The character and reality of prayer.

I just finished a post about George Mueller (born 1805). Two meditations by Charles Spurgeon (born 1834) eloquently encompass principles of Mueller’s prayer life.

“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer.”
Psalm 66:20

In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance—as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few—far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and go with our necessities. What a God is he thus to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing wants, but neglect him when they have received a mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

He led them forth by the right way.”
Psalm 107:7                                                                                         Today my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part of God’s plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven? Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all these things are but parts of God’s method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith—they are waves that wash you further upon the rock—they are winds which waft your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven. According to David’s words, so it might be said of you, “So he bringeth them to their desired haven.” By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, think not, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “We must, through much tribulation, enter the kingdom.” Learn, then, even to “count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations.”

Oh Canada, are you polite or pathetic?

not an alien

Some Americans persist in believing that Canadians are the “most polite people in the world.” How about the most gullible, or passive, or apathetic? As of this writing, I can find no news items about Canadians protesting this censorship, and only 1 item about a free private showing in Canada–by a Christian ministry in Edmonton, May 14. A google search using the words “Canada banned unplanned” in different orders yields the same information, and the only media writing about the de facto ban are American. I found a webpage called canadafreepress.com, which I thought was Canadian but turned out to be American, a sort of radio free Europe of the internet (subtly equating Canadian censorship with communist propaganda?), with the motto “Because without America, there is no free world.” Sorry America-haters, it’s true.

OTTAWA, May 20, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) . Distribution companies are effectively banning the film Unplanned from screening in Canadian cinemas, according to the producers of the pro-life biopic. Chuck Konzelman, the film’s writer, director, and producer, told LifeSiteNews via email that at least one of the two largest Canadian film distributors said “content” rather than a lack of consumer demand is the reason for banning the film. According to Konzelman, Canadian law requires that films have distributors so that they can be shown theatrically. In addition, no rating from one of the provincial film boards can be granted, because the producers must list a distributor on the application forms to the film boards.

Konzelman confirmed that Canada’s largest distributor, Mongrel Media, turned down the film because of its “content.” Writing that Mongrel’s response begs the question, “What’s wrong with our content?” he confirmed that there is “nothing objectionable in the film; no foul language, no nudity, no sexuality, and the only violence is that which is necessarily connected with an abortion procedure.” He concluded that “it’s the pro-life message itself which is objectionable” to the distributors. Konzelman said Cineplex gave “unsatisfactory answers” when asked why it did not distribute Unplanned. He said it is highly unusual for a successful indie U.S. film to lack theatrical distribution in Canada.


I used to love traveling to and in Canada, but I haven’t been there for many years. I would bet they are still pretty nice folks, and quiet, compared to us. But then, they have no equivalent of our First Amendment rights or our view of government needing the consent of the governed. I don’t equate silence with politeness.

The other Mueller report.

(Note on spelling: his last name appears in publications both as Muller, with 2 dots above the U, and Mueller). George Mueller was one of the giants of faith to ever live, walking by faith rather than sight. He founded, and God provisioned, orphanages throughout Great Britain. His life was a testament to the efficacy of prayer, and the aphorism “God is seldom early but never late.” When I write “giant of faith”, I mean the grace of faith rather than the gift of faith. This distinction is vital for Christians to understand. The gift of faith, named in 1 Corinthians 12:9, is hoping that something “miraculous” could be done–like saving his wife from a terminal illness–but if it does not come to pass, it was not sin that you didn’t absolutely believe. An extreme biblical example would be David praying and fasting that God would spare his and Bathsheba’s first child. He knew God had decreed the child’s death but was hoping for God to relent due to his prayers.

George Mueller was adamant that his was the grace of faith, which is believing that God will honor His promises. He promises our daily provision. Not believing God’s explicit promises is sin. The most important point here is that the grace of faith is available for every believer; the gift of faith is not. You and I can look at George Mueller’s life and, rather than dismiss it as not applying to us because of his great gift, we can live it because we have the same grace.

Here is the very heart of his ministry: John Piper writes about and quotes Pastor Mueller. He built five large orphan houses and cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. When he started in 1834 there were accommodations for 3,600 orphans in all of England and twice that many children under eight were in prison. One of the great effects of Mueller’s ministry was to inspire others so that “fifty years after Mr. Mueller began his work, at least one hundred thousand orphans were cared for in England alone.” He had read his Bible from end to end almost 200 times. He had prayed in millions of dollars (in today’s currency) for the Orphans and never asked anyone directly for money. He never took a salary in the last 68 years of his ministry, but trusted God to put in people’s hearts to send him what he needed. He never took out a loan or went into debt. And neither he nor the orphans were ever hungry.

But let us not think this is about works. The orphan ministry was not successful because he put orphans first, but because he put God first. He testifies: The reason he is so adamant about this is that his whole life—especially in the way he supported the orphans by faith and prayer without asking anyone but God for money—was consciously planned to encourage Christians that God could really be trusted to meet their needs. We will never understand George Mueller’s passion for the orphan ministry if we don’t see that the good of the orphans was second to this.

The three chief reasons for establishing an Orphan-House are: 1. That God may be glorified, should He be pleased to furnish me with the means, in its being seen that it is not a vain thing to trust in Him; and that thus the faith of His children may be strengthened. 2. The spiritual welfare of fatherless and motherless children. 3. Their temporal welfare.

And make no mistake about it: the order of those three goals is intentional. He makes that explicit over and over in his Narrative. The orphan houses exist to display that God can be trusted and to encourage believers to take him at his word.

This discovery of the all-encompassing sovereignty of God became the foundation of Mueller’s confidence in God to answer his prayers for money. He gave up his regular salary. He refused to ask people directly for money. He prayed and published his reports about the goodness of God and the answers to his prayer. These yearly reports were circulated around the world, and they clearly had a huge effect in motivating people to give to the orphan work. Mueller knew that God used means. In fact, he loved to say, “Work with all your might; but trust not in the least in your work.” But he also insisted that his hope was in God alone, not his exertions and not the published reports. These means could not account for the remarkable answers that he received.

Mueller’s faith that his prayers for money would be answered was rooted in the sovereignty of God. When faced with a crisis in having the means to pay a bill he would say, “How the means are to come, I know not; but I know that God is almighty, that the hearts of all are in His hands, and that, if He pleaseth to influence persons, they will send help.” That is the root of his confidence: God is almighty, the hearts of all men are in his hands, and when God chooses to influence their hearts they will give.

After the death of his first wife, who he loved deeply, his words demonstrate the cluster of unshakable convictions and experiences that are the key to this remarkable life. “I am in myself a poor worthless sinner.”I have been saved by the blood of Christ.” “I do not live in sin.”God is sovereign over life and death. If it is good for her and for me, she will be restored again. If not she won’t.”My heart is at rest.” I am satisfied with God.” All this comes from taking God at his word. There you see the innermost being of George Mueller and the key to his life. The word of God, revealing his sin, revealing his Savior, revealing God’s sovereignty, revealing God’s goodness, revealing God’s promise, awakening his faith, satisfying his soul. “I was satisfied with God.”

 

Who needs yet another G of T commentary?

drogon knows best

Thus a rhetorical question leads to my superfluous, or is it superlative, Game Of Thrones commentary. I mean, after 8 seasons and probably millions of viewers, why not? After the–to me–unnecessary, sinful and tragic destruction of Kings Landing by Drogon the dragon, directed and ordered by Dani, I turned against her, as I am sure many others did. We saw glimpses of her vicious self righteousness before that, but like other tyrants who had convinced themselves that they knew better than everyone else, the full measure of her lust for power required a helpless victim to be fully unwrapped. The city was helpless, the surrender bells were ringing, her enemies routed. She could see it, flying above the rubble. Would you or I have required a full measure of retribution against the innocent for the crimes of their dictator? Or was she like the terrorists who say there are no innocents?

Am I being too harsh, accusing her of lust for power? I will go further, a lust for the most addicting and depraving kind of power: the power to remake the world into her model of justice and equity. What degree of self righteousness is necessary to cast off all restraint in killing the bad guys to free the good guys? Or is it willful blindness? The good guys are usually good until they have the power to impose their will. Doesn’t history clearly show that virtually every revolution against tyranny leads to a worse tyranny? It does, she is a case in point. The biggest surprise for me in the entire 8 seasons is that the dragon appears to be smarter than the humans–he melts down the iron throne that his “mother” sacrificed so many to try to attain. I was less surprised that Jon Snow killed the woman he loved–hard choices and right choices were his forte.

When he kills Dani and Drogon sees what he did, I expected him (I assume Drogon was male, sounds like a male name), to carry her body away, but melting the throne was a reptilian masterstroke. That’s one smart dragon; I would not want to be a rancher or cattle herder, or need to depend on any kind of livestock for my living going forward. Maybe the showrunners should consider a sequel starring Drogon? But I digress. The council of the rulers of the kingdoms, to decide on who should rule, was actually an educational experience. I thought “maybe that was somewhat like how George Washington was elected.” Similarities: Washington got all the electoral votes, he was the only unanimous president in our history, not once but twice! He was the only president who didn’t want the job, kind of like Jon Snow, who would have been elected if Westeros had elections, and if Dani’s troops had forgiven him. But Bran the Broken was an excellent choice. I also liked Sansa’s decision to keep the North independent. Like any great book or show, you don’t want it to end, the ending will never be right for every fan, but I think the ending was as good as it was possible to be, and the depth of characters, intricacy of plots, and treatment of issues and relationships has been well beyond anything I can think of that I have ever seen on TV. I guess I’m in the minority, since every other review of this episode I have read was negative. I think that what I look for in entertainment is edification.

Note: The other very worthy HBO series: Band of Brothers.

The prefix “hate” is a cancer criminalizing thought.

All western european countries have hate-speech laws. In 2008, the E.U. adopted a framework decision on “Combating Racism and Xenophobia” that obliged all member states to criminalize certain forms of hate speech. On the other side of the Atlantic, the Supreme Court of the United States has gradually increased and consolidated the protection of hate speech under the First Amendment. The European concept of freedom of expression thus prohibits certain content and viewpoints, whereas, with certain exceptions, the American concept is generally concerned solely with direct incitement likely to result in overt acts of lawlessness.

Yet the origin of hate-speech laws has been largely forgotten. The divergence between the United States and European countries is of comparatively recent origin. In fact, the United States and the vast majority of European (and Western) states were originally opposed to the internationalization of hate-speech laws. European states and the U.S. shared the view that human rights should protect rather than limit freedom of expression. Rather, the introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies. Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech.” Gee, aren’t you shocked? The communists limiting freedom of speech? Or am I just exploiting the commie boogeyman here? Not to shock you, but this idea of “hate speech” originated in the U.N., gasp!

The (nonbinding) universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr) adopted in 1948 by the U.N. does not include an explicit duty to prohibit hate speech. Article 19 simply secures “freedom of opinion and expression.” However, the drafting history shows that the issues of hate-speech regulation and restrictions on free speech were frequently discussed. During the negotiation of Article 19, the drafters faced the challenge of whether, and if so to what extent, freedom of expression should tolerate even intolerance. The majority of states favored a robust protection of free speech such as that set out in a U.S. proposal (un Doc. e/cn. 4/21), which read “there shall be freedom of speech, of the press and of expression by any means whatsoever.” However, the Soviet Union continuously proposed various amendments aimed at prohibiting expressions of intolerance. Intolerance of what, since the USSR has always been intolerant of stuff we tolerate, such as homosexuality? What they wanted prohibited was criticism of communism, and their methods of enforcing it!

Communism is hardly the only ism to promote repression of freedom of expression. The word Islamophobia was created by the Organization of Islamic Conferences to repress criticism or even evaluation of Islamic fundamentalism, as homophobia was created for the same purpose. What is true does not fear examination or criticism; Any philosophy, religion or lifestyle that wants to suppress those is by definition false.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…” Do you recognize these words? Every attempt to curb free speech in America has run up against the First Amendment. Even though it is addressed to Congress, the wording clearly recognizes that freedom of speech is a basic right and the government cannot grant it, but only abridge it. However, not all speech has legal protection. There are two types of threatening or defamatory speech that can potentially be restricted by the law. One is speech or conduct that is likely to incite imminent lawless action such as violence. The second includes certain classes of speech, such as slanderous and libelous words, which can be restricted, if they meet the proper legal definition, by threat of civil suits.

How did the Soviet idea of “hate speech” and it’s tyrannical brother, “hate crime”, worm their way into American jurisprudence? Those ideas, the foundation of which is the implicit claim that we can accurately read someone’s mind and intent by their words and actions, rode to prominence on the back of the group identity-historical grievance dragon. Instead of worrying about the violent intent of individuals, hate speech advocates wanted to ban utterances, conduct, or writing that they deemed prejudicial against a protected individual or group. They were most successful on college campuses, spawning a rash of new speech codes and other imaginative methods to control what people say and think. In the name of diversity certain classes of people—racial minorities, women, and homosexuals—were considered to need protection from offensive language.

The shift from supporting freedom of expression to criminalizing and ostracizing both speech and implicit thoughts was not due to some heightened awareness of persecution so much as a new focus on generalizing the causes of the persecution. I call it, in deference to George Orwell, the NewNewspeak and NewThoughtcrime. Because that’s a mouthful, let’s call it NNNT. NNNT fails to distinguish between legitimate political content, which is protected by the Constitution, and explicit intentions to commit violence, which are not. Under the new rules, what may clearly be an expression of political opinion could be interpreted as offensive to anyone anywhere, and therefore arbitrarily deemed hateful. No direct threats of harm are even necessary. Certain ideas and opinions are now defined by the political content censors to be the moral equivalent of a threat to do violence and physical harm. They make no distinction between threatening someone with real violence and merely disagreeing with the facts and arguments. Nor do they make allowance for the possibility that a disagreement over facts and logic may have nothing whatsoever to do with feelings of hatred.

To assume that all disagreements are grounded in irrational fears is itself irrational. If it were otherwise, we might as well abolish not only our universities but our system of law: Both rely on the assumption that people are moral beings with the freedom to make choices. Without that assumption, people honestly could not be held accountable for anything. If it were all about presumed ill motives, especially those mandated by vague social forces, we might as well not bother to learn the facts about anything. Our pursuit of knowledge and justice fundamentally depends on open and honest debate, and to sacrifice that standard is not only to return to pre-liberal standards of controlling knowledge but to slide over into authoritarian methods of thought control.

Proponents of hate speech restrictions such as New York University Professor Jeremy Waldron believe that criminal intent to commit violence is irrelevant. All that is required for speech to be categorized as hate speech is that a person’s or group’s “dignity” is “under threat.“ From whom? What threat? “Dignity” that needs to be protected by suppressing speech (hate speech, the NewNewspeak) and criminalizing thoughts (hate crimes, NewThoughtcrime) isn’t dignity, it’s servitude. Put aside the huge difference between offending someone and meaning them physical harm. The bigger problem is that it is left almost entirely to the accuser to determine and apply the standards for defining dignity and therefore establish what is offensive and what is not. I am not making this up. The following is an excerpt of a letter that a Scottish pastor, David Robertson, wrote to Police Scotland superintendent regarding a poster. It has unfortunate implications for us.

Going home the other day I noticed a poster that said: Dear Bigots, you can’t spread your religious hate here. End of sermon. Yours, Scotland. “ This is part of a series which is also addressed to transphobes, homophobes, racists etc.   The only problem is that this is produced by the Scottish Government and Police Scotland. You state that “A hate incident is any incident that is not a criminal offence, but something which is perceived by the victim or any other person to be motivated by hate or prejudice.”  By your own criteria your posters, especially the one on religion is a hate incident. I perceive it as being motivated by hate and prejudice.

Why? In my day-to-day life I experience a great deal of anti-Christian prejudice, fuelled by ignorance and prejudice. Your poster will just add to that. You imply that it is religious people who are responsible for what you call homophobia and transphobia (although you don’t define what you mean by these terms–is being opposed to SSM ‘homophobia’?  Is believing that a woman is a ‘female adult human’ transphobia?  By not defining your terms you have of course left room for people to claim your support for anything that they determine is ‘phobic’).

The exclusive nature of the post is also disturbing–you sign it ‘yours Scotland’. You call your website OneScotland which distinctly implies that those of us who don’t agree with the political/ social ideology you are seeking to impose on us all, don’t really belong to Scotland.   But this is our country as well as yours. You don’t have the right to call yourselves ‘Scotland’ – as though the rest of us don’t really belong here. Since when do you have the right to speak for the whole of Scotland? You put up this hateful, mocking, threatening poster in our name.

It can’t happen here? It is, just not as far along as Western Europe and Canada. This is a cancer criminalizing thoughts.

It’s time for some serious civil(?) disobedience.

“queer eye” meets queer idiots

Interview from National Review: “Douglas Laycock, a law professor at the University of Virginia, has been a longtime supporter of same-sex marriage. What’s made him unusual is that in recent years he’s been trying to make the case to liberals that ‘same-sex marriage and religious liberty can co-exist.’ In 2017 he co-authored an article at Vox with another law professor to argue that Jack Phillips, the Evangelical Christian baker in Colorado at the center of the Masterpiece Cakeshop Supreme Court case, should be allowed to follow his conscience to not bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.

“Laycock has also been a longtime supporter of enacting a federal gay-rights non-discrimination law, but he doesn’t support the Equality Act, a bill just approved by the House of Representatives that would add ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ to the 1964 Civil Rights Act, because it would ‘crush’ conscientious objectors. ‘It goes very far to stamp out religious exemptions,’ Laycock tells National Review in an email. ‘It regulates religious non-profits. And then it says that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] does not apply to any claim under the Equality Act. This would be the first time Congress has limited the reach of RFRA. This is not a good-faith attempt to reconcile competing interests. It is an attempt by one side to grab all the disputed territory and to crush the other side.”

“Laycock says that religious schools would probably be viewed as ‘public accommodations’ under the Equality Act even if they refuse all federal funding. They could argue that they are covered under the existing exemption of the Civil Rights Act (section 702), but he observes that they haven’t done well with that argument lately in the lower courts. There have not been that many cases, and the Supreme Court has not spoken; it might be more sympathetic. Schools would still have the ministerial exception, which is constitutional and beyond Congress’s power to repeal.” Nothing is beyond THIS Congress’s power to repeal or impose, except for opposition.

While I don’t think this asinine tyrannical power grab has any chance of becoming law this time, with Donald Trump as President and a Republican majority in the senate, what about next time, since the democrat ass kissers and their fascist queer allies never give up their insatiable lust for the power to impose their warped will on the rest of us. I pose this question: What if Congress and the President passed a law that was so anti liberty, anti American and draconian that most organizations that were subject to it refused to comply, local courts refused to enforce it and police refused to arrest anyone refusing to obey it? Remember, Hillary’s “popular majority” was about equal to the combined population of New York and Los Angeles metro areas, less the number of votes Donald Trump got in those same districts, which was almost none. This misnamed equality act is a proxy for the values of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC to dictate what values the majority of the country will be allowed to express. STOP FOOLING YOURSELVES, THE LGBTQ AGENDA IS NOW ABOUT SILENCING CRITICS, SINCE THEY ACTUALLY HAVE MORE LEGAL RIGHTS THAN ORDINARY CITIZENS.

Do you think I’m overstating? In case you did not follow the link to Vox, here is a snippet: “Many bakers may feel that their responsibility ends when they deliver the cake. But Phillips feels morally responsible for what he creates and helps to celebrate. The result is that Phillips no longer makes wedding cakes for anybody. He has surrendered 40 percent of his business and laid off half his employees. Unless the Supreme Court intervenes, this is a permanent loss of occupation. His alternative was to permanently surrender his conscience. And to what end? To avoid the one-time offense to the same-sex couple of being turned away and being reminded of what they knew anyway: that some Americans still disapprove of their relationship. Their right to be married and to have a wedding cake were never at issue. Many bakers were eager for their business, and when the story broke, the couple promptly accepted an offer of a free wedding cake.

You too can have white privilege. Go to eBay.com and type “whitepriv kit.”

These are some of the items I am listing for sale on eBay for those who are tired of being merely angry and jealous about my white privilege, but are actually willing to spend some hard earned green to get more white.

  • A 1 oz. bottle of the tears I cried yesterday when I read about how my white privilege is responsible for eons of POC oppression.
  • An envelope of my finger and toenail clippings and strands of hair, which the enterprising criminal can leave at their crime scene to implicate me. No hay problema, Esteban, no old white male will ever be arrested. For those into voodoo, you can use those samples to put a curse on me. That won’t improve your whiteness, but might neutralize mine.
  • A prosthetic penis containing my genuine non-purified white urine, or should I be more precise and say, the usual color urine excreted by a white guy. Available in a range of hues for any race. Yuck, why would someone buy such a disgusting item? Just ask any professional athlete, especially Lamar Odom.
  • A large letter E with a magnetic base, in the same font as the entrance sign to Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. You can be known as the person who turned Whitman white. For the illiterate, the kit includes instructions to place the E between the T and the M. This college badly needs a big E. On the college website, they profile two students, “women of color”, who introduce their college experience with the phrase, “I’m a Whittie.” Hey ladies, don’t you mean “whitey?”
  • Now if you find this blog post offensive and insulting, rather than satirical, I direct you to Jim Goad’s rant about white envelopes being the overwhelming color of choice of the USPS. The US Postal Service’s journey toward social justice will begin with one black envelope. Sure, we’ll have to buy white-ink pens so you can see the address, which is problematic in itself, because it subverts the whole “multicultural crayon” narrative, but together we can make it work. And while we’re at it, let’s deconstruct the patriarchal notion that we receive “mail.” Why must we submit and assume the receptive position as “mail” is delivered into our “boxes” and “slots”? Have you ever received “femail”? I think not! Instead of a “mailman” delivering your “mail,” let’s have “personpersons” delivering “person” to us in black envelopes. Then—and only then—will our society be halfway toward sanity.

You better act soon, as quantities of my tears and tissue are limited.