January 25, 2011

Taking the Path of Most Resistence

Where was the church during Hitler's rise to power? Was this not the country of Luther and the foundation of the protestant church?

The church has been instituted among men by God to serve a divine purpose of calling individuals together in community to worship, but also to unite as a bulwark of righteousness and truth in a world full of evil. The church in Hitler's day saw him rising to power, but didn't say a thing. They didn't speak out. Instead, they were more concerned about whether or not they should allow the Jews to belong in the church at all.

In Dietrich Bonhoeffer's biography, succinctly put: "The German church was in turmoil. Some church leaders felt the church should make peace with the Nazis, who were strongly opposed to communism and 'godlessness.' They believed the church should conform to the Nazi racial laws and the Fuhrer Principle."

The year is 1933. No one in the world saw Hitler leading to the slaughter of 6 million innocent Jews and an attempt to take over the world. Yet, there were warning signs for the attentive observer. The preaching of the 'Fuhrer' principle by Nazi leadership, boycotts all through 1933 by Nazi leadership of Jewish communities and businesses, the midnight 'clensing' via the burning of western books and literature, and the takeover of the press by the Nazi's were just a few examples. Signs were everywhere in 1933. The rise to power by the Nazi party may have been swift, but not swift enough for someone looking to miss the smoke before the fire began.

The rise of power in the state was happening, yet the church was nowhere to be found. Many didn't want to speak out for fear or reprisal. Some thought that the state could bring the church together, as after all, Hilter and co were using Christian overtones in many of their speeches.

Bonhoeffer wrote a call to action for the church and in it defined the major three roles of the church as follows in relation to the state:

1. The church must question the state
2. The church must help the state's victims
3. The church must work against the state if necessary to protect its existence

This call to action ultimately rang on deft ears and proved too much for anyone to swallow.

Should the state anywhere, anytime rise to a level of power that infringes upon the rights of the people, let us learn a lesson from history and take a stand. The church is the bulwark to defend the world from tyranny and proclaim the freedom that comes from knowing Christ.

This guy gets it. The church should take notice. Part of tonight's State of the Union rebuttal speech by Paul Ryan is below:

ROLE OF GOVERNMENT: “We believe government’s role is both vital and limited – to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense … to secure our borders… to protect innocent life… to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights … to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity … and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves. We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility. We believe, as our founders did, that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government. Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn’t do any of them very well. It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.”

January 23, 2011

Ready or Not

Spiritual watchfulness is not just to have your eye on the sky; it is having an eye on your heart. It means to read your Bible and the newspaper with a longing for Christ to come not only so you can "get out of this mess" but also because you long to be near the one who cleaned up the mess in your heart.

Take watch over your own soul!

January 22, 2011

A Reasoned Mind

Critical thinking is the skill of deconstructing an idea, stripping it down to the essence of what it is, removing the false premises to identify the truth embedded in the argument. The process requires the removal of emotion from the discussion and reliance on sound judgment and logic from the beginning of the argument to the end. This skill is largely removed from the public discussion of any issue of importance. We don't ask in depth questions or demand substantive answers from our leaders.

On these lines, German pastor during Hitler's rise, Dietrich Bonhoeffer had this reputation.
Bonhoeffer openly thought things through and taught his students to do the same. They followed lines of reasoning to their thoroughness, so that nothing depended on mere emotion. He accorded theological ideas the same respect that his father accorded scientific ideas, or his brother accorded ideas of jurisprudence. Questions about the Bible and ethics and theology must be treated with the same rigorousness, and all the cant "phraseology" must be identified,exposed and cut away with and discarded." Students found Bonhoeffer extremely open-minded and patient, reserved, ready to consider every fresh problem put to him, taking even the remotest ideas into account." The students learned how to take the time to think things through to the end. His conservative nature, his scholarly eduation and his thoroughness prevented any quick result.
Isaiah 55 stated that Israel would fail for lack of knowledge. Some recent polls have close to 50% of America's youth seeing nothing wrong with socialism. If this was a free response question instead of a multiple choice version, would those who answered even have enough understanding to give a response based in fact? America has likewise succumbed to to materialistic passivity, failing to educate her youth and moving from critical thinking to ambivalent ignorance.

January 21, 2011

Animal Deaths Prophetic?

Yet another intriguing occurance in regard to the deaths of animals around this country. Now add the cow to the growing list of mass animal deaths which alreadly included the fish, bird, and crab.

From local CBS media cover the story:

WFRV)--A Portage County farm has been hit hard by a cattle disease.More than
two-hundred dead cattle were found in a field at an Amherst farm this past
weekend.The cause of the mysterious deaths appears to be from a form of
pneumonia.The dead cows had to be removed with semi-trucks. The rest of the
farm has not been quarantined, and officials say no threat is
posed toward anyone else.

One person's take:

On New Year`s Eve thousands of black birds fell from the sky in Beebe --
Arkansa, not a particularly cheery omen for the new year. The next day thousands
of fish were found dead in the Arkansas River, and almost every day since there
have been mass deaths of animals all over the world. Now it`s hundreds of cows
have been discovered dead on a farm field in Wisconsin:

The death of cows, birds and fish in particular seems to follow the
prophecy set out by the Bible in the Book of Hosea, and are said to result when
man turns his back on God. "By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing,
and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood," the prophecy
goes. "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall
languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the
fishes of the sea also shall be taken away."Read more:

Observation from the Times:

The death of cows, birds and fish in particular seems to follow the prophecy
set out by the Bible in the Book of Hosea, and are said to result when man turns
his back on God. "By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and
committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood," the prophecy
goes. "Therefore shall the land mourn, and every one that dwelleth therein shall
languish, with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven; yea, the
fishes of the sea also shall be taken away."Read more:

Regardless of the outcome of those necropsies, plenty of people find the
herd's mysterious death somewhat apocalyptic, especially in the wake of events
that claimed the lives of thousands of birds and fish in Arkansas, and hundreds of birds in Sweden, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Some Christians, including
online theologian Paul Begley in Indiana, believe the animal deaths were divined
from above as a sign the end of days is approaching.Read more:

Could this be a sign of the times? Luke 21 states that, "There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven." Whether or not a few cows, birds and fish drop dead could be considered questionable. But, when they all happen at once? It's certainly an indication if anything else that all is not well with the world as we know it.

January 20, 2011

Preserving the Truth

Our nation was founded as One Nation Under God with Liberty and Justice for all. Yet, if our modern day media and secular educational systems are to be believe, America was founded by a bunch of right wing religious zealots who didn't believe in faith and were a bunch of agnostic deists. Not so. Just look around you, for the longest time we had more displays of the ten commandments in government buildings than in our churches. Our founders recognized that our rights do come from above and that man made law is only a reflection and founded in natures law and natures God. They established two documents that reflect these notions in the Constitution and Declaration, establishing her course in world history knee deep in God and Faith.

The highlights below each video:

-One of the first acts of the 1st Continental Congress was to publish a Bible at the taxpayers expense for the use in the nation's schools.
-9 of 13 of the original colonies had state religions
-Patriots of all kinds fought in the revolution, Jewish, Christian, secular etc. Why? Because the founders did not establish a country of coercive Christianity--like that of England. Their modus operendi, present the truth and let the truth win.

-Original Supreme Court Justice James Wilson who started America's first law school and wrote the first law book said that, "You cannot have good civil law without divine law."
-Deuteronomy (Mosaic Law) was the most quoted book in out of all the writings of the founders. 15000 writings and 34% of them quoted the Bible, the most quoted book of which is Deuteronomy.

17 of signers of Declaration of Independence lost everything they owned.
7 of the signers never survived to see what they signed.
5 became Prisoners of War.
4 lost their lives.

Washington's wife in a letter to congress after George's death said, "You might as well question his patriotism if you are going to question his Christianity."

Jefferson signed his documents, "In the year of our Lord Christ." He also started church services in the Capitol and had the Marine Corp band perform the music during the services. Jefferson brought in pastors from all denominations to preach. He started a church in the Navy yard, on the Marine base, and other places.

Ben Franklin called for praying at the Constitutional Convention, saying "we've had 5 days of fighting, we need to do some praying." As governor of Penn. he came up with an idea to raise church attendance.

The gov. printing office printed and gave to every member of congress each year Jefferson's book, "The life and morals of Jesus Christ."

Jefferson didn't even put 'President' on his tombstone.

WWII poster stated, "This is our enemy" On the poster, a picture of a sword stabbing the Bible.

If we want this nation restored--as opposed to rebuilt in the way of the Progressives, we had better stand up and fight for our freedoms before they are taken away. The principles of a free society must be preserved. Limited government, personal responsibility, individual liberty, the rule of law, free market economic principles, and moral norms must all be defended and fought for. The founders got it, and answered duties call. Duty calls again, how will you answer it?

January 19, 2011

Young and Purposed

Gordon Brown of the UK recently spoke of a 'global youth epidemic' that could be on the horizon. He quoted the number 81, as in 81 million youths from 18-25 currently without work. While youth without work is certainly a problem, what's worse is youth without any confidence or lack of purpose.

Here's some example's of youth with purpose:

16 Years old: Daniel from the OT of the Bible is handpicked for government service and deported to Babylon. He proceeds to declare God's present and eternal purpose while facing trials, visions, and adventures of all types.

19 Years old: Alexander the Great inherited his kingdom from his deceased dad and proceeded to take over the world.

20 Years old: Inventors of Facebook (Zuckerburg) and Apple (Jobs) open up the computer to the world

10 Years old, 11 years old, etc: How many great musicians were writing music before they could walk?

A culture of low expectations has resulted in a generation of young adults (dubbed children) full of poor self esteem, poor work ethic, and lack of belief to accomplish something noteworthy in life. The youth are looked at with self-pity, with acknowledgment that their time will some day yet come, but not now. Its a period of life, we say, that one must venture through to get to the other side. Ignorance, wonder, and self discovery takes time, or so we think, and should accordingly be figured into the timetable for when they will eventually break out their intellect and make a meaningful contribution to society.

A textbook from 1800 doesn't show a 12 year old learning the abc's, but rather learning trigonometry, compound sentence structures, and in depth world history. A textbook from today's 12th grade classroom shows none of the rigors of times past, which would help explain in large part why 37% of Americans can't even find on their own country on a map.

The challenge needs to be on the youth to become the leaders of today, not the leaders of tomorrow. College needs to be a time of self-discovery, but also a time of accomplishment as opposed to the four years of washed out party time leading to a degree in hospitality as happens today. Likewise, in the church the youth are the church of today--not the church of tomorrow and need to be involved in challenging roles to push them further and faster than they would normally push themselves.

Sure it may not be completely their fault that the youth don't have a job, but they can at least attempt to make something of their life instead of rioting or going to the government for a handout. Life is a gift and needs to be valued.

January 18, 2011

Martin Luther King Junior's Last Speech

Turnings Points

Growing up in life takes time, or so it is often told. The common perception of growing up is that is takes time, a steady process that comes with age. Life happens though--and often happens fast. A more representable description of growing up is that you move along and then grow up, at turning points. In terms of world history, look at the wars, the natural disasters, and the inventions. It's short bursts of energy followed by long periods of quiet and relativly uneventfull happenings.

1933 was one of those years, otherwise known as the year the Nazi party ascended to power. In reading a biography on the life of German pastor, martyr, and spy Dietrich Bonhoeffer; Dietrich felt that turning point and wondered if the church would survive on the other side. The threat to the church's existence during this time was palpable and with a Reich pushing their Aryan superiority and Hilter as god philosophy into academia and the church. Dietrich got it--he sensed it right away in 1933 long before the tumult that would follow in the years ahead.

One particular story described his perceptiveness. In 1933, on a special holiday honoring Martin Luther Bonhoeffer was selected to give the honorary message at the Cathedral in Berlin. Instead of giving a typical message of self-congratulating, pat on the back style embellishment of all the past accomplishments of the church, he gave a fiery on the congregation, calling out the sin and stagnation of a wafting church preaching from Revelation 1:19 on the church that lost its first love. His prophetic message rained on the church's party, turning a celebration into a somber funeral. This message started years of action that would ultimately lead to his martyrdom at the hands of the Germans.

2011. The world as we know it is about to encounter another turning point. You can feel it. China is ready with its 200 million man army and hoards of cash. The middle east is burning hot with anti-Semites and disdain for the Jews. America and her church lies waste, removed of a traditional God-fearing culture and family structure all while serving materialistic desires. Who will call out her sin and quote from Revelation 3:14 on the lukewarm church? The next turning point could happen fast, it only took a rise to power of one individual in Germany to destroy the country and change the world in a few short years. Yet, for the observant, the change was expected and seen long in advance.

January 16, 2011

Fatima Prophecy

The Fatima Prophecies could best be described as the proverbial enigma; wrapped in riddle, surrounded by mystery. Much has been speculated as to the whether the original prophecy has been doctored or changed to suit a more positive image of the Catholic Church and countless differences in interpretation have followed these prophecies.

If you want an in depth history of the prophecies, check out Wikipedia. The cliff notes version is basically this:

In 1917 in Fatima, Portugal (hence the name), three children; Lucia Santos, Jacinta Marto, and her cousin Francisco Marto claim to have seen an apparition while attending sheep and this apparition was indeed The Virgin Mary shining bright like a crystal ball in the noonday sun. The apparition then spoke to the children, giving them three separate messages to tell the Catholic Church. The apparition later came to be known as 'Our Lady of Fatima', and the words that were believed to have been spoken to the children came to be known as the three secrets of Fatima.

Thousands of individuals eventually flocked to Fatima upon hearing that this event took place. Later in the year a 'miracle of the sun' supposedly took place, giving evidence that this event actually took place. Eyewitness reported that the sun 'danced' in the sky and said this was the sign from the Lady Fatima to believe the words of the prophecies given to the three children. No scientifically verifiable physical evidence was obtained to juxtapose the eyewitnesses testimony. However the events transpired the Catholic church officially declared that the apparitions were 'worthy of belief.'

On 12 and 13 May 2010, Pope Benedict XVI had visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima and strongly stated his acceptance about the supernatural origin of the Fatima is undoubtedly the most prophetic of modern apparitions. The first and second parts of the “secret”—which are here published in sequence so as to complete the documentation—refer especially to the frightening vision of hell, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Second World War, and finally the prediction of the immense damage that Russia would do to humanity by abandoning the Christian faith and embracing Communist totalitarianism.

The three secrets are as follows. They were delivered to the Vatican by sealed envelope shortly after the encounters in 1917. Much is made of the third secret due to the fact that it was not released for the public to see until the year 2000 by the Vatican.

First part: The vision of hell.

Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.

Second part: This is about saving the souls from hell and the conversion of Russia:

We then looked up at Our Lady, who said to us so kindly and so sadly:

“You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world”.(7)

Third Part: The murder of the Pope

After the two parts which I have already explained, at the left of Our Lady and a little above, we saw an Angel with a flaming sword in his left hand; flashing, it gave out flames that looked as though they would set the world on fire; but they died out in contact with the splendour that Our Lady radiated towards him from her right hand: pointing to the earth with his right hand, the Angel cried out in a loud voice: ‘Penance, Penance, Penance!'. And we saw in an immense light that is God: ‘something similar to how people appear in a mirror when they pass in front of it' a Bishop dressed in White ‘we had the impression that it was the Holy Father'. Other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious going up a steep mountain, at the top of which there was a big Cross of rough-hewn trunks as of a cork-tree with the bark; before reaching there the Holy Father passed through a big city half in ruins and half trembling with halting step, afflicted with pain and sorrow, he prayed for the souls of the corpses he met on his way; having reached the top of the mountain, on his knees at the foot of the big Cross he was killed by a group of soldiers who fired bullets and arrows at him, and in the same way there died one after another the other Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people of different ranks and positions. Beneath the two arms of the Cross there were two Angels each with a crystal aspersorium in his hand, in which they gathered up the blood of the Martyrs and with it sprinkled the souls that were making their way to God.

The main reason for the delay of the third secret had to do with the fact that the original three Fatima's did come with a time table. Apparently, Sister Lucia wrote the outside of the envelope that it could be opened only after 1960, either by the Patriarch of Lisbon or the Bishop of Leiriaworthy to make it known in 2000. The popes interpreted this part differently, hence the delay.

Third Prophecy Interpretation:

The Church did not release this Fatima secret until after the attempted assassination of John Paul II, which occurred on May 13, 1981. This of course puts speculation on the validity once more of these apparitions. John Paul II gave importance to the Fatima and it was apparently a medal from the shrine (erected in Fatima, Portugal where the event occurred) that stopped the bullet from the assassination attempt on John Paul II. Reportedly, without that medal the bullet would have done far more damage to his heart. He later placed the bullet that hit him as part of the Fatima Shrine.

A short link here on the many interpretations concerning this third prophecy was published in a ChristianityToday News Article shortly after the release in 2000.

Speculation and Intrigue

Yet Another part to this third Fatima is intriguing, largely due to the fact that many doubt the Catholic Church actually has revealed the entire Fatima and not just the parts that build up a positive image of the institution. Some speculation exists that the third Fatima says more about unsettled and troubled future times. Some Catholics have assumed that the prophecy referrs to a future pope who turned evil, attacked the Jews and brought down the RC church

In line with this view comes an odd opinion that has made the rounds, coming a little bit from left field:

For years the text of the original message was distorted or outright changed all together . Catholics like to quote the line about the Black so called pope who does heinous harm to the Jews. In fact it says “Black King secret son of Mohamed.” I believe it is talking about Barack Hussein Obama.

The Fatima Prophecy is indeed surrounded by intrigue and mystery. Many people still make a pilgrimage to Fatima each year to pay their respects. Could it have been a real apparition of Mary? Perhaps. However, if appears that these prophecies are so nebulous as to leave plenty of doubt as to their validity. To see the Catholic Church's commentary on the topic, visit the Message of Fatima.