Wednesday, February 13, 2008
This is the cartoon that is causing so much problems. In Muslim countries worldwide Muslims attacked the Danish embassies just because of this picture. As a sign of solidarity with many bloggers and newspapers I show this cartoon. Not to offend my Muslim brothers, but to show that free worlds need the complete freedom of the press. I will always stand in solidarity with that. Michelle Malkin does a great job, please check her site out for the whole story.
Another thing I do see as a sure thing is the manipulation by liberals about our tax system. I keep hearing how the rich don't pay enough in taxes and that the poor pay an unrealistic percentage of income into the tax coffers. More Folly I say.
I was reading one of my favorite blogs (Evangelical Outpost) and came across this interesting article about how much Exxon made and how much Exxon paid into taxes for the last couple of years. Now it is easy to be angry at Exxon when we pay almost $3.00 per gallon of gas, but please remember Exxon isn't the only responsible party that has gotten this cost up to $3.00 per gallon of gas. We have speculators trying to make money off of oil. This is a large reason we see almost $100.00's for a barrel of oil (settling in around $93.00 this morning). We also see OPEC refusing to increase production, because in their eyes, supply meets demand. We also have growing economies all over the world demanding this oil. We also have a country with no clear energy policy; this reason drives my anger the most, however I'm digressing.
Anyway this is all fine and dandy, but the real reason for this post is to show you that rich companies and rich people keep this government and country running. Exxon made $40.6 billion in profits last year after paying its bills and Taxes. They paid into the United States Government $30 billion in Taxes. That's right $30 billion. $30 billion is more money that the bottom half of all individual tax filers paid for the entire year. A better way to say it is that Exxon paid more in taxes than the 65,000,000 (million) bottom half of all tax payers. Folks, this is one company.
Read this article to get a better perspective. I think about the eight years I spent in the Marine Corps and the 6 years I spent as a police officer; I only paid in taxes around $17,000-20,000 total for these 14 years. Think about that. I was a Police Officer making around 25,000 a year, and paying roughly $1200-1600 (6-7%) a year in taxes, and one company is paying $30 billion or 41% of their profits in taxes. I think we citizens need to put things in prospective occasionally, and we also need to realize that life is good, and maybe realize that sometimes life not being fair is good also. That is, unless you like paying 41% of your income into taxes.
(HT: Evangelical Outpost and Instapundit)
Monday, February 11, 2008
This word has always had a lot interest to me, even though I couldn't pronounce it for a long time. I can probably count on half of one hand the amount of times I have actually heard this word used in Church. When I look at how many times I have heard this word prior to the last three years of my faith, I could probably use one hand. However, since my re-awakening, or should I say since my desire from God to live on the word as my breath of life, i've heard it more times than I can count. Reformation faith is so concerned about what the Bible says, what God is telling us, and what it means, they aren't afraid to use words such as ESCHATOLOGY to describe these things. Not that there isn't non-reformation Churchs that use this word, they just tend not to use it. What a blessing for me. Now let's see if I can help you the reader understand what this word means, not just from a dictionary standpoint, but from a theological standpoint.
The American Heritage Dictionary explains it this way: 1. The branch of theology that is concerned with the end of the world or of humankind. 2. A belief or a doctrine concerning the ultimate or final things, such as death, the destiny of humanity, the Second Coming, or the Last Judgment. The first thing I realize is that this is a religious word of some sort. Final Judgment, second coming, death and destiny of humanity, automatically lead me to a higher being. Look what the Online Etymology Dictionary (OED) says about this word: 1844, from Gk. eskhatos "last, furthest, remote" (from ex "out of") + -logia "a speaking" (in a certain manner). In theology, the study of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell.
The OED even gives us the Greek word for this word; eshatos - last, furthers, remote + logia - a speaking (in a certain manner). But the final sentence is what I find most interesting. The study of the four last things: death, judgment, heaven, hell, intrigues me. This is Bible, this is God, and this is Christ and we as Christians will face the fact that we will be confronted with all four. The fact is we will die, and after our death we will face Judgment, and depending on weather we Repented and Believed in Jesus Christ as our Savior we will face Heaven or Hell.
Blue Letter Bible does not define ESCHATOLOGY itself but does a fair job of defining our Greek root word Eshatos, but we are left with little for logia. Eshatos means: 1) extreme a) last in time or in place b) last in a series of places c) last in a temporal succession 2) the last a) last, referring to time b) of space, the uttermost part, the end, of the earth c) of rank, grade of worth, last i.e. lowest We see this word used in Rev 22:13, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." There is no God after him. God is not only the first God, but the last God. Peter in 2 Peter 3:3 says: "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts." We see the last word used again to explain the last days. Peter is telling us that towards the end times on earth or better yet, Christs return, we will be faced with mockers or people who will derisively scorn us as believers and the facts surrounding Jesus Christ and our God.
In Essence ESCHATOLOGY is just what the dictionary says it is, its a study of the last days. It is the study of death, judgment, heaven and hell. We should study scripture daily for these four titles. We must seek the truth. I always challenge believers and non-believers to hold the scripture up to complete scrutiny. The bible is full of truths that follow those subjects. The Bible defines and defends all four of these truths and I ensure you, you will find answers on how to ensure the best outcome for you when it comes to those four subjects. I make a promise to my readers that over the next few weeks I will blog about Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell to assist you in your truth seeking.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Here is our Freshmen class, thanks to MGOBLUE.com.
2008 University of Michigan Football Recruiting Class
(As of 5:30 p.m. EST, Feb. 6, 2008)
Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School) Coach
Ricky Barnum OL 6-2 265 Lakeland, Fla. (Lake Gibson) Keith Demyer
Boubacar Cissoko DB 5-9 175 Detroit, Mich. (Cass Technical) Thomas Wilcher
Mike Cox RB 6-0 206 Dorchester, Conn. (Avon Old Farms) Kevin Driscoll
Kenny Demens LB 6-1 226 Oak Park, Mich. (Detroit Country Day) Dan MacLean
Justin Feagin QB 6-0 190 Deerfield, Fla. (American Heritage) Willie Bueno
J.B. Fitzgerald LB 6-3 230 Princeton Junction, N.J. (West Windsor Plainsboro) Todd Smith
J.T. Floyd DB 6-0 190 Greenville, S.C. (J.L. Mann) Mickey Crocker
Taylor Hill LB 6-2 205 Youngstown, Ohio (Cardinal Mooney) P.J. Fecko
Rocko Khoury OL 6-5 280 Traverse City, Mich. (Traverse City West) Matt Prisk
Kevin Koger TE 6-4 220 Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer) Joe Palka
Mike Martin DL 6-2 285 Redford, Mich. (Catholic Central) Tom Mach
Elliott Mealer OL 6-6 280 Wauseon, Ohio (Wauseon) Mark Emans
Brandon Moore TE 6-6 221 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Maurice Douglass
Patrick Omameh OL 6-4 260 Columbus, Ohio (St. Francis DeSales) Ryan Wiggins
Dann O'Neill OL 6-7 295 Grand Haven, Mich. (Grand Haven) Mike Farley
Terrence Robinson ATH 5-9 170 Klein, Texas (Oak) David Smith
Roy Roundtree WR 6-0 154 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Maurice Douglass
Michael Shaw ATH 6-0 185 Trotwood, Ohio (Trotwood-Madison) Maurice Douglass
Brandon Smith DB 6-3 210 New Brunswick, N.J. (New Brunswick) John Quinn
Darryl Stonum WR 6-3 185 Stafford, Texas (Dulles) Jim Creech
Kurt Wermers OL 6-5 260 Crown Point, Ind. (Crown Point) Chip Pettit
Marcus Witherspoon LB 6-2 225 Atlantic City, N.J. (Holy Spirit) Bill Walsh
Roster by Position
Athlete: Terrence Robinson, Michael Shaw
Defensive Back: Boubacar Cissoko, J.T. Floyd, Brandon Smith
Defensive Line: Mike Martin
Linebacker: Kenny Demens, J.B. Fitzgerald, Taylor Hill, Marcus Witherspoon
Offensive Line: Ricky Barnum, Rocko Khoury, Elliott Mealer, Patrick Omameh, Dann O'Neill, Kurt Wermers
Quarterback: Justin Feagin
Running Back: Mike Cox
Tight End: Kevin Koger, Brandon Moore
Wide Receiver: Roy Roundtree, Darryl Stonum
Roster by State
Connecticut: Mike Cox
Florida: Ricky Barnum, Justin Feagin
Indiana: Kurt Wermers
Michigan: Boubacar Cissoko, Kenny Demens, Rocko Khoury, Mike Martin, Dan O'Neill
New Jersey: J.B. Fitzgerald, Brandon Smith, Marcus Witherspoon
Ohio: Taylor Hill, Kevin Koger, Elliott Mealer, Brandon Moore, Patrick Omameh, Roy Roundtree, Michael Shaw
South Carolina: J.T. Floyd
Texas: Terrence Robinson, Darryl Stonum
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423
Monday, February 4, 2008
What is Propitiation?
Wow, is this a bible word. Yes it is, and I'll explain where and how in just a minute. The dictionary definition does this word some justice. 1. the act of propitiating; conciliation: the propitiation of the wrathful gods.
2. something that propitiates. But, it doesn't complete the true definition. The noun form of this word sends us to the verb form "propitiates". Propitiates means: To conciliate (an offended power); appease: propitiate the gods with a sacrifice. Now we are getting somewhere. I have always known the word as a satisfaction term. Something that satisfied a god.
Let's look at what Blue Letter Bible says about this word. The actual Greek word used here is Hilasterion.
1) relating to an appeasing or expiating, having placating or expiating force, expiatory; a means of appeasing or expiating, a propitiation
a) used of the cover of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies, which was sprinkled with the blood of the expiatory victim on the annual day of atonement (this rite signifying that the life of the people, the loss of which they had merited by their sins, was offered to God in the blood as the life of the victim, and that God by this ceremony was appeased and their sins expiated); hence the lid of expiation, the propitiatory
b) an expiatory sacrifice
c) a expiatory victim
Now, this is a dangerous word for me, because it has the ability to take me into Doctrine and Theology that I haven't been able to study. But to be an expiatory sacrifice means in essence to be able to make atonement or make reparation for wrongs committed. Now if we look at this from an Old Testament thought, we will see our believers trying to make atonement to God by giving blood sacrifices from unblemished animals. Now in this light we can understand the context in how Paul and John use the word, we can hopefully understand the reason for the word, and what it means.
In Roman's 3:25 Paul says "whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,". Prior to this sentence we are in verses 23 and 24 we are talking about Jesus Christ, and so then Jesus Christ is the subject or the Propitiation for our sins. Looking at our Old Testament example of blood from an unblemished animal meeting our needs, He is what satisfies our God and thus meeting our needs for atonement. He is our atonement, and His blood pleases or satisfies God. Look how John portrays it in 1 John 2:2 "And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not ours only but also for the whole world", and 1 John 4:10 "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins". Do you see this? He is the atoning sacrificial blood for our sin, he covers us. He literally took the wrath / punishment from our God and put it upon Himself on that cross on the day he was crucified. Not only is Jesus our atonement for our sins, but God Himself sent him to do it, and this is proof of his love for us.
When we see this word for what it truly means, we can hopefully understand why Jesus Christ had to die on the cross for us. Something or someone needed to make atonement for our sins. God needed appeasement for wrongs / sins committed against him. In this light you can see the metaphor between the unblemished animal and the sinless Christ. If Christ wasn't sinless, then he would be blemished, much like you and me. In that case he could not and would not be a sacrifice for mankind, he couldn't please God. Using that mindset, we can see that we were in trouble. We can't possible make atonement for our sins ourselves. We needed a sacrifice, and lo and behold, God sent his only begotten (perfect) son to save us. What an honor and Blessing. May we honor him always and always? Now, I hope you have a better understanding of this wonderful word.
The fleecing of the flock.
Some of our pastors are taking their people for rides. My pastor had a great message on the fleecing of the flock. He didn't call it this, but he gave his people alot of information on ministries that are apparently wasting the tithe of hard working christians and this message allowed us to see some of these "wolves in sheeps clothing" for who they really are. The Baptist Press has a great article on it. I know this article is old, but I was sitting on the plane on my way to Cleveland today and just felt the desire to blog on this issue.
In today's world so many people seek to make millions, and of course it has hit the pulpit where some ministers are hoping to make it also. I keep hearing of mega-preachers and "word of faith" leaders raking in millions for their ministry, and raking in millions for themselves. Overindulgence with mansions and money is typical of some our supposed religious leaders. Benny Hinn, up to five years ago claimed income in the $500,000 to $1,000,000 dollar range. He has a mansion in Hawaii that he claims is his parsonage and he is building a $3.5 million dollar home off the Pacific coast, this article will make you sick. Benny Hinn is just one of many that are currently being investigated by Congress.
So where does that leave us. Well if you are currently supporting any ministry other than your home Church, you should utilize the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) This organization has tasked itself with helping Christian ministries earn the publics trust by being financial transparent. Transparent in telling their viewers where each and every penny goes. What the leaders earn and where the money is spent is important to me, especially if you want my money. At my local Church I see where the finances go every month, I know how much my Pastor make, I know what it costs to run our Church; Transparency is what every Christian oranization should inspire to give to their people. If an organization you give too is not on here, then you should question them as to where the finances go, and I would question them why they are not part of the ECFA.
I will leave you with some scripture on what Paul and Peter testify too. Paul tells the Ephesians in Acts 20:33 that "I have coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel". Hmmm does that sound like some of our brothers living high on the hog. Or listen to what Peter says in Acts 3:6 "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazereth rise up and walk", as he talks to the lame man outside the temple. These two men lived lifes of poverty. Paul and Peter were both Martyred, and had very little in possesions or wealth. I don't think our Pastor's should live lifes of poverty, but they shouldn't live better than 99% of their flock. How can you ask for your poor believers tithe as you live in $1,000,000 mansions. I ask our Pastors to be responsible in the Gospel message they preach, and not to worry about the financial implications of taking on this great and mighty endeavor. Furthermore, I beseech our flocks to take care of our shepards. They should be properly compensated, not living in poverty, but also not in excess of the majority of the flock. Please remember that they have wifes and children to support. They need the faith and support of their people, and in most cases they rely specifically on the faith and giving of their flock.