TRUTH

Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. - Irenaeus



Friday, December 23, 2016

The Russian Cross with a Crescent

Russia has had a long history of conflict with Islam after the fall of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453 and before.  The Russian Orthodox cross with a crescent at the bottom speaks of that history.  For a time Moscow was referred to as the "Third Rome" (complete with the seven hills like Rome and Constantinople) and it was said there will be no fourth.  Manuscripts had been brought to Russia in Slovanic and Greek early when the church was first being established.  Russia and the Ukraine had been a land in which the Muslims would raid in the summers to collect slaves for the slave market in Crimea.  Then in 1652 the "Raskol" or schism happened when the Patriarch Nikon tried to update the church literature with the help of Greek scholars and manuscripts from the Greek Orthodox in the south.  Many were skeptical of the Greeks who by this time were living under the rule of the Turkish sultan.  The Old Believers and their tradition were not convinced and they were pressured out.  They can be found in various places in Siberia,  Manchuria, Oregon and Alaska where they fled.  This painting depicts a debate between some Old Believers and Patriarch Joachin.  The Old Believers held up two fingers while the reformers under Nikon held up one when they prayed.
Strange as it may sound we had an experience in Homer, Alaska with some very friendly Old Believers would not pray with us simply because they did not know how we would hold our fingers.  A persecuted church can become quite paranoid regarding outsiders.  This schism eventually lead to a weakening of the Russian church making it easier for Peter the Great to take an autocratic position over church and state thus the Czar (Russian equivalent to Kaiser or Caesar) could deal directly with schismatics like any dictator might.  In 1721, the Tsar did away with the Patriarchs and the Church Council assuming total control which alienated many.  When the state run Orthodox Church could no longer communicate with the Old Believers things began to unravel.  This paved the way for the Socialist October Revolution in 1917 in which atheists stepped in to solve the religion problem once and for all.  The rest is history, at least that is what they thought.  Islam continues to plague Russia as it always has, and the church in various forms continues to march forward. 

In 1853 the Russians, after being invaded for several hundred years by Ottoman Muslims collecting slaves, destroyed the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Sinop.  Russia was able to drive the Muslims out of their slave trading center in Crimea.
A problem arose however with the west because the Ottoman Empire owed its western protectors loads of cash.  The west did not want Russia to kill its cash cow and the west had military technology good enough to stop Russian expansion.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump election exposed sin

When protesters go so far as to threatened to rape our President's wife we are seeing an all time low in the morality of our society.  In the book of Genesis just before Sodom was destroyed there were those who demanded the rape of Lot's guests in similar fashion of depravity.  Then we have civil leaders who even after the election were inciting rebellion and riots.  One in particular was Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawan who proudly posted this photo on her Facebook page.  This is an example of those who have been elected to positions of leadership by a society drowning in sin.
The Bible claims these are those who by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties.  They revile the things they don't understand.  These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.  (Book of Jude)

Apostle Paul sums up the picture in this way, "But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these." (2 Tim. 3:1-5)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

TRUST JESUS BALLOONS

For a number of years we have distributed helium balloons with the message "TRUST JESUS" during the hot air balloon rally in Prosser, Washington.  Thousands of people come to this event and many have kids that are more than eager to have a balloon.
The funny part is watching Jesus haters work to keep their kids away from a balloon.

https://youtu.be/sv2cW-DvzBI

Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Time to Hate

Yet this do you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 
Jesus Christ (Rev. 2:6)
Hate evil, love good, and establish justice in the gate.
(Amos 5:15)

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dirty Birds in Babylon

In many ways modern America parallels how the bible describes ancient Babylon.  It was a mighty empire with much national pride that encompassed many cultures.

God used this historic empire to judge Israel and in fact Nebuchadnezzar it's king took many of the leading Jews captive back to Babylon where they lived for some seventy years.  Babylon was eventually conquered by Cyrus the Persian (539 BC) who was kind to the Jews because he was working to build a multicultural kingdom therefore allowed the Jews to go back to their homeland in Israel. Some of this is recorded on the famous Cyrus Cylinder.
Many political leaders since that time have studied the model of Cyrus as an example to emulate. The weakness for Christians of course is that to put every culture on an equal plain there has to be some degree of compromise and evangelistic outreach becomes taboo.

Fast forward six hundred years or so and there is a cryptic illustration of Babylon in the Book of Revelation that was written by Apostle John while in prison a few decades after the crucifixion of Christ. It speaks of a powerfully seductive and wealthy nation or system that boasts of her glory as did ancient Babylon.

Everything must come to an end, and its fall is describe like this. And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” (Rev. 18:2)
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;  for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.  Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her.  To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as a queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning.’  For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong.

Many wonder how long it might be before America collapses in mire of its own moral decay.  It is not like we can "come out of her" in the literal sense as did the early Pilgrims when they fled Britain.  We might find ourselves having to separate from a religious group however that endorses ideas or theology that fly in the face of true Christian faith.




Sunday, August 21, 2016

Salt Lake Interfaith Roundtable

Joseph Smith sleeping with Muhammad
Mormons will do just about anything these days.
They even hold interfaith meetings with other religions cults
Both Muhammad and Joseph Smith would roll over in their
graves to see swirling dervishes in the Mormon Tabernacle in
Salt Lake.  Who is going to get the women in the afterlife?
Yet some naive people think Mormons are Christians



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

God is not an American

Egalitarian and political unity is not necessarily a good thing for the sake of the gospel.  So often we see people compromising the gospel for the sake of confronting some moral or political issue.  Some will defend their favorite talk show host for political reasons even though the host is not even a Christian.

We have been attacked by Christians who were protesting an abortion clinic simply because we were preaching the gospel, which some of the Catholics and Mormons present were not happy with.  They argued that we needed to put aside our "doctrinal differences" for the sake of the abortion issue.  The problem is that as soon as one starts going down compromise lane it is not long before we cannot talk about repentance and turning to Jesus because someone in a long list will be offended.  Jewish talk show hosts play the Christian audience knowing that as long as they only address moral issues we can all get along.  Peter, at the Day of Pentecost certainly did not buy into this egalitarian notion.  His audience was likely all Jews and he confronted them head on and called them to repentance.  He could have been politically correct for the sake of unity with the Roman and Jewish authorities but he didn't.  Elevating ones denomination or political stance over the gospel is a recipe for disaster.  Many will be on your side in private but in the public market place they will avoid you because they are terrified you are going to say something that is going to offend their Mormon neighbors or business companions, and that will not be good for business.  People who are married to unbelievers are particularly prone to caving in to this kind of pressure because they have to live with someone who is going to make things difficult for them at home.  So let's just talk about Mary had a little lamb and we can all be happy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Signs of the Times

Most towns and cities have sign regulations for numerous reasons.  There are safety concerns having to do with blocking visibility of roadways and signs need to be able to withstand wind.  Then some codes want signs to fit within the normal decor and theme of various tourist attractions etc.  And of course the city does not want signs left as trash for public employees to clean up.  Sometimes however laws are made that find themselves in trouble with freedom of speech.  In most cases the regular sign ordinances can be ignored if one places the sign on wheels, such as a traveler or truck.  People can cry and complain all they want but wheels trump permanently fixed signs.
Brace yourself for some lively conversation (and sign language).
Holding a sign on a public sidewalk is totally within the realm of free speech.  However many of your cowardly friends might decide to avoid you and walk on the other side of the street from now on.  The police might come and remind you not to block the flow of traffic to businesses etc.  Simply be polite.
Signs on boats are fare game for there are no navigational rules that apply here and cities have no jurisdiction over water.
Dale Brown and John Hultberg at truck stop.  It is good to have literature or videos to give to potential seekers.
Christine Weick talking to Muslims at a mosque in Tacoma, Washington.
Christians speak out at Jehovah's Witness convention

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Counterfeit

A counterfeit is the most sincere form of flattery for it copies something genuine, but then for the sake of gaining an advantage and deceiving it is passed off as the original.  For the past two thousand years the gospel has been attacked by many counterfeiters who have dreamed up something which might sound good to the ears, look good to the eyes, and even bring some form of temporary reward or satisfaction, but in the end when put to the test it ultimately fails and the poor soul who bought it is left in despair.  Which gospel and which Jesus have you received?  You may have been insulted by someone who presented the truth, or you may be embarrassed to endorse something that is so old fashion, but would you rather be deceived?  Think of all the religions in the past two thousand years that have dreamed up a new revelation, published a new book by supposed prophets such as Muhammad, Joseph Smith, etc. that claim to update or improve on the the original biblical stories.

Friday, January 29, 2016

How important is History?

It has been said that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.  But is that biblical?
Several times in apostle Paul's writings he referred to things in history and claimed they were recorded as an example for us to learn from (1 Cor. 10:6, Rom. 15:4).  Many people scoff when we refer to history as though we are beyond ancient events therefore it is ridiculous to mention them, after all we are now enlightened with such modern technology etc.  Sometimes pointing out history makes people so mad they want to shut us up.  This was the case with Stephen when he summarized the history of the Jews leading up to Christ.  It touched them on the raw in such a way they had to cover their ears and therefore rushed upon him and killed him with stones (Acts 7:54-60).

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Days of Noah

When Jesus described the events leading up to his return in the last days he referred to the sixth chapter of Genesis.  This not only portrays a picture of corruption and violence but it confirms his belief in the reliability of the story of Noah and the flood.