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Are we in the United States living in a racist, fascist state? Is the new US government opposed to immigration?

Yesterday, April 18th, I became a citizen of the United States. Granted, I’m white: I’m not going to apologize for that. But of the twenty-three people taking part in the swearing-in ceremony I attended, thirteen countries were represented. The bulk of the immigrants were Hispanic, a few were African, and one was from Iraq, named Mohammed.

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I relate this personal experience because I’m amazed at the number of people I’m coming across who have somehow been convinced that Donald Trump-the great Satan in their eyes-is putting a stop to all immigration.

Just this morning, as I told a few of my work-mates what happened to me yesterday, a young man from Korea joined the conversation, and told me that I’d gained citizenship just  in time, because, according to him, Trump is “…deporting all the immigrants”.

I replied that the only immigrants being deported are those who are illegal and who’ve committed a serious crime. The area I live in is heavily populated with Hispanics, and they are clearly under no threat whatsoever. The only immigrants Trump wanted to “ban”-temporarily-were from six Middle-Eastern countries known to harbor enemies of the West, and sworn to kill as many people as they can by stealth and cowardly surprise.

Those who are sowing such lies as the one I mentioned above are sowing hatred and discord. And while I don’t want to have to be another media-basher, the blame lies squarely at the feet of the mainstream media, who have no interest in reporting facts, but only in working to push the collective mind of the nation their way: the warped, false, hateful way.

Thank you Mr. President! You continue to blow out of the water the false, empty claim that you only care for the rich…

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I’ve never purchased my own health insurance in the US-I’ve been blessed with good health, and I haven’t had the money to afford it. So when our last president (you know who) introduced the “affordable care act” and declared that failure to take part and pay for insurance would incur penalties, I didn’t take part, expecting to pay the penalties which I knew would cost less than the premiums. Early plans by some Democrats were to jail those who didn’t comply. And they accuse Trump of being a fascist! To give President Obama credit, I don’t think he intended to enforce that.

This tax season I found on my tax return a question about whether I had purchased health insurance. Expecting to pay Obama’s penalties, I found instead the following notice:

On January 20, 2017 President Trump signed an executive order called, Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal. This executive order allows you to file a tax return without paying a penalty even if the tax family did not have minimum essential cover-age) or show exemptions from coverage. By law taxpayers without coverage and without an exception are subject to a penalty, but because of this order the IRS allows you to instruct the tax software not to calculate it and not to include it in your return.

Thank you President Trump. You continue to fulfill my expectations-a rare accomplishment for a politician…

Here’s the long-awaited third part of my series, “Why I Believe in God”, outlining some of the supporting reasoning behind my faith. There are some believers who think you should “just believe”. Looking for evidence, they say, is “not of faith”, therefore it’s sin. With respect, I disagree…

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Didn’t Jesus reason with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, when he “interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27 ESV). God created an orderly universe in which facts can be established. Truth is verifiable, and since God is Truth, truth cannot be sinful. Faith and reason go hand in hand.

So here’s my third acronym, designed while I’m in good shape, as a hedge against the days when I will not be. The third acronym, like the second, specifically concerns the God of the Bible.

66 JELL WAST-MUSH! Is it an insect repellant, a conducting lubricant, or hippy face paint? Is it a video game based on Darth Sidious’ ascent to power? No!

66!

The opening part of my acronym is borrowed from the introduction to Chuck Missler’s radio show (“66/40”), since it succinctly and eloquently captures a profound truth missed by those who ignore the possibility of divine authorship of the Bible:

The Bible contains sixty-six books written by forty different authors over thousands of years, and yet it’s an “integrated message system” from beyond our own time domain.

The Bible wasn’t contrived by one man sitting down on a boring Sunday afternoon, wondering how he could start a new religion and fool everyone. It was experienced, contributed to and recorded by many generations of people from different backgrounds, yet it tells one incredible story: the story of the Messiah and the nation he entered the world in. The Bible claims in many places to be inspired by God himself, and authenticates that claim in ways such as those I’ve outlined in all parts of this series.

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J!

J IS FOR JUSTICE. Biblical justice works beautifully, when it’s applied.

Yes, astute reader, the word “justice” was in my first acronym, but there it referred to the fact that we can only have an innate sense of justice if we are more than animals, and if we’ve been designed and created to love truth and fairness. Here the word “justice” refers more specifically to the Biblical model. God is given a bad rap these days by those who want us all to forget about Him. They say he’s vengeful, hateful, misogynous, and a whole host of other derogatory terms which really do not stand up to honest scrutiny. They ignore the fact that since God is the creator and sustainer of all things, he has every right to do as he pleases: we have no rights but only his mercy and kindness, and we are entirely at his mercy. I’ll outline a few examples.

First, those who claim that God must be vengeful and hateful to have told the Israelites to wipe out the Canaanites aren’t looking at the whole picture. God reluctantly commanded the eradication of the Canaanites only after hundreds of years of mercy and patience towards them (Genesis 15:16) because they had descended to such degrading practices as burning their own children as sacrifices to their idols. The time had come for their evil to be stopped, and God has every right to judge.

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Biblical justice is said to be hard in the Old Testament-the time of the Law, and soft in the New: this is seen as a contradiction. The truth is that the “Old Testament God” while setting hard and fast guide lines, showed his mercy in many ways. For example, the establishing of “cities of refuge” (Numbers 35:6-34), where people who had either accidentally killed someone in a fight or an accident, or who were accused of murder falsely, could go to be immune from vengeance. God sent a prophet to a decadent and violent Nineveh because he did not want to judge the city (Jonah 4:10-11), and when Cain killed Abel and feared retribution from his brothers, God put his seal of protection on Cain as an act of love and mercy (Genesis 4:15).

The “New Testament God” actually warns of the same ultimate judgment upon his enemies as the OT God did, but extends his mercy to its greatest extent by making a way for anyone willing to respond to escape that ultimate judgment, through the sacrificial death of his own Son. Jesus forgave the adulteress, the thief on the cross, and Paul who had persecuted Christians to the death.

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Through the gospel of Jesus Christ God’s love and mercy are clearly seen to be available to all of us-until the final Judgment. The same love is supposed to be seen in his followers, by way of forgiveness, mercy, kindness, compassion and so on, without negating the fact that wrong is still wrong and must be corrected, disciplined or even judged if not repented of. Love and mercy come first-consequences only follow if there is no change in our hearts. This is real love and fairness. I would say it’s fairer that any human system of judgment. If the police catch you breaking into a bank once, you’re going to prison, and the judge isn’t going to forget your crime even if you say you’re sorry and that you won’t do it again.

However, our judicial system is based on the Biblical notion that some things are wrong and that other people are to be protected from criminals: you pay for your crime. How many other “animals” have such a system?

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E-L

The Bible adequately Explains the meaning of Life, and the origin and reason for evil, suffering and death. Without claiming to have all the answers (I do not), I wrote about these extensively in a recent post, “The Meaning of Death” and in an eight part series I wrote called “Why Do We Suffer?”

L

L is for Literature. The Bible has been seen by millions over many centuries as the apex of all literature, and more copies of it have been printed and sold than any other book despite the endless attempts to eradicate it. Again, it claims to be the inspired Word of God: his message to humanity. So many examples could be picked, but here’s a well-known one:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

He leadeth me beside still waters.

He restoreth my soul:

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me…” (Psalm 23: 1-4).

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WA

The Bible tells the stories of “warts-and-all” characters. If the Bible were written by men to draw converts to a club or religion its central characters would all be faultless, unfailing supermen. There is no attempt to whitewash the sins of its heroes and heroines: we hear about their weaknesses as well as their triumphs and their righteous acts.

As examples, read about God’s mercy towards Cain who killed his brother Abel. Read how Abram lied about his wife being his sister in order to save his own skin. Jacob deceived his father and essentially robbed his brother of his inheritance. Moses fell into a bad temper a few times. Elijah, the powerful and bold prophet, was afraid of a female ruler and fell into a depression. David had an innocent man killed and committed adultery. His family was “dysfunctional” because of his many relationships and, his bad example, and his inability to control his step-children.

In the New Testament Peter, the most enthusiastic disciple of Jesus, denied him in his hour of need, and Paul and Barnabas fell out during their missionary journey together.

ST

ST IS FOR STORIES.  Though the Bible was written by many different authors over a long period of time, it has several central themes running all the way through it, including both testaments. The most significant is the story of the Fall of man and God’s plan of redemption-his commitment to providing salvation for humans who would otherwise be beyond his perfection and holiness. The first mention of the gospel, known as the “proto-evangelion” appears immediately after the Fall (Genesis 3:15), and the gospel message continues all the way to the end of Revelation.

M

M IS FOR MORALITY. The Bible’s brand of morality is hated by the secularist, the atheist, the polytheist, the pluralist, the evolutionist, the Universalist, the existentialist, and just about every other “ist”, yet it’s loved by those who’ve accepted God’s mercy. God’s standards of right and wrong were loosely followed by Western culture until the last few decades. They are the “glue” which will hold everyone together, and they worked as far as they were followed. God’s plan for human relationships reflect true love and commitment. It included love and commitment within families; faithfulness within marriage; the recognition that each life-including the unborn-is to be protected and valued; honor and dedication towards community; religion and country, and the rejection of all that threatens the moral fiber of society and all that God said he hated. How dramatically things have moved in the opposite direction.

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U

U IS FOR UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of unconditional love from God to us-available for anyone who will accept it. This is not a human idea or quality: it’s entirely divine.

S

S IS FOR SIN. The Bible exposes man’s true nature. Yes, this one was in the first acronym also. But more specifically, the Bible describes the origin of sin, its effects and consequences, and its remedy. The answers the Bible gives are, for me, adequate, believable, true to life and beautiful in the light they shine on the human condition.

H

H IS FOR HOPE. The Bible not only describes man’s condition but provides the answer for it. It offers hope for everyone, not just for this life, but for eternity. Please see my post on the gospel of Jesus Christ.

My old friends in the UK, along with the bulk of their fellow countrymen who are similarly misled by a biased media, must be very confused about international relations these days…

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They were convinced for decades that Russia was being picked on and unfairly accused of many things by warmongering Republicans in the US. They were certain that the Democrats, as the Labour Party in the UK, were the level-headed friends of the Russians, whereas the Republicans obviously wanted to nuke Russia out of existence at the earliest possible opportunity. Now they hear from the Democrats and their media that the hated new Republican president Donald Trump has been cozying up to the Russians, and that the Dem’s are using this as a reason to attempt to annul the last general election. Behold one of the last-gasp hopes to taint and weaken the victor.

Of course, there’s no actual evidence whatsoever that Russian hacking made the slightest difference to the vote count in the election. In fact, top intelligence officials, including Obama’s, have stated as much (note 1). President Obama himself-along with Mrs. Clinton-declared before the election that it was ridiculous and democracy-threatening of Trump to even suggest the election could be rigged. CNN proudly displayed Obama’s comment during the election campaign that Trump’s rigging assertion was “dangerous”:

“I want everybody to pay attention here. This is dangerous,” Obama said at a Hillary for America event in Miami Gardens, Florida.
“Because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s mind about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. Then you are doing the work of our adversaries for them” (see note 2).

But of course, such warnings were only made when the Democrats were convinced they were going to win-there’s been no such warning since they lost.

Does it make sense that Putin’s Russia would want to help someone like Trump-a Repbublican president who intends to make America’s military bigger than ever before-become president? Wouldn’t Putin rather have the weaker candidate-the friend of socialism?

Oh dear, what are British and American socialists supposed to think now: are the Ruskies friends or enemies? Please Mr Schumer, for goodness sake make up your superior mind and clarify this for us plebeians out here…

NOTE 1

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2017/01/05/clapper-no-evidence-russians-changed-votes-in-presidential-election-n2267531

http://freebeacon.com/politics/directors-rogers-comey-say-no-votes-changed-due-hacking/

NOTE 2

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/20/politics/obama-donald-trump-rigged-election/index.html

HOW TO BE OFFENSIVE

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I’m not quite like other people. And I know from experience that when people don’t fit easily into a stereotype, others attempt to either squash them into one or just write them off as being “weird”.

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Some claim to approve of weird and unusual types, until they come across one whose weirdness doesn’t fit their understanding of what weird should be.

From an early age, having realized and been told that I was “not normal”, I made a point of not fitting any molds, even though I didn’t really need to try. And having perplexed many before being a Christian, I increased my powers of perplexation once I became one (I’m developing a habit of creating my own words-how do you like that one?)

Being human, Christians also put other Christians into boxes or stereotypes, upset or offended when they don’t fit the available boxes. Consequently I detect a considerable amount of recoiling going on when I meet people. Not that I’m trying to offend or repulse-it just happens, even when I’m trying to be friendly…

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The herd mentality is prevalent in human nature because nobody wants to be rejected or spurned, and this is why political correctness almost succeeded in getting a stranglehold on all of us. Even though it’s fashionable today to be individual and unique, people tend to be individual and unique in all the same ways, though I don’t want to name some of those ways for fear of treading on toes. I think I’m long past any compulsion to follow the herd, and I’m really determined not to shape my personality, my tastes and my habits just to fit into acceptable boxes.

I have no desire to be offensive, and we believers are supposed to do all we can to be at peace with all men. However, if I’m offensive to someone simply because of who I am, then so be it. Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” 

The one good way to be offensive is in what we profess, and in adherence to the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul referred to the “offense of the cross” (Galatians 5:11), and explained that the message of the cross is “a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1 Corinthians 1:22). It was that very message which Paul was intentionally preaching, and which we are also called to preach.

So let’s be offensive for God. I don’t mean get in someone’s face and be an intentionally irritating and self-righteous embarrassment: I mean let’s believe and profess the good news without shame or reservation. Let’s winsomely stand up for the one thing which is most worth standing up for. If that’s offensive to someone…so be it.

 

 

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