Has there ever been a more misappropriated scripture than the 'Golden Rule'? I strongly doubt it. Here is my attempt at giving a proper Biblical understanding to this portion of God's word.
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-40)
Two Rules for Living
Jesus did not come to give us mere suggestions and cheap advice. Living for Him is exclusive, it is not a multiple choice endeavour. It is not just any old way to live or the best way to live, it should be seen as the only way to live. Understand Jesus is not being heavy-handed is His assessment. He is saying, 'Look, you can live like this or you can face your destruction. Your choice'. The two rules for happy living are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Seems simple enough but lets take a closer look:
Love the Lord your God
This is not meant to be repeated as some empty mantra. It is both an instruction and a warning. As I talked about in my previous post, false idols (and the false systems of worship they propagate) are in endless supply in our so-called enlightened society. The god of pleasure, which gave us STD's, homosexuality, feminism and abortion has destroyed the natural and healthy expressions of our sexuality. The god of fortresses (such as Allah) has given us the love of money, materialism, naked ambition and the doctrine of 'power at all costs'. All these false worship systems have deceived, disappointed and destroyed those who have not known Jesus Christ as their saviour.
You cannot please God apart from faith. God will not heed the prayers of rebels unless it happens to the prayer of salvation. Nor will He listen to half-hearted or insincere prayer. None of us is where we want to be in our personal development if we are truly honest with ourselves. There's always more room for a more mature faith in our lives. Having a forgiving spirit and showing compassion for others is also crucial. To honor and love Jesus as He truly ought to be is something we should all aspire to. We should ALWAYS want to make more room for wisdom and discernment in our lives. All of this means we've simply fallen short of God's expectations for us. Let no-one say, 'I have enough wisdom, love and compassion in my life'. No friend, you don't. Such pride in one's self-worth has no place in the Kingdom of God.
Love Your Neighbor as Yourself
Which brings us to our second point. Now that you're all squared away and love God with all your heart, soul and mind, loving your neighbor should be a snap right? Well no. You see, it's easy to love someone who's just like you. Same race, same ethnic heritage, same sensibilities and sense of style. But what about those who are remarkably different in their culture and worldview? In happy multi-cultural Canada where peace and harmony are supposed to rule, we want to wring each other's necks. Thankfully, the likelihood of civil strife is low.
Here's my take on this: God deliberately puts difficult people in our path in order to train us. The neurotic, the fool, the bully, and others that simply rub us the wrong way. This 'training' as I put it is for His glory, not ours. How are we to be an effective leader in the Kingdom of God when we only deal with people we like in ideal scenarios? God wishes to equip us. Being a leader means dealing with difficult people in near impossible circumstance. The 'love your neighbor' command is designed to humble us. Why? So we can be ready for that eternal position which God has personally prepared for us.
Here's another angle to this which I'm quite sure you've not considered. God loves families and the institution of marriage. You see, in a tribal society, a man's pool of potential brides is small. The 'loving you neighbor' command significantly enlarges that pool and therefore increases the likelihood of marriage. If both the man and woman have a fear of God (Note: A fear of God means exactly that. Not reverence. Not admiration. Fear. Got that?) and want to raise their children with the same holy fear, the race or culture factor diminishes significantly. Thus harmony within society is all but assured. See, God truly knows what's best for us!
It's late. I'm going to bed.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Has there ever been a more misappropriated scripture than the 'Golden Rule'? I strongly doubt it. Here is my attempt at giving a proper Biblical understanding to this portion of God's word.
Monday, January 28, 2008
Why do we continue in our self-destructive ways?
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God. (Exodus 20:3-5a)
Understand what a false god is. It doesn't have to be some crude carving made out of stone, wood, or precious metal. A false god is anything that you love more, serve more and fear more than JHVH God. It is a sin that has been glorified and placed on an altar for all to worship.
My Rant, Part I
I am not going to say to you, 'Don't believe in that' or 'You must believe in this'. Indeed, the more I argue, the more entrenched (and stubborn) you'll likely become. I will challenge you this: Do you know what you believe in is in fact, true? If your belief system is rooted in a lie then what's the point? All your efforts look to be in vain! An untested faith is an unsure one.
My Rant, Part II
The so-called 'wisdom of this world' is based on human pride and arrogance. Here are two main reasons why you and I should oppose false beliefs:
1) The devaluing of human life: The urge to place oneself above others is the heighth of pride. Sexism, racism, anti-Semitism and all other supremacist ideologies devalue the life of those whom we wish to dominate and/or eliminate. If we are made in the image of God, male and female, black and white, Gentile and Jew, there should be no place in our hearts for these hateful things.
2) 'It's Not My Fault!' - Ducking Responsibility: Let's be honest, we've all uttered the phrase. God demands that we take individual responsibility for our actions. It's easy to blame our screw-ups on others. It takes a great deal of maturity to admit you messed up. However, saying 'sorry' isn't enough. Action must follow to rectify the situation. For a Christian, the example that we must follow is Jesus Christ. An impossibly high standard for sure, but those who truly love Him will want to emulate Him all the time. Immature people ALWAYS deny, deny, deny and project their faults onto others.
There are so many false gods out there being worshipped today. Here are a few notables that enslave us:
The god of Sexual Freedom
This month marks the 35th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade in America. Our desire for greater sexual freedoms has come with a great price. Marriage and the very notion of family itself is under attack. Abortion devalues the fetus and the avoidance of marriage vows falls under the 'ducking responsibility' umbrella.
Click here to take a multiple choice quiz on Roe vs. Wade. You'll find the Roe IQ Test in the sidebar as a permanent link as well. I scored a miserable 3 out of 12!
The god of Fortresses
The Russians are at it again. Along with a naval alliance with Libya, they've also created an axis of evil with China and Iran.
The god of fortresses is a god of power. Understand not all power is bad. Jesus Himself had tremendous power and He gave His disciples power to do the Lord's bidding. What I'm talking about here is power purely for power's sake. A man such as George Soros worships this false idol. The insatiable lust for power, the power of 'one more dollar' has lead many to their destruction.
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds.
The opening Sura of the Koran is a chilling one. Allah is also a god of fortresses, one that is specifically tied to Islam. From honor killings (and the subsequent failure of Western feminists to condemn these atrocities) to 'forest fire jihad' to staged blackouts in Gaza, Islam represents the motherlode of delinquent behaviour. Political correctness, both domestic and foreign limits our calls for much-needed reform (if possible) within the Muslim world.
The simple matter is this: More and more people are doing their own independent research and analysis on Islam and they're not liking what they're seeing. The MSM is hopelessly chained to its PC mantle of cultural sensitivity and moral relativism. As a result, fewer and fewer are tuning in. Expect this trend to accelerate and continue. May there be a thousand more like Robert Spencer and Ayaan Hirsi Ali who are willing to spread the truth.
Jesus Christ, the One and Only
Make the choice. You can live for yourself or for the one who is truly worthy of worship, Jesus Christ. Religion won't save you. Neither will being 'good' or great deeds. In Haryana, India and in Nepal, people are living for Jesus and the transformation is incredible.
Some X-Def Updates
I've reorganized the sidebar as some headers were getting a wee bit unwieldy. I've deleted Debbie Schlussel and Layla Gonzalez' links along with American-Israeli Patriot. Debbie and Layla's links were off topic and AIP was outdated. I've also added a few link such as the aforementioned Roe IQ Test homepage and Reject the UN, an anti-globalist blog. Terror Finance blog was added a while ago. Please feel free to explore these informative sites.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
There are three levels when nation-states decide to integrate themselves. The first level in economic. The second is political and the third (and the most advanced) is military co-operation. It appears that NATO is now at the third stage. What an incredible advancement in Bible prophecy this is! You can be lazy and listen to the stratfor podcast here.
Geopolitical Diary: The Future of the NATO Alliance
January 23, 2008 0330 GMT
A summit of NATO heads of state scheduled for April 2-4 in Bucharest, Romania, appears to have gotten its first real jumpstart about 10 days ago with the circulation of a manifesto written by distinguished and well-respected former senior military officers from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands who served at the height of their careers during the early post-Soviet years. The impressive list of names at the end of the paper includes former NATO Supreme Allied Commander in Europe and former U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. John Shalikashvili, former British Baron Field Marshal and Defense Staff Chief Sir Peter Anthony Inge, and former Inspector General of the German military and NATO Military Committee Chairman Gen. Klaus Naumann.
The EU Observer and the Guardian newspaper released some of the details of the manifesto over the past few days. This document marks the potential culmination of a series of trends that could result in deep structural changes to the alliance.
The manifesto includes:
A more overtly stated nuclear first-strike option than NATO had previously;
A statement of willingness to use nuclear weapons pre-emptively to prevent states from gaining nuclear capabilities;
A shift from unanimous consensus decision-making to majority voting, which effectively ends national vetoes;
The end of national caveats for troops deployed in NATO operations;
The end of decision-making by alliance members that are not participating in the NATO operation in question; and
The ability to use force without the authorization of the U.N. Security Council when “immediate action is needed to protect large numbers of human beings.”
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has struggled with the demise of its raison d’etre: the Soviet Union. After the fall of the Soviet state, serious questions emerged about whether NATO should even exist. Tensions among member states over Bosnia — and later, Kosovo — (not to mention the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq) further strained the alliance.
But now, a number of trends that were weakening the alliance have been reversed: Russian belligerence is on the rise. Putin has made clear that the waning of Russia is over (long before Russian military Chief of Staff Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky’s Jan. 19 reiteration of Moscow’s nuclear weapons policy). Moreover, NATO now includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania — all of which are former Warsaw Pact or Soviet Union states. And the governments of these new member states are extremely concerned about the potential dangers posed by the Russian bear.
In addition, the departure of French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder from the political scene marked the end of strong European opposition to U.S. moves, as well as the end of meaningful discussions about a European defense entity independent of NATO. Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel’s transitions to power cemented a fundamental shift in the domestic politics and international stance of continental Europe’s two great powerhouses. Paris and Berlin have returned to the NATO camp, and they have recrowned NATO the pre-eminent military tool of European foreign policy.
Such developments would shift the global military balance back toward Europe. And an increasing recognition among NATO members of the benefits of the alliance means that it (along with the United States) ultimately could continue to lead the military trends that shape the world, rather than drifting further away. This is great news if you happen to be in — or a friend of — the alliance, and somewhat terrifying if you are not.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
The guy driving in the video is Paul McKeever. Paul's assertion that soldiers are not sent into battle to die for their country, to 'sacrifice' as he puts it, but to live. The act of dying in a war benefits only the enemy. As General Patton once bellowed, wars aren't won by dying for your country, but by making the enemy die for his. Soldiers don't fight for King, God and Country. They fight for each other. They fight to affirm the value of human life and for liberty. Armies don't exist to 'sacrifice' themselves, they exist to kill enemy soldiers and destroy enemy infrastructure. Soldiers are not glorified social workers with a rifle. To fight, survive and complete the objective whatever the cost is what drives a soldier.
Peace, Peace When There Is No Peace
Peace is not secured by endless rounds of negotiations and by bleeding and conceding (Israeli gov't please take note). It is secured by bayonet and rifle and by bombs and bullets. Understand I'm not opposed to negotiations per se, but when you choose to negotiate you do so from a postion of strength, not weakness. Your freedom was secured by the shedding of human blood, whether it be on the battlefields of Europe or by Christ's sacrifice at Calvary. Freedom is a gift of God, not of government. The 'peace at any cost' Left will never get it. It is too advanced a concept for them to understand. It is no wonder I get frustrated at our leader's blissful ignorance of military history.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
When you're viewing this video don't cheat and look at the answer below. Don't blame me if you get your computer screen all smudged!
What The Heck is Boolean Algebra?
A computer 'thinks' in terms of ones and zeroes (known as a bit). This is what's known as boolean algebra. In a way, it's even simpler than the decimal system as you only have two numbers to worry about. In the above puzzle, once you figure out the template and the pattern the solution becomes almost child-like in its simplicity.
Take A Look at the Number Pad on Your Keyboard
It probably looks like this:
7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3
We notice that there are four even numbers and five odd numbers. If we replace the letter O for all the odd numbers and E for the even numbers we end up with this:
O E O
E O E
O E O
So long as the numbers one through nine are placed in an orderly fashion the template cannot fail.
Three Rules of Addition
In the following 'odd' is any odd number and 'even' is any even number.
Rule 1: odd + odd = even
Rule 2: even + odd = odd
Though this doesn't apply to our riddle,
Rule 3: even + even = even
And Your Point Is?
When we start on an O square and given an odd number of moves, we will always land on an E square, no matter what (Rule 1). So our pal Richard can remove any O square he wishes. As we stand on an E square, we are again told to move an odd number of moves. Naturally, we end up on an O square (Rule 2) and Richard can confidently remove any E square he sees fit.
The pattern of alternately removing O squares and E squares continues until we run out. As there is a 5-4 imbalance of odds and evens, an O square is the first to be removed (top right) and must be the 'last man standing' (bottom right).
So What Threw Me Off?
Puzzles like these are notorious for their red herrings and dead ends. The symbols are arbritrary as is the order in which they are removed. So long as an O square (or an E square) is removed when it should be, the pattern holds according to the template. So long as we are consistently given an odd number of moves it doesn't matter.
Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
What Roman roads and Alexander the Great's military successes were for the First Advent, the rise of the internet and global regulation coming out of the EU is to the Second Advent of Christ. Expect this trend to continue and accelerate in the coming years. Please note this is not the full article. I have pasted only those paragraphs which I thought were relevant for this post.
Global Market Brief: Europe's 'California Effect'
The European Commission launched a new antitrust investigation into Microsoft Corp. on Jan. 14. This comes four months after Microsoft lost an appeal on a commission ruling that the firm was engaging in anti-competitive practices by protecting the source code for the Windows operating system. EU antitrust regulators also are looking closely at Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick and U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp.’s business practices.
EU antitrust regulators’ focus on these technology companies foretells Europe’s emergence as the world’s primary regulatory authority. The European Union’s strategy to take the regulatory helm is evident in issues such as climate change, chemicals regulation, genetically modified organisms and antitrust regulation, for which Europe has adopted legislation or enforcement regimes that are stricter than those of the United States — and that, through the “California effect,” are forcing changes globally.
This drive has benefited from (Europe would say it was necessitated by) the deregulatory mood that has prevailed in Washington for the past decade. Issues such as the health effects of chemicals and global warming have evolved in ways that have open the door for new regulation, while increasing merger activity has dramatically increased the chances of anti-competitive business practices. The U.S. federal government, meanwhile, has maintained a deregulatory posture in the face of these changes. This posture reflects the majority view in the United States that regulation is a brake on innovation and productivity, and that government should regulate as lightly as possible.
Because of the continued integration of the global economy, the U.S. deregulatory posture also has allowed Europe to step into a vacuum and define the regulatory parameters for global commerce without facing a competing U.S. regulation built in response to contemporary business pressures. (The most powerful U.S. regulations, save Sarbanes Oxley, were drafted before 1991.) The change of U.S. administration in 2009 almost certainly will bring with it a more active set of regulators, whether in securities, environment, consumer protection, telecommunications or antitrust. The question is whether this change will slow the European Union’s emergence as the de facto global regulator.
The Californization of Brussels
Brussels has become the city to watch on regulatory developments, not because EU regulations are necessarily the best but because they increasingly are the strictest. In part, this is because of Europe’s culture and its voters’ priorities, but it also is a result of business and government officials seeing opportunity through regulation. This opportunity is amplified by the common perception that the United States largely has turned its back on regulation over the past decade. Europeans see this as an opportunity not only to step in to “fix” things where the United States is lagging but also to find real advantage in the U.S. abdication.
As if climate change and chemicals policy regulations — or the lack thereof — were not enough, the subprime mortgage crisis’ impact in Europe has heightened Europe’s perception of the United States as a laggard. Bankers and regulators in Europe argue that lax U.S. regulation of mortgage-backed securities is responsible for the problems in Europe emanating from the subprime crisis (even though Europe has its own regulators looking at the same securities).
Were Europe a small economy with a tiny population, its strong regulatory system would spell disaster for its populace, as global business would abandon this market; however, the EU bloc is the largest economy in the world — it has a consumer market near 500 million and a combined gross domestic product in excess of $14 trillion.
Europe is, in effect, becoming the new home to the “California effect,” a reference to the phenomenon in the United States in which the largest U.S. state has, at various times, dictated national policy by adopting a stricter regulation than the federal government, forcing corporations to choose whether to follow California’s law or give up on selling goods in the country’s largest market. Just as few major U.S. companies can afford to ignore California’s market, few multinational corporations can compete without maintaining a presence in the EU economy.
Looking Beyond 2008
The next U.S. administration is almost guaranteed to bring the U.S. and EU economies closer together on regulations, and it will mark the end of a period in which Europe perceives the United States as strictly opposed to regulation. But the United States is not likely to move very far, since the prevailing view of regulation in the United States remains overwhelmingly negative.
Monday, January 14, 2008
Better late than never I suppose. Seeing as it's still January and I've had these bookmarks burning a hole in my pocket, time to do the right thing and get rid of them. So in no particular order, here are the individuals who've either earned our admiration or contempt.
2007 Man of the Year: General David Howell Petraeus
Check out the rack of medals on this guy. While the American military tend to hand out service medals like they were Halloween candy, some of the medals here (click to enlarge) aren't exactly chump change. For defeating al-Qaida in the Land of the Two Rivers (and causing the Left to cry in their towels), General David Petraeus gets a sizeable laurel.
One Big Honking Dart to Czar Vlad
Does anybody out there still read TIME magazine? Being called TIME's 'Person of the Year' was once upon a time met with bated breath. Now it's met with a shrug and a yawn. While TIME insists that this is not an endorsement, Putin's Russia has become increasingly hostile towards freedom of the press, political freedoms and a top-down approach to the economy.
Check out these Russian neo-nazi skinheads. Does their salute remind you of anyone? Whenever tribalism and anti-Semitism raises its ugly head, wars and rumors of wars are the natural result. Worthy of a dart. Preferably where it really hurts.
A Dart to Those Who Would Appease Our Enemies
Seeing as our enemies won't be surrendering to us anytime soon, it behooves us to be wary of any politician who's naive enough to believe that this jihad is nothing more than a big misunderstanding. America doesn't need to be 'nice'. It needs to be strong (Hello President John McCain!). A dart to all those who would undermine America with this rosy thinking.
A Laurel to ABC News
Rarely do I give a tiff about the MSM. However, I have stumbled across this link which will help those American voters who aren't sure whom they should support. Just answer each multiple choice question honestly and get the top three candidates who best fit your political views. Try it a number of times (with different answers of course) and see what you come up with. It's the least I can do to dispel the fog and confusion surrounding this presidential race.
Laurels for Stratfor and Walid Phares
Forecasting the future is notoriously difficult. People can die in violent and unexpected ways (witness Mrs. Bhutto) and irrational people on a glory trip can cause us no end in trouble. I applaud anyone who is willing to put their reputation on the line and give us their thoughts as to what will happen in the next twelve months.
Here is Stratfor's Annual Forecast for 2008 (pdf file).
And here is Mr. Phares with his prognostications.
A Dart for Saudi Arabia and North Korea
Why you ask? These two countries top the list when it comes to persecuting Christians. In Saudi Arabia, Wahhabi Islam has a strict monopoly. In the Hermit Kingdom, being sent to prison camps (along with all your family) is the fate of those found in possession of a Bible.
Laurels To Those Spreading the Good News
Evangelism isn't something you have to do, it's something you get to do. Witnessing to an unbelieving world is difficult even at the best of times. So when God places His missionaries in almost impossible circumstances, it is nothing short of miraculous when those efforts still bear fruit.
I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate. Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)
At a porn convention. Yes, you read correctly!
A prison ministry. Satan really is quite stupid. A jailed missionary is the most dangerous person of all. Why? Because he has nothing but the souls of inmates to gain.
Lastly, a dart to Michael from Texas. He was one the the many winners (or is that losers?) of the 2007 Darwin awards. Alcohol makes fools of us all.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Hell does exist. Man is appointed to die just once and after that comes the judgement. Listen to the testimonies of those who've seen hell and came back. Not all is sweetness and light! Avoid hell and ask Jesus to save you from eternal condemnation. (Runs 9:59)
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Happy New Year everyone! Thought I'd share a little good news with you. The church is growing in exponential terms. How fast you say?
1) On the day of Pentacost, 3,000 souls were saved. That was just in one day. Today that is happening globally every 25 minutes.
2) In 1960, the ratio of unbelievers to believer was 24:1. That has now dropped to 6:1.
3) In the course of a day, there will be 175,000 more Christians adding their name to the Book of Life.
4) From 1970 to 2000, core apostolics doubled every 9 years.
5) A conservative estimate is that there are 707 million missionaries world-wide.
6) In 1960, the strongest part of the church was growing slowly. Today it is growing at a rate nearly seven times as fast.
7) Campus Crusade for Christ estimates a billion new converts in the next 10 years. Even if CCC was half right, that's still a staggering number.
Read it all here.
I believe this has profound prophetic implications. God is willing that none shall perish but that all should come to everlasting life (John 3:15-18). The explosive growth in the church can only mean one thing: The church age is rapidly coming to a close:
This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. (Mt 24:14)
If I had to guess, I would say the Day of Pentacost on 2017/5777 sounds like an excellent departure date. But please don't quote me on that.
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)