Thursday, April 25, 2013

US Army and the Southern Baptists

I've been out of the military for more than 20 years, but always consider myself an Army guy.  I have a great deal of respect for the military leaders of our past, Grant, Lee, Eisenhower, and MacArthur.  And I also have a great deal of respect for our military leaders of recent history (not withstanding their flaws) Petraeus, Mattis, McChrystal and Powell.

Recently, we have been seeing troubling news from the military.  For instance, last week I posted about the Lieutenant Colonel  labeling certain Christian ministries as hate groups. See: Army LTC E-Mail.  The week before that, a briefing slide for Army reservists included evangelicals and  Catholics on a list of extremists, right next to Al Qaeda and the Klan.  I would hope these are isolated incidents.  Unfortunately, we received more negative news concerning the military and Christianity.  Today, I just read a report in which a military officer was prevented from viewing the Southern Baptist Convention's website because it allegedly contained "hostile content."  See:  US Army Labels Southern Baptist Convention 'Hostile.'   The Southern Baptists are known for having a very high view of scripture. In most towns, you couldn't throw a rock in a parking lot without hitting a Baptist.  The Southern Baptist Convention remains the largest protestant denomination in the U.S.   I truly do not believe that this is the official position of the military.  Indeed, I thought the Baptists had another 3-5 years before they would receive the "hostile" label.  Not sure which way things are going.  To my Christian brothers and sisters, all is not lost.  The Army still has good men in leadership who have a respect for and live by Christian values, e.g., the next Superintendent of West Point, LTG Robert Caslen.  Along with LTG Caslen, you cannot overlook General Vincent Brooks, who was a prominent spokesperson for the military during the early stages of the Iraq War.

Edit:  I certainly am not an alarmist.  Nor do I believe the Army is anti-Christian.  I do believe, however, that a time is approaching where Bible believing Christians will be marginalized, if not persecuted.  This recent report indicates that time is coming sooner than anticipated.

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not  fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 1 Peter 3:14

Friday, April 12, 2013

New Jersey Teacher Fired For Handing Student Bible

Just came across an article indicating that a teacher from New Jersey was fired for handing a student a Bible.  The teacher is suing the school district for religious discrimination.  The details are not clear, but according to the story, the teacher handed the student the Bible in response to the student's intellectual curiosity.  In other words, it does not appear that the teacher was trying to convert the student. Go to: Terminated NJ Teacher Files EEOC Complaint Against Phillipsburg School District.

Quick edit:  The termination decision followed an incident in which Walter Tutka quoted the Bible saying, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last" to a student who was last in line to leave the classroom.  The student reportedly inquired about the origin of the statement numerous times before Tutka produced his personal copy of the New Testament to show the student.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Army Lieutenant Colonel Sends Email Labeling Certain Christians as Hate Groups

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. John 15:18-19

An Army lieutenant colonel has sent members of his unit – I am guessing officers and senior NCOs – a lengthy email, that among other things, label Christian ministries as hate groups.  So far, the story has hit only a handful of news sources, but I am sure it will generate some publicity within the next day or two.  To the colonel’s credit, he has commanded Rangers in combat, and he is currently the battalion commander of a storied unit in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  While I am sure my Christian brothers and sisters will soon write the Pentagon demanding his removal, I feel bad for the guy.  Unfortunately, with this new Army, he has been forced to accept new lifestyles. He probably sat through one PC lecture too many and made a huge mistake in his effort to share what he learned with his leaders.  I have a feeling that his email will certainly hinder his career. If he had plans of making it to the general officer’s ranks, he can forget about it.  What worries me is in a few short years when the next officer writes a very similar email and that email becomes the Army Values.  The following is a reporter’s description of the LTC’s email:

A U.S. Army officer sent an email to dozens of subordinates listing the American Family Association and Family Research Council as "domestic hate groups" because they oppose homosexuality -- and warned officers to monitor soldiers who might be supporters of the groups.

“Just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values,” read an email from LTC Jack Rich to three dozen subordinates at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. “When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values, don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.”
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, told Fox News he was disturbed by the contents of the email.
The 14-page email documented groups the military considers to be anti-gay, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim. Among the other groups mentioned are Neo-Nazis, Racist Skinheads, White Nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan.
 “The religious right in America has employed a variety of strategies in its efforts to beat back the increasingly confident gay rights movement,” the officer wrote. “One of those has been defamation.”
The officer accused the “Christian Right” of “engaging in the crudest type of name-calling, describing LGBT people as ‘perverts” with ‘filthy habits’ who seek to snatch the children of straight parents and ‘convert’ them to gay sex,” he wrote.

 See: Army Officer's Email Labels Christian Ministries as Domestic Hate Groups
See related: DOD Briefing Classifies Catholics and Evangelical Protestants as "Extremist Groups"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Iran Suffers Quakes that Happen to Coincide with "National Nuclear Day"

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. Matt. 24:6
And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The garrison and the raiders also trembled; and the earth quaked, so that it was a very great trembling. 1 Sam. 14:15

This is the stuff that would appear in a novel, not real life.  First, Iran announces the opening of uranium-processing facilities on “National Nuclear Day.” Then, within hours, it is hit with a 6.3 magnitude

Two days after nuclear talks with world leaders yielded little progress, Iran announced it has opened a new uranium-processing site to mark "National Nuclear Day."
The country opened a uranium-processing facility as well as a uranium mine in the central province of Yazd, state-run TV reported Tuesday.
Iran's enrichment of uranium has been one of the most contentious issues in nuclear talks between Iran and the so-called P5+1 countries -- the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany.

Although, April 9, was National Nuclear Day in Iran, they are now dealing with a huge tragedy.  I personally do not think this was an accident.
A powerful earthquake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages, Iranian media reported.
The 6.3 magnitude quake totally destroyed one village, a Red Crescent official told the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA), but the nearby Bushehr nuclear plant was undamaged, according to Iranian officials and the Russian company that built it.
Memo to Iran.  Now might be a good time to put to a screeching halt your nuclear program.  Also, you need to stop that talk about pushing Israel to the sea. 

Defense Department classifies Catholics and Evangelical Protestants as “extremist groups”

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Defense Department classifies Catholics and Evangelical Protestants as “extremist groups”

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Don't Miss Lee Grady's "The Problem With Rob Bell's Gospel"

 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 2 Tim. 4:3

I have nothing to add to J. Lee Grady's article that is linked below.  Baseball season just started and with this article, Lee Grady knocked it out of the park.  The subject is Rob Bell who allegedly is a Christian minister.  Lee addresses Bell’s recent comments on marriage and  touches on the “gospel” according to Rob Bell.  You have to read: The Problem With Rob Bell’s Gospel.

For whatever it is worth, I think the popularity of Rob Bell and other like minded leaders have waned significantly.  The problem is what will happen 5, 10, or 15 years from now when the next Rob Bell starts preaching the same message.

Again, don't miss Lee Grady's:  The Problem With Rob Bell’s Gospel.