WELCOME to the July edition of our blog.
These are times that try men’s souls, said Thomas Paine. It is time for plain talk, diligent pursuit of truth, and full commitment to biblical ideals. I welcome your comments, for which a space is provided below the blog.
Start with the Word:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works” (Titus 2:11-14 NKJV).
NEWS THAT CONCERNS YOU
The Obama administration is taking another swipe at churches through the FCC. If you have not replaced any wireless mikes in your church operating on frequencies between 698 and 806 MHz, you stand to face up to a $112,000 fine or imprisonment. FCC is ostensibly “making more room for emergency services” on those frequencies.
[Really? Or do they just want to show the churches of America who is boss?]
More government interference in religion
Military chaplains can no longer pray “faith specific” prayers. The House of Representatives rejected an amendment to a military procurement bill that would have permitted chaplains to “have the prerogative to close the prayer according to the dictates of the chaplain’s own conscience.” In other words, chaplains cannot end their prayers with “in Jesus’ name.” Secularists say that such an ending is insulting to non-believers.
Homosexuality now acceptable to 52% of American public
Someone once said, “Repeat something often enough and people will come to accept it.” We have heard daily for the past twenty years how we should accept homosexuality activity as “normal.” Schools, colleges, celebrities and public officials have sung their praise. Lewd Gay Pride marches now fill the streets of major cities. Political correctness has run amok. The percentage of Americans who find homosexual practice “morally wrong” is now down to 43%.
Source for all three reports: Religion News Service; by Fernando Alfonso III and Ankita Rao
Remove prayer and the Bible from the schools and public life and what do you have left?
Latitudinarianism: A new wave in Pentecostalism?
Introduced by British clerics in the sixteenth century, the “attitude of latitude” regarding Christian doctrine was transported into Colonial America by liberal thinkers who sought to find common ground between Christians of differing traditions, especially between Catholics and Protestants. They wanted to downplay the importance of doctrine and dogma, which they felt to be divisive. Supporters of the concept were often referred to as “Indifferents” or “Syncretists.”
With stealthy, covert meetings going on today around the country of persons obviously of that mindset, our own movement may be targeted for a revival of latitudinarianism. Cultural pressure, the desire for big churches and the hunger for acceptance may be driving the effort. The constraint for unity and appearance seems to override the need for faithfulness to biblical mandates.
These current counterparts of the seventeenth century Latitudinarians might rightly be called ecumenists or pluralists who insist that a perception of unity is far more important than truth or dogma. The more modern nomenclature may have shifted from the longer handle to just plain “liberals” today. They are waiting for a more safe moment, biding their time, when their true colors will be unfurled for all to see.
In seeking a broad base of cooperation and acceptance, it will not be difficult to have the effort degenerate into a casual tolerance of fatal error. Our doctrine and a separated lifestyle are not optional choices; they are absolutely essential. To let them go would be fatal to the Apostolic movement. Translation: there is no place among us for latitudinarianism. The gospel preached in the New Testament, being the same that we embrace today, is not “a” gospel, it is “the” gospel.
Any drift from the biblical tenets of the faith portends serious division in the ranks of every Apostolic fellowship. This is why we urge leaders to be very discriminating in licensing new ministers. Paul counseled, “Lay hands suddenly on no man” (I Timothy 5:22). That would also entail dealing forthrightly with those currently in fellowship who have confessed—whether by word or deed—to no longer believing the essentiality of the Apostolic message as expressed in Acts 2:38 and Titus 2:11,12. God’s people have always been hindered when they were diluted by a “mixed multitude.”
A minister has the right to preach any doctrine and embrace any practice he desires, but NOT while he is a part of a fellowship that is committed to specific articles of faith that differ from his own.
In rejecting the modern version of latitudinarianism, one minister put it like this: “I had rather be divided by truth than united by error.” Well said.
Feeling “stripped” of everything you valued?
Stripped of new, fashionable clothing…that I might be clothed in His righteousness, because Jesus has made me righteous in the sight of God.
Stripped of familiar possessions…that I might know that only God and Heaven are forever.
Stripped of many of my treasured neighbors and friends…that I might doubly treasure the few remaining ones, and the many special new friends God has sent my way.
Stripped of social acceptance…that I might know what it is to accept myself, to be truly accepted by God and to know that God sees me as I can be, but loves me as I am.
Stripped of strength…that I might be upheld with God’s powerful strength living within me.
Stripped of pride…that I might have pride in Him who died for me.
Stripped many times of the understanding and compassion of others that I might know the breadth, length, depth and width of Gods love and compassion for His children.
Stripped of social activities…that I might be even closer and have more rewarding times with my spouse and children, and my God.
Stripped of self satisfaction of helping others…that I might learn to be thankful for the God-given help of others.
Stripped of conveniences…that I might learn to be content in whatever state I am, in want or plenty.
Stripped of carefree, easy times…that I might know through the dark night that joy comes in the morning.
By Dixie Peterson
Save your money
A man complains to a psychiatrist of fears at night that something is under his bed. The shrink says, “I can cure you of this but it will take about a year with three sessions a week at $100 per visit.”
So time went on and the man didn’t return to the psychiatrist. One day they met in a store and the doctor asked him why he never came back.
“Oh, I got cured of that. My bartender cured me. I got to figuring that it would take a lot of time and money to be involved with you so I bought a truck with the money and all is fine now.”
The startled psychiatrist asked, “But how did you get cured?” The man answered, “My bartender said to cut the legs off my bed. So now I know there is no one under there!”
A crude illustration, admittedly. We can forget the bartender part, but the point is that the best solutions are usually the simplest solutions. God has the answers men need, and they are free. Just check the red letter sections of the Bible.
How big was Jericho when Joshua and Israelites marched around it?
The details given in the Scriptures indicate that Jericho was small enough to allow at least a contingent to march around it seven times in a single day. We here in America think big. Go to the Holy Land on an archaeological dig and you will see how small and compact everything was. I have stood three times on the mound of Jericho and tried to visually reconstruct the Jordan crossing and capture of Jericho by Joshua.
What was the size of Jericho back then? Here are some figures:
The overall city was a little less than ten acres! Within the upper wall was an area of approximately six acres, while the total area of the upper city and fortification system was 50% larger, or about nine acres. Based on the archaeologist’s rule of thumb of 200 persons per acre, the population of the upper city would have been about 1,200. However, from excavations carried out by a German team, we know that people were also living on the embankment between the upper and lower city walls. In addition, those Canaanites living in surrounding villages would have fled to Jericho for safety. Thus, we can assume that there were several thousand people inside the walls when the Israelites came against the city. (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_size_of_the_biblical_city_of_Jericho)
I thought it was interesting how this well-known, studious pastor and author of the early twentieth century encouraged young ministers to mark their Bibles. Here were his suggestions:
1. Use markers, which make a transparent line, to draw over the lines of a verse of scripture. Use scarlet for the “promises,” green for “condemnation,” brown for “death and resurrection,” etc. Draw a red ellipse around the word BLOOD all through the Bible and fill it with red.
2. Underscore, or draw a circle, ellipse, or rectangle around emphatic words, using liquid India ink as it is black and will not show through the paper. Mark marginal notes and draw lines from them to the passage. Connect verses or words by lines, for neatness use a ruler. If skilled in the use of a pen, draw in the margin opposite Ex. 12:7 a doorway and make red ink marks on sides and lintel; opposite Num. 21:8 draw a red serpent on a black pole; opposite Dan. 3:19 draw a fiery furnace. Draw a circle for Eternity, an anchor for Hope, a little b in large C (little believer in big Christ) for Assurance; a sun for Sonship, etc. These symbols, and others that will suggest themselves, will strike the eye and enable you to quickly find the passage.
3. Print in large black block letters over the different books their title. Over Exodus, “Book of Redemption”; over Leviticus, “Book of SACRIFICE”; over Romans, “JUSTIFICATION.” Mark chapters in the same way, Jeremiah 3, “Backslider’s” chapter; John 6, “Bread” chapter; 1 John 3, “Love” chapter. (End)
As I read his suggestions, I thought that the least benefit of the practice would be to quickly locate passages. It was a self-teaching exercise that would embed one’s memory with truths of the Word.
“The whole of society will have become a single office and a single factory with equality of work and equality of pay.” – Nicolai Lenin, an architect of socialism in Russia
“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.” – Leon Trotsky (1937)
“The finest opportunity ever given to the world was thrown away because the passion for equality made vain the hope for freedom.” – Lord Acton
“I know not which lives more unnatural lives, Obeying husbands, or commanding wives.” – Benjamin Franklin
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher
The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not. – Thomas Jefferson
The following quote is said to be translated into English from an article appearing in Czechoslovakia as published in the Prager Zeitung, April 28, 2010:
“The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.
“The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince.
“The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – http://forums.hannity.com/showthread.php?t=1951311
“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”
The amendment may be one way of striking back at Congress for some of their recent foolhardy decisions, but is a constitutional convention a good idea? If it was called to deal with only one amendment, that might be a good thing. However, once such a convening occurs, what other considerations might be brought up by the liberals in Congress? They might introduce some amendments of their own that conservatives would not favor. With a Congress and the White House controlled by dedicated liberals and socialists, it sounds rather risky.
When you have 3 minutes to spare, check out this humorous, pointed lecture that the late Jack Webb of Dragnet fame might have given to Barack Obama:
How to turn America into a socialist state: Overwhelm the system
By W. A. Root
(Disclaimer: I know nothing about this man or his politics, am neither a fan nor a supporter, but what he outlines here seems to be exactly what is happening in America.)
Barack Obama is no fool. He is not incompetent. To the contrary, he is brilliant. He knows exactly what he’s doing. He is purposely overwhelming the U.S. economy to create systemic failure, economic crisis and social chaos—thereby destroying capitalism and our country from within.
Barack Obama is my college classmate (Columbia University, class of ’83). As Glenn Beck correctly predicted from day one, Obama is following the plan of Cloward & Piven, two professors at Columbia University. They outlined a plan to socialize America by overwhelming the system with government spending and entitlement demands. Add up the clues below. Taken individually they’re alarming. Taken as a whole, it is a brilliant, Machiavellian game plan to turn the United States into a socialist/Marxist state with a permanent majority that desperately needs government for survival…and can be counted on to always vote for bigger government. Why not? They have no responsibility to pay for it.
— Universal health care. The health care bill had very little to do with health care. It had everything to do with unionizing millions of hospital and health care workers, as well as adding 15,000 to 20,000 new IRS agents (who will join government employee unions). Obama doesn’t care that giving free health care to 30 million Americans will add trillions to the national debt. What he does care about is that it cements the dependence of those 30 million voters to Democrats and big government. Who but a socialist revolutionary would pass this reckless spending bill in the middle of a depression?
— Cap and trade. Like health care legislation having nothing to do with health care, cap and trade has nothing to do with global warming. It has everything to do with redistribution of income, government control of the economy and a criminal payoff to Obama’s biggest contributors. Those powerful and wealthy unions and contributors (like GE, which owns NBC, MSNBC and CNBC) can then be counted on to support everything Obama wants. They will kick back hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions to Obama and the Democratic Party to keep them in power. The bonus is that all the new taxes on Americans with bigger cars, bigger homes and businesses helps Obama “spread the wealth around.”
— Make Puerto Rico a state. Why? Who’s asking for a 51st state? Who’s asking for millions of new welfare recipients and government entitlement addicts in the middle of a depression? Certainly not American taxpayers. But this has been Obama’s plan all along. His goal is to add two new Democrat senators, five Democrat congressman and a million loyal Democratic voters who are dependent on big government.
— Legalize 12 million illegal immigrants. Just giving these 12 million potential new citizens free health care alone could overwhelm the system and bankrupt America. But it adds 12 million reliable new Democrat voters who can be counted on to support big government, adds another few trillion dollars in welfare, aid to dependent children, food stamps, free medical, education, tax credits for the poor, and eventually Social Security.
— Stimulus and bailouts. Where did all that money go? It went to Democrat contributors, organizations (ACORN), and unions—including billions of dollars to save or create jobs of government employees across the country. It went to save GM and Chrysler so that their employees could keep paying union dues. It went to AIG so that Goldman Sachs could be bailed out (after giving Obama almost $1 million in contributions). A staggering $125 billion went to teachers (thereby protecting their union dues). All those public employees will vote loyally Democrat to protect their bloated salaries and pensions that are bankrupting America. The country goes broke, future generations face a bleak future, but Obama, the Democrat Party, government, and the unions grow more powerful. The ends justify the means.
— Raise taxes on small business owners, high-income earners, and job creators. Put the entire burden on only the top 20 percent of taxpayers, redistribute the income, punish success, and reward those who did nothing to deserve it (except vote for Obama). Reagan wanted to dramatically cut taxes in order to starve the government. Obama wants to dramatically raise taxes to starve his political opposition.
With the acts outlined above, Obama and his regime have created a vast and rapidly expanding constituency of voters dependent on big government, a vast privileged class of public employees who work for big government, and a government dedicated to destroying capitalism and installing themselves as socialist rulers by overwhelming the system.
Add it up and you’ve got the perfect Marxist scheme—all devised by my Columbia University college classmate Barack Obama using the Cloward and Piven Plan. [End]
Saul Alinsky’s ghost must be dancing around the maypole right now with those of Lenin, Marx and Stalin.
Last month some ads by Google may have appeared at the bottom of our blog. We did not order nor authorize these ads. We immediately contacted WordPress.com and asked that they be removed. Hopefully, our readers understood and knew that we would not want such ads attached to our blog. We are looking into other options so that unwanted ads will not appear. Your patience and understanding are appreciated. – JRE
Do antidepressants actually work?
“For the second time in six years, a metanalysis led by psychologist Irving Kirsh asserts that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos (see Nov/Dec 2002 Networker). Like his earlier analysis, Kirsh analyzes both published clinical trials and the raw data that pharmaceutical companies are required to submit to the Food and Drug Administration. This time, Kirsh asks whether the same antidepressants he studied earlier—Prozac, Effexor, Serzone and Paxil—work better than placebo [e.g., sugar pill] on severe depression. The answer, he says, is still no.”
By F. A. Hayek
University of Chicago Press; 1944, 2007
Available from amazon.com; 14.00
Originally published in 1944, this book shook the political and economic establishments of several countries. Because of its relevance—particularly in America in 2010 as we drift toward socialism—the book has continued to both inspire and infuriate politicians, scholars and general readers alike for over half a century. The book is not for the disinterested. It is not a thriller or a romance novel. It was written for those who see a way of life they had come to appreciate being swept away in a tsunami of socialistic pipe dreams. He reveals the steps that will topple capitalism and install socialism in America, following Russia, China, Cuba, and other Marxist countries into collectivism.
Hayek points out that empowering government with increasing economic control leads not to a utopia but to the horrors similar to those of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. Would any reader of this review prefer any of the communist countries of the world to life in America? Of course not, but then, why are we standing by and watching socialism inundate us with the cancer of collectivism? Just imagine a big castle, surrounded by fields and small tenant dwellings where the serfs live. They work and bring the produce into the “big house,” where it is doled out as the king and his lords dictate. That may well be the pattern that is being installed by our present administration as one industry after another is nationalized.
The book’s purpose is to show by general and historical reasoning, with particular reference to the course of events in Germany, two things: first, that any such policy as socialism will invariably lead to totalitarianism and dictatorship; and second, that such a social order will inevitably fall under the control of the worst individuals.
The anti-capitalist movement that installed Adoph Hitler as Chancellor of the Third Reich is rising in America. Capitalism and the free market system are pegged as the cause of the current recession and for most of our nation’s problems. The book, although written during the FDR administration in the 1940s, prophetically draws a picture of the U.S. in 2010. The author sounds a warning to every institution of higher learning, to religion (particularly Christianity), to family life as we know it, and to every business whether large or small. He did not see himself as a savior of the free world but as a sentinel of liberty.
As ministers and active laypersons, we would do well to heed his warnings.
Order great books from advanceministries.org. Check them out at the website today. Order online or by phone (936-856-3419).
If you can only read one book this summer, may we suggest:
Just reprinted! The Book We Call the Bible by J. R. Ensey got a new cover and updates. You will appreciate the massive amount of information about your Bible in this book. You will be more convinced than ever that your trust in the Word of God is justified! AM price only 16.95.
To order these books, just click on the book!
Anchored to the truth
Jack London, a writer about life in the North Country, describes in his books with vivid detail the whiteout blizzards of that part of the world. He explains how those who had to go outside during one of those storms would tether themselves with a “lifeline” to their dwelling. They did this because only a few feet from their door they could see nothing and could lose their sense of direction. Many have died—frozen to death—lost within a few feet of their shelter because they could not find their way back.
Likewise, we Apostolics must anchor ourselves to the truth, including the Truth Himself. We need to tether ourselves to the Word, since all else will be gone before His Word passes away. We need to tie ourselves to the Apostolic faith and Apostolic elders with cords of commitment and accountability. God has given us a saving truth. If we stay attached to it, regardless of what the weather of the world becomes—even whiteout blizzards—we can feel safe.
We know that men and women are different, but to stress that fact without building a bridge between the genders creates the illusion of impossibility. One author writes that men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I prefer the bumper sticker that reads: “Women are from earth; men are from earth. Deal with it!”
Thanks for visiting. See you next month!