Tag Archives: god

‘American Idol’: Worship Obama, Not Jesus Christ

‘American Idol’: Worship Obama, Not Jesus Christ

by Christian Toto

Contestant Elise Testone on Fox’s fading pop star showcase “American Idol” sang a duet of sorts with Obama this week as part of her cover performance of the Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together.”

Just imagine anything of the sort being done with former President George W. Bush. Impossible, we know. But now word is out that a spiritual “Idol” wannabe has been told in no uncertain terms by the producers not to sing the praises of Jesus Christ, according to The Daily News:

American Idol” producers have apparently warned Colton Dixon if he doesn’t tone down his overtly Christian act, he won’t have a prayer of winning the reality competition.

The 20-year-old devout Christian, though, told Today.com that he answers to a higher authority than voting viewers.

When we first started the Twitter and Facebook stuff, they said beware of political and religious tweets,” Dixon told the site. “Just because it can turn off voters or whatever. But, you know, being a Christian is who I am. It is a part of me musically. It is what I want to do after the show — go into Christian music.

So singers giving a shout out to the Lord might be offensive to some viewers, but a segment glorifying Obama, a divisive president hampered with sagging poll numbers, is A-OK with the show’s producers?

SOURCE

Why I Left Atheism

Why I Left Atheism

Of all the lessons that I present concerning the existence of God and of all the material that I try to make available to people to learn about God’s existence, the present lesson, “Why I Left Atheism,” is the lesson in the series that I frankly do not like to present. I guess none of us like to look back in our lives to a time when we made poor judgments and foolish mistakes–when we took rather really idiotic positions–and admit this, especially to people we are not well acquainted with. I present this lesson, however, because it is my fervent hope and prayer that perhaps by exposing my mistakes and by pointing out the things that were a part of my early life, some who might be following the same paths (to a greater or lesser extent) might not make those same mistakes. Someone once said that nobody is totally useless; if we cannot do anything else, we can at least serve as a bad example. That is sort of my situation. I am hoping that by presenting these materials and telling you something about my early life, some of you may be able to recognize the lack of wisdom and perhaps the poor judgment that is involved in rejecting God and living a life that demonstrates such a rejection.

Most of the time when I speak to religious groups or to people who believe in God, someone will ask me somewhat incredulously, “Well, were you really an atheist? Did you really not believe in God?” I want to start by asserting that the answer to that question is a very affirmative “Yes.” At one time in my life, I was totally and firmly convicted that there was no such thing as God and that anybody who believed in God was silly, superstitious, ignorant, and had simply not looked at the evidence. I felt that believers in God were uneducated and were just following traditions, superstitions, and things that really made no sense to a person who was aware of what was going on around them. Of course, that kind of life and conviction led me to do and say things and to be something that was really very unpleasant. I lived a life that was immoral and which reflected a lack of belief in God. I lived in a way that was very self-centered and that satisfied my own pleasures and desires regardless of whether or not other people were hurt in the process of what I was doing. In the process of doing this, I did a lot of things that affected me through my whole life. It is because of this that I present these materials hoping that perhaps some of you will not make the mistakes and suffer the consequences that I have suffered. I cannot clearly remember all of the events that took place or the proper sequence of events because I was not taking notes. I never expected that I would be trying to recall these things, much less tell someone else about them. Still, I can recall in a general way much of what happened, and I am very sure of the concepts. The concepts are what will be most useful to you.

I guess the reason that I was an atheist is the same reason that many of you are believers in God if you are. That was because I had been indoctrinated in that particular persuasion. My background, the variables that were exposed to me as a child, led me very strongly in that direction. Just as many of you believe in God because your parents believe in God and because they instilled this belief in you, I also questioned, challenged, and rejected God because that was the kind of indoctrination that I received as a child. I can remember my mother saying to me as a child something like, “Do you really believe there is an old man, floating around in the sky, blasting things into existence here upon the earth? Do you really believe that crummy looking structure on the corner could be something beautiful called ‘the church?’ Do you really believe that there is a hole in the ground that I am going to be thrown into and burned eternally if I do not live just the way some preacher thinks I ought to?” Of course, I could not conceive of these things as a child and did not know enough to realize they are not what the Bible teaches. Consequently, I came to believe that anybody who believed in God was just silly, superstitious, ignorant, and unlearned. You may wonder how it would be possible for a person coming out of this type of background and kind of learning situation to become a strong believer in God today, devoting his life to trying to help people to understand that there is a God in heaven and that the Bible is His literal and verbally inspired Word. It is the purpose of this booklet to try and point out at least some of the things that entered into my acceptance of God, Jesus Christ, and the Bible as God’s Word.

My high school career was one in which I grew quite rapidly academically. I enjoyed science and decided that I wanted to be a scientist of some kind. I entered Indiana University majoring in the field of physical science. It was actually at this point that one of the great changes that occurred in my life took place. I enrolled in a course in astronomy at the feet of one of the great astronomers of our day. In that particular course, we were studying the problem of origins–the creation of matter from nothing. As we discussed this particular subject, we went into all those theories that are in that particular material. We talked about the big-bang theory, the quasistatal theory, the continuous generation theory, the planetessimal theory, etc.

When we got to the conclusion of that discussion, I asked the professor which of the particular theories was the one that is most acceptable and that satisfactorily explains the creation of matter from nothing. He leaned over the desk and looked me straight in the eye and said, “Young man, you need to learn to ask intelligent questions.” That rather upset me. I did not appreciate that and I said, “Well, what do you mean?” He said, “This is not a question that a scientist tries to answer. This is a question for the philosopher or theologian, but this is not something that falls into the realm of science.” In today’s discussions of black holes and parallel universes, things have not changed. The basic question of the creation of matter/energy from absolutely nothing is not an area that can be scientifically explored. I was very disturbed by that answer. I had always felt that science could ultimately answer all the questions that man had–that there was nothing that science could not eventually take care of as far as what man might challenge and want to know about. Yet this learned man, an expert in his field, said that this was an area that the scientist should not even try to answer–that it was totally beyond the capacity of science to explain and explore.

Not too long after that, I enrolled in a course in biology at the feet of one of the great primitive life scientists in the country. As we discussed the initial beginning of life upon the earth in that class, we talked about the synthesis of various primitive chemical materials such as deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). As we discussed this, I once again asked a question related to the one that I had asked previously. I asked this professor what the process was by which the original life–the original living cells upon the earth–came into existence. How did the structure or generation of DNA occur? Once again, this man said, “Young man, that is not a question that falls within the realm of science.” In today’s world we understand more about biochemical processes, but we cannot answer how in the environment of the primitive earth these processes came into operation. I guess what was happening to me was the same thing that Lord Kelvin, a very famous British scientist, described in his writings when he made the statement, “If you study science deep enough and long enough it will force you to believe in God.” That is what happened to me. I began to realize that science had its limitations–that science, in fact, strongly pointed to other explanations than natural ones to certain questions.

It was about this time when another thing happened in my life and that was that a woman entered it. A lot of things begin with women (some things end with them, too). In this particular case, this young lady was by all means the most bull-headed, stubborn, cast-iron willed individual I had ever met in all my life. I can make those statements because some six years later I married her. This was the first girl I ever met that I felt I could respect. Sometimes you will hear preachers, who know absolutely nothing about what they are talking about from the role of experience, make statements such as, “If you hold on to your virtues and maintain your moral standards, a man will respect you more.” Let me tell you, as one who has lived on the other side of the fence and has thought as one who is alienated from how God thinks, that statement is true. I will guarantee you that I never thought seriously about marrying anyone until I met this girl whom I could respect–who really stood for something. Not only did she stand for something morally, she believed in God and read her Bible. Though she could not answer all my questions, she kept going back to the Bible. I also learned quickly not to let her know what I was really like morally. I knew if she really knew that, she would have nothing to do with me. I did not seem to be able to break her faith as I had been able to do with other people and the thing that happened was that as a result of her stubbornness and refusal to reject the Bible, she forced me to read the Bible.

I read the Bible through from cover to cover four times during my sophomore year in college for the explicit purpose of finding scientific contradictions in it. By that, I mean statements in the Bible that were false that I could throw back at her to show her how ridiculous it was to believe in God. I had even decided to write a book called All the Stupidity of the Bible. Something amazing happened as I did this. As I considered and thought about these things, I found that I could not find a contradiction–to find some kind of scientific inaccuracy in the Bible. I just simply was not able to do it. I gave up writing the book because of lack of material! It is amazing to me that as I talk to people, I find many who claim to be Christians and who perhaps claim to have been Christians for many years who have not read the Bible through cover to cover once. I find it hard to believe that they believe in God very much if they do not even want to know what He has to say.

As I read the Bible through again and again, I began to realize that not all of the things I had been told about God and religion were what the Bible said. They may have been what organized religion said or what some men taught, but not what the Bible itself said. For example, the Bible did not say that God was an old man floating around in the sky, blasting things into existence here upon the earth. The Bible said, “God is a spirit:…” (John 4:24) and that God is not flesh and blood. Jesus made the statement, “…for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 16:17). There are many people today who do not understand this. A Russian astronaut once made the statement, “See, I told you there was no God; I didn’t see him when I was in orbit.” The question might be, “What was he looking for?” I began to recognize that God was not an old man in the sky. I had an anthropology professor who made the statement in all dead seriousness, “We all know what God is; He is an old man with a long white beard and big flowing robes.” I am sure that this was his concept of “God.” I began to recognize that this was not the biblical concept of God.

I began to recognize that the Christian life was not an altruistic life. I had been told by several people as a child that if you ever become a Christian, you cannot ever be happy, you cannot ever own anything, and you have to walk around with a long sad face and your chin dragging on the ground. Yet when I read the Bible, I read statements like, “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it,…” (Ephesians 5:28-29). I read about the Ethiopian eunuch who went on his way rejoicing because he had found Jesus Christ and the happiness that went with that acceptance of Jesus in his life. I have had many problems come into my life, but all I have to do is to look back at how miserable life was without Christ and I can realize that life, as it is now with Jesus, is beautiful in comparison.

I began to recognize that the Church was not a building. I can remember that when we lived in Alabama, there was a meeting place of some religious group just down the street from us. My mother used to point to that as we drove or walked by and say, “Look at that. How could anybody believe in God when the Church looks like that.” I realized that the Bible did not teach that the Church is such a structure. First Corinthians 3:16 makes the statement, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God….” As an atheist, I recognized that you could meet on the moon, in a submarine, out in the desert, or any place else and still be the Church. The Church was not a building. What a tragedy it is that so many today have invested enormous amounts of money in edifices and buildings, while other human beings have gone hungry nearby.

I began to recognize that hypocrisy was not confined to religion. I had the idea that every hypocrite in the world sat in a pew on Sunday morning, and thus that everybody who was not sitting in a pew was not a hypocrite. I remember the lesson I learned on this. There was a young man who would sit elbow to elbow with me arguing against the religionist from time-to-time. He was in the hospital once with a very serious ailment. I went up to visit him and as I opened the hospital door, I saw him down on his knees praying to God. I stood at the door of that hospital room screaming at him, “You hypocrite–you dirty hypocrite!” until I was escorted out of the hospital. It slowly began to dawn on me that hypocrisy is a function of humanity, not religion. You deal with hypocrites at the grocery store, at the filling station, on the job, at school, and at the golf course (maybe more there than anywhere else). You do not quit buying groceries because the grocer says one thing and does another. You do not quit your job because your employer tells you to do something that he himself would not touch with a ten-foot pole. You do not deprive yourself or your child of a good education because a teacher teaches one thing and lives something else. You do not quit playing golf because your buddy takes a stroke in the rough and does not count it when he thinks you did not see it. Sure there is hypo-crisy in the Church, because there are human beings in the Church, and as long as you deal with human beings, you are going to deal with hypocrisy. Do you want to get away from hypocrisy? Dig a 20-foot hole in your back yard, jump in, let someone cover you with dirt, and even then you are going to be sitting down there in the bottom of that hole with one hypocrite. There is not a one of us breathing air that is as consistent as we ought to be, but the person who says, “I’m not going to be a Christian! I’m not going to serve God! I’m not going to get involved in the work of the Church because there are hypocrites in the Church,” is just logically inconsistent! We do not use that kind of thinking anywhere else in our lives. How can we do it in our relationship to God? There were many, many misconceptions that I had to get rid of to understand truly what the Bible really teaches.

Another thing that I think needs to be mentioned here as we discuss some of the things that led me to believe in God were things that had to do with my happiness. I remember that as a young person, I had what would be an ideal home by worldly standards. My parents were marvelous people; there was no divorce, unfaithfulness, or neglect in my family. We did things as a family. We enjoyed each other, yet I ran away from home. I was rebellious and antagonistic. As I look back at God’s Word today, I can see why these things happened. In Colossians 3:20, for example, the Bible says, “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord.” Obedience was not a characteristic of John Clayton as a young man. Living in Bloomington, Indiana, Indianapolis was known as the party town, and if I wanted to go to Indianapolis, I went. When my mother said she did not want me to go, I disconnected the speedometer and went. I did anything and everything I wanted to do. After all, there was no God. All my parents were doing was restricting my fun and enjoyment in life; why should I obey them? I lived a life that was totally antagonistic to everything that my parents stood for. It is amazing to me today that some parents, who do not believe in God and demonstrate this lack of belief to their children by what they say or the way they live, wonder why their children will not obey them. Why should they? They have removed the only source of authority that they have, and no child is going to obey a parent who has destroyed that source of authority. I am convinced that much of our law and order problems center around this very question.

Years ago I was talking to a young man in Michigan who had been a participant in some of the riots at the University of Michigan. He made the statement to me that he had done these things and I asked him why he had not obeyed the law. He said, “What law?” and I said, “The law of the land–the law that God has instituted.” He looked at me and laughed and said, “Man, I don’t believe in God.” I do not believe we can have law and order when we remove the source of the authority to that law and order. Certainly, my rebelliousness and failure to obey my parents brought a great deal of unpleasantness and misery not only into my life, but into theirs as well. The very next verse, Colossians 3:21, contains another statement that I think had a great deal to do with my unhappiness and rebelliousness as a child. The statement is made, “Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” My parents had a tradition when I was a young man–a tradition they called the cocktail hour. I have never seen my parents drunk, but they would drink a few martinis and my mother would ask me questions that ordinarily she would not have asked. I remember, for instance, she would sometimes ask, “What did you do with the girl you took out last night?” That was the last thing I was going to tell my mother, so I learned to look her right straight in the eye and lie. I could lie to her or anybody else without batting an eyelash. I conditioned myself to do things that were wrong. I conditioned myself to steal. I remember the first time that I stole something. It was a box of raisins from the IGA store. I felt so badly that I took it back and apologized. Sometime later, I stole a comic book from a drug store; I took it back, but I did not apologize. Six months later, I was stealing almost anything I could get my hands on, not because I needed it, but because it was fun–it was a challenge. I even went so far as to be caught stealing money from my parents. That brings me to the next point, which is certainly another thing that had to do with my happiness.

When I read passages in the Bible like Psalm 53, for instance, I sometimes feel like God is describing John Clayton some years ago. Psalm 53:1-3 says:

The fool hath said in his heart, “There is no God.” Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Another statement, made by Solomon in Ecclesiastes 1:2-3, 14, says:

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?…I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

I have tried almost everything you can imagine to find pleasure and happiness. I will not try to tell you that I did not find pleasure using my own system of following my own desires, but I can guarantee you that I did not find happiness. I tried every conceivable thing you can think of. I tried all kinds of things–things that were immoral, that were wrong, that hurt other people, and things that I would not even want to describe. I did those things because I was trying to find pleasure and happiness and, as I say, I found pleasure sometimes. However, I never went to bed at night satisfied or happy with my life and enjoying my living. I never got up in the morning looking forward to a new day. Life was just one long chain of misery.

Judge Roy Moore of Lawton, Oklahoma, who deals with the legal problems precipitated by the presence of Fort Sill in that area, once made the statement to me, “I’ve never seen a young man on drugs live more than seven years without taking his life.” You may not be able to understand that, but I have sat on the edge of my bed with a .22-caliber rifle between my legs, trying to have enough guts to pull the trigger. I bottomed out that low; I got that emotionally disturbed and upset with my desire and attempt to find happiness. Please listen to me and profit by what I am saying. You can try every conceivable thing that this world has to offer. You can try sex, drugs, alcohol, stealing, and all kinds of things in a desperate attempt to find happiness. I can testify from experience that you may find pleasure, but you will not find happiness. I can go back to Bloomington today and meet people who refuse to believe that I have changed my life–people that I hurt and who knew the kind of life I lived. The reason that I think many things happen with young people today is because they try to find happiness living their own way. It simply does not work. Have you ever wondered why it is that when a person gets clean from drugs, gets rid of the problem of alcohol, or conquers some of the problems like the ones I had, that the person always seems to get involved in some religious cause, halfway house, or something like that? Why is that? I can tell you from my own experience that we have learned that the only place you find happiness is in using God’s system–in following God’s way. Perhaps people that have lived without God appreciate so much more than people that have grown up in religious structures–what you have in the Church. You do not find happiness living your own system, but only in living God’s way and in being a part of God’s system.

As perhaps you are beginning to realize as we get into this discussion more thoroughly, there were a variety of things that led me to believe in God. One other thing that I think ought to be mentioned is the fact that I entered a period of military service about this time. For the first time in my life, I came in contact with death. I began to think about the reasonableness of death as I Iooked at it as an atheist. Perhaps a more accurate way to describe this was the way that I had to look at life because of death. As an atheist, I realized that I had to look at life with all of its problems, difficulties, and terrible things that I experienced as the best thing that I could ever look forward to. Yet I realized that as a Christian, I would be able to look at life with all of its joys, beauties, and wonderful things that we all enjoy as the absolute worst that I was ever going to have to experience. Yet from a philosophical point, I began to realize that Christianity offered a great deal in this particular area. I did not get scared into believing in God, but I think this area together with all these other things helped me to realize that there really was quite a change in my understanding of what Christianity and God are all about. I began to recognize that perhaps there were some things about the Church and what it had to offer that were important to me.

About this time in my life, I decided that other religious systems might be as good as the Bible. To check them out, I began reading the Vedas, Koran, Sayings of Buddha, writings of Bahaullah and Zoroaster and found that other religions taught many things I could not accept. There were teachings in their writings concerning what life was like after this life that were unrewarding and unrealistic and there were descriptions of God that were illogical and inconsistent. There were also many scientific inaccuracies in their works. There were many teachings about life and how to live it that were not workable. This included the role and position of women in the Koran, the Holy War concept of Mohammed, the pantheism of nearly all other systems, reincarnation, idol worship, polygamy, and a myriad of ideas which I had expected to find in the Bible, but did not. I began to realize that nothing matched the Bible’s system of life. Only in the Bible could I see statements which would stand in the face of the scientific facts that I knew to be true and only the Bible offered a system of life that I felt was reasonable and consistent. I decided that if I ever came to believe in God, it would be a belief based upon the Bible.

The next question was that if I ever became a believer in God, which of all the religious organizations claiming to be Christianity would be the correct one. I recognized that I did not want to be a part of all these traditional religious bodies that taught the error that I had been taught and had believed in my early years, so I started visiting the various religious organizations in southern Indiana at that time. I visited almost every religious organization that I could get into, to try and see what they taught, to see if they followed the Bible and if they understood what the Bible had to say or if they followed men’s theologies. My experience was that as I went from one to another, each of them taught something that was not in the Bible. They honored some men above other men, they taught that unreligious writings were equivalent to the Bible and they did not follow the Bible literally and verbally. I had had enough of religious confusion and error. I did not want any more of that sort of thing, so I continued looking. In a real sense, I guess you could say I am still looking–I am still trying to find that true Church. I did find the religious group that seemed to me to follow the Bible very closely. In Bloomington, there was a group of people who met on the corner of 4th and Lincoln streets. They were called the Church of Christ. These people still did not totally follow what I understood to be the biblical system. My challenge today to young people who are Christians would be to do a job of totally restoring New Testament Christianity. This group did have the doctrine of Christianity pretty well restored as I understood it. I recognized that passages like 1 Peter 3:21 (“The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us….”) had to be interpreted as meaning what it said, and this group did interpret that in a way that I felt was consistent with that passage. This group did interpret Acts 2:38 (“…be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,…”) in a way that I felt was consistent and they did reject men as their source of authority.

As a matter of fact, I remember hearing one of the first lessons that I ever heard in that building preached by a man named Raymond Muncy. Mr. Muncy said, “Now, don’t you ever listen to anything any preacher says,” and I said amen to that. He went on and talked about how we should not rely upon man and I want to tell you here an now that you should never believe anything any preacher says. Do not ever listen to any preacher, under any circumstance, unless you can find for yourself in the Bible that what that man says is consistent with God’s Word. This is, in essence, what Mr. Muncy was saying and I was very impressed by it, but that group of people did not give as they were prospered. Yes, they worshipped according to God’s format, but they did not give as they were prospered. They were not involved in teaching their neighbors about Jesus Christ. There was a very small percentage who were active in the work and they certainly did not manifest the kind of love and appreciation for each other that I understood the Bible to teach. The generation before you has restored the doctrine of Christianity–I believe that. However, they have yet to restore the spirit of New Testament Christianity and that is your challenge. Restore the spirit of New Testament Christianity–the love and the concern for the souls of others that the early Church had. I recognized that the Church of Christ was the closest thing that I had seen to what the Bible taught. I determined that if I ever became a Christian, I would become a member of this group–a group that was trying to follow the Bible literally and verbally, that would not accept the teachings of men and would not try to be influenced by the traditions of the past.

I guess the real straw that broke the camel’s back occurred some six months later. I was enrolled in my first geology course at Indiana University. The professor was a brilliant, well-known atheist. On the first day of class, in response to a discussion, he made a statement something like, “I’m going to show you that the Bible is a bunch of garbage,” and I thought, “Now this is going to be great,” because I was getting concerned. I was still saying that I was an atheist to those who knew me well. I was still rejecting God and holding on tenaciously to my lack of belief. It is hard to change a life that has gone a certain direction for years and all of a sudden make it go another direction, I was not ready for that. I thought this man was going to be able to provide me with some arguments that would finally defeat this girl that I had been dating all these years. She was a Christian–although perhaps not as strong as she might have been. I was going to show her that this religion stuff was really a lot of bunk and I was even convinced that I might even be able to show Ray Muncy that belief in God was not realistic. Mr. Muncy was a man who had great patience and knowledge, but he had not been given much of an opportunity to convince or teach me much of anything.

The professor started the class out by showing us the various methods of dating rocks and other parts of the creation. He then asserted that everyone knew that the Bible said the earth was 6,000 years old. I asked where it said that. He replied that he believed it was in Genesis the 52nd chapter. I started looking, not knowing much about the Bible, to Genesis 40, Genesis 49, Genesis 50, Exodus 1–I said, “Wait a minute; Genesis only has 50 chapters.” He sputtered around a few minutes, but he never did find that passage. Of course, the Bible does not say the earth is 6,000 years old. The Bible is totally silent on the age of the earth and I realized that. This man made the statement that the Bible says that God created two cocker spaniels, two English terriers, and two German shepherds. We all had a good laugh when we figured out how big the Ark would have to be to hold the 20 million groupings of this kind. Once again, I asked where the word kind was defined in that way. It did not seem to me that the word kind meant that. We looked at it and he finally said he guessed that maybe it did not. First Corinthians 15:39 is the only definition of the word kind and that is a very broad definition (“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another fishes, and another of birds.”). Genesis 1 uses the same terminology and the same break-down as 1 Corinthians 15. To make a very, very long story fairly short, when I turned in my final exam the last day of class, I said to this learned professor, “Sir, you have not really shown me any contradiction between what we have studied in this course and in what the Bible has to teach.” He jerked my paper away from me and said, “Well, I guess if you really study it, there is no contradiction.” I was shocked! I was appalled! Here was a man who had a Ph.D. and was a leading atheist, yet he could not answer the silly questions from an ignorant college junior who was on his side. I remember that February day very clearly. I walked back to my room in the dormitory in a state of shock. I could not believe what had happened. I got to my room about 11:00 and sat on my bed thinking what a stupid, ignorant fool I had been. I had rejected God; I had been dishonest. I had actually been stupid in my response to the evidence available to me. I did not like people who refuse to look at the evidence and draw intelligent conclusions. I did not like people who could not break free of their parents’ thinking and do their own thinking. I had always accused the religionists of doing this, yet I recognized that I had been guilty of the same thing. I had refused to be honest–to look at the evidence. I had refused to make comparative choices based upon what was available to me. I was miserable.

Supper time came and I was sitting there. My roommate came in and said, “Are you ready to eat?” I said, “No, I’m not hungry.” He said, “Are you sick?” I said, “Yes, I’m sick of me!!! I’m sick of being selfish, I’m sick of using people, I’m sick of being dishonest, I’m sick….” I was still telling him what I was sick about as he left for supper. At the time, I did not understand what was happening, but I do now! That is what repentance is all about–to get sick of a selfish, egotistical, destructive life and turn to God’s way–to turn to a life that has value, meaning, and direction. My roommate went on to eat and I just sat there determined that I had to do something. I could no longer sit back and be dishonest and continue to refuse to accept the obvious evidence that was available to me. About 6:30, I got up and started walking toward the building where the Church of Christ met on Wednesday nights. The invitation was extended at the Church of Christ that evening for anyone who wished to accept Christ and come forward. I went forward, understanding that I now believed totally and completely in God. I recognized that I needed to start a new life and be willing to tell people that I accepted the existence of God and believed that Jesus is His Son. I also realized that I was totally and completely lost in my sins and that I needed to be baptized to have forgiveness (as the Bible commanded). I started down the aisle that night and Raymond Muncy went into a mild state of shock. I remember the expression on his face. I do not think he believed that the power of God could ever reach a man as divorced as I was from anything good, decent, and godly. I was baptized into Christ that evening for the remission of my sins, as I understood the Bible to teach. To show you how far I was from God, I called this girl, I had been dating for some six years at that time. I said, “Phyllis, I’ve become a Christian!” She said, “I don’t believe you. You quit lying to me.” I had to have the preacher’s wife talk to her to convince her that I had, in fact, become a Christian. There are people today who still do not believe it–that the power of God could change a man that was as divorced and alienated from God as I was–but I want to tell you that in many respects, this is just the beginning of this story. God promised His help to those who are His followers. Having a close personal relationship to God and to other followers enable us to conquer enormous problems and do things we could not possibly do on our own (see Philippians 4:13).

I had a lot to overcome. I could not talk without swearing. You could not go to the preacher’s house and say pass the @$#%& potatoes. I had to learn a new way of talking, a new way of living, a new set of values, and a new morality, because I had lived in opposition to God. I asked God’s help in these things and I found I was able to overcome things I had never been able to overcome before. I have a whole new set of problems–a whole new set of things that I have to work on–but the problems I have today are nothing like the problems I had in the past. If anyone had told me twenty years ago that I would be openly using my limited abilities to publicly convict disbelievers of God’s reality, I would have thought they were insane. Nonetheless, God has blessed my feeble efforts in spectacular ways–totally beyond anything I could have ever done.

I want to close this lesson by asking you a very simple question–a question that you need to answer for yourself and that each person needs to answer I suppose nearly every day. Are you an atheist (not perhaps as man would define it, but as God defines it)? Are you an atheist? Oh, I realize you may not be the kind of atheist that I was. Perhaps you are not immoral or hurting people or dishonest or doing the kinds of things that I did. I am thankful that you are not, but do you realize the way Jesus views an atheist? Matthew 12:30 says, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” What is He saying? He is saying that you are either for God or you are against God. You are either an atheist or a Christian; you cannot be both. I can understand how a man can be an atheist. I have been an atheist a good part of my life. As an atheist, I believed (and still believe) that my life was consistent, reasonable, and defendable.

For a few years now, I have been trying to live what I understand to be the Christian way of life. Once again, I believe my life is consistent, reasonable, and defendable with what I believe, but I will never understand (and if you understand, I wish you would explain it to me) how a man or a woman or a boy or a girl can say, “Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I understand that the Bible is God’s Word,” and then not do everything and anything within their power to make sure their lives conform to what that God teaches. That is not consistent, not reasonable, and not defendable, yet I am sure there are many people who know that their life is not consistent with God’s way of living. Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” Are you for Christ? Are you working for Christ? Is your life radiating the kind of living that Jesus taught? Are you really a Christian or are you an atheist? There is no middle ground. It is my hope that by revealing to you the kind of person I have been and the mistakes I have made, you have realized that God is the only way. It is my prayer that you have realized that there is nothing that can be a part of your life that God cannot help you overcome and that you also realize that there is no better time than right now to begin the Christian way of living. Will you not give yourself to God and live Christ’s Way? If you do not know a person or group of people in your community following the Lord, write me and I will try to help you.

John N. Clayton
1555 Echo Valley Dr.
Niles, MI 49120-8738

SOURCE

Muslims Demand All Citizens Stop Celebrating Christmas Or There Will Be Hell To Pay!


Muslims Demand All Citizens Stop Celebrating Christmas

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Faithful Muslim leaders in Europe and their allies in United States begin a campaign to stop all of us from wishing ”Merry Christmas”. According to their document just released, we should all go to hell for even putting up Christmas light. They threaten hell to pay on those who celebrate the birth of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Will you be intimidated this year and only say “happy holidays” or “seasons greetings” or hide your Christmas tree in schools and censor out Christianity from the front of our public buildings out of fear of what the muslim terrorists might do to you if you dare celebrate the most important event in all of history?

To find out more of the demands of terrorist supporting muslims united in Europe and United States, watch this expose on the one demanding all Christmas celebrations to stop:

Choudary has learned to try to polish his deceitful presentations a bit, but has a hard time containing himself, as revealed during his interviews on BBC revealing his support for terrorists and calling for execution of citizens who leave islam.

Here is the islamic document with famous muslim judge’s quotes from qur’an on why hellfire awaits any who dare to even put up a Christmas tree or Christmas lights during the celebration of The Nativity of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

In response to their demand, our wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas shall include a response in the language of the Arab Christians who lived peacefully for hundreds of years before islam forced its way through terrorist jihad atrocities on loving Christians and other nonmuslim people around the world. This worship hymn of our LORD is from the Church of Antioch where we were first called Christians.

Arabs received the revelation of God in Christ Jesus during the miraculous descent of The Holy Spirit in Power at Pentecost as shown in Acts 2:11. Despite all the persecution, the Church of Antioch continued faithfully for 2000 years and has local Churches all over the world.

May we all continue to celebrate Christmas and wish one another a “Merry Christmas” and put up our lights and Christmas trees no matter how many of the antichrist factions unite in attacking the birth of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Long time ago, Herod ordered the murder of all children under the age of two to stop the reign of Christ in the hearts of men, but no more could he stop God than islam can do today.

Do not be afraid! God reigns. Wish someone a Merry Christmas today! Put up your Christmas lights and Trees and Nativity scenes in front of your homes and in public squares. Do not allow sharia law to creep on our land out of fear of “offending” someone. Whether it is received more fully by faith in Christ or simply appreciated by our neighbors, the LOVE of God is a blessing we can share with one another in gentle and kind respect at all times.

For a more life transforming Christmas worship this year, may I humbly also recommend the original Christian practice of entering into times of fasting and prayer prior to celebrating the birth of Christ alongside of other followers of Jesus?

SOURCE

A Uniting of World Religions

Pope to promote peace in talks with world religious leaders

Posted by AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

VATICAN CITY,– Pope Benedict XVI has invited 300 religious leaders to a meeting in Assisi in Italy to repudiate “violence in the name of God” amid growing tensions fuelled by fundamentalists across the world.

The day of interreligious council, which will be held on Thursday in St. Francis of Assisi’s birthplace, is intended to be a “journey of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world,” the Vatican said.

Over 50 Islamic representatives are expected to attend the talks from several countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

They will be joined by Rabbis, Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, a Zoroastrian, a Bahai and representatives of Taoism and Confucianism as well as of other traditional religions from Africa and America.

For the first time, four atheists will also attend the meeting, which is traditionally organised so as not to coincide with the Muslim day of prayer on Friday, the Jewish one on Saturday or the Christian one on Sunday.

However, the Imam from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, a heavyweight authority on Sunnism, will not be coming, having fallen out with the pope after he urged Egypt to protect Christians from attacks by radical Islamists.

The meeting is being criticised by Catholic fundamentalists who are strongly against the idea of dialogue with other religions. French fundamentalist Regis de Cacqueray said 1,000 masses would be needed to be said in reparation.

The event marks the 25th anniversary of the first interreligious meeting in Assisi, organised by John Paul II in 1986 as a “day of prayer” inspired by the United Nation’s proclamation of an International Year of the Peace.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, chose not to attend because of concerns shared by traditionalists that it risked mixing religions into a vague common belief.

While guests attending this year’s encounter — the third in Assisi — will in principle follow a “common course”, those who wish to pray will do so separately, according to their beliefs, the Holy See has said.

Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, who helped organise the first Assisi day in 1986, said John Paul II had been careful to avoid mixing beliefs, and Benedict XVI was no different.

“Interreligious dialogue has spread” over the last 25 years, and the pope sees it “as a common, irrevocable heritage of Christian sensibility,” he said.

The pope’s main aim is for participants to agree to “a common commitment to reject the instrumentalism of religion and the use of violence in the name of God,” said a Vatican insider.

Number two of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pier Luigi Celata, said the problems that particularly concern religions are immigration, cultural diversity, religious liberty and the defence of the family.

“These issues oblige faithful people from different religions to look for common solutions,”
he said.

At the end of the day of talks, the main participants will renew their commitment to peace in the square in front of St. Francis’ Basilica.

A burning torch will be symbolically presented to the delegations in the hope that they will take the message back with them to their communities.

FCC leads the way on persecution of religious broadcasters

FCC leads the way on persecution of religious broadcasters

By BROOKS BOLIEK |

If a church broadcasts the word of God on TV without closed captions, it risks incurring the wrath of the FCC.

Some 300 small- to medium-sized churches can expect letters from the commission within the next few days explaining why their closed captioning exemptions were lifted for TV shows like “Power in the Word” and “Producing Kingdom Citizens.”

The FCC has been mailing the letters for the past few days to churches from Maine to California, explaining that the hundreds of exemptions are now rescinded and giving the programmers 90 days to reapply.

The churches were granted FCC exemptions from the closed captioning requirement under a 2006 commission decision known as the “Anglers Order” for the Anglers for Christ Ministries program that had argued for exemption from the rules.

While the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau used the Anglers Order as the model to grant at least 298 other exemptions, the full commission overturned that decision Oct. 20 after objections were raised from a coalition of organizations for the deaf and hard of hearing.

The churches may still be eligible to win an exemption from the rules if they can prove they can’t afford closed captioning, but they now have to make their case individually.

“This was a process that went awry,”
said Craig Parshall, senior vice president of the National Religious Broadcasters, an international association of Christian communicators. “Now, we are going back to Square One.”

Advocacy groups for the deaf contend that the bureau erred when it granted the exemptions en masse because that created a virtual blanket exemption for nonprofit organizations. Under the closed captioning law, programmers can win an exemption if they can prove that the cost of the captioning will cause an undue economic hardship.

The groups wrote to the FCC asking commissioners to overrule the bureau order arguing that the order “improperly and unilaterally established a new class of exempt programming.”

While the commission’s decision has an immediate impact on churches across the country, it isn’t directed at religious organizations in particular, Parshall said. Small- and medium-sized churches just happened to apply for exemptions under the closed captioning law’s exception for TV shows where paying for captioning is an undue economic burden, Parshall explained.

Advocates for the deaf said they were pleased the commission was taking action on the issue, and hoped that it would make more programming accessible to the deaf and hearing impaired.

“Now, we look forward to viewing more TV shows that were not captioned before,” said Jim House, spokesman for Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc. “It is our hope that those producers affected by the decision would see the positive benefits of making their shows accessible to more and more viewers and find that it is the right thing to do.”

Religious broadcasters want to reach the deaf community, but requiring churches across the country to close caption their TV programs could force the programming off the air, Parshall said.

“We believe our message needs to get out to the deaf and disabled communities,
” Parshall explained. “All we want is a sensible regulatory structure that recognizes the plight of the small Christian broadcaster.

This article first appeared on POLITICO Pro at 3:25 p.m. on October 31, 2011.

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Will the Senate Forget the Lessons from Japanese-American Internment?

Will the Senate Forget the Lessons from Japanese-American Internment?

The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable, changing detention laws to imprison people – including Americans – indefinitely and without charge. Before they proceed, they should review our own history by listening to the voices of the last people systematically targeted and detained by the U.S. government:
Japanese-Americans.

Today the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) sent an important letter to the Senate regarding two damaging sections of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – Sections 1031 and 1032. As we’ve talked to you about before, this would be the first time since 1950 that Congress authorized the American government to detain its citizens without charge or trial.

JACL raises this important history in their letter:

The JACL is particularly concerned with the issue of indefinite detention because of our own experiences related to the illegal Japanese American internment during World War II, an episode that has left an indelible scar on American history. The United States has rightly condemned its decision to forcibly relocate and indefinitely detain individuals of Japanese descent, including American citizens, without due process, and efforts to redress this extraordinary wrongdoing continue to this day.

Relating their history to the proposed legislation, the letter goes on to say:

The JACL also believes that section 1031, if enacted, would be the first time that Congress cuts back on the protections provided by the Non-Detention Act of 1971, which states that, “No citizen shall be imprisoned or otherwise detained by the United States except pursuant to an Act of Congress.” The Non-Detention Act of 1971 expressed the will of Congress and the President that America would never repeat the Japanese American internment experience, and would never subject any other Americans to indefinite detention without charge or trial.

Given our country’s checkered past with this kind of military detention, we hope senators will remove these sections from the NDAA. The Senate has yet to move the bill to the floor but, considering that many view the NDAA as a “must-pass” bill, the fight is long from over.

SOURCE

China To US: Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China

China To US: Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China

Posted on Pakalert

China has officially put the United States on notice that Washington’s planned attack on Pakistan will be interpreted as an act of aggression against Beijing. This blunt warning represents the first known strategic ultimatum received by the United States in half a century, going back to Soviet warnings during the Berlin crisis of 1958-1961, and indicates the grave danger of general war growing out of the US-Pakistan confrontation.


“Any Attack on Pakistan Would be Construed as an Attack on China”

Responding to reports that China has asked the US to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty in the aftermath of the Bin Laden operation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu used a May 19 press briefing to state Beijing’s categorical demand that the “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected.” According to Pakistani diplomatic sources cited by the Times of India, China has “warned in unequivocal terms that any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China.” This ultimatum was reportedly delivered at the May 9 China-US strategic dialogue and economic talks in Washington, where the Chinese delegation was led by Vice Prime Minister Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo.1 Chinese warnings are implicitly backed up by that nation’s nuclear missiles, including an estimated 66 ICBMs, some capable of striking the United States, plus 118 intermediate-range missiles, 36 submarine-launched missiles, and numerous shorter-range systems.

Support from China is seen by regional observers as critically important for Pakistan, which is otherwise caught in a pincers between the US and India: “If US and Indian pressure continues, Pakistan can say ‘China is behind us. Don’t think we are isolated, we have a potential superpower with us,’” Talat Masood, a political analyst and retired Pakistani general, told AFP.2

The Chinese ultimatum came during the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani in Beijing, during which the host government announced the transfer of 50 state-of-the-art JF-17 fighter jets to Pakistan, immediately and without cost.3 Before his departure, Gilani had stressed the importance of the Pakistan-China alliance, proclaiming: “We are proud to have China as our best and most trusted friend. And China will always find Pakistan standing beside it at all times….When we speak of this friendship as being taller than the Himalayas and deeper than the oceans it truly captures the essence of our relationship.”4 These remarks were greeted by whining from US spokesmen, including Idaho Republican Senator Risch.

The simmering strategic crisis between the United States and Pakistan exploded with full force on May 1, with the unilateral and unauthorized US commando raid alleged to have killed the phantomatic Osama bin Laden in a compound at Abottabad, a flagrant violation of Pakistan’s national sovereignty. The timing of this military stunt designed to inflame tensions between the two countries had nothing to do with any alleged Global War on Terror, and everything to do with the late March visit to Pakistan of Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian National Security Council chief. This visit had resulted in a de factoalliance between Islamabad and Riyadh, with Pakistan promising troops to put down any US-backed color revolution in the kingdom, while extending nuclear protection to the Saudis, thus making them less vulnerable to US extortion threats to abandon the oil-rich monarchy to the tender mercies of Tehran. A joint move by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to break out of the US empire, whatever one may think of these regimes, would represent a fatal blow for the fading US empire in South Asia.

As for the US claims concerning the supposed Bin Laden raid of May 1, they are a mass of hopeless contradictions which changes from day to day. An analysis of this story is best left to literary critics and writers of theatrical reviews. The only solid and uncontestable fact which emerges is that Pakistan is the leading US target — thus intensifying the anti-Pakistan US policy which has been in place since Obama’s infamous December 2009 West Point speech.

Gilani: Full Force Retaliation to Defend Pakistan’s Strategic Assets

The Chinese warning to Washington came on the heels of Gilani’s statement to the Pakistan Parliament declaring: “Let no one draw any wrong conclusions. Any attack against Pakistan’s strategic assets, whether overt or covert, will find a matching response…. Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force. No one should underestimate the resolve and capability of our nation and armed forces to defend our sacred homeland.”5 A warning of full force retaliation from a nuclear power such as Pakistan needs to be taken seriously, even by the hardened aggressors of the Obama regime.

The strategic assets Gilani is talking about are the Pakistani nuclear forces, the key to the country’s deterrent strategy against possible aggression by India, egged on by Washington in the framework of the US-India nuclear cooperation accord. The US forces in Afghanistan have not been able to conceal their extensive planning for attempts to seize or destroy Pakistan’s nuclear bombs and warheads. According to a 2009 Fox News report, “The United States has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads if it appears the country is about to fall under the control of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other Islamic extremists.” This plan was developed by General Stanley McChrystal when he headed the US Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. JSOC, the force reportedly involved in the Bin Laden operation. is composed of Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs and “a high-tech special intelligence unit known as Task Force Orange.” “Small units could seize [Pakistan’s nukes], disable them, and then centralize them in a secure location,” claimed a source quoted by Fox.


Obama Has Already Approved Sneak Attack on Pakistan’s Nukes

According to the London Sunday Express, Obama has already approved an aggressive move along these lines: “US troops will be deployed in Pakistan if the nation’s nuclear installations come under threat from terrorists out to avenge the killing of Osama Bin Laden… The plan, which would be activated without President Zardari’s consent, provoked an angry reaction from Pakistan officials… Barack Obama would order troops to parachute in to protect key nuclear missile sites. These include the air force’s central Sargodha HQ, home base for nuclear-capable F-16 combat aircraft and at least 80 ballistic missiles.” According to a US official, “The plan is green lit and the President has already shown he is willing to deploy troops in Pakistan if he feels it is important for national security.”7

Extreme tension over this issue highlights the brinksmanship and incalculable folly of Obama’s May 1 unilateral raid, which might easily have been interpreted by the Pakistanis as the long-awaited attack on their nuclear forces. According to the New York Times, Obama knew very well he was courting immediate shooting war with Pakistan, and “insisted that the assault force hunting down Osama bin Laden last week be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops.”

The Shooting Has Already Started

The shooting between US and Pakistani forces escalated on Tuesday May 17, when a US NATO helicopter violated Pakistani airspace in Waziristan. Pakistani forces showed heightened alert status, and opened fire immediately, with the US helicopter shooting back. Two soldiers at a Pakistani check post on the border in the Datta Khel area were wounded.8

Possible Pakistani retaliation for this border incursion came in Peshawar on Friday, May 20, when a car bomb apparently targeted a 2-car US consulate convoy, but caused no American deaths or injuries. One Pakistani bystander was killed, and several wounded. In other intelligence warfare, Ary One television reported the name of the CIA station chief in Islamabad, the second top US resident spook there to have his cover blown in six months.

US Envoy Grossman Rejects Pakistani Calls To Stop Border Violations

US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman, the replacement for the late Richard Holbrooke, on May 19 arrogantly rejected Pakistani calls for guarantees that no more Abottabad-style unilateral operations would be mounted in Pakistan.9 In refusing to offer such assurances, Grossman claimed that Pakistani officials had never demanded respect for their border in recent years.

In the midst of this strategic crisis, India has gone ahead with inherently provocative scheduled military maneuvers targeting Pakistan. This is the “Vijayee Bhava” (Be Victorious) drill, held in the Thar desert of north Rajastan,. This atomic-biological-chemical Blitzkrieg drill involves the Second Armored Corps, “considered to be the most crucial of the Indian Army’s three principal strike formations tasked with virtually cutting Pakistan in two during a full-fledged war.”

The Nation: A CIA-RAW-Mossad Pseudo-Taliban Countergang

One way to provide the provocation needed to justify a US-Indian attack on Pakistan would be through an increase in terrorist actions attributable to the so-called Taliban. According to the mainstream Pakistani media, the CIA, the Israeli Mossad, and the Indian RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) have created their own version of the Taliban in the form of a terrorist countergang which they control and direct. According to one account, “Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives have infiltrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda networks, and have created their own Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) force in order to destabilize Pakistan.” The former Punjab Regional Commander of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), retired Brigadier General Aslam Ghuman, commented: “During my visit to the US, I learned that the Israeli spy agency Mossad, in connivance with Indian agency RAW, under the direct supervision of CIA, planned to destabilize Pakistan at any cost.”12 Was this countergang responsible for last week’s double bombing in Waziristan, which killed 80 paramilitary police?

According to the same account, Russian intelligence “disclosed that CIA contractor Raymond Davis and his network had provided Al-Qaeda operatives with chemical, nuclear and biological weapons, so that US installations may be targeted and Pakistan be blamed….” Davis, a JSOC veteran himself, was arrested for the murder of two ISI agents, but then released by the Pakistani government after a suspicious hue and cry by the State Department.

CIA Claims The New Al Qaeda Boss Lives in Waziristan

If the US needs a further pretext for additional raids, it will also be easy to cite the alleged presence in Waziristan of Saif al-Adel, now touted by the CIA as bin Laden’s likely successor as boss of al Qaeda.13It is doubtless convenient for Obama’s aggressive intentions that Saif al-Adel can be claimed to reside so close to what is now the hottest border in the world, and not in Finsbury or Flatbush.

In the wake of the unauthorized May 1 US raid, the Pakistani military chief General Kayani had issued his own warning that similar “misadventures” could not be repeated, while announcing that US personnel inside Pakistan would be sharply reduced. In the estimate of one ISI source, there are currently about 7,000 CIA operatives in country, many of them unknown to the Pakistani government. US-Pakistan intelligence sharing has reportedly been downgraded. In response to Kayani’s moves, the CIA limited hangout operation known as Wikileaks once again showed its real nature by attempting to discredit the Pakistan commander with dubious US cable reports that he had demanded more Predator drone attacks, not fewer, in recent years.

Especially since Obama’s West Point speech, the CIA has used Predator drone attacks to slaughter civilians with the goal of fomenting civil war inside Pakistan, leading to a breakup of the country along the ethnic lines of Punjab, Sind, Baluchistan, and Pushtunistan. The geopolitical goal is to destroy Pakistan’s potential to be the energy corridor between Iran and China. Selig Harrison has emerged as a top US advocate for Baluchistan succession.

Since May 1, six reported US Predator drones attacks have slain some 42 Pakistani civilians, goading public opinion into a frenzy of anti-US hatred. In response, a joint session of the Pakistani parliament voted unanimously on May 14 to demand an end to American missile strikes, calling on the government to cut NATO’s supply line to Afghanistan if the attacks should continue.14 Since the Karachi to Khyber Pass supply line carries as much as two thirds of the supplies needed by the Afghanistan invaders, such a cutoff would cause chaos among the NATO forces. All of this points to the inherent insanity of provoking war with the country your supply line runs through.

US Wants to Use Taliban Boss Mullah Omar Against Pakistan

The State Department dropped all preconditions for negotiating with the Taliban back in February, and the US is now reported by the Washington Post to be talking with envoys of Mullah Omar, the legendary one-eyed leader of the Quetta Shura or Taliban ruling council. It is apparent that the US is offering the Taliban an alliance against Pakistan. US regional envoy Grossman is hostile to the Pakistanis, but when it comes to the Taliban he has been nicknamed “Mr. Reconciliation.”15 By contrast, the US is said to be determined to assassinate the head of the Haqqani network using a Bin Laden-type raid. The Pakistanis are equally determined to keep the Haqqani as an ally.

If China stands behind Pakistan, then Russia might be said to stand behind China. Looking forward to the upcoming June 15 meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Chinese President Hu praised Sino-Russian relations as being “at an unprecedented high point,” with an “obvious strategic ingredient.” In a press conference this week, Russian President Medvedev was obliged indirectly to acknowledge that the much-hyped Obama “reset” with Russia had amounted to very little, since the US ABM missile program in Romania and the rest of eastern Europe, so obviously directed against Russia, means that the START treaty is of dubious value, thus raising the specter of a “new Cold War.” Given the NATO assault on Libya, there would be no UN resolution against Syria, said Medvedev. Putin has been right all along, and Medvedev is trying to imitate Putin to salvage some chance of remaining in power.

Are We in July 1914?

The crisis leading to World War I began with the Sarajevo assassinations of June 28, 1914, but the first major declaration of war did not occur until August 1. In the interim month of July 1914, large parts of European public opinion retreated into a dreamlike trance, an idyllic la-la land of elegiac illusion, even as the deadly crisis gathered momentum. Something similar can be seen today. Many Americans fondly imagine that the alleged death of Bin Laden marks the end of the war on terror and the Afghan War. Instead, the Bin Laden operation has clearly ushered in a new strategic emergency. Forces which had opposed the Iraq war, from MSNBC to many left liberals of the peace movement, are variously supporting Obama’s bloody aggression in Libya, or even celebrating him as a more effective warmonger than Bush-Cheney because of his supposed success at the expense of Bin Laden. In reality, if there were ever a time to mobilize to stop a new and wider war, this is it.


This post first appeared on Webster Tarpley’s website.
References

1 economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/china-asks-us-to-respect-paks-sovereignty-independence/articleshow/8454577.cms

2 “China-Pakistan alliance strengthened post bin Laden,” AFP, May 15, 2011,www.sundaytimes.lk/index.php/analysis/7546-china-pakistan-alliance-strengthened-post-bin-laden

3 www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/world/asia/20pakistan.html?_r=3

4 www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2011/05/08/Gilani-China-best-most-trusted-friend/UPI-96101304911435/

5www.nypost.com/p/news/international/pakistani_pm_regrets_unilateral_GAOWNTpBXGJaJtwzWaZu0K?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

6 Rowan Scarborough,”U.S. Has Plan to Secure Pakistan Nukes if Country Falls to Taliban, Fox News, May 14, 2009.

7 “US ‘To Protect Pakistan,” London Sunday Express, May 15, 2011,www.express.co.uk/posts/view/246717/US-to-protect-Pakistan-

8 www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/17/us-pakistan-nato-idUSTRE74G0PS20110517

9 “US refuses to assure it will not act unilaterally,” thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=15758

10 “No US assurance on unilateral ops,” nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/Politics/20-May-2011/No-US-assurance-on-unilateral-ops

11 “Getting leaner and meaner? Army practices blitzkrieg to strike hard at enemy,” Times of India, May 10, 2011, articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-05-10/india/29527731_1_three-strike-corps-army-and-iaf-transformational

12 “CIA has created own Taliban to wreak terror havoc on Pakistan, claims Pak paper,” ANI, May 12,my.news.yahoo.com/cia-created-own-taliban-wreak-terror-havoc-pakistan-091621821.html

13 “New al-Qaeda chief in North Waziristan,” May 19, 2011

14 www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43033985/ns/world_news-south_and_central_asia/

15 www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/afghanistan/8519535/US-steps-up-face-to-face-peace-talks-with-Taliban.html

SOURCE

Euphrates River is Drying Up!

Historic Euphrates River is Drying Up!

This is a sign of the end times, the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ is near. The rapture of the Church is even nearer!

Revelation 16:12
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

Revelation 9:13-15
13 Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14 saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” 15 So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind.

Revelation 16:12
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

New York Times reports :

Throughout the marshes, the reed gatherers, standing on land they once floated over, cry out to visitors in a passing boat. “Maaku mai!” they shout, holding up their rusty sickles. “There is no water!”

The Euphrates is drying up. Strangled by the water policies of neighbouring Turkey and Syria; a two-year drought; and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the river is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago. Some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now.

The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end, has decimated farms along its banks, left fishermen impoverished and depleted riverside towns as farmers flee to the cities looking for work.

The drought is widespread in Iraq. Along the river, rice and wheat fields have turned to baked dirt. Canals have dwindled to shallow streams, and fishing boats sit on dry land.

The area sown with wheat and barley in the rain-fed north is down by roughly 95 per cent, and the date, palm and citrus orchards of the east are parched.

For two years rainfall has been far below normal, leaving the reservoirs dry, and U.S. officials predict that wheat and barley output will be a little over half of what it was two years ago.

It is a crisis that threatens the roots of Iraq’s identity, not only as the land between two rivers, but as a nation that was once the largest exporter of dates in the world, that once supplied German beer with barley and took patriotic pride in its expensive Anbar rice.

Now Iraq is importing more and more grain. Farmers along the Euphrates say with anger and despair that they may have to abandon Anbar rice for cheaper varieties. Droughts are not rare in Iraq. But drought is only part of what is choking the Euphrates and its larger, healthier twin, the Tigris.

The most frequently cited culprits are the Turkish and Syrian governments. Iraq has plenty of water, but it is a downstream country. There are at least seven dams on the Euphrates in Turkey and Syria, according to Iraqi water officials. With no treaties or agreements, the Iraqi government is reduced to begging its neighbours for water.

But many U.S., Turkish and even Iraqi officials say the real problem lies in Iraq’s own deplorable water management policies. Leaky canals and wasteful irrigation practices squander the water, and poor drainage leaves fields so salty from evaporated water that women and children dredge huge white mounds from pools of runoff.

There is no shortage of resentment at the Turks and Syrians. But there is also resentment against Americans, Kurds, Iranians and the Iraqi government. Scarcity makes foes of everyone. In the southeast, where the Euphrates nears the end of its 2,780-kilometre journey and mingles with the less salty waters of the Tigris before emptying into the Persian Gulf, the situation is grave.

The marshes there that were intentionally reflooded in 2003, rescuing the ancient culture of the marsh Arabs, are drying up again. Sheep graze on land in the middle of the river. The farmers, reed gatherers and buffalo herders keep working, but they say they cannot continue if the water stays like this.

Next winter will be the final chance,” said Hashem Hilead Shehi, a 73-year-old farmer who lives in a bone-dry village west of the marshes. “If we are not able to plant, then all of the families will leave.”

The Bible says the Euphrates river will be the initial division between the North and the South when the nations of the world begin to align in preparation for the battle of Armageddon. It is in this last battle that the nations of the earth will fight Jesus Christ and His angels coming down from Heaven. Jesus will conquer all the armies against Him and will begin to directly rule the world from His throne in Jerusalem. Map of Euphrates River Valley and Middle East

SOURCE

Is the END really Near? A glance at something called ” The Rapture”?

China, along with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa are leading the charge to stop trading in dollar denominations. Such a move would accelerate the development of a New World Order currency system which would eventually culminate in the infamous 6-6-6 monetary program as prophesied in Revelation chapter 13.

The news headline of one Chinese newspaper boasted: “Leaders Call for Peace and Prosperity.” That headline is reminiscent of the famous prophetic Biblical Prophecy of “Peace and Safety” passage by Paul in his first letter to the church in Thessalonica.

Ist Thessalonians 5: 1-3 then also 4-10

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

“For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

“For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

“But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

“Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

“Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

“For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

“But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

“Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.


Paul’s final words in his first letter to the Thessalonians is to identify the prevalent world attitude of “Peace and Safety” as the signal that the God’s judgment is about to descend upon humanity.

Furthermore, Paul follows up with encouragement, reassurance and a series of commands. Note the contrast of Paul’s statement in verse 3 with what follows in verses 4-10. In verse 3, Paul states that with the world view of “Peace and Safety” comes sudden Divine Judgmetn upon the earth and then in verse 4 a sharp contrast is presented by the condition and attitude of believers in Christ.

In verse 4, Paul begins with a conjunction or a connective word, “BUT.” Furthermore. the word translated as “but” is not the first word in the Greek sentence structure. The first word in the sentence is “You” followed by the word “de” which is translated as “but.” Now what is so important with this word order?

The Greek grammar did not use exclamation points to underscore the stress of a word. The way an author would indicate stress is to take the word to be stressed and misplace it within the sentence structure. So, here Paul changes the word order and puts “You” ahead of “but” then followed by the word for “brothers.”

So here’s the actual word order by Paul: “You, But, Brothers” – instead of “But, You, Brothers…” So what is Paul trying to tell us?

BUT, YOU Brothers are … and then Paul uses a negative to contrast the positive in verse 3 which is judgment. So Paul is saying “BUT YOU Brothers are NOT in darkness, whereas the world is in darkness, so that “that day” should overtake you as a thief.

Paul is saying to the Thessalonians that believers are NOT in darkness to be surprised when the judgment does come. Paul then positively states that we are all children of light and children of the day and not of the night nor of darkness. The implications are that the judgment comes in the night and of darkness. This is a further hint that genuine, true believers will not be around to experience the night, the darkness and the judgment.

Paul then admonishes us to not fall asleep as do others – but rather we are warned to “Watch” and be of sound mind (sober). Then in verse 7 he gives us the reason to watch and be sober.

“For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.”

Then Paul once again uses the word “BUT” to draw a sharp contrast. The contrast is night versus day and in particular in verse 8 — “BUT” let us who are of the day, be sober, — putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.”

Now the Greek word translated in verse 8 as “hope” is not what the original Greek word means. It is the world Elpides and it means “a belief or attitude or expectation” of security with a guarantee. So the idea does not carry the idea of uncertainty as we would think of with the word hope. It means an a secure expectation with a guarantee or a guaranteed expectation. The statement finishes with what the guaranteed expectation is – salvation.

So that, verse 8 states that we are to put on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet (indicating brain activity or thought) of a guaranteed salvation. Salvation is guaranteed. This is further underscored by Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:8-9 where Paul tells us that we are saved by grace (a free gift given to us) are you “being continually and foreever saved” ( a Greek perfect participle) at a point of time in the past continuing into the present and never ending. A washing process from which you cannot escape and a process that never ends, having eternally abiding results. And to underscore this, Paul states there can be no human activity involved in the salvation process.

So then, Paul tells us that we are to put on the helmet of understanding that our salvation is guaranteed.

Then in verse 9, Paul continues with the conjunction “For.” The conjunction “For” means were are to connect what has just been stated to the concept in words that is to follow.

For … God has not … and here again, Paul uses a Negative for contrast… God has NOT “appointed” us to wrath.

Now the Greek word translated in the KJV as “appointed” is the Greek word – “etheto” and its root “tithemi” which is also found in Acts 1:7. It is really best translated as “decreed” where in God issues a “decree” or a ‘command” or an “order.” In the context of Acts 1:7 God decreed the times and the seasons. In Paul’s comment of Ist Thessalonians 5:9 the word references believers as having been decreed to NOT experience His wrath as in the Divine Wrath about to descend on Earth as the context indicates from this passage.

So what are we to conclude from Paul’s statement in verse 8? The context of the passage is found in verse 3 of impending judgment from God upon humanity. In verse 8, Paul informs us that believers have been decreed to NOT experience God’s Day of Wrath or God’s Divine Judgment upon humanity as in the Tribulation period. Therefore, this verse tells us that believers will not experience the Tribulation Wrath of God. So how will believers avoid being afflicted by God’s wrath? We won’t be here to witness or experience it. The prior chapter, chapter 4 tells us that we will have been raptured away from planet Earth prior to the Great Tribulation Wrath. This verse stands in sharp contrast with the claims by some that the Church will go through the Tribulation and experience God’s Wrath on humanity.

I believe that prior to the launch of Divine Wrath, God will send His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ to ‘snatch away” (Harpahdzho) those believers both dead and alive and transport them to a place of safety. Then as events unfold, others may come to believe in God’s plan of salvation but they will have to endure the Tribulation wrath and or be martyred for Christ.

The bottom line here brings us back to the very beginning of this article and the Chinese newspaper headline: “Leaders Call for Peace and Prosperity.” Such a declaration reminds us of how close we must be to that point of time when, suddenly as a thief in the night, believers are “harpahdzhoed” out of humanity and taken to a place of safety by a supernatural act of Jesus Christ and His accompanying angels, just as 1st Thessalonians 4 describes it and as Revelation 18:4 fills in the detail of the “shout of command.” which Paul speaks of in 1st Thessalonians 4: 16-17.

Are you ready for that shout of command and the event which leads you to safety, prior to God pouring out His wrath on Earth?

SOURCE