The Truth Will Set You Free… part 2

Truth

Last week on the blog, I talked about truth, and some history regarding the propaganda machine of the German Third Reich, led by Adolph Hitler. We looked at how a small group of people were successful in deceiving an entire nation — and for a time, the world — with disastrous consequences. I made the comment that I believe that, just as the spirit of Jezebel is alive and well today, manifesting itself throughout our homes, churches, and society, the spirit of deception that fueled the Nazi regime is once again rearing its ugly head in our culture today.Look at some of the evidence…

  • The rise of anti-Semitism, not just in predominantly Muslim countries, but right here on Main Street America, on college campuses, and within the walls of our government.
  • All of the controversy surrounding the acceptance of same-sex marriage and the LGBT lifestyle. In recent polls, respondents believed that approximately 20% – 40% of the United States population identified as either gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. The fact is, according to the government-sponsored 2014 National Health Interview Survey, people who identify as LGBT make up less than 4% of the U.S. population.
  • The marginalization of Christian belief. While over 70% of Americans claim to be Christian, the American media and entertainment outlets continue to portray Christians in a negative light. Adding fuel to the fire are those in government who insist on laws and legislation that trample upon the convictions and First Amendment rights of those who believe in Christ.
  • Selectivity of news. While the media attempts to make “hard news” out of any remotely-negative story concerning a conservative or Christian person, criminal activity and blatant wrongdoing by more liberal personalities is under-reported or absent from media coverage.
  • While the press clamors to every “gloom and doom” man-made climate change study and school of thought, and the president recently declared that “… the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact”, the UN’s IPCC lead author recently surmised that the majority of climate change is the result of natural variations (nature being nature).
  • Lack of outcry and action regarding atrocities against Christians. As ISIS burns its way across the Middle East, and threats increase in the United States, our government’s lackluster response is extremely troubling.

To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must
be credible; credible, we must be truthful. ~ Edward R. Murrow

PropagandaSo what happened in America? When did the evening news become the propaganda machine for every left-wing organization and ideology? When did news organizations stop reporting news and begin creating it? What happened to news men and women who could put their personal feelings on the shelf for more than 30 minutes — who reported the facts instead of the slant that made the story more scintillating or politically correct? Sometimes, the truth hurts. Growing is painful (hence the term “growing pains”). Yet, we have become a people that cannot bear the slightest pain, cannot abide a differing point-of-view, and will not tolerate an open debate of ideas. We have moved from a society of laws to a society of suggestions. We have replaced absolutes with abstracts and weakly-framed arguments. We have embraced a twisted dialogue in which words like “excellence” and “exceptionalism” are not to be aspired to, but are to be avoided at all costs.

We have become the caterers to the lowest common denominator.

However, much to the chagrin of liberals and leftists… there are absolutes. There are laws that will not change. We all learned about The Law of Gravity in school. Just because you don’t believe in that law does not mean you won’t be very dead if you leap from the top of Empire State Building. If a motorcycle plays “chicken” with a freight train, there are physical laws that won’t stop the motorcycle from being obliterated.

There is truth in this world.

There is THE Truth.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me. ~ Jesus

So here is the problem: If we are going to have laws, who or what sets the standard? Who gets the deciding vote on what is right or wrong? What makes lying unacceptable? What makes stealing a sin? What makes murder a crime?

If there is no God, exactly WHO makes the rules?

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness…”
~ Isaiah 5:20

The fact is that our basis for law is based upon the Bible — the unchanging, Holy, and infallible Word of God. If we, as a society, have derived our system of law from the teaching contained in the Bible — the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Christ, etc. — then who are we to pick Bibleand choose what is a sin, and what is not? When any society loses the authority of a Supreme Being, that society loses the right to have morals. Regardless of why God calls one thing or another a sin, He does so for a reason. When we begin the process of re-labeling acts based on our finite definition of fairness and decency, we begin to remove the safeguards from society on a spiritual level. God gave everyone a free will, and since the beginning of time, individuals have made the choice to make bad decisions, for which there are consequences. However, I believe that when a nation makes unGodliness public policy, that leadership is putting that nation as a whole in the crosshairs of God’s judgment.

The collusion between government entities, the mouthpiece media, and a radicalized education system has become the “unholy trinity” of our culture. Many of the radicals and rebels of the ’60’s and ’70’s have moved on… they are now professors and teachers of “higher learning” at American colleges and universities. The late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin understood that education, in the wrong hands, becomes a weapon when he said…

Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who
holds it in his hands, and at whom it is aimed. ~ Joseph Stalin

KS77810When truth becomes subjective, the rule of law becomes irrelevant. The rule of law depends upon a standard of truth. Without that standard, anything goes. The Bible calls things “sin” for a reason. It may not make sense to us, and we may not like it, but certain behaviors, attitudes, and actions are wrong, according to the Word of God. Without truth as a standard, if you are going to say that murder by abortion is ok, then it is only logical to assume that bombing an abortion clinic is acceptable. Without the truth standard, it is impossible to call homosexuality and same sex marriage acceptable, and call discrimination unacceptable. Yet, the insanity of the same-sex marriage argument is the fact that we are seeing instances of Christians being discriminated against for upholding their First Amendment-protected religious beliefs under the accusation that they are discriminating against same-sex couples. Furthermore, many of the same people who are busy defending same-sex marriage are also pushing the acceptance and integration of Islam into our society. Folks… Islam and homosexuality are mutually exclusive. Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi of the Islamic Society of North America stated:

“There are many reasons why it is forbidden in Islam. Homosexuality is dangerous for the health of the individuals and for the society. It is a main cause of one of the most harmful and fatal diseases. It is disgraceful for both men and women. It degrades a person. Islam teaches that men should be men and women should be women. Homosexuality deprives a man of his manhood and a woman of her womanhood. It is the most un-natural way of life. Homosexuality leads to the destruction of family life.”

In Islam, the penalty for homosexuality is death.

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. ~ Jesus

The only real freedom is found in the truth, and the only real truth is found in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus did not set the standard… He IS the standard. He is the embodiment of truth (John 14:6), and any ideology or school of thought that deviates from that truth is merely uneducated guesswork and wishful thinking. When we view science, religion, and philosophy from a standpoint of truth — of objectivity versus hostility — we find that the Bible and these disciplines support each other. If we are willing, in faith, to let go of our finite understanding in favor of His infinite plan and design, only then can we find what has alluded civilization for centuries…

Peace.

Truth, Tie Dyed T-Shirts, & Ice Cream.

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This week, my wife Paulette and I have a unique opportunity to spend a few evenings with some very special people…

We’re hanging out with the 6th and 7th graders at our church.

  image“Summer Shine” VBS started last night at Abba’s House, and Paulette and I have been given the opportunity to teach the 6th and 7th graders. I am looking at this as such a wonderful chance to connect with these young people, glean from their joy and enthusiasm, and sow into them some of what God has imparted to me in my almost 68 years. With all the negative influences we see in society, and the noise that continually attempts to drown out the “still, small voice” of the Holy Spirit, I believe that it is important for those of us who minister to spend time with the generation that is rising, and to assist and encourage parents in establishing a solid spiritual foundation for their children.

The late Dr. W.A. Criswell used to teach young people in his church in order to set a Godly foundation upon which they could grow as believers in Christ. He once said…

“God sends people into our lives just when we need them, to say the right word — His Word — just when we need it.”

imageI believe that this age is the right time for the right Word for these young folks. They are old enough to understand and ask thought-provoking questions; getting a Scriptural mindset that they can take with them into high-school and college — to begin to learn to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

So Paulette and I are here this week to impart, participate, and have fun with this great group. Teaching, tie-dyeing t-shirts, a chocolate fountain, eating ice cream… there’s lots to do. Along with us, we are welcoming our young friends Joel and Alyssa, a young married couple with a contagious enthusiasm for God, as well as Drew and Abby, a couple of Godly young adults who will share from their individual experiences as well. It’s going to be fun!

Have a great week!

The Truth Will Set You Free… part 1

The Truth Will Set You Free… part 1

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels was the Minister of Enlightenment and Propaganda under Adolph Hitler. As head of the Nazi propaganda machine, Goebbels understood that words carry weight, and that if you keep a narrative in front of the public long enough — regardless of how flawed or seemingly absurd — eventually people will become desensitized to it, and believe the lie.

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly – it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

Nuremberg 1Still reeling from the economic hardship that was a result of German’s defeat in World War I, when the stock market crashed in 1929, Germany was one of the hardest-hit nations in the world. Hitler, who had already come to be known as a not terribly significant figure on the public stage, began to emerge as a more serious political contender. In March of 1932, he lost the national election. However, less than a year later, he was made Chancellor of Germany as the result of having a Nazi majority in the Reichstag (German parliament). About two weeks later, the Reichstag building burned, and the arson was blamed on the Communist Party. Through fear and manipulation, a month later, Hitler was given dictatorial power. Over the next two years, Hitler began to lay the groundwork of eliminating his enemies, and going after the Jewish population of Germany. At the Nuremberg rally in 1934, the movie Triumph of the Will was produced, showing a glorious and revived Germany — patriotic and unified. At the same rally a year later, Hitler addressed “the Jewish problem”, and anti-Semitic laws began to be enacted.

Yet, in spite of this, in the summer of 1936, the world showed up in Berlin for the Olympic games, and were enchanted by the glory and graciousness of the people of Germany.

“Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

So how could the rest of world be so duped by one nation? How could the world community be so fooled by the Nazis? How is it that, in January of 1939, Adolph Hitler was named Time Magazine’s Man-of-the-Year for 1938?

Propaganda.

Having won multiple film awards throughout Europe, by 1935, Triumph of the Will was required viewing in German schools. Through groups like the “Hitler Youth” and “Hitler Maidens“, young children and teenagers were being indoctrinated into an ideology that put loyalty to the Führer above all. No opposition would be tolerated.

“Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character.” ~ Joseph Goebbels

We know from history the end result: World War II, the Holocaust, millions of lives lost, the eventual collapse and defeat of Germany.

However, what you may not know is that at no point did the Nazis ever capture more than 37% of the popular vote.

Nuremberg 2So why did the German people turn the leadership of their nation over to a madman like Adolph Hitler? In a documentary film shown in the UK Holocaust Centre, then-student Margret Breuer made this observation as to why people voted for Hitler…

“… Because he promised so much! If you are out of work and don’t know how to live, and then someone comes who wants to change everything that is going wrong — and people felt like things were going badly. Otherwise, they wouldn’t even have listened to him.”

The lie is big on promises. The lie feeds on physical, emotional, and economic starvation. Where there are “sheep” suffering, there is usually at least one “wolf” in the crowd, ready to prey on the weak and unsuspecting. Once Hitler had a few who would listen, the lie began. Once he had a group of followers who bought into the lie, he had a platform from which to proclaim his message, and gain influence and power. Once he had a seat of power, he could manipulate the media. Once Hitler had control of the media, the lie was blasted from the rooftops, and from every bullhorn, loudspeaker, and radio in Germany.

“So where are you going with this, Pastor?” you might ask.

Last week, I blogged about the spirit of Jezebel. I talked about the fact that, although Jezebel has been dead and gone for centuries, the demonic influence that bears her name is alive and well. Likewise, I believe that the spirit of deception that was operating in Nazi Germany is alive and well, and evident in our country and world today…

  • Why are we seeing a resurgence in open and overt anti-Semitism in the world today?
  • Why is it that American Millennials believe that 40% of the U.S. population is LGBT?
  • Why is it that a conservative’s character can be unjustly assassinated in the media, while a liberal who is caught dead-to-rights knee-deep in scandal is given a pass by the same media?
  • How can it be that a celebrity can be hailed as a hero for “coming out”, while true heroes who have sacrificed life and limb are passed over for recognition?
  • Why does our government trivialize the threat of radical Islam in our own country while we watch Christians being slaughtered en masse around the world by barbarians such as ISIS?

As I said at the beginning, this is part 1 of a 2-part blog. At this time next week, we’re going to dive into some tough questions, and find the answers that will help you and I cut through the propaganda, and walk in truth and freedom.

Don’t miss it! See you next week.

Setting the Angel Free

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St. Peter's BasilicaArtist, architect, an sculptor Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is one of the most renowned artisans of all time. Two of his most famous statues, Pietà and David, were created before he turned thirty. His paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, as well as his architectural design of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, are among the most recognized works in the world.

Michelangelo had this to say about his craft…

I saw the angel in the marble, and carved until I set him free.

What a beautiful description of God’s relationship with his children. Using the circumstances of life as His chisel, God knocks the rough edges away, and sculpts us into the works of art He wants the world to see in us.

So for today, here’s a reminder:

The God who began a good work in you has promised to complete it.
When He sets you free, your reflection will be the beauty of His Son, Jesus.

"Michelangelo's Pieta 5450" by Stanislav Traykov - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg#/media/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg

“Michelangelo’s Pieta 5450” by Stanislav Traykov – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg#/media/File:Michelangelo%27s_Pieta_5450.jpg

And Her Name Was Jezebel…

JezebelSpirit“Was”?

Actually, she’s alive and well.

She is probably operating in your church, seeking to control the weak of mind and spirit.

She may not be a “she” at all. She may actually be a “he”.

She has a name.

Jezebel.

And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write,

‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you, because you allow[b] that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols…

And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations.

~ Revelation 2:18-20, 26

A war goes on in today’s church, and the battle lines are drawn. One of the most powerful spirits at work in this ongoing battle is the spirit of Jezebel, or control. The book of I Kings tells the story of the woman for whom this spirit is named.

Known as the wife of King Ahab and a follower of the false god Baal, the scriptures regarded Ahab’s marriage to this woman as a horrible sin.

“He not only considered it trivial to commit the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, but he also married Jezebel daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and began to serve Baal and worship him” ~ I Kings 16:31 (NIV)

Jezebel ordered a “hit” on the innocent man Naboth so that she could obtain his prize vineyard. Not only was this murder, but it broke God’s covenant of the land with His people. Furthermore, she hated the prophets of God. Scripture says,

“While Jezebel was killing off the LORD’s prophets, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them in two caves, fifty in each, and had supplied them with food and water” ~ I Kings 18:4 (NIV).

Later, Jezebel pursued the prophet Elijah following the great contest where God sent fire from heaven and defeated the prophets of Baal. Her relentless pursuit drove the prophet into depression and suicidal thoughts.

Jezebel’s character was wicked, controlling, sexually immoral, murderous, and demonic. It is astounding that the same strong spirit was still operating in Revelation 2:20, and still operates in today’s church. We find in every congregation those who want to control, manipulate, and subvert the men and women of God.

Recognizing the Spirit

This spirit is basically the spirit of “domination,” or an unwillingness to cohabit peacefully. This is not about women or liberation, for this spirit can attach itself to a man or a woman. Many may think that this spirit is identified with sexuality, believing that a woman who “looks” a certain way is a “Jezebel” in her character. But this is not so. A wolf can easily hide in sheep’s clothing.

When you find a spirit of Jezebel operating, you will also find an “Ahab” nearby, or someone in leadership who is allowing the spirit access and control.

The Strategy of Jezebel

The tool this spirit uses is manipulation. In I Kings 21, we learn that King Ahab would pout when he did not get his own way. He had seen a vineyard that he greatly desired, but the owner would not give up his precious property, even to the king. As King Ahab lay on his bed sulking, Jezebel assured him she would get him what he wanted. This powerful woman had introduced pagan worship into her kingdom, and she was not above killing to obtain the things she needed to gain more power.

The Seat of Jezebel

“Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.”

~Revelation 2:20 (NKJV)

When the spirit of Jezebel begins to manifest in the church, it seeks out a high seat in the church, or a place of dominance. Usually it will manifest in someone who wants to teach or lead, usually leading them astray!  To find that place of leadership, Jezebel must look and act in a spiritual manner.

One of these spirits operated in Moses and Aaron’s day. Numbers 16 tells us,

“Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?” ~ Numbers 16:1-3 (NKJV)

Korah was operating in the spirit of Jezebel, with Dathan and Abiram operating as his power core, and 250 other princes as a structure under them. Moses took immediate action—he fell on his face before God and prayed. Following his prayer, he confronted the spirit, saying,

“Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also?” ~ Numbers 16:9-10 (NKJV)

Judgment came to this Jezebel spirit—an earthquake came and took the three evil leaders and fire consumed all the rest.

Jezebel’s Targets

The controlling spirit wiggles into the church, bent on destroying and undermining the very things that we hold dear as believers. Through manipulation, domination, and control, the spirit begins its battle against the body of Christ.

First, this spirit hates the prophets, the true leaders of God. She cannot control them, and when she tries to win their approval and fails, she will stop at nothing to try and kill them.

In addition, the spirit of Jezebel hates the preaching of the Word. She can’t cope with its message. She will try to either reduce the messenger or the message.

This controlling spirit also hates the praise of the church. During times of true, powerful worship, her carnality is exposed. In I Kings when the prophet Elijah prayed fire down from heaven against the prophets of Baal and Jezebel’s schemes, praise broke out (I Kings 18:39). Jezebel had lost and the praises of God filled the air.

A Jezebel spirit also hates the preeminence of Christ. There is no way to compete against it. The first time “preeminence” is mentioned is in Colossians 1:18:

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (NKJV)

However, the second time we find the word, a Jezebel spirit is attempting to control a body of believers

“I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.”

~ 3 John 1:9 (NKJV)

Banish the Spirit

If you sense this spirit is at work in your church, it is important to see the enemy as spiritual, not fleshly. Don’t hate the person being controlled by the spirit of Jezebel, recognize that it is a spiritual power—one that God must fight. Let your prayer be, “O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” ~ 2 Chr 20:12 (NKJV)

~ Adapted from my book
Everyone’s Guide to Demons and Spiritual Warfare
Copyright © 2010 Ron Phillips
Published by Charisma House Book Group

Stone-Phillips

Want to learn more about the spirits of Jezebel, Leviathan, Python, and more? Join us for The Spiritual Warfare Conference at The Big Event! For more info or to register, click on The Big Event image.

#HonorMemorialDay

For about 240 years, Americans have shed their blood for the cause of freedom.

From places like Lexington and Concord to Gettysburg to Appomattox Station, the blood of patriots has been shed on American soil, fighting for a young nation’s heart and soul.

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When the United States had established itself as a world power, our brave men and women were once again called upon, and shed their blood fighting against dictators and tyrants with
names like Mussolini, Hirohito, and Hitler.

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While American citizens enjoyed the safety and security of life at home in places like Wichita, Dallas, Boston, and Tacoma, American soldiers gave their lives in previously unheard of places with names like Chochiwon, Ia Drang, Haditha, and Kamdesh.

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On Memorial Day, we honor the sacrifice of these brave American heroes who saw the cause of freedom as something worth defending, worth their sacrifice. We remember those who gave the last ounce of devotion to the ideals and principles enshrined in documents
like The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.

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Today… we remember.

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…It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God,
shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people,
by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
~ Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
from The Gettysburg Address

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Dear Mr. President…

LL ArmAt a recent Catholic-Evangelical Leadership Summit, President Obama criticized the Christian church at-large for focusing on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, saying the church needed to focus more on poverty and the poor. Saying “I think it would be powerful for our faith-based organizations to speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion”, he went on to state that the liberal ideology of wealth-redistribution was essential in following Christ. (view source)

Recently, 2016 Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton stated that religious groups needed to change their religious beliefs regarding “reproductive rights” (ie: abortion). This came on the heels of comments she made comparing the Biblical belief that “homosexuality is a sin” to honor killings, widow burning (the Hindu practice of Sati), and female genital mutilation. (view source) This should come as no surprise, however, considering what Mrs. Clinton had to say about Margaret Sanger, founder of the American Birth Control League (which later changed its name to Planned Parenthood):

Now, I have to tell you that it was a great privilege when I was told that I would receive this award (Planned Parenthood’s Margaret Sanger Award). I admire Margaret Sanger enormously, her courage, her tenacity, her vision … And when I think about what she did all those years ago in Brooklyn, taking on archetypes, taking on attitudes and accusations flowing from all directions, I am really in awe of her.

Mrs. Clinton’s admiration for Ms. Sanger is reason to give any decent person pause, considering Ms. Sanger’s own words…

The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.

A woman’s duty: To look the whole world in the face with a go-to-hell look in the eyes… to speak and act in defiance of convention.

With that said…

Dear Mr. President,

CoffeeAs a 67-year-old pastor who has been standing by the Word of God for the majority of my life, I am growing increasingly weary of being told what to believe by politicians. I’m tired of left-wing pundits who know enough about the Bible to be dangerous and, whenever homosexuality is mentioned, spew out-of-context Scripture in an attempt to justify their leftist agenda.

Mr. President… I don’t base my belief system on political winds or public opinion. My belief system is based on the Bible – the Word of God. As a person of faith, I look to a source Who is higher than I am, Whose ways and thoughts are higher than mine. I look to the Author and Finisher of my faith for guidance, wisdom, and courage to stand on the convictions that have been instilled in me as a result of my faith. 2 Timothy 3:1-9 tells us…

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

Today, we are seeing this Scripture play out in real-time in front of our very eyes. Wrong has become right, and right has become “bigotry, discrimination, intolerance, and hate-mongering”. And when our courts not only violate Biblical standards, but the very Constitution upon which our nation was founded, by persecuting and prosecuting people based on their deeply-held convictions and “religious beliefs”, we are in a dark and dire time indeed.

Mr. President… as for your idea that faith based groups should ” speak out on [poverty] in a more forceful fashion”, maybe we would have more time to talk about poverty if we weren’t already out in the world trying to make a difference in the lives of the poor. I see churches and faith-based ministries, throughout my area and across our great nation, trying to make a difference in the lives of the poor and destitute in their communities and around the world — organizations like Samaritan’s Purse, Compassion International, the Salvation Army, and so many others who devote energy and resources to the poor and needy around the globe. I could name many churches in my area alone that minister to the poor. My church ministers to the poor and needy locally, as well as in places like Nicaragua, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, and others. If you wish for a discussion, many of these groups might wish to discuss government rules and regulations that hinder them from operating and ministering more effectively.

I am all for reaching out to the poor, but so much of what we see in America with regard to welfare is subsidizing people who are simply lazy. If a person has a legitimate disability or handicap, that is one thing. However, handing out money to able-bodied individuals who are simply unwilling to work flies in the face of Biblical teaching, logic, and fiscal responsibility. In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul says…

But we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw from every brother who walks disorderly and not according to the tradition which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you; nor did we eat anyone’s bread free of charge, but worked with labor and toil night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example of how you should follow us.

For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies. Now those who are such we command and exhort through our Lord Jesus Christ that they work in quietness and eat their own bread.

For “people of faith”, the Bible is not the “Book of the Month” — it is the Book of the Ages. The Bible is the standard by which we attempt to live — admittedly, often falling short. However, those of us who truly call ourselves “believers in Christ” aspire to live as He lived, to be true to His calling and teachings, and to hold Him up as the example by which we live. I, for one, have no interest in dragging God down to my level, and projecting upon Him my human flaws, failures, and misgivings. I have no interesting in creating a god in my own image, of my own creation. I aspire to be like Jesus… not the other way around. Every time in the Bible that the children of Israel sided with the “people of the land” and began to worship other gods, and brought deity down to their level, it didn’t end so well for them. God is loving and merciful. God is also holy and just. God is never-ending and never-changing.  The same Ten Commandments that commands us not to steal commands us not to kill (that goes for abortion as well). The same Book that calls adultery wrong calls homosexuality a sin…

Not my rules.

We are ALL sinners… the murderer, the liar, the homosexual, the adulterer, the rebellious, and so forth. However, we can all come to Jesus, but we must come to Him admitting our sins — in repentance — and with a decision to forsake our sins and turn to Him.

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. ~ 1 John 1:9-10

Jesus didn’t hang on a cross so we’d be happy. He died a horrific and cruel death so we could be forgiven and have eternal life with Him.

CrossI stand with Christian brothers and sisters throughout our land and say, regardless of what presidents, politicians, pundits, and Supreme Court justices decide, I will always fall on the side of the Bible, of following in Jesus’ steps, and will never stop in my attempt to lead others to a saving knowledge of Him, according to His Word, and on His terms. To do or believe anything less is to denigrate the Bible down to the level of just another fanciful tale, and to cheapen the sacrifice of Jesus to the worthless gesture of a crazy man.