Saturday, November 29, 2008

A glimpse of the early church

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.” (Romans 16:3-4)

Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2, Acts 18:18, Acts 18:26, Romans 16:2, 1 Corinthians 16:19, 2 Timothy 4:19). Aquila was a Jew from Pontus who had settled in Rome, but was forced to leave the city, along with Priscilla, because Claudius expelled the Jews from there (Acts 18:2). Aquila was a tentmaker like Paul. In fact, this is likely how they came to know each other, when Paul had to work in Corinth to support himself during his missionary work. When Paul left Corinth to go to Ephesus, Priscilla and Aquila went with him. However, when Paul moved on, they stayed at Ephesus, and that was where God used them to explain the gospel to Apollos (Acts 18:24-26).

“Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.” (Romans 16:5b)

Note that Epenetus was Paul’s “dear friend” and “was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.” Since Paul had evangelized Asia, it is likely that Paul had led Epenetus to Christ. This would explain their close relationship.

“Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.” (Romans 16:6)

The ‘Mary’ mentioned here is likely a different Mary than the various other Marys mentioned in the New Testament. Since Paul tells the Romans that Mary “worked very hard for you,” Mary must have been from Rome. It could have very possibly been Priscilla and Aquila that told Paul about Mary when they came to Corinth about the time that Paul first arrived there.

“Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.” (Romans 16:7)

Calling Andronicus and Junias his relatives could mean that they were members of his own extended family, but it probably only means that they were Jews. They became Christians before Paul did, so they must have been believers from the very earliest days of the church in Jerusalem.

“Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord.” (Romans 16:8)

Ampliatus was a common slave name. In Domatilla, the earliest of the Christian catacombs, there is an elaborate tomb with the word “Ampliatus” on it. Free men had more than one name, so this single name seems to imply that it was the tomb of a slave. However, since it is elaborate, it seems to be the tomb of an important person in the church, and in the Roman church, there were no distinctions based upon whether a person was a slave or free. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

“Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.” (Romans 16:10-11)

Paul speaks only of the households of Aristobulus and Narcissus, implying that he did not know them personally. In Rome, the word ‘household’ not only described a man’s immediate family, but also included his household domestics or slaves as well. In Rome, there had lived a man named Aristobulus, who had been the grandson of the Jewish king Herod the Great. When he died, his slaves would have fallen under the ownership of the Emperor and would have been known as “the household of Aristobulus.” So, Paul’s greeting may have been to those Jewish slaves who belonged to this household, but who had become Christians and were members of the Roman church. This is especially likely because the name Herodion derives from Herod, so Herodion may have been one of the leading slaves of this household. Narcissus might possibly be the same person as a wealthy freedman by the same name, who had been prominent under Claudius, but had been put to death by Nero when he took the throne.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Celebrating Thanksgiving in America

David Barton - 11/2008

The tradition introduced by European Americans of Thanksgiving as a time to focus on God and His blessings dates back well over four centuries in America. For example, such thanksgivings occurred in 1541 at Palo Duro Canyon, Texas with Coronado and 1,500 of his men; 1 in 1564 at St. Augustine, Florida with French Huguenot (Protestant) colonists; 2 in 1598 at El Paso, Texas with Juan de Oñate and his expedition; 3 in 1607 at Cape Henry, Virginia with the landing of the Jamestown settlers; 4 in 1619 at Berkeley Plantation, Virginia; 5 (and many other such celebrations). But it is primarily from the Pilgrim’s Thanksgiving celebration of 1621 that we derive the current tradition of Thanksgiving Day.

The Pilgrims set sail for America on September 6, 1620, and for two months braved the harsh elements of a storm-tossed sea. Upon disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they held a prayer service and then hastily began building shelters; however, unprepared for such a harsh New England winter, nearly half of them died before spring. 6 Emerging from that grueling winter, the Pilgrims were surprised when an Indian named Samoset approached them and greeted them in their own language, explaining to them that he had learned English from fishermen and traders. A week later, Samoset returned with a friend named Squanto, who lived with the Pilgrims and accepted their Christian faith. Squanto taught the Pilgrims much about how to live in the New World, and he and Samoset helped forge a long-lasting peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians. Pilgrim Governor William Bradford described Squanto as “a special instrument sent of God for [our] good . . . and never left [us] till he died.” 7

That summer, the Pilgrims, still persevering in prayer and assisted by helpful Indians, 8 reaped a bountiful harvest. 9 As Pilgrim Edward Winslow (later to become the Governor) affirmed, “God be praised, we had a good increase of corn”; “by the goodness of God, we are far from want.” 10 The grateful Pilgrims therefore declared a three-day feast in December 1621 to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends 11 – America’s first Thanksgiving Festival. Ninety Wampanoag Indians joined the fifty Pilgrims for three days of feasting (which included shellfish, lobsters, turkey, corn bread, berries, deer, and other foods), of play (the young Pilgrim and Wampanoag men engaged in races, wrestling matches, and athletic events), and of prayer. This celebration and its accompanying activities were the origin of the holiday that Americans now celebrate each November.

However, while the Pilgrims enjoyed times of prosperity for which they thanked God, they also suffered extreme hardships. In fact, in 1623 they experienced an extended and prolonged drought. Knowing that without a change in the weather there would be no harvest and the winter would be filled with death and starvation, Governor Bradford called the Pilgrims to a time of prayer and fasting to seek God’s direct intervention. Significantly, shortly after that time of prayer – and to the great amazement of the Indian who witnessed the scene – clouds appeared in the sky and a gentle and steady rain began to fall. As Governor Bradford explained:

It came without either wind or thunder or any violence, and by degrees in abundance, as that ye earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith, which did so apparently revive and quicken ye decayed corn and other fruits as was wonderful to see, and made ye Indians astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather as, through His blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. 12

The drought had been broken; the fall therefore produced an abundant harvest; there was cause for another thanksgiving. The Pilgrim practice of designating an official time of Thanksgiving spread into neighboring colonies and became an annual tradition. 13 And just as those neighboring colonies followed the Pilgrims’ example of calling for days of thanksgiving, so, too, did they adopt their practice of calling for a time of prayer and fasting. The New England Colonies therefore developed a practice of calling for a day of prayer and fasting in the spring, and a day of prayer and thanksgiving in the fall.

The Thanksgiving celebrations so common throughout New England did not begin to spread southward until the American Revolution, when Congress issued eight separate national Thanksgiving Proclamations. (Congress also issued seven separate proclamations for times of fasting and prayer, for a total of 15 official prayer proclamations during the American Revolution. 14)

America’s first national Thanksgiving occurred in 1789 with the commencement of the federal government. According to the Congressional Record for September 25 of that year, the first act after the Framers completed the framing of the Bill of Rights was that:

Mr. [Elias] Boudinot said he could not think of letting the session pass without offering an opportunity to all the citizens of the United States of joining with one voice in returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. With this view, therefore, he would move the following resolution:

Resolved, That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States to request that he would recommend to the people of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer. . . .

Mr. Roger Sherman justified the practice of thanksgiving on any single event not only as a laudable one in itself but also as warranted by a number of precedents in Holy Writ. . . . This example he thought worthy of a Christian imitation on the present occasion. 15

That congressional resolution was delivered to President George Washington, who heartily concurred with the request and issued the first federal Thanksgiving proclamation, declaring in part:

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection. 16

That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church (of which President Washington was a member) announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, “unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities.” 17 Following President Washington’s initial proclamation, national Thanksgiving Proclamations occurred only sporadically (another by President Washington in 1795, one by John Adams in 1799, one by James Madison in 1814 and again in 1815, etc.); 18 most official Thanksgiving observances occurred at the state level. In fact, by 1815, the various state governments had issued at least 1,400 official prayer proclamations, almost half for times of thanksgiving and prayer and the other half for times of fasting and prayer. 19

Much of the credit for the adoption of Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, the editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, a popular lady’s books containing poetry, art work, and articles by America’s leading authors. For nearly three decades, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, 20 contacting president after president until Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of that November. The Thanksgiving proclamation issued by Lincoln was remarkable not only for its strong religious content but also for its timing, for it was delivered in the midst of the darkest days of the Civil War, with the Union having lost battle after battle throughout the first three years of that conflict. Yet, despite those dark circumstances, Lincoln nevertheless called Americans to prayer with an air of positive optimism and genuine thankfulness, noting that:

The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the Source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they can not fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God. . . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, Who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 21

That remarkable Thanksgiving Proclamation came at a pivotal point in Lincoln’s spiritual life. Three months earlier, the Battle of Gettysburg had occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. It had been while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he first committed his life to Christ. As he later explained to a clergyman:

When I left Springfield [Illinois, to assume the Presidency], I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ. 22

The dramatic spiritual impact resulting from that experience was not only visible in Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Day proclamation (and also his 1864 call for a day of prayer and fasting) but especially in his 1865 Second Inaugural Address.

Over the seventy-five years following Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, presidents faithfully followed Lincoln’s precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day (but the date of the celebrations varied widely from proclamation to proclamation). In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began celebrating Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of each November, and in 1941, Congress permanently established that day as the national Thanksgiving holiday. 23

As you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, remember to retain the original gratefulness to God that has always been the spirit of this – the oldest of all American holidays. (Below are representative examples of the scores of Thanksgiving proclamations penned by various Founding Fathers.)

[Congress] recommended [a day of] . . . thanksgiving and praise [so] that “the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts and join . . . their supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to forgive [our sins] and . . . to enlarge [His] kingdom which consisteth in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” 24 Continental Congress, 1777 – written by SIGNERS OF THE DECLARATION SAMUEL ADAMS AND RICHARD HENRY LEE

[I] appoint . . . a day of public Thanksgiving to Almighty God . . . to [ask] Him that He would . . . pour out His Holy Spirit on all ministers of the Gospel; that He would . . . spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth; . . . and that He would establish these United States upon the basis of religion and virtue. 25 GOVERNOR THOMAS JEFFERSON, 1779

[I] appoint . . . a day of public thanksgiving and praise . . . to render to God the tribute of praise for His unmerited goodness towards us . . . [by giving to] us . . . the Holy Scriptures which are able to enlighten and make us wise to eternal salvation. And [to] present our supplications...that He would forgive our manifold sins and . . . cause the benign religion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to be known, understood, and practiced among all the inhabitants of the earth. 26 GOVERNOR JOHN HANCOCK, 1790


1. Library of Congress, “Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541-2001” (at:

2. Library of Congress, “Thanksgiving Timeline, 1541-2001” (at

3. Texas Almanac, “The First Thanksgiving?” (at

4. Benson Lossing, Our Country. A Household History of the United States (New York: James A. Bailey, 1895), Vol. 1, pp. 181-182; see also National Park Service, “Robert Hunt: Jamestown’s First Chaplain” (at

5. “Berkeley Plantation,” Berkeley Plantation.Com, (at: (accessed November 17, 2008).

6. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), pp. 74, 78, 80, 91.

7. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 95.

8. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 100.

9. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 105.

10. William S. Russell, Guide to Plymouth and Recollections of the Pilgrims (Boston: George Coolidge, 1846), p. 95, quoting from a letter of Pilgrim Edward Winslow to George Morton of London, written on December 21, 1621.

11. Ashbel Steele, Chief of the Pilgrims: Or the Life and Time of William Brewster (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1857), pp. 269-270.

12. William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Little, Brown & Co, 1856), p. 142.

13. DeLoss Love, Jr, The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England (Boston: Houghton,, Mifflin & Co, 1895), pp. 87-90.

14. See the Journals of the Continental Congress (1905) for June 12, 1775; March 16, 1776; December 11, 1776; November 1, 1777; March 7, 1778; November 17, 1778; March 20, 1779; October 20, 1779; March 11, 1780; October 18, 1780; March 20, 1781; October 26, 1781; March 19, 1782; October 11, 1782; October 18, 1783.

15. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States (Washington: Gales & Seaton, 1834), Vol. I, pp. 949-950.

16. George Washington, Writings of George Washington, Jared Sparks, editor ((Boston: Russell, Odiorne and Metcalf, 1838), Vol. XII, p. 119, Proclamation for a National Thanksgiving on October 3, 1789.

17. The American Cyclopaedia, A Popular Dictionary of General Knowledge, George Ripley and Charles A. Dana, editors (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1883), Vol. XV, p. 684, s.v., “Thanksgiving Day.”

18. See, for example, H. S. J. Sickel, Thanksgiving: Its Source, Philosophy and History With All National Proclamations (Philadelphia: International Printing Co, 1940), pp. 154-155, “Thanksgiving Day- 1795” by George Washington, pp. 156-157, “Thanksgiving Day – 1798” by John Adams, pp. 158-159, “Thanksgiving Day – 1799” by John Adams, p. 160, “Thanksgiving Day – 1814” by James Madison, p. 161, “Thanksgiving Day – 1815” by James Madison, etc.

19. Deloss Love, in his work The Fast and Thanksgiving Days of New England, lists some 1,735 proclamations issued between 1620 and 1820, in a non-exclusive list. Of those, 284 were issued by churches and 1,451 by civil authorities. Of the civil proclamations, 1,028 were issued prior to July 4, 1776, and 413 from July 4, 1776 to 1820. Of the church issued proclamations, 278 were issued before July 4, 1776, and six afterwards. These, however, are only a portion of what were issued; for example, the author personally owns hundreds of additional proclamations not listed in Love’s work. While the exact number of government-issued prayer proclamations is unknown, it is certain that they certainly number in the thousands.

20. Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography, James Grant Wilson & John Fiske, editors (New York: D. Appleton & Co, 1888), Vol. III, p. 35.

21. Abraham Lincoln, The Works of Abraham Lincoln, John H. Clifford & Marion M. Miller, editors (New York: University Society Inc, 1908), Vol. VI, pp. 160-161, Proclamation for Thanksgiving, October 3, 1863. See also, The American Presidency Project, “Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation – Thanksgiving Day, 1863” (at:

22. Abraham Lincoln, The Lincoln Memorial: Album-Immortelles. Osborn H. Oldroyd, editor (New York: G.W. Carleton & Co, 1882) p. 366, Reply to an Illinois Clergyman.

23. The National Archives, “Congress Establishes Thanksgiving” (at:; see also Pilgrim Hall Museum, “Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamations 1940-1949: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman” (at:, Proclamation 2571: Days of Prayer: Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day, November 11, 1942, referring to a “joint resolution of Congress approved December 26, 1941, which designates the fourth Thursday in November of each year as Thanksgiving Day.”

24. Journals of the Continental Congress (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1907), Vol. IX, p. 855, November 1, 1777.

25. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Julian P. Boyd, editor (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951), Vol. 3, p. 178, Proclamation Appointing a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, November 11, 1779.

26. John Hancock, Proclamation for a Day of Public Thanksgiving (Boston, 1790), from an original broadside in possession of the author.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Paul: A people-person?

When you think of Paul in the Bible, what characteristics do you think of? Do you think of him as a missionary, as a writer, maybe as a scholar? Some non-Christians have even accused him of being a male chauvinist pig. But when you examine Romans 16, you see that Paul was intensely interested in people. In fact, judging by Romans 16, Paul might even be said to show more interest in people than anyone else in the Bible except Jesus!

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.” (Romans 16:1-2)

Phoebe is a pagan name, a feminine form of Phoibos, which was a name given to the god Apollo. But she had become a Christian.

Since Phoebe is the only one commended to the church (the first time the word “church” appears in Romans), it seems likely that she was the bearer of the letter to the church at Rome. She probably had people traveling with her, since it was not safe for a woman to travel alone in the ancient world. She was probably single and a prominent, wealthy woman, since it took money to travel, especially with companions. She had been a servant to the church in Cenchrea (the eastern port of Corinth).

In Romans 16:3-16, Paul sends greetings to over 24 people in Rome, even though he had never been in Rome. When you think about the fact that there was no Internet back then, no TV, no radio, no phones, and not even a postal service as we have today, it is amazing that Paul knew all these people, and knew so much about them. Paul knew most of them personally, so they may have been people he had come to know in his travels and missionary work. As far as the others, possibly someone had come from that city (like Priscilla and Aquila, for example) and had told Paul about them. He may have led some of them to Christ, or maybe they worked with him, or they might have been with him in prison. In any case, Paul remembered them and had kept track of them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

More on homosexuality

Evangelism and Two Homosexual Men

Gay activists threaten to kill Christians

CLICK THE FOLLOWING link to go to the WorldNetDaily website story:
Sparks fly as 'gay' activist mob swarms Christians

The Way of the Master: Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Is Gay the new Black?

by Dennis Prager
Nov. 18, 2008

"Gay is the new black is one of the mottos of the movement to redefine marriage to include two people of the same sex.

The likening of the movement for same-sex marriage to the black civil rights struggle is a primary argument of pro same-sex marriage groups. This comparison is a major part of the moral appeal of redefining marriage: Just as there were those who once believed that blacks and whites should not be allowed to be married, the argument goes, there are today equally bigoted individuals who believe that men should not be allowed to marry men and women should not be allowed to marry women.

It is worth noting that the people least impressed with the comparison of the gay struggle to redefine marriage with the black struggle for racial equality are blacks. They voted overwhelmingly for Californias Proposition 8 which amends the California Constitution to define marriage as being the union of a man and a woman.

One reason given is that blacks tend to be socially conservative. But another, less verbalized, reason may well be that blacks find the comparison demeaning and insulting. As well they should.

One has to either be ignorant of segregation laws and the routine humiliations experienced by blacks during the era of Jim Crow, or one has to be callous to black suffering, to equate that to a person not being allowed to marry a person of the same sex. They are not in the same moral universe.

There is in fact no comparison between the situation of gays in America in 2008 and the situation of most black Americans prior to the civil rights era. Gays are fully accepted, and as a group happen to constitute one of the wealthiest in American life. Moreover, not being allowed to marry a person of the same sex is not anti-gay; it is pro-marriage as every civilization has defined it. The fact is that states like California already grant people who wish to live and love a member of the same sex virtually every right that marriage bestows except the word married.

A certain number of gay men will feel better if they can call their partner husband and some lesbians will enjoy calling their partner wife, but society as a whole is not benefitted by such a redefinition of those words. Society as a whole does not benefit by removing, as California did, the words bride and groom from marriage licenses and substituting Partner A and Partner B.

But hoping that the more radical gays and straights of the gay rights movement will ask what benefits society? before what makes some gays feel better? is useless.

And so, the movement appropriates the symbols and rhetoric of the back civil rights struggle when that struggle and the movement to redefine marriage have next to nothing in common. How can a seriously moral individual compare forcing a black bus rider to sit in the back of a bus or to give up his seat to a white who demands it, or prohibiting a black human being from drinking from the same water fountain or eating at the same lunch counter as a white human being, or being denied the right to vote, or being prohibited from attending a school with whites, let alone being periodically lynched, to either the general gay condition today or specifically to being given the right to redefine marriage for society?

But radically redefining the most important institution in the life of a civilization; and routinely labeling as the moral equivalent of racists every individual who does not want children regularly asked whether they will marry a boy or a girl when grown up, and who rightly fears that every traditional religious community will be labeled as a hate group — these are not commensurate with civil rights.

Gay and straight activists who liken their demand to redefine marriage to black suffering under Jim Crow merely cheapen historic black suffering. Most blacks know this but for the sake of their political coalition wont say it. They should. Rosa Parks is in a different moral category than the protestors against Proposition 8."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saudi Arabia Hosts Interfaith Meeting

CBN News
November 14, 2008

" - Saudi Arabia's King Abdallah sponsored an interfaith meeting at the U.N. this week, in hopes, he said, of building bridges between people of different faiths and cultures.

Some say the idea of Saudi Arabia hosting a conference on religious tolerance is absurd, because it forbids the practice of any religion except Wahabbi Islam.

Carl Moeller is president of the religious freedom group, Open Doors USA.

"In Saudi Arabia itself there's absolutely no religious tolerance," he said. "It's the worst persecutor of Christians and other faiths of any country in the Muslim world."

World leaders, including President Bush and Israeli President Shimon peres attended the event.

In his address, Bush said freedom is crucial to fostering peace between faiths.

"People who are free to express their opinions can challenge the ideologies of hate," he said. "They can defend their religious beliefs and speak out against those seeking to twist them to evil ends."

But religious rights groups say the conference is hiding a grave threat to freedom of speech.

King Abdallah has been building support for a UN resolution called combating the defamation of religions.

Jay Sekulow of the American Center for Law and Justice says that despite its name, the resolution is really designed to give Islam special status.

"The fact of the matter is that this defamation of religion has nothing to do with protecting religious freedom," he said. "What it does is isolate and protect Islam from criticism."

Moeller says the resolution is more like a global gag law that would give muslim countries legal cover to punish those who question Islam.

"You might remember the response of world nations that were particularly offended by the Danish cartoons, the riots in many Muslim countries because they considered those cartoons an offense to Islam," he began. "Well this resolution will institutionalize that perspective in many Muslim countries."

And he says it can have a harmful effect on Christians.

Simple Christian activities like praying worshipping and sharing one's belief in Jesus Christ with a neighbor can be interpreted as offensive and therefore restricted," he said.

At the U.N., the interfaith meeting did break some new ground.

When Israeli President Shimon Peres addressed the group, it was the first time that a Saudi Arabian official did not walk out when an Israeli spoke."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quotes regarding Creation

"I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how he could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

"The visible order of the universe proclaims a supreme intelligence."
(Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

"Science brings men nearer to God."
(Louis Pasteur)

"The visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of the creation that a rational creature, who will but seriously reflect on them, cannot miss the discovery of a Deity."
(John Locke)

"As a house implies a builder, and a garment a weaver, and a door a carpenter, so does the existence of the Universe imply a Creator."
(Marquis de Vauvenargues)

"It is impossible to account for the creation of the universe without the agency of a Supreme Being."
(George Washington)

"Of what I call God, And fools call Nature."
(Robert Browning)

"So irresistible are these evidences of an intelligent and powerful Agent that, of the infinite numbers of men who have exited thro' all the time, they have believed, in the proportion of a million at least to Unit, in the hypotheses of an eternal pre-existence of a creator, rather than in that of a self-existent Universe."
(Thomas Jefferson)

"Nature is the art of God."
(Dante Alighieri)

"The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator."
(Louis Pasteur)

(Also see my past blog articles on Creation)

Friday, November 14, 2008

God has a sense of humor

I just found a website called "Share Your Story"
One article there is called “Is There Humor in the Bible?”

I thought this person's comment there was quite humorous:

jennranwez says:
April 2nd, 2008 at 8:04 am
"My favorite–the one that cracks me up every time–is John 20:3-9. This is the most amazing moment in history for the disciples: they’re at Jesus’ tomb, and he’s *gone!* He has risen!
But notice the funny thing about this passage. The author, John (who was the youngest disciple and doesn’t ever refer to himself in the 1st person) points out that he got to the tomb first. Check it out:
vs. 3-4: So Peter and the other disciple [John] started for the tomb. Both were running, **but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.**
vs. 6: Then Simon Peter, **who was behind him,** arrived and went into the tomb.
vs. 8: Finally the other disciple, **who had reached the tomb first,** also went inside.
So John points out that he was faster than Peter. Not once, but THREE times!
Ha Ha! Who cares who got to the tomb first? That just cracks me up. It’s such a guy thing; even in the gospels, they’re competitive. :)"

So I decided I would add a couple examples of humor in the Bible myself:

The most hilarious verse in the Bible to me is in Proverbs, which was written by Solomon, who had a thousand wives. Just imagine a guy having all those wives around, and now listen to this verse:
“It is better to live in the corner of an attic than with a crabby woman in a lovely home.”
(Proverbs 21:9)

I also think God had a sense of humor when He sent the plagues against Egypt. Yahweh God (Jehovah) humiliated each of the Egyptian gods, one by one.

The Egyptians worshiped Hapi, the Egyptian god of the Nile. This Egyptian god was a water bearer: so Yahweh God turned the water to blood.

The Egyptians worshiped Heket, the Egyptian god of Fertility, Water and Renewal. Heket the Egyptian god had the head of a frog: so God had a plague of frogs come from the Nile River.

The Egyptians worshiped Geb, the Egyptian god of the Earth. The Egyptian god Geb was over the dust of the earth: so God caused a plague of lice to come from the dust of the earth.

The Egyptians worshiped Khepri, the Egyptian god of creation, movement of the Sun, and rebirth. Khepri the Egyptian god had the head of a fly:
so God sent swarms of flies.

The Egyptians worshiped Hathor, the Egyptian goddess of Love and Protection. Usually this Egyptian goddess was depicted with the head of a cow: so God caused the death of the cattle and livestock.

The Egyptians worshiped Isis, the Egyptian goddess of Medicine and Peace: so the ashes that Moses took from the furnace of affliction and threw into the air caused boils and sores on the Egyptians and their animals.

The Egyptians worshiped Nut, the Egyptian goddess of the Sky: so God caused fiery rain to hail down from the sky.

The Egyptians worshiped Seth, the Egyptian god of Storms and Disorder: so God sent locusts from the sky.

The Egyptians worshiped Ra, the Sun god: so God caused 3 days of complete darkness.

The Egyptians considered Pharaoh to be the Ultimate Power of Egypt. The king of Egypt was worshiped by the Egyptians because he was considered to be the greatest Egyptian god of all. It was believed that he was actually the son of Ra himself, manifest in the flesh: therefore, Yahweh God caused the death of the firstborn, including the death of Pharaoh’s firstborn.

One by one, Yahweh God showed Himself to be greater than each and every one of the Egyptian gods. It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to shout, “WOO-HOO!”

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The worst is yet to come under President Barack Obama

As a result of the recent election, you may notice that I have been focusing more on political articles, rather than theological articles. The below article is one that was e-mailed to me.

Posted by Vincent Gioia
November - 11 - 2008

"Until now most attention to a Barack Obama presidency has focused, rightfully, on the likely socialist policies to be enacted during the next four years. Opponents have unsuccessfully tried to inform Americans about changes in the tax law to “spread the wealth” from the so-called “wealthy” to lower income voters. Though under the current “progressive” tax system this already occurs; President Obama will enshrine and expand the tax policy toward the Marxist ideal.

Other government policy and laws that will diminish our rights and increase government control have also been discussed by many but have fallen on deaf ears as the public focused more on rhetoric and style rather than substance. A loss of the sacred secret ballot for workers to the benefit of unions seems not to impress workers enough to affect their vote. The potential loss of private health care and the likelihood that government bureaucrats will make health care decisions did not diminish voter support for Obama. Even the appointment of liberal judges willing to ignore the constitution like Ginsberg, Breyer, Souter and Stevens did not bother voters captivated by Obama.

All of the above is sufficient to accept a non conservative of questionable judgment in place of the radical community organizer.

However not as well known are some very serious matters that will change our country forever. Under our constitution treaties take precedence over all federal and state laws and some treaties previously barred by Republican presidents will likely find smooth sailing under a Democrat-dominated congress led by President Barack Obama.

For many years we have resisted the insistence of the United Nations and socialist-led countries to sign onto the International Court where constitutional rights of Americans will be superseded by a court hostile to our institutions and individual rights and immune from US voter and congressional oversight. Our soldiers and citizens can be arrested and charged under leftist laws without protection of our constitution.

Of course a Kyoto-like treaty ignored even by President Bush will easily get ratified in the next congress and eagerly signed by President Obama. It will not be enough that our economy and individual rights will be saddled by new environmental laws but the country will be subject to international oversight to assure compliance with extreme regulations.

Rights under the Second Amendment will be jeopardized as gun control advocates will be able to accomplish what has been denied by congress and the U.S. Supreme Court as the United States signs a treaty to ban small arms and light weapons among United Nation member countries.

The Law of the Sea Treaty which has faced opposition in congress can become law as we surrender unilateral rights to foreign controlled agencies of the United Nations.

Who knows what effect on the country ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Woman (CEDAW) will have.

Will a requirement to participate in world taxes be far behind? One of the United Nations goals is to collect a United Nations royalty on all fossil fuels extracted in international waters.

We must also remember that Senator Barack Obama introduced legislation, (S. 2433) called the Global Poverty Act “to promote the reduction of global poverty and the achievement of the Millennium development goal by allocating $800 billion for this purpose. The laws reference to Millennium Development is short-hand for a United Nations declaration calling for the treaties and convent ions described above. Legislation like S. 2433 has already passed the House. After the 2008 election we can expect S. 2433 to move forward with lightning speed.

Those of us fearful of a Barack Obama presidency based on what is already known of his goals can only shudder at falling of the second shoe."

Monday, November 10, 2008

What do the election results mean to conservatives?

By Bruce Walker

"The results of the 2008 election mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. What do those results mean to conservatives? The results do not mean conservative candidates lose elections. Obama got a big slice of the conservative vote, largely because he portrayed himself as a post-ideological as well as a post-partisan candidate -- and McCain tried to do just the same thing. Ronald Reagan in 1984 was the last man to run as an unabashed conservative, and he won by the last true landslide in an American presidential election.

President Bush, admired for his personal honor and deep faith, was respected by many conservatives, but he was hardly a conservative himself. No man who nominated Harriett Meiers to the Supreme Court could be considered a true conservative. Anyone who could embrace the vision of Ted Kennedy for our national education policy was not a true conservative. Anyone who could create a new entitlement for prescription drugs was not a true conservative.

Bush was simply a decent man who was not a Leftist Democrat. As McCain found out, being a decent man who is not a Leftist Democrat means nothing at all to the Left. Both men, like Bob Dole and like George H. Bush, are good Americans, admirable people, and men blissfully unaware that the Left is not just waging battles on issues like more socialism but are rather waging war on our entire way of life. Bush, Dole, McCain, and Bush Sr. were not wicked failures because they were not conservatives. They were more like Chamberlain at Munich: They did not grasp the true depth and nature of their adversary and, they thought, their adversary might be reasonable.

How far have "conservatives" come from Ronald Reagan's famous maxim "If you can't make them see the light, then let them feel the heat." In other words, conservatives must lead. Or, as Reagan also said "All they can do is hang us from a higher tree." This homey, typical truth trumped all the mush of moderation that brought Republicans in such disrepute over the last ten years or so. Courage is contagious and so is cowardice.

When Republican "leaders" like Trent Lott sabotaged the impeachment trial of a sitting president because they feared political fallout, conservatives cringed. We conservatives, after all, do not involve ourselves in the public arena because of the goodies we might get. That is what Leftists do. We intend to protect the sacred values of the Declaration of Independence, which are utterly nonpartisan (the founding fathers, of course, dreaded political parties) and we do this recalling that the signers of that document risked all in taking their stand for transcendent liberty. Ronald Reagan, a Hollywood star with a starlet wife and lots of money, did not enter politics to get but rather to give. He entered to lead and not to herd. This is what conservatives used to do.

And this is the way conservatives used to talk: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Barry Goldwater defiantly rejected the idea that Leftists could place him on some invented "Far Right." He stood for specific things, which he recorded in books, and which represented an actual platform for conservative ideals. John McCain, the other Republican nominee from Arizona, would never have embraced extremism, even in the defense of liberty. The soft, warm, middle was his true home. The safe, predictable consensus was his real party.

He was in the good company of pleasant and worthwhile citizens like Tom Dewey, Wendel Wilkie, Herbert Hoover, and Gerald Ford. In a world at peace on a planet unscarred by a relentless ideological jihad on our values and our faith, these nice sorts would have made excellent managers of the republic. But war was declared on us long ago, long before September 11.

War was declared on us by militant atheists who sought to deconstruct all our values and to mask their crimes as science. War was declared on us by active, pernicious agents of the Soviet Union who sowed the seeds of racial hatred, gender warfare, and every other discord they could inflame and poison -- they were not in the business of calming and healing. War was declared on us by jealous and irreligious Europeans, who view our faith in anything as hopeless naïveté which it is their pleasure to debunk. War was declared on us by radical Moslems, who saw the version of God which serious Christians and Jews embrace as too loving and too peaceful.

War was declared on us, and the Left here joined the fight against us. War was declared on us, and notional "conservatives" tried to lead us. But, of course, they could not. While Ronald Reagan embarrassed the establishment by calling the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire," our putative conservative nominee would not even raise the malignancy of Jeremiah Wright. While Barry Goldwater nobly challenged federal grasping in 1964, his Arizonan successor called for Washington "solutions" to a Washingtonian financial disease forty-four years later.

What does this mean to conservatives? It means we must choose leaders who believe, even if their cause seems hopeless. It means that we must recall that liberty was not born in our nation in easy ways but at Valley Forge when Washington saw his men's bloody, frostbitten feet as he contemplated the loss of everything he possessed in life if he were to lose. It means remembering that Goldwater was routed in 1964, but came back to the Senate in 1968 with everyone - liberals included -- respected his courage and dignity. It means going back four years to the Reagan Funeral and seeing the long lines of thankful Americans who waited for hours just to say goodbye to the last true leader they had known.

We have hope now. Obama cannot end democracy in America and he probably cannot impose a melancholy quasi-official censorship. Obama can only assume total responsibility for what happens to us over the next two years. Please, conservatives, resist compromise! Make stands upon principle, like Reagan and Goldwater. Take the heart of Washington, the true leader of all conservatives, in fighting for what we believe even if the outcome is uncertain and the struggle is long. Contemplate Churchill in 1940, when he promised to resist rather than parlay with evil.

If we believe in God, then hope is ever certain. If we hold sure and proven laws of human experience, then we know that failed ideas in practice also fail. If we believe in the spirit of the American people and their nation, then we sense that though change comes in elections, the liberty to which we have become accustomed longer than any people in human history cannot be simply crushed.

We fight -- even today -- for our lives and the lives of our children. If we have not had leaders, we must find them. Victory may seem far off. But we can see it still. As another American wrote almost two hundred years ago: "Oh, say does that Star Spangled Banner still wave? Ore the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Francis Scott Key, like George Washington, were models of what conservative leaders must be. We had these men once, and we shall have them again."

Bruce Walker is the author of Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, and the recently published book, The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.

After the Election

My friend Russ of Satire and Theology and The KingPin 68 posted this video on Facebook.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Evangelicals responsible for Obama victory

November 6, 2008

By Bryan Fischer

"Here's the single most important takeaway from Tuesday's election: evangelical voters are responsible, all by themselves, for putting Sen. Barack Obama into the White House.

A mentor of mine was fond of saying that the church is the secret government of the world, based on Jesus' teaching that his followers are the salt of the earth, arresting the spread of decay, and the light of the world, bringing illumination to a darkened and deceived humanity.

As the church goes, he believed, so the world goes.

According to exit polling data, Sen. Obama, a supporter of unlimited abortion rights and the radical homosexual agenda, did not win a majority of evangelicals in any state in the Union.

Overall, 74% of self-identified evangelical or born-again Christians voted for Sen. McCain, who has a 100% voting record on the pro-life issue and supported the state marriage amendments which were on the ballot in Arizona, California and Florida, all of which won decisively. One quarter of evangelicals voted for Sen. Obama.

In my home state of Idaho, 80% of evangelicals voted for the McCain-Palin ticket, while just 19% voted for the Obama-Biden ticket.

Two things are particularly noteworthy. One, it's amazing all by itself that 25% of evangelicals found some way to justify voting for a presidential candidate who supported infanticide while a state senator in Illinois, wants to overturn every pro-life law in the land as his first order of presidential business, and calls the Defense of Marriage Act an "abhorrent" law which he wants to repeal as soon as he can.

One can only wonder what kind of teaching these evangelicals are getting on morality in public policy from their pulpits. Have they been told that the Bible teaches that, according to Psalm 139 and Luke 1, a woman carries a baby in her womb, and not a blob of tissue? Have they been taught that the Scriptures teach in Genesis 1, Matthew 19, and 1 Corinthians 7 that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, and that the Scriptures teach in Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 5 that homosexual behavior is contrary to nature?

Secondly, it's clear that the simplest path toward recapturing America's moral compass is to create more and better instructed evangelicals.

Evangelicals now comprise 26% of American voters, meaning that of the 120,659,318 votes cast, 31,371,423 of them were cast by evangelicals. This means, bottom line, that 7,842,856 evangelicals cast their votes for Obama.

Sen. Obama's margin of victory in the popular vote was 7,576,856. This, you will note, is less than the number of evangelical votes for Obama. The bottom line, then, is that if all evangelicals had voted according to biblical standards of morality, Sen. McCain would have won the election by 266,000 votes.

Thus the most radical, left-leaning president America has ever had has evangelicals to thank for his elevation to the highest office in the world. He has been put into White House by evangelicals. Evangelicals all by themselves had the power to keep the most liberal senator in United States history out of the Oval Office and did not do so.

If evangelicals had cast their votes according to what they claim are their most deeply held convictions, we would now be talking about Sen. McCain's choice of cabinet members rather than fretting about how it will be possible to stop the pro-abortion, pro-homosexual juggernaut that will be unleashed on America on January 20.

And even assuming voting patterns remained the same, if evangelicals consisted of 37.5% of the electorate instead of just 25%, McCain also would have won. Under that scenario, McCain would have received almost 34 million votes from evangelicals, with Obama receiving just over 11 million, and the difference of 22.5 million votes would have been enough to overcome the 7.5 million vote margin that Obama received on Tuesday.

Bottom line: if we want to salvage the future of this country, all we need are more evangelicals.

The most patriotic thing we can do, both for the kingdom of God and the United States, is to bring our family members and friends into a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Evangelism, in other words, is not only our spiritual duty, it is our patriotic duty.

If each of us brings one soul into the kingdom of God over the next four years, the faith community will double in size, and even if teaching in the church does not improve, candidates who respect the Judeo-Christian underpinnings of American history and culture will easily be elevated to office.

Thus the path forward for evangelicals who care deeply about the moral fiber of this country, the soundness of its public policy, and the future of the country we are leaving for our children and grandchildren is quite clear: We should pray and work (in that order) for spiritual awakening to come to America and especially to its churches, and pray and work (in that order) to see that America's pulpits are filled with men who without apology and without compromise preach the word of God."

The Evangelical Electoral Map (Updated) | Christianity Today

© Bryan Fischer


Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Culture War and Barack Obama

by Bill O'Reilly
Saturday, November 08, 2008

"The fascinating thing about Barack Obama's election is that few Americans seem to know exactly how the man is going to govern. Will he be a Nancy Pelosi enthusiast, a far-left guy? Or will he move to the center like President Clinton did? Even his devoted followers don't really know how he will initially use his power.

There's an old country saying: "You dance with the one who brung ya." Just hours after Obama's victory, the far-left MoveOn outfit issued a press release saying that during the campaign it had raised an astounding $88 million on behalf of the president-elect. The timing of MoveOn's statement was no accident: It was a subtle reminder that payback is expected.

For far-left zealots, the goal is a European-like entitlement culture where the feds provide direct assistance to those without a lot of money. In countries like France and Sweden, there are no demands placed upon those receiving government money; cradle-to-grave financial support is given to anyone earning less than a certain amount. If you want to gamble all day or drink vodka until your legs give out, fine -- you still get the check, the housing, the medical care.

Traditionally, Americans have rejected that kind of nanny state. But make no mistake: That is what the far left see as "economic justice."

And then there are "San Francisco values." That is the George Soros vision of legalized narcotics and prostitution, unfettered abortion rights, legalized euthanasia, and gay marriage, to name just a few social issues. Soros, a big-time contributor to MoveOn, believes America should be a libertine society where moral judgments about social behavior are unacceptable.

Where will Obama stand on those issues? He says he personally opposes gay marriage, but I can't imagine him working against it. He's also fine with abortion in cases where the health of the mother is an issue. Of course, the health of the mother could be a panic attack or a headache. Based on his voting record in the past, I expect Obama to be extremely liberal when social legislation is presented to him. I also expect Ruth Bader Ginsburg to have a new best friend if a Supreme Court opening occurs.

However, if Obama tacks to the left on entitlements and the controversial social issues, his appeal to working Americans might quickly diminish -- especially if the economy doesn't turn around. Even while Obama was winning liberal California, voters were overturning the gay marriage law imposed upon them by activist judges. The United States is still a center-right country when it comes to traditional values.

I believe Obama and his advisers understand that. But I am also sure that the MoveOn brigades and devoted liberal media outlets are hungry for more "progressive" change. This is a dicey situation for the newly elected president. The words "rock" and "hard place" come to mind."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ten Ways To Pray For Obama

Personally, I do not see how any born-again Christian could vote for Obama. Obama said he will teach sex education to kindergartners. He is for gay marriage. He said he will remove all remaining laws regarding abortion, making any and every type of abortion legal in the U.S. His affections are strongly toward Africa and Islam, and he has refused to salute the American flag or wear a flag pin (until he was coerced to do so). IMO, I think he is far more liberal than Bill Clinton ever was, and I tend to think that is only the tip of the iceberg. I wonder exactly what radical "CHANGE"es he is going to implement, and I suspect that, for the most part at least, they will be very, very bad changes. But only time will tell, and much of my suspicions are merely conjecture and guessing at this point. No matter what, the fact is that Barack Hussein Obama is now President of the United States. And, in light of that, I think the following article by J. Lee Grady of "Charisma" magazine puts things in right perspective:

Fire In My Bones
By J. Lee Grady
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

10 Ways to Pray for Barack Obama

Whether you are happy about this week’s election results or not, all Christians must unite in prayer for our new president. Please don’t forsake this responsibility.

It’s over. We’ve reached the end of the longest, angriest and most nerve-wracking presidential campaign in American history. Finally the “I approved this message” ads have ceased. The endless robot phone calls have stopped ringing. The debates, and the annoying post-debate comments from “experts,” are history—until the next election cycle.

More than half the nation is celebrating today while others are mourning. We are a divided nation, split into unhappy fragments by abortion, gay marriage, global warming, a failed economy and an unpopular war. Those who voted for Barack Obama have claimed a historic victory; some on McCain’s side are already looking for scapegoats. Politics is politics.

But when I got up this morning, I turned all my attention to the fact that Jesus Christ is still on the throne. His government is what is most important. Regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, the Bible says “the nations are like a drop from a bucket” to God (Is. 40:15, NASB). That includes the United States. We may boast about being “the greatest nation on earth,” but He who sits in heaven has a different perspective. Let’s take a big sigh of relief now and remember that God is sovereign.

I’ll admit this election did not turn out as I had hoped. I supported McCain primarily because I am pro-life and I prefer his small-government mindset. But now that the election is over, I’m not going to harbor bitterness toward Obama supporters or go into attack mode. Obama has been elected president of this country, and that means I have a biblical responsibility to support him in prayer—even if I challenge his policies.

Whether you voted for Obama or not, you need to pray for him. Here are 10 ways I plan to intercede for him regularly:

1. Pray for Obama’s protection. We already know that some weird, neo-Nazi fanatics in Tennessee plotted to kill Sen. Obama during his campaign. Let’s pray that racist hatred is not allowed to spread. Let’s cancel every assassin’s bullet in the name of Jesus. May civility triumph over bigotry.

2. Cover his wife and daughters in prayer. It is not easy to live under constant media scrutiny. Pray for Obama’s wife, Michelle, and their two daughters, Malia and Natasha, as they face invasive cameras, nosy reporters, maniacal fans and dangerous enemies. Obama is not only a politician but also a husband and a father.

3. Pray that Obama will govern with God’s wisdom. God rewarded Solomon because he asked for wisdom instead of wealth, long life or vengeance on his enemies (see 1 Kings 3:11-12). Pray that Obama will order his priorities like that. Despite Solomon’s tragic character flaws, his legacy was wisdom. We can ask God to give our president the same grace.

4. Ask God to keep our president humble. Many great American leaders became corrupt after they moved to Washington. The fatal attraction of fame, wealth and power proved irresistible. The only thing that will guard a man or woman from this pitfall is humility. May God deliver President Obama from the curse of pride.

5. Pray for wise and righteous advisers to surround him. Godly leaders cannot do their job alone. Even the best leaders have failed because they trusted the wrong people. Pray that Obama will not select his counselors based on party, race, pedigree or political cronyism but on godly character and proven wisdom. Pray also that he will not allow secret traitors into his inner circle.

6. Ask for the spirit of reconciliation. Some segments of our deeply divided society want nothing to do with Obama now that he has won the presidency. Even some Christians will be tempted to harbor resentment and nurse political grudges throughout his term in office. Pray that God will grant forgiveness and healing so that leaders on all political levels can have constructive dialogue.

7. Pray that Obama will adopt pro-life convictions. Many politicians have changed their views on key issues while in office. In the 1800s some leaders who favored slavery later denounced it. In the 1950s some who opposed racial integration later became champions of it. Even though Obama won approval from many voters because he sanctions abortion, God could soften and change his heart.

8. Bind all evil forces assigned to manipulate our president. The specter of Islamic terrorism looms over the United States, and dark forces are ready to infiltrate. Our only hope lies in prayer to the God who is able to expose and outwit the schemes of the wicked. This is truly a time for spiritual warfare, and intercessors must not come off the wall in this hour! Pray that no foreign government, terrorist organization or demonic principality will use Obama as a tool. We must stand strong against the spirit of antichrist that promotes dictatorship, persecution of Christians and hostility toward Israel.

9. Pray that Obama’s door will remain open to the church. The loudest voices of secular culture—from Bill Maher in Hollywood to atheists in academia—would be happy if religion were removed from public life. Pray that Obama, who claims to have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, will unapologetically welcome Christian leaders into his company and seek their counsel. And pray that false religious leaders (who claim to know Christ but deny His power) will not have his ear.

10. Pray that our nation will enjoy God’s peace and blessing during the Obama administration. The apostle Paul instructed early believers to pray for all in authority “so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity” (1 Tim. 2:2, NASB). God’s will is for America to experience peace and prosperity so that we can continue to export the gospel to the nations. This must happen whether a Democrat or a Republican is in the White House. As we cry out for God’s mercy on our wayward nation, pray that He will allow us to be a light to the world as we finance global missions, feed and heal the world’s poor and share Christ’s love at home and abroad.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Pornography Time Statistics

Every second - $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography

Every second - 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography

Every second - 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines

Every 39 minutes: a new pornographic video is being created in the United States

(from Internet Pornography Statistics)

Men are the primary users of pornography! Why? Men are stimulated sexually by sight. Jesus gave the warning in Matthew 5:28, "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

The first look may be unavoidable. Of course the enemy often uses surprise to catch one off guard. The movie industry has learned to slip in the seductive looking woman into the men's adventure series. The advertising agencies know that sex sells. The internet offers pornography at the click of a mouse button. Therefore, it is sometimes difficult to avoid the first glance.

Next, come the curious look to fill the eyes with as much bare flesh as possible. However, the Word says that the eyes are never filled. "Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied" (Proverbs 27:20). The more that a man sees, the more that he desires to see. This second look, though a conscious decision, is often excused as being just curiosity.

The third look goes beyond the vision of the eyes. This look may be even taken with the eyes closed. It is a look that goes beyond the clothing. It is an imaginary look. The man begins to undress the woman in his mind. However, pornography doesn't leave this look to the imagination. It displays nudity before one's eyes.

The fourth look which may also originate in the imagination is imagined acts of sexual aggression, foreplay, and the sexual act itself. Again, the so called hard-core pornography displays this before the eyes on paper, video, or voice word pictures. Then the man only has to put himself in the role of the aggressor or participant.

The Addiction

In the natural, the addiction to pornography is very difficult to break. Here are some reasons.

1. It is the misuse of a natural God-given desire and is often excused as just being "natural".

2. The initial stimuli is difficult to avoid.

3. When one looks at pornography, the video or magazine figures don't look back with disgust.

4. It is often accepted as being the norm for men. ("Men will be men").

5. It is often connected with sexual gratification. (Either by self-gratification or with a partner).

6. It carries often unseen guilt with it that also has to be dealt with.

Steps in Overcoming the addiction

1. First, the individual must come to acknowledge that the addiction exists. "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy" (Proverbs 28:13).

2. He must recognize that what he is doing is wrong. He may hate other sins but justify this one. "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world" (I John 2:16). "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate" (Proverbs 8:13).

3. He must not blame others. "If my wife was just more affectionate." "If women were not so seductive." Adam blamed Eve blamed the serpent. Instead, the one who is addicted must begin to take responsibility to make corrections. Job said, "I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?" (Job 31:1).

4. He must learn the fear of the LORD. Fear of the LORD is a conscious knowledge that God disciplines his children and there will be a consequence for his sin. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding" (Proverbs 9:10). "By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil" (Proverbs 16:6).

5. He must learn to flee temptation. "Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away" (Proverbs 4:15). "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body" (I Corinthian 6:18). "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart" (II Timothy 2:22). Self-deception may enter in where one thinks he can play with fire without getting burned. "Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?" (Proverbs 6:27-28).

6. He must recognize that "will power" is not the answer. At a weak moment, he "will" give in. " "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not" (Romans 7:18). In contrast, for the Believer, he has access to the will of God and power of God. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). He must yield his will to God's will and be obedient by the power of God. See: "Training The Flesh".

7. He must engraft the Word of God concerning sexual purity. "Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). To engraft means to memorize and meditate upon it until it becomes a reality in one's life. "For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman" (Proverbs 6:23-24).

8. He must destroy any pornography in his possession. "Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places" (Numbers 33:52). Remember pornography is a substitute for truth.

9. He must understand and recognize that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. (For the Believer) "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

10. He must learn to submit himself to God and resist the devil. "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). One must understand that it not just what NOT to do, but also what TO do. Furthermore, the authority to stand must come from submission to the authority of God and those under His authority.

11. He must make himself accountable to a spiritual authority (pastor, elder, or church leader). "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you" (Hebrew 13:17). When someone has to face regular questioning about his tendency toward the addiction, it may make him think twice before pursuing it.
(the above is from

Monday, November 3, 2008


There are two types of adultery spoken of in the Bible:

1. SEXUAL ADULTERY—"Conjugal infidelity. An adulterer was a man who had sexual intercourse with a woman he was not married to, either a married woman or one who was engaged to be married. A woman who did the same thing was an adulteress. Adultery is fornication. The Bible regards adultery as a great sin and a great social wrong. It has been inferred from John 8:1-11 that this sin became very common during the age preceding the destruction of Jerusalem."
Author: Matthew G. Easton.

Adultery without sexual intercourse—Jesus Christ warned, "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." As with the breaking of any of the Ten Commandments, those who are not washed in the blood of Jesus Christ will have to pay the penalty. They will not enter the Kingdom of God. Punishment for transgression of this Commandment is the death penalty.
Author: Ray Comfort.

2. SPIRITUAL ADULTERY—Idolatry, covetousness, and apostasy are spoken of as spiritual adultery (Jer. 3:6,8,9; Ezek. 16:32; Hos. 1:2:3; Rev. 2:22). An apostate church is an adulteress (Isa. 1:21; Ezek. 23:4,7, 37), and the Jews are described "an adulterous generation" (Matt. 12:39) (compare Rev. 12.)
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Lust Part 1

Lust Part 2

Lust Part 3


Hebrew: zanah / Greek: porneia

Fornication is voluntary sexual intercourse between a man and woman who are not married to each other. Adultery is one type of fornication.

In every form, fornication was sternly condemned by the Mosaic law among God's people, the Israelites (Lev. 21:9; 19:29; Deut. 22:20-11, 23-29; 23:18; Ex. 22:16). (See ADULTERY.)

Fornication is also mentioned many times in the New Testament (Matt. 5:32; 19:9; John 8:41; Acts 15:20, 29; 21:25; Rom. 1:29; 1 Cor 5:1, 6:13, 18, 7:2; 10:8; 2 Cor 12:21; Gal 5:19; Eph 5:3; Col 3:5; 1 Thess. 4:3; Jude 1:7; Rev. 2:14, 20-21; 9:21; 14:8; 17:2,4).

"The Greek word for 'fornication' (porneia) could include any sexual sin committed after the betrothal contract. …In Biblical usage, 'fornication' can mean any sexual congress outside monogamous marriage. It thus includes not only premarital sex, but also adultery, homosexual acts, incest, remarriage after un-Biblical divorce, and sexual acts with animals, all of which are explicitly forbidden in the law as given through Moses (Leviticus 20:10-21). Christ expanded the prohibition against adultery to include even sexual lusting (Matthew 5:28)." (Dr. Henry M. Morris)

The word "fornication" is sometimes used in a symbolic sense in the Bible, for example, meaning a forsaking of God or a following after idols (Isa. 1:2; Jer. 2:20; Ezek. 16; Hos. 1:2; 2:1-5; Jer. 3:8-9).
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Sunday, November 2, 2008


Overcoming Lust

Every day, television, movies, billboards, newspapers and magazines bombard us with lustful images. And when lustful thoughts become part of our lifestyle, we feel like prisoners to those controlling desires.

But God does not want us to suffer in the prison of lust. He offers hope and freedom when we turn to Him for help to understand the truth behind the lies of lust.

The Roots Of Lust

Lust has been with mankind throughout history. In fact, at the creation of the world, God met Adam and Eve's basic needs for food, companionship and protection. Yet He put one thing out of their reach to test their love for Him - the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:16-17).

Due to lust, they failed God's test. Satan tempted Eve by telling her that God was holding back something good. She and Adam, through lust, ate the forbidden fruit. As a result, they subjected all mankind to God's curse (Genesis 3:6, Genesis 3:16-19).

A Thirst For More

The roots of lust run so deep that it is almost instinctive. And once we begin to fulfill our own lusts, a vicious cycle begins. Sin breaks our relationship with God (Romans 1:24-32). We become numb to lust's impact, so we think we can lust even more.

That is the very nature of lust: an unquenchable thirst for more and more ... More money, fame, power, revenge, food, clothing, love. Unless our desires are turned over to the Lord, we will never be satisfied.

Quenching The Thirst

If you have been searching in vain for fulfillment through the things of this world, then now is the time to discover the answer to the greatest desire in your life.

The Bible says that our greatest need is to worship God. This is why we were created (Colossians 1:16). But sin has separated us from God (Romans 3:23) and only through Jesus can we be forgiven of our sins and restored to God.

Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life! ... Without me, no one can go to the Father" (John 14:6). If you have never given your life to Jesus - and made Him Lord of your deepest desires - then do so now. REPENT (turn away) from your sins, desire to do them no more, desire to follow Jesus with all your heart, and pray and ask Jesus to come into your life by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 10:9,10).

The Daily Battle

Due to our fallen nature, we will have to deal with lust until we die. The temptation to lust will come in many forms. There are external lusts, including ungodly sexual appetites and overindulgence in food and drink; and there are internal lusts, such as the lust of power, fame or position.

Therefore, we who are born-again believers must rely on the power of the Holy Spirit inside us to overcome lust every day. "Let the Lord Jesus Christ be as near to you as the clothes you wear. Then you won't try to satisfy your selfish desires" (Romans 13:14)

No matter the form of lust we face, we can be assured that we have an Advocate who "understands every weakness of ours" and "was tempted in every way that we are. But He did not sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

Victory over Lust

God does not want you to be a prisoner of lust. The Bible says, "Christ has set us free! (Galatians 5:1). We who are saved have assurance from our Lord that he will help us to battle lust (Romans 8:31-32). Try these practical steps and ask God to lead you to victory.

Ask God for help. Sometimes we are too ashamed to take this first step. Don't try to fight the battle of lust on your own. Go to God and ask Him for help. This is what humility is all about.

Die to lust. The Bible says "sin does not have power over dead people" (Romans 6:7). So to overcome lust, we must recognize that "the person we used to be was nailed to the cross with Jesus" (Romans 6:5). Of course, we are not actually nailed to the cross. We just recognize that our old way of life died with Jesus. When we understand what it means to be dead to sin, we will then find freedom from lust.

Walk in the Spirit. The next step is to submit your life to the Holy Spirit. "If you are guided by the Spirit, you won't obey your selfish desires" (Galatians 5:16). Remember, you can't fight lust on your own, so ask the Holy Spirit to help you.

Renew your mind. Focus on God's Word and allow Him to remove your lustful thoughts and actions (Romans 12:2). Put away everything that appeals to the flesh, and focus on God (Ephesians 4:17-24; 2 Corinthians 10:5).

Resist and flee. Perhaps the best advice all is simply this: Run! Don't allow lust to linger in your mind. Get far away from situations and influences that threaten to trap you (Proverbs 5:8; James 4:7-8).


"Dear Heavenly Father, I can't deal with lust apart from you. Please forgive me and cleanse me from my sin. And please replace my lustful desires with Your desires for my life, so that I can glorify You in everything I do. Thank You. In Jesus' name, Amen"

God's Word On Lust

"Don't love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father. Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever" (1 John 2:15-17).

Scriptures For Study

James 4:1-4
The origins of lust

Romans 7:14-25
Our struggle with lust

1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Consequences of lust

Romans 6:12-23; James 4:5-8
Freedom in Christ

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Ten Points on Destroying Lust

There are many principles revealed in the Bible for destroying lust. It’s usually not as simple as, "Just don’t do it." The main principle is that through Jesus Christ, we gain supernatural power to put lust to death. With that in mind, I've listed 10 points on destroying lust below. I encourage you to study each one and consider how you can apply it in your life.

1. Confess, repent from, and renounce your sin of lust to God.

2. Make no provision to fulfill lust: "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Romans 13:14 NKJV)

3. Walk by the Spirit: "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." (Galatians 5:16 NKJV)

4. Put lust to death by the power of the Holy Spirit: "For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." (Romans 8:13 NKJV) (see also Colossians 3:5)

5. Reckon yourself with Jesus - alive to God and dead to sin: "Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24 NIV) (also Colossians 3:5 and Romans 6)

6. Flee youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace: "Now flee from youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart." (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)

7. Deny lust and live righteously: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:11-13 NKJV)

8. Invest your time, energy and efforts in God’s will, not in lust: "Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God." (1 Peter 4:1-2 NKJV)

9. Apply the truth to the lies: (John 8:31-32, Psalm 51:6).

10. Submit to God, resist the devil, draw near to God: "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." (James 4:7-10 NKJV)

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