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Why are Muslims Banning Christmas?

Somalia and Brunei have both just banned Christmas celebrations in their respective countries, citing Islamist justifications. The bans mirror similar restrictions placed on Christianity in other countries that implement sharia as state law. For example, in Saudi Arabia public practice of Christianity or any religion other than Islam is banned. There are no Churches permitted in Saudi Arabia.

But why do Islamists want to target those of other faiths?

The answer lies in a doctrine of supremacy, which holds that Islam must be the dominant religion. This dominance was upheld in previous eras when Islamic empires such as the Ottoman Empire imposed jizya, a special tax on recognized non-Muslim faiths, termed ‘people of scripture.’ These specifically included Christians, as well as Jews and Zoroastrians. Those groups entered into dhimmi, a pact of protection, in which the subjugated groups paid a protection tax and recognized the supremacy of Islam in return for exemption from conscription and the protection of the Muslim state.

These dhimmis were also subject to a host of other restrictions.

In Brunei and Somalia non-Muslims resident in the country for whatever reason will be able to quietly observe Christmas in their homes, but public expressions of their faith will be forbidden.

It is based on these theories of supremacy which date back to eras in which Islamic empires reigned over their non-Muslim subjects in a similar way to the subjugation of non-majority-Christian groups in Europe prior to the modern era.

Many Muslims oppose the subjugation of non-Muslim groups in Muslim majority societies. Some theologians believe that the institutions of jizya, dhimma and the associated restrictions and humiliations are inappropriate and not applicable in the modern age.

Islamic Scholar Sheikh Usama Hasan, of the UK’s Quilliam Foundation, has conducted extensive research in this area and presented the various approaches in his report From Dhimmitude to Democracy. He charts the development of Islamic thought towards a model of equality between all faith groups.

As we see from the news, there are many Islamist leaders who disagree with that model and would prefer to return to one of subjugating non-Muslims.

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by © Jason D’GReat Creative Commons.

Roman Catholic bishop advocates submission to the Islamic State

This brilliant article sums up not only the myopia of Bishop Robert Barron’s approach to the Islamic State (and to the global jihad in general), but the weakness and wrongheadedness of the entire contemporary Catholic Church when confronted with jihadist savagery.

There is today a wholesale confusion of weakness and submission with compassion and mercy, such that many Church leaders, including but by no means limited to Bishop Barron, believe that Christian charity mandates acquiescence to evil and submission to it. They think it is a matter of “respect” for Muslims as human beings for Christians to bow to violent intimidation from Islamic jihadists, and to assent to restrictions on their behavior that are demanded by way of jihadi threats.

Those who think, on the contrary, that it is more respectful and charitable to Muslims to refuse to enable and reward bullying and bloodlust have no place in today’s Catholic Church.

Bishop-Robert-Barron

Bishop Robert Barron being interview on EWTN Nightly News. Photo courtesy of EWTN.

“The Incredible Shrinking Bishop Barron,” by Maureen Mullarkey, OnePeterFive, November 23, 2015 (thanks to Tom):

I have never been more than an occasional viewer of Fr. Robert Barron’s Word on Fire chats. His recent televised interview with EWTN’s Catherine Szeltner put paid to whatever interest I had.

Newly elevated to an auxiliary bishop in the sprawling L.A. diocese, now-Bp. Barron was in Baltimore for his initial appearance among the USCCB. Ms. Szeltner was on hand to ask how Catholics should respond to the slaughter in Paris. “How should they react?” she wondered, as if Catholics were dependent on guidance in their attitude toward carnage.

This was hardly a spontaneous interview. Chairs had been set. The bishop had not been caught on the run; he was not speaking off the cuff. On the contrary, it is standard practice to establish before air time which questions will be asked. Ms. Szaltner was wide-eyed with anticipation for an answer that had already been rehearsed. Here was the fledgling bishop’s moment to affirm public solidarity with the mantra of love heralding the Year of Mercy. Which—the Vatican just announced—extends to Muslims.

Barron began with a self-reverential response that carried a hint of conceit for having been placed among the great and the good. Our new bishop has ascended above even just anger. The massacre aroused no outrage, not even a wince of distaste. Rather, his first words were on fire with . . . nostalgia. He found the atrocity “especially poignant” because he had studied in Paris for three years. And because he remembered some of the locations involved, the attacks were “moving and poignant.”

Not obscene, not demonic, foul or repellant. Poignant. It is a word appropriate for the death of a kitten. Applied to the murder and maiming of innocents, it is worse than unfitting. It is shameful.

He glided on to a serene tutorial on mercy, on the obligation to “respond to violence with love,” and “to fight hatred with love.” He enjoined Catholics to mercy and “a non-violent stance.” Listening, I realized why I have never been able to cotton to Word on Fire: Barron is smarmy. His genial TV persona has none of the alert, intellectual muscularity of Fulton Sheen whose lead he presumes to follow. This time on camera, he confused Paris in 2015 with Selma, Alabama in 1965.

Sanctimonious appeal to non-violence is typical of middle-brow respect for the strategy of King—learned from Gandhi—minus any grasp of its genius. There is nothing commensurate between the cultural situation of the American civil rights movement and the events in Paris. To try to impose the conditions of that movement onto Islamic jihad is astonishing in its obtuseness. Mercy is vacated of all meaning when it is used as an excuse for blindness to history, or for inaction in the face of present realities.

Genocide was never the end game of either the British or the segregationist forces in the United States. Genocide—mitigated only by conversion or the slavery of dhimmitude— is an objective of Islam. Barron misleads his audience with bankrupt, Vatican-stroking noises about nonviolence.

The limited applications of non-violence were obvious when, in 1938, Gandhi advised Europe’s Jews to practice nonviolent resistance against Nazi persecution. In some mystical way, this would supposedly result in Germany’s moral reformation. Nearly eighty years later, Bishop Barron offers the same futile rationale—in the name of Christ crucified—to Catholics.

Inversion of circumstances between Islam and the West is as bizarre as it is reckless. Non-violence is the resort of the weak against the strong. By inviting Catholics to adopt “a non-violent stance” against jihad, Barron insinuates assent to inferiority. It is a failure of will dressed in Christian idiom. Call it submission.

In practical terms, what does it mean to respond with love to genocidal intention? How is non-violence applicable to a contest of civilizations in which one side is committed to the annihilation of the other? Wherein lies the moral force of non-violence against a bloodlust cultivated for fourteen hundred years?

Gandhi’s notorious advice to Jews was tantamount to telling them to march quietly to the ovens. Whether satyagraha serves freedom or a final solution depends on the variables of situation. Bishop Barron’s inability to discern critical distinctions makes his ministry dangerous.

He remains a cheery, good-natured promoter. Sadly, what he promotes is dhimmitude.

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Game Plan for Taking Back Our Kids

WOODLAWNAn old 1960s U.S. Army buddy, acclaimed life coach and author Steve Chandler sent me a copy of his latest book, “Crazy Good.” In his book, Steve points out that embracing a victim mindset has extremely negative consequences; is not empowering and actually weakens you.

The validity of Steve’s statement is well documented. This is a truth the Left does not permit us to say. If Steve were to state this truth on stage speaking to a black audience, liberals would call him a white racist and me an Uncle Tom for standing up and applauding in agreement with him. How dare this white dude advise blacks to abandon their victim mindsets. Off with his head!

Folks, not only has the Left banned speaking the truth in our country, they are striving to make it illegal. Yes, they want to throw your derriere in jail for disagreeing with their anti-God and anti-American agenda

Nothing sticks in my craw more than allowing Leftist thugs to run the show, beating up on hard working decent Americans, attempting to force them into submission. My early years living in the projects of east Baltimore taught me that if you give bullies an inch, they will take a mile.

Thank God GOP presidential contender Dr Ben Carson is standing up to despicable liberal operatives in the mainstream media, determined to silence him from sounding the alarm regarding the devastating consequences of cradle to grave welfare (government dependency). 

Political experts continue to scratch their heads, puzzled why Dr Carson and Trump’s stars are soaring higher and higher in the polls. It “ain’t” rocket science. The American people are sick of being bullied by Leftists. Americans are thrilled that Dr Carson and Trump are standing up to Leftist bullies in the media and Democratic Party. Both Carson and Trump are fearlessly speaking truth and offering solutions most beneficial to America. Liberals hate it!

Frankly, going into another rant listing Obama’s assaults on freedom and America is too emotionally draining and depressing. Lets just say things are pretty bad when killing babies for profit, killing cops, hating achievers and blacks hating whites are the new celebrated norms. Who could imagine a day would come in America when people are jailed and businesses are closed for not gleefully blessing same sex fellatio, anal sex and same sex cunnilingus

However, due to my faith, I remain extremely hopeful. Dr Carson and Trump’s popularity point to a growing once silent majority committed to turning our country around. In skirmishes across America, we are winning victories against PC. Parents are pushing back against liberal school boards’ vile intentions. http://fxn.ws/1L6C3zS

Americans are finally starting to push back, saying “no” to PC tyranny. High quality Christian movies are on the rise. Though hidden by the MSM, youths are leading a powerful pro-life movement; the largest generation of pro-lifers since 1973

Despite Obama and his MSM operatives best efforts to convince Americans that man is smarter than God, polls confirm a majority of Americans smell the stench of our rotting culture. http://bit.ly/1MvPKoa

Folks, we need to stop being so passive and aggressively educate and take back the hearts and minds of our kids. On a road trip visiting relatives in five states, I was stunned by how well Leftist media and public education had transformed the yoots (youths) in my family into brain-dead liberal zombies. They believe white cops murder blacks. Opposing Planned Parenthood equals hatred for women. Republicans are rich, racist and mean. Democrats truly care about them. I had a tough time controlling my gag reflex.

Insidiously, dumbed-down by public education on purpose, most youths are clueless regarding their rights written in the U.S. Constitution. They have no concept of the sacrifice and price our founders and patriots paid for freedom. Thus, it has little value to them. Just as Esau foolishly gave away his birthright for a bowl of beans, many millennials gladly surrender their freedom to government in the name of fairness (social justice) and the promise of security.

Ben Franklin said. “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.”

So what is the solution? How do we rescue the hijacked hearts and minds of America’s youths? The answer is we follow the lead of Dr Carson, Trump and my favorite candidate, Ted Cruz. Stop allowing the Left to dictate our behavior. Don’t jump on the bandwagon with Leftists criticizing a conservative for speaking truth unfiltered through PC. Boldly push back against PC. Liberals taught our kids lies causing them to hate their country. We MUST counter the lies with the truth about this remarkable, unique and God inspired experiment called America.

Rush Limbaugh is doing his part by publishing a best-selling series of patriotic children books. I am extremely excited and honored to be involved in launching the American Pride Calendar and coffee table book. A father bought several copies because his 10 year old son said it was the best thing he ever read.

To my fellow Christians, branch out of the pews and into the political arena. And for crying out loud, VOTE!!! Prayer is wonderful. But it is time to do something. The Bible says faith without works is dead! More Christians are beginning to realize our government’s and MSM’s War on Christianity; a special shout-out to the ministries of John and Matthew Hagee. Religious freedom rallies are popping up around the country.

Our nation did not reach its current level of debauchery over night. But it is not too late to rescue this stolen generation and generations to come. Committed to fighting with my articles, songs and appearances until God takes me home, I am in this to win it. Raise your hand if you are with me. Wow, I see a lot of hands. Praise God!

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Look Who’s Defining Sin… Say What?

My first thoughts were, “Say what?” Yeah. And you’ll be saying “Say what” too after reading this statement from the president of the National Education Association (NEA), Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

First, for those unfamiliar with the NEA, it is the nation’s largest labor union – not just the largest teacher’s union, mind you. But the largest labor union in the country. Period.  It has more than three million members.

Its mission is “to advocate for education professionals” blah, blah, blah. In other words, they are an organization of teachers who unite to demand more money, benefits, better work environments and whatever else they can get their hands on.

They also advocate for just about any left-wing liberal cause that enrages conservatives, even if it has nothing to do with teaching.

One of those left-wing causes is homosexuality. No surprise here for anyone familiar with the NEA. In their own words, the union states it has a “goal of changing public opinion on homosexuality, starting with the youngest generation.”

Clearly, they’re going after your kids, whether you like it or not. At least they’re upfront, honest and forthright about their mission. I’m sure that makes you feel better.

Even so, as brazen as this statement is (telling parents, “To hell with you, it’s all about what WE want your children to believe”) this isn’t …

… and I repeat, this isn’t the “Say what?” experience I’m talking about.

The “Say what” experience happened during NEA’s 2015 Annual Meeting on July 3 in Orlando, Fla.

That’s when the union president, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, took to the stage and said this after applauding the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing homosexual marriage:

“My son, Jeremy, called me and said, ‘Ma! Mike and I are no longer living in sin!’ My son and Mike are legally married in the great state of Utah.”

Can you join me in a “Say what” moment?

Does the Supreme Court now decide what is “sin”? Is this the new message to youngsters from the country’s largest teacher’s union … nay, the country’s largest labor union – that the Supreme Court will determine what is sin?

Before laughing off this crazy, overly exuberant rant of the country’s most powerful labor union president, consider the deeper message Lily Eskelsen Garcia is pushing.

Government will now decide what is sin and what is not sin. Not the Bible. Not God.

The word “sin” is decidedly a Judeo-Christian word. There’s no mention of “sin” in the Quran. There’s no such thing as “sin” in Buddhism. And there is no “sin” against God in Hinduism.

So, in reality, the NEA is only concerned about “sins” as defined by the New and Old Testaments. The government will now define those sins.

It’s mighty painful for the NEA – and others on the liberal left – to explain away biblical sins, with homosexuality being a big pain in the butt (no pun intended) as one of those difficult “sins” to dismiss. There are just too many Scriptures condemning homosexuality to brush them aside, reinterpret or reject.

So why not let the government – Big Brother – decide what is sin and what is not?

This is a big advantage for the NEA and their liberal lackeys, whether they are in government, business, media or law enforcement.

Homosexuality is not a sin according to the left. But refusing to serve a cake at a gay wedding is a sin, and punishable with a $135,000 fine, as experienced by the Christian owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa.

Gay marriage is not a sin. But opposing gay marriage is a sin and a punishable offense, as experienced by the CEO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, who was fired because of his opposition.

The liberal left would love for the government to be in the business of defining sin, as if they aren’t already.

Being anti-gun is not a sin. But being pro-gun can get you arrested, as experienced by a teen-ager in West Virginia who was arrested after wearing an NRA T-shirt to his middle school.

Abortion is not a sin. But protesting abortion can land you in jail, as happened to nine college students in Birmingham, Ala., this year who were arrested for distributing pro-life literature on a public sidewalk at Parker High School.

Radical Islam is not a sin. But exposing it can get you demoted, suspended or fired, as happened to Lt. Col Matthey Dooley who was fired as an instructor at West Point for teaching a course on “Islamic Radicalism.”

Being anti-religious is not a sin.  But say “Bless you” after a fellow classmate sneezes may get you suspended from school, as happened to Kendra Turner at Dyer County High School in Tenesssee.

Opposing the goals of the liberal left is not just about being politically incorrect. It’s about sin. Because clearly these are not criminal acts. This is why they need to redefine these acts as “sins” that can carry severe consequences – jail, fines, loss of jobs, mandatory sensitivity training classes, suspensions and demotions. 

The NEA teacher’s union doesn’t want children to think “Bible” when they hear the word “sin.”  They want them to think government. And if the government does not consider something a sin, then it’s not.

But if it does consider your moral rantings or activities a “sin,” then …

… you better dig deep into your pockets, dust off your résumé and perhaps dress for orange.

I’ve got some disturbing news for the homosexuals who are celebrating their victory and newfound freedom from “sin” – handed to them by the Supreme Court:

The Court may have legalized marriage … but they are still NOT married. They will have to appeal to an authority higher than the Supreme Court for that dispensation.

Did I just hear a “Say what?”

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EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Lily Eskelsen Garcia.

Feast Day/Nativity of St. John the Baptist: How many of us are Crying out in the Wilderness for Religious Freedom?

Hope all is well on this hot “Feast Day/Nativity of Saint John the Baptist” – who, along with my all-time favorite saint – St. Francis of Assisi and my all-time favorite “non-saint” mentor – Henry David Thoreau – was one of the greatest inspirations for me to move out to the country and design and build a customized Log Home on seven acres of land with my own Walden Pond. Yes, these three incredible men inspired me to “live my life deliberately – to be a bold voice crying out in the wilderness”.

A voice crying out to stop the madness – to put an end to the intrinsic evils that attack our beloved Church & Country every day of the year. How many of us have ever been “accused” or referred to as a “Modern Day St. John the Baptist”? How many of us have ever heard that expression?

Being called a “Modern Day St. John the Baptist” is probably one of the greatest compliments a Christian could ever receive as the Blessed Mother Teresa prayerfully said back in Calcutta in 1990: “We are all called to be saints”. Saint John Paul II constantly told us “Be Not Afraid”. And, friends, being referred to as a Modern Day St. John the Baptist and being not afraid to live your life like he did is as great a compliment as one can receive.

And, one that inspires me to do what I try to do 7 days a week as a Christian. We are all called to be saints and being baptized a Christian, like the majority of us who are reading this e-mail have been – our “job description” as a Christian is just that – a follower of Jesus Christ. And, nobody did it better than the bold Saint John the Baptist, as he had to move to the side and play “role reversal”…and, he did it with tremendous humility.

As the Bible tells us, Saint John the Baptist was already doing somersaults in his beloved mother, Elizabeth’s stomach even before he was born. He was already “leaping for joy” in his mom’s womb before her due date. (Could you imagine doing a sonogram of baby John way back when and seeing this energetic creation doing somersaults)? Little did baby John know that his beloved aunt was carrying his cousin, who 33 years later, would have the entire world doing somersaults when he was crucified, died – and rose from the dead.

And, that is how these two cousins made history. John was born first – became a Rock Star in his own right – while baptizing hundreds in the River Jordan. They came from far and wide to see this “way-ahead-of-his-time” prophet who lived out in the desert, eating locusts and honey, while wearing sandals and some pretty wild animal skin outfits. John the Baptist was out there – a modern day hippie type, who was filled with the Holy Spirit and a great dose of humility as he knew that he was just setting the stage for greater things to come…His younger, even more humbler cousin, Jesus.

Behold the Lamb of GOD…Yes, John the Baptist baptized Jesus and then declared that he was making room for the real Messiah – He who takes away the sins of the world. It was the humility and respect that John had for Jesus that truly allowed the Chosen One to not only baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – but, to change the entire world for good – and 2,000 years later – several billion people all over the world continue to follow Him…The rest is His-story.

Once again, how many of us resemble anything that Saint John the Baptist accomplished during his short but significant lifetime? How many of us are willing to humbly take a step back from the spotlight and allow Him to increase while we decrease? How many of us are literally willing to put our necks on the line for the Savior of the world, doing it all for His Greater Glory? It may cost you your head – but, “Greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends”…

Now, if we all claim to be followers of Jesus Christ – as well as his beloved cousin, John the Baptist – can we all focus on laying down our lives to protect the most vulnerable – the unborn? Can we focus on laying down our lives for our beloved school children and save them from the Curse of Common Core? Can we focus on laying down our lives in order to save the Blessed Sacrament of Holy Matrimony? Can we focus on laying down our lives in fighting for our Religious Freedom and truly getting in the trenches to fight for our beloved Catholic Church – at all costs?

How many of us are willing to lay down our lives for Jesus, His Church and our country – and be accused of being a “Modern Day Saint John the Baptist”?

May God bless us on this most significant Feast Day/Nativity of Saint John the Baptist and give us the courage to not only be a voice crying out in the wilderness – but the boldness to lay it all on the line for another!

May we all have the courage and humility of Saint John the Baptist – while heeding Saint John Pal II’s plea of “Be Not Afraid!”

Please read this reflection on Saint John the Baptist:

Solemnity of the Birth of St. John the Baptist

This feast, a segment of Advent in the season of Ordinary Time, makes us aware of the wonderful inner relationship between the sacred mysteries; for we are still in the midst of one Church year and already a bridge is being erected to the coming year of grace.

Ordinarily the Church observes the day of a saint’s death as his feast, because that day marks his entrance into heaven. To this rule there are two notable exceptions, the birthdays of Blessed Mary and of St. John the Baptist. All other persons were stained with original sin at birth, hence, were displeasing to God. But Mary, already in the first moment of her existence, was free from original sin (for which reason even her very conception is commemorated by a special feast), and John was cleansed of original sin in the womb of his mother. This is the dogmatic justification for today’s feast. In the breviary St. Augustine explains the reason for today’s observance in the following words:

“Apart from the most holy solemnity commemorating our Savior’s birth, the Church keeps the birthday of no other person except that of John the Baptist. (The feasts of the Immaculate Conception and of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had not yet been introduced.) In the case of other saints or of God’s chosen ones, the Church, as you know, solemnizes the day on which they were reborn to everlasting beatitude after ending the trials of this life and gloriously triumphing over the world.

“For all these the final day of their lives, the day on which they completed their earthly service is honored. But for John the day of his birth, the day on which he began this mortal life is likewise sacred. The reason for this is, of course, that the Lord willed to announce to men His own coming through the Baptist, lest if He appeared suddenly, they would fail to recognize Him. John represented the Old Covenant and the Law. Therefore he preceded the Redeemer, even as the Law preceded and heralded the new dispensation of grace.”

In other words, today’s feast anticipates the feast of Christmas. Taking an overall view, we keep during the course of the year only two mysteries, that of Christ’s Incarnation and that of His Redemption. The Redemption mystery is the greater of the two; the Incarnation touches the human heart more directly. To the Redemption mystery the entire Easter season is devoted, from Septuagesima until Pentecost; and likewise every Sunday of the year, because Sunday is Easter in miniature.

Read more.

Islamic Hate for the Christian Cross by Raymond Ibrahim

Last May in Italy, a Muslim boy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck.  The African schoolboy, who had only started to attend the school approximately three weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl—“insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix”—before he finally “punched the girl violently in the back.”

What is it about the Christian cross that makes some Muslims react this way?

The fact is, Islamic hostility to the cross is an unwavering fact of life—one that crosses continents and centuries; one that is very much indicative of Islam’s innate hostility to Christianity.

Doctrine and History

Because the Christian cross is the quintessential symbol of Christianity—for all denominations, including most forms of otherwise iconoclastic Protestantism—it has been a despised symbol in Islam.

According to the Conditions of Omar—a Medieval text which lays out the many humiliating stipulations conquered Christians must embrace to preserve their lives and which Islamic history attributes to the second “righteous caliph,” Omar al-Khattab—Christians are “Not to display a cross [on churches]… and “Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims.”

The reason for this animosity is that the cross symbolizes the fundamental disagreement between Christians and Muslims.   According to Dr. Sidney Griffith, author of The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque, “The cross and the icons publicly declared those very points of Christian faith which the Koran, in the Muslim view, explicitly denied: that Christ was the Son of God and that he died on the cross.”  Thus “the Christian practice of venerating the cross and the icons of Christ and the saints often aroused the disdain of Muslims,” so that there was an ongoing “campaign to erase the public symbols of Christianity, especially the previously ubiquitous sign of the cross.”

Islam’s hostility to the cross, like all of Islam’s hostilities, begins with the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He reportedly “had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it.” He once ordered someone wearing a cross to “take off that piece of idolatry” and claimed that at the end times Jesus himself would make it a point to “break the cross”—an assertion the Islamic State regularly makes.

Islamic history following Muhammad is riddled with anecdotes of Muslims cursing and breaking crosses.  Prior to the Battle of Yarmuk in 636, which pitted the earliest invading Muslim armies against the Byzantine Empire, Khalid bin al-Walid, the savage “Sword of Allah,” told the Christians that if they wanted peace they must “break the cross” and embrace Islam, or pay jizya and live in subjugation—just as his Islamic State successors are doing today in direct emulation.  The Byzantines opted for war.

In Egypt, Saladin (d. 1193)—regularly touted in the West for his “magnanimity”—ordered “theremoval of every cross from atop the dome of every church in the provinces of Egypt,” in the words of The History of the Patriarchate of the Egyptian Church.

Europe: Growing Violence against the Cross

Centuries later, not much has changed concerning Islam’s position towards the cross, though much has changed in Western perceptions.  In other words, an African boy punching a Christian girl in Italy for her crucifix is part of a long continuum of Islamic hostility for the cross.  Perhaps he learned this hatred in mosque—the same European mosques where Islamic State representatives call Muslims to jihad?

After all, earlier this year in Italy, another  crucifix was destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque.  The municipality’s Councilor, Giuseppe Berlin, did not mince words concerning the identity of the culprit(s):

Before we put a show of unity with Muslims, let’s have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture. We shouldn’t minimize the importance of certain signals; we must wake up now or our children will suffer the consequences of this dangerous and uncontrolled Islamic invasion.

Nor is Italy the only European nation experiencing this phenomenon.   In neighboring France, a “young Muslim” committed major acts of vandalism at two churches.  Along with twisting a massive bronze cross, he overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows.  (Click for images.)

And in Germany, a Turkish man who checked himself into a hospital for treatment went into a sudden frenzy because there were “too many crosses on the wall.”  He called the nurse a “bitch” and “fascist” and became physically aggressive… KEEP READING

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Too much Jesus? Or not enough Jesus?

When I was a boy growing up in Lancaster Country, PA, I had several crucial experiences with Christian pastors that contributed to my loss of faith. Mind you I don’t blame anyone but myself for becoming an atheist. But back then it seemed as though there was really no longer anything to hold onto. The truth is, it was there all the time. I just didn’t see it.

The first such experience was when a pastor that my family looked up to said unequivocally that my two sisters and I would never grow up to adulthood because Jesus was coming back before that. He pointed to Bible prophecies to support that. My older sister was the first to outlive this prediction, followed by the other two of us.

The second such experience was a series of visits to a church in Maryland whose pastor’s sermons were broadcast from a Pennsylvania radio station. The pastor sounded so humble, so kind and so dedicated to the Lord.

But there was a rumor that some of the congregation were or had been KKK members.

Then one Sunday the pastor preached a sermon on negroes. He said that the black race was the “sons of Ham,” a swarthy Hebrew tribe whose patriarch had sinned and which was therefore condemned to serve others forever.

I knew that African blacks were not related biologically to the Hebrews, so this raised questions.

Near the end of his sermon, Pastor Don spoke of intermarriage between whites and blacks and at one point, he shouted “any black man who introduces black blood into a white woman ought to be hung!”

Normally, whenever Pastor Don raised his voice and made a point, the stalwarts in the congregation would reflexively say “amen.”

But this was the early 60s and there was a general sentiment in favor of civil rights. A subtle change had come over the congregation. Not one of the stalwarts said “amen.”

Already inclined to reject religion, instead of focusing on this sign of a positive trend in the church, I indignantly swore to myself never to darken a church door again. My sin lay precisely in this failure to focus on the Lord’s hand in changing hearts in the congregation and my choice to reject Christ based on the pastor’s thoughtless words.

I went wild for 2 decades, carousing and womanizing, and speaking against religion. And then I felt empty and began to seek God again. I scoured the globe, including Taiwan, where I spent 3 years looking for truth among the Buddhists. A few times I thought I had had a spiritual breakthrough, but nothing stuck.

A decade later, through a series of circumstances, God came for me and I was led back to Jesus in an emotional epiphany. I found my faith, but I didn’t find the church of Jesus. It seemed to have disappeared – or gone underground. I found the same shallowness and hypocrisy that had contributed to my falling away decades earlier. But this time, having gone through the school of hard knocks, I knew that the actors involved were of Satan and swore never to be misled again.

Yesterday the world was shocked at the senseless murder of 9 black worshippers at a church in South Carolina.

I couldn’t help thinking of Pastor Don in Maryland and his racist words. But having had half a century to think over that faith shattering sermon, I have come to realize that sermons like the above-described by Pastor Don are not in any way representative of Christianity. In fact, they are tools of Satan who misguide the unbeliever into thinking, as I once had, that Christianity itself is racist and evil. Though it was a sin on my part to think that way, if we look at things from only a superficial viewpoint, it was an understandable conclusion, especially for a naïve teen.

It is quite likely that a few whites-only churches are still racist but how can that discredit Jesus when He preached love and urged Christians – even the gentiles, representing all races – to love one another? It simply can’t.

Like my former self, the U.S. government and its puppets throughout the West, including journalists – who ought to be called propagandists – the public schools and the institutions of higher “learning,” have focused only on the dark side of “Christianity,” or rather on a religion that is nothing but a perversion of that faith. They forget that it was a Christian leader, William Wilberforce, who spearheaded the movement to end slavery in England, and that the civil rights movement in the US sprang up in northern churches. The slaves who fought for emancipation and the blacks who led the civil rights movement in Selma sang Christian hymns even as they were beaten and persecuted, meek and Christ-like, by the police. Meanwhile, there is only one religion in the world today that lends “moral” authority to slavery and that is Muslims, whose ancestors were among the first slave traders in Africa, and whose religion is being subtly thrust upon us by the Washington anti-Christs.

These same anti-Christs also spread the lie that Hitler was a Christian. Yet the fact is, there were German pastors in the 19th century who had perverted the gospel to promote folkish nationalism, declaring, with no supporting evidence whatsoever, that Jesus was actually the illegitimate son of a Germanic mercenary. It was not Christianity that gave us Adolph Hitler but a cynically perverted “gospel” that persuaded mindless Germans to accept the lie that Jesus had come to avenge himself of the Jews.

Likewise, “Christians” are blamed for supporting G.W. Bush’s war in Iraq. But in fact it was atheists who devised the diabolical ideology of Neoconservatism and it was foolish “Christians” who followed these wolves in sheep’s clothing.

While Irving Kristol wrote the book on Neoconservatism and is generally regarded as the “godfather” of the ideology, Leo Strauss has been identified as an early precursor, and today’s Neocons pursue his ideas.

Alternet writes, in an article titled “Leo Strauss’ Philosophy of Deception“:

Among other neoconservatives, Irving Kristol has long argued for a much greater role for religion in the public sphere.

At the same time, he stressed that religion was for the masses alone; the rulers need not be bound by it. Indeed, it would be absurd if they were, since the truths proclaimed by religion were “a pious fraud.” 

Obviously, while Neocons want Christians to support them in their policies, notably their wars, they despise us, and we owe it to ourselves and our God to study their history and their writings so as to avoid being deceived by them. How is it possible that genuine Christians who take Jesus’ words to heart, could follow these utter Satanists, who denied the existence of morality itself? Yet in the early 2000s I attended services at megachurches in Lancaster County that wholeheartedly supported G.W. Bush in his wars, mostly because Bush had insisted that he was a born-again Christian. Some pastors even mentioned reports that the US Marines who first arrived in Baghdad had found themselves impermeable to bullets, protected by God. Yet the upshot of this war was that indigenous Assyrian Christians who had survived for millennia among the Iraqi Muslims, found themselves persecuted and banished from their homeland within days of our “victory.” It was Neocon deception at its best. To my shame, I was one of those who were initially deceived by these pastors.

Further, Alternet writes:

“According to Shadia Drury, who teaches politics at the University of Calgary, Strauss believed that “those who are fit to rule are those who realize there is no morality and that there is only one natural right – the right of the superior to rule over the inferior.”
This dichotomy requires “perpetual deception” between the rulers and the ruled.”

How is this different from Nazism? How does it square with what Christ taught? It has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity and is in fact a cynical perversion of the faith.

Thus, although it would seem on the surface that Christianity goes hand in hand with unjustified wars, just as it seemed on the surface that Christianity supported racism and slavery, the fact is, none of these phenomena emerging in the Christian church has a thing to do with Christ’s teachings. Indeed, these perversions prove that Jesus was right when He said in Matthew 24:

9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.

10 “At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.

11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many..

You know, Folks, we really ought to thank God in a way for all the adversity, even the perversion of the Gospel by men like the Neocons, because for genuine believers, these perversions – even though they have led to horrible wars and other consequences – are the most solid evidence we have of the power of God and the supernatural prophetic power of Jesus Christ.

True Christians understand that the world’s crises and tragedies, far from being the product of too much Jesus, are in fact caused by too little Jesus.

Thank God, following the murders, the members of the black church gave witness of what it is to be a true follower of Christ. According to the Washington Post,

“Larry Grooms, a state senator, wrote on Facebook:

‘My heart breaks for the loss of Sen. Pinckney, the other victims and for their families. Now is the time for prayer. Let us all unite our hearts in prayer and ask God for His Grace, Love and Mercy’.”

Al Azhar distributing free book dedicated to discrediting Christianity, the “failed religion”

Al Azhar—arguably the Islamic world’s most prestigious Islamic university—continues to incite Egypt’s Muslims against Christians.  Most recently the university was exposed distributing a free booklet dedicated to discrediting Christianity, chock full of direct attacks on Christianity in general and the nation’s Coptic Christians in particular.

Christianity is referred to as a “failed religion,” while Islam  is hailed as the true and superior religion.

Because the “seeds of weakness” are inherent in Christianity and the Bible, says the booklet, Islam was easily able to supplant it in the Middle East.

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God and Evil: My Answer for Michael Savage

Torture, pain, beheadings, the murder of children…. If God exists and is all good, how could He allow such suffering and evil? This is a common question, and a lament often an impediment to faith. It also was addressed recently on the Savage Nation radio show, where host Michael Savage — exhibiting his versatility and talk virility — will sometimes broach that certain thing we’re supposed to discuss even less than politics. His answer to the question was contained in his newsletter and is:

I actually believe that God has no effect on a moment-by-moment basis or a person-by-person basis.

If I did, then I’d have to stop believing in God.

If I were to believe that God controlled everything on earth, then I’d have to believe that God is evil.

I believe God is not omnipotent. He is omnipresent.

That’s what saved me from atheism.

It certainly is good to have an answer that saves one from atheism, but is the above the answer?

God undoubtedly doesn’t micromanage our lives, controlling matters on a moment-by-moment basis; this reality is called His “permitting will” in theological circles, as opposed to His “ordaining will.” But why is God, as some might say, so “permissive” (He isn’t, really)? There is an answer, but before addressing it let’s examine the matter of God’s omnipotence.

God is known as the “Creator” because the belief is that He created the whole Universe, the heavens and the Earth and all living creatures — out of nothing. He is the first cause. In this case, however, it would seem fanciful to suppose that He could create life but not control that life. After forging the wonders called the Universe and its denizens, controlling man would seem small potatoes.

To suggest otherwise is to say that God is not really “God” — by definition all-powerful and perfect — but a different kind of being entirely. For He then either created something He couldn’t control (which certainly can be a fault of man) or didn’t create it at all. If the latter, though, where does that leave us? We can’t say something else created the Universe, for that entity would then be above what would merely be but a cosmic middleman, and it would be God (the “Immovable Mover,” as Aristotle said). The only other possibility is that we believe in something and call it “God” even though it would just be some spirit being formed as a cosmic accident via some evolutionary process wholly unknown to us. But this would just bring us back to atheism and its inherent relativism and meaninglessness — with the twist that, for sure, we’re not the most powerful cosmic accidents in the Universe.

This is why philosophers have long explained God’s tolerance of evil by way of “free will.” Yes, I know it sounds clichéd now to some, but my explanation won’t be. So why is free will so important that God would allow profound evil in its name?

Imagine you could have a computer chip implanted in your child’s brain that would control his behavior (something perhaps possible in the foreseeable future). No more terrible twos or toddler tantrums, no disobedience, no crying, no frowns, no shirking of responsibility — just a perfectly agreeable Stepford Child. Would you implant away?

This would defeat the purpose of having a child. Sure, we want our kids to mature into moral beings, but that is impossible if you’re merely a controlled being. For being moral involves making moral choices, and this cannot happen if you have no choice. The chipped child would have been dehumanized, reduced to automaton status via the negation of his free will. You might as well just purchase a cute robot and be done with it.

Think about what is being said here, however: You’re willing to tolerate sinful acts in your child — and the possibility of truly horrible behavior — in the name of his being fully human.

God is no different with respect to us, His children. He could completely control us with the snap of divine fingers, but we are then reduced to mere organic robots; we are not then His children, but His things. Note, when it’s said we’re created in God’s image, this does not refer to our physical being but that, like God, we have intellect and free will. Remove either quality and we’re mere animals.

(Speaking of which, it’s hard to imagine even a pet owner chipping his dog; we’d likely feel that this would eliminate his “dogness” and wouldn’t want to use perverted science to accomplish what training should.)

Then there is the matter of love, which is represented in action: Loving attitudes beget loving acts. When someone serves us — whether it’s a spouse bringing home the bacon or serving it, or a child doing chores — we’re by far most pleased if it’s done in a spirit of love because the person wants to make us happy (yes, much to expect in a child!). It doesn’t touch us in the same way if the work is performed out of a mere sense of obligation; worse still is if the person is acting as a slave, compelled to labor against his will. Most of us wouldn’t even want to be served under those circumstances.

God is no different. He wants us to serve Him as a representation of our love (not because He needs our love and service, but because we need to love and serve Him), and trumping our free will would defeat that purpose. It would reduce us to not just slaves, but those organic robots.

Some may now say that this is all well and good, but aren’t there limits to free will’s abuse? When people are being burned alive and children massacred, don’t you draw a line? The answer is that God is far more logical and consistent than we are.

We talk about “freedom of speech” but then set limits on what can be said; we trumpet “freedom of religion” but then draw lines at certain practices (e.g., human sacrifice). I’m not implying that such lines aren’t sometimes necessary, mind you, only pointing out that once they’re drawn, it follows that we aren’t actually allowing true “freedom of religion.” But God means what He says and says what He means. Free will is just that: free will. It’s absolute. Besides, He makes the rules, but their application and enforcement are our business — in this world.

This brings us to the last point: worldliness. Too often we analyze faith-based propositions while coupling them with atheistic corollaries. We may wonder, for example, how a just and loving God could allow the deaths of large numbers of children in free will’s name. But He doesn’t.

He gave the children life, and upon leaving this fold they pass on to eternal life.

I know, this sounds like a handy rationalization to modernistic ears. But we are discussing matters within the context of the Judeo-Christian world view, no? In other words, people could question the data — that God and the afterlife are real, etc. — but that is a different question. The logic when operating within this data set, however, is unassailable. To wit: What is this temporal life as compared to eternity? It’s as a grain of sand in a desert or a drop of water in an ocean. It’s eternity that matters. And if slaughtered children pass on to a far, far better place, God has done them no disservice.

I don’t want to seem unfeeling; I react to worldly horrors much as does everyone else. And it’s understandable: This world is all we know firsthand. The hell we so often create on it we see and hear, as it accosts our senses; we feel it. Heaven is generally just something we try to apprehend intellectually. And the heart has seductions the mind cannot match.

There is something we can do, however. Even if we don’t feel certain truths on an emotional level, we can choose to believe them. That is a proper exercise of free will — one that lends much happiness and meaning to the life God gave us.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Defeating ISIS: A Biblical View of America’s Role

PART ONE:

In order to preserve civilization, decisive action against ISIS and affiliated terror organizations is not optional.  Can we forgive our enemies, as Jesus mandated, and crush them at the same time?  What is the best possible role that America can play in the war against ISIS and its comrades in cruelty?  What would be the consequences of non-action?  Is this a war that involves only Arab nations?  Would Jesus go to war against Satan’s representatives?  This article attempts to answer these questions from a biblical and common sense perspective.

CONTEXT

None of the 21 Coptic Christians who were beheaded by ISIS denied Christ.  Neither did any of the 30 Ethiopian Christians who were just executed.  The last words of one of the Coptic Christians was a loud, “Jesus!”  This is quite a different stance than that taken by ISIS deserters who disguise themselves as women in order to escape the cult.

We’ve witnessed Americans beheaded by ISIS on television.  Tens of thousands of Christians and those of other faiths have been beheaded, sold into slavery and burned alive, killed and had their organs harvested, buried alive, and have been otherwise tortured to death by those who proclaim themselves to be followers of Muhammad.  We’re even talking children’s heads on sticks and children buried alive.

Increasingly, the focus is on Christians.  Over 200 Christians were kidnapped not too long ago from northern Syria.  Their destiny on this earth is not a mystery.  A female American missionary is now awaiting her fate.  Perhaps, she has already met it, but the video has not yet been edited to maximize recruitment potential.  Hundreds just drowned in the Mediterranean, trying to flee Libya and ISIS.  Every day we hear of new atrocities that are unimaginable to any civilized person.

As with members of other cults, the ISIS terrorists hold beliefs that defy rationality.  Most recruits lack education and are desperate for employment.  They are easy conduits of extreme Islamic ideological nonsense.  Here’s an example of the nonsense: the barbarians believe that they are ushering in Armageddon and a new kingdom in which Muslim men and burka covered, uneducated, and mutilated women will be the only inhabitants.   Although Arab opposition is thankfully increasing, ISIS is still “purifying” North Africa, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and parts of other nations; and we see the advancing darkness in Europe and England, as well.  Little light presently shines in Europe.   There are over 600 “no-go” zones in France.  These are neighborhoods that administer Sharia law and don’t allow non-Muslims to enter.  England also has such zones.  According to our own State Dept. and other sources, even in America, terrorist cells exist in all 50 states.  CNN reports that the FBI has just warned of possible imminent terrorist attacks in Southern California.  Of course, most terrorists have entered America through our porous southern border.  Some are now returning Americans who have trained with the terrorists.  Of course, there are countless ways to enter our country.  And as baffling as this may be, Americans are not even allowed to venture into some terrorist training areas in the United States.  Why aren’t we destroying the compounds and imprisoning the terrorists?

The stated mission of the Islamic terrorists is to “cleanse” the world and establish what they call a “caliphate,” or a government ruled by a “caliph,” which is a successor to Muhammad.  If they were ever successful, there would be no one left to kill except themselves.  This could – and probably would – be accomplished through the continued enforcement of Sharia.  What a blessing to the world it would be if the terrorists did this now, as they are doing now to some degree to their own men and women.

WHAT ARE AMERICA AND THE CIVILIZED WORLD DOING ABOUT TERRORISM?    

With a tidal wave of barbarism crashing against the shores of civilization, the civilized world has erected few tetrahedrons, pretending that our oceans and ghost soldiers from the past can protect us.  As Germany was in 1932 and 1933, so is now the occupied territory of ISIS.   However, without the intervention of righteous men and women, 1938 and 1939 will likely be upon us soon, even coming to a mall near you.  There’s a saying, “Don’t stumble over what’s behind you.”  Is America doing that?  While our president courts a relationship with the biggest sponsor of terror in the world, Iran, it would seem so.

Every year, women are killed in the U.S. by a relative in the name of family honor.   Though these murderers have not bought into our cultural values, or even into our laws to maintain order, we have accepted their right to live and believe as they wish.  In the Old Testament, God allowed “aliens” (non-Jews) to become Jews, but he also required that they live and believe as Jews (Exodus 12:48).  All other nations of the world presently require, or have required until now, that immigrants pledge to abide by the laws of their new country.  Considering that ISIS and its affiliates could be defeated relatively quickly by a united front of civilized nations, it’s surprising that this isn’t happening.  So the answer to the question, “What are America and the civilized nations of the world doing about the advancing evil?” is “not much.”

HOW SHOULD CHRISTIANS RESPOND?

Concerning the slaughter of tens of thousands and potentially millions of innocents, what should followers of Christ do?  Our State Department stated that the answer is to give more jobs to terrorists and potential terrorists.   Is a worldwide jobs program the answer?  Osama bin Laden was a multi-millionaire, and his followers were not interested in gainful employment.  And “Jihad John” comes from a rich family in England, graduated from a university in London, and claims that he was discriminated against for being a Muslim (he’s the man in the black costume that speaks to the camera before he beheads someone).  Therefore, a jobs program is not the answer.   How incredible that a representative of our own State Dept. would make such a suggestion.

There is precedent for Christians uniting against darkness that seeks the destruction of Christianity, all Christians, and the rest of a population.  Alfred the Great was a Christian who inspired professing Christian warriors to push back the Viking rebels who had destroyed monasteries and killed priests. And Charlemagne was a Christian who also united professing Christian soldiers to stop France and the rest of Europe from being taken over by Islamic terrorists who were invading their lands.  Even now a small band of Christians have formed an army to fight and kill jihadists who attack the holy sites of Syria.

Fortunately, many of the Arab nations have begun to fight back.  Jordan struck hard after a Jordanian pilot was burned alive, as seen on a You Tube video.  Egypt joined the fray when the 21 were martyred on the set of what was made to look like an ocean shore.  Now an Arab coalition is forming with Saudi Arabia taking point.  Saudi Arabia has been striking hard at munitions targets in Yemen.

America has been giving token support to the fight in a “blue room” coalition of 60 nations.  America provides minimal air support to these Arab nations.  Just as America did not back the millions of Iranian demonstrators who longed for democracy, so now America does not provide even small arms to the only Christian hold-outs in Iraq, the Kurds.  America is involved in the fight, but only at a “containment” level, which is not working.

BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVE

More to the biblical point: What is the mind of Christ in this situation?  Is there a difference between how a nation should respond and how an individual should respond?  Jesus said to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43).  Are we to love and forgive the ISIS terrorists?  As our enemies increasingly focus their efforts on Christians in general and on the “little Satan,” Israel, with the long range view (and delivery system) to the “great Satan,” the United States, we might want to keep in mind that there is a difference between loving our enemies and allowing them to destroy all that is noble and good.  Both Parts I and II will address these issues.

As Christians should we forgive the savages?  Should we fight against evil?  Should we do both at the same time and forgive evil of this level of degradation?  Perhaps, there is a difference between our responsibility as individuals and as a nation.  Jesus always stood strongly against the kingdom of Satan.  In Matthew 11:12 Jesus said, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”  It appears that Jesus wants us to stand against Satan and do our best to establish His kingdom here on earth, as He “draws all men to him” (John 12:32).  As the terrorists would have it, there will be no men or women to be drawn to Him.  That time will come eventually, of course, but such timing is not in our hands.  What’s in our hands is to press forward to establish His kingdom.

Part 2 will examine the importance of hating evil while loving people and will begin to expand upon the necessary response of righteous men and women, as a nation and as individuals.

VIDEO: A message to the Islamic State from The People of the Cross

Slowly but in a deliberate and steady manner evidence mounts that ISIS squads are slipping into America unchallenged. This exceptional nation that once heard church bells ring in just about every community from sea to shining sea now hears foreign sounds emanating from Mosques smack dab in the middle of town squares. With these cries calling an increasing number of Muslims to pray several times a day, comes still others with Islamic backgrounds and guns meant to subdue and even kill those who will not submit to the god of Islam.

While atheists and God-less people from a variety of political and social persuasions shout “separation of church and state,” there is no shout, much less a murmur, about separation of mosque and state.

In multiple communities and big cities the push to establish Sharia Law is well underway; even aggressive and not forgiving to any who stand and object. Islamic training camps exist within the borders of the United States, but authorities stumble all over themselves defending these sites teaching various courses on domestic armed conflict. These camps are dedicated to Islamic Jihad directed at the Christian community, the Judeo-Christian governmental foundation which established America, and the very culture, values, and heritage which makes the United States of America the exceptional nation the world has known, and Americans seemingly have taken for granted all these years. Those who openly and brazenly shout to “kill Americans” and take this nation for their Islamic beliefs are convinced they can accomplish their aggressive war, and more Islamic soldiers are on their way into this country that once shined as a light for the world to see and be guided by.

The above statements of fact are sobering and disturbing on many levels. Conversely the simple reality is that Jesus Christ’s true followers can stand openly and proclaim with full knowledge and belief; while Jihadists will die for their god; our God died for us! This is absolutely, powerfully, magnificently true! Furthermore the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the true church of Jesus Christ (Matthew 16:18).

So where is this church of power but grace; magnificent strength in love and forgiveness; life changing and healing balm that covers and then penetrates the hardest of hearts, the meanest of souls, the most despicable of behavior?

You are about to watch and listen to such a message delivered by such a Remnant Church reserved for this day and time. The YouTube video below carries a message the Lord Himself spoke some two thousand years ago for you and for me, and even for Jihadists who would just as soon kill The People of the Cross…and have. It is difficult for a “sheep dog” like myself who stands to protect the flock from the wolf who is just waiting to devour members of the flock to recognize that the Lord Jesus Christ freely went to the Cross to shed His blood and surrendered Himself so that none should perish, but that all could have eternal life with Him and our Heavenly Father. But this message must be delivered – even to those who intend to kill and destroy Christians, and the very belief system we stand under.

A whirlwind is coming to America, and has already begun to blow and twist its’ way through the land. There will be destruction. There will be stunned silence at the tremendous force deliberately loosed on this once strong Christian Nation. But through it all there will be a separating of the wheat from the chaff; a separating of the Remnant Church that can and will deliver a message like the one you are about to see and hear from a church that is effeminate and social, filled with compromise and correctness. A whirlwind is coming, and has already begun to blow so a clear division will be available for all to see; a division of those who choose to pick-up their cross daily and walk with it as true followers of Christ, versus those who are too embarrassed, too busy, too invested in their own agenda, even within the church that has become more reflective of society than demonstrative of Christ and His teachings. Come out of the lazy and compromised groups who meet all over this country for “feel good sessions” on Sundays, but who will not get into the trench and witness for the Lord of lords and King of kings, Jesus the Messiah, next to you on Monday.

Come out and stand with the People of the Cross so all may see to whom you belong.

Renegade Christians

Followers of Christ are coming out from behind church doors to go where the poor and forgotten live.

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On the Ethiopians who were killed in Libya, and why we should expect more to come.

NRO note: This weekend ISIS released a new video showing some 30 Ethiopian Christian men being beheaded in Libya for refusing to convert to Islam (or to pay a tax for refusing to do so). This comes two months after 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian men were martyred at the hands of ISIS for the same reason. Christians and other religious minorities are being targeted, and their future in the Middle East is in peril. Raymond Ibrahim, author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007), and Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, talks about what we know. — KJL

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: What do we know about the Ethiopian Christians killed by ISIS?

RAYMOND IBRAHIM: Like the 21 Copts slaughtered before them in February, they were likely impoverished migrant workers from the days of Qaddafi, trapped in post–“Arab Spring” Libya.  ISIS killed them in two sets — the first were shot execution-style in the backs of their heads, the second had their heads hacked off.  The video is horrific — the blood and gore puts Hollywood’s gory movies to shame.

By way of context: Soon after Qaddafi’s overthrow, Ansar al-Sharia — the “Supporters of Islamic Law” — offered rewards to any Muslim who finds any Christians (most being from neighboring Egypt). In the past few years, scores of Coptic Christians were randomly killed — in one instance, a family consisting of a mother, a father, and their young daughter (graphic pictures here). But since Ansar al-Sharia morphed into an affiliate of ISIS, the slaughter of Christians has been even more systematic.

LOPEZ: In the ISIS video they are described as “worshipers of the cross belonging to the hostile Ethiopian Church.” Is the Ethiopian Church hostile, or is this just propaganda?

IBRAHIM: This is pure propaganda, more “Muslim grievances” that have no grounding in reality. Here’s another example: When ISIS slaughtered the 21 Coptic Christians, it cited hackneyed grievances against the Coptic Church. The late Coptic Pope Shenouda III was portrayed as “a U.S. agent, an abductor and torturer of female Muslim converts from Christianity, who was stockpiling weapons in monasteries and churches with a view to waging war against the Muslims and dividing Egypt to create a Coptic State.”

Such is Islamic propaganda and projection — always accusing others of what Islamists habitually do.

These accusations were proven false several times — one woman even appeared on video saying she had voluntarily returned to Christianity — but, regardless, ISIS still cited it in its justification to kill the 21 Copts (as “payback”). Even the 2011 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad — the attack killed around 60 worshipers, many of them women and children — was blamed on the aforementioned allegations against the Coptic pope in Egypt (as if Iraqi Christians had anything to do with them, even if the allegations were true).

Bottom line, as shown in The Al Qaeda Reader (and in this article): The messages that these jihadi organizations send to the world at large are antithetical to the messages they send to fellow Muslims. To the former, they play the grievance card; to the latter, they say Islamic law commands that they attack, slaughter, plunder, rape, and enslave “infidels.”

LOPEZ: Why is that propaganda effective?

IBRAHIM: The effectiveness of this propaganda is simple: No matter how absurd, there are some in the West who are more than happy to leap on such “grievances” and say “Aha, that’s why Muslims are angry! It has to do with economics and politics, and grievances relating to them — not with hostile Islamic teachings.” Anyone acquainted with the “mainstream media,” Mideast academic departments, and, of course, the White House knows what I mean.

LOPEZ: Is this just like what happened with the Coptic martyrs?

IBRAHIM: Yes, the recent butchery of the Ethiopian Christians is nearly identical to what happened to the Egyptian Christians. Speaking of propaganda: There is an important but overlooked point to be made here about both groups. They had their heads hacked off because they refused to renounce the Christian Trinity and embrace Islam. Because this little fact does not sit well with ISIS — who are more interested in demoralizing Western/Christian viewers than in inspiring them through the courage of these martyrs — this aspect is not always readily apparent. But ISIS has left many conquered Christians and other non-Muslims who convert to Islam in peace. It has also let some Christians remain, as long as they pay jizya, extortion money, and live as third-class citizens, according to Koran 9:29 and the Conditions of Omar.

In the video, ISIS says that the Ethiopian Christians did not pay jizya (likely because they didn’t have any money). This means that the Ethiopians were given Islam’s classic three choices: convert to Islam, pay jizya and remain Christian, or die (according to Islamic prophet Muhammad’s teachings). If they had no money, it came down to convert to Islam or die. Their execution is proof that they refused to convert.  It’s the same with the 21 Copts before them — some of whom could be seen uttering Christ’s name in prayer seconds before being barbarously beheaded.  And it’s the same with the four Iraqi children who were beheaded for “loving Jesus” and refusing to profess Muhammad the prophet of God….  Keep reading

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France: Muslim computer science student and his sister plotted jihad mass murder attacks against churches

VIDEO DEBATE: Does God Exist?

Vizcaya Debate 20 April 2015 as I go up against Rabbi Barry Silver on the age-old question: DOES GOD EXIST?

Check out this insightful evening that has many humorous moments.

RELATED ARTICLE: Time to Remove Satan from the Public Square

Do Godly People Need Help Reading the Scriptures?

I am often asked what I think of the Blood Moons theory, which is tied to religious leaders, notably John Hagee, who use a convoluted analysis of certain passages from the Bible to convince Christians that the Second Coming is imminent and will happen in their lifetimes, something that many Christians have believed since the days of Christ. Something that will be true, at least for a future generation.

Blood-moons

For a larger view click on the image.

Many pastors over the last centuries have preached that, based on this or that Biblical passage, Jesus must be coming during their lifetime, sparing Christians the pain of death in this or that generation. People looked to these religious leaders believing that they had a special gift of prophecy and staked all their hopes in their words, often putting aside their own plans for their future and for the future of their nations, even though there were serious issues that went unresolved as a result of their abandoning their earthly duties.

I want to point something out.

If you are a godly Christian with a thorough knowledge of Jesus’ teachings, you know that you don’t have to follow “godly men” and their interpretation of the scriptures. If you are not a godly person with such knowledge, then you are spiritually and intellectually incapable of properly identifying a godly person. You have no idea what that means and a man with a strong personality will mesmerize you like a mother mesmerizes a baby with a lullaby

I responded thusly to one of those who asked me about the Blood Moons theory.

There have been numerous blood moon tetrads since about the year 800 and none of them were accompanied by events more significant than other events in times of no blood moon tetrads.

I believe that God wrote the Bible for ordinary people and does not send signs that need to be interpreted with specialized knowledge and analysis. He knows that to give us such abstruse signs would put us in the hands of a few shrewd men claiming to have such knowledge and that they would exploit us for their own purposes, and worse, for Satan’s purposes, just as the Neocons exploit soft-headed Christians constantly for the purpose of supporting war by designating as leaders certain men who claim to be Christians and whose behavior suggests they are “godly” when in fact they are deceivers whose wars invariably redound to the deaths of Middle East Christians. It has happened over and over again and some Christians have never observed the obvious pattern of this deceit.

I grew up in a fundamentalist home and saw all sorts of pastors and evangelists pretending to know things that they did not and making dated predictions that did not materialize.

I remember one itinerant evangelist by the name of Oliver B. Green from Greenville, SC who preached in the 1950s.

He had a stentorian voice, like John Hagee, and mesmerized his audiences, who came to hear him in his big circus tent. He put on quite a show, always jumping onto the top of his pulpit and gesticulating wildly at least once during his sermon to make a point. He once said that some had complained about his acrobatics and warned that they might be considered blasphemous, but he said “this is my pulpit.” My dad said that was an arrogant thing so say and that since Green was using the pulpit for God’s work, it was God’s pulpit, not his.

Years later I saw a pamphlet in my parents’ bedroom titled: “Why Man will Never Reach the Moon” written by none other than Oliver B. Green. That was a few years before man did reach the moon.

Green’s arguments were all taken from the Bible and they proved beyond a doubt that man would never reach the moon.

At the time I found these arguments to be far fetched and yet I hated myself for doubting the truth as written by this godly man, whom I had been taught to honor.

Even after man reached the moon, taking that small step for a man, my parents never wavered in their faith in Oliver B. Green. He was still a man of God.

That is the mechanism by which we are misled.

Yet the stakes have never been higher. Our Christian brethren are dying throughout the Middle East thanks to the credulity of American Christians in particular, the one group these Middle Easterners are looking to for their salvation from the horrors and atrocities they face. It is high time for godly men to do their own thinking, and their own praying.

Let’s not be misled again, for God’s sake.