Friday, May 25, 2007

Consider this when reading the news

Islam is not a religion.

It is a worldview with totalitarian domination as its goal, and with the forced subjugation of those who disagree with it as its by-product. If you do not adhere to Islam, you are dar al-Harb, potential victims of an Islamic war to force you into dar al-Islam, an all-encompassing Islamic rule.

Some adherents are more strident about it than others, but that is the essense of Islam--totalitarianism. Please keep that in mind as you peruse the news.


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Condolences and joy... and disappointment

This morning, it was announced that Rev. Jerry Falwell has passed away. As I heard and read the media reports surrounding his passing, they reminded me of anecdotes Pastor Rogers used to share about Rev. Falwell, and how those stories gave depth and substance to a Christian who was too often pilloried by the secular press (both liberal/mainstream and conservative) for having the temerity to suggest that those of us who are Christians in the United States are actually allowed to express political opinions and preferences.

Both Liberty University and Thomas Road Baptist Church will now pass into a difficult period, mourning the loss of such a charismatic leader as they remember his work to spread the Gospel and influence the culture. The brothers and sisters in Christ of Liberty and Thomas Road are in need of our prayers; please remember them, and pray that God the Holy Spirit will comfort their hearts, reminding them that Rev. Falwell is even now face-to-face with our Lord. As you read this, he is experiencing a joy that all of us who name the name of Christ will one day know... and probably getting pointers from Pastor Rogers on the fine points of kicking up gold dust on the streets of Heaven.


EDITED TO ADD SOMETHING THAT HIT ME SQUARELY IN THE FACE: Perhaps I'm more optimistic than I should be, but I am shocked to read what is being written regarding the homegoing of Rev. Falwell. Clearinghouses for the venom are here and here; see what you think about what is being said--and see if the style of rhetoric rings any bells.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

A contaminated timeline

For those who believe belonging to a church is a license to publicly bash it (and for those who do so even without belonging to the church in question), I bring forth for you consideration some prescient observations from Keith Solomon, someone who has, for awhile now, been part of the discussion regarding events at Bellevue Baptist Church. I quote him thusly, and like so:

I've seen a lot of bloggers telling people to refer to the 'Integrity Does Count' timeline for an accurate account of the events surrounding Bellevue. They speak as if it's completely true without any bias or spin whatsoever.

I don't expect whoever wrote it to be perfect, but I do expect a humility and desire to be as accurate as possible, even when admitting to error. That's true in everything, but especially when dealing with the body of Christ.

One of the events that is listed in December 2006 is a party our singles had:
December 2006
Career and Singles celebrate the New Year with a “Black and White Hollywood Night” party. The “Hollywood Parties” originated at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.

To be honest, I don't see anything wrong with the party even if the theme did originate at Saddleback. However, it did not and saying that it did is a deliberate falsification that should be removed if the timeline is to have any credibility with me. To deliberately ignore the facts because you think you can get away with it is the worst kind of deception in my book.

This is where they got the idea that the parties started at Saddleback. There isn't a year listed, but Friday, February 10 would make it 2006.

Here is a flyer from the singles department from 2002. Under 'Special Thanks' you'll see mention of a 'Hollywood New Year's' party. Since this was 4 years before the Saddleback party, I don't see how the theme could have originated there based on the Saddleback link.

So is this a big deal? I think so. First, everyone who has printed this off and handed it out has been passing around a lie. Is it a big lie? Well, the party was evidently a big enough deal to make the timeline in the first place. Before handing it out in the future, everyone should mark that line out. I think anyone who has already handed out the timeline should contact everyone who received it and tell them that there is at least one mistake on it, too.

Second, it clearly speaks about the men who created the timeline. This image was sent (by someone else) to IDC in March, but there was never an answer or any action taken whatsoever. Men of integrity would instantly remove anything questionable (or clearly wrong), but the event remains.

Third, why are we arguing about parties anyway? Would Steve Gaines' behavior be more acceptable if the party hadn't taken place?

I just can't help but wonder how many other events have been doctored up. If they'll ignore one mistake, why not more? The sad part is that it's so unnecessary. There's more than enough dirt for them to use without resorting to fiction.

I see a lot of irony in the name 'Integrity Does Count'. I believe it does, and that God honors it's presence. I'm not a professional fruit inspector, but I haven't seen much evidence that God is working through IDC.

The NBBCOF puts a lot of importance on fruitfulness. Is IDC sinking or swimming? There sure has been a lot of dissention among the ranks.

Maybe they should create a list of their accomplishments thus far so that we can judge for ourselves whether or not we should support their efforts.

Until then, I'll keep Proverbs 11:3 in mind.
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

One additional observation, if I might: Who, exactly, makes up (pun intended) "Integrity Does Count"? Demanding accountability from others while hiding in the shadows starts off as being humorously ironic; however, it soon devolves into common hypocrisy.

Don't let that happen to you.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The parable of the fuzzy scroll

There was a man who was blessed by God with a wonderful family; one day the Lord prompted the man and his family to move to a far country, full of elephants and tigers and blazers (although having a school nickname inspired by Chevy doesn't make much sense, personally--but I digress).

As this family pitched its tent by an emerald lake, the man and his wife began to do the things which would allow them to abide in this new land lawfully. One of the most important rules of the new land was the Rule of the Tag. Each wagon in the land must carry the Tag--but not the Tag of their former land, no; even though driving with a Tag from the former land caused other wagon drivers to cut them slack when veering suddenly to get to the right exit and generally elicited a friendly, you-ain't-from-around-here wave from the natives, the family's wagons must now be identified with the new land.

So, it fell to the man to journey into the Land of the Bureaucrats, where the precious Tags are found. He had carefully assembled the parchments and scrolls which would prove him worthy to receive a Tag and allay the instinctive suspicions of the Bureaucrats. In doing so, the man had gotten a copy of the most valuable of scrolls--the parchment kept by his Banker in a land thousands of miles away, the scroll that declared to all that the man would one day own his wagon outright.

With great satisfaction, the man waited to speak to one of the Bureaucrats; when it was his time, he carefully laid out all his scrolls and parchments before the Bureaucrat's squinting eyes. After a long, contemplative silence, the Bureaucrat peered up at the man and declared "This one is fuzzy--begone!"

Yet the man did not move. The scroll his Banker had sent him was a copy of the real scroll, and the journey over the thousands of miles had caused it to blur. Yet the man could read the important parts of the scroll, so he beseeched the Bureaucrat to reconsider. "Your Banker has failed you, and you cannot have the Tag of our land until all your scrolls please my eye. Now, many others wish to make their entreaties of me, so please step aside if you must cry out to your Banker. So let it be written, so let it be done."

As the steam rolled from the man's ears, he raised a loud cry to his Banker; over the long distance, the calm, restful voice of his Banker filled his ear, dissipating the steam. "My friend, we knew you were moving to that new land, and we knew the trials you would face, so we are sending the original scroll to your tent by the emerald lake. Even the most impassive Bureaucrat cannot help but be moved by its beauty and clarity; just be patient, and your wagon will have its Tag."

The man was frustrated that he could not have another copy, until he realized that he would enjoy a few days longer the courtesy extended to those who drive a wagon with a foreign Tag, and then be able to stride boldly before the Bureaucrat after his crisp, original scroll arrived. As he left the Land of the Bureaucrats, the man took each wave from the natives as more precious, and hoped the waves would continue after his new Tag made him blend in more closely with them.