9/11 Target: An Excerpt from the upcoming book

9-11TargetCoverSml(Unedited Sample Only)

By: Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.

Author Preface

—September 18, 2001, Lower Manhattan, New York City.

Seven days after the attack…

The devastation at Ground Zero was far worse than I could have imagined. Long before the wreckage came into view I could smell it. Low-hanging clouds of dust and fumes wafted on the late-summer breezes through every street and alley in a radius of several blocks. The nearly deafening roar of diesel generators, heavy equipment, and massive dump trucks coming and going with loads of wreckage blended with the clanging of metal that echoed through the tall canyons formed by dust-laden sky-scrapers.

Turning a corner at the edge of the wreckage, the smoking rubble pile finally came into view and I nearly stumbled backwards. Twisted girders and rubble from the remains of the World Trade Complex stood over twenty feet high, wedged between yet-standing but heavily damaged buildings, blocking the entire street. The fumes emanating from the pile smelled of burnt metal, plastic, and other indescribable smells. Now and then, another scent, which could only be described as rotting meat was discernible. It reeked of decomposing human remains.

At that point in time, no one knew precisely how many people actually perished when the towers fell, but it didn’t take much imagination to realize that the earthly remains of thousands of people were enmeshed in that massive field of wreckage. As I stood in the middle of the street, stunned by the magnitude of the destruction, hot tears welled up in my eyes—partly from sorrow, and partly from rage—as I contemplated the sheer evil I was beholding. The word heartbreaking didn’t do the scene justice. It was literally a gigantic churned-up cemetery, where dreams and hopes and love and human life lay buried under the twisted wreckage, spawned by demonic hatred.


Within these pages I will attempt to describe some of my personal experiences as a volunteer firefighter and Chaplain who served for several weeks at the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York City beginning six days after the Islamic terrorist attacks of 9/11. My time in New York City was an eye-opening experience that has forever changed my life. As I began to write down some of my experiences however, another, much larger story began to emerge in my mind, and it took on a life of its own. Writing this book was cathartic for me, and only now, after some years for reflection, can I begin to grasp the larger issues that resulted from that attack. In some ways, this has been like awakening from a nightmare only to discover that somehow I’d stepped into an even an even worse nightmare, only this time I wasn’t sleeping.

In an effort to make sense of what I was learning, I found myself being drawn into a study of America’s history and a forensic examination of its earliest foundations. The 9/11 attack began to look more and more like a “triggering event” that set in motion even more ominous after-effects. As terrible as the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Towers were—with so many thousands of lives destroyed—something terrible seemed to be emerging from the smoking rubble like some kind of mythical dragon. In the decade-plus time-span since 9/11, our nation has come under an evil dark shadow.

The spectre of increasing and mostly secret government surveillance upon ordinary citizens, and the imposition of new “security” laws that threaten our basic freedoms under the Constitution and Bill of Rights are, at the very least, deeply troubling. The rise of uber-progressive secularists to positions of political power, aided and abetted by leftist-progressive media, has created the “perfect storm” for America’s destruction.

The farther back you can look,

the farther forward you are likely to see.

Winston Churchill

To me, the big question is; “How did we get here?” To understand how we got “here,” we need to know where we were. If we can discover where we started from as a nation—particularly related to the spiritual and normative societal paradigms of early Americans—it just might be possible for us to find some sort of “reset” button, and retrace our way back to better times. During my research, I was delighted to discover some of the historical Christian foundations that were so wisely laid by our nation’s Founding Fathers. Along the way, I also learned that those foundations were not merely the product of human genius, but were profoundly and unmistakably influenced by the guiding hand of divine Providence in concord with the principles found in the Hebrew/Christian bible. I’m now convinced that the erosion and corruption of those early foundations are the prime reason that 9/11 happened in the first place. Perhaps if those founding principles can be rediscovered and embraced by our people, they may yet save our future.

This book wrestles with some of the extremely serious and sobering underlying spiritual and moral problems we are facing—problems that threaten to drag our country down into an Orwellian nightmare.

For those unfamiliar with George Orwell’s classic book, 1984, I offer the following quote which summarizes the main theme of the book.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever.

I’d like to think that the major reason this book exists is because God is now moving upon the hearts and minds of many others besides myself who are raising the alarm and calling our fellow citizens to respond to the clear and present danger we face. If this is true, then I must believe there is hope for us, for God is stirring people to action.

Perhaps I’m overly ambitious, but I’m going to attempt to bring two seemingly opposite lines of thought into a practical and understandable harmony—those being—the responsibility of man and the overarching Providence of God. In theological circles, there has always been a certain tension between these two seemingly polar opposites. I believe both are biblically justified, meaning, that we who are His people are called by God to be people of action, zealous for good works. At the same time, we are equally called into His rest, trusting God to bring about outcomes that please Him, even as we labor with diligence.

On the one hand, I will describe some the events of the 9/11 terrorist attack as seen through my eyes and heart. I will try to take you into ground zero to see what I saw, smell what I smelled, and feel what I felt. Using this as a platform, I will also tell you what I see happening to our country as a result of what happened on that fateful day, and how great and momentous changes in our government are occurring right before our eyes. I will also share some things I learned about our past to help bring things into perspective. I will conclude by promoting what I believe is a prudent response on our part to address the crisis at hand.

Throughout the book, I will endeavor to place all these events within the larger frame-work of God’s eternal plans and purposes, and attempt to show the overarching hand of Almighty God’s Providence as it operates right in the midst of, and in the smallest details, of everything that has ever happened, is happening, or ever will happen.

In other words, I will try to explore the profound theological tension that exists between human initiatives to respond appropriately to events in our world, mirrored by the parallel awareness that God is ultimately in complete control of all things at all times—even when it doesn’t seem so to our limited understanding. In doing so, I will try to show that all our obedience and efforts are yet another mysterious part of God’s larger dealings with His universe.

This is admittedly an ambitious effort, and some of what I’m going to share may make you dizzy at times. Please tighten your seat belt, stow all your electronic gear, (unless you’re using it to read this book) and keep your arms and heads inside the time-machine at all times. The ride has an end, and it will all be good.

Chapter One

A Date That Will Live In Infamy

…a date which will live in infamy,
the United States of America
was suddenly and deliberately attacked.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt
U.S. Congress December the 8th, 1941

My home is situated nearly 8,000 feet above sea level in the tranquil foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. With pristine snow-capped mountain peaks framed by dark-blue high altitude skies, and fresh alpine air blowing among tall ponderosa, evergreen, and aspen trees. Deer, elk, and the occasional bear wanders through our property, and it’s easy to imagine on most days that all’s right with the world. That perception radically changed on September 11, 2001.

In the early morning hours of that fateful day, I was taking a leisure shower after a peaceful night of sleep. I recall humming a tune while enjoying my shower with the smell of scented soap caressing my body. My reverie was abruptly interrupted when my wife Claudia suddenly burst into our bathroom shouting in a frantic voice. I couldn’t quite make out what she was saying at first over the noise of the water. A little annoyed, I yelled back through the shower door, “What is it!?”

“Something terrible has happened in New York!” she yelled. “They think it’s a terrorist attack! You’ll want to see this!” She had been watching the morning news, and I could tell from the tone of her voice that this was serious. She abruptly turned and ran back out to the television in our living room. My senses now fully alert, I froze for a moment. Terrorist attacks in the Middle-East wasn’t anything new, but here in America?

Flipping off the water and jumping out of the shower, I grabbed a towel and dried as quickly as I could. Without bothering to dress, I threw on a bathrobe and ran into the living room with water still dripping. Plopping down on the couch, my eyes fell on televised images of the World Trade Towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City. One of the buildings was belching gigantic plumes of smoke. A huge, oddly shaped hole about three-quarters of the way up the side of the building was easily discernible, and bright orange flames could be seen belching out of the shattered windows near the impact point.

A voice-over reporter was excitedly explaining that just minutes before, a commercial airliner flying at rooftop level across downtown Manhattan had slammed into the north face of one of the World Trade Towers.

The live video feed zoomed in and out on the structure. To our horror, we could clearly see images of people leaning out of the shattered windows just above and below the gaping hole in the side of the building. Black smoke and massive flames billowed out from behind them. Some were frantically waving what looked like sheets or coats, desperately crying out for help that would never arrive in time. As a volunteer firefighter, I did a quick mental calculation as to how hot those flames were, and knew that the people anywhere near them were being roasted alive by the radiated heat.

As we watched, the TV cameras suddenly caught the distinct outline of another aircraft approaching at low altitude in the background. We barely had time to gasp before this second aircraft screamed in at high-speed and slammed into the South Tower! Instantly, a blast of fire and debris erupted out of the north side of the building as the plane disintegrated, and its fuel tanks exploded.

For several seconds we just sat there staring at the television in stunned silence. As I recall, even the news anchor went speechless for several seconds as the scene unfolded live before the world. Any lingering doubts about whether or not this was merely an accident vanished in that moment. I remember jumping to my feet in shocked bewilderment, shouting to no one in particular, “This is definitely a terrorist attack!”

For the rest of the day, we remained transfixed in front of the TV as frantic reporters near the scene tried to piece together what was unfolding in real-time before the eyes of the world. From the shattered windows high up on the towers, thousands of pieces of paper could be seen raining down like slowly falling snow to the streets below.

Compounding horror upon horror, we began to see something far more disturbing beginning to fall from the towers. Scores of men and women could clearly be seen jumping from blown-out windows as they desperately tried to escape incineration by the searing flames and choking smoke near the holes in the sides of the buildings.

Authorities later estimated that over two hundred people chose to jump rather than be roasted alive. It was heartbreaking to imagine the terror and desperation these people must have experienced as they leaped out into empty space to escape the flames and fell for several seconds to certain death. Thinking about it later, I wondered what I would have done in that same situation and concluded that I would likely have done the same thing, for mercifully, it would be an instant painless death upon impact.

Then, at approximately 7:00AM Mountain Time, we saw the South Tower suddenly collapse into a gigantic billowing cloud of dust and pulverized concrete. Televised images of terrified people running through the streets of New York to escape the scalding-hot, choking clouds of pulverized concrete and debris billowing out through Lower Manhattan’s canyon-like streets could never be forgotten. We hardly had time to process these images when twenty-eight minutes later, the North Tower also collapsed in a nearly identical way. I remember thinking at the time how odd it was that both towers came down in nearly the same mirror-image way, and it seemed amazing that such incredibly engineered structures could collapse so easily. I quickly dismissed the thought, concentrating rather on the unfolding human tragedy and the suffering we were witnessing. Only much later would some rather unsettling questions re-emerge about the many strange events surrounding this tragedy and how it could have happened in the first place.

After the towers collapsed, a massive cloud of dust and debris blasted through Lower Manhattan, blanketing everything in a gray-white powder. Far from being a cool blast of air, however, this pyroclastic cloud was extremely hot. A week later after arriving on-scene, I personally saw scorched cars parked over a block away with tires melted, or burned to a crisp, and the plastic coating on a chain-link fence melted from the intense heat. The billowing column of smoke and debris shot high into the sky over Lower Manhattan, and was mercifully blown eastward by the winds toward the ocean. Televised images of terrified people frantically running ahead of the debris cloud reminded me of some sort of “End of the World” movie, but this was all too real. Many people suffered terrible burns and cuts; with their bodies caked with the thick dust that darkened the sky and made breathing nearly impossible.

September 11, 2001 was clearly “a date which will live in infamy.” Ironically, those words were uttered nearly 60 years before by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on December the 8th, 1941, before a special joint session of Congress in response to the attack by the Imperial Japanese Navy on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii the day before. Roosevelt’s words now seem hauntingly prophetic and apropos to what we were experiencing on 9/11:

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy, the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked.”

On that fateful Sunday morning in 1941, millions of our parents and grandparents stopped everything and gathered around radios in living rooms, stores, and taverns, to hear the unfolding news of the Pearl Harbor attack. Once again, in 2001, millions of Americans sat once again transfixed—this time in front of televisions—in much the same way they did with their radios. Together, we watched the breaking news of the terror attacks against our nation and struggled desperately to comprehend what was unfolding, and what it might mean. Here, in 2001 yet again––on our own soil––our nation was under attack.

Ironically, like the Japanese, the Islamo-terrorists had overplayed their hand. Instead of intimidating us, a collective sense of outrage erupted in America, and a desire for justice. Just as the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941 was the catalyst for America’s entrance into the war with the Japanese, so—at least for a time—Americans wanted to go to war against those who were responsible for 9/11.

Following the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Imperial Japanese Fleet which carried out the bombing of Pearl Harbor, was portrayed in the award-winning 1970 film, Tora! Tora! Tora! as saying;

I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

I could find no solid proof that Admiral Yamamoto actually spoke those precise words as depicted in the film, but he did in fact express nearly the same thoughts in a personal correspondence to Ogata Taketora on January 9, 1942.

A military man can scarcely pride himself on having ‘smitten a sleeping enemy'; it is more a matter of shame, simply, for the one smitten. I would rather you made your appraisal after seeing what the enemy does, since it is certain that, angered and outraged, he will soon launch a determined counterattack.

Admiral Yamamoto’s concerns were not unwarranted. Almost overnight, multiplied hundreds of thousands of America’s young men and women reported to military recruitment centers across America to volunteer. Munitions factories were rapidly brought on-line to produce weapons and ammunition. Many car manufacturing plants retooled their assembly lines to build tanks and warplanes. My own mother worked at a munitions factory in St. Louis, Missouri, and my father and nearly all my uncles volunteered for the Army and shipped off to the South Pacific to fight.

Some conspiracy theories have arisen, speculating that key persons within the Roosevelt administration—perhaps even the President himself—knew in advance of Japan’s plans to attack Hawaii, but did nothing to prevent it. I’ve read some of the evidence and documents, and although I’m reluctant to admit it, some of it seems compelling. I’ve often wondered if FDR and others in his cabinet might have speculated that a dramatic attack on U.S. territory would be just what they needed to justify a formal declaration of war and motivate the American people to confront what was known for some time to be a growing expansionist threat by the Imperial Japanese. It seems entirely plausible… and disturbing.

Some have speculated that the 9/11 attacks might also have been foreseen and “allowed” to happen in order to manipulate Americans into policies and directions that would further the agendas of certain persons within our own government. As implausible as this might seem to some, historical experience certainly supports the possibility. As far back as ancient history, national leaders have often implemented “false flag” strategies and disinformation to manipulate their subjects into certain courses of action. It happens all the time in business and personal interactions. Why would it seem so far-fetched that modern governments and rulers would use such deceptive ploys as well? Most Americans are reluctant to embrace conspiracies, but this is changing as new and credible information about what happened on 9/11 becomes more readily available.

The memory of Pearl Harbor is no longer vivid in the collective consciousness of most people in this present generation. Our public education system has successfully minimized the event in history studies, and in some cases, even gone so far as blaming the United States itself for the attack under as twisted rubric of “political correctness.” In the same way, since the 9/11 attacks, it seems that most people have put the event almost completely out of mind. In many schools, students are taught that the 9/11 attack was actually brought on by American imperialism, greedy exploitation of natural resources such as cheap oil, American arrogance and disrespect for the “poor, downtrodden” Islamo-Fascists!

A few days after the attack, some internet videos came out showing people across the Middle East dancing in the streets for joy, ecstatically celebrating the murder of thousands of Americans while shouting praises to their moon-god, Allah. They jubilantly gave each other gifts and candy. Initially, I had to fight a strong emotion of anger and outrage when I saw this, and wanted to see someone suffer some major payback. I knew in my heart that not everyone in Islamic countries were happy about what happened, and when the news media shows up, many people will “perform” for the camera, especially if their lack of enthusiasm might be noticed by more zealous America-haters who might be watching.

Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war.

Julius Caesar, Act 3, Scene 1
by William Shakespeare

Millions of Americans felt outraged, and tens of thousands of our young people rushed to military recruitment centers to do just as my own father and uncles did in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack; “line-up, sign-up”, and unleash unholy hell against those who attacked us. In retrospect, however, I can’t help wondering if we were somehow being “handled” by someone who wanted us to spend our treasure, blood, and the lives of our youth fighting some sort of “war against terror.” (More on this thought later…)

Ironically, on that very morning I was preparing to drive my son to Denver International Airport to fly to New York City on his way to England for a Christian missions trip. Within minutes after the attack, however, President Bush ordered all U.S. airspace closed, and all in-flight aircraft to land immediately at the nearest airport. No one was traveling by commercial air that day, or in the week that followed. Tens of thousands of passengers found themselves stranded at unintended destination airports. I whispered a prayer of thanks that my son was not already flying that morning.

For the next week, the only things flying around the nation were rumors and tightly controlled emergency and military aircraft patrolling over our cities to provide whatever protection they could. It reminded me of the old saying about; “shutting the barn door after the horses escaped.”

The news reported that additional hijacked planes might be inbound for other targets.

News reports a short time later said that the hijackers had used common box cutters to attack air crews and take over the cockpits of four aircraft on 9/11. We also got reports that during those first tense hours, as thousands of passenger aircraft were being directed to land immediately at the nearest airport by frantic air traffic controllers, patrolling American fighter aircraft were issued standing orders to shoot down any aircraft that failed to comply immediately with air traffic control orders. Thankfully, we were spared the additional heartbreak of hundreds of innocent air travelers being blown out of the sky by our own military pilots.

Throughout the day of the attack, the bad news just kept going from bad to worse. The news media reported that American Airlines Flight 77 had also been hijacked and slammed like a gigantic missile into the Pentagon at 7:37AM Mountain Time. A bit later, at 8:03AM, another airliner––United Flight 93––had crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. According to official reports, United 93 was headed for yet another target somewhere in the Washington DC area, possibly the White House or the Congressional buildings.

In the months that followed, we also heard awe-inspiring stories of courage demonstrated by some of the passengers on United 93. According to reports, some of the passengers learned from friends and relatives on the ground (via on-board Airfones) that several other aircraft had been commandeered and being used as guided missiles against targets on the ground. According to the official narrative, instead of passively allowing their airplane to be used as a missile to kill more innocent people on the ground, a few heroic passengers decided to attack the hijackers and attempt to regain control of their aircraft.

Based on in-flight voice recordings reportedly recovered later from the crash site, and people conversing with some of the passengers using Airfones, some of these passengers nearly succeeded in breaking into the cockpit in a desperate effort to regain control of their aircraft. However, in the final seconds, the terrorists realized they were about to be defeated––and rather than being taken alive––deliberately plunged the airplane inverted into the ground at near-supersonic speeds while shouting praises to their god, Allah.

I am deliberately using the qualifying word “reportedly” in the above paragraphs. This is because there are many unanswered questions regarding the actual events that occurred that terrible day. Some of the “official” explanations are, frankly, highly suspicious. I’m not going to tackle the conspiratorial elements of this event thoroughly in this book for one important reason. As I already said in the foreword, it matters little what individual minions of evil did that day. What’s important is that evil agents, operating in various capacities, are to be blamed. I don’t believe the Islamic hijackers on-board those aircraft were the only terrorists “on the job” that day. There must have been a large supporting cast of trainers, financiers, and other fanatics behind them. That seems certain. My focus is to try to lay the axe to the root of the source of ALL evil that animates people to commit such atrocities.

Certainly, further investigation as to what role possible insiders within our own government might have had in allowing—or perhaps even worse—participating in the 9/11 attack should be encouraged. The truth must and will be pursued and exposed in the end. I have no doubts that eventually the truth will be brought to light, and those responsible brought to justice.

A Long Horrible Movie

Throughout the day we obsessed over the televised details of the unfolding attack . Our youngest daughter was five-years-old at the time, and she wandered hardly noticed in and out of the living room. We were so preoccupied, that none of us paid much attention to how she was reacting. After awhile, she came into the living room and blurted out; “Are you guys going to watch that movie all day?!” She startled us. In her young mind, the news we were watching was some sort of scary movie. Her usual Winnie the Pooh, or Barney and Friends videos were far more interesting to her, and she just couldn’t comprehend why we kept watching something so awful for so long.

Later we noticed that she hadn’t made any appearances in awhile, and we became alarmed. Calling to her and looking around the house, we finally found her hiding under her bed; clearly frightened by the “scary movie” we were obsessing about. In her own way, I think our little girl expressed what every one of us were feeling that day. We all wished we could crawl under that bed and hide from the nightmares of that day, turn off the TV, and go back to the way things were before. However, we all knew there was no going back. Not after today.

Life in America—as we had known it—changed after that day. The nation was in shock, and to a great extent, our collective sense of security had vaporized. The world now seemed darker and more sinister. Evil plunged a cruel knife into our republic’s heart—and twisted it.

9/11 Target

Table of Contents


Chap 1: Date in Infamy

Chap 2: Response-Ability

Chap 3: Into An Earthly Hell

Chap 4: Welcome to the Pile

Chap 5: Brothers in Grace

Chap 6: Homeland Insecurity

Chap 7: War On Terror?

Chap 8: Who ARE We?

Chap 9: Crash Course

Chap 10: Can Nations be Hijacked?

Chap 11: Foot-rubs and National Destiny

Chap 12: Faith of our Fathers

Chap 13: Upon What Are We Sworn?

Chap 14: America: Bound to a Covenant?

Chap 15: The Quality of Mercy

Chap 16: Dreams From My Founders

Chap 17: Borders? What Borders?

Chap 18: The Real Enemy

Chap 19: Recapturing Hope (short)

Chap 20: Crawling Out of the Rubble

Chap 21: The Long March Back to America

Chap 22: How Do We Now “Roll”?

Chap 23: Big Messes, Little Brooms


Apostates and Heretics


By: Bruce R Porter, D.Div.

In our times, any discussion related to apostasy and heresy is often met with dismissive eye-rolling derision. “How arcane and mean-spirited!” some will say. “Why can’t we all just be nice and get along with everybody? Besides, it’s just not loving to make people upset or uncomfortable just because they don’t see things the same way as you do.”

I could wholeheartedly agree if we lived in a universe where truth and falsehood are simply inconsequential curiosities. This is not the case, however. There is overwhelming evidence that truth and lies, good and evil, right and wrong are actual realities, and carry serious consequences.

Sometimes the consequences are minor, such as someone lying to us about driving directions, or their real age, or how much they paid for something. In other situations, like people who lie to us about financial investments, or a doctor with fake credentials performing surgery on us or our child, etc., consequences can be very serious.

Perhaps the greatest damage people endure is the harm done by those who give us misleading or false information relating to our immortal souls. Those who subscribe to the false idea that it doesn’t matter what you believe about God or His word as long as you are “sincere” about what you believe would find the company of men like the apostle Paul, or Jude, or Peter, (or name your favorite Early Church Father) very awkward and uncomfortable. These guys took accuracy and veritas very seriously indeed!

From the earliest years of its existence, the church has struggled with heresies promoted by false brethren (apostates) as described by Jude, verse 4. Even in our day, some of these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” can be found preaching every Sunday from our nation’s pulpits!

For certain men have crept in unnoticed,
who long ago were marked out
for this condemnation, ungodly men,
who turn the grace of our God into lewdness
and deny the only Lord God
and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I’m convinced that we live in an era of increasing apostasy and heresy. TheWOLFEN2 two terms are somewhat synonymous, but it will be helpful to distinguish them somewhat. Apostasy basically means a falling away from truth. Specifically, a Christian apostate may be understood as anyone who once professed a belief in the Truth of God and later rejected it. These can often be won back through a patient sharing of the Truth and prayer. Apostasy at its core is rebellion against God because it is a rebellion against Truth—particularly orthodox biblical Truth. (I am purposely capitalizing “Truth” to emphasize absolute reality as revealed by God through His holy bible.)

While most people tend to over-simplify an apostate as someone who once believed in God and then became an atheist, this is not a complete picture of what happened in church history or is now happening in our times. Apostates today are departing from long-standing orthodoxy and introducing heresies (false teachings) into the church that are damaging or destroying the faith and testimony of many of Christ’s flock. The earliest church records reveal that nearly all the early church leadership were involved in theological battles with those who were seeking to harm the faith and witness of people.

For there must also be factions among you,
in order that those who are approved
may have become evident among you.

1 Cor. 11:19

There have been a multitude of heresies rolled out over the centuries. Identifying heresy is painfully difficult because it often depends upon who is pointing the finger. Also, heresy often disguises itself as orthodoxy. Heretics often operate like a chameleon, blending into the background—a shape-shifter—that appears on the surface as a cutting-edge teacher of “fresh revelation” or “deeper insight” into the Christian faith. However, in nearly every case, they are only rolling out a repackaged version 2.0.1 of the same old heresies and curve-ball deceptions as dealt with by the earliest church leaders.

Champaigne,_Philippe_de_-_Saint_Augustin_-_1645-1650From the earliest days of the church, heresies, like fireballs from siege machines, have been hurled at the defensive walls of Christianity. The war rages to this day. The problem with most heretical teachings is they often seem true, until carefully scrutinized under the searchlight of holy scripture and learned scholarship. The only way we can hope to discern truth from falsehood is by prayer and diligent study of the scriptures, along with a grasp of church history, a working knowledge of systematic theology, and the writings of reliable church fathers all the way back to the New Testament itself. If we lack–for whatever reason–these exegetical tools in our personal discernment toolboxes, we would be wise if we seek out and give heed to those who do possess these skills.

Sadly in our times, spiritual discernment is often considered mean-spirited and ungracious, and those who exercise it are marginalized and considered “killjoys” or “that guy” behind their backs. Certainly, there are those who are so obsessed about error that they cannot appreciate what is good. This is the ditch off the side of the road we might call “hyper-critical.” However, I suspect it is less harmful than the ditch on the other side of the road I would term as “hyper-naiveté.”

Paul and the other apostles, as well as the early church Fathers, had their hands full as they dealt with the emerging heresies of their own times, and we can easily read of their struggles. I list here just a few of the false teachings they wrestled against, with a short comment revealing the major errors they promote. See if you can recognize any that are being served up under new labels in our times.

Arianism – Taught that Jesus was a created being, like an angel, and therefore was not co-equal and eternally existent with the Father. Some Arians also taught that the Holy Spirit was created by Jesus.

Docetism – Is the belief that Jesus’ physical body was only an illusion, and only seemed to be a physical body. As an incorporeal spirit, Jesus could not physically die, so his crucifixion and resurrection were only an illusion.

Gnosticism – Teaches the dualism of equally powerful good and evil and the need for “secret knowledge” to understand it. According to the Gnostics, matter is evil, deliverance from material form was attainable only through “special” knowledge revealed by special Gnostic teachers. Christ was the divine redeemer who descended from the spiritual realm to reveal the knowledge necessary for this redemption.

Marcionism – An O.T. “evil God” and a N.T.“good God.” Only 11 books in the Canon

Pelagianism – Man is personally unaffected by Adam’s fall and able by his “free will” to keep God’s laws. Therefore, man is entirely responsible to believe and save himself.

Semi-Pelagianism – Man’s free will and God’s grace cooperate to save men. No matter how much God gives grace, man has the veto and if saved, has the responsibility to “stay saved.”

More recently, we are witnessing the emergence of ver. 2.1.0 upgraded heresies such as “Open Theism.” According to Theopedia; “Open theism, also called “free will theism” and “openness theology,” is the belief that God does not exercise meticulous control of the universe but leaves it “open” for humans to make significant choices (free will) that impact their relationships with God and others. A corollary of this is that God has not predetermined the future. Open Theists further believe that this would imply that God does not know the future exhaustively. Proponents affirm that God is omniscient, but deny that this means that God knows everything that will happen.”

This belief system denies one of the orthodox and long-accepted cardinal attributes of God, such as His omniscience, or God’s complete knowledge of all things past, present, and future. It teaches that God is somehow “learning” new things as men exercise their “free will.” This has been repeatedly condemned by church councils over the centuries as a heretical teaching.

head-in-the-sandMany theologically uneducated Christians in our times—including many preachers unfortunately—cavalierly dismiss the importance of understanding and being aware of heresies, and we often hear Christians say things like, “What difference does it make? Why be so negative? As long as you’re sincere and love Jesus, that’s all that matters!” To be sure, our brethren in previous centuries took these theological errors very seriously, and labored long hours in prayer, study, and in learned councils to discern between truth and error. They knew the critical importance of holding to Truth in a world bent on deception.

Another prominent heresy arising in our times is the “Emergent Church” movement. This cult advocates a radical departure from orthodox belief and fidelity to scripture in favor of a spirituality based in “practices” and “spiritual formation.” They advocate a superior mystical “knowledge” over scripture, as touted by one of their leaders, Brian McLaren, in his book, A Generous Orthodoxy. They downplay objective biblical Truth in favor of “experiences” with God in contemplative prayer. They minimize the place of Jesus Christ as the “only way, truth, and life.” In the name of grace and open-mindedness, many of the Emergents embrace homosexuality, giving young people the false idea that they can somehow indulge in sexual lust and still regard themselves as Christians. Material or physical behaviors are downplayed while “spiritual formation” is celebrated. Can anyone say; Gnosticism?

The next time someone appeals for “unity over Truth,” or “kindness over godly reproof,” or “tolerance over biblical accuracy,” perk up your ears and raise your discernment antennae. You’re about to enter a town called “Deception” where shadows and “grey areas” obscure the bright light of Truth; where people eschew disagreements and controversies in favor of undisturbed harmony and peace. It’s a rapidly growing town populated by those who have chosen the broad and easy road, far off the narrow beaten path. It’s a place just beyond the small town of “Discernment” found only in a special place called;

Twilight Zone

The Columbine Dream

By; Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.
I awoke suddenly from a fitful sleep thrashing in my bed and gasping for air, with deep guttural cries escaping my lips. Bolting upright, heart pounding, I noticed that my body was drenched in a cold sweat. My dream was so real and terrifying that I shook uncontrollably. My wife, startled by my cries, called out in the darkened bedroom, “Honey what’s wrong!?”

Unable to speak at first, I glanced at the clock radio on my bed-stand. It was nearly 2 AM on January 20, 1999, and I knew I was experiencing something that went way beyond a mere nightmare. Such experiences in my life don’t happen too often, but the special sense of reality that accompanies such dreams have taught me to pay careful attention to them. As I tried to calm myself, the images of the dream seemed to superimpose themselves upon the darkness of my bedroom like ghostly apparitions.

Finding my voice at last, I said to my wife, “They were killing, no, slaughtering young people!” I blurted out. “Even a few of the kids were killing themselves!” In my mind’s eye, I could still see the terrified faces of teenagers, bloody and crying. I could also hear the staccato sounds of what seemed to be gunfire and muffled explosions. In the background, there was a piercing noise, like a smoke-detector screeching.

“It was horrible! So real!” I sobbed. She coached me to remember as much as I could. In the dream, I was in some sort of a library. All around me were teenagers, and some of them were sitting together talking, others reading, and although I didn’t realize it until later, we were obviously in a school building.

Suddenly, several of the students began bleeding, and they began to cry, scream, and run in all directions. I saw what looked like a red, smoky light or fire following behind them as they ran, and some of them fell down. There were explosions and noises that sounded like firecrackers. The terror on the faces of the students was palpable.

The scene shifted, and I was then standing outside a building. A door burst open, and I saw a long line of young people running in a very peculiar way. They ran one behind the other, holding their heads with their hands, screaming and crying. Their faces seemed twisted and distorted, with panic in their eyes. Some had blood on their bodies, and I remember thinking, why would anyone run in such a strange way? Men in black shouted and screamed at the young people who were running, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying.

The spectacle was chaotic, and off to the side I saw red flashing lights as the percussion of firecrackers continued. Then, I heard a loud voice say several times, “rescue 911!” Those words echoed in my mind over and over as I awoke from the dream. Thankfully, my wife wrote it in her journal the next morning and dated it.

I became obsessed over the dream. I had a gnawing sense of dread that something terrible was about to happen, but I simply didn’t know where or when. I spent hours on my computer with a graphics program trying to put images onscreen that might help me discover what the dream meant. I shared it with a few trusted friends, but no one could make out exactly what it meant.
I was pastoring a growing church in Littleton, Colorado at the time, and my days were full. Over the next three months, the dream began to fade into the background of my mind, but I often thought about it. Little things would trigger a memory, like seeing a group of youths dressed in black trench-coats and Goth makeup. “What’s up with those kids?” I asked myself. I felt my attention strangely drawn to them but didn’t know why.

Then, on a quiet morning in April, my home office phone rang. It was a member of my church, and she was frantic. “They’re killing the kids!” she yelled. “Turn on the TV! Someone is shooting up Columbine High School!” I dropped the phone and ran to the TV, as fast as I could. The first live images were streaming in, and bodies could be seen on the ground outside the school. The announcer was describing a school shooting by unknown assailants. As I watched in amazement, another call came. One of our church families couldn’t make contact with or find their daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and wanted us to come. As I hung up, I looked up at the TV and saw a door open outside the school library. A line of students suddenly ran out the door holding their hands on their heads as police SWAT teams directed them to safety. “That looks strangely familiar,” I remember thinking.

Jumping into the car, we drove to a school near Columbine H.S. where parents and family were gathering. Busloads of terrified students were coming in from Columbine to reunite with their anxious parents. Spotting Rachel’s family, we rushed over to them, hugging and tearfully praying with them. As buses came and went, the crowd thinned until at last, there stood only a dozen or so terrified families in near panic. Rachel didn’t get off the last bus. A Sheriff’s department counselor called me aside and softly whispered. “Pastor, a student said she saw Rachel. We think she’s deceased.” I was asked not to tell the family until a positive identification could be made, I felt a crushing weight on my heart.

Later at Rachel’s family home, Rachel’s brother Craig told me of his own near-death experience in the school library as two of his friends were killed next to him. The details were gruesome. In the end, twelve students and a teacher were murdered, with twenty-three others wounded. The next morning we learned that 17-year-old Rachel was in heaven.
That morning, my wife brought her journal and showed her notes about my dream. Dated precisely three months to the day before the Columbine massacre, I sat in stunned silence as the dream came crashing back into my mind. Everything fell into place and I realized that the deja-vu I experienced all the day before was no coincidence. Virtually every detail in the dream matched what occurred at Columbine. The dream foretold it all.

I spoke of Rachel’s Christian testimony in my eulogy, and how she’d carried a bright torch of her love for Jesus. I asked the huge audience; “Who will pick up the bloodstained torch Rachel carried? It fell from her hand, but who will take it up again?” To my amazement, nearly everyone present rose and held up their arm as if holding that torch. Her funeral was broadcast internationally by CNN, and we heard reports of people around the world who stood up and did the same.

I’ve often wondered… Did God give that dream as a way of preparing us? Was there a larger message and purpose to this tragedy that transcends natural understanding? We can only speculate, but Rachel’s story has impacted millions of people around the world, and I’m still carrying her torch.


The Hand-Print on the Wall

By: Bruce R Porter, D.Div.

Scanning the empty classroom, my gaze fell upon a small hand-print on the wall just below the sill of a shattered window. It was small, belonging to a child of perhaps only 7 or 8 years old. Broken glass crunched as I stepped nearer to examine it more closely. It reminded me of the artwork little children often create with finger-paint and proudly sign with a crayon.

This was not an art project to display on a refrigerator however. It also didn’t bear a crayon signature, or even a “smiley face” sticker. It was printed in the life-blood of a wounded child while desperately trying to escape the monsters who invaded the child’s school.

Beslan School is located in southern Russia. On the first day of each school year, it is a custom for students, their parents, grandparents, and siblings, to gather for a special day of celebration. Dressed in their best clothes, students bring flowers and gifts for their teachers. On that fateful day of September 1st, 2004, Beslan’s festive occasion was cut short. At 8:45 am, fifty Islamic terrorists stormed into the school’s courtyard in full battle dress, armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons, and captured over 1,100 people within 15 minutes. The hostages were herded into the school’s gymnasium, and held for three days without food or water. Many of the hostages desperately resorted to drinking their own urine. The jihadists tortured and humiliated the captives, even raping many of the young girls right in front of their horrified classmates and parents.

Around 1 pm on the third day, some of the bombs planted throughout the school began detonating. Panicked hostages began jumping out of windows and rushed the exit doors to escape. The jihadists opened fire on the hostages with automatic weapons, and tossed grenades among them. Russian special forces rushed the building to save as many hostages as possible. After a room to room battle, hundreds of people lay dead or horribly wounded. In the end, nearly 600 perished.

When the news broke in America, I knew I had to respond. Over the years, I’d served in my local fire department as a firefighter and Critical Incident Stress Debriefer. I also served at the Columbine High School attack and Ground Zero in New York after 9/11. I believed I could help, and made plans to fly to Russia. This wasn’t easy, for Beslan was nearly closed to foreigners. I kept pushing for visas for my small response team. Miraculously, visas were granted, flights booked, and funds poured in to cover our expenses.

Six days later, we landed late at night at Beslan’s only airport. The next morning, we visited the school ruins. Amazingly, the authorities opened the buildings to anyone to see what the terrorists had done. Family and friends wandered the scorched corridors and classrooms of the buildings wailing and moaning. It was a house of horrors beyond our worst nightmares. In the gymnasium, thousands of open water bottles and flowers were displayed. The water commemorated the fact that the victims were deprived of water during their ordeal. The walls and ceilings of every hallway and classroom were splattered with blood, clinging bits of human flesh, shrapnel, and bullet-holes. Weeping, I stepped past pools of blood and debris, praying God would give me wisdom to help this broken community.

Our team visited hospitals to give small gifts, stuffed animals, and offer what encouragement we could to survivors. It was heartbreaking to see little kids suffering from bullet-wounds, and shrapnel. The vacant stares of little girls and young women who endured the most cruel and brutal abuse haunted me for months. Most physical wounds would eventually heal, but emotional scars can last a lifetime. A nurse remarked that we were the first American visitors, and it was the first time most of the children had smiled or laughed.

I met with Dr. Federov, Director of the children’s hospital in nearby Vladikavkaz. His eyes filled with tears as he described the first desperate hours when hundreds of injured children began arriving in private cars and trucks because there were only a few ambulances. They hurriedly set up a tent to triage the flood of wounded. He choked-up as he described having to use garden hoses to wash blood off the children so their wounds could be assessed. Later, a nurse wept and told me how they had to stack bodies up in the hallways because the morgue was overflowing. With each encounter, we sought to encourage, pray with, and share funds with families from donors in America.

We visited one of the families who survived the attack. They lost their 5-year-old son, Mark. We rode in a car with several bullet-holes. The terrorists shot at the father trying to escape the school with three other children huddled in the back seat. The mother, however, and two of their sons were captured.

While they were held in the gym, she saw little Mark put his hands together, bow his head, and pray. When asked what he was doing, he replied that he was praying for the terrorists so they would come to know Jesus like their family did. She was shocked at his simple, childlike faith. When pandemonium broke out at the end, little Mark was struck in the head by shrapnel from a nearby bomb and died in his mother’s arms. She didn’t want to leave him, but her older son shouted over the mayhem and explosions, “Mom! Mark’s with Jesus now, but we have to get out of here!” She gently kissed her little boy’s face one last time, leaped up, and they ran to safety.

I wept as I beheld in her face a heavenly serenity and peace. She said, “I have forgiven these terrible men, as I know my Markie did in his heart. He prayed for them, and I pray for their souls now.” Such a display of God’s peace in the soul of this mother was inspirational beyond words.

At the new cemetery on the edge of town, we laid a wreath and tried to comfort mourners. Walking among the fresh graves, I saw that whole families were often buried together. Flowers and cards covered the fresh mounds of dirt. I was moved to see thousands of packages with flowers and a letter from the State of Israel laid upon each grave. No other nation did the same. Who could empathize more with the pain of these brokenhearted people than the Jews, who have suffered such undeserved, evil hatred for centuries?

Looking back, I struggle sometimes wondering if our small team made any difference in the face of such a disaster. Hopefully, the hundreds of hand-written cards we gave out from Christian school students, and the stuffed animals and small packages of Columbine flowers assuaged, in some small measure, their grief. Only eternity will tell. I remain inspired by the example little Markie left us to pray for those ensnared in the matrix of evil and hate. I’m also haunted by a disturbing question. Will there be more bloody hand-prints on school walls, perhaps right here in America? I suspect we have a lot of praying to do.

Jihadists: Are America’s Schools on their Kill List?

israeli condolencesSeptember, 2014
By Bruce R. Porter, D.Div.
On September 1, 2004, Islamic terrorists infiltrated from Chechnya and attacked a school in Beslan, Russia. Over several days of hell-on-earth, they mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of students, teachers, and parents. Although there have been other attacks on schools in various places around the world—most notoriously the attack at Columbine High School in 1999—this attack stands out, not only for the vicious brutality meted out by the Islamic Jihadists, but by the sheer number of children who were murdered there. Estimates of the dead ranged between 300 to over 600. It was, without any doubt, the deadliest attack on a school in modern history.

No decent person could ever comprehend how these Allah-praising Jihadists could justify their wholesale slaughter of children. We are constantly being lectured by our government officials and leftist pundits in the news media that Islam is a “religion of peace,” yet all around the world we see ample evidence that the exact opposite is true. While it is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, it is just as true that nearly every act of terrorism in recent decades has been carried out by Muslims.

Beslan Middle School #1 had students from the first to the eleventh grades. On the morning of September 1st, the first day of school in Russia, over a thousand students, teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles were gathered in the large courtyard of the school complex. It is a custom in Russia to celebrate the first day of school with students dressing in their best clothes, accompanied by their parents and siblings, and bringing small gifts and flowers to their teachers.

At 8:45 A.M. several vehicles transporting nearly three-dozen Islamists burst into the school parking lot. The terrorists jumped out, armed to the teeth with automatic weapons, grenades, night-vision goggles, gas masks, high-explosives, and silenced weapons. They joined other terrorists who were already mingling with the crowd, and began shooting and herding terrified hostages into the school gymnasium. A few security officers, armed only with sidearms, were quickly gunned-down, and anyone who showed the slightest willingness to fight back was mowed down in the first seconds. Mayhem erupted, as several hundred people ran away under gunfire while more than 60% of the others were captured and driven into the school’s gymnasium to endure several days of thirst, hunger, and unspeakable abuse by the Allah-praising terrorists.

Once the hostages were secured in the gym, the Jihadists rigged explosive charges throughout the school. The captive men and older boys, who could potentially fight back, were lined up in front of their terrified wives and children and summarily executed with bullets to the head. Their bodies were shoved out of shattered windows and lay in a heap in full sight of their horrified families. Many of the women and young girls were humiliated and raped in front of the hostages. There are no words in the human language to describe what these evil beasts did to these young women. The hostages languished in the school’s gymnasium in the sweltering heat of late summer, with no water, food, or sanitation facilities for three days. Some of the hostages were so desperately thirsty, they drank their own urine. When the rescue assault by Russian forces finally began, the terrorists began detonating the explosives placed near the hostages and shooting as many of the children as they could. The carnage was indescribable.

My son and I traveled to Beslan with another international relief worker to help minister to the survivors, arriving one week after Russian special forces stormed the school. We walked into the burned and blasted shell of the school buildings a few days after the siege was over. What I witnessed in those ruins was off-scale grisly. The walls were pock-marked with bullet and shrapnel impacts. Walls were blackened by fire and smoke. The worst thing of all, however, were the splattered clumps of human remains from bomb blasts pasted on the walls and ceiling. Large pools of putrefying human blood was everywhere, and splattered upon the walls. I spotted what looked like a small wig, and when I moved it, I shrank back in horror and revulsion. It was a child’s skull-cap with bits of brain stuck to it. I feel sick just recalling the sights and smells of that terrible place.

When I hear someone speak of Islam as a “religion of peace” I feel like gagging. I have seen with my own eyes what this evil and pathetic excuse for a religion does to innocent people. I have no illusions. For nearly two weeks my son and I visited the local hospitals where hundreds of victims, mostly children, were recovering from burns, gunshots, and shrapnel wounds. Most of them would eventually heal of their physical wounds. However, they all seemed to have a hollow, distant stare that betrayed that their young eyes had seen things no person should ever see. I especially noticed several young girls in the hospital who were, I was told later, sexually abused by the terrorists. Their minds and souls were deeply wounded, and I wonder if they would ever find healing.

Why am I telling all this? Why would I invite you, the reader, into some of the dark horror-chambers of my mind and memories, subjecting you even to a small portion of the horrors these people endured? It is simply this…

I believe it is going to happen again… right here in America, and I want with all my heart to awaken as many as possible to the clear and present danger we are facing. Perhaps, if enough of us wake up in time, we can mitigate the damage and save lives.

As I was thinking about this tenth anniversary of the Beslan massacre a few days ago, I suddenly felt a strong impression come over me. I am a man of God, and there have been several times in my life when such impressions came upon me and I later witnessed the events unfold just as I had seen. For example, exactly three months before the Columbine High School massacre in my own community, I had a horrifying dream/vision of a school attack with many vivid details. I awoke in the middle of the night screaming and drenched with sweat. The images were so real, and yet I had no way of putting together what I’d seen with present reality. Three months later, to the very day, I watched the Columbine attack unfold just as I’d seen it in my dream. I wrote in detail of this in my book, The Martyrs’ Torch, The Message of the Columbine Massacre.

This is what I believe was shown to me. Islamic Jihadists, quite likely elements of ISIS, (who have already infiltrated our southern border by several hundreds) are about to launch a coordinated attack on several schools in America. I realize I’m taking a tremendous risk in sharing this, for many men’s reputations and credibility have died upon hills of prophetic predictions that never occurred. I fervently hope I’m wrong. However, I cannot remain silent. Lives are at stake. I also don’t think it requires a prophetic vision to see the writing on the wall. The danger is, for anyone paying attention, all too obvious.

Why would they attack our school children? Think about it. Can anyone imagine a more emotionally devastating “soft target” than our children? If you were an Islamic jihadist seeking to maximize the psychological damage to your enemy, where would you strike? The answer is clear.

Little Syrian Girl Beheaded by Islamists

As horrible as the pictures are of little Iraqi children being beheaded, with their heads displayed upon poles, just imagine for a moment how the people of the United States would react if such atrocities happened during a hostage situation in our nation’s schools on an internet upload? GOD FORBID IT! However, we are supremely naïve if we think that our enemies haven’t already thought of this.

What can be done? I wish I could be optimistic, but I cannot. As things presently stand, our children are sitting ducks in their schools. The federal government has seemingly abandoned their constitutionally-mandated responsibility to protect the American people and secure our borders. Thousands of unknown persons are flooding daily across our southern border, and latest reports are that a significant percentage of them are Islamic Jihadists. They’re not coming to visit Disneyland or work as farmhands. They’re coming to hurt us in significant ways and manipulate our national will toward their goals of global domination and the establishment of sharia (Islamic) law.

In most of our nation’s schools, the insanity of “political correctness” drives policies related to school security. Tangible and effective measures, such as training and arming teachers to defend their students, are dismissed out of hand by those who foolishly and naively imagine that putting up “gun free zone” signs on the schoolhouse door will somehow deter a terrorist seeking to kill students. These silly liberals actually seem to think a terrorist would read such an idiotic sign and obediently leave their firearms outside, perhaps employing other means of murder like grenades, pipe bombs, or nerve gas. I cannot think of words to sufficiently mock such nonsensical thinking.

“Lock-down” procedures only insure the formation of target-rich environments with children cloistered and concentrated in places easily breached by well-armed and trained assailants. In other words, we MUST rethink the entire concept of school safety and be done with nonsensical “zero-tolerance” policies that penalize students for bringing a pair of fingernail clippers or a plastic knife in their lunch-pails. The real threat is not a psychotic over-medicated student, but well-trained Jihadists armed with military-grade weaponry and motivated by hate and a desire to die for their god Allah.

As I’ve said before, the Beslan attack revealed a complete lack of compassion toward children by Islamic Jihadists. I personally visited scores of kids in the children’s hospital in Vladikavkaz near Beslan who were deliberately shot by terrorists in their school. Some were as young as six years old. Can anyone imagine that such inhuman monsters would regard American kids with greater compassion? I seriously doubt it, in fact, I think they are going to deliberately attack our schools to maximize their terror impact.

We must face the reality that Islamic Jihadists have no qualms about killing children. This is amply demonstrated by the fact that they will place weapons and missile launchers in the midst of schools and hospitals (as in the case recently in Gaza) knowing full-well that any military retaliation by the Israelis to destroy these weapons will likely result in civilian casualties, including children. In the aftermath, the Jihadists parade through the streets in front of cameras with dead or wounded children in order to maximize the psychological impact in the West. If they really cared about these children, they wouldn’t deliberately place their missile launchers in schoolyards in the first place. More than this, in the case of Israel, they target Israeli schools and kindergartens with their missiles instead of military targets.

In May of 1974, three Islamic terrorists attacked a school in Ma’alot, Israel. They took 115 people hostage, including 105 students, and held them for two days. When Israeli Golani Brigade soldiers stormed the building, the terrorists tossed grenades and shot the hostages, killing 25 (22 children) and wounding 68. In the aftermath, Israel formed a special Counter Terrorism Unit called Yamam. In addition, a national policy of arming teachers and posting armed guards at all Israeli schools was implemented. In the 40 years since this policy was in place, nearly all terrorist attacks on schoolchildren have ceased.

What can be done? How can we reduce the risk to our schools? I would make the following suggestions:

1. Parents and grandparents of school children must organize and come up with specific security policies to present to school administrators on the State, District, and Local levels;

2. Such parent groups must DEMAND that armed guards be placed in and around the schools, comprised of well-vetted (background checked) military veterans, retired police, FBI and other officers, who would receive extensive training specific to school environments, taking into consideration “shoot/no-shoot” scenarios, and threat assessment;

3. Schools should immediately implement EVACUATION procedures instead of “hide in place” policies that place students and teachers into indefensible target-rich “lock-downs.”

4. Teachers who are vetted and are willing to receive training should be allowed to carry concealed weapons. Their identities (as to who is armed) must be closely guarded for obvious reasons and known only by Principals and Law Enforcement;

5. “Student Watch” patrols should be instituted with vetted upper-grade students trained to spot persons or activities that seem out of place or pose a potential risk. These could be valuable “eyes and ears” to guards and administrators as a first-alert system.;

6. Until these policies are implemented, schools districts should DEMAND more police protection with active-duty officers on-site. Sound expensive? Sure, but what price can be put on the life on one student or teacher? We expect armed guards in our banks to protect our money. Why not at least as much protection for something infinitely more valuable than our money—the lives of our children?

Can we reliably prevent all attacks from ever occurring? I think this is an impossibility, given the nature of violent Jihadists and present at-risk environment. However, the primary benefit of these measures would be manifold:

First, such policies would serve as a real deterrent to most school attacks. Second, parents and students would have a greater sense of security, knowing that REAL and PRACTICAL measures have been taken to ensure their security, and not just silly “violence-free”, or “gun-free zone” signs. For those who are philosophically or politically opposed to the presence of weapons on school grounds, I would only point out that when violent incidents or active-shooter scenarios have occurred in the past, the very FIRST persons they call to help are GOOD PEOPLE WITH GUNS. No “gun free” advocate would ever rush over to an active-shooter scene with more “gun free zone” signs. Let’s be done with silly, ineffective, and politically correct banalities.

WE MUST ACT NOW. I pray I’m wrong, and I fear that it will take more tragedies to awaken our people to this real and present danger. I must speak out and remain hopeful. The lives of our schoolchildren are at stake.

The Culture War for Young Minds and Hearts


April 15, 2013

Recently I spoke at Veritas Christian School at their annual fundraising event. My message, while pointed and factual, sought to shine a light on the serious importance of a Christian education in the midst of a culture that seems entirely committed to eradicating all expressions of Christian faith and the establishing of a socialist/Humanist secular state in America.

My Roman Wakeup Call–Pt 4
The Stones Indeed Cry Out
A few days later, I visited Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica and beheld for the first time the incredibly beautiful sculptures and paintings resident there. Especially striking was Michelangelo’s Pieta, depicting Mary, the mother of Jesus, tenderly holding His lifeless body after His crucifixion. 
There, in the quiet expanse of St. Peter’s Basilica, I stood transfixed in the presence of pure artistic genius. The Pieta, sculpted by Michelangelo when he was only in his early twenties, was commissioned in 1498 and unveiled in St. Peter’s Basilica in 1500.  
With his hammer and chisel Michelangelo had patiently liberated from the cold marble the sorrowful beauty and tender expression of love on Mary’s face as she gazes lovingly upon her slain son. The beauty of this sculpture is breathtaking, in that it captures the timeless, universal mourning of all mothers who yearn over their children. Michelangelo once said that his sculpting merely liberated the image already present within the stone. I marvel at Michelangelo’s ability to envision such amazing beauty within a mere slab of marble. My hard, prideful heart began to break as I gazed long upon this splendid work of art. 


Of all the art that touched my soul, however, the crowning moment came when I strode into the Sistine Chapel and beheld the exquisite paintings Michelangelo had rendered upon its ceiling. His labors recounted virtually the entire biblical story of mankind from the creation to Christ. As I examined the various panels, one in particular stood out to me. It was the famous depiction of God reaching out his hand to Adam and tenderly touching him with the gift of life. 
This masterfully rendered painting struck a deep chord in my soul, and I felt as if a large piece of the puzzle was coming together. Adam is lying naked on an immovable rock, seemingly helpless, with a tentatively raised arm reaching toward God. Adam’s hand is virtually limp, as if without strength, and there seems to be no real effort expended on his part to go to God. It seemed to me that God is making the greater effort. Carried by angels, God is moving toward Adam, straining and stretching out to reach him. 
Then it struck me. Was God also reaching out to me? Was He also coming near to my helpless, prideful, arrogant soul? Was He moving upon my heart and drawing my rebellious and unwilling hand toward Him in hope, freely bestowing His gift of life into my tormented heart? This was a difficult concept to grasp, for I felt so unworthy. For the previous years of my life, I had indulged myself in the grossest expressions of sin, giving free expression to my flesh in wanton selfishness. “How could God have any interest in me?” I thought. “And why would He extend mercy to one who has rejected and ignored Him for so long?”  
The Master Sculptor Begins To Liberate ME 
Over the next period of weeks, my heart began to soften. Rome’s rich Christian history was making a huge impact upon my hardened heart. God’s voice was beginning to penetrate my mind, and capture my attention. When I think back on this, it was as if the angels of God were whispering over my shoulder, directing my attention to higher things. The depiction of Isaiah in the Sistine Chapel almost reminds me of it. 
My personal conversion was not an instant transformation but rather a gradual one. Old habits, attitudes, and thought patterns clung to me. Fleshly gravity-like a black hole in space that sucks everything around it into eternal darkness-constantly pulled at my soul. All self efforts to improve and reform myself-like old New Year’s resolutions-ended in failure. Like the childhood storybook character, Brer Rabbit, who vainly fought to free himself from the tar-baby, the more I struggled to be free from my sin, the more entangled I became. My pride wouldn’t allow me to cry out for someone to rescue me, yet an undeniable hunger for more understanding of this amazing God who was clearly reaching out to me began to haunt my every waking hour.  
The classic poem by Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven, was as applicable to me as it apparently was to the poet himself. 
I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;  
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;  
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways  
Of my own mind; and in the mist of tears  
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.  
Up vistaed hopes I sped;  
And shot, precipitated,  
Adown Titanic glooms of chasmed fears,  
From those strong feet that followed, followed after . . .  
Was I an archetype of helpless Adam in Michelangelo’s painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Had God so loved and chosen me, one so unworthy among the many billions of His creations, that He moved Heaven and earth to find me? Was He also intent upon meeting me in my naked shame with feebly upraised arm? My heart told me it was so, but my mind rebelled and refused to believe it. Like one of Michelangelo’s unfinished sculpted images, trapped within the stone, I was trapped within my own sin, selfishness, and pride. Yet it seemed, God was patiently, gently, and skillfully chipping away the dross to reveal the man He created me to be. 
Should you ever stand close enough to me during a quiet moment, and listen with a spiritual ear, you may yet hear the soft sound of hammer and chisel as the Heavenly Master Sculptor continues His patient work of liberating me from the stone. He isn’t finished yet, as anyone who knows me well will tell you, but He has promised to never cease His patient labor until He finishes the work He began. 
And so it is with us all. If you also heard His voice calling your heart, you can be confident that He is patiently chipping away your dross and conforming you to the image of Christ. He sees a masterpiece within the stone of your life, and will never cease His work until you are fully liberated into the glorious freedom of the Sons of God. 
And we know that in all things  
God works for the good of those who love Him, 
who have been called according to His purpose.  
For those God foreknew He also predestined  
to be conformed to the likeness of His Son,  
that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.  
And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, 
He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.  
What, then, shall we say in response to this?  
If God is for us, who can be against us?  
(Romans 8:28-31 NIV)  

(To Be Continued…) 

My Wakeup Call–Pt 3
Whispering Ghosts of the Past

I was mystified a few days before to hear a tour guide describe the suffering and persecution of multiplied thousands of Christians who had been cruelly hunted down and slaughtered in this city merely for the pleasure of bloodthirsty mobs. I found myself deeply moved when I heard these stories. Now, alone in the darkness late at night there in the Coliseum ruins, I could almost imagine I could hear the long-dead ghosts of the distant past, and the deafening impassioned roar of the blood-thirsty spectators as entire Christian families below were eviscerated, burned alive, or torn to pieces by hunger-crazed wild beasts. What was this growing sense of empathy that I felt for these Christians who had lived and bravely died so long ago? 
I pondered why these people would seemingly welcome a cruel and vicious death rather than deny their faith in Jesus. What empowerment could possibly enable fathers and mothers to witness their little children burned, drowned, or devoured by vicious animals right in front of their eyes before they themselves died, all the while worshipping God and singing His praises?
I have since learned that the Roman authorities would have allowed any of these Christians to go free had they only made a simple acknowledgement of allegiance to Caesar as supreme authority over all other gods. The Christian had only to place a tiny pinch of incense before an image of Caesar to affirm his preeminence. Most Christians refused to make this blasphemous declaration, instead boldly proclaiming that Jesus was King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Caesar, who fancied himself a god, took a very dim view of anyone daring to declare that he was somehow under the authority of what he thought was an insignificant dead Jew from Palestine. 
I was forced to conclude that those early Christians had SEEN something so wonderful, so magnificent and amazing, that all else in this world, even their very lives, lost significance by comparison. What was this mystical revelation that motivated them to sing praises unto their Christ, even as they suffered and died? What gave them the fearless ability to lay down their lives rather than deny their faith in Christ? My emotions were stirred. I suspected that God was touching my life and calling me to a journey I could scarcely imagine. Little did I realize that my quest had already begun . . . . 
These questions hung over me like a rain cloud as I finally stumbled out of the Coliseum into the cool morning air. The eastern sky was beginning to lighten with the promise of a new dawn, and the birds began to chirp. Slowly making my way back through the quiet, early-morning streets of Rome to the cheap hotel where I was staying, the encounter in the Coliseum haunted me. But first, I had to sleep off another hangover. 
Persecution Above, Prayer Below 
Driven by a power I couldn’t understand, I spent the next several days touring other ancient sites around Rome, but felt especially drawn to the catacombs that surround the city. I recently found this quote from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:  
It has been said that the lives of the early Christians consisted of: “Persecution above ground and prayer below ground.” Their lives are expressed by the Coliseum and the catacombs. Beneath Rome are the excavations, which we call the catacombs, which were at once temples and tombs. The early Church of Rome might well be called the Church of the Catacombs.  
I learned that archeologists had discovered some sixty catacombs surrounding Rome. The tunnels stretch out over six hundred miles, and measure in most places nearly eight feet high and three to five feet wide. Along the sides of these tunnels, several rows of horizontal recesses were dug out, stacked above each other like bunk beds. These comprised the crypts into which corpses were laid, with inscribed marble slabs or tiles sealing in the deceased. 
Mile after mile I wandered through this macabre graveyard, illuminated only by the guide’s flashlight or oil lamps. It was an eerie place, musty and cold. Looking into the crypts-where the marble slabs had been destroyed by grave robbers-I could see the bones of some of the dead. For many hundreds of years both Pagans and Christians were laid to rest in this place.  
When Christian graves were opened-evidenced to be Christian by inscriptions of

Icon of Christ raising Lazarus
(From 3rd Century Roman Catacomb)

crosses and the “fish” symbol-ample forensic evidence of torture and murder was often found. Heads were discovered severed from the bodies, and many bones were broken about the ribs, backs, and extremities. Calcined bones also showed evidence of fire.  

In spite of the evidence of horrendous suffering and persecution inflicted upon these poor Christian souls-of whom I now know the world was not worthy-the epitaphs inscribed upon the graves spoke of a sublime, heavenly peace. Here are a few that were discovered and quoted in Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: 
“Here lies Marcia, put to rest in a dream of peace.”  
“Lawrence to his sweetest son, borne away of angels.” 
“Victorious in peace and in Christ.”  
“Being called away, he went in peace.”  
Bear in mind that these tender expressions, inscribed lovingly by the hands of those who knew and loved them, reveal little of the intense suffering these precious saints endured at the hands of their tormentors, nor any indictment against their murderers.  
These inscriptions hold special significance to me in that I have seen these things with my own eyes. My hands have tenderly caressed the bones of some of these inspiring people. The musty smells of those holy underground hiding and burying places remain in the nostrils of my memory. For days, I wandered among the dead in those seemingly endless tunnels, listening to the whispering ghosts of those who had long ago lived and died there. With each step I took down the descending stairways-moving ever deeper into the labyrinth-my respect deepened in equal measure for the amazing commitment these people demonstrated for a Christ they would rather die for than deny. 
Often, as I reflect on the experience, I seemed to feel that unseen presence that I encountered in the Coliseum, walking with me through the labyrinths of the catacombs. In a way, it was similar to the ghost of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Story, where Scrooge was shown things from the past, present, and future–things that would eventually form the new man he was becoming. “Who were these Christians?” I kept asking myself. “Why were they so hated and viciously tormented by people in their day?” I soon learned that questions such as these can be dangerous to one’s selfish autonomy. 


(To Be Continued…) 


My Wakeup Call, Part II
After a year of military service in Vietnam, I was a man on the run. The vision I’d witnessed pushed me over the edge, and I became determined to desert, leave behind my country, my family, and everything in my past, to enter upon a quest to learn what my life was really about. Feigning that I intended to go on leave, I emptied all my accounts and began my trek by flying out of Vietnam to Bangkok. From there, I hopped flights to India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey, and finally Europe. My goal was to find a liberal counterculture enclave I’d heard about called The University of the New World, located up in the mountains of Switzerland near Sion, in the Canton of Valais. The name “New World” seemed to offer hope that perhaps I could learn what the vision meant and find my place in this crazy world.
My heart and soul were shredded; I felt old beyond my years. My spirit yearned for answers to questions that seemed to have no answers. The terrible things I had witnessed in Vietnam superimposed their tormenting images as some kind of semitransparent film over everything I gazed upon. I felt as if my youthful innocence had been ripped away from me, like someone had violently torn off my clothes in the middle of an arctic winter, leaving me cold and shivering in the stark reality of a world seemingly gone mad. I had fallen into emotional shock. In this state, I could not contemplate the depths of my own brokenness and felt strangely disassociated from, and unattached to, all that went on around me.
After finally arriving in Switzerland, and a brief stay at the “University of the New World,” I quickly realized that the “University” was a sham–a party school-where rich, mostly American kids from liberal-Leftist families came to indulge their flesh in sex and drug parties every night. During the day in the “classes” I audited, they reveled in neo-Marxist fantasies about how the elite class must one day rule the world without morals, religion, or restraints upon our “natural” urges. In other words, a fantasy “utopian” paradise. My flesh was titillated, and I enjoyed a certain celebrity among them because of my pacifism, desertion, and stand against the Vietnam War. To be honest, I was rather proud of myself and liked living the persona of the brave counter-cultural revolutionary who stuck it to the “establishment.” After a few weeks, however, I became restless and frustrated at the aimless existence of everyone living there. It didn’t take a rocket-scientist to realize that these people were being funded by some of the very people they were revolting against. It just didn’t make sense. Besides, my personal demons were emerging, making me less and less popular among them. I was asking too many uncomfortable questions..
One night, I was talking with a girl at a party and trying to impress her by bragging about what a brave, courageous guy I was-standing up to war, injustice, the military-industrial complex-and blah, blah, blah. She grew visibly annoyed with my pride and arrogance, and interrupted my little “brag fest.” Looking me right in the eye, she said something that totally blew my mind. “Jesus never ran away,” she said. I sat there with my mouth hanging open, completely disarmed by her words. It was like being struck by lightning. She was anything but a Christian, and for a fleeting moment, seemed shocked by what had just come out of her own mouth. Getting up suddenly, she walked away leaving me staring at the floor in shame.
Looking back, I think I felt a bit like Balaam the prophet must have felt when his donkey suddenly spoke to him by the power of God, rebuking him. In that moment, I had another revelation and didn’t like it very much. I was flooded with the shameful realization that virtually everything I was doing in my life at that time–even the good things I thought were right–was coming from a totally prideful, selfish, conceited motive. “Jesus never ran away” stung my itching ears. I realized that I was a fearful coward, running away from what I considered wrong, and selfishly seeking my own aggrandizement in the eyes of others. Fear was dogging my tracks, and my entire motive was selfish. I felt dirty and ashamed. I had to escape, and the next morning I left and caught the first train out of Sion. For reasons I cannot explain, I was headed for Rome, hoping to find some answers there.
Can These Stones Yet Speak?
A chilly breeze wafted through the colonnades in the Coliseum, interrupting my reverie and pulling my mind back into the moment. I shuddered involuntarily as the cold slab of rock I’d been sitting on drained body heat. Rising unsteadily to my feet, I began to climb to the upper levels of the darkened ruins, my bottle of wine hanging loosely from my hand. I had vainly sought to drown my inner pain and raging thoughts within that bottle, but the tormenting visions of lost innocence would inevitably claw their way back into my consciousness. “What was it she said?” I mumbled to myself: “Jesus never ran away!” I couldn’t escape the unwittingly prophetic words of the girl in Switzerland. The comparison she made between Jesus and my selfishness was unbearable. My shame and cowardice became a heavy weight upon my soul. After wandering around Rome for several days, I was becoming restless and had a growing sense that someone was trying to communicate something important to my tormented soul through these ancient ruins, churches, and weathered monuments.
Gazing down from the stone stands that had long ago held multiplied thousands of cheering, blood-thirsty spectators; I began to ponder what spectacles had once filled this place. I tried to imagine fifty thousand crazed Roman citizens intoxicated by the violent entertainment of battles reenacted before them on the main floor of this stadium. The spectacle of gore and blood, provided by warring gladiators who reenacted historical battles and struggled unto death, drove the raving mobs into near-orgasmic apoplexy as their appetite for ever-greater displays of carnage grew with each new death. At one point in Roman history, the slaughter of Christians as public spectacles only added to their national insanity.
Suddenly, in the dark shadows of the Coliseum, I began to sense a powerful presence surrounding me. At first, I felt nothing but terror. However, after a few moments, the fear melted away and was replaced by a warm sense of security and peace. I trembled as I contemplated the possibility that God might be drawing near to me, even in my wretched and unworthy state. The vision back in Vietnam came thundering back into my mind. I was beginning to think that God had spoken to me that night in Vietnam and that He was somehow calling me into His army of light. Looking back, I now understand that He was beginning to cut the “control strings” of the enemy’s bondage in my life and draw me out of the kingdom of darkness, transferring me into the kingdom of His Son Jesus. The puzzle was beginning to come together…

(To Be Continued…) 


My Journey into Grace

June 22, 2012  
By: Dr. Bruce R. Porter

Dear Friends and Supporters, 

The following series of posts under the category of “My Journey into Grace” are excerpts from a book I am presently writing. I’m sharing the portions that deal directly with my personal journey into grace as a chosen follower of Jesus the Messiah. The impetus behind sharing these stories are two-fold. First, we were preparing for an important outreach to Italy in late July, 2012, and was part of an effort to raise financial support. Secondly, I thought that others might be encouraged and edified by my experiences in Rome as God mercifully drew me into His eternal family by His mercy and grace. Me, a wretched depraved sinner, and the most unlikely candidate for such love and grace. Perhaps others will find some commonality in my journey, and find the mercy I found.

 As I contemplate the history of Italy, it is amazing to consider that this once-powerful area of influence for the gospel of God’s grace has been reduced to such physical and spiritual ruins. It was 41 years ago this summer that I first visited Rome. The impact that had on my life was monumental. It was in Rome that God moved powerfully upon my heart and drew me into His marvelous grace. To be sure, I struggled and resisted, for my flesh and depraved heart blinded me, and I was walking in great deception. I want to share a powerful encounter I had with the Spirit of Grace in Rome. This is rather long, so I’m going to break it up into several installments. I hope it edifies you.


My Wakeup Call – Pt 1

 I want to share the story of my spiritual awakening. I call it an “awakening” because my former life now seems like a nightmare. More accurately, it was actually a personal resurrection from the dead, for I was dead in my trespasses and sin, alienated from God, and His enemy. Darkness and deception had taken hold on my soul, causing untold sorrow not only to myself but to all who interacted with me. By God’s mercy in Christ, I was called to life and approval before Him. I only hope that some of what I describe here will inspire and encourage you.
Coliseum Ruins: Rome, Italy, 1971
The gravel crunched noisily beneath my feet as I stumbled through the portals leading into the ancient Roman Coliseum. At nearly 2:00 A.M., the dark shadows formed by the massive structures of this marvel of human engineering were stark beneath the meager floodlights. Taking another long swig from the jug of cheap wine I had been nursing for several hours, I felt a momentary sense of all-too-familiar danger as my eyes scanned the shadows for the presence of a thief or mugger. I dismissed the thought immediately, however, drawing upon a sense of false bravado afforded partly by the wine. More than this however, I had recently come from a year of military service in Vietnam and was hardened by it, having faced death and danger for so long that it felt familiar.Plopping down on some flat stones in the darkness, I began to relax. Questions swarmed through my wine-numbed brain like buzzing bees. What was I doing in this ancient place? Why was I wandering around this city in the middle of the night, stalking the streets like a restless spirit seeking peace? How did I end up here?An Awesome Revelation
Several months earlier, while serving in Vietnam, a vision came to me that would change the entire course of my life. That vision, so overwhelming and compelling, caused me to temporarily abandon my military post and set me on a trek that would take me through Thailand, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, and now finally Rome, Italy. I was searching for truth, stretching my mind and heart to the breaking point in a quest to make sense of what I had seen. One evening at Bien Hoa Air Base in South Vietnam, I had sat up on a tall water tower that afforded acommanding view of the countryside outside our base perimeter. On this night, while I was with some security buddies out on the perimeter, a supernatural revelation came to me that would steer my destiny for the remainder of my days. Our voices were hushed as we watched the incredibly beautiful sunset over the rice paddies and tropical landscape all around us. All eyes scanned the deepening gloom for the telltale flashes of 55mm rockets launched toward our base by the Viet Cong. When these nasty weapons fired off, we had mere seconds to sound the alarm so our guys could dive into bunkers for protection from the vicious shrapnel these things spit out in all directions, ripping flesh and bone. The most frustrating thing about these missiles was that by the time they launched, there was usually no one out there to shoot back at. The enemy used delayed fuses and were usually miles away when the attack occurred.

As the landscape grew darker, my mind began drifting. A question resurfaced that had continually nagged my thoughts for the previous months. “Who are these guys out there trying to kill us?” I knew them only as “gooks,” “the Cong,” and “commies.” On this night I could not help thinking about them as persons and wondered who they really were. This can be a dangerous way of thinking on a battlefield. To empathize with an enemy force trying to kill you can cost your life, and also the lives of others depending on you, if you hesitate to act in a critical moment. In spite of this, I couldn’t help asking the question inwardly. “Why are we all fighting?” Oh, I knew the importance of obeying orders, doing one’s duty, and even some of the political arguments, yet the question seemed somehow especially important to me at that moment. As I pondered this, a flash in the sky drew my attention upward. One of our troops had fired off a phosphorous night flare. The intensely bright light of the hissing flare, suspended by a parachute, illuminated the entire countryside with an eerie glow of phosphorescence, casting weird moving shadows on the ground as it descended. At that very moment, as I stared out across this ethereal landscape, a flash of understanding came over me. It is difficult to tell of it even now, for it shook me to the core.

Glancing back up into the sky, I had a vision of what I can only describe as ethereal, twisted, demonic beings. It was the stuff nightmares are made of, but I wasn’t sleeping. These creatures were flying through the air back and forth with what sounded like snarling laughter screaming from them. They seemed to be pulling strings of some sort, attached to points on the ground. Some of the strings were on our side, and some extended to the fields and valleys beyond our perimeter.

I was completely absorbed with this unearthly vision when a revelation crashed into my consciousness: These demonic beings were controlling people on earth! The strings I saw were like puppet strings, moving those attached to them on earth in ways that suited the hideous beings moving back and forth in the air above me. What amazed me was that there were strings extending down on our side of the perimeter as well as over on the “enemy” side. This was the first time in my life that I even considered the idea of “spiritual warfare.” Prior to that moment, I would have laughed at anyone who even suggested such a seemingly outrageous idea. However, the vision was so compelling, so overwhelming, that I nearly became unaware of my surroundings. I knew somehow in that moment that I was indeed called to be a warrior, but the battleground I was to stand upon was not exclusively the one on which men fought natural battles. 


(To Be Continued…)