Sunday, October 28, 2012

The First Official American Flag – Guess Who Saluted?


The American Flag, affectionately known as “Old Glory”, has a storied history and tradition dating all the way back to Betsy Ross. Unfortunately, not many are aware of the true beginnings of the ensign chosen to represent the work against King George and his British Redcoats. The story of its initial unfurling makes for interesting reading.

 In the finely crafted work of the late Tupper Saussy, Rulers Of Evil, we find the story of the creation of the official Flag for the 13 Colonies and the Official designs of Independence from British Rule, both Monarchial and Parliamentary. While official British policy through its governmental agencies was being rejected by the Founding Fathers, acceptance of British rule through Official economic entities was another matter entirely.
Rulers of Evil informs us of this account.

 “During the fall of 1775, Congress authorized a committee made up of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Lynch, Benjamin Harrison, and George Washington to consider and recommend a design for the first united colonial flag. The so-called Flag Committee traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts. There, according the only known account of its proceedings, given in Robert Allen Campbell’s book Our Flag (Chicago, 1890), the committee mysteriously shared its authority with a complete stranger. This stranger was an elderly European transient known only as “the Professor.”……….

 At the evening session [December 13, 1775], Franklin turned the meeting over to “his new-found and abundantly honored friend.” The subject was a flag. Addressing the committee as “Comrade Americans,” the Professor explained that, since the colonies were still dependent upon Great Britain, “we are not expected to design or recommend a flag which will represent a new government or an independent nation,” but instead one “that will testify our present loyalty as English subjects,” a flag that was “already in use,” a flag that had been recognized by the British government for “half a century,” a flag having a field of alternate horizontal red and white stripes with the Grand Union Flag of Great Britain in the upper left hand corner.

 “I refer,” he said, “to the flag of the East India Company.”

To hide the fact that Americans would be fighting under the private flag of an international mercantile corporation controlled by Jesuits, the Professor provides a plausible cover whereby the flag could be “explained to the masses”:

 The Union Flag of the Mother Country is retained as the union [upper left corner] of our new flag to announce that the Colonies are loyal to the just and legitimate sovereignty of the British government. The thirteen stripes will at once by understood to represent the thirteen Colonies; their equal width will type the equal rank, rights and responsibilities of the Colonies. The union of the stripes in the field of our flag will announce the unity of interests and the cooperative union of efforts, which the Colonies recognize and put forth in their common cause. The white stripes will signify that we consider our demands just and reasonable; and that we will seek to secure our rights through peaceable, intelligent and statesmanlike means – it they prove at all possible; and the red stripes at the top and bottom of our flag will declare that first and last – and always – we have the determination, the enthusiasm, and the power to use force – whenever we deem force necessary. The alternation of the red and white stripes will suggest that our reasons for all demands will be intelligent and forcible, and that our force in securing our rights will be just and reasonable."

The Professor reminded the committee that “the masses of the people, and a large majority of the 
leaders of public opinion, desire a removal of grievances, and a rectification of wrongs, through a fuller recognition of their rights as British Subjects; and few of them desire and very few of them expect – at this time – any complete severance of their present political and dependent relations with the English Government.” That severance would occur “before the sun in its next summer’s strength” – indicating that the Professor foreknew………..a July declaration of independence. At that time, the East India Company flag could be “easily modified” by replacing the Union Jack with stars against a blue background, “to make it announce and represent the new and independent nation.”

 Washington and Franklin lavished the Professor’s idea with “especial approval and unstinted praise.” The committee formally and unanimously adopted the East India Company’s banner, known as “The Thirteen Stripes,” as the general flag and recognized standard of the Colonial Army and Navy.”……..

 On January 2, 1776, at a formal ceremony attended by the Flag Committee, George Washington personally hoisted the East India Company flag “upon a towering and specially raised pine tree liberty pole,” unfurling it to the breeze and displaying it for the first time “to his army, the citizens of the vicinity, and the British forces in Boston.” The British officers at Charleston Heights perceived the event

To mean that General Washington had thus announced his surrender to them. At once, they saluted  “The Thirteen Stripes” with thirteen hearty cheers. They immediately followed this spontaneous outburst of British Enthusiasm with the grander and more dignified official salute of thirteen guns, the thirteen gun salute being the highest compliment in gunpowder, the military “God speed you.”……The redcoats were toasting the good health of the rebels, who in turn were fighting for the East India Company.”

How many remember learning this tidbit of historical trivia from any history course? Yet, here it is! Can you fathom the significance of such an event, one that finds your enemy providing their highest military honor in the face of you unfurling the chosen emblem of your official military resistance? And how about the fact that the man who would later be chosen to General the Revolutionary forces and become known as The Father of America is the one actually lifting the ensign, the exact ensign of the mightiest entity ever created by the British Government, The East India Company?

Could it be that we've missed something in our details and understanding of the American Revolution? Is it possible for such details like this, that have been ignored by many, to begin to slowly paint an unfamiliar historical landscape for us to consider. Is it possible that historical fact as recorded by the original actors and spectators of American origins can undeceive modern American progeny?

Regardless, we should never fear the Truth!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Know Your Teachers – Beth Moore, Brennan Manning & Others

In this age of having overwhelming amounts of information available at the click of a mouse, it’s easy to be presented quotes of popular personalities without knowing their underlying context. While sounding great on the surface and accepted easily by most, the reality of unseen origins lurks for only the dedicated seeker of Truth to discern.

This is the case for almost all of the currently popular Christian teachers and ministers of today. Interestingly, they all seem to promote practices using traditional Christian terminology and even Bible verses. A closer look, however, finds these ideas and practices cannot be supported by the totality of Scripture. In fact, Scripture specifically warns against them. Yet, these practices continue to be embraced and promoted.

The main area of concern is found within the teaching regarding Spiritual Transformation and Spiritual Formation and their emphasis on Contemplative Spiritually in the form of  contemplative or meditative prayer. 
Popular Southern Baptist Teacher - Beth Moore

 One of the more popular and widely known of these promoters among women is Beth Moore. In her book from 2002, When Godly People Do Ungodly Things, In a section about "Unceasing Prayer" Moore states: "I have picked up on the terminology of Brother Lawrence, who called praying unceasingly practicing God's presence. In fact, practicing God's presence has been my number one goal for the last year" (p. 109). In the DVD, Be Still,  Beth Moore states "If we are not still before Him, we will never truly know to the depths of the marrow of our bones that He is God. There's got to be a stillness."

While there are many other supporting and related statements that could be provided, we will focus on the origins of these statements and practices, which are openly mentioned in her writings and speeches. Probably the person most promoted by Beth Moore is Brennan Manning. Moore builds her case for contemplative practices in her frequent references to Manning in her book, suggesting that his contribution to "our generation of believers may be a gift without parallel" (p. 72).
Renegade Catholic Priest - Brennan Manning

Regarding prayer, Manning believes, “The first step in faith is to stop thinking about God at the time of prayer. Choose a single, sacred word or phrase that captures something of the flavor of your intimate relationship with God. A word such as Jesus, Abba, Peace, God or a phrase such as "Abba, I belong to you." ... Without moving your lips, repeat the sacred word inwardly, slowly, and often. When distractions come, ... simply return to listening to your sacred word.... [G]ently return [your mind] to your sacred word. (Brennan Manning)

The Biblically literate student quickly ascertains that this advice flies directly in the face of Jesus’ warning and instruction on prayer in Matthew 6:7, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetition as the heathen do:”

In Brennan Manning's 2003 book, Above All (foreword written by Michael W. Smith), Manning says the following: “The god whose moods alternate between graciousness and fierce anger ...the god who exacts the last drop of blood from his Son so that his just anger, evoked by sin, may be appeased, is not the God revealed by and in Jesus Christ. And if he is not the God of Jesus, he does not exist.” (p. 58-59) 

In case you didn’t catch that, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically, the literal blood atonement by the literal sacrifice of Christ’s literal body for the literal sins of mankind, is specifically denied by Brennan Manning. Unfortunately, he is not alone among the proponents of Contemplative Spirituality in this belief.

Beth Moore also quotes Manning from his book Ragamuffin Gospel calling the book "one of the most remarkable books" (p. 290) she has ever read. But it is this very book that reveals Manning's true affinity with contemplative spirituality. In the back of the book, Manning makes reference to Basil Pennington saying that Pennington's methods will provide us with "a way of praying that leads to a deep living relationship with God." However, Pennington's methods of prayer draw from Eastern religions. In his book, Finding Grace at the Center, Pennington says: “We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and "capture" it for Christ. Indeed, those of us who are in ministry should make the necessary effort to acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible. Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped by Yoga, Zen, TM and similar practices.” 

In his book, Abba's Child, Manning says that Beatrice Bruteau is a "trustworthy guide to contemplative consciousness. Bruteau believes that God lives in all creation, stating: "We have realized ourselves as the Self that says only I AM, with no predicate following, not "I am a this" or "I have that quality." Only unlimited, absolute I AM.”

Do you remember the words of Jesus about the latter days saying that many would come in His name saying "I AM"? We are not to be deceived.

As stated earlier, this only begins to deal with the huge errors of belief and practice being currently taught by most ministers today. Unfortunately, their origin is not with God. It would be worth the time and effort for us to continually undertake the command of the Bible for those professing a genuine relationship with God through the Jesus described in Scripture to “examine yourself, whether you be in the faith.” II Corinthians 13:5