It’s So Great Seeing the American Political System At Work…

Not.

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

The Supreme Court’s 2010 decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission allows outside groups to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for a particular issue or even candidate.

Now strategists and donors are going where the money’s going, and growing evidence suggests that this election year — not just on the presidential level, but also for congressional races — will be dominated by superPACs.

Right now, more than 80 percent of the money raised by superPACs has gone to pro-GOP groups. And, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, 80 percent of all the money raised by these groups has come from just 100 individuals — the wealthiest people in America. People like Texas billionaire Harold Simmons.

Don’t bother voting- political offices are for sale and those who spend the most will dictate policy.  America… land of the Almighty Dollar.

Thinking About Calvin on the Anniversary of His Death

John Calvin departed this world on the 27th of May, 1564. Philip Schaff writes

… Calvin spent his last days in almost continual prayer, and in ejaculating comforting sentences of Scripture, mostly from the Psalms. He suffered at times excruciating pains. He was often heard to exclaim: “I mourn as a dove” (Isa. 38:14); “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it” (Ps. 39:9); “Thou bruisest me, O Lord, but it is enough for me that it is thy hand.” His voice was broken by asthma, but his eyes remained bright, and his mind clear and strong to the last. He admitted all who wished to see him, but requested that they should rather pray for him than speak to him.

On the day of his death he spoke with less difficulty. He fell peacefully asleep with the setting sun towards eight o’clock, and entered into the rest of his Lord. “I had just left him,” says Beza, “a little before, and on receiving intimation from the servants, immediately hastened to him with one of the brethren. We found that he had already died, and so very calmly, without any convulsion of his feet or hands, that he did not even fetch a deeper sigh. He had remained perfectly sensible, and was not entirely deprived of utterance to his very last breath. Indeed, he looked much more like one sleeping than dead.”

He had lived fifty-four years, ten months, and seventeen days.

I’ve had reason to mention Calvin a good bit, so here’s a collection of posts for you to enjoy on this [yes, it’s already May 27th in Geneva], the anniversary of his death.

Quote of the Day

“The preacher must make his sermons cut. Our sickle is made on purpose to cut. The Gospel is intended to wound the conscience and go right through to the heart, with the design of separating the soul from sin and self, as the corn is divided from the soil.” ~Charles Spurgeon

Questions for Christian Supporters of Marriage Equality

Simply for the sake of argument, let’s suppose that those who believe Christianity and homosexuality are compatible are able to make a persuasive case based on biblical exegesis (though I clearly hold no such view, let’s pretend it’s possible), I have some questions:

1- In your comments, blog posts, web essays, articles, and emails, why have I yet to see any of you suggest that repentance and conversion are important aspects of the Christian life vis-a-vis homosexuals and homosexuality?  Homosexual behavior is regularly described as acceptable, so why isn’t the need for homosexual Christians to practice repentance?  Further, why are non Christian homosexuals never urged to conversion?

2- If promiscuity is impermissible for the heterosexual Christian, why is it never the subject of your discussions of homosexuals?  Are homosexual Christians held to a different ethical and moral standard than heterosexual Christians?

3- Why is it that the only issue which seems to interest you is ‘marriage equality’ whilst weightier matters such as the evangelism of the unconverted; repentance; faithful discipleship; the study of Scripture; and other like aspects of Christian life never rises to the level of catching your eye?  In other words, why are you willing to discuss marriage equality while ignoring virtually every other aspect of Christian behavior?

4- If you, like some, hold the view that Scripture must sometimes take a back seat to one’s own conscience (an execrably Un-Christian viewpoint, by the way) then what is the base or foundation of your morality?

5- If your Christianity isn’t informed by solid exegesis of Scripture and your theology isn’t informed by Scripture, then what of Christianity remains for you?  Can you consider yourself a Christian if Christian belief isn’t an aspect of your life which is all encompassing?

I await your lucid answers.

The Reconstructed ‘Bethlehem Bulla’

Via Robert Deutsch-

As the first who posted the correct reading of the provenanced fiscal bulla of Beitlehem, and accepted now by all scholars that the IAA experts made another foolish mistake, I am offering now also the drawing (made for me by Pnina Arad), with the suggested missing letters.

by Pnina Arad