Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hurrican Gustav?

There is a new storm brewing in the southern part of the gulf and headed somewhere for the Gulf Coast. The question comes to mind, will we be belted by Gustav? read the following from Michael Mickey of Rapture Alert:

Is Hurricane Gustav going to belt the United States?
by Michael G. Mickey (8-28-08)

Officials in New Orleans are already considering mandatory evacuations in anticipation of a potential direct hit from Gustav, a menacing storm threatening to become a deadly Category 3 hurricane. CNN is reporting that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has declared an emergency for the state adding, "We are going to hope for the best, but we're preparing for the worst." Is there any hope in hoping for the best? It's a question on the minds of many Christians today, isn't it? is reporting that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pulling a Solomon, indicating she wants to see the city of Jerusalem split into two cities. One Jerusalem for the Israelis; one for the Palestinians. God help us! The following is an excerpt from the report:
The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the U.S. supports the conclusions of the document. Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before Bush leaves office.
Do we have precedent to be concerned God's wrath may be stirred?

The back cover of White House correspondent Bill Koenig's latest book reads as follows:
What do these major-record setting events have in common?

*The ten costliest insurance events in U.S. history
*The twelve costliest hurricanes in U.S. history
*Three of the four largest tornado outbreaks in U.S. history
*The two largest terrorism events in U.S. history

All of these major catastrophes and many others occurred or began on the very same day or within 24-hours of U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush applying pressure on Israel to trade her land for promises of peace and security, sponsoring major land for peace meetings, making major public statements pertaining to Israel's covenant land and /or calling for a Palestinian state.

Today there are many who place no value on God's promise of blessing or curse when it comes to our nation doing the right thing where Israel is concerned. The United States is, once again, pressuring the nation of Israel to make land-for-peace concessions with an enemy that has no desire whatsoever to be at peace with them. The goal of all of Israel's enemies today is what it has always been - the complete destruction of the Jewish nation. When we ask Israel to place its enemies in a stronger position militarily to achieve their goals, are we blessing or cursing Israel? I would argue in favor of the latter - and that doesn't bode well for the United States. Genesis 12:3: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Is Hurricane Gustav going to belt the United States? I wouldn't bet against it. Not right now.

A Changed Life

For all those wondering what God can do in the life of an individual who will turn over their life to God, the folowing story from the Baptist Press says it all:

No longer lesbianBy Christine Sneeringer

EDITOR'S NOTE: This monthly column about the issue of homosexuality by various authors is a partnership between Baptist Press and the SBC Task Force on Ministry to Homosexuals.FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (BP)

--My heart pounded as the Sunday School teacher asked us to break into small groups and discuss how we might reach the homosexual community for Christ.I often had wondered if everyone knew my secret. Now I would find out. In my group of four, Rachel spoke first: "I don't have any compassion for homosexuals." My heart sank.Mark chimed in, "I don't either, and I think AIDS is God's judgment against homosexuals."These two seemed so smug, so arrogant. Anger burned inside me, and I vowed not to speak. But my friend, Robert, who knew I had been a homosexual, spoke next: "Christine, what do you think?" I shot him a look that could have killed. Then I took a deep breath and told Rachel and Mark my secret. The looks on their faces told me that they were sorry and felt embarrassed.What they didn't understand was that I, like many other homosexuals, didn't choose to be gay. I had grown up in a home where women were either objects of a man's lust or victims of his abuse.My father was addicted to pornography, and he was verbally and physically abusive to my mother. Once I saw him hit her with a tennis racket. I vowed in my heart that I would never let any man hurt me like that. I resolved to be tougher and stronger than any man. I hated being a girl because I didn't want to be a victim like my mom. I mistakenly believed that to be feminine was to be weak, so I gravitated toward showing masculine behaviors. My older brother was my childhood hero. I wanted to be just like him. I hung out with him whenever he would let me, and I wore his hand-me-down clothes. I even copied his handwriting style.A natural athlete, I excelled in every sport I attempted, from tennis to Little League Baseball to sandlot football. I was accepted as one of the guys and often mistaken for a boy. I refused to go by my full name -- Christine -- because it was obviously a girl's name, and went by Chris instead. Most adults thought I was a boy and often called me "son" or "young man."When I was 12, my parents divorced and sent me to live with relatives, where an older cousin molested me. Growing up, I had other experiences in which men took advantage of me. I never felt safe with men, so relationships with women seemed to be the only safe option. My first lesbian relationship began in high school. It was exhilarating and met a need in my life. For the first time I really felt loved. I was a lesbian for six years and thought I would always be that way, and I never knew that change was possible. But in my early 20s, I met some Christians who showed me a better love -- the love that God had for me. Still in a homosexual relationship, I joined a friend's church softball team. I just wanted to play ball, but God had other ideas.For 18 months, I played on the women's softball team for Idlewild Baptist Church in Tampa, Fla. During that time, I was drawn by the love my teammates had for one another and for me. It seemed so pure and so right.They knew I was different because of my foul language and unsportsmanlike conduct, but they never treated me like an outsider. Their attitude made me want what they had -- a relationship with Christ. I later found out that they were regularly praying for me.One teammate, Kelly, knew that I was a lesbian, but she never preached to me. She just cared for me and prayed for me. I became interested in spiritual things and asked Kelly to help me study the Bible. She agreed, and we met weekly to study the book of John. One Sunday night in October, 1989, Kelly led me in the prayer of salvation as I knelt beside my bed in my dorm room. When I stood up, I knew that deep down something had changed. I knew that I wanted God more than my homosexuality. But becoming a Christian was only the beginning of my journey. It didn't instantly resolve my homosexual feelings. I broke up with my partner, but I continued to struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions. Thankfully, I found out about a ministry that helps people overcome their homosexuality, and I began to attend a local support group. There, I discovered the root causes of my homosexual desires, including sexual abuse, gender confusion, a breakdown in the relationship with my same-sex parent, an abusive father and peer rejection. I met strong, godly women in church who helped me to see that being feminine didn't mean being weak. I met men who treated me with dignity and respect. This freed me to embrace my gender and to stop rejecting God's design. I even started using my full name, Christine, because I no longer wanted to hide being a girl. My ideas about men and women were changed. I learned that being female is not a liability. And I began to identify outwardly with women, experimenting with wearing makeup and different clothes and using purses. I became different from the inside out. Others noticed my progress and encouraged me. I'll never forget when Robert approached me in church and said, smiling, "Christine, this is the first time you don't look like a boy in a dress." Though his statement hadn't come out right, I knew that he had meant well, and it let me know I was making progress. The key to my healing was developing healthy same-sex friendships. As I did this, my sexual attractions for women naturally diminished because I found what I was looking for all along -- real love and connections with others. With God's help and the support of caring people, I now walk in freedom from lesbianism. I know that a changed life is possible because I am a changed person.--30--Christine Sneeringer is the director of Worthy Creations, a Christian outreach to homosexuals, a member ministry of Exodus International. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Comic Relief

Good morning! I know that most of my postings have been rather...serious and indeed sometimes we need to be reminded of what is happening in our surroundings...but I want to begin today with the following from "Mike's Funny's" (and no, that is not me!)

I was always taught, "You become what you eat." So I only eat rich foods. I'm still waiting...

have a great day!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lakeland "Revival"

Good Morning....

In recent days, the charasmatic world has been buzzed by the "revival" taking place in Lakeland, Florida under the leadership of Todd Bently. I pray that the fraud that was foisted upon the public at large and those in attendance has not damaged the body of Christ nor His message to a lost and dying world...the following is an article from Olive Tree Ministries that sums up this whole sad story:

The Needed Closure on Todd Bentley
(Note from Jan: Pastor Chris Elrod, Sr. Pastor, Compass Point Church, Lakeland, Florida, sums up the Todd Bentley scenario. None of us who were sounding warnings take delight in this closure. Yet we are relieved that fewer will now be harmed by another "counterfeit revival." - Jan Markell)

As I was on my way home from South Carolina last Thursday night, I got "the call." My friend and fellow Lakeland pastor let me know that the news about Todd Bentley -- the news that had circulated around Lakeland for weeks -- was finally about to break. For months it had been rumor with very little hard facts to back it up. Local church leaders had been hearing things about Todd and Ignited Church that caused us to question even more the validity of the "revival."

Then the truth began to come out bit by bit, first to Lakeland and then to the world, and now Todd's wife was in Canada getting help while he was "floating around" the United States trying to get his head together. Yes, Todd was legally separating from his wife. Yes, there was another woman involved. Yes, this was not the first time Todd had been involved with another woman.

Yes, Todd and Ignited Church had failed to address concerns -- many being voiced by their own denomination and people who support such outpourings -- about the heresy being preached and displayed at the "revival." Yes, there was not one single medical document to prove that any healing had actually taken place.

As the fallout continues and more facts are beginning to emerge about everyone involved with this mess, I have begun to ask myself some pretty hard questions. Did I handle this correctly?
When the first news began to break around here about Todd, healings, and the revival, I went to see it for myself. In all, I attended four separate "revival" meetings over a two-month period. I also watched countless hours of the events on the Internet. I witnessed Todd hollering "BAM" a lot. I witnessed "verification teams" in the parking lot carefully choosing people deemed candidates for "healing" while turning many others down. I watched ushers push ill children away from the stage area because they had not been preapproved for "healing."
I heard stories about pixie-dust-spreading angels and conversations with the Apostles in some abstract heavenly cabin. I saw leg drops, high kicks, head punches, and every other Wrestlemania cliche under the sun. I heard anonymous crazy stories about people being healed and others being raised from the dead. I heard and saw many strange things -- but nothing that even remotely kept with sound doctrine. Every biblical-discerning bone in my body showed me that there was nothing going on at the "revival" that was in keeping with God's Word.
I began to speak out against the revival, Todd, and Ignited Church, to our people. Mainly it was through our Journey Groups, one-on-one conversations, phone calls, and e-mails. However, I was advised by several other pastors not to speak out against it publicly because "I might be speaking against something that God is actually doing" (I wasn't questioning God -- I was questioning Todd). I never addressed it from the pulpit because our podcast is heard by hundreds of people all over the world. I never blogged about it because I get a 1,000+ hits on a normal day.
I dodged the questions about the revival in recent radio interviews I did in other parts of the United States. Finally, I refused to answer the hundreds of e-mails I got about the "revival" from other folks all over the world. In essence, I protected my flock from the three-ring circus and hoopla but did nothing to protect the Body of Christ as a whole.
Hindsight they say is 20/20. It now turns out that all of the rumors were true. It now turns out that the scriptural discernment was correct. It now turns out that this was the same craziness without accountability that the leadership of the sponsoring church is known for. The three-ring circus has been packed up, the tents have been taken down, and the moral failure has been announced. Everyone involved is pushing back, and thousands of hurting people are left questioning God and their salvation.
The question that I now have to ask myself and the question that will haunt me for quite a while is this. Did I sit on the sidelines while the playing field burned? Should have I blogged about it and spoken out about it publicly -- done more to get the word out to the rest of the world that this whole thing was about Todd and not God? I took care of my own house -- but should I have done more to take care of the entire neighborhood?

Charismatic leader Dutch Sheets also humbled himself stating, "My assignment from the Lord is to repent on behalf of the leadership of the Charismatic Body of Christ. We have failed the Lord and His people in many ways. We must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. We, the leaders of the Charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don't even try to discern. We assume a person's credibility based on gifts, charisma, whether they can prophesy, or work a miracle."
NOTE FROM JAN: I am glad that these two leaders have been brave enough to speak out. Let's hope that many other leaders will follow in their steps and lead their followers to test ALL things and not just follow every wind of doctrine.
Remember to pray for Todd and his family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Economic Upheaval?

Good Morning!

Many of us are struggling through uncertain economic times...many of the so-called experts are saying that the worst is behind us...or is it? Whenever we examine end times theology, inevitably the question arises, "What about the United States; Where do we fit in?" The Bible seems to be very silent on this would seem that the Bible indicates that the power in this world shifts away from the U.S. and to the European, what could cause this? Could it be that there is a nuclear exchange? maybe a "dirty bomb" that is snuck across our southern border that our politicians refuse to close up for fear of offending Mexico? Or maybe it is an economic fall of such proportions that we are reduced to third world status? the following article is from the Koinonia House Online:

It would seem the United States' economic troubles are far from over. In the month of July consumer prices jumped significantly. When compared to last year, it is the biggest increased in more than 17 years. Rising inflation has forced most American families to tighten their budgets. Meanwhile, mortgage statistics show that US foreclosure activity rose 55 percent in July compared to a year ago. There are currently more than 750,000 properties on the market that have been repossessed by banks - that's almost 20 percent of all existing homes for sale.Professor and former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, Kenneth Rogoff, recently warned that the crisis is far from over: "The US is not out of the woods. I think the financial crisis is at the halfway point, perhaps. I would even go further to say the worst is to come. We're not just going to see mid-sized banks go under in the next few months, we're going to see a whopper, we're going to see a big one — one of the big investment banks or big banks."David M. Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, has also warned that the nation is on the path to financial ruin: "What they don't talk about is a dirty little secret everyone in Washington knows, or at least should. The vast majority of the economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it."The United States' national debt is already more than 9.5 trillion dollars - about 130,000 dollars per family of four. However that amount does not include the Social Security deficit or the Medicare budget shortfall. If the US government conducts business as usual over the next few decades that total could reach 50 trillion or more when adjusted for inflation. According to some projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would be as much as all the taxes the government collects today. And every year that nothing is done about it, the problem grows by 2 trillion to 3 trillion dollars (yes, that's with a "t"). Put another way, the national debt is currently growing at a rate of more than 1.85 billion dollars a day! It doesn't take a genius to recognize that an economic upheaval is in the making. Our current economic predicament is consistent with the Bible's description of the end times. The black horseman of Revelation 6 calls our attention to, not just famine at the onset of the Tribulation, but also to an economic condition where a man's daily wages are so small, he can barely support himself much less his family. What kind of condition would produce that? The answer is one which has emerged today and which, for the first time in the history of mankind, is for all intents and purposes universal: monetary inflation.If the United States is indeed facing a financial crisis, what should we do about it? How can we prepare for times of economic uncertainty? Chuck tackles these tough questions in his briefing titled The Vortex Strategy.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Jesus Is Coming Soon!

In following up a message I preached last Sunday Morning, here is an article by Terry James, who is one of the authors of the raptureready website entitled, "Living in Laodicea"

Living in Laodicea

Russia is flexing its military muscles toward its former Soviet prisoner states, indicating Gog-like thinking rules in the Kremlin. China puts on a smaze mask while it hosts the Olympics, barely cloaking its true intention to become the king of the biblically foretold kings of the East. The European Union incessantly reformulates constitutional matters in an unrelenting effort to become the new Roman order prophesied for the last of the last days. Israel talks false peace with enemies who want only to see the Jewish state obliterated, while the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) carries out exercises that makes the world frown with anxiety over whether the IDF will strike preemptively against Iran–ancient Persia, another of the key players scheduled for an end-times role.
At the same time, Jesus’ first Olivet discourse warning signs of coming tribulation, about the rise of those who will come in His name and deceive many (Matt. 24: 4-5), seems to mark these times as the era of the most despicable of the churches Jesus in His ascended form gave John through prophecy.
“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked…” (Rev. 3:14-17).
Signals of the end of the Church Age (Age of Grace) are literally exploding in flash-bulb fashion in this sin-darkened world. Although the Laodicean prophecy is manifest in a more subtle way than the powerful prophetic geopolitical developments outlined above, the ramifications are nonetheless just as profound. The Laodicean effects upon the Body of Christ, the Church, are indeed deleterious.
Jesus foretold an end-times religious system that would be neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. This body of religionists, under the guise of Christianity, will--as the very end of the age approaches--be a system that claims the name of Christ on its facade, but inside the organization is ravening wolves who hold not to doctrine, but to nonbiblical words meant to deceive. Christ’s prophecy, given to John for the Church (those of Christ’s body) alive at the end of the Age of Grace, forewarns of a humanistic organization posing as part of the Church. Those deceivers within the organization consider themselves as more than capable of handling all things of a religious sort. They are–in their own inflated opinions of themselves—“ rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing…” They are like the leaders of the world of geopolitics that have things well in hand, they believe. As a well-known broadcast mogul once stated, they “don’t need anyone to die for [them].”
These self-aggrandized, deluded religionists are, through preaching a social, humanistic gospel, in Christ’s words: "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” They are counterproductive to all the Church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be in this dying, decaying world. The Lord therefore is sickened by them. They make Him want to vomit, is the strong expression Jesus uses here. This summarizes the Laodicean church. Are we in the era of that condemned organization?
An excerpt from the following think-piece lays out, in my view, a most recent way to gauge the answer to the question just posed.
“…At the conclusion of a recent four-day conference at Yale University, more than 150 Christian and Muslim leaders from around the globe announced the first step of the 'Common Word' exchange drafted last November. The Christian representatives included the heads of both the National Association of Evangelicals (Leith Anderson) and the World Evangelical Alliance (Geoff Tunnicliffe). A statement released at the conclusion of the conference explains that ‘the intention behind the Common Word is not to foist the theology of one religions upon another or to attempt conversion.’
According to a Reuters report, participants of the Yale gathering affirmed their support for freedom of religion and mutual respect…”("Evangelicals in 'la-la land' over Muslim agreement," Chad Groening, OneNewsNow, 8/7/2008).
Prophetic scholar/writer Dave Hunt’s close Berean Call ministry associate puts his finger on the Laodicean deception toward which much of the Body of Christ is currently gravitating. The following report sums his conclusions:
“Christian broadcaster and author Tom McMahon says evangelical pastor Rick Warren's belief that the church must take the lead in solving the world's problems of poverty, disease, and war cannot be reconciled with the scriptures.
Pastor Warren will be hosting an interfaith meeting next month with 30 Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders ‘to discuss cooperation for the common good of all Americans.’ Warren's P.E.A.C.E. plan mobilizes churches to address global problems. But McMahon, president of The Berean Call ministry, says the popular Christian author is introducing evangelical Christianity to the social gospel that he learned from his mentor, social scientist Peter Drucker…
‘As a Christian, as a biblical Christian, I have real concerns about this because I don't find this in the scriptures,’ McMahon explains. ‘You see, it's true the world has all kinds of problems, but he's working on the symptoms and avoiding the root cause, which is the sin nature of humanity. So how can you work with all kinds of people [who are] called “people of faith,” but it's not biblical faith?’” ("Is Rick Warren ignoring sin in search for 'peace'?" Jim Brown, OneNewsNow, 7/29/2008).
I have lost count of how many people have emailed asking if I know of a church in their area that teaches the Bible in all of its Truth. The Philadelphian church is still on Planet Earth, and it still preaches and teaches Truth. But, the world at large, in loosely speaking of the term “Christianity,” is increasingly drawn into the discernment-debilitating church organization Jesus called “Laodicean.” This is another major signal that we are indeed nearing midnight.

SaddleBack Forum

Good Morning!

Last saturday night at the Saddleback Church in Lakeforest, California, Pastor Rick Warren hosted Barack Obama and John McCain, candidates for the office of President of the United States of America. The forum was an opportunity to hear from both candidates about their positions on the pressing issues of the day. As a conservative, evangelical pastor, I was most interested in their responses to the questions dealing with "Life" as all other issues flow from this very vital issue. Mr. Obama was not sure that he could answer the question of when a baby gets human rights protection as he stated taht it was "above my paygrade" whereas Mr. McCain stated, "At the moment of conception"...clearly one candidate is a pro-lifer (McCain) and the other is pro-abortin (Obama). As usual, Dr. Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. puts it all into perspective:

Backtrack to Saddleback -- Secularists Not Pleased

Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 4:58 am ET

Suffice it to say that I was not very hopeful about the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency held at the California megachurch last Saturday night. In the first place, I am not really comfortable with the idea of hosting such a politically charged event in a church. No matter how the event is planned and projected, once the event starts it can turn into something far more politically volatile than planned. That is a truth I have learned by hard experience.
Secondly, the advance publicity about the event touted it as a platform for a kind of "third way" movement that would avoid the serious worldview issues and would instead limit the conversation to vague generalities. A good many media reports suggested that Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain would be asked only "soft" questions that would demonstrate common ground and agreement between the candidates. That would be an exercise in wasted time and a squandered opportunity.
Thirdly, I was concerned that Pastor Rick Warren, the moderator of the event, would be reduced by the format to the role of a therapist or spiritual guru. Like all of us, Rick Warren likes to be liked, and being liked by two of the most famous political figures in the world is quite an achievement. Yet, if Rick Warren was to fulfill his role in moderating and leading these conversations, he would have to risk being liked a bit less. Maybe even a lot less.
With the press pushing the event as a "new face" for American evangelicals, I was not overly hopeful. Given the hype, I was positively unhopeful. But . . . the event turned to be quite worthwhile after all. I still have deep reservations about identifying the event so closely with a church, but the conversations really did get to urgently important and controversial issues, and Pastor Rick Warren handled the conversations with aplomb, demonstrating both civility and candor.
Pastor Warren's questions ranged from the deeply personal to the overtly controversial. He often asked questions that made it difficult for the candidates to avoid giving direct and revealing answers. He let the candidates speak for themselves.
He asked about their greatest moral failure. Obama spoke of drug and alcohol use as a young person. McCain referred directly to the failure of his first marriage. When asked about the reality of evil, the two candidates revealed very different approaches. When asked about abortion and same-sex marriage, a great chasm appeared between the candidates. Obama declared his complete support for the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion on demand. When asked, "at what point does a baby get human rights?" Obama said that the question "is above my pay grade." That is a particularly evasive answer, because the President of the United States must frame policies that are predicated on some assumption of when a human being, born or unborn, deserves the full protection of the law.
On same-sex marriage, Sen. Obama attempted to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman, but he made clear that he would actively oppose any constitutional amendment designed to protect that definition, and he gave full support to civil unions. He suggested that the matter should be left to the states, but he has opposed Proposition 8 on the California ballot -- a citizen-initiated referendum that would define marriage as a heterosexual union.
Sen. McCain offered more succinct answers. When asked the question about when a baby gets human rights, McCain said, "at conception." He pledged to be a pro-life president and he opposed the legalization of same-sex marriage. The worldview differences between the two men were made clear, but the conversations were calm, respectful, and unhurried.
In other words, something of genuine significance happened at the Saddleback Civil Forum. Millions watched the event on CNN and the event set the stage for many lively conversations to follow.
But, not everyone is pleased. Writing in the editorial pages of USA Today, columnist DeWayne Wickham complained that the event was too overtly Christian. "What we need in the White House is a devout believer in this nation's democratic principles, not the vicar of Saddleback," he asserted.
The "vicar of Saddleback?" Neither of these candidates is running for that office. That comment reveals more about DeWayne Wickham's commitment to a secularist vision of politics than about the Saddleback event.
He wrote:
As his interviews made clear . . . Warren's doublespeak cloaked an effort to get the candidates to take a stand on many of those non-negotiable issues, which he apparently still considers matters of religious faith — and qualification for public office. His questions about their "worldview" on Christianity, abortion and the definition of marriage reflected not so much a civil forum as a push for a theocratic presidency, one that would be deeply influenced by Warren's evangelism.
Sound the alarm -- "a theocratic presidency?" That hyperventilation is remarkable. Anyone who talks about Obama or McCain in terms of a "theocratic presidency" has been reading too much science fiction in the secularist apocalypse genre. Furthermore, Rick Warren is no theocrat.
Wickham continued:
Just as worrisome for me was his call for McCain and Obama to confess their "greatest moral failure." That's a pretty far-reaching inquiry that would be better answered in a pastor's study than on national TV — unless, of course, the purpose is political persuasion, not personal salvation. Even so, Obama said it was his drug and alcohol use during his youth. McCain said it was the failure of his first marriage.
Wickham's real issue here is probably not the question itself at all. It's hard to imagine his umbrage if Lesley Stahl or Bill Moyers asked that question of the candidates. No, the real issue here is the setting. But, then again, Wickham went on to argue that it is a good thing that many famous presidents of the past did not have to answer that question.
Finally, Wickham argued:
The president's job is not to rid the world of the Bible's Beelzebub but rather the worldly devils that afflict us. It is to properly handle the difficult issues of war and peace, to manage the domestic affairs of this great melting pot, and to ensure this country's longstanding guarantee of religious freedom — and protect its commitment to a secular government. CNN did these causes a great disservice by giving a leader of just one of this nation's religious faiths a platform to influence the outcome of the coming presidential election.
There is much in that paragraph to unpack, but the central issue here is Wickham's definition of a "secular government." The Saddleback Civil Forum revealed once again that government must necessarily deal with many decidedly "unsecular" questions. These two candidates were not forced into this conversation, they embraced it. Once there, they had to answer the questions.
Neither candidate is seeking to be the new vicar of Saddleback. Instead, both are running for the highest political office in the land. As both candidates were reminded Saturday night, that means there are certain questions you just can't duck.
We discussed the Saddleback Civil Forum on Monday's edition of The Albert Mohler Program [listen here]. A CNN transcript of the Saddleback event is available here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

As usual, Dr. Al Mohler (President of the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Ky.) brings clarity to the issues facing all Americans when the voters in California go to the polls in November to vote, not only for President, but also on Proposition 8:

"Rights Talk" in California -- Confusing the Same-Sex Marriage Issue
Posted: Monday, August 11, 2008 at 2:43 am ET

The fact that The Los Angeles Times favors same-sex marriage is not a new revelation. To the contrary, the paper has positioned itself in support of same-sex marriage for some time. Furthermore, no informed reader will be surprised to find that the paper's editorial position is quite liberal. Given our cherished commitment to the freedom of the press, the paper has every right to position itself this way. Intelligent readers are responsible to be aware of this fact, and take this editorial posture into account when considering the paper's coverage of controversial issues -- like same-sex marriage and "Proposition 8."
Proposition 8 will appear on the November ballot in California. The proposition -- put on the ballot by public support -- is an attempt to return the state's marriage law to where it stood earlier this year, with marriage defined as the union of a man and a woman.
California's state constitution does not mention same-sex marriage. On March 7, 2000 the people of California voted by an overwhelming margin to pass "Proposition 22" which stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
That is where the matter stood until May 15 of this year, when California's Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 4 to 3 that same-sex marriages must be legalized and recognized in the state. Thus, Proposition 22 and all similar laws were struck down by the court, and the court ordered that the state must allow and recognize same-sex marriages effective June 17, 2008.
Proposition 8 is a citizen-initiated response to that Supreme Court decision and an effort to return marriage in California to the legal definition effective as recently as May 14 of this year. The language of Proposition 8 mirrors that of Proposition 22, but differs in that it would amend the state constitution to define marriage.
The editors of The Los Angeles Times want voters to defeat Proposition 8 and, in effect, to confirm the action of California's Supreme Court that overturned the will of voters expressed in 2000. The fact that the paper wants to see Proposition 8 defeated is not surprising, but the arguments employed by the paper's editors are nothing less than breathtaking.
The paper speaks to the issue in an editorial published on August 8. The editors began their arguments with this introductory paragraph:
It's the same sentence as in 2000: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Yet the issue that will be put before voters Nov. 4 is radically different. This time, the wording would be used to rescind an existing constitutional right to marry. We fervently hope that voters, whatever their personal or religious convictions, will shudder at such a step and vote no on Proposition 8.
The editors argue that Proposition 8 would "rescind an existing constitutional right to marry." The California constitution still does not mention same-sex marriage. No such right existed before May 15. The right exists now only by judicial action, not by any amendment to the constitution.
But, even after referring to the marriage of same-sex couples as "an existing constitutional right," the editors went even further to declare same-sex marriage a "fundamental right."
In their words:
The state of same-sex marriage shifted in May, when the California Supreme Court overturned Proposition 22, the ban on gay marriage that voters approved eight years ago, and ruled that marriage was a fundamental right under the state Constitution. As such, it could not be denied to a protected group -- in this case, gay and lesbian couples..
What voters must consider about Proposition 8 is that, unlike Proposition 22, this is no longer about refining existing California law. In the wake of the court's ruling, the only way to deny marriage to gay and lesbian couples is by revising constitutional rights themselves. Proposition 8 seeks to embed wording in the Constitution that would eliminate the fundamental right to same-sex marriage.
Indeed, the court did rule that the right of same-sex couples to marry is a "fundamental right" -- a right that is either enshrined within the constitution, drawn from the notion of natural rights, or a necessary implication of the constitution. The court also defined homosexuals as a protected group and thus deserving of a special attention in questions of rights.
But the California Supreme Court is not the final authority in such matters -- the people are. The court and its decisions are ultimately accountable to the people, who can, when motivated by great concern or outrage, change the court's composition or amend the constitution itself.
The editors of the paper write as if the May 15, 2008 decision of the California Supreme Court is unassailable, unchangeable, and irreversible. None of these things is true. The court did declare same-sex marriage to be a fundamental right, but that decision is now, by definition, tentative and potentially temporary. California's voters must keep this firmly in mind. The voters of California now have the opportunity to define and defend marriage and to return the state's definition of marriage to where it stood just three months ago.
This entire controversy, illustrated by the paper's editorial, is an illustration of the legal, cultural, and moral breakdown described by Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon as "rights talk." In her 1991 book, Rights Talk: The Impoverishment of Political Discourse, Glendon defined the problem as "our increasing tendency to speak of what is most important to us in terms of rights, and to frame nearly every social controversy as a clash of rights."
The most distinctive features of our American rights dialect are the very ones that are most conspicuously in tension with what we require in order to give a reasonably full and coherent account of what kind of society we are and what kind of polity we are trying to create: its penchant for absolute, extravagant formulations, its near-aphasia concerning responsibility, its excessive homage to individual independence and self-sufficiency, its habitual concentration on the individual and the state at the expense of the intermediate groups of civil society, and its unapologetic insularity. Not only does each of these traits make it difficult to give voice to common sense or moral intuitions, they also impede development of the sort of rational political discourse that is appropriate to the needs of a mature, complex, liberal, pluralistic development.
"Rights talk" is what remains when deeper questions of right and wrong are taken off the table. The most important right at stake in Proposition 8 is the right -- and the responsibility -- of California voters to define and defend marriage as the union of a man and a woman.
Good morning again...

I have added some links that I thought you might like to check out...these are some of my favorite places on the web to visit....
Good morning! It has been a while, but life seems to get in the way of blogging sometimes! Anyway...

With the election looming, and I would not presume to tell you how to vote, and the traditional family, as it has been understood since God instituted it, under feirce attack, I ran across the following article from the Baptist Press that I thought you should read:

Democratic National Committee gave $25,000 to defeat Calif. marriage amendment
Posted on Aug 12, 2008 by Michael Foust


The Democratic National Committee has given $25,000 to help defeat a proposed constitutional marriage amendment in California, despite the fact that a significant percentage of Democrats in the state are expected to support it this fall.The DNC's donation was made to Equality for All, a leading homosexual activist group in the state seeking to keep "gay marriage" legal. If passed, the amendment, known as Proposition 8, would protect the natural definition of marriage, thus overturning the state supreme court's May decision legalizing "gay marriage."The DNC's donation and others like them have helped opponents of Prop 8 raise more than $6 million, according to tabulations by the Los Angeles Times. The donation was first listed on the California Secretary of State's website in May about a week before the high court issued its decision.The DNC's donation isn't a huge surprise, being that Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean supports "gay marriage." Additionally, presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama opposes Proposition 8, calling it "divisive and discriminatory."Earlier this year Obama wrote a letter to the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Democratic Club in which he declared, "I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law."Exit polls in 2000 showed that about a third of Democrats in California voted for Proposition 22, a statute which banned "gay marriage." It was one of several laws overturned by the California high court's ruling. Proposition 8 would place nearly identical language as Proposition 22 in the constitution.Proposition 8 reads, "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid and recognized in California."Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in June passed a resolution urging Southern Baptists in California to work and vote for passage of the amendment and for all Southern Baptists and other Christians to pray for its passage. The resolution passed nearly unanimously.--30--Michael Foust is an assistant editor of Baptist Press.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Good afternoon...

California and Massachusetts lead the way in advocating homosexual rights...they have tried at every turn to spit in the eye of every family not only in their home states, but also in EVERY state...soon it will become open season on Christians because of the Biblical stance of homosexuality being condemned in scripture... read the following article and PRAY:

The Floodgates of Chaos
by Michael G. Mickey(7-30-08)
I've had homosexuals write to me upon occasion to tell me that there is no homosexual agenda. While I know there is one and evidence to that effect has been posted here in the past, Satan definitely has an agenda he's pursuing in the arena of elevating the rights of those who practice what God calls abomination (Leviticus 18:22) to such a level that it will soon be near impossible for the Church to close the floodgates of chaos he's stirring in an attempt to defile God's institution of marriage and the biblically-defined family.On July 14th, revealed that, on the heels of California beginning to allow same-sex marriages to occur there whether those getting married are residents of California or not, Massachusetts was brewing a 'recipe for chaos.' Below are some excerpts from that report for your consideration:
Massachusetts legislators are considering a change to state law that would allow homosexuals who are not residents of the commonwealth to come there to "marry." The potential consequences of the proposal could be chaotic, says one family advocate.and...
Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, explains what will happen if the prohibition is eliminated. "By attempting to turn Massachusetts into the Las Vegas of so-called 'gay marriage,' homosexual activists are going to create legal chaos in that state and across the nation," he argues. "When you're allowing homosexual couples to come into Massachusetts, get...'married,' and then go to other states and demand that their [relationships] get recognized, that's a recipe for chaos."This is definitely what the powers of darkness want, I thought as I read LaBarbera's words. The more gays that become married, the harder it's going to be, particularly in a politically correct world like ours, for a brainwashed public to ever consider TAKING AWAY someone's rights.Lo and behold, look what is in today's news! Two short weeks and some change later, Massachusetts legislators are moving to get the legislation speculated to be in the works above signed into law, opening the floodgates of chaos across our nation.I believe it's safe to say that what we see described in a report posted today which brings us up to speed on what is taking place is a done deal, bringing us one step closer to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and, simultaneously, one step closer to seeing born-again Bible-believing Christians persecuted in this nation on a level never seen before! As you're about to read for yourself, the governor of Massachusetts is prepared to sign the legislation into law. Like I said, I think it's a done deal.
The Massachusetts House voted Tuesday to repeal a 1913 law that had been used to block same-sex "marriages" involving out-of-state couples, all but assuring that the state will allow those couples to wed regardless of where they live. The 119-36 vote came after the state Senate approved the repeal earlier this month, and Gov. Deval Patrick has said he will sign the bill. The measure requires one more procedural vote in each chamber before it is sent to the governor."Sometimes what you hope and pray for actually happens, which is kind of overwhelming," Michael Thorne, 55, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, said after telling his 6-year-old son his parents could soon get married. Thorne and his partner of 25 years, James Theberge, have an Aug. 18 wedding planned in Provincetown, although the repeal will not take effect until 90 days after Patrick's signature.Opponents recoiled at the outcome. "With that protective barrier removed, out-of-state same-sex couples who marry here will sue to seek recognition in their home states, creating a flood of costly lawsuits and further eroding the people's right to define marriage democratically," the Massachusetts Family Institute said in a statement.As disturbing as this mockery of God's Word is in itself, rest assured that this is but the beginning of sorrows on this front. The floodgates that are being opened are being opened with far greater goals in mind, both by those of flesh attempting to further the homosexual agenda and among the powers and principalities, spiritual wickedness in high places seeking to dislodge God's will from playing a role in our world whatosever!Looking into the future, what we can be sure of is there are going to be many, many homosexuals 'marrying' in both California and Massachusetts. After that, homosexuals who have 'wed' in Massachusetts and California but are residents of states that don't allow same-sex marriage to take place or even recognize its legality are going to begin filing hundreds, if not thousands, of lawsuits trying to get their marriages legalized in their home states. It won't end there either as there is a higher goal still.The ultimate goal of the homosexual agenda? To have so many court cases to carry before the United States Supreme Court that it will create an environment capable of leading to what we just saw take place in California take place on a national level, the end result being black-robed activist judges overruling the will of the American people and, subsequently, making same-sex marriage the law of the land by judicial order!There is only one way - ONE WAY - to prevent the United States Supreme Court from forcing the homosexual agenda on us all should they elect to and that is to get a Defense of Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed and implemented before it's too late. Even that, it seems highly likely, is going to be very difficult to achieve as we have allowed way too many of the most liberal minds in America to become the leaders we have to depend on to close the floodgates of chaos presently beginning to be opened! Worse yet, potential exists that the most liberal of all our liberal leaders may soon take residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Senator Barack Obama. God help us!
Whether same-sex marriage becomes the law of our land or not, another front we need to stay at the ready to battle our legislators against forwarding is the homosexual agenda's desire to see more and more laws passed that will give homosexuals an avenue to claim they've suffered injury caused by the hate-filled Word of God and Christians simply because they label homosexuality a sin. With every victory those pushing the homosexual agenda claim, a natural byproduct is a weakening of the Word of God's impact on our society. Bearing this in mind, we need to stay at the ready to do whatever we can to preserve some vestige of godly morality for our children to grow up in!
How far we've fallen!
Back when God's Word was honored in this nation, homosexuals had no PRIDE to share with us. They weren't parading through San Francisco (or anyplace else) with the police standing by doing nothing as they engaged in public indecency, nudity and sex acts on public streets. Their lifestyle was something to be ashamed of - a sin! Now, however? What is fast becoming hideously shameful is for Christians to refuse to embrace all forms of sexual expression, especially if they justify their stance with scripture. Not only that, as I've documented on any number of times, Christians are being arrested and prosecuted as criminals these days for peacefully protesting gay pride events. Up is down, right is wrong! You get the idea.Bible prophecy tells us that the last days will find our world as it was in the days of Lot when God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their wickedness, their cry (or clamor) being very great before the Lord. (Luke 17:28, Genesis 18:20)Billy Graham once said, by my memory, "If God doesn't judge America, He is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." That was years ago and, as I've just demonstrated, our sexual depravity is growing by leaps and bounds.The end is near. ARE YOU READY?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Good Evening!
Every day we see more and more evidences that Jesus is coming soon! In recent days, the emergent church has become more well known. This is a group that does not hold to sound, historical, orthodox Christian belief. The following article needs to be read very carefully:

Emerging Church leader promotes lifestyle rather than faith
Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 8/1/2008 7:00:00 AM
var addthis_pub = 'onenewsnow';

A Christian broadcaster claims that Emerging Church leader Brian McLaren is fulfilling the biblical prophecy that in the latter days men will not put up with sound doctrine – according to II Timothy 4:3.

Brian McLaren recently addressed 650 Anglican bishops attending the Lambeth Conference, a meeting he says was characterized by "a loving atmosphere" and "a deep spirituality centered in Bible study, worship, and prayer." McLaren tells that he envisions a new era for Christianity, which "is more about the Christian way of life than it is about a rigid and polemicized systems of belief."

Tom McMahon, president of the The Berean Call ministry, says McLaren is obviously ashamed of the biblical gospel and is bent upon making it accommodate his own ideas about Christianity and "the Christian way of life." "Once you throw off biblical doctrine, what do you have to guide you? This is to me a reflection of what Satan did with Eve in the Garden – this is Genesis 3:1, 'Yea, hath God said?' In other words, if you undermine what God had said, then what have you got?" he questions. "Well, you've got Proverbs 14:12, 'There's a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death' -- or destruction."

McLaren also tells the future of Christianity will also require Christians to "join humbly and charitably with people of other faiths -- Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, secularists and others -- in pursuit of peace, environmental stewardship," and other things that quote "matter greatly to the heart of God." But McMahon argues that what matters most to the heart of God is that individuals receive salvation on "his terms...through his gospel."

"And that's what people of the world, people of faith desperately need," the ministry leader concludes. McLaren has joined the Matthew 25 Network, a liberal political action group of Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals and Evangelicals seeking to get Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) elected president.