The greatest danger posed by a nuclear Iran would be the increased likelihood of a Middle East nuclear war, Dennis Ross said on Tuesday.
"If Iran has nuclear weapons, the potential for nuclear war in the Middle East goes up dramatically," Ross, who just retired as the White House's top Iran policy official, said during his first post-Obama administration address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
"You are not going to have a stable situation where anyone can feel that they are going to wait," he said. "If there is the slightest indication that Iran is changing its readiness, can Israel wait? ... The potential for miscalculation would be enormous."
Also in the news:
Iran Propositions Saudis, Seeks Anti-US Pact
A large Iranian delegation led by Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi visited Riyadh Monday, Dec. 12 and put a proposition before Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz: Why not bury the Saudi royal house's historic feud with the ayatollahs of Tehran and form an anti-US and anti-Zionist pact for leading the Middle East? The Iranians boasted that after the seizure of America's top secret drone technology by a successful cyber attack they must now be accepted as the superpower of the region.
Iranian sources report that the Iranians pushed hard for a partnership with the Saudis on such issues as oil, Iraqi, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen, on most of which Tehran and Riyadh are in direct collision. Saudi Arabia spearheads the Persian Gulf emirates' campaign to establish a bloc of Sunni Arab kings and rulers to fight off Iranian expansion and the influence of the Shiite Hizballah and Syria.
British Christians Are Making A Stand Against Persecution
There was a remarkable debate in the House of Lords on Friday, which I don't think was widely reported. But it showed that Christians are coming together in a new way to try to influence foreign policy.
John Patten said: "We are facing religious cleansing in parts of the Middle East and may be entering what might be thought of as an Arab winter for Christians, Jews and other minority groups alike on a scale that we have not hitherto seen."
He suggested that the American government would never tolerate a government which persecuted homosexuals the way that Christians are persecuted across the Middle East: "We must persuade our rulers to treat religious freedoms as being just as basic as other, much vaunted human rights."
He urged the government also to stand up for the rights of Turkish Christians, which he said they had repeatedly refused to do. Even though Turkey is regarded as a model of secularised and liberal Islam, Christian congregations there complain of harassment and worse, and the British government, said Patten, will not stand up for them.
The Washington-"Moderate Islam" Alliance
The dynamic of democratic, nationalist and class struggles throughout the Muslim world has set in motion a new constellation of alliances between the imperial West (US and European Union) and Islamist parties, leaders and regimes, dubbed "moderate” by US officials, propagandists and academics.
This essay analyzes the changing contemporary context of imperial domination, especially the demise of longstanding client regimes. It then examines the previous significant ties between western imperial powers and Islamist movements and regimes and the basis of ‘historical collaboration’.
"Moderate” Islamists have become the Empire’s ‘contraceptive of choice’ against any chance the massive Arab peoples’ revolt might give birth to substantive egalitarian social changes and bring those brutal pro-western officials, responsible for so many crimes against humanity, to justice.
The West and their client officials in the military and police have agreed to a kind of "power-sharing’ with the moderate/respectable (read ‘reactionary’) Islamist parties.
Bumpy Ride For Fiscal Compact
The EU’s new fiscal compact is again getting a bumpy ride from a number of quarters in member states, with opposition parties in Ireland warning over loss of sovereignty and the leaders of the Czech Republic and Finland also underlining concerns.
In non-eurozone Prague on Tuesday, Prime Minister Petr Necas stressed to reporters that the government must wait for full details of the new agreement, which calls for tighter fiscal discipline and monitoring of budgets by the EU, before it can sign up to it.
In Finland on Tuesday, the prime minister, Jyrki Katainen, said that the government could not agree to a transfer of national budget sovereignty to the European Commission.
He also added that the country cannot sign off on majority-based decision making on the boards of the EU’s bail-out funds, the European Financial Stability Facility and the soon-to-be-established European Stability Mechanism.
"Times" person of the year? The Protestors in Egypt, Arab spring protestors and OWS protestors...
Oh brother, you've got to be kidding me!
We are indeed living in the age of antichrist...if it is opposed to the God of the Bible then the world rushes to embrace it.
And if it is a godly man like Tim Tebow the world rushes to condemn and persecute.
Come Lord Jesus.
WV: I just saw the same thing on the news. If that doesn't tell you how close we are to going home, nothing will. I also feel the people who persecute Tim Tebow are far more offended by Jesus Christ than they are by Tebow. [John 15:18] Thanks be to God we won't have to put up with this much longer.
Good points Dutch.. Jesus said that if they hate us it is because they first hated me...we are in good company....but it is still annoying that people hate what is good and love what is evil. :(
Hey WV and Dutch, I saw that too and said out loud "what???" unbelievable, well, not really.It won't be long and we will get to see Jesus!
I am answering you here as I have no more to add at the previous thread.
Thank you for not taking my alert personally!
I always agreed with OSAS until it dawned on me (on RR) that it means you remain saved IF you are one of Calvinisms version of the elect for heaven. That means no matter what you do, good or bad, or even if you haven’t actively believed in Christ, you remain one of the elect. So OSAS is conditional. Eternal Security is closer to the truth, yet the Arminianists have made even that conditional in a different way.
Exterior evidence to support salvation is a ‘work’; something we have to do and (according to L.S.) KEEP doing in order to ‘prove’ salvation to everybody else. We look at the outward appearing, God see’s the heart. The majority of ‘pagans’ know how to do good works; even in our lost state, man knows the right way to love and care for his family, yet they aren’t ‘saved’. Good works is not evidence of salvation. In the same way, sadly, bad deeds is s not evidence that a person is NOT saved. (This is just basic stuff, ok?)
We are saved at the very millisecond that we trust Jesus to give us Eternal Life in exchange for the wages of sin which is Eternal death. ‘Eternal Life’ – is – Eternal! This isn’t a ‘work’ it is a free will decision based on (K.A.T.) Knowledge. Assent. Trust. And a little child can, and does do that! Jesus exchanges our un-righteousness for His righteousness; the wages of our sin is debited from our ‘account’ and credited to Jesus’ ‘account’. Jesus paid the price for the sins of the whole world. When a person goes to hell, it won’t be because of sin, because sin is no longer the issue, either pre or post salvation. Sin has been paid for, and all man has to do is accept Christ’s offer of free salvation. So folk will end up in hell because they have not believed/faithed ‘pistis’ in Christ to save.
Judas did not lose his salvation, Scripture calls him the ‘son of perdition/destruction a title which explains that Judas was “…an abandoned character, one utterly lost and given over to evil..." (Tenney) Judas had never believed IN Jesus to save from sin. Although Judas knew Jesus was the Messiah, that he had ‘repented’, or changed his mind, away from the teaching of the Pharisees concerning the Messiah, repentance doesn’t save, it is belief/faith In Christ that saves. The Jews first had to repent of the false teachings about Messiah in order that they could actively believe in him to become saved. There is only ONE condition for Salvation/Justification, and that’s by faith. This is why the Gentile innkeeper was only told ‘believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…” There are more than 200 verses that give belief as the only condition for Salvation/Justification. Repentance, baptism, confession etc that appear to add more conditions to becoming saved, are linked to Sanctification, and keeping in the Faith, not for Justification.
After being Justified, which is declared by God, the Judge, that we are now Righteous, with Christ’s Righteousness, then comes Sanctification which is ‘being saved. Salvation isn’t difficult, it isn’t so called ‘cheap’ Grace – it is entirely FREE GRACE. Not by works lest any should boast.
This is where the mistakes are made, muddling Justification, which is DONE, with Sanctification that is BEING DONE.
Meaning, The Holy Spirit is changing us into Christ’s likeness by degrees, as we respond to Him in repentance. This is how we test OURSELVES to see if we are abiding in the Faith, i.e. bearing the fruit of the Holy Spirit – or, in rebellion – but still saved. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians shows believers behaving like un-believers. Some Arminianists say it is ok to sin all we like, because we are still saved. However Paul deals with that very strongly in Romans 6:15. The consequences of un-repented sin is very serious both in this age and into Eternity. It can even lead to premature death, or a ‘sin unto death’ resulting in a brand plucked from the burning, yet the person remains saved, but loses out at the Bema of Christ. In turn, Christ loses out on a reward/crown that we are to all cast at His feet in worship, acknowledging that we are what we are through God’s Grace.
That’s right: we can do nothing to keep ourselves saved. A few years ago I phrased it this way on RR ‘It isn’t up to us to keep ourselves saved; we are in the double-fisted grip of The Father and The Son, sealed in my the Holy Spirit” This is based on John 10:28,29.Eph 4:30. It is a united work of our Triune God. I think it is Christina that adopted it for her signature – I loved that! :)
I shall have to leave it there for now; it has turned much colder and my fingers and nose are icy.
God bless you.
WV: It also annoys me when dog killers and women abusers get more adulation than Born-Again Christians. It also annoys me in this pollitically correct world when linebacker Stephen Tullock of the Detroit Lions mocks Tim Tebow's Christianity after sacking him, and doesn't get fined for it; and then a wide receiver here in Buffalo gets fined $10,000 for mocking Plaxico Burris shooting himself after scoring against the Jets. But then Jesus warned us to expect these things; and that they would come more frequently at the end. So brother, let's just keep looking up and think about our glorious get-together in Heaven.
EI, I go to a crc church and have been raised as a calvinist. When I read the Heidelberg catechism, the canons of dordt and other Calvinist documents, it seems to say that God isn't just. Chosen without any foreknowledge of works or faith? That's not justice. It's like someone picking at a flower saying "he loves me, he loves me not" and that those who aren't "predestined" for eternal life can't be saved. It just doesn't seem right in my conscience.
You are such a wise young man, i.e. wise with God's wisdom,bless your heart.
You made me laugh in spite of the brr cold! .
"he loves me, he loves me not" :D
They call Calvinism's doctrine 'Tulip'. The opposite side of the same coin is Arminianism and they call that 'Daisy theology' - for the reason you have stated "he loves me, he loves me not" Sad, but so true.
But I am not here to start up the ancient battle, there are genuine believers in both of these views; and God is Judge; but I am really glad you are walking with the Holy Spirit instead of following like a sheeple.
Let God be true and every man a liar!Romans 3:4.
It's an inspiration to meet you Dylan. Out of the mouth of babes - NOT that you are a baby mind; no way! :D
I have missed you! You are too quiet for my liking. :)
Hope and pray all is well with your dear lady wife and the family?
Thinking of you all.
Update: remember my friend I told you about who has a problem with her kidney? She doesn't have to have it removed, but surgery is booked for the day before Easter.
Doc, continued prayer for your wife.
And thanks EI for that compliment. Ive been meaning to ask for awhile about this community's thoughts on Calvinism, but you answered before I asked, so thanks.
You posted your email in the last section's comments with your 'hushmail' address. I noted a few days ago your comments about hushmail and that it uses military encryption and you need to keep it active. My question is, if it is using the military encryption, won't they be able to break the code? Just wondering.
Kathleen, Great question. First, they can break any code that would be feasible for folk like us without sophisticated high budget technology behind it.
It is not easily broken...the secret is the Pass Phrase, make it long and complicated. The encryption uses your pass phrase as the key for the encryption. There's a lot more to it but suffice it to say it would take lots of effort, time, sophisticated software....you get the picture. Someone would really have to devote significant resources for your email to be anything but gibberish.
Hope that helps.
Oh, and the term Military Encryption just refers to the level of sophistication....not a specific encryption code.
Thanks Caver, that makes sense.
Hi sue I've read through your two above treatise' on Calvinism probably 4 or 5 times. You seem to have crossed over belief's between Calvin and Arminius. Also being a little slow on comprehension I'm also trying to work out if your for or against Calvinism and if the majority of your first one is quotations or your beliefs; not to start something but for clarification.
Dave, being raised Calvinist, I can vouch that she's being pretty accurate with the doctrine of "elect" and the "tulip" (or, as my pastor calls it "ULTIP") doctrine. I believe that calvinists are saved, just that their doctrine of the elect is incorrect. In one of the confessions it says that God chose the elect in eternity without any foreknowledge of faith or works. I'll post that quote when I have the chance. And those predestined for eternal punishment can't be saved, according to Calvinism.
Well Dylan Romans 9:16-18 seems to say the opposite, to me anyway. I mean it plainly says, and I quote from the first version of the NLT, "So receiving Gods promise is not up to us. We can't get it by choosing it or working hard for it. God will show mercy to anyone HE CHOOSES.
For the scriptures say that God told pharaoh, "I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you, and so that my fame might spread throughout the earth" So you see God shows mercy to some just because He wants to, and He CHOOSES TO MAKE SOME PEOPLE REFUSE TO LISTEN".
Dylan those verses come across as very hard and unkind but they are God's verses. He said them through Paul. It's just like the Jews. I believe that God has hardened their heart so that a pre-set number of gentiles can come into the faith. I'm sorry Dylan but it's all Biblical, Rom 11:28-29, "Many of the Jews are now enemies of the good news. But this has been to your benefit, for God has given His gifts to you gentiles. Yet the Jews are still his chosen people because of his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".
Mate it's as plain as day to me. God has actually stopped the majority of the Jews from being saved so a PRESET number of gentiles can come into the faith. These three chapters talk about Israel being the Olive tree and us gentiles being the wild olive branches. I can't go around bragging that I got saved because I decided to accept Christ as my saviour. God chose me to do it. John 6:44 clearly says, at least to me,
"for people CAN'T COME TO ME unless the Father who sent me DRAWS THEM TO ME, and at the last day I WILL raise them from the dead". Clearly the father doesn't draw everyone to Christ because not everyone is saved.
To me TULIP is a pretty good summary of God's ruling over everything (everything also means HIS plan of salvation) and who is worthy of eternal praise, ROM 9:5.
There's many other of these sad and sorry verses that so many of us reject and leave them out of our doctrinal belief's. Us humans are renowned for doing that. We even get all proud and arrogant and believe that everyone else is condemned to hell unless you "agree with me".
The above is my attempt at a breif academic argument for Calvanism. and I'm thinking one two of us might come back and say that this is the worst contexted use of scripture they have ever seen. But please remember, I didn't write them, God did.
God bless all Dave.
Hello Dave D U
My comment was answering several questions WBORN56 had asked me on the previous thread. So yes, it was a ‘cross-over’ as you rightly observed, between the two sides of the same coin and what the Bible actually teaches about Eternal Security etc.
To be brief, Calvin was a man used of God to BEGIN the reformation – the move away from Rome – along came Rome’s Counter Reformation, and the Reformation stalled, so much of RC Dogma remained unchallenged. After Calvin’s death, his successor Beza (sp) made many additions to the work, so what is presented today, and bears the name of Calvin; is far removed and twisted into an ‘ism’ which is dried up legalism. Arminianus made an attempt to balance Calvins errors, but failed and was murdered at the nod of Calvin for ‘heresy’.
I reject both Calvinism and Arminianism. As with all Cults, they both contain a degree of truth and scholars from both sides have made some valuable insights; but I totally reject their method of interpretation which is ‘Covenant Theology’ invented by Calvin, which uses allegory to interpret prophecy, while using a literal hermeneutic for the rest of Scripture – bizarre and confusing.
Trusting that clarifies my post, as I need to start a busy day! :)
If I may share with you all again my understanding of this very important subject.
Romans 11 speakes of the jews being likened to an Olive tree, and God still holds the Jews dear to his heart because Paul said in 11:28-29 that the Jews are still Gods chosen people.
In 11:13-24 Paul likens Israel to an olive tree and the gentiles are the wild olive branches which have been grafted in. Like all tree's they only have a certain number of branches and this is a good arguement for God only allowing a certain number of gentiles to come into the faith. For Paul said in vs 16-21 that the Jews have been broken off to allow us gentiles to be grafted in. To me that gives a picture of a tree that does not have the capacity to be endlessly grafted. In fact we are only grafted in the place of where the jews should be.
11:25 says that "some of the Jews have hard hearts but this will only last until the complete number of gentiles comes to Christ". If I take this at face value, and if I believe that God rules over everything including peoples salvation, Rom 9:5, then I come to the conclusion that God has made a ruling and determined that a complete or pre-determined number of gentiles are to be grafted into the places of where jews should be. All this "replacement grafting" is designed by God to make the jews jelous Rom 10:19. Now if that "complete number of gentiles" mean't every gentile then God has failed in his promise to bring all gentiles to salvation and if that's the case then God had better go back in time, resurrect all dead non believing gentiles and save them. If God must do that then he is not sovereign and all powerful and does not "rule over all things". Again if Christ's death on the cross was meant to bring all gentiles to salvation then the cross is a weak occurance and Jesus has failed in his mission.
If I may I believe I have a way of bringing 1Tim 2:4 and Rom 11:25-32 together. God WANTS all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth but what he WANTS AND WHAT HE HAS DECREED WILL ACTUALLY HAPPEN, ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS and this is found in the olive tree scenario. Positionally Christ has died for everyone but because of the limited space on the tree God has decreed only SOME will be saved. (Not that God cant make an endless tree either)
Ive tried to explain as best as I can the olive tree scenario. I'm not claiming to be a theologian or an expert in Romans, but, I do hold firmly to what I believe God is saying in these scriptures, until someone comes along with a better explaination.
I'm open to having pebbles thrown at me, no rocks please..lol. Having only year 10 education and being a warehouse worker this has been a very tiresome task so please correct me gently. I'm open to suggestion.
Bless all, Dave
There is an excellent, modern book about Calvinism named “What Love Is This” by Dave Hunt. It is a really excellent tool to help winkle out the Truth from error.
Sorry I have to rush off now.
Dear o dear! Is it really a good idea that we call certain belief systems "occultic" just because it delves into where no other Christian feels comfortable to go.
Maybe, just maybe god, no wait "GOD" was right in what he said in the bible (sarcasm intended)!!!!!
Dave DU said “I can't go around bragging that I got saved because I decided to accept Christ as my saviour God chose me to do it. John 6:44 clearly says, at least to me,
"for people CAN'T COME TO ME unless the Father who sent me DRAWS THEM TO ME, and at the last day I WILL raise them from the dead". Clearly the father doesn't draw everyone to Christ because not everyone is saved.”
The overwhelming evidence of ‘plain sense’ Scripture, in over 200 verses, there is ONE condition given for Salvation – ‘pistis’ believe/faith IN the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is the free gift offered in Eph2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9. not by works lest any man should boast.
The ‘free gift’ is grammatically linked to Salvation – not faith, which is not a ‘work’ but an act of the will after being given the Knowledge of Christ’s sacrifice; Assenting to that knowledge and Trusting in Jesus to keep His promise to save. This is the traditional and orthodox definition of ‘faith’.
Faith is a decision made upon that what is known; is true. To sit on a chair without doubting it will take one’s weight, is faith directed toward the capability of the chair to do what it was designed for. Faith in Jesus to save us from sin is exactly the same act of faith which is placed in Jesus to do what He says He will do us. There are not two types of faith. There is no such thing as ‘head faith’ and ‘heart faith’. That is a linguistic error invented by John MacArthur by illegitimately changing the orthodox definition of faith
The Geek word ‘kardia’ means heart, mind, attitude and makes NO distinction whatsoever between the mind and the heart.
“ kardia in New Testament Greek covers an area of meaning in which we find such English words as heart, mind, thoughts, intentions and attitude. Those who are translating the New Testament into some other language must consider what words and idioms cover this area of meaning. For example, in some languages thoughts and emotions are described not by a word for the heart, but by a word for the stomach” ( guts, or even kidneys.) Dobson.
Christ does all the work and we choose to accept or reject His work on the cross. The plain sense of Scripture, in more than 200 verses attest that in order to be saved the one condition for salvation is belief/faith. ‘pistis’
Acts 16:30,31 “…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” KJV.
“Calvinists go far beyond what Christ says, reading into His Words what isn’t there.
John 6:37,39, 40,44.
1. All that the Father giveth me [not all that He draws] shall come to me;
2. and him that cometh to me [not everyone the Father draws] I will in no wise cast out.
3. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me [not all whom he draws] I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
4. And…that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him,[not all who are drawn] may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day...
5. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.[all who will be raised up have been drawn, but not all who have been drawn will be raised up]
Read the entire text again – carefully. Christ does not say that all whom the Father DRAWS, but all whom He GIVES to the Son, will come to Him, and He will lose none of them The Father gives Him; they will be raised at the last day.
Of whom is Christ speaking?
….the Bible teaches that in God’s FOREKNOWLEDGE He knew who would believe and who would reject the Gospel. The former are those whom The Father has given the Son. There is nothing here about causing a select few to believe unto salvation and choosing not to save the rest of mankind.
Christ says that no one can come to Him unless The Father draws Him. But He doesn’t say (as White and others claim) that everyone whom The Father draws actually comes to the Son to be saved. There is a genuine desire on God’s part for ALL to be saved and a bone fida OFFER of salvation is made to WHOSOEVER will believe – but – not everyone believes. God’s genuine desire for ALL to be saved is elsewhere stated so often and clearly by prophets, Christ and His Apostles that we dare not impose any interpretation upon this passage to the contrary.”
The element of The Father ‘drawing’ is mentioned by Christ only in this one passage. On the other hand, the promise is encountered repeatedly throughout John’s Gospel “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish…hw that believeth on the Son has everlasting life…he that believeth not the Son shall not see life…if any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink” etc (John3:16-17,36; 7:37) Furthermore, Christ’s statement is clear that not everyone who is DRAWN, but “everyone which SEETH the Son, and BELIEVETH on HIM may have everlasting life…(John 6:40)
Dave Hunt “What Love Is This” page 334.
E.I. said “…I reject both Calvinism and Arminianism. As with all Cults,…”
Dave DU said “…Dear o dear! Is it really a good idea that we call certain belief systems "occultic"…”
Sarcasm is less effective when the facts are wrong.
A ‘cult’ means non-orthodox’ i.e. an aberration from the Biblical text.
‘Occultic’ is ‘supernatural or magic’ relating to, or involving witchcraft and secrets known only to the initiated. There’s a lot of it about!
Come in spinner!
Dave DU said “…I'm open to having pebbles thrown at me, no rocks please..lol. Having only year 10 education and being a warehouse worker this has been a very tiresome task so please correct me gently. I'm open to suggestion”.
One year longer than me Dave, and I was but a hairdresser!
Here comes my tiny piece of ‘pea gravel’ regarding the Olive tree.
An ineffectual theory based upon the faulty premise of Calvinism – it was doomed from the start! My only suggestion is that you read the Bible with a literal hermeneutic and ditch Calvinism.
That said; that’s me said on the subject!
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