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Crisis In the Church

03/30/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword

 

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Crisis in the Church

Preacher: Glenn Meldrum
Source: SermonIndex.net

The evangelical church in the west is experiencing a major crisis; a crisis that that goes to the core of its identity and the majority of people involved don’t even know it exists. What is the crisis I am speaking about? – The redefining of what it means to be Christian. More specifically, how a person becomes a believer and then how one is to live in this world. Through a slow process of redefining what it means to be “Christian,” we have forsaken the faith defined in the Scriptures. Instead, we have substituted a pop cultural, politically correct version that advocates a deceptive form of tolerance and an unbiblical concept of inclusiveness. This is another gospel, an anti-Christian religion.

Let me give a couple of examples. After 15 years of pastoring the Lord called my wife and I to be evangelists. Since the end of 1996 we have traveled the country speaking at churches, conferences and ministries. To help pay some bills my wife, Jessica, took a seasonal job in a southern, Bible-belt town during the Christmas season of 1997. She was excited to find that most of the women in the business claimed to be Christian. However, as time went on she learned the ugly truth that many of them were either living with their boyfriend or practicing other immoral behaviors. Either way, they were in blatant rebellion against God by living in fornication and willfully sinning. When Jessica tried to share the true Gospel with them they were not interested.

A few years ago I was preaching at a church that ran a homeless shelter. As Jessica and I ministered to the homeless we found that most of them were very hard to the Gospel. Why? They had once said the “sinner’s prayer” and then were informed that this prayer made them Christian. Now they could no longer see any problem with being a “Christian” while strung out on drugs or living a sexually immoral life – after all they did say the prayer. They had been lied to and chose to believe the lie.

Thirty, fifty or a hundred years ago it would have been unthinkable for people living in fornication or doing drugs to be considered Christian or to regard themselves as one. But through a relentless series of small compromises the very definition of Christianity has been changed. We are building churches without Christ, offering salvation without a cross and calling people to a discipleship without cost. Rather than depopulating hell to populate heaven we are allowing hell to infiltrate the church and entrench itself into our very heart and doctrine. Much of the so-called-church is inviting people to join their club and pay their weekly dues so they can receive the benefits and rewards such membership offers. Their slogan could easily be: “Join our club and live as you want.”

The spiritually bankrupt condition of the church at large compels me to proclaim that we are in desperate need of another Great Reformation; a spiritual revolution that will take us back to our Biblical roots where we will recover once again the true Christian faith. To do this we have to abandon all the religious baggage we have accumulated from both the church and the world. We need men and women of God who will lovingly, yet boldly proclaim the Reformation battle cry; “Sola Scriptura,” – that faith must be based upon Scripture alone. For too long we have allowed our religious beliefs to be defined by modern day Protestant popes that pontificate their doctrinal errors for their own selfish agenda. Multitudes within the visible church freely embrace aberrant views of Scripture because they want practice their sin.

With all this said, I think it imperative that we begin our search for the Biblical faith by examining Christ’s simple, yet revolutionary phrase that we must be “born again” to enter the kingdom of God. The phrase “born again,” has been horrendously abused and carries with it a lot of unscriptural baggage. Nonetheless, we need to restore Christ’s beautiful phrase to its pure and rightful place in helping to define true conversion, faith and practice.

Salvation, from God’s point of view, is absolutely radical, both in the price Christ paid that we might be saved and the cost for those who genuinely want His salvation. Jesus used the phrase “born again” to paint a graphic picture of the revolutionary nature of conversion. When a child is born he goes from the darkness of his mother’s womb to the brightness of new life in a new world. It is an absolutely radical change for the child, and is no less radical when a person is authentically born again.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee and member of the Jewish ruling council, went to Jesus one night honestly inquiring into the way of salvation. Jesus immediately addressed his true need, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). Nicodemus, not understanding what Jesus meant, questioned how a man can be born a second time (John 3:4). Jesus responded, “Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit” (John 3:6). The new birth is a spiritual birth, no less radical and obvious than its natural counterpart.

When a woman gives birth to a baby there is verifiable proof that a child has been born. This means that there is objective evidence — a new born baby rests in the arms of the mother. The birth of a child is never subjective, existing only in the woman’s mind. This stands true in the spiritual realm. When a person is genuinely born again there will always be objective, verifiable evidence. That proof consists of a radical change of life that will be seen through the transformation of a person’s heart, mind and character. If there is not a radical change of character, then no matter what the person claims, he has not been born again.

The birthing process is a painful ordeal for both mother and child. As the birth pains increase in intensity and frequency it becomes obvious that the time of delivery draws near. Jesus used the illustration of child birth to show how traumatic it can be to go from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. It can be an excruciating experience to come to the knowledge that we are sinners by nature and by choice, that our sin is always a deliberate act of rebellion and that we deserve eternal damnation as a result. When a person nears the time where he can be born again the emotional pain of the sin can increase in intensity and frequency. Yet without the pain that would bring them to the new birth they would die in the womb of the world.

As the crowds went out to be baptized of John he confronted them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:7-8a). Most of the people didn’t want to hear such strong words, especially those that were religious. They would have liked John to preach positive messages that lifted them up. Since they thought their problem was low self-esteem, all they needed was encouragement, not rebukes. But the path from darkness to life is painful. We must come to a true knowledge of our spiritual condition or we will not flee from the “coming wrath.” If preachers, or lay people, keep from the unsaved the message that can bring them to the point of being born again, they are committing spiritual abortions by killing the people in their spiritual womb. Love warns! It is not love that does not warn! Salvation is radical! So the process of coming to salvation is also radical.

The womb is a necessary environment for a child to grow until he or she is ready to be delivered. If a child does not come forth at the proper time it means death for mother, child or both. The womb then becomes a tomb. So it is with being born again. The world is the womb that allows us to come to the point where we can be born again. If we rebel against the consequences of our sins and the convicting work of the Holy Spirit (birth pains), the very world that we seek to find refuge and happiness in will kill us.

Imagine if a child communicated from the womb that she did not want to leave the warm, comfortable world she had grown so familiar with. Since she didn’t know what was on the other side of the womb she decided to stay right where she was. Besides, she did not want to go through all the emotional and physical pain involved with child birth. Would it not seem reasonable for those outside the womb to try to convince the infant at all costs that she would die if she stayed in the womb? Not just that, if she stayed in the womb she would kill the mother she claimed to love. Yet how many people will inflict pain and suffering on their loved ones and then spend an eternity in hell because they did not want to forsake the world to be truly born again. Some people may think that if they go to church, pray a sinner’s prayer, are baptized or do some good works that they are born again. But if people will not take God’s ordained path to life, even though they hang around the cross, they will never enter the kingdom of God.

It is impossible for those who come out of their mother’s womb to ever live the life they once lived in the womb. Nor can anyone share both worlds at the same time. Yet a host of self-proclaimed Christians try to mingle the kingdom of heaven with the kingdom of hell and think that God does not have a problem with it. Oh, what depths of deception! Jesus used the illustration of being born again so we could see the absolute difference between the two kingdoms. He wanted us to know that we could forsake one kingdom for the other, but we could not have them both. Those who choose to love this world will find themselves enemies of God (James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-16). While those who are born again will forsake this world for new life in Christ.

Unconverted people, both in the church and the world, live lives that are contrary to Christ. They are filled with lust, pride, rebellion, fornication, homosexuality, greed, contention and a host of other sins. We cannot expect those who have not been authentically born again to live the Christian life. Only when we have the living and incarnate Christ dwelling in us, transforming our lives to be like His own, will we manifest the verifiable proof of a person that has been born again.

Without fail, Biblical Christianity produces the Biblical results of salvation, life and character transformation. Unbiblical Christianity also produces Biblical results; however, here the Scriptures tell us that the results are only death and damnation. Dear reader, this is not a game! Your eternal destiny depends upon whether or not you have been truly born again. Religion cannot save you! Your church or denomination cannot save you! A sinner’s prayer cannot save you. Baptism cannot save you! Good works cannot save you! Only Jesus Christ can save you! But know this: that He will only save you if you choose to totally abandon the womb of this world, with all of its wicked ways. To do so you must be born again into His kingdom that will produce the verifiable proof of a genuine Christian life.

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Israel Stole His Lollypop

03/30/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword
Obama’s Two-State Tantrum

Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 03.26.2015

Obama’s two terms showed us that he was a sore winner. Israel’s election showed us that he is even more of sore loser. Ever since Netanyahu survived an election that he was supposed to lose, Obama has been throwing a floor-pounding, siren-shrieking and high-kicking tantrum over the Jewish State.

Its latest kick and shriek had White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sidling into the toxic atmosphere at the D.C. conference for the anti-Israel lobby J-Street to berate Netanyahu.

In attendance at the conference were such luminaries as Saeb Erakat, the PLO negotiator who had called Netanyahu a “filthy war criminal” and claimed that Hamas is “a political, not a terrorist movement.”

Also featured was Nabila Espanioly of Hadash, formerly the Israeli Communist Party. Nabila, a former Communist activist who had accused Israel of “State Terrorism”, told J Street about the need to fight “against fascism and against racism inside Israel.”

Other notables included Maha Mehanna, who had called Israel’s war against Hamas a “crime against humanity”, Peter Beinart, who wanted Obama to punish Israel and freeze the assets of its Minister of the Economy, and Matt Duss, who once compared Israel’s blockade of Hamas in Gaza to “segregation in the American South.”

The comparison would have been on the nose if it had been the KKK being segregated.

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Finally there was James Baker, the former Secretary of State and senior partner for the law firm the Saudis hired to defend themselves against lawsuits from 9/11 victims, who had famously said, “F___ the Jews. They don’t vote for us anyway.”

Denis McDonough’s appearance at the J Street hatefest could be taken as, “F___ the Jews, they’ll vote for us anyway.”

The dead-eyed McDonough threw the rabid anti-Israel audience its red meat by warning that, “An occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

He continued the administration’s pretense of being offended by Netanyahu’s election rhetoric about the absence of any partner for peace to create a Palestinian state with, insisting that “We cannot simply pretend that those comments were never made, or that they don’t raise questions about the Prime Minister’s commitment to achieving peace through direct negotiations.”

Netanyahu made his commitment to peace clear when he agreed to release 104 terrorists, some of whom had murdered children, as a precondition demanded by PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas sabotaged the Kerry attempt to start negotiations anyway and Kerry predictably blamed Israel. But that’s part of the administration’s consistent position that Israel is always wrong.

Obama’s people are still complaining about Netanyahu’s election comments and his breach of protocol in addressing Congress. But what are Israelis supposed to make of Obama’s Chief of Staff addressing a conference that featured apologists for Hamas and supporters of boycotting Israel?

What message does it send when the White House Chief of Staff attacks the Prime Minister of Israel at an event featuring enemies of Israel? Barack Obama is certainly no stickler for integrity in election rhetoric.

When he first ran for the White House, he appeared at AIPAC and vowed that, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided.”

Once in office, Obama berated Israel for building “settlements” in Jerusalem, one of the oldest cities in the world. Last year his spokesman claimed that building in Jerusalem would distance Israel from “even its closest allies.”

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At AIPAC he had told the audience that, “There is no greater threat to Israel — or to the peace and stability of the region — than Iran. Now this audience is made up of both Republicans and Democrats, and the enemies of Israel should have no doubt that, regardless of party, Americans stand shoulder to shoulder in our commitment to Israel’s security.”

Then he went on to push a deal that would let Iran go nuclear while his propagandists denounced Republicans opposed to the sellout as “traitors”. Most recently he had Iran delisted as a terror threat.

Obama’s double standard has been to hold Netanyahu to the most extreme interpretation of his remarks while giving himself a pass. That same pass is also good for Iran and the PLO.

The liberal line on the PLO’s Palestinian Authority and the Iranian regime has been to ignore their rhetoric. No matter how many times the PLO celebrates the murder of Jews and calls for the destruction of Israel; Obama never warns that he is “reassessing” his relationship with the terrorist group.

Iran’s Supreme Leader just said, “Death to America”, but that won’t impact the negotiations. The White House explained that was “intended for a domestic political audience”. When Netanyahu says something during an election that the White House doesn’t like, the fact that it was intended for a domestic audience doesn’t matter. But when Iran’s leader calls for “Death to America”, we can just ignore that because it surely doesn’t reflect his deeper feelings on destroying America.

Terrorist regimes are treated as untrustworthy when it comes to their rhetoric, but absolutely reliable when they negotiate. The same Ayatollah who calls for “Death to America” is supposedly lying to his own people, but his representatives will be absolutely honest when they pledge not to build a bomb. The Palestinian Authority shouldn’t be paid attention to when it calls for destroying Israel, but should be relied on when it signs on the dotted line no matter how many agreements it broke in the past.

When Iran threatens America, it’s just posturing. When the PLO threatens Israel, it’s empty rhetoric. But when they negotiate, suddenly we can trust our lives to the word of these “liars”.

Iran and the PLO benefit from the same double standard that Obama does. We’re not supposed to believe what they say in public, but we’re meant to have faith that they are honest in private.

Netanyahu however gets whacked with the other side of that standard. The same political hack who shamelessly told AIPAC that he supports a united Jerusalem and then even more shamelessly took it back, pretends to be morally outraged that Netanyahu would slam a PLO state during an election.

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Either an uncharacteristically modest Obama thinks that Netanyahu is better than him, or he’s being a shameless hypocrite. Given his sordid history, hypocrite is the safest bet.

Obama’s international doubletalk has gotten so bad that John Kerry actually had to tell the Russians to ignore Obama’s public statements about Russia. While Obama can’t “pretend” that Netanyahu’s “comments were never made”, the Russians are supposed to pretend that his comments were never made. The Israelis are supposed to pretend that Obama never said anything about a united Jerusalem. So which comments does Obama really mean? Who knows.

Maybe he could color code them to indicate which of his comments he doesn’t mean, which of his comments he really doesn’t mean and which of his comments he only heard about from the media.

Israel isn’t the barrier to a Palestinian state. The PLO and Hamas can’t even get along long enough to form a state or hold an election. Blaming Netanyahu for actually addressing these facts is the height of cynicism from an administration that until recently avoided investing its energies in peace negotiations because it knew that was a dead end.

Obama doesn’t really believe in a Palestinian state. He’s throwing a two state tantrum because it gives him a convenient angle of attack against Netanyahu. The Israeli election was about either forcing out Netanyahu or isolating him. Having failed at the first, Obama is defaulting back to the second.

This isn’t about peace. It’s about fighting and winning a political war against Netanyahu in order to free Obama to secure his nuclear deal with Iran.

Obama claims that Netanyahu has shown that he is untrustworthy when it comes to peace. Instead he urges us to trust our lives to an Ayatollah who calls for “Death to America”, but doesn’t ‘really’ mean it.

The Foolish Cross…

03/30/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

3_crosses_on_Calvary

 

The Cross:
Foolishness and a Stumbling Block?

Author: Ron and Nathele Graham
Source: RaptureReady.com

God’s Word declares that there is only one way by which a person can be forgiven of sins and approach God, and that is through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That narrow, one-way path was opened when Jesus chose to die on the cross. The cross of Jesus is foolish to many people and for many others it as a stumbling block between them and truth.

“But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.” (1 Corinthians 1:23)

The simple truth of the cross was something the Jews could not grasp. They wanted a sign that their Messiah had come, but were blind to the miracles He did while He walked this earth. The Greeks valued wisdom, so to them the simple truth of the cross wasn’t easy to understand and deemed foolish.

“But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:24-25)

Many people are stumbled by the truth of the cross and foolishly try to find other ways to gain eternal life. There is no other way but by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Is it too simple? That simple gift was purchased at a tremendous cost.
What is the significance of the cross of Christ and what was the cost? Jesus Christ came to this earth to fulfill His Fathers will. If the Jews had accepted Him as their Messiah there would have been no crucifixion, but our Lord loves Jews and Greeks alike. He loves every man, woman, and child and doesn’t want anyone to perish.

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:14)

God loves all of His creation, but Adam was created in God’s image and that made him special. When Adam chose to sin mankind was separated from God and the fellowship they shared in the Garden was broken. God knew that there was only one way to redeem us. He had to become one of us and then shed His own blood to take our sin away.
Does this seem like foolishness to you? To me it seems like perfect love that can only be given by God Himself. The death that Jesus, God Almighty, endured in order to purchase our redemption was horrendous.

I urge you to take time to read Psalm 22:1-18, which is a very graphic prophetic description of what He endured. It wasn’t just the nails pounded into His hands and feet that caused His suffering, but He was whipped until His bones were exposed. He was also beaten, spit upon, and a crown of thorns was stuck into His head as a way to mock Him. He was fully God, but He was also fully human and the human side of Him felt the pain. The divine side of Him loved His creation enough to endure the torture in order to redeem us.
There was no other way…no ritual, works, or law would suffice. On the night of His arrest Jesus was well aware of what He would soon endure. He wanted there to be another way, and He went to God the Father in prayer.

“Saying, Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.(Luke 22:42)

If there had been any other way to redeem us, God the Father would have not let God the Son endure the beatings, mocking, and death on the cross. The answer to Jesus’ prayer was “No.” So we can be assured that there is no other way. Because Jesus submitted to the Father’s will we are offered salvation. This offer has to be accepted individually, but it is available to everyone.

The cross is not foolishness — but it does offend many people today. They say Christianity is too narrow. “All roads lead to God so it doesn’t matter what you believe.” That is foolishness. The agony that Jesus Christ endured and His death on the cross declare that there is only one way to God, and that is through the shed blood of our perfect God Himself.
If it were possible that Man could be saved by being “religious” the cross would have been unnecessary. If Man could be saved by keeping the law, the cross would have been unnecessary. If people could be saved by being good, the cross would have been unnecessary.
[See Also: Praying for Richmond, VA and the Greater Richmond Area]

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.(John 14:6)

There is no other way for your sins to be forgiven and for you to gain eternal life but through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus willingly left Heaven and became a man to save us.

“And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:8)

His obedience is our salvation. What Jesus accomplished on that cross almost 2000 years ago is quite sufficient for anyone and everyone who wishes to spend eternity with God. It cannot be added to or taken away from. Good works should be a result of your faith, but good works do not bring salvation.
Jesus didn’t suffer and die that horrible death to be a part of salvation; He went through all that He did because that is the one and only way we can be saved.
[See Also: The Sedgefield Community]

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)

It really is that simple. Jesus’ death on the cross was not a tragedy; it was an accomplishment and a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. It is not offensive or foolish, nor should it stumble you.
Brethren, don’t be ashamed of your faith in what Christ did for you. Stand firm on the truth of what Jesus accomplished on that cross.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
(Romans 1:16)

When Jesus entered His creation He first came to the Jews. When they rejected Him the Gospel was spread throughout the world. God has made salvation available for everyone, but He will not force anyone to choose heaven if they think the cross is foolish, or if they find it to be a stumbling block.

There are many religions and cults that believe they have the answer to eternal life and that they have a way to enter heaven other than the narrow path by which the Bible proclaims.

These groups are terribly deceived. Those who teach that there is a way to enter heaven other than by Jesus Christ will actually be in worse condition than others who just refuse to believe. “…even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:1)

Peter said there would be “false teachers among you” which means within Christian groups. Be careful, my brethren. Study God’s Word so you won’t be deceived by false teaching.
“And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2:2)

Even among Christians the cross will be foolish and a stumbling block.

Many people reject the truth of the Bible and say it is a book full of myths, steeped in antiquity with no basis for factual evidence. These people have no idea of what the Bible is really all about, and they declare it to be foolishness.
“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Spiritually discerned means that only those who have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them have the God-given ability to understand the Scriptures. For all others the Bible is foolishness. In a way, this is proof of biblical truth. Satan would not try so hard to deceive people into being stumbled by the Bible’s truth if he weren’t threatened by it.

Many people have been influenced by Satan and they try to rid the world of the Bible, but he is no match for God. Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit and if we allow Him, He will give us the power to confound those who try to twist God’s truth into foolishness. Don’t be confused by Satan’s lies. Study God’s truth and stand on His Word.

The Bible is packed with prophecy, many have been fulfilled but some are soon to be fulfilled. This is one way to know God’s truth. True prophecy comes from God. He would speak to a prophet and reveal something that was going to happen. Prophecy isn’t what God will make happen, but what God sees will happen.

A few of the fulfilled prophecies relating to Jesus are: Micah 5:2 (He would be born in Bethlehem), 2 Samuel 7:12-14 (Son of David), Psalm 22:1-18 (crucified), Zechariah 12:10 (He would be pierced).

These are just a few of the prophecies fulfilled by Christ’s First Advent. This fact alone authenticates God’s Word. God is not restrained by space or time, but He exists outside of our time domain. God sees tomorrow as clearly as He sees today.
God knew that Adam would sin before Adam was even created, and He knew the redemption for that sin would be His own death on the cross. He knew every sin you and I would commit before He even created us. He also knows who will accept the truth of the cross, and who won’t.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17)

This is not foolishness…this is love.

Christ overcame death and the grave for you, but you need to accept that fact. The cross is not foolishness, but it is foolish to reject it. If it is a stumbling block for you, talk to a Christian who can explain why Jesus shed His precious blood. Where you spend eternity depends upon the choice you make today.

God bless you all,
Ron & Nathele Graham

The Technophobic Democrats

03/25/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword
The Technophobic Democrats

Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 03.19.2015

If you believe Hillary Clinton, her email scandal happened because she couldn’t figure out how to do what every American of working age knows how to do; juggle a work and personal email account.

The Clinton vaporware bridge to the 21st century turned out to be a private email server that kept out the media, but not foreign spy agencies. When Hillary finally had to turn over some emails, she printed out tens of thousands of pages of them as if this were still the 20th century.

But like the rest of her party, Hillary is very much a 20th century regulator, not a 21st century innovator.

Hillary Clinton

Despite claiming to have invented the internet, the Democratic Party isn’t very good at technology and doesn’t like technology. Everything from the Healthcare.gov debacle to the VA death lists happened because this administration was completely incompetent when it came to implementing anything more complicated than a hashtag. The success rate for exchanges managed by its state allies isn’t much better. The only databases it seems able to handle are for its incessant election fundraising emails.

Democrats not only didn’t invent the internet, but they’ve been trying to kill it ever since it existed. The latest attempt to hijack the internet under the guise of net neutrality follows multiple attempts to implement CDA laws censoring it back in the Clinton days. Obama’s rhetoric over reclassifying the internet is a carbon copy of Clinton’s own rhetoric over the Telecommunications Act.

Obama and Clinton are not innovators, at best they’re marketers, at heart they’re regulators. They don’t want ‘open’ anything. Regulators seek to define and classify everything before freezing it into place. It’s the same control freak impulse at the heart of Hillary’s private email server. They want to enforce a comprehensive ruleset without regard to functionality that privileges their own communications.

It’s a short leap from Hillary’s private email server to Obama’s private internet. Both want their own communications to be unseen, witness the way that the White House deals with Freedom of Information requests, but they want oversight of what everyone else can and does say online.

Innovators disrupt. Regulators control. The left’s hysteria over companies like Uber and Airbnb is typical of the regulator mentality. The left’s propaganda operations have boomed thanks to the internet, but rather than celebrating open technology, it responds by trying to closely regulate the internet instead.

The American left understands that it cannot market itself as progressive without embracing technology, but culturally it is a reactionary movement whose embrace of organic food, no vaccines and paranoia about technology causing Global Warming reveals a deep unease about the technology it claims to love.

Democrats like technology the way that they like science in general, as an inspiring progressive idea, not as the messy uncertain reality that it really is. But applying their logic of “settled science”, in which a thing is assumed to work because their ideology says it should, to technology leads to disaster. Technology is a real life test of ideas. Its science is only settled when it can be objectively said to work. Healthcare.gov was an example of the GIGO principle that governs information technology and life.

If you put garbage in, your output will be garbage. ObamaCare was a garbage law. The policies it offers are garbage and its website, produced through the same corrupt and dysfunctional processes as the rest of it, was also garbage. The left has to deny that its productive output is garbage because recognizing that would mean having to admit that its ideological input was garbage.

ObamaCare

If you try to set up a website for a law whose actual functioning no one understood designed in part by bureaucrats who were better at writing mandates than making things that work and by an assortment of corporations that got the job because of who their executives knew in the White House, the other end was bound to be a giant pile of garbage that worked as well as the law it was based on.

That’s why Democrats hate technology. Real science doesn’t give you the results you want. It doesn’t care about your consensus or how you massaged the numbers. It gives you the results you deserve.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Obama wasted billions on Green Energy because his people couldn’t be bothered to examine the vested claims of special interests. His people insisted that Ebola wasn’t an infectious disease because that would interfere with immigration policy. Science and technology don’t come first. They’re just there to serve the same empty marketing function as the ‘smart’ part of his smart power which led to ISIS.

Green Energy and ObamaCare had to work because they were shiny and progressive. The messy reality of the technology or the business models for making them work didn’t matter to Obama.

Progressives mistake this brand of ignorant technophilia for being on the side of progress, when really it’s just the flip side of technophobia. The technophobe raised in a push button world in which things just work doesn’t necessarily fear technology; instead he fears the messy details that interfere with his need for instant gratification.

The new lefty Luddite loves gadgets; he just hates the limitations that make them work. He wants results without effort or error. He wants energy without pollution, consensus without experiment and products without industry. The same narcissism that causes him to reject the fact that he has to give something to get something in human affairs leads him to also reject the same principle in technology.

He wants everything his way. He thinks that makes him an innovator, when it actually makes him a regulator. Innovators understand that every effort comes with risk. Regulators seek to eliminate risk by killing innovation. The progressive Luddite believes that he can have innovation without risk. But that’s just the classic progressive fallacy of confusing regulation with innovation and control with results.

Selling regulation as innovation is just marketing. And that’s all that progressives like Obama are. Their openness is pure marketing. Their need to control everything is the regulatory reality underneath.

Bill Clinton’s idea of innovation was censoring the internet. His wife’s idea was setting up a private email server with terrible security to shut down information transparency. Obama’s idea of innovation is regulating the internet while golfing with the CEO of the cable monopoly being used as an excuse for those regulations.

This isn’t the party that invented the internet. It is the party that’s killing it.

The innovator knows that reality is messy. He lands a probe on a comet while wearing a tacky shirt. The regulator however can only see the shirt. Technology only interests him as a means of controlling people. The shirt matters as much as the comet because both are ways of influencing people.

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The left wants technology only as a means of achieving its utopian visions. The technology itself is push button; it means nothing except as a means to an end. The regulator is not thrilled by the incredible ingenuity it takes to link together the world, just as the comet means nothing to him. The technology either serves his political goals or it does not. It lives under his regulations or it does not.

To the left, skill and ingenuity are just forms of unchecked privilege. The only achievement that matters is power over people. The revolutionary exploits technology, but his revolution is that of the regulator, his machine is collective; its ultimate design is to end ingenuity and abort progress. His communication is not a dialogue, it is a diatribe, and his vision of the internet is only meant to be open until he can close it.

The technological vision of the Democrats is just the same old central planning in a shinier case.

Fast and Furious Cover-up Rewarded with Promotion

03/25/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword

 

Fast and Furious Cover-up Rewarded in
Appointment of New ATF Director

Author: Mary C. Michel
Source: American Thinker – 03.24.2015

On Friday, March 20, 2015, B. Todd Jones, the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF,) announced his resignation. Mr. Jones’s departure comes on the heels of the disastrous attempt by the ATF to ban a common rifle ammunition, yet another federal sub rosa effort at gun control through governmental constriction of the ammunition supply. The real news is Mr. Jones’s replacement, although you would not know that from any mainstream reporting.

B. Todd JonesB. Todd Jones, former director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives


The announced new Acting Director is the current Deputy Director, Thomas Brandon, a man with an apparently secret history at the ATF. In news dispatches of March 20th, Mr. Brandon is described blandly by the AP, CNN and ABC as a 26-year veteran at the agency who was appointed Deputy Director in 2011. This gives the impression of an earnest, knowledgeable, hard working civil servant, does it not?

Perhaps all of the professional reporters are too pressed for time these days to perform a basic Google search. Or, perhaps not a single so-called journalist has the brain capacity to remember a shameful, deadly national disaster called Fast and Furious. In that government-operated illegal gun running scheme, thousands of guns were allowed to be straw purchased in the U.S. and transported to Mexico for sale to drug cartels so the Feds could track them. Rather than tracking the guns, however, the Feds lost them. That gross incompetence cost the lives of U.S. Border Agent Brian Terry, I.C.E. Agent Jaime Zapata and an untold number of Mexicans who were murdered with those unlawfully trafficked firearms.

Thomas BrandonThomas Brandon


For those of us who do not live in the memory hole that shields this administration from any accountability, here are some relevant facts about Acting Director Brandon and his involvement in the Fast and Furious cover-up.

According to outgoing Director Jones’s sworn testimony of April 2, 2014 before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Mr. Brandon was the person who determined disciplinary punishments for all of the ATF personnel involved in Fast and Furious. Brandon was “the ultimate decision maker.” Director Jones confirmed that Thomas Brandon did not fire a single person for participation in Fast and Furious.

The 471 page Justice Department Inspector General Report by Michael E. Horowitz recommended disciplinary action be considered for 14 federal officials. Let’s examine what happened to just a few key ATF players. Special Agent William Newell was the Agent in Charge of Fast and Furious. The IG Report specifically recommended his termination. Per an August 17, 2011 ATF press release, Mr. Newell was initially reassigned to the Office of Management “to assist with the OIG investigation and congressional inquiry.”

Director Jones confirmed in his testimony on April 2nd that although the ATF Professional Review Board (PRB) also recommended Newell’s firing, Mr. Brandon saw fit to impose a far lighter penalty. Mr. Newell was only demoted from Senior Executive Service to a GS 13 grade pursuant to a settlement. Director Jones also confirmed during testimony that the PRB recommended a 14-day suspension for Lead Case Agent Hope MacAllister. Deputy Director Brandon issued her only a letter of reprimand. David Voth was the Phoenix Group Supervisor during Fast and Furious. Per the August 17, 2011 ATF press release, Mr. Voth was transferred laterally to ATF Headquarters in 2011. The PRB recommended demotion to a non-supervisorial Special Agent status. In settlement, Mr. Brandon issued a simple demotion.

According to a March 28, 2014 letter to Director Jones from Senator Charles Grassley and Congressman Darrell Issa, it appeared that all three of these Fast and Furious alumni were still on the ATF payroll. Through Director Jones’s testimony, we now know that Mr. Newell retired at some point and at his higher pay rate of the Senior Executive Service. As the Director did not dispute the congressional presumption that Agents MacAllister and Voth remained employed, we are left to assume that they are still working for the ATF.

This easily researched history reveals Brandon’s key role in keeping the truth of Fast and Furious hidden from Congress and the public. Had heads rolled, angry ex-employees might have turned whistle-blower and implicated higher-ups at DOJ and even the White House. The game of mutual extortion; employee silence in exchange for job security, achieved its purpose.

Bear in mind that Brandon’s efforts were only a part, albeit a critical one, of a larger information black-out strategy. The suppression of information was further assured by Obama’s assertion in 2012 of executive privilege to shield from disclosure Fast and Furious documents Congress sought. Eric Holder’s stonewalling and misrepresentations to Congress provided the third prong of the cover-up. For his role in information suppression, Mr. Holder received a civil contempt citation from the House.

Brandon’s team player credentials, earned by keeping ATF silence, explain his continued value to the administration. Although out of the media spotlight, of course, the facts of Fast and Furious and the ensuing cover-up continue to be probed by a determined few.

Judicial Watch has multiple Freedom of Information Act suits pending against the DOJ and the ATF. Eric Holder’s intention to resign was announced in striking proximity to a federal court ruling in one of those actions which compelled the DOJ to release certain information regarding Fast and Furious. For this victory, Judicial Watch was treated to an election eve document dump from DOJ on 11/04/14.

In addition to the Judicial Watch suits, the House filed a lawsuit for judicial enforcement of congressional subpoenas issued to and ignored by DOJ, during the Fast and Furious oversight investigation (Oversight Committee v. Holder.) So far, the Federal District Court Judge has compelled the obstructionist DOJ to prepare an “executive privilege log” of the documents it is withholding. The ruling is another significant step in forced extraction of information sequestered by administration fiat.

So, now that you know a few facts about Mr. Brandon, his elevation to Acting Director makes complete sense. This most deadly and despicable of scandals is still simmering. Thomas Brandon was just handed the ATF Directorship to keep the lid on that pot for the next two years.

Israel’s Left Are the Latest Losers

03/24/2015

Link: about.me/gideonsword

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Israel’s Leftist Losers

Author: Daniel Greenfield
Source: the Sultan Knish blog – 03.23.2015

For thousands of years the Jews dreamed of reclaiming their country. The left had another dream.

It dreamed of a country run by bureaucrats that worked only three days a week. It dreamed of unions running monopolies that worked whenever they liked and charged whatever they wanted. It dreamed of children raised on collective farms without parents and of government as a Socialist café debate.

Most of all it dreamed of a country without conservatives. It still hasn’t gotten that wish.

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Netanyahu’s victory hit hardest in Tel Aviv where, as Haaretz, the paper of the left, reports, “Leftist, secular Tel Aviv went to sleep last night cautiously optimistic only to wake up this morning in a state of utter and absolute devastation.”

Tel Aviv is ground zero for any Iranian nuclear attack. Its population density makes it an obvious target and Iran threatened it just last month. A nuclear strike on Tel Aviv would not only kill a lot of Israelis, it would also wipe out the country’s left.

Haifa and Tel Aviv are the only major cities in Israel that the left won in this election. And it was a close thing in traditionally “Red Haifa” whose union dockworkers these days are Middle Eastern Jews who vote right. The left took a quarter of the vote in Haifa to a fifth for Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party.

In Tel Aviv however, the Labor coalition and Meretz, the two major leftist parties, took nearly half of the vote. Amos Oz’s daughter told Haaretz that everyone in the left had been upbeat because everyone they knew was voting for the left. Now the leftist elite is once again forced to come to terms with the tragedy that much of the country doesn’t want to hand over land to terrorists, live on a communal farm or turn over the country to Marc Rich’s lawyer and his American backers who make Slim-Fast and KIND bars.

There are however days when they think Israel might be better off without certain parts of Tel Aviv.

The left doesn’t want a country. It wants a Berkeley food co-op. It wants a city with some ugly modernist architecture. It wants a campus with courses on media studies and gender in geography. It wants an arcade where unwashed lefties can tunelessly strum John Lennon songs on their vintage guitars. It wants cafes with Russian Futurist prints on the walls. It wants to be about excited about political change. Its only use for Israel was as a utopian theme park.

Its allegiance was not to Jewish history or democracy, but to its crackpot leftist fantasies. Now its fantasies are dead and it wants to kill Israel.

The left spitefully alienated every immigrant group from Holocaust survivors to Middle Eastern Jews to Russian Jews. It also had slurs for each of them. The Holocaust survivors were ‘Sabon’ (soap) and the Middle Eastern Jewish refugees were ‘Chakhchakhim’. That particular slur at an election rally cost Peres and Labor the 1981 election. Another slur at an election rally now hurt the left and boosted Netanyahu. But if you ask the left why it lost, it will blame Israeli racism.

The Israeli left slurred Middle Eastern Jews as “primitives” and used them as cheap labor to maintain the Kibbutz collectivist lifestyle until they stood up for themselves and the experiment in ‘equality’ ended. It slurred Russian immigrants as “prostitutes”, Settlers in ’67 Israel as “bloodsuckers” and Ultra-Orthodox as “parasites”.

Netanyahu’s likely coalition will lean heavily on parties that draw their support from Middle Eastern Jews, Settlers, Russian Jews and the Ultra-Orthodox.

These groups are also known as the majority of the country. That’s why the left lost. Again.

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The left wants its clubhouse back and it can’t get it back. Demographics and immigration turned the ideal Israeli leftist, a wealthy secular Ashkenazi urbanite from an important family, into a minority. The only reason the left still exists is because its phantom Apartheid State of media outlets, courts and academics still maintains a death grip on the system.

The other reason that the Israeli left exists is that its malicious oppression of new immigrants splintered them into warring groups, much as the Democratic Party’s Tammany Hall did in the United States. The left couldn’t own them, but it did set them against each other in order to maintain a dysfunctional political system in which the strongest form of central authority comes from an unelected judiciary.

The left hasn’t managed to conquer Israel, but it has succeeded in dividing it. Every new group of immigrants has been indoctrinated, not with allegiance to the left (that was a lost cause early on) but with resentment of each other. The Russian Jews are told that they live badly because of the Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The Middle Eastern Jews are told that they live badly because of the Russian Jews. The Ultra-Orthodox are told that they live badly because of the Settlers. There’s plenty of overlap between these groups, but the tactic still works well enough for the left to stay in the game.

The real Apartheid State in Israel is this Deep State of the left. It’s the one you see on display when former heads of the Mossad and Shabak denounce Israel and Netanyahu. It’s in the phony media polls and exit polls that were skewed in favor of the left. It’s in the candidacy of a cretin like Herzog with his high voice and his old guard last name promising to do whatever Obama and the left tell him to do. The left tried to sell Herzog, the errand boy for international leftist criminals like Marc Rich and Octav Botnar, as the future of Israel. The public never bought it.

The left has no leadership. It has nothing to offer. It has no reason to exist except malice and spite.

Since the left lost control of Israel, it has been hell-bent on destroying it. The PLO deal was one step in a process meant to destroy Israel and return to the bi-national state that Ahdut HaAvodah, the ancestor of the Labor Party, and Ben Gurion had been flirting with in the twenties and thirties. The Two-State Solution was always meant to end in a One-State Solution.

The Israeli left has despaired of turning the country into the utopia that it wanted. There are still plenty of bureaucrats and union monopolies, but children are raised by their parents and most of them are born to the types of Jews that they hate.

The more philosophical members of the left see the “peace process” that they illegally initiated and passed as a cleanup operation that removes the failed experiment of Israel to make way for the Muslim “decolonization/ethnic cleansing” of Israel. They usually have homes in France and tenure in the US.

And the rest of the Jewish population that doesn’t have homes in France is meant to become Sabon.

freedom-flotilla468

The remainder had decided that the only hope for the leftist dream is to unite with their Socialist
comrades in the PLO and build a bi-national state using Muslim demographics to counter the demographic growth of Middle Eastern and Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Israel will become Lebanon. The Jews will become the Lebanese Christian minority in this utopian experiment and it doesn’t matter if they get killed as long as some of them go on living in pricey neighborhoods and strumming guitars in Tel Aviv.

It would be nice to think that the Israeli left was transformed into this twisted thing by the loss of its utopian dreams, but it was always like this. It was never patriotic. It was forced to become patriotic by the Muslim rejection of all its efforts at co-existence. It was never Zionist. Zionism was forced on it by the anti-Semitism of its Russian Socialist colleagues. It never wanted to be Jewish. It was forced to be. Muslim hate turned the Israeli left into the unwilling caretaker of a Jewish State. God kept Israel alive despite the left’s incompetence, its treasons and its slavish instinct for appeasement.

Today the left can no longer even pretend that it has a vision. All it can do is howl about peace and justice and how the Middle Eastern Jewish Schorim (blacks) and the Ultra-Orthodox Schorim (also blacks, for their hats) and the Russians destroyed ‘their’ country. Then it can go back to its French villas and have its bi-national Muslim state there.

America’s Spiritual Decline

03/24/2015
Link: about.me/gideonsword
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America’s Spiritual Decline

Author: Daymond Duck
Source: RaptureReady.com

The spirit of Antichrist has been in the world at least since God said the seed of woman would bruise Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15). God’s curse was the beginning of a great earthly struggle between good and evil. In the beginning, it focused on preventing the first coming of Jesus. It is now focused on preventing the Second Coming of Jesus. It will continue until this world is destroyed by fire (Matt. 24:35; II Pet. 3:10).

The Antichrist won’t be revealed until the church is raptured, but the spirit of Antichrist is already here (II Thess. 2:6, 7; I Jn. 4:3). It is anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-Truth, anti-Christian, the Apostasy, the falling away, the departure from the faith, the emerging church, liberalism, humanism, globalism, inclusiveness, replacement theology, non-Christian religions and the like.

Among other things, this wicked spirit will lead to perilous times, blasphemy, fierceness and despising those that are good in the last days (II Tim. 3:1-4). It will make the world more dangerous (wars, nuclear weapons, more deadly pestilences etc.). Humanity will become more despicable (ungodly or contemptuous of God). People will become more brutal (behead people, burn people alive, cut babies in two); and society will become more intolerant of those who serve God at the end of the Church Age (persecution).

Instead of a worldwide revival with the church converting the world, the people on planet Earth will move farther away from Jesus until all that will live godly in Christ will suffer persecution (II Thess. 2:3; Rev. 3:16; II Tim. 3:12). Christians all over the Middle East are being persecuted right now and it is a growing problem in the U.S.

Jesus, the Disciples, Paul and many of the early Christians were persecuted. A pastor that I know recently preached on “Preparing for the Coming Persecution.” Rev. Franklin Graham recently said that he is concerned about “persecution in this country” [the U.S.]. He added that, “We’ve already seen many laws that have been passed that restrict our freedom as Christians. I believe it’s going to get worse.”

About two weeks ago there was testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee that the U.S. received about seven million immigrants in fiscal 2014. They came from many places, but most were Hispanics and some were Muslims.

God loves all of them. He wants all of them to know that Jesus died for everyone’s sins. He wants all of them to accept Jesus as their Savior and to go to heaven.

But it should be understood that seven million immigrants, plus the multiplied millions more that are expected to arrive in the next 3 to 4 years, are going to impact the already failing spirituality of the U.S.

No one can deny that there are places in the world where the church is growing, but the U.S. is not one of them. Many pastors say that they think the Apostasy has already started in the U.S. They see very little difference between most of their church members and the lost. Apathy and moral failure are already widespread in U.S. churches.

This is the point: The growing persecution and spiritual decline of America is bad enough already, but it is going to get much worse in the future. It is difficult to say how many Muslims are coming into the U.S. when people are saying the number is much higher than our government is letting on. And Pres. Obama has already said he will increase it even more. It is sad to know that Syrian Muslims are being brought in, but Syrian Christians are being refused entry. Bringing non-Christians in and keeping Christians out changes things.

Increasing the population of Muslims is going to mean more mosques; more demands to stop monitoring mosques, more demands to stop profiling Muslims; more demands to bring in extended families of Muslims; more demands for Muslim prayers before Congress, at city council meetings and the like.

It will mean more demands for Sharia Law: more attempts to get rid of the Bible, portray Christians as hate-mongers and extremists, send Christians to sensitivity training, get rid of chaplains in the military and the like; more demands to change school textbooks, lunch menus, etc. and perhaps more terrorist attacks, especially on churches.

Muslims are coming (and being brought) to the U.S. for many reasons, but the primary reason they are coming is to fundamentally transform the U.S. into a Muslim nation.

I have been to Mexico and seen many faithful Hispanic Christians. The vast majority is nominal at best. About 75-80% say they are Catholic. They say they are Catholic because their parents were Catholic or they believe they were born Catholic. But their Catholic beliefs are far from traditional mainline Christianity. In many cases, their beliefs have been blended with ritualism, magic, voodoo, varied Indian cultural practices and the like.

Several years ago, a missionary took my wife and me to a Roman Catholic Church in Mexico and a voodoo ceremony was being performed in the church. I am not against legalized immigration (and I don’t blame anyone for seeking a better life), but I am saying that letting 25-30 million people with many kinds of strange beliefs come into the U.S. in the next 4 to 5 years (and not letting Christians in) will decrease the percentage of true Christians in the U.S.

Understand that the Bible is not wrong. Every jot and tittle will be fulfilled including what it says about persecution. Understand too, that what Islamic terrorists do in other countries (behead Christians, burn churches, burn people alive, cut babies in two, sell people into slavery) they will also do in the U.S. Their threats to raise the Islamic State flag over the White House and to blow up the White House should be taken seriously.

The spirit of Antichrist is already here and a flood of epic proportions is on the way. It will further weaken the U.S. spiritually and we should be concerned for our Lord, our children, our grandchildren, others and ourselves.

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