Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Culture War is Coming to a Church Near You

I am always a little bit amused when I see a bumper sticker on a car that says "God is my co-pilot."  That's because these people mean well, and are on the right path, but they haven't yet gotten their ego out of the way.  God is not a co-pilot.  Indeed, everything is flying along according to God's will, and if we are lucky, he may let us touch a dial, or read off the altitude to him.  But he is flying the plane, and he is not going to turn the controls over to us.  But there is a serious side to all this too.  That serious side is that we are in a culture war, and Christianity is in the cross hairs.  It will get much worse before it gets better, and everyone who wants to make a difference will have to stand up, be counted.  On whose side will you be standing:  on the side of God, or on the side of Satan?

Michael Brown had an interesting piece yesterday at that laid it out fairly obviously for those who don't see it yet.  The piece entitled Obama Administration: Religious freedom for American Muslims, not for American Christians, details the effects of the Administration's war on Christianity. In this case, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission took up the fight to help two Muslim truck drivers get their jobs back after they had been fired for refusing to haul beer in their trucks.  As Brown writes:

We all know what happened to Christian bakers, florists, photographers, and county clerks who refused to participate in same-sex “marriages” because of their religious faith. They were found guilty by the courts and fined or punished or even imprisoned.

And we know where the Obama administration stood on these issues, to the point that last year, Attorney General Eric Holder instructed attorneys general nationwide that they were not obligated to defend state laws – meaning, specifically, bans on same-sex “marriage” – if they found them to be discriminatory.

But when it comes to freedom of religion for Muslims, the results in the courts are different, the reaction from the administration is different, and even the response from the media is different.
Now, Muslims are given sanction to kill Christians, Jews, and even other Muslims if their practices are not up to the standards of the one doing the killing. They may kill their female relatives for adultery and fornication, or for marrying outside their faith. Of course, they may kill Hindus, Buddhists, and, well, anyone else they can.  The Muslim faith teaches that women are like chattel owned by men. All this according to their "sacred" scripture.  On the other hand, Christianity requires us to love even people who want to kill us, because they are all God's children.  It is hard work to love someone who desperately wants to kill you, and tries to do so.  Compare and contrast this society of killers and assassins, with Christians, and you will see that the Koran is the anti-Bible, a book written by someone under the influence of the Evil One.  It is an ideology of hatred and world domination disguised as a religion.

The Administration wants to import more of these people, I have read numbers from 10 to 20 thousand, "Syrian refugees,"  mostly men, of military age, who will no doubt carry out whatever jihad they can, and who will be the "anchor" for bringing their wives, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, and who knows who else.  As in Europe, where this is already happening on a larger scale, these people will overtax the welfare system, will not assimilate, and will carry their holy war into the American heartland.

But, the Administration'swar on Christians is not confined to bringing in undoubtedly dangerous Muslims to create havoc and chaos within our borders, the culture war has been an ongoing project of the left for a century or more.  David Limbaugh has documented the ways large and small that this war has been waged, from banning the words "Merry Christmas," to banning prayers in schools, to paying Planned Parenthood money from our tax dollars, thus making Christians complicit in funding abortions.  In the name of keeping peace with our misguided brothers and sisters on the left, we have not stood up and loudly said "This is wrong!  We will not comply!"  We have quietly celebrated when someone civilly disobeyed, but we were too often too timid to do so ourselves.  When I was in school, we prayed each morning, and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Now, because I believe that prayers said corporately in this way do not have the same effect as prayers said in private, I did not object. But, the prinicple of religious freedom is violated when we ban prayer. Even more so, both the principle of religios freedom and of free speech are violated when school administraions demand to see and to have the right to edit valedictory speeches if these will include references to God or Jesus.  In one generation, we have been cowed by a Supreme Court, that, in reality can not enforce their beliefs.  The do not make the "law of the land."  Moreover, if those of the left do not accept its rulings when those rulings favor the 2nd Amendment, why should we accept those rulings when the offend our principles?

I have said that the culture war will get much worse before it gets better.  I don't pretend to know why, only God knows his plan, but I know we as Christians must stand strong on God's side.  I believe more Christians should be carrying self defense weapons, whether guns, knives, batons or whatever, and must begin carrying them discreetly even at church.. Our church homes have traditionally be safe havens, but I believe that more and more violence against Christians will occur where the violators believe we are most vulnerable.  I know this will offend some who believe that Jesus taught a message of love and pacificism.  But I think we are missing the message.  While we must love our musguided brothers and sisters, we must not spit on God's great gift of life either.  When attacked, we must act to defend ourselves and our loved ones, especially the children.

In my own church body, the radicals have taken over and have pushed the church into making social statements that, frankly, are not Biblical.  They have, by subtle influence, downplayed the playing of the old hymns, which many times used martial themes as metaphors for Christian behavior and thought.  But these hymns were thought to be too "violent."  The radicals seem to be ashamed of Martin Luther, the man, who posted the 95 theses on the church door, and stood up against the  the Pope, and won.  Most of the things he was fighting against at the time have in fact been repudiated by the Catholic Church.  The time is coming soon when we will need to again sing "Onward Christian Soldiers" and "put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with care..."   The Evangelical Lutheran Church has become wussified, and as a result, is failing in its mission to be "evangelical."

You may, of course, gentle reader, say all this is hogwash, and discard it.  I understand,  But consider what you will have lost by being prepared.  One always needs to be prepared.  If I am wrong, and I really hope I am, little will be lost.  On the other hand, if I am right, and you are not prepared when all hell literally breaks loose, what are you going to do then?  Wake up.

PS:  Here's Fay Voshell, another writer who is pointing out the warning signs.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gun deaths have dropped 30% since 1993

Good news! Gun Deatbs have dropped 30% since 1993. No, I don't think all of it is due to expanded concealed carry laws, but it certainly hasn't caused gun crimes to increase. Makes you wonder what policy proposal the gun grabbers will suggest now.  Maybe move on to curbing automobile deaths?  Nah!

Forced Conversion of Christians

Grace and peace to you, gentle reader, from our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Today, at the American Thinker, Fay Voshell has an excellent piece on Forced Conversion of Christians in America. She cites two examples, but I am sure you can think of many others. One is the continuing dismantling of Christian symbols like the Ten Commandments that were taken down from the grounds of Oklahoma's state capitol. Voshell:
Under the cover of darkness, construction workers removed from the grounds of Oklahoma’s state capitol a granite slab on which the Ten Commandments were engraved. The furtive undertaking, which had the appearance of a mini apocalypse, complete with an eerie darkness and billowing stone dust clouds occurred within a state in which only 5.7% of the population declares itself “non-religious.”
At Christmas time especially, you hear about nativity scenes being banned in this city, or that. Or you hear about them compromising by including a Jewish Menorah, or some other religion's symbols.... you know, just to be "fair." If you are like me, your gut twists when reading about such things, because you know that these symbols are important, but they are not the faith itself. Being a Christian involves having faith in the saving Grace of Jesus the Christ, and in following Christ as dictated by the Word and the Holy Spirit.

But Voshell presents even more insidious methods by which the Christians who try to be disciples are being forced to worship instead the State:
Yes, mandatory capitulation to another belief system, in this case, the religion of the progressive State, is actually forced conversion from Christianity to progressive secularism. If Christians must bow down to, sacrifice and worship the gods of the State, Christians are no longer Christians. They are converts.

What does forced conversion to the state religion look like?

A program of forced conversion looks very much like what is happening to the churches in California.

According to Becky Yeh, reporting for Live Action News, the California Department of Managed Health Care is mandating that churches subsidize elective abortions by requiring congregations to cover the practice in their health insurance plans.
But the demand that churches provide abortion coverage goes far beyond “government entanglement” to government demand that Christians must participate in the progressive sacrament of abortion. As just noted, capitulation to that demand effectively means forced conversion to the current religion of the State. A person or Church simply is no longer Christian after so severe an overriding of their conscience and principles.
It does not help, of course, when Church leaders, Bishops, and Deacons of the Church capitulate before being forced to by the state. For example, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a congregation of which I am a member (for now), several years ago decided to ordain pastors who are homosexual and are in a committed relationship. How this came about you can read here. I have thought about this, and prayed, but in the end, I still think it was the wrong decision.

Now, we all sin and fall short, I most of all. We all live only because of God's grace. But would a congregation tolerate a pastor who was having an affair? How about a pastor who was embezzling money from the Church?  One must love such a pastor, and include them in the Church life and ministry, but one can not tolerate such behavior while acting in the position of being pastor of a congregation.  It may even mean that the Deacons must take firm action to excommunicate him until he repents.

Voshell notes that while the State may try to force its religion on believers, in fact they will still remain Christian in their hearts, but it will mean the end of the Republic. She writes:
Dispense with freedom of religion; accept the State’s power to force its religion on you and your children, and you will get the results you are seeing in America today. You will see the end of the Republic.

But while there is still a window of opportunity, Christians do not have to passively accept exile, be it self-imposed, as it often and lamentably has been in the past, or forcibly imposed on them by a rival State religion that brooks no opposition.

There are still tools available to Christians who wish to preserve their religious freedom, civil disobedience being among them.
But, you have to first find others like yourself and form alliances with them. In my case, I intend to withdraw from the ELCA and seek out a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church to attend. The new ELCA is not the church of my youth, but seems to have been hijacked, as so many institutions have been, by the "Progessives," who are also known as socialists, communists, and sometimes as liberals.  Their "march through the institutions" is nearing completion, and we may at last be left standing on our own.  But, as society burns, while there is a window not yet blocked, one should crawl out of it.

Update: If you need another example, here is one by Ted Starnes over at entitled School District Threatens to Fire Football Coach if he Prays in Public.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Mask is Coming Off

Grace and peace be to all readers, in the name of Jesus the savior of the world,

That gun confiscation is the ultimate goal of the gun control movement has been apparent to anyone who pays attention to the gun grabbers for the last several decades.  Of course, you still have people saying they just want "common sense" restrictions to keep guns out of the wrong people's hands.  But when you look at these "common sense" restrictions, you will notice that they never seem to solve the problem of criminal use of guns.  Instead, what all of them do is to punish the law abiding portion of the population for the acts of the criminals by increasing the burdens on the law abiding group. These additional burdens include more costs, higher taxes, greater intimidation, and less freedom of choice.

So, it was with great interest that I read  Arranging American Gun Confiscation by Daren Jonescu over at the American Thinker. Jonescu writes:
America's progressive chatter on guns has been shifting noticeably from the abstract language of "control" to the concrete language of "confiscation." Hillary Clinton is just the latest leading voice to serve notice that the forced disarmament of law-abiding Americans is not the dystopian fantasy of paranoids, but a matter of current policy discussion -- and action.
Now the questioner at this New Hampshire Town hall meeting is probably a plant, brought in to pose precisely this question so that Hillary could answer it.  Hillary knows that the Congress is unlikely to vote for confiscation, whether gussied up as a gun "buyback" or not.  Here is the question:

Recently, Australia managed to get away, or take away tens of thousands, millions, of handguns.  In one year, they were all gone. Can we do that? If we can’t, why can’t we?
And her reply:
I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged.
Jonescu goes on to raise the issue of whether or not a "law" under our founding political documents can actually be a "law" if that "law" establishes tyranny. I am sympathetic to the argument that it is not. For such an act would finally give the government the absolute monopoly of force over the former citizens, now subjects, of that government. Our own Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
But sympathy with Jonescu's point does not overcome the basic fact that if Hillary, or Obama, or some future administration succeeds in confiscating the weapons Americans now privately own, the commendable words of the Declaration, or the Constitution will not really matter.  It will be a fait accompli, and the government will little care how it was done.  So, the mask has now come off, and the confiscation of guns has been declared to be the ultimate goal of the gun grabbers.  All of the 23,000 gun laws in the country are merely stepping stones to this progressive goal.  Well done, in true progressive fashion.

Now, let us look at the other side.  Never mind that there are over 300 million guns in the United States that are legally owned by 100 million gun owners, or that the government claims not to be able to find 11 million illegal invaders, but they can go door to door to get these 300 million guns.  How are you going to feel when a federal SWAT team shows up at 0 dark thirty to you neighbors house, kills the husband, prones out the wife and children, and kills the dog.  Your neighbor never hurt anyone, was a deacon in the church, and regularly helped the incapacitated neighbor down the street by mowing her lawn and shoveling snow from her sidewalk.  But he owned one or more of the prohibited weapons.  Are you going to be kindly disposed to your government then?  I know the press will try to hide what is happening, but people will talk.  You will know it is happening all over.

Then, there is the fact that manufacturing a gun is frankly not rocket science, or brain surgery.  A Google search will bring up an incredible array of home made, or small shop made guns, parts, and modifications. I like the shotgun made with bits of pipe. Granted these assemblages are not sophisticated, and may be as much a danger to those who use them as they are to the targets, but they work. To understand how such home made guns would work in a situation in which the public has been disarmed, and partisans are fighting for freedom, consider the Liberator Pistol used during WWII by partisans behind enemy lines. It only had one .45 Auto round, and the idea was to use that round to sneak up on an enemy soldier, say standing guard, and kill him, then take his rifle and ammunition to use against others.  Liberator pistols were manufactured from stamped sheet metal and dropped into Europe by the thousands,

 The point is that it will be possible to make guns if safe, reliable, sturdy ones or outlawed.  But we must not forget that Jesus instructs us to love our enemies, God help me, even those who want to terrorize and kill us.  The freedom we are fighting for is the freedom to do God's will in the world, not license to do as we please.  While we must love our enemies, and thus try to persuade them, we are not instructed to love them to our own death.  We must finally stand for the unborn to be born, for women and girls to not be mutilated, raped, of mistreated, for our freedom to do what is right, and not to be forced by law to do what is wrong.  The mask has come off, and it is the face of evil is underneath.  We must have faith that it will work out as according to God's will, in God's time.  In the meantime, we must all pray, and prepare.