Changes and Progress

Insider Advantage

Recently a couple of media articles have focused upon the success of religious schools in New Zealand.  The Christian cynic would say that the day the (overwhelmingly secular) media start to credit Christian schools with success is the day one can safely conclude they must indeed be stellar institutions.  This surely is an occasion when faint praise is not to damn, but to exult.

Notwithstanding the Christian cynic’s view, it is good to see church schools (predominantly Roman Catholic and Anglican) doing so well.  The levels of demand for this kind of education in New Zealand are rising.  Moreover, the demand is coming from non-Christian sections of the community.  Why?  Well, the answers are not hard to find.  New Zealand’s education system is government controlled; the government and its institutions promote the secular, atheistic world-view by the blunt force of law.  Tolerance of the Christian faith is strictly that–concessional tolerance.  The secular establishment tolerates Christianity in the same way one would tolerate animism or clairvoyance–with the mien of polite condescension towards the ignorant.

But conscientious parents are less philosophically jaundiced.
Non-Christian parents, when asked why they value Christian schools, point not just to the high academic standards being achieved, but broader issues like the pastoral care in the school, the quality of teacher-pupil relationships, the acknowledgement that the wider school community has a vital part to play in a successful education programme, and an educational programme that upholds Christian social values.  Parents really appreciate that their children are not going to be inculcated into the “merits” of teenage sexual exploration and experimentation, along with helpful hints to ensure that all parties thoroughly consented at all times.  

Are we witnessing the first signs of the turning of the tide against secularism?  Maybe.  It’s too early to tell.  Atheistic secularism cannot build a civilisation: it can only tear it down.  It has no foundation upon which to build and no centre to hold a civilisation together.  Voltaire and Nietzsche could only tear down.  The resulting wasteland inevitably becomes not just tedious, but eventually abhorrent.  The depredations of  the abortion clinics–once publicised–ensure it.

Education–to be joyous, thrilling, exciting, and liberating–has to be undergirded by a belief in a bright future.  Why else would teachers spend their working lives investing in the future by inculcating truth into the hearts and minds of children?  Secular materialistic atheism just does not cut it.  It cannot.  Over time one finds that it is predominantly the Christians who are left with sufficient hope and joy to devote their lives and and pour out their life-force into the next generation.

Christians, after all, believe in the Creator whose wonderful world, created out of nothing,  has been infected with human pride and malice.  They believe that the Creator’s love for His creation (and thus mankind) has moved Him to also be a Redeemer of the world–to bring it back from the brink, from the abyss.  The future for the human race is, therefore, bright–not because Man is to be falsely revered, but because God is infinite in glory and He cannot deny Himself.  That makes Christians dance on the mountain tops.  It also motivates them to sweat in the classrooms.

A plenitude of studies has shown that teachers make the greatest difference when it comes to education.  Metro summarises the matter:

Teacher quality, especially where staff are motivated and organised to achieve by a good principal, is the greatest predictor of success for kids in school.  Sadly, teaching is undervalued as a career option in New Zealand, so it doesn’t attract enough of our best and brightest young adults.  And it’s too easy for mediocre teachers, who really should be doing something else, to clog up the staffroom. . . . What’s vital is that someone lights up a love of learning and an inner belief that they can and should set themselves high goals.  Striking that match is what a great teacher does.  [Simon Wilson, “24 Things to Know Before You Choose a School”, Metro, July 2015, p.43.] 

Our argument is not that only Christians can be great teachers.  Rather, we contend that on balance a preponderance of great teachers will be found in Christian schools.  Why?  Because they believe in God the Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ–the Saviour of the world.  Therefore, kids are worth it–right down to a thousand generations of them.

Now, even professional Unbelievers are taking some note–for which we are thankful.  But an increasing number of parents had the inside running and voted with their feet long ago.  For which we are even more thankful. 
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The Old Mammogram Canard

Planned Parenthood’s Mammogram Lie

Planned Parenthood’s mendacious PR operation.

Michelle Malkin
National Review Online

The gruesome hits keep coming for the baby butchers of Planned Parenthood. President Obama and his top health officials have one last-ditch response left: Quick, hide behind the imaginary mammogram machine!

As more graphic, money-grubbing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s for-profit aborted-baby-parts racket emerge, thanks to the investigative work of the Center for Medical Progress, desperate Democrats are in full deflection mode. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell defended federal funding for Planned Parenthood this week by invoking the women’s-health shield. “What I think is important is that our HHS funding is focused on issues of preventative care for women, things like mammograms,” Burwell told the House Education and Workforce Committee.

Just one teeny, tiny problem with this defense: It’s a completely calculated fabrication.

The breast-cancer screening charade casts Planned Parenthood as a life-saving provider of vital health services unavailable anywhere else. You may recall that during the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama himself falsely claimed during a debate that the abortion provider administers mammograms to “millions” of women — and liberal CNN moderator Candy Crowley let him get away with it.

On cue, Hollywood activists Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria, and Kerry Washington all attacked the GOP ticket for wanting to “end” funding for “cancer screenings” by cutting off government subsidies for Planned Parenthood’s bloody billion-dollar abortion business. The celebrities in the White House and Tinseltown took their script straight from Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, who purported to speak for countless women for whom Planned Parenthood is “the only way” they can gain access to mammograms. (If the name sounds familiar, Nucatola is the same wine-swishing Josephine Mengele who was exposed on video by the Center for Medical Progress two weeks ago lolling through a business lunch negotiating payments for aborted baby parts.)

Once again, it was undercover pro-life journalists who unmasked the truth.

An investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by the pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast-cancer screenings. “We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona confessed on tape.  Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., admitted: “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine at our clinics.”

Even the liberal Washington Post doled out a three (out of four) Pinocchio rating for the White House’s mammogram lies. “The problem here is that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or even possess the necessary equipment to do so,” the paper’s resident fact-checker reported. “As such, the organization certainly does not ‘provide’ mammograms in the strict sense. Instead, its clinics provide referrals and direct low-income women toward resources to help pay for the procedure. These services are by no means unique to Planned Parenthood. In fact, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society provide them, as well.”

As I’ve pointed out previously, Planned Parenthood’s purported “referral services” to outside mammogram facilities are negligible — especially given the widespread availability of these and other free and low-cost breast- and cervical-cancer screening services across the country, supported by both private and public grants.

Reluctant to do its job and just call out the president as an outright liar, the Washington Post fell short of giving Obama the full four-Pinocchio treatment for his Planned Parenthood mammogram propagandizing, but acknowledged that he has repeated the lies “too many times in one form or another for this to be considered just playing with words to generate a misleading impression.”

The Obama HHS apparently needs to be reminded of its own review exposing the mammography deception. In June 2012, the agency responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. “Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request,” HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.

Zip. Zilch. None. Nada.

Pro-life investigative journalist Lila Rose of Live Action has it right: “It is an alarming dereliction of duty that the Secretary of Health and Human Services refuses to view investigative reports that clearly demonstrate that Planned Parenthood, which receives close to half a million taxpayer dollars a year from the federal government, is engaged in the selling and trafficking of aborted baby body parts for profit,” she said this week. “Ms. Burwell should be investigating Planned Parenthood, not covering for them.”

Ladies, open your eyes and hearts. Watch the videos for yourselves. Get the facts. Unmask the lies. The cackling profiteers of Planned Parenthood don’t care about your breasts. They’re too busy putting price tags on the baby hearts, livers, lungs, and limbs swirling around in bloody pie plates, stacked in their “research” labs, subsidized with your tax dollars and sold to the highest bidders. For “preventative care,” of course.

— Michelle Malkin is the author of the new book Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.  Copyright © 2015 Creators.Com.
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The Call of Levi… a relfection.(Luke 5:27-31)… Following His footsteps: The Ministry of Jesus in Luke’s gospel (part 8)

This week has been dominated for me by coughing and feeling rundown and tired. I don’t think it’s the flu, unless it’s that mysterious strain of it called man flu… But thankfully it seems to be getting better. And all week I’d been tossing up weather I needed to go to the doctor. You see when I go to see the doctor I acknowledge two things… the first is I am sick  and the second is that I can’t help myself, I need someone to bring me back to health. This is the picture Jesus uses to talk of his mission and his revolution of Grace. This is how Jesus answers his critics who accuse him of hanging out with the wrong crowd. And as we follow his footsteps this is what Jesus calls us to be about as well.

Tax collectors are never popular, and as NT Wright says, “In Jesus day it was worse.” They were notorious as extortionists… taking more than was required. They worked for the Romans or for Herod so they were seen as being politically suspicious, collaborators with an occupying force or a corrupt regime. Because of their contact with gentiles they would have been seen as religiously suspect as well. There was that question of ritual uncleanness. They found themselves on the edge on the outer… branded as sinners.

Levi was a tax collector, but we don’t know if he fitted that stereotype, we don’t have any back story, any details about him, this is the only time he appears in Luke’s gospel. He maybe the same person who is called Matthew in Matthew gospel, the person who is traditional credited with writing that gospel. He isn’t the first tax collector mentioned in Luke’s gospel. When John the Baptist had come calling people to repent and be baptised, to prepare the way of the Lord, it says even tax collectors had come to be baptised… They had asked John what was expected of them, what did it mean for them to show the fruit of repentance and he had told them… “Don’t collect more than is required.” They were stuck in their jobs but even in that difficult place could honour God by acting justly.

Jesus was passing through Levi’s town, he sees him sitting at his tax booth, collecting tax from travellers and traders. We see Jesus revolution of grace. The grace of God that had been encapsulated in the passage from Isaiah that Jesus read at Nazareth that was being fulfilled in the freeing of a demonized man at Capernaum inviting fishermen to become disciples, touching a leper clean, forgiving and healing a paralysed man so he was made whole, and now was shown in reaching out to Levi… ‘Come and follow Me” says Jesus… Usually religious teachers would pick the best of the best, the brightest, and the most pious to be their followers, their students but here Jesus invites Levi- a tax collector, branded a sinner.

We don’t know what he saw in Levi, But Levi shows us the response that Jesus is looking for… In words that echo the actions of the paralysed man at Jesus command to get up, Levi gets up… he is prepared to move, to obey Jesus… he leaves everything: on that table is his identity, his financial security and as he was probably appointed by the authorities he is leaving himself open to trouble with them, and he follows Jesus. In this he shows us that he is repentant, he wants to turn his life around. In response to the love and grace shown by God in Jesus Christ, in those two words of invitation, he leaves it all behind to focus on the purposes of God, in the person of Jesus.

I

t is a joyous occasion, do you grasp that, and Levi wants to share that with his friends. What better way than throwing a party. As a tax collector as someone ostracized by society all his friends are like him tax collectors or others labelled and shunned as sinners. Levi wants his friends to meet this wonderful man of God who talks and shows the love of God is for all. In the ancient near east to sit down and have table fellowship with people was to accept them as friends. This revolution of grace seems to be contagious, and people come to celebrate with Levi and to meet Jesus.

The Pharisee’s and teachers of the law see what is going on, they are concerned and worried. For them to be religious is to hold themselves separate. To keep the law and keep away from the likes of Levi and his friends, just in case they are seen as giving credence to these people and their way of life . They grumble to Jesus disciples, ‘what is he doing why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Two understandings of God collide one being good enough for God to act on our behalf and the other of the goodness of God shown to all who know their need.

And Jesus responds, “It is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. I have come not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” I wonder if we don’t miss speak Jesus here when we read this passage. You see Jesus is using the language of the Pharisees to respond to them. He is picking up how they see themselves righteous, and healthy unaware of their own need for God’s grace. He uses the words they use to describe Jesus friends and Levi’s guests ‘sinner’ and we can focus on those words. But Jesus focus is on making people whole and well, on inviting back and welcoming and drawing to God those who would repent. Those who acknowledge their need for God and are willing to get up and leave it all behind and follow, two understandings of God collide: An earned intervention from God and a welcome to come back. A long list of requirements to be acceptable or simply one to know our need for God and in response to the love and grace we receive from him to repent, a willingness to leave it all behind and follow Jesus.

Where do you stand in this story today?

We don’t like it but it is easy to stand with the Pharisees. I mean they are the religious folk, to find ourselves ghettoised as followers of Jesus…

Do we stand with Levi at the tax booth and this morning you hear Jesus call to you… that liberating call…come follow me… You know your need for God’s love and grace and his call on your life and are you willing to get up, leave it all behind and follow Jesus.

Do you stand with Levi at his place at the banquet feast? Does your experience of this revolution of grace cause you to celebrate and want to share it with your friends, your community, those who need the healing and liberating touch of Jesus? When I was growing up Levi parties used to be popular, dinner thrown for people to invite friends and neighbours to where there would be both conversation about faith and life and like with the many dinner scenes in Luke’s gospel, after dinner talks about Jesus… Maybe it was a good idea it may have seemed a bit contrived. But the call of Levi to follow Jesus is a call to hospitality opening up our lives and our homes to others to those who do not know Jesus… It’s a call to allow our joy at knowing and following Jesus be contagious. It is about bringing the communities we live in to meet Jesus because he is with those who follow him.

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Daily Devotional

Our Weakness Reveals His Worth

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

John Piper

God’s design for suffering is that it magnifies Christ’s worth and power. This is grace, because the greatest joy of Christians is to see Christ magnified in our lives.

When Paul was told by the Lord Jesus that his “thorn in the flesh” would not be taken away, he supported Paul’s faith by explaining why. The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God ordains that Paul be weak so that Christ might be seen as strong on Paul’s behalf.

If we feel and look self-sufficient, we will get the glory, not Christ. So Christ chooses the weak things of the world “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God” (1 Corinthians 1:29). And sometimes he makes seemingly strong people weaker, so that the divine power will be the more evident.

We know that Paul experienced this as grace because he rejoiced in it: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

Living by faith in God’s grace means being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus. Therefore faith will not shrink back from what reveals and magnifies all that God is for us in Jesus. That is what our own weakness and suffering does.
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A brief commentary on Romans 1:16-2:5

There are a few aspects I wish to highlight from the beginning of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians. After saying he desires to see them and preach the gospel in Rome he discusses the importance of the gospel to both the Jews and the Gentiles. Romans 1:16-2:5 reads,

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.

Paul introduces this passage with a quote from Habakkuk summing up the necessity of faith. The focus in Paul’s letters is that salvation comes from Christ and we need to have faith in him. Paul sets up the Jewish believers by showing that the pagans are lost. He demonstrates this convincingly yet at the moment the Jews agree with Paul’s conclusion he reminds them that they are in the same predicament. Not only are the Gentiles gossips, haughty, faithless; so are they. And while the Jews may condemn the Gentiles for certain actions, they behave similarly. Later Paul argues that they can’t condemn Gentile adultery and theft when they do likewise.

Paul ends the discussion of Gentile sin with a vice list that he says is obvious to all: they know God’s righteous decree; they know the just punishment is death; yet they both practice such sin and approve of others. This is particularly damning judgment as Paul is saying that such behaviour is not ignorant sin, it is defiant sin.

But the prelude to the vice list is to describe the depths of depravity of the Gentiles. Paul discusses serious pagan sin and argues his case indirectly from Genesis. His discussion concerns the pagan rejection of the Creator and throughout Paul repeatedly alludes to creation.

  • God’s invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world (Gen 1:1), in the things that have been made (Gen 1).
  • God (Gen 1:1) is rejected for man (Gen 1:27), birds (Gen 1:21), animals (Gen 1:25), and creeping things (Gen 1:25).
  • They exchanged the truth for a lie (Gen 3:4).
  • [They served the creature rather than the Creator (Gen 3:6).]
  • Women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature (Gen 2:24; 4:1).
  • Men gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another (Gen 2:24; 4:1).

Paul writes that the Gentiles have rejected God and God has given them over to their rebellion. This concept is repeated in the passage.

  1. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.
  2. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator

Paul is repeating the same concept here. Exchanging immortal God for images of mortal creatures is exchanging truth about God for a lie. Thus God gives them over to their own desires. But Paul notes that idolatry leads to serious sexual sin; and again Paul repeats this.

  1. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,
  2. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions.

The second statement is a repeat of the first, and Paul expands the second statement: he describes the nature of the sexual sin.

  1. For their women exchanged natural (φυσικὴν) relations (χρῆσιν) for those that are contrary to nature (φύσιν); and
  2. the men likewise gave up natural (φυσικὴν) relations (χρῆσιν) with women and were consumed [burning] with passion [desire] for one another, men committing shameless (ἀσχημοσύνην) acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

The usual interpretation is that these are lesbian acts and sodomy respectively. The term relations (χρησις, chresis) in both clauses carries the connotation of sexual relations, especially sexual relations with a female. The actions of men imply sodomy as they exchange natural relations with women for those with men. The actions of women are less clear. They have exchanged natural relations for those [relations] that are contrary to nature. Leviticus has strictures against several sexual acts:

  1. Acts between men and women when the relationship is inappropriate
  2. Acts between men and men
  3. Acts between men and animals
  4. Acts between women and animals

There are no strictures against women being with women. Now I do not think that lesbian behaviour was therefore sanctioned. This is because the strictures are against sex acts and sex acts are viewed as penetrative. Thus it seems more likely that Paul is saying that women are exchanging natural sexual relations—coitus—with unnatural sex acts. Because the unnatural acts are penetrative it seems that Paul is referring to heterosexual anal sex. God gives the ungodly over to their wickedness so women start to perform unnatural sex acts with men and the men turn away from women to other men.

Following this Paul again states that God gives people over to their wickedness.

  • God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

And this third statement by Paul leads into the extensive vice list.

  1. all manner of unrighteousness
  2. evil
  3. covetousness
  4. malice
  5. envy
  6. murder
  7. strife
  8. deceit
  9. maliciousness
  10. gossips
  11. slanderers
  12. haters of God
  13. insolent
  14. haughty
  15. boastful
  16. inventors of evil
  17. disobedient to parents
  18. foolish
  19. faithless
  20. heartless
  21. ruthless

These actions are not done in ignorance. Men know what God wants but they follow their own desires. This is why God’s wrath is against them: they suppress truth and choose unrighteousness.
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Scepticism on the Rise

The “Science” Behind Climate Science

We were entertained recently on the way to the office hearing a caller address one of the local radio talk-back hosts.  Adopting the tone of a pedant, she informed the host that she had been listening to the global warming denialist propaganda which had been airing on the show.  She introduced herself as a university student who had been busy studying the science of global warming for several years.  She had called up to put the facts and to straighten out the Neanderthal host.

She proposed that the host did not understand science and the vast array of facts and research which lay behind the theory of global warming.  Nor did the host grant that there was an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the theory was fact, not speculation.  Ninety-seven percent of scientists affirmed the veracity of global warming, she declared.  Before she could proceed further, the host interrupted her and asked, could she tell him and the listeners where that figure of an overwhelming, 97 percent consensus had come from.  She began to umm and arrr.  Then she doubled down to insist that it was doubtless true.  When asked why, she said that she had heard it referred to many times.

Here lies a problem, oft encountered.
  Scientists no longer appear to have been taught the epistemology of science.  Many apparently are not instructed in the scientific method.  No longer does your average jo-blow scientist appear to understand that scepticism is one critical hallmark of the scientific heuristic enterprise.  This tyro, like so many, appeared to believe that truth lay with electoral ballots.  If 97% of climate scientists said global warming was proved, then it had to be the case.

But it gets worse.  The 97% figure turns out to be bogus.  It is simply a “truth” made so by repetition.  The claim that

97 percent of climate scientists endorse the view that humans are responsible for global warming, as first made by Cook et al in a paper published in Environment Research Letters.  Cook’s paper has since been extremely widely debunked, yet so ingrained has the 97 percent consensus claim become that The Guardian has an entire section named after it, and President Obama has cited it on Twitter. [Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart London.]

Now, however, a more rigorous piece of social science research on the state of the “consensus” has been undertaken in Holland.

Nearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found. The results contradict the oft-cited claim that there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate scientists that humans are responsible for global warming.

The study, by the PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, a government body, invited 6550 scientists working in climate related fields, including climate physics, climate impact, and mitigation, to take part in a survey on their views of climate science.

Of the 1868 who responded, just 43 percent agreed with the IPCC that “It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of [global warming] from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [human activity]”. Even with the “don’t knows” removed that figure increases only to 47 percent, still leaving a majority of climate scientists who do not subscribe to the IPCC’s statement. [Breitbart London]

We reckon, however,  that the political push for global warming will attenuate any time soon.  There is too much money at stake.  As they say, when trying to get to the bottom of things, follow the money.  People and institutions have bet the bank on global warming and it will take a while for that bubble to burst.  There is no bigger advocate of a company than a new shareholder.  It’s how market bubbles form–and then inevitably burst.

New estimates published by the Climate Change Business Journal put the total size of the industry at $1.5 trillion a year, or $4 billion a day, equivalent to the size of the global online retail market. The figure includes carbon markets, carbon consulting, biofuels, carbon sequestration, renewable technologies, eco buildings and hybrid cars.

The climate change consultancy market alone is worth $1.9 billion worldwide; $670 million in the United States, thanks to businesses need to keep on top of climate policy. And these figures are expected to more than double by 2020.

“Most industries this size exist because they produce something the market wants,” commented Nova. “They worry that competitors might chip into their market share, but they don’t worry that the market might disappear overnight. Normal industries fear that a “bad” political outcome might reduce profits by ten or twenty percent, and sometimes they donate “both ways”. But the climate industry has literally a trillion on the table that depends on big-government policy and election outcomes.

“So while The Guardian worries about the dark and evil influence of the fossil fuels industry they don’t seem at all concerned about the vested-monster-in-the-kitchen, the 1.5 Trillion Climate Industry. Ditto for the intrepid souls at the ABC/BBC/CBC who think they speak truth to power, but miss the most powerful lobby in the climate debate.”

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aggravating God

August 2015 (4)Isaiah 65:1-5

1 I allowed myself to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call on my name. 2 I stretched out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk on a road that is not good, following their own plans; 3 a people who aggravate me to my face continually, sacrificing in gardens and offering incense on bricks; 4 who sit inside tombs, and spend the night in secret places; who eat swine’s flesh, with a stew of repulsive things in their spoons; 5 who say, “Keep to yourself, do not come near me, for I am too holy for you.” These are a smoke in my nostrils, a fire that burns me all day.

aggravating God

The LORD speaks of his relationship with his people here, and it is not a happy relationship. He has made his presence known to them, saying “Here I am, here I am,” and they pretended to acknowledge his existence. But the things that they chose to do told a different story.

  • First, they rejected the road he had prescribed for them to travel, choosing their own plans, not those laid out in his covenant.
  • Next, they deliberately flirted with the nations around them, taking up their secret religious magic practices, which aggravated and irritated the LORD.
  • They even adopted some of the cultural and ethnic practices, like eating the food which was not acceptable for a Jew under the covenant. This was a deliberate choice which was a consistent irritation to God.
  • All the while, they pretended to be a holy, separated people, and prided themselves on being different that the nations around them. This aggravated God for two reasons: it was hypocrisy, because they had stopped being so much different that these people when they chose their own road, and it served to prevent these other nations from seeing God and seeking after him as well.

Look at your lifestyle. Is it pleasing to your maker, or aggravating to him? You say that you have repented, but has it resulted in a life that your LORD would be pleased with? Reform, don’t hide behind a name, and keep living like a pagan! Such a lifestyle is hypocrisy, and it irritates God.

LORD, forgive us for taking our own road, living like those around us who have no relationship with you, and pretending to be holy when we are not. Show us how to reflect your righteousness, so that we draw others to you, and stop aggravating you.

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Monday quote

Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else’s resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property.

Milton Friedman (1912–2006).
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Worth Many Thousands of Words

Planned Parenthood’s Week in Pictures (2)

by Steven Hayward 
Powerline

As noted yesterday, Hillary is keeping a path open to head to the tall grass over Planned Parenthood. The White House is hedging over whether it will veto a bill from Congress defunding Planned Parenthood. I suspect Planned Parenthood has a pretty good idea of what is on the videos still to come out, and, barring a legal gambit to suppress them, has warned its Democratic allies about how bad it is going to be.

The WaPo‘s Dave Weigel says “For Democrats, There’s No Right Answer on Planned Parenthood,” noting that when Republicans rush to quote and agree with Hillary Clinton about the “disturbing” content of the videos, you’re in deep trouble.

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Daily Devotional

Irrevocable Certainty

“Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
John 6:37

Charles H. Spurgeon

No limit is set to the duration of this promise. It does not merely say, “I will not cast out a sinner at his first coming,” but, “I will in no wise cast out.” The original reads, “I will not, not cast out,” or “I will never, never cast out.” The text means, that Christ will not at first reject a believer; and that as he will not do it at first, so he will not to the last.

But suppose the believer sins after coming? “If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” But suppose that believers backslide? “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.” But believers may fall under temptation! “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” But the believer may fall into sin as David did! Yes, but he will “Purge them with hyssop, and they shall be clean; he will wash them and they shall be whiter than snow”; “From all their iniquities will I cleanse them.”

“Once in Christ, in Christ forever,
Nothing from his love can sever.”

“I give unto my sheep,” saith he, “eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” What sayest thou to this, O trembling feeble mind? Is not this a precious mercy, that coming to Christ, thou dost not come to One who will treat thee well for a little while, and then send thee about thy business, but he will receive thee and make thee his bride, and thou shalt be his forever?

Receive no longer the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the spirit of adoption whereby thou shalt cry, Abba, Father! Oh! the grace of these words: “I will in no wise cast out.”
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