“At the root of the collapse of the West, there is a cultural identity crisis.
The West no longer knows and does not want to know who made it,
who established it, as it was and as it is.
Many countries today ignore their own history.
This is self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the
path to new, barbaric civilizations.”
Robert Cardinal Sarah
Many of you may or may not be familiar with Cardinal Sarah.
I’ve quoted and even mentioned Cardinal Sarah before.
I am not Catholic, but having been raised in the Episcopal Chruch,
I have always been considered Catholic lite… or so they say…
of which I take as a compliment.
But I want you to know that despite my not being a Catholic, I have always felt
encouraged when ever reading Cardinal Sarah’s words.
He does not mince his words.
He does not apologize for those words.
And he always takes God at His word while never looking back.
That is such a refreshing stand in a time of endless apologies, backtracking, politicizing,
and the current persecution of Christians in, of all places, Western Civilization.
Robert Sarah was born in 1945 in Ourous, a village in then rural French Guinea.
His parents were both Christian converts.
Sarah began his religious studies at the age of 12.
With ongoing conflicts within Guinea, Sarah eventually completed his schooling in both
France and Senegal with his final ordination studies in both Rome and Jerusalem.
He was ordained in 1969, serving as a priest and eventual bishop in Guinea.
Both pope’s Benedict and Francis elevated Sarah to first cardinal deacon then
eventually Cardinal in 2013.
What we know about Africa, Cardinal Sarah’s home nation, is that it is the fastest-growing
Christian nation on the planet.
And it is a bastion of a conservative perspective on God’s word and of Christianity.
Meaning, the global Christian Chruch in Africa does not mince God’s word.
If God said it, then it is so…end of sentence.
There is no deciphering, interpreting, or rewriting to suit the whims of the times.
In a time in which Christianity is under tremendous attack and Christians are facing
all sorts of persecutions, Africa offers Christianity hope.
Cardinal Sarah makes no excuses for his Christian faith, his African Christianity,
his Catholicism and no excuses for what many claim to be politically incorrect
stances on Christianity.
Cardinal Sarah has been very vocal, as well as pointed with his words, regarding ISIS,
Radical Isalm, gender identity, LGBTQ lifestyles, mass immigration, abortion,
the current demise of the traditional family, and the current seemingly
demise of Western Civilization.
The good Cardinal says that he “considers that the decadence of our time has
all the faces of mortal peril.”
He has also stated that ‘Gender Ideology is a Luciferean Refusal’
of the Sexual Nature Given to Us by God.
There are no apologies for such wording as he speaks with only the
word of God as his guide.
Cardinal Sarah has a new book to be released in September… The Day Is Now Far Spent.
The publisher’s review is telling…
In this powerful book by the acclaimed spiritual leader and best-selling writer,
one he calls his “most important”, he analyzes the profound spiritual,
moral and political crisis in the contemporary world.
He says that he “considers that the decadence of our time has all the faces of mortal peril.”
“At the root of the collapse of the West, there is a cultural identity crisis.
The West no longer knows who it is, because it no longer knows and does not
want to know who made it, who established it, as it was and as it is.
Many countries today ignore their own history.
This self-suffocation naturally leads to a decadence that opens the path to new,
In these words, Cardinal Sarah summarizes the theme of his book.
His finding is simple: our world is on the brink of the abyss.
Crisis of faith and of the Church, decline of the West, betrayal by its elites,
moral relativism, endless globalism, unbridled capitalism, new ideologies,
political exhaustion, movements inspired by Islamist totalitarianism…
The time has come for an unflinching diagnosis.
While making clear the gravity of the crisis through which the West has gone,
the Cardinal demonstrates that it is possible to avoid the hell of a world without God,
a world without man, a world without hope.
After the great international success of his first two books,
God or Nothing and The Power of Silence,
Cardinal Sarah offers a wide-ranging reflection on the crisis of the contemporary
world while teaching many important spiritual lessons.
I look forward to reading this latest book by this ardent soldier of the Faith,
and I am thankful that there are prelates, clergy, and
men of the cloth who will not apologize nor back down in the face of mounting backlash,
criticism or persecution—
In the word of God, there are no mistakes…there is no mincing of His word…
So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
I am reminded of the saying that “those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it.”
We need to learn.
David Roberston regarding the book The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive
There is a particular book that our friend the Wee Flea has painstakingly and slowly
been offering tiny tantalizing morsels, chapter synopsizes if you will, to the readers
of his blog ever since the first of the new year.
It is a book that I have not read myself but will most likely add into the queue of my
ever-growing and now burgeoning ‘must reads but haven’t the time” pile.
The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive by Christopher Booker and Richard North
According to David, This is one of those books that is culture changing.
Written by Christopher Booker and Richard North, it is a detailed,
well-researched and brilliantly argued book about the history of the European Union.
It was first published in 2003 but this updated edition was released in 2016.
“A superb history of the EU and of Britain’s relationship with it…every MP, every senior civil servant,
every journalist with any claim to understanding the current state of the country,
should read it” Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday I would wholeheartedly endorse Hitchens view.
I spend far too much time arguing with politicians and others who have bought into the EU’s myth about itself.
My challenge is very simple. Every one of our lawmakers and opinion formers should read this.
If they can prove it wrong, so be it. I would probably change my mind.
But if it is right in its main thesis then it is a devastating expose of the EU,
and should make every rational person, glad that we voted to get it and should add to
our determination to get out.
So why might I, an American you wonder, be interested in a book that addresses issues
concerning the EU?
Why would I, or should I, ever be interested in not only the EU but that of Brexit?
That whole ‘should she go or should she stay’ fiasco plaguing our friends across the pond?
Do we not have enough troubles here in the States without my having to borrow
any more worries from our neighbors?
Well, I believe that The US and our cousins across the Pond, The UK,
are mirror images of one another… albeit images who literally spell our words a bit
differently, yet mirror images none the less.
We’re cut from, more or less, the same cloth.
So the saying may hold true for each of us…” so goes the UK, so goes the US” and
then “so goes the US, so goes the UK”
Like it or not, agree with me or not, but the two of us have always been the lynchpins
of Western Civilization.
Joined at the proverbial hip for better or for worse or for both.
So I think it behooves all of us to keep a wary eye on Brexit.
Albeit now morphing into some sort of hybrid water-downed version of
it’s original self.
I have been a pro-Brexit person from early on…but that matters neither here nor there as I
have no vote, no say and really no dog in the fight…but yet…I do…we all do.
We have a dog in that fight because what happens to the UK will impact the US tremendously.
That how it is with families—one might be ailing while the other in turn renders comfort and aid.
So why would I favor to go rather than to stay?
Because the EU is not what it was ever intended to be nor will it ever be.
I believe the UK would be a stronger sovereign nation by herself rather than tethered to
And maybe I’ve grown jaded over the decades, but I am no longer really keen on the UN either…
but we’ll save that thought for another day.
So if you ask me, we’re both going to hell in a handbasket.
We’ve lost our way.
We’ve lost our moral compass.
We’ve lost our respect, let alone belief, in our God.
We’ve lost our humility.
We’ve lost our identities.
And we’ve lost those in leadership who were never afraid of leading…
President Trump, I believe has been trying, but our Nation appears to no longer want
strong definitive leadership…
Margaret Thatcher has always been one of my “heroes”–albeit a hero for one who never
lived under her leadership…so I understand that some may question my choice…
but you need to understand that I did live under the leadership of her counterpart…that being Reagan.
And as a team, they were an unformidable team.
Thatcher knew how to lead.
She knew her facts.
She knew her history.
She knew her agenda.
She set her sights.
She kept a level head and she would not back down from a fight that
was fought for the sake of Western Civilization.
And whereas she had many detractors in the UK…
those who did not like or even resented her leadership and or policies…
personally, I have always thought the tandem forces of Thatcher / Reagan was the last great
world leadership team that we have ever seen since that of Churchill and Roosevelt.
So I was keenly interested in David’s take on Thatcher as revealed in the Great Deception.
The link to his full post follows at the end…
The Great Deception Ch. 13 – No! No! No! – 1988-1990
This is a fascinating chapter which gave me a lot of information I did not know –
not least that the EU planned Thatcher’s fall –
and the Tory ‘men in grey suits’ were quite happy to do their bidding.
“I wanted to change the policies, not the leader.
But if that meant the leader had to go, then so it had to be.” Geoffrey Howe.
After her Bruges speech, Prime Minister Thatcher had become the great obstacle to the European
project and so she came under sustained attack – not least from the Euphiles in her own party.
Delors was desperate to get the Euro set up and a European bank.
For that to happen he had to get the Germans on board and especially the Bundesbank.
Much to most people’s surprise they did not block monetary union but merely insisted on certain conditions.
This was because Delors had rigged the committee and skillfully \ flattery and persuasion.
He made them this incredible promise – which is directly relevant to today’s situation.
“There will be a new, Super- Bundesbank at European level,
totally independent of governments and consequently able to exercise a degree of power beyond
the wildest dreams of many heads of government.”
This week as Big Business and the Big Banks are stepping up the pressure on Brexit
(and gleefully being cited as support by so called left-wingers, liberals and greens),
remember that the current EU was set up by them and for them.
Nigel Lawson, the British Chancellor,
tried to promote the ERM and ERU as an agreement between sovereign nations.
He failed to realise (until too late) that the EU’s central purpose was not co-operation but subordination.
This is a failing that most pro-EU UK politicians today refuse to acknowledge.
British Conservative politicians argued that we should go along with the first stage because
we did not ‘want to miss the bus’ and we could ‘change from within’.
Sound familiar?! Thatcher was the only one who really saw the danger and she stood firm. Even when Lawson and Howe threatened to resign she stood firm.
And yet in Madrid she said that the UK would join the ERM
(Exchange Rate Mechanism) but did not specify a date.
Meanwhile Lawson decided to shadow the Deutschmark, so interests rates in Britain soared to 16%.
He resigned. The French Prime Minister Rocard warned “Britain is like a slow ship in a naval convoy.
Sometimes, for the good of all, the last vessel must be abandoned to its tragic destiny”
Meanwhile in November 1989, the Berlin wall fell.
Delors saw this as a great opportunity to promote a federal Europe –
rather than a Europe of independent nation states.
A single currency, a single economic policy, and a single government.
In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.
And in October of the same year, Thatcher reluctantly announced that Britain would, after all, join the ERM.
Delors by then did not want the UK to join – he just wanted rid of Thatcher.
Britain however joined (much to the delight of Labour, the Lib Dems, the trade Unions, and the CBI) –
only to be forced to a humiliating exit in 1992.
The two main protagonists
Delors saw an opportunity at the GATT talks (world trade) with 125 countries.
Britain which was still the worlds second largest trader at that point,
did not have a seat at these talks.
We were represented by the EU.
The USA wanted a cut in agricultural subsidies.
The EU was totally against.
The EU Council then set a trap for Thatcher.
It refused to discuss GATT and instead focused on monetary union.
“Mrs. Thatcher would be forced into the open; either she would agree, conceding game, set and match…
or, more likely, she would have to refuse, leaving the door open for a strike by her British opponents”
Thatcher then made this famous remark:
“The president of the Commission, Mr. Delors, said at a press conference the other day that he wanted
the European Parliament to be the democratic body of the Community.
He wanted the Commission to be the executive and he wanted the Council of Ministers to be the Senate.
No. No. No.”
Whilst there were many things about Mrs. Thatcher which I disliked and disagreed with when I watch this clip,
I realise that she was streets ahead in terms of leadership and courage than any of today’s leaders.
There is not a chance that Mrs.T would have been pushed around as much as Mrs. May or the ‘we must surrender all’
politicians have been.
Thatcher recognised – too late – that the EU was not about an open market and free trade –
but was and is, in fact, a protectionist bloc.
The Sun summed up the whole situation with their “Up Yours Delors” headline.
And Howe resigned.
Heseltine stood against Thatcher in the leadership election and although he lost it was only by 204 votes to 185.
Heath rang his office shouting “rejoice, rejoice’ and bought his staff champagne.
But Heseltine did not become leader.
Thatcher was replaced by John Major who wanted the UK to be at the heart of Europe.
Given that the EU was about to move towards political and monetary union
it was a forlorn hope.
This whole chapter serves to show the stark contrast with today’s politicians and the leadership
of Mrs Thatcher.
She was prepared to say ‘No, No, No’ to the EU and act upon it.
Our leaders would never say no the EU and instead are prepared to say No, No, No
to the British people and to once again hand over sovereignty to the EU.
“Life itself, without faith, would have been worthless to them. It would be mere existence–
an existence more lowly than that of the animals, for animals are perfect in and of themselves, but humans are imperfect;
their aim for perfection requires divine assistance.”
Martin Mosebach author of the book The 21: A Journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs
My friends at Plough Publishing have gifted me with another tantalizing morsel
book for perusal and review.
Well, my publishing friend actually was offering several books for sharing but I requested the hard copy of
but one book—
It is the story of those murdered and martyred Egyptian Copts on a Libyan seaside in 2015,
at the hands of ISIS—a story that continues to haunt me.
And it seems that I am not alone in feeling haunted by the memory of this heinous act.
The German author, Martin Mosebach is haunted as well.
Obviously, in order to delve into the story, Mr. Mosebach watched the full video of the beheadings
that was still floating around out there somewhere in cyberspace…that odd juxtaposition of
both space and time where nothing seems to die despite any and all humans involved either eventually
or having long since died.
At the time, as well as now, I did not nor do I care to watch such.
There have been many highly publicized videoed beheadings…
all carried out in the name of Allah by ISIS over past 5 or 6 years, but I have not watched them.
And yet oddly millions have been drawn to watching as if having bought a ticket to some macabre
Hollywood blockbuster…mesmerized by the unthinkable…
The unthinkable of one human being ending the life of another human being–
A life that is literally being held in the hands of an executioner…
or better put, a life’s head pulled up by the hair, all in order to sever the neck and eventually
the head more readily from its body.
Mosebach notes in his book how the original ISIS video actually cut away from what became an extended
as well as messy time the executioners were having in literally cutting the heads from the bodies…
not neat and quick as say the swift effortless job of a guillotine.
And it was very apparent that for the sake of the video’s shock value and propaganda,
the executioners desperately needed, as well as wanted, to look as professional, in control
and as efficient as possible.
A messy beheading can give the impression of being amateurish and ISIS wants nothing
to do with appearing amateurish or not being in complete control—as that feeds into their
desire to always appear large and in charge.
After watching the video and studying the odd camera image of the captors marching their
prisoners to the shoreline while appearing as black-clad giants
next to their captives who were wearing the unmistakable orange jumpsuits reminiscent of the Islamic
prisoners at Gitanomao, as each captive appeared small and less than–
Mosebach was moved by the posturing of the captors mirrored by the near emotionless
and oddly resigned yet the serene sense of their captives.
Prayers could be seen and heard flowing from the lips of the captives as well as the offered
praise for Jesus Christ despite knowing their fate was soon to be grisly.
There were no cries for mercy or of fear …but only controlled prayers to Jesus.
Early in the book Mosebach wonders aloud whether or not martyrdom and Christianity must
always go hand in hand…as he inquisitively muses
“as long as there are Christians there will also be martyrs?”
Mosebach knew that he must make his way to Egypt to visit the
homes and families of these martyred men.
And that he desperately needed to know more about the Copts and the Coptic faith.
The Copts are as old as Christianity itself–for they are some of the earliest known followers
of the Christian faith. Coptic actually means Egyptian—so these are Egyptian Christians.
They originated in the city of Alexandria and claim the author of the book of Mark,
that being John Mark, as their founder and first ‘bishop.’
Long before there was a Latin West or Eastern faith, long before there was
an East and West spilt in the faith, there were the Copts.
According to gotquestions.com, Prior to the “Great” East/West Schism of A.D. 1054,
the Coptics were separated from the rest by the Council of Chalcedon in A.D. 451.
The council met to discuss the Incarnation of Christ and declared that Christ was
“one hypostasis in two natures” (i.e., one person who shares two distinct natures).
This became standard orthodoxy for Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic,
and Protestant churches from then on Coptic understanding is that Christ is one nature from two natures:
“the Logos Incarnate.”
In this understanding, Christ is from, not in, two natures: full humanity and full divinity.
Some in the Coptic Orthodox Church believe that their position was misunderstood at
the Council of Chalcedon and take great pains to ensure that they are not seen as Monophysitic
(denying the two natures of Christ), but rather “Miaphysitic”
(believing in one composite/conjoined nature from two).
Some believe that perhaps the council understood the church correctly,
but wanted to exile the church for its refusal to take part in politics or due to the rivalry
between the bishops of Alexandria and Rome.
To this day, 95 percent of Christians in Alexandria are members of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
It is interesting to note that when the Coptics were under the rule of the Roman Empire,
they suffered severe persecution and death for their steadfast faith and beliefs in Christ while
refusing to worship emperors. However, by A.D. 641,
yet another tribulation began when the Arab conquest took place,
overthrowing the Romans’ rule in Egypt and, at first, relieving the Coptic Church from persecution.
What appeared to be their liberty and freedom became yet again bondage.
The societal strength and control of the Arabs caused the Coptics to endure a major language and
culture change as well as confront the Islamic faith. Unfortunately,
over the centuries, Christianity lost foothold and most Coptics converted to Islam.
I am only to page 26 in the story and Mosebach has not yet traveled to Egypt—
so I am hopeful to read a story rich in history, Faith, resilience, forgiveness and above all Hope—
Hope despite the choking backdrop of Evil.
Some of his words prick the skin.
I find it difficult reading the words written by those who are not Americans…
those who write about America and our politics…
words about our leaders, our actions, our lack of action,
our complications in world affairs…
because like most Americans, I like to think our hearts are in the right place but I also know that
our National actions and reactions are deeply complicated by our politics.
Actions and reactions that fail not only our hearts and our people but fail those of our world.
I think as Americans we tend to feel a responsibility, albeit it a false responsibility, to
make the world a better place and to be the quintessential Superman for those in need.
We sometimes fail…we fail others and we fail ourselves.
So it does hurt reading the words of those who keenly notice.
But as they say, the truth can often hurt.
Throughout his quest, while seeking truth and information, Mosebach is moved by what he
actually does find…
that being a deeply sincere forgiveness found in the hearts of the Copts.
A century’s long-oppressed people who can find the capacity to truly forgive those
who have brutally killed their own families.
Unlike those of the Islamic State who seek misguided bloody, torturous and grisly revenge…
the Copts literally embrace the words of Christ…to forgive one’s enemies, no matter what.
For it is in forgiveness that we find our true liberation and hope.
Their faith goes beyond what we think of Christianity in the West.
That of an ever-growing, feel good wannabe that is polarizing and lukewarm at best.
The Copts seem to understand that our Faith transcends this earth.
Life on this earth is a blink of an eye that matters not…what matters is Christ and Christ alone.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I’ll offer more as I progress as time allows but for now, I will leave us with the
words of Mr. Mosebach…
Much as the brutal nature of their deaths and the firmness,
even stubbornness with which they confessed their faith seem to match one another in context,
we find their fate equally eerie.
Hasn’t the Western world, with its openness toward discussion and dialogue,
long since overcome such life-threatening opposites?
We live in an era of strict religious privatization and want to see it
subjected to secular law.
Society seems to have reached a consensus to reject proselytizing and religious zeal.
Hadn’t all that put an end to the merciless, all-or-nothings alternatives or believe or leave,
renounce your faith or die?
Here is a link to Christianity Today and a story about the Copts and forgiveness.
“There are two ways, one of life and one of death,
and there is a great difference between these two ways”
The Two Ways
The kind folks at Plough Publishing have once again shared a few new books with me for my review.
Sometimes I have time to read them, sometimes, I don’t.
Sometimes I have to settle for a bit of berry picking…pursing for those tastiest little
nuggets…nuggets that not only need to be shared but such nuggets are necessary when it comes to sharing.
I received a couple of books with today’s offering bieng from one of those books.
The Two Ways
The Early Christian Vision of Discipleship from
The Didache and The Shepherd of Hermas
With an introduction by Rowan Williams
The Didache, also known as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, an anonymous work composed in the late
first century AD, was lost for centuries before being rediscovered in 1873.
The Shepherd of Hermas was written by a Roman Christian named Hermas in the second century AD
or possibly even earlier.
A tale in which the “angel of repentance” appears to Hermas, a Christian living in Rome in the form of a shepherd.
Both works were included in early lists of canonical books.
There was, in the eyes of Rome, a deadly difficulty in the claim made by the early Christians
and that of their loyalty, or lack thereof, to the state.
As it appeared that their loyalty was no longer found in the authority of Rome and of the state
but rather in a man who Rome considered dead and gone.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, in his introduction to the book
examines the life of Christians during the infancy time-period of the new ‘religion’
as seen from the eyes of the political and governing body of Rome.
Williams notes that “any Chrisitan in this period knew that, even if things were relatively peaceful,
it was always possible that a suspicious government would crackdown.
(Sound familiar 21st century Christians?)
The suspicions were well-founded in one sense.
If you look at the eyewitness accounts of martyrdom in these early centuries—
documents like the wonderful record of the martyrs of Scilli in North Africa in AD 180–
you can see what the real issue was.
These Christians, most of them probably domestic slaves, had to explain to the magistrate that they
were quite happy to pray for the imperial state,
and even to pay taxes, but that they could not grant the state their absolute allegiance.
They had another loyalty—which did not mean that they wished to overthrow the administration,
but that they would not comply with the states’ demands in certain respects.
They would not worship the emperor, and, as we know from some texts, refused to serve
in the Roman army.
They asked from the state what had been very reluctantly conceded to the Jews as an ethnic group—
exemption from the religious requirements of the empire.
What made their demand new and shocking was that it was not made on the basis of ethnic identity,
but on the bare fact of conviction and conscience.
For the first time in human history, individuals claimed the liberty to define the
limits of their political loyalty,
and to test that loyalty by spiritual and ethical standards.
That is why the early Christian movement was so threatening–and so simply baffling—
to the Roman authorities.
It was not revolutionary in the sense that it was trying to change the government.
Its challenge was more serious:
it was the claim to hold any and every government to account,
to test its integrity, and to give and withhold compliance accordingly.
The Early Christians believed that if Jesus of Nazareth was “Lord,”
no one else could be lord over him, and therefore no one could overrule his authority.
We use the word “Lord” these days mostly in a rather unthinking religious context,
as a sort of devotional flourish: for a Roman, it meant the person who made the decisions you had to abide by,
from the master of a slave in the household to the emperor himself.
To speak of Jesus as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” was to say that his decisions
could not be overridden by anyone.
You might have to disobey a “lord” in our society in order to obey the one true Master of all—
the one who used no violence in enforcing his decisions but was all the more unanswerable
an authority because of that.
He alone needed no reinforcement, no temporal power,
to overcome external threats of rivals.
The theology of the early centuries thus comes very directly out of this one great central
conviction about political authority: if Jesus is Lord, no one else ultimately is,
and so those who belong with Jesus, who shares his life through the common life of the worshiping community,
have a solidarity and a loyalty that goes beyond the chance identity of national or political life.
The first claim on their loyalty is to live out the life of Jesus which is also the life of God–
a life that needs no defense and so has no place for violence and coercion,
God, says Clement of Alexandria in the late second century, shows his love supremely in the fact that
he loves people who have no “natural” claim on him,
‘Humans love largely because of fellow-feeling, but God’s love is such that it never depends
on having something in common.
The creator has in one sense nothing in common with his creation—how could he?
But he is completely free to exercise his essential being, which is love, wherever he wills,
And this teaches us that we too must learn to love beyond the boundaries of common interest and
natural sympathy and, like God, love those who don’t see to have anything in common with us.
So many good nuggets here to taste, savor and finally digest…
And that’s just from the introduction!!!
From the notion of how we currently use the word “Lord” when referring to Jesus…
With it being more of a case of mere verbiage rather than a true sense of one who actually is in sole
authority over us.
As in one of true Lordship.
For in the word “Lord” one finds deep humility, yielding to and the deferring of self to that of another…
all of which is actually found in the use of what most consider to be a simple single word.
All of which are concepts so foreign to the 21st-century self-sufficient mind.
And so here’s the thing…
we have a new year.
The gift of a new year.
Yet for so many reasons, we needed to throw out this past year a long time ago.
It was caustic, volatile, vitriolic, hate-filled and divisive.
We have watched a nation, and an entire civilization, turn her back on her
We have seen sinfulness legalized and legitimized while those who cry foul are victimized, scorned
and are actually now deemed criminal.
Criminal for holding, claiming, speaking and standing firm in the Faith of the One True God.
While sadly the majority who claim that belief stand idly by saying nothing.
Our friend the Wee Flea, Pastor David Robertson, has been offering his own review of a book with
a somewhat familiar title. That Hideous Strength: How the West Was Lost
The Cancer of Cultural Marxism in the Chruch,
The World And The Gospel Of Change
by Melvin Tinker
The book’s title is a nod to a novel of the same title by C.S Lewis
(That Hideous Strength–the last in a space trilogy from 1945),
Tinker takes Lewis’ work and runs with it…making a novel applicable to our current times
as we watch a Post Christian world teetering on the brink of irreversible destructive harm.
Our dear friend, the rouge Anglican cleric Bishop Gavin Ashenden, states that “if this book manages to wake
the Chruch to the danger it faces it will have done a great service to the Kingdom of heaven today”.
In his reflection of Mr. Tinker’s work, John Steven, FIEC, contends that
“The last sixty years have witnessed the death in the West of the Judeo-Christian worldview and its
replacement by an increasingly totalitarian secularism. Melvin Tinker deftly explains how this
revolution happened, and exposed the tactics that enabled Cultural Marxism to triumph
amongst our institutions and elites. We are deceiving ourselves if we think that this new ideology
is simply about achieving equality.
Rather it seeks the abolition of the family as the basis for society.
Having identified the challenge he helpfully shows how Christians should respond.
Following in the footsteps of William Wilberforce we must proclaim the gospel of God and
vigorously refute the ideas and values of the present day.
He calls for bold and courageous evangelical leadership, which is often sadly lacking
in the contemporary church.
Although a challenging read, this book provides invaluable help in understanding our
It will make you grieve, pray, and deepen your confidence in the gospel fo the Lord Jesus,
which is alone able to free lost men and women from their bondage to sin and Satan.”
And we have grieved have we not?
I have felt much palpable grief this past year, living in the obvious descent into this
It has been a slow yet painful, none the less, descent.
But this year, this new year there are faithful voices crying out into the wilderness for us all to
take heart, to repent, to put on our armor and to be bold.
Be silent no more we are told.
But rather proclaim…and do so vigorously.
Be bold and courageous…for it will take boldness and courage to take on the cultural ideology
while showing our loyalty…loyalty not to the current state but rather to the one true Lord.
Get ready…the clarion call has sounded.
“Let the nations be roused;
let them advance into the Valley of Jehoshaphat,
for there I will sit
to judge all the nations on every side.
13 Swing the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Come, trample the grapes,
for the winepress is full
and the vats overflow—
so great is their wickedness!”
14 Multitudes, multitudes
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will be darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
16 The Lord will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem;
the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.
We seek for truth in ourselves; in our neighbours, and in its essential nature.
We find it first in ourselves by severe self-scrutiny,
then in our neighbours by compassionate indulgence, and, finally,
in its essential nature by that direct vision which belongs to the pure in heart.
(ariel view of a portion of the American Cemetery in Normandy, image courtesy of the White House)
For years, long before it became chic or before it became social or before it launched its
commercials with its very own spokes-owl and long before it was pitted against a growing
plethora of similar agencies…I had been writing reviews on Trip Advisor…
way before travel sites were “a thing.”
I have relied on Trip Advisor and its review offerings for everything from restaurants
to hotels to worldwide attractions as well as to the vast array of travel services,
all of which they’ve freely provided…
you guessed it,
I have been in the top 1% of all Atlanta area reviewers…once again, for years.
I am well aware that each review written and submitted is in turn reviewed by a
TripAdvisor team member before it is allowed to be published…
just as it should be.
Integrity and truth are the driving forces behind companies such as TripAdvisor
that supply the general public with much needed and honest information.
I’ve never had a problem…
that is until yesterday.
I had written a review yesterday regarding the tour group we had used for our D-Day visit
while in Normandy.
I had written the review regarding the guide we were assigned along with an overall
review of the group we had used for this most memorable tour.
I sang the praises of our guide.
I sang the praises of the tour service…and…
here is where I ran into a glitch,
I also included a personal observation…
I wrote why I thought it was important for every American to visit Normandy.
An improbable probability yes, but still something I felt to be very important.
I wrote in my review of how a self-absorbed younger generation…
a generation that seems bent on division, socialism, anthem protests, violence,
why a history lesson ‘in the raw’…
one such as walking through the American Cemetery in Normandy, would and could be beneficial.
One youthful generation looking out over thousands of crosses and Stars of David of
the sacrifices made by a previous youthful generation.
The lessons from those who went before…
lessons long lost on today’s youthful progressive generation.
TripAdvisor sent me an email about a need for ‘action request’ regarding
They told me not to include other URLs…
Yes I confess that I did have a link to my D-Day post that I had written here at WP
as I thought it could offer further, and some more in-depth
information, for those who might be seeking more or who were curious about such a tour.
“Okay”, I thought…they’re telling me to cut and paste what I wrote, edit it,
then reload and resubmit.
Okay, I’ll cut out my link.
I get it.
Yet a bit of a problem arose when I figured out that they had only sent me a small portion
of what I had previously submitted. Actually only about 1/3 of what I’d written.
And I quickly discovered, much to my frustration,
that there was no way, not even by going into my history, was I to find the full body of text.
So as I cut out my link, I had to rewrite, as best as I could remember,
what I had previously written.
I cut, edited, rewrote and resubmitted.
10 minutes hadn’t passed before I received the same ‘action request’ email with an added note
that they did not want reviews to include “personal opinions on politics, ethics, religion,
or wider social issues.”
Is this about those so-called trigger alerts?
Okay, I thought…
I’ll try to rewrite it again…rewriting again because they hadn’t provided
the full body of text again…
so I’d be relying on my fading memory, one more time…
But as I thought about this, I said to heck with it!
I opted to write just a bit more in order to finish out the first thought..the portion of the
text body that they had sent back in the email before I proceeded with my new thoughts.
I then proceeded to write that TripAdvisor had asked me to keep my personal observations to myself.
I continued my review by asking how does one write about visiting such powerful places
as the beaches, the various locations, the churches, as well as those overwhelming cemeteries
of that fateful June day in 1944 and not offer thoughts that include “wider social issues?”
Normally I would have kept my review informative with a general sweeping overview…just like
all the hundreds of previous reviews I’ve written…
however, for this particular review, I chose not to do so.
I couldn’t do so.
I didn’t know how I could.
How could I be simple and concise given the sacrifices freely made by all those thousands
of individuals who died that fateful June day?
Those individuals who, unbeknownst to them at the time, died for both you and me?
Do they not deserve more than some simple, generic, sterile, and broad sweeping travel review?
Maybe it’s the impending Veteran’s Day remembrance.
Maybe it’s the craziness currently sweeping our Nation.
No matter what the reason…I just couldn’t keep it simple when talking about
what I saw and what I experienced there in Normandy.
Something very powerful happened that June day in 1944.
Something that greatly affected how each of us lives our lives to this day.
Keeping one’s personal opinion quiet when taking in the raw emotion while visiting
those beaches and those cemeteries is…well…an injustice really.
An injustice to each one of those crosses and stars.
So I suppose it’s all a matter of context…or maybe its a matter of perspective…
No matter what it is…there are just some things that deserve our full attention and our
(images from the National Gaurd Memorial of Omaha Beach / Julie Cook / 2018)
We, too, born to freedom, and believing in freedom, are willing to fight to
maintain freedom. We, and all others who believe as deeply as we do,
would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Piggybacking on yesterday’s post regarding David Fiorazo’s book The Cost of our Silence,
I’ll admit that my reading of this book of his will be a slow go—because time is not my friend.
Not that it is a friend to any of us.
For time is of the essence.
But it is rapidly waning.
Time being a central theme I’ve now been sounding for nearly four years.
Ever since a trip to Ireland and a Divine revelation.
And yet it remains…not a friend.
Not a friend to our lives as in it eats up what we call our own.
And it is equally destructive to our Spiritual lives.
As in it’s running out…time is running out…
but who wants to hear about that…
because that would mean we’d need to get up, get out, remove ourselves
from our comfort zones and really get ourselves busy.
And as Spiritual Beings, the idea that our time is growing more and more limited
by the day, is, well…something that should have us all gearing up to get to work.
Here are a few more thoughts from our friend and author David Fiorazo’s introduction from his
book The Cost of our Silence.
A little more food for thought.
More of the impetus for our getting up and getting going before our time runs out.
America has more Chrisitan churches and more resources than ever before–
more than any other country in the world–
so why do we look less and less like a Christian nation every day?
We have more Bibles, seminaries, Chrisitan music, and Christian entertainment than ever before.
We have the fanciest churches, the finest Christian colleges, countless ministries and no profits,
and we have an abundance of Christian radio, television, and Christin bookstores across the country.
Now consider the swindling amount of Christian influence in our culture today.
Something is drastically wrong.
Christians in America are facing indoctrination from a multitude of directions.
Schools instruct our children in evolution, environmentalism, and earth worships.
Later they learn about Freudian psychology, social justice, and homosexuality.
We are deluged with secular entertainment, promiscuity, and promotion of the abortion business.
Society is inundated with Marxism, socialism, and secularism.
Our lives are bombarded with atheism, witchcraft, false religions, and liberalism.
Even in some church denominations, liberals (some may refer to them as religious
“progressives” or the “Christian Left”) have gained power and introduced theological
heresies including New Age philosophies.
“If we are serious about our faith, others will know.”
“We as Bible-believing evangelical Christians are locked in a battle.
This is not a friendly gentleman’s discussion.
It is a life and death conflict between the spiritual hosts of wickedness and
those who claim the name of Christ.”
So what name are we claiming because we don’t have much more time remaining to be deciding…
But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
“It takes a purely human courage to renounce the whole temporal realm in order to gain eternity,
but this I do gain and in all eternity can never renounce—it is a self-contradiction.
But it takes a paradoxical and humble courage to grasp the whole temporal realm now by
virtue of the absurd, and this is the courage of faith.”
(the spent berries shriveling on the vine / Julie Cook / 2018)
Strictly for the birds…an American idiom coined just following WWII meaning worthless or something not really worth bothering with…
As in the blueberries…
they need to be literally left to the birds!
Both life and time have gotten the better of me so when I walked out this morning in
an attempt to unburden the blueberry bushes I was met with what Bourbon Street smells
like the morning following a Sugar Bowl game for the National title.
There’s that cloyingly and sickly sweet, very overpowering scent of fermentation…
as in the berries are simply overripened and now fermenting…
fermenting on the ground, on the bush…you name it, they’re fermenting…
(fermenting berries rotting on the ground / Julie Cook / 2018)
Those that are overly ripe have simply fallen to the ground which is now covered with
all manner of crawling, biting, stinging things searching for their share of a sweet
rotting juicy treat.
The birds are actually landing in the bushes, with me right there in plain sight, as they
are now so drunk from having gorged on fermented berries that they give me a no never mind.
I merely duck.
Me who is just trying to find the remaining salvageable berries.
Those berries that are not bursting at my mere touch due to being so swollen from the
copious amount of rain as of late have left me smelling like I’ve been on a three day
The other berries are simply so small and hard that they are not worth the trouble since
they will never truly ripen.
The mercury was sitting right at 90 with the humidity being nearly the same…
And it was still well before the noonday hour.
I got what I could, overwhelmed by the rest so I simply threw my hands in the air and said
out loud for no one in particular…let them just go to the birds!!!
Much in the same way that I want to say to all those working ever so fast and furious at
creating our current state of hysteria…hysteria that is coming out of our oh so
post-Christian, uber progressive, rabid dog culture.
A couple of troubling things…
The first is obviously the recent fact that a person went into a restaurant to eat…
and because of who her boss just so happened to be, was asked to leave.
She didn’t go to push an agenda, she wasn’t on the clock, she wasn’t “representing” as so
many these days like to say…
She was just trying to enjoy a meal at a place I’m sure she has either visited before
and liked or was with someone who had previously eaten there and recommended it.
And so she left…along with those in her group.
They offered to pay for what they had ordered but were told that would not be necessary.
The owner claims that several on her staff are gay and that was why they wanted her to leave
because her boss made them feel uncomfortable and, I’m assuming, they, in turn, felt hostile
toward her simply for simply being associated with him.
Not that any of them actually even knew her or him…they’ve just assumed the worst.
And let’s remember, this gal’s boss wasn’t even there…
it was just a gal with a group of family and friends who wanted to eat
and enjoy, what I’m thinking, would have been a good meal.
That’s a troubling storm cloud upon our horizon.
As is the one big argument as to why it was ok to boot this lady out…
Many folks are comparing this incident to the bakery who, due to religious convictions,
declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.
Of which blew up into a nasty lawsuit which became the shot heard around the nation…
It was a lawsuit that, in the end, graciously went in the favor of the bakers.
Yay for being able to still have religious conviction in the good old US of A.
The gay couple had actually gone way out of their way to use this particular baker.
They knew upfront how things would most likely turn out when they actually could have
used many other nearby bakeries they would most likely have been more than willing
to accommodate their wishes.
The owner of the bakery is a Christian who views same-sex marriages as an affront to
a sacred God-ordained union.
I happen to agree, but I am digressing.
That incident was based on a religious conviction.
Getting booted from a restaurant because of one’s boss, well that is troubling in
a completely different direction which has nothing to do with one’s
Next, there was a troubling mention made in yesterday’s post with the link to one of
David Robertson’s, aka The Wee Flea’s, post.
David was writing a post refuting a recently published book and now book tour, by a gay
Christian artist, Vicky Breeching.
In a nutshell, David tells us that Vicky’s book is about her coming out as openly gay
and how she is claiming to be actually a victim of the Christian Chruch…
so now her’s is a push for what is being dubbed as Gay Christianity.
So obviously gone now are the days of sinfulness or of upholding God’s word and tenants to man.
Because of all those sorts of things are now considered to be some sort of bullying
which produces a sense of victimization.
Yep, you read correctly…living life opposed to God’s commands is liberating because
living under those commands is to live a bullied life resulting in victimization.
Who makes this kind of thinking up???…really, I want to know….because I want
to avoid them at all costs.
A person in the UK had ticked the like button on David’s post and someway or other that simple
the action of “liking” David’s post put this person on a watchdog Governmental list…a list
of those who are being labeled as “homophobic” which, if I am not mistaken,
is now considered a hate crime in the UK.
So to disagree with homosexuality, believing that such a lifestyle runs counter to God’s word,
is to be homophobic and guilty of a hate crime.
This person wrote a comment to David explaining this sudden odd plight over merely
liking David’s post.
Let that sink in a minute.
You are a Christian, or a Jew, or a Muslim for that matter, who believes that because
of your religious convictions,
you believe homosexuality goes against the word of God and is perceived
as a sin…. and so now you are labeled homophobic and are guilty of a hate crime.
I would laugh but the fact of the matter is that that is pretty darn frightening.
This lunacy has got to stop!
Because it is absolutely ridiculous.
As in…. it is all strictly for the birds…
Yet the question remains….when and how…when and how will all of this madness end?
And those two questions are what should have each of us troubled…
But we know that in the end, come what may, we of Fatih know…
we know that yes these earthly battles will rage,
yet blessedly the Victory has already been secured.
Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect.
“There are fathers who do not love their children;
there is no grandfather who does not adore his grandson.”
(an older moon shot I’ve used before / Julie Cook / 2016)
I know that yesterday I had given us, or perhaps actually issued is a better word,
a laundry list of “issues” that we were going to need to play catch up with….
all sorts of pressing issues that had come down the pike while I was busy
with all things snow….
And yes, we shall indeed visit those issues…however, I was called into active duty, unbeknownst to my best laid plans, with active duty in my case being
the emergency holiday help at my husband’s store…
So now that I’m finally home, it’s late and I’m trying to prepare some sort of
hot meal of sustenance and get a post ready for tomorrow (which is now today if
you’re reading this), so I think we’ll hold up
on those more pressing topics until I have the proper time to do them justice….
And as life would have it, something interesting arrived in yesterday’s mail
that is now taking precedence.
You may recall that the I have a friend at Plough Publishing House who actually
happened upon my blog about a year ago or so.
That’s how we met.
She has been sending me sample copies of books that she thinks that I will enjoy…
and in turn will perhaps share with others….of which I have as time has allowed.
The small package that arrived in yesterday’s mail was one of those books.
A book that probably has made a bigger impact on my heart than my publisher friend
would have imagined.
Those of you who know me or have been reading this blog since this time last year…
know that I was knee deep in caring for my dad and stepmother.
Dad had an aggressive form of bladder cancer…he was diagnosed in late August and died
in March. Both he and my stepmother had also been diagnosed with varying degrees of
dementia quite sometime before that…
so needless to say we were just all in the middle of a downward spiral is putting it
It was a hard road for us all…with dad being an amazing example
quiet acceptance, perseverance and fortitude.
This time last year we already had 24 hour care as well as Hospice care…
plus I was driving over each and every day.
The last time dad had actually gotten out of the bed was on Christmas day when we
wheeled him to the table to enjoy Christmas dinner.
Naturally he didn’t have much of an appetite but he was most keen for the dessert.
So dessert it was.
Dad and my son had a very special bond.
My son was my dad’s only grandchild and Dad was more kid than dad…
so needless to say, they stayed in cahoots most of my son’s growing up.
(Christmas day 2016, Brenton and Dad)
My dad was always graciously generous to his grandson and to say that my son
was dad’s partner in crime was to have been putting it mildly.
I won’t go on as it seems I’ve written about all of this before and if I do go on,
I’ll simply loose focus over my original intent of this post and
cry more than I already am.
The book my friend sent me is actually a children’s book.
And I imagine it came my way because I will become a grandmother soon.
Yet the tale of the book resonated so much with me, not so much because I am
a soon to be grandparent,
but rather because it is a tale about a grandson and his grandfather.
It is a book written by a German author, Andreas Steinhofel and illustrated by a
German artist Nele Palmtag—and yet the tale is quite universal.
Max’s grandfather is in a nursing home because he has what is surmised to be
Alzheimers or some other form of dementia….’forgetting’ being the key word.
And nine year old Max, who adores his grandfather and misses their life together
before the nursing home, formulates a plan to “spring” his grandfather from the
in essence a plan to kidnap his grandfather.
And in so doing another member of the nursing home escapes by accident.
A long and spindly woman who is in search of the sun…as she dances
behind Max and his grandfather on their misadventure.
The tale is not a long read—-
I read it in less than an hour’s time.
Yet it is a deep read by adult standards.
It is funny, it is cute, it is painful, and it is very very real.
I think my 29 year old son would appreciate the story much more than his 9
year old self would have—as he now has the hindsight of understanding
Max’s deep longing.
I know that if my son could have kidnapped his “Pops” from that hospice bed he
would have….and off on one more adventure they would have gone.
But in this tale of last adventures, Max’s grandfather reassures Max, who is now desperately afraid that his grandfather, in his forgetfulness, will forget
he loves Max…explains to Max that he will always be there, loving Max,
even if it appears he has “forgotten.”
He explains to Max that when we look up into the sky we know the moon is there
because we can see it. Yet during those nights that the sky appears to be moonless,
which is only because of how the sun is shining on the opposite side of the moon—
the moon is indeed still there—just as his love will always be there for Max,
even if Max won’t be able to directly see it….
After finishing the story last night, I could not recount the tale to my husband
without crying…finding myself just having to stop talking as I allowed the tears
to wash down my face.
The story as read for a child would be fun, poignant as well as mischievous…
As for any adult touched by the stealing effects of memory loss or just the loss of
a loved one in general, will find the tale heartwarming and very poignant.
Just as I now fondly recall a life that once was…
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
“The presence of conflict does not mean there is to be no peace…
Peace is God’s presence within that conflict…”
(the paraphrasing of a sign as seen outside of a small country church)
(Judi Dench in the role of Queen Victoria in the 1997 movie Mrs Brown)
My father adored Dame Judi Dench.
He was once willing to extend a trip to London just to catch this quintessential
actress on a London stage.
My aunt adored Dame Judi Dench’s haircut and had her hair stylist to cut her hair
just like Dame Dench’s despite the warnings from said stylist—
My aunt was too tall and had a double cowlick—simply not the right shape to pull off
such a cut—and yes, the truth be told, the cut looked much better of Dame Dench
than on Aunt Maaatha.
My son adored Dame Judi Dench in her role as M on the latest series of the Daniel Craig Bond films and was devastated when her character was killed off.
For me, I don’t think anyone has ever quite played Queen Victoria like Dame Judi Dench.
The first time I saw her playing the perpetually mourning monarch was in the 1997 movie Mrs Brown.
I had previously read the book The Empress Brown…a book written by Tom Cullen and published in 1969.
It is the tale of the life of the bereaved Monarch following the death of her beloved prince consort, Prince Albert.
John Brown was the Queen’s Scottish groom and attendant for 34 years
following the death of Albert.
It has been widely speculated that John Brown was more than just a key figure in pulling Victoria’s life back up following Albert’s death.
There has even been rumor that the two had been secretly wed.
As to whether the relationship was purely platonic or something much more will never
be known–but what is known is that the friendship was a strong remedy for a
broken hearted Queen. The friendship was a great comfort to a grieving Victoria who wore
mourning clothes for the remainder of her life.
Both Albert and Victoria were 42 when Albert died suddenly of typhoid fever.
Following his death, Victoria would continue to lay out Albert’s clothes each morning—leaving them on his bed only to be put away by an attendant each evening.
John Brown was held in great disdain by those closest to Victoria who resented any sort
of influence the brusk Scotsman may have had on the Queen as well as upon
her policy making. Yet the fact remains that John Brown was probably the closest friend
the overtly guarded Queen had during those remaining 39 years of her adult life.
There is a new movie soon to be out that once again has Dame Dench reprising her role
as an aging Queen Victoria.
This time the movie is entitled Victoria and Abdul.
The story based on the relationship between Victoria and an Indian servant,
I read the review offered by our good friend the Scottish Pastor David Robertson.
The good Wee Flea pastor did go to see the movie and offered a more historical and more accurate view of an aging Queen and an Indian servant based on the facts of the House of Hanover.
The script writers, in typical Hollywood fashion, have decided that their take on the historical facts and the relationship between a monarch, who was also the head of the Church of England and her Muslim friend, made for a much better story than that of the actual truth.
Going so far as to even insinuate that the Queen may have even had a death bed
conversion from Christianity to that of Islam.
The good pastor, in his picking apart fact from fiction, references another Hollywood attempt at portraying a historical figure as something ‘other than’ in the depiction of
the Scottish warrior, William Wallace, in the film Braveheart—
Whereas the legendary Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace is certainly the stuff of legend and lore, the underlying story of love and loss in Hollywood’s adaptation of the life of William Wallace makes for a much better storyline and movie than the straight
facts behind the man himself.
As I must confess that I was certainly taken by Mel Gibson’s portrayal of Wallace as to this day I often think I catch that most valiant cry of FREEDOM riding in on
an easterly blowing wind.
Yet that’s the thing.
We love a good story.
We love a happy ending.
We actually yearn for a happy ending.
Throw in some rich cinematography, a beautiful musical score and we’ll have bought in, hook, line and sinker.
As we prefer our history lessons to be of such entertaining wonderment.
But contrary to Hollywood, or anyone else for that matter, life, real life,
is not all about happy endings.
We’ve just witnessed such in the latest mass shooting coming out of Vegas.
There is no happy ending there nor will there ever be.
Yet we want desperately to hear of such.
And so our news folks, our media, our politicians and eventually our very selves will
each spin, twist and distort whatever we can in order to assuage the overwhelming and incompressible pain.
There will be continued deflection in an attempt to dodge the very real and very sad
We can pass laws, we can rewrite the events as we distort the facts…
but when all is left open and bare…the truth is that there will always be man…
a fallen and broken creature who makes his (and her) way in a fallen world that is the battleground of both Good and Evil.
Gun laws will come and go, other laws and demands will come and go, arguments
and hateful rhetoric will come and go as we desperately try to stave the literal bleeding….but man, bent on evil acts, will continue to carry out the heinous and
the unbelievable because there is no stopping the Evil that walks
There is no Nirvana, no Heaven nor Valhalla on this earth…no perfect place where the people live in some sort of scripted perfect unity and utopia and despite all the laws written and all the regulations passed and all the rhetoric spewed forth…
we can never rid ourselves of the duality of ourselves—
that being both the Good and Evil of man.
That is not to say that we can’t do our best to safe guard our way of life—
but we know that those broken, wounded and lost will continue to carry out acts of
hate and destruction and violence despite our best efforts.
Despite the current finger pointing and ranting.
We can’t rewrite, let alone stop, what took place that fateful day in a garden
so long ago.
No matter how hard we want to rewrite this fact into something other than, into
our own lovely notion of some far fetched happy ending…the only fact,
the only healing, the only saving Grace will be found in the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ—bottom line and end of sentence.
The saving Grace found in the Blood of the Lamb….
And until that fact is figured out—we will live in the middle of a fallen, evil,
hate filled world.
Hollywood and the politicians can’t write us out of that….
“We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles know that a person is not
justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ.
So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified
by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law,
because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
“But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin?
If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.
The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained
through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
“Atheists don’t fly planes into buildings” –
it was a point delivered with all the certainty of a man who feels he has
just delivered a killer blow to his opponent who was in this case,
His ‘point’ repeated thousands of times on atheist and secularist
websites and social media (from whence he had gathered this bon mot)
was greeted with rapturous applause by those who shared his faith.
‘Neither do Presbyterians…nor Baptists…nor Catholics…nor Anglicans…
not even Charismatics…and in fact neither do the majority of Muslims”.
But for the simplistic worldview of the Atheist Fundamentalist this point is missed.
In their world they put together two and two and make 25.”
(a summer evening’s view of Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada / Julie Cook / 2017)
The flea is on fire…
or so it seems in his latest installment of the book review The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray.
(and may I note that in my past writings regarding Mr. Murray, I think I have inadvertently referred to him as
as “David” rather than Douglas—too many Davids on the brain I fear…
so I have gone back and corrected those previous errors)
I have yet to order my copy…and maybe it has something to do with
my latest book purge taking place at home, but I have every intention of
ordering a copy…as I feel as if the good pastor
has pulled out such tantalizing nuggets, whetting my appetite,
that I can barely wait to begin reading.
For the Wee Flea, with obviously the help of Mr. Murray,
has sounded the alarm as he is acting as that lone voice in the desert.
This part 3 review deals more in the way of the views of the Muslim world and Islam
as through the eyes of Europe—but like I said the other day, why stop at just
Europe…because this book speaks as much to those of us here in the US
as it does to our friends across the pond.
In this latest review, I have actually pulled more of the fiery flea’s words
than I have Mr. Murray’s as Pastor Robertson is spot on in his observations.
“It seems to me that there are those who are so obsessed with hating the Christian background of their own culture that they are willing to ignore or distort the
teachings of Islam –
solely as a means to attack their real hatred.
Or perhaps even worse –
there are those who have such a hatred for the Jews that they are willing to
excuse and even endorse the ideology that wants to wipe them out.
What does Murray argue about Islam?
Firstly he points out that the liberal elites are so determined to show that their
belief that Islam is compatible with Western civilization that they will do
their utmost to promote what amounts to a re-writing of history and a distortion
as serious as those who want to portray all Islam as barbaric.
And they combine this understanding of Muslims as the new oppressed people
(and themselves of course as the Social Justice Warriors/Saviours of the Oppressed)
with their hatred of their own Christian traditions,
by building up the former and demeaning the latter.”
We might consider the fact that here in the US, we are currently reeling, caught in
in the very throws of much of the same mentality,
as we are now witnessing those here in this country who are desperately
trying to rewrite our history as they try, albeit in vain,
to whitewash our past into something that never even existed…
as if erasing the bad will now make everything perfectly good and somewhat of a nonexistent utopia
Add to that our own influx of immigrants, those who are here illegally, as well as
the hundreds if not thousands of foreign nationals who, since before 9/11,
have come into this country from the Middle East, as officials now admit,
that there are countless individuals here who have simply fallen off the radar
and basically have “disappeared into the crowd” as our various agencies
have failed to keep track and account of such individuals.
So no longer are we the proverbial melting pot, but rather we are
a dangerous and angry boiling pot…waiting simply to boil over.
“In fact such is the fear of Islam, or of being accused of being Islamaphobic
that our liberal elites are even prepared to change our whole culture for the sake of accommodating their fears.
“In September 2015 officials in Bavaria began to warn local parents to ensure their daughters did not wear any revealing clothing in public. ‘Revealing tops and blouses, shirts and shorts or mini skirts could lead to misunderstandings’, one letter to locals warned. In some Bavarian towns, including Mering, police warned parents not to allow their children to go outside alone. Local women were advised not to walk to the railway station unaccompanied.”
Mr Murray Page 196
Pastor Robertson continues… “Even worse than that officials and politicians are sometimes too scared to face
up to the implications of what is going on.
The Rotherham case is the worst example we have of this.
Over 1500 girls were abused because they were white girls and their abusers
considered themselves to be immune of prosecution because of the authorities fear
of being accused of being Islamaphobic and racist.”
And just in case you don’t grasp the serious concerns over the progressive
secular liberal leanings within this current culture of ours, the good pastor,
reminds one and all about the dangers in the rise of such a demigod mentality.
“Secular Liberalism cannot help itself.
It so believes itself to be ‘god’ that anyone who goes against its doctrines
will be banned –
in this respect questioning Islam is on a par with questioning
Same Sex Marriage which itself is seen as being on a par with racism,
The white Middle-Class guilt complex leads us down some very strange paths!
One of which is that there will shortly come a time when my even writing an
article like this could be considered a ‘hate crime’.
Robertson continues “Murray pointed out in an article in The Spectator that the “popular al-Jazeera star and leading cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi when he said:”
‘Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hands of the believers.’
They fail to grasp one of the most essential differences between Christianity and Islam is that Islam is a political system as well as a faith.
Lastly from a Christian perspective I return to the question of what the Lord of history is doing in permitting this ‘death of Europe’.
It could be that it is a judgment – after all Turkey was once the stronghold of Christianity, then North Africa –
and look where the church is now in those countries.
Southern Africa, China and South America will probably be the growth areas for the church in the 21st Century.
“But Europe can still be resurrected….”
Pastor Robertson does leave us with a slight ray of hope.
He muses that perhaps there is still hope for Europe,
as that same hope applies to us here in the US.
He ends his review with the notion that perhaps the influx of Muslims
is but an opportunity to the Faithful to press on in their witness of
the salvation from Jesus Christ…in turn leaving the family of Christian
believers to be the final hope found in the lost sea of mass immigration.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;