JESUS NEWSLETTER #29
Pop Culture From A Spiritual Point of View
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November 5, 2001
Greetings from David Bruce, Web Master
page was last updated March 28, 2002
THE REVISION OF JOHN 3:16
IN CHRISTIAN POP CULTURE
1. The Revision of John 3:16
2. Hollywood Censors Hollywood
3. Latest Reviews
(What Hollywood is Teaching Us About Evil)
1. THE REVISION OF JOHN 3:16
IN CHRISTIAN POP CULTURE
"For God So Hated America That He Sent Planes..."
Pop Culture is in sad shape these days.
3:16, it would seem, is being revised:
"For God So Hated America That He Sent Planes..."
know I will get my usual batch of cancellations to the HJ newsletter
for what I am about to say --but I feel as though someone must
address this issue of intolerance and hatred toward others in
our culture -and especially when that intolerance comes from those
I count as my sisters and brothers in Christ.
are two ways to look at pop culture and current events.
1. While aware of evil and its consequences, keeping the focus
for what is noble and good (Phil 4:8). -This is the approach I
use in HJ..
2. Disregarding the positive aspects and ever focusing on what's
evil and wrong. -This latter approach has possessed the Evangelical
Fundamentalist Christian community by and large -I am very sorrowful
about this, because I consider myself an Evangelical -although
I, with Billy Graham, do not consider myself a Christian Fundamentalist.
of my sisters and brothers have used the 9-11 attack on the WTC
as an opportunity to blast "non-Christians." Paradoxically
they become the "friends" of Osama Bin Lauden. They
say America is evil and that the World Trade Center destruction
was part of the judgment of God on America. Even though they are
American Christian fundamentalist, they are saying the
same hateful things about America as certain misdirected Islamic
many of you no doubt know, immediately following the enormous
tragedy and evil of September 11, Jerry Falwell made a big mistake.
On Pat Robertson's 700 Club broadcast of September 11, Jerry Falwell
said, "The ACLU's got to take a lot of blame for this...throwing
God out successfully with the help of the federal court system,
throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools. The
abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God
will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent
babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans and
the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians
who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle...all
of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger
in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'" Pat Robertson
sat there nodding his head in agreement with Falwell.
later apologized in a press release stating: "I do not know
if the horrific events of September 11 are the judgment of God,
but if they are, that judgment is on all of America-including
me and all fellow sinners-and not on any particular group."
still, even in the apology, is the thought that the horror of
9.11.01 may be a judgment of God on America. Imagine. God hates
the USA because America is a pluralistic and tolerant society.
Bin Lauden could not agree more. As Focus on the Family (James
Dobson's organization) notes, "Citing pornography, materialism,
and a high divorce rate, radical Muslims see the United States
as a failed Christian nation. One scholar observed that Muslims
'would respect the U.S. much more if we did not separate God from
governance.'" This is the same exact view of noted Christian Fundamentalist.
George Braswell, a scholar on Islam at Southeastern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., states that certain Islamic fundamentalist
"view the Western world, for the most part - and Judeo-Christian
backgrounds - as corrupt, immoral, secularistic, humanistic, (and)
against Islam." They want to see America fall. It is God's will.
to me, the popular evangelist David Wilkerson, author of Cross
and the Switchblade, said the attacks were a warning of a greater
destruction he's already predicted, "unless New York City
Those wonderful people of New York City with their wonderful Mayor
who did so much to help the victims need to repent? And if they
do not repent -what?, God's judgment will bring greater destruction
on innocent New Yorkers? This kind of thinking makes Osama Bin
Lauden an agent of God. Am I alone in my outrage to such misrepresentations
Hal Lindsey, author of The Late Great Planet Earth, envisions
more terrorists attacks, setting the stage for the collapse of
America. He says, "The decline of the United States has begun."
by the way, has a huge following even though his prophetic predictions
have consistency failed. For example, he predicted the return
of Jesus in 1988 (Israel 1948 + 40 year generation = 1988). For
more of his failed predictions see church historian Samuele Bacchiocchi
book "Hal Lindsey's Prophetic Jigsaw Puzzle: Five Predictions
that Failed!" -1987 citation of award given by the ASSOCIATED
Evangelical Christian writer John Hagee told his congregation,
"You can hear the Four Horsemen riding to Armageddon."
Crouch of the Trinity Broadcasting Network said that this was
the "beginning of sorrows" ..."as predicted by
remember all the devastating Y2K predictions that came out from
various Christian Radio and Television ministries. America was
so evil, they claimed, that God's judgment would fall on America
this past Jan 01, 2000 via the Y2K problem. It did not happen.
back masking and how Satan was taking over the minds of our youth
via pop music? Remember the so-called Satanic Cults that where
kidnaping babies and sacrificing them to Satan? Remember Mike
Warnke? Remember how John Lennon and the Beatles were supposedly
trained by the Communist? Remember how the drum beat in Rock music
was somehow designed to alter your mind?
also remember the false predictions by certain Christian Fundamentalist
concerning Catholic JFK and the so called take over of America
by the Pope ("anti-Christ") if he were elected.
remember listening to the false predictions by some Christian
Ministries on Christian radio in the 1960s accusing Martin Luther
King Jr. being a Communist and part of a godless conspiracy to
create a Soviet Negro State within the USA. Does anybody remember
Billy James Hargis? Needless to say, I was thrilled to see Evangelist
Billy Graham march with MLK Jr.
remember the Domino Theory proposed by certain Christian Doom
Dayers in support of the Viet Nam war. The Communists, they predicted,
were going to take over the world. Part of God's judgment they
would say pointing to certain so-called proof texts in the Bible.
all this "Christian" intolerance toward America?
Why do some believe that God's judgment is on America?
Why all this "Christian" hatred toward those who hold
different points of views and practice alternative life styles?
would like to quote John 3:16-17, to once again highlight the
love and compassion of God. And to underscore how God operates:
(John 3:16) "This is how much God loved the world: He gave his
Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need
be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and
lasting life. (17) God didn't go to all the trouble of sending
his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world
how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again.
LITTLE SANITY PLEASE. The acts of terrorism that occurred in New
York and Washington occurred because of ungodly hatred and evil,
not because of God's retribution on the American people. John
3:16 reveals a God who acts out of love, not hate. Additionally,
America is a great nation. Pluralism, and freedom of speech, religion,
press, assembly are some of the reasons why it is great. I may
not agree with others, but I am glad to be in a country where
it is okay to disagree. I value our freedoms. I value our diversity.
I value our pluralism. I value our free society. I also value
our right to follow Jesus.
is some Godly advise from a "godless rock n roll" song:
"Come on people now,
Smile on your brother,
Everybody get together,
Try to love one another right now."
God forgive certain members of the Christian community for their
intolerance toward others. And may God continue to bless America.
NEWS FROM 9-11
of looking at headline news as being part of apocalyptic judgments
of God why not see news events in light of Philippians 4:8?
example: The first Gallup poll on religion after 9-11 provided
more evidence that faith has gained importance in the lives of
Americans since the terrorist attacks. 47% said they attended
religious services. Additionally 64% said that religion was "very
important" to them. The only time that percentage was higher
was in 1965, when 70% gave the same response. Now that's good
so what does Philippians 4:8 say? Well here it is:
it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds
and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling,
gracious-the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly;
things to praise, not things to curse." -Message Translation
I welcome your responses -both pro and con.
I will post your comments below
ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON REVISING JOHN 3:16
YOU DISAGREE, AND BELIEVE GOD IS JUDGING AMERICA
YOU A NON-CHRISTIAN BECAUSE OF CHRISTIAN INTOLERANCE?
YOU FED UP WITH CHRISTIAN DOOMSDAY PREDICTIONS
YOU LIKE JESUS BUT ARE PUT OFF BY FUNDAMENTALISM
YOU HAVE SOME GENERAL THOUGHTS:
2. HOLLYWOOD CENSORS HOLLYWOOD
"Good movies make you care, make you believe in possibilities
RESPONDS TO THE TERRORISTS
I read a brilliant article in Rolling Stone Magazine by Peter
Travers entitled "Hollywood Under Siege." I agree with
the writer in that the censoring of certain images and issues
in light of the 9-11 may not be a good idea. Here are a couple
of paragraphs from the article. Let me know what you think.
also a given that movies can help us mend, be it through laughs,
tears or - at their best - artful provocation. And there is something
else: Just showing up at the multiplex defies an enemy that seeks
to disrupt our normal life. In the words of film critic Pauline
Kael, who died a week before her country was attacked: "Good movies
make you care, make you believe in possibilities again." Hollywood,
out of misplaced or perhaps self-serving sensitivity, seeks to
coddle us like children. It's one thing to pull Collateral Damage,
the Arnold Schwarzenegger thriller that features Colombian terrorists
blowing up a US consulate; it's another to delay the opening of
the romantic comedy Sidewalks of New York because of its Manhattan
location, or to delete the World Trade Center from the upcoming
Spider-Man. Is that how to best serve an audience: by pretending
the scene of a tragedy never existed? "
pundits are calling for an end to terrorism as entertainment.
Two Disney films that fit that bill - Big Trouble, with Tim Allen,
and Bad Company, with Chris Rock - have been delayed indefinitely."
However, "Blockbuster reports brisk rentals of films that
feature terrorists getting their butts kicked - like True Lies,
in which Schwarzenegger straps an Arab dissident to a missile
and launches him through the windows of a Miami high-rise."
the entire article here:
it be that Americans need films like "True Lies" right
now to help them work through the 9-11 attacks? Art should never
be silenced. What do you think?
THOUGHTS ON HOLLYWOOD CENSORING HOLLYWOOD:
I will post your comments below
3. WHAT HOLLYWOOD IS TEACHES US ABOUT EVIL and FEAR
WOULD BE INTERESTED IN YOUR REACTIONS TO ANY OF THESE FILMS
This fun film helps us to work through our fears in a fun way.
Set in Monstropolis, a thriving company town where monsters of
all shapes and sizes reside, the film follows the hilarious misadventures
of Sulley and his best friend, roommate, and coworker, Mike. Both
work at Monsters, Inc., the largest scream processing factory
in the monster world.
HJ Review is 5 pages long.
Throughout the film the claims and teachings of Jesus are brought
up and the characters are challenged to practice those teachings.
Prot happens to be the primary character challenging those around
him with these teachings, briefly in word but largely by his actions.
Prot appears out of nowhere, from the light of the station entrance
to give money to a disabled veteran asking for money. Prot then
goes out of his way to assist a woman robbed at the train station.
All of this kindness in a world surrounded by people who don't
seem to care about the hurting of those around them. Upon seeing
Prot, the police find out that he is different and then takes
him to the mental hospital...
Mike Furches reviews
THE LAST CASTLE
The Last Castle is as good of an analogy of Christ as I have seen
in a movie in some time. General Irwin is a wonderful Messiah
figure. He seeks to set the captives free. Those that choose to
follow him are eventually set free but not in a physical way but
instead in more of a spiritual way....
RIDING IN CARS WITH BOYS
Drew Barrymore plays the lead character, Beverly D'Onofrio. Smart,
pretty and with big dreams to be a writer in New York, Beverly
proves you don't have to be dumb to make dumb mistakes.... We
are all like Beverly. We form our lives by the choices we make,
good or bad. But in the background we have a support of family
and friends who try their best to help us. Even better than that
we have a God the Father holding us up through our good times
and bad. Like Beverly's father, He loves us through our mistakes
and wanderings. But unlike Beverly's father He never fails us.
That close, loving relationship with our Father is there anytime
we reach out to Him. It doesn't mean we'll have a flawless life
or make all the right choices. But it does mean we will have unconditional
love and support - no matter what happens."
THOUGHTS ON THESE FILMS:
I will post your comments below
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POINT OF VIEW: BOTH AGREE AND DISAGREE
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002
From: "Kevin Hooper"
You may or
may not have seen this, but it was forwarded to me in email, and
I believe it brings up an interesting point:
recently interviewed Billy Graham's daughter. Gumbel: "Why
didn't God stop this or do something about this?"
Billy Graham's daughter: "For years we have told God we<
didn't want Him in our schools. We didn't want Him in our government
and we didn't want Him in our finances and God was being a perfect
gentleman in doing just what we asked Him to do. We need to
make up our mind do we want God or do we not want Him. We cannot
just ask Him in when disaster strikes."
Gumbel was silent. On the day that it happenned, I was asked by
a friend of mine what I thought. I told him that the terrorist
attack was a wake up call. We here in America had gotten complacent,
arrogant, and lazy. Most of our nation had either forgotten about
God, or forsaken Him altogether. The past few generations have
come along never experiencing a tragedy of this magnitude, and
many lived under the false premise that we couldn't be touched,
that our nation, as a whole, could never be hurt in such a big
way. We thought that we were impervious to outside threats, that
all we had to do was play nice with the world, and the world would
play nice back... We were wrong...
morning of September 11, 2001 the whole of the United States of
America received a wake-up call. For the first time since the
attack on Pearl Harbor, we had sustained an attack on our nation's
soil. For the first time in our nation's history, the mainland
was attacked by unforseen outside forces. Whether or not it was
God sending His judgement through that event I feel is not the
real issue here. In hindsight, the events that transpired in 9-11
and for a few days following that, thanks to the strong faith
of our president and a rather impromtu gathering of spiritual
leaders, the Reverend Billy Graham included, God received His
first bit of positive PR from many outlets in the mainstream media
in decades. More to the point, I do not believe that God sent
His devine judgement on us through this catastrophe, but rather,
He USED this tragic event to bring a nation, which had publicly
despised Him in recent years, closer to Him.
I totally disagree with Anna Lotz Graham. And I totally agree
with Billy Graham. They each expressed two very different views.
Billy Graham said it was an evil act which God is against. He
stated that his greatest struggle has been to understand why God
permits such evil. It is a mystery he said. Anna, however, has
it all figured out. She would do well to listen to the wisdom
of her father. Anna is basiclly saying that God took revenge on
innocent people because of abortion etc. There is a judgement
coming, but 9/11 was not it. God does not kill innocent people
to get people to love him. Does anyone see this simple truth?
Evil exists and it is not God in disguise. I agree with you that
God USES such events, however. -David
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2002
I was wondering when you were going to hit on the WTC tragedy (
another great door to open for Christianity) . The problem with
evangelists, fundalmentalists and anarchists is they try to redefine
the meaning of the words to suit their agendas . . . very much like
being politically correct. The fundamentals of Christianity are
very simple and very clear cut as laid out by Jesus . . . "Love
one another as I have loved you" and "What you do to the least of
you brethren, you do to me!" and that prety much sums it up. Everything
else is an attempt to side skirt the "LAW" and justify abuse of
each other, and at worst in the name of God.
The key to all
of this is, after Love, is freewill. There is no judgement by God
only the perception of punishment by God for everything we do wrong
in this world, and that concept is mostly promoted by the church
in some vain attempt to keep us all from sin. " There is an appointed
time to die, and then the judgement" what that says is twofold,
first somewhere up in the great somewhere there is a calendar with
your name on it, and when that day comes you are going to die .
. . no if's, and's or but's. Your dying does not matter, it is your
living that does. Since we do not know when that is, it would make
sense to make the most of each day we live, as though it may be
our last . . for well that it could. The second part is the judgement,
and that is clearly a pandora's box for sure. Most religious would
like you to believe that this is where you will either go to heaven
or hell, but there are an infinity number of possibilities. One
of the most profound statements by God is " It is the Father's will
that not one should perish". Pitting Satan against God, whose will
do you think will prevail . . my money's on God! All this evil in
this world is absolute proof that God gave us freewill, the problem
is most people think some people should not have any . . Too bad!
. . God is an equal opportunity gift giver, He does not discriminate.
If He gives you freewill, everybody gets freewill . . if He loves
you, He loves everybody. The commandment by Jesus is clear, we are
to love everybody in spite of what they are, that's what Christianity
is, if you can't go there, don't call yourself a Christian. Call
yourself anything else, but you are not a Christian, and you are
giving Christianity a bad name " Forgive them Father, for they know
not what they do!"
LUV 2 ALL
Subject: Newsletter 29
Date: Fri, 4 Jan 2002
From: "David Alfeld-Johnson"
in pretty late and didn't have time to read all of the other responses,
so forgive me if this is redundant. I do not pretend to know all
of the ways that God was active, present, or involved in the events
of September 11. I would simply make three comments:
1) once again
it is ironic to find the liberal and conservative extremes proclaiming
similar ideas (just slightly different content) with regard to
who is "responsible" for the attacks. While conservative voices
suggest God is punishing America for its participation in their
favorite sins, liberals also voiced a sentiment that "America
brought this on itself" because of our policies and attitudes
in the world.
2) You mentioned
that the idea that God would work through someone like Osama Bin
Laden was outrageous. Yet OT prophets like Jeremiah and Isaiah
often suggested that Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon were God's instruments
without suggesting that what they did was in any way righteous.
God seems willing to act in all kinds of outrageous ways.
3) Love is
sometimes painful. Loving America may sometimes involve pain.
The problem is that one can't discipline a nation without bringing
harm to its individual citizens. One problem we have understanding
terrorism is the way it blurs the lines between nations and individuals.
Attacking a nation can be justified, attacking individuals is
unjustifiable. It feels like Bin Laden and followers viewed themselves
as attacking a nation and a culture, while we experienced the
attack as an attack on innocent civilians. Conversely, our actions
in the world are directed at nations and markets and are easy
to justify, but these same actions are likely taken personally
by individuals and fuel some of the anti-american sentiments around
these random thoughts in my attempts to understand (not condone,
although in the current climate, understanding is often confused
with condoning), these terrible and destructive events.
Thanks for listening.
RESPONSIBILITY AND GOD'S NON-JUDGEMENT
Subject: Newsletter 29 Revising John
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001
From: Chris S
You disagreed with Steve Slesinger's "backdoor approach" which
held God "responsible" for 9/11. If God is omnipotent, He had
only two choices that day: prevent the attacks, or permit the
attacks. The latter (the choice He took) did not prevent Him from
reducing their damage/impact, and I believe He did a lot of that.
Certainly, dragging the Pentagon plane along the ground that far
dramatically reduced the damage it did. Yes, evil was responsible,
but nothing happens that God doesn't allow, so yes, He is responsible.
The buck stops at His throne. He's a pretty big God. (Cute.
But, there is a third possibility: The cosmic struggle between
good and evil is beyond human understanding. The ways of God are
beyond us and rest in insolvable mystery. But what we do know
is, God is love. And even though we walk through the very shadow
of death itself, God goes with us. -David)
But the real
difficulty I have had dealing with this tragedy has been in understanding
which position to take about God's judgment. Is it possible that
the God of the Old Testament is alive today? I've wrestled with
my tendency to compare 9/11 with His repeated use of neighboring
nations to discipline the Children of Israel. He kept trying to
bring them back to Himself. Like a father who loves his child,
God wasn't afraid to discipline His children, especially when
love and restored relationship were His goals.
(God uses all things, even evil. Evil never wins ultimately. The
story of Joseph has a good lesson -Genesis 50:19-21:
But Joseph told them, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, to judge
and punish you? As far as I am concerned, God turned into good
what you meant for evil. He brought me to the high position I
have today so I could save the lives of many people. No, don't
be afraid. Indeed, I myself will take care of you and your families."
And he spoke very kindly to them, reassuring them. -David)
Why is it
now considered sacred truth that God loves America better than
all other countries, and would never let anything happen to us?
Why can other countries be bombed and terrorized, but America
is still great and free, when we know that, sadly, our freedoms
are reduced every year? Our media _is_ disgusting and prurient;
why does Hollywood's location in America automatically make it
okay with God? (Are you saying God should destroy
America because of Hollywood? What are you saying? Hollywood is
like anything else. There are people there that are trying to
make a difference (Roaring Lambs) and others that are in it for
selfish reasons. -David)
I, too, dislike
the constant attacks and naysaying from Donald Wildmon, Jerry
Falwell, and all the Christian harpies, but a calm self-examination
reveals that, as evil as Islam is, their criticisms of us are
quite apt! We _do_ produce filth which tempts and derails minds
around the world, drawing civilizations away from God and toward
commercialism, materialism, and relativism. (Hmm,
yes and no. We also have more mission agencies, more churches
and better church attendance, etc. America is a mix, sweet and
sour. -As a Democracy should be. In many Islamic countries the
preaching of Jesus is forbidden. Not so in America. -David)
me where you find proof that: (1) God no longer judges, or (2)
God judges others, but would never think of judging America. I'm
not saying 9/11 was the judgment of God, but I want to know "why?"
Not "Why did it happen?" because that's God's business and He
doesn't have to tell us. But "Why is it Biblically impossible
for this to have been God's judgment?" The answer has to be found
in either (1) or (2), if it can be found at all. (In
our culture we always ask "why." We are obsessed with
the question "why." In other cultures they ask "who."
--Who was hurt. --Who did this. --And who can help us. Again I
do not know we can fully understand "why" -it is a mystery.
But, we do who cares for us -God cares! Perhaps God will fill
us in on the why question when we get to heaven. -David)
to Dale indicates you have difficulty connecting the need for
punishment of American sin with God's permitting of the WTC attacks.
The connection is right there! (No it is not.
You are wrong. You do not have God trapped within your logic.
You do not have it all figured out. -David) God permitted
the attacks (Did God? -David), if we
may presume to know His motive, (dangerous
ground here -David) because He wanted to wake America up
and correct our misbehavior. (Nonsense. How
can you know the mind of God? Perhaps you are placing your own
frustrations on God. Perhaps you are creating God in your own
image. -David) Dale wrote quite eloquently of the examples
of Sodom and Gomorrah and ancient Israel. God does chasten those
He loves--it's in Hebrews, (individuals -yes!
The context of that passage does not speak to nations such as
America. -David) the same book that says He's the same
yesterday, today, and forever (The context
of this passage is not about judgment as you are suggesting. The
passage in context reads: Hebrews 13:5-8 "...For
God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never forsake you."
That is why we can say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper,
so I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?' Remember
your leaders who first taught you the word of God. Think of all
the good that has come from their lives, and trust the Lord as
they do. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."
-David) Even if you remove the direct punishment aspect
(for it was not His hand which slapped America, but that of the
evil one), He is God, and may stand back and allow the slap. He
did it with Job, a righteous man. How much more reasonable for
Him to allow a slap to a decadent nation of God-lovers such as
ours? America is not such a teacher's pet that we can't be punished.
Rather we may be so prized that He will hasten to the act of discipline!
You seem to have a moralistic and political agenda. Please avoid
connecting it to God. Take a lesson from the disciples of Jesus
when they wanted Judgment to fall on Samaria: --Luke 9:51-55
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his
face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him.
On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make
ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face
was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw
it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down
from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them.
in Luke 10:13-16 Jesus says God speaks to God-less nations
through miracles (kind acts of God), and not through Judgments
(which will come at the end of all things). Your arguments are
based mostly on logic. I would recommend giving more place to
wonder, and mystery. --1 Cor. 13:12-13: "We don't
yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through
a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the
sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly
as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! 
But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things
to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God,
hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three
is love." -David
Subject: satanic hysteria Newsletter
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
From: Jennifer Alexander
I plead guilty
to satanic hysteria. I feel so much better having read your opinions
on Harry Potter, ect. For so long I have listened to dolts like
John Hagee and thought that I HAD to agree because, after all,
he was so much smarter than I. And the latest...Europe's conversion
to a common currency leading to a one-world gov't. A sign of the
end times? Of course. But what am I supposed to do, appear before
Parliment with a Bible open to Revolations???
But I digress. My point is, I am tired of being afraid. As my
mom (a non christian) recently pointed out to me, "If you have
all this faith, what are you so worried about?!"
It was a good point. It is time for Christians to lighten up,
enjoy the fact that we're leaving this place for something better,
and see that our behavior, attitude, and lack of fear and anger
is the strongest ministry tool there is.
Wow! You are on the right track. Blessings on you. -David
Subject: Newsletter 29
Date: Sat, 29 Dec 2001
From: "Tina Rae Beckstedt"
the confusion about the Sept. 11 attacks on the WTC stems not
from hatred, but from a lack of understanding and miscommunication.
I think what the "Fundamentalist Christians" (as you call them)
are trying to expose is a contradiction that many Americans have
called "tolerance" Are we followers of Christ, or not?
John 3:16; here are also the verses that follow:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting
life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world;
but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth
on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned
already, because he hath not believed in the Name of the only
begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that
light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than
light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth
evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds
should be reproved" (emphasis mine)
states that there would be those who would hold their own lifestyles
in higher regard than the Son of God Himself. Good and evil are
known by their deeds, are they not? (Matthew 7:17-19, Matthew
12:33). The deeds of good and evil are clearly differentiated
throughout the Bible, the difference of sin and holiness. Hatred,
abortion, selfishness, murder, arrogance, homosexuality, indifference,
greed; ALL are sins and equally unacceptable to God, (clearly
outlined in the Bible). The truth is, God tolerates no sin, but
rejects no person. A person can commit a sin and still be acceptable
to God (read the story of David), but the sin is NEVER acceptable.
But when a person refuses to acknowledge a sinful deed as sin,
that person is aligning him/herself with darkness rather than
light, becoming their own "moral agent" rather than agreeing with
God's morality. And, like a child who refuses to walk behind his
father but chooses instead to walk beside him, abandons the protection
his father would provide in the event of a frontal attack.
God did not
send those terrorists to attack our country, but our actions as
a country have kept us from walking in the fullness of His protection.
There are countless stories of those whose lives were spared due
to His intervention, proving His mercy and goodness. But as a
whole, our country has chosen to align itself with sin, therefore
becoming subject to the law of sin and death (see Romans chapters,
6, 7 and 8). God did not bring judgment to our country, we opened
ourselves up to that atrocity through our own disobedience, because
we rejected His Law; we chose darkness rather than light, and
became subject to the forces of darkness rather than light. We
cannot accommodate sinful deeds without accepting the consequences
of that sin. God has outlined sin and requires that we abandon
it, when we choose not to, we abandon Him, not the other way around
(see .Deuteronomy 31:6, Joshua 1:5, 1 Kings 8:57, 1 Chronicles
28:20, Nehemiah 9:31, Hebrews 13:5 )
I think perhaps
the "Fundamentalists" were very clumsily trying to call our country
to abandon the sin. Jesus never tolerated sin, He tolerated the
sinner and through His love enabled the sinner to abandon the
sin. Sin should be abandoned for the love of God; the love of
God should not be an excuse to sin. "For this is the love of God,
that we keep His commandments: and His commandments are not grievous."
1 John 5:3 "And this is His commandment, That we should believe
on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as
He gave us commandment. And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth
in Him, and He in him" 1 John 3:23, 24.
Psalm 91 (among
others) promises protection to those who abide in Him. How can
He protect those who refuse His protection?
In other words,
do we as a nation want darkness or light, protection or vulnerability,
blessings or curses? (Deuteronomy chapter 28) "Now therefore,
if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye
shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all
the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests,
and an holy nation." Exodus 19:5, 6 "But ye are a chosen generation,
a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye
should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of
darkness into His marvellous light" 1 Peter 2:9
kidding ourselves....sin and holiness can never dwell in the same
place. Are we followers of Jesus "who knew no sin", or followers
of our own convenience? Obedience is a prerequisite for good consequences,
disobedience brings calamity. A child can understand that, why
can't we? Should America be known for its "tolerance" or as a
holy nation? God knows the difference, and so do we, when will
we admit it, take up our cross and follow Him openly?
You have ancient Israel, a theocracy, and America, a democracy,
all mixed together. America was designed to be a nation of religious
freedom. And so it is. Ancient Israel was very different. God's
protection is as much over America as it is over ancient Samaria,
which, like many in America, rejected Jesus.
9:51-56 As the time drew near for his return to heaven, Jesus
resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to
a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But they were
turned away. The people of the village refused to have anything
to do with Jesus because he had resolved to go to Jerusalem.
When James and John heard about it, they said to Jesus, "Lord,
should we order down fire from heaven to burn them up?" But
Jesus turned and rebuked them. So they went on to another village.
protected Samaria and Jesus protects America. It is terrorist
-like Adolph Hitler and Osama- that do not merit God's protection.
This is a no brainer. -David