Tag Archive | Detroit

Hope for a “Lost” Generation

MLK Lives QuoteOne has only to watch the news for a few minutes to realize we, as a “civilized people”, are in great peril. As the world focuses on the threats facing our world on a broad scale (terrorism, radical Islam, North Korea, Russia, etc.), the unravelling of the fabric of our society on a local level flies “under the radar.” The seeming collusion of a left-wing media and liberal Hollywood have created the “talking points” of what is acceptable and politically correct, and what will not be tolerated.

While cities like Detroit, St. Louis, and Memphis are besieged by violence, we are told that the greatest threat facing us is “climate change”.

While escalating terror attacks against our allies across the globe are marginalized by our leaders, accusations of racism and anti-police rhetoric are carelessly bandied about by those in authority – with deadly consequences.

While more and more over-reaching regulations are proposed in the name of “public safety,” common sense and “unpopular” laws have become the casualties of those who would try to fundamentally change the core Judeo-Christian values of our nation.

LL ArmThese actions do not take place without consequences — intentional or not. The underlying message being sent is that lives (black, white, or otherwise) don’t matter, that morality is subjective, and that, if one disagrees with certain laws, it is acceptable to ignore and/or violate those laws as long as “diversity” is the goal.

I – for one – have not given up on America. However, in order for us to see a brighter future, we must return to the faith of our past. The Church must draw a “line in the sand” and take a stand for truth and righteousness. It is time that we stop living cowed in the corner of society, and honestly, passionately, and intelligently speak life into this culture of decay and death. Here are a few common-sense ways we can start that conversation…

Stop mis-labeling the problem.

If a person goes into the hospital with all of the symptoms of appendicitis, referring to that person’s condition as an ear infection will do little to treat the problem, and could possibly cost them their life. When we fail to properly label what is wrong with society, we do nothing to cure its ills, and run the risk of doing irreparable damage to the conscience of our Nation. As believers, we stand on the unchangeable, living Word of God. In 1 Peter 3:14-16, the apostle Peter admonishes us…

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed.

Calling “sin” by its proper name is not politically correct in our society, but is necessary in diagnosing what is ailing us.

Abortion is not a “woman’s choice”… it’s sin.
Homosexuality is not an “alternate lifestyle”… it’s sin.
Adultery is not an “open lifestyle”… it’s sin.
Pornography is not “adult entertainment”… it’s sin.
Political corruption is not “the price of doing business”… it’s sin.

It’s not my label, or your label… it’s God’s definition. He made the rules, and He set the standards. As believers in Christ, we must be honest and faithful to His Word. However, we must also be sure to go beyond just pointing out the problems; we must share the reason for our hope, and offer a solution… the love of Jesus that has the power to change hearts, heal minds, and save souls.

Parents: Anyone can be your child’s friend; only YOU can be your child’s parent.

We have a generation rising that has the potential for either great good or great harm. While I do see good and decent young people being raised up, I also see a lot who are reckless, thoughtless, and out-of-control. There was recently a case in Texas of a 16-year old young man who got drunk, got behind the wheel of a pickup truck, and killed four people (also injuring two others). During his trial, a witness was put on the stand who testified that the boy was the victim of affluenza — which could be defined as “being the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits or boundaries.” This tragic story can be repeated over and over again… parents who set no boundaries for children who grow into young people with no concern for right and wrong, and no regard for the consequences of their thoughtless and careless acts.

Family mealIn Proverbs 22:6, we read…

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

That’s pretty good advice from the person considered to be the wisest man who ever lived. Parents need to stop delegating God-given responsibility of raising their children to schools, recreation centers, and churches, and start being the voices of wisdom, protection, instruction, and discipline that God intended them to be.

Church: Start being salt and light again.

Over these past many decades, the Church has become known more for what we are against than what we are for. In the ’50’s and ’60’s, we took stands against things like technology, only to later discover it was neither good nor evil, but actually had great value in the spreading of the Gospel. While the Cold War raged in the ’70’s, and we seemed on the brink of nuclear catastrophe, the Church was more concerned about the length of men’s hair, the length of women’s skirts, the “Ju-ju beat” in contemporary Christian music, and a plethora of other things that did little to bring souls into the Kingdom, and even less to open up a dialogue with a world on the fast-track to Hell. One thing (of many) I respect about Rev. Billy Graham, and now his son Franklin, is that, when confronted with a question about a social issue, political controversy, or cultural hot-topic, he always steers the conversation back to the Cross of Christ, and mankind’s need for a Savior.

Jesus called us to be salt and light in Matthew 5:13-16…

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Do I think we should be like the world, and participate in sin for the sake of getting along and finding common ground? By no means. But we must be very careful in rightly-dividing the Word of God so as not to turn our personal preferences into God’s providence. We must let the world see the love of Christ in us, and be known for the God we love, Who changes lives, and not just be known for the petty and insignificant things we are against. Being a Christian will always put us at odds with a world that hates Him. However, the love of Christ in us — shown in practical ways — is what will silence the critics, bring healing and love to those who have lost all hope, and open the ears and hearts of the hungry, hurting, and desperate.

Remember that All Lives Matter.

All Lives MatterIn the wake of the tragic stories of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, the mantra “Black Lives Matter” spread like wildfire. The fact is that ALL lives matter. But how can we say with any conviction that any lives matter when we have allowed the wholesale slaughter of the innocent in our nation? How can we be so hypocritical as to bemoan the tragic deaths of a handful of individuals when, from 1973 to January of 2014, estimates of the number of aborted children have topped 50 million? To put it into perspective, this would be the equivalent of wiping out the populations of the following states combined: Kentucky, Oregon, Oklahoma, Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, Arkansas, Utah, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming.

We must stop sending these mixed messages. If all lives matter, then we must put an end to this hypocrisy by putting an end to the holocaust of abortion in our nation. Then, and only then, can we put a serious emphasis on the value of ALL lives, and begin to heal the racial and gender rifts that are tearing our nation apart.

 There was a popular show on television called “Lost“, in which the characters were survivors of a plane crash on a remote island. As the series progressed, however, the level of danger and peril grew, and the island was more than it appeared to be on the surface. As I look into our society, I see a generation that is lost in the deception of self-interest, unaware of an enemy that is operating below the surface, feeding the fires of an ideology and mindset that are putting us as a nation more and more at odds with a Holy God. It’s time for the Church to step up and be the voice of truth, compassion, and hope that our world is crying out for.Blessed

Radicals, Racism, or Righteousness: The Choice is Yours

Society is being turned on it’s ear, and we are being given a front-row seat.

I could sit here for days and decry the many ways in which our culture is losing it’s soul. I could catalogue the multiple symptoms that are evidence of the demise of towns and cities all over America.

I mean, think about this…

To steal an eagle’s egg in the U.S. carries a $10,000.00 fine, yet killing an unborn human is perfectly legal. Since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973, if the same fine was imposed for the nearly 55 million abortions that have taken place since then, the cumulative monetary fine would be more than $545,596,150,000.00

Staying sexually pure is mocked, while sexual promiscuity is lauded as normal. While the acceptable age for “sex education” in our schools goes younger and younger, “abstinence education” is frowned upon and virtually ignored. Meanwhile, the out-of-wedlock birthrate in our nation is at a disastrous 40.7%.

To speak out against homosexual activity is viewed as more reprehensible than the activity itself.

Time and time again, the national media is caught in the act of “creating news” instead of “reporting news”.

The city of Detroit is now in the process of filing bankruptcy. Political corruption and out-of-control crime are being blamed as two of the contributing factors in the city’s demise.

While the country was focused on the George Zimmerman trial in Florida, the murder statistics in cities like Chicago continued to skyrocket — virtually ignored.

So what do we do? How do we as Christians respond to such overwhelming bad news? How do we stand against the forces of dishonesty, corruption, and division that would tear our country apart?

Righteousness.

Now you say, “Pastor, that sounds a little simplistic and naive.” Maybe it does, but the fact is that truth is not a difficult concept. Regardless of how complicated we try to make things, the best way is, in most cases, the simplest. Throughout history, the most popular ideas and inventions are often the most practical ones. The problems that most people have with Scripture are not based on the doctrines of Scripture, but on our own personal hangups…

  • We have an aversion to calling sin by its proper name: SIN. Because of political correctness and fear of the “thought police”, we suffer from a lost consciousness of evil, and confusion over right and wrong. Solomon tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that…

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
And those who love it will eat its fruit.

So the question becomes: Are you eating the wholesome and delectable fruit of righteousness and truth, or the poisonous, rancid, spoiled fruit of “conventional wisdom” and “popular opinion”.

  • There’s an old saying: “If you don’t stand for anything, you’ll fall for everything”. Truth is not subjective. Truth does not change. The consequence of standing in front of a speeding train is certain death, regardless of how much you disagree with the laws of physics. The consequence of breaking the laws of God is spiritual death, regardless of how much man ignores, defies, or denies Him.
  • There is an immutable fact in nature: “You reap what you sow”. The Bible is very clear in Galatians 6:7-8:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

No society can long survive lawlessness and corruption. Any civilization that forsakes righteousness and truth is not long for the world. As President Ronald Reagan once said..

“If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be one nation gone under.”

  • God didn’t call us to be a “white church” or a “black church” — He called us to be “THE Church”. We cannot begin to expect to change a culture that is (sadly) so racially divided until we break down the walls that divide us in within the family of God. In the Bible, the primary racial divide was between the Jew and the Gentile. Paul addressed that divide in Ephesians when he said:

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2:14-18

We don’t need a culture of more “open-mindedness”… we need a culture of Godly righteousness.

We don’t need more “gun control”… we need more “self control”.

We don’t need leaders who will prove themselves once they get into public office… we need servants who have already proven themselves in order to get into public office.

We don’t need more programs for fatherless children… we need more “real men” who will honor women, and make them wives before they make them mothers.

If we are still bound and determined to be a “colored church”, then let’s be the “Crimson Church” — covered by the crimson blood of the One who died to make us all one in Him.

Join me at Abba’s House this Sunday as I talk about Righteousness as I continue my series “Seven Words that Work Wonders”. If you can’t be there, click here to watch us online.