Friday, March 31, 2017

Fight The Freedom Caucus?

Serious?  Trump wants to fight the "freedom caucus"? ....The Tea Party. . . the conservative, Christian patriotic base? The one's who got him elected?..... See... that's what I was afraid of.  He has no core principles.  It's all pragmatism and "winning".

Bad move.

Not surprised.  Would have been pleasantly surprised if he had turned out to be what he got elected on. . . . But nothing new under the sun.  To quote bowie, once again, "same old thing, in brand new drag, comes sweeping into view. . . ."

Do you think Cruz, had he been elected, would be fighting the "freedom caucus" right about now?

Thank God politics are not the answer.  The God, it's God and only God.  Man always disappoints.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Engage versus Attack

Engage or attack?  I've been loosely following some controversy regarding the reformed apologist and pastor James White.  He is, you likely know, one of the top apologists and debaters in the world, travelling far and wide most recently to debate Islamic scholars.

The criticism against White comes from the likes of Sam Shamoun and Dr. Robert Morey who prefer the flamethrower technique when "engaging" Islamic apologists (where they are likely to start a debate or discussion by calling Muhammad a raging pedophile and go from there).

White's approach is to give the theological adversary some basic, human to human respect and actually engage . . . rather than just start leveling vitriolic broadsides and self-righteous dismissals.

Now, regarding Islam, there are many nuanced versions.  Every Muslim is NOT a radicalized, "ISIS"-style jihadi.  White never shrinks from defending clearly The Gospel and preaching it's saving truth, but rather than merely start bashing and skewering with his theological sword wanting a "win" in the argument arena, he actually wants to win a soul to Christ . . . knowing that it is The Spirit Who will ultimately decide an adversary's fate and not necessarily devastating or barbed polemics. . . .

And because James White does not enter into his engagements with the Islamicists with instant hatred and disgust for the other side, he has been savagely criticized and even called an apostate by his new detractors.  They have even contacted churches and organizations he is associated with demanding that all ties to White be severed and he be cast as anathema with The Body.

In a much smaller and less important way, I can nevertheless relate to James' situation.  I have set out to engage with the popular culture through the arts, through music.  It puts me in constant contact and relationship with people who not only don't believe as I do but are often outright hostile to such beliefs.  However, I know that among them are God's elect, interspersed, just waiting for a tap, a lighting, from the Holy Spirit.  A major knock against Jesus in his time and during his ministry was that He mingled with "the tax collectors and sinners".

10Later, as Jesus was dining at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with Him and His disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  --Math. 9:10-13

These critics are they who say: ‘Keep to yourself, do not come near me,
            For I am holier than you!’  --Isa 65:5

Jesus saved his harshest rhetoric for the self-righteous religious leaders who did little more than criticize and take potshots at He Who actually went to the people, to the unsaved, the sick, the needy, the lost. . . .

There is nothing easier (and I dare less effective) than to stand on the sidelines and lambaste those who are trying to actually engage and enlighten the culture with love, finesse, compassion. . . .

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Lashing Out

Demons . . . will give you a litany of all the things you've done wrong.  They record, they harbor, they stow away all your faults and wait . . . until something sets them off (their actual misery, but projected on to you as if YOU are to blame) . . . and then they will unload and recite all that condemns you.  No grace.  No sign of God.  No love.  Just Spiritless condemnation, spat in your face.

. . . .Just something to note.  These same ones will flash out through people over whom they are oppressing. . . . Aimed at you, as a child of light.  The hatred and vitriol is palpable.  It is not a "righteous indignation" as they will sometimes falsely claim.  It is the misery of hell, raging forth against the dying light.

Oh, no . . . the light is not dying in reality.  It is dying to THEM.  They are fading into everlasting and increasing darkness.  Seeing YOU . . . going the other way . . . provokes their ire--they lash out.

God has His purposes.  His glory is in everything whether we can see it yet or not. . . .

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Prayers & A New Horror Flick....

My mother has recently become very ill . . . I don't think she's long for this world.  It has taken a great deal of time helping her, trying to figure out what to do in a difficult situation.  Your prayers are greatly appreciated.  I hope to be able to get back here sooner and more often--it's just been a bit overwhelming with all that I've got going on, trying to pull off, in a nutty, intense, too often oppressive world. . . . 

Meanwhile . . . you've likely already dealt with this but I thought I share this article nonetheless in case you hadn't and might be interested.  It's about the new "christian" horrow movie "The Shack".  This is an excerpt from Tim Challies review of all the nonsense and (I dare say) outright blasphemies contained in the film and accompanying book "Lies We Believe About God".

What an unGodly train-wreck Paul Young has whipped up. . . .

Twenty-Eight Lies

In this section I provide a brief overview of the most important chapters in Lies We Believe About God. As much as possible, I allow Young to speak in his own words.
Chapter 2: “God is Good. I am not.” This chapter looks at the human condition. “Many of us believe that God sees us all as failures, wretches who are utterly depraved.” But the reality, he insists, is far different: “Yes, we have crippled eyes, but not a core of un-goodness. We are true and right, but often ignorant and stupid, acting out of the pain of our wrongheadedness, hurting ourselves, others, and even all creation. Blind, not depraved is our condition.” First falls the doctrine of human depravity.
Chapter 3: “God is in control.” Close behind it is God’s sovereignty. Christians often state that God has a plan for our lives, even through pain. “Do we actually believe we honor God by declaring God the author of all this mess in the name of Sovereignty and Omnipotent Control? Some religious people—and Christians are often among their ranks—believe in grim determinism, which is fatalism with personality. Whatever will be, will be. It happened. And since God is in charge, it must be part of God’s plan.” He insists that God is not sovereign, but that he “submits rather than controls and joins us in the resulting mess of relationship…” As we will see, this idea of God’s submission to humanity is one of the book’s most prominent themes.
Chapter 5: “God is a Christian.” In chapter five Young means to show that it is futile and even dangerous to concern ourselves with who is a Christian and who is not. “Believing (trusting) is an activity, not a category. The truth is that every human being is somewhere on the journey between belief and unbelief; even so, we perpetuate the categories of believer and unbeliever.” Rather than seeing people as being believers or unbelievers, we should understand that we are all on the same path, though in different locations along it.
Chapter 12: “God created my religion.” Young often speaks of the beauty of relationship and the danger of religion. Thus, “God did not start religion. Rather, religion is among a whole host of things that God did not originate but submits to because we human beings have brought them to the table. God is about relationship; and therefore, any understanding of church or any community of faith that is centered on structures, systems, divisions, and agendas has its origin in human beings and not in God.”
Chapter 13: “You need to get saved.” Here he turns to the matter of salvation. I will excerpt this at length so you can see his full-out embrace of universalism—that everybody has been or will be saved by God.
So what is the Good News? What is the Gospel?
The Good News is not that Jesus has opened up the possibility of salvation and you have been invited to receive Jesus into your life. The Gospel is that Jesus has already included you into His life, into His relationship with God the Father, and into His anointing in the Holy Spirit. The Good News is that Jesus did this without your vote, and whether you believe it or not won’t make it any less or more true.
What or who saves me? Either God did in Jesus, or I save myself. If, in any way, I participate in the completed act of salvation accomplished in Jesus, then my part is what actually saves me. Saving faith is not our faith, but the faith of Jesus.
God does not wait for my choice and then “save me.” God has acted decisively and universally for all humankind. Now our daily choice is to either grow and participate in that reality or continue to live in the blindness of our own independence.
Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal salvation?
That is exactly what I am saying!
Here’s the truth: every person who has ever been conceived was included in the death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. When Jesus was lifted up, God “dragged” all human beings to Himself (John 12: 32). Jesus is the Savior of all humankind, especially believers (1 Timothy 4: 10). Further, every single human being is in Christ (John 1: 3), and Christ is in them, and Christ is in the Father (John 14: 20). When Christ—the Creator in whom the cosmos was created—died, we all died. When Christ rose, we rose (2 Corinthians 5).
Young leaves no doubt that he espouses universalism. To further his argument, he includes an appendix on the matter.
Chapter 15: “Hell is separation from God.” Having advocated universalism, he must now say something about the tricky matter of hell. “I may have convinced myself or been convinced by others that I deserve to be separated from God. Such lies will bring with them a shadow in which I experience a sense of separation, feelings that seem to validate the illusion that God is not connected and in relationship with me or that God has stopped loving me or has given up on me. Many of us on the planet live in this illusion now. … I propose the possibility that hell is not separation from Jesus but that it is the pain of resisting our salvation in Jesus while not being able to escape Him who is True Love.” Hell, too, falls by the wayside.
Chapter 17: “The cross was God’s idea.” Should we be surprised that he now moves against the notion that the cross was somehow part of God’s divine plan? He borrows Steve Chalke’s language of “divine child abuse” to describe any God who would plan such a thing.
Who originated the Cross?
If God did, then we worship a cosmic abuser, who in Divine Wisdom created a means to torture human beings in the most painful and abhorrent manner. Frankly, it is often this very cruel and monstrous god that the atheist refuses to acknowledge or grant credibility in any sense. And rightly so. Better no god at all, than this one.
The alternative is that the Cross originated with us human beings. This deviant device is the iconic manifestation of our blind commitment to darkness. It is our ultimate desecration of the goodness and loving intent of God to create, an intent that is focused on the human creation. It is the ultimate fist raised against God.
And how did God respond to this profound brokenness?
God submitted to it. God climbed willingly onto our torture device and met us at the deepest and darkest place of our diabolical imprisonment to our own lies, and by submitting once and for all, God destroyed its power. Jesus is God’s best, given willingly and in opposition to our worst, the Cross.
When did God submit? Not only in Jesus incarnate but before the creation of the world, according to Scriptures (Revelation 13: 8). God knew going into the activity of creation what the cost would be. That God’s own children, this highest order of creation, would one day make the final attempt to kill Life.
And how would we religious people interpret this sacrifice? We would declare that it was God who killed Jesus, slaughtering Him as a necessary appeasement for His bloodthirsty need for justice.
Chapter 19: “God requires child sacrifice.” And then he refutes the doctrine of propitiation: “One of the narratives about God is that because of sin, God required child sacrifice to appease a sense of righteous indignation and the fury of holiness—Jesus being the ultimate child sacrifice. Well, if God is like that, then doesn’t it make sense that we would follow in God’s footsteps? But we know intuitively that such a thought is wrong, desperately wrong.”
Chapter 21: “Death is more powerful than God.” Do we need to urge people to respond to God before they die? According to Young, not necessarily. “I don’t think God would ever say that once you die, your fate is sealed and there is nothing that God can do for you. … Personally, I do believe that the idea that we lose our ability to choose at the event of physical death is a significant lie and needs to be exposed; its implications are myriad and far-reaching. … I think evil exists because of our turning from face-to-face-to-face relationship with God, and because we chose to say no to God, to Life and Light and Truth and Good. God, with utmost respect and reverence, submits to our choice even while utterly opposing it. God, who is Love, not only allows our choice but joins us in our humanity in order to rescue us from our choices that are harmful and destructive. God has gone to incredible lengths to protect our ability to say no, even though that freedom has produced unspeakable pain and loss.”
Chapter 27: “Sin separates us from God.” As the book draws to a close, he looks at the nature of sin and its effect on our relationship with God. “There is a truth about who you are: God’s proclamation about a ‘very good creation’ is the truest about you. That very good creation is the form or origin of you, the truth of who you are in your being. Sin, then, is anything that negates or diminishes or misrepresents the truth of who you are, no matter how pretty or ugly that is. Behavior becomes either an authentic way of expressing the truth of your good creation or an effort to cover up (performance behavior) the shame of what you think of yourself (worthless). And what does the truth of your being look like? God. You are made in the image of God, and the truth of your being looks like God.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The New Jinn

I thought I saw something.  It came in a flash--like when it's dark but a sudden flash of lightning lights up the surroundings and for a moment you can see certain objects that previously were hidden in the enveloping pitch. . . .

It was an odd "vision" in that it was not something I was looking for, nor was thinking about or had ever really considered specifically.  It was just there of a sudden, out of the blue, or, I should say, out of the black. . . .

The gist of it was this:  That new demons have come into the area.  The Bible relates that certain demonic principalities rule over certain regions--geographical and political.  What I believe I saw-- and it makes logical sense--is that new and different demonic entities have been "brought in" to the country from the Middle East.  And that they are roving about, influencing and seeking vessels to inhabit or overshadow.  Their characteristics are of a kind that were common to their prior region, and they are finding quick and relatively easy access to the unwitting here; interestingly, especially among females . . . is what I seemed to ascertain.  And their "style" and modes of temptation are not what you might expect at first thought.  They are surprisingly "materialistic" and have a penchant for eliciting the pride of glamour . . . sensuality . . . and a "devil-may-care" ruthlessness in pursuing worldly objectives.

I dare say, that because they are mostly new to this region (this country) the population (even unconsciously) is slow to recognize and resist them.  Here, as an aside, I would suggest that even among those who aren't saved, there is a general sense of the Mandate to resist evil and that most people have a kind of instinctual alarm system spiritually to recognize and resist typical temptation from the usual (unseen demonic) influences "of the airs" . . . arising in their "area"--although it must be noted we all fail miserably for the most part nevertheless, at least as far as the thought life goes.

These new "jinn" are exciting and tempting to allow overshadowing because they are mostly unfamiliar, and so it is all too easy for the novice to assume that the influence being felt is positive or "spiritual" in a good way.  Which makes them (the new jinn) all the more dangerous. . . .

I suspect these entities have been brought in quite deliberately and are being turned loose in increasing numbers, finding little to no resistance . . . as the population has become so distracted and unmoored from prior social, moral, intellectual etc. Biblical foundations.

This is difficult to relay and give more specifics to since I saw it in a flash . . . but one of the primary things that struck me . . . was how these occult "spirits" seemed not to be what you might expect as ones originating in the Middle East.  They did not have an "exotic" or "mystical" type trapping.  I was surprised at how materialistic, "glamorous", worldly-oriented and even "modern" feeling they seemed to be. . . . And how much they were targeting and influencing women (over men) with these seductions.

For instance, on initial consideration you might expect that coming from that region and culture, these creatures would be prone to focus on patriarchal, political objectives--emphasizing austerity, ancient modes and especially religiously oriented.  But that's not what I believe I perceived.  I saw them instead more geared toward stoking pride of life, sensuality, worldly competition and more in the realm of popular culture, trendiness, superficiality and taking advantage of easy access to young post-modern feminine minds. . . .

Anyway, I realize this is bit off the wall and I've only scratched the surface of the implications, but I thought I would share this experience nonetheless, fwiw, if anything. . . . I suspect there will be more to say on the subject.....
God bless and take care.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Tides A 'comin in. . . .

Yep....what i wrote early on in this affair.....(My opinion anyway)......The dems and Russians are in cahoots.  They have the chance to deal a devastating blow or scissor technique.  Imagine when a top level Russian source comes out saying there IS evidence of dealings b/t trump and "Russians".   They are staging this whole thing and its been long scripted and will unfold like a script.  If Rus sources come out saying yes there's something to it... then the estab. repubs will join in with the dems to call for impeachment or something to that effect.  Remember, very little news anymore is actually news. It's all script--with plotlines, twists, villains, rises and falls . . . . with the dramatic, spectacular rises and falls   the chance is there to also deal big psychological blows--undercutting of morale or public spirit.  Raise the peoples' hopes with a white knight riding in; allow him to rise... then shockingly cause his very public downfall --"show" that that hero was a deplorable, a criminal, a "liar" . . . AND furthermore other larger social engineering projects are pushed along as in simultaneously tarnishing all those who followed/supported him as being potentially suspect as well.....Perhaps even eventually criminalized.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Never Forget

Most paintings of the crucifixion show Jesus with a loin cloth of sorts.  In fact, he was naked--they had stripped him of everything, dealt the cruelest indignities--beaten so harshly that his organs could show in places.  If ever, when ever . . . I forget just what He went through, as a man . . . and experience my own suffering, I rush to recall His.  My sin was in those blows He received. . . . How dare I ever forget!  The pain, the mockery, the affront, the indignities put upon this innocent Man--He Who created and gives breath to the very torturers. . . . Never forget!  Never forget!  And yet, showing grace and mercy, every day, He showers blessings--so many of which we take for granted or even find ways to complain about. . . .

My Lord You are great!  Incredible!  Astounding!  Beautiful!  Righteous!  Holy!  Blessed!

Praise God!

Brother Thomas ©2015

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