Monday, December 22, 2008

Funeral Announcement

My mother-in-law's funeral will be on Saturday, December 27. The viewing will be at 10 am, and the service will be at 11 am.

St. Peter's Catholic Church
2900 Sandy Spring Road
Olney, MD 20832
(301) 924-3774

If you live in the area and want to join us there, please feel free to do so.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Joyous Season Spiced with Sadness

Since today is our 28th wedding anniversary, and since Christmas is coming, my wife and I usually have a lot to celebrate this time of year. But this year brings sadness. This morning my wife's mother died at the age of 88.

My wife was blessed to be there, holding her mother's hand as she passed. She sang hymns to her mom during the final hours and reminded her of our blessed savior's pierced hands, the same hands that would lift her up and take her to glory.

I will be traveling to Maryland with my family tomorrow to attend the funeral, which will likely be at the end of next week, so I would appreciate your prayers for safe travel and divine comfort during these days.

I probably won't post here for a while, so I leave you with this poem, one I wrote several years ago for the Christmas season.

Rachel's Tears

I hear the call
Weeping, wailing;
Rachel for her children

She cries for babes
Never suckled
Taken from the barren

They breathe no more
River’s plunder
Cast away in darkness

Cruel hands of blood
Eyes of pride
Sweep aside the promise

King Herod’s sword
Rips through her heart
The plundered mothers cry

Lament the lost
The infants slain
Bethlehem’s bosom dry

I hear my child
Her numbered tears
Held firmly in my hand

I promise truth
Children come to
Fill my promised land

The scepter’s lord
A shepherd king
Born to crush sin’s stronghold

He came to rest
Upon her knee in
Mary’s humble household

Oh praise His name
All you who know
The name above all names

For now is born
In Bethlehem
The one our God proclaims

The King of kings
And Lord of lords
The Prince of lasting peace

He dries her eyes
Dear Rachel’s eyes
And makes our sorrows cease

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Progress Report

I finished the first draft of The Bones of Makaidos, and now I will work on the polishing phase. The draft is rough, and since the book is so long, this step will take quite a while. When I'm done, I think it will be at least as long as Eye of the Oracle. We'll see. The book is supposed to come out in April, so I have to finish all the edits by the end of this month.

I also finished the line edits for Nightmare's Edge and turned them in to Zondervan, so that book is completely done.

In January I will begin work on a new series tentatively entitled Riders of the Apocalypse.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Motiv8 Authors Series - The Miller Brothers

As a bonus for the Motiv8 Authors Series, I present to you the Miller Brothers, Christopher and Allan, authors of Hunter Brown and the Secret of the Shadow.

These two up and coming authors didn't join us on the full tour, but they proved to be a great addition to our events in the first two cities, Abbotsford, BC, and Seattle, WA. They are friendly, generous, amazingly helpful, and very knowledgeable about new ways to market their book. The other authors definitely took notes about their creative ideas.

I haven't read their book, but my youngest daughter enjoyed it very much. That's good enough for me!

Click Here to get to their website where you will learn much more about this exciting new series.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Memphis Book Signing

I have a book signing tomorrow in Memphis, TN. If you're in the area, please come out and see me. Tell me that you saw this post, and I'll give you a free poster.

Saturday - December 13
1 pm to 3 pm
Davis-Kidd Booksellers
387 Perkins Road Extended
Memphis, TN 38117

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Extract the Precious from the Worthless

I was reading in the book of Jeremiah this morning, and this passage seemed powerful, yet enigmatic.

You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable?

Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you-- Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them. Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you and deliver you," declares the LORD. "So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent." (Jeremiah 15:15-21)

For me, the phrase that stuck out was this, "If you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become my spokesman."

Is this a worthless group of people from which we are to extract a few precious ones? Are we to extract something precious from a worthless individual? A precious truth or lesson from a worthless situation? All of the above?

This phrase also caught my eye, "They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them." What is this "turn"? Is it loyalty? Reverence? Adherence to principle?

I have some ideas about what these things mean, but I thought I'd put this out in the blogosphere to see if anyone out there has any ideas.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Christmas Shopping?

With a little over two weeks left before Christmas, I thought readers might be interested in getting something unique at a great price. Do you want to introduce family or friends to a series without breaking your budget?

I am selling autographed copies of the first book in each series for $7.50 plus shipping.

To buy Raising Dragons for $7.50, Click Here

To buy Eye of the Oracle for $7.50, Click Here


To buy Beyond the Reflection's Edge for $7.50, Click Here

You can also buy the entire Dragons in our Midst series for $40 plus shipping, Click Here

The entire DioM audio book set is also on sale for $40 plus shipping, Click Here

And one more sale price--You can buy the two books in the Echoes from the Edge series for $15.00 plus shipping, Click Here


For any of my other books, please see my complete shopping page by clicking here.

I usually fill orders within one day, so if you order in the next week, you will get it before Christmas. If you order later, you can opt for priority mail shipping.

Also, if you want an autograph personalized, be sure to include the details in the order, or email me at bryan (at) dragonsinourmidst (dot) com.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Another Nail in our Nation's Coffin?

I just heard that the Supreme Court denied Mr. Donofrio's election stay request.

Click here for the order.

When I get more information, I will update this post.

Update:

Click Here for an update from Mr. Donofrio:

His hope that another case might still be approved for a hearing is interesting, but I am not optimistic about its chances without a miracle.

There are also still many other cases around the nation that we can pray for.

One fact remaining is that Obama still hasn't proven he was born in the U.S. Many Obama supporters claim that he is eligible because he was born in Hawaii, but that claim has never been proven.

Update #2:

There is still some confusion regarding whether it was just the stay of the election that was denied or rather the entire writ.

Update #3:

If you read the entire order, you'll see there is no statement that the certiorari has been denied. The stay was denied, but not the cert.

When you look at the SCOTUS list of denied certs (starting on page 2), Mr. Donofrio’s case isn’t on the list.

Notice the first two cases in the document denying stays, Domantay and Donofrio. Domantay is also later in the list of denied certs (Page 6), but Mr. Donofrio’s is not on that later list.

Does that mean that the stay has been denied but not cert? If anyone can shed light on this, I would appreciate it.

Update #4: Here is the latest that is going around.

First, the only thing the SCOTUS did was to deny a stay of the election. Since Mr. Donofrio's original case requested a stay of the November 4 election, the SCOTUS had to deny it. That election had already passed.

The court did not yet refuse to hear the case. It is officially still pending, contrary to what the media is reporting.

The SCOTUS has added a similar case to the docket to be handled at conference this Friday, December 12.

So, the case has not been denied at all. It is still in process, and apparently the SCOTUS is adding to it.

Update #5:

The docket for the Donofrio case shows that it has been denied. Since the SCOTUS order said nothing about denying cert, maybe the original request asked only for a stay and nothing else. I don't know. That doesn't make sense to me, but I don't understand the inner workings of that court.

Motiv8 Authors Series - Jonathan Rogers

The Motiv8 tour authors series continues with Jonathan Rogers, author of the Wilderking Trilogy. I had the opportunity to get to know Jonathan on the tour in an unusual way. On three occasions we arose early and ran together before our events of the day. It was great to have someone to run with, because when I'm on tour I find it hard to run in unfamiliar places, especially when it's dark and cold outside. It really helps to have someone at your side, not only for safety reasons, but just to help pass the time and distract from the pain of running.

It was a pleasure to get to know this friendly, dedicated, and self-sacrificing gentleman. It was especially fun to hear him read from his stories. I will never forget his imitation of his "feechie folks." He had everyone laughing every time he read those sections at our events.

Although I have not read his books, they are highly acclaimed by people I trust, so if you have a pre-teen or younger teen reader, give them a look.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Raising the Flag

I have been dwelling on this topic, but since so few Americans know about it due to the media blackout, I want to keep it front and center. It's interesting that media in England and Russia have been reporting it, but the American media have been either silent or inaccurate.

Today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will review the merits of at least two cases that, in one way or another, request examination of Barack Obama's eligibility for the office of President of the United States (POTUS). The SCOTUS could dismiss the cases, which would leave our nation as one under mob rule rather than the rule of law, or it could move to hold formal hearings, which could mean a delay of the real election on December 15. (Most people don't know that Obama is not the president-elect, because the media have, for an entire month, been inaccurately proclaiming that he is president-elect.)

Today, I will be praying many times for the judges of the SCOTUS, because if they deny their responsibility to preserve the Constitution, then this nation, this republic, will have died, and we would then be under the tyranny of the masses.

As Alan Keyes said in his excellent article:

If Barack Obama is allowed to assume the office of president without positively establishing his eligibility under the Constitution, it will set a precedent for exempting the allocation of executive power from constitutional restrictions on the pretext that majority support overrules constitutional authority, popularity supersedes the fundamental law. Obviously, this is a recipe for the establishment of democratic dictatorship, like that which characterized the revolutionary first republic in France and licensed its murderous excesses. It is the counterpart of the "democratic people's republics" in whose name countless millions were imprisoned and killed by oppressive party dictatorships in the Soviet Union, Communist China, North Korea, etc.

It is essential that this issue be decided in an open and public manner now, before Obama is allowed to assume the office of the POTUS without revealing his true background. Again, as Mr. Keyes said,

In an era when the insecurity implied by the threat of terrorist attack already overshadows our liberties, only one thing may be more dangerous to our freedom than such a precedent – the fact that it comes about because of the ignorance, fear, or selfish ambition of those sworn to uphold the Constitution. If they lack the character to do so now, before abuses of executive power create an environment of physical fear and intimidation, what must we expect once those abuses produce their inevitable effect? The people mesmerized by his tinsel rhetoric may expect Obama to resist the temptations of demagogic tyranny, but if he assumes office knowing that in doing so he has already successfully set aside the Constitution, no reasonable person could agree with them.

If this masquerade is allowed to continue, and a usurper, a pretender-in-chief, is allowed to trash our Constitution, then "We the people" must stand up and do whatever it takes to restore the foundations of our republic, including standing against the corrupt government we would have in place, just as our forefathers did.

As our Declaration of Independence says:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
(For another outstanding article on these issues, go to the TD blog here.)

I trust that you will be in prayer today and ask for God's mercy upon this nation. As a culture, one that kills its unborn, mocks God's design for male/female relations, claims that He did not even create this world, and rebels in countless other ways, we don't deserve His hand of protection. That's why our prayers for mercy might need to come with torn sackcloth and heaps of ashes, for the government a nation gets is often one it deserves.

May God have mercy upon us all.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Pray for the United States Supreme Court

On Friday, December 5, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will meet in a closed session to review at least two cases that challenge former Senator Barack Obama's eligibility to be President of the United States (POTUS).

It's astounding that the mainstream media has largely ignored one of the most important legal events in U.S. history. Why? I don't know. I would be guessing and suggesting conspiracy theories, so I would like to stick with the facts and explain very briefly why this is happening.

The Constitution states that only a natural born citizen is eligible to become POTUS.

No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.
So it stands to reason that Obama should prove that he is a natural born citizen. He has never done this.

There is no doubt that Barack Obama was born a British citizen. A supposed impartial fact-checking site admits it. Click here to see it.

This site also claims that Obama was born in Hawaii and therefore had automatic U.S. citizenship as well. As I have written in the past, the birth in Hawaii is in doubt because Obama has steadfastly refused to produce a long-form (vault) birth certificate that proves it. He has shown a short-form version, but the laws in Hawaii around the time of his birth allowed registration for people born out of the country. Only the long-form certificate would reveal his true origin.

Some people claim that the Hawaii state health department verified Obama's true birth certificate, but they only stated that they had it, not that it showed he was actually born in Hawaii.

Obama admits his birth British citizenship himself on his own website. Click here to see the page where he produces his short-form certificate. At the bottom, the page quotes the "fact check" page.

Yet, even if he really was born in Hawaii, that would not make him a natural born citizen of the United States. He would be "native" born, but he wouldn't be natural born because of the dual citizenship status. Because of his father's Kenyan citizenship, Obama would have been a native-by-statute citizen, not a natural born citizen. Notice on Obama's on website, it calls him a "native" citizen, not a natural born citizen. There is a difference, a crucial difference.

So even if Obama magically comes up with a long-form certificate that proves he was born in Hawaii (something that he has spent a great deal of money to keep hidden), he still wouldn't be a natural born citizen.

It is this assertion (Obama's British birth citizenship means that he is not natural born) that makes up the primary argument in the cases being reviewed by the SCOTUS. To me, this should be an open-and-shut case. The framers of the Constitution, citizens born as British subjects, had to grandfather themselves in in order to be eligible for the office. They knew that no one born a British citizen was natural born.

Another interesting fact is that the case being reviewed also claims that Senator John McCain is not a natural born citizen. Since he was born in Panama on a U.S. military base to U.S. parents (but not on U.S. soil), he is a citizen by statute, but not natural born.

This shows that this is not a partisan claim. The lawsuit seeks to disqualify both major candidates, as well as a third party candidate, Roger Calero, who was allowed on several ballots though he admits to being born in Nicaragua. It seems clear, especially in the Calero case, that elections officials were not bothering to check on a candidate's eligibility. In fact, no one "in charge" has bothered.

I ask you to pray for the SCOTUS today and tomorrow, for wisdom as they review these cases, for impartial thinking, for courage as they realize that a decision either way could cause great public unrest in our nation. If they decide to grant a stay on the election and ultimately invalidate Obama's candidacy, we might have an uprising from the majority who voted for him. If they dismiss the case and allow an ineligible candidate to take the office illegally, we will have thrown away the foundation of our laws, the Constitution, and every act he takes part in will be invalid.

I'm praying that the SCOTUS will uphold the Constitution. If Obama is ultimately elected president and assumes the office, he will be a usurper, and our nation will no longer be a nation of laws. It will be a nation of popular opinion. If that happens, the United States of America will have died.

Please also pray for the attorney who has brought these suits, Leo Donofrio. He has suffered tremendous harassment, even death threats through this ordeal.

May God help us all.

UPDATE: I'm adding a link to a fantastic article written by Alan Keyes, the man who ought to be the first black president: Click Here

Monday, December 01, 2008

Obama's Disregard for the Constitution

Barack Obama announced today that he will appoint Hilary Clinton as Secretary of State.

This is another clear example of his disregard for the Constitution of the United States.

First, he has never proven that he is eligible to be president. His status as a natural-born citizen is in great doubt, and he is spending a huge amount of money in the courts to make sure no one ever finds out the truth about his past.

Second, as you'll notice in the photo, he has invented the "Office of the President Elect." There is no such office, but he is already using taxpayer money to fund it.

Third, he is not even the president-elect. In November, the states held elections to choose electors, and they will meet on December 15 to vote for the president. Still, Obama ignores the facts that are clearly presented in the Constitution.

Finally, Hilary Clinton is not qualified to be the Secretary of State. Article one, section six of the Constitution states:

No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

Emoluments are payments for employment. Since the salary for this cabinet position has increased during Senator Clinton's term, she is not allowed to be Secretary of State.

This has happened before, and the cure was to lower the salary to the previous level, but that still violates the Constitution. It doesn't say that the level has to be the same; it clearly says that if the level has been increased during the term, the senator cannot take that office.

Still, since Obama has no respect for the Constitution regarding his own qualifications for office, he will ignore it with regard to this office as well.

Obama's disregard for the Constitution means that he cannot be president. He cannot take an oath to preserve, protect, and defend a Constitution to which he has already thumbed his nose.

If he never proves that he is qualified, then, oath or not, he will not be the true president, no matter how many people proclaim him to be. He will be a usurper, and his decisions while pretending to be in the office will be null and void.

Motiv8 Authors Series - Eric Reinhold

I would like to introduce you to another author from the Motiv8 tour, Eric Reinhold. I met Eric via email contact about a year ago and then later at breakfast in Apopka, FL. He is an investment manager who has taken the first steps into the author's journey.

When I met him, he had heard about our tour in 2007 and wanted to see how he could become a part of it in 2008. I had never read his book, but with his knowledge of business and finance, I thought he could be a beneficial addition. So we signed him up.

And we're glad we did. He is a personable, hard-working guy who definitely helped us out with his experience in his charitable foundation, Character 4 Kids. He set up our tour corporation and checking account, and became our bookkeeper. And he also proved to be a great addition as an author with his ability to speak with conviction at our school meetings and his friendliness at every book signing.

Eric is the author of Ryann Watters and the King's Sword. I haven't read it, but if it reflects the author's character and passion for telling great stories that honor a Christian world view, then it will be a good read.

My impression is that the story is suited for pre-teens and younger teens, so if you have readers in that category, check it out.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday?

I'm up early on this Friday after Thanksgiving. Why? Because my wife and seventeen-year-old daughter got up at four a.m. to go to Wal-mart for a big sale. They said something about jeans for eight dollars and took off into the darkness.

Okay, when you have seven children, it's important to take advantage of great bargains. I get that. But I wonder why stores can't offer these sales in the daytime when normal people are functioning at normal capacity and able to make normal buying decisions.

Hmmm. I think I just answered my own question.

Anyway, since I couldn't go back to sleep, I've been researching this Black Friday phenomenon. It seems that the label started because of traffic jams in Philadelphia, and it became more popular when some economists came up with the idea that this is when retailers begin to show a profit (in the black instead of in the red). I'm not sure if these reasons are true or not, but they make some sense.

From my position, I think the name comes from what it looks like outside at this time in the morning. I can't see a thing. But I guess the label isn't important. At least it has me up early and using this blog post to get my brain in gear.

So, in celebration of Black Friday, I'll have a sale! From now until the end of the year, I am putting the first book in each series (Raising Dragons, Eye of the Oracle, and Beyond the Reflection's Edge) on sale for $7.50 plus shipping. Now you can introduce my series to friends and relatives on your gift list for a great price.

If you want to take advantage of these offers, go to my shopping page at http://www.daviscrossing.com/shopping.htm or Click Here.

I am also now taking pre-orders for The Bones of Makaidos, scheduled to come out in April of 2009. You can see how to order that book on the shopping page.

Just for fun, feel free to share your Black Friday experiences.

Happy Black Friday! (Now that I've finished this post, I think I can go back to sleep.)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Drinking Dirty Water

In family devotions this morning, we were reading in Jeremiah and found some tidbits that relate to the current situation we have in our nation as well as in the church at large.

"Has a nation changed gods When they were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does not profit. Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very desolate," declares the LORD. "For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water." (Jeremiah 2:11-13)
This charge is true in many churches today. Professing Christians reinvent God to suit their own tastes, a god who has no expectations, a god who requires no repentance from sin, a god who will save them no matter how sinful they continue to be.

Witness the overwhelming success of The Shack. That book redefines God as a less-than-holy, do-anything-you-want-and-I'll-save-you kind of deity that is far removed from the God of the Bible.

And it's even more common to hear people claim that we have a blind god, that somehow God doesn't see them sin, because when He looks down from heaven, He sees Jesus instead of a sinner. Nonsense. Jeremiah has something to say to these people, as well:

"Behold, you are trusting in deceptive words to no avail. Will you steal, murder, and commit adultery and swear falsely, and offer sacrifices to Baal and walk after other gods that you have not known, then come and stand before Me in this house, which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered!'--that you may do all these abominations?" (Jeremiah 7:8-10)
God is not blind. He sees what everyone does, and he sees real Christians as holy and pure, because we are holy and pure in reality.

As Jeremiah continued in chapter two, I found this interesting:

"Is Israel a slave? Or is he a homeborn servant? Why has he become a prey? The young lions have roared at him, They have roared loudly. And they have made his land a waste; His cities have been destroyed, without inhabitant. Also the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes Have shaved the crown of your head. Have you not done this to yourself By your forsaking the LORD your God when He led you in the way? But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates? (Jeremiah 2:14-18)
Why did Israel want to go back and drink from the waters of slavery? It simply doesn't make sense. Yet, we see it in the church today, people who time and again revisit their sinful past.

Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:35-26)
Why would a professing Christian want to go back and drink the waters of slavery? They guzzle the filthy sewage of sin, and not only commit sin, but claim that we all sin, thereby making themselves feel better about drinking the dirty water.

Fellowship in the mire of sin doesn't help their case. It's still filthy sewage. But they ignore the taste, they endure the nausea, and they reinterpret the warnings of Scripture so they can keep imbibing in the swill that holds them in bondage:

For if we sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
And our nation is also drinking dirty water. Over two hundred years ago, we won a war that helped us break free from the shackles of tyranny. Since that time, we have sacrificed blood and lives to keep us free from facism, socialism, and communism. We swept out that dirty water and preserved the fresh water of liberty.

So what are we doing now? Apparently electing a president who holds to every ideal the dirty water stands for. This nation has forgotten what it was like to live under tyranny. It has forgotten the sacrifices we made to keep us from living under the boot of socialism. And now we have apparently turned on the nozzle to the sewage pipeline and are waiting to drink freely from the filthy water.

Why has this happened? I think Jeremiah provides the answer.

"Your own wickedness will correct you, And your apostasies will reprove you; Know therefore and see that it is evil and bitter For you to forsake the LORD your God, and the dread of Me is not in you," declares the Lord GOD of hosts. "For long ago I broke your yoke And tore off your bonds; But you said, 'I will not serve!' For on every high hill And under every green tree You have lain down as a harlot. Yet I planted you a choice vine, A completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine? Although you wash yourself with lye And use much soap, The stain of your iniquity is before Me," declares the Lord GOD. (Jeremiah 2:19-22)
As Jeremiah indicates, God is not blind to sin. He sees the stain of iniquity. And it's interesting to note how this nation will likely be corrected ... by its own wickedness. As this country turns to socialism, we will bring about our own downfall. We will once again learn what it means to suffer under the yoke of tyranny, and when we learn that lesson, maybe we'll be able to cast it off once again.

Maybe.

Then again, maybe not. When we cast the yoke off before, many in this nation held to a semblance of spiritual truth. It seems that this Shack church society has lost any concept of truth and how it is derived and maintained. They look to feelings and not to God as He is revealed in Scripture.

Without the faith of the bedrock people of the land, when the boot of socialism presses down on our necks we might crumble and be blown away. Why? Because there will be too few left who understand the principles of faith in a God who is holy, just, and filled with wrath against sin. Only He can keep us from buckling. Only He can restore us, both the nation and the church, to the great institutions we once were.

But we have to sweep out the dirty water. Just as we cannot abide with socialism in our republic, we cannot abide with sin in our church. We cannot be like those Jeremiah derided, those hypocrites who stand at the altar and shout, "We are delivered," while lifting up their sin-stained hands. We cannot pretend that we have a blind god who cannot see sin.

We desperately need a new standard in the church today, one that strikes down the old banner across our doors that says, "Sinners, saved by grace." No, our banner should read, "Saints by the grace of God and in practice." For that is what we are called to be, saints who drink only the water of life, the life of true liberty, for we refuse to be bound by those chains again.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Motiv8 Authors Series - Donita K. Paul

I first "met" Donita K. Paul through email correspondence in October of 2003. We both had a Christian fantasy book about dragons coming out in 2004, and since this genre was practically unheard of, we knew we had a potentially difficult road ahead. Because we're both Christians and believe in the importance of the genre, we wanted to make a mutual commitment: we weren't going to be competitors; we were going to be supporters.

I'm happy to report that God has blessed both series, and our commitment to support each other continues.

I met Donita in real life in September of 2004 when we both served as panelists at the Dragoncon fantasy/sci-fi convention in Atlanta. With all the craziness going on there, it was helpful to have another Christian author there with whom I could whisper, "Do you see that? What in the world was it?" :-)

And, of course, it was great to be with her again during the recent Motiv8 tour. She is a delightful lady and fun to be with. It has been a pleasure to have her as a supportive friend.

Many of you who read my blog are already aware of her fantasy series, the Dragonkeeper Chronicles, but in case you aren't, click here for a link that will take you to a page on Donita's site that provides a full explanation. I read and enjoyed Dragonspell, and three of my daughters have read all five in the series and eagerly awaited each installment. If you enjoy my books, I'm sure you'll enjoy hers.

Now for a contest. Up until 2005, Donita signed her emails to me with her middle name spelled out, so I know what the "K" stands for. The first person to post a comment with her correct middle name will win a poster for The Bones of Makaidos. Only one guess per person is allowed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Obama is Still Stonewalling

As of this writing, Barrack Obama still has not produced proof that he is a natural-born citizen of the United States. There have been reports in the media that he has done so, but these are misleading at best.

The first source Obama supporters often point out is the posting of a Hawaiian birth certificate on his website. You can click here to see it.

This is not a long-form birth certification. During the stated time period, residents of Hawaii were allowed to register their births and obtain this kind of certificate even if they weren't born there.

Proof of U.S. birth would be in what is called a "vault" birth certificate, which names the hospital and delivering doctor, a document that Obama has refused to let anyone see. In fact, in multiple lawsuits across the nation, Obama's lawyers have fought, and are still fighting, efforts to have that document brought to light. That, by itself, proves that something is wrong.

The second "proof" Obama supporters point to is the fact that the Hawaii state health department released this statement: "Health Department Director Dr. Chiyome Fukino said Friday she and the registrar of vital statistics, Alvin Onaka, have personally verified that the health department holds Obama's original birth certificate."

What they didn't say speaks volumes. Yes, the certificate exists, but where does it say he was born? They wouldn't release that information. Interesting. The most vital fact is completely left out.

Now, it's possible that Obama was really born in Hawaii. But there are many other questions regarding his eligibility for office related to his possible dual or multiple citizenship status, since he lived for a while in Indonesia and his father was Kenyan. I won't go into the possibilities, but if he ever had citizenship in another country, his constitutional qualification to be president is in serious jeopardy.

It looks like the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) might well get involved. (Click here for a blog that is following the case). Yet, no one in the mainstream media has investigated these things. This is the SCOTUS, not a lower court considering a trivial suit based on frivolous charges. Why won't the media even mention it? Something is truly odd. If this were happening to a conservative candidate, they would be all over it.

And if Obama's vault birth certificate proves he was born in the U.S., why won't he produce it and thereby end every lawsuit? Why have his lawyers sealed many of his other records, which could document his other possible citizenships?

(If you're interested, click here for an example of a lawsuit filed by Alan Keyes, a presidential candidate on the ballot in some states. It's a good read.)

There can be only one reason for this stonewalling. There is something in those records Obama doesn't want the American people to know. That sounds sinister to me.

For the sake of this country's future and the rule of law, it is crucial that Obama be forced to prove his eligibility for the highest office in the land. If you're interested in signing a petition that would demand this action, click here.

To those who want to comment on this post, if you're an Obama supporter and you're going to reiterate the same arguments I have already debunked, don't bother. I won't publish your comment. Also, no insulting comments will be published.

If, however, you provide evidence for Obama's constitutional qualifications that I haven't already talked about and you do so in a civil manner, I will consider it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Motiv8 Authors Series - Christopher Hopper

This week's Motiv8 tour author is Christopher Hopper, author of the White Lion Chronicles. To date, two books have been released, Rise of the Dibor and The Lion Vrie. I started the first book, and someday I'll have to finish it, but I felt like Christopher's style was similar to Stephen Lawhead. So if you like Mr. Lawhead's works, you will want to check out this series.

It was great traveling with Christopher. He is one of the friendliest, most genuine people I have ever met. His love of others was proven every day in his humble and giving ways. His love for the Lord is also obvious. He praises God with his lips and with his actions constantly.

He is also a very funny guy, as the photos attest.

Christopher is also a youth pastor in the Thousand Islands area of New York, so his books are an extension of his heart for youth. But his stories aren't just for young people. They are definitely geared for the older teens and adults.

So if you haven't read the White Lion Chronicles, pick up Rise of the Dibor and support this godly man as he serves God with all his heart.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Bones of Makaidos Update

As some of you know, I am in the middle of writing The Bones of Makaidos, so immersed, in fact, that I have taken a leave of absence from my message forum to concentrate on the task.

So, I thought some of you might want an update on my progress. It looks like I will be dividing the book into two major sections, similar to how I divided Eye of the Oracle into three sections. So far, I have worked only on the first part, and I have written about 83,000 words. Since I'm almost finished with a draft of that section, I'm guessing that the total word count for that part will end up being around 90,000 words. I have no idea yet if the second section will be shorter, longer, or about the same length.

The story is, if I do say so myself, super. I'm really excited about it. I have learned a lot about my characters and their histories, even why one of them was named as he or she was. I had not known it before. And I raised tidbits from earlier books that I didn't think would come up again. Loose ends are tying up in ways I never imagined, and the story is culminating in an amazing way.

I even learned today what an Oracle of Fire really is and why she is called that. I was surprised and delighted.

I expect to finish the first draft by the second week in December and all editing by the end of the year. Look for The Bones of Makaidos on bookstore shelves in April of 2009.

I plan for this to be the last book in the Oracles of Fire series. I don't know yet if I will ever revisit this story world that began with Raising Dragons, but any additions will not come in the near future. As soon as this is done, I have to begin work immediately on the Riders of the Apocalypse series as well as an adult fantasy novel for Zondervan.

If you will pray for me as I write, I would appreciate it very much.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prayer for the United States - Part 2

I am distressed. I have been reading blog entries written by friends and fellow believers who claim that if we don't fully support "President Obama" we are in sin. If we don't believe that God has put Obama in as our leader, then we lack faith. If we don't obey all his commands, then we are in danger of damnation. And on and on. This lack of biblical understanding, knowledge of the Constitution, and common sense is maddening.

First, Obama is not the president. He is not even the president elect, contrary to the way he is labeled in every ignorant media outlet in existence. He will not be the president elect until the Electoral College meets and votes in December, and, I hope, not even then. And he will not be the president until, God forbid, he is installed on Inauguration Day.

Right now, we have no biblical mandate to support him as we would a president. And even if he becomes president, we are commanded to pray for him and to obey any command that is righteous, but not to "support" him in all ways.

What does this ambiguous "support" mean anyway? Does it mean that we cannot, as Samuel did to King Saul, boldly tell our political leader that he is in violation of God's law and that God has rejected him as president (king)? Does it mean that we cannot, as Nathan did to King David, tell the leader of the nation that he is in blatant violation of God's commands?

Were the German people who opposed Hitler in sin? The Russians who opposed Stalin? If we acted like these "supporters" wanted us to act, we would have stayed under English rule and the hand of a despotic king. And later, in the twentieth century, we would have had no reason to expect inside help from the citizens of Germany to help us battle Hitler, because they would be bound by this wayward principle to "support" that monster.

Jesus told the people to obey the laws that the scribes and Pharisees prescribed, but that didn't stop Him from saying (from Matthew 23):

"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

And finally, "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?"

I will follow the example of Jesus. I will obey righteous commands, but I will tell the world about the murderous beliefs of this hypocrite named Barack Obama, both now when he is neither the president nor the president elect, and later if he should become the president.

No one is above the law of God such that we should not boldly point out his sinful ways and oppose his forcing those ways upon our nation. This man has already indicated that he will make it easier to murder the most innocent ones in our land, the unborn, so he is clearly an enemy of God. Yes, I will pray for him, that he might repent of his wickedness and come to real faith, but I will not "support" a man who has promised easier access to the murder of the unborn.

I will not be like one of those who cowered under the Nazi regime and refused to speak out against Hitler while millions of Jews were murdered. I will be like Jesus and tell the truth in spite of what the religious leaders of the day believe. And I will pray that my fellow believers will see the light and not blindly follow the masses who support this so-called president elect who has murder in his heart and blood on his hands.

Motiv8 Authors Series - Sharon Hinck

I met Sharon Hinck at the 2003 Mount Hermon Christian Writers' conference. We talked for a while at a meal, and she told me about her fantasy series. I don't remember much about the content of her book proposal, but I'll never forget the passion she had for her story and the burning desire to share what was on her heart, a longing to fill her readers with an intimate understanding of God's love .

I guessed at the time that her book would eventually get published. With that kind of fire for her handiwork, it stood to reason that God had ignited the flames.

Now, that dream is a reality. The Sword of Lyric series is out and readers, especially adult women, have raved about it. I haven't read the books myself, but I have heard that manly men like it, too, right Wayne Batson? So guys, don't be afraid to pick it up. The woman in your life will be proud of you.

I have also had the great pleasure of touring with Sharon at length during the past two fantasy fiction tours. She is an absolute delight--loving, generous, funny, and always ready with a kind and encouraging word. I'm absolutely certain that she makes Jesus smile.

When you meet her, be sure to ask her about football. She loves to talk about the intricacies of the game, especially the players' motivating factors. (Very big wink)

Sharon has several other books that you'll want to check out, all of which have received glowing reviews. Click here for her website.

Thank you, Sharon, for showing us the heart of God.

If anyone wants to let us know your opinion about Sharon and/or her books, please make a comment.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Echoes from the Edge Book #3 Cover Revealed

Here is the cover for Nightmare's Edge, book #3 in the Echoes from the Edge series, scheduled for release on May 1, 2009.

Click here for a higher resolution image.

I'd like to hear what you think of it.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Prayer for the United States

It is early in the morning on the day after this nation has apparently elected perhaps the most wicked presidential candidate in history. I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for this nation. Certainly I will pray otherwise, but I can't help but think that we will not survive this foolish decision and maintain a free republic.

The people, who as a nation continue to slaughter the innocents through abortion, have taken to their hearts this radically pro-abortion Senator, this friend of socialists and terrorists, this pretender who so easily manipulates those who wish to be manipulated. Many would say that this nation gets what it deserves, that God has sent us the means by which we will justly be destroyed, an evil corrupter who will unwittingly deliver God's righteous wrath. That may well be true.

Yet, I will pray for mercy, that maybe through seeing who this charlatan really is, our nation will finally wake up and fight for liberty for the born and the unborn, that we will break the chains of sin that wrap around this nation from coast to coast, that we will return to the faith of our fathers and become a nation of laws, morality, and divine guidance.

I hope you will pray with me.

God help us.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Motiv8 Authors Series - L. B. Graham

A week ago, I introduced you to Wayne Thomas Batson. Today, in an ongoing series, I will feature another author from the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction tour.

L.B Graham is the author of The Binding of the Blade, a five book epic fantasy series with P&R Publishing that began in 2004 and just recently culminated with the publication of All My Holy Mountain in 2008. The first book of the series, Beyond the Summerland, was a 2005 Christy finalist in the “Visionary” category.

Touring with L.B. was a lot of fun. He has a great sense of humor and a wide variety of interests, so listening to his part of the chatter that often flew about our travel van was always entertaining. He also introduced me to the Jack in the Box restaurant chain, which isn't in my geographic region. I tried his favorite breakfast sandwich, and I give it a hearty thumbs up.

L.B. was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up there before heading to Wheaton College outside Chicago in Wheaton, Illinois. From there he went to St. Louis to attend Covenant Seminary. Since 1996 he’s been teaching in St. Louis, the last 9 years at Westminster Christian Academy where he also serves as the Bible Department Chair.

With diverse writing interests, L.B. currently has a nonfiction book proposal under consideration, but he is also developing a new fantasy series which he hopes to begin proposing to publishers soon.

I will be watching L.B.'s writing career progress, and I hope it continues to be successful. I haven't read his books, but my eldest son has, and he enjoyed them very much.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Motiv8 Tour videos

Here are the remaining videos from the Motiv8 Fantasy Fiction Tour

Day three



Day four - part one:



Day four - part two:

Day four - part three:

Day five:


Day Six:

Day seven:


Day Eight:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Senator Obama - Either Stand Up or Step Down

I am adding my voice to many others who are demanding that Senator Obama prove that he is “a natural born Citizen” of the United States, as the Constitution requires as a qualification for president, and he must do so with conclusive documentary evidence.

To this date, he is fighting in court to keep his birth records from being made public. What is he trying to hide?

As many of you know, I'm not supporting Senator McCain for president, so this isn't an attempt to sway people in that direction. I'm just extremely concerned about the ramifications of electing a man who seems to be swindling the American people with a media-aided run for the White House while concealing his background and lack of necessary credentials.

Electing a man who might eventually prove to be constitutionally unqualified will have grave consequences, and electing a man who is actually hiding his past might well mean that we will have a usurper in the most powerful human office in the world, one who has evil motives and could spell disaster for our republic.

So, Senator Obama, we the people demand that you come clean, show official documentary evidence of your qualifications, or step down as the Democrat candidate for President of the United States.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Echoes from the Edge Special Deal

This is a quick note to let you know that I am offering the first two books in the Echoes from the Edge series for $15 plus shipping. That's only $7.50 per book. Signed copies would make a great Christmas gift for the readers on your list.

Click here to go to the page for this sale, or click here for my complete ordering page.

The Shack - A Review

If not for the fact that this book has become a major bestseller, I would not be taking the time to do a review. If not for the fact that many people have been deceived by the insidious material in this book, I would not have bothered to finish reading it. If not for the fact that professing Christians are passing this book around and begging people to read it as if it were the inspired word of God, I would have thrown it in the trash and laughed it off as yet another vacuous attempt to water down the truth of the gospel, another slipshod exercise in constructing a house upon the sand that would surely blow away in the next hefty breeze.

Yet, The Shack continues to dominate bestseller lists. Online reviews exclaim in ecstatic verbiage how the story has radically transformed lives. Shoppers arrive at the checkout line with a dozen copies declaring their intention to freely deliver this new gospel to their friends.

Such is the deception.

Although others have undertaken the task of exposing The Shack for the shoddily written, unbiblical, poisonous book that it is, I have decided to write my own report. Why? I will be commenting on issues that I have not seen in other reviews, and, frankly, there are people who have asked me to share my opinions, so I am responding to their requests.

The Shack begins with a man named Mackenzie (Mack) who receives a note from God, inviting him to visit a certain shack, a place where the murder of Mack’s daughter took place. The story then flashes back to describe the daughter’s (Missy’s) kidnapping, thus capturing the reader’s emotions and generating sympathy.
It is a rare parent who isn’t horrified at the thought of losing a daughter to a rapist-murderer, so the author, William P. Young, uses this bait-and-hook technique to its fullest. Once the hook is set, the story then turns to the longest sermon I have ever seen in a story, Mack’s meeting with the trinity in the aforementioned shack.

Since Young puts words in the mouths of all three persons of the godhead, it is crucial that the words reflect truth. Yet, they are often far from truth, as I will soon point out. Some people have defended the book by saying, “It’s fiction!” but that changes nothing. Fiction is a powerful vehicle for dispensing and illustrating truth. Fiction stories have altered major courses of events in nations all over the world and throughout history. If a fictional story teaches a lie, we must reject it and expose the story for the lie that it is.

Young reveals hints of his doctrine early on when he recounts an Indian legend about a princess who jumps from a cliff in order to bring healing to her tribe. Then, Missy asks her father a series of questions about the story. These questions, and Mack’s answers, foreshadow nearly everything that follows. The author ties Missy and the princess together when Missy asks, “Will God ever ask me to jump off a cliff?”
Although Mack replies “no,” the rest of the story makes the reality of an affirmative answer quite clear.

Mack equates the Indians’ Great Spirit with the true God. He also equates repent-free forgiveness of self-inflicted sin with healing of non-self-inflicted sickness. Both equations are troubling. Sure, Mack could simply be wrong, but the rest of story affirms these and many other falsehoods, as we will see.

Young sets up his errant view of revelation and authority in the following paragraph, in which Mack is pondering a note from God inviting Mack to a meeting at the shack:

Try as he might, Mack could not escape the desperate possibility that the note just might be from God after all, even if the thought of God passing notes did not fit well with his theological training. In seminary he had been taught that God had completely stopped any overt communication with moderns, preferring to have them only listen to and follow sacred Scripture, properly interpreted, of course.

This paragraph becomes Young’s straw man, that is, the idea that must be destroyed, and, of course, the straw man is defenseless. The author uses the rest of the story (a protracted sermon, really) to destroy Mack’s ideas about the authority of the Bible. When Mack meets with this author’s God, he learns that revelation derived from a relationship with the divine supersedes (and contradicts) what he has learned from the Bible. Although Mack is a seminary graduate, his attempts to defend what he has learned from the Bible become laughable. Young uses Mack as a bumbling foil, apparently attempting to show that serious Bible adherents are incapable of defending the truths gained from Scripture. This is an insidious use of the straw man fallacy.

In fact, Young even denigrates family devotions in which the Bible is used:

Often, it was a tedious and boring exercise in coming up with the right answers, or rather, the same old answers to the same old Bible story questions, and then trying to stay awake during his father’s excruciatingly long prayers. And when his father had been drinking, family devotions devolved into a terrifying minefield, where any wrong answer or inadvertent glance could trigger an explosion.

Does the author provide any contrast? Maybe a view of a family reading the Scriptures with real devotion? A loving father teaching the word with enthusiasm and without hypocrisy? No. Because for Young, Christianity isn’t defined within the pages of God’s holy word. It comes through subjective relationships.

When Mack meets God, “God” is an overweight black woman who claims to be the “Father” of the trinity and wants to be called “Papa.” Some claim that it’s fine to portray God the Father appearing this way, but they misunderstand the trinity. The Bible says of Jesus, “He is the image of the invisible God,” (Colossians 1:15) and “He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature.” (Hebrews 1:3) (These and all other quoted Scripture are taken from the New American Standard Bible.)

To see God the Father is to see Jesus. As Jesus said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9) Jesus is the appearance of God the Father. He doesn’t visibly appear any other way. To portray the Father physically in one form in concert with a simultaneous physical appearance by Jesus in a different form is to confuse the truth about the trinity, especially when the author shows nail marks in Papa’s wrists. The Father did not die on the cross. The Son did. Young sets the reader up for a warped view of the godhead.

Young portrays this Papa as a brusque, even vulgar woman. For example, at one point she says, “Don’t just stand there gawkin’ with your mouth open like your pants are full.” Would God use coarse jesting in violation of his own precepts (Ephesians 5:4)? I don’t think so. Young constantly tweaks the reader’s sensibilities and concepts about God in this way, lowering the Father to the status of a bathroom-level jokester, a gun phobic Aunt Jemima, and a lover of anger-inspired rock music (which would be in violation of Galatians 5:20, James 1:20, and Colossians 3:8).

Yet, every complaint I have so far is really minor compared to what I found in the rest of the sermonized story.

I could write on and on about the myriad fallacies the author puts in God’s mouth, the internal inconsistencies, and self-contradictions, which are bad enough, but I will focus on the worst of these errors—the author’s belief that God doesn’t punish sin and rescues everyone in a universal salvation, whether they call upon the name of Jesus or not and whether or not they repent of their sins.

These falsehoods begin when Papa tries to counter Mack’s view of God:

I am not who you think I am, Mackenzie. I don’t need to punish people for sin. Sin is its own punishment, devouring you from the inside. It is not my purpose to punish it; it is my joy to cure it.

The Bible says otherwise. Here are just a few examples:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18)

He also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; and they have no rest day and night. (from Revelation 14:10, 11)

And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. (Revelation 19:15)

Obviously God does need to punish people for sin, and it is in God’s purpose to punish it. Young’s view is clearly unbiblical. He paints a skewed portrait of God, a sugar-daddy deity who doesn’t demand obedience, as the following shows:

For now I just want you to be with me and discover that our relationship is not about performance or you having to please me. I’m not a bully, not some self-centered demanding little deity insisting on my own way.

Yet, God does demand that we please Him. “The person who sins will die” (Exodus 18:20). “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might … for the LORD your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; otherwise the anger of the LORD your God will be kindled against you, and He will wipe you off the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 6:5, 15)

That doesn’t make Him a bully. He is God, and we are His sheep. We are not on an equal plane. And if we don’t obey Him, He sends us to Hell forever. That’s the biblical God, but Young is trying to invent something else, a god who just wants to be friends.

This becomes clear in the following conversation between Mack and Jesus, in which Mack is used again as Young’s bumbling foil (Note Abba is Papa and Sarayu is the book’s representation of the Holy Spirit):

“That’s the beauty you see in my relationship with Abba and Sarayu. We are indeed submitted to one another and have always been so and always will be. Papa is as much submitted to me as I to him, or Sarayu to me, or Papa to her. Submission is not about authority and it is not obedience; it is all about relationships of love and respect. In fact, we are submitted to you in the same way.”

Mack was surprised. “How can that be? Why would the God of the universe want to be submitted to me?”

“Because we want you to join us in our circle of relationship. I don’t want slaves to my will; I want brothers and sisters who will share life with me.”

The Bible doesn’t say anywhere that the Father is in submission to the Son. It’s the other way around. And submission really is about obedience as well as a relationship of love and respect. They are not exclusive. Young seems to want to pit obedience against relationship, as if they cannot exist at the same time. This is a false dilemma, another one of the author’s many fallacies.

Also, Jesus does not call us His friends unless we obey Him, as He said, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” (John 15:14), which clearly demonstrates the truth, that our relationship with Jesus is based on obedience. As John Wesley wrote about this verse, “A thunderbolt for Antinomianism! Who then dares assert that God's love does not at all depend on man's works?”

There are so many examples in which Young puts words in the mouths of his invented trinity that directly contradict the Bible, it would be impossible to list them all. So I will go on to the most dangerous teaching this book foists upon its readers, and it will take some time to present how the author sets up his emotion-baited trap.

When Mack visits another female, who seems to be the personification of wisdom or justice, he is invited to sit in a seat of judgment. When she begins her instructions, she says. “Judging requires that you think yourself superior over the one you judge.” It’s clear that Young is trying to take away the foundations by which we are to make judgments, and by doing so, the reader is made to feel wrong, perhaps prideful, when he or she makes a judgment.

Yet, we are told to make judgments all through Scripture (e.g. 1 John 4:1). We cannot survive without them. We cannot make sound decisions regarding whom to trust or to whom to render service unless we make judgments. And if the responsibility to judge is taken away and judgment itself is vilified, then the basis for God’s judgment is also swept to the side, which we will see.

When Mack is asked to make a judgment regarding a man who would prey on innocent little girls, here is how the conversation ensues:

“What about him, Mackenzie? Is that man guilty? Should he be judged?”

“Yes!” screamed Mack. “Damn him to hell!”

“Is he to blame for your loss?”

“Yes!”

“What about his father, the man who twisted his son into a terror, what about him?”

“Yes, him too!”

“How far do we go back, Mackenzie? This legacy of brokenness goes all the way back to Adam, what about him? But why stop there? What about God? God started this whole thing. Is God to blame?”

Mack was reeling. He didn’t feel like a judge at all, but rather the one on trial.

The woman was unrelenting. “Isn’t this where you are stuck, Mackenzie? Isn’t this what fuels The Great Sadness? That God cannot be trusted? Surely, a father like you can judge the Father!”

When Mack then says that God is to blame, the woman goes on to demand that Mack become a judge, a judge who fits Mack’s idea about God as judge. She says that Mack must decide which of his children will go to heaven and which to hell, and he must choose only two of them to go to heaven. The only basis the story gives for the judgment is that his children have sinned. But Mack refuses to make the choice and asks if he can go to hell in their stead.

To this, the woman replies, “Now you sound like Jesus. You have judged well, Mackenzie. I am so proud of you!”

Does that sound like Jesus? To the undiscerning reader, it might. Jesus died so that we wouldn’t have to suffer judgment. But our salvation in Christ is dependent on our turning from sin, believing in Jesus’ atoning work, and surrendering to God in obedience. In Young’s world, you obtain salvation automatically. No turning, no faith, no repentance. There isn’t even a hint that anything is required, not even faith in Christ.

Young sets up a false view of God’s judgment, that God arbitrarily sends some sinners to Hell and other sinners to Heaven, without consideration for repentance and faith, and dashes that idea, thus killing a straw man. So, what is left to believe after this contrived debate? That God takes everyone to Heaven, because with Young’s false dilemma, that’s the only option remaining.

The following excerpt should make it clear that Young believes in universal salvation, even for those who don’t call upon the name of Jesus. In the book, Jesus says,

“Those who love me come from every system that exists. They were Buddhists or Mormons, Baptists or Muslims, Democrats, Republicans and many who don’t vote or are not part of any Sunday morning or religious institutions. I have followers who were murderers and many who were self-righteous. Some are bankers and bookies, Americans and Iraqis, Jews and Palestinians. I have no desire to make them Christian, but I do want to join them in their transformation into sons and daughters of my Papa, into my brothers and sisters, into my Beloved.”

The key is the author’s words, “I have no desire to make them Christian.” This, by itself, should have raised red flags for every reader. Of course Jesus wants all people to become Christian. In the Bible, He tells people to come and follow Him over and over. They can’t be saved without being His followers. Yet, thousands upon thousands of professing Christians, lacking discernment, are singing the praises of this deceptive book.

Young portrays God as someone who has no expectations on our behavior (“I never placed an expectation on you or anyone else”). There is no judgment. Everything is about relationships. Although our relationship with God is crucial, it is not something that supplants our obedience and God’s justice regarding those who do not obey.

Are you still unconvinced that the author is pushing universalism? Read on.

As the story winds down, Mack is given a vision in which he sees his father in a heaven-like place. Of course, there is no hint given that his father ever repented and turned to God, so we are left wondering how he made it to heaven. Though in Young’s world, turning from sin has no saving value, so this is really no surprise. Mack, in concert with this repentance-free economy, forgives his father, again pulling the reader’s emotions into acquiescence with this false forgiveness.

False forgiveness? Yes. It seems that the church today has fallen for a false definition of forgiveness, that somehow we can forgive someone who has not repented of his wrongdoing. Without repentance from the offending party, the offended party can decide not to hate or harbor a desire for revenge, but that is not true forgiveness.

Forgiveness is the restoration of a relationship from both sides, both the one who offended and the one who was offended. If we decide that forgiveness is merely the cessation of a desire to punish the offender, we will short circuit true forgiveness. Why? Because thinking this revenge-free thought pattern is all we need to do, we will no longer seek the restored relationship only repentance will bring.

Does God forgive those who don’t repent? Of course not. Yet, in Young’s world, God, because of the sacrificial work of Jesus, forgives everyone, whether repentant or not, whether a Christian or not. As “God” says in this book:

“In Jesus, I have forgiven all humans for their sins against me, but only some choose relationship.”

Convinced yet? If this isn’t universal salvation, then what is? I could write pages about Young’s warped view of forgiveness, but here it is in simplicity. Forgiveness is simply deciding not to punish someone, regardless of whether or not that person has repented. So God doesn’t punish anyone, whether they have turned from their sins or not, or even whether they believe in Jesus or not

This twisted view is exemplified in Mack when he “forgives” his daughter’s murderer, though he has no idea whether or not this killer is currently raping and killing another innocent girl. What nonsense! This isn’t forgiveness. The killer hasn’t repented. He hasn’t sought forgiveness at all. All this is is Mack trying to feel better. It is merely the self-centered flushing of negative feelings. It does nothing to redeem the offender, though Young thinks it does.

“Mack, for you to forgive this man is for you to release him to me and allow me to redeem him.”

Somehow, God’s redemption is predicated on Mack’s decision to forgive the unrepentant rapist-murderer. Such is Young’s view of God, a deity who demands nothing but a touchy-feely relationship. There are no expectations, no responsibilities, only a kiss on the lips and a pat on the head when his creatures rebel. Everyone will be saved, no matter what.

God has become the Great Spirit in the bedtime story who sends a princess to jump from a cliff, thereby healing all people no matter the condition of their heart or the confession from their lips.
It is such a tragedy that so many in the church are accepting this blatantly false view of God, judgment, and salvation. A book like this should never have become a bestseller. It is poorly written, it is obviously false, and it is an insult to God. But sales continue to skyrocket, forcing us to sound an alarm that really shouldn’t be needed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Motiv8 Tour Sponsor - Real Armor of God

Wielding swords and wearing medieval clothing was one of the highlights of our tour. At many of the events, Sir Wayne and Sir Christopher put on mock sword battles that proved to be very popular with everyone.

In the photo the two knights are going at it in a mall in Medford, Oregon. They put on a great show.

Kids and parents alike stared at our swords with wide eyes, especially when we let them hold our blades. What a treat!

Where did we get the swords, scabbards, belts, and much of our clothing? At a great online store called Real Armor of God. John Cooper of Real Armor, a tour sponsor, provided the swords as well as much of our garb. We can't thank him enough for his generosity.

Do you want battle-ready swords? Realistic clothing from a variety of historic eras? Chain mail? It's all there at Real Armor of God. And the prices are reasonable. What a great Christmas present for the warrior or sword maiden on your gift list!

Here is the link: http://www.realarmorofgod.com Or just click here.