April 30, 2012

Forward: Obama Slogan & Socialism

Name a political slogan that has been used by Friedrich Engels, Leon Trotsky, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and German Nazi leaders?

Forward:  The new slogan for the Obama movement to further 'fundamentally transform America.'

New Obama slogan has long ties to Marxism, socialism

The Obama campaign apparently didn't look backwards into history when selecting its new campaign slogan, "Forward" — a word with a long and rich association with European Marxism.

Many Communist and radical publications and entities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries had the name "Forward!" or its foreign cognates. Wikipedia has an entire section called "Forward (generic name of socialist publications)."

"The name Forward carries a special meaning in socialist political terminology. It has been frequently used as a name for socialist, communist and other left-wing newspapers and publications," the online encyclopedia explains.

The slogan "Forward!" reflected the conviction of European Marxists and radicals that their movements reflected the march of history, which would move forward past capitalism and into socialism and communism.

The Obama campaign released its new campaign slogan Monday in a 7-minute video. The title card has simply the word "Forward" with the "O" having the familiar Obama logo from 2008. It will be played at rallies this weekend that mark the Obama re-election campaign's official beginning.

There have been at least two radical-left publications named "Vorwaerts" (the German word for "Forward"). One was the daily newspaper of the Social Democratic Party of Germany whose writers included Friedrich Engels and Leon Trotsky. It still publishes as the organ of Germany's SDP, though that party has changed considerably since World War II. Another was the 1844 biweekly reader of the Communist League. Karl Marx, Engels and Mikhail Bakunin are among the names associated with that publication.

East Germany named its Army soccer club ASK Vorwaerts Berlin (later FC Vorwaerts Frankfort). Vladimir Lenin founded the publication "Vpered" (the Russian word for "forward") in 1905. Soviet propaganda film-maker Dziga Vertov made a documentary whose title is sometimes translated as "Forward, Soviet" (though also and more literally as "Stride, Soviet").

Conservative critics of the Obama administration have noted numerous ties to radicalism and socialists throughout Mr. Obama's history, from his first political campaign being launched from the living room of two former Weather Underground members, to appointing as green jobs czar Van Jones, a self-described communist.

socialism, stalin, Obama

April 29, 2012

Mormonism V. Christianity

Worldviews.  The battle of Ideas.  Truth.

The battle for the hearts and souls of mankind have been and will continue to be won with words, despite those efforts of the select few who seek to squash free religious expression through intimidation, fear, and violence.  People, individuals, want to discern the facts on their own and decide what view point on reality best fits their observations of the facts that we are presented.  The Big 4 questions surrounding worldviews:

Meaning:  What is the purpose of life?
Origins:    How did we get here?
Morality:  What is Good, What is Evil?
Destiny:   Where do we go when we die?

One belief system has come about out of the roots of Christianity, a product of a series of visions made to its founder Joseph Smith in 1805.  In 200 years they've grown from just 1 to about 10 million.  Below is a good synopsis of what they believe and the major difference between Mormonism and Christianity.

Summary:  They are NOT the same thing. Understand the differences and determine for yourself what represents the TRUTH. 



Originating in America, and now headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) is one of the fastest growing pseudo-Christian religions in the world, with a presence in 140 nations and 21 territories and possessions.
As of December 31, 1996, the church claimed a worldwide membership of 9,694,549, surely reaching 10 million by the end of 1997. The church also claimed:
52,938 full-time missionaries throughout the world
90 partial or complete translations of the Book of Mormon
49 temples in use, with 15 more planned or under construction around the world
Needless to say, Mormonism has grown from a small aberrant sect into the significance of a world religion.


Joseph Smith, Jr., the founder and first prophet of the Mormon church, was born on December 23, 1805, in Sharon, Vermont. The Smith family migrated to western New York, near Palmyra, in 1816. It was there that Joseph spent his teenage years.

As Joseph recounted, when he was fourteen years old (1820), he became concerned as to which church to join. The different churches in his area were at odds with one another, each claiming to be the true church. After reading James 1:5 — "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (KJV) — he went into the woods to prayerfully ask God which church he should join.

According to Joseph, while praying in the woods near his home, he received his "first vision" of God. As he was battling the powers of darkness, he was delivered when a pillar of light descended upon him. Two personages appeared in the pillar of light. Although they never explicitly identified themselves, Joseph described the personages as God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. He asked the Son which church he should join. Claimed Joseph, "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong . . . that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt. . . ." (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith — History 1:19).

In September of 1823 Joseph allegedly received several visitations from the angel Moroni (reportedly, a resurrected prophet/warrior). According to Moroni, God had chosen Joseph to be the prophet of the restoration. He was to restore the power and authority of the priesthood, and translate a book containing an account of the origin and history of the former inhabitants of Central America. This book contained an alleged account of the resurrected Jesus visiting these people. But it was not until 1827 that Joseph was lead by the angel Moroni to unearth the golden plates, upon which was inscribed the text of the Book of Mormon in "Reformed Egyptian."

In May of 1829, while in the process of translating the golden plates, Joseph Smith and his scribe, Oliver Cowdery, decided to pray and ask God about baptism and the authority to baptize (they had read of it in the Book of Mormon). As they prayed, a light engulfed them and John the Baptist allegedly appeared. He bestowed the Aaronic Priesthood upon both Joseph and Oliver — authorizing them to preach the gospel and to baptize and administer the sacraments. But this priesthood was only one of two priesthoods reportedly granted to Joseph. Being the lesser, it did not authorize the laying on of hands, nor did it authorize the reestablishment of the true church.

Sometime in 1829 or 1830, Joseph and Oliver prayed and were answered in another vision. This time, the apostles Peter, James and John are said to have appeared to bestow the Melchizedek Priesthood (the more authoritative priesthood) upon both Joseph and Oliver.

On April 6, 1830, the "Church of Christ" was established in Fayette, New York, and the new church quickly grew. (The current name of the church — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — was adopted in 1834.) In 1831, the church began constructing its first temple in Kirkland, Ohio. But after a few years, opposition to the church grew strong, and in 1838 the church migrated to Independence, Missouri.

In 1839 the church established the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, which soon grew to be one of the largest cities in the state, second only to Chicago. It was here that Joseph's practice of polygamy became known to the public. Because of this practice, in addition to several doctrinal changes, opposition to Joseph and his church increased among members and non-members alike.

After being excommunicated from the church for opposing Joseph's polygamy and unbiblical teachings (e.g. a plurality of gods), William Law, a citizen of Nauvoo, along with several associates, founded The Nauvoo Expositor (a newspaper exposing these doctrines and practices of the "fallen prophet"). Upon the newspaper's first issue, Joseph, as mayor of the city, declared the press a public nuisance. The city marshal, along with hundreds of Mormon men, destroyed the press and office of the Expositor. This event eventually led to Joseph's incarceration in Carthage, Illinois.

On June 27, 1844, an armed mob attacked the Carthage jail. Although Joseph shot three of the intruders (killing two) with a handgun that had been smuggled into the jail, both he and his brother, Hiram, were overwhelmed and killed.

Following Joseph's death, great confusion arose as to who would be his successor. Two factions gained significant control. One group, lead by Joseph's widow, Emma, and her son, Joseph Smith, III, parted and settled in Missouri. They are known today as The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The second and larger group was led by Brigham Young to the Utah Territory. It is known today as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


Four books comprise the scriptures of the Mormon church; these are known as "The Standard Works": the Bible (King James Version), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

The Bible

The eighth Article of Faith of the Mormon church reads, "We believe the Bible to be the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly" (emphasis added). Although Mormons believe the Bible is the word of God, they believe that the text has been corrupted by the errors of copyists and translators. They also believe that key doctrines, even entire books, have been omitted over the course of its transmission. As stated in the Book of Mormon, "Wherefore, thou seest that after the book [the Bible] hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God" (1 Nephi 13:28). Thus they deny that the Bible is wholly trustworthy and reliable.

The Book of Mormon

First published in 1830, the Book of Mormon was given a new subtitle in 1972: "Another Testament of Jesus Christ." Supposedly translated from "reformed Egyptian" (an unverified language) inscribed on golden plates, this book alleges that the resurrected Jesus Christ visited the Americas. It also contains selections of the history of the inhabitants of the ancient Americas. Two groups are primary to the narrative: the Nephites, who were mainly faithful to God; and the Lamanites, who were enemies both of God and the Nephites. As these two groups battled, the Lamanites gained victory over the Nephites. One of the last living Nephites, Moroni (the angel who allegedly appeared to Joseph), buried golden plates in the hill Cumorah — located in upstate New York. These plates contained the Book of Mormon.
While Mormons hold strong allegiance to the Book of Mormon, it is interesting to note that it contains very little distinctly Mormon doctrine. It does not teach a plurality of gods, that humans may progress to godhood, temple marriage, or baptism for the dead.

The Doctrine and Covenants

First published in its present form in 1870, the Doctrine and Covenants is a compilation of modern revelations, primarily received by Joseph Smith. It consists of 138 "sections" (individual revelations), and two "Official Declarations" (one delivered in 1890 by the fourth President of the church, Wilford Woodruff, disallowing polygamous marriages, and one delivered in 1978 by the twelfth President, Spencer W. Kimball, allowing black males to hold the priesthoods of the church).
Unlike the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants presents several distinctively Mormon doctrines. For example, it teaches there are three levels of heaven (Section 76); the Word of Wisdom (Section 89); the practice of baptism for the dead (Sections 124, 127, 128); that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone just like humans (Section 130); the necessity of temple marriage (Celestial Marriage) for all eternity (Section 131); polygamy and godhood (Section 132); and missionary work in the spirit world (Section 138).

The Pearl of Great Price

The Pearl of Great Price is a compilation of several different writings: selections from the Book of Moses (a reworking of Genesis); the Book of Abraham (allegedly translated by Joseph Smith from ancient papyri; also a reworking of Genesis, teaching a plurality of gods); a brief extract from Joseph Smith's "translation" of the Bible; Joseph Smith — History (which contains accounts of Joseph's alleged visions and early persecutions); and The Articles of Faith (a vague summary of Mormon beliefs).
The beliefs of the Mormon church are based primarily on the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and the numerous teachings of church leaders. They are based little on the Book of Mormon, and only verbally on the Bible. Several contemporary leaders of the church speak and write about their doctrines — expounding upon them and developing them.


The Great Apostasy

The Mormon church teaches that the original apostles were given the charge of teaching the gospel and establishing Christ's church. But they were often opposed and persecuted, and many were killed. Other believers also were persecuted and killed, leaving only the less faithful who were carried away by false teachings and unrighteous-ness. Because of this, God took the priesthood authority from the earth, and neither the fullness of the gospel nor the authority of the true church remained. Since no church was directed by divine revelation, many have mistaken man-made doctrines for divine revelations. Mormons call this sad state of the church the great apostasy, and they believe this apostasy persisted until the time of the restoration.

The Restoration

Mormons believe that through Joseph Smith, the true church has been restored to the earth. The priesthood authority, the fullness of the gospel, and the guidance of continuing revelation are again available in their fullness through the Mormon church.


The first Article of Faith of the Mormon church reads: "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." While this may sound Christian at first glance, upon further examination it is found to be radically different. The Mormon church explicitly rejects the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Said Joseph Smith, "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370; emphasis added).


Mormons believe that our Father in heaven has not always been God, but was once a mortal man who progressed to godhood. Joseph Smith declared: "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . ." (Ibid., pp. 345, 346; italics in original).
Mormons also believe that God is literally the Father of our spirits, that he is married, and that with his wives he procreates spirit children: "Our Heavenly Father and mother [sic] live in an exalted state because they achieved a celestial marriage. As we achieve a like marriage we shall become as they are and begin the creation of worlds for our own spirit children" (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 1). They also believe that all faithful members may become gods (or goddesses), just as our heavenly Father and Mother have.


Mormons believe that Jesus is literally our older brother, the firstborn of our Heavenly Parents, and that he progressed to godhood while in the preexistence — before he came to earth.
The church teaches that while still in the preexistence, both Jesus and Lucifer (the second-born of our heavenly parents) offered plans of salvation. Jesus' plan was accepted and Lucifer's was rejected. Lucifer rebelled, along with one-third of the spirits in heaven (who literally are our spirit-brothers and sisters), thus becoming Satan and the demons.
The Mormon church teaches that our Father in heaven, who has a body of flesh and bone like man (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 130), with Mary, procreated the human Jesus in a natural, human way. As Joseph Fielding Smith, a former prophet of the Mormon church, alludes, "Christ was begotten of God. He was not born without the aid of Man, and that Man was God!" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 18).


Mormon doctrine distinguishes between the Holy Ghost and the Holy Spirit, even though there is no biblical distinction. (This teaching actually derives from the King James Version of the Bible. The translators translated the same Greek words [hagios pneuma] sometimes "Holy Spirit" and sometimes "Holy Ghost.") The Holy Ghost is a personal being, a god, although without a body of flesh and bone. The Holy Spirit is a force of God, the "power" or "presence" of God.


According to Mormon doctrine, all humans preexisted as spirit children of God before coming to earth. Even before we became spirits, we existed eternally as individual intelligences. Now that we have come to earth and have mortal bodies, we have the opportunity to become worthy to return to our Father in heaven and become gods. This is the core teaching of Mormonism and is called "the Law of Eternal Progression." (See, McConkie, pp. 589–590.)


The fall of Adam and Eve was a necessary and important event. According to Mormon teaching; it allowed for us to enter a mortal state where we can become worthy to return to our Father in heaven.
The Mormon church teaches that Adam and Eve were given two conflicting commands: 1) not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and 2) to multiply and fill the earth. Allegedly, Adam and Eve could not have children while in a state of innocence — an immortal, un-fallen state. Therefore, they could not procreate bodies for all the spirit children still in heaven. Adam and Eve had to make a choice between mortality and immortality, and Mormons believe the right choice was made when they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. M. Russell Ballard, an apostle of the Mormon church, has written, "Indeed, we honor and respect Adam and Eve for their wisdom and foresight. Their lives in the Garden of Eden were blissful and pleasant; choosing to leave that behind so they and the entire human family could experience both the triumphs and travails of mortality must not have been easy. But we believe that they did choose mortality, and in so doing made it possible for all of us to participate in Heavenly Father's great eternal plan" (Ballard, 87).

The Plan of Salvation

The Mormon church's teaching on the plan of salvation is well-developed, and shows that their belief system is very different from biblical Christianity.


The Mormon church teaches that Jesus Christ made atonement for both Adam's sin and our sins. By actually making atonement for Adam's transgression, Jesus made resurrection sure for all men. By hypothetically making atonement for our sins, Jesus made it possible, if we repent, believe the Mormon gospel, and keep the commandments, to attain exaltation in the life hereafter (see Ballard, 12).
Peculiar to Mormon doctrine is the belief that the atonement of Jesus Christ took place in the Garden of Gethsemane, when "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood" (Luke 22:44). It was here that he achieved spiritual redemption. Physical redemption was accomplished by Christ's death on the cross and his resurrection (see Ballard, 12).


Mormons believe in two kinds of salvation: general salvation and individual salvation. General salvation is also called immortality. It is given to all mankind because of the atonement of Jesus Christ for Adam's transgression. This salvation is by grace alone — it is not conditioned upon any individual's faith or works. This salvation allows all mankind to be physically resurrected.


This salvation is also known as exaltation or eternal life, and can be achieved only by individual faith, repentance, and obedience to God's laws and ordinances. One is exalted based on one's worthiness. These laws include temple marriage, obeying the Word of Wisdom, proper tithing, faithful church attendance, and obeying the Mormon prophets (see Gospel Principles, 289–292; see also Ballard, 88).
If one gains exaltation, then one will attain ultimate salvation according to Mormonism: one will live forever in the presence of our Father in heaven, and one will become a god. Joseph Smith taught, "Here, then, is eternal life — to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves. . . . When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel — you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 346, 348; italics in original).

Life After Death

According to Mormon doctrine, at death people either go to spirit prison or to paradise. Mormon spirits go to paradise where they will continue to progress toward godhood, and they also will have opportunities to present the Mormon gospel to the spirits in spirit prison. If the spirits in prison receive the Mormon gospel, they will also receive the benefit of proxy baptism — living Mormons will be baptized on their behalf (this is known as baptism for the dead).
With few exceptions, everyone will attain to one of three levels of heaven or heavenly kingdoms: the Celestial Kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom, and the Telestial Kingdom.


Those who are faithful in the things of God — baptism, membership in the Mormon Church, keeping the Word of Wisdom, etc. — will live with Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost forever in the Celestial Kingdom, and will have their faithful family members with them (hence the Mormon commercials regarding "Families are Forever"). Those who attain the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom — by means of complete faithfulness, which includes temple marriage — will become gods: creators of their own planets, and procreators of their own spirit children. (Doctrine and Covenants 76:51–53, 62; 131:1–4)


This is the lowest of the heavenly kingdoms. The occupants did not receive the Mormon gospel either on earth or in spirit prison, and they suffer for their sins in hell, though only temporarily. They will be forever single, without their family members. Neither the Father nor Jesus Christ will visit them, but they will be visited by the Holy Ghost (Doctrine and Covenants 76:81–86, 103–106).


Mormons believe hell is a place where the future inhabitants of the Telestial Kingdom (the lowest heaven) will suffer for their own sins; though their punishment is not eternal in duration. As Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133–134).


Those who received the Mormon gospel and the Holy Ghost but reject both will be cast into outer darkness. Like the biblical doctrine of an eternal hell, assignment here is for all eternity (Doctrine and Covenants 76:28–35, 44–48).

Temple Work

The rites and rituals performed in Mormon temples are essential for individual salvation.


This is the initial ceremony of the temple. Through this ceremony individuals are believed to be endowed with divine power and special protection. One can participate in this ceremony either when embarking on a Mormon mission, or when seeking to obtain a celestial marriage.


This is marriage for time and all eternity. Mormons believe this practice will allow them to live with their family members in the life hereafter. Celestial marriage is essential to attaining godhood. Worthy Mormons who attain exaltation (godhood) will, in this married state, be able to procreate spirit children to populate their own planetary system, just as their heavenly parents have.


This is a practice whereby living Mormons are baptized proxy for the spirits of the dead, who are in " spirit prison" (see above, under "LIFE AFTER DEATH"). Mormon youth often participate in this ceremony.
The practice of baptism for the dead is the driving force behind Mormon genealogical research, for which they are widely known. The purpose is to gather the names of people who did not have an opportunity to become Mormons in their earthly lives, and to be baptized on their behalf.

The Word of Wisdom

The Word of Wisdom is a set of dietary rules that faithful Mormons are expected to obey. These rules are commonly summarized as abstaining from caffeinated drinks, tobacco products, alcoholic drinks, and illegal drugs. Mormons, in order to achieve the celestial kingdom, are expected to abide by the Word of Wisdom. (The original revelation also allowed the consumption of meat only in the winter, and then only sparingly. Most Mormons take no heed of this and other elements of the Word of Wisdom.) (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 89).


Many Gods
Joseph Smith taught, "I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added).
One Trinitarian God
The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3–4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead — not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4–6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4).
God, Once a Man, Progressed to Godhood
Joseph Smith taught, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . ." (Ibid., 345, 346; italics in original).
God Has Always Been God
God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6–8; 45:5, 21–22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in his incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.)
Humans Can Become Gods
Joseph Smith taught, "Here, then, is eternal life — to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you" (Ibid., 346).
Humans Cannot Become Gods
Men cannot become gods (Isaiah 43:10). Man is a created being, unlike God — who has always been (Genesis 21:33). God will not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).
Humans Were Procreated in the Preexistence
M. Russell Ballard wrote, "Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father [and Mother]. Through a natural process of inheritance we received in embryo the traits and attributes of our Heavenly Father" (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 70). Mormons also infer this from the preexistence of Jesus Christ.
Humans Were Created
Humans are created, not procreated, by God (Genesis 1:26; 2:7). Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers (Psalm 139:13). Humans cannot compare themselves to Jesus and his preexistence, for they are not deity by nature, as is Jesus. He preexisted because he is God (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1; 17:5; Philippians 2:6–7). Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the earth (John 3:13, 31; 8:23–24).
A Complete Apostasy of the Church
M. Russell Ballard wrote, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that God's full authority was lost from the earth for centuries following the mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. . . . In short, the church Christ organized gradually disintegrated, and the fullness of the gospel was lost" (Ibid., 26, 31).
The Church Remains Forever
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declared, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Given that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, we can trust that this promise would not fail (Matthew 28:18). While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy (e.g., Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1). Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the Church throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21), and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28; cf. Daniel 2:44).
The Bible is Corrupted and Incomplete
Gordon B. Hinckley wrote, "Latter-day Saints recognize that errors have crept into this sacred work because of the manner in which the book has come to us. Moreover, they regard it as not being complete as a guide" (Hinckley, What of the Mormons?, 26).
The Bible is Reliable and Sufficient
God has promised that his word, the Bible, would stand forever (Isaiah 40:3). We know that his word is true (John 17:17), contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips God's people for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15–17). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2).
Works Necessary to Live with God Forever (Salvation)
M Russell Ballard wrote, "Jesus Christ accomplished two incomparable feats through His atoning sacrifice. First, He conquered death, and as a result all people will have the privilege of everlasting life with a resurrected body. Second, He suffered the burden and pains of our sins so that we might have the privilege of eternal life in the presence of God if we have faith in Christ as our Savior and choose to repent of our sins and keep His commandments" (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 88).
Salvation is Based on the Righteousness of Christ
The Bible never interprets mere resurrection as salvation (John 5:29). Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him (John 3:36). While Christians are called to keep God's commandments (e.g. John 14:15), salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5–8). It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect (Hebrews 10:13–18). The atonement took place, not in the Garden of Gethsemane but through his blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 2:24).
There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Mormons argue for this belief from 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 and 2 Corinthians 12:2 (where the apostle Paul says he was caught up to the "third heaven"). See "Three Levels of Heaven" under "The Beliefs of Mormonism" above.
The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40–41 is the contrast between resurrection (celestial or heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial or earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23;8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).
Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them" (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133–134).
One's abode in hell is as eternal as one's abode in heaven (Matthew 25:46). There is no second chance after death (Hebrews 9:27). At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29) — they are assigned either to heaven or hell.

Eric Sprott: Crisis Ahead, Get Ready

Wail, for the day of the Lord is near; as destruction from the Almighty it will come!"
Isaiah 13:6

And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.
Matthew 24:22 

From KingWorldNews:

Today billionaire Eric Sprott told King World News that Europeans have now lost confidence in both the banking system and the sovereigns.  Sprott, who is Chairman of Sprott Asset Management, also warned the global economy is now rolling over and investors need to be prepared.  Here is what Sprott had to say about the situation:  “The Ponzi scheme in the financial world continues.  Month after month there is a new technique for trying to prevent the dominos from falling.  We see that people are doing the logical thing, they are taking money out of the banking system.”
Eric Sprott continues:

“Of course the biggest example, recently, is Spain, where they took $65 billion out of the banks in the last reported month.  That’s why we had to have the LTRO, which provided over one trillion to European banks because people are taking their money out.  We already know the banks can’t fund the deposit withdrawals and therefore have to borrow from the ECB.

They’ve (Europe’s citizens) lost confidence in one, the banking system, and two, the sovereigns....

“Nothing is improving.  The confidence numbers and the PMI’s in Europe are weak.  The PMI in China has shown contraction for six months in a row here.  So, anybody who thinks the world’s economic picture is improving is being sorely disappointed.

I don’t think it can be resolved unless you just keep printing money.  It looks like that’s the way they’ve decided to do it.  But obviously somebody’s taking on an obligation here which they are not going to be able to fund.  There’s no doubt in my mind that most countries can’t possibly pay back their debt.

In the US, for example, we had social security come out and say we’ve increased our underfunding, just this last year, by $2.6 trillion.  We’re going downhill by $4 trillion a year in a $15 trillion economy.  So there’s no way that any rational person could imagine the governments can possibly repay their debts.

There’s going to be two choices.  One is it just stops.  As you know, there’s been many times before, it’s been well publicized, that the banking system was within hours of shutting down.  That could easily happen again, where the powers that be just can’t continue to supply the liquidity where it’s needed.

Having seen what all of these governments and central banks are prepared to do, that is if you can’t sell the bonds we’ll just print up the money and buy them, would suggest things hold together, but that currencies get debased.

The primary winner here is going to be gold and silver.  People should worry significantly about having money in a bank.  They should have a good part of their portfolio in physical gold or the mining shares.  It’s so obvious they should be a winner. 

I find it interesting we had this lousy GDP number (in the US), gold looks like it’s going to run and now it’s being held there.  Everything is always counterintuitive in this business because the powers that be don’t want gold to go up.

But the fact is that a thinking person is going to continue to buy it, and non-G6 nations are going to continue to buy it in the central banks.  So I think the path is pretty clear, all of the data supports the fact that the physical market is going to overpower the sellers in the paper market.”

The written portion above is just a small part of the tremendous interview with billionaire Eric Sprott.  Sprott has been one of the most vocal critics of central planners and the maneuvers they have executed.  Sprott covers global markets, gold, silver, what investors should be doing now, what to expect next, the mining shares and much more.  The KWN Eric Sprott interview is available now and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE.

The Eric Sprott and Egon von Greyerz audio interviews are available now.  And be sure to listen to this week’s incredible line-up of other KWN interviews, which include Rich Yamarone, John Embry, Jim Sinclair and John Hathaway.  You can listen to these interviews by CLICKING HERE.

Rules of the Welfare State

April 28, 2012

Supporting the Palestine Authority and PLO: In America's National Security Interests?

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has been a thorn in the side of Israel since its founding, and is one of the better known terrorist organizations in the world that trains and indoctrinates hatred of the Jews to the Palestinian people.  This organization plays a big role within the political structure of Palestinian Authority (PA).  Recently, another terrorist organization, Hamas was elected to serve as the leadership of Palestine.  Hamas is one of the most brutal and barbaric terrorist movements in modern history, being responsible for the murder of hundreds of Israeli, Palestinian, and American civilians and the maiming of thousands more.

Recently, foreign aid was suspended to the PA after the current president, Mahmoud Abbas, sought statehood at the UN.  The suspension of aid play a huge role in this regime's legitimacy.  For starters, citing this 2006 report, look at the level of aid:

U.S. Funding for the Palestinian Authority and UNRWA
The Palestinian Authority is hugely dependent upon foreign assistance, which accounts for about 66 percent of its annual budget. European Union funding for the PA amounted to $600 million in 2005.[2] The United States gives $70 million directly to the PA each year, as well as $225 million for humanitarian projects through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).[3] Between 1993 and 2004, the Palestinian Authority received $6.93 billion in aid from the international community.[4] --
 Dependency on foreign aid has only grown since 2006. 

Recently, another executive decision recently mandated more American $$'s will be flowing to Hamas

Obama lifts freeze on $192 million aid package to Palestinian Authority

Funding serves ‘security interests of the US,’ says president. Congress blocked it after Abbas’s bid for UN recognition of ‘Palestine’

President Barack Obama has lifted a ban on financial aid to the Palestinian Authority. An official with the US Agency for International Development said Saturday that the money had been restored. 
Obama stated that the aid was “important to the security interests of the United States.” The US Congress froze a $192 million aid package to the Palestinian Authority after its president, Mahmoud Abbas, defied US pressure and sought to attain UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood last September. The presidential waiver means that aid can now be delivered.

The unilateral statehood gambit was strongly opposed by Israel, which said Abbas was seeking to avoid negotiating the necessary compromises and modalities of statehood with Israel. The US indicated it would veto a resolution in the Security Council seeking unilateral recognition of “Palestine,” but the issue has not come to a vote, because the Palestinians were unable to obtain sufficient support in the Security Council. They may yet seek a non-binding endorsement of statehood in the UN General Assembly.
Why are we supplying so much aid?

The region has been in constant war and chaos for the large part of the last 50+ years, actually has there ever been a time of peace?  Aid has been given for 'humanitarian' reasons, to keep the 4 million people of Palestine from dying of hunger.

If we spend this much though on humanitarian aid, why STILL are so many living poor and dying?  Take this statistic for starters:

- 50% of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza currently rely on donor food aid for at least some of their food. This means that 1.8 million Palestinians are now partially or fully dependent on food aid.
The answer is obvious.  The $$ never got to those who needed it.  The amount of money sent to the PA, especially under previous dictator Yasser Arafat, never reached the poor and needy.  Arafat was known to own a dozen limos and lived a luxurious life, all while those around him starved.  His response was typically of a dictator;  the more you keep people enslaved, the less power they have to overthrow you. 

Why are we funding them STILL?

 Giving to the needy is great, but given without accountability is stupid and naive.  This world needs more freedom, peace, and liberty.  Supplying leaders who do not believe in these principles and advocate for their kids to grow up to become terrorists should never come close to 'humanitarian aid.'  If we want these dollars to go to the poor instead of financing terrorism, accountability has to reign all throughout the process.  But then, perhaps that is the issue?  Can accountability be even possible when the government commits violence and acts of terrorism, like Hamas does on a routine basis? 

The solution is to require accountable non-profits to administer the funds: If you don't play by these rules, you don't get the money.  My guess, Abbas would never bow down to these wishes. 

In addition, in the name of humanitarian aid, people are given little reason to work for this money.  Welfare enslaves people and offers no incentives to work.  It's obvious when you see it.  Recently, an earthquake wiped out Haiti.  America then donated something like $400M of food and supplies.  The result: millions of farmers out of work as they can no longer produce anything and expect to get it to market.  Poverty is still rampant in this country over 1 year after the aid arrived.  Over 70% of the nation I believe is still living in tents!  Don't believe me? Do some research and prove me wrong.

The solution is empowerment of the individual

Check out for some great organizations that are leading the fight to end poverty the right way, with boots on the ground, accountability, and empowerment of the individual. 

 Further Research

Check out this link at Conservative DC policy think tank for some more research on the topic.  Also, below.

According to a report in 2007 by the Congressional Research Service the USA had paid over 1.9 Billion in aid to Yasser Arafat and the PLO.  This organization by Yassir Arafat. The PLO was created in 1964 during a meeting known as the Palestinian Congress in an effort to give a voice to the large number of Palestinians living in refugee camps in Lebanon.  
Current U.S. Restrictions on Aid to the Palestinians

Direct Assistance to the PA. Since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the U.S. government has committed an estimated $1.9 billion in bilateral economic assistance to the Palestinians. According to annual foreign operations appropriations legislation, congressionally approved funds for the West Bank and Gaza Strip cannot be given directly to the P A unless the President submits a waiver to Congress stating that doing so is in the interest of national security. The United States has provided direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority on six occasions including the following:

-In 1993-1994, the United States provided $36 million through the Holst Fund at the World Bank for direct assistance to the PA, and an additional $5 million in cash and equipment for the Palestinian police.

- On July 8, 2003, the United States announced that it would provide $20 million out of a $50 million FY2003 Supplemental allocation as direct aid to the PA for infrastructure projects.

-On December 8, 2004, President Bush again approved $20 million in direct assistance to the PA to pay off overdue Palestinian utility bills to Israeli companies.

- Following PA President Abbas’ May 2005 visit to the White House, President Bush announced that the United States would transfer an additional $50 million from unobligated FY2005 ESF funds to the Palestinian Authority. However, that transfer was later rescinded after the formation of the Hamas-led government in March 2006 and the PA returned $45 million of the $50 million.

-In 2007, the Bush Administration provided a total of $59 million to Palestinian President Abbas, of which $43 million was used for training and non-lethal assistance to the Palestinian Presidential Guard and $16 million was used for improvements at the Karni crossing, the main terminal for goods moving in and out of Gaza.

- In June 2007, President Bush issued a waiver to send $18 million in direct assistance to the P A to be used for a variety of purposes, including democracy assistance, assistance to combat money laundering, and security upgrades at the Karni crossing cargo terminal.

April 15, 2012

What is the Evidence for the Resurrection?

Surprisingly, the resurrection evidence has become one of the more concrete and believable tenants of the Christian faith. Skeptics of all sorts have come to acknowledge the tenancy of this part of the Christian faith.  William Lane Craig offers up this defense of the resurrection.  Check out his blog at

The Resurrection of Jesus

William Lane Craig
Examines the historical grounds for belief in Jesus’ resurrection, focusing on the empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection.
I spoke recently at a major Canadian university on the existence of God. After my talk, one slightly irate co-ed wrote on her comment card, “I was with you until you got to the stuff about Jesus. God is not the Christian God!”

This attitude is all too typical today. Most people are happy to agree that God exists; but in our pluralistic society it has become politically incorrect to claim that God has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus. What justification can Christians offer, in contrast to Hindus, Jews, and Muslims, for thinking that the Christian God is real?

The answer of the New Testament is: the resurrection of Jesus. “God will judge the world with justice by the man He has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17.31). The resurrection is God’s vindication of Jesus’ radical personal claims to divine authority.

So how do we know that Jesus is risen from the dead? The Easter hymnwriter says, “You ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart!” This answer is perfectly appropriate on an individual level. But when Christians engage unbelievers in the public square—such as in “Letters to the Editor” of a local newspaper, on call-in programs on talk-radio, at PTA meetings, or even just in conversation with co-workers—, then it’s crucial that we be able to present objective evidence in support of our beliefs. Otherwise our claims hold no more water than the assertions of anyone else claiming to have a private experience of God.

Fortunately, Christianity, as a religion rooted in history, makes claims that can in important measure be investigated historically. Suppose, then, that we approach the New Testament writings, not as inspired Scripture, but merely as a collection of Greek documents coming down to us out of the first century, without any assumption as to their reliability other than the way we normally regard other sources of ancient history. We may be surprised to learn that the majority of New Testament critics investigating the gospels in this way accept the central facts undergirding the resurrection of Jesus. I want to emphasize that I am not talking about evangelical or conservative scholars only, but about the broad spectrum of New Testament critics who teach at secular universities and non-evangelical seminaries. Amazing as it may seem, most of them have come to regard as historical the basic facts which support the resurrection of Jesus. These facts are as follows:

FACT #1: After his crucifixion, Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. This fact is highly significant because it means, contrary to radical critics like John Dominic Crossan of the Jesus Seminar, that the location of Jesus’ burial site was known to Jew and Christian alike. In that case, the disciples could never have proclaimed his resurrection in Jerusalem if the tomb had not been empty. New Testament researchers have established this first fact on the basis of evidence such as the following:

1. Jesus’ burial is attested in the very old tradition quoted by Paul in I Cor. 15.3-5:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received:
. . . that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
and that he was buried,
and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
Paul not only uses the typical rabbinical terms “received” and “delivered” with regard to the information he is passing on to the Corinthians, but vv. 3-5 are a highly stylized four-line formula filled with non-Pauline characteristics. This has convinced all scholars that Paul is, as he says, quoting from an old tradition which he himself received after becoming a Christian. This tradition probably goes back at least to Paul’s fact-finding visit to Jerusalem around AD 36, when he spent two weeks with Cephas and James (Gal. 1.18). It thus dates to within five years after Jesus’ death. So short a time span and such personal contact make it idle to talk of legend in this case.

2. The burial story is part of very old source material used by Mark in writing his gospel. The gospels tend to consist of brief snapshots of Jesus’ life which are loosely connected and not always chronologically arranged. But when we come to the passion story we do have one, smooth, continuously-running narrative. This suggests that the passion story was one of Mark’s sources of information in writing his gospel. Now most scholars think Mark is already the earliest gospel, and Mark’s source for Jesus’ passion is, of course, even older. Comparison of the narratives of the four gospels shows that their accounts do not diverge from one another until after the burial. This implies that the burial account was part of the passion story. Again, its great age militates against its being legendary.

3. As a member of the Jewish court that condemned Jesus, Joseph of Arimathea is unlikely to be a Christian invention. There was strong resentment against the Jewish leadership for their role in the condemnation of Jesus (I Thess. 2.15). It is therefore highly improbable that Christians would invent a member of the court that condemned Jesus who honors Jesus by giving him a proper burial instead of allowing him to be dispatched as a common criminal.

4. No other competing burial story exists. If the burial by Joseph were fictitious, then we would expect to find either some historical trace of what actually happened to Jesus’ corpse or at least some competing legends. But all our sources are unanimous on Jesus’ honorable interment by Joseph.
For these and other reasons, the majority of New Testament critics concur that Jesus was buried in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. According to the late John A. T. Robinson of Cambridge University, the burial of Jesus in the tomb is “one of the earliest and best-attested facts about Jesus.”1

FACT #2: On the Sunday following the crucifixion, Jesus’ tomb was found empty by a group of his women followers. Among the reasons which have led most scholars to this conclusion are the following:

1. The empty tomb story is also part of the old passion source used by Mark. The passion source used by Mark did not end in death and defeat, but with the empty tomb story, which is grammatically of one piece with the burial story.

2. The old tradition cited by Paul in I Cor. 15.3-5 implies the fact of the empty tomb. For any first century Jew, to say that of a dead man “that he was buried and that he was raised” is to imply that a vacant grave was left behind. Moreover, the expression “on the third day” probably derives from the women’s visit to the tomb on the third day, in Jewish reckoning, after the crucifixion. The four-line tradition cited by Paul summarizes both the gospel accounts and the early apostolic preaching (Acts 13. 28-31); significantly, the third line of the tradition corresponds to the empty tomb story.

3. The story is simple and lacks signs of legendary embellishment. All one has to do to appreciate this point is to compare Mark’s account with the wild legendary stories found in the second-century apocryphal gospels, in which Jesus is seen coming out of the tomb with his head reaching up above the clouds and followed by a talking cross!

4. The fact that women’s testimony was discounted in first century Palestine stands in favor of the women’s role in discovering the empty tomb. According to Josephus, the testimony of women was regarded as so worthless that it could not even be admitted into a Jewish court of law. Any later legendary story would certainly have made male disciples discover the empty tomb.

5. The earliest Jewish allegation that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body (Matt. 28.15) shows that the body was in fact missing from the tomb. The earliest Jewish response to the disciples’ proclamation, “He is risen from the dead!” was not to point to his occupied tomb and to laugh them off as fanatics, but to claim that they had taken away Jesus’ body. Thus, we have evidence of the empty tomb from the very opponents of the early Christians.
One could go on, but I think that enough has been said to indicate why, in the words of Jacob Kremer, an Austrian specialist in the resurrection, “By far most exegetes hold firmly to the reliability of the biblical statements concerning the empty tomb.”2

FACT #3: On multiple occasions and under various circumstances, different individuals and groups of people experienced appearances of Jesus alive from the dead.
This is a fact which is almost universally acknowledged among New Testament scholars, for the following reasons:

1. The list of eyewitnesses to Jesus’ resurrection appearances which is quoted by Paul in I Cor. 15. 5-7 guarantees that such appearances occurred. These included appearances to Peter (Cephas), the Twelve, the 500 brethren, and James.

2. The appearance traditions in the gospels provide multiple, independent attestation of these appearances. This is one of the most important marks of historicity. The appearance to Peter is independently attested by Luke, and the appearance to the Twelve by Luke and John. We also have independent witness to Galilean appearances in Mark, Matthew, and John, as well as to the women in Matthew and John.

3. Certain appearances have earmarks of historicity. For example, we have good evidence from the gospels that neither James nor any of Jesus’ younger brothers believed in him during his lifetime. There is no reason to think that the early church would generate fictitious stories concerning the unbelief of Jesus’ family had they been faithful followers all along. But it is indisputable that James and his brothers did become active Christian believers following Jesus’ death. James was considered an apostle and eventually rose to the position of leadership of the Jerusalem church. According to the first century Jewish historian Josephus, James was martyred for his faith in Christ in the late AD 60s.

Now most of us have brothers. What would it take to convince you that your brother is the Lord, such that you would be ready to die for that belief? Can there be any doubt that this remarkable transformation in Jesus’ younger brother took place because, in Paul’s words, “then he appeared to James”?
Even Gert L¸demann, the leading German critic of the resurrection, himself admits, “It may be taken as historically certain that Peter and the disciples had experiences after Jesus’ death in which Jesus appeared to them as the risen Christ.”3

FACT #4: The original disciples believed that Jesus was risen from the dead despite their having every predisposition to the contrary. Think of the situation the disciples faced after Jesus’ crucifixion:

1. Their leader was dead. And Jews had no belief in a dying, much less rising, Messiah. The Messiah was supposed to throw off Israel’s enemies (= Rome) and re-establish a Davidic reign—not suffer the ignominious death of criminal.

2. According to Jewish law, Jesus’ execution as a criminal showed him out to be a heretic, a man literally under the curse of God (Deut. 21.23). The catastrophe of the crucifixion for the disciples was not simply that their Master was gone, but that the crucifixion showed, in effect, that the Pharisees had been right all along, that for three years they had been following a heretic, a man accursed by God!

3. Jewish beliefs about the afterlife precluded anyone’s rising from the dead to glory and immortality before the general resurrection at the end of the world. All the disciples could do was to preserve their Master’s tomb as a shrine where his bones could reside until that day when all of Israel’s righteous dead would be raised by God to glory.
Despite all this, the original disciples believed in and were willing to go to their deaths for the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Luke Johnson, a New Testament scholar from Emory University, muses, “some sort of powerful, transformative experience is required to generate the sort of movement earliest Christianity was . . . .”4 N. T. Wright, an eminent British scholar, concludes, “that is why, as a historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty tomb behind him.”5

In summary, there are four facts agreed upon by the majority of scholars who have written on these subjects which any adequate historical hypothesis must account for: Jesus’ entombment by Joseph of Arimathea, the discovery of his empty tomb, his post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in his resurrection.

Now the question is: what is the best explanation of these four facts? Most sholars probably remain agnostic about this question. But the Christian can maintain that the hypothesis that best explains these facts is “God raised Jesus from the dead.”

In his book Justifying Historical Descriptions, historian C. B. McCullagh lists six tests which historians use in determining what is the best explanation for given historical facts.6 The hypothesis “God raised Jesus from the dead” passes all these tests:

1. It has great explanatory scope: it explains why the tomb was found empty, why the disciples saw post-mortem appearances of Jesus, and why the Christian faith came into being.
2. It has great explanatory power: it explains why the body of Jesus was gone, why people repeatedly saw Jesus alive despite his earlier public execution, and so forth.
3. It is plausible: given the historical context of Jesus’ own unparalleled life and claims, the resurrection serves as divine confirmation of those radical claims.
4. It is not ad hoc or contrived: it requires only one additional hypothesis: that God exists. And even that needn’t be an additional hypothesis if one already believes that God exists.
5. It is in accord with accepted beliefs. The hypothesis: “God raised Jesus from the dead” doesn’t in any way conflict with the accepted belief that people don’t rise naturally from the dead. The Christian accepts that belief as wholeheartedly as he accepts the hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead.
6. It far outstrips any of its rival hypotheses in meeting conditions (1)-(5). Down through history various alternative explanations of the facts have been offered, for example, the conspiracy hypothesis, the apparent death hypothesis, the hallucination hypothesis, and so forth. Such hypotheses have been almost universally rejected by contemporary scholarship. None of these naturalistic hypotheses succeeds in meeting the conditions as well as the resurrection hypothesis.

Now this puts the skeptical critic in a rather desperate situation. A few years ago I participated in a debate on the resurrection of Jesus with a professor at the University of California, Irvine. He had written his doctoral dissertation on the resurrection, and he was thoroughly familiar with the evidence. He could not deny the facts of Jesus’ honorable burial, empty tomb, post-mortem appearances, and the origin of the disciples’ belief in the resurrection. So his only recourse was to come up with some alternate explanation of those facts.

And so he argued that Jesus of Nazareth had an unknown, identical twin brother, who was separated from him as an infant and grew up independently, but who came back to Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion, stole Jesus’ body out of the tomb, and presented himself to the disciples, who mistakenly inferred that Jesus was risen from the dead! Now I won’t bother to go into how I went about refuting this theory. But I think the example is illustrative of the desperate lengths to which scepticism must go in order to refute the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus. Indeed, the evidence is so powerful that one of the world’s leading Jewish theologians, the late Pinchas Lapide, who taught at Hebrew University in Israel, declared himself convinced on the basis of the evidence that the God of Israel raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead!7
The significance of the resurrection of Jesus lies in the fact that it is not just any old Joe Blow who has been raised from the dead, but Jesus of Nazareth, whose crucifixion was instigated by the Jewish leadership because of his blasphemous claims to divine authority. If this man has been raised from the dead, then the God whom he allegedly blasphemed has clearly vindicated his claims. Thus, in an age of religious relativism and pluralism, the resurrection of Jesus constitutes a solid rock on which Christians can take their stand for God’s decisive self-revelation in Jesus.

Read more:

Why would God allow Evil & Suffering in this World?

God would not allow suffering to exist; therefore he must not exist or certainly he is not good.  Why would God allow this suffering?  Here is the ultimate question that is often used to disprove God. This question is a natural response toward nature, because as we see it, suffering is not natural and goes against what we perceive to be what is right in this universe.

From this site, a good description of what this situation presents to one who has faith in God and in particular, the Christian God.

The so-called problem of evil is one of the most common objections raised against the Christian faith. Perhaps no one has more succinctly stated the apparent contradiction between an all-loving, all-powerful God and the existence of evil as the eighteenth-century Scottish skeptic David Hume:
"Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?"[1]
More modern skeptics have sometimes posed the logical problem this way:
1. If God is all-good (omnibenevolent), He would prevent evil.
2. If God is all-powerful (omnipotent), He could prevent evil.
3. If God is all-knowing (omniscient), He knows how to prevent evil.
4. But evil exists.
5. Therefore, either God is not all-good, all-powerful, or all-knowing (or maybe He doesn’t exist!)
But why is the problem of evil a problem? In answering this question it is important to earnestly think through the following points, points which often are not reflected upon or not contemplated deeply enough. These considerations must be taken into account when addressing the problem of evil, especially from within the Christian worldview. When they are, I believe the problem of evil (POE) largely resolves itself.
 The site further breakdowns better different faiths addresses to the topic of evil:

 How does each faith address evil:

Atheist:  Regarding the origin of evil, it seems all the atheist can say is “Evil just is.” Nature is red in tooth and claw. No hope, meaning, morality, destiny.

Eastern Religions:  For Hindus evil is maya, an illusion. Evil is not real. People suffer because of injustices performed in past lives (karmic debt). Therefore, suffering should not be alleviated since this would interfere with the karmic cycle and bring bad karma on the one attempting to aid the sufferer. This position prevents compassion and morally obligatory action in the face of horrendous evil.

Christianity:  As Augustine argued, evil can be explained in part as the deprivation (or privation) of good.  Evil is what ought not to be. Furthermore, since evil is not some “thing” but rather the privation of good, God is not the creator of evil. Rather, evil came as a result of free beings using their free will badly.

 Answer to the Problem of Evil:

Apologists have shown the question can also be flipped on its head to prove God.  Ironically enough, using that same question, the existence of evil can be turned into an argument for the existence of God.

1.      If God does not exist, objective moral values do not exist.
2.      Evil exists.
3.      Therefore, objective moral values exist.
4.      Therefore, God exists.
See more on this from Apologetic Junkie

A practical application from a site by apologist Ravi Zacharias:
“There cannot possibly be a God,” he said, “with all the evil and suffering that exists in the world!”

I asked, “When you say there is such a thing as evil, are you not assuming that there is such a thing as good?”

“Of course,” he retorted.

“But when you assume there is such a thing as good, are you not also assuming that there is such a thing as a moral law on the basis of which to distinguish between good and evil?”

“I suppose so,” came the hesitant and much softer reply.

“If, then, there is a moral law,” I said, “you must also posit a moral law giver. But that is who you are trying to disprove and not prove. If there is no transcendent moral law giver, there is no absolute moral law. If there is no moral law, there really is no good. If there is no good there is no evil. I am not sure what your question is!”

There was silence and then he said, “What, then, am I asking you?

The problem of evil stems from the contradiction we see in life and nature, precisely because we have a conscience (meaning con=with, science=knowledge) that informs us what is wrong with certain acts in this world.  When we appeal to our conscience to try to disprove God through evil, we are in effect appealing to a moral law and trying to disprove the moral law giver.  Without God, evil is just another way of expressing oneself right?  After all who cares if everything is the product of chance, evil is natural then, no moral law could exist apart from something we make up to make us all get along better.  If a moral law did evolve, why then is the enforcement of that law universal in nature? 

The good news is that this evil will one day be abolished forever according to the doctrine of Christianity.  Check out the claims of Christ.  I suggest the Christian answer to evil is more in line with your conscience than any other world view.  Trying to object to a moral law and disprove the law giver will not satisfy your conscience, dig deeper.