And God made them male and female and indeterminate.

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“…and God made them male and female and “indeterminate.” (Der Spiegel)

Germany is following Australia’s and Finland’s lead in allowing a third choice when it comes to gender identification on documents that ask for the information. A person simply has to enter the letter “X” for indeterminate rather than ” m” for male or “f” for female.

I could probably go on for quite a while about all the things that are wrong with this confusion but will settle for this.

It’s not exactly a secret how far Germany has drifted from Christianity since the heady days of the Reformation and Martin Luther. And where one thing retreats, another advances and in Germany’s case as well as much of Western Europe that something is Islam.

Nominal cultural Christians, agnostics and atheists may mock Christians that take Scripture seriously and get away with it since most Bible believing Christians are not surprised by anti-Christian biases but with Islam, it’s an animal of a rather different sort.

Islam tends towards being touchy.

religion-of-peace

Sharia law prescribes death to homosexuals as well as calling gender confusion sin. Sharia law is also the stated goal within the western democracies by any honest Islamist. Some rightly fear this trend while their politicians bend over back wards to accommodate Islam.

The irony is the abandonment of traditional Christianity while militant Islam  is on the rise. As one thing retreats, another advances.

For a real eye opener on what slam teaches on homosexuality follow this link to the ReligionofPeace.com

A quick search turned up a number of pictures of Islam demonstrating for Sharia in Europe and here.

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Sharia-law-in-Europe

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What is Pluralism and its Application to Islam?

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Through my other blog that is titled, History Stuff that Interests Me, I have made some friends around the world and some of them are from Western Europe that like the US have significant Moslem populations.

Today one fellow blogger, an American who is married to a German and lives there, posted this image on her blog:

religion-of-peace

The image was in reference to a Moslem riot in Sweden and yesterday’s murder of a British soldier in London by two Moslem jihadists.

I also noticed today that two of my European friends were having a discussion on FB regarding the murder of the British soldier and they were accused of racism and bigotry simply because they were objecting to the pc attitudes prevalent in their countries (Britain and Germany).

No doubt the blogger will soon be subjected to the “all Moslems are not like that” routine that follows each jihadist attack just as my two European friends were (not one racist and bigoted comment was noted by me by either of them).

That’s about how it goes in this country as well. Say something remotely critical of Islam and you are labeled a racist or bigot or both, end of discussion.

No fair-minded person would hold all responsible for the actions of the few but that kind of argument fails to identify why there are jihadists in the first place and what are their ultimate goals..

The western nations have evolved politically to embrace pluralism.  The online Free Dictionary defines pluralism like this:

a. A condition in which numerous distinct ethnic, religious, or cultural groups are present and tolerated within a society.
b. The belief that such a condition is desirable or socially beneficial.
In the wake of the Reformation Europe fought many wars, notably the Thirty Years War, that had religious ramifications. One of the results of the Thirty Years War was a drift, at times a slow drift toward pluralism.One the tenets of the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War is that each prince could determine the religion of their own state. The choices were limited to Catholicism, Lutheranism and Calvinism. While it does not seem like much today, at the time it was a significant step toward religious pluralism.
Europe at the end of the Thirty Years War, 1648. In green is the Ottoman Empire turned back at Vienna, 1683.

Europe at the end of the Thirty Years War, 1648. In green is the Ottoman Empire turned back at Vienna, 1683.

Our own country enshrined freedom of religion in our Constitution and did away with State run churches in an effort to be pluralistic. As a result of these movements and historical events most of the west is pluralistic in outlook and content as a whole to live and let live in a sort of melting pot of cultures and faiths.
Do I think most Moslems are content to live and let live? Yeah, probably, but the minority that seeks to establish sharia in the western countries and use jihad (the passive and aggressive varieties) do not. Pluralism is not something they can accept because they believe their version of the Islamic faith will not allow that kind of tolerance. It’s not really any more complicated than that.
It’s also worth noting that every time there is a jihadist attack Moslem leaders in general are relatively silent, so silent, it’s deafening.
Why is this?
I can think of two reasons off the top of my head.
One is fear, fear that if you are not for us you are against us. The jihadists are ruthless as we’ve seen time and time again. Unless it would serve their political purposes to speak out the jihadists would have no problem killing off their own. Note how Moslems who convert to Christianity are treated.
Secondly, I think it would be unwise to assume that many mainstream Moslems are not at least sympathetic to jihadist and sharia ultimate goals. They might reject the violence to get there for a host of reasons but we would foolish to ignore that many think sharia is a good thing even in the west.
As  an American I believe the war on terror is ultimately a war on those who reject western notions of pluralism and would rather live like Iran or Afghanistan under the Taliban.
As a Christian, I see Islam in general as slavery and antithetical to the Gospel of Grace and what freedom in Christ means and does not mean.
The war is a war on ideas because ideas have consequences.

You might be an Extremist if…

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You might be an extremist if the people who train US Army Reserves have anything to say about it. Check out the poster.

Hmmm

Hmmm

At the top of the list are evangelical Christians. That would be me but the most extreme thing I’ve done lately is pay my taxes to the Federal Government with a frown on my face since I was pretty sure a lot of that money would be wasted.

I guess that makes me guilty of anti-government thoughts but extreme, gee whiz.

If you look carefully you’ll see that Catholics made the list, all of them I guess. Evangelicals are a sub-set of Protestants and apparently were singled out as a sub-set. Not so with Catholics and all of them are labeled as extremists. To be fair the author of this poster probably meant that only Catholics who do not like Obama are extremists. Still, he should have been a bit more careful since the Catholics who did vote for Obama might misinterpret the word “extremist” for one who DID vote for Obama. I would.

Also on the list are “Fundamentalist Mormons.” I’m not sure what a Fundamentalist Mormon is but the author probably means Glen Beck because he thinks bad thoughts about Marxism, Communism and Socialism and says bad things about the government and the government’s collectivist agenda.

Ultra-orthodox Jews also made the list. I’m not an expert on modern Judaism but I’m guessing ultra-orthodox roughly translates to Jews who are not American liberals.

What’s fascinating about this list is the company these groups keep on the list.  There are quite a few genuinely scary groups on that list, terrorists, racists, murderers, Islamic fascists and the like.

To be fair the Army withdrew the poster from the training saying that whoever made it was not an expert. No kidding. Kind of raises the issue on how the person got the job in the first place.

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Churches to Mosques in Europe

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The land that gave birth to Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation “has lost its faith” according to two German friends of mine. This article in Der Spiegel seems to bear this out as Protestants and Catholics sell off their buildings, some of which date back hundreds of years.

Europe in general has seen a steep decline in Christianity. While many people are born into a state church few participate and as a result the buildings are empty much of the time.

In some places the church buildings are being taken over by Islam as Islam grows across Europe (and here to for that matter).

This church in Duisberg, Germany is now Moslem and it’s in addition to a large Mosque already in the area.

St. Peter and Paul Church, Duisberg, Germany, future Mosque

St. Peter and Paul Church, Duisberg, Germany, future Mosque

Here’s a link to the general church-mosque conversion in Europe in general.

Where the gospel is not preached then something other than the gospel will fill the void.

“Buy a Sword” said Jesus

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In Rick Atkinson’s excellent work on the American Army titled An Army at Dawn-The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 he recounts how the newly arrived American soldiers had trouble hating their German and Italian enemies and thus shooting at them.

The American Army's baptism of fire in the North African Campaign began in February, 1943 when Rommel attacked at Kasserine Pass. The inexperienced Americans were routed but soon found out how to fight back. Here American soldiers inspect a knocked out German Pz. III tank.

The American Army’s baptism of fire in the North African Campaign began in February, 1943 when Rommel attacked at Kasserine Pass. The inexperienced Americans were routed but soon found out how to fight back. Here American soldiers inspect a knocked out German Pz. III tank.

The American soldiers collective attitude seemed to be one of “what did those guys ever do to me” along with the aversion to taking a life in general. Since the vast bulk of our soldiers came from a Christianized background they also would have been exposed to the commandment “thou shalt not kill” thus wondering how killing in a war could be reconciled with the apparent absoluteness of the commandment.

After the Americans began to take fire and suffer casualties their aversion to killing began to disappear as war became suddenly very personal and “kill or be killed” became the new normal.

Theologically speaking, men, all men, are natural-born sinners, but that does not mean all men are natural-born killers. Most of us have to have an obvious reason to kill. Self-defense and self-preservation quickly rise to the top of pretty good reasons.

I was reminded of the tension some soldiers might feel this morning as I read a column by Dennis Prager of Townhall.com.

In the column Prager makes reference to an opinion piece in the Washington Post by a former Marine Captain who titled the opinion piece “I killed people in Afghanistan. Was I right or wrong.”

Prager notes that the Marine Captain, now a student at New York University is morally confused having difficulty reconciling the notion that “killing is always wrong” but the exception seems to be “this is war, so it’s okay.” The Marine Captain concludes that he was wrong to kill in the Afghan War.

As a pastoral counselor I am keenly aware of the variety of factors that can influence a person’s thinking and contribute to their belief system.

For example, one of the best known examples is the idea that a child that who has a poor example of a father generally has a hard time relating to God the Father. The influence of what Scripture has to say about God the Father can change that but the transition can be difficult because the child carries baggage from his or her experiences with an earthly father.

The Marine Captain now firmly ensconced in the leftist university system is being influenced by a leftist, pacifistic mindset and agenda that is quite good at guilt manipulation just as it is fundamentally anti-military. One has to only think back to the sixties and seventies when it was quite common for our military to be branded as baby killers and murderers as they returned from the Vietnam War. The same people who hurled epithets like that then now control the bulk of our universities.

Prager points out, rightly in my opinion, that the Marine Captain’s thinking is counter-intuitive. Like our soldiers in WW2 who really did not want to kill they quickly learned there was a righteous self-defense aspect to fighting the Germans and Italians in North Africa as well as understanding that fascism had to be stopped and people would die to stop it.

Most children and their parents intuitively understand this and have to work hard to dismiss the notion that when you are attacked you must defend yourself (or die, or get beat up, or robbed.) Most also intuitively understand or understood there is a way of life worth defending and sometimes that means taking on modern-day Islamic-Fascists who blow themselves and others in suicide bombings up, maim women and children and in general behave in the most barbarous ways imaginable.

For the Christian we have to be more concerned with what the Scripture says about these things rather than what the leftist universities say. For example, I believe that Jesus supports the idea of self-defense in the following passage:

He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.” (Luke 22:36-38 ESV)

There is a spiritualized interpretation of the passage that turns the sword into a metaphorical sword to emphasize the spiritual warfare the disciples will be engaged in. Those that hold to this view cite the fact that when Jesus was arrested he told Peter to sheath his sword (after he loped off the ear of a guy named Malchus, John 18:10).

Others, including myself argue that the sword is as literal as the moneybag and knapsack and that when Jesus told Peter to put up his sword it was because the Scripture needed to be fulfilled and not because Jesus did not believe in self-defense. I mean really, if Jesus was against swords then why he didn’t tell the disciples to not even have one strapped on”

I am not certain if the Marine Captain was or is even aware of the passage or its correct interpretation. Prager though does believe that Marine Captain was aware of the above mentioned commandment (Ex. 20:13), “Thou shalt not kill.”

What the Marine Captain certainly does not know is that “thou shalt not kill” should have been rendered “thou shalt not commit murder.” Prager notes that in Hebrew there are two primary words for homicide, kill and murder. The translators of the King James Bible simply chose kill over murder. More modern translations such as English Standard Version render the verse like this:

“You shall not murder. (Exodus 20:13 ESV)

The former Marine Captain, now a student and product of the leftist American University system may very well be typical of many soldiers. When a person goes to war against a monstrous enemy such as the Taliban it does require a certain recalibration of one’s moral values and if one does not have something solid like a sound theology to recalibrate upon one is at the mercy of other agenda driven influences.

Prager concludes that Marine Corps should explain to Marines (especially Marine officers) that the Bible does not prohibit the killing of Taliban monsters and that in fact it is a moral good to do so.

I have no idea what Marine Corps training consists of but can tell you that way back in 1971 during my brief stay in the Army I never once heard any reference to the Bible and the moral justification for war or self-defense. Back then it was probably assumed that like in WW2 American soldiers had something of a background that would suggest it is necessary to defend oneself and defeat the enemies of one’s country who were trying to kill you.

That the Marine Corps would have a need to state what was once so obvious is another indication of our far we have slid into moral confusion as a nation.

Now Secretary of Defense John Kerry in a picture with Jane Fonda. Kerry was and is among those who would characterize the American military as baby killers. Ironic given the left;s abortion at any time advocacy.

Now Secretary of Defense John Kerry in a picture with Jane Fonda. Kerry was and is among those who would characterize the American military as baby killers. Ironic given the left’s abortion at any time advocacy.

Creeping Islam, Creeping Sharia

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There are a couple of pastors that write for Townhall.com. Whenever they appear I make it a point to read them.

One of them is Michael Youseff. Pastor Youseff pastors a large independent, evangelical Anglican church in the Atlanta area. He is also a conservative clergy blogger and writer as well as knowing something about Islam. Youseff is Egyptian by birth and immigrated to the US in 1977 after first immigrating to Australia.

His recent column of Townhall.com is titled The Silent Conquest of a Continent.

The column has to do with birthrates in Europe. Youseff notes that in much of western Europe the birthrate of non-Moslems is about 1.4 children per household. The Moslem birthrate on the other hand is 4-6 children per household. Youseff cites statistics that the Moslem population could over take the non-Moslem population in terms of numbers by 2025 or 2050.

So what you may ask?

The answer to that key question is found in Youseff’s title The Silent Conquest of a Continent.

Consider this quote by Sheik Yousef Quardawi: “What our forbears failed to do by the sword, this generation is accomplishing through legitimate birthright, immigration, and petro-dollars.”

The sheik is referring to the attempted military conquests of Europe.

The first major attempt was made by the Umayyad Arabs. Erupting out of what is now Saudi Arabia, Moslem Arab armies had conquered the middle east, taking it from the Christian East Roman Empire or Byzantines. The Moslem Arabs also knocked off the powerful Sassanid Persians (modern-day Iran) replacing their religion of Zoroastrianism with Islam.

The-Umayyad-Caliphate-661-750 A.D.

The-Umayyad-Caliphate-661-750 A.D.

From there the Arab Moslem armies conquered all of North Africa, most of Spain and then pushed into France (Gaul, as it was called then). The Umayyads were surprisingly defeated by the Carolingian Franks led by the remarkable Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours in 732.

Much of Spain and Portugal would remain Moslem until the late 1400’s when the Spanish reconquered Spain.

The next major invasion of Europe by Moslem armies occured in 1453 when the remnant of the Byzantine Empire succumb to the powerful, militaristic Ottoman Turks when they took Constantinople (Istanbul today). The fall of Constantinople was only the beginning of Moslem expansion into Europe. The expansion ceased following the unsuccessful siege of Vienna in 1683 by the Ottomans.

Ottoman Empire-1580

Ottoman Empire-1580

This is what Sheik Yousef Quardawi meant when he said: “What our forbears failed to do by the sword, this generation is accomplishing through legitimate birthright, immigration, and petro-dollars.”

Youseff asks what type of Moslem will come to dominate Europe. Will they be the radical jihadists or will they be the more “westernized” variety that genuinely want to live in a truly pluralistic society?

Youseff makes this observation: “Certainly the current push for Sharia implementation in many European countries, including England, presents a foreboding omen.”

Here is a link to an article in Der Spiegel, a German magazine that illustrates the reality of creeping sharia in Germany and the surprising support it receives from non-Moslem politicians.

Here’s another link: Germany: Munich: “Moderate” Muslims demand Sharia and Jihad for Europe at “Freedom” rally

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