Not to frighten off regular readers, but simply by way of
introduction, it can be said that Theology has been called
"the greatest of the sciences." Within the bounds of this
study are several divisions, among them Pneumatology
the study of the Holy Spirit; Christology – the study of the
Person of Jesus Christ; Soteriology – the study of salvation,
and Eschatology – the study of things to come.

The study of Eschatology involves the study of
prophecy – and this is a subject which has occupied the
minds of Bible scholars of all time, and one which has caused
serious divisions within the church, as differing views of Bible
prophecy have come into conflict.

Charles Hodge, the great early American Presbyterian
theologian was born in 1797, just as the U.S. Constitution
was being accepted, and died in 1878 after serving as
Principal of Princeton Theological Seminary for more
than a quarter century. His view of the study of prophecy
is classic: "The subject cannot be adequately discussed
without taking a survey of all the prophetic teachings
of the Scriptures, both of the Old Testament and of the
New. This task cannot be satisfactorily accomplished
by anyone who has not made the study of the prophecies
a specialty."

That is not to imply that the study of prophecy should be
ignored, but rather that it be given the same careful and
scholarly examination that is accorded other portions of
Scripture. This is neither the time nor the place to enter
into an intense theological study of the vast subject of
prophecy –a subject which occupies at least one quarter
of our Bible. Rather we shall offer a brief summary
of the broad field, and emphasize one supremely
important, as-yet unfulfilled, prophetic event.

Prophecy consists of predictions from prophets
of God, some fulfilled and some unfulfilled. Whether
a prophecy is fulfilled or unfulfilled does not alter
its importance in God’s prophetic revelations to
His people. For example, we may read the Old
Testament prophecies concerning the birth, life,
death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and then
find the fulfillment of those prophecies in the four
gospel records – but the fulfillment, accurate in
every detail, in no way diminishes the significance
of those Old Testament prophecies.

For our very broad stroke purpose, it may be said
that the prophecies of the Old Testament focus
on the coming to earth of the Messiah for the nation
Israel, God’s chosen people. In those prophecies He
is seen both as a sacrificial Lamb, and as a conquering,
all powerful Lion. But the Old Testament prophecies
do not distinguish between His first and His second
comings to earth. An illustration has been used, and
it may be helpful in understanding this fact – that the
Old Testament prophets saw a future in the nature of
two mountain tops – on one was the first advent of
Jesus Christ, and on the next was the Messiah in all His
glory. But they did not foresee the valley between those
two events, during which time He gave His life as Savior,
and established His church.

In the New Testament, the prophecies of the Old
Testament prophets are fulfilled in the coming to earth
of Jesus Christ, and then He, as the greatest prophet of
all, in Matthew 13, spoke to His followers in a series
of parables, presenting them with the facts concerning
that period which the prophets had not seen, between
His first and second advents, as recounted by Peter in
his first epistle, I Peter 1:9 - 12.

Finally, and this is the one great remaining unfulfilled
prophecy, Jesus explained the remaining events yet to
take place, beginning with His prediction of His return
to earth to take away His church, John 14: 1-3, and the
other events to follow. The important fact from the clear
teaching of Jesus Christ is that the next prophesied event
which will occur is His return to take out of the world His
church. When His disciples asked Him when this would
occur, and what would be the sign of His coming. His answer
was unmistakably clear – Matthew 24: 3 - 36 – that there
would be false prophets seeking to deceive, there would be
wars ands rumors of wars, but that no none knew when that
event would take place – "But of that day and hour knoweth
no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Thus, according to the Scriptures, the Word of God, the next
prophesied event will be the return of Jesus Christ to take away
His church . . . and that may happen at any moment; it is what
can only be described as "imminent." It is the Christian’s great
expectation . . . our blessed hope.

From the sublime to the mundane in one quick leap –
there is currently before the Senate the consideration of the
Kennedy/Bush comprehensive immigration bill: S-1348. It has
been fully considered, then taken out of consideration, and is
now in the process of being returned for consideration. It is,
very frankly, a bill which the American people do not want.

Every survey or poll gives evidence of that fact, yet the Senators
who are supposed to be in Washington to act upon the desires
of their constituents seem to be ignoring those viewpoints, and
are acting upon their own personal opinions.

A massive UP/Zogby poll conducted June 15-18, and including
the opinions of 8,300 respondents, disclosed that only 3% of
Americans give favorable ratings to the way Congress is dealing
with this bill – and that only 38% favor the legislation which is
under consideration. If you have not done so – even though it
seems late – phone your Senators at 202-224-3121. You have
every right to tell them what you want them to do.

Afterthoughts . . .

Welcome, Congress, to the club! Last week we cited the
Rasmussen Report which disclosed Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid’s approval rating was 19%. This week a Gallup
Poll report disclosed that just 14% of the American people
have confidence in the Congress. The previous low point
for confidence in the Congress was 18% in the time period
1991-1994. By contrast, 69% of Americans are confident
about our military, which is one of Congress’ main
whipping-boys. As for approval of the job Congress is doing,
only 24% of Americans approve – a substantial drop from
the 37% approval rating in February, shortly after the
Democrats took over. With the President’s approval rating
holding at just 31%, it appears that the American people
don’t really like the performance of anyone in Washington.

One more for our justice system. In Lancaster County
Court, Nebraska, Judge Jeffre Cheuvront has ruled that in
rape trials, the words "rape," and "sexual assault" may not
be used. One wonders how is is the victim going to relate
what has happened? And a Federal Court in California has
banned the use of the words "family values," terming them
"hate speech." Sounds like "political correctness" gone wild.

Jimmy Carter: makes you wonder why. The former
president spewed forth some more of his unbalanced venom
last week – calling the US Government’s refusal to support
the Hamas Islamofascists a criminal act. In a TV interview
one of his aides, who resigned following this latest outburst,
opened consideration as to whether he is senile or consumed
by hatred of Republicans. After his disastrous single term as
president, Mr. Carter seemed to do well growing peanuts and
building houses for poor people – things concerning which he
seemed to understand. Perhaps he should avoid becoming
involved in international relations, a subject which he doesn’t
seem to understand.

Jane Fonda is back again – her actions seem familiar.
Last week Jane and a group of people of similar mind ran a
full page ad in the New York Times (where else?) calling for
the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney
as war criminals. Apparently through the years since the Viet
Nam conflict, she has maintained her anti-American position,
but seems now to have a new label – instead of "Hanoi Jane"
it now appears to be "Al Qaeda Jane," or something similar.

"Interesting" developments in main-line pastorates.
While these may not actually be the first of their kind, they are
certainly right up there near the top of the list. In Seattle, an
Episcopal priest, Ann Holmes Redding, claims to be both a
Christian and a Muslim. And her Bishop finds the dual claims
exciting and considers her still in good standing. Perhaps an
event even more unusual has taken place at St. John’s United
Methodist church in Baltimore, where Ann Gordon, who was
minister there for 6 years, has been re-appointed to the same
position, but now as a man – Drew Phoenix, having undergone
a sex change procedure, producing what he/she termed a
"spiritual transformation." Given these two break-through
situations, the possibilities for ministerial-mutations appear
to be endless.

It is easy to agree with Senator Obama. Speaking at a
church convention on Saturday the Senator attacked Evangelical
Christians as follows, speaking of the "Religious Right," he said,
"They’ve told evangelical Christians that Democrats disrespect
their values and dislike their church, while suggesting to the rest
of the country that religious Americans care only about issues
like abortion and gay marriage, school prayer and intelligent
design. I don’t know what Bible they’re using, but it doesn’t jibe
with my version." The Senator is absolutely right. The Bible we
use is called the Holy Bible, and has been used by churches around
the world for centuries. It presents God’s view as opposing those
things which Mr. Obama supports, and which he listed: abortion,
homosexual marriage, banned prayers in schools, God’s power in
intelligent design, etc. We can easily agree that the Bible version
heuses is different – his church denomination (United Church of
Christ)was the national leader in approving gay marriage, sup -
porting abortion, etc. We’re happy to clarify his lack of under -
standing about the different versions of the Bible.

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Yes, it’s true: we have mentioned Jerry Falwell before. Last week,
in fact. But this time it is his son Jonathan who merits the reference.
Jonathan is carrying on his father’s ministry as Senior Pastor of the
24,000 member Thomas Road Baptist Church. A few days ago he was
asked by a TV interviewer if he would be as controversial as his father
had been. His answer: “If your definition of controversial is that we
are going to continue to speak to the issues of the day, speak out
against abortion, speak out in favor of traditional marriage, speak
out in favor of the family, then I can assure you we will be.”

Then in discussing this matter later, Jonathan went on to add these
comments: “It suddenly dawned on me that, in this modern culture
that largely encourages secularism and hazy diversity, you really
cannot be an effective Christian without being controversial. If we
embrace the Word of God and its standards for Christian conduct, we
are going to unavoidably find ourselves at odds with the mainstream.”

In a few words, Jonathan Falwell stated the Evangelical view
of the role of Christians in today’s world: “… you really cannot be an
effective Christian without being controversial.” The Scriptures are
very clear and explicit on this point. We are given specific directives
in this regard: “…be not conformed to this world …” (Romans 12:2)
And “…come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
Lord …” (II Corinthians 6:17) In this regard, Christian believers are
to be called by new names: “… 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
marvelous light…which are now the people of God…” (I Peter 2:9-10)

The point being made here is, according to the Scriptures, that
as Christian believers we are directed to live our life of faith distinct
from the beliefs and actions of the present world. We are not to
conform our beliefs and practices to the standards of the world
about us. As a result of fulfilling God’s purposes for us, we do
become “controversial” in terms of the beliefs and practices of
the non-Christian members of the world we know. We are called,
in God’s terminology, “a chosen generation … an holy nation.”

We are reminded of the statement by Abraham Lincoln, “Sir, my
concern is not whether God is on our side. My great concern is to
be on God's side.” We can expect always to be in controversy with
the world – but we are never to be in controversy with God. But
that is the choice we face, day by day, in so many situations.

Some of those situations are so very obvious The trend of the
Liberals toward legalizing homosexual – “same-sex” – marriage,
contrary to God’s word, and leading to the destruction of the family,
the basic unit of our society. The killing of innocent, unborn
children through legalized abortion which is moving toward a
total of 50 million killings in this country since the Supreme
Court authorized this practice. The banning of any public display
of the historical foundations of the American nation, like the Ten
Commandments, and the banning of any reference to God or the
Bible in our public schools.

Those are some of the elements of the life style of the world which,
as Christians, we must oppose and toward which we must take a
controversial position. The instigators of positions which we must
oppose are familiar to us – Liberals, atheists, homosexuals, and
organizations like the ACLU which are dedicated to opposing the
Christian faith.

But there is a positive side to our Christian responsibility,
as distinct from the controversial aspect of our efforts with respect
to those who actively oppose our Christian beliefs. It is found in the
clear, positive directive which Jesus gave to us in what is referred to
today as the “Great Commission.” “Go ye therefore into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature … teach all nations, baptizing
them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.”
(Mark 16:18; Matthew 28:19)

While we have the clear teaching of Scripture that we should oppose –
be controversial about – the Liberal trends which are contrary to the
Word of God, we also have the equally clear teaching of the Scripture
in the command of Jesus that we should preach the gospel to all the
world, teaching and baptizing those who believe. Thus our Christian
responsibility is two-fold, to be controversial with respect to erroneous
viewpoints, and be positive and aggressive with respect to the gospel.

Thought for the day, and for the nation: "I have lived, Sir,
a long time; and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see
of this Truth, that God governs in the Affairs of Men. And if a Sparrow
cannot fall to the Ground without His Notice, is it probable that an
Empire can rise without His Aid?" -- Benjamin Franklin, in putting
a Motion for Prayers at the Constitutional Convention, June 1787.

Afterthoughts . . .

An interesting comment: “US Court Orders Release Of Enemy Combatant
From Military Detention and Paris Hilton Ordered Back To Jail. Do I
understand this correctly? Spoiled little rich snob caught speeding without
a drivers license must do hard time, but members of Al Qaeda and enemy
combatants must go free? To put a finer point on it, our courts, our justice
system, has decreed that Paris Hilton is more dangerous to America than
foreign terrorists plotting inside America to attack American interests
through numerous equally devastating tactics.” – J.B. Williams, writing
in NewMedia Journal.us, 06/15/07

A suggestion for the US Senate as they resume their debate on the
on-again, off-again immigration bill: “Tell our elected leaders that the
American people have spoken: We want our borders sealed. Demand
that Congress table these idiotic amnesty plans once and for all and
immediately pass a bill to double the number of current Border Patrol
agents, arm 10,000 Guardsmen to stand shoulder to shoulder with the
Border Patrol, finish that wall with all deliberate speed, and stiffen fines
for employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. And that’s all! No path -
way to citizenship for lawbreakers. NO AMNESTY!” – from
grasstopsusa.com. It would be so simple if our elected officials
would listen to the voices of the American people.

Not that it makes any difference really, but after all the finger-pointing
and ridiculing of
President Bush’s approval rating of 31% -- a Rasmussen
Report disclosed that in their most recent poll (June 4-7) Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid has an approval rating of 19%. But the Senator should
cheer up; at least he has an approval rating equal to Scooter Libby’s which
is also 19%.

Rosie pops up again -- well, almost – the New York State Assembly is getting
ready to act on a new bill to legalize homosexual marriage, and according to
Richard Gottfried, Chairman of the Health Committee, “It’s very likely we
will pass it this session.” The main sponsor of the bill? Assemblyman
Daniel O’Donnell, Rosie’s brother.

Maybe Islam isn’t as popular as we thought – according to the Washington
Times this week, membership in the Council on American-Islamic Relations
(CAIR) has declined more than 90% since the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

From a membership of 29,000 in 2000 to less than 1,700 in 2006, is not
the mark of success. It is also reported that the income from dues dropped
from $732,000 in 2000 to $58,750 last year -- even after the annual dues
rate was raised from $25 to $35. This is a trend we should encourage to

A comment on Nancy Pelosi’s claim of God’s blessing: Furthering
their attack on bioethics, she and her colleagues passed legislation for
the second time this session that would increase the taxpayer funding of
human embryonic stem cell experimentation. Nancy invoked God's
blessing on the stem cell bill's passage, saying, "Science is a gift of
God to all of us, and science has taken us to a place that
is biblical in its power to cure... And that is embryonic stem cell
research." Tony Perkins of Family Research Council commented:
“Of course, it's complete nonsense to suggest that God wants us to
destroy human embryos, since they are His own creation. This is just
the latest example of the Left's aggressive efforts to lure the unsuspecting
into supporting immoral and unethical policies which are whitewashed with
spiritual words and phrases.” So much for Nancy’s venture into the spiritual

A well-worded opinion from an unexpected source: "Doing the Lord's work
is a thread that runs through our politics since the very beginning. . .it puts
the lie to the notion that separation of church and state in America means
somehow that faith should have no role in public life." - U.S. Senator Barack
Obama. A hint that appeals to religious convictions will play a role in next
year’s election.

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Occasionally there comes to one’s attention a
statement or an opinion which merits a response.
All too often those opportunities are passed over
due to the pressures of seemingly more urgent
ways to use the time. The recent sudden death of
Jerry Falwell and the attendant media coverage
of his life and ministry is a case in point. Some –
hopefully most – of the media coverage was quite
fair and accurate, focusing on his legacy – the truly
"mega church" he started and built ... the great
university he founded and developed ... his never
swerving allegiance to the Christian faith and his
intense patriotism and love of country.

But there were detractors, easily categorized under
several labels: liberals, atheists, homosexuals – the
usual line-up of those who support the agenda of
the ACLU and oppose the mission of the Christian
church. Thus one of their typical responses was
selected by TIME Magazine as a Letter to the Editor
to be printed in their "Inbox," in the June 11 issue:

"Jerry Falwell is now in a better place, side by side
with the angels – and homosexuals, people with HIV
and feminists, who, he has surely learned, have as
much right to eternal happiness and salvation as he

Then apparently someone from the editorial staff of
TIME added an equally inane comment: "Mixing it
up. In this world Falwell made it his mission to
explain what he believed to be God’s preferences."

Both the writer of the letter, and the editorial staff
member who wrote the accompanying comment
displayed, in writing, a lack of understanding (more
familiarly known as ignorance) and a biased intolerance
born of bigotry, in their evaluation of Dr. Falwell.

It is probably not far from the truth to estimate that the
number of times those critics had heard Dr. Falwell
preach would probably be zero – yet he preached at the
church he developed Sunday after Sunday for some 50
years. It is extremely difficult to think that in any of
those thousands of sermons Dr. Falwell ever spoke of
being on a "mission to explain what he believed to be
God’s preferences." Those critics are so lacking in their
understanding (their ignorance) of God’s revealed will
and purpose that they impart to Him human attributes
such as "preferences" – as if He changed His likes and
dislikes for one reason or another.

What they don’t seem to grasp is that when you are
discussing a subject within the field of religion, you should
study -- or at least be familiar with -- the authoritative rules
governing that aspect of religion – in this case, the Bible,
which is the authoritative rule book for the Christian faith.
Thus Dr. Falwell did not utilize such a flighty approach as
to express what he happened to believe about God’s
"preferences." Rather he cited what the Bible – God’s
Word – says about sin, forgiveness, behavior, life-styles,
etc. Those rules are God’s rules – not merely something
someone happened to believe.

God’s "preferences" – to use an unsuitable word – are
broad – Jesus Christ stated them as follows: "For
God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten
Son ..." (John 3:16) No scope of any "preference" can
be broader than as stated here, that God loved the world.
So the editorial addendum doesn’t make any sense, any
more than does the letter writer’s opinions about who
deserves "eternal happiness and salvation." In His
description of the breadth of the scope of God’s love
(God’s "preference"), Jesus added a caveat: " ... that
whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish but have
everlasting life." So it is clear from the authoritative book
of rules for the Christian faith that all those who are
enjoying eternal happiness and salvation alongside Jerry
Falwell are doing so because during their life on earth
they believed in Jesus Christ – or to use a Bible term,
they had been "born again."

The point at issue here is not to deny to anyone their
right of free speech or of a free press, but to suggest that
in exercising that right they should do so with at least a
modicum of knowledge and intelligence rather than basing
their published opinions on anti-religious or anti-Christian
bigotry focused on a faithful student of the Bible and
exponent of the Christian faith who made it his mission
in life to share with others the Word of God. The old
rule still applies: if you don’t like the message, don’t
blame the messenger.

There are other instances of this sort of treatment by
our present day media, as biased and uninformed about
the subject with which they are dealing. Some years ago
an experienced public relations practitioner observed that
any media operation would have as their sports editor
someone familiar with the wide world of sports . . . the
business editor would be someone familiar with business
and economics ... the political editor would be someone
familiar with the political scene, both national and local.
But all too often, the religion editor seems to be someone
who is either an atheist or a hardened skeptic who holds
strong prejudices against almost every form of religion.
This evaluation seems to be the prevailing rule in our time.

The chance of religious matters receiving a fair and balanced
treatment based on knowledge and understanding in any form
of media has become increasingly remote, or virtually nil.

To reinforce this fact, a recent national survey conducted
by the Cultural and Media Institute, disclosed that 68% of
American adults believe that the media has a detrimental effect
on the nation's moral values.

A thought for today, and every day: "Here in America we
are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and
rebels - men and women who dared to dissent from accepted
doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent
with disloyal subversion." -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Afterthoughts . . .

First, let it be said that the bigoted bias of the media, print
and broadcast, against Conservative Evangelical Christians is
not limited to Jerry Falwell. As the foremost spokes-person
for the "Religious Right," as the Liberals like to label us, his
treatment by the media was used here as an example.

An evaluation of a current overworked media theme by
Doug Giles, Florida pastor and radio talk show host, who
wrote very pointedly: "Y’know, it wouldn’t be so bad to
see these whacky wenches on our air waves if the media
was fair and balanced in showing an equal chunk of
accomplished women who have risen to notoriety ... But
that ain’t gonna happen. At least not anytime soon. Maybe
after the next terrorist attack on US soil wakes us up. But
not for now. As a culture, we have officially traded the
applause we used to give to the truly noteworthy and have
bestowed it upon the nebulous tramp." (TownHall.com, June
10, 2007) Again, the Paris Hilton affair is merely an example of
the media's warped addiction. One recalls other such instances
of media obsession: Anna Nicole Smith, Cindy Sheehan, Scott
Peterson, O.J. Simpson, etc., ad nauseam.

Immigration reform; much talk - little action. Despite strong
national interest in repairing our virtually useless immigration system,
the last Congress did almost nothing, and the present Congress has
watched as a so-called "bipartisan" comprehensive immigration
reform bill self-destructed, perhaps irreparably so. Crafted by
Senator Ted Kennedy, with the active support of President Bush
and Senator John McCain, the bill appeared to be an "amnesty"
vehicle for the 12 - 20 million illegal immigrants within our borders.
It did little or nothing to solve the basic problem of controlling our
borders. Last November Congress passed and the president signed
into law a measure to erect a 700 mile barrier fence among the
Mexican border. As ineffective as that might be in the broadest
picture, it was at least a step toward solving the basic problem, but
a step no one in Washington seems willing to take. That fence was
never erected. Aside from representing a political defeat for President
Bush, the present failure of the bill -- temporary or permanent -- is a
harsh reminder of the political civil war raging in Washington. If the
Congress and the Administration cannot produce some sort of a
solution to the problem of immigration, how can we hope to see any
solution to the myriad other problems facing our nation? The prominent
Christian activist Gary Bauer, in his column, "End of Day" for June 8,
summarized the situation well. To those who say the border can't be
secured, he responds: "If it can't be, then we are no longer a nation."

California takes the lead again, but in a negative direction. In the year
2000, by something over a 61% margin, the voters of California approved
Proposition 22, which defined marriage as between one man and one
woman. Now the Democrat controlled State Assembly, by a vote along
party lines, has approved AB43 which makes same-sex marriage legal in
California. The bill now goes to the State Senate (where it is expected to
pass) and then to Governor Schwarzenegger who has promised to veto it.

As the radio newscasters say: "Stay tuned." Meanwhile, also in California,
the Department of Corrections caved in under threat of a lawsuit by the
ACLU, and has agreed to permit same-sex conjugal visits by domestic
partners of inmates in the state's prisons. Proponents of the action call it
"marriage equality;" while opponents call it "sponsoring immorality."

Iran's President Ahmadinejad has more than once called for the
annihilation of the nation Israel, and has most recently stated, "The
countdown for the Zionist regime's collapse has started. God willing
we shall soon witness the collapse of this regime." As Christians we
are constantly reminded of God's directive, "Pray for the peace of
Jerusalem," and the promise of blessing which follows, "...they shall
prosper that love thee." (Psalm 122:6)

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We find ourselves in this "Inter Holiday" period,
between the past national observances of New Years
Day, Presidents' Day and Memorial Day ... and the
future observance of Independence Day on the 4th
of July. This lull between national holidays provides
us with a good opportunity to pause, spend some time
in reflection, and try to grasp just where we are, as
seen from an Evangelical Christian perspective.

Where to start? From the viewpoint of Americans,
the boundaries of this holiday interval are significant:
we have just observed Memorial Day, which was
established as a day to remember and commemorate
the ultimate sacrifices of our military in the wars in which
our nation has been engaged ... and we will next be
observing, on a national basis, Independence Day,
known simply as "the 4th." We are, here in America,
basically a patriotic people, and in this interval between
these two patriotic holidays, as American Christians we
should give thanks to God for the blessings of liberty
and freedom which we enjoy every day of our lives.
Any glimpse of prevailing conditions in so many other
parts of the world should reinforce in our thinking just
how wonderfully we are blessed.

Unfortunately, the ongoing war on terror seems to be
crowding its way into the list of the most publicized news
events. Since the tragic events of "9/11," there have been
no terrorist attacks on American soil, but the threat of
more attacks has not diminished. In Britain some months
ago an active and viable scheme of attack through trans-
Atlantic airliners was discovered and thwarted. Last week a
threat of an attack -- apparently by al-Qaeda wannabes
-- was likewise discovered and thwarted. In the words of the
attack planners it would have been more destructive than
"9/11." Those two incidents, by themselves, demonstrate how
effective are the anti-terrorist detection and protection efforts
of our own agencies and those of our allies.

But this does not mean that the seriousness of those threats
has abated. Last Saturday CNN presented a lengthy program
of warning that the next global conflict could well be based on
the need for the planet's dwindling supply of oil -- and with
adequate supplies of a substitute fuel estimated at 20 years in
the future. Just a few days prior to the CNN program, a
similar warning was circulated on the Internet by The Daily
Reckoning, utilizing these headlines, and sub-heads:

A trickle of oil...
A flood of illegal immigrants...
A river of blood...

The lesson for us to learn? The intent of the terrorists of
the world -- familiarly labeled as "Islamofascists" -- is
clear and definite: the destruction and elimination of America
and our closest allies. Most of the Muslim world of nations
share this goal -- make no mistake about it. And there are
certain avowed aggressor nations who make open threats
against America -- Iran and North Korea -- in addition to
the less tangible threats of the nebulous al-Qaeda and its
fugitive leader, Osama bin Laden.

In this regard, just last week a California-born member of al-
Qaeda, Adam Yehive Gadahn, broadcast by video a warning
to President Bush to end U.S. involvement in all Muslim lands,
end all support for Israel, release all Muslim prisoners held by
us or anybody else, or face an attack worse that "9/11." His
words: "Your failure to meet our demands means that you
and your people will experience things which will make
you forget the horrors of September 11th, Afghanistan
and Iraq and Virginia Tech."

Meantime, in many parts of the world, terrorist activity is
well past the border-line of threats, and is real and definite. In
Lebanon, government soldiers have been waging daily heavy
duty battles with Muslims who are aided by Syria-backed
Hezbollah militants. The fighting is the most violent since the
1970-1995 civil wars in Lebanon. A long smoldering agitation
there erupted last week when the UN adopted a resolution
to establish an international tribunal to investigate the 2005
assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik
Harin, apparently involving Syrian and Hezbollah intelligence
agents. The UN decision has split the country, reflecting the
strong influence of Syria on Lebanon. Fuad Saniora, the
Lebanese Prime Minister, welcomed the decision,calling it
" a triumph for Lebanon against injustice, crime and

And the nation Israel, always a target for Muslim attacks,
continues to exist in a dual state of both a threatened and
an active war, with Palestinian rocket attacks daily, and with
the Iranian president openly announcing again this week that
Israel would soon cease to exist on the face of the earth.
Israel lives in expectation of an attack from Syria, and sees
in the open relationship between Syria and Iran and the ever
present threats from the Hamas terrorists in Palestine as
evidence of a rapidly developing, soon-to-be experienced,
major conflict in the Middle-East.

The point is that while we here in America are -- at this time --
free from active terrorist attacks, there is an ever present
threat of future terrorist attacks on a severity level equal to
or surpassing "9/11" or anything else we have ever known
or experienced.

So there are some of the "important" issues at this interval
between major national holidays. Of course there are other
items like next year's national election. We have taken the
position that it is too early to discuss the candidates in detail,
and in fact we aren't even sure that all the potential candidates
have yet entered the race. When you realize that the 3rd most
favored Republican hasn't yet announced his candidacy, that fact
becomes more meaningful. There is another factor -- given the
dramatic shift in state primary dates, it becomes evident that the
final candidates for both parties might well have been determined
by mid-February.

And there is the pressing issue of immigration, which finds the
country sharply divided, with the majority -- according to the
latest polls -- in firm opposition to the comprehensive and
frequently labeled "amnesty" bill now being debated in the Senate,
and enjoying the enthusiastic sponsorship of Senators Kennedy
and McCain and President Bush.

For final mention there is the ongoing problem of homosexuality
and same-sex marriage, leading to the breakdown of the American
family, which former President Roosevelt termed the basic unit of
our society -- an endorsement obviously ignored or forgotten by
today's Democrats. The latest Gallup poll, released last week,
(if you put any confidence in such polls), showed a strong shift
in public opinion toward a more favorable view of homosexuality,
with 57% of American adults holding the view that homosexuality
"should be considered an acceptable affirmative lifestyle," and 47%
affirming that homosexual relations are "morally acceptable." On
this issue the American churches have obviously failed in their
responsibility to convey Scriptural teaching concerning this lifestyle.

Meantime the main stream media continues to divert public
attention from important issues to the more enjoyable recounting
of the antics of some irresponsible "celebrities" who ignore the laws
which do in fact apply to everyone resident in America, and violate
those laws simply because they are "celebrities" -- and often avoid
any penalty for their unlawful actions because they can afford the
most effective attorneys money can buy (and in the full sense of those
words). We have watched Paris Hilton whine at a minor penalty for
repeated violations of law, and have been exposed to hours upon
hours of "news" coverage, with more to come as she spends a few
days with special attention in a special level of confinement. And
almost equal attention has been and will continue to be devoted to
Lindsay Lohan for equal disregard of applicable law. There are more
important issues which concern the American people.

And one other evident imbalanced volume of attention has been
given to the the anti-war poster girl, Cinday Sheehan, who has finally
comprehended the error of her ways, has acknowledged that she
was merely a political tool of the Democrats.and will retire from
the public stage and stop undermining our national military efforts.

Not a bad time during this interval between these two significant
national holidays to reflect on the familiar words of Abraham Lincoln
in the Gettysburg Address, "that we here highly resolve that these
dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall
have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Afterthoughts . . .

May 27 was Pentecost Sunday, but a new group called TCPC -- or
"The Center for Progressive Christianity," adopted a new name for the
traditonal observance of the birthday of the church, and called the day:
"Pluralism Sunday." The movement has thus been defined by its leaders,
"Progressive Christians thank God for the diversity of religions
in the world. We don't claim that our religion is superior to all
others... Pluralism Sunday takes a big step beyond mere 'tolerance'
of other religions, and affirms that other faiths may be as good
for their adherents as our faith is for us." The problem herein is
identifying this heresy as Christianity, whose Founder said, "I am the
way, the truth and the life; No man cometh unto the Father but
by me." (John 14:6) This is our faith, described in the Scriptures as
"the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3) The
Christian faith was once, and for all, delivered; it is not a progressive,
ever changing belief ... it partakes of no "diversity."

A strange twist to an old practice -- In Melbourne, Australia, the Peel
Hotel, which caters to homosexuals, and has obtained a three year
exemption from discrimination rules, has been granted the right to exclude
heterosexuals from its bars, to insure a safe environment for homosexuals.
However, interestingly, the hotel's owner told the press, "We don't really
get any violence at the Peel. Historically the only violence has come
from lesbians, particularly when they start fighting around the pool
table." It wold be interesting to watch customers attempting to prove
what they are and what they are not.

But before we think the media is limited in its "news" coverage,
we have to realize that they now they have a new personality whose
antics they can feature for days on end in the person of Andrew Speaker,
the 31 year old honeymooner who flew to Europe last week. Then in lieu
of checking into a hospital in Italy due to his being diagnosed as having
drug resistant tuberculosis, he flew on a Czechoslovakian flight to Canada
where he rented a car to drive into the U.S. His apparent avoidance ploy
failed, and he is now confined in a Denver hospital for treatment. Himself
a lawyer, as is his father, this act of potential infection of innocent people
will doubtless keep the "talking heads" of TV news occupied for weeks
to come.

We in America owe so much to Europe so why shouldn't we share as
element of concern over these words from Pope Benedict XVI in a speech
before the recent Congress of the European Bishops Commission: "In
demographic terms it must unfortunately be noted that Europe seems
set on a path that could lead to its exit from history." The Pope was
lamenting the trend throughout Europe away from traditional family values,
a trend which me must surely recognize as underway in America.

A patriotic quote from one of our founding fathers: "The highest glory
of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble
bond the principles of civil government with the principles of
Christianity." -- John Quincy Adams

And please remember to use this email address to send us your
comments: evangelical_viewpoint@yahoo.com .

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