Tuesday, May 26, 2009

California Upholds Prop. 8

"Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." ~ California Supreme Court 5/26/2009

In a 6 to 1 decision (Justice Carlos R. Moreno concurring and dissenting) the California Supreme Court has issued it's opinion holding that the California Constitutional Amendment ban on gay marriage otherwise known as Prop. 8 as voted and approved by 52% of voting citizens, is valid and should remain in tact.

In a conflicted note, the court unanimously held that the 18,000 gay marriages placed in force while it was legal should continue to be recognized as such but that no new marriages will be recognized as gay marriage is NOT the law of the land any longer.

I take the time to say thank you to the 52% of voting California citizens. You, by virtue of your actions, could have saved this country in many ways! We also must thank the Mormon church for footing a significant part of the bill. Yes, Christians we owe the Mormons on this one.
The battlefront is laid out. I had earlier said that we should just be in retention mode and retain what we can due to the fact that this immorality is proliferating itself abundantly. The citizens of California have renewed my hope that the liberal and left-wing agenda that we are observing will be met with overwhelming resistance.
The facts are that Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and Maine have all legalized gay marriage, and lawmakers in New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire are considering bills of their own. My own state Illinois is on the docket to review civil unions possibly endorsing such as the law of the land. We have much praying to do.
The Pitfalls:
The title "marriage" seems to be what is being fought for rather than the substance of marriage. Here are words from the decision itself:
  • "Analyzing the scope of Proposition 8, the majority opinion explains that, contrary to petitioners’ assertions, the initiative measure does not “entirely repeal” or “abrogate” the aspect of a same-sex couple’s state constitutional right of privacy and due process discussed in the majority opinion in the Marriage Cases — namely, the constitutional right to “choose one’s life partner and enter with that person into a committed, officially recognized, and protected family relationship that enjoys all of the constitutionally based incidents of marriage” — nor does it “fundamentally alter” the substance of state constitutional equal protection principles recognized in that opinion. Instead, it carves out a limited exception to these constitutional rights by reserving the official designation of the term “marriage” for the union of opposite-sex couples, but leaves undisturbed all of the other aspects of a same-sex couple’s constitutional right to establish an officially recognized and protected family relationship and to the equal protection of the laws.~ Judicial Council Of California Administrative News Release # 29 5/26/2009
California's Supreme Court seems to yet suffer from a split personality regarding the issue. If they weren't going to be under scrutiny in this case i wonder would their decisions have been different. For example, Justice Kennard issued her own Concurring Opinion basically giving guidance on how to get gay marriage approved in the future:
  • "[a]lthough the people through the initiative power may not change the court’s interpretation of language in the state Constitution, they may change the constitutional language itself, and thereby enlarge or reduce the personal rights that the state Constitution as so amended will thereafter guarantee and protect." ~ Justice Kennard California Supreme Ct. 5/26/2009

Justice Wardegar also issued her feelings that the differences between marriages and domestic partnerships should be eliminated in the future. In her Concurring decision she states:

  • "all three branches of state government continue to have the duty, within their respective spheres of operation, today as before the passage of Proposition 8, to eliminate the remaining important differences between marriage and domestic partnership, both in substance and perception." ~ Justice Wardegar California Supreme Ct. 5/26/2009

And of course Justice Moreno in his Concurring and Dissenting opinion just doesn't see how any of the justices would side with the majority against the minority:

  • "Proposition 8 represents an unprecedented instance of a majority of voters altering the meaning of the equal protection clause by modifying the California Constitution to require deprivation of a fundamental right on the basis of a suspect classification." He states that "[t]he rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized in the Marriage Cases, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities" and "weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority." ~ Justice Moreno California Supreme Ct. 5/26/2009

As you can tell this issue is not over and as we watch news reports of the next few days we can only pray for the safety of all citizens, churchgoing and otherwise who reject the immorality of homosexual sin and right to marry.

Ephes 6:10 ~ "Finally My brethern, be strong in the Lord, and in the Power of his might."


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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Super Tuesday, The California Supreme Court & Prop 8

"We brought this case on behalf of Equality California and six couples who urgently wish to retain the freedom to marry in California, but the Court's decision will mean so much more to so many - to same-sex couples in California and in states across the country, to those who advocate for minority rights, and to all those who care about equality." ~ Kate Kendell, director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

Here we go once again my friend...Can the second time around be just as sour as the last in the courts?

On Tuesday May 26, 2009 the California Supreme Court will assume the role of the supreme authority of the State and either affirm or superceed the voice of the people of California, by the announcement of its decision regarding the constitutionality of Prop. 8. The court will either overturn Prop. 8, (a ban on gay marriage that was upheld by 52% of the voting citizens of California during November 2008's election) or uphold Prop 8. If the court upholds or affirms Prop 8. the gay and lesbian community could possibly be sent into an even greater uproar and furor over not being able to proliferate State sanctioned homosexual immorality. Another problem that the court has been asked to address, is the fortune or fate of the 18,000 homosexual marriages that took place between June 16th and Nov. 4th 2008.

As you can see this promises to be a highly polarizing event and decision. When Prop. 8 was upheld by the citizens of California in Nov. 2008, the gay activist community responded by saying that blacks, who voted in favor of Prop 8, were uninformed and responsible for promoting a message of intolerance and inequitable treatment of minorities. Evangelical Christians were held as responsible also for posessing a message of intolerance while at the same time preaching love while Mormons, who footed most of the bill in defense of traditional marriage were considered to be political tools of the conservative right.
It would seem that the homosexual far left has lost site of the fact that not all 52% of California's citizens that voted AGAINST homosexual marriage were Christians or religious folk. In fact, there are a growing number of non religious folk that do not beilve or accept gay marriage as normative, but believing this is all in who you ask.
What Do We Know?

Well, we all know what the Chief Justice and the California Supreme Court believes:
  • “Furthermore, in contrast to earlier times, our state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual’s sexual orientation, and, more generally, that an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights. We therefore conclude that in view of the substance and significance of the fundamental constitutional right to form a family relationship, the California Constitution properly must be interpreted to guarantee this basic civil right to all Californians, whether gay or heterosexual, and to same-sex couples as well as to opposite-sex couples.” ~ Chief Justice Ronald George: California Supreme Court Decision Affirming Gay Marriage 5/19/2008
We all know what some of the major advocates of homosexual immorality believe and who they are. They are groups such as The National Center For Lesbian Rights (NCLR), {who considers the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights or (UDHR) a document supporting their arguments}, Lambda Legal, who sponsors ALLY Week asking "straight" individuals to partner with gays to provide protection from harassment at schools. This group is also active in introducing the homosexual lifestyle to their target group of kindergartners and children in Early Childhood Education (ECE). Additional promoters of gay marriage include the ACLU and private counsel from Munger, Tolles & Olson and the Law Office of David Codell, along with a record-breaking number of civil rights organizations.
Additional Promoters & Pundits:

We all know what some of the more popular individuals believe such as Magic Johnson and former NFL Quarterback Steve Young who both vehemently opposed Prop 8 from the beginning. But what sometimes gos overlooked are individuals such as Governor Arnold "I'll Be Bock" Schwarzenegger, who in an interview on April 11,2008 stated that an initiative to amend the California's Constitution to ban gay and lesbian couples from marriage (Prop 8) was “a waste of time,” adding “I will always be there to fight against that. It will never happen.” Well Gov. It Happened, and we're sure you're doing all you can to make sure it get's reversed. On 52% tax payer dollars!

Finally, we all know that homosexuality is condemned both with the Old and New Testaments and if one is to truly serve the Lord, one must abandon homosexual practice and affinity. These are the facts: Jesus loved every homosexual so much that he gave his life to set them free. Being the God that he is, he did the same for all of us heterosexuals who were lost in our sins also.

Until Then We Must Pray.

We'll soon see how this all plays out. Until then there's one thing that's always effective and always in order...that's prayer. Unlike what atheists believe, prayer ALWAYS makes a difference when the true and living God is the object of that prayer. With HIM all things are possible.

California, we're praying along with you!!!


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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Obama Doctrine Of Pluralism & Eclecticism

On Sunday May 17th 2009 President Barack Obama appeared at the University Of Notre Dame (UND) to render their Class of 2009 Commencement Address. As most of you know, the President's views on abortion and the traditional and stated Catholic view of abortion is at best contradictory and was a major point of emphasis leading up to the ceremony.

Most Catholics, along with most Protestant Christians, Evangelicals and others hold to the sanctity of life and generally fall into the anti-abortion camp. President Obama however is an advocate of Roe v. Wade which instituted abortion as the law of the land in 1973. That law has arguably been responsible for over 50 million deaths of American babies in the interim. I discuss those facts and others in my post "Yes We Can ~ Eliminate Abortion. Can't We?" What's unique about this is that President Obama claims to be a dedicated "Christian" while espousing these views, and seeks to openly engage other Christians to try to persuade them to his methodology and thinking. The part that catches most Christians off guard is that the President presents his views as if his beliefs are normative, and somehow better representative of the true "diversity" and "culture" of both Christianity and American values. The fact is that the President espouses views of religious and social pluralism.

From reading and hearing him speak, pluralism in President's Obama's view comprises 2 elements: 1- A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society and 2- The belief that no single explanatory system or view of reality can account for all the phenomena of life. These concepts lead to what is called secular inclusion, which doesn't strip individuals of their spirituality but tells them that their religious values and views must be pliable or moldable to humanitarian and social views. In other words: "Check the bible at the door".

An additional problem is that President Obama does not distinguish the difference between religious and social pluralism. He melds them together into one universal, pluralistic pot. To backtrack and confirm this control belief, one must look back to then Senator Obama's speech when he contrasted the problem of advancing a society while holding to religious views and viewpoints especially conservative Christian viewpoints espoused by leaders such as Alan Keyes:
  • "...and I think it's time that we join a serious debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern, pluralistic democracy."..."Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality." ~ Senator Barack Obama "A Call To Renewal" Washington, DC. 6/28/2006
It is upon that platform that President Obama spoke at UND. I would like to look at a few of the more interesting points of the President's address to the 2009 graduates of UND as in his address we see shades of all of his theories and a fully developed apologetic. When placed along side of others statements that he's made in the past regarding these issues his viewpoints are especially telling.

Please keep in mind that President Obama wouldn't show up for the Washington March For Life or the National Day Of Prayer event, but he did show up at UND. The reason why, does not escape us as college campuses are the battle ground for the proliferation of new age thought. As enthusiastic as an Evangelist willing to spread the good news of the Kingdom of Christ, President Obama is more than willing to spread the Godlessness of Pluralism and Eclecticism. Here's some of what he said:
  • "For the major threats we face in the 21st century -- whether it's global recession or violent extremism; the spread of nuclear weapons or pandemic disease -- these things do not discriminate. They do not recognize borders. They do not see color. They do not target specific ethnic groups.Moreover, no one person, or religion, or nation can meet these challenges alone. Our very survival has never required greater cooperation and greater understanding among all people from all places than at this moment in history." ~ President Barack Obama UND 5/17/09
Similar to Hillary Clinton's, "It takes a village to raise a child" making everyone responsible for the condition of a few (when the truth is it only takes 2 godly parents and even 1 will do especially when there's trust and faith in God) President Obama wasn't short on defining the limitations and inadequacies of both religion, humanity and nations in dealing with the important issues of our time.

As a rule Presidents don't usually invoke limitations, especially limitations of religions and religious systems. Even though his campaign theme was "Yes We Can" President Obama, unlike any other American President, seems to have defined the limitations of all religions and especially the Christian religion. Noting that no "one person" or no "one religion" can meet the challenges that the world faces alone, he begins to describe a vision of partnerships and sharing that crosses all lines of separation (except governmental) for the benefit of humanity. This concept is called eclecticism. Eclecticism is "a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases."

Obviously, America is a pluralistic and eclectic society in many facets. In social matters eclecticism has its benefits. The problem is when the church doesn't recognize that the absolute nature of God's word is being challenged or thrown under the bus at the expense of fancy and lofty sounding, subjective humanistic values. Unfortunately, the church sometimes cannot discern what is being preached to them. Some are entrapped by the voices of "strangers". I know UND is not or was not the "church" but they were representative of the church in this instance and as an institution is representative of values that the church has traditionally held.

As stated, President Obama's speech at UND was full of pluralistic and eclectic concepts. In President's Obama's view Christianity is only one path that people have chosen to suit their needs and must be tempered by other religious beliefs in order to come up with the best possible solutions for all. Case and point? Let's revert to his speech some time ago at the National Prayer Breakfast.
  • "We will also reach out to leaders and scholars around the world to foster a more productive and peaceful dialogue on faith. I don’t expect divisions to disappear overnight, nor do I believe that long-held views and conflicts will suddenly vanish. But I do believe that if we can talk to one another openly and honestly, then perhaps old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge." ~ President Barack Obama NPB Washington, D.C. 2/5/2009

To listen to our President define what's needed among religions, you would think that there is an all out religious war going on in the United States. The wording "foster a more productive dialogue" suggests that various religious leaders and faiths can't share the same room and certainly can't get anything significant done. Then he speaks that he doesn't expect "divisions to disappear overnight" as if there are casualties of war and deep scars that must be healed daily. This is ridiculous. Just like many of you reading this, I work with and meet individuals regularly who are of differing faiths and denominations. We have excellent working relationships and respect for one another. Presidential views here are what's called a "strawman". Something that looks real on the surface but has no substance or reality.

The Appeal To Not Wear Religious Values & Views Too Closely:

In one of the most astounding parts of the President's speech to UND students, he praises religious values as a virtue as follows:

  • "And in this world of competing claims about what is right and what is true, have confidence in the values with which you've been raised and educated. Be unafraid to speak your mind when those values are at stake. Hold firm to your faith and allow it to guide you on your journey. In other words, stand as a lighthouse."

On it's own that sounds good. The encouragements are well taken. Hold on to your faith, speak the truth, live your faith!...but in the same breath what comes next is straight out of the humanist handbook 101:

  • "But remember, too, that you can be a crossroads. Remember, too, that the ultimate irony of faith is that it necessarily admits doubt. It's the belief in things not seen. It's beyond our capacity as human beings to know with certainty what God has planned for us or what He asks of us."

We must admit that it's beyond our imagination to know the beauty that God has planned for us as believers, but that in now way reduces our ability to know of certainty that he DOES have beautiful things planned. As Christians we know that "faith" is present NOW (Heb. 11:1) and that eternal life begins NOW (Jn. 3:16, Rom.10:8-9). The irony of the statement is that President Obama addresses a religious institution telling them that even they cannot be certain of their faith as it pertains to God or HIS plans. In essence, The President expresses that faith is a proposition that is filled with doubt which can only be managed, not overcome. Every religious student at the ceremony, and every faithfully observant religious professor, should have been outraged that the President basically told them that even what they believe is an uncertain proposition. Let's look further:

  • "And those of us who believe must trust that His wisdom is greater than our own.And this doubt should not push us away {from} our faith. But it should humble us. It should temper our passions, cause us to be wary of too much self-righteousness. It should compel us to remain open and curious and eager to continue the spiritual and moral debate that began for so many of you within the walls of Notre Dame."

The President makes many assumptions in these statements. Basically it says that faith can never be too confident, because after all, it is only "faith". The President reduces Faith to a set of lofty hopes, or mere wishful thinking about good things. However, as demonstrated by his encouragement to "doubt" faith is unreal and an untenable truth as it pertains to natural things. Certainly in President Obama's world faith is not an absolute and by his own words it should be "tempered", and "remain open and curious" because, after all, YOU COULD BE WRONG.

One final note here, the President immediately appealed for the students to move away from parochial principles to universal principles. Parochial, meaning principles that are narrow in scope, not diverse in considerations of the issue at hand and for the benefit of the community from which their values are derived which is usually the church. Look at this:

  • "And within our vast democracy, this doubt should remind us even as we cling to our faith to persuade through reason, through an appeal, whenever we can, to universal rather than parochial principles, and most of all through an abiding example of good works and charity and kindness and service that moves hearts and minds."

As I said, this basically means hold on to your faith, but YOU COULD BE WRONG so appeal to universal principles (notions that everyone can accept) rather than those learned in church, through the bible or in relationship to God, because those values may not have mass appeal and are only about "faith" and everyone can't get with that...The ultimate encouragement to religious people to not be too religious.

The Real Issue, Abortion & The Ultimate Misdirection:

What is specially interesting about President Obama's speeches is that sometimes he misdirects and says nothing while appearing to address the issue at hand. At UND The President began speaking about a Dr. who disagreed with his stance on right-winged anti-abortionists. He later said that the Dr. helped him to better understand that a diversity of ideas should be desired when it comes to addressing the abortion issue. In other words the Dr. helped remind him that he himself was a pluralist instead of the left-wing extremist that he had become. Then, suddenly, The President changed the argument. Look at this:

  • "Because when we do that -- when we open up our hearts and our minds to those who may not think precisely like we do or believe precisely what we believe -- that's when we discover at least the possibility of common ground.That's when we begin to say, "Maybe we won't agree on abortion, but we can still agree that this heart-wrenching decision for any woman is not made casually, it has both moral and spiritual dimensions."

The problem here is that abortion was the watershed issue of this whole encounter. The anti-abortionist doesn't negate the woman's right or equality. The anti-abortionist merely emphasizes the unborn's right to equally exist. He completely overlooks or writes off abortion itself as something that "we won't agree on" and immediately undertakes another issue. Where is ANY mention of a human beings right to life or right to exist? It skillfully and calculatingly doesn't exist in President Obama's dialogue. He further states:

  • "So let us work together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions, let's reduce unintended pregnancies. (Applause.) Let's make adoption more available. (Applause.) Let's provide care and support for women who do carry their children to term. (Applause.) Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women." Those are things we can do. (Applause.)"

Reducing the number of women seeking abortions doesn't address stopping abortion or changing the law that is currently favorable to killing the unborn. In lieu, the President says appease or "honor the conscience" of those who believe that babies have a right to live by drafting a "conscience clause"??? In a sense this is very telling because it indicates that currently abortion is unconscionable or at least viewed that way by the anti-abortionist. Then the President says, root policies in "sound science" and "clear ethics" and "respect the equality of women"... Once again, notice how the President takes the argument AWAY from the center of abortion and focuses the conversation on the "science", "ethics" and "equality of women" emphasizing the moral and spiritual implications of HER decision, with no regard to addressing the moral and spiritual implications of murdering the innocent through the act of abortion. What do the President's statements here say??? I'll tell you what they say...NOTHING! This whole tirade was designed to change the argument away from fetus killing to a woman making a decision that has both moral and spiritual dimensions, because he readily admits that the practice and act of abortion itself is something that we can't agree on.

But my question to President Obama is this:

Is abortion murder, physically, morally, spiritually and/or ethically??? If not, on what basis do you make your evaluation; morally, ethically, physically or spiritually???

Maybe his statements in A Call To Renewal will clarify what the President was actually telling the graduates of UND:

  • "Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all." ~ Senator Barack Obama "A Call To Renewal" Washington, D.C. 6/28/2006

By His Own Words:

By the President's own words I know that God has not been a part of his decision to promote and make room for abortion. He says this in confirmation of such:

  • "But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know." ~ President Barack Obama NPB Washington, DC. 2/5/2009
There is NO GOD who condones taking the life of an innocent human being??? Is that really so Mr. President? Then why do you condone it???

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Did Our Bishop Obfuscate?

The word Obfuscate simply is the concealment of meaning in communication, making it confusing and harder to interpret.

In this post I want to make it clear that The Dunamis Word is calling the Presiding Bishop of our church, The Church Of God in Christ, Inc. Mem. TN. in the person of Bishop Charles E. Blake, yet into question again regarding his statements to the General Assembly in April 2009. The statements in question are those centering around the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (UDHR). The UDHR was endorsed the Presiding Bishop as a matter of positioning the church in unison with the tenets of the human rights document during the later part of 2008, and according to the Bishop in an effort to better align the church with international human rights efforts.

This post is clear and DOES NOT call into question the person or character of Bishop Blake. This post does not imply that the Bishop is either homosexual or partial to homosexuality and does not seek to besmirch his person. However this post does call into question the accuracy of his statements as recorded in written records regarding the UDHR, it's current use, and original intent.

The written record of Bishop Blake's response regarding the UDHR can be found HERE. It is that document and statements made therein that are questioned. I will highlight the statements as made by the Bishop and outline my concerns and what is generally known as common knowledge regarding these matters. Here we go:

The Creation Of The Proclamation Of Human Rights

Regarding the original creation of the document by the United Nations in 1948 and the endorsement of what was then the "Proclamation Of Human Rights" by the Church Of God in Christ, Mem. TN. in 1955, Bishop Blake states the following on Pg. 2 paragraph 4 of his response:

  • "In 1948, the UN issued the Statutes of the Genocide Convention and “Proclamation of Human Rights,” which was a condemnation of and prohibition of human right atrocities and cruelty. Six million Jews had been killed by the Nazis. Again in 1955, Bishop Mason sent Pastor Delk and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory to sign the UN Charter on the 10th Anniversary of the same."
What Bishop does not mention here is that the "Proclamation Of Human Rights" carried a duel aspect of human rights that included and provided for the practice of homosexuality by addressing atrocities and crimes against homosexuals. In fact as noted in my article Are Human Rights Gay Rights Pt. 2? The University Of Minnesota Human Rights Center addressed this issue as follows:

  • "The UDHR was drafted in reaction to the inhumanity committed during World War II. Like Jews, gypsies, and the disabled, gay men and lesbians were singled out by the Nazis for slave labor and extermination. As many as 100,000 gay men were sent to the concentration camps where they were killed or worked to death. They were required to wear pink triangles, a symbol that has since come to stand for the international gay rights movement. Several thousand lesbians, considered "anti-social elements" and forced to wear black triangles, met similar fates." The study also notes that "Despite these atrocities, the UDHR contains no specific guarantees of fundamental human rights regardless of sexual orientation."
As for the intent, all rational persons agree that homosexuals should not be singled out or be open targets of crime and violence. That is not in question. However, the notion that the UDHR had NO CONSIDERATION for homosexuals or what we view as the homosexual agenda should be put to rest from this point forward. From it's very inception atrocities against homosexuals WERE INCLUDED in the intents and structure of the UDHR. Homosexuals WERE in consideration when the original documents were created and called the "Proclamation Of Human Rights". By deductive reasoning, since the document DID NOT condemn the practice of homosexuality, one should reasonable assume that the practice of homosexuality including homosexual marriages and personal freedoms WOULD be included at the heart of the document. To suggest otherwise is not lying, but a mere shading of the truth, and gives rise to more suspicion.

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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Propserity: The Gospel Of Excess

"I get so mad when I see these pimpin' preachers driving Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, flying around in their private jets, and making it seem like prosperity and money is the way of God when 90 percent of your congregation is on Section 8 or can't figure out how they are going to keep their lights on or feed their kids." ~Donnie McClurkin by Kenya N. Byrd Essence Magazine 3/26/2009

Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous
In a recent interview with Essence Magazine Donnie McClurkin posed that lifestyles of leaders of churches were out of control and out of hand. He further stated that individuals sometimes preach and place monetary burdens on their congregations while they themselves live a life of luxury. There was and is much commentary on both sides of the issue as to just how a preacher should live and conduct themselves among the congregation.

Now the backdrop is this, for a number of years the church has been under attack for its excess social and moral practices. It would seem that the current financial recession is also bringing much of this to the surface, and I say thankfully.

The lifestyles of the minister and church have caught the attention of everyone both favorable and unfavorable, church and secular. Rod 2.0 Beta reports that not only is attendance at mega church New Birth MB Lithonia, GA. down but tithes are down over 20% since 1993. They also reported this about Bishop Eddie Long and his 2009 Easter Service which normally was held annually at the Georgia Dome:
  • "Bishop Long, who routinely preaches his sermons dressed in expensive tailored suits and dripping in diamonds, acknowledges that his members are no longer receptive to his "prosperity" message since many of them have lost their jobs and homes."
The first observation that we must agree with is that there ARE excesses and immoralities that have occurred that have not represented Christ nor his church. There are individuals who "fleece the sheep" for selfish gain and accolades. Secondly, there are yet a growing number of instances in which individuals within the church have caused the church to continue to be seen and regarded in a negative light.

Improper Biblical Insights:

Much of this sort of thing can be raced back to E.W. Kenyon but the whole Word Of Faith prosperity type teachings got it's start, in modern times, from individuals like the late Kenneth Hagin who taught that you can "write your own ticket" with God. Affectionately called Dad Hagin, in his book entitled "How To Write Your Own Ticket With God" which is a expose all fast rack to the throne room of heaven, Dr. Hagin said that the Lord said this to him:
  • "If anybody anywhere, will take these four steps or put these four principles into operation, he will always receive whatever he wants from me or from God the father"..."That includes whatever you want financially." The formula is simply, "1- say it, 2- do it, 3- receive it, and 4- tell it" As recorded in Exceedingly Growing Faith 2ed (Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries 1988 pg. 73-74 (Numbers added)
In Hagin's teaching there was no acknowledgement of faith or believing prayer or even the will of God. Another part of the problem that we face within the church today stems from how many individuals misinterpret or just plain lie about their place and position within the kingdom of God. Some tend to think they are Kings, while others claim that they are "special preachers to the nation" (ala: Juanita Bynum) . For a long time now the late, defunct preacher, Bishop Earl Paulk, taught what was deemed as the "Doctrine Of The Kings Meat" which was wrapped in his "Kingdom Now Theology". These teachings allowed him to have congregational excesses such as money and sexual favors over a period of about 40 years, while restricting others to the pews and demanding that they not questioning the "anointing". By the way Bishop Paulk's most recent lawsuit was dropped in 2007. I don't know but I haven't heard that he repented along the way. If he did (before he passed)please let us know by referencing the article.

Some of these individuals proudly proclaim who they are and what they want and do. For instance, there's Dr. Bill Winston who confesses that he is a "prosperity preacher". Many of his supporters go on to contrast by saying what else should a preacher be? A "poverty preacher"?

Although that may be a trite response, the real danger is in his theology. Not only does he fall in the line of faith teachers and the Word Of Faith movement by teaching that faith is a force, he also teaches that believers (members of his church) are kings and he is a priest.

Dr. Winston, a former highly successful IBM Sales Director, has said that the congregation is to go out and get the money and to come in and give the money to him because he is the priest. In reward for this they can then have that new Mercedes, mansion or even an airplane. In other words the promise of God has a material one to one equivalency. Still, there are additional problems. In his book, "The Kingdom Of God In You" Dr. Winston sets forth the notions that even sincerely saved persons can unwittingly live under satan's rule, and that the promises of God rarely come from the outside sovereign work of God, but from the internal kingdom already within an individual. It's evidence that Dr. Winston doesn't recognize the total sovereignty of God both internally and externally and relinquishes and ultimately restricts God's sovereignty to external circumstances only. These are disturbing teachings and suggestions to say the least, and have very serious biblical and theological implications. Dr Winston has a new book coming out called the Law Of Confession which I plan to also review on this site.

For some individuals, giving the benefit of the doubt of spiritual correctness is all based on what ability they have or accomplishments they have amassed. For instance in the recent address the General Assembly of the Church Of God In Christ Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake set forth the following notion and response in defending his action of endorsing and signing the Universal Declaration Of Human Rights (UDHR):
  • I’ve got too much work to do for the Lord, to be obsessed with somebody else’s faults or pursuits. One hundred and fifty eight people got saved at West Angeles on Sunday. I pastor your largest church, and it gives more to missions that any other church in our denomination. Each year for the last twenty four years my jurisdiction has given more than any other jurisdiction in financial reports. Wisdom is justified by her children. Before you believe a person’s allegations, check to see what kind of children that person has produced. What kind of work have they done?

In other words, from the Bishop's statements the gauge that the church should use in discerning right from wrong and truth from error is material success. Whether that be in the ability to create large churches or in the ability to wield massive amounts of money. (I'll do another post regarding The Bishop's misstatements on the UDHR in another post) So in essence, wielding money and drawing crowds is a validate of success when Jesus name is attached. This is not the gospel of the Kingdom, this is the gospel of self and self kingdom pursuit and validation. Neither John the Baptist nor Jesus had churches, buildings or large treasuries, but both were more highly successful than any now walking. Then there are a list of Apostles that follow the same route.

Naturally, we understand that the Kingdom requires material blessing and financial arrangements. The problem is the obtuse rendering of these things and the seeming pyramid structures, schemes and psycho-manipulation that these ministers use to amass money and increase their wealth.
Those schemes never seem to exist greater than when mixed with vacations disguised as spiritual retreats to places such as Las Vegas. Yes, as confirmed by Melvin Jones at Pulpit Pimps, Sin City is where Bishop I.V. "Money Man" Hilliard plans to retreat for spiritual empowerment in July 2009. Now, we know that there is no city that is so called more spiritual than another, however there are some more conducive to sin than others. By it's nickname (Sin City) Las vegas has been labeled as "Whatever Happens Here, Stays Here" and this is quite telling. Last I knew the only thing I wanted kept secret was SIN. On the other hand, we don't minimize that there are good people in Las Vegas. Thank God for Christians trying to win their community by their example, what we point to is the thought that material doctrine usually lead to materialistically based decisions and excesses with materialism and social status at heart.

Then there's the Leroy Thompsons of the world. Dr. Thompson's book, "Money Thou Art Loosed" set forth the notion that "prosperity is a mark of covenant. God desires for His children to live the abundant life financially, and there are things we can do to cooperate with God in faith to cause money to be loosed into our life."

These principles and "things" we can do usually have no regard or preferential treatment for them that are saved. In other words, if the unrighteous do the things that are outlined in most of these books and teaching messages, even they too will receive and overabundance.

One of the more popular ones of them all is Creflo "Crank Dem Dollars" Dollar In his book "8 steps To Create The Life You Want: The Anatomy Of A Successful Life" Regarding the books basic premise he says this:

"For instance, your words produce your thinking, your thinking drives your emotions, your emotions dictate your decisions, your decisions determine your actions, your actions shape your habits, your habits form your character, and your character determines your destiny. Today, I ask, is there anything missing in your life? If so, commit to walking out the eight steps in this book, and you will understand how to position yourself to experience change. What are you waiting for? You’re only eight steps away!"

Heretical Teachings & Metaphysical Beliefs
Another part to this teaching is the flat out heresy that exists among some of the more popular prosperity teachers. As if obtuse materialistic teaching weren't enough, Kenneth Copeland for instance has no idea about the deity of Christ from scripture or otherwise. He levied a long prophetic utterance in his "Believers Voice Of Victory" some years ago in which he claimed that the Spirit Of The Lord had spoken to him and told him the following:

"...The more you get to be like me, the more they're going to think that way of you. They crucified me for claiming that I was God. But I didn't claim I was God; I just claimed I walked with him and that he was in me. Hallelujah. ["Take Time To Pray" Believers Voice Of Victory 15,2 Feb. 1987:9]

The next month he would followup on questions he received by saying that he didn't say that Jesus wasn't God only that Jesus never made that claim here on Earth. [See "Christianity In Crisis", Hanegraaff (Harvest House 1993) pg. 138]

Obviously one can see either the total spiritual deception or total lack of biblical knowledge. Jesus made the claim to be God clearly in John 8:58 for instance
"58-Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59-Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by."

Jesus' declaration was the reason they (the pious Jews) wanted to crucify him. They considered that Jesus had committed blasphemy by equating himself with God. Not to mention John 1:1-18, Mt. 1:23, Jn. 20:28 and the entire usage of the word Lord (kurios) in Gk. which was the Septuagint (Greek New Testament) rendering of the Tetragram (the 4 sacred letters YHWH) from the Old Testament. Careful examination of this opens a whole new world of Jesus both declaring himself as God and openly receiving from others the same declaration. In fact John the Baptist declares Jesus to be the Lord (ie: God) for whom he is preparing the way according to Is. 40:3. This is confirmed in all gospels (Mt. 3:3, Mk. 1:3, Lk. 3:4, Lk. 1:16, and Jn. 1:23) The disciples ask the "Lord" (kurie, soson) to save them (Mt. 8:25) Peter later cries out the same, "Lord save me" (kurie soson me) when he began to sink after walking on water (Mt. 14:30). Jesus uses the double wording of Lord, Lord (Kurie, Kurie) to to emphasize his title of deity or control in the destiny of souls. (Mt. 7:21-22, Lk. 6:46 and Mt. 25:11) There are a host of other instances but the point is made clear, Kenneth DIDN'T get that word from the Lord Jesus or any heavenly angel at all. What Kenneth did was preach another gospel and we know the penalty for that. (Gal. 1:8-9)

Finally in this segment, there's Mark Chironna leveling prophecies based on one's ability to give, never mind who's receiving...just give. I've documented his false doctrine in "Not My Chironna" This gentleman has a broadcast called "Creating Your World" during which he affirms the metaphysical nature of words, teaches that believers have a "field of attraction" around them, and reduces the move of God to the ability to "make connections". Not to mention the fact that he teaches that everyone has the ability to use words to both shape and create circumstances in their lifves either favorable or non favorable. This goes beyond mere positive confession. It enters into the realm of mind altering creative abilities.
Materialistic Declaration

As Creflo suggests it is because of great character there is great prosperity. Wealth is because some have better abilities than others, playing heavily offf of the scripture of the steward that received talent according to their several ability (Mt. 25:15) one would naturally ask what accounts for the wealth of the atheist, such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett? In every prosperity preachers arsenal there is a variation of this exact same premise to some degree along with a host of false prophecies.
Speaking of Creflo, I have a friend that was once a member of World Changers in Atl. Pastor Dollar PERSONALLY and SPECIFICALLY prophesied a son over her pregnant womb by the "spirit" and "inspiration" of the Holy Ghost. Several months later when A GIRL was born, pastor was shown to have added at least one more false prophecy to his arsenal.

We Must Stand For Truth At All Costs

Galations 5:1 ~ "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

Christ has come to deliver us from the materialistic declaration of the prosperity crowd. These type of thoughts were the thoughts of Jesus day. He condemned those practices now along with his Apostles following suit after him. The scripture said this:

Mt. 6:33 ~ "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you"

Do either of these scriptures restrict us from material gain? NO. Do either of these scriptures require that we use poverty as a sign of righteousness? NO. Do either of these scriptures outline materialism as an indicator of spiritual success? NO. What these scriptures teach is that we, you and I, must prioritize our lives so that Jesus is at the top or the center of the plan. It can't be "me and Jesus" It must be Jesus alone.

Mt. 17: 1-8 ~ "And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2-And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3-And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. 4-Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. 5-While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. 6-And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. 7-And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. 8-And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only"


(Please excuse an earlier version full of spelling errors. Thank you.)
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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Blast From The Past: Recap Of 2008 Mega Church "Americas Family Outing"

"Our relationships are just as sacred to us as yours,...The only difference, at the end of the day, is instead of a man and a lady, we are two ladies." ~ Michelle Freeman 42
"I am taking a stand for the God I love, who I know made us all equal," ~ Georgia Chambers 39

1 year ago there was an event known as the "American Family Outing" in which 6 mega churches were targeted for visits by gay activists underwritten by groups such as Soulforce, The National Black Justice Coalition; MCC; and COLAGE. Their aim was to challenge anti-gay messages in places of worship seeking to prove that gay families are every bit as important and morally and biblically right as heterosexual based families. According to Soulforce.org the churches and Pastors that were targeted for visits from Mother's Day to Father's Day 2008 were as follows:

Mega Churches Known To Avoid Gay Issues:

Lake Wood Church in Houston, Joel Osteen, pastor (Who gladly met with them)
Saddleback Church in Southern California, Rick Warren, founding pastor (Who says Soulforce lied about the visit)
The Potter's House in Texas, Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor

Two Others Serve Up A More Familiar Anti-Gay Message:
Hope Christian Church in Maryland, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia, Bishop Eddie Long,

Lastly One Church Deemed With A Traditional Message Against Homosexuality:
Willow Creek Community Church in Illinois, Bill Hybels, senior pastor

From the original Soulforce article:
  • "the Outing visitors hope to sow seeds of love and understanding so that, one day, mega-churches will help to end physical and spiritual violence against gays." ~ Deb Price
Now the physical violence part I believe we all agree with...but what is spiritual violence? Maybe it's name calling etc...but to tell someone that they are in SIN is exactly what the church is called to do. Please don't tell me that "spiritual violence" is to preach the bible???

2008 Results:

According to The Dallas News.Com representatives of the Americas Family Outing had the following to say after making the rounds through various mega-churches:
  • "We also learned that an openly gay or lesbian person cannot become a member or serve in most of the churches we visited. When LGBT people hear that 'all are welcome' at a mega-church, we encourage them to investigate the quality of that welcome...On the other hand, we also learned that support for reparative therapy and other kinds of ex-gay programs seems to be diminishing. We heard more talk about celibacy and less talk about change."

The Good:

Although some of the pastors chose not to directly address the issue, most of the churches seemingly displayed their abibility (at least when put on the spot) to stand for traditional Christian and moral values. That was an encouraging thing as mega-churches often take the hit for being liberal in their views of Christian living. So kudos to whomever the representatives were that displayed to the Outing Visitors that the change of the church would not be had through the mega church.

The Bad:
There was less talk about deliverance and being set free and more talk about just avoiding the activity of homosexuality. In line with what many think of mega-churches, there was not a push to bring individuals caught tempted by sin into true deliverance. The question I have is what have these churches done or said in response to homosexuality and in particular this effort to indoctrinize the church since then?

Homosexual & Lesbian Presuppositional Thinking:

One thing is obvious. The Outing visitors thought that they were on a Christian missionary journey in order to spread the "good news" of gay inclusion. The statements of two of the organizers listed above, reveal that part of the gay agenda is to create a sense of moral equality along with physical equality. For instance, to say something like "our relationship is just as sacred as yours" (contrasting homosexual relationships to heterosexual relationships) is very telling. These individuals think their biblically defined SIN, is something that is blessed and ordained by God. They also reduce the difference of their relationships to being only a physical "body" not a spiritual and moral value. In other words, the thought is that homosexuals can maintain equivalent and valid heterosexual moral values.
The problem and question is on what basis are those judgements made? What is the standard of that judgement? Is it a subjective value, subject to change, or is it an objective value, one that is absolute at all times and in all ages? Further, I have heard commentary from those who believe in homosexual moral equality suggesting that they "know" that homosexuality is right. The bible is absolutely clear in both the Old Testament and New Testament that is is condemned and is a SIN. So I would like to know from those who are homosexual advocates, how is your knowledge of homosexual moral equality and acceptance gained and what is the basis for how that is known?
One may think that I just want an argument, but I do not. I really want to have a forthright conversation based on how this behavior is reconciled both spiritually and naturally.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Is Belief In The Bible Essential To Christian Faith?

In reference to the title question of this article, according to Professor Bart D. Ehrman Chair, Dept. of Religious Studies UNC Chapel Hill, belief in the bible is not essential to the Christian faith. In a very brief and fantasy laden article, published by the Washington Post Online on May 1st 2009, Professor Ehrman reflects on the criticisms leveled at him because of the claims of his new book 'Jesus Interrupted'. I am preparing a post to deal with Professor Ehrman's irresponsible biblical interpretations and will have it posted either here or at The Dunamis Word 2 for study, but I just wanted to look at a couple of his arguments in particular regarding the bible and biblical passages. Tracing the view of the authority of scripture to the Niagra Conference and 14 Point Creed, Professor Ehrman says this regarding the fundamental belief in the authority of the scripture:
  • "To make faith in the Bible the most important tenet of Christianity was a radical shift in thinking -- away, for example, from traditional statements of faith such as the Apostles Creed and the Nicene Creed, which say not a word about belief in the Bible."..."Here are the historical realities. Christianity existed before the Bible came into being: no one decided that our twenty-seven books of the New Testament should be "the" Christian Scripture until three hundred years after the death of the apostles. Since that time Christianity has existed in places where there were no Bibles to be found, where no one could read the Bible, where no one correctly understood the Bible. Yet it has existed. Christianity does not stand or fall with the Bible."

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Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Won't Stop The True Gospel or The Real Church!

The "Swine Flu" or now the H1N1 Virus has placed a scare into the country because of the virulence of the disease. Our current pandemic alert level in the US is 5, set by the World Health Organization. The H1N1 virus is a hybrid of swine, avian and human strain virus. The two anti-influenza drugs on the market, amantadine (Symmetrel) and rimantadine (Flumadine) are ineffective in treatment. And there's no other current and effective vaccine made by any Rx company in the world as of today. In recent days it's been reported that shipments of influenza vaccine have been sent out to various locations, however any vaccine sent could not be to combat this particular strain of H1N1 as one does not currently exist. So the question is what was shipped and why?

According to CNN as of today there have been 331 confirmed cases of the disease worldwide, 109 confirmed US cases resulting in 1 US death and 156 deaths in Mexico, the suspected origin of the disease. Additionally CNN reports that known cases worldwide are as follows:
  • Austria (1), Canada (34), Germany (3), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (3), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8) An additional 230 cases are being investigated in the United Kingdom, and Spain has 84 suspected cases. Australia, which has had no confirmed cases, was investigating 114.

Could This Be A Biological Terrorist Attack?

There are a number of theories regarding the nature of this flu epidemic. Most of it comes as a result of a post 9/11 mindset.

Drug Cartels Working With Terrorist Groups Theory:
One thing is for sure is that the Mexican drug cartels and terrorist groups have seemed to "hook up" in recent times and this has been noted by the US Government. The cartels have more money and weapons than the Mexican Government and Army and are not afraid to engage the US law enforcement of any kind. This has led to a great suspicion that either Hezbollah or another Jihadist group, working through Iran, has either assisted or at the very least been resourceful in this venture. This theory overlooks the fact that the true Jihadist also views drugs as being not honorific to Allah and the West in general, including Mexico, as being inspired of Satan. Not to mention that the drug cartels wouldn't want to eliminate their clients right away. They would loos whatever money that have accumulated.
One point of interest regarding this is that Islam yet teaches against consumption of pork, and none of the countries known as "Islamic countries" are on the list. This is especially intriguing since the disease is said to easily spread by human to human contact past one generation, which, up until this point, is highly unusual so far as influenza viruses and illnesses are concerned.

Terrorist Test Theory:
Another argument is that this whole situation is only a warm-up much like a Beta-Test to see how far this could spread and to see the reaction of the world community. In other words a testing of the waters by the international community be they "terrorists" or other "string pullers" who need to know about our emergency preparedness systems. While this may be plausible, terrorists usually study and know procedures of countries and governmental agencies long before those procedures are implemented. The object of terrorism is death and absolute fear, and as sicknesses go this one within the US has not caused the death or fear that a genetically engineered virus would seem to aim for. So upon evaluation, it becomes a rather uncompelling argument to say that any terrorist was just trying to find out what would happen IF...

Drug Company Conspiracy:
Another theory is that this has somehow been structured and layered by the Rx companies in efforts to bolster need for their products and consequently allowing them to make more money. Although every company has to create a need for their particular products and services, I find this one kind of hard to swallow from a humanistic standpoint. Maybe that's just my hope that even the pharmaceutical industry would hold to better standards than that.

Population Control Theory:
Another theory (that goes in conjunction with the next one) is that this is the beginning of a population control measure. Many atheists, humanists and Christians and otherwise are so worried about the depletion of natural resources. There is a push for countries such as the US to adopt measures to stifle the growing population trends. Some have invoked ideas such as China's population control standards as a means to relive the earth of the growing threat of human expansion and resource depletion. In other words people need to die so that others won't be inconvenienced. I guess for them who hold this view, it's more a process of natural selection of survival of the fittest.

A Final Conspiracy Theory???
Government Control Theory:
A Final theory, and one that is much more malicious in its intent, is that the US Government had something to do with it. More specifically that President Obama, hid or is hiding information regarding it, or that former President Bush made some deals at the very least set the stage for this...

Well, the government's record hasn't been good historically. Look at Tuskegee and the controversial suspicion about AIDS. Sorry, but truth is what it is...However, since Katrina and Kanye West's statements that "Bush doesn't care about black people!" We've seen that everything that seems to go on in this country is somehow now part of a conspiratous governmental scam or theory...Since I'm in no position to investigate every claim, I can only say that I've been around the block a few times in these 45 years of mine and heard a lot of suspicion raised on many issues only to live and find out first hand that much of what people go to elaborate means to claim is garbage, and garbage is just what it is...GARBAGE...Take it out, throw it away and it'll eventually all fade away...One thing is certain, what's hidden will come to the light.

The More Than Likely Scenario:

More than likely the H1N1 virus is a reassortment of existing human virus which is a relatively new type of viral path as these sort of viruses are concerned. The sustained transmission from human to human means that this virus is not based on the standard or traditional norms that were previously understood. In other words, no conspiracy theory needed just an understanding of basic evolutionary science which most Christians agree that occurs on a micro evolutionary basis such as this. In fact, this just may be a micro evolutionary observation within our day and age that adds significant value scientific understanding...we'll see.

With All Of That Said, What's The Church's Response?

The most disturbing thing that I've heard during this course of days is that Saints (ie: Christians) are saying, they "ain't going nowhere", because of this flu pandemic. I've even heard them say they were changing and cancelling vacation plans and even church attendance plans. In other words church folk are afraid that they will catch the Swine Flu and die as a result. I've even had folk call us about our upcoming conference, asking questions about cancellation or the safety and health of our guests who are flying to the event. Some have even asked if I think it would be a "safe idea" to continue...

I can only respond by asking and saying, when did PIGS ever stop the preaching of the gospel or the blessing of God's people? WE ARE SHO-NUFF GONNA HAVE OUR CONFERENCE! Lay Hands on folk too! Jesus is Lord over swine flu and what we don't know that is yet to come, and HIS church won't be overcome by any of this.

Mt. 16:18 ~ "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

The Word of God has made it through multiple historic wars, 2 modern World Wars, at least one Great Depression, extreme persecution throughout history worldwide, a host of ungodly and godless world leaders and dictators who souught to stop Christianity, a series of plagues and unfavorable weather patterns, and horrible natural events. Not even the swine flu will defeat God's church or stop the message of Christ from being preached or stop the real Siants from fellowshipping.
With the exclusion of Vice-President Joe "Open Mouth Insert Foot Here"Biden, (and we probably all feel about like how Senator Leahy appears whenever Biden speaks) even the World Health Organization continues to encourage people to travel and do what they do. They say what they say based on their own humanistic understandings of things. What about the church that says it knows God? Where is our confidence in our redeemer?

What Have We Lost?

As a church we seem to have lost insights into the whole idea of a supernatural God. Another one of the principles that seems missing is a biblical understanding of the Israel/Egypt concept, and our inheritance as believers in Jesus. I mean yes, I agree that we may get sick like anyone else, however, our lives, as believers, ARE NOT in the hands of a virus, especially not one related to a pig.

Ps. 31:14-16 ~ "14-But I trusted in thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my God. 15-My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. 16-Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake."

Our lives (times) are in the hands of God. In other words, God always made a difference between HIS people and the people of the world. There is nothin NEW under the sun, (Ecc.1:9) simply a variation of what's already here:

1 Cor. 10:13 ~ "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
We all should remember the Passover. When the death came saw the "blood" and kept on movin'. What were we to say and how were we to respond?

Ex.12:27 ~ "That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the LORD’S passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Who was that "passover" for us that are now hid in HIM?

Jn. 1:29 ~ "The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world."

Jn. 1:35 ~ "Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; 36And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!"
It wasn't because death didn't come to Israel that they lived, it was because the blood was there and the power of God was upon them that were obedient to HIS word. Does this mean that we should be foolish and uncaring about where we go and who we are around...absolutely not. We should however exercise the biblical faith the God has given us and expect that we will not be let down...As they say, We've come this far by faith and HE's never failed us yet...By the way, HE never will fail. I cheated a little bit and read the END of the book to find out how it all comes out and WE GOOD!
Jn. 16:33 ~ "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

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