Odds & Ends In the News

Some things that haven’t completely slipped under the radar of current events include news on the Euro, Thailand, a UK preacher arrested for “abusive or insulting language” and, of course, Texas textbooks. Oh! I almost forgot about the Gospel According to Glenn Beck.

The Euro

Greece is just a symptom of a lack of discipline in the Eurozone. Spain and Portugal, markets that heavily invested in real estate, are also seeing stark times. The ripple effect is being felt all over, and not just in Europe. Stock markets this week were pretty volatile on news about the Euro and Germany’s ban on short-selling. The BBC on it’s 20 May 10 Newspod program http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio/newspod/newspod_20100520-1739a.mp3 produced an episode on “The future of the Euro” and again on it’s 21 May 10 Newspod program http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio/newspod/newspod_20100521-1721a.mp3 on “Saving the Euro”.

Some are questioning whether or not the Euro can survive some of this controversy. Unrest even within the Eurozone is evident, as some believe that the brunt of the difficulties are being borne by some who have attempted to live by the rather rigid rules setup to govern the Euro.

This, to me, is just a preview of the iron mixing with miry clay. We do know that the current European Union will eventually be superseded by a government of ten rulers who will in turn give over their sovereignty over to one supreme ruler. While it is possible that it will be a terrorist or war that will cause some type of crisis to cause this to happen, it could just as easily be a financial meltdown that causes emergency measures to be put in place by a strong leader.


I have said very little about the current insurgency in Thailand. In general, this region will play a much smaller role in events as Bible prophecy unfolds.

One thing that is striking is that Thailand is the land of “mai pen rai”. About the closest Western idea I can think of that parallels it is “que sera, sera”. The ability of the Thai people to tolerate other people’s bad behavior is staggering in some circumstances.

And, that is what makes the whole political scene unusual. For a country that almost takes pride in the fact that trouble runs off of people like water runs off of a duck, it is a very stark contrast.

Perilous times will come to the entire world. Some people in the past have expressed the desire to relocate to a “safe” country in order to escape the turbulence that will come upon the descendants of Israel in the last days. However, at best it would provide a temporary reprieve. It will be called the “Great Tribulation” because it will be upon the whole world. The only place of safety will be one that God designates and only for those whom He designates it.

UK Street Preacher Arrested Under Anti-Riot Laws

A 42 year old Baptist has been arrested in the UK for expressing his view that homosexuality is a sin, according to ReligionNewsBlog article “Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin” http://www.religionnewsblog.com/24278/christian-preacher-dale-mcalpine-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.

According to the article:

Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech.

Here’s the real kicker, though: He did not actually preach against homosexuality! In fact, it wasn’t until a debate with a woman, who approached him, that the subject came up in a list of sins.

It was after this that a gay police officer arrested him.

Do we see the problem with Sodom and Gomorrah yet? It isn’t just about sin. It is about justifying that sin. It is about calling that sin a “right”. It is about pursuing the object of one’s addiction, and sexual sin is just as much an addiction as any drug, no matter who gets hurt in the process. It is about shutting down the opposition.

It is not about tolerance at all. You are only “tolerant” when you agree with their opinion. Otherwise, they will be more than willing to show you their intolerance. Canada is in a very similar state as the UK, and the US is not far behind!

These last two stories really point to an attitude in the time of the end of grasping what you want – by force if necessary.

Texas Textbooks

I’m sure all of you have heard about the controversial changes Texas wants to make on their textbooks. However, you might not be aware of just how distorted the so-called “news media” have twisted portions of it.

It never ceases to amaze me that when a liberal twists something out of proportion, people are expected to shrug shoulders. However, when a conservative uses the same tactics, it is “politicizing” something.

According to MSNBC.com story “Texas OKs school textbook changes” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37271857/ns/us_news-life/:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said school officials "should keep politics out" of curriculum debates.

"We do a disservice to children when we shield them from the truth, just because some people think it is painful or doesn’t fit with their particular views," Duncan said in a statement. "Parents should be very wary of politicians designing curriculum."

“The truth”? You mean like the fact that “separation of church and state” are nowhere in the Constitution? You mean like the fact that the Civil War was not fought over slavery? Excuse me, but what “truth” did you have in mind?

For a liberal to say that education should not be “ideologically driven” is hypocritical. Liberal politics have had a stronghold in education for decades now. Abortion, sex education, the passing out of condoms at school, the teaching of Darwinian evolution, have all predominated the educational scene. Educators have even written about using the schools as a platform for the spreading of their agendas.

Schools have been political hotbeds since I’ve been alive. School bussing? Political. Prayer in school? Political. It doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not, it is still political!

However, notice what your US news media is not telling you! Some of the most controversial items were dropped from the changes. Even today, I saw ABC ran a story that still included the renaming of the “slave trade” to the “Atlantic triangular trade”. I don’t even know what that means, let alone even remember that term.

In the end, though, can you have education without ideology? I don’t think so.

The real problem isn’t whether or not the President’s middle name is in a textbook, or whether or not you use some pseudo-legal verbiage in place of “slave trade”. The real problem is the missing dimension in education. The real problem is that this country has turned its back on the one textbook that really can supply the answers. The US has ignored the one book that claims to have the answers even without looking into it. Instead, they have believed what others have said about the book, usually supplying their own deficient translation of it.

That book is the one that the Creator God gave humanity: The Bible.

Glenn Beck’s Gospel

Speaking of deficient translations of what the Bible says, Christianity Today ran an article on “Glenn Beck’s Gospel” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2010/mayweb-only/30.53.0.html.

OK, you know the drill by now: Is it CT that has the deficient view or Glenn Beck? Yes.

At any rate, I’ve looked all over the place, and “capitalism” just is not in my concordance. However, I assume that the Texas Board of Education could fix that problem eventually.

Again, we have people pontificating about what the Bible says. Frankly, the “Gospel”, the “Good News”, is about neither “social justice” or “capitalism”. Either approach is reading into what the Bible says.

Jesus Himself said what the Gospel is about.

14Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, (Mark 1:14, King James Version)

Some “scholars” claim that Paul came preaching a different Gospel, one that was more tailored to the Gentiles. Is that true?

30And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

31Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him. (Acts 28:30-31, King James Version)

It sounds like the same thing to me!

No, Glenn Beck, capitalism is not in the Bible, but some of its tenets are. No, Jim Wallis, social justice is not in the Bible, but some of its tenets are. Neither are these things the real Gospel message.

Here’s the rub, though. The Bible doesn’t look for a big centralized government to solve all of your problems for you. God hands down commands and decrees and expects human beings to follow them. He expects people to be industrious and work, and yet He expects people to take care of others who cannot help themselves.

Sometimes, though, that comes in the form of providing them with the means to take care of themselves. If you will notice, the OT Law provided the means for the poor to harvest in other people’s fields. They still had to work for their food. The landowner was tasked with not being so greedy as to not leave any for them.

The saying, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime,” is most appropriate here.

However, even that still has to be balanced with the command, “Love thy neighbour as thyself.”


  1. It will be interesting to see if the new UK Prime Minister will be able to change some of these policies and practices. Not only what free speech is, but matters involving Islam's growth in Britain.

    Considering he's in a coalition government, I personally think it will be difficult.