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, 5 March 2015

Daily Devotional

The Deadly Gentle Slope

Screwtape reveals Nothing:

C. S. Lewis

The Christians describe the Enemy as one ‘without whom Nothing is strong’. And Nothing is very strong: strong enough to steal away a man’s best years not in sweet sins but in a dreary flickering of the mind over it knows not what and knows not why, in the gratification of curiosities so feeble that the man is only half aware of them, in drumming of fingers and kicking of heels, in whistling tunes that he does not like, or in the long, dim labyrinth of reveries that have not even lust or ambition to give them a relish, but which, once chance association has started them, the creature is too weak and fuddled to shake off.

You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.
From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters. Copyright © 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

Wrong to Sit Upon a Chair

Evolutionary, Because Its Stupid

Over one hundred years ago, G. K. Chesterton saw plainly the connection between humanitarianism and human-hating Greenism (although Greenism did not exist formally as a cause back then).  He wrote:
We constantly hear a particularly cosmic creed from the modern humanitarians; I use the word humanitarian in the ordinary sense, as meaning one who upholds the claims of all creatures against those of humanity. . . . I am here only following the outlines of their argument, which consists in maintaining that man has been progressively more lenient, first to citizens, then to slaves, then to animals, and then (presumably) to plants.

I think it is wrong to sit on a man.  Soon, I shall think it wrong to sit on a horse.  Eventually (I suppose) I shall think it wrong to sit on a chair.  That is the drive of the argument.  And for this argument it can be said that it is possible to talk of it in terms of evolution or inevitable progress.  A perpetual tendency to touch fewer and fewer things might--one feels, be a mere brute unconscious tendency, like that of a species to produce fewer and fewer children.  This drift may be really evolutionary, because it is stupid.  [G. K. Chesterton, "The Eternal Revolution,"  Collected Works, Volume I (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1986), p. 316.]
And so it has come to be that the modern Greenist is profoundly anti-human and pro-crustacean.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Letter From the UK (About Another Example of Taqiyya)

Lies Of Jihad John’s British Supporters Exposed

By Andre Walker
BreitbartLondon
March 1, 2015

This week the British advocacy group CAGE held a press conference in which it claimed Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihad John, was radicalised by the security services after he was questioned by its officers. The Sunday Telegraph has revealed this is not the first time the group has defended terrorist, or lied for its own political purposes.

CAGE claims to be a “Human Rights Advocacy Group” but in reality its narrative is that Muslims are being discriminated against by the British, and that those who turn to terror can blame their neighbours for it. In today’s paper Andrew Gilligan claims “Cage is no collection of loonies… It is part of a closely connected network of extremists relentlessly – and successfully – lying to young Muslims that they are hated and persecuted by their fellow citizens in order to make them supporters of terror.”

He continues: “The unfortunate truth is that they have significant traction with parts of its target market”. This is because many younger Muslims do not read or trust the mainstream media, and instead rely on information from groups like CAGE. The group claims it advocates people who are wrongly accused as part of the war on terror, but in reality they have defended people who have plead guilty in legitimate courts.

Daily Devotional

When God Becomes 100% for Us

Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Ephesians 2:3)

John Piper

All of God’s wrath, all of the condemnation we deserve, was poured out on Jesus. All of God’s demands for perfect righteousness were fulfilled by Christ. The moment we see (by grace!) this Treasure and receive him in this way his death counts as our death and his condemnation as our condemnation and his righteousness as our righteousness, and God becomes 100% irrevocably for us forever in that instant.

The question this leaves unanswered is, “Doesn’t the Bible teach that in eternity God set his favor on us in election?”

In other words, thoughtful people ask, “Did God only become 100% for us in the moment of faith and union with Christ and justification? Did he not become 100% for us in the act of election before the foundation of the world?” Paul says in Ephesians 1:4–5, “[God] chose us in [Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ.”

Is God then not 100% for the elect from eternity? The answer hangs on the meaning of “100%.”

With the term “100%” I am trying to preserve a biblical truth found in several passages of Scripture. For example, in Ephesians 2:3, Paul says that Christians were “children of wrath” before they were made alive in Christ Jesus: “We all once lived [among the sons of disobedience] in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”

Paul is saying that, before regeneration, God’s wrath was on us. The elect were under wrath. This changed when God made us alive in Christ Jesus and awakened us to see the truth and beauty of Christ so that we received him as the one who died for us and as the one whose righteousness is counted as ours because of our union with Jesus. Before this happened to us, we were under God’s wrath. Then, because of faith in Christ and union with him, all God’s wrath was removed and he then became, in that sense, 100% for us.

Therefore, exult in the truth that God will keep you. He will get you to the end because in Christ he is 100% for you. And therefore, getting to the end does not make God to be 100% for you. It is the effect of the fact that he is already 100% for you.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

See No Evil

Easy Passes and Double Standards

Here is the latest mini-scandal in New Zealand.
Labour leader Andrew Little has stood down his welfare spokeswoman Carmel Sepuloni after her mother was accused of benefit fraud.  Little said there was an obvious conflict of interest.  TVNZ said it had broken the news to the Labour MP about the charges her mother faces.

Little said he was temporarily standing her aside from the social development portfolio, but she had done nothing wrong.  "Carmel is an adult and her mother is an adult. Carmel is not responsible for the actions of her mother," he said.  "We have agreed she will step aside ... on a temporary basis while these matters are dealt with. There is a conflict of interest at the present time."
Everyone has rushed to extend sympathy to Sepuloni.  Liberal blogger, David Farrar's contribution is representative of the whole:
One can only have sympathy for Sepuloni. Having a parent charged with an offence would be embarrassing for anyone, let alone when you are an MP. But no one will reasonably think it reflects on her at all.

Not so fast.

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Mosocw

A Theology of Resistance for Florists

Douglas Wilson
Blog&Mablog
February 23, 2015

One of the things made apparent by the case of Baronelle Stutzman in Washington State is that we are to be allowed our convictions about same-sex mirage, but only if we can find a place to store them. You see all the storage bins have been nationalized and are now public property, and so all the contents have to conform the current policy of these United States, which holds, among other things, that the anus is now a sex organ. It follows from this that if you know it isn’t, having had biology in high school, then these aberrant and blasphemous thoughts of yours must never be expressed or even hinted at within a fifty foot radius of anyone who might be offended. What if you said something about this, and there were a drag queen nearby? Nothing worse than having a drag queen clutch at her pearls.

After you get to Heaven, you can take out these deep religious convictions and show them to God. So sorry. At that time, the public policy of these United States won’t care about any of this anymore because all these homo-regs of ours will at that time be found in a huge column of smoke ascending from Babylon the Great. But we don’t like to think about that too much, so for the time being you Christians had just better shut up.

Daily Devotional

Learning the Lessons of Jonah in the Deep

"Salvation is of the Lord."
Jonah 2:9

Charles H. Spurgeon

Salvation is the work of God. It is he alone who quickens the soul "dead in trespasses and sins," and it is he also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both "Alpha and Omega." "Salvation is of the Lord." If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God's gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because he upholds me with his hand. I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me.

Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Wherein I sin, that is my own; but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely. If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord's strength nerved my arm. Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who liveth in me.

Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God's Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I weaned from the world? I am weaned by God's chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. "He only is my rock and my salvation." Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven? What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength? Where do I gather my might?

My help cometh from heaven's hills: without Jesus I can do nothing. As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in him. What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet: "Salvation is of the Lord."

Knowing the Enemy, Part III

Perpetual Warfare and the End Times

Bernard Haykel is a Princeton scholar and a leading exponent upon ISIS theology.  He is contemptuous of the Western tendency to deny the authentically Islamic features of ISIS.

A good comparison at this point is to consider the Irish Troubles.  The violence of the Provisionals or the Ulstermen may have been identified as genuine and consistent, not deviant, expressions of Roman Catholicism or Protestantism, but such a view would run into the brick wall of the Scriptures themselves.  Many in the West want to make the same case with respect to ISIS--it is deemed a deviant, novel version of Islam.  But the argument falters when one reckons with the fact that ISIS theology and doctrine closely adheres to Islamic history: to the Koran, to Muhammad, to the hadith and to sharia law.

Graeme Wood, writing in The Atlantic, cites Haykel as follows:
Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Letter From Australia (About Going Nuclear)

Nuclear Power Now a Hot Option 

South Australian inquiry ordered

ANDREW BOLT
Herald Sun
February 12, 2015

ALARMISTS like Jay Weatherill now finally admit nuclear power isn’t actually a terrifying mass-killing menace. 
 
Now they say we need nuclear to stop their latest terrifying mass-killing menace — global warming.
Can you believe these guys? Nuclear power has switched from our greatest threat to greatest saviour. Yet none of these hypesters has said sorry for having peddled such baseless scares.

Take Weatherill, South Australia’s Labor Premier. As a budding politician he was “­opposed to nuclear power, all elements of it”, but this week said he’d changed his mind.  Now he is calling for a royal commission to “consider what role our state can potentially play in the fuel cycle for the peaceful use of nuclear energy”.

See, Weatherill reckons a nuclear industry might help save his struggling state.  The most obvious money-spinner would be a nuclear waste facility, like one Pangea tried to sell in 1999 that would have earned us $2 billion a year.
. . . anti-nuclear protesters are shameless. When the Fukushima reactor was smashed by a tsunami in 2011 they were at it again, with Crikey’s Guy Rundle predicting “the Japanese crews (at the reactor) will ... bleed out internally under the full glare of the world’s media”. In fact, not one person died from the radiation and the WHO doubts any will.


It makes sense. We have the stable geology and stable government to store the world’s nuclear waste, safe from earthquakes and terrorists.  But such facts never used to count with the likes of the unapologetic Weatherill. Such alarmists instead mounted the usual scare against Pangea and ran it out of town. Pangea couldn’t even get interviews with the young Howard government.

Daily Devotional

Final Escape From the Jaw of the Lion

"Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil."
Matthew 4:1

Charles H. Spurgeon

A holy character does not avert temptation--Jesus was tempted. When Satan tempts us, his sparks fall upon tinder; but in Christ's case, it was like striking sparks on water; yet the enemy continued his evil work.

Now, if the devil goes on striking when there is no result, how much more will he do it when he knows what inflammable stuff our hearts are made of. Though you become greatly sanctified by the Holy Ghost, expect that the great dog of hell will bark at you still.

In the haunts of men we expect to be tempted, but even seclusion will not guard us from the same trial. Jesus Christ was led away from human society into the wilderness, and was tempted of the devil. Solitude has its charms and its benefits, and may be useful in checking the lust of the eye and the pride of life; but the devil will follow us into the most lovely retreats. Do not suppose that it is only the worldly-minded who have dreadful thoughts and blasphemous temptations, for even spiritual-minded persons endure the same; and in the holiest position we may suffer the darkest temptation. The utmost consecration of spirit will not insure you against Satanic temptation.

Knowing the Enemy, Part II

Beware Uniting the Entire Family Against You

Whilst the West is failing miserably to come to terms with ISIS, remaining confused and bemused, ironically ISIS is no shrinking violet.  It boldly declares itself and wants everyone in the West to understand it and what animates it.  But because its roots are theological and religious, the Western Commentariat--wilfully ignorant of all things religious--has gone into an "It does not compute" mode. 

Graeme Wood, writing in The Atlantic, nails the essence of the issue.
In fact, much of what the group does looks nonsensical except in light of a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bringing about the apocalypse.
Returning civilisation to the seventh-century and helping to engineer the last days, the Apocalypse, are beliefs and objectives so ludicrous to the modern Western secularist that ISIS cannot be taken seriously.  Consequently the West invents objectives and beliefs for ISIS that make them more understandable.  To the Western mindset ISIS exists because of oppression and exploitation (by whom, no-one is quite sure); it is a native reaction to systemic injustice and poverty--and so forth.  In other words, the West constantly attempts to fit ISIS into its peculiar narrative and perspective upon the world.  Yet how foolish is this:

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow

In Which Stephen Fry Steps In It

Douglas Wilson
Blog&Mablog
February 17, 2015





If you would be so kind, I would like to ask you to view this brief bit of blasphemous cheek. It’ll just take a few minutes.

Now then, all set? Let’s break this down into two basic parts. The first part is that Stephen Fry is given a thought experiment, and we should take a moment to see how he thinks in thought experiments. He doesn’t believe in God, but he is nevertheless asked a “what if.” What if you were wrong, the questioner asks, and the whole thing turns out to be true, with you finding yourself in a conversation with God at the Pearly Gates.

Fry takes that occasion to launch into his diatribe. Bone cancer in children? What’s with that?

But I want to note something really strange about this set up.

Daily Devotional

Maybe You Don't Understand

On comfort

C. S. Lewis

Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.
From A Grief Observed
Compiled in Words to Live By
A Grief Observed. Copyright © 1961 by N. W. Clerk, restored 1996 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Preface by Douglas H. Gresham copyright © 1994 by Douglas H. Gresham. 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 Publishers. Sourced from BibleGateway.

Knowing the Enemy, Part I

Ships Passing in the Night

We have observed before on this blog that the West is failing miserably to understand ISIS--President Obama failing worst of all.  There are a number of reasons for this.  Firstly, the West is secularist and materialist in its philosophical, ideological and religious outlooks.  It projects its world-view onto other hearts and minds around the globe.  When these folk fail to live up to Western expectations, but rather live other philosophies and religions, Western leaders bemusedly scratch their heads.

Secondly, the Commentariat and the ruling classes in the West (as part of their secularism) despise other religions as ignorance personified.  The West's "selfie" view is that it has shrugged off the coils of superstition, gods, heaven, hell, and eternity.  There is only matter, which is both brute and blind.  Any suggestion otherwise is regarded as pre-scientific and pre-rational.  Any other view, except the West's, is ignorance personified.  Thus, the West views religious people (Christians included) as uneducated, untaught, and ignorant.  They are, therefore, primitive and superstititious. 

Thirdly, the West has a confused understanding of "fundamentalism" (which in the present Western lexicon is a term of contempt).

Friday, 27 February 2015

Letter From America (About Women Under the Boot)

Women Under ISIS Tyranny

ISIS Demands Women Wear Double-Layered Veils, Allow 9-Year-Olds to Marry

Mary Chastain
BreitbartNews


Reuters

Women living under control of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) revealed to The Guardian that the militant group has imposed more restrictions on females since taking over new territories. The terrorist group forces people to live under strict Sharia law, which treats women like second-class citizens. Rules include double-layered veils and marrying off girls as young as nine.


The jihadists established a “morality police” known as Hisbah, which recently attacked a woman in Syria because her eyes were exposed. Now, a day later, women claimed the Islamic State forces all females to wear double-layered veils and be accompanied by a male guardian at all times.

“It is prohibited for a woman in Raqqa or Deir el-Zour to move anywhere outside without a mahram, a male guardian,” said Sama Mahar. “It is a big problem as I do not have any, we are only five sisters.”
An all-female Islamic State brigade is known to also enforce Sharia law within the caliphate. In December, they used a bear trap known as a “biter” on women’s breasts who defied the protocols of the terrorist group.


The Hisbah detained Mahar several times due to violations of Islamic State rules. She dropped out of school in Aleppo since she cannot “cross the checkpoints without a mahram” and the jihadists closed universities in their self-declared “caliphate.” The male guardians can be punished if the women do not comply with the rules.

Daily Devotional

When You’re Immortal

When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. (Acts 23:12)

John Piper

What about those hungry fellows who promised not to eat till they ambushed Paul?

We read about them in Acts 23:12, “When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul.” It didn’t work. Why? Because a string of unlikely events happened.
  • A boy overheard the plot.
  • The boy was the son of Paul’s sister.
  • The boy had the courage to go to the Roman centurion guarding Paul.
  • The centurion took him seriously and brought him to the Tribune.
  • The Tribune believed him and prepared “two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen” to take Paul to safety.
Highly unlikely. Strange. But that’s what happened.

An Opportunity Gone Begging

The Dark Arts

Those of our readers who think that the dark arts of politics are a waste of time and space, read no further.  To those who yet remain diverted by the stupidity and pettiness of our national blood sport, read on.

One of the great entertainments in NZ politics in recent years has been the love-hate relationship between two left-wing parties, Labour and the Greens.  The Greens are the spill bucket when Labour is losing electoral support.  Voters disenchanted with their Labour party don't vote for the opposition, they vote for the Greens, if they vote at all.  Thus, when Green electoral support is on the rise, bet the bank that Labour support is waning.  While ideological compatriots, this electoral reality makes the Greens competitors of Labour and vice-versa.

An old political adage has it, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.

Thursday, 26 February 2015

More On Obama's Ignorant, Asinine Comments

Obama: We're No Better than Islamic State

by Raymond Ibrahim
FrontPage Magazine

As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—most recently the immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama's response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their "high horse" and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:
Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.
There is so much to be said here. First, the obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate "justified in the name of Christ" and violence and hate "justified in the name of Muhammad" is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.

This is not just a theoretic point; it is the very reason that Muslims are still committing savage atrocities. Every evil act IS commits—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents in the deeds of Muhammad, that most "perfect" and "moral" man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see "The Islamic State and Islam" for parallels).

Daily Devotional

Abundant Life

Screwtape clarifies the Enemy’s intent:

C. S. Lewis

Of course I know that the Enemy also wants to detach men from themselves, but in a different way. Remember always, that He really likes the little vermin, and sets an absurd value on the distinctness of every one of them. When He talks of their losing their selves, He only means abandoning the clamour of self-will; once they have done that, He really gives them back all their personality, and boasts (I am afraid, sincerely) that when they are wholly His they will be more themselves than ever. Hence, while He is delighted to see them sacrificing even their innocent wills to His, He hates to see them drifting away from their own nature for any other reason. And we should always encourage them to do so.

From The Screwtape Letters
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters. Copyright © 1942, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.  Sourced from BibleGateway.

Having Cake and Eating It Too

The Self Deceit of the Modern Mind

Chesterton writes the following on the indifference of nature.  As you read this passage, keep David Attenborough in mind, an evolutionist whose breathless reverent descriptions of the natural world and its inhabitants represents the stupidest sentimentality since stupidity first emerged (from the primordial slime, naturally.)
There is no equality in nature; also there is no inequality in nature.  Inequality, as much as equality, implies a standard of value.  To read aristocracy into the anarchy of animals is just as sentimental as to read democracy into it.  Both aristocracy and democracy and are human ideals: the one saying that all men are valuable, the other that some men are more valuable.  But nature does not say that cats are more valuable than mice; nature makes no remark on the subject.  She does not even say that the cat is enviable or the mouse pitiable.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Plain Packaging Has Other Fish to Fry, Not Tobacco

All the Plain Packaging Lobby Really Wants is to Hear Tobacco Companies Squeal

The lessons from Australia are clear: plain cigarette packs may are a dream come true for the counterfeiters and may not even reduce smoking

Christopher Snowdon  
The Telegraph 
January 22, 2015

So much for evidence. With every indicator showing that plain packaging in Australia has been, at best, a damp squib, the campaign for this risible policy was won with the one oft-repeated question: "Why would the tobacco industry spend so much time and money lobbying against plain packaging if it didn’t work?"
Like all rhetorical questions, it is supposed to answer itself: "Because they know that plain packs will deter people from smoking, stupid." The answer is clear, simple and wrong because it confuses profit with volume. Profit margins are bigger on premium brands, which is why big cigarette brands - just the brands, not the cigarettes - are worth billions. Get rid of the branding and many smokers will turn to cheaper brands which have tighter margins.
This point was made by Professor John Britton on the Today programme this morning when he said that plain packaging was likely to lead smokers to switch to cheaper fags. This, he said, “makes tobacco less profitable, which is bad news for the industry and that’s why they’ve been opposing it.” It is rare for an anti-smoking campaigner to state this so explicitly, but with the battle won the truth can be told. It is quite conceivable that plain packaging could harm the industry without reducing its customer base. Indeed, the law of demand suggests that a shift towards cheaper cigarettes could lead to more cigarettes being sold.

Daily Devotional

Glorifying God With All That I Have

"To him be glory both now and forever."
2 Peter 3:18

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! thine unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course, but forever and forever, "to him be glory." Is he not a "Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek?" "To him be glory." Is he not king forever?--King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? "To him be glory forever." Never shall his praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the lustre of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus! thou shalt be praised forever. Long as immortal spirits live--long as the Father's throne endures--forever, forever, unto thee shall be glory.

Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying him now? The apostle's words are, "To him be glory both now and forever." Will you not this day make it your prayer? "Lord, help me to glorify thee; I am poor; help me to glorify thee by contentment; I am sick; help me to give thee honour by patience; I have talents; help me to extol thee by spending them for thee; I have time; Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel; Lord, let that heart feel no love but thine, and glow with no flame but affection for thee; I have a head to think; Lord, help me to think of thee and for thee; thou hast put me in this world for something; Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose: I cannot do much; but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into thy treasury; I am all thine; take me, and enable me to glorify thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have."

Gentile Madness

Anachronistic Throw-Backs

The apostles characterized the Gentile ethics of their day as representing a "flood of debauchery", and the Gentiles generally living in sensuality and passions.
. . . For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry. With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you; (I Peter 4: 2-3)
In this regard, things have not changed.
Rosie O’Donnell and her wife, Michelle Rounds, have split, and O’Donnell will leave “The View” next week to concentrate on her family’s well-being, Page Six can exclusively reveal.  Sources close to O’Donnell told us that she and Rounds, her wife of three years, have been living apart for months, and that O’Donnell feels she must leave the ABC daytime show to focus on her five kids.

Rosie’s rep, Cindi Berger, confirmed the marital split, as well O’Donnell’s departure from “The View,” in a statement Friday night: “I can confirm that Rosie and her wife Michelle split in November. Rosie has teens and an infant at home that need her attention. This has been a very stressful situation. She is putting her personal health and family first.
Moreover, something else that has not changed is their surprise when Christians refuse to join Unbelievers in their flood of lawless debauchery.  This, we believe, is the real reason latter-day Gentiles malign and hate Christians. Our refusals stand as an indictment against them.  It offends and angers them. But, as the Bible declares, they are living anachronisms. Their heads are so deep into the sand, they do not realise their day passed long, long ago.

There is a new King of all kings, and Lord of all nations.  He will not be mocked.  His wheels of justice grind exceedingly fine and they are relentless and inescapable.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Douglas Wilson's Letter From Moscow (About High Moral Ground)

You New Around Here?

Douglas Wilson
Blog&Mablog
February 10, 2015

We have some truly encouraging news from Alabama on the same sex mirage front, but before getting to a defense of all that, I would like to dispatch the developing meme that this is just the desegregation battle all over again.

Here’s a quick rundown of what happened. A federal judge struck down Alabama’s same sex mirage ban, and yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court denied Alabama’s request to have that action put on hold. The Supremes are due to hear arguments in a couple of months about same sex mirage nationwide. So after this latest outrage, at the urging of the chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court, Roy Moore, the majority of Alabama counties are refusing to comply with this tyrannical order.

So, a generation ago, there was a showdown between Alabama and the Feds over segregated schools, when Alabama leaders defied federal orders to desegregate their schools. And the meme is that this is just “history repeating itself.”

But strip away all the additional complicating factors, which are always there, a generation ago Alabama was being pressured to quit doing the wrong thing. Now they are being pressured to quit doing the right thing. A generation ago, the Feds had the moral high ground. Now the Feds are actively campaigning for the normalization of sexual perversion, which is not, you might take care to note, the moral high ground.

Daily Devotional

The Whole Purpose

C. S. Lewis

Now the whole offer which Christianity makes is this: that we can, if we let God have His way, come to share in the life of Christ. If we do, we shall then be sharing a life which was begotten, not made, which always has existed and always will exist. Christ is the Son of God. If we share in this kind of life we also shall be sons of God. We shall love the Father as He does and the Holy Ghost will arise in us. He came to this world and became a man in order to spread to other men the kind of life He has—by what I call ‘good infection’. Every Christian is to become a little Christ. The whole purpose of becoming a Christian is simply nothing else.
From Mere Christianity
Compiled in A Year with C.S. Lewis
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. A Year With C.S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works. Copyright © 2003 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.  Sourced from BibleGateway.

The Self-Betrayal of Women

Willing, Thrilling Degradation

We are told that women loooooove "Fifty Shades of Grey".  Always, when we hear such nonsense, the qualifier must follow.  Some women love the tripe.  But it must be acknowledged that this particular "pushing of the boundaries" has been dominated by women throughout.
For decades, women have ceaselessly complained about a lack of access to the levers of Hollywood power. Well, now they have grabbed hold. “Fifty Shades” is a woman’s story directed by a woman based on a screenplay by a woman which itself based on a woman’s best-selling blockbuster.  [John Nolte, BreitbartHollywood]
In the West we have long been more than a little puzzled by modern, rootless feminists taking up the Islamic burkha and entering into polygamous "marriages" and submitting to some of the worst forms of subjugation.  They love it, don't you know.  Rather they resemble stricken ships with neither steerage nor anchor on a storm tossed sea. And now come the women celebrating their sisters being subjugated to subservience and pain.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” isn’t controversial or envelope pushing, it’s a pathetic rationalization created by the pathetic for the pathetic.  Feminists have gone from resenting having a man open a door for them to being okay with kneeling naked on all fours in front of the door until the man comes in to physically abuse and emotionally degrade them. Congratulations…

You’ve come a long way, baby.
This is where feminism was always going to lead--straight to the manacles.  Feminism is an ideology that draws upon Marxism.  Women have been oppressed by the male dominated power structures of capitalist society.  Women will be redeemed by revolutionary liberation from male oppression.  They would be free from homes, motherhood, children, pregnancy--only then will they be truly human.  Then the revelation comes that the endgame is a degradation and subjugation never imagined--with this one difference.  This time they welcome it and lionise it.

When any human being, any culture, throws off the restraints and constraints of God they do not, thereby, become free.  They become enslaved to anything, in ways and means they both abhor and welcome at the same time.  They come to resemble beaten, broken animals.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Towards a Christian Political Philosophy

The Moral Purposes of Law and Government

Feb 11, 2015


Several years ago First Things published an essay entitled “Law and Moral Purpose” by Robert P. George, Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.  I’ve taken a section of this essay and added questions, numbering, and italics, turning it into an “interview” of sorts.

What are the obligations and purposes of law and government?

RPG 2012
(1) To protect
  • public health
  • safety
  • morals
(2) to advance
the general welfare—including, preeminently, protecting people’s fundamental rights and basic liberties.
Wouldn’t this require the granting of vast and sweeping powers to public authority?

No; the general welfare—the common good—requires that government be limited.

Daily Devotional

The Perfect City

He has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:16)

John Piper

No pollution, no graffiti, no trash, no peeling paint or rotting garages, no dead grass or broken bottles, no harsh street talk, no in-your-face confrontations, no domestic strife or violence, no dangers in the night, no arson or lying or stealing or killing, no vandalism and no ugliness.

The city of God will be perfect because God will be in it. He will walk in it and talk in it and manifest himself in every part of it. All that is good and beautiful and holy and peaceful and true and happy will be there, because God will be there.

Perfect justice will be there, and recompense a thousandfold for every pain suffered in obedience to Christ. And it will never deteriorate. In fact, it will shine brighter and brighter as eternity stretches out into unending ages of increasing joy.

When you desire this city above everything else on the earth, then you honor God, who, according to Hebrews 11:10, is the architect and builder of the city. And when God is honored, he is pleased and not ashamed to be called your God.

For more about John Piper's ministry and writing, see DesiringGod.org.

Letter From the UK (About Show Trials)

Paedophilia and "Date-Rape"

It was Stalin who perfected the "art" of show trials.  Those identified as enemies of the Soviet Union had to be put through a public trial to confirm their guilt before they were executed.  In most cases, the "guilt" consisted of confessions extracted under relentless torture and accusatory statements of former acquaintances who feared a similar fate if they did not comply.  The general public in the Soviet Union loved it.

In the West we have gotten pretty close to show trials, sans the torture.  Peter Hitchens describes one such disturbing manifestation of the "art".  What is one of the last remaining sins which both public and officials condemn and excoriate alike?  Paedophilia.  And this in a context where virtually any sexual deviance or evil is now regarded, even lionized, as a human right, to be celebrated and defended at all costs.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The Global Warming Industry is a Busted Flush

Global Warming: So Dishonest It Makes Enron Look Like a Paragon of Integrity

James Delingpole
BreitbartLondon 
9 February 2015


“Fiddling temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever,” says Christopher Booker, not pulling his punches. And I think he’s right not to do so. If – as Booker, myself, and few others suspect – the guardians of the world’s land-based temperature records have been adjusting the raw data in order to exaggerate “global warming” then this is indeed a crime against the scientific method unparalleled in history. 

 Sure you could make a case that Lysenkoism or  Hitler’s war to discredit “Jewish science” were more evil but these were confined to discrete geographical regions under specific totalitarian regimes. What’s so extraordinary about the manipulations to the global land-based temperature sets is that they affect every one of us, wherever we live.

Whether you’re an elderly couple in mid-Wales who have just had 20 per cent knocked off the value of your retirement cottage by the new wind farm on the hill opposite, or you’re a tribesman in the South East Asian jungle whose virgin forest home has been trashed to make way for a palm oil plantation to grow eco-friendly biofuels, or you’re a scientist in New Zealand who has been hounded out of your job because your research doesn’t fit the “global warming” narrative, or you’re a science teacher in Ohio who is obliged, whether you like it or not, to lecture your charges on the dread perils of climate change, or you’re a Republican senatorial candidate who has been targeted as a “denier” in a green attack dog campaign financed by Tom Steyer, you’re all victims of the same global scam: a scam perpetrated by a tiny handful of individuals whose junk statistical manipulation of the global climate records have transformed routine weather patterns into the world’s biggest and most influential ever science scare story.