“I am profoundly grateful to God that He did not grant me certain things for which I asked, and that He shut certain doors in my face.”
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
What “bipartisanship” really means (Infographic)
Dec. 24, 2014
A white police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old black man in a St. Louis suburb late yesterday, setting off a new round of protests near Ferguson, where an August shooting sparked unrest over law-enforcement tactics that’s spread across the U.S. St. Louis County police say the man was shot after pointing a handgun at an officer from the Berkeley, Missouri, force.
Former President George H.W. Bush, 90, was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital tonight “as a precaution” after experiencing shortness of breath, according to a statement from his office.
A woman vandalized a holiday diorama at the Florida state capitol that was put up by the Satanic Temple, an atheist group that opposes religious displays on government property.
The U.S. Supreme Court will say as early as Jan. 9 whether it will consider legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide in what would be a landmark clash over an issue that has divided the country.
Gay men may soon be allowed to give blood after U.S. health officials publicly endorsed lifting a three-decade ban on donations from men who have sex with men, as long as they’ve been celibate a year.
According to a new CNN/ORC poll, 62 percent of respondents think that Sony overreacted to its massive hack by yanking the comedy from distribution..
The U.S. has signed up 6.4 million people for Obamacare next year, as automatic renewals of coverage customers already had this year kick in, the government said.
More access to long-acting contraception methods resulted in fewer abortions, a study of Iowa women found, adding a new facet to the debate over abortion rights and political efforts to restrict them.
Fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign the job market is making progress as the year ends. Jobless claims dropped by 9,000 to 280,000 in the week ended Dec. 20.
Gold futures declined for the third straight day as gains in the U.S. economy bolstered the case for higher interest rates.
Russia stopped exporting grain last week, suspending shipments to customers including Egypt.
AP Top Stories
Islamic State fighters took a Jordanian pilot captive after his warplane came down in northeast Syria, the first captive taken from the U.S.-led coalition battling the jihadi group.
A US federal judge handed a victory to President Obama, throwing out a lawsuit over controversial actions he took last month shielding millions of undocumented migrants from deportation. The suit was brought by Joseph Arpaio, the conservative sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, challenging the constitutionality of the president’s actions.
The former US Navy Seal who claims to be the soldier who fired the shots that killed Osama Bin Laden is being investigated for possibly leaking classified information, the US military confirmed.
The FBI has warned local authorities of a threat that Islamic State militants would blow up the Memphis & Arkansas Bridge spanning the Mississippi River.
Minimum wage increases across the United States will prompt Wal-Mart Stores Inc to adjust base salaries at 1,434 stores, impacting about a third of its U.S. locations.
Brent oil fell on Wednesday, trading around $60 per barrel weighed down by strong supply in the United States and a rising dollar.
The US president welcomed a decision by Sony to screen a comedy about North Korea – which had been pulled following a cyber-attack and threats – in some US cinemas.
A remote Peruvian community will be evacuated after members of an Amazon tribe looking for food raided homes and killed domestic animals.
All vehicle movement in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno state is banned from Christmas Eve until Sunday to prevent militant attacks, the army said.
West Africa’s Ebola crisis is likely to last until the end of 2015, says leading researcher Peter Piot, who helped to discover the virus in 1976.
Russian investigators said they have evidence Malaysia Airlines MH17 may have been downed by a Ukrainian pilot, but Kiev rejected it as fake.
A German author was given rare access to territory run by Islamic State has told the BBC that the group is stronger, more brutal and harder to confront than he had expected.
More than 1,000 anti-cop protesters defied Mayor Bill de Blasio and flooded Manhattan on Tuesday evening, marching through the Fifth Avenue shopping district before heading uptown.
An al-Qaida operative released years ago from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has re-emerged as a terrorist leader to the extent that the U.S. government now offers a $5 million reward for information on his whereabouts.
The nation’s obstetricians and gynecologists are calling on the federal government to provide access to free or affordable birth control to all women, especially the poor and those with Obamacare plans that don’t cover birth control services due to religious views.
Germany is on its highest level of terror alert since the 1970s, say security authorities in a report seen by Bild. It states that both “lone perpetrators” and “self-sufficient small groups” might be behind future attacks.
A Patriot Christmas
By Mark Alexander
The Birth of Jesus: “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” (Luke 2:1-18).
However, the most hallowed religious observance for our family — that with the most deeply rooted traditions — is Christmas. It is not a commercial feeding frenzy for us, but a quiet and reverent time of rest and celebration of the birth of Christ, punctuated by extended family festivities.
Christmas Through the Generations
Historically, the actual year of Christ’s birth is thought to be between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C., at the end of Herod’s reign. The first mention of Christmas as a formal Nativity feast occurred in a Roman almanac dated A.D. 336. The day we celebrate Christ’s birth, December 25th, was not chosen on the basis of historical evidence but rather to replace the pagan festival natalis solis invicti, the birth of the sun god Mithras, at winter solstice.
The Christmas star that guided the Wise Men to Bethlehem may have been any of a number of recorded astronomical events coinciding with the likeliest dates of that first Christmas. Halley’s Comet appeared in 12 B.C., and ancient Chinese texts note “exploding” stars, or novas, observed in both 4 and 5 B.C. Exceptionally bright planetary conjunctions occurred in 2, 6, and 7 B.C.; among these, the most promising candidate for the Holy Star was the triple conjunction of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn in 6 B.C.
The prophet Isaiah wrote of the coming Messiah, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Clearly, well before the birth of Jesus, humans longed for light in the days of greatest darkness. Early Christians selected December 25th for the Nativity feast to proclaim that Jesus Christ was the real Light of the World, the true “Sun of Righteousness,” as well as the Messiah foretold in Jewish faith. As Jesus later said, he had not come to destroy the law and the prophets of Judaism, but to fulfill them, and so he also fulfilled the deepest human longings expressed in other traditional celebrations. And we Christians believe these aspects of our human nature are not merely enduring, but eternal — because we humans are all created in the image of Eternal God.
Our American Christmas heritage derives from the mingled Christmas traditions of immigrants from many lands, with differing religious beliefs and customs of worship and celebration. Our name for this holiday, itself a word derived from “Holy Day,” arises from the old English Cristes Maesse, or Christ’s Mass. Christmas is sometimes abbreviated as Xmas, which is derived from combining the Greek letter “chi,” denoting “Christ,” with “Mass.”
Christmas was first observed in Early America among the Anglicans, Roman Catholics, Lutherans and Moravians who settled predominantly in the Middle Atlantic colonies and the South.
Influenced by Puritanism and Calvinism, the New England Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Baptists and Methodists looked askance at a celebration they deemed based on “heathenistic traditions.” New England colonial authorities outlawed Christmas from 1649 until 1658. The General Court of Massachusetts in 1659 set a fine of five shillings per offense, punishing the observance “of any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forebearing of labour, feasting, or any such way.” Contemporaneously, the Assembly of Connecticut forbade the reading of the Book of Common Prayer, the keeping of Christmas and saints days, the making of mince pies, the playing of cards, or performing on any musical instruments.
Peter Kalm wrote on Christmas Day 1749 about Philadelphia’s holiday: “Nowhere was Christmas Day celebrated with more solemnity than in the Roman Church. Three sermons were preached there, and that which contributed most to the splendor of the ceremony was the beautiful music heard to-day…. Pews and altar were decorated with branches of mountain laurel, whose leaves are green in winter time and resemble the (cherry laurel).”
Philip Fithian, of colonial Virginia, recorded in his diary entry for December 18, 1773: “When it grew to dark to dance … we conversed til half after six; Nothing is now to be heard of in conversation, but the Balls, the Fox-hunts, the fine entertainments, and the good fellowship, which are to be exhibited at the approaching Christmas.”
Fithian’s Christmas Eve 1775 diary entry from Staunton, Virginia, described other common pastimes of the holiday celebration: “The Evening I spent at Mr. Guys — I sung for an Hour, at the good Peoples Desire, Mr. Watts admirable Hymns — I myself was entertaind; I felt myself improvd; so much Love to Jesus is set forth — So much divine Exercise.” But his 1775 Christmas Day entry noted the vastly different observances of the Scots and Scots-Irish Presbyterians: “Christmas Morning — Not A Gun is heard — Not a Shout — No company or Cabal assembled — To Day is like other Days every Way calm & temperate — People go about their daily Business with the same Readiness, & apply themselves to it with the same Industry.”
The first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Massachusetts in 1856.
By the first battles of the War Between the States, most of our shared Christmas traditions were set, and the January 3, 1863, issue of Harper’s Weekly featured a drawing of encamped soldiers receiving Christmas gifts from home.
General Robert E. Lee wrote one wartime Christmas: “My heart is filled with gratitude to Almighty God for his unspeakable mercies with which He has blessed us in this day. For those He granted us from the beginning of life, and particularly for those He has vouchsafed us during the past year [of war]. What should have become of us without His crowning help and protection? Oh, if our people would only recognize it and cease from self-boasting and adulation, how strong would be my belief in the final success and happiness to our country! But what a cruel thing is war; to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world! I pray that on this day [Christmas] when only peace and good-will are preached to mankind, better thoughts may fill the hearts of our enemies and turn them to peace.”
Christmas became a federal holiday in 1870, and today, nearly all Americans celebrate Christmas in some way, a uniformity that belies the variance with which, as in colonial days, Americans approach this holiday.
From St. Nicholas to Santa Claus
As holiday is derived from “Holy Day,” and Christmas from “Cristes Maesse,” the name Santa Claus is derived from St. Nicholas.
My colleague William Federer offered a brief history of the very real St. Nicholas, who is at the root of the modern Santa Claus.
“Greek Orthodox tradition tells of Saint Nicholas being born to a wealthy, elderly couple in Asia Minor (what is today Turkey) in the year 280 AD. When his parents died, he used the wealth he inherited to generously give to the poor.
“Upon hearing of a merchant who went bankrupt and that creditors were about to take his daughters, Saint Nicholas threw money in the window at night to provide a dowry for the daughters to get married, thus saving them from a life of prostitution. When the father discovered who gave the money, Nicholas made him promise not to tell, as he wanted the glory to go to God alone.
“This inspired the custom of secret gift-giving on the anniversary of Saint Nicholas’ death, December 6, 343 AD.
“Saint Nicholas became Bishop of Myra and was imprisoned during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians. He was freed by Emperor Constantine. Saint Nicholas attended the Council of Nicea where the Nicene Creed was written.
“Just like the Apostle Paul, in Acts, chapter 19, Saint Nicholas preached against the fertility goddess “Diana” and her immoral temple prostitutes at Ephesus – the Las Vegas of the ancient Mediterranean world. The people responded by tearing down local temple to Diana.
“Saint Nicholas was known for courageously rescuing a soldier who was about to be executed by a corrupt governor, and for having many miraculous answers to his prayers.
“After his death, Emperor Justinian built a cathedral and named it after him. Vladimir the Great of Russia converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and adopted Saint Nicholas as the patron saint of Russia.
“In the 11th century, Muslim Seljuks Turks invaded Asia Minor, killing Christians, turning churches into mosques and digging up the bones of Christian saints and giving them to dogs. For protection, in the year 1087, the bones of Saint Nicholas were shipped to the town of Bari in southern Italy, thus introducing Saint Nicholas and gift-giving traditions to Western Europe.
“Eventually, Dutch immigrants brought the Saint Nicholas traditions to New Amsterdam, which became New York, and they pronounced Saint Nicholas ‘Sinter Claes’ or ‘Santa Claus.'”
Founding Fathers and Christmas
Unfortunately, there is a perennial societal tension now associated with Christmas. If not for its dire implications for the future of Liberty, the seasonal contortions over “non-offensive greetings” would be humorous. The Left insists the word “Christmas” violates the phony “Wall of Separation” doctrine if a government employee deigns to utter it within earshot, and that it is too ethnocentric for corporate use.
Some years ago, The Patriot Post coined the greeting “Happy Christmahanakwamadan.” We did so in response to the fashionable PC crowd’s ludicrous demands for “inclusive faith neutral” greetings. We also published our legal department disclaimer outlining the terms of acceptance for the greeting as a counterpoint to retailers vying for your business who have instituted policies discouraging or outright prohibiting any mention of “Christmas.” We do not challenge private sector employer’s right to dictate corporate policies on such matters.
However, the ongoing campaign to censor Christmas from public forums is another matter.
Ironically, it’s often these same censors who take shortcuts such as wishing folks “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Xmas.”
Despite some Americans preoccupation with the secularization of Christmas, our Founders, the framers of our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, had no such concerns about public expressions of faith, as none was warranted. Conversely, they were bold about promoting Christianity and speaking about their own faith.
Historian Peter Lillback, author of “Sacred Fire,” an exhaustive scholarly treatise on George Washington, notes that it is only in recent years, with the searchable digital publication of our Founders’ writings, that we get an accurate picture of their faith, and expression of same.
Lillback writes, “Washington referred to himself frequently using the words ‘ardent,’ ‘fervent,’ ‘pious,’ and ‘devout.’ There are over one hundred different prayers composed and written by Washington in his own hand. He described himself as one of the deepest men of faith of his day when he confessed to a clergyman, ‘No Man has a more perfect Reliance on the alwise, and powerful dispensations of the Supreme Being than I have nor thinks his aid more necessary.’ Although he never once used the word ‘Deist’ in his voluminous writings, he often mentioned religion, Christianity, and the Gospel. He spoke of Christ as ‘the divine Author of our blessed religion.’ He wrote of ‘the blessed religion revealed in the Word of God.’ He encouraged seekers to learn ‘the religion of Jesus Christ.’ He even said to his soldiers, ‘To the distinguished Character of Patriot, it should be our highest Glory to add the more distinguished Character of Christian.'”
Believe it or not, Washington did not need to consult pollsters or focus groups, as general or president, before issuing proclamations of faith. He spoke them from his heart, just as most of our Founders did.
Here follows a small sample of how other notable Founders expressed their faith.
John Adams: “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God. … The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.”
Samuel Adams: “I [rely] upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins. … I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world … bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace. … We may with one heart and voice humbly implore His gracious and free pardon through Jesus Christ, supplicating His Divine aid … [and] above all to cause the religion of Jesus Christ, in its true spirit, to spread far and wide till the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.”
John Hancock: “That the spiritual kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be continually increasing until the whole earth shall be filled with His glory.”
Patrick Henry: “Being a Christian … is a character which I prize far above all this world has or can boast. … The Bible is a book worth more than all the other books that were ever printed. … This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ can give them one, which will make them rich indeed.”
John Jay: “Condescend, merciful Father! to grant as far as proper these imperfect petitions, to accept these inadequate thanksgivings, and to pardon whatever of sin hath mingled in them for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Savior; unto Whom, with Thee, and the blessed Spirit, ever one God, be rendered all honor and glory, now and forever. … The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts. … Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Thomas Jefferson: “I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others. … I am a real Christian — that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”
James Madison: “I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ.”
And these words from that sage, Benjamin Franklin, we all need to consider: “How many observe Christ’s birth-day! How few, his precepts! O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.”
“Endowed by Our Creator”
Clearly, our Founding Fathers understood that “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” could not be sustained in the absence of Light, that these rights are irrevocably endowed by our Creator, not men.
According to George Washington, “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that National morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. … The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.”
John Adams wrote: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. … Statesmen may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand. The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a greater Measure than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will not obtain a lasting Liberty.”
Benjamin Rush proclaimed, “[T]he only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion. Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.”
Likewise, Gouverneur Morris wrote, “Religion is the only solid basis of good morals and Morals are the only possible Support of free governments. Therefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God.”
Samuel Adams added, “Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness. … Religion in a Family is at once its brightest Ornament and its best Security.”
Perhaps John Jay said it best: “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”
My point in listing these snippets of wisdom from our Founders is to make the case plain that the Left’s proscription on the expression of faith, censorship that is antithetical to the very existence of our Constitution and Liberty, will not cease until such expressions have been expelled from all public venues and forums. Then, and only then, can the rule of men fully supersede the Rule of Law.
The Light of the World
When our children were young, Ann and I would help them comprehend how great God has always been and always will be, the Alpha and Omega, by using metaphors with tangible examples that they could grasp.
We wanted our children to understand that it is only the rare occasion, given the immensity of His universal plan, which affords us a perfectly clear view of God’s plan for each of us. But we also assured them of the Truth we had learned: that through faith, we always know that He will use our circumstances, however corrupted by our own free will, to guide us to where He wants us to be.
As our kids have grown older, each has demonstrated a substantial interest and aptitude for science. Thus, I was captivated when one of my sons directed me to this elucidation of God’s infinite domain from Dr. William Blair, an astrophysicist and research professor at Johns Hopkins University.
Blair wrote: “Today we know that galaxies are as common as blades of grass in a meadow. The Hubble Space Telescope recently completed a particularly deep (faint) census of a tiny ‘pencil beam’ extending far out into the Universe. This survey, called the ‘Hubble Deep Field,’ was targeted on a region of the sky that was nearly devoid of known objects, so as to be (hopefully) representative of conditions in the distant Universe. The resulting images are truly amazing. Strewn across this tiny piece of the sky are perhaps 1500 or more galaxies of all shapes, sizes, and colors! Because this survey pertains to such a small piece of the sky, the implications are staggering: if the region of sky demarked by the bowl of the Big Dipper were surveyed to the same depth, it would contain about 32 million galaxies! And the estimate for the entire visible Universe is that there are upwards of 40 BILLION galaxies, each containing tens to hundreds of billions of stars!”
To put the vastness of creation into perspective, Blair uses a sheet of paper: “Imagine that the distance from the earth to the sun (93 million miles, or about 8 light minutes) is compressed to the thickness of a typical sheet of paper. On this scale, the nearest star (4.3 light years) is at a distance of 71 feet. The diameter of the Milky Way (100,000 light years) would require a 310 mile high stack of paper, while the distance to the Andromeda galaxy (at 2 million light years one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye) would require a stack of paper more than 6,000 miles high! On this scale, the ‘edge’ of the Universe, defined as the most distant known quasars some 10 billion light years hence, is not reached until the stack of paper is 31 million miles high — a third of the way to the sun on the real scale of things!”
Pondering this vastness is a humbling experience indeed.
Knowing quite a few professional physicists who are men and women of faith, I wrote Dr. Blair and asked him, “Are you a person of faith in God as our creator?” and, “If so, what does your analogy reveal about the creator of our universe?”
As to the first question, he answered, “Yes, I am.”
As to the second, he replied, “In short, ‘God created the heavens and the earth.’ Understanding more about the ‘heavens’ and the scale of the Universe only magnifies my personal impression of what it is that God has created. Having a personal connection to that same God is a defining aspect of my faith.”
According to Blair, who heads a NASA project looking into deep space, “Some people can look at the spirals of our galaxy and not see the hand of God, but I beg to differ.”
Sometimes our idolatry of self or materialism obscures the hand of God while some other times it is the trials of life that obscure His hand. Too often, we simply do not look for God’s hand in our life.
In the winter season, our East Tennessee mountaintop can be shrouded in clouds that settle in for days, and that fog can persist for a week or more. The absence of sun and blue sky, or crisp and clear nights under bright stars, can take its toll on the spirit. However, my spirit is lifted high when I recall with certainty that above the fog and clouds, all the heavenly bodies shine bright. Eventually the weather will break and light will avail itself again.
I reminded my children that bleak winter weather obscuring the sunlight is an apt metaphor for the trials in our life, which can obscure the Son light.
Life itself can, at times, seem shrouded in fog and darkness. That is especially true if, like me, you bear a lifelong burden to support and defend our heritage of Liberty, which is now being assailed from many sectors. Occasionally I forget that this burden I bear on behalf of Liberty is also borne by tens of millions of fellow Patriots. But our Creator, who irrevocably endowed us with Liberty, is always there, even if temporarily obscured by the fog of conflict.
These are difficult times for Patriots — as in times past. We face daunting challenges from enemies foreign and domestic. But, I hold close these words from George Washington written early in the first American Revolution: “We should never despair, our Situation before has been unpromising and has changed for the better, so I trust, it will again. If new difficulties arise, we must only put forth new Exertions and proportion our Efforts to the exigency of the times.”
So, on the darkest of days, how do we find our way to Him?
The answer is obvious to all who have opened their eyes — just follow the Light.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Thus, if we want to see our Creator, we have only to turn toward the Light, and, as implicit in our motto: Veritas vos Liberabit — “The Truth will set you Free” (John 8:32).
It is the dawn of the Light and Truth that we celebrate at Christmas, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. It is no coincidence that as the story of His birth is recounted, it is a star that guided wise men to his side.
In the Gospel of John (1:5), it is written, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
Now, a physicist will tell you that darkness doesn’t exist except for the absence of light, which isn’t to say that we can’t live in darkness: Given the degraded state of our nation, many among our countrymen have chosen to reside in moral darkness, or worse, have been abandoned there.
As for my family and me, Dr. Blair and his family, and hundreds of millions of our brothers and sisters around the world, Jesus Christ is the Light, our personal connection to our Creator. He is that for anyone and everyone who will just turn toward Him.
The Gospels, which attest to the life of Jesus, reveal what we most need to know about God as our Creator, and His purpose for us.
We live in a world today that is no different from yesterday or tomorrow, in the sense that we have and will always have a deep desire to understand our Creator. Unfortunately, we tend to complicate the fulfillment of that desire by satiating it with all manner of false gods. I am no stranger to false gods, which, ironically, helps me to distinguish between those idols and my authentic Creator.
George Washington wrote, “May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths.” (1790)
Patriots, in keeping with the Spirit of this Christmas season, it is my fervent prayer that on this and every day of the year, we turn to the Light of our Creator for wisdom and peace. Remember that attitude is a reflection of gratitude — a grateful heart leads to a joyful spirit!
Happy Holy Days and Merry Christ’s Mass! May God’s light shine bright upon you, your family and our great nation in the coming year!
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Fortis Vigilate Paratus et Fidelis
Publisher, The Patriot Post
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Publisher’s Note: To our Patriot readers of faiths other than Christianity, we hope that this serves to deepen your understanding of our faith — and the faith of so many of our Founders. Permission to forward or reprint is granted.
The Allah Of The Quran And The God Of Bible Are Not The Same
by NTEB Feature Story Contributor Geri Ungurean
Pastor Rick Warren and his followers introduced Chrislam to the world
We watched in horror as an Muslim Imam was ushered into the House of Representatives to pray and give a blessing. We saw our representatives bow their heads to Allah. The same week, we saw Muslims hold a service in The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
Be assured that these two events are not random. They are calculated by the devil himself. It’s his plan, in these last days, to convince the world that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and Allah, are one and the same.
Let’s look at the God of the Bible and Allah. It’s important for us to be able to explain the truth to others, when so many are being deceived. First of all, our God is a Triune God. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Look at this passage from the Old Testament:
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Genesis 1:26).
God was telling us from the beginning that He is Triune! I wonder how I missed this as a Jewish child growing up in the synagogue. I wonder even more how the rabbis explain this.
The God we worship is one God, existing in three persons; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The term “Godhead” is mentioned in the Bible three times:
“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.” (Acts 17:29).
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20).
“For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9).
Now let’s look at a passage from the Qur’an about Allah:
Quran, 5:73 (Yusuf Ali), “They do blaspheme who say: Allah is one of three in a Trinity: for there is no god except One Allah. If they desist not from their word (of blasphemy), verily a grievous penalty will befall the blasphemers among them.”
It is quite clear that Islam rejects the teaching of the triune God. Not only do they reject this, but they call anyone who believes it a blasphemer!
Shirk: The worst sin a Muslim can commit is called Shirk.
Shirk is the belief that God has a Son. It is the unforgivable sin in Islam.
“O People of the Book [Jews and Christians]! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of Allah aught but Truth. Christ Jesus, the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger of Allah and His Word which He bestowed on Mary, and a Spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in Allah and (all) His Messengers. Say not “Trinity!” Desist! It will be better for you: for Allah is One Allah. Glory be to him: [for Exalted is he) above having a son! To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is Allah as a Disposer of affairs.” (Qur’an chapter 4 Surah Nisaa verse 171.) [emphasis added]
I find it so interesting that in Christianity, the only way to heaven is through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We must believe that Jesus is God to be saved!
In Islam, the only unforgivable sin is to believe that Jesus is God. Can you see the devil at work here? It is blatant!
Pastor Rick Warren and his followers introduced Chrislam to the world. It truly amazes me that some of our so-called leaders in Christianity can have zero discernment. In an attempt to unite the world, they are turning their backs on the Bible and the essential doctrines of our faith.
My husband and I used to watch Hillsong services on television. The music was amazing and so worshipful. We thought that Brian Houston, the pastor of Hillsong, was solid in his teaching. A few months ago we were horrified to see that he told his congregation that Allah and the God of the Bible were the same. Needless to say, we stopped watching and listening to him.
There are MANY Baptist pastors aligning themselves with Rick Warren and Chrislam. Most keep it secret. A pastor of the FBC of Richmond, Jim Somerville, does not keep it secret. He boldly claims that our God and Allah are one and the same. He told me that Muslims simply see God through the lens of the Qur’an!
The head of the Baptist Association in our area hopped on the Chrislam bandwagon over a year ago. He spends much of his time with imams and invites them to many Baptist churches.
I have said it before and I’ll say it to my final breath–I believe that Allah is actually Satan.
The Falling Away
In a previous article on Replacement Theology, I named church denominations which teach this heresy. The same churches are beginning to tell their congregations that our God and Allah are the same. Catholicism has always taught this lie.
This is from the book of Catechism from the Roman Catholic Church:
841: The Church’s relationship with the Muslims. “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”
I unapologetically call Catholicism a cult.
The National Cathedral, where the Muslim service was held, is an Episcopal church. This is one of the churches mentioned in my previous article. They teach Replacement Theology, they ordain gays, they detest Israel, and are boycotting products made there. Obviously, they support the Palestinian cause.
So, why should we be surprised that they are now worshiping Allah?
When churches do not follow the Word of God, and no longer consider the Bible as the inerrant and “Holy Spirit breathed” Word of our God, they are vulnerable to becoming deluded and spiritually dead.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1Timothy 4:1).
I am SO thankful that there are Christians who still hold fast to the Word of God, no matter what they hear or read! Hallelujah!!!
You are being as the Bereans were:
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
The Bereans received teachings enthusiastically, but still went to the Word of God to make sure that what they were taught lined up with the Word of God!
Are YOU in one of these apostate churches? RUN, do not walk to the nearest exit!
Blessings in Yeshua.
The post The Allah Of The Quran And The God Of Bible Are Not The Same appeared first on Now The End Begins.
Shocking New Malaysia Airlines MH370 Claim Made By Aviation Expert Could Solve The Mystery
Diego Garcia is a small, remote island in the Indian Ocean that’s the site of a U.S. military base, reportedly operated by the United States Navy. The facility is said to serve as a large naval ship and submarine support base, military air base, communications and space-tracking facility. So the presence of an unexpected, unauthorized aircraft in the area could certainly be cause for alarm. That’s one consideration that could lend credibility to a new theory about the mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 on March 8th of this year. More
Ukraine Just Increased The Chances Of All-Out War With Russia
Today, the Ukrainian parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution rescinding its non-aligned position in a bid to eventually seek NATO membership. This action follows earlier statements by Ukrainian President Poroshenko that NATO membership is the best defense against an aggressive Russia taking territory from Ukraine. This may well be the case; however, this action makes the possibility of all-out war with Russia a much more likely possibility. The simple fact is, as we have said before, Russia will never allow Ukraine to join NATO irregardless of international norms, laws, or global opinion, at least while Russian President Putin is in power. This is just reality. Putin has based his entire presidency on this truth. He has stirred up Russian public opinion over Ukrainian Nazi sympathizers in Kiev and in the East. He has whipped up resentment against the United States and blamed them for the Ukrainian revolution which deposed Yanukovych and which was illegal in their eyes. There is no way Putin could just say, “Oh, everything I said was not true and Ukraine can join NATO and the Americans win.” More
China: Nuclear Weapons Upgrade Puts ‘Entire U.S. at Risk,’ Chinese Army Told To Be Ready To Win A War
China’s nuclear weapons capabilities were recently upgraded with a multiple warhead missile, and now Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and the Chinese Communist Party, have repeatedly telling the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to be ready to win a war. But is China actually saber-rattling for World War 3 or are they simply trying to modernize their military now that they’ve become the world’s largest economy? In a related report by the Inquisitr, experts are already predicting the Chinese Navy will be larger than the U.S. Navy by 2020. China recently launched its first aircraft carrier, and they plan on unveiling new designs for jets, destroyers, and amphibious assault vessels. The U.S. Navy believes that the newest of China’s nuclear submarines, the Jin SSBN, “would mark China’s first credible at-sea-second-strike nuclear capability,” and China will be purchasing a new Russian nuclear submarine design called the Amur 1650. More
Israel approves 380 new east Jerusalem settler homes
Israeli authorities gave final approval on Wednesday to the construction of 380 new settler homes in two areas of annexed east Jerusalem, a local official said. “The municipal commission has given construction permits for 307 homes in Ramot and 73 in Har Homa,” Yosef Pepe Alalu, a Jerusalem city councillor with the opposition Meretz party, told AFP. He said local officials were taking advantage of attention focusing on Israeli elections due in March to expand settlements. “This kind of decision distances us from any chance of reaching an agreement with the Palestinians,” he said. Despite repeated warnings from Washington that it is fuelling tensions, Israel has approved a series of plans for new settler homes in east Jerusalem in recent months. More
Canadian Court Upholds Right of Arrested Christians to Distribute Literature at University
A Canadian court has upheld the right of two Christians to distribute literature on university campuses despite dislike for their message, and has found the men not guilty of a mischief charge following their arrest this past spring. As previously reported, in April, Peter LaBarbera, the director of the U.S.-based Christian ministry Americans for Truth about Homosexuality, and Canadian activist Bill Whatcott were placed in handcuffs and escorted off the University of Regina campus when they refused to leave and stop distributing pamphlets on homosexuality and abortion. “We are a diverse campus. We are a welcoming campus,” Vice President Tom Chase told reporters. “We celebrate that diversity, and our staff felt that the material and some of the things they had with them simply contravened that policy and we asked them to leave.” But Whatcott asserted that the men had a right to be on campus and that they should not be censored for the content of their speech. More
U.S. pastor faces ‘crimes against humanity’ charges for opposing gay agenda as First Circuit refuses to toss suit
The First Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a lawsuit to proceed against U.S. pastor Scott Lively accusing him of “crimes against humanity” for his overseas activism opposing the homosexual agenda. The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages “to be determined at trial” and a declaration that he violated “the laws of nations” by speaking against homosexual “rights.” Pastor Scott Lively, who recently completed an unsuccessful bid for governor of Massachusetts, was sued in 2012 by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of “Sexual Minorities Uganda.” The Ugandan homosexual activist group claims Lively’s speeches and sermons warning Ugandan leaders not to follow the liberal West’s lead on homosexuality incited murders, violence, and persecution of homosexuals in the African nation. More
Woman arrested after damaging Satanic display at Florida Capitol
A woman was arrested Tuesday after she began to tear down a display by the Satanic Temple in the lobby of the Florida Capitol. The Tallahassee Democrat reported that 54-year-old Susan Hemeryck told two Florida Department of Law Enforcement Capitol Police officers that she “was sorry and had to take down the Satanic display”, adding that it was “not right.” The paper reported that when Hemeryck tried to remove the display, an officer stopped her and told her to put it back, saying that she was violating the law. Hemeryck responded that she “could not take it anymore” and began trying to tear down the display before she was arrested. More
ISIS reportedly shoots down Jordanian plane over Syria, pilot captured
Islamic State group fighters shot down a Jordanian warplane on Wednesday over Syria and captured its pilot, activists and the country’s military said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the aircraft was shot down near the northern city of Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s de facto capital. Jordan’s state news agency, Petra, confirmed that the pilot was from Jordan and he has been captured, the BBC reports. “During a mission Wednesday morning conducted by several Royal Jordanian Air Force planes against hideouts of the IS terrorist organization in the Raqqa region, one of the planes went down and the pilot was taken hostage,” a military source was quoted by Petra as saying. More
US Government Admits $2.4 Billion Food-Stamps “Mis-Spent”
According to the most recent report from the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General,government “mis-spent” $2.4 billion on food stamps. While $2.4bn may feel like small amount in the present day of trillion-dollar debts, as The Daily Signal’s Alexandra Gourdikan notes, the fact itself should raise concerns adding that the food stamps program is in need of reform. First and foremost, policymakers should focus on promoting work. Americans are willing to help those in need, but they also believe that people must do what they can for themselves. More
Four dead as tornadoes slam parts of Mississippi
A tornado system touched down in portions of Mississippi on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least four people and leaving injuries, damage and power outages, said local authorities. Two people died in Jones County and two more in Marion County, said state Emergency Management Agency spokesman Brett Carr. “Two people died inside their mobile home that was completely destroyed,” said Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge. “This was in the rural part of Jones County. There were other brick and mortar homes that had major damage but we have no other injuries reported.” More
50 Numbers From 2014 That Sound Fake But That Are Actually Real
2014 was quite a bizarre year, wasn’t it? The past 12 months brought us MH370, Ebola, civil war in Ukraine, civil unrest in Ferguson, the rise of ISIS and the fall of the Democrats in the midterm elections. Our world is becoming crazier and more unstable with each passing day, and I have a feeling that things are going to accelerate greatly in 2015. But for the moment things are relatively quiet as much of the world stops to celebrate the holiday season, so now is a good time to look back and see where we have been over the past year. The facts that I am about to share with you sound false, but they are all quite true. If you doubt any of these facts, just click the link on the number to find the source. It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction, and that was definitely the case during the past 12 months. In no particular order, the following are 50 numbers from 2014 that sound fake but that are actually real… (Read More…)
A Cyber War With North Korea And An Economic War With Russia
In addition to all of our wars in the Middle East and the war that has erupted on the streets of America, we are now engaged in a cyber war with North Korea and an economic war with Russia. Without a doubt, the United States has the capability to do a tremendous amount of damage to both of them. But what about the damage that they could potentially do to us? We have a society that is absolutely teeming with soft targets. Our Internet infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, our debt-based economic system is already teetering on the edge of disaster, and government officials freely admit that security at key facilities such as power plants is sorely lacking. And these kinds of bitter conflicts have a way of escalating. The North Koreans and the Russians are both very proud, and neither one is going to back down any time soon. If a foreign power wanted to really make us hurt, it wouldn’t take much imagination at all. There are thousands of ways to do it. So Americans should not just smugly assume that we are untouchable. In a war, it is often those that are overconfident that get hurt the worst. (Read More….)
‘Tis the Season: How Technology Is Affecting the Holidays
In contrast to the increasing popularity of online shopping, technology has made less of an inroad when it comes to religious traditions surrounding the holidays. (Barna Group)
Why Millions of Christians Will Mourn This Christmas
It will be a miserable Christmas for the overseas victims of US interventions this year. Though “regime change” proponents talk of bringing freedom and democracy to the countries they target, the end result is quite the opposite: the rise of extremism, famine, ethnic cleansing, and economic destruction are what the US government has left behind in places like Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine.
The neoconservatives who pushed for war in Iraq are incapable of self-reflection, but the numbers do not lie. For the first time in more than 1,000 years, reports the Washington Post today, “the plains of Nineveh and its provincial capital of Mosul have been virtually emptied of Christians.” Where there had been religious and cultural diversity for centuries, the destruction of Iraqi society brought about by US intervention has left only the most hardened of extremists to terrorize what is left of the population. Already six in ten Christians have fled Iraq, leaving churches empty and a way of life that dates to the time of Christ a distant memory.
The Bubble Raw footage of Marc Faber interview
The Fed has been printing so much money it does not flow evenly through the system.Bubbles are created and Marc is concerned about a systemic crisis approaching. Marc Faber: Not Even Gold Will Be Able To Save You From What Is Coming
Police Checkpoints: I’m Not Doing Anything Wrong, But I Definitely Have Something to Worry About
Every year around this time, it just isn’t the holiday season if you don’t end up stuck in a long line of traffic going through a mandatory DUI checkpoint. The cops are looking for people drinking and driving, and this unconstitutional search has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
And every year around this time, when I say it is a violation of my rights, someone chimes in:
“If you aren’t doing anything wrong, you don’t have anything to worry about.”
It’s entirely possible that if I hear this argument one more time this year, I’m going to have something to worry about, because there’s going to be the body in my trunk.
I was involved in a conversation on a thread online about these checkpoints and I was deeply saddened by the dozens of people who think having their rights violated is a wonderful thing. They simply can’t wrap their heads around how very wrong this is, what a slippery slope that we are stepping onto, and how this is an entry into the police state in all its glory.
The coming boycott of Jewish businesses
They told me he was an Israeli who supported Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians. He was a known, high-profile Jewish businessman. They were there to make sure no one bought his products.
I had had enough. I raised my hands into the air, in the mist of the protest, and said loudly, “Long Live Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East. The only country in that dark region that is a bastion of liberty and human rights. A place where Palestinian women need never fear honor killings.
A Shepherd’s Story
That’s another good reason this story couldn’t have happened in the dead of winter. People just couldn’t travel then, it was too cold and wet to camp in the fields along the way. Remember, some had to travel several days, all the way from beyond the Galilee up north, to get here.
We had just settled down by the fire when suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared to us from out of nowhere. I was terrified! I’d never seen anything like it. But I wasn’t the only one. Even the seasoned veterans were scared. But the angel spoke to us and said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news….
A lesson in optimism from Israel – Ben Carson
By Ben Carson
In my many conversations in Israel, I was also impressed by the level of optimism I found. Despite the fact that Israelis must send their children to school in armored buses and take many other life-changing precautions on a daily basis, most of them did not seem to be bitter, and they were determined not to let terrorists take control of their lives. The opportunity to visit their thriving and innovative technology sector will never be forgotten.
God’s forgiveness stars in WWII hero’s story
Ted Baehr dispels rumors that Hollywood forgot faith in ‘Unbroken’
When Angelina Jolie’s new Louis Zamperini biographical movie “Unbroken” releases on Christmas Day, anybody familiar with Laura Hillenbrand’s riveting book of the Olympic runner, POW survivor, turned Christian evangelist and inspirational speaker will notice that Zamperini’s conversion to Christianity is mentioned after the climax in a closing title.
Why We Know So Little About Jesus’ Birth
We know so little about Jesus’ birth. While it has been the subject of billions of dramatizations and endless speculations, the historian Luke gives it all of one sentence: “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.”
Why Can’t There Be Peace on Earth?
What would the world be like if every person lived at peace with God, with themselves, and with one another? Why can’t there be peace on earth? What’s the big barrier?
What was the Star of Bethlehem? A New Theory
A new theory has emerged about the star of Bethlehem. Astronomers have tried to explain the phenomenon that attracted the Magi to the birth of Jesus ever since Johannes Kepler first attempted to do so in 1614.
Alone With Ourselves?
Prayer isn’t a task to check off but a time to be with the God we love. The more we pray with this understanding, the more surprised we will be to look back on our formerly prayerless lives and discover that it was we, and not God, who had sometimes failed to show up.
Your Mind Is a Spin Machine
If social influence is the key to moral formation, then gathering with believers matters more than ever.
Look Upward, Not Inward
If we read (or preach) the Bible asking first, “What would Jesus do?” instead of asking “What has Jesus done” we’ll miss the good news that alone can set us free.
Why the Historicity of Jesus Matters
J. Warner Wallace
Given the wise advice offered by famous characters such as Barney and Yoda, why don’t we embrace them as reliable sources of wisdom? You know why: Barney and Yoda are fictional characters.
George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, You, and Me
Sony’s nightmare proves one thing beyond any doubt: There is an imbalance between our ability to create digital information and our ability to protect it.
That other pivotal Christmas character. No, not that one; this one!
But what of Joseph, the fiancé-cum-adoptive-father?
We know that Christ is the wonder of the ages; Mary is an absolutely extraordinary young lady. But also, in considering the character and choices of the man whom God chose to adopt His Son, we learn much.
‘Twas the Night Before the Last Christmas!
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