This forum address has been redirected temporarily, for now it includes [slarti] this may be due to the forum upgrading to phbb3 or the forum being moved to our newer server. You do not need to take any action, your forum address will revert back to normal in a day or two. In the mean time please do not bookmark or publish the temporary link.
Just got back from India...It was really a 7-8 day stay b/c when we left on Sunday June 30th, the time zone changes fast-forwarded us another day(got there on Tuesday the 2nd), and then made up a day when we left this last Tuesday(as we hit the rewind button in the time zone). Had a little trouble on the way back as our itinerary got mixed up going back from Amsterdam(thought we would go to Detroit first, but the boarding pass without our realizing it went directly to Dallas). Then this past yesterday had a 2 hour delay in the plane in Amsterdam b/c of technical malfunctions, and ended up catching a later flight in Detroit.
Anyhow, interesting trip to say the least...
1) It's not that India is a "Hindu country" or anything, but Hinduism is its TRADITION(which is even worse IMHO), meaning that it's not like all of its citizen go worship in some temple every week(although some do), but pretty much apply these cultures in their everyday lives. Ended up visiting a temple there on my first day in Coimbatore - to say the least, couldn't believe how just about everything I saw in there(practices et al) just were VERY similar with a lot of the Hinduism/New Age practices that have infiltrated the West, including America. Also visited a woman's technology/engineering univ - their statement all but admitted that they're goal is to indoctrinate their students into a "new era". If that isn't New Agey, I don't know what is.
They have the same occult symbolisms you see the Freemasons, RCC, etc use(and see in the entertainment products as well) like the all-seeing eye pyramid, serpent, left-tilted cross, etc.
Their meditation practices are also very similar to a lot of what we see here like with Yoga AND with Churchianity believe it or not with this whole contemplative prayer movement.
I'm not trying to imply that India is Mystery Babylon, but nonetheless it hit me that Hinduism has been a giant sleeper worldwide in terms of its infiltration - you see it in today's medical profession(ie-Reiki), academia, Hollywood movies like "Star Wars", "exercising" practices like Yoga, and like said even Churchianity has bought into adopting some of their rituals.
2) As Christians we need to be fed with the word of God daily - however I will admit that there's parts of scripture, especially in the NT, where I just don't come to an understanding of it until I have experience in a situation or an observation. Both I and my mom tagged along with my dad who had a conference there at colleges so we could take care of him. My dad did the conference mostly with his colleagues at his univ(along with a couple of others at other colleges).
Remember how we talked about how the world loves its own, and ultimately how they behave? Well, one of the professors that worked at the conference lied, cheated, and schemed my dad to further his research when my dad first started there in 2006 - my dad didn't realize it at first, but nonetheless when he got exposed for what he was doing with his research, he ultimately STILL got his tenure when all was said and done. And the same other people who attended the conference with them, who also claimed to be my dad's close friends for a long time, were also the same ones that VOTED FOR this guy to get his tenure.
It took me awhile to realize why - never could, until the Lord showed me this passage...
Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Mat 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Without going into all of the details, pretty much my dad's colleagues have done the same for their entire careers. Maybe not nearly as bad as this guy, but nonetheless when you look into this passage, they are BLIND. IOW, how can they judge and discern others properly like this guy, when they have a beam in their OWN eyes?
Pretty much, ultimately, yes, they are lost people(again, without going into all of the details) - if you're lost, you're not going to have the word of God in your hearts. So how else will they have passages like these edifying them?
Eph_4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
1Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
3) Just wondering - have there ever been times in your SAVED lives when you're with people - let's say close friends of your family, relatives, etc, and it feels like they don't like you and try to avoid you, but no one can pinpoint why? I had that feeling when one of my dad's former graduate students was there(working with the conference). Throughout my lifetime, it's usually been the case that whenever I would cross paths with these people, they would be pretty friendly, but this last trip? Not really, to say the least - and even a long-time friend of my dad's(whom I knew since I was a boy) was keeping his distance somewhat as well.
Pt being that does it kind of feel like that the Spirit in you is doing the work to separate these people from you? When all was said and done, my dad's graduate student admitted he was a practicing Hindu, and my dad's long-time friend was acting childish a few years ago when the new Dean relinquished his duties as Dpt Chairman(didn't talk to my dad for 6 months b/c he wanted my dad to stick up for him afterwards, but he didn't).
Heb 7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Heb 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
1Jn 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
Ultimately, these ARE the times we should be REJOICING b/c even as Christians hanging out with the wrong crowd, the behaviors of this lost world wrong crowd will rub off on us. I know as Christians we need to take a stand for the gospel, but at the same time you can't deny the times the Spirit has done the work in keeping us separate from those lu****l and undefiled things our own weak flesh wants to give into.
1Cor 1:6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
1Co 1:7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1Co 1:8 Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4) While I am NOT endorsing India, at the same time this is something I've observed in poor/3rd world/developing countries I've been in(Turkey, Mexico, and Columbia are the other 3) - b/c of their upbringings in their environment, they know how to survive when all is said and done, and seem to be content if there's food on the table and clothes on their back. One time I saw a few motorcyclists carry large amounts of farm food et al on their laps.
Honestly, you just don't see that in Western countries, especially in America, b/c of how this "consumerism" economy has infiltrated its way. For example, look at the aftermath of Katrina when people that stuck around just went into panic mode. Or for that matter too take all of the road rage incidents in America b/c of the tiniest little infractions - while on the contrary I was surprised how civil everyone on the road was in India even despite all of the overtly-aggressive driving(ie-the tour guide cab driver bumped into a motorcycle breaking off his right windshield along the way, and the motorcycle driver just picked up the broken windshield and went on his business).
To be frank, this was one of those "Examine yourselves..." on my part - having to look at a developing country like this and how people are just surviving, and even I myself have been complaining over little things every now and then. This also gave me an opportunity to spend more time in the word of God with pretty much no electronics around me - no access to the internet, not much American news, only sports news I saw was cricket, although I did manage to catch a few American movies in the wee hours of the night in my hotel room.
Ultimately, I don't think America will ever reach India's status, b/c when it starts to go down that way, they're going to riot.
Again, no, I don't endorse anyone even stepping foot into India - and if anyone thinks they can walk right into this country to preach the gospel and win souls, they are sorely mistaken. I mean I've heard comments how this country would be a challenge to go to to do so, and yes we should pray that thy Father's will in heaven be done that their souls be saved, but again Hinduism has been a LONG TRADITION in this country, and it would be best for the believer in Christ to stay away as a lot of their traditions and practices are very seductive(and seductive enough to infiltrate the West).
Pro 9:13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.
Pro 9:14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,
Pro 9:15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:
Pro 9:16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,
Pro 9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.
Pro 9:18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.
CJ NOTE - Obama always carries a Budda idol charm in his pocket
Money, guns and democracy: Why the Obama administration is obsessed with India
7/21/13 posted by BornAgain2 elsewhere
Joe Biden arrived, John Kerry declared it his “second home” on his trip last month, and Barack Obama will host its leader in the fall:
But why is India the subject of such a concerted American charm offensive?
The answer essentially boils down to money, military hardware and a shared love of freedom — to paraphrase the opinions of a number of experts.
Some believe the world’s two biggest democracies will ultimately “shape the destiny of the 21st century.”
A senior Obama administration official said Friday that Biden would meet with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leading officials in New Delhi on Tuesday and then head to Mumbai on Wednesday to give a speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange and meet with business leaders.
However, there are a number of signs suggesting the relationship might be in trouble -- a situation Washington appears keen to resolve.
Here are five reasons why India is feeling the love from the United States:
1. A bastion of democracy
Obama said the relationship between India and the U.S. would be one of the “defining partnerships” of the 21st century while visiting the country in 2010, praising its tradition of tolerance and its free market economy.
Ron Somers, president of the U.S.-India Business Council, went further.
“It’s going to be these two democracies that shape the destiny of the 21st century,” he said. “These are beacons of freedom and democracy on opposite sides of the planet and we’ve got to stick together with our close friends and believe in these principles.”
It was a partnership based on “democracy” and “a love, demand and insistence on freedom,” Somers added, while stressing these were not reasons to not trade with China.
Jody Venkatesan, national political director for the Republican Indian Committee in the U.S., said India’s importance had been recognized by George W. Bush during his time in office.
“The Bush administration made great overtures to the Indian-American community and toward India in general,” he said. “I think India has a strategic importance in terms of economic and intelligence purposes and freedom around the world.”
He said he felt relations between ordinary Indian and American people were also in a good place. “The Indian-American community has never betrayed the trust of the American public — and that’s huge,” he said.
But some in India believe American commitment to democratic values is not quite as strong as it should be.
Brahma Chellaney, a former adviser to India’s National Security Council, said India was concerned that the U.S. used its promotion of democracy as a political tool in some parts of the world “while staying quiet on China.”
“The Americans don’t speak about Tibet at all and don’t speak much about human rights” in China, he said by phone from New Delhi.
2. Booming economy
India’s economy has been growing at rates that rival the boom in China.
According to the World Bank, India’s gross domestic product rose from $1.2 trillion in 2008 to more than $1.8 trillion in 2012 – a rise of 50 percent during a time when much of the world was going through the worst economic hardship for decades.
“Europe, unfortunately, is flat on its back economically and China is also having challenges with their economy,” said Somers, of the U.S.-India Business Council. “The United States and India need to be developing a greater economic partnership now more than ever.”
The amount of two-way trade between India and the United States has quadrupled in just seven years -- from $25 billion in 2006 to about $100 billion in 2013, he said.
A senior Obama administration official said there was “no reason” that the current level of trade between the two countries could not be “five times as much.” Biden plans to raise issues about U.S. investment during his visit.
Ten years ago, defense trade between the two countries was worth just $100 million. Somers said this had since risen to $10 billion and stressed India had billions more to spend on defense, particularly as it seeks to expand its navy.
“In the recent floods in Uttarakhand, those were [U.S.-made] C-17 and C-130J aircraft that were helping bring in medical supplies and helping rescue people,” he said.
The Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement of 2008 saw the United States agree "to enable full civil nuclear energy cooperation" with India, effectively ending India's isolation as a nuclear state following its nuclear bomb test in 1974.
Achin Vanaik, a professor at the political science department of Delhi University, said the deal was hugely important to India, but suggested its government's later decision to spend about $20 billion on French fighter jets, rather than American ones, was a disappointment to Washington.
"The Americans thought after the U.S. nuclear deal the Indians would buy their fighter planes, but it ended up with the Indians buying from the French -- that's a huge thing," he said. "It obviously annoyed the Americans to some extent. They expected certain pay-offs."
Somers, who was closely involved in the nuclear deal, strongly denied any suggestion of a "quid pro quo" on arms sales.
However, he admitted there were other tensions, saying U.S. businesses had concerns about enforcement of intellectual property rights in India and also about regional differences about how taxes are applied.
And U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman has also expressed concern about efforts to stimulate the economy by forcing Indian companies to buy home-produced goods.
3. A key ally in the war on terror
India has become a close ally of the United States in the fight against Islamist militants after suffering its own terrorist attacks.
Three months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, India’s parliament in New Delhi was stormed by five men armed with guns, grenades and other explosives. Ten people died before the attackers were killed.
And in 2008, 166 people were killed when gunmen attacked a Jewish center and two five-star hotels in Mumbai. India has blamed the attack on Pakistan-based militants.
But recently the relationship has hit a rocky patch over the prospect of a U.S. peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan, something India fears would give its arch-rival Pakistan greater power in the region.
Chellaney, the former adviser to India’s National Security Council who now professor of strategic studies at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, said that India was “greatly troubled” by talk of a deal and believed the “political rehabilitation of the Taliban will be very injurious to regional security.”
“The Indians remain very concerned about the U.S. exit strategy, especially because these talks with the Taliban … are being conducted with the widespread support of the Pakistan army chief,” he said.
Any deal that saw the Taliban regain some political power would benefit India’s arch-rival Pakistan, giving them “a greater say in the future of Afghanistan,” Chellaney said.
India does not have troops in Afghanistan, though the idea they could replace Western forces after the 2014 pullout has been raised recently.
India has been a major supplier of aid to Afghanistan, spending a total of more than $750 million between 2002 and 2009. Afghan President Hamid Karzai met Indian Prime Minister Singh in May to discuss supplies of military equipment.
A senior Obama administration official said co-operation with India on “maritime security” and “counter terrorism” would be one of the issues at the top of the agenda. He spoke of a “strategic convergence” between India and the U.S.
Asked about Indian concern over talks with the Taliban, the official stressed the United States’ view that the militant movement would have “to be breaking with al Qaeda, renouncing violence and abiding by the terms of the Afghan constitution” to be part of an Afghan-led peace process.
4. A counterweight to China
India and the United States are the world’s two biggest democracies, but the world’s most populous country is China.
And is its economy has surged, it has begun to flex its muscles, pursuing territorial disputes with many of its neighbors.
India and China fought a war in 1962 and in April and May this year there was a three-week standoff after Chinese troops “intruded in Indian territory,” according to Indian officials.
Award-winning historian Margaret MacMillan — author of both “Nixon and Mao,” about the two leaders’ famous 1972 meeting, and “Women of the Raj,” about India during British rule — said she thought U.S.-Chinese relations had “proved to be disappointing for the Obama administration.”
The extended diplomatic push aimed at New Delhi might be a way of sending a message to Beijing, she said.
“It suggests to me the great Asian pivot with improved relations with China has turned out to be a bit of a bust,” said MacMillan, who is a professor at St. Anthony’s College, Oxford University.
However, she said the U.S. would probably try to avoid picking a side and stay in the middle.
“It’s a tricky game, but if you can be the power at the center and tilt to one side and the other, it actually gives you a lot of influence,” she said.
5. Biden might have some explaining to do
The somewhat gaffe-prone Biden declared in 2006 that “You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent ... I'm not joking.”
Biden’s staff later clarified he was praising the “vibrant” Indian-American community in Delaware, and making the point that along with engineers, scientists and physicians, there was a growing number of more middle-class people.
And then last year, he made headlines when he briefly appeared to imitate an Indian accent while talking about American job losses and overseas call centers last year.
Chellaney said Biden’s attempt at mimicry had been “front-page news” in India, but doubted it would cause any problems on his trip.
“The public memory in India is really short. Most people will have forgotten these incidents. I think he will be warmly received in India,” he said.
And Somers insisted Biden was “one of the best friends of India that has ever come from the United States,” noting his championing of the Indo-U.S. nuclear agreement.
And The Times of India was reasonably relaxed about Biden’s apparent mimicry, noting his “penchant for bloopers” and saying it was “mild” by his usual standards.