Friday, January 28, 2011

Great pics from Cairo, especially the last

Friday, January 21, 2011

The War You Don't See (2 Thessalonians 2)

John Pilger's 96 minute documentary. It's worth the time, so we can better understand how this present world deceives:

In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul writes that the antichrist will be revealed in all deception so as to bring damnation to all who do not receive the love of the truth. He alludes there to Deuteronomy 13, which also teaches that God uses false prophets and deceivers to lead astray those who are already antagonistic to truth, which in itself is to be the enemy of the God of truth and of his kingdom, no matter how zealous you may be for Jesus.

I marvel at those who have so quickly slurped up the lies of Bush and Obama about the value of aggressive war and the need to bomb, invade, and occupy people all over the world. There's no question that professing Christians love to be lied to by their worldly governments and their preachers, so as to fit in with the sheeple around them and not have to confront their worldly fears and passions. The amazing thing is how they think they can live this way, so fully conformed in their thinking to this world and its values of greed, willful ignorance and love of the broad and easy way, and suppose that when antichrist appears, they will be equipped to see through his deception - and these same people commonly think his coming is imminent, so shouldn't they see the need to prepare themselves?

What God said to Jeremiah holds true: if footmen wear you out, what will you do against horses? If Christians are suckers for the lies of Bush and Netanyahu, how will they see through the real deal when it comes? Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." So when people love lies and resent the chance to wise up, when they just don't want to take the red pill and see the Matrix for what it is, what evidence is there, really, to convict them of being disciples of Jesus? Can anyone really picture Jesus getting excited about the "dangers" this world tells us about, what someone out there might do to us? Isn't he concerned about the hardness of our own hearts instead? Can anyone picture Jesus puttig his hand on his heart and pledging allegiance to a violent and haughty empire of this world, referrling to it as "under God with liberty and justice for all?" Can people who don't even care what Jesus would do in these matters fairly be called his disciples at all?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

More on Tunisia

It seems that the army has definitely been defending the people against Ben Ali's security men, and the army has even been deputizing citizen militias to protect their neighborhoods from these guys. They also arrested the former interior minister and several others for arranging the attacks against the people and the army.

An American living in Tunis and even helping to man the checkpoints in his neighborhood has been blogging at Tunisia Scenario. Well worth reading.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Congratulations, Tunisia!

One of those dictators most appreciated by both the Israeli and American governments had to leave town Friday, the ill-named Zine al-Abedine ("the servant of faith") Ben Ali. For those who haven't followed the story, on December 17th, the police confiscated the fruit and vegetable stand of an unemployed college graduate for not having a permit, and he set fire to himself in despair. And the Tunisian people finally had enough.

Youtube video of the demonstrations in Tunis.

A little out of date, since Ghannouchi had to resign and make place for the parliament speaker. According to several reports, the army and the regular cops have stood with the people, while the security cops have been running around shooting people, just as happened in Romania in 1989, when Ceausescu went down.

Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom on Israel's grief at the prospect of democracy in the Arab world. Interesting to see this report in al-Ahram, Egypt's semi-official paper, since the Egyptian government may well be next and could not have been happy. A crowd outside the Tunisian embassy in Cairo was rejoicing and shouting "Mubarak next!" and the cops did not dare to beat them up as they usually do.

The chorus of the Tunisian national anthem sounds prophetic:

When the people will to live,
Destiny must surely respond.
Oppression shall then vanish.
Fetters are certain to break.

But for former president Ben Ali, now in Jeddah where Idi Amin retired before him, I offer this old standby from Ray Charles:

Monday, January 03, 2011

Happy new year!

The gospel is God's good news to the poor, and it's worth pondering that proclaiming good news to the poor is right up there in the mind of Jesus - and Isaiah - with healing the broken-hearted, proclaiming liberty to captives, and setting at liberty those that have been broken in pieces. This is all pretty miraculous stuff, which no shortage of false prophets and false Christs of every kind promise us incessantly. But their campaign promises, the lying claims of their pledges of allegiance, and the change we can believe in never really work out that way, do they?

Thing is, Christians, believing the good news of Jesus presupposes that you believe the bad news of God about the world that makes you realize that we really need good news. To believe any good news that might come along about a successful treatment for pancreatic cancer or heart disease, or even to be interested in it, you have to believe the bad news about pancreatic cancer or heart disease that the good news is about fixing.

That's why the only people that can believe God about his good news are those that are well-acquainted with what the world is all about, the kind of bad news it is for the poor of all kinds, and for anyone that doesn't hold the truth in contempt. God's good news is for the poor because the rest have their good news in full already (Luke 6:20-26). The rich already know that this world is under God and gives liberty and justice to all, so what do they need good news from God for?

You others, hear some bad news, again from Leonard Cohen, which if your ears get properly acid-washed from the good news BS of this world, might prepare those ears to receive some genuine good news:

Listen to it.

Everybody Knows

Everybody knows the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor and the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithfulk
Ah, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
When you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old black Joe's still picking cotton
For your ribbons and your bows
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that the plague is coming
Everybody knows it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody know the scene is dead
But there's going to be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach at Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Happy new year! As Jesus says, happy are you poor, happy are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, happy are you when men revile you and hate you and cast out your name as evil for the sake or justice. Not too many find that path, as Jesus said. None of us can, unless we get led there, coerced actually, by God. May we find that blessing this year, in which we know it will be coming apart.