Headline Potpourri #102

The pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church in reflecting on the Charlottesville disturbances elaborated that statues built in honor of men are not Biblical. So if these edifices are going to be construed in light of the prohibition against graven images, will they going to ask SermonAudio to remove their profile portraits posted on the site?

It was said on the podcast of Berean Baptist Church that areas with populations feeling thusly should be allowed to vote on the removal of Confederate statues. Firstly, will this church as enthusiastically defend jurisdictions voting to retain their Confederate statues? Secondly, is their proof that this opposition is a grassroots movement indigenous to the South or is this the next iteration of the carpetbagger phenomena? If Yankees don’t want Southerners imposing outdated morality on the rest of America, perhaps the Yankees should keep their views north of the Mason/Dixon Line.

In consideration of whether Jesus would be politically right or left, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson said he was uncomfortable with either the Democratic or Republican Parties. That is largely because politics is concerned about being disputatious about unimportant things. So how is that different than what some people feel about hardline denominationalists and the theological peculiarities or ecclesiastical idiosyncrasies of such?

In a sermon, a pastor got all jacked out of shape that Trump joked about police not having to be gentle as suspects are taken into custody. Such remarks are certainly out of line. But the approach called for is still probably more gentle than the treatment received by the Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver at the hands of the Clinton regime.

During a sermon on predestination, a pastor accused one youth in the audience of distracting another from hearing about the most important thing in the world. But if that youngster was not meant to be one of the called, does it really matter if the student hears a message that he is incapable of responding in the affirmative to? Furthermore, how do we not know that the distractor was not fulfilling a divinely appointed role to keep the distracted from not hearing a message that he was never intended to hear in the first place?

In a lecture on mature manhood posted at SermonAudio, Pastor Sean Harris lamented the increasing trend where young women are stuck to chronologically advanced males that are still mentally boys. As if many of these contemporary wenches that those under admonishment end up with are prize pigs themselves?

In a Sermon Audio upload, Pastor Sean Harris condemned the phenomena where wives end up essentially being replacement mothers for their listless deadbeat husbands. Will there be an accompanying sermon where trashy, spendaholic woman will be criticized for viewing their husbands as little more than replacement daddies in terms picking up the credit card tab?

In a SermonaAudio tirade, Pastor Sean Harris warned girls that men want to sleep with them. But unless it is rape, did not the girls want to sleep with the males as well? The young women were further counseled that often men will fake being Christian in order to marry them in order to do so. And that is worse how from women pulling a similar scam in terms of getting what they want particularly in terms of finances?

In a sermon, Pastor Sean Harris urged young women not to pay attention to young men that did not live up to a set of criteria that he proceeded to elaborate. All well and good. But will young men be admonished to similarly pay no mind to young women that do not exhibit a similar degree of modesty and enthusiasm for living frugally and doing housework?

Regarding a sermon by Berean Baptist Church Pastor Sean Harris that did nothing but condemn young men with nary a criticism directed towards the failings young women. If these “godly” women marry the appealing ungodly young man rather than the less attractive godly one, if the lives of such girls end up miserable, isn’t that no one’s fault but their own?

Interesting how in a sermon in condemnation of the contemporary adult male Pastor Sean Harris insinuated that men are obligated to work themselves to the bone for some wench but seemed to suggest that it was out of line for men to expect gratitude to be bestowed for this provision in terms of housework completed and bedroom compliance. That is, after all, why a man puts up with the hassle of getting married in the first place.

Regarding these descendants making a name for themselves bashing their ancestor Robert E. Lee. Apparently they don’t despise the notoriety deriving from such enough to renounce their proverbial fifteen minutes of fame and any lucrative speaking engagements or book deals likely to result from such.

Joel Osteen’s alleged delay in opening Lakewood Church to the victims of Hurricane Harvey will not be remembered as his finest hour. However, the reluctance can be understandable. Osteen might have been concerned that the facility would likely be torn to pieces like the Superdome was during Hurricane Katrina. And, as in the case of the horrors claimed to have taken place in that arena during that particular national calamity, would Lakewood Church be held liable for any rapes or sexual assaults committed on the property by those extended refuge?

In a sermon condemning the contemporary young adult male while deliberately glossing over the shortcomings of the contemporary young adult female, Pastor Sean Harris droned on about new mothers returning to work because of fathers not sufficiently providing. But is it that the father is not making an effort or is it that he’s not providing the standard that she prefers? For example, is she having to settle for Aldi’s and Savealot when she thinks she is deserving of Whole Foods and is being forced to shop at the local thrift store rather than Noordstrom’s or Sacks Fifth Avenue?

In a SermonAudio homily that highlighted the shortcomings of the contemporary young adult male while totally ignoring the as shocking shortcomings of the contemporary young adult female, Pastor Sean Harris remarked that “real men” do not live with their parents. If he wants to maintain the fiction that his congregation holds to Sola Scriptura, can he provide a verse reference proving this assertion? Fascinating how the Hebrew Patriarchs are invoked by many of the hardline fundamentalists when denigrating modern dating where the individual makes their own selection of a mate rather than settling for the one provided by parents but the fact that the likes of Issac resided with his parents well into his forties is conveniently glossed over without mention.

In his analysis of the demise of Christian bookstores, homseschool activist Kevin Swanson characterized the death of Thomas Kincaid as a result of an overdose as a picture of American Christianity. If that is the case, couldn’t it just as legitimately be said that the picture of the Reformed homeschool movement was the fall of Doug Phillips from Vision Forum Ministries as a result of an affair with the hired help or the dismissal of Swanson’s former sidekick Dave Buehner for similar carnal improprieties?

Reflecting upon the demise of Christian bookstores, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson veered into criticism of painter Thomas Kincaid. In the analysis, Swanson insisted that the late artist’s work lacked gravitas. But then again, are we Christians obligated to hang depressing works in our living rooms or over the mantle?

In his condemnation of Christian bookstores, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson compared a book on raising boys written by a Christian psychologist and one written by a pastor. He noted critically how the one written by the psychologist was primarily practical in nature and only had a smattering of Bible verses. The book written by the pastor, on the other hand, was highly praised for containing numerous Scriptures. But isn’t each written by a professional that by training is an expert in a distinct yet not necessarily conflicting field? The concern should have instead been if the pastor hadn’t utilized so many verses and was attempting to pass himself off as a psychologist? At no time was it clarified whether or not the psychologist was peddling advice that in anyway contradicted Biblical teaching. The psychologist might have simply been providing ways by which Biblical teaching could be put into practice. Many of these professional religionists bind the Christian in a sort of proverbial catch 22. They insist that all knowledge is God’s knowledge and that there needs to be the influence of believers in these various fields of study but they then turn around in a tizzy when these issues are approached in a manner different than how they would be handled from the Sunday pulpit.

In exegesis of Esther’s proclamation that if she perished, she perished, a pastor remarked that he could not understand why Americans are reluctant to die. Probably because it was God that placed a survival instinct into all living creatures. And apart from hardline Islamists that have to work at undermine this through intensive brainwashing and spiritual manipulation, are there really that many people that are either young or healthy eager to die? If one is going to make as part of one’s pulpit persona how much one admires Jewish culture, shouldn’t one know that one of their catch phrases is “To life!”?

Congress has passed a resolution demanding the President condemn White supremacism. Will this quickly be followed will successive decrees calling for similar condemnation of Black Lives Matter, enthusiasts of the knock out game, Hispanosupremacist organizations such La Raza and Mecha, and the fanatical babykillers of Planned Parenthood?

So why is CNN propagandist Don Lemon being praised for getting on the bandwagon that fat bottomed girls make the world go round and that he likes big butts and he cannot lie but a husband that confessed similar sentiments on social media regarding his wife was castigated as if he was some kind of domestic abuser?

At the Pentagon 9/11 Commemoration, Secretary of Defense James Mattis declared, “Mr. President, your military does not scare.” So is that sense of courage why a number of elite military functionaries about tripped all over themselves to condemn the Charlottesville disturbances (a domestic political incident the military had no business addressing in the first place) in a manner that totally ignored the role Antifa rabblerousers played in exacerbating the incident?

Secularists are in an uproar over Trump judicial nominee Amy Burrett for seeming to suggest that, as a Catholic, there are instances where fidelity to religious teaching might take precedence over an oath sworn to uphold the Constitution. Such a statement does cause the discerning to stop for a moment of reflection. But upon further consideration, how is her sentiment appreciably worse than most of the fiats issued by numerous administrations irrespective of party finding no basis whatsoever in the Constitution? A perfect example is no doubt the DACA decree of the Obama regime that the very same progressives raising this concern about a jurist’s legal ideology are in an uproar over Trump attempting to find a more appropriate statutory foundation for.

President Trump assures that there will be a wall but just not right now. That translates from political gibberish that, if one is ever built, it likely won’t be during the Trump regime.

If NFL players should be allowed to sit down during the National Anthem without repercussion in violation of the rules, why should the property owner along Interstate 95 in Virginia be required to comply the with a zoning ordinance pulled out of the backside of municipal officials infringing upon his free speech to fly an enormous Confederate flag?

By Frederick Meekins

Advertisements

Corporatists Profit From Christmas While Subtly Mocking It

Over the past couple of decades, the cultured despisers of religion have attempted to undermine celebrations primarily Christian in nature through outright bans of the symbols commemorating a particularly beloved time of year.
However, such efforts have proven largely unsuccessful.

Americans have resisted with such vehemence that the nation elected a President that raised the issue of referring to December 25th explicitly as Christmas nearly to the level of a plank in his campaign platform.

As masters of psychological warfare, secularists now seem to be pursuing a strategy where, if one cannot outright ban Christmas, one can at least insert messages disrespecting the holiday into the advertising pervasive throughout ubiquitous media.

In one advertisement, instead of a baby Jesus figurine resting in the manger, a British bakery replaced the Christ child with a partially masticated sausage role.

Given that sausage is often composed of swine parts that cannot be consumed as other cuts of meat, would this business if its executives desired continued existence portrayed Muhammad in a similarly flippant manner?

And speaking of Muslims, adherents of that particular faith are utilized in another marketing endeavor on the part of a business wanting to brand itself as slapping Christians across the face.

In a commercial produced by a British supermarket chain, those depicted are asked what it is that they like to eat for Christmas.

One of the families asked is not simply Muslim but there is no denying such as they are depicted in the head garb distinctive to hardline interpretations of that faith.

One might legitimately respond that the beauty of Christmas is that anyone is free to celebrate the joy of that particular season.

After all, Christmas is big business in Japan with the majority of the population there being Shinto and/or Buddhist.

However, the obliteration of Western civilization has not been a particular goal of the Japanese since the end of World War II.

It has been admitted that a number of Muslims do not so much wear these outfits out of a sense of piety or modesty but rather as a way to explicitly articulate their animosity towards Christendom and to do their part to see that that particular way of life is replaced with a global caliphate.

As in the case of the sausage role advertisement, could a similar commercial be produced where the roles are reversed where a Saudi Arabian grocery asked Christians residing there how they enjoy Ramadan with the Christians responding with a nice succulent pork chop or a crispy piece of bacon?

Corporate media is so deliberate in nature that nothing within the messages it propagates is an accident or mere coincidence.

As such, if an aspect of such can be construed as disrespectful of either Christmas or Christianity, it is pretty safe to assume such was the intention of the mind composing such a sentiment.

By Frederick Meekins

Support MUTTS in a RUT

Shop www.aloveofdogs.com tomorrow and 10% goes to Mutts in a Rut Rescue!
 
Mutts in a Rut Rescue, Inc.
P.O. Box 111335
Cleveland, Ohio 44111
 
Check out our website http://muttsinarutrescue.com
 

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 5

Sadly though, this is the age of extremes. On the one hand, there are Christians that no doubt find Disney classics such as “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Pinocchio” too racy for their tastes. And on the other, there are those professing to be Christians that cannot adopt quickly enough the popular fads and affectations of any particular moment. One prominent example of overeager accommodation to the spirit of the time is the Emergent Church movement.
If one is to chastise the Evangelical and Fundamentalist wings of Christianity for overly embracing social conservatism as epitomized by the Republican Party, to remain consistent one would also be required to enunciate an admonishment against the Emergent Church’s headlong rush into what could probably be described as countercultural liberalism. Realizing the sway postmodernism has over Western society and the power of its methodology to expose potentially hidden hypocrisies and inconsistencies, advocates of the Emerging Church believe that the wiser course may be to surf the postmodern wave on a Christian board than to firmly plant one’s feet and fight against the tide.

Emergent Church leaders such as Brian McLaren hope that the postmodernist impulse to examine and in most cases set aside the cultural assumptions often below the surface we are not aware of will assist believers to get back to the earliest expressions of the Christian faith that existed before it was institutionalized as a socio-cultural edifice. McLaren views the impact of modernity upon the Church as having been especially deleterious.

Fundamentalists not that familiar with the direction in which McLaren takes his analysis might initially think they have found an ally in McLaren. However, in many respects, McLaren is harder on those one might categorize as conservative Evangelicals than he is on the shortcomings of the contemporary world.

According to McLaren, modernity in the West has fostered the desire to conqueror and control all of the structures of reality from the physical to the epistemological through the process of scientific analysis and classification. The result has been to mechanize all of existence (including human beings) to the point where the souls encountered by the Christian and the resulting relationships are not seen as ends in themselves worthy of care and nurture but rather as strategic stepping stones simply along the path to accumulating conversion statistics (230).

Concerns raised by McLaren regarding authenticity are quite valid. Even for those that have been Christians for years and even decades, it is easy in a megachurch setting to feel like little more than a statistic used to justify the next phase of the building expansion while in a small church it is easy to come away with the sense that one is not welcome unless one is in complete enthusiastic agreement on nonessentials if one is an average pewsitter. However, there are a number of dangers that result from the Emergent Church’s posture against dogmatism.

According to McLaren, the modern age was marked by a quest for certainty and absolute knowledge (230). In the Church, this has manifested itself in the tendency to insist upon an exclusivity of belief that points out the deficiencies of competing faiths and emphasizes the superiority of Biblical revelation. Of this approach to matters of theology and religion, R.Scott Smith writes, “In that process…faith tends to be treated as a rigid belief system that must be accepted instead of a unique, joyful way of living, loving, and serving (230).”

Ideally in a world accepting of and at peace with the Gospel, that would be how Christ would be introduced to those hungering to have their sins forgiven and life more abundantly. And though the Christian must always strive to show as much respect and kindness to the unbeliever as possible, neither can it be ignored that the world has been so warped by sin that Satan is always on the prowl seeking those whom he may devour. There are those out there that are wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing seeking to infiltrate the church for the sole purposes of destroying it.

There are things that are just plain wrong. Both clergy and possibly even more so the laity must be on guard against them.

If the Christian does not possess an existential certainty that makes the leap of faith from the ledge of high factual probability, though one does not attend to secure salvation one can think of a number of more enjoyable ways to spend Sunday morning. A number of these would include remaining in ones nocturnal raiment rather than slipping into the most uncomfortable garments likely hanging in one’s closet. More importantly, if one is to be of the mindset that it is improper to point out where other faiths and creeds do not measure up to Christianity, how are the young to protect themselves when these competitors attempt to lure them away? For especially when (as in the case of Islam) these outlooks have no qualms about insisting upon the superiority of their own practices and dogmas.

To the Christian fatigued by some of extremist Fundamentalism’s rules which in some circles extend to no facial hair on men despite there being no Biblical mandate for such a grooming preference, the care free times of the Emergent Church with its disdain for systematized doctrine may sound like a relief. However, once the prospective adherent delves deeper into the movement, disillusioned Fundamentalists may discover they have merely exchanged one form of excessive control for another.

R. Scott Smith writes in his analysis of the Emergent Church that Brian McLaren believes, “modernity has emphasized inordinately the autonomous individual … Likewise the church has perpetuated this individualism to the detriment of the body of Christ (230).” This assumption is itself in need of careful examination.

If by this McLaren means that under the banner of modernity that many an individual has abused the freedoms of the contemporary world to ignore those behavioral restrictions given to us that a percentage find stifling or inconvenient, he could very well be correct. Yet in a Time Magazine profile naming him one of the nation‘s most prominent Evangelicals, McLaren did not seem all that concerned about the growing support for gay marriage and homosexual intimacy. To McLaren, lamenting the advance of individuality means something else entirely.

For example, in an interview broadcast in June 2010 on Issues Etc. with Todd Wilken, McLaren kept emphasizing that Jesus did not so much come into the world to live the sinless life that we could not, die in our place as the penalty for our sins, and rise from the dead so that we might enjoy eternal life with Him in Heaven. To McLaren, the traditional Christian emphasis of Christ’s work of reconciling the individual to God in preparation for eternity is secondary to establishing God’s Kingdom here on earth.

To McLaren, the transforming power of Christ is not so much about the changing of the human heart one individual at a time on a level imperceptible to merely human eyes. McLaren believes that such shifts in consciousness or perception (to borrow New Age and postmodernist phraseology) need to be societal or planetary. However, such a revolution would not so much turn the world into one giant campus extension of Bob Jones University or Pensacola Christian College campus with well intentioned busybodies armed with rulers measuring to see if young men’s haircuts are short enough, young ladies’ hemlines long enough, and a respectable distance kept between the two sexes as they perambulate down the street.

Things would, more likely, come to resemble a form of religious socialism where the morality of an economic decision would not be determined by how well it benefited the individual or by how closely it adhered to the explicit dictates of Scripture but instead by the criteria of how it benefited the overall group, predetermined oppressed classes such as ethnic minorities, and whether or not the decision adhered to the consensus of the community. McLarenite Emergent Church types have often condemned how those on the Evangelical Right have long served as the dupes of the Republican Party; however, those enunciating such criticisms have turned right around and snuggled up with Christian leftists such as Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo who have little problem with homosexual domestic partnerships or professed Communists such as the Sandinistas of Nicaragua.

In every direction the Christian turns, he finds adherents of every conceivable worldview gaining ground throughout Western civilization and around the world. Constantly bombarded by these competing perspectives, after a while the mentally fatigued believer can grow so weary that it is easy to throw up one’s hands wondering what is the point in even trying anymore. Often it is concluded that the best strategy would be to cordon ourselves off in a Christian subculture in the attempt to preserve sound doctrine and their family’s spiritual purity.

Though that might be a noble sounding justification, it is often not the case. Often on the grounds of aspiring to a simple “just give me Jesus” kind of faith, many believers shut down their minds all together to the point of where they do not only fail to familiarize themselves with the knowledge of their adversaries but also fall into appalling ignorance of Christian things as well.

William Lane Craig points out in the essay “In Intellectual Neutral” that, on tests of generalized knowledge (think of the Jaywalking segments from the Tonight Show), Christian young people faired little better than their unbelieving counterparts. Of these findings, Craig concludes, “If Christian students are this ignorant of the general facts of history and geography then the chances are that they…are equally or even more ignorant of the facts of our own Christian heritage and doctrine…If we do not preserve the truth of our Christian heritage and doctrine, who will learn it for us (5)?”

Thus, when the Christian disengages from what are snidely referred to these days as the “Culture Wars” as if our way of life was somehow not worthy of preserving or fighting for, he does not succeed so much in keeping himself from deeds he considers impure such as heated disagreement and argument. Rather the result of such surrender is ultimately the erosion of our civilization if Christians do not rise to the challenge in a variety of venues ranging from government, academia, and even the new social media such as blogs and podcasts. If such happens, those trapped by the blinders of secularism may never otherwise be exposed to these ideas and concepts.

As a neglected discipline in many Christian circles, it becomes an easy temptation for those enthusiastic to promote a more intellectually rigorous and vital expression of the faith to downplay more existentialist manifestations of it. However, if anything, one thing that can be adapted from the Emergent Church movement is the need to be consistent and authentic in regards to how our lives should reflect closely the things that we say.

In Ecclesiastes 1:9, scripture assures that there is nothing new under the sun. Sean McDowell in the essay “Apologetics For An Emerging Generation” insists that, despite the complexities with which the issues dress themselves when confronting the inhabitants of the contemporary world, the young continue to ask the same but profoundly deep questions that they always have (260).

Therefore, it remains essential for the Christian to remain grounded in the foundations of the faith as well as familiar with the assorted challenges always arising to undermine the faith once delivered unto the saints.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #101

A number of jurisdictions are now considering the removal of Confederate monuments not on the grounds of opposing the values such edifices are believed to convey but rather out of a desire to prevent disturbances like the one that transpired in Charlottesville. For an age that spends a considerable amount of time contemplating the bulllying phenomena, it is clear understanding of that is lacking now more than ever. By this logic, all that “White Nationalists” would need to do to provoke the removal of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Barack Obama commemorations would be to threaten to throw a similar tantrum and these milksop bureaucratic functionaries would be required to cave to these demands like the proverbial house of cards.

Apparently even in his historically popular tweet, Obama could not promulgate an idea not placed in his mind by yet another Marxist totalitarian terrorist sympathizer.

Statists and social engineers are lamenting how Trump’s alleged reluctance to quickly and unequivocally condemning only the “White nationalists” for the Charlottesville disturbances was a missed opportunity to bring the country together. But aren’t these the same people that lecture how regrettable it is that nothing unifies people like a shared adversary to despise.

It is claimed that a primary reason to oppose the Confederate statues is because these figures conspired to tear the nation apart on the basis of racial grounds. What, like the organization La Raza that these same malcontents rank among their fellow travelers?

So do those insisting that one should be inherently suspicious of loners plan to offer up the bare number of friends required in order to evade law enforcement or intelligence community scrutiny? Furthermore, do loners really cause as much mayhem as claimed? For by definition, gangs and terrorist groups consist of numbers drawn together out of a shared desire to commit mischief in the company of others. Finally, I am not sure loners are all that into mass rallies and protests. Frankly, I am not all that thrilled with more than ten in a movie theater and will at times avoid going down a store aisle with people in it if the adjacent one is otherwise empty.

So has Ted Cruz called for a Justice Department investigation into these events held on public property were White people are banned because minority agitators are so mentally defective that they need safe spaces in order to forestall emotional breakdowns.

Probably not more than a decade ago, the advocates of gay marriage assured that states not wanting to recognize such unions would not be required to do so and that this development would in no way impact the lives of those opposing such relationships on moral or religious grounds. However, today gay marriage is for the most part, as those that like to hide behind the legal system for the purposes of eroding cultural foundations, “settled law”. Christian professionals refusing to provide a variety of services for these ceremonies face the prospect of the forms of violence utilized by the state to coerce compliance. Today we are assured often by mobs rampaging through the streets that antiquarians will be permitted to retain their Confederate statues so long as they are not on public land but rather on private property. Seldom are revolutions easily mollified. Given that many of those making these sorts of ultimatums aren’t known for their respect of private property, low long until these marauders renege on this compromise and lay waste to the treasures of those refusing to acquiesce to an interpretation of the past imposed by blatant threats and intimidation?

Russell Moore’s response to the Charlottesville disturbances conclude, “White supremacy angers Jesus of Nazareth. The question is does it anger his church?” Jesus isn’t too keen on mobs burning down people’s businesses and looting their inventory. However, Dr. Moore didn’t really have much to say about that during assorted Black Lives Matter protests. Instead he droned on about how Whites were obligated to strive to understand the hurt that led to such outbursts. If Russell Moore is so opposed to believers organizing themselves by the category of race or ethnicity, why does he sit on the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference?

So do these preachers that condemn the tendency to judge in part based on appearance themselves marry physically unattractive women?

So if tech companies can now deny you services for violating their terms of conduct on the basis of things you do off their respective websites, why can’t Christian bakers deny gays wedding cakes for violating God’s terms of conduct?

So are those yelling the loudest about “Fascism” also going to call for the abolition of most laws regarding how you use private property such as how it can be landscaped and what natural resources found on it that the owner may use for their own benefit? For a fundamental tenet of this ideology is government control of private property and the systematic regimentation of all aspects of society. It is actually from that principle that the deprivations of civil rights on the basis of ethnicity are derived and implemented. It used to be that racism was categorized as a particularly pernicious kind of evil because of the mindset’s attempt to dehumanize individuals created in the image of God. But the offense is in danger of degenerating into a criticism invoked against those refusing to acquiesce to leftwing threats and policy preferences. As such, “Republican” political strategist Ana Navarro is even more deserving of condemnation for insisting that Donald Trump is not a human being for failing to condemn the Charlottesville disturbances as quickly and in a manner acceptable to revolutionary statist sensibilities than the President for his apparent hesitation to condemn certain perpetrators of violence even when what he did was condemn all sides undermining America in that tragic series of incidents.

WorldNetDaily needs to consider for a moment its hypocritical disingenuousnesses. In a recent article, the website seemed to insinuate that the Bible Answer Man should likely no longer be considered a Christian because the broadcaster converted from being an Charismatic Evangelical to being Eastern Orthodox. Yet in another article, Coast To Coast host George Noory is praised for respectfully considering Christian viewpoints on his broadcast and professing belief in Intelligent Design. Yet WorldNetDaily is woefully negligent in warning of the spiritual danger posed by Noory. For the type of Intelligent Design usually promoted by Noory is that man was designed by extraterrestrials. He is regularly featured on Ancient Aliens (a series that conveniently edited from its episodes most Christian researchers providing Biblical explanations for the paranormal phenomena examined by the program) spewing this cultism and Noory is a contributor to the New Age “Gaia Network”.

In response to the Charlottesville disturbances, high military functionaries are coming out in condemnation of racism. But is it the place of the military to speak out on political and cultural issues apart from the direction of the President? Do we want military brass to issue directives as to what length civilian dresses ought to be for the upcoming fashion season or how many glasses of water you ought to drink per day? Perhaps we ought to be more concerned that the military did not speak out against the destruction of private property in pursuit of policy objectives as exemplified by the Black Lives Matters and Occupy Movement upheavals?

So why is there apparently no room in America for “White nationalism” but it is apparently out of line to scrutinize migrants from nation’s where Islamic extremism is pervasive?

During the National Anthem, a number of Cleveland Browns knelt in protest. The offenders claimed that they were praying, in part, for social justice at the time. As such, perhaps they would be pleased if their salaries were confiscated and instead bestowed upon those that did not make the cut in training camp or, better yet, directed towards someone that didn’t even bother trying out for the team. For the phrase “social justice” is little more than a euphemism for wealth redistribution.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #100

If in the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth, why can’t a congregation occasionally hold an outdoor service seated in lawn chairs? Apparently some pastors know more than Acts 7:48 conveying that the Most High does not dwell in temples made by hands.

Even if one believes it is an impropriety for there to be female preachers, that does not mean that the message they are attempting to convey should not be considered preaching without an analysis of the content.

So if it is wrong for a congregation to hold an outdoor service with lawn chairs, does that mean we should also condemn the likes of Great Awakening revivalists such as George Whitefield or John Wesley who preached outside?

Khan Noonien Singh might be featured in a Star Trek miniseries set between the time he was kicked off the Enterprise and what is considered by many the greatest of the Star Trek movies. Frankly, I think one about the rise of Khan during the Eugenics Wars would be more enlightening. However, that would probably step on too many Transhumanist and New World Order toes.

The governor of West Virginia announced at a Trump Nuremberg-style rally that he was becoming a Republican because there was nothing more he could do for the state as a Democrat. That means that, since Senator Byrd croaked, the government handouts must have really dried up.

If the Google engineer had composed a memo perceived as denigrating men rather than WOMMMMENNN, would he have still been fired?

If Airbnb can deny services to those believed to be attending a White nationalist rally, why are Christian bakers obligated to prepare cakes for gay weddings?

In a homily posted on SermonAudio, it was admonished that spiritual gifts and ecclesiastical offices are not to be sought but are instead to be bestowed by the Lord. As such, shouldn’t that pastors that believe similar hold their critical tongues if no one volunteers? After all, those not stepping forward might simply not feel so led by the Holy Spirit.

In a homily posted at SermonAudio, a pastor insisted that Christians in America have nothing to complain about in comparison to what transpires in other countries. Perhaps someone should shout that back to the pastor when he gripes about diminishing attendance numbers and offering contributions.

Technically, as wretched as many of the rampaging AltRight activists are and it is a tragic loss of life, unless the police helicopter was brought down by a rocket launcher, the White nationalist rally is not responsible for the crash. Would someone growing marijuana deep in the woods be at fault had the aircraft crashed during interdiction efforts employing an ultraviolet scanner?

In coverage of the Charlottesville disturbances, Fox News correspondent Julie Banderas, who markets herself as an objective journalist rather than one of the network’s opinion analysts, categorized David Duke a “crazy”. Does she have an official diagnosis from an actual mental health functionary? Just as important, over the course of her broadcast career, has she been as explicitly blunt in similarly labeling Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, or Louis Farrakhan? She went on to add that the perpetrators ought to be arrested and the other protesters should go home. She is quite correct. Was she as explicit in her call for the dispersal of Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street upheavals?

If the upheaval in Charlottesville is actually the direct result of AltRight militants rather than instigated by counter protesters in the name of acceptance and inclusion unable to control their propensity towards violent outbursts, does Russell Moore and milksops in the Southern Baptist Convention intend to urge Americans to withhold their judgment and instead call upon us to understand the frustrations of out alienated “White brothers and sisters”? If not, why not? After all, that has often been the response of the mentioned to the property destruction of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In contemplation of the violent disturbances in Charlottesville, it is fascinating how this “hate” we are ordered to reflexively condemn is seldom defined. For in certain leftist circles, “hate” is construed to consist of little more that questioning the philosophical propriety of preferences for minorities, for insisting that there is only one valid religion that will actually deliver a soul into a beatific afterlife, and that the God of such has determined which sorts of human relationships are wholesome and which are an abomination.

If Fox News is going to insist that David Duke should be held directly responsible for the Charlottesville disturbances, couldn’t Fox News be held responsible for stirring people up?

Apparently David Duke is supposed to be discredited simply because he has “been under investigation by the FBI for decades” with those making such a claim not proceeding to go into an elaboration of exactly what. If that alone is to be enough to social anathematize an individual, wouldn’t the message of Martin Luther King also without additional reflection?

In his condemnation of the disturbances in Charlottesville, President Trump rightfully insisted that no child in American should be afraid to play outside. However, this is not the late 1800’s. Deadbeats in white robes riding horses are not the ones wreaking havoc in Black neighborhoods.

Apparently Senator Rubio wants to point out President Trump’s failure to condemn White supremacists for the disturbances in Charlottesville. As such, should as much be made about Rubio’s failure to condemn the violent Antifa there on the ground also throwing punches and probably projectiles?

In response to the Charlottesville disturbances, Governor Terry McAuliffe admonished that Americans should rally around true patriots such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. So which is it going to be? Any other times we are obligated to renounce that particular duo of Virginians because they did not embrace twenty-first century leftwing perspectives regarding race. Furthermore, the underlying political and social philosophies of Washington and Jefferson would not have been appreciably different than those of Robert E. Lee whose statue and the proposed removal of such led to these outbursts in the first place. So if McAuliffe supports the removal of Confederate memorials throughout the Charlottesville area, why doesn’t he articulate true political courage and call for the demolition of nearby Monticello as well. For graduates of the contemporary public schools, that was Jefferson’s home.

During Terry McAuliffe’s press conference regarding the Charlottesville, it was articulated that heated political rhetoric and division must come to an end. But doesn’t he owe much of his public notoriety to being a Clinton propagandist and lackey known for his aptitude to badmouth Republicans and Conservatives?

Self-professed Communist Van Jones is jacked out of shape that a number of Charlottesville marauders carried their own makeshift shields. But isn’t that implement more defensive in nature than the Molotov cocktails, fecal bombs, and outright stones preferred to be hurled by the sorts of rampagers favored by this CNN propagandist?

What likely brings together both White nationalist and Antifa scumbags that clashed in Charlottesville: probably the government handouts they receive each month.

The vehicular incident in Charlottesville was likely a deliberate attack. However, of protesters black traffic, they should not be dumbfounded if they are run over. After all, one of the first lessons you are taught as a child upon learning that there is a world beyond one’s own home is not to play in the street.

One is morally obligated to respect others in terms of leaving them be. However, contrary to the sentiment articulated by Donald Trump, you cannot be compelled to feel or demonstrate affection for others. This used to be assumed in the classic parental advice told to every child that did not have any friends or to teens rejected by the members of the opposite sex that they pined for. It is also pretty much a summation of the legal reasoning behind an assortment of laws regarding stalking. That is of course the truism you can’t make someone like you.

There were still probably fewer lives lost this past weekend in Charlottesville as a result of violence than in Chicago.

Fascinating how all these elected officials get on their high horses about how much they despise Nazism say nary a word about protesters in Seattle proudly waving Soviet flags.

So regarding the AltRight activist assaulted during a press conference. Does Ted Cruz intend to call for a Justice Department to investigate that abridgment of civil rights? For as the ACLU reminds us any other time, liberties are not dependent upon whether or not we approve of the individual invoking Constitutional protections.

Fascinating how those insisting that there is no place in America for “White nationalism” are the same ones insisting that there is room in the United States for Islamic extremism when they come out in opposition to President Trump’s proposals to curtail and scrutinize the flow of migrants from regimes where jihadist ideology is pervasive.

In a homily posted at SermonAudio, a pastor said that failure to condemn the White supremacy disturbances in Charlottesville is the moral equivalent of inciting violence. Given that the pastor did not also reference Antifa, Black Lives Matter, or the Occupy Movement in his analysis of how generalized societal unbelief leads to violence, by the standard he advocates, isn’t he suggesting that he supports destructive leftwing revolutionary protests?

It was remarked in a sermon attempting to link President Trump with the Charlottesville disturbances that the torches carried by protesters were characteristic of the proud look that God despises. So are we supposed to conclude that the Molotov cocktails and fecal bombs hurled by Occupy Movement types and offshoots were laved in a spirit of shamefacedness and reverence?

A number of CEO’s have resigned from the White House council of manufacturing because Trump wasn’t swift enough to differentiate the violence committed in the name of White nationalism (which is bad) from that which advances internationalist statism so long as it is the property of everybody else but the planetary elites being redistributed (which is good). Apparently what Trump did is so much worse than the deeds perpetrated by the Red Chinese that these tycoons seem to prefer to do business with such as organ harvesting, the persecution of religious dissidents, and compulsory child labor.

In a homily posted at SermonAudio, it was said that, because Heaven is multicultural, there should be a longing for Heaven on the part of every sincere believer for that very reason. So apparently now you are out of line if you initially primarily want to go there to evade hellfire and to see departed family members again. Heaven might indeed be multicultural in terms of those that dwell there. However, I doubt the drunks next door will be blasting mariachi music well past midnight.

By Frederick Meekins

Our World ~ Your World ~ Where has Humanity Gone?

Brought to you by the CCGPC, because we care and we hope you do too.

State Department Refuses to Call Violence Against Rohingya ‘Ethnic Cleansing’

BY: 

Half a million Rohingya have fled Myanmar amid burned villages, mass executions.

The U.S. State Department on Thursday refused several times to designate the systemic atrocities against the Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar as “ethnic cleansing.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Patrick Murphy steered clear of the term when pressed repeatedly by members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to corroborate the United Nations’ assessment that Myanmar’s treatment of its Rohingya minority represents a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

More than 500,000 people have fled to Bangladesh over the past month, with tens of thousands more trapped on the border, amid reports of the Burmese military burning entire villages and methodically killing Rohingya civilians.

Murphy said security forces bear responsibility for a “disproportionate response” to a Rohingya insurgent attack on more than two dozen security sites that killed 12 people on Aug. 25, but he hedged on whether the military reaction constituted ethnic cleansing. Murphy instead described the crisis as a “human tragedy.”

Murphy’s response drew criticism from lawmakers, including committee chairman Rep. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) and ranking member Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.).

“Just for the record, myself and Mr. Engel, this committee, we identify this as full-fledged ethnic cleansing,” Royce said.

Engel said satellite imagery and eyewitness accounts show Myanmar’s military and security forces “have been carrying out an intentional, systematic policy to drive Rohingya from their homes in Burma and to burn their villages to the ground.”

He said medical professionals in the region have reported hundreds of Rohingya Muslims being treated for gunshot wounds exacted by security forces as people attempted to flee.

The strongest criticism of Murphy came from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D., Va.), who asked the State official if his refusal to characterize the situation as ethnic cleansing was in fear of offending the Burmese military.

“Mr. Murphy, I guess I don’t understand your reluctance to call this what it is: Ethnic cleansing,” Connolly said. “You’ve used code, ‘disproportionate response by the military, other sources of violence, a cauldron of complexities.’ At least Nikki Haley admitted it appears to be ethnic cleansing.”

“When 800,000 people of a particular ethnic background are living in the neighboring country because they’ve been forcibly removed from their villages, I’d call that ethnic cleansing, pretty clear and simple. What is your reluctance to call it what it is?” he continued.

Murphy rejected Connolly’s characterization of his reluctance to use the term. He said the State Department is “deeply concerned by the human tragedy” and is focused on pursuing “action and to end the violence.”

When pressed again by Connolly to explain his refusal to call it ethnic cleansing, Murphy replied the situation in part “must be focused on the UN fact-finding mission,” which is expected to be complete in September 2018.

“So we’re waiting for the UN?” Connolly asked.

“No, that is a parallel process that we are strongly supporting,” Murphy replied.

“So we don’t care whether the UN find sit ethnic cleansing or not, we’re free to call it what we think it is,” Connolly said.

“Absolutely, a human tragedy,” Murphy replied.

“Then why don’t you call it ethnic cleansing?”

“It’s a human tragedy, congressman.”

Connolly acknowledged the United States must be careful with the labels it applies to humanitarian crises but said the tragedy in Myanmar must be described in clear terms.

Though Murphy declined to label the crisis as ethnic cleansing, he cited comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who last week accused Myanmar of carrying out a “brutal, sustained campaign to cleanse the country of an ethnic minority.”

The UN defines ethnic cleansing as “a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas.”

In September, the top UN human rights official said the “brutal security operation” against the Rohingya “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” and called upon the government to cease military action against the minority ethnic group.

 

http://freebeacon.com/national-security/state-department-refuses-call-violence-rohingya-ethnic-cleansing

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

And Yet According to Refugees International – Boots on the Ground Reports

October 6, 2017

Refugees International Bears Witness to Ethnic Cleansing of Rohingya in Myanmar, Calls for Presidential Envoy and Sanctions on Myanmar’s Military

Refugees International released a new policy brief today detailing actions committed by Myanmar’s military that constitute a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people. The brief, “Bearing Witness to Crimes Against Humanity,” is based on testimony from Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, detailing abuses by Myanmar’s military forces that constitute crimes against humanity.

During a fact-finding mission to the Bangladesh-Myanmar border in late September, Refugees International President Eric Schwartz and Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel Sullivan met with Rohingya refugees who recently fled the targeted attacks in Rakhine State. Rohingya men, women, and children who recently arrived in Bangladesh shared consistent accounts of Myanmar soldiers surrounding villages, burning homes to the ground, stabbing and shooting Rohingya villagers, and committing mass rapes.

The Rohingya people have faced decades of persecution and targeted violence in Myanmar, but the recent attacks and large-scale displacement that began just over a month ago is an entirely new scale and level of inhumanity. As a result, the number of Rohingya seeking refuge in neighboring Bangladesh now tops a half million and conditions in the make-shift refugee settlements are appalling. The humanitarian crisis has overwhelmed the Bangladesh government’s existing capabilities. To its credit, Bangladesh has generally welcomed the Rohingya refugees, but much more international assistance is needed to address the still-growing humanitarian crisis.

The RI brief concludes that the root causes of the humanitarian crisis have to be addressed and that can only be done by bringing pressure on the Myanmar government to end its policies of persecution and on the Myanmar military to end its egregious human rights abuses.

Measures by the U.S. Government and the international community should include:

Targeted sanctions on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior military officials and military-owned enterprises.

A multi-lateral arms embargo on Myanmar.

Appointment of a high-level U.S. Presidential envoy on Myanmar.

Further, Refugees International calls on the United Nations, United States, and the international community to demand a cessation of abuses against Rohingya civilians, access for a United Nations fact-finding mission to investigate human rights abuses, and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations in Rakhine State. In addition, there should be robust international support for humanitarian aid efforts in Bangladesh.

 

……….. Which the RI Report States as Follows………

BEARING WITNESS TO CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY

Following the violent expulsion of some 400,000 Rohingya in Myanmar in the course of three weeks (now more than 500,000), Refugees International (RI) President Eric Schwartz and Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel Sullivan traveled to Bangladesh to assess the situation and bear witness. This policy brief is based on that mission, which involved interviews with Rohingya refugees who recently arrived from Myanmar as well as with United Nations and Bangladesh government officials and international aid workers in Bangladesh. Schwartz and Sullivan visited a hospital in Cox’s Bazar which treats recently arrived Rohingya from Myanmar, four makeshift settlements for Rohingya (Kutupalong, Balukhali, Thaingkhali, and Unchiprang) as well as border crossing areas and a “no-man’s land” where many Rohingya have gathered between the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh. This policy brief is largely adapted from testimony given by Refugees International’s Senior Advocate for Human Rights Daniel Sullivan before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on September 27, 2017.1

The Myanmar military has been executing a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya people of Myanmar, marked by abuses that constitute crimes against humanity.

More than 500,000 Rohingya have fled their homes in the course of a month, approaching half of the entire Rohingya population that had been living in Myanmar up to a month ago. Vast swaths of villages have been burned by the Myanmar security forces and Rakhine Buddhist mobs. Rohingya refugees who have arrived in Bangladesh share consistent accounts of Myanmar soldiers surrounding villages, burning homes to the ground, stabbing, shooting, and raping the inhabitants, leaving the survivors to flee for their lives.

The current crisis that began just over a month ago is an entirely new scale and level of inhumanity.

The Rohingya have faced decades of persecution, but the violence and large-scale displacement have intensified in recent years. The current crisis that began just over a month ago is of an entirely new scale and level of inhumanity. The current campaign began after attacks on 30 security posts in Rakhine State in western Myanmar and the killing of 12 Myanmar security officials by poorly armed Rohingya insurgents, but the military’s response to those attacks has been grossly disproportionate and has broadly targeted the Rohingya civilian population. Many people from other ethnic groups, including Rakhine Buddhists and Hindus have been displaced and killed as well, reportedly in attacks by Rohingya insurgents, but the attacks on other groups has been nowhere on the scale of the attacks on the Rohingya.

The outflow of half a million Rohingya has also created a humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh as existing capabilities have been overwhelmed. To its credit, the Bangladesh government has generally welcomed the Rohingya refugees, but much more international assistance is needed to address the still growing humanitarian crisis. Ultimately, the root causes of the crisis will have to be addressed by bringing pressure on the Myanmar government that has continued policies of persecution and on the Myanmar military that has carried out egregious human rights abuses.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The UN Security Council should:

  • Demand a cessation of abuses against Rohingya civilians, access for a United Nations fact-finding mission that has been authorized by the UN Human Rights Council, and unfettered access for humanitarian organizations to Rakhine State.
  • Impose a multi-lateral arms embargo until these requirements are met and individuals involved in planning, aiding or carrying out such abuses against the Rohingya are held accountable.
  • Place targeted sanctions on Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior military officials and military-owned enterprises.
  • Authorize evidence collection through the UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission or another UN Security Council authorized fact-finding mission toward holding accountable those responsible for gross human rights abuses.
  • Support a referral to the International Criminal Court unless the Myanmar authorities take significant measures to address the human rights concerns and to hold accountable those responsible for gross human rights abuses.
  • Affirm support for the report of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, which contains important recommendations relating to the Rohingya in Myanmar.

The U.S. government should:

  • Strongly support UN Security Council action as described above.
  • Prohibit military-to-military cooperation with Myanmar and place targeted sanctions against Senior General Min Aung Hlaing and other senior military officials and military-owned enterprises until the Myanmar government ends abuses in Rakhine state, permits unfettered international humanitarian access, and holds accountable individuals involved in planning, aiding or carrying out the abuses against the Rohingya.
  • Support robust humanitarian aid efforts in Bangladesh in the near term, focusing, particularly, on adequate shelter, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, and medical care, including clinical management of rape and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
  • Work toward the eventual safe and voluntary return of Rohingya to Myanmar.
  • Appoint a high-level Presidential envoy on Myanmar (who could be a “dual-hatted” official who is already serving in government), who would seek to work with like-minded governments to lead international efforts to end abuses, provide assistance to refugees and promote conditions that will permit the eventual safe and voluntary return of Rohingya to Myanmar.

Download the Policy Brief: https://www.refugeesinternational.org/s/Myanmar-Policy-Brief-October-2017-lmhg.pdf

1

Rohingya fleeing abuses in Myanmar seek refuge in “no-man’s land” between the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh!

The Cultural Impact Of Worldview & Apologetics, Part 4

Western religions following the close of ancient history are perhaps best categorized as monotheistic in nature where the deity is a singular entity personally distinct from its creation and where the adherents of these respective faiths hope to obtain a blissful afterlife as distinct individual beings by gaining the favor of their respective deity following the conclusion of their corporeally linear existence. Though it would be intellectually dishonest to flippantly dismiss all Eastern religions as the same, but as with their counterparts in the Western division, those in this category also share a number of characteristics with one another. For the most part, Eastern religions tend to believe that individuals are continually reincarnated into this plane of physical reality as they attempt to achieve a sense of detachment so that they might achieve what amounts to an enlightened obliteration of the self through a merger with the cosmic unity (158). These concepts are such a stark contrast with the Christian worldview that the Christian will need to compare a number of the ideas fundamental to a Biblical understanding of reality with those advocated by the Eastern outlook.

One of the most profound differences between Christianity and Eastern religious is how each believes truth is arrived at. Christianity believes that God has revealed Himself through the word of His propositional revelation and the Incarnation of His Word in the from of His Son Jesus Christ. Of the Eastern religions, on the other hand, Harold Netland writes, “In attaining religious truth, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism give priority to mystical or introspective experiences based on rigorous meditative disciplines which are said to provide direct unmediated access to ultimate reality (163).”

In other words, Christians focus outward to gain understanding whereas the adherents of the great Oriental traditions look inside themselves. This is especially evidenced by the two foremost figures these respective faith groupings are roughly organized around: the Christ and the Buddha.

The purpose of Buddha was to get the individual to realize that the individual has within themselves the wherewithal to bring about their own enlightenment and to detach themselves from the states of being that bring about their own suffering. The purpose of Christ, on the other hand, was to get the individual to realize that they were so stained by sin that there was nothing that the individual could do to achieve his own salvation and that individuals had to look outward from themselves towards a savior, that being none other than Jesus Christ.

Since Christianity is focused outward in its offering of a solution to the travails in which each and every one of us finds ourselves, as a system it corresponds better to both the objective and existential aspects of reality. In his journey to Japan, theologian Paul Tillich learned that, should an historian ever persuasively make the case based on research findings that Gautama Siddhartha never actually existed, such a discovery for the most part would not adversely impact Buddhist teaching (165). However such would not be the case regarding Christianity, which is so linked to the existence, actions, and nature of its founder that if He did not do what the accounts of Him claim, we of all men would be the most miserable according to I Corinthians 15:19.

Despite standing in contrast to many of Christianity’s most basic assumptions, the objective student and observer of religion (even if standing within a Christian framework of belief) must admit that the most devoted adherents of the respective Eastern creeds practice a rigorous form of self-discipline as they attempt to master the urges that exert an undue influence over the individual throughout the earthly life. Though many are opposed to the idea of relying solely on a savior for their salvation and find an allure in the Eastern notion of looking for the answers to the mysteries of life and the cosmos within themselves, they do not necessarily find the idea of rigorous self denial all that appealing (at least for themselves anyway with pleas of sacrifice for the greater good something to rather motivate and govern the lower classes of the less-spiritually inclined by).

Thus in a process not all that dissimilar to the operation of the Hegelian dialectic where two competing or even diametric ideas are brought together and melded together to form a synthesis incorporating aspects of each, Eastern and Western outlooks have formed a coalition perspective in what since the 1960’s and 1970’s has come to be known as the New Age movement.

Like the Eastern worldview, the New Age outlook essentially sees the totality of reality as a singular unity with the individual in a sense being akin to a single cell in the comprehensive cosmic mind (175). As in the case of the Eastern faiths, L.Russ Bush writes, “…the New Age movement emphasizes the human problem as ignorance with salvation coming through enlightenment and self-effort (176).”

However, in the New Age movement, the approach and outcomes of this awareness are a bit more decidedly Western in their appearance. For example, in Eastern brands of yoga the purpose is more about detaching the soul from the body in preparation for spiritual states such as nirvana. To Westerners, however, yoga is packaged not only as about the quest for inward universal truths but also about improving one’s body and success in life.

Thus, for at least those in the movement’s elite, there is a considerable emphasis upon the self. L. Russ Bush categorizes the emphasis upon the here and now rather than a future heaven as “This worldliness”. Of this state, he writes, “…the New Age is focused on the here and now; it is not a pie-in-the-sky sort of faith; it is belief that the New Age is itself the here and now and for this world and its people; it looks forward to an earthly transformation, not a heavenly one (180).” What is not as often brought out to the gullible along this worldview’s outer fringes is the number that those in the higher echelons believe must be eliminated or perhaps “deliberately progressed” to more advanced levels of disembodied consciousness in order for this utopia to be brought about.

The New Age has become so ingrained throughout American society that it no longer seems as novel as at the time when its name was coined. Now, certain interpretations of this brand of spirituality quietly just about serve as the respectable backdrop of establishmentarian popular culture. For example, Star Wars is no doubt one of the most beloved movie epics of the last 50 years. However, to a percentage of its viewers, it is far more than an invigorating afternoon’s diversion. It has been reported that a number of “Jedi churches” have popped up among fans that have taken enthusiasm for the films to the next level of adoration and devotion.

Those grounded in the real world will think those taking entertainment this seriously have sniffed too many musty comic books. However, beneath the dramatic adventure and impressive special effects, Star Wars was not created solely for entertainment purposes. George Lucas, who considered himself something of a student of anthropologist Joseph Campbell, created Star Wars to serve as a mythology for the contemporary world.

This claim can be substantiated in regards to those scenes from the films where the nature of the Force is expounded upon. For example, of the Force, Yoda (the primary exponent of these teachings) ruminates, “For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

And like New Age conceptions of the essence that runs through the universe, the Force is not a conscious person concerned about the distinctions between good and evil as evidenced by the Dark Side’s primary devotee Darth Vader who it turns out is actually the saga’s focal character as the tale centers around his embracing of the Dark Side and reentering into the Light when he saves his son Luke from Vader’s Sith Master Emperor Palpatine. This act was cast not in terms of the triumph of good over evil but rather as merely restoring balance in an almost Taoist manner.

The extent to which these various worldviews have permeated contemporary culture as to the extent Star Wars has has forced the Christian to walk a precarious tightrope. On the one hand, there isn’t a person in the United States today that hasn’t had some kind of negative encounter with those that could be classified as stereotypical legalistic Christians.

Enthusiastic believers are to be commended for the seriousness with which they take their Christian walk if it is ultimately in Christ’s redemptive and free offer of salvation that they are truly trusting rather than in a rigorous adherence to a body of systematized rules, some of which are interpretations of certain Biblical injunctions rather than explicit Scriptural commands. However, in doing so, are such believers really equipping themselves to reach out to others that have become mired in these deceptive worldviews? Furthermore, by cordoning themselves off to such an extent in relation to things such as Star Wars, Stargate, and Star Trek, these Christians are denying themselves what amounts to an innocent good time and are not doing as much as they initially think to protect their children by failing to teach them how to sift the wheat from the chaff in relation to cinematic and literary productions.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #99

Those outraged at third rate comedian Cathy Griffin holding a severed cranial effigy of President Trump have been condemned as “snowflakes”. But did the left create the snowflake phenomena where Black students now demand Caucasian-free environments in order to feel safe and women fear molestation if they watch the new Wonder Woman movie with a man under the same roof?

And are Trump’s tweets appreciably more corrosive to the vitality of the Republic than Bill Clinton attempting to pin the blame for the Oklahoma City Bombing on Rush Limbaugh or insisting that the only reason Rush stood up for Janet Reno in one particular instance was because “she was attacked by a Black guy”? And more recently, are Trump’s remarks really any more outrageous than those of Barack Obama blaming America’s problems on those bitter clingers unwilling to surrender their guns or their God?

As part of his condemnation of Alex Jones, Kevin Swanson quoted from a work on conspiracies by Gary North. If we are to disbelieve in the existence of shadowy powers and forces manipulating events, people, and institutions largely from behind the scenes, do both Swanson and North repudiate North’s opus “Unholy Spirits: Occultism & New Age Humanism”? For in that work is a chapter examining from a Christian perspective the very UFO’s that Swanson’s podcast derided the believers of.

Fuss has been made over the drama that unfolded regarding a resolution submitted by a Black pastor at the Southern Baptist Convention calling for the condemnation of the so-called Alt Right. Do the proceedings of predominately minority denominations come to a screeching halt with accompanying media coverage if the token White in these typically leftwing ecclesiastical affiliations offers a proposal that has been submitted primarily to thumb one’s nose at the prevailing demographic of the organization’s membership?

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson hypothesized that the appeal of conspiracy theories is a form of gnosticism. By that, he did not mean the traditional heresy amalgamating Christian terminology with various Greco-Roman mystical philosophies in order to create a spirituality that denies orthodox doctrines such as those regarding the incarnation. Rather, Swanson meant that those drawn to these speculations enjoy the thrill of secret knowledge most fully understood by those within the particular group. And how is that much different than predestinarian Calvinism that holds Christ is only accessible by those already selected to rank among the soteriological elite?

Regarding the increasing number of Christian leaders advocating that youth not go to college. Are they going to provide decent paying jobs for those that heed this admonition? More importantly, are they going to provide jobs for those that heed this advice but disagree with them on some asinine secondary issue that some of these hardline sectarians are infamous for espousing? After all, you are less likely to openly disagree with the benighted leader if doing so strands you up excrement’s tributary without a paddle.

In an analysis of the Southern Baptist resolution against White supremacy, the pastoral staff of Berean Baptist Church on their SermonAudio podcast equated racialist sentiment with commemorations beloved by traditionalist American Christians such as Mother’s Day and the Fourth of July. These clerics insisted that neither has a place in a Sunday morning worship service. So does this church pass over Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month as well? More importantly, does this church ever intend to remove from its SermonAudio profile page the photo of the congregation’s building surrounded by multiple American flags?

For an unproduced Wonder Woman screenplay that might have emphasized the “woman” over the “wonder”, it has been stated that even an alley of women (meaning he lavishes boatloads of money on infanticide fronts such as Planned Parenthood) such as Josh Whedon must be held accountable. It was an UNPRODUCED screenplay! That means his take on the story was already deemed not good enough to proceed into further development Isn’t that accountability enough? It’s not like he committed a war crime deserving of a human rights tribunal at the Hague.

In the discussion of his book “The Vanishing American Adult” at the Hoover Institution, Senator Ben Sasse provided the anecdote regarding students of the college he served as president of not climbing twenty feet up a ladder in order to decorate a campus tree for Christmas. Given that Senator Sasse’s academic specialty is America’s Jude-Christian foundations, perhaps he would care to elaborate where in holy writ maturity is defined by a willingness to risk one’s life and well being for the sake of decorating yuletide shrubbery. Should someone fall from such a height and profoundly disable oneself, is Senator Sasse and his merry band of radical freemarketeers going to deny the injured coverage for ongoing care?

Leftwing religionists are shocked at the reluctance of the few discerning Southern Baptists that remain to get onboard the resolution to condemn the alleged White supremacy of the Alt Right. That reluctance is probably because those that study these sorts of things realize that often this kind of rhetoric is commonly invoked to frighten into silence and compliance those refusing to applaud radical minority supremacism and professional agitation. Maybe certain Whites were not so keen on the Alt Right resolution because they are weary of Convention propagandists constantly praising minorities but going out of their way to foment Yankee varieties of White guilt.

If Neil de Grasse Tyson is supposedly qualified to hand down opinion on nuanced environmental regulation and policy when his expertise is in Astronomy, why aren’t Donald Trump’s pronouncements regarding science when the President’s expertise is in businesses negotiation?

It was said in a sermon that, after you die, whatever sins you have not confessed, you will be held accountable for. And how exactly will these sins be held against us if we are not blocked entrance to Heaven on the basis of what we have done but rather allowed entrance on the basis of what Christ did? If it was announced earlier in the year that Baptists should be all gungho for Lent, this almost sounds like the acceptance of Purgatory is not far behind.

Outrage has erupted over Donald Trump Jr clandestinely meeting with a Russian lobbyist with ties to that state’s military intelligence agency. Shouldn’t the outrage be even more with the administration under whom such a person was allowed to take up residence in the United States? If you are so stupid as not to realize such an individual is going to continue their life’s work of subterfuge and subversion, you really ought not to be working in government especially in regards to national security. In a podcast discussion about finding a church, a pastor remarked that he was leery of the average Christian that comes into a church with an agenda to fix the things that are wrong with a congregation from their particular viewpoint. But shouldn’t the same sense of vigilance be applied to new pastors storming in when things prior to their arrival weren’t necessarily out of whack to begin with?

In condemning the Wonder Woman movie because of the character’s pagan origins, does homeschool activist Kevin Swanson also intend to condemn the study of mythology and authors such as C.S. Lewis and Tolkien that employed such motifs in their fantasy narratives?

To some, it’s apparently a greater outrage that President Trump doesn’t own a dog than that President Obama used to eat them.

For converting to Eastern Orthodoxy, broadcaster Kevin Boling insinuated that Hank Hanegraaff was a heretic. The episode discussing such was bluntly titled at SermonAudio, “Hanegraaff’s Theosis Heresy”. So if a rigorous separation is to be maintained between Evangelicalism and Orthodoxy to the point that there can be very little in terms of good relations between the adherents of these differing interpretations of Christianity, shouldn’t Boling have been more critical in his interview of Rod Dreher when interviewing that author about the “Benedict Option”? After all, Dreher is an adherent of Eastern Orthodoxy just like Hanegraaff.

If Jenner did not want his “transition” turned into late night comedy fodder as the former Olympian lamented to host Jimmy Kimmel, he should have confined his escapades to prancing around in frilly lingerie at home with the curtains closed.

An episode of Generations Radio celebrated the demise of liberal arts colleges in the role of educating young minds. Apparently it’s not enough simply to teach these disciplines from a Christian perspective. Rather the entire system of classroom instruction is flawed. All well and good. However, if this is the route that conservatives and Evangelicals want to go, there must also be protections put in place so that access to knowledge is not restricted to the few preferred by the cliques that run most churches and religious institutions.

Regarding these ministries, theologians, and pundits opposed to college education. They are awfully specific in getting their point across that the truly pious and devout ought not to go. However, these same “authorities” startlingly nebulous in detailing what alternative path one is expected to pursue in order to secure a reasonable living.

Michelle Obama has once again chastised the American people. Now she claims we never saw past her skin color. Probably because either a functionary directly a member of the Obama regime or a propaganda lackey in the mainstream media had to inform the American people about this fact nearly every hour on the hour.

By Frederick Meekins

Headline Potpourri #98

It was lamented in a SermonAudio podcast that the average worker does not stay at a job for more than five years. But so long as the worker puts in a reasonable day’s labor and usually has the future job lined up before the current position is left, is this really an issue for pastor’s to hand down authoritative pronouncements regarding? If most employers no longer have your back for an entire career since, as the Fox News pundits enthusiastically beam, such is the nature of 21st century capitalism, shouldn’t the employees take advantage of this as well if jumping ship is to their contractual advantage?

A pastor remarked that Christians ought not to be seen engaged publicly in interactions that might be categorized as bickering or disagreements. If so, whose interpretation is going to be allowed to prevail in regards to issues or incidents where Christians can come to differing conclusions? If the reasoning for this position is that such makes the church look bad in front of the unbelievers, does this mean that since it is doubtful that the garden variety reprobate knows the difference between the two, that Baptists should not openly disagree with Vatican pronouncements? If one preacher says that women can indeed wear pants or that Christians can take anti-depressants if struggling with the physical aspects of depression, does that mean a pastor that disagrees should otherwise remain silent?

So if the Southern Baptist Convention is going to condemn the “Alt Right Movement” but say nothing critical of minority supremacist groups such as Black Lives Matter and La Raza, perhaps predominately White congregations should withdraw from this organization established nowhere in the pages of the Bible if they want to be “sola scriputra” and see how long it lasts without these funds or personnel.

So after rightfully hounding Obama hard for eight years, is the official Fox News position now that the slightest criticism of a presidential administration will result in wide scale violence or even the collapse of the Republic?

It was remarked in a SermonAudio podcast that Jesus would not have been a conservative nor a liberal because He did not get involved with politics. Likely true, but that really doesn’t have prohibitive bearing for those instinctively draw to that area of life primarily because the aforementioned social spheres were not the direct intent of His purpose. Without this kind of clarification, one could argue that the Christian Scientists are in a sense correct to avoid involvement with the medical establishment because Jesus did not come primarily to attend to minor physical pains and ailments.

An episode of Ancient Aliens hypothesized that Judeo-Christian religious institutions were the ones responsible for casting Lucifer or Satan in a negative light. Instead, the program suggested, we ought to consider other myths from around the world where a fallen cosmic being bearing light, from a sense of beneficence, bestowed rudimentary technology and enlightenment upon the earliest human beings and cultures. But if the Judeo-Christian belief system is to stand accused of promulgating propaganda against Satan, why shouldn’t we assume that Satan would not take steps through his Luciferian devotees to formulate a narrative interpreting events in a manner where he would appear to be the hero? He is, after all, referred to as “the father of lies”.

In the Hoover Institution interview of Senator Ben Sasse, one gets the impression from these snob academics that probably sip dainty cups of tea with their pinkies outstretched that we are expected to willingly die grizzly deaths or endure permanent mutilation for the purposes of fulfilling the social vision of those that have likely never gotten a single grain of dirt under their manicured nails.

In a SermonAudio podcast, a pastoral staff lamented the tendency of the contemporary newsroom to denounce the contemporary system while profiting from it. And how is that much different from the typical congregation or pulpit?

The Southern Baptist Convention condemned the dangers posed by the “Alt Right Movement”. Did this ecclesiastical association ever come out as forcefully about Black Lives Matter associates looting electronics stores or ghetto brats playing the knockout game? Usually when those kinds of outrages take place, about the closest thing to a response from the Southern Baptist in crowd is Russell Moore rending himself homiletically in sack cloth and ashes over how ashamed he is to be a White Southerner.

Fascinating. On these nature documentary programs the narrators and the interviewed drone on and on about humans living in the “animals’ environment”. Then these productions turn around and lament or even condemn the reality that our species has dared to carve out designated environs in which people are expected to dwell. Maybe those making these kinds of complaints out to offer themselves up for elimination by the elements or applaud when such a fate befalls their own offspring.

Interesting. When Prince Phillip befalls a serious infection he seeks hospitalization and we are all expected to come to a screeching halt to express concern in hopes that he will pull through. But didn’t he at one point express a desire to be reincarnated as a biological plague for the purposes of killing off vast swaths of humanity? So why does he seek medical attention while the rest of us are expected to willingly die in the name of environmental preservation?

Leftist media is condemning Donald Trump for admitting that he would not want poor people in administrative positions overseeing the economy. So which of the journalistic elite directly entered their prestigious correspondent position from that of being a Walmart greeter or gas station attendant? How is what Trump said any worse than someone admitting that they wouldn’t want an Amish carpenter as Secretary of Defense?

I dreamed I had to guide my mom away from a pack of hyenas circling the perimeter of the extended care facility where she stayed temporarily.

In a podcast, Russell Moore pondered why church attendance is declining. At least in regards to the Southern Baptist congregations that would do things the way Russell Moore would approve of, maybe a significant number are tired of getting bashed over the head for little more than happening to be White and conservative individualists in terms of their political ideology.

During the “News In Focus with Adam MacManus” segment of the 6/22/17 edition of Generation’s Radio, it was said that the best protection against terrorism is to share the Gospel with refugees from Islamic nations. However, this assertion is in contradiction of the Calvinist soteriology held by the broadcast’s benefactor Orthodox Presbyterian Minister Kevin Swanson. For if God preordained that hardly any refugees were to come to Christ, that would in no way one way or the other neither increase nor decrease the chance of preventing a terrorist attack. If one intends to maintain belief in presdestination, one is forced to admit that all this appeal was intended to accomplish would be to frighten listeners into compliance in terms of monetary contribution.

On an episode of Generation’s Radio, Kevin Swanson and his cohost mocked the listeners of Alex Jones as wearers of tinfoil hats that think the world is controlled by aliens from outer space and lizard people. Some of Jones’ theories could be construed off the deep end. However, they really aren’t that much more out of line than some of the notions peddled by Swanson such as that an intense interest in Little House On The Prairie could lead to lesbianism and that those not married by 25 years of age are the moral equivalent of the town’s deadbeat lush.

In his condemnation of Alex Jones, homeschool activist Kevin Swanson flat out admitted that he would not want Alex Jones to be a member of his church. Swanson went on to argue such a position because he believed that Jones would be disruptive when the provocateur did not get his way regarding so-called “secondary issues”. But why is Swanson’s viewpoint presumptively assumed to be the one that ought to prevail in this theoretical ecclesiastical scenario? Applying Swanson’s own worldview presupposition, should a church refuse membership to an outspoken individual that holds to Swansonite positions that the only legitimate form of education is home education or that young adult women having reached the age of majority should still be denied by their parents the opportunity to pursue formal higher education and career opportunities outside of the family home?

Feminists are outraged that Donald Trump complemented an Irish reporter on the beauty of her smile. Given that she was probably from the British Isles, maybe the President was just surprised that she had any teeth at all. It must also be asked were these critics as condemnatory of Bill Clinton when he intimately probed Monica Lewinsky’s oral hygiene?

On the podcast of Veggie Tales creator Phil Vischer, Christian skepticism of climate change was condemned as “premillennial eschatalogical residue”. Wonder how long until such highfalutin terminology will be invoked to justify the curtailment of the liberties and the ultimate persecution of those holding to particular theological interpretations disputing the prevailing consensus imposed by prevailing technocrats.

It was explicitly stated on Ancient Aliens that dragons never existed. Seriously? The whole series is predicated on the assumption that what humanity understands as mythology and religion is merely the attempt of our forbearers to understand extraterrestrials. But somehow it the belief in dragons that apparently goes a step too far.

Many of the victuals available for purchase at Whole Foods are as ugly as the hippies shopping there. If that is what food is supposed to look like, I think I have lost my appetite. Ironic how the same beatniks complaining the loudest about food being overly packaged at other retailers are noticeably silent about the items for sale at this supermarket being just as tightly wound in cellophane and related hydrocarbon byproduct. Cereal for $5 a box is a bit much when I am used to getting it for 99 cents at Pennsylvania food outlets such as Sharp Shopper and Go Grocery Outlet.

In an episode of his podcast. Phil Vischer lamented the pervasiveness of consumerism. As such, does he intend to renounce and return the fortune he accumulated from the creation of Veggie Tales, probably the epitome of Christian consumerism and disposable income?

It was conjectured on the Phil Vischer podcast that the election of Donald Trump was a statement that we only care about ourselves. As an alternative, at the time of the final decision, were we supposed to elect Hillary Clinton with that statement of caring about others implemented in the form of higher rates of confiscatory taxation and projections of acquiescence or capitulation abroad? A nation doesn’t have to be overly aggressive, but ultimately the government of such exists to protect the interests of those foremostly within the borders of such jurisdictions holding sanctioned status. Do you ever hear China or Russia go out of their way almost in the anguish of a mental health crisis in need of therapeutic intervention over how pathetic they feel for standing for their respective interests?

A pastor preached that God cannot forgive a sin that is not explicitly confessed. So what happens if someone dies before the nightly review of daily shortcomings or if someone forgets a particular sin such as eating one potato chip too many if this is apparently the path certain Baptists want to start walking down?

If missionaries to Africa can wear culturally significant apparel in honor of the people group they are attempting to reach, does that mean missionaries to ComiCon or MUFON can wear Starfleet uniforms in the pulpit? Can missionaries to Appalachia wear camo pants and a flannel shirt or are hillbillies too White to be granted this exception?

In a sermon, a missionary insinuated that it is not enough to use the gifts God has given us on behalf of the Body of Christ. We must also ask if He wants us to use these gifts on behalf of a part of the Body of Christ apparently on the other side of the planet. So basically one ought to set aside the elderly in one’s family as this missionary and his wife have essentially done.

In a church choir’s Fourth of July celebration, the verbal narration claimed that those crafting and implementing the Declaration of Independence did not draw swords but rather their pens. But wouldn’t their effort have been futile if not for those Americans that did?

A Yahoo headline laments that Trump planned to have supporters bused in to his Poland oration. How is that appreciably different than the tactics utilized by Black Lives Matter or related Sorosian agitprop groups? At least Trumpites aren’t likely to loot local businesses for electronics and haircare products.

Hobby Lobby has been convicted of smuggling over 5000 artifacts from Iraq. As part of the judgment, Hobby Lobby is obligated to return the disputed antiquities. However, will these items be respected as they ought as historical treasures? Or will they ultimately be destroyed at the hands of Islamic extremists?

Am beginning to wonder for the best way for Trump to have exerted influence over policy would have been to remain a commentator. With Fox News seemingly unraveling from the inside, the time would have been ripe for the news network the mogul had hinted at establishing.

Mark Zuckerberg remarked that Facebook has the potential to fill the role once played by the physical church in people’s lives. However, the concern is not so much that people will gravitate towards these more ephemeral fellowships. Rather the greater concern ought to be the extent to which Facebook will be the determinant in what will be allowed in terms of doctrine and belief given the social network’s track record of intervention that some might categorize as censorship.

By Frederick Meekins