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Are You Good or Godly?

02/27/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

 

christian_prayer

 

 

Good or Godly?

 

Author: Ernest ONeil
Source: SermonIndex.net

Many of us think of religion as morality. We think that “being religious” just means “being good” or “being a moral person”. We slip into this error because we read a Biblical statement like “God whom I serve with a clear conscience” (2 Timothy 1:3), and we identify “conscience” as the faculty that reproved us when we told a lie. We think, therefore, that religion is living with a clear conscience, i.e. living morally. The result of this popular idea of religion has been to produce thousands of boring “moral” people who have none of the daring abandon and exciting initiative of Francis of Assisi or Eric Little. They often express, instead, the death-urge of “Christianity-gone-sour” – the ethical standards without the vital life-urge of Jesus’ Spirit.
[Related Article: Reformation or Revival?]

Conscience Does Not Care About Goodness
Truthfully-conscience does not draw you simply to what is good or moral in human eyes. Conscience is part of the indestructible image of God in you — it is a “piece of heaven”. It not only urges you to live up to the best that you know – as an Englishman or a cannibal — but it registers God’s own personal concern about your responses to His signals. Our Creator is always – every moment – trying to get through to us. He is constantly endeavouring to alert us to the fact that we are only half-living! The English poet, Auden, described this half-life/half-death in these words:

“In headaches and in worry,
Vaguely life leaks away.”

Night and day, our Maker nudges us to see that there is a beautiful life of grace and gladness that begins the moment we believe that He is our loving Father who “feeds the birds of the air” and regards us as “of much more value than them”. Conscience is part of our “spirit”, the faculty through which we can perceive God – it, therefore, makes us aware – or convicts us – when we are not responding to God’s hints. Thus God strives to reveal to us where we are subtly living in unreality – as if He didn’t exist. He does this through our consciences.
[Related Article: Are You Asleep?]

Your Will and Your Conscience
The purpose, then, of your conscience is not to enable you to live a morally good life. It certainly results in that, but its primary purpose is to conduct you into superhuman life – where you actually depend on God in your deep heart. Conscience is quickened by God’s Spirit each time your will obeys it. It cannot be otherwise. The Creator has connected the two faculties together in this way so that you may be conformed to the image of his Son. When you actually exercise your will over your mind, emotions and body according to the whispers of conscience, you are enabled to discern God’s will more and more clearly.

What many of us do is to exercise our will according to the opinions we hold in our minds; we ignore the pure signals of our conscience. The result is that we reform our behaviour in accordance with the best moral standards our mind grasps. But our spirit – and therefore our dependence on God – is affected only adversely. We plough further down the road to the moral self-righteousness of the Pharisees – “dead in our sin” and independence of God, though we seem more religious than ever.
[Related Article: Called to Discipleship]

Escape From Death
The only way to escape from this vicious circle of death-life in which so many of us live is for our wills to follow out after our consciences. “Cold-turkey” exercise of the will in precise accordance with the whispers of conscience is the only way into freshness of superhuman life. Only in this way can our spirits come alive to Our Maker. Your will must become a slave to your conscience (enlightened by the Bible). Only this incipient trusting of God’s Spirit in your conscience can lead you out of the self-interested second-guessing of your mind. God’s Spirit does not respond to the mind’s opinions or machinations; God’s Spirit responds only to the practical exercise of the will. Jesus said, “If you do the will of my Father, you will know that what I say is true.” Your weak, dead, comatose spirit will begin to live only when your will obeys your conscience. Meditations, self-denial, good works cannot be substituted for this. The pivotal point of your whole personality is at the meeting-place of these two faculties – your conscience and your will. Here you will be led beyond goodness to God, where independent moral goodness is impossible.
[Related Article: Sanctification]

 

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Killing Our Way to Victory

02/27/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

 


We Can Kill Our Way to Victory

 

Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 02.22.2015

“We can not win this war by killing them,” Marie Harf said on MSNBC.

Reversing thousands of years of battlefield experience in which wars were won by “killing them”, the State Department spokeswoman argued that you can’t defeat ISIS by killing its fighters.

“We can not kill our way out of this war,” she said. “We need in the medium and longer term to go after the root causes that lead people to join these groups, whether it is lack of opportunity for jobs.”

War is one of the few things in life we can reliably kill our way out of. The United States has had a great track record of killing our way out of wars. We killed our way out of WW1. We killed our way out of WW2. The problem began when we stopped trying to kill our way out of wars and started trying to hug our way out of wars instead. Progressive academics added war to economics, terrorism and the climate in the list of subjects they did not understand and wanted to make certain that no one else was allowed to understand. Because the solution to war is so obvious that no progressive could possibly think of it.

 

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Harf’s argument is a familiar one. There was a time when progressive reformers had convinced politicians that we couldn’t arrest, shoot, imprison or execute our way out of crime.

We couldn’t stop crime by fighting crime. Instead the root causes of crime had to be addressed. The police became social workers and criminals overran entire cities. The public demanded action and a new wave of mayors got tough on crime. While the sociologists, social workers, activists and bleeding hearts wailed that it wouldn’t work, surprisingly locking up criminals did stop them from committing crimes.

It was a revelation almost as surprising as realizing that it does take a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun. Addressing root causes won’t stop a killing spree in progress. (That’s another one of those things we can and do kill our way out of.)

But bad ideas are harder to kill than bad people. And stupid ideas are the hardest ideas of all to kill.

The same plan that failed to stop street gangs and drug dealers has been deployed to defeat ISIS. Heading it up are progressives who don’t believe that killing the enemy wins wars.

General Patton told the Third Army, “The harder we push, the more Germans we kill. The more Germans we kill, the fewer of our men will be killed.” That kind of thinking is passé. General McChrystal, Obama’s favorite commander (before he had to be purged for insulting Obama) had a much better plan.

“We will not win based on the number of Taliban we kill,” he said. “We must avoid the trap of winning tactical victories but suffering strategic defeats by causing civilian casualties or excessive damage and thus alienating the people.”

Under Obama’s rotating shift of commanders, we avoided the trap of winning tactical victories. Instead of following Patton’s maxim, American casualties doubled. The Taliban struck closer to Kabul while US soldiers avoided engaging the enemy because they wouldn’t be given permission to attack unless the Taliban announced themselves openly while avoiding mosques or civilian buildings.

 

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“We will not win simply by killing insurgents,” McChrystal had insisted. “We will help the Afghan people win by securing them, by protecting them from intimidation, violence and abuse.”

But we couldn’t protect the Afghan people without killing the Taliban. Civilian casualties caused by the United States fell 28 percent, but the Taliban more than made up for it by increasing their killing of civilians by 40 percent. Not only did we avoid the trap of a tactical victory, but we also suffered a strategic defeat. American soldiers couldn’t kill insurgents, protect civilians or even protect themselves. We’ve tried the McChrystal way and over 2,000 American soldiers came home in boxes from Afghanistan trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans. Many more returned missing arms and legs. The Taliban poll badly among Afghans, but instead of hiring a PR expert to improve their image, a Pentagon report expects them to be encircling key cities by 2017.

Unlike our leaders, the Taliban are not worried about falling into the trap of winning tactical victories. They are big believers in killing their way to popularity. As ISIS and Boko Haram have demonstrated, winning by killing works better than trying to win by wars by winning polls.

Now the same whiz kids that looked for the root cause of the problem in Afghanistan by dumping money everywhere, including into companies linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban, think that the way to beat ISIS is with unemployment centers and job training. Many of the ISIS Jihadists come from the social welfare paradises of Europe where there are more people employed to find the root causes of terrorism through welfare than there are people working to fight them. So far they haven’t had much luck either.

The Europeans were still searching for the root causes of Muslim terrorism back when Obama was smoking pot on a dirty couch. They’re still searching for them even while newspapers, cafes and synagogues are shot up. Meanwhile unarmed police officers lie on the ground and beg for their lives.

Obama’s real ISIS strategy is even worse than his Afghan strategy. He doesn’t have a plan for beating ISIS. He has a plan for preventing it from expanding while the sociologists try to figure out the root causes for its popularity. American air power isn’t there to crush ISIS. It’s there to stop it from launching any major advances and embarrassing him too much. Meanwhile hearts and minds will be won. At least those minds that haven’t been beheaded and those hearts that haven’t been burned to ash.

We won’t be falling into the trap of winning victories. Instead we’ll be figuring out how to create jobs so that all the ISIS fighters go home to Copenhagen and Paris where they won’t be Obama’s problem.

 

The_defeat_of_Shipka_Peak,_Bulgarian_War_of_Independence

 

But while it’s tempting to believe that stupid ideas like these are solely the realm of lefties like Obama, it was Mitt Romney who announced during the final debate that, “We can’t kill our way out of this mess.”

“We’re going to have to put in place a very comprehensive and robust strategy to help the world of Islam and other parts of the world, reject this radical violent extremism,” he insisted, calling for education and economic development.

“Killing our way out of this mess” has become an orphaned strategy. Neither Democrats nor Republicans want to take it home with them. But killing our way out of wars used to be a bipartisan strategy.

Truman believed in a plan to “kill as many as possible.” Eisenhower could casually write, “We should have killed more of them.” But why listen to the leaders who oversaw America’s last great war when we can instead listen to the architects of the social strategy that turned our cities into war zones?

What did Eisenhower and Truman know that Obama doesn’t? They knew war.

Truman cheated his way into WW1, despite being an only son and half-blind. He took the initiative and took the war to the enemy. They don’t make Democrats like that anymore. They do make Democrats like Barack Obama, who use Marines as umbrella stands and whose strategy is not to offend the enemy.

In Afghanistan, the top brass considered a medal for “courageous restraint”. If we go on trying to not kill our way out of Iraq, that medal will go well with all the burned bodies and severed heads.

Why Does Canada Prosper (as America suffers)?

02/25/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword
87651ad0-a7ef-11e4-b19f-212eaa8494e9_Us-Canada

 

 

Canada Prospers, America Flounders…

 

Author: Matt Ward
Source: RaptureReady.com

This year and last, the Canadian corn harvest was so plentiful that the prairies were at a bursting point. So large were the harvests that there were not enough rail cars to transport the bumper crop. In America during the same period the US harvest was decimated by drought, and a partial or substantial failure.
[See Also: The Point of No Return]

The dire economic situation that is currently causing chaos to the US economy, leading key credit ratings agencies such as Moody’s to warn of forthcoming recessions and possible downgrades, has left Canada relatively unaffected.

The US Federal Reserve Board, trying anything and everything from interest rate cuts to vast programs of quantitative easing (printing more money that doesn’t exist) are reeling from one crisis to another.

Canada’s central bank, by contrast, has said the Canadian economy no longer needs anything special to help the markets through this current climate. In fact, the only Canadian industrial sector adversely affected by the current and ongoing economic woes hitting the United States and the rest of the world, is the paper sector…All other sectors are doing just fine.

So fine in fact is the Canadian economy that the chief executive officers of two major Canadian banks say the credit crunch is actually a healthy development for Canada. There are indications pointing to the fact that the Canadian economy has just sailed right through this current economic crisis.

The contrast between the two neighboring countries could not be starker, so what is the real reason for this?

Canada and the United States have a symbiotic relationship. Where one prospers, so should the other. Equally, where one falters, so the other should falter. Yet this is clearly not what is happening and the question needs to be asked, why? There are many reasons, obvious and subtle, but I believe that the primary reason is Israel.

Quite simply, Canada clearly and without hesitation supports Israel, the United States does not. This is an obvious working out of Genesis 12:3, “those who bless you, I will bless; those who curse you, I will curse…”

Barack Obama obviously dislikes Israel and clearly loathes Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama wastes no opportunity to denigrate the Jewish State and holds them up to a standard of international accountability that he in no way extends to Israel’s Middle Eastern neighbors.
[Related Article: Why Barack Obama Hates Netanyahu]

Obama is dismissive at best, and willfully complicit at worst about the very real threats Israel faces every day, even about existential threats to their very survival, such as Iran’s nuclear program. Obama is quick to offer public condolence to the family of a Palestinian terrorist killed by Jewish Soldiers while throwing fire bombs at them, but does not reciprocate in kind when innocent Jewish civilians who are killed by Palestinian acts of terror. (As a side issue, since when has it become official US policy to send presidential condolences to terrorists killed while in the actual act of terrorism itself?)

Obama has threatened to withdraw US veto covering in international forums, such as the United Nations, and has insulted and treated Israel’s Prime Minister with disdain, discourtesy and barely disguised contempt.

Stephen Harper Prime Minister of Canada by contrast could not be at more opposite ends of the spectrum. Harper is a clear and instinctive supporter of Israel. He, along with a small group of other nations ceaselessly support and work for Israel’s best interests in all international forums where they have a say. Harper is quick to communicate Canada’s condolences to the innocent Jewish victims of Palestinian terror, and has left the world in no doubt about where he and the nation that he leads stand regarding the Iranian threat.

Harper has even made a strong and intelligent case internationally for the logic of a pre-emptive strike against Iran from Israel, “…if Harper is correct, virtually all measures, up to and including a military attack on Iran, might be warranted, or perhaps even required…” [1]

Harper has used his position in the G8 to lobby other nations in support of Israel against Iran and has opened an area of military and intelligence sharing between Canada and Israel that is unprecedented in recent history.

This has been dangerous politics for Harper personally as anti-Semitism is rife internationally, but his policies have seen Canada go from strength to strength. John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister has declared proudly, “Israel has no greater friend in the world than Canada.” [2]

This is also reflected by the general population of Canada who view Harper’s foreign policy as being “…about right.” This is reciprocated from Israel, and Netanyahu himself describes Harper and Canada as “…a true friend of Israel.”

Obama, by contrast spent the entirety of the recent 2014 Gaza War undermining Israel and doing all within his power to support Hamas. Obama did this while he publically declared Israel had a right to defend itself from what he himself acknowledged was a deadly threat, but behind closed doors was applying unimaginable pressure to Netanyahu to cease all hostilities at a point when Israel had not even begun to neutralize the very real dangers they faced from Hamas. He was trying to force Israel to lose the Gaza War.

Obama continued by insisting that the post conflict settlement include terms that were not only unfavorable to Israel, such as allowing terror tunnels to remain without destruction due a potential enforcement of a premature ceasefire, to actions that would actually empower and embolden Hamas. These actions, such as allowing Hamas to re-open the border crossings between Egypt and Gaza and ending the Israeli maritime blockade would have seriously prejudiced the ongoing national security of the Israel. Obama was attempting to put into place the necessary conditions not for Gaza to regrow, but for Hamas to rebuild its terror infrastructure.

When describing the US backed peace proposal for ending the Gaza War last summer, even the far left leaning reporter Barack Ravid of Haaretz declared it, “…might as well have been penned by Khaled Mashaal (leader of Hamas in exile). It was everything Hamas could have hoped for…”

Canada and the United States are similar in so many ways, but differ substantially on the most important one, Israel. While the US administration is now openly hostile to Israel, the Canadian administration has a burden for God’s people that motivates and forms their foreign policy. While public opinion in the US is swinging away from Israel, in Canada it is firmly entrenched behind them. Whilst Obama vilified Israel for defending itself during the recent Gaza War, Harper sprung to their defense and afterwards took active steps to encourage and strengthen the Canadian/Israeli economic relationship.

Canada is thriving in a way that the United States unfortunately is not. There is a reason for this and it is Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and curse him who curses you.”

It is a tangible, demonstrable, modern day example that when it comes to the Nation of Israel, God means exactly what He says, “…whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye…” (Zechariah 2:8b)

Endnotes:

[1] Stephen Harper’s Persian Problem [http://opencanada.org/indepth/stephen-harpers-persian-problem-3/]

[2] Stephen Harper’s Persian Problem [http://opencanada.org/indepth/stephen-harpers-persian-problem-3/]

Blacks Are Still Being Controlled

02/24/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

 

Blacks Still ‘Played’ and Controlled
by Tired Old Democrat Paradigms

 


Author: Lloyd Marcus
Source: American Thinker – 11.11.2011

A black website published one of my articles. The black publisher asked his readers to forgive me for being a black member of the GOP and review my article with an open mind.

In response, a subscriber wrote, “You can ask us to look past him being a GOP, but you can’t ask us to look past his claim to be a tea party Christian.”

Grateful for an opportunity to enlighten indoctrinated blacks, I asked the website publisher to publicly post my reply to the ill-informed subscriber’s comment.

Please do not think me rude or mean by stating the following truth. The subscriber’s comment reflects an ignorance of the facts and history prevalent in the black community.

 

blacks who built republican party in south

 

Many blacks erroneously believe the GOP consists of rich racist white people. In reality, the GOP was founded to free blacks. Only five years after slavery, there were black congressmen, all Republicans. The KKK, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and denying blacks the right to vote where all birthed by Democrats.

Even today, Democrats are still “keeping blacks in their place” — telling them they need lowered standards, affirmative action, special programs, and freebies to succeed. Democrats constantly send blacks the message they are not as smart was whites. For example, Democrats say having to show ID when voting disenfranchises blacks. This is merely a tactic by which the Democrats implement voter fraud. However, in the process, they are saying blacks are too stupid to find their way to the DMV or other places to acquire proper ID. This is just one example of numerous ways Democrats tell blacks they are inferior and need Democrats’ help to succeed.

Republicans deal with blacks respectfully, as equals. Democrats thrive on blacks believing themselves to be victims, despite being blessed to be born in the greatest land of opportunity on the planet. Foreigners are trying to get to America in cardboard boats held together with duct tape. Democrats punish and hate blacks who compete with whites and succeed without Democrat lowered standards and involvement.
[See Also: Barack Obama and His Urban Parasites]

While sold as compassion and “fairness,” Democrat programs are always about making as many people as possible dependent on government to secure/buy votes. In the long run, all Democrat policies and programs hurt people!

There are black idiot knucklehead racists who want to believe a lie rather than the truth. Yes, I said black racists. I reject and resent the satanic notion that because of slavery, blacks have a right to be racist. Racism is evil, period, whether it comes from blacks or whites. If you disagree, it is fruitless to continue reading this article. I will keep you in my prayers.
[See Also: Praying for Richmond VA and the Greater Richmond Area]

In reality, history confirms that the black community has been sleeping with the enemy for years by monolithically voting Democrat. News flash, black voters: the Democrats “ain’t” your friends.

Every program which demeans and stifles blacks has come and continues to come from the Democrats. Republicans continue to be the party extremely supportive of black individuality, the party full of nurturers of black entrepreneurial success.

 

2014-Black_GOP

 

Democrats still want to keep blacks on their plantation of needing government handouts — thus keeping blacks dependent on government, thus keeping blacks voting for Democrats, who promise to give them stuff via programs. To make their scam work, Democrats also tell blacks that Republicans are burning the midnight oil planning ways to “keep them down.” Thus, you blacks need ‘us Democrats’ to keep evil rich ‘white Republicans’ off your backs.
[See Also: Race, Culture, and Equality]

In a nutshell, blacks are being played by the Democrats. So you can imagine my frustration and impatience with ignorant knuckleheads who trash me for being a Republican. I am working to liberate my people — to ensure that they be treated with dignity and respect, and not as needy, inferior supplicants.

When I became supervisor of my mostly white department at a TV station, rather than celebrating me and my achievement, my liberal and Democrat friends demeaned my achievement by saying I got the job due to affirmative action. Wrong. I got the job because I proved myself most qualified. “That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!”

Now, let’s talk about the Tea Party.

Again, all you folks who think the Tea Party is racist are ignorant of the facts and just plain wrong! I am sorry, but that is the gospel truth. You are being “played” by the Democrats and their liberal media buddies, who also “secretly” think we blacks are inferior and need their help to succeed.

As a singer and speaker, I have attended over three hundred Tea Parties nationwide, on five Tea Party Express national bus tours. I have been warmly embraced by the mostly white audiences because we share a love for America and are opposed to socialism. These Tea Party folks are not opposing Obama’s skin color. They are opposing his agenda.
[See Also: The Blackness of His Heart]

A Congressional Black Caucus member actually said the white folks at the Tea Parties want to “see blacks hanging from trees.” Knowing what I know from my personal experience, the Caucus member’s statement is irresponsible, absurd, shameful, and divisively evil — all about ginning up racial hate and securing votes for Obama. Despicable!
[See Also: Has Obama Sold Out His ‘People’?]

Now, I know some blacks who are stuck on stupid and hate who want to believe otherwise. So be it. All I ask is that before you write me off as an Uncle Tom traitor, check you facts. And quite frankly, I do not care what anyone thinks of me, because I know I am on the Lord’s side. God bless.

 

Left-Wings-Latest-Target-Black-Conservatives

Why Secular Elites Ignore Religion

02/23/2015

Why Secular Elites Ignore Religion

 

Author: Jay Haug
Source: American Thinker – 02.20.2015

 

 

In the midst if another round of beheadings and similar Muslim atrocities, we continue to receive the typical government response focusing on jobs and improving the lives of young Muslim men as the primary solution to terrorism. State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said recently, “Where there’s a lack of governance, you’ve had young men attracted to this terrorist cause where there aren’t other opportunities.” Certainly both the Bush and Obama administrations have been reluctant to refer to “Islamic” extremism, choosing instead to separate the violent Islamists from what George Bush called “the religion of peace.” Each had their reasons which may not be exactly the same.

But there is a deeper problem: It is the reluctance of secular elites to ascribe to any religion the cause of anything. For American historians, this shows up in assertions that Columbus was driven by greed not God and that the founding fathers were consumed by economic motives barely hidden under the cloak of religious freedom. This is sometimes called the” economic theory of history”. But its origins are in the “genetic fallacy” originated by Sigmund Freud and Karl Marx. The genetic fallacy states that religion is “nothing more than” something else. For Freud, religion is nothing more than “wish fulfillment,” the attempt by frightened people to create a kindly and tame heavenly being to watch over them. Never mind that the God of the Bible is not this kind of being. For Marx, religion is the “opium of the people,” a way for the downtrodden to drug themselves in response to the harsh economic realities of life. Never mind that the wealthy embrace religious belief as much as the hoi polloi. In any case, secular elites have embraced this ethos and run with it, closing their eyes and ears to any alternative explanation for events.

 

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It is not too brash to say that “religion” is the one field that is frequently disallowed in serious discussion by the urban, bi-coastal crowd. For years the New York Times best-seller list would not contain any religious book. If you listened to NPR from 1970 to 1990, you would think that no one in America ever had a religious thought. Since that time, it appears that somebody woke up and sent an internal memo indicating that religion is now a legitimate subject for thinking people.

What causes this attitude? It may be that secular elites are so unfamiliar and uncomfortable with religious concepts, even if they are only discussed in a cultural context, that they simply eschew the subject altogether. But it is much worse than that. Many believe religion is at best simply about private feeling and at worst a deception hiding either weak or greedy motives. It certainly has no place in intellectual discussions, much less in debates about war, peace and civilization. In Bill Maher’s term, religion is “religulous.” In Christopher Hitchens phrase, “religion poisons everything.” But this attitude is nothing more than sweeping and unthinking prejudice which refuses to acknowledge that without Judeo-Christian values fought for long and hard in the West, we would not be enjoying the freedom we possess today. We are far more Christian than any of us knows.

Several years ago, I attended a reunion at my own elite liberal arts college. I attended two seminars, one on the Federalist papers and the other on European civilization. The professor leading the first gathering proceeded to assert the economic motive in our country’s founding, even when his pet theory was dim in the Federalist text, while refusing to discuss the role of religion. After the class was over, I confronted him about his prejudice. He laughed it off as if to say, “You got me.” In the second class, the professor asserted the influence of Greece and Rome on European thought and culture. When I asked him what he thought about Judeo-Christian influence over Europe, he replied, “I’ll have to think about that.” My question was, “Why had he not thought about it before?” On the same weekend, several people of varying backgrounds were gathered around the grave of a revered professor sharing heartfelt memories and reflections when one man blurted out, “This is not a religious event!”

 

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The reality of the world is that many people are driven by far more than jobs and economic opportunity. Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al Zawahiri did not start al Qaeda because they were poor, nor will their followers stop when they get jobs. As even Chris Matthews pointed out this week, the world will always be filled with angry, unemployed young men. Sure, let’s prevent them from flying to war zones and back without detection. But until we understand what really motivates them, namely their religion, we will not be living in reality. To pretend otherwise is to live in a state of dangerous denial.

When Love Kills

02/23/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

 

Luther Quote

 

 

Loving Them Straight to Hell

 

Author: Donna Wasson
Source: RaptureReady.com


“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of the darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(2 Corinthians 4:3-6 KJV)

The vast majority of pastors and elders today are flat out refusing to speak out against the blatant sin present in their congregations. Why? Because it’s not politically correct. Because they don’t want to be viewed as ‘judging.’ They want everyone to feel loved and accepted.
[See Also: The Narrow Path]

Truth is, they’re terrified they’ll hurt someone’s feelings, causing some to leave the church. After all, we can’t be too controversial. There are buildings to pay for and salaries and bonuses for the staff to cover. If people leave, they take their money with them, so we can’t go around making people feel bad about themselves!
[See Also: The Seeker Friendly Way of Doing Church]

Many churches today literally hire marketing experts, intent on fomenting a false model of ‘success.’ It’s all predicated on attracting as many people as possible which brings in mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money! Money to build bigger buildings and basketball courts and coffee bars and game rooms for the ‘youth.’

Success is no longer measured in souls saved. Are you kidding?! Nope, unless the pastor can pack the auditorium full of pew warmers with fat wallets using his sparkling wit, engaging stories, and encouraging doctrine about how Jesus-loves-you-and-has-a-won derful-plan-for-your-life, he’s usually considered to be a real loser.

 

consumer_church

 

It’s as if all these marketing people tell pastors and board members the same thing: the people want to be entertained! They want loud, upbeat music with eye-catching graphics on the overhead screen, and don’t be afraid to throw in some special effects like lasers or fog! Doesn’t matter what the songs are about. There’s plenty of Emergent Church meaningless nonsense out there to choose from. Just make sure people are energized by the time they sit down.

Get some big-name Christian recording artist to appear in concert, and sell tickets to give the whole thing a feel of professionalism and importance. Maybe even a Christian comedian. Yeah, folks love that stuff! The youth group also needs plenty of options to keep them busy. Dispense with the boring Sunday school lessons of yesterday, or at least keep them to a minimum.

Kids are tired of sitting in class by the time the weekend rolls around. They’re ready to have some fun, so get some pinball machines, some air-hockey tables and maybe even a karaoke machine. Build a full size gym and a coffee bar. Oh, you gotta have a coffee bar along with high tables and stools to hang out on! Serve soda and snacks too. You know how kids are — they’re always hungry!

Now, during the main service, for heaven’s sake, do NOT wear a suit! You’ve got to look approachable and relevant; like you can identify with the people’s struggles, and yet you completely approve of them as they are. Wear high-end jeans and a button-up dress shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Get some Doc Martens or Air Jordan shoes. Very popular with the ‘in’ crowd! Get your teeth whitened too.

 

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Be silly. Don’t be afraid to joke around. Engage your audience. Yeah, you can use the Bible, but most people don’t bring one, so post the scripture above your head on the big screen. However, you really have to use some other translation or paraphrase than that old-fashioned King James Version.
[See Also: Mustard Seeds and Mega-Churches]

And for God’s sake—oops! Pardon the pun. Whatever you do NEVER, and we mean NEVER talk about the following: the Cross of Jesus, His death and resurrection (unless it’s Easter time) or His blood. Turns people right off! Don’t preach about the need for repentance or salvation or any of that stuff.

Now, the biggest faux pas would be to preach about sin! You don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable or guilty. And don’t be stupid enough to get into anything political or you’re liable to lose that tax-exempt status.

You want to make those people walk out of that service feeling better than they did when they came in. They’re looking for reassurance that no matter what kind of lifestyle they’re living, God sanctions their behavior and so do you. They must never, EVER get the sense that anyone is judging them.
[See Also: Richmond VA and the Greater Richmond Area]

Drug addicts, gays, couples living together, serial adulterers, alcoholics, marijuana smokers, white-collar thieves, you name it—it doesn’t matter. Just remember that Jesus loves everybody, right? You wanna be successful, pastor? You want a multi-million dollar, mega-church with your face in the newspapers and on billboards? Does your wife expect a mega-church preacher’s lifestyle? Stick with us and do what we say, and you’ll get there within 5 years, tops!
[See Also: Examining the Church Growth Movement]

Any of this sound familiar? No matter what the denomination happens to be, this is mostly what our God sees when He looks down at America. If it makes me want to gag, how must He feel? When is the last time YOUR pastor preached against sin? Or the need for repentance and holy, righteous living?

 

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When’s the last time he held an altar call for the lost or needy? Can you remember when he stood before the congregation broken and in tears over the sins of his flock, his country and this world? Has he pleaded for the lost souls in the audience to accept Jesus as their Savior?

Or, is your church a lukewarm, Laodicean country club, beautiful on the outside but full of dead men’s bones? Do the elders anoint the sick with oil and petition God for healing? Do they, along with the pastor, prayerfully, lovingly and privately confront those in the congregation who are living in willful, blatant sin? Have they declared that, until that person turns from their evil ways, they are no longer welcome?

Those actions are terribly uncomfortable and not for the faint of heart. They are the actions of a strong, Godly shepherd who loves and cares for his flock. This kind of shepherd is unfortunately, very rare these days. It seems that most pastors are caught up in the bigger-better rat race and have abandoned their first love.

Are you attending a church where the Word of God is cherry-picked for subjects that aren’t offensive? Does your pastor talk about repenting of sin and striving to be holy as God is holy? Have you ever heard him speak about the reality of hell?

Does he ever marvel over the power and promise of the Cross of Jesus? About the power of His blood? Does he warn you that the Age of Grace is about to conclude, and that Christ is on the verge of snatching His Bride home any second now? Does he explain what it takes to be ready to go, and what will befall those left behind?

If you aren’t hearing these things from your preacher or Bible teachers, you need to get out of that worthless, dead church and seek one that’s alive with the Holy Spirit. Yes, I know that they’re extremely hard to find but they still exist. Pray the Lord will lead you to one and He will guide you.

It’s true that we need to welcome everyone into the church, no matter how tattered or torn or filthy with sin they happen to be. But, we don’t leave them that way just because we don’t want to offend them or hurt their feelings! We’re called to point them to the Cross so they can be made into a new creature in Christ. A mature believer needs to disciple them and hold them accountable in their walk.

The prevailing attitude within the Christian community today is that confronting sin is not ‘loving.’ We shouldn’t ‘judge’ because Jesus loved everyone. Where are you people getting this?! What a load of unmitigated garbage!
Refusing to confront sin in a person’s life and pointing them to the Savior, is the single most hateful, vile thing you could ever do to another human being!

[See Also: Making God’s People Trust A Lie]

We don’t have much time left to spread the good news of the Gospel. For heaven’s sake, don’t even bother being associated with an ungodly church that ‘loves’ people straight to hell.
Maranatha!

 

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The End of the (bad faith) Era

02/17/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword


An Era of Bad Faith Ends

 

Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 02.12.2015

 

Generation Xers mourning Stewart’s departure ought to be thanking the man who made the awkward comedian’s long tenure of pulling faces while making snide remarks possible; President Bush.

George W. Bush made Jon Stewart. Even Stewart has admitted that his show came into its own when Bush did. A world in which a President Gore spent eight years sonorously lecturing Americans about his love for the trees is also a world in which Jon Stewart would be out there doing pizza commercials.

It was Bush’s victory that took a flailing cable show hosted by an irritating little standup comedian with more neurotic tics than a flea-bitten Woody Allen and turned him into the voice of liberalism. Stewart’s nervous smirk and his passive aggressive mockery became the zeitgeist of urban Democrats nervously responding to Bush’s popularity and the rise of American patriotism after September 11.

The Democratic Party was out of ideas. The politicians who would become some of Bush’s most fevered critics were still following the president’s cues. A newly serious America was confronting a world war.

Stewart’s disingenuousness, veering from ironic detachment to self-righteous hectoring, undermined real sincerity with fake sincerity. The Daily Show’s audience of hipster yuppies cheered their newfound faith in sincere cynicism while the calculated ironic distance of his comedy kept him safe from critics. Even while he attacked the media’s dishonesty, his own routine was the most dishonest of them all.

 

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His fake news was real news, biased and spun with punch lines. It was fake news that was real and just as fake as the rest of the news. The truth was that the lie was still a lie.

What Stewart offered a party dragged down by a morose Gore and Kerry was the promise of cool. Their former figurehead had started out playing the saxophone on the Arsenio Hall Show only to decay into a bloated red-faced mess. With towers burning and wars rising, Stewart was to be their bridge to a cooler and younger 21st century that an aging Democratic Party no longer seemed able to grapple with.

Jon Stewart didn’t actually have cool, but he could offer it up inversely by way of mockery. Like a school paper’s drama critic, he might not be cool, but by railing against others, he could deny coolness to them.

Stewart wasn’t funny and knew little about politics. Unqualified to be in politics, journalism or even comedy, he straddled the line by casting himself as a critic of the media and politics. In his new role, he just had to be funny by the standards of politics and politically knowledge by the standard of comedians. It was a low bar that he just managed to limbo under. All he had to was to go after the right targets.

Audiences in retro glasses clapped like electroshocked seals at his every grimace and the media declared that his fake news was what real news should be. And worst of all, they meant it.

The media found Stewart refreshing not because he kept them honest, but because he encouraged their worst partisan instincts for dishonesty. The news anchors at their desks wished that they could say the things that he said. And some of them began to say them. Today the line has blurred so much that NBC News was thinking of offering Stewart a gig on Meet the Press.

 

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While Bush may have made Stewart, Jon Stewart then made Obama. Barack Obama was a political version of Jon Stewart; a dishonest entertainer turning politics into a joke and then faking a theatrical sincerity while throwing out every possible distraction to cover up his dishonesty and bad faith.

Stewart provided a counterpoint to Bush’s real sincerity with fake sincerity. It was a joke that Stephen Colbert would polish into a single mindless routine. The flip side of the routine was that flippancy equaled sincerity. If the sincerity of patriotism and the devoutness of faith were a joke, then anyone who was joking was bound to be sincere. Those were the clown shoes to be filled by hope and change.

Obama’s fake self-awareness made him seem authentic in a social media society composed of reflective levels of personality. What Stewart offered Democrats was an evasive viewpoint without accountability. And nothing quite appeals to the cowardly instincts of a political hack like being able to take a political position without being held accountable for it. But it was Obama who truly embraced politics without accountability, transforming every issue into a joke or referencing it back to his own biography.

While he may have come out on the stage with a unique personal story, what kept Obama competitive was his skill at refracting everything through layers of irony and self-awareness. His approach was to borrow Stewart’s own routine without any of its ambiguity. Stewart’s pretense of triangulation became Obama’s obsession with turning his radical left-wing politics into an imaginary middle ground.

Stewart and Obama had come out of a political movement trying to respond to September 11 without having the first idea how to do so. Stewart’s comedy paved the way for minimizing the threat while inflating the absurdity of those trying to fight it. It is an approach that Obama continues to embrace.

Both men have pretended that they aren’t ideologues. They have acted as if the left is a third way, rather than the same old way, selling that dishonest message through style, not substance.

Jon Stewart did not offer an alternative to the media. He was what the media was becoming. The merging of opinion and reporting along with the overlay of cynical humor over every story have become ubiquitous. Stewart didn’t pave the way for a better media. He paved the way for Buzzfeed, Vice, Politico and Vox. He turned the news into a joke with an agenda… which is exactly what it is now.

 

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Obama was an equally fake alternative. He didn’t offer inspiration, but manipulation. His new ideas were the same old ideas packaged around his personality, around new styles and designs fed through social media and media appearances. Unwilling to connect with opponents, reporters and even voters, he then settled for digging in on his grievances and breaking the rules by ruling the country unilaterally.

Generation X cynicism fused with millennial brand awareness to create a political monster who might not be able to lie to the people all the time, but who cynically made the existence of his lies irrelevant.

Stewart’s Daily Show had offered an antidote to the Bush era of patriotism, sincerity and decency. Its antidote was passive aggressive ridicule and political satire as sincerity. After the Bush era ended, Stewart and his fellow comedians had little left to do except take on the job of defending Obama, while occasionally critiquing him. They had become the official court jesters of the Democratic Party.

It’s no wonder that Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, anticipating eight more years of Hillary, have chosen to move on. The genre has long since outlived its original response to 9/11 sincerity. It now exists only to feed on itself. To act as a comedic Media Matters churning out viral videos slamming opponents for some sin against the left while pretending to be part of mainstream consensus.

Jon Stewart gave us the era of Obama. As that era of bad faith comes to a close, so does his own.

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