Posts Tagged ‘judgment’

A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 14-15

January 9, 2013

Part One – A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 1-3

Part Two – A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 4-5

Part Three: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 6-7

Part Four: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 8-9

Part Five: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 10-11

Part Six: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 12-13

Revelation 14 and 15 form a series of short scenes in the spiritual realm that take place near the very end of the Tribulation.  The unifying theme that binds them all together is that Christ is ultimately triumphant over all the forces of evil that Satan and his two beasts try to bring to bear during the Tribulation.  We have in these chapters a moment of what scholars call “the prophetic preterit,” in that before the book is finished we already know who will surely win as if it was a past tense already accomplished event.

The first scene (Rev 13:1-5) foreshows the 144,000 (whom we first saw in Rev 7) surrounding Christ after the last battle outside of Jerusalem.  I believe they are called “firstfruits to God” because they are THE very first souls saved after the Rapture of the Church as these Jews specially prepared by God believe in the real Messiah of Israel right after the Rapture.  Given that at least half the world’s population perishes in the Tribulation, given that likely millions of Christians are martyred and given that Antichrist desperately wants to kill every single one of the 144,000, it is a miracle that every single one of them survive the seven years to stand with Christ victorious at the end.  The reference to their sexual purity may extend to the entire corrupt world system – which is most especially represented by its sexual immorality.  They will truly stand apart from the sin of the sick culture that surrounds them, like Daniel and his three friends in Babylon.  Why can no one learn the song they sing but the 144,000?  It may simply be that only these heroic Jewish believers can truly understand both the full horror of the seven years of Tribulation judgments along with the full power of God’s divine deliverance and protection.  They will be living embodiments of Romans 8:28.

The second scene (Rev 14:6-11) provides a scene that every angel has dreamed of as angels finally are allowed to get into the act of sharing the gospel.  The first angel preaches “the eternal gospel” because the unbelieving world hearing the message are on the precipice of eternity – and most of those who would believe this message would be martyred for their faith and have to pass through physical death to receive eternal life.  Given the pervasiveness of evolution we can already easily see that it is hardly surprising that the angel’s gospel message will center on the fact that GOD IS THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE and should be glorified and worshiped as such. The second angel provides a true “prophetic preterit” because God’s judgment pronounces Babylon as fallen in the aorist/past tense even though Babylon’s destruction doesn’t actually occur until Rev 18.  God has decreed that it will fall, and it will surely fall.  The point is that anyone who trusts in Satan’s world system, Antichrist’s empire or the false prophet’s religious system are fools because all of it will fall.  And the third angel specifically singles out the most outward manifestation of the demonic trinity’s program – the mark of the beast – stating that all who take part in it will burn in a hell that is every bit as real as the physical universe that God created above.

Rev 14:12-13 says, “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”  Because most of those who accept “the eternal gospel” will have to pass through death to inherit life.  It’s the wise alternative of taking the mark and going to hell.  Those who have this “patient endurance” unto death will receive a special blessing even above previous generations of martyrs because of the viciousness of the persecution they will face.  Christians will be called upon to suffer and die as they never have before.  When you received Christ, would you have said that prayer with a gun pointed at your head knowing that the moment you finished praying you would be killed?  That’s basically what these Tribulation believers will face.

Revelation 14:14-20 presents two different harvests at the end of the Tribulation.  The first (vv. 14-16) is akin to what Jesus described in the separation of the wheat from the tares (Matt 13:39-43).  Here as there, the reapers are angels.  And these angels will “weed out of His kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil” (Matt 13:41) and throw them into the fiery furnace of hell (v. 42).  This will take place at the end of the Tribulation after Christ has returned as King of kings and defeated Satan and his two beasts.  The Tribulation believers are the wheat who will inherit the Millennial kingdom.  The second harvest (vv. 17-20) and everyone in it will be thrown “into the great winepress of God’s wrath.”  Verse 20 (“They were trampled in the winepress outside the city”) tells us where, when and to whom this harvest occurs: (where) outside the city of Jerusalem (when) at the return of Christ as King of kings (to whom) to all the armies gathered against Him.  This harvest of slaughter is also prophesied in Zechariah 14:2-3.  The demonic 200 million man army from the kings of the East and the armies of Antichrist will be gathered like clusters of grapes that are ripe for the winepress of wrath.  Blood will rise as high as the horses’ bridles (Rev 14:20) from the 200 miles between the hills of Har-Megiddo and the Valley of Jezreel to the port of Elath on the Gulf of Aqabah.  It will be filled with war materials, corpses and blood.  The famous Latin phrase, “Sic semper tyrannis” (Thus always to tyrants)?  It turns out to be ultimately true.

We’ve seen two signs – the woman (Israel) and the dragon (Satan).  Israel is a sign because of her miraculous preservation by God in spite of staggering odds that they could survive as a people/culture.  Satan is a sign to the wise because history proves that evil transcends human capability and points to a supernatural and personal origin in Satan.  We intuitively know the world ought to be a better place but there is a malevolent intelligence seeking to thwart that better world.  Now we see the third and final sign in the form of the final seven judgments from God.  And if these seven plagues aren’t a sign demonstrating God’s sovereignty, nothing is.  They finish the wrath of God on earth and bring the world into God’s purpose and will; and the word “completed” in reference to God’s wrath in Rev 15:1 is the identical word uttered by Christ on the cross in John 19:30: tetelestai (“It is finished”).  You’ll soon see how this fits into the message of the chapter.

We again have reference to a “sea of glass” in Rev 15:2 that we saw in Rev 4:6.  Again, the sea of glass symbolizes Raptured believers at rest before the throne of God.  But now we see mixed with this sea of glorified believers fire, the symbol of judgment (Num 11:1; 16:35; Deut 9:3; Psalm 50:3; 2 Thess 1:7-9; Heb 10:27; 2 Pet 3:7).  “God is a consuming fire” (Heb 12:29).  It seems to me that the fire represents the prayers of Raptured believers for the final judgments to come on behalf of the martyred Tribulation believers.  These martyred believers stand on the sea of glass (Raptured believers) much the way a winning coach might stand on the shoulders of a victorious football team.  No one is more of a “winner” than these martyred believers.  There is no sign of defeat or bitterness in God’s “team” of saints; there is only praise and worship and exaltation in victory.  How can death really mean victory?  How can submitting to injustice and evil ultimately produce triumph?  Ask martyr Jim Elliot, who famously wrote: “A man is no fool to give up that which he cannot keep (such as his own life – see Luke 17:33) to gain what he cannot lose.”  This kind of victory isn’t found by playing it safe and never rocking the boat.  These believers will take a stand in the face of certain death – and in so standing they will be victorious.

They sing “the song of Moses” (Rev 15:3 cf. Deut 32:1-43).  Why?  Because just as the Israelites looked back at Egypt and realized that they were delivered from slavery and bondage, so these martyred Tribulation saints will look back upon their experience of horror on earth in the grip of evil and realize that they are now forever delivered from suffering and death in heaven.  And that song will turn into “the song of the Lamb” because it will have been Christ who brought about that great deliverance.

Rev 15 ends with a scene taking place at the heavenly tabernacle (vv. 5-8).  Keep in mind that the earthly tabernacle was made from the same pattern as the one in heaven (Heb 8:5 cf. Ex 25:8-9).  The Book of Hebrews draws several parallels between the function of the priests in the earthly tabernacle and Christ as our High Priest in the heavenly tabernacle.  In Hebrews we learn that the rituals/symbols of the earthly tabernacle worship were designed to foreshadow things that would have ultimate fulfillment in the heavenly tabernacle.  In Rev 15 John looked into the Holy of Holies of the heavenly tabernacle.

The Tabernacle of Testimony (in Acts 7:44 the King James Version calls it the Tabernacle of Witness) was both a witness FOR man and AGAINST man.  It was a witness for man in that it told him how he could have his sins forgiven and approach God; it was a witness against man because the very necessity of those rituals was a constant reminder that he was unworthy to approach God on his own merit.

Inside the earthly Ark of the Covenant were three items God commanded the people to put there.  And each of these items displayed man’s rejection of God.  The 1st item was the rewritten stone tablet of the Ten Commandments (recall that Moses broke the original when he saw the Israelites in gross sin); the second tablet was placed in the Ark as a witness of man’s rejection of the perfect moral law (Ex 25).  The 2nd witness was a pot of manna; God commanded it be placed in the Ark after Israel complained about the heavenly food God miraculously prepared for them.  It was a witness to man’s rejection of God’s provision for daily needs (Ex 16).  And the 3rd item was Aaron’s staff.  A rebel group tried to take over leadership of the nation of Israel from Moses and Aaron, and God caused Aaron’s staff to bud to confirm who He had designated to lead.  The staff that spouted leaves was placed in the Ark as a witness of man’s rejection of God’s chosen leadership  (Num 17).  The three items taken together displayed man’s complete rejection of God.  And they were placed in the Ark as a continual witness of the fact that man was sinful and rightly deserved God’s judgment.

When the high priest entered the Tabernacle and sprinkled blood on the Mercy Seat, he was in effect symbolically covering the symbols of man’s sin (in the form of the three items) from God’s sight.  The Mercy Seat formed the lid to the box in which the three items were placed.  As God now saw the blood of the innocent substitute rather than the three items symbolizing man’s rejection of Him, His justice was satisfied because the penalty of death had been paid.  And God could then transform His throne from one of judgment to one of mercy.  And of course all of this was intended to foreshadow what Christ would do as the Lamb of God and as our High Priest; His blood would not only cover but literally take away the sin of the world, thereby turning the throne of God in heaven’s tabernacle to one of mercy for all who would come by faith in Jesus.

But what John saw when he looked at the Holy of Holies was a sobering change; it now became the place from which the seven final plagues were sent forth.  It was no longer a place where men were reconciled to God; the throne of mercy had now become a throne of judgment against those who had rejected the Lamb.  The three reminders of man’s sin in the Ark were now fully uncovered and were a witness against man who had rejected Christ’s salvation.  Which is why no one was allowed to enter the temple until the plagues were completed (Rev 15:8); because the time for mercy had now passed man by and only judgment remained.

Part Eight: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 16-18

Part Nine: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 19-20

Part Ten: A Midlevel Flight Across Revelation: Rev 21-22

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The Three Fingers Pointing Back At Atheists When Atheists Point A Finger At Christians About Evil And Judgment

March 24, 2011

You’ve probably heard that expression, “When you point a finger at me, three fingers are pointing back at you.”  Let’s work with that today.

I recently wrote an article with the deliberately provocative title, “Atheist Country Japan Smashed By Tsunami.”

It generated quite a few cross postings to atheist blogs and forums.

One recent example attacked Christians as being “happy” that Japan was stricken by disaster, and, in linking to my blog, said:

Of course, maybe it’s because of all teh gay [sic] in Japan, or because the Japanese are all atheists. Or maybe it’s because they worship demons.

What a nasty, horrible God is the one in which they believe. What nasty, horrible sentiments they have expressed in the wake of so much suffering by their fellow human beings. What a nasty, cynical thing they do to promote their own religion by using this tragedy and other recent catastrophic events to “win converts” for Jesus.

Naming them charlatans and hypocrites does not do justice to the utter lack of compassion that resides in their hearts.

And the blogger cites my blog as an example of a fundamentalist who argues that God struck Japan “because the Japanese are all atheists.”

Well, first thing, did I actually even say that?  I quote myself from that article:

But is Japan’s unbelief the reason why Japan just got hit with an awful tsunami?

My answer is, “How on earth should I know?”

I cite passages of Scripture that clearly indicate that a disaster does not necessarily mean that God is judging someone, such as Luke 13:1-5.  I could have just as easily also cited passages such as John 9:1-3 about Jesus’ distinction between suffering and sin.  I could have cited 2 Peter 3:9, describing God’s patience with sinners rather than His haste to judge.  These passages aren’t at all out of tune with what I was saying.  And I actually DO single out by name for criticism men like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell who have immediately pronounced the wrath of God following some disaster.

I begin my article saying, “That headline is a deliberate provoker.  But please let me explain why I used that headline before you erupt one way or another.”  Then I proceed to state two undisputed facts: that Japan is atheist, and that Japan got hit by a disaster.  I urge someone to actually read the article and reflect on the possibilities.  But Boomantribune is an example of most of the atheists who cross-posted or commented to my article by NOT being someone who wanted to read or reflect; he or she is someone who refused to look beneath atheist ideology and immediately began demonizing the other side to “win converts” for his religion of atheism.  [And let’s get this straight: atheism IS a religion.  “Religion” does not need to depend upon belief in God, or Buddhism would not qualify as a religion.  The courts have ruled that atheism is a religion, and it is a simple fact that atheism has every component that any religious system has].

You can’t have a valid argument with someone like Boomantribune, I have learned.  They are either too ignorant, or too dishonest, or both to accurately represent the other side’s position or arguments.  They create straw men and then demolish claims that Christians like me aren’t even making.

Boomantribune viciously attacks me as harboring the “nasty, horrible sentiments they have expressed in the wake of so much suffering by their fellow human beings.”  But I end my article on Japan by saying:

You need that gift of divine grace.  I need that gift of divine grace.  And the people of Japan desperately need it today.

I pray for those who are in Japan.  I pray for their deliverance from both the tsunami and from their unbelief.  And I will join with many other Christians who will send relief to the Japanese people, with prayers that they will look not at me, but at the Jesus who changed my heart and my life, and inspired me to give to others.

It is also a simple fact that religious people are FAR more giving than atheists:

In the US, anyway, they don’t. Here’s just one study, done in 2003: The differences in charity between secular and religious people are dramatic. Religious people are 25 percentage points more likely than secularists to donate money (91 percent to 66 percent) and 23 points more likely to volunteer time (67 percent to 44 percent). And, consistent with the findings of other writers, these data show that practicing a religion is more important than the actual religion itself in predicting charitable behavior. For example, among those who attend worship services regularly, 92 percent of Protestants give charitably, compared with 91 percent of Catholics, 91 percent of Jews, and 89 percent from other religions…Note that neither political ideology nor income is responsible for much of the charitable differences between secular and religious people. For example, religious liberals are 19 points more likely than secular liberals to give to charity, while religious conservatives are 28 points more likely than secular conservatives to do so…The average annual giving among the religious is $2,210, whereas it is $642 among the secular. Similarly, religious people volunteer an average of 12 times per year, while secular people volunteer an average of 5.8 times.

And this is “secular” people who aren’t particularly religious.  A lot of people rarely ever go to church, but still believe in God (basically 90% of Americans belive in God).  Since the evidence is rather straightforward that the more religious one is, the more giving one is, it is justified to conclude that atheists who are less religious than the merely “secular” are even LESS giving.

And, guess what?  My church has already taken its first of several offerings for Japan, and I have already given – and plan to give again.

I would also point out a couple of historical facts:

Christians actually began the first hospitals.

More hospitals have been founded by Christians than by followers of every other religion – including atheism – combined.

That said:

Atheist doctors are more than twice as likely to pull the plug on someone than a doctor who believes in God.

So just who is being “horrible” here?

Here’s another example of an atheist attack on me that backfired, followed by the dishonest atheist “cutting and running” from his own attack:

For what it’s worth, I have never withdrawn a single post:

Also, unlike too many blogs – particularly leftwing blogs, in my experience – I don’t delete anything. When the Daily Kos hatefully attacked Sarah Palin and her daughter Bristol and claimed that Bristol Palin had been impregnated by her own father with a baby, and that Sarah Palin faked being pregnant – only to have that hateful and vile lie blown away by Bristol giving birth to a child of her own – they scrubbed it like nothing had happened.

I’m not that despicable. Every single article I have ever written remains on my blog. And with all due respect, I think that gives me more credibility, not less: I don’t hit and run and then scrub the evidence of my lies.

If I post something that turns out to be wrong, I don’t destroy the evidence; I stand up and take responsibility for my words.  I apologize and correct the record.  As I did in the case above.

That, by the way, is the first finger, the finger of moral dishonesty pointing back at these atheists. 

That’s not the way the other side plays.  History is replete with atheist regimes (e.g. ANY of the officially state atheist communist regimes) destroying the record and any debate; history is replete with atheist-warped “science” making one claim after another that turned out to be entirely false.  As examples, consider Java Man, Nebraska Man, Piltdown Man, Peking Man and the various other hoaxes that the “scientific community rushed to embrace in their rush to falsify theism.  In some cases “scientists” created an entire community – or even an entire race of people – around totally bogus evidence in “It takes a village” style.  There was the bogus notion of “uniformitarianism” by which the “scientific community” ridiculed creationists for decades until it was proven wrong by Eugene Shoemaker who documented that the theory of “catastrophism” that they had advanced for millennia had been correct all along.  And then all of a sudden the same evolutionary theory that had depended upon uniformitarianism suddenly morphed into a theory that depended upon catastrophism. It morphed so that it was equally true with both polar opposites.

Then there’s this:

Ann Coulter pointed it out with the false claim that evolution was “falsifiable” versus any religious claim which was not. Darwin said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.” And Ann Coulter brilliantly changed a couple of words to demonstrate what a load of crap that was: “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by God, my God theory would absolutely break down.”

In any words, evolution is no more “scientifically falsifiable” than even the most ardent young earth creationist claim. Their standard is impossible to prove. I mean, you show me that God “could not possibly have” created the earth.

The whole way they sold evolution was a lie.

There is NEVER an admission of guilt or an acknowledgment of error by these people.  They simply suppress or destroy the evidence, or “morph” their argument, or anything but acknowledge that just maybe they should be open-minded and question their presuppositions.

There is the extremely rare admission:

For the scientist who has lived by faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. -Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers

But those are extremely rare, indeed.  The rest of the atheist-assuming “scientific community” is all about saying, “Move on, folks.  Nothing to see here.  Why don’t you look at our new sleight-of-hand display over in this corner instead?”

Phillip Johnson, in a very good article, points out how the “bait-and-switch” works:

Supporting the paradigm may even require what in other contexts would be called deception. As Niles Eldredge candidly admitted, “We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while knowing it does not.”[ 1] Eldredge explained that this pattern of misrepresentation occurred because of “the certainty so characteristic of evolutionary ranks since the late 1940s, the utter assurance not only that natural selection operates in nature, but that we know precisely how it works.” This certainty produced a degree of dogmatism that Eldredge says resulted in the relegation to the “lunatic fringe” of paleontologists who reported that “they saw something out of kilter between contemporary evolutionary theory, on the one hand, and patterns of change in the fossil record on the other.”[ 2] Under the circumstances, prudent paleontologists understandably swallowed their doubts and supported the ruling ideology. To abandon the paradigm would be to abandon the scientific community; to ignore the paradigm and just gather the facts would be to earn the demeaning label of “stamp collector.”

[…]

Naturalistic philosophy has worked out a strategy to prevent this problem from arising: it labels naturalism as science and theism as religion. The former is then classified as knowledge, and the latter as mere belief. The distinction is of critical importance, because only knowledge can be objectively valid for everyone; belief is valid only for the believer, and should never be passed off as knowledge. The student who thinks that 2 and 2 make 5, or that water is not made up of hydrogen and oxygen, or that the theory of evolution is not true, is not expressing a minority viewpoint. He or she is ignorant, and the job of education is to cure that ignorance and to replace it with knowledge. Students in the public schools are thus to be taught at an early age that “evolution is a fact,” and as time goes by they will gradually learn that evolution means naturalism.

In short, the proposition that God was in any way involved in our creation is effectively outlawed, and implicitly negated. This is because naturalistic evolution is by definition in the category of scientific knowledge. What contradicts knowledge is implicitly false, or imaginary. That is why it is possible for scientific naturalists in good faith to claim on the one hand that their science says nothing about God, and on the other to claim that they have said everything that can be said about God. In naturalistic philosophy both propositions are at bottom the same. All that needs to be said about God is that there is nothing to be said of God, because on that subject we can have no knowledge.

I stand behind a tradition that has stood like an anvil while being pounded by one generation of unbelievers after another.  That tradition remains constant because it is founded upon the unchanging Word of God.  My adversaries constantly change and morph their positions, all the while just as constantly claiming that their latest current iteration is correct.

That is the second finger of intellectual dishonesty which so thoroughly characterizes atheism and anything atheism seems to contaminate with its assumptions.

Lastly, there is the finger of ethical dishonesty that is the ocean that the “walking fish” of atheism swims in.  [Btw, when I see that fish riding a bicycle I’ll buy their “walking fish” concept].

Basically, for all the “moral outrage” of atheists who want to denounce Christians for their God’s “evil judgments,” atheism itself has absolutely no moral foundation to do so whatsoever.  And the bottom line is that they are people who attack the five-thousand year tradition of Scripture with their feet firmly planted in midair.

William Lane Craig provides a devastating existential ethical refutation of atheism in an article I posted entitled, “The Absurdity of Life without God.”

To put it simply, William Lane Craig demolishes any shred of a claim that atheism can offer any ultimate meaning, any ultimate value, or any ultimate purpose whatsoever.  And so atheism denounces Christianity and religion from the foundation of an entirely empty and profoundly worthless worldview.  Everyone should read this incredibly powerful article.  I guarantee you will learn something, whatever your perspective on religion.

The thing I would say is that atheists denounce God and Christians from some moral sort of moral posture.  Which comes from what, exactly?  Darwinism, or more precisely, social Darwinism?  The survival of the fittest?  A foundation that comes from the “secure” footing of a random, meaningless, purposeless, valueless and entirely accidental existence?

As atheists tee off on God and at Christians for being “nasty” and “horrible,” what is their foundation from which to judge?

First of all, what precisely would make one a “nasty” or “horrible” atheist? 

Joseph Stalin was an atheist:

“God’s not unjust, he doesn’t actually exist. We’ve been deceived. If God existed, he’d have made the world more just… I’ll lend you a book and you’ll see.”

Mao Tse Tung was an atheist:

“Our God is none other than the masses of the Chinese people. If they stand up and dig together with us, why can’t these two mountains be cleared away?”  [Mao Tse Tung, Little Red Book, “Self-Reliance and Arduous Struggle chapter 21”].

Hitler was an atheist:

Hitler described to them that “after difficult inner struggles I had freed myself of my remaining childhood religious conceptions. I feel as refreshed now as a foal on a meadow” (Ernst Helmreich, “The German Churches Under Hitler,” p. 285).

Joseph Goebbels, a top member of Hitler’s inner circle, noted in his personal diary, dated 8 April 1941 that “The Führer is a man totally attuned to antiquity. He hates Christianity, because it has crippled all that is noble in humanity.”  Now, one may easily lie to others, but why lie to your own private diary?

Goebbels also notes in a diary entry in 1939 a conversation in which Hitler had “expressed his revulsion against Christianity. He wished that the time were ripe for him to be able to openly express that. Christianity had corrupted and infected the entire world of antiquity.”

Hitler also said, “Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity.” [Hitler’s Table Talk, Enigma Books; 3rd edition October 1, 2000, p. 343].

Albert Speer, another Nazi in Hitler’s intimate inner circle, stated that Hitler said, “You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion… Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness?”

Konrad Heiden quoted Hitler as stating, “We do not want any other god than Germany itself.” [Heiden, Konrad A History of National Socialism, A.A. Knopf, 1935, p. 100].

Now, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Chairman Mao were terrible, despicable, evil people.  But what made them ” bad atheists,” precisely?

When Mao infamously expressed this attitude

“The atom bomb is nothing to be afraid of,” Mao told Nehru, “China has many people. . . . The deaths of ten or twenty million people is nothing to be afraid of.” A witness said Nehru showed shock. Later, speaking in Moscow, Mao displayed yet more generosity: he boasted that he was willing to lose 300 million people, half of China’s population.” [Annie Dillard, “The Wreck of Time” in Harper’s from January 1998].

– or when Joseph Stalin was similarly quoted as having said:

“One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”

– were these men who were responsible for some 100 million deaths of their own people during peacetime expressing anything that violated some principle of Darwinian evolution, or the morality that derives from the ethic of survival of the fittest?

Mao put his disregard for human life and the lives of his own people to terrible work:

LEE EDWARDS, CHAIRMAN, VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM MEMORIAL FOUNDATION: In 1959 to 1961 was the so-called “great leap forward” which was actually a gigantic leap backwards in which he tried to collectivize and communize agriculture.

And they came to him after the first year and they said, “Chairman, five million people have died of famine.” He said, “No matter, keep going.” In the second year, they came back and they said, “Ten million Chinese have died.” He said, “No matter, continue.” The third year, 20 million Chinese have died. And he said finally, “Well, perhaps this is not the best idea that I’ve ever had.”

CHANG: When he was told that, you know, his people were dying of starvation, Mao said, “Educate the peasants to eat less. Thus they can benefit – they can fertilize the land.”

Did that somehow disqualify him from being an atheist?  How?  Based on what foundation?

Let me simply point out that the most evil human beings in human history and the most murderous and oppressive political regimes in human history have the strange tendency to be atheist.  It would seem to me that these atheists should frankly do a lot less talking smack and a lot more shutting the hell up.  But two verses from Scripture illustrate why they don’t: 1) The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 14:1) and 2) “A fool does not delight in understanding, But only in revealing his own mind” (Proverbs 18:2).

Let’s talk about “evil” for a few moments.  I have already begun addressing the “third finger” that points back at atheists when they denounce Christians or God.  But the idea of “evil” makes that “finger” the middle one.

Christians talk about evil.  A lot of people do.  Even atheists routinely do.  But what is their foundation for evil?  What is “evil”?  Most give answers such as, “Murder or rape is evil.”  But those would at best only qualify as examples of evil – not a definition that would allow us to make moral judgments.  Christians have an actual answer.  They point out that “evil” is a perversion from the way things ought to be.  But what “oughtness” is there in a random, purposeless, meaningless and valueless universe that was spat out by nothing more than pure chance?

Let’s just say at this point that the atheists are right in what is in reality a straw man attack of God?  So what?  I ask “so what?” because even if what they were saying were somehow true, by what standard would either God or Christians be “nasty” or “horrible”?  What is the objective, transcendent standard that stands above me, that stands above every Christian on the planet, that stands above the entire human race across time and space and holds it accountable, such that if Christians or even God do X or say Y, or believe Z they are “nasty” or “horrible”?

It turns out that they don’t have one.  And in fact, their very worldview goes so far as to literally deny the very possibility of one.  At best – and I would argue at worst – we are trapped in a world in which might makes right, and the most powerful dictator gets to make the rules.  Because there is nothing above man that judges man and says, “This is the way, walk in it.”  There is only other men – and men disagree with one another’s standards – leaving us with pure moral relativism. 

And if moral relativism is true, then the atheists STILL lose.  It would be a tie, given that atheists have no more claim to being “good” than any other human being or group of human beings, no matter how despicable and murderous they might be.  But they would lose because there are a lot fewer atheists (137 million) than there are, say, Christians (2.3 billion).  And it only remains for Christians to disregard their superior moral and ethical system just long enough to rise up and annihilate all the smart-mouthed atheists, and then say afterward, “Boy, we sure feel guilty for having done THAT.  Let’s pray for forgiveness!”  And the only possible defense atheists would have would be to abandon their “survival of the fittest” mentality and embrace superior Christian morality and cry out, “Thou shalt not kill!”

Even if Christians don’t wipe out the atheists physically, most would readily agree that the Christian worldview is still far stronger than the atheist one.  Dinesh D’Souza makes a great argument to illustrate this on pages 15-16 of What’s So Great About Christianity that shows why religion is clearly the best team.  He says to imagine two communities – one filled with your bitter, cynical atheists who believe that morality just happened to evolve and could have evolved very differently; and one filled with Bible-believing Christians who embrace that life and their lives have a purpose in the plan of a righteous God who put His moral standards in our hearts. And he basically asks, “Which community is going to survive and thrive?”

As a Christian, I don’t have all the answers (although I can certainly answer the question immediately above).  I am a human being and my mind cannot contain the infinite plan of an infinitely complex and holy God.  But I have placed my trust in a God who made the world and who has a plan for His creation which He is bringing to fruition.  And that worldview doesn’t just give me explanatory powers that atheism by its very nature entirely lacks, but it gives me a strength that I never had before.  Even when evil and disaster and suffering befall me beyond my ability to comprehend, I can say with Job – the master of suffering:

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.  And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God!  I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”  Job 19:25-27 (NLT).

The Real Issues Behind Arizona’s New Illegal Immigration Law

April 26, 2010

George Will, on ABC’s “This Week,” hit the nail right on the head regarding Arizona’s new illegal immigration policy, just signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer:

“Reasonable suspicion” that the person is an alien. What does that mean, George?

WILL: Well, the Fourth Amendment says there should be no unreasonable searches and seizures, and we’ve generated volumes of case law trying to sort out what that means over the last century or so. So it’s not clear what that means. Let’s say this about Arizona. They have 460,000, an estimated 460,000 illegal immigrants there. So before Washington lectures Arizonans on irresponsibility, perhaps Washington ought to attend to the central attribute of national sovereignty which is to control the borders. We are the only developed nation in the world with a 2,000 mile border with an undeveloped country and we have a magnet of a welfare state to the north.

So this is not Arizona’s fault. Beyond that, this should be said however. Reasonable suspicion is going to put upon the police of Arizona a terribly difficult job. This is what the governor said. “We must enforce the law evenly and without regard to skin color, accent or social status.” I don’t know how do you that. […]

WILL: Again, in defense of Arizona, large majority of Arizonans support this bill and a large majority of Arizonans are not, by definition, the fringe of the state. They are temperate, decent people with a huge problem.

What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime. Now, the Arizona police — and I’ve spent time with the Phoenix Police Department — these are not bad people. These are professionals who are used to making the kind of difficult judgments. Suspicion of intoxicated driving, all kinds of judgments are constantly made by policemen. And I wouldn’t despair altogether their ability to do this in a professional way. […]

GLICK: So put the 3,000 troops on the border as McCain suggests.

WILL: Build a fence, do what McCain suggests, and you’ll find that the American people are not xenophobic, they are not irrational on the subject, but they do want this essential attribute of national sovereignty asserted.

TUCKER: And where does the money come from for that, George?

WILL: It’s a rounding error on the GM bailout.

A number of major points come out of George Will’s remarks:

1) This is NOT Arizona’s fault; it’s the federal government’s fault.  The first order of business for any government of any nation-state is to protect their borders from invasion; and the U.S. government has utterly failed to perform that function.  Worse, up to this point, they have even perversely prevented the states from acting to save themselves.

2) Arizona’s illegal immigration policy is NOT some “racist” or “extreme” agenda; it is supported by an overwhelming majority of Arizonans:

The Arizona legislature has now passed the toughest measure against illegal immigration in the country, authorizing local police to stop and check the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 70% of likely voters in Arizona approve of the legislation, while just 23% oppose it.

These are reasonable people put into an unreasonable position by a bunch of extremists who are running our government and who are leading racist organizations such as La Raza (which literally means “the race” – and how racist can you get?).

The “racist extremists are on the other side from the decent Arizona people:

Whenever I’m asked about media treatment of the Tea Parties, I ask myself a simple question: What do you suppose the media would say if tea partiers were biting off people’s fingers?

A new question for today: What would they be saying if even a small group of Tea Partiers physically attacked the police at a rally?

Witnesses say a group protesting against SB1070 (Arizona’s harsh new immigration law) began to fight with a man who was for the controversial immigration bill.

Police tried escorting that man away from the scene, fearing for his safety, when they too came under attack by people throwing items, including water bottles.

And, yes, the police are under more than just rock and bottle attacks from protesters who want to prevent Arizona from keeping illegal immigrants outside their borders:

(CNSNews.com) – Law enforcement officials from the Arizona counties hardest hit by illegal immigration say they want U.S. troops to help secure the border, to prevent the deaths of more officers at the hands of criminals who enter the country illegally.

“We’ve had numerous officers that have been killed by illegal immigrants in Arizona,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said Monday at a Capitol Hill news conference. “And that shouldn’t happen one time.”

Babeu said the violence in Arizona has reached “epidemic proportions” and must be stopped. “In just one patrol area, we’ve had 64 pursuits — failure to yield for an officer — in one month,” Babeu said. “That’s out of control.”

I have seen a number of occasions in which a situation went way too far one way, which ultimately led to it swinging way too far the other way.  I believe that the Democrats under Obama have done that very thing on virtually every issue under the sun.  I would say the following: don’t act like a bunch of rabid leftwing extremists, and then cry when conservatives start acting like a bunch of rabid rightwing extremists.

3) Given the fact that the federal government – aided by a powerful special interest lobby, and aided even further by judicial activists who refuse to make a distinction between citizens and illegal immigrants – have refused to protect our borders, Arizona decided to do the job the federal government has refused to do.  That means that Arizona police officers are going to have to step up and do a tough job.

Being a police officer means making judgment calls, and balancing peoples’ rights with enforcing laws every single day.

Bottom line: if you think police can’t make a reasonable determination whether someone is here illegally, I hope you don’t think law enforcement can make any other reasonable judgments (such as whether I’m driving drunk), either.

4) Finally, if we just built the damn wall like Bush tried to do, we wouldn’t be in this stupid mess to begin with.  And the people who screamed about that wall have no right to complain with Arizona’s new policy now.  They BEGGED for the tough new Arizona law.

The shrill cry of the leftwing was that a border wall was identical to the Iron Curtain.  The only thing wrong with that is that it is beyond ignorant; the Iron Curtain was created to keep citizens from escaping to freedom; a border wall would protect out citizens by keeping illegal immigrants who have no right to be here out.

Liberals also cite the Posse Comitatus Act as preventing the powers of the federal government from using the military for law enforcement.  But that begs the question: just how is protecting our borders from foreign invasion “law enforcement”?  This is a clear situation in which our national security is at issue.  The soldiers on the border would not be arresting American citizens; they would be detaining foreign invaders.

The Chinese built the Great Wall of China to keep the Mongols out; and it worked.  And I’m just guessing that a people who put a man on the moon can build a damn wall that does the job.

Bottom line, I think the Arizona law probably ultimately goes too far.  But like I said, pro-illegal immigration forces DEMANDED a law that went too far by steadfastly refusing any form of reasonable policy.

There is no reason whatsoever that citizenship should not be checked along with identity and residence, under the same conditions and situations in which it is reasonable to ascertain identity and residence.  And if you are here illegally, your ass should be on the next bus out of the country – after serving jail time for violating our borders and breaking our laws.  And the wall that we build should make sure you don’t come back.

Checking citizenship (or immigration status) at every arrest, or at every reasonable situation in which police check for identity, would take away the “racist” profiling issues.

Because, yes, I’m just as ticked off at the illegal immigrant Canadian or Irishman as I am at the illegal immigrant Mexican.

At the same time, building a wall to protect what is yours should be familiar to any child who has ever walked down the sidewalks of his or her own neighborhood.  I’m not “racist” for building a wall; and it is frankly racist to suggest that I am.  It amounts to basic common sense.  And combined with a military patrol that would be able to identify and apprehend anyone climbing over that wall, it would make the issues surrounding “border enforcement” moot.

You can disrespect America’s borders as much as you want – so long as you remain on the other side of them.

The Comprehensive Case Against Barack Obama from Hotair.com

October 22, 2008

I have found Ed Morissey to be an incredible analyst of American political culture with an amazing access to the most relevant stories and information.  Here, he is joined by journalists Guy Benson and Mary Katherine Ham in a presentation of many of the issues that Americans should know about and soberly consider.  Barack Obama’s radical stand on abortion; his hypocritical positions and contradictory positions on taxes; his long list of radical associations; his demonstrated poor foreign policy judgment; his open disdain for the American heartland; his reliance upon dealing the race card for political benefit; and his lack of any meaningful legislative accomplishment, are all treated.

The article is fairly long, with quite a few videos, so I shall link to it.  But please read!

The comprehensive argument against Barack Obama

What McCain-Palin Need To Do From Tonight’s Debate Till Election Day

October 7, 2008

John McCain is being saddled with the anger and fear of voters over the financial collapse, according to most polls.  Up until this week, neither President Bush, Senator McCain, Governor Sarah Palin, or most Republicans bothered to respond to the repeated Democrat charges that this fiasco was the result of the “failed policies of the last eight years.”

That perception needs to be changed by through a deliberate and sustained effort.  It needs to begin tonight.  And it needs to continue until November 4.

Barack Obama has been arguing that “guilt by association” is invalid.  But Obama’s central charge against John McCain amounts to pure guilt by association: John McCain is NOT George Bush, and he has never BEEN George Bush.  His entire career stands as a screaming testimony to the fact that he is very much his own man.

John McCain needs to find a few popular measures that President Bush supported and ask Barack Obama, “Do you oppose this because President Bush was for it?  How about this?  And this?”

When Barack Obama again and again says that John McCain has voted with George Bush 90% of the time, McCain needs to remind voters that Barack Obama has voted with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid fully 97% of the time.  He needs to remind voters that Barack Obama is the personification of a Democrat-controlled Congress that has a 9% approval rating – the worst in American history; worse than the 12% rating Congress had in 1979.  Meanwhile, even Barack Obama has voted with Bush 40% of the time, and more conservative Democrats like Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu have voted with Bush over 70% of the time.

Given the fact that Democrats are likely to not only continue to hold power – and even expand their power to a filibuster-proof majority -this economy cannot afford the domination of tax-and-spend socialist liberals in total control of our government.

John McCain and Sarah Palin need to examine Barack Obama’s tax plan.  Obama claims that 95% of Americans would get a tax cut; the Republicans need to ask Obama if he actually believes that every single American pays taxes, such that 95% of Americans would receive a cut, and 5% would face a steep increase.  Do Barack Obama’s two little girls pay taxes?  How can he possibly give a “cut” to 95% of Americans?  In reality, Barack Obama is using the IRS tax code to give at least 30% and as many as 40% of American tax filers who DON’T pay federal income taxes what amounts to a welfare check.  And that is hardly what this economy needs right now.  Republicans need to point out that Barack Obama will heavily increase the taxes of small business owners and people who invest in jobs and supply the money this country needs in order to grow and expand.

When you tax small business owners, they lay off employees; when you tax investors, they shelter their money.  And that is hardly what this economy needs right now.

Barack Obama wants to give away another $845 billion dollars of American taxpayer money to the poor of the world in his Global Poverty Act.  It would cost each citizen at least $2500.  And that is hardly what this economy needs right now.

Barack Obama wants to massively socialize the American health care system – which represents about a quarter of the American economy.  He makes a lot of promises, but the costs would be staggering.  Massachusetts passed a law mandating universal coverage that promised to lower costs in utopian fashion; it is now facing $400 million in cost overruns in small state population in a short period of time.  Barack Obama’s plan would be the same sort of disaster on a far more massive scale.  And that is hardly what this economy needs right now.

Barack Obama is trying to blame President Bush and Republicans for the financial disaster when Democrats are all over it.  John McCain needs to point out that past Obama advisor Franklin Raines was involved in massive fraud and chicanery of Fannie Mae just a couple years ago.  He needs to point out that Obama advisers – and lifelong Democrats – Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines, and Jamie Gorelick raided well over $300 million in bonus money from Fannie Mae even as the agency was crumbling.  McCain needs to point out that Republicans DID try to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which held over $5 trillion in mortgage assets – but that Democrats repeatedly blocked those attempts at regulation in the name of keeping the flow of mortgage loans available to poor and minority home buyers who couldn’t repay their obligations.  John McCain needs to point out that he himself prophetically warned the American people of this crisis two years ago when something could have been done to prevent this fiasco.  McCain needs to point out that Barack Obama himself has personally been deeply in the pockets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – as well as corrupt and negligent Lehman Bros – at a rate that goes far beyond anyone else in Congress.  And that his relationship as an instrumental part in securing these terrible subprime loans with Fannie Mae go back to his days as a radical ACORN organizer.

John McCain needs to use Barney Frank as the poster child of Democratic negligence over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Barney Frank – who had an inappropriate (homo)sexual relationship with a key Fannie Mae official even when his Congressional committee had direct oversight in regulating the agency.  Barney Frank – who said for five years that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were healthy, and who led the Democratic fight against the very sort of regulation Democrats now claim the Republicans are guilty of having been opposed to.  Barney Frank – the leading overseer of GSEs for the last two years – was continuing to claim that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were fine as recently as July 14 of this year.  And John McCain needs to point out to the world that Fannie Mae’s and Freddy Mac’s stock crashed 90% while Democrats had direct control and direct oversight of these massive GSEs.

And that sort of corruption and incompetence is not what this economy needs right now.

Further, John McCain needs to point out that Barack Obama hasn’t merely had radical associations, but radical alliances.  Barack Obama spent 23 years steeped in the worldview of a radical, racist, anti-American pastor and church.  Barack Obama is the first “God damn America!” candidate for President.  And Barack Obama was more than just “palling around” with terrorist bomber William Ayers – in his capacity as a member of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge board, Barack Obama was directly in charge of administering funding in support of William Ayers radical Marxist educational initiatives.  Barack Obama didn’t merely “associate” with a terrorist who did something bad when Barack was merely 8 years old; Barack Obama officially partnered with William Ayers as a grown man as recently as 2001 to put “more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.”

And that sort of radical activity is not something that either this country or this economy needs right now.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “I believe that this war is lost.”  And Barack Obama would have ensured that the war would have in fact been lost had he been President.  Obama talks about the loss of American prestige; does he genuinely believe that American troops slinking home in defeat with an emboldened terrorist enemy following us home would improve our international prestige?  John McCain needs to link Harry Reid’s proclamation of defeat with Barack Obama’s determination to snatch defeat from the jaws of success.

That defeatist mentality is not something that this country can afford right now.  As costly as a war is, the United States cannot afford to lose – and we would have lost had Barack Obama recalled the troops in defeat as he wanted to do three years ago.

Finally, John McCain needs to lead this nation to the conclusion that Barack Obama – the most radical, the most inexperienced, the most untested – candidate for President in this nation’s history, is not what either this country or this economy need right now.

Obama and Pakistan: So much for his “judgment”

September 15, 2008

It wasn’t too long ago that Barack Obama, wanting to sound tough, and not like a foreign-policy wuss, rattled the saber against Pakistan:

“I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges,” Obama said, “but let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.”

it was a real ominous statement, and many conservatives jumped all over it: the man who would be willing to talk to enemies such as Iran and North Korea without preconditions was actually threatening to invade an ally like Pakistan.

It’s not very often that we get to see what would happen if a candidate for President’s foreign policy positions were actually put to the test (which is why a Barack Obama can talk so much smack in a campaign).  But we get to see so following the aftermath of President Bush taking Obama’s cue:

Pakistan could end support for U.S.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The furor intensified Friday over Washington’s decision to pursue Islamic militant targets inside Pakistan, with opposition lawmakers threatening that the country could pull out of the war on terror if the United States refuses to respect its borders.

Now, Barack Obama has zealously attempted to saddle John McCain as representing “a third Bush term.”  But in this matter, it is Barack Obama – and most definitely NOT John McCain – who is “Bush-like”:

“Sen. John McCain of Arizona, close to clinching the GOP nomination, called Sen. Barack Obama ‘naive’ today and…blasted him for advocating a bombing of Al Qaeda hide-outs in Pakistan,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

“The best idea is not to broadcast what you’re going to do, that’s naive,” said McCain, who also questioned the very notion of “bombing Pakistan without their permission.” …

So here’s a pair of George Bush’s pants that YOU get to wear all by yourself, Mr. Barack Hussein – or should I say, Mr. Barry Bush?

This episode adds to Obama’s asinine policy of speaking to dictators without preconditions (which even Obama’s Democratic rivals for President ridiculed), his being totally wrong on the troop surge in Iraq (and then scrubbing his website in hopes that the public would forget just how wrong he was), his being for a Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel until he was against it, and his offering of moral equivalency in place of clear condemnation over Russia’s invasion of Democratic Georgia.

Sorry if I have to be the one to tell you this, but anybody looking for judgment in their President should be looking at John McCain.

Experience: Obama Opened Can Of Something He Doesn’t Want To Eat

September 2, 2008

Early on after the Palin announcement, the Obama campaign went after her on her limited experience.  They seem to have backed off of the charge, but they left it hanging right over the plate like a bad change-up.

There’s questions like this on voters’ minds: Why does Obama have more experience than Palin? Well, put on your thinking caps.

Palin has led a city (albeit a small one) and a state (an ENORMOUS one with a small population – about the size of Biden’s Delaware, by the way).  Obama, meanwhile, has never run a city, never run a state, and never run a budget.

It’s frankly easier to do the same sort of thing on a larger scale than it is to start doing an entirely different sort of thing.  Obama has a short career as a legislator; Palin has a slightly longer one as a leader.  Palin was actually in elected politics 5 years before Obama.

Obama claims that his opposition to Iraq proves his judgment is better.  But if that is the test for good judgment, why did he pick Biden, who vigorously argued for the war?  And he showed terrible judgment in opposing the surge strategy.  And he didn’t really do so great with his “nuanced” statements about Russia’s invasion of Georgia, either.

Obama is out there now having to argue he has more experience than Palin, which really merely further underscores his lack of experience.

If anything, it’s kind of like standing in front of a mirror and shouting, “YOU’RE UGLY!”  I mean, dude, so are you.

Meanwhile, John McCain, who has a lifetime of valuable experience from both his military and government service, is the guy on the top of the Republican ticket.

Inexperienced Obama Makes Experience The Issue

August 29, 2008

Politico has the Obama campaign reaction to John McCain’s VP pick, Gov. Sarah Palin:

Obama spokesman Bill Burton: Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain’s commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush’s failed economic policies — that’s not the change we need, it’s just more of the same.

When Barack Obama ran in the Democratic primaries, he was far away the least experienced candidate.  But it didn’t matter then.  He had “hope” and “change” on his side.  When Barack Obama began to run against John McCain, he was even farther away-er the lest experienced candidate.  But it didn’t matter then, either.  The man who opposed the surge – and the victory it has brought us in Iraq – said it was all about his “judgment.”

Now we get to see his poor judgment in action again.

(more…)

Sharon Stone on China’s “Karma” and lessons we can learn

May 28, 2008

Sharon Stone got herself into some hot water on the red carpet:

“At first, I’m not happy with the way the Chinese are treating the Tibetans …,” she said on camera Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, referring to the country’s alleged human rights violations. “And then all this earthquake and stuff happened and I thought, ‘Is that Karma, when you’re not nice that the bad things happen to you?'”

Now, please note: Sharon Stone is to conservatives and Republicans what . As an example, here’s one of her remarks to illustrate:

Basic Instinct star Stone, 46, was keen to enjoy an intimate moment with Oscar-winning co-star Halle Berry, but believes a puritanical streak running through the country put an end to any potential girl-on-girl action.

Stone says: “Halle’s so beautiful and I wanted to kiss her. I said, ‘How can you have us in the movie and not have us kiss? That’s such a waste.’

“That’s what you get for having George Bush as president.”

Now, the question is, is Sharon Stone a hater? Is she just so full of intolerance that… well, that she’s as morally reprehensible as Christian bigots such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell?

You might recall the outrage and furor over the two Christian leaders saying that 9/11 was God’s judgment as a consequence of the United States’ embrace of paganism, abortionists, feminists, and homosexuals.

It is important to note that Jerry Falwell (and Pat Robertson) quickly apologized, unlike Jeremiah Wright – who merely defended his anti-American statements all the more vigorously when confronted with them.

And let me further point out that liberals were quick to claim that fundamentalist Christians – in claiming that 9/11 was divine judgment – were every bit as evil as the terrorists who flew the planes into the buildings. That’s an incredible claim, tantamount to saying that a kid who says, “My brother will beat you up for taking my lunch money!” is just as despicable as the kid who knifes another kid for a pair of desired sneakers. I mean, get real!!!

The issue of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell came up again in the aftermath of Jeremiah Wright’s views, with liberals – scrambling to defend Barack Obama – saying that what Wright said in his “chickens coming home to roost” for Hiroshima and for American terrorism and racism – was no different than what conservatives like Robertson or Falwell said. I’ll come back to that comparison later.

Do you think that there’s such a thing as “karma,” or “divine retribution,” or “what goes around comes around”? Is a person evil for thinking there is?

Or is it better, less judgmental, more “politically correct,” to argue that no matter what someone does, or no matter what a nation does, there are no punitive consequences and there should be none?

If we see another Nazi Germany arise, should the country get off scott free? Or should the wheels of cosmic judgment turn upon them?

As a Christian, let me explain my perspective.

One of the things God ultimately does is ensure justice in the universe. God cannot be loving unless He is just. In illustration, consider the following story:

A family is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by a gang of violent predators. They tie up the father, and then take turns repeatedly raping the wife and daughter until dawn, and then they take all the valuables and leave. The next day, the father hears that the thugs have been captured. He storms into the police station shouting, “Where are they?” And the police say, “We let them go.”

“You let them go? Didn’t you have any evidence?”

“Oh, yes. We confiscated several of the articles that were stolen from your home, and DNA from the men matches the semen found in your wife and daughter.”

“Then why did you let them go?”

“Because we’re a loving police department, that’s why.”

A world without justice is a world without love. A universe that wouldn’t even in theory punish a China for brutalizing Tibetans is a universe that frankly doesn’t care. If there are no consequences for evil, then there is no real difference between a “good nation” and an “evil nation.”

And the same is true of individuals that is true of nations. I would argue that if there is no God, and if there is no immortality of the human soul, then there is no moral difference between a Mother Teresa and an Adolf Hitler – because they both die and are gone, and their ultimate end is exactly the same. Without the consequences of ultimate judgment, the only conclusion is that people and nations alike ought to be as self-centered as they can possibly be.

If the leaders of ethnic China want to seize the land and resources of ethnic Tibetans, and force them to live under whatever brutal conditions they wish to impose, who are you to say it’s “wrong”? And if a man tries fulfill his evolutionary biological destiny and propagate his DNA by force, who are you to label it as “rape” and condemn it? Who made you God? Who made this particular society “God”? If the universe itself doesn’t care enough about such behaviors to enforce consequences, then why on earth should you?

We are told repeatedly in the Bible that God judges the nations. Psalm 82:8, for instance, says: “Arise, O God, judge the earth! For it is Thou who dost possess all the nations.”

We are also told throughout the Bible that there are consequences for sin and depravity. Jesus Himself – who is frequently perverted by non-Christian religions and philosophies – spoke and taught more about hell than anyone in the Bible. One of the most quoted verses in Scripture – John 3:16 – says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Having said all of this, I think that Jerry Falwell was wrong for claiming that 9/11 (or Hurricane Katrina) were acts of divine judgment. Here’s why:

I believe in individual human sin, and I believe in the corporate sin of nations, and I believe in divine judgment. But I am not so quick to claim that I know when God will act in judgment.

Genesis 15:12-16 records an interesting event regarding divine judgment:

Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. And God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve; and afterward they will come out with many possessions. And as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.”

God says to Abraham that one day his descendants will inherit the land He has promised, but not until the fourth generation, “for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” By the time of Moses and Joshua, the measure of iniquity was full, and God gave the Hebrews the land and used them as an instrument of judgment. But note: not until that iniquity reached a certain critical threshold.

So I would be asking Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell this: who told you that the iniquity of America is now complete? And of China, how do we know that the cup of its sins is full? I would argue that they don’t know, and neither does anyone else other than God and His angels.

Now, is it possible that China is being judged for its sins with this catastrophic earthquake? Sure it is. God has used earthquakes (Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 11:13). And is it possible that God used the terrorists as an instrument of judgment against the United States? Sure it is. God frequently says He has used nations to judge nations (read the Book of Isaiah).

But I don’t know when a particular earthquake, or when a particular enemy attack, is an instrument of divine retribution. God did not make me one of His prophets. I am not busily carving away on the parchment roll that will one day be known as “the Book of Mikey.”

2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” And so I know that God is not just waiting to stomp on every sinner and on every sinful nation. God is not arbitrary or vindictive in His judgment. He brings it in His wisdom, and in His time.

What do I do? I humbly pray that God does not judge me for my own sins. When I am being consistent, I put aside the tendency to call upon God’s judgment to fall upon others as well. And so when a calamity befalls someone or some nation, I can recognize that God did not call upon me to be an instrument of His judgment (He can take care of that department Himself), but rather as an instrument of His grace. Because another thing the Bible tells us is that even in judgment, God practices grace, and is willing to bring restoration.

Now, what’s the difference between what Jerry Falwell said and what Jeremiah Wright said?

Both men suggested that America was getting it’s just desserts. I would submit that the key difference is that Falwell was basically being “pro-Bible” and “pro-biblical morality” and Wright was basically being “anti-America” and “anti-greedy-racist-white-America.”

For those who want to compare Jeremiah Wright with Jerry Falwell, I would say, “Fine. Anyone who spent 20 years in Jerry Falwell’s church shouldn’t be president, either.” Keep in mind, liberals and Democrats savagely attacked Jerry Falwell for his remark: if one can compare Wright’s statements with Falwell’s, then one at least ought to savage both men evenly. But the liberals who frequently make such an analogy (such as Alan Colmes, who has made it often on Fox News’ Hannity and Colmes) aren’t willing to actually criticize their side’s guy, just the other side’s guy.

The terrorists who attacked us were personally carrying out “Allah’s vengeance” upon their enemies.  And in hateful act after hateful act, terrorists have attacked and bombed and murdered in the name of their God.  Christian fundamentalists, by start contrast – who passionately believe in God’s divine vengeance – are waiting for God to do His own judging. Big difference.  Muslims believe that God is too transcendent, too grand, to care.  Humans are like ants to Allah.  But Christians believe that God is intimately involved with His creation, and involved with justice and judgment.  And so every Christian who takes God at His Word waits for God to take His ultimate divine judgment into His own hands.

The Bible assures me that God judges sin.  It doesn’t tell me when, or how.  That is up to God.

Jeremiah Wright as Barack Obama’s Political Albatross

March 19, 2008

Senator Barack Obama’s campaign is suddenly in an awful lot of trouble. One of the things that Obama critics have been saying all along is that he has not been vetted by a clearly biased media – and now everyone is getting to see how true that argument has been. We are now in the process of learning that Barack Obama had a much deeper relationship with crooked developer Tony Rezko than the public had previsouly been led to believe. But that is nothing compared with the incredible bombshells that are now known to have come out of the mouth of Senator Obama’s pastor. The not-so Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s racist and lunatic ravings have been common knowledge to anyone familiar with Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ for years, with conservative radio hosts such as Sean Hannity and Melanie Morgan having covered elements of this story a year ago. It only remained for someone to actually go to the church and fork over some cash for some of Wright’s sermons to blow the story wide open.

Barack Obama has been a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under the spiritual leadership and personal mentoring of Jeremiah Wright, Jr. since 1991 or 1992. But by his own acknowledgment, Obama had been a regular at the church for several years prior, for a total of over twenty years. Jeremiah Wright performed his marriage and baptized his children, but by all accounts his relationship with Wright went much deeper than any typical pastor-member bond; Obama has said that Wright was his spiritual advisor and his mentor, and was actually the one who suggested the title for the book – “The Audacity of Hope” – that garnered him so much attention and set him up for his presidential run. For the record, the theme of Obama’s famous keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention was also derived from a sermon by Jeremiah Wright bearing the same title.

So it seems rather clear that Barack Obama’s pastor had more than a passing influence on him, and it is therefore entirely legitimate to look into Jeremiah Wright’s background and examine the content of that influence. To sum it up briefly, it aint good.

In a sermon delivered on the Sunday after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Wright argued that the United States brought the terrorist attack that killed 3,000 Americans upon itself, shouting, “We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

In 2003, Wright said, “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” In that same sermon, Wright continued, “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . . . We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns, and the training of professional killers . . . We bombed Cambodia, Iraq and Nicaragua, killing women and children while trying to get public opinion turned against Castro and Ghadhafi . . . We put Mandela in prison and supported apartheid the whole 27 years he was there. We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Jeremiah Wright has called the United States “Ameri-KKK-a.” He has claimed that the AIDS virus was a white racist American plot to kill black people.

Wright detects racism in virtually every facet of American life, in nearly every aspect of both its domestic and its foreign policies. When we read his writings, his public statements, and his sermons, one cannot help but notice Jeremiah Wright’s passionate conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, oppression, and injustice in every aspect. As he cried out in one of his sermons, “Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!… We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”

Now we see why Michelle Obama was never able to find anything America has done worthy of her pride. Now we see why she claimed that “America is a mean place.”

When Barack Obama finally decided that at least one of these declarations was offensive enough to need to come down from his Olympian heights to explain, he basically claimed that he had never heard any of it. I suppose that this is the-candidate-of-hope-and-change’s version of “I never had sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”

Frankly, this country deserves much better than what amounts to a “I didn’t inhale” defense. One must remove one’s brain and stuff the empty skull full of liberal ideology to attain the level of suspension of common sense necessary to buy this explanation.

First of all, it is a frankly incredible claim. Barack Obama spent 20 years in this church, and 20 years in an intimate personal mentoring friendship with Jeremiah Wright. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. has been well-known for being a fiery radical way out of the mainstream ever since coming to the church in 1972. The fact that Wright married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children are only embarrasing details. And Barack Obama had no idea what his mentor for twenty years stood for? When the Reverend Wright delivered a particularly offensive, hateful and anti-American sermon, no one ever told Obama about it? The fact is, in his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Barack Obama himself reveals this argument for the lie it is. In a vivid description recalling his first meeting with Wright back in 1985, the pastor warned Barack Obama that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation. And when Obama disinvited Jeremiah Wright to give the convocation speach at his announcement of his presidential campaign, he essentially told his pastor that he was too extreme for Barack to openly associate himself with him. Obama knew.

But even allowing that Obama somehow never heard – and even more amazingly, never heard of – anything offensive ever coming from the mouth of his pastor, anyone even remotely familiar with Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and the Trinity United Church of Christ knows full well that both the pastor and the church are leading proponents of an extremely radical ideology known as “black liberation theology.” In short, liberation theology is a giant nut of Marxism covered with a candy coating of Jesus. Liberation theology is a reading of Christianity through Marxist eyes, and very pointedly NOT vice versa. Rather than forgiving its enemies, its adherents all over the world have routinely claimed that oppressors should be overthrown by violent means.

Liberation theology was developed in the early 1970s to pave the way for the communist Sandinistas to infiltrate – and subsequently dominate – Nicaraguan society. The Sandinistas understood full well that they had no hope of installing a Marxist regime in a country that was well over 90% Roman Catholic unless they could successfully subsume Catholicism into their cause of Marxism. And the wedding of Marxism with Christianity was brought about in a clear effort of the former to crush the latter.

Marxism – atheistic though it is – has frequently been charicterized as a Christian heresy, in which a glorious new age utopia (a Marxist perversion of heaven) is to be ushered in by a transformation of human nature in a grand historical dialectic. In traditional Christianity, the ennobling of human nature takes place because of the creation of man in the image of God and because of the divine Christ’s Incarnation; in Marxism, the State assumes God’s place. Marxism offers rival theories of sin (private property) and salvation (collective ownership), a church that dispenses grace (the State), and a litany of saints (the proletariat and their Marxist leadership) and sinners (the bourgeoise and their capitalists enablers). In actual historical practice, in every single case, Marxism in a single century has led to more human slaughter and more degradation than all the religions of the world combined led to throughout all of human history.

Thus we see that it is not too much of a stretch for Christian heretics to embrace Marxism as a creed, since, as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, heresy is often truth gone mad. Liberation theology is the subsumption of one tiny truth (that God cares about the poor) wrapped by so much error that it resulted in a form of insanity that saw Christians embrace what clearly amounted to terrorism against governments and the very poor and innocent that they claimed to champion.

And the Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s nearly wholehearted embrace of a Marxist ideology – that has been irrevocably hostile to America and to its very way of life from its inception – somehow escaped Barack Obama’s awareness? And we should simply forgive him for this unfortunate oversight and move on, and not question what clearly amounts to an issue of profoundly poor judgment?

We are discussing a voluntary association that lasted for over twenty years. We are discussing a close personal relationship with a man that Barack Obama has openly and implicitly acknowledged as having more influence over him than any other man in his life. Democratic apologists want us to view this in the same context as George Bush speaking at a university which believes interaccial marriage is wrong, or John McCain’s accepting the endorsement of a pastor who believes that the antichrist of Revelation will be a Catholic pope. They are no where even close to being similar. Now Senator John McCain being discovered to be a member of Reverend David Duke’s church and coming Sunday after Sunday to hear him preach racist, white supremicist messages for twenty years while publicly acknowledging Pastor Duke’s profound personal influence in his life -now that would be similar.

As Rolling Stone magazine put it, “This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr. Wright is not an incidental figure in Obama’s life, or his politics.” The moral equivocators who seek to point at that some Republican candidate spoke somewhere once or accepted someone’s endorsement once simply don’t understand the magnitude of Obama’s relationship with Wright. To draw from the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Jeremiah Wright is the dead albatross hanging from Barack Obama’s neck. It is the corpse left behind after a full two decades of harboring terrible ideas and demonstrating incredibly poor personal judgment.

Barack Obama does not merely need to repudiate a few remarks made by his pastor and mentor; he needs to villify everything the man stood for. There is no way that he should be able to have it both ways (the support of racist anti-white blacks as well as the support of Americans who condemn racism). Ultimately, Obama’s problem is he simply can’t explain why he sat in the pews all those years while such a despicable, anti-American and anti-democratic ideology was being spoon fed to him.

If Senator Barack Obama’s presidential aspirations aren’t done for now, they should be. If he wins the nomination, I have every confidence that he will be destroyed in the general election when the Wright issue comes back with a vengeance. Until this week, I believed Senator Hillary Clinton was a far more beatable candidate than Senator Barack Obama. I was wrong.

Barack Obama is far more wrong for sitting under the teaching of such a hateful man for so many years. In doing so, the most liberal Senator in the nation underscores just how extreme his views actually are, and just how dangerous a Barack Obama presidency would be for this country.