Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ruminations Coming: In The Meantime, A Public Service Announcement

Maybe the term "naturalism" would be more exact. Still, atheism has a long standing affinity with the form of naturalism described above. It's the belief about the natural world that rejects any notion of any kind of higher power having any influence over the observable processes of the creation around us. They scorn the belief of a Creator who creates and then come up with this cock and bull story to solemnly inform us this is the only "provable" explanation for all of physical natural reality as well as ancient natural history itself.

This kind of scientific "theory" is what many of the best minds in the world are convinced explains how the world came to be. No wonder those who question it are viewed as ignorant and unwashed Neanderthals - to admit that truly critical examination of this bizarre fairy tale might have a point to concede would cause the whole house of naturalism's cards to blow away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

All We Are Is Dust In The Wind? Hardly ..

I cannot stop watching this. I normally wouldn't post this on this kind of blog, but the haunting beauty of this video demands an audience.

The White Mountain from charles on Vimeo.

It's tempting to view this magnificent and compelling video and begin to feel the chill of how seemingly remote, miniscule, and lost we are in a bigger, larger world and universe around us.

And yet, the Word of God is so much clearer on where we fit in .. hear these portions of Psalm 139

O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether. Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee. .. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. ..

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Discernment Is Discernment When Truth Confronts Error

In the early 1800's, the continuing advance of white Americans into the lands of the Cherokee Indian nation in North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia were among many of the manifold pressures Native Americans had to deal with. Whether they faced unsuccessful negotiations with local governments or armed conflicts with white settlers and militia, the question faced by Native American tribes across the land was always the same - how to respond to the increasingly aggressive dealings of colonial advances that sought to push Indians further west away from their traditional homelands. It became one of the darkest and tragic moments of American history.

The situation almost changed dramatically in 1811. A fervent excitement swept Indian tribes across the East as efforts to form a great alliance among them to drive the whites back began in earnest. Indian shamans and many Indians themselves had long resisted the social seductions to give up their folkways, spirituality and culture for those impressed upon them by contact with white settlers and state governments. It was given a huge surge of support when word of a prophetic vision delivered by Tenskwatawa, the shaman brother of the great Shawnee Chief Tecumseh began to spread as well, emboldening those who favored armed warfare. Many unsettling and inexplicable occurrences that seemed to be supernatural visitations from the Great Spirit began to occur among the tribes, further bolstering the conviction that this alliance should proceed. Had this occurred, it's not hard to see - with the second British invasion of America iminent in 1812 - how American history could have been vastly different. For such a conflict to confront the young American nation on two massive fronts certainly would have changed the course of history itself - and world history as well.

So in May, 1811 the governing council of the Cherokee Indian nation could no longer ignore the issue and had to meet to consider certain visions claimed to have come to three Cherokees that advanced the same point of the Shawnee shaman and chief - the return to their former way of life and rejection of any futher white advances into their lands. The Cherokee were the most dominant and powerful of the Native American tribes of the Eastern United States and were clearly in a position to powerfully influence the smaller ones around them to proceed one way or another. Having almost 150 years of largely peaceful contact and interaction with white America, the Cherokee had come away from it profoundly influenced by many of their practical and cultural innovations from government to agriculture to trade. They were aware that such advances would help their own people grow - and had not yet come to fully believe that the United States would ever engage in the systematic expulsion of their people from the East in the debacle of the Trail of Tears.

But with the pressures at hand, tribal opinion was mixed and decidedly unsettled, and the council would be a place for the Cherokee nation to gather direction. As the accounts of the vision were discussed excitedly in the council at Red Clay in Bradley County, Tennessee (where our ministry is based), one lone Cherokee leader had serious doubts about them. Author John Ehle, in his book "Trail Of Tears" commented that Chief Ridge, a well known and well respected man among his people, listened closely as

the man among the three who had seen the vision closed by saying that if one would deny his message, the Mother of the Cherokees would strike him dead.

Ridge sat stone still as excited commentators roamed about the council house, most of them chiefs who were known opponents of acculturation with the whites; they were celebrating this revelation. Finally, Ridge got to his feet and asked for audience, and when the noise subsided, he made his speech.

"My friends, the talk you have heard is not good. It would lead us to war with the United States, and we should suffer. It is false; it is not a talk fom the Great Spirit. I stand here and defy the threat that he who disbelieves shall die. Let the death come upon me. I offer to test this scheme of impostors."

Even as he finished speaking, angry delegates assaulted him. He struck back at them and several fell; like a great bear he batted off his assailants. Eventually they overcame him, pummeling him, trying to knife him ... Ridge, once on his feet again, continued to defy the nay-sayers and their shamans. Again, furious chiefs assaulted him, but this time elder chiefs demanded order and enforced it.

Ridge, his clothing torn, bleeding from cuts, stood before them all. You see, he told them, I continue to live, so these prophets are deceivers.

"Trail Of Tears" (Anchor 1988), page 98-99

And history continues to change today as the last day deceptions of Satanic and humam design continue to get the P.R. they do as those in the position to confront and correct them utterly fail to do so, even embracing such "new truth" as divine revelation from on High.

What history have you changed today?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Company Heresy Seeks To Keep - Some Thoughts

Acts 20:29-30

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

2 Peter 2:1-3

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
Titus 3:10-11

A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.
Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

I'm going to continue to explore what the Bible says about the end time apostacy and the kind of company that last days that end time heresy likes to keep .. or diss.

Read well, all you RF operatives out there. You believe you're reading this just to serve your ends. God is giving you merciful grace to consider your crooked ways by being allowed by study these. Don't harden your heart further and forget this day of visitation you are reading this under - because in the Judgment, you will be reminded of having been here where you need to be and where this could be your final chance to FREE YOUR MIND.

In my first post this year, I cited the prophecy of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself out of Matthew 24:1-14 detailing his stark warning that in the time preceding His Return to the world. When asked what would the signs be that heralded this, it's important to remember that the first thing He said was "take heed that no man deceive you." He did not point to social utopia or religious revival as a sign of His return but to a world staggering under the advance of deceptive figures he called false prophets and false pretenders claiming to be Him. Among these other signs were plagues, warfare and earthquakes in different places all over the world - all heralds of His coming that are largely being dismissed as "coincedence" by those who are clueless to His warning.

In my second post concerning end time apostasy as Scripture teaches, I spoke of what the Bible speaks about what the word literally means, emphasizing that the sense of the word in Scripture is that an apostasy is an abandonment or rejection of true faith, morality and conviction which God has ordained as acceptable to Him. I wrote that it always leads to immorality as sinful people act out their sinfulness on one another in the absence of any moral constraint and that mankind has suffered from the primal falling away of Adam and Eve from God in their failures in Eden to obey Him.

In this post, I want to share briefly on what the Scriptures say about another side of the Janus face of apostacy - how its unholy offspring that is called heresy routinely stalks and ensnares all manner of people as one of the most cunning devices of Satanic inspiration created to destroy the souls of men.

The word heresy is what we want to focus upon first. The word, coming from the New Testament Greek words hairesis, literally meant "a choosing" and in other contexts "a faction." The sense of the word was to define the act of choosing to divide from what was accepted as the established normalcy. Applied withing the context of the Christian faith, it was given wide usage in the Christian church (as cited in the Scriptures above) as it faced the first great onslaughts of apostasy in the first and second century that arose from within it. The iminent spiritual onslaught against the Body of Christ was what the great apostle Paul wept over with hot tears of agony in Acts 20, seeking to impress upon the Ephesian elders that these trials of strange fire from within would test the infant Christian church after he left, to see them no more:
Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
Acts 20:31

The Ebionite, Marcionite and Gnostic heresies were among the first spiritual challenges that the first believers had to deal with, issues that the apostles grappled with in the book of Acts and alluded to in their Epistles to the churches. And these issues originated from earnest, passionately spiritual people who looked, acted and spoke just like Christians themselves but who preached "another gospel" setting forth "another Jesus" by the spiritual power of "another spirit" as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. With that kind of deceptive power, major confusion and disruption was poised to turn the Christian church into squabbling sects who would fade into utter obscurity, with the destiny of humanity itself at stake.

It's almost virtually impossible for the lukewarm and backslidden Christian church of today to fully appreciate just how much at stake their personal faith itself actually was in those first few years. Few of the self-centered Christians of today's casual Christianity seem to even care that the very shape of what they would believe and trust in concerning their temporal and eternal destinies could have been forever lost. But that is indeed how vital the issue was, and is and always shall be until the Lord Jesus Himself returns. History itself would have been also profoundly altered had the unbiblical truth claims of these groups had found the foothold they desired and therefore spiritually warped the truth of the Gospel itself - and hence the missionary outreach of the Church which transformed the ancient world. Heresy, as shown by the Bible and history, is indeed a pretty big deal then as now.

In his seminal book, Heresies (a book I've got in my list of favorites here on the blog), the late Harold O.J. Brown described heresy best as:

.. (designating) either a doctrine or the party holding the doctrine, a doctrine that was sufficiently intolerable to destroy the unity of the Christian church. In the early church, heresy did not refer to simply any doctrinal disagreement, but to something that seemed to undercut the very basis for Christian existence. (p. 2)

Heresy, then, is not only a teaching that denies orthodox Christian truth but a deceptive trickery claiming to unveil lost or restored truth. It results in the creation of a rogue spirituality that defies the Christian faith and creates division among Christians who were formerly united around apostolic doctrine and practice.

And those individuals who bring about this spiritual baiting and switching that leads to all of this trouble for the church are what the Scriptures we've reviewed above call heretics. The Bible's view of heretics, from the boldness of the occultic Simon Magus in the book of Acts to the seductions of the false prophetess Jezebel in the book of Revelation, shows that they are a bold and driven people. Heretics are both men and women who are brilliant, charming and engaging folks who can tell engaging stories, ooze appealingly earnest passion over their beliefs, and who can quote the Bible better than Jesus could. The Bible says they are driven by an agenda of self-aggrandizement based upon their measure of human nature and mastery of their misguided message. For all of their seemingly meek and humble bearings and origins, we would do well to remember Peter's warning is that such people are stealthy, cunning interlopers - wolves in sheep's clothing (Matthew 7:14) who sneak into the sheepfolds of the church to tell amazing tidings of deeper depths and higher heights they are called of God to lead them into.

As we've seen, heresy is a lonely beast and a social animal. It seeks company, craving a captive audience from people, who, through the best of intentions, end up in an alternate spiritual reality that is a mimicked version of the Christian faith. It can only replicate itself at the cost of Christians who have failed to get their own grip on sound Christian doctrine. So it's qute understandable why today's modern heretics who have a vested interest in posing as orthodox Christians quite obviously don't like being called heretics. It's difficult to pull the wool over the eyes of those they seek to bewitch if they are identified as someone who does just that!

So they do everything they can to prove their self-anointed calling as a lonely voice of truth in the world and convince their flocks that they alone have God's favor. They point to anything they can to find divine verification of their doings and their teachings. They demand complete and total surrender to their authority at the cost of their follower's eternal enlightenment or salvation. They cast a vision of a doomed world outside the social circle of their own sect. They cry aloud how they are being persecuted for "The Truth" when their ultimately corrupt doings are exposed and emotionally whine about how unloving and judgmental their unspiritual critics are, knowing that in this pluralistic day that they'll score points among people just for that evasive comment alone.

Their "Messages" are little more than legalistic busywork they bind to the shoulders of their folowers, a compulsion they impart to their flocks to follow their codes of conduct which involve self-denial or spiritual sacrifice to purify and perfect themselves. They ultimately indoctrinate them with a keen sensitivity to works-based self-righteousness

And they know that there are still enough people left for whom the concept of heresy and the figure of the heretic is still a trumpet call of alarm that hastens deeper discerning of their doings. In the end, the company kept - a host of neophytes forsaking all to become their leader's clones - shows just what kind of a spiritual dead end heretics follow. They are the blind leaders of blind followers who, Jesus said with terrifyingly evocative bluntness shall both "fall into the ditch" (Matthew 15:14).

And the tragedy of it all is that millions of people both within and without the church are being confronted with the siren songs of cultic heresy, voiced by cultic heretics who never fail to find new audiences ever day .. as this video so painfully dramatizes.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bad Moon Falling - When A Cult's Empire Shows Its Strain

Cultic movements, for all of their allegedly divine commission and exclusive claims to the authority of the Almighty, ultimately are no different then any other humanly organization since they are still populated by human beings filled with frailty, imperfection, sin and the same kind of self-centered drama all of us can fall into.

So when the aging "Reverend" Sun Myung Moon decided to finally start giving up his iron control over his Unification Church, vast business holdings and overall control a few years ago, the internecine squabbles within his "True Family" between factions of sons are of course not surprising. The fighting for ultimate control of the church, its business enterprises and the direction of the Unification movement worldwide - and the billions of dollars that underlay them - has long ago begun. Things have gotten decidedly uglier since Moon's more recent actions to turn over day by day operation to his sons have escalated their war of words and have even launched rival claims to their control.

Check out this link if you'd like to read a bit more.

Unificationists have long been used to having to turn blind eyes when seeing their "True Parents" and the "True Family" exhibit behavior that shows them to be far more subject to sin and falsehood then they would want to be known for. Any authoritarian cult with an elite clique exalted as royalty who exercise complete temporal and spiritual control over their followers will of course do all they can to spin, deny and cover up their failings. But the first salvos of this conflict are seemingly going to open a lot of eyes up within the Moon organization. May God's grace and His Gospel somehow get through to them as well!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

When The Heresy Comes Home - some more thoughts

I've been busy with life in general among other things, so unfortunately, I've not been blogging .. again! I try hard to strike the balance in personal time so as to do this, but alas, things are just too pressing.

As I regather my ruminations, here's a few interesting ones that I thought I'd post on the more memorable things that happen when the sectarian missionaries of error get put into places they don't easily adapt to. I'm not referring to situations involving gun toting Russian gangsters, desperate English housewives with see through negligees, or a Saturday Night Live skit either ..

Here's a link to a blog write up on when two Jehovah's Witnesses are temporarily gotten out of their box by a Christian "householder" .. with something as simple as questions ..

This one will take you to show how well disguised Unificationists (AKA Moonies, disciples of the antichrist Sun Myung Moon) will make themselves when working through their front groups.

The reveries of two former members of an abusive church in Louisiana and the Crossroads movement that became the cultic International Churches of Christ can be read in this bulletin board thread here. Both accounts took place decades and hundreds of miles apart .. but are, as almost always, frighteningly the same ..

And this De Novo article, written by a professedly Hindu agnostic, about the Latter Day Saint's missionary's attempt to sell his religion without revealing much of it, speaks volumes about how deception looks when its cloak falls off ..