Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Good Article on "Occupy Wall Street"

I've been trying to understand what the occupiers of Wall Street are struggling for and what they seek.  Even their own websites and statements are not very helpful.  A recent blog post by Joel McDurmon over at American Vision is well-worth reading.  McDurmon is fair and judicious in his analysis.  A few quotations to whet the appetite...
Steve Wynn’s alleged “big rant” against Occupy Wall Street actually contains a balanced insight into the movement:
That group is quite diverse. . . . There are people in there that think that government should give them more just because they are alive. There are people who are opposing government spending. There are people there that are opposing bailouts.
This is more honest than, for example, Ann Coulter’s dismissal of the whole as a parasitic “Flea Party”—though it does have that element in it pretty thick. Her article is certainly not without a good point, and in her latest essay on the topic she exposes a real problem: ideologically-driven ignorance and hypocrisy. There are a lot of simply uninformed people in the movement who have a good idea of corporate corruption and undue influence—yet these people are unequipped (thanks largely to their government education) to express their ideas by anything but the misguided attack on “capitalism” and “greed,” and a call for socialistic remedies. It’s the informed liberals who know better and are trying to leverage this ignorance are the real enemies here. Wynn catches this, too: “But if it’s a politician that does it, or a union leader, then it represents something much more pernicious. It represents a deliberate misleading of the public.” I think it is uncritical of Coulter to ignore this distinction between the mere dupes and the real creeps.
Then there is this on greed and envy...
 Yes, of course there is greed, and it can have genuinely negative results in business. But it is nowhere near a socially destructive as its wicked sister Envy. And Envy is what I really see in many of the protesters out there—especially the ones trying to leverage government socialism to “tax the rich” and take for themselves. It is nothing less than envy that says, “This person has more than me, I don’t have as much as I want, therefore I should take from them and give to me. And when I can’t have what I want, I will lash out and destroy.” Thus the calls for violent revolution and the defecating on police cars, etc., which are just glimpses of Envy-bred violence. When Envy grips a political system, it destroys and enslaves societies. 
McDurmon looks at how the Occupy movement started and how it has developed.  Its beginning was not all bad but it quickly moved to folly.
This is closer to what I first heard the movement had originated as. It was not a mere whine over corporate wealth, but about corporate corruption. It was a group of kids really ticked, and righteously so, because big bank representatives used scare tactics and threats of martial law to frighten Congress into passing bailouts—bailouts to save the banks which had simply done terrible business, should have been closed and led by the nose through bankruptcy court, but instead were deemed “too big to fail.” It was a bailout for absolute failures and frauds. And as soon as the bailout money came in, these same jokers paid themselves tens of millions of dollars in bonuses for having done such great business.

Of course they had. They conned the public out of hundreds of billions. That’s what they always have done; and they did it one more time. Why not pay themselves a handsome bonus for a job well done, once again? It’s business as usual.
If OWS would merely focus on this across the board, and drop the socialistic stuff, it would gain the support of the liberty movement and probably a lot more; and the true causes of the problems—the corrupt corporations, the lobbies, the corrupt politicians, and the Federal Reserve counterfeiters—would shake in their boots. But the message has been corrupted because it was begun by leftists, joined mostly by leftists, and can think of nothing but a leftist answer. Thus, one group amongst them that is trying to create a list of demands has arrived as something like a $1.5 Trillion New Deal package where 25 million people go to work directly for the government. Are you kidding? And how fast did you want to become like Greece? So quickly does liberalism turn justice into envy and all is lost.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revival in Boston--Who Knew?

There is an interesting post over at Timothy Tennant's blog regarding the growth of the church in the Boston area.  He writes:
Prior to my coming to Asbury I lived in the Boston area. Boston is the home of a major spiritual awakening. More people have come to Christ in Boston in the last three decades than during the Great Awakening, but it has largely gone unnoticed, because it is occurring primarily among African, Chinese, Korean, and Hispanic peoples. There are over 50 different African congregations in Boston and, indeed, on any given Sunday in Cambridge, Massachusetts, more people worship Christ in a language other than English than in English. It has been called the “quiet revival.”
Jesus is growing his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pro-Life Apologetics Course

For those wanting good teaching on pro-life issues check out the free resource Advanced Pro-life Apologetics Course.  This is available from Life Training Institute Blog and can be found HERE.

Be sure to check out the resource for a short but powerful presentation of pro-life reasoning.
"How to Defend Your Pro-life Views in Five Minutes or Less"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

D. A. Carson on "This Present Evil Age"

In a recent book, These Last Days: A Christian View of History, edited by Richard D. Phillips and Gabriel N. E. Fluhrer (P&R, 2011), there is an essay by D. A. Carson entitled "This Present Evil Age."  Carson discusses Revelation chapter 12 and how it is that we overcome the enemy's rage.  In particular, Revelation 12.11 states:
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.
Carson has some excellent meditative thoughts on this text.  In the process of developing these thoughts he speaks of the central importance of the gospel.  He writes:
I have been teaching for more decades now than I can count, and if I have learned anything from all of this teaching, it is this: my students don't learn everything I teach them; what they learn is what I'm excited about.  So within the church of the living God, we must become excited about the gospel.  That's how we pass on our heritage.  If, instead, the gospel increasingly becomes for us that which we assume, then we will, of course, assent to the correct creedal statement.  But, at this point, the gospel is not what really captures us.  Rather, it is a particular form of worship, or a particular style of counseling, or a particular view of culture, or a particular technique in preaching, or--fill in the blank.  Then, ultimately, our students make that their center, and the generation after us loses the gospel. As soon as you get to the place where the gospel is that which is nearly assumed, you are only a generation and half from death.
Again, the centrality of the gospel of Christ's cross must reign supreme--in our thinking and our affections.

For those interested, Carson's essay is available HERE

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

40 Days of Life Update

The pro-life organization 40 Days for Life is operating right now in over 300 cities and 122 babies have been reported as being spared abortion.  The 40 Days campaign is about the power of prayer being unleashed on behalf of the unborn, mothers, fathers, and even abortion center staff.  I received an update for day 14 that was simply amazing and wanted to share the story here.
A visibly upset young woman and her mother had just walked out of the abortion center where the 40 Days for Life vigil is going on – and walked right up to one of the prayer volunteers. 
She had been advised to have an abortion because she had difficulties in her life.
After a short discussion, the two women seemed interested in the offer of a free ultrasound at a local pregnancy care center. But there were two challenges.
First of all, it was 8:30 in the morning – and the pregnancy center wouldn’t open til 9:00. 
The volunteers decided to take the young woman and her mom to breakfast; that would help them settle down a bit, and it would let them wait until the doors were open at the pregnancy center. 
The second challenge seemed a bit more formidable. While an ultrasound MACHINE was available, there might not be an ultrasound TECHNICIAN available.
So they all went to the pregnancy center to wait – and pray. 
Within the hour, another couple arrived at the abortion center. They had been told to abort their baby because of possible disabilities. 
They had doubts about going through with it – so they, too, were offered a free ultrasound. 
“Can you get us that ultrasound right now?” the couple asked. 
About the same time, yet another couple arrived for an appointment. They had significant financial challenges – and they, too, had been encouraged to abort. “And yes,” said the volunteer, “couple number three also wanted a free ultrasound.” 
Meanwhile, back at the pregnancy center, a car had entered the parking lot. None of the volunteers recognized the car. A woman got out. They didn’t recognize her, either. 
She walked over and introduced herself. “I’m an ultrasound tech and I have nothing to do today,” she said. “Do you know of anyone that could use my skills?”
“Seriously!” said the volunteer. “Just like that!” 
Three young women saw ultrasound images of their babies that day. And despite all the reasons each had been encouraged to abort – they each chose life for their children. 
Each of these mothers has a long road ahead and many challenges to overcome. But they’ve taken a wonderful first step. Please keep them in your prayers, and ask Christ to guide them on their way. 
“Before I knew the difficulties of this day, God had planned for our needs to be met,” said the 40 Days for Life vigil participant. “Three couples who had planned on ending their babies’ lives today are still pregnant tonight. Praise God!” 
She added that the overwhelming feeling “is one of both personal humility and awe for our God who did so much today. What a blessing! We praise and honor the Creator tonight. He has done marvelous things!”