Thursday, December 24, 2009

Contradiction between John 3:17 and John 9:39

Dec 21, 2009
What do you make of John 9: 35-41?  In lots of other places in the Gospels, Jesus said He has not come into the world to condemn the world but to save the world.  In vs 39 He says for judgement He has come into the world....

The short answer lies in judgment being a process that includes the violation of a law, identification of the violation, indictment, conviction, sentencing, and execution of the sentence.  Christ's first coming served not to condemn the world, but to identify our guilt.  By providing a means of redemption, however, Christ also established a final standard -- faith -- that determines whether we go on to damnation or salvation.

Because the world has violated the Law of God, the world's guilt already condemns it.  God will sentence the world in the final judgment, but Christ did not come into the world to execute conviction and sentencing in His first advent.  Christ came, rather, to announce our state through his words, his actions, and the world's response to Him, so that we might turn to Him for salvation.  While Christ did not come into the world to condemn it, His coming does play a pivotal role in our judgment.

To set up the long answer, let's review Salvation 101.

In John 9:39, Jesus says,
For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 
This seems to contradict John 3:17:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
The gospel states that God removes us from the darkness and places us into the light when we place our faith in Him and in what He has done for us through His Son.  That requires a context:  Without this good news, all stand condemned before God.  Christ did not need to condemn the world because the world was already condemned.

Natural man responds to The Law -- or to the natural law that, according to Paul, lies within each of us -- in either of two ways.  One group is in a burning building but fail to realize it:  Even if they knew about the fire escape, they see no need to use it.    This self-righteous group misses the point of this law and interprets it as a path to righteousness, missing the unrighteousness that it reveals.  They fail to see themselves in the context of reality, a context that gives the gospel its value to them.

The other group knows that the burning building entraps it, but they have yet to trust and utilize the fire escape.  People in this guilty-conscience group see themselves honestly; they see that they live in condemnation.  Their dilemma provides the context for the gospel.  They accept their condemnation but have not yet taken the next step, consenting to God's provision of salvation.  These people, as Paul argues, stand closer to receiving salvation than does a pious Jew or Christian.

Let's look again at 3:17 with more context:
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 9:39 (For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind) aligns with 3:18-19.  In order to save us, God must first reveal to us the state of condemnation in which we stand.  For the two groups, we see four results:  Members of the first group, who consider themselves enlightened, either continue in the darkness of self-righteousness or step into the light that reveals their unrighteousness and, as a result, join the second group.  The second group likewise has options either to continue in faithlessness or to trust God for rescue from their condemnation.

Between all these options, Jesus focused narrowly on two results:  Those who cling to self-righteousness continue in condemnation; and those who recognize their condemnation can receive justification.

Between the two passages, we have three closely related Greek words centered on the topic of condemnation:  krima, krino, and krisis.  All have wide ranges of meanings, yet they retain distinctions of judgment, condemning, and verdict.

Krima, used in 9:39, denotes the decision or the process leading to the decision.  The Bible often calls the Old Testament the judgments of the Lord, referring to God's pronouncements concerning sin.  For example, God condemns the unjust balance and a lying tongue.  Moral law is like physical law:  If you try to violate such a law, you will suffer predetermined consequences.  In one case, the enforcement comes from gravity; in another, it comes from God's justice.  Judgment, then, refers more to the substance of the pronouncement.  The verse could be paraphrased,
I am come into this world to reveal man's condition relative to the Law, that the self-righteous might be revealed as spiritually blind and that the humble might receive enlightenment.
Again, this is consistent with with 3:18-19.  The natural man stands condemned not because Christ condemned us, but because we have violated God's Law.  Christ came into the world to shine light on all of us, revealing the dark path of the proud and lighting the path of those who acknowledge their need and consent to the rescue.  God desires to save the world with the result that men see the condemnation under which they stand and turn to the Light for remption.

Krino in 3:17 and 18 denotes the action of convicting or sentencing.  (The possible meanings are wider than that, but the context narrows the meaning down to just this one sense of the word.)  Whereas krima in 9:39 is like a man who has just thrown a hamburger wrapper out the car window and then sees a traffic sign that says, $250 Fine for Littering, krino in 3:17 is the judge issuing the fine. 

The noun krisis (condemnation) appears in 3:19 and refers to the result of the the action, krino (condemn), in 17 and 18.  If we read all four paraphrased verses together, their blending becomes obvious:
17  God sent not his Son into the world to damn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18  He that believes on him is not convicted: but he that believes not is convicted already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19  And this is the conviction, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
39  I am come into this world to reveal man's condition relative to the Law, that the self-righteous might be revealed as spiritually blind and that the humble might receive enlightenment.
 Before concluding, I'd like to toss in an unlikely interpretation of 9:39.  W. E. Vine's An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states that the meaning would appear to be, 'for being judged' (as a touchstone for proving men's thoughts and characters)....  If the declension of krisis indicates such, then couldn't the word refer to the speaker rather than to the world?  Look at this fit between 3:16-17 and 9:39 with such an interpretation:
39  I am come into this world to be condemned, that the self-righteous might be revealed as spiritually blind and that the humble might receive enlightenment.
16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17  For God sent not his Son into the world to convict the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
God sent His Son into the world to save the world; He gave His Son to be convicted and sentenced for our sin.  His teaching and actions expose the lost and enlighten the humble so that whosoever -- not just those among some chosen or pious group -- through faith in Him, might be saved from perishing and might have everlasting life.  The commentators I checked did not get this meaning out of 9:39, but in its favor, the Scriptures often have multiple correct meanings (especially in Proverbs), and this interpretation fits beautifully with established doctrine.

I hope I didn't hide the answer in all my verbosity.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fwd: Phoning Home...Cute

George Bush, Tony Blair, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell. While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth. 

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes.  When he is finished, the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.

Next Tony Blair calls
England and talks for 30 minutes.  When he is finished, the devil informs him that the cost is 6 million dollars, so Blair  writes him a check. 

Finally, George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours.  When he is finished, the devil informs him that there is no charge for the call, and he can feel free to call the USA anytime.

When Blair and Putin hear this, they go ballistic and ask the devil why Bush got to call the
USA free.

The devil replies, "Since Obama became president, the country's gone to hell, so it's a local call."

My Favorite People

Dear Mr. Grim Reaper,

So far this year you have taken away my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite pinup girl, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite comedian, Dom DeLuise, my favorite pitchman, Billy Mays, my favorite news anchor, Walter Cronkite, my favorite martial artist, David Carradine, my favorite villain, Christopher Lee,* and my favorite sidekick, Ed McMahon.

Just so you know, my favorite politician is Barack Obama.

Very truly yours, etc.

* Correction:  Christopher Lee lives.   Lesson:  Check the facts before forwarding or posting emails.

Washington Zoo vs. the White House

>What's the difference between the Washington Zoo and the White House?
>The Zoo has an African Lion.
>The White House has a Lyin' African.


The Zoo's reptile expert feeds the crocs from the Nile;
The White House feeds us a load of crock and denial.

The Zookeepers filled the aviary full of egrets.
The White House filled us full of regrets.

The Zoo sells paintings made by its mountain gorillas.
The White House gives speeches written by former guerrillas.

The Zoo has a cold-blooded, venom-spitting snake.
The White House calls theirs the 'Secretary of State.'

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Emperor Obowma Does Obeisance Again

Emperor Obowma Does Obeisance Again
Originally posted 11/14/09
Updated 12/11/2009


How low will he go? Obama bows to Japan's Emperor

And here, all this time, we thought he was just helping that Arab king look for his lost contacts.

Fortunately, thanks to the comrades at The Peoples' Cube, you can set up a constant reminder to follow his example:

(See the whole ad at The Peoples' Cube.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fwd: Hopefully prayer will work

PSALM 2009

Barack is my shepherd I did not want.
He leadeth me beside the still factories.
He restoreth my faith in the Republican party.
He guideth me in the path of unemployment for his party's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of bread lines,

I shall fear no hunger,
For his bailouts art with me.
He has anointed my income with taxes,

My expense runneth over.
Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will live in a mortgaged home forever.


Childrens' Song

I'm glad I am American,
I'm glad that I am free.
But I wish I was a little dog
And Obama was a tree.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Fresh Start

To get our of our sinking sand pits, we must recognize God's power to help us change and decide to actively cooperate with God... says Doug Fields in his book "Fresh Start: God's Invitation to a Great Life." Fields provides a re"fresh"ing look at the things of life that often leave us stuck between a rock and a hard place. How do we get out of those rough spots? That takes a lot of effort, but just as much trust -- trust in God.

Fields goes beyond the obvious "sins of the past" that make us feel stuck. He does spend an entire chapter on guilt, but he also talks bout pride, hurt, anger, conflict, community, rejection, and evangelism. Each chapter contains simple, but deep truths as well as humorous thoughts and stories from Fields' own life. A humble man, Fields is not afraid to admit that he had been stuck, but he's also not afraid to share his story, and he encourages readers to share their stories, as well - to live boldly for God. Fields' book will not only give readers the beginning steps to a "fresh start," but also what to do after they have started again.

Highly recommended.

Written for Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama's Kenyan Birth Cert on eBay

[Can this be real? If so, will some patriotic American bid high enough to keep the Obamites from burying it? I edited two articles below for length.  If the graphics don't come through, you can use the links at the beginnings of the articles.]

For sale on eBay: Obama's 'Kenyan birth certificate'

Seller claims Mombasa document 'certified copy'

Posted: June 27, 2009
12:40 am Eastern
By Bob Unruh
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

With dozens of lawsuits filed over access to Barack Obama's certified long-form birth certificate, many more lawyers working on his behalf to keep it secret, and the validity o f the U.S. Constitution hanging in the balance, guess where a "certified copy" of the original Mombasa "document" has been found?

On eBay.

Item No. 160344928067, at least as of today, is described as "a certified copy of President Barack Obama's Kenyan Birth Certificate."

The seller, identified by the user name " colmado_naranja," states, "President Barack Hussein Obama II was born in The Coast Provincial Hospital at Mombasa in Kenya at 7:24 PM on August 4th, 1961."

eBay offer for Obama's Kenyan birth certificate
The suspicion that Coast Provincial is, in fact, Obama's birth hospital is not new, with the subject having been discussed on both Internet blogs and forums already.

But the seller, who according to the eBay rankings has completed dozens of transactions on the behemoth auction site without difficulties, said this is the real deal.

The seller, who did not respond to a WND request for an interview, said online he was traveling in Kenya and repeatedly heard stories that Obama actually was born in Kenya.
"Kenyans were amused at how gullible Americans could be when it came to obvious things like the fact that Kenyans overtly admit to Barack Jr's Kenyan birth, yet the Americans continue to believe that they know better," the seller writes.

"I delved further and found that a birth certificate was on file at The Coast Provincial General Hospital at Mombasa," said the seller, who claims the certificate is in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

"I know several American expats that reside in Kenya. I asked the three that I could reach if they were aware of President Barack Obama's Kenyan birth. All three said that they were most obviously aware of his Kenyan birth. I was shocked. They went to further say that they weren't much concerned with it, after all they'd left the U.S. to start a new life abroad and didn't have much interest in what was taking place in the States. Besides, they said, who would believe them anyway?

"Along with my Congolese brother Andylenny (brother in heart, not blood) and a 1993 BMW with only one working door I was off to Mombasa to get myself a copy (certified I hoped) of Barack Jr's birth certificate," the seller reported.
Actual details of how the "certificate" was obtained are not reported.

Search of eBay auction site for 'birth certificate' brought up this list

"I am not posting any photos of the birth certific ate here on eBay. I have not seen this birth certificate anywhere on the Internet, to post it here on eBay would lead to a flood of facsimiles on the Internet. This would inadvertently decrease the value of the certificate as well," the seller said.

WND has reported that among the documentation not yet available for Obama includes his kindergarten records, his Punahou school records, his Occidental College records, his Columbia University records, his Columbia thesis, his Harvard Law School records, his Harvard Law Review articles, his scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, his passport, his medical records, his files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records.

The birth certificate seller is a self-proclaimed "collector of old Dominican and Cuban money" and has worked in the Congo.

"This spring I traveled through Kenya and its capital Nairobi. I was overwhelmed by the 'iconicized' face of U.S. President Barack Obama that displays itself throughout the country. I had lunch at a small eatery and noticed that the club sandwich with fried plantains was now known as 'Obama's Plate of the Day,'" the seller write s. "As an American I was bombarded with questions in English (English is national language of Kenya) on my feelings and opinions of a Kenyan governing the United States of America. The first several times I responded in saying that not enough time had elapsed since Barack Obama's appointment as president of the U.S.A., and that I'd have to hold my official opinion until at least January 2010, a year in office might be sufficient for me to judge his ability to govern the U.S.A.

"Naturally I thought that by 'Kenyan' they were referring to Barack Obama's blood, being that his father Barack Obama Sr. was a native of Kenya. After a day and a half of my being in Nairobi I learned that they were literally referring to President Barack Obama Jr. as being born in Kenya, a native of Kenya."

What's the difference?
Compare genuine 'long-form' Hawaiian birth certificate with Obama's online form

Posted: June 18, 2009
9:48 pm Eastern
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Here is an actual Hawaiian birth certificate from 1963 (the same era as Obama's birth), which while redacted includes detailed information documenting a birth, including the name of the birth hospital and the attending physician.

Beneath it is the short-form "Certification of Live Birth" offered by President Obama as proof of his Hawaiian birth. Legally, it proves only his birthdate because it is possible to have been born outside of Hawaii and still obtain one.

Genuine Certificate:

Long-form birth certificate from state of Hawaii (Image courtesy Philip Berg)

Certification of Live Birth presented by Obama:

Short-form "Certification of Live Birth"

Bob Unruh is a news editor for

1 John 3:4-10 and the Perfect Christian

Sent: Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 9:59 AM
To: [Poorhouse Dad]
Subject: 1 John 3:4-10


Read these verses with attention to how it seems to be saying that if one is born of God, he does not sin.  I think I know what the real meaning is but would like your view.

Thanks, T.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

This passage has bothered me, too.  Some people take it at face value, believing that they can reach or hav e reached sinless perfection.  In college, I watched an itinerant "holiness" preacher make a mockery of Christ's name and endanger his own safety as he challenged passing students for looking like druggies and prostitutes.  He rationalized his rude judgmentalism by claiming that he had not sinned since he "got saved."  I don't know whether this over confidence came from his misguided theology or from his pride, but it was an embarrassment.

We do receive imputed holiness from Christ, but He applies that through His grace, not through our deeds.  Ironically, as such people reach this state (or so they think), they fall into habitual commission of the sins of pride and of carrying around logs in their own eyes.

The standard interpretation of the passage holds that sin refers to habitual sin.  This seems inadequate to me because we all grow in holiness (called practical sanctification).  We gradually purify our walks, but sin continues during that process of purification, and nobody but our Lord ever accomplishes total purity.  Some of those sins stem from ignorance, but others stem from habit.  So I think the Spirit intended a bit deeper meaning.

According to verse 4, sin is the transgression of the law.  It needs no explanation to an evangelical believer that Mosaic ceremonial law is N/A to us.  We need not suffer guilt over ignoring a feast or omitting to perform a sacrifice commanded by the Law.  In this spiritual sense, those who have received Christ's redemption cannot sin.

We can expand this sense because James states a principle that the Law is one law with many points, like a chain with many links:  For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.  If the ceremonial law cannot condemn us, then the entire law has lost its power to condemn us.

Paul states in Colossians 2:14 that Christ blot[ted] out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.

The child of God has freedom from the entire Mosaic law:  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God (Galatians 2:19); so if sin is the transgression of the law, the child of God cannot, legalistically, sin.

Another sense of sin hinges on our dual natures,20spirit and flesh.  Paul explains in Romans 7:23-25 that, although God plants in our minds the desire to do righteous deeds, we remain in corrupt bodies full of sinful desires:
I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members....  So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul's language implies, my being exists not in my body, but in my mind and my spirit.

Sometime our flesh drives our will so that when we yield control to the physical, we commit acts well-described as sin.  At the same time, in our core, we cringe to see what we are capable of.  In the promise of deliverance -- O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord -- Paul verifies this identification with the portion of us which survives death.  So in our flesh we sin, yet at the core of our spirit-born being, we would not.

John is consistent with Paul.  The regenerated mind does not concur with the sinful actions of the flesh.  Christ gave himself not only to take away our sins judicially, but also to remove them practically.  Without this deliverance, the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned (I Corinthians 2:14).  The desires of the flesh enslave the unsaved man, whereas Christ sets free the spirit of the saved man now and will set free even the corrupt flesh of the saved man in the resurrection.

Since the flesh -- as it is in this life -- has the condemnation of death and the promise of metamorphosis in the resurrection, Paul considers his flesh as though it were dead already -- as good as dead, as we would say.  Thus, he says in Galatians 2:20, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.  Just as we live in the world, yet are not of the world, we are in the flesh, yet are not of the flesh.

The Law, the great schoolmaster that brought us to Christ, does not rule over us (Galatians 2:24), for Christ has paid forward the complete debt incurred by our violations of that law; and we cannot violate regulations that no longer have jurisdiction over us.  In the schoolmaster's place, we find a new Law that supercedes the old:  Imitate Christ, take on the Family attributes of freedom and holiness, love one another.  We obey this new law not like a man doing his taxes, but like a math whiz attacking a Sudoku puzzle.  This new law fulfills the old law, but instead of being our labor, it is the believer's quest.

One last point before I let this go.  It is clear from the context of the entire book of 1 John that 2:4-10 does not speak in absolutes concerning sinning.  Already, John has written, My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…. (1 John 2:1)  John recognizes that a sinless walk does not come automatically; otherwise, why would he encourage it?  He also recognizes the practicality of a mechanism, Christ's advocacy, for when we do sin.  Mistakenly interpreting 2:4-10 in absolute terms, then, could cost the believer much peace.

That portion which forms our core being does not sin, for the Holy Spirit re-births us pure, holy, fit for God's presence.  We face a constant choice between walking in our unredeemed flesh and walking in our reborn spirit.  Paul therefore urges us, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).  In practice, as an overpowering force, sin does not reign forever in the life of a believer. 

If we do not progress in Christ, in our sanctification, and in love, we have reason to question the authenticity of our conversions; but if we find in ourselves that struggle against our sinful flesh that Paul had, we have one reason for reassurance.

Isolating passages such as 1 John 3:4-10 from the rest of the Bible lead to errors such as that of the itinerant preacher.  When we understand the duality of our being, we reach a more balanced interpretation and a more balanced life.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Dual Covenant Theology

  • Reference: Jonathan Bernis. The Dangers of Dual Covenant Theology. Friday, 07 August 2009 10:31 AM EDT; downoaded 4:12 PM PDT.
Israel has no better friend than the evangelical Christian. The USA's loyalty to Israel stems not only from memory of the Holocaust, but also from the influence of the evangelical Christian. Roman Catholics have historically viewed Jews as the crucifiers of the Christ. Many mainline Protestants believe the Christian church has completely supplanted Israel, whose remaining values are as an object lesson and as a tourist destination. It is evangelical Christians who love the family through which came the prophets and the Savior; and it is evangelicals who treasure the prophesy that God will grant Israel repentance en masse, turning them again to their God's redemption through His incarnation and substitutionary sacrifice as the Son. As the generation that remembers the Holocaust dies off, it will be the evangelical Christian who keeps alive America's friendship.

"Dual covenant theology" promotes the idea that the Abrahamic or Mosaic covenants created a path to heaven for Jewish people. Jews, it says, have salvation, without needing faith in their Messiah.

This theology teaches a compromise between the exclusive claim of Christ, that "no man comes unto the Father but by me," and universalism, the idea that God accepts all sincere practitioners of conscience, regardless of whether they accept God. Dual covenanters believe Judaism holds validity equal to that of Christianity. Christians, therefore, need not explain to Jews the fulfillment of their faith, but rather should hold full communion with practicing Jews as though Judaism just formed another Christian denomination.

This split position results from the pressures of secularism, universalism, and guilt.

Secularism rejects all religions in favor of naturalism, but grants religions validity to the degree that they bind and lubricate societies. With all religions having equal validity, it becomes unethical, "wrong," to make followers of any of those religions feel rejected by criticizing their beliefs. Christians feel the pressure to accept this secular dogma at every turn of public life, from the televised sitcom to the public school to the workplace. Those with weak or immature, undefined faith are susceptable to such influences.

Universalism stems from the secularism that dominates among mainline theologians. The academic class looks down from its lofty intellectual clouds and sets the weak and artificial faith of the theologian as the standard. Again, anemic faith in one's own religion leads to accepting the tenates of secularism and tolerance of beliefs such as pantheism that diametrically oppose Biblical teachings. Believing themselves to have transcended the plain teachings of the Bible and accepting universal salvation, many theologians and their followers feel enlightened and respected. Hearing the praise of secular academics, they pat themselves on the back for having "reached out" through compromising their beliefs.

While Judaism pointed forward to the coming Messiah, it was a correct faith. Those Jews who failed to recognize the fulfillment (not all did) became an obsolete cult as history left them behind. As the Catholic hierarchy blended with Rome's secular hierarchy, sects considered unorthodox, including Judaism, met the power of empirial force. Thus, Roman Catholic oppression formed a continuum that ended with the "Christian" (which was actually occultic), German, National Socialist regime conducting the Holocaust. (Admittedly, not all clergy cooperated with the NAZIs; an isolated few did harbor Jews and other "undesirables.") After the liberation of Hitler's death camps, "Holocaust guilt" drove the sentiments of many marginal Christians. The Jews, their leaders reasoned, had suffered enough and should not be further "persecuted" by those who would try to convince them to submit to their Messiah. Finding a reason such as dual covenant theology thus excused weak-faithed leaders from the responsibility to preach the gospel to every creature.

(From here on, I quote extensively from Bernis.)
But the Bible declares that the gospel is for the Jew 'first' (Rom. 1:16, NKJV). There is only one plan of salvation for all people.
To the Jews first came the covenants. To the Jews first came the prophets. To the Jews first came the Law. To the Jews first came the Savior. To the Jews first came the gospel and the blessings of the Holy Spirit. And now, you want to excuse them from responding?
Jesus Himself said in John 14:6: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The apostle Peter, a Jew, conveyed this to the Jerusalem Sanhedrin (the Jewish ruling body), saying, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, wherey we must be saved." (Acts 4:12) God may grant intervention that leads to repentance for the descendants of Abraham, but their salvation still follows the same conditions that apply to everybody else. Heaven does not grant anyone a free pass like some racist, social justice, affirmative action program.

Bernis says,
I recently heard one prominent leader (who I otherwise greatly respect) say, "Jews do not come to Christ through proclamation, but through revelation."
Bernis tries to explain that "this leader feels it is God's job to reveal Himself to Jewish people despite Christ's command" that all men, starting with the Jews, should be made disciples of Christ through the proclamation of the gospel. (Matthew 28:19, Luke 24:47)
Although his point of view is not exactly dual covenant theology, the result is the same-there is no need to share our faith with Jewish people.
But the Bible tells us that proclamation of the gospel is a prerequisite to faith:

"How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? ... So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:14-17).

These verses are talking about the restoration of the Jewish people.

During our years of outreach to the former Soviet Union, I have seen thousands of Jewish people pray to receive Yeshua as their Messiah. It has been in response to the proclamation of the gospel, just as Paul said.

All would be better served -- not to mention more faithful to the Great Commission -- if Christian Zionist leaders would simply be honest in their relationships with Jewish leaders. Instead of saying they are against evangelizing Jewish people, they should say: "I'm an evangelical Christian, compelled to share the gospel with all people. That means I can't exclude you. I will share my faith openly, because that is what God calls me to do. But also know that my love for you and support of Israel is unconditional."

I assure you, Jewish leaders would respect and accept this position, and we all would be the better for it.

I pray that Christian Zionism will continue to flourish. Israel needs our support now more than ever. Anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, and Hezbollah, Iran and Syria are not going away. They hate Israel and want to see the tiny nation pushed into the sea.
The rise to power of fatherless American presidents with no memory of the Holocaust and raised in an age of secular humanism-dominated schools dramatically threatens our friendship with Israel.
We need friends, but not at the expense of withholding the gospel from our people. After all, there is no greater blessing you can give a Jewish person than eternal life through a relationship with their Messiah. His name is Yeshua.
Jonathan Bernis, a Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus), is founder of Hear O Israel Ministries, an organization doing extensive outreach and humanitarian aid around the world. He is also executive director of Phoenix-based Jewish Voice Ministries International. He founded two Messianic congregations and served them as a senior Messianic rabbi for 11 years.

© Copyright 2009 Strang Communications, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Car of the Future

Commute to -- and if you're lucky, back home again from -- the
Government Entitlements Office in this
stunning work of art!

(The voice-over is Officer Vic from KSFO.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama's Back-door Attack on 2nd Amend: Starve the Guns

Is this just amazing what is happening?
To members of Stand Up America USA

Major General Paul Vallely, US Army, ret.
Georgia Arms is the 5th largest retailer of .223 Ammo in America. They sell 9mm, .45, ..223 ammunition. They normally buy spent brass from the US Department of Defense. Spent brass is "one time used" shell cases used by our Military for training purposes.

They buy the brass, recondition it, and then reload the brass for resale to Law Enforcement, Gun Clubs, Gun Shops, and stores like Wal-Mart. They normally buy 30,000 lbs of spent brass at a time.

This week the DoD wrote a letter to the owner of Georgia Arms and informed him that from now on the DoD will be destroying the spent brass, shredding it. It will no longer be available to the ammo makers, unless they buy it in a scrap shredded condition (which they have no use for). The shredded brass i s now going to be sold by the DoD to China as scrap metal, after the DoD pays for it to be shredded. The DoD is selling the brass to China for less money than the ammo makers have been paying, plus the DoD has to pay to have the brass shredded and do the accounting paperwork.

This sure helps the economy now doesn't it? Sell cheaper to China, and do not sell at all to a proven US business. Any hidden agenda working here? Obama going after the Firearms Industry and our ammunition!!

The Georgia Arms owner even related a story that one of his competitors had already purchased a load of brass last week. The DoD contacted him this week and said they were sending someone over to make sure it was destroyed. Shell cases he had already bought!  [Isn't that confiscation without due process? -rw]

The brass has no value to the ammo maker if it is destroyed/shredded/melted. The ammo manufacturer only uses the empty brass cases to reload different calibers, mainly .223 bullets.

The owner of Georgia Arms says that he will have to lay off at least half of his 60 workers, within 2-3 months if the DoD will no longer sell spent brass cases to the industry. Georgia Arms has 2-3 months of inventory to use, by summer they're out.

If the Reloading Industry has to purchase new manufacture brass cases, then the cost of ammunition will double or even triple, plus Obama want to add a 500% tax on each shell.

You can read the information and see the DoD letter to Georgia Arms here:

The Shootist Site

If you're not outraged at what this administration is doing you should be! Be Afraid! Be Very Very Afraid! Get involved! It's Your Freedom and Our Country They're Stealing! If You Fail to Act Now, there may not be a Free United States tomorrow!

I implore you to get involved and forward this to as many people you can. Contact your legislators and put them on notice, We're fed up with what's going on! This is a call to action. Act now while you still can, or stay silent, roll over, and watch our country die!

Paul Vallely
Protect our 2d Amend2

Sad. Very Sad.

An elderly man suffered a massive stroke. The family drove wildly to get him to the emergency room, but their efforts didn't matter.

After what seemed like a very long wait, the ER Doctor appeared, wearing his scrubs and a long face. Sadly, he said, "
His heart is still strong, but I'm afraid he is brain-dead."

"Oh, dear Lord," cried his wife, her hands clasped against her cheeks with shock! "
Nobody in our family has ever been a Democrat before!"

Friday, May 15, 2009

Angels and Demons

Angels and Demons within Us All

This was the most wild and crazy thing I've done in ages -- going to a midnight movie showing.  I had to be at the theater by 11:45 and I wanted to be a few minutes early for once.  Early in the evening I was lucky to get to watch The Da Vinci Code on the SciFi channel.  I almost missed the midnight movie, though, because I took a nap at 10 PM, setting my cell phone's alarm to 10:55.  Instead, I woke up startled at 11:20.  I do not know how I knew that I was late, but I jumped out of bed even before I looked at the clock.

As I approached the left turn off 9th Street to the parking garage, it looked like emergency vehicles blocked the entrance, so I kept going.  All the streets to that area were blocked, so I had to continue about four blocks before I could turn left and circle back around.  I started to panic that I wasn't going to find parking soon enough or close enough to get my ticket, but I was surprised when I found myself passing the rear entrance of the parking garage and even more surprised to find the lower level almost empty.  I even had a few minutes to spare.

Dave! Diamond met me outside the theater and told me to just go to Customer Service, but I stuck around and talked with him and Tom Killian, the
recently retired CHP Commander for our area.  The mercury should top 100 this weekend, so standing outside wearing a t-shirt was strangely comfortable, even though I've had a mild fever the last couple of days.  Dave! seems real, open, and down-to-earth.  Tom was more guarded.  Still, it was pretty cool; and in my estimation, it was also the main event.

My alarm went off on the way into the theater at 11:55.  That's when I figured out why it had not wakened me.  I had set the alarm to
11:00 and then, setting the minutes back to :55, had forgotten that this made the time 11:55, not 10:55.  Duh!

They gave out T-shirts before the movie, but I had underestimated the crowd and gone in too late, so the shirts in my size were all gone.  The seats were about two thirds full.  I found one right in the middle of the theater and did a little internal victory dance.

The movie started with great footage of what it purported to be CERN, a giant European facility for studying exotic, sub-atomic matter.  It didn't take long, however, for one glaring error to almost spoil the movie for me.  Tom Hanks' character defined anagram using the definition of palindrome, then compounded it by saying that illuminati met that definition!  I thought I was hearing things and was quite distracted from enjoying the movie until I heard it again several times, verifying that the idiocy was Ron "Pinko" Howard's and not mine.  OK, that might not bother most people, but it bugs the tar out of nerdy writers and rocket scientists.

Another clear goof happened when
a policeman's LASER sight (the red beam from a light that attaches to a gun to show the shooter where the bullet will hit) shone on the wall in front of and to his left, but his weapon pointed directly ahead.  I'm sure they did it for dramatic effect, but it distracted me.

The plot followed the traditional roller coaster of building and relaxing the level of suspense, had enough humor to add some variety, and had a great twist toward the end.  I disliked the way Hanks' character always had the right academic information to figure out every clue.  It reminded me of Adam West in the Batman TV series.  It also seemed incongruous that a prof who researched the sort of stuff that winds up in the Vatican Archives would never have learned Latin. 

Another inconsistency showed up when someone told me that in Dan Brown's book series, this plot takes place before The Da Vinci Code.  This confused me because, during the movie, Vatican officials made several references to Hanks' character's previous incident with the Church.  Maybe there's a prior book in the series, but I think the timeline would confuse thinking movie-goers.

The threat in this plot didn't go as far as the sacrilege in The Da Vinci Code.  In fact, while it drove home the point that the Roman Catholic Church commits as much error and harbors as much corruption as do the people who run it, the movie makes an appeal for cooperation between science and faith, even acknowledging that faith serves a vital role by checking runaway science.  The plot also allows that, despite the machinations of corrupt clergy, the system self-corrects.  That message might reassure Roman Catholics, but it flies in the face of centuries of history explained in the course of the movie because one not only cannot undo the evil done in God's name, but -- as any person of faith who has tried to profess their faith, for example, in a secular college dorm -- one cannot undo the damage to God's reputation.

The best music came during the credits.  Unlike most movies, Hans Zimmer stayed with the soundtrack instead of making an incongruous switch to pop or rap.  In fact, the music during the credits outshone that during the body of the movie.  Perhaps I had not noticed the music through all the action and foley, but that's how it seemed.  The producers chose well with Zimmer.

Finally... I won!  I outlasted everybody except the projectionist and the two nice guards who escorted me through the darkened theater to the exit.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Thousands Rally Against Global Warming

Thousands rallied against global warming.

Proof that the global warming crowd is a bunch of flakes.

They may be all hot and bothered, but deep inside, they're colder than Hillary's... smile.

And yet, you can see why they might be paranoid about a warming climate.

THIS JUST IN: The ACLU has filed suit against SNAG (SNowmen Against Global warming) for color-based discrimination. They cite publicity photos of rallies as evidence that SNAG failed to include snowpersons of color in their organization. The suit seeks a $2.3 billion compensatory and punitive award as well as a court order to institute affirmative action under leadership of Jesse Jackson. A representative of SNAG commented, "Black snow persons get overheated in the sun and the Health Department keeps writing us citations whenever we bring in yellow snow persons."

Hope in the Woods

The photo below captures a disturbing trend that is beginning to affect US wildlife.

Animals that were formerly self-sufficient now show signs of belonging to the Democratic Party. They have apparently learned to just sit and wait for the government to step in and provide for their care. This photo shows a Montana black bear nicknamed "Bearack Ursain Obearma."

(If you know who took this photo, please let me know so I can credit them.)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Forced Abortions in America

[Legalizing abortion opened the door to parents, boyfriends, abusive husbands, pimps, and peers, allowing them to pressure, coerce, or even force young women to abort their babies.

Many states now have laws that permit a mother to "choose" whether her baby is human. Through this twist in the law, reality is determined (for legal purposes) not by genetics or viability, but by a "choice" made a single person. Thus, a teenage girl or a woman under duress might "choose" to kill a baby, and legally, it magically ceases to be murder.

On the other hand, if a drunk driver had injured and caused that same woman to miscarry a day earlier, a few magic words spoken by that overwrought woman would turn the driver into a killer. The woman's "choice" effectively makes a law that could send a man to prison. She says "nay" and it's just an accident. She says "yea" and it's manslaughter.

Here's where the logic goes: Suppose an incestuous father coerces his daughter to abort her -- their -- baby. If the daughter doesn't want the baby, it's just a coagulated lump of protoplasm, no legal big deal. If the daughter does want the baby, however, magically, it becomes human, with human rights. And if the drunken driver's accidental taking of the babe's life constitutes manslaughter, then the forced abortion becomes murder and the doctor becomes a contract killer.

Abortion and gay marriage share the same quirk: One or two citizens' choice takes on the force of a law that can severely impact the rights of those they deal with.

I'd love to see this tested in a court of law.
-- rw]

Forced abortions - America's secret epidemic

Charlie Butts -
OneNewsNow -
1/11/2009 4:00:00 AM

The Elliot Institute <> has released a report that exposes America's forced abortion epidemic.

Elliot Institute spokesperson Amy Solby tells OneNewsNow that one study found 64 percent of women who had abortions reported they felt pressured to abort by others. "Something like 80 percent of them said that they didn't get the counseling they needed to make a good decision, that often they were not given counseling at all, or that the counseling they had was inadequate," she explains.

Solby also mentions forced abortions, which are not widely discussed in the U.S. An article released from the Institute cites two cases in 2006 in which teenage girls were violently persuaded to have abortions. In Maine, a couple abducted their 19-year-old daughter, bound and gagged her, and drove her to New York for an abortion. However, she escaped from her parents in the parking lot of a store and called police from her cell phone.

That same year, a Georgia mother forced her pregnant 16-year-old daughter to drink turpentine in hopes of aborting her baby. She was later arrested for criminal abortion after her daughter told the school counselor about the incident. The Institute has studied other cases where women are commonly threatened, pressured, or subjected to violence for refusing to abort.

"There's not any necessarily real hard numbers on violent [coercion] but, if you consider that homicide is the leading killer of pregnant women according to several studies, and then the fact that a large number of them have to do with the fact that the woman was killed or assaulted...because she refused to have an abortion or in an attempt to force her to abort," Solby concludes.

The Elliot Institute is trying to convince states to pass laws forcing abortion facilities to screen women for coercion and not to do an abortion where coercion is involved. Solby believes women then could be helped with whatever situation they are facing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pharisaical Christians vs. Anti-Pharisees

Pharisaical Christians vs. Anti-Pharisees

By Xion
01.10.09 AT 12:45 PM

The Church of You can refer to two forms of popular Christianity. One sees God as a celestial daddy whose role is to solve YOUR problems and make YOU feel better. The other sees God as a task master and holiness as something to be achieved by following a long list of dos and don'ts.

It is possible to stray to the left and do whatever you want ignoring God. But what few people understand is that it is also possible to stray to the right, as the Pharisees did, exalting their own righteousness over that of Christ. They celebrate their own works and traditions and operate on a system of merit, not knowing that their own righteousness is as filthy rags.

Pharisaical Christians ignore the grace of Jesus Christ. They don't know that we are accepted by God not because of anything we do, but by what Christ has done. God favors us because of the work of his Son. We are no better than anyone else.

And so, Pharisaical Christians thinking they are holier than everyone else look down on sinners and other Christians who don't measure up to their own standards. These hypocrites don't even meet their own standards, but point the bony finger of accusation against others.

These people also worship at the Church of You, sanctification being all about them and their own holiness, not the holiness of Christ.

My Reply

01.10.09 AT 9:12 PM

Most of the contributors to the referenced thread would do well to ask themselves, What is the opposite of the thing I criticize, and am I doing it? The opposite of Calvinism, for example, says, I decide to be saved and I keep myself saved when I avoid unpardonable sin. The opposite of intellectualism says, I obey the experts in my denomination like a good soldier, or I ignore doctrine, just gimme that emotional high.

By asking myself such a question, I learned something important from Xion. Yes, I easily slip into wrong attitudes about my long list of dos and don'ts. (Note to self: Add "Reject long lists of dos and don'ts" to my long list of dos and don'ts.)

Yet, it remains that those lists stem from what God reveals about human un-holiness. For example, if fornication destroys holiness, then doesn't public attire that provokes sexual desire also erode holiness? In place of God's Word or centuries of application of God's commandments, I arbitrate right and wrong. So, if I burn my list of such dos and don'ts, how shall I emulate my holy Father?

You say you are saved by grace; but how will you prove it to me? How will you prove it to the lost person who just waits to spring the label of hypocrite upon you? How will you reassure yourself that it was a heart decision and not just an intellectual exercise?

The opposite of Pharisaism, toward which Xion leans in his criticism, easily leads to the fall of many. Xion should make the point, then, not that lists of dos and don'ts are "wrong;" but rather that the dos and don'ts form the vocabulary of love notes to God, written not in lip service, but in deeds.

Even people in the Church of Others can unwittingly attend the Church of You when service becomes a foundation for self-righteousness. Any strength and any pet peeve can tempt us to join the Church of You.