ContraCelsum Backup

Dear Reader: Although Google professes to have a policy of free speech, there are now disturbing examples of Google peremptorily shutting down blogs on the Blogger platform espousing views which (presumably) Google wants to censor. Therefore ContraCelsum has set up a mirror blog via WordPress (http://contracelsum.com/). We update the latter weekly. If this site should suddenly go dark, you will find ContraCelsum alive and well at the above address. You may want to bookmark it now (just in case).

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Keep It Up, Boys

Blog&Mablog
By

The graphic (below) is from a pro-abort article at Mashable, which you can read here. This is a real sign of genuine progress. We are not where we need to be yet, but we are well on the way there.

And this should be an encouragement to those Christians who have clearly understood the nature of the evils we are up against. This really is a war between fruitfulness and fruitlessness, between harvest and pillage.

Because self-restraint is not their strong suit, they jammed Roe v. Wade down the throats of the overwhelming number of states in the hope that everyone would eventually come around to see it their progressive way. But it is now a full generation later, and the majority of our states still don’t want it. The left is poised to make the very same mistake via the Supreme Court’s decision of same sex mirage next month, and so, if they do, we should respond in precisely the same way. The only difference should be that now we require no time to mobilize, and the push-back should be immediate and hard. Just say no.

Saying no to tyrants can be an exhilarating experience. And as the graphic shows, it can be a successful one. Keep it up.

Abortion Graphic

Daily Devotional

Is Christ Worth It?

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26–27)

John Piper

Jesus is unashamed and unafraid of telling us up front the “worst” — the painful cost of being a Christian: hating family (v. 26), carrying a cross (v. 27), renouncing possessions (v. 33). There is no small print in the covenant of grace. It is all big, and bold. No cheap grace! Very costly! Come, and be my disciple.  But Satan hides his worst and shows only his best.

All that really matters in the deal with Satan is in small print on the back page.  On the front page in big, bold letters are the words, “You will not surely die” (Genesis 3:4), and “All these things I will give to you, if you fall down and worship me” (Matthew 4:9). But on the back page in small print — so small you can only read it with the magnifying glass of the Bible — it says: “And after the fleeting pleasures, you will suffer with me forever in hell.”

Why is Jesus willing to show us his “worst” as well as his best, while Satan will only show us his best?  Matthew Henry answers, “Satan shows the best, but hides the worst, because his best will not [counterbalance] his worst; but Christ’s will abundantly.”

The call of Jesus is not just a call to suffering and self–denial; it is first a call to a banquet. This is the point of the parable in Luke 14:16–24. Jesus also promises a glorious resurrection where all the losses of this life will be repaid (Luke 14:14). He also tells us that he will help us endure the hardships (Luke 22:32). He also tells us he will give us the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). He promises that even if we are killed for the kingdom, “not a hair of your head will perish” (Luke 21:18).

Which means that when we sit down to calculate the cost of following Jesus — when we weigh the “worst” and the “best” — he is worth it. Abundantly worth it (see Romans 8:18).

Not so with Satan. Stolen bread is sweet, but afterward the mouth is full of gravel (see Proverbs 20:17).

The First Criminal Sitting of the Supreme Court

Justice Versus Colonialism

In November 1841 a terrible murder of five people occurred in New Zealand--a woman, a servant, and three children--occurred in the Bay of Islands.  The murderer was one Maketu; his victims were pakeha and Maori.  The date is significant because it closely followed on the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the North.  Signatures were still being secured in parts of the country further south.

Missionary, Richard Davis who had arrived in Paihia in 1824, was by now a very fluent Maori speaker.  In a letter he describes what subsequently happened:
It was Maketu's own father who came forward and gave him up.  A meetings of chiefs was called at Paihia, and Wake Nene, Heke, Tawai (Tawhai), Patuone and Pomare, all leading chiefs of the Ngapuhi tribe, discussed the situation.  Heke was furious at the surrender; he would not in the least have minded the Maoris shooting the murderer, but to pass over the whole adjudication to the British Government, was, he thought, to give up his independence.  But the others insisted that the young man should be tried according to the law that by treaty they had accepted, and sent a letter to Hobson, expressing their loyalty to the Queen and their confidence in British justice. [Cited by Florence Keene, By This We Conquer, (Keene: Whangarei, 1974), p.34.]
This incident is significant insofar as it shows how the majority of Ngapuhi chiefs understood that the signing of the Treaty meant a ceding of sovereignty to, and government by, the British Crown.  Hone Heke (of the flagpole fame) was of a different mind.  The subsequent trial was the first of the Supreme Court of NZ.  Davis was asked to be an interpreter of the proceedings for the Maori witnesses and attendees at court.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Beyond Shame and Desperation

$5.3 Trillion On Government Fossil Fuel Subsidies? What Total And Utter Bilge!

James Delingpole
BreitbartLondon 

If I play my Led Zeppelin Houses of the Holy too loud and the government hasn’t  charged me for the $1000 worth of lost sleep my neighbours claim it has cost them, does that mean the government has given me a $1000 “subsidy”? (H/T @sambowman)

You’d think the very notion absurd. And so would I. But not the Guardian, which has made this novel definition whereby an unacknowledged “negative externality” qualifies as a “subsidy” the subject of a massive front page splash. Nor the alleged economist Lord Stern who was given space to argue much the same thing on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. Nor a formerly respectable institution called the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which has decided to throw its credibility to the wind with a bizarro headline announcement this week that the world’s fossil fuel industry is benefiting from global subsidies to the tune of $5.3 trillion.

$5.3 trillion. Imagine! That’s $5,300,000,000,000, which is more money than the human mind can possibly conceive. It’s also, I would suspect, a lot, lot, lot more than any of the world’s governments could afford to hand out in subsidies to an industry perfectly capable of looking after itself.

How then did the IMF reach that extraordinary figure?

Daily Devotional

As Far As Possible, Before Death

On holiness

C. S. Lewis

If He does not support us, not one of us is safe from some gross sin. On the other hand, no possible degree of holiness or heroism which has ever been recorded of the greatest saints is beyond what He is determined to produce in every one of us in the end. The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death.
From Mere Christianity
Compiled in Words to Live By
Mere Christianity. Copyright © 1952, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1980, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publisher.  Sourced from BibleGateway.

Numbered Amongst the Saints

Baptised With Laundry Water

Teina Pora was once a notorious criminal.  Now he has a different kind of notoriety imputed to him.  The  charges and convictions against him have been quashed and dismissed. This happens rarely in New Zealand.  So Pora is once again notorious, but for different reasons. 

He has given his first interview.  It is reproduced below.  We conclude with some observations.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Letter From the UK (About More State Persecution of Christians)

Let Them Eat Cake

The Victimization Of Christian Bakers Signals It’s Time to Fight Back


Daily, the provocation grows more extreme, the oppression of Christian and secular traditional beliefs more intolerant and the imposition of the PC consensus more aggressive.

The latest attack by the state against freedom of conscience is the ruling in a Belfast court that Ashers Baking Company illegally discriminated against a homosexual activist by refusing to produce a cake carrying a slogan in support of same-sex marriage. The family that owns the business is devoutly Christian and producing such a cake would gravely have offended their conscience.

On the face of it, this looks like just another example of the British state persecuting Christianity in the same degree to which it favours Islam. But there are certain unique features of this case which make it a potential own goal for the forces of intolerance. This incident took place in Northern Ireland, where same-sex marriage is illegal. Less than a month ago the Northern Ireland parliament, for the fourth time, refused to legalise marriage between persons of the same sex.

So, the McArthurs, who own the bakery, have been found guilty by a court of illegal discrimination because they refused to produce a cake bearing a slogan promoting something that is itself illegal in Northern Ireland.

Daily Devotional

Spasms of Importunity

"Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer."
Psalm 66:20

C. H. Spurgeon

In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance--as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly.

Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few--far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me." Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them.

Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and go with our necessities.

What a God is he thus to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing wants, but neglect him when they have received a mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."

Orwellianism Stalks the Land of the Free

Prejudiced Ignorance

Kirsten Powers has written an important expose on the reign of intolerance in college campuses across the United States.  However, she begs a number of questions, which she does not address.  

1.  Why has this happened?
2.  What does it represent?
3.  What is the right tactical response?
4.  What is the right strategic response?

We will endeavour to deal with these questions below Powers's piece.

How Liberals Ruined College

College should be a place of new ideas and challenging views. Instead, liberals have made it a place of fear and intimidation.

Kirsten Powers
The Daily Beast

The root of nearly every free-speech infringement on campuses across the country is that someone—almost always a liberal—has been offended or has sniffed out a potential offense in the making. Then, the silencing campaign begins. The offender must be punished, not just for justice’s sake, but also to send the message to anyone else on campus that should he or she stray off the leftist script, they too might find themselves investigated, harassed, ostracized, or even expelled. If the illiberal left can preemptively silence opposing speakers or opposing groups— such as getting a speech or event canceled, or denying campus recognition for a group—even better.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Death Squads and Their Lists


Tarek Fatah and Taslima Nasreen On my way to Delhi's Indira Gandhi airport Sunday night for a flight back to Canada, I made a detour to pay my respects to someone I consider the bravest woman alive today — exiled Bangladeshi author, Taslima Nasreen. She and her cat "Minu" live alone on the top floor of a four-story apartment complex in the suburbs of India's sprawling capital.

Millions of Indians live in such complexes. Except in this building, she is the only resident. For security reasons, the elevator is disabled. The lights in the stairway leading up to her Spartan flat are as dim as those in a coal mine. Armed Indian security officers guard the complex around the clock. Outside her apartment door stands a towering soldier, bearing an automatic rifle.

Daily Devotional

How to Hate Your Life
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24–25)

John Piper


“Whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” What does that mean?

It means, at least, that you don’t take much thought for your life in this world. In other words, it just doesn’t matter much what happens to your life in this world.
If men speak well of you, it doesn’t matter much.
If they hate you, it doesn’t matter much.
If you have a lot of things, I doesn’t matter much.
If you have little, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are persecuted or lied about, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are famous or unheard of, it doesn’t matter much.
If you are dead, these things just don’t matter much.

But it’s even more radical. There are some choices to be made here, not just passive experiences. Jesus goes on to say, “If anyone serves me, let him follow me.” Where to? He is moving into Gethsemane and toward the cross.  Jesus is not just saying: If things go bad, don’t fret, since you are dead anyway. He is saying: choose to die with me. Choose to hate your life in this world the way I have chosen the cross.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). He calls us to choose the cross. People only did one thing on a cross. They died on it. “Take up your cross,” means, “Like a grain of wheat, fall into the ground and die.” Choose it.

But why? For the sake of radical commitment to ministry: “I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). I think I hear Paul saying, “It doesn’t matter what happens to me — if I can just live to the glory of his grace.”

The Little Bighorn of Satellite Data

Climate Custer's Making a Last Stand

We are approaching the next big global warming push.  Paris will host the next IPCC conference in December.  Doubtless it will fail.  But in the meantime we will be treated to all kinds of histrionic tom-foolery.  One such cheerleader-cum-scaremongerer is Pressie Obama.  We almost fell off our chair laughing at his stentorian efforts to "re-frame" fighting global warming into a military campaign.
The US president issued a forceful call to action to combat climate change, framing global warming as a national security priority, at the commencement ceremony – or graduation – of the United States coast guard academy in New London, Connecticut.

In his speech, Obama detailed the ways the US military would be forced to respond to climate change in the future. He called refusing to act “a dereliction of duty” and said it undermined American readiness.  “This is not just a problem for countries on the coast or for certain regions of the world,” Obama said. “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake: it will impact how our military defends our country.

“We need to act, and we need to act now,” he said.
 Remember, now.  The Pressie said that the rise of ISIS and Boko Haram was caused by global warming.  Well, he's the President.  He's cool.  He's a graduate of Ivy League universities.  He's the Voice.  He must be right.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

They Think They’re Jesus


By

Last night I had the privilege of sharing the platform at an event in Coeur D’Alene with Aaron and Melissa Klein. They were the owners of the bakery in Oregon that was shut down by the sexual totalitarians. They were then fined a chunk of cash by some despotic bureaucratic flunky, and when a GoFundMe campaign promised to raise the necessary funds in a matter of hours, the Liberal Forces of Enforced Tolerance did enough screaming to get that shut down. GoFundMe changed the terms of service, and said that Aaron was not a worthy recipient because he was guilty of a heinous crime. That heinous crime was that he told someone that he was very sorry, but that he could not bake a cake for their event.

If you want to help them now — and you should — go to continuetogive.com, and search for Aaron and Melissa Klein. Give now, while there is time, before Christians helping Christians becomes a heinous crime.

In my remarks, I basically made four points. First, these controversies are not because evangelical Christians want to avoid doing business with sinners. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:9-10 not to associate with sinners, but he hastens to add that he was talking about professing Christians who were living this way.  If we had to avoid contact with sinners “of this world” we would have to leave the planet. There is no requirement that conservative Christians feel burdened by to avoid commerce with homosexuals. In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul tells us that meat offered to idols is still acceptable as meat, which means that there is no ethical contamination in doing business with people who are not Christians and who live as though they are not Christians.

Daily Devotional

The Moment It All Flows Back

TO MARY WILLIS SHELBURNE: On the return of Joy’s cancer.

18 October 1959

C.S.Lewis

Will you redouble your prayers for us? Apparently the wonderful recovery Joy made in 1957 was only a reprieve, not a pardon. The last X Ray check reveals cancerous spots returning in many of her bones. There seems to be some hope of a few years life still and there are still things the doctors can do. But they are all in the nature of ‘rearguard actions’. We are in retreat. The tide has turned. Of course God can do again what He did before. The sky is not now so dark as it was when I married her in hospital. Her courage is wonderful and she gives me more support than I can give her.

The dreadful thing, as you know, is the waking each morning—the moment at which it all flows back on one.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III
Compiled in Yours, Jack
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

The Madness of the Gentiles

We Have Time, But Less Than Yesterday

We posted a piece yesterday about crucial questions every culture and civilisation must needs answer: who am I?  Why am I here and alive?  What are my duties and responsibilities?  The world of post-modernism--our world--is inevitably agnostic when faced with such questions.  Consequently our world descends into endless crises of identity.

This is not an exaggeration.  It is an inevitable result of a culture controlled and dominated by atheistic materialism.  There is no true Truth.  No absolutes (except this one).  There is merely the constant flux of being upon an ocean of chance.  And the results are becoming more and more entrenched in the institutions of our culture.  How entrenched?  More than ten years ago, that's for sure.  Consider this:

Friday, 22 May 2015

Letter From the UK (About the Big Sulk)

Contempt For Ordinary People

By Dominic Sandbrook for the Daily Mail

The incredible sulk: All week, the Left have been frothing with fury that their fellow Britons could be so wicked and stupid as to vote in the Tories. Nothing better shows their contempt for ordinary people... 

Just over a week has passed since perhaps the most extraordinary General Election result of modern times, and at last the dust is beginning to settle.  In Westminster, David Cameron’s new all-Conservative government has settled down to business, while a succession of ambitious contenders have set out their stall for the Labour leadership, most of them insisting, not entirely plausibly, that they never agreed with a word Ed Miliband said anyway.

In the real world, most people have simply got on with their lives. Yet in one strange corner of Britain, the campaign is far from over. This is a world in which we are forever poised on the brink of Socialist conversion, the only obstacles are the Right-wing press and the brainwashed masses, and Ed Miliband was the greatest prime minister we never had.

Daily Devotional

 For An Eye to His Glory

"And he requested for himself that he might die."
1 Kings 19:4

Charles H. Spurgeon

It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better lot, the man who should be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated, that he should not see death--should thus pray, "Let me die, I am no better than my fathers." We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though he always does in effect.  He gave Elias something better than that which he asked for, and thus really heard and answered him.

Strange was it that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel's threat as to ask to die, and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that he did not take his desponding servant at his word.

There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith.

The Times They are A-Changing

The Slow-Release Poison of Post-Modernism

The question of what changed in society to enable it to develop from mediaevalism to modern economic powerhouses is a fascinating one.  One centrally important change was in the way men thought about the world and their place in it.  Who am I?  Why am I here and alive?  What are my duties and responsibilities?

Medieval man had a set of fairly standard answers to these questions.  Modernist man had a different understanding of life and being, and answered these questions differently.  Post-modern man has a different set of answers again.  The different answers were (and are) all religious in nature. 

The change from medievalism to modernism took place amidst developments in Christian doctrine; those changes in understanding essentially produced what we call the Modern period.

Modernism itself then went through two major developmental stages.  Early modernism was essentially Christian in nature and philosophy: it answered the questions above accordingly.  Later modernism moved away from orthodox Christianity to deistic-atheism, changing its answers to reflect this.  Post-modernism's religion, for its part, is materialistic atheism.  In each of these stages or phases, the questions above have been answered differently. The outcome and results have been very different. 

Charles Taylor documents the post medieval, early modern answers to the questions, who am I? why am I here? and what are my duties and responsibilities?  A major change that moved Europe from mediaevalism to the modern age had to do with "secular" work.  Taylor's is one of the best summaries we have read:

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Letter From Ireland (About Global Persecution of Christians)

‘Eleven Christians Killed Every Hour,’ Says Irish Bishop

by Thomas D. Williams, Ph.D.
BreitbartNews

According to Bishop John McAreavey, the Chair of the Council for Justice & Peace of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, statistics show that the situation of Christian persecution in the world is far more dire than most people understand.

The bishop called the breadth and scale of the suffering of Christians “unprecedented.”  At least 100,000 Christians are killed every year because of their faith, which amounts to 273 per day, or eleven every hour, McAreavey said, without mentioning those who are “being tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, excluded, attacked and discriminated against on a widespread scale.”

In a sobering presentation before the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade this past week, McAreavey said that Christianity is the most oppressed religion in the world, and the followers of Jesus are actively persecuted in some 110 countries.  More striking still, he contended, according to the International Society for Human Rights, a non-religious organization, “80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.”

Daily Devotional

The Freest Love

Behold, to the LORD your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it; yet the LORD set his heart in love upon your fathers and chose their descendants after them, you above all peoples, as at this day. (Deuteronomy 10:14–15)

John Piper

God’s electing love is absolutely free. It is the gracious overflow of his boundless happiness guided by his infinite wisdom.  Deuteronomy 10:14–15 describes the delight God had in choosing Israel from all the peoples of the earth. Notice two things.

First, notice the contrast between verses 14 and 15. Why does Moses describe the election of Israel against the backdrop of God’s ownership of the whole universe? Why does he say in verse 14, “To God belongs everything in heaven and on earth” and then say in verse 15, “Yet he chose you for his people”?  The reason seems to be to get rid of any notion that God was somehow hedged in to choose this people. The point is to explode the myth that each people has its own god and this god has a right to his own people but no more. The truth is that this is the only true God. He owns everything in the universe and can take any people he wants for his own special possession.

Thus the unspeakably wonderful truth for Israel is that he chose them. He did not have to.

NZ Welfare Reforms Roll On

More, Please . . .

In the realm of social welfare, there are some good things happening in New Zealand.  Whilst it will probably not survive the inevitable return of the Left to government in New Zealand, the following report makes very encouraging reading.  If only we could have thirty years of this, many of our present social problems and ills would be ameliorated.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

Two Cheers for Nominal Christianity!


In this post, Russell Moore makes a sharp distinction between Christianity and almost-Christianity. He did so in a way that made me think of the distinction between a great point and almost-a-great-point.

Moore is talking about the results of a Pew Center study which shows that nominal Christianity is taking it on the chin. Christians who actually believe what they say they believe are holding their own, and Moore rejoices in the vibrancy of faithful churches, and rejoices also in the collapse of the ecclesiastical also-rans.
What he says is all quite true, and pretty helpful, and . . . almost a great point. But there is a vast territory to be explored in this sentence of his in the penultimate paragraph. “We’ve been on the wrong side of history since Rome, and it was enough to turn the world upside down.” Right — but what happens in an upside down world? What then?

There is absolutely no way to create a vibrant center without also creating a wanna-be periphery. If there is the vibrant faith that Moore and I both want, then there will be worldly counterfeit versions of it. If there are no worldly counterfeits, then that means there is nothing there worth counterfeiting.

Daily Devotional

Reigning With Christ Jesus

"I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth."
Ecclesiastes 10:7

Charles H. Spurgeon

Upstarts frequently usurp the highest places, while the truly great pine in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should murmur if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth, although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth, yet he walked the footpath of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons?

The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the servile sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; yet who would wish to take the places of the proud rebels? and who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer, eternity will right the wrongs of time.

Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and carnal appetites ride in triumph, while our nobler powers walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince, and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and faculties in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; let us not disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may keep under our body and bring it into subjection. We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.

A Cautionary Tale

Obese on the Taxpayers' Dime

They say that sunlight is the best disinfectant.  Sadly the sunlight is not found too often on the pages and screens of the archaic media.  So, letting the searchlight shine has become a responsibility of the new media.  Here is the latest thrust and parry.

The NZ government has been trying to move the delivery of social services away from bureaucrats and government ministries to the private sector.  The government is attempting to recast its role to be funder and auditor, with the delivery of services contracted out to the private sector.  The rationale behind this change is that historically government bureaucracies have failed systematically and repeatedly to deliver services efficiently.  After all, in this country we have seen  a nationalised train company employing 18,000 people, largely to shuffle paper, not trains.  But more "employees" were being added by the day to help keep the country's unemployed numbers down.  In other words, the train business had become an arm of social welfare services.  [See Richard Prebble's account in I've Been Thinking (Auckland: Seaview Publishing, 1996)]

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

If It Disappears, Resurrect It

Obamacare Exchanges on Life Support

by Michelle Malkin 
May 15, 2015
National Review Online

At a recent White House science fair celebrating inventors, a Girl Scout who helped design a Lego-powered page-turning device asked President Obama what he had ever thought up or prototyped. Stumbling for an answer, he replied: “I came up with things like, you know, health care.” 
Ah, yes. “Health care.” Remember when the president’s signature Obamacare health-insurance exchanges were going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, the remote control, jogger strollers, Siri, the Keurig coffee maker, driverless cars, and Legos all rolled into one? The miraculous, efficient, cost-saving, innovative 21st-century government-run “marketplaces” were supposed to put the “affordable” in Obama’s Affordable Care Act. 
Know-it-all bureaucrats were going to show private companies how to set up better websites (gigglesnort), implement better marketing and outreach (guffaw), provide superior customer service (belly laugh), and eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse (LOLOLOL).

Daily Devotional

No Fickle Lover

"Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee."
Isaiah 41:9

Charles H. Spurgeon

If we have received the grace of God in our hearts, its practical effect has been to make us God's servants. We may be unfaithful servants, we certainly are unprofitable ones, but yet, blessed be his name, we are his servants, wearing his livery, feeding at his table, and obeying his commands. We were once the servants of sin, but he who made us free has now taken us into his family and taught us obedience to his will. We do not serve our Master perfectly, but we would if we could.

As we hear God's voice saying unto us, "Thou art my servant," we can answer with David, "I am thy servant; thou hast loosed my bonds." But the Lord calls us not only his servants, but his chosen ones--"I have chosen thee." We have not chosen him first, but he hath chosen us. If we be God's servants, we were not always so; to sovereign grace the change must be ascribed. The eye of sovereignty singled us out, and the voice of unchanging grace declared, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love."

Long ere time began or space was created God had written upon his heart the names of his elect people, had predestinated them to be conformed unto the image of his Son, and ordained them heirs of all the fulness of his love, his grace, and his glory. What comfort is here!

The End Game

Puffs of Smoke

Long ago, the issue of global warming passed out of the realm of scientific research and inquiry into the realm of propaganda.  A core part of the propaganda campaign to bolster its credibility was to assert scientific (that is, empirical and factual) warrant for global warming being caused by mankind.  But between the assertion and the reality fell the shadow.

Some sceptics have argued that in retrospect anthropogenic (man caused) global warming will be seen as the greatest hoax perpetrated upon human history in the name of pseudo-science.  The key reason for this claim is that the sea of data upon which SS Global Warming sails is largely fabricated.  It is true that such an assertion sounds like a barmy conspiracy theory.  But conspiracies exist.  The question is whether one exists in the case of global warming.

Already there has been evidence.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscor

My Militance


One of the stockbook arguments that liberals use is that conservative militance is “offputting.” By “liberals” I am referring both to those who are openly so, as well as those who have that crisply moderate evangelical shell surrounding a gooey center.

A sure way to identify a liberal disposition is to listen for warnings about hypothetical offenses. But if this were as real a concern as it pretends to be, surely someone would have taken note of the fact that liberal denominations are hemorrhaging all over the floor, while those offputting religious groups are keeping their blood inside the skin, and are continuing to grow. What if the key to growth in the next generation is standing strong against same sex mirage?

Daily Devotional

On Grief

C. S. Lewis

Real sorrow ends neither with a bang nor a whimper. Sometimes, after a spiritual journey like Dante’s, down to the centre and then, terrace by terrace, up the mountain of accepted pain, it may rise into peace—but a peace hardly less severe than itself. Sometimes it remains for life, a puddle in the mind which grows always wider, shallower, and more unwholesome. Sometimes it just peters out, as other moods do. One of these alternatives has grandeur, but not tragic grandeur.

From Experiment in Criticism
Compiled in Words to Live By
Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.  Sourced from BibleGateway.

Forty Years to Figure It Out

It's Time For a Thank Offering

Wonderful progress in the fight to scour the blot of abortion from the landscape was made in the United States this past week.  The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to ban abortion if the unborn child was twenty weeks in gestation or older.  Of course the Bill does not immediately pass into law.  It must firstly be approved by the Senate.  Then it must be signed into law by Pressie Obama, who has already declared that he would veto the Bill.

So, more work must needs be done.  But this is progress nevertheless and the fight was always going to be a long one.  Maggie Gallagher explains the significance of the event: