December 29, 2005

On the Brink Of Cultural Anarchy

Okay , okay I know that “in the last days” Paul writes to Timothy, “difficult times will come. For men will be… irreconcilable, malicious gossips,…haters of good, treacherous…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God…and avoid such men as these.” 2 Tim. 3:1-5

But we CAN’T! Many hold the rank of our leaders and lawmakers so we can’t pretend they don’t exist. I have to tell you, it is my opinion that we are in the midst of a societal melt-down that is unprecedented in our nation’s history.

Civil debate is impossible for reason has been lost to what I can only make sense of as a wholesale delusion upon those described. (For examples read some of the comments posted to some of my entries)

We have gone from being a nation that was pretty much functioning on the same moral foundations; to a nation that was at least able and faithful to identify falsehood punishing those who practiced deceit, to a nation that is so adrift in nonsense, and non-reason that the public domain is one gigantic shout-fest of malicious, inconsistent and unreasonable exchange--not of ideas--but of yelling, screaming, and drooling in the name of nothing.

For example, every president in modern history has utilized certain, legal presidential prerogatives yet when the same is applied by the current president all hell breaks loose. And I use that phrase as a theological truth, not as a cliché.

But it matters not what sector of life we are talking about, this melt-down is occurring everywhere simultaneously.

Yesterday, for example, I heard someone from the Cambridge Forum saying with straight face, that the reason we can’t teach Intelligent Design in high school is that we have a social responsibility not to confuse students with respect to the truths of science.

Obviously that same social responsibility does not apply to the science of medicine when teaching about sexually transmitted diseases and the epidemiology of homosexual practices.

We are bordering on cultural anarchy for when “Truth” and “truth” are jettisoned, as they have been, among the leaders characterized by “liberal” ideology, rules no longer govern behavior; only power. And that is what our future holds.

Better Not Use Jesus' Name in the Military

In my last commentary I wrote about the melt-down of our culture in every arena. Here again, is yet another example of how bizarre things have become.

United States Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt is facing discharge for committing the heinous act of praying “in Jesus’ name.”
For a little background, all military chaplains must be sponsored by a recognized denomination. And while a “chaplain” is different than a minister in that are expected to minister across denominational lines, they do not forsake the tenets of their sponsoring faith.

In other words, while a “Jewish” chaplain, for example, would be expected to be able to minister within the varying branches of Judaism, he would never be expected to perform some kind of “Christian” sacrament. That is why you have “Christian” chaplains.

And as a Christian chaplain sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, he would be expected to down play some of his own uniquely Southern Baptist distinctives, such that he could minister across denominational lines, but he would never be required to perform a non-Christian ritual of faith.
But now enter the 1998 regulation that forbids Christian chaplains from praying in Jesus’ Name. That is so preposterous I can hardly make myself repeat but it is true. Klingenschmitt’s commanding officer stated that he was an immature Chaplain because he prays “In Jesus’ Name.”

Consider the irony here. Our military personnel enter into combat for the purposes of protecting our freedoms and defending our liberties among which are the freedom of religion yet military chaplains do not have that freedom.
Can you imagine telling a Muslim Chaplain that he is not allowed to pray in Allah’s name? What is going on here? I’m telling you, it’s a melt-down and it is a spiritual battle. How else do you even begin to explain such utter lunacy?
Supposedly, President Bush only need sign an Executive order to put an end to this nonsense. Let’s hope for our Christian servicemen, and women, the President acts quickly. This is yet another outrage!

Real Civil Rights Pilfered While Fretting Over Nothing

Remember the melt down? This morning we continue illustrating the point. Certainly you are aware of the fertilizer being hurled around these days concerning the grave situation of the erosion of our civil rights. And certainly you are aware that all the concern is due to the fact that the Patriot Act, signed into law with the help of both liberals and conservatives is now viewed as public enemy #1, at least in the minds of the same liberals who voted it in the first time around.

Part and parcel of the concern has exploded over the non-issue of the so-called unconscionable spying on the orders of the President of the United States. This is portrayed as such a scandal that cries for impeachment are already filling the airwaves.

But this is a REAL concern, you say? Pull your head out of your duffle bag and listen to what even some honest critics of the President are saying. That Mr. Clinton used the same prerogative to obtain information from foreign sources when national security was at issue as did many other presidents. Many juris scholars all have said that Mr. Bush has not violated any laws by sidestepping the FISA Court.

But that matters not when a lust for power under girded by animus for his President rules the hearts and minds of men. And once again, irony, upon irony, none of these same people that I am aware of are up in arms about the real loss of civil rights occurring through the heinous law of eminent domain.

In Connecticut, long time residents are being kicked out of their homes because the city of New London who wants the property to erect higher tax generating properties. Talk about violating civil rights…

What has happened to sanity? That which is legal is condemned and that which is illegal is extolled; sound like the warnings of the prophet Isaiah doesn’t it? What’s his commentary on the whole idea? WOE unto those who call good evil and evil good! Woe indeed!

December 22, 2005

NY City Transit --Just Another Strike About Greed

As I write, we’re in day # 3 of the NY City Transit strike—that would be the illegal transit strike. They said it wasn’t really about money but about working conditions. Someone mentioned the restrooms were rather nasty and women transit workers in particular were fed up with having to utilize these pigsties for their daily needs. What the story then added was the important little addendum that it was the transit workers who were responsible for the condition of the restrooms.

But it never was about dirty stalls; once again, good old fashioned greed and our culture’s wonderfully inbred sense of entitlement and remuneration based not on what a job is worth based on qualifications, skill, education and experience but on some notion that a worker, any worker regardless of what the job is, deserves to make a livable wage. I disagree strongly. What a worker deserves is the freedom to not accept the wage for the job seeking another job, and another wage in another line of work.

This strike is about good old money grubbing greed. Before you feel too sorry for the striking workers, what if I told you the guy who has the horrendously pressured and highly skilled job of handing out tokens time tables currently makes $51,000 a year? The conductor on the subway, the man with the high stress job of stepping off the stair and seeing if everyone is in before pulling away is making $54,000 and a bus driver is currently making, are you ready--$63,000 a year. (I used to drive 70 children around for $7 an hour…) And they want a 24% increase over the next three years! None of this includes the exorbitant raise they demand in their retirement package as well as some other bennies. Oh, for perspective, the average NY City wage is $45,000.

Ah, well, Paul told Timothy, the “love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.” Why do you think domestic companies of all sorts are dieing on the vine? You can’t pay an assembly line worker $65,000 a year and not expect it to impact the price you charge the consumer. Mind you, I’m not advocating the sweat-shop mentality of some of the foreign producers we deal with but let’s get real. Sitting at a bench and putting screws into a piece of metal is hardly worth the price being paid—due to unions, not due to the importance of the job. Are you listening GM? I didn’t think so…

Addendum--The strike enbded when union leaders were about to be charged with contempt of court! Hurray--finally, a law enforced with some teeth! Will wonders never cease?

December 16, 2005

Family a Pain? Try Something Else.

Well here we are standing on the threshold of yet another Christmas celebration. Tomorrow night, some will go to their regular place of worship to sing familiar songs from childhood; some will attend church for the second time this year; the first was Easter…some will travel to grandparent’s homes to be with extended family and some will spend the night with the in-laws so that Christmas dinner can be spent with the other set of parents—guilt-free--splitting the special time 50-50.

Sometimes, family can be one huge distraction from the reason for the season. What should be a celebration of the coming of the One who brought Peace on Earth Goodwill Toward Men, are the perennial battles of kith and kin trying to remember who is not speaking to whom, who hosted last year, who will host next year, and assorted other petty arguments about anything and nothing. Christmas becomes one endurance run and all because someone, somewhere, somehow established that merely on the basis of “We’re family and families get together on the holidays” and even though it is always bickering and fighting, the blood tie trumps everything else.

I have news for you today, “Where is it written that some kind of blood tie gives anyone the right to annually run their sibling, their son or daughter, mother or father into the ground? Blood is thicker than water is something dysfunctional families like to recite to insure they have someone to trash at the next family outing.

For most of our adult lives, my wife and I have lived too far away from any family for the routine problems and expectations to be routine. And we actually have very healthy, very normal families. Our spatial separation was not to escape but was the outcome of following the Lord to wherever He leads. I’m sure my wife missed being near to family more than me but the distance enabled us to be our own family with our own traditions. That was a good thing.

But some of you listening this morning are dreading the next two days. Is uncle so and so going to be there? Is Dad going to be sober? Is my brother going to pick a fight with my husband--again? Oh happy day. Listen you don’t have to put up with that! Jesus doesn’t require anyone to be a punching bag for someone even if they are family. So if this is at all familiar, make other plans this year. Come to the Prince of Peace with integrity, peace and joy.

December 13, 2005

Justice Prevails in Williams' Execution

Just about one week ago today Stanley Tookie Williams was executed for the brutal slaying of four people including a child and that is not including the many more he was responsible for instigating as the leader of the Crips gang.

The statement made by Barbara Becnel, a former Los Angeles Times reporter, that "The state of California just killed an innocent man." shows you the mindset of liberals who are honestly demented.

There has never been serious allegation that he was not guilty of the crimes; rather the arguments to spare him were along the lines of “This was a man who did some good things.”

That is intriguing for I remember a woman by the name of Carla Faye Tucker who truly was redeemed in every sense of the word, and yet I don’t recall any Hollywood know-it-alls running to her defense. Could it be that her redemption was “only” that she met Christ and acknowledged her crimes and the appropriateness of her sentence? I find it ironic that these Hollywood idiots—that is from the New Testament Greek “idiotase,” cry out for the right of a woman to murder her baby then cry out to defend the life of a convicted murderer. There is a warped consistency there but I digress…

Williams committed capital crimes and a capital sentence was carried out. It really is that simple.

What is scary is that Monday morning I heard two men talking about the situation as we watched MSNBC’s coverage in a waiting room at Sears. They both felt Williams should be spared since he had done “some good things,” and if they execute him, then there will be no incentive to others on death row to likewise do good things.

Their logic was dizzying and my tongue was bleeding from biting it listening to these two geniuses.

People just don’t want to understand that people on death row aren’t there to be rehabilitated; they are there to pay the ultimate price for taking the life of an image bearer of God. That is not man’s doing, that is God’s merciful judgment on a sinful people to protect society from the worst of criminals. It is also a statement by God as to the unique worth of one created by God.

So justice was served and one thing is certain, Williams will not ever kill anyone else. Sounds like a deterrent to me.

December 07, 2005

Christmas Hostilities Increase

In case you haven’t noticed, the banter over Christmas greetings seems to have risen a few notches this season. On Fox News’ News Watch the normally mild mannered host, Eric Burns, was about to stroke out as he was engaged in a four way battle of words with two liberals, one Libertarian, and one Christian. I commented to my wife that never in the two years we’ve been watching that show has there been any thing to rival that level of passion all the way around.

So what is up? Well, I believe it’s more than the just the annual routine of ACLU atheists trying to exterminate all vestiges of the Christian faith from our nation’s fiber.

Why would that be so important? Well, biblically, if we are indeed going down a path of ever deepening secularism, there are very real spiritual forces behind the warring factions. Jesus is not merely one of many ways to heaven; he is not just one of many persons of interest in the realm of religion, and he is not just one of many respectable people of character and kindness marking the history of humanity.

Jesus Christ is the only Way, the only Truth, the only Life and no one comes to the Father but by Him! The kingdom of darkness can tolerate a limitless number of admirable people who are worthy of respect; the Kingdom of darkness can accommodate a limitless number of paths to enlightenment, Nirvana, or heaven as you wish. Satan knows that they are all empty and powerless and pose no threat to his rule and domain on this planet.

But the kingdom of darkness cannot and will not tolerate the One and Only cure for mankind’s sin and consequent eternal separation for the God in Satan’s abode of hell.

And so Satan himself must assert himself while he can into this battle for the light to remain! The war over Christmas is the battle for a nation’s soul; one that is being lost with increasing regularity and being lost to a very small minority.

Isaiah put it well millennia ago--“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.” Isaiah 9:2

December 04, 2005

Abraham Foxman Needs Lessons in "Friendship"

A recent Wall Street Journal article David Brog is critical of an address Abraham Foxman gave before the Anti-Defamation League which is the primary watchdog of anti-Jewish sentiment.

Foxman apparently sounded the alarm before the Jewish community that the greatest threat to American Jews was not Islamic hatred of the Jews, the PLO, the suicide bombers blowing up buses and schools in Israel nor the stated goal of every good Moslem to exterminate every Jew from off the earth. The wicked enemy Foxman described was the Christian Right Leadership that is out to Christianize all of America.

Mr. Brog is dumbfounded by Foxman’s statement likening it King David’s lamentation over the death of his son Absalom who was killed in a coup attempt to kill David. Instead of David rejoicing at the victory won by his faithful friends, David becomes angry at those who were true to him while lamenting the rebel.

Finally Joab rebukes the King and tells him to dry his eyes and stop loving those who hate you and hating those who love you.

Brog’s point? That is precisely what Foxman and his ilk ought to do for they have no more loyal a friend than bible believing Christians who share so many of their cultural, family and religious values.

I don’t know how many Jewish people would actually believe Foxman’s alarm of warning but the fact that even one of such reputation would bite the hand that feeds him is telling. Is it me or does it seem that all hell is beginning to break lose? From tornadoes in November, and killer hurricanes, to floods, and fires, something is going crazy.

So Christian, are you ready for what’s in store? Is that reflected in your lifestyle now or do you suppose that a sudden, wild change will come upon you if the Lord should return tomorrow? Well, do you?