Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In this sermon on the nature of law and grace, around the 38 minute mark, Kevin Swanson makes a comment that could easily be interpreted that extending the right to vvote to women ranks among the great evils of the contemporary era and seems to endorse putting sassy teens to death and child labor.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
As a discipline, archaeology examines the artistic and technological remains of various cultures in the attempt to learn more about them. Often from these objects, students learn about more than the subject's material nature but also insight into the beliefs and paradigms important to the human species at a particular time.
Probably the most prominent representative of the discipline in public culture is none other than Indiana Jones, with Stargate's Dr. Daniel Jackson coming in at second. As a narrative itself created at a particular point in time, the Indiana Jones movies themselves can be placed under investigation to unearth what our own culture has believed at various points in recent history as well as the ideas shaping those having such influence over our own society.
Through comparing "The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and the other films of the Indiana Jones saga, especially with "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade", one can detect the shifts taking place all around us as to what the broader and popular culture perceives as foundational truth. For example, though the films should not be seen as a systematic theology upon which to base one's faith, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Last Crusade" had at their base Judeo-Christian assumption in that artifacts connected with this tradition, namely the Ark of the Covenant and the Holy Grail (the cup used by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper) were actual historic objects and, since these objects in legend exude a power that cannot be explained by conventional science, one assumes they are connected to the divine.
In the latest film of the series, "Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull", ultimate wisdom and power is not seen as originating in a traditional conception of God as in "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" or "Last Crusade" or even in spirits as in "Indiana Jones & The Temple Of Doom". Rather in the latest installment, the source of enlightenment happens to be those entities with the bulbous heads and lanky limbs we have come to know as extraterrestrials whose crystalline skulls in this story can serve as powerful tools through which to augur the future, communicate with these beings, and to gain control of the world. Though an entertaining story, it may have considerable basis in reality --- or at least in the worldviews of its high level producers.
For example, the opening scene with Indy trouncing through the military hanger is set in none other than Area 51 and the top secret project he alludes to working on 10 years prior to the events of the story is none other than the Roswell crash. Some might flippantly dismiss these as urban legends that have taken on lives of their own beyond the significance of any incidents that may have occurred in these locations that now fire the imagination. However, it is pretty hard to ignore the Nazca lines which were not discovered by modern man until the discovery of flight and the existence of a tribe of Indians that mutilated the shape of their skulls to make themselves appear as if they were from beyond this earth.
Even these can be dismissed as historical or anthropological curiosities as human beings have believed or done some rather bizarre things since nearly the dawn of time. The thing is that there are those among the influential who would imbue intelligences from beyond this earth with a metaphysical prominence above that which you would bestow upon someone from another country as being different from but frankly no better ontologically than you ultimately.
While a highly creative individual, to Steven Spielberg, these creatures are much more than imaginative characters or plot elements. Rather, the acclaimed director has had an interest and belief in the paranormal throughout much of his life beyond that of a mere narrative device and he has been reported to have had a number of encounters with the unexplained.
In the movie, the quest was not so much to verify whether or not transterrestrial life simply existed as a biological fact but rather that enlightenment was somehow obtained from these beings and as such they were worthy of the adoration and devotion once reserved for God Himself. As the public comes to embrace this worldview more and more, we are beginning to see a shift from viewing beings like this in a solely naturalistic context of beings from another planet not all that unlike our own to, as in the case of “The Kingdom of The Crystal Skull” as coming from a realm transcendent to our own from what could be referred to as another dimension.
Thus, in essence, in terms of our paradigms, the Western mind has come full circle to an extent but on a less sure footing than when it set out on the quest to comprehend the cosmos in which we find ourselves. It use to be believed that nonhuman intelligences originated from another realm (initially Heaven but tossed out when they followed Lucifer/Satan into rebellion). Then as the West increasingly fell under the spell of what Francis Schaeffer termed “modern modern science” (meaning science opposed to the existence of the spiritual realm) such entities were believed to come from other planets.
However, as the New Age movement has become so entrenched that it is no longer new anymore and prefers even fancier titles such as "cosmic spirituality", now it seems our alleged betters along the path of evolutionary consciousness take on the best and worse depending upon one’s perspective. For example, in the latest Indiana Jones adventure, no longer are the gods of the dawning order disembodied spirits we cannot see but rather posses physical form we can relate to even if it differs vastly from our own. And yet even though they are like us, the also come from a place apart from and above our own so as to avoid banality by providing us with the hope of somewhere possessing a transcendence we can still aspire to.
Those watching “Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” can feel free to do so with a clear conscience as it is primarily an entertaining adventure story. However, as with the protagonist of this series, viewers should take with them the assorted equipment necessary to avoid the pitfalls and traps they are likely to encounter as they undertake an expedition into this realm where imagination intersects belief.
by Frederick Meekins
A word of gratitude to Pastor Tom Horn of RaidersNews for publishing my commentary on "Indiana Jones & The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull."
As the foremost newspage analyzing the intersections of technology, culture, and the paranormal from a Christian perspective, it has always been an honor to be published there.
Monday, July 28, 2008
If the Ted Kennedy case is to serve as precedent, does this mean all the liberals have to now say what a great man Novak is. Shouldn't be too hard; for unlike Kennedy, Novak is not known to have killed anyway despite last week's close call.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
In all fairness though, bicyclists also act like they are superior to the remainder of the human race and immune from both laws and commonsense.
For proof, check out my column "Those Deliberately Playing In Traffic Should Get Runover".
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
According to the China Aid Association, Pastor Zhang Zhongxin has been sentenced to two years in a Chinese labor camp by Shandong Province authorities for participation in cultic activities. To American ears, such allegations bring to mind images of passing around poisoned Kool-Aid or of adolescent brides forced to wed lecherous old men; however, in this case this pastor engaged in religious exercises most of us take for granted as harmless as organizing a Sunday school.
Since freedom of religion is listed in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, it is a duty of the United States to stand for this liberty in any way proper or possible around the world.
Radical multiculturalists will respond that it is not the place of the United States to be spreading American notions around the world as this could be construed as imposing Western values on other societies. However, another axiom of the economic age in which we live posits that the customer is always right.
If the government of the People’s Republic of China wishes to continue to benefit from the financial patronage and cooperation of the United States, it is only reasonable for authorities over there to respect certain inalienable rights held by all individuals irrespective of what regime they happen to live under.
After all, firms here seeking to do business with the government in terms of being granted contracts are expected to honor any number of obligations that go beyond basic human rights such as minority quotas and prevailing union wages.
It is the prayer and hope of believers in Christ around the world that Pastor Zhongxin’s sentence would be commuted or suspended because in the contemporary world citizens embracing Christianity bring stability to a nation rather than disruption. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ assists both individuals and communities in balancing the seemingly conflicting tendencies towards order and liberty, and in so doing actually makes a nation stronger.
In the Western press, considerable debate has taken place as to the prudence of allowing China to host the 2008 Olympic games. With the eyes of the world turning to that particular nation at this time, there would be no better gesture that China could make to prove it takes its responsibility as a leading power of the 21st century seriously than by guaranteeing that citizens within that country’s borders are free to practice their religion without fear of incarceration or reprisals
by Frederick Meekins
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Racemonger also denounces Devil's Food and Angel's Food Cake.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
I find it interesting how those that love America are to be castigated from setting aside a worship service to reflect upon the blessings we have in this country but just a few days before there was a broadcast of the Albert Mohler program lecturing us fuddie-duddies as to why the church ought to embrace rap and hip-hop music as a way to reach out to the younger crowd.
I cannot speak to the absolute propriety of that but can only observe to me it looks like yet another example to both drive away the elderly and those more with a tendency to think for themselves and simply not to regurgiate what they are told by their eccesliastical and denominational higher-ups.
Monday, July 07, 2008
Minority activists and other guiltmongers often whine that 11 am Sunday morning is often the most segregated hour of the week. I wonder what the we-are-all-one-big family agitators have to say about the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, which bills itself as the National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals.
While prominent Christian leaders are correct that all of mankind descends from one set of parents, interesting, isn’t it, how these speakers only expect Whites of a more Northern European extraction to abide by such radical color-blindness. For if a group of Caucasians a little to wrapped up in their pigmentation ratios established the Nordic Christian Association, it would not be tolerated in contemporary Evangelical circles, and rightfully so.
Yet, in browsing the NHCLC’s website, one finds alliances and linkages with a virtual who’s who of American religion today. On their main page at one time or another have been inks to prominent ministries such as Promise Keepers, Christianity Today, Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse, and Rod Parsely’s Center for Moral Clarity. Unless otherwise stated, usually such prominent banner placements denote a high degree of fellowship between the partners.
As one probes deeper into the site, one discovers this outfit has conducted theological dialogue with arch apostates such as T.D. Jakes (denier of the Trinity) and Benny Hinn, known for endorsing epilepsy-esque convulsions in the name of the Holy Spirit. Ted Haggard, the former head of the National Association of Evangelicals caught in a scandal involving a gay male prostitute dealing drugs, at one time also came bowing and scrapping before the group in an effort to curry its favor.
But before most weak-willed pew fillers simply shrug their shoulders and flippantly remark, “Well it’s simply God’s will we don’t look at color” perhaps they should be told that it’s doubtful the concerns of the NHCLC are as broadminded and universal in nature as they seem to be giving their socioecclesiastical imprimatur to the Hispanic conquest of the United States.
For in a letter addressed to the President and Congress and in a “Statement of on Comprehensive Immigration Reform”, the NHCLC calls for aliens already living here to be granted permanent legal status, an increase in the numbers of visas granted, and a “viable guest worker program that will strengthen the economic vitality of both employer and employee”. So basically, to use Biblical vernacular, to Sheol with the American people so long as the elites and their new indentured servants are pleased. All you are to any of these people, both in the government and in the clerical class is either someone that pays taxes or tithes.
In their statement, the NHCLC calls for end to all illegal immigration. For those unable to decipher socialistic doublespeak, what this group is calling for is really not all that different than what Communist front groups such as La Raza has called for or the Tri-Lateralists at the highest levels of the State Department.where no one will be illegal anymore when the United States, Mexico, and Canada are merged into a broader hemispheric union where Mexican corruption will pervade, Canadian anti-hate speech tribunals will reign supreme, and America’s constitutional liberties will have been flushed down the sewer pipe like last nights half-digested refried beans.
One of the verses tolerancemongers love to rip out of its original context and toss around the most is “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” If one’s highest loyalty in this life is to be found with one’s tribe above all else as these ethnocentric ministries seem to insinuate, Hispanics have a lot of cleaning of their own house to do before they go about pointing out the faults of broader America.
Since the NHCLC has now set its sites on condemning the shortcomings of the broader American society, I guess they have finished evangelizing their own community and brought just about all of them to Christ. I guess they have convinced their kinsmen to forsake their carousing ways characterized by public boozing and raucous music and persuaded them to pick up after themselves and not to let their liter lie where it falls. However, from the appearance of many of our suburban neighborhoods, such is clearly not the case.
Another Biblical injunction the Hispanophiles love to invoke is “Oppress not the stranger”. But in comparison how Mexico treats immigrants to that nation, Americans pretty much treats those wantonly violating our borders like virtual kings.
In an April 4, 2006 piece appearing in the Washington Times, Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy exposes the rank hypocrisy of highlighting America’s alleged “mistreatment” of those who don’t even have the right to be here in comparison to how poorly Mexico even treats immigrants there playing by the rules.
For example, according to Gaffney, the Mexican constitution forbids foreigners from expression political opinions on domestic affairs in public (no mass demonstrations as the human debris is allowed to wallow in here in America) and non-native born Mexicans can’t even become lawmakers or cabinet officers (thus no Henry Kissinger or Madeleine Albright). And though we are to fundamentally alter our Constitution in order to stroke Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ego so he can become President, a natural born Mexican citizen cannot become president unless his parents are also natural born Mexican citizens.
Yet in the spirit of multiculturalism and inclusion, we should not be so quick to dismiss all Mexican ways and in a spirit of international brotherhood, perhaps we should adopt some of the policies implemented by the Mexican government. According to Gaffney, Article 11 of the Mexican constitution guarantees protection against undesirable alien residents and Article 16 grants permission for citizens to detain illegals and hand them over to police who in turn authorized to expel them from the country without additional legal action.
And if the NHCLC feels it must speak out against the abuse of the innocent, perhaps they should address the civil rights violations that go in the organization‘s beloved cultural home and. According to Larry Elder, Black Mexicans (Afro-Mexicans?) can be stopped by police and forced to sing the Mexican national anthem as a test of citizenship. But since they are not part of the “la raza” translated as “THE RACE“, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference probably doesn’t really care.
And those simply made to sing the Mexican Anthem are the lucky ones. Though Hispanics of the world claim to be unified against the United States, they hate one another almost as much as they hate the Yankee. For while the United States is expected to allow anyone in that pops through the door, Mexican officials regularly shoot, abuse, and sexual molest other Latin Americans coming into their nation for the purposes of, to borrow a phrase, “do jobs Mexicans themselves won’t do”.
This animosity among ethnic kinsman raises another interesting point. It is known that eventually most revolutions consume their own. Elitists in radical Hispanic organizations such as in the National Hispanic Leadership Conference, who could be accepted as Caucasians as many are as light complected as Italians or any other kind of White person with a suntan but just can’t pass up those affirmative action and racial preference spoils, should stop and wonder who the swarthier masses are going to turn against when the dreaded gringos no have finally been eliminated and no longer roam the earth?
American Christians concerned about their own futures since we will have to look after ourselves (since obviously no one else, not even our own church leaders intend to anymore) as well as the well being of their own children should think long and hard about who their religious dollars are going to support and under whose teaching they are going to sit. For the motto of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is “Empowering the Hispanic Church, Engaging the Hispanic Vision and Enriching the Hispanic Dream.”
Where in that is any room for a common American dream, not to mention anyone that is not Hispanic? And if there isn’t, why should the average White Christian, heralded as the bane of earth by every malcontent from Guadalahara, to Los Angles, to Bejing to Baghdad participate in his own demise by either financing it through the collection plate or have to sit there every Sunday morning and be forced to smile about it?
by Frederick Meekins