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Saturday, March 31, 2012

THEY CRY IN SILENCE - A Look at the Persecution of Christians Around the World

From Israel My Glory - January/February 2012 issue - foi.org

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
          Imagine your 12-year-old daughter or granddaughter is on her way home from school. Several men jump out of a van and abduct her. Then they beat and rape her every day for months.
          That is what happened to Engy Adel. Her tragic story exposes life in Egypt for Christians, particularly after the “Arab Spring.” Below is an excerpt from “Abductions, Forced Marriages, and Conversion of Christian Girls in Egypt” in the November 2011 online newsletter Persecution, published by International Christian Concern. The revolting details provide only a brief glimpse into the nightmare Christians face in Muslim countries:
          [The] story is merely one among hundreds involving the disappearances of Christian girls following Egypt's revolution. The lawlessness ruling Egypt's streets and the lack of justice applied in her courts has emboldened radical Islamists to target Egypt's most vulnerable and defenseless minority—Christians.
          In April of 2010, U.S. officials recognized for the first time the disappearances of Christian girls in Egypt as a form of human trafficking. Eighteen members of Congress wrote to the State Department's Trafficking in Persons (TIP) office concerning “reports of abductions, forced marriages, and exploitation of Coptic women and girls in Egypt.” They also stated that human trafficking in Egypt is often accompanied by acts of violence, including rape, beatings, and other forms of physical and mental abuse.
          Few cases epitomize the harsh reality of human trafficking in Egypt more than that of 12-year-old Engy Adel who was fortunate enough to escape and tell about the barbarity she experienced. Engy was abducted while on her way home from school in Alexandria. Interviewed on Al-Hayat television, she explained what happened:
          I was coming out of school on a normal day going home. Then there was a van and some guys who came out of the van and began following me. Then two of them grabbed me and tied my arms and pushed me into the van. I woke up and found myself in an apartment. … A man called Sultan took me into the room and tied my hands behind my back and raped me. Another four entered in and, one after the other, they raped me. Each raped me and was brutally hurting my body as if I was their enemy. They beat me so heavily … that I could neither eat, drink nor sleep. All they cared for was that I took the drugs [so they could] rape me.
          Another group of men came and took me away from them. I stayed with them two days and I don't know how these two days passed by. There were five of them. They were all in the room with me at the same time. I couldn't tell the difference between day and night—I was raped 24/7. No less than 50 men raped me. After that my father found me and brought me back home.
Engy's captivity lasted for months until her father, Adel Wassily, found her after being notified of her location by an anonymous caller.
          Like Engy, victimized girls are often underage Christians from poor, uneducated families. Muslim men use societal prejudices to their advantage, knowing that police officers and court officials will not give a poor Coptic family the time of day. … Once Muslim kidnappers force their victim to sign documents claiming she married and converted to Islam, the hope of her return is all but lost.
foi.org

In Defense of the Faith - By: Dave Hunt

"A Leap in the Dark"

Question: I have always understood that there is a difference between belief and faith--that belief is based upon fact and that faith, since it is related to religion, must be divorced from evidence and reason. That seems reasonable, but lately I've been wondering whether, and why, this should be true. Can you help me?

           Response:  You are struggling with a serious misunderstanding that has brought multitudes throughout his-tory into religious bondage. The Bible puts belief and faith on an equal footing, with no difference between them. Common sense itself and a little reflection will tell you that faith must have as sure a factual foundation as belief. Faith is not a leap in the dark. Furthermore, faith in God and His Word, because it involves eternal matters, is far more important than belief about things of this life.
 
          Faith, therefore, ought to have an even more solid basis than mere belief. One may be willing to allow some uncertainty in earthly matters, but only a fool would be comfortable with even the smallest degree of doubt in things that affect him eternally. No wonder the great Apostle Paul wrote, " Prove  all things; hold fast to that which is good" (1 Thessalonians:5:21).

          Luke tells us that during the 40 days Jesus spent with His disciples after His resurrection, He "showed himself alive . . . by many  infallible proofs"  (Acts:1:3). Clearly, Christ did not consider it enough merely to show Him-self to His disciples without providing irrefutable evidence of His resurrection. He considered it both legitimate and essential to  prove  that He was the very same One who had been crucified and that He had risen from the dead in the same body (but now in a new and glorious form) that had been placed lifeless in the grave.

          "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself," Christ told the shocked disciples the first time He came to them after His resurrection. "Handle me and see, for a spirit [ghost] hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have" (Luke:24:39). They had thought they were seeing a ghost, but He proved otherwise to them. To doubting Thomas, who had not been present on this first occasion, Christ declared later: "Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side . . ." (John:20:27). Here was irrefutable, tangible evidence.
          It is only common sense that strict proof should be demanded before making a commitment or an investment in this life. How much more important, then, to be absolutely certain, based upon solid proof, before accepting by faith those things which affect one's eternal destiny. True "faith," as we shall see, can only be founded upon fact--not upon feelings, intuition, or emotion. Much less does faith arise out of blind submission to some religious authority.

Pan-Evangelicalism Driven "Off-Message". . .

. . . by diverting attention from the Gospel to ineffective political attempts to legislate morality

An Editorial by Rev. Dr. Orrel Steinkamp
Used with Permission:http://herescope.blogspot.com/

 
     We oldies lament how American culture has changed especially in the last 50 years. The Christian influence that shaped Western culture worldwide through the 19th century has given way to practical atheism and moral relativism. In the name of equal rights, political correctness and tolerance the sings of gross immorality, pornography, abortion, sexual immorality and divorce (in and out of the church) and homosexuality have become sanctioned in the wider society.

       So what is the body of Christ to do about it? Is it just a political problem that can solved politically? In the last several decades evangelicals have promoted a political solution to what is seen as a political problem. But America's moral decline is not essentially a political problem. It is a spiritual problem, and consequently its solution is the Gospel, not partisan politics.

       Evangelicals have become known in the wider culture as primarily a political force. Howard Fineman, a liberal/progressive political analyst, has stated the obvious in stark terms: "In the new ruling class, 'revival tent' proponents are driving out the old 'big tent' advocates." This new "God's own party" is a "doctrinally schizophrenic coalition... to create a better country...." It "unites Catholic traditionalists who especially revere the papal hierarchy, evangelical, fundamentalist and charismatic Protestants; some strands of Judaism, including those ultra-orthodox on social issues... and Mormons, who ironically aren't regarded as Christians by most other members of the coalition."

       This evangelical political movement is led by a bevy of religious political operatives. Combining excessive patriotism and political activism, the Gospel message has been quietly under-emphasized. Rank and file evangelicals in all innocence have signed on to this moral political crusade. Conversely, many progressive/liberal media analysts depict evangelicals as political activists pure and simple. I know that writing this I may be misunderstood. Be assured, I also loathe abortion and abominate the practice of homosexuality. But an all-out public cultural war by Christian political operatives creates many anomalies and misunderstandings to an unbelieving society looking on.

       The unbelieving media has learned quite well that the Christian Political Right is actually propelled - not only to legislate morality - but behind it all, often hidden, many Christian political operatives operate from a base/core motivation that goes beyond even patriotic and political moral solutions. Liberal analysts commonly report on the Internet that the Christian Right is a "front" for Christian Dominion/Totalitarian rule of the culture.

       The New Apostolic Reformers (NAR), as I have previously written, have jumped into the political battles. For them it is mix of politics withprophetic/spiritual armament, with the ultimate goal a ChristianTotalitarian America. Indeed most evangelicals don't know this, and even many of the evangelical political operatives don't either. But the liberals know all this very well and have reported extensively on the Dominionist agenda.

       The "Apostles and Prophets" prophesied Rick Perry into running. Two Texas NAR prophets gave him a word from God to run. This resulted in Perry'spolitical prayer meeting in Houston's Reliant Stadium. But false prophetspropose and a sovereign God disposes of a Perry campaign. For, you see, when you decide to do public politics it can get physical and messy. In the process the eternal Gospel message has often been co-opted or even ignored because of the temporal winds of partisan politics.

Jim Wallis is one of
many co-opting the
church
       But is the answer politics? Did Paul call an "apostolic" pastors meeting and endorse a moral Roman procurator? (Good luck! No Roman moralist could be found!). The first century world was much more immoral than America and Western civilization. Regarding Paul's Corinthian mission we must remember that the Greek word "korinthiazesthai" (to "Corinth size" ) had become a part of the Greek language meaning debauchery and homosexual immorality. Fourteen of the first fifteen Roman emperors practiced unnatural sex. Nero took a boy called Sporos had him castrated, and married him with a full marriage ceremony. Nevertheless, the Gospel saved many homosexuals and Paul announced that "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor. 6:11). Paul describes homosexual sin in Romans chapter one. But in chapter two he doesn't skip a beat to accuse the moralist Jewish Pharisees of their sin and awaiting judgment.

       All sin stands under the judgment of God and only the sacrificial blood of Jesus can cleanse and cure it. It is only the Gospel that can redeem sinners of all varieties of sin whether public or private. It's the Gospel message preached and lived out as a witness that can snatch brands from the burning (Jude 1:23).

       Only the Gospel can cure those trapped in an evil culture. The moral legislative crusade of prohibition against alcohol of the 1920s is ample proof that one cannot legislate morality. God will use His powerful arm and saving message to show the world that immoral and humanly moral sinners can be reconciled to Him. But, by becoming moral political activists, we mask and divert the saving Gospel from the very people who need the Gospel message most - and make them our enemies.

       We must return to the only cure for whatever evils there are in any culture. Will we stamp out evil by the Gospel? Hardly! And neither will the political moralists. But the Gospel will be more effective than moral crusades. We already know from Scripture that the days will become more and more evil as the return of Jesus nears. Everyone apart from Christ is trapped in sin. But uniquely, the Gospel offers God's forgiveness and a new life by the power located in the Gospel message.

       God can do Corinth all over again, but it will be the Gospel message witnessed and preached - not political theatrics - that will actually change the culture.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Romans 3:23-25)
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In God We Trust—or Not

Editorial from Israel My Glory - January/February 2012 - foi.org
           
          For people who doubt there is a war against God and Christianity in America, here is something to disabuse them of that notion. Last year, U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) sponsored a bill (H.R. 2070) to place a plaque at the World War II memorial in Washington, DC, bearing the words U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the nation on June 6,1944, the morning of D-Day.
          The proposal seemed reasonable enough. After all, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's words to the invasion forces are etched in stone at the site. You might say the proposal corrects the oversight of neglecting the president's words.
          What appeared to be a given with representatives of the American people in both houses of Congress received a “not so fast” notice by the Obama administration's Bureau of Land Management. Director Robert V. Abbey said the prayer would “intrude” on the monument and “dilute this elegant memorial's central message.” Furthermore, he said, the prayer would detract from the memorial's purpose to honor American troops in World War II and “commemorate the participation of the United States in that conflict.”
          An excerpt of President Roosevelt's “intruding” petition to the Almighty includes the following:
          Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free suffering humanity. . . . Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace— a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.
          At stake in this all-too-familiar attempt to throw God out of every aspect of our public life is the future of generations of Americans to come. When those of us who remember a different America are off the scene, our children, grandchildren, and their children will be doomed to dwell in a godless, pagan wilderness.
          The administration's recent mocking of the House of Representatives' vote to consider legislation reaffirming the words In God We Trustas the national motto speaks to the heart of what we can expect in days to come.
          Make no mistake. We are fully engaged in an all-out revolution to refashion America into a godless, humanistic, pseudo paradise that obliterates the past. Among the warning signs is the upturn of anti-Semitism in America. A recent survey confirms that 133 anti-Jewish incidents were reported in New York City alone in 2010. In addition, an Anti-Defamation League survey discovered that 15 percent of Americans, nearly 35 million adults, hold deeply anti-Semitic views—up 3 percent from 2009.
          There are those who will argue otherwise; but to Bible-believing Christians, a foundational aspect of America's success has been its fundamental, historic hospitality toward the Jewish people. When Emma Lazarus penned, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” in her poem ‘The New Colossus,” later inscribed on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, the call was to her Jewish brethren and to the masses of stifled Gentiles yearning to breathe the free air of the New World.
          God-fearing freedom produced the greatest nation in the history of humanity. Are we now willing to stand aside while it is demolished brick by brick, to be replaced by who knows what? Perhaps by a spiritually dead, morally compassless, neosocialist idiocracy?
          Most notable is the pervasiveness of the anti-God aggression. It is not limited to America but is widespread throughout the Western world—evidence of the conflict's true nature. This is a spiritual war—a Satan-God issue that is precisely spelled out in God's Word:
          For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).
          When Scripture admonishes us to be discerners of the times, we should not take it lightly. It is God's call to action. In the end, the battle is for the soul. And for that fight, believers come armed with the right stuff—the simple message of the gospel, committed to us 2,000 years ago: Jesus born, crucified, risen, and coming again. “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 Jn. 5:4). No matter how others see it, we are on the victory side.
foi.org

Eye On The Middle East

          For nearly all of its 64 years, the State of Israel has faced constant threats to its survival as a democratic, Jewish nation. The courage, tenacity, ingenuity, and determination with which it has consistently and successfully faced those threats are nothing short of amazing.
          Yet current threats seem even more alarming than previous ones. However, something is afoot at the prime minister’s official residence that can only help the struggle against uncompromising enemies.
          Why uncompromising? Because despite talk about “peace,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has said Hamas will never alter its long-term goal of eliminating Israel.
          In Egypt, the previously outlawed Muslim Brotherhood has now risen to power and poses a great threat to the 32-year-old cold, but stable, peace at Israel’s southern border.
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Benjamin Netanyahu (Gail Tibbon/Getty Images).

          Turkey, once an ally and good friend, has downgraded its formal diplomatic ties with Israel and suspended its military cooperation. Today the relationship is strained.
          North Korea regularly supplies military arms to many of Israel’s enemies and nuclear technology to Iran. No one knows for sure where the new, young Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un will take his country and how that direction will affect Israel.
          Then, of course, there is the looming menace that is Iran. Israeli President Shimon Peres has called Iran “the greatest threat faced by Israel.” For the past several years, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has continually called for Israel’s destruction.
          With all these threats swirling around, what is happening at the prime minister’s residence? Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to do something that can never hurt. He will host a Bible study at his official residence. Reported Israel Today“Netanyahu made the announcement on the 30-day anniversary of the passing of his father-in-law, Shmuel Ben-Artzi, who was a respected Israeli poet and Bible teacher. Ben-Artzi used to attend the regular Bible studies hosted by Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion.”
          Netanyahu said, “Ben-Gurion understood that the Book of Books is our mandate for our country. He viewed the Bible as the wondrous story of the Jewish people, the unique spiritual, cultural and historic heritage of our people, and also as one of the cornerstones of all of human culture.”
          The study will be open to researchers, public officials, and invited guests. “The father of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, Menachem Begin, also used to host regular Bible studies at the prime minister’s residence,” reportedIsrael Today. “Netanyahu said he wanted to reinstate that practice in order to encourage love of the Bible among government officials, and by extension, the nation.”
          Whether he realizes it or not, this action could lead Netanyahu and his country to great success. Joshua 1:8 promises success for the one who meditates on the Book of the Law. In 2 Kings 22:8 a young King Josiah recovered the “Book of the Law in the house of the LORD.” Upon hearing what was written, he tore his clothes as a sign of repentance (v. 11). Other Jewish leaders, such as Moses and Nehemiah, recognized the wisdom of applying one’s heart to God’s Word.
          So as events unfold in the Middle East and “experts” provide their solutions, let’s pray the prime minister’s Bible study will give him God’s own solutions. Let us also pray that his study will encourage many Israelis to follow suit.
By: Steve Herzig - foi.org

10 Reasons Why Nothing You Do On The Internet Will EVER Be Private Again

source: http://endoftheamericandream.com/
Article Link
          The Internet is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother control grid where privacy rights are being systematically strangled to death. The control freaks that run things have become absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that you do on the Internet. One thing that you can count on is that nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again. In fact, if you are obsessed with privacy then the last place you want to be is on the Internet. Most Americans have absolutely no idea how far Internet surveillance has advanced in the past few years. At this point, it would be hard to imagine any place less private than the Internet. Do not ever put anything on the Internet that you would not want the authorities or your employer to hold you accountable for. Basically, the Internet is creating a permanent dossier on each one of us, and we contribute to this process by freely posting gigantic volumes of information about ourselves on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter. The Internet is the greatest tool for mass communication that the world has perhaps ever seen, and it gives average citizens the ability to communicate with each other like never before, but there is also a downside to using the Internet. Everything that we do on the Internet is being watched, monitored and recorded and there is no longer any such thing as Internet privacy. If you think that you still have any privacy on the Internet, then you are either ignorant of what is going on or you are being delusional.
          The following are 10 reasons why nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again....
#1 The Federal Government Can Now Retain Your Internet Activity For Five Years - Even If You Have No Links To Terrorism
          In the past, the National Counterterrorism Center could only retain information about you for 180 days if you did not have any links to terrorism.
Well, that has now completely changed.
Attorney General Eric Holder has signed new guidelines which will now allow the National Counterterrorism Center to hold on to your private information (including your Internet activity) for five years.
But an extra four and a half extra years is no big deal, right?
#2 Potential Employers Are Demanding To See Your Internet Activity
          In the past, potential employers would pull up the social media profiles of job candidates in order to get a better idea of who they might be hiring.
But now, many potential employers are actually demanding the passwords to the Facebook accounts of job applicants.
The following comes from a recent CBS News report....
The bad news is that employers are increasingly asking job seekers for their Facebook and other social-media passwords as part of the process of vetting them.
While it's unclear how widespread that practice is, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it is happening with increasing frequency, as CBS MoneyWatch's Suzanne Lucas details. You can, of course, refuse to give a job interviewer your passwords. But expect your employment application to hit the round file, or the trash, if you don't cooperate.
#3 Law Enforcement Is Watching You
          Do you remember the father that posted that "Facebook Parenting for the troubled teen" video that went wildly viral all over the Internet earlier this year?
          That video was watched more than 31 million times, but it also resulted in both the police and Child Protective Services officials visiting his home.
So be careful what you post on YouTube. If you post something that they don't like, law enforcement personnel may come knocking on your door.
#4 Government Agencies Are Watching You
          The FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. military and the Federal Reserve have all announced plans to systematically monitor social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
These agencies have lists of "keywords" that they use to search for posts that they want to look at.
          For example, the words "attack", "exercise" and "epidemic" are just three of the keywords that the Department of Homeland Security is known to use.
          So keep that in mind the next time you post something on Facebook or Twitter.
          The following is from a recent Salon article....
In 2010, the DHS National Operations Center established a Media Monitoring Capability (MMC). According to an internal agency document, MMC is tasked with "leveraging news stories, media reports and postings on social media sites… for operationally relevant data, information, analysis, and imagery." The definition of operationally relevant data includes "media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities," "partisan or agenda-driven sites," and a final category ambiguously labeled "research/studies, etc."
#5 Barack Obama Is Watching You
          The Obama campaign has launched "truth teams" which will be scouring the Internet for any rumors that are "not true" about Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign.
          So if you post something on the Internet about Barack Obama that the Obama campaign does not consider to be truthful, there is a good chance that a "truth team" will be examining what you have written.
#6 They Are Monitoring And Recording All Talk Radio (Including Internet Talk Radio)
          As I have written about previously, the FBI has hired a company in Virginia to systematically record talk radio programs (including Internet talk radio programs) all over the United States. The goal of this effort is to collect "potential evidence", whatever that means. The following comes from an article by Mark Weaver of WMAL.com....
If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be recorded by the FBI.
The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet.
The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.
#7 Foreign Governments Are Watching You
          It isn't just the U.S. government that is watching you on the Internet. The truth is that governments all over the world could be monitoring your Internet activity and you may never even know it.
          In fact, the level of Internet surveillance in some countries is arguably even greater than it is in the United States.
          For example, a new bill that has been introduced in Canada would give government authorities unprecedented power to monitor the Internet activities of Canadians....
The so-called "lawful access" legislation, tabled in the House of Commons Tuesday, will require Internet service providers and cellphone companies to hand over basic customer information - including name, address, phone number, email address, and ISP addresses - to authorities when requested, without the need for a warrant.
Dubbed "online spying" by critics, the bill is also expected to require ISPs and phone companies to install equipment for real-time surveillance and create new police powers designed to obtain access to the surveillance data.
          The UK government is going even farther than that. A recent UK government report calls for ISPs to remove "extremist material" from the Internet. The following is an excerpt from that report....
The Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit does limited but valuable work in challenging internet service providers to remove violent extremist material where it contravenes the law. We suggest that the Government work with internet service providers in the UK to develop a Code of Conduct committing them to removing violent extremist material, as defined for the purposes of section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Many relevant websites are hosted abroad: the Government should also therefore strive towards greater international cooperation to tackle this issue.
          French President Nicolas Sarkozy is taking things even farther than that. He recently stated that anyone in France that is caught regularly visiting websites "preaching hatred" will be prosecuted.
          So what constitutes "extremist material" and what constitutes "preaching hatred"?
Unfortunately, almost every government on earth has different definitions for those things.
#8 We Are All Being Encouraged To Spy On One Another On The Internet
          For the U.S. government, it isn't enough just to have bureaucrats and spooks spying on you. Now they want us to spy on one another.
          The Department of Homeland Security has been heavily promoting the "See Something, Say Something" campaign. The idea is that if you see something "suspicious" that you should report it to the authorities.
          Unfortunately, the definition of "suspicious activity" has expanded so dramatically in recent years that it could include just about anything.
The paranoia among our leaders has gotten completely out of control. For example, a while back U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman requested that Google install a "terrorist button" on all Blogger.com blogs so that readers could easily flag "terrorist content" for authorities.
          Thankfully nothing like that has been implemented yet, but that is the direction that we are heading as a nation.
#9 Your ISP Is Watching You
          Most Americans have not even heard about this yet, but the truth is that starting later on this year your ISP will be spying on you to make sure that you are not downloading any copyrighted material.
          SOPA and PIPA may have failed for now, but the Obama administration has brokered a deal between the entertainment industry and the major Internet providers that is absolutely unprecedented. This deal will go into effect on July 12th. The following is from a recentRaw Story article....
If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they're coming for you.
Specifically, they're coming for you on Thursday, July 12.
That's the date when the nation's largest ISPs will all voluntarily implement a new anti-piracy plan that will engage network operators in the largest digital spying scheme in history, and see some users' bandwidth completely cut off until they sign an agreement saying they will not download copyrighted materials.
Word of the start date has been largely kept secret since ISPs announced their plans last June. The deal was brokered by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and coordinated by the Obama Administration.
          So be careful what you download on the Internet.
Your ISP will be watching.
#10 The NSA Is Watching Everyone And Everything
          It is safe to assume that any digital communication that you ever make will be intercepted and monitored by the NSA.
Of course this has been an open secret for years, but now the NSA is taking things to a whole new level.
          The NSA has been constructing the largest spy center in the history of the world out in the Utah desert. The following is how a recent Wired article described this new facility....
Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world's communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails-parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital "pocket litter."
          So please do not assume that anything you do on the Internet will ever  be private again.
          The online world has now become a world where there is absolutely no privacy.
          Some are responding to this new reality by running away from the Internet, but I think that is the wrong approach.
          The Internet has broken the monopoly that the elite had on mass communication. It has given average people the ability to communicate with one another like never before. A YouTube video or a blog post that you put up today could be seen by tens of millions of people. Information is power, and the Internet has put a tremendous amount of power into the hands of the general population.
          Yes, there will be people watching every single thing you do on the Internet. So it is important to be very careful.
          But the Internet also gives us an opportunity to impact the world that is unlike anything previous generations have ever had. Something that you post on the Internet today could end up completely changing a life on the other side of the globe tomorrow. Those in power have begun to recognize how powerful the Internet is, and so they have begun to crack down on it.
          It is also important to keep in mind that the Internet allows us to watch them as well. The Internet is an incredible tool for exposing evil and corruption, and over the past decade we have seen many instances when average people on the Internet have broken major news stories that the mainstream media would not dare touch initially.
          In the final analysis, the ability to wake people up and to literally change the world outweighs the risks of being watched. If the world eventually descends into deep tyranny, you aren't going to have anywhere to hide even if you are not on the Internet.
          Don't be afraid to stand up for the truth. It is better to do what is right and to be persecuted for it than to stand aside and do nothing.
The Internet is an awesome tool. It can be used for great good or for great evil.
          If we sit on our hands, we will accomplish nothing.
But if we try, we might just end up changing the world.

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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Will Glenn Beck's Restoring Love Rally Be About Ecumenicalism and the Social Gospel?

By: Brannon Howse
To be "Loving" now means you embrace ecumenicalism and don't divide on theological and doctrinal issues for success in the culture war and you embrace a social gospel. Will this be the message we hear at Glenn Beck's Restoring Love Rally on 7-28-12 in Dallas?

If you don't agree with Beck's spiritual agenda will that make you a bigot? In 2010 I was quoted in a CNN article on why Christians should not unite in a spiritual enterprise with a New Age Mormon to win the "culture war." Beck talked about the article on his radio program and said, "so now the religious bigotry is there too".  I wrote about Beck's comment in a column back in 2010.
Beck's rally will center on a three day event of "Celebration of Service". I believe Beck is really pushing a social gospel agenda along with his ecumenicalism. Recently Beck's website announced his global plan which included a visit to the Vatican. Therefore, may I suggest Rick Warren be a keynote speaker at Beck's rally so Warren can talk about his global Peace Plan, the social gospel, and his ecumenicalism.  After all, Rick Warren has proven he can work with Muslims so why not a Mormon? After all there are a lot of similarities between Mormons and Muslims. A few years ago Warren signed the Yale document that declared that Christians and Muslims worship the same god.The document declared:
We applaud that A Common Word Between Us and You stresses so insistently the unique devotion to one God,  
Muslims and Christians do not worship the same god.
Glenn Beck, like Warren, is also pushing a social gospel agenda along with ecumenicalism. Beck's website states:
"Glenn Beck will be reaching out to individual organizations, churches, and more across the area and ask them the question: 'If you had unlimited manpower for one day – what would you do?'…I have said enough words. It's time for me to help hold up the arms of community and faith leaders and serve those who are doing the heavy lifting on healing our nation…It is time to deemphasize the political solution and first demand real change in ourselves."
So Beck is going to rally the churches and faith leaders and Beck is going to help hold up the arms of the faith community?
If Beck is going to deemphasize the political solution that really only leaves a spiritual solution and thus the desire to work with the churches. Are you interested in in the spiritual solutions of a New Age Mormon? I for one am not. Christians should not unite with Beck in spiritual enterprise as declared in Romans 16:17, 2 John 9-11, Ephesians 5:11, and 2 Corinthians 6:14.
Beck's social gospel, ecumenicalism, and global plan seem very similar to that of Rick Warren. In the December 20, 2011 Orange County Register it was reported that Rick Warren is opening the PEACE Center as part of his global PEACE Plan. I believe Warren's PEACE plan is really a communitarian philosophy of bringing together the church, corporations and the government for what Warren has called the three-legged stool.
The Irvine woman is one of about 72,000 people who have benefitted from Saddleback's food pantry since its 2009 opening, according to Saddleback officials. The pantry is one of several services that will be part of the church's new PEACE Center.
The OCR reported:
A permanent larger, two-story structure is in the planning stages. It will house a free health clinic, clothing exchange, warehouse and auto-repair shop in addition to services being offered at the temporary center. So far, $600,000 has been raised through donations toward the $2 million cost of the structure.
In the OCR Warren was quoted as saying:
"This is not for members of Saddleback but for people in the community," he said. "When the final building is built, it will be the first thing people see when they come to the campus. It's not about the church but the hope and love that's in that building."
Nowhere in the New Testament Church description of the church do we see the mandate for the corporate church to focus on social programs for those outside the church. While this could be a ministry for individuals as a platform for preaching the Biblical gospel, it is not a function described in the Bible as a calling of the New Testament Church. The New Testament church is to equip and train its members for the work of ministry-the preaching of the gospel.
Pastor Jesse Johnson put it best when he wrote:
There is a very real danger that has been played out through history repeatedly, that when churches embrace a vision for combating poverty, evangelism is one of the first victims of this altered commission…To guard against that, the church is never commanded to show compassion to the poor as a means for expanding the kingdom. Simply put, you owe the poor the gospel; Jesus died to purchase for them the privilege of hearing the testimony of his death and resurrection (1 Tim 2:6). That is both the most and the least you can give, and Robin Hood ethics do not overlap with the Great Commission.
The most loving thing Christians can do is reject the social gospel and preach the Biblical gospel to a lost world. The most loving things Christians can do is expose false teachers and their false teaching. While these Biblical mandates may be declared hateful by those committed to a social gospel, false teaching, and ecumenicalism, it is not. In Revelation 2:15 God declares his hatred of false teaching. A hatred for and not rallying around false teaching, the social gospel, and ecumenicalism is a hallmark of those that love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
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