July 03, 2017

Share the Secret of America's Original Greatness on Independence Day

I've been thinking about this holiday and was impressed by some of the spiritual history surrounding the radically innovative concepts introduced in the U.S. Declaration of Independence, that helped codify the desires for a new kind of government.

In the U.S., it seems that we've come more to celebrate fireworks and parade floats on "the 4th,"rather than the civil freedoms and the significance of what helped to cause the country to become great to begin with.

Before there was a rebirth of a nation, there was a rebirth of souls across America. Historically, this great country was preceded by a great awakening, a spiritual awakening. This is the secret of America's original greatness.

"Nathan Hatch argues that the evangelical movement of the 1740s played a key role in the development of democratic thought, as well as the belief of the free press and the belief that information should be shared and completely unbiased and uncontrolled. These concepts ushered in the period of the American Revolution."

John Adams suggested that the spiritual aspects of Independence Day should not be forgotten, along with a deep sense of gratitude to God, in addition to the celebration:

"It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other..." - John Adams' letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776

June 21, 2017

Discerning God's Master Plan in an Age of Deception

What is God's Master Plan and the Main Purpose for Existence?

This question is especially important today because institutional churches are increasingly shifting towards more progressive and humanistic ideas of doctrine that run far afield of what the Bible clearly teaches, all based upon a flagrant disregard for the authority of God's word and the whole counsel of God in the body of scripture. The following summary Bible verses briefly outline the core essence and focus of God's ultimate plan and purpose:

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4:11 KJV)

"For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen." (Romans 11:36 NLT).

According to the preceding verses, the central and highest meaning and purpose of all existence is to fulfill God's perfect will and to give God maximum glory. Only God is worthy of all praise and glory because God is perfectly good and eternally good. God's eternal and unchanging good nature is the objective basis and solid foundation of ethics and morality. Existence ultimately has a theistic-centered meaning and purpose, not mainly a humanistic-centered meaning and purpose. One of the reasons that Christian teachers get sidetracked with humanistic teachings is because they take a one good thing, such as pleasure or prosperity, and elevate it to a priority or goal of existence inordinately above its rightful position of importance, and in doing so deny the fullness of God's will and the fullness of God's glory. Also, verses such as Revelation 4:11 in the King James Version are often misinterpreted to propose that God is a hedonist. But the phrase "for thy pleasure they are and were created" does not refer to feelings, rather, it refers to God's will. All things were created for God's purposes. C. W. Booth uses Psalm 135 in his article "Is God a Hedonist?" to underscore the correct interpretation.
The purpose of creation in the deepest sense is simply to glorify God, for God's sake. 
Next, consider that God's greatest purpose is exemplified in God's greatest command. Of the Ten Commandments, the first and foremost one exonerates humanity not to worship or prioritize anything else but God as the central focus: "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:1-3).
Jesus clarified the greatest commandment as follows: “Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”(Matthew 22:37-40). The main purpose of creation is to glorify God with maximum glory, which is the essence of the first and greatest command, to love and worship the person of God above all else.

God's greatest purpose for creation is exemplified in God's greatest command given to humanity.

If we idolize any aspect of God's creation, or any benefit of knowing God, then we are not only missing God's central purpose, we are also disobeying the greatest command of God. If you notice, both the greatest and second greatest commands, according to Jesus, are both others-focused. This is not by accident, but is simply a reflection of God's dynamic glory, the focal point of all that exists. God's good nature and glory were highlighted at the cross, the focal point of all human history.

The work of the cross displays the essence of God's nature and glory, in showing grace and mercy to others, so as to reestablish relationship with God.

June 15, 2017

Video: The Best Debater in the World

Watch the attached video and see if atheist Luke Muehlhauser is correct, who suggested that William Lane Craig is perhaps the best debater in the world. The Global Debate Blog article titled, "Christian Debater Beats all Atheist Opponents" explains as follows:

"William Lane Craig is a prolific Christian philosopher, apologist, author, and public debater. He is the best debater – on any topic – that I’ve ever heard. As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with atheists. When debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments. I’m not the only one who thinks Craig has won nearly all his debates. For some atheists, it is rather maddening."


Muehlhauser goes on:

"This is especially embarrassing for atheists because Craig’s arguments and debates are easily available, and he uses the same arguments all the time. So it should be easy for atheists to prepare for a debate with Craig."

A good example of William Lane Craig's debate skill and the effectiveness of his basic arguments in favor of God's existence is shown in the following live debate video of Craig debating Christopher Hitchens. The April 4, 2009 Debate between Craig vs. Hitchens was filmed live at Biola University and is available at YouTube. Christopher Hitchens has been considered one of the greatest atheist debaters of our time. He passed away on December 15, 2011, mainly due to cancer developed from his smoking habit.

June 08, 2017

Three Reasons Why Khan's and Britain's New Approach to Terrorism is Both Illogical and Illegal

Incredible. Just after another major terrorist attack in Britain, instead of identifying radical Islam as the most obvious and preeminent threat to their citizenry, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has outlined that he will focus on a task force that is intent upon imprisoning anyone that questions radical Islamic terrorist actions online for "hate crimes" causing "depression" and other reactions from "victims" of criticism. Breitbart outlines: The measures will be “delivered in partnership with social media providers” who along with “specialist officers” will be “filtering and identification of online hate crimes” and “identifying the location of the crime and allocating to the appropriate force…” It's official now in Britain: The terrorists are the victims, and the victims that complain are the terrorists.
Great Britain's "Online Hate Crime Hub" outlines how "specialist officers" will be broadly supported, and it reminds one of the Nazi SS Officers or Soviet KGB thought crime police that could arrest and imprison any citizen at any time for any criticism that they interpret as hateful. And in addition to being ripe for abuse, there are at least three other reasons why this approach is both illogical and illegal:
Three Reasons Why Khan's and Britain's New Approach to Terrorism is Both Illogical and Illegal
1. The reason why terrorists perform terrorism is because they believe that their actions will produce results in their interest. So in capitulating to terrorist wishes for more Islamic control over society in London after a major terrorist attack, Sadiq Khan is actually encouraging more terrorism. 

June 07, 2017

Why New FBI Director Christopher Wray is Perfect for Draining the Swamp

Trump has nominated Christopher Wray as the new FBI director, a former Department of Justice official. Many still don't understand why former FBI Director Comey should have recommended a Grand Jury trial of Hillary Clinton, as related to her gross negligence with classified email. And how Comey failed in his assessment of Clinton's crimes. But this is a new chapter, and hopefully we will see more actual justice overall in the Justice Department than we did with eight years under Barack Obama's rule.

I was happy to learn that Christopher Wray presided over the Enron investigation and the sentencing of Kenneth Lay, the Enron business executive who was convicted of fraud, and who cost 20,000 Enron employees their jobs. The FBI says the Enron probe was the "largest and most complex white-collar investigation" in the agency's history. And this seems to be exactly what we need today, someone interested and specialized in white-collar crimes. This is what THE SWAMP consists of, white collar criminals. Here is an apt quote from the Enron case:

June 03, 2017

Whoopi Goldberg and Other Hollywood Examples of Political and Ethical Illiteracy

Because of their popularity, Hollywood actors are increasingly treated as though they are the high priests of reason and insight when it comes to social and political issues. But when they open up, it's truly shocking what some of these people actually believe and the level of ignorance being proffered to large audiences.

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg has a wide influence on The View and other talk shows, and she openly supports communism. In a 2012 discussion panel on Bill Mayer's show she said this:
“I don't really view communism as a bad thing.” 

You can view the entire discussion on YouTube, where Whoopi implies that the USA represents evil on the same level of evil offered by the most brutal communist regimes in history, if not more so. In answer to this ignorance, I suggest reading about the millions upon millions of people killed in atheistic-communistic regimes for crimes such as believing in God.

Michael Moore

Michael Moore has made millions with his docu-drama films. His personal quotes show that he believes that the earnings of wealthy individuals do not really belong to them, but belong to the state. Ironically, like many self-styled socialist-communist leftists, there is no evidence that he is voluntarily giving money away in proportion to the money that he has taken in profits:

"They're sitting on the money, they're using it for their own -- they're putting it someplace else with no interest in helping you with your life, with that money. We've allowed them to take that. That's not theirs, that's a national resource, that's ours. We all have this -- we all benefit from this or we all suffer as a result of not having it," Michael Moore told Laura Flanders of GRITtv.

Michael Moore is presently promoting his (for profit) Broadway show "The Terms of My Surrender" ...on facebook, "to bring down a sitting president." He implies that voting methods are outdated and that he wants to use other methods to try to overthrow the president: “...the old ways no longer work,” says Moore, “But a million men (and women) in the streets - that works." Moore's vision is in keeping with Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, a book that Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on and then tried to keep secret from her politics.

Moore likes to identify himself with communism.  He recently directed a Prophets of Rage Music Video titled, "Unf— the World" - with flashy communist-style symbols of red stars and raised clenched fists. Moore said in a statement that he is, “thrilled to once again be working with my old friends and comrades in the struggle for a just world.” Communism usually does not bring greater justice, however, as the record shows. The political illiteracy does not end there.

May 12, 2017

US World Summit on Persecuted Christians

Did you know that approximately 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of their faith?

The 2017 World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, May 10-13, offers something to think about, pray about and share news about. These saints that suffer and die daily are precious in God's eyes, and are treated as the off-scouring of the world. Christians from 136 countries attended this summit, and affirmed that it is not merely a feel-good meeting, nor a meeting to merely bring awareness, but an attempt also to bring legal relief and defense against the crime of genocide as targeted specifically against Christians in countries such as Iraq.

Did you know that approximately 100,000 Christians are violently killed annually because of their faith, according to a Vatican testimony to the UN? That is enough to fill Ohio Stadium or Wembly Stadium. And according to the World Evangelical Alliance, over 200 million Christians are denied fundamental human rights because of their faith. Of the 100-200 million Christians under assault, the majority are persecuted in Muslim-dominated nations. Christians are the most allegedly persecuted with 80% of all acts of religious discrimination being directed at Christians who only make up 33% of the world's population.

If it seems strange to you that all of the attention is focused on Muslim migrants while the group suffering the most are Christians being killed in Muslim countries, then you might want to learn more about the type of  identity politics displayed by the United Nations and the European Union.

The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians was actually sponsored by the US Government and has a government web page. Vice President Pence underscored that President Trump did not mince words with politically correct speech: "He calls them by name, radical Islamic terrorists," The Christian Times explains, "Practitioners of terror harbor a special hatred for followers of Christ, and none more so than the barbarians known as ISIS," Pence continued. Unlike attitudes of former President Obama and the United Nations, genocide is identified and used as a valid label by Pence: "Isis... is guilty of nothing short of genocide against people of the Christian faith and it is time the world called it by name."

May 09, 2017

Islam, the EU, and the Death of European Democracy - What you Need to Know

“We swallow greedily any lie that flatters us, but we sip only little by little at a truth we find bitter." - Denis Diderot

This classic quote by French philosopher Diderot was exemplified in the recent landslide victory in France by Emmanuel Macron May 7, 2017. His election win seemed to have been based upon the false claim, and widely promoted propaganda, that he was the candidate best representing "democracy" for France. In reality, Macron's platform consisting of an unconditional open-door policy to Islamic takeover and full unconditional surrender to the EU most likely represents a death blow to democracy in France. The actual populace position, as was the case with Brexit, was presented by Le Pen. It is quite difficult, however, to win an election against a tide of government censorship of real news and a proliferation of false news propaganda.

This article will probably challenge much of what you have seen on mainstream news, if you watch that regularly. But try to keep an open mind and follow up any disbelief with your own research. The recent French election highlights a number of important key issues that pertain to all of us. The phrase "Islamo-Leftism" was coined in France, and gives a sense of the irrational nature of what has been occurring politically, not just in France, but around the globe. 
1. Islamic Takeover Does not Allow for a Practical Democracy.
2. The EU is a Functioning Dictatorship, by Decree.
3. Islamo-Leftism is Exploited Towards a UN New World Order

April 09, 2017

Palm Sunday Prophecies Fulfilled by Messiah, and Robert Anderson's Discovery

Palm Sunday outlines how the Messiah arrived as king humbly, riding on a donkey into Jerusalem, and fulfilling prophecies written hundreds of years before his birth:

"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."

"Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself" (Daniel 9:24-26).
If you aren't familiar with Scotland Yard's Sir Robert Anderson's description of the Daniel prophecy, linked here, it is very interesting! Through meticulous research, he determined that the precise historical day that Messiah entered Jerusalem was the the same day predicted in Daniel 9:24-26.

Anderson's book on this subject, The Coming Prince, is linked here.

Amazingly, Many People Still Don't Understand Why Hillary Clinton Should Have Been Prosecuted

"When a sentence against a crime isn’t carried out quickly, people are encouraged to commit crimes." Ecclesiastes 8:11 (GW)

After coming out of her respite in the woods, instead of being grateful for not being prosecuted, Hillary Clinton is going on the attack. And it is amazing how many people still do not understand the law related to the email scandal and why she should have been prosecuted, and that a standard grand jury should have decided the outcome, not an FBI director.

On April 8, 2017, Wilkileaks dropped a bombshell showing that Seth Rich was the one that leaked information about the DNC corruption that led to Clinton's presidential primary victory, and he was murdered inexplicably while on his way to the FBI to report some information. But first, the following are some points raised by someone on facebook that underscore just how ignorant many people are of the facts of email-gate. And here is the applicable law.

Following is the U.S. national security related law that Hillary Clinton clearly violated: 

"(18 U.S.C Section 793-F)

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—"

The key phrase is "gross negligence." If intent is considered important, as Comey claimed as an excuse for letting her off the hook, then the word "negligence" is meaningless. How many ways does it need to be said that negligence does not require any aspect of intent or motive whatsoever? Why is Hillary's intent an issue, when it does not matter according to this law? "Comey’s evoking the “intent” defense actually shows a calculated, premeditated effort to protect Clinton."

March 29, 2017

Five “R's” of the Cycle of Christian Discipleship

If you think about how the first disciples lived with Christ and received first-hand gems of truth from his teachings, you can't help but sense that there was excitement and inspiration in this. But today, if you mention the word "discipleship," you'll probably get an odd look. A Barna Poll shows that biblical illiteracy is rising in the US and there is little interest in spiritual truth and evangelism. And so questions arise: Is Christian discipleship still valid? And why isn't there more of it?

Today, the word "disciple" is bound to get more Google hits for a heavy metal rock band or a clothing company than as a spiritual subject. But the etymology and root basis of "disciple" is based on the New Testament biblical disciples of Jesus Christ: “Biblical borrowing from Latin discipulus "pupil, student, follower," said to be from discere "to learn"...”

Discipleship is marked as one of the most important subjects of Christ's teachings. But what exactly it consists of and how it fits into today's life style is widely interpreted. I'd like to offer five Bible verses that highlight the nature of Christian discipleship and how it applies today. And I'd also like to address the question as to why it's an unpopular subject, even for true believers of the Christian Church at large. The fact is, discipleship was taught as a central message by Christ, who suggested that it is essentially a cyclical process that was meant to be repeated:

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NIV)

The same Creator that gave us the four seasons began the spiritual cycle of discipleship reproduction. In one way or another, all Christians today are a result of Christ teaching the first disciples and the disciples continuing to teach others in a cycle of teaching that continues from one generation to the next, all based upon the Old Testament teachings, additional quoted teachings of Christ, and writings of the apostles. Christ taught that the word of God is spiritual "seed" that is sown and bears fruit. This original "heirloom seed" of the word of God remains powerful and fruitful through each generation. God calls people to sow this pure seed, to help see it mature in discipleship, and then to help others resow it again. I've listed some points as Five "R's" of Christian Discipleship that can help to identify aspects of this process, not to be confused with the Five R's of Ecology, the Five Rs of Running Recovery, or Five-R Muscle Coaches...

The same Creator that gave us the four seasons, began the spiritual cycle of discipleship reproduction.
Five “R's” of the Cycle of Christian Discipleship...

RESPOND to Christ's calling, through Christ's fellowship, and for Christ's purpose: "He appointed twelve (designating them apostles), that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach." (Mark 3:14 NIV). The plan of redemption through spiritual regeneration is a part of God's master plan that every Christian should be aware of.

RENEW your strength and mind and in the Spirit and wisdom of God, as based on spending time with Christ and learning of him: “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 NIV). "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2 NIV).

REJECT false teaching and the idolatry of worldly things for the higher cause of God's pleasure and God's glory: "Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it."  (Luke 9:23-24 NIV). A part of discipleship is teaching accurately, "to obey everything" that Christ taught (Matthew 28:20). And this includes testing all things related to doctrine (1 Thessalonians 5:21). A mature and solid teacher does not fear or discourage questions and tests of doctrine, but welcomes this, as Paul did with the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

March 23, 2017

Study Shows Religious Retreats Change Chemicals in Your Brain

Well, here is something to think about, and something positive for a change. Scientists in the US found remarkable results when they studied the effects of attending a week-long retreat involving silent contemplation and prayer, as based on Christian meditation themes.

I had always liked the spiritual retreats that our family and church fellowship went to annually when we lived in Ukraine, and this study underscores that such retreats are not just spiritually helpful in learning and getting together with other Christians, but something powerful physically also happens to us that has a very positive effect on our sense of peace, our ability to receive new information, and a feeling of strong optimism and motivation. This is the first such study on religious retreats. The study is titled as follows:

"Effect of a one-week spiritual retreat on dopamine and serotonin transporter binding: a preliminary study"
The science behind the study relates mainly to the organic chemical dopamine, which has a number of functions. Dopamine is more than just the "reward chemical" - it plays at least three important roles as a neurotransmitter. The religious retreat study outline describes some of the positive effects of spiritual retreats:

"Dopamine participates in the mediation of cognition, emotion, and movement ...all of which are affected by spiritual retreats. Specifically, dopamine is involved in reward pathways by inducing positive emotions, motivation, and also improved cognitive abilities..."

March 22, 2017

Why Muslims do not Assimilate Into Other Cultures

Do you really know Islam? Do you know the true intended meaning of the word "Islam" in the Qur'an? And do you know what ancient Bible prophecy predicted the rise of violent Arab nations?

A lot of people, and even entire countries, are in a state of complete denial about the totalitarian nature of Islam and the violence associated with it. The fact is, Muslim migrants and immigrants generally do not assimilate very well, and most often end up demanding that the surrounding culture assimilate to them. This has been plainly shown in attitudes in Europe over the past decade. If you offer evidence of this fact, defenders of Islam will falsely claim that you "hate" Muslims. This is a fraudulent PC shaming technique used today to try to force ideologies of any form onto people that do not want them. First, I will show that Islam is totalitarian in practice; second, that Islam is totalitarian by definition and by default; and third, that the historic prophetic roots of Islam described in scripture outline a violent culture.

I. Islam is Totalitarian In Practice

Countries that have a majority Muslim population are documented as totalitarian in practice, with examples listed in this article. And this is not accidental. Both the religious and government leaders of these countries emphasize that their totalitarianism is based on adherence to the religion of Islam and the strict Sharia Law that is embraced by Islam. It is an incontrovertible fact that Islamic countries rank poorly, overall under 50%, when it comes to human rights abuses. And secular organizations, such as Human Rights Watch, document Muslim countries as the worst offenders: "International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) such as Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) consistently find human rights violations in Islamic countries."

March 16, 2017

Shocker: Paul Preached the Power of the Gospel as the Main Message

You might be shocked to find that the teacher's main message in the largest church in the USA is not even close to the main message of Christianity. Joel Osteen, pastor of the largest US Christian church, basically teaches and implies that our main goal in life is to feel positive. And after reading about John Piper's Christian Hedonism, you might be shocked to learn that the Apostle Paul emphasized gospel power, not personal pleasure, and the great privilege of sharing the gospel for God's glory out of gratitude for what Paul had already obtained in Christ. And if you were to watch a YouTube video of Paul Begley, you might be convinced that understanding biblical prophecy and being an End Times watchman are the most important aspects of life for a Christian, as opposed to embracing and sharing the simple gospel. And if you are following teachers dedicated mainly to helping the poor and bringing justice through a progressive social gospel, you might be shocked to learn that this is also not the main intended focus and purpose of life.

All of these teachers are offering good things: being positive, finding pleasure in God, understanding prophecy, as well as helping the poor and enabling justice. But none of these outline the main intended points of focus in life, according to the Apostle Paul. And while it is important to study the whole of scripture and to know the whole counsel of God, it is also important to be a doer of the word and not just a hearer of the word (James 1:22). Of course no one is perfect, but spiritual teachers should at least try to guide people with accurate messages and goals.
This subject of the powerful gospel was addressed in a good sermon that I heard on Sunday, and it came to mind when I read about an ex-Luciferian, Jacob McKelvy, who was recently drawn to Christ and became a believer after a church intentionally prayed for him. The pastor of their church made a clear statement that it was better to pray for this lost soul than to picket against him. And in August 2016, the fruits of their prayers were understood when McKelvy felt compelled to walk into Spring First Church, where he asked to meet with Pastor Robert Hogan. And this is a summary by the Luciferian's ultimate choice of Christ:

 “(W)e were once covered in darkness and bound to each other in Luciferian covenant,” Jacob McKelvy said. “We were mired in the shadows of the adversarial influence and knew no love outside of each other. Today I rebuke, denounce and break the satanic covenant by the blood of Jesus.”

March 03, 2017

Learning Christ's Communication and Trust in Relationships

I recently asked this question on my facebook wall:

“What is your opinion of this hypothetical situation?

One person is reluctant to trust 100% unless there is a willingness for open communication. Another person is reluctant to offer open communication unless there is perceived 100% trust.”

This paradoxical conundrum seems to represent two types of polar views that people lean towards. On the one hand, some people tend to see human nature as a problematic condition in which trust is never quite 100%, and on the other hand some people tend to see people as generally good and worthy of 100% trust, offhand.

Before asking the above question, my opinion was that communication is much more critical than trust, because communication is necessary in order to build trust. But trust is not necessary to initiate communication. And I also held the opinion that this paradox represents a false dichotomy, because ultimately I believe that the highest form of relationship is not based on either interactive communication or on human trust. And so far these opinions have been confirmed. But what is extremely challenging to me is the level of communication and trust that Christ extended to all. 

February 17, 2017

Encouraging: Why Jesus Spoke in Parables

Today, I was feeling discouraged, and God revealed something to me that was extremely encouraging. I've always looked at the parables of Jesus as mainly instructive, but today I realize that they are also meant to be equally encouraging, based simply on the fact that we can understand God and God's ways in our inner being, and amidst all the problems and difficulties of this fallen world. Jesus' parables help to distinguish us as spiritual souls in a material world:

"Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.  Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."   (Matthew 13: 10-13) 

When His disciples asked why he spoke in parables, Jesus highlighted insights into, "the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven," and the ultimate gift and mystery is to know eternal relationship with God in the the kingdom of God, both now and in eternity. Parables help to remind us that we are actually experiencing the kingdom of God right now, despite our circumstances.

Jesus's answer about parables essentially shows us that he is speaking in a secret code that only people who know God can identify with. The subject of parables helps to separate the wheat from the chaff. It's as if His parables are a thin veil between the ordinary physical world and the extraordinary spiritual world, and only those with the inner indwelling Holy Spirit can pass in and out between these two worlds of understanding. This does not mean that there are no exceptions, when true Christians will fail to understand parables or spiritual principles, but this is the general situation. And so we can be extremely encouraged by Jesus' parables in this light.

"Don't be discouraged when people misunderstand you, be encouraged that you understand God." (Click here to Tweet.)

 The Parable of the Tares contrasts how people with spiritual insight will live among those without it. And this parable encourages us, that we should not be surprised or discouraged when we try to present spiritual principles or values and others don't understand them or outright reject them. And people will sometimes reject us personally, simply because we embrace and request what we consider to be just, fair and helpful principles for relationships and for society. But when others reject us personally, God comforts us deeply. This is a part of the kingdom of God.

February 10, 2017

New Sex Survey Reveals Shallow Love Without Truth

This relationship survey is a snapshot of our present lost U.S. culture. It's both a reality check and a good segue. The question of love without truth knocks at the door of society and involves more than just romantic and physical relationships, but also relationships in general.

The 2017 annual Singles in America poll from the Match website, apparently the
nation's largest and "most comprehensive" annual survey of single people living in the US, offers that 70% of U.S. singles approve of consensual polyamorous relationships, that is, sexual and emotional relationships with more than one partner at a time, while a cracked cell phone screen is considered a major social faux pas. It contrasts the approval of a sexual threesome with the fact that Millennials are the least likely to cheat on a partner.

This sex and love poll highlights a trend of relativistic hedonism that is not grounded in any logical framework, but there is hope when we consider the power of love and truth working together as a healthy alternative. And as we sift through some contrasting thoughts from key examples in this area, there is some metaphysical gold worth holding onto. 

A Google search explodes with phrases about love without truth:
Love without truth is sentimentality, love without truth is blind, love without truth is hypocrisy, love without truth is enabling, love without truth is too soft, love without truth is heresy, love without truth is..." And Ammon Hennacy has offered some good insights into love and truth, showing that love and truth should be viewed as interconnected with wisdom and courage:

“Love without courage and wisdom is sentimentality, as with the ordinary church member. Courage without love and wisdom is foolhardiness, as with the ordinary soldier. Wisdom without love and courage is cowardice, as with the ordinary intellectual. But the one who has love, courage and wisdom moves the world.”
Ammon Hennacy showed that authentic love requires not just truth, but also wisdom and courage. 
Wisdom is great, sure, but what is it actually based on?

February 05, 2017

Samoa's New Constitution Declares Christian Nation


[CBN] The headline reads: "Why Samoa Wants to Make Clear, It's a Christian State" and, though a small change, the leaders of the country find it important:

"The phrase "Samoa is founded on God" will no longer be used. Instead, under the Constitution, it will be, 'Samoa is a Christian nation founded of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.'"

One point of rephrasing the constitution is to underscore a sense of solidarity of belief, as based on the country's founding, and to stave off potential conflict:

"Many are wondering why this tiny nation suddenly wants to makes such a bold statement. Tuilaepa says it is a way to fend off religious wars that have stormed other countries, primarily in the Middle East and Africa. He wants to make it clear that this is a Christian country and their faith will be integral to their law."

A second point is to address increasing pressure to adopt morally relativistic trends: