Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The laying on of hands pic...re-examined

This is a curious pic if for no other reason than its capture of President Obama actually submitting to the prayerful laying on of hands by Christian ministers. How quaint. I'd almost forgotten about this pic.

But is this pic solid evidence of his Christianity? I hardly think so.

My question is - which of these ministers of God is his pastor? Oh, what, you say? I'm sorry...he doesn't have a pastor? Why not? Because he doesn't attend church. Well, well. Has anyone thought that perhaps because he isn't submitted to a man of God, might this be a good reason why his country isn't submitted to his office? It could be.

One question bothers me though: without a church or a pastor, how does he take Holy Communion, I wonder? Does he even take Holy Communion? I really don't know. Does anybody know? Perhaps he's one of those Christians who presides at and toasts bon sante to Muslims at Ramadan celebrations, plays several rounds of golf on the Lord's Day, yet refrains from Communion. Yeah, perhaps he's one of those "Christians". If so, then they NEED to lay hands on him, I guess.

Quite the stranger in the White House.


Friday, August 27, 2010

Obama's Faith Defenders

Not surprisingly, the president's Christian loyalists have rallied to his defense. In an open letter bizarrely entitled, Faith is Not a Political Issue", several ministerial leaders offer a resounding affirmation of Mr. Obama's Christian convictions. Questioning a political leader's faith conviction is not a topic of public discourse, they say. I beg your pardon? This isn't China - it's the United States. The history of political jousting for higher office in the US is immersed in questions of religious fitness, Christian critique, jibes, controversy, and certainly innuendo - from the Quaker abolitionists to the Mormons of Utah to the Irish Roman Catholics. It might help to put down a theology book and pick up a history book.

And I hate to break it to you guys, but in a free-speech zone, as yet exists in the USA, Mr. Obama's faith and his allegiance to that Faith remain a topic of concern to the electorate.

But look, the real issue is that very little the president's said or done in executive office sounds or looks uniquely Christian to anyone. And tellingly, nothing in this letter defends his faith, either. And I dare say that if the president had been in the habit of performing overtly Christian acts, his deeds would have surely been enumerated. The list reads like a Who's Who of Progressive and hard-Left social justice Christians, AME's, UCC's, PCUSAs, and the occasional gay-ish "community" church leaders who are all "deeply troubled" about the political discourse surrounding Obama's faith, but apparently expressed no opinion about the Christian president's continual absence from their pews, nor was there a line in the letter prodding Michelle, at least perhaps, to bring the girls to church.

Hey, we who are the so-called conservative believers were just asking. And we still are. Even non-believers send their kids to church. Show us a devoutly Christian gesture that engenders confidence in your Christianity Mr. President. We live in a land steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition. We Americans know a Christian act when we see one. So, come now, throw us a bone. We are waiting.

Ah, Reverend T.D. Jakes, I have always liked you, but even the good ones can slip up I suppose.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why defend the Faith?

As usual, Albert Mohler sums up why now is the time for the Lord's people to learn how to defend the Faith. College students who happen to be Bible-believing Christians are under attack. There really are college professors who seek to do harm to Christianity by undermining parental teaching and instruction. Previously, such persons were likely to say nothing, preferring discretion in order to win tenure, get a research grant, and make friends. But in today's hostile-to-Christianity climate some in higher academia have taken off the gloves and are now telegraphing the plays. Why is this?

These profs see Christianity as a kind of literary pest from the past, a religion based on an archaic "just-so" story, the lone obstacle to both the triumph of scientific inquiry and the kind of ethical libertinism they prefer in their own personal lives. So, the last thing they want is conservative-minded students dotting the classroom who are confident in their Christianity. Seeing themselves as "change-agents", the first order of the day for them, then, is to use the classroom as a bully pulpit to hurl critical abuse at the teachings of the Bible and in so doing, discredit the Faith intellectually. Hearing this kind of anti-Christian erudition and sophistication can come like a stun-grenade. For most Christian students, it will be the first, but not the last, serious challenge to the "whys and hows" of what they believe. Naturally, they waver and wonder. Even the verbally astute among them are silenced into worldview submission.

So what's a Christian parent to do?

Prepare for battle, for one. While the weapons of our warfare are not ultimately carnal, we must be ready to do battle for the minds of our children by strengthening our areas of weakness. Leaving the safe confines of a Christian home for the adventurous world of higher learning - where ideas are always in motion - can be a bit intimidating. I'd heard R.C. Sproul say once that the unfortunate choice for many Christians in higher education was between a good education or a Christian education. But this doesn't have to be. One universal area of weakness among Christians I meet today is in the arena of Christian Apologetics - the defense of the Christian faith. Though Christian Apologetics has been around since the infancy of the Church, most have never heard of it. One of my ministry's main goals is to change that.

Since I happen to teach Christian Apologetics at the high school and collegiate level, I want to recommend a couple of books to encourage believing parents to give to their rising juniors, seniors, and graduates preparing for college. One is Dinesh D'Souza's "What's So Great About Christianity". Concise, intelligent, and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Students (and parents) will read about the tremendously impressive contributions of Christianity - uniquely above all other faiths - to the Western and modern world. This book will make you say "Wow!" at least once. Here's a link to Dinesh's website.

The second book I'd like to recommend is "The Privileged Planet", by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards. This book also comes as set with a very nice DVD. The premise of the book is that there is - to a remarkable degree - such unique and design-friendly construction involved in the dimension, size, scope and elemental details of the Universe, the Solar System, and the Earth. Moreover, the fact that this kind of highly complex design is detectable to scientists in the first place raises all kinds of questions about intelligence versus coincidence and design versus randomness. The conclusion that there just might be some kind of Intelligent Agent involved in the making of the world as we know it is a compelling one.

The Intelligent Design movement emerges from this same logic. The idea isn't to draw students into a theological argument about Who designed the world or why it was designed but to engage students with where the science is right now and what this science is drawing intelligent people to conclude.

It would be difficult to read both of these books in a Summer and not be ready to go toe-to-toe against professorial bullying by Fall semester. Armed with prayer and skilled apologetics, the Christian student can make a serious dent in the campus culture.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

President Obama, a Christian? I kinda doubt it.

From the "if it walks like duck..." files, the blogosophere and media don't often share headlines, but the latest Time Magazine poll asking Americans about President Obama's religious convictions showed that a very surprising (for them) number of Americans think Barack Obama is Muslim. Almost one in five. But only 34% think he is a Christian.

For conservatives, this is not a surprising result. For the MSM it was jarring, I'm sure. But what bothers me greatly is the "White House spokesmen" who tell us Obama is "obviously" a Christian. He prays every day.

What is that? An explanation? A response? Evidentiary apologetics? He'd have been better off saying the president reads his Bible daily or he's a part of a daily Bible study led by chaplain such-and-such. "He prays daily" no more puts you in the Christian camp than "he writes daily" makes you a playwright.

That said, I have TEN question I'd like to pose that, if I could get a persuasive answer, might shade me into the 34th percentile-"maybe he really is a Christian"-crowd.

But for now, I'm still deeply skeptical of his Christianity, OK? So, here goes:

1. President Obama, why haven't you found a church home yet? How long has it been now? (Paul admonishes us to "forsake not the assembling of ourselves as is the habit of some..." Heb. 10:25)

2. President Obama, why hasn't your family, or even just Michelle & the girls, been photographed attending worship services at a church? I mean, you have photo-ops for everything else - luncheons, dinners, parties, schools, cookouts, business groups, etc. But never a church. You were even recently photographed toasting at a Ramadan dinner, for goodness sakes. If you are a Christian, why are you keeping it at such a low profile? Let your light SHINE before men.

3. President Obama, how did you come to know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Did Romans 10:9-10 come into play in your conversion? No offense, but twenty years under Jeremiah Wright's pastorship and tutelage doesn't place you in the Christian camp. He is an affirmed Marxist and Trinity Church is UCC - social gospel at best. Can the blind lead the blind? A sister in the Lord asked me, "Is Obama even saved?". I could not answer her affirmatively.

4. Mr. President, do you have a chaplain who preaches the Word of God to you regularly? What is his name? Where is his church?

5. Mr. President, you have said publicly that the USA is not a Christian nation. If so, what are your personal views of the Judeo-Christian worldview that served as the nation's moral fabric at its founding and which helped to establish the founding documents of our government?

6. Mr. President, why aren't you a deist?

7. Mr. President, of the Five Pillars of Islam, which have you NOT done in your lifetime?

8. Mr. President, do you categorically reject Sura 19:88-93, that God does not has a Son?

9. Of what value might there be in granting Christianity a foremost place in the minds and hearts of the people to whom you serve as president of their government - especially in light of the fact that over 80% of all Americans profess Christianity?

10. President Obama, is it too difficult to see how ordinary Americans might sense that you very well may be a Muslim given your name, given your Muslim tribal inheritance from Africa, given your very close friendships with Muslim professors and activists in Chicago and at Harvard, given your unemotional clumsy shoutout to a nobody at a speech announcing the massacre of Army soldiers by a stealth Muslim assassin, given the White House's strident PR effort to separate "Islam" and "terror" - though the two have gone together like peanut butter and jelly the past twenty years, given the your Administration's intent to hold a trial for an avowed Islamic terrorist near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, given your terrible insensitivity and political intrusion into the Ground Zero controversy by siding with the Muslim developer over the building of a mosque there, given your heavy-handed diplomatic treatment of the head of the State of Israel, given your former pastor's disdain and contempt for the Jewish people (a similar posture of most Muslim states), given your seeming inability to find a Christian church among the thousands that are in the metro DC area, given the fact that as a man holding the most powerful office (right now) on Earth, you have no pastor, no spiritual headship, and irresponsibly do not appear to be leading your children to a relationship with Jesus Christ....?

Given all these things, President Obama, you folks at the WH ought not to be so dismissive of the intuitive and common sense of the American people who, while they might possibly be wrong about you some of the time, cannot be fooled - as Lincoln so aptly surmised - all of the time.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How smart is Obama? (Not very...)

Thank you, Victor Volsky, for voicing what I've been suspecting the past couple of months. I suppose we could all have wished for a exceedingly bright and intellectually sophisticated Harvard guy to lead the free world - as opposed to the dumb, obtuse, Yale guy that led us the last eight years - but Barack Obama ISN'T that guy.

They told us he was whipcrack sharp and an intellectual heavyweight. And, boy, were they ever wrong!

Day by day, and month by month, his Indonesian, Hawaiian, Occidental, Columbian, and Harvardian educational pedigree reflects his true nature: a man of privilege, arrogance, and superficiality. He's been told he's great just because. And what we've found out is that he's been places and seen things, yet he has experienced little. Here's a guy who was used to being kow-towed to in the collegiate classroom, whose manner was cool, professorial, and detached, yet polished enough to mask his intellectual limitations and ideological biases. And people took this aloofness to mean that perhaps his genius would be too much for us, that if he so chose to unleash it - he might overwhelm us with his brilliance and leave us gasping for breath at his know-how. Better to keep it canned until it's needed.

Staying on the sidelines intellectually actually buys you some level of respect until somebody calls you out. Barack Obama's slinky ability to appear neutral and be unidentified ideologically fed his mystique and people collectively saw what they wanted to see. "Y'all ain't ready for me!", his polished verbiage seemed to suggest. Most saw a brilliance that was only a mirage. Harry Reid said Obama didn't speak with a Negro dialect unless he wanted to. That right there was impressive enough for many Whites - for liberal and independent Whites, even more so. In street talk, we'd say he was selling wolf tickets. Somebody of substance needed to call him out, but nobody did.

Until now...in the public spotlight, governing day in and day out, on issue after issue, event after event, we have him in our sights - like a distant star that has been fully identified by different telescopes on different continents, from different parallaxes - we have discovered just whom we have elected. Crystal clear, we see the man, Barack Obama - an intellectual lightweight with a great resume, sensitive to criticism, terribly inexperienced as a governor of people or director of institutions, a possessor of a centrist's vocal moderation and tone but with a militant progressive's instinct and assumptions; but above all, and perhaps to the country's great regret, a man whose heart doesn't burn for America.

We had hoped Reverend Wright's most prominent parishioner would be diametrically opposed to the pastor's worldview, especially after he had publicly disavowed his most inflammatory comments. The way things have progressed, on issue after issue, it looks as if the president only disagreed with Wright's choice of words. Their worldviews are similar. Which means Obama isn't a chauvinist for America "right or wrong". Not for him does "My country 'tis of thee..." have resonance. And for that we should be sorry and perhaps a bit scared.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

No Mosque, or Physician heal thyself!

I'm willing to call it what it is. The opposition to building a mosque near Ground Zero in NYC is rooted and grounded in a Judeo-Christian chauvinism. It's true and it's OK. Let's get comfortable with this.

Like many nativists I share this instinctive bias against the spread and intrusion of "foreign" religions. Especially against their representation on hallowed ground. The Romans were biased in favor of Rome, the Athenians were chauvinists for Athens, the French for La France. Likewise, given a choice, it's Pax Americana for me. So it's like this: the fall of the World Trade Towers on 9/11 bonded this country, if only for a little while, in suffering and sorrow and left deep, deep scars. The memory of that day should never be forgotten as long as any American who witnessed it lives. Those who died that day cannot be forgotten if you love America. That is why the ground must be memorialized somehow. The question is, who gets to memorialize it?

Now, whatever else may be said about the 9/11 attackers on that day, they went to their deaths in the name of ALLAH clutching their Qu'rans. They muttered his name and committed themselves to a matrydom that was consistent with the teachings of the Qu'ran. Their struggle was, according to several passages in the Qu'ran and the Sunna, a "just struggle". This is why the voice of "moderation" in Islam doesn't really exist. It's there on the page, as they say. If the so-called extremists can point to the writings on the page - what can the moderates say? As far as I can tell, they have been incredibly unpersuasive on their own soil. Where is the freedom to build a church or synagogue in the heart of Islam - Saudi Arabia - for example? The beatings and jailings over Western dress is not the voice of moderation in action, it is the voice of moderation in defeat. Islam is functionally and fundamentally intolerant because it has to be. Dissent is disallowed in Islam. It is not a religion that is consistent with enlightened thinkers and ideals. Read up on some of the Ayatollah Khomeini's writings while he was in exile in Paris, or from Sayyid Qutb's memoirs from America in the Fifties and you'll get my drift.

So the building of a mosque on this hallowed ground by "moderates" in order to "build understanding" is not only incredibly insensitive to the memory of those who died at the hands of Islam, it is shallow in its reasoning. Americans have not - to my knowledge - undertaken a public campaign against Islam and against mosque-building in this country, so who is it exactly that needs this "voice of moderation"? Americans? Hey, we're the tolerant ones. Muslims? Physician heal thyself!

The so-called moderate Muslims have not put forth an argument worthy of the ground on which they intend to build.

Now, nobody questions the legality of the mosque building. By virtue of the laws of this Judeo-Christian country, the mosque builders have the right to build. Now into the fray comes comments from our madrassa-educated, non-churchgoing, Kenyan-Leftist, and dictator appeaser president, Barak Obama. And what our Islamic president doesn't get and what most people on the left and among the intellectual and ruling classes don't get, is that the American people, despite the 1st amendment of freedom of religion, are stubbornly root-and-branch committed to Judeo-Christian values, especially when it comes to freedom of worship.

I'm just telling it like it is. For everyday Americans Islam is still a gross unknown. It is FOREIGN. It is OTHER. It's not "us" and never will be "us". It is not a religion that the Founders of this country and the Framers of the Constitution would have conceived as a legitimate expression of Providence, of enlightenment, or of blessing and commonweal. The Judeo-Christian faith has served us well in so many areas where Islam has utterly failed. So quite frankly, Islam is a poor choice over against the religion handed down to us by our forefathers. In fact most Americans, if polled, would probably agree that Islam and Islamism are antithetical to Judeo-Christian values and civilization. And they would be intuitively correct in my view. (How many of my own African-American brothers and sisters realize that Islam would NEVER have freed the slaves? or given women the right to vote? Indeed, Islam has yet to emancipate women from burqa's and hijabs. "Moderate" Islam at work.)

So, yeah, I'm against a mosque being built at Ground Zero too, for different and similar reasons as most of the opposers. Moderate Islam must convince its own house of its justness and worth. And there is no principled reason to build on the ground of 9/11 aside from Muslim triumphalism.

That said, I would not be against, as I suspect most Americans would not be against, the building of a church or a synagogue there. So there. Your "freedom of religion" argument altered. YES to a church. YES to a synagogue. Absolutely NOT to a mosque.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

FYI: Timothy McVeigh was NOT a Christian (and never was).

I'm just simply dumbfounded how a rumor got started that Timothy McVeigh was somehow a Christian. There isn't one biography written about him that claims he was, yet many continue to parrot a falsehood as if it were true. It's just NOT true on any level. He never professed Christ, never acted in Christ's name, never went to church as an adult, and never was affiliated with anything remotely Christian. Just because he's a white guy from the upstate NY or the Midwest who loved guns doesn't make him a Christian AT ALL.

Here's one write's take on the matter, which I share, for your edification.

Any cursory read of the many bios of McVeigh on the library shelves is that Timothy McVeigh was not a Christian because he was an avowed Agnostic who may even have even sympathized with Islam. There many accounts of his dealings with Islamic terrorists - though not one to link him with any so-called Christian Identity movement. Indeed, his letters to his friends suggest a Junius Brutus-like attachment to the idealism of the Declaration of Independence and its call for the overthrow of tyranny. Might I remind anyone the Declaration of Independence is not, nor has it ever been, a Christian document?

And truly, anyone, and I mean anyone, who uses the grande ode to human self-will, "Invictus", as a final written epitaph shortly before execution by lethal injection certainly isn't preparing his soul to meet Jesus Christ. Not by a mile. Even the thief on the cross was smart enough to repent and it strikes me that McVeigh was no dummy.

So again I ask, was Timothy McVeigh a Christian? Not on your life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Surprise! Gay Judge rules Prop 8 Unconsitutional

Federal Judge Vaughn Walker, himself a gay man, has ruled that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional. Propostion 8 was a ballot measure sponsored by a group called Protect Marriage and placed before the voters of California. The petition simply states: "Marriage shall be defined by the constitution of the state of California as between a man and a woman."

52% of the voters of California, the nation's largest state, and one of the country's more politically and socially liberal states, agreed with Proposition 8 and rejected the idea that a homosexual union is identical to and should be afforded the same rights, benefits, and status as a heterosexual marriage. Proponents of Prop 8 support the traditional view of marriage as it has been understood for centuries by multiple cultures, faiths, governments, and social groups. The verdict is expected to be appealed.

A gay judge disagreed with the majority of the voters - again. Indeed, wherever so-called "gay marriage" has been put before the people, the people have rejected it. In fact, 100% of gay rights victories have come from the courts or from state and municipal legislatures, not from voters.

The crumbling of the Judeo-Christian era and its flagship nation - the United states of America - continues apace.