Fritz Berggren Home Page

Archive of Letters by Fritz Berggren, Ph.D

I retain the copyright on all material, however feel free to use it for you own purposes -- magazines, newspapers, letters to friends and family -- as long as you credit the author.

Life Is Short 15 November 2002
Twenty-first Century Tracts 14 November 2002
Pebbles From the Brink 24 October 2002
Theocracy, Humanism, & Christianity 21 October 2002
Tales From the Dark Side, 14 October 2002
China & Genesis, 26 September 2002
Why Islam Cannot Save, 18 September 2002
The Boy, the Fly, the Flame, and the Worm, 1 August 2002
Boot Camp, 401Ks, and Judgment Day, 22 July 2002
Speakers From The Dead: Mercy, Catherine, and the Angel, 9 June 2002
Leadership, Evil, and King Saul, 2 June 2002
Toll Booth Ministry, 4 May 2002
Old & New Testaments - Part 2, 29 April 2002
Old & New Testaments - Part 1, 29 April 2002
Speaker From The Dead, 19 April 2002 (Written 7 November 2001)
The Message, 15 April 2002
Liberating Palestine, 5 April 2002
What's Wrong With Islam, 17 March 2002
Designer Babies, 5 March 2002
Post-Modern Christianity, 28 February 2002
Enemies, 20 February 2002
Social Security Gets Enron-ed, 14 February 2002
Art & Architecture, 13 February 2002
Enron, Fiat Money & Prophets, 12 February 2002


Fritz W. Berggren, Ph.D.
13 November 2002

LIFE IS SHORT

Life is Short.  Eternity is so very long.
Only your children and what you do for Jesus Christ
lives beyond the grave.

I remember when I buried my son, who was "still born." 
I remember what it felt like to be so close to a child
who lived only in his mother's womb.   My wife and I
touched him as he lay silent on the table.  The nurses
came by and cried because they had never seen a still
born baby loved and held by their parents.  We held him
and loved him and told him how beautiful he was. We
knew he was not going to survive when she was three
months pregnant.  But we hoped and believed for a
miracle that did not come. 

I remember the evening he passed away.  My wife and I
and our son Lars sat on the balcony on a rocking bench
and cried, and talked to our baby and told him how much
we loved him.  Little Lars hugged Momma's belly and
said "I love you brother."  Three days later we went to
have a regular check up and they couldn't find a heart
beat. He was only seven months into life.

I remember a TV interview with an Army Ranger who
fought in Somalia and watched many of his buddies die.
While looking upon the body bags, he said he "had never
felt so alive in all my life." I knew what he meant
because I felt the same with my son.

Only when death is so close and so real and so tangible
can men touch eternity and see that life as so
precious.


DEATH, BURIAL, and RESURRECTION

I buried my son next to my father-in-law.  Death is
bittersweet.  It is sweet because it makes being alive
so real and so meaningful.  It is sweet because there
is such a great hope and joy in the assurance of
eternal life.  Eternal life is so very real as you
watch your loved one pass into the next world.  I had
peace in my heart because he would never know the
agonies life brings:  the rejections, the
disappointments, the risk of not believing in Jesus
Christ, the risk of not serving Him.

But with the peace there was a bitterness.  Death tears
the soul.  It rips from the heart one who is part of
you, precious and loved.  Lars would never be able to
play with that little brother. He knows he has a
brother in heaven and talks about it from time to time. 
Death is a reminder that this world will never be
perfect or healed or whole until the King of Life
brings his beloved into a new world after the Great
Resurrection.

Life is a privilege. It is the highest honor given to
any created being. 
It is only in this life that we can live by faith and
believe in Him who is Unseen. 
On the other side, we will see Him as the angels do.

It is a privilege to be alive because we can suffer in
this life.  And in that suffering we can love and hope
and follow Him who is Unseen.  On the other side, you
won't have that honor. 

And so at my son's graveside service I reminded the
living of the Eternal Life waiting for those with faith
in Jesus.

Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who
believes in Me will live even if he dies."  John 11:25

Death will have no victory over me.  Death had no
victory over my son.  It has no sting because it is
swallowed up in the joy and peace and assurance of
Eternal Life.

God loved the world so much that he sacrificed his son,
Jesus Christ, so that whoever would believe in Him
would not perish, but have ETERNAL LIFE

Trust in Jesus.  And live for Him.  That is the only
thing that lives beyond the grave.
Life is so short.  And Eternity is so very very long. 
And only what's done for Christ will last.



PS:  After the last Ocassional Letter (Twenty-first 
Century Tracts) one of my readers responded as follows:
>>>>
Your message is so appropriate for me today.  At a
recent soccer game for my 10-year-old son, I chanced to
speak with another father, who happened to be a
fireman, for about one hour.  He opened his heart and
struggles to me: single-fatherhood, four children,
rebellious teenage daughter, providing meals with busy
schedules.  In spite of circumstances, I thought he was
doing OK.....  A couple weeks passed without contact. 
Found out Saturday that he had just taken his life. 
Funeral is in two hours.

We never know when our words will make the difference
between life, or death.  Coincidentally, I had just
resumed Tuesday night prayer meetings with/for single
fathers, in my home.

(Signed)
>>>>

--------------
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot
inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable
inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery;
we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a
moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will
be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For
this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this
mortal must put on immortality.  But when this
perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this
mortal will have put on immortality, then will come
about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed
up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O  death, where is your sting?"

1 Corinthians 15:50
-----------------------


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
14 November 2002
Miami, FL, USA
fberggren@pomox.com
www.berggren.us

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
13 November 2002
Miami, FL, USA

TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY TRACTS

In the process of sending out my letters I have ruffled
some feathers.  A few have opined that I'm committing a
moral obscenity, if not a crime, by sending them
unsolicited e-mail.

(If that's you, you can immediately unsubscribe from
this list by clicking on the link at the bottom of
every message.)

But I can't stop sending out E-mail because "someone,
somewhere, might be offended."  Twenty years ago I was
a "campus evangelist" and approached people every day
with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The message remains  the same:  
Jesus offers EternalLife.
The medium has changed: 
I send out E-mail instead of tracts.

In both cases, people can refuse to receive the
message.  That's fine.


This E-mail messages offers you something vastly 
more important than:

--Herbs or chemicals to make anatomical appendages grow
--Writhing, sweaty, disrobed physiques
--Opportunities to acquire vast sums of filthy lucre
    with no work.

This E-mail proclaims Eternal Life through Jesus Christ.

Preachers don't stop preaching the Gospel because
someone somewhere might be offended.  Neither do
Christians.  Twenty years ago on college campuses
people didn't like the message or the medium either. 

I'm moving this list to a new domain (as you may have
noticed).  Seems the old domain name has been
blacklisted by some.  And I wouldn't mind except that I
need that domain for my other (less important)
business.

But people still need to hear about Jesus. 

To Christians, I will be bold enough to say this: 
Spend the little time you have in this life telling
others about Jesus.  Start with your own children. 
Then your neighbors. 

And here's a brilliant idea:  E-mail them something
more important that last week's sports page.   Put John
3:16 in your signature file.  Too religious?  Consider
the following signature file, gleaned from one of my
past letters:

"What I was, as an artist, seemed to me to be of some
importance, while I lived; but what I really was as a
believer in Christ Jesus, is the only thing of
importance to me now." 
    -- tombstone of Bacon (The Sculptor) AD 1799

If you just don't know what to send out,  go to 
www.berggren.us.   Then click on "Archive of Letters."
Take them, use them, and send them on if they are
appropriate.  The Gospel doesn't have a copyright on
it.  Or, make up your own Gospel tracts.  Or, if you
want something on a specific subject and need help,
then ask me.  Maybe I'll get a bright idea for you.

Life is too short not to tell people about Jesus.

For the non-Christians, let me be so bold to declare: 
Believe in Jesus.  He offers eternal life and the
forgiveness of sins.

I love you.  Come and visit me sometime at the church I
attend in Miami, Florida.   I'm real.  I'm not a spam
machine.  I hand out Gospel tracts on the Internet.

--------------------------------
Jesus Fellowship Church
	9775 SW 87 Avenue
	Miami, FL 33176
	www.jf.org

	English Services:
		Friday   8:00 PM
		Sunday  9:30 AM
Sunday 11:30 AM

	Spanish Services
		Wednesday 7:30 PM
		Sunday  6:00 PM
--------------------------------

Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of
the Lord has risen upon you.
For behold, darkness will cover the earth And deep
darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you
And His glory will appear upon you.  Nations will come
to your light, And kings to the brightness of your
rising.   - Isaiah 60:1-3


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
fberggren@pomox.com
www.berggren.us
14 November 2002




PEBBLES FROM THE BRINK

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
24 October 2002
www.berggren.us

Following are excerpts from a book containing 
priceless accounts of the last and dying words 
from the lips of famous and common, rich and
poor.   Most are joyous, some are tragic.  Those 
who die in in Christ know joy and peace. 

It leaves one overwhelmed by the transitory
nature of life and imminence of eternity.   God's love
and forgiveness are open to all who call upon the Name
of Jesus and believe in Him. Please take some time 
to read this and pass them on to others when you are done.

These are true accounts recorded as MC Pritchard was
best able to relay them in his book: Pebbles From 
the Brink: Last Expressions of the Dying.
Ottawa: Holiness Movement, 1913.

----------------------------------------------
John Payson AD 1806

His dying chamber was an extraordinary, a sublime
scene; he cried out: "It is enough; Christ died for me;
I am mounting up to the throne of God!"  Then breaking
forth in rapturous strains of praise, and clasping his
hands, he said: "I know I am dying, but my deathbed is
a bed of roses; I have no thorns planted on my dying
pillow.  Heaven already is begun; everlasting life is
won; is won; is won.  I die a safe, easy, happy death. 
Thou, my God, art present, I know, I feel Thou art. 
Precious Jesus!  Glory! Glory be to God!"  Soon after
he died exclaiming: "My God! My God! My God!"

----------------------------------------------
Charles Churchill AD 1764

Davies relates that his last words were: "What a fool I
have been!"

----------------------------------------------
John Valton  AD 1794

A convert from Romanism, ascended to his rest with
triumphant joy.  Agonizing sufferings could not baffle
his spiritual victory.  Whoever entered his chamber,
found that he was still a preacher.  An aged preacher,
Richard Rodda, called to see him on his death-bed; the
dying evangelist stretched out his hand to receive him,
exclaiming; "Welcome, welcome, blessed servant of the
Lord!  I am happy; I am happy!"  "Oh my brother," he
said to a later visitor, "for the last four days my
soul has been in a state of inward glory."  On being
asked if he suffered much pain, his answer was, "Pain
in no affliction, but a blessing."  "Prayer!" he
exclaimed: "I have done with prayer now; I can love; I
can praise, but I cannot pray."  Uttering the words so
often on the lips of dying saints, "Now, Lord, lettest
Thou thy servant depart in peace; for my eyes have seen
Thy salvation,' he fell asleep in Jesus.

----------------------------------------------
Philip J. Jenks

A friend saying to him, just before he expired, "How
hard it is to die!  "Oh, no, no, no!" he replied, "easy
dying! Blessed dying! Glorious dying!  I have
experienced more happiness two hours today, while
dying, than in my whole life.  I have long desired that
I might glorify God in my death; but, oh, I never
thought that such a poor worm as I could come to such a
glorious death!"

----------------------------------------------
Mr. -----

"It does not appear what shall be; but I shall surely
be ruined and destroyed with an everlasting
destruction."

----------------------------------------------
James Needham

"Glory, honor, might, majesty, and dominion be ascribed
to God and the Lamb, forever and ever."


----------------------------------------------
Gibbon AD 1794

"All is dark and doubtful."

----------------------------------------------
Richard Moss

"I'm going now; goodbye.  The Lord bless you.  I am so
happy."


----------------------------------------------
Queen Elizabeth  AD 1602

"All my possessions for a moment of time."


----------------------------------------------
Duke of Hamilton, AD 1649

Douglas, in a little time  you shall be a duke, and I
shall be a king."

----------------------------------------------
Robert Burns, AD 1835

"The expiring poet whispered to a friend by his
bedside:  "I may have but a moment to speak to you, my
dear ---; be a good man; be virtuous; be religious;
nothing else will give you any comfort, when you come
to be here."


----------------------------------------------
Oliver Goldsmith, AD 1774

When asked, "is your mind at ease?" the dying man
replied:  "No, it is not!"


----------------------------------------------
Earl of Buchan, AD 1829

"Happy! Happy!"


----------------------------------------------
Edward III   AD 1377

What with the weakness of the king's body, the
contrition of his heart, and sobbing for his sins, his
voice and speech failed him, and scarce half
pronouncing the word "Jesus," he with his last word,
made an end of his speech, and expired.

----------------------------------------------
General Havelock AD 1857

"Come, my son, and see how a Christian can die"

----------------------------------------------
Golding

His brother said to him, "You seem to enjoy a foretaste
of heave."  He replied, "Oh this is not a foretaste;
this is heaven! I not only feel the climate; but I
breathe the fine ambrosial air of heaven, and soon
shall enjoy the company."   The last words,  "Glory!
Glory! Glory!"

"All is clear," he said, to one of his colleague; "I
have had some success in my labors, but my happiness
does not result from that, but from this:  I have now
hold of God.  I am a very great sinner, and am saved by
the wonderful love of God in Christ Jesus.  I throw my
person and my labors at his feet."

----------------------------------------------


A Little Girl

"Jesus Christ said to me, "Come," and so I came to Him;
and now I say to Jesus, 'Come,' and He will come very
soon; and He will send His angels, and will carry me
away."

----------------------------------------------


Cato  BC 148

Have my friends yet embarked?  Does anything yet remain
that could be done to save them?"  He had exhorted his
friends to save themselves, and after enquiring as
above, dismissed his servant, stabbed himself, and
expired.
	
----------------------------------------------


Queen Caroline, AD 1821

"Open the window! - Pray."  The Princess Emily began to
read a prayer; but before she had read ten words, the
Queen had passed away.

----------------------------------------------


Bishop Gardiner, AD 1555

Gardiner delayed dinner on the day of the martyrdom of
Ridley and Latimer until he should have received the
account of their burning.  At this meal the first
severe symptoms of fatal disease manifested themselves,
a disorder which rapidly increased, and was of so
disgusting a character, that it was scarcely possible
to get anyone to come near him.  His last words were,
"I have sinned, like Peter; but have not wept like
him."  The wretched man died in inexpressible torments
with curses and blasphemy in his mouth."

----------------------------------------------


Lord Harant

Approaching the block, kneeled down, and exclaimed: 
"Into They hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit! In Thee
have I always trusted.  Receive me, therefore, my
blessed Redeemer!"

----------------------------------------------


Joseph Chapman AD 1833

Glory, glory!  Victory, victory!

----------------------------------------------

Lord Byron  AD 1824

"Shall I sue for mercy?  Come, come; no weakness; let's
be a man to the last."

----------------------------------------------


Selden AD 1654

At the close of his life, he declared that, "He had
possessed himself of a treasure of Books and
manuscripts, yet he could rest his soul upon none, save
the Scriptures."

----------------------------------------------


Dr. Lincare AD 1524

A little before his death, worn out with fatigue and
weakness, he began to read the New Testament, and on
perusing the fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of St.
Matthew's Gospel, he threw the book from him with such
violence, exclaiming:  "Either this is not the Gospel,
or we are not Christians."

----------------------------------------------


Reverend Peard Dickenson

An ordained clergyman, labored faithfully and died
triumphantly.  His last words were:  "Hark!  Do you not
hear?  They are come for me.  I am ready, quite ready!
Stop!  Say nothing but glory! Glory!"


----------------------------------------------


Elizabeth Barrett Browning  AD 1861

"It is beautiful!"

----------------------------------------------


Michelangelo  AD 1564

"I commit my soul to God, my body to the earth, my
possessions to my nearest relatives.  I die in the
faith of Jesus Christ, and in the firm hope of a better
life."

----------------------------------------------


Thos. Kyte

"Rather reserved," of deep piety, and who after
seventeen years labor in God's vineyard, died shouting,
"Praise Him! Praise Him! Praise Him!"

----------------------------------------------


Dr. Judson  AD 1850

"I go with the gladness of a boy, bounding away from
school."

----------------------------------------------


Ebenezer Lawrence - A Sunday School Scholar

"I am coming; Jesus is waiting for me, and I am waiting
for Him!  There is the white robe! There is the crown! 
I am going to put it on.  Farewell, mother!"

----------------------------------------------


Isaac Myers

"Victory! Victory! Shout Victory! Nearly gone - nearly
gone - almost home - I am ready!"  He is come; He is
come!

----------------------------------------------


Hon. Francis Newport

"Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell and damnation!"

----------------------------------------------


Hannah Moore  AD 1834

"Patty  -- Joy."

----------------------------------------------


Mrs. Stevens

"Open the gates of glory!  Open the gates of glory!"

----------------------------------------------


Tom Paine  AD 1809

"I would give worlds if I had them, that the Age of
Reason had never been published."  In answer toe Dr.
Manley's question, "Do you then believe in the divinity
of Jesus Christ?" Paine's reply and last utterance was,
"I have no wish to believe on that subject."


----------------------------------------------


Mr. ---

Asking his wife for a glass of water, he said:  "I will
not be able to get any where I am going."  He drank it
greedily; then looking his wife in the face, exclaimed: 
"Oh!  Martha, Martha;  you have sealed my everlasting
damnation!"  and died.

----------------------------------------------


George Russel  AD 1895

The following words were spoken to his daughter:  "I'm
- sweeping - through - the gates - Rosa!"

----------------------------------------------


Vara  (A Chief of the Island of Aimeo)

"I have been very wicked," said he on his deathbed;
"but the great King from the other side of the skies
sent His ambassadors with terms of peace.  We could not
tell for many years what these ambassadors wanted.  At
last Pomare invited all his subjects to come and take
refuge under the wings of Jesus; and I was one of the
first to do so.  The blood of Jesus is my foundation.
And I grieve that all my children do not know Him." 
Asked if he was afraid to die, "No, no," was his reply. 
"the canoe is on the sea, the sails are spead; she is
ready for the gale.  I have a good pilot to guide me,
and a good haven to receive me.  My outside man and my
inside man differ; let the one rot till the trumpet
shall sound; but let my soul wing her way to the throne
of Jesus."

----------------------------------------------


Ralph Smith

"Jesus Christ, and a convoy?  Triumphant! Glorious!"

----------------------------------------------


Mrs. Thos. Blanchard AD 1905

"Oh, it is glorious; Jesus is here, right here!"

----------------------------------------------


Eva Greening AD 1887  (A Child of Nine Years.)

While lying perfectly still and calm, she said, "I see
stars!"  When asked what they looked like, she said,
"Bright lights, the stars of God.  I see an angel." 
One asked what he was like.  She said, "He has on white
robes."  She again said, "I see angels clapping their
hands around the great white throne."

----------------------------------------------


Samuel Ibbs

"Oh, what a fine throne! With some one standing with
extended arms to receive me!  'Tis Jesus standing! I am
coming presently.  All is well;  Jesus does all things
well.  Amen, amen."

----------------------------------------------


Edward Adams

"Good-by, Mary; goodbye, forever."

----------------------------------------------


A Young Man

"O, drive these devils away with their chains; they
will drag my soul down to hell, before I die!  Don't
come to this hell.  This is hell enough!  The devils
are dragging me down.!"

----------------------------------------------


Charles IX, King of France   AD 1507

It was he that gave the order for the massacre of St.
Bartholomew.  He died a young man.  During his last
hours he said, "oh, my nurse, my nurse!  What blood,
what murders, what evil councils have I followed!  Oh,
my God! Pardon me and have mercy on me if Thou canst. 
I know not what I am!  What shall I do?   I am lost; I
see it well."

----------------------------------------------


Thomas Hobbs (The Skeptic)  AD 1679

When drawing near the grave, notwithstanding his
learning and philosophy, Hobbs asserted that he was
"about to take a leap in the dark."  His last words
were, "I shall be glad then, to find a hole at which to
creep out of the world!"

----------------------------------------------


David Stoner

"Lord, save sinners!  Save them by thousands, Lord! 
Subdue them, Lord!  Conquer them, Lord!"

----------------------------------------------


Mrs. Abbott

"I am ready to go!  All that are ready to meet me in
heaven, were they to die to-night, come and shake my
hand. Hallelujah to God!  I am going home to glory, and
be with my Jesus!"

----------------------------------------------


Mrs. Richard McMullen

"I have a vision.  O glory!  I see Jesus!"

----------------------------------------------



Bacon (The Scuptor) AD 1799

Left  the following to be put on his tombstone:  "What
I was, as an artist, seemed to me to be of some
importance, while I lived; but what I really was as a
believer in Christ Jesus, is the only thing of
importance to me now."

----------------------------------------------


Thos.  Laidman Hodson.  AD 1841  (A Missionary in South
Africa)

"I see the pearly gates; they are open for me, unworthy
me, and I shall enter in."  A few hours later he
exclaimed;  "Victory! Victory!  Victory! Victory
through the blood of the Lamb!"  As breath was failing
he began to repeat the names of some of his sainted
relations.  His last words were, "Hosts! Hosts! Hosts!"

----------------------------------------------


Mary Cooper

Her eyes were resting on a particular part of the room,
and her countenance beaming, her sister said, "Do you
see something?"  She answered, "Yes! Yes! Angels!
Angels!" Her last words were, "Don't fret; all is
well."


----------------------------------------------


A Dying Infidel

"Too late! Too Late!  Too Late!

----------------------------------------------


Benjamin Abbot

"Glory to God, I see the heavens open before me"

----------------------------------------------


And Old Christian Lady

Whose daughter Maggie had died some time before, and
said when dying, to her mother; "Mother, when you come
to heaven, I shall be a the gate waiting for you."  The
mother lay dying, her eldest daughter was waiting for
her.  "Mother,' said the daughter, "shall I sing your
favorite hymn?"  "Yes," said the dying saint.  "Waiting
and watching for me."  And she sang the first stanza of
that popular hymn.  Just as the singer was repeating
the words, "Will anyone then, at the beautiful gate
---"  her mother sprang up, as if she saw her beloved
daughter close at hand, and exclaimed,  "There's Maggie
at the gate!"  A moment more and she breathed her last.

----------------------------------------------


Francis Spira

"My sin is greater than the mercy of God.  I have
denied Christ, voluntarily.  I feel that He holds to me
no hope."

----------------------------------------------


Minnie Gardner  AD 1906

Shortly before she died she said, "Over me preaching,
when I'm cold in death, say nothing good of me, for I'm
not worthy; tell sinners about Jesus, and hasten them
to God."

----------------------------------------------


W. Whitby

"Who's there?  What's that?  Angels are coming for me."

----------------------------------------------


Rev. W. Romaine  AD 1795

"Holy! Holy! Holy! Blessed Jesus!  To Thee be endless
praise!"

----------------------------------------------


Mrs. Lewis  AD 1906

Her last hours on earth proved a fitting close to such
a devoted and Christ-like life, and furnished a
complete refutation to the Oslerin theory, that the
dying do not see visions of a better world.  While
relatives stood around, her face became lighted up with
a radiance not of this world, as she said, "I cannot
tell you how beautiful it is over there."  Her last
words were, "I am redeemed."

----------------------------------------------


Lord Teignmouth AD 1834

"I have no hope but in Christ Jesus; in His sacrifice,
in His blood."

----------------------------------------------


John Swail

"Oh, what glory! The room is full of glory!"

----------------------------------------------


Dr. Alexander

"All my belief is this:  Jesus Christ came into the
world to save sinners."

----------------------------------------------

Mr. W--      AD 1883

On the evening of his death, Mr. N-- came at ten
o'clock.  A friend of his was there also.  As he
entered the room he felt that if it were near the
regions of the damned.  The dying man cried out:  "O
God, deliver me from the awful pit!"  About fifteen
minutes before his death, he exclaimed: "I am in the
flames! Pull me out! Pull me out!"  He kept repeating
this until the breath left his body.  Mr. N--  put his
ear down to catch his departing whispers, and the last
words he could hear were, "Pull me out!"


----------------------------------------------


T. Potter

A few hours before death he was asked if he would have
some one come to pray with him;  he answered:  "No, I
have served the devil all my life and I have done it
will, and now I will die and go to hell like a man!"


----------------------------------------------


An Aged Infidel

Just before he died he seemed to summon all his
strength, rose up in bed, shouted:  "Hell and
damnation!  Hell and damnation!"  fell back, choked,
strangled, and died.



----------------------------------------------

And that's it for now.  I leave you with the 
words of a famous Christ hymn:


Oh, The Blood Of Jesus

Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.


----------------------------------------------


John 3: 16    For God so loved the world the he gave
his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him
shall not perish but have eternal life.

Follow this link know know Jesus personally . . .

http://www.campuscrusade.com/fourlawsflash.htm


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
24 October 2002
Miami, FL, USA
www.berggren.us
fberggren@text.net






THEOCRACY, HUMANISM, and CHRISTIANITY
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
21 October 2002


"If you will not have God (and He is a jealous God),
you should pay your respects to  Hitler and Stalin."

		 -  TS Eliot


As American pundits explore links between Islam and
terrorism it was only inevitable that someone would
raise questions about Christianity and "extremism." 
Hard Ball host Chris Matthews jumped all over this by
grilling former president of the Christian Coalition
Ralph Reed in a television interview late last summer.

The "hard ball" he pitched was this:  Do you or do you
not support the imposition of a Christian society upon
America  like the Taliban did to Afghanistan? In the
context of Al Qaeda, do you or do you not support a
Theocracy?"

That's a tough pitch.  In the context of 911 and UBL to
answer in the affirmative is to commit political
suicide on national public television and Reed wasn't
about to do that.

Chris Matthews forced Mr. Reed (at the point of a
rhetorical gun) to renounce the idea of imposing
Christian ideas upon American government.

Reed, a committed evangelical, and Matthews, a
conservative Catholic, both renounce the idea that the
Bible should be used as a rule book for society.  It
was as if the greatest evil  in the world was a
government founded on religious ideas.

Without being an apologist for UBL, I'll state
categorically that UBL and the Taliban are amateurs in
the history of tyranny - they are not close to the
horrors of secular governments in the last century
alone.

Why man fears a link between God and Government is
beyond me. The fact is, the most brutal regimes in
history have been those very governments who have
institutionally purged Christian ideas from their laws.

Consider the following in the twentieth century alone:

·	62 million murdered in the Soviet Union
·	35 million murdered in Communist China
·	21 million murdered by the Nazi's (National Socialist)
·	6 million  murdered by Japan (WW2)
·	2 million murdered in Cambodia (Khmer Rouge)


These statistics were compiled by Professor Emeritus RJ
Rummel of the University of Hawaii and are about twice
as high as the numbers I've been familiar with.  Either
way it is unbelievable to most people -one rarely hears
these figures because they are so damning to a theory
of man the assumes God is irrelevant and man is good.  
With the exception of Japan, these deaths have been
done in the name of "Socialist Man."

Oh.  I forgot one very important example.  And from a
formerly Christian nation at that:

·	25 million in the United States since 1973 via Abortion


In the history of the world the most brutal governments
are those who have removed all religious influences
from their laws and institutions.  (As a matter of
recent history, the trend for removing Christian ideas
from government began with the Enlightenment and was
first manifested in the violence of the French
Revolution.)

SOME OLD WITCH

It is ironic that people think religious ideas and
politics shouldn't go together, as if this were a
deadly combination.

We were all taught that the Puritans were bad because
they hung some old witch.  Yet in the United States
today we incarcerate and execute more innocent people
every year than the Puritans did in two centuries.  Why
is that one old witch singled out?  Because that is the
only crime "secularists" can hang on two centuries of
Puritan culture in North America.  This infamous story
is used by secular evangelists (textbook editors,
professors, etc.) to malign the profoundly Christian
nature of early American civilization. 

In the history of the world, the only "religious"
violence that comes remotely close to "non-religious"
violence is that of the ancient Aztec's who regularly
captured and murdered tens of thousands of men, women
and children for the "religious" festivals - but even
this is a far cry from the tens of millions done by the
"religion of Man."  The Aztecs weren't conquering new
territory or engaged in a mass migration with the
inevitable displacements - it was for their festivals.

GOD AND GOVERNMENT

There are still some Christians (like me) who disavow a
separation between Christian ideas and the principles
of law and government.

We proclaim this:

"The Holy Scriptures are the guide to every aspect of
human life including government, legal, educational,
economic, and family institutions.  And it is the job
of the Church to teach and preach these guiding
principles to every nation so that they voluntarily
changes their laws and institutions to reflect the
guiding principles laid down in Holy Scripture."


Now some will get all worked up and whine, "Oh, you
want to impose a theocracy."  So let's talk about this.

"Theocracy" means "theo" (God) cracy (rule of) the Rule
of God.  If you don't want the Rule of God (theocracy) 
you are too late. 

God already rules over the earth.

Even pagan kings know this. Nebuchadnezzar cried out: 
"all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as
nothing, but He does according to His will in the host
of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no
one can ward off His hand or say to Him 'what have You
done?' 

Daniel declared "it is He [God] who changes the times
and epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings,"
(Daniel 2:21

ECCLESIOCRACY

So we are not talking about theocracy.  Nor are we
talking about ecclesiocracy.  Ecclesiocracy is the
direct rule church officers over civil affairs or, more
specifically, the assumption of the duties of civil
government by ecclesiastical government.  I am not
aware of any Christian thinker that supports
ecclesiocracy, neither today nor in the past.  Except,
perhaps, for the Pope. 

Protestants are instinctively wary of monolithic
government.  When Protestants disagree, the "Protest,"
divide, and form a new church.  That's a very
democratic idea. Some call it "divisive."  Yet this
Protestant principle that  "each man is a priest before
God" is fundamental to the idea of democracy.  This is
why the Protestants read their Bible.  We don't even
trust the preacher - we demand to see it for ourselves
in Scripture.  Everyman has access to the Truth via the
Scriptures.  That is a profoundly Christian and
Protestant idea, one that has engendered the democratic
nature of American civilization. 

There is to be a separation of powers between the
institutions of Church and State.  Yet this is not a
separation of (Christian) ideas and philosophy from
Government, it is a separation of governing
institutions. 

This is the critical difference: preachers proclaim the
proper roles and duties of civil government as revealed
in the Holy Scriptures.  The Church is the propagator
of ideas which, in the long run, have vastly more
influence than armies. Yet this influence is to be
wielded without combining the institutions of Church
and State.   And while I'm no expert on Islam, it seems
to me this is a critical difference between
Christianity and the religion of Mohammed.

The rejection of King Saul as ruler over Israel
illustrates the principle.  King Saul (the head of
State) illegally took upon himself the office of
priests (the Church).  This illegal union of the
institution of Church and State was rejected by God and
Saul was replaced by King David.  Please note, this is
NOT disavowal of religious ideas by the state; in fact
it is the establishment of this Biblical principle that
upholds the division of institutions (not ideas).

[At the risk of introducing too many ideas at once I
would like to add that today's union of Church and
State is accomplished most effectively by the State
controlled public educational system.  Education is to
be a function of the family first, then the Church -
not the state.  Yet, community control of public
education has given way to control by teachers unions,
university accreditation programs, Federal Laws, and
anti-Christian court decisions. Public Education has
become the de facto Church of the State promoting its
anti-Christian "philosophy/religion."]


IMPOSING ONE'S BELIEFS  . . .

Do Christians believe in "imposing their beliefs on
others?" 

Of course we do!  That's what preacher does with his
congregation every Sunday morning.  That what
evangelism is all about.

And indeed so do the State Institutions of Religion
(public schools) as the government employed "priests
and teachers" admonish the children to obey certain
fundamental moral codes.  This state-sponsored
evangelism has become more important over the
generations as an anti-Christian morality has replaced
the implicit Christian values of an earlier culture. 
What moral lessons are these? 

·	That Puritans were evil. 
·	That tolerance is the highest moral value. 
·	That homosexuality is "OK."
·	That anyone who says homosexuality is wrong is
         a bigot and is as bad as Adolph Hitler.
·	That God is a myth invented by people to
         explain our existence.
·	That religion is a tool of mind control and
         limits intellectual freedom
·	That humans are the byproduct of Time and
         Chance, mere cosmic blunders, accidents.
·	And, implicitly, that intolerant people (as
         defined above) are not to be tolerated.

To presume that the state does not promote a religion
is a cardinal belief of the State's religious system.
It is dogma.  The lie is so big that no one sees it.

Why is the ACLU considered "tolerant" when they sue to
remove the Ten Commandments from public places while
Christians are portrayed as anachronisms of a bygone
era if they raise their voice to keep them there? In
this case "tolerance" is a rhetorical weapon wielded in
the battle to replace Christian ideas.  Certainly the
ACLU displays scant "tolerance" for anything but the
strictest removal of Christian ideas form the public
sphere.

Everyone imposes their values on others. That's what
your newspaper editorials do when they endorse or
condemn politicians. That's what Chris Matthews did
when he bludgeoned Ralph Reed into disavowing the
Scriptures as the proper guidebook to every area of
American society.

THE KING and HIGH PRIEST

In Jesus Christ alone is Church and State combined. He
is both King of Kings and our High Priest.  When Jesus
physically returns we won't need a popular mandate to
rule.  And he already has a set of Laws in mind.  They
are called the Ten Commandments.


Harry Truman put it this way:

"The fundamental basis of this nation's law was given
to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our
Bill of Rights comes form the teaching we get from
Exodus and St. Matthew, from Isaiah and St. Paul.  I
don't think we emphasize that enough these days.  If we
don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we
will finally end up with a totalitarian government
which does not believe in the right for anybody except
the state."

Amen, Harry.  Amen.  

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
26 September 2002
Miami, FL, USA
www.berggren.us
fwb@text.net




Dr. Fritz Berggren
Miami, FL, USA
9 October 2002

TALES FROM THE DARK SIDE

Most of us have heard exotic tales of "near death"
experiences where the semi-deceased rush down a tunnel
to a piercing light and are embraced by an ecstatic
sense of awe, peace and tranquility.  This "Omega
Moment," as Near-Death-Experience expert Kubler-Ross
has dubbed it, is purported to be the destiny of all
the dead by a coterie of NDE experts.

Yet hidden and ignored in the testimonies of the near
dead are countless examples of men and women sensing
the horrors of hell awaiting their impending demise.

 Why are they ignored?  Because testimonies of hell
undermine the story of acceptance and forgiveness that
unbelievers demand.  And because those who've had such
terrifying encounters either bury it in their psyche or
convert to Christianity.

Those are the conclusions of former skeptic Maurice
Rawlings, MD, in To Hell and Back, a report of near
death data that contradict the "feel good" death
stories popularized by National Enquirer type
newspapers and TV shows. 

Consider the following accounts:

In a first hand testimony of a twenty-three year old
male suffering from a genetically transmitted heart
condition he tells his doctor:

You were watching the television monitor to guide the
pacemaker wire inside my heart.  That's when it
stopped. I was blacking out and then you hit me on the
chest, saying 'excuse me.'  Then you fist came down
like a hammer.  I saw that scared look in your eyes.
Someone was yelling.  Something crashed over to my left
and everybody went crazy.  You started shoving me with
both hands and then I was out of it.

I was floating, pitch black, moving fast.  The wind
whistled by and I rushed toward this beautiful blazing
light.  As I moved past, the walls of the tunnel
nearest the light caught fire.  Beyond the blazing
tunnel a huge lake of fire was burning like and oil
spill.  A hill on the far side was covered with slabs
of rock.  Elongated shadows showed that people were
moving aimlessly about, like animals in a zoo
enclosure.

And old stone building was on the right, mostly rubble,
with different levels and openings crammed with people
trying to move about.

Down the hall I saw and old friend who had died.  The
last I recall, they were dragging the river for him; he
had been involved with gambling.  I yelled to him, "Hi
there, Jim!" He just looked at me.  Didn't even smile. 
They were taking him around the corner when he started
screaming.  I ran, but there was no way out.  I kept
saying "Jesus is God." Over and over I would say,
"Jesus is God."
	
Someway, somehow, I got back as you were putting in the
stitches.  I loved every one of those stitches..  Only
God could have gotten me out of a mess like that.  I'll
never forget it.

This young man was revived.  (Talk about a close call). 
Is his case supportable by the scriptures?  Yes,
Revelation 20:15 says that "if anyone's name was not
found written in the book of life, he was thrown into
the lake of fire."

Or consider the case of George Godkin, of Alberta
(Canada), who in 1948 related this  despairing account
of his near death experience in the midst of a
prolonged illness: (p. 75).

I was guided to the place in the spirit world called
Hell.  This is a place of punishment for all those who
reject Jesus Christ.  I not only say Hell, but felt the
torment that all who go there will experience.

The darkness of Hell is so intense that it seems to
have a pressure per square inch.  It is an extremely
black, dismal, desolate, heavy, pressurized type of
darkness.  It gives the individual a crushing,
despondent feeling of loneliness.

The heat is a dry, dehydrating type.  Your eyeballs are
so dry they feel like red hot coals in their sockets. 
Your tongue and lips are parched and cracked with
intense heat.  The breath from your nostrils as well as
the air you breathe feels like a blast from the
furnace. The exterior of your body feels as though it
were encased within a white hot stove. The interior of
your body has a sensation of scorching hot air being
forced through it.

The agony and loneliness of Hell cannot be expressed
clearly enough for proper understanding to the human
soul; it has to be experienced.

Is his account correct?  Yes, according to Jesus who
described hell as  "the outer darkness; in that place
there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew
22:13)

Mr. Godkin's description of the searing heat duplicates
the story told by Jesus of the rich man in the fires of
hell pleading for a drop of water to be dripped on his
parched tongue by Lazarus (Luke 16:23, 24).

AB Shaw and MB Pritchard both record numerous accounts
of men's encounters with eternity. Consider the account
of English noble Sir Francis Newport as he lay dying :

Sir Francis Newport was trained in early life to
understand the great truths of the gospel, and while in
early manhood it was hoped that he would become an
ornament and a blessing to his family and the nation,
the result was far otherwise. He fell into company that
corrupted his principles and morals. He became an
avowed infidel, and a life of dissipation brought on a
disease that was incurable. When he felt he must
die.... He exclaimed as follows: 'Whence this war in my
heart? What argument is there to assist me against
matters of fact? Do I assert that there is no Hell,
when I felt one in my bosom? ...Wretch that I am,
wither shall I flee from this breast? An infidel
companion tried to dispel his thoughts, to whom he
replied,

"That there is a God I know, because I continually fell
the affects of his wrath; that there is a Hell I am
equally certain, having received an earnest of my
inheritance there already in my breast; that there is a
natural conscience I now feel with horror and
amazement, being continually upbraided by it with my
impieties, and all my iniquities and all my sins
brought to my remembrance ....O that I was to lie upon
the fires that never is quenched a thousand years, to
purchase the favor of God, and be reunited to him
again! But it is a fruitless wish. Millions of millions
of years will bring me no nearer to the end of my
torments than one poor hour. O eternity, eternity! Who
can discover the abyss of eternity? Who can paraphrase
upon these words--- forever and ever?"

As his mental distress and bodily disease were hurrying
him into eternity he was asked if he would have prayers
offered in his behalf. He turned his face and
exclaimed,

"Tigers and Monsters! Are ye also become devils to
torment me? Would you give me prospect of Heaven to
make my Hell more intolerable?"

Soon after his voice was failing, and uttering a groan
of inexpressible horror, he cried out,

"Oh, the insufferable pangs of Hell!"

and died at once, dropping into the very woe of which
God gave him such an earnest, to be a constant warning
to multitudes of careless sinners.


Or this recollection by a Pastor visiting the dying
Mrs. JB in 1886:

I called to see her during her last sickness and found
her in a most distressing state of mind.  She
recognized me when I came in, and was loath to let me
leave long enough to bring my wife, who was only
three-quarters of a mile away; saying "Devils are in my
room, ready to drag my soul down to hell."   . . . She
would say, "See them laugh!"  this would throw her into
paroxysms of fear and dread, causing her to start from
her bed; but when I tried to get her to look to Jesus
for help she said, "It is no use; it is too late."


Its not the ignorant and obscure alone who testify of
the wrath to come. Napoleon Bonaparte confessed to
Count de Montholon in 1821:

"I die before my time, and m body will be given back to
the earth to become food for worms.  Such is the fate
of him who has been called the great Napoleon!  What an
abyss between my deep misery and the eternal kingdom of
Christ."

It's bad enough to be sent to hell for yourself.  How
would you like to be responsible for deluding others
into rejecting Jesus Christ - the only source of
eternal salvation? 

Consider Voltaire's final words to some friends as he
lay dying:

He cursed them to their faces; and, as his distress was
increased by their presence, he repeatedly and loudly
exclaimed: "Begone! It is you that have brought me to
my present condition.  Leave me, I say; begone!  What a
wretched glory is this which you have produced to me!" 
Hoping to allay his anguish by a written recantation,
he had it prepared, signed it, and saw it witnessed. 
But it was all unavailing.  For two months he was
tortured with such an agony as led him at times to
gnash his teeth in impotent rage against God and man .
. . Then, turning his face, he would cry out, "I must
die - abandoned of God and of men!"   . . . Even his
nurse repeatedly said, "For all the wealth of Europe I
would never see another infidel die."

In fairness to Voltaire's fans it must be reported that
his account is in dispute.  His disciples claim he died
in perfect peace.  Yet either way he shall be judged
and I do not envy him.  For he must account not only
for his own sins, but the lies he spread which have
hindered millions from believing in the Name of  Jesus
Christ - the only name by which a man can be saved from
hell.


Of Thomas Paine, the following account is rendered:

Paine is widely known by his connection with the
American and French revolutions and by his infidel
writings. During a session of the French convention,
Paine composed his infidel work, "Age of Reason" by
which his name has gained an unenviable notoriety, and
after the alteration of political circumstances in
France he returned to America and there dragged out a
miserable existence, indebted in last illness for his
acts of charity to disciples of the very religion that
he had opposed.

Bishop Fenwick says: "A short time before Paine died I
was sent for by him. A decent elderly looking woman
showed us in the parlor. 'Gentlemen,' said the lady, 'I
really wish you may succeed with Mr. Paine, for he is
laboring under great distress of mind, ever since he
was told by his physician that he could not possibly
live and must die shortly.

He is truly to be pitied. His cries, when left alone,
are heart-rending. "O Lord help me!" he will exclaim
during his paroxysms of distress; "God help me! Jesus
Christ help me!"----Repeating these same expressions in
a tone of voice that would alarm the house.

Sometimes he would say, "O God! What have I done to
suffer so much?" Then shortly after, "but there is no
God"; and then again, "Yet if there be, what will
become of me in the hereafter?" Thus he would continue
for some time, when on a sudden he will scream as if in
terror and agony, and call for me by my name.

On one accession I inquired what he wanted. "Stay with
me," he replied, " for God sake! for I cannot bear to
be left alone." Then said he, when I told him I could
not always be in the room, "Send even a child to stay
with me, for it is Hell to be left alone."

I never saw a more unhappy, a more forsaken man.'"
Among the last utterances that fell upon the ears of
the attendants of the dying infidel, and which have
been recorded in history, were the words, "My God, my
God, why has thou forsaken me?"


Hell need not be a man's destination.  Those who
believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins find
peace and eternity.

Consider the account of Mrs. Williams, as recorded by
her physician:

Late on rounds one morning I barged into the room to
fund the minister hovering over the bed, quietly
reading from the Bible.  Mrs. Williams, whose eyes were
tightly closed, asked the minister to stop reading and
turn down the bright lights.

"But the lights are not on," the minister said.

"Then the sun is too bright.  Turn down the blinds."

The she finally opened her eyes and pointed: 

"I see Him!  He's here!  See his hands!  See the
heavenly hosts!  There all here - Majesty unutterable! 
The most glorious morning of my life," she said,
welcoming them. 

Slowly she eased back, the heartbeat fading, and the
breathing stopped.

I wish that you would know Him, the Savior Jesus
Christ, as Mrs. Williams does, and rest with her in
eternal peace.


References:

AB Shaw , The Dying Testimonies,
Noblesville: Newby Book Room, 1969

MC Pritchard,  Pebbles from the Brink,  
Ottawa: Holiness Movement, 1913.

Maurice Spaulding, MD., To Hell and Back, 
Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1993

-----------

Dr. Fritz Berggren
Miami, FL, USA
9 October 2002
fberggren@text.net
www.berggren.us


CHINA AND GENESIS

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D. 
24 September 2002 
Miami, FL, USA


CULTURAL EVIDENCE FOR GENESIS

Dr. Ethel Nelson, a physician and former missionary to 
Southeast Asia coauthored a book with CH. Chang that 
describes evidence for the Genesis story embedded in 
the Chinese language. The written Chinese language has 
survived for 4500 years - since about the time of the 
great Flood. 

Ancient China was monotheistic. It was only in the 
6th Century BC that Confucianism and Taoism were 
developed, and only in 67 BC was Buddhism introduced. 
In earlier times Chinese worshipped Shang Ti - the 
Emperor of Heaven. And Chinese emperors honored Him 
with animal sacrifices. This tradition lasted until 
the early 1900s when the last dynasty was overturned. 
In the service to Shang Ti (the Emperor of Heaven) the 
Emperor (of China) himself recited the following:

"Of old in the beginning, there was great chaos, 
without form and dark. The five elements [planets] had 
not begun to revolve, nor the sun and the moon to 
shine. In the midst thereof there existed neither 
forms nor sound. Thou, O Spiritual Sovereign, camest 
forth in They presidency, and first did divide the 
grosser parts from the purer. You made heaven; You 
made earth; You made man. All things with their 
reproducing power got their being."

Compare that to Genesis 1:1,2. There is substantial 
historical, cultural, and physical evidence to support 
the Genesis account of Creation and the Flood. Chinese 
history and language are one piece of evidence.

But Kang and Nelson's book makes the following 
argument: Embedded in the written Chinese language 
itself is the story of Genesis. 

Words in Chinese are formed with combinations of 
characters (not letters). These character represent 
ideas (not sounds). Combinations of symbols create 
other symbols.

For example, the symbol for Garden looks like a 
rectangle with a cross in the middle so that the 
rectangle is divided into four areas. Is this a 
picture of a rice paddy divided by irrigation ditches? 
Or is it a picture of the garden God planted, out of 
which a Spring arose and then was divide into four 
rivers, this dividing the garden into four sections?

Before I read this book I had looked upon Chinese 
characters as an absolutely indecipherable mishmash of 
crooked lines, curves and pen blotches. But the more 
intricate (complicated) representations are a 
combination of simpler pictographs and ideograms.

For example, the complicated group of little lines 
dashes and blotches that make up the idea of Happiness 
or Blessing and be broken down into the following 
components:

· God 
· One 
· Man 
· Garden

Happiness/Blessing: God + one + man + garden (God and 
man in unity in garden)

A simple interpretation of this is God and man in unity 
in the Garden makes for happiness and blessing. And as 
I've mentioned in the earlier example, the pictogram 
for garden looks liked and enclosed area divided by 
four rivers coming from a single spring (as described 
in Genesis).

Following is a list of some of the words Kang and 
Nelson deconstructed. If you are familiar with the 
Genesis account of creation and the Flood you will know 
how to interpret them. My comments are in parenthesis 
() below the arithmetic conventions.


WRITTEN CHINESE LANGUAGE

TO CREATE 
dust + breath of mouth + alive = to talk + walking = to 
Create

FIRST 
live + dust + man = first 
(the first man was taken from the dust and made alive)

COVET 
2 trees (life, knowledge) + woman

FOBIDDEN 
2 trees + God 
(Trees of Life and Knowledge)

FIRE 
man clothed in flames 
(man clothed in glory before the fall)

DEVIL 
motion + garden + man + privately = devil 
( the devil was in the garden with man and was subtle, 
or uncovered secrets)

TEMPTER 
devil + trees + cover = tempter

SOUL 
devil + says = soul

NAKED 
fruit + body + clothing = naked 
(man clothed his body with leaves of a fig, a fruit, 
because he was naked)

HIDE 
body + is + tree = to hide 
(man hiding in trees)

SORROW/DISTRESS/PAIN 
a piece of two trees 
(eating the fruit of one of the two trees 
life/knowledge)

SPIRIT 
heaven + cover + water + rain + three persons + worker 
of magic 
(the Holy Spirit brooding over the water, the Trinity 
and the creative power)

RIGHTEOUSNESS 
hand + lance = me + sheep = righteousness 
(Righteousness comes as my hand slays the sheep)

ANIMAL SACRIFICES 
ox + sheep + beautiful (unblemished) + spearhead = 
righteousness 
(sacrifices to God are unblemished, perfect sheep and 
oxen with are slain)

BOAT 
vessel + eight + mouths = boat 
(There were eight people, or mouths, on Noah's vessel)

DROWN 
united + hands joined = cover + water = drown

FLOOD 
eight + united + earth= total + water = flood 
(Eight people on Noah's boat, the whole earth plus the 
water = flood)

SACRIFICE 
flesh + again + God = to sacrifice

TOWER 
mankind + one + mouth/speech = united + grass = 
undertake + clay = tower

MIGRATION 
great + division + west + walking = migration 
(great division from west walking)

REBELLION/CONFUSION
Tongue + right leg = rebellion/confusion


Now again, if this was just a matter of one or two 
words one couldn't establish anything concrete. But 
when we understand that recorded Chinese history 
emerges at virtually the exact time of a Genesis Flood, 
and that 4500 Years ago Chinas was monotheistic, held 
to a seven day week, and make sacrifices to the Emperor 
of Heaven, maybe we are on to something. 

Note again, these historical facts were present long 
before any Christian contact with China, by thousands 
of years. The earliest recorded Christian contact with 
China was six centuries after the birth of Christ. In 
fact, the story embedded in these Chinese characters 
was developed 1500 years BEFORE Moses wrote the account 
of Genesis.


FLOOD LEGENDS

China is hardly the only culture with legends that 
parallel the accounts of Genesis. Virtually every 
culture in the world has a story that is similar to the 
story of Noah and the Flood in Genesis.

Here are a few:

YAKIMA

In early times, many people had gone to war with other 
tribes, but there were still some good people. One of 
the good men heard from the Land Above that a big water 
was coming. He told the other good people and decided 
they would make a dugout boat from the largest cedar 
they could find. Soon after the canoe was finished, the 
flood came, filling the valleys and covering the 
mountains. The bad people were drowned; the good people 
were saved in the boat. We don't know how long the 
flood stayed. The canoe can still be seen where it came 
down on Toppenish Ridge.

AZTEC

In the Valley of Mexico there lived a pious man named 
Tapi. Creator told him to build a boat to live in, to 
take his wife and a pair of every animal that existed. 
Neighbors thought he was crazy. As soon as he finished, 
it began to rain. The valley flooded; men and animals 
went to mountains, but they were submerged. The rain 
ended, waters receded, etc. Tapi realized that the 
flood waters had receded after having sent a dove that 
did not return. Tapi rejoiced.

HAWAII

A Hawaiian legend tells of a flood (Kaiakahinalii) in 
which all beings were killed except for Nuu and his 
family who repopulated the earth when the ark landed on 
top of Mauna Kea.

SKAGIT

The Creator made the earth and gave four names for it 
-- for the sun, waters, soil and forests. He said only 
a few people, with special preparation for the 
knowledge, should know all four names, or the world 
would change too suddenly. After a while, everyone 
learned the four names. When people started talking to 
the trees the change came in the form of a flood. When 
the people saw the flood coming, they made a giant 
canoe and filled it with five people and a male and 
female of all plants and animals. Water covered 
everything but the summit of Kobah and Takobah (Mts. 
Baker and Ranier). The canoe landed on the prairie. 
Doquebuth, the new Creator, was born of a couple from 
the canoe. He delayed getting his spirit powers, but 
finally did so after his family deserted him. At the 
direction of the Old Creator, he made people again from 
the soil and from the bones of the people who lived 
before the flood.


If the earth is young and there was a universal flood, 
then there should be historical evidence for it. And 
there is. The above stories are just a few of the 
historical and cultural evidences supporting the 
Genesis story. Each story alone may not mean much, 
but if you look at the accumulated, widespread, and 
independent evidence for the Genesis story it gets a 
little more interesting.

This will not "prove" anything to those who believe a 
different legend (that man evolved by chance over 
billions of years) which is taught by their religious 
leaders (professors at major universities). But this is 
worth passing on to those who trust the Author of 
Genesis for their salvation.

You'll hear more about this in future letters.

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D. 
Miami, FL 
26 September 2002


References:

CH Kang and Ethel R Nelson. The Discovery of Genesis: 
How the Truths of Genesis Were Found in the Chinese 
Language. Saint Louis, MO: Concordia House, 1979.


WHY ISLAM CANNOT SAVE:

“Islam forbids human sacrifice. The greatest Islamic 
festival is the Eid al-Adha which marks the day God 
refused Abraham’s offer to sacrifice his firstborn and, 
instead, substituted a lamb. A god who refused human 
sacrifice for his cause can hardly sanction the same to 
promote the strategies of Mr. Abushanab, or Yasser 
Arafat. Islam also rejects the crucifixion of Christ 
because it cannot accept that God would claim human 
sacrifice in atonement for man’s sins.”

Amir Taheri, Wall Street Journal,
page A18 Op/Ed Wednesday, May 8, 2002


SCRIPTURE SAYS:

the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 
1 John 1:7

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 
1 Corinthians 15:3

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just 
for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, 
having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive 
in the spirit; 1 Pet 3:18

And according to the Law, one may almost say, all 
things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of 
blood there is no forgiveness. Heb 9:22

Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of 
the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To 
Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His 
blood— Rev 1:5

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D. 
www.berggren.us 
fritz@berggren.us


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Miami
29 July 2002

THE BOY, THE FLY, THE FLAME, AND THE WORM

I grew up in rural Washington State and my friend Matt
had a collection of farm animals on his folk's
property.  It wasn't a farm, really, but they had some
cows, chickens, and pigs and they ate them.  This isn't
unusual in rural areas and like any boys we were always
poking around, exploring, and finding new things so
this was kind of fun.

Now these animals did as animals usually do: they
defecated profusely - and since they were penned up the
manure was distinctly concentrated.

The pigs really made a mess.  Their semi-solid
biological effluent flowed into a broad shallow
depression creating a wide pond of hog feces.  And, hog
feces being the special delicacy that they are to the
horse fly clan, they attracted a mighty host of flying
vermin from a dozen buzzing subspecies. Visited as it
was by hideous swarms of fecund winged beasts, the
odiferous pond bloomed into a sea of wriggling,
writhing, snowy white maggots. 

Now this was really something.

A writhing white sea of maggots spread out across a
pond of pig dung is truly a sight to behold.  It was a
miniature ocean of porcine crap whipped into a frothy,
moving, white-capped frenzy as if disturbed by a
preternatural hurricane.

Being the practical boys that we were, the solution to
the maggot infestation was manifestly simple to our
youthful minds:  one poured kerosene (or some other
slow burning petroleum byproduct) over the hideous
living spectacle, stood back, and put a match to it.  

Undaunted by concerns for our welfare (this was in the
days before bicycle helmets, that glorious time when
one could ride unfettered in the bed of a pickup truck,
or low, even whisk down the country road legally
without wearing a seat belt), we proceeded to rid the
world of this unspeakable horror.

And if you think a white raft of writhing maggots
floating on a sea of pig excrement is a sight to
behold, you ought to see a FLAMING white raft of
writhing maggots floating on a sea of pig excrement.

Needless to say, that incident made quite an impression
on me and I don't know which was more lasting - the
disgust for the worms, or, the satisfaction of a job
well done as the living evil was purged by fire.

CORRUPTION

Sin is a corruption of God's nature and intent - it is
a perversion of His absolute holiness - it is the
revolting and nauseating desecration of his perfect
creation by men doing things they should not be doing -
things they were not created to. 

Sin is not cute.  It is not overlooked.  It is not
winked at.   God does not understand sin in the way we
would like Him to.  He commands men to repent of it, to
turn away from it, and beg His forgiveness.

WHAT IS TO BE DONE?

The man who sins is the source of sin.  He is the
buzzing black fly laying the maggot worms; those worms
are his own vile offspring.  Together they live and
breed in piles of refuse.  Those worms are the fruit of
his life - the sum total of what he offers up to God.

Hell is that cleansing agent of eternity into which all
the workers of iniquity shall be cast.

Hell is the eternal receptacle for sinners.  Like the
flies and maggots, sinners shall be consumed by fire. 
Purged.  Utterly annihilated. 

A PURE CHILD

There is no cleansing agent powerful enough to deal
with sin other than the blood of Jesus.  Sin is worse
that AIDS; it is permanent, and irrevocably scars the
sinner - there is no self-cleansing of sin - there are
not enough good deeds in the world to make up for the
bad things a man has done.  Any good thing a man does
is only what he should have done in the first place.

The root of sin can only be plucked out of man if he
becomes a new creature.  When a man is "born again" he
is spiritually re-born in Christ Jesus and when he is
baptized that body of sin is done away with.  Outside
of Jesus there is no forgiveness of sin.

There is only One who can cleanse a man from sin. God
demonstrates His patience and mercy by sacrificing His
own son Jesus so that mankind might be saved from the
fire.

Jesus died to take the punishment for man's sin upon
himself. 
He offers eternal life to all those who repent and call
upon Him for salvation. 

HELL, GOD, AND LOVE

Would a loving God send men to hell forever?
Would a loving father allows a disease infested rat to
run around his house, bite His children and infect them
with a hideous disease?
Would you light a fire, as I did, to that hideous
living swarms of maggots and pig excrement?

The source of sin is man.  Men make choices to violate
God's holiness.  At the Judgment they shall be held
accountable for those choices.

Those outside of Jesus on the Judgment Day will see
their true sinful nature and be convinced that their
proper abode is in the Lake of Fire that burns forever.

Sin isn't some "thing" that happens without
participation by a willing individual.  Men choose to
sin and men are accountable for their decisions. God
offered His own life through Jesus Christ to pay for
man's sin and cleanse us from iniquity, but if this is
rejected, what is left but to purge the sin in the Lake
of Fire?  Sin exists because men choose corruption over
God's holiness.

NIGHTMARES

In your worst nightmares, have you ever seen a half
corroded face with worms and blotchy broken skin?  In a
moment alone, in the dark of night, has an apparition
of such hideous form emerged in your mind that made you
want to scream?
Have you ever seen something that so revolted you that
you wanted to turn your face and vomit as your stomach
convulsed?

You've seen a vision of sin.  That is what your sin
will look like on the Judgment Day.  You have already
been warned.

WHAT IS HELL?

Hell is the promise from God that He is Just, a
rewarder of good deeds, and a punisher of evildoers. 

Hell is the assurance to the mother whose little girl
was raped and murdered that justice is served in the
long run. 

Hell is a deterrent to man's evil impulses as he
contemplates his own eternal fate and the Judgment to
come. 

Hell is the reward for Adolph Hitler and thousands of
Germans who murdered 6 million Jews in the Holocaust. 

Hell is the fire that sternly warns every boy
considering a new Columbine saying "I am waiting for
you after you commit your heinous act."

Hell is the promise that the universe is just. 
Hell warns the living to turn away from sin.
Hell is the destiny of the man that sins.

Hell says to all men:  "Consider your ways, for there
is no hidden thing, there is no overlooked evil, there
is no escape from the wrath to come." 

Hell says "there is a Judge of the souls of men and to
Him you shall give account - think of Him as you weigh
your actions - for you shall surely pay for them all."

There shall be no injustice on the Judgment Day - every
crime and evil deed shall be meted a just penalty.

Hell is awful - it is the cleansing of horror and
refuse. 

Hell testifies of God's holiness and justice.  It is a
witness of His mercy to those who have been forgiven.   

Only the Blood of Jesus can cleanse a man from sin. 
Outside of Jesus there is no salvation.


POINTS TO PONDER

And He ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly
to testify that this is the One (Jesus) who has been
appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead.
v.43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through
His name everyone who believes in Him receives
forgiveness of sins. (Acts 10:42, 43)

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just
for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God,
having been put to death in the flesh, but make alive
in the spirit.  (1 Peter 3:18)

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and
death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them;
and they were judged every one of them according to
their deeds.  (v14) Then death and Hades were thrown
into the lake of fire.  This is the second death, the
lake of fire.  (Revelation 20:14,15)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only
begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not
perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Sheol from beneath is excited over you to meet you when
you come; It arouses for you the spirits of the dead,
all the leaders of the earth; It raises all the kings
of the nations from their thrones. They will all
respond and say to you: 'Even you have been made weak
as we, You have become like us. Your pomp and the music
of your harps Have been brought down to Sheol; Maggots
are spread out as your bed beneath you And worms are
your covering.'  (Isaiah 14:9-11)

But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and
murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and
idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake
that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second
death.  (Revelation 21:8)

[Jesus] canceled out the certificate of debt consisting
of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He
[Jesus] has taken it out of the way, having nailed it
to the cross. (Colossians 2:14)


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
29 July 2002
www.berggren.us
www.jf.org


BOOT CAMP, 401Ks, and JUDGEMENT DAY
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
22 July 2002
www.text.net/berggren/



       " . . .the resurrection of the dead and 
            eternal  judgment."   --Hebrews 6:2


Eternal life isn't naked babies floating around in the
clouds strumming little harps. 
I used to think it was pretty close to that - when I
got to heaven I'd have to wear the same white robe
every day (at least I wasn't naked) and just sit around
and sing in the clouds.  What a horrible existence.

Don't get me wrong, I love to worship God.  I worship
him at church and I sing and worship Him when I can
escape and be alone in my own private time.

But there's a whole lot more to do in eternity.

But before we can talk about Eternal Life (or the
eternal afterlife) - we need to talk about the
Judgment.  Since it's appointed for all men to die
once, and then the judgment, that's something you and I
have in common.

CHOSEN FOR ETERNITY

God created man to be eternal beings - our physical
bodies will perish, but our souls will live forever,
consciously.  That's our mind, will, emotions,
memories, even feelings.  Men do not cease to exist the
moment they die.  Their body ceases to function and
eventually rots and disintegrates - but the body is not
the real you - you're body is just an "earth suit" you
are privileged to wear during our brief stay on this
earth.  At physical death your soul (you) departs and
will descend into hell or rise into heaven.

Where will you go?

God chooses whom He wishes to save.  Since all men are
sinners and rightly deserve eternal punishment, God's
eternal and endless mercy is demonstrated by choosing
some people to receive the gift of eternal life offered
through Jesus Christ. 

So if you get "tapped" to serve him, it's the greatest
honor anyone can have.  Not everyone has the privilege
of being "chosen."  Certainly the Pharaoh and Esau are
two men who God rejected out of hand.

Some men God chooses fail to serve him.  He chose King
Saul, but Saul rebelled and chose to rule without
obeying God's laws.  So God rejected Him.  Jesus chose
Judas.  But in time Judas rejected the Savior and sold
him into the hands of his enemies for the paltry sum of
30 pieces of silver.  

Other men are warned about turning away from serving
him during the course of their lives.  The Apostle Paul
instructed the church to say to Archippus, "Take heed
to the ministry which you have received in the Lord,
that you may fulfill it." (Colossians 4:17).  And his
prayer for Timothy was that "that our God will count
you worthy of your calling."  2 Thess 1:11

So there are a couple of elements to consider:

First, not everyone has the honor of being called to
serve the Lord Jesus.  Those whom God rejects will be
damned.  And there is nothing they can do about it.

This idea is revolting to people because they presume
that man is free to choose.  W. E. Henly wrote "I am
the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." 
This poem is so popular because it resonates well
within the soul of modern Western man - post-God
Enlightenment man - but it isn't so.
That some men are predestined to hell is insulting
because it is a rejection of  the independent status
man claims for himself. 
And that is exactly the point.  Man is not independent. 
He is a creature whose existence and final disposition
is solely in the hands of God - beyond Him there is no
appeal.

And those who are called of God have a choice to make -
"do I believe what He just told me?"  You believe in
your heart, but your mind will tell you "has God really
said that?"

The rich young ruler was called - he was inquiring -
and Jesus told him what to do - and he turned away.  No
doubt he told himself "what that man is saying can't be
true."  But it was.  It's not that the rich can't be
saved - from Abraham to Joseph of Arimathea we know
they are.

But whom will you serve?

Once a person believes that Jesus rose from the dead
and confesses with their mouth that "Jesus is Lord,"
they are saved.  (But they don't' get to that point
unless God chooses them first.)

What about Archippus?  What happened to him? 
Archippus needed a warning:  "take heed Archippus, that
you fulfill the calling that God called you to."   
He was warned because he was doubting or neglecting his
specific calling in life.

JUDGMENT DAY

There is no one who will stand at the Judgment Day and
conclude that God is unjust - especially those going to
Hell.  When they stand before the Almighty to be judged
for their lives, they will know that they knew the
right things to do and yet didn't do it.  No one - not
the hypothetical lost tribesman in the middle of Africa
who never heard about Jesus - or the Pastor's children
- will ever say on the Judgment Day "I did not know
what I was supposed to do."  

God is too big for that and in a million little ways
all through our lives he tells us what to do and what
not to do.  But sometimes we just don't listen.

LIFE ON EARTH

Life on earth is short if one takes the perspective
that we will all live forever (somewhere).

Life is a little like boot camp.  And it's a little
like investing in  your 401K. 

It's like boot camp because it can be horribly
difficult (at least according to the Discovery
Channel!) but it doesn't last forever.  The funny thing
is that life is difficult regardless of whether you
serve the Lord - so you might as well serve him
faithfully and reap the rewards later. 

It's like a 401K because you are investing your short
lifetime and will reap the rewards or punishments for
your choices throughout eternity.  Your life is an
investment - you were given your life by God and he
expects you to handle it faithfully.   Your life is not
your own to lead any way you so choose - you are just
the steward of the life God has entrusted to you. 
While you may owe no other man an account for your life
you surely owe your Maker an account - and the books
will be opened and the dead judged on that final Great
Day. 

You will give an account for it on your Judgment Day. 
And you do know what you are supposed to do with it.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M SUPPOSED TO DO!!!

Oh stop that.  Who are you kidding?  Do the first
things first.  The man who says "I don't know what to
do" is the man who probably isn't doing the first
things he was supposed to do. 

When a man or woman is "tapped" by God and called to
serve Him - what does God do?  Does God say "Here is a
245 prospectus on your life, ministry and calling"? 
No.  He says "repent, believe in the Lord Jesus, get
baptized, go to church and stop sinning."  

If you're faithful with that, you'll move on to the
next step.  "Start serving in your church - clean out
the bathrooms, pick up the garbage, volunteer for
Evangelism Explosion, and tell your friends about me."  

You did that?  Good.  Now the hard stuff:  "Forgive
your wife.  Forgive your husband.  Stop resenting God
for what you think he owes you."  Ouch.  This separates
the men from the boys.

It  gets interesting here.  The most bitter and
disillusioned people are those God has called to serve
him in a special capacity and they resent him because
it isn't working out the way they expected.  They have
all the excuses.  Paul had only one response:  "Take
heed to the ministry which you have received in the
Lord, that you may fulfill it."  That's not just to
Archippus 2000 years ago, that's for us today.

People get lost in their direction in life not because
God has abandoned them, but because they've turned away
from doing the things they were supposed to do in the
first place.  Why would God tell you what job you're
supposed to get or what business or ministry you should
have if you haven't first been faithful with the basic
things? 

THE VALUE OF FOREVER

What lasts forever?  His Kingdom does -  not yours. 
Every man is a kingdom builder - it is born inside of
us. 
We build our home, our business, our career, our
family, our hobbies, our knowledge, our perspective on
life.
We create things out of what life presents to us
depending upon what we value most and this gives us
enormous satisfaction - we were created to build a
kingdom.

But are you building a kingdom that will last beyond
this life time?

SO WE ARE JUDGED, WHAT THEN?

I have two children, Lars and Aurora.  They are a
little young now but someday I'll say to myself "Gee,
Lars is really dependable and faithful and obedient - I
think I'll let him borrow my car."  Or at least I hope
I'll be able to say that.  And I will enjoy watching
him grow up and become a man.  Is that hard to imagine?

God is like that.  And contrary to what the world has
to say, God made us like Him, not vice versa.  So after
the Judgment Day, He'll say:

"Gee, little Joey was faithful - he didn't turn to the
right or the left and he accomplished exactly what I
told him to accomplish and he didn't whine and moan
about it. I'm going to send him over to such and such a
place to rule it for me.  But Stan, well, he didn't do
anything I told him to do, but he is my child so I'll
send him to work for Joey."

Both will be be perfectly happy and content for
eternity, but some will have greater rewards and glory
and some lesser rewards.

[Huh?  You want to know what happened to Bert?  
Oh. OK.  Bert went to Hell. 
Not everyone goes to heaven.]

In eternal life we'll work. 
In eternal we'll judge men and angels. 
In eternal life we'll think and create new things and
explore and experience risk and the unknown and
adventure and excitement. 
In Eternal Life there will be infinite variety and
change and exploration. 
God will create a new heaven and earth just for that -
so we can explore all of Him through His creation. 
(It's not something you want to miss just because you
didn't follow Jesus.) 

God doesn't believe in boredom or a risk-free existence
- He created you didn't he? 

The thing I like most about life is that it's real - we
don't get six chances at it - it's live or die right
now.  Life is short, tough and risky (or as the  English 
historian Thomas Hobbes wrote:  "Life is nasty, brutish, 
and short") - my eye is on the prize ahead and I'm going 
to do what I need to do.  

We are all on a one way countdown to death - tick tick
tick tick.  But on the other side of that those God 
has chosen will live forever!

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Miami, FL
fwb@text.net
www.text.net/berggren/


(PS:  If you are a college student in the Atlanta area
and want to spent the weekend at an all expenses paid
seminar, please go to www.acts120.com and register. 
The Atlanta Christian Training Seminar is looking for
120 college students who want to reach their campus
with the Gospel of Jesus.)




SPEAKERS FROM THE DEAD: MERCY, CATHERINE, and the ANGEL
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
June 9, 2002

It's not often the dead speak.
The dead -  those who have died, then stood before the
Judgment Seat, then passed on to the Other Side.

Most of us can judge the past in terms of the present,
but who can judge the present in terms of the future?
The Dead can.  They have been there.

The following events occurred a certain Sunday morning
at a church in Miami, Florida. During the preaching of
the sermon, there was a sudden visitation of two
persons from the spirit world.  One claimed to be
Catherine Brooks, and when she finished speaking
another appeared calling himself and angel.

Since I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of
their claims I shall present what they said verbatim.

CATHERINE BROOKS:

Catherine Brooks is my name.  I died when I was 23.

I grew up poor and black in the worst section of
Tacoma, Washington.  I was raised by my grandmother
because my mother died when I was only five.

I hated my mother because she was never there for me.
I hated my father.  He didn't raise me or even give my
mother money for support.

My grandmother used to tell me to behave and not go out
with the guys and to stay off the street at night and
the more she told me not to do something the more I did
it.

Who was she to tell me how to live my life?  She didn't
lose her Mom or Dad.  She wasn't young and pretty with
a life to live - she was just an old religious lady
always talking Jesus this and Jesus that.

I went to church with her once or twice a year - you
know, Christmas and Easter -  until I was fifteen and
then just told her to forget it.

They were all living some kind of kooky religious
fantasy  - I had a real life and I had my friends.

My friends could understand me because they didn't have
those wholesome families either, not like those
families television always had - you know, "All in the
Family," and "Brady Bunch" - that nonsense.

What planet were they from anyhow?
My friends loved me and that's all I cared about.

So on my Judgment Day I didn't really care.

I  really didn't  care.

What was the God going to say to me?

But as I stood before Jesus on my Judgment Day, I saw a
vision of my grandmother praying for me and crying out
for me every single night.   I saw her tears and love
and the prayers of her friends in church for me.

For me.

There were even white people praying for me.  Huh?

And I saw my friends, who sold me drugs and then shared
them with me.
My friends laughed at me behind my back and said "'what
I trip' I was" and that I was going to get in trouble
some day.

I thought they respected me.

And then I saw my daughter, four years old when I died.
Four years into a life that would be lived like mine -
short, burned out, selfish and resenting everyone for
the hell I lived in.

And then I saw all the invitations and opportunities to
leave that life.  I saw the love my grandmother had for
me and I saw in her another way of living.

But I held on to the bitterness and resentment - it
gave me strength and pride.

I held on to my pain and lashed out at all the world -
by holding it close I grew strong and no one could hurt
me.

And then I saw what could have been:

I saw a vision of the future I rejected.  I saw me
growing old and loving and praying like my grandmother
did.

Not rich.
Not with a house in the suburb, just poor and working
in a beat up old neighbor hood - but with love and
peace in my heart.

And with love for my child, and caring for her, and
watching her grow up.

But no, I was too selfish.

And I was judged, and I passed through to the other
side.


[At this point, Catherine Brooks vanished and a tall
powerful man clothed in flowing robes appeared.
He claimed to be an angel and called himself Kamar.]

KAMAR, THE ANGEL:

Everyone has an angel.
My name is Kamar, and this is my story.
I am an angel and was sent to earth to guard Mercy
Brooks.

Mercy in Catherine's Grandmother.
Let me tell you her story:


Mercy was an old old woman when she passed away --
Ninety four years.

She left  6 children and 18 grandchildren, and even
more great grandchildren.

She lived through the depression and segregation in the
south, the ghetto's of the north and the filth of the
inner city.

Her husband served in the Navy in World War Two while
she swept the floors in a factory.  Two of her children
died before she did, and she buried Catherine, her
granddaughter.

Mercy worked hard all her life, raised her children,
and some of her grandchildren.

At fifty years old she got arthritis and could barely
walk so her husband told her to quit work stay at home
and she did for two years until her husband died.

The she went back to work until she was old enough to
collect social security.

Though she prayed and believed in faith, God never
healed her of that disease.
Though she tithed on every penny she made, she was
always poor.

And then she raised her grandchildren, because her own
children had to work, or they had problems, like little
Catherine's mother who had passed away.

Mercy loved the children.  She prayed for them and read
them the Bible and took them to church when she could.

And when Mercy died the Pastor called her a fine
Christian saint (which is what the preacher is supposed
to say at a funeral.)
Her children and grandchildren shed some tears, and she
was buried.

And that was it.

I saw a woman who suffered, but never complained.
I saw a woman who loved in a city filled with hate.
I saw a woman who gave but never received, who
comforted but had so much pain.
I saw a woman who believed when surrounded by doubt.
I saw a woman who prayed but had so many unanswered
prayers.

I envy her.
I'm an angel and I never suffer and have never felt the
sting of rejection or hatred or ridicule.  I've never
known doubt because I see God's face when He calls me.

I don't know pain because my body lives forever and I
have beauty beyond the fairest of earth.

Mercy  Brooks served our Lord yet she never saw Him.
Though a child of Almighty, Mercy suffered.

Though the world was against her in every way and
though her children thought little of her faith, she
believed and spoke of her Lord.

I have never had the honor or great privilege of
suffering or doubting or knowing disease, poverty, pain
or unanswered prayers.  Mercy knew all those and yet
still believed in Him.

Mercy is great because Mercy believed in spite of the
horrors of life.

Angels don't have the honor of believing in a God we
cannot see because we see Him all the time.

Angels don't have the honor of fighting the battles
that humans fight and so they cannot claim the prize of
victory.  In the end those who fought the good fight,
those who finished the race, they shall be our judges.

Now I know why my Lord lets the humans hunger and
thirst and suffer and wander in darkness.  It is so
that they may have the chance to believe and follow in
spite of every obstacle and cost.

Mercy is a daughter of Job.  His words shook the very
foundations of heaven:

"Yea though he slay me, yet will I trust him."

Job fought battles that angels will never know.  Only
Man has the privilege of living by faith.

And so now I serve Mercy and follow her every where she
goes. Yes she is in heaven and I know why she is great.

Mercy was a superhero who thought she was an ordinary
woman.


[And then the Angel vanished and suddenly a light shown
around the cross and we heard these words  from a
strong and firm voice:]

"I am the resurrection and the life;
he who believes in Me will live
even if he dies, and everyone
who lives and believes
in Me will never die."


And that is what happened.


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
June 9, 2002

www.text.net/berggren



LEADERSHIP, EVIL, and KING SAUL
2 June 2002


"Like a trampled spring and a polluted well is a
righteous man who gives way before the wicked."
                          -- Proverbs 25:26

I don't like confrontation. 
I don't like debates. 
I don't like disagreeing with people or getting into
arguments.   Most people are like me - we like to 
be liked, and that means being non-controversial.

Some have the luxury of just getting along and others,
by the nature of their responsibilities, are required
to be controversial.

THE CHURCH

The Church is not a silent witness - it is called to
testify in the public Trial of Mankind throughout
History.  The Great Judge compels the Church to speak;
and should the Church shrink back in fear it is shall
be held in contempt of Court.  Lives destroyed because
the Church was silent shall testify against her.

Abraham was one of the nicest guys in the Bible - he
didn't like controversy.  When settled  in Gerar he
feared the pagan men and told his wife to call herself
his sister.  But  God told Abimelech in a dream that he
was a "dead man" because he took Abraham's wife. 

Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, "What
have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you,
that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great
sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be
done." (Genesis 20:9)  

The pagan king testified against Abraham because he
failed to speak up. Abraham, far from repenting, tried
to justify himself by arguing that he was (technically)
correct in calling his wife his sister (since she was
the daughter of his father, but not his mother).

Truly Abraham is our father in ways we would rather not
consider. 

On the other hand, Jeremiah was thrown into a mud
filled pit and denounced by his peers.  He had a big
mouth.  And the uncompromising Ezra commanded the
Hebrews to divorce their non-Hebrew wives - now was he
a popular guy, or what?

Adam was the original man-pleaser.  He didn't want to
offend his wife, so he just joined in.  The proper
response was a rebuke (not a "silent witness"), refusal
to partake, and then intercession on her behalf. 

From Adam we learn that "Evil prevails when good men do
nothing."
What if Adam did the right thing? Could Eve have run to
God and begged forgiveness?  Nineveh repented, and
Jonah certainly didn't expect that.

Through his silence Adam betrayed Eve.  But Eve was his
'sweet little thang' and Adam sure didn't want to rock
that boat.

THE PROPHETS SPOKE UP

The Church is the corporate prophet to the world - it
is called to make hard decisions and speak Truth.

The duty to speak applies to Pastors and congregations
alike.  When the issue of foreign wives arose in the
time of Ezra, the people worked with him to clean up
the problem at great personal cost. Some opposed Ezra,
naturally, but the congregation by and large supported
a bold leader making impossible decisions.

When Moses came down from the mountain the entire
nation was in rebellion.  A soothing response to the
"situation" would have been reasonable.  A compromise
would have been "balanced, fair, and justified"
considering their recent exodus and the difficult
conditions in the Sinai.  But Moses didn't work out a
compromise.  Moses ordered the Hebrews to take a stand
for or against his leadership and his God. Those who
joined him were ordered to slay their brothers. 

That was gutsy, bold, and messy.
It wasn't conciliatory, unifying, considerate, or
"respectful of others."  Since when in Gods name was
"respect for the differences of others" an overriding
mandate in the Kingdom of God?  That is heresy - it's a
bold face lie.  Today, brazen cowardice is elevated to
a virtue by Christian leaders seeking to "unify the
community."

King Saul feared man and rationalized his disobedience
to God out of "genuine concern."
Saul copped out. 
God rejected him - the very king He had chosen. 
Leadership is a tough business.

By today's standards Jesus would certainly qualify as
an "extremist" or "fanatic."  I can hear it all the way
to now:

"What? Eat your flesh and drink you blood?  Hate my
mother and father?  Leave everything?  You're telling
us that our religious leaders are going to hell?  Dude,
you're a complete nut case."    

Mr. Rogers Jesus was not.  Nor was John the Baptist,
Peter or Paul. These men were not out to build nice,
quiet, non-controversial communities. Neither were
Abolitionist preachers in the 1850s.  Neither was
Martin Luther King, Jr.  They had a mission.  They had
a calling.  They had orders from Above.  And it was
divisive.  Many of their peers hated them.

FANATICS.  EXTREME.  YOU BET.

The terms "fanatic" and "extremist" are rhetorical
weapons wielded against the cowardly and feeble of
mind.  They are powerful tools brandished in public to
manipulate the weak, the ignorant and the fearful. 
They become all the more powerful because they cannot
be refuted - the mere accusation scores a mortal blow. 
Attempts to prove oneself "reasonable" or "balanced"
yield only jests and mockery.

Character assassins exercise scant restraint when
attacking leaders as bold as Jesus, Jeremiah, or
(heaven forbid) of Ezra.  But they will welcome and
support a Saul as a "reasonable" man.

So the pulpits and government offices are full of
Sauls. 
Saul's are quick to destroy the bold: the "Lollards,"
Martin Luther, the Pilgrims, the Wesley Brothers,
Martin Luther King, Jr., men who caused widespread
social indigestion in their day.

FEAR

I can't imagine a more unpopular stance than to
publicly declare that homosexuality is morally wrong
and should be legally proscribed.  I can hear it now:
"What kind of intolerant bigot are you?"

In public schools and corporate America a public
statement that homosexuality is evil  is grounds for
expulsion or  termination.  Perhaps the same is true in
some churches.

I used to work at a Fortune 500 company and was
required to take eight hours of sensitivity training.
They told us that anyone contributing to an environment
wherein someone felt "uncomfortable" due to their
sexual orientation would be fired immediately - zero
tolerance.   

The following statement is a terminal offense:

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not
inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the
covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers,
will inherit the kingdom of God."  (1 Corinthians
6:9-10)


If I printed it on a T-Shirt and wore it to work (or
school) I would be labeled an ignorant hatemonger.
(Remember the bumper sticker: "Hate is not a Family
Value"?) 
In Canada I could go to jail; this is hate speech. 

SALT MUST BE SALTY

From ancient times salt water has been recognized as a
powerful healing agent. Yet salt water stings when
poured into a puss filled, bacteria infected,
disgusting wound on an otherwise healthy body.  The
whole body howls in protest, but the salt kills the
bacteria, cleanses the wound, and aids the healing
process.  If the Church doesn't do its job then
eventually the whole body politic becomes infected and
suffers.

The Church is the Prophetic voice in the community and
must stand against the spread of disease.  By opposing
laws, ordinances, and school programs that imply that
homosexuality is good, normal, and healthy the Church
faithfully testifies.  We must speak up and shout aloud
"You are going the wrong way!"

This isn't one of those acceptable issues like feeding
the poor or supporting a hospital in Haiti. 

WHY DO WE DO THIS?

First, the Church must speak because God commanded us
to preach the Truth.  Jeremiah didn't take opinion
polls.  Saul did. 

Second, it is because homosexuality destroys the lives
of children. 

If it was only a matter of two men humping madly in the
closet I wouldn't mind.  Maybe I should, but I really
don't care.

If it was about a couple of lovely lesbians, I wouldn't
mind.  I've worked with such and it's never been an
issue.  As people go they may be wonderful, better than
most, and have more integrity than some Christians I've
known.  This isn't personal. It is not about whether
homosexuals are Americans or citizens or people or
nice; or, whether, as citizens, they should be accorded
the same level of respect as others.  That is not the
issue. 

ROAD SIGNS

The issue is government standards of morality. 

It is about the endorsement of sin by our government.
It is about opposing publicly mandated codes of
morality that imply that "Homosexuality is OK, right,
normal and good for you, too"

My compassion is for school children directed down
paths of destruction by false signs erected on the
roadways of life.  Laws are signs - they give direction
and set standards of right and wrong.  This is true
whether they are "anti-discrimination" programs at
school, zoning laws, or constitutional amendments.

God's moral code protects man from harm, but sin
destroys the inner person and carries the soul to hell. 
And for the sake of the ignorant, the children, and the
lost, the Church must resist legal changes that
support, protect, and institutionalize evil.  A silent
Church is a complicit church, and in this respect the
AIDS activists are correct:  "SILENCE =  DEATH."

This battle is ugly and the only way to avoid it is to
refuse to speak up.  And then you are a coward.

The fight is for the honor of God first, and for the
salvation of man second.  If the Church remains silent
then we've renounced our duty and betrayed the lost.

HIGHWAYS TO HELL

In a list of hell-bound sinners, the Bible lists
cowards first - not gays. (Revelation 21:8).   So it is
better to be a sodomite than silenced by the fear of
man.


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
www.text.net/berggren
2 June 2002


TOLL BOOTH MINISTRY
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
4 May 2002


I was talking to a friend last night and he was explaining
to me about how he has  ministry to the toll booth
attendants.  "I know them all," he said, "and they are very
lonely people.  We need to tell them about Jesus."    I
laughed and told him "I don't even like people, and I
certainly can't hold a conversation at the toll booth when
I'm whizzing down the Sun Pass lane at 55 miles an hour."  

"Oh, no",  he explained.  He stops and gives them the toll
money and talks to them, but he was worried that he couldn't
lead them in a salvation prayer because of time constraints
but wanted to start a "Toll Booth Ministries" and wondered
if I'd help him write a tract.

You've got to laugh with God.  He makes people so different
and I so enjoyed seeing how different we were last night. 
Yes, I'm going to help him with the tract.  But what a
problem to have!  His problem isn't preaching the Gospel,
it's preaching it fast enough to get them saved at a toll
booth!

Each one of us was created differently and each one of us
has a niche to fill in spreading the Gospel of Jesus to our
neighbors and friends.  My friend loves to talk and makes
people feel at ease right away.  I don't.  But I can write. 
So I write and send out my letters by e-mail.

The Gospel of Jesus is like a biological weapon infecting
the Legion of the Damned -  it spreads Life and Eternal
Salvation to the dead.   Jesus said the Word bears fruit. 
And whether or not  the fruit is lasting depends upon the
soil.   You and I can't control the soil, but we sure to
control whether or not the seed gets sown.

Sow the seed.  Spread the word.  
I'm going to set up my  friend with tracts.   
I am going to keep on sending out E-mails with the  
Gospel message to people I know.  At church, we are 
going to giving out "Jesus" videos to whomever is 
willing to take them.

Invite your neighbors to Church.  Expect them to be polite
and say "Yes, that's nice" and then be on their way.  Maybe
they'll come and maybe them won't.  Maybe it will take a
year or two before the come.  Maybe they'll move away and
someone else will invite them to church.

Maybe, like it happened to me, they'll finally come knocking
on your door past midnight crying out for help.

I kid you not.   One night at 1:00 AM my neighbor starts
pounding on my door.  I ignored it.  I didn't know who it
was.  But he kept pounding.  So I went to the window and
said "my children are asleep and I'm in bed - go away!"  No,
he had to talk right now.  "Come back tomorrow - the whole
family is in bed asleep -- go away," I repeated.   And so we
went back and forth a  few times and finally I relented
- he just  wouldn't go away.

Now, my Toll Booth friend would have invited him in, made
him coffee and a sandwich and yacked all night but I'm not
like that.  But he didn't leave me any choice - I was either
going to call the police or let him in.  So he came in and I
was still half asleep and he started sobbing and blubbering
about his drug problem, yadda, yadda, yadda and so I
preached Lordship and total commitment to him. Hard.  I was
still mad that he woke me up a one o'clock in the morning
and I wasn't about let him off easy.  Make a long story
short, he repented and we prayed and I sent him home and I
finally got to go back to bed.

So you never know - if you just sow the seed out there you
might see lives changed whether you really want to our not. 
That's the power of the Gospel.  It's up to Him to change
lives.  It's up to us to sow the seed.

PRACTICAL TIPS

1)	Give people a video about Jesus. 
2)	Give them a tract. 
3)	Invite them to church. 
4)	Go to church yourself -
          they'll know what youare doing Sunday morning when
          the whole family leaves in nice clothes. 
5)	Put their E-mail address in this form and I'll 	
          send them something  http://www.text.net/berggren/ 
6)	Tell them about when you accepted Jesus. 
7)	If they are sick,pray for them.

You don't have to be Billy Graham to sow seed.  You don't
even have to want to talk to people about Jesus. To tell the
truth I don't wake up just dying to tell people about Jesus. 
Most of the day, I don't want to talk to anybody about anything.

But you're not like me.  And you're not like my
Toll Booth friend.  But someone somewhere near you is
the perfect match for your personality and style.
So throw a few seeds out there.  And then a few more.   
And don't worry about the results.  Just sow the seed.

And if you don't see a change in them, that's OK.   
It is certainly changing you.

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D. 
4 May 2002 
www.text.net/berggren


PS:  If you know someone who would enjoy one of my past
letters, you can go to the web site listed above, click on
the archived letters, and there is a place at the
bottom of the letter where you can put their e-mail address 
in to send it to them.


OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS - PART TWO
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
29 April 2002

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

I wrote a bible study called "Covenant for the Nations" in
1996 and posted it to the Internet at
http://www.text.net/cftn/.   Look it up and study it if you
want to learn more about God's Law and it's relationship
with both the New and the Old Covenants.

Covenant for the Nations is a work book designed to teach
people about a very simple "agreement" between God and the
nations of the earth.  The agreement, or Covenant, is based
on the Ten Commandments - if a nation obeys the Ten
Commandments it will be blessed.  If it disobeys them, they
will be cursed.

The simplicity of this formula has escaped many Biblical
commentators, yet it is so embedded in the Bible that it is
impossible to understand scripture without understanding it. 
All the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, Daniel, Joel, etc) spoke
to Israel strictly in terms of the agreement the Hebrews
made with God at Sinai.  The horrible things the prophets
warned about (war, famine, disease) were not soothsaying or
fortune telling - they were very specific terms of the
covenant as laid out in Deuteronomy 28. 

This is worth repeating: the Prophets were not soothsayers
or fortune tellers.  The foundation for their prophesying
was not the future, but the past.  They reminded the Hebrews
of their covenant with God and pointed out to them how they
violated it.  Then the reminded the Hebrews of the curses
that are part of that covenant - disobedience brings
disaster.  So when Jeremiah or any of the other prophets
seem so dismal and foreboding, they are simply recalling to
the Hebrews the terms of their covenant with God.  Did the
prophets "fortell" the future?  Yes, but it was grounded
what God had already done and said in the past - the
prophecies were in the context of what God had spoken
before. 

The power of the New Testament is to take this Law and
internalize it through the New Birth -  the Law is never
done away with.  It was never a means to personal salvation
- no one kept the law.  It remains today the one moral and
legal guide that all nations should seek.

When God led the Hebrews out of the land of Egypt, they had
grown from a few meandering shepherds to a nation of three
million men.  They were more than an extended family - they
were a nation of millions governed by one chief (Moses) who
in turn federated the government into smaller units.

So when the Lord took the Hebrews to Mount Sinai and gave
Moses the Ten Commandments, God was not offering the Ten
Commandments as an option for "personal living."   He
presented an agreement between Himself and all of the
people.   The Ten Commandments were delivered to an entire
nation.   This is important.  If you understand this you can
understand why, in part, the Ten Commandments do not provide
"personal" salvation.  They were never designed to be
strictly "personal."  They were designed as a system of
morality and law under which an entire people, or nation,
was to govern themselves.


SALVATION BY FAITH UNDER THE LAW

Moses was not saved by the Law - he was saved by faith. 
None of the Hebrews living under the Law were saved by the
law - they were all saved by faith (or damned for a lack
thereof).  Joshua and Caleb believed and were therefore
saved into the promised land.  When an individual Hebrew
came before the Almighty at the tabernacle to offer
sacrifices, he knew without any doubt that he had broken the
Law.  And that was why the ceremonies made such great
provision for sacrifices as an atonement for sin (the
breaking of the Law).  And it is faith in those sacrifices 
by which a man was to be saved, or made right with God. 
Each man, upon presenting his offering, had to understand
that a pure innocent creature was sacrificed to take his
place of suffering for sin.

The Law embodied in the Ten Commandments was a social code
given to the corporate body by which they might all enjoy
and generalized prosperity - it did not negate faith.  The
Law reinforced faith on a personal level and made it very
real as men went through the process of sacrifice and
atonement. 

PREPARING THE SOIL

Living in a culture formed and guided by the Law of God
"prepares the soil" for the message of salvation by faith in
Jesus Christ.  As millions of Hebrews lived under the moral
guidance of the Ten Commandments and experienced the
ceremonies and sacrifices they where preparing in their
hearts and minds for the One Great Sacrifice - Jesus Christ. 

-- The Law taught them to live morally before God and 
	each other.
-- The Law taught them that there was a price to pay 
	for sin.
-- The Law taught them that God allowed a substitute to take
      their own place to pay for sin.
-- The Law taught them that they each had to 
	personally accept responsibility for their own sin.
-- They Law taught them to confess to God that they 
	were sinners.
-- The Law taught them to have faith that God forgave them
	of their  sin not because they deserved it, 
	but because an innocent
      sacrifice atoned for their sins.
-- The Law and the Prophets taught the Hebrews that
	salvation was by faith, not by works.

The Ten Commandments are God's unchanging moral guide for
all people, in all times.   Indeed, the Hebrews were to be a
"city set on a hill," and living under this law, God
promised that all the nations would admire them for their
great blessings and the wisdom of their laws and that they
would come to the Hebrews and ask them to teach them about
the Laws of God.  The Law was to be a blessing for all the
nations and it was to prepare all of the nations for the
Gospel of Jesus Christ.

NEW BIRTH

Christians understand that the Ten Commandments alone will
not "save a soul," nor will they remove the evil in a man's
heart.   But Christians have not understood that it was His
intention all along to take the Ten Commandments and write
them on the heart of man: this was called the New Birth:

"But this is the covenant which I will make with the house
of Israel after those days," declares the Lord, "I will put
My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I
will be their God, and they shall be My people.  Jer 31:33

And again in Ezekiel:

"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit
within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your
flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  Ezek 36:26

This is what Christians call getting "born again." It was
not supposed to be a great secret or mystery to the Hebrews. 
Jesus was amazed they the Pharisees - masters of the
scripture - did not understand what he was talking about.

Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of
Israel and do not understand these things?  John 3:10

It was all there, in the Law and the Prophets, if only the
had "eyes to see and ears to hear."  Some, like Nicodemus,
heard.  Others did not.  So what we find is that the Ten
Commandments become a part of the New Birth because they are
written on the hearts of men when individuals accept Jesus
Christ.  Instead of faith in dead animals, men place their
faith in the one perfect sacrifice offered up through the
crucifixion of Jesus Christ - and that is when God
super-naturally changes a man's heart to be inclined to obey
the Ten Commandments.  Christ was crucified, died, was
buried and rose again on the third day in newness of life -
eternal life.  Resurrection from the dead, the forgiveness
of sins, and eternal life is offered to men if they confess
to God their evil nature and accept his sacrifice for sin -
Jesus Christ.  This is the good news.  

The Law (based on the Ten Commandments) is a tutor that
leads us to this simple message of salvation.  A culture or
a nation educated in the Ten Commandments is well prepared
ground for the Gospel message:

--	They know the moral law ( the Ten Commandments). 
--	They understand that they have not obeyed them. 
--	They know that disobedience brings a curse. 
--	They know a sacrifice is required to pay for sin. 
--	Sin requires punishment - sin has consequences. 


And from there it is much easier to understand and accept a
message about the sacrifice of Jesus which pays for sins. 
This is much more difficult in a culture that denies any
moral law, or the judgment of God and his curse against evil
doers. 

The greatest threat to evangelism is not Christians who
don't hand out tracts - it is a Church who refused to
prepare the ground for the seed.  Building a nation's
political, social, educational, and economic foundation on
the Ten Commandments prepares the soil for the message of
the Gospel. The Law prepares a culture for the Gospel
message. It is no small wonder that after a century or more
of refusing to prepare the ground the harvest that it is so
small and so poor. 

The Church as convinced itself (with the help of the World)
that religion belongs in a box on Sunday morning.  No, no,
no.  God owns every nation.  He is the King over every
government.  He is the headmaster over every school.  He is
the Chief Judge over every court.  God's people must declare
this message and bring every area of life under His
Lordship.  This doesn't detract from evangelism (as some
think) - it prepares and opens a culture for evangelism.

I've appended one chapter from "Covenant For the Nations"
(www.text.net/cftn) below.  I encourage you to study it -
and go to the web site if you want to read more about how
the role the Ten Commandments plays in God's historical
economy.

On parting word: If I could offer one suggestion for the
reformation of society - it would be to post the Ten
Commandments back on the walls of every classroom in the
world. 

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
fritz@text.net


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Old and New Covenants  (Chapter 11, Covenant for the Nations)
				www.text.net/cftn

This section will illustrate the continuity between the
"old" covenant and the "new" covenant. The difference
between the two is certain and important; but also often 
misunderstood. Human nature tells us that the 'new' is 
always better than the 'old,' and so it is. Thus, the
New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant. However,
Christian tradition has assigned names to the scriptures we
read, calling one section 'old' and another 'new.' This 
usually leads to the conclusion that the Old Testament 
books really are not all that important compared to the 
books referred to as the New Testament. This is an 
unfortunate  misundertanding.

Nowhere in the Bible are the books preceding the Gospels
referred to as 'old.' On the contrary, the books called the
New Testament presuppose a knowledge of and the authority 
of all the scriptures that have come before. The entire 
Christian church up until at least the 300s A.D. relied 
on all the 'old' testament books. There was no 'new' testament 
books at that time. Jesus, Paul, and all of the Apostles 
preached from, and only from, the books we call 'old.'

The continuity between the Old Testament and the New
Testament are profound. This chapter explores the
differences between the old and the new covenants, 
and lays out some of the similarities as well.


1) The center of the evangelical Christian experience is
usually characterized as being "born again." This comes from
John 3:3. Read John 3:1-12 carefully. Jesus is speaking to a 
Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, who knew the Law very well. 
He had probably memorized all of the Holy Scriptures. 
Jesus was explaining to him the need to be born again. 
What did Jesus tell him?

       John 3:7
____________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




2) What was the response from Nicodemus?

       John 3:9
____________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________



3) Obviously, Nicodemus didn't understand what Jesus was
talking about. But, what did Jesus tell him in reply?

       John 3:10
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




NOTE: This is very important. Jesus fully expected this man
to know what he was talking about. Becoming "born again"
should not have been foreign to any expert in the Law and 
the Prophets. Yet, what was Jesus talking about?


4) Read Jeremiah 31:31, 33. What kind of covenant is God
going to make?

       Jer 31:31
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




5) What is this "new covenant"? What is God going to do with
his law?

       Jer 31:33
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________

NOTE: A crucial difference between the New Covenant and the
Old Covenant is that the Old Covenant (Testament) was
written of tablets of stone while the New Covenant 
is written on thetablets of our heart.


6) What does God write on both the stone tablets and on the
human heart in both covenants?

       Jer 31:33 and Deut 10:4
________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________



7) Now turn to Ezekiel 36:26-27. Read this carefully. What
will God give to his people?

       Ezek 36:26
__________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________



8) What will God put inside of his people?

       Ezek 36:27
__________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________



9) What will God cause his people to do? What will they be
careful to do?

       Ezek 36:27
__________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________





NOTE: From these two scriptures it should be clear that God
spoke to the prophets of a time when he would transform the
heart of an individual through what Jesus referred to as 
being 'born again.' God writes his law on our hearts. 
He causes us to walk in his statutes and ordinances. 
He gives us a heart of flesh instead of hearts of stone. 
In the Old Testament, the Law was engraved on tablets of 
stone (Deut 9:9). In the New Testament, the Law is engraved 
on hearts of flesh (Jer 31:31-33 and Ezek 36:26-27).

Re-read John 3:1-12, Jeremiah 31:31-33, Ezekiel 36:26-27 and
Deuteronomy 9:9, and Deuteronomy 4:13. Let this sink into
your heart. God spoke of being born again in the Old Testament. 
This new covenant is where God takes the Ten Commandments 
and writes them on our hearts. God does not do away with 
the Law. He gives the ability to live by the Law by 
changing our hearts through faith in Jesus.


10) Re-read Deuteronomy 4:6. Now turn to Matthew 5:14-16 and
read it. Hopefully the parallels will be apparent. What do
these have in common? Who is the light of the world in both 
respects? Who will look upon them?

       Deut 4:6 and Matt 5:14
_________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




11) Read Matthew 5:17-19. What was Jesus' attitude toward
the Law?


       Matt 5:17
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




12) Did Jesus come to abolish the Law?

       Matt 5:17
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




13) How long shall the Law last? Was it to be done away with
shortly?

       Matt 5:18
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




14) What did Jesus say of those who would annul even the
least of the commandments? What does he say of those who
teach that the Law is unimportant?

       Matt 5:19
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________



15) Who shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven?

       Matt 5:19
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




NOTE: In the passages that follow, Jesus goes on to teach
about the law, quoting extensively from the (old testament)
scriptures. In no case does he annul any of the laws he mentions. 
Rather, he teaches the people how to obey them. 
Jesus was careful to make sure they abided by the spirit, 
or intent, of the law, as well as its outward forms. 
This reflects the New Covenant emphasis on the emplacement of
the Law within a person, on their heart.


16) What does the Law do?

       Gal 3:24.
___________________________________________________

      
___________________________________________________________




Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
29 April 2002
Miami, FL
www.text.net/berggren
www.pomox.com


OLD v. NEW TESTAMENTS
29 April 2002

Someone emailed me a three page rant on why tithing
(giving 10% of  your income) is not Biblical.   His
main point was that it was "Old Testament" and
therefore not valid as a rule for today. 

I've heard this argument for twenty years, not just
about tithing, but about biblical law, the Ten
Commandments, the death penalty, government, and
anything else Christians are uncomfortable with.  Many
evangelical Christians have dumped 78% of Bible before
they even begin trying to figure out what the remaining
22% means.

This is a problem.   It's a problem because I'd bet
over 90% of Christians (of any stripe) simply don't
trust what 78% of the Bible says because they were told
it was "Old Testament."  So, I'm going to the heart of
the matter:  What is "Old Testament"?  And when the
scripture says the "Old" is replaced by the "New," what
is it talking about?

First and foremost, it is not referring to a collection
of Scriptures.

Nowhere in the Bible will you find any scriptural
reference calling one collection of books "Old
Testament" and another collection of books "New
Testament."  It just doesn't exist.  When you open your
Bible to the Table of Contents, and it divides the
books into "Old Testmanent" and "New Testament," is
that table of contents actually a part of scripture?  
Of course not.   When you get to page 913 (in my Bible)
and there is a page that only says "NEW TESTAMENT" in
big bold letters, is that page actually a part of
scripture?  Of course not.

Yet people are convinced out of ignorance and tradition
that "Old Testament" refers to the books from Genesis
through Malachi and "New Testament" refers to the books
from Matthew through Revelation.

But is just isn't so - the scriptures do not divide
themselves into portions called "new" and "old." 

When Heb 8:13 says "He said, "A new covenant," He has
made the first obsolete" it has nothing to do with
Scriptures at all.  In fact, if you read Hebrews
Chapter 8, you'll find that most of the chapter is a
direct quotation of Jeremiah 31:31-34.  It's ironic
that people would take the very same chapter to
undermine the authority of Jeremiah when that same
chapter quotes Jeremiah.

The Books from Genesis through Malachi should not be
called "the Old Testament" because it confuses people
into believing that these books were replaced by the
books from Matthew through Revelation.   Nothing could
be further from the truth.  

There isn't a single apostle who preached our taught
out of the books from Matthew through Revelation.    On
the contrary, one cannot understand Matthew through
Revelation unless you are already firmly grounded in
the Law and the Prophets.  All the writers of the
Gospels and Epistles assumed the truth and scriptural
authority of the Law and the Prophets and thus quoted
them extensively.   They justified the truths of
Christianity to the Jews by the Law and the Prophets -
never by attempting to sideline them.

When Timothy said "All Scripture is inspired by God and
profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
for training in righteousness: (2 Tim 3:16) he was
referring to "all" the "scriptures" from Genesis
through Malachi - not Matthew through Revelation
because none of those Gospels or Letters had been
officially recognized as the Inspired Word of God at
that time.

I might also add that Jesus did not refer to the
scriptures as "Old Testament, he called them the "law"
and "prophets"  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said:

   "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the
   Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
   "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass
   away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from
   the Law until all is accomplished.
   "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these
   commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall
   be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever
   keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the
   kingdom of heaven.
			Matthew 5:17-19


Most Christians think the Law is obsolete unless
re-established in the Gospels or Epistles).  They seem
to think that God's laws don't apply to them unless the
"New Testament" says it does. 
Perhaps it is a better idea to assume that all of God's
laws are valid today unless specifically fulfilled in
under the New Covenant (thus, we don't sacrifice sheep
and goats because that was fulfilled by Jesus in His
death on the cross). 


Paul, when standing before the Roman governor, Felix,
said " this I admit to you, that according to the Way
which they call a sect I do serve the God of our
fathers, believing everything that is in accordance
with the Law and that is written in the Prophets" (Acts
24:14).

So if Paul believes everything that is in accordance
with the Law and that is written in the Prophets, who
are we so say they are obsolete and done away with?

OLD TESTAMENT DONE AWAY WITH

So if the "Old Testament" clearly is not a section of
your Bible, then what is it?  If the Bible says the
"Old Testament" (Covenant and Testament can be used
interchangeably in this context) was replaced by
something better (which it was) what was "old" and what
was "new?"


OLD TESTAMENT

Under the Old Testament, men where saved by Faith in
the shed blood of bulls and goats sacrificed in
ceremonies that had to be repeated over and over and
over.  Those ceremonies never changed the heart of man. 
In the Old Testament, the Law was written on tablets of
stone.

NEW TESTAMENT

Under the New Testament, men are saved by faith in the
shed blood of Jesus Christ, a sacrifice performed once
for all time.  This new covenant has the power to
change the heart of man so that he becomes inclined to
obey God's Law.  In the New Testament, the Law is not
abolished - it is so important that it is written onto
the heart of man.

The goal of both the Old and New Covenants was the
keeping of the Law:  "For this is the covenant that I
will make with the house of Israel after those days,
says the Lord: I will put My laws into their mind and I
will write them on their hearts." (Jeremiah 31:33 and
Hebrews 8:10)

The New Covenant provides for a change in the heart of
man so that the Law is written on the heart, not on
tablets of stone.  The New Testament does not abolish
the Law.

Man has never been saved by the keeping of the Law, if
he was, there would have been no reason to replace it. 
Man has always been saved by faith.  Adam was saved by
faith because he rejected his own works (a loin
covering of fig leaves) and accepted God's sacrifice
for his own sin; God slew animals and made coverings
for Adam and Eve with those skins.  Noah was saved by
faith when he believed God's word and spent 100 years
building an Ark to save mankind.  Abraham was accounted
as righteous because he believed - not because he kept
that Law.  For Adam, Noah, and Abraham, there was no
law.  The law came centuries later.  

Tomorrow I'll send out Part 2 of this letter and talk
in depth about the role of the Ten Commandments.

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
29 April 2002
www.text.net/berggren
www.pomox.com



SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD
7 November 2001

The Angel posted a small white sheet of paper on a pillar
next to the doors leading into the Great Hall.  It was a
daily ritual - each day a new list of men and women, those
whose turn had come to stand for their lives and be judged. 
It had gone on for thousands of years and attracted little
interest from his fellow angels and today was no exception. 
Having been done with his task he returned to his office on
the second story of the building, just outside the inner
doors of the Great Hall.

JOHN BAKER

No one really knew what happened behind those great doors. 
No one came back to report.  It was said that once you
passed through the gates you never returned.  I had little
fear or anxiety of being judged - those feelings just didn't
exist here in "Paradise," as they called it.  Time slipped
by in peaceful gentle way.   But it was temporary until we
passed through the Great Hall - so we looked forward to our
day without worry.  I guess there is something inside each
of us that needs to know where we stand.  I walked up to
review this list - to see if my name would be there. And it
was. 


THE GREAT HALL

"John Baker, of Tacoma, Washington, the United States.  Born
December 30, 1934.  Died June 12, 2001."
 
That's me.  I walked forward and stepped up to the doors and
was escorted through by and Angel.  They look like us, but
speak among themselves in other languages and go places we
couldn't.  They had jobs and were busy -- the Dead waited
for Judgment. This angel looked familiar, but he couldn't be
- he was an angel.  I must have just seen him around up
here. I 'm sure I saw him once or twice in my old life on
earth - how did I know him?  My angel brought me in front of
the desk clerk just outside the great doors. 

" John Baker, please go in," the door guard said, and then
spoke a few words to my guide.  My angel responded with a
nod and we passed through the doors as they opened before
us.

Suddenly I was alone.  I stood before a giant raised dais of
pure white ivory.  I could see a throne, and a Man wrapped
in light.  I felt no fear.  From the side I heard a voice of
my angel:  "John Baker.  Today is your Judgment Day.  Today
you will answer for your life."

And then it happened - I saw my life unfolding - a seamless
vision of images, thoughts, voices and deeds.  But what I
saw was so very different from what I remembered.  What
surprised me wasn't the things I did - it was seeing them
from a perspective I didn't expect.  That shook me up. 
So I was judged and sent to my reward.  From here I cannot
return.  I won't tell you where I am.  But  the Angel gave
me permission to tell you what happened that day in the
Great Room. 

This is a story of the Judgment Day.  Listen carefully, for
it is not often that the dead speak.


THE BOY

Suddenly I was a boy again, and my mother came out of the
house and called me, telling me to stop playing on the
sidewalk and to come in for dinner.  I grew up in an urban
neighborhood with quiet streets, old homes and friendly
people.  My father was a plumber and worked long hours so I
didn't see him much.  I was about nine years old that day
and playing with my friend Nicholas. 

"Nicholas," I said,  "I have to go, my mother is calling
me."  I was anxious to go because my mother's food was
always so good, and I was always so hungry.  Nicholas said
goodbye and kept on playing. 

"Nicholas, why don't you go home and eat," I said.

"No one is making dinner at my house," said Nicholas. 

I thought for a moment.  Just for a moment.  Just for a very
tiny moment.  Then I said "I'll ask my Mom if you can eat
with us."

Nicholas ate with us that day, and we became friends and
Nicholas became a part of our family in many ways.  At his
home, Nicholas's Mother and Father fought all the time. His
mother  would leave home for days at a time.  Nicholas was
so lonely.

 In the Great Hall, I saw that my decision to befriend
Nicholas - made without a thought - changed the course of
his life.  Nicholas feasted on the love and peace that my
family provide.  He saw that love and a family could be real
for him. When Nicholas grew up and married he made a home
full of love and peace that he learned from my parents.
I had no idea that little deed, that small deed so simply
acted out carried such weight. 

"You saved this man's life," said the angel from the side.  
"Your act of kindness created a peaceful husband and father. 
On that day, you were the only one who could have helped a
lonely little boy and that friendship changed his life
forever."


THE TEENAGER

But then we got to my teenage years, those awful years of
trying to figure out who I was and who I was going to be. 

One day I was with my friends, three of us about 16 years
old, and a new kid at school sat down next to me at the
lunch table and said hello.  He started hanging around with
my friends, but I decided that I didn't like him.  I don't
know why, but I just didn't like him.  Maybe I didn't want
to share my friends with anyone else. So I told my buddies
to leave him be and made a point of walking away whenever he
approached us.

 Now why did I do that, I ask myself?  He was just a kid at
school, maybe a little fat, a little ugly, shy, too, but
just a kid at school.  Turns out, no one would be his friend
at school and, though he was a smart boy, he dropped out to
work at the factory in town. 

I didn't know this then, but the angel showed me that with a
little encouragement he would have finished high school,
went to college, and become a teacher.  He would have
inspired the children.  Inspiring them and encouraging them
and befriending them - providing them with just enough love
and inspiration, setting just enough of an example to get
them to the next step. He would have given those children
the kind of acceptance my family showed to Nicholas when I
was so young. He could have given those children the kind of
acceptance I refused to give to him.

 That would have made a difference not just in his own life,
but in the lives of so many children, especially those so
ill graced with pleasant features.  But he wasn't a friend
or mentor to anyone because no one cared for him.  Because I
didn't care for him.


MIRRORS

I got married and had four children.  I became the chief
baker in the bread factory downtown and made a decent living
for our family.  It wasn't a great job - the hours were long
and the pay was low and after 25 years the factory burned
down and I became a truck driver.  But I was always home at
night and never out drinking, always faithful to my wife.   

Sometimes my wife did things that just really bugged me.  I
liked her hair long and she always cut it short.  We'd been 
married 23 years and she knew I liked it long.  What was
wrong with her?   

And she never did the things she always said she would do. 
She said she wanted to sew a pretty dress for our daughter. 
So I bought her the best sewing machine and threads and all
the material and watched the kids at night all summer so she
could take her sewing lessons.  And she never made that
dress.  I resented that. It wasn't the money or the time -
it was just that she couldn't follow through and do what she
should have done.  And I used to tell he that she had no
motivation, no self discipline and she would cry. 

The Angel said he was glad I understood what it was like to
be disappointed in someone I loved so dearly.  That would
make the next part so much more understandable to me.

I always felt I wanted to start the bakery and used to talk
about it to my wife, but I never quite got around to it.   I
wanted to say "hey, I was happy working for the company - it
was never my goal to become a millionaire" but that clearly
that wasn't the point. 

I said "what's the big deal?"

The Angel said "You resented your wife for not doing what
you asked her to do. You lashed out at her for failing to
follow through on her own dreams and desires.  You never
forgave he for that.    But you have done the very same
thing. You were called to own a factory and you refused to
follow that dream.  And the very same judgment you held
against your wife is now held against you - by your own
heart and tongue you judge yourself guilty."


I tried to tell him that my own desires and dreams didn't
matter and he said "your dreams are not for you - they are
for all those around you - people who would have been
touched by your dreams."  And I remembered how I felt for my
daughter who would never wear the dress my wife never made
for her - and I saw the faces of all those people who would
have lived from the jobs in the factory that I never
started.  And I said to the angel "I didn't know," and he
said "yes, you did know" and again I knew he was right.  My
own wife was a mirror of my own life.  If only other men
knew that. 

When the factory burned, I could have bought it and put all
my co-workers back to work.  I was about to tell the angel
that I had no money or experience to start it when he said
"you criticized your wife when she made excuses, too." And I
knew he was right and it hurt so much and as I was thinking
of this he said "I didn't let your wife make that dress
because I was trying to get your attention.  But you held it
against her instead of learning the lesson.  You had the
dream and the desire and the opportunity but you wouldn't
follow through, and as you hesitated I gave you a message
through your wife, but you still wouldn't hear." 

"No man comes to the Judgment Seat in ignorance, John. 
Every man knows exactly what he will be judged.  When a man
is judged for the wrong he has done, he will know he was
wrong because he already passed that judgment on others in
his own life.  God is always sending teachers and prophets
to people - if they would just open up and recognize them."


DISTANT SON

Then I saw another vision - my second son, Daniel, was
yelling at me.  He spoke cruel words to me.  "Why did he say
those things to me?" I wondered.  That was no way to treat
his father.  Didn't he know I took care of him and loved him
and provided a home and food for him?  He resented me for no
reason.  He couldn't explain to me why he hated me, but he
did.  And this poison shot from his heart, launched at me on
the arrows of his words, always reminding me how I failed
without quite saying why, accusing me, resenting me, always
keeping me at a distance and loading me with guilt.  And yet
I longed to hold him and tell him I loved him and ask him
why he felt so this way toward me.  Didn't he know I was his
father? 

"So your Creator feels for you," said the angel.  "All your
life you've kept Him at a distance, secretly hating Him for
the wounds of life.  You cherished your pain, proud and
strong and distant, alone, resenting his love and intrusion,
nursing the raw scars of your disappointments, accusing Him
of crimes done by others.  And you never would accept the
Creator  who loved you and protected you and provided for
you all your days."

With that I fell down -  pierced to the heart, my soul
shocked, bared to  truth so bright I could not stand,
knowing the pain of rejection by a son and yet rejecting my
own Heavenly Father.  The pain, the treasured pain, the
protected wounds of in my life. 

"If only I knew," I thought, but the angel reminded me that
I did know through my own son.  He was the very mirror of my
own life. It was thrust before me so I could see my own
bareness, my resentment toward Him who loved me so.



THE GIFT OF GENERATIONS

My Angel touched me and restored my strength.  I stood for a
moment and he comforted me and gave me a glass of  cool
water.  We kept going.   He took me back to the decades of
working at the factory.  The years of watching others slack
off while I kept chugging away.  The times they cheated the
company of their labor and mocking me for being a "company
man." 

And I never knew why I was a "company man."  I didn't try to
be, I just wanted to work and to do well at what I was
doing.  I knew the bosses would never know of these things
and it hardly seemed worth the extra effort, but a man gets
into habits and it would have been a new effort just to
break the good habits I'd formed.  It wasn't that they were
so good to us. But I just worked hard and honestly and I
thought of my own father who worked so hard all his life. 
Maybe I picked that up from him.

"Indeed you did," said the Angel, "and your father was
rewarded for your faithfulness at work.  The inheritance he
left for you was a steady hand and an honest heart.  You
work like he worked and so it is hard for you to not be
faithful.  You've watched other men come and go, shiftless
and lazy, or resentful toward their employers - that was
their inheritance from their fathers and so they are very
poor.  But your father left a very good inheritance -honesty
and hard work.  It is those things that make you rare and
valued and never without work.  You inherited from your
father.  But since you were faithful to imitate him in this,
your own children will take up this inheritance and pass it
on throughout their generations.  With your four children
you have four times the reward because this is what you left
for them.  And if they are faithful and pass those values on
to their own children, you'll share a portion of that reward
as well."

How odd, I thought.  Men called me foolish for being such a
hard worker but now I find out that this was the inheritance
my father left me and it is the legacy I will leave to my
children.  I was always proud of working hard and resented
those who boasted of cheating their employer but never got
caught.  Their own children will be much less fortunate than
mine, I though. Who would have imagined this?


WIVES

And then I saw my wife. And I heard her prayers.  And I saw
her with my children admonishing them to live good lives,
not to make friends with bad people, to work hard like their
father and to go to church.  I heard my son Timothy praying
to the Lord at night, thanking God for good parents, and
Daniel walking to church even in college and Joshua turning
away from his friends when they drew him toward the enticing
flames of sin.

And the angel said to me "your wife's prayers, and her love
for her children, and her words of wisdom to them saved your
sons from wasted lives - lives their companions in school
sought out.  Yet it was the comfort and security of a home
which gave your wife the strength to teach them and to pray
for them. It was your decision to take them to church every
Sunday even when it seemed such a burdensome thing to you.
It was the faithfulness to your wife that kept her lit and
happy and willing to give to you and your children.  It was
your covering as a husband and provider that made provision
for the blessings she bestowed on your children."

And I was amazed. Judgment Day was so different than I
imagined.  It was not the day I helped the old man fix his
car, or the day I told the truth to my parents or the day I
refused to lie at work or the smiles and hellos I gave to
others or the years or the virtue I lived, the murders I
didn't commit, r the goods I never stole, nor the other
women I never sought out.  Those thing didn't come up. 

It was the little things I had never thought of, the
resounding echoes of a thousand daily tasks that molded the
shape of my children's lives.  It was the plodding ritual of
dedication - to be there and protect and provide - that
created a world and a home for my family and others and
world of life and light for others to see and esteem.

I always thought I was so boring and dull until that day in
the Great Hall.  And the Angel showed me the friends of my
children who where drawn to the warmth of our home - of
parents who loved each other and the peace of a family
dinner which to them was so foreign, so unknown.  Of a
gentle man who didn't strike his wife or children.  I never
saw that.  I didn't know.  I just didn't know.    Even a
dimly lit candle is still warm and glowing to those in
darkness.

And so there I stood.  At the Judgment Seat I saw my life
from a distance, seeing as He would see.  I saw not just the
things that happened at a point in time, not only the
motives of the heart, but, more importantly, the effect my
life had on generations of people - the transcendence of
lives passed down through the children and to those
sheltered under the umbrella of one's love and faithfulness. 
It wasn't major incidents of my life as much as it was the
consequences of the little decisions I made, altering ever
so slightly the course of many lives and generations.


THE HELL OF A DOMESTICATED LIFE

And this passed, too.  In a moment I was day-dreaming of the
endless days and plodding years of work and the monotony of
life.  The order of sleep, work, feeding, a few hours at
home with the children, and then sleeping and work again.  I
recalled wondering what it would be like to be free like the
young men at work - no responsibilities, care free, quitting
the job and leaving on a long journey.  One of my friends
from school never married. He broke his engagement to his
high school sweetheart - one of the nicest girls I ever knew
- and roamed the world and loved many women saw things and
went places I only dreamed of while I watched my belly grow
bigger and my shoulders sag while my children grew up and
left home and my wife grew frail from age.  My friend was
lucky.  He never knew the horror of a domesticated life. 

In the dream the cycle of my days went on and on and on, and
I was very sad - lonely for adventure, parched for life,
desolate from the ravages of boredom.

But then the angel said to me: "It was in your sacrifice
that you preserved your wife and children.  It was your
steady, unwaverable fortitude through the decades of your
life that gave them the stability of love and the security
of peace.  Your monotony was their foundation - a foundation
that made them strong enough to stand and care for others
when their turn came.  Your life John, has given them life. 
And they will be good fathers for their children and
husbands for their wives.  Stability and patience and
longsuffering create the backbone of families, and families
are the broad shouldered legions of civilization.  You are a
centurion, John, one of the leaders who bear the weight of
armies, who give their lives for their charges.  You are the
headmaster of the first school of love and sacrifice and
government throughout all the ages of mankind."


And I fell on my face overwhelmed, utterly silence, awakened
for the first time to the reality of my life as a soldier
and a hero in the eyes of my Creator when I say in the
mirror a boring deadened men.  I was ashamed that I was
ashamed of my life.


THINGS UNDONE

"For this, John Baker, you are rewarded," said the Angel. 
"The sins you have committed have been atoned for by the
Blood of the Lamb.   For the duties you have forsaken are
ignored here - you will not be rewarded for what might have
been."

And I said "What things - you mean the factory? What other
things?" 

And the angel said "John, knowing what could have been is a
greater burden than you can bear.  But because you are
stubborn on this matter I will show you to instruct you."

And the angel continued: "John, your wife wanted more
children. But you talked her out of it, reminding her how
much work it was for her, the pains of labor and the
irritation and unrest of so many children.  You reminded her
of the sleepless nights, and the endless crying and the
spills and messes and the daily bouts of insanity she fought
and the lonely tears and crying that came when she felt she
just couldn't go on.   But John, God had another son for
you, one who was to be a teacher to his children, one who
would have raised his children to be teachers and pastors
and men who would give their life times to take the Good
News of Jesus to others.  But you loved your life more and
would not give that extra amount for the next child. In
three generations time you would have been the ancestor to
many great teachers of mercy and truth and shared in their
rewards for leading so many into the paths of truth, and of
their children as well."

I was stricken with this loss, this loss of destiny and
purpose, the horrible melancholy of what might have been,
the joys un-tasted because of a path not taken. Then he
erased it from my mind and said "this you shall not remember
this.  You will not bear the eternal suffering of regretting
your life  - that is for the Damned." 

And so I will forget what could have been, the eternal
blessing of no regrets.   The Damned gnash their teeth
because they cannot forget. 

Finally, he said "It is over. You are judged."  And I passed
through to the other side. 

____________________________

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Miami, FL
7 November 2001
Copyright © 2001


THE MESSAGE
15 April 2002

I used to work on university campuses telling
students about God's love and the forgiveness of sins He
offers through Jesus Christ.   Very few of them
received the Gospel.   And of those who did, fewer still
"stuck" - the cares of the world or the persecution of their
peers drove them away from living for the Truth.

And so it would appear that there was a failure of the
Christian Gospel to convince men to serve the Almighty.
Many Christians ask "why is God so invisible to this
generation?" while many unbelievers ask "if God is, then why
is He so hard to find?"

Both Christian and unbeliever are mistaken in assuming that
God should do more to "demonstrate" his Godhood.    
God has never deemed it necessary to prove his
existence any more  than what is demonstrated in
creation.

In fact, God purposely keeps himself hidden from fallen man
so that man may have the opportunity to repent and receive
Jesus Christ by faith.  Faith is believing the message of
God without the messenger "proving" that it is true.  This
is the surrender of your demands upon God to meet your
standards of proof and reasonableness.  Man has no rights to
claim anything from God and man renounces those false claims
by repenting of unbelief.  This happens when he believes in
a God he doesn't see and accepts Jesus as the Son of God who
rose from the dead.  He must believe this message from the
word of another man - God does not meet man halfway - man's
only choice is unconditional surrender.

Unless he has already believed in Jesus Christ, a dead man
has no hope for eternal salvation. The ability to
repent from unbelief will disappear with his
last breathe.  It is only in this life that God seems
to be hidden and it is a privilege to believe in what
we cannot see.  At the Judgment Day, every man will know
without any doubt that Jesus is Lord, but it will be too
late to surrender and repent of  unbelief.


EVE'S TEMPTATION

In Eden, Eve's fall was preceded by the temptation to judge
for her self whether or not the message about God was true.
Before Eve was created, God told Adam not to eat from the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil.   And Adam
faithfully "preached the Message" to his mate, Eve.    But
the Devil (the serpent) told Eve that what Adam told her was
not true.  Eve longed to eat the fruit, and to justify her
disobedience she decided that she would "not believe" in
Adam's message.    She presumed that she had the right to
judge for herself whether or not Adam was telling the truth.
This was Eve's first mistake.

No man is capable of "knowing what is true" without faith.
Eve had only two choices - to believe Adam, or to believe
the devil.  She was not able to independently determine
whether either one of them was telling the truth.  No one
does.  Adam couldn't do that either - he had to trust that
what God told him was true.

Only God can make an "independent" determination of what is
true or untrue -  man's only choice is to believe Him or to
doubt Him.   Why is this?  Because man is not omniscient -
we don't have all knowledge.

The ability to reject God's message wasn't unique to Eve,
who heard the message from Adam.  Adam heard the message
directly from God and yet he chose to believe Eve instead of
obeying God.   So whether you are an unbeliever doubting the
Evangelist or a Believer doubting the Holy Spirit, you are
both guilty.


UNBELIEF AND DISOBEDIENCE

Disobedience is founded in unbelief.  I'm not sure I've ever
known a Christian or unbeliever who said to themselves "I am
going to disobey God." It doesn't work that way.  It didn't
work that way with Adam and Eve and it doesn't work that way
today.

People don't say "I am going to disobey God" because that is
too overwhelming.  It requires them to believe in
God and it requires them to believe that they are
accountable to God.   If you believe in God and if you
believe that you are accountable to Him, you will obey him.

This is what men say:  "I don't believe in God," or "I
don't believe he said what you are saying He said."   This
is true for the believer and unbeliever alike.

The Believer and Unbeliever alike will never say "I'm
disobeying God," but they will both say "has God said . . .?"

THE BELIEVER

With our petty daily sins, we say to ourselves "surely I
will not die" if I eat this forbidden fruit - and we
indulge.   With our life's calling or with major decisions
we convince ourselves that God really didn't say what he
said.  What born again spirit filled believer can say "God
told me to do such and such and I'm willfully disobeying
him."?   None.  What they say is "God didn't really tell me
to do that . . . I thought maybe He did at one time, but I
was mistaken."

THE UNBELIEVER

The Unbeliever says "I don't believe in God."   Or he says
"OK, I believe in God, but I don't believe I'm accountable
to Him for my actions."

Like Eve, the Believer and Unbeliever alike are forced to
accept God's message by way of an intermediary.  The
Christian must believe what the Holy Spirit is speaking to
Him.  The Unbeliever must believe what the Christian
evangelist is telling him.

Neither one has the option to demand that God show himself.
He must believe in faith that the message is
true; and he will be accountable for it.

SALVATION IS BY BELIEVING

Eve did not believe -- it wasn't that she just disobeyed.
She said to herself "I don't believe what Adam told me about
God."   The serpent introduced doubt, and she clung to
the doubt because she lusted for the fruit.  She justified
her lust for the fruit by deciding she had the right to
determine for herself what is right and wrong.  She decided
that she could decide for herself whether or not to believe
Adam.  She rejected the foundation of her safety - believing
what Adam told her about God.

The Unbeliever does the same thing today.  He says  "I don't
believe what this man is telling me about Jesus Christ."

The Christian says "I used to believe that God called me to
preach the Gospel, or become a missionary, or do some great
thing."  The Believer and Unbeliever alike change what they
believe to fit what they want.
This isn't good -- this is what Eve did.


THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS

To the Unbeliever the Evangelist says:

"God loves you and commands you to serve Him.  You must
repent of your sin and unbelief by believing in Jesus
Christ, the Son of God.  Jesus paid for your sin when he was
crucified on the cross and three days later he arose from
the dead.  One day you will die, and at the resurrection of
the dead you will stand before the Judge - Jesus Christ -
the one I'm telling you about now.  Those who reject Jesus
will be sent to hell forever.  But the righteous - those who
believe in Jesus Christ - will live forever in heaven."

The Unbeliever then must "believe." He must accept by faith
that Jesus is the Son of God and that he died on the cross
to pay for his sins and that He rose from the dead and one
day he will judge the living and the dead.

Either the Unbeliever repents and believes or, like Eve,
says "I don't believe what this messenger is telling me."
And the devil will tell your mind that the message of Jesus
Christ isn't true.  You don't want to believe because if you
believe then you will have to obey God.

But you must doubt your doubts and believe in Jesus Christ
This is the only way a man can be saved

 If you are an Unbeliever, I have one question for you:
"What is there in your life that is worth going to hell
for?"  Your eternal salvation depends upon believing in
Jesus.

If you are a Believer, I have one question for you:  "What
is there in your life that is worth missing the call of
God?"
What great thing has God told you to do that
you no longer believe in?  The Believer didn't get
saved by doubting the messenger.  The Believer got saved
because he believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ when
preached by a man.   How much more must the Believer cling
to the message delivered by the Holy Spirit.


What must a man do to be saved?
Repent, and believe.


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Tax Day, 2002
http://www.text.net/berggren

LIBERATING PALESTINE
5 April 2002

I'm concerned for the Palestinian people.  I really am.  I
think they've gotten a raw deal with their neighbors and
it's time someone did something about it.   Let's review the
facts, determine the problems, and come up with a solution,
OK?


PROBLEM #1:  PALESTINIAN LEADERSHIP

The Palestinian people have a crisis of political
leadership.  Arafat is a ruthless murderous thug.  I'm not
talking about the suicide bombings (as bad as they are) -- 
I mean of his own people.  Since his arrival in Gaza in 1982
his organization has systematically murdered any Palestinian
who was willing to truly work for a long term peaceful
coexistence with the state of Israel.

The Palestinians do not have a democratic government. 
Yasser Arafat was recognized by Israel, the United States,
and the Arab countries as the "legitimate" leader of the
Palestinian people.  There was one election (years ago) for
a interim government and Arafat made sure he was elected. 
His election then was about as legitimate as the "elections"
held every few years in Cuba.  Arafat has no more claim to
the legitimate  leadership of the Palestinians than Fidel
Castro has over Cuba or Kim Il Jong has over North Korea.

With the exception of Israel, the Middle East has no history
of democratic government and "General" Arafat has no desire
to blaze new ground in this respect.  By claiming a military
title - he makes it clear that he is the head of the
Palestinians whether anyone likes it or not - including the
Palestinians.

Yasser Arafat turned down the very best peace plan anyone
could have offered him 18 months ago by then Prime Minister
Ehud Barak. Israel offered the Palestinians 95% of what they
were claiming and Arafat walked away and immediately began
the rebellion in the west bank and Gaza.  He didn't
negotiate over the plan.  He didn't make a counter offer. 
When the chips were down for peace he walked away.  Many
observers made the not so remarkable observation that he
wasn't really interested in co-existence with Israel. 
	
Yasser Arafat has systematically promoted hatred of Israel
and the Jews among the general Palestinian population.  This
happens in the schools system, newspapers, radio and TV -
all of which he controls.  This is further evidence that the
Palestinians need help - they need freedom - not from the
Jews - but from Arafat.

Arafat calls for suicide attacks and martyrdom in Arabic on
his TV stations and then on the very same day will speak in
English to the western press calling for peace.   The
Palestinian people deserve better than this.  Arafat offers
no hope for the long term peace and prosperity for the
Palestinian people.




PROBLEM #2: PALESTINE'S NEIGHBORS

The Palestinians neighbors - Saudia Arabia, Syria, Iran,
Iraq, Kuwait, and the entire Moslem world - have failed in
their duty to provide a viable solution to the Palestinian
issue.  They sit on billions of barrels of oil and hundred
of thousands of square miles of empty land and none of them
will give the Palestinians a place to live outside of
Palestine or a refugee camp. Unlike the United States (who
opens it's borders to millions of every year) the Arab countries
won't take the Palestinians in. 

The Palestinian people have been offered a place to live by
Israel - the West Bank and Gaza.  No other Arab country in
the World will accept them.  Today there are tens of
thousands of Palestinian refuges in Lebanese refugee camps. 
Kuwait forcibly evicted it's Palestinian population and
other Arab regimes have systematically slaughtered
Palestinians in refugee camps.

The Palestinians need deliverance and freedom from their
Arabic and Muslim "brothers" because they are using the
women and children of Palestine as "human shields" behind
which they can rally international support for the
"Palestinian" cause and behind which they can launch suicide
attacks upon Jewish women and children.


PROBLEM #3:  THOSE WHO BELIVE ARAFAT

Arafat would have the West  believe the suicide bombers
are a "spontaneous" uprising of a people seeking freedom and
therefore he does not have control over the suicide bombers. 
And the Western press has largely bought this lie.

When was the last time you heard of an 18 year old girl with
20 pounds of plastic explosives just lying around her
bedroom?    Not even Timothy McVeigh could get C4 or plastic
explosives - he had to rely on fertilizer and diesel fuel. 
Arafat's government buys the explosives and builds the bombs
and recruits the bombers and then pays off the families of
the bombers as a reward and incentive for more bombers.

--Item of Fact:
	The recent raids into the West bank and Gaza have
found "bomb" factories for the suicide bombers.  In one
case, 30 body bombs were found ready and assembled for
attacks on Israel.

--Item of Fact:
	Arafat, Iran and Iraq offer huge (for Palestinians)
financial incentives to suicide bombers.   Iraq now offers
the family of a suicide bomber the equivalent of
US$25,000.00 to strap on a bomb and kill some Jews.  Arafat
offers around $6000.00. 

--Item of Fact:
	The suicide bombers are praised and honored by
Yasser Arafat.  Arafat makes poster boys out of suicide
bombers as a recruiting tool for more suicide bombers.

--Item of Fact:
	The recent raids on Arafat's compound revealed an
invoice for "about $4,200, to pay for electrical and
chemical components for the
production of a month's supply of about 30 bombs."  (This is
an actual quote from the invoice.)

--Item of Fact: 
	It takes highly trained people to build those body bombs -
it's not something one does by reading Soldier of Fortune
magazine.


THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER

Israel may be a problem for the Palestinians -- but it
is the least of their problems.
Neither Arafat nor the rest of the Arab or Muslim world
desires peace with Israel on any terms and that
is not good news for the Palestinian people.
The Palestinians are held hostage by Arab and Muslim 
governments and used as a weapon by which they may 
strike at and destroy Israel.  I don't think that's 
very fair to the Palestinian people.

The last best  hope of the Palestinians is that Israel would
liberate them from the grip of Yasser Arafat and
his Muslims and Arabic backers.   Israel is not the #1 source 
of trouble for the Palestinian people - Israel could 
be their solution if the Palestinian people would reject 
Arafat and his allies.  Only time will tell, but perhaps 
this is true for the rest of the Middle East as well.

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
5 April 2002
www.text.net/berggren



WHAT IS WRONG WITH ISLAM?
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Saint Patrick Day, 2002

Someone wrote to me the other day because I implied that 
Islam was violent, and therefore bad.  And I got to 
thinking about Islam -- is it violent?  
And if so, does that make it bad?

Is Islam inherently violent or is it a "religion of peace"? 
Yasser Arafat calls for jihad against the Infidels, and asks 
the Palestinian women to become martyrs in the heart of Israel.  
Al Qaida is a mobile army of warriors inspired by the belief 
that their cause is just and sanctioned by Allah. Today in the 
Sudan and Nigeria Christians are murdered, mutilated, and 
enslaved by Muslims simply because the victims are Christians.  
Pat Robertson says the Koran supports violence.

What if Islam is violent?  What if the Koran teaches 
"death to the Infidels"? What if their scriptures and 
clerics support killing people who convert from
Islam to Christianity?  What if Islam really does support 
jihad against the United States and Israel and condones the 
bombing of the Twin Towers in NYC? Let’s assume, for a moment, 
that true Islam supports violence to expand the influence 
and power of Islam.  Does that make Islam evil?

On the other hand, many Muslim clerics say, "No -- those people are 
misusing Islam  "Islam is a religion of peace."  
Islamic leaders in the United States have repeatedly condemned 
the attacks on the Twin Towers and say those men were not 
representatives of Islam at all.  Many Muslim governments
are assisting the United States in tracking down the "terrorists."  
Even President Bush says Islam is a religion of peace.  

So what if Islam really is a "religion of peace"? What if all
of the terrorists and all those calling for jihad and all those
doing violent things in the name of Islam are really wrong about 
Islam. What if Islam stands firmly against violence in all 
forms -- what if it is a peaceful as a dove? Does that make Islam good?  

I’m not going to give you the answer to that --  yet.  

The letter I received goes to the heart of the matter, and for that 
I’m very thankful to the Reverend for corresponding with me. 
I’ll quote part of his letter below:

	" . . . and I just started reading and could'nt 
         help but respond. why was it important for you to 
         separate Islam out of the genesis from which we all 
         come as Children of the Book? 

		Rev. __________  "


Hopefully I can be fair his point of view: The Reverend is 
referring to the Arabs who claim descent from Abraham through Ishmael.  
Thus Mohammed (an Arab) could trace his physical 
descent back to Abraham. This is why Islam holds Abraham in high esteem. 
Islam respects Moses, the Prophets 
and even allows that Jesus was a good man. 
Islam claims to incorporate and transcend Judaism and Christianity 
as the culmination of the two earlier religious traditions.  
Islam believes that Judaism and then 
Christianity were on the right track, but that the prophet Mohammed 
delivered the culmination of truth to the world: The first of the 
Five Pillars of Islam is as follows:
"There is One God and Mohammed is His Prophet."  

And thus it is implied by some that Christians, Jews, and Muslims 
are more similar than different because they sharing a common 
heritage and all believe in one God.  As such, there should be 
no insurmountable differences that would somehow prevent us from 
all just getting along.  

Unless, of course, unreasonable people step in stir up trouble.  
So let’s talk about this.


THE JEWS

The best way to look at this problem is to start with the Jews. 
And for that, let’s look at a community of Christians and Jews 
that had a lot in common:  they all lived in the same city, they 
were all ethnically Jewish, and all lived under the same government.  
Sounds like they should get along, right?  
But they were divided religiously.  Some of the ethnic Jews were 
Christians and the rest of them were religious Jews.  
(One must distinguish between ethnic and religious Jews 
-- you can be one without being the other.)

Both Christians and Jews believed in Abraham, Moses and the Prophets.  
Both believed in One God.  
Both accepted the same body of scriptures as their Bible.  

But if you’ve read the Book of Acts you already know they didn’t get along. 
There was one thing that separated the Christians from the Jews. 
And despite all they had in common this division was insurmountable.  

What was the division?  It was Jesus.  

It was not the healings.
It was not the teaching and preaching in general.
It was not that the Christians had a different Bible.
It was not differences in morality.

Shouldn’t they have "gotten along"?  
They were certainly both "Children of the Book."  
The Christians were ethnically Jewish for sure, and they even 
considered themselves religious Jews who had simply found the Messiah.

So the Christian Jews were preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem 
to the non-Christian Jews.

The priests and the Sadducees became "greatly disturbed because 
they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the 
resurrection of the dead."  And when the apostles explained 
how a man got healed. They said:

	"let it be known to you and to all the people of 
	Israel (the Jews) that by the name of Jesus Christ 
	the Nazarene whom you crucified whom God raised 
	from the dead -- by this name this man stands before 
	you in good health."  (Acts 4:10)

The apostles were very pointed in identifying Jesus as the key to 
their faith -- they went right to the heart of the matter:  
"He is the stone which was rejected by you, the Builders, 
but which became the chief cornerstone . . .

	. . . and there is salvation in no one else; 
	for there is no other name under heaven that 
	has been given among men by which we must 
	be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Now surely if there were ever an opportunity to be religiously 
"sensitive" this was it.  
If ever there was an opportunity to "smooth things over" 
and get along, it was right there in Jerusalem.  
Didn’t the Apostles know that they had more in common than 
what separated them?  Didn’t they know they all believe in God?  
But what did the Apostles do?
 
The Apostles said "Jesus" healed the guy -- not "Our Heavenly Father."
The Apostles said "Jesus is the cornerstone" and "you priests rejected him."
The Apostles said "there is no other Name" except for Jesus 
by which men are saved.
They did NOT say "we are all God’s children."

They said (I'm paraphrasing) "you Jewish priests rejected 
Jesus the Messiah, and Jesus is the only one who can save 
men from Hell.  
It is the Name of Jesus that healed this man, and it is 
through Jesus men shall rise from the dead, and it is 
Jesus that saves men."

So what did the Jewish leaders do?  
Did they tell them to stop healing?  No.
Did they tell them to stop teaching the scriptures? No.
Did they tell them to stop doing good or even to stop meeting together?  No.  

They told them to "speak no longer to any man in this name."  
It was the name of Jesus that they forbade.

But the Apostles kept preaching Jesus.  
And the High Priests got mad again and threw them in jail.  

So Peter was sitting around in prison saying to himself
"gee, I must be doing something wrong. God called me to 
preach to the Jews and here I am sitting in prison.  
Maybe I should find a way to keep the priests off my case.  
I’ll reach a lot more people if I can stay out of prison -- 
I can’t preach the Gospel locked up here."  

So Peter was trying to figure out how to "get along" with 
the Jews and the Angel shows up and says: 
"Go and preach the whole message of this Life." 
In other words the angel said "don’t you dare leave anything 
out so as to not ‘offend’ someone.  
You preach Jesus and don’t water it down."

And the Apostles preached again in the temple.
And they were arrested again in the temple and hauled before the court.  
And the priest told the Apostles: 
	"We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name." 
And Peter said "we will obey God and not you.” 

And Peter went on and preached Jesus to them:

	"The God of our Fathers raised up Jesus whom you put to 
	death on the cross.  He is the one God has exalted to His 
	right hand as a Prince and Savior to grant repentance to 
	Israel and forgiveness of sins." (Acts 5:30-31)

(Peter wasn’t very sensitive, was he?)  And the priests were so 
mad they almost killed them right there, but a Jewish leader 
named Gamaliel intervened and saved their lives. So instead 
they beat them with whips and ordered them "not to speak in 
the name of Jesus."  

It was the Name of Jesus that offended them, it wasn’t anything else, 
it wasn’t the healings or teachings or anything but the Name of Jesus.

And Stephen was preaching Jesus when they hauled him before the court 
and he preached Jesus to Jewish leaders and told them that they killed Jesus, 
"the Righteous One that all the prophets and spoken of."

And upon hearing this they killed him.  

So make no mistake about it -- it is Jesus that offends people 
and it is Jesus that saves people and it is Jesus that defines Christianity.  
A man who rejects Jesus cannot be saved -- that message really makes people mad.



THE ANSWER TO THE JEWS (and to the MUSLIMS)

So what is the Christian response to Judaism and Islam?  
It is Jesus.  
It is one million Christian missionaries preaching Jesus and converting 
every Muslim to a belief in the only One who can 
save their souls from hell.  

Leaving Muslims alone is not the answer.  
Peaceful coexistence is not the answer.  
Just getting along is not the answer.  
Preaching Jesus IS the answer even when it "offends" them 
and even if it costs us our lives.

Ask Stephen about "offending" the Jews.  
Ask any of the Apostles about "offending the Jews."  
The Jews had only one demand, only one request, 
only one stipulation -- 
that the Christians stop preaching Jesus!  That was it.  
Wasn’t that reasonable?  

But once you stop preaching Jesus you deny men the opportunity 
to accept Jesus -- and only Jesus can save them from Hell.  

To cave into Jewish demands to "tone it down about this Jesus thing" 
was not just to compromise the faith -- worse than that -- it 
would be to withhold from the Jews the only source of salvation. 

It wasn’t whether Peter or Stephen or the others denied their 
own faith that is important. Refusing to preach Jesus to the Jews 
or to the Muslims is to deny to them the only possible source of 
eternal salvation.  And woe to the preacher or Christian who refuses 
to preach Jesus out of "respect” for another’s religion.  They damn them to hell.



SO WHAT IS WRONG WITH ISLAM?

Islam forbids the preaching of Jesus.  
Islam rejects Jesus Christ. 
Islam denies the only hope of eternal life and forgiveness of sins.

Violence is not the problem with Islam.  
Al-Qaeda is not the problem with Islam.  
Whether Islam is the most peaceful religion in the world or 
not is not even an issue -- that just doesn’t even matter in 
comparison to Eternal Life. 

The problem with Islam (and Judaism for that matter) is the 
denial of the only way any man can be saved from 
their sins -- Jesus Christ. 
Without Jesus, death becomes the doorway to Hell.  

Let’s just get to the root of the problem -- Islam is not bad 
because a few Muslims took down the Twin Towers in NYC.  
Islam is bad because it condemns men and women to hell for 
all eternity by denying Jesus Christ. 

How does Islam deny Jesus?  
It forbids the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 
Islam forbids conversion to Christianity.  
Islam denies that Jesus is the Son of God and the One 
who died on the cross for the sins of mankind.  

You simply cannot go into a Muslim nation preach Jesus.  
You can’t build a church in Saudia Arabia and then 
preach the Gospel to Muslims.  
If you are a Muslim and you convert to Christianity, you may be 
sentenced to death.  
And that’s not bad for the new Christian, but it 
certainly is chilling 
to others who might consider accepting Jesus.  And it’s tough on the 
preachers, too, since they come under the same sentence of death 
for trying to convert Muslims to Jesus.  
You don’t belive me?  Go ask Dana Curry. 

Islam is anti-Christ, and to the extent that it rejects Jesus it 
condemns men to hell.  
And that alone is why Islam is evil. 

	"There is no other name under heaven given among 
	men by which we must be saved except for the name 
	of Jesus Christ." (Acts 4:12)

This is the heart of the matter.  

And once a Muslim believes in Jesus as the Savior and the Son 
of God and as the One who died for their sins upon the cross, 
they cease being a Muslim and become a Christian. Once Saul 
(St. Paul) -- a religious and ethnic Jew -- believed in Jesus 
he ceased being of the Jewish religion -- he became a Christian.

Only Jesus provides for the forgiveness for our sin.   

It’s not that Jews and Muslims are worse people than 
Christians -- far from it -- they are as honest and upright 
as anyone else, perhaps more so.  But being honest and upright 
does not for eternal life make.  

All men -- even the honest and upright -- are sinners before God.    
God is gracious and merciful to all men because he offered His 
Son Jesus as a sacrifice for the sins for all

	"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only 
	begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall 
	not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Jesus is the only sacrifice for our sins.  
If you want God’s forgiveness, you must accept Jesus.   
He is the only way to the father.  
He is the only atonement.  
He is the only way to God.  
He is the only salvation from sin and hell.  
God has made a provision for sin through Jesus and through Jesus alone.  
Rejecting Jesus is rejecting God.  
Rejecting Jesus is rejecting eternal salvation.  
Rejecting Jesus means hell.

And woe to the preacher who sends men to hell by refusing to preach Jesus.

Islam and Judaism are evil because it denies men the 
only hope for salvation -- Jesus Christ.

Salvation from sins is open to all men everywhere including 
to Jews and Muslims and atheists and Hindus and Buddhists 
and every other worldview/philosophy/religion out there.  
But they must accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior 
because He alone is the sacrifice for their sins.  


DANA CURRY

Would  to God we had  ten thousand men with half 
the guts of Dana Curry.  
Risking death, she moved to Afghanistan to preach Jesus to Muslims.  
We know about her because the Taliban imprisoned here for preaching 
Jesus to Muslims.  She was facing the death penalty if convicted and 
surely would have been convicted by the Taliban if the 
US Army had not rescued her.

I want to know why there were no men imprisoned in Afghanistan for 
preaching the Gospel.  I’m sure there were plenty of Christian men 
somewhere in Afghanistan.  Probably preachers, too.  Some of them 
maybe even went to jail for a period of time.  Did they have Peters’s 
thoughts?  When they were let out of prison did they decide it was 
better to "be a little more sensitive" so as to carry on the good work?

While Dana Curry was in prison in Afghanistan for the preaching of 
Jesus to Muslims, my wife and I dedicated our 6-month old daughter 
to God for missionary work.  I prayed to God "that she would be a 
missionary to the nations of the world even as Dana Curry is willing 
to lay down her life in Afghanistan for the preaching of the Gospel" 
and I mean that now as much as ever.  We didn’t know at that time 
whether Dana Curry would be executed by the Taliban for preaching 
Jesus.  But should it matter?  

Was young Stephen’s life so valuable that he should have saved it 
by appeasing the Jews?    He was such a young man, only thirty years 
old -- he had a lifetime of ministry and service ahead of him.  
By being a little more subtle and accommodating he would have had 
a great career as a preacher and reached a lot of people for Jesus.  

Yet Stephen’s life was expendable for the preaching of Jesus.  
And if it cost the life of one woman or ten thousand to preach 
Jesus to the Muslims then it is worth it because Jesus is the 
only hope for their eternal salvation.  

Yet I can still hear someone say: "we need to be sensitive to their 
beliefs.  They will know we are Christians by our love. If they 
come asking, we’ll tell them."

Oh you brave soul, you.  You’ll never have to worry about martyrdom.  
Or a crown. Stephen means "crown" and in his death he was crowned 
with glory.  His life was not so valued as to be saved from death.  
Neither is my daughter’s if it is lost for preaching the Gospel of 
Jesus.

It is only through Jesus that a man is saved.  
And that is the only message that matters.  


Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
Saint Patrick Day, 2002
www.text.net/berggren



DESIGNER BABIES
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
5 March 2002

TODAY . . .

After fretting about it for years, now, we ARE producing 
designer babies.  

A 30 year old woman carrying the Alzheimer’s gene gave
birth to a baby girl freed from this gene.   They took
a bunch of her eggs, and a bunch of his sperm, and produced 
fertilized embryos.  We don’t know how many, but they chose 
an Alzeihemer-free baby and disposed of the rest.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Designer babies are here to stay.  Perhaps pro-creative sex 
will be only for the poor in a few years.  Those wealthy enough
 will simply supply the Doc with a tube of sperm and a tube of 
eggs and a check list of characteristics (leave out the high 
cholesterol gene, add some brains and blue eyes, and easy on 
the obesity).  The Doc will mix up a batch, test the little 
guys and girls (but of course they wanted a girl, so he’ll 
dispose of the boys), choose one or two or three with the 
right characteristics and flush the rest.  He’ll let a few 
of them grown until he can identify the most viable, implant 
it into the mother’s (or her surrogate) womb, and dispose of 
the others.     

That’s essentially what they did with the Alzheimer’s baby.  

Of course the doctor and the parents will argue that their 
real mission will be to save the baby from the possibility 
of having high cholesterol or being overweight – those are 
horrible conditions.  By then, the AMA will have prohibited 
genetic selection for all but debilitating diseases.  
Debilitating disease will include being “”too short.”  

You don’t believe me?   Mrs and Mrs. Shorty will sue to force
 doctors to allow them to screen out the short gene.  They’ll 
argue that being short was the cause of great emotional distress 
in their lives, and also caused a huge loss of income to them. 
Expert witnesses will step forth with supporting evidence and 
studies which prove that tall people make more money, get 
promoted faster, and are more popular.  And the court will say 
being short is a disability that can be screened for.  

And of course much of the precedent will already have been laid 
with Roe v. Wade (1973) which mandated that a fetus was part of 
the woman’s body.  Well if the baby she is carrying can be flushed,
why not a few embryos? 
	
But even if the courts rule against aesthetic screening, the 
doctor will take the prospectve parents aside and explain that 
since he is picking and choosing anyway, he’ll screen for whatever 
they want.  As long as they are also screening for some horrible 
disease, they can screen for freckles, red hair and shortness.  

So there you have it.  This is a certainty in 30 years.  Your 
children will do this.  And they won’t think any more of it than
we do of getting a pace maker, a facelift, or braces for our 
kids.


30 YEARS FROM NOW . . .

We’ll grow body parts in genetically altered swine.  They 
(the swine) will be modified just enough to prevent their 
bodies from rejecting human tissue.  (This is already being
tested, and it has happened in monkeys)  Older folks 
(with money) will consult with their doctors and order body 
parts 6 months in advance.  They will clone a new “old guy,”
raise the embryo until it is large enough to remove an organ,
and plant the body part in the pig.  At about 6 months, they’ll
harvest the pig and move the new liver or heart or whatever into 
the old guy.   Since a new fetus produces a beating heart in less
 than ten days after conception, the fetuses (they’ll have to 
produce a bunch of them to make sure they get a good heart) will 
be disposed of once they get a few good livers or hearts.

Eventually people will notice how cruel it is to subject little 
piglets to invasive surgery and will demand a halt to using 
pigs as surrogate organ incubators.  So, the doctors will pinch 
the brain of the fetus, allowing only the lowest brain functions
to continue so as to provide for the growth of the body. 
This is really a kindness, since it will shut down any conscious 
pain as well.  

Shutting down most of the brain will free up vast amounts 0f 
energy and nutrients to hasten the growth of the organ. Then 
they will remove any other superfluous appendages to speed the 
process a little more. (They’ll cut off the arms and legs).  
In less than six months, they’ll harvest the organs and use 
one of them for the “old guy” who can afford this procedure. 

(Or perhaps by then the Grey Generation will make this procedure 
a standard part of Medicare.  Thirty years from now, I will be 
of that Grey Generation).  The leftovers will be recycled.

Isn’t medical science wonderful?

You don’t believe me?  

Today we have a multi-billion dollar industry today that 
grows and harvests infant human body parts for sale.  Not 
old dead people who “donate their bodies to science.”  I’m 
talking about fresh live new babies.  

The price list for their organs is below:

Fee for Services Schedule    
> greater than    < same or less than

Unprocessed Specimen (> 8 weeks)				$ 70
Unprocessed Specimen (< 8 weeks)				$ 50
Livers (< 8 weeks)30% discount if significantly fragmented	$150
Livers (> 8 weeks)30% discount if significantly fragmented	$125
Spleens (< 8 weeks)						$ 75
Spleens (> 8 weeks)						$ 50
Pancreas (< 8 weeks)						$100
Pancreas (> 8 weeks)						$ 75
Thymus (< 8 weeks)						$100
Thymus (> 8 weeks)						$ 75
Intestines & Mesentery						$ 50
Mesentery (< 8 weeks)						$125
Mesentery (> 8 weeks)						$100
Kidney-with/without adrenal (< 8 weeks)				$125
Kidney-with/without adrenal (> 8 weeks)				$100
Limbs (at least 2)      					$150
Brain (< 8 weeks)30% discount if significantly fragmented	$999
Brain (> 8 weeks)30% discount if significantly fragmented	$150
Pituitary Gland (> 8 weeks)					$300
Bone Marrow (< 8 weeks)						$350
Bone Marrow (> 8 weeks)						$250
Ears (< 8 weeks)						$ 75
Ears (> 8 weeks)						$ 50
Eyes (< 8 weeks)	40% discount for single eye		$ 75
Eyes (> 8 weeks)	40% discount for single eye		$ 50
Skin (> 12 weeks)						$100
Lungs & Heart Block						$150
Intact Embryonic Cadaver (< 8 weeks)				$400
Intact Embryonic Cadaver (> 8 weeks)				$600
Intact Calvarium						$125
Intact Trunk (with/without limbs)				$500
Gonads								$550
Cord Blood (Snap Frozen LN2)					$125
Spinal Column							$150
Spinal Cord							$325

Prices in effect through December 31, 1999

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

This is an old price list from a division of  Consultants & 
Diagnostic Pathology, Inc. called Opening Lines who once 
worked out of Frankfurt Illinois.  When the local newspaper 
published a headline story about their business, they disconnected 
the phone lines and moved out of town.  Suffice to say they are 
not the only business doing this.


60 YEARS AGO . . . 

Let me leave this story for a minute and flash back sixty years . . .

In 1942 the Nazi’s began ramping up their “solution” to the Jewish 
problem.  You know what that was . . . they gassed them, shot 
them, or burned them by the millions – 6 million Jews and 
3 million others (crippled, insane, criminals, traitors, 
Gypsies, etc.)  Not a school child today can make it to 12th Grade
 without being inundated by movies, documentaries, and special 
events that warn of the evils of the Nazi’s and anti-Semitism.   

You remember the piles of naked bodies stacked like cord wood 
in those old black and white films of the Allies liberating 
the Nazi Death Camps.    The actual German’s aren’t given much 
publicity – except for Adolph Hitler and a handful of evil
Nazi’s.   And that is the problem.

The Nazi’s are portrayed as non-human.  People think of them 
as monsters so divorced from the human community that you’d 
think they were the offspring of Alien (Sigourney Weaver’s 
nemesis) or Predator (one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s foes).  

But not so.   Nazi’s were highly educated, prosperous, secular 
Germans who joined a political party (the National Socialists)
to help their country.    They were solid German citizens – 
not monsters.  

And what about the Germans who weren’t a part of the National 
Socialist party?  Did that make them “good Germans?” Did they 
stand up and “Just Say No?”  No.  They didn’t.  Except for a 
few like Dietrich Bonhoffer (a very average 30-something who 
plotted to overturn his government), the average German 
couldn’t be bothered.  And that included the vast majority 
of born again Christians in Germany during World War II.


BACK TO THE PRESENT . . .

Brenda B. of the Anatomic Gift Foundation (AGF) says 
she teaches her children that abortion is wrong.  But her 
own company (Anatomic Gift Foundation – isn’t that a nice name?) 
traffics in the body parts of aborted children.  She home 
schools her children with a Christian curriculum and regularly 
attends services at a local Southern Baptist church.  I mean 
if she’s a monster, then  … (we’ll get to that).

And from here I’ll quote my source:

"I've been painted as this monster, but here I am trying to 
give my kids a Christian education," she says, referring to 
other media coverage of AGF's fetal-parts enterprise. 
Mrs. B says she's prayed over whether her business is 
acceptable in God's sight, and has "gotten the feeling" that 
it is. She also, she says, reads the Bible "all the time." And 
though she can't cite a chapter and verse that says it's OK to
cut and ferry baby parts, she points out that God commands us 
to love one another. For Mrs. B, aiding medical research 
by supplying fetal parts qualifies. 


200 YEARS FROM NOW  . . .

 . . . Historians will argue that we aren’t any different than 
the Germans of 1942.  

When a Bible-belt born-again mother of three 
(and a home schooler!) traffics in body parts "we" have become "them."
Is she guilty?  Of course she is.  And so is her Pastor and so 
is a Church willing to allow this to flourish. We are good 
educated, secular (despite our weekly church attendance) civilized
American citizens concerned about the well being of our country.  

And we know what is going on. Most of us are  opposed to abortion.  
Or at least we are “personally” opposed to it but are 
sensitive of a woman’s “right to choose”   

Some day historians will argue that this isn't any different from
the well-meaning citizen in 1850 who was personally 
opposed to slavery but wasn't willing to stop it. 

Like they used to say:

“if you don’t like slavery, don’t own a slave. 
But we can't outlaw it -- one shouldn't
impose one's morality on others."


Fritz Berggren
5 March 2002
www.text.net/berggren/

SOURCES:

(Mrs. Brenda B. : World Magazine, October 23, 1999, Volume 14, Number 41.  
http://www.worldmag.com/world/issue/10-23-99/cover_1.asp

Abortion Price List:  http://www.trosch.org/for/body-parts.html 

Alzheimer Free Baby: Wall Street Journal, March 4, 2002 )



Post-Modernism, the Enlightenment, and Christianity Fritz Berggren, Ph.D. 28 February 2002 Most of you probably wish you’d never heard the word post-Modernism. Your eyes glaze over at a term associated with the break down of Western Civilization (according to some). But I’m going to take a stab at telling you what post-Modernism means and why I’m a big fan of post-Modernism. First we need to simplify things a bit. Post-Modern means “after the Modern.” The Modern, for our purposes, can be associated with the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment was that intellectual movement (most commonly associated with the French Revolution) which renounced all truth that did not proceed directly from man’s own ability to reason without recourse to “myth.” In the 18th Century, that meant (and still means) that man could only pursue truth without referring in any way to Christianity. Although this is a simplification, it’s not doing post-Modernism an injustice. Essentially, man came to believe that he was able to discover truth without recourse to faith. This new understanding (only a religious person like me would call it a “faith”) was called the Enlightenment and its beliefs are at the core of all that is “Modern.” When a person begins to realize that he is unable to escape faith – that there is no intellectual point at which he can shed all vestiges of assumptions or a priori structures – that man enters a post-Modern intellectual framework. Now, many people, including Christians, university professors, and moral conservatives decry post-Modernism because they believe it destroys any legitimacy of truth or absolutes, including truth about God and morality and even knowledge. The argument goes like this: “if man is unable to determine what is true, then nothing is true at all.” Academics don’t like this because it invalidates their “pursuit of knowledge.” Christians don’t like it because it erodes belief in moral or spiritual absolutes or truths. Cultural conservatives don’t like it because it exposes tradition to ridicule – it says that 2000 years of history are meaningless. But they are all wrong because they are evaluating post-Modernism in Modern terms. In other words, they are evaluating post-Modernism in terms of the Enlightenment. In particular, they are evaluating post-Modernism by comparing it to the core faith of the Enlightenment – that Truth exists and can be discovered rationally by man. That core faith (the Enlightenment) is anti-Christian. The Enlightenment was anti-Christ. The post-Modern is post-Enlightenment, and it resents an opportunity for Christians to present a framework of knowledge that was denied them in the Enlightenment because the post-Modern places us all on the same footing again: there is no longer a secular and religious dichotomy – all truth comes to use from a greater literary/linguistic framework. Folks, this is downright subversive, and I love it! Truth does not exist as a thing that man is able to know, measure and discern. It exists only something that man can “believe” in as a matter of faith. Man is not able to analyze anything to determine whether or not it is “true” without depending (perhaps unconsciously) upon assumptions and biases. Thus all truth is relative to his “framework.” And no one can find THE framework that opens and avenue to Truth. What does this mean? It does NOT mean that truth does not exist. It does mean that whatever truth does exist is accessed, created, acquired, or understood fundamentally as an act of faith. Of course the post-Modernists, being a rather secular bunch (myself excluded), eschew the use of the word “faith.” It is so, well, so pre-Modern. But there isn’t any difference, philosophically speaking, between faith, belief, assumptions, and frameworks. So if you want to engage in this conversation it is helpful to be flexible in your terminology. Essentially, the post-Modern movement remands the quest for knowledge back into the realm of a priori assumptions, into the land of faith and belief. It is so exciting for me to watch the entire Enlightenment implode, not from the onslaught of Christian intellectuals, but rather from the onslaught of Enlightenment scholars who dug deep enough into their intellectual heritage to understand, and proclaim, that the Enlightenment was dead. “Which scholars?” you ask. How about the French homosexual who died of AIDS, Michel Foucault. (OK, like Jerry Springer, I’m pandering to your baser instincts by titillating you with these irrelevant facts but, after all, I am trying to get you to read this!) How about the Italian Marxist, Antonio Gramscii, who wrote most of his work in a Fascist prison during Word War II. How about Joan Scott, a contemporary feminist scholar of repute who works at Princeton. And there are many more. This is big news. It’s bigger than big. It is so big that very few people can get their intellectual hands around the issue. I won’t give you the entire treatise on how to deal with post-Modernism in this letter. But if you are all interested, you need to go to this article, print it out and read it several times:
www.text.net/pomox/pomox.pdf

If you have questions about it, please Email me
 and I’ll answer you.

If you don’t want to read a 16 page academic 
article, go to
www.text.net/pomox/ www.text.net/pomox/pomox.pdf
   

It is a PDF file, so you will need the Adobe Acrobat 
reader.  If you can’t do that, let me know and I’ll 
convert it to HTML.
 
The post-Modern argues that man is utterly and 
permanently lost – without foundations.

The post-Modern argues that man can only find Truth 
as an act of faith.  

Providentially speaking, the post-Modern was sent to
destroy the false foundations of the Enlightenment.  

So what is left?  The opportunity to self consciously
and explicitly define an internally consistent framework 
of Truth and Knowledge as referenced by a body of texts.
Christian scholars must lead the way on this.
	
And if you are too "pre-post-Modern" to 
tackle this subject, please forward this e-mail to a college 
student you know. I'm sure they will understand.

Have a wonderful day.

Fritz Berggren
www.text.net/berggren/
28 February 2002
Miami, FL


ENEMIES
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
20 February 2002


Some of the worst advice I’ve ever heard came from a drug crazed derelict
(Rodney King) who said “why can’t we all just get along?”   The American 
media pounced on this phrase and turned it into a cultural battle cry.  
From kindergarten to the Congress it is now assumed that the natural and 
proper state is one “getting along.”

This is the height of stupidity.  It is illogical, misguided, and wrong.  
And yet it is the prevailing wisdom in the political centers of America.
And I don’t mean in Washington, D.C.  I mean at CBS, NBC, CNN, on 
university campuses, in the New York Times, and in most newspapers in 
America.  From the way they see it, they are shocked to hear someone 
challenge the dogma of endless negotiations.

The only people with no enemies are the dead, the defeated, and the silent. 
And American cultural elites (especially our college professors) have done 
their best to silence and defeat the moral and spiritual
voices of American and Christian civilization.  Because they don’t believe 
in anything and they can’t stand those who do.

The truth is that we cannot “all just get along.” 
 

BOVINE BY-PRODUCT

So how does this pure unadulterated bovine by-product become the
 cultural mainstream?  

It all starts on university campuses.  Today’s professors were brain 
washed by their professors (when they were graduate students) and have 
been teaching for at least the last half-century that America’s influence
is mostly evil and oppressive, and that all things Christian are racist, 
evil, misogynist, and oppressive.  Professorial influence is so great that
even Christian ministers believe them.  After all, most ministers are 
college graduates, read the newspapers, and are fearful of what others 
say about them.  And so they ordain homosexuals, endorse abortion, and 
refuse to support foreign or domestic missionary efforts.  No culturally
sensitive minister would ever seek to convert a Jew or a Muslim.   
God forbid that they send missionaries to a non-Western, non-Christian 
country to convert them to Christianity – that would be the height 
of “cultural imperialism.”   

You’re damn right it is.  And I’m the cultural imperialist of their 
worst nightmare.  My life's ambition is the complete and utter
liberation of the entire world into the freedom and salvation
of Jesus Christ.  For this I pledge my voice, my wealth, and 
my life.

CLOSED-MINDED CAMPUSES

Don’t make the mistake of believing that university campuses are
for “open-minded” people.  Secular universities are the most 
closed minded, bigoted places on earth today because they call
anyone who disagrees academically acceptable four letter words 
for which there is no defense:

	Ignorant
	Racist
	Closed-minded
	Misogynist
	Bigoted
	Propagators of hate-speech

Can you defend yourself if you are called these things?  Even the 
slightest inference paints you into an evil corner.  And that is why
they are powerful weapons waged against those who disagree with them. 
You are guilty IF charged.  And the more you try to prove yourself 
innocent the more they’ll snicker.    So while they claim to be against
bigotry in any form, they practice it by tagging their opponents with 
epithets of evil.  And they aren’t about to stop this because of some 
moral ambiguity on their part.  They won’t surrender until everyone agrees 
with them, and for the most part they are winning. That’s why most preachers
won’t call abortion “murder” and talk so much about “getting along” with 
almost everyone, and of “loving the homosexual.”

But a man’s enemy are as indicative of his character as his friends.  
So let’s not pretend to get along, OK?  

NEGOTIATE AND DIE

We cannot negotiate a middle ground on every thing.   Some would have us
believe that the United States just needs to “negotiate” with North Korea,
and the Israelis just need to “negotiate” with Arafat, and Christians need
to “negotiate” with anti-Christians.  It is implied that if we aren’t
getting along, it is because we just aren’t trying hard enough.  

Arafat is a murderer who purposely targets non-combatants, children and 
teenagers in Israel.  He is not a “freedom fighter.”  The French underground
resistance in World War Two were freedom fighters.  They fought against the 
Nazi’s with violence, but never purposely targeted non-combatants.  Arafat 
endorses it, supports it, and finances it.   There IS a difference between 
a freedom fighters and terrorists.  Arafat is a terrorist and needs to be 
dealt as such.

The regime in North Korea has systematically starved its own population 
and diverted every economic resource at their disposal to build an
army to invade South Korea.  They are blackmailing South Korea, Japan,
and the United States into providing him of millions of tons of 
free rice and free fuel oil every year.  And what do we get in return? 
North Korea still exports missiles to our enemies in the Middle-East.
The still threaten war on South Korea and Japan, and they still hold 
the card of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons development for use 
against South Korea, Japan, and the United States. 

If you believe in something, you won’t negotiate it away under 
any circumstances.  

In fact, you’d be willing to fight and kill or die for it.  
I’m willing to fight and kill for my country.  
I’m willing to preach and die for my faith.  
And while neither is perfect, I’m not about to apologize 
to my enemies who would kill me just as quickly anyway.  

It is time to stop this madness.  

If the United States has a world full of enemies, it is no sign that we 
are wrong.   Martin Luther wasn’t wrong and he was a minority.  
So was Rosa Parks.  
So was Jesus.  

A man or a country without enemies is dead, defeated, or silent. 
So count your enemies and be proud of them.  
And if you don’t have any, maybe it’s time you made some.  

Fritz Berggren
20 February 2002
www.text.net/berggren/


Social Security Gets Enron-ned
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
St. Valentine's Day, 2002

It seems that “Enron, Fiat Money & Prophecy” was a
little too subversive for some of you.  Well let me
follow that up with something the WSJ ran this morning
– either they read my letter (NOT!), or a lot of smart
people believe the government’s book-keeping isn’t any
better that Enron’s:

“The little-know but scary truth is that the federal
government also disguises some of its liabilities, or
simply leaves them off balance sheets altogether.”

“Eventually the government will find itself in an
Enron-like situation, with retirees thinking they have
government-held assets – after all, that’s what the
balance sheets say – that turn out to be only political
promises.”

		-- Wall Street Journal, OpEd page, 14
February 2002

And it gives examples:

The Railroad Retirement fund was kept off the books
because Congress felt it would lead to increased
federal borrowing.  Fannie Mae, the Federal Home Loan
bank and other Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs)
are guaranteed by the US government to the tune of $3.1
Trillion, but do not appear on the government books. 
In testimony before Congress, Congressional Budget
Office director, Dan Crippen, said:

 “The federal subsidies to GSEs is unusual in that it
is not explicitly appropriated by the Congress, nor
does it appear in the budget as outlays.  Nevertheless,
it is real.  It represents costs to the American
public.” 

Other items mentioned include Social Security and
Medicare.  The government treats FICA taxes as revenue,
but it omits any future obligations for payments as a
liability.

Now I hope the whole thing doesn’t collapse.  I’ve paid
in for twenty-five years and in another twenty-five
years I want a social security retirement check.  I
want it when I’m sixty-five years old. And I want a
decent monthly allowance.  And any politician that
tries to cut my money because of budget problems won’t
get my vote.  And there are 100 million other taxpayers
out there who feel the same way.

But the bottom line is that in twenty five years, there
won’t be enough tax money to support the Social
Security obligations incurred by the American tax
payers.  An aging American population simply won’t have
enough young tax payers to support old retirees. 
Americans, like Europeans and Japanese, stopped growing
their own tax base.  People had less children, people
live longer, and the benefits rose.  So what is going
to happen? 

Immigration by the tens of millions.  It’s already
happening.  And despite anyone’s objections, the huge
influx of “illegal” immigrants will continue and grow. 
The US government won’t deport them because they are a
huge source of revenue for both private business and as
a tax base.  Despite criticisms from people who don’t
know any better, illegal Mexican immigrants contribute
far more to the economy, to private business, and to
the tax base than they cost in social services. 
Perhaps once a decade we will grant them amnesty. 
They’ll come in, get a social security number, and
we’ll count them so the IRS makes sure they are getting
enough money from employers and businesses.

The IRS doesn’t want any “off –the-books” revenue
sources (tax payers) even if the federal government
likes to hide expenses and liabilities (like Enron). 
They want to know who and where people are so they get
all the money they can.  And all the old retirees will
agree with them – and AARP and anyone on a pension will
vote for national identity cards and five hundred other
things that will help the government count and tax
people to pay for their own retirement.  “Besides,”
they’ll say, “it will help fight terrorism and illegal
immigration.”  Funny how people think.

The social security problem will change America as we
know it.  For sure. But we’ll leave that for another
letter.

Happy Valentine’s Day, 2002
Fritz Berggren
www.text.net/berggren/



ART & ARCHITECTURE
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
13 February 2002

I try to read a hodgepodge of magazines just to keep my
mind fresh.  I'm not a science guy, but I love to read
about black holes, quantum physics and relativity.  I
dabble in business, so I'll read the Wall Street
Journal once or twice a week.  I'm up on technology
from reading web sites but they rarely broaden the mind
- they are more like technical manuals for repairing a
car's transmission.  Of course I read history (I've got
a Ph.D. in history) and economics, but I also enjoy
science fiction, and architecture, and art.

I picked up "Art in America," and "Architectural
Digest" the other day at the public library - they were
both in the "A" section of current periodicals.  I like
Architectural Digest because it has beautiful homes.  I
read it for the same reason some men read Car and
Driver magazine, or some women read Cosmopolitan or
People.  Everyone likes to escape into someone else's
life for a while.  That's also why we see movies.

But it isn't very often that I pick up an art magazine. 
Most "modern" art disappoints me for some reason.  When
I sat down and looked at "Art in America" and
"Architectural Digest" side by side, I finally realized
why.

Architectural Digest has beauty that people live with. 
Art in America has creations that no one wants in their
home, and probably wouldn't be willing to pay to own
them. 

An article in Art in America was about a woman whose
art career blossomed when she drew crude black and
white pornographic  pictures (it could have been drawn
by an artistically deficient 8th Grader).  As her
career developed, she began painting colorful patterns
of interwoven objects and blobs.  One or her recent
painting had a happy, upbeat motif with reds, whites,
blues and other bright colors.  I saw no discernible
patterns or objects (like a person or a tree or a
house), but according to the author of the article,
people saw sexual intercourse in these intertwined
blotches and swirls.

Now, this "artist" was famous.  I mean she was a
featured artist in one of the largest art magazines in
the world and she had her own art shows (some featuring
only her crude sexual line drawings).   She was
successful - her colleagues took her seriously.

But Architectural Digest was something else entirely. 
It was full of elegant homes, tapestries, gorgeous
fabrics, fine oil paintings, sculptures, furniture and
tiles all ordered and presented to set an elegant mood
and inspire a person with good thoughts.  The columns
and arches spoke of strength and beauty.  The colors
were warm and soft - not jarring.  One oil canvas
inspired grace and courage - a Lion's pride dark reds
and heavy golds  centered over the family fireplace. 
The design and decorations evoked life and intelligence
and strength and peace. 

And I realized that Architectural Digest was an art
magazine.  And Art in America was a psychology
magazine. 

From now on, when I look at what art, I'm going to ask
the following questions:

1. Would I hang it in my home?
2. Does it evoke emotions of peace, strength, comfort,
or security?
3. Does it reflect meaning and intelligence?
4. Does it reflect the concept of Truth? Or, would the
artist justify it's lack of cohesiveness, its
asymmetry, imbalance, and lack of grace by denying any
universal ordering of Truth?
5. Art sets a mood - does it set the mood I want for me
and my family?
6. Art reflects the artist's soul. I'll ask myself
"what is in that artist's soul? Do I want to share in
it?"

Everything we see, smell, hear, touch, taste and sense
molds our thoughts and emotions.  I want things to
inspire me to goodness and peace and meaning and
strength and beauty and protection.  Not violation. 
Not hopelessness.  Not darkness.  Not an absence of
order or meaning.

If these things questions are too complex, just
yourself the following:

-- Would I pay the artist with my own money 
    to create  something for me?
-- Would I place that piece of art in my home? 

Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael were
commercial painters and sculptors. Rich families or the
Church paid them to create things that they wanted to
see.   Today, the public financing of art is just the
opposite - there is no "individual" who has to live
with the art.  The same is largely true to corporate
art, or university campus art. 

The art of the Renaissance was commercial art - people
were willing to pay for it.  Much of today's art is
sponsored by government committees who never even see
it.  That is the difference between the treasures of
the Renaissance and someone violating an innocent piece
of canvas with their philosophical anguish.

That's why "Architectural Digest" is about art, and
"Art in America" is about the philosophy of the modern
art community.    Art is emotional and intellectual -
it should inspire you and set a pleasant tone, not fill
you with darkness and dread. 

Fritz Berggren
13 February 2002
www.text.net/berggren/

ENRON, FIAT MONEY, and PROPHETS
Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
12 February 2002

(From time to time, I'll be sending you some of my thoughts on contemporary
culture, politics, philosophy, and religion. I added your name because we've
had some contact in the past. If you wish to "unsubscribe," please see the
bottom for instructions.)

12 February 2002


"Bankers and other investors should paste memos in their hats to remind
themselves that, today, all moneys are created by fiat.  They have no
intrinsic value and are only as good as the central bankers and finance
ministers who manage them."  
    -- G. Melloan, Wall Street Journal, February 12, 2002


I've been reading the WSJ since I was an undergraduate twenty years ago, but
I've never seen this establishment newspaper speak so radically about the
true nature of money in America.  It's almost as if the Emperor's own court
said "he has no clothes!"  When the Wall Street Journal says that a twenty
dollar bill has "no instrinsic value" and that it is only as good as it's
managers, we are breaking new ground.  That's like saying "stock in any
company has no intrinsic value - it is only as good as the finance managers
who manipulate it."  This may be true - as in the case of Enron - but it is
still surprising to hear the Wall Street Journal talk this way.  This is
worth exploring.

The green twenties in your wallet have absolutely no intrinsic value.  

Dollar bills are not backed by gold or silver or real estate or the stock
market or even the F-16 fighters.    A twenty dollar bill is only worth
something because someone else will trade you for it - gas, groceries, SUVs,
or whatever.    Once upon a time (before 1933) you could actually trade in a
twenty dollar bill for a certain amount of gold - a little less than an
ounce.   But once everyone began to ask for gold, the U.S. government
outlawed convertibility.  The price of a dollar remained tied to a weight of
gold - but you just couldn't get that gold.  Then in 1973, the U.S.
government totally disassociated US currency from gold at all.  

Since 1973, the US dollar is worth only whatever someone is willing to
exchange for it.  Kind of  like the price of your favorite share of stock.
Even Enron stock.   As long as everyone believes it is worth something they
will trade you for it.   Mind you, Enron was a fraud long before this past
autumn - it was a fraud for years.  But as long as everyone kept "believing"
in it, the fantasy could continue.

The leap from Enron stock to a twenty dollar bill isn't that great.  The
"faith" in the value of a dollar could be justified if the government was
honest about the money. But they aren't.  Governments are greedy just like
the rest of us - just like the finance managers at Enron.  And if they can
create money out of nothing, they will.  And they do. Just like Enron did.

The story of Enron is not only about bankrupting someone's pension plan -
the story is about creating something from nothing - funny money - with the
full support and complicity of everyone (employee's included) involved.  And
once the house of cards collapses, it is about blame shifting and
scapegoating.  Enron is hardly unique - shifting costs and debt "off the
books" is standard corporate practice and has been for years.  It is also
standard practice in the United States government.  

Your "government insured" pension (Social Security) is an "off the books"
debt that is not financed or backed by anything other than the United States
government.  Enron's stock in an employee's 401k wasn't backed by anything
other that Enron.   If Enron collapses (as it did) then the 401k collapses.
The same is true with your social security account.  It exists only at the
mercy and good favor of government currency manipulators who are not any
more capable of ensuring the worth of your retirement fund that Enron's
executives were.  Why is this such a surprise?  

As long as Enron appeared to be successful they were everyone's best friend.
Same with the US dollar.  Same with any corporate stock or national currency
for that matter.  And when the Argentine peso or the Mexican peso or the
Enron stock or Global Crossing stock collapses everyone is "soooo
surprised!"  "Shocked!"  "Outraged."  Blame shifting.   The evidence for
fraud and bankruptcy had been around for years - but no one wants to rock
the boat.  After all, everyone is doing it, so no one wants to point
fingers.  Really.  
  
And as long as the US government doesn't collapse under a load of debt, a
loss of investor confidence (as long as foreign nations keep buying US
bonds), and other economic variables, the house of cards remains intact. And
anyone who says that the US currency system is a "Ponzi scheme" (the way
Enron is now described) is  considered "extreme" and out of touch.  

That's the way it was with Enron.  All the bond rating funds gave it an
excellent rating.  Stock brokers told clients to buy it.  A "Big Five"
accounting firm, one of the very best in the world," assured investors and
creditors that their books were just fine.  The government thought is was a
good example of the "new economy."  And they have a point - "if it ain't
broke, don't fix it."

I'm the same way most of the time.  Change brings risk.  Re-thinking the
fundamental rules threatens everyone and everything.   Why rock the boat?
Keep your mouth shut and go with the flow - it's working for you, isn't it?
If I were to suggest that social security is bankrupt, and that the US
dollar has no intrinsic value, and that the government monopoly on legal
tender is organized crime, you'd think I was nuts.  So I'm not going to say
those things.

So the house of cards is considered a respectable, stable, ongoing entity
right up until the very point of collapse.  And then everyone is pointing
fingers.

Prophets are all around us if we are willing to see them - Enron is just a
parable of bigger problems.  If the US dollar and the national pension
system collapse, please, let's not all act so surprised and outraged.  We
rode it for as long as we possibly could.   And it won't be the end of
everything - just a time of painful changes.    Just ask the employees of
Enron.

Fritz Berggren, Ph.D.
12 February 2002
www.text.net/berggren