundwork. So law enforcement has to be allowed to engage in a particular practice over a long period of time before it becomes accepted law enforcement procedure, and the courts similarly have to go along to establish precedents. However, the police and courts can’t do this uniformly against the general population, because A) it would cause a massive public outcry and B) the tactics would not withstand a legal challenge. Instead, the government has to use a tiny segment of the population to make certain police tactics acceptable and to establish precedents in the courts. Once that is done, they are basically free to use those tactics on the general population.

A good, recent example? Government seizure of private property. It was almost unheard of a mere few decades ago, now it is routine and goes on unchallenged. What happened? “The war on drugs.” After it became acceptable for law enforcement to routinely confiscate the private property of “suspected drug dealers” and the courts let them get away with it, now the government has wide latitude to grab or freeze land and assets. Now it is basically unconstitutional, but the crisis of drugs and drug crimes made it acceptable to set the constitution aside in order to fight the drug war, and after it was set aside with respect to suspected drug traffickers and the precedent established, it was set aside for everyone. As a result, the government can now seize or freeze mostly anyone’s property or assets at any time, and in many cases the person has no real recourse.

Now that the government has largely eliminated the existence of private property, private speech and thought are now on the agenda. We are now a few years into investigating and arresting Muslims who express hostility towards our government and its policies, and have also gotten the first batch of successful convictions. So, the “thought crime entrapment” law enforcement practices are already on their way to becoming accepted, and the successful convictions establish the precedent that despite the bill of rights,  it is acceptable to go after people solely based on their views. It will only take about a dozen or so of these convictions to be upheld on appeal for the legal and law enforcement precedents to be ironclad, and since the federal government is handling these cases from the beginning, that will make the appeals process even faster (as the cases won’t have to go from state court to federal court).

Again, once the precedents are set the targets will be no more limited to Muslims than government property and asset seizures are to drug kingpins. Instead, people with views that the government doesn’t like can easily be labeled “dangerous”, “radical”, “extremist”, “subversive”, “fundamentalist” etc. and prosecuted. How long would it take before Christians are viewed this way by the government? In order to answer that question, one only need to look at the Huffington Post’s article on the recent arrest and killing of a “suspected terrorist“:

Exactly. Anyone who thinks this behavior is limited to Muslims hasn’t looked at a newspaper lately. In our country we bend over backwards to “respect the Faith” of Evangelical Christians from the South who do precisely the same thing.

Now, if this had been a white Christian evangelist militia, would the FBI gone in, guns blazing? Have they done anything like that recently, despite the proliferation of such groups?

This guy if not identified as ” a radical black extremist Muslim” one might think he was part of the gun toting, separatist, white wing nuts who would impose a Biblical theocracy in the USA and celebrate it all at tea parties.

And those were just the comments on the first page. And this is WITHOUT the government, media and schools bombarding the nation with propaganda on how Christian ideas are evil and Christians are untrustworthy, unpatriotic, violent, a threat to national security and our freedoms etc. Personally, I don’t think that it is going to happen anytime soon. However, I am certain that it will happen. And please, no partisan/ideological nonsense. Both parties support this just like they do everything else, because both parties are part of the worldly system that rejects Jesus Christ and similarly hates the church.

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U.N. Considering Resolution That Would Create ‘Global Blasphemy Law’ Protecting Islam

Posted by Job on October 27, 2009

I wonder how similar this is to the anti-evangelism laws (targeted towards Christians of course) that already exist in Israel.

Expert: U.N. Resolutions Would Create ‘Global Blasphemy Law’

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The Strange Religious Direction That Quantum Physics Is Taking

Posted by Job on October 15, 2009

From the Huffington Post:

And in the modern world, with the strange and inexplicable discoveries of quantum physics, scientific treatises on the nature of reality sound remarkably like ancient mystical writings. The more we learn about the shocking contradictions and improbable mechanics of the subatomic world, the more it appears that the universe is less like Isaac Newton’s giant clock and more like one giant dream, imagined from within an implicate order that transcends human reason. Such a vision would be familiar to the Sufis of Islam, along with their counterparts among Buddhist masters, Kabbalists and Christian mystics like Meister Eckhart.

So, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, and “Christian” mystics all agree on this stuff. Fascinating. In addition, the “dreamtime” religious myths of Australian aborigines can be compared to this also. (Incidentally, Kabbalist means Jewish, as Kabbalism is part and parcel to the accepted Jewish religion. Kabbalism is in no way pseudo-Jewish cultism. Instead, esoteric knowledge and magic are all over Judaism, and is the acknowledged but seldom spoken of underpinnings of the Talmud and other rabbinic Jewish books. Kabbalah, which at best is a syncretism between some elements of the Hebrew religion and the Babylonian pagan mystery religions and is more likely the Babylonian mystery religion in Jewish guise, can be considered “higher Judaism.” Jews are encouraged to master the Talmud and the other books first, and the brightest and most devoted then go on to study Kabbalah. From a Jewish website: Kabbalah is also part of the Oral law. It is the traditional mystical understanding of the Torah. Kabbalah stresses the reasons and understanding of the commandments, and the cause of events described in the Torah. Kabbalah includes the understanding of the spiritual spheres in creation, and the rules and ways by which G-d administers the existence of the universe. More information that “Christian Zionist” preachers and leaders never tell the laymen, though they certainly know about it. So, we should not be surprised that Kabbalists and Muslims agree on this topic, because it is “knowledge” that not only spiritually but also quite literally has the same origin.)

This also seems to correlate to the religious worldview pushed by people such as Dan Brown and George Lucas (theosophy and New Age sorts), where knowledge (or more accurately consciousness), matter and energy themselves are worshiped as god. Reminds me of a couple of articles I read (see below). One world religion anybody? The interesting thing is that this religio-scientific worldview very much accommodates evolution, the big bang theory and similar. As a matter of fact, the article points out that believers in this worldview include Francis Collins, the current director of the National Institutes of Health (Barack Hussein Obama appointee). Despite his belief in and advocacy for evolution, Collins is considered to be an evangelical Christian (and is indeed embraced as one by evangelicals desperate to see one of their own ranks represented in mainstream culture, especially in the elite academic, scientific and government arenas, and Collins represents all three), and is working to get evangelical Christians to abandon their opposition to evolution. I should point out that in this Francis is far from alone, as not a few Anglican evangelical theologians, including Alister McGrath, have been trying to get evangelicals to submit to evolution for decades. And incidentally, you should know that the Roman Catholic Church, with its long history of mysticism, is slowly accommodating evolution as well. Again, one world religion maybe, perhaps?

crossroad.to/articles2/05/star-wars.htm

rapidnet.com/~jbeard/bdm/Cults/newage.htm

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A Question For Premillennial Dispensational Rapture Believers: Explain The Fifth Seal In Revelation!

Posted by Job on September 25, 2009

Revelation 6:9-11 reads

And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

The Word of God for the elect people of God. Glory be to God.

For my premillennial dispensational brethren who believe in a pretribulation (or prewrath) rapture that spares the church from the time of sorrow, please explain this text. Who are those slain for the Word of God? Are they Christians? And when will these Christians be slain for their testimony? Does it refer to those believers slain in times past, whether in the Old Testament or at the time that Revelation was written? Or does it refer to believers slain during the great tribulation? (If so, how can any Christian stand under persecution, even martyrdom, without being emboldened by the Holy Spirit, which according to premillennial dispensational doctrine has to be taken from the earth along with the church? Please recall the difference between Peter and the apostles before the Comforter – cowering and fearful and running from their lives – and afterwards – bold and brave witnesses even unto death. As a matter of fact Peter himself went from being the worst – the one who denied Christ three times – to being the boldest. And how can anyone even be saved during the great tribulation without the work of the Holy Spirit? Recall: the Holy Spirit was indeed present during the time of the Old Testament saints. Indeed, the Bible states that the earth’s very existence cannot so much as even be sustained without the Spirit of God.) Or does it refer to believers slain during all ages, from the first (Abel) until the last before the return of Jesus Christ?

To interpret this passage with scripture, let us go to another one in Revelation that touches the martyrdom of the saints, which is Revelation 18:24. Please recall that this chapter refers to the fall of Babylon,  which since the Tower of Babel incident and particularly since the destruction of the temple in 586 has been used to symbolize people and systems that rebel against and oppose God and persecute His elect covenant people, and that Revelation extends this symbolism with personification, describing all that opposes God as a harlot (prostitute), which in this verse is called “her”:  And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. Now as much as I love my King James Version, allow me to quibble with their translation of “kai” to “and” in the phrase “and of all that were slain upon the earth.” Many times, “kai” is just used for emphasis, as an amplifier of degree or a focus of attention. This text should probably read:

“And in her [Babylon] was found the blood of prophets and of saints, indeed all [prophets and saints] that were slain upon the earth.”

However, if you go with the King James Version, which granted carries much more weight and authority than my own, and all which follow its tradition on that text, then “and of all that were slain upon the earth” simply means that in Babylon was the blood of every person that has been murdered, all innocent blood that has been shed. This means that the prior clause “And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints” means that “the prophets and saints” (a  New Testament idiom which refers to old covenant and new covenant believers) which means that the blood of Stephen and all other Christian martyrs ever since is contained in Babylon. So with reference to the elect the meaning is the same: the blood of everyone killed because of their faith in God is in Babylon.

So, if we interpret Revelation 6:9-11 with Revelation 18:24, when the fifth seal was opened the martyred souls viewed under the altar should very likely be interpreted to include every Christian martyr since Stephen. This would support the idea of a church that has always been under continuous tribulation. Such an interpretation would be consistent with, indeed fulfill the words of Jesus Christ in John 15:18-20.

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

The Word of God for the people of God. Glory be to God.

Now one can hardly claim that those words were only aimed at the apostles. Those words are for all Christians for all time. So what basis is there for believing that there will be a rapture to save the church from a persecution that A) Jesus Christ said that we would face and B) Jesus Christ sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to withstand? Now this is not an endorsement of the historicist, preterist or amillennial position that there will be no seven year literal great tribulation. Instead, it is to say that if there will be such a seven year literal great tribulation, the church will be present for it just as it has been present for all other tribulations, the “lesser” tribulations.

Now the prewrath (and mid-wrath) rapture adherent does have Revelation 3:10, which reads “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”, in his favor. However, that could be fulfilled in a number of ways, including 1) a place of refuge (which ironically rapture believers commonly propose will exist for those who will saved during the great tribulation … again these people will have to be saved despite the absence of a church to preach the gospel or a Holy Spirit to perform regeneration) or 2) death. Do not let the “death” option astonish you, but instead study the scriptures, especially the Old Testament but also in the New Testament. It is a consistent theme that death is a way of being preserved, saved, spared from times of great evil … to be absent from the troubles of this world and present with God! Perhaps the best example of this is the death of Abijah, son of the wicked king Jeroboam, who died according to God’s will so that he would not be corrupted by Jeroboam and also not share in their judgment in 1 Kings 14. A New Testament example: at the time that he wrote Philippians 1:20-26, Paul viewed death as being removed from the extremely trying circumstances that he was living and exchanging it for a better fate. In that passage Paul stated “to die is gain”, but it appears that the rapture adherents have transformed it into “to be raptured is gain.”

So, the idea that there must be a rapture in order for Christians to be spared martyrdom seems to be inconsistent with Biblical revelation. It is also an idea that only makes sense for Christians living in the west. Practically everywhere else in the world, Christians face persecution: marginalization, poverty, disease, imprisonment, death. There are two doctrinal systems that have the effect of promoting the idea western Christians should have no part in what Christians in Indonesia, China, Iran, Palestine (and Israel!), India and Mexico (where Roman Catholic/pagan syncretists are persecuting Protestants) by simple right of geography of birth: pretribulation rapture and covenant theology. Pretribulation rapture teaches that Christians not currently under persecution now will never have to face it, because persecution will only come to “the good parts of the world” (i.e. “Christian nations” or “western nations” or “non-socialist nations” … you know, what Glenn Beck was referring to) when the anti-Christ (which 8% of New Jersey residents regard Obama to be) takes over it.

Now ask yourselves … why is it that Christians can be persecuted in some places (including Israel … and read this too!) now without the anti-Christ, but it requires the anti-Christ to happen in others (especially America)? Or that the saints in other places (and times, including in the west … remember the 30 Years War and the Anabaptists?) are not spared persecution, but only the modern American saints are? Only the idea that contemporary western (especially American and possibly British!) Christians are somehow better than Christians living in other times and places, and this fact would be due to America having some special status before God as a unique elect covenant nation, giving us special status within the Body of Christ. Of course, the Bible makes it clear in the Roman and Corinthian epistles that there is no special group or people with a special status, special favor, or special standing before God in the Body of Christ, but instead that we are one Body. Further, the Bible makes it clear that those who are accounted greater according to rank or authority (not standing or value) demonstrate this through being servant roles that cause us to A) serve those who are of lesser rank and authority and B) endure even greater persecution than those who are of lesser rank and authority. So, even if America did have some special standing before God, instead of our being wealthy decadent privileged Laodiceans, we would be poor, oppressed and serving everybody else! If you deny this, read the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ!

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Keep in mind, the version in Luke reads “Blessed are the POOR!”)
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

The Word of God for the people of God. Glory be to God.

Now earlier I mentioned the covenant theologians, from whom the modern concept of the “Christian nation” originated. Covenant theologians believe – or at least believed – that people in “Christian nations” would or should be spared persecution only because in a church-state Christians would control the government, economy, military, police, and religion in a theocracy after the manner of Old Testament Israel. That is why such extreme theonomists and reconstructionists as Gary North and Rousas John (R. J.) Rushdoony deny that the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount apply to Christians, instead stating that it only applied to Jews living in that time. (Curiously, hyperdispensationalists believe the same.) While I believe the covenant theology position to be in error, this statement is aimed primarily at premillennnial dispensationalists.

So if America were this special, Christian nation, it would be marked by our poverty and service, not by our decadent delusions of religious nobility which makes us believe that we are somehow exempt from the sufferings of Christians living in Belarus or Namibia, or for that matter the Christians of the early church. After all, when Paul wrote his statement insisting that those in the Body of Christ were equals, the statements were direct AGAINST two groups of people: the Jewish Christians in the Roman church and the wealthy Christians in the Corinthian church. The Jewish Christians regarded themselves to be superior to the Gentile Christians because of nationality, and the wealthy Corinthian Christians regarded themselves as superior to the poorer believers because of their riches. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to tell both groups that they were wrong. So, then, how can we justify believing that a rapture will come and rescue us from the type of persecutions and deaths at the hands of Muslims that are going on all over the Middle East, Asia and Africa right now, such as the two million Christians that were killed in Sudan, many of whom were tortured, raped, doused with gasoline and set on fire, had their limbs chopped off, or were sold as slaves because they refused to renounce Christianity?

Ironically, the world, including the media, the activists, and the government of our own “Christian nation”, did their level best to ignore this genocide, choosing instead to focus on Muslims murdering other Muslims in Darfur. And let us not forget that the term for which the word genocide was originally invented and applied to, that of the Armenians by the Turks, is still not recognized as such by the U.N. or by the government of our “Christian nation.” It is still more ironic when you consider that the Armenian genocide happened in the same general area that the letters in Revelation were sent, in the Turkey region. That persecution kicked off what was the bloodiest period of Christian persecution in history, the 20th century, that saw 45.5 million Christians killed!

So if there were any geographical or political entity within the Body of Christ that had special status, it would be those Christians because of their poverty and persecution who would come first, not us . It is those to whom the Beatitudes of Jesus Christ were addressed, and premillennial dispensationalism completely rejects that truth for the belief that the rapture will save Christians not yet under persecution from ever having to experience it because the saints who have it easier are the ones who fulfill Revelation 3:10! Never mind that the rich church that was not facing persecution was Laodicea, and the church that Revelation 3:10 was addressed to was Philadelphia. Why was the promise of Revelation 3:10 given to the Philadelphians? It is in Revelation 3:8, which reads “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” The Philadelphia Christians were being persecuted, and similar to the Sudanese Christians, they refused to yield to the persecution by denying Jesus Christ. In other words, they refused to do the same as the apostle Peter did THREE TIMES before he was empowered by the Holy Spirit, yet dispensationalism teaches that this Holy Spirit will be taken away, and those converted during the great tribulation will have to face the greatest time of sorrows ever without it, and will yet somehow stand? How? Why? Because of their free will? Or because of their inherently good human nature untainted by original sin? Followers of Reformed/Calvinist believers in the rapture like John MacArthur and Albert Pendarvis (the latter’s bookstore sells the Scofield Reference Bible) have to answer these questions! In any event, those who claim that Revelation 3:10 refers to Christians being raptured to escape persecution have to deal with the fact that the text was in reference to a Philadelphia church that was enduring it!

Make no mistake. I believe in a bodily literal return of Jesus Christ which I believe will occur after a literal great tribulation which will include a literal and personal anti-Christ. However, I also believe that the church will endure this tribulation, and that we need to be preparing ourselves and those who will follow us in the faith for it in a manner that is consistent with scripture as opposed to believing that we – or our WESTERN descendants – will have an experience of escaping it that will be unique to Christians living in other times and places. At the very least, someone must explain why western Christians alone should enjoy this pleasure!

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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The True Cause Of Michael Jackson’s Death!

Posted by Job on September 14, 2009

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Meet Barack HUSSEIN Obamas’ Pentecostal Enablers: Joshua DuBois, Eugene Rivers And Leah Daughtry

Posted by Job on August 2, 2009

(To be fair, Eugene Rivers works both sides of the aise)

WASHINGTON – From a sparsely adorned office building a stone’s throw from the White House, Joshua DuBois carefully navigates the delicate line between church and state.

Each morning, he sends a devotional message to President Obama’s BlackBerry. He appears before religious and community groups to explain his role as director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and, in turn, relays their concerns to administration officials. In the course of any given day, he’ll receive as many as 750 emails from religious leaders, reporters, and government officials.

But in all the political juggling, the 26-year-old preacher’s kid remains a person of faith who quotes from favorite hymns – “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” is one. The Bible, too, serves as inspiration.

“I’m often inspired by the grass-roots nature of Acts and the early church,” he said recently in an interview, “and what they were able to build from virtually nothing.”

A distinct contrast

To some extent, DuBois is doing just that with the faith-based office, which Obama inherited from former President George W. Bush, but revamped in a bid to expand its focus, depoliticize the grant-making process, and tamp down church-state concerns.

DuBois, a veteran of Obama’s Senate office who oversaw religious outreach for his presidential campaign, is a distinct contrast from the Republican appointees who preceded him, including the policy wonk John DiIulio, who opened the office in 2001, or Jim Towey, a former lawyer for Mother Teresa, or the cerebral Jay Hein.

Raised in the African Methodist Episcopal Church by his mother and stepfather, a minister in Nashville, Tenn., DuBois became an associate pastor of Calvary Praise and Worship Center, a small, African-American Pentecostal church in Cambridge, Mass., while an undergraduate at Boston University.

“I am very clear about the fact that I am a committed Christian and my faith is important to me; it’s a central part of my life,” he said. “At the same time, I am now in a role in this office … to reach out to Americans of all different religious backgrounds and folks who don’t adhere to a particular religion.”

In Washington, DuBois attends a nondenominational church that worships in a rented movie theater. He still maintains ties to the Cambridge church and to Boston, where he worked with the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, which encouraged black churches to aid at-risk, inner-city youth.

“Josh was very serious and very smart and was very concerned … as an undergraduate in trying to connect faith to issues of public policy,” said Eugene Rivers, a co-founder of the foundation and a prominent black Pentecostal leader.

In a May interview with radio host Krista Tippett in St. Paul, Minn., DuBois talked about his awakening in 1999 when New York police officers were acquitted in the shooting death of unarmed African immigrant Amadou Diallo.

“It shook in me a sense that I needed to connect to something larger, to understand all the nuances in the world, both in terms of politics and also in terms of religion,” he told Tippett’s “Speaking of Faith” program.

“So that’s when I found my church and my faith and also started my political path as well.”

That political path is taking shape as his office helps craft Obama’s key speeches on religion – Catholicism at the University of Notre Dame, Islam at Cairo University, for example. His office also works with various federal agencies on issues ranging from disaster preparation to the upcoming 2010 census.

Though he doesn’t dwell on his relative youth, he said he realizes the weighty responsibilities given to someone who hasn’t even reached 30 yet. “I think one of the most important things is to know what you don’t know,” he said.

In his talks to various religious groups, DuBois outlines the office’s four-point focus on economic recovery, abortion reduction, responsible fatherhood, and interfaith relations. He’s met with evangelicals, Jews, Hindus, and Sikhs, as well as secularists who think his office shouldn’t exist.

Religious leaders, including members of the office’s advisory council, say DuBois, like the president, is a good listener who seeks to find common ground among disparate viewpoints.

Leah Daughtry, a Pentecostal minister who until recently was the chief of staff at the Democratic National Committee, sees DuBois’ Pentecostal background informing his work.

“The kind of work that he’s doing in reaching out to people across political spectrums, across ideological perspectives, across theological perspectives, really can only be done if you’re Spirit-led,” she said. “Because it’s the same spirit of Christ that sought to reach beyond the confines of his own people.”

While DuBois’ day job is heading up the faith-based office, he also carries another title: special assistant to the president, which includes the daily presidential meditations as well as helping the first family find a church home in Washington.

Some people who have known DuBois say his workload can cause him to be disorganized and unresponsive, although they declined to have their names attached publicly to their criticisms. For his part, DuBois says he’s doing the best he can.

“We’re a federal entity that’s coordinating 11 offices with pretty key priorities. … I try to be as responsive as I can, along with my staff and others here at the White House. But there are always going to be some challenges in that regard.”

Daughtry joked that DuBois – who finds time to be a Big Brother to a Boston teenager and keep up a five-year relationship with his girlfriend – has made a bargain of sorts with God to manage his busy schedule.

“He’s attached to that cell phone like it’s another appendage,” she said. “I’m convinced he’s got some deal with God to give him a couple of extra hours a day.”

(The seeds of this “many paths to heaven” religious inclusivism/pluralism are being sown into Pentecostalism through politics in this generation just as Billy Graham did the same among Baptists and evangelicals in the prior one, and as it was done in other movements i.e. the mainline denominations earlier in the last century. We Christians must watch and pray. By the way, we Reformed Christians shouldn’t be so quick to point fingers, as the Reformed/Calvinist state churches practically invented inclusivism, unitarianism, universalism and other forms of theological liberalism, and liberal Episcopals, Presbyterians etc. have long been religious pluralists. The Pentecostals are just following the older and more established Christian movements down the path which may lead to one world religion and one world government.)

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Did Jesus Christ Appear To Hagar? If So, Why?

Posted by Job on June 18, 2009

Reading Genesis 16:7-14 makes me certain of it. “And the angel of the LORD found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain in the way to Shur. And he said, Hagar, Sarai’s maid, whence camest thou? and whither wilt thou go? And she said, I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, I will multiply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall not be numbered for multitude. And the angel of the LORD said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; F77 because the LORD hath heard thy affliction. And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren. And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi; F78 behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.”

Now “the angel of the Lord” is a common term for the preincarnate Jesus Christ in the Old Testament. However, there are incidents in the Old Testament where references to angels – and other appearances of supernatural beings – are just that … angels (whether fallen or not). So, I came up with a system where if the supernatural being is worshiped i.e. Moses and the burning bush or Joshua on the plain of Jericho, then it is a theophany, an appearance of God in the Old Testament. However, if the supernatural being is not worshiped, then it is an angel. However, this is not foolproof, as Jacob apparently did not worship Jesus Christ, but wrestled with Him and demanded (?) to be blessed by Him, and we only know that it was God whom Jacob wrestled with because A) Jacob said so, B) God warned Jacob that day was breaking and that it was not meant for Jacob to clearly see His face and C) God refused to tell Jacob His Name upon Jacob’s request.

This appears to be a similar incident. In Genesis 16:10, the angel of the Lord states “I will multiply thy seed exceedingly …”.  The angel speaks in first person of an action that he will personally take, not in second person regarding an act of God, or of knowing the intentions of God (in contrast with, say, how Gabriel spoke of God’s actions to Mary in second person i.e. “and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David” in Luke 1:32). As obviously no angel has the power or authority to perform this deed, it had to have been God speaking to Hagar.

More evidence still? Genesis 16:13. “And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me.” So this verse makes it plain: Hagar knew that she was speaking to God, and called God by Name. The Hebrew makes it more explicit: “qara shem Yĕhovah dabar ‘el ro’iy.”  Qara shem means “[She] called the Name.” Yĕhovah is Jehovah, Yahweh, YHWH, or the Name of the Holy Trinity. “Dabar” means “word.” “Dabar” is what the apostle John translated directly into “Logos” in the prologue of the Gospel of John … “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” In that verse and elsewhere in reference to God, “the Word” = “Logos” = “Dabar” = “Jesus Christ” are  interchangeable. So not only was it the God of Abraham that Hagar was speaking to, but Hagar knew that she was speaking to the God of Abraham, and – whether knowingly or not – by including “dabar” in her speech, actually addressed the Person of the Trinity that she was speaking to!

Still more evidence: “Wherefore the well was called Beerlahairoi” of Genesis 16:15. In Hebrew Beerlahairoi is  “Bĕ’er la-Chay Ro’iy”, which basically means “well of the Living One seeing me.” Or in other words, the well where God saw me.

Now the Geneva Study Bible notes on http://bible.cc seems to dance around the issue. Which is strange, because the idea that the Old Testament people knew of the Person and office of Jesus Christ is a major part of Calvinism. However, the Matthew Henry and John Wesley notes that appear on that same site arrived at the same conclusion as did I.

But neither of them deal with the obvious question: what was so special about Hagar (or more truthfully Ishmael) that there was an intervention on Ishmael’s behalf by way of a Christophany? And why was Ishmael the father of 12 tribes, just as Jacob (Israel) was? It is still more curious when you consider the type-antitype regarding Ishmael and Isaac. Isaac was the son of the free Hebrew woman, which generally means salvation and the people of God in scripture. Ishmael was the son of the slave Egyptian woman, with slavery representing bondage and Egypt representing sin in scripture. Also, Isaac represents the church because he was resurrected from the dead (meaning born to a barren womb). Meanwhile, Ishmael was conceived naturally. Isaac = son of God, the supernatural order where Ishmael = son of man, the earthly sinful order?

In a way, it recalls Adam and Eve, with the Godly line originating with Seth (type) and the evil line originating with Cain (antitype). And yes, just as Adam and Eve were the direct father and mother of both Seth and Cain (this isn’t an “obviously” sort of thing, because it would have been very possible for the ungodly line to have originated a generation or three from Adam and Eve), Abraham and Sarah were the father and mother of Isaac and Ishmael. So … Abraham was not just the progenitor, the ancestor of Israel and ultimately the church. He was quite literally the father of “many nations”, including the ungodly Ishmael line! (Incidentally, Israel was not the only Godly line that Abraham started … he also started the Midianite line, who apparently were Godly at least for a time, as Jethro, the father – in – law of Moses, was the Jehovah worshiping priest of Midian, and thus it was acceptable for Moses to marry Jethro’s daughter, and Miriam was punished for speaking against the marriage.)

Yet, just as God directly intervened to preserve the Ishmael line, He marked Cain to prevent him from being killed! So, Seth = Isaac = Jesus Christ = church. Cain = Ishmael = _______ = ______. Now precisely who or what is the opposite of Christ who persecutes – or will persecute – the church? (See Galatians 4 for more of this type/antitype involving Sarah/Isaac and Hagar/Ishmael, and for the direct statement that Ishmael and his seed persecutes the church.) Anyone want to fill in the blanks? It seems clear – to me anyway – that Ishmael and his line were intended for a prominent role in salvation history, and his being the father of a nation/people of 12 tribes plus the contents of Galatians 4 verifies this fact. So, the only mystery is A) who the descendants of Ishmael are (my guess … it isn’t the Roman Catholic Church or some new Roman Empire, nor is it the Jews, although nothing precludes Ishmael’s seed from using one or both) and B) what that role in salvation history will be.

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Well This Ends Any Desire On My Part To Advocate For The Palestinians

Posted by Job on June 14, 2009

In large part because of my finding out the truth about Zionism, the modern Jewish religion, and the dishonesty of many prominent premillennial dispensational political activists who knowingly deceive Christians about both, I had begun sympathizing on some level with the plight of the Palestinian people (in contrast with their leaders, Hamas and the PLO) for the sake of the gospel, for humanitarian reasons, and also out of a desire to provide what I felt was a much – needed counter to the “Judeo – Christianity” propaganda deception of the Zionists and the dispensationalists, which unfortunately has deceived a great many decent Christians and Jews. After the events of today, I am washing my hands of both sides of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and am going to simply pray and wait for God to sort it out.

Today Binyamin Netanyahu, a fellow that I thoroughly dislike for reasons that I will not enumerate, made a fair offer to the Palestinians: a state that would be sovereign in every respect save a lack of a military in return for a cessation of hostilities, allowing Jerusalem to remain in Israeli hands, and the 4.5 million Palestinian refugees having to settle in the new Palestinian state as opposed to Israel. Now long term, these conditions are unacceptable: a state without a military is no state at all, and issues regarding east Jerusalem and Palestinians driven from their homes would still have to be worked out.

But this agreement would be outstanding as an intermediate step. It would give the millions of Palestinians now living in tents, refugee camps, or in other countries a place to go, and they would be immediately supported by hundreds of billions in foreign aid. Also, any Palestinian with a sense of irony ought to be able to appreciate the perverse pleasure at seeing the very same Israeli military and police that for decades bombed their neighborhoods and subjected them to checkpoints be FORCED to protect and defend PALESTINIANS while the PALESTINIANS use MONEY FROM ISRAEL AND ITS WESTERN ALLIES to build homes and businesses! Where now the Israeli military protects Jewish settlers in Palestinian territory, the military would be responsible for A) evicting those Jewish settlers and B) defending the Palestinians who move into the homes of very Jews that the Israeli military evicted! The plight and living standards of the millions of Palestinians would instantly be raised, and the Palestinians would have years, decades even, to work on getting still more concessions from Israel.

But alas, it appears that the Palestinians lack any sense of or appreciation for irony. The Palestinian leadership does not care about helping the Palestinian people out of misery, and the Palestinian people does not care about getting out of misery, about going from dirty tents to clean modern homes and apartments paid for with billions in international welfare. They don’t care about moving from having to deal with Israeli bombs, tanks, and police to having complete freedom. No, all they care about is destroying Israel and killing Jews, and are willing to live in poverty and squalor waiting for the chance.

So, Mahmoud Abbas, whom both the Obama AND Bush administrations claim is the “moderate, pro – western respectable peace partner”, rejected Netanyahu’s offer. Abbas rejected Israel’s desire to continue to exist as a Jewish state. (Realize that during the Clinton administration, the PLO pretended to recognize Israel’s right ot exist. We now know that they were lying and have been for the past 10 years.) Abbas claimed not only east Jerusalem but ALL OF JERUSALEM as the capital of the Palestinian state. After years of not even trying to stop terror attacks on Israel’s military and citizens, Abbas rejected Israel’s demand that they be demilitarized. And amazingly, Abbas insists on the millions of Palestinian refugees being allowed to return to Israel if they so choose, despite the existence of TWO “PALESTINIAN” STATES, PALESTINE AND JORDAN, for these “refugees” to live in while receiving new homes and unlimited welfare FOR LIFE!

Now prior to today, Abbas claimed that Netanyahu was destroying the peace process for refusing to commit to a two state solution and stated that violence would result. Now that Netanyahu has committed to a two state solution, guess what? Abbas claims that Netanyahu was destroying the peace process by refusing to allow the PLO/Fatah to bombard Israel’s airport, cities, factories, apartments with rockets and grenades, for refusing to turn all of Jerusalem over to Palestine, and for refusing to allow Israel to be flooded with Palestinians who oppose the existence of Israel!

And yes, Abbas sent the message to the Palestinians to start up a new round of murderous violence against the Jews. Of course, the last round of violence didn’t end because of the Palestinians’ commitment to peace. It only ended because of A) the internal power struggle between Hamas and the PLO and B) because of the security fence. Palestinians have complained for years over how horrible the security fence makes life for Palestinians. Now, in rejecting a chance to be free and on welfare without the worry of having to defend or provide for themselves for the next 50 years, we know that the real reason for opposing the security fence wasn’t the humanitarian effects on the Palestinians, but rather the fence’s successfully stopping Palestinians from getting into Israel to blow up Jewish toddlers.

So why do I not blame the Palestinian leadership while continuing to support the Palestinian people? Simple: the Palestinian people elected these leaders, they refuse to rise up to oppose these leaders, and they generally obey them. If these people wanted an end to the poverty, disenfranchisement and violence, they should be out on the streets demonstrating “take the deal!” Instead, as always, they will obey the PLO/Fatah and Hamas and take to the streets to be mowed down by Israeli airplanes and tanks, and allow their homes, schools, mosques and hospitals to be used as human shields. These people want to see the destruction of Israel and dead Jews more than they want to provide safety, freedom and prosperity to their own children.

It is obvious that the Palestinians do not need more advocates for their political, economic, or humanitarian agenda and plight, for it is now obvious that this agenda is only to destroy Israel and kill Jews, and their plight is due to their single minded devotion towards that goal rather than working to improve their own lives. No, what the Palestinians need – and what the Jews need for that matter – is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian interaction with Palestinians and Jews should be limited to the gospel. Beyond that, we should leave these people to their own affairs and pray for the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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