Christian based commentaries and observations.

Quote of Note

Billy Graham's Prayer For Our Nation

: 'Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, 'Woe to those who call evil good,' but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused power and called it politics.

We have coveted our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and Set us free.
: Amen!'

Who is Jesus


Friday, October 06, 2006

Raca Raca

The image is cropped from Norman Rockwell's The Gossip. It is a funny scene where the accuser is "found out" and confronted by the accused. You must have heard it said at some point that when you point a finger at someone there are four pointing back at you. This is indeed why Jesus said, "... anyone who says 'Raca Raca' to his brother is in danger of the hell fire"(Matt. 5 :21)

One can no longer claim ignorance of the law when they have pointed a finger at another. Finger pointing shows that the pointer knows right from wrong. Imagine the one at "The Judgement" claiming to have not know "The Law" being reminded of rebuking another for failing to keep it, and therefore is judged accordingly with the "...measure they used" Ouch!

However, there is another reason why the such a person is in danger of the judgement. Harsh rebuke are usually done in the form of a "cut down". The purpose of saying another, "is of no good", is usually to elevate one's self, save self ego, at the expense of the accused . It shows they are full of pride, lack humility, and do not extend the grace to you that is offered to them. This was the teaching of Matt. 18:23-33.

Here is another consideration: to be an accuser is to be in a league with Satan:

Rev.12:9 The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God,and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers,
who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.

Satan stands accusing the our Christian bothers and sisters day and night. Could it be he is pointing a finger at us in an attempt to gain his own absolution, and position above those of the Kingdom of God. Here is a great place to insert praise for God and Christ Jesus for the plan of grace and the cross. We would otherwise share in Satan's future.

Satan also accuses us directly. He will attempt to place guilt between us and God to hinder our relationship. Also, to hinder our prayers in an area where we might not have been so innocent. He'll tell us we have no right to pray about "that", "its just a consequence of your own sin", "you'll have to live with it". Remember that the Grace of God says, "no such thing is true, You have right standing to bring any prayer and request"

There is of course the need to correct and build up another in Love and help to keep them on the path abundant life in Christ. Sometimes this even requires "tuff love" The key is Love. Remember that "(1CO 13:4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

MT 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
MT 7:3 "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Four Freedoms

Norman Rockwells "Four Freedoms" were inspired by President Roosevelt's speech to Congress in 1941

The speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following section:

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called "new order" of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb.

- Franklin Delano Roosevelt, excerpted from the Annual Message to the Congress, January 6, 1941

These four freedoms were to be what we were going to fight for during WWII. They were a rallying cry for Americans to produce war materials, for free nations, to fight the Axis powers. Shortly after 9/11/01, during one of those times of reflection, I suddenly realized that one of those freedoms was gone and two others were under serious attack.

The Freedom from Fear

In Rockwell's painting "Freedom from Fear" two children are tucked into bed by their parents. In the father's hand is a newspaper that reads...'bombings horror'. The picture implies the the Children can sleep tight without the fear of being awakened by the ravages of war outside the walls of their home. The parents dote on them knowing that they are safe here in America.

9/11/01 was an attack on American civilians, on American soil. It was an attack that obliterated the "Freedom from Fear'. In the months after 9/11/01 we were constantly faced with some threat of mass destruction. Anthrax, radiation from destroyed nuke plants, dirty bombs, snipers, were put into our minds with every media incarnation. I have not forgotten the 1960's checklist to prepare for thermonuclear warfare after Khrushchev was translated to have said, "we will bury you" . Nor have I forgotten apocalyptic prophesies of Global warming, SARS, AIDS, overpopulation, etc. 9/11/01 was the !!! exclamation mark on proclamation the "fear is now here".
Fear is being used to enslave us and the people of the world. It is out of fear of a World War that the political machinery has been moving steadily toward a global government. Globalism (yes, I used the word 'globalism", because it has become a religion for its supporters) is being fully supported by all of the corperate controlled media. Globalists see this as a way of creating Roosevelt's vision of freedom 'everywhere in the world". Only one side is being painted for the public to consume. Opposition view points are being trounced. The media does not let out the voices warning of global tyranny. Once a global government is formed an ego will surely rise to the throne. How will the world be able to free itself from the ultimate corruption that will result from the ultimate power?! "Who can make war against him" the Bible warns!
The recent hype and hysteria over Global warming and it cataclysmic prophesies are no different. Fear of terrorism caused the people of Spain to change their government in an amazing capitulation. North Korea and Iran are running nuclear programs with the express intent of using fear for political blackmail. The irrational behavior and obscene rehetoric of their government leaders is a multiplier of that fear. Those antagonistic leaders can sense the fear like a hungry wild animal, and they're licking their chops.
Today the resolve to fight for freedom from fear has been lost in America and all over the globe. As a result we will all have more of it. We will be slowly dragged one appeasment at a time into total slavery to those who are not afraid to use violence and fear mongoring on the public.
I pronounce that Roosevelt and Rockwells' vision of "freedom from fear" is now dead and lost!

Freedom of religion

The freedom of religion is definitely not allowed in most of the world. Persecution and death is well documented in China, Sudan, India, and all muslim controlled countries for those who dare to practice a faith other that the one approved by the State. Things are changing here in the free world as well and yes, even in the country that was founded on freedom of religion.
Religious extremists such as radical terrorist Islam have grabbed for and been given center stage. Also in the spotlight are fringe group cults with their absurd practices and beliefs, ( Applewhite and the comet catchers, Solar temple, Branch Davidians, Scientology, all of New Age, and the Catholic Clergy sex abuse scandal come to mind ). The resulting picture being painted is that all religion is insane and bad therefore, so is Christianity. The popular media recites again and again that religion is the cause of all war and because the Pope was once wrong on Galileo, so then, are Christians wrong on Homosexuality, abortion and cloning. I firmly believe that this is a coordinated attack designed to create a spiritual void so that a new religion can be inserted in its place. Those who hold to the Bible as the true Word of God will not escape the tide of persecution that is coming. We are currently being labeled as "bigots" and "insane", not fit to have "Foster Children", hold public office, or to speak our opinion if it offends someone. Christians in America are losing their jobs after, being sometimes tricked into, conversations deemed to be offensive, our homes, children, freedom, and life are next on the list. While Christians have been accommodating in fighting for freedom of religion for others, the favor is not going to be returned. Freedom of Religion is fading to black even in America!!

The Freedom of Speech

The War on the Freedom of Speech has begun in earnest. The mantra is no "hate speech" Hate speech has been redefined as you "disagree with me" speech and, "Your opinions offend or make me feel uncomfortable" speech. Those who speak offending things are labeled as "Bigots". Once bigotry was the realm of hating another for the color of their skin, ancestry, or country of origin. These were things about a person that they had no control, or choice over, and did not speak truthfully of what kind of person they were as an individual. The redefinitionition of terms now applied to "Bigotry" is speaking against another's opinion and personal life choices. Laws which were enacted to fight racial prejudice and groups of NeoNazis are now being applied to matters of choice and opinion. Under these laws preachers are being put into jail, fined, and face civil suits for merely reciting certain verses of scripture from the pulpit or printing them in the media.
In a large way redefinition of terms has taken place in the court. Activist judges have legislated from the bench by ruling in a way never intended by the law. It is a violation of separation of powers sought by the founders of this country. It is Judicial tyranny plain and simple. It subverts the very government they were assigned and took an oath to protect. While not all of the following articles are from America, they support the idea of where we are going.

The Freedom from Want

Roosevelt's version of freedom from want had to do with economics of nations. We were coming out of the Great Depression. I think he saw that the Depression in Germany gave rise to Hitler and the resulting WWII. It doesn't take much thought to realize that this ideal has never been achieved globally. In some cases the populations are too uncivilized to allow for economic growth. In other nations governments or leaders stand in the way. In India Hinduism and the Caste system excludes many from ecomonic success.
Here in America I see poverty as relative. It would seem to still be true that the opportunity to thrive economically exists for all. Unfortunately too many short sighted people are caught up in destuctive diversions and choices. As America becomes more Godless, we also become more enslaved to fill the spiritual void with instant gratification and over time with despair.
Freedom from want still exists in America for those who keep focused and faithful, but the culture is changing and falling. How long before we can say that freedom from want is also dead in America?

Freedom only exists where its owners are willing to fight to the death to keep it!

"So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men." By : Voltaire

Freedom only lasts where its owners are responsible to not abuse it. Here is where America has lost three of its "four freedoms" and the fourth is in jeopardy: they have turned away from God and begun forfeiting freedom.

"God has endowed man with inalienable rights, among which are self-government, reason, and conscience. Man is properly self-governed only when he is guided rightly and governed by his Maker, divine Truth and Love." By : John Dryden