Special Report: Is Unwise the Same as Sinful?

Special Report: Is Unwise the Same as Sinful?
Vol: 107 Issue: 23 Monday, August 23, 2010

It didn’t take very long before somebody challenged me over the recent OL briefing The Doctor Will Kill You Now regarding euthanasia and drugs.

The challenge, however, was not what I was expecting.

“In your column, you point out that in Holland, and increasingly, in the United States, marijuana is either legal or has been decriminalized.  Then you suggest that somehow the decriminalization of marijuana is evidence of social breakdown that leads addle-pated Dutchmen to voluntary euthanasia.

That leads me to ask two questions.  The first one is,  “what have you been smoking?”   The second is for you to show me from the Bible how you arrived at your conclusion that using marijuana is a sin?”

At first glance, that seems a pretty simple challenge.   Ordinarily, I’d crush such a challenge totally with Scriptures requiring Christians to obey the law – but that doesn’t work if there is no applicable law to break.

And even if it did, that argument is no more powerful against marijuana that it is against speeding.   If breaking the law is what makes it sin, then how does one make the case that smoking pot is more sinful than speeding? 

The sin here is lawbreaking, not speeding. Or smoking pot. 

The fall-back position is that the body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit and that it is a sin to do anything to defile it with things that are bad for you.  

The problem with the position it is bad for you is that it doesn’t address the challenge of how smoking pot itself is morally sinful.

Lots of things are bad for your body.  Tylenol is as hard on your liver as alcohol.  Aspirin can thin out your blood and cause internal bleeding. 

Twinkies are chemical cesspools of deliciousness.   There is zero nutrition in a can of Coca Cola.   One might as well eat rat poison as eat a fast-food cheeseburger.

The film, “Super Size Me” chronicled Morgan Spurlock as he ate three meals a day from McDonald’s for thirty days.

Spurlock was interviewed by Newsweek about his experiment.    He was asked what happened to his body over the course of his month-long binge at Mickey D’s.

 My body just basically falls apart over the course of this diet. I start to get tired; I start to get headaches; my liver basically starts to fill up with fat because there’s so much fat and sugar in this food. My blood sugar skyrockets, my cholesterol goes up off the charts, my blood pressure becomes completely unmanageable. The doctors were like “You have to stop.”

The “Temple of the Holy Spirit” argument works for pot, but it works identically for chocolate, pasta, French fries, cheeseburgers and Twinkies.   That doesn’t meet the challenge.

The next argument that comes to mind is that smoking pot affects a person’s mind and that is sinful because altering one’s mind affects one’s relationship with God.  

But how does that argument work when applied to sleeping pills?  Laughing gas?   Pain killers?   Ah, but they are prescribed by a doctor! 

Ok. That makes them legal. But how does that make them moral?

I’m way outside my comfort zone here.  I am NOT an advocate of legalizing marijuana.  There are enough legal vices out there already. 

But I have to admit that I learned a lot of stuff I didn’t know before I started researching this column. The history part is intriguing, but PLEASE don’t think I’m advocating one way or the other.

I’m just callin’ it as I read it. 

It wasn’t the hippies in the 1960’s that discovered pot. It’s a plant. It’s been around for millennia.  Pot was smoked like tobacco until the 1930’s.   

In 1937 the Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act that imposed a tax on anyone who dealt commercially with cannabis or hemp.  

The bill was passed over the objections of the AMA. It found no evidence to support claims of addiction, violence or over-dosage, as was claimed by the Act’s supporters.

Under the terms of the Act, anybody who wanted to deal in hemp products had to apply for a tax stamp.   So all the government had to do to criminalize it was refuse to issue the stamp. 

It wasn’t until 1970 that marijuana was declared a controlled substance.   I didn’t know that either.  I thought marijuana had always been illegal.  

But the first place to ban pot was, ironically, the state of California in 1913.  The first country to ban pot was Great Britain in 1928.

Fiorello La Guardia, the legendary New York mayor, spoke out against the Marijuana Tax Stamp Act, going so far as to call for its abolishment.

La Guardia commissioned a study by a group of 31 impartial scientists that took six years to complete.

After the in-depth scientific analysis, researchers found that marijuana doesn’t cause violent, psychotic episodes.  It doesn’t lead to anti-social behavior, the report found. 

It doesn’t cause uncontrollable sexual urges. It doesn’t change a person’s personality.  Nobody is known to ever have overdosed or otherwise died from overconsumption of it.  

The thought struck me as I was researching this story that a person can die from drinking too much water — but nobody ever died from too much pot.

In 1944, La Guardia published a report of his group’s findings, scientifically disproving all the government’s claims about the effects of smoking pot. The report was immediately spiked.

It would seem that the reason that there is no historical problem of marijuana abuse prior to the 1930’s was that it didn’t become a problem until it was declared illegal.

George Washington grew hemp as his primary crop in 1797.  Hemp was Thomas Jefferson’s secondary crop at Monticello.    Farmers in Jamestown Virginia were required under a law passed in 1619 to grow hemp for use in trade.

So now we come back to the Scripture support for the argument that smoking marijuana is a moral sin.  Scripturally, it ranks right up there with cigarettes, but not as highly as booze.

It is a sin to smoke cigarettes?   Culturally, yes.  But if you forced me to prove it from Scripture, the best I could do is the Temple of the Holy Spirit argument – it’s bad for you.   So is eating cheeseburgers.

If there is a clear violation of God’s law in lighting up a cigarette, I cannot find it in Scripture. 

Is it a sin to drink alcohol?  Some say yes. But the Bible only prohibits drunkenness, it does not forbid drinking.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” (Proverbs 20:1)

“Deceived”, and thereby, “not wise”.   But that is not the same as ‘sin’.

Deuteronomy 14:26 commands the Israelites, as part of the celebration of their first fruits:

“And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household.”

It would seem that there are times, therefore, in which God evidently approves of wine or strong drink, under certain circumstances.  So it isn’t the drink that is sin. Or even the consumption of strong drink that is sin. 

That only leaves time and circumstance.  Clearly, it is better not to drink, and one can extrapolate from that obvious fact until it becomes sin. 

“It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:” (Proverbs 31:4)

Are we not, as Christians, princes, priests or kings before the Lord?  But then in the very next verse, we read:

“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.” (Proverbs 31:5)

And,

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1st Timothy 5:23)

Clearly, there are times when strong drink and wine are appropriate, according to the Scriptures.    And just as clearly, there are times when it is not. 

And for some people, there is never a time when it is appropriate.  

But is impropriety the same thing as sin?  I can make that case by interpreting the Bible from my own personal perspective, but I cannot make that case by using Scripture alone. 

A lot of what Christians see as sin against God is in reality a sin against their culture.  A Middle Eastern Christian in 2010 would not necessarily view smoking tobacco as sin.  

An American Christian in 1910 wouldn’t either.   The great 19th century evangelist Dr H. A. Ironside’s fondness for cigars was no barrier to his ministry. 

Somebody is gonna hammer me for justifying sin or preaching situation ethics or accuse me of trying to justify smoking or drinking or pate-addling.   I am not.

If you want to hammer me, do it with Scripture.  I’ve never looked into this from exactly this perspective.  Maybe I missed something.  I don’t want to teach error. 

In the main, is the Bible makes the case that drinking alcohol is stupid, er, unwise.  But there are times and places, evidently, when stupid isn’t the same as ‘sinful’.

I was challenged to make my best case from Scripture against marijuana as sin and the Bible says what it says.  It doesn’t say anything about smoking – either tobacco or pot.  

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a theologian, to see that smoking anything is stupid, er, unwise.  But is stupid the same thing as sin?  

Smoking could lead to death and that is stupid.  But so could skydiving, a perfectly respectable sport that I think, personally, is the Grand Poohbah of Stupid. 

But that doesn’t make skydiving a sin.  Does it?   Again, we find the elements of time and circumstances. 

It’s no big deal unless or until his chute fails and he leaves behind a widow and a bunch of fatherless kids just so he could indulge himself with his own stupid hobby.

Viewed through the prism of time and circumstance, he morphed from stupid to sinfully stupid and from harmless to sinfully hurtful.  

The point is that the sin is in the eye of the beholder.  So in the end, what is the most powerful case I can make against pot, solely from Scripture?  

To my surprise, my best case is really not very powerful. 

“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

Genesis 1:29 says that all seed-bearing herbs are lawful and given to us as meat.  Hemp is a seed-bearing herb.   It was lawful in every country on earth until the early 20th century.  

But not everything that is lawful is necessarily good.  

“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” (1st Corinthians 6:12)

It isn’t an issue of sin or not sin insofar as I can find in Scripture.  It is an issue of wisdom and foolishness, time and circumstance.  

At some point, one has to grow up and stop doing foolish or childish things.  The sooner one gets there, the sooner one can respond to the will of God.

The challenge was to make a case from Scripture for the moral sinfulness of smoking pot — absent laws against it. 

What I found surprising was how hard it was to do so.  

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1st Corinthians 10:23)

Time and circumstance.  All things are lawful to me, but there are times when they work against the will of God that we exhort and edify others weaker in the faith than we.

If somebody believes something to be sin, well, to him, it is sin.  And that is how God will judge it – “You thought it was sin and you did it anyway.

Not very defensible.

Iran Gets Another Year To Develop Nukes

Iran Gets Another Year To Develop Nukes
Vol: 107 Issue: 21 Saturday, August 21, 2010

For years we’ve been reporting the various estimates on how long it would be before Iran officially became a nuclear power.  Every year, next year is forecast as the point of no return. Until next year, when everything gets moved forward for another year. 

If there was any one issue upon which most intelligence analysts were in unanimous agreement, it was that neither Israel nor the United States would allow the Islamic Republic of Iran to become a nuclear power.

There are few things in a pluralistic Western society that one can point with some degree of certainty.   The unanimity of the West to keep nuclear technology out of the hands of the mullahs was one of them.

Every year, the National Intelligence Estimates on Iran would issue a stern warning about the dangers posed by a nuclear Iran, together with an estimate of how much longer the world had to come to a decision.

Every year, Washington would kick the can a little farther down the road, saying that there was still time for sanctions to work.  

Each year, the Israelis would go along, warning that they would only stay their hand until things reached the ‘point of no return’.   If the West didn’t act by then, Israel would be forced to act alone.

Today Iran officially becomes a nuclear power as it begins to load the Russian-supplied fuel rods into its Bushehr reactor. Once fuel is loaded into the reactor, the Bushehr facility will be recognized as a nuclear plant under international terms.

Iranian hard-line leader Hamid Reza Taraqi claimed the launch will boost Iran’s international standing and “will show the failure of all sanctions” against Iran.

But today is not the point of no return for Israel. 

That deadline passed for Israel on January 20th, 2009.   Until that point, Israel could have attacked Iran with the blessings of the administration – Dick Cheney practically said as much publicly.

But on January 20th a new sheriff rode into town and announced that the best way to deal with religiously inspired fanatics that believe it is their duty to start the next global war is to threaten them with sanctions.

Given the circumstances, this was about as logical as passing legislation mandating the death penalty for suicide bombers as a deterrent, but that was the plan.  

If you can call Obama’s handling of the Iran crisis a ‘plan’.

Assessment:

If Obama is a Muslim, or if he really knows anything about Islam, he ought to know that one of the Five Pillars of Islam is eschatology, or last days prophecy.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad belongs to the dominant sect within Shia Islam, known as the “Twelvers.”   The Twelvers derive their name from their belief that the 12th Imam from Mohammed will rise in the last days.

The 12th Imam is the Mahdi, who is prophesied to lead a global Islamic army against the infidel West, defeating them and ushering in a kind of Islamic Golden Age.  

Some Islamic scholars link the Mahdi to the rider on the white horse of Revelation 6:2 in the Christian Bible. 

In any case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a militant, fanatical Twelver that believes he has been chosen by Allah to start the conflagration that will summon the Mahdi out of hiding.   

What Obama should know is that Ahmadinejad believes that it is his religious duty to start that war.  In the same sense that an al-Qaeda suicide bomber believes it, Ahmadinejad believes it. 

A suicide bomber isn’t going to be scared out of his mission by threats. What can you do to a guy whose goal is to die?  You can’t buy off a true believer, either.  What can you offer in exchange for Paradise?  (with or without the virgins)

To celebrate its impending membership in the nuclear club, Iran dedicated “Government Week” which ended yesterday to showing off Iran’s latest military hardware acquisitions.  

The newest, the Qiam missile, is a new class of surface-to-surface missile with a much smaller tactical footprint, making it much more difficult to intercept.  

The word ‘Qiam’ in Farsi means ‘rising’. The Qiam missile had the name ‘al Mahdi’ painted on its side.  

‘Mahdi Rising’ – how much clearer could the message be?

The Iranians also test-fired a third generation Fateh 110 missile and introduced two new missile-equipped fastboats and a new long range drone aircraft.

On August 8, Iran took delivery of four new mini-submarines of the home-produced Ghadir class. Weighing 120 tons, the “stealth” submarines are aimed at operations in shallow waters like those of the Gulf.

If the Obama administration has any contact with anybody even remotely familiar with Shia Islam, then Obama knows all this. 

He knows what the symbol of ‘al Mahdi Qiam’ means. He knows that Ahmadinejad and the Twelvers won’t be dissuaded by sanctions or threats.   

Former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger went on record saying that “the world is going to war over this.  If Iran gets the weapon, it’s going to use it. “ 

The New York Times reported Friday that the White House has assured Israel that an Iranian threat is ‘not imminent’ and that Iran is still eleven months away.

“We think that they have roughly a year dash time,” said Gary Samore, President Obama’s top adviser on nuclear issues, referring to how long it would take the Iranians to convert nuclear material into a working weapon.

“A year is a very long period of time.”

Are they kidding?  It reminds me of the old Henny Youngman joke about the doctor who gave a guy six months to live.  “But Doc, I don’t think I can get your bill paid off in six months,” the guy says. 

“Then I’ll give you another six months,” says the doctor.

It would be funnier if the punch line wasn’t a mushroom cloud.

Not Guilty

Not Guilty
Vol: 107 Issue: 20 Friday, August 20, 2010

Among the more or less ‘stock’ phrases in American Christian circles is the rhetorical question; “if you were arrested tomorrow and charged with being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to warrant a conviction?”

That question is designed, of course, to call attention to one’s personal witness for Christ. To a Christian, that is a pretty sobering thought.   What if nobody could tell? 

What if the ‘prosecution’ could call witness after witness against you, and still couldn’t mount a convincing enough case to convince a jury.

I mean, think about it.  What if you went around telling everybody you were a Christian, but nobody believed you?  Who would you blame?  Everybody else for being so judgmental?  If that is your answer, then it should come as no surprise if you were acquitted.

During the campaign, Barack Obama didn’t simply declare himself a Christian, he banned the use of his Muslim name, ‘Hussein’ on pain of being declared either a ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobe’. 

He dispatched his minions to testify as to Obama’s Christianity.  He gave his testimony that Reverend Jeremiah Wright led him to Christ. 

He made a point of saying he had been a faithful church member for twenty years (until he ‘discovered’ that whenever he missed church, Wright would launch into an anti-American, anti-Christian pro-Islamic attack).

Whenever possible thereafter, the president made a point of either telling people he was a Christian or, even better, sending out other people to tell people that he was a Christian.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said from aboard Air Force One enroute to Martha’s Vineyard that “The president is obviously a Christian. He prays every day.”

What prompted Burton to make that observation was the release of a poll that mirrored the old rhetorical questions about there being enough independent evidence of one’s Christianity to merit conviction.

A Pew Research poll conducted before the Ground Zero Mosque controversy erupted asked Americans about Obama’s religion.  After observing him for the past 18 months while in office, one in five Americans believe Obama is really a Muslim.

In a separate poll conducted by Time Magazine after Obama weighed in with his expression of support for the Ground Zero Mosque, that number jumps to one in four.  

In neither poll did a majority of Americans say they believed Obama is a Christian.  There just wasn’t enough evidence to convict him of the charge.

Pew analysts blame it on attacks by Obama’s opponents.  (Oh, and Obama’s ‘limited’ church attendance.)

Andrew Kohut, the Pew Research Center’s director, said the confusion partly reflects “the intensification of negative views about Obama among his critics.”

Alan Cooperman, the Pew Forum’s associate director for research, said that with the public hearing little about Obama’s religion, “maybe there’s more possibility for other people to make suggestions that the president is this or he’s really that or he’s really a Muslim.”

Or maybe they are just listening to Obama and making up their own minds based on the evidence available?  What is interesting is how the numbers have changed since Obama was first elected.   

After having watched him in office for the past eighteen months, the number of Americans that say they believe Obama is a Muslim has upticked by ten percent. Among blacks, fewer than 43% believe Obama is really a Christian.  

Even among Democrats (to whom Christianity is more mysterious) only 46% are buying into Obama the Christian.  It is interesting to note that the New York Times and the Associate Press both interpreted the results of the polls and found rampant racism everywhere.

They noted that six in ten of those that say Obama is a Muslim say so based on information they got from the media.  I found that particularly interesting given the extraordinary effort put forth by the mainstream media to dispel rumors that Obama is a Muslim.

What I found particularly interesting in the poll was a little tidbit that nobody else apparently did.  Of those that doubt that Obama is a Christian, eleven percent say that they learned it from watching and listening to Obama himself.

Assessment:

I don’t really think that the big story is whether or not Obama is a Christian or a Muslim.  The mere fact that anybody has to ask suggests that in his heart, he is probably neither.  

The question of whether there would be sufficient evidence to convict Obama of being a Christian in some hypothetical court has been asked and answered in the very real court of public opinion and Obama has been found ‘not guilty’ by a majority of the public.

As to the question of whether or not Obama is really a Muslim, I don’t know.  But I think that if that question were put to a Muslim court of public opinion, the verdict would be the same. 

There would not be enough evidence to convict. 

What is really at issue isn’t whether or not Obama is a Christian or a Muslim. What is at issue here is that it is an issue at all.   

If Islam really is tolerant and peaceful and if the jihadists really are just a tiny percentage of radicals and not representative of Islam, then who cares if Obama is a Muslim?  Why would it bother the White House if people thought he was?

If Obama cares because he’s really a Christian and is proud of his Christianity, then why would he and his supporters feel it necessary to constantly point it out?  Shouldn’t it be obvious? 

George Bush’s confession of Jesus Christ was never in doubt insofar as the mainstream media was concerned.  Nobody needed to issue reminders that the President is a Christian back then.

Indeed, when George Bush was president, his overt Christianity was perceived as a liability. 

It would matter little to the public if Barack Obama were a Catholic or a Protestant or even if he made no claim to faith at all.   What seems to matter is the possibility that he is a Muslim.  

And this is that place where we have to split off from reality and enter into the crazy world of political correctness where nothing is as it is and everything is as we’d like it to be. 

In the theoretic Politically Correct world, Islam is one of the world’s three great monotheistic faiths, along with Christianity and Judaism.  Islam is a religion based in peace and love and tolerance and respect for other religions and the jihadists are cultists that have perverted Islam.

In the real world, there is no evidence to support it.  There are no pluralistic Islamic societies.  Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam, is hardly a bastion of tolerance.  It is a capital offense to convert from Islam to another religion. 

In Iran and Afghanistan, women accused of adultery are routinely buried in the ground from the waste down while jeering crowds throw giant rocks at their heads and upper bodies until they finally battered to death.  

One waits in vain for the Islamic charities to show up and provide relief for the victims of the Pakistani flooding.  Islamic charities build moseques in New York City. They fund flotillas aimed at breaking through Israelis blockages.  They provide survivor’s benefits to the families of suicide bombers.

They don’t provide relief to victims of natural disasters. 

The vast majority of funding for the U.N.-led relief operation so far has come from traditional donors — principally the United States, Australia, Denmark and Britain. Many of Pakistan’s regional allies and neighbors, including China, Iran and Saudi Arabia, as well as other developing countries, have sent only a trickle of aid in the crucial first weeks of the crisis. . .

The lack of assistance from Pakistan’s allies in the Islamic world has been a source of frustration among the country’s officials.

State media in Saudi Arabia reported Tuesday that the country had raised $20.5 million to support the Pakistani flood victims. But that was the kingdom’s first significant donation, and it came three weeks into the crisis. Pakistan considers Saudi Arabia one of its closest allies, and the Saudis have in the past lavished money on charities and religious organizations in Pakistan.

This isn’t intended as a polemic against Islam.  It is an observation about political correctness.  

The White House is bending over backwards in its effort to dispel the rumor that the president shares the faith of millions of others in a of religion of peace, love and tolerance dedicated to making the world a better place. 

At the same time, Obama’s public relations teams are out in force making the case that Obama really shares the faith of the xenophobic rednecks “clinging to God and guns and having antipathy for those that aren’t like them”. 

They are making their case despite the fact that ‘everybody knows’ that Christians are intolerant of gays, single-parent families,  abortion ‘rights’  women’s rights, etc., etc. and so on and so forth. That’s the politically correct view.

Political correctness can be identified in much the same way that one can identify the nudist at the costume party.  Nobody wants to be rude so everybody pretends its just another costume. 

For example, Finland was recently voted the most desirable country in the world in which to live. That’s PC.  Finland is open, tolerant, has a generous social safety net,  and above all, a bastion of political correctness.

 So all the rest of the countries came together and voted Finland their favorite country to live in.

One thing Finland doesn’t have is a problem with illegal immigration.  In the real world, that problem would belong to what is actually the most desireable country in the world in which to live.  Nobody is trying to batter down the fences to break into Finland. Finland doesn’t even need to put up a fence.  

That’s the difference between PC and reality.  In the PC world, Islam is great and Christianity is intolerant and reactionary. 

In reality, the mere suggestion that Obama is really a Muslim is an insult requiring an immediate response from the mainstream media, which sprang into action to defend his Christianity.  

Cynthia Tucker at the Atlanta Journal Constitution  made her best case by reminding us of Obama’s pastor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

See?  And you didn’t think there was any evidence!

Special Report: ”The Doctor Will Kill You, Now”

Special Report: ”The Doctor Will Kill You, Now”
Vol: 107 Issue: 19 Thursday, August 19, 2010

A number of liberal US states including (unsurprisingly) California have concluded that the best way to deal with the state’s growing drug problem is to help it grow. 

Any growth industry is evidently an improvement and marijuana is California’s largest cash crop.  

Recent polling by Zogby in May demonstrated that a majority of Americans, say it “makes sense to tax and regulate” marijuana. The Zogby poll, commissioned by the conservative-oriented O’Leary Report, found 52 percent in favor of legalization, only 37 percent opposed.

According to the deplorable Huffington Post , a previous ABC News/Washington Post poll found 46 percent in support of legalizing pot.

In California, a Field Poll found 56 percent backing legalization and as a result California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for an open debate on legalization, all which suggests that American society may be reaching a ‘tipping point’ when it comes to legal pot.

In Oakland ‘entrepreneur’ (or drug dealer, depending on one’s perspective) Richard Lee founded something called “Oaksterdam University” to “prepare people for jobs in the cannabis industry.” Lee was profiled by MSNBC explaining his philosophy on selling drugs.

“My basic idea is to professionalize the industry, and have it taken seriously just like beer and distilling hard liquor.”

To that end, Lee has begun an effort to gain enough signatures to qualify putting pot on the statewide ballot as the “Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.”  The act would legalize possession of small amounts of pot for personal use.  

Adults over 21 could legally possess up to one ounce of the drug and will be allowed to cultivate and grow as much pot as will fit in a five foot by five foot space. I did a little checking to see how much pot one can grow in a space that size.  

According to one website, that is enough room to produce about a pound of pot every couple of months.   That is a lot of pot — more than could be smoked by a single user. 

Which raises two immediate questions. 

The first is how the state would hope to tax the pot somebody is growing in their basement.  Some kind of honor system?  A place on your income tax form where you enter the weight of the pot you grew last year?

The second is what happens to the excess pot?  If every pot head in California grew a pound of pot every couple of months, that’s more than they can use. 

Can they sell it?  Well, no.  Only licensed pot growers will be allowed to sell it, which will keep the illegal drug trade going in the rest of the country.

“Oaksterdam” should take a look at how the drug experiment is working out in its (nick)namesake city in Holland.  The Dutch are looking at ways to unring that bell now that Amsterdam and other Dutch cities have become the destination of choice for narco-tourists.

Holland legalized most recreational drug use years ago and Amsterdam’s thirteen “coffee shops” that sell marijuana and hashish now serve as many as 2 million narco-tourists per year. 

Big money, but all that’s gold does not glitter.

The city would like to put Pandora back in her box and pass new laws making it illegal to sell drugs to foreigners, although they would still allow drug dealers to addle the minds of their own Dutch population.

The Dutch city of Maastricht legalized recreational drug use, ostensibly as a way of keeping Dutch youth safe, proving the old adage that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  

Maastricht now enjoys a crime rate three times that of similarly-sized cities further from the borders and Dutch lawmakers are coming to the conclusion that they’ve been deceived.  

The Netherlands once had 1,500 legalized drug bars, or ‘coffee shops’.   City officials have managed to close about half of them through inventive local ordinances, but are learning that it is a lot easier to turn a cucumber into a pickle than it is to reverse the process. 

There are still about 700 places in the Netherlands where you can order an espresso and a joint. 

Oh, and there was something else I read about the Netherlands recently . . . not sure if it is related to this story or not.  You tell me.

One of the fastest growing causes of death in the Netherlands is now euthanasia.  Euthanasia, or physician-assisted suicide, was legalized by the same Dutch lawmakers that thought selling drugs in coffee shops was a good idea.

And evidently there were enough of them who had stopped in for a cuppa Joe and a nice, relaxing joint recently that nobody noticed the little loophole that also legalized – get this . . . involuntary euthanasia.

That’s when a doctor decides for you that your life isn’t worth living.  A 2007 study found that up to 10% of all deaths in Holland were by euthanasia.   There are a couple of kinds of euthanasia.  You can ask for it yourself. 

In 2005, the last year for which there are detailed statistics, there were approximately 400 assisted suicide deaths at the patient’s request.  

A family member can request it on a patient’s behalf.  There were 2,636 reported euthanasia deaths that fell into that category.  (In the Netherlands, it pays to be nice to your kids.)

Then there is the third category — euthanasia “without explicit request or consent.”  Oddly, there were more of these – 550 — than there were at the patient’s request.   Indeed, one study found that many cases reported as voluntary euthanasia were really the involuntary kind.

And now, leaders of the Dutch euthanasia lobby (yes, euthanasia lobby) is pushing for a bill that would legalize euthanasia for persons over seventy who are otherwise healthy but are now tired of living. 

More than 100,000 Dutch coffee-drinkers (most presumably under 70) have already signed the petition.

It is a bizarre mental image to contemplate: The doctor will kill you now the doctor takes a big hit off a joint, focuses his eyes, and tells the nurse to send in the next patient.  

The nurse sticks her head out the door and says to the next patient in line:

“The doctor will kill you now.” 

But this stupidity is entirely in keeping with the image painted by Scripture for the last days. 

Revelation 9:21 gives the reasons for the unfolding judgments against an unrepentant and Christ-rejecting world.

Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

Note the context of the ‘sorceries’ that bewitch the last generation before the return of Christ. Deception, murder, fornication and theft. Compare those to the handmaidens of drug abuse.

Where drugs are illegal, drug abusers live double lives of deception. Drug dealers and drug gangs use theft and murder as tools of the trade.   Where you find prostitution, you find drugs, and vice versa.

And in Holland, where drugs are legal, it is also legal to kill off unwanted babies, (even after they are born) and the elderly, the infirm and the “useless” — either voluntarily or involuntarily.  (After all, it is almost exactly the same word. Why make a fuss?)

The word “sorcery” or “sorceries” is used six times in the KJV, twice in the Old Testament and four times in the New.   In Isaiah 47:9 and 47:12 the word sorceries is translated from the Hebrew ‘kesheph’ meaning, “magic” or “magic arts.”

In Acts 8:9 and Acts 8:11 the word is translated from the Greek word, magea which also means ‘magic’ or ‘magic arts.’

The only other places where the word sorceries appears in Scripture is Revelation 9:21 and Revelation 18:23 – the book specifically intended to be understood by the generation that would see its fulfillment. 

The Book of the Revelation is a chronological record of the future as recorded from the distant past.  So it would seem logical that it would contain certain references that would make sense only to that generation – a ‘code’, if you will, clear only to the generation to whom it was intended.

A code word that no previous generation would understand, but that would be a vivid explanation to the intended audience, needing no further elaboration.  

Previous generations must have wondered what magic arts would be so amazingly deceptive as to deceive all nations. The KJV translators must have been just as confused, since the word that John chose didn’t make any sense to them, which is why they translated it ‘sorceries.’ 

They didn’t understand the code word.  It wasn’t written to fifteenth century Christians – it was written to the Christians that would instantly recognize it for what it is, what it means, and how it works.

That code word, found only in the context of explaining the reasons for Tribulation judgment, and translated into English as sorceries, is the Greek word, pharmakea, a word meaning ‘the use or administration of drugs.’

“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

“And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.”

The point here isn’t really the connection between addle-pated Dutchmen getting stoned in coffee shops and then voting in favor of offing Grandpa, although that, by itself, is one of those “it must be the end of the world as we know it” stories.

The point I want you to see here is the amazing accuracy of God’s Word in prophecy.  John had no idea why he was blaming drugs for murders, fornications, theft and deception.  He just wrote down what he was told to write down.

Fifteenth century translators had no idea why John were refer to medicines as the culprit, so they picked a word that made more sense to them.  It must be magic!  

And if the Bible were really just a collection of stories from the past that were bound together so stupid people could worship them, then magic would have been the right word in AD 87, it would have been the right word in 1611 and it would have been the right word in 2010.

In 1611, bewitching a population would seem like magic.  In 2010, bewitchment would prove the scoffers right.  But God made the odd choice of inspiring John to write, pharmakea.

Just think of it! Two thousand years ago, the prophet John, in exile on the island of Patmos, wrote that the last generation would be characterized by rampant drug abuse that would result in widespread deception, murder, sexual immorality and theft.

And that the nations of the world would eventually embrace it as a good thing.

Remember that Jesus said that when these things BEGIN to come to pass, our redemption is so close we are to keep looking up.  

Unless you live in Holland. Then you may want to keep one eye on your relatives. And the other on what they are putting in that ‘vitamin’ shot.

Doctrines of Division

Doctrines of Division
Vol: 107 Issue: 18 Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It is difficult to say for certain which doctrine generates the most heat in my inbox; eternal security or the Rapture. If I had to guess, I think I’d have to give it to eternal security by a nose.

That’s odd, really, when you consider the stakes involved.  In eternal terms, it doesn’t much matter what you believe about the Rapture.  Nobody is saved by their faith in the timing of the Rapture. 

There are at least five different views, if one includes the ‘no Rapture at all’ view.  Only one will be correct.  And nobody will know which one until it actually happens.  But the important thing to know is that one’s interpretation plays no role in one’s participation.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (1st Thessalonians 4:14)

Notice there is only one conditional premise; if we believe.  One that condition is met, the rest is automatic.   If you are saved by grace through faith, then you will go in the Rapture no matter how you interpret the timing.

So it is exceedingly odd that the timing of the Rapture should generate almost as much controversy as a bedrock doctrinal issue like eternal security.  Yet it does.

The timing of the Rapture is important to the understanding of unfolding Bible prophecy in the way that punctuation is important in a paragraph.  

Youcanstillreadasentencewithoutpunctuationbutitismuchmoredifficulttofollowandstillretainasense ofperspectiveonboththenuancesofthestoryandtheintentionoftheauthordontyouthink

The Age of Grace is often referred to as the “Parenthetical Period” between the close of Daniel’s sixty-ninth week when the Messiah was “cut off” — and Daniel’s seventieth week when the antichrist confirms, and then breaks a covenant with Israel. (Daniel 9:26-27)

With this understanding as a foundation, the flow of Bible prophecy harmonizes the prophecies of the Old Testament with the promises of the New without contradiction.  Removing this Dispensational framework is like trying to understand the nuances of a paragraph without the benefit of punctuation.

All kinds of interpretations become possible and the overriding purposes are obscured.  The outline of all Bible prophecy could be summarized this way:  Believers are convicted under the OT Law, pardoned under NT grace, and the rest are judged after the grace period expires during the Tribulation.  

Acts 1:11 both opens and closes the brackets around the Age of Grace with Jesus in the air.  

Open parentheses:

“And when He had spoken these things, while they beheld, He was taken up; and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;”

 “Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.”

Closed parentheses.

The Age of Grace begins with Jesus being taken up into Heaven and it concludes with His return “in like manner” as they saw Him go.   Jesus is received up into heaven quietly, with two angels standing by as witnesses.

Acts doesn’t record Jesus ascending into Heaven in full view of all mankind astride a white horse accompanied by ten thousands of His saints and wielding a sharp two-edged sword.  But that is how He returns at His Second Coming.

The Age of Grace concludes with the Rapture of the Church, which is also described as a secret, signless event, witnessed only by the Church and the angels, in like manner as they (the Church) saw Him go.

“For the 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)

If one were to move the parentheses backward or forward then the harmony of Daniel’s 70 Weeks is broken.  Daniel’s 70th week can’t be a ‘week’ anymore, its a half a week, or a part of a week, or its a symbolic week, so Daniel 9:24-27 must be completely reinterpreted.  

The division between the letters to the 7 Churches and the onset of judgment is obscured.  The New Testament promise that; “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world” must now be reconciled with the antichrist’s power to overcome the saints in Revelation 13.  

Some other explanation must be found for the meaning of Paul’s 2nd letter to the Thessalonians, some other explanation for the Restrainer must be formulated, and some other identification for “that Wicked” must be found.

And finally, some loophole must be found to explain why one generation of believers will face Divine justice for the sins of the generations that came before.  The Bible says that for believers, Jesus already did that.

And that brings us full circle back to the doctrine of eternal security.

Assessment:

I believe that the Bible teaches that, after God’s extension of grace, salvation is conditional on two things. Faith and trust.  

God’s grace is self-evident.  Without God’s grace, there would be no security to discuss, eternal or otherwise.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The Bible defines faith as the expectation of things hoped for and the substance of things not seen.  My faith is not in my ability to live a Christ-like life.  If it is, then I will be judged according to my faith, the Scriptures promise.

I don’t want that.  I never wanted that.  That’s why I came to Christ in the first place. Because I did NOT want to be judged by my own standard. 

Instead, I have faith that I was already judged at the moment I trusted Christ. Do you recall that moment in your own salvation? The first moment when you knew you were clean, washed, forgiven and loved? 

Do you recall how secure you felt?  I knew that had I died at that moment, I would have stood before the Lord as clean and pure as the driven snow.  

That was many years ago.  I don’t feel as clean and pure as the driven snow, anymore.  I often try to recapture that first, fresh, brand-new feeling of cleanliness I felt then — I rarely, if ever, have even come close.

I received an email along those lines the other day.  

“I used to feel so fresh and clean.  But then I fell back into old habits and old sins.  I don’t feel clean anymore. Does that mean I have lost my salvation?  Maybe I was never really saved at all?”

The answer to these questions are always found in the questions themselves.  If you are worrying about your salvation, you obviously had it.  And if you think you lost it, ask yourself where you left it last.  In His hands?  Or in yours?

These two doctrines — the pre-trib Rapture and that of eternal security — go hand in hand because if you have one, you don’t have to worry about the other. 

If you are eternally secure, then you needn’t worry about the Tribulation judgments. The Mark of the Beast can pose no threat to your standing as a believer because you won’t be here when it is. 

Either Jesus did it all, or Jesus did some of it and I have to do some of it. Only one can be true. 

“I do not frustrate the grace of God, for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Galatians 2:21)

It’s either faith or works.  It has to be one or the other.  Because if it must be both, then it can be neither.

The Scary Season

The Scary Season
Vol: 107 Issue: 17 Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It is the Silly Season, that period during which we suspend credulity for a time and invite our politicians to start bidding for our votes. During the Silly Season, there is no promise too big, no lie too obvious, and no limit to what we will let ourselves believe.

The Silly Season is also a time of suspended accountability.  Whatever a politician promises during this Silly Season won’t be held against him in the next election cycle. 

During a typical Silly Season, entrenched, career politicians simply trot out last season’s unfulfilled promises. 

Why not? They worked last time.  They work every time – that’s why they keep recycling them and we keep re-electing them. 

I doubt that the campaign promises to voters in America’s inner cities are any different today than the promises that first got them a lock on inner-city government. 

So during the Silly Season, we’ve come to expect politicians to make silly promises and for inattentive voters to fall for them (again).   Think Charley Rangel or Maxine Waters.

Every Silly Season the boundaries are pushed back slightly from the season that came before.   What was totally unacceptable in one season becomes marginally acceptable the next and soon becomes standard campaign tactics.

If one guy wanted to smear his opponent in bygone days, voters needed evidence, first.  After awhile, evidence became less necessary, provided the allegation was sensational enough.  

Then the standard of truth became what people preferred to believe, evidence notwithstanding.

Indeed, if people want to believe it, no amount of contrary evidence will be sufficiently convincing. 

I’ve yet to have anybody demonstrate how it was humanly possible for George Bush to have lied about Saddam’s WMD program – how could Bush know what nobody else on earth knew at the time?

But if that’s what people want to believe, you can’t convince them otherwise.    The power of suggestion lingers long after – it was once said that a lie can go round the world twice before the truth has put its shoes on.

It isn’t lying that is unacceptable anymore.  Sometimes the demonstrable truth is more unacceptable than the unprovable lie. What matters is the subject of the lie. 

The shift is so clear that we’ve even come up with cute acronyms to describe what used to be seen as political weaseling.  

Now we call it BIOB.

Assessment:

“Take heed that no man deceive you.” (Matthew 24:4)

I used to enjoy the Silly Season, back when the economy was humming along at full employment, the military was strong and the cause not in doubt.   But it isn’t silly anymore, it’s downright scary.  

A report just released by the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee accuses the Obama administration of orchestrating the “most covert and expensive propaganda campaign” in American history.

“In 2009, the White House used the machinery of the Obama campaign to tout the President’s agenda through inappropriate and sometimes unlawful public relations and propaganda initiatives,” the House Oversight Committee staff writes. “The Obama administration’s propaganda is covert and expensive to taxpayers.”

According to the report, members of the administration — including Yosi Sergant, formerly of the National Endowment of the Arts, and Tracy Russo of the Department of Justice — have misused federal agency resources to promote the president’s agenda.

Sergant, the former communications director for the NEA, used his position — and, by extension, the powerful incentive of NEA grant money — to formally encourage artists to utilize their artistic abilities to promote presidential issues. Russo, a new media specialist in the Department of Justice, posted fake and anonymous comments on message boards and blogs to attack bloggers critical of the president’s agenda. The two are part of a wider pattern, according to the report.

“The President’s right to sell his policy recommendations to Congress and the public is not disputed,” the report states. “[H]owever, using the resources of the federal government to activate a sophisticated propaganda and lobbying campaign is an abuse of office.”

This really is an official Congressional report.  Honest.  I Googled it to make sure.  Guess how many news articles Google returned on it? 

Thirty when I checked.   And almost all of them criticizing the report!

The report actually calls it ‘propaganda’.  The media yawns.  The report says the administration had its minions lie  — the media asks, “so?”  

Liberal Ben Smith over at Politico opens his defense of the administration at his blog thusly:

“Rep. Darrell Issa is out with a report this morning claiming that the Obama administration has engaged in an unprecedented amount of illegal propaganda.  The charge is almost undoubtedly true:”

Stunningly, having agreed that the Obama administration ‘undoubtedly’ engaged in an unprecedented amount of illegal propaganda, Smith launches an attack against the report’s authors saying only two paragraphs later:

“Issa’s report footnotes his own (unlinked) letter inquiring about the alleged comments rather than any evidence, because there seems to be none.”

The charge is true, recall that Smith concedes at the outset. But as Smith notes later, the evidence was ‘disappeared’ from the internet, so he can attack it as being “totally unsupported” — the obvious truth of it notwithstanding.

Propaganda is, by definition, the art of lying.  What Smith is arguing, and evidently with sufficient credibility as to reflect the general worldview of his readers, is this: 

Sure, Obama is lying and his team has “undoubtedly” engaged in illegal propaganda.   You know it and I know it, he winks to his readers.  But without hard evidence, we can still claim it is a ‘totally unsupported’ charge and then go on the attack and go after Issa for trying to smear the administration with what we’ve already acknowledged is the truth!

It isn’t Smith.  It isn’t Issa.  It isn’t even Obama that is the point, here.

It’s PROPAGANDA!  Propaganda encapsulates in a single word a systematic and deliberate campaign of deception.  It is a word that embraces everything that America formerly stood in opposition to.

The dictionary defines it as “the dissemination of information, ideas or rumors deliberately spread to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.”  Psychologists used to call it ‘brainwashing’.

Shouldn’t that disturb anyone?  It might —  if anybody knew about it.  But until the story gets approved by the US Propaganda Ministry, you’ll have to dig for it.

Like I said, it isn’t silly anymore.  It’s downright scary.

The Third Way

The Third Way
Vol: 107 Issue: 16 Monday, August 16, 2010

Over the weekend, I watched a six-part BBC WWII documentary I had never seen before called, “The Nazis – A Warning From History.”  In the first place, I didn’t know there was a WWII documentary I’ve never seen before.  

Secondarily, every one I’ve seen used essentially the same stock footage, which necessarily forces the filmmaker to focus on the events for which there is the most video footage. 

We’ve all seen the same five seconds of D-Day footage where six guys are charging up from the shoreline when one of them goes down.  The next scene always shows a Canadian landing craft landing at Bernières-sur-Mer on Juno Beach.

The fact is that there is very little surviving video of the D-Day landings.  AP photographer Joe Rosenthal (who later shot the iconic picture of the Marines planting the flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima) put the film aboard an LST headed back to the armada to pick up more troops. 

The LST was hit by a German shell and the photographic record of the landings at Normandy were sent to the bottom of the English Channel.   Similar accidents of war destroyed other photographic battle records. 

So what is usually discussed in these documentaries are the events for which there is the most spectacular footage to show over it.   

What made this particular documentary series unique was that it was made almost entirely using captured German footage.  Uniquely, instead of beginning with the invasion of Poland in 1939, this documentary begins with the surrender of Germany in 1918.   

On November 11, 1918 (and to the great surprise of the German front-line troops)  the war abruptly ended in an armistice.  The Germans on the front lines weren’t losing ground – some German forces were forced to surrender from positions behind enemy lines.

They wondered why the war had ended so quickly and why they had to vacate their hard-won positions in such a hurry.  They didn’t feel defeated. 

The myth grew among the average German soldiers that they had been ‘stabbed in the back’ by the Marxists and Leftist Jews that had protested the war back home.

They took their bitterness back to the newly democratized Germany with them.   The Kaiser was deposed and his government replaced by a parliamentary constitutional republic officially called Deutsches Reich, better known to history as the Weimar Republic.

Thanks to Germany’s defeat and the crippling reparations demanded by the Versailles Treaty, the country polarized along the lines of left and right.   On the Left were the Communists and on the Right were the disaffected veterans.

The Weimar government, unable to meet the war reparations payments, began printing money to deal with the crisis, using the freshly printed marks to repay war loans and reparations.  In 1914 the papiermark was trading at 4.2 to the dollar. 

By August, 1923 one dollar was equal to one million papiermarks.

Suppose you had saved up for retirement all your life and you were five years away from retirement.  You have a nice little retirement nest egg – you lived frugally and made some smart investments.   Let’s say you’ve accumulated a million dollars and you’re fifty-five. 

If you were a German living 100 years ago in 1910, by the time you retired in 1920, your million-dollar retirement money is worthless.   By November 1923, the papiermark is replaced by the rentenmark.  

The value of the rentenmark was pegged at 4.2 to the dollar, just like the million papiermarks were when you were saving them for retirement.   Now you are sixty-eight and need to exchange your million papiermarks in for rentenmarks so you can retire.

One million papiermarks will buy one billionth of ONE rentenmark which, by 1923, was trading at one trillion to one.  Remember, one rentenmark is worth about 23 cents.

Politics was totally polarized – on one side were the radicals, led by the Marxists and Communists, on the other were the conservatives led by the disaffected veterans who supported President Von Hindenburg.

Into the middle of this arose a young unknown, a charismatic politician who promised “hope and change” and promised to fundamentally transform the government.  Neither liberal nor conservative, he introduced a Third Way, national socialism.

In 1923, he published his political manifesto, Mein Kampf (“My Struggle”) that, in retrospect, causes historians to wonder why nobody saw what was coming.   

Assessment:

The BBC documentary was published in 1997 using video interview clips from the late 1970’s and early 1980’s from surviving Nazis then well into their eighties.  

So the context offered by this documentary is unique in that it offers the actual perspective of the time, rather than an historian’s opinion on the historical perspective.

At the time the documentary was released, Bill Clinton was president. The budget deficit was balanced and the US had actually begun paying down the national debt.  The Cold War was over. We won.   

Nobody suspected in 1997 what the next decade would bring.   Anymore than anybody could foresee from 1910 what conditions would be just thirteen years later.  

What struck me about the documentary was how closely it tracked with our past thirteen years.  It was spooky.   Nobody could have known when they were translating Hitler’s early speeches that the words “hope” and “change” and “fundamental transformation” would soon become part of the American political lexicon.

I was particularly stunned by a 1928 political speeches in which Hitler apologized to his supporters because change wasn’t coming as fast as he had promised, exhorted them not to give up hope and repeated his promise that the fundamental transformation of the German nation was just around the corner.

It was creepy. Here is one example from a Hitler speech:

“Our opponents accuse National Socialism and me in particular of being intolerant and quarrelsome. They say we don’t want to work with other parties. They say the National Socialists are not Germans at all because they refuse to work with other parties.  .  . I have to admit one thing – these gentlemen are quite right – we are intolerant.  I have given myself one goal, to sweep these parties from Germany.”   

Replace “National Socialist” with “Democrat”, “German” with “American,” and Hitler’s political antagonists with the Tea Party, and one has all the elements of an Obama stump speech.

The documentary also focused its attention on other less-commonly examined themes, such as the kinds of men Hitler surrounded himself with and those whom he appointed to various jobs.  

As I watched, I kept thinking of Obama’s stable of unelected political ‘czars’ that he’s used to circumvent the Constitution’s ‘advice and consent’ requirements.   

There is some kind of rule about comparing anybody to the Nazis – something to the effect that making such a comparison dilutes the singularly evil character of the Nazi era.

Ordinarily, I would agree.  There is no historical comparison between Hitler and the Nazis and anybody else — yet.    But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be – but if nobody dares to compare, then nobody will see the next one coming until he is here. 

That is the titular purpose for the documentary — it is “a warning from history.”  To hear a warning, you have to listen and then watch for the signs.   

“Hope and change” isn’t a new political slogan.  And the “fundamental transformation” of a nation is not a new political goal.  It’s all been done before. 

And according to the Bible, it will all be done again.

I don’t know if Obama is just another fascist dictator wannabe or if he is the real deal, and neither does anybody else, yet.   Until Hitler became Hitler, even Hitler wasn’t “Hitler”  — yet.  He was just another politician with an agenda.. 

By 1937 all the signs were in place that were necessary to foresee the coming cataclysm, but had Hitler been hit by lightning, run over by a truck or otherwise swept from office prior to 1937, Hitler would probably have gone down in history as one of Germany’s greatest leaders.   

What we do know is that the Bible predicts that during the last days, a mysterious and charismatic leader will suddenly arise from obscurity,  will seize the reins of power by popular acclamation, and will unleash one of the most vicious periods of war, poverty, famine and persecution the world has ever seen.

The other thing we do know is that nobody listens to warnings from history.