Category Archives: Saving the Culture

Shipwrecked

Bimini

 

I recently was blessed to hear from an old friend who attended a home fellowship group that I led more than twenty years ago. It was great to catch up on what had happened in the time that we had not been in touch as we had moved to another city to plant a new church. It was a blessing to learn that he was still walking with Jesus. It was sad to learn about others that we knew whose faith was shipwrecked. We did not get into a discussion about eternal security. We agreed that there are strong arguments on both sides of that issue. Whether the ones we spoke of were never really “saved” or whether they forfeited their salvation could not be known for sure on this side of eternity. But, it was sad to hear about people that we knew and who had some kind of testimony about a relationship with Jesus Christ and are now no longer walking with Him. We both expressed thanks that God had kept us in His care.

 

After we hung up I began to think about what was it that enabled me and my brother to persevere. I was reminded of the analogy of the three-legged stool. A stool with three solid legs will stand, but if you cut just one leg it will topple. It occurred to me that there are three aspects to the Christian faith that must be present in order to persevere.

 

First and foremost, the believer must keep their eyes, their mind, their life focused on Christ. He must always be the main focus and purpose of life. The letter to the Hebrews affirms this saying, “Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:1-2) Unfortunately, as in the parable of the seed, some people hear about Jesus and accept Him with enthusiasm, but when the care of life occur they take their eyes off of Christ. Perhaps they are drawn by promises of what Christ can do for them or by some outpouring of common grace such as a healing. But when difficult times come, and Jesus promised that they would, they are allured by Satan’s lie that Jesus is not the only way to God and they fall away. Jesus promised that we would have tribulation in this life. It is the Refiner’s fire. The Christian life does not get easier, in fact, as one matures it is often more difficult. It is like climbing a mountain. The higher one goes the harder it gets, but the view, real revelation and understanding, is priceless.

 

The second critical leg for the believer is fellowship. Again, Hebrews warns us not to forsake fellowship, relationship, with other believers, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Heb 10:25) Many people leave churches because they are offended in some way. Such people are focusing on others rather than Jesus. People are broken and will always disappoint, but leaving fellowship is not the solution. Maybe the Lord would have you in a different church, we’ve changed churches a few times, but staying away from church forever is dangerous. Sooner or later, that missing leg will cause your stool to tumble. You must understand that we are in a spiritual battle. The devil seeks to destroy every Christian. I was an Air Force pilot. When pilots go into combat, they fly in formation for mutual protection. Solo pilots get picked off. Every believer needs to be in a place where they can be discipled, hear the Word, worship with other believers and be encouraged and accountable.

 

The third leg is being in the Word. Regular scripture devotion is necessary for the believer to stay in fellowship with Christ. The importance of regularly hearing God’s Word is repeated in the scriptures. “But He (Jesus) said, No; rather, blessed are they who hear the Word of God and keep it.” (Luk 11:28) Ephesians outlines the spiritual armor that God provides us in our battle with the devil. It is the shield of faith that quenches the fiery darts (lies) of the enemy. And faith comes by hearing God’s Word. “Then faith is of hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” (Rom 10:17)

 

The Apostle Paul wrote to his spiritual son Timothy warning him about those whose faith had become shipwrecked. “This charge I commit to you, my son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before about you, in order that you might war a good warfare by them, holding faith and a good conscience, which some have put away and made shipwreck as to faith. Among these are Hymeneus and Alexander, whom I have delivered to Satan so that they may learn not to blaspheme.” (1Ti 1:18-20) Apparently, Hymeneus and Alexander had become blasphemers which is to say that they had spoken falsely of Christ. They had turned away from the clear doctrine of the faith established in God’s Word. One of the tragedies of some modern so-called Christians is that they have abandoned a belief in the inspiration and authority of God’s Word. They make themselves the judge and create a false Christ of their own making, which is blasphemy. Paul continued to instruct Timothy, “Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” (2Ti 2:15) God’s Word is the only source of all truth. Regular meditation on God’s Word is necessary for remaining in the faith. “But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God is perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.” (1Jn 2:5)

 

 

The Foundation of Worship & Intercession

Fire From heaven

 

 

“And when He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stood before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer. And many incenses were given to him, so that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints on the golden altar before the throne. And the smoke of the incense which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God from the angel’s hand. And the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar, and cast it into the earth. And voices and thunderings and lightnings and an earthquake occurred.” (Rev 8:1-5)

 

There is silence in heaven, in dreadful anticipation, trembling suspense in view of judgment about to be poured out. The prayers of the saints are offered as a sacrifice on the altar. The altar pictured here is the altar of sacrifice situated before entry to the inner sanctuary. In response, the angel casts fire from heaven.

The context in revelation 8 is fires of judgment. The earth will undergo a baptism of fire. “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” [2Peter 3:7] The fires of judgment fall on those who reject God’s offer of mercy and refuse to repent. God’s merciful wrath is meant to drive men to their knees before it is too late. Fire has a purifying effect. It burns up anything impure. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.” (Malachi 3:2 MKJV)

There is also fire of purification and empowerment that comes upon those who do believe and repent. It is like the coal put to Isaiah’s lips. (Isa. 6:6) It is fire from the same altar. And this word, ‘Yet once more,’ signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, so that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, for also, ‘Our God is a consuming fire.’ (Hebrews 12:27-29 MKJV) “each one’s work shall be revealed. For the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try each one’s work as to what kind it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:13 MKJV) This reminds us of the tongues of fire that fell on the disciples at Pentecost when they were baptized with the Holy Spirit and power. Pentecost symbolizes more power, more grace. The empowering fire of His Spirit doesn’t come without the purifying fire. It’s the same fire! It has different results on different people. For people of faith who repent, the fire of God purifies and empowers. It brings life rather than death. For unbelievers who are stiff necked and refuse to repent, the fire of God consumes their destructible flesh. In the resurrection (yes, they get resurrected bodies too, see Rev. 20:5, 15), they burn forever because they are unable to be purified, having refused to conform their hearts and will to God’s love.

 

The fire is a response to the prayers of the saints. We pray, “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” Do we really want to see revival? Do we really want souls redeemed? Do we really want to see God glorified? Then, we must have fire from heaven! If we want fire to fall from heaven, then all saints must pray. Our incense must reach the altar. Why do we worship? Why do we intercede? It is necessary to accomplish the commission and vision God has given us. It results in God being made manifest or glorified.

 

“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire. And those who had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are Your ways, O King of saints. Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You only are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your righteousnesses were made known. And after these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony was opened in Heaven.” (Revelation 15:2-5 MKJV)

 

This is true worship. Worship opens the way into the holy of holies, the place where we meet God. Worship begins with praise, thanks and adoration. To be passionate for God, one must be able to express emotion. We should worship because it comes from the heart. It must be more than just an act of the will. Jesus said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Mt. 15:8) David was passionate. He danced before God. His wife, Michal mocked him and was judged for it; she remained barren as a sign of her spiritual barrenness. The symbolism is obvious; there will be no fruit without passion. The Holy Spirit is restoring intimacy to our worship; there is a God orchestrated shift to songs like the Psalms directed to God as opposed to songs about Him as though He were not in our midst. Real passion for God should create new songs. New expressions of love and adoration are fresh bread to our spirits. We glorify God by enjoying Him. We should seek Him hedonistically like a thirsty deer seeks a stream, for the joy of knowing Him. Selfish interest for this kind of pleasure is a gift from God.

 

 

 

The Marriage Covenant

Covenant

 

God created man because of His nature. God is creative. He is love, He loves and love always wants to expand community. Thus, His first and last command is to be fruitful and multiply, that is to be like Him. Man can’t do this alone. Genesis states that it wasn’t good for Adam to be alone. Man was created for relationship, first with God and then with each other. In both the Old Testament and the New Testament God uses the analogy of the marriage covenant to illustrate His relationship with His people.

Kingdom relationships are based upon covenant, a mutual agreement of commitment. Covenant is God’s way of protecting relationships. His commitment to faithfulness is total. He wants the same from us. God keeps His covenant in spite of our failure. Covenant is not the same as a contract. In a contract, if the conditions are not met, it nullifies the contract. We live in a world estranged from covenant keeping and commitment. In fact we might say that covenant breaking is the foundation of all sin and because of sin, Christ died. He offered His own body as a sacrifice to restore relationship or covenant.

People often want the benefits of a relationship without commitment. They want sex without consequences. The high divorce rate in our culture reflects an attitude that doesn’t value commitment and covenants. Satan is attacking marriages, especially Christian marriages like never before. Now, he is even influencing our society to re-define the institution of marriage.  Why? It is because Christian marriages are intended to reflect the relationship between Christ and His church. Satan seeks to destroy that testimony. In today’s secular culture, marriage is considered to be a contract sanctioned by the state. This is far from the truth. Marriage was ordained by God. We often hear distortions of the marriage institution such as people living together and claiming that they are married “in God’s eyes.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Marriage in God’s eyes requires biblical covenant. Without that, such people are nothing more than fornicators. In fact, people with a marriage license from the state who have no relationship with God or His church are not married in God’s eyes. They are also fornicators. People, even Christians, believe that divorce occurs when one gets approval from the state. Wrong! Divorce occurs in God’s eyes when the covenant is broken. If there is no biblical covenant, there is no marriage or divorce. On the other hand, if there is a biblical marriage covenant, divorce occurs when the covenant is broken, not when the state says so. You can read more of my thoughts on divorce here.

We must overcome the works of darkness by the power of the Holy Spirit enabling us to live in accord with God’s principles and redemptive order. In Genesis 15 there is an account of God making a covenant with Abraham. “After these things the Word of Jehovah came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I am your shield and your exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what will You give me, since I am going childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, You have given no seed to me. And behold, one born in my house is my heir. And behold, the Word of Jehovah came to him saying, This one shall not be your heir. But he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir. And He brought him outside and said, Look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them. And He said to him, So shall your seed be. And he believed in Jehovah. And He counted it to him for righteousness. And He said to him, I am Jehovah that brought you out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give you this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it? And He said to him, Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took all these to himself, and divided them in the middle, and laid each piece against one another; but he did not divide the birds. And when the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. And it happened as the sun was setting, and a deep sleep fell upon Abram. And, behold, a horror of great darkness fell upon him! And He said to Abram, You must surely know that your seed shall be a stranger in a land not theirs, and shall serve them. And they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also I will judge that nation whom they shall serve. And afterward they shall come out with great substance. And you shall go to your fathers in peace. You shall be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come here again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full. And it happened, the sun went down, and it was dark and behold, a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp passed between those pieces. In the same day Jehovah made a covenant with Abram, saying, I have given this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the giants, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.” (Gen 15:1-21) We can observe here that the covenant involved a promise, a public testimony, a sign, and a penalty for violation. The ritual of sacrificing an animal and walking between the pieces was a traditional middle eastern tradition. The one making the promise would swear an oath to become like the sacrificed animals should he violate the covenant.

A covenant requires a public testimony before witnesses and God. To have the blessing of God it must be blessed by God’s instrument on earth, His church. A biblical covenant is remembered by a sign, such as a ring, a handshake, the cross, or bread and wine. God established standards of behavior to protect covenant. Breaking a covenant necessitates forgiveness. The Word of God tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no justice or payment for sin. In biblical culture, a covenant was sealed by a blood sacrifice. The covenant was taken seriously and was considered to be permanent.

At Calvary God offered His own body to seal the covenant of redemption. God’s redemptive process holds out the possibility of restoration of the original partnership that God created between Himself and man as well as between all mankind, including marriage partners.

God teachers us that there a four requirements for a marriage to succeed. There must be severance, permanence, unity and intimacy. When questioned about marriage Jesus referred to Genesis and His Father’s original command, saying, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.” (Gen 2:24) The loyalty and fealty to one’s birth family must be severed. This doesn’t mean a breaking of relationship, but rather the forming of a new loyalty. Marriage is intended to be a permanent covenant. The unity and intimacy of the marriage relationship is intended to reflect the unity and intimacy of the Trinity and the unity and intimacy of Christ and His bride, the church.

 

 

The Truth About Divorce

Divorce

 

As described in God’s word, marriage is intended to be a life long covenant. A true biblical covenant is witnessed and confirmed in submission to God ordained authority, that is, the church. A wedding is a public expression of commitment. Marriage is intended to be a reflection of God’s relationship with His people. It should be public and permanent. When Jesus spoke on marriage, He referred back to the creation account: “A man will leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24) This creation account reveals an intended progression. Leaving comes first. It implies a public act of commitment first. Then there is uniting. This is more than just sex. It involves communion. Only then do the two become one. Marriage is God’s plan for commitment. It is not just a piece of paper as some so glibly state in seeking to dodge commitment.

The hypocritical Pharisees came to Jesus with a question about divorce in order to entrap Him. Their hearts were cold and selfish. They were really not interested in the truth. It is interesting that the word “divorce” is only found in seven verses of scripture; in Jeremiah 3:8, God says He divorced Israel. Did God sin?

In the sermon on the mount (Mt. 5:31) Jesus addressed the issue of men divorcing their wives. He makes reference to the civil law given for the now defunct theocracy (Deut. 24). This law was established by God to protect women. In their culture only men could divorce their wives, not the reverse. Women were treated like property. By Jesus’ day, Jewish men had so abused the letter of the law that men were divorcing their wives for burning dinner. So, Jesus addressed this issue to men in order to prevent these easy divorces, which were perverting God’s original intent. He is saying that men should only divorce their wives if they have been sexually unfaithful, thus alluding to the practical reality that women do not usually do the kinds of things that constitute separation without becoming intimate with another man. For example, Jesus didn’t address the issue of physical abuse. Does God want spouses to stay in a relationship where they get beat? I don’t think so. But the reality is, most women don’t beat their husbands.

Matthew 19 recounts the incident where the hypocritical Pharisees (a very religious, legalistic sect who made all of the appearance of being “holy”, but who Paul correctly pointed out were like white washed tombs full of dead men’s bones) tried to entrap Jesus with a question about divorce: “And the Pharisees came to Him, tempting Him and saying to Him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?” (Matthew 19:3 MKJV). Legally, the letter of the law (Deut. 24) did allow them to divorce a woman for any reason. But they missed the Spirit and intent of the law! Jesus answers the question by referring them back to God’s original plan for marriage recounted in Genesis 2, which was that the two should become one forever. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Matthew 19:6 MKJV) Notice that Jesus does not use the word “divorce.” That was a legal shadow that the Pharisees were hiding behind, but, as usual, Jesus goes to the heart of the issue. The issue is not a legal document made by man, but who is causing the separation of the two that God intended to be one. The legalistic hypocrites always point to the only reason that God permits divorce for, but they don’t know God or His heart. If a man is beating his wife regularly, they would say, “That’s not a cause for divorce.” But the truth is that the two are already separated as far as god is concerned! Going to court doesn’t make the reality, it only confirms it! Preachers are commonly heard to say, “God hates divorce!” I hate to disillusion you, but that is not specifically in scripture. Divorce is not listed in Proverbs 6 as one of the seven things that God hates. The truth is that God hates all sin and all covenant breaking. He has a solution, which is yielding to the lordship of Jesus Christ and relying upon His sacrifice for you sins. Forgiveness and restoration can only be found by faith in Christ.

If you want to know what God’s will is for husbands, read Ephesians 5:25 and following verses. He expects you to love your wife as Christ loves the church. He expects you, not her, to die to your own selfish desires. Do you know how God wants you to handle the property issue? God wants you to give it all to her, because you love her and are willing to die for her.

Have You Been Offended?

offended

Have you ever been offended by a friend? David was. He thought King Saul was his friend. He had done nothing to hurt Saul and yet Saul was seeking to kill him. Listen to David’s lament: “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” (Ps. 55:12-14)
Jesus said that offenses must come. (Luke 17:1) What a strange statement. What did He mean? He understands our fallen human nature and He knows that we will sin against one another. But He uses our failings and the failings of those around us to refine us; to make us and mold us into His image as the potter does to clay.
Offenses are part of a trap that the devil uses to put people in bondage. Offense is the bait. If you consume the bait (feed on it in our hearts), you become caught in a trap that leads to bad results: bitterness, unforgiveness, betrayal and even revenge. Hurt people erect walls, their love grows cold, and often they betray friends. Harboring an offense blinds you to your own sin because you’re always blaming others. It is the heat of trials which separates the impurities such as bitterness from our character. God created us to reflect who He is. Unless we’re pure, we can’t do that.
Some offended people have been treated unfairly. David and Joseph are two examples from scripture. Joseph was betrayed by his brothers because they were offended over his dreams. So, they sold him into slavery in Egypt. But, unfair treatment is no excuse to become bitter or hang on to an offense. David was betrayed by Saul. Jesus was betrayed by Judas. They forgave and refused to become bitter. Unconditional love allows others to hurt us. The more we are dead to our selfish interests, the less it hurts when people treat us wrongly. David didn’t take revenge when given the opportunity to kill Saul. Jesus trusted His Father to judge those who persecuted Him. (1Pt 2:21-23)
Escape the trap: forgive! God won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others (Mt. 6:14-15). We’ve offended God more than anyone has offended us and He forgives ( Eph 4:32).
How do we forgive? Joseph demonstrated it (Gen 50: 15-21). He forgave his brothers. He said, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good.” He recognized that God had a plan for his life and that he would redeem his own suffering in order to help others. What great faith! Offenses hurt, but God has a plan to use it for good; to refine you.
Sometimes you need to put words to it in faith. You have to say that you forgive even when you may not feel it. You must ask God to change your heart. He tells us to overcome evil with good; reach out in loving action.
How many times do you forgive someone? Jesus said, “seventy times seven.” In other words, forgiveness should be granted without limits. If you’re counting, then you have missed the point. Reap the benefits of freedom; restored fellowship.

Teamwork

Teamwork

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. … For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, ….” Romans 12:1-8
Teamwork is characteristic of people in covenant. All fruitful spiritual action comes out of relationship God works as a team. Jesus only did what the father showed Him to do. (Jn 5:19)
Have you ever observed a crew team of rowers. A successful team must work together in perfect timing and rhythm following the cadence of the skipper. Can you imagine what would happen if they all decided to “do their own thing”? It would be a disaster. An interesting thing happens when they reach racing speed. The hull rises up as the boat hydro-planes. By teamwork, the whole ship is raised up. It should be just so with the church. Even though we may have different roles and functions, we all still need to work together as a team. In basketball each player has a different role. If one player did all of the scoring, it would be easy to defend against him or her. But if we’re all doing our part, it’s much easier to score.
God’s plan is to work through the church. (Eph 3:10) We are part of a body, members of one another (Ro 12:4). We may have different types of ministries and gifts, but all are intended to build up the church. (Eph 4:11-16) We all need to serve in some manner. The quantity of work is not as important as embracing a clearly designated responsibility.
There is a spiritual principle of agreement whereby there is an exponential release of power when we work together in agreement. “One will put a thousand to flight, but two will put ten thousand to flight.” Dt. 32:30 (Mt. 18:19-20) That is why it is so important to attend corporate worship. God doesn’t call us together to worship because He is some kind of egomaniac or because He is insecure and needing our praise. God needs nothing. Corporate worship is not just for individual edification. God calls us to worship Him as a body because there is a greater anointing when more of us are gathered together. We receive a greater blessing by gathering together to worship Him. We will experience greater growth and maturity by making a firm commitment to one congregation.
Additionally, by working together as a team, we reap the advantage of mutual protection. We are in a spiritual war. Jesus sent out His disciples in pairs. We need each other in this spiritual battle.
In order to work as a team, we must adopt the attitude, mindset and heart of a team player. We must adopt a goal for the good of the team versus individual achievement. We must have a commitment to working together.
The mission of the church is to fulfill the great commission by making disciples and teaching them to observe all things that Jesus taught. We will fulfill that vision as we work together as a team, giving of our time, treasures and talents.

The Politics of Fear

We are witnessing one of the most peculiar and painful elections in our history. The two major parties have nominated two of the most flawed candidates with higher negatives than any candidate in recent memory. This is reflected in the polls. A recent IPSOS poll puts Clinton at 42%, Trump at 32%, Johnson at 15% and other at 8%. What is amazing is that a large segment of the support for the major party candidates, Trump and Clinton, is with reservation. I would guess that 60 – 70% of the voting population is unhappy with the crap sandwich that the established parties have presented us. Many folks at both ends of the political spectrum can be heard to say that Trump or Clinton was not their first choice but that they have to vote for them because the other would be a tragedy.

Such is the politics of fear. This strategy is not new to politics. It is generally utilized to establish despotic regimes. Truly, there is plenty of evidence on either side to inspire regret. Clinton’s career is littered with lies and corruption from Whitewater to Benghazi to Emailgate to selling influence through the Clinton Foundation.  The Clintons probably have more dead former associates than many mafia figures. Donald Trump does not inspire much trust either. He ran one of the sleaziest campaigns ever, using his friend at the National Enquirer to falsely smear his opponent and his family. He has a history of being a liberal Democrat, but we are to believe that he has had an epiphany even though he has changed his position during the campaign on just about every issue of importance to conservatives. One day he is pro-life and the next day he praises Planned Parenthood for the great work they do. Planned Parenthood kills children and no amount of birth control or screenings could make up for that. Any real pro-life person would know that. Can you really trust such a man?

Depending on who you listen to we are to believe that if Trump or Clinton becomes President, it will be the end of America. I have to admit that I thought Obama would be the end of America. He did transform America into something less safe, less prosperous and less moral, but by the forbearance of God America still survives. A wise pastor friend of mine said that Hillary is not the biggest threat to America, but disobedience to God is. And the same could be said of Trump. So, if the next President appoints radical leftists to the Supreme Court, are they going to strip us of our liberties? 25 million Americans own guns. Good luck trying to get them. They won’t get mine, Molon Labe! You would have a hard time finding a sheriff who believes that gun confiscation is feasible. The court, mostly Republican appointees, has overthrown practically every thread of moral decency we have. Sodomites can marry. Perverts can go in the restroom with your little girl. It’s permissible to chop up babies in the womb and sell their parts. What’s left? God is already judging this land for the innocent bloodshed and evil that we permit and if we don’t repent, it won’t matter who the President or Supreme Court is.

Lately I’ve been hearing some of the talking heads in so-called “conservative” talk radio already blaming the Never Trump crowd for electing Hillary. Again, the appeal to the politics of fear threatens us. I suspect that if every Never Trumper voted for Trump it wouldn’t change the outcome either way. Didn’t Trump say he didn’t need them? The truth is he will probably need many more than that group. Instead of blaming people for obeying their conscience, they should be blaming the fools who nominated this jerk.

There is a remnant of God fearing people in America who are seeking to do what they believe God would want and they shouldn’t be cajoled by fear mongers, regardless of their decision. If you are curious about God’s direction on choosing leaders for a nation read Exodus 18:21. “And you shall look out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating unjust gain. And place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” There you have it. God is not saying that you must select one without sin or that you have to elect a pastor. He has four criteria: that the person is God fearing, capable, truthful and just. That’s it! If you want to obey God, then decide if your candidate meets those criteria.

From what I’m seeing, a majority of Americans are not happy with the major party candidates. If a majority rejected both it would lead to the greatest political shake-up since the civil war. If we all came to the realization that both parties are part of the same corrupt establishment we might be able to have better choices available to us.

 

 

Why This Former Republican is Voting None of the Above

GOP

I’ve been a lifelong Republican. My first election was 1968. I voted for Nixon. I’ve voted in every election since for the Republican. I held my nose for Bush Read My Lips, for Dole, Mc Cain and Romney. This year I supported Ted Cruz. I’m done. I want to echo what I heard one friend say, “If we vote for Trump we will need to apologize to Bill Clinton.” Why? We said that “character matters”. And none of the candidates has the moral character to lead our nation.

Hillary Clinton is a criminal and a liar. Donald Trump is an unrepentant serial adulterer, strip club and casino owner who lies about half of the time that he opens his mouth. He has switched his position on every major issue of importance to conservatives at least one time. He is a rude, crass bully. Donald Trump is a liberal New York Democrat and he won’t be getting my vote. I’ll be writing in Ted Cruz. It’s not a wasted vote and it’s not a vote for Hillary. If a majority of voters, both Republican and Democrat, rejected both of these candidates, they would not receive sufficient electoral votes to be elected. That would send the most powerful message that the political class has ever heard.

Not only will I be #Noneoftheabove (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1078315025573152/?ref=bookmarks) in my selection of President, but I will do likewise for the Senate and Congressional election. I recently changed my registration to “None.” I won’t be voting for Democrats because they are big government socialists, union tools and immoral on social issues like abortion. But, I won’t be voting for the old Chuckwagon Grassley or for Shaft Rod Blum either.

Let me cite some personal history with Grassley and Blum. In 2008, I wrote and I called Grassley. I begged him not to vote for the Wall St bank bailout. If you’ve seen the movie “The Big Short” you know how the Wall St. banks like Goldman Sachs were responsible for the 2008 financial crisis. I lost $30,000 in my 401k in one day. But, the banks got bailed out. Their irresponsible behavior didn’t cost them a dime. Grassley voted for the bailout. He later repented with crocodile tears, so I gave him another chance in 2010. In 2010 and 2014 the GOP promised to stop Obama’s big government agenda and we gave them complete control of Congress. Not a dime of our taxes can be spent without Congressional approval. But, because the Republicans are afraid of the media and Obama they bent over and rubber stamped everything he wanted.

I watched the Center for Medical Progress videos revealing that Planned Parenthood is selling aborted baby parts. This evil organization should not receive federal money for anything that it does. Earlier this year Senator Ted Cruz had a brilliant plan to defund Planned Parenthood. He was proposing an amendment to the Transportation appropriation. This was a measure that Obama and the Democrats desperately wanted. It would have made it very difficult for Democrats to filibuster the measure of for Obama to veto it. But, Lying Mitch RINO McConnell would not allow the amendment to come to a vote. Cruz only needed ten Senators to suspend the rule and get a vote. I called both Grassley and Ernst and begged them to support Senator Cruz. They did not. Subsequently, with typical political deceitfulness, Ernst offered a stand-alone defund measure that she and everyone else in Congress knew would never have enough votes (60) to pass a Democrat filibuster. She wasn’t fooling me.

Last year Congress gave Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership. TPA virtually assures passage of TPP by allowing a simple majority vote on TPP without amendments. TPP is one of those treaties that has been kept secret, but it is reported that it would permit foreign companies to open businesses here and import their own foreign labor. I called Rod Blum and begged him not to support TPA, but Rod Shaft Blum ignored me and gave Obama everything he wanted. Well, it’s pay-back time.

I will write-in Ted Cruz for President, Pastor Cary Gordon for Senator and Steve Sherman for Congress.

Why Worldview Matters

And why both the West and Islam are destined for destruction

The world can be divided between east and west and their respective view with regard to what is the ultimate or eternal reality? Eastern thinking says the permanent reality is the spiritual realm. The west says that this physical world is the final reality. Eastern religions including biblical Christianity consider the physical realm to be a temporary reality (and I say biblical because much of modern western Christianity is not biblical).

Judaism, Christianity and Islam all had their roots in eastern thinking. In eastern thinking, one’s belief about God and the spiritual realm dictated every aspect of life including sexuality, family, marriage, children, education, work, government. In ancient eastern cultures wars were a natural occurrence as an expression of the conflict between differing beliefs about God. The wars between Israel and Egypt are only one example of a world that was constantly at war. They fought over whose god was God? There could be no compromise. They could not coexist since allegiance to their god was total. There was no pluralism or multiculturalism.

In contrast modern western culture, with the exception of what would be called derogatorily “fundamentalists” (see, all eastern thinkers are “fundamentalists”), see the physical realm as the primary or (depending on whether or not one is “religious”), the only reality. To the westerner, religion or spirituality or what one believes about God is something reserved for an occasional worship service or discussion. For most westerners, except for those weird fundamentalists, one’s beliefs about God have nothing to do with sex, family, marriage, education, children, work, recreation or government.

Western culture was formed by the humanist tradition, which places man at the pinnacle of the evolutionary ladder. The idea of God as Creator is rejected. (It is surprising how many western so-called Christians believe in the theory of evolution) Humanism is an outgrowth of Greek culture and philosophy and I don’t mean by that early Greek polytheism. The early Greek philosophers, Aristotle, Plato and Socrates sowed the seeds of humanism and it was this Greek philosophy that was adopted by the ruling Roman class (not to be confused with the lower class polytheists). The Roman generals and Senate did not believe in any god other than themselves. Emperor worship was simply a utilitarian strategy for maintaining allegiance of and power over the lower classes. (It is interesting that the prophet Daniel’s vision of the northern conquering king, possibly Roman and a type of the anti-Christ to come speaks of a man who has no regard for any god. “He will not regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god. For he shall magnify himself above all. But in his place he shall honor the god of forces; and a god whom his fathers did not know, he shall honor with gold and silver, and with precious stones and desirable things.”(Dan 11:37-38)

The Roman state was the first humanist empire. It’s religion was power. To the western mindset, dying for the glory of one’s God is ridiculous. Westerners will fight for power, money, love, family or patriotism* (note that all those things relate to human desires), but not for God. A westerner really doesn’t care what his neighbor believes about God. Thus, the later emperors could tolerate Jews and Christians as long as they didn’t allow “kingdom” thinking to influence their politics. Thus began the beginning of compromise for western Christians.

Humanism began to influence western Christianity when the Roman Catholic Church became the establishment and adopted Aristotelian philosophy. Humanistic philosophy strengthened the idea of an all powerful Pope. The purpose of such a leadership structure is ultimate power. As the Roman church drifted away from biblical Christianity and toward humanism it lost its foundational principles. As with any human institution ruled by corrupt man, the more powerful it became, the more corrupt it was.

As the church left its first love and became corrupt, God, in His sovereign mercy, contained the cancer to keep it from spreading by surrounding it with a different eastern religion known as Islam. The followers of this new religion were willing to fight and die for their god. Romans would fight for money or power, but were hesitant to die for it.

The Protestant reformation was a response to the corruption of the Roman church and was marked by a return to scripture only. This renewed obedience to scripture led to a missionary zeal that had been non-existent in the Roman church. By Divine providence, Islam receded to allow the biblical Christian gospel to be carried to the New World**. But, in the western world, the Christian faith continued to encounter conflicting beliefs as the enlightenment and age of reason swept Europe. The enlightenment was characterized by a renewed interest in ancient Greek humanist philosophy and the age of reason ushered in more skepticism about matters of faith. This skepticism eventually manifested itself in the form of what became known as “higher criticism” in examining the scriptures. This is nothing more than the exaltation of man’s wisdom and the denigration of inspired scripture. The fruit of this has been the death of the Protestant church in Europe.

As humanism or western thinking continued to grow in Europe the governments and the church became increasingly corrupt as all human institutions will. Where man is the be all and end all, sin will abound. In response, many fundamentalist bible believing Christians fled to the New World to escape. Consequently, the New World was fertile ground for the Great Awakenings that birthed the evangelical church in the west. The First Great Awakening was the impetus for the American Revolution as freedom loving Americans rejected the rule of a corrupt monarch. But, even as the new revolution succeeded, the seeds of conflict with humanism were being sown. Most early governments of the colonies had been based upon biblical law, but the new constitution was more a product of the enlightenment than the Bible. Thus began a government of “We the people” as opposed to a government under God. The new government was no longer dedicated to Jesus Christ but would be the greatest humanist government ever.

Not surprisingly, today one of the great challenges facing western culture is the renewed threat of fundamentalist Islam. It is a mystery to the western thinker. They seem to come out of the dark ages. They are fanatically committed to their god in every area of their lives. They will commit suicide for their god. Westerners don’t know how to deal with this. We throw armies and bombs at them in their own land, but they keep coming back. And then, because we hold no allegiance to any religion, because we value “diversity”, we allow them to come to our country to kill us. We die from our own ignorance of who and what we are fighting. Our leaders tell us that Islam is a religion of peace. Our leaders lie. Islam is war. Real Muslims, the ones who believe the Koran, the ones who are eastern thinkers, know that. We think that we can westernize Muslims and we may succeed with some. We may get some of them to reject their holy book in favor of McDonalds, but they will still go to mosque where the preacher is an eastern thinker and he will shame them. They will never rat on their eastern combatants. The west will continue to experience horrific attacks until someday our leaders believe it is a threat to their power and fortune and then we will obliterate them from the earth with lasers and bombs from the heavens. The Muslims will end like the Jews on Masada who thought they were safe until Roman technology conquered them.

So, today, the western Christian church is in conflict. Bible believing Christians in the west live in a culture which is thoroughly humanistic. With regard to sexuality, marriage, education or the sanctity of life, we are in conflict with the culture we live in. Some refer to a culture war, but the sad news is that the Bible is in conflict with the prevailing views of our culture. We live in a post-Christian culture. How has this impacted the church? The Roman church is as corrupt as it ever was. It is riddled with pedophiles in the pastorate. It continues its incestuous relationships with humanist governments. Mainline older Protestant churches have succumbed to unbelief grown out of their higher criticism and continually affirm allegiance to the ideas of the unbiblical doctrines of the humanist culture. The evangelical church in the west is infected with antinomian (rejection of God’s law) belief because the law of God is incompatible with our culture and makes us uncomfortable. American Christians for the most part believe and act more like westerners than their Christian founders who were eastern. We claim allegiance in church on Sunday, but rarely does our faith have any impact on the way we live.

I liken the western world, specifically America, to the Buddhist monks who self immolate in protest. We live in a suicidal culture. The demise of the west is inherent in its secular humanist philosophy. The arrogance and idolatry of man worship will surely be judged by God. There is no question in my mind that western society is the anti-Christ system. What is anti-Christ but man claiming to be God? That is humanism. “Here is the wisdom. Let him having reason count the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. And its number is six hundred and sixty-six.” (Rev 13:18)

Those who seek to be faithful to God must reject this culture. And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you may not be partakers of her sins, and that you may not receive of her plagues.” (Rev 18:4) You must decide that Jesus Christ is the ultimate reality that governs every aspect of your life. You must realize that Jesus is not an American. He is not multi-cultural. He said He is the only way. He is intolerant of sin. He is holy and has shown us what He expects in His law. You are saved by His grace, by His sacrifice for your sins, but you are not saved to live like a pagan. America, western society, says all religions are valid. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” America says that casual sex is a recreational activity with anyone you want regardless of gender. Jesus says that sex is a gift of intimacy for a man and woman committed to marriage for life. America says to educate your children in the ways of the world in government schools. Jesus says to train your children in His ways. American education mocks and maligns Jesus and His ways. America has no respect for life or private property. Jesus values life from the womb to the tomb. Jesus says, “Do not steal.” America says that Jesus has no place in politics. Jesus calls you to choose men of Christian character. America elevates the braggart, the arrogant, the liar and the pompous. Choose this day whom you will serve for Christ is coming soon and He will judge with righteousness.

*It is a sad thing when western troops return from combat disillusioned. Many go off to war to fight for country or freedom only to discover that their leaders only concern is their own power, that their government does not really care about them or defeating the enemy. Their leaders are humanists who worship themselves, having no higher principles and are frequently corrupt.

**The decline of Islam can be attributed to both the stupidity of its rulers and to advances of western technology in warfare; Islam’s rejection of science as a “western” endeavor was and is a fatal weakness that led to its demise and will lead to its future demise; the rejection of science is not necessarily an eastern concept; early Egyptians and Chinese were fervent scientists while holding fast to their belief in the preeminence of the spiritual realm.