Monday, November 23, 2009

Bill O'reilly: "I don't care about the constitution"

Here the stallwart voice of the neo-conservative movement Bill O'reilly states the sentiment of many who call themselves "conservatives" as he announces that "I don't care about the constitution" to former judge Andrew Napolitano who defends the actual trial of Khalid Sheik Muhammad the supposed "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks...yeah right. The constitution is what is to keep us from mob rule and the rule of a tyrant, its amazing that a "conservative" would say this but it shows yet again there is little to no difference between the "liberals" and "conservatives" neither care about the constitution when their party is in power. Here's the video:

the thing that disappoints me most is that people get their political opinions from hacks like Orielly and Oberman, and just bulimically regurgitate what they say even though it is a tangled mess of contradictions and inane platitudes. I have talked to people on the left and right who really have no principles but spout the one liners of political hacks in the place of reasoned discourse.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Knowing Better Than God (Or, Why I Don't Roll Charismatic Redux)

My family, again due to weather, visited a local church rather than going to our usual home church for the Lord's day. This church was fairly charismatic, but to my relief the pastor stuck to the Bible in his preaching and although the gospel wasn't preached he did a fair job of expounding the text. This is leaps and bounds beyond what I have experienced in churches that are into charismatic expression where often the service disintegrates into utter chaos and subjective expressions because "the spirit is moving".

What I found in the book sale area was a book by Bill Johnson, a pastor whom many of my charismatic friends admire and see as a sort of mentor. It is by no means my goal to slander men, I let them slander themselves with their own words. The book title is "Face to Face with God" and this book seems like your standard technique type book seeking to arm the reader with tools to manipulate God into doing things we want, to put it crassly. I merely had to read the back of the book and the urge welled up within me to throw it across the room (as I did with another tawdry installment by Mr. Johnson), the only thing that restrained me from taking such appropriate action is that it was marked at $10, and I certainly did not desire to pay for this book as a result of the damage that surely would have been incurred.

These technique books are a dime a dozen and it really is a marvel to me that people continue to lap them up like chicken soup on a cold day. The back cover is what betrays the genre as it always has a list of what the book promises to deliver to the reader in the form of new and cutting edge insights. This book by Johnson fits the mold to the T, and one of the techniques contained in the book highlighted on the back cover that enraged me read:

"How to "set up an ambush" to apprehend God rather than just waiting on God"

I simply don't know how anyone who fears God can read that as anything but blasphemous. If you need help seeing the problem let me point it out.

1.) God's word commands us to wait on Him, Johnson says we shouldn't, he seems to think he has a better technique than God. This is a prevalent theme in charismatic fanaticism, our experiences and feelings and impressions are right up there in authority with scripture. (See my previous post on Bentley for another example of Johnson knowing better than God)

2.) God is omniscient, He's not going to be taken off guard by our efforts to "trap or ambush" Him, it is He who has decreed all of history. We come to Him as beggars with outstretched hands.

3.) God is a person, He is not some force that we tap into, the treatment of God like some sort of cosmic force comes up over and over with these types of writings, and no doubt that is in the work on techniques to manipulate God by Mr. Johnson.

I really don't know how bible believing Christians can make these sorts of statements, it shows gross misunderstanding of God's character and nature, and therefore it betrays ignorance of scripture itself or in this case just outright disobedience to or slighting of what scripture says. In short, this sort of stuff just makes me tired.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Andrew Napolitano on the Health Care Boondoggle

Judge Andrew Napolitano (probably the only commentator working with Fox News worthy of a hearing) in commenting on the health care bill, soon to be yet another unconstitutional "law", in a recent article as follows:

"We do not have two political parties in this country, America. We have one party; called the Big Government Party. The Republican wing likes deficits, war, and assaults on civil liberties. The Democratic wing likes wealth transfer, taxes, and assaults on commercial liberties.

Both parties like power; and neither is interested in your freedoms. Think about it. Government is the negation of freedom. Freedom is your power and ability to follow your own free will and your own conscience. The government wants you to follow the will of some faceless bureaucrat."

I thought the line in bold to be an excellent description of the relationship between government and individual liberty. It could be likened to light and darkness, darkness (government) being by its nature the absence of light (freedom). Government is an exercise in pure consumption and legalized plunder, government does not make things what it has it has by theft from those who are producers.

The only reason why this parasitic relationship continues as an accepted relationship is that we have been trained to believe that government is a sort of god. This idol makes the sun to shine, the grass grow, feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, prospers us all, keeps us save from the hordes of infidels by mercilessly bombing third world countries, and in general keeps us safe from ourselves. Like all idols government demands sacrifice, through your giving what is yours through honest labor or even your firstborn through conscription.

It bothered me under the reign of Bush the lesser to hear people constantly defend the indefensible even to this day believing there really were WMD's in Iraq, and the liberal media covered this up. The "Terrorists are gonna get us if we don't do X!" line was tirelessly invoked to assuage the inklings of concern over the freedom destroying policies like the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, warrantless wiretapping, and torture. You know what, it worked, Americans on the right accepted these policies and continue to by and large although they now have reservations as a man with a (D) next to his name now has these insidious tools at his disposal.

It is no less troubling to see Barack H Obama (peace be upon him) picking up the ball right where Bush left off and running with it. This time the card incessantly invoked is one of tolerance and compassion for the disenfranchised. This is how the hate crimes law was passed (attached to a military funding bill gaining bipartisan coverage at the cost of lives in the countries the government ruling us chooses to bomb) as well as the now Health Care "reform" bill. If you have a problem with these government power grabs at the expense of individual liberty you must be insensitive or in the worst case an outright racist/bigot.

It is a shame that people can not see through these sorts of games, it is rather simple, you divide people into artificial groups of race, gender, socio-economic class, and party affiliation, get them all fighting with each other, meanwhile, the plunderers sit up top continuing their pillage and metastasizing into a grotesque size.

With this formula, people will insist that their group is constantly being cheated, create lobby groups to strip their enemy group of money or freedom (often under the guise of "rights" for their group) to right the wrongs done to said group, this is a wish the government is more than happy to acquiesce to as they are in the business of sanctioning theft, and managing the lives of individuals.

What I just said may go right over people's heads caught up in these artificial fights which are created for us to supply us with our outlet of political action. However, the formula Napolitano lays out is simple and clear cut, government by its very nature is the negation of freedom.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Swallowing the Spirit Feathers and All

"He swallowed the Holy Spirit feathers and all!"

That is what Martin Luther said of the fanatics in his day who claimed they had Divine inward revelations that were on par with the revealed word of God in scripture.

The same sentiment can be said of much of what passes for the "revival movement" in America, it is high on excitement and low on faithfulness to biblical doctrine, even spurning it as a byword. I have avoided these sorts of issues as no fruit seems to come from stating the obvious, however the rise and fall and seeming rise yet again of Todd Bentley is a case in point example of the fiber of this movement.

I take no joy in the fact that Mr. Bentley fell into gross sin as some critics of revivalism seem to have. Bentley is a man made in the image of God and has inestimable worth and dignity based upon this reality. My beef however, is that the folk who occupy this movement seem to think they know better than God, at least as He has revealed Himself in His word.

Todd Bentley had an adulterous affair with a woman, then divorced his wife, and subsequently married said woman. Obviously, this was frowned upon. Scripturally, Bentley is not only disqualified from ministry as Paul states the requirements a church leader is to possess but due to his continuance in sin should really be excommunicated:

"Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach," (1 Tim 3:2)

Bentley lacks most of these traits, I can not judge his hospitableness. The most flagrant compromise is that Bentley continues living in adultery by virtue of his new marriage to the woman with whom he committed adultery. Christ could not be more clear in His view of adultry and remarriage as He states:

"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.'
But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
(Matt 5:31-32)

The latter clause is why I say with Christ that Bentley is still living in adultery.

A fairly recent article in Charisma displays the attitude in much of the charismatic circles toward leaders found in gross sin. The article basically describes Bentley as a victim, and there is not the slightest hint that the continued relationship with the woman and continued ministry of Bentley is in any way improper. The only victims I see in all of this are Bentley's children and former wife, which get barely a mentioning.

In fact it is suggested that there is something wrong with you if you have a problem with this by Rick Joyner. Yes, we should forgive a repentant person, but Bentley is disqualified Biblically from ministry, AND biblically he hasn't repented as he continues his adultery.

Right now Todd Bentley is being "restored", allegedly based on Gal 6:1, to ministry, yet another move in defiance of scripture (as one who has fallen into sin can be restored to fellowship but NOT to leadership as he now fails to meet the requirements of leadership).

These biblical requirements for leadership unfortunately do not daunt the individuals over seeing the "restoration process", Rick Joyner of Morningstar Ministries, and Bill Johnson of the Bethel church in Redding CA. Todd Bentley still "ministers" the article states and I would assume in the eyes of most within the revivalism movement I am the bad guy for having a problem with any of this.

The reason why one who has run headlong into iniquity while in leadership simply is disqualified from ministry is because it gives the enemies of the gospel grounds to mock. We are called to refute the gainsayers, not only with our sound doctrine but our godly lives (Titus 1:9-13).

It is the loose lifestyles of all of these big named speakers/revivalists, the gross avarice and love of worldly riches on display in these lavish churches, and the wretched theology incessantly spewed out of the meetings that have caused me to long since avoid this movement like the swine flu shot.

I am not a full blown cessationist, but, the constant compromise of biblical teaching and biblical morality within these charismatic circles is the strongest case for cessationism in my mind. Articles like the one in Charisma to which I linked cause me to yet again review why I even believe that the gifts are for today.