Battle of Jericho (biblical)
Depiction by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld (1794-1872) (from here)

Cal Thomas has a column that got me to thinking. Here is the key to that column.

Here’s the danger for President Trump. The Quran allows Muslims to lie to “nonbelievers” in pursuit of Islam’s goal of an earthly kingdom ruled by their religion.

An example occurred last week when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met at the White House with President Trump. Abbas said, “Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children and grandchildren, in a culture of peace.”

That is a flat-out lie, as even a cursory Google search or visit to the Palestinian Media Watch website proves.

Do the Palestinians instruct their children to detest non believers, even to lie to them and kill them? As Thomas said, it is easy enough to look up. Google Do Palestinians Teach Their Children to Hate? The mainstream press does not like to talk about it, but even The New York Times has occasionally carried a story. Here is one from 2013, To Shape Young Palestinians, Hamas Creates Its Own Textbooks. Apparently, Hamas was not satisfied with what it got from the Palestinian Authority.

Textbooks have long been a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which dueling historical narratives and cultural clashes underpin a territorial fight. And they are central examples of what Israeli leaders call Palestinian “incitement” against Jews, held up as an obstacle to peace talks newly resumed under American pressure.

Beyond their take on Israel, the new texts are also a salvo in the war for influence between the rival Palestinian factions: Gaza-based Hamas and Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank. They reflect a growing gulf between the 1.7 million Palestinians living in the densely populated Gaza Strip and the 2.5 million spread among the West Bank’s cities and villages. (from here)

How seriously should we take this sort of thing? We have an excellent point of reference, our own American Civil War. In the South, children grew up learning to approve of slavery. In the North, children grew up believing slavery wrong. Most in the North may have thought the Negro inferior, but they refrained from believing Negroes should be enslaved. Considering that the whites in the South did not want to enslave the whites in the North, the conflict that eventually ensued between the North and South grew extremely violent. One can only imagine what that war would have been like if all the people in the North had been Negroes.

So what does Christianity teach about race and culturally based hatred? This is a question that confuses many Christians.  In its May 4, 2017 broadcast, If God Is Good, How Could He Command Holy War?, Derek Thomas examined the issue for Renewing Your Mind. His subject was the Book of Joshua and the Holy War (or herem) God declared against the Canaanites. In the Book of Joshua, the Hebrews execute God’s command to move into the Holy Land and kill the Canaanites.

The Victory of Joshua over the Amalekites by Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665) (from here)

When we read the about the destruction of Jericho, we usually marvel at the miraculous collapse of the city’s walls, but what happened after that?

Joshua 6:15-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city! 17 Now the city shall be doomed by the Lord to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the Lord; they shall come into the treasury of the Lord.”

20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

What does Derek Thomas point to in the Bible to justify utterly destroying all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword?

Genesis 15:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.

God had decided iniquity of the Amorites was complete.  Because the answer is unsatisfying, Thomas grieves over this.  Yet Thomas did not finding the answer unsatisfying for the reason some might expect. When Thomas considered himself and the rest of us, sinners all, what is remarkable is that God has any mercy to spare for any of us.

There but for the grace of God, go I. — John Bradford (1510–1555) (from here)

We are not worthy of God’s grace, but we can choose to receive it. Fortunately, when Jesus died on the cross and rose on the third day, He established a new covenant. Instead of destroying unrepentant sinners, we now spread His Gospel.

So what about Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his lies? As best we can, we need to help the Palestinians understand the truth. The Allah that he and his fellow Muslims worship is an invented god.  What too many Muslims worship is war, not peace. Only with Jesus can have peace.

Gustave Doré, The Death of Agag. Agag was executed by Samuel as part of God’s command to put the Amalekites under herem (1 Samuel 15). (from here)


ChristianknightHere we continue a series of post that argues for Christian-based political activism. In Part 1, we examined what kind of political system we must create to promote the spread of Christianity. We also considered what has gone wrong with our country. We do not fear God. Now we will look at the consequences of not fearing God.

To Not Fear God

To learn self-discipline, we must first experience being disciplined. What does that involve?

Discipline aims at the removal of bad habits and the substitution of good ones, especially those of order, regularity, and obedience. –C. J. Smith. (from here)

When we instruct our children, we punish the behavior we don’t want, and we reward the behavior we do want. When He allows us to experience the consequences of our behavior, God instructs us, His children, in a similar manner. When we respect each others rights and regard each other with love, we live orderly and productive lives. When we try to exploit each other, we consume one another.

Galatians 5:13-15 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

When we refuse to fear God, we refuse to accept His instruction — His discipline, and we continue in disobedience and evil. Instead of loving our neighbors, we seek ways to consume them, and so our neighbors — following our own example — consume us.

Consider the idiom “dog eat dog.”

In a dog eat dog world, there is intense competition and rivalry, where everybody thinks only of himself or herself. (from here)

Do we want to live like that? No, but how do we break out of the cycle of the abuse that encourages us to abuse others? We begin by fearing God. We ask for His wisdom, and He helps us to repent of our foolishness.

The Alternative To Fearing God?

What is the alternative? We gain troubles of our own creation. We gain a glimpse of Hell.

Micah 6:9-16 Good News Translation (GNT)

It is wise to fear the Lord. He calls to the city, “Listen, you people who assemble in the city!10 In the houses of evil people are treasures which they got dishonestly. They use false measures, a thing that I hate.11 How can I forgive those who use false scales and weights? 12 Your rich people exploit the poor, and all of you are liars. 13 So I have already begun your ruin and destruction because of your sins. 14 You will eat, but not be satisfied—in fact you will still be hungry. You will carry things off, but you will not be able to save them; anything you do save I will destroy in war. 15 You will sow grain, but not harvest the crop. You will press oil from olives, but never get to use it. You will make wine, but never drink it. 16 This will happen because you have followed the evil practices of King Omri and of his son, King Ahab. You have continued their policies, and so I will bring you to ruin, and everyone will despise you. People everywhere will treat you with contempt.”

Is such self-destruction possible for a Christian people? Some would say no. Consider this commenter.

My initial reaction is that there is no political system necessary to promote the spread of Christianity and that political systems should not be measured by their efficacy on that point. Christianity has proven itself extraordinarily resistant and superior to virtually all forms of earthly governance. It expanded from a group of a couple of dozen Jews in a distant province of an initially hostile Roman Empire to the dominant religion on earth in an extraordinarily short period of time. It has survived official, and at times extremely cruel and brutal, persecution at many points in its history. The reason that Christianity can surmount base secular hostility is that it is, while in this world, not of this world and is not a particularly political (or politically dependent) phenomenon. (from here)

But Christianity has been nearly eradicated from some parts of our world.

Consider some statistics. In the eleventh century, the population of Asia Minor was almost wholly Christian. By the sixteenth century, Muslims constituted 92 percent of the population. During those centuries, the Church lost most of its property, its ecclesiastical structures were dismantled, and its bishops prohibited from caring for their dioceses. At the beginning of the period, there were four hundred bishops; by the end, 97 percent had been eliminated. Because there was no centralized state, only petty rulers, a dhimmi system was never put fully into place. As Muslim institutions flourished, the Christian population fled, and the disoriented and dispirited who remained gradually adopted the religion of their masters. Today there are only tiny remnants of ancient Christian communities in Turkey. (from here)

How could that have happened?

“In Islam, however, jihad is a religious obligation. It forms part of the duties that the believer must fulfill. It is Islam’s normal path to expansion.” P. 18,19

“Hence, the second important specific characteristic is that the jihad is an institution, and not an event, that is to say it is part of the normal functioning of the Muslim world. The conquered populations change status (they become dhimmis), and the shari’a tends to be put into effect integrally, overthrowing the former law of the country. The conquered territories do not simply change owners. Rather they are brought into a binding collective (religious) ideology — with the exception of the dhimmi condition — and are controlled by a highly perfected administrative machinery.” P. 19 (from here)

What Islamists once accomplished in the Middle East, today’s Islamists remain capable of doing today. Moreover, what our leaders are doing to us today threatens the long-term health of Christianity. Look what our government is doing. They take our children and force them into “secularized” schools. In the name of multiculturalism, our leaders deprive our children of an education that includes the necessary wisdom they need to understand what to do with the knowledge they gain in school.


In Part 3 of this series, Understanding The Nature Of The Enemy: Red Tape, we considered how our government snarls us in red tape to keep us dependent, to keep us from becoming mature adults. Here we consider the damage we have done to ourselves.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

It is a truism. You want to defend yourself? Then build an offensive capability. Make your enemy aware of the fact that you can and will counterattack ferociously. Then he will leave you in peace. That is true with respect to both external and internal threats.

What happens when “good men” do not prepare for conflict? What happens when “good men” refuse to take a stand and do nothing? When evil men prowl about, seize, and ravage the weak, what happens when “good men” stand idly by, doing nothing?

What does the Bible say?

What does the Bible say happens when good men do nothing to stop evil? Consider the history of Israel. For the most part the history of the kings of Israel is a history of kings leading their people into sin. What follows is the story of a king who was one of the worst of the lot.

2 Chronicles 33:1-9 Good News Translation (GNT)

King Manasseh of Judah

33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king of Judah, and he ruled in Jerusalem for fifty-five years. 2 Following the disgusting practices of the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the land as his people advanced, Manasseh sinned against the Lord. 3 He rebuilt the pagan places of worship that his father Hezekiah had destroyed. He built altars for the worship of Baal, made images of the goddess Asherah, and worshiped the stars. 4 He built pagan altars in the Temple, the place that the Lord had said was where he should be worshiped forever. 5 In the two courtyards of the Temple he built altars for the worship of the stars. 6 He sacrificed his sons in Hinnom Valley as burnt offerings. He practiced divination and magic and consulted fortunetellers and mediums. He sinned greatly against the Lord and stirred up his anger. 7 He placed an image in the Temple, the place about which God had said to David and his son Solomon: “Here in Jerusalem, in this Temple, is the place that I have chosen out of all the territory of the twelve tribes of Israel as the place where I am to be worshiped. 8 And if the people of Israel will obey all my commands and keep the whole Law that my servant Moses gave them, then I will not allow them to be driven out of the land that I gave to their ancestors.” 9 Manasseh led the people of Judah to commit even greater sins than those committed by the nations whom the Lord had driven out of the land as his people advanced.

King Manasseh sacrificed his own sons as burnt offerings to an idol named Molech or Moloch: a god of the Ammonites. This god required the sacrifice of children.

Why did the people of Israel put up with such a terrible crime? Some were no doubt afraid. However, the people of Israel were not mere observers; they imitated Manasseh’s sins. Why?

Virtue is not something we are born with. If we are fortunate, our parents taught us virtue. That is why the Bible tells us to teach the commandments of God to our children, but some time prior to the rule of King Manasseh, the people of Israel had  stopped teaching their children the commandments of God. So their descendents forgot the meaning of virtue. How much did they forget? In the next chapter, 2 Chronicles 34, we learn that the Book of the Law, the Bible of that era, had become lost. Fortunately, when one of the few good kings, King Josiah, cared enough to restore the temple, Hilkiah, then the high priest, rediscovered a copy.

What happens to a people who no longer know what values they should honor? Here is what happened to Israel.

Isaiah 3:1-4 Good News Translation (GNT)

3 Now the Lord, the Almighty Lord, is about to take away from Jerusalem and Judah everything and everyone that the people depend on. He is going to take away their food and their water, 2 their heroes and their soldiers, their judges and their prophets, their fortunetellers and their statesmen, 3 their military and civilian leaders, their politicians and everyone who uses magic to control events. 4 The Lord will let the people be governed by immature boys.

Whereas a man does what is right because he knows what is right, a boy dithers — watching first to see what those around him do. Yet even a man finds sinning easier than doing good. So we must teach our children well. Jesus once put it this way.

Matthew 7:13-14 Good News Translation (GNT)

The Narrow Gate

13 “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. 14 But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it.

Are Our Leaders Idly Standing By, Doing Nothing To Stop Evil?

We have in Washington D.C. Socialist Democrats taking us where no good Christian would want to go. And it is all out in the open.

  • We put up with huge budget deficits. The Democrat-run Senate won’t even pass a budget, but they will happily “stimulate” the economy with wasteful spending.
  • We allow our president to appoint “Czars” without congressional approval. He has even bypassed Congress to appoint regular officials.
  • We put up with leaders who advocate same-sex “marriage.” We have even let them authorize open homosexuality in the military.
  • We have let our leaders pass unconstitutional legislation such as Obamacare.
  • We have let Congress institutionalize lying. Consider baseline budgeting. If the Federal budget does not increase by a set percentage, they call the mere “lack of spending growth” a budget cut.
  • We have allowed our government to pay for abortions. Under Obamacare, our government can even force private insurers to cover and private organizations to pay for insurance policies that pay for abortions.
  • And on and on and on.

And what do Establishment Republicans do? They complain gently. Apparently, they do not want anyone to think they actually get angry about unconstitutional government; lying public officials; fraud, waste, and abuse; or killing unborn babies. And we voted for these “men.” So it seems our elected officials are not alone in their indifference.

Could that change? Perhaps. Our problems have reached the point where Socialist Democrat greed and ideological blindness is killing adult citizens. Consider The Benghazi Orders by , Keith DeHavelle.

I see much activity from pundits and questioners demanding to know what orders President Obama gave regarding the attack on the Benghazi consulate, which apparently he was tracking within a half-hour or so after it began.

In fact, Obama already detailed this list of orders, in Presidential Debate #2:

So as soon as we found out that the Benghazi consulate was being overrun, I was on the phone with my national security team, and I gave them three instructions:

  • Number one, beef up our security and — and — and procedures not just in Libya but every embassy and consulate in the region.
  • Number two, investigate exactly what happened, regardless of where the facts lead us, to make sure that folks are held accountable and it doesn’t happen again.
  • And number three, we are going to find out who did this, and we are going to hunt them down, because one of the things that I’ve said throughout my presidency is when folks mess with Americans, we go after them.

Note the present tense “was being overrun.” In other words, despite the fact that the attack was still under way, and we had resources in the area (including people one mile away), and he could see that the consulate staff was still under attack, his orders (based on his own statement here) amounted to “let them die, and we’ll figure something out for next time.” None of the three orders he says he gave had anything to do with saving the people in our consulate under attack. (continued here)

 goes on, however, to bring up another coverup that concerns him even more.

But I am actually more concerned about the now-forgotten Fast and Furious operation, during which the Obama administration coordinated among multiple agencies (DOJ, ATF, FBI) to put Americans at risk and increase killings in Mexico in order to provide political support for gun control — over the objections of many agents. When those agents complained, they were told that they should consider this activity should be “fun” and in fact “the most fun you have with ATF.” (from here)

Is the Fast and Furious operation forgotten? That’s up to us. Like boys who would be men, our leaders lead from behind. They see where we want to go, and then they hurry to get ahead of us.  Therefore, if we want our leaders to behave virtuously, we must become more mature — more virtuous — ourselves.


This is the fourth post in a series.

Sunday Verse 1 From DeHavelle.com

When I nominated Keith DeHavelle for The Food For Thought Award, I did so with some trepidation. I don’t doubt he finds himself nagged by Christians to convert from time-to-time. However, that was not my motivation. Would I like him to convert? Of course I would, but  is already familiar with the Bible. If he does not find God’s Word persuasive, what could I add?

So why did I proceed with the nomination? After reading his blog, I decided Keith had found much to admire in our nation’s Christian heritage, and he is a defender of many Christian values. In addition, I believed  could and would (if he could be persuaded to do so) provide an interesting, honest and objective discussion of the Bible. In an era when foolish people strive to belittle the Bible’s historical relevance, we need bloggers willing and capable of discussing the Bible’s role in history.

 is quite capable. Here he begins his first installment.

 Part of my task, in accepting this award, is to write about seven Biblical verses that I have found useful or inspirational. I am up for this — while I am not personally religious, I have been interested in religion for a very long time as part of my general interest in people and history. To this end, I’ve read the Bible (originally in the King James version, and after sampling a number of others I am most fond of Young’s Literal Translation from the 1880s), most of the Book of Mormon and Bhagavad-Gita and a large portion of the Qur’an and some (relatively few are in English) Sunnah and al-Hadith (Islam has three different holy texts, which play different but important roles in Islamic society). I’ve read bits and pieces of foundational works of other religions as well, from Scientology (founded on a bet by an SF author) to some Raellian materials (whew!).(continued here)

As Keith continues, he delves into the meaning a passage from 2 Corinthians and relates it to current events. Visit Sunday Verse 1. I think you will find the time well spent.