Special Report: Bread and Circuses

Special Report: Bread and Circuses
Vol: 68 Issue: 19 Saturday, May 19, 2007

When George Bush was elected in 2000, America had just concluded eight years of Bill Clinton and, for a time, it appeared that we were destined to have his legacy extended by Al Gore.

I never bought into the Left’s claim that Bush ‘stole’ the White House from Al Gore. And I was disgusted by Al Gore’s seeming desperation to win the White House by any means necessary.

Gore’s mantra, “Every vote should count,” whilst simultaneously trying to suppress the military absentee ballots on any technicality possible was too Clintonesque by half. And his temper tantrums when the courts ruled against him and his disregard for election law were equally disturbing.

America is a Federal Republic and not a popular democracy. As such, the Chief Executive is elected via the Electoral College system and not by the popular vote. The purpose of the Electoral College system was to guarantee each STATE would be heard, not each individual voter.

If we elected our Chief Executive by popular vote, the largest states would have disproportionate influence and the smaller states would have no influence at all.

Voters in tiny Rhode Island would have no voice at all, and the election would be decided by a handful of the most populous counties (not even states) in America.

Take another look at the 2000 electoral map by county to see what I mean.

2000 Electoral Map by County source: USAToday

Gore won the popular vote by carrying a relative handful of the most populous counties. The vast majority of states voted against him. That is why America adopted the Electoral College system. So every state would have a voice.

Al Gore knew how the Electoral College worked, and WHY. He just hoped that YOU didn’t. In other words, he tried to steal the election by lying to the public and counting on our ignorance.

And no matter how hard one tries to rearrange the vote in Florida, Bush won it, albeit narrowly, in every SINGLE recount, including those post-election recounts conducted by the pro-Gore Miami Herald and New York Times.

That’s the thing about facts. A fact is a fact, whether or not we like it. Claiming a fact is NOT a fact by pandering to someone’s prejudices is a form of deception — something that bygone generations of Americans would have immediately recognized by it’s more common name — a lie.

I found it unnerving that the liberals in America were so comfortable with bald-face liars, provided they liked the lies and the liars.

During the last two years of his presidency, the Left dismissed Bill Clinton’s perjurious conduct by chanting, “everybody lies about sex” and “all politicians lie”.

The end result was a brainwashing of America, a dumbing-down of expectations from its leaders, which created an atmosphere in which truth became irrelevant. What was factual became secondary to what we wanted to hear.

But it isn’t about Al Gore, anymore. Or about the Left or the Right. It’s about America. It is just that Election 2000 is the best example I could think of to illustrate how openly cynical the political process in America has become.

And how willing we, the people, are to embrace it, eyes wide open.

Historians have summarized the collapse of the Roman Empire into three words: “Bread and circuses.”

The phrase originated with the Roman poet Juvenal in the late 1st century. Juvenal wrote,

“Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions – everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses

Juvenal was referring to the practice of the Roman elite to its provision of free wheat (bread) and free entertainment (circuses) to buy the votes using their own tax dollars. Eventually, the Roman treasury collapsed, and its empire soon followed.

But Roman politicians cared only about being elected. It was like a game of musical chairs. They knew that eventually, somebody would end up paying the bill, but they figured that by then, they’d either be dead or out of office.

They relied on the greed of the population to keep voting themselves more bread and bigger circuses today and the willingness to let future generations figure out how to pay for it.

Note carefully that the various contenders for Election ’08 aren’t being handicapped according to their political positions or their personal integrity. They are being handicapped according to how much money they’ve raised.

There is no longer any discernible difference between the Democrats and Republicans. The immigration reform bill announced this week by Ted Kennedy that got rave reviews from George Bush makes that clear.

It isn’t about what is good for America, anymore. It is all about what is good for the politicians.

By the time their chickens come home to roost, they expect they’ll all either be dead or out of office.

Bread and circuses today. Tomorrow will take care of itself.

A pox on both their houses.

The Bee Eye Bee El Ee

The Bee Eye Bee El Ee
Vol: 68 Issue: 18 Friday, May 18, 2007

According to a whole ream of news stories from across the net covering different events throughout the world, it may not be long before Christians may have to learn to speak in code, in much the same way as they did in the 1st century Church.

In the first century, Christians had to be very careful about revealing their faith. The Romans would send out spies who would try to infiltrate churches, reporting back to the authorities with lists of names of Christians, who would then be rounded up and executed in the coliseums for the entertainment of the masses.

Early Christians developed a kind of ‘code’ using Scripture. When meeting a stranger, a Christian would say part of a Scripture and wait to see if his new acquaintance finished it, kind of like the way the US military uses signs and countersigns during wartime. During the Normandy invasion in 1944, for example, the sign was “flash” and the countersign was “thunder.”

If you met up with other US troops and failed to give the correct countersign, it was assumed you were an enemy infiltrator and would be met by a hail of bullets.

Another example of 1st century Christian code was the symbol of the fish (the ichthus). Beginning during the reign of the Emperor Nero, Roman soldiers were stationed throughout the Empire and ordered to keep an eye out for Christian gatherings.

Consequently, Christians would often draw an ichthus in the dirt, mud, sand, or on the walls of caves to let another Christian know that he was a fellow believer and that it was safe to talk without fear of being turned in.

The word “ichthus” formed a Greek acrostic using the letters Iota Chi Theta Upsilon Sigma. (An “acrostic” is an arrangement of words in which the first letter of each line combines with others to form another word.)

“Ichthus” was an acrostic for “Jesus Christ, the Son, the Savior.” [Iesous (Jesus) CHristos (Christ) THeou (of God) Uiou (the Son) Soter (the Savior)]

In Hong Kong, government censors claimed to have received more than 1400 complaints that the Bible (Bee Eye Bee El Ee) is indecent and is contemplating imposing the same restrictions on it as are ordinarily applied to pornography.

If the Bee Eye Bee El Ee is reclassified as ‘indecent’ material, it would be sealed in a plastic wrapper containing a warning that it contains graphic and indecent material and only people over 18 would be allowed to buy one.

While one might expect the Bible to come under this kind of assault in Hong Kong, which was returned to Red Chinese control in 1999, mounting evidence suggests similar assaults against the Bible are just around the corner in America.

Already, teachers cannot bring a Bible into many classrooms in America. It is illegal to quote Scriptures on public property. While the Supreme Court has interpreted the 1st Amendment guarantees of freedom of religion to mean freedom FROM religion, it is only applied against the Bible and Christianity.

There are schools across America that have mandatory classes in Islam and the Koran as part of their regular curriculum. But even having a closed Bible on a bookshelf is grounds for termination in many US public school systems, and is sufficient grounds to bring a lawsuit against ANY US public school.

When the school board in Odessa, the West Texas oil town, voted unanimously in April to add an elective Bible study course to the 2006 high school curriculum, a group disingenuously called “The Texas Freedom Network” called a news conference to call the course, “an error-riddled Bible curriculum that attempts to persuade students and teachers to adopt views that are held primarily within conservative Protestant circles.”

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and other groups have warned school districts against using the curriculum because of constitutional concerns.

A highly critical article in The Journal of Law and Education in 2003 said the course “suffers from a number of constitutional infirmities” and “fails to present the Bible in the objective manner required.”

The journal said that even supplementary materials were heavily slanted toward sectarian organizations; 83 percent of the books and articles recommended had strong ties to sectarian organizations, 60 percent had ties to Protestant organizations, and 53 percent had ties to conservative Protestant organizations, it said.

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and People for the American Way Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Ector County Independent School District aimed at forcing the school district to drop its course.

But when Christians filed a similar lawsuit against the Byron, California school district over its mandatory classes entitled, “Islam: A Simulation of Islamic History and Culture,” a US District Court found “no evidence” that the simulation induced students to engage in activities with devotional or religious intent. She ruled that no reasonable student would find the assignment to be an endorsement of Islam.

Among other things, these materials instruct students to fight mock battles of jihad against “Christian crusaders” and other assorted “infidels,” after which, upon gaining victory, they “Praise Allah.” Students study the Koran, recite from it, design a title page for it, and write verses of it on a banner. They act out Islam’s Five Pillars of Faith, including giving zakat (Islamic alms) and going on the pilgrimage to Mecca. They also build a replica of the “sacred Kaaba” in Mecca or another holy building.

Seventh graders adopt the speech of pious believers, greeting each other with “assalam aleikoom, fellow Muslims” and using phrases such as “God willing” and “Allah has power over all things.”

The curriculum presents matters of Islamic faith as historical fact. The Kaaba, “originally built by Adam,” it announces, “was later rebuilt by Abraham and his son Ismail.” That is Islamic belief, not actual history. But it is taught as fact.

What IS fact is that at least eight in ten Americans self-identify themselves as Christians, whereas those claiming Islam as their religion number somewhere around two percent. There are five times as many atheists in America as Muslims, and there are nine times as many Christians in America as atheists.

But teaching students the atheistic theory of evolution is mandatory. And in Byron, California, and many other places across the country, the Koran is part of the mandatory curriculum.

Assessment:

The US Congress is planning to revive a bill that would reclassify Christian ministries as political “lobbyists” if they preach sermons that are deemed to be political in content. For example, preaching against HR 1592 which extends special minority status to homosexuals, transsexuals and transvestites would qualify as political lobbying.

Preaching against abortion as a sin would be political lobbying. So would preaching against same-sex marriage.

The new proposed law could require pastors, church leaders and evangelists to register as political lobbyists, subjecting them to the same rules and regulations imposed on lobbyists who attempt to influence lawmakers to vote in favor of Indian casinos, trade incentives for Red China, or the repeal of pornography or sex legislation.

Failure to register could result in the imposition of fines as high as $50,000.00. A similar bill was defeated by the Senate in January. But now that the Democrats have a majority in both the House and Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thinks the bill has a chance of passing and is planning to resubmit it. So does Senate Majority Harry Reid, who characterized the proposal as an effort “to provide greater transparency into the legislative process.”

According to the American Center for Law and Justice (a sort of Christian ACLU) H.R. 2093 would chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by requiring the media firms that help grassroots organizations to share their message to register with the government and disclose information about the groups’ activities.”

“The cost of compliance with federal lobbying laws including the need to hire lawyers, accountants, and other personnel to ensure that all legal requirements are met would be great. . . ”

“H.R. 2093 casts an unduly broad net of regulation over many churches, public advocacy organizations, and individuals that are not ‘lobbyists’ and subjects the media companies to burdensome registration and reporting requirements,” according the ACLJ.

Although I am an ordained minister, when we started the Omega Letter, we made a conscious decision NOT to apply for 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt charitable organization status. If we had accepted 501 (c) (3) status, donations to the OL would be tax deductible.

We wouldn’t have to scramble the way we do to make ends meet on our subscriber base of less than 750 subscribers if donations could be written off against income taxes.

There are lots of people who would rather see that money used to fund the Omega Letter than they would to fund gay advocacy groups, humanist groups (who qualify under IRS rules as tax-exempt religious organizations) pro-abortion groups, etc. with their tax dollars.

But by accepting tax-exempt status, the Omega Letter would be monitored by the IRS and restricted in what we could say or teach.

If we offended some protected-status minority group (which we undoubtedly do on a regular basis) the government could shut us down. So it was a choice between the ability to attract big donors and the ability to teach the truth without compromise — which, to my mind, was no choice at all.

H.R. 2093, if passed, could make render that choice pointless. Under H.R. 2093, the Omega Letter could find itself reclassified as a political lobbyist organization.

The Omega Letter doesn’t advocate anything other than the need for salvation. We report on trends that dovetail with Bible prophecy, but we don’t advocate against them.

Our ministry perspective is this: The Bible says certain things are going to take place. When those things begin to come to pass, we highlight them as evidence that the Bible is true. To advocate against them would put us at cross-purposes to what Bible prophecy is all about.

If God says something is going to happen, my job isn’t to work against what God says. It is to tell you about it, so you can connect the dots for yourself and see the Big Picture emerging as God said it would.

So that you can take the same information and use it in your daily one-on-one evangelistic efforts. Our bumper sticker bears the legend; “www.Omegaletter.com – What is this world coming to?” because that is where each of us finds our best opportunity to share Christ.

At a coffee shop, in a restaurant, at work, in a social setting, anywhere that somebody brings up the news and asks rhetorically, “What is this world coming to?” We find the answer to that question in Bible prophecy. And the question provides the opportunity to share that answer, which is, of course, Jesus.

But the legislative stifling of Biblical truths is hardly unexpected. It too, is part and parcel of Bible prophecy for the last days.

“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

That is what is taking place with HR 2093 right now. But my job isn’t to advocate against it, it is to show its relevancy to Bible prophecy. As Paul says in the next verse:

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.” (2nd Timothy 4:3-5)

Which I will continue to do until the government shuts us down. Because I believe the Bible. And I believe the promise of Scripture.

“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

Well, What Do You Know? Scientists Reconsider Warming Fears

Well, What Do You Know? Scientists Reconsider Warming Fears
Vol: 68 Issue: 17 Thursday, May 17, 2007

A new report published by the uber-liberal German magazine, Der Speigel, has joined a growing list of media publications who are beginning to realize that somebody has been playing fast and loose with the facts when it comes to global warming.

It begins by saying, “Avante Arrhenius, the father of the greenhouse effect, would be called a heretic today. Far from issuing the sort of dire predictions about climate change which are common nowadays, the Swedish physicist dared to predict a paradise on earth for humans when he announced, in April 1896, that temperatures were rising — and that it would be a blessing for all.”

A blessing? Not a curse? How so? (I’m glad you asked)

Arrhenius, who later won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, argued, “by the influence of the increasing percentage of carbonic acid in the atmosphere, we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates,” potentially making poor harvests and famine a thing of the past.

Heresy! I must stop up my ears! How dare Der Speigel write such lunacy! There is a global CONSENSUS, you know! Al Gore said that no further debate is necessary.

But Der Speigel noted that previous cold periods (like the little Ice Age that followed the Mediaeval Warming Period in the 14th century) were, “too low for grain crops to mature. Famines and epidemics raged, and average life expectancy dropped by 10 years. In Germany, thousands of villages were abandoned and entire stretches of land depopulated.”

(I’ve got my fingers in my ears! La-la-la-la-la-la! I can’t hear you!)

“The shock produced by the cold was as deep-seated it was long-lasting. When temperatures plunged unexpectedly once again in the 1960s, many meteorologists were quick to warn people about the coming of a new ice age — supposedly triggered by man-made air pollution. Hardly anyone at the time believed a warming trend could pose a threat.”

Oh sure. But in the 1960’s they didn’t know what they were talking about. Now they’ve advanced computer models that can predict the weather, sometimes five days in advance, and sometimes, they are almost right. Besides, what about the catastrophic flooding from all that melting ice?

“According to an American study published last week, the Arctic could be melting even faster than previously assumed. But because the Arctic sea ice already floats in the water, its melting will have virtually no effect on sea levels,” the magazine reported.

Drat! And I was planning to buy oceanfront property outside of Phoenix!

German biologist Josef Reichholf told Der Spiegel that, “It’s nothing but fear-mongering, for which there is no concrete evidence. On the contrary, there is much to be said for the argument that warming temperatures promote biodiversity.”

Wait just a darn minute! Is he arguing that warmer temperatures are good for biodiversity? Well, yeah . . .

“There is a clear relationship between biodiversity and temperature. The number of species increases exponentially from the regions near the poles across the moderate latitudes and to the equator. To put it succinctly, the warmer a region is, the more diverse are its species.”

But this is just one magazine, (a German one, at that!) and just one scientist. There is a global scientific CONSENSUS, no?

No.

Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, a top geophysicist and French Socialist who has authored more than 100 scientific articles and written 11 books and received numerous scientific awards including the Goldschmidt Medal from the Geochemical Society of the United States, converted from climate alarmist to skeptic in 2006.

He was among the first to sound global warming alarms 20 years ago. But, having examined the evidence, he now says the cause of climate change is “unknown” and accused the prophets of doom of global warming of being motivated by money, noting that “the ecology of helpless protesting has become a very lucrative business for some people!”

Ummm, money? Let’s look at the eco-credits Al Gore bought to offset his huge carbon footprint. ‘Carbon offset credits’ work like this. Since Al Gore uses 20 times the energy of a typical American family, he buys “carbon offsets” based on the fact that an Ubangi tribesman who doesn’t own a car isn’t using his, anyway.

So Al Gore ‘buys’ them by “purchasing verifiable reductions in CO2 elsewhere.” He pays for his extra-large carbon footprint through Generation Investment Management, a London-based company with offices in Washington, D.C.

In fact, the idea is SUCH a good one that Al Gore bought a piece of the company (and its profits). Generation Investment Management’s U.S. branch is headed by a former Gore staffer and fund-raiser, Peter S. Knight.

In other words, Gore buys “carbon offsets” from himself, in essence, by buying stocks.

Getting back to the scientists, Dr. Allegre now calls fears of a climate disaster “simplistic and obscuring the true dangers mocks “the greenhouse-gas fanatics whose proclamations consist in denouncing man’s role on the climate without doing anything about it except organizing conferences and preparing protocols that become dead letters.”

And generating investment profits.

Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta was once such a big believer in man-made global warming that he set out to build a Kyoto house in honor of the UN sanctioned Kyoto Protocol which was signed in 1997.

But after examining the science more closely, he wrote a book entitled, The Emperor’s New Climate: Debunking the Myth of Global Warming.

Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv gave an interview to the Canada National Post on the subject. In it, he said:

Like many others, I was personally sure that CO2 is the bad culprit in the story of global warming. But after carefully digging into the evidence, I realized that things are far more complicated than the story sold to us by many climate scientists or the stories regurgitated by the media.”

Then he let loose with his bombshell observation. Global warming isn’t caused by human activity, (Al Gore’s hot air being the exception that proves the rule). Instead, as an astrophysicist, he reached the startling conclusion that global warming is caused by the sun.

By the SUN! Who would have thought it?

“Solar activity can explain a large part of the 20th-century global warming” and “it is unlikely that [the solar climate link] does not exist, Shaviv noted pointing to the impact cosmic- rays have on the atmosphere.

So, the sun warms the earth and not mankind! Is there a consensus on that? The next thing you know, somebody will be telling us that the earth revolves around the sun, and not the other way around. Heresy!

(Well, it WAS heresy when Galileo said it in 1633 and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Roman Catholic Church’s Grand Inquisitor. Where’s a Grand Inquisitor when you need him? )

According to the National Post, Shaviv believes that even a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere by 2100 “will not dramatically increase the global temperature.”

Australian mathematician and engineer David Evans, (who earned six university degrees in 10 years) noted that believing in global warming pays well.

“By the late 1990’s, lots of jobs depended on the idea that carbon emissions caused global warming. Many of them were bureaucratic, but there were a lot of science jobs created too. I was on that gravy train, making a high wage in a science job that would not have existed if we didn’t believe carbon emissions caused global warming,” he said, adding;

“And so were lots of people around me; and there were international conferences full of such people. And we had political support, the ear of government, big budgets, and we felt fairly important and useful.”

“But starting in about 2000, the last three of the four pieces of evidence outlined above fell away or reversed, Evans wrote. The pre-2000 ice core data was the central evidence for believing that atmospheric carbon caused temperature increases. The new ice core data shows that past warmings were NOT initially caused by rises in atmospheric carbon,” he said.

Oh, really, Doctor? What caused them? The sun?

Well. . . yeah.

Carbon levels increased as a RESULT of global warming. It doesn’t cause it. The ice data shows global warming comes first, then Co2 levels begin to rise some 800 years later.

Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, another former global warming alarmist, also reviewed the ‘science’ of Al Gore, which he terms, “poppycock.”

(Those British guys have a way with words — especially English words.)

According to a May 15, 2005 article in the UK Sunday Times, Bellamy said global warming is largely a natural phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous amounts of money on trying to fix something that can t be fixed.

Bellamy doesn’t understand how things work in the Colonies. If something ain’t broken, you have to keep fixing it until it is.

The climate-change people have no proof for their claims. They have computer models which do not prove anything, Bellamy added.

University of Auckland climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas conceded; “At first, I accepted that increases in human caused additions of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere would trigger changes in water vapor etc. and lead to dangerous global warming.”

But then, that pesky research stuff keep popping up.

“But with time and with the results of research,” he wrote, “I formed the view that, although it makes for a good story, it is unlikely that the man-made changes are drivers of significant climate variation.

Meteorologist Dr Reid Bryson was on the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honor for his work in climatology. Before there were enough people to make any difference at all, two million years ago, nobody was changing the climate, yet the climate was changing, okay? Bryson told the May 2007 issue of Energy Cooperative News.

All this argument is the temperature going up or not, it s absurd. Of course it s going up. It has gone up since the early 1800s, before the Industrial Revolution, because we re coming out of the Little Ice Age, not because we re putting more carbon dioxide into the air, Bryson said.

Global warming author Hans Labohm switched his view after conducting climate research. Labohm wrote on August 19, 2006, I started as a anthropogenic global warming believer, then I read the [UN s IPCC] Summary for Policymakers and the research of prominent skeptics.

After that, I changed my mind, Labohn explained.

Labohm was one of the 60 scientists who wrote an April 6, 2006 letter urging withdrawal of Kyoto to Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper which stated in part, Climate change is real is a meaningless phrase used repeatedly by activists to convince the public that a climate catastrophe is looming and humanity is the cause.”

Paleoclimatologist Tim Patterson, of Carlton University in Ottawa also changed his view after reviewing the scientific ‘evidence’.

I taught my students that CO2 was the prime driver of climate change, Patterson wrote on April 30, 2007.

Patterson changed his mind as a result of his research on the nature of paleo-commercial fish populations in the NE Pacific.”

He wrote, As the proxy results began to come in, we were astounded to find that paleoclimatic and paleoproductivity records were full of cycles that corresponded to various sun-spot cycles.”

The SUN again! Why does everybody keep blaming the SUN for warming the earth?

Paleoclimatologist Dr. Ian D. Clark, professor of the Department of Earth Sciences at University of Ottawa, said in a documentary about climate change, “However, a few years ago, I decided to look more closely at the science and it astonished me. In fact there is no evidence of humans being the cause. There is, however, overwhelming evidence of natural causes such as changes in the output of the sun.”

And, finally, we have The National Geographic Magazine’s conclusions to consider.

In an article from February, 2007 entitled, “Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says”, “Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of the St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.”

“The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars, Abdussamatov said.”

Assessment:

If there is so much evidence that the global warming phenomenon is being driven by solar activity, why is everybody so eager to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol?

In Al Gore’s case, global warming is not only profitable, it is his ticket back to the White House. (“I’m Al Gore, and I used to be the next President of the United States.”)

For decades, an elite cadre of globalists (including Al Gore) have been trying to figure out a way to force America into a UN-sponsored global government.

These aren’t bad guys. They’re elitists who sincerely believe that only the UN can save the world from destruction by an ignorant and greedy American population. Even if it kills you. It’s a small price to pay, after all. Sacrifices MUST be made.

They’ve tried accomplishing their goals by political manipulation. They’ve tried through their control of the global money trust, through the World Bank, IMF and the World Trade Organization.

The Kyoto Treaty would empower the UN to levy a sliding-scale ‘energy tax’ on rich nations (like America). It was Baron Rothschild who observed that, “he who has the gold, makes the rules.”

“Give me control of a nation’s currency,” the Baron once said, “And I care not who makes its laws.”

New Age guru and UN advisor Maurice Strong is the architect of the UN’s Kyoto Protocol. Strong organized the UN first-world environmental summit in Stockholm in 1972 and has never stopped pressing for a world where UN resolutions would be enforced as law all over the Earth.

Strong went on to chair the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio. Strong sits on boards with the Rockefellers and Mikhail Gorbachev and chairs private meetings of CEOs, including Bill Gates.

He told Maclean’s magazine way back in 1976 that he was “a socialist in ideology, a capitalist in methodology.” He warned that if we don’t heed his environmentalist warnings, the Earth will collapse into chaos.

In interview with his own Earth Charter Commission, Strong said “the real goal of the Earth Charter is it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and commitments of people everywhere.”

In 1990, Strong told a BBC reporter of his fantasy scenario for the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland – where 1,000 diplomats, CEOs and politicians gather “to address global issues.”

Strong, naturally, is on the board of the World Economic Forum. “What if a small group of these world leaders were to conclude the principal risk to the earth comes from the actions of the rich countries?…”

He told the startled Beeb reporter, “In order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring this about?”

He later told the reporter he was just kidding, telling him, “I probably shouldn’t be saying things like this.”

Probably not. Especially since he meant every word.

In 1972, as Strong organized the first environmental conference for the UN, he granted an interview to the BBC. “I am convinced the prophets of doom have to be taken seriously,” he said.

The only way to avoid doomsday, said Strong, was if “man, in light of this evidence, is going to be wise enough and enlightened enough to subject himself to this kind of discipline and control.”

“Wise enough and enlightened enough to accept this kind of discipline and control.” That’s the ultimate goal of Kyoto. It’s the reason that mankind MUST ultimately be responsible for global warming. Or a coming Ice Age. Or whatever it takes.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring. . . ”

Distressed yet? A bit perplexed? Or maybe a bit scared?

“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:26-27)

“Precious In the Sight of the Lord Are the Death of His Saints”

“Precious In the Sight of the Lord Are the Death of His Saints”
Vol: 68 Issue: 16 Wednesday, May 16, 2007

“A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)

In Western culture, we celebrate births and we mourn deaths. But, when you get right down to it, we have it exactly backwards. We are all born with essentially the same potential, but that potential remains unrealized.

Throughout our lives, that potential remains. There is always a chance to do more, to do it better, to effect change and to produce results, either for the better, or for the worse.

It is not until the day of one’s death that the full measure of one’s life can be taken and we know whether we should mourn, or celebrate.

Both Jerry Falwell and Ted Bundy were born with the same potential for good, or for evil. Ted Bundy was born out of wedlock in 1946 in New Hampshire, but raised in Tacoma, Washington by parents who met at a Methodist Church single’s group.

Bundy was the oldest of five children, a Boy Scout who grew up in a church environment, and was active in the local Methodist Church where he served as vice-president of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Ted Bundy was, by all accounts, a brilliant young man who graduated with a degree in psychology in 1972. His potential was enormous.

But Bundy’s legacy was as one of America’s most infamous serial killers who murdered scores of young women across the United States between 1974 and 1978.

He eventually confessed to thirty murders, but the actual number of his victims remains unknown but to God. In sentencing Bundy to death, the judge remarked:

“It is an utter tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I’ve experienced in this courtroom. You’re an intelligent young man. You’d have made a good lawyer, and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way. . .”

Ted Bundy squandered his potential, wasting the life God gave him, and on January 24, 1989, Theodore “Ted” Bundy was strapped into Florida’s electric chair and sent to face the Righteous Judge by 2,000 volts of electricity applied by Florida’s state executioner.

Jerry Falwell was born with the same potential for good and evil as Ted Bundy, but, to paraphrase Bundy’s sentencing judge, Falwell went another way.

Jerry Falwell was born in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1933.

He had an unlikely beginning for the Christian ministry: his grandfather was a self-avowed atheist. His father was an agnostic who hated preachers and ran a moonshine operation during Prohibition.

But Falwell decided as a teenager to devote his life to Christian service, putting himself through Bible Baptist College in Springfield, Missouri while barely out of his teens.

In 1956, at age 23, the now-Reverend Jerry Falwell returned home to Lynchburg, where he founded Thomas Road Baptist Church. His first service was attended by thirty-five people and his church’s first collection brought in $135.00.

Within weeks of founding his new church in 1956, Falwell began the Old-Time Gospel Hour, a daily local radio ministry and a weekly local television ministry dedicated to introducing Christ to the lost.

In 1967, Falwell created the Lynchburg Christian Academy providing a Christian education for students from kindergarten through high school.

In 1971, Falwell founded Liberty University, thereby making it possible for Christian children to enter the school system at age three and continue on through to obtaining a Ph.D without ever sitting under a teacher who was not a committed Christian.

Falwell was driven to politics following the 1973 Supreme Court’s “Roe v. Wade” decision that established the ‘right’ of women to kill their unborn children as a matter of convenience.

In 1979, Falwell founded the ‘Moral Majority,’ a grassroots political organization that worked to galvanize Christian voters into a political force to be reckoned with.

Falwell’s Moral Majority spearheaded efforts to register millions of Christian conservative voters and was a driving force behind the election of President Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Reverend Jerry Falwell went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 15, 2007. He was found dead in his office at Liberty University in Lynchburg, presumably of a heart attack.

Assessment:

Ted Bundy was one of the worst mass murderers in American history. But on the day of his execution, the prison was surrounded by liberals protesting his execution. Even the ultra-conservative National Review magazine published an editorial blaming society for his twisted life and lamenting his death.

“. . .the thought lingers that it might have been worth while to keep him alive and study him. For it is possible that Ted Bundy could have lived a decent life in a society that did not set out to gratify his worst instincts. He and others paid a high price for the ACLU view of what liberty and the First Amendment require. If there are victimless crimes, selling pornographic magazines to Ted Bundy was not one of them.”

In contrast, Jerry Falwell led one of the most positive and impacting Christian lives of the past century, and certainly deserves to rank among the most influential and positive Christian leaders in American history.

But, to read the mainstream media’s account, Jerry Falwell will be remembered the way the Associated Press ‘eulogized’ him:

“The Rev. Jerry Falwell’s habit of sounding off on everything from liberals and terrorism to the “Teletubbies” regularly embarrassed his fellow conservatives. . . His foes? Liberals, “abortionists,” the American Civil Liberties Union, feminists, gay rights activists and the faithless.”

You know. The ‘good’ guys.

His obituary in the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) featured a photo of Reverend Falwell with a photo inset of a Teletubbie character. The caption read as follows:

“US evangelist Jerry Falwell, who battled against abortion and homosexuality, has died. He once warned that Tinky Winky, the purple, purse-toting character of the Teletubbies show was a gay role model and morally damaging to children.”

The Sydney Morning Herald didn’t stop at ridiculing Falwell’s legacy with the photo and caption.

“Fond of quipping that the Bible referred to “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”, Falwell provoked a storm of protest when he said gays, lesbians and health workers who provide abortions were partly to blame for the September 11 attacks.”

The SMH went on to report that: “Falwell saw evil in a once-great America that he believed was in an advanced state of decay. He even went after a character in the hit children’s TV show the Teletubbies whom he claimed donned pro-gay symbols, including a triangle.

“I think that in the early 1960s when Bible reading and prayer were expelled from the public square, I think that was a move in the wrong direction, it was a move towards secularization,” Falwell said in a February 2007 interview.

The UK’s Guardian noted in its story that, “Largely because of the sex scandals involving Bakker and fellow evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, donations to Falwell’s ministry dropped from $135 million in 1986 to less than $100 million the following year. Hundreds of workers were laid off and viewers of his television show dwindled.”

Falwell’s personal morals were above reproach, so the Guardian found it necessary to introduce the moral failings of others in an effort to diminish his legacy by proxy, so to speak.

Not content to slander him by proxy, the Guardian also noted that, “As a student, Falwell was a star athlete and a prankster who was barred from giving his high school valedictorian’s speech after he was caught using counterfeit lunch tickets,” and, “he ran with a gang of juvenile delinquents before becoming a born-again Christian at 19.”

The Guardian closed by reminding its viewers that Reverend Falwell ad “made careful preparations for a transition of his leadership to his two sons, Jerry Falwell, Jr., now vice chancellor of Liberty University, and Jonathan Falwell, executive the pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church,” hinting broadly that there was something wrong with his wanting to ensure his philosophy lived on after his death by appointing successors he could trust with it.

Reader comments in Canada’s Globe and Mail led off with one signed by Trish Fenner from Perth, Australia, who wrote, “Where’s your Messiah now?”

“Don Adams from Canada” had this to say: “Good riddance!

The lone reader comment in the Washington Post story, who signed him/herself “tbd505” kept his/her comments pithy: “Thank God that sow has gone to the butcher.”

The New York Times’ readers were every bit as kind:

“Mr. Falwell’s death was God’s way of saying, ‘Jerry, shut up.'” – Martin Delaney

“I’m glad he is gone.” – Joe Oliveira

“Long may he burn.” – Allison (no last name)

“Falwell s vile mind can no longer churn out lies. He has fallen back into that abyss of silence out of which to our lasting harm he emerged.” – Eye of Horus

“Do you think Jerry will go to heaven? I don t think so!” – Rob

“He is nothing more than a traitor hiding bigotry, hate & ignorance behind the shielding mask of religion. . . . Please, pardon my glee.” — George

“I cannot remember Falwell for anything other than bigotry, racism, and hatemongering and it is people like Falwell that are the number one reason why I am no longer a Christian. I ve seen what religious dogma can do.” – Sam

“One less rabble rousing fanatic in the world. We are well pleased.” — Joe Johnson

Not to be outdone by amateur haters, the Huffington Post’s Kirk Snyder wrote under the headline; “Falwell’s Gay Legacy: Hate and Discrimination”;

“Jerry Falwell is dead, but his political legacy of hate and discrimination lives on among fundamentalists. . . Anti-gay, anti-woman and anti-science, Falwell — along with his friends in the Republican party — spread anger, bigotry and intolerance all the while hiding behind God and a twisted interpretation of “family values.”

Might I be the first to suggest that Snyder — together with the others quoted above — seem to have already cornered the market on anger, bigotry and intolerance — not to mention hate?

Reverend Jerry Falwell had the courage of his convictions and he was not afraid to express them, regardless of the consequences. His life and legacy have impacted and will continue to impact millions of Christians.

Unlike the lives and questionable legacies of his myriad of detractors so obviously consumed with hate that they are unable to see they embody the very essence of what they accuse Dr. Falwell of: bigotry, intolerance and a level of mean-spiritedness that is positively Satanic.

Dr. Falwell’s faithfulness was rewarded, even in the manner of his death. According to those few news reports that actually contained news rather than mean-spirited opinion disguised as news, Dr. Falwell had breakfast with a friend and returned to his office at 9:50 Tuesday morning.

He was cheerful, healthy and in good spirits. At 11:30 when he was found, he had already made the transition from this life to the next peacefully, and had gone home to be with the Lord.

It is said that the best measure of a man is accomplished by taking stock of his enemies. It appears that Dr. Falwell has done right well for himself in the time allotted to him.

The Scriptures say: “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints.” (Psalms 116:15)

The day of his death is indeed precious, not only to the Lord, but to those of us he left behind to carry on without him.

The liberals may, in the words of one blogger, “be well pleased” with his death, but I am confident that right now, Dr. Falwell has heard the same words, “I am well pleased” with his life — directly from the lips of Jesus Christ.

May God have mercy on those mean-spirited and empty souls who take such glee at the death of such a man. May God forgive me for the emotions they evoked in me as I read them.

We are diminished by our loss, despite that recognition that our loss is Heaven’s gain. May God comfort Dr. Falwell’s family and friends.

“Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”

And thank you, Dr. Falwell, for a life well lived, and for a legacy that will live on. Until He comes.

Maranatha!

In the Shadow of the Cross

In the Shadow of the Cross
Vol: 68 Issue: 15 Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Red Cross, whose symbol is the last remnant of its Christian background, issued a so-called ‘confidential’ report accusing Israel of violating international humanitarian laws in what it called ‘annexed’ East Jerusalem.

I set off ‘confidential’ in quotes because this allegedly secret report, like most alleged secrets, was blasted all over the front page of the New York Times. I set off ‘annexed’ in quotes because of what it reveals about the objectivity — or lack thereof, of the report’s conclusions.

According to the New York Times’ report, whose accuracy was confirmed by a Jerusalem Red Cross spokesman, claims as one of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian laws, the fact that Israel will not extend Israeli citizenship to West Bank Arabs living in East Jerusalem.

The report found that Israel’s security fence with the West Bank, Jewish settlements outside Jerusalem and a thick network of Israeli roads prevent the free movement of Palestinians living in the city and nearby West Bank communities, according to the Times.

The Red Cross report did NOT, let me repeat, did NOT, indicate it had any humanitarian objections to the Palestinian practice of the ethnic cleansing of Jews from areas under their control. That’s different. They’re only Jews.

Neither did the document mention that Israel offered Palestinian residents Israeli citizenship after it captured East Jerusalem from Jordan at the conclusion of the Six Days War in 1967.

Had it mentioned the offer, it would then have been obliged to report that the Arabs living in the city rejected the offer then.

It puts me in mind of the fact that had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN Partition Plan, the Palestinians would be celebrating their 60th anniversary of statehood this year, instead of celebrating their 59th annual “Nakba” Day. (The “Catastrophe”).

The Partition Plan, which would have given the Palestinians everything they are demanding now, was rejected in 1947 for the same reason that Arafat rejected the Camp David Accord in 1999.

They didn’t want a state beside Israel in 1947. They wanted one instead of Israel. And they didn’t want Israeli citizenship in 1967. Then, as now, they wanted to be citizens of an Arab Jerusalem free of Jews.

Note some of the language used in the Red Cross report:

“Israel’s security fence with the West Bank, Jewish settlements outside Jerusalem and a thick network of Israeli roads prevent the free movement of Palestinians living in the city and nearby West Bank communities, according to the Times.”

The “security fence” was built in response to decades of unprovoked attacks against Israeli civilians inside Israel. That, the Red Cross argues, violates international law. There is an international LAW that forbids fences?

So, too, evidently, is the existence of Jewish settlements in territories claimed by the Arabs. While there is apparently an international law that Israel must extend citizenship to Arabs in their territory, there is also, if one accepts the language of the report, an international law permitting ethnic cleansing of Jews.

(If so, it must have been a law left over from Hitler’s Third Reich.)

The document found that Israel is showing a “general disregard” for its “obligations under international humanitarian law” in its practices in east Jerusalem. How so?

Well, argued the report (from an allegedly neutral organization), Israel is using its role as an ‘occupier’: “to further its own interests or those of its own population to the detriment of the population of the occupied territory,” which it says is “foreign to the letter and spirit of occupation law.”

Again, there is a LAW that forbids an ‘occupier’ from furthering its own national interests by protecting its citizens from unprovoked terror attacks? Or, more to the point, something called “international occupation law”?

Carrying it one step further, what, exactly, IS “international law”? Who declared it to be “international law,” and under what authority? Since Israeli is defying the ‘letter’ of such ‘international law’ then there must be someone, somewhere, who can produce the relevant law being violated?

‘Law’ is a tricky thing. Laws don’t HAVE an enforceable ‘spirit’. The ‘spirit’ behind income tax laws, for example, is to ensure everybody pays their fair share of taxes.

But under the letter of the income tax laws, the top five percent of income earners in the US pay 95% of all income taxes.

The bottom five percent pay no taxes at all, but, through ‘earned income credits’ qualify for tax ‘returns’ on money they never paid.

Therein lies the difference between the ‘spirit’ and the ‘letter’ of the law.

One is real, the other is not.

But when it comes to Israel, even when no such law exists, the Jews are capable of violating both its letter and spirit.

In any case, noted Israeli spokesman Mark Regev, “East Jerusalem is not occupied land. It is part of Israel. All people there were offered full citizenship.”

It is also worth noting that Palestinian Arabs are moving in droves from cities in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) into East Jerusalem.

“People see the anarchy and instability in the Palestinian Authority areas and prefer to leave to a safer place,” explained Ibrahim Barakat, a businessman from Beit Hanina, a large Arab neighborhood in northern Jerusalem to the Jerusalem Post.

“Also,”, he continued, “people are afraid of losing their status as permanent residents of Israel and that’s why they are moving back into Jerusalem.”

“After all, life inside Israel is much better than the West Bank,” the Palestinian businessman said.

But of course. That’s why the Red Cross is so concerned. It’s just another example of Israel’s unfair treatment of the Palestinians. The ones under Israeli protection are safe. Those outside that umbrella of protection are not.

The only fair solution is to remove that umbrella of protection so everybody can be terrorized equally.

Seems simple enough, no? That is why Israel is to blame.

The fence that so concerns the Red Cross has, according to Arab residents inside East Jerusalem, sharply curtailed the activities of PA and Hamas security services.

Before the fence, hundreds of PA security agents were operating almost freely in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem, sometimes kidnapping residents to Ramallah or Jericho for “interrogation.”

Any Palestinian Arab deemed to be an Israeli ‘collaborator’ was subject to immediate execution. Thousands of Palestinian Arab teachers, for example are employed by the Jerusalem Municipality’s Ministry of Education.

These teachers receive higher salaries and better privileges than their colleagues who work for private or PA-controlled schools inside the city. That makes them ‘collaborators’ subject to summary execution on the other side of the fence.

Palestinian Jerusalemites who hold Israeli ID cards receive higher salaries and benefits, including health insurance, and are free to work anywhere in Israel without restriction. They also qualify as ‘collaborators’.

“Let’s be honest, we have lost the battle for Jerusalem,” admitted a Fatah legislator from Jerusalem to the Jerusalem Post. It is worth consideration that the JPost maintained his anonymity to protect him from his constituents.

He went on to tell the Jpost;

“The Palestinian Authority hasn’t done anything to preserve the Arab and Islamic character of Jerusalem. The Arabs in Jerusalem have lost confidence in the Palestinian leadership and that’s why most of them prefer to live under Israeli control. Frankly, when I see what’s happening in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, I can understand why.”

In reading this morning’s Jerusalem Post, I can, too.

Assessment:

Last month, Hamas and Fatah (both already supposed members of the same government) agreed to form a ‘unity’ government at a summit held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

This year’s “Nakba” celebration was highlighted by the ambush killing of eight Fatah members by members of Hamas. Over the past week, at least twenty people have been killed in Palestinian-on-Palestinian infighting.

Late Monday, Hamas and Fatah agreed to another ‘truce’. The next morning, Hamas gunmen attacked an American-run training base used by Fatah forces that guard the Karni cargo crossing. Using rockets, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars, they killed eight members of Fatah’s Presidential Guard Unit.

In a separate incident, a jeep full of Fatah security forces that came under fire veered off the road and crashed. Hamas forces then surrounded the vehicle and riddled it with gunfire.

Hours later, another Fatah security officer was killed by Hamas in Gaza City.

The Red Cross, if they had any confidential reports concerning the plight of Palestinians living under Palestinian rule in the ‘terrortories’ (not a spelling mistake – ed) kept those reports confidential.

By any measurable standards, Arabs living in East Jerusalem live safer, more prosperous and more productive lives than West Bank and Gaza residents. So much so that many Palestinians abandoned villas in favor of cramped, expensive Jerusalem apartments.

The International Red Cross, according to its report, would like to change all that. If words have any meaning whatever, what the Red Cross would like to see is the lifting of the restrictions that make East Jerusalem a safe haven for Palestinians fleeing Palestinian rule.

Here’s the logic behind it, (if ‘logic’ is the appropriate term). The security fence has curtailed the ability of Palestinians to kill Jews indiscriminately, which is forcing the Palestinians to kill each other — evidently a less satisfying alternative choice for most Palestinians.

To restore balance to the Palestinian universe, Israel should allow unrestricted movement of terrorists into Jerusalem where they can satisfy that blood-lust the way it was meant to be satisfied — by killing Jews.

Anything less would be a violation of ‘international law.’ Which violation of what international law? If you have to ask, you probably wouldn’t understand it.

It’s a ‘Jew thing’.

“And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH BE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST IT.” (Zechariah 12:3)

The Politics of Prophecy

The Politics of Prophecy
Vol: 68 Issue: 14 Monday, May 14, 2007

According to the Bible, the administration of the coming antichrist will rest on three separate pillars of power.

In order for the antichrist to accomplish all that the Bible predicts within the seven-year time frame allotted, he will have to seize absolute control of a global religious system, a global government, and a global economy.

The Prophet Daniel and the Apostles John and Paul all reference his control of a global government. Daniel 9:26 identifies him as a ‘prince’ of the people who destroyed Daniel’s ‘city and sanctuary’ and provides an iron-clad time frame for his reign of terror.

These can only be Jerusalem and the Temple. Daniel was a Jewish captive of the Babylonian Empire during the period in which he wrote the Book that bears his name.

The context in which Daniel 9:26 is presented leaves no other alternative explanation.

“Seventy weeks are determined upon THY people and upon THY holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” (Daniel 9:24)

Daniel’s people were the Jews, and Daniel’s holy city is Jerusalem.

“And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary . . .” (Daniel 9:26)

The only Jewish sanctuary in the ‘city’ of Jerusalem is the Temple. Both were destroyed by the Romans in AD 70 — some five hundred years after Daniel.

“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease. . .” (Daniel 9:27)

The Jews divide time by seven year periods, (weeks-shabuwa) similarly to the way we divide time using the Greek system of decades (ten years).

Paul picks up on Daniel 9:27’s theme, saying of the antichrist that he; “as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)

And John says “power was given him [the antichrist] over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:7)

Revelation 13:11 introduces a second member of the antichrist’s government: “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”

This second beast has “two horns like a lamb” (symbolizing Christianity) but he speaks “as a dragon” symbolizing Satan. In context, the passage infers that his religion will be a counterfeit form of Christianity — a theme also outlined by Paul.

“Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Finally, the Apostle John makes it clear that the antichrist will have unprecedented control over what can only be a completely centralized global economy.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

Most folks who study the prophecy of the Mark of the Beast miss the relevancy of what it has to teach the Church Age.

Everybody is looking out for the Mark of the Beast. The Mark of the Beast is a mid-Tribulation event. The Church won’t be here, so we needn’t be fear it.

For the Mark of the Beast to fit John’s prophecy, there must first be a ‘Beast’, and then there needs be a ‘Mark’. What IS relevant is the fact that, for the very first time in all of recorded history, the kind of centralized, global economic control described by John is not only technically possible, it is a foregone conclusion.

The elimination of cold cash and its replacement with electronic money via smart cards and rechargable ATM cards makes logical sense. Without cash, drug dealers, terrorist financiers, burglars, tax evaders and so forth would immediately go out of business.

What is significant isn’t that the Mark of the Beast is here — it isn’t. But the technology foreseen by the Apostle John in AD 87 is.

Assessment:

The antichrist only has seven years in which to accomplish all that the Bible outlines. That doesn’t leave enough time for him to construct all the necessary religious, economic and political infrastructure necessary from scratch.

The infrastructure necessary did not exist even ten years ago. Today, the global economy is one step from being universally cashless. The UN is trying to insinuate itself into position as a functional global government.

Of course, the UN is too feckless to be trusted with that kind of power, but the world is well-aware of the need for some kind of global system of governance.

The UN has already created the essential infrastructure, such as the World Bank, World Trade Organization, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFOR, etc., all of which are now too well-entrenched to abandon.

The UN itself is destined to join the League of Nations on the trash heap of history. But the existing infrastructure must survive.

The EU recognizes that fact, and is well on the way to constructing a parallel organization capable of assuming control of existing programs when the UN’s bloated and corrupt administration implodes.

Daniel clearly identifies a revived form of the Roman Empire as the seat of the antichrist’s political government. So it is no coincidence that the EU is already constructed as a global government-in-waiting.

What has yet to be fully developed is a centralized global religious system that meets John’s specifications. But even that eventuality is under construction.

The United Nations has established a World Council of Religious Leaders. Under the umbrella of the “Millennium Peace Summit’s slogan of “Building an Integrated Framework for Peace” it claims:

“The objective of this Council is to serve as a resource to the United Nations and its agencies around the world, nation states and other international organizations, offering the collective wisdom and resources of the faith traditions toward the resolution of critical global problems.”

The Council has identified “religious fundamentalism” as the principle obstacle to peace and is actively working towards a kinder, gentler, more inclusive global religious system that can accommodate all the world’s religions under one banner.

The world is currently embroiled in a conflict that pits fundamentalist Islam against fundamentalist Judaism and fundamentalist Christianity.

One of Islam’s fundamental doctrines holds that any part of “Dar al Islam” (the Zone of Islam) is a permanent condition. Once an area has been conquered by Islam, any loss is only temporary.

Indeed, Osama bin Laden justified the Madrid bombing in 2003 as retaliation for the Islamic loss of Andalusia to the Spanish — in 1492!

And at the core of the global fundamentalist religious war is the issue of ownership of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.

Jewish fundamentalism holds that Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, (once part of Dar al Islam) is Israel’s eternal capital by Divine Decree. And fundamentalist Christian theology supports Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as Divine.

Fundamentalist Islam cannot recognize Israel’s existence without admitting the Koran is false. Fundamentalist Judaism cannot countenance the surrender Jerusalem or the Temple without conceding the Bible is not true. Neither can fundamentalist Christianity.

Iran has threatened to destroy Israel as a fundamental religious duty. To survive, Israel must destroy Iran’s nuclear capability before it is used to destroy them. And no US president that abandoned Israel would survive immediate impeachment.

Mainstream Christianity, Judaism and Islam combined, represent about half of the world’s population. But of that number, only a fraction are genuine fundamentalists.

The outbreak of a nuclear conflict over such religious fundamentals would result in an immediate and global call for the abolition of religious fundamentalism — a call that would be loudly echoed by the ‘mainstream’ from all three faiths.

To accomplish that, all religions would have to be brought under a central authority — some kind of global council that could serve as both watchdog and moral authority. Such a council already exists.

What remains unfulfilled is the global will to cede authority over to it. For now.

What does it all mean?

As I’ve noted on plenty of previous occasions, the Church Age draws to a close with the Rapture before the onset of the Tribulation Period.

It is not the role of Christians to be looking for the antichrist. It is our job to be looking for the return of Jesus Christ, and using that information to lead others to Christ while there is still time.

Admittedly, the Omega Letter spends at least as much time examining current events, in particular, political events, as it does on Bible doctrine. I get a lot of grief over that.

“Why don’t you stick to the Bible and leave politics alone?” is a common refrain, especially from non-Christians, not to mention from liberals of all religious persuasions.

The Bible’s outline of the Tribulation is all about politics. The antichrist is a political leader. The signs pointing to the nearness of the Tribulation Period are far more political than they are doctrinal.

The politics of government. The politics of economics. The politics of religion. It takes injecting all three into the Big Picture in order to see it coming together.

The Bible examines the political, religious and religious worldviews as they will exist during a single generation, somewhere in time, to the exclusion of all previous generations. Those ARE the signs of the times.

I am not looking for the coming of the antichrist. When it comes to his identity, I am both ignorant and apathetic — I don’t know and I don’t care. I don’t expect to be here when he comes on the scene.

Instead, I am looking for the signs of the return of Christ for His Church. It is much like looking at a calendar. If the calendar says tomorrow is Thanksgiving, then one knows that Christmas is just around the corner.

Jesus said; “when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

I get as tired of politics as anybody else does. I often get as discouraged and depressed by all the bad news as you do. But Jesus outlined these signs for a different reason. The fact that He said this is how things would be, and that today, this is how things are, proves that He is indeed God, He is still in control, and all things continue according to His Plan. If we trust Jesus, we have nothing to fear.

In a nutshell, what it means its this. At some point before the last puzzle piece falls into place,

“[T]he Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The signs of the times are indeed disturbing. To an unbeliever, they are undoubtedly terrifying.

But the message all this chaos and confusion sends to the Church is not one of fear. It is intended as a source of comfort. As Paul wrote in conclusion to the “Rapture Chapter,”

“Wherefore, comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:18)

Be comforted. It’s only bad if you don’t know Jesus.

The Power of One

The Power of One
Vol: 68 Issue: 12 Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Power of One

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; or the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

The purpose of the Omega Letter is slightly different than that of most website ministries, in that the main focus of our attention isn’t to attract the lost.

Instead we target those already saved by grace in an effort to provide them (you) with the tools you need to be more effective in your own evangelistic efforts. There isn’t a lot of milk in the contents of the Omega Letter — this is a diet for meat-eaters only.

Note the purpose of each of the offices of the early Church. Paul outlines the job of the Apostles to seed the Churches, prophets to announce its arrival, evangelists to take the fight to the enemy, and pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints.

All offices aim for the same ultimate objective, the edification of the Body of Christ. Webster’s defines ‘edification’ as follows:

(1) The act of edifying, or the state of being edified; a building up, especially in a moral or spiritual sense; moral, intellectual, or spiritual improvement; instruction. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There are certain members of the Body that are assigned to ‘capture new ground from the enemy’ — these are ‘evangelists’. They are good at leading people to Christ.

They can take the battle right up to the devil’s camp and set free the captives of darkness. They are the front line men of the Kingdom and their job is to capture the “gates of the enemy”.

Because they are fighting against spiritual powers, the evangelist is a man of power in the Holy Spirit. We are not fighting with flesh and blood, but against “principalities and powers” (Ephesians 6:12-13). The evangelist must know how to fight with Spiritual weapons from God.

The work of the evangelist includes showing others how to overcome the enemy. A part of his ministry is to convict the believers and move them to action in the battle for the souls of mankind.

The evangelist is the man of war in the Kingdom of God. The evangelist is one who is not afraid to associate with those who are in most need of the healing power of God.

Jesus said, “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

The most powerful evangelists are not necessarily the Billy Graham’s of this world who lead massive world-wide crusades. Consider this: Billy Graham’s crusades have, according to the encyclopedia, reached live audiences of 210 million people in 185 countries. He has led hundreds of thousands of people to make personal decisions to accept Christ into their lives, this being the main thrust of his ministry.

Many of his sermons center on the topic “Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation”. He has often advised US presidents and continues to be listed as one of the “Ten Most Admired Men in the World” in Gallup Polls. (source: brainyencylopedia.com)

There aren’t very many people in this world who haven’t at least HEARD of Billy Graham, even if they haven’t heard him preach. Now, imagine Billy Graham, standing before the Bema Seat, surrounded by the millions he led to Christ, as he accepts his reward. Wow!

BUT, who is Mordechai Ham? Most of us may not ever have heard of him, but he is a legend in heaven. Because standing in FRONT of Billy Graham is Mordechai Ham, the man who led Billy Graham — and by extension, Billy Graham’s millions — to Christ back in 1934.

Such is the power of one evangelist who is faithful to his calling. That power belongs to each of us who are faithful to the truth and prepared to share Christ with the skeptic.

That is why the Omega Letter touches on such a wide range of topics, like politics, social issues and international affairs, instead of focusing exclusively on theology.

Each of us has, at one time or another, overheard someone, upon hearing of yet another murderous mother, homicidal husband or the latest wartime atrocity and exclaiming; “I don’t know what this world is coming to.”

We do. And it is our job to seize that opportunity as the Lord puts it before us. Many of you have been called to the ministry of the evangelist, whether you know it or not, or you would not be subscribers to the Omega Letter.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

It is the Power of One that can dispel the clouds of confusion that blind the eyes of the lost.

Jesus, the Great Physician and First Evangelist, outlined our mission for the last days in unmistakable terms, saying, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:37-38)

We are the ‘watchmen on the wall’ for the last days, and it is incumbent upon us to be able to discern the truth and sound the alarm.

It is a grave responsibility — “But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)

Every person we meet in the course of a day has an eternal destiny. Either that person will spend eternity in heaven in the presence of Christ, or they will be cast into a Christless eternity ‘where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’ — “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched,” a destiny so certain that Jesus repeated it three times (Mark 9:44,46,48).

It was the Power of One, manifested through Mordechai Ham, that resulted in the millions of decisions for Christ over the lifetime of Billy Graham’s ministry.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2nd Timothy 1:7)

We have that Power of One through the One Who indwells us. But it is up to us to exercise it.

Instead of praying that the Lord will send forth laborers to His Harvest, pray to be one of the laborers that are to be sent.

You may not be the next Billy Graham. Instead, you may be blessed to be the next Mordechai Ham.

Note:

This morning’s Omega Letter is revisits a topic that came up often during yesterday’s Omega Letter gathering at OL members’ Ken and Georgia Miller’s. We just never know how important our work is to the Kingdom. May God bless each of us as we continue in our service to Him.

“America’s Moral Obligation To Lose the War”

“America’s Moral Obligation To Lose the War”
Vol: 68 Issue: 11 Friday, May 11, 2007

“The immense immorality of the choice to attack Iraq, and base that choice in lies, propaganda and fear is hardly news now. But the fact that, above all else, it was a moral choice means that another moral choice is possible. And only one choice would atone for the original.”

So writes Robert Shetterly in an article for the left-wing CommonDreams.org, under a banner headline explaining America’s “Moral Obligation to Lose the War.”

First, allow me to say that being lectured on morality by a member of the Far Left is a bit like being lectured on marital fidelity by Deborah Jean Palfrey, the “Beltway Madame” who ran the Pamela Martin ‘escort service’.

Among “CommonDreams” better-known columnists are Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) Eric Alterman, Ralph Nader, Jesse Jackson and the ubiquitous Cindy Sheehan.

The ‘morality’ espoused by “Common Dreams” is situational: they support same-sex marriage, abortion on demand, teaching evolution as the only possible explanation for life on earth, oppose school prayer, legalization of marijuana, criminalizing the Bible as ‘hate speech’, openly embrace Marxism as ‘true democracy’ and hold to the position that the only speech protected by the 1st Amendment is that which agrees with their own positions.

Let’s examine, for a moment, the paragraph I quoted at the outset of this column, and see what it reveals about Common Dreams view of what is ‘moral’ and what is not.

First, the “immense immorality of the choice to attack Iraq.” Suppose, for a moment, you are a passerby who stumbles onto a rape in progress. Would you;

a) attempt to save the victim yourself; b) call the police; c) turn your head the other way on the grounds the victim isn’t your wife being raped; or d) defend the perpetrator and denigrate the rescuers?

If you shared the worldview espoused by CommonDreams, your answer would have to be both c) and d). Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was a rape in progress.

In Saddam’s Iraq, political opponents would have their tongues cut out — if they were lucky. If they weren’t so lucky, they might be slowly lowered, feet first, into a tree shredder.

Among the sanctioned methods of torture by officials of Saddam’s government was the practice of actually committing rape. Saddam’s prisons actually had “rape rooms” and his government employed professional rapists.

Saddam’s government used poison gas to wipe out whole villages. (Somehow, in Shetterly’s world, WITHOUT actually possessing any).

Entire villages of families were rounded up, men, women and children, who were then lined up and shot as “collective punishment.” (The offense for which Saddam was ultimately hanged by the post-Saddam Iraqi government.)

This was not propaganda. Mass graves containing the bodies of up to 200,000 people were uncovered by coalition forces, most of whom were murdered post-1991 while the UN stood by and did nothing.

But removing Saddam Hussein was, according to Shetterly, an act of “immense immorality.”

Shetterly claims that the choice to attack Iraq was based in “lies, propaganda and fear.”

Of course, the “lies and propaganda” to which Shetterly referred were the administration’s claims that Saddam had a WMD program, and that the Bush administration used “fear” that Saddam might share those weapons with al-Qaeda for use against the United States.

Every single Western intelligence agency, including those of France, Israel, Great Britain, Russia, Spain and even the United Nations, also believed Saddam was developing WMD. (Especially, as noted above, since he actually USED WMD, both in the 1980-1988 war with Iran, and against his own subjects).

Even most of Saddam’s generals believed Saddam had an advanced WMD program. So did members of his family. Saddam’s sons-in-law defected to Jordan in 1995. One of them, Hussein Kamel, was in charge of Saddam’s WMD program. He provided UNSCOM with documents outlining Saddam’s WMD program.

Now, to the charge that the administration “lied”. For that to be a true accusation, the administration would have to have KNOWN that the Kamel brothers were lying. Both were 2nd cousins of Saddam — in addition to being married to his daughters.

But in 1996, after intermediaries for Saddam Hussein had assured them that all would be forgiven, Hussein Kamel and Saddam Kamel were convinced to return to Iraq with their wives. Immediately upon their return, they were ordered to divorce their wives and were denounced as traitors. They lived three days after returning to Iraq.

How could the administration know that Saddam didn’t have WMD if Lt. General Hussein Kamel and his brother were killed by Saddam for saying so? Every general the CIA was able to get close to said the same thing.

In explaining 1998’s” Operation Desert Fox;” Bill Clinton said the following, (quoting directly from a transcript of his December 16th speech to the nation); “Saddam Hussein must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons.”

In order to lie, one must know the truth. How could Bush know what NOBODY else did, including UNSCOM, Saddam’s own generals, President Clinton, the CIA, the collective assessment of the world’s intelligence agencies — and the eyewitnesses to Saddam’s actual USE of WMD ?

At worst, the administration relied on mistaken intelligence. A mistake is not a lie. It is a mistake. And the fear that Saddam would share his WMD with al-Qaeda was hardly unjustified, given the events of September 11, 2001.

But according to Shetterly, closing Saddam’s rape rooms, disarming his execution squads, putting tree shredders to work shedding trees instead of human beings — all these were acts of extreme immorality.

He writes; “This administration has acted from a position that denigrates human rights, legal rights, moral rights, the rights of decency, inalienable rights, privacy rights, civil rights, women s rights, environmental rights, worker s rights, and children s rights.”

How’s that again?

Assessment:

Shetterly claims that the REAL reason for invading Iraq was to steal Iraq’s oil. He claims:

“None of the offered plans now before us to de-escalate the war disavow what we all know to be its original goals control of Iraq s oil and the building of large, permanent US military bases in Iraq.”

The FIRST part of Iraq’s infrastructure to be turned over to Iraqi control was Iraq’s oil fields. If obtaining cheap Iraqi oil was the goal, then why is gas over three bucks a gallon?

Of the bills aimed at cutting of war funding, Shetterly said this:

“Nor do any of these bills address the central issue of accountability, the fact that this war is a war crime, a crime against our democracy, our Constitution, the Iraqi people, international law, and our own soldiers.”

This statement is so incomprehensibly stupid as to not warrant any more examination than his contention that removing Saddam’s regime denigrated every conceivable form of human rights.

However, his followup statement is: “The problem with the Iraq War is not that we are losing it and that we need a better strategy. The problem is that we have no moral right to win it. As bad as the colossal mismanagement, greed and corruption are, they are not the true issue. Betrayal of the public trust is the issue. Pre-meditated murder is the issue.”

The “true issues” according to Shetterly are those of ‘betrayal of the public trust” and “PREMEDITATED MURDER”!

Forgive me while I practice deep breathing techniques for a second . . . ah. There!

Shetterly is preaching liberal morality by accusing America of premeditated murder. What is premeditated murder?

From the dictionary: “Premeditated murder is the crime of wrongfully causing the death of another human being (also known as homicide) after rationally considering the timing or method of doing so, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension.”

Shetterly isn’t accusing a man. He is accusing America. It is for that reason that he claims America has a moral obligation to lose the war in order to ‘save’ it.

“The War on Iraq should now be described as a war that must be lost in order to save America. That is our moral obligation,” he concludes.

Now, let’s go back and revisit for the umpteenth time, Paul’s description of the last days of the Church Age and compare it with the ‘morality’ espoused by American liberal Leftists like Robert Shetterly.

“. . . men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, TRAITORS, (Paul must have had Shatterly in mind) heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. . .” and the kicker — “Ever learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

Jesus characterized the ‘morality’ espoused by the American Liberal Left this way:

“So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” (Revelation 3:16-17)

The kind of worldview where it is immoral to risk blood and treasure to remove the embodiment of evil in an effort to give total strangers a chance at a better life, where being mistaken is the equivalent to being a liar, and where false accusations are exemplar of a higher moral code.

As Shetterly observes in his screed against his own country, “Since even a racist (and Democrat – ed) like George Wallace can have a Road to Damascus experience, ANYTHING is possible.”

Anything. Even Robert Shetterly and CommonDreams.org.

“Even so, come Lord Jesus.” (Revelation 22:29)

For This They Were Willfully Ignorant. . .

For This They Were Willfully Ignorant. . .
Vol: 68 Issue: 10 Thursday, May 10, 2007

For This They Were Willfully Ignorant. . .

After searching for half his lifetime, Ehud Netzer, an archeologist from Hebrew University, claims to have found, to an historical certainty, the tomb of Herod the Great, ruled Judea from 37 BC to 4 BC.

The tomb was located at the base of Herodium, a man-made mountain on which Herod had build one of his most ornate summer palaces. The tomb is located nine miles south of Jerusalem and east of Bethlehem.

Herod was the king who, according to Matthew, ordered the “Massacre of the Innocents.” Herod had been elected “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate in 40 BC, so the Magi’s claims were news to him.

When the Babylonian astrologers (the Magi) went to Herod to enquire about the birthplace of the “King of the Jews”, he ordered all male children under the age of two years in Bethlehem to be slaughtered, hoping, in the process, to kill this possible challenger to his rule.

The Bible says that Mary and Joseph fled into Egypt to avoid the slaughter, taking the infant Jesus with them.

Like all New Testament accounts, the Massacre of the Innocents is hotly disputed by ‘scholars’ who grow increasingly desperate in their efforts to discount the New Testament as a book of fables.

Many denied the existence of Herod the Great, despite eyewitness accounts of his life, his bloody reign and his slow, miserable and painful death.

Historical accounts by 1st century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus indicated that Herod was buried at Herodium, and Netzer had been excavating there since 1972.

He finally found the grave midway between the upper part of Herodium and the lower palaces, an area not previously studied.

Herod was also the king credited with expanding the second Jewish Temple atop Temple Mount, which was known to history as “Herod’s Temple”. (The Arabs — and in particular, the “Palestinians” continue to deny any such Temple ever existed.)

The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism declined to comment until the site could be examined by a team of Arab archeologists.

Assessment:

It is almost painful to watch the skeptics’ efforts to deconstruct this latest in the long list of archeological finds confirming the accuracy and reliability of the New Testament accounts.

I read through some of the reader’s comments on the story at the website of Canada’s Globe and Mail.

Writing under such names as “Just the Truth From Canada” and “Truth Seeker” one finds comments like, “Ancient Israel, as described in biblical accounts, complete with magnificent gilt palaces, and huge, conquering armies, etc., etc. . . . is not historically accurate, but is folklore, a bunch of tribal fantasies.”

Note that this comment was attached to a story about the discovery of Herod’s tomb in EXACTLY such an ‘magnificent gilt palace’.

Writes another: “Israeli archaeologists probably have no right to dig in the occupied Palestinian West Bank .” To this writer, the discovery is irrelevant to history.

The West Bank is Palestinian, and no stupid historical facts are going to change his mind.

The facts are these, and they ARE facts, even if someone doesn’t like them. There has never been an archeological find that disputes any Bible account. Not a single one.

Pontius Pilate was once deemed by those claiming to be ‘scholars’ to be a New Testament myth. Why? Because there was no archeological confirmation. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, the absence of evidence was universally accepted by liberal ‘scholars’ as evidence of absence.

But in 1962, an inscription was found in the town of Caesarea that said, “Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea, has presented the Tiberium to the Caesareans.”

Sir William Ramsay, one of the greatest archeologists in history, was a confirmed atheist when set out on a quest to disprove the historical accuracy of Luke. What he discovered was that Luke was historically accurate to the tiniest detail. His conclusions?

“I began with a mind unfavorable to it…but more recently I found myself brought into contact with the Book of Acts as an authority for the topography, antiquities, and society of Asia Minor. It was gradually borne upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.”

Consequently, Ramsay wrote, “Luke is a historian of first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the very greatest of historians.”

Sir William Ramsay died a Christian.

Dr. William F. Albright, initially as skeptical as Dr. Ramsay, eventually came to write;

“The excessive skepticism shown toward the Bible [by certain schools of thought] has been progressively discredited. Discovery after discovery has established the accuracy of numerous details.”

Caiaphas, the High Priest of the Sanhedrin who ordered the execution of Jesus, was another such New Testament myth until the Caiaphas family tomb was accidentally discovered by workers constructing a road in a park just south of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Other recent archeological digs have uncovered:

1) The synagogue at Capernaum where Jesus cured a man with an unclean spirit and delivered the sermon on the bread of life.

2) The house of Peter at Capernaum where Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law and others.

3) Jacob’s well where Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman.

4) The Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a crippled man.

5) The Pool of Siloam in Jerusalem, where Jesus healed a blind man.

6) The tribunal at Corinth where Paul was tried.

7) The theater at Ephesus where the riot of silversmiths occurred.

8) Herod’s palace at Caesarea where Paul was kept under guard.

9) An Egyptian parchment confirming the census order that brought Mary and Joseph out of Egypt to Bethlehem to be taxed.

There are at least thirty-nine verifiable extra-Biblical accounts, (including 17 non-Christian sources, that bear witness from outside the New Testament to over 100 details about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Apart from archeology, there is the question of logic. Dr. Ramsay and Dr. Albright both confirm, using scientific, archeological and historical evidences, Luke’s accuracy as an historian.

It is not logical to assume that, although accurate in every possible confirmable aspect, Luke lied about Jesus and then permitted himself to be martyred for that lie.

Neither is it logical to assume that, since Luke confirms the rest of the Gospel writers, they also allowed themselves to be put to death to preserve a lie.

It is illogical to argue that they were sincere, but that they were deceived about Who Jesus was.

Each recorded more or less identical events, under more or less identical circumstances. If it were one witness, one might assume he was mentally unbalanced, or hallucinating.

But twelve?

(Plus the uncounted multitudes who, within living memory of Jesus, gladly embraced martyrdom at Roman hands for their witness?)

The discovery of Herod’s Tomb is just one more rock atop a mountain of overwhelming evidence confirming the reliability of the New Testament accounts. Keep in mind that in every case, (every single solitary case) where evidence DOES exist, it confirms the Bible account.

Not one shred of archeological evidence disputes a single point of the Gospel account. At worst, there remain unconfirmed details.

It is upon such thin suppositions as the absence of confirmatory evidence that Bible skeptics build their argument that the Bible is an unreliable book of myths.

As each new piece of evidence is uncovered, they scurry to seek some other unconfirmed detail to replace it as the bedrock of their argument.

Peter predicted that “there shall come in the last days, scoffers,” explaining the motive for their skepticism as “walking after their own lusts.”

Paul, in describing the ‘strong delusion’ gave as the motivation for their rejection of the truth the fact that they ‘had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:11)

The skeptic delights in arguing that a righteous God would never condemn someone to eternal damnation just because they were unable to believe. I agree. God doesn’t condemn unbelievers because they CAN’T believe. They condemn themselves because they WON’T believe. Peter called them “willingly ignorant.”

There is more historical and documentary evidence attesting to the life and times of Jesus Christ than there is of Julius Caesar. But there are no skeptics of whom I am aware that have dedicated their lives and fortunes to denying the existence of Julius Caesar.

It takes conscious, deliberate effort — and a lot of it — to convince oneself, especially in the face of such overwhelming evidence, that Jesus Christ was less an historical figure than Julius Caesar.

There is no price, real or perceived, attached to belief in Julius Ceasar.

Belief in Jesus Christ, however, demands a change in perspective. Logically, if one believes in eternal accountability before a Righteous Judge, it therefore follows that it would throw a damper on the ‘pleasure of unrighteousness’.

In the final analysis, there is but one sin for which the unbeliever will stand convicted.

“Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.” (Matthew 12:31)

The term ‘blasphemy’ can best be understood as ‘defiant irreverence’. It is a state of defiant unbelief, despite the evidence. Or, as Peter describes it, “willful ignorance.”

“Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost” can be understood as a continued and persistently stubborn rejection of the gospel of salvation. This would be THE “unpardonable sin” because as long as a person remains in unbelief, he voluntarily excludes himself from forgiveness of sin.

It isn’t God that condemns the unbeliever to eternal separation in the Lake of Fire.

The unbeliever condemns himself by his choice to believe a lie, preferring instead, as Peter noted, to walk after their own lusts, thus ignoring the evidence out of willful ignorance.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The same choice faces us all.

Starbucks No More

Starbucks No More
Vol: 68 Issue: 9 Wednesday, May 9, 2007

It is a shame. Despite the fact it is overpriced, I confess that I always LIKED Starbucks coffee. But I will never put another penny into Starbucks coffers.

Starbucks has launched an incomprehensibly stupid promotion in which it posts selected messages submitted by its customers on various subjects.

I seldom get outraged the way I was when I read a story, complete with a photo of the offending cup, in the Cincinatti Post yesterday.

Under the heading, “The Way I See It”, Starbucks published the following:

“Why in moments of crisis do we ask God for strength and help? As cognitive beings, why would we ask something that may well be a figment of our imaginations for guidance? Why not search inside ourselves for the power to overcome? After all, we are strong enough to cause most of the catastrophes we need to endure.”

The quote was written by Bill Schell, a Starbucks customer from London, Ontario, Canada, (where else?) and was included as part of an effort by the Seattle-based coffee giant to “collect different viewpoints and spur discussion.”

I did a bit more digging and found the following quote from a Starbucks coffee cup in a related story on WorldnetDaily:

“My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don’t make that mistake yourself. Life’s too d**n short.”

Starbucks has a disclaimer on its website that says, “The opinions put forth by contributors to The Way I See It do not necessarily reflect the views of Starbucks.”

Starbucks has evidently expanded into the deli business, since that is usually where one goes if one is looking for baloney. What do you bet that nobody will send me an example of a Starbucks cup that opposes abortion?

Or one that discusses sexual abstinence outside of marriage? Or, horror of horrors, one that expresses a view that being gay isn’t normal?

The dictionary defines “normal” this way: “In behavior, normal means not deviating very much from the average.”

If even 10% of the population is gay, (a figure disputed as wildly inflated) then by definition, 90% of the population is not. If 50% constitutes ‘average’ then does it not follow that 90% vs 10% constitutes “deviating very much from the average”?

Or is arithmetic to join language on the trash heap of political correctness? Orwell would have been proud.

Starbucks also offers a place on its website where customers can offer up their own words of “wisdom” or, alternatively, render their opinion about the comments that Starbucks selected for publication.

Make no mistake about it. Starbucks SELECTS the opinions that it claims “do not necessarily reflect their corporate views.” They admit in their FAQ page that comments must ‘fit within the scope of our editorial guidelines.” What ARE their ‘editorial guidelines?’

I searched their website in vain looking for the answer to THAT question. But I doubt rather seriously that the comment I posted at Starbucks will fit within those editorial guidelines, (whatever they may be):

“Regarding “The Way I See It”

“Here’s the way I see it. Your disclaimer that it isn’t your opinion is meaningless. You wouldn’t have published an anti-gay opinion on your cups. You wouldn’t have published an anti-aborton opinion on your cups. But you DID publish an anti-God message by Bill Schell. Hard for me to believe.

I used to buy Starbucks coffee every time I passed one of your stores. My wife used to buy Starbucks coffee at the grocery store. The operative word here is “used to.”

You clearly care nothing about offending ME. I will not only boycott all things Starbucks, I will encourage everyone I know to do the same. I am outraged.

It matters not whether you publish my comment. I will never know. It’s a shame. I liked your coffee. A lot more, evidently, than you liked my business.”

Assessment:

My first thought was that Starbucks corporate mind is so open that its corporate brain has escaped. After all, more than 90% of Americans, according to virtually every single poll on the topic, express a belief in God.

The CIA World Factbook, under the category of ‘religion’ indicates America is 87% Christian. I’ve not seen any poll to support it, but I would hazard a guess that more Americans self-identify as Christian than self-identify as liking coffee. What in the world would possess an American company openly express its disdain for its single largest customer demographic?

The Apostle Paul offers this suggestion: “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” (Romans 1:28)

Antagonizing the vast majority of its customers in order to advance atheism doesn’t sound very ‘convenient’ — especially if one wants to keep selling one’s product to that same majority, does it?

I went to the blogosphere to see what the opinion out on the net was. I found very little, but I did find one comment from Scienceblogs under the title, “OMG, Thoughts on Coffee Cups.”

The blogger, one Ed Brayton, took exception to the same WND story, which he characterized this way:

“The Worldnutdaily is throwing a fit because a statement on a Starbucks coffee cup caused an Ohio woman to have to think.”

Here we find the quintessential liberal double-standard in action. “Causing her to think?” Doesn’t expressing her opinion that it was offensive qualify as “thought?” Evidently, ‘thinking’ means agreeing with Brayton.

“Throwing a fit?” The lady quoted by Worldnetdaily said that, having read the slogan on the cup, “I don’t think there needs to be religious dialogue on it. I just want coffee.” before adding, “I wouldn’t feel right going back.” Quite a fit, indeed!

“Doing what she felt was right!” Horrors!

The “open-minded” assessment given here is that people who believe in God don’t think. The province of thought is therefore reserved for gay rights activists or pro-choice activists, or, in this case, pro-evolutionists, since they evidently think the “right” way.

Wrote Brayton, “Funny, the Worldnutdaily didn’t complain when some Starbucks cups contained this [pro Intelligent Design] statement:”

“Darwinism’s impact on traditional social values has not been as benign as its advocates would like us to believe. Despite the efforts of its modern defenders to distance themselves from its baleful social consequences, Darwinism’s connection with eugenics, abortion and racism is a matter of historical record. And the record is not pretty. – Jonathan Wells.”

Why would anybody complain about a statement of fact? It is a provable fact that Darwinism is historically connected to eugenics, abortion and racism. It isn’t an opinion.

And how does assessing Darwinism’s historical shortcomings automatically qualify as ‘pro Intelligent Design’? Couldn’t it also qualify as a statement designed to make Mr. Brayton think?

In any case, it clearly didn’t make Mr. Brayton think, did it? He still embraces Darwinism as gospel, whilst he found the anti-God statement contained on the cup ‘mildly interesting’.

I wonder if he found Wells’ quote ‘mildly interesting?’ Or even “thought-provoking?” Doubtful, given his nickname for WND — and his dismissal of its readership as; “Worldnutdaily.”

Brayton’s website is all about keeping religious beliefs out of the public discourse. Except when they express a religious view with which he agrees. Those are perfectly ok. That’s free speech. If he disagrees, well, then that’s NOT free speech.

I noted in his archives, a story about an airport employee who quoted Leviticus 20:13 over an airport intercom published under the headline, “Airport Anti-Gay Preacher Caught”.

“Caught” — you know, like a mugger or a rapist. Carefully loaded word. But when Brayton quoted the Miami Herald, the quote said, “an airport employee told his bosses that he was responsible. . . ”

So he wasn’t “caught”. He admitted he was the Bible-quoter to his bosses.

Brayton commented, “Should the person be fired? Absolutely. And no, this is not a free speech issue.”

It’s perfectly acceptable to be anti-God, but quoting the Bible is not free speech.

But what do I know? I was offended. But that doesn’t qualify as an expression of thought, since I failed to find it even ‘mildly interesting.’

Note:

If you want to share your opinion with Starbucks, here is the link:

http://www.starbucks.com/retail/thewayiseeit_comments.asp