Category: America

Presbyterian assembly: Gay marriage is Christian

DETROIT (AP) — The top legislative body of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has voted by large margins to recognize same-sex marriage as Christian in the church constitution, adding language that marriage can be the union of “two people,” not just “a man and a woman.”

The amendment approved Thursday by the Presbyterian General Assembly requires approval from a majority of the 172 regional presbyteries, which will vote on the change over the next year. But in a separate policy change that takes effect at the end of this week’s meeting, delegates voted to allow ministers to preside at gay weddings in states where the unions are legal and local congregational leaders approve. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

The votes, during a national meeting in Detroit, were a sweeping victory for Presbyterian gay-rights advocates. The denomination in 2011 eliminated barriers to ordaining clergy with same-sex partners, but ministers were still barred from celebrating gay marriages and risked church penalties for doing so. Alex McNeill, executive director of More Light Presbyterians, a gay advocacy group, said the amendment was “an answer to many prayers.”

The Rev. Krystin Granberg of the New York Presbytery — in a state that recognizes gay marriage — said she receives requests “all the time” from friends and parishioners to preside at their weddings.

“They want to be married in the church they love and they want me to do it,” Granberg said during the debate. “I want pastoral relief.”

But Bill Norton, of the Presbytery de Cristo, which covers parts of Arizona and New Mexico, urged the assembly to delay any changes. “We are laying hands on something that is holy, that God has given us, so we need to be sure any changes we make are in accord with God’s will revealed in Scripture,” Norton said.

Since the 2011 gay ordination vote, 428 of the denomination’s more than 10,000 churches have left for other more conservative denominations or have dissolved, though some theological conservatives have remained within the denomination as they decide how to move forward. The church now has about 1.8 million members.

The conservative Presbyterian Lay Committee decried the votes in Detroit as an “abomination.” The assembly voted 371-238 to allow ministers to celebrate same-sex marriages, and 429-175 in favor of amending the definition of marriage in the constitution.

“The General Assembly has committed an express repudiation of the Bible, the mutually agreed upon Confessions of the PCUSA, thousands of years of faithfulness to God’s clear commands and the denominational ordination vows of each concurring commissioner,” the Presbyterian Lay Committee said in a statement.

Of the mainline Protestant denominations, only the United Church of Christ supports gay marriage outright. The Episcopal Church has approved a prayer service for blessing same-sex unions. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has eliminated barriers for gay clergy but allows regional and local church officials to decide their own policies on ordination and blessings for same-sex couples.

The largest mainline group, the United Methodist Church, with about 7.8 million U.S. members, bars ordaining people in same-sex relationships. However, church members have been debating whether to split over their different views of the Bible and marriage. Gay marriage supporters have been recruiting clergy to openly officiate at same-sex ceremonies in protest of church policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6464

Nearing Midnight: Laodicea on Display – Terry James

Prophecy coming to fulfillment was on full display while America’s number-one Christian preacher-in terms of numbers he draws to his events-gave the many thousands in attendance his version of “hope” for their lives.

 

Joel Osteen wrapped up his confirmation of this “hope” that resides within each by having them repeat his gleefully shouted words.

 

(I paraphrase, because I couldn’t find a transcript of the TV program.)

 

He said with a toothy smile, while holding up a Bible, “Repeat what I say!

 

He then proceeded:

 

 “I am favored by God!” (The audience jubilantly repeated the words.)

“I am special!”

 “I am destined for something great!”

 “I am important!”

 “I am deserving of all things good!”

 “I will overcome all problems!”

 “I will defeat all depression!”

 “I will take control of my own destiny!”

 

You get the point. This went on for many such “”I wills” and “I ams.” The many thousands were in rah – rah ecstasy by the time the head cheerleader concluded.

 

I heard no mention in Mr. Osteen’s sermon, I guess you could call it, of any of the “I wills and I ams” giving glory to the one who makes hope possible. I heard nowhere America’s most popular pastor of the moment mention the biblical “hope” that is in reality at the heart of the Christian’s glorious destiny-salvation from soul-destroying sin through the shed blood of the only begotten Son of God.

 

Instead, I heard the glorification of self, and how good everyone is, and how deserving everyone in attendance was to receive the very best God is obligated to bestow.

 

More troubling, as the program came to an end, was the perception that the “I wills and I cans” the mesmerized thousands shouted, repeating Osteen’s words of self-praise, reminded me of the “I wills” of Isaiah 14:13-15: “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.”

 

Jesus, resurrected and at the right hand of His Father, gave John, who penned Revelation, a vivid picture of the church that will, literally, make Him sick. That church was the last one the Lord addressed while going through the seven churches of the Church Age: And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. (Revelation 3:14-17)

 

The Laodicean church bases its thoughts and actions on terms of 1) self-glorification and 2) physical prosperity, i.e., wealth. This end-of-days’ church is “lukewarm”; that is, it is tepid so far as teaching and preaching the gospel. This church preaches and teaches that people are good and deserving of God’s total blessings and adoration. It does not teach and preach that people are not good, that they are lost in sin, thus need a Savior.

 

The Laodicean church teaches and preaches that all is well, if money and physical comforts are in abundance. That prosperity is the key to a glorious future is the message sweet to the taste of those who sit in its luxuriant pews. It appeals to self, the same as did the serpent to Eve in Eden.

 

Another prophecy of Jesus comes into view when we consider the great moral degradation that has taken place in the last half-century. The prophecy is in line with the Laodicean church that, in my opinion, constitutes the majority of so-called Christendom today. Jesus, in His Olivet Discourse, forewarned first and foremost of deception which would mark the time just before His return. Many would, He warned, come in His name, proclaiming themselves to have Christ within themselves-to belong to Him. They would be deceiving themselves and those who followed them, according to what I see in my study of Paul’s words that in the last days evil men and seducers would come, deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13).

 

Again, the apostle Paul put his prophetic finger on our time, and, I’m convinced, the sugary, feel-good sermonettes, the likes of which preachers like Mr. Osteen pour into the itching ears of today’s Laodiceans: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

 

Questions that must be addressed are: Where is the proof that this coming forth of a more sinner-friendly church has done harm rather than good? What’s the harm in embracing all sinners and bringing them into the fold, without the condemnation that the Bible passages on sin throws at them? Isn’t Jesus a Lord of love and all-inclusiveness? Isn’t that accusation of Christianity’s “intolerance” the thing that brings the disdain of the world for the very name of Jesus Christ?

 

All that has to be said to answer the above is: Churches of America have indeed increasingly moved away from pointing at sin as requiring condemnation and sinners as requiring redemption. The result has been that the increased inclusiveness-this greater toleration of sinfulness, in concert with every imaginable evil gushing from Internet debauchery–has produced a society and culture rivaling that of Sodom and Gomorrah.

 

A recent article outlined some problems stemming from the church shirking responsibility in America.

 

The divorce rate has doubled, teen suicide has tripled, reported violent crime has quadrupled, the prison population has quintupled, the percentage of babies born out of wedlock has risen sixfold, couples living together out of wedlock have increased sevenfold, and gay marriage is now a legalized reality in a number of states, with many believing the end is not in sight. (Bert M. Farias, “The Great Deception in American Church,” Charisma News)

 

Paul prophesied as recorded in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 that the Restrainer, resident within the church, would one day be removed from planet earth. Antichrist and complete lawlessness will then rule the world when the true church-all born-again believers-are called into Heaven.

 

The Laodicean church now on display, as forewarned by Jesus, Himself, surely must be a major indicator of where this generation stands on God’s prophetic timeline.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6459

ACROSS AMERICA, POLICE DEPARTMENTS ARE QUIETLY PREPARING FOR WAR

byZero Hedge| June 10, 2014

At first blush, the title of this post could be perceived as somewhat hyperbolic by those who still have an impression of America’s police departments as bastions of safety, designed “to protect and to serve” the population of the “land of the free.” However, said impression would be promptly washed away upon reading an article in today’s NYT which citing Pentagon data, reveals that under the Obama administration, “police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.

Which begs the question: just who is America’s police force, and by extension the Obama administration, which is behind this quiet militarization of local police forces with weapons that would normally be seen in a warzone, preparing for war against?

And while we already documented America’s conversation to a turnkey totalitarian banana republic (confirmed over a year later by Edward Snowden), behold America’s conversion to a police state:

In the past we have occasionally covered the slow (but sure) conversion of America’s Police force into an army, fully loaded with the latest weapons and equipments, not even we had an idea of the full extent of what was going on behind the scenes. As the NYT describes, all of the above-mentioned equipment “has been added to the armories of police departments that already look and act like military units. Police SWAT teams are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, increasingly for routine jobs. Masked, heavily armed police officers in Louisiana raided a nightclub in 2006 as part of a liquor inspection. In Florida in 2010, officers in SWAT gear and with guns drawn carried out raids on barbershops that mostly led only to charges of “barbering without a license.

Surely in an age when the NSA managed to eradicated all terrorism (oh oops, Boston bombing, we forgot, just ignore that), the mantra that a “weapon unused is a useless weapon” has never rang more true, but dispatching crack police team to handle rogue “barbers”? Sadly, that may be just a harbinger of the crackdowns the US police state will unleash shortly on anyone even the least bit guilty of violating some law or regulation. Or maybe completely innocent, just guilty of sparking the USPD’s curiosity.

Meet the new normal SWAT: new, improved and, well, everywhere:

The number of SWAT teams has skyrocketed since the 1980s, according to studies by Peter B. Kraska, an Eastern Kentucky University professor who has been researching the issue for decades…. The ubiquity of SWAT teams has changed not only the way officers look, but also the way departments view themselves. Recruiting videos feature clips of officers storming into homes with smoke grenades and firing automatic weapons. In Springdale, Ark., a police recruiting video is dominated by SWAT clips, including officers throwing a flash grenade into a house and creeping through a field in camouflage.

The rationale for the weaponization of the US police force is simple: it’s yours if you want it. Also, it’s free.

The Pentagon program does not push equipment onto local departments. The pace of transfers depends on how much unneeded equipment the military has, and how much the police request. Equipment that goes unclaimed typically is destroyed. So police chiefs say their choice is often easy: Ask for free equipment that would otherwise be scrapped, or look for money in their budgets to prepare for an unlikely scenario. Most people understand, police officers say.

In the meantime, this is where the build up has come from…

Congress created the military-transfer program in the early 1990s, when violent crime plagued America’s cities and the police felt outgunned by drug gangs. Today, crime has fallen to its lowest levels in a generation, the wars have wound down, and despite current fears, the number of domestic terrorist attacks has declined sharply from the 1960s and 1970s.

Police departments, though, are adding more firepower and military gear than ever. Some, especially in larger cities, have used federal grant money to buy armored cars and other tactical gear. And the free surplus program remains a favorite of many police chiefs who say they could otherwise not afford such equipment. Chief Wilkinson said he expects the police to use the new truck rarely, when the department’s SWAT team faces an armed standoff or serves a warrant on someone believed to be dangerous.

Today, Chief Wilkinson said, the police are trained to move in and save lives during a shooting or standoff, in contrast to a generation ago — before the Columbine High School massacre and others that followed it — when they responded by setting up a perimeter and either negotiating with, or waiting out, the suspect.

… and where it is going.

In South Carolina, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department’s website features its SWAT team, dressed in black with guns drawn, flanking an armored vehicle that looks like a tank and has a mounted .50-caliber gun. Capt. Chris Cowan, a department spokesman, said the vehicle “allows the department to stay in step with the criminals who are arming themselves more heavily every day.” He said police officers had taken it to schools and community events, where it was a conversation starter.

Not everyone agrees that there is a need for such vehicles. Ronald E. Teachman, the police chief in South Bend, Ind., said he decided not to request a mine-resistant vehicle for his city. “I go to schools,” he said. “But I bring ‘Green Eggs and Ham.’ ”

The people are said to believe the explanation:

When you explain that you’re preparing for something that may never happen, they get it,” said Capt. Tiger Parsons of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office in northwest Missouri, which recently received a mine-resistant truck.

You mean like the Fed stepping back from propping the global capital markets? Or like Caesar taking over Rome and only then handing over the power to the people?

But however you explain it and whatever you call it, don’t call it overkill, no pun intended. Actually call it overkill.

Pentagon data suggest how the police are arming themselves for such worst-case scenarios. Since 2006, the police in six states have received magazines that carry 100 rounds of M-16 ammunition, allowing officers to fire continuously for three times longer than normal. Twenty-two states obtained equipment to detect buried land mines.

In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war.

“You have a lot of people who are coming out of the military that have the ability and knowledge to build I.E.D.’s and to defeat law enforcement techniques,” Sgt. Dan Downing of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department told the local Fox affiliate, referring to improvised explosive devices, or homemade bombs. Sergeant Downing did not return a message seeking comment.

The police in 38 states have received silencers, which soldiers use to muffle gunfire during raids and sniper attacks. Lauren Wild, the sheriff in rural Walsh County, N.D., said he saw no need for silencers. When told he had 40 of them for his county of 11,000 people, Sheriff Wild confirmed it with a colleague and said he would look into it. “I don’t recall approving them,” he said.

Funny how that happens. Because that’s the whole point: if the police department is there to protect the people, shouldn’t the people decide how the police is armed? Apparently not. Then again, the light bulb did go over some heads.

At the Neenah City Council, Mr. Pollnow is pushing for a requirement that the council vote on all equipment transfers. When he asks about the need for military equipment, he said the answer is always the same: It protects police officers.

“Who’s going to be against that? You’re against the police coming home safe at night?” he said. “But you can always present a worst-case scenario. You can use that as a framework to get anything.”

Chief Wilkinson said he was not interested in militarizing Neenah. But officers are shot, even in small towns. If there were an affordable way to protect his people without the new truck, he would do it.

“I hate having our community divided over a law enforcement issue like this. But we are,” he said. “It drives me to my knees in prayer for the safety of this community every day. And it convinced me that this was the right thing for our community.”

Great, absolutely. Now just open it up for a vote and le the community itself decide!

Which brings us back to the original question: as the NYT succinctly summarizes the situation, “as President Obama ushers in the end of what he called America’s “long season of war,” the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice.”

 Perhaps that sentence needs some qualification: as Obama, humiliated on the international arena by everyone, from Assad to Putin and back, and desperately seeking to avoid future embarrassment, redeploys weapons of mass murder, why is he seeking to put said weapons – many of which are of the offensive kind – not out to pasture but in America’s very own back yard? Just who does Obama plan to wage his next, and hopefully last, war against? The good news is that everyone will get sufficient advance notice before said war begins by the squadrons of weaponized drones sent out to test the ground, and inflict the “accidental” collateral damage casualty, or million.

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6448

Preteen Devotion to Demons: Is Slenderman Real?

This is a very sad and disturbing case. My heart goes out to all of the parents involved. A major theme in my book The Supernatural Worldview is that as the Christian consensus fades, the hedge of divine protection is lifted and demons rise to power. On Saturday, two twelve year old girls pictured above, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, allegedly stabbed their classmate nineteen times in order to become the initiates of a phantom called Slenderman. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

Both suspects explained the stabbing to police referencing their dedication to Slender Man, the character they discovered on a website called Creepypasta Wiki, which is devoted to horror stories.

Weier told police that Slender Man is the “leader” of Creepypasta, and in the hierarchy of that world, one must kill to show dedication. Weier said that Geyser told her they should become “proxies” of Slender Man — a paranormal figure known for his ability to create tendrils from his fingers and back — and kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him. Weier said she was surprised by Geyser’s suggestion, but also excited to prove skeptics wrong and show that Slender Man really did exist.[1]

What prompts such devotion? Slenderman is a foreboding, faceless phantom in a dark suit known to haunt children.  According to most media reports he was born in 2009 in an online forum for creating

faux paranormal images. Of course, Slenderman is a fictional character and the media is reporting the story as a most unfortunate misunderstanding by fantasy prone children unable to distinguish fiction from reality. Along those lines the Creepypasta website published this response to the tragedy. Children are often unable to distinguish between fantasy and reality which is the rationale for them facing different legal consequences. That being the case, then why are they being tried as adults? One’s status as an adult is not situational but is legally determined by age. If the authorities can change the rules based on the situation, then the distinction is nothing but a relativistic sham. However, I digress. My purpose is not to argue about our (in) justice system. Children are easily influenced and some evil spirits are real.

According to Jesus of Nazareth, demons and evil spirits are absolutely real and have names (Mark 5:9). However, they seem flexible with their identities. Scripture does not call many by name but they do seem to morph by adopting new names. For example, “They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon” (Re 9:11). In the Hebrew Bible Abaddon is the place of destruction, the bad side of the underworld Sheol. Accordingly, in Proverbs 15:11; 27:20 and Job 26:6 we find it in paralleled with Sheol. In in Job 28:22, abaddon is personified along with death. This is the biblical starting point for speculations about abaddon as a separate entity. Later,1 Enoch 20:2 refers to a personified angel of the abaddon. When we arrive at the book of Revelation abaddon is a full-fledged demon king over the bottomless pit known as Apollyon in Greek which means the “Destroyer” and is a play on the name Apollo. The point of this exercise is to show that scripture supports the notion that demonic names morph from other concepts over time.

Other cultures have similar destroyer gods Angra Mainyu in Zoroastrianism, Shiva in Hinduism, Kroni from Ayyavazhi mythology, Erra the Akkadian plague god, Malsumis the malevolent god in Abenaki mythology, and many others. My point in citing several is to suggest that the demonic rulers, authorities and cosmic powers likely assume many names as they function in various historical eras and geographic areas. Rather than creating these identities, they promote an archetype like “the destroyer” that gets recast in various cultural contexts. In other words, demons are more than happy to bring life to idols. The Apostle Paul connects the dots between manmade idols and demons:

“What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.(1 Co 10:19–20)

Paul implies that demons empower and use man made idols – created gods of wood and stone. So why not, in our era, created phantoms of bits and bytes? If that is the case, might an actual demonic spirit have adopted the Slenderman character to satisfy its malevolent agenda against children? I suggest the two twelve year old girls were enticed by more than a website.

That’s right; I am suggesting that Slenderman has become real or rather that the character has a real malevolent spirit empowering him, one that was able to reach out of the online horror fantasy world to the real world in order to entice two twelve year old girls to murderous mischief. A folklorist Dale James notes, “While he has no clear agenda with regards to who he targets Slender Man has an affinity for younger victims, those more impressionable and vunerable to his antics.”[2]  Perhaps Slenderman will entice others? Alternately, it could be the case that a particular demon simply used Slenderman as a ruse to promote this murder and move on. The paranormal paradigm shift is picking up speed and demons are rising, or have you not been paying attention to the news?

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Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6432

IS THE BIBLE THE INSPIRED WORD OF GOD TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY — OR A BOOK OF FABLES?

Jun. 5, 2014

The Bible has enjoyed a prevalent place in the Western world, though not everyone agrees on its origins, how to interpret its contents — or whether it’s a relevant guide for navigating contemporary society.

Views on the Bible can generally be divided into three camps: those who believe the scriptures should be taken literally, those who revere the Bible as the inspired word of God, but say it shouldn’t all be taken literally and those who dismiss it as ancient fables and stories.

Gallup recently found that an overwhelming 75 percent of the American public believes that the Bible is somehow connected to God. That said, only about 28 percent think the Bible “is the actual word of God and that it should be taken literally.”

Another 47 percent believe that it is the inspired word, but that it shouldn’t all be taken literally. And 21 percent dismiss the book as “ancient fables, legends, history, and precepts written by man.”

These proportions have changed to varying degrees over the past few decades. While the proportion of those who believe the Bible is God’s word and that it should be taken literally has fluctuated between 27 percent and 33 percent since the early 1990s, it was as high as 38 percent in 1976.

As for those who think that the Bible was inspired by God, but that it doesn’t always need to be taken literally, their representation has fluctuated between 45 percent (a low in 1976) and 52 percent (a high in 2003).

The largest growth is among those who say that the Bible is a book of fables. While only 13 percent of the public embraced this worldview in 1976, 21 percent did so in 2014.

gallup

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6429

Why China and America are Headed Toward a Catastrophic Clash

Many people find it hard to understand why China is acting the way it is in the East and South China Seas. What does Beijing hope to achieve by alienating its neighbors and undermining regional stability?

Let me suggest an answer: China is trying to build what President Xi Jinping calls “a new model of great power relations.” To understand how this might be the aim of Beijing’s actions, we have to recognize that under his “new model,” Xi wants China to wield much more power and influence in Asia than it has for the past few centuries. These things are inherently zero-sum, so for China to have more power and influence, America must have less. This is what Xi and his colleagues are trying to achieve.

Their reasoning is simple enough. They know that America’s position in Asia is built on its network of alliances and partnerships with many of China’s neighbors. They believe that weakening these relationships is the easiest way to weaken U.S. regional power. And they know that, beneath the flowery diplomatic phrases, the bedrock of these alliances and partnerships is the confidence America’s Asian friends have that America is able and willing to protect them from China’s power.

So the easiest way for Beijing to weaken Washington’s power in Asia is to undermine this confidence. And the easiest way to do that is for Beijing to press those friends and allies hard on issues in which America’s own interests are not immediately engaged — like a string of maritime disputes in which the U.S. has no direct stake.

By using direct armed pressure in these disputes, China makes its neighbors more eager for U.S. military support, and at the same time makes America less willing to give it, because of the clear risk of a direct U.S.-China clash. In other words, by confronting America’s friends with force, China confronts America with the choice between deserting its friends and fighting China. Beijing is betting that, faced with this choice, America will back off and leave its allies and friends unsupported. This will weaken America’s alliances and partnerships, undermine U.S. power in Asia, and enhance China’s power.

This view of China’s motives explains its recent conduct.

Ever since President Obama announced the “pivot,” China has tested U.S. willingness to support its allies over the Scarborough Shoals and Senkaku/Daioyu disputes. Until his Asian trip last month, Obama seemed inclined to step back from America’s commitments, but his bold words in Tokyo and Manila suggest he has recovered his resolve to stand firm.

Now we can expect China to test this newly-recovered resolve by applying more pressure in the same places or elsewhere. And that is what Beijing is doing today in the waters off Vietnam. It is calling Obama’s bluff. Expect more pressure against Manila and Tokyo soon.

Of course this carries risks for China. It does not want to fight America, so it must be confident in the judgment that America will back down and desert its friends rather than engage in conflict with China, even if backing down badly weakens the U.S. position in Asia. This confidence reflects two key judgments by China’s leaders.

First, they believe that China’s new anti-access/area denial capabilities can deny America a quick and easy victory in an maritime clash in the East Asian littoral waters. They have been reassured by America’s own Air-Sea Battle doctrine that the U.S. knows it cannot prevail in these waters without launching a major campaign of strikes against Chinese territory. Such strikes would obviously risk a major escalation which might not stop below the nuclear threshold. So China’s leaders think their U.S. counterparts understand that a war with China today is one that America could not be confident of either winning or limiting.

Second, Beijing believes the balance of resolve is on China’s side. Washington clearly wants to preserve its role in Asia, but Beijing is even more determined to win power at the U.S.’ expense. China’s conduct suggests that the leadership in Beijing believes Washington understands this imbalance of resolve. That makes the Chinese confident that U.S. leaders will not assume that China would back down first in a crisis.

The idea that China might believe these things comes as a surprise to many outside China, including, one suspects, many in Washington. U.S. policy towards China, including the pivot itself, is based on contrary assumptions. The consensus is that Beijing is not really serious about challenging U.S. leadership in Asia because it is simply not willing to risk a confrontation with America which Beijing’s leaders must know they would lose, and they do not care enough about expanding China’s role in Asia to take that risk.

If that’s true, then China’s conduct is clearly foolish. But before assuming that the Chinese leaders are fools, we would be wise to wonder whether they really do believe what Washington assumes they believe. I’m pretty sure they do not.

Asia today therefore carries the seeds of a truly catastrophic episode of mutual misperception. Both Washington and China are steadily upping the stakes in their rivalry as China’s provocations of US friends and allies become more flagrant and America’s commitments to support them become more categorical.

Both believe they can do this with impunity because both believe the other will back down to avoid a clash. There is a disconcertingly high chance that they are both wrong.

Someone needs to change the nature of the game to avert the risk of disaster.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6427

OBAMA SPRINTING TO FINISH LINE TO ‘TRANSFORM’ AMERICA

David Limbaugh

It obviously doesn’t bother President Obama a whit to usurp congressional power to impose more draconian environmental regulations – and probably not much more to do so in an election year, even when his action will hurt Democrats.

What’s he going to do now, you ask?

Well, his Environmental Protection Agency, in deference to and collusion with Obama’s war on domestic energy producers, has unveiled a proposed rule to mandate power plants to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from levels 25 years earlier.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the rule would affect hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants and hit America’s 600 coal-fired power plants the hardest. The rule, says the Journal, “is a major element of (Obama’s) attempt to secure a second-term legacy.”

Someone please deliver Obama the memo: He has already secured his second-term, first-term and entire-term legacy by doing more harm to this nation across the board than not only any former president but any other human being in our history. Why can’t he just be satisfied with the damage he’s already caused?

Obama demagogued the announcement by joining a conference call with the American Lung Association, depicting the imposition of the rule as vital for public health and – by all means – “to reduce the carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to climate change.”

Is climate change that bizarre phenomenon I’ve experienced all my life in which one season it’s hot, the next it’s in between and the next it’s cold? Or is it when it’s blazing hot on a July afternoon before a summer shower cools things off?

Nope. Climate change is the elaborate cover that enables environmentalist extremists to get away with having issued apocalyptic warnings decades ago about “global cooling” and then shamelessly and seamlessly shifting their hysteria to anticipated “global warming” and now remorselessly settling today for just plain old “climate change.”

One of the most insidious techniques Obama has employed to wreak havoc on America and its institutions has been the imposition of laws and rules with delayed effective dates so that the public will not immediately realize the enormity of the hardships and destruction being caused.

Look at the delays he built in to Obamacare, including the thousands of preferential exemptions from the law he extended to buy off opposition and ward off political challenges during the various election years. Look at the trillions of dollars he is spending now to create the illusion that the economy is stronger than it is, with willful disregard for its bankrupting effect on future generations of Americans. The same is true with his refusal to reform entitlement programs, whose $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities is a ticking time bomb for America’s financial stability. The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill was sold as a measure to prevent further consolidation of banking power, and we are already seeing that it is doing just the opposite. But why should Obama care? He got his law passed, and it’s having his desired – as opposed to promised – effect.

The same is true of this new EPA emissions rule. The rule would give states and companies as much as 15 years to comply and thus presumably reduce both their opposition and the public’s.

Not surprisingly, the White House is deceitfully promising – as it did with Obamacare when no one could prove otherwise in advance – that this rule would lower costs and create jobs. Are you kidding me? No intellectually honest person could believe that. Obama doesn’t even want the rule to lower costs and create jobs. This is all part of his pre-announced plan to bankrupt conventional energy producers.

Obama will doubtlessly line up the usual corporate suspects to announce their support for his bill – those he will have bought off through crony capitalism by ensuring the rule somehow would benefit them. Just as he lined up the white-coated physicians and insurance executives to stand with him in passing Obamacare, he’ll hail this support as proof that it’s in the best interests of American businesses and America itself.

But the Washington Examiner’s Timothy Carney notes that corporate lobbyists are divided on Obama’s current climate measure because it would benefit some companies and hurt others. He will garner the vocal support of those businesses that would profit from the regulations, a technique used by politicians to advance previous environmental regulations.

It is disturbing to contemplate the sheer power of this federal government, especially its unchecked and constitutionally unauthorized administrative branch, to whimsically issue such far-reaching decrees that negatively impact so many businesses and industries and so many lives – all in the name of helping them. The Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates that the federal regulatory leviathan currently costs the U.S. economy some $1.86 trillion annually, which amounts to a hidden tax of nearly $15,000 per household.

Obama is proceeding apace to consummate his wholesale destruction, er, fundamental transformation of America, and adding insult to injury, he’s doing it outside the scope of his constitutional authority.

He will not be denied. But he’s making sure America will be.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6425

Prophecy Fulfilled – We need to learn Romans chapters 9-11

Most humans on planet earth know the Pope visited Israel this past week. Some call it the Holy Land, some call it “Palestine,” some call it Israel. It sort of depends on one’s worldview.

There was a telling interview given by Bishop Munib Younan, after the Pope’s visit. Younan is the president of the Lutheran World Federation, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church Bishop of Palestine and Jordan in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

Got it?

The Palestinians were as keen on the Pope’s visit as anyone else, given the opportunities for propaganda.

Born in Jerusalem in 1950, Younan often says politically correct things, but still embraces and advances the Palestinian narrative: it’s all Israel’s fault. So it was that one of his comments is more fodder for marginalizing Israel:

The Mass gave the Palestinian people – both Christians and Muslims – a feeling of hope. To see the Palestinian President, the Prime Minister, the Ministers, Heads of Churches – all of these people attending, with locals, with people from Galilee, with people from all over the world, over 10,000 people in Manger Square – raised the morale of the Palestinian people. While the Palestinians are under occupation we need a leader to show that the world is listening and hearing us and I believe Pope Francis showed this to our people.”

Now, all this reminds me of a quote from Caroline Glick, in a February 13, 2009 Jerusalem Post column:

“The existential threats Israel faces today from Iran and its proxies are exacerbated by the fact that the West’s position on Israel is swiftly converging with the Arab world’s position on Israel.”

I cannot escape the gigantic, overwhelmingly critical truth that biblical eschatology points to a world infested with anti-Semitism. At a moment designated by God, the international community will come against Israel in a final attempt to exterminate the Jews. The most specific prophecies specifically say that Jewish Jerusalem will be the match that lights a global confederation coordinated to wipe Israel out.

These above quotes speak to that and they obviously were spoken in our time. At the same time the Pope visited Israel, Jordan’s King Abdullah gave a speech in which he trumpeted the growing cooperation between Christians and Muslims.

This type of cooperation—called “interfaith dialogue”—is spreading in the American church. Recently, Ed Stetzer of LifeWay once again whitewashed Rick Warren’s involvement in this area. Texas pastor Bob Roberts Jr. continues to chortle about his linking arms with imams and mullahs, even hosting them in his church.

Then, just this week, I heard for the first time (after several attempts) from Sami Awad, director of The Holy Land Trust. Awad of course spearheads efforts to pry support for Israel away from evangelicals.

Awad was responding to my request for a comment about the recent incident in which the IDF allegedly bulldozed 1,500 mature fruit trees belonging to the Daoud Nassar family, near Bethlehem. There are disputed reports about this incident.

Awad said to me in response:

“I believe that in situations of conflict and war there are in most cases grey areas as to what happened? and who started first? and why people do the things they do. In the Palestinian and Israeli context we have many shades of the gray; from out political and theological perspectives and biases we many times fall into traps where we may not justify or excuse an act of violence but bring an understanding of it as being a response to something that happened. Every once in a while you get a story like the Nasser family and the uprooting of hundreds of their trees and the only history behind that is desire by some of the nearby settlers to take over their land and there is no security or political precedent for the act and the fact that the Nasser family pants trees in their legally recognized land is a threat for the future expansion of the settlements. I hope that people look at this situation not in the political context of the conflict but just as a case that cannot be accepted and justified and therefore something has to be said and done especially to those who are committed to Israel and its rights to exist.” 

Personally, I see a veiled threat in the last sentence. This follows the pattern now established by others in the American Christian community, from those like David Gushee and Brian McLaren. They have marginalized those of us who support Israel—knowing perfectly well what they are doing—and in the wider picture, Israel is being maligned daily around the world.

Scripture tells us it will be this way.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6420

DUST BOWL CONDITIONS HAVE RETURNED TO KANSAS, OKLAHOMA AND NORTH TEXAS

The region is now in the midst of a devastating multi-year drought

 

Image Credits: Public domain

by Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse| May 28, 2014

 

In early 1978, a song entitled “Dust in the Wind” by a rock band known as Kansas shot up the Billboard charts. When Kerry Livgren penned those now famous lyrics, he probably never imagined that Dust Bowl conditions would return to his home state just a few short decades later. Sadly, that is precisely what is happening.

When American explorers first traveled through north Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, they referred to it as “the Great American Desert” and they doubted that anyone would ever be able to farm it. But as history has shown, when that area gets plenty of precipitation the farming is actually quite good. Unfortunately, the region is now in the midst of a devastating multi-year drought which never seems to end. Right now, 56 percent of Texas, 64 percent of Oklahoma and 80 percentof Kansas are experiencing “severe drought”, and the long range forecast for this upcoming summer is not good. In fact, some areas in the region are already drier than they were during the worst times of the 1930s. And the relentless high winds that are plaguing that area of the country are kicking up some hellacious dust storms. For example, some parts of Kansas experienced a two day dust storm last month. And Lubbock, Texas was hit be a three day dust storm last month. We are witnessing things that we have not seen since the depths of the Dust Bowl days, and unless the region starts getting a serious amount of rain, things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get any better.

Over the past two months, very high winds and bone dry conditions have made the lives of ordinary farmers in the state of Kansas extraordinarily difficult. Just check out the following excerpt from a recent article posted on Agriculture.com

The dust has settled, but for how long no one can be sure. At any moment, the winds may blow, moving the topsoil — soil that took Mother Nature generations to craft — even farther from its origin.

One farmer reckons that precious topsoil, native to his farm in Kearny County, Kansas, now sits in a field at least 200 miles away, blown there by the relentless winds of March and April 2014.

Affecting counties in western Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, and eastern Colorado, it was reminiscent of what folks in the same region faced 80 years ago.

“There were several days we couldn’t see 100 yards in front of us,” says Tom Hauser, a farmer near Ulysses, Kansas. “We didn’t know where the dust was coming from. It was moving in here from somewhere else, just like it did back in the 1930s.”

When heavy winds blow day after day but there is no rain, it creates ideal conditions for dust storms. According to the same article that I just mentioned, the average wind speed in the little community of Syracuse, Kansas has been over 50 miles an hour so far this year…

Since the beginning of 2014, the average maximum daily wind speed in Syracuse, Kansas, is 50.6 miles per hour, according to the Kansas State University Weather Data Library. In that same time, Syracuse has received just 1 inch of total precipitation.

That is a recipe for disaster.

“I’ve had to chisel more ground this year than the last 20 years put together,” says Gary Millershaski, who farms near Lakin in Kearny County. Chiseling the ground roughs it up, and helps prevent soil from blowing – at least for a little while.

I couldn’t imagine living somewhere with such high winds day after day.

But this is what farmers in the High Plains have to deal with on a constant basis.

And needless to say, when things are this dry those kinds of winds can kick up some immense dust storms. In fact, a dust storm in late Aprilwas so large that it covered most of the region…

Monday’s dust storm was so large it covered most of Kansas, western Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle and eastern Colorado, said weather service meteorologist Jeff Hutton in Dodge City. Tuesday’s dust cloud was more localized, only found in some parts of Kansas.

“That is what happens when you get drought, a lack of vegetation and you have wind,” Hutton said. “I mean, that is just the nature of the High Plains. And then that dirt that was lofted is eventually carried into eastern Kansas.”

When one of these dust storms strikes, you want to get indoors and stay there. It isn’t even safe to be driving. When you can’t even see five feet in front of you, the odds of getting into a fatal accident rise exponentially. Just check out what happened earlier this year near the little town of Liberal, Kansas

At least 12 vehicles were involved in an pileup accident near Liberal, Kansas.

The accident happened around 1:40 p.m., nine miles southwest of Liberal. It appears that blowing dust limited visibility so severely that it cause vehicles to not see each other until it was too late and they collided. One report states that visibility was less than five feet.

According to Chief Anthony Adams of the Tyrone Fire Department in Oklahoma, six of the vehicles involved were cars and trucks, the other six were tractor trailers.

As bad as things are in Kansas right now, the truth is that things are probably even worse down in Texas. Amarillo has had 10 dust storms so far this year, and Lubbock has already had 15 days of dust stormsin 2014…

The number of dust storms seems to rise with the length of the drought. Amarillo has had 10 this year; it had none in 2010. The city is about 10 percent drier now than the 42 months that ended April 30, 1936, and drier than the state’s record drought in the 1950s.

Lubbock already has seen 15 days with dust storms this year, the National Weather Service said.

And remember, we haven’t even gotten to the summer months yet.

As conditions get even worse in the heartland of America, it is going to end up deeply affecting all of us. The farmers and ranchers that live there provide a tremendous amount of food for the rest of the country, and food prices are already starting to rise at an alarming pace.

So what is going to happen if this drought extends for several more years or even longer?

Some experts such as paleoclimatologist Edward Cook have suggested that we could be in the midst of a “megadrought” that could last for decades or even centuries.

Many of those that were convinced that we could never see a return of the Dust Bowl days are now being forced to reevaluate their beliefs. According to the National Weather Service, parts of Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma are already drier than they were in the 1930s. The following is an excerpt from a recent National Geographic article entitled “Parched: A New Dust Bowl Forms in the Heartland“…

Four years into a mean, hot drought that shows no sign of relenting, a new Dust Bowl is indeed engulfing the same region that was the geographic heart of the original. The undulating frontier where Kansas, Colorado, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma converge is as dry as toast. The National Weather Service, measuring rain over 42 months, reports that parts of all five states have had less rain than what fell during a similar period in the 1930s.

It is hard to put into words how incredibly serious this all is.

A few years ago, when I wrote articles with titles such as “20 Signs That Dust Bowl Conditions Will Soon Return To The Heartland Of America“, a lot of people laughed.

Not that many people are laughing now.

The truth is that we are now in the midst of the worst drought crisis since the days of the Great Depression.

Fortunately, over the past week or so there has been some rain in some of the hardest hit areas. Let us hope that this is a sign of better things to come.

Because if this drought does not come to an end, it is going to become much, much more expensive for Americans to feed their families.

And considering the fact that 49 million Americans are already facing food insecurity, that is a threat that should not be taken lightly.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=6406

BIBLE BELT MYSTERY: DIVINE OR FROM DEVIL?

Georgia Guidestone statements:

  1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature
  2. Guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity
  3. Unite humanity with a living new language
  4. Rule passion – faith – tradition – and all things with tempered reason
  5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts
  6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court
  7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials
  8. Balance personal rights with social duties
  9. Prize truth – beauty – love – seeking harmony with the infinite
  10. Be not a cancer on the earth – Leave room for nature – Leave room for nature

ELBERTON, Ga. – In a remote area populated by ramshackle houses, rusted trailer homes and decrepit barns, a mysterious monument rises from the red Georgia clay, cordoned off from the surrounding cow pasture by a barbed-wire fence.

As seen from State Route 77, the Georgia Guidestones might be dismissed as a roadside oddity, attracting the occasional lost traveler.

There would be no other reason for a tourist to visit Elbert County, Ga., or its main city of Elberton, where entrance signs read: “Welcome to the Granite Capital of the World.” This tiny town 90 miles northeast of Atlanta might not have much, but it does have granite, and this singular fact figures prominently in the story of how it ended up with a monument that manages to both attract and repel, depending on one’s worldview.

At the Georgia Guidestones on a recent Saturday, despite the cold drizzle and cloudy skies, a steady stream of pilgrims found their way to what is known as “America’s Stonehenge.”

Some come to the 19-foot-tall behemoth out of curiosity, having seen one or more of the documentaries about the hidden origins of the Guidestones, such as the 2011 episode of Brad Meltzer’s “Decoded” on The History Channel.

Ellie Crystal’s Crystalinks.com, the Lucky Mojo Esoteric Archive, Welsh Witchcraft and other New Age websites have featured articles on the Guidestones over the years, as have some Christian sites.

An assortment of UFO buffs and New Age hippie-types can be found paying homage to the Guidestones on any given day.

According to the neopagan group Welsh Witchcraft, there have been many rituals performed at the site in Elberton.

“Witches, druids, ceremonial magicians, native American, Christian, and neo-pagan groups have all made use of the site for their own purposes over the last 10 years,” according to an article on the group’s website, tylwythteg.com. “It was no accident that the Guidestones were located near a major geodetic alignment and over a Power Point.”

One young woman on May 17 said she had driven 45 miles to see the monument and was not disappointed. The woman, dressed in black, walked slowly between the stone pillars, as if bathing in some sort of magnetic aura not visible to the uninitiated.

“It feels like I’ve been hugged by God,” she said. “If you look by this stone, it’s like you can see heaven.”

Another young couple came with their 5-month-old baby boy. Unfazed by the light rain, they posed for pictures in front of the monument, then sat on a blanket and had lunch, taking in the moment as they gazed intermittently at the granite edifice surrounded by nothing but empty fields.

But even as some treat the Guidestones as holy ground, others see it as a sinister sign of things to come. In 2008, vandals used paint and polyurethane in an attempt to deliver their own message over the top of the messages inscribed in the Guidestones – “F— the New World Order” the graffiti said.

Others, such as conspiracy researcher and author Mark Dice, have referred to the Guidestones as “The Ten Commandments of the Anti-Christ” and called for their destruction.

“The message of the Georgia Guidestones is absolutely appalling, and the residents in Elberton should be outraged and be fighting to have them removed,” Dice said in a statement posted on his website. “The Elberton Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that Elberton County owns the property, and contrary to other reports, they are not on private land.”

A call to ‘unity’ with a divisive message

Each of the four slabs of granite is inscribed with a set of 10 rules or “guides” for humankind, in eight modern languages – English, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Swahili, Spanish, Hindi and Chinese. The capstone contains the message “Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason,” written in four ancient languages – Babylonian Cuneiform, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Classical Greek and Sanskrit.

The first and most controversial rule etched into the granite stones is to “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.”

This would require the removal of 90 percent of the world’s current population of seven billion people and about 80 percent of the population that was present on the Earth at the time the Guidestones were erected in 1980. This is followed by directive No. 2, to “Guide reproduction wisely, improving fitness and diversity” and No. 3 to “Unite humanity with a living new language.”

No. 6 suggests nations settle disputes in a World Court, while No. 8 urges societies to “balance personal rights with social duties.”

The 10th and final command: “Don’t be a cancer on the Earth. Leave room for nature. Leave room for nature” implies a strong environmental agenda.

Who is responsible for Guidestones?

Part of the appeal of the Guidestones could be the mysterious nature of how they ended up here on a hilltop in Elbert County in 1980. Nobody knows who was behind the placing of the massive carved stones except for a local banker, who was sworn to secrecy. All that is known is a man calling himself “R.C. Christian” – he admitted this was not his real name – walked into the Elberton Granite Finishing Co. in June of 1979 and put in an order for granite monuments that was larger than any the company had ever received. Lots of articles have since been published, including some that speculate R.C. Christian was the front man for a secret society of Rusicrucians, a Masonic order that traces its roots to 17th century Germany and a man named Christian Rosenkreuz.

R.C. Christian told the granite company he represented “a small group of loyal Americans who believe in God.” He gave specific instructions that the monument should be aligned astronomically to serve as “a clock, a compass and a calendar.” A hole drilled in one slab lines up with the North Star while another port hole in the capstone is positioned so that the sun shines through it at 12 noon each day.

The monument’s messages caused quite a stir in this small farming community when they were unveiled on March 22, 1980, before a gathering of about 300. Reportedly Yoko Ono was among the dignitaries in attendance that day. The widow of John Lennon later praised the inscribed messages as “a stirring call to rational thinking.”

But not everyone sees the stone structure’s messages as rational or even humane.

Some see darkness and a cold-blooded call to forced depopulation under a world government.

Dr. Stan Monteith, a retired orthopedic surgeon and Christian broadcaster with California-based Radio Liberty, is one of several researchers who have looked into the Guidestones’ project.

In an article posted on Radio Liberty’s website, Monteith warns of a dire message hiding in plain view on the granite slabs.

“Limiting the population of the earth to 500 million will require the extermination of nine-tenths of the world’s people. The American Stonehenge’s reference to establishing a world court foreshadows the current move to create an International Criminal Court and a world government. The Guidestones’ emphasis on preserving nature anticipates the environmental movement of the 1990s, and the reference to ‘seeking harmony with the infinite’ reflects the current effort to replace Judeo-Christian beliefs with a new spirituality,” Monteith writes.

A tie to the U.N.?

It is hard to look at the 10 guidelines inscribed on the granite and not recognize themes held in common with the United Nations and its well-documented agenda to depopulate the planet and further the cause of global governance.

To understand the Guidestones, Monteith suggests taking a look at the contents of the Earth Charter drafted under the auspices of Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong from 1994 through 2000.

It was during this timeframe that the United Nations launched its push toward “sustainable development,” a concept adopted by the American Planning Association that has since been at least partially implemented by nearly every major city in America.

The Earth Charter followed the U.N. Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. Earth Charter serves as the basis for the U.N. document known as Agenda 21/Sustainable Development. The U.S. Congress passed a bipartisan resolution adopting Agenda 21/Sustainable Development in 1992, committing the United States to implement the doctrine in all agencies of the federal government without signing a U.N. treaty.

“In that (Earth Charter) document you will find an emphasis on the same basic issues: control of reproduction, world governance, the importance of nature and the environment, and a new spirituality,” Monteith writes: “The similarity between the ideas engraved on the Georgia Guidestones and those espoused in the Earth Charter reflect the common origins of both.”

Strong, who contributed to a book “Only One Earth – the Long Road via Rio to Sustainable Development,” is believed by some to have inspired the works of Al Gore on climate change.

Another key figure in the creation of the Earth Charter was Steven Clark Rockefeller, a fourth-generation member of the Rockefeller family and an advisory trustee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Rockefeller is described as a philanthropist who focuses his financial giving “on education, Planned Parenthood, human rights and environmental causes.”

Planned Parenthood is the world’s largest provider of abortions.

But Gore, Gorbachev, Strong and Rockefeller are not the only wealthy elites pushing for depopulation.

In London’s Sunday Times, an article appeared on May 24, 2009, that described the following meeting.

“Some of America’s leading billionaires have met secretly to consider how their wealth could be used to slow the growth of the world’s population and speed up improvements in health and education.

“The philanthropists who attended a summit convened on the initiative of Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, discussed joining forces to overcome political and religious obstacles to change.

“Described as the Good Club by one insider it included David Rockefeller Jr., the patriarch of America’s wealthiest dynasty, Warren Buffett and George Soros, the financiers, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and the media moguls Ted Turner and Oprah Winfrey.”

Turner, in a 1996 interview with Audubon Magazine, said, “A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95 percent decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

Twelve years later, in a 2008 interview at Philadelphia’s Temple University, Turner said he would settle for a 70 percent reduction, to two billion people living on the planet. “We have too many people. That’s why we have global warming. We need less people using less stuff,” Turner said.

Turner, a father of five children, has also called for a global one-child policy, as reported in a Dec. 5, 2010, article by the Globe and Mail of Toronto.

“Mr. Turner – a long-time advocate of population control – said the environmental stress on the Earth requires radical solutions, suggesting countries should follow China’s lead in instituting a one-child policy to reduce global population over time,” the newspaper reported. “He added that fertility rights could be sold so that poor people could profit from their decision not to reproduce.”

Turner was then quoted as saying, “If we’re going to be here [as a species] 5,000 years from now, we’re not going to do it with seven billion people.”

Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of the Queen of England, also shares the opinion that human beings are far too ubiquitous on planet Earth.

“In the event that I am reincarnated, I would like to return as a deadly virus, to contribute something to solving overpopulation,” the prince was quoted saying in an August 1988 article in Deutsche Press Agentur.

Prince Philip, who has fathered four children of his own, has for more than 40 years “been warning that overpopulation is storing up disaster for mankind and that without stringent measures to control it, the planet is doomed,” according to an Aug. 18, 2013, article in the British newspaper, The Sunday Express.

Secret sponsor divulges agenda in pamphlet

Further insights into the agenda of those who financed the Guidestones can be found in the Georgia Guidestones Guidebook, published in 1981 by the Elberton Granite Finishing Co., a copy of which can be found at the Elbert County Public Library.

One chapter of the 50-page pamphlet contains the “purpose” for the monument in the words of the mysterious group that paid for it.

“It is very probable that humanity now possesses the knowledge needed to establish an effective world government. In some way that knowledge must be widely seeded in the consciousness of all mankind. Very soon the hearts of our human family must be touched and warmed so we will welcome a global rule of reason.”

The document refers to the monument as “a cluster of graven stones” whose purpose is “to convey our ideas across time to other human beings… We hope they will merit increasing acceptance and that through their silent persistence they will hasten in a small degree the coming Age of Reason.”

To some Christian leaders, the Guidestones represent a worldly affirmation of end-times deception foretold in the Bible.

David Reagan, founder and senior evangelist at Lamb and Lion Ministries in McKinney, Texas, is one such leader.

“The Bible tells us that Satan disguises himself as ‘an angel of light’ and that his servants disguise themselves as ‘servants of righteousness.’ Isn’t it interesting that the man who financed the Georgia Guidestones called himself ‘R.C. Christian’? Is that a coincidence or a revelation?”

Reagan wrote in an article on his website. “We live in an age of deception. Jesus said that in the end times ‘false christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect’ (Matthew 24:24). We must be spiritually discerning. We must test the spirits.”

guide stones

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