Without a doubt, we are the most advanced people to live on the earth. Our great Universities teach the most sophisticated knowledge, our technology has enabled us to conquer space, and our medical achievements are without historical peer. There is only one problem; I am starting to have some doubts.
For thousands upon thousands of years, religionists in “inferior” cultures have sacrificed human life to appease their gods. The Ugaritic texts depict the Canaanite deity Baal as a great storm god with the power of thunder and lightning in his hands. The “Prince Lord of the Earth” who sat upon Mt. Zaphon waiting for the men and women of earth to sacrifice their babies; for only with the death of human life would Baal then bring fertility to the land. Now in our age of great farming technology, we know that Baal does not determine the success of our crops and certainly we don’t need to kill babies to guarantee a good harvest. We are far too advanced to buy into that sort of religious bunk. Right?
Fast forward many thousands of years to North America where many of the native cultures practiced human sacrifice as a form of worship to appease their god’s and bring healing to the land. Human sacrifice remained an official part of Peruvian cultures until about 500 years ago when the Spanish conquered and abolished the barbarian practice. On further review, maybe it was only suppressed. Consider this AP news story from February 2004.
“Peruvian police investigate possible infant sacrifice to earth god”
A decapitated baby boy found on a hilltop near Lake Titicaca may have been the victim of a centuries-old human sacrifice ritual meant to appease a pre-Columbian earth god, police said Wednesday. The remains of the infant, believed to have been seven months old, were discovered Tuesday on a peninsula in the Yunguyo region near the Bolivian border…
Peruvian anthropologist Juan Ossio said that human sacrifices date back to the Chavin culture, which flourished in Peru between 900-200 BC… “Sacrifices were made for more than a thousand year and it is hard to get rid of deeply rooted beliefs.” Anthropologists occasionally encounter reports of human sacrifices while conducting research in Peru, although it is more common to hear about old people being buried alive in an effort to appease the earthen gods, Ossio said.
Who knew? Jack Kevorkian may have a second career as an environmental activist who kills the elderly to save the planet, but that is another story for the future.
Indeed, the idea of killing babies to appease the Earth may be a deeper reality than we have thought possible. Consider the actions of Toni Vernelli who, in an effort to save the world from Global warming, killed her unborn child through a legal abortion.
“Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers – and a voice calling her Mummy.
But the very thought makes her shudder with horror. Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.
At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to “protect the planet”.Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card. While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.
“Having children is selfish. It’s all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet,” says Toni, 35.
“Every person who is born uses more food, more water, more land, more fossil fuels, more trees and produces more rubbish, more pollution, more greenhouse gases, and adds to the problem of over-population.”
For this radical new religion served by the “Imps of Science,” humans are the enemy of Nature and it only seems right that we should sacrifice our babies to appease the wrath of Mother Earth.
Kathleen Parker, Columnist for the Washington Post Writers group laments,
Although I doubt there are many willing to sterilize themselves in order to reduce the size of their carbon footprint, such extreme materialism is the evolutionary product of our gradual commodification of human life.
Suddenly, the unborn are of no greater importance than the contents of our recycling bin. Like Weight Watchers dieters substituting carbs for sugars, we trade off future members of the human race to neutralize insults to Earth’s present balance.
Is this the slippery slope that pro-lifers prophesied? Once such utilitarian concerns edge out our humanity – and once human life is deemed to have no greater value than any other life form – how long before we begin tidying up other inconveniences?
It just may be that we are at the top of the cliff because Toni is not alone in her fervor to eliminate the plague of humans that infest our earth. Diana Hull, president of Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) says,
“Human overpopulation is the fundamental environmental problem. Excessive greenhouse gases—like loss of open space, like traffic congestion, like never-ending sprawl—are one of the symptoms. Habitat loss due to population growth is the greatest threat to wildlife, a far greater threat than global warming.”
Writing in the Medical Journal of Australia Barry Walters, an associate professor of obstetric medicine at the University of Western Australia,
…is making that case. Dr Walters says every family choosing to have more than a defined number of children should be charged a carbon tax. He goes on to argue that those purchasing condoms or undergoing sterilisation procedures should be awarded carbon credits. The proposal is backed by Garry Egger, an adjunct professor of health sciences at Southern Cross University in New South Wales.
John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said:
“The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”
In 1968, Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich wrote a book entitled “The Population Bomb” in which he recommends forced sterilization and abortion as tools for controlling the population of humans that are destroying the ecosystem. And not to be outdone, the London Telegraph reports that some scientits are now suggesting that our study of the heavens is destroying the Universe… seriously, I am not kidding.
It will not be long before women who get abortions will also be seen as heroes and defenders of the nature religion.
Certainly many thousands of years have passed since the first baby was sacrificed to Baal, but maybe we have not advanced all that much. Al Gore presides as the High Priest of the new Global Warming religion, and it will not be long before his acolytes, driven by his fear mongering, will begin to embrace the cultis of human sacrifice for the sake of appeasing the angry gods of the Environment.
Be warned. The answer does not lie in politics, laws, or religion. The only hope to save people and preserve our planet is to embrace an alternative worldview rooted in the Creation story of YHWH and the salvation news of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, it will not be long before we are sacrificing babies to the gods of Global Warming.
Read more of my article on Faith & Politics @ TheFaithNews.com
We live in a culture that loves to take tests that analyze our personality. Some I like, and some are just silly. For what it is worth, here are the results of my Myers-Briggs assessment.
According to the results, I am an INFJ: Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling
The INFJ psychological type (as outlined by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® Assessment, or MBTI® Test) is the Introverted Intuition with Extravered Feeling type. A typical INFJ is astute, imaginative, and quixotic. They’re very good readers of people, with the ability to accurately understand the worries, frustrations, incentives, qualms and beliefs of others, even if those individuals are not yet aware of these feelings themselves. An MBTI Test -assessed INFJ type uses this innate ability to comprehend the inner workings of others and applies them to their occupation.
- Can instinctively recognize what is going on in a variety of situations regarding human interactions and relationships, and can naturally discern answers for complicated explanations
- Have high levels of ambition and dedication, and a methodical nature helps them achieve goals
- Extremely focused on what matters, finding no pleasure or importance in insignificant minutiae that have no place in their lives or aspirations
- Feel great sense of accomplishment when their work and values affect the world around them for the better
- Always interested in the progression of their mental and physical well-being, as well as those of their peers and friends, allowing them to motivate and instruct others well to develop new skills that are beneficial for their work
- Looking into the details, it is interesting to see how my personality influences my leadership style.
If you are new to Myers-Briggs, then the Infographic below from Career Assessment Site may be a fun way to familiarize yourself with this excellent tool.
NOTE: the following chart uses “J” instead of “Z”. Some newer reports dropped the “Judging” nomenclature because it gave the wrong impression of what the test was assessing, but both J & Z mean the same thing.
When I spoke at the 2011 House Church Conference in Florida, I met many wonderful people committed to living out their faith in a house church. But, when it comes to the discussion between House Church and Legacy Church people, I still pray for a more positive dialogue. The name calling along with the “spiritual” pretense that there is only one way to be a “New Testament” church is hackneyed and counterproductive. Books capitalizing on anger, hurts, and bitterness have made publishing houses and individual authors lots of money, but as brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to move toward a more positive vision for church.
Tim Chester is a house church guy who shares some of my concerns. In one of his older posts, he shares reasons why he has not read a lot of books on house church,
When I was first interested in household church I did read a range of material and I found most of it narrow, petty, reductionistic and reactionary. Either it defined itself in terms of what it was against. Or it was obsessed with debates over the minutiae of what may or may not have happened in New Testament churches. It all seemed a world away from the missiological engagement in which I was interested. (I can’t say whether any of this is true of Pagan Christianity having not read the book!) Most of the groups involved seemed insular – more concerned with creating the perfect church than reaching the lost. Obviously I want to be biblical, but I believe there were a variety of church practices and models in the New Testament so that we can be flexible. We can adapt to our context (1 Corinthians 9).
Chester’s observations are insightful and his advice is important for young church planters Leaders, we must learn to be flexible in our methods of communal worship. That means instead of focusing energy on creating the most “biblical” worship environment, we should focus more on the mission of reaching the lost with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Let each church follow Her own collective conscience on ‘how’, ‘when’, and ‘where’ to worship and invest more energy encouraging our congregations to live out the ‘who’, ‘what’, and ‘why’ of the Gospel.
This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector. — Plato
Our American economy is in trouble, and people are suffering; but let us not forget that when a nation is in turmoil, political-extremists rise to power. Using rhetoric that appeals to the needs of the masses; tyrants acquire power. Leon Degrelle at the Institute for Historical Research provides some perspective.
“We have the power. Now our gigantic work begins.”
Those were Hitler’s words on the night of January 30, 1933, as cheering crowds surged past him, for five long hours, beneath the windows of the Chancellery in Berlin.
His political struggle had lasted 14 years. He himself was 43, that is, physically and intellectually at the peak of his powers. He had won over millions of Germans and organized them into Germany’s largest and most dynamic political party, a party girded by a human rampart of hundreds of thousands of storm troopers, three fourths of them members of the working class.
In the years leading up to Hitler’s reign, a series of weak democratic governments had devastated Germany’s industry and left 20% of the nation in abject poverty. Without hope, more than 224,000 people committed suicide during these turbulent years.
While the nation suffered, corrupt politicians enjoyed large salaries and accepted bribes from people seeking access to their power. It was in the midst of this suffering and political corruption that Hitler’s promise to heal the nation captured the hearts of the people. After he was democratically elected as Germany’s Chancellor, Hitler said,
“It will be the pride of my life if I can say at the end of my days that I won back the German worker and restored him to his rightful place in the Reich.”
In America, we forget that Hitler’s rise to power was rooted in his ability to win the votes of the people who saw him as their savior — the only hope of alleviating their suffering. Hitler’s power did not come from force or fear, but from the consent of the masses who put their faith in his government.
Hitler came to power in a democracy, he put people back to work, he increased workers wages, he fed the starving people and gave them hope when all seemed hopeless. Degrelle writes,
From the first months of 1933, his accomplishments were public fact, for all to see. Before end of the year, unemployment in Germany had fallen from more than 6,000,000 to 3,374,000. Thus, 2,627,000 jobs had been created since the previous February, when Hitler began his “gigantic task!” A simple question: Who in Europe ever achieved similar results in so short a time?
Hitler put people back to work and food on their tables. Hitler kept his promise to bring dignity and prosperity to the nation. The people loved Hitler.
Hitler’s popularity took on some astonishing, indeed comical, aspects. “A brand of canned herring,” Joachim Fest relates, “was called ‘Good Adolf.’ Coin banks were made in the form of SA caps. Bicarbonate of soda was recommended with the advertising slogan ‘My Struggle (Mein Kampf) against flatulence’! Pictures of Hitler appeared on neckties, handkerchiefs, pocket mirrors, and the swastika decorated ash trays and beer mugs, or served as an advertisement for a brand of margarine.
Hitler did great works and helped many millions, and to that end the people justified the means.
- To spread the wealth… Hitler eradicated 6 million Jews (roughly 2/3 of Europe’s Jewish population).
- To solve crime… Hitler killed 250,000 Romanian Gypsies.
- To prevent poverty… Hitler killed 1.5 million “unwanted” children
- To keep the peace… Hitler killed 20 million Russians
- To increase the quality of life… Hitler killed the disabled, the elderly, and the weak.
- To preserve his power… Hitler targeted for death the homosexuals, communists, political dissidents, Slavs, blacks, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and both Protestant pastors and Catholic priests who opposed him.
The lesson of history is that faith in savior-politicians and a powerful centralized government does not end well. The more power you cede to government; the less power you will have over your own life. The more faith you put in a politician; the less faith you put in God.
In every election election, men and women will encourage you to believe that only they can bring hope. Politicians will convince you that the sacrifice of freedom and the power of government is the only solution. Men of guile, will convince you that the greater good can only be accomplished when we diminish the voice of religion and accept the forced-sacrifice of the individual.
When election day comes… will you believe them?
Read more of my article on Faith & Politics @ TheFaithNews.com
In my post last week, “What do Communist Chinese and American Secularists have in Common?” I exposed the motives of Radical-Secularists who abuse Government as a tool of fear. However, It is not enough to understand how, or why, people abuse government. We must come to understand first, why government exists, and second how Christians must live in the systems of this world. Today I want to look at the “why” of government.
Abraham Kuyper, was a Dutch politician, journalist, statesman and theologian. He founded the Anti-Revolutionary Party and was prime minister of the Netherlands between 1901 and 1905. The following quotes come from the Logos Electronic edition of his “Lectures on Calvinism” given at Princeton.
First, government, by its nature, divides humanity and denies our organic (created) unity.
Man is created from man, and by virtue of his birth he is organically united with the whole race. Together we form one humanity, not only with those who are living now, but also with all the generations behind us and with all those who shall come after us,—pulverized into millions though we may be. All the human race is from one blood.
Man, both male and female, was created in the image of God. Our unity lies in our common identity, but, at best, Government conceals our organic-unity and, at worst, Government is used to foster disunity and keep power.
Second, the existence of government is a result of sin and cannot offer a remedy for sin’s destructive influence.
The conception of States, however, which subdivide the earth into continents, and each continent into morsels, does not harmonize with this idea. Then only would the organic unity of our race be realized politically, if one State could embrace all the world, and if the whole of humanity were associated in one world-empire. Had sin not intervened, no doubt, this would actually have been so. If sin, as a disintegrating force, had not divided humanity into different sections, nothing would have marred or broken the organic unity of our race. And the mistake of the Alexanders, and of the Augusti, and of the Napoleons was not, that they were charmed with the thought of the One World-empire, but it was this—that they endeavoured to realize this idea notwithstanding that the force of sin had dissolved our unity.
No vision for world wide peace and unity can be accomplished through the power of Government. Governments are a symptom of the real problem that divides us; sin. Putting our hope in the United Nations, a single powerful leader, or to the political class, to solve the ailments of war, poverty, and injustice is trust misplaced.
Finally, institutional rule is no replacement for organic leadership.
For indeed without sin there would have been neither magistrate nor state-order; but political life, in its entirety, would have evolved itself, after a patriarchal fashion, from the life of the family. Neither bar of justice, nor police nor army, nor navy is conceivable in a world without sin; and thus every rule and ordinance and law would drop away, even as all control and assertion of the power of the magistrate would disappear, were life to develop itself, normally and without hindrance, from its own organic impulse. Who binds up, where nothing is broken? Who uses crutches, where the limbs are sound?
This final point builds on the last, but should remind the Christian that God’s Kingdom is not of this world. I am also reminded of Paul’s direction to the church in 1 Corinthians 6:1-11
If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church! 5 I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6 But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
7 The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
God established the New Testament church to be a counter-political system that reflects the organic nature of our humanity. Our leadership, was designed to be different from the leadership in the world! When we, as Christians, run to the government as the solution to sin, we fail to understand the origin of Government and the power of Church.
Read more of my article on Faith & Politics @ TheFaithNews.com