Friday, February 28, 2014

Saturn Billboard Controversy

*This was a letter I sent to the editor of the South Jersey Times in December 2013.  You should have read the disgusting online comments made about my letter which proved to me that internet anonymity not only protects the gutless cowards who walk among us, but, that we have a very serious problem with literacy skills in America today!

In response over the recent brouhaha over the 'Saturn" billboard in Pitman, in order to understand why this otherwise pleasant southern New Jersey community is once again being targeted at Christmas, this time by a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation, one must first understand Pitman's unique history as a Christian "Campmeeting Town" in the late 19th century.
In the years prior to the Civil War, there was a strong temperance movement throughout Gloucester County.  After the war, there came an intense need for another religious revival nationwide. In the 1870's, major camp meeting grounds were established in both Pitman and in Malaga.

For many years thereafter, people flocked to Pitman during the warm months of summer to hear the sermons of renown ministers of the day.  The men proclaiming the good news of the Gospel to the masses undoubtedly served to influence both the people and the shaping of the town of Pitman.  Today, the town remains a strong, tightly knit community and a nice place to live.  Pitman is certainly tolerant of her non-Christian residents as well.  In that way, she reflects America as a nation founded on the Judeo-Christian principles of the Holy Bible.  We are the most religiously tolerant nation on the face of the earth. 
The word, "religion" is defined as having to do with peoples' beliefs in God or perhaps the beliefs of the church they attend, however, religion can also mean your way of life.
The FFRF claims that because the town of Pitman posts a banner at Christmas proclaiming, "Keep Christ In Christmas" that the town is officially endorsing  Christianity.  I believe that this banner is simply a reminder to those who participate in the holiday to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas. 
There is no mandate forcing everyone living in Pitman, or any place else in America to observe the holiday, or,  to become Christians for that matter.
However, I am puzzled as to why this group, which claims it does not endorse religion, would choose to endorse the Roman festival of Saturnalia? Could one of the reasons be that the human sacrifice of Christians was part of the ritual practices of Saturnalia?
In the book, "The Golden Bough" author J.G. Frazer retells the story of Saint Dasius, a Christian soldier who was killed after he refused to play the role of the King of Saturnalia.  Frazer wrote that role of the king was originally a "scapegoat victim" sacrificed to appease the god Saturn and thus mark the end of the festival.
The torture and death of the mock "King of Saturnalia" sounds very much like a mockery of the torture and death of the Lord Jesus Christ by the Roman soldiers before He was crucified.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation Co-President Dan Barker claims that the town of Pitman "...wants to control the content of speech".  But the question is, Who is really offending whom in this situation?

Thoughts On The Movie "Son Of God"

I have been having some doubts lately over the new film, “Son of God”. While I believe that producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey are truly sincere in their faith, and in their efforts to bring the life of Jesus to the big screen, the fact that Newsweek Magazine, and the rest of the liberal news media, as well as Hollywood, are singing the praises of this new movie raised a red flag in my mind.

I felt there was something not quite right about it.

Then, I happened to read in an interview with Roma Downey about her new film, in which she said that she and her husband decided to “leave Satan on the cutting room floor.” Downey claimed that they wanted all the focus to be on Jesus. She was also concerned because of last year’s reaction by the liberal news media to the miniseries, “The Bible” in which the actor portraying Satan resembled President Obama.

While I understand her concern for possibly offending the president, I cannot see how can she and the producers of this new film can truly portray the life of Jesus by leaving Satan out of the story, when the Lord went to the cross specifically to destroy all the works of the enemy, thus fulfilling the wonderful promise of God in Genesis 3:15: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring. He will bruise and tread your head underfoot, and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel.”

 In these perilous times we are living in, people are desperately searching for the truth and need to know that while there is mercy and forgiveness for their sins, and that eternal life comes only through and in Jesus, our loving and compassionate Lord and Messiah, He is not merely a religious figure on the big screen, but He is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven. And He is coming back soon to claim His bride, the Church.

However, people should also be made aware that Satan is alive too. And he is not only a lying and deceiving force of appalling wickedness, but, in his own words, from the Book of Job, he “has been wandering to and fro through the earth and walking up and down on it” from the very beginning.

In my opinion, by leaving out Satan’s essential role in the story, the producers of "Son of God", although they are probably not aware of it, are actually appealing to his vanity and his legitimacy as the destroyer of the souls of mankind.
On the other hand, I hope that many people who will see this movie will be inspired by the life of Jesus and will choose to seek Him as their Lord and Messiah.