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Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Benghazi Revisited

Benghazi 5

It has been over 4 months now and we still do not have answers on who is truly responsible for the neglect at the Consulate at Benghazi.

“For me, this is not just a matter of policy,” she said. “It’s personal. I stood next to President Obama as the Marines carried those flag-draped caskets off the plane at Andrews. I put my arms around the mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers, the sons and daughters, and the wives left alone to raise their children.” –  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“Security requests were denied,” Royce charged. (Ed Royce, R-Calif)

–Why were requests for help and security  for our countrymen on our sovereign soil in an OBVIOUSLY hostile region denied? Why were they abandoned and left to die? For a fundraiser? Seems legitimate,.. sure. There were priorities after all.

Benghazi 2
You let the consulate become a death trap, and that’s national security malpractice,” Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., said during the afternoon House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. He asked Clinton to define what taking responsibility for the attack means to her.

“With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make,” Clinton scolded Johnson, raising her voice. “It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.” – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

–I don’t believe that she is showing “due respect” or has any idea what it is like for Americans to put their life on the line for our Nation only to be abandoned. It is unthinkable!

It is disappointing, the way Clinton looked at these four lives and ultimately said “what difference, at this point, does it make,” when referring to the way they were killed. I need to know, if they are willing to leave our people on our sovereign soil alone and without assistance, what has happened to our nation?

Senate committee Republicans seized on that admission. Sen. John McCain, in his first hearing as a member of the panel, drew a chuckle from Clinton when he described her as being “as combative as ever” and an appreciative nod as he declared, “we are proud of you” and underlined “you are viewed with admiration and respect.” But the Arizona lawmaker quickly got down to business. He described Clinton’s answers as “not satisfactory to me” and scolded the administration for its evolving explanation about who carried out the attack. Americans “don’t deserve false answers,” he said. “You oughta have your facts straight.”

— That is the problem with not coming out with the truth in the first place… your facts are a mess!

Republican Sen. Rand Paul, making his maiden appearance, was blunter, charging that the fact that Clinton had not been more personally involved had “cost lives.”

Benghazi Victims

Democrats were more supportive. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., the ranking member,  said instead of engaging in “gotcha” politics the committee should be working on  solutions.

“Clearly mistakes were made, but let’s make one thing perfectly clear, Barack  Obama was not responsible for the Benghazi attack, just as George Bush was  not responsible for the Sept. 11 [2001] attacks and Ronald Reagan was not responsible for the [1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Lebanon],”  Engel said.

–Did Presidents Bush or Reagan respond in the same way as President Obama’s administration? They didn’t apologize to the attackers. They responded with action!

Benghazi

Paul said, “Had I been president at the time and I found that you did not read the cables from Benghazi, you did not read the cables from Ambassador Stevens, I would have relieved you of your post. I think it’s inexcusable.”

–Clinton said anew that she accepted responsibility for the tragedy. What happened is irresponsible and traitorous to every man and woman serving currently. It is nice she is taking responsibility,… but what will that translate to and why is she alone in this?

clinton-obama-benghazi

Banned…. Again

Facebook logo

Facebook logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Banned again

Facebook is incredibly hypocritical and biased,… please don’t flag me for saying that FB,… oh please oh please.  Oh wait they can’t indiscriminately ban me because I have a differing viewpoint that comes attached to an opinion like they can on their website. I forgot we must all have group think and only certain particular opinions are really acceptable. We are not entitled to our own are we? Of course there is no recourse the great and might Flag has spoken. LOL

I guess we will always have click happy people who will hide behind the anonymity the computer as they take shots at those who have opinions that differ from them. Honestly I do not even remember the conversation it is so old.

FB gives no:

  • Date- NO clue when it happened
  • Context- Don’t recall the conversation
  • Right to Face your accusers Can’t respond or defend myself!
  • Explanation of a specific violation and why or how you have violated it- No specific information regarding how I violated “terms”
  • Recourse No way out, No way to get the problem FAIRLY reviewed

So what is the worst that would happen? Id come back with a new name? This world today is working to conform us into its mold.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

So who will I listen to? Duh no brainer here…  “But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” (Acts 5:29)

Flag me, warn me, remove me, you can’t eliminate my freedom to speak freely even if others are to scared to do the same.

Facebook-Fail_slider

Staggering Statistics

Crying Obama

Its been over a month! On the Conn. Shootings-“The majority of those who died today were children, beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them: birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” Barack Obama…. Mr. President do you have a tear for the 3700 children that were legally aborted today? For that matter what about the 50,000,000 that have been aborted since Roe v. Wade?

 

 

Do All Paths Lead to God?

Can you identify these different belief systems?

#1—Our ultimate goal is the extinction of desire—to become nothing. Come join us!
#2—We’re still waiting for our Messiah to appear. Come join us!
#3—Sow in this life, reap in the next, and eventually be reunited with God. Come join us!
#4—The world is an illusion. Reality is spiritual and invisible. Come join us!
#5—God creates both good and evil. God controls all that we do. Come join us!
#6—God is called good because he causes good, but goodness is not part of his essence. Come join us!
#7—”I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through me.” Come join me!

Each one of these belief systems have exclusive claims. That means that they cannot all stand side by side with equal validity.  They all may have an  element of truths, such as basic moral truths. Take the time to examine the core beliefs of these different faiths.

Let’s be honest, to say that each one is the same,.. is to disrespect the teachings of each. By all means do the research and look at the core beliefs of each, laying them side by side. Can they truly all be saying the same thing? No, Not when they each have not only different ways of getting to God, but different concepts of who and what God even is!
The answers are below,..just in case you want to check your answers.

(#1—Buddhism. #2—Judaism. #3—Hinduism. #4—Hinduism or Buddhism. #5—Islam. #6—Islam. #7—Christianity.)

Making the Most of Mormon Missionary Visits

By Aaron Shafovaloff

Originally posted at Dan Phillips’ blog

Some of us get downright annoyed at Mormon missionaries knocking on our door. But when God sends spiritually needy people right to our homes, we ought ought to make the best of it.
Getting turned down and even having doors slammed in your face isn’t fun. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I know because many Mormons are rude to me on a weekly basis here in Utah on evangelistic outings. No matter how positive and polite I try to be, that I am trying to convert them from their Restoration to our Great Apostasy doesn’t go over well. “Get a job.” “What are you, an anti-Mormon?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “What did the Mormons ever do to you?” “How much money do you get paid to do this?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?”
All that, but at least I still get to pick up the phone and talk to my mom whenever I want. Mormon missionaries are typically only allowed to send letters/email once a week, and make a phone call twice a year to their family. Once on Christmas, and once on Mother’s Day. They eat lots of Ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese, and anything else cheap that a budget-conscious bachelor pad might serve.
Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.
When a new set of missionaries (they usually cycle out to different proximate areas every three months or so) knocks on my door, it’s usually because I have requested a new video resource they have advertised (do this!), because I have filled out a card in one of their Visitor’s Centers or public events (never pass that up!), or because a neighbor feels like I really need to be converted (hey, they care!). I’m more than delighted to have them over. Know that you can practice warm hospitality without welcoming them as fellow believers. Welcome them in, have them sit down, and bring them something to drink (save snacks for a bit later to keep them a bit longer).
Ask them where they are from, about their families, and what their post-mission plans are. They will want to quickly segue to their religious message. They usually ask me, “So how much do you know about the Church?” I am forthright about my knowledge of the Mormon faith. “I have studied it for years, I find it fascinating, but I have some grave concerns.” But what I know about the history and larger movement of Mormonism is inconsequential for the moment, because “I would love to hear what you two individually believe.”
Allow the missionaries to spend some time delivering their message, but look for points at which you can ask questions about the fundamental nature of God. Because I never know how short or long their visit will be, or if they will ever return, I make it a point to quickly get to the heart of the matter. For me that usually entails asking if they believe God once was a mere man who had to progress unto godhood, and whether they believe this mere man was once perhaps a sinner. The responses are varied, but usually heartbreaking and shocking.
The most important passage that I know to share with a Mormon is Isaiah 43:10:
“Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.”
I recommend using this passage even if you only have a few minutes. Ask the missionaries to “share their testimonies”, and patiently listen. They have a series of affirmations they will articulate here, usually something like, “I know the Church is true and has the restored priesthood, I know that Jesus is the Messiah, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the Thomas S. Monson is a modern-day prophet of God.”
“Thank you for sharing your testimony. Would you mind if I shared a testimony as well?”
“Sure.”
“The testimony I have to share right now isn’t my testimony, it is God’s testimony.” At this point I try to avoid using terms like “Bible” and “scripture” and “word of God”, and instead use the term “testimony of God.” Referring to God’s written revelations as the testimonies of God is perhaps the clearest and strongest way we evangelicals can communicate the nature of scripture to Mormons.
I open up the testimonies of God and put my finger under the passage to help them simultaneously read with their eyes as they listen with their ears: “God bears witness of himself in Isaiah 43:10, testifying, ‘Before me no god was formed [PAUSE], nor shall there be any after me.’ If we trust the testimony of man, how much more should we trust the testimony of God himself.”
This also works great in the beginning of a longer conversation, as it preempts the feelings-oriented Mormon epistemology that they want to promote. Mormon missionaries are taught to foster a kind of atmosphere and attitude among listeners. The next step for them is to help you identify a set of positive emotions with the Holy Spirit. By preemptively referring to scripture as the “testimony of God”, I have made it more difficult for them to appeal to human feelings as the chief, decisive vehicle of God’s authoritative revelation.
Other topics that are great to cover are the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7), the explosively good news of the justification of the ungodly (Romans 4:4-8), and the importance of putting our feelings and thoughts in a system of checks and balances that realistically takes into account our finiteness and depravity and God’s authority and omnipotence (Isaiah 40:8; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). A wonderful list of passages put together by James White for witnessing to Mormons is available here.
You will inevitably be asked to read a section of the Book of Mormon and pray about that. On that issue please see an article by Bill McKeever.
A great way to get them to come back is not to hog the conversation, but to let them have their say. Practice using questions as a way of drawing out the topics you would like to address. Our interactions are not an endless emergent “conversation”, but neither are they an overwhelmingly aggressive monologue (I have learned this the hard way). Keep a mental note of three or so tough questions that went unanswered, and write them down for them.
“Would you guys please research the answers to these questions, and come back another time to share what you found?” Insist on it with a free dinner. In some areas, Mormon missionaries are not allowed to eat meals at the houses of other Mormons. This is designed to encourage them to eat with non-Mormon households or at a Mormon house with non-Mormon guests. The problem is that many missionaries end up eating a lot of those Ramen noodles. Your kitchens are the solution to this wonderful problem.
At the end, they will ask for someone to close in prayer, usually the head of the household. Use the opportunity to pray to our awesome and eternal God. Thank God before everyone in the living room for the free and immediate gift of justification, forgiveness, and eternal life. Thank him for transforming your heart to love and follow Jesus. Thank Jesus that in him we have all the riches of knowledge and wisdom and understanding, and that without him, we have nothing, and that with him we have everything. And beseech the Spirit to help everyone in the room to pursue the truth of the gospel, lest we suffer that awful punishment that the Bible describes as never-ending.
Get their phone number in case you have to reschedule, and use that number to remind them of the dinner appointment that you’re looking forward to. Trust me, this is important. They forget (either literally or sometimes intentionally) to show up and either never come back, or call to apologize, since something came up. Sometimes they are lazy, sometimes they are just busy. Give them the benefit of doubt and stuff them full of more dinner. Serve a dessert twenty minutes after dinner is over so that they feel obliged to stay longer than they would have. Keep inviting them over and over to eat more dinner, discuss more issues, and address more of the outstanding questions. It won’t last forever, so make the best use of your time. Ron Rhodes writes,
“Don’t move forward in a mad rush to discuss spiritual things, especially if you have the opportunity to work toward developing a personal relationship. When the Lord opens the door for witnessing, however, be ready to walk through it.
“The exception to this rule, of course, is if you know for certain that you will never see that particular Mormon again. Then you will want to cover as much doctrinal ground as possible, biblically refuting the most blatant heresies in Mormon theology and giving a strong personal testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons [1995], p. 29)

Some of us get downright annoyed at Mormon missionaries knocking on our door. But when God sends spiritually needy people right to our homes, we ought to make the best of it.

Getting turned down and even having doors slammed in your face isn’t fun. It’s emotionally and physically draining. I know because many Mormons are rude to me on a weekly basis here in Utah on evangelistic outings. No matter how positive and polite I try to be, that I am trying to convert them from their Restoration to our Great Apostasy doesn’t go over well. “Get a job.” “What are you, an anti-Mormon?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “What did the Mormons ever do to you?” “How much money do you get paid to do this?” “Don’t you have anything better to do?”

All that, but at least I still get to pick up the phone and talk to my mom whenever I want. Mormon missionaries are typically only allowed to send letters/email once a week, and make a phone call twice a year to their family. Once on Christmas, and once on Mother’s Day. They eat lots of Ramen noodles, Mac and Cheese, and anything else cheap that a budget-conscious bachelor pad might serve.

Mormons tell us all the time to take our tough and deep questions to the young missionaries, because surely these guys know the answers. But that is hardly the case. These are a bunch of young 19 and 20-year-olds who are playing the part of a Mormon tradition that is designed to help them plant deep roots of Mormon commitment and belief. Many of them are on their mission to participate in an adventure and figure things out for themselves, not yet having the deep belief in Mormonism that they wish they had. The two-year-mission largely functions in Mormonism to solidify that belief. It’s a spiritually formative time in their life, and it’s our duty to plant seeds of truth in love.

When a new set of missionaries (they usually cycle out to different proximate areas every three months or so) knocks on my door, it’s usually because I have requested a new video resource they have advertised (do this!), because I have filled out a card in one of their Visitor’s Centers or public events (never pass that up!), or because a neighbor feels like I really need to be converted (hey, they care!). I’m more than delighted to have them over. Know that you can practice warm hospitality without welcoming them as fellow believers. Welcome them in, have them sit down, and bring them something to drink (save snacks for a bit later to keep them a bit longer).

Ask them where they are from, about their families, and what their post-mission plans are. They will want to quickly segue to their religious message. They usually ask me, “So how much do you know about the Church?” I am forthright about my knowledge of the Mormon faith. “I have studied it for years, I find it fascinating, but I have some grave concerns.” But what I know about the history and larger movement of Mormonism is inconsequential for the moment, because “I would love to hear what you two individually believe.”

Allow the missionaries to spend some time delivering their message, but look for points at which you can ask questions about the fundamental nature of God. Because I never know how short or long their visit will be, or if they will ever return, I make it a point to quickly get to the heart of the matter. For me that usually entails asking if they believe God once was a mere man who had to progress unto godhood, and whether they believe this mere man was once perhaps a sinner. The responses are varied, but usually heartbreaking and shocking.

The most important passage that I know to share with a Mormon is Isaiah 43:10:

“Before me no god was formed,
nor shall there be any after me.”

I recommend using this passage even if you only have a few minutes. Ask the missionaries to “share their testimonies”, and patiently listen. They have a series of affirmations they will articulate here, usually something like, “I know the Church is true and has the restored priesthood, I know that Jesus is the Messiah, I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know the Thomas S. Monson is a modern-day prophet of God.”

“Thank you for sharing your testimony. Would you mind if I shared a testimony as well?”

“Sure.”

“The testimony I have to share right now isn’t my testimony, it is God’s testimony.” At this point I try to avoid using terms like “Bible” and “scripture” and “word of God”, and instead use the term “testimony of God.” Referring to God’s written revelations as the testimonies of God is perhaps the clearest and strongest way we evangelicals can communicate the nature of scripture to Mormons.

I open up the testimonies of God and put my finger under the passage to help them simultaneously read with their eyes as they listen with their ears: “God bears witness of himself in Isaiah 43:10, testifying, ‘Before me no god was formed [PAUSE], nor shall there be any after me.’ If we trust the testimony of man, how much more should we trust the testimony of God himself.”

This also works great in the beginning of a longer conversation, as it preempts the feelings-oriented Mormon epistemology that they want to promote. Mormon missionaries are taught to foster a kind of atmosphere and attitude among listeners. The next step for them is to help you identify a set of positive emotions with the Holy Spirit. By preemptively referring to scripture as the “testimony of God”, I have made it more difficult for them to appeal to human feelings as the chief, decisive vehicle of God’s authoritative revelation.

Other topics that are great to cover are the unique priesthood of Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7), the explosively good news of the justification of the ungodly (Romans 4:4-8), and the importance of putting our feelings and thoughts in a system of checks and balances that realistically takes into account our finiteness and depravity and God’s authority and omnipotence (Isaiah 40:8; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). A wonderful list of passages put together by James White for witnessing to Mormons is available here.

You will inevitably be asked to read a section of the Book of Mormon and pray about that. On that issue please see an article by Bill McKeever. [Also see WeAgreeWith818.com.]

A great way to get them to come back is not to hog the conversation, but to let them have their say. Practice using questions as a way of drawing out the topics you would like to address. Our interactions are not an endless emergent “conversation”, but neither are they an overwhelmingly aggressive monologue (I have learned this the hard way). Keep a mental note of three or so tough questions that went unanswered, and write them down for them.

“Would you guys please research the answers to these questions, and come back another time to share what you found?” Insist on it with a free dinner. In some areas, Mormon missionaries are not allowed to eat meals at the houses of other Mormons. This is designed to encourage them to eat with non-Mormon households or at a Mormon house with non-Mormon guests. The problem is that many missionaries end up eating a lot of those Ramen noodles. Your kitchens are the solution to this wonderful problem.

At the end, they will ask for someone to close in prayer, usually the head of the household. Use the opportunity to pray to our awesome and eternal God. Thank God before everyone in the living room for the free and immediate gift of justification, forgiveness, and eternal life. Thank him for transforming your heart to love and follow Jesus. Thank Jesus that in him we have all the riches of knowledge and wisdom and understanding, and that without him, we have nothing, and that with him we have everything. And beseech the Spirit to help everyone in the room to pursue the truth of the gospel, lest we suffer that awful punishment that the Bible describes as never-ending.

Get their phone number in case you have to reschedule, and use that number to remind them of the dinner appointment that you’re looking forward to. Trust me, this is important. They forget (either literally or sometimes intentionally) to show up and either never come back, or call to apologize, since something came up. Sometimes they are lazy, sometimes they are just busy. Give them the benefit of doubt and stuff them full of more dinner. Serve a dessert twenty minutes after dinner is over so that they feel obliged to stay longer than they would have. Keep inviting them over and over to eat more dinner, discuss more issues, and address more of the outstanding questions. It won’t last forever, so make the best use of your time. Ron Rhodes writes,

“Don’t move forward in a mad rush to discuss spiritual things, especially if you have the opportunity to work toward developing a personal relationship. When the Lord opens the door for witnessing, however, be ready to walk through it.

“The exception to this rule, of course, is if you know for certain that you will never see that particular Mormon again. Then you will want to cover as much doctrinal ground as possible, biblically refuting the most blatant heresies in Mormon theology and giving a strong personal testimony of what Jesus has done in your life.” (Ron Rhodes, Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons [1995], p. 29)

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