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Because I have an opinion about everything…

Archive for the month “November, 2006”

A “Fall from Grace”?

 

A Fall from Grace is defined as “a loss of status, respect, or prestige”, but is actually an idiom originally based on scripture:

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  Galatians 5:4

Certainly Ted Haggard qualifies as one whose status, respect and prestige is now lost – I can’t even refer to him as Reverend Haggard anymore.  As to the question posed by the idiom’s Biblical source, ahh… that is another question altogether.

I have mentioned it before, and will mention it here again: My faith is a simple one, you could call it fundamental, even.  To complicate one’s faith would be to supply an excuse to disregard it.  There are those who insist on complicating the definition of Fundamental Christian, for example, somehow linking the term “Christian Fundamentalist” with “Islamic Fundamentalist”… and the Christians live with the negative consequences.  Truth be known, there is a very simple definition for Fundamental Christian, that being, they subscribe to the following 5 beliefs: the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.  Not all that complicated, really.

As an Evangelical, Ted Haggard also believes this.  What comes as the biggest surprise to most is that Ted Haggard is, in addition to these labels – and ones he has newly acquired – (dare I say it)… human.  In no way am I excusing his behavior, he was wrong.  On that, we can all agree.  But here is where it will get sticky – Where was he wrong, and why?

I have my thoughts, and they’re just my own opinions… so here goes…

To me, Haggard was most wrong for allowing the power of his position to blind him to God’s calling on his life.  In a nutshell, he became full of himself.  “Pride comes before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)  This is something each of us is susceptible to, but perhaps not to the degree of someone who has risen to national prominence and occasionally has the ear of the President. If hundreds of thousands of people listened to and read my words, would I suddenly have an over-inflated opinion of myself?  Would I think I was “all that” if GW asked my opinion on spiritual matters and then, maybe, decide I didn’t need to consult with God anymore. Gee, I hope not.

Betraying his wife and family is a biggie for me.  It matters little to me that it was with a man, except for the added shame it brings on his family.  It is the broken trust.  He has also betrayed his church family, but they should be discerning enough to know how important it is never to “follow” a man in place of God.  By taking drugs, engaging in homosexual sex, and then lying to cover up his transgressions, he has provided a duplicitous message to all eyes watching, but especially to his children. 

And this brings us to hypocrisy.  Anyone who knows me knows I have a big problem with THAT one.  Oddly, though, in this case, I find I’m not looking for a stone to pick up and cast first.  This is partly due to the fact that there are so few stones to be found after the media got their hands on the story.  Granted, this story is noxious with hypocrisy, but for me, it illuminated a finer point about our society.

The problem with being a Christian, but especially a publicly, well-known Christian, is to announce to the world, “I have set a bar of morality by which I’ve chosen to try to live”.  From that point on, there are people watching and waiting for you to fall short of that bar; they will trip over each other to point out when you have failed to meet that bar.   In my case, when this happens, I can only respond with, “Why are you so surprised?” :-)  Man, if I could always reach that bar, MY name would be Jesus!  But I strive toward the example He set, the “bar”, if you will.

In the case of publicly known Christians, those who are tripping over themselves include the media.  Camera crews and scurrying people with pads and pens chase down the sad person who has missed that bar.  (I’m so glad a camera crew does not show up every time *I* mess up!)  And, with Haggard, they hit the jackpot.

What has occurred to me through the Haggard situation is how each person has their own “bar” set for themselves, but it seems as though only those who set their bar as high as the Bible asks are the ones who get tormented this way when they fail.  It’s easy to be successful when the bar is low – heck, it’s even easier when you allow yourself to keep moving the bar to suit your life!  But let someone dare to take a stand, and fail… and we’ve got 24-hour news to keep us abreast of that failure.

For me, I am grateful that the grace this idiom is based on is not as fragile as that available in society… or as mutable as the morals found there, either.

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“I Love It When a Plan Comes Together”

 

You may remember a TV show from the 80’s called The A-Team – the show that pretty much made “Mr.T” a household name.  At some point during the show, when the team was in the process of successfully completing their dangerous mission, many times the Hannibal character (played by George Peppard) would say, “I love it when a plan comes together,” with a cigar hanging out of his mouth and a wry grin.

Somehow, those words… that voice… and that grin are exactly what played in my head this morning after learning the results of yesterday’s election – sans the cigar, of course, since it’s 2006 and we’re talking about Democrats with their worship of all things politically correct.  But kudos to Rahm Emanuel for a well-planned strategy to deliver Congress to the Dems, and to his pal, Chuck Schumer, who worked to deliver the Senate.  They both knew their only chance at victory would be to choose candidates who resembled Republicans, the so-called “Blue-dog Democrats”.  In so doing, the “choice for change” was that much easier for disgruntled Americans impatient with the war. 

The choice was basically: “same” or “different” and, at least in my opinion, many people just want something – anything – different than war.  It matters not that the Democrats have yet to articulate a plan for Iraq, we have been promised that it will be different… and, apparently, for the slimmest of majorities, that was enough.  Hardly a mandate, by anyone’s standards. 

For me, I look forward to watching the Democrats try to accomplish all they have promised, AND within the timeframe they have promised to do it.  The onus of performance is on them from now on and they will be under a microscope.  No longer do they have the luxury of whining, complaining, pointing fingers, calling names and claiming they can do things better… it’s game time, boys and girls.

Nancy Pelosi has been quoted as expressing her desire to “drain the swamp” once she becomes Speaker after more than a decade of a Republican controlled Congress, with a hefty list of goals for her party to accomplish in their first hundred hours. According to an AP interview published in WashingtonPost.com, this is how she has broken it down:

  • Day One: Put new rules in place to “break the link between lobbyists and legislation.”
  • Day Two: Enact all the recommendations made by the commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
  • Time remaining until 100 hours:
    – Raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, maybe in one step.
    – Cut the interest rate on student loans in half.
    – Allow the government to negotiate directly with the pharmaceutical companies for lower drug prices for Medicare patients.
    – Broaden the types of stem cell research allowed with federal funds, “I hope with a veto-proof majority.”

I will wait with bated breath. 

In the meantime, chances are, “Ms. P” may become as much of a household name as Mr. T.  My guess is that the many people who did not really know who Nancy Pelosi was prior to voting, who allowed their emotions to dictate their decision, those who “voted for change” will be quite surprised at just what type of change they ended up getting.

“Mideast Terror Leaders Want U.S. to Vote Democrat”

 “Withdrawal from Iraq would embolden jihadists”  – WorldNetDaily

VoteForTerror

Senior terrorist leaders were interviewed by WorldNetDaily for an article posted on November 2nd, which stated their hope for a Democratic win in Tuesday’s election.  They see this shift in power as beneficial to their objectives because it will ensure victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance.   Not only would a Democratic win prove to the terrorists that Americans are tired, but Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal “proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation.” 

Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, was quoted as saying the Democrats’ talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel proud: “As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk, very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance.  This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal.”   And then there’s Abu Ayman, another Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, who said he is “emboldened” by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

Responding to the claim that the insurgents will stay in Iraq for as long as the U.S. is in Iraq, when terrorists became aware of Nancy Pelosi’s recent remarks on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” they dismissed her assertion completely:

Nancy Pelosi’s remarks: “The jihadists are in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean we stay there. They’ll stay there as long as we’re there.”
Muhammad Saadi, addressing those remarks in the WND interview: “Islamic Jihad’s Saadi, laughing, stated, ‘There is no chance that the resistance will stop’.”

And Jihad Jaara agrees.  A senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, he told WND: an American withdrawal from Iraq would “prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States.” Jaara said an American withdrawal would “mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America).”

The far-reaching implications of a withdrawal are expressed this way by Jaara: Vacating Iraq would also “reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view.  But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn from them.”  This viewpoint is shared by Hamas’ Abu Abdullah, who believes leaving Iraq would “convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance.”   “The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan.”

The terrorists have given us much to think about in this article posted by Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily. Woven between all the quotes and all the malice are claims that they’ve found “the right strategy”, that they feel “proud” and “emboldened”, that they are “laughing” at us and our “tyrant empire”.  They are learning “what works” and what is “efficient”, but perhaps the best advice from the terrorist’s for this Election Day can be summed up by a quote from Jihad Jaara.  Although he is currently in exile in Ireland as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the previously mentioned church siege, he gave the following quote to WorldNetDaily:

Of course Americans should vote Democrat“.

 

Read the WorldNetDaily Post

*Some of this post taken verbatim from WND article due to the amount of quotes.

In Heinz-sight, Perhaps He Shouldn’t Try to Tell “Jokes”

…Or Speak at All!

“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

TroopsToKerry

A “botched joke”?  Uh, yeah… If that’s the story Kerry wants to go with, then I’d say his so-called joke was botched indeed.  That’s putting it mildly.  Have you ever told a joke and botched it up, you know – among friends – and maybe it offended someone?  What is the natural first response?  What is the response of any human being capable of feeling compassion or consideration for others?  “Gee, I’m sorry.”  It’s so stinkin’ simple. 

Now imagine the same situation… but this time, when someone you profess to care about is visibly insulted, instead you chastise your friend, yelling, “I WILL APOLOGIZE TO NO ONE!”  No, you wouldn’t do that… no sane or rational person would do that.  Ok, Johnny… go with these nice men with the pretty white jackets, they want to hear some of your jokes, too.

2HeinzGifts

I jest, but it’s not funny.  John Kerry is not funny.  He may be generous, giving the Republicans a gift that will keep on giving until Election Day (and into ’08), but he most certainly is not funny.  Ask anyone serving in the Military, any Veteran, any parent, child or spouse of someone in Iraq.  Go ahead, ask around.  And see what John Kerry thinks of all of this now… if you can find him.  My guess is that he wishes he could go back and just say “Gee, I’m sorry,”  or that he would have spent Monday windsurfing in California instead of campaigning for Angelides.  (Like Angelides needed this kind of help.) 

Read some of the 100+ comments from Veterans, Military families and VA hospital patients in response to a post by a Veteran who eloquently lists the facts about our well-educated Military in response to Kerry’s remarks.  They are full of emotion and patriotism, as well as an overwhelming expression of having been greatly insulted by the Senator’s statements.  I felt this post and its comments helped to put the whole incident into perspective… just as John Kerry helped to put a face on the Democratic Party.

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