Friday, September 30, 2005

The Justice of God

A holy and just God will punish sin.

This is bad news for us sinners, since we break the commandments of God by our thoughts, words, and deeds every day of our lives. We justly deserve God's wrath.

Thankfully, God has a justice for us we wouldn't expect. It is the justice, or righteousness, that comes by faith alone in Christ alone, Who is our Righteousness.

Following is an account of how one Roman Catholic monk, Martin Luther, discovered this wonderful justice...
[Translator's Note: ...The terms "just, justice, justify" in the following reading are synonymous with the terms "righteous, righteousness, make righteous." Both sets of English words are common translations of the Latin "justus" and related words. A similar situation exists with the word "faith"; it is synonymous with "belief." Both words can be used to translate Latin "fides." Thus, "We are justified by faith" translates the same original Latin sentence as does "We are made righteous by belief."]

Meanwhile in that same year, 1519, I had begun interpreting the Psalms once again. I felt confident that I was now more experienced, since I had dealt in university courses with St. Paul's Letters to the Romans, to the Galatians, and the Letter to the Hebrews. I had conceived a burning desire to understand what Paul meant in his Letter to the Romans, but thus far there had stood in my way, not the cold blood around my heart, but that one word which is in chapter one: "The justice of God is revealed in it." I hated that word, "justice of God," which, by the use and custom of all my teachers, I had been taught to understand philosophically as referring to formal or active justice, as they call it, i.e., that justice by which God is just and by which he punishes sinners and the unjust.

But I, blameless monk that I was, felt that before God I was a sinner with an extremely troubled conscience. I couldn't be sure that God was appeased by my satisfaction. I did not love, no, rather I hated the just God who punishes sinners. In silence, if I did not blaspheme, then certainly I grumbled vehemently and got angry at God. I said, "Isn't it enough that we miserable sinners, lost for all eternity because of original sin, are oppressed by every kind of calamity through the Ten Commandments? Why does God heap sorrow upon sorrow through the Gospel and through the Gospel threaten us with his justice and his wrath?" This was how I was raging with wild and disturbed conscience. I constantly badgered St. Paul about that spot in Romans 1 and anxiously wanted to know what he meant.

I meditated night and day on those words until at last, by the mercy of God, I paid attention to their context: "The justice of God is revealed in it, as it is written: 'The just person lives by faith.'" I began to understand that in this verse the justice of God is that by which the just person lives by a gift of God, that is by faith. I began to understand that this verse means that the justice of God is revealed through the Gospel, but it is a passive justice, i.e. that by which the merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written: "The just person lives by faith." All at once I felt that I had been born again and entered into paradise itself through open gates. Immediately I saw the whole of Scripture in a different light. I ran through the Scriptures from memory and found that other terms had analogous meanings, e.g., the work of God, that is, what God works in us; the power of God, by which he makes us powerful; the wisdom of God, by which he makes us wise; the strength of God, the salvation of God, the glory of God.

I exalted this sweetest word of mine, "the justice of God," with as much love as before I had hated it with hate. This phrase of Paul was for me the very gate of paradise. Afterward I read Augustine's "On the Spirit and the Letter," in which I found what I had not dared hope for. I discovered that he too interpreted "the justice of God" in a similar way, namely, as that with which God clothes us when he justifies us. Although Augustine had said it imperfectly and did not explain in detail how God imputes justice to us, still it pleased me that he taught the justice of God by which we are justified.
From Project Wittenberg

Originally posted July 30th.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

And what they don't know can kill us

From Hugh Fitzgerald. What they don't know at the State Department:
The Ur-source of the problem with American policy in Iraq is not that the government has been too bold, but too timid, afraid even synecdochically to allude to Islam, insistent on parroting until no one of any sense can stand it, that silly phrase about a 'war on terrorism' with no hint, no hint of a hint, that 'terrorism' is merely one instrument of Jihad, that 'Jihad' means a struggle, and that all over the world this duty of Jihad to spread Islam, as old as Islam itself, is being pursued in various ways of which terrorism is only one, and not even necessarily the most effective.

The American government, or many people in it, failed to understand two things when they went to Iraq. They failed to understand the history of Iraq itself, with its long-standing ethnic and sectarian divisions that in the case of the Sunni-Shi'a split go back to the fourth of the rightly-guided caliphs, a split that in the history of modern Iraq only widened, rather than narrowed, since the days of Sir Percy Cox and Gertrude Bell. They failed to understand that the Kurds were hot for independence, and that a Kurdish state might usefully be exploited in order to raise the consciousness of non-Arab Muslims everywhere, beginning with the Berbers of North Africa (subjected not to the mass murder that the Kurds endured under Saddam Hussein, but rather to Arab cultural and linguistic imperialism). Paralyzing fear of Turkey, perhaps, or a belief that Turkey could still be described (as Richard Perle did in an interview in 2004) as 'secular' as if Kemalism were permanent, Islam transitory -- instead of, as we all now know, the reverse.

And there was just one other little thing, one other intelligence failure, that characterizes the American effort in Iraq, and the madness of the effort to create out of these three vilayets a moderate, rational, democratic nation-state that will prove a Light Unto the Muslim Nations. And that other little thing was Islam. There was not in 2001 an understanding of Islam; there was not such an understanding in the spring of 2003, when three American divisions in a few weeks conquered Iraq; there appears to be no such understanding now, at the top, of the nature of Islam, or why, for example, the campaign of Da'wa, and demographic conquest of Western Europe, is far more important a matter to address, and think of ways to reverse, than whether or not the Sunni lion can lie down with the Shi'a -- well, not exactly lamb, but lioness.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Two readings

Justification and Rome, by Preuf
Captivation of the Will, by Gerhard O. Forde, Baker

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Never forget

From Michelle Malkin:
"On this fourth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on America, let's remember...."

Who needs Netflix when you've got the Religion of Peace?

"Only a few years ago, Adam Gadahn was a southern California teenager with interests in the environment and heavy metal music.

His family says he converted to Islam at an Orange County mosque. There, officials say, Gadahn came under the influence of militants who took him to Pakistan.

He has since emerged as an al Qaeda propaganda tool. His latest message warns Americans an attack is imminent unless the United States stops its operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

'We love peace, but when the enemy violates that peace or prevents us from achieving it, then we love nothing better than the heat of battle, the echo of explosion, and the slitting of the throats of the infidels,' the tape says.

As for the rest of the tape, the young man attempts to dispel any rumors or reports of bin Laden being deceased. He closes his tape by invoking the names of the Sept. 11 hijackers.

'Everyone of us is Mohammed Atta,' he says."
How can converting to the Religion of Peace result in someone delighting at the prospect of slitting unbelievers' throats? There's no causal relationship, you say? Perhaps you haven't read Qur'an 47:4.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The fiends in the MSM

From Little Green Footballs:

The mainstream media immediately imposed a ban on graphic images from the September 11 attacks, but now they demand to be allowed to film dead hurricane victims: US drops banning media from body hunt.

HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) — Rather than fight a lawsuit by CNN, the federal government abandoned its effort Saturday to prevent the media from reporting on the recovery of the dead in New Orleans.

Joint Task Force Katrina “has no plans to bar, impede or prevent news media from their news gathering and reporting activities in connection with the deceased Hurricane Katrina victim recovery efforts,” said Col. Christian E. deGraff, representing the task force.

U.S. District Court Judge Keith Ellison issued a temporary restraining order Friday against a “zero access” policy announced earlier in the day by Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who is overseeing the federal relief effort in the city, and Terry Ebbert, the city’s homeland security director. In explaining the ban, Ebbert said, “we don’t think that’s proper” to let members of the media view the bodies.

The judge was to consider granting a permanent injunction Saturday when the government announced its decision not to fight CNN’s lawsuit.

In an e-mail to CNN staff, CNN News Group President Jim Walton said the network filed the the lawsuit to “prohibit any agency from restricting its ability to fully and fairly cover” the hurricane victim recovery process.

After the Galveston hurricane of September 1900, rescue workers had a different way of handling this kind of thing.

Looters found despoiling the dead were summarily executed by the militia - stood against the nearest wall or pile of debris and shot without the hindrance of a trial. The same brutal justice was delivered to amateur photographers. “Word received from Galveston today indicates that Kodak fiends are being shot down like thieves. Two, it is stated, were killed yesterday while taking pictures of nude female bodies.”

The reason for the contradiction is obvious: If Americans were to see the blessings of the Religion of Peace, someone might (rightly) conclude something should be done about it, and we wouldn't want America defending itself, now would we?

The MSM wants to show these dead so that they might do more damage to President Bush when they ought to be going after those primarily responsible for the unnecessary suffering post-Katrina.

+ Word of the Day +

From Life Of The World (a great homepage for your browser):
Luke 6:20-26

Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
'But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full, for you shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets."

Luke 18:22-32

Then He said to His disciples, 'Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Great! When's the swastika-shaped memorial going up?

More evidence of how deeply blind we are to the nature of our enemy: Flight 93 marker design picked:
Four years after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a reclaimed strip mine near Shanksville, Somerset County, on Sept. 11, 2001, the design that will serve as the national memorial was unveiled here yesterday in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags.

"Crescent of Embrace" will feature a Tower of Voices, containing 40 wind chimes -- one for each passenger and crew member who died -- and two stands of red maple trees that will line a walkway caressing the natural bowl shape of the land. Forty separate groves of red and sugar maples will be planted behind the crescent, and a black slate wall will mark the edge of the crash site, where the remains of those who died now rest.

As the black cloak that had hidden the winner was removed, a collective gasp came from those gathered, who then rose to their feet to applaud.

In the front row, three family members --a woman who lost her mother, a woman who lost her husband and a woman who lost her brother -- leaned into each other, in a show of love and support.

"It's powerful but understated," said Kiki Homer, whose brother, LeRoy W. Homer Jr., was co-pilot on the plane that crashed after passengers rebelled against terrorist hijackers. "It's beautifully simple.

"My breath is taken away."

Esther Heymann, whose daughter, Elizabeth Wainio, died in the crash, agreed.

"The understatement speaks to the profoundness of what occurred here," she said.

According to jurors who chose the winner, it offers "tranquility, beauty and silence. It will be a place for everyone who visits to feel the spirits of the 40 heroes in the whisper of the trees and honor their unselfish sacrifice of their lives to preserve the lives of countless many."

The winning designers, Paul and Milena Murdoch of Los Angeles, called being selected "an incredible honor."

"There's a huge emotional investment," said Paul Murdoch, 48, his voice choking.

After months of excitement surrounding the design competition, which drew more than 1,000 entries, the project will now move into intense fund-raising and logistical work. No cost estimate or timetable has been set for construction of the memorial, but it will take years.

For the Murdochs, their design evolved all at once, they said, and nothing in it is more important than anything else.

The idea of the Crescent of Embrace, Murdoch said, is to be a gesture of healing and bonding. The crescent marks the edge of the land, which will remain largely untouched.

"It's simple and yet it's complex," said Dorothy Garcia, whose husband, Andy, died in the crash. "The void that's there speaks so loudly to the heroism of these 40 souls."

One of the important attributes of the winning design, Murdoch said, is that it allows the memorial to continually grow and change. The maple trees that create the crescent will be planted at just 15 or 20 feet tall. They won't reach maturity for 40 or 50 years.

"It will be open and evolving as long as it's there," he said. "Our memorial is not about offering explanation for what happened, but to allow people to come to terms with it."
A crescent-shaped memorial for the victims of 9/11; this would be like building a memorial for victims of the Holocaust in the form of a swastika.

Friday, September 09, 2005

"We the people," but for how much longer?

Vote fraud: Worse than you think:
"America is standing on a cliff and if we the people do not get rid of politicians at all levels, the same path of destruction will continue. If Americans think things are bad in this country right now, just wait until the effects of CAFTA (the Central American Free Trade Agreement) begin to kick in, further destroying our sovereignty. Bush wants the FTAA done by Dec. 31, 2005 – and he'll get it. Following the CAFTA vote by Congress, a friend (Republican) who serves in one of the 50 state legislatures said, 'Devvy, Congress is taking us to Hell.'

If you think the 'middle class' is being reduced to poverty level, the worst is yet to come. 'Free trade' has destroyed the most important job sectors that made America the wealthiest, debt-free nation in the history of the world. NAFTA and GATT have reduced entire communities into ghost towns. CAFTA and the FTAA will not only finish off our agriculture, manufacturing and industrial bases, we will be reduced to Third World poverty and a nation that can no longer sustain itself. Consider these words of wisdom ignored by the high-priced hookers who serve in Congress:

The global theory of free trade is siphoning off America's wealth and bringing her economy to the level of others. The theory is displacing American workers who otherwise would be employed.

– Sen. George Malone, 1958

We must get constitutionalists elected in our state houses, Congress and the White House. However, this will not happen until we get rid of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and all electronic ballot machines. We must go back to hand-counted ballots – counted in front of the public – not in secrecy. In my 'Blind Loyalty' booklet (a copy is on my CD), I gave 45 pages of provable vote fraud – even at the local level – including what happened in my March 1996 primary.

...According to a column by Julie Carr Smyth (Cleveland Plain Dealer Bureau, Aug. 30, 2003) Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc., a big-time money supporter of Bush, sent out a fund-raising letter, Aug. 14, 2003, stating he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Diebold is one of the three major voting-machine companies in this country.

As we all know, Ohio was a mess on "Election" Day, and Diebold did, indeed, deliver a win for Bush. The Democrats screamed vote fraud, the GOP denied it. However, the GOP fought years in court to claim vote fraud over the alleged election of Democrat Christine Gregoire for governor in Washington State – the court finally put the matter to rest on June 5, 2005. While the finger-pointing goes on, vote fraud continues to get more and more sophisticated.

I urge all Americans: Attend every city council and county board of supervisors meeting. Demand paper ballots, hand counted in front of the general public and get rid of these easily rigged machines. If your elected officials refuse, tell them they will be the target of a recall, and if you don't have recall, make it clear to them they're gone in '06.

The 2006 elections are our last hope to get individuals elected who can and will get the job done in saving this republic. Time grows short for liberty.

Four more years? I hope not.

From Joseph Farah:
Never forget.

Remember 9-11.

No matter what we achieve in Iraq or Afghanistan or any other front in this war on jihadist terrorism, unless we get bin Laden, we will never have closure over the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The longer it takes, the more we risk.

Bin Laden is a symbol out there – a dangerous living symbol. As long as he is alive on this planet, he represents the personification of anti-Americanism and anti-Westernism. He is a rallying point for millions of radical Islamists who want nothing more out of life on this earth than to stick it to us – to kill and maim as many Americans as possible.

Now, there is no question that President Bush's predecessor in the White House missed many golden opportunities to spare us the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, by taking out bin Laden. Time after time, the 9-11 commission report shows, the decision never even made it to Bill Clinton's desk. The decisions not to attack and kill bin Laden were made by National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, a man who later copped a plea to stealing national security secrets from the National Archives.

Nevertheless, Bush will hardly have Clinton to blame if he doesn't get bin Laden after eight years of trying.

It's time to refocus our efforts on eliminating this human plague from the planet.

It's time to redouble our efforts to find him and smoke him.

It's time to pull out all the stops – and if that means attacking him in Pakistan or Iran or any other nation, we do it. If we have to use bunker-buster bombs or tactical nuclear weapons, we do it. If we have to redeploy armed forces from elsewhere on the globe, we do it.

It's time to use all our great technology and all our great manpower and American ingenuity to do something that will make America's day.

I'm surprised no one else is saying this.

It's been too long.

This is becoming something of a national embarrassment. Bush is very fortunate his political opposition wasn't able to capitalize on this failure to get bin Laden in 2004. If he cares about his country, his party, justice and winning this titanic global conflict with pure, unadulterated evil, he's got to finish the little matter of bin Laden.

Americans don't want him dying of natural causes in some cave.

They don't want to see any more videos and they don't want to hear any more audio tapes.

The longer bin Laden eludes capture or death, the more his legacy as the man who declared war on America grows.

This is not just war, it's personal.