June 10, 2016
Do you feel like our country is coming under judgment? I mean judgment as is in Old Testament, wrath of God type stuff. While we are not being overrun by plagues of locusts nor is fire falling from the sky, do you not have the sense though that America is headed for some kind of reckoning and soon? Has God withdrawn His providence that we have enjoyed since our founding?
While I am a Bible believing Christian, I haven’t spent significant time pondering eschatology – the study of the events leading to the final destiny of mankind. There are many different valid, scholarly interpretations to end time events as foretold in the Bible. The most notable and popular today is the sequence laid out in the “Left Behind” series of books by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, but interpretations by other Scriptural authorities paint different scenarios. For me then, I have just left it as a broad narrative that one day, Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom with those that have chosen Him.
So, has the end time clock started ticking? I think it has and has been ticking for a while. When Israel was reestablished in 1948, two thousand years after its destruction by the Romans, it was an astounding fulfillment of a three thousand year old Biblical prophecy. Most Biblical scenarios include the reconstitution of the Jewish nation as the gateway event to the ushering in of the last days.
February 19, 2016
Is what we are hearing out of the Republican Senate leadership surprising to you? Do you really think they will stand firm and uphold an eighty-year precedent of not confirming Supreme Court nominees in a presidential election year?
Initial comments out of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell seemed encouraging, but yet he did say “should not be confirmed” not “will not be confirmed” about any potential Obama nominee. In Washington-speak, this leaves the possibility wide open.
Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, initially stated that there would be no hearings for an Obama nominee. He is now backtracking and saying maybe the Senate should wait to see whom Obama nominates before deciding what to do about confirmation hearings.
Just like when we gave Senate Republicans a majority and they passed Obama’s budget funding every crackpot, Marxist scheme of the president, we are going to get full blown hearings and I’m betting confirmation of Obama’s pick. Do you really think that when Obama nominates a black female for the Supreme Court, our Republican Senate leadership is going to block confirmation? Not on your life.
There is a tremendous contrast that exists between the Republican leadership and the Marxist left that now controls the Democrat party. The Republicans have abandoned conservative ideology and are instead rudderless on the rough sea of special interests and government cronies. Cowed by political correctness and having little principled foundation, their actions and interests are heavily modulated by the corporatists that fund them and the Marxists that intimidate them.
The Leftists however pursue their transformation of this country with an ideological zeal that would make Lenin or Chairman Mao proud. They never stop pushing their agenda. They do not look to reach across the aisle. They do not seek compromise. They are single-minded and relentless in pursuit of the destruction of the United States as it was founded.
Therefore they must be utterly defeated. We should not look to work with them. We should not look to compromise with them. We should strive with the same energy and courage they display to completely vanquish them. The problem is we simply do not have the right people in office to win this battle.
Most Republican office holders in Washington should be primaried in their next election. They must be replaced with people of stout character who will courageously fight for our conservative founding principles. We want the very purists and ideologues that the current Republican leadership likes to rail against. As Reagan said, we want no more pastels just bold colors.
Therefore, we must have a new team. Like an NFL franchise, we need to start drafting better players. And I believe the best well to draw candidates from is the conservative Christian one. And not only do we need solid Christian candidates, we need the Christian world in general to get involved backing them and getting seriously involved in the tremendous issues we face. Christians must engage to a much greater extent if we are going to roll back the evil tide that confronts the country.
However, too many Christians and pastors have the erroneous idea that it’s not Biblical to get involved in politics. Too often, the Christian body is content just to do church, sing songs, pray and then repeat it all next Sunday. These are certainly good things to do. However, these are not all what Christians are called to do.
Consider what Jesus said when delivering the Sermon on the Mount as documented in Matthew chapter five in the Bible. Jesus calls his followers to be “salt and light” in the culture. Jesus exhorts Christians to engage society and use his teachings to influence it for His Kingdom. We are not to hide our light under a basket but let it shine for all to see. We are to add flavor and improve the quality of the culture in which we live not to cloister ourselves in buildings.
Christians are called to be like Jesus. If you examine the Gospel narratives, much of what is recorded there depicts Jesus challenging the Pharisees who were essentially the political leaders of the day. Jesus did not spend all his time just teaching his followers in a pastoral setting. He boldly engaged the leaders and culture of His day. Jesus violently turned over tables of the moneychangers that were defiling His temple. Over and over again He clashed with the Pharisees challenging and admonishing them for their hypocrisy and failure to understand the true meaning of the Scriptures.
This is our example to follow. We must become the salt and light in the culture the Bible calls us to be. Christians withdrawing can explain much of the deterioration of our culture and society. The good news is that when we show up, we win. We just need to start showing up.
To pastors and church leaders that are afraid to speak up on political issues because of the possibility of losing your tax-exempt status, forget it. The government will not come after you. They know they will lose in court. Even if this were a possibility though, would you want to explain to Jesus that the reason you didn’t fight to stop abortion or to keep prayer in schools or preserve Biblical marriage was to maintain your tax exemption?
April 30, 2015
The violence and mayhem on display in Baltimore this week illustrate the unmistakable failure of big government liberalism. It’s a scene that has played out in other areas of the country in cities where the liberal establishment is deeply entrenched.
The derangement and dysfunction we are witnessing bring into full relief the fact that liberalism is bankrupt and incapable of providing citizens with fruitful, productive, and meaningful lives. Everywhere liberalism has full rein, we see fractured families, high unemployment, rampant crime, and hopelessness.
Liberal politicians and their cronies attach themselves to the misery like leeches, bleeding the citizens of hope and opportunity. They perpetuate a cycle of misery by robbing people of their initiative and belief in their own ability to find happiness while they enrich themselves off the public largess. They cynically portray themselves as the champions of the common man while they ensnare him in a web of deceitful rhetoric and stifling bureaucracy.
Yet, the cycle of degradation continues to turn unabated. With the failure of liberalism so apparent, why does it continue to spread and bring increasing societal decay?
Those of you reading who are Christians, take a good look in the mirror. As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Christians have abdicated their responsibility to be the “salt and light” in our culture that Jesus called us to be.
As Christians, we have been charged to engage and influence the culture for the Kingdom. We are directed to have a solid understanding of our theology and be able to give good reasons and evidence for what we believe. Christians are to follow the example of Jesus and challenge the political authorities (the Pharisees in Jesus’ day) on actions they may be taking in conflict with the Christian worldview.
That’s not how we see Christians acting today and I believe it starts with the Church. Unfortunately, the Church is not influencing the culture for the Kingdom. Instead, the Church is conforming to the culture. Instead of standing for Biblical truth, the Church is “going along to get along”.
I’m sorry if I offend some of your sensibilities, but homosexual marriage is and will forever be destructive to society. Ancient Greeks appear to have understood this. Though their culture embraced homosexual behavior, the Greeks were against homosexual marriage. They clearly believed it was bad for their society. (Thanks to Justice Scalia for that tidbit.)
However, the Presbyterian Church officially endorses it despite the Bible clearly calling the behavior an abomination. The Episcopal Church has consecrated openly gay bishops. Certain Evangelical churches are getting a bit wobbly on this too.
We see many of the biggest and richest Christian churches today peddling a “prosperity gospel” that is preoccupied with how individual followers can gain whatever material wealth they desire. All they have to do is claim it. Speaking truth to power, influencing the culture for the Kingdom – fahgetaboutit! Instead, say a prayer, make a tithe, and the truck of your dreams is yours! This is paganism not Christianity.
The Christian Church remains terrified of science despite the fact that so much of what we are learning about creation supports the Biblical account. On one hand, churches are aligning theology with the Darwinian account of how life began to conform to secular culture. On the other, we have the young earthers who essentially reject any evidence that does not support a six thousand year old earth and in turn alienate the Christian worldview from most thinking men and women.
The teaching we get from most churches today is shallow and superficial and it’s directly affecting our children. We are not equipping and preparing them for the attacks they will encounter when they leave the home and go off to college. There’s ample statistics that show about seventy-five percent of them will leave the faith because they can’t stand up to the secular onslaught. Churches are spending all of their effort telling kids what to believe, but are not giving them a clue as to why they should believe it or how to defend it.
Is it any wonder why Christianity is losing so many followers? Is it any wonder why its influence is waning so rapidly? Christians have become so self-centered and ignorant of Biblical truth that they are simply not equipped to engage the secular culture. It doesn’t have to be this way.
No other worldview has the wealth of corroborating physical evidence that Christianity has. The universe had a beginning like the Bible says. The universe is expanding like the Bible says. The universe is unbelievably fine tuned for life as the Bible says. All biological life is based on information and we know this kind information only comes from a mind, an unbelievably powerful mind.
The Bible’s veracity is well supported by archeological evidence and extra-biblical writers and historians. Most Biblical scholars agree that what is written in the Bible today accurately reflects what the scriptural authors originally wrote.
Wherever and whenever Christians show up and fight, we win. We have the all the tools to win the country back to the values and principles it was founded on. We just have to get engaged.
So you have money issues or health issues or relationship issues. Get over it. Your reward is not in this life. Your engagement in the cultural battle must be.
March 20, 2015
I can’t think of a man with a more fitting name than Creflo Dollar. Though maybe the plural “Dollar$” would be even more appropriate. Yes, the televangelist and mega-pastor of the World Changers Church International made news with his desire to retire his current jet and purchase a new Gulfstream G650 for a cool $65 million. He is asking for 200,000 people to pony up $300 each to fund the purchase. Well excuse me while I reach for my VISA card.
Dollar opines that his current jet has been in service since 1999 and needs replacement. I seem to remember that some of our Air Force pilots are flying planes twice their age. I guess Creflo is just tougher on his planes.
This desire for one of the most expensive private jets available, one fit for a Saudi prince, is really not out of character for Dollar. He is known to possess two Rolls Royce automobiles and million dollar mansions in Atlanta and New Jersey. It’s clear the Lord’s business has been very good to him.
I’m not one that begrudges anyone for being successful and becoming wealthy because of talent, skill, and ability to deliver value the public wants. However, in the case of pastors where they are to be a living example of scriptural truth, I find this unabashed pursuit of lavishness unseemly at best. When pastors like Dollar and the effervescent Joel Osteen rake in millions personally, it’s hard to differentiate them from secular Wall Street investment bankers.
While this profiting from Christianity confuses followers and presents a terrible image of the church to the secular world, of greater concern is the distorted rendering of Scripture these pastors teach. A rendering that has led them to such wealth. And more and more churches in America are turning to this teaching.
The message that is paying off is that God really wants you to be happy, healthy, and wealthy – in this life. You have an inner champion that is just waiting to be unleashed and win life’s battles. If you just turn to God, pray the right way, and tithe (definitely tithe) then you will get your heart’s desire – in this life. God purpose for you is for you to have a wondrous, miraculous existence on this planet and the church can help you get there.
This sort of preaching reduces God to little more than a force of nature like gravity. It’s cause and effect. You tithe, you prosper. You don’t tithe, you stay poor. Sorry, but this is false teaching.
This idea that God’s purpose for creating you is for you to be happy in this life is simply not scripturally correct. God is sovereign and His will be done, not ours. God’s purpose for creating you is that you would come to know Him and freely enter into a relationship with Him. And sometimes, to get us to turn to God we have to go through difficulties and suffering. I’ve yet to hear of a non-Christian win the Lotto and immediately exclaim “I must now seek the Lord!” No, it doesn’t work that way unfortunately.
C.S. Lewis puts this in perspective when he said, “Sometimes God has to put people on their back to get them to look up.”
Do you know where Christianity is growing the fastest? It’s not in the prosperous, comfortable, well fed West. Despite, all the toothy grins and extolling the idea that prosperity is yours for the taking, Christianity is waning rapidly in this country.
Christianity is growing the fastest where there is the most persecution and suffering. Countries like China and Ethiopia are seeing a great surge in those following Christianity despite great personal jeopardy in doing so.
God does want us to be happy but we have to remember that this life we are living now is not the totality of our existence. The Bible describes it as but a “wisp of smoke”. We all have eternity ahead of us when this life is finished.
God has a purpose for the human race and we each have a purposeful role to play. Some of us will meet much greater suffering than others but it is for God’s purpose and at some point in our existence we will understand.
By all means pursue happiness and comfort in this life. Just remember though that you will at some point meet difficulties and prosperity challenges. Use these to develop greater character and inner strength and grow closer to our Creator.