The Biblical Examiner
An Examination of Biblical Precepts Involved in Issues at Hand

March, 2009


Contents: Babylon is fallen * Book Review: "Mere Christianity" or Mere Philosophy * Personal * Serious Business * Firearm Licensing... * Joel Saripalli * Behind Closed Doors * Cinnamon & Honey * Free Schools, Dabney * Are you a Terrorist? * Are your Hymns Too Spiritual? * Holy Kidnappers, i.e., Bill Gothard

Babylon is fallen, is fallen

And her false gods God hath broken unto the ground.

Isaiah 21:9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

The financial crisis calls for some comments.

Many of us remember a number of years ago when the powers that be in the US were saying that America was no longer to be a manufacturing, but a financial based economy. The US was to be the financial capital of the world. Well, they obtained what they wanted: China is the manufacturing capital of the world (thanks to American provided technology, which we have discussed previously), and America was the financial capital. However, greed has taken its toll, and the poor taxpayers of many generations to come are being forced to foot the bill for the ill-conceived theory.
A good place from which to address our current situation is the book of Joel, chapter 2. Space prohibits leaving everything in the following. However, the unedited study will be in "commentaries" under Joel, when I get time to post it at
Joel is reemphasizing what he already said in chapter 1. There are two basic divisions of chapter 2. Vv. 1-17 is a call and plead for God's people to return to him. Then vv. 18-32 is God's protection and provision for his people.

Here is a quick outline of chapter 2.

I. Vv. 1-11. The call of the Lord to Israel to return to him, with the promise of his army against his people if they do not heed his call. They did not, and his army came against them as promised. Just like the locusts come against a people, as we saw in the Egyptian plague of locusts. The call reaches to all of his people of all time, making it as much for today as it was for Joel's day.
II. Vv. 12-14. Grace moves in. The Holy Spirit moves, giving the spirit of repentance. The changed heart was promised with salvation all through the Old and New Testaments, e.g., Jeremiah 31:30ff.
III. Vv. 15-17. The brokenness over sin brought about by the Holy Spirit. God moves for his name's sake.
IV. Vv. 18-32. God moves in defense of his people, the New Israel of God, the Gospel Church. This passage is directed to the Gospel Church, as we see from vv. 26-32. Putting vv. 18-29 in one time frame, and then vv.30-32 in another is to wrongly dividing the word of truth. Peter very clearly quotes this passage in Acts 2:16-21, as a direct reference to the church.
He broke off the old Israel, and grafted in the New Israel, yet left the roots; that is, his law-word. The life-blood of the vine is still Christ and his law-word, but the branches are different; they are made up of all nations rather than just the one nation.
Note the plea here. It is another major theme of Scripture. The only reason God will intervene is for his great name's sake; it will not be because his people love him so much, nor because they desire to serve him, nor for any other reason. It is only for his great name's sake.
In our day of democracy, it also will not be because the majority of God's people want him to move, for his movements are not determined by a vote of his people.
The scripture is full of God's sovereignty in his works here on earth. Psalms 31 is a good example. David is being oppressed by his adversary. He cries out to God for deliverance. Notice v. 3 – his claim upon God's mercy is for Thy name's sake. Also see, Psalms 31:16, 44:26, 109:21, 115:1ff, 143:11, Isaiah 37:35, 48:9-11, Jeremiah 14:7, 21, Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22, 36:22, and many more.
Psalms 106:1-8 tells us that God delivered his people from bondage, not because they were good nor because they outnumbered the Egyptians, nor because they were strong, nor because they had a lot of wealth. In fact, they were sinners, committed iniquity and did wickedly. In fact, they provoked him to anger even at the Red Sea, yet he delivered them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He moved mightily, so his name would be glorified among the heathen.
Psalms 59:11ff. tells us that the workers of iniquity, bloody men, are lying in wait for the souls of those who are trying to obey God. They are not gathered against the godly because of sin, but because they hate God and his Christ. There is no turning the other cheek to the enemies of God.
There are differing opinions as to the meaning of v. 15. However, it appears that the enemies of God are to starve. God's people are forbidden to feed His enemies so they can continue in their war against God. Romans 12:20 thine enemy, not God's enemy. Can I blame God for my enemies? Normally not.
We know the foreign implications about supporting the enemies of God, such as shipping all of our manufacturing overseas to the Chinese, which strengthened them mightily, so they can control US. The One Worlders have invested unbelievable amounts of time and money to accomplish the destruction of our manufacturing base. The war is against God, represented by the Christian, WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), base of this country.
But the implications apply equally at home. We are feeding God's enemies with the property tax and by sacrificing our children in the statist education system. How about the college tuition fees that keep the very anti-Christ colleges in business?
Though the wicked are working hard against God, David ends with a praise:

Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing: for God is my defence, and the God of my mercy.

There is an abundance of examples of God moving against the heathen for his name's sake. (for his name's sake is used 60 times in Scripture.)
Those who love God, and are totally dedicated to him today are a minority, to say the least. Our strength lies only in our Lord. It lies only in our obedience to him and his word. It lies in our stand upon his word against compromise. We cannot go our own way and do our own thing and expect to claim these promises. John 14:13-15.
First, our victory in the battles we face against the adversary lies in his great name's sake. We must realize our strength does not lie in numbers, nor money. I certainly am not against numbers, for numbers represent people, but if we say we will have a better chance in the conflict if we have more numbers then we are caught in the humanist's trap. Our strength and only hope for victory lies in our pleasing our Lord and King; then he moves for his great name's sake. We should ‘bother' him to death, as David did, to uphold his name.
"Lord, your name is not being honored. What are you going to do about it?"
V. 13, David's cry is for God to consume the enemy, so the enemy would know that God rules in his people, as well as in the whole earth. Psalms 60:11, 12.
Second. "Lord, are you going to let the heathen who hate and deny you gain the victory over your heritage? Will not the heathen say, "I thought your God was strong. If he is so strong, then why are we on the top, and you on the bottom?"
Did not the Lord fight on the side of even wicked King Ahab for His name's sake? 1 Kings 20. If Ahab could receive help for His name's sake, how much more can we expect God to intervene for those who obey him?
Our hope for the hour? No matter how dark it may appear, it is God's name and reputation which is at stake, not ours. Can we not remind him of what is at stake, and expect him to give the victory if we will remain faithful and true?
Our hope does not lie in numbers, nor does it lie in money. Our hope lies in the Lord, as we do what we can to submit every area to his authority. Then, for his great name's sake, we may see Joel 2:18 (Hosea 2:18) come to pass. We may see him more on the side of his people. Only he knows future.
V. 18. Then... The implication here is that the judgment came, then his people returned to him. The repentance on the part of his people changed God's heart from the intent to do them harm to the intent of blessing them. It is indeed sad that it takes harsh judgment to turn his people around. O, how I wish we could learn from his word, and avoid the sad results.
His land, not the land. Thus implied is his land can be anywhere his people find themselves. By identifying this passage for the time of Christ, this makes v. 19 even stronger for us. At least it can be applied even by those who cannot agree that it is a reference to the Gospel Church.
V. 19. What was meant for a ‘curse' is now a blessing. The garden of Eden had been laid desolate by the result of sin. Now the garden blooms once again as the result of repentance. His spiritual and temporal blessing here is symbolized by the corn, wine and oil. They were removed by sin, and restored by repentance.
And I will... The implication here is that they were a reproach among the heathen. The heathen did look down upon them and say, "Where is your God?" Psalms 137 seems to give us a record of this very thing, when they were carried into Babylon. This passage in Joel looks forward to that captivity as well as the captivity of sin of all time. Israel came back from this captivity and was very zealously, though wrong, faithful to their God until Christ.
At the time of Christ, they rejected their Redeemer, their Saviour, their Messiah, their King. In rejecting their King, they chose the state as their lord. "Crucify him. We have no king but Caesar!" John 19:15. They chose the State as God, so God left them to their god's good pleasure.
No more make you a reproach... I see only one way to be consistent in the context, and that is to identify this with Christ and the Gospel Church. To do less makes "I will no more..." temporary, having to say instead, "I will no more until 400 years have passed" or "I will no more until I see fit to again." I am inclined to think God meant here just what he said, and if he did, this must be a reference to our life in Christ.

Financial Crisis

Isaiah 21:9 And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

God delivers his people over into the hands of those they chose over him, just as sure as he did the Old Testament people who chose Caesar over Christ. People have chosen to serve the gods of this world over Christ, and now those gods are demanding their due—that is, the children of the idolaters, children to the third and fourth generation, or longer, will be required to repay what is today being spent.
What is needed today to call his people to himself? Maybe just letting the results of the foolish choices catch up... Are we seeing the god of mammon now extracting his due? Will the fall of this god cause people to turn to the Lord?
What kind of revival should take place when people realize that the god they have served so faithfully for the last 75 or so years has failed them, and is extracting the payment as promised to them by God's word?
America's children have been offered on the altar of the mammon god. I wonder what will happen when the prosperity promised by the false "profiting prophets" does not come to those who have followed the false gospel of prosperity? Will God open their eyes to the frauds being perpetrated upon them from the pulpit, or will they become more committed to the fraud?
Those of us who have warned of the evil of the false mammon god can, by faith, rejoice that the fall is here, for when the wicked perish, there is shouting. Proverbs 11:10.
From where I sit and watch the massive confusion among even those who profess to be God's people, the only hope the world has is the failure of the god of this world, mammon. Joel 2:20-32, we see that the results of the fall of the world's god in whom God's people have trusted, will produce good results. Judgment, 1-11, repentance, 12-19, and blessings, 20-32.
All of God's promises are conditional, and this promise seems to be conditioned upon his grace working in his people to make them see their sin, to cause them to repent and turn back to him, then to obey him. In doing this, they will inherit the promise of v. 19.
V. 20. Here is a difficult verse with several different possible understandings. One is that this passage is off yet in the future. Such an understanding violates the passage, and its context, for vv. 28-30 is quoted by Peter. So we must keep a reasonable order of time. So what do we have here? This is what fits best for me, and I certainly am not dogmatic about it.
God's people through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ turn from their sin that resulted in barrenness. It resulted in his army coming against them in judgment. Evidently, the army was an army of men pictured as locusts. (The Reformers compared the Roman priests to locusts. However, I believe bankers and lawyers fit that description better today.)
The people repent, vv. 12-17. They turn to him with the rent heart, and now his army that he used to chastize his people becomes his enemy, which is typical throughout old Israel's history. Jeremiah 50, God brought the Chaldeans against his people, then he turned against that army of the Chaldeans because they rejoiced as they destroyed God's heritage. Isaiah 50 also fits very well with Joel 2. Is it not strange that all of these prophets have basically the same message? You would think they have are all following the same script.
Sin brings God's judgment. Repent of the sin, and his judgment becomes mercy. Then he becomes the enemy of our enemy.
Joel gives us a cry against the sin of outward service to God, yet inward service to the gods of this world. Joel's cry is to serve God from the innermost being. The result of turning to him is that he becomes the protector of his people. The army God brought in judgment against his people causes his people to turn to him. Their return turns Him against that army, and he becomes our defender, our Rock, our Shield, our High Tower.
The turning point is Christ Jesus, and God's grace found in Him. When His time is right, he will step in; he will open the eyes of his people, the sheep of his pasture, Isaiah 53. They will see him whom they have pierced, which will cause a tremendous outpouring of tears as mentioned in v. 17. Based then upon their brokenness before God and humility, God steps in, and subdues all the kingdoms before him. See Zechariah 12:10—John 19:37 is an application of this action at salvation.

Tears are a gift of God. In holier times, so did the priests weep at the holy eucharist in thought of the Passion and Precious Death of our Lord Jesus, which we then plead to God, that they bore with them, as part of their dress, linen wherewith to dry their tears. (Barnes' Notes. Online Bible.)

Can we imagine what God would do for a people like this—a people who are so broken over their sin (humbled would be a better word, as they realize the terrible price which had to be paid for their sins) that the mere remembrance of what Christ did would bring tears at the Lord's table?
Think of the obedience such a memory would incite. Think of the love it would invoke toward the one who paid our sin penalty. Think of the benefit that would result as Gods' people would turn to him out of love and thankfulness. Think of what would take place if God's people saw this, and it invoked the love toward others which Christ had on the cross. How much more would we do to try to reach those Christ suffered, bled and died for? How many pastors have seen anything but dry eyes at the Lord's table.
His army of heathens do not know they are fulfilling his purpose. They deny with all their might that they are moving in obedience to the Lord God, yet we must ask, who controls history, God or Satan? We can safely say that the Sovereign Lord God controls it for his own good pleasure to accomplish what was determined before time began. Daniel 4:35, Acts 4:28, Romans 9:19, 20, 11:33, 34, Ephesians 1:11, &c.
Notice the contrast. Before the weeping, fasting, mourning and turning to the Lord, the land trembled with fear, v. 10 — the beasts were without pasture, 1:19; the vine withered and the tree languished, 1:11, 12. All of these things that took place before vv. 12-17 are now reversed in Christ. "Paradise is restored" when men are in proper relationship with God through Christ.
His people today have chosen Caesar over Christ, as so many professed Christians saw Obama as the messiah. Now the Lord has turned us over to this false messiah. (A man e-mailed me to ask if a Christian could vote for Obama.)
God's people today have chosen money over Christ, as they served the god of mammon. Now the Lord has turned us over to the money merchants. The money merchants have and are robbing us to the third and fourth generation, and well beyond.

Federal obligations exceed world GDP

As the Obama administration pushes through Congress its $800 billion deficit-spending economic stimulus plan, the American public is largely unaware that the true deficit of the federal government already is measured in trillions of dollars, and in fact its $65.5 trillion in total obligations exceeds the gross domestic product of the world.
The total U.S. obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits to be paid in the future, effectively have placed the U.S. government in bankruptcy, even before new continuing social welfare obligations embedded in the massive spending plan are taken into account.

Does $65.5 trillion terrify anyone yet?

Trillions? Get ready for quadrillion
The Obama administration economic stimulus package is going to force the Treasury to borrow approximately $2.5 trillion in 2009 and another $4 trillion in 2010, with the result of increasing the current $10 trillion national debt by 65 percent in just two years.
If the Obama administration increases the national debt by 65 percent every two years, the debt will be $16.5 trillion in 2010 and $27.225 trillion by 2012, the year of the next presidential election. ...
One trillion dollars divided by 300 million Americans comes out to $3,333 per person... [Presently, the debt is $17 Trillion, or about $56,661.] Craig Smith, founder and CEO of Swiss America, estimates it would take approximately four generations of Americans to pay off [just] the interest of the U.S. Treasury bonds sold as debt to create the $1 trillion stimulus package, factoring in a 3 percent growth rate in the economy throughout that time. [The private corporation, The Federal Reserve has fixed the game–no one can win except the banks, the FEDs.]

"We" made our deal with the devil, the banks, so we could live above our income. Now our Sovereign God is allowing the devil, the god of mammon, to call in his notes.

Roubini: U.S. Banks Already Toast
3/10/09, By: Dan Weil

NYU economist Nouriel Roubini, widely credited for predicting the current crisis, says government aid to banks isn't enough to hide the fact that they've failed. "Even with the $2 trillion of government support, most of these financial institutions are insolvent," he writes on ... Bottom line, Roubini says: "In simple words, the U.S. financial system is effectively insolvent."
Investor Jim Rogers, too, says the banks as insolvent. "They're ruining the U.S. economy, they're ruining the U.S. government, they're ruining the U.S. central bank," Rogers told CNBC.

So where does the money come from, other than from the printing presses (fiat money)?


"We" moved our manufacturing to China, enabling China to acquire a bulk of world currency, particularly US, though the Mohammedan Arabs control the other good chunk of US dollars. Now, to support American covetousness and welfare mentality, we are borrowing multiplied billions from China. It appears that we borrowed money from China to lend to prospective home buyers. The housing bubble burst, and the houses lost their value, and the US lending institutions are now taking real property for the fiat paper they loaned. Now China is picking up the houses that they loaned on, and guess who is left holding the bag. Not the lending institutions, AGI nor banks. The taxpayers for many generations have been given that privilege.

Did Hillary really pledge U.S. homes to China?

State says 'no basis' for claim that Hillary Clinton was willing to pledge eminent domain rights against American homes which she offered as collateral for debt, if Beijing will continue to purchase US debt to finance the socialist dream in America. That dream has been pursued by both Democrats and Republicans for many years, yet Americans continue to send the same thieves back to D. C. [You think you own your home? Try to stand against eminent domain or property tax. The state has first claim, and the school board the second. When will America rebel against the ungodly property tax? Our homes have been mortgaged to the Chinese by the our government to "bail-out" the banks and AIG. Thus, our homes must be paid for at least twice: 1) to the mortgage holder, and 2) by taxes to pay back the Chinese.]
China and Japan are the two largest holders of U.S. Treasury debt, with China currently owning some $800 billion in Treasury debt securities.
3/2/09, By Jerome R. Corsi.

Chinese Investors Looking To Buy U.S. Homes

Cash-rich tourists from mainland China are coming to the United States to cruise neighborhoods with a lot of foreclosures or unsold developments. They are looking for bargain-basement buys. These recent home-buying tours to the U.S. have become one of the most popular tour group packages in China.
Morning Edition, February 27, 2009, by Rob Schmitz

Observe: Low cost home loans, that led to the "housing bubble," were possible because of "cheap" Chinese money. The bubble has burst, the FEDs rushed in with "taxpayer's grandchildren's" money to bail out the banks. Now the very ones who loaned money on inflated home prices will get the taxpayer's "rescue" money, plus pick up the homes at a great discount.
Babylon is fallen, and once Christian America is now being willingly sold into slavery for many generations, slaves to the Chinese Communists. Proverbs 22:7. However, Christians should rejoice to see God's eternal laws in action, even though we get caught in the "fall-out."

Who is to blame?

Frank's fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco

'THE PRIVATE SECTOR got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."
That's Barney Frank's story, and he's sticking to it. As the Massachusetts Democrat has explained it in recent days, the current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by "bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector," Frank said; the country is in dire straits today "thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best." ...
The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites. ... [I remember this dust-up very well.]
Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods." Lenders [had to respond] ...
All this was justified as a means of increasing homeownership among minorities and the poor. Affirmative-action policies trumped sound business practices. A manual issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston advised mortgage lenders to disregard financial common sense. "Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor," the Fed's guidelines instructed. Lenders were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as "valid income sources" to qualify for a mortgage. Failure to comply could mean a lawsuit.
The illusion worked, making good public policy as long as housing values increased. But... Barney Frank will admit no wrong in the matter. However,
... his fingerprints are all over this fiasco. Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that "these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." When the White House warned of "systemic risk for our financial system" unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.
Now that the bubble has burst and the "systemic risk" is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: "The private sector got us into this mess." Well, give the congressman points for gall. Wall Street and private lenders have plenty to answer for, but it was Washington and the political class that derailed this train. If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he can find one suspect in the nearest mirror.

Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist. September 28, 2008 (Full article provided upon request.)

Comment: A major teaching of Scripture is that men are responsible. Since 1981, Barney has represented the 4th Congressional District of MA. He is chairman of the Financial Services Committee, with enough power to personally write into the TARP bill special favors for a home state bank. Clearly, Barney bears a major responsibility for the mess. He is an expert at manipulating the system in his favor. Furthermore, he is proud to be a sodomite. However, the most blame lies with those who have kept him, and other ungodly men, in office.

Joel 2:23, be glad and rejoice...

God has delivered his people from their enemies; he has caused the fields, the trees, the wilderness to once again bear fruit for man and beast. There is an abundance for his people, as well as freedom from fear. His people here are told to be glad and rejoice, not in the ‘abundance' of vv. 18-22, but the call is to rejoice in the Lord your God. Those things of vv. 18-22 are good, and we can enjoy the peace and blessings which God provides, but such prosperity is not our rejoicing. Our rejoicing is to be in the Lord our God.
V. 23, rain... The marginal reading here is, {the former rain moderately: or, a teacher of righteousness} {moderately: Heb. according to righteousness}
The implication is true to the context, as well as to Jewish tradition, which says that the rain is the Messiah, which is consistent with the Old Testament.

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (See Zechariah 9:9)

Christ is the promised rain. He is the teacher of righteousness, as said in the margin. He is also the latter rain:

Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. (See Zechariah 10:1, 14:16-19.)


Those who refuse to serve the Lord of hosts, or who refuse to worship the King in his time will fail to have rain. The result of serving him is his blessings come down upon the righteous in their due seasons as rain upon the dry land, wilderness, trees and rivers.

March 1, 2009

"SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency Friday because of three years of below-average rain and snowfall in California, a step that urges urban water agencies to reduce water use by 20 percent. ..."

Those who refuse to serve the Lord with gladness will reap drought and dryness, barrenness and deadness. There will be no rain of righteousness and blessings upon them. In fact, it could rain upon one man, and the one next door suffer drought; it could be from city to city. Amos 4:7.

Proverbs 16:15 (In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.) With 16:14 (The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.) The key is worshiping and serving our King according to his law-word, with a pure heart. To serve him properly brings the latter rain, the rain of his blessings. Failure to glorify him as God results in the loss of rain; that is, dryness and barrenness.
The author of Hebrews identified the rain spoken of in Hosea, as well as the rest of the Old Testament prophets including Zechariah 16:16-19, as Christ. Hebrews 6. (V. 1 identifies the rain as the principles of the doctrine of Christ.) Vv. 10-12, patience inherits the promised rain. See Isaiah 55:10, Matthew 5:45.
Rain can also cause floods of judgment upon the earth. Those who will obey the Word can safely ride above the judgment. Those who refuse to obey the Word will be overflowed with the piled up water of judgment. Romans 2:1-10.
So here it is.

What have we learned in 2,064 years??

"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." - Cicero - 55 BC

So, evidently nothing...

Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.

Babylon's gods' images are being broken, and all of the king's horses and all the king's men cannot put them together again.

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God:... And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else


"Mere Christianity" or Mere Philosophy?

By Thomas Williamson

"Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis was originally written from 1941 to 1944, but it is still a best-seller today. It recently appeared on a list of best-selling paperback Christian books as Number 9. It is a book that is often recommended for enquiring non-Christians, and one of the most influential religious books of our time.
For purposes of this review, I read and used the 1958 edition published by Macmillan. Page numbers are taken from that edition.
"Mere Christianity" is more of a book of philosophy than theology. Much of the philosophy in this book is actually very good, but Lewis admits that he is not a theologian, and this book contains very few quotes from the Bible.
In the preface, Lewis states, "You will not learn from me whether you ought to become an Anglican, a Methodist, a Presbyterian, or a Roman Catholic." He explains his purpose as "to explain and defend the belief that has been common to nearly all Christians at all times." Lewis' Christianity is "Mere" in the sense that it represents the lowest common denominator of doctrine that would be acceptable to Catholics and mainline Protestants.
One casualty of his desire to reduce Christianity to its bare essentials is the doctrine of Christ's substitutionary atonement, which he dismisses as unnecessary in the chapter "The Perfect Penitent." Lewis says, "According to that theory God wanted to punish men for having deserted and joined the Great Rebel, but Christ volunteered to be punished instead, and so God let us off. Now I admit that even this theory does not seem to me quite so immoral and so silly as it used to; but that is not the point I want to make. What I came to see later on was that neither this theory nor any other is Christianity." (P. 42)
"The one most people have heard is the one I mentioned before - the one about our being let off because Christ had volunteered to bear a punishment instead of us. Now on the face of it that is a very silly theory. If God was prepared to let us off, why on earth did He not do so? And what possible point could there be in punishing an innocent person instead?" (P. 44)
Lewis says that as long as Christ's death works for us, it does not matter how it works or whether we understand how it works. While it is true that a sinner need not understand the details of Christ's atonement in order to place his trust in Christ for salvation, it seems inappropriate to downgrade the importance of what the Bible clearly teaches (1 Peter 2:24 and elsewhere) about Christ dying in our place and bearing our sins on the Cross.
Lewis appears to hold to the Moral Influence theory, which teaches that Christ died mainly to set a good example for us of perfect submission, suffering and death.
Much of "Mere Christianity" is devoted to Christian morality, and much of what Lewis says here is commendable. Most fundamentalists will agree with Lewis as he upholds capital punishment, rejects pacifism, and teaches that man should be the head of the home. Many will disagree with Lewis' rejection of teetotalism.
Some will be puzzled by Lewis' apparent excuse-making for fornication on page 83: "If people do not believe in permanent marriage, it is perhaps better that they should live together unmarried than that they should make vows they do not intend to keep. It is true that by living together without marriage they will be guilty (in Christian eyes) of fornication. But one fault is not mended by adding another: unchastity is not improved by adding perjury." This justification for immorality is what happens when Lewis uses a philosophical approach to morality instead of proclaiming what the Bible says about fleeing fornication.
Lewis does a magnificent job of presenting Christianity as an attractive choice for the thinking man. But probably the greatest flaw of this book is that he fails to explain how one becomes a Christian. Lewis clearly did not understand the principle of salvation by faith alone, and for that reason he teaches salvation by a mixture of faith and works.
On pages 47-48 he says, "There are three things that spread the Christ life to us: baptism, belief, and that mysterious action which different Christians call by different names - Holy Communion, the Mass, the Lord's Supper. At least, those are the three ordinary methods. I am not saying there may not be special cases where it is spread without one or more of these. . . . My Methodist friend would like me to say more about belief and less (in proportion) about the other two. But I am not going into that. Anyone who professes to teach you Christian doctrine will, in fact, tell you to use all three, and that is enough for our present purpose."
Lewis explains further on page 50: "This new life is spread not only by purely mental acts like belief, but by bodily acts like baptism and Holy Communion. It is not merely the spreading of an idea, it is more like evolution - a biological or super-biological fact. . . . That is why He uses material things like bread and wine to put the new life into us."
On pages 115-116 Lewis appears to teach synergism, that is, that the believer works together with God to accomplish his salvation through a mixture of faith and works: "Christians have often disputed as to whether what leads the Christian home is good actions, or Faith in Christ. I have no right really to speak on such a difficult question, but it does seem to me like asking which blade in a pair of scissors is most necessary. . . . The first half is, ‘Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling' - which looks as if everything depended on us and our good actions, but the second half goes on, ‘For it is God who worketh in you' - which looks as if God did everything and we nothing. I am afraid that is the sort of thing we come up against in Christianity. I am puzzled, but I am not surprised. You see, we are now trying to understand, and to separate into water-tight compartments, what exactly God does and what man does when God and man are working together. And, of course, we begin by thinking it is like two men working together, so that you could say, ‘He did this bit and I did that.' But this way of thinking breaks down. God is not like that. He is inside you as well as outside: even if we could understand who did what, I do not think human language could properly express it. In the attempt to express it different Churches say different things. But you will find that even those who insist most strongly on the importance of good
actions tell you you need Faith; and even those who insist most strongly on Faith tell you to do good actions. At any rate that is as far as I go."
Lewis is unclear on whether one must be a believer in Christ to be saved. On page 50 he says, "We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him." He elaborates on page 162, offering hope for salvation to Buddhists: "There are people in other religions who are being led by God's secret influence to concentrate on those parts of their religion which are in agreement with Christianity, and who thus belong to Christ without knowing it. For example, a Buddhist of good will may be led to concentrate more and more on the Buddhist teaching about mercy and to leave in the background (though he might still say he believed) the Buddhist teaching on certain other points."
On page 50 Lewis speaks of evolution as a "biological fact." On pages 169-171 he uses examples from the theory of evolution to illustrate the development of Christianity: "Perhaps a modern man can understand the Christian idea best if he takes it in connection with Evolution. Everyone now knows about Evolution (though, of course, some educated people disbelieve it): everyone has been told that man has evolved from lower types of life." In the discussion that follows, Lewis makes it clear that he himself does believe in evolution.
"Mere Christianity" is a book of mere philosophy, much of it good, but it is mixed with a lot of error and with a confused understanding of just how one becomes a Christian. In my opinion, this book should not be given or recommended to unsaved enquirers or new converts, nor should it be made available in church libraries. Sorry, but there is just too much error mixed in with the good stuff.

C.S. Lewis Did Not Hold to An Inerrant Bible

In the book "Miracles" C.S. Lewis taught that everything in the New Testament, including Christ's miracles, was historical fact, but that the Old Testament contained myths. On page 139 of the 1973 Macmillan edition of "Miracles" Lewis says, "The Hebrews, like other peoples, had mythology: but as they were the chosen people so their mythology was the chosen mythology - the mythology chosen by God to be the vehicle of the earliest sacred truths, the first step in that process which ends in the New Testament where truth has become completely historical. Whether we can ever say with certainty where, in this process of crystallization, any particular Old Testament story falls, is another matter. I take it that the memoirs of David's court come at one end of the scale and are scarcely less historical than St. Mark or Acts; and that the Book of Jonah is at the opposite end."
Lewis believes that the events of the book of Jonah are probably myth, and yet Christ affirmed those events as having actually happened. Christ also affirmed the Genesis account of creation, while Lewis, who believed that the Old Testament was full of myths, accepted evolution - in "Miracles" as well as in "Mere Christianity" he indicates his belief in evolution.

C.S. Lewis Influenced His Followers to Join the Roman Catholic Church

Lewis was an Anglican who never himself joined the Catholic Church. However, his disciple Sheldon Vanauken did eventually convert to Catholicism. He describes that conversion in his book "Under the Mercy" and credits C.S. Lewis for helping to lead him to the Church of Rome.
"C.S. Lewis, needless to say, was a factor in the decision . . . He was very Catholic (though not high church or Anglo-Catholic) doctrinally and imaginatively. . . . He believed in prayers for the dead and frequent confession. Nowhere in ‘Mere Christianity' or his other writings is there any mention of either of the two great Protestant doctrines of salvation-by-faith-alone and Sola Scriptura. . . . he prepared my mind for the Catholic Church. And if my mind, then other minds? . . . They might see, as Lewis presumably did not, that the Question of Rome had got to be answered. And, indeed, a great many devoted readers of Lewis have become Catholic." Vanauken, "Under the Mercy," pages 217-218.
Please note that this is not a fundamentalist critic of Lewis making these allegations - this is a convert and admiring disciple of Lewis who approvingly states that Lewis influenced him and many others into joining the Roman Catholic Church.
Vanauken quotes a woman who wrote, "By incorporating in his books distinctly RC doctrines, he led me to consider them on their merits and not dismiss them as concerning only RC's."
He cites "A Virginian who later became a Catholic lay brother wrote: ‘What Lewis did for me was to make me willing to take a second look at Rome.'"
Another woman said, "C.S. Lewis dispelled most of the prejudices that I, as a very Protestant Episcopalian, had against the Catholic Church."
"A man wrote: ‘He showed me how utterly coherent and cogent were the claims and teachings of the Catholic Church; and, like the man in Moliere who was astonished to find that he had spoken prose all his life without realising it, Lewis, I'm convinced, was a Catholic apologist all his life without realising it.'" ("Under the Mercy," page 218). On page 256, Vanauken approvingly describes Lewis' confusion on the whole issue of salvation as expressed in his "Chronicles of Narnia:" C.S. Lewis, one of the wisest of Christians, touched upon salvation in the last of the Narnian tales. There the good man, Emeth, who believes in the false (and actually evil) god Tash, finds that he has really been, in his love of good, serving Aslan, the great lion who is Christ, all his life without knowing it."
Lewis, in the "Chronicles of Narnia," taught that good works done in the name of a false god could lead to salvation through Christ. He appears to teach the same in "Mere Christianity." Lewis was not a reliable theologian, and his books and movies should not be promoted in Baptist churches or in any churches that hold to an inerrant Bible and to salvation by faith alone.

Addendum: Exposing Error: Is It Worthwhile?

"Objection is often raised, even by some sound in the faith, regarding the exposure of error as being entirely negative and of no real edification. Of late, the hue and cry has been against any and all negative teaching.
"But the brethren who assume this attitude forget that a large part of the New Testament, both of the teaching of our blessed Lord Himself and the writings of the apostles, is made up of this very character of ministry - namely, showing the Satanic origin and, therefore, the unsettling results of the propagation of erroneous systems which Peter, in his second epistle, so definitely refers to as "damnable heresies."
"Our Lord prophesied, "Many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many." Within our own day, how many false prophets have risen; and oh, how many are the deceived!
"Paul predicted, "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. Therefore watch."
"My own observation is that these ‘grievous wolves,' alone and in packs, are not sparing even the most favoured flocks. Undershepherds in these "perilous times" will do well to note the apostle's warning: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers." It is as important in these days as in Paul's - in fact, it is increasingly important - to expose the many types of false teaching that, on every hand, abound more and more." - Harry Ironside, via Cornerstone Challenge.

[If the enemy can silence "negative" preaching, then he can inject his lies at will with no opposition.]


There has not been much going on this winter. It was quite cold with very high winds. The very strong winds here on our mountain top took down our garden fence, which must be replaced before we can plant. However, I have been able to split the locust wood a man gave us last spring. I like to split it with a maul, rather than the splitter. The exercise is good.
Grandchildren. We were able to visit the Chancey's in Alabama, and their 8 children. It was a wonderful few days. We like to get around to see the 21 grandchildren at least twice a year.
The last few days have been unusually warm. I sure hope the fruit trees do not bud. It is too early. The winter has been quite dry thus far, which will make difficult gardening when we need to start in a few weeks.
A neighbor died a few weeks ago. He normally tapped his Sugar Maple trees, and I was planning to help him this year. However, his unexpected death changed that plan. One of his sons is moving into the house, and I helped him tap the maple trees. But the warm weather has hindered the flow of the sap. He was tied up on funeral arrangements when the trees should have been tapped.


We attended two viewings and two funerals and one memorial service within a two week period, of those we know in our community. Being a pastor, I have attended very few funerals that were not Baptist or that I did not conduct. These three were very distressing. The memorial was at a Brethren church, pastored by a man and his wife where the deceased man's daughter-in-law attended. The "pastors" there had only met the man three times, but they assured the family and friends that the man was in heaven because he loved his grandchildren, and had frequent pizza partys for the family. Everyone present knew the pastors were lying about the man.
The second funeral was a Methodist funeral. The man was 95, so I assume he knew and had heard and trusted the gospel. Two women "pastors" had that service, and both spoke of Christ many times. I don't know that the gospel was there, but it was a "Christian" message.
The third funeral was Lutheran, with an abundance of "liturgy." This was the first funeral I have heard of where the text for the message was lyrics from Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks songs. The "gospel" message was that the man had been baptized into the church, the body of Christ, so he was assured of eternal life.
And such are the churches in our area of the country.

I realize the following will distress many, but I joined the Moorefield Ministerial Association. Only one time have I attended a Ministerial Association, and that meeting was so over the edge liberal, I never went back. However, the MMA is a very small group, and speak the right language (the woman Brethren pastor is the president). The advantages of being a member here is that, strangely enough, none of the "preachers" like to preach. It is clear, from what I have seen, that most of these preachers are in those offices because it is an occupation. The local radio station provides a 5-10 minute morning segment for morning devotions, which is filled by the MA. I "volunteered" for two one week segments, and provide many extras when other "preachers" are unable to fulfill their commitments.
There are many speaking opportunities in the community, such as "Lenten" services, one of which I get to speak, and the community "Sun Rise" service, at which I get to speak. There are no restrictions on what I can preach in any of these opportunities.


Bettie had two young ladies (sisters) come to intern with her, and they slip-covered a couch. They were from the DC area, which made it quite convenient. The girls were not able to stay long, so they plan to come back in a few more weeks. You can keep up with Bettie at her blog:
We sat on our front porch a couple of days ago when the temperature was up in the 70s, and the sun was nice. We counted 37 nice size deer grazing in the pasture across the road from us. A friend told us that they were coming along this ridge and counted 60 in one herd just before they got to our house. Before they got off the ridge a few miles on, they had counted over 100 deer. Deer season did not seem to decrease the herds up here at all. They are quite pretty to watch, but are certainly a menace when driving around dawn and dusk every day. They are a major nuisance when trying to grow flowers, new trees and a garden. Everything must be fenced. They are quite bold when there is snow on the ground, coming right up on our patio eating stubs of flowers left from summer. They like the "lamb's ear."
Obviously, all who are concerned about retaining their freedom are watching what is going on to remove the right to bear arms. Hitler, before he could take over Germany, quietly brought in gun control. Are we not seeing the same today?
We are no doubt facing sad days ahead for our nation. How much longer will people tolerate what is going on?


"... I found your article from Nov. ‘07 about microwaves very interesting. I decided to try an experiment. I stopped using the micro. I noticed [my son] was sick with a bad cold every 3 mos. for the past 2 years. Why? He had always been so healthy. Then it clicked – the past 2 years, he'd been micorwaving his lunch. So I asked him to join my experiment. Jan 1, 2008, we started. He's had 1 cold in 11 mos. I haven't had a cold or flu in 23 mos! Michael says he doesn't get that real "weak" feeling after lunch any more. I don't say doesn't want to go back to it, but [my husband] thinks I'm crazy, and says so. So thank you! ..."
Microwaves... Interesting experiment. However, the "medical-industrial" complex probably does not want the word about these hazardous things to get out. Rather, they want to develop new pills to solve the problems. Notice how they invent an illness, and then convince us we need to medicate for it.
"Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western science." I will send the list upon request.

Serious Business

Are you prepared for house to house search?

Iowa National Guard To Search For Firearms Dealer

You might expect something like this in Chicago, with its political machine, but in the country's heartland?
The Iowa National Guard is going to hold a 3 day exercise by invading Arcadia, Iowa and get "training" in using urban military operations. This military maneuver is bound to raise many eyebrows. ...
The weekend "drill" will include military convoys into Arcadia, reconnaissance missions, street patrol, roadblocks, voluntary searches, and house to house questioning of cooperating participating Arcadians.
The national Guard will also use a Blackhawk helicopter to command and control from overhead. There may be simluated helicopter medical evacuations.
The "drill" will end, of course, when the suspected arms dealer suspect is arrested, just like in the movies where the "good guys" always win in the end.
This looks and sounds suspiciously like domestic street sweeping training for military law enforcement, illegal in the United States. Training like this regularly takes place, but it is normally held in areas on military bases.
Wouldn't it be interesting if some of the "cooperating" citizens gave the military false and misleading information to send them on a wild goose chase. It would certainly add some realism to the exercise.
Attorney General Holder and his cronies will undoubtedly take a keen interest in this Urban military street maneuver. This "drill" is a not so subtle poke at the "Posse Comitatus" Act, which was meant to curb power of the Federal Government in using the US Military for law enforcement here in the states. ...

Comment: We have not had a TV since we moved to WV. But we did have the major networks in VA. There was a series at that time, "The Unit." It was a special military unit that worked in civilian law enforcement. We are now seeing that TV series played out in real life, as the military is being trained in civilian affairs. Our local sheriff, who lives just down the road from us, said the military could not act thusly without "marshal law." How far are we from such a declaration under this administration?


Ammunition Accountability Act

Remember how Obama said that he wasn't going to take your guns? Well, it seems that his minions and allies in the anti-gun world have no problem with taking your ammo!
The bill that is being pushed in 18 states (including TN, Illinois and Indiana ) requires all ammunition to be encoded by the manufacturer, a data base of all ammunition sales. So they will know how much you buy and what calibers. Nobody can sell any ammunition after June 30, 2009 unless the ammunition is coded.

From my cold dead hands........

Blair Holt Firearm Licensing

& Record of Sale Act, 2-16-9
Very Important for you to be aware of a new bill HR 45 introduced into the House. This is the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sale Act of 2009.
Even gun shop owners didn't know about this because it is flying under the radar.
To find out about this - go to any government website and type in HR 45 or Google HR 45 Blair Holt Firearm Licensing & Record of Sales Act of 2009. You will get all the information. ...

[I was speaking with a female Methodist pastor, with 4 churches, in our area. I mentioned about "they" taking firearms and about defending our area of WV, and she said she would shoot first, and ask questions later. Such activity as riots and confiscation would be met with the hot end of a gun, and these mountaineers are good shots. And no one would find them in these mountains.]

Mohamadans take over

Michigan Bank Falls to Islam
This is a very disturbing article about the University Bank in Ann Arbor Michigan. The bank has recently implemented sharia banking, but to make matters worse they have even canceled their annual Christmas party and have stated that no alcohol will be served at after work gatherings. Several employees have quit the bank and hopefully they will sue the bank for religious discrimination.

What is next?

How about the United Nations' threat: No more parental rights Expert: Pact would ban spankings, homeschooling if children object.

Or maybe INVASION USA. 16 illegals sue rancher who catches them on his land Aliens claim American violated civil rights, inflicted emotional distress.

Or, Bankrupt California buys ads for 'gay' adoptions. Facing $42 billion deficit, state pushes homosexual guardianship.

Will Americans wake up? Increasing Number of States Declaring Sovereignty.

But will the states be able to turn their backs on the federal money, even though the money is robbed from their state citizens?

Con Con

U.S. now only 2 states away from rewriting Constitution. Critic: 'This is a horrible time to try such a crazy scheme'

ARE YOU LIVING IN THE CONSTITUTION FREE ZONE? That is, within 100 miles of the US land and costal borders. ...

Obviously, we could go on and on. I am reminded of Isaiah 59:

19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

The enemy of the Lord and His Anointed is working every area he can in which he can have the slightest influence. However, though he is coming in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.


Bro Joel's prayer letter

Dear Pastors, churches and prayer partners,
Blessed be the name of our Lord for His goodness and His faithfulness. On the 29th of January, I was getting ready to head out to Missouri. As most of you are aware, instead of Missouri, I ended up in Misery, but thank God for His Mercy in whatever state I am in.
I slipped on some black ice and took a nasty fall resulting in the worst kind of ankle fracture. I broke my ankle in three places and sustained a lot of soft tissue damage. By God's grace, I have undergone surgery at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and am now slowly recovering.
I thank you all for your prayers and gifts. Through this ordeal, my wife Gaynor has been able to join me and Lord willing, if I am able to drive in another week or two, I would like to continue my deputation with her by my side, through the month of March. I covet your prayers in regards to our travels. I have appointments from Wisconsin to Texas and then back up to Canada.
The work in India is progressing well, even in our absence, and we are always thankful to the Lord for leading our native preachers there in such an effective manner. The name of our Lord Jesus is being proclaimed in far reaching places among unheard of tribes. Bro. Boaz, Bro. John Samuel, Bro. Mark, Bro. Jairaj along with other brothers from our churches are heading up into the mountains over the next two weeks in order to sustain our access to the tribes. I am sending some funds over to them for their travel and other expenses. May God bless their ventures!
My contact while I am in the US is: (240) 899-3288. Do continue to remember our special needs as mentioned in our January 2009 Prayer Letter. Regarding the Van fund and also consistent support of around $ 4,000. God bless you all for your love, concern and care for our ministry in India.

By His Grace In His Service,
Joel Saripalli and family

Note: Bro. Joel has been able to keep his church appointments in Wisconsin, Missouri, Texas, and other places. They plan to return to India the first of April. If the Lord will provide, my wife and I would like to go to India to see the ministry. Pray for us.

Behind Closed Doors

DO SECRET THINGS MATTER? A common saying today is that the state has no business legislating what happens in the bedroom, behind closed doors. Does it?

Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Christ took the phrase, rest for your souls, from Jeremiah 6:16.
When Christ used the phrase, the people clearly understood what he was saying. Consider the context:

Jeremiah 6:16-21 Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. 17 Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken. 18 ¶ Therefore hear, ye nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them. 19 Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it. 20 To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me. 21 Therefore thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will lay stumblingblocks before this people, and the fathers and the sons together shall fall upon them; the neighbour and his friend shall perish.

This passage shows us that "judgment cannot be turned aside by mere sacrifice without a change of heart"—that is to say, there must be genuine conversion of the mind, will and emotions, a life-style change that comes from the heart. (Keil-Delitzsch) Christ called for such a change in his Matthew 11 message.

The Lord through Jeremiah is saying to his people:

1. Look back to ancient history, and see how success and prosperity forsook our fathers when they left God's way, and followed the way of the heathens. (1 Corinthians 10:1) However, his people refused to consider and change.
2. God raised up prophets from among his people, sounding the warning of impending doom if they did not return to the Lord's laws in their thoughts. However, they refused to hear and change.
3. He calls to his congregation to hear and understand what is about to come upon them for their sins, and for rejecting his plea to come to return to them for their rest.
4. God calls the entire earth to witness: He is going to bring evil against his people for their opposition and rejection to his law-word. Notice that God's action against them is not in response to their actions. Rather, it is in response to their thoughts—Fruit of their thoughts. (See Matthew 12:35, Hebrews 4:12, &c.)
5. There was no shortage of sacrifices in the temple, but those sacrifices were mere outward service. The hearts of those offering the sacrifices were in rebellion against my words, ... my law. The judgment was not a result of not doing, but of not changing the heart. To obey is better than sacrifice, 1 Samuel 15:22.
6. Stumblingblocks case people to fall. The Lord himself promises to put things before his disobedient people that will cause them to fall. They would not fall if their hearts were stayed upon him, Isaiah 26:3. But their hearts were set and hardened in their own ways.
7. Note the length and depth of God's judgment in Jeremiah 7:19, 20. Every area of creation suffers for man's sin.

Jeremiah told us that the Lord offered his people rest for your souls, if they would return to him and walk in his ways. They refused. He sent prophets to sound the warning, yet they still refused. His call to return was more than simply bring their actions into conformity to his words and law. Rather, it was a call to convert the thoughts and intents of the heart, which they refused to do. It was the unlawful, secret things of the heart that caused God to move against his people by placing stumblingblocks before them, e.g., easy credit that has caught up with us?
Christ brought the entire thought forward when he offered rest for your souls. The rest Christ offered can only come from genuine heart conversion; conversion from hating and rejecting the Lord's yoke, the word and law of the Lord. Psalms 2, the wicked desire to break God's bands asunder—that is, get away from the yoke of his laws.

Is it too late to turn God's judgment aside?

Probably, for Jeremiah 5:31, which comes before the message of chapter 6, tells us that even those called by his name love the prophets who prophesy falsely. The stumbling blocks are all around us, and his people are falling victim to them like flies.
DO SECRET THINGS MATTER? A common saying today is that the state has no business legislating what happens in the bedroom, behind closed doors.
The sodomites, the adulterers, the whoremongers, the drug users, the prostitutes and pimps, actually sinners of all stripes raise the same cry: As long as I am not hurting others, what right do you have to stop me.
Notice how the State has withdrawn from those secret, wicked actions, and now legislates against unimportant things like smoking indoors. Smoking indoors will not condemn a nation to God's judgment, but the wickedness of God-defined sins will certainly wipe a nation from the face of the earth.
The secret things certainly matter before God, just as much as those things done openly.

John 7:24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

The Lord told us that people judge according to what they see, but the Lord judges righteously the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.
It is the Lord who brings judgment upon individuals and upon nations. The secret things that are done out of the sight of others are not hidden from God, and he judges righteously. We must conclude, therefore, that the actions "behind closed doors" have very public consequences. The unsavory fruit of the thoughts will come to pass. Luke 12:2, 3.
"I am harming no one but myself" is the enemy's lie. We not only harm ourselves, but all of society pays the price for the secret rebellions against God's word and law.

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin (public or private) is a reproach to any people.

First, righteousness as used in this verse is defined: Basically, it is conformity to the ethical or moral standard established by God in his word. (Righteousness: Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)
However, a righteous life does not result in eternal life, for that comes only through the applied righteousness of Christ.
God considered Job a righteous man, chapters 1, 2. Then in chapters 29-31, we see how righteousness should work out into society through an individual. Moreover, Job made it very clear that he was not depending on his outward righteousness to result in his salvation. He was at all times looking toward his Redeemer, 12:25-27.
True morality in individuals or nations come only from the righteousness of Christ placed in individual hearts through faith, and then lived out in lives.

Isaiah 60:21 Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.

Isaiah prophecies concerning the Gospel Church. He speaks of the indwelling Spirit of God through faith in Christ, and that Spirit working out in His people's lives, righteous actions that glorify God. When righteous actions are missing, then we must assume that the righteousness of Christ is also missing.

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

The second part of the verse says, any people. Thus, this verse applies to both any nation and to any individual.
On the individual level, God's word clearly links public and private godliness with prosperity and public and private ungodliness with misery. Because nations are made up of individuals, nations are also linked to the same things.
Biblical history proves that godliness and prosperity as well as ungodliness and misery is the fate of nations as well as individuals. Godly nations prosper, and sinful nations shall suffer misery. Deuteronomy 27 & 28 clearly spells out the blessings and curses of glorifying God or failure to glorify him.
Charles Bridges (1846) tells us that a nation is not great because of its political wisdom, its conquests of its enemies, its excellent trade policies that make other nations debtors to it, its manufacturing abilities, its natural resources, nor anything that men consider greatness. Both Greece and Rome were considered great nations, but they were overrun with degradation. Their greatness only existed in fanciful stories and dreams.
Contrast the influence of ungodliness which produces suffering and misery with the influence of Christianity which produces peace and prosperity. Sin is a reproach to any people; that is, there is no individual nor nation that can escape the misery of sin, nor is there any who can escape the peace and prosperity of godliness.
No individual nor nation is so low he can go no lower. Ungodliness removes the protective covering that only God can provide. (Proverbs 21:31.) Men and nations can invest all their resources to protect themselves, but only God can protect.
The ungodly man is an enemy to his country, no matter how loudly he proclaims his patriotism, nor how much he might advance his nation's interests.
Those in authority who desire to remake America after their own image are against "Talk Radio." They are blaming "Talk Radio" for hindering their plans, so they want to stop it as much as possible. There are several "Hush Rush" attempts moving along even now.
As much as I appreciate the facts presented by "Talk Radio," (and I have been interviewed on several) especially short-wave and computer radio, those hosts who offer freedom apart from Christ are enemies of freedom. When they offer answers to this nation's ills that have nothing to do with righteousness as defined by God's word, they are violating the first Commandment. They have made and are trusting in another god, a god after their own imagination. They think that by getting people to understand the Constitution and live by it, they can salvage America.
They believe that if they can get the true facts out to enough people, they can salvage America.
Preachers also believe that if they can get enough people to profess Christ with their mouths, they can rescue America.
However, no "talk radio" hosts, and very few if any preachers, are calling on individuals to repent of their ungodly ways, and live righteously, from the innermost being, as defined by the entire law-word of God
The recovery and exaltation of this nation depends upon people like us who believe the gospel of Christ, and live a righteous life, as defined by God's law-word.
We are in the midst of a flood of infidelity, lawlessness and ungodliness even among professed Christians, yet no one is calling for righteousness.
Bridges closes his comment on Proverbs 14:34 with this statement:

Let the little remnant in the midst of thee [that is, Britain, though it applies to our nation] remember their high responsibility. (Matt. v. 13.) Let them take care, that their personal and relative profession add to the righteousness, not to the sin, of the nation. Let them plead for their country's true prosperity with humiliation, faith, and constancy. Let them labour for her exaltation with more entire union of heart.

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me," means also "Thou shalt have no other powers before me." "Thou shalt have no other hope other than righteousness before me."
Our only individual hope is the imparted righteousness of Christ as it is lived out in our daily lives. Our only national hope for exaltation is righteousness lived out in laws and in people, for it does indeed matter what goes on in the "privacy of one's bedroom."

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

"They" Have a Plan (guess who will pay?)

A "Missouri Plan" to Contract the Debt Bubble
The accelerating expansion of this burden of debt over the last two decades has exhibited the classic characteristics of a "bubble"­or, perhaps more descriptively put, a veritable "feeding frenzy" among the insatiably avaricious loan-sharks and speculators of high finance. To be sure, had not all too many common Americans become all too extensive borrowers all too quickly, this problem might not have occurred­or at least not have emerged as early and as devastatingly as it has. Yet, no.......
by Dr. Edwin Vieira, Ph.D., JD
The Rockefeller Plan
In fact, there are so many Clinton administration officials named by Obama to his administration that it appears the Power Elite's "alternation of power" scenario is still operative (George H.W. Bush followed by Bill Clinton followed by George W. Bush now followed by Clinton administration officials with Obama as a figurehead).
The reason I say Obama is a figurehead is that presidents are extremely dependent upon their advisors and department heads, and Obama's great lack of experience makes him especially dependent upon the information those around him choose to give to, or withhold from, him........
by Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D.

Cinnamon and Honey

Cinnamon and Honey ~ Bet the drug companies won't like this one getting around. ~ Facts on Honey and Cinnamon: It is found that a mixture of honey and cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a "Ram Ban" (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases. Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.
Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients. Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada, in its issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:
HEART DISEASES: Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack. Also those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat. In America and Canada, various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age,the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.
ARTHRITIS: Arthritis patients may take daily, morning, and night,one cup of hot water With two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If Taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured.In a recent research conducted at Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon of Honey and half teaspoon of Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally Relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.
BLADDER INFECTIONS: Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a Glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.
CHOLESTEROL: Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce The level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours. As Mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic Cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.
COLDS: Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon Lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This Process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.
UPSET STOMACH: Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears Stomach ulcers from the root.
GAS: According to the studies done in India and Japan , it is revealed that if Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and Protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks. Scientists have found That honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacteria and viral Diseases.
INDIGESTION: Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food Relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.
INFLUENZA: A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ' Ingredient' Which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.
LONGEVITY: Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the Ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder And three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to Four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increases and even a 100 year old, starts performing the Chores of a 20-year-old..
PIMPLES: Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with Warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.
SKIN INFECTIONS: Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts Cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.
WEIGHT LOSS: Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach And at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one Cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.
CANCER: Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.
FATIGUE: Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half Tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. When the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week..
BAD BREATH: People of South America, first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.
HEARING LOSS: Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restore hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!
You might want to share this information with a friend, kinfolks and love ones ~ everyone needs healthy help information ~ what they do with it is up to them ~ share with your email buddies!!!!


by R. L. Dabney, 1897.

... we have property taxed 30 cents on every $100, to educate the children of those who pay no tax, or nearly none. This is three-fourths of all the property tax the State of Virginia used to require for all the ends of government, in the days of her glory and greatness; and three fifths of all that she now ex-acts for all her other purposes, in these days of enormous and reckless taxation and expenditure! But who are the "county board" and the "district board?" The "district board" is one of three "trustees" for the townships, appointed by the county superintendent, county court (judge), and commonwealth's attorney! And who appoints the "county superintendent?" The State school board nominally—Dr. Ruffner actually, according to his own admission." And the county judge? He is elected for a term of years by the Legislature. And the common-wealth's attorney? He is elected by the non-tax-paying voters of his county; in my county, elected by pauper negroes. And who is the "county school board?" These little office-holders, thus appointed of the several townships, with the county superintendent again, constitute the "county school board." Thus the power of taxing the people, the most important function of sovereignty, is entrusted to persons with whose appointment the people can have nothing direct to do. This is an out-rage against the first principle of free government: that representation must accompany taxation. True, this county board is directed by law to report their proposed levies to the county "board of supervisors," who are elected by the people, i. e., by the non-taxpaying voters; in our county, by the pauper negroes. But in this matter of the school levies, this board of supervisors is, to the school board, only what a "lit de justice" was to Louis XIV. of France. It can hear, register and enforce their majesties' edicts, and hound on the constable who sells the last cow of the white widow of a Confederate soldier to 'play at schooling the brats of negroes who are stealing out of the field the poor little crop of corn she has tilled with the hands of her fatherless boys. The law itself is so worded as constructively to enjoin the supervisors to ordain whatever levies the school board demands, provided it does not pass the maximum limit.
Why this outrage on the principles of free government? The nature of the Underwood Constitution is to make each township a corporation for township purposes. Why did not the law allow the township corporation, like all other corporations in the land, to elect its own officers! Ah, the concocters of the tyranny did not mean to allow the sacred principle, for which our fathers fought, to hold here, for fear the citizens in the townships should use their right of election to protect their property from plunder under the name of school tax! One might have thought that they had sufficient guarantee of lavish taxation, in the universal and the negro suffrage prevailing in the townships, where the voters who pay no property tax have the power of a majority, to vote away the property of the minority who do pay. But this sweeping and ruthless power, wicked as it is, was not enough for the artificers of our system; so, to make sure that property shall be absolutely helpless, under the robbery designed, they also sundered representation from taxation, and gave the taxing power, in township and county, to persons not elected by the tax payers. Our system is worse than those of the Yankees, from whom our school men seem so greedy to borrow; for, while the major part of the school money in the Yankee States usually comes from the local taxes, the rights of townships and their citizens in assenting to those taxes are more respected. The township there is a little republic, and exercises the rights of one; ours are in names. corporations, but helpless corpses in fact, under the exactions of these officials with their foreign appointments.
Once more; bad as the laws are, I have the personal evidence, that these irresponsible exactors are capable of transcending those laws. They actually made me pay in Prince Edward county, for 1877, to the State ten cents on every $100 for school purposes. To the county and district jointly twenty cents on every $100 of my real estate in Prince Edward, and 26 9-10 on every $100 of my personal property. I have the county treasurer's receipt for this lawless plunder (6 9-10 cents per $100 more than the maximum allowed by their own tyrannical laws) in my desk. It may be satisfying to the curious to know how much tax a countryman pays who has no municipal taxes and no municipal privileges...

R. L. Dabney, "Free Schools." Discussions, Secular, Vol IV. 1897. PP 270, 271. Sprinkle Publishing, Harrisonburg.
Note the "complaint." Those who elect the "decision makers' are the ones who do not own property, and pay little or no taxes. They elect the ones who will be the most beneficial to themselves.

Are you a Terrorist?

Secret State Police Report: Ron Paul, Bob Barr, Chuck Baldwin, Libertarians are Terrorists
By Kurt Nimmo, Infowars, March 11, 2009

Alex Jones has received a secret report distributed by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) entitled "The Modern Militia Movement" and dated February 20, 2009. A footer on the document indicates it is "unclassified" but "law enforcement sensitive," in other words not for public consumption. A copy of the report was sent to Jones by an anonymous Missouri police officer.
The MIAC report specifically describes supporters of presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr as "militia" influenced terrorists and instructs the Missouri police to be on the lookout for supporters displaying bumper stickers and other paraphernalia associated with the Constitutional, Campaign for Liberty, and Libertarian parties. ...
(For thumbnail images of the report:

Are Your Hymns Too Spiritual?
by Dr. Michael Horton

The average Christian will learn more from hymns than from any systematic theology. Hymns chart progression from classic hymns of the 17th and 18th centuries (especially those of Charles Wesley, Augustus Toplady, John Newton and William Cowper) to the Romantic "songs and choruses" of the 19th and 20th centuries. They reflect the shift from Reformation categories (God, sin and grace, Christ's saving work, the Word, church, sacraments, etc.) to Romantic individualism. We sing, "I come to the garden alone while the dew is still on the roses. And the voice I hear, singing in my ear, the voice of God is calling. And he walks with me and he talks with me, and he tells me I am his own." Or, "He touched me." The number of 19th century hymns that talk about the objective truth of Scripture, and that which God has done outside of my personal experience, is overwhelmed by the number of hymns that focus on my personal experience. It is my heart, not God and his saving work, that receives top billing.
If that was true of the 19th century, the 20th century only exacerbated this emphasis, and the style of the commercial Broadway musical was imitated in songs that elevated personal experience and happiness above God and his glory. Today, the vast majority of entries in the Maranatha, Vineyard, and related praise songbooks are not only burdened with this self-centered and Gnostic tendency, but often contain outright heresy--probably not intentionally, but as a result of sloppy theology. In our day, sloppy theology usually means some form of Gnosticism. Below are some classic hymns to contrast with examples that I dragged out of a very (happily) dusty box of music books many of us grew up with in fundamentalist and evangelical churches.
Classic Hymns
"All People That On Earth Do Dwell," to the tune of the Doxology, is the "Old Hundredth" (Psalm 100), composed by Louis Bourgeois, Calvin's church composer, in 1551. The music actually says the same thing as the words, moving reverently and majestically through this God-centered psalm. The Trinity Hymnal, a hallmark of Reformed worship, is a great source of Psalms (Philadelphia: Great Commission Publications).
Who can forget John Newton's "Amazing Grace"? But he also wrote, "Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken," with the third verse reading, "Blest inhabitants of Zion, washed in the Redeemer's blood, Jesus, whom their souls rely on, makes them kings and priests to God. 'Tis his love his people raises over self to reign as kings; and as priests, his solemn praises each for a thank-offering brings." Like the warm orthodoxy of 18th century Lutheran hymns, the Calvinistic hymns of the same period reflect the harmony of awe and joy, thoughtful reflection, and jubilant emotion. One actually feels like expressing emotion when the great lines from redemptive history are sung! It is not "Alleluia" or some banal "Wow Jesus, you're so neat" chorus. For instance, Newton sings, "Could we bear from one another what he daily bears from us? Yet this glorious Friend and Brother loves us though we treat him thus: Though for good we render ill, he accounts us brethren still." One of my favorites is Cowper's "Let Us Love And Sing And Wonder": "Let us love, and sing, and wonder, let us praise the Savior's Name! He has hushed the Law's loud thunder. He has quenched Mount Sinai's flame: He has washed us with his blood. He has brought us nigh to God...Let us wonder; grace and justice join, and point to mercy's store; when through grace in Christ our trust is, justice smiles and asks no more." These classic hymns, a sampling of the riches of hymnals that are now quite difficult to locate except in used theological book shops, are hardly stiff, cold, and formal. The passion is linked to truth. There is content, without which the great hymn-writers believed there could be no legitimate, godly, emotional response.
The 19th Century Romantic Hymn or "Song"
"When I'm With Him" is a far cry from "Crown Him With Many Crowns." The former reads, "When I'm with Him,...when I'm with Him,...The fairest pleasures of the world grow dim; ...And in my heart I feel the thrill of glory, When I'm with Him, when I'm with Him." "Since Jesus Came Into My Heart" is typical of the Romantic hymns in that it is a musical "testimony" of the hymn-writer's own personal experience that is set forth as normative for the worshipper. Victory, perfect peace, perfect joy, and perfect surrender are prominent themes in these songs, heavily influenced not only by Romanticism but by the Keswick "Higher Life" movement, which B. B. Warfield characterized as "Protestant mysticism" in Perfectionism (Oxford University Press). The God and the Christ outside of us (the Reformation emphasis) is replaced with God and the Christ within the individual's heart (the medieval and Gnostic emphasis). "Open Your Heart To Jesus" is representative of this sort of hymn.
The Gnostic disdain for human aspects (body, passions, etc.) appears again and again as we "Fight manfully onward, dark passions to subdue." Heaven is a major theme, but it is seen more in terms of romantic sentimentalism and escape from nature than as glorification and perfect communion with Christ. "Sinner, why not come and join us on our trip to the sky?" one hymn-writer queries. "I'll Do The Best That I Can" was a popular hymn written by the Stamps Quartet. In "Climbing The Stairway of Love," we read, "I now am climbing the stairway that leads to heav'n above. Each step is guided by God's great hand of love. I'm moving higher and nearer that home up in the sky, and if by faith I keep climbing I'll reach it by and by." Here are some other examples: "Higher yet and higher, out of clouds and night, nearer yet and nearer rising to the light,-Light serene and holy, where my soul may rest, purified and lowly, sanctified and blest."
In the "Living Above" songs and choruses, the first entry is, "I Want To Rise Above the World": "I want to live up in the highest heights where Heaven's radiance glows." Another exults, "I've been on the mountain top and seen His face...Lifted in His arms to heights I tho't could ne'er be mine." The theme of seeing God's face and experiencing that direct encounter is what Luther meant by the "theology of glory": the desire to see "the naked God" in his majesty. While Newton was singing about the "glorious things" that are spoken of Zion, God's holy church, Ellen Goreh writes of being "In the Secret of His Presence." "Would you like to know the sweetness of the secret of the Lord? Go and hide beneath His shadow: this shall then be your reward; and when-e'er you leave the silence of the happy meeting place, you must mind and bear the image of the Master in your face, of the Master in your face." Oswald J. Smith's "Deeper and Deeper" expresses a similar idea: "Into the heart of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go...Into the will of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go...Into the cross of Jesus, deeper and deeper I go...Into the joy...Into the love...Rising with soul enraptured far from the world below." Even the mention of the cross here is not a reference to the same cross that stood outside of center-city Jerusalem in A.D. 33, but a metaphor or allegory for one's own personal experience of intimacy with Jesus.
The mystical intimacy between the soul and Jesus (i.e., his Spirit) is represented in, "The Touch of His Hand On Mine." "There are days so dark that I seek in vain for the face of my Friend Divine; but tho' darkness hide, He is there to guide by the touch of His hand on mine." While such authors are often men, most men I know would feel somewhat uncomfortable singing "love songs" to another man, even if he is Jesus Christ. The mystic's love for Jesus is romantic; the orthodox believer's love for Jesus is filial and is always linked to his saving work. We do not love Jesus "just for who you are," for apart from his saving acts we do not have any reason to love him any more than we love any other historical figure.
This theme of the "namelessness" of God is replete in Gnostic as well as mystical literature: God cannot be described, or, if he can at all, it is by negation-that is, by saying what he is not. Similarly, the Gaithers write, "There's Just Something About That Name." Well, what? All of the names for God and for Jesus Christ are pregnant with theological meaning, but unless one unpacks that truth, we are left with "just something about that name." Nobody seems to know quite what that "something" happens to be. It is actually the thing someone says when one does not really know. For instance, when we vaguely remember a name on a wedding invitation: "I can't remember exactly who that is, but there's just something about that name."
Many of the Gaither songs, in fact, are deeply Romantic in their orientation. Jesus seems to be conceived of exclusively as a friend and as someone who lives inside of us. Individual experience is key. One finds very little objective, redemptive, doctrinal content in their works and if that is true for the Gaithers, it is even a greater problem with the Maranatha Songbook and the Vineyard songbooks. Let us limit the discussion to the latter, although we could use a great deal of space on the Maranatha Songbook.
Remarkably, written by a husband and wife team, "By Your Side" goes like this: "By your side I would stay, in your arms I would lay. Jesus love of my soul, nothing from you I with-hold." John Barnett writes, "There is a season for faith beyond reason, there is a time for lovers to cry." As we have seen, the "theology of glory" characteristic of Gnosticism and mysticism in general, has as its goal the ascent into the presence of God to touch him and to see him in all of his glory, even though he has said that no one can see him and live. "Draw me closer, Lord," goes another Vineyard song. "Draw me closer, dear Lord, so that I might touch You, so that I might touch You, Lord I want to touch You. Your glory and Your love, Your glory and Your love, Your glory and Your love, and Your majesty." This is an invitation to disaster, for apart from Christ (who is nowhere to be found in this song), "our God is a consuming fire" and to see him or touch him is to be turned to ash (Heb 12:29).
"I'm In Love With You" is another "love song to Jesus." Since the rest of the song does not say much more than the title, we need not quote the entire piece. A little later in the song book we are encouraged to "turn t'ward to kiss Your face." It is difficult to find a single song in the Vineyard song books that actually presents us with a Christ-centered, cross-centered, doctrinally sound, and thoughtful exposition of biblical teaching for use in praise. Clearly, the one praising is more central than the one praised: "I Bless You," "I Have Found," "I Just Want To Praise You," "I Only Want To Love You," "I'll Seek After You," and on and on we could go. "Spirit of God" reads, "I can almost see Your holiness as I look around this place. With my hands raised up to receive Your love, I can see You on each face. Spirit of God, lift me up, Spirit of God lift me up, fill me again with Your love sweet Spirit of God." Notice the "theology of glory": The worshipper is expected to sing, "I can almost see Your holiness as I look around this place." Really? Isaiah, when he saw God's holiness, immediately recognized, "I am an unclean man and dwell among a people of unclean lips" (Is 6). Further, "With my hands raised up to receive Your love"? Rather than hands raised out to receive the earthly elements of bread and wine, or to turn the pages of Scripture, it is the hands raised up to the air that become receptacles of divine love for the soul. Finally, can the people really "see [God] on each face"? At best, it is sentimental mysticism; at worst, it is Gnostic pantheism. Emerson and Thoreau would have appreciated the "spark of divinity" on each face, but it is certainly sub-Christian by any measure.
The famous "Spirit Song," written by John Wimber, reads, "Oh let the Son of God enfold you with His Spirit and His love." Now, how would that first line be rewritten in a more classical Christian vein? "Oh trust the Son of God to redeem you by His flesh and His blood." It even rhymes with the original version.
The "Inside God" is proclaimed throughout the Promise Keepers album, A Life That Shows. For example, in the song, "I Want To Be Just Like You," a father prays for his son: "Help me be a living Bible, Lord that my little boy can read..." turning from the external Word to "the self." The song then continues, "...I know that he'll learn from the things that he sees, And the Jesus he finds will be the Jesus in me." So not only are we missing an "external Word," now we're not even left with an "external Christ." Compare this with secular song-writer Joan Osborne, who asks the question, "What if God was one of us...just a stranger on a bus trying to make his way home." While Christians are seemingly obsessed with the Inside God, it seems there is interest in the external, historical, objective, "Outside God" after all.


This is not written in order to provoke reaction, but to help us recognize the extent to which popular forms of worship have come to be dominated by Gnostic influences. These influences are not calculated by the song-writers, who are, no doubt, sincere and devoted believers. Nor is it to suggest that those who write (or sing) them are heretics, even though some of the content is at least heterodox, and in a few cases heretical. One must persist in heresy and refuse correction in order to be an enemy of the Faith, but ignorance is a serious problem that cripples the Church and easily accommodates departures from clear biblical teaching. May God grant us a new generation of Bachs, Handels, Newtons and Topladys who can tune their harps to sing God's praises in a way that sacrifices neither truth nor love.
Michael S. Horton, Ph.D. is professor of theology and apologetics at Westminster Seminary California (Escondido, CA). The author of numerous books, including the recently re-released Putting Amazing Back Into Grace (Baker, 2002), Dr. Horton's newest books are A Better Way (Baker, 2002), Covenant and Eschatology (Westminster John Knox, 2002), and Lordand Servant (Westminster John Knox, forthcoming).
Modern Reformation Magazine. 1996

Holy Kidnappers

I wonder if you know about some of the tactics of Bill Gothard. I was helping a friend who was trying to get her daughter to come home. She was sent on one of the ATI youth centers and just as soon as she got there, her personality completely changed. She said she had read a book that said her family was dysfunctional,and so she would not return home. It is sad to see the anguish in this family. They trusted this ministry and now Bill has gone against them. He has told them that he cannot make her come home because he thinks the family is "abusive." I have written to Jennie about it and we are trying to think of anything we can to get this girl out of there, but Bill is working against us. On the web, there is an article called "Holy Kidnapping" written by a man whose daughter was sent to a ministry and ended up being free labor for the minister and his wife. He said there was a trend of getting these daughters to stay, and when the heat was too much, they would just shift them to another minister somewhere else. Since we have not heard from this daughter for awhile, we suspect she has been sent to another one of Gothard's centers. Do you know that he does things like this? He is also very evasive when the parents talk to him. He would not answer any questions. He claimed that the family didn't have anything going on at home for their daughter and it justified her being away in his center in NZ. We think it is all wierd. Stanley has emailed Bill but just gets evasive answers. I have emailed him and been told that since the parents are "abusive" they won't send the girl home.

Lose your property for growing food?
Big Brother legislation could mean prosecution, fines up to $1 million

Books &c.
Don't forget, we have the Online Bible, latest version. $40 post paid. Geneva Bible, $65 post paid. Death of the Church Victorious, $25 post paid. Also, various books and booklets authored by myself.
All articles by Bro Need unless otherwise noted. Hard copies sent to primarily to supporters, and a few others. E mail copies to whoever wants them. It will be posted on our web site.] See (mine) (Bettie's) (ww2color)


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