Christianity in Today's America

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Posted 8/28/14 at 12:07 PM | Anthony Horvath

An Open Letter to Everyone But Richard Dawkins

Photo: Flickr/David Shankbone - Creative Commons
Richard Dawkins

Most observers of Richard Dawkins are not surprised to hear that he has said something outrageous. More and more, even his fellow atheists are surprised when he says something sensible. The latest row is over his comments suggesting that people have a moral obligation to abort a child diagnosed with a defect (in particular, Down Syndrome). Again, even his fellow atheists were put off by this, since the party line on abortion it is morally neutral, and a woman can get one or not get one, as she pleases.

The reactions, from both foes and fellow travelers, imply that the crux of this issue is that Dawkins is being rude. From this perspective, there are certain things you don’t say in polite society, even if you think them, and Dawkins has found one of them (again). The problem, you see, is one of decorum and Dawkins’ irascible personality and a violated social contract.

Dawkins, however, insists that what he is saying “simply follows logically from the ordinary pro-choice stance that most [of] us, I presume, espouse.” He sympathizes with his critics, but notes that their point is “an emotional one not a logical one.” And oh, by the way, what he is saying is not in the slightest “advocating a eugenics policy.”

Never mind that he is rude. Is he wrong? He has invoked logic, implying that there are propositions, premises, and inferences not far back from his comments. Moreover, he expects that his own fans share these foundational views and is more than a little surprised that they have not taken them to their logical conclusions. And what views might these be? FULL POST

Posted 8/1/14 at 5:09 PM | Michael Youssef |

7 comments

Anti-Biblical Minorities Take the "Change the World" Baton

The Bible is full of individuals who accomplished mighty things through their commitment to a cause and through God’s power working in them. Moses, Joshua, Gideon, David, to say nothing of a handful of Galilean fishermen, turned their world “upside down.” Often their world was controlled by a great foe, like mighty Egypt or the Roman Empire.

Sadly, the most that many Western Christians can accomplish today is to join a big stadium filled with screaming young people listening to upbeat music. When the music stops, they go back to their pampered lifestyle and whine about what they’re not getting from life.

Of course, there are some exceptional young Christians who seek God and His will with all of their hearts. They genuinely want to make a difference in the world. But for the most part, Western Christians lack a total commitment and a definable strategy to turn the world upside down like our Christian forbears did.

In the meantime, however, anti-biblical forces have taken the “change the world” baton from Christians. But not only have they taken it, they are using it to beat Christians on the head, sending them scurrying in fear and intimidation. FULL POST

Posted 7/10/14 at 11:20 AM | Michael Youssef |

2 comments

What Does This Announced Caliphate Mean?

Photo: Flickr/Norman B. Leventhal Map Center - Creative Commons

The ISIS, which has conquered vast portions of Syria and Iraq, has now declared itself to be the new Islamic caliphate. There has been no caliphate (an Islamic state led by a “successor” to Muhammad) since 1916, after the end of more than 400 years of Turk-enforced rule over a resentful but helpless Arab world.

Since then, most Sunni Muslims have informally recognized the legitimate successor of the prophet Muhammad to be the king of Saudi Arabia, whom they call the “Guardian of the Two Holy Places.”

But in recent years, many rival factions have risen across the Islamic world, each claiming to be the one to bring about the legitimate succession. FULL POST

Posted 7/1/14 at 10:56 AM | Michael Youssef |

7 comments

This Legal Immigrant Wants the Old America

Painting of the Continental Congress

As we pause to celebrate the birth of this blessed nation, many among us are sad and even disgusted over what has happened to it.

Millions of Americans who have known “the old America”—the one they were born in and grew up in—feel a deep disappointment that their grandchildren will not grow up to know the country that valued morality and biblical ethics.

From the White House to the schoolhouse, we see forces that reject biblical values. From our government, we even see the outlawing of the name of Jesus from public prayers, especially from the military, which owes all victories to Him.

And there are also those, such as my family and me, who immigrated to this blessed land and long for the original America—the America as envisioned by the founding fathers.

I came to this country because, as a boy living under the tyranny of dictatorship and socialism, I longed to be free. I read the writings of America’s founders and dreamed of breathing the air of freedom—the air that was purchased with the blood of many American patriots. FULL POST

Posted 6/20/14 at 3:34 PM | Michael Youssef |

8 comments

Connecting the Dots of President Obama

Photo: Bernard Pollack

Let me just say that President Obama is probably not a Muslim, but not a Christian, either. Most likely, he’s agnostic. Politics is his religion.

That doesn’t mean that he doesn’t possess strong loyalties. Many people are afraid to discuss those loyalties, however, lest they be branded some type of crazy “Obama is a Muslim” truther.

But let me throw out twenty “dots” and see if you can connect them into a pattern:

  1. Barack Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia, stepson to a Muslim. His natural father was born as a Muslim in Kenya.
  2. Obama romantically reminisces about his fond memories of hearing the "izan," or the Muslim call to prayer, echoing from a nearby mosque each day.
  3. One of his closest friends in Chicago is a member of the Hamas terror group, funded in part by Qatar.
  4. Obama claims to embrace the Christian faith, however, he attended a church for 20 years where he was taught by a preacher who sees Islam and Christianity on par with each other.
  5. During his 2008 campaign, Mr. Obama saw himself as the defender of Islam in America and promised to eliminate prejudices against Muslims (something I have never witnessed).
  6. He asked the head of NASA (yes, NASA!) to ensure the defense of Islamic causes and to help improve their reputation.
  7. Among his first overseas trips as President of the United States were to Muslim countries with secular governments: Turkey and Egypt.
  8. In Turkey, he declared that America was not a Christian nation.
  9. In Egypt, he humiliated his host, then-president of Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, by insisting that the Muslim Brotherhood, an outlawed Islamist group, occupy the front seats for his "lecture" at Cairo University.
  10. President Obama has largely ignored the U.S. National Day of Prayer, which was signed into law by President Harry Truman and is recognized on the first Thursday of May.
  11. Conversely, he has annually hosted Islamic leaders for an "iftar" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
  12. In 2011, he forced a sovereign nation (Egypt) under U.S. influence to accept a member of the Muslim Brotherhood as its new president, despite unofficial results that showed his opponent had actually won by a slight margin.
  13. Then, after the subsequent collapse of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, Mr. Obama continued to support the terrorist group - going against more than 30 million Egyptians who had sought to oust that illigitimate government.
  14. He suspended aid to Egypt in retaliation for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood cabal from power - aid that was agreed upon more than 30 years prior.
  15. President Obama failed to bring to justice the Islamist killers of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three others. [This article was written before the capture of Ahmed Abu Khattala]
  16. Mr. Obama has recognized the Hamas coalition Palestinian government, to Israel's deep disappointment, despite our government's repeated official designation of Hamas as a terror organization.
  17. In at least four cases, he appointed Muslim Brotherhood-sympathizers to his administration, instead of more moderate or secular American Muslims.
  18. He met personally with the Emir of Qatar at the 2014 West Point graduation ceremony, who was supposedly there to witness the first Qatari obtain a military bachelor degree from West Point. Qatar funds various Islamic terrorist groups around the world, plus they host almost every Islamist terror misfit group in their country (including the Muslim Brotherhood). Qatar has offended so many Arab countries that even Saudi Arabia threatened to blockade it.
  19. Now President Obama has entrusted Qatar with five known terrorists released from Guantanamo Bay, which he secretly exchanged for an Army deserter.
  20. To top all that off, the father of the Army deserter claimed the White House for Islam by naming the name of Allah during his speech at the Rose Garden.

For those who know me, it won’t come as a surprise when I say that I love the Muslim people. I grew up with them, and I have spent lots of time and money to share the love of Christ with them. But this article isn’t about how we should feel toward Muslims. FULL POST

Posted 6/16/14 at 11:05 AM | Michael Youssef

The Tragic Result of a Foreign Policy Driven by Politics

Photo: Wikipedia/defenselink - Public Domain
Saddam Hussein statue being torn down.

“Bodies are scattered all over the streets,” is how an Iraqi pastor described the situation in Mosul, Iraq, the country’s second-largest city.

It’s nearly impossible to square this Islamist takeover of Iraq—accomplished through beheadings, burnings, and slaughter—with the euphoria that some in the Bush administration felt immediately after the 2003 invasion.

Of course, that euphoria didn’t last long. Bush refused to play military expert and allowed his generals to make the decisions, and the Iraq War turned into a long and bloody struggle. But General Patraeus’s surge worked, and Iraq then experienced a short period of peace.

Since then, however, hope for Iraq has evaporated. Of the 1.4 million Christians who peacefully existed in Iraq before the American invasion, there are less than 300,000 remaining. FULL POST

Posted 6/2/14 at 11:46 AM | Michael Youssef

Western Elites Fail to Grasp Reality in Egypt

Photo: U.S. Dept. of State - Public Domain
Abdul Fatah Khalil Al-Sisi

Now that Field Marshal Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has won a decisive victory in the Egyptian presidential election (held May 26-28, 2014), the pro-Islamist Western media—such as the BBC and CNN—are downplaying his impressive win.

Western media outlets cannot help themselves. They are smitten with their grievance over what they call “the ousting of the first democratically-elected Egyptian president.” Although the election of Mohamed Morsi (Sisi’s predecessor) was full of irregularities, they are wedded to the narrative that their guy was “wronged.”

But consider the following:

  1. During the 2011 election, Muslim Brotherhood thugs stood at the doors of hundreds, if not thousands, of voting stations in the south. There, they threatened any Christian if they voted, knowing they would be voting for Morsi’s opponent, Brigadier General Shafik.
  2. The first results of that shaky election showed that Mr. Shafik won by approximately 200,000 votes. Some evidence, and every indication, pointed to the Obama administration putting pressure on the interim counsel ruling Egypt to give the election to Mr. Morsi. Since the election was so close, the administration believed the victory needed to go to Morsi in order to avoid Brotherhood-inflicted bloodshed.
  3. Right on cue, a week later Egyptian authorities said that more recounting was needed. And sure enough, they gave the election to the Muslim Brotherhood candidate.
  4. Mr. Morsi assured the army’s top brass that they would continue to retain power over the military. Yet, as soon as Morsi took office, he retired every one of them.
  5. The Obama administration got its candidate in Morsi, but he proved to be a disastrous choice for Egypt. During his twelve months in power, he spent lavishly on himself, his family, and his cronies, while the economy and the Egyptian people were brought to their knees.
  6. When Morsi appointed General Sisi as the head of the military, Morsi was told that Sisi was a devoutly religious man. Morsi assumed that “religious” meant “Islamist,” but to Morsi’s surprise, Sisi was an adherent of the Sufi (mystical) variety.

The Western mainstream media largely ignored all those realities. Then, when turnout during the recent election was lighter than expected, the media ignored the reality of the reason behind that as well. FULL POST

Posted 5/16/14 at 10:08 AM | Anthony Horvath |

1 comment

Theology Lessons from the Game World War Two Online

Photo: YouTube screenshot
Airplane in the video game World War Two Online.

There comes a point in the evening when I’m totally tapped out. I hit about 10 p.m., and all I really want to do is go to bed. Unfortunately, I’ve always had trouble falling asleep. There are few things I hate more than laying on my mattress, staring at the ceiling for 2-3 hours, wishing for sleep. Others, I suppose watch TV, but I’m not much of a TV person. Reading a book or writing used to be my ‘go-to’ solutions but for at least a half decade now, my eyes glaze over and I get nowhere. Thankfully, there is a game out there that fills in this time period nicely, World War Two Online.

In brief, it is a military simulation game that re-enacts a phase of World War Two and allows genuine combined arms combat. You can play as infantry with a variety of weapons to choose from, grab a tank, fly a plane, drive a supply truck, takes to the seas as a destroyer, or the rivers in a patrol boat. The arena of conflict is Europe, at half-scale. Nearly every combatant one encounters is a real human player; only in a few cases are there ‘AI’ emplacements. It’s just cool to be advancing on a town with a dozen other soldiers with allied tanks creaking along next to you, watching a flight of fighter pilots screech overhead--knowing that all of these are real players, not programmed ‘entities.’ That many of the players are history buffs and have a deep appreciation of the sacrifice that soldiers made during the war, and make today, is a big plus. I find in many of the players kindred spirits.

The game started in 2001. I played it for a few years, took a long break, and then picked it up again about 2 years ago. I have always been drawn to the theological aspects of the game.

“Theological aspects of the game? Did you really just say, theological?”

Yea, that’s right.

FULL POST

Posted 4/17/14 at 9:44 AM | Michael Youssef

The Best News Ever in a World Filled With Bad News

Photo: Geograph/Kay Kenyon - Creative Commons

Much of the world will be celebrating Easter this week. Unfortunately, in the West, secular humanism has relegated the Christian Easter to mere “Easter bunnies” and “Easter eggs.”

That degeneration can be closely linked to Western society’s replacement of “thinking” with “feeling.” We have replaced the thermostat with the thermometer. We have given up on rigorous intellectual debate of facts and irrefutable truth and replaced it with “that’s fine if that’s how you feel about it.”

Perhaps the trend is no clearer than when the media—and consequently, the man on the street—expresses an opinion on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

In the past, people either accepted or rejected Christ’s resurrection as a fact of history. But in today’s post-modern culture—where most of the “thinking” takes place between the nose and the chin—people are apt to say, “Jesus rose from the dead? So what?” FULL POST

Posted 4/4/14 at 11:47 AM | Michael Youssef |

1 comment

Obama/Kerry: Foreign Policy Bullies?

Russian President Putin with President Obama at the G8 Summit

While many pundits lament the fact that the Obama/Kerry foreign policy is timid, confused, and easily intimidated by strongmen like Vladimir Putin, I submit that it is best compared to a mediocre schoolyard bully.

A mediocre bully is the weak kid who attempts to project strength by picking on those weaker than him. He spews all sorts of threats (i.e., sets “red lines”), but he immediately backs down when a bigger bully shows up.

Why? The mediocre bully knows he’s no match for the stronger one, so he avoids going “mano a mano” with him.

A perfect example of that is when the U.S. State Department’s Marie Harf recently reacted to the decision by an independent Egyptian court to sentence 529 criminals and terrorists to death. Ms. Harf described the decision as “unconscionable” and threatened that the sentence would impact future American aid.

Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for the State Department to forget what those terrorists did: FULL POST

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