Friday, October 20, 2006
The Bible does say there are and will be many Antichrists. That the spirit of Anti-Christ is always in the world. To that anyone would say yea and amen.
Hitler was an antichrist. Genghis Kahn was. Stalin was. They all had characteristics of an antichrist.
But the end time antichrist must be a man who causes all men great and small to worship him because of who he is and his charisma.
I have a candidate. He is Muslim, the religion out of which the Antichrist will rise. He is charming and influential. He is the right age. And as of today, HE will not know he is the antichrist (if he is). But, there are many reasons to believe he might be. Just so you heard it here first.
Here are what some world leaders say or have said about this man:
“A Man for our times who has been at the very heart of world events for two decades”
“A man of principle, a diplomat of astonishing caliber and one of the great peacemakers of our time”
“Flamboyant, Dramatic, Personable, Smart, Canny and Probably Manipulative”
Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret)
He has been called a man of peace. He may be the man who Bob Dylan sang about on the last Christian Album, Infidels. Look at the words for MAN of PEACE.
I submit a qualified potential for the Antichrist: Prince Bandar bin Sultan
Consider what could happen:
He settles things in Iraq, gets Syria and Iran to back off against Israel with a seven year pact, gets the Muslims to quiet down in Europe. With this great feat Putin buddies up to him and signs a pact. Even the USA is enamored of him. CBS ABC CNN and NBC fall all over themselves holding him up as a secular savior. He gets foolish world leaders to make peace pacts in exchange for power. People agree to all kinds of things including a chip in the hand and forhead to keep peace. I mean it's a small thing when you consider that we don't have to worry about terrorists anymore isn't it? Then one day he uses it to control all of us. No man can buy or sell unless they bow down and worship him. Then 3 1/2 years into the peace pact he turns against Israel. Russia comes from the north and attacks.
Too far fetched?
Read your Bible. That's exactly how it will happen.
If it's the Prince or not, I can't say, but he looks like the kind of man it will be.
No names mentioned.
Left over from the last week.
I am convinced that talk radio, politicians, and most people in spiritual leadership (Pastors) are so in love with the sound of their own voice that they find it impossible to hear a word anyone else says. That's what makes these 4 quotes so salient.
"The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer."
- Henry David Thoreau
"Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness."
- Margaret Miller
"Many attempts to communicate are nullified by saying too much."
- Robert Greeleaf
"The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place."
- George Bernard Shaw
This is part of the problem in our country, part of the problem in marriage, part of the problem in politics and a huge problem in the Church.
If you want to have someone hear you out, go find the drunk at the end of the bar. At least he will listen. Maybe that's why so many bars are busier than many churches. Somebody at least seems to care.
What's most painful is that thinking about this has caused me to point my finger of accusation at myself first. I am chief among sinners in this area in particular.
Stop me before I talk again.
OK, YOU STOP TOO!
Thursday, October 19, 2006
But my concern today is for a much more desperate mission field. One for which I believe the church in America will be held to account if we fumble this ball. The blood of these people will be held against our account if we don’t try.
We have been so busy in Samaria and the ends of the earth we are losing Jer-USA-lem.
The book by Bill O’Reily about the rise of secularism and Ann Coulter’s book Godless are books written by those outside the church that tell me this battle is being lost.
I live in a typical cross-section of America: Prosperous, comfortable, safe, pagan and hell bound.
Churches have little intramural squabbles; from time to time they borrow a sheepling till that sheepling moves on to another church. Few real converts are being made. Few real disciples are created. Little spiritual maturity is developed as the Bible calls for in Ephesians 4 so saints are released to do the work of the ministry. The hired guns are expected to do all the work. They do what they can but they and we are failing.
Churches are waxing emptier every day. We keep saying we need a revival. We need to be vived first before we can be re-vived.
This rant comes because I visited several churches and church leadership in my last trip to the hinterlands. I was very discouraged with what I heard. We have no clue. This truly is going to hell in a handbasket.
Things are a mess; we have too much backscratching going on and too little warfare where the Devil owns the turf. Spiritual timidity born of the fear of man has paralyzed the church.
My friend John Armstrong has a word for what needs to be done. We as the church in America must see ourselves as a missional church. We are on the foreign field. We have millions of pagan lost souls headed for an eternity in hell if we don’t tell them. They live all around us.
My Pastor Friend Olfunso in Nigeria is more responsible and his brethren for new souls in the kingdom times 100 than the average Christian Leader or Pastor in the USA.
From here on out I’m going to be focused on how we well reach the most desperate lost mission field on the planet, the USA. We used to be the second most missionary receiving country in the world. We should be first. We are that lost. Come home from Samaria and the ends of the earth is the Macedonia cry ringing in my ears.
Let’s see to our jer-USA-lem first. That is the most scriptural thing we can do.
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
If you need a shoulder to cry on, if you need someone to look lovingly into your
eyes and tell you everything is going to be ok, if you need a hug or someone to
lean on, I have good advice for you, go find someone to do that.
I am not HE!
I am one of those people who have learned to keep his mercy gift under control
to an extreme. I am quite willing to help,
Now, I’ll solve problems, I’ll fix things, I’ll see to it things get done. I
will encourage you; I will give you a view of the situation from God’s
perspective using his word as a telescope. I will stand arm in arm with you to
fight the Philistines. Run to the Battle is my war cry. Don’t pull back, step
over the fallen and press on.
In spiritual gifting I am more akin to the Good Samaritan than the Innkeeper.
If I see you along the road I will pick you up, put you on my donkey, pour in
the oil and wine to salve your wounds, but I’m not going feel sorry for you. I’
ll haul you to the inn, see to it you are taken care of, and make a deal with
that guy so you get taken care of again and get going again.
Pity just isn’t there in my justice driven gifting. Justice means making
things straight. Straitening things and people out.
Lord deliver me from me. Or not.
Dealing with family situations I am in a constant battle to discern the truth of
the situation and the correspondent action I need to take versus the lies I tell
myself and others tell themselves. Obviously I won’t detail this.
But as one famous man once said, “What is Truth”.
I can tell you what truth is: Jesus (Way Truth Life)
Everything else is just perception of imagined “facts” or reality. In other
words truth is our description of an elephant based solely on the examination of
his trunk. Not incorrect, just incomplete.
So, I fight to keep the truth above water and keep at bay the lies we tell
ourselves, one another, and mostly the self in our head.
This isn’t easy, some truth is painful, some is contradictory to our imagined
reality, and some is downright inconvenient.
Can we really deal with the truth face on and make it all work?
I am not hopeful. I think the little dream world we all live in and hope for
is just that, a dream world of our own making.
Then sometimes life’s alarm clock hands us a wakeup call. That is painful.
Monday, October 16, 2006
I am spending the night and will again in the house I grew up in. There will
come a day when this house will be lived in by someone other than our family who
have occupied this scrap of earth for 55 years under this very roof.
There are ghosts. Not actual ghosts of course, but those who drift across my
mind’s memory. I can look at the light fixture in the bedroom I am in and
remember when it was new and I was 7. The closet I hid from myself when I put
on the tiger costume for Halloween.
And the tree, a tree. Well over 50 years old. I remember it as a sprig. In
fact most of the trees on this property I recall when they were being planted.
Some are ragged and broken up from age and the weather.
The reality is I no longer have a home here. The old saying, home is where
your hat is, that is kind of true, but the other truth is home is where you feel
I have changed. Maybe not for the better. Maybe not for the worse. Just
different. I always thought, if I needed to I could always go home again.
Then some wag say, “You can’t go home again”.
Maybe he was right.
I am ready to go home, to Illinois, Illinois. (The name of the state song). I
don’t know if North Dakota has a state song. It probably does.
To listen to the Illinios State Song go here. It’s actually very good.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I�m not happy about life going by. I�m not happy about the fact that those
I love seem to experience life at the same rate I do.
Last night at the Choir Reunion seeing all those old people made me wonder
what I was doing there. Then I looked in the mirror.
Now today, seeing other people in the �Home� where Dad is for a while as he
gets back on his feet is hard. People I knew, people strong, people now
waiting for their trumpet sound. It�s hard.
I guess I have life enough. I don�t know what is real or my imagination.
In my imagination I�m feisty, full of life, tough to live with sometimes,
and loving it every day. Or is that reality and seeing life thru a gray
head with wrinkles and less future every day reality.
I�m going to vote feisty. Even if it�s not actually real, even if it�s my
version of the matrix, it�s a reality like Cipher said in the matrix. �I
know this isn�t real, the wine I drink is a computer program, this steak
that melts in my mouth is just an algorithm, but I prefer this to whatever
reality is out there�.
I may NOT want to know how deep that rabbit hole really goes.
It’s the silly season in ND. Lots of political ads on the TV. I’m amazed by them. Does anyone even believe this stuff? Conrad hyping ethanol? He should be ashamed for such political and scientific irrationality. Pomeroy’s ads aren’t much better.
Then in today’s Fargo Forum, a big article on carbon capture using GRASS and paying farmers for using no till because it “Captures” carbon and gives farmers income. That is another wacky scheme someone thought up. It’s all political. Nonsense.
The only parallel I can arrive at is how the African American community is led down primrose paths by the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. How Black misleaders use fear, promises of payoff and half-truths to control and manipulate the people of the ghetto. And, dutifully they vote many times against their own best interests.
So it is in North Dakota, a bigger ghetto, but welfare queens with tractors none the less being told lies and told to vote against their better interests by putting political hacks in office like Kent Conrad. Earl Pomeroy is still a real guy and not yet polluted by the evil that is political hucksterism. But, Conrad hasn’t had an honest political thought in 30 years. I knew him back when he was young and in college. He isn’t good for America or North Dakota. Living in ILLINOIS I can’t vote for or against him. That’s too bad.
I just wish ND voters could see how easily the Ghetto formerly known as North Dakota is bought off by political pandering of the most transparent kind.
Conrad will win. Then he’ll go back to Washington, kiss a few babies and some other anatomical parts and forget ND for 6 more years.
Not all politics is Local.