Archive for October 6, 2011
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THE ONE PERCENT SOLUTION-http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/debtfree.asp
Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
- Matthew 22:37-38
When the Pharisees asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment in the Law, He told them, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38).
This is known as the Shema, something that every Jew would have memorized. Jesus was effectively saying that instead of worrying about which commandments were lesser or greater, get back to this: love God with all of your being, and all of these things will be sorted out. It makes complete sense, doesn’t it? Because really if I love the Lord my God with all of my heart, soul, and mind, then I naturally will want to do what He wants me to do.
Jesus then added, “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (verses 39–40).
The Ten Commandments are divided into two sections. The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God. The final six deal with our relationship with others. If I love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind, then I will not want to have another god before Him or worship an idol or take His name in vain. And if I love my neighbor as I love myself, then I will not want to steal from or kill him or covet something that belongs to her. The idea is that if I can fully grasp this basic truth of loving God, then everything else will find its proper place.
So to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind means loving Him with every part of our being.
Evangelist and renowned author Josh McDowell is celebrating 50 years in ministry work by attending a three-day event centered on the movie premier of “Undaunted, The Early Life of Josh McDowell” at Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas, Saturday.
(Photo: Moonlight Pictures Film)Allen Williamson portrays the early life of evangelist Josh McDowell in the docudrama,’Undaunted.’ The movie premiers at Chase Oaks Church in Plano, Texas on Saturday, October 2011.
The docudrama chronicles McDowell’s traumatic childhood, which included living with an abusive, alcoholic father and being sexually abused repeatedly by a male farmhand working on his family’s ranch. “Undaunted” is planned for public release sometime after its premier.
The 50th anniversary celebration begins Friday with a dinner for McDowell’s family and friends at Southfork Ranch, the location setting for ‘80s TV show hit “Dallas.” McDowell is scheduled to speak during two worship services Sunday at Prestonwood Baptist Church, where he and his family attended while living in the Dallas area.
McDowell told The Christian Post that after giving his personal testimony thousands of times before audiences of all sizes, he was often told that the story of his life should be made into a movie.
“The movie turned out better than my wildest expectations. The production team was top-notch and it is very well done,” McDowell said. “In my life I have had to deal with homosexual sex abuse and the alcoholism of my father. I think this will get a lot more people talking about those subjects.”
John Hossler, CEO of Josh McDowell Ministry, helped produce the film and said in a trailer for the docudrama, “You really can’t put into words what you really feel when you get on a set like this. This is not just another film. People have heard about this project across the world and have said, ‘When you get it done, we want it in our language.’”
“It’s going to be a tremendous evangelistic tool to see people come to know the Lord as their savior in Jesus Christ,” Hossler said.
In part of his testimony published on his blog, McDowell said, “I was born in Union City, Mich., a little town of about 2,000 people, and my father was the town drunk, the town alcoholic. I hardly knew him sober until I was 20 years old.”
“I’d go to high school and my friends [would] make jokes about my father, downtown in the gutter making a fool of himself. They didn’t think it bothered me, because I’m like some of you right here – you know, when you laugh on the outside when you’re hurting on the inside.”
McDowell told CP that “Undaunted” will be a powerful tool for bringing up discussions of not only alcoholism among viewers, but sexual abuse as well. It is estimated that a child is molested in the United States every two minutes. Approximately one out of every four women and one out of every 11 men have been sexually abused, according to a fact sheet provided by McDowell’s ministry.
“I am very sure that this will get people to have more confidence to share their own testimony,” he said. “When I look into the audience, wherever I speak, I know that a third of them have suffered some kind of sexual abuse.”
In 1961, McDowell joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International and a few years later became the ministry organization’s traveling representative.
He became well-known as a Christian apologist after the publication of Evidence that Demands a Verdict in 1972. McDowell’s More Than A Carpenter has more than 15 million copies in print in 85 languages. His book The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict was named by World Magazine as one of the 20th century’s top 40 books and one of the 13 most influential books of the last 50 years on Christian thought.
For more than 40 years, the Josh McDowell Ministry, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ International, “has focused on serving and equipping churches, pastors, families and people everywhere in raising generations of purpose-driven Christians who know what they believe, why it is true, and how to live out their Christian faith,” according to the ministry’s mission statement.
When asked about what it was like to view the final cut of the movie, McDowell said it was not easy.
“I cried. I had tears streaming down my face,” he said. “When I saw the actual scenes of my life being played out before my eyes it was very difficult.”
Award-winning filmmaker Cristóbal Krusen, who directed the film, and executive producer Douglas Maddox are hosting the premier.
“The movie is less about Josh McDowell and much more about promoting Jesus Christ,” Krusen said.
Members of the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason saw signs promoting the group’s atheistic message go up on 18 buses in Little Rock Sunday following a court battle that lasted for several months.
(Photo: Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason)Following a court decision, signs promoting the atheistic message of the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason were posted on 18 buses in Little Rock, Ark.
On June 1, the United Coalition of Reason filed a federal lawsuit against the Central Arkansas Transit Authority and On the Move Advertising for imposing unfair rules on the Arkansas branch of the organization when it wanted to run bus ads that read, “Are you good without God? Millions are.”
The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, accused the transit authority and the advertising agency of violating the coalition’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Arkansas News reported that during an August court hearing, Betty Wineland, executive director of CATA, and Lydia Robertson, co-owner of On the Move, said they were concerned that some people might resort to vandalism if they didn’t like the ad’s message, as had happened in other cities.
The complaint that was filed said Robertson told the coalition via email that “in reality, Arkansas is the buckle of the Bible Belt and I can easily envision zealots or upstanding citizens with a strong faith acting out.”
They had also been asked to provide a damage deposit in the amount of $36,000, a charge other groups that wanted to advertise never had to pay, just in case someone did vandalize one of the buses or signs.
The federal judge in the case ruled that the transit authority had to post the signs, but could require a lesser deposit of $15,000.
The four-week advertising campaign is part of a nationwide effort by the United CoR to reach out to other atheists through the use of advertisements like bus signs and billboards.
“The point of our ongoing nationwide awareness campaign is to reach out to the millions of atheists and agnostics living in the United States,” said Fred Edwords, national director of the coalition. “Such nontheists sometimes don’t realize there’s a community for them because they’re inundated with religious messages at every turn. So our efforts serve as a beacon and let them know they aren’t alone.”
LeeWood Thomas, a spokesperson for the Central Arkansas CoR, said his group should receive the same treatment any other group would receive.
“It’s only fair that, when religious groups are allowed to advertise on Little Rock buses, atheist and agnostic groups be allowed to advertise as well,” Thomas said. “The world needs to know that people can be decent human beings without believing in a god or gods.”
As of Tuesday, Arkansas News reported that there were no incidents of vandalism to the buses, which have displayed the advertisements since Sunday.
“The right and freedom for atheists and religious people to advertise publicly is at the heart of what true religious liberty meant for our nation’s founders and how that principle is embodied in the First Amendment,” Higgins wrote.
He also said he was unaware if vandalism was a real threat to the buses, but says it would be an “embarrassment” for Christians to be involved in any such activity.
“Like any other advertising. You take it or leave it. You talk about it or ignore it. You laugh at it or agree with it. It makes you think or it turns you off. But you don’t hate on people or damage property.”
A 33-minute pro-life video which documents the responses of young adults to questions about their stance on abortion, but also includes discussions on Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust in Europe, has received more than a half-million views just nine days after its release.
(Photo: Living Waters Ministry)Alicia was one of the people interviewed about their stance on abortion for the pro-life film ’180,’ September 2011.
(Photo: Living Waters Ministry)Evangelist Ray Comfort interviews a student for the “180″ film on abortion.
Evangelist Ray Comfort produced “180” with the help of his Living Waters Ministry. He recently revealed that during the making of the film he was sickened by the answers so many young people gave to a hypothetical question he asked them after describing a life and death, Holocaust-like scenario.
“There seems to be a fresh stirring going on about the horror of abortion,” Comfort told The Christian Post. “Just today I was told that Rick Warren tweeted, ‘If we were all forced to WATCH 1 baby’s abortion, outrage would end them. A ghastly, grisly, inhumane torture not fit for dogs.’
“This isn’t some 30-second ‘Charlie bit my finger’ clip. It’s a 33-minute movie. So to reach more than half a million views on YouTube in 9 days is amazing.”
Last weekend, members of the First Baptist Church of Trenton, Fla., began displaying 4,000 white crosses on the church’s lawn. The crosses represent the number of babies lost to abortion each day in the United States, the church’s pastor said.
Also, on the lawn display next to a busy highway, four white banners on the corners boldly state “4000 Babies Murdered Each Day – Each Cross = One Child Each Day.” On the bottom of the banners the “180” website address is printed: “www.180movie.com.”
Famed Christian musical artists are also helping push the film to viral status. Steven Camp, the American Dove Award and Grammy Award-nominated music artist, said, “‘180’ is the most profound gospel-advance on the abortion issue I’ve ever seen.”
Mark Hall of Casting Crowns recently posted on Facebook, “This short documentary has totally rocked my world …I dare you to watch 180.”
Comfort conducted the interviews seen in the film and while focusing on the responses given by several people with a pro-abortion stance, he then transitions from talk about lives lost in the Holocaust to lives lost as the result of abortions in the United States.
“I would begin an interview by asking the question ‘Have you heard of Adolf Hitler?’ If they said, ‘No,’ I had the difficult task of getting them on camera,” Comfort said. “It was hard to hide my shock that anyone didn’t know who Hitler was, and the moment they suspected that they should know about him they refused because they felt foolish. So there were a number of interviews I missed out on because of that.”
“Still, we were able to get 14 people on-camera, mainly university students, who didn’t have a clue who Adolf Hitler was,” Comfort said. “The swing from the Holocaust to abortion was fairly seamless because it came in the form of a question: ’How do you feel about abortion?’”
Making the parallel between the holocaust in Europe to abortion in America, Comfort argues in the film, “We’ve got a holocaust in America [where] real babies are being murdered because of women’s choice and it’s legal. It’s like Nazi Germany. He did it legally.”
A Facebook site set up for the documentary video has more than 16,000 “likes” and is filled with posts about people changing their mind about abortion after viewing the film.
“I was pro-choice but I am pro-life now,” posted one Facebook user. “I still have a knot in my throat!”
On his Wednesday show, Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly showed a recently recorded clip of a conversation he had with atheist Richard Dawkins, which seemed to be equal parts interview and debate.
During the interview, O’Reilly, who openly affirmed his belief in creationism, applauded the atheist for using his book to encourage children and adolescents to believe in science, but also accused the author of “mocking God” and trying to get children to reject Him through it.
“This is a book about science, it doesn’t talk about God,” Dawkins retorted. He added that his book does mention a number of myths, however, and lumps Judeo-Christian beliefs together with myths from ancient Aztec, Egyptian and Greek cultures.
O’Reilly interjected, saying that the Judeo-Christian philosophy is not a myth, it’s a reality, and the United States was founded upon its principles. Dawkins chuckled and disagreed.
“Throughout history some of the worst regimes ever have been atheistic,” O’Reilly said, pointing to leaders like Joseph Stalin, Mao Tse Tung and Pol Pot. Religious principles, he said, help put much-needed constraints on society.
Though they were both relatively calm during the interview, Dawkins said he didn’t want to “get into a shouting match about who’s more evil than who.” He also said that the infamous leaders O’Reilly mentioned ran their regimes based on their political ideologies, and the fact they were atheists was only incidental.
“What I do think is there is a logical connection between believing in God and … sometimes doing evil things,” he said. “But there’s no logical connection between being atheist and doing evil things.”
The two also reopened a conversation about the origin of life, which began in a previous interview that took place almost two years ago. O’Reilly seemed to jeer at Dawkins because scientists still can’t provide a complete explanation for the beginning of the universe.
“Science does know quite a lot about things, like how the moon came into existence and why the sun is there, why the galaxy is there,” Dawkins said in his final statement. “Science doesn’t yet know how everything started, and as I said last time, they’re working on it.”