Saturday, January 31, 2009

Morgan Freeman: "Stop Talking About It"

Galatians 2:16 "...God shows no partiality..."

This is the most common sense that I have heard out of Hollywood in my entire life.  I know nothing about Mr. Morgan Freeman, but he offers a refreshing dose of sanity in this portion of the interview with Mike Wallace: "...stop talking about it."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Barack Obama and "Your Messianic Rumor of the Day"

Whenever I read the book of Revelation, particularly chapter 13, I am struck at how the Anti-Christ will receive worldwide worship and adoration (Revelation 13:3), while presenting himself in religious themes so numerous that Bill Maher couldn't possibly hope to criticize them all in just one lifetime.  It boggles the mind when we consider it, but how could the broad majority of the world seek to back and support a single world leader, while gladly placing themselves beneath a one-world economy?  It was always apparent to me that, for the latter condition, all that is needed is a global-economic crisis that would bring the world to a state of desperation and need.  To this condition I think we can all attest that our present circumstances clearly illustrate how such a prophecy could be fulfilled - and maybe very soon.  But what about the former condition?  How can a world of such epistemological, philosophical, religious, and ethnic diversity seek to serve a single world ruler?  Well, once again, our present circumstances clearly illustrate how such a prophecy could be fulfilled.  This world's adulation for our new president gives us, I believe, a preview of how the prophecy of Revelation chapter 13 could be fulfilled.  Even within the Muslim world our present leader of "The Great Satan" (the United States) is being considered for the top position in the Islamic-eschatological hierarchy:

Ali Ibn Abi-Talib—the prophet's cousin and son-in-law and the most revered figure in Shiite Islam—prophesied that before the return of the Mahdi, the ultimate redeemer in Islam, a tall black man will rule the West and will carry a "clear sign" from the Third Imam,Hussein Ibn Ali, according to the report by Iranian-born, London-based journalist Amir Taheri.

Forbes magazine published a story about the Iranian pro-government website that published a hadith (saying or tradition) from the 17th century Shiite text Bahar al-Anvar (Sea of Light) setting off a string of rumors about the prophecy’s connection to Obama.

" Barrack Obama means the blessing of al-Hussein and when written in Persian the word O Ba Ma means he is with us "

The link between this black man and the American presidential candidate started with his name. In Arabic and Persian, "Barrack Obama" means "the blessing of al-Hussein." When written in Persian alphabet, the word "O Ba Ma" means "he is with us."   Al Arabiya News Channel [Prophecy Circulated on Iranian Website].

We will have to wait and see if this particular rumor within the Islamic world will survive or not.  To be clear, the above article was written in order to denounce the said rumor (Shiite scholar denies Obama link to Muslim Savior), but the fact that this has had any grassroots support within the Muslim world is indeed remarkable and quite fascinating.  One thing we can say for certain - the world is being prepared for what the Scriptures refer to as "the last days."  May the Lord increase our witness for Christ while it is still day, because the night is coming (John 9:4).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Global Warming® - Meet Dr. John S. Theon

Through sleet and snow, former Vice President Al Gore testified today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding Global Warming®: a scheme that has the promise of becoming a cash cow for anyone willing to profit off of the fears of our society.  The bitter irony of all this is that one of Gore's key climate-cryptologists, James Hansen, was recently rejected by his former NASA supervisor - Dr. John S. Theon: 

Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fears soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.” Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of anthropogenic global warming fears.

For a more complete summary of this public rebuke, please see Senator James Inhofe's weblog post on the subject.  Global warming is yet another illustration of the fact that most of what is termed as "science" today is nothing more than men serving their own agendas under the false guise of empiricism and objective analysis. 

Despite the reasoned objections raised by men like Theon, the Global Warming® industry continues to press on.  The message of bureaucratic industry is quite clear: detractors and critics can just talk to the bureaucratic hand.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Correction: Heaven is Shouting

In my recent post regarding Rick Warren's inaugural prayer, I made some concluding comments about Warren's choice to pray in the name of "Isa."  There I noted that this is the Q'ranic version of the name "Jesus" (which is possibly patterned after the name Esau, thus having no etymological tie with "Jesus").*  It is this "Isa" who is not the incarnate Son of God - the second person of the Trinity; nor is this "Isa" the Jesus of the Bible who literally died on a cross for the sins of many.  Warren should have used the Arabic name "Yasu" which is used in the Arabic version of the Bible and is also used by Arabic speaking Christians.  By praying in the name of "Isa" Warren may have believed that he was being an example of sound evangelicalism, but he was not.  There is no good news to be found in an "Isa" who feigned his own death and hasn't the power to forgive one soul of a single sin.  I'm just glad that Warren didn't try reaching out to other cultists like the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses by praying in the name of "Jesus the brother of Satan" and "Michael the Archangel," respectively.  As ridiculous as this may sound, it approximates what he did in the hearing of the Arabic-speaking world.

I also noted that he mentioned a "cloud of witnesses in heaven" as follows:  "And we know today that Dr King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven."  My protest to this statement was twofold:

1.  That Mr. Warren should take it upon himself to inform us of the present whereabouts of Martin Luther King Jr. - as though he could know such a matter.

2.  That we should assume that heaven is most concerned about the ethnicity/skin color of our new president more than the advancement of faith in Christ in this world.

In these remarks, my focus was on what he cannot imply through his recitation of Hebrews 12:1 - but I must now admit, that it can be said that heaven is shouting - just not in the way that Warren presumed in his prayer.  We have learned today that President Obama is wielding his new powers in order to defy the authority of God, but this should be no surprise to any Christian who has been paying attention to the presidential election.   On the day after the anniversary of Roe v. Wade President Obama signed a bill that ended a ban on federal funds being used for overseas family planning programs, which would include the facilitation of abortions:

President Barack Obama will sign an executive order later Friday ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortion, officials said.

It is a move certain to please liberals and other abortion-rights advocates, and the reversal was expected in the Democrat’s first week as president.

The so-called “Mexico City policy” has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since Republican President Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. President Bill Clinton then ended the ban, but President George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office. [Excerpt from Hot Air.com]

Thus, just 72 hours after his inauguration, I am forced to remind the reader that heaven is indeed shouting and it is not for the reasons that Warren imagined within the whirlwind of purpose-driven theology.  If heaven is shouting, it shouts in judgment against America's love-affair with those who seek to murder the unborn.  God's purposes, which trump that of Warren and Obama, are far more important than a president's ethnicity, culture, skin color, or any facet of victimization-mythology being employed today for the sake of power and control.  I fear that these first 72 hours give us a dark glimpse into what lies ahead in the next 34,991 hours of the Obama Presidency -

...not that I'm counting or anything.

 *There is another view which suggests that Isa might be an inversion (and therefore perversion) of the name Yeshua'.  In the end this produces the same result - a derogation of the fair name of Jesus in the name of a false religion.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rick Warren's Inaugural Prayer - 2009

Many people have been wondering what Rick Warren would say during his inaugural prayer made on behalf of our new president: Barack Obama. I wanted to review portions of the prayer with you - to help you consider the substance of what he actually said.  I think that this is particularly important because it is easy to get caught up in the emotions of such an event and in the process leaving our analytical minds at the door.

First of all, he began well by saying:

"Almighty God, our Father, everything we see, and everything we cant see, exists because of You alone. It all comes from You, it all belongs to You, it all exists for you glory."

This introduction reflects the truth of Romans 11:36: 36 "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen."  He then prayed:

"History is your story. Scripture tells us 'hear oh Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One;' and You are the compassionate and merciful one. And you are loving to everyone you have made."

This part of the prayer was confusing, since he merged the concepts of God's unique and electing love for the nation of Israel with that of His universal beneficence for all mankind. I would leave it to Mr. Warren to clarify his thoughts and intents on that point.  But he then says the following:

"Now today, we rejoice not only in America's peaceful transfer of power for the 44th time. We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the inauguration of our first African American President of the United States. We are so grateful to live in this land. A land of unequal possibility. Where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr King and a great cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven."

It was at this point in the prayer that I became concerned about what he was saying -

First - there is a great problem when preachers take it upon themselves to declare who is in heaven, and who isn't. Concerning Martin Luther King Jr. - it seems difficult to sustain the thought that he was a genuine believer and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It may be the case that he came to faith at the end of his life, but we must leave this judgment to God alone. While we can be thankful for Mr. King's campaigns for social equality, by itself, we mustn't assume that this was the genuine product of a personal commitment to the Gospel and faith in Jesus Christ.

Beyond this point alone, I was especially surprised when Mr. Warren said that a "cloud of witnesses" were "shouting in heaven" in view of the inauguration of president Obama. That expression comes to us from Hebrews chapter 12:1-2 -

"Hebrews 12:1-2: 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

The imagery of this language points to those heavenly witnesses who cheer the advancement of the Gospel, as well as the perseverance of all Christians in this world... For Mr. Warren to transform this expression into a claim that heaven is cheering the installment of a president, on the sole basis of his skin color is at best disturbing, and at least, it denies the original charter of the civil rights movement which sought to measure society, not on the trivial basis of the color of one's epidermis, but upon their own character, integrity, and shared humanity. By this statement alone, Warren (whether intentionally or unintentionally) elevated skin color above the message of the Gospel of Christ - this is a monumental error. I too am thankful that I live in a free nation where a person of any color can rise to the highest office in the land - but I am not thankful if it will now be skin color that will be the defining moment, rather than a person's actual character and integrity. I fear that our nation's historic relationship with bigotry is only changing it's preference by a margin of skin tone.

Second - Warren then prayed: 

"Help us oh God to remember that we are Americans; united not by race or religion or blood; but to our commitment to freedom and justice for all."

The idea of race is mostly attributable to Darwinian philosophy - after all it was Darwin who popularized the expression "...the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life..." - ever since then, people have assumed that skin color denotes a distinction of race. Under this view, we would have to believe that we are not related by blood (as Warren said in his prayer).  But Mr. Warren - we are related by blood, and if you prefer to use the word race at all, feel free to refer to the one human race of which we are all members - Acts 17:26: 26 He [God] made from one man [haimatos - blood] every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth." Simply put, Mr Warren had it backwards - we are all related by blood as members of the one human race - but as Americans we are less related by our understanding and definitions of what freedom is and how we are to attain justice. Many in our land want the right to kill unborn children in our nation, as well there are many who wish to redefine marriage as that which includes the unnatural unions of men with men, and women with women; the sense of justice that these individuals embrace is that with which I share no allegiance.

Thirdly -  Mr. Warren approached the conclusion of his prayer with the following:

"I humbly ask this in the name of the One who changed my life, Jeshua, Isa, Jesus, who taught us to pray..."

Many people were wondering if Warren would mention the name of Jesus at all in his prayer. Well, he did this - and a lot more. Notice that he employed three names - Yeshua, Jesus and the name Isa. Now, Isa is really a misnomer - it is the formal name for Jesus as found in the Q'ran and it is a name that is in some ways representative of the derogatory way in which Jesus is portrayed by Muhammad. Remember, the Q'ran denies the Trinity and therefore it denies the deity of Christ. It is therefore no surprise that they deny that Christ was crucified on the cross and that He is mankind's true hope for salvation. The name "Isa" is reflective of the derogatory teachings in the Q'ran because such a name comes not from the Hebrew (Yehoshua, or the Aramaic - Yeshua, nor is it derived from the Greek Iesous) instead it may be derived from the name Esau - a name that not only has no etymological tie to Jesus - but was a name that fell into disuse because of the historic Esau in the OT Scriptures* - of whom the Lord Himself declared - "...Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated..." Because of this, it should be no surprise that Arabic speaking Christians don't use this misnomer "Isa" - but instead they retain the important consonant [reflective of the Hebrew "yod"] by saying Yasu. This retains a central component of Jesus' name from the Hebrew root - Yasha - which means salvation. If you are thinking to yourself - this is a miniscule distinction - please know that it is not - The name of Jesus means - the Lord is salvation... And this precious name of His is descriptive of His own person and work -

Acts 4:12: "...there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved."

Had Mr. Warren done his homework beforehand - he could have prayed in Jesus name in the hearing of the Arabic world - but instead, he prayed in Esau's name - or in the name of the false Jesus of the Q'ran...a very poor choice indeed.

I don't know Mr. Warren - and I can't speak for his intentions in these matters - but I hope that he would consider these matters carefully, understanding that salvation, peace and justice are all very crucial concepts that must be defined correctly - by the standards of Holy Writ alone.

 *There is another view which suggests that Isa might be an inversion (and therefore perversion) of the name Yeshua'.  In the end this produces the same result - a derogation of the fair name of Jesus in the name of a false religion.