Daily Archives: September 18, 2018

SEPTEMBER 18 FUN AND RELIGION

Thou therefore endure hardness…if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.

2 Timothy 2:3, 12

History reveals that times of suffering for the Christian Church have also been times of looking upward. Tribulation has always sobered God’s people and encouraged them to look for and yearn after the return of their Lord.

Our present preoccupation with the world may be a warning of bitter days to come. God will wean us from the earth some way—the easy way if possible, the hard way if necessary. It is up to us!

It is apparent that many now think Christianity is jolly good fun—another and higher form of entertainment; because Christ has done all the suffering. He has shed all the tears. He has carried all the crosses. So, we have but to enjoy the benefits of His heartbreak!

The “work of Christ” has been stressed until it has eclipsed the Person of Christ. We need to reexamine much of popular fundamentalist theology which emphasizes the utility of the cross, rather than the beauty of the One who died on that cross.

Merciful Father, I pray today for the silent heroes who faithfully serve Jesus throughout the 10/40 Window in the face of extreme pressure.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity : Ron Paul: ‘The Evidence Is Very Clear’ that the US Has Aligned Itself with al-Qaeda in Syria

09-18-2018 • http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org

“This isn’t the first time that the evidence is very clear that we have aligned ourselves with al-Qaeda when we think it’s temporarily of benefit to our foreign policy,” declared former United States House of Representatives member and presidential candidate Ron Paul last week in regard to US policy toward Syria and the developing situation in Idlib, Syria. Paul made the comment in an interview at RT focused on recent developments in Syria.

Paul’s assessment came shortly after the interviewer played video of Brett McGurk, the US special presidential envoy to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, calling Idlib a year back “the largest al-Qaeda safe haven since 9/11.”

The US government’s antagonism toward efforts by the Syria government, aided by allied nations, to take back control of Idlib, makes more sense when US foreign policy toward Syria is understood in the context Paul provides in the interview. Paul explains that, while the US has used opposition to al-Qaeda “as the excuse” for US intervention in Syria, he believes instead “we’re there for other reasons.” Those reasons, Paul says, include opposition to Iran and Russia that are supporting Syrian military forces, as well as that “we think al-Quaeda will help our position — the United States position — to get rid of [Syria President Bashar al-Assad].”

Many Americans tolerate the US “trying to maintain a modern-day empire” via interventions including in Syria because they are not well informed about the matter, suggests Paul. To help cure this problem, Paul says he is trying with the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, which he founded after leaving the House of Representatives, “to alert people to the danger that is involved with our foreign policy.”

So what should the US do in Syria? “Leave as soon as possible,” advises Paul.

Watch Paul’s interview here:

— Read on www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/2018/september/18/ron-paul-the-evidence-is-very-clear-that-the-us-has-aligned-itself-with-al-qaeda-in-syria/

Should your past make you a pariah? — Triablogue

The Kavanaugh controversy is ephemeral. One way or another, it will probably be over with by next week. I’m discussing it because it raises some perennial ethical issues.
But what if he is guilty? Should the Senate Judiciary Committee vote against his nomination?
Let’s put our past sins into four different categories, responding to each category in turn.
Foolish Things
The first category consists of the foolish things we did as teenagers and young people. But these transgressions are known, open, and a distant part of our history.
For example, my personal testimony, “From LSD to Ph.D.” is well-known.
It is well-known that I was a heroin-shooting, LSD-using, hippie rock drummer before coming to faith in Jesus at the age of 16 in 1971.
It is well-known I broke into a doctor’s office with a friend and stole drugs.
It is well-known that I was a proud, angry rebel.
As our daughters grew up, I shared my story with them. Now my grandkids know my story.
My story is known and out in the open, and it’s a testimony to God’s grace.
Since 1971, I have not used an illegal drug or abused a legal drug. And, despite drinking heavily at times in my teen years, I have not had a sip of alcohol since 1971.
If Brett Kavanaugh got drunk with his friends and assaulted another teenager that would be grave and ugly. But if this was something that was known, open, and unrelated to his behavior and conduct ever since then, it should not disqualify him from service today. (To be “known and open” would also mean that he had made things right with his alleged victim.)
Lots of us did stupid things when we were kids and teenagers. But as we became responsible adults, we put those things behind us.
Some of us even did reprehensible things as adults. But we made proper restitution, we were completely rehabilitated, and we have made something worthwhile out of our lives.
Such stories are noble and inspiring.
Past Behavior Honestly Addressed
The second category consists of sinful behavior in our past that we covered over, hoping it would never be discovered.
What happens when these old skeletons are suddenly discovered in our closet? If the behavior was totally uncharacteristic, if it did not lastingly wound or injure someone else, and if it was never again repeated, you can make a case for overlooking it — but only if the response today was proper.
In other words, if it came to light that, when you were a 16-year-old boy, you had consensual sex with your 16-year-old girlfriend, but since then, your moral behavior was impeccable, you shouldn’t be disqualified from public service today. But only if you responded properly when confronted.
A proper response would require full acknowledgment of guilt, not lying about the incident, and pointing to the changes you made to live rightly ever since.
To say that these sins of our youth make us unfit to serve today is to render unfit a vast percentage of the population. How many of us have an unblemished past?
Cover-ups
The third category consists of lying today when confronted with sinful behavior from the past. That would be the bigger issue to me with Justice Kavanaugh.
Did he do something reprehensible as a drunken teenager? Perhaps he did, but again, that is just an accusation at this point.
The big question for me is: Is he telling the truth today?
We’re not looking to confirm teenager Kavanaugh. We’re looking to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.
His present behavior is far more important to me than his teenage behavior. Can the man be trusted?
When Past Becomes Present
The fourth category consists of sinful behavior in the past that still carries over until today.
If Kavanaugh did, in fact, sexually assault his accuser more than 35 years ago, does that reflect his attitude towards women ever since? Is he an abuser? Does he view women as sexual objects? Does he look on his alleged past transgressions as just a bunch of guys having fun?
Much of what Brown says here is sage pastoral and practical advance. But I have three caveats:

1. Although just about anything is divinely forgivable, that’s not a basis for law and public policy. That’s ultimately about the world to come. But in the here-and-now, I’m not prepared to say that anything a teenager does, however heinous, should never make him a pariah.
2. Surely Brown is aware of the fact that dramatic conversion stories (e.g. Nicky Cruz) are a career-booster in charismatic/evangelical circles. But that’s quite different from secular employment, where volunteering information about reprehensible past behavior may get you blacklisted.
3. Apropos (2), suppose companies have a policy of not hiring an applicant with any history of sexting. The application form has a question about that. Suppose, as a teenager, the applicant took obscene pictures of himself and shared them with a girl in school (or vice versa). So he lies on the application form.
Suppose I’m the employer. I run criminal background checks on all applicants. The background check reveals the fact that he lied. But it doesn’t turn up any subsequent behavior in kind. Apparently he outgrew that.
I wouldn’t hold it against him that he gave a false answer to that question. It’s too idealistic to expect people to volunteer incriminating information that will make them unemployable. The fact that he lied wouldn’t by itself disqualify him in my book. That would depend on the nature of the offense and his subsequent behavior.

via Should your past make you a pariah? — Triablogue

SEPTEMBER 18 BE YE HOLY!

But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

—1 Peter 1:15-16

You cannot study the Bible diligently and earnestly without being struck by an obvious fact—the whole matter of personal holiness is highly important to God!

Neither do you have to give long study to the attitudes of modern Christian believers to discern that by and large we consider the expression of true Christian holiness to be just a matter of personal option….

Personally, I am of the opinion that we who claim to be apostolic Christians do not have the privilege of ignoring such apostolic injunctions. I do not mean that a pastor can forbid or that a church can compel. I only mean that morally we dare not ignore this commandment, “Be ye holy.” …

Brethren, we are still under the holy authority of the apostolic command. Men of God have reminded us in the Word that God does ask us and expect us to be holy men and women of God, because we are the children of God, who is holy. The doctrine of holiness may have been badly and often wounded—but the provision of God by His pure and gentle and loving Spirit is still the positive answer for those who hunger and thirst for a life and spirit well-pleasing to God. ICH061-062, 068

Lord, may I no longer see the pursuit of holiness as optional. Rather, may I strive to fulfill Your expectations for my life. Amen. [1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Kavanaugh Will Never Get A Fair Hearing: The Federalist | Zero Hedge

“If you’re a man, a single uncorroborated account that dates back to 1982 is all your political critics need to accuse you of attempted rape”

Thanks to an unprovable allegation of sexual assault, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh will “never get a fair hearing,” according to The Federalist‘s David Harsanyi, who writes: “If you’re a man, a single uncorroborated account that dates back to 1982 is all your political critics need to accuse you of attempted rape,” adding “There is also no possible outcome in which Democrats will concede Kavanaugh’s innocence, or even concede that we can’t really know what transpired on that night 36 years ago.”

No matter how many hearings held, and no matter how many of Kavanaugh’s classmates and ex-girlfriends go on record to attest to his good character, and despite the fact that most sexual predators have a pattern of bad behavior – it does not matter. Kavanaugh is now forever tainted with nebulous allegations from a woman with a shaky story.

Kavanaugh’s accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, has a hazy recollection of the incident, admitting she doesn’t specifically remember the year it happened, where the incident occurred, whose house it was, how she got there, and whether Kavanaugh and a witness (who denies the account) were already upstairs when she went up, and how she got home that night.

And as The Federalist writes: “Whether Ford’s accusation is true or not, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein orchestrated the leak and subsequent release of Ford’s letter, not merely to sink Kavanaugh and level accusations in a way that would make it difficult for the judge to defend himself, but also to try and delay Republican efforts to confirm any nominee until after the midterms.”

In short, a judge who by all accounts has been a model citizen – whose family was left in tears during vitriolic confirmation hearings, is nothing more than a disposable pawn to Democratic legislators.

McConnell: “This alleged incident is completely at variance with his entire life history.”

— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) September 18, 2018

Kavanaugh’s family during contentious confirmation hearings

Also highly suspect and somehow glossed over by a politicized media, the timing of this allegation:

There’s no other explanation for the timing of leaked letter. The senator claims the allegations are “extremely serious and bear heavily on Judge Kavanaugh’s character.” Yet, according to reports, Democrats were in possession of Ford’s letter for months and sat on it. Feinstein personally met with Kavanaugh and didn’t bring up this “extremely serious” charge of sexual assault. Why not? She could have asked him about the allegations while keeping the accuser’s name confidential. Democrats submitted over a thousand questions to Kavanaugh on the record, and not one of them were about whether he had ever engaged in any “extremely serious” behavior. Feinstein also had Kavanaugh sitting in front of her, under oath, during public Senate hearings, and never asked him about his alleged behavior. –The Federalist

Meanwhile, if Democrats are successful in sinking Kavanaugh’s nomination – forcing him to withdraw, or successfully delaying his confirmation until after midterms – when Democrats are expected to wrestle Congressional control from GOP hands, it will damage the credibility of any Trump-nominated Supreme Court justice going forward.

Catch-22

As Harsanyi notes, the Republicans are now in a catch-22 situation; if they refuse to entertain the 11th hour accusations – they will be accused of ignoring sexual assault. If they do hold hearings – which are scheduled for Monday, they will be accused of attacking a survivor of sexual assault.

Republicans will never be able to ask Ford anything useful, because they’re mostly white men, and white men are, I’m told, perfunctorily racist and misogynist. If Republicans bring up the fact that Ford’s allegation wasn’t reported or relayed to anyone for more than 30 years — until Kavanaugh’s name emerged as a possible Supreme Court justice — they will be accused of attacking a woman. If they point out that her therapist’s notes, the ones that Ford claims prove her charge, in some ways contradict what she is now saying, they will be portrayed as a bunch of men attacking a sexual assault survivor. When they point out that polygraph tests are unreliable and inadmissible in courts, they will be accused of berating a victim. –The Federalist

In other words, this is a no-win situation for Republicans, orchestrated by the Democrats.
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-18/kavanaugh-will-never-get-fair-hearing-federalist