Jesus Christ Is Lord

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Posts Tagged ‘societal decline’

Theodicy Dialogue With Pastor Matt Wrickman

Posted by Job on January 26, 2012

Matthew Wrickman, a pastor and blogger with whom I have corresponded in the past, wished to discuss How The Penn State University Child Molestation Case Demonstrates The Existence Of God and did so in a comment, which he reproduced as a post on his site (which I encourage you to patronize). The objections – er dialogue points – that he raised are good ones as always, and my interaction with them is as follows. Pastor Wrickman’s words are in blocked quote format, and mine follow. Thank you.

“ Interesting response. Most commentators for the last 200 years at least have used evil in the reverse sense as the greatest problem for the existence of God. The line of logic would be that Sandusky is evil. If God was really good, really powerful, and really existed then He would have intervened and stopped the action. He didn’t so either He is not really good, really powerful, or does not really exist. As a line of logic it seems rather convincing. I, of course, would argue (as you hinted at) that God has intervened through the person of Son. That the cross of Christ represents Christ’s solidarity with the victims of Sandusky, as well as, his offer of healing to both victim and victimizer. Mix that with classical free will theory and I feel that the question has been answered; perhaps not superbly but answered nonetheless.”

Alas, you are of the Remonstrants, I am of the Synod of Dort! (Actually I am Particular Baptist after the manner of Charles Spurgeon, William Carey and Paul Bunyan and you are not classical Arminian or Wesleyan as you to not believe that one can lose his salvation, but otherwise you get the picture.)

“You once stated that you enjoyed boiling down arguments to the logical extreme”

Well, my love of reductio ad absurdum was in my angry, immature phase. (In what many might consider to be an irony, it was becoming a “5 point Calvinist” – or again more accurately a Particular Baptist – that helped me get past my anger, which I ultimately discovered was truthfully coming from within and was directed inwardly also.) I now rarely employ this debate tactic, though I hear that it is a very good tool for computer scientists and mathematicians.

“and that is where pointing from evil to God fails. At it’s extreme it allows for no differentiation between evil and God.””

I agree with you to a point, as a multitude of false religions (as I understand them) have deities that are dualistic, amoral or even malevolent. But that extreme is precluded by the holy scriptures. Though I do dabble in classical and evidential apologetics from time to time – to the extent that I am able – for the most part I adhere to the presuppositional apologetics school of Cornelius Van Til and similar, which takes the truth and authority of the Bible to be a non-negotiable starting point and proceeds from there. (I further build on that school by presuming a basic “rule of faith”, or a normative interpretation of the Bible, belief in its inerrancy/inspiration/authority, and application of its doctrines to the church).

So, inasmuch as the Bible differentiates between evil and God, I presume this to be true also. My purpose for authoring the above piece was intended not to much to be an exercise in philosophy, ethics or similar, but for evangelism and encouragement. Thus, it presumes some degree of faith – and please recall that faith is not produced by man but is given by God – and is not intended for the purposes of debating the likes of Sam Harris, Charles Dawkins or the late Christopher Hitchens.

“One might state that if evil has a positive outcome such as pointing to God; then committing evil cannot be entirely wrong (as it creates some good outcome). Therefore committing an evil act cannot be considered wrong and cannot then be evil.”

What you speak of is outcome-based religion. The problem with such religions is that man, lacking perfect knowledge and morality, is incapable of properly evaluating outcomes. Only God can do so. What we perceive to be a “good” outcome according to our perspective might actually be evil according to God, and the converse is also true. Consider an example: a small leak in a dam. A person might make an improper repair to the leak that for a time stops the water from running, but makes the dam weaker, or at minimum ignores the root cause of the leak. Now though the fix is flawed, it might last a long time – during the duration of that person’s life. And for that time, that person will be considered to have done a great good in fixing the leak, and will go to his grave with such estimation.

But suppose that the dam ultimately breaks and catastrophically floods the town! Was this a good deed? No, because in the most extreme case, where the leak would have been at most a minor annoyance but remained, the fix made the dam weaker and caused it to suddenly burst where it would not have had the fix not been applied. In even the most favorable possible case, the fix caused everyone to BELIEVE that the problem was solved, and hindered them from seeking a real solution, or from evacuating the town if no solution was possible or practical.

Such is the result of false religion: it creates self-righteousness and blinds the sinner from his need for God. And false doctrines in Christianity can similar impede the spiritual growth of a Christian. So, the measure of “good acts” are not by their outcomes (“the ends justify the means”) or their intentions (“he meant well/his heart was in the right place”) but rather the fidelity of these acts to the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed by the Holy Scriptures regardless of their apparent outcomes. God and His Word are the standard, not the outcome or our perception of it, and by the definition of God as determined by His special revelation to us in the Bible, fidelity to God and His Word cannot be evil.

That is why the people who obeyed the commandments of God to commit genocide and fratricide in the Old Testament were not evil, and those who committed what might have been considered good in sparing, say, a Canaanite baby out of what seemed to be mercy upon the innocent who posed no threat when when God commanded to utterly destroy all the Canaanites would have been evil. Where of course we would say that killing a Canaanite baby is evil, and sparing the baby and raising it up according to the Jewish religion would have been good according to our own understanding, we have to accept by faith God’s statements when He says that His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts, and obey God according to that same faith.

If we do otherwise, and obey God when it conforms to our own sense of good and evil and abandon God’s commandments when they contradict them, we are following our own religion and morality and not God’s, and we have made ourselves into gods in the place of God.

“On another level it also implicates God in evil; because it seems to make God a participant in the evil action. Therefore one might question the goodness of God.”

Well, the psalmists and prophets seemed to regularly question the goodness of God, no? Yet they remained faithful. It is not blind faith, but faith in God’s self-revelation to us through His Son. The role of the Holy Spirit is not to answer all of our questions, but to reassure us, comfort us and keep us in the faith despite them. Or to save us from our faithless condition despite them. The Bible declares oft that we cannot understand God and His ways, and that we are not to even try to. We are to merely – as the old hymn says – trust and obey Him.

But let it be said that God does certainly use evil to accomplish His ends. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose, and this includes evil things. And God most certainly does use evil events. When a sinner commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto salvation. When a Christian commits evil, the Holy Spirit convicts him of this evil in order to drive him to repentance unto restoration. The Holy Spirit does not cause this evil, but He certainly uses it.

But as touching God and evil actions: consider when God sent a lying spirit to the false prophets in order to provoke wicked king Ahab into going into battle so that Ahab could be slain as a punishment for his (Ahab’s) wickedness. Consider also when God made pharaoh ruler of Egypt and hardened his heart so that pharaoh would oppress the children of Israel mightily, as God wanted an occasion to judge the Egyptians for their wickedness, to save Israel and make them a nation, and to display evidence of His existence and power to the world. Consider when God used the wicked pagan Assyrian and Babylonian empires to judge Israel and Judah for their infidelity to the Sinai covenant (and this required allowing Assyria and Babylon to conquer other nations and otherwise rise to power). And consider when Jesus Christ chose the non-elect Judas Iscariot as one of His apostles so that Judas Iscariot could betray Him and otherwise fulfill the prophecies.

It is very fair to say that God participated in these evil actions, if you rely on the common human definition of participation. In the Bible, God does asserts His right to do evil, at least according to man’s perspective of evil (when God did so, He was condescending to the limited understanding capacity of man in that He allowed them to regard His actions as evil).

Just because we see something as evil does not make it evil. God is the standard, the Self-existing Self-defined one who is goodness and righteousness within Himself. Evil, then, is by definition that which is contrary to God, and God by definition cannot be contrary to Himself. Any other definition of evil makes man a judge of not only himself, but of God. This is something than an unbeliever – especially an atheist or rationalist – will never accept but that Christians are called to accept, believe and submit ourselves to through faith.

The unwillingness to accept the fact that God Himself is the definition of good and that evil is defined by its being in opposition to God is the source of so many of these logical games, tricks and constructions on the behalf of many apologists. This fact also solves the apparent problem of God telling one person to do one thing at one time and another person to do something else (i.e. when God commanded Ezekiel and Hosea to break the Mosaic law by eating bread defiled with excrement and marrying a cult prostitute): we are simply to believe that God can do so without Himself being contradictory.

“I prefer the Biblical account which simply claims that God is the good God who overcomes evil. He is the one that thwarts evil, and instead works good in the life of the believer where the evil one had sought to sow destruction. Evil, then, remains evil; and God remains good. It is not the evil action that points to God; but rather His action in turning away the evil and establishing his redemption in its wake. The redemption points to God.”

The problem with that is that it relies on an incomplete portion of the Holy Scriptures, excluding bad facts. Consider, well, the book of Job (which has been as much a source of fascination and meditation for me as I certainly hope the Gospel of Matthew has been for you)! Let’s face it: God delivered Job into the hands of Satan for Satan to do whatever he wished with Job and all that he had save taking Job’s life. And please recall: the Bible is clear that the calamities that came upon Job were not due to any sin that Job had committed. Job’s CHILDREN died, not because of any sin of Job or the children, and despite Job’s daily sacrificing for his children in case they sinned. (Of course, their deaths would have occurred due to their original sin, as did Job’s death, but let us focus on their untimely deaths, which was considered to be an evil occurrence in OT times and still is to this day.)

We have to come up with a theodicy that is faithful to the entirety of the Bible. Not only must we do this in order to be faithful to God through His Word, but this is also the only way to construct a theodicy that encompasses the range of the facts of life that we have to confront, such things as wars, plagues, horrific crimes, miscarriages, birth defects etc. God does overcome evil by eliminating all that which is contrary to Himself. Keep in mind: this process will not be completely finished until the eschaton, when this creation is destroyed by fire, the wicked are cast into eternal flame, and a new heaven and a new earth is created.

As to why God did not make the original creation after the same manner of the new heaven and new earth, we just have to accept that God did all things according to a manner that pleased Him. The idea that God was obligated to prevent the existence of evil in order to not Himself be evil is man’s thinking, not our own. And it is thinking that is centered on man and his own interests, as we accuse God for not acting to avoid our own misery and suffering. We want to be able to say that God is not good if the result of His original creation was humans – most of whom never encountered with the gospel of Jesus Christ to either accept or reject – being punished in the lake of fire for an eternity. As mentioned earlier, our duty is to accept these facts because they are how God revealed Himself and His actions in the Bible, and not to generate contrivances to avoid the fulness of God’s self-revelation and its implications. Make no mistake: unbelievers are fully aware of these things! Have you ever perused skepticsannotatedbible.org and similar counter-apologetics efforts? It is far better to directly confront these things in scripture, meditate on them, accept them through faith, and work them into our systematic theologies than to simply pretend that they do not exist, or to come up with human-centered (if not necessarily humanistic) evasions.

One last point if evil has some positive function in our world then the ultimate destruction of it would in essence be destroying it, and with it destroying an important way of knowing God. Yet our God promises to end evil once and for all. That is our hope that on a day in the hopefully not-too-distant future He will return to bring into completion or fullness the reality of His Kingdom that he established in His previous visit. The cross is the seal of payment, and the spirit is his down payment asserting His intentions to return. Evil will be no more and His people will be entirely free to serve Him in eternity. We will then celebrate His victory, not His battle.

There is a difference between saying that evil has an absolute positive function in the world, and merely stating that God uses evil to accomplish His purposes. However, even if God did so as you speak, it would be well within His right to terminate it. Does God still feed His people with manna? Of course, God did a great thing by feeding His people with manna. Does the fact that you no longer eat manna destroy an important way of knowing God? Does the fact that you are not a Jew living in Jerusalem under the Mosaic law destroy an important way of knowing God? God forbid! So, if God can discontinue good things, then how much more so can He discontinue evil that He uses for good purposes? We know God only by God’s revelation.

Whether God’s revelation consists of His use of evil to accomplish His goals or not, the knowledge of God is the same. Why? Because God – the one providing the revelation – is the same. Even if you were to say that it is not “the same”, inasmuch as those in Old Testament times did not have the same knowledge as do we in light of the cross and the current ministrations of the Holy Spirit, their knowledge of God based on the revelation that they had was nonetheless sufficient to suit God’s purposes and that is what counts. God is only bound by Himself to reveal to us what He chooses for us to know of Him. He is not bound by us to reveal to us what we desire to know of him.

Further, God reveals Himself to us through the way that He chooses, not the way that we desire. Part of the error of some in the Pentecostal movement that I was once in is their demand that God reveal Himself to us in these ways in the same way that He revealed Himself to the early church, and also to Old Testament Israel. God’s actions and revelations are according to His will, not our desires. And the nature and character of God’s revelation are suitable to fulfill our needs. Not our wants, but our needs. Keep in mind in Romans 1 when Paul states that even the order and nature of creation should have been enough of God’s self-disclosure to live righteously and thereby be saved, and therefore those who do not – including those who never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ – are without excuse and therefore subject to condemnation on judgment day.

And of course we celebrate His battle. Are not the Psalms filled with the Jews’ praise of God’s battles on their behalf, physical and spiritual? Concerning Jesus Christ, do we not celebrate His trial in the desert, Gethsemane and the cross, and not merely the resurrection? Jesus Christ specifically instituted the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper so that we would remember His passion. This knowledge of God that you speak of includes God’s battles for our behalf, because through these we know that God has both the power to save us and the love to forgive us. God’s destruction of Egypt and Israel’s other enemies is evidence of the former, and His restoration of the remnant after they broke His covenant is evidence of the latter. This is evidence of the very hope of which you speak!

Well, I am done! I thank this opportunity to dialogue with my old friend and brother in the faith. As always, I hope that I did not offend or mistreat you, and if I did, it was not my intent. Thank you, and I look forward to your response.

The Three Step Salvation Plan

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Why Has America Lost Its Soul?

Posted by Job on April 5, 2009

MSNBC.com asks Has America become numb to tragedy?. (And this article actually only focuses on gun crimes, so it leaves out things like a brother stabbing his two sisters to death.) Well, I say turn to Matthew 24, the prophecy of the last days of Jesus Christ, and pay attention to verse 12: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. That means that as the time of the return of Jesus Christ draws nearer, the sinful conditions of the world is going to become so pronounced that people will simply not care about even heinous crimes committed against large numbers of innocent people on a routine basis.

I suppose now would be a good time to run through the usual laundry list of social and cultural ills: economic problems, political and corporate corruption, capricious wars, disrespect of parents and authority, rampant fornication and homosexuality, violence in the media, and abortion. And yes, I am certain that dark powers, evil spirits, are afoot. But the root cause of this is a church in America that no longer stands for the Jesus Christ of the Bible.  

This is not a problem of a lack of values. It is a lack of the gospel being preached, and the gospel being lived by so many of the professed Christians in this country. Refer to the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 5:13: Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Now is not the time to point the finger at the other guy. No talking about the problems with this pastor over here or the doctrinal problems of this movement over there. No, this starts with the man in the mirror. Point the finger at yourself. How does YOUR life measure up against the standards of holy living set forth in the Sermon on the Mount, 1 Corinthians 15, the book of Ephesians, and elsewhere in scripture? I am not talking about religious standards or cultural/moral standards, but the actual requirements of scripture.

It measures up pretty well? OK, if you say so, fine. That is between you and God, and He will be the judge of that. But that’s you. What about everyone else? When was the last time you told someone else about Jesus Christ? I have to say that if I look at you as a number and judge you based on statistics, chances are it has been quite awhile, because studies show that over 95% of “evangelical Christians” never actually evangelize anybody. Based on Barna, Pew, and the other folks who put out these studies on religious behaviors and attitudes, 9 out of 10 Christians don’t even tell their friends, neighbors, and coworkers about Jesus Christ, let alone go door to door or stand out on street corners handing out tracts.

This is no surprise.  97% of Christians, including evangelicals, don’t even regularly serve in their local congregations. In virtually every church in America, no matter how large or small, the work is done by 3% to 10% of the congregation. The teaching, preaching, worship, administration, edification etc. is done by those few. The rest just show up as if they are going to a movie, baseball game, or super market or something. Now much attention is given to the crisis that the vast majority of children raised in evangelical Christian homes leave those churches never to return once they reach adulthood and leave these homes, but since 90% to 97% of the people in these homes never brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to sinners and never even serves their fellow believers in their local fellowship halls, were the homes that these children are leaving ever Christian to begin with? How can you lose something that you never had? How you leave something behind that you were never actually in to begin with?

Oh, you might take your kids to church every Sunday, buy them the merchandise from the Christian bookstores, send them to the camps and trips, get them the purity rings and have them sign the pledges, but if you aren’t spreading the gospel or serving in your local congregation, what evidence is there that you are really in the faith, and therefore have a Christian home for your child to leave? This isn’t about your culture and values, this is about your standing before a holy righteous God that demands obedience to the plan of salvation and the plan for worship and living that He left recorded in the Bible! When James wrote not once but three times (James 2:17James 2:20James 2:26) who do you think that he was talking to? Atheists? Mormons? Muslims? Hindus? Jehovah’s Witnesses? Jews? No … James wasn’t talking to THEM. He was talking to ME.

That’s right. I didn’t say YOU. I said ME. Why? Because as I said earlier, this isn’t about talking about the speck in the other guy’s eye. It is about the log in the eye of the guy looking at YOU in the MIRROR. If 90%, 95%, 97% or what have you depending on the survey do not share the gospel and do not serve in their local churches, why do we expect anything else but a nation filled with perversion, hate and violence? Who do you expect the blame to fall on? Sinners? Come on! How else do you expect them to act? They’re sinners and they are going to sin! The sinners are not the salt of the earth, the ones who have the light of Jesus Christ that is supposed to shine and overcome the darkness. That is the job of Christians! That is the job of ME!

The blame is on Christians. It is the Christians that are supposed to be out there turning the other cheek, helping the poor, taking care of the orphans, showing mercy to prostitutes and adulterous women (well if we care so much about abortion, who do you think is getting them?), befriending tax collectors, visiting the prisoners and all the things that Jesus Christ did and commanded. Those are the sick people that need a doctor, remember? It is Christians that are supposed to go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is Christians who are supposed to know better because of Jesus Christ and are supposed to be empowered to do better because of the Holy Spirit and supposed to want to do better because of a burning zeal to glorify God the Father. It is Christians that are supposed to be rising early, staying up late, and getting up in the middle of the night praying, fasting, interceding so that this cloud of evil, violence, and wickedness passes from this land. 

Christians need to get reacquainted with the Apocalypse of John, better known as the Book of Revelation. That book is all about judgment, the wrath of God that falls upon the hard hearted, the stiff – necked, the proud, and the disobedient. And guess what? This judgment doesn’t start with the world, the sinners. No, this judgment starts in the church. So many of us like to read Revelation 1 about the glorious awesome Jesus Christ, skip on over to Revelation 4 and thereafter where it begins to talk about how the wicked rulers, nations, and people of the world are going to be judged, and in the process completely ignore Revelation 2 and 3, as if that isn’t talking about US.

It is US, people in the church, that Jesus Christ tells “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.” It is US that Jesus Christ warns “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

All those warnings of judgment. All of those calls to repent. Not a single one was directed towards the world. ALL were directed towards the church. You know what else is traditionally regarded as being aimed at the world that is actually towards the church? The famous Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” That is taken to be a classic evangelism verse. Why? Because it is out of context. Jesus Christ wasn’t addressing sinners ignorant of His gospel at any point in Revelation 2 and 3. That entire section is directed towards those who know the gospel and are in the church. The reference to Jesus Christ standing at the door and knocking wanting to enter someone’s heart is not a reference to His wanting to save a sinner. No, it is His commanding a member of the church to meet His requirements of obedience. Jesus Christ references the heart, which indicates love. Jesus Christ wants the Christian church to love Him. And how does one love Jesus Christ? The answer: John 14:15. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” 

So in the actual meaning, the true context of Revelation 3:20, Jesus Christ IS NOT knocking at the door of the heart of some lost sinner asking to be let in so that He can save Him. No, Jesus Christ is standing at the door of the 90+% of Christians who never share the gospel, the 90+% of Christians who never serve in their local churches, the percentage of Christians who do not heed His instructions in the gospels and Revelation, who do not heed the instructions of Paul, Peter, James, John, the unknown writer of Hebrews etc. in the epistles by obeying His Word. Jesus Christ is talking to the foolish Christians who do not build their houses on the rock because they hear Jesus Christ’s words and do not obey them, Matthew 7:23-27! It is the Christians that obey the commandments of Jesus Christ that Jesus Christ will enter in and have dinner with. It is those Christians who will endure to the end and attend the marriage supper of the Lamb, counted among those considered the bride of Jesus Christ and the body of Jesus Christ, adopted into God’s sonship through Jesus Christ. And it is only obedient Christians that are capable of effectively standing against the wickedness that has gripped America and the world at this present evil hour. 

So, professing Christian, I ask of you right now, take a look at yourself in the mirror. Are you an obedient Christian? Has your salt lost its savor? Is your light hid under a bushel? Is Jesus Christ standing at your door knocking? You are known by the fruit that you bear (Matthew 7:16Matthew 7:20Matthew 12:33Luke 6:44). Christian, now it is judgment time, time for you to test and try yourself as the Bible commands you (2 Corinthians 13:5). Here’s the test: look at yourself in the mirror, and ask yourself: “Where is my fruit, and what kind of fruit is it?”

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Satan Is Real And After Your Children: Murder of 5 children shocks Washington trailer park

Posted by Job on April 5, 2009

Deputies went to check on family after father shot himself near casino

This is yet another in the recent epidemic of horrible crimes against children that has been happening in the past few weeks. This is why we need to continue to pray for children, intercede for them, and tell them about the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! See the page linked below for several videos related to child evangelism.

Child Evangelism

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Satan Is Real And After Your Children: Pornography Goes Mainstream

Posted by Job on October 7, 2008

www.newsweek.com/id/162792

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Congress Has Opted For A Ten Year Recession

Posted by Job on September 28, 2008

Ron Paul: Congress Has Opted For 10-Year Plus Depression

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Hey Hey Hey John McCain Says It Is OK To Be Gay If You Want To Adopt!

Posted by Job on July 15, 2008

But he is better than Obama, right evangelicals? You just keep on choosing your Hitlers over your Stalins and see how far it gets you.
From USA Today

Last weekend, Republican John McCain told The New York Times he is against gay adoption. Today, his campaign clarified that position in a way that seemed to qualify it.

Communications director Jill Hazelbaker told Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic’s Daily Dish blog that McCain believes that states should decide adoption policies and that a gay home beats abandonment. “McCain believes that in those situations that caring parental figures are better for the child than the alternative,” Hazelbaker said. See the full statement here.

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody says the “clarification” signals trouble ahead with social conservatives. “That sound you just heard was a can of worms opening up,” he writes at The Brody File.  “If you’re going to say that you’re against gay adoption then why not just stick with that view rather than trying to massage it? The qualifier after the interview does some damage.”

The liberal Huffington Post characterized Hazelbaker’s statement as McCain “backing off” his original “radical” position. The AP has rounded up gay and lesbian reaction to the initial statements under the headling “McCain blasted for gay adoption opposition.”

Here’s the exchange with the Times, which was published Sunday:

Q: President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

Mr. McCain: I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.

Q: Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

Mr. McCain: I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

Q: But your concern would be that the couple should (be) a traditional couple —

Mr. McCain: Yes.

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THE TV AND MOVIE INDUSTRY AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE’S LIVES PART 2

Posted by Job on April 28, 2008

 www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

Some of the great movies of all time would never even be made today! A year
ago on Easter Sunday, I was able to enjoy some down time watching the back
nine of the Masters. Congratulations to Zack Johnson for holding off Tiger
Woods and winning one of golf’s most prestigious tournaments. Johnson took
several opportunities to let a worldwide TV audience know that his faith in
Jesus Christ sustained him in those final holes. After chatting with several
good friends who are on the PGA Tour, it turns out that Zack is not only a
great golfer, but a very committed Christian. How fitting his great victory
came on Easter Sunday!

After my wife and I ate some dinner, I sat down to catch up on some of the
day’s news before going to bed. In scrolling thru the stations, I stopped on
AMC (American Movie Classics). Just starting was the 1937 classic movie
“Heidi” starring Shirley Temple. Instead of going to bed, I got my wife and
we watched this great movie classic together. Immediately following, we
watched another Temple classic “Little Miss Broadway.” As I sat there and
enjoyed these two great movies, I couldn’t help to think that if someone was
trying to make those exact movies today in the year 2008, they would be
laughed out of the offices of every major motion picture studio.

Let me tell you what are some of the hottest movies the major motion picture
studios have put out recently. The Hills Have Eyes 2, Grindhouse, 300, Dead
Silence, Hannibal Rising, Hostel 2, and Saw 3. What do these movies all have
in common? They make the studios tons of cash and they are some of the
sickest, most disgusting movies ever created depicting human torture,
mutilation, and killing. I already know the standard answer from those who
support these types of movies is that it is not real, it is just a movie, it
is entertainment, and that nobody was really tortured and killed. I counter
that weak justification with the simple question, “What possible good can a
person gain by watching such a movie?”

The answer is simple, NOTHING! I would also add that anyone who is
“entertained” by watching a person being tortured, mutilated, and killed,
has some very serious psychological issues. It is simply not normal to find
anything entertaining in seeing a person being tortured, mutilated and
killed. This is partially a byproduct of the world we live in that places
little to no value on human life. We slaughter 4,000 innocent babies every
day in this nation. Children grow up playing video games where the goal is
to kill your opponent. The media is feeding young adults a steady diet of
death on TV, in the movies, on the Internet, and through music. It is no
wonder kids today grow up desensitized to death and place little value of
human life.

I think it is wonderful that the movie studios are producing more family
friendly movies. It is nice to have those options. While people of faith,
people who support more traditional family values will go to see those types
of movies, the very same studios also produce the sexual, violent,
mutilation films that glorify death because there is an insatiable demand
for those types of movies. The lost and hurting masses who choose to reject
Christ’s love, live in rebellion to God and His Word, have so hardened their
hearts that they demand more blood, more gore, more sensational ways to view
death. Never forget, satan is about death and God is about life. Those who
follow satan embrace death and those who follow Jesus embrace life, even in
the movies they watch!

Long gone are the innocent days of Shirley Temple. In just a few generations
we have gone from the wholesomeness of Temple to the utter depravity of
movies graphically depicting every kind of deviant sexual act and ways to
kill another human being. As I watched those two Shirley Temple movies that
Sunday, I smiled as little Shirley knelt by her bed and said her prayers, as
her grandfather read passages from the Bible, and the scenes of a church
service complete with a few minutes of sound preaching and the great old
hymns of the faith. The sad reality of the year 2008 is that you won’t even
find that in most so-called churches today!!!

You don’t have to have any history degrees to simply look at where this
nation was spiritually 70 years ago and where it is today. While things
weren’t perfect, we still lived in a nation that honored God and revered His
Truth. Even though we had many different denominations, all Christian
churches still preached the Bible and called sinners to repent and turn
their hearts and lives to Jesus Christ by faith. Sin was not glorified and
accepted but condemned. Alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography all existed,
but they were deemed as deviant behavior not socially acceptable. False
religions and cults were not given a place of prominence but kept
underground.

Marriage was without question one man and one woman for one lifetime, with
there being a huge stigma to divorce. Most children grew up in a home with a
mother and father, unlike most children today who grow up in broken and
blended homes. TV, radio, and the movies produced wholesome family
entertainment with strict standards of decency. Many say we have progressed
over the past 70 years. I agree that we have progressed in every way but the
most critical, SPIRITUALLY! You don’t have to be saved, read the Bible, or
even believe in God to know that as a nation, as a people, we are in
spiritual free fall!

I love you and care about you so much. As I layed in bed Sunday night, I
couldn’t go to sleep right away. I wanted to cry but couldn’t. We have
become a wicked people. Millions of people are spending eternity in hell
because we have allowed our society to lose sight of God, forget the Truth
of His Word, and reject the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. As someone
who has committed my life to serving the Lord I weep daily for this nation
and the lost masses who will perish and spend eternity in hell. I am
resigned to the fact that this nation is so lost, its heart so hardened,
that it will never turn back to God. But that only motivates me to do more
each day to reach those who are hurting, are searching for answers, and do
want to find true hope that only exists in a personal relationship with
Jesus Christ..

You see, it is still about souls my friend. One at a time. Yes it would be
wonderful to see this nation fall on its knees and repent and turn back to
God. If that happens praise God. However, those who know the Lord can still
make a huge impact on millions of lives who without Jesus will spend
eternity in hell. We have great hurdles to overcome, great obstacles to
clear, but with God’s strength we can overcome those hurdles and obstacles
and be victorious in bringing in that last great harvest of souls before our
Lord returns.

The contrast between the Shirley Temple movies of a generation gone by and
the graphic mutilation and death movies of today demonstrate how far we have
fallen as a people. But it is still about each individual soul, and knowing
how many souls will be lost forever should be all the motivation the child
of God needs to give all they have to reach as many as they can with the
Truth of God’s Word and the hope and love of Jesus Christ. The time is
short, Jesus is coming, and the lost masses are out there waiting for
someone to reach them. It is time to get serious and busy about bringing
these lost souls the hope they yearn for and helping them find the peace,
joy, and everlasting life that only comes from knowing Jesus!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY?  The fact is you will die one day.  At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day.  Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-727-342-5673 or 1-845-510-2722.

Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

THE TV AND MOVIE INDUSTRY AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON PEOPLE’S LIVES PART 1 OF 2

Posted by Job on April 28, 2008

www.liveprayer.com/signup.cfm

The TV and movie industries which have a huge influence over tens of millions of people’s lives, including
many Christians. The Bible talks about the “renewing of our mind,” something
we all need to do on a daily basis through His Word. What we watch and hear,
DOES make a difference in how we think and act. What you allow yourself to
watch and listen to IS a big deal. As you read the Daily Devotional today
and tomorrow, be in prayer about what YOU watch and listen to on a daily
basis. For many of you, God is speaking to your heart about this issue.

People love the HBO series the “Sopranos” for the same reason they love “The
Godfather” trilogy. Even 35 years after it was released, “The Godfather”
starring Marlon Brando is one of the most popular movies ever made. So what
makes “The Godfather” movies, other organized crime movies like
“Goodfellas,” “Donnie Brasco,” “Carlito’s Way,” and “Scarface” such a hit
with people? After all, these are movies where the lead characters are part
of organized crime, men who spend their life killing, stealing, cheating,
and destroying other people’s lives. They are involved in illegal businesses
such as bookmaking, prostitution, extortion, selling drugs, and any other
illegal activity you can name.

THESE ARE MEN WHO LIVE THEIR LIVES IN COMPLETE REBELLION TO GOD AND HIS
WORD, SO WHY ARE THEY SO POPULAR? PEOPLE LOVE SIN MORE THAN THEY LOVE GOD!!!

The popularity of these fictional crime bosses like Tony Soprano can be
directly linked to the popularity of the real-life crime bosses like Charles
“Lucky” Luciano, Myer Lansky, and Bugsy Siegel who ran New York in the ’30s,
to Al Capone who ran Chicago in the ’30s, to all the men who ran the various
families across the nation throughout the decades. Men like Giancana,
Marcello, Trafficante, Genovese, Gambino, Bonanno, Lucchese, Colombo,
Accardo, and Gotti to name just a few. People have always had a fascination
with these men who loved to portray themselves as “businessmen” and “family
men,” yet in reality lived brutal and evil lives.

Hollywood and television are largely responsible for how we look at these
criminals. They have glorified and glamorized the lives of these men, often
turning them into sympathetic figures. The movies and television have showed
the human side of these men while almost justifying and excusing what their
life is really about. Make no mistake my friend, these are cold,
calculating, evil, and brutal men who without conscience or mercy spend
their lives killing and destroying others. There is absolutely nothing
glamorous or redeeming about how they live. There is nothing special about
them. They are simply men who have chosen to live a life of crime and live
in violation of society’s laws as well as God’s!

I am going to share some things from my personal life that I have never
shared publicly in all of these years. After the initial success of my
marketing business in 1979, I moved to Chicago in 1980 and that became the
headquarters of my fast growing network of companies throughout the nation
and Canada. A close business associate had introduced me to a law firm in
Chicago that I would use to help me set up my various companies over the
years. The lawyer I met with was a man named Jack Cerone, Jr. who actually
specialized in labor law, so he referred me to one of his partners, Joe
DiNatale, to handle my legal needs. Little did I know that Jack Cerone’s
father was the infamous John “Jackie the Lackey” Cerone, who was actually
the Don of the Chicago outfit (what the Mafia is called in Chicago).

In 1985, my attorney Joe DiNatale would represent Jackie Cerone, Sr. when he
and several other leading mobsters would go on trial in Kansas City for
skimming millions out of Las Vegas casinos. Jackie Cerone, Sr. was convicted
in that trial and would spend the rest of his life in a Federal Prison. I
was very close to DiNatale in the ’80s, and often when we were alone at
dinner he would share some of the stories of what really went on in the
world of organized crime. He often referred to it as “unorganized crime,”
and in reality it was nothing at all like the world portrayed in the movies
or on television.

These were mostly uneducated street criminals who killed, stole, and cheated
people as their life’s work. Those who rose to positions of power usually
did so by attrition, since in the world they lived in you either ended up in
prison or dead. Those who were able to escape those two fates the longest
become the “boss.” Over the years organized crime diversified from their
traditional illegal businesses into legitimate businesses that would become
fronts for many of their criminal activities.

However, in the ’80s new laws that turned what used to be 2-3 year prison
sentences into 20-30 year sentences, encouraged people inside organized
crime who once would “honor the code” and do their time, to now cooperate
and testify against those they worked for. Also, the new technology that
made wiretaps and tracking people possible, gave the Federal Government
tools to gather information they never could in the past. Today, the Mafia
as we know it still exists and always will to some extent, but doesn’t have
anywhere near the influence it used to and thankfully never will again.

When I was indicted in December of 1989 for insider trading, I was denied
bond for fear I would leave the country and was held at the Metropolitan
Correctional Center in downtown Chicago to await trial sometime in late
1990. I was at the MCC from the first week in January in 1990 until October
of 1990. It was there on August 20, 1990 that I rededicated my life to the
Lord and finally gave God the one and only thing He had ever wanted from me,
and that was my life completely and unconditionally surrendered to Him. My
friend, today that is the only thing God wants from you, your life,
completely and unconditionally surrendered to Him.

God began to work in my life. Within a week of rededicating my life to the
Lord, my attorney was able to work out a plea agreement with the government
that called for me to plead guilty and spend the next 22 months at a minimum
security Federal Prison in Pensacola, Florida. If you have never heard my
testimony, you can go to the link below and read all about it. It is a story
I have told to millions worldwide over the years as a tribute to God’s grace
and mercy in my life, giving Him all glory and honor for what He has done
for me. Let me encourage you today that what God has done for me, He will do
for you!!! http://www.weeklyplanet.com/2003-12-04/cover.html

While I was being housed at the MCC in downtown Chicago, in February of
1990, the Federal government indicted Ernest Rocco Infelise, who at the time
was the head of the Chicago Outfit, and several of his top lieutenants,
including reputed mob hit man Harry Aleman. They were obviously denied bond
and also housed at the MCC awaiting their trial, and were assigned to live
on the same floor I was on. I spent the next 8 months living with these
guys. There are no secrets in a prison environment, and they found out that
Joe DiNatale was my attorney, so I was one of the few people on the floor
they interacted with. Many nights we would be in the dining area, and they
would talk about their lives and experiences. They would never get specific,
but it was enough to know that these were men who lived lives of crime from
their youth and really only knew and understood that world.

Obviously, I was fortunate enough to never make the choices to become
involved in that type of life or be part of the world of organized crime.
However, I have had enough contact with those who were in that world to know
there is nothing glamorous about it. It is a very dark, cold, evil world
that operates in complete and total rebellion to God. No matter how much
Hollywood cleans it up, no matter how appealing they make it appear, it is
nothing but a world of destruction. Those who choose to be part of that
world have their lives destroyed. Those who get caught up in their world
have their lives destroyed. At the end of the day, NOBODY WINS BUT SATAN!

I love you and care about you so much. This message today is really a
warning to you. A warning to keep your guard up at all times and not allow
Hollywood and the television industry to cause you to fall into the trap of
glorifying evil no matter how attractive they make it appear. The media
already does a masterful job at glamorizing sin. Sexual sins of every kind
are promoted as fun and exciting with no consequences. Drinking and drug use
are also glorified by the media. So it is no surprise that the media will
try to sanitize sins like murder, robbing, and whatever kind of evil one man
can perpetrate on another you can think of.

I will be praying for you today to take a stand in your life from letting
the world lie to you and lead you into the trap of sitting back and giving
approval to evil by viewing it. Yes, I know the “Sopranos” is a fictional
story, but what they portray is the real life evil and horrors of those who
are part of the world of organized crime. No, you are not going to hell or a
horrible Christian if you watch the “Sopranos” and shows like it. However,
our goal as we mature in Christ is to be more like Him. The Bible talks
about the “renewing of our mind.” A great computer term is “garbage in,
garbage out.” Why would you want to pollute your mind with murder, adultery,
physical violence, and a myriad of other sinful activities?

The problem with a program like the “Sopranos,” the problem with so much of
what is on television today and in the movies, is that they glorify and
glamorize sin. Can you tell me anything glamorous about the sins you have
committed in your life? Can you tell me how glamorous the consequences of
your sins are? That is the point my friend. Sin is NOT glamorous. It is
destructive! The consequences of our sins are very real and very painful.
Watching sin, even in a fictional format, is not something a follower of
Christ should be doing. Why do people love the “Sopranos?” Simple, they love
sin more than they love God!

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller bkeller@liveprayer.com

***ARE YOU 100% CERTAIN WHERE YOU WILL SPEND ETERNITY?  The fact is you will die one day.  At that moment, you will either spend eternity with the Lord or be cast into everlasting darkness forever separated from God your creator. To know for certain you will be forever with Jesus, go to:
http://www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.cfm

***I am excited to let you know that the Liveprayer Daily Devotional is now available via AUDIO each day.  Simply go to http://www.liveprayer.com/Audio.cfm Also, you can now listen to the Daily Devotional by phone by calling, 1-727-342-5673 or 1-845-510-2722.

Posted in Christianity, devotional | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MTV Exposed

Posted by Job on October 23, 2007

From Youtube user platinum33s who also has the Halloween exposes contained here:

The Origins Of Hallowe’en

and whose existence hicktownpress.com made me aware of in this post. I would imagine that MTV is still giving heavy rotation to some of the videos made by Karrine Steffans, and her and all of you carnal members of the members of the church of judge not are very proud of of this fact … you probably even consider it to be her “outreach ministry.”

Sex Sells Especially In The Church: Video Vixen Karrine Steffans Worships At The Church Of Judge Not




Posted in Christianity, media conspiracy | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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