At Such an Hour As Ye Think Not . . .

At Such an Hour As Ye Think Not . . .
Vol: 98 Issue: 21 Saturday, November 21, 2009

For the first time, Federal Reserve officials are using the word ‘deflation’ in their discussions about the economy and where it is headed. The word has also enjoyed a growth in usage among business reporters:

“Federal Reserve officials on Thursday downplayed the consequences of the falling U.S. dollar, underscoring that deflation is still a threat, especially with commercial real estate prices falling.”

Deflation is inflation’s evil twin.  Inflation is bad news because it raises prices.  Inflation is the result of too much money chasing too few goods, causing prices to spiral upward until the bubble bursts and prices have to fall back to earth.

The effect the bursting bubble has on the economy is called ‘recession’ because the economy is receding, like waves receding on the shoreline.

Deflation is what happens when prices begin to spiral downward.  Deflation sounds like good news, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Rapid weight loss sounds good to a dieter, too.  Until it turns out to be because of cancer.   That is what deflation actually is — a kind of economic cancer. 

Deflation is generally the result of excessive production capacity leading to an oversupply of goods relative to demand.

Too many goods chasing too few dollars results in falling prices.  But falling prices reduce returns on investments, reducing the investment pool. 

As prices continue to spiral downward, consumers begin to hang onto cash, rather than spend it,  knowing that if they wait, the prices will fall still more. At that point, we’ve moved from dieting to a wasting disease. 

It stops being a good thing.

Deferred purchases lead to more inventory.  Too much inventory means idle factories and worker layoffs, which in turn further reduce domestic demand.  The cycle functions much like an economic cancer, a wasting disease that continues to consume its own body.

Unchecked inflation leads to economic recession.  Unchecked deflation leads to economic depression.  That is why deflation is the evil twin.   Instead of receding, the economy is deflating.  

The 1929 Stock Market Crash was caused by exactly the same forces that caused the Crash of 08. High consumer debt, ill-regulated markets, foreign trade imbalances, growing wealth inequality and government interference with market forces.

In response to the Crash, the Hoover administration passed protectionist trade policies, similar to the Obama administration’s “Buy American” clauses in the TARP bill

In 1929, federal government expenditures only equalled 20% of GDP. 

In 1933, to avoid defaulting on the US national debt, the Roosevelt administration confiscated all the private gold in the United States which was then shipped to Europe to satisfy America’s creditors. 

Government spending resulted in a brief period of economic improvement — a ‘dead cat bounce’ that ended with the Recession of 1937. By 1939, the size of the federal goverment had tripled. 

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged last year that the Federal Reserve policies of the time, were actually responsible for both the depth and severity of the 1930’s Depression. 

(Then, following last year’s crash, he embarked on exactly the same course.)

Business leaders complained that the Roosevelt administration was too cozy with labor and the union movement and that his policies were anti-business.  It was an historical mirror-image of the current administration’s.

They argued the New Deal had been very hostile to business expansion, had encouraged massive strikes which had a negative impact on major industries such as automobiles, and had threatened massive anti-trust legal attacks on big corporations.

In the current situation, the government bought the corporations and, in the case of GM and Chrysler, effectively turned them over to the unions.  

It’s been said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over, hoping that this time they will bring a different result.   By that definition, the current administration is as mad as a hatter.

But if the historical parallels hold, there will be one bright spot.  Between 1930 and 1935, the illegal alien population actually reversed itself as they began heading in the other direction.

Not much of a silver lining, but we have to grab ’em where we see ’em.

Assessment:

According to Bible prophecy,  the only world superpower in existence during the Tribulation Period is the revived Roman Empire under antichrist.  

Russia is a major power, but it one of four major sphers of power. And there is no regional or global power resembling the United States in evidence.

The USSR collapsed in 1991, just as the European Union was beginning its planned political integration.  The United States was at the zenith of its power and influence when it took on the role of mediator between Israel and the Arabs at the Oslo signing in 1993.

By 2001, it was reeling from the attacks of September 11.  By 2009, its military forces are in disarray, its economy is on life support, its dollar is collapsing and its position as the world’s remaining superpower in dire jeopardy.

Every bit of this was prophesied by the Bible to occur in a single generation, somewhere in time.  The benchmark against which end times Bible prophecy is measured is the restoration of Israel.  Until Israel resumed her seat at the table of nations, Bible prophecy was in suspended animation.

The moment that Israel raised her flag, the rest of the players began taking their places.  On January 1st, 1948 nothing was in place.   By year’s end, everything was in place.

The 1948 GATT Treaty created a global economic system. The 1948 Berlin Airlift began the Cold War that shaped every subsequent political alliance and policy decision for the next forty years.  The 1948 Benelux Treaty started the drive toward European Union.  

Red China,  North Korea, the Seven Dragon Nations, India, Pakistan, Burma, Northern Ireland . . . they all sprang into existence at the same point in history. 

So did UFO’s, killer smog, and the first Supreme Court decision banning school prayer in the United States.

So what does this all have to do with current economic situation?  Bible prophecy depicts the restoration of Israel as the seminal event that starts the countdown to the 2nd Coming of Christ.  

I believe Bible prophecy also depicts the collapse of the global economy as the seminal event that starts the countdown to the end of the Church Age and the onset of the Tribulation Period.  

Once the slide begins, it will continue until economic and military superpower passes to Europe.

It took from 1929 to 1933 to force the US to the point of confiscating private gold to satisfy its debts and forestall national bankruptcy.  Using those historical figures as a benchmark, we should hit that point about the same time as the next presidential election cycle in 2012.

Except this time, there isn’t enough gold in the entire world to satisfy our creditors, answering the question, “Why isn’t America mentioned in Bible prophecy?”

But I don’t want to leave you terrified.  I want you to see what it means.  The economic slide has begun, but look at where it is leading.  Straight to the Rapture. 

“Oh no, not the Rapture again!  You’ve been telling me “it’s almost here!” for more than eight years and it is STILL ‘almost’ here.”

That’s exactly the way the Lord outlined it.  The signs are coming fast and furious, just as He said they would. 

The global deception is rampant, there are more false Christs out there than there are ‘Smiths’ in a New York phone book,  we’re neck-deep in wars and rumours of wars, on edge over global warming, falling space rocks and the next pandemic. . .

But not yet.  There is still much to do. 

Don’t despair.  And don’t give up sounding the alarm.  The scarier it gets, the more we are reassured. The Lord is holding off until the last possible moment, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

The Rapture is a secret event that takes place without any warning signs at all. 

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.”

 The signs of the last days are not to warn us — we’re already saved. What can the world do to us? 

The signs are given us for use in warning others. 

“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from Me.  Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.” (Ezekiel 3:18-19)

Time is short, but the job is enormous.  We still have plenty of work left to do. There really isn’t time to be scared. 

The Lord’s coming back.  Quick!  Look busy!

The James Factor and Eternal Insecurity

The James Factor and Eternal Insecurity
Vol: 98 Issue: 20 Friday, November 20, 2009

One of the points raised in opposition to yesterday’s position on grace is that a study of the Schofield New Testament found no less than twenty-nine verses that call on us to be perfect, even as our heavenly Father is perfect. 

Futher, “not one of them uses the words “Try to be perfect”, or use the term “I know this is impossible, but you should at least try”. 

I agree completely with this objection, as phrased.   There is no equivocation on this subject. Matthew 5:48 contains the proof text used for this objection: 

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 

I not only agree that there is no equivocation in this verse, without even knowing what the other 28 verses cited are, I will stipulate that none of those verses equivocate on the requirement for perfection, either.

There is no need to equivocate.  A little further into Matthew, Jesus is asked specifically what it takes to achieve that level of perfection. 

“Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”  

There is no equivocation here, either.  

If you haven’t sold all that you have and given it to the poor and become an intinerant preacher of the Gospel, then you have not even attempted to obey the obligation to be “perfect” imposed by Scripture.  If indeed perfection is mandated, then only homeless Christians are eternally secure.

One can search all over the Bible for another way to interpret ‘perfect’ but one will NOT find a statement more unambiguously clear than the statement, attributed to Jesus Christ, that begins, “If thou wilt be perfect. . .” 

Luke 6:40 gives a similar definition of perfect, albeit without such specificity:  “The disciple is not above his Master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his Master.”  

“And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.”  (Luke 9:58) 

Reading this literally, it can only have one understanding. The Master was homeless.  To be ‘perfect’ — as mandated by Jesus Christ  — the disciple should be also.

There is another understanding of what the Lord means by ‘perfect’ as expressed in Luke 13:32: 

“And He said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.”  

What happens on the third day that “perfects” the perfect Man?  The Resurrection that followed His execution on the Cross. Not for His sins.  But for mine.

So, by the definition of Scripture, if salvation includes the unequivocal responsibility to be perfect,  then one must give up all he has, become homeless and ultimately die for the crimes of another.

That isn’t some clever way to twist Scripture. It is the ONLY definition of perfect given by Jesus Christ in response to a direct question on that specific subject.   I am taking an extreme example?   I don’t think so. 

If there is another definition that is different, was expressed by the Lord Himself in reply to that specific question,  then I cannot find it.  

Jesus, by His own assessment,  was perfected when He showed the greatest love for a human being to possibly express.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that He lay down His life for his friends.”   

Believing the whole Bible does not nullify teaching one finds inconvenient to a particular viewpoint. The whole Bible teaches Jesus plus nothing equals salvation.

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians2:21)

There is another way to obey the 29 different times that we are unequivocally admonished to be perfect besides poverty, homelessness and martyrdom.   It is expressed in equally unequivocal terms by the writer of Hebrews:

“For by ONE offering He [Jesus] hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.”  (Hebrews 10:14)

“Sanctified” (Greek: hagiazo) means “to make holy, to be made holy, to purify or consecrate.”  Them that are sanctified are them that are made holy, purified and consecrated.

So, there are two ways given in Scripture whereby a Christian can obey the unequivocal admonition to be perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect.

We can sell our possessions and become itinerant preachers whose life’s goal is martyrdom.   Or we can be perfected forever by our faith that Jesus did it for us.  

Most people know exactly when and where they were saved and sanctified.  I recall the place and I recall the message and I recall the moment I knew I was washed clean.  

If there is a similarly precise point at which one can lose one’s salvation, it will help clear away a major obstacle to convincing me.  Is it a particular sin?  A particular series of sins?  A particular period of time? 

If there is a point at which one loses one’s salvation, what point is that?   At which point in a Christian’s life is God finished with them?  

When does God get so exasperated that He revokes His Holy Spirit and transforms the Christian back into the Jew or Gentile they had been previously?

When does the Lord decide that you are just too hard a case to save?   These are important questions, since I am betting my eternity on the answers.

Let’s clear away one bush to duck behind — let’s assume that our subject was as sincere as you were when you were saved. 

Let’s say our subject remembers the place, the time and the hour that their sins were washed away and they recognized the indwelling Holy Spirit.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” says Romans 8:16. Let’s assume that really happens and our subject experienced that joy. 

But he still wrestles with sin, and oftentimes loses the battle.  He still hasn’t whipped his besetting sin, whatever it is.  Pick something horrible like drug addiction,  just to make it even harder.

Having eliminated the argument that “he wasn’t really saved in the first place” argument, the faith plus works argument is only left with the possibility that there are some people for whom the Blood of Christ is not enough. 

Assessment:

The strongest argument, if there is one, against the doctrine of eternal security is the Book of James.  I believe it the strongest Scriptural argument because it is the one most often cited.

Before going to the specifics, some background information.

Paul was an apostle called to the Gentiles because his background made him suitable to that calling.  Paul was a former Pharisee who hunted down and killed the earliest Christians in the Jerusalem area.  

His pedigree worked against him among the Jews who saw him as a turncoat.  Paul was much more acceptable to the Gentiles. And the Gentiles didn’t have the extra religious baggage to overcome that the Jews had.

Peter and James were, respectively, the first of the twelve chosen and the Lord’s biological half-brother.  That gave both tremendous credibility among the Jews.  

Both understood, and presented the Gospel in the context that would best anticipate the objections an observant Jew might instinctively have.

That doesn’t mean they taught a different doctrine.  It means they differed in their approach according to the context in which their audience understood the subject under discussion. 

It is one thing to offer to add to the common understanding of the “Unknown God” of the Greeks.  It was quite another to attempt to redefine the Jewish understanding of Yahweh as one God to include two previously-unrevealed Personalities as part of a triune Godhead.  

In any case, James spends the first chapter discussing religion as the Jews understand it.   James concludes the first chapter with this summary: 

“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  (James 1:27)

One might argue that James is endorsing salvation by works here, except that James is addressing religion, not salvation.  If religion and salvation are the same thing, then all religions must lead to salvation.

James summarizes the problem with keeping the Jewish law in the next chapter: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”   (James 2:10)  

Every person within earshot knew the Law, and they knew they were guilty as charged.  It hardly sounds like James is advocating the keeping of the law as part of the path to salvation.

James then launches an indictment against the Pharisees and Sadducees that kept the letter of the law while defying its intent.  Note that James is simply continuing the theme of the  Lord’s ‘generation of vipers’ speech to the religious leaders when He likened  them to whited sepulchres containing dead men’s bones.

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?  If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” James 2:14-17

Viewed apart from its historical context,  one could easily conclude that James says that one is not saved by faith alone, but also by doing good works.  

And if it were not for the preponderance of verses like “by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, lest any man should boast,” that conclusion could be justified. 

But to justify reaching that singular conclusion expressed only by James and only in the form of a rhetorical question: “Can faith alone save him?” as a proof text,  against every verse that says faith plus nothing equals salvation is an example of seeking a proof text for a pretext out of context.

Rahab the Harlot was a story known to every Jewish schoolboy.  That’s why James used Rahab as an example.  But read it in context.  The ‘justification by works’ of Rahab the harlot was argued in the context of faith being counted for righteousness, not as wages for works received. 

James is preaching to a religious system that exclusively recognized works and strict obedience to the Ten Commandments as the only path to salvation. 

Yet James was also preaching that their same God had imposed that system and now He was introducing a new one. James must be understood in context.  If not, one must  change the ‘salvation equation’ from Jesus plus nothing to Jesus plus something and without contradicting the entire testimony of the rest of the New Testament.

It is to be remembered that the topic of the briefing that raised these objections was the understanding of the concept of grace.  

Another objection contended that “grace that doesn’t change you is not grace at all.”  To me, this exemplifies the confusion that arises from trying to reconcile two mutually-exclusive systems [grace and the Law]  and see them as one.

The primary meaning of “Grace”  (charis) as pointed out yesterday  means,  “gift” but can also mean acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanksworthy.

Substituting the primary meaning for the actual word grace, the objection then reads, “A gift that doesn’t change you isn’t a gift at all”.  

It isn’t my intention to argue that good works are not evidence of salvation.  Of course they are. 

And if a person has no good works at all, then he’s a pretty sorry example of humanity in the first place, let alone an example of a Christian.  I’ve never personally met anyone whom I really believe never did a good work in his life.  

But saying good works are evidence of salvation is not the same as saying good works are required for salvation. 

If that were true, it would mean that the Cross was just a downpayment. Now it is up to me to keep up the installments.  That doesn’t sound like a free gift. 

It sounds more like the deal I made with Chrysler in exchange for my pickup truck.

Doctrine of Demons

Doctrine of Demons
Vol: 98 Issue: 19 Thursday, November 19, 2009

The concept of ‘grace’ is one of such sublime simplicity that it has become one of the most complicated topics in Christian theology.   Right off the bat, there’s a clue as to the magnitude of the complications it presents.  

Grace, as a concept, owes its mind-bending complexity to its basic simplicity.

It is so simple that entire religious denominations have come into existence trying to decipher it’s simplicity.   The concept is so basic and rudimentary that it is hard to believe — for some, it is impossible to believe. 

So they complicate it until they find it believable.

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty,” Paul writes in his first letter the Corinthinas (1:27).

The word translated ‘foolish’ is translated from a derivative of the Greek, musterion meaning ‘a mystery’.  “Confound” is from kataischuno, meaning to ‘bring shame.’  

Those being confounded are “the wise” (Greek; “sophos” meaning, wise, worldly, sophisticated) to whom the simple concept of grace remains a mystery, even after being saved.  Grace is a mystery to those are wise in their own eyes. 

1st Corinthians 1:27 is little more than an elaboration of the obvious as recorded by Solomon 1,000 years earlier:  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)

The biggest obstacle to overcome when attempting to understand ‘grace’ is that we tend to see it only from our own perspective.    But we are the recipients of that grace, not the Author of it. When viewed from God’s perspective,  it doesn’t look the same.

The Bible defines wisdom as thinking God’s way and reminds us that it is through wisdom that one gains understanding.  

“For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” (Proverbs 2:6)

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)

Why so much division and discord among the brethren regarding this single topic?  Again, the best place to seek understanding is to delve into wisdom’s Source Code:

“Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.” (Proverbs 13:10)

We discussed the Spirit speaking ‘expressly’ and what that means in Tuesday’s OL:  “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

One of the most seductive spirits to a Christian is the spirit of legalism. “Legalism” in its most basic form, is the attempt to live a life pleasing to God by the principle of the law. 

That is to say, we are saved by grace through faith, but now that we’re saved, we must maintain our own salvation by adhering to the same law by which we were condemned.

It is seductive because it sounds true.  It suits our logic.  It follows our own understanding.   It redirects our trust towards something more tangible than in an invisible God and an ancient Sacrifice.  

We know the law — look at the list of things that are forbidden to Christians.   Everybody’s list is different, but we ALL have a list.   You don’t think so?  

Ever hear of a Christian being arrested for some heinous crime and wonder if the guy was really a Christian?  “How could he be a Christian and do that?”    (So whatever that was, it is on your ‘forbidden to Christians’ list.)

There is nothing that can compare with that bright, shining moment when our sins were first washed away. We never feel cleaner in our own eyes than we do at the moment of salvation. 

As we run our race through the entanglements of this world, we sometimes try to recapture that incomparable moment — and failing, we start to doubt our continued cleanliness.  The more we’re tempted, the harder we try. The harder we try, the more we are tempted.

Hal tells a story of a luxury hotel built on a pier with oceanfront balcony windows. On opening day, the manager, a fisherman, worried that people would be tempted to fish off the balconies.

He feared the windows in the lower rooms might get broken when they cast their weighted lines into the wind. So he ordered signs posted in all the rooms strictly forbidding fishing from the balconies.  People fished anyway. Windows got broken. 

In a staff meeting called to discuss the problem, somebody suggested simply removing the signs.  As soon as the signs were gone, so was the temptation to fish off balconies.

There is a saying to the effect ‘laws are made to be broken’ — the very existence of a law is a source of temptation — a principle sometimes expressed in another old saying about ‘forbidden fruit being the sweetest’. 

There is a old Abbot and Costello routine about chocolate cake diet.  “A chocolate cake diet?” says straight man Bud Abbot. “You can’t lose any weight on a chocolate cake diet!”  

“I know,” Costello says, before delivering the punch line, “But I’m never tempted to cheat.”

People on a diet are tempted by the things that are forbidden them.  If you can eat anything you want,  there is no temptation. 

Are you starting to see where I am going?  The Spirit expressly labeled them ‘seducing spririts’ because their doctrine is so seductive.   The doctrine of demons seduces you into forging your own chains to replace the old ones that fell off when you first got saved.

The more things on your personal “forbidden to Christians” list, the more temptations you have to fight off.  Nobody bats 1000 every time, so that wonderful, incomparable feeling of cleanliness we once had, grows more distant and seemingly unattainable. 

Your constant battle and your consistent failures gnaw at you and wear down your spirit.  You wonder if you were ever saved.  Or worse, if you have lost your salvation.   

“. . .and the last state of that man is worse than the first”, Matthew 12:45.

Assessment:

We began our discussion with the discussion of grace and the simplicity of it all.  We are saved by grace through faith that payment for our sins was made at the Cross and that the Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. 

Everything in the above statement that comes after the word ‘grace’ is the direct result of grace.

The mechanism whereby we are saved is that our sins are covered by the Blood of Christ, shed as full payment for the sins of the world.   

Dwell on that for a second.   The sins of the world.  The whole world.  From the moment of creation to this present hour.   You — everything you are, all you know, all you’ve experienced, everything you’ve ever done or ever will do — compared to every sinner and every sin ever committed in the history of man.  

You know that the Blood of Christ was sufficient for them.   But you’re different?  

Wisdom is thinking God’s way, and God’s way of thinking is expressed by His Word.  Understanding comes from seeking wisdom in God’s Word and seeing its application to a given situation.

Legalism as a doctrine is a seduction against which the Spirit expressly warned.  The Law had a purpose — it tells us exactly how far we can go without sinning.  But by definition, we find that line by crossing it.

Now we are on the other side.  God knows that.  He designed things that way. 

The Law was created for the express purpose of exposing the impossible nature of sin so man would know he needed salvation. Salvation reveals the need to walk close to God.  But not for the purpose of currying His favor with good works, but rather for protection against the temptations of the law.

That’s why we are not under the law, but under grace. (Romans 6:14-15)   

Under grace, God accepts us based on the fact we are in Christ and judged according to Christ’s performance on our behalf. Under the law, we are judged exclusively on our own performance.

Law and grace are therefore each complete systems unto themselves.  They are also mutually exclusive.  To mix these principles robs the law of its terror and grace of its graciousness.

Grace cannot be made complicated, despite our best efforts, because in the end, it only means one thing, and every expression of that meaning carries with it the very flavor of heaven.

‘Grace” (Greek: charis) means ‘gift’ — but it means so much more than that. 

It also means acceptable, benefit, favor, joy, liberality, pleasure, thanksworthy, —  the word ‘grace’ carries so much yet it weighs so little on the mind.  Grace cannot be appropriated, it can only be offered freely, or it is no longer grace.

And grace cannot be rescinded, or it was never grace to begin with.  

“Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved:) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: that in the age to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.”

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and than not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:5-8)

“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)  

In Hebrew, “Abba” means, “Daddy.”

Special Report: The Tyrants of Tolerance

Special Report: The Tyrants of Tolerance
Vol: 98 Issue: 18 Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Southern Poverty Law Center is the self-appointed champion of civil rights and self proclaimed leader in advancing tolerance in America.   There is an entire section on the website devoted to the subject of ‘teaching tolerance’.   

I watched Bill O’Reilly interview the director of the SPLC on his program last night — it was utterly chilling.  He had J. Richard Cohen on the program as a followup to a segment earlier this year in which Cohen vowed to pressure CNN until it fired anchor Lou Dobbs. 

O’Reilly bet Cohen it would never happen and later invited Cohen back after Dobbs stepped down to acknowledge Cohen won the bet and to ask him how he did it.

Cohen then explained the tactics he used to have Lou Dobbs silenced.  Far from learning about tolerance, what came to mind was the famous quote by 19th century German poet Heinrich Heine: “Wherever they burn books, in the end will also burn human beings.”

Sixty years after his death, Heine’s books were among those piled up by the Nazi brownshirts as Jewish “hate literature” and burned in giant public bonfires.  It was the Nazi way of silencing their critics.  In the 21st century, the practice of silencing one’s critics has been transformed into a shining example of progressive tolerance.

The ‘right’ kind of tolerance, that is.  The SPLC-approved version.  The SPLC website is festooned with signs about “Standing Strong Against Hate” and even included a handy “Hate Group Map”.

Listed among the SPLC’s designated hate groups in the New York Region are The Catholic Families News, The Council of Conservative Citizens, the Jewish Defense League, and Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.  

I just picked New York at random — the SPLC has hate groups in every state.

The Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t have a definition of hate but if you click on the link for ‘general hate’ it takes you to a page listing entitled “Active US Hate Groups in 2008”.  

There one finds listed such hateful groups as Chick Publications — the publishing group that produces those little evangelistic comic book tracts people usually leave in bus stations and public restrooms.

I’ve seen some of them. They are truly hateful — they say that if you don’t get saved through trusting Jesus Christ then you’ll go to hell — which it says is just what you richly deserve.  That sounds pretty hateful, even if they do explain how you can go to heaven instead.   

Especially to atheists.   They get real mad at the idea of being tossed into a hell they don’t believe exists just because they reject the offer of a mythical heaven and a God-given Savior.

They think it’s hateful and intolerant to exclude them.  And just as hateful and intolerant to offer them the chance to trust Jesus.  Like they need forgiveness!  The nerve of those hateful people!

I have to admit that I don’t know much about Tony Alamo or Catholic Families or the Council of Conservative Citizens.  Maybe they are hate-mongers with innocent sounding names.

But if one looks around, it doesn’t take long before one runs across more well-known purveyors of hate and sedition.

The  SPLC’s “Intelligence Report” alerts the public to such anti-government subversives as Sean Hannity, Chuck Norris, US Rep Michelle Bachman [R-Mn]  Texas Governor Rick Perry and Fox Business reporter Cody Willard.  

In an editorial warning of” The Return of the Militias‘ editor Mark Potok first explains how the evil militias first raised their shaved heads,

“Sparked by a combination of anger at the federal government and the deaths of political dissenters at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas.” 

Randy Weaver was a hater.  So who cares if his wife and son were murdered by FBI snipers?   David Koresh was a hater.  So who cares if the FBI shot up a building full of women and kids and then beseiged the place until all 81 of them died in a fire?

The SPLC exists to guard against intolerance and injustice. Not to whine about a few deaths at the hands of the Clinton administration.  If it were the Bush administration,  well, Potok can’t say, because:

“by early this century, the Patriots had largely faded, weakened by systematic prosecutions, aversion to growing violence, and a new, highly conservative president. . .

“A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man.”

You see, the folks at the SPLC aren’t racists. But they can’t imagine the possibility even exists that everybody else isn’t.  So if you don’t trust the government, it isn’t because the government has proved itself untrustworthy under the control of the Marxists and socialists and communists and anarchists and pedophiles that make up Obama’s legions of commissars.

It’s because Obama is black and you are a racist. The implication is, if Obama wasn’t black, you’d probably be ok with the rest of it. 

I’m not defending hate groups.  I don’t know anything about any of the groups listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center and I am sure some of the groups on the list that I would agree belonged there, I suppose.  But I’d include one name the SPLC left off.  

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s.  Probably an oversight.

As I listened to SPLC director J. Richard Cohen rail against Lou Dobbs as a vile, hatemongering liar who dared to question Barack Obama’s birth circumstances and spread vicious lies against “the undocumented”  I felt a cold chill of fear run up my spine and tighten the hairs at the back of my neck. 

The guy sat there and bragged about how his organization, dedicated as it is to tolerance and justice, was able to pressure CNN to fire Lou Dobbs because the Southern Poverty Law Center didn’t agree with his point of view.  

Because Lou Dobbs was intolerant of dissenting viewpoints.    Dobbs kept insulting undocumented immigrants by calling them ‘illegal aliens.’ And worse, publicly demanding that existing US immigration law be enforced!

It was like listening to a guy explain how burning books is wrong, but sometimes necessary, in order to keep book authors from spreading hate, which would create a generation of haters who might one day burn books. 

You can’t teach tolerance while tolerating intolerance.   It’s er, untolerable. 

The hypocrisy was stunning, but no less stunning than watching Barack Obama lecturing China about the importance of tolerating opposing points of view — while simultaneously boycotting Fox News because of its opposing point of view.

So let’s get back to Lou Dobbs. Up until now, I didn’t give much thought to CNN firing him.  Truth to tell, I am surprised it took CNN that long.  CNN had long since abandoned any pretense regarding its bias. 

They had long since fired or forced out the rest of the conservatives on the network, like Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson, and pretty much anybody else that doesn’t share CNN’s unblinking embrace of man-made global warming, immigration reform, Marxist class warfare, socialism and the Democrat party.

It was only after the Cohen interview with Bill O’Reilly that it really hit me.   The Lou Dobbs firing was a 21st century book burning.     Once the fire gets started,  it will need a lot of fuel.

Cohen brought the matches and there will always be plenty of other champions of tolerance with him, willing and able to help find more fuel to keep the fire hot.  

But the historical lesson being ignored here is a profound one. Once started, these kinds of fires always burn out of control. 

Call it the Heinrich Heine Principle of Tolerant Tyranny.

Lies in Hypocrisy

Lies in Hypocrisy
Vol: 98 Issue: 17 Tuesday, November 17, 2009

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. . . ” (1st Timothy 4:1)

This is one of several places in Paul’s letters where Paul emphasizes the importance of the point he is making by attributing it directly to the Lord, as if dictated rather than inspired. 

Another example of this Divine dictation is found in 1st Thessalonians 4:15 where Paul is talking about the Rapture.

“For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. . . “

That isn’t to say that the rest of Scripture is not the Word of the Lord — of course it is.  

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2nd Peter 1:20)

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. . .” (2nd Timothy 3:16)

“Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him.” (Proverbs 30:5)

The point isn’t that the rest of Scripture is any less literal but rather that these mentions are more like attention-getters — “Hey — the Spirit is speaking expressly!  Listen up!”   “Hey, pay attention!  This comes by the Word of the Lord!”

So, the Holy Spirit of God expressly spoke to Paul about the growing apostasy of the last days.  The thing is, that apostasy in order to be apostatic, must arise from a position of great faith.    Do you follow?  You can’t fall away from a faith you never had.   The distance of the fall is dependent on the depth of one’s faith. 

And for it to be a prophetic sign,  it must also be as widespread as it was deeply held.  

Paul says that only some depart from the faith,  but that departure must by definition be a radical one — a departure so radical that the faithful can point to it and say, “See!  That’s what the Holy Spirit of God was speaking about!  Expressly that!”

And for it to be a sign to the faithful,  those some must be pretty visible and the departure pretty surprising.

I’m trying to think of an example. . . . ah! What about this!  Imagine there was once a country founded under the authority of the Creator God Who granted all men certain inalienable rights.

I never tire of the novel ways that liberals find to ‘disprove’ the notion that America was founded on Christian principles, without ever realizing that the sanctity of their own liberty depends on the fact that it was.

Since God, (and not government) endowed you with your rights, then only God, (and not government) can take them away. That is what makes our rights ‘inalienable’.

It is easy to prove some of the Founders were not Christian —  Thomas Paine was an admitted atheist (to name one example, there are more)  but to then  argue that somehow proves the Founders did not intend for America to be a Christian country requires the suspension of credulity.

Founder John Adams said of the Constitution, “This Constitution was designed for a moral and religious people only. It is wholly unsuited for any other.”  

It is only within my lifetime that any serious debate has been entertained regarding which ‘religion’ Adams was referring to.   It is unlikely that any of the Founders personally knew anybody who wasn’t Christian.   There weren’t a lot of Muslims, Buddhists or Jews making big social or religious waves in colonial America.

(Come to think of it, it is only within my lifetime that any serious debate has been entertained about whether or not it is moral to kill one’s own baby in the womb.   And its only within the lifetime of my children that anybody has questioned what the definition of marriage is. Coincidence?  I don’t thnk so.)

Returning to what the Spirit speaketh expressly, for this prophecy to be a valid prophecy, it has to be referring to something or somewhere specific.   Christianity is the historically dominant religion of the West, but it has never been the dominant religion of the whole world.

Historically,  “Christendom” has been synonymous with European Catholicism and later, the Reformation.  But the first settlers arrived on America’s shores in a flight from institutionalize “Christendom” in search of freedom to practice Bible Christianity.

America’s Christian heritage dates to the day the first Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock — its reputation as a Christian country is denied only by its own population.   But the rest of the world recognizes America  by the abundance of America’s blessings. 

That is how America earned its historical reputation as the world’s most Christian country in the first place.

Assessment:

I’ve been watching the media covering the reemergence of Sarah Palin and I keep hearing the Spirit’s express warning to Paul echoing in my mind.   Not that I think Sarah Palin is the fulfillment of some specific Bible prophecy or anything nuts like that. 

Palin is just a great example of my point. She seems to bring out the liars and hypocrites in droves, even at the risk of exposing themselves openly as the liars and hypocrites that they are.  

The Left hates Palin for not aborting her Down’s Syndrome baby — in their eyes, making the baby fair game for criticism.  Palin’s daughters were verbally abused by the media in ways one could not have imagined. 

Reporters tracked down her church and played her Pentecostal leanings for laughs, even reporting on a private worship service.

I heard Bob Beckel on Hannity last night disparaging Sarah Palin’s book, her family and pointing out a ‘cheesecake’ Newsweek cover shot of Palin in running shorts as evidence she “isn’t ready” for the White House.

I recall a photo-op shot of a shirtless Barack Obama frolicking in the surf in Hawaii during the campaign that graced the cover of almost every liberal newspaper.  “Presidential Pecs” read one headline.

Palin actually posed for the photo for a magazine called “Runner” extolling the joys of running so the running shorts photo was totally appropriate. Newsweek simply reran the photo on its cover, giving exactly the impression Beckel was reinforcing.

Beckel’s sexist insinuation was that Palin was using her legs to divert attention away from her empty head — on the principle that anybody that pretty must be stupid.

Where are the feminists?  Why is the National Organization of Women silent in the face of such open misogyny?   Where are the editorialists raging against the perpetuation of the male-dominated glass ceiling?

Hypocrites!

The Obama administration decided to bring the five masterminds of the 9/11 attacks to New York to stand trial in a civilian court, replete with the Constitutional protections affored American citizens.  According to the administration,  they did it to “send a message about American justice” to the enemy.

I heard Chuck Schumer defend the decision by saying that “When KSM  (Khalid Sheik Mohammed) hears the verdict of ‘guilty’  he’ll know he’s lost.”  What an idiotic statement!    KSM knew he lost when he was captured and sent to Gitmo, never to be heard from again.

Now he gets to showcase his cause in a public trial in which most of the evidence against him will be inadmissable.    The Democrats aren’t bringing the 9/11 plotters to New York to try them for the 9/11 attacks — these guys are mostly lawyers!    They know the odds now favor the plotters. 

They claim they are doing it for America.

Liars!

What they are doing is TO America.  KSM and his crew are just window dressing.  The Democrats are planning to try George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.  They are just using the plotters to get at them. 

The fact that it risks forcing the acquittal of the murderers of more than 3,000 Americans is irrelevant to the real goal.  To use George W. Bush to win another election for the Democrats.

Speaking of Schumer, yesterday he blamed the Fort Hood attacks on ‘loophole’s’ that allowed ‘terrorists’ (suddenly he’s a terrorist, but only in this limited application) to buy a gun!  

Hasan was a major on active duty in the United States Army.  Schumer’s contention that taking guns away from US Army majors will make us safer redefines ‘idiotic’.  The gun didn’t commit the massacre.  The Islamic-inspired terrorist holding it did.

If the laws against murder don’t prevent murders, then what logic is there in passing laws against guns?  Such laws serve only to disarm the law-abiding (which is the group the Left fears even more than terrorists or gangsters).

The lies are transparent.  The hypocrisy breathtaking.  The risks are enormous.  In this generation, hypocrisy is so institutionalized and part of the mainstream that it even has a user-friendly label.  A label that encompasses everything the Spirit expressly wanted the generation of the latter days to recognize.

It allows for a clear conscience by legitimizing lies and hypocrisy and encourages the demonization of people of faith, as long the faith in question is Christian.  All other ‘faiths’ are welcomed, even encouraged.

It’s called Political Correctness.

It even has its own police.  And they know where you live.

Special Report: PA To Unilaterally Declare Statehood?

Special Report: PA To Unilaterally Declare Statehood?
Vol: 98 Issue: 16 Monday, November 16, 2009

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat’s accused Israel on Saturday of stalling the implementation of the “two-state solution” and said the Palestinians would consequently declare statehood unilaterally and then seek recognition from the UN.

“Now is our defining moment. We went into this peace process in order to achieve a two-state solution,” Erekat said. “The endgame is to tell the Israelis that now the international community has recognized the two-state solution on the ’67 borders.”

In response later that day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that seeking unilateral international recognition would “unravel” the existing agreements between the two sides.

“There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral attempts outside that framework will unravel the existing agreements between us and could entail unilateral steps by Israel,” Netanyahu told a press conference gathered for the occasion. 

The Palestinian intention is to unilaterally claim the entire parcel of land lost by Jordan to Israel in 1967, including East Jerusalem — on the grounds that, since negotiations are taking too long, the Palestinian side should be declared the winner by universal acclamation.

Let’s quickly revisit the original predicate for the PA’s pending declaration before moving on.  Israel captured Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 War. 

In late May, 1967 the combined armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, together with materiel and troop support provided by Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria mobilized and began massing troops along Israel’s borders.

On June 5th, 1967 Israeli forces launched a preemptive strike on those troop concentrations and airfields in Egypt and Syria.  On June 6th, Jordan attacked West Jerusalem via the West Bank while Egyptian forces attacked from the Sinai and Gaza Strip and Syria via the Golan Heights.

When the ceasefire was signed on June 11, Israel had seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria.  

On June 18, 1967 the Israeli cabinet voted unanimously to return the Sinai to Egypt and the Golan Heights to Syria in exchange for peace agreements.   In reply, the Arabs convened the Khartoum Summit where they voted unanimously that there would be “no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel.”

The Syria’s Golan, Egypt’s Gaza and Jordan’s West Bank were strategic corridors through which Israel remained vulnerable to attack.   The Khartoum Summit’s resolution was a promise of future attacks via those same strategic corridors.

So Israel annexed the Gaza Strip together with its Egyptian citizens, the West Bank and its Jordanian citizens and the formerly Syrian Druse villages in the Golan Heights to prevent them from being used in furtherance of the Khartoum Summit’s resolution.  

The Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians were refused repatriation by their respective governments. Those who attempted to repatriate themselves were interned in ‘refugee camps’.  Those who preferred freedom to internment remained on the captured territory and became “Palestinians”.

Hindsight demonstrates the military wisdom of retaining those strategic buffers. 

On October 7th, 1973 while Israel was observing its most somber high holy day of Yom Kippur, Egypt and Syria, with materiel and troop support from the same antagonists as last time,  plus the open support of the Soviet Union, launched a sneak attack against Israel.

Even Cuba participated, providing more than 1,500 troops while North Korea reinforced the Arabs with 20 pilots and 19 support personnel.  Both the Cuban and North Koreans enaged the Israeli Defense forces directly in combat on several occasions.

By October 20, Israel had trapped the Egyptian Third Army in the Sinai desert and was poised to destroy it.  To the north, with Israeli forces closing in on Damascus, Syria was preparing a massive counter-attack.  On October 24, the UN imposed a ceasefire in place.   

Those were the historical circumstances as they occurred, without bias or revision.  Prior to the Six Days’ War, the only people known to history as “Palestinians” were the Jews.  Following the Six Days’ War, ‘Palestinians’ were the Jordanians, Egyptians and Syrians abandoned by their respective governments.

Every single event that has transpired between Israel and the rest of the world since June 11, 1967 has been aimed at recovering the territories lost to the Israelis for use as staging areas to implement the ultimate goal of annihilating the Jewish State.

After forty-two years of failed terror campaigns, several wars,  thousands of skirmishes, kidnappings, hostage takings and more than six thousand blind rocket attacks to no avail, the odds are good that the UN will simply agree to roll the clock back unilaterally.

Assessment:
In terms of real politick, even if the PA did unilaterally declare statehood, and even if the UN did recognize an independent Palestinian State,  not much would change on the ground for the Palestinians.  

The UN could agree to Palestinian claims of Israeli-held territory, but without agreement by Israel, the UN is forbidden by Charter to enforce the territorial claims itself.   A unilateral declaration by the Palestinians would also amount to a quitclaim to the PA’s most precious demand — the so-called “Right of Return.”

The “Right of Return” is a demand that Israel agree to accept Arabs and their descendants displaced by the 1948 War of Independence.  Without agreement from Israel and with the existence of a Palestinian state, there is no possible way short of war to force Israel to open its borders.

The question can’t be settled by who has the oldest claim — Israel wins that one hands-down.  And it can’t be settled by how has the most recent claim — Israel wins that one, too.  Jordan possessed East Jerusalem for less than twenty years before losing it to Israel in 1967. 

The UN’s 1947 Partition Plan, even if the Arabs had not rejected it,  doesn’t give the Arabs a claim to Jerusalem — the 1947 Partition made Jerusalem an open city under international supervision, taking it away from both Arabs and Jews.

Before that, it was mandated by the British.  Before that, by the Ottoman Turks. Before that, the Malemukes, Saladin, then the Crusades, going back to the Romans, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians to its foundation by King David of Israel.

At the present time, the world views Israel as an occupation force on Palestinian land.  As an occupying force, Israel is therefore obligated to the security and well-being of those under occupation.  It is on this basis that every pro-Palestinian or anti-Israel resolution passed down by the UN since Security Council Resolution 242 has relied. 

If the Palestinians are not a stateless people under occupation, but rather citizens of  an independent sovereign state, then the obligations for Palestinian security and well-being pass from Israel to the United Nations.

Additionally, by declaring statehood unilaterally, the PA officially renounces Oslo, freeing Israel from every subsequent agreement and understanding entered into with the PA or the international community to this point.

The Oslo Agreement, which forms the only legal basis for a Palestinian claim to statehood, granted the Palestinian Authority autonomy over about 40% of the West Bank, including the main cities of Ramallah, Jericho, Nablus and Hebron.

The only way that the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem can be enforced is to take it from Israel by force.  But in such a case, Israel would not be fighting an uprising within its own borders, but against a sovereign state.

What would it take for the PA to gain UN recognition?   The process requires a two-thirds majority vote in the General Assembly and the acquiescence of all five Permanent Members of the Security Council.  Any one of the Permanent Five could veto the PA’s admission.

Last week,  Haaretz reported that PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had reached a secret understanding with the Obama administration concerning US recognition of its independence.

So a unilateral declaration of statehood, together with UN recognition, would seem to lend itself more to Israel’s favor than to the Palestinian side.   But that is assuming that the UN will observe its own Charter prohibiting it from interfering in the internal affairs of a member nation.

To this point, it hasn’t.  And according to Bible prophecy,  it won’t.  The scenario unfolding before isolates Israel as much as it relieves it of responsibility.   On one side is Israel.  On the other side, an independent Palestinian state backed by the power of the United Nations.

The central issue of debate will be sovereignty over Jerusalem.  Why will the world support the Palestinian claim?  

For the same reason that the New York Times wouldn’t reprint the famous Danish cartoons.  For the same reason that we’re pretending that Major Hasan’s massacre was inspired by the first contagious case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

For the same reason that we dare not speak the name of our enemy.  Because the West is slowly deciding that it might be better to switch than fight.

That is why the Palestinians are confident of US support for statehood despite Israeli objections.  Because the cost of supporting Israel is too high.

This is exactly how the ancient prophets said it would unfold in the last days.   Zechariah warned that any nation that burdened themselves with the question of Jerusalem would be cut in pieces.   One by one, Israel’s allies would fall away until Israel stands utterly alone and without recourse.

Ultimately, the Bible says that Middle East will stand upon the brink of total annihilation when a leader will rise up from the revived Roman Empire and confirm a seven year peace agreement between Israel and her enemies, predicated upon the formula of land for peace.

To confirm a covenant, that covenant must previously exist. One can only confirm what already exists.  The word translated ‘confirm’ means “to make strong”.  The covenant that needs confirmation is, according to Daniel, to run according to a seven year timeline.

There is only one failed covenant of seven-years duration predicated upon a formula of land-for-peace.  The Oslo Agreement, signed in 1993 was set to expire exactly seven years later with an agreement on permanent borders and the final disposition of Jerusalem.

The agreement collapsed in 2000 when Yasser Arafat started what the Israelis call the ‘Oslo War’. Every subsequent agreement, including the two-state solution, has been built on the terms of the original Oslo framework.

A US-supported declaration of Palestinian statehood, according to PM Netanyahu, erases every agreement between Israel and the Palestinians built on the Oslo framework, bringing both sides back to where they were on September 13, 1993.  At the start of a failed seven-year peace covenant.  

One that needs needs a new broker.

What Politics Has To Do With Prophecy

What Politics Has To Do With Prophecy
Vol: 98 Issue: 14 Saturday, November 14, 2009

Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced on Friday that the administration intends to grant amnesty to some fourteen million illegal aliens now inside the country.  

How many of them are terrorists?  The government can’t know.  How many of them are criminals?   The government can’t know that, either.  How many of them have infectious diseases?  Don’t know.

The government can’t know any of these things because the fourteen million illegal aliens are by definition also undocumented.  Suppose you are from the Third World but are wanted in your home country for some terrible crime.  

So you sneak into the United States under an assumed name.  Since you are already a criminal, breaking US immigration law is hardly a deterrent.  

Now you’re inside the US illegally, and the Department of Homeland Security offers you amnesty on the immigration violation and you become a legal resident under the name you assumed when you broke into America.  That’s the name that will undergo any proposed criminal background check, not your real one.

Napolitano told  a panel discussion at the liberal Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. on Friday:

“A tough and fair pathway to earned legal status will mandate that illegal immigrants meet a number of requirements—including registering, paying a fine, passing a criminal background check, fully paying all taxes and learning English.   These are substantial requirements that will make sure this population gets right with the law. It will help fix our broken system.”

It is precisely this kind of logic that guarantees the system will remain ‘broken.’ 

Backing up to the beginning of the ‘problem’ — it began because illegal aliens found a hospitable climate in the US and not much appetite for enforcing immigration law.

Particularly after Bill Clinton noticed that illegal aliens tended to vote in US elections and that they tended to vote Democrat. 

Illegal aliens were transformed into ‘undocumented immigrants’ by the PC police, ostensibily to avoid attaching a ‘stigma’ to those aliens who came to America illegally. And to ingratiate themselves with them.

The fight over whether or not voters should have to prove citizenship in order to cast their ballot is purely partisan.  But it is neither logical nor rooted in any sense of imaginary Constitutional privacy.

The Democrats shrewdly calculated that if they appeared to be the party of illegal aliens, illegal aliens would come out  in droves to vote for their patrons.  So they oppose voter-checks.  Why else would any American object to voter ID?     

You need it to drive.  You need it to obtain documents.  You need it to rent a movie or buy a six-pack.  The Democrat agenda includes national health care, which will require a national ID, although nobody is talking about that aspect, since that requirement sunk Hillarycare in 1993. 

Because the illegal vote breaks their way, the Dems have actively opposed any effort to either control the borders or deport those who violated them.  At least once a year,  the Democrats offer up some kind of amnesty plan under the guise of ‘immigration reform’.

“Immigration reform” is another one of those smoke-screen phrases thrown up the by Left to disguise the actual intent.   The phrase is repeated so often that it loses any objective meaning.   

Nobody is talking about reforming immigration policy when they talk about ‘immigration reform.’  “Immigration” is something that starts abroad with an immigrant applying to enter the country.  

Since Napolitano’s ‘immigration reform’ only applies to those who are already here, it doesn’t reform immigration law. Instead, it sets a policy for selective enforcement of the laws already on the books, violating the Constitution in the process.  

‘Immigration reform’ is Democrat double-speak for ‘election theft.’  The Dems have to know that they are going to get hammered next election.  The agenda is being set entirely by the Far Left liberals in Congress. 

But a new Gallup Poll says that only one American in five (20%) self-identifies as ‘liberal’ as opposed to 40% who identify themselves as ‘conservative’ and 30% who claim the label of ‘moderate’.   

Together, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid make up the most liberal triumvirate to ever control the reins of government.   Pelosi and Reid were elected in ’06 — Obama in ’08, primarily by a combination of liberal and moderate voters.

In both elections, the moderates voted against George Bush more than they voted for the liberal candidates.  In 2010, they won’t have George Bush to hide behind, Dick Cheney to demonize, or Karl Rove to investigate.  

Everything the Democrat Party has  ‘accomplished’ this past year has been unilateral, pushed through by their supermajority in both Houses of Congress. The Dems now own the economy, the war in Afghanistan, the climate change legislation, the deficit and the unemployment statistics.

Apart from the liberals who share the objective of transforming America into anything except what it always was, where are they going to get the votes they will need next year?  

They plan to get them the old fashioned Democrat way.  

The way they have secured the inner-city poor’s vote.  The way they have secured the black vote.  The way they have managed to secure the senior vote.  And the way they plan to secure the illegal alien vote.

They’re going to buy them.

Assessment:

I know that sometimes you get sick of Obama — I get emails from people all the time saying things like, “Obama bad — I get it — why not cover Bible prophecy stories?”

In my estimation, there’s probably no storyline more indicative of how far we’ve progressed along the Bible prophecy timeline than the current US political situation. 

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1991, America was at the height of its power; politically, militarily and financially. 

The European Union was struggling with unification — it was still so fractured (and fractious) that any comparison with a revived Roman Empire seemed ludicrous.  

According to Bible prophecy, Europe was supposed to assume global supremacy.  Russia is pictured as a regional power.  America played no role whatever.  Somehow, Europe had to increase while the Soviets and Americans decreased. As of 1990, Bible prophecy was stalled. 

Until Saddam Hussein’s invasion.  The Saudis, fearing they were next, invited America to defend them from what was at the time, the world’s fifth-largest — and most combat-experienced — military force on earth. 

The Soviet Union was reeling from its defeat in Afghanistan, but remained very much the world’s ‘other’ superpower.

Nobody was prepared for what came next.  

Saddam Hussein promised the “mother of all battles”. The United States ordered sixteen thousand body bags — and had contracts for tens of thousands more as needed.  The Russians quietly fed Saddam intelligence info and supplied him with GPS-jamming devices and other counter-measures.

Everybody anticipated a bloodbath on both sides. 

Instead, the US military cut through the cream of Iraq’s military forces like a hot knife through butter.  The devastation wrought by American weaponry never before seen in combat rocked the world.  The display of military power was so awesome that it resulted in the collapse of the Soviet Union.

It frightened the Europeans so badly that it revitalized the unification effort, with Jacques Chirac teaming up with Boris Yeltsin, hoping to create a multi-polar alliance as a counter-balance to the American superpower.

It even frightened the Democrat establishment, enabling Bill Clinton to defeat George Bush to win the White House in 1992.   Do you recall 1992?   That was when the biggest problem facing America was what to do with all the money freed up by the end of the Cold War — the so-called ‘peace dividend.’

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” (1st Thessalonians 5:3)

As long as America is the world’s sole remaining superpower, Bible prophecy remains stalled.  Now comes the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Axis whose collective policies seem aimed directly at the heart of America. 

Their policies of wealth redistribution through climate change legislation, the incredibly naive nuclear arms reduction policies, their indecision over Afghanistan and their weakness in the face of Iranian belligerence are all taking their toll on America’s superpower status.

The weaker that America appears in the face of the Islamic threat, the stronger it makes the European Union and the more credibility it gives Russia in the Islamic world.

American politics plays a pivotal role insofar as Bible prophecy is concerned for two reasons.  The first is because America plays no major role in global politics in the last days.  So as long as America was Ronald Reagan’s shining city on a hill,  Bible prophecy cannot move forward.

The Soviet Union has collapsed. Post-Soviet Russia has assumed the role of patron and protector of radical Islam.   The European Union has expanded to include 27 associate and observer members and is well on the way to global superpower status.

The United States is in disarray, on the verge of economic collapse, totally polarized and on the verge of civil war.    The politics of the next few years will determine whether or not America will assume its prophetic role as a subordinate player, allowing the Bible’s scenario to move forward.

In previous generations, politics didn’t play so large a role because so few of the political players were in place.  Today, they are all assuming their proper alliances and arranging themselves according to the political worldviews forecast for each.

Russia is aligning with the Muslim states because that is with whom Ezekiel predicted they would form an alliance.  That’s politics.   Europe is continuing its ascent, in large part because the United States has been distracted by the wars and the economic impact that comes with them.

And America’s political establishment appears to be deliberately steering Good Ship America onto the rocks — clearing away the last obstacle to the Bible’s Tribulation scenario moving forward.   

The Roman Empire’s final collapse took decades — first the collapse of the political establishment, causing it to divide into the Western and Eastern Empire. 

The Vandals and Goths had been pecking at the edges of the Roman Empire for decades when Rome decided instead to invite the barbarians into a power-sharing agreement.   

Emperor Romulus Augustus was promptly replaced by a barbarian emperor, Odoacer, whose anti-Roman policies finally resulted in the Empire’s total collapse in 476. But what ultimately brought it down wasn’t overspending,  overexpansion or even civil unrest. 

What finally pushed over the Roman Empire was immigration reform.