Monday, January 25, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
King James I of England was no fan of tobacco, but instead of whining about it, he picked up his pen. In 1604, James wrote the treatise A Counterblaste to Tobacco, and true to form for early 17th century pamphlets, the King didn’t pull any punches, writing, “What honour or policie can move us to imitate the barbarous and beastly maners of the wilde, godlesse, and slavish Indians, especially in so vile and stinking a custom?”
Ouch. Anti-Indian racism aside, James also warned of potential dangers from second-hand smoke and lung damage in addition to making a much simpler argument against tobacco smoke: it stinks. Later he refers to smoking as “a custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the black and stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomlesse.”
For someone with such strong feelings about smoke, James I amazingly didn’t ban tobacco altogether, though. He did, however, jack up excise taxes and tariffs on the weed by upwards of 4,000%. Interestingly, early 20th century tobacconist and writer Alfred Dunhill speculated in The Pipe Book that James’ hatred of tobacco may have stemmed from how much the monarch loathed Sir Walter Raleigh, who was often seen smoking a pipe and actually turned Queen Elizabeth I on to smoking in 1600.copied
Friday, January 22, 2010
From the Pastor Pen of ...
Pastor David J. Harness
Victory Baptist Church
52260 Range Road 231
Sherwood Park, Alberta CANADA T8B 1A7
The Book That Has Outlasted It’s Critics
“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore have I uttered that which I understand not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Job 42:3
Four hundred and six years ago, on January 14-18th, 1604, the historic Hampton Court Conference was held by King James I, King of Great Britain. The Puritans (those within the Church of England who wanted to purify it further of its Romish practices) was the primary group pushing for this conference. One outcome of the conference was the decision to produce a new translation of the Scriptures, which would refine the former English translations. Forty-two of the most learned and godly men throughout the kingdom were chosen to work on this new translation. In addition, those ministers throughout the kingdom who were knowledgeable in Hebrew or Greek were invited to give their submissions to the translation committee. The result seven years later (1611) was the Authorized Version of the Bible, commonly called the King James Bible.
This new translation was “translated out of the original tongues [Hebrew and Greek] and with the former translations diligently compared and revised.” In many cases no changes were made to the earlier translations - the exact wording of the earlier translations remained. This cannot be said of the modern translations. Copyright laws require each new version to be substantially different from other versions, lest the publishers be charged with plagiarism.
The King James Bible, the jewel of the English language, and monarch of books, has often been criticized. (Remember, our Lord was often criticized also.) Our Authorized Bible has sometimes been criticized by wicked unbelievers, sometimes by men who know better but seek to mislead, sometimes by unlearned and ignorant men parroting criticisms they heard others say. Some have unjustly and incorrectly criticized the manner of translating, the motives of the King, the morals of the King, and even the very words themselves.
Here is an example of unjust criticism: “Dr. Richard Kilbye, an excellent Hebrew scholar and one of the KJV translators, along with a friend, visited a church one Sunday and “heard a young preacher waste a great amount of the time allotted for his sermon in criticizing several words in the then recent translation. He carefully showed how one particular word should have been translated in a different way. Later that evening the preacher and the learned strangers were invited together to a meal, and Dr. Kilbye took the opportunity to tell the preacher that he could have used his time more profitably. The Doctor then explained that the translators had very carefully considered the “three reasons” given by the preacher, but they had found another thirteen more weighty reasons for giving the rendering complained of by the young critic” (Fuller: Which Bible, p.17). Don’t be like Job who “uttered that [he] understood not.” Instead of trying to correct the Bible, let the Bible correct you.
SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia Friday ordered its military to look at removing biblical references from weapons used by troops in Afghanistan, after New Zealand banned the completely inappropriate inscriptions.Australia's Defence Minister John Faulkner said the military had been unaware of the meaning of the letters and numbers etched into the US-made gunsights, which refer to passages in the New Testament.I have asked Defence to examine the options available to deal with this matter without compromising the safety of our troops and critically important capabilities, Faulkner said.Faulkner's comments came as neighbouring New Zealand condemned the inscriptions as potentially inflammatory.They cause the same problems as putting slogans on bombs. We should not be doing anything that might give opponents any propaganda leverage, New Zealand's Defence Minister Wayne Mapp told AFP.The markings are completely inappropriate and the Defence Force will be looking at ways to get rid of them, now and for future deliveries.
The rifle sights are inscribed with lettering such as JN8:12 -- an apparent reference to chapter eight, verse 12 in the Book of John which reads:Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.Australia and New Zealand both have forces operating in Afghanistan and there are fears that the references could endanger coalition troops fighting in Muslim-majority nations where the US military is already bitterly resented.The New Zealand Defence Force has 260 of the rifle sights, which come from the US company Trijicon, while Australia's military has some 1,050.Trijicon, which also supplies US and British forces, said it has inscribed references to the New Testament on the metal casings of its gunsights for more than two decades.But after angry reaction from Muslim and religious freedom groups to the news that it has multimillion-dollar contracts to supply hundreds of thousands of the gunsights to the US military, the firm said it would provide the US with kits to remove the references.
The Australian Defence Force, which has around 1,500 troops in Afghanistan, said it was unaware of the significance of the hard-to-spot references, which are in raised lettering immediately following the stock number on the metal casing of the gunsights, when it purchased the rifle sights.The sights were procured because they provide mature technology which is highly reliable, in wide use by our allies and best meet Defence requirements,a department spokeswoman said.The Department of Defence is very conscious of the sensitivities associated with this issue and is assessing how to address these as soon as practicable.
NZ army to remove Bible citations from armaments By RAY LILLEY, Associated Press Writer – Thu Jan 21, 6:07 am ET
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Biblical citations inscribed on U.S.-manufactured weapon sights used by New Zealand's troops in Afghanistan will be removed because they are inappropriate and could stoke religious tensions, New Zealand said Thursday.The inscriptions on products from defense contractor Trijicon of Wixom, Michigan, came to light this week in the U.S. where Army officials said Tuesday they would investigate whether the gun sights — also used by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq — violate U.S. procurement laws.Australia also said Thursday its military used the sights and was now assessing what to do.Trijicon said it has had such inscriptions on its products for three decades and has never received complaints about them before. The inscriptions, which don't include actual text from the Bible, refer numerically to passages from the book.New Zealand defense force spokesman Maj. Kristian Dunne said Trijicon would be instructed to remove the inscriptions from further orders of the gun sights for New Zealand and the letters would be removed from gun sights already in use by troops.The inscriptions ... put us in a difficult situation. We were unaware of it and we're unhappy that the manufacturer didn't give us any indication that these were on there, Dunne said.We deem them to be inappropriate.The Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight rifle sights used by New Zealand troops, which allow them to pinpoint targets day or night, carried references to Bible verses that appeared in raised lettering at the end of the sight stock number.
Markings included JN8:12, a reference to John 8:12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life, according to the King James version of the Bible.The Trijicon Reflex sight is stamped with 2COR4:6, a reference to part of the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians: For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the King James version reads.
Dunne said New Zealand's defense force has about 260 of the company's gun sights, which were first bought in 2004, and will continue to use them once the inscriptions are removed because they are the best of their kind.New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the government was not aware of the inscriptions when the defense force bought the equipment.Now we are in discussions with the company in the United States who will ensure the inscriptions are removed, and we wouldn't want them on future sights, he told reporters.Earlier, Defense Minister Wayne Mapp said with New Zealand soldiers in Muslim countries, the Bible references could be misconstrued.We all know of the religious tensions around this issue and it's unwise to do anything that could be seen to raise tensions in an unnecessary way, he said.Trijicon said it has been long-standing company practice to put the Scripture citations on the equipment. Tom Munson, Trijicon's director of sales and marketing, said the company had never received complaints until now.We don't publicize this, Munson said in a recent interview. It's not something we make a big deal out of. But when asked, we say, Yes, it's there.Trijicon said biblical references were first put on the sites nearly 30 years ago by the company founder, Glyn Bindon, who was killed in a plane crash in 2003. His son Stephen, Trijicon's president, continued the practice.
The references have stoked concerns by critics in the U.S. about whether they break a government rule that bars proselytizing by American troops. But U.S. military officials said the citations don't violate the ban and they won't stop using the tens of thousands of telescoping sights that have already been bought. The Australian Defense Department, which with 1,550 troops in Afghanistan is the largest contributor to that campaign outside NATO, said Thursday that it also used the sights but had been unaware of the significance of the manufacturer's serial number.
The Department of Defense is very conscious of the sensitivities associated with this issue and is assessing how to address these as soon as practicable," the department said in a statement.
Muslim anger over military Jesus scopes
Thu Jan 21, 5:50 am ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Muslim groups reacted angrily Wednesday after it emerged that the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan were using rifle sights inscribed with coded Biblical references.The company producing the sights, which are also used to train Afghan and Iraqi soldiers under contracts with the US Army and the Marine Corps, said it has inscribed references to the New Testament on the metal casings for over two decades.The British Ministry of Defense meanwhile announced it had placed an order for 400 of the gunsights with Trijicon but added it had not been aware of the significance of the inscriptions, in a decision criticized by the opposition Liberal Democrat party.The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) called on US Defense Secretary Robert Gates to immediately withdraw from combat use equipment found to have inscriptions of Biblical references after it emerged that Trijicon has contracts to supply over 800,000 of the sights to the US military.The Pentagon sought to defuse the brewing controversy, saying it was disturbed by the reports.If determined to be true, this is clearly inappropriate and we are looking into possible remedies, Commander Darryn James, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.The codes were used as part of our faith and our belief in service to our country, Trijicon said.As long as we have men and women in danger, we will continue to do everything we can to provide them with both state-of-the-art technology and the never-ending support and prayers of a grateful nation, a company spokesman said on condition of anonymity.
The move appeared to be a direct violation of a US Central Command general order issued after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq that strictly prohibits proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice.A whistleblower group that first alerted ABC News to the issue this week warned the practice was putting troops in harm's way by raising fears of Christian proselytizing in Muslim-majority nations home to militants resentful of US military presence.This is the worst type of emboldenment of the enemy that you can imagine, Military Religious Freedom Foundation founder and president Michael Mikey Weinstein said in an interview.Weinstein, a former White House legal counsel in Ronald Reagan's administration, said his group would submit a filing in US federal court in Kansas City, Missouri by February 4 in a related case.
Having Biblical references on military equipment violates the basic ideals and values our country was founded upon, MPAC Washington director Haris Tarin said in a statement.Worse still, it provides propaganda ammo to extremists who claim there is a Crusader war against Islam by the United States, he added.The shocking revelation raises fresh fears of Christian fundamentalism seeping through the US military's ranks.It's got to stop. It's wrong on a million levels, said Weinstein. This is massively endangering the lives and well-being of our members of the military.His foundation, he added, represents nearly 16,000 troops, the bulk of them Christians.
A Muslim-American soldier, who declined to be named due to fears of persecution, said he was ashamed and horrified by the writings on the gunsights of weapons he used during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are many other soldiers who feel as I do. Many are Protestant and Catholic and they fear reprisal just as much as I do for trying to stand up to the Christian bullies in uniform who outrank us, he said in a letter dated January 14 and addressed to Weinstein and his foundation.
The Secular Coalition for America demanded the US military end its contracts with Trijicon. Trijicon knew that the scopes they were producing were for the use of the US military and their decision to keep these engravings shows a flagrant disregard by a private contractor of the laws that govern our land, said the group's director Sean Faircloth. According to photographs seen by AFP, the coded inscriptions include JN8:12, an apparent reference to John 8:12: Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.Trijicon, a defense contractor founded by devout Christian Glyn Bindon, vows on its website to follow biblical standards it says make America great.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Psalms banned, but witchcraft OK
Supreme Court endorses 'hostility' toward Christianity
Posted: January 19, 2010
10:46 pm Eastern
© 2010 WorldNetDaily
A lower court's "hostility" towards Christianity will stand after the U.S. Supreme Court today refused to intervene in a school district's censorship of a kindergartener's choice of literature for a class reading.
"By refusing to hear Mrs. Busch's case, the U.S. Supreme Court has endorsed the kind of hostility toward religion that should never be found in an American public school," said John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, which took on the Newtown Square, Pa., case.
As WND reported, Donna Busch accepted an invitation to visit her son Wesley's kindergarten classroom at Culbertson Elementary School to read a passage of Wesley's favorite book to his classmates in October 2004. Wesley's teacher had invited Busch because the boy was the featured student of "All About Me," a school event to feature a particular student and emphasize the student's personal characteristics, preferences and personality in classroom activities.
During the "All About Me" activity, a child's parent may read aloud from the student's favorite book. In this case, Wesley, a Christian, chose the Bible. His mother planned to read from Psalm 118.
But when Donna Busch prepared to read from the Bible, Wesley's teacher instructed her not to do so until Principal Thomas Cook could determine whether it would be acceptable.
According to the Rutherford Institute, the principal "informed Mrs. Busch that she could not read from the Bible in the classroom because it was against the law and that the reading would violate the 'separation of church and state.'"
Then school administrators offered Wesley's mother an opportunity to read from a book about witches, witchcraft and Halloween. She declined the invitation.
(Story continues below)
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A 2005 decision in U.S. District Court sided with the school's decision to ban the Bible reading. Officials with the Marple Newtown School District had defended their actions as reasonable, and the trial court judge agreed.
A Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision upheld the lower court's ruling that the school officials' decision did not violate the Busch family's First Amendment rights.
The court held that "educators may appropriately restrict forms of expression in elementary school classrooms" even when speakers have been invited into the classroom.
Circuit Judge Thomas Hardiman issued a strong dissent, noting that the reading of a passage from Psalms to Wesley's class was within the subject matter of the "All About Me" unit, which was to highlight things of interest and importance to Wesley. The judge said the exclusion constituted viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment because it was based solely upon its religious character.
The Supreme Court decision not to hear the case creates unwelcome precedents, Whitehead said.
"If these acts of censorship and discrimination are allowed to continue, there will be absolutely no freedom for religious people in public schools in this country," he said.
The case had highlighted the fact that while Busch was not allowed to read from the Bible, another parent was allowed to read a book about Judaism and teach the class a dreidel game.
Related offers:"Fish Out of Water: Surviving and Thriving as a Christian on a Secular Campus"
Monday, January 18, 2010
U.S. Military Weapons Inscribed With Secret 'Jesus' Bible Codes
Pentagon Supplier for Rifle Sights Says It Has 'Always' Added New Testament References
Check out story on ABC Nightline. Jesus Scope
'Jesus Rifles' Draw Fire US military firearms with coded messages raise issue of 'crusade'
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I would rather be a Baptist,
(The above poem was written by T.O. Reese, a Southern Baptist pastor and evangelist in Alabama. The poem appeared in the "News and Truths" in December, 1924. This weekly Baptist paper was published by the First Baptist Church of Murray, Kentucky under the editorship of their pastor, H. Boyce Taylor.)
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Live A Crucified Life – Galatians 2:20
Live A Separated Life – 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
Live A Life of Self-denial – Philippians 3:7
Live A Life of Submission – James 4:7
Live A Yielded Life – Romans 6:13
Live An Unselfish Life – 1 Corinthians 10:24
Live A Life of Subjection – 1 Corinthians 9:27
Live A Mortified Life – Colossians 3:5
Live A Life of Abstinence – 1 Peter 2:11
Live A Life Fulfilling God’s Will – 1 Peter 4:2
Live A Life of Obedience – 2 Corinthians 10:5
Live A Life of Witnessing – Mark 5:19
Live A Life of Love – Ephesians 5:7
Live A Life of Fellowship With Other Believers – 1 John 1:7
Monday, January 11, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
tune to 16 tons
I was born one mornin', heard the church bells ring;
I picked up a hymnal and started to sing;
Got a preacher for a husband, and my-o-me
Got sixteen jobs plus a fam-i-ly.
You get sixteen jobs and what do ya get?
Another day older and more troubles yet,
St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go
Gotta stand on Sunday at the church front do'.
Gotta lead prayer meetin', take a class to teach,
Gotta play the organ or the people will screech
How the last preacher's wife did this and mo'
And then when I do it, say I'm runnin' the show.
You try so hard and what do ya get?
Hearing other people's troubles till you fuss and fret,
St. Peter, don't call me, 'cause I can't go
Got a covered dish supper and a whole lot mo'.
My clothes are the subject for a lot of talk;
I buy a fancy outfit and members all gawk;
I wear last year's and the people all say
I oughta do better on what they pay.
Gotta please everybody, watch what I say;
Gotta be on my toes every hour of the day;
St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can t go
Got a fellowship meeting this evenin' at fo'.
Gotta be on call every day and night
The worst things happen when I look a fright,
The chairman of the Board will decide to come by
When my hair is in curlers and my girdle ain't dry.
Got no life of my own, it, seems to me
I never have an hour of privacy,
St. Peter, don't you call me, cause I can't go
Sister Jones is a-knocking at my back do'.
Shake hands with the elders and smile at the wives;
The last one that leaves and the first that arrives;
Got a preacher for a husband, but never see him 'til
The dead is buried and the sick gets well.
Be a preacher's wife and what do ya get?
A host of friends and the fullest life yet.
St. Peter, don't you call me, 'cause I can't go,
Want to stand on Sunday at the church front do'.
copied The Baptist Challenge - March '86
I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye's a better pupil, more willing than the ear;
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear,
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.
I can soon learn how to do it if you will let me see it done;
I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.
The lectures you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I'd rather get my lesson by observing what you do.
For I may misunderstand you and the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.
copied from Western Messenger Aug. 88
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The results from this short test might surprise you and give you some food for thought.
You'll be asked just 10 questions, and then it instantly tells you where you stand politically. It shows your position as a red dot on a "political map" so you'll see exactly where you score.
The most interesting thing about the Quiz is that it goes beyond the Democrat, Republican, and Independent.
The Quiz has gotten a lot of praise. The Washington Post said it has "gained respect as a valid measure of a person's political leanings."
The Fraser Institute said it's "a fast, fun, and accurate assessment of a person's overall political views." Suite University said it is the "most concise and accurate political quiz out there."
Click on the link below...
One little tract
Can do it well,
To save some soul
From a sinner's hell.
One little tract
How it can win
A backsliding soul
On the pathway to sin.
One little tract
Has reach and appeal,
To convict and convert
And God's will reveal.
One little tract
Oh pass it on, friend,
It can work miracles
That never shall end!
by E.M. Brandt