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Josh Duggar, Atheists, and Pedophiles


Josh Duggar, Atheists, and Pedophiles

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By Tim Dunkin  May 26, 2015 | Comments| Print friendly |

By now, many readers have probably heard about the recent revelation that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar of 19 Kids and Counting fame, has admitted to molesting some young girls a decade ago when he was a teenager. The information about this came out recently when a heavily redacted police report from 2006 was released by In Touch Weekly detailing the incidents. Duggar has since apologized for the acts, even as the scandal has grown and the Duggar’s television show has been pulled from TLC.

I have no interest here in defending Josh Duggar or his family—even though he was a teenager, Josh still committed terrible crimes against several young girls, and it appears that his family was complicit in trying to cover up the series of incidents so that scandal didn’t brew. They all should have faced the consequences for their actions, which would most likely entail jail time, both for the molestation itself as well as the act of interfering with an investigation.  And while I firmly believe that God’s grace can cover all the sins of any who repent, at the same time, Scripture clearly teaches that we must face the earthly consequences of our actions—even when the perpetrator is a professing Christian who has repented and been forgiven. Jesus is not a “get out of jail free” card and treating Him that way for purposes of political expediency is an insult to the Saviour.

However, the radical Left has been making hay of the whole matter. The usual suspects in the internet kookosphere are practically salivating over reporting about the “anti-gay hypocrite” who got caught diddling little girls. Using their usual leaps of illogic, they’re trying to spread the guilt around to implicate all Christians, conservatives, opponents of “gay marriage,” and anyone else deemed an “enemy of progress.”

So it was when I recently came across a discussion on the Facebook feed of some atheist who is friends with a mutual acquaintance, the tenor of the comments was about what I expected. So naturally, I had to jump in. After a couple of go-arounds involving the usual silliness you expect when debating with atheists, I got down to the point and asked a couple of those “armor-piercing” questions that penetrate to the core of the dispute. I simply asked,

  1. Could any of them come up with a moral or ethical argument against child molestation that doesn’t ultimately derive from a biblical, Christian origin?
  2. If Josh Duggar were an atheist, could we credibly say that he was a “hypocrite” for having molested those girls?

 

Atheists purport to derive their own morality, and one which is “better” than Judeo-Christian moral views

The discussion following that was rather desultory, and neither of the questions were actually answered. One fellow tried to answer the first question by essentially arguing that atheists could argue against child molestation simply because it’s wrong—a rather circular line of reasoning that did nothing to actually answer the question (after all, WHY, apart from the common Christian heritage that still undergirds our culture, is it wrong?). My second inquiry was basically left untouched.

This exercise exhibits why trying to use “opportunities” like this so often backfires on atheists, and why atheists end up being one of the most disliked groups of people in the country. Atheists purport to derive their own morality, and one which is “better” than Judeo-Christian moral views, yet when you get down to the steel under the concrete, you find that atheists are merely scavenging parts of the common Judeo-Christian morality that has been a part of our country from its founding. One disputant, trying to draw the discussion away from atheism’s reliance upon Judeo-Christian morals and ethics, attempted to make the argument that you could argue against child molestation because of what it says in Hammurabi’s Code of Laws (ca. 1800 BC). But, unless she was raised on that particular document, or on the Roman Twelve Tables or some other ancient document, by her parents and within those cultures, she can’t make that case. If she was raised in American culture, then her moral ideas are largely distilled from biblical sources.

The second question, however, is the real problem for atheists. While the biblical record—the Law, the Gospels, and so forth – clearly teach against incest, clearly condemn fornication and uncleanness (of which molestation would form a part), clearly teaches the Lord Jesus Christ’s concern for the purity and faith of children, there simply is no independent atheistic ethic or moral against child molestation. Now mind you, I’m not saying that all atheists are positively for it, but without relying on Judeo-Christian morals, they can’t really make an independent case against it.

That’s why you can’t say that an atheistic Josh Duggar would be a hypocrite. To term someone a “hypocrite” requires that this person has held to some moral standard and then that they failed to meet it. Someone who doesn’t have any standards can’t be a hypocrite, however. What were they failing to meet?

But the problem extends further than the simple deficiencies of atheistic moral principles. We are increasingly seeing efforts to “normalize” pedophilia in this country, and the main impetus for this movement is coming from the decidedly secular side of the divide in this nation. While not all atheists are pushing for the mainstreaming of “adult-child relationships,” those who are pushing for this are mostly atheists and secularists.

There was a furor a couple of years ago when Richard Dawkins, one of the more prominent “New Atheists” who has taken the offensive against theism,appeared to be defending “mild pedophilia” because it “does no lasting harm.”  Peter Singer, the Princeton “ethicist” who has elsewhere argued for abortion up to the age of three years (i.e. toddler-killing), stated that “I don’t have intrinsic moral taboos. My view is not that anything is just wrong…” when he was asked by a reporter if he thought pedophilia was wrong. He then proceeded to explain that he is a “consequentialist,” which essentially means that if you like the consequences of your actions, then they are right, and if you don’t, then they’re not (the quintessence of the moral relativism that many atheists swear up and down that they don’t hold to).

Historically, other prominent atheists have been involved in seeking to normalize child molesting perversion, and homosexuals have been prominent among that community. Harry Hay, who advocated for statutory rape as well as pedophilia, was prominent in the American atheist community prior to his death in 2012. David Thorstad, a homosexual atheist, founded NAMBLA. Larry Kramer, who founded the well-known homosexual activist group ACT-UP, wrote in his book, Report from the Holocaust: the Making of an AIDS Activist,

In those instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, be they teachers or anyone else, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it.”

An article in a 1995 issue of the homosexual Guide magazine stated,

We can be proud that the gay movement has been home to the few voices who have had the courage to say out loud that children are naturally sexual and…deserve the right to sexual expression with whoever they choose…Instead of fearing being labeled pedophiles, we must proudly proclaim that sex is good, including children’s sexuality…we must do it for the children’s sake.”

Remember, these are the folks that the Boy Scouts are all set to start letting into the tent with your sons.

“Mainstream” sources on the Left have increased the frequency with which they have been advocating for the normalization of pedophilia

Unfortunately, even “mainstream” sources on the Left have increased the frequency with which they have been advocating for the normalization of pedophilia, seeking to classify it as an “orientation” or a “disorder,” rather than a perversion and a sick crime. It’s almost as if secular society is actively looking for any and all taboos that it can overturn, no matter how filthy or perverse. I suppose we should be thankful they haven’t started trying to “normalize” bestiality yet. Oh wait.

To the extent that there is an authentic, genuine secularist/atheistic morality and ethics, it is this—if you like the results, then it is moral and ethical. If it feels good, do it. And it is the results of this morality and ethics that provide the real proof in the pudding vis-√†-vis Judeo-Christian biblical morality. The atheists can waste their time passing around their lists of “One Billion and One Big Buy-Bull Contradikshuns!!!!” and they can jabber on and on as much as they would like about God commanding the destruction of the Amalekites or instituting temporary debt-servitude in the Old Testament. But when you get to the end of the day, Christians were the ones fighting to end the gladiatorial games and chattel slavery and the like, while secularists and atheists are the ones today arguing for gay marriage and pedophilia and the rest of the sorry mess of perversion to which our society has been giving ear. If this is going to be the direction taken by the shiny secular society of the future, then I really, really can’t wait for Oswald Spengler’s “second religiousness” to come into its own.

So while Josh Duggar may be a hypocrite who needs to face up to the consequences of his actions, the radical “freethinker” community is really the last group of people who have any business pointing it out.

Tim Dunkin — Bio and Archives

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UK Convicts Christian,


Coming soon to America

The Trumpet

Muslim Judge In UK Convicts Christian, Says Which Verses Are Allowed In Street Preaching

Posted: 25 Mar 2015 10:48 PM PDT

michael_overd

Coming Soon To America?

A Christian street preacher convicted and fined by a U.K. judge, who also serves with an Islamic Shariah court, is guilty of having breached the public order by his choice of Bible verses.

Michael Overd, a former British paratrooper who has been street preaching for five years, was convicted this week of delivering “homophobic sermons” over a loudspeaker in Taunton, Somerset, last summer.

Overd faced two charges relating to claims by homosexuals he had offended them and another of causing “racially aggravated” harassment targeted at Muslims, the BBC reported. He was found guilty of only one of the “homophobic” charges.

Overd, 50, was fined $300 and ordered to pay compensation and costs totaling $1,800 at Bristol Crown Court.

“I have been ordered to pay compensation for causing ‘emotional pain’ to someone who approached me aggressively demanding to debate the issue,” said Overd. “There was no harm, injury or theft, just a simple disagreement over theology which I have now been fined for.”

District Judge Shamim Ahmed Qureshi told Overd he should not have referenced Leviticus chapter 20 in explaining the biblical view on homosexuality, but “clearly indicated that he could have used chapter 18 of the book,” reported Christian Concern.

Qureshi, who according to a 2009 article in “The Brief,” chronicling the rise of Shariah law in Britain, serves with the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, the overseer of the nation’s Shariah courts.

Qureshi found no problem with Overd’s use of Leviticus 18:22 which describes homosexual activity as an “abomination,” but a reference to Leviticus 20:13 was impermissible because it prescribed the death penalty.

Overd agreed he used Leviticus 20 in his comments but never referenced the death penalty.

“I am being punished for words that never passed my lips,” he said.

Overd, who initially told the judge he would not pay the fine but relented when threatened with 45 days in jail, took particular issue with Qureshi dictating which passages from the Bible were lawful for him to use.

“I am amazed that the judge sees it as his role to dictate which parts of the Bible can and can’t be preached,” he said.

“I did not quote the full text of Leviticus 20 or make reference to the death penalty, but the judge is telling me that I should use other parts of the Bible. This is not free speech but censorship. The judge is redacting the Bible.

During sentencing, Qureshi criticized Overd’s speaking style and his training as a preacher.

“In my view he enjoys coaxing people into asking him questions so that he can reply loudly into the microphone to answer them. The only semblance of civilized conversation is when they commend him, if they disagree he shouts them down.”

Accusing Overd of “double standards,” Qureshi said the street preacher believed he was right and everyone else was wrong.

Qureshi continued: Overd “does not display any scholarly approach to the topics but merely preaches whatever little he had learned, regardless of being rude or bullying to others. He happily shouts out the negative points in any other religion.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Center – Overd’s attorney – disagrees.

“Mike is clear that he is motivated by love, not hate. Indeed, this is in line with the message of the Bible,” she said in defense of her client.

“It’s clear from the evidence that he has consistently dealt with people’s objections in a balanced and reasonable way. He has explained his beliefs. He hasn’t been aggressive or targeted anybody in particular. The evidence bears all this out.

“Mike’s boldness and his witness to Jesus is remarkably similar to that of the apostles in the early years of the church.

“They were also hauled before the courts to defend themselves for preaching a message of love and truth. They also faced trumped up accusations in an attempt to portray them as ‘disruptive.’

“Now, as then, the disruptive ones appear to be the people who bring accusations, on the flimsiest of evidence, against a man who loves Jesus and loves people. This is why Mike gets up and preaches in Taunton town center.

“There will always be those who disagree with the Bible’s teaching. But we should defend to the hilt the freedom to proclaim it in a loving way, which is what Mike Overd always seeks to do.”

As for Overd, he said he has no intention of allowing the court to dictate his street preaching.

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SNOWFLAKES


SNOWFLAKES

I sit here watching snowflakes fall. These beautiful snow flakes pile up and look beautiful. Each flake is unique and as they pile up they look gorgeous and clean and hide the brown ugly beneath. The world sparkles and shines and glitters.

Today is the day of snowflakes. No not the kind that fall from heaven, but the kind raised by doting parents. Several generations of parents have raised their children with games where all are winners. Their children are more special than any other. Each child has grown up to think of themselves as unique and special. They have become selfish and self centered. They are so wrapped up in themselves that they have become totally insensitive to others.

Many are snowflakes in their relationship to God, His son Jesus and the Church that Jesus built, Jesus espoused bride. They want a buffet where they can pick and choose what they believe and what they do. They pick a church by entertainment value and not on Bible doctrine. A snowflake decides what church to attend based upon what program that church has to offer. They are not concerned about truth or personal witness or a close relationship with our LORD. They are the most shallow of people.

The Bible teaches us that there is “none good, no not one. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” It is time to acknowledge our sinfulness and wickedness and find what humility truly is. The only way to reach the lost is by out pure witness and the humility that comes with knowing what we truly are when compared to a righteous and Holy God.

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Muslims have been killing Christians for a very long time


 

Syria mapAmerican Minute with Bill Federer

Did you know Assyria was the world’s first empire.

It is mentioned by name in the Book of Genesis, chapter 1, verse 14:

“And the name of the third river is Hiddekel (Tigris): that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria.”

Around the year 2371 BC, as related by Peter BetBasoo, the Assyrian Empire under Sargon of Akkad absorbed the original Sumerian civilization of the Mesopotamian Valley.

The oldest piece of literature on Earth is in the original Assyrian language of Akkadian – the Epic of Gilgamesh, written around 2500 BC.

The ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, near present-day Mosul, became a major religious/cultural center around 1800 BC, contemporary to the time of Abraham.

In 760 BC, the Old Testament prophet Jonah preached in Nineveh and it repented.

Jonah’s tomb existed there until it was destroyed by fundamentalist Muslims of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) on July 24, 2014.

In 727-721 BC, King Shalmaneser V ruled the Neo-Assyrian Empire and carried Israel’s ten northern tribes into captivity.

King Sennacherib, 705-681 BC, made Nineveh one of the most magnificent capitals in the world.

The word “Arab” is actually the Assyrian word “westerner,” first used by King Sennacherib in telling his conquest of the “ma’rabayeh”–westerners.

Assyrians and Babylonians laid down the fundamental basis of mathematics, the Pythagorean Theorem, the concept of zero and designed parabolic domes and arches.

Sometime in the 8th century BC, Arameans immigrated into Mesopotamia and their Aramaic language became the lingua franca for the entire region, replacing the languages of the Akkadians/Assyro-Babylonian peoples.

Aramaic was spoken through the time of Christ, and was still in use by Christians in the small Syrian village of Ma’loula till it was overrun by fundamentalist Muslim rebels in September of 2013.

Beginning in 538 BC, for the next seven centuries Assyria was ruled by other empires:

Persian Achaemenid;
Macedonian (Alexander the Great);
Seleucid;
Parthian Arascid;
Roman; and
Sassanid.

Greeks first began using the shortened name “Syria” to refer to western Assyria.

With the arrival of Christianity, Saint Thomas, Saint Bartholemew and Saint Thaddeus founded the Assyrian Christian Church in 33 AD.

A dialect of the Aramaic language called ‘Syriac’ became the new lingua franca of that part of the world.

The Apostle Paul evangelized in Syria, beginning in the city of Damascus.

The very word “Christian” was first used for followers of Jesus Christ in Antioch, Syria. (Acts 11:23-26)

By the year 265 AD, Syria was one of the first nations to be completely Christian.

In the 4th, 5th and 6th centuries, Christian Assyrians began a systematic translation of Greek works in religion, science, philosophy (Socrates, Plato and Aristotle) and medicine (Galen) into Syriac.

After the invasion of Arab Muslims in the 7th century, Syrian scholars translated Greek works into Arabic.

The book, How Greek Science Passed to the Arabs, documented the work of 22 scholars, 20 of which were Christian Assyrians, with only 1 Persian and 1 Arab.

These translations were later taken by Moors into Spain, where Europeans translated them into Latin, laying the groundwork for the Renaissance.

One of the greatest Christian Assyrian achievements of the Fourth Century was the founding of the first university in the world, the School of Nisibis. It had three departments, theology, philosophy and medicine, and became a center of intellectual development in the Middle East and the model for the first Italian university.

In the 5th century, nine Christian Syrian Monks translated Greek, Hebrew, and Syriac works into the Ethiopian language of Ge’ez. They organized Christian monastic orders and schools, some of which are still in existence.

Saint John of Damascus in Syria, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, was one of the greatest scholars in the 8th century.

Assyrian Christians pioneered hospitals, with the Bakhteesho family having nine generations of physicians and founding the great medical school at Gundeshapur in present-day Iran.

The Assyrian Christian physician, Hunayn ibn-Ishaq, wrote a textbook on ophthalmology in 950 AD which remained the authoritative source until 1800 AD.

Assyrian Christian philosopher Job of Edessa developed a physical theory of the universe rivaling Aristotle’s.

The literary output of the Assyrians and Jews was vast. After Latin and Greek, the third largest corpus of Christian writing was in the Assyrian “Syriac” language.

Assyrian missionaries brought Nestorian “Syriac” Christianity into Mesopotamia, then into the Persian Sassanid Empire (including parts of modern-day Iran and Iraq), as well as into India, Central Asia, the Uyghurs, the Tang Dynasty of China, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines.

As Arab Muslims swept through the Middle East beginning in 630 AD, Chaldean and Babylonian astronomers were forcibly Islamized till they eventually disappeared.

As Muslims conquered trade routes to the east, they co-opted advances made by other civilizations and claimed them as their own.

The hundreds of years of rich Assyrian civilization was expropriated into the Arab culture.

As the heavy burdens of the “dhimmi” status and intermittent persecutions caused the Assyrian Christian community to decline, the so-called Golden Age of Islam correspondingly declined.

Then Turkish Muslims invaded.

Gregory Bar-Hebraeus (1226-1286), a Syrian Orthodox Church leader, wrote how Turkish Muslim tolerance toward Christians turned to hate:

“And having seen very much modesty and other habits of this kind among Christian people, certainly the Mongols loved them greatly at the beginning of their kingdom, a time ago somewhat short. But their love hath turned to such intense hatred that they cannot even see them with their eyes approvingly.”

In 1268, Mamluk Sultan Baibars conquered Antioch, Syria, and slaughtered all the Christian and Jewish men and sold the women into slavery, smashed church crosses, burned Bibles, desecrated graves, and dragged every priest, deacon, and monk to the altar and slit their throats.

He destroyed the Church of St. Paul and the Cathedral of St. Peter.

In response to cries for help, King Louis IX of France set sail from Aigues-Mortes in 1270 leading the 8th Crusade to come to the aid of Christian states in Syria. King Louis IX was diverted to Tunis where he was defeated and died of dysentery.

In 1271, Edward I, the future King of England, undertook a 9th Crusade to help in Syria.

Tripoli (in present-day Lebanon) fell to Mamluk Sultan Qalawun in 1289, and Acre fell in 1291 to Mamluk Sultan as-Ashraf Khalil in a bloody siege, ending the last traces of Christian rule in Syria.

As Marco Polo traveled east in 1271 AD, he noted Assyrian Christian missionaries had converted tens of thousands in Indian and China to Syrian “Nestorian” Christianity.

Even the influential mother of Kublai Khan, Sorghaghtani Beki, was a Nestorian Christian.

The first Mongolian system of writing used the Assyrian “Syriac” alphabet, with the name “Tora Bora” being an Assyrian phrase meaning “arid mountain.”

Nestorian Christianity declined in China when the Ming Dynasty forced out Mongolian and other foreign influences.

Nestorian Christianity was eradicated from Persia and Central Asia by the Muslim crusader Tamerlane, who massacred an estimated 17 million.

In 1399, Tamerlane invaded Syria, sacked Aleppo and captured Damascus, massacring the inhabitants and erecting towers made out of skulls.

Northern Iraq had remained Assyrian Christian until Tamerlane systematically decimated the population.

When Turks began imposing the Turkish language throughout the Ottoman Empire, Syrian Christian scholars were responsible for preserving the Arabic language.

For centuries, Syria was under Ottoman Muslim rule.

In 1867, Mark Twain visited Syria, writing in his book Innocents Abroad:

“Then we called at…the mausoleum of the five thousand Christians who were massacred in Damascus in 1861 by the Turks.

They say those narrow streets ran blood for several days, and that men, women and children were butchered indiscriminately and left to rot by hundreds all through the Christian quarter; they say, further, that the stench was dreadful.

All the Christians who could get away fled from the city, and the Mohammedans would not defile their hands by burying the ‘infidel dogs.’

The thirst for blood extended to the high lands of Hermon and Anti-Lebanon, and in a short time 25,000 more Christians were massacred and their possessions laid waste…

How they hate a Christian in Damascus! — and pretty much all over Turkeydom as well.”

In 1908, a Turkish Spring began.

The brief euphoria when the Ottoman tyrant Sultan Abd-ul-Hamid was forced from power quickly turned to horror.

Three Pashas, known as “The Young Turks” promoted the idea of “Ottomanization” — creating a homogeneous Turkey of one race, one language, and one religion – Islam.

Fundamentalist Turkish Muslims systematically expelled or exterminated hundreds of thousands of non-Muslims.

While the world focused on Germany, France and England during World War I, Turkish Muslims massacred ethnic minorities.

Over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children were killed, 750,000 Syrians, and 1 million Greeks, Albanians, Serbs, and Bulgarians.

Historian Arnold Toynbee wrote:

“Turkish rule…is now, oppressing or massacring, slaughtering or driving from their homes, the Christian population of Greek or Bulgarian stock…

Armenia and Cilicia, and Syria, where within the last two years it has been destroying its Christian subjects…

The Young Turkish gang who gained power when they had deposed Abd-ul-Hamid, have surpassed even that monster of cruelty in their slaughter.”

After World War I, the Ottoman Empire fell.

Britain took Iraq as a protectorate, allowing them independence 1932, but one of Iraq’s first governmental acts was to massacre 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Simmele.

France took Lebanon and Syria as protectorates, allowing them independence in 1943 and 1946, respectively.

Though a republic, Syria soon suffered upheaval, coup d’etat, socialism, riots, civil disorder and the “Arab Spring” led by the Muslim Brotherhood whose goal is to re-establish the caliphate – a totalitarian Islamic State.

Since the invasion of Islam in 630 AD, the Assyrian Church of the East, the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Syriac Catholic Church, the Maronite Church, and the Chaldean Catholic Church, quietly suffered 33 major genocides, averaging one every 40 years.

As reported by CNSnews.com, the Patriarch of Antioch, Gregory III, who oversees the 1.6 million members of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Palestinian territories and Sudan, stated:

“Who created this hell in which our people have been living for months?… Every day, Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them…”

Gregory III concluded:

“For the last two and a half years, Eastern and Western countries have not stopped sending weapons, money, military experts, secret service agents and Salafist fundamentalist armed gangs of thugs and criminals, who have fallen on Syria like a destructive new flood.”

Between 2011-2014, the U.S. pulled troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan which created a power vacuum.

The U.S. then released, in exchange for Army defector Sgt. Bowe Berghdahl, five senior Afghan Taliban commanders.

These Muslim leaders, according to a 2008 Pentagon dossier, are capable not only of leading attacks in the Middle East but also in America: Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa and Mohammed Nabi Omari.

After the U.S. supplied arms to fundamentalist Muslim fighters to overthrow Gaddafi in Lybia, the U.S. supplied and trained Muslim fighters to overthrow Assad in Syria. These fighters, referred to as ISIS, killed, raped, and beheaded tens of thousands in Syria and Iraq.

They gave Christian and Yazidis minorities the choice: convert to Islam, be killed, pay the exorbitant jizyah tax, or flee, as hundreds of thousands did.

They destroyed Christian churches in Syria and Iraq, such as the ancient 1,800 year old church in Mosul.

Patriarch Louis Sako stated:

“For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians.”

Since 2012, nearly a quarter of million have been killed by ISIS as they have overrun Syria and Iraq.

German journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter was asked by RT.com on August 21, 2014, about the United States supporting ISIS through its allies:

“In order to fight against the Islamic State in a successful way the West needs to sanction and punish all those powers that are supporting the Islamic State, namely Turkey and the Gulf states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar) Ochsenreiter believes.

‘We have to see the Islamic State terrorists as a Western-created monster. The Islamic State would not exist without the fierce Western help and also the support by the Arabic Gulf States, as well as the support from Turkey…

Nobody was talking about helping Christians in the region.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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THE WINGS OF IMAGINATION


William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
A small child was traveling by air to a distant city with his mother. At the airport, a kind employee gave him a wing pin to wear. In the child’s excitement he exclaimed, “Look mom, I am a pilot!” In return his mother said, “Oh, yes, son. To me you are a grand pilot, and I know that to you, you are a pilot, but to a pilot, you are not there yet.” In childhood, how marvelous are the wings of imagination. However, somewhere along Maturity Road, imagination must give way to reality in life.

Happily, for most, the processes of education, experience, and maturity succeed in equipping them to engage the realities of life with varying degrees of success as they leave childhood behind. But, if one is to draw conclusions from observation, it seems many miserably fail in the spiritual realm. One cannot be a Christian on the basis of simple imagination. Think with me about why that may be true.

A personal, one-on-one meeting with God in repentant prayer and trust in Christ Jesus is not just good, it is absolutely essential to becoming a Christian in reality. Some folks seek to be a Christian without this, depending on their works, and that just succeeds in keeping them to be an imaginative Christian. Still others joyfully recount such a personal meeting with God as described above, but like those in the parable of the sower, they fail for various reasons to follow the Lord and ingest His Word that is able to bring them into Christian reality. So they continue imagining themselves to be a Christian and when churches are filled with such immaturity, they will soon be imagining themselves to be a church.

Jesus spoke of this problem in terms that are often startling. “If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26 In yet another place He said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” Matt. 16:24.
Another problem of imaginative Christians is that they think there is more joy and fulfillment of life in the things of the world than in following Jesus. The great apostle Paul was a man of power, education, wealth, but how did he consider that in comparison to his life as a true Christian? He said that all things that were counted gain to him were now nothing more than a barnyard dung pile. He abandoned them all for the joy of eternal knowledge. Likewise, the true Christian invariably possesses joy unspeakable and full of glory. Think about it. Are you a robotic, imaginative Christian or a real Christian in the maturity of the Word? One day, as sure as you can read these lines, it will make an exceedingly joyful difference for all eternity.

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WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE!


William Andrew Dillard

HEBREW HONEYCOMB
WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE!
The ancient patriarch, Job, was both a wise and righteous man. The book that bears his name is astounding from a variety of viewpoints. In the height of his misery, and with the added torment of his not so wise friends, he lamented a longing to have an audience with his Creator that he might lay out his case before Him. To his astonishment, he was accorded such a unique hearing. The initial question put to him by the Creator was: “Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?” Job 38:2. Words without knowledge. Words without knowledge! Think what this means!


The importance of specific understanding of words is essential in the correct conveyance of ideas. However, the weakness of words in their specific language, and the propensity of many people to use them as labels to which a variety of ideas may be attached may defeat their purpose in the minds of some even though it does not diminish the power of their original purpose. For all of his understanding, Job had this problem. A host of folks who have a lesser measure of wisdom than Job still have that problem. 


With split infinitives, dangling modifiers, misplaced adjectives intermingled with colloquialisms and idioms, making English a barrister’s paradise, how much more perilous could it be for precise ideas to be exchanged? Please patiently consider this with me.


A typical example is the term, “Christian.” Who or what is a Christian? To a religious world largely influenced by Protestantism and it’s universal, invisible church doctrine, it is anyone who confesses Jesus as the Son of God. Protestantism’s mother, the Roman church allows that anyone who does not have Catholic baptism is a heretic, hence, not Christian. In both of these bodies of religion they understand that the basic idea of “Christian” is tied to the church: But Catholicism believes itself to be the universal, visible church, and Protestantism believes in a universal invisible church. True Baptists are not, nor have they ever been a part of either.


Still, through the power of Protestant influence, hyper-evangelism, and their propensity to use words as labels, darkening counsel without the knowledge of them, many Baptist churches have unwittingly fallen into great weakness, attributing to all who profess initial faith in God as a “Christian,” when they have done nothing more, and often not as much, than Old Testament folks did. 


Please consider that the term “Christian” designates one who is anointed with the Spirit that anointed Jesus at His baptism and the first church on the day of Pentecost. These have been buried with Christ, and raised again to walk in “newness of life” in the New Covenant body of Jesus, the house of God, the Pillar and ground of the truth: His church. To ascribe that term to those not so doing is to pervert New Testament teachings and inject a weakness into the body of Christ that, in time, will be its undoing. If we will use words, let us by all means know what they mean etymologically, and contextually. Ministers have a heavy responsibility to enlighten counsel, not darken it.

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John Bunyan’s – The Pilgrim’s Progress


Pilgrim's Progress first edition 1678American Minute with Bill Federer

He was imprisoned 12 years for preaching without a license from the government.

This was John Bunyan, who died AUGUST 31, 1688.

Born in Bedford, England, John Bunyan was a poor, unskilled tinker by trade.

In 1657, at age 29, he became a Baptist minister and was arrested for having religious meetings, being imprisoned 1660-1672 and 1675-1676.

John Bunyan wrote in a Relation of My Imprisonment:

“The justice…issued out his warrant to take me…as if we that were to meet together…to do some fearful business, to the destruction of the country; when alas! the constable, when he came in, found us only with our Bibles in our hands, ready to speak and hear the word of God…

So I was taken and forced to depart…

But before I went away, I spake some few words of counsel and encouragement to the people, declaring to them…that they would not be discouraged, for it was a mercy to suffer upon so good account…we suffer as Christians…better be the persecuted, than the persecutors.”

During his imprisonment, John Bunyan supported his family by making shoelaces.

It was during this time that he began writing The Pilgrim’s Progress, eventually published in 1678.

It was an allegory of a pilgrim, named Christian, who fled from the City of Destruction and was directed by Evangelist to follow the narrow path, overcoming temptations, depressions, deceptions, and persecutions till he reached the Celestial City of Zion.

The friends and dangers Christian meets along the way inspired many subsequent novels, such as:

Mark Twain’s Innocents Abroad or the New Pilgrim’s Progress (1869);

C.S. Lewis’ Pilgrim’s Regress (1933); and

L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz (1900).

The Pilgrim’s Progress was translated into over 100 languages and, after the Bible, was the world’s best-seller for hundreds of years.

It was found in nearly every colonial New England home, along with the Bible and Fox’s Book of Martyrs.

Ben Franklin wrote in his Autobiography:

“From a child I was fond of reading, and all the little money that came into my hands was ever laid out in books. Pleased with The Pilgrim’s Progress, my first collection was of John Bunyan’s works in separate little volumes….

My old favorite author, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress…has been translated into most of the languages of Europe, and suppose it has been more generally read than any other book, except perhaps the Bible.”

President Grover Cleveland had memorized The Pilgrim’s Progress as a youth, commenting:

“I have always felt that my training as a minister’s son has been more valuable to me as a strengthening influence than any other incident in life.”

President Theodore Roosevelt stated while laying the cornerstone of the office building of the House of Representatives, April 14, 1906:

“In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress you may recall the description of the man with the muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand, who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote January 19, 1936:

“When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from Pilgrim’s Progress:

‘My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.’”

President Ronald Reagan greeted Australia’s Prime Minister, June 30, 1981, referring to John Bunyan:

“Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, ‘We are all travelers in what John Bunyan calls the wilderness of this world. And the best that we find in our travels is an honest friend – they keep us worthy of ourselves.’”

The Pilgrim’s Progress began:

“As I walked through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where was a den, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and, as I slept, I dreamed a dream.

I dreamed, and behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back.

I looked, and saw him open the book, and read therein; and, as he read, he wept, and trembled; and, not being able longer to contain, he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?”

Later in The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan wrote:

“Christian ran thus till he came at a place somewhat ascending, and upon that place stood a cross…So I saw in my dream, that just as Christian came up with the cross, his burden loosed from off his shoulders, and fell from off his back.”

Further in The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan wrote:

“Then said Christian, You make me afraid, but whither shall I fly to be safe?…To go back is nothing but death; to go forward is fear of death, and life-everlasting beyond it. I will yet go forward…

Frighted with the sight of the lions…Christian said to himself again, These beasts range in the night for their prey; and if they should meet with me in the dark…how should I escape being by them torn in pieces?…

He lift up his eyes, and behold there was a very stately palace before him…He entered into a very narrow passage…he espied two lions in the way…The porter at the lodge…perceiving that Christian made a halt as if he would go back, cried unto him, saying,

Is thy strength so small? Fear not the lions, for they are chained, and are placed there for trial of faith where it is, and for discovery of those that had none. Keep in the midst of the path, and no hurt shall come unto thee…

He went on, trembling for fear of the lions, but taking good heed to the directions of the porter; he heard them roar, but they did him no harm…”

John Bunyan continued:

“But now, in this Valley of Humiliation, poor Christian was hard put to it…a foul fiend coming over the field to meet him; his name is Apollyon. Then did Christian begin to be afraid, and to cast in his mind whether to go back or to stand his ground.

But he considered again that he had no armour for his back; and therefore thought that to turn the back to him might give him the greater advantage with ease to pierce him with his darts. Therefore he resolved to venture and stand his ground…”

John Bunyan wrote further:

“The monster was hideous to behold; he was clothed with scales…wings like a dragon, feet like a bear, and out of his belly came fire and smoke…

Apollyon straddled quite over the whole breadth of the way, and said…prepare thyself to die; for I swear by my infernal den, that thou shalt go no further; here will I spill thy soul.

And with that he threw a flaming dart at his breast; but Christian had a shield in his hand, with which he caught it…

Apollyon as fast made at him, throwing darts as thick as hail; by the which, notwithstanding all that Christian could do to avoid it, Apollyon wounded him in his head, his hand, and foot…”

Bunyan concluded:

“This sore combat lasted for above half a day, even till Christian was almost quite spent; for you must know that Christian, by reason of his wounds, must needs grow weaker and weaker…

Christian’s sword flew out of his hand.

Then said Apollyon, I am sure of thee now. And with that he had almost pressed him to death, so that Christian began to despair of life; but as God would have it, while Apollyon was fetching of his last blow, thereby to make a full end of this good man, Christian nimbly stretched out his hand for his sword, and caught it, saying,

Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall I shall arise; and with that gave him a deadly thrust, which made him give back…

And with that Apollyon spread forth his dragon’s wings, and sped him away, that Christian for a season saw him no more…

A more unequal match can hardly be, —
Christian must fight an angel; but you see,
The valiant man by handling Sword and Shield,
Doth make him, though a Dragon, quit the field.”


Bill FedererThe Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.

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Contrasting Lives and Results


 

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,” Psalm 1:1.

The three postures—walking, standing and sitting—cover most of our lives. We rarely think of a person we respect in terms of small incidents, rather, we have a generic, all-encompassing attitude about that person’s walk in life. For example, my mother was a hard-working nurse who would storm the gates of hell for her five children. But, I always thought of her as soft and understanding. I could look at her work-worn hands and they preached a life of suffering from the ravages of childhood polio. Her walk and her stand on any matter were bold and clear, no shades of gray. In her presence, one just knew he had to comply with righteous standards. At the same time, because of a lifetime of suffering, one knew mercy and patience were available in any situation.

God’s Word teaches that a Christian’s life is to be like a perfume. It leaves an essence that reflects his whole character. Even after the person is gone, the world knows that it is a better place because the person passed through on his walk to his Father’s house.

In the days when Englishmen kept daily journals, a member of parliament took the day off to carry his neglected son fishing. The outing was fraught with difficulties, and the father entered in his journal, “Today I took my son fishing, the worst day of my life.” The son entered into his journal, “Today my dad took me fishing, the grandest day of my life.” All of our small incidents in life add up to one generic character that people remember.

 

IN OTHER WORDS

A tree planted by the river brings forth much fruit, especially if it is the River of Life.

Robert Brock

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208 – July 26 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Boston 17th Century

Boston-17th Century

The importance of church succession

On this date we have the record of the church-planting procedures of the “Particular Baptists” during the colonial era. The Baptist church in Boston granted a letter of approval to William Screven on Nov. 11, 1681, “to exercise his gift in ye place where he lives or elsewhere as the providence of God may cast him.” Some months later they sent the following letter of approval for the establishing of a Baptist church in Maine; following is a summary of that correspondence: “Upon serious and solemn consideration of the church about a motion…made by several members that lived at Kittery, [that] they might become a church…provided they were such as should be Approved for such A Foundacon work, the Church…did send severall messengers to make y strict inquiry and Examination as they ought in such A case who at their returne brought Coppys here inserted 26th of 7 mo 1682.  The Church of Christ at Boston y(et) is baptized upon profession of faith having taken into serious consideration ye Request of our Brethren at Kittery Relating to their being A Church by themselves y(et) soe they might Injoy the precious ordinances of Christ which by reson of distance…they butt seldome could enjoy have therefore thought meet to make Choice of us whose names are und’written as Messengers to Assist them in ye same faith with us…of doctrine and practice and soe finding them one with us by their Conschiencous Acknowleldgm(ent) of ye Confession of faith putt forth  by ye Elders an Brethren of ye churches in London and ye contry in England dated in ye year 1682…And they having given themselves up to ye lord & to one Another in A Solemn Covenant to walk as said Covenant may Express & also having Chosen theire officers whome they with us have Appointed and ordained, we doe therefore in ye name of ye lord Jesus & by the Appointment of his Church deliver them to  be a Church of Christ in ye faith and order of ye gospel. Signed by us in ye name of ye Church the 25 of 7 mo 1682. Isaak Hull, Thomas Skinner, Phillipp Squire.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 306-07.

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206 – July 24 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

Martyr fires

Bound and drowned for Christ

Aeltgen Baten an aged woman. And Maeyken Wouters a young woman about 24 years both received Christ and were baptized and gave evidence of their faith before God and man in their community in their native city of Liege, Belgium. For no more than this, the authorities of the state church (Roman Catholic) sent 14 trappers (those who were charged to bring in heretics) to apprehend these two offensive women.  They were imprisoned for ten weeks in the officials’ tower, where they were enticed to turn from their faith. One bishop’s chaplain came to Maeyken on bended knee with wine trying to get her to recant but she repelled the “devil’s deceipt.” A friend came and said, “Just yield on one point and you can live as before.” She said, “Would you advise that I should forsake God and become a child of the Devil?” The man said, “Then you will have to die.” She said, “I would rather have this come to pass than to enjoy the light of day.” These two saints of God endured the worst tortures devised by depraved mankind, often fainting and being revived with cold water. They were so sustained that Aeltgen said, “Yes, if the door stood open, I should not wish to go away.” In all their sufferings they were joyful in their God, thankful to Him and sang praises to Him in prison. Their sentence was that they were to be bound, gagged and cast alive from the Meuse River Bridge. And so it was. Aeltgen said, “O Lord, this is a beautiful city indeed; would that it repented with Ninevah.” Maeyken asked that she might pray, her executioner told her to pray to the lords the magistrates, and believe with us in the Romish Church, and you shall save your life. And so the depths swallowed up these two precious saints on July 24, 1595, and their Lord received them.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 303-04.

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