Utilizing new media to speak directly to the people

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Newt Gingrich on Team Trump breaking the elite media in order to speak directly to the American people (after 1:26 in the video below):

“They can close down the elite press… They can create entirely new venues to inform the American people… They can go to Facebook and to YouTube…”

January 15, 2017 Sunday Talk | Who will win the war: Donald Trump or the media?

 

Newt knows what he’s talking about, because he’s done it before, using C-SPAN…

December 14, 1994 New York Times | Gingrich First Mastered the Media and Then Rose to Be King of the Hill https://nyti.ms/1Lg5DF1

Newt Gingrich Explains The Donald Trump Phenomenon (1:07:29) https://youtu.be/h3NN8-hXqCs

Donald Trump interview 1980 (Rona Barrett) [Reelin’ In The Years Archives]

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Can you imagine following Jesus apart from your politics?

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From Keith Giles’ blog

As we look forward to the release of my new book, “Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” on Jan. 20th, here’s a quick test to find out how entangled you are and where you might need help getting untangled.

Ask yourself:

Can you imagine following Jesus apart from your politics?

Do you find it intolerable to listen to anyone who disagrees with your political convictions?

Are you more upset when someone disrespects your nation’s flag than you are when they misrepresent the teachings of Jesus?

Does it offend you that the American flag is always flown above the Christian flag?

Would you give up being an American for Jesus?

If Jesus asked you to give up being an American and to stop pledging allegiance to your nation’s flag, would you do so? How would that make you feel?

Do you believe that God has blessed America more than any other nation on earth?

Are you convinced that America is a Christian nation?

Are you willing to fight a war in order to defend your nation, even if you know that doing so may result in the death of other Christians who happen to live in the nation you’re fighting?

Have you ever argued with another Christian about differences in politics and decided not to fellowship with that person due to your differing views?

Do you believe that one political party is more “Christian” than others?

NOTE: If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, you might be entangled.

Hopefully my new book will help identify entanglements and clarify how best to navigate your way towards more freedom in Christ.

What do you think of these questions? Can you think of any other ways we can test our entanglements?

Please share in the comments below. [Link to Keith’s original post here]

Thanks,
kg

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Revelation and the End of All Things

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Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Lamb

I’ve finished reading Craig Koester’s book Revelation and the End of All Things and I thought I would share my opinion of his book.

I really enjoyed this book. I found it to be both informative and edifying. Oftentimes books written by scholars are pedantic and needlessly verbose but Koester’s isn’t. I appreciated his clarity, economy, and insight… all of which is presented in an easy to read format. This would be an excellent book for a Bible study group or a Sunday school class.

All too often books about Revelation are complex and complicated, because Revelation itself appears complex and complicated. In fact, when you read the book as a whole, which is the way Koester presents it, the book becomes a simple, repeating cycle of encouragements and warnings concerning our present situation.

If you’ve ever wondered about the meaning of Revelation, but you haven’t studied it because you think it’s too complicated to understand, get yourself a copy of Koester’s book, a copy of the Bible, and read through Revelation along with Koester’s book. You’ll be glad you did.

Craig R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001) 223 pages

From the book:

“Reading Revelation as a whole shows that the book moves in a nonlinear way. This insight goes back to the third century, when Victorinus wrote the earliest existing commentary on Revelation, and many recent interpreters have found this approach quite helpful. An outline of the book looks like a spiral, with each loop consisting of a series of visions: seven messages to the churches (Rev. 1-3), seven seals (Rev. 4-7), seven trumpets (Rev. 8-11), unnumbered visions (Rev. 12-15), seven plagues (Rev. 15-19), and more unnumbered visions (Rev. 19-22). Visions celebrating the triumph of God occur at the end of each cycle (4:1-11; 7:1-17; 11:15-19; 15:1-4; 19:1-10; 21:1-22:5). This pattern, which provides an outline for the remaining chapters of this book, looks something like this (A. Y. Collins, Apocalypse, ix-xiv):

spiral-2

“Those who read Revelation as a whole encounter visions that alternately threaten and assure them. With increasing intensity the visions at the bottom of the spiral threaten the readers’ sense of security by confronting them with horsemen that represent conquest, violence, hardship, and death; by portents in heaven, earth, and sea; and by seemingly insuperable adversaries who oppose those who worship God and Christ. Nevertheless, each time the clamor of conflict becomes unbearable, listeners are transported into the presence of God, the Lamb, and the heavenly chorus. These visions appear at the top of the spiral. Threatening visions and assuring visions function differently, but they serve the same end, which is that listeners might continue to trust in God and remain faithful to God.” (p. 39)

“Two reasons why Revelation can and should speak to people today can be summed up around the poles of Christ and culture. First, readers often find that their cultural situations are analogous to those of the seven churches. Although Christians in the West may not be preoccupied with questions about eating meat offered to idols, many are aware of contemporary pressures to relinquish one’s faith commitments because of the appeal of assimilating into the wider culture, the complacency that arises from prosperity, or the threat of violence. As modern readers confront such issues, Revelation continues to challenge and encourage them. Second, Revelation speaks not only of relationships to culture, but of relationships to God ‘who was and is and is to come’ (4:8). Because God and the Lamb are not confined to one period of time, Revelation’s call to fear and hope in God and the Lamb are not confined to one time period either. Whether readers live in the first century or the twenty-first century, God and the risen Christ are there.” (pp. 202-203)

++++

Having finished Revelation, I’ve decided to begin reading through the gospel of John.

I’ll be reading the English King James Version, the Greek Textus Receptus, and Craig R. Koester’s Symbolism in the Fourth Gospel: Meaning, Mystery, Community (Augsburg Books; 2 edition (2003) 368 pages

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America: The Seduction of Wealth and the Threat of Violence

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December 27-28 nonviolent witness at the Pentagon

I was reading Koester’s brief commentary on Revelation this morning and, again, I came across a passage that accurately describes the nation and culture in which I, as an American Christian, live:

“John sought to startle his readers into a greater awareness of the situation by depicting the counterpart to the community of faith as the harlot, who uses both the seduction of wealth and the threat of violence to extend her control over the peoples of the world (17:1-18:24).

What better description of the USA than as a harlot who uses the seduction of wealth and the threat of violence to extend her control over the peoples of the world?

One of the things I like about Koester’s commentary on Revelation is that it presents the book as a message of hope, encouragement, and warning to those who first read it and to those of us who read it today.

I’ve really enjoyed reading Koester’s book. It’s given me a much better understanding of Revelation. I highly recommend it.

The passage quoted above is presented in context below:

Holy City — Holy People

“Revelation addresses readers who are pulled in two directions, toward faithfulness and unfaithfulness. Accordingly, John wrote what might be called “A Tale of Two Cities,” because he identifies faithfulness with the holy city and unfaithfulness with the harlot city. Recall that in an earlier vision, ‘the holy city’ and its temple represented the people of God, who were oppressed by the nations, and yet preserved so that God’s witnesses could testify before the peoples of the world (11:1-3). Also recall that the people of God were pictured as a woman, who was pursued by the dragon and yet preserved by God in the wilderness (12:1-6, 13-17). The vision of the holy city and the vision of the woman both depict the same thing: the situation of the people of God on earth, as they live among the powers that seek to overwhelm them and to end their existence as a community of faith.

“Not all of John’s earliest readers would have seen their situation in such stark terms. In the cities where they lived — Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Philadelphia, and Laodicea — conditions varied. In some cities, Christians were threatened with violence, but in other cities the danger was a more subtle pressure to enhance their position by assimilating to the wider culture, or to find security in prosperity. John sought to startle his readers into a greater awareness of the situation by depicting the counterpart to the community of faith as the harlot, who uses both the seduction of wealth and the threat of violence to extend her control over the peoples of the world (17:1-18:24). John is aware that wealth and power are alluring, and that many are willing to compromise their integrity for the sake of comfort and prestige. Therefore he seeks to bolster his readers‘ will to resist by portraying the seamy side of the worldly powers that find violence intoxicating and reduce human relationships to a commercial transaction. He also presses upon readers that the harlot may seem alluring now, but her future is bleak, for the way of harlotry leads to destruction…” (Craig R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001)  pp. 194-195)

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Jan van Eyck’s Adoration of the Lamb

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American Christians tricked into serving the cause of destruction and oppression

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

“Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.” ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

I’ve been slowly reading through the book of Revelation, beginning in August 2016, using the English King James Version and the Greek Textus Receptus.

I’ll read a small section in English, then read the same small section in Greek. I’ll do this three times, one time per day, then move on to the next section. (I’m doing this because my NT Greek is so rusty.)

Along with this, I’ve also been following along with a short commentary on Revelation, sections of which I will read either before or after reading the relevant sections in Revelation.

Today I read the following paragraph in this commentary, and I was struck by how relevant it is to the culture in which I live:

“Authentic prophecy is known by what it does: true prophecy moves people to worship the true God and false prophecy draws people away from God. The false prophets in John’s vision show no lack of ability to perform miracles (13:13-15; 19:20), and John never faults them for issuing inaccurate predictions concerning future events. What makes them false is that they lure people into a false faith that binds them to powers that masquerade as God while serving the cause of destruction and oppression (2:20; 13:13-17; 16:13-14; 19:20). The true prophets in John’s visions are not said to offer predictions of future events, but to call the peoples of the world to repentance (11:3). True prophecy is identified by its witness to Jesus and its call to ‘worship God’ (19:10); 22:9). When Revelation moves people to faith in God and in the Lamb, it brings them to the End for which the book was written.” (Craig R. Koester, Revelation and the End of All Things, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans (2001) p. 172)

Let’s break this down…

True prophecy moves people to worship the true God

False prophecy draws people away from God

False prophecy lures people into a false faith

False prophecy binds people to powers that masquerade as God while serving the cause of destruction and oppression

True prophecy is identified by its witness to Jesus and its call to ‘worship God’

My culture — The USA — has many problems, but the greatest problem we have, which I don’t see being solved anytime soon, is this:

The USA is the greatest militaristic force for global destruction and oppression the world has ever known.

This is where the deception — the trickery — enters in.

Most people who consider themselves Christians in the USA believe we are the good guys. They don’t see themselves as supporters of “the greatest militaristic force for global destruction and oppression the world has ever known”, but rather as supporters of “the greatest force for good the world has ever known”.

These people have been tricked into believing a lie — the opposite of the truth.

Generation after generation the citizens of the USA pack their loved ones off to another foreign war they believe is for good, when, in fact, their loved ones are pawns who are used and abused by the greatest militaristic force for global destruction and oppression the world has ever known.

Until this cycle is broken, we will never be free and the world will never know peace.

Christians! Stop supporting US militarism, and stop falling for patriotic propaganda!

Christians! Return to Christ, the Prince of Peace!

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” ~ Jesus (Matthew 5:9)

“The church in America will not be a Christ-centered community of peace so long as it is determined to celebrate its identity as American.  It is imperative, I believe, that all traces of nationalism be removed from the church’s worship.  Otherwise, in times of international crisis, instead of being an instrument of reconciliation, it will continue to embrace the role of handmaiden of war.  God cannot be praised in the same breath that America is honored without God being dishonored and replaced by another god…” Read more: The Nationalistic Corruption of Worship in America – http://www.redletterchristians.org/the-nationalistic-corruption-of-worship-in-america/

See also: The American Flag: Embodiment of a bloodthirsty totem god https://ajmacdonaldjr.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/the-american-flag-emblem-of-a-bloodthirsty-totem-god/

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The Lie: Who Christians in the USA believe they are serving

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The Truth: Who Christians in the USA are actually serving

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It’s time for Americans to climb out of their mainstream media bubble

Notice the two headlines below, both of which concern the same news story, which can be seen in the video above.

The first is from a conservative alternative news outlet: 

Democratic Congresswoman Says U.S. Is Funding And Arming ISIS http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/10/democratic-congresswoman-says-u-s-is-funding-and-arming-isis/

The second is from a liberal mainstream media news outlet:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill To Halt U.S. Arms Supplies To Syrian Allies https://n.pr/2h9pv2b

There’s a big difference between “ISIS” and “Syrian Allies”, is there not?

What are we to make of news like this? After watching the video, what do you think would be a proper headline for an article about this?

“U.S. Is Funding And Arming ISIS” is far more accurate than “Halt U.S. Arms Supplies To Syrian Allies” which is, in fact, deceptive.

Does the average person in the USA believe al Qeada and ISIS are US allies in Syria? Is this what the mainstream media tells us? That al Qaeda and ISIS are on our side? Hardly.

I’ve written before about how news writers and editors will make sure the headline of a story will be written in such a way as to communicate all they want you to know, without your having to read the story. Because they know most people only read headlines, and don’t bother reading the stories.

There’s been a lot of talk about “fake news” lately, most of which concerns what used to be called “internet rumors”, which is nothing new. But the “fake news” talk has created something of a backlash, with many people now excoriating the mainstream media for proffering its own version of fake news (i.e., state propaganda).

This recent article written by Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, is worth reading:

The Fake News Fake Story http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-fake-news-fake-story/

When we live in a world that presents us with two opposite views of what is supposed to be reality, what are we supposed to do in order to make sense of our world?

Are we on the same side as ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria? If we are, what does this mean?

Are the US government and its mainstream media allies speaking with a forked tongue?

I think they are. They want us to believe ISIS and al Qaeda are a terror threat, while at the same time arming, training, and funding ISIS and al Qaeda in their terror attacks against the people of Syria.

I, for one, and ashamed to be an American. I hope this “fake news” fiasco is the beginning of the end of the US government and their mainstream media allies. I’m sick to death of the myth that we are “the good guys” when the whole world, except us, knows we’re not.

It’s time for Americans to climb out of their mainstream media bubble and find the truth.

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Posted in Government, Journalism, language, Media, Politics, Press, propaganda, Terrorism, Violence, War | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

John McCain’s rebel holdouts

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Jihadi John McCain

“European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is appealing on the Syrian government and Russia to do their utmost to spare civilians as they prepare to capture the last rebel holdouts in the besieged city of Aleppo…” (Emphasis added) Continue reading: EU appeals for Aleppo civilians to be protected http://www.wgal.com/article/eu-appeals-for-aleppo-civilians-to-be-protected/8498291

“Vladimir Putin, right now, with his airstrikes, is killing the people we armed and trained.” ~ US Senator John McCain (See after 2:15 in the video below)

Posted in Government, Politics, Terrorism, War | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments