From the wild hair dept…

August 7, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Breakthrough May Help President, Congress

By Ivana Nodatruth

Tuscaloosa, AL – Researchers at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa have been working around the clock in a feverish effort to finish what could be one of the most amazing medical breakthroughs of the past century. If successful, the highly advanced research is expected to change the face of medicine and politics in America.

The researchers have been working on experimental tissue restructuring techniques that would allow them to create new organs from cell tissue cultures. While ethics issues are still being discussed, the researchers believe that the overall good that will come from the new organs will outweigh any concerns that may come from ethical issues. Dr. Ichabod M. Fulovit, the lead researcher for the project feels that the research his team is doing will be of great benefit to the United States and may possibly be brought to other nations as well. Continue Reading From the wild hair dept……

Wisdom for the nation

March 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Last week, I wrote about where our country is and why. I wrote about how the government has fallen away from the Constitution and now only serves itself, ignoring the people it supposedly represents. I ended with some ideas on what I would love to see happen and what I think could begin to fix the nation. After I posted that, I thought about a few more things.

 

Many people today talk about being Christian and show very little evidence for it. Many claim to believe in God, but they refuse to believe the Bible is His very Word. Along with them, the world mocks the Scriptures and says that they have no value other than some ethereal “good teachings”. This week, I wanted to look at some of the scriptures to show how they are pertinent to every situation, at any time, anywhere. Many of these verses are thousands of years old, and yet, they still hold more than “good teachings”. The main place I’m going to go this week is Proverbs. As you read this week’s blog, I ask that you contemplate the problems that our nation (and much of the rest of the world) is facing right now. Solomon wrote most of the proverbs in the Bible. Solomon is known as the wisest man who ever lived besides Christ. During his reign as king of Israel, the people were at peace and they flourished and grew. It seems to be simple logic to look at what Solomon did/believed and see if we can’t do the same. It must be made clear though: Solomon’s wisdom was God-given and did not come from any man (1 Kings 3:3-10). To understand the proverbs, we must first know their purpose:

 

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion, a wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel, to understand a proverb and a figure, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:1-7)

 

The purpose of the proverbs is to understand wisdom, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice, and equity. They also give prudence to the naïve, knowledge and discretion to the youth, and increase the learning of the wise man. But, Solomon makes a caveat to all of this in verse 7. The proverbs are only helpful to those who fear (revere) God. The wisdom that Solomon is sharing is from Him and it is only through a correct view of God Himself that this wisdom will make sense:

 

Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:2-6)

 

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. My son, let them not vanish from your sight; Keep sound wisdom and discretion, so they will be life to your soul And adornment to your neck. Then you will walk in your way securely and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. (Proverbs 3:19-24)

 

There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

 

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, watching the evil and the good. (Proverbs 15:3)

 

The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom, And before honor comes humility. (Proverbs 15:33)

 

 

The proverbs are filled with examples of those who follow wisdom and her teachings and those who don’t. For those who refuse to listen to wisdom, the consequences are severe:

 

“Because I called and you refused, I stretched out my hand and no one paid attention; and you neglected all my counsel And did not want my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your dread comes, when your dread comes like a storm And your calamity comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently but they will not find me, because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD.” (Wisdom speaking – Proverbs 1:24-29)

 

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries his footsteps errs. (Proverbs 19:2)

 

But for those who will listen to the wisdom of God and be obedient to it, there are much different results:

 

Wisdom shouts in the street, She lifts her voice in the square; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings: “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded? And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge? Turn to my reproof, Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you.” (Proverbs 1:20-23)

 

“But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33)

 

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver and her gain better than fine gold. She is more precious than jewels; and nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who hold her fast. (Proverbs 3:13-18)

 

“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding! Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will guard you; Love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding. Prize her, and she will exalt you; She will honor you if you embrace her. She will place on your head a garland of grace; She will present you with a crown of beauty.” (Proverbs 4:5-9)

 

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, And I find knowledge and discretion. The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate. Counsel is mine and sound wisdom; I am understanding, power is mine. By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.  By me princes rule, and nobles, All who judge rightly.” (Proverbs 8:12-16)

 

The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, honor and life. (Proverbs 22:4)

 

By wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

 

In my opinion, these examples alone should be enough for our nation to begin to radically restructure our lives to turn back to God. But, for the sake of those skeptics who mock the Lord and see faith in Him as a “crutch”, let’s look at some other things that the proverbs touch on.

 

In today’s time, it has unfortunately become so common to hear about school shootings (like the recent ones in Germany) that we have become numb to those things. Add to this the out of control sexual activity, drinking/drug use, and the absolute lack of morality that our kids are being brought up in through public schools it is an utter catastrophe both for our society and for the church. Proverbs is something important for our children as well as for ourselves. If you teach your children to read a chapter of Proverbs a day (and repeat it every month) the wisdom they will come away with will keep them from many of the things that they will face. Solomon wrote down his wisdom to pass it along to his children. Look at some of the things that he said:

 

My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. (Proverbs 1:10-16)

 

My son, do not forget my teaching, But let your heart keep my commandments; For length of days and years of life And peace they will add to you. Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute In the sight of God and man. Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil. (Proverbs 3:1-7)

 

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, When it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you. Do not devise harm against your neighbor, While he lives securely beside you. Do not contend with a man without cause, If he has done you no harm. Do not envy a man of violence And do not choose any of his ways. For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright. (Proverbs 3:27-32)

 

Do not enter the path of the wicked And do not proceed in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. For they cannot sleep unless they do evil; And they are robbed of sleep unless they make someone stumble. For they eat the bread of wickedness And drink the wine of violence. But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. (Proverbs 4:14-27)

 

My son, give attention to my wisdom, Incline your ear to my understanding; That you may observe discretion And your lips may reserve knowledge. For the lips of an adulteress drip honey And smoother than oil is her speech; But in the end she is bitter as wormwood, Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, Her steps take hold of Sheol.

She does not ponder the path of life; Her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Now then, my sons, listen to me And do not depart from the words of my mouth. (Proverbs 5:1-7)

 

Imagine if our children were taught this? What would our nation be like? If generation upon generation were to walk in the truth of Proverbs how great would it be? If they had a healthy reverence for God and obeyed Him imagine what it would be like? What if our children were able to pull this nation up from the dregs and move it forward because they stood on a sound and strong foundation based on Biblical truth? It would be amazing! It would be what it is supposed to be…

 

Throughout Proverbs, there is a comparison between the upright/righteous and the wicked/evil. The righteous are those who believe in God and fear Him. They are obedient to His Word and are willing to change themselves to fit it. The wicked are those who hate God and turn away from Him and His wisdom. They rebel against Him and live their lives the way they want to.

 

Pro 2:21-2 For the upright will live in the land And the blameless will remain in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the land And the treacherous will be uprooted from it.

 

Pro 3:33-5 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous. Though He scoffs at the scoffers, Yet He gives grace to the afflicted. The wise will inherit honor, But fools display dishonor.

 

 Pro 5:21-3 For the ways of a man are before the eyes of the LORD, And He watches all his paths. His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin. He will die for lack of instruction, And in the greatness of his folly he will go astray.

 

Pro 6:12-5 A worthless person, a wicked man, Is the one who walks with a perverse mouth, Who winks with his eyes, who signals with his feet, Who points with his fingers; Who with perversity in his heart continually devises evil, Who spreads strife. Therefore his calamity will come suddenly; Instantly he will be broken and there will be no healing.

 

Pro 10:2-3 Ill-gotten gains do not profit, But righteousness delivers from death. The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger, But He will reject the craving of the wicked.

 

Pro 10:6-7 Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. The memory of the righteous is blessed, But the name of the wicked will rot.

 

Pro 10:9 He who walks in integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will be found out.

 

Pro 11:3 The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them.

Pro 11:6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the treacherous will be caught by their own greed.

 

Pro 11:10-1 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, And when the wicked perish, there is joyful shouting. By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, But by the mouth of the wicked it is torn down.

 

 

Pro 11:18 The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward.

Pro 11:20 The perverse in heart are an abomination to the LORD, But the blameless in their walk are His delight.

 

Pro 12:5 The thoughts of the righteous are just, But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.

Pro 12:7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, But the house of the righteous will stand.

Pro 12:13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, But the righteous will escape from trouble.

 

Pro 13:5 A righteous man hates falsehood, But a wicked man acts disgustingly and shamefully.

 

Pro 14:2 He who walks in his uprightness fears the LORD, But he who is devious in his ways despises Him.

 

Pro 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

 

Pro 15:8-9 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

 

Pro 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

 

Pro 16:8 Better is a little with righteousness Than great income with injustice.

 

Pro 16:28 A perverse man spreads strife, And a slanderer separates intimate friends.

 

Pro 17:15 He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD.

 

Pro 17:26 It is also not good to fine the righteous, Nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.

 

Pro 21:15 The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous, But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

 

Pro 21:21 He who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness and honor.

 

Pro 22:12 The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

 

Pro 24:1-2 Do not be envious of evil men, Nor desire to be with them; For their minds devise violence, And their lips talk of trouble.

 

Pro 26:24 He who hates disguises it with his lips, But he lays up deceit in his heart.

 

Pro 28:12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, But when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.

 

Pro 28:22 A man with an evil eye hastens after wealth And does not know that want will come upon him.

 

Pro 28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves; But when they perish, the righteous increase.

 

Pro 29:2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, But when a wicked man rules, people groan.

 

Pro 29:7 The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.

 

Pro 29:16 When the wicked increase, transgression increases; But the righteous will see their fall.

 

Proverbs also talks about lying and deceit and shows what God thinks about it. It also shows the results and problems that come from lying and deceit. Unfortunately, lying is so commonplace that it is an accepted and even encouraged part of many professions and life in general. Our lawyers, politicians, and (sadly) many preachers are seen as liars. This is a tragedy on many levels. First, it has obscures the truth and it causes a lack of trust that hurts marriages, families, and the infrastructure of our nation. If we can’t trust our family, friends, or leaders, then we are at a loss to build anything that lasts:

 

Proverbs 12:19 Truthful lips will be established forever, But a lying tongue is only for a moment.

 

Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, But counselors of peace have joy.

 

Proverbs 12:22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, But those who deal faithfully are His delight.

 

Proverbs 14:25 A truthful witness saves lives, But he who utters lies is treacherous.

 

Proverbs 17:4 An evildoer listens to wicked lips; A liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

 

Proverbs 17:7 Excellent speech is not fitting for a fool, Much less are lying lips to a prince.

 

Proverbs 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will not escape.

 

Proverbs 19:9 A false witness will not go unpunished, And he who tells lies will perish.

 

Proverbs 19:22 What is desirable in a man is his kindness, And it is better to be a poor man than a liar.

 

Proverbs 20:17 Bread obtained by falsehood is sweet to a man, But afterward his mouth will be filled with gravel.

 

Proverbs 25:14 Like clouds and wind without rain Is a man who boasts of his gifts falsely.

 

Proverbs 29:12 If a ruler pays attention to falsehood, All his ministers become wicked.

 

As I said above, Proverbs touches on a number of things. It is a book of wisdom that all men, women, and children should be digging into every day. Another important thing that Proverbs touches on is a strong work ethic. Many times in his writings, Solomon condemns those who are lazy and will not work:

 

Proverbs 6:6-11 Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which, having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer And gathers her vision in the harvest. How long will you lie down, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? “A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest”–Your poverty will come in like a vagabond And your need like an armed man.

 

Proverbs 10:4-5 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich. He who gathers in summer is a son who acts wisely, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who acts shamefully.

 

Proverbs 12:11 He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who pursues worthless things lacks sense.

 

Proverbs 14:23 In all labor there is Proverbsfit, But mere talk leads only to poverty.

 

Proverbs 15:19 The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns, But the path of the upright is a highway.

 

Proverbs 16:26 A worker’s appetite works for him, For his hunger urges him on.

 

Proverbs 18:9 He also who is slack in his work Is brother to him who destroys.

 

Proverbs 19:15 Laziness casts into a deep sleep, And an idle man will suffer hunger.

 

Proverbs 21:5 The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

 

Proverbs 21:25 The desire of the sluggard puts him to death, For his hands refuse to work;

 

Proverbs 28:19 He who tills his land will have plenty of food, But he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.

 

For those who say that this is not throughout scripture and that we have a responsibility to take care of those who can’t work, let me explain. I am not against taking care of those who can’t work. Like scripture, I’m against those who CAN work and refuse to do so. Unfortunately, our nation is filled with men and women who hold this view. I’ve heard stories of women who stand in line to pay for lobster and wine with food stamps and then pay for their cigarettes with a $100 bill. I’ve also heard of men who stand outside gas stations with signs that say they need help and then brag to the station’s owner that they are making $200-$300 a day. This is both angering and sad. Our nation used to be filled with men who took pride in being able to work honestly for the privilege to support their families. Now, we have greedy and dishonest men who will connive and deceive their way into money because they have no honor. I am going to say something that many will probably disagree with. I believe and agree with 2 Thessalonians 3:10:

 

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.

 

If you don’t work, you don’t eat. Period. This is probably hard to swallow with the current job situation, but listen to what I’m saying. I am not against women working at a job. But, I think that if more women spent time at home with their kids, things would be better. The children would have someone there for them. I’ve actually heard stories of women who have lost their jobs and found the joys of motherhood through it. To be honest, the work done by women at home is more special, much harder, and extremely more lasting than the work that any man will do (other than teaching their kids the truth and disciplining them when necessary). All of this is supported many times in scripture including Proverbs 31. Instead of men dragging their feet and trying to chase after what they want, they should be doing whatever is necessary to provide for their family and take care of them. I also think that welfare is unnecessary. Again, hear me out. It is not the government’s job to give people handouts and bail them out of the situations they’ve gotten themselves into. It is the church’s job to help the widows, orphans, and those who need it. It is the church that should be taking the initiative to help those who are in need.

 

If our nation is going to be restored, it’s going to happen through hard work and diligence. Lazy, unmotivated people will not rebuild the nation, but that is what we are creating. We are teaching the next generations that they can expect everything to be handed to them by the government. This undermines the drive and resolve for people to strive for the best.

 

Leadership is another topic that Solomon touches on in the book of Proverbs:

 

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

 

Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.

 

Proverbs 13:23 Abundant food is in the fallow ground of the poor, But it is swept away by injustice.

 

Proverbs 14:28 In a multitude of people is a king’s glory, But in the dearth of people is a prince’s ruin.

Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, But he who is gracious to the needy honors Him.

 

Proverbs 16:12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.

 

Proverbs 20:6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?

 

Proverbs 20:18 Prepare plans by consultation, And make war by wise guidance.

 

Proverbs 20:28 Loyalty and truth preserve the king, And he upholds his throne by righteousness.

 

Proverbs 22:16 He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

 

Proverbs 24:6 For by wise guidance you will wage war, And in abundance of counselors there is victory.

 

Proverbs 24:24-5 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,” Peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him; But to those who rebuke the wicked will be delight, And a good blessing will come upon them.

 

Proverbs 25:5 Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness.

 

Proverbs 25:19 Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

 

Proverbs 28:2 By the transgression of a land many are its princes, But by a man of understanding and knowledge, so it endures.

 

Proverbs 28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, But those who keep the law strive with them.

 

Proverbs 28:15-7 Like a roaring lion and a rushing bear Is a wicked ruler over a poor people. A leader who is a great oppressor lacks understanding, But he who hates unjust gain will long his days. A man who is laden with the guilt of human blood Will be a fugitive until death; let no one support him.

 

Proverbs 29:4 The king gives stability to the land by justice, But a man who takes bribes overthrows it.

 

Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.

 

 While Solomon mentions kings, the premises of the wisdom can be applied to the leader of any nation, king or otherwise. He shows how important it is for leaders to be upright and honest. They should rule in righteous and justice, but these things are defined the way God sees them and not the way that man does. They should remove treachery and deceit from them and their advisers. They should not oppress the people or act wickedly toward the righteous. Imagine what our nations would be like if their leaders would follow these precepts as they lead the nation. Their people would flourish and grow as the trust between them and their ruler grows. It would be something that changes our country.

 

Greed and wealth have been the focus of many Americans lately. Our leaders continue to pump money into a system that isn’t working. They flip-flop between the horrible catastrophe that we face and the encouraging outlook our nation sees from their senseless waste of our money. Many of the situations we now face are the direct result of greed and the desire for wealth. The CEOs of major companies are more concerned about themselves and the amount of money they can immediately gain then they are about their employees and their welfare. The government continues to throw money at these companies who in turn continue to waste it. The book of Proverbs talks about all of this:

 

 

Proverbs 11:28 He who trusts in his riches will fall, But the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.

 

Proverbs 13:11 Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, But the one who gathers by labor increases it.

 

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, And the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous.

 

Proverbs 15:27 He who Proverbsfits illicitly troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.

 

Proverbs 19:6 Many will seek the favor of a generous man, And every man is a friend to him who gives gifts.

 

Proverbs 22:2 The rich and the poor have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all.

 

Proverbs 22:22-3 Do not rob the poor because he is poor, Or crush the afflicted at the gate; For the LORD will plead their case And take the life of those who rob them.

 

Proverbs 22:26-7 Do not be among those who give pledges, Among those who become guarantors for debts. If you have nothing with which to pay, Why should he take your bed from under you?

 

Proverbs 23:4-5 Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, Cease from your consideration of it. When you set your eyes on it, it is gone. For wealth certainly makes itself wings Like an eagle that flies toward the heavens.

 

This is just a small portion of the wisdom and knowledge that can be found in the Bible. If our nation and its leaders would apply the wisdom found in scripture to the different issues in their lives, as well as our nation, we would see drastic changes immediately happen in our country. If they would be examples to the people, teaching them about sacrifice, righteousness, and honor, it would help restore the people’s trust in them. See, America’s problem (and the problems of every other nation) result from sin and a lack of absolute morals. Without absolute morals, there is no guideline to know right from wrong and man is free to do whatever he deems right. This is exactly what is happening in our country as I type this. This is ridiculous. We continue to try to solve problems with “answers” that have already been proven not to work. The only answer the will work is the one that is consistently ignored. It is my prayer that our nation and its people will turn their eyes back to the Lord and trust in Him instead of man:

 

Proverbs 16:20 He who gives attention to the word will find good, And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.

 

Your thoughts?

A Declaration

March 16, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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In the 200-plus years that our nation has existed, it has faced many issues. From the beginning, the colonies that made up our future nation faced tyranny and strife. The monarchy of Britain tried to remove the liberties and freedoms of the colonists that they were entitled to under the British constitution. As the pressure and strife increased, the colonists made their views and grievances clear. Many of the ideas expressed in the Declaration they made would shape the future of our nation. The colonists saw “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as God-given, unalienable rights and not the benefits of the government. They believed that the government was responsible for the securing these rights and that the government “derived their just powers from the consent of the governed”. They also believed that if the government failed in securing these rights, it was the right of the people to alter/abolish the government and institute a new government that was built on the aforementioned principles. They believed that the new government should have its powers “organized in such a way that the people feel will most likely affect their safety and happiness”. Because of the beliefs and the grievances Declared, our Founders were forced to fight for their beliefs and the morals attached to them. After winning the war the colonies came together to create a new government designed to secure the rights they had so desperately fought for.

 

This new government was created by the states and was laid out in the Constitution. The Constitution created a federal government with limited powers and responsibilities. Any power of responsibility not found in the Constitution automatically belonged to the states. The Founders saw the inherent problems in a strong federal government. It would create the same possibility for tyranny that they had just freed themselves from. Instead, the Founders left the majority of the rights and powers to the states. It was up to the states to provide for the needs of their people. They felt that because each state was basically a group of like-minded people, this would be the most beneficial and efficient way to handle the issue.

 

Since it’s founding, our nation has grown and prospered because its leaders feared God. For many years the government stayed small and the men who took office held to the Constitution (as the oath they took required them to). There were men, even in those days, who desired to expand the federal government, but the character of those men and others wouldn’t allow them to overstep their bounds. The federal government kept itself in check and the people benefited. Unfortunately, as the nation grew, some of those elected began to use their position to exercise powers they weren’t given under the Constitution. They consolidated the power of the federal government and then used that power to fulfill their own desires, reward those loyal to them (and not the Constitution), and trample the rights of thousands of Americans.

 

Along with this, the moral character of many elected seemed to deteriorate. It was no longer about the character of the President et al., but about what they said and how much they promised. It no longer mattered whether the President was an adulterer, liar, or thief as long as they looked good and told the people what they wanted to hear. All the while, they would use the American people to fulfill their agenda at the expense of the people. Sadly, this has become the epitome of American politics. It is commonly said that you can tell when a politician is lying because their lips are moving, and yet, they are still elected to office. We no longer look at someone’s character as long as they promise us things it isn’t in their Constitutional power/privilege to provide. This has been going on for at lease 100 years now and will only stop when the American people do something about it.

 

America has recently elected a new president. Although his character (he supports abortion, infanticide, and “gay marriage” and still calls himself a Christian) and selection of friends/”mentors” (Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Raila Odinga) is questionable at best; and even though he has lied numerous times during his political campaign, people still voted for him because he promised them what they wanted and had good intentions. Since the new president has taken office, he has spent trillions of dollars of taxpayer money (who else is going to pay for it?), put into office men and women of questionable character (when they weren’t shamed into denying the position), and lied to the American people by breaking promise after promise (tax raises, earmarks, putting lobbyists into government positions). All the time he was doing this, he spoke of transparency and accountability in his administration like never before. In less than 100 days the new president has saddled our children and grandchildren with an enormous debt in an effort to save us from “economic catastrophe”. He has also lowered the image of leaders (I didn’t think it was possible either) and set a horrible example for the next generations. He attacks those who bring real concerns about his efforts and spends a lot of time talking loud and saying nothing. Congress is also to blame. They too have greatly overstepped the powers and responsibilities given to them by the Constitution under the guise of “general welfare”. Instead of honestly representing the people and endeavoring to secure their rights, they have fought with each other to see who can steal more money from the people in the form of pet projects for their own states to secure their personal desires. Sadly, most of these projects are useless wastes of time and money. Like the president, Congressmen and women are expected to be liars, cheats, tax frauds, adulterers, and thieves. No one expects anyone in Congress to have any sort of backbone or honest care/concern for America or her people and we let it continue.

 

Not to be left out, the judicial system has also followed suit and overstepped its bounds. The Supreme Court (and other federal courts) no longer spends its time upholding the Constitution and the laws that follow it. Instead, it spends its time rewriting laws and reinterpreting the Constitution to mean whatever the judges want. They strike down state laws that are constitutional because they disagree with them. They help read the Constitution progressively as a “living, breathing document” (which is what the colonists separated themselves from in Britain’s constitution).

 

The worst part is that it is the American people will be the ones that suffer. The president will still make his six-figure plus salary (given by the taxpayers) while thousands scrounge to put food on the table. Congressmen and women will continue to make their outrageous salaries (along with all the money they get from side businesses, etc.) and waste taxpayers dollars. Judges will continue to rewrite the Constitution under our noses. The federal government will make every effort to grow and grab power from the states and individuals while America burns (should we hand out fiddles?). And Americans will let it happen. Between the three federal branches our rights will eventually disappear and we will be nothing but a mockery of the nation our Founders envisioned. What amazes me is that people are willing to give up their freedoms and their rights because the government says that it will take care of them, even though it has failed to do that in every instance it’s made the effort. The government has made it clear that they believe the American people are too stupid and lazy to take care of themselves and we continue to prove them right because we refuse to pay attention and speak up for ourselves. 

 

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering a few things. You may be wondering why this is on a blog devoted to Christianity and evangelism. Well, there are a few reasons. One, this type of environment is likely to lead to a situation where people like me will no longer be able to talk about Christianity without it being considered “hate speech” or treason. Second, while this blog post is about our nation and government, it is important for us to understand our history or we will repeat it. Third, it is because the kind of things going on in our government are a reflection of what our nation has become since it has rejected God (America was founded as a haven for Christians). Because America, its people, and its government have rejected the God they once appealed to; we are being subjected to things that God once protected us from. You may also be saying something like “if you don’t like it, you can leave”. Yes, you’re right. I could leave and find another place to live and one day, it may just come to that. But that day will follow my having done all that I can to fight against the mockery our nation has become. I love my country and will fight for what it once represented, even if I’m the only one.

 

Still others may be wondering what my purpose in writing this is or may be saying “well, do you have a solution for this?”

 

Let me tell you what I would like to see. I would love to see the Christian foundation of our nation restored. I would love to see God glorified in public. I would love to see children learn morals and uprightness from scripture in public school. I would love to see our nation return to God and repent of its sin. I would love to see the American people stand up and speak out. I would love to see babies have their rights restored instead of being killed by the thousands every day in the name of “choice”. I would love to see the American people regain the rights they’ve allowed to be stolen from them. I would love to see them have shame and remorse for letting out nation get to this point. But, what I would love to see most is the American people repent and return to God – to fear Him and turn from their sins. That’s what I would love to see and it could happen. If it does happen, it won’t be because of the federal government. It will happen when the people repent. It will happen when all people begin to care more about others than themselves.

 

My solution to this is simple. First, America must repent. We must stop doing what we know is wrong. I’m not advocating a new government or secession (although I think that it should be kept as a possibility). What I’m advocating is a return to the Constitutional government that we started with. I’m talking about returning the authority to the states and allowing them to be sovereign again. I’m talking about getting rid of unnecessary government programs that are unconstitutional and have added to our burden. I’m talking about not stealing any more money from our grandkids or just printing more money when we need it. I’m talking about government officials with character and morals that do what’s right for the people, take their job seriously, and uphold the oath that they took when getting into office. I’m talking about true accountability and transparency. I’m talking about getting rid of the political leeches that suck the life out of the American people. I’m talking about securing the rights of the American people (remember? – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?). I’m talking about reminding the people that they are not entitled to everything. They are entitled the opportunity for a house, car, job, education, etc.; but they are not entitled to have those things given to them. I’m talking about looking at the rich history of men and women who started out with nothing and built their lives through hard work and the fear of God. That’s what I’m talking about and the amazing thing is that it can all happen if we get rid of our selfishness, the government stops what it’s doing, and America repents.

The rebellion of creation

February 23, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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I’ve heard many people who talk about the rebellion of creation. They talk about how all of creation rebelled when Adam and Eve sinned against God. In the beginning, God created everything in six 24-hour days about 6,000 years ago. At this time, there was no death, disease, or thorns. All of creation was obedient to God and seen as “very good” by God Himself. Adam and Eve were told that they could eat of any tree except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When they ate of the tree, they rebelled against God and God’s judgment (which He had told them before) came to pass. Because of the sin, the entire earth was cursed. Some call this the rebellion of creation. All of creation groans because of sin, but it’s not all of creation rebels. As a matter of fact, there is only one aspect of creation that has rebelled against God and that is man.

Even though all of creation has been affected by sin, it still obeys God. The earth still revolves around the sun. It still spins on its axis at just the right angle to host life on the planet. Seasons still happen at their appointed times. Plants still go through their own life cycle as they always have. They are all obedient to the way that God said they should be. Animals still obey God’s plan for them. All of the physical laws of nature still work according to the way that God set them up to work. Because of sin, all of these things are affected and may not work as well as they used to, but they still work in obedience to God.

Man is the only one that doesn’t do this. We are the only ones that rebel against God. We do not operate according to what God says but instead we go our own way. Yes, I understand that our body still works according to the way God made it. But, as an active, moral agent with free will we all go our own way. When man was first created, it was in God’s image. We are NOT little versions of God! We have many of His characteristics. The one part of creation that rebels against God is the one that has been made in His image. We make our own idols instead of worshipping God. Sometimes, these idols are made of wood. Other times, the idols are just in our mind and they represent something different than how God described Himself. We deny the death of Christ on the cross and instead try to work our way to heaven. We put ourselves in charge (not really) and live our lives contrary to His commands and have the unmitigated gall to still ask for His blessing!

There are problems that I see happening if this continues for much longer. I fear for the future. Our children continue to grow up in a world that is drawing them further from God. The fear that I have is that they are not being told about their faith and they are not being taught how to defend it or apply it to their lives. In Exodus 12, the Israelites were told that they were to explain the Passover to their children when they asked about the lamb, the slaughter, and the blood. Many people and churches are doing this and the reason I know this is because it shows. I look at the children coming through the public schools and those coming through the churches and see them unable to defend even the most basic tenets of Christianity. Why? Because their parents and their pastors can’t do it either. They have moved from biblical Christianity and have embraced the entertaining, soft, weak message that many have run to in order that their churches might be filled.

Our nation continues to profess God with its lips while their hearts are far from Him. Many in our nation profess to believe in God and many claim to be Christians. Sadly, many of these people deny that Jesus is the only way to heaven, even though He said so Himself. They claim that there are other ways to heaven when there are not. They live their lives in sin (many openly) and therefore mock the truth of the One they profess to follow. This is evident in the fact that many who go out and witness to others or open-air preach the true gospel often talk about their hardest critics or opponents are those who profess Christ. Many of those who profess Christ while living in sin are doing so more aggressively and vocally leading others to do the same and drawing them away from salvation.

The Bible says that there are many who will stand before the Lord and be turned away from Him because He never knew them. He calls them workers of iniquity. When many stand before God on the Day of Judgment, it will be the first time that they actually believe in Him. They will be on their face before a holy, righteous God who is not going to be bribed by their good works or be moved by tears. They will not be able to tell God their sorry and gain heaven, they will not shake their fist at Him, and they will not “gladly go to hell”. They will not even be able to plead for mercy because it will be too late. Those who think that they will do these things really have no understanding of who God is. They see Him as a doting daddy or as only love and nothing else. These people obviously haven’t read their Bibles. All it takes is a cursory reading of the Bible to see that God is neither of these things. He is not a doting daddy. The Bible says that we can call Him “Abba”, but many people take this in a way that they shouldn’t. He’s also not all loving. He is love, but He’s not just love. If anyone holds either of these views, then they don’t understand the true God and have embraced an idol.

As Christians, we should be warning people of what’s to come. We should be speaking the truth even if people don’t like it. We need to stop watering down the gospel. We need to show people they are rebelling against God and lay out what the consequences are. If we don’t do these things, then we are rebels just like those we’re supposed to reach.

The Dream

January 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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On August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. This speech brought to the attention of the world the struggles and trials of our nation as some Americans were not treated like others were. As he stood in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln’s statue, Dr. King expressed the plight of African-Americans in our nation. Parts of his speech are known by millions, but it seems that many leaders and others today have forgotten what Dr. King really said. Today, many people use Dr. King and his message to support their agendas and causes without any care for the fact that Dr. King would never support their cause. To be honest, I can’t say that it surprises me…

 

In the 50’s and 60’s Dr. King, who was a Baptist minister (with a backbone and a Biblical understanding), spent much of his time striving to bring equality to the forefront of the nation’s mind. He didn’t cause riots or aggressively attack people. Instead, Dr. King and those who stood with him did things peacefully. They marched and prayed. They fasted and spoke up. They spent time in jail. They didn’t attack those who disagreed with them. By the time Dr. King stood on the steps of the nation, people around the globe were listening. Dr. King spoke clearly and concisely about where his heart was. It was in the Bible. Dr. King knew that God was in control and that He ultimately holds everything in His hands. He was aware of what he could do. If Dr. King wanted, he could have roused thousands of people into riots. He didn’t. He made his voice heard and spoke to the conscience of America. He called on those he fought for to act in dignity and discipline. He challenged them to step up and take the high road. He continued to encourage them to believe that things would be different and that they should go home knowing this. Dr. King continued to call on our leaders to change the country and they did.

 

Dr. King’s dream was that one day, blacks and whites would walk hand in hand and that there wouldn’t be any segregation. His dream was that everyone would be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. He said that if America were to become a great nation, segregation would have to end. Blacks and whites would have to be equal to each other. They would have to be equal in the eyes of the law and in the eyes of each other. Both blacks and whites would have to realize that they are one blood just like the Bible says (Acts 17:26).

 

Today, homosexuals are using Dr. King as a supporter for their agenda. They compare the “struggles” they’re going through to those faced by blacks in the 50’s and 60’s. They claim that they are being discriminated against and their rights are being trampled on. This is a ludicrous idea even at its foundation. Homosexuals are not going through the same trials and tribulations that blacks faced back then. No one can choose his or her skin color. Homosexuality is a choice. God created people to have the genetics for a variety of skin colors. He didn’t make anyone homosexual. He made Adam and Eve, man and woman. God wouldn’t make anyone in direct opposition to His character. He made man and woman heterosexual. They were the only two people and there was no other way for them to reproduce. Homosexuals are not having dogs sicced on them or being segregated from heterosexuals. They claim that their rights are being denied, but that’s not true. They have the same rights as heterosexuals. They can get jobs just like heterosexuals, go to schools just like heterosexuals, eat at the same places that heterosexuals do, and can even get married if they choose to do it according to its definition. If they don’t do any of these things, it’s not because they can’t but because they choose not to. But, because they can’t do exactly what they want, when they want, and how they want, they whine and attack those who don’t support them. They have beaten up Christians who believe that they are living in sin. They basically have nothing in common with Dr. King or his dream. To use a Baptist minister and his vision of racial equality to try and show support for their own cause is extremely shady.

 

Today our nation will inaugurate a new president. This new president (who may or may not be black or American) has taken great pains to try and connect himself to Dr. King and other powerful leaders who have impacted our nation (e.g., Abraham Lincoln). He talks about how he and “his people” have fought greatly to come to where they are. He has stood on a platform of change, desiring to change the nation for the better. This same man who professes to have the power to change the nation promotes things that Dr. King would never stand for. He openly supports abortion and is poised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as one of his first acts as president. This Act will allow women to have the free choice to kill their unborn child for any reason. This is in direct opposition to Dr. King’s dream. When Dr. King spoke of his dream, he often mentioned children. His concern for equality wasn’t just for himself and those who stood with him (black and white) but for the children that followed after him (black and white). Barack Obama also openly supports homosexuality. Dr. King was a Baptist minister who knew the scripture and stood on it and under it. He knew that the Bible said that homosexuality was condemned in both the Old and New Testaments as an abomination, an unnatural act, and means of going to hell. Barack Obama’s idea of change is nothing close to what Dr. King would have supported. But there are a number of “black leaders” who push this, if they don’t push him as some sort of Messiah. I find it an offense that he would imply anything of the sort. Barack Obama is taking the whole burden of change upon himself like he’s the only one who can make this change. Dr. King knew that he couldn’t do it alone. He knew that it would take all of us to make the changes and make them lasting. For Dr. King, it wasn’t about being an icon, but being willing to stand up for what is right and show others. There’s a huge difference between Dr. King and Obama…

 

On Martin Luther King Day, we celebrate a man who made an amazing effort to bring our nation together. He strove to help others see truth according to scriptures. He made his life an example of faith in action. He acted according to what he preached. He gave all of us (of any color) another example of a godly man who feared Him and strove to pattern his life according to what he read in scripture. Today, if you’re going to do any celebrating of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, please celebrate the man for what he was, what he did, and the dream that he held. Please don’t try to make him out to be something or someone he’s not…

Response to Newsweek

January 5, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Recently, Newsweek magazine published a cover article promoting and defending same-sex marriage. The article’s author, Lisa Miller, gives her view of what Scripture says about marriage. Her condescending attitude of Scripture and her lack of knowledge of what the Bible says is telling. To shore up her weak argument for same-sex marriage, she quotes people that are so-called Bible scholars. Unfortunately, these “scholars” seem to share her weak, anti-God hermeneutic. What follows is my response to her article, which basically comprises the same tired arguments that have always been given.

 

With her first sentence, the author shows her contempt for the Bible and for those who choose to take it as the authority over anything else. She says that she wants to “take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does” and then, instead of giving that definition, mistakenly asks which “bible hero” we should look to for that definition. To find the definition of marriage, instead of looking at the men who did or didn’t follow that definition, we should look to the One who instituted marriage from the beginning. When God made humans, He first made man. After He made man and put him in the garden, He gave him the task of naming all of the animals. As Adam named the animals, he began to notice how different he was. God then caused Adam to sleep and removed a rib from his side. God fashioned the rib into a female helper for Adam. When Adam saw her, he called her woman. At the end of Genesis 2, the institution of marriage is started. It is between Adam and Eve. From the beginning, God could have created two men or women to use to institute marriage, but He didn’t. He made a man and a woman. Despite the fact that a man and a woman are needed to reproduce, the main reason that a marriage is defined as one man and one woman is because THAT’S THE WAY THAT GOD DEFINED IT! Over and over in today’s society, people seem to think that they can redefine things because they feel that they should be changed. They believe that they can redefine things when they have no authority to do so! God defined marriage in the beginning and never changed His definition. The next argument is that we can look at the fact that Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others had more than one wife. Miller then tries to confuse the issue by asking her readers whom we should look to for the correct Biblical definition of marriage. This seems ridiculous. It also shows Ms. Miller’s complete lack of understanding concerning Scripture. First, Hagar was not Abraham’s wife. She was the maid of Abraham’s wife. The birth of Ishmael was due to Sarah and Abraham taking the birth of a son into their own hands instead of trusting in God’s promise. Marriage was defined by God and regardless of whether David, Solomon, or the others stood by that definition or not, it didn’t change the definition of marriage.

 

Second, Miller neglects the history of man from Adam to Jacob. In the long list of ancestors in Genesis 5, we are given no indication that any of these men had more than one wife. In Genesis 6, we see Noah and his sons, all who have one wife. We also don’t see any indication that any of those listed in the genealogies in Numbers or Chronicles/Kings as having more than one wife. But, as I said above, regardless of whether or not any of these men had one wife or more than one, it still doesn’t change the definition of marriage that God made.

 

The funny thing is that Miller seems to ignore the Old Testament instances where God specifically condemns the practice of homosexuality. He calls homosexuality an abomination (Leviticus 18:22). She also seems to forget that God punished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sin of homosexuality, which He called exceedingly grave. When Abraham is told about God’s plans to punish the cities for their sin, Abraham asks God if He will punish the righteous with the wicked. Because God defined homosexuality as an abomination and exceedingly grave sin, that’s what it is, regardless of what anyone else wants it to be. Why do Ms. Miller and those who try to use the Bible to promote gay marriage think that God will bless something that He has already defined as an exceedingly grave sin and an abomination? She also claims that all of the kings of Israel and Judah had more than one wife, even though there is no indication of this. Where it even lists their family members, there aren’t any that have more than one wife.

 

She then tries to take the argument to the New Testament by saying that the example of marriage given in the NT is no better. She goes right for the Lord and says that He was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments including family. Unfortunately, she neglects to give any Scriptural references for this argument (or any others for that matter). This, again, shows ignorance of the Lord and the Scriptures. Jesus did say that we should love God more than we love our family. When He said that those who follow Him should hate their father and mother (Luke 14:26), He was using hyperbole to compare the love that we should have for Him to the love that we have for our parents. We are given no indication that anything other than the God-given definition of marriage was the norm during the time of the New Testament writings. To say that Jesus was single somehow implies that He advocated that being married is unholy or not right is to add something to Scripture. What bearing does Jesus’ singleness have on the definition of marriage, especially when Jesus confirmed Genesis 2 as what marriage is (Matt. 19:5/Mar. 10:7)? For some reason, Miller tries to say that because Jesus was single, heterosexual marriage isn’t the only form of marriage or the only one that God condones. That makes absolutely no sense.

 

It’s the same with Paul. Miller says that Paul, who was single, only looked at marriage as a last resort to contain animal lust. Of course, once again, Miller gives no references to this so that her readers might actually read what Paul said in context and gain a correct understanding. And, once again, Miller neglects what Paul said about homosexuality. In Romans 1, Paul calls homosexuality a “degrading passion” (v.26), an “unnatural function” (v.27), and an “indecent act” (v.27). Paul also talks about homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6 (the chapter before the one she quoted). He says that those who practice homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God (v. 9). At the end of this chapter, Paul warns the Corinthians to flee immorality and glorify God with their bodies. Chapter 7 is a continuation of this idea, with Paul talking about how it is better for the gospel if people can be single and focus on doing the work of the gospel. But, Paul says that it is better that someone gets married than to burn with immoral passion and fornicate. Verse 9 of 1 Corinthians 7 is what Miller calls “the most lukewarm endorsement of a treasured institution”. Even when she does quote Scripture, she misquotes it. Paul says that if someone cannot remain unmarried:

 

But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

 

What’s interesting is that Miller forgot to mention the fact that when Paul talked about marriage, he said that each husband should have his own wife and that they should fulfill their duties to each other. Miller also seems to miss what a heterosexual marriage reflects. In Ephesians 5, Paul gives commands to a husband and wife:

 

Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Eph 5:26  so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

Eph 5:27  that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Eph 5:28  So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself;

Eph 5:29  for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church,

Eph 5:30  because we are members of His body.

Eph 5:31  FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.

Eph 5:32  This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

Eph 5:33  Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.

 

The institution of marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church. The husband steps into the role of Christ and is to love her with the same self-sacrificing love that Christ has for the church. The wife is to play the role of the church and respect her husband. He then quotes Genesis 2:23-24 as the pattern for marriage. Sadly, the idea of “gay marriage” completely destroys this image.

 

She also seems to miss the apostle Peter’s instructions to those who are married (emphasis mine):

 

1Pe 3:1  In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

1Pe 3:2  as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

1Pe 3:3  Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

1Pe 3:4  but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

1Pe 3:5  For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands;

1Pe 3:6  just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

1Pe 3:7  You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

 

What’s ironic about all of this is that Miller calls marriage a “treasured institution” and then spends the rest of her time trying to redefine it and tear it down. Not to mention the fact that there is nothing preventing homosexuals from getting married. All they have to do is stop living a sinful lifestyle and then marry someone of the opposite sex. She tries to make her ideas appeal to her readers by implying that those who share them are “contemporary” and that those who hold to the Scriptural definition of marriage are primitive and backward. By doing this, she neglects the thousands upon thousands of heterosexual married couples who DO use the Bible as a how-to script to very satisfying and God-glorifying ends.

 

Miller also seems confused about what kind of issue this is. She claims that this is a civil issue, while the opponents of it are all religious conservatives. In truth, this issue is a moral issue whose opponents are living in rebellion against God and desire to put themselves in authority over Him. She then falls back on the same old canard of comparing the “plight” of homosexuals desiring to live an unscriptural, immoral lifestyle to the troubles that African-Americans had concerning slavery. The two issues are nothing alike. Skin color is something that the person has no choice about. Sexual orientation is a choice. There have been many homosexuals who have chosen to leave the homosexual lifestyle and live lifestyles that glorify and please God. She claims that the sides of the same-sex marriage argument are unevenly matched because all of the opponents of “gay marriage” are the ones that use Scriptures as the basis for their objections. To be honest, this may be the only point that we agree on. The sides are unevenly matched. All of those who support “gay marriage”, whether practicing homosexual or “Christian”, have decided to pick up a fight against the Lord Himself. Meanwhile, Miller paints the fact that Christians against “gay marriage” use Scripture for the basis of their objections as some sort of tragedy, like having a set of absolute moral values is something to be ashamed of.

 

Miller says that there are two responses to the Christian view of the issue. The first, she says, is the fact that even though the Bible and Jesus say “many important things about marriage and family”, neither defines marriage as between a man and a woman. This is just a blatant ignoring of Scripture. Genesis 2:23-4 is the institution of marriage between the first man and woman. In the next chapter, when Eve finally decides to eat the fruit, the Bible says (emphasis mine):

 

Gen 3:6  When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.

 

Later, when God punishes them for their sin, God says that the woman’s desire would be for her husband. Both Jesus and Paul look to Genesis 2:24 as the beginning of marriage and both confirm that it is between a man and a woman. So for Miller to say that the Bible, Jesus, or Paul don’t see marriage the way that Christians are defining it today is ludicrous.

 

Her second response to the Biblical Christian view of marriage is that no “sensible, modern person wants marriage – theirs or anyone else’s – to look in its particulars anything like what the Bible describes”. So what this means is that she sees those who hold the Biblical Christian view as primative and lacking sense. She also ignores a couple important and obvious facts. She claims that “modern, sensible” person wants a Biblical marriage. If this is the case, why is “gay marriage” still an issue? If the majority of people hold her view, then why did California amend their constitution to prohibit “gay marriage”? Why did Prop 8 succeed if the majority of “modern, sensible” people hold the same view she does? She then says that marriage in America is a “messy conflation(?)” of a religious institution and a civil one. What she fails to realize is that there is no way to separate the two and that the Christian foundation of marriage is most important. Without it, the institution of marriage loses its purpose and definition. She tries to say that marriage is important because it provides civil benefits to both partners (contractual rights having to do with taxes; insurance; the care and custody of children; visitation rights; and inheritance). What she fails to mention is that the majority of the listed “rights” would not apply to those involved in “gay marriage” anyway. A homosexual couple cannot have children. That means that the marital provisions for the care and custody of children, visitation rights, and inheritance would be meaningless unless one of the “partners” has children from a previous heterosexual marriage (which has a ton of implications of its own…). She then says that marriage as a religious institution is about “a commitment by both people before God to love, honor, and cherish each other – in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer – in accordance with God’s will”. Why try to invoke God’s will when it’s convenient, even though you are trying to rebel against it by trying to change His definition of what marriage is? She then, weakly, says, “the Bible is a living document, powerful for more than 2,000 years because its truths speak to us even as we change through history”. I’m wondering how Ms. Miller would define truth to fit her ideals. If the Bible is true, then homosexuality is an abomination and, therefore, homosexual marriage cannot exist because it goes against the Biblical definition. Which is it? Despite this, Miller says that there is no good Biblical reason that gays and lesbians cannot be “married” and many why they should.

 

She then returns to her first premise, that Biblical examples of traditional marriage are “scarce”. As I said above, this is just blatant ignorance of what Scripture says. She then puts forth that marriage was “critical” to “pass on tradition and history”. Does she have any proof of this or is this just what she believes marriage is for? She offers no evidence for this other than a so-called “bible scholar” who just so happens to support her view (and openly disagrees with the Bible). She also says that marriage was important to “maintain the Jew’s precious and fragile monotheism”. Precious and fragile? Seriously, Ms. Miller is supposed to be a religion editor for Newsweek. Does she know anything about Biblical Christianity or does she just take what she’s told by those who share her view on the issues? Abraham is the first person to be called a Hebrew (not long after God called him away from his family). He held so closely to the One, True God that he was willing to kill his son in obedience to Him. He passed this strong faith in God to his children as well. To see this, all you have to do is actually study the book of Genesis. Isaac, Jacob, Joseph; they all believed in just one God and all of the people around them knew it and feared them because of it. This is hardly a fragile faith. The millions of Jews in bondage in Egypt cried out to Yahweh for salvation and no one else. Even through the times when many Israelites forsook God and followed after false gods, there were many who held firm to their faith in Yahweh. I don’t see how this affects the definition of marriage though…Marriage was instituted and ordained by God, not to pass down tradition or history, not to maintain a fragile monotheism, but to be the building block for the stability of His chosen people.

 

One of Ms. Miller’s “Biblical scholars” (Alan Segal) says that marriage was “between a man and as many women as he could pay for”. Unfortunately for the “Biblical scholar”, there is no scriptural support for this as the norm (as already shown above). Miller says that “social” conservatives (I thought that we were religious conservatives?) would point to Genesis 2:24 (which I’ve already done). Her “Biblical scholar” says that “if you believe that the Bible was written by men and not handed down in its leather bindings by God, then that verse was written by people for whom polygamy was the way of the world”. Does the “Biblical scholar” realize that Biblical Christians believe that men wrote the Bible too? The difference is that we believe that they were inspired by God to write what He desired them to. Not only that, but if you don’t believe that God inspired the Bible, then how can you be a Biblical Christian? Or, why would you offer it in defense of your point of view? I wonder if he also realizes that Genesis 2:24 took place while Adam and Eve were still in the garden? This would mean that polygamy couldn’t be a way of life because Adam and Eve were the only two people in existence! If he cannot even comprehend simple things that most elementary Sunday school classes know, why should I trust him on more difficult issues?

 

Miller brings up the idea of a homosexual couple’s inability to procreate as a biblical objection, and it is. But it’s not the point. Regardless of whether or not they can procreate, or whether the Bible authors could have imagined international adoption and new technology, it doesn’t change God’s definition of marriage. She also tries to defend her position by saying that infertile heterosexual couples cannot procreate, but they can get married. What she fails to see is that they are still heterosexual couples. They still abide by the definition of marriage set forth by God in Scripture. The fact that they, or those beyond the age of reproducing, cannot have children has no bearing on whether or not they abide by how God defined marriage.

 

Miller then questions the Lord and His view of both family and marriage. Again she tries to somehow imply that because Jesus was unmarried it shows His support for homosexuality and “gay marriage”. She then talks about the “community of believers” and defines them as a radical kind of family whose bond in God superceds all blood ties. What I don’t understand is how she gets confused about what a believer is. A believer, according to the Bible, is someone who not only believes that God exists but that repents of their sins and puts their trust in Jesus Christ. I agree that the “community of believers” is a radical family, but it does NOT include everyone who says they are a Christian. She says that this community shares a bond in God. God sees homosexuality as an exceedingly grave sin. How can homosexuals see themselves as part of this community, claiming that they share a bond in God, when they live in open rebellion to Him and His Word. What does the fact that there is no marriage have to do with whether God is ok with “gay marriage”? How is the fact that Jesus doesn’t mention homosexuality an argument from silence for something that God explicity is against? What about where Jesus confirms the definition of marriage by quoting Genesis 2:24? Ms. Miller’s hermeneutic is horrible and hardly sound.

 

In her next paragraph, Miller shows a severe lack of understanding of any part of the Bible. She claims that neither Jesus nor Paul had any interest in matters of the flesh. There isn’t a part of the New Testament that doesn’t deal in some way with the matters of the flesh. What about sin? Sin is the ultimate matter of the flesh! It is the reason that Jesus came to earth in the first place! To say that Jesus didn’t care about matters of the flesh is to dilute the Scriptures down to the point of being unrecognizable to anyone. Jesus told a number of people to “go and sin no more”. Paul also talks extensively about sin (especially in Romans) and immorality. He never once condones homosexuality (in fact, he condemns it: see Romans 1:26-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9). When he does talk about marriage, it is always a husband and wife. Paul does say that it was his desire that Christians be celibate if possible, because it allowed them to focus on the things of God. Miller says that Paul considered family stability is the best alternative. If this is true, then why would he support something that God didn’t ordain for the family? Also, what does the fact that he told those who get married to not get divorced have to do with “gay marriage”? Nothing. It seems that Ms. Miller is trying to say that the Bible says that divorce is wrong but people still do it, so that means that even though the Bible says that homosexuality and “gay marriage” is wrong, it can still be done. This is just sad. The fact that people get divorced doesn’t change the authority of God or the definition of marriage. It just means that there are people that disobey God.

 

Laughably, her next argument for “gay marriage” is that the phrase itself is not in there at all. The phrases “email”, “computer”, “dinosaur”, and “supersonic jet” aren’t in the Bible either. What does this have to do with whether or not the Bible condones “gay marriage”? She fails to understand that when the Bible explicitly defines what marriage is it does speak about “gay marriage”. Because the Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman, it means that any other “marriage”(whether it is “gay marriage” or polygamy or anything else) is unbiblical and not something that God desires.

 

She then tries to divert attention from the true crux of the issue by saying that the main reason most Christians are against this is because of the idea of sex between men. The main reason that any true Christian is against “gay marriage” is because the Bible forbids it, regardless of whether or not Ms. Miller actually agrees with it or not. She says that sex between women has never been a big deal, even in Biblical times, but she gives no indication of this from Scripture. She also neglects that Paul says that those who turn their backs on God and “exchange the truth for a lie” include women who exchange the “natural function of women for that which is unnatural” (Romans 1:26). She may try to deny that this denotes sex between women, but the very next verse talks about sex between men as the same type of act. Regardless of what a Bible dictionary or “Biblical scholar” says, the Bible itself clearly condemns homosexuality as a sin and rebellion against God. She says that Leviticus is “throwaway” but ignores the New Testament. Because she cannot make the New Testament say what she wants it to, she turns to a “scholar” who supports her position (meaning they had to twist and contort scripture) hoping that she can argue from “authority”. The unfortunate thing for Ms. Miller is that no matter how high her authority might seem to be in her own eyes or the eyes of those blinded by the world, it’s never going to be higher than God. God makes it clear that homosexuality is a sin and abomination. That is something that God will never bless in any form. She says that most of us no longer heed Leviticus, and I agree but I would go further. This entire issue stems from the fact that we don’t heed any of Scripture because we think we can do what is right in our own eyes! Our “modern” world has only surpassed the prescriptions of the scriptural strawmen that Miller and “gay marriage” supporters set up in hopes that a majority will buy into their sorry misrepresentation of the God of the Bible. Obviously, it didn’t work…Miller would also have us ignore homosexuality and focus on how much to pay for a slave because she claims that the Bible gives more focus to that. I would be interested in seeing what scriptures she’s using to glean her copious “advice”. In the 98 verses that I looked at concerning slaves, none of them talked about the “best price to pay for a slave”. Regardless of whether or not the Bible talks about the “best price” for a slave doesn’t change the fact that God sees homosexuality as a sin and abomination…

 

In her next paragraph, Miller starts out with “Paul was tough on homosexuality” even though she said above that Paul showed a complete lack of interest in matters of the flesh. So, which is it? Either he was tough on homosexuality or he didn’t care but it can’t be both! The truth is, Paul saw homosexuality the same way God sees it. Because she knows this, Miller again looks to a compromising “scholar” to strengthen her view, trusting that those reading the article won’t actually check for themselves. Her “scholars” are labeled “progressive”. Are they truly trustworthy? Just judging by the short number of quotes Miller uses, I would say that they definitely are not. Her “scholars” say that what Biblical Christians see as Paul being tough on homosexuality is actually Paul “critiquing the worst kind of wickedness: self-delusion, violence, promiscuity and debauchery”. While I disagree with this on many levels (most of all is that it turns a blind eye to what the scriptures actually say), I can’t help but laugh at the fact that this seems to perfectly describe many of the people that Miller is trying to support. She then tries to use her scholars to explain away the condemnation of homosexuality by saying that Paul was actually talking about the habits of the Roman emperors and not about “what we call homosexuality”. Are her scholars trying to change the definition of homosexuality now so that they can claim that the Bible doesn’t condemn it? Read what Paul writes in Romans 1:26-27 (emphasis mine):

 

Rom 1:26  For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

Rom 1:27  and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

 

Honestly, unless you are actively trying to deny what the scriptures say so that you can live the lifestyle that you want to live, how much clearer could Paul make it? Again, it’s not about what the “scholars” say, it’s about what God has already said. He has said that homosexuality is a sin. Period. What amazes me is that the “scholar” that she quotes claims that the men that Paul is talking about meet their end and are judged by God. The horrible tragedy is that this is equally true for those who compromise the His Word in order to make it say what they want. Miller then tries to throw up the divorce distraction again. It’s not about divorce. We know that God hates divorce (Malachi 3) and that many Christians get divorced. That doesn’t change the fact that God sees homosexuality as a sin though. Miller again tries to say that “because some Christians disregard the teaching on divorce, it’s ok to disregard the one on homosexuality too”. This completely misses the point. The people divorcing (or not divorcing) don’t make something true. It is true whether or not people are divorcing!

 

She then says that the objections to “gay marriage” are not rooted in the Bible but in “tradition and custom”. She says this mainly because she has to ignore the clear teaching of scripture and all of those who proclaim it in order to have any sort of argument at all. She then runs back to the canard of “homosexuality is just like slavery/skin color”. She even quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he said, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.” While that’s true, I don’t think that Ms. Miller and those who camp on her side of the issue see far enough or just how the arc bends. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). At this time, each of us will give an account of our lives before God. If we die in our sins (including homosexuality), then we will be given the justice of a holy and righteous God and be sent to hell for eternity. Sadly, instead of helping to warn those in sin, Ms. Miller has tried to make the trip to hell more comfortable for them…She then talks about how the Bible endorses slavery, but doesn’t seem to notice that it’s not the same type of slavery practiced here in America. And it still doesn’t change how God sees homosexuality. She says that it is impossible for the rules of the Bible to apply to our world at face value. That’s funny, isn’t our justice system based on the “rules” of the Bible, including many Old Testament ones? Why do we not see Miller crying out against a number of other issues that we seem to apply the Bible to at face value on a daily basis (or are those upcoming Newsweek articles)? Not to mention the fact that every issue that America faces has a corresponding answer to be found in the Bible. She claims that the “mature” view of scriptural authority is to move beyond literalism, like we have in the past. I wonder if Miller would say this if a literl view of scripture supported her side of the issue…This may be one of the most aggravating parts of the entire argument for me. Miller and others like her seem to think that their view of scripture is more “mature” and “modern”, when in reality it’s just convenience. Instead, I would argue that the mature view of scripture is to understand that God knew what He was talking about (He is the Creator of the Universe and is omniscient) and that, because I have a finite, sin-affected mind, I should give God “the honor of being more learned than myself”.

 

She says that marriage has evolved so that it would be unrecognizable to Abraham or Jacob. Is she sure about that? How can she know for sure? Does she have any scriptural evidence for this? Again, tries to argue from ignorance and claims the minority of examples to be the general rule. This is hardly the case. She then claims that a Newsweek poll says that 55% of those polled say that they are more objectionable to an adulterous heterosexual marriage than a “committed gay marriage”. I feel like a broken record as I type this, but that doesn’t change how God sees homosexuality. The Newsweek poll doesn’t define marriage. Christians don’t define marriage. God has already defined marriage between a man and a woman. She throws in a few other stats to try and strengthen her weak argument and then cites “modern” changes in wedding ceremonies as if that somehow gives the entire issue credibility (it doesn’t).

She says that we “cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual” but that we can read it for “universal truths” as we “struggle toward a more just future”. I just have a few questions for Ms. Miller. Who decides which “universal truths” are actually true? If she does, then that means that many of the things that scripture says (including the ones against homosexuality) are wrong. If I do, then what if she disagrees with me? How could they be universal truths then? If we can’t look to the Bible as a marriage manual, then how can we trust any of the other truths in it? She doesn’t seem to get that the Bible is either all true or it’s not. The Bible claims to be, and is, the inspired Word of the God of the universe. What authority does Miller have (other than what she’s already given herself) to determine which verses we can pick and choose (which Christians are often accused of doing due to ignorance of both Christian beliefs and scriptural context)? And, who exactly is “struggling” with toward a more just future? I could just as easily (if not more so) say that it is Christians who are having their liberties taken away at every turn because they hate the message of the gospel. She then says that the Bible offers inspiration and warning on many things, and it does, but we cannot read into the scriptures what we wish to see there. She points out that it “speaks eloquently” about the role of families, but seeks to change how it defines those families because it doesn’t suit her. The Bible never once talks about the type of family that those pushing “gay marriage” are striving to make possible. It is not about “binding ourselves in loving pairs” but about humbly obeying the Word of God and living out our lives the way that He’s told us to live them.

As if all of her blasphemy and poor hermeneutics wasn’t enough, she then throws out the idea (it’s not new) that Jonathan and David were lovers. She says that this (false) story is a favorite among gay men. She correctly says that conservatives see this as a platonic friendship. But, then she tries to say that it was actually more than that because the two men “stood up for each other in turbulent times, through violent war and the disapproval of a powerful parent”. How does this prove that they were homosexual? It doesn’t. What it shows is Miller’s willingness to read into scripture (eisigesis) whatever she needs to to make it support her position. Unfortunately, Miller, like many in the world today seem to take every instance of love (whether in the Bible or not) and automatically assume it to be an erotic or physical love. This is ridiculous and tragic. There is no indication in scripture that the relationship between David and Jonathan and that is where the issue stops. It is both disrespectful and poor for to imply anything else or leave anything to “history and our own imaginations”.

Miller then bounces back (she might have a touch of ADHD) to the Biblical marriages that didn’t fit the definition, probably thinking that we had forgotten that she already mentioned all of this. She tries to paint the marriages, which were once used to try and prove that the Biblical definition as wrong, as beneficial to the “greater community”. She still doesn’t seem to understand that the fact that the examples given happened in no way changes the definition God made. Not to mention the fact that there was actually more than one tribe (twelve to be exact). Again, Miller resorts to quotes from “scholars” who support her position. This time, it’s a Rabbi who says that Judaism “thrives through diversity and inclusion”. He says that he believes that Judaism doesn’t want to leave anyone “outside of the religious process”. But, if we’re going by the Jewish religious process, that would mean that all of those Old Testament laws would apply. That would mean that homosexuals could be stoned for their lifestyle, wouldn’t it? Sadly, I don’t think that the Rabbi understands his own religion…If, instead, we’re talking about the Christian religious process, then why would she quote a Rabbi?

I wish that Ms. Miller would actually show some evidence for her statements regarding the Bible instead of just spouting things that she thinks will fly under the radar. She fails to show how Mary and Joseph’s marriage was unorthodox. Yes, Mary was pregnant and it wasn’t by Joseph. God took care of that when He came to Joseph in a dream. Joseph took Mary as his wife and their marriage went along as planned. But again, Miller points to a specific and in this case very unique situation and tries to paint all marriages like this. Then, in a bout of unadulterated blasphemy she spews: “The boy needed two human parents, after all”. The boy? The boy? That boy, madam, is the Savior of the world. He is the only way to heaven and unless you repent of your sins you will not go. Your contentious view of Jesus comes from the fact that you hate the message the He preaches (if you’ve ever actually heard the true gospel). If you’re trying to endear yourself to Biblical Christians, it’s not working. If you’re trying to poke us in the eye, then understand that it’s not us you mock, but the just Judge of the universe. That’s not a place that I would put myself if I were you…

The rest of the article is the main point for Miller, et. Al. She claims that the message of Christianity is acceptance for all and that Christianity is all about inclusivity. She talks about how Jesus reached out to everyone and brought the “whole Christian community” into His embrace. Unfortunately for Miller, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about. The Jesus she talks about is not the One to be found in scripture. The Jesus of scripture is NOT all inclusive. He is the One who said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me” (John 14:6). That’s hardly inclusive. In this one statement, Jesus said that all other religious belief systems are wrong. Not only that, He is the same Jesus who said that “unless you repent, you will perish” (Luke 13:3). She then cites a Jesuit priest who says that the story of the woman at the well (John 4) is evidence of Christ’s “all-encompassing love”. Does either the priest or Miller realize all that happened that day at the well? Does the story show the love of Jesus? Of course. Does it show that He condoned her lifestyle? Nope. Does it show that He supported homosexuality? Nope. Miller seems to pick and choose her stories while she neglects the number of others that can’t be twisted to support her side. She then quotes a “scholar” from Columbia who looks to Paul for support of “gay marriage”. The “scholar” quotes Galatians 3:28 and says that the argument for “gay marriage” isn’t made from specific texts but with the “general conviction that the Bible is bent toward inclusiveness”. I think that I am going to write Columbia and ask them to make me an emeritus professor there. I can spew any number of verses out of context to support any issue at any time. This is sad to be honest. Galatians 3:28 says:

Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

The key words in this scripture are in Christ Jesus. You cannot be in Jesus if you are in sin. It doesn’t matter what a “scholar” thinks. That’s the truth. If you do not repent of your sins and continue in a lifestyle that God abhors, it doesn’t matter what you call yourself or how many “scholars” you can get to back you up. You are not a Christian. Therefore, you are not in Christ Jesus. The Bible is not inclusive. To say that it is is to ignore both the Old and New Testaments. In the Old Testament, God’s chosen people was Israel. There was never a time when that changed. They are still God’s chosen people. In the New Testament when the Christian church was born, it was (and still is) made up of those who repented of their sins and put their trust in Jesus Christ. This was evidenced by the fact that they were obedient to the scriptures. Those who are not born again will not inherit the kingdom of God (John 3). Those who are not saved are sons of disobedience and the wrath of God abides on them. That is not inclusive at all.  Nothing found in the Bible argues for “gay marriage”. Those who wish to make the Bible say something it doesn’t can do so, but that doesn’t change the truth. Getting “pastors”, “preachers”, and “scholars” to argue your point of view doesn’t change the fact that God has defined marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman. If there is a “pastor” or “preacher” who is “blessing” any of the “holy unions”, then they are in direct opposition to the will and Word of God and are not Christians. They are calling evil good and good evil and have set themselves against God.

Miller points out that very few Jewish or Christian denominations officially endorse “gay marriage” while some will bless “unions” and others openly support “gay marriage”. She says that she believes that homosexual couples should be allowed to marry in the same sense that heterosexual couples can. The truth is that they can. All they have to do is stop living a lifestyle of sin, repent, find someone of the opposite sex that they can love and then get married. Miller argues that “if we are all God’s children, made in his likeness and image” then “denying access to any sacrament based on sexuality is the same as denying it based on skin color”. Miller can argue that til she’s blue in the face but that doesn’t make it a valid argument or a good one. The truth is that we are not all God’s children. Ephesians says that the wrath of God is on the sons of disobedience. Jesus said that His sheep hear His voice. They are the ones that obey what He says. He also gave many parables of two different types of people, those that obey and those that don’t. This was illustrated by wheat and tares and good fish and bad fish. In 1 John, the apostle John says that there are two types of children, the children of God and the children of the devil and that they are obvious. The children of the devil do not practice righteousness. Homosexuality is a sin in God’s eyes and therefore cannot be righteous. Those who practice homosexuality, therefore, cannot be practicing righteousness and cannot be children of God. Miller mistakenly thinks that the level of seriousness you have about your argument is directly related to the truth of your argument. This is not true either. There have been many, many people who have been extremely serious about the beliefs that they hold (Paul is a good example) and have ben seriously wrong about those beliefs. It’s not about whether or not you are serious but whether what you are saying is true. She quotes a “reverend” who said, “Being with one another in community is how you love God”. That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible quotes Jesus as saying that if we truly love Him then we will keep His commandments (John 14:15, 21, 23-24). Marriage is about love, I don’t deny that. But it is only a marriage when it follows the definition of marriage given by God in the Bible. It is not a marriage any other way, no matter who tries to redefine it.  Human need also doesn’t redefine what a marriage is. There are many things that humans feel they need that are called sin in the Bible. It is not about what humans need. It’s not about the things that we want. It’s about what is true. There is nothing preventing homosexuals from getting married or growing old surrounded by friends, if they’re willing to do it all God’s way. If not, then they won’t have those things, but that’s not God’s fault, it’s not Christianity’s fault, and it’s not a reason to try and define marriage. Jesus didn’t teach us to love one another for our own good (can Miller provide any Bible verses at all?). He taught us to love God first with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength. Then, we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. It has nothing to do with us. She says that she wants children to grow up in stable homes. If this is truly the case, then she will support traditional marriage and Biblical Christian values. She ends her article with another quote from James Martin who says that he believes Psalm 139:14 supports homosexuality:

Psa 139:14  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.

 

I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Martin takes any other parts of the Psalm out of context in regards to homosexuality, like this part:

 

Psa 139:19  O that You would slay the wicked, O God; Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.

Psa 139:20  For they speak against You wickedly, And Your enemies take Your name in vain.

Psa 139:21  Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?

Psa 139:22  I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies.

 

 

Martin then says that in his heart (which, according to Jeremiah 17:9, is deceitful above all things and desparately wicked), he believes that Jesus would reach out to the homosexuals among us if He were hear today because “Jesus doesn’t want people to be lonely or sad”.  I think that Jesus would reach out to the homosexuals today too, and would tell them the same thing that He preached to everyone else while He was here on earth:

(Mat 3:2)  Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

(Mat 4:17)  From that time Jesus began to preach and say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

 

(Mar 1:15)  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

 

(Mar 6:12)  They went out and preached that men should repent.

 

(Luk 13:3)  “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

 

(Luk 13:5)  “I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.”

 

Instead of worrying about the priest’s prayer, I think that we need to worry about God’s wrath… 

The gospel according to Santa

December 15, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Most adults would say that they don’t believe in Santa. They would say that they are too old to believe in something like that. The funny thing is, the theology they hold to seems to say otherwise:

Prosperity gospel – God wants us to be healthy and wealthy and if we’re not, it’s our own fault. Either we lack faith or we’re not confessing the right things.

Social gospel – God left us an example in Jesus. This example was not about being holy and righteous. It wasn’t about being obedient. It was about doing everything we can to help and care for the less fortunate. We should give money, food, and other things to eradicate poverty, hunger, and other social ills. This was Jesus’ purpose for coming.

“Feel good” gospel – God is love. He loves us unconditionally. He is happy with us and we should feel the same way about ourselves. God is not judgmental, angry, or upset with “His children”. Sin isn’t talked about because that would imply we are wrong and God would judge us.

As I said above, many adults would say that they don’t believe in Santa, but what they teach/preach/listen to/believe seems to imply that Santa’s sitting in heaven. They make every effort to do good, not because it’s the result of salvation, but because they think it will help them get saved. They expect “good” things or “blessings” because they call themselves Christians, go to church, or even preach a “sermon” or “message” with scripture references. They treat God like Santa. They run to Him, “sit on His lap” (or “at his feet”) to ask for stuff and then run off and forget Him unless they don’t get what they asked for. They “believe” for things like God is sitting up in heaven waiting for them to be “good enough” or “have enough faith” to “receive” what they want.

I overheard someone say that God not only gives us our needs but our wants too. That was why Jesus changed the water into wine at the wedding of Cana…

I’ve also heard numerous people say “I know that God wants me blessed” or “I know God wants me to have it”.

It’s like they believe God’s entire existence revolves around them and their happiness. God seems to hang on their every word waiting for them to “confess” something so that He has the ability to act! I’ve heard “preaching” by well-known a prosperity preacher, Bill Winston, say that “the reason that Satan killed all the prophets was because they were saying things. ‘When the prophets spoke, God could act’” This is ridiculous! Not only that, but those who see God like this never seem to see anything but “good” like love, joy, peace, and “blessing”. They never see the “bad” things like judgment, justice, righteousness, and holiness. Even when someone makes “Santa God”’s “bad” list, they don’t get punished. They just get a little less blessed than others! They get a Toyota instead of a Mercedes, a three bedroom ranch instead of a mansion, and a middle-class $50K job instead of the “big money”.

Even at Christmas time we do this. We focus on ourselves:

Q: Why do we celebrate Christmas?

A: Because Jesus was born.
Q: Why was He born?

A: To save us.

While this is true, it’s not the main reason that Jesus came. Everything God does is for His glory!!! Yes, Jesus died for us. Yes, it was one of His purposes, but it was NOT the main one.

It seems that at the heart of everything most Christians do today is self. Everything that’s preached is all about what “God” can do for you. All the sermons by the “pastors” are focused on health, wealth, sex, relationships, and image. Sin, hell, judgment, and justice are taboo now because it might offend someone.

I’ve got a newsflash for those “Christians” who follow these warped and misleading theologies:

God is NOT some doddering old man who sits on a throne in heaven anxiously waiting for you to “ask in faith” for the materialistic, worldly, things you can do without. He is NOT “making a list and checking it twice”. His main focus is NOT to “bless you so you can bless others”. He does not need you to say something before He can act, nor does He need your permission. He is not surprised by anything that happens and is not powerless to work without us. He has NOT changed His mind about sin or how someone gets saved. He’s NOT our “buddy”, our “lover”, or our “divine butler”. He does NOT sit up in heaven trying to thing of ways to bless you.

The God of the Bible IS the Triune, eternal God who existed before time and will continue to exist for eternity. He IS the One who created everything and breathed millions of stars into existence. He IS the One whose voice shakes the mountains. His presence causes heaven and earth to flee from Him. He IS the judge of the living and the dead. He brought plagues on the nation of Egypt and wiped out their entire army with the Red Sea. He destroyed two priests because they offered unholy fire. He opened the earth and swallowed up Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their families because of their rebellion. He has raised up and brought low entire nations, including His chosen people. He IS the One who hates sin. It is His wrath that rests on those who live in disobedience and rebellion. He judged the entire world with a global flood and has promised a fiery judgment to come. No human being will ever fully comprehend Him and no other “god” (Allah, Brahman, Buddha) will ever compare to Him.

Do you see the stark contrast between the “god” of the modern church and the God of the Bible? If you follow the “modern God”, you are deceived and need to understand what God says about Himself and not what the “pastor” says. If you preach this “modern God”, you need to repent and you should be ashamed. God will not hold you guiltless for the people your misleading!

The modern church needs to stop focusing on what they want. They need to stop focusing on what the unsaved want. They need to start focusing on what God wants. As Christians, we need to be focused on glorifying God! God will provide for us. He will test us and bring us through trials for His glory. If we lose our jobs, loved ones, finances, or health, God knows and will do what will bring Him the most glory. This doesn’t mean we can’t grieve or rejoice. It doesn’t mean that things will always be tough or that God is “out to get us”, but it doesn’t mean that everything will be rosy either. It means that God will get the glory that He alone deserves.

God wills save people if they come to Him on His terms. He will provide as He sees necessary, whether we agree with it or understand it or not. God does love those who are His, but not to the point of overlooking sin. He hates sin and will judge those who have not repented of their sin and put their trust in Christ. God doesn’t mind us asking for things. It is when we demand or expect things from Him that we cross the line. So many Christians seem to have put themselves in a place above God. There isn’t a more dangerous place someone could be…

As Christmas draws near, instead of focusing on what you want or want you don’t have, focus on how you can use everything God has given you to glorify Him.

Don’t be lead astray!

November 3, 2008 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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2Co 11:1-6  I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me. For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles. But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.

 

By just this passage alone, we can see Paul’s concern for those who were part of the churches that he started. He was concerned that those new believers would be lead astray from their devotion to Christ and the truth that He represents. He specifically mentions being deceived, as Eve was (Gen. 3:1-13). He was concerned that they were hearing a false gospel, the real one being perverted by the Judaizers so much that it was truly a different gospel. The main purpose for his warning is the fact that he knew what would happen to them if they did stray from the true gospel.

 

If Paul were alive today, I believe that he be more concerned about those in the church today than he was when he wrote the passage above. Back in Paul’s day, the main detractors of Christianity were the Judaizers, who tried to get Christians to continue keeping the law, and the Gnostics who said that it was impossible to know God and to have absolute knowledge about anything. Over the last 100 years, the gospel of Christ has been changed, diluted, and perverted by a number of people. Some of them have done so to deliberately lead new or naïve believers astray. Without the true gospel, they have nothing to stand on in times of persecution or tribulation and they fall away from the faith. In a large number of American churches, a gospel other than the one that Paul preached is being proclaimed. The congregations of these churches are being taught to chase things other than God. They chase the lust of the flesh (homosexuality, adultery, fornication), the lust of the eyes (greed, covetousness), and the boastful pride of life (self-righteousness, works-righteousness).

 

They are also following other “Gods”. They follow strange doctrines (prosperity, God is love and nothing else, the perpetual virginity of Mary), myths (Hinduism, Islam, Mormonism, evolution, New Age), and spout endless genealogies (Judaism, “the men in my family have been Baptist preachers for a hundred years). The pastors that are “leading” them are making them comfortable and tickling their ears, telling them what they want to hear and inoculating them against sin.

 

But, how are Christians supposed to combat these things? To deal with persecution, you have to know what Jesus said. You have to know that He said that it was going to come. You have to realize that there are people who are dying and going to hell who need to hear the truth of the gospel. To fight the different gospels being preached today, the first thing to do (again) is to know the truth of scripture. Jesus tells us in John 8:32,36 that we are to continue in His Word if we are to be His disciples. What I’m going to say next is probably going to upset a few people but that’s part of it. If you are going to be a true disciple of Christ, you have to check everything against scripture, no matter who says it or how well respected they are. You have to truly study scripture. You have to know what God said, how He said it, and the context in which it was spoken. We have to be willing to read scripture and change our lives to conform to it instead of the reverse. We also have to be alert. The false gospels that are being preached today (prosperity gospel, social gospel, feel good gospel, etc.) are subtle gospels that can easily deceive even those who have been “in church” for years if those people are not careful. To fight against the idols and chasing of other things, we have to repent. We have to put God first and put Him before anything or anyone else. There is only God, His Son, and His Spirit as they are presented in scripture. To fight being comfortable and having our ears tickled, we’re going to have to be honest. If you are sitting in church Sunday after Sunday (or whenever you go) and you never come to the point where you are convicted about some of the things in your life, either you’re perfect (you’re not) or you’re not hearing the gospel. If you go to church and you never hear about sin, judgment, and hell then something is wrong. If you’re pastor/preacher is always giving topical sermons or doing sermons series on the Beatles, then you are not getting the gospel the way that you need it.

 

There are other things that I think that we need to do as well. One thing is that we need to stop running the church as an entertainment business. We are not in the body of Christ to turn around and entertain anyone. We are in the body of Christ because of the grace of our Lord and His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection three days later. We are supposed to be telling others the truth so that they can escape eternity in hell. Another thing that I think the church needs to do is to start disciplining its members. Sadly, this would greatly reduce the number of people in the church drastically. I truly feel that many pastors are not pastoring but just standing up in front on Sunday for accolades or attention or because they feel that it is their “calling” or “duty”. If you don’t care enough about the people in your local church to discipline them if they are living in sin, then you need to reconsider whether or not you’re a pastor. One final thing that we as the body of Christ need to be doing is calling heresy what it is. We need to recognize heretics and call them what they are. If they are preaching a false gospel and leading others astray, they are heretics. This includes ideas like Modalism (which is something that TD Jakes believes), the prosperity gospel (being preached by people like Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis, and Benny Hinn), and the social gospel (which is espoused by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and Bill Hybels of Willow Creek). None of these beliefs are hermeneutically sound. They all present different gospels and different Christs than those found in the bible.

 

If we are truly going to change America and every other country in the world, then we, as the church and as Jesus’ representatives, need to present and live the truth in front of others. We cannot live our own truth and expect others to see Christ…

Why I can’t vote for Barack Obama

October 15, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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As the presidential election draws near, I felt the need to put some of my personal thoughts out there about how I see the whole deal. I am a white, Christian, Southern, middle class, 30-something male. I’ve paid more attention to this presidential race and the candidates than I ever have and with good reason. While I will say honestly and up front that I don’t agree with everything that John McCain has said, I can say that I do not agree with anything that Barack Obama stands for. There are a number of reasons that I will not vote for Barack Obama and they have a lot to do with who I am.

 

According to the thesis that his wife wrote, the fact that I’m white is a problem. As a white person, I am seen as someone who cannot look upon a person with a different skin color and see them for more than that. According to Mrs. Obama, I can’t get by her skin color. I could talk about this in depth and the problems with it, but that’s not the scope of this blog post. From what I’ve seen of Barack Obama, he doesn’t feel any different. He has definitely tried to play the race card in this presidential race and it seems to be working. There is even some question as to whether or not Obama is really African-American. His father was from Kenya and his mother from the U.S. If it is just DNA (nature) that makes someone African-American, then Obama could qualify. But, if it’s the environment that someone grows up in (nuture) that also contributes to whether or not someone is African-American, then Obama is on shakier ground. According to some reports, he was born in Honolulu and lived there until he was age 6 (some reports have him being born in Kenya). He lived in Indonesia from ages 6 to 10 and then moved to Hawaii to live with his maternal (white) grandparents until he left for college. Does this qualify him as African-American? While he was in Hawaii, he went to a private school that had tuition of $15,000. Is this what most African-American children are doing? While he may have DNA that is similar to most African-Americans, can he really identify with the majority of African-Americans? In a speech given in Selma, Alabama, he said that he was “coming home”, but according to all that I’ve read, he and his family had nothing to do with events in Selma…To be honest though, I could overlook this and still have a list of reasons not to vote for Obama.

 

From the beginning of his campaign he’s been surrounded by controversial people. He has been linked to Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist from the Weather Underground group who took responsibility for terrorist attacks in the 70’s. His former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has been outspoken about the different things that he believes, including a hatred for Jews, Caucasians, Italians, and America. He is known to have given $20,000 to the church. Am I supposed to believe that Obama has sat under his teaching for 20 years and has not been influenced? How is that supposed to look to me? If this was the only instance it would be one thing, but unfortunately, it’s not. As recently as late 2007, he was seen campaigning for Raila Odinga, a Kenyan man who called for ethnic cleansing because he lost the presidential race. Odinga is from the same Lhuo tribe as Obama’s grandmother and has called him a cousin. While their actually relationship hasn’t been determined, their campaigns share a lot of interesting similarities. He has also been linked to Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan has been quoted connecting Barack Obama to the Messiah, either as a herald of the Messiah or as the actual Messiah. While I have to wonder which Messiah Farrakhan is talking about, I know that it’s not the true Messiah – Jesus Christ. Farrakhan has also spouted racist views and misused scripture (Psalm 118:22 and others) in order to promote Obama. While I understand that the people surrounding Barack Obama are not Obama himself, I can’t deny the fact that they are supporting him. They call him “brother” and “friend”. Some will gloss over this and say that Obama has distanced himself from many of those controversial people, but I look at scripture and see where Paul tells the Corinthinas, “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15:33), and I can’t help but wonder.

 

In the last debate, Obama laughed at John McCain for bringing up his lack of experience. But, he never truly replied to that question. In looking at Obama’s record, he has no real experience and even confessed his inexperience at one time. If he’s inexperienced, then why is he running for president? He hasn’t served in the military at all and has little experience in the Senate. Our country doesn’t need someone who talks pretty or is handsome. We need someone who knows how to react to and deal with the various situations that will affect the 300 million people in this country. Obama doesn’t have that experience.

 

The scariest thing about all of this is the fact that a large number of people are following Obama just because he gives good speeches and tells people what they want to hear, even if that changes next week. Either these people don’t care, don’t know, or choose to remain willfully ignorant of all of these things. Obama has flip-flopped his position on a number of various subjects and issues and nothing is said. Obama has also been caught in a number of outright lies. He said that union contributions to Democratic competitors was “special interest” money but changed his position when he started getting his own union contributions. In 2004, Obama said that we should end the embargo on Cuba because it has “utterly failed”. In 2007, he told an audience in Miami that he wouldn’t touch the embargo on Cuba because it is an “important inducement for change”. In a 2004 questionaire, Obama said that we shouldn’t crack down on businesses that hire illegal workers. Could that be because his wife was on the board of directors of a company that used low paid Hispanic workers? Then, in a debate early this year, he said, “we do have to crack down on those employers that are taking advantage of the situation.” Why the change? He has said that he doesn’t take money from oil companies but the truth is no one does. This doesn’t mean however that he doesn’t get money from them. They cannot give him the money directly because that is illegal, but their employees can give him money as individuals or through Political Action Committees (PACs). He’s received at least $214,000 from oil company executives and their families.

 

His views on Israel have changed too. When speaking to over 7,000 people at an American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference, he said, “Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided”; but the next day, a campaign adviser clarified that Obama meant that “Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties as part of an agreement that they both can live with.” He’s also changed his mind on Iran being a threat (first it isn’t, then it is), and whether or not North Korea should be removed from the US terrorist sponsor list. He said that we should keep the PATRIOT Act, and then said that he would repeal it. Ultimately, he voted for it. He’s flip-flopped on whether or not he would talk with leaders of foreign nations, especially Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Although Obama’s campaign leaders denied it, one of his senior campaign leaders told the Canadian government that when Obama talked about killing NAFTA, “it was just government rhetoric”. Two different high-level Canadian officials have confirmed this. Why the lie? Obama has been linked to the non-profit organization ACORN, which has been beleaguered with voter fraud, “big stick” tactics on banks, embezzlement, and other criminal activities. His “Fight the Smears” website (if he’s an upright candidate, why does he need a website like this?), said that he was“never an ACORN community organizer; ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee; ACORN was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive Barack ran in 1992”. But, other information shows something completely different. In 1992, Obama was part of ProjectVote, who’s incorporation papers show it’s parent company to be at the same address as ACORN and many ACORN affiliates reside. His website also claims that he’s never been hired by ACORN, but failed to mention that he was an unpaid trainer for ACORN. This was confirmed by Lewis Goldberg, a spokesman for ACORN.  I can’t imagine why an “agent of change” like Obama would need fraudulent voters to help him out. If he’s truly everything that he says he is, then he should have no problem getting the necessary votes without the fraudulent voters.

 

I have heard Obama’s speeches and comments and have not been impressed at all. I’ve not heard him answer one question with a clear, concise answer. He’s talked and talked and said nothing. America doesn’t need someone in the White House who talks the talk but cannot walk the walk. His words are empty and have no value whatsoever except where they can get him. I watched the last debate and was amazed at how little he really said and how many times he failed to answer the question asked, even though he consistently went over the time limit and broke the rules that he agreed to. Judging from his continuous flip-flopping on positions, he ultimately says what the people he is in front of want to hear and then changes his position to suit the next group of listeners. This is not the type of person we need leading our country. If someone agrees with everything, then he or she stands for nothing, and that’s exactly what Barack Obama has been doing since he’s been in office.

 

While all of these things are concerns that have been growing since this all began, the main reason that I cannot give my support or vote to Barack Obama is because I’m a Christian. Barack Obama has said that he felt God’s spirit beckoning him and that he “submitted himself to his will and to discovering his truth” (lack of capitalization was Obama’s). While I understand that there are passages in the Bible that are still hotly contested as to their meaning, there are many that are quite clear including the ones on abortion and homosexuality. Obama supports the murder of unborn children through abortion and even supports infanticide. Nurses who saw babies being left to die on soiled utility room shelves in Illinois hospitals have supported this and even testified to it in the Illinois state senate, in front of committees that Barack Obama chaired. This is not a Christian attitude. The Bible says that murder is wrong. In the last debate, he tried to show a concern for kids by attacking Senator McCain saying that he voted against an expansion that would provide health insurance to more children. Is he really concerned about kids and their health if he’s willing to kill them in or out of the womb? Sadly, many “Christians” are rallying behind Barack Obama because he wants to “reduce the number” of abortions. Unless I am really dense, this still means that he supports the murder of children. How do these “Christians” reconcile this with the truth of God? To veil it behind the lesser numbers, the right to choose, or the inability to decide when it’s still a baby is a weak-willed cop out that dishonors God, humiliates His church, and taints the view that unbelievers have of real Christians.

 

Barack Obama also supports homosexuality and “gay marriage”. This is clearly seen as sin and perversion throughout scripture (Lev. 18:22, Judges 19, Romans 1:26-32, 1 Cor. 6:9). For someone to call themselves a Christian and openly support a lifestyle and sin that God calls an abomination is again either ignorant or rebellious. Obama would fight against traditional marriage and further erode the Judeo-Christian foundation that our country is founded on. According to scripture, homosexuality is a sin and a choice. It is not something people are born into. The great news is that people in this type of lifestyle can be born again and not bear God’s wrath. This is not the message that Obama, who claims to be a Christian, is giving. If someone claims to be “submitted to God’s will and to discovering His truth”, should that person be aggressively for something that the Bible clearly condemns? Is that submission to the will of God? Does that show a desire to discover His truth? If you discover His truth and don’t apply it to your life, then what’s the point? His truth obviously doesn’t mean anything to you and it’s all just talk. This is all assuming that Obama’s “God” is actually the God of scripture. If it’s another “God” like Allah or Buddha, then it has nothing to do with the God of the Bible and makes his positions a lot more clear. Regardless, it shows that he’s willing to say whatever it takes to get votes, even if it means posing as a Christian.

 

Barack Obama has rallied his followers around a banner of hope. He claims that he is the one that America needs to bring about change. He seems full of himself and narcisstic to the point of self-delusion (an interesting article on this can be found here). The absolutely disgusting part of all of this is the comparisons of Barack Obama to some kind of political “Messiah”. He has been called by some Alpha and Omega (seen here). These are titles that belong clearly and only to Jesus Christ. Barack Obama will never be able to do enough to deserve these titles. Not to mention the fact that if he were really a Christian, he would be the first person to publicly denounce those titles being applied to him. Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. Christ is the only Messiah. He is the only true hope of America and every other nation. The truth is that even if Barack Obama could actually accomplish the things that he claims, they still won’t save Americans from their sin or from going to hell. That is America’s biggest problem. This country has had a number of leaders who have done much more than Barack Obama has (many of whom were Christians by the way…). George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King Jr., and many others were great leaders who helped to guide our nation. None of them were ever called Alpha and Omega or compared to a political Messiah and every one of them would have rebuked the public if they were.

 

The worst part of it is that many Americans aren’t taking the time to research this or are just closing their eyes to it all. Even if you’re not a Christian, but are still a patriotic American, you should have plenty to be concerned about. Barack Obama is not a patriot. He has a degree in Constitutional law but doesn’t even know how many states the nation that he wants to lead has! He has no idea that Canada, the country to our immediate north, doesn’t have a president! How can he lead this nation if he lacks the information that most second or third graders know? He claimed to have an uncle who was one of the first American soldiers to liberate Auschwitz. The story, according to Obama, was that after his uncle came home, he locked himself in the attic for six months. There are two major problems with this. First, there are no records showing that Obama had an uncle who was an American soldier. Second, it was Russian troops and not American ones that liberated Auschwitz because Poland was under Russian control. How does someone not realize or recognize that? What is the point of deliberately making up part of your history, unless it’s to project a greater image than you really have and get votes? He also seemed to be confused when he spoke at the Selma Voting Rights March on March 4, 2007. In his speech (where he portrays himself to be a “brother” to those present who were in Selma during the Civil Rights issues), he stated a lot of things about his own family and tied them to things happening in the Civil Rights movement and none of it adds up. He tried to assume the mantle of a co-sufferer along with those who were actually there. He used “we” an awful lot even though he couldn’t be part of the “we” at all. He uses the story of his grandfather in Kenya. He talked about how his grandfather was a “cook and house boy” and implied that he was some kind of slave, even though there is no indication of this. Supposedly, his grandfather was inspired by the events in Selma in 1965, but he would have been around 70 years old then. He also implies that Selma had something to do with his existence. I don’t understand how that would be possible. His parents supposedly met at the University of Hawaii in the 1950’s and Obama was conceived in 1960. He was born August 4th, 1961. This is three years before the events in Selma. He was in Hawaii at the time. Was he really “experiencing” the civil rights movement? Could those things that happened in Selma really affected his dad and brought him to America when he was already here and studying at UH? Nope. It seems like Obama needed some kind of inspiring story to capture the hearts of those listening and, since he couldn’t find one in his own family history, he made one up.

 

With all of the controversy and questions surrounding Barack Obama, it amazes me how many people still whole-heartedly support him and will vote for him. Sadly, many of those voting for Obama will most likely do so for reasons other than the truth. Some will vote for him because he’s a Democrat and that’s how they’ve always voted. Others will vote for him because he proclaims an African-American heritage and calls himself black. Still others will vote for him because of his passionate but empty speeches and his dapper looks. Some will vote for him because he professes to be the one who will bring change. Then there are those who aggravate me the most. They are those who claim to be Christians and follow the One True God. They are those who claim to put God above all else. These “Christians” will cast their vote for a man who is surrounded by lies and suspicion, makes himself to be something that he’s not, and openly and aggressively supports things that go directly against the authority of scripture. They either refuse to study the scriptures or purposefully ignore what is written in order to soothe their consciences. Our country doesn’t need a lying, double-minded man who will make empty promises one day and then turn around and do the opposite thing the next. What our country needs is leaders who care about the people more than they do themselves and people who pay more attention to what their leaders are actually saying instead of what they’re speaking….

The charlatans of the gospel

March 31, 2008 at 11:26 am | Posted in Christianity | 2 Comments
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In the late 1800s and early 1900s there was a group of people who made their living running cons and scams in many places in the US. These are not the only people that have ever done this, but they are of interest to me. Many of these men and women worked the Mississippi River. They played games like three-card monte and the shell game. There whole purpose was to find people willing to play the games and then take them for as much money as they could. They would make the games look extremely simple and easy to win, but when the person put their money down, they always lost. Not all of the con artists of the time ran these games though. Others worked through fraud or scams to make their money. I bet that you’re wondering what this has to do with Christianity right? Well, while it’s nothing new, there seem to be a lot of charlatans in the church as well.

I’m not talking about those that are (or should be) obvious. I would hope that you would be able to see them for what they are. I’m talking about in the “mainstream” denominations. If we were to look at some of the main denominations, we would find plenty of charlatans. Before I go on, let me define a charlatan. Simply put, a charlatan is a fraud or “quack”. What they are doing or saying is not true. Interestingly, the Webster’s New World dictionary that I got the definition from also said that a charlatan was a seller of papal indulgences…

Many charlatans have used religion as a way for them to make their money. As I said before, this is nothing new. In recent times, people like Father Divine (George Baker), Aimee Semple McPherson, and Peter Popoff have used “faith” to fleece people of untold amounts of money. While their methods differ, each of them used cunning and glib words to deceive people. They told the people what they wanted to hear and used whatever means necessary to prove it.

As charlatans go, nothing seems to have changed. There are numerous preachers around the world and on TV that are using the same methods to draw otherwise faithful people away from God. The messages are a little different depending on whom you’re listening to, but they are all similar in some respects. The greatest similarity in all of those who use “faith” to mislead others, is the twisting of scripture. They will take verses out of context and make them say what they want in order to show that they have “God’s” support. Another similarity is that many of them seem to imply that those who follow them have to believe everything they say. If someone were ever to doubt them, they would be guilty of “not understanding” or being a “black sheep”. Their questioning of the charlatan would show that they “don’t have the faith” to see the “truth”.

Most of these men and women spend time on how God wants people blessed. They talk about the blessing of God in every sermon they preach. Some of them focus on the financial blessing of God while others focus on the power of God. Some have made their focus the “fact” that God wants us to be positive about life. It is a message filled with a lot of New Age ideas about thinking positive and seeing things in a “positive light”. They give light, airy messages about how great life will be if they just follow the right steps. Others have taken things that God clearly says are wrong and made them ok. They spend much of their time focusing on the love of God and His grace toward sinners and lull their congregations into a false sense of security. Still others make out a laundry list of things that their people can or cannot do without risking hell. They tell them what to believe and how to believe it. They make rules for who is forgiven of their sins and who is not.

The sad part about all of this is the fact that there are many people who believe them. There are many people that are so eager to be blessed by God that they completely forgo logic and reasoning. They spend all of their time and what little money they have giving to these ministries and devouring their teachings. They are so captivated with how to “stay positive” that they completely lose sight of who God is and what is really going on in their lives. They deny certain situations because it would cause them to be “negative”. Others are so caught up in their sin that they seek out someone to tell them that what they doing is ok. They don’t want to hear that their lifestyle or actions are wrong and many Christians are afraid to tell them. Instead, they just look for someone who will tickle their ears and tell them what they want to hear. Then there are those who would rather follow man and his ideas. They are allowed to live their lives the way that they want because they’ve learned how to manipulate the rules in their favor. All of these things (and more) are happening in the body of Christ as you read this and it’s an utter tragedy.

It’s a tragedy because people are being hurt and broken due to the false teachings. They are being misled into thinking that what they’re hearing is the truth and they have been conditioned not to see for themselves. Many of them got “saved” because of these ministries and have no inkling of how to check what they’re learning against scripture. They are being taken and the saddest part of all is that it’s not just their money that’s at stake; it’s their eternal future. These charlatans are playing fast and loose with people’s souls and it seems to be growing more common all the time.

So, how do we change this? We have to start by stopping. We have to stop teaching things that are not scripturally correct. Contrary to popular belief, God made a number of things very clear when He had scripture written. There are some things that take a lot of studying, but not things that need to be understood for salvation. Once we stop teaching the things that are false, we have to start teaching the truth. We have to help people to not only read the Bible, but to understand it! If I hand you the gospel of John in Chinese and you can’t read Chinese, then it’s not going to do you a bit of good. It has to be understood because it has to be applied. To know the truth, you have to know what it says the way God said it. That means that the scriptural and historical context has to be understood as well. Not only that, but we also have to drop any presuppositions we have about what the scriptures say. We cannot bring our interpretation into the Bible and make it line up with scripture. We have to let scripture tear down whatever false ideas we may have about what scripture says.

“Gee, that sounds like a lot of work!” Of course it is, but isn’t it worth it? Shouldn’t we have the desire to actually know the truth of the Word of God and how to apply it? Shouldn’t we be hungry to know what God has to say to us? We can’t allow ourselves to get caught up in the “emotion” of it all. I have seen many people that go to church because it’s just so emotional. The music and the message whip them into an emotional frenzy and they end up on a spiritual high for about two days. It’s not about an “emotional high”! It’s about living the truth!

See, while the charlatans will tell you that God wants you “blessed” the Bible says that there is more to it. Does God want to bless us? YES! But, that blessing comes from obedience. And, that blessing is more than just money. While the charlatans will tell you to be positive, scripture gives many examples of people who were in the midst of trials and tribulations and cried out in anger or frustration. They understood who God was and knew that He was there with them, but it didn’t mean that they denied what they were facing. While the charlatans will tell you that you can live how you want because “God loves you”, the Bible says that God’s wrath is on the sons of disobedience. If you’re living in a way that is in opposition to God’s Word, then you’re living in sin and it will send you straight to hell if something isn’t done about it. While the charlatans will tell you that you can go to heaven if you jump through a number of hoops and walk on a razor’s edge, the Bible says that if you repent of your sins (turn from the things that you know are wrong and stop doing them) and put your faith in Jesus Christ as the only One who can save you from eternal damnation, then you will be saved and you can know that you’re going to heaven.

The body of Christ has to stop listening to the world and has to start listening to what God has told us through His Word. We have to stop following the worldly fads and spend our time and money on doing what God said needs to be done so that the lost will come to repentance and be saved from hell. I believe that that means that we have to start calling out the charlatans. Unless we point out the false teaching, it will go on unhindered. I understand that the Bible says that false teachers are going to arise and lead many away, but if we have the truth, then we might be able to see some of those people saved.

Your thoughts?

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