Tag Archive | Donald Trump

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

Election 2016: Where Do We Go From Here?

FlagAmerica has spoken. We have elected our next President and Vice-President. While some across our nation are rejoicing, others of our neighbors mourn. In a political campaign that was as vicious and divisive as any in my lifetime, I think it is important for all of us to remember that the Republic will endure. We have weathered far worse than this — wars, the Great Depression, more wars, scandal, etc. — and we still remain.

I think this is a time for soul searching; a time to re-evaluate our priorities, our passions, and (yes) our politics. America has chosen a businessman/outsider to be our next Commander-In-Chief, rejecting someone who has a long and storied career in the political arena and the public eye. I think that, just as important as the voice of the people being heard, it is equally important that those in leadership understand exactly WHAT they heard. What were these voices saying? Why did the “silent majority” show up in force on November 8, 2016?

There is an old adage (often ascribed to the writings of Tocqueville) that goes like this…

KS77849I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers—and it was not there. . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests—and it was not there. . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce—and it was not there. . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution—and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.

Could it be that the citizens of our great nation are tired of the unrighteousness and corruption at the highest levels of government?

RushmoreCould it be that we have finally become weary of being a nation with a broken moral compass, evidenced by rampant police assaults, out-of-control violence in our streets, rabid support for the abomination of abortion-on-demand, acceptance of deviant sexual behavior, and open hostility to the things of God?

Could it be that we have come to the determination that the government is not the answer to what ails us, and that all of the laws and regulations in the world may change the actions of a man, but cannot change his heart?

Could it be that we have realized that, for all of our good intentions, we cannot help the rest of the world until we have, ourselves, been healed of what ails us?

Could it be that we are returning to the understanding of what it means to be “one nation under God”?

The answers to these questions will not come overnight. Even after President-Elect Trump is sworn into office in January, all that has divided our nation will not mysteriously disappear.

It will take prayer. Prayer for President Trump, Vice President Pence, our Congress and Senate, governors, local leaders, and our nation. I believe what we are now seeing is the result of a LOT of people on their knees before God. THAT should not have stopped with the sunrise of November 9th. Psalm 107:28-29 says…

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and He brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.

When we pray with thankfulness, Paul gives us this promise for peace and protection…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

CoffeeIt will take understanding. As believers who trust in the inerrancy of the Bible, sometimes we are less than patient with those who are not believers. It is up to us lead in love, and show the love of Christ by example. Charles H. Spurgeon once said…

If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. If they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees. Let no one go there unwarned and unprayed for.

It will take consistency. During the election cycle of 2016, Christians let their voices be heard. It is up to us to continue to speak out, let our voices continue to rise over the din of a culture that enjoys the sound of its own noise, and hold our leaders accountable for the pledges and promises they made to get elected.

It is an oft-used Scripture in times such as these, but nonetheless true or relevant. It is one we should all cling to and model in the days, months, and years ahead…

 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

May God bless our nation as we move forward in hope, grace, and unity.

God bless you.

Pastor Ron

Lady Liberty

Showdown: A Gamble of Long Odds

He came out of nowhere to confront the political establishment of his day. He was an outsider in the truest sense of the word.

JezebelSpiritThe nation’s leader was married to an un-elected, unselected ambitious woman who was the enemy of people of faith. This man of mystery spoke words that threatened the establishment, so they attacked this interloper, and put him on the run, for trying to overturn the corrupt and ungodly orders of an equally corrupt leader… corruption that, among other things, unjustly sent many to their deaths, seized the property and wealth of a law-abiding family by executive order, and after first framing the owner by accusations brought forward by false witnesses, had him murdered by an angry mob.

This woman unleashed her entire corrupt establishment on the “mystery man” in an effort to destroy him as she had every enemy before him. She sent her minions and surrogates after him to strike him down.

No… this is not Donald Trump and the Clintons. The woman in this story is Jezebel and the man she attacked was Elijah. Jezebel was eventually overthrown and fed to the dogs, and the nation was spared her continued and pervasive ungodliness. It was the spirit of Elijah that fell upon the nation.

The showdown on the mountain between Elijah and the 450 heathen prophets seemed like a gamble of long odds. However, the showdown ended when Jehovah God answered by fire from Heaven. It was the prayer of one righteous man that prompted God Almighty to show His power to His people who had strayed from Him. At 450 to 1, it WAS a gamble of long odds…

… And the 450 prophets of Baal never stood a chance.

KS77759Today we need some folks with the anointing of Elijah to bring down the corruption in America. We need people of faith to stand on their God-given rights and boldly speak the Word of truth to a people that have lost their way. We need leaders who will rise up, and declare the words of Proverbs 14:34 from the rooftops…

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a reproach to any people.

We need people of God who will stand up in the face of overwhelming odds, look the enemy squarely in the face, and laughingly say, “Is that all you brought?”

Washington MonumentIt is time for the petty bickering to end.

It is time for sin to be called out, and for the righteous to stand firmly in the face of evil.

It is time for our leaders to rise up, stop mincing words and playing along with politics as usual, thinking they are somehow not complicit in the downfall of our nation and society.

It is time for those in authority to start defending the laws they swore before God to uphold.

It is time for the Church to find its voice, lead the way, and declare our dependence on God as “one nation under God.”

Yes, it is a gamble of long odds. And when the people of God stand in unity, the enemy doesn’t stand a chance.

Pray.

Seek God.

Vote.

May God bless America once again.

Enemies Within The Gate

goebbelsJoseph Goebbels was propaganda minister for Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. He was the man responsible for propagating the demonic lies that led to World War II and the slaughter of millions of innocent people, including six million Jews. He said,

“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.”

For at least the last decade America has repeatedly been fed “lies big enough” to now seem to be the truth to many citizens. Swallowing the propaganda of a progressive ideological agenda, our spiritual and moral base has eroded to the point that America is no longer recognized as the world’s leader in moral and spiritual convictions. America has become a caricature of her former self.

Sir_Winston_S_Churchill

It was Winston Churchill who said,

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth
has a chance to get its pants on.”

It is time for us to “put on our pants” and tell the truth before it’s too late. With twenty-four hour news cycles and a common stream of information on the internet, it is no longer acceptable to say, “I did not know what was going on.”

No nation or civilization has ever survived the radical decline we are seeing at this present hour! Edward Gibbon’s book, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, astonishingly parallels our own decline in America.

Listen to Gibbon as he speaks of the insidious termites that were eating away at the foundation of a decaying culture. He lists five marks of the decaying Roman culture:

  1. Concern with displaying affluence instead of building wealth
  2. Obsession with sex and perversions of sex
  3. Art becomes freakish and sensationalistic instead of creative and original
  4. Widening disparity between very rich and very poor
  5. Increased demand to live off the state.

Gibbon goes on to say . . .

“It was scarcely possible that the eyes of contemporaries should discover in the public felicity the latent causes of decay and corruption. This long peace, and the uniform government of the Romans, introduced a slow and secret poison into the vitals of the empire. The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished, and even the military spirit evaporated. Their personal valour remained, but they no longer possessed that public courage which is nourished by the love of independence, the sense of national honour, the presence of danger, and the habit of command. They received laws and governors from the will of their sovereign, and trusted for their defense to a mercenary army. The posterity of their boldest leaders was contented with the rank of citizens and subjects. The most aspiring spirits resorted to the court or standard of the emperors; and the deserted provinces, deprived of political strength or union, insensibly sunk into the languid indifference of private life.”

Will America follow the footsteps of the Roman Empire? Will she permit the continual erosion of her proud heritage? I do not believe it will ever happen as long as we remember it is not just military might and economic strength that keep us safe and secure within our own borders.

America has lost its way morally and spiritually and that is where the danger lies. I contend that America has been invaded not by military forces, but by spiritual forces that are at work at this present hour to undermine the root system that has produced the fruit of freedom and liberty around the world. The bright light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has shown in the darkest parts of the world simply because believers united in a common cause of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

The culture war is going on in every segment of society, from the board room to the class room, and from the White House to the church house. We are seeing a major shift in attitudes and actions that once defined us as the greatest nation on earth. Main-stream media has aided and abetted the ongoing nudging of America toward a progressive agenda, effectively lowering our moral and spiritual standards.

Coptic ChristiansAs the foundation grows weaker, the attacks on Christianity grow bolder and are seen in all parts of the world. War has been declared on Christianity in every part of the Middle East, with reports of Christians being beheaded at the bloody hand of ISIS (or ISIS related groups).

In America, the assault on the lives of Christians happens so often it has almost become commonplace to the masses. The assault on traditional values can best be seen in a recent survey conducted by Gallup. In May 2015, Gallup conducted a survey showing that Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues. Based on the responses of both conservative, liberal, and moderate Americans, the survey reports:

“Americans are becoming more liberal on social issues, as evidenced not only by the uptick in the percentage describing themselves as socially liberal, but also by their increasing willingness to say that a number of previously frowned-upon behaviors are morally acceptable. The biggest leftward shift over the past 14 years has been in attitudes toward gay and lesbian relations, from only a minority of Americans finding it morally acceptable to a clear majority finding it acceptable.

The moral acceptability of issues related to sexual relations has also increased, including having a baby outside of wedlock– something that in previous eras was a social taboo. Americans are more likely to find divorce morally acceptable, and have also loosened up on their views of polygamy, although this latter behavior is still seen as acceptable by only a small minority.

AppealThis liberalization of attitudes toward moral issues is part of a complex set of factors affecting the social and cultural fabric of the U.S. Regardless of the factors causing the shifts, the trend toward a more liberal view on moral behaviors will certainly have implications for such fundamental social institutions as marriage, the environment in which children are raised, and the economy. The shifts could also have a significant effect on politics, with candidates whose positioning is based on holding firm views on certain issues having to grapple with a voting population that, as a whole, is significantly less likely to agree with conservative positions than it might have been in the past.”

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

Election 2016: You Can’t Have It Both Ways

KS77849With the close of the final Presidential debate of 2016, our nation now enters the homestretch of the most unusual and heated political campaign in our history. With so much information, misinformation, and misleading journalism out there, I think it is appropriate and timely to step back for a moment, take a deep breath, look at what it is that makes us great as a nation, and what is and is not important when it comes to policy and personality.

Our nation was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, and a Constitution to which every president swears allegiance. One has but to look at the writings of people like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and countless others of our founding fathers to find this to be true. Still, we have those in the seats of power who would twist our heritage, rewrite our history, and try to push an agenda that is contrary our historically Biblical values, our Constitution, and to sanity itself.

How can a person claim to be supportive of our founding documents (of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”), as well as the rights of children, and yet support the heinous and barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a government expect to have any moral authority when it excuses the crimes of the rich and powerful? How can our leaders effectively lead when the halls of our state-houses are flooded with corruption?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a journalist feign indignation and “shocked” outrage at offensive words and “locker-room banter”, yet smile and laugh through a reprehensible, profanity-laced interview where the interviewer refers to her as a “piece of a**”, discuss having a “threesome” with he and his wife, and discuss and disparage others who struggle with weight issues (among many other things unfit to publish here)?

You can’t have it both ways.

The Presidential oath of office reads as follows…

I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

How can the person who utters these words, yet repeatedly tramples on the very Constitution they are sworn to uphold not be guilty of dereliction of duty in the breaking of that oath?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a person talk about supporting national security, yet support open borders, increased refugee acceptance from Islamic countries, and policies that put that very national security at risk?

You can’t have it both ways.

How can a “news” media that financially supports any political candidate expect the American public to believe they are unbiased?

You can’t have it both ways.

I could go on for hours with regard to the hypocrisy that has permeated our culture. But  I will instead leave you with a couple of quotes by the late Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world
that it leaves to its children.”

What kind of society will we leave our children? Will it be a society of hypocrisy, corruption, and misguided political correctness, or will it be a society endeavoring for truth, justice, and righteousness? It is in our hand to decide.

Bonhoeffer also stated…

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running
along the corridor in the other direction.”

AppealSlowly and steadily, our society has changed trains, while Christians, Conservatives, and Constitutionalists have done little to stop the it. Those in power want to fix what ails our society by doubling down on the bad decisions that have put us in the position we are in. As Christians, we have — not just a moral obligation — but a Scriptural mandate to support, not the perfect candidate, but the candidate who is going to do the most in guiding our nation back to a place of safety, sanity, and sanctity. We must put the rhetoric, tabloid journalism, and social media debate aside, put on the whole armor of God, and vote with the mind of Christ. It is time to get off of the vehicle of self-serving destruction, and get on a path of repentance and restoration.

We are now less than three weeks from Election Day. I encourage you…

Pray to God.

Seek His face.

Follow His leading.

Vote.

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

The Unraveling of America

With less than one month until the election, America hangs in the balance.

This week on Ron Phillips from Abba’s House…

 

Lessons From A Lost Civilization

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana

In his classic book, How Should We Then Live?, Francis Schaeffer wrote…

[Speaking of the Roman Empire] “… No totalitarian authority or authoritarian state can tolerate those who have an absolute by which to judge that state and its actions. The Christians had that absolute in God’s revelation. Because the Christians had an absolute, universal standard by which to judge not only personal morals but the state, they were counted as enemies of totalitarian Rome and were thrown to the beasts.

antonio_joli_-_rome_-_view_of_the_colosseum_and_the_arch_of_constantine_-_wga11961As the Empire ground down, the decadent Romans were given to a thirst for violence and a gratification of the senses. This is especially evident in their rampant sexuality. For example, in Pompeii, a century or so after the Republic had become a thing of the past, the phallus cult was strong. Statues and paintings of exaggerated sexuality adorned the houses of the more affluent. Not all the art in Pompeii was like this, but the sexual representations were unabashedly blatant.

Even though Emperor Constantine ended the persecution of the Christians, and Christianity became first (in 313) a legal religion, and then (in 381) the official state religion of the Empire, the majority of the people went on in their old ways. Apathy was the chief mark of the late Empire. One of the ways apathy showed itself was in a lack of creativity in the arts. One easily observed example of the decadence of officially sponsored art is that the fourth-century work on the Arch of Constantine in Rome stands in poor contrast to its second-century sculptures which were borrowed from monuments from the period of Emperor Trajan. The elite abandoned their intellectual pursuits for social life. Officially sponsored art was decadent, and music was increasingly bombastic. Even the portraits on the coins became of poor quality. All of life was marked by the predominant apathy.

As the Roman economy slumped lower and lower, burdened with an aggravated inflation and a costly government, authoritarianism increased to counter the apathy. Since work was no longer done voluntarily, it was brought increasingly under the authority of the state, and freedoms were lost.For example, laws were passed binding small farmers to their land. So, because of the general apathy and its results, and because of oppressive control, few thought the old civilization worth saving.

Rome did not fall because of external forces such as the invasion by the barbarians. Rome had no sufficient inward base; the barbarians only completed the breakdown — and Rome gradually became a ruin.

These words, penned in 1976, stand as a grave reminder of where we are in America today, 40 years later: Over-sexualized media, decadence, the rejection of absolutes, apathy, and the surrender of freedom to a government “nanny-state”. We have devolved into an abyss of lawlessness and corruption the likes of which we have never experienced in our great nation before. With every passing day, we are inundated — on both news media and social media — with stories of wrong doing, corruption, and deception… with mind-numbing regularity. What is truth anymore? What stories are legitimate and which are fabrications of a twisted and rudderless media? After all… it used to be that our news media would simply “bend” a story to their own end. Now, we find the news media making up stories, fabricating crises, and creating false narratives.

Case in point: Several years ago, while in the Middle East with a cameraman, we were in a region that had recently suffered through conflict. As a group of us were standing there, we noticed a few soldiers down the street on security patrol, simply keeping the peace. A group of youths were playing, just up the street from the soldiers. We watched as a reporter and cameraman from a major American news agency approached the youths, handed them rocks, and tried to entice them into throwing the rocks at the soldiers — obviously so they could report on a conflict that didn’t exist.

IMG_1905We are seeing the same thing now in our nation; a compromised news media that selectively reports (or omits) news in order to promote an agenda or narrative to further a liberal social agenda. We have veterans dying from lack of care, yet we have leaders who are more concerned that sexually confused soldiers get tax-payer funded “gender reassignment” surgery; “leadership” obsessed with turning our once mighty military into a social experiment. We have politicians with their hands caught in the proverbial “cookie jar” of greed and corruption who are given a pass, not just by those tasked with oversight and judicial process, but by a media that champions every despicable and ungodly policy said politicians stand for. We have radical leftists who, in their day, were considered criminals, who are now wandering the halls of academia, preying on young, idealistic minds.

Our nation is, by all accounts, in dire straits.

Yet we still have a hope. We can have freedom if we will embrace freedom. But in order to embrace freedom, we must do three things.

First of all, we must recognize the truth.

In John 8, Jesus said…

“… If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”~ v. 31-32

This is a simple-yet-profound principle, regardless of whether in a spiritual, political, or cultural context. Truth is what sets us free. Lying, manipulation, and subterfuge only hide a problem that will eventually come to the surface with a vengeance. Dishonesty begets dishonesty. No problem, conflict, or crisis can be truly resolved until all parties get honest about what the real problem is.

Second, we must stand up for the truth.

One of the reasons we are in much of the trouble we are in is because of an unwillingness of those who know the truth to take a stand. People don’t want their “apple cart” disturbed. Whether it be for reasons of political correctness, loss of benefits, loss of pleasure, or loss of any other personal advantage, most individuals these days are unwilling to take a stand against anything or anyone that is going to affect their comfort, health, or bank account. Whether out of fear of disruption of their personal world, or (as Francis Schaeffer pointed out) apathy to certain issues of our society because “it doesn’t affect me”, our once courageous people have become self-centered and feckless. We have abandoned personal goals of excellence in favor of “participation trophies”, and have traded the exploration of our world and communities for a virtual world of X-Boxes, reality television, and social media. If we ever want to see the diminishing greatness of our nation return, we must stand for truth. We must stand for righteousness. We must stand for integrity. We must endeavor to once again understand the past in order to build a desirable future. After the Nazi conquest and occupation of Germany and much of Europe, a Protestant pastor named Martin Niemöller famously stated…

martin-niemollerFirst they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Take a stand, speak up, vote… let your voice be heard and your presence be known. As the late Jim Elliot one said,

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Last of all, we must acknowledge THE Truth.

Jesus said…

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.” ~ John 14:6

Chalk outline - crossReally, this should be point number one, because it is the foundation of all truth… the One who is THE TRUTH. In a nation that has run so far afield from THE Truth, it is no wonder that we have a problem telling the truth from a lie. But when the Truth is rejected, as Christ has been in the American town square, it is a matter of time before any and all truth falls by the wayside…

We don’t like the message, so we blame the messenger.

We don’t like the outcome, so we corrupt the data.

We don’t like the facts are leading us, so we revise history.

We don’t like the reality, so we resort to a narrative of name calling and fear-mongering.

We don’t like the truth, so we make the ones telling the truth the villains.

As Christians, we shouldn’t be too surprised by any of this: Jesus brought the truth to the Roman-controlled world that Francis Schaeffer described above, and they rejected His message, and put Him to death.

And just maybe, these 2,000 years later, we’ll finally realize it didn’t work out so well for them.