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 Post subject: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2016 2:18 pm 
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Many of us are puzzled about a strange phenomenon we have been observing of late: the baffling choice that so many evangelical Christian voters in this country are making to support a man who in many ways violates the very principles these Christians claim to hold dear.

I have heard some say they don't really like the man, and they don't agree with many things he says, or the way he says them, and yet they intend to vote for him next month.

I expect conservative Christians would say that this is a case where the end justifies the means. The end being, "Anyone other than his opponent will do". The end being, "We must make sure that our judges are chosen for the Supreme Court". I know you have heard these arguments, and others.

Some of us are wondering how it is that the passionate pursuit of end results can cloud people's reasoning so significantly. The end goal leads people to rationalize and compromise and disregard their standards to the extent that they eventually put their trust in someone who has spent his entire life exemplifying the polar opposite of everything Christians claim to believe and follow.

The similarities between this current phenomenon and what we've been discussing here on Fanda Eagles for years is hard to ignore. "The end justifies the means." How many times have we pointed out that this has become the operating philosophy of a once-great mission? Those of us who were raised in NTM, or who trained or served in the mission in the later decades of the last century, knew NTM to be an organization that prided itself in holding fast to Biblical principles like honesty, integrity, and purity of heart. Biblical Ethics was a required course in the Bible Institute curriculum.

In recent years, it would appear that the end goal of maintaining the organization has become a higher priority than living by the ethics we were taught. The end justifies the means.

When the end justifies the means, it does not bother your conscience when you mislead MK abuse survivors, your mission members and your supporters, with a word like "independent". As recently as July 24, 2014, this message was posted here, from Pat Hendrix, the first coordinator of IHART: "I want to state categorically IHART is not controlled by NTM. We are an independent group of investigators that NTM has contracted with to conduct the investigations." viewtopic.php?f=5&t=610&start=700

Four months later, Pat was fired. New Tribes Mission replaced her with Theresa Sidebotham, an attorney who is a good friend of Scott Ross. So much for the independence of IHART. It was now being described as a "process of NTM". But from the founding of IHART in April, 2011 until the end of 2014, many, many had the impression that IHART was an independent company or group, in the way that GRACE is. This misconception was widespread, both in and outside the mission. The end justifies the means.

When the end justifies the means, you can rationalize the protection of an evil man like Gary Earl, because of his many connections with important people in NTM. To the few people who saw the report produced by Professional Investigators International, I know that you know in your heart that this man sexually abused at least one of the girls in his boarding home. And yet you again manipulated words and technicalities, thereby skirting around your own mission policies for such a crime, and in the end, the only consequence this man received was that he was "required to resign" from the mission. The end justifies the means.

When the end justifies the means, you can still sleep at night, even after being dishonest with thousands of generous donors who donated to a fund you set up for relief for the victims of the terrible Typhoon Haiyan that ripped through a portion of the Philippine Islands in Nov., 2013. On your mission website, you promised, "Any funds collected in excess of the needs of NTM's direct involvement in relief efforts will be forwarded in their entirety to reputable relief organizations that NTM has verified are doing relief work in the wake of the typhoon." Good people with generous hearts donated at least $250,000, and probably much more, expecting that their money would go to help the devastated people and communities they saw on the evening news, around the Tacloban area. Since I have a keen personal interest in the Philippines, I tried to follow this situation and the relief work being done by NTM as closely as I could. NTM Aviation did bring in some extra aircraft, and relief work was done in the Palawan area where there was moderate damage, but the Philippine government said "no thanks" to the offer NTM made to help the people in the Tacloban area.

One would assume that NTM would follow through on their promise to forward any excess funds raised (the goal gradually increased, as the money kept pouring in, till the last goal set was $500,000, but I do not know if that goal was actually reached) to reputable relief organizations. I was shocked to learn that in Dec., 2014, NTM leaders in the Philippines instead handed over the remainder of their fund to the mayor of a small island in the Palawan area, where NTM has a fledgling work, for the purpose of constructing an airport! 12,000,000 pesos was given to this community - over $250,000! viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1334&start=30 As far as I can tell, currently there is one NTM missionary family living on this island of Agutaya. That particular mayor is no longer in power, and the airport has never been finished. But the end justifies the means.

When the end justifies the means, you can promote the practice of sending your missionaries into areas of the world where mission work or proselytizing is illegal. In their home countries, these clandestine members do their deputation as missionaries, raising support from churches and donors who trust they are going abroad to spread the gospel. And yet, these missionaries do not appear on NTM's website, and they slip into "closed countries" as English teachers, or medical workers, or university students. I have grave concerns about how this dual identity and the secrecy and deception that surrounds it affects the children in these families. I have other concerns as well, and these are described well in this article, authored by a Christian who makes a great deal of sense: http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/17/opinions/ ... index.html

But the end justifies the means.

Does the end really justify the means??

Think about it, Christian. Someday you will be answering to God for these choices you are making, choosing the end goal of protecting your job, your financial security, your retirement future, your legacy, your institution .... choosing those over God's command: "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 10:21 am 
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As an outside observer looking at the U.S. election and the huge amount of mud being thrown, it is on the one hand fascinating and on the other hand a genuine concern.
For Donald Trump to have got this far, to the rest of the world is incredible. Argueably the worlds most influential democracy with many many millions of possible candidates for the job and the best that can be found for the Republican side is Donald Trump, incredible.
Even more incredible is that he will garner millions of votes, from a range of voters who either love his bullying style and see him as some sort of mystical saviour to those who do not like Hillary because she doesn't fit their view.

But then it probably shouldn't come as a surprise to this old MK, for I learnt the hard way that religous fanatics like bullies. As long as the bullies are inflicting their sadistic pleasure on someone else, then their track record is excusable and their actions are useful.

While for the rest of the world the Obama Presidency showed the best of what democracy U.S. style had to offer, in that someone from a disadvantaged background could rise to the very top by hard work and talking common sense, Donald Trump is the exact opposite. Someone who has bought and bullied their way to the top and common sense and decency has been sacraficed to do it.

And for once, I don't mind being an outsider looking in. No conscience to wrestle with, no trying to make the ends justifying the means. Just sitting at the bottom of the world being able to make a comment on this wonderful free forum of democratic speech and knowing that whoever is elected the sun is still going to shine on this little slice of paradise far far across the big ocean :D


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:52 pm 
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That is a good reminder, Bemused.

The sun will actually still shine over here too. No matter what.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:41 pm 
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NEWSFlASH

It has just been announced that Mr Donald Trump, who is running for the Presidency of the USA has contracted IHART to investigate allegations of misconduct that have surfaced recently about his past. He said that he has choosen IHART because they have a track record of being very independent, do a thorough investigation and will be able to meet his deadline. He expects the investigation to be complete by Noveber 2024. In the meantime he welcomes votes in the upcoming election from his dear friends in the fundamentalist, evangelical and other religious sectors as usual.


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:52 pm 
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:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:58 pm 
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:lol: Bemused!!


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Raz Wrote:
Quote:
That is a good reminder, Bemused.

The sun will actually still shine over here too. No matter what.


Just checked out the window and the sun ain't shining, but that is probably because it is to early in the morning and it is raining anyway. But the election is over and Donald Trump will be the next President. It was a democratic process, so live with it we must. I have friends who are Trump supporters who will be delighted and friends who are not and are upset. Both will still be my friends and if they like we can have robust discussions till the cows come home on whatever they like to talk about.

Now speaking of cows. The wonderful Mrs Bemused found this marvelous piece of humour the other day, so I added a bit to it and thought it might raise the odd smile or two:

Quote:

VENTURE CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.

SOCIALISM You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM You have 2 cows The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk

A FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows, but you do not know where they are. You decide to have lunch.

A SWISS CORPORATION You have 5,000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION You have two cows. Both are mad.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none. Nobody believes you, so they bomb the crap out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows but at least you are now a Democracy.

AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.

A GREEK CORPORATION You have two cows borrowed from French and German banks. You eat both of them. The banks call to collect their milk, but you cannot deliver so you call the IMF. The IMF loans you two cows. You eat both of them. The banks and the IMF call to collect their cows/milk. You are out getting a haircut.

AN IRISH CORPORATION You have two cows. One of them is a horse.

TRUMP CORPORATION He's got lots of cows and he's promising lots of cows to lots of folk. Then he's going to build a wall to keep them Mexicans from taking the milk. No ones figured out who's going to milk the cows, but that don't matter because the farm is going to be great again.

CLINTON CORPORATION: Donald the farmer says you've been milking the cows for yourself and some folk have been investigating. There's a lot of B.S. on the ranch and it's getting thown all over the place, no wonder the milk tastes funny, but the folks are getting used to it.


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:59 pm 
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:lol: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 1:02 pm 
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Never have we seen such division---even in our own neighborhood/ among close friends/ among friends/and in our family.
It's new and strange to have the discussion this close and this personal.
But good for us to feel a little heat and learn to handle it with grace.
So far we have had some lively discussions.
We are still friends with all. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Sounds Familiar ...
PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 4:11 pm 
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:)


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