Roundup

This may come as a big shock to you regulars, but I really don’t like poetry.   But I do like this graph.  All poetry should be required to have footnotes explaining what it really means.

Pro-life stalwart Star Parker running for Congress — Yea!

I’ve often been approached to run for public office. However, I always deferred because I felt I could make the greatest difference delivering my message as a free agent, outside the formal structure of politics.

But things have changed and now I’ve decided to run… I’m challenging a Black Caucus incumbent in a district that political pundits rate “safe” for Democrats.

But this year no Democrat representing low income Americansshould feel safe peddling the same plantation policies that already have produced our broken schools, broken families, and broken spirits. Now they’re bringing these bankrupt ideas to the whole country.

Even CA Senator Barbara Boxer recently admitted that this year no seat is safe. Will we resign ourselves to an America where freedom and prosperity are distant memories and where 40% out-of-wedlock births and abortion as birth control are our new social norms?

I won’t. It’s why I’m stepping into this race.

Sharia Law in Action: Christians Imprisoned on Charge of Touching Qur’an Without Washing Hands — media treatment?  Almost zero.

Don’t be fooled by claims that GM paid off its loans — what a joke.  It was bad enough that they stiffed the previous stockholders to pay off the unions, but now this?

In other words, this is just a shell game. As Jim Vicevich points out, it’s akin to paying off your Visa credit card with your Mastercard — and then bragging about your financial condition. Taxpayers are still on the hook for GM. Nothing at all has changed.

Milton Friedman shows why capitalism is the economic view of grown-ups — Yep.

Tom Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he’s another alarmist with frostbite — Hat tip: Mark

This is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It’s a metaphor.

Last year it was British eco-explorer Pen Hadow and his two-person team who had to be flown out mid-stunt, after battling brutal sub-zero weather conditions that gave the team’s photographer frostbite.

The year before, eco-adventurer Lewis Gordon Pugh was similarly thwarted.

He’d planned to kayak 1200km to the North Pole to raise awareness of how global warming had allegedly melted the ice sheet so badly that scientists warned the North Pole that summer could be ice-free.

No such luck. Pugh had to pull out, still 1000km from the finish, when a great barrier of sea ice blocked his route.

The year before gave even more farcical entertainment.

“Explorers and educators” Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen said they were off on what reporters described as “a historic 75-day expedition to the North Pole and beyond to raise awareness of global warming’s impact on the fragile Arctic”.

It turned out that what was fragile was not the Arctic but the alarmists, who had to call off their big trip not long after it started, when Arnesen suffered frostbite in three of her toes, and extreme cold drained their batteries.

Russian scientist says Arctic getting colder

An Arctic cold snap that began in 1998 could last for years, freezing the northern marine passage and making it impassable without icebreaking ships, said Oleg Pokrovsky of the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory.

Scientists who believe the climate is warming may have been misled by data from U.S. meteorological stations located in urban areas, where dense microclimates creates higher temperatures, RIA Novosti quoted Pokrovsky as saying.

With gay ruling, ECLA reaches full harlot status — the only bright side with these false teachers is that they have removed all subtlety.  They are pure, “In your face, God! We don’t care what the Bible says, except for the parts we like.” Anyone who follows them is being willfully led astray.

Speaking of false churches, here’s the latest from Bishop V. Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire

“There are so many other letters in the alphabet. There are so many other sexualities to be explored.” (saying it was time to move beyond speaking of “GLBT” orientations).

“Reproductive freedom” is one of those pro-legalized abortion terms that fails miserably.  It would appear to apply to birth control, not abortion, as abortion kills a human being that has been reproduced.  Don’t let the pro-aborts use that without pointing out the fallacy: If the mother and father hadn’t already reproduced, then abortion wouldn’t even be an option.

George Bush golfing = lazy & evil.  Barack Obama golfing = noble. Check.  No media bias to see here.  Move along, folks.

Arizona & common sense

Read Arizona: The Fourth Reich? : The Other McCain for some facts you won’t get from the mainstream media.

Let’s begin by invoking what I call the Sonny Bono Principle. The California Republican lawmaker (the brainier half of “Sonny and Cher”) was once asked to debate illegal immigration and memorably responded, “What’s to debate? It’s illegal.”

. . .

Yet we are constantly told that the anybody who calls for stricter enforcement our Ted Kennedy-sponsored liberal immigration laws is a dangerous right-wing extremist — and probably a racist, to boot. (This phenomenon gave rise to what has become known as The Peter Brimelow Rule, which defines racist as “anyone who is winning an argument with a liberal.”) All of which is nonsense, of course, and utterly ignores the horrifying impact that non-enforcement has on states like Arizona, which has been nearly overwhelmed by a tsunami of illegal immigration.

. . .

Every time Americans have gotten a chance at an up-or-down vote on immigration, they’ve supported stricter enforcement, and yet politicians — especially Republican politicians — have gone out of their way to avoid framing the issue of illegal immigration in the kind of clear terms that would allow voters a chance to vote for what the majority really want: Strict enforcement of current law, enhanced border security, and aggressive measures to deport those now here illegally.

Predictably, false teacher Jim “the Gospel is all about wealth redistribution” Wallis and the Sojourners bunch can’t even bring themselves to accurately note that this is illegal immigration.  Using their logic, India and China could send boatload after boatload of people to the U.S. and we’d be obligated to take them all in, no questions asked, and provide food, clothes, education, health care, etc.  If Jim & Co. care that much about these people, I wonder how much of their own money they send to these poor countries now?

John McCain had a good response (though he’s waaaay late in offering it).  He and too many other Republicans have been too soft on this issue.

“If the president doesn’t like what the Arizona Legislature and governor may be doing, then I call on the president to immediately call for the dispatch of 3,000 National Guard troops to our border and mandate that 3,000 additional Border Patrol [officers] be sent to our border as well,” McCain said at a news conference Friday in downtown Phoenix, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

“And that way, then the state of Arizona will not have to enact legislation which they have to do because of the federal government’s failure to carry out its responsibilities, which is to secure the borders.”

What is that to you?

The title is what Jesus said to Peter when he was questioning what would happen to the Apostle John.  Jesus had just told Peter that he would be martyred for his faith and instructed Peter to follow him.

(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?” Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (John 21:19–22, ESV)

I always liked how Jesus kept it simple: “You follow me!”  I only recently noticed that He had just said “Follow me” in the previous section.  The two statements make nice bookends highlighting our need to focus on him, not others.

The book of Jude

Have you ever heard of a false teacher preaching from the book of Jude? It isn’t likely, because Jude takes them to task.  It comes just before Revelation at the back of the Bible.

It is only a page, so just take a couple of minutes to read this and you will have completed a whole book of the Bible!

It was written by Jude (surprise!), one of Jesus’ half-brothers. He is modest in his introduction. He could have done the ultimate in name-dropping (“It’s me, Jesus’ brother . . .”).

The general theme of Jude is to avoid false teaching. He highlights past examples of false teaching and examples from his time then gives guidance on how to avoid it and achieve victory over it.

It is interesting that the church was only a few decades old and false teachers had already slipped in. Most of the New Testament letters correct false doctrine, and Jesus himself spent a lot of time blasting the false teachings of the Pharisees. More verses on the importance of sound doctrine and rooting out false teachers can be found here.

Jude highlights the doom of people without Christ, and encourages believers to persevere in their faith.

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James,

To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

2 May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

Judgment on False Teachers

3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

God is serious about sound teaching.  Many theological liberals mock the need for understanding scripture properly.  Ironically enough, that is more evidence of their credentials as wolves in sheep’s clothing.  The apostate denominations teaching all sorts of perversions are the same ones denying the deity and exclusivity of Jesus.  No surprise there.

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day— 7 just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

I thought it was very interesting how the ESV said it was Jesus who saved the Israelites in Egypt.  Of course I know that Jesus is God and there are countless other verses to support that, but I didn’t know that the earliest and best manuscripts had “Jesus” instead of the less specific “Lord” in verse 5.

Verse 7 references the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their sexual immorality and perversion. This and other Bible passages show how rampant, unrestrained homosexuality was the real sin of these towns, despite some revisionist claims that their real sin was inhospitality. It is true that inhospitality was a serious social error in those times, but God isn’t in the habit of annihilating multiple cities because humans violate their own customs. If you read the original account in Genesis 19 it is clear that to call the citizens’ behavior “inhospitality” would be a gross understatement.

8 Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. 9 But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” 10 But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. 11 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error and perished in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; 13 wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.

Verse 11 has three references to Old Testament passages: Cain, who offered the wrong kind of worship to God and killed his brother out of jealousy, Balaam, who pretended to serve God out of greed and encouraged others to sin, and Korah, who rebelled directly against Moses and indirectly against God.

Verses 14-16 point out how serious rebellion is and how it will eventually be judged.

14 It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, 15 to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage.

Note the repetition of  “ungodly” four times.

A Call to Persevere

17 But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18 They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” 19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

The last section emphasizes perseverance, or staying the course. Living the Christian life can be very hard at times, but we can trust that everything works out for the best in the end. Focus on Christ and living for him and you won’t have any regrets.

This all applies today like it did 2,000 years ago.  Verse 21 emphasizes that Jesus brings us eternal life. Thanks be to God for that!

Doxology

24 Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

That is magnificent ending to this short book.  Jesus will indeed present his followers as blameless before God.  That is the real Gospel: Jesus died for our sins and rose again.  He is the one true God who is over all things.

False teaching is rampant in the church today.  The cure is to be intimately familiar with the truth.  Study God’s word as much as you can, and be ready to share the truth in love.  Because eternity matters.

Roundup

Former Rolling Stone’s Child Lover Says Raise the Age of Consent — Bill Wyman = ick

Mandy Smith, the former child-lover and later wife of Rolling Stone bassist Bill Wyman, believes that the age of consent should be raised to 18 in order to protect young girls, who are emotionally vulnerable when it comes to sexual relationships at that age.

Looking back on her past, she said that she believed Wyman never “would have made a move if my dad had been around.”

Yes, it is important to have fathers around to protect children.

Remembering who caused the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac meltdown — Hint: Not Republicans.  Read it all and watch the videos — the regulations requested by the Republicans, the opposition by the Democrats, the money received by the Democrats (including Obama and Dodd).

Is Goldman Obama’s Enron? No, it’s worse

MSM Helps Create the Impression of Right Wing Violence — compare the reporting on the murders of late-term abortionist George Tiller and pro-lifer Jim Pouillon.  It wasn’t just the 20-to-1 difference in the volume of reporting but the content of the reporting, which largely lionized Tiller and acted as if Pouillon had it coming.

And it extends far beyond this story. Did you know that a Crisis Pregnancy Center in Arizona was burned out just before Christmas? Probably not since not a single major media outlet covered the story. But if someone sets fire to an abortion clinic you can bet it will be national news.

Speaking of violence, you might not be surprised about who made the threats that South Park creators will “probably wind up like Theo Van Gogh.” Hint: Not Tea-Partiers.

Captain Obvious says, “God does not need you to embellish your testimony”

Some people have dramatic experiences when converting to Christianity. Others, like me, got there in a less eventful but no less meaningful way. The question is, Where are you today — right now — saved or unsaved?

I’ve heard of many people who exaggerated their testimony about how they became Christians. They think that having a more dramatic conversion experience will help persuade more people to convert. They are missing a few key points:

  1. God is still big on that honesty thingy. Lying about your witness is not a spiritual gift. He can accomplish all He desires with the truth.
  2. One of the beauties of Christianity is how God brings so many types of people to him in so many different ways. If all the public testimonies have a flair for the dramatic, it causes people to unnecessarily question their own conversion.
  3. If/when people catch you lying it will harm the cause you are trying to advance.

An example of item 3 is Ergun Caner, a convert from Islam caught making repeated and significant embellishments to his testimony (see Caner Debacle Gaining National Attention). This is sad on many levels. His real testimony was powerful enough, but now he is dragging his life’s work through the mud with his defensiveness.

Really, just stick with the truth. The power is in God’s ability to regenerate you, not in your ability to present it in a dramatic way. Rejoice over that.

Can God create a stone so heavy He can’t lift it?

Can skeptics realize that nonsensical questions don’t prove anything?

I know the “stone” scenario is sometimes thrown out there as a joke but surprisingly some people take it seriously as an alleged disproof of God’s existence. They might as well ask, “Has God stopped beating his mother?” Loaded questions prove nothing more than the motives and/or reasoning skills of those who offer them.

As Greg Koukl points out, omnipotence is having the power to do everything one could do with power.  But no amount of strength can make a square circle.