Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Politically driven: Obama and the 'precepts' of Jesus

Wow. A startling confession from the president that he is a Christian. We've been waiting for some kind of confirmation that Obama was who he said he was since his presidency began, namely a Christian. Two weeks ago he went to church with his family. Congratulations. Now, he's giving testimonies of faith. Progress.

Cynics are saying this is poll-driven faith-noise - and it may well be. But I'm willing to accept a teleprompter free statement - almost any statement - from this president supporting Christianity because it gives us a moral point of reference to address. For example, what do the "precepts" of Jesus tell us about the sanctity of life? Then why do you, Mr. President, support legal measures which terminate the lives of the unborn? What does the Savior have to say about marriage and homosexuality? Then why do you, Mr. President, support homosexual marriage and for all legal purposes, extending equal rights of homosexuals with heterosexuals? If the precepts of Jesus have any meaning at all, they have a moral point of reference.

Having a moral point of reference in the first place locates moral norms and provides people with a appeal to reason on controversial issues. After all, how can we dialogue if I don't know where you're coming from? Were it not for the Law of Moses, the Pharisees might not have been able to place a charge against Jesus. So now, at least the president says he is a Christian by choice and the Savior died for him, too. OK. I can work with that.

Now we can begin the critical dialogue with the president's liberal Christianity on a national stage. This is better than nothing. I just couldn't take another presidential Sunday filled with golf and basketball while the president's wife and daughters are - yet again - starved of the nourishment of the faith dad claims he has while there's no Church, no Communion, no mention of Christ, ever, in the first family's lives.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Quote of the Year

The Quote (so far) of the year comes from John Kelly from the American Thinker:

There is a sense with Obama and his academic cadre that Americans have fallen into Wonderland's rabbit hole and are whirling, unstable and uncertain, while being forcefully attended to by blind visionaries bent on dictating the madness of a hellish and impossible utopia.

This captures the feeling I have had since early on in the Obama presidency. I keep trying to figure out things, but when you are whirling about in an opaque abyss - that seems like some kind of parallel time warp in which down is up and up is down - there's not a lot that can be understood with clarity other than "Danger, Will Robinson!". Something bad is happening, but you can't see it - yet, you can only sense it.


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Getting it Right: Sharia Law is the Issue

This article from the Washington Times gets it right. Sharia Law opens wide the critical fault line between Muslims and the West. It is the "2nd wave", so to speak, of Islamic attack on Western values - after outright violence. Thus, to ignore Sharia while focusing on the Qu'ran is folly.

May God open America's eyes.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Burning the Qu'ran...what's the point? Here's one.

This issue reminds me of a terrible Chris Rock joke where he once said he could never beat his wife - but he certainly understood those who did. There is a dark wit hidden behind the revulsion there, of course. But likewise, there is something about burning a Qu'ran that while it is initially repulsive, but I can see where those who would do it - could do it.

Indeed, there is, if one would be really honest, something quite sinister behind Islam, jihad, the Qu'ran, and the anti-Western and anti-American messages of the "Islamic radicals". What people who are not sympathetic to the Qu'ran burners are not seeing - and perhaps don't want to see - is the reality that there is a war going on in the name of Islam. Sure, Islamic "radicals" have declared this war, but how many more times must we in the West be surprised again by the violent actions of a so-called Muslim "moderate"? As we have seen, Muslim moderates lack both voice and conviction in their denunciation of Islamically inspired violence against the West. But who is a radical and who is not isn't the point, though. The point is...when will we in the West get absolutely serious about the Qu'ran, Sharia Law, and the imams who weekly preach the fundamentals of what really is scarcely little more than a political manifesto of world conquest in theological drag?

To say that Islam - as it is being preached and taught - is encroaching upon American sensitivities is an understatement. For sure, the anniversary of 9/11 always reopens an old wound. The U.S. Cole. The Ground Zero mosque. The Fort Hood shooting. The Shoe Bomber. The New Jersey reconnaisance crew. This list has grown out of control. Even this most recent false alarm: why in the world would you tape a watch to a bottle of Pepto Bismol and tuck it in a piece of flight luggage separate from your original destination - if you were not up to something evil? Come on now, if we will be honest, the continual arrests of Islamic men - foreign and domestic - intent on doing harm to America is without precedent - and yet the people will not point to the obvious.

Indeed, even largely secular Europe is warning America. What has happened to us can happen to you sooner than you think, Uncle Sam, they are saying. Look at London, Amsterdam, or Paris. Controversy upon controversy over hijabs, burkas, Muhammad cartoons, airport screenings, and many other things all seem to have a point of commonality - Islam and its inability to cope with the West.

So what does the West do? Again and again, retreat from principle and TOLERATE. Most Americans have come to accept the flag-burnings and "Death to America" chants as a given. But even aloof France, an avowedly secular country, has gotten concerned. And with evidence from a smuggled video of a Parisian Muslim call to prayer on a busy Paris street, ordinary Parisiens are dismayed by what Islamists are doing to their secular city, block by block, burb by burb.

So, while these Qu'ran burning pastors may seem a little cuckoo, what they are doing, like canaries in the coal mine, is sounding the alarm. I hear it. Clanging loudly. I hear what they are saying. None of them hate Islam, per se, it seems, but they love Christian America so much that they cannot allow another day to pass without bearing witness, like the Watchmen on the Wall in Ezekiel 3, of an encroaching enemy.

The question isn't whether or not America will tolerate Islam and "be a good neighbor" but whether or not this country's men of God will join these "crazy" pastors and put up a spiritual and moral stand at the 50 yard line, or retreat, tolerate, and eventually put up a stand - by force of arms, perhaps - at our own goaline.

However, given the weakening of our leadership in Washington and our collectively diminished moral discernment, will we, like the Jerusalem priests and false prophets who scoffed at genuinely prophetic warnings of doom, also not heed the warnings before us because the men doing the shouting and Qu'ran burning are "crazy"? Could these men be right?

So, no, I wouldn't burn a Qu'ran, but I certainly understand those who would.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Thank you, Stephen Hawking!

Wow! It is not often that Christians receive a gift from unbelievers. But here's one right here. The reknown agnostic physicist Stephen Hawking has just upped the ante on reverse brilliance. Simply put, it is a conclusion of exceptionally moronic proportion - absurdity on a platter, if you will. Are you ready?


The universe and all we know about it came into being spontaneously.

Wow. Ranks right up there with the best of Grimm's "Just So" stories. And they laugh at us Christians for taking it on FAITH that God - an intelligent Agent of an immense kind - created the universe and the material world that we observe.

Don't you just want to laugh right back when you see a man of such a depth of intelligence explain away the created order via self creation? I had to read the article some ten times to make sure I got it straight. Never mind "ex nihil - nihil fit" we all learned in Philosophy 101, Mr. Hawking and his physicist cohort at CalTech, Mr. Mlodinow, have indeed proven Albert Einstein's maxim: "The man of science is a poor philosopher."

Dare I say that Romans 1 suggests the perfect epitaph to modern science and cosmology: "Professing themselves wise, they became fools....and worshipped the creature rather than the Creator...".

These people need our prayers.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Glen Beck and the Separation of God from Country

First of all, I want to say I that admired Glen Beck's boldness and initiative in organizing the Rally at the Mall in Washington, D.C. last week. 300,000 looked to me to be about right in terms of how many attended. Obviously, he has a finger on the pulse of the Patriotic Soul of many Americans. His instinct is sure. And right now, the "God and Country" theme is what's up. Restoration and Recovery. Ordinary Americans are sensing the slipping away of the symbols and substance of America. The elites just don't get this. They never do.

However, what made this rally so interesting to me was that it was as much about getting right with God as it was a finger-wag at the Three Branches of Government. Sure, Obama angers many. But he's a Socialist neophyte who's been found out. And as far as We The People are concerned, like The Who sang, "We Won't Get Fooled Again". And the Courts are out of control, too, imposing loftily and ideologically from the bench. How in the world does a Constitutionally vested Federal judge invalidate Natural Law? He did in California. The U.S. Congress may be too far gone. As corrupt as the Roman Senate under the Gracchii, these "leaders" are contempible - spending the People's money wildly, not reading the bills they pass, and passing laws that do not apply to themselves. Unwilling to stand firm for anything, they've become as toothless and obeisant as the National Convention under the Ancien Regime.

But the people by and large also sense that pointing fingers can be awfully hypocritical. The moral lessons of the Good Book, the Bible, particularly from the New Testament, shout at us to get our own houses in order. If the country is to be saved and reclaimed, as Mr. Beck suggests, salvation must come from the People, not from Government. Populism does have a moral center - and it's certainly not in Washington.

And therein lies my discontent. Where, precisely, is America's moral center? Presumably it can be found in the faithful and believing Christian core of America. Among those diehards that hold to the truth of the Word of God and who happen to believe that America has a divine calling in the world. Mr. Glen Beck, on the other hand, is a Mormon. He is a believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who collectively, - despite their clever nomenclature - are just not Christians in any historic or theological sense. But more on that later. What needs to be said is that we are all servants of those whom we obey and heed. Thus, to the extent that we hear and heed Glen Beck, we serve Glen Beck and his interests - and we serve the deity that Glen Beck serves. But has it come to this? - the view that Faith is a relative exercise? The Vox Populi is a Mormon one?

Now, about Mormonism itself. There are websites galore that reveal what they believe, how, and why. No need for a critique of Joseph Smith or of Mormonism tout court here and now. Suffice it to say that their confessions of faith, their creeds, their sacred scriptures, and their history, simply have no relationship to the Jesus of Nazareth of the New Testament. The founder of the faith, Joseph Smith, was as enigmatic a character as had ever been seen in revival-soaked America in the early 1800s. Beginning just with the issue of polygamy, most Protestants, Orthodox, and Catholics would have a very hard time with Mormon teachings on God, the Trinity, the eternality of the Jesus, salvation, the Chosen People, the sacra biblica, and the many, many other issues vital to holiness and faith in historic Christianity.

Which brings us to the huddled masses who listen to Mr. Beck and came to see him and hear him speak this past weekend. My intuition tells me that not more than 10% of them were Mormons. My intuition tells me that most were probably Evangelical, Mainline, Roman Catholic, and perhaps a smidgen of Jews. What did they come forth to see? A voice crying in the wilderness? Or was it a lost voice in the wilderness?

On the one hand, Glen Beck's clever use of "God and Country" themes are the stuff of patriotism. Good and important questions were asked. Moreover, it kept his gathering relatively free from political posturing, pro and con. I mean, you can scorn the themes all you want, but being a Patriot has been expanded to mean you love God, too, and this was long before the Pledge of Allegiance was edited in the 1950s to "include" Him. But on the other hand, and quite uncomfortably for me, Glen Beck's rally raised the specter of "Which God?"

I really mean this. Are the Mormoms, now, to be counted among those who may sing the hymn "God of our Fathers" truthfully and with the resonance of a faithful kinship? Can, or rather should, a Mormon now lead the Christians to salvation, repentance, and restored government? Are Mormons now Christians? is a better question. If so, what then do we say of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob - and the Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Shall a disciple of Joseph Smith - of all people - now lead us? (The implications for evangelical support for a Mitt Romney presidency hangs on this question, I believe.)

Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice. They will not follow the voice of a stranger." Given these crisp and insightful words, coupled with what I saw this weekend, I am certain I can no longer trust the discernment of We The People, nor their wisdom, for it seems they have gone the way of Baal. In listening heartily to the voice of "another", I fear that We The People are quietly being sifted as wheat.