A House Divided

A House Divided
Vol: 18 Issue: 22 Friday, January 22, 2016

If the Bible is true, then what does that really mean?  Christians certainly believe that the Bible is true.  Without the Bible, we could know nothing about God.

Every religion has some form of a god, whether it be a deity, an ideology or a state of existence.

The religion of secular humanism worships a state of existence . . . “I think, therefore I am”.  Secular humanism holds that man is the supreme being and the creator of God. 

Secular humanism is itself a religion, according to the Supreme Court. (Torcaso v Watkins, 1961)

There are a lot of religions that recognize the Bible as being among their sacred books, including Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, Catholicism, etc., but none of these view the Bible as their supreme religious authority.

Islam’s supreme authority is the Koran; Catholicism’s supreme authority is Church tradition, the Mormons revere the Book of Mormon; Jehovah’s Witnesses give first place to the Watchtower society . . . Bible-believing Christians are marginalized as ‘fundamentalists’. 

People for the American Way, the ACLU and the rest of secular humanism’s ‘clergy’ seldom if ever take aim at Islam or Mormonism or Buddhism, but attacks against Christianity are an almost daily event.

The French Ministry of Culture (culture is a big thing in France) had 20 Christians arrested and prosecuted for breaking up a play in Paris that featured the face of Christ drizzled with excrement.

The French Roman Catholic Church condemned the protestors and defended the play.

“The association of French Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday condemned “the violence perpetrated during recent performances… France’s Roman Catholic Church is neither fundamentalist nor obscurantist (opposed to enlightenment).”

How popular do you think a play would be that featured Buddha submerged in urine or Mohammed covered in feces?  The hue and cry over disrespecting Buddha would be global — Buddhism is the world’s third largest religion. 

Disrespecting Buddha would be offensive to as many as 1.5 billion Buddhists.  Nobody in the civilized Western world would countenance such disrespect.  Buddhism is highly esteemed in France, where it is that nation’s third largest religion.  

The “Wisdom of Buddhism“, a weekly French TV program, draws about 250,000 viewers, according to the Buddhist Union of France.  For the French, it’s a “culture” thing.

“French philosopher Luc Ferry, appointed Minister of Youth and Education in 2002, published an article in Le Point magazine in which he asks:  “Why this Buddhist wave? And why particularly in France, a very Catholic country in the past? … In this time of de-Christianization, Buddhism has furnished to the West a rich and interesting alternative.”

The French would not dare to disrespect Mohammed.  While France did take the bold step of banning the burqa, it did so as part of a law banning any visible sign of religious affiliation. 

France forbids the burqa, as well as the Jewish yarmulke (skullcap) and large Christian crosses.  But the French show great respect (or fear) when it comes to Islam and are very careful not to offend Islam unnecessarily. 

When it comes to Christianity, well, offending Christians is a national sport.

Assessment:

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

I picked the French because as an officially secular humanist state, they are an easy target.  But the point is that Christianity is the one religion that anyone can disrespect with total impunity.

There is no major backlash against stuff like an excrement-smeared Jesus or a taxpayer-funded art exhibit depicts Christ submerged in a jar of urine.

Christians huff and puff, but they don’t actually blow anybody’s house down.  In the example we used, only 20 Frenchmen stormed the offending theater. 

According to national polls, 64% of the French self-identified as Catholics.  But only one thirdof the French in the same poll believe in God.

In Washington DC, the Office of Human Rights is holding an investigation into the practices ofCatholic University of America.  Catholic University is accused of violating the human rights of Muslim students by displaying crosses. 

George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf is supporting the human rights violation claim.  In a letter accompanying the complaint, (which was sixty pages long!) Banzhaf argued:

” . . . some of the Muslim students were offended because they had to hold meetings in the school’s chapels and “at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus.”

I read everything I could find on this story and nowhere could I find anyone pointing out that it is a CATHOLIC university — it’s NAME is “Catholic University.” 

Can you imagine a situation — anywhere —  America, Canada, France — anywhere! where Catholics attending at a Muslim university would even consider demanding that the school set aside a place where Catholic students could attend mass?

First off, Catholics wouldn’t be allowed to attend a Muslim university.  Anywhere. America, Canada, France . . .  ANYWHERE! Muslims are allowed to discriminate on religious grounds. Christians are not.

Why that is goes back to our initial question . . . what if the Bible IS true? 

The Bible tells us that this old world is currently under the control of the ‘god of this world’ and that the god of this world is the enemy of Christ.

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

So logically speaking, if the Bible IS true, then it would follow that the only religious faith that threatens the god of this world is faith in the God of the Bible and faith in His Christ and His Gospel. 

If the Bible is NOT true, then one faith would be the same as another, would it not?

If there was no God, or if there is some other, extra-biblical god that was really God, then it would seem logical that the religion that belonged to the real God would be the one under attack. 

If they were all equally wrong, it wouldn’t make any difference to anybody.  Would it?

If you were a secular humanist, why would you care if I was a Buddhist?  If I was a Buddhist, why would I care if you were a secular humanist?  Secular Humanists aren’t threatened by religions without God.

So they don’t sue Buddhists.  Or demand Buddhism make accommodations for Christianity. 

But if the Bible IS true, then the world is divided into two camps.  Not three, or five or a hundred.  Only two.  On one side are those that believe in the God of the Bible.  On the other side are those that believe in the god of this world, by whatever name.

If the Bible is true, then extra-Biblical religions cannot be.  If extra-Biblical religions are valid, then Bible-based religion cannot be.  There is no middle ground and therefore no place for compromise. 

The god of this world thunders and blusters against Christians and Jews, but the Bible honors the meek. Christians are enjoined to love their enemies.  Their enemies are under no such obligation. 

“The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.” (Psalms 147:6)

If the Bible is true, then one would expect the god of this world to hate those that follow it and to love those that hate it. 

“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. . .” (Matthew 12:25)

The proof is in the pudding.

Originally Published: October 28, 2011

Featured Commentary: The Wakening of another Beast ~ Alf Cengia


Civil Disobedience and the Bible

Civil Disobedience and the Bible
Vol: 18 Issue: 21 Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ever since the Obama government seized on the opportunity to use gun control to disarm law-abiding citizens, my inbox has been filled with questions about civil disobedience and whether or not Christians should engage in it.

It’s an issue I knew I’d have to address head-on one day, but one I’ve avoided like a minefield, since no matter how I answer it, I will get hammered by the other side.  

Today is Martin Luther King Day.  Since Dr. Martin Luther King raised civil disobedience to the level of a mainstream political tactic, it seems as good a time as any to tackle civil disobedience and the Bible.  It seems doubly appropriate, given that today is Barack Obama’s public inauguration to his second term. 

Before addressing what the Bible says about civil disobedience, I thought it particularly interesting that Barack Obama has claimed as his two champions President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King.  

Indeed, he decided to have two inaugurations — the one mandated by law on January 20th, and a second, public inaugural on Martin Luther King Day.

At his public inaugural today, Obama intends to use two Bibles — one belonging to President Lincoln and the other belonging to Martin Luther King.  Dr. King’s Bible will be stacked on top of Abraham Lincoln’s, so that Obama will actually only have to touch one of them.

What is so interesting is that both Lincoln and King were known to be staunch, Bible-believing Christians, whereas Obama has to run ad campaigns to convince people he is a Christian.

(What does it mean when a person finds it necessary to provide evidence of his Christianity?  It usually means there won’t be enough evidence to obtain a conviction). 

Secondarily, the liberal wing of the Democrat Party’s main push during his second term is todestroy the Republican party.  So his choice of political heroes seems odd, given their politics.

President Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  So was Martin Luther King.  Revisionist historians argue, with absolutely no evidence whatever, that King was a really a Democrat.  If he was, then Dr. King was strangely schizophrenic.

Human Events points out the obvious problems with recasting Dr. King as a Democrat:

It was the Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks. The Democrats fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860s, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s.

During the civil rights era of the 1960s, Dr. King was fighting the Democrats who stood in the school house doors, turned skin-burning fire hoses on blacks and let loose vicious dogs. It was Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who pushed to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate schools. President Eisenhower also appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren to the U.S. Supreme Court, which resulted in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision ending school segregation. Much is made of Democrat President Harry Truman’s issuing an Executive Order in 1948 to desegregate the military. Not mentioned is the fact that it was Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.

Democrat President John F. Kennedy is lauded as a proponent of civil rights. However, Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil Rights Act while he was a senator, as did Democrat Sen. Al Gore Sr. And after he became President, Kennedy was opposed to the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph, who was a black Republican. President Kennedy, through his brother Atty. Gen. Robert Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King.

For his entire adult life, right up to the very day of his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King’s most implacable enemies were Democrat leaders.  That isn’t opinion.  It is history, unrevised.

In March of 1968, while referring to Dr. King’s leaving Memphis, Tenn., after riots broke out where a teenager was killed, Democrat Sen. Robert Byrd (W.Va.), a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, called Dr. King a “trouble-maker” who starts trouble, but runs like a coward after trouble is ignited. A few weeks later, Dr. King returned to Memphis and was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

That is not to say that there weren’t Democrats involved in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s.  But they were bucking against the party line, not toeing up to it.  They were engaging in civil disobedience against the government.  Which party controlled the Congress during the 1960’s? 

John Kennedy was president (1960-1963), followed by Lyndon Johnson (1963-1968).  Both are now feted as champions of civil rights.  Kennedy and Johnson both presided over Democrat Congressional majorities in both Houses of Congress for their entire administrations.

It still took four years of arm-twisting to get enough Democrats on board to pass it.

The Civil Rights Act barely passed with 96 House Democrats (39%) and 34 Republicans (20%) opposing it.  Thirty-four percent of Senate Democrats and 18% of Senate Republicans opposed it.  

Turned around the other way, 61% of House Democrats and 80% of House Republicans supported the Civil Rights Act. 

To call the Civil Rights Act a ‘Democrat legislative victory’ is to do violence to historical reality.  

Assessment:

First, let’s define what we mean by ‘civil disobedience’:

“Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power.”

So, what does the Bible have to say about civil disobedience?  The first Bible verse most Christians turn to for answers to this question is Romans Chapter 13:1-6:

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

The Apostle Paul was a Roman citizen; the ruler that Paul insisted that Christians be subject to was Emperor Nero. Since Nero was among the greatest of the Roman persecutors of Christianity, one would be justified in concluding that the Bible does not condone civil disobedience for any reason. 

Especially in light of the Apostle Peter’s admonition in 1 Peter 2:13-17:

“Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

But that is not all that the Bible has to say on the subject.  There are times when civil disobedience is demanded by Scripture.

The King of Egypt ordered the midwives among the Hebrew slaves to kill all the male babies born to the Hebrews.  Exodus 1:17 says that:

“But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive.”

The text further says that God was pleased with the midwives’ act of civil disobedience and “dealt well” with them. (Exodus 1:20)  Pharaoh ordered the midwives to violate God’s law against murder — the midwives were justified in disobeying such an order.

In 1 Samuel 14:24-30 King Saul ordered the death of his son Jonathan for violating his order not to eat any food until evening.  Jonathan was not aware of the order and was thereforeinnocent of violating it.  Saul’s soldiers refused to shed innocent blood in violation of God’s law. 

God honored them for it.

There is the example of Shadrach, Mechach and Abdenego, who refused the King of Babylon’s order to worship a golden image he had set up. They refused on the grounds that it violated God’s law.  Nebuchadnezzar ordered them burned alive in a furnace.  (Daniel 3:1-7)

Instead, they were joined by a fourth Person whom Nebuchadnezzar himself identified as being like the Son of God.  God clearly agreed with their decision to disobey the king.  

The same also applied to the Prophet Daniel, who chose to disobey the king’s order and was thrown to the lions. (Daniel 6:6-11) God also preserved Daniel alive, agreeing with his decision to disobey the king. 

Another example of civil disobedience in keeping with biblical submission is found in 1 Kings 18.  That chapter briefly introduces a man named Obadiah who “feared the Lord greatly.”

When Queen Jezebel was killing God’s prophets, Obadiah took a hundred of them and hid them from her so they could live.  Such an act was in clear defiance of the ruling authority’s wishes.

In the New Testament, Peter and John both disobeyed the order of the High Priest not to preach the Gospel.  (Acts 4:17-215:17-1826:29)

One last example of civil disobedience is found in the book of Revelation where the Antichrist commands all those who are alive during the end times to worship an image of himself.

But Revelation says that those who become Christians at the time will disobey the Antichrist and his government and refuse to worship the image (Revelation 13:15) just as Daniel’s companions violated Nebuchadnezzar’s decree to worship his idol.

Those who do NOT practice civil disobedience in this instance will forfeit any chance at salvation.  (Revelation 14:9-11)

The government’s order that Christians provide health care coverage for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of their understanding of Scripture would seem to qualify.  Not all Christians believe that contraceptives are sinful, but for those that do, it is an order to sin against God.

So, what does the Bible say about acts of civil disobedience?

  1. Christians should resist a government that compels evil or commands a believer to commit sin or disobey God’s commandments.
  2. Christian civil disobedience should be non-violent, based on the examples of civil disobedience in Scripture.
  3. In the Bible’s examples, those who disobeyed also submitted themselves to the government for punishment.
  4. There is nothing in Scripture that prevents Christians from working to install new government leaders, provided they don’t violate existing law in the process.

As soon as the law of the land contradicts God’s command, we are to disobey the law of the land and obey God’s law.  However, even in that instance, we are to accept the government’s authority over us. 

This is demonstrated by the fact that Peter and John did not protest being flogged in Acts 5:40-42, but instead rejoiced that they suffered for obeying God.

So there are times when civil disobedience isn’t merely Biblical, it is mandated by God.  I mentioned at the outset that my inbox is filling up with questions about civil disobedience. 

When is civil disobedience mandated

I think it is safe to say that the line is drawn at the point when the government orders a believer to commit sin.

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)

It isn’t an entirely satisfactory answer, but it is Biblical.  And nobody ever said being a Christian was easy.  

Originally Published: January 21, 2013

Featured Commentary: Does God Like Compact Florescent Lamps ~ J.L. Robb

The Doctrine of Demons

The Doctrine of Demons
Vol: 18 Issue: 20 Wednesday, January 20, 2016

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2nd Timothy 2:15)

I received an email from a friend who continues to struggle in the battle between the flesh and the spirit, despairing of the fact that he is convinced he is losing the fight. 

My friend and I have been corresponding for years and I am certain of his sincere desire to be saved, but as he noted in his email, “I’ve never bought into the doctrine of ‘once saved, always saved’.” Consequently, my friend is only certain of his salvation when the enemy is taking the day off. 

Let the enemy unleash an attack, my friend falls (as do we all) and now he has to start all over again – what he calls a ‘re-re-birth’. In the meantime, until he is able to get himself back under control, he believes he has lost his salvation and is useless to God. 

The Apostle Paul admonishes believers to ‘put on the whole armor of God’ for the expressed purpose; “that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11

The purpose of that armor is SO important that Paul restates it in verse 13, saying, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”

Paul lists the believers’ spiritual armor as follows:

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (Ephesians 6:14-17)

Let’s look at each component a little more closely:

First, the truth. Note the anatomical analogy Paul uses. In battle, that is an extremely vulnerable target. Strike a serious blow there, and the victim is rendered helpless. 

Secondly, the ‘breastplate’ of righteousness. The torso is the biggest and easiest target to strike, but it is also the easiest to armor. If one is covered by the righteousness of Christ, the heart is protected. 

Thirdly, the feet. A battle tactic commonly employed in Paul’s day was to sow the battlefield with nails and other sharp objects. Foot soldiers with injured feet are not very effective. If one is fully prepared (‘shod’) with the Gospel, one can engage the enemy uncrippled. 

Fourth, Paul says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (v16) If one is certain of his standing before God, the enemy’s whispering campaign falls on deaf ears. 

Finally, Paul says to, “take the helmet of salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God:” 

The ‘helmet of salvation’. In battle, the most effective way to take an enemy out is a head shot. If the enemy can convince you that your salvation is in doubt, he has sidelined you as a threat. 

Without truth, the righteousness of Christ, knowledge of the Gospel, faith in its promises, and the certain knowledge of your standing before Christ, the Christian’s only offensive weapon; “the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God” is not very effective. 

Assessment:

“Above all”, Paul writes, is the shield of faith. Without faith, one can never be certain of one’s salvation. And just how effectively can the unsaved communicate the truth of the Gospel — or wield the Sword of the Spirit, ‘which is the Word of God’? 

If the doctrine of eternal security is a true doctrine, then the enemy has no power over the Christian. He can’t inspire fear, he can’t inspire doubt, he can’t inspire faint-heartedness – in short, HE is defeated. 

The only weapon the enemy can deploy against a Christian is doubt. The question can’t be examined often enough – what good is the Word of God in the hands of the unsaved? 

The Scriptures say, “For the preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness;” (1 Corinthians 1:18) and, “. . . the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14)

Can a person who is once saved, become a ‘natural (unsaved) person again through sin? Having been once saved, does the preaching of the Cross become ‘foolishness’ to the Christian who has sinned his way out of fellowship with God? 

If the Word of God doesn’t become ‘foolishness’ to the lost sinner (and the Bible clearly says it does), then why is it that the once-saved sinner now out of fellowship stills knows enough to ask God to save him again? How can a sinner out of fellowship with God discern the spiritual need to be saved (again)? 

The Scriptures say that salvation CANNOT be achieved the acts of men. (1 Corinthians 3:15, Ephesians 2:8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9, Titus 3:5)

Salvation, according to Scripture, comes to us by God’s love for us, not by our love of God. (Psalms 6:4, 17:7, 31:16, 109:26, Isaiah 63:9, Titus 3:4

1 John 4:19
says that “We love him, because He FIRST loved us,” — and NOT the other way around. 

The person who has ‘sinned themselves out of salvation’ cannot, of his own volition, return to the Throne and ask to be saved a second time. 

A Pentecostal preacher that I know once told cited Hebrews 6:4-6 as his proof text that people CAN fall away to the extent they can lose their salvation. 

“For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame.” 

It proves exactly the opposite. If his proof text means one can lose one’s salvatio
n, then it also means that, once lost, they are forever lost and have NO HOPE of being ‘re-saved’ — unless there is another way of interpreting the word ‘impossible’. 

Salvation is accomplished by Jesus Christ alone. (Matthew 1:21, 18:11, Luke 2:11, 7:50, 9:56, 19:10, John 3:17, 4:42, 12:47, Acts 2:47, 4:12, 5:31, 13:23, Romans 5:9, 10, 11:26, 1 Corinthians 1:18, 2 Corinthians 2:15, Ephesians 5:23, Philippians 3:20, 2 Timothy 1:10, Titus 3:6, Hebrews 7:25, 2 Peter 1:1, 10-11, 2 Peter 2:20)

Salvation is a gift extended by God’s grace and not something to be earned by good works or lost by bad ones. (Acts 15:11, Ephesians 2:5, 8, 2 Timothy 1:8-9)

The state of salvation is eternal, (Isaiah 45:17) physical, (Ephesians 5:23) and comes through the Sovereign Call of God. (Psalms 20:6, 28:8, 57:3, 2 Peter 1:10-11) A person who has been saved is saved from eternal judgment. (Psalms 76:9, 109:31)

The doctrine of eternal security was not given the Church as a ‘license to sin’, as its opponents claim. The doctrine of eternal security was given the Church as a defensive weapon to keep them from succumbing to wounds suffered in the battle with the enemy. 

Without the helmet of salvation, the Sword of the Spirit is useless. And without the Sword of the Spirit, the Christian is defeated before he even steps onto the field. 

Opponents of the doctrine of eternal security sometimes deride it the ‘doctrine of demons’. Logic says exactly the opposite. 

Why would ‘demons’ promote a doctrine that renders the Christian invulnerable in battle, rather than the one that guarantees the Christian’s defeat — since all Christians sin? 

Do YOU know anybody that has never sinned since being saved — not even once? What about YOU? 

Then, there is the problem with the logic behind conditional salvation. 

If a Christian can sin his way out of being saved, which sin is it? (I’ll only have to avoid THAT one) 

If it isn’t one sin, but a preponderance of sins, how many sins constitute a ‘preponderance’? (So I can stay under the limit) 

And, having sinned oneself out of salvation, how does one get around the problem of “crucify[ing] to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put[ing] Him to an open shame.”?

But the bottom line is this: If eternal security is a false doctrine, then we are defeated, and even Jesus can’t save us from ourselves. 

And THAT, my friends, would be the ‘doctrine of demons’ in a nutshell.

Originally Published: July 7, 2006

Why Does God Allow Deformed Babies?

Why Does God Allow Deformed Babies?
Vol: 18 Issue: 19 Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Why is the world the way it is?  Why do some people die slow, lingering painful deaths, while others slip away peacefully in their sleep?  Why do some people suffer life-long debilitating illnesses while others live their lives through with nary a sniffle?  Why are babies born with birth defects?

That was the question that popped into my email box yesterday.  Does God make defective babies?

“I have a challenging question you may or may not want to tackle. I am 60 years old, I am a Christian and I have been a nurse for almost 32 years.  I work in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) at a big, teaching hospital. In Psalm 139:14God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made.  He knits us together in our mother’s wombs.  He knows us before this is even done!  How do I reconcile the fact that God knits us together in the womb with the fact that we see many anomalous infants born? (I am asking for my own understanding as well as to be able to minister to families who have these anomalous infants and either lose them in death or take them home to care for them long-term). I know we live in a sin-fallen world and things are not what they were meant to be, but does God actually knit a baby with Down’s syndrome together in the womb or one with an underdeveloped brain or heart?  I am looking and seeking to understand this myself, but wondered if you had any insight into this.  Thanks for considering.”

Virtually every meaningful conversation I have ever had with people on the subject of God and religion has either started with this question, or one like it.  No doubt, you probably can say the same thing.

If God is real, then how come He allows evil?  Let’s start there.

“Evil” is actually something that is completely beyond our comprehension.  As finite human beings, we can discern “good” on a subjective level — if we like the outcome, then it is good.

The same applies to recognizing evil.  We can discern that it is evil — subjectively — because we can perceive the outcome will be a bad one.

But the premise that we human beings can know good and evil is part and parcel of the first lie ever told in the universe.

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:5)

Instead of knowing good and evil, Adam and Eve learned about bad and worse.  Bad was how they felt after they had sinned, and worse was how they felt after they were penalized for their sin.  But they couldn’t know good and evil.

We can discern moral and immoral, right and wrong, but good and evil are outcomes, not concepts. Outcomes are known only to God.  We witness an earthquake and we wonder why God created such a great evil.

The earthquake swarm that spawned the Japanese tsumani was a great evil because of the deaths and damages that followed.  Yes?

It depends on how you look at it.  As already noted, evil is subjective.

Earthquakes are necessary to sustaining life on earth.  Land masses wear down with time because of rain, snow, freezing, heating, glaciers, landslides, and gravitational forces. If there were no forces that lift the land to replenish the worn away parts, after a while all land on the earth would be under water.

Because the earth is liquid inside, land is constantly being lifted to replace the land that is worn down.  So earthquakes are actually good, because without them, the earth could not sustain life.

Death is evil, because we cannot fully understand it, not because it is actually evil.  Death is a necessary part of our transition from darkness into light.  You cannot go to heaven without dying first. (Unless you happen to make it to the Rapture).

And so, from the perspective of those who perished in Japan, it was only “evil” for those that died in their sins.

Those who were in Christ are presently in the company of their Savior, alive forevermore, beyond the reach of sickness, loss or death.

From the perspective of those who are left behind, the tsunami was a great evil.  But that is because we don’t know the whole story.  We never do.  That’s why it is so hard for us to grasp how God can “allow” evil.

If the tsunami had not struck an inhabited area, but instead swept across an uninhabited desert island, would it have still been considered “evil”?  No.

What made it “evil” was our perception of the outcome.

Assessment:

To a secularist, it is a greater evil to allow a defective baby to live with a birth defect than it would be to spare him a life of misery by aborting him in the womb.  But in order to make that judgment, one must first put oneself in a position of judging an outcome.

“God tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made. He knits us together in our mother’s wombs. He knows us before this is even done! How do I reconcile the fact that God knits us together in the womb with the fact that we see many anomalous infants born?”

Helen Keller was struck deaf and blind by meningitis at the age of 19 months.  By every possible human measure, this sounds unspeakably evil.  Certainly, it would have been ‘good’ had Helen Keller miraculously recovered her vision and hearing.

One might even call such a restoration a triumph of good over evil.  Especially from the perspective of pretty much anybody living back in the 1880’s.

But Helen Keller never recovered her sight and hearing.  She lived for eighty-seven years in a world of soundless darkness.  Had “good triumphed over evil” in this case, American sign language might never have been developed.

Why does God allow anomalous infants to be born? “The Lord works in mysterious ways” isn’t a very satisfying answer. There is good reason for that.

It is because the Lord doesn’t work in ‘mysterious’ ways; He works according to His will.  He has a purpose for everything that He does.  Whether we understand that purpose is irrelevant — HE does.

“So shall My Word be that goeth forth out of My Mouth: it shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11)

To the unbeliever, this life is all there is — so when God takes it, it seems exceedingly cruel.  But this is no more ‘all there is’ than the blackness of the womb is to the unborn child.  The blackness of the womb is simply all it knows until it is born.

What seems exceedingly cruel from this perspective of existence may well be an act of exceeding mercy when viewed from the perspective of God.

God allows birth defects for the same reason that he allows for the existence of both good and evil.  God uses what we might consider evil to accomplish what He knows is good.

Take the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.  His brothers were jealous of Joseph, so they kidnapped him and sold him into slavery.  They went back to their father and reported Joseph dead.

They intended to do evil.  That was their plan.  In those days, slavery was usually a fate worse than death. But Joseph became the most powerful man in Egypt while his brothers were starving to death as the result of a great famine.

Had Joseph not been in the position he was at the time, his brothers, who were not Egyptians, would have been turned away to starve.  God had a plan for Israel and it didn’t involve them starving to death before it could come to fruition.

As Joseph himself noted, his brothers meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.

It isn’t a very satisfying answer to the question, does God form anomalous babies?  But it is the only logical answer, notwithstanding.  Of course God is responsible for birth defects.  He is God.  But birth defects are “evil” only because of our lack of understanding.

When she was a young child, it would be impossible to see Helen Keller’s life as anything but a tragedy.  But God intended it for good and Helen Keller went on to use her disabilities to become one of the most famous educators in American history.

In the end, we can say without doubt that God knits together every person in the womb, including those with birth defects.  We can say with confidence that if God didn’t want that baby to have a birth defect, then it wouldn’t.

So that leaves only one remaining possibility.  God intended it for reasons of His own that we cannot understand, which is, in and of itself, a point of understanding.

Good and evil are outcomes, and outcomes are known only to God.  That’s why He wants us to trust Him.

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Originally Published February 24, 2012

Featured Commentary: Crocodile Rock ~ Wendy Wippel

How to Run The World Without Really Trying

How to Run The World Without Really Trying
Vol: 18 Issue: 18 Monday, January 18, 2016

Woodrow Wilson’s chief advisor was Colonel Edward Mandel House. Col. House was an unabashed globalist who wholeheartedly subscribed to the principle of elitist rule.

Rather a strange philosophy for an advisor to a Constitutionally elected national chief executive, wouldn’t you think?

House was the author of a fictional novel entitled, Philip Dru, Administrator. The topic was the subject of some debate at the time. His book laid out, in clear, unmistakable terms, the plan for the New World Order. Although a work of fiction, the entire outline was lifted directly from the pages of his Insider’s notebook.

Colonel House grew up an Insider. Thomas W. House, his father, got rich during the Civil War running supplies to the Confederacy from England as a Rothschild agent. The [Rothschild] Bank of England backed the South, hoping to achieve, in its third attempt, control of a central bank of issue in the US. House was an ardent backer of the Federal Reserve Act.

He acted as America’s chief foreign diplomat during World War One. House was instrumental in bringing the US into the war, and played a major role in developing the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Col. House was one of the architects of the failed League of Nations, and a founder of the nefarious Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

The Royal Institute of International Affairs 

By 1885, the Rothschild group [Insiders] decided that control of the world’s economic centers could not be maintained without control of the globe’s political centers. Although politicians could be bribed, they were only reliable to a point. But only a true Insider, one familiar with the Big Picture, could take it further.

Thus, the Rothschild interests of London needed a political policy group to serve as its agent in the political arena. To that end, the Royal Institute for International Affairs was set up. Rothschild money through front companies provided all the financial support necessary. 

By 1900, the Royal Institute for International Affairs [RIIA] had its people in place across the United Kingdom, and was ready to tackle the United States.

The Classic Thesis 

World War One was the crisis selected to advance the thesis, which could be expressed as “to bring about a global government, ruled by the elite, to the betterment of mankind.’ The war was easily managed; the Insiders were financing both sides, their agent, Col. House was advising Wilson; the Federal Reserve Act provided control of the most dynamic economy the world had ever seen, and there was plenty of spare change to be made in the bargain. 

One could call it ‘management by trickle down economics’. Wars need weapons. Both sides in the conflict are dedicated to destroying as many of the other side’s weapons as possible, ensuring a steady demand for new weapons. Wars create demand by definition, a demand the Insiders were only too happy to meet. Along the way, the fat defense contract awards kept dissenters from complaining, full employment kept civilian populations happy, and media hyperbole about horrors committed by both sides kept the patriots happy. Everybody was happy except the millions of young men dead on the battlefield. 

None of whom were Insiders! 

The Rhodes/Milner Group 

Cecil Rhodes was an Englishman who, through clever exploitation of the diamond mines and gold fields of South Africa, became one of the wealthiest men in the world at that time. The world famous de Beers Consolidated Mines and the Consolidated Gold Fields exist today, guarding and maintaining the same monopolies set up by Rhodes a hundred years before. Cecil Rhodes, with the backing of England’s Lord Rothschild, so completely dominated the Dark Continent that modern day Zimbabwe and Zaire carried the name Rhodesia until 1979. In fact, for most of the Late, Great 20th century, Rhodesia was administered, not by its own government, but by the British South Africa Company. 

Rhodes dedicated his life to the advancement of a globalist cause. Rhodes’ goal wasn’t merely to see a world government, he set up a trust to “federate the English-speaking peoples and to bring all the habitable portions of the world under their control.” The trust he set up to further his Insider global agenda was called the Rhodes Trust.

“The extension of British rule throughout the world, the perfecting of a system of emigration from the United Kingdom and of colonization by British subjects of all lands wherein the means of livelihood are obtainable by energy, labour and enterprise, … the ultimate recovery of the United States of America as an integral part of a British Empire, the inauguration of a system of Colonial representation in the Imperial Parliament which may tend to weld together the disjointed members of the Empire, and finally, the foundation of so great a power as to hereafter render wars impossible and promote the best interests of humanity.”

As part of a larger secret society set up by Rhodes in 1891 was a plan to educate up and coming young scholars on the nuances of how to advance the Plan. The trust set up to this purpose was the Rhodes Scholarship. President Clinton and General Wesley Clark are Rhodes Scholars, to name a few. 

“In his “Confession of Faith” Rhodes outlined the types of persons who might be useful members of this secret society. As listed by the American secretary to the Rhodes Trust, this list exactly describes the group formed by Milner in South Africa.

“Men of ability and enthusiasm who find no suitable way to serve their country under the current political system; able youth recruited from schools and universities; men of wealth with no aim in life; younger sons with high thoughts and great aspirations but without opportunity; rich men whose careers are blighted by some great disappointment. All must be men of ability and character … Rhodes envisages a group of the ablest and best, bound together by common unselfish ideals of service to what seems to him the greatest cause in the world. There is no mention of material rewards. This is to be a kind of religious brotherhood like the Jesuits, “a church for the extension of the British Empire”.”

Lord Alfred Milner was the dominant trustee of the Rhodes Trust. He carefully selected candidates for the Rhodes Scholarship. He soon had a number of young men educated under the Scholarship placed in influential posts in government and international finance. 

By 1919, working from the RIIA [also known as Chatham House] the Insiders had set up Institutes of International Affairs throughout the British dominions. The time had come to advance Rhodes stated goal of the ultimate recovery of America. It was time to set up such an organization in the United States. 

Assessment: 

This is an excerpt from the book The Last Generation. It’s too fascinating to keep under wraps. And way too scary. Hope you are enjoying the snippets. 

The amazing thing to keep in mind is that this is a Plan that has been ongoing for more than two hundred and thirty years. One can track it across the decades and see it being nutured and developed across generations. 

And not ONE of its conspirators realizes they are part of a Larger Plan that reaches across millennia DIRECTLY to this generation.

“The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.” (Proverbs 28:11)

Originally Published: December 8, 2003

Featured Commentary: The Pre-Post Tribulation Rapture ~ Pete Garcia

What Follows ‘Peace and Safety’?

What Follows ‘Peace and Safety’?
Vol: 18 Issue: 16 Saturday, January 16, 2016

It seems like only a few years ago that the biggest challenge facing anyone teaching Bible prophecy was establishing that these could be the last days.

Twenty years ago, the first part of any column or script was dedicated to proving that we are living in the times spoken of by the Hebrew prophets.

And I usually had to be cagey about how I did it.  In those days, if you mentioned Bible prophecy too soon, you’d lose your reader. 

It was necessary to start with something secular and work one’s way back to the Bible to keep from being marginalized right off the bat as a prophecy nut.

That was then.  This is now.  And the challenge has shifted.  I note that many secular sources spend their time arguing why these aren’t the last days. 

The ‘last days’ concept has leapt the religious fence and entered the realm of popular mythology.

Given the secular fears of the effects of global warming, planet-killing asteroids, solar-generated flesh-eating gamma rays and other potential mass extinction events – they aren’t having any easier time now than I did them while making the opposite arguments.

We’re living in a totally different world than we were – in the old world, we knew that Islam was “one of the world’s three great monotheistic religions” but that was about the extent of what we knew or how it affected our lives.

Until Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, many thought of Baghdad and their first association would be “1001 Arabian Nights”.  The mention of Islam conjured up images of Lawrence of Arabia, not Osama bin-Laden.

We were living then at a time of comparative peace and safety.  The Soviet Union was dead.  The Russian Bear seemed mortally wounded.  The European Super State was well on the way to full unification thanks to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

During the eight years of the Clinton administration, all of America’s defense capabilities were ‘down-sized’ as intelligence agencies were de-funded, military readiness and troop strength wasreduced, US military bases at home and abroad were scrapped.

Thanks to the ‘peace dividend’ the Clinton economic ‘miracle years’ made America think it could have its cake and eat it too.  In his first State of the Union speech, Clinton told America how he was going to ‘revitalize’ the economy. 

By cutting the US military and intelligence services and “capturing the peace dividend for investment purposes,” he told Congress in his 1993 SOTU speech.

If ever there were a time in living memory when America and Israel were living in relative peace and safety, it would be at about the time Clinton made that speech.  Israel had not yet entered into the Oslo agreement.

Greater Israel was yet intact, despite two years of constant intifada.  No Arab land attack could successfully penetrate Israel’s existing buffer zones in the Golan, the West Bank, the Sinai and Gaza Strip. 

The intifada was annoying, but Israel’s continued existence was not an issue of daily concern.  One of the verses I quoted most often during those years was from 1 Thessalonians 5:3:

“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.”

In those days, it seemed to me that the focus of the lesson being taught by Paul was the warning of sudden destruction.  The Bible is a living Book, and twenty years ago, that was the focus – the warning.  Because the Bible is alive, the same passage takes on a new focus as we move into the relevant time frame.

Paul used the same imagery that Jesus had – birth pangs.  Let’s dwell there for a moment. 

Labor pains come on suddenly, but they soon settle in to a regular pattern that distinguishes them from false labor. As they grow closer together and more intense, and other signs of imminent birth make themselves known, a clearer picture begins to emerge.  

By the time the actual event happens, enough signs are in place to know that it is time to get the catcher’s mitt and the salad spoons and move into position. 

When I read 1st Thessalonians Chapter Five from the perspective of twenty years later, I find the focus of the lesson has shifted somewhat.  

Nobody is saying ‘peace and safety’ anymore.  And it seems probable (since 9/11) that nobody will be saying it again within the scope of my lifetime.  Instead of ‘peace and safety’ what we’re hearing in the West is ‘generational’ war.

And what Israel is hearing is “prepare for all out war.”

Assessment:

In Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians, he writes of the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and by our gathering together unto Him.”  

Take a second to clear your mind and then ask yourself with me what the Thessalonians could have thought Paul was talking about. 

Paul is writing to a small church that he himself planted – these are intimate friends. Whatcould they have thought Paul meant when he spoke of, “our gathering together unto Him”?  If Iwrote to you of our “gathering together unto Him” what would you think that I meant?

Especially if, as Paul did, I directly connected it to the imminence of the Day of Christ?  But even if I didn’t – what else, in context, could “our gathering together unto Him be referring to?   

In any case, Paul tells them not to worry about it until some other signs fall into place.

“Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Wait! That’s right, this is Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians! What did Paul tell them before that prompted him to remind them he had already addressed “these things” previously?

In Paul’s First Letter he warned of coming destruction, like ‘birth pangs’ and “they shall not escape.”  

Let’s revisit the relevant passages in context.

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2)

What is the context here?  The times and seasons and the coming of the Lord “like a thief in the night.” What does ‘a thief in the night’ suggest to you?    

A thief in the night seldom announces his presence or intention.  A successful night burglar makes his appearance in secret.

The 2nd Coming of Christ is a world-wide, ‘behold, He cometh with clouds and every eye shall see Him’ event accompanied by angels, massive earthquakes and (presumably) major explosions as the armies of earth turn their weapons of destruction against the Prince of Peace.  

If a ‘thief in the night’ paints the picture of a secret coming, the Bible’s description of the Second Coming is more in line with a global a ticker-tape parade. 

So in context, this cannot be referring to the Second Coming of Christ.  Can it?  Remember, this is what Paul was referring back to from 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10

“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.  But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” (1 Thessalonians 5:3-4)

They shall not escape. . . but ye brethren. . .   Who are they and how do they differ from yehere?  Can you see it, yet?

Paul explains that ‘they’ are children of the night, in darkness, whereas ‘ye’ are children of the light, to whom Paul admonishes to put “on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet,the hope of salvation.”

Stay with me in context here. 

In 2 Thessalonians 2:1 Paul is assuring the Thessalonians that the Lord hasn’t returned. Is itpossible that they thought the 2nd Coming had occurred and they missed it? 

That Jesus had appeared with clouds, vanquished the enemy, resurrected the dead and judged the nations. . .  and they missed it?  Can you make that make sense? 

So what could they possibly have thought that they missed?

Paul writes, “remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” Paul was referring in his Second Letter to his First Letter.  This isn’t that hard to figure out, given the topic is the same. 

So what things was Paul referring back to?  What had so shaken the Thessalonians in mind and troubled in spirit that Paul found it necessary to revisit it in a follow up letter? 

Paul taught the Thessalonians extensively about the Rapture.  Many of the most obvious Rapture passages are in his letters to the Thessalonians and those to the Church at Corinth.

They feared they had missed the Rapture and that they would be left behind to face the Wrath of God in the Tribulation.  Why else would they be worried at all?  If everybody was going to be left behind, then why even bring it up?

Could it have anything to do with what had Paul taught them previously?

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Paul expounded on his Rapture teaching from 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 saying that “whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him” and reminds them that this doctrine is given to comfort them, for they feared they were left behind to face the Tribulation.

“Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

This isn’t a salvation message Paul sent them.  He is writing to the Church members.  They are already saved.

Paul isn’t writing to the Thessalonikans to tell them being saved will sustain and comfort them.   Paul makes a specific promise that the ‘brethren’ are not appointed to wrath’ — in reply to their fear they had been left behind. 

There is no other logical explanation.  They feared they had been left behind for somethingwhich means that they missed something else.  Can you find another meaning in there?

They thought that Nero was the antichrist and so therefore they feared they had somehow missed the Rapture.  Paul explains to them in his Second Letter that they couldn’t have – and then he explains why.  Paul outlined the order of events as follows:

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only He who now letteth will let, until He be taken out of the way.  And THEN shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

So here’s what the Thessalonians were taught.  The Church was not appointed to wrath.  The fact that they were still a restraining influence indwelt by the Holy Spirit proved He had not been removed.  And so therefore, that “Wicked” could not yet have been revealed.  

Nero wasn’t the antichrist because the Church would be withdrawn with the Holy Spirit before the identity of the antichrist can be revealed.

Twenty years ago, when I read Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, the lesson focus was what it meant when everybody started talking about peace and safety.  They aren’t talking about that anymore.

I read the same passage today and the Lord has an entirely different lesson focus – one more appropriate to our advanced time frame.  What is the lesson? 

First they shall say peace and safety – followed by the fear of sudden destruction.  Then the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout and the voice of an archangel and the dead in Christ will rise first, followed by the living believers who will receive their resurrection bodies next.

And then shall that Wicked be revealed. . . . 

Originally Published: February 11, 2011

Nothing Up My Sleeve. . .

Nothing Up My Sleeve. . .
Vol: 18 Issue: 15 Friday, January 15, 2016

In fiction, when a president takes ‘executive action’ it generally indicates that what is about to happen is necessary, but illegal.  Like in the old Mission Impossible TV series, where the mission is so ‘sensitive’ that if any of the agents are caught, the ‘Secretary will disavow your actions’.

It is great fun in fiction, and sometimes we like to think that somewhere in the bowels of government there actually is an Impossible Missions Force or some super-secret agent or agency that will enforce illegal, but necessary orders by the President without compromising the rule of law.

Indeed, we tend to fantasize that there is such a person as a Jack Bauer, but such fantasies always hinge on the assumption that the president who’s giving the orders is a man of unusually high morals that can be trusted to only take such ‘executive action’ for the good of the nation.

If that were not true, then such television fantasies as “Mission Impossible”, “I Spy” and “24” would have never gotten off the ground. 

I think a lot of us were surprised to discover that there wasn’t such an agency somewhere that President Clinton couldn’t have tasked with quietly hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden and his lieutenants before September 11 made him an American curse.

Of course, the reason that an Impossible Missions Force doesn’t exist in real-life is because in real life, the president isn’t always a man of unusually high morals whose primary goal is to protect the nation.  Sometimes, he is just a self-serving politician whose primary goal is his personal re-election and his secondary goal is to advance his party’s political interests.

The Founding Fathers were smarter than we are, recognizing that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and so they built in a system of checks and balances to protect the nation from executive overreach.  It is for that reason that “executive action” involving a Jack Bauer or an IMF only exists in Hollywood fantasy.

Most Americans would be surprised to learn that the Founders went even further than that.  Nowhere in the Constitution is the Executive Branch given the authority to issue “executive orders” which, in dictatorial countries are usually known as “Presidential decrees”.

The Power of the Executive is defined in Section 2, Article 1 of the Constitution and is limited to the following:

“The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

The Constitution denies him the right to make war, reserving that power to the Congress, but itdoes make him responsible for the conduct of the military during time of war, gives him the authority to seek the counsel of the rest of the Executive, and the limited power to grant reprieves and pardons. 

His ability to appoint Cabinet officers is limited to nominating a candidate, which must then be confirmed by two thirds of the Senate.  He has the power to enter the US into treaties, but only if ratified by two-thirds of the Senate.

The President is required to report the State of the Union to Congress once per year.  He has the duty to make recommendations to Congress, but Congress is not obliged to act upon them.  He can order Congress into session under extraordinary circumstances (the last time was President Truman in 1948).

The Constitution also makes it the duty of the President to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed”.   This clause does not include an option whereby the Executive can choose to NOT execute laws that he doesn’t like, like the Defense of Marriage Act or existing immigration law. 

Every federal officer, including federal law enforcement officers, swear the following oath of office:

“I (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

Refusing to enforce an existing law is an act of presidential dereliction of his Constitutional duty and a violation of his Constitutional oath.  Ordering sworn law enforcement officers NOT to enforce the laws passed by Congress is an illegal order that demands that they violate their Constitutional oath of office.

It assumes that loyalty to the president and loyalty to the Constitution are one and the same.  

Assessment:

“And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”(2 Thessalonians 2:11-12)

President Obama signed a total of twenty-three executive orders aimed at curtailing (or infringing on) the Second Amendment’s provision forbidding the government from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.

Ironically, one of them requires complete federal background checks for all gun sales.  The irony is found in that one of his first executive orders was the one that made checking his own background a federal crime. 

The president said he was taking executive action to ‘circumvent’ Congressional opposition, which is precisely why the Constitution reserved legislative authority to the Congress — to prevent the Executive from ‘circumventing’ Congress.

That is a central PURPOSE for the existence of the Congress — to prevent the White House from passing legislation by decree.  This isn’t to suggest that Obama is the first to use an Executive Order to violate the Constitution because the Congress wouldn’t. The illegal use of presidential executive orders goes back a long way. 

When he issued Executive Order 9066,  President Franklin D. Roosevelt delegated military authority to remove (by force) any or all people (used to target specifically Japanese Americans and German Americans) in a military zone.

The authority delegated to General John L. DeWitt subsequently paved the way for all Japanese-Americans on the West Coast to be sent to concentration camps for the duration of World War II. 

The issue isn’t gun control.  Think of a magician pulling a rabbit out of a hat . . . “nothing up my sleeve!”   Gun control isn’t the rabbit.  It’s the sleeve the magician wants you to focus on so you don’t see what he is really up to, in this case, the expansion of presidential power, in particular where it concerns the debt limit.

The debt limit?  How did we get there from gun control?

“Where they won’t act, I will,” he said in October 2011 as part of a “We Can’t Wait” campaign he launched 10 months after Republicans took over the U.S. House of Representatives.

Since then, the president has turned to executive orders, policy directives, waivers, signing statements and other administrative steps to bypass Congress and act on contentious issues, including immigration, welfare, education reform and now gun violence.

Acting in response to the shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama announced 23 executive actions Wednesday designed to ensure guns don’t get into the wrong hands. He also called on Congress to ban the sale of assault rifles, limit the size of ammunition clips and require background checks for all gun sales.

“Increasingly, what we’re seeing is a lot of the policy-making apparatus of the federal government shifting to the executive branch,” said William Howell, a University of Chicago expert on presidential powers.

At the same time that Obama is bypassing the Congress to infringe on America’s Second Amendment Rights, he is refusing to negotiate with the GOP over their demand for spending cuts before they will agree to lift the federal spending limit.

Federal spending is limited by federal law.  The Congress created the debt ceiling in the Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917.  It allowed the Treasury Department to issue Liberty Bonds so the U.S. could enter World War I.  It also gave Congress — and not the Executive — the ability to control government spending.

Obama increased the national debt by some four trillion, most of which was spent specifically in areas that would increase his voter base, in effect, using public money to buy public votes for his party.  Obama wants that power taken away from the Congress and turned over to him.  

If Obama can raise the debt ceiling at will, then he can buy votes and guarantee Democrat control of the country for as long as the Treasury can print money.  Bread and circuses — that is what brought down the Roman Empire. 

And that is what is really up Obama’s sleeve.

Originally Published: January 17, 2013

Featured Commentary: Another Christ at the Checkpoint Conference ~ Alf Cengia