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November 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm
Did you know that the English-speaking world is in the midst of an Atheistic revival? It is fueled by a small but widely celebrated group of authors and thinkers who call themselves "the Brights", and who lecture, debate and write best-selling books which have a wide following among young college and University students.
The Owls of Ga'Hoole
A review of this mystical book series for children and youth
by Berit Kjos
October 26, 2010
The owl as a symbol: "Cherokee shamans viewed Eastern Screech-Owls as consultants on punishment and sickness. The Cree believed that the whistle-sounds of the Boreal Owl was a summoning call to the spirit world.... In Africa the owl is associated with witchcraft and sorcery. Australia, China, Greenland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Russia and Sweden all have cultures or mythical traditions that give spiritual significance to the owl." Carl Teichrib, "The Wise Old Owl"
"There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead...." Deuteronomy 18:10-11
Halloween comes and goes, but the Ga'Hoole owls -- with their legends, divination, ghosts, and "hagsfiends" -- call for an all-year warning. These guardians fit right into the world's history of pagan myths and mystical "seers," and their adventures make their occult suggestions all the more alluring to young readers.
by Bill Randles
August 27, 2010
Glenn Beck is a great communicator, he is very bold, and is saying many true things that few have the courage to say. I would agree with much Ã‚Â of his critique of the progressive left and their systematic destruction of our institutions. I also happen to think that reviving the memory and legacy of the founding Fathers is timely.
This week's overturning of the vote of the people of the state of California has left Bible-believing Christians reeling and voters cynical. It appears that the interests of the Castro District of San Francisco trump the voting rights of the entire state. Perhaps the talks of dividing northern and southern California into two separate states should come back to the table. That might be the only way for church-going voters to regain their democratic right to vote in an election where their vote counts.
Saturday, July 03, 2010 - 03:44 PM
Recently New Zealand's national press was awash with a story about a disabled, wheel chair bound man who had given his life savings to an Elim Church. An appeal to the Elim church's pastor, by the management of the man's hospital care facility, fell on deaf ears. The witness to the world in general was of a rapacious church willing to take all the money it could get from a man they knew to be disabled and obviously in more need of the money than the Elim church. Truth Watch remonstrated directly with the pastor and also sent the following letter to each member of the Elim movement's national board. Meantime the church, smarting under the unwanted limelight, returned the bulk of the poor man's money, but the damage had been done. The best response we could get from the Elim Board was a stilted, ad hominen response, from the board's chair; "You guys must live sad lives". Of course, we are sad, but not in the sense intended by the Chair. Everytime the Gospel of Jesus Christ is trampled in the mud of church sponsored greed, we weep.
Prof. Johan Malan, Mossel Bay, South Africa (July 2010)
We are living in a time of unprecedented technological achievements, in which handy aids and instant solutions are offered for virtually all problems. Strenuous efforts are no longer needed to get something done. In the area of communication, all information is literally available in a moment with the push of a button. Searching for hours is not necessary as the internet unlocks to us the whole world. It has become a way of life to put in less effort and to find instant solutions for everything "“ unfortunately also for spiritual problems.
My name is Supriya Mitchell and I am an Indian woman who was born and raised in Pune, India. I now live in Virginia but still have friends and family back home that I visit as much as I can. Although I was raised in a Christian home, I was taken to Hindu temples by our maid who was and still is a follower of Hinduism when I was a little girl. I love much of my Indian culture but also am burdened for so many of my people who worship false gods. I know the religions of my homeland from seeing them first-hand, and I hope my perspective helps in this matter. I am thankful that the true God preserved and protected me from many of the evils associated with following Hindu gods or the god of Islam.
by Berit Kjos
July 4, 2010
"...when in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another [England] and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights [cannot be taken away], that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
- The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776. (Thomas Jefferson, primary author)
Is that true? Does our sovereign Creator give us certain "unalienable rights" as American citizens that cannot be lost or taken away?
Like most of our presidents, Barack Obama affirms that historical promise. In The Audacity of Hope, he referred to Jefferson's introduction as "the foundation of our government" and "the substance of our common creed."
Yet those promised "rights" are fast being crushed by a vast machinery of blurry laws and oppressive regulations. Obama's next comments only illustrate the confusing double-speak so often heard from Alinksky-trained change-agents:
"...the essential idea behind the Declaration -- that we are born into this world free, all of us; that each of us arrives with a bundle of rights that can't be taken away by any person or any state without just cause; that through our own agency we can, and must, make of our lives what we will -- is one that every American understands.... Indeed the value of individual freedom is so deeply ingrained in us that we tend to take it for granted."Ã‚Â :"(
Barack Obama, Audacity of Hope- Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, Crown Publishers, 2006, p. 53.)":
Yes, we have taken our freedom for granted. But, no, we don't "arrive" in this world with a bundle of irrevocable rights. Today's evolving laws and government "entitlements" are actually replacing our original "rights" with unthinkable restrictions on speech and liberty! The most offensive "right" of all is our fading freedom to share God's unchanging truths! As He warns us,
"...the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one." 1 John 5:19
From Freedom to "Change"
James Madison was alert to the threats ahead. As the main author of our "Bill of Rights," he saw the need to limit government control over personal liberties. Ratified on December 15, 1791, the First Amendment states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
But, as we have seen, this promised protection is not irrevocable. Step by step, those wise legal guidelines are being torn down.
Historically, it makes sense. God doesn't promise us earthly "freedom" in this world. Nations that reject His guidelines will suffer the consequences:
"...when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them... when your heart is lifted up and you forget the Lord your God. ...you say in your heart, "˜My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.'... Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods... you shall surely perish. As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God." (Deut. 8:12-20)
Naturally, that warning doesn't fit our thinking today. It's far easier to believe the nice-sounding illusions in The Audacity of Hope that appeal to our feelings than to accept a disturbing reality based on facts. For example, the historical balance Obama mentions in the next paragraph has little in common with his communitarian dictates,Ã‚Â :"(
Cry, our beloved America- Sliding Down the Communitarian Slope at http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/010/cry.htm)": Ã‚Â which are fast transforming America:
"In every society (and in every individual), these twin strands -- the individualistic and the communal, autonomy and solidarity -- are in tension, and it has been one of the blessings of America that the circumstances of our nation's birth allowed us to negotiate these tensions better than most." :"(Ibid., Obama, p. 55.)":
Today, those tensions are simply resolved through his undefined plan for "change," which embraces the UN vision of communitarianism, solidarity and control. Our old individual "rights" have no place in this rising global collective -- nor in the UN Alliance of Civilizations, which recently added America to its roster of western and Muslim nations committed to unity through "dialogue."
Who Says They are "Unalienable"?
Since Thomas Jefferson penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, it reflects his philosophy. Unlike most of our founders, he claimed to be a Deist, not a Christian. He mentioned the Enlightenment's impersonal "Creator" -- "Nature's God" and the "Laws of Nature" -- but ignored the Biblical God who led the pilgrims to this continent.
Francis Schaeffer explains the difference in his 1976 book, How Then Shall We Live?
"The utopian dream of the Enlightenment can be summed up by five words: reason, nature, happiness, progress, and liberty. ...And if the humanistic elements of the Renaissance stand in sharp contrast to the Reformation, the Enlightenment was in total antithesis to it.... To the Enlightenment thinkers, man and society were perfectible...
"If these men had a religion, it was deism. The deists believed in a God who had created the world but who had no contact with it now, and who had not revealed truth to men. If there was a God, he was silent."Ã‚Â :"(Francis Schaeffer, How Then Shall We Live? Fleming H. Revel Co., 1976, p.121-122.)":
The kind of national and legal freedom that America has enjoyed for two centuries is rare and precious. But since it is not unalienable, it can be given or taken away through corruption, compromise, sedition, etc.
As a Deist, Thomas Jefferson believed in the wisdom of man, not in the unchanging sovereignty of God. Like many of his personal letters, his message to William Short dated April 13, 1820, reflects the Enlightenment's hostility toward the Bible:
"Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being."Ã‚Â :"(Francis Schaeffer, How Then Shall We Live? Fleming H. Revel Co., 1976, p.121-122.)":
About two weeks earlier, on January 24, he wrote the following letter to John Adams:
"The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills." :"(Thomas Jefferson on Christianity and Religion, Compiled by Jim Walker, http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm)":
Similar views are taught by today's college professors, the Jesus Seminar, Gnostic researchers, and numerous leaders in the emerging church movement. Denying the Holy Spirit, they can't see the truth.
"And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light..." (John 3:19)
The Only Source of Certainty
America's first president, George Washington, studied the Bible and was well aware of the national consequences of rejecting God. His 1796 Farewell Address left us with these wise warnings. Notice his emphasis on Christian moral standards:
"Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion [referring to Christianity] and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness.... Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion....
"...virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who, that is a sincere friend to it, can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?
"In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course, which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations." :"(George Washington's 1796 Farewell Address at http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/farewell/sd106-21.pdf
See his handwritten version here: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/ampage?collId=mgw2&fileName=gwpage024.db&recNum=228)"
Washington understood human nature and the cycles of culture. History had shown him that hard times drive people to God, but prosperous times tempt us to forget His goodness. He, then, withdraws and lets us face the full force of our foolishness.
Our current rulers have traded faith :"(See President Obama's beliefs- http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/009/memory.htm#obama)":Ã‚Â and morality for lies and corruption. Empowered by "Hate Crime" laws, they have targeted the "offensive" words of faithful Christians. Those who refuse to compromise may soon face persecution -- right here in the "land of free."
Yet, in the midst of this spiritual war, our Lord still reigns. His peace, hope, strength and ultimate victory will surely sustain that remnant of believers who dare to follow His way. While Jefferson's "unalienable rights" are fading fast, the following "right" from God will last through eternity:
"...as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
June 28th, 2010
On Friday night, author and researcher Ray Yungen attended a lecture at ConcordiaÃ‚Â University in Portland, Oregon to hear The Shack author William Paul Young. The name of Young's talk was "Can God Really Be That Good?" During the talk, Young told the audience that "the God of evangelical Christianity is a monster." He was referring to the belief that God is a God of judgment and will judge the unbelieving. Young also rejects the biblical view of atonement (wherein Jesus died as a substitute for us to pay the price of our sins). This view by Young is evidentÃ‚Â in a radio interview he had one year ago where he rejected the biblical view of the atonement. He echoes the sentiments of William Shannon and Brennan Manning, who both say that the God who punishes His own son to pay for the sins of others does not exist: