Monday, October 31, 2005
However, as a Christian, I am told not to "isolate" my faith. I am also told not to become part of the world that rejects Christ and God's Word, the Bible. We are to "insulate" ourselves from the darkness of evil, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't boldly proclaim the Gospel of Christ with non-believers. Our Great Commission calling is to influence the world and we are to infiltrate the world with the Gospel of Christ.
I take this night as a subtle opportunity to witness to others. As the children choose their big candy bars from the bowl, I place a "Lord of the Rings" or "Tower Power" tract into their bag and tell them that it is something that they can read later.
In past years, I have seen some of the tracts torn up and/or thrown on my driveway the next day. But that's O.K. Most of them end up going home with the children and who knows where sharing the Gospel of Christ in this way might lead?
When they say, "happy halloween", I respond with, "have fun, be safe, and God bless."
There goes the doorbell again!
Straight Talk Radio debuts with Stephen and Irene Bennett today – worldwide! Stephen and Irene felt it appropriate to begin the radio ministry with a special, two part series titled “A Heart for the Homosexual.”
When you get to the site, go to the upper left hand corner and click on either "Windows Media" or "Real Audio" to listen to today's half-hour broadcast.
A Heart for the Homosexual
Sunday, October 30, 2005
Like a house of cards, the fool's life crumbles. Many people are headed for destruction, not always out of stubbornness, but sometimes out of thoughtlessness.
Part of my responsibility as a believer is to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed and to point out the consequences of ignoring Christ's message.
Verse 22 mentions "that day" (the day of judgment when God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith) and only our relationship with Christ - our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him; which means recognizing Him as Lord, - will matter.
Notice that I said, "only our RELATIONSHIP with Christ - meaning our acceptance of him as Savior and our obedience to him (as Lord) - will matter" come judgment day. This is written and discussed in detail within the Scriptures.
In John 3:3, Jesus himself stated the importance of being 'born again', "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
In John 3:35,36 He also stated, "The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."
There is no doubt that God the Father requires repentance of sin, and acceptance of his Son as Lord and Savior in each individual life in order for anyone to see the kingdom of God and live with Him forever in eternity.
This earth will not last forever. Even evolutionary scientists believe that the earth (indeed, the universe) had a beginning (Big Bang), is winding down and the sun will eventually burn out. Without the sun, the earth and it's inhabitants cannot survive. Burned out stars in the universe are seen through telescopes and even the naked eye.
Correction re: (shooting stars). Thomas stated: "meteors, are not actually stars, but rather little bits of space dust (sometimes rocks) that come screaming through our atmosphere at many thousand miles per hour." Thanks Thomas!
Scientifically, this indicates that our sun will one day meet the same fate.
The Bible records for us the beginning of the world and the end of the world. The story of mankind from beginning to end - from the fall into sin to redemption and God's ultimate victory over evil, sin and death - is found in the pages of the Bible.
Genesis: The sun is created.
Revelation: The sun is not needed
Genesis: Satan is victorious
Revelation: Satan is defeated
Genesis: Sin enters the human race
Revelation: Sin is banished
Genesis: People run and hide from God
Revelation: People are invited to live with God forever
Genesis: People are cursed
Revelation: The curse is removed
Genesis: Tears are shed, with sorrow for sin
Revelation: No more sin, no more tears or sorrow
Genesis: The garden and earth are cursed
Revelation: God's city is glorified, the earth is made new
Genesis: The fruit from the tree of life is not to be eaten
Revelation: God's redeemed people may eat freely from the tree of life
Genesis: Paradise is lost
Revelation: Paradise is regained
Genesis: People are doomed to death
Revelation: Death is defeated, believers live forever with God
Jesus said that 'not one jot nor tittle will disappear from the Law until all is fulfilled.' Many of the 300 or more prophecies (that point directly to Jesus as Messiah) predicted in the Bible have already been fulfilled. Believers have the assurance that the rest will also be fulfilled as well.
In John 2:17, Jesus said, "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." Revelation 21:1 says, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea."
The earth as we know it will not last forever, but after God's great judgment, he will create a new earth (see Romans 8:18-21; 2 Peter 3:7-13).
An atheist once said these words about me, "Ms. Watson would be rebuked by most of society if she, as she infers, follows all the dictates of her Bible."
It is true that some in our society would attempt to rebuke me (and any other born-again Christian) and Romans 1:18-20 tells us why. Romans 2:5-8 tells us what will happen to those who are unrepentant when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
The following verses describe salvation's freeway:
Romans 3:23 Everyone has sinned.
Romans 6:23 The penalty for our sin is death.
Romans 5:8 Jesus Christ died for sin.
Romans 10:8-10 To be forgiven for our sin, we must confess our sin and repent, and believe that Jesus is Lord. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ.
This atheist went on to accuse me: ""Her selective choice of passages in that book, which she believes bolsters her inane concepts, are seen a perfunctory."
Perhaps the verses that I share appear to be routine or superficial to this man. However, Jesus declared to the Father, "Your Word is truth." What "word" was Jesus referring to? The Bible!
This atheist who took the time to challenge Christian beliefs had been obviously influenced by "politically correct" thinking which has been influenced by a form of relativism called 'epistemological relativism'.
The word epistemology refers to one's view or theory of knowledge - one's explanation of how human beings come to know things. Epistemological relativism sees knowledge as relative, and objective truth as nonexistent. To believe in objective truth, in contrast, is to affirm that some claims about the world are true or false regardless of what others perceive to be true.
Truth is not an attitude. Truth is not how we know, truth is what we know. What 'objective' means in "objective truth" is "independent of the knower and his consciousness."
"I itch" is a subjective truth; "Plato wrote the 'Republic' " is an objective truth. "I don't want to be selfish" is a subjective truth; "I ought to be unselfish whether I want to or not" is an objective truth.
The fact that objective truth exists does not mean that people's subjective perceptions, prejudices, biases, or faulty theories do not get in the way of it. Neither does it mean that anyone who claims to have objective truth really has it. In fact, to affirm that some perceptions and claims are flawed and that we can progress in our knowledge of the world after detecting these flaws assumes the reality of objective truth. We cannot say that someone is wrong unless we have some notion as to what is right - what is objective truth.
The opposite of objective truth is relativism. Relativism has at least seven fatal flaws...what renders it meaningless, self-refuting and false.
1. Relativists can't accuse others of wrongdoing
2. Relativists can't complain about the problem of evil
3. Relativists can't place blame (even though, like my atheists challenger, they try to!) or accept praise (even though they want it!).
4. Relativists can't make charges of unfairness or injustice
5. Relativists can't improve their morality
6. Relativists can't hold meaningful moral discussions
7. Relativists can't promote the obligation of tolerance.
Another common claim of atheists is that Christianity is based on superstition and/or myth; and that it is not necessary to have a "personal relationship with God."
This atheist man's view that my values are "on superstitious ideas" is a judgment made by him without any evidence. We all live our lives relying on the belief that objective truth exists - if only we can find it. Truth is more than spouting subjective views, such as this man's personal views. It has objective existence. It has universal application. Truth is true even if no one knows it; admits it; agrees what it is; follows it; or if no one but God grasps it fully.
Psalm 33:4 - For the word of the LORD [is] right; and all his works [are done] in truth.
Look at this warning in Hosea 4:1 - Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because [there is] no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land.
Where is our true hope?
Colossians 1:5 - For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as [it is] in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as [it doth] also in you, since the day ye heard [of it], and knew the grace of God in truth:
1 Thessalonians 2:13 - For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Preeminence of Christ
9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption *through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Reconciled in Christ
19 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.
21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight-- 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Sacrificial Service for Christ
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: *which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Of course, everyone is most welcome to post a comment or question about this topic. However, it is my hope that fellow Christian believers who frequent this blog might be led to participate and share their beliefs regarding this question.
The question is:
Do you believe in the doctrine that states "once saved, always saved" or is there more to consider?
It might be interesting to see the answers to this important question.
Later today, I will share an answer from an individual who previously posted at my Talkwisdom message board. It was quite good.
But first, would anyone care to share their thoughts?
P.S. Please feel free to share any Scripture verses (or just the reference, e.g. Luke 7:50) when answering this question in your comments. Thanks!
Here is the post from my former message board. It was written by an individual whose screenname was "Prather." Within the post, he was responding to someone with the screenname of "Shipwreck," so when you see that in the comments you will understand that his post was in response to another post. You will notice that he uses the term "shipwreck" too. It appears to me that this was in response to the poster "Shipwreck" using that term as an analogy. Confused? Sorry! Unfortunately, I don't have Shipwreck's post to share here. However, when I first read Prather's comments I knew that I wanted to save them. It was a great response to our question today about "OSAS" - Once Saved, Always Saved.
Although most people know about this abbreviation, just for clarity I will share that the IMHO stands for "in my humble opinion."
Ecc 12:12-14 - And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
This debate has gone on for millenia. God says what He says He will do, which is believe and you will be saved, walk in your belief and you will please the Father, keep His ways and you will testify Him. IMHO, it is unwise to enter into the will of the Father and meddle in His sovereignty. God examines the heart, the motives of the people who claim His name. It isn't just in what one does, but why one does it and what they do with their error. David certainly erred in a great way before the eyes of men and the ways of God, but his heart always belonged to God and his repentance was always genuine. In this regard, it would appear IMHO that one can decide in and decide out, but cannot lose their salvation by accident. I.e., it isn't dependent upon our works but rather the desires of our heart and what we do with our errors.
1Jo 5:16-17 - If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.
IMHO this means that one can choose (all sin is a choice) to leave God behind in their heart and cling to the deceiver instead. This also IMHO deals with many of the verses that are so confusing. That is if we sin, we die. If we say we do not sin, we lie and do not tell the truth. If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins. In all of these things, what we see is not the action, but the choice and the condition of the heart.
Certainly in Nebuchadnezzar we see a man that was not a Jew, but given by God to do a certain thing. Then he went through 7 years as a "stump" in the ground and when he repented in the end, he was made great again. This, not even a Jew, is recorded in Daniel.
In David, as long as he sought himself, he failed. When he repented and sought the ways of the Father, he was again blessed. A cycle repeats itself. Hmmmmmm . . . I don't see "shipwreck" per say, but I certainly see decisions.
In Ezekiel, we see the watchman and what happens to the righteous when they turn from their righteousness and what happens to the wicked when they turn from their wickedness. Not shipwreck, but decisions. Shipwreck says that even if one is ignorant in their sin, or lost in their emotions for a moment, and dies, they will not be saved. This IMHO is works-based salvation, not faith-based salvation. But, lest we become "stiff-necked" as were the Jews of the OT (and observably so today as well), we cannot rest in the notion that we have absolute liberty in grace either. We choose to accept Him, we can choose to deny Him as well.
Another example of how our motives are examined:
Jam 4:2 - Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
Heb 12:16-17 - Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
Esau may have sought with many tears his birthright, BUT, what was the motive of his tears? To have his own honor and rights restored, not to serve God. David, on the other hand, in his repentence sought to serve the Lord alone. Once again, God knows the heart, not just the ways of our errors alone - one doesn't stand without the other.
So, IMHO, if the heart is right, certainly salvation is assured, i.e. OSAS. But, if the heart is openly willing to seek only itself and in complete opposition to the will of God and without any regard for His will in one's life, then that is a choice to deny Him and would be evaluated the same as denying Christ IMHO - a sin unto death.
Heb 6:4-6 - For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
And yet, we are told if the wicked turn from their wickedness and walk in His statutes, they will certainly live. If the righteous turn from their righteousness and walk in wickedness, they will certainly die. But if the righteous having turned from their righteousness into wickedness, turn again to their righteousness, they will certainly live (Eze 3 and 33).
So - - - bottom line, it's the condition of the heart and not just the acts of sin, followed by the condition of the heart in repentance after acknowledging the sin we clearly see. It's all a matter of choice IMHO . . . salvation is God's sovereignty and we shouldn't be evaluating that nor attempting to say that God is limited to the doctrines of our own understanding.
Just some thoughts.
Jam 3:18 - And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
I think that participation by Christians, even priests and pastors, in politics, the pulpit, and the blogosphere is certainly helpful and definitely necessary in confronting today's social, moral, ethical and political issues of our time.
Here are some biblical examples to back up this idea:
In 2 Chronicles 23, Jehoiada the priest finally got up the courage after 7 years of wicked rule by Athaliah, to take action and get rid of the idolatrous ruler. The qualities of character displayed by Jehoiada was to correct a wrong when exposed to it and/or speak out for what is right. It takes courage to act when such situations arise. Jehoiada did what was right even though it could have cost him his life!
In 2 Kings 9-10 we read about king Jehu, who had a mix of good and bad qualities of character. Jehu could be likened to the church of Pergamos (Revelation 2:12-17) because both were surrounded by idol worship. Jehu was willing to compromise but the Pergamum church stood firm and refused to renounce faith. However, the Lord saw some members tolerating what God opposed - thus blending two opposites which leads to a concession of principles.
This is happening today.
A major denomination is suffering and likely to split over tolerance and blatant acceptance of sin by some of its members and leaders. The abomination of immoral homosexual practices by an ordained bishop is being condoned by some in that denomination due to pressure to be openminded.
In the Revelation verses, Christ rebuked the church for tolerating those who lead people away from God. As born-again Christian followers of Christ are we to just stand by and watch such things infiltrate our churches and do absolutely nothing to combat it through any legitimate means possible; including politically?
I don't think so.
The biblical account of Elijah and Elisha teaches us an important lesson. God is sovereign. The same Holy Spirit indwelt both Elijah and Elisha although their ministries differed. The same Holy Spirit can work in two persons in different ways, according to His purpose for His people.
Like Paul told us, some are evangelists, some are teachers, and some are helpers. Some have a message of warning, some of comfort.
Most of Elisha's miracles were miracles of grace, healing, help, and comfort while Elijah, like John the Baptist, was called to a work of conviction, warning, and judgment.
The point is both are needed!
In fact, both prophets, though they may have been known for one type of ministry more than the other, did have moments where they revealed both sides of God's character.
The stern Elijah also showed great compassion and tenderness toward the bereaved widow (1 Kings 17).
The gracious Elisha sternly judged the God-despising youth and prophesied other judgments (2 Kings 2:23-24; 5:27).
It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit within you and another thing to have the Holy Spirit filling you so that nothing blocks the outflow of spiritual, supernatural power in your life.
We as Christians can demonstrate that power working within; no matter what career we are in. The Lord will lead us in the direction we should go whether we demonstrate and use a character similar to Elijah's or Elisha's.
The danger of having the attitude that we need not do anything to combat the ACLU and all like-minded, anti-God, anti-Bible political organizations of our day is that our religious freedoms could very well be taken away. Evidence of this is the current 'wacky law passing' judicial activism inculcating our culture which is bent on re-interpreting the meaning our Founding Fathers gave to our Constitution.
When seeking advice in this or any area of life we need to listen carefully and use God's word to "test everything, hold on to the good, and avoid every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22).
All of these may require action on our part. Whether we like it or not, the reality is that we are in a battle for the minds, hearts, souls and spirits of our children and grandchildren. It is each Christian's moral duty to live, wait, watch, and WORK in such a time as this and, especially, to manifest the unchanging character of Christ in our present circumstances. He is our Savior, Lord, and King, and His love needs to be shed abroad in our hearts and in our world - now.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Ecclesiastes chapter 1 tells us the negative effects of not knowing our purpose. Everything leads to weariness. Life becomes a "treadmill." Life will seem unfulfilling. People are restless; never satisfied or at peace. Nothing is new.
Some things seem unfixable. "What is twisted cannot be straightened" refers to the ultimate perplexity and confusion that come to us because of all the unanswered questions in life.
Solomon, writing about his own life, discovered that neither his accomplishments nor his wisdom could make him truly happy. True wisdom is found in God, and true happiness comes from pleasing Him.
Family, good career, being the best we can be, making a difference in this life, helping other people, learning and growing and appreciating our lives every day are all very important. However, we need to thank God for being here in the first place and remember that ultimately our purpose in life comes from Him through the timeless truths of His Word.
A man who labels himself atheist/agnostic often posts messages to counter and challenge Biblical principles and wisdom at my message board. He once asked me, "Do Christians help others because they’re trying to (1.) score brownie points with God, or (2.) because helping other people is the right thing to do?" Then he said, "If you picked #2, then you didn’t need God to tell you that."
My answer to point # 1 is "no". We cannot out-give God, and thus all that we do in the name of Jesus is out of gratitude and love for God and not out of obligation or "brownie points".
Look at the following verse:
Isaiah 64:6 - For all of us have become like one who is unclean, And all our righteous deeds are like a filthy garment; And all of us wither like a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
New American Standard Bible © 1995 Lockman Foundation
The same verse in the NLT version:
Isaiah 64:6 - We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away.
New Living Translation © 1996 Tyndale Charitable Trust
Someone else at the message board stated that Christians aren't doing a very good job and she cited the pedophile priest scandal.
I sincerely think that the priests who were involved with the sexual abuse of young, and teenaged boys happened as a result of them being a "broken vessel". Despite their desire to be priests, they also had allowed themselves to engage in abominable behavior.
Blaise Pascal, a French physicist and philosopher of the 17th century said, "There is a God-shaped vacuum in every heart." I think that many people who go astray, try to fill that "vacuum" with substitutes...often very unhealthy ones too. They fill that vacuum up with everything but God.
The Bible discusses "broken clay vessels" in Jeremiah 18:4 (NIV). We might expect most broken vessels to end up in a trash heap somewhere. But God can reach down and if we allow him to, God, as the "potter" can "form us into another pot, shaping it (us) as seems best to him."
I pray that these priests will allow God to do this for them.
As our conversation continued, she said that she is disappointed in the teens she knows. Many are not involved with helping the poor and she suggested giving up the money that would have been spent on just one Christmas gift for the teen and, instead, donate that money to a needy family. Bless her heart! A great idea.
However, we might be pleasantly surprised to hear that there are many kids and teens who do that very thing! And, many are volunteering at churches, missions, soup kitchens. Unfortunately, their volunteerism goes mostly unnoticed by the press and TV news.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV) - Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up....A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The words of the Teacher in Ecclesiastes capture the importance of our uniting with our brothers and sisters in Christ, for just as a rope with many strands is strong, so is the man or woman (or teen!) of God who labors with another Christian. The tasks for helping the poor and needy can seem insurmountable. But with each of us binding together with one or more people, we can make a difference for one person and/or family at a time.
One of the reasons we don't always hear about people doing good for the poor and needy is because "bad" news sells in newspapers, radio and TV. The 700 Club often has humanitarian stories that include teens.
Jesus told us in the Bible that we would always have the poor among us. We are to do our best to help...even if it is only one soul or family at a time...even if we are not recognized and/or rewarded for our efforts; for "great is our reward in heaven" rather than the "material things" here on this earth.
We are to set our sights on things that will matter for eternity, rather than those things which only last for a brief time. One day the earth with "pass away" but the Word of God lives forever. We should be concerned about both feeding the bodies of the poor, as well as sharing the "hope that is in us". We are called to do both, and that "hope within us" is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
I just love Michael W. Smith's music. This song just came on and I wanted to share the lyrics here:
Here I Am
There's a place where I can go
Where the angels hear me pray
I want to change
Yes I need Your touch
I'm waiting here for You
And I fall, at Your feet
I'll give it all, until the day we meet
Here I am
Ready to give up my life for the One
Here I am
Ready to pour out my heart for the Son
Here I am
Here I come to Your threshing floor
Where the angels fear to tread
I'm waiting here for the King of love
And to hold the hands that bled
And I fall, at Your feet
I'll give it all, until the day we meet
Listen to a Here I Am music clip. Scroll down to #16 and click on the words "Here I Am."
Ready to pour out my heart, for the Son!
by Day of Fire
All other ground is sinking sand
A doubting maze of desert land
Where darkness rules the heart of man
Til’ the Son shines light on him
Lord of all,
Show You’re strong
On our knees we fall
Be a cornerstone
Be a cornerstone
Be a rock, higher than I
Be my fortress wall
Be a foundation for all,
The building’s swaying in the wind
The towers crumble down again
This certainly will be the end
Of them not built on Him
Lord of all
Show You're strong
On our knees we fall
Be a cornerstone
Be a cornerstone
Be a rock, higher than I
Be my fortress wall
Be a foundation for all,
You are the builder of my heart
You've held me together from the start
Be a cornerstone
Be a cornerstone
Be a rock, higher than I
Be my fortress wall
Be a foundation for all,
Cornerstone music clip.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
The Narrow Way
13 "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 *Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
You Will Know Them by Their Fruits
(Matt. 12:33; Luke 6:43-45)
15 "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.
I Never Knew You
(Luke 6:46; 13:26, 27)
21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Build on the Rock
24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
The verses above are Jesus' own words. They are words of warning that the way to life is narrow and there are few that find it. He also warns us to beware of false prophets and how to recognize them by their "fruits."
Jesus tells us in those verses that not everyone who calls 'Lord, lord' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. How does He know who are his own? He tells us, "those who do the will of My Father in heaven."
Jesus tells us to "build on the Rock." 24Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:..."
Who is this Rock? It is Jesus himself!
25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Contrast this with what he says about NOT building your "house on the Rock" -
26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
The message is so clear. All other ground is sinking sand. Build your house on the Rock....Jesus Christ!It is the false converts, nominal Christians, those who believe in 'cheap grace' who may face the words Jesus uttered in Matthew 7:23 - And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
I ran across this article that describes the "false convert" concept discussed in "The Way of the Master" book as "cheap grace."
In 'Cheap Grace'Is No Grace At All, Rev. Creech states:
"In previous studies, Barna research demonstrated how a biblical worldview radically alters a person's lifestyle choices, causing them to reject matters like cohabitation, drunkenness, gay sex, profanity, pornography, adultery, gambling and abortion. Nevertheless, Barna says despite all the debate in recent years about various moral issues and the effort of thousands of churches to strengthen people's moral convictions, "only 5% of adults have a biblical worldview. The percentage varies among faith groups. About half of all evangelicals have such a perspective. Overall, 8% of Protestants possess that view, compared to less than one half of one percent of Catholics." Furthermore, the vast majority of people without a biblical worldview, 88% to be exact, feel they are "accepted by God."
These amazing statistics remind me of a phrase Dietrich Bonhoeffer coined to address the self-delusion of Lutheran Church members in Germany in his day. In The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer spoke of those who had only experienced "cheap grace." He defined cheap grace as "the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession.
Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."
Another term used to describe those who are not obedient and do not hold to Christ's authority is "nominal Christians". I have heard of that term before. Note the following quote from the article:
"Well-known biblical commentator Arthur W. Pink once mused: "Never were there so many millions of nominal Christians on earth as there are today, and never was there such a small percentage of real ones .... We seriously doubt whether there has ever been a time in the history of this Christian era when there were such multitudes of deceived souls within the churches, who verily believe that all is well with their souls when in fact the wrath of God abideth on them."
Now we know why the Bible tells us that "narrow is the way which leadeth unto life".
Matthew 7:14 - Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Why do only 5% (according to Barna research) of Christians hold to the Biblical worldview? Perhaps these verses from Jude helps explain:
Greetings from Jude
This letter is from Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ and a brother of James.
I am writing to all who are called to live in the love of God the Father and the care of Jesus Christ.
2 May you receive more and more of God's mercy, peace, and love.
The Danger of False Teachers
3 Dearly loved friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the truth of the Good News.* God gave this unchanging truth once for all time to his holy people. 4 I say this because some godless people have wormed their way in among you, saying that God's forgiveness allows us to live immoral lives. The fate of such people was determined long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
5 I must remind you-and you know it well-that even though the Lord* rescued the whole nation of Israel from Egypt, he later destroyed every one of those who did not remain faithful. 6 And I remind you of the angels who did not stay within the limits of authority God gave them but left the place where they belonged. God has kept them chained in prisons of darkness, waiting for the day of judgment. 7 And don't forget the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring towns, which were filled with sexual immorality and every kind of sexual perversion. Those cities were destroyed by fire and are a warning of the eternal fire that will punish all who are evil.
8 Yet these false teachers, who claim authority from their dreams, live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at the power of the glorious ones.* 9 But even Michael, one of the mightiest of the angels, did not dare accuse Satan of blasphemy, but simply said, "The Lord rebuke you." (This took place when Michael was arguing with Satan about Moses' body.) 10 But these people mock and curse the things they do not understand. Like animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and they bring about their own destruction. 11 How terrible it will be for them! For they follow the evil example of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they will do anything for money. And like Korah, they will perish because of their rebellion.
12 When these people join you in fellowship meals celebrating the love of the Lord, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.* They are shameless in the way they care only about themselves. They are like clouds blowing over dry land without giving rain, promising much but producing nothing. They are like trees without fruit at harvesttime. They are not only dead but doubly dead, for they have been pulled out by the roots. 13 They are like wild waves of the sea, churning up the dirty foam of their shameful deeds. They are wandering stars, heading for everlasting gloom and darkness.
14 Now Enoch, who lived seven generations after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said,
"Look, the Lord is coming
with thousands of his holy ones.
He will bring the people of the world
He will convict the ungodly of all the evil things
they have done in rebellion
and of all the insults that godless sinners
have spoken against him."*
16 These people are grumblers and complainers, doing whatever evil they feel like. They are loudmouthed braggarts, and they flatter others to get favors in return.
A Call to Remain Faithful
17 But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ told you, 18 that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to enjoy themselves in every evil way imaginable. 19 Now they are here, and they are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They live by natural instinct because they do not have God's Spirit living in them.
20 But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit.* 21 Live in such a way that God's love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. 22 Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. 23 Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren't contaminated by their sins.*
A Prayer of Praise
24 And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling, and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy. 25 All glory to him, who alone is God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to him, in the beginning, now, and forevermore. Amen.
Greek to contend for the faith.
Some manuscripts read Jesus.
The glorious ones are probably evil angels.
Or they are contaminants among you, or they are stains.
The quotation comes from the Apocrypha: Enoch 1:9.
The quotation comes from the Apocrypha: Enoch 1:9.
Greek Pray in the Holy Spirit.
Greek mercy, hating even the clothing stained by the flesh.
Monday, October 24, 2005
Recently, I received a letter in the mail that was written by Barbara Curley, the mother of Jeffrey Curley, a boy who at the young age of ten was lured into the car of two pedophile members of this atrocious and evil organization. Jeffrey tried to fight off the sexual advances of these perverts (one was 300 lbs.) for twenty minutes. He was smothered with a gasoline soaked rag, killed, and then his corpse was sexually abused and raped by these two monsters.
Be prepared. This letter is so grievous, heartbreaking, and deeply sad. What these evil men did to this little boy is absolutely appalling. I couldn't hold back my anger or my tears. For the sake of this innocent little boy's memory, we must rise to the call made by his mother and do all we can to help destroy this awful, perverted organization!
Here is the letter:
It could easily have been your own child - or grandchild. Or perhaps your neighbor's boy.
But it was my little boy Jeffrey. Only ten years old.
And when they told me he was dead it was like they ripped my heart out of my chest. I went into total shock. I couldn't believe it.
Little did I know then that Jeffrey's death would pit us in a landmark case against the ACLU, their powerful attorneys backed up with millions of dollars, and their most notorious client ever -- the North American Man/Boy Love Association - otherwise known as NAMBLA!
You see, during the criminal investigation of Jeffrey's death police found out Charles Jaynes, one of his killers, was a member of NAMBLA.
NAMBLA is no doubt the most sick, perverted organization on the face of the earth. There are around 900 dues-paying pedophile members, whose ranks even included Nobel Prize winner and media darling Allen Ginsberg.
And our lawyer says wherever there is child porn, or men buying a swapping little boys for sex in this country, you find members of NAMBLA are always involved.
Charles Jaynes wrote in his diary that NAMBLA drove him to do what he did. NAMBLA helped him overcome any inhibitions he had about having sex with little boys.
And he documents in that diary the way he seduced other young boys. He even viewed NAMBLA's web site the day he and his homosexual lover killed Jeffrey.
The fact of the matter is, NAMBLA encourages men to have sex with young boys, and members actually trade how-to information about seducing and having sex with children. They share information on how not to get caught, and what to do if they are.
NAMBLA is an ongoing criminal enterprise of pornography, rape, kidnapping and prostitution. And, as is so evident by what happened to Jeffrey, they condone violence to any who oppose them.
And as hard as this has been for me, I know God put this on Jeffrey's dad and me for one purpose - to put NAMBLA out of business.
The plague of pedophilia is worse than you might think. In Great Britain, 1 in 200 adults are pedophiles!
Charles Jaynes and his lover, Sal Sicari, are now in prison. And because Massachusetts doesn't have the death penalty, I pray to God they'll never get out.
We filed a wrongful death suit against them after they were convicted of kidnapping and murder in criminal court. The result was the third largest civil verdict in U.S. history. But we'll never see a penny as my son's two murderers are penniless.
However, we filed that first lawsuit because it was a necessary first-step to suing NAMBLA for wrongful-death in my boy's murder. The bottom line: We want to see NAMBLA shut down and prevent what happened to Jeffrey from happening to other boys.
It's a class-action wrongful death lawsuit not only against NAMBLA but also its internet service provider. And, if we can pay the court costs, I'm confident we'll win.
What's more, since NAMBLA is merely an association of members, and not a legal corporation, we can legally go after the members as individuals, and all their assets! But I'm writing you today for several reasons:
First, we need your prayers that our wrongful-death case against NAMBLA will be successful and that we'll raise enough funds to adquately make our case in federal court. We're up against a group of people worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
And the ACLU is also a very powerful, wealthy organization. Our victory will also be a victory against them!
The ACLU sees nothing wrong with NAMBLA! According to John Roberts, Massachusetts ACLU Executive Director, NAMBLA publishes "erotic stories, poetry, pictures of nude boys. But he claims there was nothing on NAMBLA'S Web site that constituted a "criminal act".
The last I heard, child pornography was illegal!
Secondly we are looking for other families of children who have been raped or molested by men who are members of NAMBLA. The more victims who join our lawsuit the better!
And thirdly, as difficult as it is to ask, I want you to consider sending a gift to the Traditional Values Coalition clearly marked "For the Curley family lawsuit against NAMBLA."
You see, we need to raise another $50,000 over the next few weeks for legal costs if we are to succeed. Attorneys and other legal costs must be paid.
I don't know if I can ever pay you back, but won't your gift be worth it if we can keep what happened to Jeffrey from happening to just one other child? Anything you can send will go a long way to putting NAMBLA out of business.
The fact of the matter is there are thousands of victims of NAMBLA every single year! But now, as a result of Jeffrey's tragic sacrifice, we have the opportunity to stop them once and for all. Already our lawsuit has forced them to shut down their pornographic web site!
Founded by Rev. Lou Sheldon, TVC has done more to expose NAMBLA for what they are than any other organization. They are also on the forefront of other key issues such as stopping the teaching of homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle to our children in public schools.
And TVC has a tremendous and effective presence in Washington and in many state capitols where a great battle is being waged for the minds and, yes, even the bodies of our children!
I still think about Jeffrey every minute of every day. Even now I can't force myself to go into Jeffrey's room.
We go to the cemetery to celebrate his birthday, and I have to force back the tears. I just expect him to come running in one day and say, "Mommy, mommy, make me something to eat, I'm hungry!" I never told him good-bye.
The last time I saw Jeffrey he was on his way over to my mother's house to wash our dog.
We didn't know he had been hanging around in the local park with Sal Sicari and his "partner." They took him for a ride and let him steer the car. And they took him to nice restaurants to eat while we thought he was playing with neighborhood children.
These perverts lured my little Jeffrey into their car that October day by promising him a new bicycle. They knew his bike had been stolen. But I had already told Jeffrey he'd have to wait until Christmas for a new bike. I wanted him to learn responsibility. But just think, if I had just bought Jeffrey a new bike, he might have been with us today. And I wonder if those perverts would've moved on to someone else.
When Jeffrey, in the back of Charles Jaynes' Cadillac, fought off Jaynes' sexual advances, Jaynes - nearly 300 pounds - sat on him and smothered his face with a gasoline-soaked rag.
I say smothered. But they said he fought for a good twenty minutes till the fumes finally burnt up his lungs.
Then they took Jeffrey's body to Jayne's apartment and did to Jeffrey's corpse what he wouldn't let them do while he was alive.
Sal finally confessed the evening after they killed him, and after days of searching, police found his body in a river in Maine. Sal and Jaynes filled his mouth with lime and poured it all over his naked body, stuffed it into a 50 gallon Rubbermaid tub, filled the container with concrete, taped it closed, and then dumped it in the river.
Please, I beg of you to help us put NAMBLA out of business. These people are the sickest of the sick. They prey solely on little boys. Lawyers and police investigators familiar with NAMBLA testified that they are "the most cunning of all predators."
Floyd Jozitis, a drug and alcohol counselor for New Hampshire Department of Corrections who infiltrated NAMBLA, said, "Children are being abducted and shuttled from pedophilia house to pedophilia house...They trade off child pornography like playing cards. NAMBLA uses all type of manipulations, verbal and physical, to convince kids that this is okay."
Police found pornographic NAMBLA literature in Jaynes' apartment and even in the backseat of his car where he killed Jeffrey.
Another of our goals is to see that the list of NAMBLA members is made public. They will be made public, because they are all defendants in our wrongful-death lawsuit.
So please, do what you can now in memory of Jeffrey to totally demolish this sick and perverted organization.
We really need your help today. Please take a moment to ask the Lord what you can afford. And send your help today.
P.S. A few years ago there was a group called Uncommon Desires, advocating men having sex with young girls. They were driven out of business in the same way we're going to drive NAMBLA out of business. But it's going to take your help to expose these deviants for what they are, and shut down NAMBLA once and for all! Send your contribution for the Curley family lawsuit to:
Traditional Values Coalition
P.O. Box 131808
Houston, TX 7719-1808
P.P.S. Apparently NAMBLA now sends money to Charles Jaynes in prison, and he's teaching other inmates how to seduce and rape children. Please, help us shut NAMBLA down!
(End of letter)
"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
Jesus' own words:
Mat 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and [that] he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Mar 9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of [these] little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
Luk 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
A question was raised about whether or not it can ever be deemed possible to dialogue with certain kinds of people when the differences of ideology result in murderous fanaticism.
When the tragedy of 9/11 happened, initially, there was unity between all Americans to get the perpetrators who did this terrible destruction and caused the deaths of so many innocent human beings.
However, as time went on and it was discovered that the culprits were identified as Muslim-Arab terrorists; known as followers of Osama Bin Hidin' s (sorry...couldn't resist) al Qaida terrorist group, some people in our country wanted to "understand" them.
This didn't happen overnight, but gradually, we found that anti-war sympathizers and teachers wanted to offer classes in understanding the Quran, Muslim life and why these people did what they did on 9/11. This may sound reasonable, sympathetic and compassionate to some who hold to pacifist ideals, however, we must remember that we aren't talking about Muslim believers who have not be radicalized. We are talking about ruthless murderers who are intent on killing ANYONE, even innocent civilians, because they are seen as "infidels."
Why were we targeted?
Simply because the majority believe in the Judeo-Christian God, and they live in America or Israel. These terrorists see our freedoms as a threat to their goal of global Islamic domination. They see our freedoms which, unfortunately, also allow for moral decadence and sin, as a threat to their way of life. But, the difference is that they are not willing to work out differences in a civil way. They don't allow a democratic-republic kind of government that allows people of differing beliefs to live side by side even though we disagree with each other. It's not perfect. No government is. But it is superior to anything that they would offer the Iraqi people if they had their way. They want tyranny and absolute rule over everyone. We vote for our leaders and for our rights in elections and have courts to settle disputes and disagreements. They indescriminately torture and kill people who don't toe the line of their anarchical mindset.
Added on to this is the fact that they are willing to kill themselves in the process of it all by crashing planes into building, strapping bombs onto their bodies to commit suicide/homicide bombing in order to kill as many members of any land that they perceive as associating with "The Great Satan." Those "infidels" that they name as their enemies are often targeted for their religious beliefs, namely, most are Jews and Christians. However, as 9/11 has taught us, ANYONE who does not bow the knee to "Allah" are considered a legitimate target, even their own Muslim brothers and sisters.
When Dr. Muehlhoff stated that there is even hope for dialogue with people like this, he lost me. IMO, I thought that the liberalism of his former place of employment had, unfortunately, gotten to him.
At the end of class, I went up to him and asked if such dialogue would have worked with the kamikaze Japanese pilots back in WWII. Before he could answer, another gentleman in the class said that isn't the Islamic fanaticism that is going on in the war on terror almost the same thing? The discussion turned towards the war in Iraq and whether or not we should have 'invaded' that country because no WMD's were found....yada yada yada.
I agree with Dr. Muehlhoff to a point. I think that he is right that we need to dialogue, but not with the terrorist fanatics. What is happening in Iraq is truly needed. Changing the minds of the Iraqi people who have not been poisoned by the Muslim terrorist fanaticism is the way to gain freedom and opportunity for a people who had been under the sadistic iron fist regime of Saddam Hussein for 30 years. However, in the case of those who are to far gone in their fanaticism, it comes to a decision of 'kill or be killed'. Terrorists that brutally saw off innocent people's heads and broadcast such atrocities on the internet in an effort to get their demands aren't about to be willing to dialogue with anyone about anything.
Just like the kamikazees of the past, these people must be stopped dead in their tracks. The choice has to be imprisonment for life or elimination in order to halt their murderous rampage. That is reality. That is the cold hard truth.
I didn't get to share much of these thoughts and opinions with Dr. Muehlhoff. As the only woman standing within a group of about 6 men, I was lucky to get in a few brief comments at the beginning of this after class discussion. Besides, it was lunch time and this brief exchange wasn't about to solve such disagreements in so small a time frame.
Since attending this class, I thought about what had happened on the news concerning Cindy Sheehan and her "Camp Casey" campaign outside of President Bush's residence. I thought about the counter demonstration that formed in support of our troops and President Bush. I thought about the media and how what they report will correctly or incorrectly influence the minds of people regarding what is actually going on in Iraq.
Often, the good news gets little press or recognition, but whenever a bomb goes off and there are casualties to report, the incident gets headline news. I'm not saying that such things should go unreported. I, like any other American grieves with each and every death of every brave soldier or marine fighting for our freedom in Iraq. But along with such exposure, the media tilts the message so that it will fare negatively upon our President and his administration.
If you have been reading my blog for some time now, you know that I am not afraid to address controversial issues. This is a big one that has been raging in our news reports on almost a daily basis. I do not claim to have all of the facts about the war, but I will attempt to share my views on it and why I believe as I do that it was the right thing to do.
Ultimately, history will show whether Bush was right or not. The same thing happened with President Reagan and his efforts to end the Cold War. He was ridiculed and opposed no end by those on the other side of the aisle, but history has now shown he was right to do what he did. If you haven't seen the DVD "In the Face of Evil," I highly recommend it. It was quite a history lesson for me. The kind that (unfortunately) isn't being taught in our liberal-led public schools and universities.
I'd like to start by drawing your attention to a recent article written by Mark Steyn in the Chicago Sun Times called Bush Was Right: Sometimes War Is Worth It. This is an honest article. It shows how the media can take even a good thing happening in Iraq and use words to twist it into seeming like it is something bad. Need examples?
Quote from article:
"Needless to say, for the media moaners, the approval of the new constitution was just the latest disaster. ''For the Bush administration, the apparent approval of Iraq's constitution is less of a victory than yet another chance to possibly fashion a political solution that does not result in the bloody division of Iraq,'' wrote Glenn Kessler in the Washington Post, sufficiently rattled by happy scenes of millions voting at least to hedge his bets. Not so Australia's beloved comic doom-monger Paul McGeough, whose post-referendum Sydney Morning Herald dispatch was apocalyptically headlined: 'Iraqi Experiment Splitting Apart At The Seams.' "
Next, I want to share an article that was written by Craig R. Smith and posted at WorldNetDaily in 2004. I call it The Military Brilliance of the Iraq War. The article discusses the reality that the war in Iraq will be seen, historically, as either a) one of the most brilliant military strategies in the war on terror, or b) experiencing yet another example of the "Law of Unintended Consequences."
What the war in Iraq ultimately comes down to is this, "The terrorists don't want to negotiate. They want America and Israel to cease to exist."
I'd like to end this post with a poignant quote from Mark Steyn's article:
"Whatever the Bush administration got wrong, it got one big thing right: that, if you persevered, Iraq had the potential to function as a free society in a part of the world where no such thing has ever existed. That was a long shot, and much sneered at. But Washington judged correctly: Given the radicalization of the Arab world, and the Arabification of the Islamic world, and the Islamification of much of the rest of the world, in the end you have to fix the problem at the source.
Sometimes war is worth it."
Sunday, October 23, 2005
These devotionals often speak to my heart and set the tone for the day. In some cases, they give me an answer to something (or someone) that has been troublesome in my life. When I read the devotionals for October 22nd and today, I found it uncanny that they directly addressed and answered some criticism aimed towards me from another person.
I have found that in the blogosphere, there are people who are going to have a negative opinion of you no matter what you say or do. I really think that it is a shame when it turns out to be someone who is supposed to be a fellow Christian believer. Often, their negative opinion(s) and judgments of others are based on their own traditions and/or ideology, not on what the Word of God would be telling them if they studied it diligently.
Using my own words to counter such a person isn't always the best decision. The better way is to use Scripture. These two devotionals do just that.
P.S. Today is our wedding anniversary! 22 years! The love my husband and I share grows every day. We have made it through the good and the bad times. He makes me laugh and still has that look of love for me in his eyes. He is truly my soulmate. I'm so grateful to God for bringing this wonderful husband and father into my life. I couldn't have asked the Lord for more. We have two grown children who still love their parents and are enjoying life and setting goals for their future. Our entire family loves the Lord Jesus and each other. He is our fortress and our strength. Even during the times we are apart, with and through Him, we know that we are never alone.
October 22, 2005
Recognizing the Voice of God
The Lord wants His will to be the single factor in our decision-making—not what we want or what others think; not the size of the need, our availability, the worthiness of the request, or our previous experience.
“What God desires” is to be the litmus test that decides what we do and say.
To recognize God’s voice, we first set our minds on His interests rather than our own. Then we ask, Is what I’m considering in agreement with Scripture? Jesus’ prediction of His death was scriptural, but Peter wanted a reigning Messiah (Isaiah 9:6-7); He had overlooked the prophetic teaching about the suffering servant. (Isaiah 53:3-9) By becoming students of the Word, we will avoid the danger of missing key verses.
When an idea is supported by Scripture, then we inquire, Does it conflict with human reasoning? Ironically, a “yes” means there is a strong possibility that it is God’s voice. Peter had trouble reconciling the words crucified and Messiah, yet it was the Lord speaking.
Next, we examine the concept to see if it involves sacrifice or challenges our faith. God’s commands usually do. To accept Jesus’ words, Peter would have to surrender an earthly relationship with Jesus and believe in His resurrection.
Finally, when God gives us instruction, courage is often required. Peter could see difficulties ahead if Jesus was to be killed.
Learning to identify God’s voice is a process. Agreement with His Word is key, so always check the message against the Bible first. Then use the other steps to assess if what you are hearing is from God.
October 23, 2005
Identifying The Voice Of God
The most potent hearing aid known to man is the Holy Bible. It is the standard of truth against which you can test every message that comes your way. Making a decision on an issue important to you can be extremely difficult.
Sometimes it may seem as if you are hearing two or more voices, all of which make seemingly good points but also tug you in different directions. It is important that in these times you learn to discern the voice of God.
There are several principles you can apply to what you’re hearing to gauge whether it is of God, but the most basic is whether the message conflicts with Scripture. God won’t tell you to do something that counters what He already has recorded for all mankind.
Therefore, the best way to know God’s voice is to get to know Him. Spend time in His Word and soak in His truths. You must know God’s Word before you can differentiate God’s instructions from the messages Satan or your flesh are sending you
Do you know how investigators are trained to recognize counterfeit money? They don’t spend all of their time trying to keep up with the latest technological advances in creating false money. Instead, they first and foremost diligently study the original, the real thing.
Then, held against the standard, the fake stuff stands out.
This Month’s Devotionals
Copyright © 2005 IN TOUCH Magazine. In Touch Ministries. All Rights Reserved
IN TOUCH® Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 IN TOUCH MINISTRIES®, ITM, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia, USA, used with permission. All rights reserved. This content and more resources can be found on http://www.intouch.org/.
(Note: I have bolded and italicized some parts for emphasis purposes).
Friday, October 21, 2005
1. The inner sense of what is right or wrong in one's conduct or motives, impelling one toward right action: to follow the dictates of conscience.
2. The complex of ethical and moral principles that controls or inhibits the actions or thoughts of an individual.
3. An inhibiting sense of what is prudent.
5. Obs. consciousness; self-knowledge. - Idiom.
6. in all conscience, in all reason and fairness.
7. on one's conscience (of a wrongdoing) burdening one with guilt.
In a series of movies depicting the End Times, the underlying theme throughout them all is the obvious ongoing battle between good and evil. One movie in the series deals directly with this battle, however, what is a bit different is that the people who think that they are enjoying this false sense of "utopia" is actually the evidence that their freedom of conscience had been taken away. What the people may not realize, is that they are being ruled by a leader whose iron fist kind of government has deceived them into believing that he is the 'real Messiah' when he is actually the anti-Christ. By forcing them to take 'the mark' in order to buy, sell and exist in the world without being killed for their beliefs, we see that the real motive of the anti-Christ is not this utopia that the people see as good, but it is the false sense of harmony, tolerance, and passiveness which inevitably takes away their freedom of choice (particularly, to follow God and His Word) and replaces their former 'freedom of conscience' with darkness in the grip of the evil supreme leader of One Nation Earth Franco Macalousso (portrayed by Nick Mancuso).
What I have just described above is from the last in a series of end-times Christian movies. This one is called Judgment.
The DVD cover states, "Judgment is a movie about this evil 'messiah's' effort to charge his long-time nemesis Helen Hannah (portrayed by Leigh Lewis) with crimes against humanity by the World Court. Mitch Kendrick (portrayed by Corbin Bernsen) is the troubled, reluctant lawyer assigned to defend her.
Prosecutor Victoria Thorne (portrayed by Jessica Steen) is not only Kendrick's ex-lover but a high-powered attorney with a ruthless ambition to condemn all Haters. She has arranged that the verdict will convict Hannah if the trial's pre-written script is closely followed by Mitch.
But as Mitch digs deeper into the evidence and begins to doubt his own beliefs, he decides there's only one way to uncover the real truth...to put God on trial! Within the final verdict lies the fate of the innocent, the ultimate destiny of a lost soul, and an inconceivable judgment against God Himself."
This movie pits the Supreme Court vs. The Supreme Being. Quite a task!
I have seen it several times and have noticed that much of the plot depicted in the movie scenes are eerily similar to what is currently going on in the U.S. today.
For example. In the movie, a Christian woman named Helen Hannah is falsely accused of "crimes against humanity" and she is called a "hater." This sounds strikingly similar to the current debate going on in the House regarding the inclusion of "hate crimes laws" which are unnecessary and unfairly designed to give special consideration and protection for homosexuals when a crime (or, perceived 'hate' crime) is done against them.
Homosexual activists in Canada have already been successful at passing such a law that is so sweeping that it makes it a "hate crime" to even just quote Bible verses that condemn homosexuality as sin!
Do you honestly think that this wouldn't happen here?
It almost became a reality for Christians who were attempting to minister to homosexuals at an outreach called "Out of the Fire" at P-town last year.
All went well until the very end when a drag queen began an altercation with several of the ministry's individuals. Four police cars arrived on the scene and the drag queen tried to have the Christians arrested for committing a "hate crime." When the police officer asked what crime was committed, he was told a Bible was given to the drag queen and told he was "precious in God's eyes." The police just shook their heads, said that didn't sound hateful at all and of course let the evangelists go. Do you see where "hate crimes" like this would lead? It wouldn't be just a person's actions, but also a person's thoughts that could, and would, be considered "hateful" and thus deemed punishable under hate crimes law!
Another related problem is the chance of false accusation. A case that occurred a few weeks back (but didn't get much mainstream news coverage) involved a gay person who claimed a hate crime was done against her. I think it had something to do with her car being damaged and spray painted with derogatory words. Later, it was found out that she did this damage herself! Can we see how 'hate crimes' laws like this could be severely abused?
Look at this warning from the Traditional Values Coalition:
"During the time when all conservatives were focused on supporting the confirmation of Judge John Roberts to become the Chief Justice of the U.S., liberal Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) quietly attached a homosexual hate crimes amendment to the House anti-pedophile bill known as the Children’s Safety Act.
If this hate crimes/thought crimes amendment is passed, our culture will be rapidly homosexualized, dissent will be suppressed and free speech will die! I’m not over-stating the seriousness of this threat.
Now the Senate is working on their version of the sex offender bill and could attach a hate crimes/thought crimes amendment to it!
“Hate Speech” could criminalize Christians.
Once homosexuals and transgenders are given minority status under federal law, homosexual activists will use this law as a stepping stone to criminalize “hate speech.” So if a person says anything negative concerning homosexuals or cross dressers, it could be interpreted as “hate speech.” Will using Bible verses when trying to minister to homosexuals be considered a crime?
If such a “hate speech” crime goes to court they will consider the intent of the statement. Thus the thoughts of people will be judged and this becomes a “thought crime”. I call this the hate crimes/thought crimes amendment.
As you can see, if passed, this hate crimes amendment will directly impact freedom of religion, speech, and association.
We’re not just theorizing about what may happen if hate crimes legislation is passed in the U.S. at the federal level.
We can look at what is happening in Canada already because homosexual legislators have passed hate crimes legislation that criminalizes any public criticism of homosexual behavior! Canadian Pastor Stephen Boission is facing criminal charges in Canada for preaching against homosexual conduct. School Counselor Chris Kempling is facing similar charges for publishing letters to the editor citing the dangerous health problems associated with homosexuality."
(end of excerpt)
Anna was kind enough to share some of her thoughts about the battle over the inclusion of 'hate crimes' legislation:
"Things sure happen fast on the news front. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah)and the Judiciary Committee has successfully stripped the hate crimes amendment, which was attached to the House bill on protecting children at the last minute. However, there is still a battle ahead. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) is strongly in favor of such legislation and will be pushing for it. Another MA liberal is ready to add such terminology onto another totally different bill. They are sure trying. I'm thankful for Citizenlink and other watchdog groups, who are seeking to protect our religious freedoms and freedom of speech."
You might be reading this and thinking, what's the big deal?
Anna and I are by far not the only ones sounding the alarm bells on this extremely important issue.
The following is an excerpt from Robert A.J. Gagnon, Ph. D:
"The greatest threat to your civil liberties and the future liberties of your children is once more upon us. In September the House of Representatives passed a "hate crimes" bill, entitled "The Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act," as an amendment to the Child Safety Act (H.R. 3132). It was rushed through the House in 40 minutes in a stealth move by Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan) and includes among its classifications for special protection "sexual orientation" and even "gender identity" (i.e. transvestism and transsexualism). Now Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) and others are seeking to get a similar amendment passed in the Senate. If it passes the Senate, it becomes the law of the land. Although the Senate Judiciary Committee passed today a new version of the Child Safety Act without the "hate crimes" amendment (S. 1086: "The Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act," sponsored by Senator Orrin Hatch [R-Utah]), it appears that Senator Kennedy either will try to reintroduce the amendment when the legislation comes to the floor or will add it to another bill such as "The Streamlined Procedures Act of 2005" (S. 1088). It is extremely important for you to call your U.S. Senators, and perhaps too the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Bill First, at the Capitol Hill Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to reject such a "hate crime" amendment to any bill. If it passes, "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" will become ensconced into U.S. law as valid civil rights categories. From this will flow inevitably a number of tragic results for those who do not agree that homosexual practice or transgenderism is a good thing. Some of these tragic results will occur in a very short space of time; others will happen within a few years to a decade. Many of these tragic results have already taken place in Canada, Scandinavia and the lowland European countries, and even in parts of the United States. For a nice summary of what has already happened in Canada go to: Persecution
For references to events in the United States and other parts of the world see, for example, my online articles at Homosexual Agenda Articles
and False Witness (pp. 10-18)
Also, online articles by Robert Knight at Papers and Articles; and Alan Sears and Craig Osten, The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2003)."
(end of excerpt)
With all of that said, I can imagine that any person reading this who happens to be homosexual may be thinking, "There she goes again...bashing our community, trying to trample on and take away our rights...yada yada yada."
No. That is NOT what this is about. It is about a law that when passed, would trample upon my rights and millions of others freedom rights for freedom of religion, speech, and "rights of conscience" a.k.a. 'freedom of association' to live and bring up our children in the way that we see fit.
There is a huge difference between promoting tolerance and compassion for others who are different from you and outright total acceptance for what they do.
A 'hate crimes' law targeted to give SPECIAL AND ELEVATED rights to any group is dangerous for all the reasons have already been shared in this blog post. Please go to the article links for even more important information.
I will say this. When that case about the man who viciously killed a transvestite when he was deceived into believing he was a woman became public, it absolutely sickened me. But so did the killings of Jesse Dirkhising and Jeffrey Curley at the hands of homosexual men. Should we have 'hate crimes' laws for these boys too?
No. Existing laws should be strengthened (like the passing of Jessica's Law) for first time child predators. The same could be done in the case of the transvestite. Change the "gay panic" defense excuse. The man may have been rightfully angry because he had been deceived, but that was no excuse to kill another human being.
Back to movie.
Another example of similarity between the movie and what is happening today is that the Bible has been banned by the O.N.E. (One Nation Earth) organization in the movie. Isn't that something that the ACLU and the Human Rights Org. endlessly and continuously strive for? After all, they are trying to get rid of any acknowledgement of God in the public square! And they are doing it through the liberal judicial system as we speak!
Elsewhere, look at this little gem of an excuse to Ban the Bible from a University in Scotland!
The Ten Commandments case in Alabama already had a huge negative impact on the future of our Judeo-Christian freedom of speech!
Another example. In the movie when the "ONE" (One Nation Earth) force is the law of the land, Christians are fugitives to be captured and they can't buy, sell, or work. They live underground for fear of being found out that they don't have "the mark." In the movie, this "mark" is used to symbolize allegiance to the anti-Christ and O.N.E. rule of the government.
Today, look at how Christians are being targeted by groups (like the ACLU) who continually spout for "tolerance" and "equality" and create frivolous lawsuits under the guise of fighting bigotry and based on trumped up "civil rights"views. The only groups that are still allowed to be bashed, silenced, and continually ridiculed by the liberal elite are Christians ones. If we don't stand our ground against groups like the ACLU, we will not be able to enjoy our own freedom of religion, freedom of expression or freedom of speech! We are being called homophobes, bigots and haters because we follow God's moral values and not the relativistic immorality being shoved into our consciences by unredeemed men!
Another example. In the movie, Christians are falsely accused for blowing up a schoolbus and are labeled as terrorists!! (We discover later in the movie that it was the O.N.E .force that actually did it just to have "evidence" against the falsely accused Christian "hater", Helen Hannah who was the defendant in the fake and scripted trial).
And, haven't you heard of accusations against Christians who have often been unfairly compared to the Islamic terrorists from 9/11?
And, remember when some liberals spouted out the idea that the anthrax attacks were done by someone from the "religious right fanatics"?
It was interesting to note the bulletin board on the wall where Helen Hannah's jail cage was located. The board contained many different announcements and flyers advertising theatre, school activities, community groups etc. but what was eerie to me was that they ALL had the O.N.E. designation clearly visible on the cover. In other words, One Nation Earth ruled over everything. No one was allowed to dissent or have a free thought. Scary.
During the trial, Helen's lawyer was supposed to appear to be participating in a genuine exchange with witnesses, but he was also under the threat of losing his life if he brought forth any real evidence that would show her innocence. Talk about stacking the deck. In one exchange, Helen's half-brother testified. He had been wheelchair bound in the previous movie, but when he agreed to take the mark of Lucifer (Macaluso), he was then able to walk. In fact, he demonstrated additional great powers. Of course the prosecution hyped up all of this as a good thing. But, the key point in all of this was the price he had paid for being 'healed' physically by this false messiah.
Helen's lawyer approached it a bit differently. He asked the brother if he had loved his sister before he was healed. He said yes. Then, Mitch asked him if he still loves his sister. He said no! So, what was the price he had paid for siding with this false messiah? He lost the eternal salvation of his soul and, a direct proof of his doomed fate was the love he had lost for his sister. What looked like a good thing (his physical healing in this case) was actually a deception intent on causing him to lose his own soul, the love for his sister, and ultimately, the love for God and the eternal life he would have had in his kingdom. Chilling! Absolutely chilling!
Helen's character was real. she struggled with fears and emotions like anyone else. She was on trial for her life and the deck of cards was stacked against her. She would often be heard praying, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4).
This movie is one that I could watch over and over again and get something new out of it. Jesus did warn us, "in this world you will have trouble." This film definitely shows the cost of being a disciple for Jesus Christ. It asks us, what's easier? Following the rest of the world or standing for God?
In one courtroom scene, the prosecutor illegally claimed that a new law allowed her to bring the defendant, Helen Hannah to the stand. She then proceeded to paint Helen in the harshest light, accusing her of crimes against humanity. In one analogy, she mentioned that since Macalucifer came along, everyone was rowing their boat in the same direction. But Helen Hannah and her fellow "haters" wanted to rock that boat and spill everyone out of their current happy and contented utopia.
When Helen's lawyer Mitch cross examined her, he brought up an argument about absolute truth. He asked Helen, "What is 2 +2?" She answered, "4". He then asked her, "What if everyone REALLY wanted it to equal 5? Would that make it so?" She answered, "no". Mitch said, "So, there is such a thing as absolute truth!"
There is so much more that I could share about this movie. I would encourage everyone who reads this to see it.
If you haven't seen the movie you should. It is excellent! The ending is absolutely breathtaking! You can order it from Cloud Ten Pictures.
I will end with a few additional thoughts.
It was interesting to note that the witnesses were to place their hand over a O.N.E. document rather than the Bible (of course since it had been banned years ago).
Helen refused to do so when she was called to the stand but did say she would tell the truth. The witnesses with the "mark" did place their hand on the document without a second thought.
Later in the movie, it was quite poignant to hear one of the O.N.E. security agents utter the words "Glory to man" just after he had killed an intruder (perceived as one of the 'haters') who had broken into Mitch's home and was holding a knife at his throat. The intruder was actually a man who was sent by the prosecutor to scare Mitch into "toeing the line" in the courtroom.
Yes. The 'glory to man' that day was murder and death.
What if God conquered death for us and the requirement is repentance and simple belief?
John 15:13 - Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Just who is this Man with no greater love?
John 3:1-21 (NKJV)
3There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, "Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him."
3 Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
4 Nicodemus said to Him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."
9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"
10 Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?
11 Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness.
12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?
13 No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man *who is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
15 that whoever believes in Him should *not perish but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God."
Thursday, October 20, 2005
1. BREAKING: District Attorney decides not to prosecute David Parker, drops criminal trespass case!
2. David Parker to be on The O'Reilly Factor national TV show Monday evening.
3. And more. . .
"The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." - Plato
=== 1. District Attorney decides not to prosecute David Parker, drops criminal trespass case! ===
Yes, this is a victory! And. . . the first of several to come!
No admission of guilt -- David Parker is still legally and officially presumed innocent. "It's a great result," says Parker's lawyer.
Middlesex County District Attorney Martha Coakley informed the court this morning that her office has decided not to pursue the criminal trespassing charge against Lexington parent David Parker. Officially, using a relatively unusual procedure the case has been ordered delayed, and will eventually disappear.
The jury trial had been scheduled to begin this morning in Concord District Court. But it has been clear for a while that the government was looking for a way out of this one!
Read Story, View Photos
It would appear that the DA (who is rumored to be planning to run for Attorney General next year) realized that the rest of the state (and country) is not (yet) as insane as Lexington. And that prosecuting a father who's willing to stand up and protect his son from homosexuality is not a great campaign issue, even here.
Well, for some reason, the pro-homosexual activists who were there to demonstrate against Parker didn't seem as perky as usual! A few even seemed a bit depressed about today's events. Good!!
But it's not over: Lexington Superintendent continues to ban Parker from all school property. The fact that this guy sides with the people playing with a child's mind against his parent's wishes is unbelievable.
Will there be more to come?
Read our report -- and stay tuned!
=== 2. David Parker to be on The O'Reilly Factor national TV show Monday evening. ===
GOOD NEWS TRAVELS FAST!
And this horrible, offensive incident really does have the rest of the country taking notice about what could happen to them.
Tune in to the O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Monday evening!!
=== 3. And more. . . ===
David Parker on the ABC-TV World News Tonight show Wednesday evening. Very interesting. They didn't use the "best" clips of Parker and Brian Camenker (after all, it is the mainstream liberal media), but the word got out!
The worst part: the Lexington Superintendent claimed that Parker wants to control what kids say to each other in school, which is blatantly untrue. We'll have a link to the clip on the web site early next week, in case you missed it!
UPDATE AS OF 11/20/05
Article 8 Alliance - MassResistance - ** Nov. 20 Email Update **It's gone too far: Get involved! Join the movement to take back our government in Massachusetts! (Feel free to pass this along to others)www.article8.org Help by Donating!
In this email update:
Lexington superintendent lifts ban against David Parker!
(But continues order against parental notification.)
"Better to fight for something than live for nothing." - George S. Patton
=== Lexington superintendent lifts ban against David Parker! ===
After nearly seven months, the Lexington Superintendent of Schools has finally bowed to the inevitable, and lifted the ban against parent David Parker, which had ordered Parker to stay off of all school property in the town under threat of further arrest.
David Parker was arrested and led from the Estabrook Elementary School in handcuffs on April 27 over his insistence that he be notified when adults discuss homosexuality or transgenderism with his 6-year-old kindergartner during a scheduled after-school meeting with school officials. The school first had told Parker they could come to an agreement, then at the last minute reneged on the deal. Parker said he would not leave until some assurances could be made. Instead, the school officials had him arrested. See Article 8 report here.
The Town of Lexington charged Parker with criminal trespassing over the April 27 incident, and Parker was immediately banned from all school property indefinitely. The Superintendent Paul Ash and the Lexington School Committee also continued to malign Parker in various public venues. For example, on October 19, the Superintendent appeared on the "ABC World News Tonight" and said that what Parker really wanted was to control what kids said to each other about homosexuality -- a complete misrepresentation of Parker's position.
But on October 20, the Middlesex County District Attorney decided not to pursue the case, and Parker is completely clear of any wrongdoing.
Last Tuesday, November 15, Superintendent Paul Ash agreed to meet with Parker to "discuss" lifting the ban. The meeting, which also included Parker's attorneys, and the attorney for the Lexington schools, lasted about an hour. But Ash gave no indication whether he would lift the ban.
On Saturday, David Parker received a letter at his home from Ash saying that the ban was lifted -- although it was worded rather unusually.
Nevertheless, this is a move that is sure to anger the already enraged local homosexual activists, who have put great energy into publicly demonizing Parker and his family, and actually formed an organization dedicated to opposing him and his efforts to get parental notification. One of their goals has been that Parker never be allowed to return to any school building. On the other hand, thousands of supporters of Parker in Lexington, across Massachusetts, and around the country have bristled at the obvious punitive nature of the ban against him that seemed no more than a way to intimidate other parents from challenging that agenda in the schools.
In the letter -- reprinted below -- Ash seems to want to get a final "dig" in by add an insulting (and possibly libelous) phrase that suggests that Parker represents a threat of "disrupting the school environment and operations." In fact, Parker has at all times behaved in a very calm, unthreatening, and certainly nonviolent manner, even during the April 27 incident. Even at the contentious "anti-bias" meetings, he remained calm when others occasionally became agitated.
November 18, 2005
Dear Mr. Parker
This letter confirms your assurances made to me at our meeting on November 15, 2005, that if permitted on school property, you will promptly leave if asked to do so by the Superintendent or Principal or their designees, and that you will otherwise avoid disrupting the school environment and operations.
As I trust that you will abide by these assurances, I have decided to lift, effective Monday, November 21, 2005, the No Trespass Notice that was issued to you by the Interim Superintendent of Schools on April 27, 2005, and amended on June 8, 2005.
Paul B. Ash, Ph.D.Superintendent of Schools
cc: Miriam Sousa, Administrative Assistant Christopher Casey, Chief, Lexington Police Department Lexington School Committee Joni Jay, Principal, Estabrook School Rebecca Bryant, School Counsel
Superintendent continues citywide order against parental notification of homosexuality.
Despite all this, the schools still refuse to notify Parker if they are discussing homosexuality or transgenderism with his son, now in first grade. Even worse -- on Sept. 21 Ash published a statement in the local newspaper informing the town that he has told all teachers that they have no obligation to notify parents at all on subjects of homosexual relationships, even in lower grades. As a way to bypass the state parental notification law, Ash used "decision" from the state Department of Education on another matter, and re-interpreted it (quite wrongly, we believe) to fit his desires. See our analysis of that here.
To our knowledge, this order by Ash is the most arrogant, anti-parent act by any school system in the country regarding homosexuality and schoolchildren -- essentially telling parents that they have no right to interfere with what the school decides to teach their kids about sexual morality.
We have a feeling this fight is far from over. . .