This was originally posted on my other blog.
From the dust jacket of the book “From Time Immemorial” by Joan Peters. “Joan Peters strikes a heavy blow against the broad consensus about ‘the Palestinians’ and the assumption that Palestinian rights are at the heart of the Arab Israeli conflict . . . From Time Immemorial supplies abundant justification for reversing the moral and legal presumptions that have cast Israel in the role of defendant before the court of world opinion.” And from the Washington Post, “A remarkable document in itself. . . . The refugees are not the problem but the excuse.”
Starting out to write a book supporting the Palestinian cause, her exhaustive research caused her to turn 180 degrees. What Peters uncovered was that the Palestinian problem, blamed by so many on Israel, turned out to have resulted from a monstrous historical hoax. Piecing together documents tucked away in old Ottoman and British records, dating from the beginning of the Israelis return to their homeland, like an expert detective, Peters uncovered the crime against the Jews.
The real history of this middle east conflict goes like this. The League of Nations granted the Jews their homeland which was to include both the East and the West side of the Jordan. Like many people, I had thought the land was teaming with people know as the Palestinians. Quite the contrary.
As the Jews began to resettle the Holy Land at the turn of this century, there were approximately 55,000 Muslims and 60,000 Jews living in the area. At the time, many of the Muslims were even wandering nomads.
The International community, under the League of Nations, assigned Britain to oversee the return of the Jews to their home land with Britain pledging under the Mandate that the land would be “closely settled by Jews.”
The Jews and British began creating an infrastructure in this once barren land. Attracted by the Jews success, just like today with our success, illegal immigrants began to sneak into the areas granted to the Jews both on the East and the West side of the Jordan. The British, motivated by the need to form military alliances with Arab countries at a time Europe was in turmoil, fraudulently reported to the League of Nations that the tens of thousands of explosive Arab growth was resulting from high birthrates of indigenous people.
By the time, the Jews needed to flee persecution in Europe, the British conspired with Arab nations to perpetuate the hoax that the Jewish homeland was overpopulated and that Arabs were being displaced. To add to the travesty the British made secret alliances with Arab nations. Then when the illegals began to become unhappy in Israel and tried to return to their countries of origin, they found themselves prevented by the leaders of the nations from which they had migrated. These countries had rid themselves of unskilled people, and even more insidiously, the Arab leaders realized that by pushing the people into the face of Israel, they could establish claim to the land for Islam. Much like walking the plank, the illegals faced Israel in front with guns, Arab countries at their rear with guns.
Finally, when the Jews faced the Holocaust and were fleeing Europe, the deceitful British claimed there were now too many people in what was finally being called Palestine. Many Jews lost their lives because of that British treachery.
As I watch the present crisis unfold, I am looking through the lens of this wonderfully documented book.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This was originally posted on my other blog.
Recently, I posted the following:Mushy Christianity
Then, in the comment section the liberals piled on me. One implied I was arrogant and another, that I was unlearned. One (RV) suggested: “Blogger, read again the story about the loaves and the fishes. Matthew 14: 13-21.”
To which I replied to them: “In picking the feeding of the multitude, you could not have picked a better Scripture to disprove your point and support mine.”
Later RV came back with “I have read the story again. I am not sure what you are referring to unless it is the miraculous nature of taking five loaves and two fishes and feeding all the people. But in order for this miracle to take place, Jesus had to want to feed them (because he loved them).
Meanwhile a reader who had been tuning in on the running debate in the comment sections of many of my posts, weighed in with “Blogger is simply stating the fact - Jesus did far more than give money to the poor and treat people kindly.(A point, I, Blogger, had been trying to make for months.) He also cast out demons,healed the sick through supernatural power, cleansed lepers, and raised the dead. The overwhelming weight of New Testament passages and church history support Blogger's claims - believe it, or not “
As Blogger, I then breathed a sigh of relief and am now writing to RV. “RV Thanks for working at this. You are finally hearing me.
You probably know your recent church history and are aware of the Social Gospel. Social Gospel. Many today believe that the Social Gospel by taking over the main line churches and distancing people from the supernatural, was the cause of the decline of influence of Christianity in the world, especially in the Western World.
However arising almost concurrently with the Social Gospel and beginning with a revival in California and one in Wales, the supernatural reappeared and those who are seeing these miracles today are becoming the fastest growing segment of Christianity. Rise of Pentecostal/Charismatic Apart from growth in Islam (chiefly through high birth rates), the supernatural element of Christianity is outstripping all other forms of spirituality in the world.
This post was originally posted on my other blog.
Jesus’ disciples, through the work of the Holy Spirit, were able to duplicate the healing and the deliverance miracles of Jesus then and now. However, the manifestation of food by extra ordinary acts seems to have eluded them. Scripture says that Jesus leaped for joy when the disciples demonstrated His healing and deliverance miracles. On the other hand, as you read, He seems to have been disappointed that they did not get the feeding miracle.
My concern is that those who want to emphasize only the love part which you noted, but are not working on learning to reproduce the manifestation miracles (or other miracles for that matter), suck all the oxygen out of the room. The miracle of the fishes and the loaves have appeared from time to time in church history and are now being reported more often as people return to trying to learn to do what Jesus told them He would help them do.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
The following is from an interview of Archbishop Peter Akinola of
the history of why he has been selected to be the reluctant
spiritual leader of the new worldwide Anglican Communion.
The Archbishop: "First of all, in the Christian Association of
Nigeria - which brings together all our Christian people, Roman
Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Pentecostal - my colleagues elected
me president for four years. So, I had to play the fatherly role though
I was much youngerthan many of the other elders, because they
looked up to me for leadership and guidance.
At the regional level we have the Council of Anglican Provinces of
Africa - we have 12 primates in Africa, like Dr Rowan in
England is Primate of All England. And the very first time I attended
their meeting, they elected me their chairman. So, again, a huge
responsibility. Each of my colleagues has his own sovereign church,
and yet they call me 'Baba', they call me 'chairman'. I have to work
very hard to ensure that we achieve whatever we want to achieve by
consensus. So, we discuss as gentlemen, as elders, as fellow fathers.
Beyond Africa is what is called 'the Global South' [a grouping of
the 20 of the Anglican Communion's 38 provinces that are in the
southern hemisphere]. Again, my colleagues chose me to be their
Whatever they saw in me, I don't know. So, the same principle, all
the way. You have to bear in mind that each primate, each bishop is
an authority in his own right, with his own jurisdiction, and for
him to submit to your leadership he must be given due respect. And
so you consult with him, you share with him, you don't dictate
to him and so you achieve results.
I've applied the same principle to Gafcon [the Global Anglican Future
Conference], and this afternoon its Primates' Council made me their
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Recently we all witnessed the crashing and burning of the powerful evangelist, Todd Bentley. In reaching for an explanation of what happened to himself, he claimed he was “passing through the Dark Night of the Soul.” Then person in charge of his rehabilitation, Rick Joyner, of Morningstar Ministries, trying to help people understand what was happening, picked up the same term: “the Dark Night of the Soul.”. All of which prompted me to write the following letter: to Joyner,
You wrote in your newsletter, that Todd Bentley is suffering the Dark Night of the Soul. The reason I am writing this to you is to say that we in the medical profession, know that wrong diagnoses result in wrong treatments. Our friend is the least likely person I know to suffer what St. John of the Cross means in his classic “Dark Night of the Soul.” If you read on, I will explain.
(At the same time, included in my reason for writing this, is to protect St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night of the Soul from being misunderstood and dummied down. Both Christians and New Agers alike are casually tossing the term around, emptying it of its profundity.)
One of the best ways to approach St. John is to come at him first from other systems of mysticism. What mystics of all faiths have discovered is that, before you can enter the mystic realm, the cognitive system must shut down. In Zen for example, an unsolvable Koan (sound of one hand clapping, etc.) brings the discursive mind (the intellect) to its knees, causing it to flat line. With the discursive mind out of the way, the psyche can enter the mystic realm. In Hinduism, some meditation systems accomplish this state by overloading the discursive processes. Others under load them. Islamic Sufi’s dance and twirl. The outcome is the same. The cognitive processes flat line and the person breaks through into direct encounters of the mystical experience.
St John has given us the Christian way of accomplishing this entrance into the mystic realm. True to our belief system, it is God Himself (not our meditation efforts)Who does the work. He achieves this by challenging the discursive system to the point it accepts that reaching the mystic realm is above its pay grade.
St John includes in the discursive system, the “understanding,” the will,” and “the memory”–all our mental processes except “the intuitive”. He uses the words “soul” and “sense. (I translated “soul” as “psyche”*) St. John writes:
“. . . .it is God Who is now working in the psuche; He binds its interior faculties, and
allows it not to cling to the understanding, nor to have delight in the will, nor to reason
with the memory. For anything that the psuche can do of its own accord at this time serves only, . . . .to hinder inward peace and the work which God is accomplishing . . . . p. 67
Thus, the Dark Night is actually a negative experience only from the point of view of one’s intellect. This darkness is not a pleasant experience for the intellect which believed itself capable understanding everything. St. John explains:
. . . .the Divine wisdom is not only night and darkness for the psuche, but is likewise, affliction and torment . . . because of the height of Divine Wisdom, which transcends the talent of the soul and in this way is darkness to it. p. 100
Most of us have had the experience of our mind hurting when it works on an unsolvable math problem. Most of us are also aware of how our mind annoyingly intrudes into our quiet times with God which it can’t understand. St. John was describing the mental anguish that comes as the mind is being forced to surrender. His fellow monks were straining with every technique they had been taught to reach God. He was teaching them to let go and let God take the mind into darkness. Those who rely on their intellects would never make such a journey.
On the other hand, from the point of view of the entire psychological system, The Dark Night is a positive experience and has a happy outcome.
“When God leads the soul into this night of sense in order to purge the sense of its lower part and to subdue it, unite it and bring it into conformity with the spirit, by setting it in darkness and causing it to cease. . . . He brings it into the night of the spirit, and (although it appears not so to it) the soul gains so many benefits that it holds it to be a happy chance to have escaped from the bonds and restrictions of the senses of its lower self. . . .” p. 74
Of all the people on this planet, Todd is the least likely to be suffering from St. John’s Dark Night of the Soul. More than most people, he has poked through the mental cloud of unknowing into that mystical realm--to paraphrase Star Trek “where no mind has gone before.”
What many who are suffering what they want to call a dark night is more likely what we psychologists diagnose as Dysthymia. Some of the depression can result from an intense overload of emotions which can knock neurotransmitters out of whack.
Another possibility is what I am seeing in all the Charismatic leaders with whom I interact. Agnes Sanford observed years ago, that when the Holy Spirit pours through a person, any glitches will be blasted out into the open. The more powerfully the Spirt moves, the more any blockages can expect to be dislodged. She wrote:“ The subconscious will not peaceably store memories which are contradictory to the nature of God. Attention is constantly drawn back to these unstored memories. If unattended, these memories become problematic.”
As I travel among Charismatic leaders, I see a lot of unexamined pathology. The higher the power of the Spirit works through them, the more these unacknowledged glitches are going to flush up.
So to conclude, please don’t let St. John of the Cross’ great contribution to Christian experience be depreciated.
Donald L. Clark, EdD, FAACoP
Board Certified Psychologist
Emeritus Professor of Psychology
*(In order to keep any reader from putting his or her own unique meanings into the word “soul,” I have substituted the Greek word ‘psuche” to keep the purity of St. John’s use of the word. In addition, psuche is closer to our word psyche or the psychological system.)
Reference: St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul, N. Y.: Image Books Doubleday (Translation 1990)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
As a psychologist, I have learned that some times when you get lost, it is a good idea to go back to the beginning when you knew where you were. Another thing I have learned is when you aren’t sure you understand what a person is saying, watch what they do.
The disciples watched Jesus and listened to him for three years, plus 40 days of teaching from the resurrected Jesus. So, when they began their work, I have to believe they did exactly what they were told to do. This is what I found in the Message translation:
Act 2:43 Everyone around was in awe--all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! Act 3:6 Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!"
Act 3:7 He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm.
Act 3:8 He jumped to his feet and walked. The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God.
and why stare at us as if our power or piety made him walk?
Act 3:13 The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of our ancestors, has glorified his Son Jesus
Act 3:16 Faith in Jesus' name put this man, whose condition you know so well, on his feet--yes, faith and nothing but faith put this man healed and whole right before your eyes.
by means of his name this man stands before you healthy and whole.
Act 5:12 Through the work of the apostles, many God-signs were set up among the people, many wonderful things done..
Act 5:15 They even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on stretchers and bedrolls, hoping they would be touched by Peter's shadow when he walked by.
Act 5:16 They came from the villages surrounding Jerusalem, throngs of them, bringing the sick and bedeviled. And they all were healed
Act 6:8 Stephen, brimming with God's grace and energy, was doing wonderful things among the people, unmistakable signs that God was among them.
Doesn’t look at all like where the church down the street is going? Someone fiddled with the compass.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
The Anglican Church just had its gathering which occurs every 10 years. Some of you who keep up with these things may have read that for the first time in history, a substantial number of bishops boycotted the meeting. Most notably absent or registering protests, were the bishops from Africa who represent the largest segment of the denomination, dwarfing the American division of Anglicanism, the Episcopal Church.
In order for people to realize that these boycotts and protests were serious, I am quoting from one of the reports. In a statement released on the second day of the Lambeth Conference, the Sudanese church called upon the American church to "respect the authority of the Bible," refrain from ordaining gay priests or bishops, halt gay blessings, and "cease court actions against traditionalists with immediate effect." The American Church's experiments with gay blessings and bishops had led to the deaths of Sudanese Christians, Dr. Daniel Deng said in an impromptu press conference in the Lambeth Conference media room. Because of the actions of the American church, "we are called infidels in the Islamic world when they hear of the same-sex blessings," he said. "It will give [Islamist militants] reason to kill" Sudanese Christians he said.
Face to face with Islam in Africa, the African bishops had tried to warn the American church that their actions could have grave consequences in Africa, which is exactly what has happened.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Criticizing other ministries is an occupational hazard of ministers. I have done it myself and it requires me to constantly repent, probably boring God.
I ran across the following quote from Rick Joyner which should be helpful to me. Speaking of these attacks on one, another, Rick wrote: “However, if someone is going to criticize, we need to check their credentials. If someone has a significant healing and miracle ministry, we should listen to them in relation to the ministry of healing and miracles. If someone has been used to start and shepherd a significant revival, I would listen to him much more about his views of a revival than someone who has only read or written about them.”
Big amen Rick.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Religion was in the news this week.
When Moses led Israel to the promised land, he instructed them in how things would work. They followed his instructions and for a period of years, they basked in extraordinary manifestations of God’s sovereignty. Over time, in encounters with other systems, they diluted the teachings and their fortunes went down the toilet.
Finally Jesus came, trained his disciples to heal the sick and cast out unclean spirits, revealing God’s sovereignty. Before leaving He gave his followers the following information. "These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well. Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.” (Mk 16: ff MSG)
The Book of Acts reveals that the followers heard what He said, and did exactly as told. They received the results promised. Then, just as before, over time the message was watered down with syncretism from secular and other sources. The extraordinary began to dissipate.
Why put this post on a political blog? Well because it is time to get religion out of these political discussions. After all, Jesus declared: These are some of the signs that will accompany believers, healing the sick, casting out demons, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.When politicians speak publically, they don’t tell people what signs to look for. Instead it is “Jesus, social worker to the poor.” or “Jesus, the moral teacher”, religion comprehendible to secular minds.
Then Dobson who thinks Jesus was a moral teacher blasts Obama who thinks Jesus was a social worker. And they both in turn are blasted by secularists who believe all religions are the same and thus don’t matter. Can you imagine any political candidate saying and demonstrating: “these are the signs that reveal the authentic. They supernaturally heal the sick and cast out demons.” Are you kidding?
I’m with McCain. Keep religion at a distance, and let them guess.
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
2Ti 2:23 Refuse to get involved in inane discussions; they always end up in fights.
2Ti 2:24 God's servant must not be argumentative, but a gentle listener and a teacher who keeps cool,
2Ti 2:25 working firmly but patiently with those who refuse to obey. You never know how or when God might sober them up with a change of heart and a turning to the truth,
2Ti 2:26 enabling them to escape the Devil's trap, where they are caught and held captive, forced to run his errands.
I had been pondering these great scriptures when I ran across a thoughtful article from Christianity Today.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
This post is from my political post. VANILLA BEANS
Following are quotes from major candidates describing their Christianity: Hillary Clinton: “For many of us the golden rule calls on us to act,” Huckabee: “Loving your neighbor” and “Except you do this unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.” During last Saturday’s debate, Obama”: “Except you do this unto the least of these my brethren, you do it unto me.” Mitt Romney says: “I am moved by the Lord's words: 'For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me...”
Can people really get excited that the Creator of the universe went through all He did, intruding into His creation, just to tell the children to make nice with each other? As I have said before, my problem with the candidates expressing their religious beliefs is that right now they control the microphone. On the other hand, a strong Bible believer can only dream of a time when people will pick up their Bibles and spend a day with Jesus for themselves.
My grandmother taught me that actions speak louder than words, and if you can’t understand what a person is saying, watch closely what he does. Here is a day in the life of Jesus “And when He had called unto Him his twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Mt 10:1) He told his disciples to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils (Mat 10:8). And, declare “the reign of Heaven has arrived.” (Phillips translation) Scripture then records that the disciples returned with joy, exclaiming Lord, “even the devils are subject unto us in your name!” And Scripture adds that at that moment Jesus jumped for joy. (Picture a happy feet’s touchdown dance.)
What kind of dance would He have done if they had declared: “We helped a little old lady cross the street.”
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I just returned from the exciting meeting of the Charismatic Leaders Fellowship (CLF) in Jacksonville, Fla. That meeting, by invitation only, is the annual gathering of those original leaders whom God chose to introduce the move of the Holy Spirit into mainline churches. Among the 60 attendees were the great pioneers who wrote the early books on the Holy Spirit for their denominations.
Although I can’t remember all of them, I will list those that I do. The person who is credited with the Holy Spirit move into the first major denomination, the Episcopal Church, was of course, Dennis Bennett, who has now passed on to glory. (I always thought it was God’s sense of humor when He picked the stuffiest and most uptight of the major churches to introduce tongues and other supernatural manifestations.) Present at the Jacksonville meeting, from those very early days in the Episcopal Church however, were David and Ginny Collins. Following are others who were at the beginning outpouring into major denominations: Francis and Judith MacNutt, and Kevin and Dorothy Ranaghan at the outpouring on the Roman Catholic Church; Scott Kelso and Linda Kelso at the outpouring on the Methodists; Jim and Anne Bevis at the outpouring on the Disciples of Christ; Larry and Nordis Christenson at the outpouring on the Lutherans. A scheduling conflict prevented attendance by Gerald Derstine who was at the outpouring on the Mennonites. There were others there at the gathering that I did not meet.
I am sure these old saints, many of them now in their 70s and 80s, suffered many scars and disappointments. Over the years they watched as the Pentecostal and the Spirit-filled independent churches exploded, while their denominations froze up in theological battles.
Two observations were my main impressions: Through it all, they stayed the course, never wavering. Secondly, I know of no scandals among this group, even though most of them became quite prominent in their movements. There were lots of husband and wife teams who had been together since the beginning.
It was an inspiring group to be among and I am grateful that I was invited.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
People charge that what Pentecostals and Charismatics are doing in their churches today is not the same as what the early Christians were doing. How would anyone know? None of us were there. When you read critic's exegesis of First Corinthians 14 for example, you soon see that everyone is having to read between the lines and then wing it. In a babel of tongues, they talk about tongues.
However, without any confusion or doubt, we can categorically assert that what people call church today in the mainline churches (non-Pentecostal) could NOT possibly be what was going on in the Corinthian church. Whatever they were doing sounded pretty worked up and resulted in Paul asking them to tone it down as it was off-putting to nonbelievers. The only actions that might be off-putting to the nonbeliever in most churches today would be the sounds of loud snores.