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Jefferson and the Jihadis

Early on in its history, the fledgling United States found itself at odds with the Barbary pirates of North Africa. These raiders operated from bases in what is now Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia, seizing ships and enslaving the unfortunates found on board. According to an article in Slate, more than a million Europeans and Americans were sold into slavery in this fashion.

Attempting to find a diplomatic solution to the Barbary issue, Thomas Jefferson on John Adams paid a visit to Sidi Haji Abdrahaman, Tripoli’s ambassador to London. As the Slate article goes on to note, “They [Jefferson and Adams] asked him [Abdrahaman] by what right he extorted money and took slaves in this way. As Jefferson later reported to Secretary of State John Jay, and to the Congress:

The ambassador answered us that [the right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.

Alrighty then. If nothing else, the ambassador gets high marks for his honesty. It sure beats the Islam-as-religion-of-peace nonsense doled out to us by PC addled Western politicians, professors and mainstream media pundits, not the mention the aggressively globalist Pope Francis.

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Nashville Statement

Marriage is to be between one man and one woman.

    – The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 24

This isn’t hard, folks. As theological questions go, the definition of marriage is pretty simple. It is a God-ordained, exclusive covenant between one man and one woman, and this the Christians has acknowledged for 2,000 years. In truth, the institution and its definition are much older than that, going all the way back to the creation of the world.

To borrow a turn of phrase from the Author of Hebrews, the biblical definition of marriage is milk, not meat. It’s something every Christian, even children, easily can, and ought to, understand.

And just as the Bible’s definition of marriage is simple and clear, so too is its stance on homosexuality: it’s a sin, and a particularly egregious one at that.

But as is the case with many things in this fallen world, what ought to be often times is not. Ours is a confused age, and truths that were almost taken for granted in earlier times now once again must be restated. One could point to any number of examples of the collapse of Western Civilization, but perhaps none exemplifies it better than the sweeping success of the homosexual agenda over the past 50 years.

Behavior that once was subject to sodomy laws is now celebrated at the highest levels of society. Governments, corporations, academics and the corporate media work diligently not only to promote the acceptance of homosexuality as normal and a thing to be celebrated, but also to cover in shame anyone who stands in their way.

The modern homosexual movement is usually traced back to the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village that occurred in June 1969. From there, the homosexual agenda has gone from strength to strength, culminating in the Supreme Court’s 2015 discovery that the U.S. Constitution supports the right of homosexuals to marry. The pace of change has been remarkable, and what was, just a few short years ago, considered filthy and shameful is now held up by all respectable people and institutions as the epitome righteousness.

Things have gotten to the point that, not only has it become socially unacceptable to speak out against homosexuality, but to so positively invites vilification from society’s mainstream institutions. Just last week, I wrote in this space about the SPLC’s declaring D. James Kennedy Ministries a hate group due to its opposition to the homosexual agenda. Many other examples of the same can be found

When I wrote that piece, I was unaware that a few days later that The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood would release the Nashville Statement, a work intended to affirm what the Bible has to say about men and women, marriage and homosexuality.

I first became aware of the Statement this morning while listening to Jason Hutchinson’s sermon during this morning’s church service. His comments were quite good and I will include a link to his sermon once it has become available.

After reading the document for myself, as far as I have been able to determine, the Statement is biblically sound and does a good job of setting forth Scripture’s clear teaching on sexuality. Further, the Statement also effectively refutes from Scripture some of the current arguments advanced in favor of homosexual marriage and transgenderism.

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SPLC-FL

The SPLC’s Hate Map of Florida.

What do D. James Kennedy Ministries and the Nation of Islam have in common? Not much, you say? Well, think again. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), both are hate groups with located in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

This particular issue came to my attention as a result of a recent story in Christianity Today titled “D. James Kennedy Ministries Sues SPLC over Hate Map,” According to the article, D. James Kennedy Ministries (DJKM) received negative media coverage after the recent Charlottesville riots in which the organization was branded a hate group by the SPLC. The Christianity Today piece also notes that – mirabile dictu – local Florida news reports labeled DJKM as the No.1 hate group in the state.

Per the SPLC’s Hate Map, the Ft. Lauderdale group landed on the list due to its “Anti-LGBT” stance. Notes the SPLC, “Opposition to equal rights for LGBT people has been a central theme of Christian Right organizing and fundraising for the past three decades – a period that parallels the fundamentalist movement’s rise to political power.”

If one were to take the SPLC’s word for it, he’d come away with the distinct impression that opposition to homosexuality was some 1970’s-era novelty hatched by the Moral Majority rather than the teaching espoused by Christians for the past 2000 years. In fact, the Bible’s identification of homosexuality as a sin pre-dates the Christian era, going all the way back to the Book of Genesis, where God himself referred to “the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah” and their “very grave” sin, a reference to homosexuality. The Law of Moses calls homosexuality “an abomination.” In Romans, Paul teaches that homosexuality is a punishment from God on idolaters, “who did not like to retain God in their knowledge.” There are many other examples of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality, and I do not intend to cite them all here so as not to belabor the obvious point the God considers homosexuality a sin, and a particularly heinous one at that.

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082117_0225_Charlottesv3.png

Antifa at Charlottesville.  Take care what you say about theses guys.  According to the MSM, business leaders, and all right thinking people everywhere, these fine gentlemen are freedom fighters and above reproach.

A little over a week has passed since the Charlottesville riot on August 12, enough time for further reflection and for further details to emerge. For these reasons, and due to the controversy arising over president Trump’s comments on the riot, it seemed good to me to write a follow up to last week’s post, Charlottesville – A Few Thoughts.

Racism Is Sin

It really shouldn’t be necessary to state the obvious truth that racism is incompatible with Christianity, that it is a sin, that it represents a failure to love our neighbor as ourselves. God is not a respecter of persons, and neither should be the followers of Christ.

But while it shouldn’t be necessary to decry racism, and doing so almost feels a bit like virtue signaling, in today’s world of PC intolerance it probably is a reasonable first step, especially for any writer whose views do not comport with the straightjacket orthodoxies of the cultural Marxist goon squads that control public discourse at the moment.

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charlottesville_protests

White nationalists and protestors clash in Charlottesville, Virginia – ABC News.

 

You never know what’s next. That’s both the joy and the danger of writing political commentary. When events occur tha call out for commentary, sometimes you’re well prepared, and at other times not so much. The uproar over the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia? For this author it falls under the category of not so much.

When discussing an emotional issue such as race, it is always tempting to fall into the error of thinking one must pick sides. One is either on the side of Black Lives matter or the White Nationalists. We’re either for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) or with Richard Spencer and the National Policy Institute. Forgotten many times is a third possibility: both sides may be wrong.

For example, in the 1930s the great political conflict in Europe was between the Marxist on the one hand, and the fascists on the other. One was either a Marxist or a fascist. If one was right the other was wrong. But looking back on that period through the intervening 8 decades, many people today likely would say both sides were in error. And, of course, they would be right to do so.

In like fashion, looking at today’s conflict between the SJW left and the Alt-right, the proper stance of the Christian is to reject both points of view as unbiblical. Why do I say this?

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Ruth_and_Naomi_Leave_Moab

Ruth and Naomi Leave Moab, 1860, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld (1794-1872).

He [the Lord] pours contempt on princes, and disarms the mighty. He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings the shadow of death to light. He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people and of the earth, and makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them stagger like a drunken man (Job 12-21-25).

 

“Many councils lack strategy for care of returning ISIS fighters’ children,” ran the Radio Sweden headline. Sigh. What shall I say to this?  When coming across an absurdity of this magnitude, I’m almost at a loss for words. Almost, but not quite.

In the article from what I take to be the official Swedish government radio outlet , we are informed earnestly, and one supposes sincerely, that there are grave concerns many areas of Sweden are ill-equipped to deal with problems faces by the families of returning ISIS fighters. Only Gothenburg, we are told, has a strategy in place for this.

Terrorism researcher Magnus Ranstorp states that about 65 women have returned to Sweden after spending time is ISIS controlled areas. Notably Ranstorp says nothing about the status of their husbands who presumably are the actual ISIS fighters.

Ranstrop goes on to note that boys as young as nine have been recruited as soldiers for ISIS, girls are considered marriageable at that same age, and that ISIS uses children as informants against their parents.

Of course, the most obvious question – Why on earth were such people ever allowed to settle in Sweden in the first place, let alone return there after fighting for ISIS? – is never asked. The only concern is how to care for the traumatized families, especially the children, who, based upon what was said in the article itself, may themselves by ISIS recruits.

This is madness.

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