Thursday, December 23, 2010

The "W" in Christmas

This was emailed to me by a friend -

     Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.
     My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.
     So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song.
     Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer. So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by it's bold title.
     Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snow caps upon their heads. Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas,"a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."
     The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W". The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".
     Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.  For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: "CHRISTWAS LOVE" And, I believe, He
still is.  Amen.     Author Unknown

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Life ...

Hunter S. Thompson
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!"
Hunter S. Thompson

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pi from the Old Testament

1 Kings 7:23, 26 - Now he made the sea of cast metal ten cubits from brim to brim, circular in form, and its height was five cubits, and thirty cubits in circumference … It was a hand-breadth thick, and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, as a lily blossom; it could hold two thousand baths.

Given the fact that the thickness of the cast sea is given, I would suggest that the circumference is the inner circumference and not the outer circumference.

1 cubit = 18 inches
       10 cubits = 180 inches
       30 cubits = 540 inches
1 hand-breadth = 4 inches

Inner circumference = 540 inches
Inner diameter = 180 – 4 – 4 = 172 inches

Circumference = Pi x Diameter
Pi = Circumference / Diameter

Pi = 540 / 172
Pi = 3.14

This is astounding given the fact that First Kings was written in the mid 500s BC.  Actually, it's not astounding when one considers that the God who invented mathematics is the One who inspired the writing of First Kings.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Christ is coming again

A quote from Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis -
God is going to invade this earth in force.  But what's the good of saying you're on His side then, when you see the whole natural universe melting away like a dream and something else, something it never entered your head to conceive comes crashing in.  Something so beautiful to us and so terrible to others that none of us will have any choice left.  This time it will be God without disguise;  something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love, or irresistible horror into every creature.  It will be too late then to choose your side.  There is no use saying you choose to lie down, when it's become impossible to stand up.  That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realize it or not.  Now, today, in this moment, is our chance to choose the right side.  God is holding back to give us that chance.  It will not last forever; we must take it or leave it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Keep preaching the Gospel

Here is a PodCast that should encourage us to keep preaching the Gospel even when we don't see any results.

http://www.thelivingword.us/blog/GeorgeStreet.mp3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Headship and Glory

Here is an article explaining the headship and glory of Christ from 1 Corinthians 11.

http://thelivingword.us/headship/headship.html

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kind and Merciful God

by Bryan Jeffery Leech

Kind and merciful God, we have sinned in Your sight,
We have all wandered far from Your way;
We have followed desire, we have failed to aspire
To the virtue we ought to display.

Kind and merciful God, we’ve neglected Your Word
And the truth that would guide us aright;
We have lived in the shade of the dark we have made,
When you willed us to walk in the light.

Kind and merciful God, we have broken Your laws
And in conduct have veered from the norm;
We have dreamed of the good, but the good that we could
We have frequently failed to perform.

Kind and merciful God in Christ's death on the cross
You provided a cleansing from sin;
Speak the words that forgive that hence-forth we may live
By the might of your Spirit within.

Kind and merciful God, bid us lift up our heads
And command us to rise from our knees;
May our hearts now be changed and no longer estranged,
Through the power of Your pardon and peace.

45 goals of Communism

Congressional Record January 10, 1963

It's amazing how many of these goals have already been achieved!

1. U.S. acceptance of coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.

2. U.S. willingness to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war.

3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament [by] the United States would be a demonstration of moral strength.

4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war.

5. Extension of long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.

6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination.

7. Grant recognition of Red China. Admission of Red China to the U.N.

8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev's promise in 1955 to settle the German question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.

9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the United States has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.

10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.

11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. (Some Communist leaders believe the world can be taken over as easily by the U.N. as by Moscow. Sometimes these two centers compete with each other as they are now doing in the Congo.)

12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party.

13. Do away with all loyalty oaths.

14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.

15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the United States.

16. Use technical decisions of the courts to weaken basic American institutions by claiming their activities violate civil rights.

17. Get control of the schools. Use them as transmission belts for socialism and current Communist propaganda. Soften the curriculum. Get control of teachers' associations. Put the party line in textbooks.

18. Gain control of all student newspapers.

19. Use student riots to foment public protests against programs or organizations which are under Communist attack.

20. Infiltrate the press. Get control of book-review assignments, editorial writing, policymaking positions.

21. Gain control of key positions in radio, TV, and motion pictures.

22. Continue discrediting American culture by degrading all forms of artistic expression. An American Communist cell was told to "eliminate all good sculpture from parks and buildings, substitute shapeless, awkward and meaningless forms."

23. Control art critics and directors of art museums. "Our plan is to promote ugliness, repulsive, meaningless art."

24. Eliminate all laws governing obscenity by calling them "censorship" and a violation of free speech and free press.

25. Break down cultural standards of morality by promoting pornography and obscenity in books, magazines, motion pictures, radio, and TV.

26. Present homosexuality, degeneracy and promiscuity as "normal, natural, healthy."

27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion. Discredit the Bible and emphasize the need for intellectual maturity which does not need a "religious crutch."

28. Eliminate prayer or any phase of religious expression in the schools on the ground that it violates the principle of "separation of church and state."

29. Discredit the American Constitution by calling it inadequate, old-fashioned, out of step with modern needs, a hindrance to cooperation between nations on a worldwide basis.

30. Discredit the American Founding Fathers. Present them as selfish aristocrats who had no concern for the "common man."

31. Belittle all forms of American culture and discourage the teaching of American history on the ground that it was only a minor part of the "big picture." Give more emphasis to Russian history since the Communists took over.

32. Support any socialist movement to give centralized control over any part of the culture--education, social agencies, welfare programs, mental health clinics, etc.

33. Eliminate all laws or procedures which interfere with the operation of the Communist apparatus.

34. Eliminate the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

35. Discredit and eventually dismantle the FBI.

36. Infiltrate and gain control of more unions.

37. Infiltrate and gain control of big business.

38. Transfer some of the powers of arrest from the police to social agencies. Treat all behavioral problems as psychiatric disorders which no one but psychiatrists can understand [or treat].

39. Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.

40. Discredit the family as an institution. Encourage promiscuity and easy divorce.

41. Emphasize the need to raise children away from the negative influence of parents. Attribute prejudices, mental blocks and retarding of children to suppressive influence of parents.

42. Create the impression that violence and insurrection are legitimate aspects of the American tradition; that students and special-interest groups should rise up and use ["]united force["] to solve economic, political or social problems.

43. Overthrow all colonial governments before native populations are ready for self-government.

44. Internationalize the Panama Canal.

45. Repeal the Connally reservation so the United States cannot prevent the World Court from seizing jurisdiction [over domestic problems. Give the World Court jurisdiction] over nations and individuals alike.

Problems with Calvinism

Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion - Book 3 - Chapter 21 - Section 5 -
... By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which He determined with Himself whatever He wished to happen with regard to every man.  All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation;  and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death ... 

If Calvin is correct in his view that some have been preordained by God to eternal damnation and have been predestinated to death, then all of the whosoever will passages in the Bible are meaningless.  Whosoever no longer means whosoever.  Whosoever now means only those who have been preordained to eternal lifeThose preordained to eternal damnation are not included in the whosoever -- they have no choice in the matter.

In addition, 2 Peter 3:9 -
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
and 1 Timothy 2:3-4 -
This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
become meaningless statements.  If God has truly preordained some to eternal damnation as Calvin claims, then how can He say that He is not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance?  How can He say that He desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth?  If God has truly preordained some to eternal damnation, then He does wish some to perish because He has ordained it so.  He does not desire all men to be saved because He has made it impossible for some to be saved.

What an incredibly heinous doctrine!  What a terrible twisting and distortion of the Bible's clear teaching!  Calvinism is not a philosophy that is derived from Scripture.  It is a philosophy that must be imposed on Scripture.  Scripture must be twisted and distorted and redefined in order to support Calvinism.

Calvinists teach that God preordained some to eternal life.  Most, however, would deny that He preordained others to eternal damnation.  And yet, that is exactly what Calvin taught.  If someone is going to claim the name Calvinist, then they should agree with everything that Calvin taught.   If they don't, then they shouldn't claim to be a Calvinist.  To not do so is akin to someone claiming the name Christian and not agreeing with everything that Jesus taught.  If they don't agree with everything that Jesus taught, then they shouldn't claim the name Christian.