Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Islamic Trojan Horse

I believe the Cordoba House mosque to be built at Ground Zero is nothing less than a proposed Muslim shrine; a holy site commemorating their presumed victory over America on 9/11. It is a grave mistake to allow it and shows that for all our championing of freedom, we naively do not understand how to protect our freedom.

In his book, Slavery, Terrorism and Islam: The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat, Dr. Peter Hammond shares what happens in a nation as the Islamic percentage of the population increases. Here is a summary of those findings as reported by Michael Haltman in the Homeland Security Examiner, June 23 title, As Muslim population grows, what can happen to a society? June 23, 11:05 AM Homeland Security Examiner Michael Haltman.

At 2% or less, Islam can be seen as peace-loving.

At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.

From 5% on, they exercise an inordinate influence in proportion to their percentage of the population. For example, they will push for the introduction of halal (clean by Islamic standards) food, thereby securing food preparation jobs for Muslims. They will increase pressure on supermarket chains to feature halal on their shelves -- along with threats for failure to comply. At this point, they will work to get the ruling government to allow them to rule themselves (within their ghettos) under Sharia, the Islamic Law. The ultimate goal of Islamists is to establish Sharia law over the entire world. [Banks are already offering Sharia compliant financing.]

When Muslims approach 10% of the population, they tend to increase lawlessness as a means of complaint about their conditions. In Paris , we are already seeing car-burnings. Any non-Muslim action offends Islam, and results in uprisings and threats, such as in Amsterdam, with opposition to Mohammed cartoons and films about Islam. [The director of the movie 2012 chose not to depict the destruction of Muslim holy sites for fear of reprisal].

After reaching 20%, nations can expect hair-trigger rioting, jihad militia formations, sporadic killings, and the burnings of Christian churches and Jewish synagogues.

At 40%, nations experience widespread massacres, chronic terror attacks, and ongoing militia warfare.

From 60%, nations experience unfettered persecution of non-believers of all other religions (including non-conforming Muslims), sporadic ethnic cleansing (genocide), use of Sharia Law as a weapon, and ***ya, the tax placed on infidels.

After 80%, expect daily intimidation and violent jihad, some State-run ethnic cleansing, and even some genocide, as these nations drive out the infidels, and move toward 100% Muslim.

100% will usher in the peace of 'Dar-es-Salaam' -- the Islamic House of Peace. Here there's supposed to be peace, because everybody is a Muslim, the Madrasses are the only schools, and the Koran is the only word.

Unfortunately, peace is never achieved, as in these 100% states the most radical Muslims intimidate and spew hatred, and satisfy their blood lust by killing less radical Muslims, for a variety of reasons.

The percentage of the population in the U.S. that is Muslim is .06 at this point. Still, as I read this list, it seems to me that the United States is on an accelerated path to experience these things, and that we are seeing activity around the 5% level. Why? Because we have the wrong idea about freedom, we let liberal voices carry the day, and we are ripe for a Trojan horse.

So, the Cordoba House is already underway. The Fox news video I saw said the proposed groundbreaking will be on 9/11 2011 (if you can stomach a little more Islamic presumption), Americans are still crippling themselves with a false understanding of freedom and their fear of angering Muslims.

I confess that I do not buy into the idea of a peaceful Islam. There are not two Korans. Both radical and so called peaceful read the same. I further believe that peaceful gives way to radical in this case. Am I missing the peaceful voice of Muslims decrying the violence of radical Islam? If those voices are out there they are not loud enough.

(For links to the sources of this blog just log onto my website [the link is in the upper corner of this page] and click on the link Cordoba House Links )

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How to Judge a Christian Book By Its Cover

The old saying says, "You can't judge a book by its cover." That axiom will serve you well in many arenas, but when it comes to books, newpaper articles, even Christian materials you must develop skills to do just that. So, below are some of the conscious things I do to categorize a book before I decide whether or not to invest my time into it.

First, assuming the title appeals to me, I pick up the book and read either the inside flap of the dustcover or the back cover to get a synopsis of what the book is about.

Then, I look at the publisher to see if it is one that is familiar, or noted for being conservative, liberal, Calvinist or Armenian, Pentecostal or non, Evangelical, etc.

Then, I will investigate the author to see if I recognize him or her, and in order to discover what school of thought he or she may represent. In particular, I want to know whether the author is reformed or not (Calvinist or Armenian); Pentecostal or not (if not Pentecostal, are they hostile to Pentecostalism?); Emerging church or traditional; evangelical or mainline; what is his or her denominational affiliation, what schools did he or she graduated from, his or her age, etc.).

The date of a publication can be important as well. If a book speaks to our culture or current events, but was written prior to 9/11, I will not likely be interested. The world has changed drastically since that time and I want to know that the author is aware of those things.

After all of the above, if still interested in the book, I will look at the Table of Contents to see if I can discern anything more about the writer's bias's, but, of course, also to see if the book is going to be very interesting.

You may ask, "Why go to such trouble? Are you being judgmental?" It's not about being judgmental, it's about choosing who gets to influence my thinking. The above criterion may not necessarily rule out the book, but it will help me to process the information.

For example, if an author is non-Pentecostal, perhaps even hostile to Pentecostalism, I will think twice about hearing what he or she has to say about spiritual gifts knowing that the author probably believes that many of the so called "sign gifts" of 1 Corinthians 12 are no longer available. I also won't be too interested in what a non-Pentecostal will tell me about worship because, by and large, a non-Pentecostal is not open to the interruption and redirection of the Holy Spirit in the midst of a worship service. If the writer is not open to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, in my assessment, he or she has missed a significant aspect of spiritual maturity, depth, and insight. There, I said it.

This approach to a source of information is consistent with the concept of critical reflection. Critical reflection takes an honest look at information and those providing it and ultimately makes a decision about which part of the information to keep and which part to disregard. But BEWARE! Critical reflection can be a dangerous business unless one is equipped to process challenges to what he or she believes. All the more reason to "pick your battles" as they say, and be particular about opening up your faith, knowledge, or beliefs to question or assault.

One final word: Just because you hear someone preach a sermon on the radio or television or Youtube, or just because someone writes a book, does not mean it is gospel truth. EVERYTHING must be tested through the filter of Scripture.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bonhoeffer's Answer to the "Bless and Slam" Routine

I really appreciate this quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It is excellent commentary on the "bless and slam" routine (see my previous blog on the subject).

From Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, pages 35-37

Jesus Christ stands between the lover and the others he loves. . . . What love is, only Christ tells in his Word. . . . Where Christ bids me to maintain fellowship for the sake of love, I will maintain it. Where his truth enjoins me to dissolve a fellowship for love’s sake, there I will dissolve it, despite all the protests of my human love. Because spiritual love does not desire but rather serves, it loves an enemy as a brother. It originates neither in the brother nor in the enemy but in Christ and his Word. Human love can never understand spiritual love, for spiritual love is from above; it is something completely strange, new, and incomprehensible to all earthly love.

Because Christ stands between me and others, I dare not desire direct fellowship with them. As only Christ can speak to me in such a way that I may be saved, so others, too, can be saved only by Christ himself. This means that I must release the other person from every attempt of mine to regulate, coerce, and dominate him with my love. The other person needs to retain his independence of me; to be loved for what he is, as one for whom Christ became man, died, and rose again, for whom Christ bought forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Because Christ has long since acted decisively for my brother, before I could begin to act, I must leave him his freedom to be Christ’s; I must meet him only as the person that he already is in Christ’s eyes. This is the meaning of the proposition that we can meet others only through the mediation of Christ. Human love constructs its own image of the other person, of what he is and what he should become. It takes the life of the other person into its own hands. Spiritual love recognizes the true image of the other person which he has received from Jesus Christ; the image that Jesus Christ himself embodied and would stamp upon all men.

Therefore, spiritual love proves itself in that everything it says and does commends Christ. It will not seek to move others by all too personal, direct influence, by impure interference in the life of another. It will not take pleasure in pious, human fervor and excitement. It will rather meet the other person with the clear Word of God and be ready to leave him alone with this Word for a long time, willing to release him again in order that Christ may deal with him. It will respect the line that has been drawn between him and us by Christ, and it will find full fellowship with him in the Christ who alone binds us together. Thus this spiritual love will speak to Christ about a brother more than to a brother about Christ. It knows that the most direct way to others is always through prayer to Christ and that love of others is wholly dependent upon the truth in Christ.

Embarrassing Little Chestnut

One definition of subtle is something that is "so slight as to be difficult to detect or describe (American Heritage)." So, with that in mind consider the details of the following very short story:

I was in the city the other day and I got on the elevator. There was a really tall African American standing there. He kindly asked me what floor, so I told him, and he pushed the button for me. Well, I got off on my floor and wouldn't you guess, I had left my glasses in the car in the parking garage. Well you know I can't see anything without my glasses, so I had to go all the way back down to the parking garage, get my glasses, go back up to the 8th floor. What a day!

So, this is not a riveting story by any stretch of the imagination. But it does contain something that I seem to be sensitive to. For lack of a better term, let's just call it subtle racism.

In the story, there is absolutely no reason to mention that the man on the elevator was African American. It has no bearing on the story.

So, you might say, "The reference was completely innocent." Possibly, but how many times have you heard someone make reference to the white guy on the elevator? Perhaps this same article could apply to African Americans who would do just that. I couldn't say.

But I know that, when you sharpen your eyes and ears you will discover nestled deep within the details of many stories and actions is this little chestnut called subtle racism.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The "Bless and Slam" Routine: It's Grandma-Gittin'-Out-the-Tub Ugly! (Sorry Grandma!)

I knew a lady in Tennessee several years ago who was like the character named Rachel Lynde in the Anne of Green Gables/Anne of Avonlea movies. Rachel Lynde beamed with pride that "she was known around these parts as a woman who speaks her mind." (A person like that is usually known!) The woman in Tennessee was just the same. She told me early on in our church relationship (I was a youth pastor and she an elderly woman in the church) that I should not worry about what she said because she was a straight talker who "likes to tell it like it is" or some other synonym for opinionated venting; verbal voiding.

Christians, of which I am one, are fond of "speaking the truth in love." Sometimes, however, we use that as code for the old "bless and slam" routine. Back in Texas, the way it works is you say, "Bless his [or her]heart . . ." and then slam the person any way you want to. The "bless his [or her] heart . . ." qualifier allows you to go on record as "loving" the person you are about to slam, but declares that what you are about to say is the truth and needs to be said, though at the expense of the person so dearly loved.

Jesus said, ". . . wisdom is proved right by all her children (Luke 7:35)." The same could be said about love. It is easy for us to say, "I love you." It is interesting when you stumble upon a person who still thinks that if you say magic words like "I love you," they cancel out all bad behavior and the recipient of the words is obligated to accept them without question.

But just saying the words doesn't make it so. When you truly love a person it will guide your actions where that person is concerned. That's why Paul can say that love is the fulfillment of the Law: "Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law(Romans 13:10)."

If someone really loves me--the relationship is real, trustworthy, tried and true--that person can say things to me that may cause pain, but I can recover and will benefit from them because they flow out of genuine love. The pain felt will be due to the reality of the words said, not the shock at being betrayed or something worse.

So, the question is, this person that you are going to confront: do you genuinely love them? Have you shown that in real deeds? If so, pray and then let love dictate your words. If not, brace yourself Effie! It's going to get ugly--Grandma-gittin'-out-the-tub ugly! (Sorry Grandma!)