Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Elect

I was thinking about just how many of those that profess faith in Christ are truly saved. I see so many cultural Christians and false converts it sort of depresses me. I recall Scripture indicating that narrow is the way to salvation and few who take it. And even Jonathan Edwards believed that only about 5% of his congregation were truly saved, and that was during a time of the Great Awakening and when people were much more churched than they are now. Is it possible that 95% of those who profess faith in Christ are actually lost and will be the ones who the Lord says "Depart from me." What do you think?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! We are celebrating Christ Immanuel, the Word who became Flesh for our sakes. The incarnation is such an awesome event. God humbled Himself and came to earth as the God-Man to pay the price for our sins so that we could be redeemed. Such amazing love!

Please enjoy this performance of Bach's Christmas Oratorio (Weihnachtsoratorium), BWV 248. Nikolaus Harnoncourt is conducting. Performers include Concentus Musicus Wien and soloists of the outstanding Tölzer Knabenchor. Soloists Peter Schreier (tenor) and Robert Holl (bass) really stand out. This performance is from 1982. You can purchase it here.

The Mystical Nativity (1501) by Sandro Botticelli

Cantatas No. 1 - 3

Cantatas No. 4 - 6

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Mandela is dead

Mandela was a lifelong Communist.

Mandela is being fawned over in the liberal mainstream media as a great hero. The reality is far darker. Mandela is a terrorist and a murderer. Mandela was on the US terrorist watch list until 2008. He was head of the military wing of the ANC and carried out numerous bombings and executions of whites and blacks in South Africa. Women and children were among the victims. Mandela was convicted in court of 156 counts of terrorism and violence. And he had a fair trial. Amnesty International refused to take on his case because they felt the trial was proper. It is also no secret, though he tried to suppress it for years, that Mandela was a diehard communist and had close ties to the Soviet Union and Cuba. He wrote, in his own handwriting, a 56 page book on how to be a good communist. I'm sick of seeing the media whitewash history and portray a murdering thug as some sort of beloved freedom fighter. During the 1960s and 1970s several Africa countries, such as Angola, were taken over by Communists. The violence, terrorism, torture and murders which ensued were directly linked to Communism.

Mandela with Communist dictator Castro.

Racism against whites has been rampant in South Africa since the ANC assumed power. Tens of thousands of whites in South Africa and tens of thousands of blacks have been murdered by the ANC. Are things in South Africa better today compared to when Apartheid was still in place? The answer is a resounding no. Conditions are far worse today. South Africa went from being the most peaceful and safe country in Africa with a thriving economy and the best standard of living in all of Africa, under Apartheid, to now leading Africa in rape and murder, leading the world in AIDS infections and there is massive unemployment, government corruption and millions of jobs have been lost, the economy is in shambles. This is the legacy of Mandela and the ANC.

Mandela embracing despot Gadaffi.

It should be noted that Mandela legalized abortion on demand, pornography and homosexuality. Also we should remember the fact that Mandela never apologized to his victims. He never once showed any true Biblical repentance. It's so sad that people actually admire Mandela. He was a ruthless terrorist and a murderer. In the final analysis Mandela was a vile and despicable man who hated whites and hated his fellow blacks who went against him. I am glad this evil man is dead. Mandela is now roasting in Hell.

Mandela with terrorist Arafat.

Here are some excellent articles on Mandela and his numerous crimes: 

Finally this article is well worth reading, though I should warn you that it has some graphic images.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Help the Philippines

Recently the Philippines endured a severe typhoon Haiyan which caused widespread destruction and killed thousands of people. Haiyan was possibly the strongest storm to ever make landfall. Survivors need food, water, medical supplies and shelter. But most of all they need to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This blog post highlights some ways you can help. You can also donate to the Red Cross for general aid.

Televangelist Robert Tilton

This is a 4 part series exposing televangelist Robert Tilton, done by Door Magazine and the Trinity Foundation. There were many televangelists, but I think none were as slick or as outright greedy as Tilton! This series is well worth watching. Now Tilton tries to con people out of their money online!

At the peak of his popularity, around 1990, Tilton's ministry was making $1 million each week!

Robert Tilton's 'Gospel of Greed' part #1 of 4

Robert Tilton's 'Gospel of Greed' part #2 of 4

Robert Tilton's 'Gospel of Greed' part #3 of 4

Robert Tilton's 'Gospel of Greed' part #4 of 4

Friday, October 11, 2013

Congressional gridlock

In a recent NBC/Wall St Journal poll, 60% of Americans want to replace every single member of Congress including their own representative. That is the highest ever figure received in that poll.

And according to the latest Associated Press-GfK poll the approval rating for Congress is at an all time low of just 5% with 83% disapproving of the job they are doing.

The federal government is currently shutdown, Congress was unable to pass a federal budget, the debt limit is once again looming and things look very bleak.

The American people are disgusted with Congress, all of the partisanship and endless bickering with nothing ever getting accomplished! No wonder Congressional approval rating is at its lowest point ever! This government shutdown makes the US look bad and could possibly affect our credit rating. No one wants to compromise, no one wants to work together; Congress only cares about giving out sound bites and appearing on cable TV news program scoring political points! I'm sick of it and so are most Americans!

Yet in spite of the overwhelming disapproval most Congress members seem oblivious to the criticism! It's truly galling. The American people expect their elected representatives to behave better than petulant spoiled children. Nothing ever gets accomplished. Hyper-partisanship and endless bickering rules the day. In the 1980s when Reagan was president you had deep ideological differences in Congress, yet Congress was able to work together with the President and get stuff done. Now we have rancorous mean spirited arguing and name calling. The object is to score a political point and give a good sound bite to use against the opposition rather than working on getting the business of the day accomplished! This blame game and paralyzing divisiveness must end!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Divorce and the Church

Why is there so much divorce in the Church? Divorce is so prevalent among Christians it has reached an epidemic level.

Scripture is clear that one may divorce for only two possible cases: infidelity (adultery) and in the case where a believer is married to a non-believer and the non-believer wants a divorce. That is it! It doesn't say you can divorce if you think your husband doesn't fulfill your emotional needs, it doesn't say you can divorce if you argue too much, it doesn't say you can divorce if you no longer love each other, etc.. Scripture is very clear on this matter, yet divorce is RAMPANT in the Church. How can this be?

“Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9; see also Matthew 5:31, 32).

Yet even in that case it is better (assuming the transgressor is repentant) if the marriage can be saved:

“Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery” (Luke 16:18).

“And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery” (Mark 10:12).

Christ said:

“He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

So clearly God takes marriage very seriously and so should we. I read that according to polling Christians actually now have a higher divorce rate than non-Christians! This is truly shameful and appalling. I've heard of couple getting divorced for the most flimsy of reasons. Why are so many entering marriage with such immaturity? Could pastors do more to prepare couples for marriage? Could parents do more in raising up their children to have a Biblical view of marriage? I have even seen some Christians arrogantly assert that getting divorced is their right. If you point out that there is only two acceptable cases for divorce they will literally become enraged and rant about how dare you tell them how to live their life, etc. Clearly they have a very low view of God's Word even though they claim to be Christians.

Another problem I have noticed is Christians marrying non-Christians. Once again Scripture is crystal clear on this matter:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (II Corinthians 6:14).

The other case for divorce is if a Christian is married to a non-Christian and the non-Christian wants a divorce. Paul writes:

“If the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace” (I Corinthians 7:15).

I hate to say it, but I suspect not enough preachers are saying what Scripture clearly teaches on divorce because they fear alienating a good portion of their congregation who have already divorced and remarried for unbiblical reasons! We must teach pastors to be bold when proclaiming Biblical truths and not to act cowardly. This is such a sad thing to witness. The destruction done to society is massive and when children are involved the negative repercussions can last a lifetime. Yet, I feel as if almost no one in the Church truly seems to care about it. We need to life up our voices and speak out on this issue, even if it makes people uncomfortable, even if our pastor doesn't want to speak about it, even if we lose friends in the process.

Friday, September 20, 2013

More depressing news on how the Church views mental illness

According to this article, more than 50% of Americans believe prayer and Bible study alone can cure mental illness!

This is really worse than I thought things were. Feeling very depressed after reading this article! It's shocking, but at the same time understandable. So few Christians are raised in a way that educates them about mental illness. So few pastors are teaching on mental illness, nor do they provide any resources for those in their churches suffering with mental illness. Couple these factors with the explosive popularity of Charismatic/Pentecostal churches where every disease is believed to be caused by a Satanic attack, and where they believe the cure for every disease is prayer and Bible study! Ugh. This is really appalling.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mental Illness - mind or body problem?

Here is a professor at a local seminary who is director of their biblical counseling institute. He questions the commonly held view of mental illness as an organic disease and views it as a spiritual matter. His view is that the mind is not part of the body. He says,"Can someone get mentally ill? No. He can be spiritually sinful, physically sick, but the mind cannot get sick and therefore we don't need to cure minds."

It's a shame such views are being taught at seminary! No wonder so many pastors and Christians view mental illness as merely a manifestation of sin. This serves to stigmatize those suffering from mental illness and puts all of the blame on the one suffering which only makes them feel worse! Ugh this gets me angry!
I think very few mental illnesses are caused by sin. Maybe some mild ones, but people suffering with schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, those are physical organic diseases and have NOTHING to do with sin! And what really irks me is that this guy is the DIRECTOR of the whole biblical counseling institute so he is probably training tons of people who become counselors at their churches! The body and mind are interlinked, but I don't agree with the notion that most mental illness is just a result of sin! That is insane to think that in my view. I agree a holistic approach has merit, and some people with low grade relatively minor mental illness can benefit much from Biblical counseling, but this is not, in my view, the case so much with severe mental illness. If someone gets diabetes or polio do we suddenly start questioning whether it was from sin? Of course not, and we shouldn't question organic mental illness either! The amount of damage being done to Christians with mental illness is mind boggling! And they are being stigmatized and taught that they are at fault for their own suffering! It's sadistic and very wrong. I'd even go so far as to say such teaching is itself sinful. Further, so many suffer needlessly in the Church because they were taught they don't need medication just Biblical counseling, or even worse some are taught that psychiatric medication is itself of the Devil!


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

new poem

"One Winter's Evening"

Footsteps crunch
In new fallen snow

Frozen architecture
Left behind

Cold air
Stings my lungs

Feeling alive
I exhale frosty vapors

Evening comes
Streetlights aglow

Casting shadows
Of yellow and gray

Silence comes
Time seems to slow

I admire
Snowflakes hung in space

Wondrous design
Speaks to a Creator

Hills covered
In blankets of snow

Pure white
Reminds me of grace

Mind wanders
Bach's Art of the Fugue

Happiness comes
With the shimmering snow

Music dances
Across the sky

Sacred geometry
Revealed in crystalline forms

Feeling warmth
I listen

And realize
Everything will be ok

   -- Zachary Uram (c) 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Islam and Reformation

Islam needs a great reformation. It must categorically reject violence, hatred, racism, sexism, intolerance and bigotry. When someone claiming to be a Muslim commits an atrocity such as an act of terrorism they need to face widespread condemnation from the global Islamic community. Prominent Muslims, such as heads of state, members of the government, members of royal families, celebrities, teachers and professors, and imams, sheiks and other religious leaders must seek a moderate form of Islam which rejects these barbaric values. In other words Islam must be brought fully out of the 7th century and into the 21st century!

This reformation should include:
  1. rejection of dhimmitude, which is treating non-Muslims as second class citizens
  2. full respect for women and their equal status both under the law and in society
  3. a popular culture which rejects the death culture so prominent in Jihadist propaganda
  4. zero tolerance for acts of terrorism
  5. greater ecumenical and inter-faith outreach
  6. rejection of sharia law and embrace of law which recognizes all of our human rights
  7. rejection of pedophilia and so-called child marriages
  8. rejection of Islamism which seeks to legislate Islam as the law of the land
  9. be much more open to criticism
  10. outlaw so-called blasphemy laws which punish people for offending Mohammed, the Qur'an or Islam in general
  11. outlaw so-called apostasy laws which call for the imprisonment and even death of Muslims who leave the faith
  12. reforming madrasa (religious schools) so they stop preaching hatred and intolerance
  13. self-policing of imams, sheiks and other religious ministers so as to delegitimize  hateful speech, calls for Jihad, and other violent speech.
  14. full legal rights and protection, under the Constitutions and laws, for non-Muslims living in Muslim majority nations
  15. careful monitoring of finances so that terrorist groups don't get financial assistance
  16. the local culture should ostracize anyone found giving material aid to terrorists or Islamists in general
  17. stop constant polemics against the Christian faith, stop attacking the validity of the Bible
  18. apologize for all wrongdoing which has been done in the name of Islam
  19. make financial reparations for wrongdoings
  20. reject all passages in the Qur'an, Sunah and Hadith which call for violence, hatred, and bigotry

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain