When Disoriented Pigeons Can’t Come Home To Roost . . .

When Disoriented Pigeons Can’t Come Home To Roost . . .
Vol: 122 Issue: 30 Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Saturday, a powerful coronal mass ejection [CME] was sent hurtling from the sun straight towards the earth.  But like most of the sunspots and other solar disturbances, this one was all hat and no cattle.

The sun exploded.  The CME was ejected.  The earth was in its path.  On Monday, the earth passed through the sun’s magnetic field.

Nothing happened.  Planes were still able to navigate safely — none fell out of the sky.  The national power grid not only survived, the solar EMP didn’t even cause it to burp. 

Although the CME hit while North America was facing it, meaning we absorbed the full impact, my electronics are all still working just fine.  It didn’t even affect my cable TV picture. 

I don’t recall any warnings from the government.  Evidently, no warning was necessary, since nothing happened.

Still, here is yet another astrophysicist warning of solar storm activity peaking sometime around the middle to end of 2012 and of its possible effects on our planet.

In Tucson, associate astronomer Matt Penn says it won’t be all gloom and doom.  Indeed, some of it might be kind of fun:

“One of the fun things that a solar storm can do in terms of your recreation is that apparently a lot of people race pigeons, homing pigeon races are popular in some parts of the world and there’s apparently some betting that goes on with these races, it turns out that homing pigeons use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate, during a solar storm, the Earth’s magnetic field has changed and some of these pigeons become lost and people lost a lot of money because of this, so solar storms really do have an impact in some recreational sense with us here on the Earth.”

My, that does sound like fun, doesn’t it?  I’m going to start training my pigeons as soon as I finish this column!  Who knew you could bet on them?

But seriously, Matt.  Is this anything we really have to worry about?  Or is it just more shock science?

“The effects on Earth are really dramatic, and in particular, the more we depend on space assets, satellites for communication or navigation or even high altitude flights, the more of an impact it will have on us on the Earth. For instance, the particles from a solar flare can disrupt the electronics in a satellite and cause dropouts in communication so if you are using your GPS device and the GPS satellite goes out, then you’re lost and stuck without navigation.”

Ok, that does sound dramatic.  But since solar flares travel at about a million miles per hour and the sun is 93 million miles away, doesn’t that mean we’ll have more than three days advance notice? 

That would seem like plenty of time to make last minute phone calls and dig out a road atlas.  But that won’t be much help if none of the traffic lights work.

“As long as you have a disturbance in the Earth’s magnetic field you can induce currents, in particular if you have a long conductor like a long transmission line along the ground, you can get an overload of current through that line. . . in 1989 in Quebec, Canada, millions of people were without power in the winter because within 30 seconds the currents overloaded some of the circuitry and caused a massive power outage. During a sunspot cycle maximum those events are more likely to occur and so we may be facing more of those in the future.”

So, what is the federal government doing to “harden” the electrical grid against a possible solar storm burnout?

Apart from wringing its hands and “cautioning” satellite users, not much.   


We’ve been hearing the warnings for years.  First, there was the global warming panic.  Thanks to man-made carbon emissions, the polar ice-caps were melting and Arizona property developers were drawing up plans for beachfront condos. 

Then the sun cooled down and, not-coincidentally, so did global warming.  The more we learn about global warming, the more we learn how seriously we’ve been hoaxed.  

But the panic didn’t subside.  It just changed venues.  

The die-hard true believers are still issuing shrill warnings about carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, but some people are at last beginning to question how carbon dioxide, which is necessary for photosynthesis, and nitrogen, which is necessary for the growth of all living things, could be harmful?

Then, as the evidence began to mount that the global warming hoax was little more than an effort at massive wealth redistribution, the sun began to cool, which in turn caused the earth to start to cool, which prompted non-scientists (such as myself) to recall something about the sun being the cause of global warming.

Now the sun has begun to warm again, as it passes from its 11-year cycle of inactivity into its 11-year cycle of maximum activity and the National Academy of Sciences is warning that the danger isn’t that the sun will melt the polar icecaps so much as it will melt the US electrical grid.

“Report co-author John Kappenmann estimated that about 135 million Americans would be forced to revert to a pre-electric lifestyle or relocate. Water systems would fail. Food would spoil. Thousands could die. The financial cost: Up to $2 trillion, one-seventh the annual U.S. gross domestic product.”

According to the NAS, the earth may not actually have 90 plus hours advance warning. 

“A burst of X-rays, flares travel at the speed of light, reaching Earth in about eight minutes. While they can interfere with the electronics in satellites, they pose no direct threat to people on the ground because Earth’s magnetic field acts as a shield against this type of solar weather. This shield is weakest at the North Pole and South Pole, which is why space weather affects high latitudes the most.”

“More-precise alerts are sent to power companies just 20 to 30 minutes before a solar storm hits Earth. But if ACE fails, the space weather warning system will be crippled, said Tom Bogdan, who heads the Space Weather Prediction Center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”

There is much more in this Washington Post report about the potential damage it would do to the grid and to everybody who lives inside the affected area. 

Relocating to an unaffected area MIGHT be possible, if you can figure out how to rewire your car, find gasoline and then navigate highways clogged with stalled vehicles.

But for the most part, relocating from, say, New York to Texas after a grid failure would be about the same process as it was in 1890.  If you don’t have a horse, get a good pair of walking shoes. 

Solar storms are nothing new.  Indeed, they are part of the whole fusion process that makes the sun burn hot enough to warm our planet.  There have been solar storms for as long as there has been a sun. 

Here is the important thing to take away from today’s report.  That solar storms are NOT new. 

The worst one on record was in 1859 and is known to history as the Carrington Event.  Nobody died.  Nobody’s life was disrupted.  It sparked a few electrical fires near telegraph stations, but that was all. 

Had it happened a century earlier, it wouldn’t have even been noticed.  

Prior to the harnessing of electricity, solar flares and CME’s were noticeable only because the Northern Lights were visible further south.  It certainly wasn’t cause for serious alarm. 

From the beginning of time until only recently, solar storms, CME’s and global warming periods came and went without much comment.  Indeed, warming periods were welcomed as growing seasons were extended and winters became less deadly.

It is safe to say that throughout recorded history, nobody had much cause to fear global warming or the Northern Lights.  It is equally fair to say that since the dawn of history, global warming and the Northern Lights have come and gone without discernible consequences.

Now let’s go back halfway through recorded history, to about the midpoint between the time of Noah and the time of Al Gore.  Back then, the Northern Lights were pretty and global warming was pleasant. 

In the Middle East, an itinerant preacher named Jesus was asked about the signs of His second coming and the end of human government.  Among the signs of His soon return, He said, were ethnic unrest, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilences.

However, even as He was predicting those signs, the world as it existed then was rocked with ethnic unrest, wars, rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes and pestilences.  What would make these different, said Jesus, was that like birth pangs, they would increase in both frequency and intensity.

But that is still fairly subjective.  Indeed, the USGS claims the huge bump in earthquake since 1948 is not actually an increase in earthquake activity, but rather an improvement in earthquake detection. 

It’s silly, but for them to argue otherwise would validate Bible prophecy.  For the government, that is an unacceptable explanation.

But there is one sign that Jesus gave that IS unique to one single generation, somewhere in time, and to no other.

“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” (Luke 21:25-26)

As we’ve already noted, there is nothing new about sun spots or periods of global warming.  Not only that, but until this generation, there was nothing threatening about them, either.  Both have been around as long as there has been a sun.

But Jesus said that for one generation, to the exclusion of all others, it would cause the distress of entire nations, “with perplexity”. 

The word “distress” in English is from the Greek, sunoche which means “anguished distress” or fear.  “Perplexity” means “a state of quandry” or confusion. 

Note this well. Jesus does not actually forecast anything actually happening to the sun, moon, stars or even the earth.  The sign is not that something will happen to the electrical grid — although it might.

There WAS no electrical grid in AD 33.

The sign is the fear of what that would mean to the generation affected by it.  No other generation in history would have cause to fear the sun — or have reason to fear longer growing seasons and less deadly winters.

But for this generation, it would be the ONLY issue capable of causing the kind of universal distress that would have entire nations handing their sovereignty over to the UN via stuff like the Rio Summit and the Kyoto Treaty in an effort to protect themselves from those things coming upon the earth as the powers of heaven are seemingly shaken.

Before that, the fear was that the sun would cool and the earth was entering a period of global cooling that would lead to a new Ice Age.  Before that, well, that was before the fig tree generation was born in 1948, back when the sun was our friend and summer was our favorite season.

“And when these things BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And He spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” (Luke 21:28-32)

Sunspots might be coming.  The grid might get fried.  The polar ice caps might melt.  Arizona developers might get to sell beachfront property.  But as these things continue to come to pass, they continue to point to one absolute certainty.

Jesus WILL return. And the signs say that He will be coming soon. 

Apostasia Writ Large

Apostasia Writ Large
Vol: 122 Issue: 29 Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When the Tea Party held rallies in Richmond, Virginia last year, it did so over the objections of the city’s mayor, Dwight Jones.  Mayor Jones is a long-time Democrat who, before being elected mayor of Richmond, was a Democrat member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1994-2008.

Mayor Jones is also the Reverend Doctor Jones, senior pastor at the First Baptist Church of South Richmond.  The First Baptist Church of South Richmond, according to its website, is 183 years old and boasts 2200 members.

OWS protestors

A note from Pastor Jones at the FBCSR website declares the church a “purpose-driven” church, “meaning we are intentional about pursuing our goals.”  

Evidently, that purpose includes pursuing the same agenda espoused by the Occupiers. 

I went to the website’s statement of faith to see what they were all about and it all sounds very Baptist, with a hint of black liberation theology — reminiscent of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  Article VII of their statement of faith;

 “The Bible tells the story which began in the garden of Eden which is in Africa and reflects, among others a history of the generations of the Cushite people.”

I’m not looking to beat up on the First Baptist Church of Richmond — I’m trying to understand them so that maybe I can get a handle on Mayor Jones’ shameful abuse of power and how he justifies it to his church, not to mention his political constituency.

When the Tea Party held its rallies in Richmond, they paid a rental fee to the city for the use of the park.  They paid for and received all the necessary permits and underwrote the expenses to pay for city services.

The rally organizers scheduled with the city months in advance and held fundraisers to cover their costs, including paying for portable toilets and police presence.  In all, the Richmond Tea Party held three rallies.  There were no arrests, no incidents, no police reports and no criminal activity. 

They left the park area cleaner than they found it and the city collected a bit over $10,000 for hosting the rallies at Kanawha Plaza, a city-owned public park.  The Tea Party organizers were also required by the city to pay for a $1 million insurance policy before the city would issue them permits.

When the Occupiers moved into Kanawha Plaza, they stayed for two weeks. They did not apply for permits.  They did not make prior arrangements with the city.  They did not pay for portable toilets or for security.  At least eleven occupiers were arrested.  

Typical OWS demand

“The occupation, inspired by the anti-Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan, had blossomed into a tent city, with dozens scattered around Kanawha Plaza in the city’s financial district. The site also included a library, a volleyball net and a large blue tarp strung up on three magnolia trees.”

As of October 26, a comparison chart between the two groups broke it down by the numbers:

Tea Party: Days of Protest 989 — Arrests 0 — Rapes 0 — Cost to Taxpayers 0
OWS: Days of Protest 40 — Arrests — 2,511 — Rapes — 4  Cost to Taxpayers — $2,400,000

President Obama has repeatedly condemned the Tea Party rallies while claiming a kindred spirit with the Occupiers, of whom he said, “we are with you.”

According to another website keeping track of the Occupy Wall Street movement, there have been at least 4,268 documented arrests of occupiers in at least sixty-five different cities as of yesterday.  Charges range from assault and rape to drug possession and beyond.

At least four deaths have been reported.


The Reverend Dr. Mayor Dwight Jones paid multiple visits to the Occupy Richmond protesters at Kanawha Plaza during their two-week occupation of the public park.  The city of Richmond provided services like toilets and trash pickup — at taxpayer expense.

The incomplete invoices obtained from the city totaled $7,000.  This was only a portion of the actual costs to taxpayers because the costs of police, helicopter and incarcerations were not included.

Also not accounted for was the 24-hour police protection of the Mayor’s home after the Occupiers moved their camp next door to the Mayor’s house.

The Richmond Tea Party, which only used the park during the day on three separate occasions for which it paid its own bills, was understandably miffed at the preferential treatment afforded the Occupiers by the city, attended a city council meeting to demand an explanation.

Special People Deserve Special TreatmentThe Mayor refused to hear them, getting up and walking out as the Tea Party representative began to speak. 

Days later, however, Mayor Jones invited members of the Occupy movement for a private, closed-door meeting with him in his mayoral office.

Since the Mayor refused to hear their grievance, the Tea Party decided to invoice the city for the fees and expenses it paid on the grounds that the Mayor allowed the Occupiers to use the park illegally and free of charge for more than two weeks, despite the section of the city code which says;

“It is unlawful for any person to camp, tent, encamp or quarter upon any public grounds, parks, playfields, playgrounds or any public property owned or maintained by the city.”

It all seems pretty cut-and-dried, doesn’t it?  Since the park belongs to the city then Mayor Jones effectively subsidized the OWS with taxpayer funds and joined the OWS in breaking the law.  

When the Tea Party complained, the City of Richmond ordered the Richmond Tea Party to submit to a tax audit!  Don’t take my word for it, read the letter for yourself — I’ll wait.  

It gets better.  If the Tea Party doesn’t submit all the records demanded by the City, then the City reserved the right to simply issue its own assessment of what the Tea Party owes them.  

And the only reason the city can charge them is because they obeyed the law in the first place.

Because the City of Richmond did not ask, and the Occupiers did not offer to pay any of its own expenses, they need not worry about being similarly audited.  The Occupiers didn’t have to pay, didn’t have to provide insurance coverage, and don’t have to worry about an audit because everything they did was illegal to begin with!

THAT is why I began with the Reverend Dr. Mayor Dwight Jones’ affiliation with the First Baptist Church of South Richmond.  I was attempting to find some clues that would explain Mayor Jones’ naked abuse of power in support of lawbreaking by the OWS. 

Since Reverend Dr. Mayor Jones is also the senior Pastor of a Baptist Church, I was curious as to how he could justify supporting lawlessness and mayhem by the OWS while using his position as mayor to issue such a transparently vindictive tax audit against the Tea Party after they sought equal treatment.

Apparently, lawlessness is acceptable in pursuit of the Rev. Mayor’s social gospel, which would also explain the vindictiveness of one of its pastors and the silence of his congregation.   

This is a prime example of what the Lord was referring to when answering the question, “What will be the sign of Thy coming?” in Matthew 24:3.

“And because iniquity [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

Truth is no longer a virtue in America.  Not even to a Baptist minister.  If truth has any standing whatever, it appears that it is as an inconvenience to an agenda.  Which is precisely the conditions predicted by the Apostle Paul at the time the antichrist comes to power.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasia] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. . .” (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The Reverend Dr. Mayor Dwight Jones’ abuse of power and vindictive assault on the Tea Party wouldn’t be all that big a deal, if it didn’t exemplify the apostasia that the Bible said would be the standard for the visible church of the last days.

“And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for THIS cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)

Classical, But Wrong

Classical, But Wrong
Vol: 122 Issue: 28 Monday, November 28, 2011

For most of the history of the Church, the classic interpretation of Bible prophecy was the historicist, or preterist view that virtually all Bible prophecy was fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Historicism is the view of Bible prophecy espoused by Roman Catholicism since its foundation in 323 AD by Constantine of Rome. It was the view of virtually all of the Reformers and the Reformed Confessions.

It has survived as the classical, Protestant interpretation of prophecy for nearly 500 years.

Most historicists take a preterist view of the Olivet Discourse, but disassociate it from the tribulation as found in Revelation and some New Testament Epistles.

During the last 150 years, within evangelicalism, futurism has grown to dominate and overcome historicism.

In a nutshell, the preterist/historicist view of Bible prophecy is that everything Dispensationalists expect to happen during the Tribulation has already occurred.

Preterists/historicists believe that the Great Tribulation already occurred, culminating with the Destruction of the Temple in AD 70, and thus is not a future event.

The Great Apostasy spoken of by Paul, they believe,  happened in the first century. In this view, instead of expecting increasing apostasy as history progresses, preterists expect the increasing Christianization of the world.”

Most historicists would argue that the phrase, “the last days” is really just a Biblical expression for the period between Christ’s Advent and the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 — the “last days” of Israel.”

There is also no room in the historicist/preterist understanding of Scripture for a last days’ Antichrist. They conclude that John was symbolically referencing widespread apostasy of the Christian Church prior to the Fall of Jerusalem.

From this perspective, any apostate teacher or system can be called ‘antichrist’; but the word does not refer to some future Fuhrer.  As to the Rapture, the historicist view is either that the Rapture is an invented doctrine, or it is part of the Second Coming of Christ.

It takes a lot of Scriptural gymnastics to make it all work.

For example, The Thousand Years of Revelation 20:2-7:

“is a large, rounded-off number. . . . the number ten contains the idea of a fullness of quantity; in other words, it stands for “many-ness”. A thousand multiplies and intensifies this (10 X 10 X 10), in order to express great vastness. . . . represent a vast, undefined period of time . . . It may require a million years.”

(Or maybe it means a thousand years?)

To many Jews, the symbol of the Cross is the symbol of ultimate anti-Semitism. To them, all Christians are secret anti-Semites and (accurately) argue that Christianity is the well-spring from which sprang two thousand years of pogroms and persecution, up to and including the Holocaust.

The preterist/historicist view of Bible prophecy, held by both Catholicism and mainstream Protestantism, teaches the following about Israel and the Jews.

“Ethnic Israel was excommunicated for its apostasy and will never again be God’s Kingdom.” Thus, “the Bible does not tell of any future plan for Israel as a special nation.”

The Church is now that new nation (Matt. 21:43) which is why Christ destroyed the Jewish state. “In destroying Israel, Christ transferred the blessings of the kingdom from Israel to a new people, the church.”

One of the basic tenets of preterism is that the Great Harlot of Revelation was

“Jerusalem which had always been . . . falling into apostasy and persecuting the prophets . . . which had ceased to be the City of God.”

The Beast “of Revelation was a symbol of both Nero in particular and the Roman Empire in general.”

Finally — and allow the implications of this one to fully sink in . . .

“The False Prophet “of Revelation was the leadership of apostate Israel, who rejected Christ and worshipped the Beast.”

Think about this. If the preterist/historicist view is correct [it is not] then the false prophet of Revelation are the Jews and their descendants.

Warring against the Jews could easily be seen as working against the antichrist and false prophet. In that view, killing them off would be doing God a favor! 

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

If the Lord can break His covenant with the Jews, then we are no more secure than they.

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Romans 11:29)

And so, among historicism’s chief difficulties is the fact that if the preterist view is true, then the Bible cannot be.   


It is a fact of history that the ‘Dark Ages’  (the fifth to sixteeen centuries) were so-called because, during that time, Bibles were denied to the common man by papal decree.

The Vatican had developed the preterist/historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy — and offering any other interpretation would get you burned at the stake. (So would possessing a Bible)

THAT is why historicism is often called the ‘classical’ interpretation. Because it dates back to the 5th century.  The Dark Ages lasted until the Protestant Reformation. But Protestantism sprang OUT of Catholicism, bringing many of the Vatican’s doctrines along when it did. 

The split was over salvation by grace [Protestant] vs. salvation by works [Catholic] but, other than that, Protestantism embraced and continued to accept much Catholic doctrine and dogma.

Wrongly dividing the Word of God has resulted in the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy to the Jews (John 16:2) being the standard operating practice of mainstream Christianity until the middle of the 20th century.

Preterists generally see Israel as the modern-day antichrist, believing that embracing Israel as God’s Chosen People is spiritual adultery. That is why debates between preterists and pretribulationalists get so nasty.

Type ‘Hal Lindsey’ into Google and look around. You’ll find his critics don’t just disagree with him, they HATE him with a passion. He’s been accused of every known heresy and then some.

Hal wrote a book entitled “The Road to Holocaust” in 1989 that directly challenged the preterist worldview as espoused by Dominionism and its champions. He’s been the target of every slander imaginable since.

The reason is because Hal demonstrated preterism was the root and branch of Christian anti-Semitism — and his critics despise him for exposing them.

The Omega Letter’s mission is to provide you with the evidences you need to answer challenges from skeptics and to provide you with the evidence you need to prove that these are the last days, that Bible prophecy is unfolding in this generation, and that the time is short.

The Scriptures admonish us to,

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. . . Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.” (2nd Timothy 2:15-16,18)

You can be confident that we are NOT following some newly invented doctrine, despite the charges of historicist/preterism.

“We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2nd Peter 1:19)

Don’t allow yourself to be bamboozled into buying into what I believe Paul was referring to when he wrote:

 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils . . .” (1st Timothy 4:1)

God’s Word, rightly divided, says:

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” (Romans 13:11)

Don’t let your faith be shaken by cleverly-wording arguments that almost seem to make sense. Remember Jesus’ warning to Israel.

“They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2)

The gaping holes in the preterist/historicist interpretation of Bible prophecy confirms the truth of Dispensationalism. The Lord IS coming back. And He is coming back soon.  


Special Report: Saved?

Special Report: Saved?
Vol: 122 Issue: 26 Saturday, November 26, 2011

Being ‘saved’ — by definition — means that until the moment of salvation a person is ‘lost’.  To someone that IS lost, this is a very difficult concept to communicate.

Generally speaking, the Omega Letter is primarily aimed at those who are already saved, and today’s is no exception, so don’t write this one off as a refresher that you don’t need. 

If salvation means to be ‘preserved or delivered from destruction, danger or great calamity’ the skeptic cannot even consider his need to be saved unless he first recognizes such destruction, danger or great calamity exists.

There is something to be learned from the atheist that denies the existence of heaven and hell, but admits to fearing death.  If there is no certain judgment beyond the grave, what is there to fear?

To the atheist or “free thinker”, death is merely a cessation of consciousness, an end to existence.

But absent the fear of judgment, what is so terrifying about death?  We aren’t terrified to go to sleep.  We aren’t terrified of general anaesthesia, in and of itself, before an operation.

Humanity fears death because of the existence of God, whether the atheist wants to admit it or not.  This instinctive knowledge of God colors our every action, whether one is a believer or not.

We are all built with a God-shaped vacuum in our being.  Humans try and fill that void with all kinds of things; money, drugs, sex, pagan religions, personal relationships, and on and on, but nothing ever quite fits except God.

The problems arise when one attempts to communicate the need for salvation without first communicating what one is being saved from.  The atheist demands to know, “how can a loving God condemn people to hell?”

That seems a fair question, but it isn’t.  It`s as loaded as a set of crooked dice.

It is the nature of all human beings to sin, which further separates them from God, which turns that aching void into an insurmountable chasm.  It seems too wide to cross.

All human beings are sinners, by nature and by personal action, and none are righteous.  Some may sin to a greater or lesser degree, but all have failed to attain to the standard of God, which is perfection of character, spiritual righteousness and performance (Romans 3:9-10)

Since God created man in His eternal image, all human beings have an eternal destiny.  We were created to spend eternity in God’s presence, but the fall of man and our inherited sin nature render us ineligible for heaven.

But being created in God’s image, that is to say, with an eternal spiritual component, we have to go somewhere.

The Lord created the Lake of Fire for the devil and his rebellious angels, and not for mankind.  But sin bars us from heaven.  And since we are eternal, when we shuffle off this mortal coil, we cannot simply cease to exist, can we?

So if not to heaven, well, then, there is only one other place left.  God doesn’t condemn us to hell, we condemn ourselves by choosing to go there.

It IS a choice, but it is NOT God’s choice.  If it were God’s choice, He would not have provided the way of salvation.

Confronted with the choice of condemning the human race, God’s choice was to bear the condemnation in His Own Body at the Cross, so that the human race might be saved through faith in His accomplished work.

Through Jesus Christ, God paid our ransom to deliver us from the bondage (and the consequences) of sin.

Sin places humanity into a state of captivity from which a price must be paid in order that a person might be redeemed or purchased out of that state.

The state of captivity, brought about by the sinful condition of humanity, is like a slave market where people are sold as the possession of the purchaser, and in order to be free, the slave must pay for a release or deliverance; this is a ransom.

Humanity is “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14) and therefore falls under the judgment of God.

The judgment has already been pronounced by God and the penalty is eternal death.

The death of Jesus Christ is the ransom paid in order to redeem the human race from the penalty of sin.  The ransom is paid to God, as a payment for the release of humanity from the penalty of their sinful state. (cf. Matthew 20:28, 1 Peter 1:17-19, 1 Timothy 2:5-6, Galatians 3:13)

God’s perfect justice demands that a penalty for sin be paid.  Jesus Christ is a propitiation that satisfies the justice of God and allows Him to forgive sinful human beings through His mercy and grace.

By committing sins, which all have their direction toward God, humanity has become separated and alienated from God.  A reconciliation cannot be effected because humanity cannot meet the requirements of God in a sinful state and cannot be removed from the authority of judgment by God.

It is Jesus Christ who is the Mediator of the reconciliation between man and God.

Finally, God Himself provided a Substitute to pay that penalty for us.  The perfect and sinless life of Jesus Christ is the substitute for that of sinful human beings, and His death is also a substitute for the eternal spiritual death that has been pronounced as the judgment against all sinful human beings.

The problem with salvation, from the perspective of the lost, is admitting that they have sinned and come short of the glory of God.  Pride will not let them depend entirely on the substitutionary payment made on their behalf — pride demands that they participate in some way in the process.

But to the lost, participation in the process means giving up all the stuff they like, living like a monk, wearing a hair shirt and walking around praying all the time.  It is too much to contemplate, so they prefer not to contemplate it at all.

Being saved means BEING saved.  One doesn’t save oneself from drowning — in fact, a drowning person’s panicky flailing about can pull down both parties.  Being saved means relaxing and allowing Jesus to save you.

Your participation is limited to accepting the fact you cannot save yourself.  The world would have you to believe that it is up to you.   It seems to make sense, at least on the surface.  I’ve used the following analogy before, but it bears repeating here.

Imagine you have a child that gets lost in the woods for days. You are out there, searching under every bush for your lost child, when suddenly, you see him afar off.  You run to the child, calling his name, as he runs to you, in slow motion, like in the movies.

Both of you have your arms outstretched, but, just as you are about to embrace your lost child, you notice that he is all dirty and smelly and matted from his time in the wilderness.

So, instead of embracing your lost child, you hold him at arm’s length, scold him for being dirty, and tell him you will embrace him after he’s had a bath.

That is the way the lost generally understand salvation.  That before they can embrace Jesus, and He them, they must first clean themselves up.

That is too big a job to contemplate, and so when they hear Him calling, they hide under a bush.

The lost fail to grasp the simplicity of salvation. Ephesians 2:8 explains,

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: “

Look at the elements: For BY GRACE are ye saved — through FAITH — and THAT not of yourselves — it is a GIFT of God.

It is so simple that most people can’t explain it, and even if they can, even more can’t accept it without further complicating it.

God grants the ‘grace’ (an unmerited, undeserved gift) which you received through faith — a faith that is ‘not of yourselves’ but is rather a gift from God.

There is no room in that equation for us to play any greater role than to accept that gift with humble gratitude.

Thank you, Jesus, for the Gift of eternal life.  I pray right now that You will burn its truth into my soul, and help me to communicate to others their need for salvation.

“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude:24-25)

Because He IS able.  Trust Him.

Special Report: Thanking Nobody

Special Report: Thanking Nobody
Vol: 122 Issue: 25 Friday, November 25, 2011

This morning, let’s begin with a little game of role-playing.  You’re the President of the United States. About half the country disbelieves your claim to be a devout Christian. You’re about to address your nation on the day set aside to thank God as a nation for His blessings.

You know that whatever you say is going to be parsed, examined, picked apart and used by your enemies to prove you’re a religious fraud.  So do your speechwriters and your advisors. 

So you give your Thanksgiving speech — but say NOTHING about God. 

Can this possibly be an oversight? Since the speech was about giving thanks, is it reasonable to believe that he simply forgot?   

Why is it that you think Obama was unable to bring himself to thank God directly for America’s blessings? You know it had to be a conscious decision to leave God out of the speech — indeed, it took real effort to craft such a speech without mentioning God.

Obama cannot divorce himself from his roots. His mother was an atheist, his father and stepfather both, by Obama’s own account, were “lapsed Muslims.” 

He attended both Muslim and Catholic schools, but he didn’t find religion for himself until he discovered Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s brand of rabidly antisemitic, anti-American, anti-white, anti-capitalist, pro-Marxist Black Liberation Theology.

And so, instead of thanking God for blessing America, Barack Hussein Obama, the man who sat under Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s teaching for 20 years, chalked it up to dumb luck.

The closest the President came to mentioning God or prayer or any form of supernatural blessing, was when he said he and his family were “reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.” Truly.

Then he invoked his own god’s blessing on America, saying the “most American of blessings” is the “chance to determine our own destiny.” 

What the heck does that mean?  Does he mean that America blesses its citizens with freedom?   

Obama does pay homage to his god, calling the very first Thanksgiving a “celebration of community.” 

“Community” is very important to Obama’s collective salvation theology.  

“We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay,” he said. “This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special.”

The president went on to say that belief is “one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.” He mentioned the Civil War, two world wars and the Great Depression.

But not once did he credit God for America’s blessings, although he did manage to find a way to credit George W. Bush and the Republicans for America’s economic crisis.

“The problems we face didn’t develop overnight, and we won’t solve them overnight. But we will solve them. All it takes is for each of us to do our part.”

“With all the partisanship and gridlock here in Washington, it’s easy to wonder if such unity is really possible. But think about what’s happening at this very moment: Americans from all walks of life are coming together as one people, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country.”

Following his Thanksgiving speech, I’ve little doubt that Karl Marx would have been proud to claim Obama as his greatest student.

 “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. . .  (Romans 1:28)

 Obama doesn’t have to pretend anymore.  So he doesn’t.

Thank You, God, For Every Thing. . .

Thank You, God, For Every Thing. . .
Vol: 122 Issue: 24 Thursday, November 24, 2011

In 1863, President Lincoln formally and officially established the last Thursday in November as the day set aside for Americans to tally their blessings and give thanks to God.

Prior to the Lincoln proclamation, days of thanksgiving were proclaimed to give thanks only sporadically, and often for specific reasons.

In October of 1777 a Day of Thanksgiving was proclaimed to enable the entire nation to give thanks to God for the victory over the British at Saratoga.

The first observance of Thanksgiving in America was entirely religious in nature and involved no form of feasting.

On December 4, 1619, a group of 38 English settlers arrived at Berkeley Plantation on the James River…a location now known as Charles City, Virginia.  The charter of the group required that the day of arrival be observed as a Day of Thanksgiving to God.

The Thanksgiving feast day was first celebrated in the fall of 1621 to celebrate a bountiful harvest.  It was a three day festival patterned after the traditional English Harvest Festival.  It is from this tradition that our modern Thanksgiving Day celebration emerged.

It is this tradition of recognizing God as the Author of national blessing that is uniquely American and undoubtedly the principle reason for America’s greatness.

Tracing the history of the tradition of Thanksgiving Day utterly destroys the mythical ‘wall of separation’ between Church and State.

I’m indebted to John Whitehead for researching this quote from Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas from a case entitled Zorach v. Clauson.

Douglas wrote his decision the year I was born. In his decision, he ruled,

“We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being. We guarantee the freedom of worship as one chooses.”

President Washington’s proclamation of Thanksgiving begins;

“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor, and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to “recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many single favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

President Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation begins;

“The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever-watchful providence of Almighty God.”

During the 20th century, Thanksgiving Day has been dumbed-down considerably from its original intent and purpose. In the 1930’s President Roosevelt moved it back a week to add an extra week to the Christmas shopping season.

(It took an Act of Congress to restore it to its original date).

As the century progressed, God has been systematically removed from almost all American holidays, but so far, nobody has figured a way to effectively remove Him as the Reason for the season.

There hasn’t even been that much success at commercializing it.  Commercially, Thanksgiving Day is the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season, but the day itself is still set aside to share our blessings with our families and thank God for them.

And, praise the Lord, it is still an American tradition for American families to gather around the Thanksgiving feast.

Despite the constant rulings from the courts removing God from public discourse, every presidential Thanksgiving proclamation from Roosevelt in 1936 to this present year, all acknowledged God as the Author of American prosperity, (including, although obliquely, the Oval Office`s current occupant.) 

Reagan quoted Scripture. Even Bill Clinton acknowledged God, saying,

“Out of our right and proper rejoicing on Thanksgiving Day, let us give our own thanks to God and reaffirm our love of family, neighbor, and community.”

President Bush proclaimed,

“As the Pilgrims did almost four centuries ago, we gratefully give thanks this year for the beauty, abundance, and opportunity this great land offers. We also thank God for the blessings of freedom and prosperity; and, with gratitude and humility, we acknowledge the importance of faith in our lives.”

And as promised, there is the Barack Hussein Obama humanist edition, circa 2011:

“As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives.  Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.”

Note the order — to each other first, and then to God, and only according to the secular doctrine of “collective salvation.” 

(That could help to explain the mess America finds itself in today. How is trusting in each other instead of God working out in your slice of America?)

The American tradition of Thanksgiving Day is more important to our national security than we realize.

Thanksgiving Day is uniquely the source and reason for our strength.It is the one day that the proud American nation humbles itself before God, from the most liberal Supreme Court justice to the President of the United States, by official proclamation.

It is the one day that America confirms Justice Douglas’ 1952 ruling that America’s system PRESUPPOSES a Supreme Being.

That is to say, America, despite the best efforts of the ignorant among us, could not function without the explicit recognition of God. Every elected official still takes his oath of office with his hand on the Bible.

I am thankful I was born at the time and place that I was, and was able to experience a brief period when it wasn’t unfashionable to recognize God. I am thankful I am saved.

I am exceedingly thankful for you, my Omega Letter family.  I am thankful for my health, my children, and for blessings to numerous to count.

But this Thanksgiving Day, it is for the day itself that I am the most thankful.

May God extend His richest blessings to each of you and to your families on this national day of Thanksgiving.

“Unto Thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto Thee do we give thanks: for that Thy name is near Thy wondrous works declare.” (Psalms 75:1)

Note: Today`s OL was stitched together from previous Thanksgiving OL messages so we can also take the day off to enjoy with our families.  It is our prayer that you and your family have much to be thankful for and that you have a wonderful and restorative Thanksgiving Day.  

Happy Thanksgiving from Jack, Gayle, Mike, Kari, Char and the rest of the OL family! 

Lawful, But Not Expedient

Lawful, But Not Expedient
Vol: 122 Issue: 23 Wednesday, November 23, 2011

If a Christian knows that his Butterball turkey has been slaughtered in such a way as to qualify as having been “sacrificed unto idols” should he eat it?

Yesterday’s OL set off an unintended firestorm of controversy and I want to make sure to set the record straight.

I chose Acts 10:14-15 to explain why Christians are not subject to the Old Testament dietary laws because it is such a simple and direct statement.  I didn’t expect it to be such a controversial choice.  

Peter sees something like a tablecloth filled with all manner of unclean beasts.  Peter hears a voice, saying, “Rise, Peter. Kill and eat.”

“But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:14-15)

More than a few of you emailed me to explain that I had misinterpreted that verse and that it really referred to whether or not Peter, a Jew, could enter the home of a Gentile, specifically, Cornelius.

That is an interesting observation, although in terms of Christian doctrine, a bit confusing. 

It’s a bit like the interpretation of the Second Amendment that says the right to bear arms is granted to the militia and by extension, reserved for the government.  Nobody ever discusses why a government created by armed revolution would feel the need to retroactively grant ITSELF the right to bear arms.

Why would the (primarily) Gentile Church need a lesson in Judaism?  It is hard to see the lasting doctrinal value to the Church exemplified by a Jew entering the home of a believing Gentile such as Cornelius.

Especially at the expense of ignoring what actually WAS a doctrinal controversy, to wit; whether or not the Church is subject to Mosaic Law.

The passage DIRECTLY references unclean foods and only obliquely links to Peter’s meeting with Cornelius;

“And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.”

This is a lesson applicable to devout Jews that come to Christ. But I was born a Gentile. An entire chapter of Scripture devoted to the lesson that Jews won’t be defiled by coming to my house seems a bit, ummm, unnecessary?

Even before Peter had this vision, Peter said he had been chosen specifically to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. 

“And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe.” (Acts 15:7)

It therefore seems probable that Peter expected to encounter some.


We need to address the question of the halal Butterballs first.  I think the question was articulated best in a post in our members-only forum;

“If I’m served a butterball turkey on Thanksgiving day will a prayer breaking the curse placed on this food and then giving thanks to God for his provision be acceptable to my Lord?  Or must I refrain from eating food sacrificed to this false god? In other words will the power of the spoken word by a child of the King remove the curse and cleanse the food?”

Absolutely. The point is not that Butterball turkeys have some spiritual power because they were butchered as an offering to Allah — unless one sees Allah as something more than a false god. 

“As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” (1 Corinthians 8:4)

So for a blood-bought, born-again Christian, eating a Butterball is not a sin.  No faux blessing by a false god can have any significance to food blessed by the God of Heaven. “What God hath cleansed, call thou not common.”

“Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.” (1 Corinthians 8:7-8)

Whether or not we eat a Butterball turkey makes no difference to God, either for the better or for the worse, Scripture says.  So what’s the big deal?

“But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your’s become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?” (1 Corinthians 8:9-11)

What it means is that there is no sin in your eating a Butterball turkey, or any other halal-certified food, UNLESS doing so might be seen as endorsing halal as having spiritual significance by someone who is weak in the faith. 

The point is not that Christians cannot or should not eat a Butterball turkey.  We have the liberty in Christ to eat whatever we choose.  But if eating a Butterball turkey validates halal as spiritually significant in the eyes of someone else, THEN it is sin.

“But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1 Corinthians 8:12-13)

And THAT is the beef with Butterball (pun intended.)  When it was just a turkey, it didn’t matter to me who blessed it before it got to my table.  I blessed it in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Name above every Name. 

But now that I know that it was first sacrificed to idols, I won’t ever eat one again because everybody else knows that I know that it was first sacrificed to idols.  It doesn’t mean anything to ME — but it might mean something to them.

“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

“Lawful” means “unrestricted by law.” “Expedient” means, “advantageous for practical rather than moral reasons“. 

For example, it is “lawful” for a Christian to smoke — there is no law forbidding it.

But if you are preaching the power of Christ to change lives while still chained to a tobacco addiction yourself, well, I think you can see where that would not be advantageous to your effort.

It is lawful for a Christian to eat anything, but if you are preaching the power of Christ to change lives while unable to bring your own weight under control, then it would not be expedient to make your case while downing your third ice-cream sundae.

So, it is lawful to eat foods that have been sacrificed to idols, but it may not always be expedient.  Because you know that idols have no spiritual power and so their blessing is equally powerless, however, doesn’t mean that others understand your liberty in Christ.

In this particular instance, appearances are important.  The question isn’t what it looks like to God — God knows the heart.  But let’s look at it from the human perspective.

Here you are, Joe Christian, sitting down to your Butterball turkey which you bought to symbolize the generosity of God and also as a symbol of your dependence upon His provision and gratitude for His bounty.  

But you choose as your symbol, a turkey butchered in the name of a different ‘god’ because you like that brand better.  

What does that say to a new Christian, or someone contemplating that first step of faith, about how seriously you take your faith? 

So this year, we’re still having roast turkey with all the trimmings.  But it won’t be a Butterball.  Eating a turkey sacrificed to Allah is certainly lawful.

But under the circumstances, it wouldn’t be expedient.   

When Meats Are Offered to Idols. . .

When Meats Are Offered to Idols. . .
Vol: 122 Issue: 22 Tuesday, November 22, 2011

There was a story in today’s Worldnetdaily that caught my eye this morning, mainly, I suppose, because it is about turkey and Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow.

It deals with the fact that Butterball turkeys are all slaughtered according to the Islamic halal code.

I confess I hadn’t really given it much thought — I always assumed that “halal” is to Islam what kosher is to Judaism.

In both cases, I knew the animal to be slaughtered is slaughtered according to religious rules, but that’s as far as I carried any investigation.

For example, I prefer kosher hot dogs because I know they are made out of pure beef, no organ meat and no pork.  However, I never gave any thought to the rituals involved. 

Whenever it came up, I simply cited Acts 10:14-15 in my mind and let it go at that.

“But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean. And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”

I have always taken that passage at face value; I confess I had never done a study on it.  I believe that I may be guilty of a sin of omission, for I certainly should have. Let’s examine the passage again.

Peter says he’s never eaten anything “common or unclean”, which I assumed to mean, not kosher.  The Voice told Peter, what God hath cleansed is kosher.

What I missed here is the part, “what God hath cleansed.”

Indeed, the Bible says that even Peter had some trouble understanding what the vision meant.

“Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.”  (Acts 10:17)

The Bible does NOT say that there are no dietary restrictions imposed on Christians.  According to Acts 15, Christians do not have to keep kosher, or to be circumcised, or to keep the Law of Moses.  Peter, James and Paul each had their say.

The Apostle Peter argued that Gentiles did not have to embrace the law in order to be Christians, arguing that the Holy Ghost indwells Gentile Christians the same as He does Messianic Jews.

“And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.”

“Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? But we believe that through the grace of the LORD Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.” (Acts 15:8-11)

The Apostle James, (the Lord’s half-brother) also weighed in with his opinion:

“Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God: But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.” (Acts 15:18-20)

The meeting ended with a decision by the Apostles to send letters to the Gentile Churches in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia clarifying the responsibilities imposed by God upon the Gentile Churches:

“Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul. . .” (Acts 15:24-25)

Keep in mind the topic at hand.  Should the Blood-bought, born again followers of Christ be subject to the Law of Moses, which includes the obligation to keep kosher.

“For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.” (Acts 15:28-29)

“As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” (Acts 21:25)

So I never gave much thought to whether or not I should keep kosher.  As Peter asked the group, “Why yoke the Gentiles to the Law of Moses that we can’t keep, either?”


It is abundantly clear to me from Scripture that Christians are not obligated to keep kosher.  The Lord Himself explained the principle when queried by the Apostle Peter, (whom Scriptures portray as a real stickler for ritual):

“And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. (Mark 7:18-20)

So why would any Christian find it disturbing to discover that Butterball turkeys are certified as Halal?  After all, the Lord says that what goes in the belly cannot defile a man’s heart.  So what’s the deal?

There is almost no difference between halla meats slaughtered according to Sharia law and kosher meats slaughtered according to the Mosaic law.  The two are so similar that in some cases, Muslims can substitute kosher foods for halal, if necessary.

There is one main difference between halal foods and kosher of which I was not aware until I read the WND piece.  Kosher meats can never be considered Dhabiha by Muslims.

In order to be considered Dhabiha, the animal must be sacrificed to Allah.  During the slaughter ritual, the following words are said over the animal. Bismillah allahu akbar which means; “in the name of Allah the greatest.”

Now, let’s revisit the Jerusalem Doctrine regarding Gentiles and the law of Moses, as it was agreed upon by the Twelve and then sent out in letters (epistles) to the Gentile Churches.

“That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled.”

According to the WND piece, Butterball officials confirmed three things. 

  1. Butterball turkeys are slaughtered according to halal ritual. 
  2. The words bismilla allahu akbar are said over each Butterball turkey as it is being slaughtered, and;
  3. The company does not put this information on the label

I did a little digging to see what other food products are sold in the United States but are prepared according to Islamic ritual and certified as halal.  Here is one list of American foods prepared as halal — it is nine-pages long!

A few highlights from this document — let’s start at the beginning with babies.  Nestle baby formula, Similac, Enfamil, Gerber and Carnation baby foods are all halal.  So your baby has probably already eaten food sacrificed to idols.

If your kids grow “strong bodies twelve ways” by eating Wonder bread, they are eating halal.  Or HomePride, or Orowheat or Butternut or Nature’s Own or Stroehmann or  . . . well, if you eat bread, you are eating halal.

If you like Burger King french fries, you will be happy to know that you are keeping halal.  Or if you like Thomas’s English Muffins.  Land O Lakes butter is halal.  Taco Bell is halal.  So is McDonalds.  Ditto for Subway’s.

So, what’s the takeaway, here?  It is plain from the Scriptures that Christians are enjoined from eating food sacrificed to idols.  It is equally plain from the news that companies like Butterball don’t care. 

They care if it offends Muslims, otherwise they wouldn’t go to the extra trouble to prepare Butterball turkeys according to Islamic ritual.  They clearly don’t care if that offends Christians.  Let’s just stick to the American market for a minute.

The American Muslim population according to the US federal government’s own statistics amounts to about 0.7% of the US population.  Less than one percent. 

The American Christian population amounts to about 80% of the US population, give or take a percentage point (which would exceed the ENTIRE Muslim population).

It isn’t that Butterball is unaware of the fact some Christians wouldn’t eat a Butterball turkey if they knew it had been sacrificed to Allah, and because even 1% of Christians would exceed the entire US Muslim market, Butterball does not label its birds as ‘halal.’

It isn’t a marketing decision.  It is an ideological decision.  If it was a marketing decision, they would not risk offending its majority Christian market by defiling the turkey we’ll all be giving thanks to God for on Thursday.

“What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15)

That is how God cleanses our food.  We say grace and ask His blessing over it.  If you didn’t know, then it wouldn’t matter.

But now, you know that before you offer your Thanksgiving dinner blessing by God, your dinner has already been submitted for blessing by Allah. 

It isn’t Islamophobic for a Christian to object to allowing Islam to define Who the Christian God is, which is what Islam attempts to do when it insists that Christians and Muslims worship the same God.   

It is simple logic.  The Christian God sent His only begotten Son, whereas the god of Islam denies that he has a son.  So right off the bat, they are different. 

And things (or gods)  that are different cannot be the same. 

Trumanizing Obama . . . Or Is There a Third Option?

Trumanizing Obama . . . Or Is There a Third Option?
Vol: 122 Issue: 21 Monday, November 21, 2011

I think it is fair to say that the average Obama supporter would find great similarities between Obama and FDR or Truman.  Obama has made that comparison himself.

CNN ran a story depicting Obama as Truman when it was propagandizing in favor of Obama’s ‘jobs bill’ recalling Harry Truman’s use of a ‘do-nothing Congress’ to win his first elected term in 1948.

(Vice President Truman first became president on the death of FDR in 1945).

When President Harry Truman left office in 1953, he did so as one of the most unpopular chief executives in American history.  At 22%, Truman’s approval rating in February 1952 was even lower than Nixon’s approval rating on the month that Nixon was forced to resign.

Although Truman was eligible to run for re-election in 1952, given his unpopularity at the polls, he decided against running again for the good of his party in order to give the Democrats an opportunity to run somebody who at least had a chance at holding the White House.

Although decades of Democrat revisionist history had largely rehabilitated Harry Truman, after a review of information available to Truman on the presence of Soviet spies working in US government, Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan concluded that Truman “was almost willfully obtuse” concerning the danger.

Senator Moynahan was legendarily partisan — had he not been, he would undoubtedly have concluded that Truman deliberately looked the other way.  Senator Joe McCarthy [R Wi] is sort of Truman’s opposite number.  

McCarthy’s legacy is the exact opposite of his accomplishments. In her book, Treason, Ann Coulter shocks readers with the statement:

“Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie. Liberals denounced McCarthy because they were afraid of getting caught, so they fought back like animals to hide their own collaboration with a regime as evil as the Nazis.”

The fact is that the McCarthy hearings unmasked a number of very high ranking US officials, including Alger Hiss. Alger Hiss was accused of working for Moscow while working as a top official at the State Department, and later at the UN.

Hiss, like Truman, had seen his reputation largely rehabilitated by Democrats who much preferred to refer to Hiss as a “victim of McCarthyism” until the Venona Project was released by the CIA in 1995.

Venona was a US intelligence operation that decrypted thousands of WWII-era telegrams sent to the Soviet Union by its US operatives.  Venona confirmed that Hiss had been an agent of the Soviet GRU.

And instead of only passing non-military State Department secrets to the Soviets, Venona revealed Hiss to have been a military spy.  Since 1995, liberal academics have been forced to shift tactics, attacking the Venona files instead.  

In addition to Hiss, (who was FDR’s WWII advisor and first Secretary General of the UN) McCarthy’s hearings uncovered as Soviet spies; Harry Dexter White, assistant secretary of the Treasury and Truman’s appointee as director of the International Monetary Fund; and Lauchlin Currie, administrative assistant to Presidents Roosevelt and Truman and hundreds of others.

At least three sitting members of Congress (Democrats all!) were also revealed by Venona to have been working for the Soviets during the war.

Although McCarthy is charged with a failure to distinguish between liberals and Communists, it was generally liberals who couldn’t recognize the differences.

It was Franklin Roosevelt  that brought Alger Hiss to Yalta and Harry Truman who promoted Harry Dexter White to head the International Monetary Fund.

Both Truman and Roosevelt entrusted these Soviet agents with top positions long after they had been told that Hiss and White were involved in espionage. 

Venona revealed that influential liberals in the media like I.F. Stone of The Nation, Michael Straight, editor of The New Republic, and Pulitzer Prize Winner Walter Duranty of The New York Times were actually agents of the Soviet Union.  

Prominent unions like the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the Screen Actors Guild really were dominated by Communists.  Even major industrialists like Armand Hammer did their part by laundering Soviet money to domestic U.S. Communists.   

Although liberals to this day claim that McCarthy never uncovered a single Communist, history (and Venona) say that McCarthy was right about Owen Lattimore, Edward Posniak, Mary Jane Keeney, Gustavo Duran, and John Carter Vincent, and dozens, if not hundreds of others. 

The truth about Joe McCarthy can be gleaned, despite the historical revisionism, by taking a closer look at McCarthy’s detractors, most of whom are liberals.

Those on the Right that joined in the McCarthy bashing did so based on misinformation about McCarthy and without the benefit of the Venona Project findings.

Neither Roosevelt nor Truman knew about Venona.

General Omar Bradley made the decision to deny President Truman information about Venona because he didn’t trust Truman with classified information — probably because Bradley knew what was in Venona’s files. 

McCarthy’s detractors challenged him to name names; when he did so, they accused him of slandering those he named without proof. 

McCarthy was parodied in the movie “The Manchurian Candidate” as Senator Johnny Iselin, whose claim to fame amounted to picking figures at random in speeches, such as “There are exactly 349 Soviet spies working in the US State Department”, etc.

(Actually, Venona confirmed that there were 349 American government officials working for the Soviets during the McCarthy investigative era.  McCarthy was right.)

To my mind, the most compelling evidence favoring McCarthy is the way that liberals close ranks immediately whenever McCarthy’s name comes up. And the fact that all of those “victims of McCarthyism” were reliably progressive liberals.

Just like their modern-day apologists and defenders.


Had Harry Truman sought another term in 1952, it is probable that the Soviet agents within his administration would have kept their jobs through 1956. 

One can only imagine how things may have turned out if it had been Truman facing off against Khrushchev instead of Eisenhower, but it probably would not have ended in a US victory in the Cold War.

Fortunately for America, Truman decided that his poll numbers made re-election impossible and he decided not to run again.  Thanks to that decision, the liberal media was able to rehabilitate Harry.

Thanks to the work of liberal revisionist history, Harry Truman is consistently numbered among America’s near-great presidents, despite what amounts to a pretty sad record. 

Truman’s great accomplishments, like desegregating the military, were pragmatic, rather than ideological decisions. (Truman famously opposed the 1960’s civil rights movement, calling it “silly” and saying it “won’t accomplish a darned thing.”)

If one were to take a poll in 1953 of America’s worst presidents, Harry Truman would have won it, hands down.  Indeed, in 1952, that is about the only contest Truman could have won — its harder to revise the present than it is the past. 

What made Harry Truman one of America’s near-great presidents was his decision not to seek re-election in 1952.  In 1999 C-Span ranked him America’s fifth best president.

In 1968, embattled President Lyndon Johnson refused to run for re-election.  Johnson’s “War on Poverty”, was the blueprint for his “Great Society” — a Marxist utopian vision that resulted in, for the first time, the possibility that an American who was not elderly or disabled could make a living off the US government.

We can thank President Johnson for Medicare/Medicaid, PBS, student loans, Head Start, food stamps, gun control, the Watts riots and the Vietnam War.  US involvement in Vietnam escalated from 16,000 advisors in 1964 to 550,000 combat troops by 1967. 

But since he decided not to run for a second term in 1968, Johnson’s apologists were able to spin his administration to the point that in 1999, C-Span ranked the Johnson administration the tenth best in US history.   

Jimmy Carter refused to reconsider running for a second term and was faced with a direct challenge for the Democratic nomination by Teddy Kennedy.  Kennedy lost the nomination, but the fight so damaged Carter that it handed the White House to Ronald Reagan.

The liberals never forgave Carter, (who ranks as 27th best, or 15th worst, depending on your perspective).

A year ago in the Washington Post, two Democrat pollsters, Doug Schone and Pat Caddell, co-authored an op-ed in which they implored President Obama not to seek re-election for the good of both the party and the country.

“This is a critical moment for the country. From the faltering economy to the burdensome deficit to our foreign policy struggles, America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety about the future. Under these circumstances, Obama has the opportunity to seize the high ground and the imagination of the nation once again, and to galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made. The only way he can do so, though, is by putting national interests ahead of personal or political ones.”

The best way he can do that, according to these two Democrats, is by following in the footsteps of two of America’s ten best presidents, Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson.

“To that end, we believe Obama should announce immediately that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2012.”

According to the op-ed, the two Democrats believe that Obama should step down in favor of . . . no surprise here . . . Hillary Clinton.

Obama himself once said to Diane Sawyer: “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” He now has the chance to deliver on that idea.”

According to the pollsters, the problem for Obama is that he is a lousy president.  Instead of governing the nation, he spent his first three years in office campaigning for his next four.  If he would stop campaigning and start governing . . .

“Obama could better make hard decisions about Iran, North Korea and Afghanistan based on what is reasonable and responsible for the United States, without the political constraints of a looming election. He would be able to deal with a Democratic constituency that wants to get out of Afghanistan immediately and a Republican constituency that is committed to the war, forging a course that responds not to the electoral calendar but to the facts on the ground.”

That was a year ago.  This morning, they’ve published a second op-ed making the same argument, only this time more passionately.

Even Chris Matthews’ thrill up his leg has been replaced by a burning in his esophagus. First Lady Michelle Obama was resoundingly booed by fans at Sunday’s NASCAR race.

And so the secret is out.  As a president, Obama makes a great community organizer.  So here are the choices before him. 

He can be “Trumanized” if he decides against a second term. 

Or, like Jimmy Carter, he can spent the next thirty years trying to explain why he wasn’t the worst president in two hundred years.  

Or he could try the third option, similar to the way he and his party have handled America’s budget crisis.

We haven’t had a budget since Obama took office.  Obama submits one he knows won’t pass, then blames the Republicans for its defeat. (Last vote to reject an Obama budget was 97-0)

Obama’s foreign policy seems deliberately aimed at provoking an existential crisis.  In such a crisis, elections could be suspended indefinitely, an idea already being floated by the Dems.

Of all the options available, it seems certain that the one least likely to materialize has Obama stepping down for the good of the country.  

This is one time America really could use another Harry Truman. 

Saved By Whom?

Saved By Whom?
Vol: 122 Issue: 19 Saturday, November 19, 2011

There are certain doctrines that need to be revisited from time to time; there is probably not one more deserving of our attention than the doctrine often mocked as OSAS, or “Once Saved, Always Saved.”  

Personally, I prefer to call it by its more descriptive appellation, “eternal security.”

It is mocked as a “license to sin” or as a “free ride” and while both charges are true in the practical sense, they are at the same time completely inaccurate.  

“Once saved, always saved” and its various other nicknames, put all the focus on the believer and none of it on the Savior. 

By way of contrast, the doctrine of “eternal security” puts all the focus on the Savior and none on the believer.

Do you see the difference? The argument opposing once saved, always saved, is that believers who sin after salvation are still obligated to keep the Law, or at least, some parts of it, and those that don’t are liable to lose their salvation.   

Opponents of OSAS don’t usually demand a post-salvation life of perfect obedience, but they argue that maintaining one’s salvation requires not sinning too much. 

While the opponents of eternal security can’t say which sin, or how many sins cause one to lose one’s salvation, they are sure that if you sin enough, you will.  The problem with this view is, nobody can be sure that they are saved.

This doctrine could be called “temporary salvation” but its seminary name is “conditional perseverence”.

Conditional perseverance is rooted in the theology advanced by Jacobus Arminius, a Dutch Reformation theologian who lived one generation after John Calvin.  

There are varying degrees of Arminianism, with some believing a person can be saved, lose their salvation and then get saved again.  Others believe you get saved once, but if you lose it, you are forever lost and there is no going back.

Conditional salvation does not necessarily argue that there is a sin so great that God cannot forgive it.  Instead, it holds forth that a person consciously surrenders their salvation through a free will choice.   

They argue that belief is a free will choice and consequently, when somebody falls, they fell because they had consciously decided they don’t believe anymore. 

Again, Arminianism puts all the heavy lifting on the believer and not on God.

There are other problems, as well.  If predestination negates free will, then it logically follows that God didn’t know from the foundation of the world who would be saved, but instead, He had to wait until you decided. 

But God DOES know your eternal destiny from the foundation of the world, as the Bible clearly says;

“According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. . . (Ephesians 1:4)

“Look here,” says the Calvinist.  “We were chosen before the foundation of the world.  Is that not predestination?”

“Aha!” says Arminianism.  “It says we should be holy and without blame — does that not argue against OSAS?”

Both arguments ignore the full teaching of the Scriptures.  We were chosen — IN HIM — that is to say, He knew for whom He was sacrificing Himself.  And we are holy and without blame — BEFORE HIM — in love.

Not because of ourselves. Because of Him. The subject of this verse is not “us” but “Him”. The difference between foreknowledge and predestination is one of perspective and nothing more. 

We were foreknown — which from the perspective of  a man with limited knowledge sounds like predestination. But from God’s perspective, then what a limited man might call ‘predestination’ would be what God calls ‘prophecy.’

If there is a practical difference between predestination and prophecy, I cannot see it. 

For example, the Gog-Magog War will unfold precisely as it was prophesied.  

Does that mean that the various participants are predestined to clash on the mountains of Israel?  Is there another way to see it?  Are we then to infer that none of them have free will? 

I am not a Calvinist, but I believe in predestination.  I believe in predestination because I believe in Bible prophecy and you cannot have one without the other.   

If you believe that the Lord will return in the last days because the Bible prophesied it, then you believe the Lord is predestined to return in the last days, since that is what the phrase, “from the foundation of the world” refers to. 

“Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (1 Peter 1:20)

“For we which have believed do enter into rest, as He said, As I have sworn in My wrath, if they shall enter into My rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.” (Hebrews 4:3)

So if you were chosen before the foundation of the world to be saved,  or put another way, if God already foreknew that you would be saved, it raises an important question.

Were you saved according to the Plan of God, or according to your own will? 


“But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray Him.” (John 6:64)

No matter how hard I try to get a handle on the idea that my salvation is conditional on my perseverance as a Christian,  I keep running into verses that tell me that I am saved by the will of the Father, through the Son, and not because I made the smarter choice.  (Lest any man should boast.)

“And He said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father.” (John 6:65)

What does that mean?  Does that mean that everybody is called equally and that only the smart ones respond correctly to the call?   Who does that glorify?  God?  Or the unbeliever’s smarter brother?

I would submit that it glorifies the one smart enough to believe more than it glorifies the One in Whom they are believing.  “God didn’t choose me, I chose God. And I can unchoose Him any time I want.”

Who has the power in this case?  You?  Or God? Where does the Bible place the power of eternal life and eternal death?  (Here’s a hint.  Who holds the keys to heaven and hell?)

According to the doctrine of eternal security, nobody can be saved by their conduct.  Indeed, nobody is lost by their conduct.  The division between those who are saved and those who are lost is not based on conduct. 

If it was, then most Mormons would have a better shot at heaven than you do. 

Mormons tithe, do obligatory religious work, regularly attend services, don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t swear, don’t drink coffee or tea, don’t engage in premarital sex, and follow strict rules regarding sin and how to deal with sinners.

I dunno. You know you.  How do you stack up against that?

Salvation is based on grace through faith.  God’s grace extends the offer of salvation, and we are saved by our faith that God’s grace is sufficient.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

If one is saved by faith, then it does not follow that they can be subsequently lost by their own conduct.  This is not in any way intended as an apologetic for sinful behavior – sin is sin and sin has consequences.

The consequences of sin are severe and far-reaching, but your sin does not punish God.

“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:39-40)

God has already restored you to fellowship with Him because HE wants fellowship with you.  

If you can sin yourself out of salvation, then God would lose that fellowship (that He says means more than the whole world to Him) forever. 

God does not lose.