Exposing the Darkness

June 30, 2008 at 9:34 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It should be no surprise, but it seems that it is getting more and more common to hear famous and powerful people twisting scripture for their own means. It has also gotten much more common to hear those speaking the truth getting criticized and attacked. This was foretold in scripture and will continue until the return of the Lord. The most surprising part of all of this is that more of the attacking is coming from people who call themselves Christians.

 

One case that comes to mind quickly is the exchange between Barack Obama and Dr. James Dobson. Recently, Dr. Dobson spoke out against Obama and his mangling of the scripture to support his political agenda. Obama’s camp return the criticism saying that Dr. Dobson was doing it “for his own purposes” and that someone would be “hard-pressed to prove” that he was twisting scripture. The attacks didn’t come from Obama and his staff alone though. They also came from prominent “Christian” “pastors” who support Barack Obama. They said that Dobson was out of line for his comments and that the political arena is a place of higher standards.

 

Personally, I don’t believe that Barack Obama is a Christian so I can understand why he has no understanding of scripture or reverence for it. It is the men and women who call themselves Christians that I am aggravated with. These are people that are supposed to have a reverence for God’s Word. God has put His Word above His Name. If this is true and the punishment for blaspheming the Name of God is death, then what kind of reverence should we be showing the Word? And yet, there are a number of pastors who support Barack Obama. Why? What is it about Obama that these men and women support him? They are supposed to be Christians and stand for the truth, but they are supporting a man who not only doesn’t revere God’s truth, but he actively goes against it! Do these “Christians” not care about what God’s Word says? Are they seeking fame and prestige by connecting themselves to the person they think will be president? If they were truly Christians, then why would they subordinate God’s Word for any reason? They should know that it’s the absolute truth. They should put it above their ambitions and desires. But they don’t.

 

Dr. Dobson has taken a lot of flack from “Christians” for calling Barack Obama on his terrible use of scripture. He has had people who are supposed to be “brothers” and “sisters” turn on him. What Dr. Dobson did is something that Christians should be doing daily. When I read the story about Dr. Dobson and Barack Obama, I immediately thought of Ephesians 5. Those that support Obama and know Ephesians 5 will probably focus on the first few verses. Those verses say:

 

Eph 5:1  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;

Eph 5:2  and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

 

Those who support Barack Obama will say that Dr. Dobson wasn’t walking in love when he said those things about Obama. They’ve said that his attack on Obama’s use of scripture was uncalled for. They will completely ignore much of what scripture says about the things that Obama is doing with scripture. Again, I have to ask why?

 

What these “Christians” don’t seem to understand is the next part of Ephesians 5:

 

Eph 5:3  But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints;

Eph 5:4  and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

Eph 5:5  For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

Eph 5:6  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Eph 5:7  Therefore do not be partakers with them;

Eph 5:8  for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Eph 5:9  (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),

Eph 5:10  trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

Eph 5:11  Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

 

What I believe Dr. Dobson has done is made an effort to expose the darkness. Some may think that is a little harsh, but I disagree. I don’t know Barack Obama personally and know nothing of his personal life. I don’t know if he participates in immorality or greed or any of the other things listed here, but I do know that he supports them. He is one of the most pro-homosexual presidential candidates we have ever had. He is also pro-abortion. These things are enough for me to make my conclusions. They are also the basis of my inability to understand why anyone who names the name of Christ could possibly vote for Obama.

 

I’ve been over this many times already, but the Bible makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination in the sight of God. He condemns it as such in Leviticus 18:22. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality in Genesis 19. It is the same in the New Testament. In Romans 1:20-32, Paul describes the sin of homosexuality. He says that it is impure (v. 24), that it dishonors the body [which is made in the image of God] (v.24), that those who practice homosexuality have exchanged the truth for a lie (v. 25), that it is a degrading passion (v. 26), that it is exchanging the natural function for something unnatural (v. 26), that it is an indecent act (v. 27), that those who practice homosexuality no longer acknowledge God (v. 28), that God has given them over to a depraved mind [because of their lack of acknowledgement of Him] (v. 28), that they do things which are not proper (v. 28), and that they are filled with unrighteousness (v. 29). In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Paul gives a list of unrighteous deeds that will keep someone from entering heaven. Homosexuality is among them. One of the things that Paul says here is an admonition to his readers not to be deceived. Those who practice any of these things (including homosexuality) will not inherit the kingdom of God. In 1 Timothy 1:8-10, Paul talks about whom the Law is for. He says that it is not for the righteous, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane. He then gets specific about some of these types of people. Homosexuality is included in this list. Not only that, but Paul says that these things go against sound teaching! How can there be churches/”Christians” who allow homosexuality or support it when scripture says that it is against sound teaching? If it’s not sound teaching, then we shouldn’t be having anything to do with it, should we? If I can find this in scripture by myself, without any sort of seminary training at all, then why does it seem so hard for “pastors” and other “Christians” to be able to find or understand this? God’s Word says that homosexuality is wrong and as Christians we should not support it. What is so hard to understand about this?

 

Barack Obama also supports abortion without limits. While there are some who consider homosexuality to be a gray issue (which it’s not as I just showed above), I don’t understand at all how a “Christian” could support abortion. It just completely boggles my mind. Scripture makes it clear that we are formed/fashioned in the womb by God (Job 31:15, Ps. 139:13-16, Is. 44:2, 24, Is. 49:1, Jer. 1:5). It is also evident that those in the womb are more than just a “blob of tissue”, that they are human beings. Because of this, abortion is murder. Ironically, those who disagree with this do so for the same reasons that the “pastors” defend things that are unscriptural; because they want things their own way instead of God’s. Exodus 20:13 says, “You shall not murder”. Exodus 21:22-25 contain the famous “eye for an eye” verse of scripture. What most people don’t seem to realize is that the context of the verse is when men kill the child in the womb. God says that those who kill the unborn in the womb should be punished life for life. God obviously sees the unborn as human beings.

 

While there are passages of scripture that are hard to understand, none of those listed above are included. If I can understand it, then there isn’t any reason that someone else can’t either. God makes it clear how he feels about both issues. For someone to go against those clear declarations is to go against God Himself. If you’re against God, then are you a Christian? The question isn’t whether or not you think that scripture says that homosexuality and abortion are wrong, it’s about the fact that God says that they’re wrong and you need to decide whether or not you will abide by the truth or do what pleases you.

 

While I talked about Barack Obama and James Dobson, they were just an example. This sort of thing applies to everyone. If someone claims to be a Christian and they support things that are unscriptural, then either they are deceived or they’re not a Christian. While it is up to everyone to study for themselves, I feel that a large part of the blame should be laid at the feet of “pastors” who preach and teach whatever “the Lord” leads them to preach, even when it goes against scripture. More and more churches today are filled with “pastors” who are looking for large congregations and emotional highs. More and more today churches are being filled with people who have an “understanding” of scripture that isn’t even close to what it really says. They go by what they “feel” scripture says, instead of actually accepting what it says and applying it to their lives. They seek an “experience” that has nothing at all to do with Christ. They are looking to feel good about their lives the way they are and not concerned in the least about whether or not their lives conform to scripture.

 

Where are those people who truly love the Lord? Where are the people who are willing to crucify their flesh and live the way that God tells them to? Where are the people who desire to glorify God above everything else? They seem to be a dying breed.

 

While most people like to focus on the love of God, they don’t understand it. They don’t understand that it includes judgment, righteousness, and holiness. More then that, they don’t seem to care. They fill their churches, their houses, and their minds with things of the world. They pay to see movies that blaspheme God’s name and mock what Christ died for, and they show clips of these movies in their sermons!

 

While I am saddened by the state that our country is in and I feel overwhelmed when I look at my puny effort to try and preach the truth, I can’t say that I’m surprised by where our country is headed. The sad thing is that it’s not the fault of the people who don’t believe in God or call themselves Christians. It’s the fault of those that do for turning their backs on God and defying Him with their words, their actions, and their lives. I pray that there is still time for America to turn around. I pray that our nation will remove the evils that we have allowed to fester here. It will take those who call themselves Christians living the life of Christ in front of everyone on a daily basis. It will take them getting rid of the worldly things in their lives. It will take them being bold enough to speak the truth and expose the darkness.

 

Are you willing?

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Newslinks 06/27/08

June 28, 2008 at 9:07 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080623/religious-americans-my-faith-isn-t-the-only-way.htm

Religious Americans: My Faith Isn’t the Only Way

 

While America remains a religious nation, it seems to be confused on what that religion really is. A survey of 35,000 adults shows that while many Americans are religious, they believe that their religion isn’t the only way that someone could go to heaven; even if the religion teaches that. According to the study, 57% of evangelical churchgoers believe that many religions lead to eternal life, despite traditional teaching otherwise. 70% of all surveyed share the view and say that there is more than one way to interpret the teachings of their belief system. D. Michael Lindsay, religious professor at Rice University, believes that the survey shows that “religion in America is indeed 3,000 miles wide and only 3 inches deep”. The survey shows that only 14% of those surveyed base their political decisions on their religious beliefs. The survey says that 92% believe in God, 74% believe in life after death, and 63% believe their respective scriptures are the word of God. Continued questions showed that more than one in four Roman Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Orthodox Christians had some doubts as to whether God existed or not. Six out of ten Jews also doubted God’s existence. The survey did have some strange statistics, including 21% of self-proclaimed atheists saying that they believe in God or a universal spirit, with 8% being “absolutely certain” of it. Of those who believe that many religions lead to eternal life, 83% identified themselves as mainline Protestants, 59% were members of historic black Protestant churches, 79% were Roman Catholics, 82% were Jews and 56% were Muslims. Similar percentages believed that there is more than one interpretation of their tradition’s teachings, but 44% said that their religion should keep its traditional teachings. Reverend Tom Reese says that the survey shows him that we don’t have a “hammer-lock on God” and that “God is bigger than us and we should respect that”.

 

This makes me angry and sad at the same time. According to the survey, 92% of the people surveyed say that they believe in God. It’s obvious from the rest of this survey that this is not necessarily the God of the Bible. 70% of the people say that they believe that there are many religions that lead to eternal life and that the teachings of their religions can be interpreted more than one way. This completely floors me. John 14:6 says that there is only one way to heaven, and that’s through Jesus Christ. Jesus said “no man comes to the Father but through Him”. How can someone claim that they are a Christian and deny the very words of their supposed Savior? If you deny the words of Christ, how can you be a Christian? On the other hand, how can you claim to be an atheist and be “absolutely certain” that God exists? An atheist, by definition, is someone who doesn’t believe that God exists. Is this like having your cake and eating it too? Are you trying to justify your lifestyle while still saying that you believe in God? Do you think that just by saying you believe in Him that God is going to give you a pass? James says that even the demons believe in God, but at least they tremble. God is not mocked and has made it clear that those who give God lip service without a changed life will find themselves no better than those who deny God outright. One of the most aggravating comments is the last one. The idea that “God is bigger than us” is true, but today’s idea of this is so demeaning to God and His people. Today, when people like Rob Bell, Brian McClaren, and others talk about how God is “bigger than us” they are implying that there is no way that we as humans can understand Him or know anything about Him. This is insulting. Obviously God is bigger than us. He created everything in the universe. That’s much bigger than I am. The idea that I can’t know about Him or understand Him is completely false though. He has given me a revelation of Himself through His word. The scriptures clearly paint who God is, including the time that He spent on earth. For me to say that I can’t know God is a cop out for my lack of desire to know Him. Another reason most today don’t want to know Him is simply because it would me that they would have to throw out their idols, repent of their sin, and return to doing things God’s way. Unfortunately, most men and women are too proud to do this…

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=148050

TN prepared to fend off attack on marriage

 

The state of Tennessee has gained a weapon in the fight against homosexual “marriage”. The Alliance Defense Fund has offered their services for free in the protection of traditional marriage. In 2006, 81% of Tennessee voters approved a marriage amendment stating that marriage is between one man and one woman and that this union is the best way to protect the family and children. If someone from Tennessee goes out to California and gets a homosexual “marriage” license, it will not be recognized in Tennessee and will be unenforceable.

 

I applaud Tennessee. I hope that other states take the initiative to do the same. Marriage started in scripture with Adam and Eve. It is one man and one woman for life. Period. I am glad to see that the people of the state care enough about their families, their children, and their future to make this statement to the entire country!

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08062301.html

Experience Shows Anti-Spanking Laws do More Harm than Good

 

New Zealanders have presented a petition to strike down a law that prevents parents from spanking their children. The idea of the law was to prevent child abuse from happening, but two studies done after the law was passed show that the number of child abuse cases hasn’t changed at all. The only thing that the law has done is to keep good parents from disciplining their children. The author of the law says that it was never meant to decrease the number of child abuse cases. According to Bob McCroskrie, national director of Family First NZ, “it is quite obvious that this law change was not about solving a problem – it was about telling parents how to raise their children. And parents who are already doing a great job have responded by saying ‘we’re doing fine thanks”. He also says that the law has wasted police resources by having them investigating minor acts of child discipline. The anti-spanking bill tells parents that they are never justified in using force to correct their children. The appeal to strike down the law has received 85% support from New Zealanders.

 

As I said in one of my blogs, things like this amaze me. As Christians, we are told that need to discipline our children (Prov. 13:24, Prov. 23:13, Prov. 29:15). This isn’t because we’re the adults and we’re bigger and stronger than our kids. It’s because without that discipline, they will grow up unchecked and live lives that give no glory to God. The Bible says that if we neglect to discipline our kids, we hate them. It says that even though we strike them with the rod, they will not die. It says that a child who gets their way will bring shame to their mother. Sadly, this is exactly what we’re seeing in America. Children are getting their own way and it’s destroying the next generations. They rebel against authority because there was none at home. They sue their parents! It is because of parents who try to discipline their children apart from spanking. I hope that this bill gets struck down and that parents in New Zealand get to do what is scripturally correct.

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=151160

Obama accused of ‘dragging biblical understanding through gutter’

 

James Dobson has received a lot of attention over recent comments regarding Barack Obama’s handling of scripture. The criticism focused on a speech that Obama gave to a liberal Christian group called Call to Renewal. In the speech, Obama said, “Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?” Dobson also criticized Obama’s mixing of Old Testament Levitical laws with the New Testament words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Dobson said he thinks Obama is twisting scripture to fit into “his own worldview, his own confused theology”. Joshua DuBois, director of religious affairs for Obama’s campaign said that a full reading of Obama’s speech shows “Obama is proud to have the support of millions of Americans of faith and looks forward to working across religious lines to bring our country together”. Dobson’s strongest criticism was spoken in regards to Obama’s idea that “the religiously motivated must frame debates over issues like abortion not just in their own religion’s terms but in arguments accessible to all people”. Dobson saw this as a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution”. In response to the criticism, Obama said that Dobson was probably making things up for his own purposes. He also said that someone would be “pretty hard-pressed” to prove that he was distorting the Bible.

 

I still think that one of the most amazing things about all of this is that there are actually people who call themselves Christians who support Barack Obama. I have to agree with Dr. Dobson and say that Barack Obama is horribly distorting scripture for his own agenda. I will agree with Obama when he says that people aren’t reading their Bibles, but I would have to say that he is one of them. To imply that there is more than one form of Christianity is ridiculous. While there are many people who claim to be Christians (Obama included), only those who are obedient to God are those acting as Christians. I don’t think that I would be “pretty hard-pressed” at all to show that Obama is twisting scripture. For instance, Barack Obama supports abortion at any time. The Bible says in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not kill”. In the New Testament, it gets even deeper. In John 3:15 it says that anyone “who hates their brother is a murderer”. Obama is also a supporter of the homosexual agenda. The Bible says in both the Old and New Testaments that homosexuality is an abomination and that no homosexual will enter the kingdom of heaven. So, who’s right? Obama or God? Obama calls himself a “man of faith”, and he very well might be, but which one? It doesn’t seem to be Christianity. If he were a Christian, he wouldn’t support the things that he does. James Dobson’s criticism has come under attack not only from Obama and his staff, but also from other “pastors” and “Christians” who support him. They have said Dobson’s comments were uncalled for because the political arena is above those things. What I don’t understand is why these “pastors” and other “religious leaders” aren’t saying the same things that Dobson said? I would have to think that part of the reason is the fact that these same men who support Obama have watered down Christianity to the point that it is pretty much meaningless. These men (and women) are supposed to put God’s word above everything else. So how can they support Obama? I applaud James Dobson for speaking out against this travesty. I believe that our country needs more people who are willing to speak out against things like this and put their love of God above all else.

 

 

Related articles:

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080624/james-dobson-accuses-obama-of-distorting-bible.htm

James Dobson Accuses Obama of ‘Distorting’ Bible

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Election2008/Default.aspx?id=153002

Obama, supporters attack Dobson

 

Design of the Week 06/25/08 – Free Indeed

June 26, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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The design that we’ve featured this week is one called Free Indeed. This design was one of the first ones that At Ease Tees produced. It is based on the passage of scripture found in John 8:31-36. Jesus is talking to the Pharisees and Jews about Himself and His testimony. The Pharisees/Jews don’t believe His testimony because it is coming from Him. Then He changes the direction of the conversation and begins to talk about the Jews being free. The Jews respond by telling Jesus that they are “Abraham’s descendants and have never been enslaved by anyone”. This is ridiculous to say the least! The people of Israel were enslaved in Egypt for 430 years. They were in captivity to the Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Greeks, and were even being occupied by the Romans at the time the conversation was taking place! Many who recognize this would chide the Jews for their pride in not seeing the truth. Sadly, this is still going on today, not only for the Jews, but for the church as well.

There are a couple things that people can do that will aggravate me. One is to quote a scripture and cut it off in mid thought. The other is to take a scripture out of context to make it say what you want it to say. Unfortunately, it seems that the pulpits of America are filled with “preachers” and “pastors” that do this very thing. They will take passages of scripture and make them say what they want them to say. The passage in John 8 is a great example of this.

In many churches (regardless of denomination), if you attend long enough, you’ll hear this phrase:

“Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!”

This comes from the passage in John 8 and is true. The problem is in how it’s used. Most people use this like some kind of emotional rejuvenator. When they find out that a brother or sister in Christ is struggling with something in their lives or they have doubts about their salvation, this is the phrase that is used. Most of the times that I’ve seen this happen, the person saying the phrase stands in some authoritative stance, points their finger at the struggling person, and shouts the phrase like their some kind of super-Christian who can do this and see the person’s life instantly change. As I watch this sort of thing take place in the church, I am sad at first, and then I get mad. The reason for my anger is because the people of God should know better! Oftentimes, when someone shouts this “holy phrase”, the congregation screams and hollers.

Is this really all there is to this passage of scripture? I don’t think so. As I said above, because of the pride of the Jews, they denied ever being in captivity, even though they were captives of the Romans at the time Jesus walked the earth. A little earlier, Jesus tells His listeners that they will look for Him and not find Him and, because of that, they will die in their sins. Then He tells them they can be free. When He talks to them about freedom, He says that there are certain things that should take place. Here is the passage in question (John 8:31-36):

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him,

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

In this passage, we see the way to true freedom. First, Jesus is talking to the Jews who believed Him. You cannot be free from sin unless you first believe Jesus Christ is exactly who He says that He is. Second, Jesus says that those who believe in Him must continue in His word. If we continue in His word, Jesus says that we are truly His disciples. He also says that if we continue in His word, we will know the truth. It is knowing the truth that sets us free. By doing these things, Jesus can make us free, and if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

If you’re a slave to sin, regardless of what sin it is, then these are the things that you need to do to be free of it. You don’t need some emotional high. You don’t need a “face to face encounter with Jesus”. What you need is to believe in Jesus, continue in His word, and know that His word is truth (John 17:17). Then, you need to apply that truth to your life. If you do this, you will begin to see things in your life change.

Then, you will be Free Indeed!

Sour Grapes

June 23, 2008 at 9:44 am | Posted in Christianity | 1 Comment
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Every time I read the scriptures I am amazed. My amazement comes for many reasons. One, I’m amazed at how awesome the Lord is. The depths of the Lord’s character, grace, and holiness always leave me speechless. Two, I am amazed at how often the Israelites rejected the Lord for their own ways; even though they had hundreds of years of examples of what would happen. Three, I am amazed that in the thousands of years that man has been alive, through all that God has done for him, he really hasn’t changed much.

 

I was reading in Ezekiel this morning and saw all of this in one chapter. I was reading chapter 18. In this chapter, Ezekiel talks about a word from the Lord. The word from God deals with a proverb that had become common among the people of Israel. This was the proverb: The fathers eat the sour grapes, but the children’s teeth are set on edge (Ezek. 18:2). At first I didn’t understand it, but I read through the chapter and it made sense. The proverb is basically saying that God visits the sins of the fathers onto the sons or the sins of the sons onto the fathers. As I continued reading the scripture and looked at some of the commentaries, I began to realize that there is more to it than that. With this idea that God visits the sins of the fathers on the sons (or vice versa), they were saying that they were being unjustly punished for their sins, blaming it on their fathers. They even went to the point of saying that God’s ways weren’t right (vs. 25,29)!

 

God then tells them (through Ezekiel) that each person is responsible for their own lives. If I commit sin, my daughter will not be punished for it. She is not held accountable for my iniquities (praise God!). It also goes the other way. If someone’s son commits horrible sin, his parents are not held accountable for it. We are all held accountable for our own sins. Those sins alone are enough to send us to hell.

 

There are a few other things that are said in this chapter that people (including Christians!) seem to forget. One is found in verses 4 and 20. In these verses, God says that the soul/person that sins shall die. It’s not a gray issue. There is no “wiggle room”. God says that if you sin, you will die. Sadly, this seems to fly in the face of much of what is preached in America’s pulpits. In most churches, you rarely even hear about sin anymore. People need to know that if they sin, they will die. Romans 3:23 says that all people sin. Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. This is still true today. If you sin, you will die.

 

Another thing that I hear a lot of people question today is whether or not God finds pleasure in the death of the wicked. People today often talk about God being cruel and unfair, just like Israel did. God is neither cruel nor unfair. God takes no pleasure in the death of anyone, including the wicked (Ezek. 18:23). In fact, God’s desire for all of mankind is to turn from his unrighteous ways and live. 2 Peter 3:9 says that it’s God’s will that none should perish but that all should come to repentance. There are those who mock God and deny His return (Peter talks about this too), saying that everything continues just as it has from the beginning. They laugh at those who claim that Jesus will return to judge the world in righteousness (Acts 17:31). What they don’t realize is that God is long-suffering and patient, giving even the hardest of hearts a chance to take God at His Word. Those who call God unfair echo the sentiments of Israel. This mindset comes from people being self-righteous and thinking that they really are good people. They think that they have done nothing to deserve the wrath of God or His judgment. That idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember above when I said that everyone has sinned? That’s true for you and I too. There isn’t a person on the face of the planet that hasn’t sinned. Because of this, we are all deserving of His judgment. This is not unfair at all. As a matter of fact, an eternal judgment is the only just punishment for a crime against an eternal God. People don’t want to hear this though. Instead, they want to hear about how God is love and that He’s just like a “doting daddy” who wants to coddle and pamper you. They want to hear about how He wants them to be “blessed and highly favored” so they can live an “abundant life”. They love hearing about how God wants them to like themselves and how He likes them too. Unfortunately, none of this warns people of the truth of the coming judgment. They don’t hear about the eternal fires of hell or how there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. They don’t hear about a place where the fires are never quenched and the worm never dies, a place where every waking moment will be filled with torment and pain.

 

In the last verse of this chapter, God not only reiterates his displeasure with death, but He tells each of us how we can be free from His wrath and live:

 

Eze 18:32  “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” (emphasis mine).

 

If we will repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ, we will live. To repent of our sins means more than just being sorry for them. We should be sorry for them. They are acts of disobedience and contempt toward a God who loved us enough to give Himself for us. When you repent, you truly understand that God has every right to be angry with you. You understand that death is the only just punishment and that you deserve it because you’re a sinner. You then ask for forgiveness of those sins that you’ve committed and turn away from them. You stop doing those things that you know are wrong. Instead, you begin to live your life according to the truths found in the Bible. You also must put your trust in Jesus Christ. This means that you understand that it is Him and Him alone that will save you from God’s wrath. There is nothing you can do or say that will save your soul from hell. It is Christ, through His death on the cross for your sins and His resurrection from the grave that will save you. Your faith in Him is what saves you. It’s like a parachute. If you hold a parachute at arms length and jump from a plane, it won’t help you much. On the other hand, if you put on the parachute, putting your trust in it completely to save you, and you jump from the plane, you’ll be saved. Romans 13:14 says that we are to “put on the Lord Jesus”. If you will repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus Christ, you will be saved.

 

Will you do it? Will you repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus? It is the only way that you can escape God’s wrath.

Newslinks 06/13/08

June 20, 2008 at 10:02 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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I apologize for these being late, but here they are. This week’s newslinks will probably be late as well due to the fact that I have company all weekend.

 

 

 

Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200806/FOR20080609c.htm

Israelis Not Taking Obama’s Jerusalem Gesture Seriously

 

While presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke strongly about Jerusalem and Israel during a recent trip, many Israelis were not fooled. Obama’s remarks came during an annual meeting of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington. Much of his speech was expected and received applause, but when he talked about the city of Jerusalem it raised eyebrows. “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel and it must remain undivided,” Obama said. Less than a day after the speech, Obama received a lot of criticism from Arabs for his remarks about Jerusalem. Spokespeople for Obama responded to the criticism by saying that Obama had only meant that some part of Jerusalem will remain — and should be recognized internationally — as Israel’s capital, and that wherever the lines of control fall, the city must never again be divided by barbed wire. Obama expounded on this by saying that the future status of Jerusalem is an issue for the Israelis and Palestinian Arabs to decide between themselves. One of the critics of the speech said, “What Obama did, on the face of it, is not such a big deal. After all, presidents have repeatedly promised to move the [US embassy to Jerusalem] and don’t do it. His attitude is to throw the pro-Israel community some bones with almost visible contempt, as if these people are so stupid they will swallow anything and ignore everything.” Polls show that most Israelis are wary of Obama due to his Muslim heritage on his father’s side and his ties to radical Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Obama’s choice of political advisers known for their harsh criticism of Israel also has done little to endear him to Israelis.

 

Like the Israelis, I can’t say that I’m surprised. It seems that to be a politician, you have to be able to tell people what they want to hear with a lot of “compassion” and not mean it at all. I have to agree with Barry Rubin. It seems that politicians think that people take everything they say at face value and don’t recognize the truth. The sad part of all of this is that there are a large number of people who hear things like this and truly believe it. The only reason that I can give for that is because they want to believe it. The idea that Christians would actually vote for someone like Barack Obama amazes me. I will give Obama credit for the fact that he’s been pretty open about much of what he stands for. He doesn’t seem to understand what Christianity really is and with his stance on things like abortion and homosexuality, he doesn’t hold closely to what God says in scripture. As far as Israel goes, I believe that the US should be helping them to keep the land that God has given them instead of trying to give it to people who have no claim on it. It’s not going to happen with flowery words. It’s going to happen when countries like the US truly begin to support Israel.

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080606/32721.htm

Muslim Scholars Back Call for Interfaith Dialogue

 

A meeting of Muslim scholars in Saudi Arabia concluded with the call for dialogue between Muslims and others who ascribe to monotheistic faiths. A spokesperson for the meeting said that this interfaith dialogue was necessary to give the world a “correct view” of the Islamic faith and to reach out to other sects of Islam. They also called for “solving the problems and disagreements that might take place among Muslims and other (non-Muslims) … and to achieve an understanding among civilizations and human cultures”. Ironically, religious practice is so restricted in Saudi Arabia that even certain Muslim sects, such as Sufis and Shiites, face discrimination, while conversion by a Muslim to another religion is punishable by death.

 

I’ve already touched on this in another post on this blog, but it bears repeating. First, Islam alone is responsible for the image that it presents to others. The truth is, many people really have the “correct picture” of Islam. They understand that it is a ruthless religion that promotes the killing of those who disagree with its tenets. I’m not saying that all Muslims hold to this, but the religion itself does. Muslims in Middle Eastern countries who convert to another religion are seen as traitors and are summarily killed. Women in Muslim countries are not seen as much more than objects. To imply that there is a different picture of Islam that’s all roses and goodness is a smokescreen. The scriptures and Hadith that Islam is based on say something different than the image that proponents of the religion want it to be.

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080609/32745.htm

Episcopal Gay Bishop, Partner Joined in Civil Union

 

Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson was joined in a civil union recently to his partner of 20 years. The ceremony took place 5 years to the day from the time that he was made a Bishop of the Episcopal Church. The two men decided to have the ceremony before the bishop goes to the Lambeth Conference. The Conference only happens once every ten years and, while Robinson will be there, he will not be able to take part in the conference.

 

I hope that the Episcopal Church repents sometime soon. The idea that some “Christians” think that homosexuality is acceptable to God is completely against what God Himself has revealed in scripture. If it were a gray area like the homosexual supporters try to make it, it would be different. The truth is, it’s not a gray area. It’s a black and white issue. God sees homosexuality as a sin. He says that those who practice this lifestyle will not enter the kingdom of heaven. He calls it an abomination. How much clearer does God need to make it?

 

Related Articles:

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=131868

Homosexual bishop participates in civil union ceremony

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=133534

Church’s acceptance of homosexuality

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08060901.html

Unborn Baby Undergoes Successful Surgery at 22 Weeks Gestation

 

At 22 weeks gestation, Leah Bowlen was diagnosed with a rare disease known as Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS). Amniotic bands had wrapped around Leah’s legs and were restricting the blood flow. Her parents decided that they would risk in-utero surgery rather than amputation or death. The surgery to remove the bands was successful, even though Leah’s right foot was looking bad. When Leah was born at 30 weeks gestation, she was healthy. The doctors were able to reconstruct Leah’s foot and she is healthy and doing well. One of the most notable things about the story is that the media outlets that have broadcast the story have recognized Leah as an “unborn child” instead of a fetus. Most legal abortions are allowed until 24 weeks.

 

This is an awesome story and something that should help people realize that the unborn have rights and deserve protection. I hope that Leah and her parents have many years of joy.

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061010.html

Obama’s Abortion Bombshell: Unrestricted Abortion Over Wishes of Individual States a Priority for Presidency

 

Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink has recently reminded Americans that Barack Obama has co-sponsored a bill that would completely remove every single state law regulating or limiting abortion. The Freedom of Choice Act (FoCA) says that a woman has the “right to choose to bear a child, to terminate the child before fetal viability, or to terminate a child after fetal viability to protect the life or health of the woman”. In July of last year, Obama made many remarks supporting abortion during a Q-and-A session. The act would also cause medical institutions that refuse to perform abortions to lose any legal protections. Obama also said,“we” are “tired of arguing about the same ole stuff” and that “the days of culture wars are growing dark”. Critics say that Obama is so intent on forcing his agenda that he fails to address the concerns that are posed by abortion.

 

 

The fact that people can still support abortion when evidence grows that it not only kills the baby, but it also has many detrimental physical and mental effects for the mother of the baby. There are a number of other ways that “unwanted” children could be handled. The number one way is adoption. There are a number of married couples that desire to have children and can’t. There is absolutely no reason for the senseless murder of children. If you don’t want to get pregnant, then don’t fornicate! If people would actually listen to the things that God says, we wouldn’t have half the problems that we would.

 

For a transcript of Obama’s speech:

http://lauraetch.googlepages.com/barackobamabeforeplannedparenthoodaction

 

 

Related Articles:

 

http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200806/CUL20080612a.html

Obama Supports Freedom of Choice Act

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061007.html

9-Month Pregnant Women Slain – Murder of Unborn Child Will Go Unpunished

 

Amanda Power was days away from delivering her third child when she was brutally murdered, dismembered, and left in the woods near her apartment. Four children found her six months later. The man who killed her, Warren White her boyfriend and father of the child, is awaiting trial for second-degree murder and performing an indignity to a dead body. He will not be held accountable for the death of his unborn child. Canadian law has nothing in place to protect the death of an unborn child when the mother is attacked or killed. The Canadian legislature is currently considering a bill that would protect the lives of unborn children. If the bill passes, White would be facing a life sentence for the murder of his child. Amanda Power had two other children who are staying with her father.

 

This is outrageous. The fact that a man would be able to kill his 9-month-pregnant girlfriend and his unborn child and not be held accountable for both deaths is yet another marker to show how far humanity has fallen. I pray that this bill passes and that White faces trial for both murders.

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08061104.html

Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence To Send Illegal California Abortionists To Trial

 

Judge Samuel Mayerson has declared that there is sufficient evidence to put Bertha Burgarin and her sister Raquel on trial for practicing medicine without a license. Bertha owned eleven renowned abortion clinics in California that were run with abortionist Nicholas Braemer. Braemer, along with abortionists Mohamed Dia, Phillip Rand, and Laurence Reich, who is a convicted sexual predator, each lost their medical licenses. Six of Burgarin’s clinics have been closed and the other five are now owned by abortionist Nolan Jones.

 

This is a great thing to hear! I hope that it helps other states to begin to prosecute those who perform abortions and kill unborn children. It’s way past time that our country started defending the rights of the unborn.

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http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewNation.asp?Page=/Nation/archive/200806/NAT20080612b.html

Foreign Terrorists Have Constitutional Rights

 

According to the US Supreme Court, foreign terrorists have a right under the US Constitution to protest their being held at Guantanamo Bay. Those who disagree with the decision say that this will severely hurt American soldiers at war with terrorists.

 

Ok. My first question is why are we allowing foreign terrorists to have US Constitutional rights? If that’s true, then does that mean that everyone all over the world has the same rights as those who live in, give to, and die for America? This is ridiculous. Why on earth should a foreign terrorist, someone who actively seeks the destruction of our nation, have the same rights as someone who lives here and defends the nation? Does this mean that we can stop worrying about immigrants? If foreign terrorists have Constitutional rights, how long before those who sneak into the country illegally are given rights? Our court needs to rethink the decision they’ve made and how ignorant it is…

Design of the week 06/18/08 – Eternity

June 19, 2008 at 3:10 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s design came from the simple desire to help people understand that eternity is real and that we only get one shot at it. There are many who would disagree with both points. Some would say that there is no after life at all. They believe that once we die, that’s it. Others would say that we are reincarnated when we die and come back until we get it right.

The Bible says that neither of these ideas are right. In Hebrews 9:27, scripture says that it is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment. This means that we have one life. This is our one shot. It also says that after our life is over, we are judged. We will be judged on everything in our lives from what we did (or didn’t do), to what we said, to even the things that we thought about. The judgment will be based on God’s law and will apply to everyone, whether you believe it or not. If anyone is found to have broken God’s law (sin), they will be required to pay for their sins. There are two ways that this payment for sin happens.

The first comes into play if the person has received the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If, during their life, they repented of their sins and put their faith in Christ, their sins are paid for and they will be spared. If, on the other hand, they refused the free gift of God, then they will be required to pay for their sins themselves. If this happens, that person will find themselves spending eternity in hell.

Sadly, there are many people who refuse Christ. They may do so for a number of reasons but the underlying reason is the desire of man to live life by his own rules. We want to live our lives our way. They want to live like the rest of the world. They chase money, prestige, fame, and fortune. They hunt for or create gods that suit their selfish needs and desires. Without repentance of their sins and faith in Christ alone for salvation, they will meet the most tragic fate anyone could face.

Is this you? Are you living in sin? Have you rejected the gift of salvation found in Christ? If so, please reconsider. Eternity is a long time to be wrong

Looking for Ezras

June 16, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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I was reading a section of scripture last night that got me thinking about something. The passage that I read was Ezra 6-10. In it, the Israelites are coming out of captivity and returning to Jerusalem. As they return to their homeland and begin to resettle, something is brought to Ezra’s attention that causes him to tear his garments and weep for Israel. The leaders of Israel come to Ezra and tell him:

 

“The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.”

Ezra’s response is to tear his garment, pull out some of his hair and sit appalled (stunned/devastated). Scripture says that everyone who trembled at the word of God sat with him. They did this until the evening offering. At the time of the evening offering, Ezra gets on his knees before the Lord and prays. In his prayer he expresses embarrassment and shame in regard to the way the leaders of Israel have acted. He cries out because of the guilt of iniquity that Israel still walks in. The people who feel the same as Ezra gather with him weeping as well. They then decide to call an assembly in Jerusalem. This assembly was mandatory and would result in being cut off if you didn’t show up. They gathered in the open square before the house of God in heavy rain trembling in fear of God. Ezra then stands up before the people of Israel and tells them that they have added to the guilt of Israel by disobeying God and marrying foreign wives. He calls them to take an oath and to separate themselves from the peoples of the land and from their foreign wives. The assembly responds in agreement, recognizing their lsin and takes the oath. The ask for time due to conditions, but desire to do so in order to turn away the “fierce anger” of God. The end of Ezra 10 then goes on to list the names of the priests, singers, Levites, and the people who had married foreign wives.

After reading this, I couldn’t help but wonder if God is looking for Ezra’s today? Today, God’s people are just as guilty of marrying “foreign wives” as the Israelites were then. The church has polluted the gospel, changed the way of salvation, put themselves in place of God, and gone off to chase other “gods”. If God had “fierce anger” toward Israel for marrying foreign wives then, how much angrier is God now at His people? It still amazes me how we can claim Christ as Savior and then completely disregard everything that He’s commanded us to do. I am appalled at the way people in the church ignore God’s commandments and His anger and still seek His blessing. We have people who claim to be Christians calling on people to get in touch with “Mother Earth”. Others are taking tenets of other faiths and trying to make them fit into Christianity. Still others are preaching a gospel that has nothing to do with Christ or His purpose for coming to earth. Instead they replace Christ with love, money, or self. Shouldn’t God be angry? Should we be surprised that His wrath is building and beginning to pour out on our nation and others? When those who are “leaders” in the church take the precious gospel of our Lord and make it a mockery, what else should we expect?

One of the most appalling things of all of this is the fact that these “leaders” have no shame! They have absolutely no care in the world that they are misrepresenting Christ and misleading thousands. They don’t care that their iniquity is a foul stench in the nostrils of God. They have no real concern for the truth being preached or people actually getting saved, as long as their churches are packed, they wallets are full, and what they believe is spread as far as they can take it, they’re satisfied. Nevermind that it’s not the truth. Nevermind the fact that it’s not the gospel that saves. Nevermind that people are being made comfortable while going straight to hell. None of that matters. There is no guilt, shame, or embarrassment from these men and women. They are “successful” and that’s all that matters. Sure, it’s success in the eyes of the world, but it’s what matters.

The body of Christ needs Ezras who are ashamed and embarrassed by where the church has gotten to and are willing to call God’s people back to scriptural living. They need to have God’s understanding of His Word and be willing to weep and grieve for this ongoing tragedy. They also need to be willing to stand up and speak out against this horrible façade, naming names if necessary. Some people may read this and think that I’m talking about a new ministry focused on “turning peoples’ hearts back to God”. Nope. That’s not what I’m talking about. To be completely honest, I’m tired of ministries. We have way too many “ministries” run by people who just want to accomplish their own agenda under the guise of Christianity. This isn’t to say that there aren’t legitimate ministries out there. I know of many who are truly doing the things that need to be done. There are many, many more however, that do nothing but inflate egos, stuff pocketbooks, and accomplish absolutely nothing for God. We don’t need that.

What we need is for the people of God to be willing to be made horribly uncomfortable (even if it means sitting in a downpour) and to see their iniquity for what it is. We need to be willing to stop “graying” the issues and start calling things as black and white when they are. We need to start living our lives the way God wants us to, instead of living them the way that we want and then hoping God will bless us. We need the body of Christ to recommit to separate themselves from the “people of the land” and to stop marrying foreign wives. We need to recognize that God is fiercely angry with us for what we have failed to do and to renew our oath to be obedient to Him. We need to “make confession before God and do His will”…

Just a quick update!

June 15, 2008 at 9:09 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I apologize for the missing newslinks from Friday. I have been pretty busy this past week and the fact that I posted anything was quite an accomplishment…:) I should be able to get everything back to normal soon so keep looking here.  Thanks!

Why do you believe?

June 10, 2008 at 10:17 am | Posted in Christianity | 16 Comments
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Notice I didn’t ask what do you believe. I asked why do you believe. I feel this is an important question. It’s something that I’ve been tossing around lately and I think I’ve found answers for a number of people. If asked, many Americans (I think the last number was 94%) say that they believe in God. It’s the Sunday school answer. It’s what many of us were taught to say. But, why do you believe in God? This isn’t to try and get you to doubt God’s existence. It’s to get you thinking about why you believe what you do and what you’re really putting your faith in.

 

For instance, if you are a follower of the Hindu belief system, why do you believe what you do? Why do you believe that there are millions of “gods”? Is the evidence for those “gods” that strong? Why do you consider cows as sacred? What is the basis for your faith in the Hindu belief system?

 

If you’re an atheist, why do you believe what you do? Why do you deny the existence of God? Has science proven without a doubt that God doesn’t exist? Can you really be sure that He doesn’t? Surely anyone with even the slightest common sense would understand that none of us could know everything right? Is it possible in the information that you haven’t yet looked at that there is plenty of evidence of God?

 

If you’re a Muslim, why do you believe in Islam? What is it about Islam that makes it the true belief system? Is it the Quran? Was the Quran really given to Mohammed by Gabriel? Has it remained unchanged all these years? Do you believe because of the promise of paradise and virgins awaiting you? How do you know that you’ll make it to paradise? Is there any assurance?

 

If you follow the Jewish belief system, why? What is it about Judaism that makes appealing? Is it tradition? Is it the promises of God? What is it?

 

As I said above, I don’t ask these questions for any reason other than to get you thinking. I’ve asked the same questions of myself in regards to the religions above as well as Christianity.

 

Looking at belief systems, it seems that many people believe in them because their system of choice suits them. If someone decides to be a Zen Buddhist, is it because of what the system teaches or is it because of the degree to which it suits the practitioner? Does someone become a Buddhist because they truly believe the teachings or because they are more comfortable with the religion and its tenets? This goes for any religion.

 

I can’t help but wonder whether or not many of the people who profess a belief honestly believe in what they profess. If not, then why believe it?

 

Of course, this led me to wonder about the body of Christ too. If you’re a Christian, why do you believe? What is it about Christianity that causes you to believe it over other systems? Not only that, what about the different things being taught?

 

If you believe in the “prosperity gospel”, what is it that gives credence to that? Many will answer that question with a number of scriptures about wealth and health, but is that the whole counsel of God? If prosperity is the main focus of the gospel, what happens when you come upon hard times? What happens when you’re unemployed for months? Is that just another attack from the devil or is there something more to it?

 

If you believe in the “God-is-love gospel”, what do you do with the verses (Old and New Testament) that talk about God being righteous, holy, and judging sin? Do you ignore those verses or explain them away as a misunderstanding or incorrect translation? How do you reconcile the judgment to come with your view that “God is love”?

 

If you believe that you can be a practicing homosexual and a Christian at the same time, what part of scripture do you use for evidence? Why do you believe that? What about the passages that call it a sin and say that homosexuals won’t enter the kingdom of heaven?

 

If you believe that Christ died on the cross but that we must still work our way into heaven, why? Why do you believe that? What is it about Christ’s death on the cross that was incomplete? If Christ’s death was complete and we’re saved through it, then why do we need to do “works”?

 

What about the other “gospels” that I’ve heard preached (Kingdom theology, Replacement theology)? Why does someone believe those? What happens when these different “gospels” don’t line up with scripture? Do you stop believing that in favor of something else? Do you try to reconcile it? Or, do you ignore it?

 

Like other religions, it seems that many people profess Christianity for much the same reasons. Some of them profess Christianity because they were brought up in church. Some of them profess a certain flavor of Christianity because it suits them. How many Christians actually follow Christ because they believe what He said? Many people would probably say that this is the case for them, but is it? If it’s true for someone, shouldn’t it show? Now, I understand that people grow in holiness. I understand that they don’t become sanctified overnight, but shouldn’t they be moving in that direction? Should we have pastors that watch pornography? Should we have churchwomen spreading gossip? Should our kids act like heathens if we really believe what the Bible says? Should our focus be on growing the church when God said that the growing is His job?

 

I guess that I’ve gotten to the point that I just don’t understand the point of being a follower of something unless you really believe it. If you don’t believe in parts of Christianity, what do you do with them? If you believe in a certain flavor of the gospel, then what do you do with the rest of scripture? Is Christianity supposed to be a buffet? Are we supposed to pick and choose what we like and throw out the rest?

 

As I study the scriptures, I just can’t help but see that God made it clear exactly what He wanted done. There were times where He expected His people to trust Him, but for the most part, He gave them the instructions. God’s given us the same instructions and expectations. Are we doing what we’re supposed to? When you read about the lives of the “heroes of faith”, you’ll see a certain phrase spoken of many of them. They are noted for doing “all the Lord commanded them” (Gen 6:22, Gen 21:4, Lev 8:4, Lev 8:36, Jos. 10:40, 2Sa 5:25). Shouldn’t those of us who know Christ be the same? If we’re not, then are we really following Christ?

 

I can’t help but wonder how many Christians “just believe” and really don’t know why they believe what they do or lack the conviction they should have to truly follow Christ. For what number of Christians has it become just “the thing to do”? How many just do it because it’s all they’ve known?

 

For me, it’s become more and more a desire to truly understand what God wants from me and to make every effort to do “just as He commands”. It’s not easy and there are a number of times where I’ve messed up, but I want to do it. I don’t believe in the Hindu system and it’s millions of “gods” and “mystical” thinking processes. I don’t deny that God exists like atheists do. I read the scriptures and see them confirmed on a daily basis. I see prophecies that were given hundreds of years before they came true. I’ve seen instance after instance of God keeping His promise. I look at creation and see ample evidence for God. I don’t ascribe to Islam like Muslims do. I am not a follower of Judaism, although I have a high respect for Jews. I understand that they are still God’s people.

 

I don’t believe that prosperity is supposed to be the focus of the Christian. I don’t believe that once you “accept” Christ, you’re life just becomes a cornucopia of blessing and favor. I don’t believe that God is only love. I do believe that He is love; the scriptures say so. I also believe that He is holy, righteous, just, and deserves to be revered. I do believe that He will judge the world in righteousness and mete out the punishment for sin. I believe that homosexuality is a sin. I don’t believe that you can be a practicing homosexual and a Christian at the same time. I don’t believe that there is anything that any one of us could do to work our way to heaven or to compliment what Jesus did on Calvary. I don’t believe that the kingdom of God is here and I don’t believe that the church has replaced Israel as God’s chosen people. I don’t believe in these things because the scriptures say otherwise. I am becoming more and more cautious when accepting anything someone finds in scripture. I am trying to be a Berean. I want the whole counsel of God on the subject first. I want to be like Paul and be able to say that “I know in whom I have believed”. I want to share the gospel truth the way God meant it.

 

You may disagree with me and that’s ok. I believe that there are areas where we can disagree and still be friends, but I don’t know that there are near as many as some people try to say. In the end, it comes down to whether or not you’re going to take God’s Word the way that He wrote it. Will you? 

 

 

Newslinks 06/06/08

June 6, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Friday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Culture/Default.aspx?id=126426

KS governor’s fete honors abortionist

 

The pro-life group Operation Rescue says that it is almost impossible to get anyone in Kansas to bring criminal charges against abortionist George Tiller because he has an important ally – Governor Kathleen Sebelius. While calls have increased for charges to be brought against Tiller, the governor threw a secret party for Tiller and his staff. Operation Rescue has tried to gain information on who paid for the party under the Kansas Open Records Act. They have been given very little in the way of information. They say that the taxpayers have a right to know whether or not they paid for the party. They also say that it’s become more obvious why criminal charges haven’t been brought against Tiller. Not only that, according to OR, the groups that could bring charges against Tiller are filled with appointees of the governor.

 

As upset as I would be to find out that my money was going to fund things like parties for an abortionist, I can’t say that I’m surprised. Like many corporations, most of those in the government follow the money. The Kansas governor received a lot of funding from Tiller. Should we be surprised if she helps Tiller when he gave her a lot of money? Tiller is an abortionist. He kills children! Why would the government advocate the killing of children and allow this? Because they’re not believers…

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=126478

Countdown to Calif. confusion continues

 

As the day draws near, the confusion grows concerning “homosexual marriage” and its legality. The California Supreme court recently made “homosexual marriage” legal in the state. The bill is supposed to take effect June 14th even though appeals have been made to get the court to delay the ruling. The court has denied delaying the approval. Many in opposition have expressed concern for the fact that if the ban that will be on the November ballot (see below) passes, they will end up revoking all those licenses. In the state of California, for an amendment to get on the ballot, it needs 694,000 signatures. The “gay marriage” ban has received 1.1 million signatures.

 

This country’s judicial, legal, and legislative institutions need a severe overhaul. We have judges legislating their own values from the bench instead of those held by the majority of Americans. We have congressmen and women going to jail for improper conduct. We have governors and senators involved in improper relationships outside of marriage and other despicable acts. These are the people that are supposed to be leading our country! Is it any wonder why our country is where it currently is? Is it any wonder why our nation continues to turn its back on God to pursue its own perverted lusts? And while I want to blame the leaders of our country, the blame isn’t totally theirs. It’s ours too! WE VOTED THEM INTO OFFICE! If someone is in office and they are acting in a way that goes against our desires, then we have the say as to whether or not they stay in office! We need leaders that are going to put our nation and the American people above themselves. We need people that truly care about our country and its people. I pray that the ban passes and this issue gets decided by the people of California…

 

Related Articles:

 

http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080603/32641.htm

Gay ‘Marriage’ Ban Qualifies for California Ballot

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080530/32594.htm

Presbyterians Divided on Gay Ordination Ahead of Major Meeting

 

The Presbyterian Church is split on whether or not to ordain homosexual clergy. They will have a meeting this month where the issue is expected to be debated again. Those opposed to the ban have varied ideas on what should be done with the ban. Some want it completely removed from the constitution and other want to “soften the language” of the ban. Currently, the constitution says that to be ordained, a person requires “fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman” or “chastity in singleness”. The Presbyterian Church is not the only one that is having trouble dealing with homosexuality. The Methodist Church has also dealt with this issue when they affirmed their ban on homosexual pastors and declared that homosexual pastors are “incompatible with Christian teaching”.

 

I am still at a loss as to why this is an issue in the church. There is nothing in scripture that shows any “wiggle room” to allow homosexuals to be pastors. To be honest, scripture makes it clear that homosexuals are in rebellion to God and therefore can’t be considered Christians. For the church to waffle on this issue shows a lack of understanding of the scriptures, the character of God, and the purpose of the church. The PC(USA) and other churches need to make it clear where the scriptures stand on the issue and then enforce it!

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080601/32621.htm

Obama Quits Chicago Church Steeped in Controversy

 

Barack Obama recently resigned “with some sadness” from the church he had been going to for the last 20 years. Obama said in his resignation letter, released by campaign officials on Friday, that “he’s not denouncing the church” and that “he’s not interested in the people that want him to denounce the church”. He also said that this was a decision the he and his wife had been discussing since Reverend Jeremiah Wright appeared at the National Press Club in Washington last month. Between the remarks that Wright made and those made by a visiting preacher last week, Obama has been criticized for being a part of the church. Wright was Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor for the 20 years that he was attending the church. Obama said that “this was a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it”.

 

I saw in another place someone asked an interesting question. Jeremiah Wright was Barack Obama’s spiritual mentor for 20 years. The mentor is no longer a part of his life, but what about the 20 years of teaching? I also had to laugh about one comment Obama made. He said that this decision was “a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it”. If it was so personal, why did his campaign leaders release the letter to the public? If it wasn’t supposed to have anything to do with politics or improving his image to the public, then why was it released? It just seems awful fishy to me… I also have to ask why he didn’t denounce the church? If they are teaching falsely, why shouldn’t he denounce the church? If they are being controversial and saying things from the pulpit that Christians shouldn’t be saying, why wouldn’t he denounce the church? Also, why wouldn’t he want to be involved with the people that expect him to denounce the church? Is it because they’re the same people that are against abortion and homosexuality? Is it because they are solid in their beliefs and understanding of scripture and would have to disagree with Obama himself? I can only hope that those Christians who support Obama will pay attention to what he’s saying and whether or not it lines up with the scriptures…

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080602/32625.htm

China Crackdown Hits House Churches Hard

 

China Aid Association says that house churches have been hit hard with a wave of arrests and detentions. House churches have been disbanded and two people have even been arrested as “separatists”. The government has even put up signs saying that local citizens should report “evil cult activity”, which includes house churches. A Bible school was closed on May 13th and two days later, the Public Security Bureau broke up a prayer meeting being held for the earthquake victims and the Olympics. The government also turned away or arrested house church members who volunteered to help the victims of the earthquake.

 

This is sad. All that the Christians in China want is to be able to worship God freely. To turn away help from volunteers when your country has just suffered a HUGE tragedy and need all the help that they can get, it’s ludicrous. Do the Christians have “cooties”? Why would you turn away the help? Christianity is “evil cult activity”? Are they that afraid of Christianity? It’s sad to see this kind of thing happening in China. I can’t help but wonder if this is where America is headed…

 

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http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/jun/08060212.html

UK Officer Tells Preachers: Converting Muslims to Christianity is “Hate Crime”

 

Two Christian preachers were threatened with arrest for preaching the gospel to Muslims. The threats came from a Muslim community support officer who heard the preaching. The officer said that the preaching of the gospel in the Muslim area was equal to a “hate crime”. After the threatening, the officer and a few others called in for help said that the preachers couldn’t count on the police for help if they found themselves in trouble. The pastors expressed their outrage at the lack of support from the police, who refused to apologize for the actions of the officer. They said that they were surprised that the police were so “nonchalant”, considering that Britain is a free country and what the pastors were doing was perfectly legal. To the pastors, this is an example of the “no go” areas that have been said to exist even though they have been denied by the government. The pastors have initiated a legal action against the West Midlands Police, saying their treatment violated articles 9 and 10 of the 1998 Human Rights Act, which guarantees freedom of religious expression.

 

I am truly saddened by the decay that Britain has seen in its Christian culture. I know that things are not altogether gone yet, but it seems to be heading that way. The preaching of the gospel is always going to offend those who don’t believe (as well as those who do at times), it is a freedom given to Americans and others and should be upheld, regardless of what the police think. The police are public servants and need to be serving the public regardless of whether or not they agree with the public. They are to uphold the law, and not to enforce their own beliefs. This is seen in America as well, but I pray that it will change.

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080603/32655.htm

Tenn. ‘Bible in Schools’ Act Awaits Approval

 

A bill that has passed easily through the Tennessee legislature is currently awaiting signature by the state’s governor. If signed by the governor, the bill would allow Tennessee public school students to have the option to take non-denominational classes on the Bible. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Roy Herron, says that he wants “students to study the greatest and most popular book in history” and “to understand how the Bible has enormously impacted literature, art, music, culture, history and politics”. He also said that he believes “a Bible course will help students understand our culture and our highest and best values”. The bill wouldn’t force schools to teach Bible classes, but it would protect those who do and allow those who don’t to have the option to. 78 of Tennessee’s 95 counties offer Bible courses and that 35 states offer the option of enrolling in elective Bible classes.

 

I hope that this is a growing trend and that it ends up being true in all 50 states. I think that it is necessary for our kids to understand that evolution is not the concrete theory that it’s made out to be and that there are many problems with it even from a scientific standpoint. When you bring scripture into it, it is clear that evolution and Christianity don’t jive. Unless you were to take scripture and “adjust” it to fit evolutionary ideas, it just can’t work. I think that it is wonderful that Tennessee’s students have the option to take classes that actually spread truth of the gospel.

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Education/Default.aspx?id=129886

Home schooling labeled ‘anarchy’

 

 

The California Teachers Association has filed a brief in the courts that says that parents should have no right over the education of their kids, should have no right to homeschool their kids, and that homeschooled kids should be forced back into public schools. The union said that allowing kids to be homeschooled by uncredentialed teachers could result in “educational anarchy”. Those in support of homeschooling say that there are over 200,000 kids being homeschooled in California and that they are continually scoring higher than public school kids as well as kids from traditional private schools.

 

This is a thinly veiled argument for the schools. If I had to guess, this is a tired attempt by the public schools to get money. Because homeschooling is growing, and because the students are doing better than public schools, and because the public schools are having so much trouble with the kids, the public schools have to try and force the state government to force the parents’ hands. The only alternative would be to overhaul the public school system and that’s not going to happen because it would mean that they have to admit they’re wrong. It’s not just California that is seeing problems in public school. Even here in rural Alabama, our schools are seeing troubles. Teachers are being laid off, testing scores are not good, and no one wants to do anything to change it. I’m praise God everyday for my daughter’s mom homeschooling her. It is the most wonderful thing that she could do for our daughter and it has had an amazing effect on her. I would recommend it to anyone who is considering it, as long as you are prepared to pour yourself into your children and work really hard. It’s definitely worth it!

 

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http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200806/CUL20080605a.html

Habitat for Humanity Ends Land Deal With Planned Parenthood

 

This is just an update on the article that I posted last week. Habitat for Humanity of Sarasota has decided to end the land deal with Planned Parenthood.

 

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