Tag Archives: Apostle Peter

General Petraeus, did you Betray Us?

Mark Twain once wryly remarked—essentially—that to not keep up with the news was to be un-informed. But to slavishly believe all that the news media puts out means only that one becomes mis-informed. How much can we really believe about the various news reports concerning the General David Petraeus affair?

I mean, really, what am I to think of the fact that the nation’s former top spy, CIA director Petraeus, didn’t know how to keep secret his adulterous affair with Paula Broadwell?

And Broadwell herself wasn’t an ordinary—married—civilian biographer type who just fell in love with the object of her literary obsession. She was also a former U.S. Army intelligence officer! And she is also accused of having a “substantial” quantity of classified government data on her home computers.

General Petraeus, did you betray us? The American president assures us, “No.”

Can I really believe that Petraeus and Broadwell were, in fact, just silly and hormonal, acting like adolescent kids in high school? And, the timing of the Petraeus affair hitting the news, is it just a coincidence, what with Barak Obama just re-elected as president, and Congress wanting Petraeus to testify about the recent Benghazi terrorist attack that killed the American ambassador to Libya as well as several other American operatives?  As Shakespeare might have penned in an updated version of Hamlet if he was alive and now writing: Something is rotten in America!

What’s really going on? Can we really know? What are we to make of the scent of skullduggery and adultery going on amongst the power elite of Washington? Is anyone among these leaders passionate about their people’s welfare and their people’s business rather than their own sexual and/or political passions?

Consider this warning from the prophet Isaiah about what lies ahead if we continue on the present path of collapsing morals and crumbling ethics exemplified by the Western world’s leader—America:

Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds…. 

Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire;
in your very presence
foreigners devour your land;
it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners….

Except the LORD of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we would have been as Sodom; we would have become like Gomorrah (Isaiah 1:4-7 English Standard Version, v. 9 Coulter translation).

Has Petraeus betrayed us?  President Obama and the FBI assure us that it doesn’t seem the general passed any secrets to his lover—at least that’s what the paper trail seems to say, according to press releases from this power elite. But how about the pillow talk?

Regardless of national security matters, Petraeus the adulterer  is no longer a good role model that Americans and their friends in the West can look up to for inspiration. Why even the Taliban is having a good laugh right now at the mighty Petraeus’ feet of clay.  The shame of it all! Giving such a misogynistic enemy a reason to mock the former point man in the West’s battle against backward, vicious, Islamists!

Sadly, the Petraeus affair is just the tip of an iceberg that merely hints at the enormous danger lurking just out of sight under the official, politically correct waterline: the wide spread decay of the West’s morals and ethics, rotting the heart and soul of our Western civilization from the inside out.

For some time this soul rot has been spreading widely among both the leaders and the led. Throughout history, the loss of noble virtues and high moral standards of conduct have always been the accurate indicators of a societal weakness leading to a political entity’s decline and eventual collapse. Trouble and danger come because moral rot provides the ideal growth medium for tyranny and oppression to flourish. This holds true whether we’re talking about the imaginary Empire of Star Wars fame or today’s American Empire as well as the European Union.

But all is not lost. Hope remains. A small remnant yet perseveres and stands in opposition to this moral landslide. If you resist willful blindness and listen carefully, you might hear the few voices quietly speaking, giving this warning:

Beware! Those who promise you freedom from biblical morality and ethics offer you a politically correct license to commit sexual immorality. Be these seducers high and mighty or low and humble, they are but deceitful pied pipers who desire to lead you to a wasteland devoid of inner peace, intimacy, and personal happiness.  They led Petraeus. And they are leading America also into utter ruin and disaster.  Consider this warning by the Apostle Peter about such cunning pied pipers:

They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong. But Balaam was stopped from his mad course when his donkey rebuked him with a human voice.

These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before (2 Peter 2:15-20 New Living Translation).

Our present life: an illusion of stability?

There are a number of financial newsletters put out by goldbugs with a survivalist bent that are busy prophesying to cyberspace about the eminent default of our financial systems and the resulting collapse of Western civilization and our present consumer/globalist life as we know it.

I don’t doubt that the incredible debt load of the United States is threatening the U.S. dollar’s continuing status as the world’s reserve currency—time is truly running out for the no-longer almighty dollar.

But it is now equally obvious that the Euro is not going to be the sweet alternative that could replace the faltering greenback.  This is because the European Union’s underlying financial contradictions have become all too apparent to many currency speculators who are selling the Euro short on the market and driving its value down. They talk about the Euro being doomed.

After all, how can you have anything but a soap opera or a fairy tale of a currency when you have one central bank with its single currency acting as the exasperated, over-stretched supranational husband trying to manage a polygamous EU marriage involving 27 sovereign wives who each has deeply ingrained habits. Each of these fractious wife-states has peculiarities when it comes to running her own household’s national budget. While Sensible Hilda and Prudent Gertrude may only spend what a no-nonsense budgetary discipline allows, Impulsive Athena and Romantic Maria will beg and borrow to shop on credit till they drop from insolvency! The only solution for the EU is a scary centralizing consolidation of Brussels’ political and economic power on the one hand, and the loss of national sovereignty of the individual EU member states on the other hand.

None of the above bodes particularly well for our future financial stability not to mention our political status quo here in Canada. After all, we play but a short, walk-on, secondary role on this world’s stage. We are not a major power. But, since most of us are neither central bankers nor political heavyweights with either macro-economic or governmental clout, we go about our relatively comfortable, day-by-day routines, assuming or hoping that today’s normalcy is stable and continuing for as far as we care to see into the future. But we are probably kidding ourselves.

On a personal and family level our daily lives are most certainly nothing more than illusions of stability.

This past week reminded me of this sobering truth. One of the pillars of our local church and the mother of one of my friends had a stroke. Then one of my 40-something friends told me that his doctor had given him some very disturbing medical test results.

A few days later while driving to my local shopping centre for an errand I had to stop on a busy two-lane road while the car ahead of me made a left turn. Suddenly I heard behind me the sound of screaming brakes as that heavy-footed driver behind me tried to avoid—unsuccessfully—from crashing into me.  In spite of a sore neck and jumpy nerves, I celebrated being alive one more day and enjoyed a little ice cream.

The following day, last Friday, my brother called me to say my 80ish step-dad was discovered by police 60 miles from his home driving on a bike path, not knowing where he was. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in an advanced stage. He’s now in a nursing home while his wife, my mother, who is  now legally blind due to macular degeneration , is now going to have to change her whole life’s routine as it is no longer possible for her to stay in her home by herself.  Everything in a status quo goes along until… one day, everything changes and can never be the same again.

Our present life in this world is inherently instable whether we’re talking about the big picture or just our mortal selves. And no matter how much we cling to the status quo with our fingernails dug in, one day it will all be ripped from you and me.

Surprisingly, the Judeo-Christian scriptures have something to say about what makes life more stable. On a big picture scale the book of Proverbs says:

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability (Prov. 28:2 NLT trans.)

The prophet Isaiah talked of a time when everything begins to fall apart and become unstable. He made a suggestion of where we can look to preserve our balance and peace of mind in a time of sudden instability:

Look! Listen! 
Tough men weep openly. Peacemaking diplomats are in bitter tears. The roads are empty— not a soul out on the streets. The peace treaty is broken, its conditions violated, its signers reviled. The very ground under our feet mourns….

God is supremely esteemed. His center holds. Zion brims over with all that is just and right. God keeps your days stable and secure—salvation, wisdom, and knowledge in surplus, and best of all, Zion’s treasure, Fear-of-God.

God, treat us kindly. You’re our only hope. First thing in the morning, be there for us! When things go bad, help us out! (Isaiah 33:7-8, 5-6, 2-4 The Message translation)

The bottom line for this Old Covenant prophet was that the only source of stability in a time of instability was to look to the God of the Bible. Not surprisingly, the New Covenant apostles taught much the same thing.

While focusing more on the individual who is faced with mortality, the New Covenant solution to instability is still to focus our priorities God-ward. We are encouraged to incorporate into our daily routine the spiritual wisdom and knowledge that really matters when it comes to how we live our lives.

We may be merely physical beings, depreciating assets, but there still is the possibility that we can convert instability into stability, temporary into permanent, and move away from what is transitory into what is lasting. Consider the inherent stability and permanence proclaimed by the apostle Peter that belongs to Christians who have wholeheartedly embraced the spiritual life:

23You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting Word of God.

24For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off,

25But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you (1 Peter 1:23-25 Amplified version).

You have the opportunity to move from an illusion of stability to the reality of stability and permanence. Are you acting on it? Or do you believe that everything will just continue on just as it is presently without end?

Catholic doctrinal error propagates child abuse scandals!

During the recently completed Easter/Passover season there were a great number of headlines in the various media sources I was following about the latest episode of the Roman Catholic Church and the illicit appetites of its clergy for pedophilia. This time around the scandal of Catholic priests sexually abusing children was stunning Europe.  The media has been talking about incidents in Ireland and Germany where, it seems, some are questioning whether the current pope was actually involved himself in covering up some abuse cases that happened there, during the time he was in charge .

A few years ago the scandal of Roman Catholic priests having sex with children (both boys and girls) in their care was outraging the United States. To settle some of those resulting law suits the American Catholic Church paid out hundreds of millions of dollars just in compensation not to mention their legal bills. Canada also has its own memory of the repeated, widespread abuse of Canadian Catholic children, including aboriginals, by Catholic clergy and other members of Catholic religious orders.

People are disgusted, of course, with the actual wolves in sheep’s clothing who committed those acts that have profoundly hurt and even destroyed so many thousands of innocent lives. Their odious predator names will burn in infamy just as long as their deeds continue to haunt the consciences of those they personally abused as well as their victim’s families!

But most thinking people are also angry with the Roman Catholic hierarchy who habitually protected their pedophile priests while turning a deaf ear to the victims for far too long. People are also angry with Pope Benedict for being unwilling to speak or even issue the appropriate profound apologies for an organization that has caused so much suffering. And actually, today, the Associated Press posted this news story written by Gillian Flaccus:

The future Pope Benedict XVI resisted pleas to defrock a California priest with a record of sexually molesting children, citing concerns including “the good of the universal church,” according to a 1985 letter bearing his signature. The correspondence, obtained by The Associated Press, is the strongest challenge yet to the Vatican’s insistence that Benedict played no role in blocking the removal of pedophile priests during his years as head of the Catholic Church’s doctrinal watchdog office.

When you consider this problem, these angry people are right to insist on an apology. Why? Because the root of this systemic evil of sexual perverseness by Catholic priests does indeed lie with the pope!

How so? Well, the pope and his predecessors—who loudly pretend that they are the direct lineal successors of the Apostle Peter—are directly responsible for refusing to allow their male clergy to follow the Apostle Peter’s own personal example! After all, the Scriptures plainly say that the Apostle Peter was married:

14When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him. (Matthew 8:14-15 New International Version).

Also, consider this statement by the Apostle Paul in defense of his rights to financial support when traveling as a minister of the Gospel:

5Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a believing wife, as do the other apostles and brothers of the Lord and Cephas [Peter]? (1 Corinthians 9:5 New Revised Standard Version).

Next, look at what the Apostle Paul writes about the qualifications for bishops [Gk: episkopos: also elder or minister]

2Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, and apt teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way—for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church (1 Timothy 3:2-5 NRSV).

The problem with the Roman Catholic Church is that they have trusted in their human traditions that engender twisted sexual perversions among their clergy instead of relying on the purifying effect that comes from following the Scriptures first and foremost when setting doctrine and moral standards.

The Creator made man with a strong sex drive as a motivation to cause him to marry a woman and engender children. Through these intimate familial relationships a godly man could learn priceless lessons that could enable him to effectively serve in the Church, the household of the Living God. To deprive the man of this Scripturally approved outlet for his God-given sex drive is like giving a free pass to Satan to pervert the man into a pedophile. The evil fruits of unscriptural doctrine should be evident to all.