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Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Publishing Peurile Prognisications

The White Man is neither a prophet, nor the son of a prophet. Yet this is not a non-prophet publication, as I often pass on predictions, both prophetic and prognosticatory. In the latter category, no doubt, would fall my own predictions, none of which seem to have turned out as I expected.

I have, over the past decade, miserably predicted the following:
2005: A coming inflation crisis.
2006: The fall of the Danish flag.
2007: The extinction of the Parsees.
2008: The demise of the penny.
2009: A Pandemic of Piracy.
2010: An immanent war with Iran
2011: 1) No military drawdown. 2) Higher oil prices. 3) A big drop in Christmas tours to Bethlehem.
2012: No more life sentences.
Apparently I've learned since then to keep my prognostications private.

As for some well-placed Americans being held hostage in a rogue state for years, I was almost right. Lowly Americans had been held for years by North Korea, but are now all free.

Some of my predictions may yet come to pass, whilst others already have, but just not quite as soon as, or to quite the extent that, I thought they would. For example, I predicted in 2006 that Free Speech was On its Way Out.  And in 2008 that the Deficit would Double, and that Social Security numbers would become mandatory for medical treatment by January 20, 2013. Oh, I was SO close on that one. That heath insurance my children were covered by in 2008? It was canceled in October of 2013, and there's no possibility of replacing it without assigning them all SSN's.

If I can't do any better than one out of ten--at best--I'd better quit while I still have my head.

Friday, 24 April 2015

At the sound of the trumpet

"So the Spirit of the LORD took control of Gideon, who blew a trumpet, mustering the descendants of Abiezer to follow him into battle." --Judges 6:34 ISV

I don't follow World Net Daily news much anymore, having been burned a few too many times by their sensationalist approach to journalism. But I never dismiss any news out of hand due solely to the source, and this particular piece really caught my attention today.

In my coverage of mysterious air crashes, I keep running across the theory that a person could be pre-programmed to fly a plane into the ocean; it's about the least conspiratorial theory to account for several spectacular crashes in the past couple of decades. In this particular story, though--based on an eyewitness account now verified through the power of the internet--a trumpet was sounded to incited normally peaceable people to murderous violence.

“They were very hospitable and would invite you in,” she said. “But, if a distant signal was given – it sounded something like a trumpet – then they would instantly change, and would attempt to harm you. Yet if the signal sounded again, they would immediately switch back to normal.” 
It's the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. What other lessons could we--should we--learn from this event?

This week also marked the passage of a man who passed on to me, as he received it from the lips of a man who experienced it, unpublished information on the Battle of Shiloh (which he still referred to as the Battle of Shiloh Church). He may have been the last living person who was only one link removed from a first-hand account of a Civil War battle and its aftermath, which goes to show that it can often take over 100 years for the history of a war, or even a battle, to finish being written.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 100

This will probably be my last update on ReviveINDIANA. Throughout the past 90 days, I've tried not so much to provide a play-by-play, but a commentary; so I can't say what might happen that would arouse me to comment again--but things are taking off to the point that my own reporting probably won't play so large a role as it has to date.

ReviveINDIANA (Kokomo) is in full swing this week, now with its own website, and Bloomington likely to be the next city on the map. Chicago is continuing to get a lot of attention, with focus diverted from Reinhard Bonnke's Christ for All Nations to Patricia King's XP Ministries. Dozens of cities are vying for the chance to bring in Revive teams, which look to more and more be made up of pastors and song leaders from former Revive cities, in order to capture the momentum.

There's no question but that the past 100 days have marked another turning point in what Kyle Martin started seven years ago in Dallas. One recalls the words attributed to a critic of William Booth's rapidly growing evangelism organisation, about the time it became known colloquially as The Salvation Army:

"I wouldn't say it's a matter of them wanting to take over the country; what they intend to do is take over the world."

And Sarasota ("Southern Middlebury"), stand by. You're on the list.

ETA: I should really add that ReviveINDIANA is seeing strippers in Kokomo come to Christ and leave their workplace. This could be the beginning of an outbreak into the underworld.

Here are a number of media mentions of ReviveINDIANA:
Bethany High School Student Editorial
Christian News & Commentary also, Kokomo coverage
The Elkhart Truth--originator of the "Pray, Eat, Revive, Repeat" slogan now seen on mugs and T-shirts
Goshen News--the only paper to give advance coverage of Prayer Week
NBC News local affiliate

Day 116 update: Kyle continues to work in references to his parents' Ace Hardware Store in Middlebury, no matter where in the state he is speaking! In recognition of the National Day of Prayer, he returned to Chicago for the One Cry Prayer Summit, carried over the Moody and AFA Radio networks. South Bend will be the next city on the ReviveINDIANA schedule.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Myron on Mennonite Modesty

I've written earlier on the Mennonite Modesty Mishap and Misplaced Mennonite Modesty. Myron Horst (aka Hurst) is writing a book about Mennonite modesty. Yesterday he posted a long comment to a blog, excerpting his book, which I reproduce here as I found it, without comment.
    Myron Horst April 16, 2015 

    Thank you for addressing the subject of "modesty". I'm sorry you had to be affected by this wrong teaching. It is something that your parents were deceived about and that I was also deceived about. I am going to share several excerpts on modesty from the book I am writing about the Amish and Mennonites. While it addresses these groups, it applies to ATI, Patriarchy, Vision Forum, and other "dresses only" groups.

    The Bondage of the Term “Modest”
    The modesty doctrine of the Great Amish and Conservative Mennonite Dress Experiment has been a complete failure in protecting girls from sexual abuse. There is not a major difference in the sexual abuse rate between conservative, modestly dressed girls and girls who dress according to what the dress experiment calls the immodest dress of the world. If anything, the dress experiment “modest” dress is actually more “immodest” because the regulation dress and everything that goes with it makes girls more vulnerable to sexual abuse than the “immodestly” dressed girls in the rest of society.

    “Modesty” is not a concrete, clearly defined concept, but is open to a wide range of opinions about what is modest and what is not. Total nudity in public is a God-given shame that a person, Christian or non-Christian, usually tries to avoid. One of the places God tells us about the shame of nudity is in Revelation 3:18: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.” But beyond nudity, a person’s conscience of how much of the body must be covered in order to be modest tends to defined by those who one is influenced by. There is a very wide range of opinions among professing Christians about what is modest and appropriate and what is not.

    Jesus has not defined what is modest or what is immodest. Mennonite churches have attempted to regulate modesty, feeling that the Bible alone is inadequate on the subject and that husbands and fathers cannot be trusted to regulate it in their own home. Modesty is a concept that is drilled into conservative Mennonite women. They are made to feel guilty and responsible if a man were to look at them in any way sexually. Jesus on the other hand, puts the responsibility on a man for his lust.

    Part of the failure of the Conservative Dress Experiment is because it is based in part on Old Testament Law. Among the Amish and conservative Mennonites, the women have been required to wear dresses, based upon the church’s interpretation of one command that was handpicked out of the Old Covenant Law (even though Christians are no longer under the Old Covenant Law). “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 22:5...

    What is ironic about Amish and conservative Mennonite “modest” women’s dresses is that in addition to not preventing men from lusting after girls and women, the dresses with their open bottom hem are an open door that allows easy access for perverts and sexual molesters to quickly do their wicked deeds without fully undressing their victim. Is a dress safe? Is a cape dress really modest with its double layer at the top and an open door at the bottom? Can a dress really be labeled as modest for a young girl to wear? Little girls have great difficulty keeping their dresses down and end up showing their underwear at times. It is young girls and teens that are the ones most likely to be sexually abused.

    A friend of ours, who did not grow up in a Mennonite home, told us that she was taught growing up that dresses were immodest. When I first heard it, I was surprised because it was the opposite of what I had been taught growing up. In reality, dresses are actually more “immodest” than pants. On the internet there are a number of testimonies of women who have been sexually abused who feel very uncomfortable wearing dresses. Addressing the question about why women don’t wear dresses anymore, is this answer: “Some women may have had bad experiences with wearing skirts or dresses, since a lot of them may have been sexually assaulted in the past (direct or indirect), a skirt or dress does invite molesters to unlawfully play down there.”
    Myron Horst April 16, 2015 
    ...Trudy Metzger says this about the blame and responsibility that the conservative church puts on the women and girls:
    “Boys wore normal clothes and acted like nothing happened when they violated us. We were stuck in homemade dresses, giving males easy access, and still the bulk of responsibility fell on us. When they violated us, it was because we must have behaved in a sensual manner, dressed inappropriately, or perhaps flirted with them. They couldn’t help their sex drive and if only we would behave right and dress right, we would protect them.

    “How ironic. In a male-dominant culture, where men were portrayed to be the godly leaders, the strong ones, they were not required to be men at all. All they had to do was cry, “she asked for it” and the onus was on us. And even if they didn’t cry it, that was a given. There was nothing of teaching young men and boys to honor, respect, love and protect a woman. Nothing of saying, ‘if you find her naked, be man enough to cover her and protect her’.”

    Trudy’s words, “if you find her naked, be man enough to cover her and protect her”, gives new meaning to what Jesus said in Matthew 25:41-46 when you look at it in the context of sexual abuse, “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”

    It is a Christian man’s responsibility to protect those who are least able to protect themselves – children - from sexual abuse. If a man exposes a child’s nakedness and sexually abuses the child, he saw or felt their nakedness and did not cloth them. He has Jesus to answer to. Jesus views the sexual abuse of a child as the same as an attack on Him – “I was… naked and ye clothed ME not”. Jesus knows what the sexual abuser has done, even if the church doesn’t. This can be a real comfort for anyone who has been sexually abused. Even if no one else has stood up for you (the victim) Jesus has. He has felt your pain and defilement, and the perpetrator WILL suffer the consequences – everlasting punishment unless he/she repents.

    The guilt that conservatives have placed on women in the area of modesty, and the hypocrisy by which women are judged are paralleled by the conservatives in Jesus’ day. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman that they claimed they had caught in the very act of adultery. What is conspicuously missing is the man who should also have been caught in the very act of adultery if it really was adultery. The woman was being tried for committing a sin, but not the man. Many sexually abused women in Amish and Mennonite groups can identify with this woman. They feel like they too are the ones that were tried by their Amish or Mennonite church leaders, and the men who sexually abused them are not. “And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, they say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” (John 8:3-11)

    The conservatives, the Pharisees, treated the woman as if she had committed adultery all by herself. It is similar to the way Amish and Mennonite women are treated in the modesty issue. Modesty is treated as if a woman could commit adultery all by herself by dressing “immodestly”. Women are judged for dressing “immodestly” without proof that a man has looked on them and committed adultery with them in his heart.

    Knowing how the Pharisees made up rules and went to extremes in expanding God’s commands, I have to wonder if the adultery that the conservative Pharisees were accusing the woman of committing was a manmade “sin” that they called adultery and was not sin at all, similar to the Amish and Mennonite manmade sin of “immodesty” that they hang over women’s heads. Several clues that it probably was not the true sin of adultery are that there was no man involved, and Jesus did not condemn or rebuke her for what she had done. Whatever the case, there is a strong parallel between the way the Pharisees judged this woman and the way many Amish and conservative Mennonites judge women in the areas of modesty and sexual abuse.

    (there is much more that could be said but I will stop there)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 90

News of what is happening in Indiana continues to spread like ripples on a pond. And as in the game called Telephone, details can get a bit murky. Titles like "Time to Revive" and even "Revive Indiana" get stripped away, and people end up searching for terms like "Amish Revival" and "Indiana Tent Meetings." Kyle Martin gets mixed up with other Martins of Mennonite renown, and--to Wes Weaver's potential dismay--the muddling extends even to the meetings he condemned, with the meetings in which he condemned them. But for hundreds of miles to the north and south, people are hearing that wonderful things are happening in Indiana within and amongst the spiritual descendants of Menno Simons and Jacob Amman. This is one case in which good news seems to be traveling faster and farther than bad.

As for ReviveINDIANA, the news has never been better. The Kokomo meeting Sunday night at the Christian Heritage Worship Center overflowed the overflow. In a tableau almost never seen in the First World, members of the extended audience were not only standing outside the doors, but even clustered around the windows. It may not have spread very far into the assemblies of the inebriated, and may only be starting to emerge amongst the suspendered and bonneted, but a hunger for Christian unity in the church at large is rapidly increasing.  

The Elkhart Truth notes:

Since Oct. 3, 2012, there have been at least 28 incidents involving gunfire in the city, resulting in 13 deaths (including four by Elkhart police) and 13 injuries, according to Elkhart Truth archives. That works out to about one incident per month and a death by gunfire about once every two months.

What does the city of Elkhart have to show for 90 days of revival? Even one violent death would have been within a standard deviation of the mean; there have been at least two injurious shootings in Elkhart in the past 90 days, but no associated fatalities so far this year. But given the cold weather (and associated cooler tempers) of the period, this is probably no less than could have been expected. Warmer weather has returned, allowing a true glimpse over the next few months of the impact of this revival on those not just literally, but figuratively outside the church.

UPDATE April 14: Today saw Elkhart's third shooting, and first related death of the year. Typical.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Indiana Revival Report: Day 85

Well now, this is interesting. The most incriminating website revealing a collaboration between Time to Revive and Christ for All Nations has been taken down. Here is how it read:
Reinhard Bonnke Evangelism Kick Off Event
Hello Pastors, Ministry Leaders, Evangelists and Friends, We would like to extend and invitation for the Reinhard Bonnke Gospel Crusade Evangelism Kick Off Event on Tuesday, March 17th at Noon. Inter-denominational leaders from the Revive Indiana movement will be in Chicagoland specifically to share with you about this incredible move of God already spreading throughout the USA.

Evangelism Kick-Off (Featuring Kyle Martin and Pastors from Revive Indiana)12:00pm Tuesday, March 17, 2015 RSVP below Oak Brook Community Church 3100 Midwest Rd. Oak Brook, IL 60523

Goshen, Indiana recently experienced over 50 consecutive days of thousands gathering for prayer, evangelism, intercession and unity (visit for testimonies). We are praying for unity between the states and churches to cultivate an environment of on-fire Christians, and to see thousands come to Christ during multiple outreaches leading up to the Reinhard Bonnke Great Lakes Gospel Crusade at the Allstate Arena, June 26-28, 2015 and continuing long after. Please join us as we hear from people already witnessing revival and working together, led by the Spirit, to see it in your community! We will stand shoulder-to-shoulder declaring, “America Shall Be Saved!”

There will be light refreshments served. Please RSVP below if you will be attending or sending a representative. Sincerely, Tim Marshick, Dan Bawinkel and Joshua Porter Local Crusade Directors 407.854.4421 Great Lakes Gospel Crusade June 26-28, 2015 at the Allstate Arena
There are no online mentions of collaboration dating past April 4th. It would appear that, as of this week, TTR is no longer associated with the GLGC. And indeed, they will have their hands full enough without it: ReviveINDIANA is in the process of spreading to six other locations across the state over the next four months, according to a prophetic vision of the seven rays of the Indiana State Flag. Interestingly, the state statute only mentions six rays, but there are, in fact, seven on the flag, the shortest one seeming to indicate Ground Zero for the campaign:

Flag of Indiana.svg

The first stop will be Kokomo, on April 12, with a 7pm kickoff rally at the Christian Heritage Worship Center, following meetings throughout the day with interested pastors and congregations. A week of outreach and fellowship is then planned, following the usual model. All this will culminate with a mass meeting at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Grandstand on July 26. It will probably be the largest crowd ever assembled in Elkhart County, with hundreds of acres of parking available and a potential audience of a million fairgoers. [UPDATE: This didn't pan out. Instead, the Statewide Gathering was to be held in Fort Wayne.]

Getting back to the local venue: In order to avoid overcrowding the facilities, small coloured flags are distributed at the entry doors, in number corresponding to the newly enlarged official building capacity. These, and only these, can be used to save seats, such that only people who are already in the building can reserve one. And of course, they make for a pretty display when waved during worship. Once all the flags are distributed, latecomers are sent to one of three satellite locations in the area. So far this week the precaution hasn't been needed, but attendance is growing by the day, with first-timers continuing to arrive, both locally and from out of state.

Monday, 6 April 2015

1 Peter 2:2--Another Calvinist mistranslation in the NIV

"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation," --NIV 1973-2011

"As infants euen now borne, reasonable, milke without guile desire ye, that in it you may grow vnto saluation." --Rheims NT 1582

There are several issues here; we may as well begin with the textual issue. Most Greek NT manuscripts don't have the last 2 words of the verse, εἰς σωτηρίαν. But it's a rather slim majority, and the words are well attested in the sizable minority, with omission tending to increase rapidly toward the end of the manuscript era, when most extant manuscripts were made. Of special note is that the words ARE found in the versions, whether early, middle, or late. It would appear that theological reasons were behind transmitting a text without them--and that, even as recently as the textual selections behind the King James Version--but we'll leave such questions for another day, because even by including the variant, the CBT managed to rob it of its meaning by mistranslating it into English.

And thus we come to the translational issue: how should one translate εἰς σωτηρίαν? Well, literally, it's "unto salvation." Εἰς is a directional preposition, most often translated into in the KJV.

Here is a lexical definition:
eis (a preposition) – properly, into (unto) – literally, "motion into which" implying penetration ("unto," "union") to a particular purpose or result.

We can see that in regards to entering into salvation, 'unto' would be a more grammatically apt wording. But I'll accept 'into,' as it wouldn't make a difference either way. The vital point is that salvation is being entered through the process of craving pure metaphoric milk (the Greek literally means 'wordly,' or--idiomatically--'reasonable' or 'logical,' not 'spiritual'). "In" is an unacceptable translation, as it denotes position, not transposition.

Now, why would the CBT want to have us "grow up in our salvation" rather than "grow into salvation," maugre well-established translation principles? Clearly, this paraphrase was made for no other reason than to avoid the implication that salvation is a goal to attain rather than a state to improve. And this is an characteristically Calvinist interpretation, pressed into service under the guise of the most accurately translated English Bible possible.

Calvinism, of course, does not stand or fall upon a paraphrase of 1 Peter 2:2. It is able to twist any scripture to its ends, and this one need be no exception. So why not just translate it as it stands, and leave its (mis)interpretation up to the theologians?