Dec 10, 2014

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Does eschatology matter? Clearly it's not a bedrock issue like the atonement, the virgin birth or the deity of Christ, so why waste valuable time studying a doctrine that causes so much conflict and seems to accomplish so little? After all, whether we understand the Biblical view of the end times or not, everything is going pan out the way God intends. So, since brilliant people can't come to a meaningful consensus, why bother flirting with a subject that seems above most of our pay grades? Wouldn't it be prudent to simply take the path of least resistance rather than get caught up in all the hype and confusion that accompanies the prevailing eschatological view? After all, who do we think we are, believing that we can discover God's truth on a subject that those far brighter have been jousting about for centuries? 

Well, perhaps after watching this short video, you'll begin to appreciate the reasons why eschatology really does matter and why it might be time for you to take a serious look. Maybe it's not quite as complicated as you'd imagined? And it may turn out to play a far more extensive role in the health and vitality of the Church than you'd ever dreamed...and it might even make a difference in the way you view your future. 

Nov 10, 2014

bin Laden re 9/11 in his own words

I continue to hear people, empowered by conspiratorialists like Alex Jones, claim that ISIL, ISIS or whatever name you choose for the Islamic State, is merely a fabrication of the CIA/Mossad, and that the terror they are accused of spreading, only serves to falsely demonize Muslims. But what about the beheadings? Crisis actors. Yes, that's correct, they insist that the dead journalists were just part of the illusion. And these same conspiratorialists believe that the U.S. government in consort with Israel, plotted and perpetrated 9/11 and that they, are the greatest dangers to worldwide freedom. 

Now, if you believe or are entertaining such a belief, I'd like to know if you've ever taken the time to listen to the words of Osama bin Laden one month after the collapse of the Twin Towers. In this interview, bin Laden not only proudly claimed responsibility for the attacks on New York and Washington, but he openly shared his motivations for masterminding this nefarious plan? 

However, the conspiratorialists are not easily fooled. They insist that bin Laden was a mere CIA asset and that he's simply part of the charade. 

I'd like to challenge you to listen carefully to bin Laden, as he clearly enunciates the fact that he is not a pawn of the west, and has only and always represented the interests of Islam. If you think this is a vaudeville act, then you will have no trouble believing just about anything. 

Why was America attacked on 9/11? Bin Laden states a number of reasons, one being the U.S. backing of Israel as they've treated the Palestinians with contempt. But the bottom line is that bin Laden was no a patsy. Most people won't watch the interviews, but they will continue to repeat the mantra, "9/11 was an inside job" and then begin to turn reason on its ear. 

Oct 31, 2014

Secrets and Conspiracies - never the twain shall meet

The following story is a rather poignant reminder why large scale conspiracies involving hundreds, if not thousands of people, simply cannot be true. The fact is that people can't keep their mouths shut... not for long. Even in this small group of highly trained Navy Seals, not all of them kept their traditional oath of silence. When money, fame and/or notoriety are on the line, somebody always chirps. 
On Nov. 11 and 12, Fox News Channel will air “The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden,” a two-part documentary featuring “an exclusive interview with the Navy SEAL who says he fired the shots that killed terrorist leader Usama Bin Laden,” according to a Fox media release, using an alternate spelling for the jihadi’s name. The retired SEAL, “who will reveal his identity and speak out publicly for the first time, describes the events leading up to and during the historical raid that took place on May 1st, 2011.” (
Though the detail in which "The Shooter" described his assassination of bin Laden seems inappropriate for public consumption​, it nonetheless serves to confirm this object lesson. Silence, even in an event confined to a band of brothers, is a virtual impossibility. And this Seal team revelation came to light less than 2 years after the death of bin Laden. 

So when people talk about conspiracy theories on the magnitude of 9/11, where thousands ​had to have been "in the know"​, the chances of long term silence are ​extremely slim. It's simply contrary to human nature, especially in a free society​. 

Recently, a Facebook friend ​argued that since ​the BBC reported the collapse of WTC7 (the Solomon Brothers building) in advance of the actual collapse, this was proof that the BBC had ​prior knowledge. Therefore, in his eyes, this was clear evidence that 9/11 was an inside job, that Larry Silverman (owner of the complex)​, ​plus all of the alphabet networks, the CIA, the Mossad, the U.S. military, and many high level government officials, were all in on the plot. 

So instead of this fellow realizing that on that chaotic day of mass hysteria, reporting was at times confused and downright errant, he chose to believe that thousands knew of the supposed conspiratorial plans to bring down the Twin Towers and WTC 7 through controlled demolition, to wreak havoc on the Pentagon through a missile strike, and to shoot down Flight 93 (that they insist didn't crash in Shanksville). 

Yes, indeed, the 19 hijackers were just a bunch of poor Muslim patsies scapegoated so that the U.S. could muster the moral justification to invade Iraq while ultimately stealing their oil. So why weren't any of the patsies actually from Iraq? Couldn't the sociopathic NWO masterminds behind the attack, have managed to throw a few Iraqis into the flight manifests? And why does the U.S. import a lesser percentage of oil post Gulf War than it did while Hussein was in power? These menacing little factoids don't matter to the true believer.  

Further, consider this. Why would the triumverant of Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld have used four planes (two to strike the Twin Towers, one to merely fly over the Pentagon, and one to shoot down), as some sort of magician's misdirection? Why not crash all four planes into hard targets to create the most damage?  

At any rate, now, some 13 years after that fateful day, ​the conspiracy theorists don't seem to notice that no one has come forward to write the tell-all book or spill the beans on the greatest cover​-up in human history. They want us to believe that hundreds of eyewitnesses, thousands of military personnel, a plethora of government officials, and untold numbers in the media, are all keeping the deafening silence. The government couldn't even keep a lid on Watergate, which was confined to a mere few, and yet they're supposedly capable of covering up the mother of all conspiracies? 

A friend, deep into the rabbit hole, scolded me, "Use your HEAD, man!" As if I was the one who was living in a dream world void of reality. But using my head is quite frankly what eventually woke me from my conspiratorial stupor. Instead of watching one propaganda flick which is riddled with lies and half truths, I began to do some serious research. I decided to be a Berean and not simply believe what I'd been told. And so, after reading thousands of website pages and viewing the video evidence in detail, I climbed out of the rabbit hole and left the cozy confines of conspiracism.  

The bottom line is that people will believe whatever is necessary to confirm their bias. And even when confronted with the improbability of their conspiracy theory, undaunted they simply ignore the evidence, get verbally aggressive and move on to force the next square peg anomaly into their conspiratorial round hole. Anything to make the world less complex. 

So this latest Seal shooter revelation is further proof that massive conspiracies are as improbable as a snowy day in San Francisco. People don't keep secrets even in the most well-confined events, much less the 9/11 granddaddy of them all. 

My recommendation? Break down every conspiracy claim and determine if it can stand on it's own merit. Don't fall prey to allowing the massive number of bogus claims overwhelm you. A hundred false claims does not the truth make.   

One concluding thought. For goodness sake, don't watch one clever Youtube vid and believe you have all the facts. One of the guys obsessed with 9/11 being an inside job, did just that. He actually made the following statement which he believed was proof that WTC 7 had to have been collapsed by controlled demolition. "Your video [which simply showed the WTC 7 collapse in real time] shows NADA of this. NOTHING ON TOP OF THIS BUILDING absolutely NOTHING because they were turned into DUST!!!" 
I don't mean to sound unkind, but this is complete nonsense, devoid of reality. The slick "Loose Change" movie producers, using carefully selected video clips, led this dear brother to believe that the Twin Towers were basically vaporized into what conspiracists like John Lear and Judy Wood refer to as nano-dust. How could they come to this conclusion if they watched ANY of the video footage of the collapse? 

Watch the following to see the kind of "nano-dust" that fell to the ground during the collapse. They hauled away massage amounts of steel, but the revisionist's theories are so compelling to the uninformed, that far too many fail to do any fact checking. 

Conspiracism is a rabid form of cynicism that is not serving us well. It's both crippling and debilitating, and it causes such a severe malaise that one is left feeling disenfranchised and helpless. Ultimately people remove themselves from the political process believing that their vote and voice are worthless. Clearly our government is seriously flawed. And yes, it conceals far more than it ought. But blaming the government for things done by terrorists is not only unhealthy but it's intellectually dishonest. Don't allow a small group of cyber-conspiracists to control the debate. Think for yourself.

Oct 22, 2014

Does Bill Gates want Depopulation through vaccines and health care?

A FB friend posted a snippet of a 2010 Bill Gates' speech, "Innovating to Zero", where Gates essentially outlined what he believed are grave environment problems that will guarantee cataclysmic results. He specifically referenced global warming through greenhouse gas emissions as the main culprit. One of his methods to reduce C02 is through global Population (P in the equation below) reduction. Though I have serious issues with Gates' alarmist environmental claims (which I dealt with in a prior blog), my intent here is to focus on one particular facet of a statement which I shall quote in a moment. 

Because the amount of CO2 emitted correlates to world population (with developed countries emitting far more of the environmental load), Gates briefly mentioned ways to reduce the projected world population (currently at 6.8B headed to 9B), including "reproductive health services" i.e. abortion and contraception, and also the vaccine initiatives. Following is the exact quote from the lecture. 

"Now if we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we lower that [the population] by perhaps 10 or 15 percent". (article HERE, video below)

Did you catch that? One can certainly understand how abortion and contraception lowers world population, but how in the world can new vaccines and better health services also shrink population. Aren't vaccines designed to prevent disease? 

Well, not according to the way Natural News and the many other conspiratorial-minded websites, interpreted Gates' intentions. Natural News reposted just the first 3 minutes of the 30 minute lecture and changed the title to, Bill Gates Wants Depopulation Through Vaccines and Health Care." And off they went with their NWO (New World Order) diatribe accusing Mr. Microsoft of plotting to wipe out millions. But is that truly what Gates meant by the above statement? Even if that was his intent, would he be so brazen to telegraph his diabolical plan to kill off half the world? 

Though I couldn't disagree with Gates more on his bogus global warming assertions, and I despise (is that a harsh enough word?) his pro-abortion initiatives, anyone with a modicum of common sense should have known that Gates, in that 2010 speech, was not talking about euthenizing large population centers with some sort of killer drug disguised as a vaccine. Talk about confirmation bias!

Admittedly, thought he sounded a bit like Mr. Hyde with some severely demented logic, he was essentially saying that reducing infant deaths by using vaccines and providing better health care, reduces a family's fears of losing their children through disease. Therefore, he argued, that they're not as apt to have as many children to compensate for the expected infant deaths. And given the following stats, one need not wonder why.
  • Diphtheria–760,000 deaths
  • Hepatitis B–12,700,000 deaths
  • Measles–96,700,000 deaths
  • Meningitis-21,900,000 deaths
  • Polio–130,000 deaths (and who knows how many permanently crippled)
  • Smallpox–400,000,000 deaths (yes, 400 million)
  • Tetanus–37,000,000 deaths
  • Whooping cough–38,100,000 deaths
Gates wrote in his 2009 Annual Letter, that a "surprising but critical fact [is] that reducing the number of [infant] deaths actually reduces population growth."

He continued by explaining the theory that "parents will have more children when infant mortality is high, so as to ensure that several children will survive to take care of them as they grow old."

Furthering that argument in a 2008 CNN interview, he said, "If you improve health in a society ... surprisingly, population growth goes down. And that's because a parent needs to have some children survive into adulthood to take care of them when they're old. And so, if they think having six children is what they need to do to have at least two survive, that's what they'll do. And amazingly, across the entire world, as health improves, then the population growth actually is reduced."

If Natural News had done a simple internet search or called the Gates Foundation directly, they would have preempted this false accusation. And if my friend would have done the same, it would have saved them the embarrassment of propagating a falsehood. One has to wonder if Natural News chose to close their eyes or if they simply wanted to believe the lie since it confirmed their bias against the nefarious "they". This kind of bogus reporting, which seems all too typical of Natural News and similar conspiratorial "watchdog" organizations, makes the many Christians who share their blogs look rather foolish. But this raises the wider question about vaccines. Are they as dangerous, and are they're makers as evil as they're made out to be. 

Consider the fact that Small Pox, Polio and Influenza have killed and crippled hundreds of millions. Does Natural News and the anti-vaccers really want to return to those days? It has been estimated that nearly 1.7 billion people have died from infectious diseases.Though Dr. Mercola points out that the Gates Foundation vaccination programs are not necessarily what malnourished, dehydrated, children living in squalor, need, vilifying Bill Gates as some sort of a sociopathic monster waging a murderous population control campaign through the use of vaccines, is libelous and irresponsible. Natural News and others who spread this disinformation ought to be ashamed of themselves.

If we don't do a better job of holding these kinds of organizations accountable, we're going to continue to look like fools to the world... and not for the right reasons. And the Gospel's proliferation will be compromised simply because too many Christians are passing along these errant stories lessening our credible by the day.

In closing, let me leave you with some food for thought about vaccines. I apologize in advance for the occasional foul language in the following video, but I offer it to you to dispel some of the anti-vaccine rhetoric that I continue to hear. In my view, too much of what we take at face value from the alternative medicine community is poorly researched. Though I put little trust in traditional medicine in dealing with cancer and immune disorders, I've found that I was throwing too many babies out with the bath water. As Bereans we tend to disbelieve anything and everything coming out of the establishment, but I have found this to be imprudent. Everything should be studied on a case by case basis. Vaccines are no different than anything else.

Oct 18, 2014

Global Warming, Fact or Fiction?

Global warming is a fact, the polar ice caps are melting and industrialization is the root cause. Well, that's at least what the "experts" are telling us.  

Is our planet really in a dangerous state of warming precipitated by human activity? Are we truly on an imminent and ominous Armageddon type collision course lest we immediately and resoundingly throttle back our greenhouse gas production? One need only listen to the Paul Revere style rhetoric of Al Gore, John McCain and the true believers in this "climate crisis", to realize that more than science is fueling this movement. It has reached religious fervor and, according to them, only ignorant neanderthals incapable of objective inquiry and open-mindedness, could possibly disagree with their conclusions. The facts, they say, stand decidedly in their corner. 

Listen, I have no ax to grind. I want to be a faithful steward of God's provision. If we need to alter our behavior to save the planet from calamity, I have no problem making the necessary changes. However, in my view, the interpretation of the facts may not be quite as clear as the climate crisis advocates would have us believe. In the "The Mind Blowing Truth about Global Warming that Nobody Talks About", blogger Steven Bancarz makes the following rather insightful observation.
"Every single planet in our solar system is experiencing the exact same changes the earth is experiencing.   Uranus, Pluto, Mercury, Mars, you name it.  Global warming is not an effect unique to the earth, but is instead a universal phenomenon that is happening throughout the entire solar system in ways that have been documented by Hubble, NASA, BBC, CNN, and mainstream university professors and scientists all over the world.  Every celestial body in our solar system is undergoing dramatic changes, meaning that global warming on earth would still be happening even if it was uninhabited by humans."
If you are confused by Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" and wonder if the global warming denialists are full of hot air, I highly recommend the following videos. I think you will find that science is not as heavily on the side of the alarmists as they would have you believe. 

One closing word of caution. Though some climate alarmists appear to have an anti free- market agenda, I don't think it's prudent to jump on the conspiratorialist bandwagon as so many are prone to do. Every issue must be weighed individually and should not be linked into some web of NWO (New World Order) conspiratorial fear mongering dogma. You don't have to believe that 9/11 was an inside job, that the Sandy Hook massacre and the Boston Marathon bombing were false flag hoaxes, to realize that humans are not the enemy of God's gracious provision. 

Should we be responsible stewards of the earth? Absolutely! However, the fact remains that global warming and cooling are phenomena which have been cyclical since the creation without regard to human activity. So it seems prudent to me that we not crush human industry until we have a far better handle on this issue. And after watching the above videos I think you will find that man-made global warming is anything but a certainty. 

Sep 8, 2014

Either Convert them or kill them! Islam or Christianity?

Who recently said, "Either convert them or kill them?" An Islamic terrorist or Cleric, right? It clearly sounds like Middle East rhetoric we've heard before, but in this instance, it was a famous Christian duck hunter. 

Phil Robertson seems like a very committed believer. In reading the book, "Duck Commander", I came away with three thoughts. He really, really, really like to kill ducks (never heard of so many varieties), he's a very simple man who loathes technology, and he loves the Lord. I believe he and his family are bold and courageous in their willingness to stave off political correctness and speak affirmatively concerning Christian values. 

Recently as a Foxnews contributor, Robertson made the statement regarding ISIS, "Either convert them or kill them." 

In reaction, a FB friend's repost simply stated, "'Convert them or kill them.' Congratulations, Phil, you just taught the philosophy of Islam." I found the ensuing debate rather intriguing and invigorating. Many Christians supported Robertson with a "get them before they get us" mentality, The first response was, "He ain't wrong when it comes to radical Islam. However, since a conversion is unlikely with these radicals, just save time and go to option 2". Another posited, "If Christians and "Christian nations" do not bring "liberty and justice" to the world, then who the hell will." Yet another expressed an entirely different point of view when he simply wrote, "He're Phil's Christ", and then linked the following photo of Jesus holding a 50 caliber machine gun. 

To a wildly cheering crowd,
John Hagee (video link) has made similar statements regarding the Palestinians, Muslims and what he regards as the terrorist state of Iran.
A number of years ago he proclaimed, "It is time for America to consider a military preemptive strike against Iran to prevent a nuclear holocaust in Israel and a nuclear attack in America." I refer to this as the Hagee commandment, "Nuke unto others before they nuke unto you."

The fellow who posted the Hagee video which included the above quote, wrote, "It's time for all americans to rise up and nuck the terrorists in Iran before they come over here and hop on the Al Ciada naval ships and reign down nuckler terror on America! It's time to say no to the racists and liberal ku klux klan nazi members like Pat Buchannan and Ron Paul who just want us to roll over and surreder to the terrorists." Though this guy could clearly benefit from a little spell check (which in and of itself makes him sound extreme), I don't find his sentiment all that unusual. Perhaps most are not quite as blatant in their militaristic attitudes, but it appears that he's clearly not out of the dispensational mainstream. Just watch the Hagee video and take a good look at the crowd as they cheer his war cry. 

At another time, John Hagee and Benny Hinn gathered to pray to lead "this nation into war..." Though the Hagee ministry eliminated this prayer session from public view based upon "copyright infringement", it can still be found here: John Hagee With Benny Hinn: Praying For War, In the Name Of Jesus. Certainly doesn't remind me a whole lot of Jesus' sermon on the mount's "Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called son of God." How did we get so far from the prayers for peace? 

But as much as it feeds our sense of justice to hold savages and terrorists to an account, is this a Biblically sanctioned response?  ISIS may be out of control, but to pray for the annihilation of a sovereign nation that has NEVER attacked us (Iran), seems less than prudent. 

The question we must answer is if Hagee's and Robertson's message is that of Jesus and the NT authors? Where does "love your enemies" and "pray for those who persecute you" come into the equation? Every last disciple (and yes, I believe John is included) died martyrs. Stephen didn't even pick up a rock in self defense and as he was dying said, "Lord, do not charge them with this sin."  And the one time a disciple attempted to use aggression to thwart the enemies of Christ, Jesus rebuked him and restored the ear of the enemy. 

So are Phil Robertson and John Hagee correct? What should we do? Following is an interview with Semse Aydin, the Christian Widow Who Forgave the men who brutally torturned and murdered her husband and two other missionaries in Turkey

In closing, please consider the following article, "Phil Robertson preaches Islamic doctrine? Convert or die?as Joel McDurmon of American Vision weighs in on this debate. He wrote, "While Robertson’s sentiment resonates with a lot of people, especially conservatives stirred to outrage by gruesome videos of alleged beheadings and alleged threats to “America,” we must step back for a moment and check our reaction. 

On the surface of this quotation, Robertson’s response is little more than the doctrine of the very Islamic “thugs on steroids” he would confront. “Convert them or kill them,” is no different than the classic Islamic battle cry: “convert or die!” Is this really the response Christians should have? Is this what the Bible teaches? Is this even what the allegedly harsh and outdated Old Testament ethic for war would prescribe? No, it is not.

Sep 3, 2014

Facebook Messenger - BEWARE!

A couple of days ago I received a Facebook notification message on my smartphone, so I opened the FB app. After realizing it was a private message, I clicked on the "messages" icon at the bottom of my screen, only to find the following warning (image at right). Hmmm. Simple enough, right? All I had to do was click the blue install button, download the app and then read the message in this new and I assumed, improved feature. What harm could there be in that?

Well, plenty, according to the experts. In the terms of service agreement (that you must agree to before installation), is some rather invasive language that will probably SHOCK you as it did me. I'd heard some horror stories about installing this app but I wondered how truly onerus it could be? Facebook already had far too much information, so what more could they garner from the installation of this little application? Surely the fear mongering about Facebook being able to turn on my camera while my phone is idle, has to be bogus. Or being able to monitor my location through my smartphone's GPS... oh come on, that's the kind of stuff from the Hunger Games. 

Well, not so fast! First play the short video (below) specifically targeting the privacy dangers of Facebook Messenger, and then watch the one to follow which deals primarily with some banking apps and their similar attempts to invade our world. I can assure you that this is a very real threat. 

My advice? If you've already installed any of these apps (Messenger, Bank of America, Capital One), uninstall them immediately! I surely can live without the Facebook Messenger app since I still have access to it through my phone's browser and on my computer. 

Hopefully this will send a clear and decisive message to these power-crazed corporations and to others that may be charting a similar course. This kind of corporate fascism is insidious and I think it must be rebuffed. 

Jul 12, 2014

The earth shall SOON dissolve like snow?

One of my all-time favorite songs, John Newton's 1772 "Amazing Grace", contains some of the sweetest words ever written. "I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I see". God's love, grace and mercy are truly amazing! 

The healed blind man said it first, " thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." (John 9:25) A whole new world opened up to him. What a powerful metaphor for our spiritual condition prior to faith in Christ.

As you may be aware, Chris Tomlin's updated rendition of Amazing Grace (My chains fell off), eliminated the last verse and included the following.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine.

What you may not know is that Chris' version, though a slight alteration of the one found in most hymnals, was in fact a revival of Newton's original (published in 1779). 

John Newton, 1779, Olney Hymns
Amazing grace! (how sweet the sound)
That sav'd a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears reliev'd;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believ'd!

Thro' many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis'd good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, who call'd me here below,
Will be forever mine.

Do you notice the difference between Newton's original and the one in the hymnal below?

In the mid 1800s, the verse, "When we've been there ten thousand years..." replaced the apocalyptic predictions of Newton. 

With that revelation, two questions immediately sprang to mind.

1. Why was Newton's "the earth will soon be dissolved like snow" replaced?

2. And why did Chris Tomlin bring it back?

Clearly Newton believed like so many before him, that the current world conditions at the end of the 18th century signaled the end of the planet. And this point is critical because we continue to repeat his error. There is a doom and gloom atmosphere that pervades today's Church as it has for the many generations before ours. The church seems to believe the worst about everything. The currency, financial markets and society as a whole, are always assumed to be on a crash course. But given the sordid track record of these doomsayers, should that not at least cause us pause?

Since Newton penned this beloved song so long ago (241 years to be exact), is that perhaps the reason this verse was eventually eliminated? Did someone finally realize that an event can't be perpetually imminent?  That, since the earth did not dissolve "soon" as Newton expected, it became somewhat of an embarrassment? How long will it be before we stop to realize that something cannot be forever on the verge? 

In a sermon this Sunday morn, the pastor, in his attempt to explain the imminence of 1 Peter 4:7 ("The end of ALL THINGS is NEAR..."), fell all over himself trying to explain what Peter "really" meant by NEAR (Greek eggizo). Surely Peter didn't mean that the earth was ABOUT TO dissolve as snow, given the fact that he'd penned these words in the earthly AD 60s, almost 2,000 years ago... slightly less than a GENERATION after Jesus proclaimed, "This GENERATION will not pass away until ALL THESE THINGS take place" (Matt 24:34)? 

Even after reading two verses earlier " Him who is READY TO JUDGE the living and the dead" (1 Peter 4:5), the pastor immediately dispelled the notion that Peter, an inspired Apostle, meant exactly what he wrote. After all, the pastor quipped, Peter never said that the end of all things would take place in his GENERATION. 

Do you realize what this dear pastor was arguing? Even though Peter's teacher, Messiah, friend and Savior, made that exact statement some 3 decades prior, since Peter didn't use the word GENERATION, "near" basically meant nothing. I'm sorry, but this kind of logic is unacceptable. This pastor apparently doesn't understand the ground he's giving the atheists and mockers of our day. We need to be prepared to give a defense, and this is not it. 

The reason Peter made that and other bold time sensitive assertions was in direct response to the claims of Jesus Christ. Not only had Jesus said that "ALL THESE THINGS" would take place within a GENERATION of His audience, but He made it abundantly clear that He would return before His disciples finished going through the cities of Israel while a few were still alive. (Matt 10:23; 16:27-28). And, in the Revelation, Jesus at this point (approx AD 62) sitting at the right hand of the Father in full knowledge of the events about to transpire, told John "Things which are to SOON take place...for the TIME IS NEAR." (Rev 1:1,3)  

So, respectfully, we must not continue to make these kinds of excuses for the Word of God. If we will begin to interpret it in context, we will find out how amazing the Bible really is. 

So why did Tomlin remove the one verse (below) that instills the inevitable, our date with death? I can't answer that but it is, in my opinion, what our focus should be. Our lives will "soon dissolve as snow". We are here but for an instant. Our life is but a vapor in the wind. 

For centuries, the millions if not billions who have awaited the return of Jesus, have one thing in common. They have all died. So doesn't it seem that that our focus should be on our life that will eventually fade? How precious is this verse?
Yes, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease;
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

Concerning Newton's last verse, a blogger wrote, "There will come a time when the "earth will soon dissolve like snow" -- melting snow is something that we've all seen either in person or remotely. 

This comment is a microcosm of the modern day problem and is not dissimilar to that which the pastor said this morning. The majority have become so desensitized concerning time (the misinterpretation of 2 Peter 3:8 being at the hub) that they don't recognize this kind of faulty logic. Do you see it how inane this is? They are saying that there will come a time when the earth will SOON dissolve? Really?  Is that what Newton meant by "the earth will soon dissolve like snow"? Was he ambivalent about the timing of the end? Was he truly saying that one day in the distant future, the earth would SOON dissolve? That doesn't mean anything at all. 

If I tell my wife, "I'll be there soon, honey," does that mean that at some future time when I finally decide to leave the office, that I'll be there soon? Can you imagine what she would say if that was my excuse for not coming home when she expected? When getting the evil eye upon my appearance, how do you think this would sell? "Honey, I only meant that when I left, I would be there shortly." These are the kinds of ludicrous statements that arise from a very faulty eschatological system. It has come to the point where words don't mean a thing. 

The reality is that John Newton, however well-intentioned, joined the long list of false prophets when he wrote, "The earth will soon dissolve like snow, the sun forebear to shine." 

So why then did Chris Tomlin bring that verse back? 

Perhaps he was motivated by his eschatology. In my view, Chris made the same mistake as Newton. No doubt Chris believes, that given the state of affairs today, the earth will in fact dissolve SOON. However, I want to know why, when he sings this verse, he thinks soon actually conveys something that is actually AT HAND? If the inspired NT writers weren't implying imminence when they used terms like "shortly", "soon", "at hand", "quickly" and "in a very little while", time becomes totally irrelevant and it would be impossible to hold a prophet accountable. So why would Chris use what has so often been characterized as a Biblically ambiguous term? (for a more comprehensive look at the Biblical usages of imminent language click HERE)

The kind of de-creation apocalyptic verbiage Tomlin brought back (earth dissolving like snow) is found in the Olivet discourse (Matt 24; Mark 13; Luke 21), Peter's Pentecost sermon (Acts 2) and in the Revelation as the 6th seal is opened (Rev 6). So when were all these cataclysmic events supposed to take place? Written in Approx AD 62 Jesus, through the Angel told John...

Revelation 1:1-3 (NASB) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2 who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.

So, what's going on? If the calamitous events Tomlin references were imminent 2,000 years ago but never happened, what makes him think they'll happen soon? 

When the Bible refers to this kind of judgment language like the moon turning into blood, the stars falling from the sky and the sun ceasing to shine, was it EVER used in a literal fashion? Not once! (for a fuller discussion click HERE) Until we understand the context and genre of apocalyptic language, we will continue to get stuck in the eschatological quagmire. 

So what's actually going on here? What kind of expectations is Tomlin creating? If you expect the earth to dissolve in the near-term, how will that affect your perceptions about the future? Will it cause any lifestyle changes? Will you begin hording food? Will you see the degradation of our society as a sign of the end or determine that Christ wants you to reform it for His ultimate glory? 

The Apostle Paul warned the Corinthians that the "time is short...for the form of this world is passing away" (1 Cor 7:29-31). And because they were nearing the end, what was Paul's admonition? To remain as they were! "So that from now on those who have wives should be as though they had none30 and those who weep, as though they did not weep; and those who rejoice, as though they did not rejoice; and those who buy, as though they did not possess; 31 and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it..." So why aren't Christians heeding this message if they truly believe that we only have a short time left?

Chris is a gifted songwriter and he recorded a wonderfully inspiring song (our chains have fallen off and we truly have been set free!), but the problem is that he's subtly spreading an eschatological system that is not Scriptural. In my opinion, it's rather audacious to say that soon actually means soon today, but it didn't mean soon when Peter or Paul wrote it. 

The crux of the matter is that we've been led by the experts to believe that, when Peter wrote, "The end of all things is near" that he referred to the end of the planet. Neither Jesus nor Peter were referring to the physical end of the universe, but instead, the end of the Old Covenant age that was growing old and ready to disappear. (Heb 8:13) Consider the following:

Revelation 6:12-17 (NASB) I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?" 

If this passage is to be interpreted literally, do you notice the glaring problem? A dark sun, a blood red moon, stars crashing onto the planet earth, the sky splitting and rolling up, and all while every mountain moves out of it's place... and yet people are hiding under rocks? Are you kidding me? What rocks? How in the world could anyone hide under a rock after the entire solar system has obliterated our planet? This de-creation language is poetic and symbolic but it was never meant to be taken literally/naturally. Yes, judgement was coming upon the generation of Christ killers and it came like clockwork just as Peter and the inspired Bible authors foretold. 

If you would like proof that these things didn't happen with the timing predicted, I highly recommend the following rather expansively titled short book, "The Destruction of Jerusalem: An Absolute and IrresistibleProof of the Divine Origin of Christianity including a narrative of thecalamities which befel the Jews, so far as they tend to verify our Lord'spredictions relative to that event. With a brief description of the city and the temple" written by George Peter Holford (Written in 1805). With titles so extensive who needs to read the book?  :)

We have unambiguous historical proof that these events did indeed take place "soon" as Jesus returned with both blessings and cursings. The holy city was destroyed along with the temple that will never be rebuilt. The sun never again shined on the Jewish nation that killed their Messiah as 1.1 million Jews died the most horrific holocaust that nation would ever see. 

So the next time you sing this song, or any song for that matter, ask yourself if each verse is Biblically supported. If truth matters, it seems that we ought to become more theologically discerning. Perhaps "the earth shall soon dissolve like snow" should in fact be permanently replaced with:

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun.

Mar 23, 2014

"Gather around, wait for the sound, the King is coming" - Really?

Why do so many of these otherwise inspiring songs, begin or end with lyrics like, "Gather around, wait for the sound, the King is coming", or other similar, "Jesus is coming soon" type lyrics? Though these kinds of emotionally charged words of imminent anticipation are guaranteed to send crowds into a frenzy as they tug at our heart strings, the question is, how long will it be before we begin to seriously scrutinize the underlying eschatological system that constantly produces these failed expectations? Few seem to wonder why, if Jesus has been imminently coming for 2,000 years, that He still hasn't returned. Hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, and right now the sickness of failed expectations is causing Christians to question the veracity of the Bible. 

Let me be clear that I truly appreciate groups like Warr Acres and their commitment to Jesus. What frustrates me is that these uplifting songs are tainted with what I believe is poor eschatology. I've been hearing "The King is coming" since the early 70s. Matter of fact, James wrote, "The coming of the Lord is at hand...the judge is standing at the door", almost 2,000 years ago. (James 5:8-9)

Seriously, I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but what do you believe Jesus waiting for? Perhaps, according to some, the complete disintegration of our culture? The decline of the Gospel's influence? If He's supposedly waiting for a low point, why didn't He return before the 16th century reformation? Or why didn't he return before the Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock just prior to Christianity's explosion into the new world? Or why not just after the Civil War when brother killed brother to the tune of 750,000? Or after 100 million died due to WW1 and the Spanish flu pandemic?

The fact is that the world isn't getting worse in spite of the constant insistence by many Christians who have been mislead to believe that the worse things become the closer we are to the return of Christ. I'm sorry, but this is just plain bad eschatology. 

Where is the overcoming nature of the Gospel which is found in the Epistles of John? 

What's interesting is that, in the midst of our eschatological schizophrenia, we sings songs with the following overcoming type lyrics:

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God...

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome in power
Our God, Our God...

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?
What can stand against?

Yes, indeed, who can stand against? The reality is that many of us don't believe a word of it because we believe that the antichrist-led one-world government is coming, natural disasters are about to increase and world chaos will soon overcome us.  

Until we undergo an severe eschatological makeover, and begin to believe that no one can ever stop the advance of the Gospel, our society will continue to decline and we will continue to blindly sing "Gather around, wait for the sound, the King is coming". The power of the Gospel is being compromised and this is having a rather chilling affect. 

Perhaps those who say they take the Bible literally will one day take the following verse literally. But how many more hundreds or even thousands of years before the Church figures out how long a generation is? 

(Matthew 24:34) Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

The following podcasts details the events surrounding the close of the Canon near the end of the age. Historical Review (AD 64-66) 

Mar 2, 2014

"We are opposed by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy..." ~ JFK

​Take a few moments to listen to this famous John F. Kennedy speech. In it, President Kennedy talks about secret societies, secret oaths, secret proceedings and a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means to accomplish a grand scheme of world domination.

Questions abound. Was he speaking, as many presume, about the machinations of the infamous New World Order? Were shadow organizations like Skull and Bones, the Bilderbergers and the Illuminati, in JFK's cross-hairs? Was he assassinated because he was exposing the NWO and it's shadowy FED banking system?

Was Kennedy warning us of an impending anti-Christ led one-world government? Many believe that a cabal of rich bankers and megalomaniacs, who are secretly plotting and successfully engineering their plans of world dominion,  were directly responsible for JFK's assassination. Watch this short video and draw your own conclusions as to whether President Kennedy was warning us of this impending NWO takeover or something else more pertinent at the time. JFK has been heralded as the man who exposed these nefariously intentioned globalists. Listen and decide.

Were you aware (as is pointed out at the end of the video) that this April 21, 1961 speech was actually 2,249 words, not just the 181 words that have been carefully edited to foster the above assumptions? Most are as shocked as I was to find that this speech had nothing whatsoever to do with exposing the Rothschilds, the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) or any of the aforementioned clandestine players. Kennedy's actual target? Sorry to disappoint you, but he was speaking of the inherent and imminent threat of Communism as the tensions were being played out in the cold war. Don't believe me? Then listen to the entire unedited speech (below) - (for the text version click HERE).  

When I first became aware of this dirty little secret propagated by conspiratorialists like Alex Jones, Edward G. Griffin and Texe Marrs, I was really miffed. How dare these agenda-driven provocateurs attempt to dupe us into subscribing blindly to their paranoia at our expense and their financial gain! They've created quite a cottage industry. And the sad reality is that truth doesn't sell nearly like sensationalism. So, since this myth fits neatly into our pre-programmed perceptions of a coming one-world government (promulgated by doom and gloom premillennial eschatology), most never bother to do any fact checking. Christians have become a rather gullible lot.

So, why is this JFK matter important? Because it is one of the NWO conspiracy theory building blocks. If John F. Kennedy gave his life for the cause which conspiratorialists insist was the case, i.e. opposing the monolithic cabal of international "banksters", then we, who love freedom, should be compelled to action in fighting this grandiose beast. However, if JFK was actually speaking of the the communist agenda, this changes the landscape a great deal. 

As with most conspiracies, certain things must be believed before other things, less demonstrable (coincidental anomalies), will become convincing. In other words, if the cornerstone of a theory is found to be riddled with major cracks, all the peripheral stones (anomalies) laid neatly atop the foundation can no longer be supported and thus the entire structure collapses. (So it is with most conspiracy theories, especially ones with a massive scope.) 

Once the structure ceases to exist, the stones which appeared to have ominous meaning and purpose as part of the overall framework, become nothing more than random, isolated rocks strewn across the ground. And therefore, the beautiful conspiratorial edifice becomes nothing more than a pile of rather meaningless rubble. Such has been the case with the misuse and abuse of the actions and speeches of JFK. 

What I have found, is that most who think that JFK was warning us of an impending world takeover by these shadowy overlords, also subscribe to a host of other conjoined false flag conspiracies like:

1. 9/11 was an inside job.

2. Sandy Hook massacre
3. Aurora movie theater rampage
4. The Boston Marathon bombing 

Each of the above events, I am constantly told, were nothing more than false flag operations with the sole intent to turn the populous against guns and ultimately gut the 2nd Amendment. And, over the past 13 years since 9/11, because the government bureaucracy has burgeoned while our freedoms have dwindled (this cannot be disputed), one need not wonder why people have become more suspicious, cynical and easily persuaded that "they" are out to get us.  

So, after coming to the realization that this particular speech, and JFK's presidency as a whole, was not centered around opposing the international bankers, the FED and all the exclusive organizations that are presumed to further their cause, have your presuppositions been compromised as mine were? I began to wonder how many other pieces of the conspiratorial puzzle may have been similarly manipulated? What other issues have been carefully crafted to cause us to buy into this kind of paranoia? 

Listen, I'm not arguing that conspiracies are always confined to active imaginations, forever ordering facts to fit one's predetermined paradigm. But what I am saying, is that I think we need to be more diligent to put, not only the establishment to the test, but also those who summarily oppose the establishment to similar rigorous tests. Neither the political far left nor far right have a monopoly on agendas.

Following is an interview that I found rather intriguing. Yes, both the interviewer and interviewee are decidedly "liberal" (to some this means among other things, untruthful - I reject this notion), but I think they expose an underlying narrative that is controlling the perceptions of many on the far right. These things meld quite nicely with the apocalyptic beliefs of many Christians and because of this, we often scrutinize the building blocks of conspiratorialism far less than we ought. In other words, just because some movement opposes the establishment does not make those who do so decidedly and singularly altruistic.

And, as a footnote, I think there ought to be a distinction between being part of the extreme right-wing and being a Libertarian. Standing for free markets and a morally-based capitalism, doesn't mean one must necessarily subscribe to the conspiratorial paranoia. Though many libertarians are deeply embroiled in conspiracism, they don't have to be. 

The "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" appears to be the script which many of the conspiratorialists like Alex Jones are reading. 

I have learned to constantly confront my worldview with competing and opposing worldviews. It's the only way to remain intellectually honest. But the tendency is to do the opposite. We want to continually reinforce our beliefs, not challenge them. This produces the potential for errors to be perpetuated. Watching the above video is an example of that process being played out. Though I don't subscribe to much of what these men believe, I have come to realize that we can learn a great deal from those with whom we disagree.  

For a fuller discussion of this entire JFK issue, click
HERE and HERE. The latter of these links deals with many JFK misquotes like the one below.