Burn What?

So they want to burn a Quran, what of it? I find this whole episode where commentators of all stripes are calling for this little dinky church of 30 people to pleeeeeease not burn the holy Quran, quite revealing. Who would have thunk that 30 people could cause so many around the world to cry foul. By contrast, I wonder how many bibles have been burned in the last year without so much as a whimper of concern.

I know for a fact that bibles are burned in North Korea, China, Laos, certain parts of India, all over the Middle East, Indonesia and other places as well. Nary a word is said in outrage over such acts. What is normally not told – well, bible burning stories are never reported in main stream media to begin with – but what most don’t realize is that along with the bible burning in many places is the killing of the Christians who owned those bibles to begin with. This is a well documented fact.

However, at face value, the desire to burn the Quran is simply stupid. It obviously cannot accomplish the goal of the church, which is to warn people of the dangers of Islam – or can it?

After reading several different columns of talking heads who frantically were calling for this pastor to rethink his stupidly, I became uncomfortably aware of a nagging little truth. These people are afraid.

Of course I do believe that burning the Quran is stupid for several reasons. First, it will not win a single Muslim to faith in Christ. Second, it will endanger Christians in Muslim lands. Third, it will insight Muslims to violence around the world … maybe in my neck of the woods … gulp … maybe in my neighborhood?

Ok, I’m afraid too. DONT BURN IT!

I think the little church has made a big point.

It would, of course, be wise not to go through with the act, especially when we consider what will happen to Christians in lands where Muslim majorities seek to make a point themselves. But it won’t be only bibles being burned.

Christians, what are we to do?

1st, we are to always share the truth in love – no matter the consequences. Let me emphasize love. Burning anyone’s book is not an act of love!

2nd, we are to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is within us. This means we defend truth … in love. No one comes to the Father but through the Son.

3rd, we are to always demonstrate the truth through how we treat our enemies. Jesus asked the Father to forgive His tormentors as He was being nailed to a cross.

4th, we are to let Muslims know that God loves them enough to send Jesus Christ to die for their sins.

5th, we have to be willing to die to make that great truth known.

Lovingly share the truth. Defend the truth. Live the truth. Proclaim the truth even to those who mean us harm, and be willing to die for the truth.

That’s what Christ did. And that’s what we do!

Fighting the Good Fight

Over a half a century ago, General Omar Bradley said, “We know more about war than about peace. We know more about killing than about living. This is our 20th Century’s claim to progress—knowledge of science outstrips capacity for control. We have too many men of science, too few men of God. The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. We are a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

Ethical infants who have no conscience and who are devoid of wisdom; does that describe our culture today? I think it does. Our culture is such that most people live today in a moral haze. I believe that haze is thicker than when General Bradley first made his observation. As followers of Christ, however, we have an obligation to become people of integrity and character.

We don’t hear much about either of those things in popular culture today. Turn to your average sit-come or movie and you’ll most likely be filling your mind with vulgar notions of marriage and family. You’ll be introduced to profanity, sex and violence that in earlier times would have simply been unthinkable, let alone considered appropriate for mass consumption. You’ll be not so subtly influenced to see people of integrity as backwards and men of character as fundamental oafs who are worthy only of mockery and contempt.

We must guard ourselves. It’s easy to become influence by the godless culture around us on the one hand; and, at the bare minimum to be desensitized to the moral pollution being offered on the other hand.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the springs of life.” And Proverbs 25:26 says, “A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well.”

We must never forget that Jesus taught the kingdom of God is about righteousness. But righteousness takes intentional effort. Every day we have to make a choice. We either allow ourselves to be guided by the world and its current godless values, or we choose to follow Christ. If we choose to follow Christ we will discover that we must be ever alert and diligent in our efforts.

One of the best ways to battle the world’s influence is to turn off the TV and open your bible. Too many people know more about a current TV series than they do about even one particular book in the bible. But the bible says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov 23:7). Let’s fill our hearts with the wisdom and truth of God’s Word.

God loves you and desires for you to experience the joy and beauty that is yours in Christ. And He went to great lengths that we might have His righteousness: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).

Liberalism’s Dilemma

Question: What is God’s answer to liberalism? Answer: Islam. God has a good sense of humor.

There are many things that may be said about liberalism, but one point that must be acknowledged is that liberalism is a product of Christianity. While any good liberal will vehemently denounce Christianity as homophobic, intolerant, misogynist and close minded, they are at pains to explain their worldview apart from Christian influence. In fact, all the so called virtues of liberalism are nothing more than watered down and distorted strains of Christian ethics. Christianity provides the theological and philosophical backbone for all liberal thinking. Without Christianity as the backbone of Western civilization, liberalism would not exist.

And for good reason. Liberalism is not a system of thought in itself. Like any successful parasite, it feeds off the larger host that gives it life. In that respect, liberalism is really a destructive force that bites the hand that feeds it. Liberalism does not have the ability to create a sustaining civilization. It can only foment at the things it hates about the one it already inhabits.

For example, take the great liberal virtue of “tolerance.” They propose that all people should accept all people without qualification. They argue that we should not judge other people. Instead, we should accept them as they are because that is the loving thing to do.

As with all distortions, there is some merit here. But where did the idea to be lenient in judgment and largess in love come from to begin with? It seems too obvious to even mention. But those ideas come from Jesus. Of course, in the present liberal version, those virtues are nothing more than distortions. But the best distortions are those that contain a small amount of truth.

It should also be recognized, however, that the distortion is a form of protest. Liberal ethics do not create standards in as much as they wage war against those who do. Hence, liberals are protesting against any standards of right and wrong when they promote “tolerance.” It just isn’t fair that some people cannot live the way they want to – sin notwithstanding. So, we will cry “foul” until we get our way!

But the point is that liberalism is a product of Western Christian civilization. Without the Christian backbone that liberals seek to break, there is no liberalism. So why then is Islam God’s answer to liberalism?

Islam is the antithesis to everything liberalism stands for. If Islam was the dominant theo-political movement in America, there would not be a liberal left standing. The pogrom against liberals from the ruling Islamic imams would make Stalin blush.

The chief goal of Islam is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law. Under this geo-political/theological system of thought and governance, there is absolutely no room for a single liberal virtue. All dissenters are subjected to harsh and cruel punishment.

Consider that just last year there was controversy (in our media, but not in the Islamic world) over two teenage boys who were discovered to be practicing homosexuals. Those two young men would have been paraded around in the West as heroes for protesting the bigots who oppose homosexuality. In the Moslem world, they are simply executed without comment. Today those two boys are, in fact, dead. So much for tolerance.

How about women’s rights? In Islam such a notion simply does not exist. People do not have rights – no one does. They have obligations and duties as outlined in Sharia law. They are expected to behave according to the dictates of that law, or they will be punished. Hence, women wear burkas, not to make a fashion statement, but because not doing so could cost them their lives. You won’t see radical feminists mouthing off about the closed-minded, misogynist policies of Islamic law in Islamic countries. In fact, whenever you see a good feminist in Saudi Arabia, you will notice the nice and attractive burka she’s sporting. I have always wondered why such women do not wear them when they return home.

The point is that for every liberal virtue – so called, it would be easy to demonstrate how Islamic law not only contradicts it, but, in fact, condemns it.

So how does that translate into the opening questions? Why is Islam God’s answer to liberalism? I think it’s pretty simple. As Islam continues to rise in influence, all true die-hard liberals will have to make a choice. Right now, liberals are safely protected by their despised host. But as Christianity loses influence, liberals will someday be faced with the choice of adhering to their cherished and sacred liberal values or the dreaded and rightly feared law of Islam.

Once the backbone of Christianity is broken in the West, liberals will discover that they were never in the possession of a spine to begin with. It wasn’t theirs. All they did was kick it until it finally broke. When that happens, they just might have to face the true spirit of Islam (without Christian ethics as a buffer zone for protection). They will have nothing to hang onto when they cry “foul” and scream that their treatment is not fair.

But until that time, and as Islam makes its influence felt, liberals will be confronted with the contradictions of their views with that of Islam. The humor, I believe, will be found in the liberal desire to protect Islam from those whom they deem to be closed-minded and intolerant of Islam. The recent episode of liberals running headlong to protect the building of a mosque on Ground Zero and allegedly even funded with terrorist money, is a good case in point. Never mind their anticipated response had this been a Christian church wanting to build a cathedral over the graves of Moslems.

Liberals exist today because of the values of Christianity (e.g. true tolerance, – which is putting up with others you do not agree with – forbearance, and love) so allowed it to be. If Islam ever becomes a dominant force, liberalism as we know it dies a hard and painful death. Then again, it may be more of a soft whimper as all the radical libs dawn their burkas, grow their beards, and quietly head to the mosque for daily prayers.

God has a sense of humor.

They Called them Americans

We are entering a unique time in American history. We have entered a time where we have redefined the definition of what it means to have “rights.” “My rights” has become code language for “freedom from law.”

I stand amazed at what is happening in Arizona and the surrounding dialogue. It is symptomatic of our national psyche as a whole. Political correctness has Balkanized our country to such a degree that judicious laws that seek to protect the citizenry, and the sovereignty of our nation, are viewed as the real threats.

At the same time, those Hispanic groups that oppose immigration laws seem to demand that by virtue of their status as minorities they are no longer obligated to obey the laws of the land. The word racist, which they are so quick to use, has come to mean “your laws have no jurisdiction over me.” Hence, instead of being a country defined by the motto E Pluribus Unum, out of many one (or as someone has said, ‘we’re all in this together’), we have become a land where the phrase, ‘every man for his own group’ has become more accurate.

Of course, in a democratic society the citizenry has the “right” to oppose ideas they do not agree with. The significance of this latest debate, however, lies in the willingness of certain Hispanic groups to oppose the laws of the land while defining their opposition by their ethnicity, not by reasoned arguments of jurisprudence which upholds the rule of law. Groups of Hispanics are marching in Arizona, opposing American law while carrying Mexican flags. These same groups are attempting to take away the American Flag from white protestors on American soil!

This is no longer about Americans debating Americans. This has become a debate about who has the right to the land. The opposition groups are essentially declaring American law synonymous with white oppression. They demand nothing less that a free open borders where Mexicans (or any Hispanic from the Central Americas) are free to pour onto American soil without consequence. Americans (now a code word for race) must relinquish control of the boarder and recognize they have no right to its protection. If not, they can expect future belligerence and further polarization.

Such is the fruit of liberalism and its hand maiden political correctness. In order for this phase of our country to pass without shattering the integrity of the Union, Americans – of every stripe – must evaluate the historic achievement thus far in our history: that of successfully forging a peculiar culture where the many disparate groups have learned to live in peace as a single body politic. This means more than being proud of our heritage as Americans; it means showcasing the exceptionalism that is America.

The young, who protest as Mexicans on American soil, are a negative demonstration of that exceptinoalism; as such however, they are not able to grasp the historic significance of such an action – only in America! Lost is the memory of Tiananmen Square. Had these young people grown up in China and protested as citizens of Taiwan, they would be fertilizer by now! But until they, and all such like them, learn that America means Freedom and not race, they will only erode the foundation that gave them their right to protest in the first place.

Our boarders will become truly secure only when the people of this nation recognize the significance and privilege of what it means to be called an American. May it happen before that great name passes into history!

Capitalism 101

It has been touted by our comrade-in-chief that healthcare is a “right” that all people are entitled to. In that regard I assume he views healthcare in the same vein as the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. When one looks at those principles that are ascribed as rights, what is observed is that they are A) seen as God given liberties that can only be denied through tyranny (as with the declaration of Independence); B) seen as a protection guaranteeing individual liberty (as with the Bill of Rights); and C) revolve around freedoms that are intrinsic to an individual, but which do not deprive others of their liberties.

Regarding the last point, for example, the first amendment guarantees that I have the “right” to practice my religion without molestation by the government. It also guarantees that I have a right to express my point of view without fear of reprisal. The second amendment ensures that I have the “right” to bear arms and protect myself. These “rights” maintain liberty for a citizen but do not deprive another citizen of their rights in the process.

When I write this blog, my writing does not deprive another of their “rights.” When I purchase a fire-arm, I am, again, not depriving someone of their fundamental liberties. When I worship on Sunday I am not depriving someone of something. It appears that what we as a body politic have always viewed as valid rights, have always leaned in the direction of protecting the liberty of citizens, but never at the expense of others. Continue reading

Bursting the Bonds

Welcome to the Socialist States of America (SSA)! After the vote tonight the IRS will become the new insurance police who is charged with A) making sure your insurance meets government approval and B) collecting all funds including levying all penalties for those who have not meet the requisite standard approved by the new health czars. In the mean time the new health czars will be charged with deciding who gets what, when, where and how – never mind what the doctors think. In addition, all of our medical records and financial records will now be accessed by said czars and the IRS. Not only does our ability to choose become null and void, but our privacy is also swept away.

Of course, all this will not happen immediately. It will take time for the complete single payer system to evolve – but evolve it will. Tonight is the first step – check that, Obama’s presidential victory was the first step – in curtailing genuine American liberty. Not to sound too negative, but I believe we are watching not only the transformation of America but the end of its period as a genuine republic. Of course all such titanic historical shifts move somewhat slowly; yet there must always be a starting point that makes the change. And there’s that wonderful word! Remember the chant encouraging change, “Yes we Can!”

And so they are poised to do it. I remember my college days when I witnessed students under the influence of avowed communists declare that we need a revolution in our country. Continue reading