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Category Archives: Politics

Who is the radical after all?

I read a commentary recently regarding ISIS, the recent attacks in Paris, and San Bernardino, CA. The author drew a moral equivalent between what he referred to as radical Muslims and radical Christians, referencing the KKK and abortion clinic bombers as radical Christians along side the likes of the jihadists. Though he condemned acts of violence from both parties, I think he, like many, misunderstand and misapply the terms they use in respect to religion.

There are many labels being thrown around these days, creating much confusion about who is, and who is not, a radical as well as who is, and who is not, a moderate when it comes to the practice of these particular religious ideologies, and the confusion is not helpful as we try to combat the hate and violence that we are seeing with frightening frequency and intensity.

What does the term radical mean? Well, it can mean quite a variety of things depending upon the subject matter and the presupposition of the user of the term. One could say, for instance, that Jesus was a radical in terms of bringing a teaching that seemed contrary to the socio-religious climate of His day, yet I imagine that we would never categorize His commands to “love God” or “love your neighbor”1 as radical thoughts. Radical can mean extreme, fanatical, even militant, in a negative sense, or thorough, rigorous, and complete, in a positive sense.

While many scholars have sought to understand Muslim practice by deciphering the Qur’an, I think an examination of the actions of Mohammed and the origins of Islam, might be a better place to begin, just as an examination of Jesus’ life and early church practice helps to understand authentic christianity. In the study of these, we will find what is, and is not, truly radical in the positive sense of the word.

While it is true that Mohammed was a peaceful man in his early (Meccan period) years, preaching a peaceful message of tolerance, even advocating for orphans and widows, that cannot be said of his latter years. After moving to Medina in 622, the peaceful “prophet” became a warmongering murderer, inciting violence wherever he and his (now political) followers went.2 When we examine the historical record, we find that his most ardent followers, have in turn, created terror throughout the civilized world.3 These are not then radical in the negative sense of the word, but authentic Muslims -so radical, in the best sense of the word.

By contrast, when one examines the teachings and practice of Jesus and the first century Apostles, you find the highest teaching on love,4 morality,5 and sacrifice 6 that the world has ever know. The message of the gospel of Jesus is certainly an aggressive one, but it is one where love and reason are the methods of recruitment, rather than Mohammedan tactic of terror and coercion. You simply will not find, in the historical record, anything but the message of love, inspired by Jesus’ early followers. So, radical Christians, are individuals who strictly follow the examples and doctrines of Jesus and the Apostles, -they are radical lovers.

Some of the confusion is exacerbated by a misunderstanding of what it actually means to be a Christian. Many people in America self-identify as Christians, yet would not hold to many of the teachings of Jesus or the early church. For example, Jesus taught that to actually be a follower of His, one needed to be reborn spiritually,7 not simply claim His name.8  There are a great number of cultural Christians -individuals who identify as Christians, even attend church services, yet do not hold to many of the beliefs that Jesus taught. They may not be Christians at all, even though that is how they identify themselves.

The same is true with Islam. With an estimated 1.6 billion adherents,10 many of them are cultural muslims, who may practice some tenants of the faith, but live vastly different lives, and have much more secular views than the author of their tradition. These moderates are in fact, the Muslims that ISIS and it’s so-called radical counterparts have no problem killing as infidels. As one former Muslim, Brother Rachid, has testified in a statement directed at President Obama,”they consider them infidels and not Muslims.”11

Our secular society values impotent religion over what it considers fanatical religion. I believe that is a major contributing factor to what has become a confusion of terms. Many would like Christians to simply be nice people and be quiet about their faith, that is the politically correct and acceptable form of religious expression, and so they would like the same for practitioners of Islam. This is the false hope of President Obama, and many of the talking heads, but it is just that –a false hope. Neither authentic religious expression will be killed off. One will continue to kill, conquer, and subjugate, the other will, love, help, and give –until Messiah returns.

 

Footnotes:

1. Matthew 22:36-40
2. “The Historical Muhammad:
The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Ugly” / David Wood, 4truth.net
3. “Jihad vs Crusades” / Bill Warner. PhD.
4.John 13:34; John 15:9 / Jesus Christ ; 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 5:8 / Paul the Apostle ; 1 Peter 4:8 / Peter the Apostle ; 1 John 4:7-15 / John the Apostle …the author could perhaps cite an endless amount of New Testament references.
5. Matthew 5
6. John 10:17;John 15:13; Romans 12
7. John 3:1-21
8. Matthew 7:21-23
9. Matthew 10:6;
10. Pew Research Center, April 2015
11. “A Message To President Obama From A Former Muslim”@6:12 / Brother Rachid

 

 

 

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Taking Responsibility

As America sifts through the emotions and thoughts about the recent tragedies in Newtown CT, Portland, OR, and Aurora, CO, there is a mad scramble to attempt to affix blame. We want answers, we want solutions, and we wants someone to take the blame –or do we? The President has stated, that he will use the powers of his office to do whatever he can to fix the problems. This likely means stricter gun control and reduced freedoms for law abiding citizens. This won’t fix anything, but it will look good.

Meanwhile, Hollyweird is defending it’s rights to make money off of ultra violent movies. Director Quentin Tarantino say’s “give me a break” regarding his continued production of increasingly ultra-violent filth. He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility. You have Actors like Jamie Foxx, joking about his upcoming Tarantino production, Django Unchained” saying: “I get to kill all the white people, -how great is that.” He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility. And of course, Tom Cruise, ever the religiously concerned profiteer, continues to promote his violent film, with just a little scrubbing up of the promotion. He certainly isn’t going to take responsibility.

Is Hollyweird to blame for gun violence, or the escalation of violence in society in general? I don’t think so, but they are a contributing factor. There are probably many contributing factors. We live in a society that has devalued life, devalued family, devalued marriage, and elevated the most morally bankrupt to the status of gods.

Now, it’s easy to give at least some blame to these icons of entertainment, but don’t look for them to own up to any responsibility any more than the politicians that they support. Politicians will be unwilling to do anything substantive to change the moral climate in America, because the guys that send them the money are the ones that are shaping that climate. Here is the real question, who sends the money to Hollyweird?

This holiday season, millions of individuals and families around the country will go to the movies. Many will choose to see ultra-violent movies as a form of entertainment. When we do that, we are telling them to “keep it up” -and they will, as long as we pay them. Take responsibility people, we are all to blame.

As a people, we should repent of our fixation with sex and death as entertainment. As Solomon said, “there is nothing new under the sun.” These are simply the gods of old, repackaged in celluloid, and we continue to bow down.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Culture, My Opinion, Politics

 

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This Land Is Your Land.

Like a lot of conservatives, this week’s election has left me kind of scratching my head.
There are so many issues that divide our nation, and many of them were voted on Tuesday.
I’d like to lay out what the American populace chose, the way I see it.
It’s therapy for me, you will either find it interesting or infuriating.

1. America chose to maintain the right to kill her babies. The Democratic party did a good job demonizing Mitt Romney in swing states, instilling fear that he would take away a woman’s right to choose. (to kill her baby) Of course it’s not true, at this point that is in the hands of the Supreme Court, and it’s unlikely to change.
At any rate, it worked, this is a very important voting issue for most folks, on either side.

Personally, I would like to see abortion go away. It’s murder of the most vulnerable and innocent. For convenience, we look the other way, and what we allow, trying to cover our eyes and ears, we would not allow to happen to a frog. Imagine if I made a video in which I ripped off the limbs of a live frog. I could do it in a clinical setting, then discard the remains in a dumpster. What if I posted it on youtube? Can you imagine the outrage from the animal rights activists? It would make that anti-Muslim video that gave us the tragedy of Benghazi (wink, wink) look like a legit documentary!

As a nation, we chose to embrace a postion that is entirely against “nature and nature’s God.” There is nothing more engrained in human DNA, especially the makeup of a woman, than to nurture and care for a baby. It’s something wired into them. When a mother, and complicit father, violate that natural programming, the emotional and mental trauma is certain. Violating the conscience is a seriously damaging thing. This is why those who have chosen this path live with guilt and regret for the rest of their lives. What they have tried to do with that guilt, is just legalize it away. The problem is the DNA. Though they deny the legitimacy of the unborn child, the facts remain … living human beings are slaughtered in the name of convenience, and we know it.

2. America, or at least the great state of King County, WA chose to modify the definition of marriage, and further embrace homosexuality as normal and healthy.
Now, it doesn’t matter what opponents of gay marriage say, they have been labeled as haters. I know there are some fringe groups that do use hate speech, name calling, etc. It’s unfortunate everyone gets lumped together, as there are many opponents of gay marriage that I find I have very little in common with. They say we want to infringe on others rights to live how they want and practice whatever sexual expression they desire. But the referendum that just passed, didn’t really have anything to do with rights, it had to do with definition. What the homosexual community wanted, and got, was a redefinition of marriage that included them.
Isn’t it interesting, this is exactly what the pro-choice crowd wants –legitimacy.
So now, after thousands of years, marriage will be defined as “any ol’ couple at all.”
I don’t hate homosexuals. I don’t approve of their practice, but I don’t hate them any more than I hate drug addicts. Here is why I think it’s wrong…

The most obvious thing to the critical mind, is that the plumbing just does not work. That thing, was not designed to go there… period! Yes, I said designed, as in Designer. God designed you and your body to function a certain way. Sex and procreation are included. Yes there are many ways to have physical sexual pleasure, but clearly the designer intended one way in particular. It doesn’t take an engineer to figure this out.
So, you might say, “well, I don’t believe in a designer.” That’s fine, but you realize you cannot then run to evolution don’t you? If you believe that homosexuality is normal and healthy… that logic doesn’t work so well.
Remember, much of what evolutionists believe is based on Darwin’s “survival of the fittest.” Are you following me? Homosexuality simply doesn’t work in an evolutionary model. If you take a dozen homosexuals and put them on a desert island and leave them for a generation … they disappear.

The problem is spelled out very clearly in the scriptures. The Apostle Paul gave us a very clear understanding of the practice of homosexuality in Romans chapter one. Here is what he has to say: ”

“women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” –Rom. 26 (partial) & 27 (emphasis mine)

So, biblically as well as naturally, what America is choosing to embrace and advance, in both cases, is unnatural and violates God’s design. How do you think that is going to work out? What if I decided to exchange my motor oil for antifreeze, putting the oil in my engine, and antifreeze in my radiator? The car might work for a short while, but eventually it would seize up. It would be ruined.

3. America has decided it’s good to get high.
Again, not every state got to vote on legalizing marijuana, but we did. We are embracing it wholeheartedly.
I know christians who voted for it based on economic reasons. That’s great thinking, “get out of the fiscal crisis by mortgaging the future health of our kids” -brilliant! I have lots of experience with pot. I started with alcohol, but marijuana is the gateway drug, and it opened the door to many others, and it ruined a good portion of my young life. As a pastor and counselor, I’ve seen it over and over for years and tears. Literally.
Marijuana is really no different in my mind than alcohol as far as inebriation is concerned, and soon it will be available legally. What’s the difference between Johnny smoking a little bud, and his old man who has a couple of glasses of wine? Nada.
The scripture says, “don’t be drunk with wine, but be filled with the Spirit.” –Eph. 5:18
The problem isn’t “getting high” it’s getting addicted. Welcome to the future America. Here’s a tip: when Shick Shadel goes public, buy stock, -it’s a winner.

So here is what we are doing. We are embracing unnatural and God forbidden behavior, legitimizing it, and calling it good. Well, that is easier to do when you are stoned.

This land is your land, but increasingly, and eventually, it’s not mine.

I welcome reasonable argument or discussion on these things.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Abortion, Homosexuality, Politics, Real Life

 

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“Omnipotent Moral Busybodies”

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C.S. Lewis

I thought this quote was great. But who are the “moral busybodies” and who are the “robber barons?”

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Politics

 

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New Poll: Which Party?

I am continually surprised when I see folks align them selves with Jesus and a political party that promotes the murder of innocent babies.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in My Opinion, Politics

 

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Newton Jumps The Shark

Well it looks like Newt Gingrich has done the proverbial “shark jump.”
Americans were willing to forgive his marital infidelities, we are a people that value forgiveness.
But some things just are not going to go away.
His recent comments about seeing a lunar colony by the end of his second term were just too much to bear. America wants bold ideas, but this is lunacy.
When we get out of our $15,000,000,000,000.00 debt, then lets talk about going back to the moon.
Until then, I think Ralph Kramden’s “to the moon” applies to Newt’s campaign. [sigh]

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in My Opinion, Politics, Uncategorized

 

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Planned Parenthood’s New Plan: Kill The Babies Remotely


Tim Duggan at C.O. Has a good article here.

Just the latest method in the war on life.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2011 in Politics, Real Life

 
 
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