Welcome to the January, 2010 Blog. We trust you had a blessed time over the holidays with family and friends!
“The Lord your God will cut off before you the nations you are about to invade and dispossess. But when you have driven them out and settled in their land, and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.’ You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:29-31 NIV; emphasis mine).
Question: Why would God’s people want to have those who have been rejected by God to be their teachers on how to serve and worship the Lord?
Thought for the new year:
Whatever brought us to where we are today, the abandonment of it will jettison our children and grandchildren into the dark waters of confusion and apostasy. – jre
A prayer request
It is not only biblical but also right and ethical to pray for those who are in a position of authority over us. Three times in Hebrews 13 we are told to “remember…obey…salute” those who “rule over us.” That is why we pray for our government officials, and for whatever authorities we have submitted ourselves to in the work of God. Whether or not we agree with their politics or their religious convictions and positions, we know that their challenges are enormous.
Giving voice to disagreements does not mean that the person, the position or the authority of the position is being denigrated. As a rule, policy and personality are two different things. Certain situations may call for strong action, providing a dissenting position, especially in response to public pronouncements, printed articles and decisions that affect the entire body of constituents. Ben Franklin said, “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain—and most fools do.” Cranks should be ignored. And how simple it is to call anyone who lodges a complaint a crank. But the Bible requires accountability, and prescribes correction when it is due. Constructive criticism may not always be comfortable for those in authority, but in the current culture and climate, it is absolutely necessary. Sometimes constructive criticism may take the form of chiding, when such is appropriate and unavoidable to bring truth to the forefront.
Again, let us continue to earnestly pray for those in government and in the church who exercise authority.
Who said, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner”?
This is often quoted as if it were Scripture, at least on a par with Scripture. But is it? How do we reconcile Psalm 5:5 with John 3:16?
Probably most of us have made the title statement in the past without realizing that it originated with the prominent Hindu, Mahatma Ghandi. I happened to see the following brief treatise on this subject and thought it might be of interest:
Many Christians use the cliché, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” However, we must realize that this is an exhortation to us as imperfect human beings. The difference between us and God in regard to loving and hating is vast. Even as Christians, we remain imperfect in our humanity and cannot love perfectly, nor can we hate perfectly (in other words, without malice). But God can do both of these perfectly, because He is God. God can hate without any sinful intent. Therefore, He can hate the sin and the sinner in a perfectly holy way and still be willing to lovingly forgive at the moment of that sinner’s repentance and faith (Malachi 1:3; Revelation 2:6; 2 Peter 3:9). The Bible clearly teaches that God is love. First John 4:8-9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner, hate the sin.”
How exactly does that work? We hate sin by refusing to take part in it, and by condemning it when we see it. Sin is to be hated, not excused or taken lightly. We love sinners by being faithful in witnessing to them of the forgiveness that is available through Jesus Christ. A true act of love is treating someone with respect and kindness even though he/she knows you do not approve of his lifestyle and/or choices. It is not loving to allow a person to remain stuck in sin. It is not hateful to tell a person he/she is in sin. In fact, the exact opposites are true. We love the sinner by speaking the truth in love. We hate the sin by refusing to condone, ignore, or excuse it. (Source: Gotanswers.org)
(This is not submitted as though it is the ultimate response to the matter, but as one person’s opinion. If you do or do not agree with this response, please share your thoughts with us.)
WorldNetDaily report: Catholic churches in the Netherlands should use the name Allah for God to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians, says a Dutch bishop.
Tiny Muskens, the bishop of Breda, told the Dutch TV program “Network” Monday night he believes God doesn’t mind what he is called, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported.
The Almighty is above such “discussion and bickering,” he insisted.
“Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years,” Muskens said. “In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can’t we start doing that together?” (End of story)
I suppose this means that we should begin removing scriptures like Psalm 83:18 and Isaiah 57:15 from the Bible. What heresy! God’s name is not Allah, which was originally the designation for the moon god of the pre-Islamic Arabs. Allah was a heathen deity married to the sun goddess and the stars were their offspring. (See: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm) Muhammad insisted on monotheism and designated Allah as the one God.
But this “ecumenical jihad,” as Peter Kreeft called it in his book by the same name, is just part and parcel of the move toward “interspirituality” that is pervading Christianity today. By the way, do you ever wonder why a statement by a virtually unknown Dutch bishop should make world headlines? And why suggest that Christians defer to Islam rather than vice versa?
For more on this topic, read Idolatry in Their Hearts by Mike Oppenheimer and Sandy Simpson and Faith Undone by Roger Oakland.
Lots of effort seems to be placed on definitions these days. Bill Clinton started it with his attempt to avoid penalty for his immoral actions by questioning a definition of “is.” Seemingly, every familiar term is currently undergoing an overhaul. Now we are seeing an effort to distinguish between “emerging” and “emergent,” evidently in an attempt to justify a runaway, extreme contextualization of American Christianity.
Current descriptions—“emergent” is bad but “emerging” is cool—are rather disturbing. If that is right, it is plain to see that the so-called “emerging” churches and pastors are rapidly becoming “emergent.” When the emergers get to where they are going, emergent will be where they are. Helen Keller could have seen that. You can see it and never leave your chair—a glance at church web sites around the country will confirm it.
What is emerging is a fifth column in the Apostolic movement that claims to merely be experimenting with new methodologies. But we cannot ignore the fact that many of them are also drifting into doctrinal heresy with the methodological changes serving as the doorway.
So let’s not kid ourselves. A rose is a rose is a rose. Call it an orchid but it will still smell the same.
Lot, the Emerger
Lot emerges from the rocky hillsides of Bethel after viewing the well-watered plains of the Jordan Valley. He has left his Uncle Abraham’s camp with his family and flocks. Nomadic shepherds on a “journey” always take their flocks with them, whether the sheep really want to go or not. We will check on him along his way. Where is he going? Right now, we don’t know—and perhaps he does not even know. He is just heading south, and now he is passing Jericho. While near there, he picks up a few palmellos and sycamine figs to take with him on the trip. Now he lingers in the cool shade of the flat-topped mountain of Masada. Where is he going to eventually wind up?
“We will go a little farther,” he tells his wife.
Now we see the family and their herds refreshing themselves in the cool waters of En Gedi, on the west side of the Dead Sea. They are probably thinking such a lovely place proves they made the right choice. But soon he is restless and they are folding their tents. Why would Lot leave this wonderful setting? But southward he travels, not totally sure of what is ahead. Etchings in stone point the way to Sodom. Perhaps a northbound drifter warns him to turn around. “You don’t want to take your family down there!” he tells Lot.
But Lot would not go there with his flock, would he? He is just on a “spiritual journey,” going where his instincts take him. So he ignores the experienced traveler’s warning. He is emerging from the hardscrabble, conservative lands up north. He is thinking of how much easier the travel is down here, compared to Abraham’s choice of the rocky trails and the upward climb in those mountains.
Make no mistake—Lot has no intention of landing permanently in Sodom. No way. If he arrives there at all, it will be only a temporary stay, just to do some experimental witnessing to the pagans and re-supply with provisions. He still believes in Abraham’s God, the only God. He hasn’t forsaken the basic tenet of his uncle’s faith. He would never do that, although Abraham’s teaching and practice seem to be growing dimmer by the day.
And then…there it is. Sodom. An impressive city. Lot thinks to himself: “But why is it built in this low country? There must be a good reason. They must know something I don’t. I’d like to learn what their secret is—one can learn from anyone without adopting their beliefs or practices. They must be doing something right to attract such a large population to this barren place. Wow…big crowds in the market!”
Everything is cool. Different, but that’s OK. Different doesn’t mean wrong, Lot reasons. That guy over there is looking at him a little funny, but he figures it is just because he is a stranger. He is self-assured and confident in his masculinity. No problem. He can handle it.
“We won’t stay long enough for association with the Sodomites to change our minds about anything. It’s all part of our spiritual journey,” he reassures his family.
Then some prominent citizens ask the prosperous-looking Lot to sit in the gate and judge. He doesn’t see anything wrong with that. They are actually honoring him. They recognize his unique skills and talents. He’ll be OK. Serving in this capacity, he can probably be a positive influence on these unbelievers here in Sodom. Abraham and the elders don’t have one thing to worry about. No, sir. He feels he is the same man he was when he was with his uncle. He is just “contextualizing” his faith. He is enjoying more liberty, more freedom, and becoming more open-minded—and that’s a good thing, isn’t it? He marvels at how rapidly he has earned a place with these people. What potential there is here in Sodom!
Abraham probably would be anxious about his involvement, but he is from another generation—his father’s generation. And what do they know? This is a new day when we have to engage the culture in new ways. Abraham and the other elders don’t understand the way things are done in today’s culture. Too bad about Uncle Abe. Here we are sipping drinks decorated with little umbrellas while he is up north somewhere scrambling up the rough side of the mountain.
Yep, this is way cool.
Hmmmmm. Say, what is that red glow in the eastern sky?
What? Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley and Ed Young, Jr. are “neither emerging or emergent”?
Right, and Obama is not a socialist, either.
If it quacks like a duck, waddles like a duck….
But the duck claims to be a giraffe. And the giraffe says he is a hippo. Are they believable? Should we change the pictures beside the dictionary definitions?
These guys are not emergers? Somebody may have their “labels” a little mixed up here. But we shouldn’t pay attention to labels, anyway, right? Hand me that brown bottle over there. Ignore the label. Labels aren’t always indicative of what’s really inside. We all know that, don’t we? Drink up. No problem.
Just because the foul-mouthed Mark Driscoll says that he and some of his ilk label themselves as “emerging” but not completely “emergent,” should we accept his definitions? Whose label should be trusted? Like our current political leadership—do we listen to what they say or watch what they do?
The editorial in the recent Forward ministers’ magazine compassionately patted the fur of the emerging Pentecostal kittens who are gradually (no, quickly) discarding virtually every semblance of their Apostolic heritage. You could hear them purring all the way to St. Louis. When the emerging kittens become emergent tigers—and some have already matured—they may not be so easy to pet.
There is very little difference, if any, between “emerging” and “emergent.” Perhaps one is far along on the “spiritual journey” to apostasy—or maybe there—and the other is packing for the trip. One common element that all share is their bent toward mysticism and the New Spirituality. For verification:
It was said that Rick Warren is neither emerging nor emergent. But he identifies himself with them, and he has mentored some who are. All one has to do is read Warren’s quotes or watch who he puts in his pulpit, who he endorses, and whose books he heartily recommends. Again, if it quacks like a duck….
At the 2005 United Nations Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, Rick Warren made the following comments to 100 delegates who represented various religions:
I’m not talking about a religion…. You may be Catholic or Protestant or Buddhist or Baptist or Muslim or Mormon or Jewish or you may have no religion at all. I’m not interested in your religious background. Because God did not create the universe for us to have religion.
While he did go on afterwards and say he believed that Jesus was Deity, the implication was that your religion doesn’t matter to God, and being Buddhist, Mormon, or whatever will not interfere with having Jesus in your life. The emerger’s hero Donald Miller, author of the popular Blue Like Jazz, puts it this way:
For me, the beginning of sharing my faith with people began by throwing out Christianity and embracing Christian spirituality, a nonpolitical mysterious system that can be experienced but not explained. (p. 115)
At the bottom line, there’s not a quarter’s worth of difference between the emergers and the emergents—the “emerging” guys are said to be still trying to hang on to some basic doctrines. But as you see in Warren’s statement above, one thing they both have in common is their penchant for the New Spirituality—contemplative prayer and interspirituality. Each of them will betray themselves if you watch what they do and listen to what they say without reading their printed labels. Deception is the name of the game, folks.
Let’s get back to Rick Warren. Pete Scazzero is a contemplative mystic promoted heavily by Warren. He has produced a course called Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, which follows the contemplative spirituality pattern embraced by the Catholic mystics and the Emergent movement. EHS integrates emotional health and contemplative spirituality to pastors, leaders and local churches. Warren has Scazzero, along with Perry Noble and Mark Driscoll speak and teach at Saddleback. His course is also a staple at Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek church. http://www.willowcreek.com/wca_prod.asp?invtid=PR34385 http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?cat=52
Warren’s first book, The Purpose Driven Church, praised a number of parachurch ministries that “God raised up” to remedy a “neglected purpose” in Christianity. One of them is the spiritual formation movement, which promotes contemplative prayer through the “spiritual disciplines” of ancient monks. Warren names mystics Richard Foster and Dallas Willard as leaders of the movement. He says they have “a valid message for the church” and have “given the body of Christ a wake-up call.” On his pastors.com web site, Warren praises Richard Foster, Brennan Manning, Henri Nouwen, and Thomas Merton, all heroes of the“emergents.” These and other contemplative spirituality advocates are endorsed and favorably quoted. Read their books and you see what the source of their “spirituality” really is—the “desert fathers” (hermit priests) and medieval Catholic monks like St. Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits. Both the ancients and the modern emergents are referred to as mystics.
Some of the books Warren promotes is The Soul at Rest: A Journey into Contemplative Prayer by Tricia Rhodes, Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas, Serious Times by James Emery White. Warren wrote the Foreword in Dan Kimball’s book The Emerging Church, which reveals the ties the emerging church has with the New Spirituality. Warren embraces the New Spirituality “breath prayers.” Check it out:
For extensive documentation regarding Rick Warren’s role in the formation of the emerging church movement, his extensive and ongoing promotion of both it and contemplative/emerging spirituality, please see A Time of Departing, chapter 8: “America’s Pastor” (free online here: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/warrenpromotingcp.htm)
You can also read about Warren’s role in the birth of the emerging church in Roger Oakland’s new book Faith Undone. In it, Oakland answers the following questions:
1. How did the emerging church gain momentum and who were the key players that helped accomplish it?
2. What exactly are “non-baptized believers”?
3. What are some of the mystical practices that earmark the emerging church?
4. What contribution do the early “church fathers” make to the modern day emerging church movement?
5. What are the global plans of the Catholic church, and how does the evangelical church (and the emerging church) fit in?
6. In what ways is Rick Warren an integral part of the emerging church and how is he helping to promote its agenda?
Both A Time of Departing and Faith Undone are available from advanceministries.org.
So if you look at all the references on Warren’s web sites to emergent hardliners such as Pagitt, Bell, Sweet, McLaren and other heroes such as Richard Foster, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, etc., etc., there is no way he can be declared as “neither emerging nor emergent.” For the third time, if it quacks like a duck……..
Here is another site to check out more of Rick Warren’s quotes:
Here is a related article. Please read. If we don’t inform ourselves of what is going on, we won’t know how to evaluate articles in any publication, including our own.
Even more articles on Rick Warren:
As you could see, much of the material in this section was adapted from:
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com. I recommend our readers peruse that web site for information on these men and this topic.
What about Andy Stanley and Ed Young, Jr.?
Andy Stanley (son of Charles Stanley), who it was said is not “emerging,” shared a platform at Youth Specialties 2009 (a group promoting emergers and emergents and the New Spirituality) National Youth Workers Convention with contemplative/emerging figures Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz), David Crowder, Duffy Robbins, Tony Campolo, Jim Burns, and a number of others in that camp. In fact, Youth Specialties is one of the main avenues through which the contemplative/New Spirituality is entering the church today.
In July 2006, The Church Report (both an online and hard copy magazine) posted a “50 Most Influential Churches” list. The list was compiled from a 2006 survey of over 2000 non-Catholic leaders. The number one spot fell to Willow Creek (Bill Hybels) with Saddleback (Rick Warren) following at number two. This means that the two most influential churches (according to this survey) are promoters of contemplative spirituality.
Many others of the 50 named also fall within this category. Some of those include: #3 North Point Community Church (Pastor Andy Stanley), and #4 Fellowship Church (Pastor Ed Young, Jr.)
Stanley and Young regularly share the conference platforms with hardline Emergent speakers. This is not merely assigning “guilt by association,” but “their speech betrays them.” Space would not allow full treatment of each of these men to show were their true allegiance lies. They want to try to remain above the fray to enhance their credibility, yet their words and actions let us know who they really are—pied pipers leading a lot of young pastors into heresy and apostasy. The list of their followers and spiritual groupies who are no longer Apostolic in practice or doctrine has grown substantially. Follow such men (read their books, copy their leadership and worship styles, and it is likely that one will become an “emerger.”
Read here about The Emerging Church: A road to interspirituality through mysticism.
Contemplative Spirituality: A belief system that uses ancient mystical practices to induce altered states of consciousness (the silence) and is rooted in mysticism and the occult but often wrapped in Christian terminology. The premise of contemplative spirituality is pantheistic (God is all) and panentheistic (God is in all). Common terms used for this movement are “spiritual formation,” “the silence,” “the stillness,” “ancient-wisdom,” “spiritual disciplines,” and many others.
Spiritual Formation: A movement that has provided a platform and a channel through which contemplative prayer is entering the church. Find spiritual formation being used, and in nearly every case you will find contemplative spirituality. In fact, contemplative spirituality is the heartbeat of the spiritual formation movement. (Source: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/contemplativespirituality.htm)
Where is all of this leading?
The goal of all this New Spirituality and emerging/emergent movement is expressed fairly well by these New Spirituality (alias New Age) proponents:
“The concept of a divine, or ‘Christ’-mind, is the idea that, at our core, we are not just identical, but actually the same being…. A new politics is emerging for the twenty-first century…. It is a mystical revolution that will usher in a mystical age.” – New Ager Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love, p. 30-31. See http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/newsletterjanfeb06.htm
“Tell them to recognize the God within themselves, and to follow that light through the darkness of the tribulations to the dawn of the Universal Age, when only the God-conscious continue to exist, and everyone is like Christ.” – Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 102.
“In the twinkling of an eye, we are all changed by this experience. It is a mass metanoia, a shared spiritual experience for the human race, a peaceful second coming of the divine in us as us.” – Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 324.
Please…why give comfort and a false sense of security to those on the road to Sodom? As we know, it turns out not to be such a “cool” place.
Take a laugh break
Info on the Manhatten Declaration:
You have to read this!
How freedom is slip-sliding away from Americans. This story almost makes one believe in reincarnation.
The following is by Kitty Werthmann, an Austrian who witnessed what took place her nation when Hitler was allowed to install socialism:
What I am about to tell you is something you’ve probably never heard or read in history books. I am an eyewitness to history. I cannot tell you that Hitler took Austria by tanks and guns; it would distort history. We elected him by a landslide—98% of the vote. I’ve never read that in any American publications. Everyone thinks that Hitler just rolled in with his tanks and took Austria by force.
In 1938, Austria was in deep Depression. Nearly one-third of our workforce was unemployed. We had 25% inflation and 25% bank loan interest rates.
Farmers and business people were declaring bankruptcy daily. Young people were going from house to house begging for food. Not that they didn’t want to work; there simply weren’t any jobs. My mother was a Christian woman and believed in helping people in need. Every day we cooked a big kettle of soup and baked bread to feed those poor, hungry people—about 30 daily.
The Communist Party and the National Socialist Party were fighting each other. Blocks and blocks of cities like Vienna , Linz , and Graz were destroyed. The people became desperate and petitioned the government to let them decide what kind of government they wanted.
We looked to our neighbor on the north, Germany , where Hitler had been in power since 1933. We had been told that they didn’t have unemployment or crime, and they had a high standard of living. Nothing was ever said about persecution of any group, Jewish or otherwise. We were led to believe that everyone was happy. We wanted the same way of life in Austria. We were promised that a vote for Hitler would mean the end of unemployment and help for the family. Hitler also said that businesses would be assisted, and farmers would get their farms back. Ninety-eight percent of the population voted to annex Austria to Germany and have Hitler for our ruler.
We were overjoyed, and for three days we danced in the streets and had candlelight parades. The new government opened up big field kitchens and everyone was fed.
After the election, German officials were appointed, and like a miracle, we suddenly had law and order. Three or four weeks later, everyone was employed. The government made sure that a lot of work was created through the Public Work Service.
Hitler decided we should have equal rights for women. Before this, it was a custom that married Austrian women did not work outside the home. An able-bodied husband would be looked down on if he couldn’t support his family. Many women in the teaching profession were elated that they could retain the jobs they previously had been required to give up for marriage.
Hitler Targets Education – Eliminates Religious Instruction for Children:
Our education was nationalized. I attended a very good public school. The population was predominantly Catholic, so we had religion in our schools. The day we elected Hitler (March 13, 1938), I walked into my schoolroom to find the crucifix replaced by Hitler’s picture hanging next to a Nazi flag. Our teacher, a very devout woman, stood up and told the class we wouldn’t pray or have religion anymore. Instead, we sang “Deutschland, Deutschland, Uber Alles,” and had physical education.
Sunday became National Youth Day with compulsory attendance. Parents were not pleased about the sudden change in curriculum. They were told that if they did not send us, they would receive a stiff letter of warning the first time. The second time they would be fined the equivalent of $300, and the third time they would be subject to jail. The first two hours consisted of political indoctrination. The rest of the day we had sports. As time went along, we loved it. Oh, we had so much fun and got our sports equipment free. We would go home and gleefully tell our parents about the wonderful time we had.
My mother was very unhappy. When the next term started, she took me out of public school and put me in a convent. I told her she couldn’t do that and she told me that someday when I grew up, I would be grateful. There was a very good curriculum, but hardly any fun—no sports, and no political indoctrination. I hated it at first but felt I could tolerate it. Every once in a while, on holidays, I went home. I would go back to my old friends and ask what was going on and what they were doing. Their loose lifestyle was very alarming to me. They lived without religion. By that time unwed mothers were glorified for having a baby for Hitler. It seemed strange to me that our society changed so suddenly. As time went along, I realized what a great deed my mother did so that I wasn’t exposed to that kind of humanistic philosophy.
Equal Rights Hits Home:
In 1939, the war started and a food bank was established. All food was rationed and could only be purchased using food stamps. At the same time, a full-employment law was passed which meant if you didn’t work, you didn’t get a ration card, and if you didn’t have a card, you starved to death. Women who stayed home to raise their families didn’t have any marketable skills and often had to take jobs more suited for men.
Soon after this, the draft was implemented. It was compulsory for young people, male and female, to give one year to the labor corps. During the day, the girls worked on the farms, and at night they returned to their barracks for military training just like the boys. They were trained to be anti-aircraft gunners and participated in the signal corps. After the labor corps, they were not discharged but were used in the front lines. When I go back to Austria to visit my family and friends, most of these women are emotional cripples because they just were not equipped to handle the horrors of combat. Three months before I turned 18, I was severely injured in an air raid attack. I nearly had a leg amputated, so I was spared having to go into the labor corps and into military service.
When the mothers had to go out into the work force, the government immediately established child care centers. You could take your children ages 4 weeks to school age and leave them there around-the-clock, 7 days a week, under the total care of the government. The state raised a whole generation of children. There were no motherly women to take care of the children, just people highly trained in child psychology. By this time, no one talked about equal rights. We knew we had been had.
Health Care and Small Business Suffer Under Government Controls:
Before Hitler, we had very good medical care. Many American doctors trained at the University of Vienna. After Hitler, health care was socialized, free for everyone. Doctors were salaried by the government. The problem was, since it was free, the people were going to the doctors for everything. When the good doctor arrived at his office at 8 a.m., 40 people were already waiting and, at the same time, the hospitals were full. If you needed elective surgery, you had to wait a year or two for your turn. There was no money for research as it was poured into socialized medicine. Research at the medical schools literally stopped, so the best doctors left Austria and emigrated to other countries.
As for healthcare, our tax rates went up to 80% of our income. Newlyweds immediately received a $1,000 loan from the government to establish a household. We had big programs for families. All day care and education were free. High schools were taken over by the government and college tuition was subsidized. Everyone was entitled to free handouts, such as food stamps, clothing, and housing.
We had another agency designed to monitor business. My brother-in-law owned a restaurant that had square tables. Government officials told him he had to replace them with round tables because people might bump themselves on the corners. Then they said he had to have additional bathroom facilities. It was just a small dairy business with a snack bar. He couldn’t meet all the demands. Soon, he went out of business. If the government owned the large businesses and not many small ones existed, it could be in control.
We had consumer protection. We were told how to shop and what to buy. Free enterprise was essentially abolished. We had a planning agency specially designed for farmers. The agents would go to the farms, count the live-stock, and then tell the farmers what to produce, and how to produce it.
“Mercy Killing” Redefined:
In 1944, I was a student teacher in a small village in the Alps. The villagers were surrounded by mountain passes which, in the winter, were closed off with snow, causing people to be isolated. So people intermarried and offspring were sometimes retarded. When I arrived, I was told there were 15 mentally retarded adults, but they were all useful and did good manual work. I knew one, named Vincent, very well. He was a janitor of the school. One day I looked out the window and saw Vincent and others getting into a van. I asked my superior where they were going. She said to an institution where the State Health Department would teach them a trade, and to read and write. The families were required to sign papers with a little clause that they could not visit for 6 months. They were told visits would interfere with the program and might cause homesickness.
As time passed, letters started to dribble back saying these people died a natural, merciful death. The villagers were not fooled. We suspected what was happening. Those people left in excellent physical health and all died within 6 months. We called this euthanasia.
The Final Steps – Gun Laws:
Next came gun registration. People were getting injured by guns. Hitler said that the real way to catch criminals (we still had a few) was by matching serial numbers on guns. Most citizens were law-abiding and dutifully marched to the police station to register their firearms. Not long after-wards, the police said that it was best for everyone to turn in their guns. The authorities already knew who had them, so it was futile not to comply voluntarily.
No more freedom of speech. Anyone who said something against the government was taken away. We knew many people who were arrested, not only Jews, but also priests and ministers who spoke up.
Totalitarianism didn’t come quickly, it took 5 years from 1938 until 1943, to realize full dictatorship in Austria. Had it happened overnight, my countrymen would have fought to the last breath. Instead, we had creeping gradualism. Now, our only weapons were broom handles. The whole idea sounds almost unbelievable that the state, little by little eroded our freedom.
After World War II, Russian troops occupied Austria. Women were raped, preteen to elderly. The press never wrote about this either. When the Soviets left in 1955, they took everything that they could, dismantling whole factories in the process. They sawed down whole orchards of fruit, and what they couldn’t destroy, they burned. We called it The Burned Earth. Most of the population barricaded themselves in their houses. Women hid in their cellars for 6 weeks as the troops mobilized. Those who couldn’t, paid the price. There is a monument in Vienna today, dedicated to those women who were massacred by the Russians. This is an eye-witness account.
“It’s true….those of us who sailed past the Statue of Liberty came to a country of unbelievable freedom and opportunity. America truly is the greatest country in the world. Don’t let freedom slip away! After America , there is no place to go.”
(Wow! Five years is all it took for Austria. How long will it take for America to become a totalitarian state? It won’t take that long if the Obamacrats continue to control our government and our economy.)
Most Americans are not aware of Islam’s systematic incursion into the United States. In 1990, a total of 100,000 Muslims made less than a ripple within America. But, because of the late Senator Teddy Kennedy’s corruption of immigration and [actions taken] by our U.S. Congress, today, Muslims number from eight to nine million. (Newswithviews.com)
Thanks a lot, Teddy. Both Obama and Osama will miss you.
Let me be clear: We love all people, including Muslims, enough to tell them the truth about salvation in Christ. We love them in the ways prescribed in the Bible, and invite them to be born again into the family of Jesus Christ. We pray for them and witness to them. We are no threat to them. We just ask for reciprocity.
To learn what President Obama’s real agenda is…
Another laugh break
What’s emerging from the Left Coast?
If you are interested, here is a website that tells of an effort to ban divorce in California.
Here’s what’s emerging:
Anything is fine when done to attract a crowd and connect with the culture, right?
When the Rev. Tom Eggebeen took over as interim pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church three years ago, he looked around and knew it needed a jump start. So Eggebeen came up with a hair-raising idea: He would turn God’s house into a doghouse by offering a 30-minute service complete with individual doggie beds, canine prayers and an offering of dog treats. He hopes it will reinvigorate the church’s connection with the community, provide solace to elderly members and, possibly, attract new worshippers who are as crazy about God as they are about their four-legged friends.
“The Bible says of God only two things in terms of an ‘is': That God is light and God is love. And wherever there’s love, there’s God in some fashion,” said Eggebeen, himself a dog lover. “And when we love a dog and a dog loves us, that’s a part of God and God is a part of that. So we honor that.”
The weekly dog service at Covenant Presbyterian is part of a growing trend among churches nationwide to address the spirituality of pets and the deeply felt bonds that owners form with their animals.
Doesn’t that make you want to stand up on your hind legs, lift your paws and bark?
The House Bill on health care was 1,990 pages long, contained 400,000 words, and came in at $2.24 million per word. If this were not enough, there are 111 newly created federal bureaucracies that would have to be formed to take care of the massive requirements of Pelosi’s bill. When the healthcare bills began to surface in the summer, we were amazed when 53 new healthcare agencies were proposed. Now the list has swelled in typical Beltway-thinking to 111 new federal healthcare agencies.
The same thing Lt. Col. Allen said about America is what we need to be saying about Pentecostal/Apostolic fellowships. If we don’t stand up when we see slippage, when we see compromise, when we see and hear those who are trying to undermine what our Pentecostal pioneers gave their lives for, we need to be sufficiently incensed to do something about it. Silence is not an option if we want to see this Apostolic movement continue to impact our nation and world.
A friend sent me the personal study plan he uses. His personal suggestions may help you or someone you know get into more serious Bible study in 2010.
1. Have a time and place for study. The time of day should be quiet. The place should have a sturdy chair (not too comfortable), and maybe a table. Let everyone in the home know you will be alone with God and the Bible during this special time.
2. Build a basic reference shelf. Start with a Study Bible, not just a reader’s bible. Thompson Chain is good. The Old Scofield is good, too. Get a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance for word study. Finally, spend a little money to own the Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge. It has the most complete cross-reference system in the world. Top bible teachers use it for lesson building, and their own personal study.
3. Learn to use a notebook and pen. Keep a notebook on each topic you study. Steno pads with coil binding are a good beginning. Loose sheets are not suitable.
4. Start with a word of prayer for God’s blessing on your studies. Tell Him you want to grow in knowledge and usefulness. He will bring you to mature Scriptural standing in Christ.
Books from advanceministries.org
A Hill To Die On by J. R. Ensey
A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen
Faith Undone by Roger Oakland
The Book We Call the Bible by J. R. Ensey
The new Cyclopedic Theological Dictionary by J. R. Ensey
Check your Bible study supply. Now is the time to order. IHML is still the leader in soul winning tools. Thousands have been won to God with this simple, easy-to-use one hour study.
The follow-up study for new Christians and those who need a refresher self-study. The best tool in the soul builder’s kit!
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The last laugh…
Apostolic Theological Forum in Euless, TX in the beautiful sanctuary of the First UPC. The theme is “Apostolics and the Culture.” Papers relative to this topic will be presented by some of the outstanding thinkers of our movement. Registration will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening and will only be $29, which includes a syllabus containing a hard copy of all the papers to be delivered at the Forum, plus a free book. Book lodging at brand new motels nearby for only $69. Comfort Suites (1-817-836-4040) or LaQuinta Inn and Suites (1-817-836-4000). When making reservations mention ATF and the First United Pentecostal Church. For local information or directions, call Leah at the church (1-817-267-0254). Come and bring a friend to be challenged and encouraged.
Apostolic Ministerial Conference in Nashville, TN at the Opryland Hotel is for ministers and their immediate families. This year there will be a special Minister’s Wives session. Don’t miss this historic meeting.
“In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 7 NIV).