Monday, December 28, 2009

John MacArthur reviews the preaching of Oral Roberts here.

Here is the money quote:

"Tragically, the Seed-Faith message usurped and utterly replaced whatever gospel content there ever may have been in Oral Roberts' preaching," MacArthur lamented. "The reason for that is obvious: the message of the cross – an atoning sacrifice for sins wrought through Jesus' sufferings – frankly doesn't mesh very well with the notion that God guarantees health, wealth, and prosperity to the righteous."

I remember when, as a young lawyer, I went to the home of an elderly couple to talk to them about their will. The husband was ill and dying. Their coffee table was stacked with paperback books from Oral Roberts about healing. They were sending money to him continuously and doing everything the books said to do. He desperately wanted to live.

He died weeks after we signed the will.

I wonder what his wife did with the books.

The citizens of both countries do not like the things their government is doing and are loudly protesting.

The governments of both countries are ignoring their citizens and doing what they want.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

O Holy Night, or abolitionist theme song?

This song is a standard for Christmas Eve church services and programs. It is an old Christmas standard, plus lends itself to dramatic presentation.

However, like many songs we sing, including some in our hymnals, the words we know to this song are not the original words.

The original text to this song, or “carol” if you prefer, was written in French as a poem in 1847 by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure. It was titled “Mi­nuit, chré­tiens, c’est l’heure so­len­nelle”. Here are the lyrics, translated into English.

Midnight, Christians, it's the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It's for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.

People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

These words are Biblical. (Although my Arminian brothers might squirm a bit.) They deal with incarnation, original sin, God’s wrath on sin removed by the Savior, humility before God, worship and celebration of salvation.

But, you say, I never heard these words! That is true, because someone changed them before you heard them.

That someone was John Sullivan Dwight, an American Transcendentalist , Unitarian and abolitionist.

A Unitarian does not believe in the deity of Christ. He believes Jesus was a prophet and good man, but not God or God’s son.

The Transcendentalists came out of Unitarianism, stressing the inner essence of man as capable of finding and celebrating truth and beauty and unity with all mankind. (It reminds me of my hippy friends in the ‘60s and ‘70s, all carrying around their paperback copies of Walden Pond.)

In short, Dwight was not a Christian, not a Trinitarian and not a believer in Jesus as savior in the orthodox sense. Therefore, he did not translate the lyrics, but changed them and adapted the thought to his philosophy.

Given Dwight’s religion and philosophy, you can see why he changed the reference from ending God’s wrath on original sin to “the soul felt its worth”. In other words, Jesus showed us our worth, rather than our need for salvation. This may be why this song is so popular today, it says Jesus came to raise my self esteem.

Much of the English lyrics are abolitionist. Though the original had a reference to slave and brother, it has greater emphasis in Dwight’s version.

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

There is nothing about atonement, or turning away the wrath of God, but in universal brotherhood and the defeat of slavery. At least it does not tell me I should “fall in love with Jesus”.

"My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift." Father Tim Jones, Anglican priest.

"You shall not steal." Exodus 20:15

"You shall not steal." Leviticus 19:11

"And you shall not steal." Deuteronomy 5:19

"You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20

"Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need." Ephesians 4:28

"But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler."
1 Peter 4:15

Any questions?

Rasmussen has a “Daily Presidential Tracking Poll”. It shows that the majority of Americans do not approve of the job the President is doing. In fact, almost half (46%) “strongly disapprove” of the President. Fifty-three percent (53%) of men strongly disapprove.

Only 25% of the nation's voters strongly approve of the way the President is performing. Thus, compared to the 46% strongly disapprove percentage, his “Presidential Approval Index” rating is -21.

A particularly bad sign for the President is that only 47% of Democrats strongly approve.

Since the majority of Americans do not want the healthcare plan sought by the President, it is no surprise that his negative rating increased since the Senate voted for cloture on the healthcare bill.

An 8-year-old boy was sent home from school and required to undergo psychological evaluation because he drew a stick-figure picture of Christ on the cross. Read the story here.

The man who was the basis for the movie Rain Man, Kim Peek, has died at age 58 of a heart attack. Although people say Rain Man is dead, note that the savant was not Rain Man. That was the name he called his brother Raymond.

Peek had been touring the world in recent years displaying his knowledge and mental abilities, which were truly astounding. He would take questions from an entire room full of people and answer them all, including baseball statistics and the names of cabinet members of former presidents. He read all the time and evidently remembered everything he read. No one really knows how much he knew because no one knew enough to test him. Further, no one really understood how his brain could retain so much.

As great as Peek's learning ability was, I think the real story is that of his father, Fran. Doctors told Fran his son was retarded, would never speak or walk, and advised putting him in an institution. Instead, his father devoted his life to loving and nurturing his unusual son. Even after his wife left him, he continued on. At 80 years of age, he toured the world with his son, taking care of him and all the arrangements. Even though Peek could memorize a telephone directory or count the number of tooth picks in a box, he could not dress or shave himself or otherwise function in the world.

Fran could have had a life devoted to himself, his career, and his pleasures. Instead, he sacrificed for his son. This son originally could not return even the smallest amount of affection, although he did later. So, to me, Kim Peek is an interesting man. Fran, however, is a man of heroic proportions. As the Bible says, greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends, or in this case, his son. So mark down Fran as one of the greatest lovers of all time.

One of the criticisms of democracy is that it allows the majority to oppress the minority. However, in America, the minority is oppressing the majority. A very small minority of a few hundred people on the government dole in Washington D.C. are forcing national healthcare on the majority of Americans who do not want it.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Archeologists have discovered the ruins of a house in Nazareth dating from the time of Jesus. Fox News has a story on it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The facts in the previous post help explain why only 22% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing.

What is interesting is that Congress plunges ahead on the same course, despite knowing the people who elected them do not want them to pursue this course. This is both crass and arrogant. It is an attitude that says, I know I am here to serve you, but I know better than you what you should have. Or in the case of people who make any money, what you should not have.

My daddy used to say: insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different outcome.

If the shoe fits...

14.5% of the Obama Administration's $787 billion stimulus package was spent by early autumn.

If the economy needed stimulation so badly, how could you distribute so little of the funds authorized by Congress? Can you imagine having to report that you used less than 20% of your effort to get your job done?

I can only think of two reasons the money was not spent as promised. First, the Administration was too inept to get it done and did not really know how or where to distribute the money.

Second, they knew the economy did not need that much money, but used the recession as a ruse to tax and spend, as the Democrats have wanted to do for a long time.

So, what is the answer: ineptitude or fraud?

Either way, things do not look good for this president and this congress. And, either way, the Administration should give the money back to the people. Just think how stimulating a huge tax refund would be, especially for someone who has just paid for a wedding.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


HERE. Live it up. You only have 5 billion years, give or take.

Monday, December 14, 2009

"I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will." Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Pride Surveys reports cigarette smoking is increasing among students ages 11 to 18. The 2009 Survey found that 30-day prevalence of cigarette smoking by students in grades 6-12 rose from 19.4% in 2008 to 19.8% in 2009. This group is composed of kids 13-18 years of age. In broad terms, this means 20% of teen agers are smoking at some rate.

Adults are smoking at about the same rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports cigarette smoking increased slightly for the first time in 15 years among adults. According to the CDC, the percentage of adults who were current cigarette smokers rose from 19.8% in 2007 to 20.6% in 2008 (National Health Interview Survey).

In a country under siege with health care costs, this statistic does not bode well. Cigarette smokers face numerous smoking related diseases. Those who start when they are 13 are almost certain to develop some of these diseases. In addition, those who suffer these diseases often cannot work and go on welfare. Smoking is not a vice whose effect is limited to the participant, the smoker. The rest of us pay dearly for the habit, in money, in time caring for family members with these diseases, and the effects of cigarette smoke on the non-smoker's health, including allergies and cancers caused by second hand smoke.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I received this email today:

You are a proud winner of £ 850,000.00.Please acknowledge the receipt of this mail with the details below to Mr Brian Adams Tell, EMAIL:
Full Names..
Contact Address..
Home Tel/Cell Number..

However, I have decided I have enough and in the spirit of Christmas, I will let anyone who reads this blog claim the prize.

Tell Brian Adams hi for me and may all your dreams come true. Except of course the one where you are being chased by zombies who want to eat you alive and you wake up right before they do in a cold sweat (you not the zombies, zombies don't sweat and neither does chuch norris) and your realize the zombie looks like your first grade teacher of whom you were deathly afraid and now you afraid to go back to sleep but of course this never happens to me.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Faxing As An Example of Time Travel

Since I have been trying to get attorneys to send me their lien reduction requests by email rather than fax, I appreciate this Dilbert cartoon.

I am trying to reduce our paper use and waste. In addition, it is more time efficient to do all the work on an account at the computer and not go to the fax machine.

What I have learned is that only half the attorneys I deal with know how to scan and document and send it by email. The other half is afraid to use email rather than paper.

Attorneys don't like change, unless it is in their income.

You can see pictures here. I wish it had happened here; it must have been beautiful. The cause is yet to be determined, but a failed missle launch by the Russians is postulated.

I have a call in to Tim LaHaye to see if he is still here. If not, I know what it was.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

In a 2008 Pew survey, 47% of evangelicals revealed their belief that other religions can lead to eternal life. It was 57% in 2002.

Jesus claimed exclusive access to eternal life. In John 14:6, he said "no one comes to the Father except through me". (NIV) That is perfectly clear with no room for debate. Did Jesus believe other relgions could lead to eternal life? No.

The famous verse of John 3:16 actually contains this same truth. God loved the world in this way: he sent his one and only son so that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. God provided one way for salvation. He has one son who is that way. If you believe in him, you have eternal life. Verse 18 states it in the negative: whoever does not believe does not have eternal life but is condemned.

Since Jesus' claims, as set forth in the Bible, clearly are exclusive, what does this say about the 47% of evangelicals who believe otherwise?

Either they do not believe the Bible contains the words of Jesus, in which case they have othing to believe. Or, they do not believe Jesus told the truth, in which case he is not God's son and cannot be their savior. Or, and I think this one is the answer, 47% of evangelicals are not believers, are not Christians.

And this explains a lot of the problems in Evangelicalism.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Oh, here's an idea. The Salahis should host an event and feature Tiger Woods. They could swap stories. And think of the press they would draw!

They could call it the Liars Ball. They could invite all the famous liars and cheats of the last few years. After dinner, each one could come to the microphone and say their most famous lines. Tiger could say "take your name off your phone". Bill Clinton could say "I did not have sex with that woman". The audience would yell back "which woman?"

They could invite Eliot Spitzer. He might not be able to get his wife to accompany him, but you could invite Ashley Dupree as her substitute, a role she was familiar with.

They could invite all the people in the Obama administration who did not pay their taxes.

That might take all the available room, but if not, you could invite the global warming scientists that trashed data and hid information contrary to their position. Or you could just invite Al Gore, who made a big profit on it.

But, I guess Bernie Madoff will have to appear by phone call. He is otherwise occupied.

Mrs. Salahi has a Facebook page, billing herself as a celebrity and seeking fans.

Here is her entry about crasing the Whitehouse dinner:

I was honored to be invited to attend the First State Dinner hosted by President Obama & the First Lady to honor India.

Of course, we know now she was not honored and was not invited, caused some Secret Service Agents career problems and other security concerns. Yet, she is not smart enough to take this entry down. Or maybe she operates under the old premise that any publicity is good publicity.

Thursday, December 03, 2009


By now I am sure you have heard of the bold couple, Tareq and Michaele Salahi, who crashed a state dinner at the White House. This was not any old party, but a state dinner.

The Salahis evidently tried to wrangle an invitation, but could not. This is a double snub in social or political circles, by the way. They were not sufficiently important to be on the guest list. They tired to pull some strings and get invited, but failed.

This has created a maelstrom of accusation and recrimination. Clearly there was a security breach and other problems that have been and will be dealt with in the MSM.

It reminded me of a Bible story.

Luke records the story of Jesus going to dinner at the house of a Pharisee on the Sabbath. I guess this was the equivalent of the pastor being invited over for Sunday lunch. Jesus noticed that the guests picked the places of honor at the table. They wanted to look important.

If you have gone to any banquets, you have seen this happen. Everyone wants to sit at the executive table or as close to it as possible. People like to be important. If they cannot have that, they want to look important. In America, they two often are confused in people’s minds.

Jesus gave his take on all this. He said “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you “Friend, move up to a better place.”\’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” You can read this in Luke 14.

Now, at the end of the evening, the Salahis probably felt very successful. They posed for pictures with the President, the Vice-President and the White House Chief of Staff. I’ll bet they ordered copies.

But then, someone blew the whistle. They have been humiliated by having their presumption and falsehood exposed in the national media and in Congress. Talk about being told to take the least important seat. Now everyone knows they were not invited and could not get invited but were so desperate to attend that they lied their way in.

Maybe I should mail a pocket New Testament to them. It could have saved them a lot of embarrassment.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Jesus was dismissed from the jury pool! Read about it Here.