Book of Oppositions | Pocket Full of Mumbles |


This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

The Enemy Assigns Roles

--Ingrid Schlueter, Slice of Laodicea

My latest column has been posted at Christian Worldview Network, “The Moses Code Movie Blasphemy and the Big Shift”. It is a summary of many of the things covered here at Slice recently regarding the tidal wave of New Spirituality deception sweeping the globe and how it is being presented by various teachers and authors from the same script. I point to the fact that just as the Lord assigns us roles in the Kingdom of God to do His will, the enemy has servants who do his will. You will find low-level proponents of eastern spirituality and occult teachings in every town in America. These are the people who open their living rooms to meetings discussing Neale Donald Walsch’s latest book, or Oprah’s latest author/shill for the anti-Christ. These are the ones who will be holding some of the thousand screenings and prayer vigils worldwide with the opening of the Moses Code Movie. Then you go on up the chain. There are the intermediate false teachers and leaders who work on a regional level or who take the writings of the big kahunas and spread them far and wide.

Then there are those who promote wickedness in high places. That would be men like Congressman Dennis Kucinich who works in the halls of Congress promoting his Department of Peace along with his New Age friends. There are all the authors and speakers who sell millions of books like Neale Donald Walsch, Marianne Williamson, Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle and so forth. The enemy has his own in the media like Oprah Winfrey who serve as fountainheads of this spiritual poison. Oprah right now is featuring a 365-day course on the Course in Miracles on her satellite radio program, taught by Marianne Williamson herself. Oprah made Marianne Williamson what she is by featuring her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on a Course in Miracles, many years ago. Overnight, she was a bestselling author. Oprah is now pushing The New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle. There is no false prophet she will not promote to millions. She’s a big one.

Then there are those who work within the ranks of evangelical Christianity. These subversive false teachers are assigned various audiences. Some are given the task of deceiving the unthinking, shallow masses. These false teachers smile a lot and hand out spiritual bubble gum to all takers. These are popular guys who don’t talk about big shifts or the great emergence, they tell you that God wants you to be happy! God wants you to have your best life now. They speak of wealth and prosperity and they lead their followers around because of the lust of the eyes and the flesh. They have an easy job to do because everybody loves a circus and they are only too happy to provide one.

For some audiences, Satan chooses men and women who are gifted with great subtlety. These are the ones who spend their careers undermining confidence in the Word of God. They question old truth, they redefine, they re-imagine, they twist and distort. They travel to conferences far and wide where evangelical pastors and youth leaders attend. Their special script reads, “Yea, hath God said?” They are described in Jude:

But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

They are assigned to deceive the thinking people. This target audience is deeply sincere, highly intelligent but they are poorly taught in biblical truth and sound doctrine. These are often young people burned out on circus church. They hunger for something substantive and real. But because their feet are not solidly on the rock of Christ, they are vulnerable to these gifted, forked-tongue leaders. These false teachers are hand picked because of their specific gifts in producing error on an intellectual level. No bubble gum here, just a hard core push for the rejection of Scriptural authority and a sneering contempt for those who hold to biblical truths. These are men in black turtle necks with a charming, witty presentation. They are educated, erudite, articulate, and as subtle as the serpent. They play off the insecurities and frustrations of young people utterly fed up with McChurch. They speak at colleges where these young people are alone for the first time, away from the guidance of Christian parents. These are higher order false teachers and they are legion today in the publishing world.

In times like these, we need to see what the enemy is doing so we are not, as St. Paul wrote, ignorant of his devices. Error needs to be met with truth. Scripture tells us to contend, and to put on our armor first. God is responsible for the results. We will not stop the tidal wave of error, but we will have sent truth forth for those remaining souls who have ears to hear.

Though the cause of Evil prosper, yet ’tis Truth alone is strong,
And, albeit she wander outcast now, I see around her throng
Troops of beautiful, tall angels, to enshield her from all wrong…

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record
One death-grapple in the darkness ‘twixt old systems and the Word;
Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

--James Russell Lowell

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 3:46 PM, ,

When Churches Cease to be Theocracies

The Spirit of God takes a back seat.

[Feel free to discuss this while I ruminate a while longer. But here's a question to consider... Should our churches be conducted as Theocracies or Democracies?]

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 2:58 PM, ,

The Boy with the Beautiful Brown Eyes

I've never had such a clear mental image of him. I don't need a photograph, I can see him oh so well...

--Anne Frank


Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 11:26 AM, ,

Required Reading for Earnest Contenders

From Ingrid at Slice of Laodicea

National Pastors Convention: It’s a Leftie-Palooza

Deception is not the exception, it is the norm...

Here is a prime example of why Ingrid is at the top of my Links List.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 6:34 PM, ,

Without Apology: It bears, and must be, repeated

we are not able to save souls

I never said we could. Winning is not the same as saving. The Israelites went out and fought, but the battle belonged to the Lord. THEY won because the battle was HIS. HE saves, not me. And THEN, only if the Holy Spirit has drawn the sinner.

Everything you said about how we are to live is correct. I do not find fault in it. Where I DO find fault is your naive belief that you are to make no effort to convert sinners. This is all the Apostles did in their ministries! THAT and turn babes into mature Christians! They preached the Gospel that sinners might believe and be saved from the penalty of their sins. Paul planted, others watered, but GOD GAVE THE INCREASE. How will a dying world be saved unless they hear the gospel? How can they hear unless someone is sent?

Peter, on the day of Pentecost, PREACHED, and about 3000 souls were "added unto" their number. In other words near 3000 people were saved... they became Christians.

Jesus even thanked His Father for His apostles' witness... BEFORE His crucifixion:

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word..."
--John 17:20

Why did Jesus thank His Father? Because of all those that would also "believe on [Him] through their word".... Souls being won for the glory of God!

As to this:

You almost certainly have not studied the Bible more than I have.

Irrelevant even if it's true. It's not a question of how long you had your nose in the book, it's a matter of how much you've absorbed.

These pointless, endless, arguments between you, ER, Ben, and myself have driven a lot of people away. I blame myself for that more than I do you or the others. Ms. Green is right to say I should not entertain these kinds of pointless arguments. They create strife between what unbelievers view as "brothers in Christ" when in fact it may not even be the case... its the appearance of strife that stifles whatever message I hope to get out; and not for myself, but for God. He's given me numerous gifts, and it is my responsibility to use them... WISELY... To HIS glory, not mine.

I'm not about to say nothing has sunk into your head, but I'm saying not enough has sunk in to make you an effective witness for Christ.

For if you think your only responsibility is "to act in ways reflecting the fruit of the Spirit," then you are mistaken. That IS a part of it, but Jesus said more than just "As you are going into the world, teach people the teachings that I have taught you," He was not so passive... He said "GO!" not "as you are going...." He said as well... AND I REPEAT...

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you..."

And Baptism is ONLY for believers... for those who have repented of their sin, and accepted Jesus as their savior. THAT is the focus of the Church, from Jesus' own lips...

"And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."

That God's house be filled.

The whole purpose of loving one another [He said this to His Apostles, not to the crowds] is so that the unbelieving world will see something different about Christians... so different that their message then becomes appealing... so appealing that they too might believe on Jesus and be saved.

You're big on following the teachings of Christ, so I now encourage you to go out into highways, byways, hedges, and holes, and compel everyone you meet to accept Jesus as their savior, that HIS house might be full. For God's sake, Dan, invite them to the wedding! For your sake as well! You'll be sorry that you didn't. Not to the loss of your salvation, but to reward. Trust me, you do not want to stand ashamed before the judgment seat of Christ... too many will. Please don't you be among them.

However harsh I may sound right now, I will love you no matter HOW you stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Just please make sure you're going to BR there.

All of you, now, go out and be a DOER of the word, and not just a hearer. Go out and make the Lord proud.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 3:16 PM, ,

In Opposition VII

The old Covenant was a covenant of prosperity. The new covenant is a covenant of adversity whereby we are being weaned from this present world and made fit for the world to come.

--Charles Spurgeon

The Old Covenant:
a) Prior to the earthly ministry of Christ.
b) Prior to His baptism and anointing.

Characterized by Temporal Riches:

Wherefore it shall come to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the LORD thy God shall keep unto thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers: and he will love thee, and bless thee, and multiply thee: he will also bless the fruit of thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep, in the land which he sware unto thy fathers to give thee. Thou shalt be blessed above all people: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.

--Deuteronomy 7:12-15

And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.

--Deuteronomy 28:11-12

And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold. So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. He had also seven sons and three daughters. And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch. And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, even four generations. So Job died, being old and full of days.

--Job 42:10-17

The New Covenant:
a) After the conclusion of Christ's earthly ministry.
b) After his Resurrection.

Characterized by Heavenly Riches:

If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

--Matthew 19:21

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

--Matthew 6:19-21

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

--2 Timothy 4:8

Yet, by all appearances...

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way...

--Isaiah 53:6

What say you? Does the Church today, by and large, as a whole, properly reflect the New Covenant? Feel free to offer a verse or two that speak to the differences between the Old and New Covenants.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 1:30 PM, ,

"He Provided No Details..." So What Else is New?

Obama supports Palestinian state cutting Israel in half
--Israel Insider, January 29, 2008

Palestinian refugees do not have a "literal" right of return to Israel, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Monday. He did not clarify whether that implied they had a moral, metaphorical, legal or other non-literal right to return to Israel.

More controversially, Obama said he supported the division of Israel into at least two parts by a Palestinian state.

The stunning comment came as Obama struggled to articulate his stance on key Mideast issues in dispute. "The right of return [to Israel] is something that is not an option in a literal sense," Obama said, but then went on to say that "The Palestinians have a legitimate concern that a state have a contiguous coherent mass that would allow the state to function effectively."

A land corridor between Gaza and the West Bank would effectively cut Israel in half, making it incoherent and non-contiguous, divided into northern and southern portions by the Palestinian land-mass Obama supports. The Democratic candidate didn't explain why it was legitimate for the Palestinians to have a coherent and contiguous territory at Israel's expense.

"The outlines of any agreement would involve ensuring that Israel remains a Jewish state," Obama said, but provided no details about how that would be achieved. He reiterated his support for a two-state solution, but said, "We cannot move forward until there is some confidence that the Palestinians are able to provide the security apparatus that would prevent constant attacks against Israel from taking place." He provided no details on how that would be achieved.

Obama complained that "There has been a constant and virulent smear campaign via the Internet that has been particularly targeted against the Jewish community. It is absolutely false. I have never practiced Islam. I was raised by my secular mother, and I have been a member of the Christian religion and an active Christian." Obama did not deny that he was considered a Muslim as a child, that biological father was a Muslim, nor that he was also raised in his childhood by a devout Muslim. But neither did he mention it, and tried to gloss over his background by separating his later Christian practice from his Muslim origins.

Regarding Iran, Obama called for more pressure on the regime, but didn't mention the possibility of using force if diplomatic pressure failed. He called for "carrots" to be offered to the Iranian regime, which his spokesman said referred to diplomatic contacts between the United States and Iran. He did not mention what the stick would be.

He saw no harm in engaging in talks with the Iranian regime. "Diplomacy is not just talking with your friends, but talking to our enemies," Obama said. "We want to send a signal to the Iranian people that we are reasonable. We are not looking to impede Iran's legitimate national aspirations, but they have to change their behavior."

Iranian national aspirations, as articulated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, include wiping Israel off the face of the earth. He did not say what he would do if the Iranians did not change their behavior and continued to work for Israel's eradication.

You don't say! LOLOLOLOL!!!!!

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 12:53 AM, ,

Coincidence? Or is God still speaking?

Zionists, if you want this kind of open war, let the whole world listen: Let this war be open.

--Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, Thursday, February 14, blaming Israel for the death of Hizbullah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh. [Only Bin Laden has more American blood on his hands than this man did.]

The despicable crime will increase the Zionists' disasters and strengthen the courage of those who will hit the Zionist regime. His pure blood, just like the blood of the other fighters, will claim a heavy price from the enemy. The death of Imad Mugniyeh will lead to an earthquake in the Zionist regime...

--Ahmad Moussavi, Tehran's ambassador to Damascus, Thursday, February 14, also blaming Israel for "murdering" their most beloved murderer.

Threats against Israel are taken too lightly these days. Anyone can bully Israel... anyone can lob rockets into Israel, and get away with it. But Israel gets castigated because, when push comes to shove, she chooses not to use what many idiots refer to as "proportionate response," when in fact Israel has, and continues to demonstrate her use of DISproportionate response toward her attackers-- in effect, doing little or nothing, without so much as a pat on the back by the global community for her restraint.

So now two regimes intent on destroying Israel warn of war and earthquakes?

I wonder what God has to say about this?

Wakf: Quake caused crater on Temple Mount, Israeli tunnels to blame

One day after Hizbullah and Iran thump their chests and cry "earthquake! destruction!" an earthquake strikes..... That's right! ONE day after they pridefully called for revenge on Israel for something Israel may or may not have done, an Earthquake strikes Lebanon where these two men shook their fists at Israel. Interestingly enough, the only damage IN Israel was in the Palestinian controlled West Bank... and on the Temple Mount near the Dome of the Rock.

Coincidence? Or is God wagging his finger at Israel's enemies? Is God still speaking?

Israel at least is prepared. Olmert will not survive much longer as Prime Minister, however, as his government is on the verge of collapse. Shas party head, Eli Yishai, told his supporters that "I don’t know how long this government will last. I estimate that soon we will have elections." Shas, by the way holds 12 seats in Olmerts government and can, should he instruct his party to pull out, force the government into new elections. Speaking directly to this Yishai has instructed his party's local branches to begin preparations for elections this coming November-- a year and a half earlier than scheduled.

So, yes... turmoil within the government, especially, since the Winograd Commission report has pretty much scuttled any credibility Olmert had left. On top of this is the very real likelihood that the Winograd Report was tainted for political reasons. As one official put it, "What would you prefer? A government under Olmert and Barak, or new elections that would see Bibi [Netanyahu] rise to power?."

Well, Netanyahu is very popular among the people. Just not in the halls of government. Still, as I've stated recently, when God wants to chastise a nation He raises up weak leaders-- Ehud Olmert is certainly that! --and when He's made His point, he raises up strong leaders... like Benjamin Netanyahu.

Here's the point: God is beginning to move. He will not allow Israel to fail. His prophetic plan is still in play, and it is beginning to move forward again. The fact that the Temple Mount itself was affected by last weeks' earthquake is telling in itself. The Temple WILL be rebuilt. And since God will not share the mount with another god, the Dome of the Rock and the al Aqsa Mosque must come down. And that will likely be the work of a well-timed... God-timed earthquake or two. [Interesting Fact: Did you know that when the seven year treaty is signed with Israel and the go ahead to build the Temple is given, it will only take six months to build? Herod's Temple took 50 some years, yet this third temple will only take six months.]

In the meantime, wars and desolations are determined. But, as I said, Israel is prepared. The mistakes of 2006 will not be repeated.

There are dangers to our survival on the horizon and great challenges to Israeli security. The IDF needs to ensure a rapid victory in any conflict and I cannot guarantee that we won't need to act in the near future.

--Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi, Wednesday, February 13, 2008, speaking before a graduating class of new IDF officers......

...One day before Nasrallah and Moussavi thump their chests. TWO days before the earthquake.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 11:04 PM, ,

None Whatsoever

I'm voting for Obama because, even if he doesn't follow through, he's the only person promising positive change for America.

--Monica, Arizona, commenting on Gerard Baker's...

Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger?

What is truly frightening about Obama is not so much the man himself; every Republican in possession of a frontal lobe knows the man is dangerous. No, what's truly frightening is the number of mind-numbed robots that cheer him, swoon in his presence, and vote for him.

And Monica from Arizona inspires in me no confidence in the intellectual prowess of the Liberalism.

None whatsoever.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 9:07 PM, ,

Received in Gmail

Not that it matters whether or not Barack has sense enough to demand his volunteers not display such communistic paraphernalia, since his candidacy is a veritable Liberal tsunami, but if people can support a man who has yet to seriously discuss the details of his message of hope and change, they're not going to care one whit about this.

From the ad:

"Che Guevara may be fashionable among the nation's leftist college students, but it was Guevara who was "supreme prosecutor" during the show trials after Fidel Castro seized power, overseeing the execution of countless people. Cuba is also still under a U.S. embargo and, last time we checked, is still a Communist dictatorship, despite the fact that Fidel Castro just resigned and may be an ideal pick for the better half of Obama's ticket. Seems the Obama campaign is trying to communicate an idea, even if the candidate himself appears bereft of them."

Way to go, Barack! No empathy for the unborn! Plenty for communist murders! Hail to the Chief! Viva la Estados Unidos!!!

Buy the shirt here.

Guaranteed to make Michelle Obama proud to be an American

[For the Language Impaired, this post is an exercise in sarcasm, and a disdain for Liberal hypocrisy]

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 3:07 PM, ,

What Constitutes a Saint?

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 12:47 AM, ,

Michelle's Colossal Faux Pas`

"Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change..."

Michelle Obama, February 18, 2008

NOW, she's proud. What about when America sent billions in aid to the tsunami victims? What about the billions America spends on AIDS victims in Africa? What about the passage of civil rights legislation in the 60's? Oh, that's right... she said, 'in my adult life.'

It would be nice to know what changes her husband has in mind, but he's notoriously-- deliberately? --light on specifics. Some are willing to wait till after the nomination to hear specifics, but to my strange way of thinking, I'd like to hear specifics BEFORE the nomination is locked up. It's only makes sense to know what one is getting before one puts his or her money down. Makes sense to me at least.

The HillBilly is going to be all over this one. First B. Hussein doesn't put his hand on his heart for the national anthem, and now his wife is finally proud of America. She's finally proud of the country that just might elect her husband to the presidency.

Will she take it back if he loses? Will she cease to be 'proud' of her country?

What's wrong with America these days? Fewer and fewer people are actually proud of their country.

That among other equally disturbing things.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 2:27 PM, ,

Required Reading

In election 2008, don’t forget Angry White Men
--by Gary Hubbell
February 9, 2008

There is a great amount of interest in this year’s presidential elections, as everybody seems to recognize that our next president has to be a lot better than George Bush. The Democrats are riding high with two groundbreaking candidates — a woman and an African-American — while the conservative Republicans are in a quandary about their party’s nod to a quasi-liberal maverick, John McCain.

Each candidate is carefully pandering to a smorgasbord of special-interest groups, ranging from gay, lesbian and transgender people to children of illegal immigrants to working mothers to evangelical Christians.

There is one group no one has recognized, and it is the group that will decide the election: the Angry White Man. The Angry White Man comes from all economic backgrounds, from dirt-poor to filthy rich. He represents all geographic areas in America, from urban sophisticate to rural redneck, deep South to mountain West, left Coast to Eastern Seaboard....

Follow the link for the entire article

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 2:21 PM, ,

Future Shock?

Does anyone believe we, as a nation, can afford Universal Healthcare? Judging strictly from the dismal performance of government's handling of the VA, and VA Clinics nationwide, why would anyone want national healthcare? Hillary said last week that anyone choosing NOT to enroll would be see their wages garnished anyway... no choice but to enroll.

The government cannot afford to begin paying out Social Security benefits to the Baby Boomer generation, AND provide medical care for every single American. It will bankrupt this country and drive everyone's taxes up to 50-75% of income... regardless of one's level of income.

Europe has publicly stated that the United States will cease to be the top economic power in under 20 years. Universal Healthcare will only hasten that day. Other talk in Europe surrounds the idea of absorbing the United States as an ancillary member; subject to its laws and governance BEFORE America's coming economic collapse-- better to do it soon when such an absorption might benefit Europe, rather than later.

Everyone gets their knickers in a twist when I rail against the 'evil Liberals,' but I can't help but wonder why the twisted-knickers can't see what is plainly obvious. Universal Healthcare is a very bad idea.

On a side note: the overall economy is not likely to improve under the Democrats. Especially if they foist Universal Healthcare on us. But more to the point, unless the dollar begins to gain in strength against the Euro, our economy is on a fast track to second-class world-citizenship. Nations are already beginning to divest themselves of our dollar in favor of the Euro.

The idea of a one-world government is gaining in the hearts and minds of the world... in the hearts and minds of U.S. citizens as well. Don't say it can't happen. National governments tend to change every few hundred years. And we're due for a big one.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 11:23 PM, ,

Three Quotes From...

Defining Evangelicalism Down
by Paul Edwards

By convincing America that conservative evangelicals are concerned only with two issues, stopping abortion and preserving traditional marriage, these new voices of evangelicalism are effectively making the case that conservative evangelicals ignore poverty, HIV/AIDS, and the environment. The history of evangelicalism tells a different story.

The new voices of the Religious Left – Rick Warren, Joel Hunter, Tony Campolo, Jim Wallis, et al – are defining down what it means to be an evangelical by making the symptoms of man’s sin (poverty, disease, etc.) a priority rather than addressing the cause of those symptoms (sin) and the cure found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

These new voices of evangelicalism wear the label "red letter Christians," but they are in reality "white space Christians," determining Jesus’ view of abortion and homosexual marriage by focusing on what he didn’t say rather than on what he did say.

Personal Note: 'White space Christians' sums up the philosophy of the Christian Left all too well. I have nothing to add to that.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 8:30 PM, ,

Two Kingdoms | Not Synonymous.... Yet

[Before I begin, I'll be using the "fullpost" tag here. Readers will have to click on the post-title to read this post in its entirety. That, or just use the "Read the entire article..." link at the bottom.]

One commenter has recently stated:

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, Jesus is said to have said. Here. Now.

Not so. There is a lot of error in that statement, for which said commenter is not entirely at fault.

Knowing the doctrinal difference between the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" is the key to understanding the complete time line of Biblical history; past, present, and future, the proper place of the Church, and the prophetic future of Israel. Every book has an underlying theme, even fiction. Here then is The Bible's theme: it is about the struggle for a Kingdom; the Kingdom of Heaven, a Kingdom with its Capital City, Jerusalem, on this Earth. It is a physical Kingdom, with a physical King.

Israel rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah when He first came because Israel was looking for a political King who would make Israel the world's ruling kingdom spoken of by their prophets [Jeremiah 23:5, Psalms 48:2]. They were expecting a military deliverance from the Romans and the rest of the heathen. This is easy to understand as they were expecting carnal deliverance. However, they were missing the point about spiritual deliverance and righteousness, which led them to ask of Jesus:

And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
--Luke 17:20-21

In that statement, Jesus was declaring a spiritual truth that Israel did not see. But on another occasion, when asked about His Kingdom by Pontius Pilot, He gave a somewhat different answer:

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
--John 18:36

In this particular passage the word "now" is not speaking about the spiritual Kingdom of God [within you], but of a literal political Kingdom yet to come on the Earth. You should also take note that the word "now" has been removed from many newer translations: the NASB, AMP, NLT, ESV, CEV. The reason for this is because most of the translators of today's "Bibles" are amillennial in their position on prophecy. In other words, they do not accept the literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign on the Earth for a thousand years as foretold in Revelation.

Although that truth is rejected by a major portion of "Christianity" today, His disciples knew it and were asking when the literal Kingdom would come:

When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
--Acts 1:6-8

The disciples are clearly asking about a literal Kingdom, and the Lord says it is not for them to know the time when that literal Kingdom [the Kingdom of Heaven] will take place. Until that time the disciples were given power to preach the Kingdom of God; righteousness through faith in the risen Savior who will return to Earth and rule over the whole Earth from Jerusalem.

This is one of the most hated and least understood doctrines of the Bible, yet one of the most important in rightly dividing the truth; the separation of Church doctrine from Tribulation doctrine. Some churches do not want to hear this, because they think that the Church has replaced Israel. Certainly the whole world reviles at the prospect of hated Israel becoming the head of the Kingdoms. There is a hatred of Christians and Jews on a spiritual level that is beyond their own comprehension. Satan hates the Jews, and the world is under Satan's control. Hate and envy are the root reasons the word "now" is removed from John 18:36 in some translations. The world does not want the Lord Jesus Christ to return and rule over them. That is why the Jews killed their King the first time He came. Here is what their King will say about that when He returns:

But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
--Luke 19:27

There will be a big attitude difference between the Lord's first coming as the gentle Lamb of God, and His Second Coming as the warrior King, the Lion of Judah:

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
--Revelation 19:11-13

The Lord Jesus Christ came to His own and preached a dualistic message. To the Jews, the heirs of the promised political Kingdom, the Lord preached the Gospel of the "Kingdom of Heaven" - a literal physical Kingdom soon to come:

From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
--Matthew 4:17

To the entire world He preached the coming "Kingdom of God" - righteousness and holiness:

Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
--Mark 1:14

Because the Lord used the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God" interchangeably in places in the four Gospels, most Christians think they are one and the same. They will be.... but not until the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when He rules the world for a thousand years on the throne of His father David [His father in the flesh, His human side] at Jerusalem. Again:

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
--John 18:36

If you rightly divide the Bible, you will see that Jesus was preaching about two [2] components of the Kingdom. He preached that the political kingdom [Kingdom of Heaven] was coming, and if the Jews had accepted Him after His death and resurrection, He would have come back and established it after seven years of tribulation, as foretold in the prophecy of Daniel:

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
--Daniel 9:24-27

In fact, when Stephen was preaching to the Pharisees as they were stoning him, the Lord Jesus was standing up from His seat in the third heaven ready to come back, save the Jews, and establish the Kingdom:

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
--Acts 7:55-56

To show by the Scriptures the difference between the terms "Kingdom of Heaven" and "Kingdom of God," the Holy Spirit has put this little nugget of truth within the Gospel of Matthew:

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
--Matthew 11:12

Ask yourself this question: If the "Kingdom of God" is within you, and if the "Kingdom of God" and "Kingdom of Heaven" are one and the same, how could anyone take it out of you by violence? And if that righteousness i.e., the Kingdom of God within you, could not possibly be there until after the cross and the resurrection, what is Jesus saying to the Jews here BEFORE the cross and the resurrection? The answer is: the Kingdom of Israel, which is God's people and Jerusalem, the Lord's chosen place from which to rule:

But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
--Matthew 5:34-35

Israel rejected their King when He came the first time. In the almost two millenniums since then His Kingdom has been in a MYSTERY form; the Lord Jesus Christ reigning in the heart of the believer, and yet seated on the right hand of the Father in the third heaven...

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory
--Colossians 1:26-27

...while Satan still holds the physical throne over this world:

And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
--Luke 4:6-7

Although Satan has now lost the war, the final battle for physical possession is yet to come. This is the present status of the Kingdom of Heaven.

In the more than 1,900 years since His own people rejected His salvation, God has been chastising Israel while blessings and salvation has gone out to the Gentiles. However, God is not finished with Israel, but He IS just about finished with the Gentiles. The Gentiles' time is running out. The Apostle Paul said this:

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob
--Romans 11:25-26

We are living in the last days of the blessing to the Gentiles. The Jews are back in the land of Israel; although the Arab world does not recognize it as "Israel" but insists on calling it "Palestine". Regardless of the name, it is still the land that God promised to Abraham and his seed through Isaac and Jacob, not through the line of Ishmael. That is the ancient root of contention still festering today over the issue of the land.

The Jews have returned to the land as prophesied in the Scriptures, but they are still in unbelief about Jesus. Although they are the enemies of the Gospel of Grace by the Lord Jesus Christ...

As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief
--Romans 11:28-30

...they are still God's people and He will use the present evil world to chastise them, open their eyes to the truth they rejected, and bring them again to Himself. That is the truth of the matter-- a truth that is bitterly denied by the whole world. Jerusalem and the Middle East are the crucible and iron furnace that will soon wax hotter as the prophecies unfold before us.

It's all about "RIGHTLY dividing the word of truth" [2 Timothy 2:15]. by doing this we avoid error, which leads to many worse things-- a "gateway drug" if you will. That is exactly what the enemy of this world seeks to do; to drug our minds with pleasant self-serving gospels which can ONLY damn.

The Kingdom of Heaven was "at hand" because the time of the Jew's visitation was upon them-- their Savior had arrived, in the person of Jesus Christ. But the Jews rejected Him. What is "at hand" now, and has been for nearly two-thousand years, is the Kingdom of God; the working of the Holy Spirit within the believer to make him into a new creature, holy and righteous before God through the shed blood of His only begotten son and our Lord Jesus Christ. The Kingdom of GOD is at hand, but time is running out for the Gentile nations to repent and believe. That door will soon close.


[This post is adapted from an article presented at Use of this article, even in this truncated and edited form, is not a blanket endorsement of everything has to offer.]

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 9:58 AM, ,

A Little Something to Provoke Thought

This devotional came in email today...

Jesus Could Not Heal the Sick

Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman

"Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know" --Acts 2:22

In his book, When Heaven Invades Earth, Pastor Bill Johnson makes an insightful observation about Jesus. "He could not heal the sick. Neither could He deliver the tormented from demons or raise the dead. To believe otherwise is to ignore what he said about Himself, and more importantly, to miss the purpose of His self-imposed restriction to live as a man."

Jesus Christ said of Himself, "The Son of can do nothing" (John 5:19). In the Greek language that word nothing has a unique meaning--it means NOTHING, just like it does in English! He had NO supernatural capabilities whatsoever! While he is 100 percent God, He chose to live with the same limitations that man would face once He was redeemed. He made that point over and over again. Jesus became the model for all who would embrace the invitation to invade the impossible in His name. He performed miracles, wonders, and signs, as a man in right relationship to God... not as God. If He performed miracles because He was God--then they would be unattainable for us. But if he did them as a man, I am responsible to pursue His lifestyle. Recapturing this simple truth changes everything... and makes possible a full restoration of the ministry of Jesus in His Church.

What were the distinctions of His humanity?

1. He had no sin to separate Him from the Father.

2. He was completely dependent on the power of the Holy Spirit working through Him.

What are the distinctions of our humanity?

We are sinners cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Through his sacrifice he has successfully dealt with the power and effect of sin for all who believe. Now nothing separates us from the Father. There remains only one unsettled issue - how dependent on the Holy Spirit are we willing to live?

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 6:19 PM, ,

The Ideologically Autistic,
Propagandist Constructs,
& The Illusory "We the People"

Team Bush has done for us as a nation what a rapist does to his victims...

The world is not what it was twenty years ago. For that we can thank Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Revisiting the moral-hypothetical, "If you could travel back in time, knowing what you know now about these two men, would you kill them?" Did Hitler wreak as much havoc in his day, as these two men have in ours? Look at what they have done. They've given voice to perversion. Given voice to ignorance. To inanity, narcissism, and sophistry. And worse, they have overthrown the world by giving us, their victims, a false sense of enlightenment and personal control over our own lives. But we are more slaves now than at any other time in history.

There's a lot to be said for Conservatism-- not in terms of politics, but rather, in terms of policies --and the same is true of Liberalism. Both ideologies demand some measure of responsibility of the masses, but the focus of said responsibility finds Liberalism and Conservatism often at odds with each other. The concept of responsibility, socially speaking, has been replaced with a counterfeit; what passes for responsibility now is a cunning, orchestrated, and worthless fake, sold to an ignorant populace by hungry, arrogant, and condescending men who believe, to their core, that the rest of us are incapable of managing ourselves. This is the lie they tell us. And like good children, we believe.

We accept what we read. We accept what we're told-- not to the man, but enough of us to make turning this state of affairs around extremely difficult, and nigh on impossible. It is incredibly unlikely that enough Americans will stand up and make taking back our government even a remote possibility. We saw a glimpse of what was possible last summer in the immigration debate, but again, the numbers that stood up against amnesty for illegals was enough only to make enough elected officials question the repercussions of ignoring "We the People" change their minds about voting FOR legislation that might cost them their place among the stars. Sometimes that's all it takes.

But what if we wanted to repeal the 16th or 17th amendments? Could enough Americans band together from two-thirds of fifty states and successfully demand these amendments be repealed? I do not have enough faith to believe this is even a remote possibility. If we repealed the sixteenth and enacted a consumption tax we would save hundreds of billions a year in compliance costs alone. But too many people like the current tax code-- would like to make it better, in fact, by raising taxes on the rich, defined as anyone making over 200k a year.

Is that rich? Should tax rates for the "wealthy" return to, say, 39%, would they still be rich? And, philosophically speaking, what gives the right of any government to tax any of its citizens so exorbitantly? a piece of parchment approved by 535 men and signed into law by one? The stroke of pens by so few men to rule over 230 million men?

What is poor? Really? In America there are very few genuinely poor people. In Understanding Poverty in America Robert Rector and Kirk Johnson, Ph.D. put some perspective to that question. But because this paper is the product of research conducted under the umbrella of the Heritage Foundation, almost half the nation will refuse to consider its findings. The justice in "taxing the rich to feed and care for the poor" is too attractive an idea for those who love the 16th amendment, to ever consider a change so fundamental as replacing the tax code with something else. Even if it were better.

Speaking yesterday before a crowd of adoring voters, Senator B. Hussein Obama has this to say:

"If you work in this country, you should not be poor!"

What about the french fry cook at McDonalds? He only gets 35 hours a week and makes, maybe, 25 cents over minimum wage. He works. He should not, therefore, be poor. Well, what then must be done to make him rich?

Tax the rich at higher rates so that our french fry cook can take advantage of evening classes at the local community college with a government Pell grant? If he gets grades good enough to win a scholarship at a four-year, he can then move on to become "acceptable" enough to the REAL workforce of America and join the ranks of the "gainfully" employed. If he really applies himself, our ex-french fry cook can make the entrepreneurial spirit catapult him to above 200k and beyond where the government that helped him out of the fryer-- and into the fire of governmental greed --where he now pays 39% on everything he earns in taxes. So what has he gained? He's making 201k a year but taking home only 138k. How much was that Pell grant again? 1500$ a year for, say, 3 years? So that's 4500$ for which he now pays back 62k? a year? Does that make our government the greatest loan shark in the history of the world?

Our fry cook is now a CPA. He's traveled a long road that now carries a heavy toll to the tune of $62,000 a year. That still leaves him with a lot of cash, yes, but how much does he really need? He likely still has a Playstation, a car, a roof over his head, food in belly, clean water, nice clothes, a nice TV, cell phone, computer... all the things he had when he was a fry cook.

The difference is primarily in the quality of his possessions-- A nicer car, a nicer roof over his head, better food, much nicer clothes, a bigger TV, a better computer. It's a question of degrees. Degrees that say nothing about our ex-fry cook's ability to manage his money.

But men like B. Hussein Obama believe that simply working should be enough to ensure a life, at the very least, in the warm embrace of middle-class comforts. Nothing wrong with that. But it takes more than simply working. It requires HARD work and perseverance for MOST people to live comfortably. And in today's world it requires working MORE than 40 hours a week. The 40-hour work week will only guarantee a life of mediocrity. AND that's assuming one is fiscally responsible with the wages one earns. Platitudes like Obama's are worthless in the greater scheme of things; what amount of rhetoric ever put food in hungry mouths?

But Liberalism can't see the truth in this. It is locked in its own world of repetitive behaviors, spinning in sheer delight the dance of ideological autism. In fairness, modern Conservatism isn't much better. The current struggle in this country, then-- between Conservatism and Liberalism --is little more than a façade. The real problem is government, and the frighteningly small number of men and women who decide how we shall live. But that's not to say the constructs of Liberalism and Conservatism serve no purpose.

Propaganda is the primary control mechanism of ALL governments. Some are merely more insidious than others. What passes for propaganda in Gaza and the West Bank, for example, is just as destructive (though in different terms) as propaganda here in the U.S. The only real difference is that propaganda here in the U.S. very rarely leads to killing innocent people. Both entities educate, and propagate attitudes and policies the government wants in place. but governments need a mouthpiece, and up until the mid-nineties Liberal media had a lock on the microphone.

In comments on a previous post it was stated,

You have to outlay thousands/millions of dollars to get your name publicized to voters. Then once you have the job you have to start preparing to run again in six years.

Sad, but true. And it's the mindset of far too many Americans. Granted, it takes lots of money to run for higher office, but where does that money come from? From donors. How do aspiring politicians get that money? By making themselves available to the public-- public appearances and stump speeches. They have to be able to resonate with the people they're trying to win but, realistically, they can only physically reach people within the sound of their physical voices. Unless Media carries their voices for them.

Media lost its monopoly on the hearts and minds of many Americans over a decade ago, thanks to men like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. But that didn't stop the Media. Now they create the news via the Poll, and they use their subjective findings to control, and often manipulate, what we think about any given situation or public/foreign policy-- as well as those who make it. They decide what gets aired, and WHO gets aired. Especially politicians. Media all but decides who we get to vote for in general elections-- and to no small extent, primaries. Media is in the business of building up and tearing down façades, and in today's 24hour news cycle, they are constantly building. Ostensibly for truth.

It doesn't always work, however, as evidenced by the meteoric fall of Dan Rather, but that only makes those who still enjoy the lofty heights of heaven more careful in their innuendos and distortions. They have learned the art of obfuscation and have become the great manipulators of "We the People."

To say Media carries water for Washington, however, is a misnomer. They carry water for those politicians who line up with the ideology Media itself seeks to advance. And then, only those politicians who do not publicly embarrass themselves-- and Media for having supported them.

"We the People" decide very little these days; it is all pretty much decided for us. We are governed, for the most part, by people who have taken their positions for granted-- as their due. And we, their loyal fief-bound tenants, perpetuate their status, and their belief that they deserve their seats among the stars. We can on occasion pull a star from heaven, but mostly we simply replace them with others who rarely burn brighter than their predecessors. "We the People" have, in effect, abdicated our position of supreme authority over the governance of this nation. We traded our birthright for a pot of porridge.

What then can "We the People" do? Short of Revolution?

Honestly? Nothing. Because not enough people care enough to challenge the federal government. We are a fearful people, and fearful people do not overthrow governments.

What then? We overthrow attitudes. And that is only accomplished at the expense of great loss of life and liberty... or long years of suffering and servitude. The state of this nation-- and the world --is not the fault of Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, they are not near as evil, as say, Hitler was evil, Bin Laden IS evil, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is evil, as Kim Jong Il is evil. Computers are not evil, but the uses to which they are put CAN be, and often ARE evil.

Both Conservatism and Liberalism see Freedom of Speech as sacrosanct, but both have differing views on what should be hindered, and what should be given freer rein. Multiculturalism and Political Correctness-- both Liberal artifices --have wreaked havoc on this nation, making it all but impossible to criticize what genuinely needs criticizing. Simple truth is, not all cultures have equal value. Not all divisive labels are evil. We have become a nation too afraid to speak its mind for fear of offending someone. How then will we ever take back our country? Especially when our country perpetuates, as a distraction, the pointless and reckless sophistry coming from both sides of the aisle; especially that kind quoted at the top of this page? Irresponsible and profitless sophistry.

Welcome to America.

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 11:15 PM, ,

News Roundup: Issues

Understanding Poverty in America
by Robert E. Rector and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D.

From the introduction:

Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau counts the number of "poor" persons in the U.S. In 2005, the Bureau found 37 million "poor" Americans. Presidential candidate John Edwards claims that these 37 million Americans currently "struggle with incredible poverty." Edwards asserts that America's poor, who number "one in eight of us…do not have enough money for the food, shelter, and clothing they need," and are forced to live in "terrible" cir­cumstances.However, an examination of the living standards of the 37 million persons, whom the government defines as "poor," reveals that what Edwards calls "the plague"of American poverty might not be as "terrible" or "incredible" as candi­date Edwards contends.

U.S. Senate Report Debunks Polar Bear Extinction Fears

Just like global warming, this too was a fraud. The problem, however, is it's been cited as truth for so long, by so many supposed "experts" the general population will not believe this report... even though it comes from the U.S. Senate.

Another article from CFP:

How the Republican Party Committed National Suicide
--By JB Williams, Canadian Free Press

Like it or not, the BIG TENT is collapsing. You can’t invite liberals to your table without inviting their ideologies along. Try this at home with your liberal neighbors if you think I’m wrong on this. They will be happy to eat your food and drink your wine, while they tell you all about the progressive benefits of socialism. They won’t shut up until you stop inviting them for dinner.

Yet this is what the Republican Party leadership decided to do years ago. Invite liberals across the aisle into the fold under the BIG TENT open society philosophy whereby all ideas are welcome if not equal, even when they aren’t.

Today, the base of the party is trying to figure out if or how it can wrestle back control of their party from the dinner guest they invited to the table years ago....

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 8:32 PM, ,

Found this one at the Jerusalem Post

Doomsday seed vaults take root

--by Amir Mizroch

Should a major catastrophe hit the planet, a doomsday seed vault deep in the Arctic ice will ensure that survivors never go hungry.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, built by the Norwegian government for the benefit of mankind, is named after the archipelago where it is located. Global Crop Diversity Trust, a Rome-based nongovernmental organization, will fund its operation, according to a new UN report.

The vault is hidden in a mountain deep in the Arctic permafrost at the village of Longyearbyen, and will house more than 200,000 crop varieties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. The seeds will bolster food security should any natural or man-made disaster affect agricultural systems or gene banks....

[Entire story below]

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs the first seed collection will go into the vault on February 26, 2008, and the managers expect regular contributions until the vault contains seeds of most of the world's crops. Seeds in the Svalbard vault will only be accessed once the original seed collections have been lost.

Duplicate seeds of existing varieties are drawn from the collection maintained by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), which holds 600,000 plant varieties in crop gene banks in its centers across the world.

Israel inaugurated its own emergency food gene bank vault with original specimens last month. The vault, within thick walls and buried meters beneath the Agriculture Ministry's offices in Rishon Lezion, could withstand a nuclear attack, a ministry spokeswoman said.

The vault is fitted with state-of-the-art cooling systems which maintain a temperature of -20 degrees Celsius and holds many specimens in their original state, before being genetically tampered with.

The vault holds specimens from other countries as well, and Israel has provided specimens to other countries for inclusion in their vaults. Work on the vault was carried out by the Agricultural Research Organization of Israel - the Volcani Center. Should catastrophe befall Israel and food stocks become unattainable, it will be possible to take food specimens from the gene bank and replant, to "start all over again," says Ilana Pe'er, spokeswoman for the Volcani Center.

According to Pe'er, Israel has not provided any specimens to the UN project at this stage.

On January 31, the Nigeria-based International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), a CGIAR affiliate, shipped 7,000 seed samples from more than 36 African countries to Oslo, en route to the Longyearbyen village.

The samples include unique varieties of domesticated and wild cowpeas, maize, soybeans and the Bambara groundnut, which the IITA has been collecting since the 1970s.

Most of the IITA seeds are placed under the auspices of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, which holds them in trust for the benefit of the global community.

The seeds will be stored at -18 degrees Celsius in specially designed, five-ply aluminium foil packages inside sealed boxes on high shelves inside the vault. The low temperature and limited access to oxygen will ensure low metabolic activity and delay aging.

"Svalbard will be able to help replenish gene banks if they're hit," Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, told the UN news service. Iraq's gene bank, in the town of Abu Ghraib, was ransacked by looters in 2003, but fortunately there was a duplicate at the CGIAR center in Syria.

I find it odd that people actually think this is necessary. How many homeless people could be clothed and fed and given job training for what is being spent in maintenance costs?

That was sarcasm for all you who are tone deaf...

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 8:18 PM, ,

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new?

Judging by Mr. Reese's reference to Tip O'Neil and Marines in Lebanon, the following article is somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 years old.

And it still rings true today.

The 545 People Responsible For All of America's Woes

by Charlie Reese
Circa 1983

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does. You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does. You and I don't write the tax code. Congress does. You and I don't set fiscal policy. Congress does. You and I don't control monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president and nine Supreme Court justices - 545 human beings out of the 235 million - are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered but private central bank.

I excluded all but the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.

A Confidence Conspiracy

Don't you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan for creating deficits.

The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it. The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.

O'Neill is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto.

Replace Scoundrels

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts - of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can't think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair. If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red. If the Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon.

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation" or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. They and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

"..and there is no new thing under the sun... it hath been already of old time, which was before us."

--Ecclesiastes 1:9-10

Read the entire article...

posted by Eric @ 1:51 PM, ,