Second-Class Displays | Brannon Howse

At the request of one of my readers, I am publishing this article written by Brannon Howse. As usual, Mr. Howse has great insight. This article partially fits with my post on Christians as Second-Class Citizens. Enjoy!
Recently Brandi Chambless was told by a Bartlett, Tennessee branch library staff member that she could not use a public shelf to display a Nativity scene along with an announcement about a Christmas concert at Broadmoor Baptist Church. The shelf is open to the public for advertising upcoming community activities. The library official told Brandi that a donkey, sheep and other farm animals, along with a Shepherd boy, could be displayed but the Wise men; Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus were inappropriate “religious figures” and must be removed. The library official cited a written policy that does not allow any display in the library that was religious. This policy of the Memphis-Shelby County Libraries deems “any item which promotes a particular religion or sectarian religious belief” to be unacceptable for display in the library. If this is truly the policy of the Memphis-Shelby County Library then they need to remove every book and resource from every shelf and leave them completely and totally empty. Why? Because Webster’s dictionary, on the shelves of their library, defines a religion as "a collection of beliefs", therefore, every book in the Memphis Library system is promoting someone’s religion. We can thank the wisdom of the Mayor of Bartlett for over-ruling the Memphis-Shelby County library’s ridiculous policy. However, this incident brings to light the need for our local libraries to be influenced by the community and not the liberal American Library Association of which the Memphis libraries are members. The American Library Association has a long history of being hostile to Christian values including suing to stop the enforcement of a federal law that would withhold federal funds from any library or school that does not filter internet pornography from children. Judith Krug, of the American Library Association, bemoaned internet filtering software for libraries saying, “blocking material leads to censorship. That goes for pornography and bestiality too. If you don’t like it, don’t look at it.” Well, two can play that game; if the Nativity scene at the library offends you then don’t look at it. I'm Brannon Howse.
Brannon Howse Brannon Howse is the president and director of Worldview Weekend, a family-centered ministry dedicated to helping Christians think and live like Christians. In Him, David S. MacMillan III

The Star of Bethlehem

Star of BethlehemThe Star of Bethlehem has been laying quite heavy on my mind lately, as evidenced by my recent series, The Rising of Immanuel. As I read over accounts of Christ's birth, I come to wonder why those people alive at that time who saw the star shining every night took no heed of it. It is possible, of course, that the star was visible only to a few, similar to the instance in Acts 9 when Christ appeared visibly to Saul (later Paul) but not to those with him. But I believe the answer goes deeper. Consider this for a moment from the perspective of a long-time resident of Bethlehem. You have seen wars won and wars lost, Messiah wannabes cropping up right and left, and a host of "sensational" rumors quickly proven to be nothing but. Now a bright star makes it hard to sleep at night, and the news is spreading around town that the Messiah has been born. So what? You have better things to do. The Bible says that the Magi or Magoi followed the star all the way from Persia. In this case, it was visible not only in Bethlehem but for hundreds of miles around; a beacon of light for the entire world to see. Yet there is no record of anyone other than these Persian kings inquiring as to the meaning of this star. Indeed, Herod had to ask the Magoi when the star had first appeared. It seems that intense apathy reigned in the hearts of the men of that time. Intense apathy to be sure. It would require an extreme disinterest to totally ignore such an awe-commanding signal of the Messiah's coming. Paul "sheds some light" on this subject in his second letter to the churches in Corinth:
"But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:3,4,6
The god of this age. It is the policy of our God to bring hidden things to light, to reveal mysteries, and to shine the Truth wherever confusion is found. 1 Corinthians 14:33 says that "God is not the author of confusion but of peace." But the devil has a different plan. He learned early that rank insubordination was never a good idea; this got him thrown from God's presence in the first place. When he approached Eve in the Garden of Eden, he deceived her before instigating her to rebellion against God. He is one who desires confusion and strife, not understanding. 2 Peter 3 declares that the ungodly "willfully forget" that which would do them good, since they walk after their own lusts. This is what the devil wants most of all: a spirit of intense apathy so that even if people know the Truth, they will not receive it. So how shall we then live? It is our responsibility to shine the Light of Christ in this dying world, piercing the darkness of the apathy that enshrounds our culture and our world today. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


The Rising of Immanuel, Part 2

Please read The Rising of Immanuel, Part 1 before reading Part 2.

"A sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red serpent. This great dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." Revelation 12:1-5
The Magoi knew that the appearance of the Virgin, the Lion of Judah, and the Serpent, all appearing on the eastern horizon, signaled the birth of the prophesied King. The King that would rule the nations with a rod of iron. And as they gazed on the brilliant star shining over the east, they knew they had to see this great sight for themselves. Almost a thousand miles away, in the tiny town of Bethlehem, shepherds gathered around a smelly cave in the side of the mountains. Above their heads a brilliant light made the night around them brighter than noonday. Inside the cave, surrounded by livestock, manure, and dirty hay, a man and his wife huddled around a feeding trough that contained a child wrapped in cloth used to clean newborn lambs. Remembering the awesome display of the angelic host a few minutes before, the shepherds were amazed at the relative simplicity of this heaven-announced birth. They fell to their knees and worshipped.

The Magoi had long since set out on their journey. And what a host they had with them! Each of the astronomers rode a mighty Persian elephant, guarded by a troop of mounted archers, the finest warriors in the Parthian military. Each of these in turn had an entourage of servants and slaves. This mighty caravan, exemplifying the strength of the East, numbered over a thousand. Over a year later, the Magoi and their troop neared the Judean border. Sentries guarding outposts sent couriers galloping to the palace of king Herod in Jerusalem. A young messenger made his way through the flanks of Roman legionnaires posted at the entrance to the chambers of Herod. "Personal message of highest import for the king. Personal message of highest import for the king." These words cleared the way as the young man entered the presence of the wrathful king. "Your majesty, our outposts have detected a vast Parthian army headed toward this city. Over a thousand of them, sir." Herod gnawed his lip in anger. The Parthian mounted archers were famous across the known world for their decisive tactics. The stiff, powerful ranks of the Roman legions had no defense against the volleys of lethal arrows rained down by the swift horsemen. "Send out a strong mounted skirmishing party under a flag of truce. If they come in peace, bring their leaders here. If not, turn out the Legions. All of them. That will be all." Herod terribly feared an overthrow of his precarious throne. He was an Edomite, and though the Jews were his distant cousins they hated each other bitterly. Who might know if the Parthian war horde would trigger another Jewish militia movement? The fearful king gritted his teeth in rage.

Atop his gigantic elephant, the leader of the Magoi spotted a group of armed horsemen coming toward them. "Emissaries from the Judeans, no doubt, coming to welcome those who would worship the newborn prince. Send out a truce party."

The small group of Magoi stood in the palace of Herod. "Where is the newborn King of the Jews?" asked their leader. "We have seen His star from the East, and we have come to worship Him." Although relieved to find that the Parthian army came for a peaceful purpose, Herod was greatly troubled by rumors that a king had just been born. He sent for the temple priests. "Where is the Messiah to be born?" the king demanded. "In Bethlehem of Judea, sir. The prophet Micah said His birthplace would be there."
"But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel." Micah 5:2
Herod, after telling the Magoi that Bethlehem was the birthplace of the new King, inquired when the star had first appeared. "We first saw the star over 15 months ago. We have come as fast as we could travel." "Well," replied the king cordially, "come back to my palace after you have found him. I would like to worship him as well." The Magoi left Jerusalem with an uneasy feeling. How would it be that the king would not know immediately where the newborn Prince was? Then they saw it. The star, brighter than ever, lit the way to the north. The Magoi set off at a gallop, their hearts ablaze. Finally, they would see the King.

"The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to Him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present Him gifts. Yes, kings shall worship Him." Psalm 72:10,11
On December 25th, 2 BC, the contingent of Persian astronomers with their vast cohort of bodyguards and servants galloped into the small hamlet of Bethlehem in Judea. The people of Bethlehem had grown accustomed to the brilliant light that shone over the slums in their city. When the shutters of their homes were closed, it was still as dark as ever. The Magoi rode straight to the home of Joseph Barjacob. Dismounting from their elephants, the men walked into the home of the boy Jesus and laid a fortune in Oriental spices and gold at His feet.

"A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are no more." Jeremiah 31:15
Herod gnawed his beard in rage. His spies had just brought word to him that the Parthian Magoi had departed from the land of Judea without coming back or telling him who the upstart king was. He barked an order to one of his men. "Kill them all!" "Kill whom, sir?" the orderly asked in confusion. "All of them!" the king howled. "Kill every male toddler in Bethlehem tonight!" "But sir, my family is in Beth--" The soldier dodged as a jewel-studded scepter flew past his head and crashed against a suit of armor on the wall. Herod leapt from his seat, clutching his sword. His face was livid. "Kill them!" the king screamed, the veins standing out on his throat.

Joseph, having been told in a dream to take his wife and son to Egypt, left that very night. Just minutes later, Herod's troops swept through the town, killing every male child they could find.

". . . out of Egypt I called my Son." Hosea 11:1
A few years later, Joseph left Egypt with Mary and the boy Jesus, and traveled to Nazareth to set up a carpentry shop with the last of the money left by the Magoi.
In Him, D3


The Rising of Immanuel, Part 1

"The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising." Isaiah 60:3 "there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel," Numbers 24:17
2007 years ago today a contingent of Persian astronomers with a vast cohort of bodyguards and servants paid a surprise visit to the small hamlet of Bethlehem in Judea. Why would these dignitaries visit tiny Bethlehem? The answer spans eternity.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies show His workmanship." Psalm 19:1 "God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky, and let them serve as signs. . . ." Genesis 1:14
When the temple of Solomon was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, many young, bright Jewish men were taken captive to Babylon to be educated in the ways of the Babylonians. One of these young men was Daniel. But Daniel found favor with God. He quickly rose to become one of the king's advisors. After one episode, when God revealed to him a dream that the king had dreamt, Daniel was elevated further to the position of chief advisor and wise man. It was here that he no doubt began to educate the soothsayers, astrologers, and wise men of Babylon in the ways of the one true God. As time passed, Babylon fell before the Medo-Persian Empire. But Daniel retained his position as an influential leader in the new regime, and continued to work with the pagan astrologers. It was here that he taught them that although the stars do not control us, our God controls the stars.

"A sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red serpent. This dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter." Revelation 12:1-5
In early September of the year 3 BC, a group of Parthian 'kingmakers' stood in a tower overlooking their citadel. These men had a reputation for their ability to predict when a king would be born based on the stars. This gained them their title, 'kingmakers', or in the native Persian, "Magoi". The skeptics in the kingdom no doubt noticed that those marked for kingship by the Magoi usually rose to power because of this distinction, not the other way around. But through the reputation carried over from the days of the great prophet Daniel, these Magoi still held sway over the public policy of the Parthian empire. On this night, aides ran frantically to and fro making measurements and sighting the stars carefully. Near the top of the tower, several of the head Magoi conversed quietly. "The 'little king', Regulus, has lined up with Jupiter, the 'ruler of kings', for weeks now. And Regulus is the lead star in the Lion of Judah that Daniel spoke of." The Israelites used the constellations to represent the twelve tribes of Israel and told the story of the Torah using the skies. The lion we know as Leo they named the Lion of Judah. Having been well schooled by Daniel, the Magoi were quite aware of this. "What I am more interested in is that our view of Judah has just been obscured by the Virgin," said the leader of the small band. "And she is lying due east, next to the sun's rising. The Serpent has hung below this whole structure for a few days now." Yet another of the Magoi nodded, tugging his flowing white beard. "If my predictions are right, the sun will be at the hip of the Virgin and the moon at her feet tomorrow morning. And it appears that the Lion, with Jupiter, will pass from the sun to the moon at the same time." A wizened old man in the corner straightened up. "Remember what was taught us. A virgin shall conceive and bear a son. His name will be called 'God with us'. Immanuel." The first speaker, now excited, assented. "A scepter will rise out of Israel." The leader stopped the conversation by slowly rising. "It is the Sign." The group stood and spoke in unison. "It is the Sign." The next night, the group stood gazing to the east from the top of the tower. "The sun will rise in a few moments," whispered the youngest of the Magoi. As the first rays of our nearest star broke the horizon, clothing the Virgin in golden light, the leader spoke. "Look there! The Virgin gives birth!" The men watched as the Lion of Judah with Jupiter at its head came from behind the moon and out from the feet of the Virgin. They gasped in awe as a brilliant light lit up the sky to the east. It looked so small and far away, but it gave off such light. And it was so clear, the men felt as though they could reach out from their tower and touch it.

"Now there were in [Bethlehem] shepherds living out in the fields. And behold, the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid." Luke 2:8,9
In Him, D3 UPDATE: click here to read Part 2!


Christ is the Season!

My father and I created a slide show for our church's Sunday service showing just a few of the many prophecies fulfilled by Jesus Christ. The presentation is very effective, if I do say so myself. The presentation uses Microsoft PowerPoint. Click here to download a free PowerPoint viewer if you do not have PowerPoint on your computer. To view the presentation, click here. The file is about 5 megabytes, so it will take a few moments to load. Once you have clicked the link and the new window has opened, do not touch the computer; just allow it to play. Be sure to have your speakers turned up! In Him, D3

Offensive ******mas Carols

As I was surfing the web a few days ago, I came across an article written by Spunky Junior. A group of public schooled students, offended by the many references to the first Advent of Christ in the traditional carol "Silent Night", have created their own version:
Cold in the night, no one in sight, winter winds whirl and bite, how I wish I were happy and warm, safe with my family out of the storm.
Even though I am personally unoffended by references to Christ, I applaud these students for their unflinching tenacity in not tolerating things that offend them. I also have a carol that contains words offensive to me. The verse in the popular "Jingle Bells" contains references to horses and snow simultaneously. This is something that I simply cannot stomach, as I have had past bad experiences with both equestrian mammals and snow. So I have exercised my freedoms as well and composed my own variation:
Dashing through the dirt On a pair of broken skis Flying through the woods Bouncing off of trees Then ahead I see A skier's greatest fear Off the cliff with a hi-de-ho My last jump of the year Oh, Jingle Bells As I fell Whistling through the air Landing in a briar patch But no one even cared Oh, Jingle Bells Now I tell Why I never ski Since that day I've had no way To stand on my own two feet.
Never allow yourself to be offended! In Him, D3 [Disclaimer: the above statements are primarily satirical in nature.]

Bad Blogger . . . again

I heartily apologize for my lack of blogging over the past few weeks. Busy, busy, busy. Hopefully I will be able to step it up over this Advent Season. I have just set up an account with NE1.net. This allows me to have a fastlink to my website. Now, if you type "www.standonbible.r8.org" into your browser, or create a link to it, it will automatically forward you to this site. On a final note, my blog has been nominated in several categories at Homeschool Blog Awards 2005. Vote for me! Merry Christmas! In Him, D3


We're Second-Class Citizens!

In our nation's history, those with darker skin were once relegated to the position of second-class. But today, a whole new group of "second-class citizens" is creeping to the forefront. Who is this group? They are us. I am, as most of you know or can easily discover, a light-skinned, Christian, conservative, "straight", and male. For the liberals, these are 5 strikes against me. The Civil Rights movement, composed of the feminists and the anti-racism group, denounced the maltreatment of minorities for years -- and rightly so! But now, it has been hijacked; the anti-racism groups by the "sodomy rights" movement and feminist groups by the "reproductive rights" agenda. Instead of promoting equal rights for minority groups, the liberals want . . . special privileges. But not just for any minorities. No, in order to get special privileges and consideration, you must be an "approved minority". I am a minority in several ways; for example, I am partly Jewish and I am homeschooled. But homeschoolers are not an approved minority, because the vast majority of homeschooling families teach conservative, traditional values. And that is a ticket away from approval by the liberal left. There are just a few prerequisites for being a minority that gets special treatment. Besides the normal minorities that no one would dream of flaunting (blacks, women, etc.), or you must live a lifestyle and hold beliefs that conflict with a traditional Judeo-Christian worldview. It is really quite simple. Gays? Sure, you get in. Not only do you get the approved minority stamp, but we will allow you to practice criminal sodomy under the auspices of "equal rights". Yes, we know that it is special, unequal rights, not equal ones, but the government does not need to know that. National Organization for Women? Certainly. Never mind the fact that you push for the wanton killing of millions of innocents yearly. It doesn't matter that those in support of abortion are not really a minority; after all it conflicts with a traditional worldview, so you get extra rights . . . to murder. You want same-sex cohabitation, and you want the government to call it marriage? Certainly. This disagrees with the Bible and with Christian morals, so you get in! We are giving you the extra right to "marry" outside the definition of marriage, but we can just call it "equal rights" and slide you in. I have nothing against true minorities. But I have a definite problem with people breaking God's law and calling it a new minority! "We must be tolerant!" they say. Sure, sure, sure. Then why does your tolerance stop when I stand on God's Word? Today, if we do not somehow demonstrate that we are opposed to God's Word and want license to sin, we are relegated to the position of second-class citizen.
"Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (John 3:19b-21)
In Him, D3


Breaking News On Wednesday, a Federal District judge ruled that prayers in the Indiana Legislature can no longer "advance a particular faith", specifically declaring that the name of Jesus Christ cannot be mentioned. This, on the basis that such prayers would constitute a "government endorsement of a particular religion" and thus violate the Establishment clause of the 1st Amendment. Indiana Capitol BuildingHistorically, almost every state has allowed legislatural prayers that invoke our nation's Christian heritage. The Constitution of Indiana begins with thanks to God:
". . . WE, the People of the State of Indiana, grateful to ALMIGHTY GOD for the free exercise of the right to choose our own form of government, do ordain this Constitution."
Obviously, such a ruling as this one is in direct opposition to the written documentation of Indiana. But the ego and antichristian bias of the federal judges knows no bounds. To read more on this story, click here. In Him, D3


"Minions of the Devil"

"You're nothing but a minion of the devil!" Strange words, coming from a biology professor at a 'Christian' college.

A few days ago I received a mailing from Dordt College. The leaflet's message was very positive and apparently conservative; every page mentioned God in one way or another. Their point? Taken from their website, http://www.dordt.edu/, "Ours is a community where faith and life and learning are not separate ... they're one." Since many Christian schools teach evolutionism and liberal ideology, I decided to see whether Dordt had a strong stance on the authority of Scripture. I left a message with one of their professors. Yesterday, the professor called back. He introduced himself as the top biology teacher at Dordt (I didn't get his name). I asked what the school taught about origins. He asked me to explain, so I asked specifically what the school's position was on the origin of life. "We teach that God created everything but we don't assume when or how," he replied. I wanted more details so I asked whether they taught the earth was thousands or billions of years old. After explaining that he was not a geology professor, he assured me that "of course, the earth is much more than thousands!" I did not agree, but kept it to myself. He began asking me questions about my beliefs about origins. As the conversation went on, it soon became apparent that the college teaches what sadly is prevalent in the mainstream Christian world today: 'God did it, but instead of looking to His Word for answers we will teach whatever the secular scientific consortium tells us.' I politely but firmly defended a Biblical interpretation of Genesis as he continued to question me. The professor avowed his support of the 'framework theory', which apparently ignores Genesis 1 and loosely interprets Genesis 2. He said that "if you just read Genesis 2, you would have a much different story than if you have the bias given by Genesis 1," implying, of course, that any "bias" is negative. I pointed out that if I only had the first chapter of my science textbook, I would have a very different idea of physics than if I read the whole book. He indicated that he had left a six-day interpretation of Genesis because of scientific 'evidence'. I replied that as "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God," it is and should be its own best interpretation guide. He countered by exclaiming that I was "making an idol" of the Bible. Not my interpretation of the Bible, but the Bible itself. I was somewhat taken aback. After all, isn't that what we are supposed to do? I quoted John 1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." Also, Psalm 138:2: "For You have magnified Your Word above all Your name." I said that making an idol of Scripture sounded like a good idea to me, as it is the living Word of God! He replied that I was "just making an idol of the Bible," and went on. He quoted almost every evolutionist stock answer in the book: from "it doesn't matter how God did it as long as we get the right message" to "the Bible isn't a science textbook." He finally asked me how old I thought the earth was, and laughed when I gave an age of 6-7 thousand years, due to the genealogies and a plain reading of Genesis 1-11. He then attacked the validity of Scripture by saying that the genealogies are full of errors. He called my position "historically bankrupt," declaring that hardly anyone in history supported six days of creation. I politely contradicted him, pointing out that Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, and Jesus all believed in a young earth; after all, Jesus said "at the beginning of creation He made them male and female." I had told him earlier that I planned to go into a legal field, so he asked why the creation-evolution issue was important to me. I explained that the foundations of morality and sin lie in Genesis, and that unless it can be trusted there is no rhyme or reason to anything I might do in law. "Besides," I said, "my entire faith hinges on the fact that there was no death before sin." I quoted Romans when it says that "through one man, Adam, sin entered the world, and death through sin." He hastily asserted that "obviously, he is speaking of spiritual death and separation from God!" But, I told him, Paul had just said that if Christ did not conquer the same death that "entered by Adam's sin" by physically raising from the dead, our faith is in vain and we are of all men "most miserable." So unless I believe that there was no death, physical or otherwise, before sin, I cannot believe I am heaven-bound. Rather than considering God's Word for what it says, the biologist again struck at Scripture by asking whether I believed Adam and the animals ate before the Fall. I knew what was coming, and sure enough he played what he thought was his trump card against God's Word: plants died before the Fall so it proves death before sin (and, therefore, apparently proves Paul wrong). I pointed out the concept of nephesh chayil life; that just as "the life of the flesh is in the blood" and that God "breathes the breath of life into life," that as plants have neither blood nor breath, it follows that plants are not alive in a biblical sense and cannot really die. He cut me off and quickly told me that the entire biological system is built around the 'fact' that plants are alive and can die. Which is patently false: as Dr. Lisle of Answers In Genesis pointed out when speaking with progressive creationist Hugh Ross, plants are really nothing more than complex biological machines. But rather than argue from a scientific basis I just said that "God apparently does not rely on scientific models to determine truth." By this time the professor was getting rather agitated. He told me my life was a waste and that my view was "junk science and junk theology." "If you know so much about it, I suppose you don't need to come to college." "The only point of Genesis," he said, "is to show that we are depraved and need a Savior, and that we should respect God's creation. When you stand before God, if you get there, He will ask you what you did with His creation and all you will be able to say is that you argued over a six-day creation viewpoint. You won't have anything to say!" I refrained from replying that I believe upholding the authority of God's Word and making sure it is believed from cover to cover bears eternal fruit. He declared that debate on origins was a lie from the devil, and that for talking about origins I was "just one of the devil's minions." Then he calmed down and informed me that he had just been "professing", and that as a 'professor' that is what he teaches at the college. This really sold Dordt well. After all, if upholding God's Word and being ready to give an answer is "the work of the devil" according to the teachings of this college, I will definitely not be applying there. What struck me about this conversation was that he had the boldness to say that upholding the authority of Scripture is equivalent to the work of the devil. This puts me in mind of Isaiah 5:20, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness." The reason that we defend a plain-sense interpretation of Scripture is this; Christ told us to preach the Good News of His redemption: that all men are depraved and in need of a Savior, and that He is that Savior. In order to do this, we must tell why we are depraved, that God created the world perfect but man fell into sin and so brought death and suffering into the world. If we do not teach the first part of God's Word, telling everyone why mankind needs a Savior, they will have no reason to believe us when we tell them Who that Savior is. As Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:12, "If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things?"

In Him,

David S. MacMillan III


All religions okay . . . except one!

At the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, Oklahoma, displays include a myriad of religious symbols. But one religion is anathema. The displays include Native American mysticism in the shape of a globe saying "The Earth is our Mother, the Sky is our Father" and statues of the Indian god Ganesha. An elaborate painting of the Pueblo rain god Tlaloc heralds South American deities and beliefs. But when local leaders asked the Tulsa Zoo board of directors to include the Genesis account of Creation as one of their displays, they were turned down. Why? They didn't want to include "religious symbols." After several petitions went out, the board finally voted to allow the display at left to be placed in the zoo (click image to enlarge). Sadly, however, what a local news poll confirmed as a 25% minority has convinced the board members to overturn the decision and block this display. The reason is that scientific creationism is believed by the majority of Americans. Its ideas are sound and it is founded in good scientific inquiry. A display suggesting this view might influence visitors away from Evolutionism. Without the theory of evolution, we might just be accountable to a Supreme Being for our actions . . . an idea that the board members at the Tulsa Zoo obviously find horrific. Dan Hicks, the Tulsa mayor, is spearheading the campaign to get this display okayed for the zoo. He and others have set up an online petition for this issue. I encourage all of my readers to sign this; it will only take a few moments and it is well worth your time. Imagine what a victory it would be to end this censorship! Sign the petition at www.CREATEzoo.org. As I write this, there are well over 200 signatures so far. We must make this number balloon! I will be counting the number of clicks on the above link to find out how many of you are going! In Him, D3


The Kingdom of Antichrist

Prophetic scriptures speak of a coming Antichrist. In Daniel 9, it is the "prince who is to come" who will make a global treaty at the end of time but break will it after three and a half years. In 2 Thessalonians 2, he is the "man of sin", the "son of perdition" who will sit in the Jewish temple and declare himself God. This chapter also tells us that this world leader will be "consumed in the brightness of the Lord's Coming." Both Revelation and Daniel speak of a symbolic beast who will micromanage the entire global system through his ten-section government. He will go out to resist the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ but will be destroyed. When Jesus came the first time, His appearance was heralded by hundreds of distinct prophecies. You have all heard the statistics; for one man to fulfill just 48 prophecies would require odds of 1 in 10 to the 157th power: literally astronomical. Likewise, the Lord gave us hundreds of prophecies telling us about His second coming. Many of these scriptures speak distinctly about the government of the Antichrist; its attributes, symbols, and ideals. It is doubtful that we will be able to tell who the Antichrist actually is before he signs a specific seven-year treaty with Israel, but I am certain that we will be able to know the identity of his government. In the popular Left Behind series, the Antichrist takes over the United Nations and transforms it into his own "Global Community" centered out of a rebuilt Babylon. Many books, fiction and nonfiction, have been written on this subject. Daniel 2 makes the first direct reference to the final global kingdom. The king of Babylon is given a prophetic dream that is interpreted by the prophet Daniel. The young man tells the king that the statute he saw in the dream represents the worldly global governments, starting with a head of gold, Babylon, a silver chest representing Media/Persia, and stomach and thighs of bronze that herald Greece under Alexander the Great. The legs of iron came next; Daniel told the king that this worldwide empire would break in pieces, crushing the known world. This was fulfilled by the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire that threw Europe into the Dark Ages. The last kingdom is the toes of the statue; ten toes of iron mixed with clay. The iron, the prophet says, is part of the iron of Rome, and though the clay will try to adhere to the iron, it will not mix. This is the final government that will be crushed by the Second Coming of Christ; a government of 10 sections in two parts. Revelation says that the headquarters of the Antichrist will be centered in "Mystery Babylon; the city of seven hills." The city of Rome, especially the Vatican, has been known for over 2000 years as "the city of seven hills". Revelation was written by a Roman exile John, which explains why he had to use symbolic language to allow his letters to go through. In the last days of the Holy Roman Empire, it was divided into two sections, the Roman Empire of Northwest Europe and the Byzantine Empire of Southern Europe and parts of the Middle East. This is shown at right. Currently, the European Union is finallizing the inclusion of Turkey and surrounding areas into their union. The current layout of this empire is shown at left (countries currently lobbying for inclusion are shown in red and those already in are shown in yellow). Daniel said, "As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay." The motto of the European Union, taken straight from their site, is "United in Diversity." The European Union meets in a portable building, shown at the right. Looks deceptively like the unfinished Tower of Babel, does it not? That is the image they are trying to present. They call it "The Tower of Euro­babel." I will have more on the European Union/Revived Holy Roman Empire later. In Him, D3

To Time the Impossible Time

Imagine, momentarily, that your life began only one month ago. Any memories you hold were digitally implanted after scientists accelerated through your childhood with budding technology. Now imagine that life started just days ago. Minutes ago. Moments ago. What if you had never actually begun reading this article, and the memories of even the beginning of this sentence were given you milliseconds ago? The fact is that we mortals cannot experience the true passage of time. We are conscious of only this infinitesimal blip of time; time that turns life into memory at the astonishing rate of sixty seconds per minute. Although we cannot know with certainty that anything but this timeslot of consciousness exists, most of us have faith that it is so. You may think that you cannot fathom life as an instant, but in fact you cannot truly fathom otherwise. What would it be like to experience "multiple times"? I often attempt to comprehend the "imponderables" of God's nature: His omnipresence, His ability to communicate directly to all of us simultaneously, and most of all His eternity. How could any being see all of time from the beginning to the end? How could such a "time-less" or "extra-chronological" state even exist? Is such a dimension part of eternity? We live with memories of the past in a infinitesimal point of the present. The future we cannot know. Perhaps God "remembers" both the past and the future. We cannot cognize His attributes. But a glimpse may be gained by imagining that He is conscious of all "times", not just the individual "times" that we can feel. It does not concern us practically how the Divine eternity operates. Revelation tells us that time will still be a real part of our existence with God, for "the tree of life . . . yields its fruit every month." (Revelation 22:2) But our curiosity and our interests in the things and ways of God compel us to at least attempt to understand His nature.
"But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:1-9)
As I read over that passage, something struck me. I had always read it as "slack concerning His promises." But it says "promise", singular. Peter is speaking of Christ's promise to return . . . a promise that is as true today as it was 2000 years ago. Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus! In Him, D3


David Barton at Worldview Weekend

While at Worldview Weekend, we had the privilege of hearing David Barton speak on the political situation facing evangelical Christians today. Mr. Barton, shown at left, is the president of Wallbuilders, a conservative organization dedicated to presenting America's forgotten Christian heritage. As the author of numerous works on original intent and the Founding Fathers, Mr. Barton has been asked for advice on several occasions by Federal judges and such entities as the American Center for Law and Justice. It was an awesome opportunity to hear him speak. The most amazing thing about Mr. Barton's presentation was his grasp on simple facts. His Powerpoint presentation served to allow us to keep up with him as he rapidly gave thousands of bits of information ranging from the quotes of our Founders to modern statistics. I must say that I would hate to be involved in a debate of any kind with him! One of the interesting points made was that there was a 80% increase in Evangelical voting in 2004. This resulted in 90% of new freshman senators and Congressmen being pro-life. Bush has been able to appoint many conservative judges to federal positions, including one in and one pending on the U.S. Supreme Court. So things are looking up. Mr. Barton ended with this verse. It obviously refers to Jerusalem, but our God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
How the faithful city has become a harlot! It was full of justice; Righteousness lodged in it, But now murderers. Your silver has become dross, Your wine mixed with water. Your princes are rebellious, And companions of thieves; Everyone loves bribes, And follows after rewards. They do not defend the fatherless, Nor does the cause of the widow come before them. Isaiah 1:21-23
Sounds like America to me.
Therefore the Lord says, The LORD of hosts, the Mighty One of Israel, “Ah, I will rid Myself of My adversaries, And take vengeance on My enemies. I will turn My hand against you, And thoroughly purge away your dross, And take away all your alloy. I will restore your judges as at the first, And your lawyers as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” Isaiah 1:24-26
So there is hope. Lord, let us be those righteous judges and lawyers You will use to restore this nation! This reminds me of a new song by the popular contemporary band, Casting Crowns. The song is entitled "While You Were Sleeping", and it deals with the real point of the old hymn, "Little Town of Bethlehem. Bethlehem missed it! They were sound asleep when the Creator of the Universe was born in their stable! Jerusalem did the same. They missed the triumphal entry of Christ and hanged Him as a madman. Will we do the same? Will America wake up in time to even notice Christ's Second return? Click the "play" button below to listen to an excerpt from this powerful song, and click here to read the lyrics (beware of popups at the site!). Click here to purchase the song from Casting Crowns. In Him, D3


Kansas Approves Criticisms of Evolution

Yesterday, a Kansas school board voted to allow criticisms of Darwinian evolution in the public schools. They also changed the working definition of "science" by removing a presupposition of naturalism. As may be expected, the scientific and religious worlds are either inflamed or excited over this decision. Hundreds of journalists and humanists are calling this a "slap in the face of freedom" or "another ruthless attempt to push religious dogma on our innocent children." Others call it a "step toward effective scientific inquiry" or "a victory for science."
I explained in my last post that the scientific method, both in an empirical/industrial setting and in a forensic/historical setting operates in this way: a natural phenomenon or a "piece of the past" is observed/discovered and a conjecture is made as to how it operates or, in the case of historical inquiry, how it got there. Studies are arranged to test the hypothetical conjecture. These may include controlled experiments with a range of careful variance in an industrial setting and observations of similar natural processes or occurences in the forensic setting. These tests either lend support or detriment to the hypothesis. I have no argument with teaching Darwinian evolution in Biology class. It is real empirical science. The observation is genetic variance in species and direct speciation. The conjecture is that mutations (observed phenomenon) and natural selection (another observed phenomenon) combine to produce uphill progress in the broad spectrum of life on this planet. Just because the proponents of this scientific theory cannot bring up any tests or observations of natural processes that support it does not make it non-scientific. But it would be academic folly in the greatest degree to teach Natural History in a Biology class. Biology is the study of natural processes. Period, end of sentence. Natural History is a forensic scientific study of the echoes of our past. Biological observations can be used as the "tests" in conjectures made concerning Earth's history. But since "Natural History" has by its very nature never been observed, it is useless to use it as the "test" in a biological study. In other words, it is one thing to present Darwinian evolution as a theoretical biological process. It is quite another to assure students that life on earth came about through it. Since Biology and Natural Science are two different branches of scientific inquiry, it only makes sense that different rules should be applied. If we teach evolution in Biology 1, we should present it as a scientific theory similar to General Relativity or any other theory, with the observations, the theory itself, and all tests that either support it or attack it. Just because science cannot find any supporting experiments or tests does not mean that unsupporting evidence must be suppressed. We all know the reasons behind this, however. The biological hypothesis of evolution serves as the backbone of the forensic hypothesis of evolution. To question the "natural process" of evolution casts doubt on what the schools teach as fact in Natural History class. To question the historical hypothesis of evolution is to allow evolutionist Richard Lewontin's "Divine Foot in the door." More later. In Him, D3


What Kind of Evidence?

In my joint-owned blog, The Truth About Macroevolution, there has been an ongoing war in the comments that I have decided to address in an additional comment and a full-length post on that site. I decided to post my article here as well. So here goes!
I will start with a rather novel and even startling admission. There is no evidence for creation. Well, there you have it. The plain statement. However, we have to admit something else as well. There is no evidence for evolution, either. That is right, there is no creation evidence and no evolution evidence. All we have is . . . evidence. We must understand that both creationism and evolutionism are forensic models of history. Creationists and evolutionists both have the same evidences at their disposal; the same fossils, the same rocks, the same trees, and the same strata layers. The question is which model best fits the existing evidence. Both sides are usually able to cram whatever forensic evidence that exists into their model. An excellent example of this is found in an old Father Brown mystery. A detective believed that the ragged man he has captured is the murderer of one Lord Falconry and determined to test his theory. He set up a machine to monitor the man's pulse. Then, he wrote "hawk", "eagle", and "falcon" on a chalkboard. When he wrote "falcon", the prisoner's pulse leapt. When he added an "r" to the end, the man's pulse skyrocketed. Proof enough! A machine cannot lie, can it? True. However, as Father Brown pointed out, a machine cannot tell the truth, either. The man did get excited when "Falconr" was written on the board, but not because he had killed Lord Falconry. In fact, he was Lord Falconroy, but did not want to tell the officer because of a scandal he was involved in. Why was he ragged? He had just left a masquerade party. So you see that the way you interpret evidence depends on your preconceived model, not whether the evidence is "creation" evidence or "evolution" evidence. When I found out that a T. Rex bone had been found with still-bloody soft tissue inside, I was sure that this proved dinosaurs lived recently. However, the long-age establishment had a way to fit this seemingly inexplicable evidence into their model. They explained that the bones "fell" into a primordial stew which quickly transformed the blood vessels and stretchy tissue into a nanopolymer with identical properties. This mineral nanopolymer, then, retained its properties for millions of years, not the actual tissue. That is quite a preposterous explanation, to be sure. My point is that any forensic evidence can be form-fitted to match a particular model. The question is which model best fits the existing evidence with the least "massaging" of the data. We can also test things we see around us to determine whether a particular interpretation of forensic evidence matches reality. These tests or observations yield "empirical" evidence, which unlike forensic evidence is much more repeatable and testable. For example, creation scientists interpret the Grand Canyon as forensic evidence for a huge flood that deposited millions of layers quickly, then receded from land, carving out the canyon. Evolutionists see it as millions of years of gradual mineral deposition followed by millions of years of gradual erosion by the Colorado River. We can take a look at Mt. St. Helens to determine which model best fits. When the mountain exploded, the fast-moving ash and rock deposited and carved out a massive canyon with thousands of layers . . . in a few hours. Even though this is not repeatable, it was directly observable. This makes it empirical evidence instead of forensic evidence. If you want something even more empirical, try putting clay, silt, gravel, sand, and mud into a jar along with lots of water and shaking it. Global Flood on a kitchen-sized scale! You will find that lots of churning water yields lots of layer in a little bit of time. So we have forensic evidence: The Grand Canyon. Decayed radioisotopes. Bleeding T. Rex fossils. These are the remnants of the earth's past. We have models. Catastrophism. Gradualism. Young-earth. Long-age. Creationism. Evolutionism. And we have supplementary empirical evidence. Observations like Mt. St. Helens on the one hand and observations of gradual erosion by the Colorado River on the other. We cannot prove that evolution or creation are true. All we can do is collect forensic evidence and show with empirical evidence how and why the forensic evidence fits best in our model. So in this discussion, asking for or giving "evidence" is rather pointless until we know exactly what we are asking for. The forensic evidences in this discussion are fossils, strata layers, and life itself. The model we are focusing on in this site: evolutionism. So you, the defender of evolution, need to come up with empirical evidence that shows why and how specific forensic evidences fit evolutionism. An example of this would be. . . . Forensic evidence: Simple and complex life. Model: "Life evolved from simple to complex through natural selection and mutations." Empirical evidence: Some example of natural selections and mutations producing a positive, uphill change in an organism from simple to complex. We, the attackers of evolutionism, need to come up with empirical evidence that shows why and how specific forensic evidences are incompatible with evolutionism. For starters on our side, I will show: Forensic evidence: Dinosaur and human footprints in the same strata layer side-by-side. Model: Humans and dinosaurs walked or ran side-by-side along mineral-laden sand as the waters rose in the global flood. Empirical evidence: Today, we can see that strata-like layers often result from mineral-rich sand that is quickly flooded. Footprints are made by walking in sand or mud. Obviously, that is not supposed to be the ultimate death-knell for evolution. Rather, the combination of empirical and forensic evidence lend support to the model that humans and dinosaurs lived simultaneously during a large flood. Hopefully my lengthy discourse here has cleared up some confusion and defined exactly what we need. So what do you think? In Him, D3


Worldview Weekend

Our family returned late Sunday night from the Worldview Weekend Seminar in Sevierville, TN. It was simply incredible! I'd say that the most notable thing about the whole experience was . . . the traffic! Larry Dalton, a concert pianist who played several amazing pieces for us, summed it up this way when he was tricked into wearing a tuxedo:
"Look, I'd change into jeans and a T-shirt if I could get back to my hotel. But I'm an hour away; that is, three miles.
Sevierville borders on Gatlinburg, the mega-entertainment town of the Smoky Mountains. As a result, incoming traffic is normally backed up through all the surrounding towns and highways. A trip of 3 miles may very well take over 30 minutes. Ken Ham gave his signature presentation on the current AiG slogan: "We're taking them back!" He blogged about the seminar as well. The President of Worldview Weekend, Brannon Howse, spoke about his new book One Nation Under Man?, and Kerby Anderson, who spoke on the subject of Intelligent Design and how it relates to Creationism. Other speakers included Woodrow Kroll, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, and David Barton. Mr. Barton, president of Wallbuilders, gave an amazing presentation. This man has memorized hundreds of thousands of statistics and quotes. The presentations I saw will give me fuel for quite a few posts. Al Denson, a popular Christian singer, gave a concert Saturday evening. During it, he asked for a member of the audience that was under 20 to volunteer. Or, at least he meant to. Instead, he said "over 20". Well, my mom is an excellent singer. She raised her hand. He called her up onto the stage and had her sing with him. She pretty much stole the show (without meaning to, however); after they sang "Amazing Love", he had her sing "I Love You, Lord" by herself with him accompanying her. Needless to say, we were all quite stunned. The sound man taped the concert, so now we have a CD with my mom singing accompanied by Al Denson! More on this amazing seminar later. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


A Very Bad Blogger. . . .

Hey Cyberspace, I looked at my website today and realized that I had not blogged in nearly a month! All of you probably know the reason. Busy, busy, busy. I finished my first quarter finals for my college paralegal course on Thursday, so hopefully I'll have time to get caught up on life in general during the next two weeks while I am on break. But not now. Our family is preparing to head off to a Worldview Weekend seminar in the Smoky Mountains. Speakers/singers will include Ken Ham, David Barton, Woodrow Kroll, Al Denson, Kerby Anderson, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, and Brannon Howse. So I won't be blogging until after I return on Monday. Until then, God bless you and have a great day! In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Noah Riner Says "Jesus" at Dartmouth Convocation

On Tuesday, September 20, Noah Riner stood in front of the entire incoming freshman class during Convocation at Dartmouth College. As student body president, he had been asked to give the tradition Convocation remarks welcoming the class to the college. The son of a Baptist State Representative in Kentucky and a committed Christian, he knew what he had to do. And he did it. Noah went on to give what will be remembered as one of the boldest, most focused welcoming speeches ever given by at any Ivy League school. Although he started out with the usual hype ("You are such a special class"), his tune quickly changed.
But it isn’t enough to be special. It isn’t enough to be talented, to be beautiful, to be smart. Generations of amazing students have come before you, and have sat in your seats. Some have been good, some have been bad. All have been special.
The young man boldly cut straight to the issue at hand. A Dartmouth education, he said, might make you smart or successful, but it won't build character. Noah quoted Martin Luther King Jr:
"But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. . . . We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education."
Noah spoke about the atrocities committed by hundreds after the ravage of Katrina. But, he said, his purpose was not to condemn them as much as it is to condemn us. He was speaking to the freshman class, but his words apply to you and I just as much as them. Character problems, he said, are an integral part of all of us.
Let's be honest, the differences are in degree. We have the same flaws as the individuals who pillaged New Orleans. Ours haven't been given such free range, but they exist and are part of us all the same.
He could have stopped here. People's feelings might have been slightly hurt, but no one would have been unduly upset. But he didn't just stop there. The class president took a deep breath, then said just what he had planned.
The best example of character is Jesus. In the Garden of Gethsemane, just hours before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed, "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." He knew the right thing to do. He knew the cost would be agonizing torture and death. He did it anyway. That's character.
Noah knew he could still stop now. Sure, he had dropped the Jesus bomb, but anyone would concede that Jesus was a good example of character (even though some would argue that the example Noah had given was not the best). But Noah is a Christian.
Jesus is a good example of character, but He's also much more than that. He is the solution to flawed people like corrupt Dartmouth alums, looters, and me.
Now he had done it. A murmur of surprise swept through the crowd. You could almost hear the student's thoughts. "So Jesus is the only solution, huh?" "What a bigot." "Yeah, sure. Save the preachin' for the pulpit." Noah quietly told the assembly that everything they gained from Dartmouth would prove to be superficial in the long run. What really matters, he firmly said, is character.
Thus, as you begin your four years here, you've got to come to some conclusions about your own character because you won't get it by just going to class. What is the content of your character? Who are you? And how will you become what you need to be?
Read the full speech here.
As you might expect, reactions were immediate. The school newspaper began printing anything and everything that students wanted to say. Some were good, some were bad. Riner's opponent in his earlier presidential race was livid. He called Riner bigoted, preachy, zealous . . . you name it. But that's not surprising. After all, he had been trounced by this kid from "backwoods" Kentucky in the last election. In fact, the angry student ended his letter by declaring that students "didn't need to make a decision about Jesus." Now who's preaching? Other students were more open to the controversial remarks. A young Jewish boy said that although he personally disagreed with the point of the speech, he thought that Noah's willingness to use his right of free speech and stand up for something he believed in was commendable. The discussion about this is still in full swing. The blogosphere is abuzz with stories about Noah Riner's "preachiness". It's one thing to read this speech. Noah's words are timeless. But it is quite another thing to see the speech being given. You can download a video taken by Noah's father, Representative Tom Riner, at this link. So take a look! And say a prayer for Noah while you're at it. His e-and-snail mailboxes have been mobbed with congratulations and hate mail. It's very hard for him, since he is starting his junior year and is trying to juggle classes and interviews all at the same time. He would no doubt appreciate it if you would submit a prayer request for him at your local church. Credit: I first saw this at The Rebelution but got other information from the various Dartmouth websites and personally from the Riner family. In Him, D3


Protecting Fundamental Rights and Freedoms | A 28th Amendment

Today, my great-grandfather Starling visited our church assembly and our home for a little fellowship. The man is 93 years old and still sharp; he remembers everything that ever happened to him since he was a boy . . . and can tell you all about it, too! On this trip, he was very excited about a new idea that he had for the United States. He is worried that very soon, our courts and legislators will begin looking to Europe and other countries for a legal basis. This is not as far-fetched as we may think; Sandra Day O'Connor, the Supreme Court Justice who just resigned, often said that we should follow the European's lead when setting new legal precidents. With the condition that cowardly Europe is in, this would prove disastrous to all that makes America great. So, my great-grandpa wants me to contact Jay Sekulow with the American Center for Law & Justice with a proposal for an protective amendment to the U.S. Constitution! Pretty sharp for 93 years old, isn't he? I happily typed up a legal document in Constitutional format defining the things he wanted to put forth and sent him home with a copy to read. I decided to post it, so here it is!

Text of the Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution Section 1: No ruling by any court, domestic, foreign, or intergovernmental, nor any legislation by any foreign or intergovernmental legislative or parliamentary body, which abridges or restricts any fundamental freedoms as defined below, shall be accepted as legitimate or used as the basis for laws or legal rulings in the United States.

Section 2: Each citizen of the United States not convicted through due process of law of a felonious crime is guaranteed the following liberties under this amendment:

Subsection 1: The liberty of free speech: the freedom to verbally express their personal beliefs and convictions in any environment, public or private, provided that such speech is not terroristic in nature. Only speech designed to cause fear of imminent physical bodily harm or treason against the government of the United States shall be defined as terroristic.

Subsection 2: The liberty of free press: the freedom to print or electronically transmit any materials expressing any beliefs under any circumstances, and the freedom to distribute said materials provided that said distribution in no way interferes with the personal preference of the recipients of such materials.

Subsection 3: The liberty of free belief: the freedom to hold any personal beliefs concerning truth and the freedom to share these beliefs with others in any circumstances provided that the transmission of information does not disturb the free movement of the individuals.

Section 3: Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States have the authority to enforce this amendment by appropriate legislation and judicial rulings.
Not bad for about 15 minute's work! The first section defines exactly what the amendment is speaking of. Don't worry that "abridgements" of your freedoms will be prevented by private entities. The first section insures that only foreign and domestic courts and foreign parliaments will be barred from "infringing" upon these rights. So an employer can still tell people not to talk on the job. Notice also that this amendment would in no way hamper Congress. In fact, it would give Congress added authority under the Constitution (section 3) to prevent more injustice than it currently is allowed to. I don't think that any foreign rulings should be accepted in the U.S. However, such a blanket statement would likely draw huge flak, so I carefully defined each value in section 2, especially that part concerning felonious convictions. If you are convicted of a felony, then you have basically handed your freedoms over to the government to be dealt with as they please. The amendment is just in draft form at the moment. However, as I look over it I can probably smooth out the rough edges and make it more presentable. What do you think about it? Any suggestions on what needs to be edited/inserted? In Him, D3


Europe - Thy Name is Cowardice

A few days ago, I received a newsletter from Lamb&Lion Ministries. One of the articles included a reference to a blistering piece written about a year ago by Mathias Döpfner, entitled "Europe — Thy Name is Cowardice." Those fluent in German can read the original article here, but if not, you can find a full translation at Snopes.com. I found Mr. Döpfner's article to be bold and extremely to-the-point. He definitely isn't going to pull any punches! I encourage all of you to read it; it's only a little over 750 words, so it shouldn't take that long. But because nearly 800 words is way too long for a post on this blog, I'll just comment on the article in general. Mr. Döpfner starts out by quoting a journalist named Henry Broder, who said a few days before this article was written that "Europe's family name is appeasement." The Europeans definitely do have a history of appeasement. The article points out that attempts at appeasement cost millions of Jews their lives during WWII. It allowed communism to gain a stranglehold on Eastern Europe and Asia. Today, this same theory of appeasement turns a deaf ear to the suicide bombings in Israel by terroristic Palestinian Muslims. And now, says Mr. Döpfner, we are faced with "a particularly grotesque form of appeasement." Since Islamic violence has been escalating in Holland and other parts of Europe, Germans have proposed appeasing the terrorists by instituting a national Muslim holiday!
A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists. One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".
"All Experience hath shewn" that Muslims look on such hopeless guestures as signs of weakness. Claiming that Islam will be stayed by a national Muslim holiday is like playing music from "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" when a cougar is about to pounce on you.
Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush. His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.
We self-sufficient Americans may argue about the ethics of Bush's policies, but Europe knows him for what he is: a man who is not afraid to do everything he can to stop the flood of Islamic terrorism. Mr. Döpfner angrily blasts Europe for sitting back on its haunches and doing simply nothing. It is not because of "our morals", he says. It is because of "our materialism":

We Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic. For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy, because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake — literally everything. While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems.

Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation, or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "Reach out to terrorists, to understand and forgive". Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

I wholeheartedly agree. In Him, D3


God like an Elephant? I don't think so!

There is a story supposedly told by Buddha that has no doubt been floating around for centuries. It is an analogy that claims to explain the truth about all religions. It is the story of The Blind Men and the Elephant.

"Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, 'Go and gather together all the men in this city who were born blind, and show them an elephant.' The servant did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the leg, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant. "When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?' "Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sire, an elephant is like a great rock.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a fan.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a spear. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a snake; others said the body was a wall; the leg, a tree; the tail, a rope, the tuft of the tail, a brush. "Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' and so on, till they came to blows. "Brethren, the raja was delighted with the scene. "Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing. . . . In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus."

How sweet. I suppose that all religions are really just different interpretations of the same basic God-aura. We can call it "religious pluralism." WRONG! The interesting thing is that those who quote this story always place themselves in the position of the raja. We, the dirty argumentative "preachers", are relegated to the position of blind men, groping around for something we supposedly know nothing of. They say that all religions are the same. Fine. They can believe that if they want to. But promoting religious pluralism is no different than promoting any other religion. They are in the same boat, "just as blind" if you will, as we are! Besides, the position that all religions are the same is fundamentally absurd. Why? God is not something subjective, like my favorite flavor of ice cream. If God or a god actually exists as a fact, then His supposed characteristics cannot be both contradictory and true! It is a logical impossibility. Mutually exclusive facts do not exist. Jesus said that "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can get to heaven apart from Me." Islam says that "There is no god but Allah and Muhummad is his Prophet." Get it straight: if Christianity is true, nothing else is. The same goes for Islam, Roman Catholicism, Mormonism, and a host of others. But let's give the religious pluralists the benefit of the doubt (without allowing them the position of all-knowing raja). In this case, we are all blind men arguing about something we have never seen. What we need is a man who is not blind. Someone who can see the thing that we argue about so fiercely. A Man did exist who claimed to be this "seeing man". His Name was Jesus Christ. He could see . . . because He was the very thing that we argue about. He is God. But what is so special about Him? Other men have claimed to "see" what no one else can see. Buhhda himself, with the analogy I just quoted, was such a man. Muhummad claimed to have visions of an angel who told him about God. Hundreds of men, like David Koresh (Branch Davidians) and Joseph Smith (Mormons) were supposed vessels of knowledge about God. What makes Jesus different? Today, we can visit Muhummad's grave. And Joseph Smith's grave. Mary and a myriad of saints, the Roman Catholic objects of worship, lie moldering in their coffins. Every other man who claimed to be God's vessel of truth is dead and gone. The grave of the Lord Jesus Christ is empty. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Global . . . Fluctuation?

I recently wrote an article questioning whether the rise in hurricane intensity and frequency was caused by global warming. This sparked a lively controversy, so I followed it up with another article. New information has pushed me to write yet a third article, which you will see here. European scientists are concerned that the deadly summer heat wave of 2003 that killed thousands in France and triggered massive forest fires (see image at right) may have accelerated the growing greenhouse gas levels. When the temperature goes up, vegetation withers up and dies. Since plants cycle out the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a loss of plant life means a corresponding increase in CO2. However, other scientists say that this is simply not a problem. The key lies in the specific way that plants absorb CO2. Plants use energy from the sun (photosynthesis) along with soil nutrients to separate CO2 into its constituent elements: oxygen, which is released back into the air for us to breathe, and carbon, which the plant uses to grow. Carbon acts as fuel. The more carbon that is absorbed, the faster plants grow. This means that abnormally high CO2 levels trigger runaway plant growth . . . that in turn synthesizes more carbon dioxide than normal, bringing the levels back down. Story taken from a live radio broadcast on National Public Radio. So it seems like all this hype that environmentalists have been screaming about for decades isn't such a big deal after all. God designed our planet to cope with physical imbalances . . . just the way He wanted it to. In Him, David S. MacMillan III


Crippled Jetliner Skids to Safety in Los Angeles

Breaking News Yesterday afternoon, JetBlue flight 292 took off from Burbank, heading for JFK International in New York. The jet was loaded with 30,000 pounds of fuel for the cross-country flight. However, upon takeoff, the pilot realized that something was wrong with the front landing gear. He immediately called in a distress call. A fly-by showed that the hydraulic mechanism to lower the front gear had malfunctioned. Instead of being aligned front-to-back with the jet, it was turned 90 degrees from the norm! There was no way that this jet could land normally; at the best the crippled gear would shear off upon landing, sending the nose into the ground and skidding the massive aircraft across the runway. The pilot flew to the LA airport, where the runway is 10,000 feet long. When you're stopping without brakes, you want a lot of skidway under you. He circled for over three hours, trying to burn off fuel, since an Airbus 320 cannot dump excess fuel. They wanted as little high-octane fuel as possible in case of fire upon landing. Final approach. The pilot lowered the rear wheels to the ground, and the jet sped along the runway at a terrific speed. Slowly and carefully, the nose was lowered until the front wheels began to scrape along the ground. Plumes of smoke rose as the rubber burned against the asphalt. The wheels burned down to the metal, and a gigantic plume of flame (see photo at right) erupted from the gear, searing the belly of the speeding jet. The captain held the burning gear against the ground and reversed the engines. The wheels burned lower and lower. Any moment, they were sure that the gear would snap off entirely. At the reduced speed that they were going, this would send the nose of the plane diving into the tarmac. Everyone watching television and listening to the radio breathed a collective sigh of relief as the flames subsided and the damaged jet slowed, then stopped. With the front wheels a puddle of rubber around the smashed front gear, the captain wiped his forehead, then began turning off the controls. I can imagine the words of the passengers as the flight attendant informed them that "it is now safe to turn on cellphones," and the shuttle wheeled out to pick up the passengers. "Well, hon, the landing was a bit bumpy, but we're down in LA. You can pick me up in about thirty minutes." Praise the Lord! You can bet that there were no atheists aboard that plane when it was all said and done. In Him, D3


Rita Prepares to Ravish Gulf Coast

Breaking News Hurricane Rita expanded into a Category 5 storm with 165-mph winds just a few minutes ago as it roared across the Gulf. Mandatory evacuations of Galveston, the expected "Ground Zero" of the hurricane, will begin at 7 PM. Texas governor Rick Perry has already advised families to move out now, saying that "Homes and businesses can be rebuilt, lives cannot . . . Now is the time to leave." Officials say that Galveston has never seen a hurricane of this magnitude. Obviously, there will be no massive flooding akin to Katrina and New Orleans, but with winds possibly reaching 200 miles per hour roofs will be coming off of houses and mobile homes will roll. This is not the place anyone should be. As Rita nears the northeast coast of Texas, the likelihood that it will strike The Big Easy once again is quickly decreasing. We cannot, however, forget the way that Katrina swung north to smash through the below-sea-level city seemingly at the last moment. Some speculate that it would be better if New Orleans was hit once again instead of some other place, since now the city is practically leveled and empty anyway. However, this would likely result in even less salvageable buildings and supplies in that area. The U.S. Minerals Management Service reported yesterday that 15 oil drilling rigs and 136 pumping platforms have been evacuated, representing approximately 11 percent of the oil output from the Gulf (Miami Herald). Damage from Katrina and now the Rita evacuations have cut normal Gulf oil production of 1.5 million barrels a day roughly in half, according to the government agency. Since Katrina evacuations began Aug. 26, the storms have cut more than 26 million barrels of oil production. This means that 4.7 percent of the Gulf's annual production has been sliced! We're talking about a major gas shortage here. Interestingly enough, a barrel of crude oil can yield anywhere from 8 to 32 gallons of gasoline, depending upon how much asphalt, butane, paint thinner, etc. is made from the same barrel. If the Feds wanted to (I'm not saying that they should because it would call Constitutional issues into question), they could limit the amount of extra-fuel oil products that are manufactured to make up for the lost oil refineries. As is shown by the image on the right, Rita is projected to smash directly into the Galveston area, then continue up through Houston and Dallas (the major population centers of Texas) into Oklahoma. Currently, images from the Weather Channel show that the hurricane is about 2/3 the size of Texas. Even though it is a Category 5 already, it has yet to hit the main body of the Gulf Stream source just southeast of the Texas coast. Landfall is expected to take place early Saturday morning. But if residents don't leave right now, they likely will not be able to make it out at all. Click here to see a map of your area color-coded to show the level of alarm. So, if you are anywhere close to the Gulf Coast, get off of your seat, turn off your computer, and GET OUT NOW! On another note: if you are separated from your friends and family, but in safe conditions, please visit Gulf Coast Connection to post your profile and stay in touch with your friends. In Him, D3

The Crux (or Crescent) of Islam

A recent article I wrote concerning the Iranian nuclear program sparked a lively debate in the comment section. I thought it was a good idea to post my thoughts on the subject: The majority of the Muslims in the Middle East are conservatives. They pray 5X a day, make their little pilgrimage, etc., and hope they can get into heaven. They openly rejoice whenever a terrorist bombing occurs. Many give financial support to terrorist entities. Muslims are not guaranteed their salvation. One of Muhammud's closest friends said that "Even if I had one foot in Paradise, I would not trust to the cunning of Allah." Muhammad himself did not know for sure whether he would "make it". The only way for a Muslim to be sure he will get to Paradise is to die while killing the infidel. If they succeed in this, all past history of failures and mistakes is glossed over, and they are ushered into heaven where their 70+ virgin wives await them ASAP. Such are the so-called "fundamentalist" Muslims, who make up a larger percentage than you might think. Many Muslims do not follow the Koran to the letter out of convenience' sake. They figure that they have more than a 50% chance without going on a terrorist mission, so they shoot for the easy way. However, if there is any open demonstration against the "infidel", these conservatives will quickly become radicals. Obviously, a nuclear holocaust is the very first thing that radical Muslims want! The more conservative Muslims who hold high office in Iran pay lip service out of one end of their forked tongues to us, and meanwhile hand weapons and funding to terrorist groups who are willing to do the "dirty work". One of the commenters said that "Iran says it's only planning to use the nuclear technology for the purpose of energy." Sure. Then why, when offered an annual supply of pre-manufactured nuclear fuel, did Iran refuse? The US and Great Britain offered to supply lower-grade nuclear fuel free of charge. But Iran had to have the higher-grade stuff . . . capable of making bombs. Israel is not hostile to the Muslims. They offend the Muslims simply by existing! Islam teaches that the Jews were turned into pigs and monkeys because they were so vile. Muslims will not stop attacking Israel until it is pushed into the sea. One of the commenters said that "the US then should be willing to disarm completely rather than complain about other countries feeling threatened and therefore wanting the weapons." Maybe if I set an example by destroying my handgun (hypothetical), the criminals will follow the example and do the same, but I don't think so. If Iran has nuclear weapons, the knowledge that using them would cause a nuclear holocaust might keep the conservatives from using them in an all-out attempt to destroy the U.S. and Israel. However, if the fundamentalist faction got their hands on some nukes, they wouldn't hesistate to start making plans for a full-scale attack. Therefore, anyone can see that it is in our best interest to keep nukes out of Islamic hands and in our own. To quote Teddy Roosevelt, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." If we carry the stick and make sure no one who hates us has one, maybe we won't need to use it. In Him, D3


Gulf Coast Connection!

Today, I met a guy at church named Ryan. Ryan lived in Longbeach, Mississippi until Hurricane Katrina hit; his family moved out right before the storm came through. Since his neighborhood and home is now in ruins, he will be staying in this area for about a year. We decided to start a website to help teens displaced by the hurricane connect with their friends who are also displaced. So, he and I created a Blogger account to set this up. The website url is http://gulfcoastconnect.blogspot.com. Anyone who has been displaced by the hurricane can send us an email at gulfcoastconnect@gmail.com with their name, information, contact email, and a picture if they wish. Then, we'll post their info on the site. I'll be setting up a search engine on the blog so that visitors can find their friends. So check it out! In Him, D3


Iran Prepared to Share Nuclear Ability

Iran recently re-opened its nuclear research program (see my earlier article here). Now, they have declared that they are ready to share this nuclear ability with other impoverished nations! Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad repeated promises that Iran will not pursue nuclear weapons. Then he added: "Iran is ready to transfer nuclear know-how to the Islamic countries due to their need." Due to their need? The only need that these nations have is to jihad against Americans. I wouldn't trust Iran or any other Middle Eastern country (barring Israel, of course) with nukes or any other nuclear ability for a single minute, let alone decades! To read the full article from CBS, click here. In Him, D3


Roe v Wade? No, Man's Opinion v God's Law!

I'm posting one of my assigned essays for my Legal Assistant Course through OakBrook. It's quite dense, but if you are interested in Roe v Wade or want to fall asleep, this article is for you!

Roe versus Wade can be considered to be the height of our government’s rebellion against God. To be sure, there have been more heinous judgments since then, but in this case the ever-rising conflict of man’s opinion against God’s law can be most clearly seen. It is to our benefit to examine this case to better understand the problems that riddle our culture today. The argument by the Court centers on the concept of “personal liberty” as possessed by the mother. This concept is based on the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states that no state law can “deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” It is on this one word, “liberty,” that the Court’s argument rests.

Another important reference to “liberty” exists in the Declaration of Independence. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. . . .” Here, the Founders pointed out that our rights proceed from and are dependent on our Creator; that we as human beings are subject to a higher power than the government. This reflects a God-centered basis for authority, where each jurisdiction is appointed by God to secure the rights that were divinely given in the first place.

Sadly, however, our Supreme Court has forsaken this Biblically-based system for one formed by man. Our Founders felt that it was necessary to anchor their legal philosophy in our inherent, God-given, unalienable rights; an “idealistic” philosophy of law, wherein all judgments are based on an objective, “ideal” standard. Instead of following the Founder’s lead, today’s Courts have begun to look at legal procedure from a “realistic” mindset, weighing out competing “interests” compared to changing societal norms.

In Roe versus Wade, the court claimed that the right of “liberty” in the Fourteenth Amendment was broad enough to cover personal privacy and physical freedom. This was then extrapolated to include a woman’s “right” to “terminate” her pregnancy. However, their reasoning fails miserably.

John Jay, the first Supreme Court Chief Justice, stated that we are a Christian nation. As Christians, we are accountable to God alone for our personal actions. If, as the court seemed to posit, pregnancy is solely the “mother’s” ordeal, than the decision to have an abortion would be outside of the civil government’s authority. Unfortunately for the Supreme Court, they fail to point this out in their case. Instead, they gesture violently towards the Fourteenth Amendment, calling the Texas law forbidding abortion an “infringement of the woman’s right of privacy”.

Moreover, the bench covered up the rights of the unborn in a cloak of deception. By feigning concentration on the woman’s “right of privacy”, and weighing this against the “state’s interests”, they successfully swept the unalienable God-given right of life beneath the carpet of a “realistic” legal philosophy.

Recall that the Declaration spoke of the God-given right to life as being inherent and unalienable. In other words, the personal rights of every human being: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, cannot be weighed out or exchanged. They are irrevocable and cannot be compromised. Such rights are in sharp contrast to the Court’s assumed “right to privacy”, which they admit is “not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.”

If the supposed “right” of a woman to “terminate her pregnancy” does indeed exist, it is but a “qualified” right, this is still somewhat duplicitous. An inherent right is by nature unqualified. The philosophical concept of a right is based on an unchanging principle; if a right can be weighed out subjectively it is nothing more than a temporary privilege. A qualified right is a contradiction of terms. However, the Court has decreed that this new concept of a “qualified right” exists in the Constitution. Roe versus Wade was not a comparison of a state’s regulatory interests with privacy rights. This case was a battle between a supposed, Constitutional, “qualified” right and a God-given, unqualifiable right affirmed in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence!

When men reject the clear “laws of Nature and of Nature’s God”, they inevitably end by pitting their own, subjective truth against the Law of God.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for . . . mortal man. . . .” (Romans 1:21-23)

God help our nation!

In Him, D3