Thursday, November 25, 2010

Brinkmanship in the Koreas

A U.S. aircraft carrier group involving the USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left Tokyo, Japan for “joint exercises” with South Korea in Korean waters one day after North Korea shelled a South Korean island.

Two civilian bodies and two South Korean Marines were found on the island after the artillery attack, which has increased tension between North and South Korea.

President Barack Obama said the U.S. will “stand shoulder to shoulder” with South Korea.

“This exercise is defensive in nature,” U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement. “While planned well before yesterday’s unprovoked artillery attack, it demonstrates… our commitment to regional stability through deterrence.”

North Korea claims the incident was in self-defense and accused South Korea of firing shells into its own waters, and said that South Korea was driving the peninsula to the “brink of war.”

This is the same area in which the North sunk a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 soldiers. But this is the first time civilians have died since the bombing of a Korean Air passenger jet in 1987.

China, which has long supported Pyongyang as a protection from American dominance in the peninsula, called for “restraint,” while stating a retired Chinese military officer who works in another branch of government now, said that “China will not welcome the U.S. aircraft carrier joining the exercises, because that kind of move can escalate tensions and not relieve them.”

In the attack, houses of people living on the island also destroyed as 170 people were evacuated. “‘We are concerned that a war might break out,’ said Oh Duk-man, who was walking in downtown Seoul.”
“In Young-joo, another pedestrian, called for a strong response. ‘Our government has to react very strongly against North Korea after they invaded us in such a daring way,’ she said.”

Despite the rhetoric, regional powers have made clear they are looking for a diplomatic way to calm things down. Some analysts think that the attack was an attempt by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to strengthen his bargaining position ahead of disarmament talks as he has done in the past.

Jesus predicted that in the last days, “Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…”

US Catholic Bishops Approve Baptism Accord with Churches

By: Denford Ntini

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops approved an agreement recognizing as valid the baptism of four Reformed Christian churches, during its fall general assembly in Baltimore.

The “Common Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Baptism,” has been the result of six years of study and discussion between the representatives of the U.S. Catholic bishops and the Presbyterian Church-USA, the Reformed Church in America, the Christian Reformed Church, and the United Church of Christ.

Noting that the approval was a “milesotne in the ecumenical journey,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory, chairman of the U.S.C.C.B. Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said, “Together with our Reformed brothers and sisters…we Catholic bishops can once again affirm baptism as the basis of the real, even if incomplete, unity we share in Christ.”

The four Reformed communities must approve the common agreement, which will then “allow Catholic ministers to presume that baptisms performed in these communities are ‘true baptism’ as understood in Catholic doctrine and law.”

All four so-called Reformed churches practice the unbiblical form of baptism known as sprinkling (mostly of infants). Baptism by sprinkling is the all-important ritual that brings a person into the Catholic Church. A common agreement, means then that those who are baptized by these “Reformed communities” are actually accepted as Roman Catholics, whether they individually want to be or not. For the Reformed churches to make such a grand concession clearly overthrows what little protestantism they may still have.

The Holy See speaks “great words against the Most High” and “magnifies himself,” instead of humbling herself and conforming to the clear testimony of Scripture. Her forms of baptism, the mass and other rituals and teachings are in conflict with Holy Scripture.

Biblical baptism is a public declaration of a personal conscious decision to follow Christ and live according to the doctrines of the Bible, not teachings based on a tradition or consensus with other churches. It is not merely a ritual, but a public testimony of a change of heart and life.

Catholics and Reformed Christians “have moved one step closer to that fullness of communion…” said Archbishop Gregory, “on that day when together we can celebrate in oneness of faith and ministry at the one holy table of the Eucharist.”

The popes have made the ecumenical movement a top priority in their quest to get all the world to worship according to their rules or principles (see Revelation 13:8). The ultimate goal of the ecumenical movement is to bring the churches into full, visible, sacramental unity around the Roman Catholich eucharist.

The fast-paced ecumenical movement is rapidly bringing the world to the place where the Holy See will “sit a queen” (Revelation 18:7). With such concessions as these churches have made to the Holy See, it will not be long.

To find unity with Rome, the protestant churches are making major concessions. This will eventually lead to persecution of those who don’t agree with the ecumenical unity promoted by Rome.
“When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the State to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.” Great Controversy, p. 445
The undiluted preaching from God’s Word and an authoritative stand on truth are declining. The gospel is now so broad that it accepts all believes, even contradictory ones. The growing emphasis on inclusion and tolerance means that churches must redefine the principles of faith. Ecumenism has come to mean reducing all elements of faith to the lowest common denominator. God’s Word is neglected, experience is valued above truth, a false and selfish “faith” is promoted, and sound doctrine and correction are despised as “divisive” and “unloving.”
“Romanism is now regarded by Protestants with far greater favor than in former years. In those countries where Catholicism is not in the ascendancy, and the papists are taking a conciliatory course in order to gain influence, there is an increasing indifference concerning the doctrines that separate the reformed churches from the papal hierarchy; the opinion is gaining ground that, after all, we do not differ so widely upon vital points as has been supposed, and that a little concession on our part will bring us into a better understanding with Rome. The time was when Protestants placed a high value upon the liberty of conscience which had been so dearly purchased. They taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God. But how widely different are the sentiments now expressed!” Great Controversy, p. 563.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vatican Should be Treated as a “Rogue State”

“The Vatican should be treated as a kind of ‘rogue state’ by the rest of the world until it stops using statehood – and the ancient rules of the canon law – to protect pedophile priests,” says UN judge Geoffrey Robertson.

“The Catholic Church is the only religion permitted under international law to claim the privileges of statehood and its leaders immunity from civil or criminal action,” says Robertson.

Mr Robertson makes a “powerful and cogently explained case” for the international community to pressure the Church to “abandoning canon law,” which is the church law that defines discipline for sex crimes.

The Age [Article]

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Electromagnetic Pulse Likely

“The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.” The idea is not as fictional as some may think. USA Today published an article discussing such a catastrophe.

An electromagnetic pulse can be triggered by a supersized solar storm or a terrorist A-bomb, and would be capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern cities and towns.

“Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines.

The threat has even become political fodder, drawing warnings from former House speaker Newt Gingrich, a likely presidential contender. ‘We are not today hardened against this,” he told a Heritage Foundation audience last year. “It is an enormous catastrophic threat.’”

“Meanwhile, in Congress, a ‘Grid Act’ bill aimed at the threat awaits Senate action, having passed in the House of Representatives.

“Fear is evident. With the sun’s 11-year solar cycle ramping up for its stormy maximum in 2012, and nuclear concerns swirling about Iran and North Korea, a drumbeat of reports and blue-ribbon panels center on electromagnetic pulse scenarios.

“More than 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines traverse North America, supplying 1,800 utilities the power for TVs, lights, refrigerators and air conditioners in homes, and for businesses, hospitals and police stations.”

“‘The electric grid’s vulnerability to cyber and to other attacks is one of the single greatest threats to our national security,’ Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said in June as he introduced the bill to the House of Representatives.”

“Two historic incidents often figure in the discussion:

“On July 9, 1962…, a 1.4-megaton H-bomb was tested at an altitude of 250 miles, some 900 miles southwest of Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean. The pulse shorted out streetlights in Oahu.

“On March 9, 1989, the sun spat a million-mile-wide blast of high-temperature charged solar gas straight at the Earth. The “coronal mass ejection” struck the planet three days later, triggering a geomagnetic storm that made the northern lights visible in Texas. The storm also induced currents in Quebec’s power grid that knocked out power for 6 million people in Canada and the USA for at least nine hours.”

Imagine what could happen to society if a perfect solar storm would knock out a significant portion of the global electrical grid. Some scientists think such an event is inevitable in the next 100 years. “It has to be the perfect storm,” they say, but also say that they believe it is likely.

“While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, he will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work. In accidents and calamities by sea and by land…. in every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power… These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.” Great Controversy, p. 589-590.

USA Today

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

50 Years of Ecumenism to be Celebrated by Vatican

On Wednesday, November 17th, “the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity will hold a public commemoration to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity.”

Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will preside. The commemoration will be attended by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus, Rowan Williams, archbishop of Canterbury (Anglican), and Metropolitan Pergamo Ioannis (Zizioulas) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

On 5 June 1960, Pope John XXIII established the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity. 1988 Pope John Paul II changed the name of the Secretariat to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Over the years, the Vatican Papal has guided very successful ecumenical relations with a host of churches around the world.
The theme: “Towards a new stage of ecumenical dialogue,” no doubt reflects on the forward-looking agenda of the Vatican to unite all churches and religious communities ultimately into one visible, sacramental and spiritual unity. This of course would be in opposition to God’s Ten Commandment Law.

Speaking of the United States in particular, the Book Great Controversy (p. 445) says; “When the leading churches of the United States, uniting upon such points of doctrine as are held by them in common, shall influence the state to enforce their decrees and to sustain their institutions, then Protestant America will have formed an image of the Roman hierarchy, and the infliction of civil penalties upon dissenters will inevitably result.”

If that is ever going to happen in the United States, there has to be a worldwide effort to promote unity based on Rome’s principles. The United States simply becomes the engine of the Papacy to enforce the vision of the Vatican in creating a single global worship as described in Revelation 13:15-17. “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”

I haven't been on this blog in a while..
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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hurricane Worsens Change of Cholera Outbreak in Port-au-Prince

“The cholera outbreak in Haiti — the first in 50 years — has layered fresh anxiety atop long-standing misery.” The disease has already sickened more than 8,000 people and killed more than 550, and has reached the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

A recent Hurricane brought fresh worries that there would be a more serious outbreak of Cholera in the capital city because of the lack of sanitation and fresh clean water. Though aid workers are trying to isolate and treat any new cases, their efforts may not be enough.

“More than 1.3 million Haitians were left homeless by the quake, and more than 1.3 million remain homeless today.” Only a fraction of quake rubble has been cleared, and restoration has barely begun, if at all. Now a Hurricane that brushed by the island, has threatened what stability there is. Many of the hundreds of thousands of people who are now living in camps are still quite vulnerable to disease.

“Thanks to the immense foreign intervention, some things have improved this year, like many displaced Haitians’ access to clean water and medicine. That has undoubtedly helped prevent far wider sickness and death in the cholera outbreak. Unless the rebuilding begins in earnest, even that good news may prove transitory.” For now, the Cholera outbreak marches on.

The compounding disasters in Haiti may well be an illustration of what will happen in many parts of the world as the judgments of God are meted out on a rebellious planet just before, and after the close of human probation.

“Troublous times are before us. The judgments of God are abroad in the land. Calamities follow one another in rapid succession. Soon God is to rise out of His place to shake terribly the earth, and to punish the inhabitants for their iniquity. Then He will stand up in behalf of His people, and will give them His protecting care. He will throw His everlasting arms around them to shield them from all harm.” Selected Messages, Vol 2, p 391

While appearing to the children of men as a great physician who can heal all their maladies, [Satan] will bring disease and disaster, until populous cities are reduced to ruin and desolation. Even now he is at work… [I]n every place and in a thousand forms, Satan is exercising his power… He imparts to the air a deadly taint, and thousands perish by the pestilence. These visitations are to become more and more frequent and disastrous. Destruction will be upon both man and beast.” Great Controversy, p 589-590.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

U.S. Economy a “Fiscal Trainwreck”

“The U.S. economy is a ‘fiscal train wreck’ waiting to happen that risks ushering in a period of stagnation featuring by minimal growth, high unemployment and deflationary pressure, U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini wrote…,” said Reuters.

Roubini was one of the first economists to predict the housing crash in the United States said “fiscal and monetary stimulus had prevented another depression.”

“But he said that further quantitative easing… will have little effect on U.S. growth in 2011…”

He said the U.S. remains on an “unsustainable fiscal course” and that further quantitative easy (creating billions more dollars and inserting them into the economy) will have “little effect on growth in 2011.”

“The worst of the coming fiscal train wreck will be prevented by the Fed’s easing. But the risk is (Obama) … will then preside over … a Japanese style stagnation, where growth is barely positive, and deflationary pressures and high unemployment linger.”

“There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are unable to solve the problem of poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis.” Ministry of Healing, p. 183

MSNBC Article

Monday, November 8, 2010

Earthquake, Tsunami & Volcano, all on the same day

“Suddenly trees, houses and all things in the village were sucked into the sea and nothing was left,” said Joni Sageru after a tsunami that slammed into her island off western Indonesia.

More than 430 people were killed, and 88 still missing after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami destroyed villages and towns along the cost of some outlying islands of western Indonesia. Rescue teams “believe many, many of the bodies were swept to sea.”

On the same day Mount Merapi erupted, killing at least 38 and leaving about 70,000 people homeless. The twin disasters. Mount Merapi has erupted three times within two weeks.

Along with the 33 people killed by a volcano that erupted Tuesday more than 800 miles to the east in central Java, the number of dead from the twin disasters has now topped 400. Mount Merapi began rumbling again Thursday after a lull that allowed mourners to hold a mass burial for its victims. There were no reports of new injuries or damage.

The double catastrophes in different parts of the country, has severely testing Indonesia’s emergency response network.

Some still wept for lost loved ones as they lay on straw mats or sat on the floor, waiting for medics to treat injuries such as cuts and broken limbs. Outside, some rescuers wore face masks as they wrapped corpses in black body bags.

Residents from Kinahrejo, Ngrangkah and Kaliadem — villages that were devastated in Tuesday’s blast — crammed into refugee camps. Officials brought cows, buffalo and goats down the mountain so that villagers wouldn’t try to go home to check on their livestock. 

Thousands attended a mass burial for 26 of the victims six miles from the base of the volcano. Family and friends wept and hugged one another as the bodies were lowered into the grave in rows.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pope Attempts History Revision

A recent article challenges the Pope’s account of the historical relationship between the Roman Catholic church and the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler.

The pope is at it again. In a speech before the Queen of England last week, Pope Benedict XVI carefully revised the history of what led up to the scourge of Nazism during World War II. He said, “Even in our own lifetime, we can recall how Britain and her leaders stood against a Nazi tyranny that wished to eradicate God from society and denied our common humanity to many, especially the Jews, who were thought unfit to live” (emphasis mine throughout).

But was it really a godless society in Germany that led to the Nazi atrocities? Benedict, who was a registered member of Hitler Youth at 14 and served in the Germany Army at 16, said he recalled the regime’s attitude toward religion and Christian pastors “who spoke the truth in love, opposed the Nazis and paid for that opposition with their lives.” ...

Benedict concluded, “As we reflect on the sobering lessons of the atheist extremism of the 20th century, let us never forget how the exclusion of God, religion and virtue from public life leads ultimately to a truncated vision of man and of society. …”

Of course, it was actually the inclusion of “God” and religious ideology that provided the Nazi regime its greatest source of inspiration. Adolf Hitler himself was a deeply religious man and wanted to be seen as a religious figure.

“We are not a movement—rather we are a religion,” Hitler said about his regime (Robert G.L. Waite, The Psychopathic God: Adolf Hitler).

“Christ was the greatest early fighter in the battle against the world enemy, the Jews,” Hitler said in 1926. “The work that Christ started but could not finish, I—Adolf Hitler—will conclude” (John Toland, Adolf Hitler). He even said he learned from the Jesuit order “above all.”

While other influences, like social Darwinism, might have contributed to Nazi doctrine, this fact remains: Most Nazis believed in God and claimed to be doing the work of God.

And to suggest that the Vatican stood against Hitler’s psychopathic religion is yet another blatant attempt to revise the historical record.

The Vatican was actually Nazism’s chief enabler (“Benedict Revises the Historical Record,", Sept. 24, 2010).

Inspired commentary
Inspiration has described the continuing nature of the papacy.

The papacy is just what prophecy declared that she would be, the apostasy of the latter times. 2 Thessalonians 2:3, 4. It is a part of her policy to assume the character which will best accomplish her purpose; but beneath the variable appearance of the chameleon she conceals the invariable venom of the serpent. “Faith ought not to be kept with heretics, nor persons suspected of heresy” (Lenfant, volume 1, page 516), she declares. Shall this power, whose record for a thousand years is written in the blood of the saints, be now acknowledged as a part of the church of Christ? (The Great Controversy, p. 571)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pope Will Speak to 150 Million in Barcelona

“When Benedict XVI dedicates Barcelona’s Church of the Holy Family next month, it’s predicted he will speak not only to the 47,000 people on hand, but to another 150 million via television.

The Pope will be in Barcelona on Nov. 6 to dedicate the Church of the Sagrada Familia…” and “designate the church a basilica.”

Some 7,000 people will pack the basilica for the ceremony which will involve 1,100 priests, while another 40,000 will be accommodated outside the church.

Spain wonders after… Revelation 13:3.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bernanke: U.S. Debt Load Unsustainable

At the annual meeting for the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, in Providence Rhode Island on October 4, 2010, Ben Bernanke, in a little-reported speech, pointedly indicated that the current trajectory of rapidly growing government debt is unsustainable. In the speech, he said that U.S. national debt in relation to national income “has increased to a level not seen since the aftermath of World War II.”

Congressional Budget Office projections “show future budget deficits and debts rising indefinitely, and at increasing rates,” he said. This means that sooner or later there will be a day of reckoning and the government will have to face painful changes in budgetary practices. And Bernanke acknowledged that. “One way or the other, fiscal adjustments sufficient to stabilize the federal budget will certainly occur at some point. The only real question is whether these adjustments will take place through a careful and deliberative process that weighs priorities and gives people plenty of time to adjust to changes in government programs or tax policies, or whether the needed fiscal adjustments will be a rapid and painful response to a looming or actual fiscal crisis…”

What do you think will be the way it is done? U.S. fiscal policy is driven by politics more than by realities.
Bernanke made multiple references to the cost of the health care, in one case suggesting that the cost of social security is “considerably smaller than the pressures associated with federal health programs…”

Bernanke was not able to give the “day nor the hour” when the economy would implode, but he was clear about the fact that one day it would likely happen if something isn’t done to stem the tide of fiscal red ink. “It would be difficult to identify a specific threshold at which federal debt begins to pose more substantial costs and risks to the nation’s economy. Perhaps no bright line exists; the costs and risks may grow more or less continuously as the federal debt rises. What we do know, however, is that the threat to our economy is real and growing, which should be sufficient reason for fiscal policymakers to put in place a credible plan for bringing deficits down to sustainable levels over the medium term.”

While we hope they will, it isn’t likely. At least the pattern of history does not suggest that the political will to take the necessary steps exists among American leaders.

“There are not many, even among educators and statesmen, who comprehend the causes that underlie the present state of society. Those who hold the reins of government are not able to solve the problem of moral corruption, poverty, pauperism, and increasing crime. They are struggling in vain to place business operations on a more secure basis.“ Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, 13.

Bernanke is really telling us that there is a looming crisis ahead not only for the United States, but for the rest of the world.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Benedict XVI: “We Are One Family”

“We are all part of one human family, with equal rights to share in the fruits of the earth, and with equal responsibility to be open and hospitable to migrants and refugees,” said Pope Benedict XVI on October 26 in his message for the 97th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The theme for the day was “One human family,” and he referred to all peoples as “one family of brothers and sisters…where also people of various religions are urged to take part in dialogue, so that a serene and fruitful coexistence with respect for legitimate differences may be found.”

One wonders what Benedict considers as “legitimate differences?” A similar reference was made by Benedict XVI to French Catholics at Castel Gandolfo, August 22, where exhorted them to be more accepting of the Roma gypsies who are predominantly Catholic. French President Nicolas Sarkozy paid the Pope a high-profile visit to support his declining political fortunes after his country expelled the gypsies. He was lectured by Benedict XVI on the church’s social teaching on migration.

The Catholic church does not conceal the fact that migrant adherents to its faith influence the peoples in their host countries, including their moral values and social teaching, which subsequently affects the policies of the nations leading to a New World Order. Therefore Benedict XVI urges that nations must be receptive to migrants.
“The breaking-down of borders is not simply a material fact: it is also a cultural event both in its causes and its effects…” Benedict said in Caritas en Veritate.

“All have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal…” continued Benedict XVI at the World Day event. “It is necessary to correct the malfunctions…that cause new divisions between peoples and within peoples, and also to ensure…the redistribution of wealth…”

St Thomas Aquinas, a principal theologian and philosopher of the Catholic church, said “man should not consider his material possessions as his own, but as common to all…to share them without hesitation,” as quoted in Rerum Novarum, encyclical letter of Pope Leo XIII. It is no secret that the Vatican intends to redistribute the wealth of nations, especially of prospering Protestant nations to faltering Roman Catholic ones, so that she alone may “have power over the treasuries…and all the precious things.” Daniel 11:43.

Benedict XVI affirmed “the right to emigrate” proclaimed by Pope John Paul II in 2001, on a similar occasion a decade ago. “The Church recognizes this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one’s country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life,” said the Polish Pope.
The Holy See’s strategy is on course to ensure that the Vatican will “sit a queen” among the nations of the world. (See Rev 17:2, 18:7).

The Vatican “is silently growing into power. Her doctrines are exerting their influence in legislative halls, in the churches, and in the hearts of men… Stealthily and unsuspectedly she is strengthening her forces… [And] all that she desires is vantage-ground and this is already being given her.” Great Controversy, p. 581.