Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Important Message For The GOP: Get Rid of the RINOS

This excellent analysis by John Hawkins on first caught my eye because of the word "RINOS" in its title but the message is right on target. Frankly, I think its time to throw out both parties and start over but that will never happen. The GOP seems to be proud of being just slightly right of center and they call that conservatism (the left calls it right-wing extremism). The Democrats move further left every time the right moves in their direction. The Republican Party had better wake up and move back toward conservatism or it will die.
“You say that the GOP can't win as a small government party. Well, we've already tried being a big government party for the last 8 years and it failed. You think running a moderate, pro-amnesty candidate who eschews social issues is the key to winning elections? Well, that's who we ran in 2008 and he received even less votes than George Bush did in 2004.
“Basically, we have a lot of moderates in the GOP taking the same attitude that the Left used to take towards communism, "It works, but it just hasn't been tried by the right people yet." It didn't make much sense when the lefties were saying it and it makes even less sense now.” Read the entire article, Five Hard Truths For RINOS (Republicans In Name Only) here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

****THE LORD TOLD ME revised

A cartoon that appeared in Leadership magazine a few years ago illustrated a church board meeting. The caption read, " O.K., so the vote is as follows: Dean, Robert, Joe, Frank and Harold are for the proposal. God and I are against it."

Church leaders sometimes resort to that kind of manipulation. Whenever they want something, they will intimidate people into going along with their agendas by insinuating that anyone who disagrees with them is unspiritual and divisive. The implication is that dissenters are insensitive to God's leading and are guilty of "quenching the Spirit."

I knew a pastor once who, when asked, "How do you know it is God's will to do this?" responded like this, "He impressed it on my heart with a 'still, small voice'."  In my experience, that "still, small voice" could have been the pizza and ice cream he had at 11:30 last night talking back to him.

Church leaders are not the only ones who abuse spiritually weak people with that kind of manipulation. Have you ever known people who claim to have a personal inside track on God’s will? They use phrases like “God led me”, or “The Lord told me.”  Whenever that happens, we need to be very careful (discerning). Some people, who sincerely mistake or confuse their own self-serving pride with God’s will, have been sincerely wrong and have blamed Him for some of their most outrageous behavior.

Bob Mumford, in “Take Another Look at Guidance”, compares discovering God's will with this navigational analogy that is used by many sea captains:

"There is a certain harbor in Italy that can only be reached by sailing up a very narrow channel between dangerous rocks and shoals. Navigating that channel is extremely hazardous, especially at night, and over the years, many ships have been wrecked. In order to guide the ships safely into port, three lights have been mounted on three huge poles in the harbor. When the three lights are perfectly lined up, they appear as a single, bright light. Only then can the ship safely proceed up the narrow channel.  If the pilot sees two or three lights, he knows he's off course and, to follow any one of them is certain danger."

God has also provided three harbor lights to guide us.  The same rules of navigation apply -- the three lights must be lined up before it is safe for us to proceed. The three beacons of guidance are:
  1. The Subjective Witness- When a mother noticed that her four-year-old daughter was ignoring her food, she asked, "Why aren't you eating?" The girl replied, "I can't eat; God told me not to." Her mother scolded: "God wouldn't tell you not to eat your supper." The little girl looked up at the ceiling, and then conceded, "Well then, maybe it was Moses."

    It is true that God speaks to us in mysterious or inaudible ways. The Bible tells us that it is the Holy Spirit who teaches us, guides us, leads us, and inspires us. However, it is dangerous to follow that single light alone. There are lots of people who claim to have received, so-called, “spiritual” direction that often contradicts the spiritual sense of others. I remember a man who announced to a young woman that God told him that he was to marry her. The problem was that God didn't inform her of that (Remember, when the Messenger of God told Mary that she would conceive and bear a Son, He also told Joseph).  That man's girlfriend believed God was leading her in a different direction. Obviously, one of them was wrong; possibly both were wrong but one thing was absolutely certain; they weren't both right.

  2. Divine Providence- God gives us direction through His people. His Word advises that with many counselors, there is safety. If we have some idea that we think may be inspired by God, it is wise to seek the opinions of a few other spiritually mature Christians before acting. When no one else senses that what we believe is the will of God, it probably isn’t. God is not responsible for confusion.

    And furthermore, if God truly is the inspiration for our plans, He will provide external circumstances to validate them. The Apostle Paul illustrated that for us when he told of how God opened “doors” of opportunities when he was going where God was directing him. When a closed door doesn’t easily open, it may be that God has closed it and is trying to direct us elsewhere.

  3. The Objective Standard- The most important indicator, that God has provided for our leading, is His Word. Our impressions, our reasoning, and external signs, no matter how sincerely we believe may be from God, aren’t enough to discern truth from error.  The best protection against deception is to know God's revealed Truth, the Bible. That is where we can find the absolute principles of God that are essential for wise decision-making. And because our systems of laws and rules are based in God’s law, they too may provide other objective standards to help us avoid the trappings of “situation ethics.” It is never right to do wrong in order to do something good.
We have God’s Spirit to lead us, God’s provisions to encourage us, and God’s Word to instruct us. All together, these three beacons give us confidence and assurance that the directions we've received are really from God and that they will keep us from dangerous confusion and lead us safely along His way.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing. Psalm 143:10

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Evangelical Christian Nature Worship (Repost)

Professing themselves to be wise they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures…For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator… Romans 1:22-25

Want to see something really scary? There's a reason I hate the word, "Evangelical." It means anything and everything; therefore it means nothing.

Be sure to check out this video clip.

Calvinist Cartoons

I just found this new blog - Calvinistic Cartoons by cartoonist, Eddie Eddings. There are only a few posts (they’re pretty funny). It looks like he just started the blog this month (Nov. 2008). I think it’s going to be lots of fun. I like old guys who enjoy sarcasm and who know how to LAFF.

Here’s one (I hope Eddie doesn’t mind).

I especially like the song title, "I Did It My Way"

I'm looking forward to more funny stuff from Eddie.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wild-Swinging Emotional Pendulum

It was the best of days; it was the worst of days.

While driving this afternoon, I heard the news that excited me to an all-time emotional high;

Ahhh! Euphoria. The sun was shining again on flowering pastures. What a great world.

Then a few minutes later I learned that he resigned from the senate.
Oh well, it felt good for a few moments.

The False Gospel of Man-Centered Theology

"Sadly, this is NOT the church’s finest hour. We live in an age of weak theology and casual Christian conduct. Our knowledge is insufficient, our worship is irreverent, and our lives are immoral. Even the evangelical church has succumbed to the spirit of this age...

"Perhaps the simplest way to say this is that evangelicalism has become worldly. This can be demonstrated by comparing it with yesterday’s liberalism. What was once said of liberal churches must now be said of evangelical churches: they seek the world’s wisdom, believe the world’s theology; follow the world’s agenda, and adopt the world’s methods. According to the standard's of worldly wisdom, the Bible is unable to meet the demands of life in these postmodern times.

"By itself, God’s Word is insufficient to win people to Christ, promote spiritual growth, provide practical guidance, or transform society. So churches supplement the plain teaching of Scripture with entertainment, group therapy, political activism, signs and wonders—anything that promises to appeal to religious consumers. According to the theology, sin is merely a dysfunction and salvation means having better self-esteem. When this theology comes to church, it replaces difficult but essential doctrines like the propitiation of God’s wrath with practical techniques for self-improvement.

"The world’s agenda is personal happiness, so the gospel is presented as a plan for individual fulfillment rather than a pathway of costly discipleship. The world's methods for accomplishing this self-centered agenda are necessarily pragmatic, so evangelical leaders are willing to try whatever seems like it might work. This worldliness has produced the “new pragmatism” of evangelicalism."

James Montgomery Boice and Philip Graham Ryken
(The Doctrines of Grace: Rediscovering The Evangelical Gospel, 20,21)

How To Catch A Rhino

Japanese zookeepers conduct a practice drill to catch an escaped rhinoceros. Looks easy. I can hardly wait to see them try this with the real thing.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

****Knock And The Door Will Be Opened

For the most part, I think a lot of those church-sponsored Halloween alternative activities are pointless and pagan. But my wife and I discovered one in our local community, several years ago, that seemed to be more Christ-centered and evangelistic in its purpose. So we decided to take two of our young grandchildren. We tried to call the kids for over an hour, but the telephone line was busy so we finally just got into the car and drove over to pick them up.

The streets in their neighborhood were full of costumed children "trick or treating." When we arrived, their house was dark. At first we thought no one was home but upon closer examination we could see that they were deliberately trying to discourage the trick or treaters. We walked up to the front door. The window beside the door was covered, but we could see some light around the edges. The television was playing very softly.

I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. We knocked again and again but no answer. By this time, I was somewhat amused at the game we were playing. We knew that they thought we were just some of the neighborhood goblins and they were not going to open the door. But we were persistent as we continued, obnoxiously, to knock and ring the doorbell.  Finally, the door swung open wildly. I could tell by the look of disgust on my daughter’s face that she was ready to give her annoying visitors a tongue-lashing.  But when she saw us standing there her countenance changed and they welcomed us in.

That’s the kind of persistence that God wants us to have in prayer. Jesus said," Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks". Matt. 7:7-8

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Most College Students Lack Enough Literacy To Vote Right

Early this morning I was having coffee with some of the old-timers at the coffee shop, as is my custom, and some of the guys were lamenting their adult children’s ideological support for the radical left political agenda during this recent election. They could not understand how or why their children, whom they raised in church-going families with traditional, conservative values could possibly approve of things like environmentalism, gay rights, same sex marriage, abortion on demand, universal entitlements and, worst of all, cast their votes for the most radical, left-leaning, Democrat ever, Barack Obama.

I jokingly pointed them to the common denominator; each one of them subjected their children to twelve years of public education and then topped it off by paying lots of money to send them to secular universities for four years of godless, liberal indoctrination.

I clipped an article a few years ago and tucked it away in my file drawer. The title is, STUDY: Most College Students Lack Enough Literacy For Common Tasks.

According to the author, Ben Feller, the 2003 study revealed that more than 50% of students at four-year schools and more than 75% at two-year colleges lack the skills to perform complex literacy tasks. That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit-card offers with different interest rates and annual fees, or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.

So what did they do with all the money you spent to educate your children? You presumed that the purpose of education was to teach your children how to read, and write, and count, and think. You were wrong. You unknowingly subjected them to social experimentation, social engineering, and liberal, secular humanist philosophies. They did not teach your children how to think; they told them what to think.

Dan Phillips, in his excellent and dead on analysis of the 2008 election, A Lament For America, refers to public schools as, “government reeducation camps” and attributes some of the blame for the Obama win at their doorsteps. “The government school system didn't help, creating uneducated, uninformed, fact-starved glandlings, who mistake emoting for rational thought. These folks have been raised from toddlerhood on the state's teat. The State is a kindly face embodied in Miss Parkins in pre-school; when you're eighteen, you've long-since learned to see The State as your friend and guardian. As designed. And so you vote.”

That explains a lot. If anyone was paying attention to some of the demographic polling data on election night, you may have heard this alarming little tidbit of information. Voters with college educations favored Obama; McCain was favored by those without college educations. That 2003 study suddenly has new relevance. Apparently, most college students lack enough literacy to vote right.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Duty NOT to Vote

The following is an excerpt from A Duty Not To Vote?” by John Stossel.

Economist Bryan Caplan, author of "The Myth of the Rational Voter", points out, "the public's knowledge of politics is shockingly low."

He scoffs at the idea that "it's everyone's civic duty to vote."

"This is very much like saying, it's our civic duty to give surgery advice," Caplan said. "We like to think that political issues are much less complicated than brain surgery, but many of them are pretty hard. If someone doesn't know what he's talking about, it really is better if they say, look, I'm going to leave this in wiser hands."

Isn't it elitist to say only some people should vote?

"Is it elitist to say only some people should do brain surgery? If you don't know what you're doing, you are not doing the country a favor by voting."