All those who are on social media would do well to follow this advice from Proverbs 13:3 "He that keeps his mouth keeps his life: but he that opens wide his lips shall have destruction."
The truth is, there are probably many reasons why the Federal Government wants to be able to force Apple to write a backdoor into or turn over their mobile OS code. Whether the NSA could hack the phone or not for the FBI seems irrelevant to the FBI's argument; and that is concerning. You see, when an entity abandons any and all forms of absolute truth, the very truth which determines which actions are right and which are wrong, then that entity is free to decide for itself what is right. And that usually means an action is right if it furthers the entities goals, abilities, power, influence or other factors. The US government has been actively removing the morality and ethical foundation of our country, unfortunately it is not clear what, if anything has replaced it. This is concerning because no one knows the rules of the game anymore, and indeed the rules are constantly changing based on circumstances.
The call is to prayer for our leaders. Pray that God would call them into relationship with Jesus Christ, that they would then repent of sin (individually and nationally), and that the Holy Spirit would block the attempts of our adversary in this work.
The only viable and lasting solution for the restoration of our country is salvation in Jesus Christ and to follow the teachings of the Bible. I am not advocating that we enforce Christianity as the established religion of America but that we recognize the truth the founding fathers knew, a republic is only fit for governing by and for righteous people. If you are opposed to the standard or rightness described in the Bible then know that where truth is abandoned so all is freedom. Where love for one another and holding them in higher regard than yourself is abandoned so is civility. When truth is forsaken chaos fills the void.
The United States of America, world super power both militarily and economically, but is it still true? Under Reagan the Middle East was destabilized and contained with Iran and Iraq in tension and Libya brought to heel. Under Clinton the economy continued to boom growing from Reagan's initiatives and North America, Europe and Russia worked together. Under Bush terrorism was quelled as well as freedom for citizens. What about under Obama?
Borzou Daragahi over at Buzzfeed makes the case that Iran's hardliner's have been subtly, and not so subtly, showing Iran and the world who is in charge during the recent prisoner releases and capture of 10 American sailors. It is an insightful look at Iran's politics as well as posturing on the international stage. And then comes along news that the US paid Iran $1.7 billion to settle a decades old claim, on the same day the prisoners were released. We used to talk of American Exceptionalism, the idea that our form of government, subservient to the people and founded upon a deep faith in the Lord God Almighty made us unique, special and profoundly powerful. However when we began the process of throwing God out of our schools in the 1960's and finished the task by legitimizing wickedness through Wall Street and Washington DC corruption and institutionalizing immorality through same sex marriage, God has returned the favor and departed at our request, the evidence is seen by all who watch the events mentioned above and others. We are no longer exceptional or able to influence others.
Today we get what we want not by making our case or negotiating through a position of strength but by alienating our allies (Israel and the Iran nuclear deal) or by paying out huge sums of money (Iran hostages). This has all the earmarks of a once great nation and superpower where only the shell still exists.
What is the answer? Revival. Confession of our sins as individual believers and to get back to operating like the church did in Acts 2 where they were of one accord, in mind and deed, and to follow Paul's admonition to the Corinthian church and lay aside our divisions and denominations to seek out the TRUTH of scripture and not our particular bent. This type of revival was the foundation of the American Revolution led by the Black Robed Militia and can lead us out of our present troubles too.
Do you sometimes feel like the there is a deeper motive to the resettling of refugees and to the promotion of diversity?
What is happening throughout the Middle East is terrible. ISIS is attacking, killing or driving out all non-Sunni Muslims. Syria is waging war against all non-Alawite and non-Shia Muslims. Iraq is increasingly polarized and countries such as Yemen, Libya and Egypt continue to suffer in civil war and sectarian violence. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to these problems, the West tries though by allowing mass, un-fettered immigration to refugees. Unfortunately these refugees are not thankful for their rescue and are not integrating into the cultures and their new found homes. So the sectarian and ethnic divisions of their home countries now spills over into a different form of division and animosity.
The West for decades has promoted diversity, the recognition and celebration of our differences. But what happens when we focus on our differences rather than what we have in common? Here in America you can see the result as politicians seek the Hispanic, Black, Asian, Pro-Life, Pro-Choice, Transgender, Pro-Homosexual Marriage, Evangelical, et cetera and et cetera vote. They are seeking the approval of groups rather than simply espousing an ideological and practical viewpoint and plan for change. We are a highly divided and isolated country; no longer are we “one nation under God, indivisible.”
And it seems like there is a deep and sinister purpose in promoting and growing this division. Didn’t the ancient Assyrian Empire do much the same thing? When they conquered a country they took captives and moved them throughout the empire. And they also took people from other areas of the empire and moved them into the newly conquered land. Why did they do this? It was a simple tactic, if the Israelis or Midianites or Philistines were spread out and not concentrated in their homeland, than these people ceased to be motivated by re-gaining their homeland and because of the separation were unable to coalesce and organize a rebellion. By diversifying the people and spreading them out the Assyrians were able to maintain their power and control.
It sure seems like we are being divided and conquered, separated for continued subduing so that the power elites can maintain their control and affluence. Do I think this is a conscious thought of most of them? No, but there is definitely an adversary of freedom and God at work behind the scenes manipulating events and decisions to accomplish his plan. It is time to pray that God would hinder this work so that we can in boldness testify of Jesus Christ to the saving of our family, friends and neighbors.
If you read my homepage regularly you will notice I post links and commentary on stories I think are relevant to understanding the day and age we live in, and need to interact with as Christians. Are my posts and these articles symptoms of the division in our society?
I ask a serious question based on this understanding of the Bible; according to Daniel Chapter 2 and the vision of the statue given to Nebuchadnezzar, the final empire(s) of the world will be very powerful but barely held together. Read this short passage from Daniel:
 "This is the dream. Now we will tell the interpretation of it before the king.  "You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory;  "and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all--you are this head of gold.  "But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.  "And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others.  "Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.  "And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.  "As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.  "And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. - Dan 2:36-44 NKJV
Notice how divided the feet and toes are, brittle clay made from dust packed together with strong iron which breaks and subdues. I know some good Bible scholars, including John Phillips feel this represents western governments which are militarily strong but held together with fragile democracies (Phillips, John, Exploring the book of Daniel: An Expository Commentary, 2004), and others think that the miry clay and the kings that seem to be linked to the clay could be fallen angel and human hybrids similar to the days of Noah (Chuck Missler). Others seem to gloss over this passage. But can I put forth an interpretation that this at least in part represents the highly factionalized nature of our own nation and indeed many nations of today which then leads to further division.
The key characteristic of the final empire is the diverse nature of the union. This is miry clay, formed of the dust of the earth which is very brittle when baked. It is also iron, great strength and durability but of little inherent value. What is the first and most obvious interpretation? Or should I say, what are the most obvious interpretations? The written word reveals three points to be made about this nation of miry clay and iron.
The first point to be made is in verse 41 where the main point is that this is a divided nation. Daniel draws the kings attention to the feet and toes and starts out with ‘whereas you saw’ and makes a strong point about the divided nature of the nation. But that is not the only point, in verse 42 he again draws attention to the feet and toes by saying ‘and as the toes.’ He is building on the first observation about the division and adding a closer look by stating that the toes are indeed still strong, even with this division and mixed materials. But there is a third point, in verse 43 he again starts out with a connecting phrase of ‘as you saw’ but this time the focus is on the people and the kings of the people of verse 44. Some of these people, the kings of verse 44 according to the grammar, shall mingle with the other people but not to a mixing to unity. The point is clear, this last nation (empire) shall be divided and yet strong, but the rulers shall not be a part of the people. Now perhaps this last point is just how the elite, the 1% if you will, have separated themselves, or perhaps it is supernatural like Chuck Missler indicates, but the division is clear and will not be fixed.
The passage also makes I clear that the nation(s) in the passage have strength; they are the direct descendants of the Roman Empire. But the strength of the iron is intermingled with weak clay; these nations still have their form, border and identity but within that entity are small chunks of stuff that just don’t want to bond together. Can you identify a western or Middle Eastern nation that isn’t like that today? Whether it be Republican/Democrat, Tory/Whig, Labor/Green, Shiite/Sunni or is divided along racial or minority group lines.
We are increasingly defined by our self-identified group. Tea Partier. Black Lives Matter. Pro-Life. Pro-Choice. LGBT. Conservative. Socialist. Progressive. Hipster. Millennial. And the problem is that if you are in one group you must be wholly committed to that group. You can’t simultaneously say that black lives matter and also say that Hispanic lives matter as well or that all lives matter. If you do the group turns on you and casts you out. This plays out in the media every single day. The media grasps at identifying a shooter who killed many people, they must know what group they belonged to. Politicians speak to each group promising different and often contradictory outcomes. We actively seek out the approval of our own group through social media. David French at the National Review Online has an article from December 28, 2015 on just how polarized America is becoming.
So why am I going on about this? Well, I firmly believe that the divisions among us are destructive but also that they are unavoidable. God has foretold how we will be in these last days. So as I live out my life I am not going to try to move someone out of their grouping. Doing so is futile. I can’t use good enough logic our sound enough reasoning or strong enough emotion to get someone to change their mind. And the good news is I don’t have to. Why waste my time trying to change someone’s politics or chosen activism when all that really matters is their eternal state in Christ. You see, I hold some views that are probably quite wrong, but God hasn’t chosen to correct my thinking yet because He is working on other areas of more concern to Him. What He wants from me is obedience to Him and faithfully following in love and grace. So if God is willing to take a long-term approach to my growth, why should we withhold the same from others? Tell them of Jesus, His love, compassion, sympathy, redemption, resurrection and life. Show them the majesty of the Father in His creation and plan for all of humanity. Tell them of God’s long-suffering nature as He desires all to be saved. In other words share the gospel with them, the good news of salvation in Christ. AND LEAVE THE MIND CHANGING TO GOD! Only He is qualified to do so for He understands where this other person is at and how He can use them for His glory in spreading the gospel. Tell them the good news and then open the Word together to be disciple by the Holy Spirit and even learn from each other. Perhaps it is the Black Live Matter activist whose conversion God will use to reach other African-Americans with the love and redemption of Jesus. Perhaps He can use them just like He has been and is using you and your own very unique background and passions. The point for us is to stay focused on what truly matters, sharing the glory of God with the lost world so they can be saved, and then over time be conformed to Christ’s likeness. Talk about these other important issues but don’t go down the rabbit hole, stay up high and keep your focus.
My contention is this, our world will become increasingly divisive and fragile, but God is still able and ready to redeem souls for His kingdom. Just do your part in spreading the news and let God do His part as they open the Bible and read for themselves how God wants them to think and act. We all need this same type of grace and understanding.
When a witness takes the stand in court they recite an oath similar to this:
"I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."
Does this apply to court only? Let me give you some statistics:
What did you notice? Particularly in the second video?
What I noticed is that these cars were brought in and tweaked by a team of professionals. Each car was setup for the particular task at hand, settings modified to extract optimum performance. That is not too bad, but the track was also optimized, increasing the grip the cars could achieve. So in the world of hypercars, where statistics and paper performance are all the rage, these enhancements are absolutely necessary. But as they finally alluded to in the last video, change the day, the weather, the driver or any other number of variables and the results would be different.
So what is my point? The theoretical ability of the machine under ideal circumstances does not represent reality on the streets. It is only good for bragging rights of each cars fans.
Let's look at Facebook and Instagram for a moment. Does what you see on your news feed accurately portray your life or the lives of your friends? Or have these been optimized and enhanced as well, to tell a particular story? And it is not just the lives of your friends, take the example of Essena O'Neill, a very popular Instagram star who recently quit... because her whole account and fame was based on a lie (staged photos which were highly edited).
Again, what is my point? The beauty of a person or the ease of their life on social media does not represent the reality of life.
The call of God for His children is to live an authentic life of faith in Jesus Christ, showinglove to each other, being forgiving, and making disciples as others see how we live faithfully in community with each other. It seems nearly everyone is caught up in the lie, portraying their lives as perfect, or at least really great and not portraying their life authentically. And it seems to affect the church just as much as the rest of society.
But what if we left this falseness behind and embraced authenticity? Posting pictures of the dozen cupcakes which we burnt and not just the six which came out perfectly. Telling anecdotes of how we really misunderstood our spouse or kids and had to be corrected rather than telling tales of how we coached someone else. Or how about posting two or three really thoughtful things from our day and not dozens of superficial thoughts. What if we were as apt to present our faults, struggles and hurts as those things that go well? Telling others candidly of our impatience, indifference or our tendency to rest in knowledge and not the practice of the same?
Do you think it is possible that all of those living outside Christ and the church would be drawn to our authenticity? Drawn to the 'peaceful-in-the-midst-of-storms', 'contended-joy-in-the-midst-of-turmoil' life in Christ and true relationship with each other that they see? Rather than the false perfection which comes across as a smug, holier-than-thou, I-have-it-all-together-and-you-should-too attitude? Sadly many won't be drawn to an authentic portrayal of our highly imperfect life, but many would be; and when they come we could answer their questions because not only do we know the truth but we are living out God's grace, mercy and forgiveness for them to see. And thus they would know that God is real, that He cares for each of us and that He is at work redeeming the imperfect; our imperfection and ready to redeem theirs too.
... it's a battle of ideas.
So, let's string a few things together. First we have two articles out of today's news.
The first is an article from Red State blasting CNN for how they interviewed one of the San Bernadino victims widow. CNN basically asked it her husband had brought this on himself for evangelizing a Muslim. You really need to read the article. ("CNN Asks Slain San Bernardino Man's Widow If He Was Asking For It | RedState." RedState. N.p., 03 Dec. 2015. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.)
The second article is from the National Review Online and is discussing how the media and liberals more generally only push the narrative that suits their agenda. As you read Andrew McCarthy's take on the San Bernadino terrorist attack take note of his perspective. In particular the last paragraph or two. ("An Islam of Their Very Own II – Now See How This Works?" National Review Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2015.)
I find this so very interesting because last night I was doing some research on the Institute for Strategic Thinking and one of their programs called Against Violent Extremism. What was so interesting to me was how generally they defined violent extremism, but what blew me away was their cure. You really need to watch the following short videos and see if you detect the same thing I did.
Did you notice what was missing?
No where in these videos or on their website do they encourage you to have a discussion based on facts or even perceptions. Everything is about countering the extremist narrative and shutting it down. But their tactics are not to fight extremism (as they define it) with truth, with a better ideology, with a call to reason, with a call to mutual understanding and respect or any other classical and honest tactic. No, their method is to discredit and marginalize and hope to change (or maybe shame) people into conforming. If these folks were interested in dialogue I would applaud their efforts, but since they are not, and indeed appear to be only interested in countering narratives they don't like I must stand against them. From their own material it can be seen that they value creativity that achieves the end result over any honest dialogue.
But the issue is bigger than this institute, you see what they teach is being used in the media and all sorts of venues to alter our thinking, to bring us into conformity. But it is the thing we are being conformed to that is troubling. God has rightly called us to be changed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2). But His call is based on the confidence of His Truth, of the validity of His position and the arguments He has presented. I can say this with certainty because by His Holy Spirit it is recorded that to receive new information with an openness of mind, and yet to check it against established truth, is to be worthy of the highest honor (Acts 17:11).
Please don't take any article just at face value, challenge the narrative, yes, indeed challenge the narrative of everything (especially of what I write), but do so by comparing it to the absolute and unalterable truth of God found in the Bible.
But there I go, being a closed-minded extremist Christian zealot...
We all have a bias; a certain way of looking at things. Sometimes this bias manifests itself as hypocrisy when we don't always look at things with our bias but instead use different biases (perspectives) depending on the situation. But sometimes, and recently far too often, it is not just bias at work clouded by hypocrisy but outright manipulation to fulfill an agenda.
The Colorado Planned Parenthood shooting once again revealed the media is in full agenda mode...
... Jim Geraghty at The National Review said it best so all I can do is ask you to go read his piece. If you don't want to read it though, you can watch Megyn Kelly of Fox News comment on his piece and discuss it below.
I posted this because the principle behind this is perhaps the most important lesson you can learn... be wary of all news that is reported and think critically about how it matches up with reality, may be influenced by bias, and is unmasked by the Holy Spirit as He teaches you truth. Don't let the news, even trusted sources alter your view or mood, always take it to God for wisdom and understanding, for ...
How much better to get wisdom than gold!
From We Are the Mighty...
In what would come to be called the Bekaa Valley Turkey Shoot, 96 Israeli fighters and a squadron of UAVs faced off against 100 Syrian fighters backed up by 19 surface-to-air missile launchers in 1982. It was one of the largest jet battles ever fought. (1)
Read the whole article here.
(1) "This Dogfight with Nearly 200 Jets Was like the Battle of Britain on Steroids." We Are The Mighty This Dogfight with Nearly 200 Jets Was like the Battle of Britain on Steroids Comments. N.p., 20 Nov. 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.
What is up with our society? While the intent of having young men take an oath against violence is understandable, it fails to recognize that most men are very respectful and loving people. I see this same thing taking place in businesses, schools, community organizations and other groups. You have one or two bad actors, and rather than deal with those individuals the whole company or organizations suffers under new regulations or policies. Why? Are we so timid that we can't deal with people one-on-one? Are we so deluded to think that what is true of one person is true of all? Sin is individual and so is responsibility. It is not the gun, it is the criminal using the gun. It is not the man, it is the violent individual who doesn't respect others.
Is the reverse true sometimes? Can we as a society, or perhaps an individual, be so deluded by beliefs that they refuse to see any bad in others? What if that person were your dad, your boss, your governor, or even the POTUS? What if they refused to see that there are evil people, even evil people within larger groups of good people? While we shouldn't paint all men as bad because some are abusers and rapists, neither should we assume all are good just because we want them to be good. And yet it appears our President is doing just that. So I must ask, why? Is he Muslim? Or a Muslim sympathizer? Or is he deluded enough to think that being nice to evil people will make them act nice? What I do know is that this type of thinking is dangerous to our nation.
I believe that these first two articles, and the trends they represent are among the greatest dangers facing our country. A failure to recognize good and evil, the failure to apply an objective standard to judge the actions and intents of others naturally leads us down a path of lawlessness and anarchy where evil is allowed to flourish. These are trends that are slow to develop and only gradually affect us individually, but economic collapse develops much more quickly and is more widespread. Unfortunately the same lack of morality or accountability to a higher authority, namely the all-knowing Creator God, is the source of both moral and economic collapse.
It is time for introspection and seeking the wisdom of God so we can live faithfully and shine forth His light and hope.
What do the Jedi, Sith or Star Wars in general have to do with this blog? Nothing except that by examining how the culture views what is good and evil in Star Wars may help us as believers interact with that culture!
So first, I hope you read the article linked just above. Let me start with this, I really don't care whether you want to call the Jedi good or bad, the point of the article, at least for me is this; how does the culture define good and bad?
You see, it is my contention that with the removal of God from our culture that we have also removed any references standard for defining good and evil; a point which I think this article makes poignantly. Culture defines good as what accomplishes the goals it desires. Take for example the battle over homosexual marriage; the culture believes this is good because it promotes equality and diversity. But as Christians we call it wrong because of the standard the Creator God has given us in the Bible following the created order of sex and procreation. Or what about marijuana use? The culture says it doesn't harm anyone and the State says it is good for tax revenues therefore it becomes legal. But God sets a standard against drunkenness (and being high) because it perverts your senses and diminishes your ability to think clearly. And so as you read the above article it becomes clear that the Jedi are good because we want them to be, because they support free people and are above the fray of society. But the author of the article does something unexpected, he actually applies external criteria, a standard, to determine if they are good or not.
Hmm, an external criteria can be used to determine good and evil?
And that is the point! When left to our own devices we will define or re-define good and evil to suit our own circumstances and goals in life. But there exists a creator, the author of life and eternity who exists outside of our time and space, who has declared what is right and wrong, good and evil. As the creator he has the right and power to define this for us. And out of love and mercy He has chosen to reveal to us our lost state and the price He paid to redeem us. He has revealed right and wrong through the law, our schoolteacher to lead us to repentance and salvation. If we as Christians allow the culture to redefine good and evil for us, and if we fail to correct this teaching within our children, than we are not being faithful stewards to our God and we are setting up our children for destruction. Will you join me in fighting for our children?
I used to laugh with my son about the clip below, but in the context of the article above and how culture impacts our thinking and actions, isn't this really just teaching disobedience if you disagree with the decision? It's definitely something to think about...
What must it be like to live in Israel and read the news? There is increasing trouble to the east and southwest:
From The Times of Israel: Islamic State gaining ground on Golan border as moderate rebels wither
From Yahoo News: Russian warplanes target insurgents in Syria, but not Islamic State
From The Washington Times: Israel on high alert as violence spreads to Gaza border
It’s no wonder that Israel and Russia are now communicating about their military activities in Syria, both sides wanting to avoid direct conflict between the two nations as Reuters has reported. But that is not the only activity in the area, as Hamas shows of rebuilt tunnels in new video as reported by The Times of Israel on August 27th. So while the spring and summer were relatively calm in Israel, things sure have been heating up lately. What is happening?
To tell you the truth, I am not really sure. But it seems to be that the focus of the world is increasingly on the Middle East. I alluded to this back on July 13th with this post on the Blood Moons, down the rabbit hole. If you read my home page and this blog you know I am following trends of cultural and economic decline, not necessarily because I am so concerned with the fate of the USA but because I believe it is indicative of the shift in focus. I live in America and do want to see it remain a free and vibrant country, but like all world powers and strong nations before it I do think we will diminish and fall, in part due to our own arrogance and rebellion to God, but also because in the End Times the focus of God and the nations is on Israel and her neighbors. Prophecy states that Israel will become a cup of trembling to the nations and as you read scripture it is clear that this area comprises the sum total of nations listed in prophecy and the End Times. That doesn’t mean Europe, China, Africa or North America cease to exist, it just means that we could all be considered in the phase of “those who dwell carelessly in the isles.” So as economic woes beset America and the western nations, and as moral depravity becomes the norm for us, and all that is right is held as evil, it makes sense that these could all just indicate the time is right for the Middle East to rise in importance again.
So, the latest headlines I have linked to above could be an increase in trembling, possibly leading up to the trembling of Ezekiel 39 or they could be leading up to another small war between Israel and her neighbors; a war not unlike the War of Atonement remembered here. Our vision is so limited and therefore our perception is highly biased and we often misinterpret the signs, but nothing has really changed in the past few weeks. The economies of the world continue to falter, law continues to be ignored, culture continues its slouch toward Gomorrah, and somehow in the midst of it God is still at work. The Sabbath Year has passed but the signs are still manifesting, something is afoot, but what exactly? All we can do is ride along and pray for guidance, wisdom and strength to act and speak in a godly way as it unfolds.
When we last visited the issue of the economy, the theme was volatility (see here). Well, not much has changed in the past month. The markets are up, and down, and up, and down and so on, because there doesn’t appear to be any foundation.
The news is full of opinion, prognostication and optimism/doom, so while you can find any news to suit your own viewpoint, that is precisely the problem; viewpoints not facts. Take a look at this recession warning from MSN, the layoff notices from Caterpillar, economic growth projections being increased from MSNBC, the Wall Street biggest two day gains as noted by Reuters, stock market unravelling by Business Insider and layoffs surging by 43% in September. Or how about the stock market rejoicing in bad news prior to the last Fed meeting because it meant no rate increase but reacting sourly when the Fed in fact didn’t raise rates. The economic news is chaotic, no one seems to have a foundation to lean on, and they are all operating on what they want the market to do. But everyone seems to agree that the fundamentals are not good.
The last blood moon has come and gone and the Jewish New Year has begun, and while the economy is in chaos trying to find a path forward I know this, God is still sovereign. I don’t know what He may or may not be doing, what He is allowing or orchestrating, but this I know, His love for us is steadfast and He is longsuffering desiring that all should come to a saving knowledge of His Son Jesus Christ.
I posted a link on my home page three days ago, but this is so worth repeating, nothing in the markets makes any sense. Confusion among bankers, traders and economists isn't good; it is a bad sign when their greed can't even guide them.
Truth, Beauty and Goodness,
A framework for life.
Truth is incomplete,
Filtered through eyes, ears and minds.
To see is to believe,
Believe a two-dimensional picture.
“They say,” is the authority
Of collective thought and knowledge.
Images and ideas,
Those that fit neatly into existing patterns.
Beauty is vain,
Charm deceitful in this realm.
Eyes clinging to the physical
And to the sounds which resonate.
All of nature for my pleasure,
The pleasure of my own choosing.
Food for the belly and soul,
That fit neatly into my plan and passions.
Goodness on my terms,
To be defined and redefined.
I look to the world
To see what others do, how they prosper;
I hear their stories
Of boating, sports, vacations and more;
Photos of smiling faces,
Status updates of fun, frivolity and likes.
Perfection in truth;
Objectively tested, unbiased and secure?
Can such a thing,
Be found among such an imperfect world;
Be known as reliable,
Tested, valued and consistent among the ages?
The is One who knows,
He who created, recorded and proves His power.
Creation of God,
Trees of a thousand hills or fruit ripening,
Is no less beautiful
For the smoke of the air which obscures.
Fire alters and destroys,
Changing a state while removing impurities.
Metamorphosis of spirit,
Reflected beauty as character is revealed in trials.
What is the standard of goodness?
That draws us to a more noble existence;
That looks beyond,
Our thoughts, circumstances and activities;
That takes my story,
And weaves it into a tapestry of time and testimony;
Showing joy in pain,
Mourning loss while confident of redemption?
God is perfected
Truth… Beauty… Goodness.
Forecasts of collapse,
Chaos and corruption in society and institutions;
God calls the broken,
Hurting from failed plans, hopes and dreams.
Abba Father knows all things,
His purpose is salvation, His plan is long-suffering.
Call on God who knows all things;
His Truth, Beauty and Goodness is a perfect framework.
Nothing has changed, yesterday is the same as today is the same as tomorrow.
Or is it?
The stock market was up today (Wednesday the 16th of September) recovering some earlier losses; war is still raging in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; China is still faltering; Planned Parenthood is still getting away with illegally selling baby organs; Russia is still manipulating Ukraine and Syria; the republicans are still shirking their constitutional duty while talking a big talk about Iran; and all he rest of us continue our daily lives. But as you have guessed I am not a uniformitarian.
Adams rebellion in the Garden of Eden. The Flood in Noahs day. Jesus on the cross. Mount Vesuvius. World wars and the rise and fall of empires. The Great Depression. History is full of sudden and often dramatic changes which altered lives and societies. To think that just because this day, week or month has been just like the previous day, week or month that tomorrow or next week will be the same is to think too narrowly. God has a history of upsetting the apple cart. Think Israel going into Babylon or the Exodus. God is not bound by our understanding or plans.
Check your sources!
There is a lot of talk right now about the Blood Moons, The Harbingers and the end of the world. Good Bible commentators and teachers are warning people to not put too much stock in these events, and they are right to do so, but only because so many people are taking good teaching and perverting it.
Jonathan Cahn has never said the world will end this fall, that the rapture will take place, that the stock market will crash or that any other calamity will befall us. He has always made it clear that God is not constrained by such things. But he is tirelessly warning that our country is great moral and economic decline and we need to repent and turn to God.
Mark Biltz has never claimed that the tetrad of lunar eclipses is fulfillment of Bible prophecy concerning the end times. If you look at the moon turning to blood in Revelation, that must be a supernatural event for God is using it to confirm judgement upon the world.
John Hagee on the other hand rushed a book out sensationalizing the blood moons and proclaiming end times prophecy. He is making ridiculous claims that are perversions of good Bible interpretation and hermeneutics. There are a lot of people who are also taking the teaching of Jonathan Cahn and perverting it to mean that the end of the US is here or that the Great Tribulation is upon us.
Please listen to each teacher carefully as some are being very sensational, some are obviously misapplying Bible passages, and others are just plain mistaken. As always discern each teacher and go to the Bible to see if they are correct. But please don't throw out the whole idea or teaching just because some have gotten it flat out wrong or, worse yet, are perverting it for their own gain.
I would like to emphasize that volatility in the stock market is normal, that is how day traders make their money. They are constantly betting on stocks moving up and down. What long term investors look for are trends. Here is what the last 12 months on the Dow Jones Industrial Average look like, there is some significant volatility with the overall performance trend being slightly up or flat.
If we just look at the last week or two we would be tempted to dump stocks. But looking at the last 12 months we might change our mind and hold them. But let's open our horizon some and look back over the past five years.
Looking at this five year chart we start to get excited since the performance looks great. And it has been, but the last five years don't tell the whole story either...
Now do you see the trend? Great performance and a long climb followed by a harsh correction. When looking at daily or weekly performance our minds go numb, the volatility and changes are too much to handle. Is this average indicative of a trend or is that stock a better barometer. Looking at the past 12 months likewise doesn't help us much. But when we look at the whole thing then we see a significant trend and you realize that it is very likely we have peaked and the recent drops and gains may only be the starting of a big correction.
So why am I talking about this on a Bible website? Don't forget about the warnings of Jonathan Cahn in The Harbingers (for my take you can read this article). So while I don't know how bad this correction, or crash will be, I want to encourage you to move any investments into the safest area you can, something like a money market account. Because as good stewards of the resources God has given us we need to be prudent and protect them to the extent we can. This fall could be very turbulent, please take this step and others as God leads you in prayer to be ready. If the market does crash to something like 7,000 points, less than half of where it is now, you will have preserved a great deal of wealth. If the market doesn't crash you will have avoided some volatility and can move your investments back into something with growth potential and you won't have lost anything. Either way it seems wise to shelter any investment you have and ride out this storm. God seems to be indicating that the fall will be very rough economically, culturally and politically.
Please consider making a move and as always continue to pray that God would show you how to walk in this world.
This is required reading in my opinion: 10 Ways To Break The Mass Delusion Machine by Stella Morabito at The Federalist. You should also read the first article which the linked article references, but remember this, it is the truth which will set you free, and that Truth is the Truth of Jesus Christ.
And just a few minutes after I posted the above here comes proof of the shout down, he is not 'making fun' as the headline insists but is raising legitimate questions of hypocrisy, wow, what an example of how the propaganda works. Who would want to be treated like Dinesh D'Souza? That is exactly the point, tow the line or be treated this way.
Pull back the curtain and see the truth! Do you remember the scene from The Wizard of Oz when Toto reveals the truth about the Great and Powerful Oz? When I started this new course on the homepage of my website it was all about monitoring trends to see where our nation and world is headed, but now it has become apparent that there is no trend, only a very grim and sobering revelation of exactly how bad things are. Up until the last week of June there was a trend, but once the rule of law and all morality was abandoned by the Supreme Court, Congress and the President, events have shifted in my opinion to revealing the truth as if the future course was finally settled. There is still much to know and pray about so continue to check here for new articles indicating the position we are in or check here for my thoughts and what it may mean for us.
A 40-something believer who is concerned with what the church and Christians are choosing to believe rather than looking to the Bible to determine what to believe.