Tag Archive | Barack Obama

The Lost Art of Reading Billboards

Motel SignBillboards have long been a fixture across the landscape of our country. Just drive down nearly any state highway or interstate, and you will be witness to massive advertisements for any number of businesses, products, services, or causes. From ads for fast food to political candidates to massive marriage proposals, people use billboards to communicate any number of products and ideas.

And in my 70 years on this earth, I don’t ever recall a single time I passed a billboard and witnessed an individual standing on the side of the road, screaming at that billboard while waving a picket sign. A billboard must meet certain community standards in order to be erected in the first place. I see any number of billboards on a daily basis that are advertising something I don’t necessarily agree (or disagree) with.

When I see these, I do what all normal people do… I just keep driving. I don’t stop and scream at the billboard. I stay in my car, maintain my speed, and have probably forgotten about it within a mile.

Wouldn’t it be great if people viewed what they see on the internet and social media the same way they view billboards?

It never ceases to amaze me, the time and energy people put into running something down that they disagree with on the web. In a letter he wrote in 1946, Albert Einstein said something almost prophetic…

“I believe that the abominable deterioration of ethical standards stems primarily from the mechanization and depersonalization of our lives — a disastrous byproduct of science and technology. Nostra Culpa (our fault)!”

Even in 1946 — long before home computers, digital technology, and the internet — Einstein saw technology “depersonalizing” our lives as individuals, and the way we interact with each other. Today we witness people say and do things on the internet — and when I say ‘internet’, I am including social media — that they would never have done even 25 years ago. We see “digital courage” on display on a regular basis; people hiding behind a computer screen, espousing their particular brand of hatred and vitriol from the safety of their bedroom… things they would never dream of saying to another person’s face.

Recently, our church had what we called All American Day. Our church has a long history of patriotic events, dating back over 30 years. I love this country, and I am thankful for the grace God has shown us over the last nearly 250 years. I believe the blessings of God on our nation are worth celebrating. This year, we invited former presidential candidate Governor Mike Huckabee to be our guest speaker. Subsequently, we did a little advertising on social media to promote the event. The text of the ad read…

Governor Mike Huckabee will be speaking this Sunday at Abba’s House in Hixson! Join us for patriotic music and an inspiring message by Gov. Huckabee! The service begins at 10:30am. Abba’s House is located at 5208 Hixson Pike.

No political agenda. No partisanship. No campaigning for a candidate. A former governor, who happens to be a Christian, was speaking about our nation.

What ensued over the next few days was a series of ill-informed, uneducated, judgmental, and even vile posts by people who disagreed with or disliked the idea Governor Huckabee was speaking at our church. While there were many posts that were positive and/or neutral, many crossed the line into absurdity and profanity that we would not even allow on the page. People launched into uninformed and unfounded personal attacks on Governor Huckabee. Others launched into attacks on President Trump. Still others became “Constitutional scholars”, and launched into arguments about the First Amendment, separation of church and state, and the Johnson Amendment (calling into question our church’s tax-exempt status).  I even had one person who proceeded to attack a speaker who spoke at our church several years ago (in an event that was not even sponsored by our church) who has no affiliation to politics, Mike Huckabee, or President Trump.

But what was probably the most disheartening were the attacks commentors made on other commentors, calling them childish and profane names, and belittling total strangers for being hopeful about our nation and our future.

Now normally I don’t respond to comments and criticisms, particularly on my blog. This “conversation”, however, goes to a bigger issue: Decency. I am used to criticism; I’m a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so in a world that is hostile to Him, it comes with the territory. What gets me, though, is the way people instantly become experts about everything they disagree with, which amplifies the idea that, as a believer in Jesus Christ, trying to “fit in” in such a world is not possible.

Here are a few fast facts pertaining to these posts…

  • Former-governor Huckabee is no longer a political candidate. The fact is, before he was Governor Mike Huckabee, he was Pastor Mike Huckabee. More than a decade before he entered politics, he was the pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church. One of his former bosses, evangelist James Robison, once said of him…

“His convictions shape his character and his character will shape his policies. His whole life has been shaped by moral absolutes.”

  • The Johnson Amendment (regarding political speech from a pulpit), has to do with the endorsement of a political candidate. Since Mr. Huckabee is neither (at this writing) a political candidate nor endorsing one, this really was a non-issue. In fact, all one has to do is a simple YouTube search, and you will find a variety of politicians (and candidates) who have spoken in churches, from Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and President Donald Trump.
  • There were several comments about the First Amendment and “separation of church and state.” The fact is that the term “separation of church and state” is not in the First Amendment, or in the Constitution at all for that matter. The phrase separation of church and state came from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the Baptist Association of Danbury Connecticut. The actual text of the First Amendment of the Constitution reads as follows…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Jefferson quote 1

While the First Amendment was never meant to keep the Church out of the State, but in fact, to keep the State out of the Church, liberal interpretations of the First Amendment, combined with a mis-interpretation (lack of context) of Jefferson’s words have led us to where we are today. The fact is, Jefferson’s own writings (as well as the writings of many of the founding fathers) bear witness to not only his belief in God, and to his belief that our liberties as a nation are a gift from God. Does it really stand to reason that we should eliminate, from our public life, the very God credited with making our public life, as we know it, possible?

 

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?”
~ Thomas Jefferson

 

  • In the social media posts, the word “hypocrite” was bandied about quite a bit. The fact of the matter is, hypocrisy is, by definition, the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. The fact is, nearly everyone exhibits hypocrisy in some form or fashion (if you claim to be a law-abiding citizen, yet you speed, you are, by definition a hypocrite)Monitor 4But here again, for the believer in Christ, fighting against the labels the world attempts to put on us is an untenable position; if we stand unwavering on the tenants of Scripture, particularly with regard to issues of morality, we are labelled “intolerant, bigots, homophobic, judgmental,” etc. But the same people who use such terms to describe people who stand on their Christian moral standards and beliefs are as equally unforgiving of any Christian who appears hypocritical in any way, form, or fashion. Essentially the argument is, “You are going to criticize me if my Christian belief system is counter to your political, social, or moral ideology (ie: if I am NOT a hypocrite), but you are going to criticize me for being a hypocrite if I don’t live my life perfectly in keeping with what I claim to believe.” Are you seeing the absurdity here, in trying to please those who you are never going to please?

I could go on for days, but I would like to bring this all back to the bigger issue I alluded to…

Decency.

While there will always be critics and naysayers, regardless of the topic, there should be an understanding that such “dialogue” is not the acceptable norm. There should be a way, in civil society, that we can “disagree without being disagreeable”, and respond to each other with dignity and respect. It seems that the more tech-saavy we become, the less decent we act. We should be able to have public discourse without the need to go to verbal war. We should be able to have honest debate without vitriolic hate. In the Bible, James implores the believer…

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God. ~ James 1:19-20

In Proverbs, we find this truth…

A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,
But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. ~ Proverbs 15:1-2

Someone much wiser than me wrote that. It seems like pretty good advice for all of us. We can be uncompromising in our beliefs without being uncharitable in our speech. We should all strive to be passionate about our convictions without being profane in our words and attitude. It is possible to strongly disagree, but do so with unquestionable love, or at least civility.

Maybe it’s time to view social media the same way we view bilboards…

Read… and keep on driving down the road.

Have a great weekend!

Pastor Ron

Truth in Uncertain Times

At this writing, President Trump is about to meet with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey, at the White House. After that meeting, President Trump will be flying to the Middle East and Southern Europe. He will meet with the King of Saudi Arabia, the Pope, and the leadership of Israel, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

This is a critical meeting since Russia has signed a pact with Turkey (Togarmah) and Iran (Persia).

I call your attention to the 2,500 year old prophet Ezekiel…

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet…” ~ Ezekiel 38:1-5 (NKJV)

Notice that Russia (Prince of Rosh), to the town of Togarmah (Turkey) and Persia (Iran) are listed as initiating a war which includes the invasion of Israel.

Candidate X

I have repeatedly alerted the people at Abba’s House and our worldwide partners and audience about what was rising in the Middle East.

Contrary to Russia’s so-called involvement with the election, Putin has been moving on the Middle East, having a presence now in Syria for the first time in history.

President Putin, after cutting a deal with the Obama/Clinton administration that dealt away 20% of the uranium (a key component for atomic reactor and nuclear weapon development) resources of America to Russia (and subsequently Iran), the Clinton Foundation received at least $35 million from a Russian controlled company. Furthermore, Bill Clinton received $500,000 to speak at a meeting arranged by the bank that handled the deal.

The conspiracy of a socialist/liberal press and the agenda of Obama/Clinton was betrayed when Putin struck a more nationalist tone, and has now embraced a philosophy that challenges the globalist agenda of the left. For this reason, Hillary Clinton, had she been elected, would have probably engaged a limited war with Russia.

The double-cross included an effort to overthrow Erdoğan in Turkey and Assad in Syria. Erdoğan took over our air force base in Incirlik, Turkey for two weeks, including our nuclear arsenal housed there. This went largely unreported by the media.

The Quixotic Democrats, main stream media, and entertainment liberal-elites are all convinced of their own diatribe, and distracted by their “Trump stole the election using Russia interference” narrative. This has caused much of America to be deceived by the press with its phony talking-points and false propaganda.

While North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Turkey have combined armies of 3 ½ million soldiers, our legislators are “tilting with windmills” as the Don Quixotes of the 21st century.

Truth may not be popular or politically correct, but I have made the decision to give our partners, friends, and viewers the exactly that… the truth. For the last three weeks, we have broadcast a message I brought some months ago warning of this scenario. Each week, the internet level has increased. The public is being stirred from its slumber, and is beginning to see the deception that is playing out before our very eyes.

Blog_AtlantisListen my friend, destruction is coming to Damascus and parts of Iran. This Ezekiel 38 war is not Armageddon; it precedes the rebuilding of the temple as described in Ezekiel 40 and following. You must have this message contained in my books The Hiram Code and the Unraveling of America. You must stand in the truth, for we will be victorious.

Please get this knowledge so you can understand the times. Make no mistake… the church will triumph and our King will return. Until that day, we are under orders from our Commander, Jesus Christ, Who said, “Occupy until I come.”

We are an occupation force in a hostile culture.

Do not be afraid.

Be informed.

Be prayerful.

Be faithful.

Be expectant.

 

Be blessed,
Pastor Ron

A Year of Change

FlagIn about two weeks, America will once again go through the pomp and ceremony of inaugurating a new president, meaning new leadership and new direction in our nation. While January 20 (and a few days following) will be filled with all manner of spectacles, traditions, and commentary, it will merely mark the beginning of an administration that came to power on promises of ending corruption, national security, and returning us to being a nation “of, by, and for the people.” President Trump will have his hands full, leading our country during a time of political unrest, social division, international instability, and unfettered terrorism.

So, “we the people”… what can we do?

First of all, we can pray. In I Timothy 2:1-2, Paul tells Timothy…

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Israeli Flag 1Prayer is not partisan. While I never voted for President Obama, and disagreed with him on much of his agenda, I prayed for him nearly every single day. I genuinely hoped and prayed that he would be a good and just president. My prayer is the same for President Trump. I pray that he will surround himself with Godly counsel, that he will listen to wise advisers, and that he will always put America’s best interests — spiritually, socially, and economically — first (this includes an unwavering support for Israel).

Second, I would encourage everyone reading this, regardless of what side of the aisle you fall on politically — give President Trump a chance. No man or administration has the ability to fix all that ails a nation overnight. Leaders rise and fall according to the will of God (Romans 13:1), and I believe that God has ordained President Trump for “such a time as this”. If you have honest disagreements with him or his policy, fine. I’m sure we all will at some point. There has not been a president in my lifetime that I agreed with 100% of the time. But honest criticism, reasoned viewpoints, and civil discourse should not fall victim to unbridled vitriol, (un)civil disobedience, and fake and deceptive news. If there is one thing I have learned with the popularity of social media, it is that you cannot believe everything you read.

Praying      Last, I would encourage all of us — as Americans — to be diligent in seeking after holiness, righteousness, and decency. Make a difference in your own circle of influence. Last year, I wrote a book called The Unraveling of America  in which I pointed to a number of political and social ideologies and entities in our world that have led to the systematic dismantling of our nation. With the advent of new leadership, all of these adversaries and ideologies are not going to mysteriously vanish. We must be diligent. We must be wary. We must hold our leaders to account for their decisions, actions, or lack thereof. We must follow the advice of Jesus who tells us to be “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

It’s time for our nation under God to once again rise up and be the “shining city on a hill”, not because of our perceived greatness, but because of the goodness and grace of God that He shed upon us.

Pemmaquid PointAmerica! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

~ from America the Beautiful
Words by Katharine Lee Bates
Music by Samuel A. Ward

The Truth, Political Correctness, & The Most Trusted Man In America

Unraveling Flag - horiz

“We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant
facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive
values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge
the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is
afraid of its people.” ~ John F. Kennedy

Statistics reveal Americans are fed up with the national news media. The major networks are seeing a steady decline in viewership, print media is losing subscribers by the thousands and the disdain of mainstream media has hit an all time high. Many Americans feel that what they are hearing from the mainstream media is nothing more than regurgitated political correctness in the form of hardhitting “news.”

“A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 65 percent of Americans believe that the national news media have a negative effect on our country. According to a recent Gallup poll, six in ten Americans now have little or no confidence in the national media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”

A grammar school student by the name of Talha Wani wrote an opinion piece for the Express Tribune on the subject, “Can the Media be Trusted?”

He stated, “The media’s job is to represent the views and opinions of the masses, and inform and educate people regarding different points of views and opinions. The concept behind the media’s role is a simple one: To update society’s knowledge on the status of affairs through recent developments and events. Both the print and electronic media have a role to play in this regard. The most rudimentary ethics to follow in this endeavor are honesty and accurate reporting. However, sadly, honesty is the last thing to expect from this now complicated institution.

While the media has the ability to uphold the truth, it has, unfortunately, also been used as a tool of distortion and propaganda, and is often plagued with bias. It often acts as an avenue for profiteering rather than for accurate reporting or creating awareness among the public.”

I find it fascinating that a grammar school student sees the seriousness of the situation while those who sit in the comfortable confines of their ivory towers continue dictating to the American public what they should or should not believe. These media moguls don’t
have a clue that a revolt is taking place in this country. We are fed up and we are not going to take it anymore!

It wasn’t always that way.

Walter CronkiteDuring the early days of broadcast television, it was not uncommon to turn on the evening news at seven o’clock and watch one of the major networks tell the American people the ‘happenings’ of the day. For decades, many families ate their evening meal watching Walter Cronkite on CBS or the Huntley/Brinkley Report on NBC.

The favorite around our house was Walter Cronkite of CBS News. Because of his straightforward reporting, without mixing his own personal political views, he earned the nickname, “The most trusted man in America.” From 1962 to 1991, he reported on some of the most life-changing events in America. With a steadfast voice, he told us the “truth” about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the death of Martin Luther King and the Vietnam War. Whenever the news broke, he was the one America tuned in to watch.

For decades, we depended on men like Cronkite to give it to us straight and pull no punches. We did not have the luxury of the internet, or the plethora of cable news outlets to get alternative opinions on the events of the day.

In those days, when someone like Walter Cronkite looked into the camera and said, “And that’s the way it is,” you felt like he was telling you the unvarnished truth.

After the death of Walter Cronkite in 2009, Cliff Kincaid, Director of the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism, wrote an article in Accuracy in Media. He stated, “It is
wrong to speak ill of the dead. On the other hand, it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to pretend that Walter Cronkite was the “voice of God” and “universally credible,” as Mara Liasson put it on Fox News Sunday. The terrible truth is that Walter
Cronkite symbolized liberal media bias and used that bias with disastrous consequences for our nation and the world.

We found out after his retirement that he was not only a liberal, which was evident from his broadcasts, but a “one-worlder.” In appearances before the World Federalist Association, which favors world government financed by global taxes, he called for the U.S. to renounce “some of its sovereignty” and pass a series of United Nations treaties-many of which are now being pushed in the Senate by President Barack Obama. Cronkite called for an “international Liberty Bell.”

I quote Kincaid’s article only to illustrate what many of us are now understanding with more clarity. The mainstream media is predominantly comprised of progressive liberals who want to shape the attitudes and opinions of the American public.

My purpose is not to smear or denigrate the good name of Walter Cronkite or anyone else who reported the news during those days. My goal is to simply point out that there was a time in our history when those who reported the news were trusted. Quite frankly, we did not have any idea of their political beliefs or motives. We just viewed the broadcast and print media as unbiased sources, free from personal opinion and ideology.

CapitolRemember, it was only a little over 40 years ago that two young reporters by the name of Woodward and Bernstein brought down the President of the United States. These two Washington Post reporters risked their own lives and reputations to give us the facts of the Watergate break-in and subsequent cover-up by the White House.

Americans need the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Instead, we are being force fed a steady stream of political correctness by the mainstream media that is facilitating the rhetoric of the progressive liberal agenda, and destroying this nation.

These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbor;
give judgment in your gates for
truth, justice, and peace.
~ Zechariah 8:16

Adapted from my most recent book,
The Unraveling of America
by Dr. Ron M. Phillips
with Dr. J. Tod Zeiger
© 2016 Abba’s House Media

Silent No More

I thought for this week’s blog, I would share this week’s show from Ron Phillips from Abba’s House. It is time to be silent no more. We must speak up for the soul of our nation…

The Unraveling of America

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As we celebrate Independence Day today, I find myself reminiscing about the qualities and people who have made our nation great. Character, integrity, patriotism, freedom, excellence, Godliness, exceptionalism are all words that come to mind when I think of the writings of our founding fathers. Names like Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams are synonymous with these aspirations. Others who followed in their wake — men like Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan — encouraged America’s citizenry to overcome adversity, stand for freedom and against tyranny, and shoot for the moon. One has but to visit our nation’s capital — places like the Smithsonian Institution, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery — to have a sense of where we came from, how hard we have worked, where our faith was founded, how much we have sacrificed, and what we have accomplished…

And we have but to watch the evening news to realize how far we have fallen.

Unraveling Flag - horiz

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil…” ~ Isaiah 5:20

We’re there.

Today, we are seeing America unraveling at the seams. We are seeing unprecedented evil – as the Bible defines it – being accepted and even welcomed in our culture. We are witnessing events and attitudes that I would never have imagined would be “acceptable” in my lifetime.

So who is pulling the strings?

The history we are seeing unfold before our eyes is startling, shocking, and disturbing. But current events beg the questions…

  • Do you know that two men changed all of culture as we see it right now?

  • Is the homosexual revolution all the result of a brilliantly devised marketing plan?

  • Did you know that Dearborn, Michigan is already “Islamicized”?

  • Is political correctness destroying America?

  • Why is there respect for Shari’a law in our government, but no respect for the Bible?

  • Did our forefathers really set up boundaries between the church and the state?

Yesterday (July 3), I released a word to our nation. My new book, The Unraveling of America, answers these questions and more. It is time to stand for righteousness. It is time to stand for truth. It is time to get honest about the individuals, entities, and attitudes that are tearing our great nation apart, and return our nation to the path of righteousness, justice, truth, and integrity that is our true destiny.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. ~ II Chronicles 7:14

It is time to expose the unraveling of America, and begin the healing of our Land.

Pastor Ron