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from The Express:

Violence broke out in Shanggiu in Henan province after 300 police officers and officials demolished the Shuangmiao Christian Church—which was under construction.

Officers dragged out around 40 Christians with one worshipper comparing the brutal scenes to the Japanese invasion of during the Second World War, according to charity China Aid.

Eight Christians remain in custody following the incident amid a crackdown on churches by the communist regime.

hina Aid said: “During the demolition, officials beat dozens of church members, pushing them to the ground and twisting their hands.

“The church was completely razed, and a church member likened the scene to the Japanese invasion of China during World War II.

“Of the 40 seized, eight are still in custody, and the cases of Shuangmiao Christian Church pastor Zhang Di and the church’s vice director, Lü Yuexia, were recently transferred to the Procuratorate, which will decide whether or not to formalise their arrest.”

The Supreme People’s Procuratorate is the highest agency in China responsible for prosecutions.

According to churchgoers Xi Jinping’s Communist Party ordered the church to be destroyed after branding the building an “illegal structure”.

Party officials were sent to the church to search the building and belongings of people on site.

China Aid said the party confiscated phones and other personal property, damaged closets, smashed offering boxes, and stole laptops, money, and jewellery.

The demolition came as row between the church and government escalated over allegations the church refused to pay a £450 arbitrary road usage fee.

Pastor Zhang Di was summoned for questioning last month and accused of assaulting police officers and attacking a village official.

Church leaders are urging the government to release the pastor and churchgoers. They are also calling for police linked to the investigation to be punished.

The Chinese Communist Party has launched a major crackdown on in recent months in an attempt to oppress religious freedom and exercise control.

Churches not sanctioned by the government have been put under surveillance with hundreds of Christians arrested for disturbing public order for offences such as holding bible study groups and displaying crucifixes outside their homes.

There have been reports of Christians being banned from praying, singing hymns, crosses removed from buildings and people arrested for attending church services.

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From CBN News:

banned-cross

A new California bill could prevent faith-based organizations from enforcing their own ethical standards and codes.

Many religious organizations ask new employees to sign a code of conduct that aligns with what the Bible says about abortion, contraception, and sex outside of marriage. However, a new bill called AB 569 calls these provisions discriminatory and says they should be banned.

The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzales Fletcher, says religious organizations are “invading the privacy and personal lives of women” when they prohibit their “reproductive choices,” including abortion or extramarital sex.

“A woman should never face repercussions in the workplace for her reproductive choices,” said Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher. “It’s unacceptable.”

California Family Council President Jonathan Keller argues that preventing religious organizations from enforcing their own policies is religious discrimination.

“Every organization that promotes a pro-life message must be able to require its employees to practice what they preach,” said Keller. “The right to freely exercise one’s religion is enshrined in our Constitution and has always protected every American’s ability to freely associate around shared beliefs and practices. It is unconscionable for any politician to attempt to abridge this sacrosanct religious liberty by inserting themselves into the employee-employer relationship.”

Keller went further by pointing out that organizations must implement these policies if they are to be faithful to their religious beliefs and core mission.

Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, is working tirelessly to mobilize the nation against the bill. He encourages Americans  to call their lawmakers and make their voices heard.

“They have to call in droves,” Thomasson told CBN News. “But really, the repeal needs to be in our own hearts and minds. We have to stop voting for people that are against religious freedom.”

Americans who wish to get involved can do so by going to savecalifornia.com where they can find steps on how to fight the bill.

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It is a long tradition for citizens of great powers and or empires to place a divine plan and providence on the reason for their country’s greatness, and from that very large misunderstanding thus has begun the “tyranny of good intentions”.

Here in the U.S. we have recently seen that play out with the Presidential elections, a large percentage of professing Christians publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President, prescribing to his candidacy a sort of divine intervention!

The sad truth is we are currently in that long Biblical span called “The Age of the Gentiles” that time span from when Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and his Roman Legions to the time when Anti-Christ is  revealed!

This age is not one of great Christians nations being raised up by God to be used by God for righteous acts, it is a time of deep and growing apostasy! No gentile nation is called out in God’s word during this time as exceeding in righteousness! On the contrary it is an age of apostate and pagan gentile nations becoming more violent and opposed to God culminating in the Anti-Christ system coming against Israel!

Living in and being born in the U.S. it has been perplexing to watch the number of Christians who blind themselves to this fact, and this includes so called Christian leaders!

Christianity in this age does influence society and reign in evil, however as Christians in this age become more apostate and rejecting of large portions of Jesus’ teachings that influence begins to wane.

This article is from a financial blog, I do not endorse the website, but I do agree with many of the points laid out in this article, as what needs to be accepted by ALL Christians in this age, is that everything that every Gentile nation in this age does leads to the end times! Corrupt governments and people are leading the world to globalization, and there is a push to bring all countries under a global system. This article explains how the U.S. is attempting to do that.

Whats interesting and closely aligns with this article, is that the Bible does not speak of a nation outside Eurasia as a great power in the end times, instead this article, other articles, books, and God’s word point back to Eurasia as the center of global power in the end times.

The mechanisms for a global system have been set up, they were created to allow the U.S. to be the preeminent global power after World War Two. However the U.S. will most certainly not remain that global power in the future. Global power will return to the Eurasian land mass. And that power will utilize the global mechanisms that were set up by the U.S. to achieve global preeminence!

If you read the history of great powers, succeeding powers like to use the mechanisms of the previous power, as it limits disruption, it gives the new power a certain amount of legitimacy, and it allows large numbers of people and countries to continue with their livelihoods!

From ZeroHedge:

Understanding the objectives and logic that accompany the expansion of nations or empires is always of paramount importance in helping one draw lessons for the future

In this series of four articles I intend to lay a very detailed but easily understandable foundation for describing the mechanisms that drive great powers. To succeed, one must analyze the geopolitical theories that over more than a century have contributed to shaping the relationship between Washington and other world powers. Secondly, it is important to expound on how Washington’s main geopolitical opponents (China, Russia and Iran) have over the years been arranging a way to put a stop to the intrusive and overbearing actions of Washington. Finally, it is important to take note of the possibly significant changes in American foreign policy doctrine that have been occurring over the last twenty years, especially how the new Trump administration intends to change course by redefining priorities and objectives.

The first analysis will therefore focus on the international order, globalization, geopolitical theories, their translations into modern concepts, and what controlling a country’s sovereignty means.

Globalization and the International Order

It is important to first define the international order among nations before and after the collapse of the Berlin wall, especially focusing on the consequences of existing in a globalized world.

For the first half of the twentieth century the world found itself fighting two world wars, then, during the Cold War, lasting from 1945 to 1989, the balance of power maintained by the US and USSR held the prospect of a third world war at bay. With the dissolution of the USSR, the United States, the only remaining world superpower, thought it could aspire to absolute domination over the globe, as was famously expressed through the Project for A New American Century. Putting aside for a moment perpetual wars, one of the key strategies towards fulfilling this objective was the so-called experiment of globalization, applied especially in trade, economics and finance, all of course driven by American interests.

Having achieved victory in the Cold War over its socialist rival, the world went from a capitalist system to a turbo-charged capitalist system. US corporations, thanks to this model of world globalized economy, have experienced untold riches, such as Apple and other IT corporations generating amounts of cash flow equivalent to that of small countries.

Banks and US financial institutions such as Wall Street incrementally increased their already considerable influence over foreign nations thanks to the rise of computer technology, automation and accounting deceptions such as derivatives, just to give one example. The FED implemented policies that took advantage of the role of the dollar in the globalized economy (the dollar is the premier world reserve currency). Over the years this has caused economic crises of all kinds all over the world, defrauding the entire economic system, consisting of schemes such as being able to print money at will, allowing for the financing massive wars, even going so far as lowering interest rates to 0% to keep banks and big corporations from failing – all a repudiation of the most basic rules of capitalism. All this was made possible because the US being the sole world power after 1989, allowing Washington to write the rules of the game in its favor.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wall Street, Big Oil and military corporations, health-care providers, the insurance and agricultural industries slowly replaced national governments, managing to dictate agendas and priorities. A political form of globalization has led to an expropriation of national sovereignty in Europe, with the creation of the Euro and the Lisbon Treaty signed by all EU nations in 2007.

Globalization has forced the concept of sovereign states directed by their citizens to be replaced with an international superstructure led by the United States, driving away even more citizens from the decision-making process. The European Union, and in particular the European Commission (not elected, but appointed), is unpopular not only for the decisions it has taken but also for the perception that it is an imposter making important decisions without ever having been elected.

Basically, with the end of the USSR, the international order went from a relationship between states made up of citizens to a relationship between international superstructures (NATO, UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, EU) and citizens, with the weight of the balance of power decisively in favor of the globalists with the economic burden resting on the people.

The international order and globalization are therefore to be interpreted according to the logic of Washington, always looking for new ways to dominate the globe, preserving its role of world superpower.

It is also for this reason that it is important to understand some geopolitical theories that underlie US strategic decisions in the pursuit of world domination. These theories are some of the most important with which Washington has, over the last 70 years, tried to pursue total domination of the planet.

MacKinder + Spykman + Mahan = World Domination

 Before examining geopolitical theories, it is important to understand the effects of globalization and the changing international order it entails, a direct consequence of US strategy that seeks to control every aspect of the economic, political and cultural decisions made by foreign countries, usually applying military means to achieve this objective.
heartland

Heartland

The first geopolitical theory is the so-called Heartland theory, drawn up in 1904 by English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder. The basic principle was the following:

«Heartland or Heartlands (literally: the Heart of the Earth) is a name that was given to the central zone of the Eurasian continent, corresponding roughly to Russia and the neighboring provinces, by Sir Halford Mackinder, the English geographer and author of Democratic Ideals and Reality; the Heartlands of the theory was submitted to the Royal Geographical Society in 1904.

The Heartland was described by Mackinder as the area bounded to the west by the Volga, the Yangtze River to the east, from the Arctic to the north and south from the western Himalayas. At the time, this area was almost entirely controlled by the Russian Empire.

For Mackinder, who based his theory on the geopolitical opposition between land and sea, Heartland was the “heart” button of all the earth civilization, because logistically unapproachable by any thalassocracy. Hence the phrase that sums up the whole concept of Mackinder’s geopolitics: ‘Who controls East Europe commands the Heartland: Who controls the Heartland commands the World-Island: Who controls the World-Island commands the world’».

In terms of countries, the Heartland consists mainly of Russia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, the Central Asian countries, and parts of Iran, China, Belarus and Ukraine.

periphery

Rimland

The second geopolitical theory, another important lodestar for US foreign policy, was developed in the 1930s by the American Nicholas J. Spykman, also a student of geography as well as a scholar of MacKinder’s theory. Spykman, thanks to advancing naval technology, added to the definition of the Heartland theory the Rimland theory. The Rimland is divided into four main areas: Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Asia.

«For ‘world island’ it means the Eurasian region, ranging from Western Europe to the Far East. If for Mackinder the Tsarist empire represents the aforesaid area-pin, Spykman instead focuses on the area around Heartland, i.e. Rimland, recognizing it as a strategic point of great importance. The Rimland is characterized by the presence of rich countries, technologically advanced, with great availability of resources and easy access to the seas. Its size at the same time makes sea and land attacked by both sides. On the other hand this means that its dual nature as a possible mediating zone between the two world powers: the United States and Russia. The greatest threat from the geopolitical point of view lies in the union between Heartland and Rimland under one power».

The Rimland essentially consists of Europe (including eastern Europe), Turkey, the Middle East, the Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines*, Thailand, Vietnam) and Japan.

As one can see from observing a map, the United States is not physically close to either the Rimland or the Heartland. They are both on the other side of two 6,000-mile oceans. The US is undeniably protected in this way, almost impervious to attack, with an abundance of resources and powerful allies in Europe. These are all characteristics that have favored the rise of the American superpower throughout the twentieth century.

But world domination is a different matter and, given the geographical location of the US compared to the Heartland and Rimland, first requires a large capacity to project power. Of course with two oceans in between, it is naval power through which power has been conveyed, especially in the early part of the last century.

Mahan and Maritime Power

The third geopolitical theory is based on the importance given to maritime (or naval) power. The author of this theory, propounded towards the end of 1800, was US Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.

 «Mahan was a ‘precursor’ to international organizations. He assumed that through a union between the United States and Britain, being two maritime powers, they could unite to share the conquest of the seas. The key concept is that ‘the maritime powers are united in opposition to those continental.’ Mahan explains the concept of naval doctrine, which is the policy that states pursue in the maritime and military arenas. In order for a state to have a naval doctrine, it must possess a substantial navy, as well as of course access to the sea, adequate projection capability, adequate means, and have strategic objectives to be protected (such as security zones exposed to risk)».

As one can easily understand, these three doctrines are central to controlling the whole world. Dominating the Heartland is possible thanks to the control of the Rimland, and in order to conquer the Rimland it is necessary to control shipping routes and dominate the seas, relying upon the Mahan theory of maritime supremacy.

In this sense, seas and oceans of great geographic importance are those that encircle the Rimland: The East and South China Seas, the Philippine Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Celebes Sea, the Java Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and finally the Mediterranean.

In particular, straits such as Malacca, between Indonesia and Malaysia, or the Suez Canal, are of strategic importance due to their role as a transit route and connection between all the seas adjacent to the so-called Rimland.

A bit of history. Route to global domination

It was Hitler’s Germany during World War II that tried to put into practice the theory of geopolitics MacKinder was describing, managing to seize the Heartland but ultimately amounting to nothing with the final victory of the Red Army, who rebuffed and destroyed the Nazis.

After the end of World War II, the United States placed the Soviet Union in its crosshairs, with the intention of conquering the Heartland and thereby dominating the world. Alternatively, Plan B was to prevent other nations from teaming together to dominate the Heartland. This explains the historical conflicts between the US and Iran and between Russia and China, the three most important nations composing the Heartland.

Russia, since Tsarist times and throughout the Soviet period to today, has always been in the crosshairs of the United States, given its geographical location central to the Heartland.

Iran also constitutes a valuable piece of the ‘Heart of the World’, which was gifted to the Anglo-Americans courtesy the Pahlavi monarchy lending itself to the American plan to conquer the heart of the land. It was only after the 1979 revolution, which ousted the Pahlavi monarchy and installed an Islamic Republic, that Tehran became an enemy of Washington.

The reason why Afghanistan was invaded and Ukraine destabilized, and why the Belarusian leadership is hated almost as much as is the Russian one, is the same, namely, the geographical positions of these countries in composing the Heartland compels the US to conquer them as part of its grand strategy to dominate the world through the control of the Heartland.

The Republic of China, another constituent part of the Heartland theory, was during the Cold War the great Asian pivot thanks to Kissinger’s policy aimed at curbing the USSR and preventing the birth of a possible alliance between Tehran, Moscow and Beijing that would dominate the Heartland, especially in the late 1980s. The United States, instead of directly attacking China, used it against the Soviet Union. Washington’s primary goal, as well as to expand its influence everywhere, was to prevent any kind of alliance that would control the Heartland, specially preventing any alliance or understanding between Moscow and Beijing; but this will be very well explained in my third analysis on how Eurasia reunited to reject the American global empire.

Control of a nation

Historically, control of a nation takes place through military power that allows for a variety of impositions. Also, culture is part of the process of conquering a nation. Today, other than militarily, it is mainly economic power that determines the national sovereignty of a nation. In the modern world, especially in the last three decades, if you control the economy of a nation, you control the rulers of that nation. The dollar and neoliberal experiments like globalization are basically the two most powerful and invasive American tools to employ against geopolitical opponents. The application of military force is no longer the sole means of conquering and occupying a country. Obligating the use of a foreign currency for trade or limiting military supplies from a single source, and impeding strategic decisions in the energy sector, are ways the globalist elites are able to dominate a foreign country, taking control over its policies. The European Union and the NATO-member countries are good examples of what artificially independent nations look like, because they are in reality fully dispossessed of strategic choices in the areas mentioned. Washington decides and the vassals obey.

It is not always possible to employ military power as in the Middle East, or to stage a color revolution as in Ukraine. Big and significant nations like Russia, India, China and Iran are virtually impossible to control militarily, leaving only the financial option available. In this sense, the role of central banks and the de-dollarization process are a core strategic interest for these countries as a way of maintaining their full sovereignty. In going in this direction, they deliver a dramatic blow to US aspirations for a global empire.

The next article will focus on how the United States has tried to implement these strategies, and how these strategies have changed over the last seventy years, especially over the last two decades.

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from Accuracy in Media:

In the face of President Obama’s veto threat, members of Congress may not be able to pass legislation suspending or upgrading the program permitting refugees from Syria, the Middle East and North Africa to settle in the U.S. But the Republican Congress certainly has the power to hold hearings into the millions of taxpayer dollars being funneled through Catholic and other church groups to bring them here. Many Catholics and non-Catholics alike would like to know how “religious compassion,” using federal money, is increasing the potential terrorist threat to America.

You may recall that Pope Francis promoted the Obama administration’s pro-immigration policies during his visit to the U.S. Left unsaid was the fact that the American branch of the Roman Catholic Church is getting millions of taxpayer dollars to settle refugees. According to their financial statement for 2014, the latest year for which figures are available, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops received over $79 million in government grants to provide benefits to refugees.

Simply stated, Congress can expose how the money is being spent and cut it off.

Some of the refugees being settled are Catholics from Latin America who join the church in the U.S. But others are from the Middle East. Ironically, the Catholic Bishops are bringing Muslims in, while closing down Catholic churches inside the U.S.

Ann Corcoran’s Refugee Resettlement Watch website notes that Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church in Syracuse, New York, was closed down by the Catholic Church and has been leased to an Islamic society which renamed it Mosque Of Jesus The Son Of Mary.

“There are slim copper crescents where, for 100 years, there had been crosses,” reportsMarnie Eisenstadt of the Syracuse Post-Standard and Syracuse.com. She adds, “The six crosses were removed and replaced at the end of June. Four of them were massive: 600 pounds of concrete each, and more than 4 feet tall. The step was the last, and most visible, in the building’s change from church to mosque.”

The situation is even worse in Europe, where Islam is replacing Christianity as the dominant religion.

The Catholic News Agency reports that only 2.9 percent of the French population actually practice the Catholic faith. That compares to 3.8 percent of the population that practice Islam.

It is reported that as many as 150 new mosques currently are under construction in France.

Nevertheless, in response to the recent wave of Muslims fleeing the Middle East, Pope Francis has appealed to Europe’s Catholics, calling on “every” parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary to take in one refugee family.

The Catholic Church in America would clearly prefer to bring immigrants into the U.S. from Latin America, where Catholicism is still strong, and have them join Catholic churches in the U.S. The Catholic Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reportsthat 40 percent of all growth in registered parishioners in Catholic parishes between 2005 and 2010 was from Hispanic or Latino Catholics.

But even with the massive immigration from Latin America, Catholic churches around the U.S. are still being closed down. A group called Future Church reports that hundreds of parishes have been merged or closed in New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland and many other urban and rural places.

“Recently,” the group reported, “the Archdiocese of New York merged or closed more than 70 parishes, often in the face of staunch opposition by committed parishioners. Pope Francis, during his U.S. visit, stopped at Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, where the Archdiocese closed the parish in 2007.”

Corcoran has recorded a popular video, sponsored by the Center for Security Policy, explaining the history of resettlement refugee policies and their connections to Muslim groups and the United Nations.

James Simpson’s book, The Red-Green Axis: Refugees, Immigration and the Agenda to Erase America, notes that the Catholic Church has been a major component of the open borders movement.

Many Catholic groups are proud of the federal dollars they receive, for purposes that go far beyond refugee resettlement.

Overall, reports Network, the self-described Catholic Social Justice Lobby, “…the Obama administration has actually increased funding for Catholic nonprofit organizations and programs. In fact, more than $1.5 billion went to Catholic organizations over the past two years.” These figures include an increase from just over $440 million (2008) to more than $554 million (2010) to Catholic Charities USA.

In addition to direct federal grants to help refugees, government at various levels provide subsidized housing, healthcare, food stamps, other cash assistance, and free education. There is also a cost to the criminal justice system of taking care of the criminals among them.

It’s the Catholic role, in collaboration with the federal government, in bringing refugees to the U.S. that caused Corcoran to leave the church. She told Accuracy in Media, “In 2002, having been raised in a protestant faith, I became a Catholic. For a few years I loved being a Catholic. All of that changed beginning in 2007 when I learned that another church group began resettling mostly Muslim refugees to my rural county in Western Maryland. I learned that the church group was largely funded and directed by the U.S. State Department to place the refugees in our county with no local input.”

She added, “But that is not everything I learned. My research led me to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ acceptance of over $70 million a year of taxpayer dollars to similarly resettle thousands of impoverished third-worlders, many from Muslim countries, in other unsuspecting towns and cities. Catholic Charities throughout the U.S. get many millions more to do the work as well.”

She says this kind of work by the Catholic and other churches is not Christian charity. “As harsh as it sounds,” she says, “I look on it as thievery when a supposedly non-profit ‘religious charity’ helps itself to the U.S. Treasury and then pats itself on the back for doing good works. And then lobbies Congress for more money for itself to boot!”

Corcoran said she has found reporters reluctant to investigate the federal dollars going to the Catholic Church. “When talking with a reporter recently I was told by the reporter that he would never even have dreamed to look into where the U.S. Bishops were getting their millions of dollars for their ‘migration fund,’ presuming it was from the personal charitable donations of good and generous Catholics in hundreds of parishes across the country,” she said. “I suspect all those good Catholics never think to ask the question either—where are the millions coming from?”

“Why aren’t more reporters exposing the U.S. Bishops deep pockets?” she asks. “And, why are our ‘leaders,’ even our budget hawks, in Washington not speaking up?”

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from Black Community News:

“and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that thy would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist.” Acts 17:26-28a (NASB)

When commenting recently on the shootings of six police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, three of whom died, veteran journalist Tom Brokaw, in opining that the election of an African-American president was evidence that sufficient racial “progress” had been made in America as to avert such incidents lamented, “I thought we’d be a different country by now.”

Why Tom Brokaw – or anyone else – would presume that President Obama, simply on the basis that his melanin is of a different hue than that of his predecessors, should inherently possess the capacity to bring to fruition this new age of collective racial harmony in our nation is beyond me.

Barack Obama didn’t suddenly become black when he was elected president in 2008, you know?

He has been black his entire life.

Since August 4, 1961 to be exact.

Obama was black during the years he spent as a community organizer in Chicago. Conversely, he remained black while serving as a state senatorfrom Illinois prior to running for president in 2008.

Barack Obama is black even as I type this.

And he will continue to be black until the day he breathes his last.

All that to say that if the skin tone of Barack Obama, or any other person for that matter, were in and of itself sufficient to effectuate the kind of racial unity Brokaw hoped would be a reality in America today, there would be ample evidence to support such a proposition.

There isn’t any.

In reflecting on Brokaw’s sentiments, which I have no reason to doubt are genuine and heartfelt, we are presented with somewhat of a paradox in that the optimism he expresses – that America would be a “different country by now” – intrinsically suggests that such a reality cannot be brought to fruition by external forces as if by osmosis, but must be influenced by an internal transformation from within.

The immediate impact of such an irony is that it permanently shifts the paradigm through which we normally would discuss matters of race relations from one ofsociology to one of theology. For to even suggest that a “different” America is the ideal demands that we consider not only thatpeople need to change but why they need to change.

It is an unavoidable construct that inexorably challenges us to look not to ourselves for answers but to God.

“The moment you say that one set of moral ideas can be better than another, you are, in fact, measuring them both by a standard, saying that one of them conforms to that standard more nearly than the other. But the standard that measures two things is something different from either. You are, in fact, comparing them both with some Real Morality, admitting that there is such a thing as a real Right, independent of what people think, and that some people’s ideas get nearer to that real Right than others.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

What Tom Brokaw fails to understand is that the tone of a person’s skin has absolutely no bearing on the tenor of a person’s heart.

Attitudes, for better or worse, are always borne from within, never from without (Mark 7:21-23).

It is naive to suggest that Americans must “come together” to “deal with” these and other matters of national concern, apart from a genuine desire to confront the truth about the real issue we are actually being confronted with.

Namely ourselves and our innately sinful condition (Jeremiah 17:9).

“This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.” – Augustine

Perhaps it has never occurred to Tom Brokaw, or to anyone who happens to share his worldview, that the answer to the problem of deteriorating race relations in America is not to “come together” but to come to Christ.

It could very well be that, sincere though he may be, Brokaw has never truly contemplated that the transformation of a nation’s conscience is achieved only as the gospel of Jesus Christ penetrates the heart of each individual citizen, not by convening yet another town hall or launching yet another series of nationally-televised “conversations on race” (each of which has been tried ad nauseum to no lasting avail).

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” – Hebrews 4:12

If you and I were inherently capable of bringing ourselves into a right relationship with one another, there be no need for people like Brokaw to plead for us to do so.

The reason Tom Brokaw must plead for Americans to “come together” is because it is not our nature to want to be reconciled to each other.

Why would anyone who is inherently capable of reconciliation ever do anything necessitating reconciliation to begin with? If it were in our power to bring ourselves to love others who are of a different race or ethnicity than we, then, under what circumstances would we ever not love them in the first place?

You see, these and other questions are why the answer to all racial discord – in America and around the world – is Christ and His gospel. For only the gospel sufficiently addresses the question of why we need to change, so that the resulting heart change is both lasting and impacting.

“…acts done in sin and contrary to nature can never honor God. Wherever the human will introduces moral evil we have no longer our innocent and harmless powers as God made them; we have instead an abused and twisted thing, which can never bring glory to its Creator.” – A.W. Tozer, Culture: Living as Citizens of Heaven on Earth

As the Scripture above in Acts 17:26 attests, it is God Himself who intentionally ordained you and I to display the racial and ethnic characteristics we possess. In the text, the Greek word for “nation” is speaking not of geographical boundaries, but is the word ethnos from where we derive the English word ethnicity.

Whoever we are, whatever our skin color, native language, or nationality, we are who we are because of the sovereign wisdom and volitional will of an almighty God who created each of us in His image (Genesis 1:27; Exodus 4:11).

That anyone would have the arrogance or the temerity to judge another person based solely on the color of their skin – an attribute which we had absolutely nothing to do with – is sin and is a direct reflection of the darkness of our own heart (John 8:44).

“The bloodline of Christ is deeper than the bloodlines of race. The death and resurrection of the Son of God for sinners is the only sufficient power to bring the bloodlines of race into the single bloodline of the cross.” – John Piper, Bloodlines: Race, the Cross, and the Christian

Unless our hatred of one another is placed at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ, no amount of human effort or, as Tom Brokaw phrased it, “coming together”, will suffice.

To whatever extent racism – and its consequent effects – is a social issue, it is only because racism is a sin that affects all of society. If there is a conversation to be held on the implications and ramifications of racial reconciliation to our society, it must be within the context of biblical theology not practical sociology.

Because racism is an attitude before it ever is an act.

I pray, by God’s grace, that Tom Brokaw will one day come to understand this for himself.

 

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from The Resurgent:

We are rapidly approaching a tipping point in America.

The day is coming, sooner than most think, when we will each have to choose whether to obey God or man, dictatorial bureaucrats or the Constitution, tyrannical judges or our own consciences.

The sooner we grasp this truth the better: simply because a court makes a ruling does not make it right.

Because a law exists is not sufficient reason to obey it.

When Pharaoh ordered all newborn boys to be slaughtered, the Hebrew midwives refused. When the law ordered Northerners to return runaway slaves, most refused. When the United States Supreme Court affirmed “separate but equal” as the law of the land, good citizens refused to comply and fought to end it.

So it is today. As Josiah Gilbert Holland said, “Freedom weeps, wrong rules the land, and waiting justice sleeps.”

The Colorado Supreme Court has chosen not to intervene on behalf of Jack Phillips who refused to decorate (not bake, but decorate) a cake for a same-sex union ceremony—when such unions were illegal in Colorado. 

Erick and I spotlight this case in You Will Be Made to Care:

We have already seen how Jack Phillips Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado has been made to care by this wildfire burning through our culture. The details of the case are chilling. For years Phillips served both gay and straight customers equally. But when a gay couple insisted that Phillips bake a custom wedding cake for them in 2012, he declined.

According to an administrative law judge who reviewed the case, “Phillips believes that decorating cakes is a form of art, that he can honor God through his artistic talents, and that he would displease God by creating cakes for same-sex marriages.”

And get this: Phillips offered to sell the couple a cake he had already made that they could then customize as they desired. They refused, insisting that he be made to decorate it for them.

Phillips made his faith priorities clear: “I’m a man who is devoted to following Jesus Christ. He’s the one that’s in charge of all this…. It’s not up to the courts to decide what marriage is. It’s up to God to decide that. If we are living in obedience to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Bible we are on the right side of history—no matter what they say.”

On August 13, 2015, a Colorado State Court of Appeals ruled Phillips must make cakes for gay weddings if he is to make any cakes at all.

His attorney Jeremy Tedesco said, “Government has a duty to protect people’s freedom to follow their beliefs personally and professionally rather than force them to adopt the government’s views.”

Some have cried discrimination, claiming that Phillips is a hater who refused service to homosexuals. But that is not what happened. He was happy to sell the gay couple a cake that he had made—but that was not enough. They insisted that give his seal of approval to their ceremony by using his baking artistry to create and decorate a customized cake that would celebrate their relationship. They insisted that he violate his conscience. And the government agreed.

To add insult to injury, the court ordered that his entire staff undergo training in the state’s policies—including his eighty-eight-year-old mother.

Re-education camp for bakers has come to America.

David Leach over at The Strident Conservative adds:

Proof of the commission’s absolute cluelessness in this case is provided by Commission Chairwoman, Katina Banks:

“You can have  your beliefs, but you can’t hurt other people at the same time. Religious freedom is undoubtedly an important American value, but so is the right to be treated equally under the law — free from discrimination.”

An “American value?” I’m afraid not, Ms. Banks. IT’S A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT!!

Banks isn’t the only idiot involved in the case who shouldn’t be. Monica Marquiz, one of the justices who voted not to hear the appeal, was the Colorado GLBT Bar Association’s 2009 Outstanding GLBT Attorney Award winner.

Conflict of interest anyone?

When laws and bureaucratic rulings dictate immorality, we are under no obligation–biblically or constitutionally–to comply.

A time of sifting is upon us, a time where we will—each of us—be forced to choose between God and man.

That choice will arrive differently for each of us, but it is coming, of that you can be certain. Are you ready?

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from Breitbart:

Embattled MIT professor Jonathan Gruber has not only gotten in trouble for bragging about helping President Obama put one over on the American people with Obamacare, he’s also been uncovered as an abortion advocate—but not a run-of-the-mill advocate of “women’s rights.”

No, Gruber’s abortion advocacy is of a particularly pungent eugenics variety. He’s on record repeatedly making the case from social science that abortion is a “social good” because it reduces the number of “marginal children,” by which he means urban poor—those he says can be counted on to commit crimes if they were ever born.

Gruber co-authored a paper during the Clinton years which argued that legal abortion had saved the U.S. taxpayer upwards of $14 billion in welfare benefits and that it also lowered crime.

Gruber’s work heavily influenced other researchers, including a paper called The Impact of Legalized Abortion by Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago, whose later bookFreakonomics and whose ongoing work makes the strongest case that abortion legalizations in the 1970s caused a dramatic drop in crime twenty years later.

Pro-lifers have always wondered why the black community has not responded more aggressively to the fact that so many abortion clinics are located in poor neighborhoods and why the black abortion rate is so much higher than whites.

A documentary called Maafa 21 argues that abortion is a part of what they called a “black genocide.”

African-American marketing expert Ryan Scott Bomberger founded an organization calledThe Radiance Foundation that makes commercials for the unborn child with a special emphasis on the high incidence of black abortion. Emmy-wining Bomberger’stoomanyaborted.com campaign looks specifically at black abortion. One meme calls abortion a “civil wrong” and that blacks are “still not free at last” because of abortion. Bomberger is being sued by the NAACP for calling the group “pro-abortion.”

A group called 41 Percent tracks all abortions in New York City, which has an abortion rate at twice the national average, points out that the abortion rate in the largely black borough of The Bronx is an astounding 47%.

These are the types of communities Gruber meant when he referred the “marginal children” who were the most likely to end up on welfare and committing crimes if they were allowed to be born.

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