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

State Department Responds to New Project Veritas ‘Deep State Unmasked’ Video — The Gateway Pundit

 

The State Department has responded to a new video from Project Veritas in which one of its employees is caught telling an undercover journalist that his goal is to “Resist everything… Every level. F**k sh*t up.”

A spokesperson for the Department of State confirmed to the Epoch Times that the man in the video, Stuart Karaffa, is indeed a Management and Program Analyst with the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations.

“We take seriously any allegation of a violation of the Hatch Act and financial disclosure rules and are closely reviewing this matter,” the statement continued. The department would not comment further at this time as it is a personnel matter.

The shocking new video features Karaffa explaining his ties to the Democratic Socialists of America and his determination in undermining the current White House administration.

Karaffa explained that he does work for the DSA while at work for the State Department, including drafting DSA communications while on the job.

“… I’m careful about it. I don’t leave a paper trail, like I leave emails, and like any press s**t that comes up I leave that until after 5:30. But as soon as 5:31 hits, got my like draft messages ready to send out.”

The Democratic Socialist also explained how he could be caught.

“You could put two and two together probably. With like web traffic…. So with web traffic, I mean I could make the case before a court of law that- I’m going to the Virginia sort of, campaign finance website- that I’m just interested in what people are doing politically. But if they also go and look at like DSA minutes and like Officer positions they’ll be like, ‘that’s weird, you were the co-chair of the electoral caucus, and you spent three hours on a Virginia campaign finance website.’”

Karaffa also bragged that it is nearly impossible to fire federal employees.

via State Department Responds to New Project Veritas ‘Deep State Unmasked’ Video — The Gateway Pundit

Congress Members Demand Trump Seek Approval Before Military Action In Syria | Zero Hedge

A group of over 40 Congress members have sent President Trump a bipartisan letter reminding him that the US Constitution requires that the president seek Congressional approval before taking military action in Syria or elsewhere. Congressman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) announced via Twitter on Monday that the letter had been sent to the White House.

Ironically Rep. Amash made the announcement just as Monday’s evening’s massive Israeli strike on Syria was underway, which resulted in a downed Russian surveillance plane carrying 14 troops amidst the confusion of missiles flying over the Mediterranean as it was hit by Syrian defense attempting to stave off the attack by Israel.

While the Pentagon formally denied any US role in the strikes, it was an extremely dangerous situation with yet again the potential for serious escalation between Russia and the US and its allies.

The letter was signed by a handful of Republicans including Thomas Massie, Mark Sanford, and Walter Jones, as well as 42 Democrats. It begins as follows:

We write to strongly urge you to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress before ordering any additional U.S. military action in Syria. We are deeply concerned by recent reports indicating that your administration is preparing again to strike Syria in the event of another chemical weapons attack.

.@RepBarbaraLee @RepWalterJones @RepMcGovern and I, joined by @RepThomasMassie @RepSanfordSC and 42 Democrats, sent @POTUS this letter, reminding him that the Constitution requires that he obtain Congress’s approval before taking offensive military action in #Syria or elsewhere. pic.twitter.com/yfKDm34INy

— Justin Amash (@justinamash) September 17, 2018

And the letter continues by outlining Constitutional limits on the President’s power to wage war without seeking Congressional approval first:

The Constitution gives the power to declare war to the U.S. Congress and only permits the President to act in delf-defense, not simply to further perceived U.S. interests. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 also requires the President to consult with and obtain authorization from Congress prior to the use of offensive military force.

The letter follows a similar one that was signed by 88 total Congressional members last April, thus it appears pushback in the House against a potential future US attack on Syria has waned in the wake of unfounded prior accusations that Assad is “planning” to use chemical weapons.

In recent years in Syria, as the Pentagon’s “boots on the ground” presence grows (now at over 2,000 publicly acknowledged troops in eastern Syria), and as calls for direct military intervention against Damascus are also heightened, the White House has routinely invoked the 9/11 era Authorization For Use of Military Force (AUMF) mainly framing its mission as “anti-ISIL” and increasingly in terms of preventing Iranian expansion, in a policy that goes back through the Obama administration.

Watch McCain-impersonator @AdamKinzinger call for US military force to protect Idlib’s al-Qaeda rulers. He and @secupp then attack @TulsiGabbard for meeting with the President of *Syria* Bashar al-Assad – who Kinzinger calls the “Butcher of Baghdad” 😐 pic.twitter.com/VEowCjIMJO

— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) September 16, 2018

Meanwhile other Congressional leaders have called for a full US attack on the Syrian government, with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger (Illinois) appearing on CNN this week to argue that American forces should impose a no-fly-zone over Syria.
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-18/over-40-congress-members-send-letter-white-house-demanding-trump-seek-approval

Trump Declassification Order Will Expose FBI’s “Insurance Policy” From Strzok-Page Text: Nunes | Zero Hedge

and “many other rotten apples”

President Trump’s order to declassify a broad swath of DOJ/FBI documents related to the Russia investigation will expose the infamous “insurance policy” referred to in an August 15, 2016 text between former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” reads the text message in question – used by many in Trump’s camp to bolster claims that the Russia investigation is “rigged witch hunt.”

Speaking with Fox News‘s Laura Ingraham, Nunes said that declassification will provide exculpatory evidence, including a dozen or so 302 witness interview forms from DOJ official Bruce Ohr which may shed light on his significant relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele and “many other rotten apples.”

“A lot of people think that the insurance policy was getting the FISA warrant on [former Trump campaign aide] Carter Page,” Nunes told Ingraham, adding “We actually believe it was more explicit than that.”

Watch:

Rep. @DevinNunes on @POTUS‘ order to declassify FISA documents: “This is going to be a great day for the American people.” @IngrahamAngle https://t.co/a01AUmj5MI pic.twitter.com/lhi2tkjgQN

— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 18, 2018

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had ordered the documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Justice Department “[a]t the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.” –Fox News

Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump’s decision to release the documents “a clear abuse of power.”

“[Trump] has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative,” Schiff said. “With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the FBI and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods.

“This is evidently of no consequence to a President who cares about nothing about the country and everything about his narrow self-interest,” Schiff added.

President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense. The DOJ and FBI have previously informed me that release of some of this information would cross a “red line.”

— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 18, 2018

Trump also ordered the DOJ to release text messages from several key players in the Trump-Russia investigation, “without redaction,” of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

WH: Trump has “directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.” pic.twitter.com/IdVYLvceYK

— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 17, 2018

A spokesman from the Justice Department told Fox News that the DOJ and FBI “are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order,” while ODNI spokesperson Kellie Wade told the network: “As requested by the White House, the ODNI is working expeditiously with our interagency partners to conduct a declassification review of the documents the President has identified for declassification.”
— Read on www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-18/trump-declassification-order-will-expose-fbis-insurance-policy-strzok-page-text

China has a ‘chilling’ system to control everyone | Fox News

China’s chilling dictatorship is moving quickly to introduce social scorecards, in which all citizens will be monitored 24/7 and ranked on their behavior.
— Read on www.foxnews.com/tech/2018/09/18/china-has-chilling-system-to-control-everyone.amp.html

Concealed Carry Permits Surge to 18 Million, Include Many Democrats

The United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) reports that the number of concealed carry permits in America has now reached 18 million and includes many Democrats.
— Read on www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/09/18/concealed-carry-permits-surge-to-18-million-include-many-democrats/