Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dear “Self-Respecting Calvinists” -


The world of Christian media is a bit of a two-edged sword. Through it many Bible teachers have helped the cause of the Gospel in the lives of many men and women. It is this side of the sword that cuts well – for the glory of God. Then there is the other side of this sword – the one which tends to spill more blood than supply corrective surgery. In this latter side of the blade we find the unhelpful or sometimes destructive influences of popular preachers/teachers whose misplaced dogmas and verbal mishaps find their way into the local church through various ways and means. The pastor of a local church may wish to ignore the presence of this bad side of the blade – but he hasn’t the luxury to do so, especially if some of his congregants are the devoted disciples of such Bible teachers.

Over the years in the ministry I have had to invest more hours than I can count addressing so-called “controversies” that were whipped up by others simply because I happened to disagree over a point of doctrine with popular teachers, both past and present. While this problem is not new, I believe that the modern church is mass-producing this matter through what I call the industry of retail Christianity; as a disease, it is becoming pandemic. Moreover, I am of the opinion that few popular teachers truly understand the extent of divisiveness that they can easily generate when they act imprudently over issues of doctrine – especially those issues that are not central to the Gospel. No one is perfect. When we fail, it is needful to make restitution for such failures. Should we ever err on a point of instruction, or overemphasize a matter which results in unnecessary conflict, then we need to own up to it for our own sakes, and for the sake of those whom we instruct and influence. Whether a man is a media star or a pastor of a small church, the principle remains the same, however, I would suggest that a man’s personal responsibility increases in proportion to the extent of his influence.

I was reminded of all of this some time ago when a man came to visit our church for Sunday morning services. This man braved 1 ½ hours of driving in order to fellowship with us, hear God’s word, and ask me a question that was burning in his conscience. Sensing his desire to speak at length about what was burdening him, I invited him over to our home for lunch following the services. We had a wonderful time of fellowship together. Early on, we spoke for some time before he asked me his core question, and yet, in some strange way I could almost anticipate his concern before he expressed it. My clues came in pieces through some of the things that he said; through the study Bible that he had in hand; and by means of the comments he made about his church. Thus, when the question came – it offered little surprise. As well, I felt quite prepared to offer a response – simply put, I’ve had to deal with this issue for some time. His question was simple enough: he wanted to know if he should leave his church since his pastor was post-millennial. The basis for his query came from his repeated exposure to an audio tape of John MacArthur issuing a millennial manifesto, where he said,

“Every self-respecting Calvinist is a premillennialist.”

This gentleman repeated this manifesto thrice, saying “it keeps going on in my mind”; and this meditation of his only increased his sense of burden and concern. Before addressing my thoughts about such “self-respecting Calvinism,” I asked this man questions about his present church. For all I knew, there could be other issues that would actually warrant significant concerns. I asked about his church’s core doctrine (very sound); the body dynamic and health of the flock (loving and lively); the leadership – their doctrine and example of life (above reproach); and inquired about their focus on the Gospel and outreach to the lost (excellent). I am only summarizing the exchange here, but by the time he was finished describing his flock – I nearly wept in the man’s presence. Though I am deeply aware of this controversy that has been produced by MacArthur’s manifesto, I still remained incredulous concerning the practical effects that it has in the lives of real people within real churches. Here was a man who was prepared to leave a loving flock over this matter. Wanting to be careful and measured in my response to him, I began discussing the extent of the controversy in its modern form (i.e., historic Pre-millennialism vs. Dispensational Pre-millennialism); the overall debate in view of church history; the relevance and purpose of prophecy in the life of a Christian; and the importance of the primacy of the Gospel in everything. Then I told him –

“Concerning pastor MacArthur’s manifesto: with all due respect, no self-respecting Calvinist would make eschatology such a divisive issue.”

I don’t think that he expected to hear this from an alumnus of The Master’s Seminary, but he listened carefully and attentively anyway. My simple prayer for this man has been that he would pray and think through this matter very carefully – since the thought of leaving a church body is quite serious. Without hesitation I told him that I saw no reason for him to leave – period.

When I first heard MacArthur employ this manifesto, I was struck by his dogma and insistence. He has all the freedom in the world to believe this about his theological opponents, but when one considers what is conveyed in this pontification, its meaning and implications are quite draconian. MacArthur’s Pre-Millennialism, which is Dispensational Pre-Millennialism and not Historic Pre-Millennialism, formulates the centerpiece of what he calls self-respecting Calvinism. The implications of his charge are as follows: anyone who does not hold to such Pre-Millennialism is not a self-respecting Calvinist.


Are we really to believe that brethren throughout the ages and in the present day, who have a differing view on this subject, must now be tossed out of the sorting bin of “self-respecting Calvinism” (whatever that means)? I should, however, credit MacArthur for some measure of consistency in his manifesto. The strength of his charge is only reinforced by the following assertions:

“Let’s leave Amillennialism for the Arminians. It’s perfect. It’s ideal. It’s a no-brainer. God elects nobody and preserves nobody. Perfect. Arminians make great Amillennialists.”

“We can leave Amillennialism to the process theologians or the openness people who think God is becoming what He will be; and He’s getting better because as every day goes by, He gets more information; and as He gets more information, He’s figuring out whether or not, in fact, He can keep some of the promises He made without having to adjust all of them based upon a lack of information when He originally made them. Let’s leave Amillennialism to the Charismatics and the semi-Pelagians and other sorts who go in and out of salvation willy-nilly; it makes sense for their theology.”[1]

[Postmillennialism isn’t given any better treatment when he says]: “…Postmillennialism… is ‘optimistic Amillennialism’…the two positions are basically the same.”[2]

If anyone wishes to search out the oddities and heresies associated with any system of eschatology, they are certainly welcome to do so – but is this helpful? For example, comparing MacArthur to Harold Camping (a Dispensational Premillennialist) would be a fool’s errand and would take us no-where, thus, is it at all fair to associate the whole of Amillennialism with the likes of Arminians, process theologians, or even openness theologians? Arguments of guilt-by-association can be very startling, and may seem to justify the label of “non-self-respecting Calvinist” for some – but such arguments don’t advance any reasonable or meaningful debate. It is not terribly surprising that those who hear such statements are quickly led to the fearful belief that Amillennialism directly corresponds to various forms of rank heresy. Thus, it is perfectly understandable that this man came to me, with such a manifesto resonating in his mind, wondering if he should leave his church immediately.

It is understandable, but it is all quite sad and disturbing.

I can say that I greatly appreciate John MacArthur’s historic defense of the Gospel. He is not a perfect man, and he has, at times, said things that I could not defend; however, his overall defense of the Gospel has been forthright and sound. It is for this reason that his recent heralding of eschatology seems rather strange and even ironic, and here’s why: the Fundamentalist movement of the early 20th century included Dispensational Premillennialism within its definition of biblical orthodoxy. C.I. Scofield advanced this line of thought extensively, heralding Dispensationalism and Eschatology to a fault. As a result, a church culture was born out of such an influence which focused on the structure of Dispensational thought and Eschatology at the expense of the substance of Theology proper, Hamartiology, Anthropology, Soteriology, and Christology. Resultantly, many churches in America became aliens to the historic doctrines of grace, though they retained a strict stance in Dispensational and Premillennial thought. This segment of church history should remind us that when a particular view of eschatology is heralded at the level of the Gospel itself, or higher, the seed of such error will grow and thrive in time. Ironically, it was this very theological culture that MacArthur confronted with the historic doctrines of grace during the 90’s. His book, The Gospel According to Jesus, created a firestorm of controversy among many Dispensationalists. For a man who had to face the errors of a culture which exalted Dispensationalism and Premillennialism above its theological place, one must wonder why he would seek to pick such a fight over this matter in the present day.

This is pungent irony.

Let me end this with a comment, a recommendation, and an appeal. My comment is this: I have a deep love for brethren who love Christ, the rich doctrines of grace, and who share in the same commitment and evangelical zeal for the Gospel Jesus Christ. With this in mind, I often think of the Puritans of old whose eschatology did not take them into the depths of heresy. Though I may hold to differing views on eschatology, this does not change my high esteem for them as self-respecting Calvinists, if you prefer to employ that label at all. My recommendation is that if you are a Dispensational Premillennialist, then broaden your reading a bit by getting books like The Puritan Hope (Iain Murray, 1971), or MacArthur’s Millennial Manifesto (Samuel E. Waldron, 2008). I recently read Waldron’s work and must say that it is a must-read for anyone who wishes to search this matter out with better information and understanding. The subtitle to Waldron’s work is: “A Friendly Response.” I must say that his response is indeed friendly, the tone is mature and irenic and is therefore highly commendable. Which brings me to my simple appeal. I am quite sure that John MacArthur holds a busy schedule; but since it is he who has opened the war room of this discussion – there ought to be a discussion of some sort. I don’t know of anyone who has written a full book addressing MacArthur’s manifesto (other than Waldron) – if there is someone else who has invested such time and energy, then I am completely unaware of the matter. But Waldron has written a book on the matter and it is now four years old. His work is not a diatribe; it is not guilty of ad-hominem attacks; or guilt-by-association argumentation. It is a friendly response indeed, and it absolutely deserves a response.

Unfortunately, to my knowledge (and as of the writing of this article), Pastor Waldron has received no response from MacArthur for what he has written. Thus, my appeal is simply this: Dr. MacArthur, as the one who started this conversation, please take the time to read and respond to Dr. Waldron. As an example to a watching world, do it for the sake of God’s glory and Christ’s church.

If this matter is as important as you insist, then a non-response is simply indefensible.

Soli Deo Gloria

[1] John MacArthur, Why Every Self-Respecting Calvinist is a Premillennialist, Shepherds’ Conference 2007, First Message.

[2] Ibid.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Welcome to the World of Retail Christianity

dawnkollar_ingodwetrust_1Any young man going into the ministry must understand that he must be prepared to address a flock that is, in this present day, influenced by a pantheon of teachers – many of whom they have never met. By itself, this isn’t a bad thing – especially if those teachers are: a). called of God; b). preaching the Gospel; c). exalting Christ and not themselves; d). upholding the authority of Scripture rather than invented doctrines of their own; e). heralding the priority of the local church; and f). ministering the word with a spirit that is devoid of a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes.

In a perfect world, such an external influence would be…perfect.

However, we don’t live in a perfect world. Pastors aren’t perfect; churches aren’t perfect; published books by men and their publishers aren’t perfect. Thus, we find a constant battle within the church to pursue God’s perfect word amidst all such imperfections. For the pastor of a local church, this battle is, firstly, internal and then it is external. It is internal in the sense that, as a preacher, the pastor must endeavor to seek out the preaching of God’s Word without the pollution of his own opinions and preferences. By itself, this is a strong and continual battle. It is external in the sense that there is a constant influence of teachers whose teaching is not at all helpful, whether wholly or partially. Sometimes those problematic influences are absolutely heretical;[1] in most cases they are problematic on a lesser scale – but it is all part of the battle nonetheless. What intensifies this battle is what I would call the industry of Christian media. By this label I am referring to the exploding industry of Christian video, audio, books, conferences, and web-media – a great deal of which is presented with all of the fanfare of modern marketing techniques and salesmanship. It is this perpetual marketing of Christian media that has created a cultural psyche of  keeping up with the Joneses – but with a Christian twist. However, the rule of life and conduct for the Christian is not to keep up with the Joneses per se. Our benchmark is not horizontally defined, but is defined by Christ and His Word – no matter what the Joneses are doing. In the secular realm you can see whole neighborhoods following such a pattern of conformity. One neighbor buys a 60” flat panel TV – the other neighbors see it, want it, come to conclude that they need it and buy one themselves, whether they can afford it or not. Unfortunately, such choices can be dictated by jealousy or materialism (or both) rather than wisdom.

When Christians make spiritual choices, in this manner of keeping up with the masses, it can be quite dangerous. Doing what one’s friends or neighbors are doing is never a justification for doing anything. In this present culture of retail Christianity, I fear that many are determining orthodoxy by what is deemed as vogue among the masses; but this can never be the means by which we evaluate anything. In the worst of all cases, people can come to feel that without that next popular book, conference, or webinar – their sanctification will somehow be incomplete. Though the retail earnings may be good, a spirit of dependency such as this is dangerous since it diminishes the primacy of Scripture and that of the local church. In writing this, I am not at all suggesting that all books, conferences, videos, webinars etc. are inherently bad. There are many profitable resources out there that can be utilized for the glory of God. However, it must also be pointed out that there are many well-marketed resources that are deeply problematic. What is needed is for the believer to be dedicated to Christ with the nobility of those Bereans who “received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily” in order to see if what the Apostle Paul taught was in fact true.[2] It is this attitude which says - “I must measure everything by the standard of God’s Word, not by the standard of my neighbors, social popularity, or any mere man” - that Luke calls: “noble minded.” Had these Bereans simply kept up with the popular thinking of their day, they would have gone the way of the Pharisees.

May it never be.

Finally – as a final application of this encouragement and warning, let me suggest the following (and I offer this, not under the presumption that you are not doing so, but as an encouragement to “excel still more” in these principles): the next time you hear an online sermon, read a book, attend a conference, or watch a webinar – 1). Be sure that you measure the contents of what you have been exposed to by the standards of God’s word, not by the habits and preferences of your friend or neighbors; 2). If you are unsure about what you have studied, go and consult the undershepherds of your local church - men whose lives,ministries, homes, and conduct you can see and experience personally; and 3). Throughout everything, pray without ceasing for the Lord’s guidance and leading, as you sort through it all, knowing that it is the Lord whom we serve – not men. There are many in this world who seek to instruct you – just be on guard for your souls as you listen and learn – knowing that it is Christ whom you serve.

As Christian said to those retailers in Vanity Fair: “We buy the truth.” Prov. 23:23.[3]

[1] Jude 3-4.

[2] Acts 17:10–11 (NASB) — 10 And the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea; and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.

[3] Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Above all, a Christian

john-calvinFor years now I have been accused of being many things in view of my basic defense of God’s sovereign work of salvation: I have been accused of being a Calvinist, a Hyper-Calvinist, a “Calvinist-heretic,” and even a “Calvinist-cultist.” What I find absolutely fascinating about all this tongue wagging is this:

It has never been my practice to use the label – “Calvinist” at all. 

Now, to my sovereign grace friends, please know that I do not vilify those who use such a label – let every man do what he is persuaded to do in his own conscience. Additionally, it should also be said that I have been committed to the realities of man’s total depravity, God’s unconditional election, an atonement that is particular and extensive[1], God’s grace which is irresistible, and the reality of the saint’s perseverance. Yet despite all of this, I do not go about with the label: “Calvinist.” For many Arminians, this practice of mine will probably be judged as utter hypocrisy; for some “Calvinists,” this is high treason. For myself, it is my highest preference for ministering the word as a follower of Christ, and, secondarily, it is the best way that I know how to honor the memory of one of my favorite Christians in all of church history: John Calvin.

Why do I say this?

Over the years, I have become deeply impressed with Calvin’s humility as a mere man and child of God, especially in view of his zeal for evangelism; his heralding of God’s authority in the Scriptures alone; his vehement opposition against Papalism and the adoration of mere men; and his insistence on using church fathers as mere guides to exegesis, not as final authorities of it. In fact, it is this latter priority of his that has so deeply affected my own life and ministry. During Calvin’s lifetime, the Roman Catholic church was showing all of the signs of man-centeredness that one could possibly imagine. Scripture had become an incidental decoration to Rome’s perf5.000x8.000.inddmasterpiece of man-made tradition. Priests recited, not the authority of God as their ultimate source of truth, but only those church fathers whose views favored their own. When one studies such severe adoration of mere men during this period, it is difficult to avoid comparisons with that of the Pharisees in the 1st century. Pick up a copy of the Mishnah, the written collection of rabbinic traditions, and you will find, line after line, authoritative instructions all prefaced with the formulaic expression: Rabbi ____ says. Line after line, their formulaic instructions all began with the premise, not of Scripture, but of the teachings of popular Rabbi’s throughout history. Such oral traditions, which the Pharisees vehemently defended, were rebuked as that which “nullified the commandments” of God, as the Savior declared. For the Pharisees, as well as the leaders of the Romish church, truth was decided by a contest between popular Rabbis and church fathers, not God’s Word. However, in the imitation of Christ Himself, Calvin refuted this slavery to tradition and hero worship, and directed others to the principle of Sola Scriptura, Solus Christus, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, and Soli Deo Gloria. Without Sola Scriptura, all of the other Solas will be lost in the morass of human “wisdom” and reasoning.

I would urge the reader to pick up a biography of John Calvin, and you will discover that he sacrificed much in his life in order to deter others from the man-worship that was so prevalent in his day. As I learned more about this soldier of Christ, it seemed difficult to believe that he would approve of people going about identifying themselves by his name. At least, for myself, it is something that I cannot fathom doing for a few reasons. If I could imagine a way to honor the memory of John Calvin, it would be by heralding the only name which he sought to herald – the name of Christ alone.

But this is not my principal reason for avoiding such a label.

With or without John Calvin, bearing the name of Christ is a privilege that transcends imagination – and it comes at a great expense: the shed blood of the unblemished Lamb of God – Jesus Christ. It brings to mind Christ’s mercy and love in the salvation of this depraved sinner; it reminds me that the Father elected me, in His Son, despite my own wretchedness; it underscores the truth that the Good Shepherd laid down His life for me, as one of His frail sheep; it compels me to remember that my salvation has been brought about by His sovereign grace alone; it gives me hope in His continuing grace to persevere me to the end; and it reminds me that I have been bought with a price, therefore I am to glorify God with the whole of my body, life, and being.

Dear reader: above all, I am a Christian.

[1] For years now I have employed the expression “extensive atonement” in view of the Apostle John’s numerical analysis of Christ’s atoning work: “After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;” Revelation 7:9 (NASB) – italics mine. My book, All Nations Under God, details the reality of Christ’s atonement which is clearly particular, yet wonderfully extensive.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Praying for Dead Presidents


Satan’s great design and desire is to have us see nothing but a twisted version of reality. From the person and work of God down to the most mundane task in this life, the great accuser, deceiver, and Father of all lies delights in every form of deception that he can muster.[1] One of the greatest inventions created by the Devil is man-made religion, and I should add: this world is filled with such an invention. One of the reasons why man-made religion is such a tool of Satan is because it creates the false impression that there are many ways which lead to Heaven. Satan delights in this because it contradicts Christ quite directly, who said - “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.” John 14:6 (NASB). When one sees the world in its reality, through the clear lenses of Scripture, a very stark reality is discovered: the path that leads to heaven is not broad, nor multi-faceted; instead, it is remarkably narrow as defined by the Savior Himself.[2] I mention this in view of our nation’s fascinating hunger for religious-speak during our great American tradition: the presidential election. How intriguing it was that the arbiters of the DNC convention sought an awkward reversal of their platform language to include references to “God” and “Jerusalem.” This strange shift followed the media’s analysis of the GOP’s convention, which was filled with more references to religion and God than one could possible count. For myself, I wouldn’t miss a minute of sleep if both parties would simply cease and desist from using God in their political venues, particularly when one considers the deities represented. Taking the representative candidates of each party, let us consider the religious views represented:

1. President Barak Obama: Barak Obama’s religion advocates the murder of the unborn, homosexual “marriage,” and a broad form of syncretism which sees no significance difference between Islam and Christianity. If the contradiction of this latter issue is not be apparent to the reader, I would refer you to the following articles already posted here at The Armoury: An Open Response to an Open Letter [Read this first]; The West’s Dangerous Ignorance of Islam; Scientology, Islam, and the Religious Messengers of Hatred; Obama, Islam, and the Munich Accord 2.0; Weak Leaders-Endangered Nation. All of this yields a deity that is alien to the Bible – though not alien to this world.

2. Governor Mitt Romney: The god whom Mr. Romney believes in and serves is just one deity amidst a system of what we might call progressive-polytheism – an invented idea from Joseph Smith - the creator of Mormonism. Without republishing the details of this matter here, let me supply the reader with some crucial facts about the false religion of the “Latter Day Saints,” already published here at The Armoury: Absolutely no Apologies; Hallowed be Thy Name; No Mr. Scarborough. If the reader wishes to see further evidence of the non-Christian nature of the cult of Mormonism, then please read their own document, Gospel Principles, and see, within the first few pages, that their religious system of thought is heretical to the core (highlighted portions on pages 13, 17 & 18).

Point: The religious-speak from both sides is fraught with deception, lies, and false claims – whether by ignorance, or by intentional deception. Thus, wrangling over who is using the name God, or not, is somewhat of an absurdity. Ultimately, it is all a part of a broader deception – one which engulfs the multitudes into mere religion, rather than Christ.

It is for this reason that the presidential election cycle is a bit of a cringe-creating moment for my own soul – especially when religion is injected into the race. Satan disdains Christians who are spiritually engaged in the things which matter most – i.e. the Gospel - and so his agenda is to engage us in debates about mere moralism, money, power, and national security. It is not that these issues are unimportant, but they can never take the place of the primacy of the Christ and the Gospel. Moreover, the souls of the men and women around us are of greater value than the material concerns of our nation – at least, this would be the genuine attitude of a Christian who understands what Christ taught: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?” Matt. 16:26.

But Satan does not want the Christian to be concerned about the souls of men. His desire is to obfuscate the reality that there are only two classes of humanity, spiritually speaking: the living and the dead.[3] Those who are without Christ are called, by Scripture, dead in their trespasses and sins. Those who are in Christ are made alive in Christ, and in the end, there are no other classes of humanity:

By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10 (NASB)

All of the shades of grey that are created by Satan’s many religions are whisked away by the black-and-white reality of Holy Writ: truth vs. error; life vs. death. As Christians, we must remember to look at our politicians and political leaders through the reality of God’s Word, rather than the manufactured deceptions of Satan. When we do this, we should remember that our prayers for the souls of men are prayers that are rendered for those who are spiritually dead and face the condemnation of the Lord Jesus Christ unless they repent and believe in Him (Revelation 21:6-8). In all of our interest in politics, the souls of these men should govern our greatest concern. It is for this reason that Mike Huckabee’s comments on religion over the years have been particularly striking. As you might recall, Huckabee had queried about the religion of Mormonism and had asked a reporter (in 2007): “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” He received much backlash for simply asking a perfectly good question, but sadly, no-one answered him. In the end, Huckabee sheepishly “apologized” for his question and retracted it entirely. Had he done some very simple reading of their own documents, he would have discovered that the answer to his question is yes. But now Mr. Huckabee has a different perspective on Mr. Romney’s spiritual standing, as he mentioned in the 2012 GOP convention:

“I care far less as to where Mitt Romney takes his family to church, than I do about where he takes this country.”[4]

This is a sad and disturbing admission from a man who claims Christ. Some of the greatest rebukes given to the nations of Israel and Judah came at a time when each kingdom was filled with an abundance of material wealth, power, mere morality, and national security. God, who is not satisfied with such external matters, often calls those religionists who herald such things “whores.”[5] Alternately, if a person is a Christian at all, he will be concerned about the spiritual condition of the souls of others – whether the person is a candidate for the presidency, or a homeless man on a street-corner. If a person is a Christian at all, he prays for the welfare his nation;[6] for the wisdom, well-being, and salvation its leaders;[7] and this he does with the chief desire that the name of God would be exalted among men.[8]

Satan’s deception is the lie of Lady Julian – “that all will be well, and all will be well.”[9] Satan whispers such things in the ears of men who believe that, by their own means and merit, all will be well. However, the believer must refute such deception and remember that when we pray for those who know not Christ, we are praying for dead men and women – that they would receive the gift of eternal life and be spared from the second death [Revelation 20:14]. We also pray remembering that we also once were dead, deceived, and enslaved by this world [Eph. 2:1-3, Titus 3:1-7], and therefore we are no better than those for whom we pray. In this, our hope and prayer is that Christ would grant them, by His mercy and grace, life eternal and the experience of everlasting joy in Him.

[1] John 8:44 (NASB) — 44 “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature; for he is a liar, and the father of lies.

[2] Matthew 7:13

[3] 1 John 3:10 (NASB) — 10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother. See also Ephesians 2:1-10.

[4] Read more:

[5] Hosea 5:3.

[6] Jeremiah 29:7

[7] 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

[8] 1 Peter 2:11-15.

[9] Chapter 27, 13th Revelation of Lady Julian.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weak Leaders–Endangered Nation

bowtothekingsmallerWith the brutal murder of American ambassador Chris Stevens, along with three other American diplomats, our nation has been plunged into a new 9/11 crisis. As we watch these events unfold, we are simultaneously exposed to a bloviating lap-dog-media which remains fixated on arguments concerning the proper rhetorical methods and means by which politicians should respond to such a crisis; but, as usual, they are missing the larger point. The 9/11 of 2012 is not about what politicians might say within the first 24 hours of the media news cycle; nor is it about a shoddy movie which critiques the life of Muhammad; instead, it reveals the bad fruit of our nation’s commitment to a dangerous passivity, weakness, and spirit of appeasement – one that is dedicated to the practice of placating our sworn enemies, and not asking questions later. America’s foreign policy motif has become entirely obsequious, being unwilling to stand up against our growing enemy: Islamic jihad. Whatever takes place in the days and weeks to come, it must be understood that we have helped to create much of the unrest that we now face. The so-called Arab spring has not been a liberation movement for peaceful democracies, but is becoming a means by which whole nations are becoming swallowed by Islam. And whenever any criticism is leveled against the religion of Islam, our politicians and diplomats seem to be more eager to deride our 1st amendment freedoms rather than punishing murderers. It is painful to watch our nation’s leaders repeating some of the worst elements of human history, but they are indeed doing this. The nation of Judah was sacked by Babylon by way of the foolishness of king Hezekiah, who, 125 years earlier, sought to placate his Babylonian visitors by exposing his nation’s treasures and secrets:

And Hezekiah…showed them[1] all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah did not show them. 2 Kings 20:13

From this one act, Judah’s future was sealed with this dark prophecy:

17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the LORD. 2 Kings 20:17

Hezekiah’s attempt to appease and placate Babylon only served to guarantee Judah’s future demise as a nation. Simply put, the lessons of history should remind us that weak leaders beget nothing but endangered nations and citizens. Sadly, this present administration’s repeated pattern of appeasing our enemies has only served to embolden them to future and further hostility. Rulers who make choices for their own political expediency and gain fail to see that their actions go well beyond the next election cycle or campaign stop. Sadly, their self-absorption makes them numb to the fact that what they do, or fail to do, does have an influence on the policies and practices of our nation – even its safety within an increasingly dangerous world.

In the end, our greatest enemies are right here among us.

[1] Representatives for Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon