Tag Archive | gay marriage

The Judas Paradigm

 He had a kind boss, but for some inexplicable reason,
that wasn’t enough.

He had seen amazing things at the hands of his master, and thousands of people were touched by his goodness. Yet, as in many cases, the saying of him was definitely true… “No good deed goes unpunished”. And when betrayal comes with a pricetag…

Well, where do we sign up?

judasHe waited for the opportune time to spring his trap — a time when all was quiet, the adoring crowds were gone, and he was relatively alone, except for maybe a few of his closest friends. His accusers were seconds away in hiding, just waiting for a sign…

A kiss. Yes!!! Such a sign of affection would be unmistakable for the wolves hiding in the shadows.

By now, if you know anything about the life of Jesus, you have probably figured out that I am talking about His betrayal at the hands of Judas Iscariot. With his singular act of betrayal, Judas entered the ranks of the most despised individuals in Biblical history, joining names like Cain, Goliath, Jezebel, Absalom, and many others. Yet his betrayal of the Son of God moved him straight to the head of the class; Judas had betrayed God for 30 pieces of silver, and although remorse soon set in, and he tried to undo the damage he had done, some things cannot be undone.

In a matter of days, Jesus was tried, convicted, killed, and rose from the grave.

Judas, on the other hand…

(For the whole story, read Matthew 26 – 27:9)

So how does one go from a position of favor to embracing a curse? How does one go from a place of honor to dying by suicide, and being buried in an unmarked grave? While I’m sure the other eleven disciples were somewhat surprised by Judas’s betrayal, none of this caught Jesus by surprise. After all, this historic betrayal had been foretold hundreds of years before…

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted,
Who ate my bread,
Has lifted up his heel against me. ~ Psalm 41:9

And was again alluded to in Zechariah…

 Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.”
So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.
And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me.
So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into
the house of the Lord for the potter. ~Zechariah 11:12-13

So what drove Judas to betray the Creator of the Universe to a self-serving and self-righteous bunch? What path did Judas take that led him to the hanging tree? What are the symptoms of The Judas Paradigm?

  • Judas had no faith. In John 6, Jesus puts before His disciples some pretty tough language about what it takes to follow Him. He recognized that there were many of His disciples who did not really believe, and their desertion bore out this fact (v.64-66). In the face of unpopular and controversial teaching, they bailed out. Even when given the choice to leave, and hearing Peter declare, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (v. 68-69), Judas still masqueraded as a follower, and gave the illusion of devotion and trust. 
  • Judas had no respect for the sacred. When Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with a costly perfume (John 12), Judas objected. “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” (v. 5). The next verse reveals that Judas had no care or concern for the poor, but that he was a thief, and as the one tasked with the care of the money box, he regularly stole from the money that was given to Jesus and His disciples for their needs and the care of the poor.
  • Judas had no loyalty to the Truth. Because of the deceit of his heart, Judas was ripe to be used by the devil. John 13 bears out the fact that the rest of the disciples were clueless to his deceit (v.28-29). In verse 2, we learn that the devil had “put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot” to betray Jesus. At that point, he was considering his betrayal. But when consideration turned to commitment, Satan entered into him (v. 27). At that point, he was totally under the control of the demonic. In spite of the fact that Jesus had, in an act of abject humility, just washed Judas’s feet (as well as the other disciples), Judas maintained his destructive path that ultimately took him to the grave.

In our world today, we are seeing The Judas Paradigm alive and at work in our homes, our churches, and our government.

As statistics bear out, we are seeing a decline in the organized church in America today. Children are abandoning the faith of their parents for convenience, comfort, and a feel-good Gospel that requires no sacrifice, no commitment, and no tough choices. The goal is relevance and inclusion, at the expense of Truth and holiness. We have so blurred the lines between the sacred and the secular that the message of the blood of Jesus has been lost in pop-psychology and moral relativism. We have forgotten the words of Jesus, that fly in the face of this 21st century mindset…

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me,
let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” ~ Matthew 16:24

When we lose our faith, it’s open season on what is sacred. We are seeing that at work in America today. Our founding documents (The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution) were written by men of faith that held the teachings of the Bible as guiding principles in their authorship of these documents. You cannot disregard one without catastrophic results to the others. When we removed the Bible from a place of prominence and respect in our society, it was a matter of time before our nation’s founding documents followed suit. The assault on our freedoms that we are seeing now, with utter disregard for The Constitution, is unprecedented. With the fate of the Supreme Court in the balance, America stands on the edge of a precipice. This year’s election will determine whether we move away from the edge, or plunge headlong into an abyss of lawlessness and Godlessness.

Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. ~ Proverbs 29:18

It’s easy to be loyal when people agree with you. But when society stands in opposition to the Word of God, we are forced to make a choice: We are forced to choose between the acceptance of the world or the approval of God. But make no mistake about it… if we choose the acceptance of the world, it puts us at odds with a Holy God. James 4:4 is pretty clear on the subject…

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity (hostility) against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. ~ James 4:4

Yet we are seeing an astounding number of “Christian” churches and pastors who are ignoring this dire warning, and condoning what God condemns. We are seeing politicians who — because of personalities — have abandoned their principles, promising to support a candidate who represents everything that is wrong with our political system, and who promises to continue us down a path of secularism, hedonism, and liberalism. The Judas Paradigm (spirit) allows loyalty to the Truth to take a back seat to our own comfort, feelings, and agenda. If we don’t like criticism, we cower to conformity. If we don’t like the messenger, we reject the message. If the road gets tough, we retire to the median and resign ourselves to being another casualty to a society bent on running over the righteous and off the cliff.

 For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. ~ 2 Chronicles 16:9a

God is still looking…

He is looking for those who have faith, however small.

He is looking for those who recognize and respect the sacred.

He is looking for people of honor, who are loyal to Him.

He is looking for those who will stand when the crowd sits, be loud when the crowd is silent, and be faithful when the crowd is faithless.

He is looking for those who will gaze defiantly into the face of The Judas Paradigm, and refuse the 30 pieces of silver.

He is looking for YOU!

Pastor Ron

The Cross and the Ballot

UTDDOA2

This week, we have the great privilege to exercise our rights as Americans and vote to elect our next leaders. As citizens, it is an honor to be able to choose the leadership that will serve our country for the next few years. As Christians, it is a solemn responsibility that none of us should take lightly. Conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh once said…

“This is a frightening statistic…
More people vote in ‘American Idol’ than in any US election.”

Whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Tea Party, or any other affiliation we may have politically, as citizens of Heaven, we have a responsibility — first and foremost — to make sure that our vote reflects our commitment to Christ. Baseball great Jackie Robinson once said…

“I guess you’d call me an independent, since I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I always decide my vote by taking as careful a look as I can at the actual candidates and issues themselves,
no matter what the party label.”

With issues like abortion, gay marriage, racism, sexism, environmentalism, support of Israel, religious freedom, and immigration as hot button topics, as Christians, a good question to ask ourselves would be “How would Jesus VOTE?”, and cast our ballot based on His values, regardless of the platform of our party of choice. I recently saw a great quote on social media. It said…

“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good just because it is accepted by a majority.” ~ Unknown

In an atmosphere of political correctness, many in the church have become swayed by popular opinion and the desire to be “relevant”. While finding some common ground with those we are trying to reach is important, we cannot do so at the expense of our testimony. As Christians, we should strive to be Christ-like. But being like Jesus does not being accepting of that which God calls sin. Being like Jesus means being in the world and not of it. It means having the ability to be honest with those with whom we disagree without compromising our convictions. It means checking our egos, our popularity, and our pride at the door, and following in His steps. It means heeding the call of Christ from Mark 8:34 when He said…

“Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself,
and take up his cross, and follow Me.”

Sure… it is always much easier to “go with the flow”, than to swim upstream, but as believers in Him, that is our call.

To be righteous… at the expense of being “relevant”.

To stand… when the rest of the world bows to the idol.

To follow the true and living God… even if that path leads us through the lions’ den.

To boldly proclaim “I love Jesus”… when everyone around you is screaming “Crucify Him!”

What will your vote say about you? Will your vote reflect Jesus?

I hope so.

The Demonic Downgrade of America

In 1983, Disney produced a film adaptation of the 1962 Ray Bradbury novel, Something Wicked This Way Comes. It is the story of a mysterious carnival that comes to Greentown, Illinois, and is run by a character named Mr. Dark. While the carnival at first appears entertaining and thrilling, two young boys discover that the carnival and it’s proprietor have a much darker purpose… the acquisition of innocent souls for condemnation. The film was promoted with the tagline…

For every desire, there will be a cost.

Now, 31 years later, this film has become eerily prophetic.

FlagJust as, in 2011, the United States experienced it’s first-ever fiscal downgrade (by Standard & Poors), America is in the midst of experiencing a demonic downgrade. For the last 50 years, America has been experiencing a fundamental shift from our founding Judeo-Christian roots to a nation I hardly recognize. And now, we are seeing our faith, our freedom, and our very foundation under a full-scale attack from the forces of darkness… an attack that began with the removal of Scripture and prayer from our public school system. This victory led to an attack on any Judeo-Christian reference in the public arena. Our timeless symbols such as the cross, the Star of David, the Menorah, and the manger scene (among others), have been deemed unwelcome. Political correctness has not just invaded the statehouse, however… it has cooled the fervor of preaching and witness in America.

Dachau StatueOur government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” has been replaced by an “all-seeing, all knowing, all-controlling” government that is now attempting to take over every aspect of our private lives. Because America has abandoned God, our protective covering has been removed, and we have been invaded by demonic entities. We saw the same thing happen 81 years ago when evil in the form of a man named Adolph Hitler took the reins of power in Germany, and began his Islamic-sanctioned attack on the Jews (the Islamic Grand Mufti (mayor) of Jerusalem (at the time) later traveled to Germany and personally endorsed Hitler’s Jewish “final solution” – the Holocaust).

So, take a look at where we are today…

  • Worst unemployment since the Great Depression.
  • Historic devaluation of the American dollar.
  • Destruction of the world’s best medical system.
  • Since 1973, over 56 million babies have been murdered through the act of abortion.
  • September 11 saw the brutal murder of almost 3,000 of our fellow Americans in New York, The Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA.
  • Benghazi… the first murder of an American ambassador since 1939.
  • The gradual disappearance of our religious freedoms.
  • The legalization of drugs.
  • The systematic breakdown and confusion of the family unit.

While I could go on and on, the fact of the matter is that only demons could orchestrate such a rapid decline of a once God-fearing nation.

In order understand the significance of these things, and how we can fight back against the spiritual forces of wickedness that are influencing public policy in America, we must understand what brought about the circumstances that created an environment conducive to such Godless behavior.

Iwo JimaThis Sunday (June 29), we will be celebrating the birthday of our nation (5 days early) at Abba’s House with All-American Day. We love our nation, and believe in the principles that made this country great… faith, family, & freedom. Our worship ministry will be performing a number of patriotic songs, we will honor our veterans and armed services, and I will bring a message entitled Upgrading The Demonic Downgrade of America. If you love our nation like I do, join me as we find out together what it is going to take to put her back on the right track.

If you are in the Chattanooga area, I invite you to come and join us. Our service begins at 10:30a.m.

If you follow my blog from a distant city or state, and cannot join us in person, you can watch us online at abbashouse.com  Click on this link to watch us live.

Join with me, and let’s enter into this season of national pride and celebration on our knees, with the determination that we will once again be “one nation under God” — for generations to come.

Freedom & A Firm Foundation

Lady Liberty

Once again, the liberal courts of our nation have declared war upon the rights of Christians, upon our Constitution, and upon freedom itself.

Let me back up a little.

KS77759Ok… let me back up 222 years.

Our Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787 (226 yrs ago). The United States Constitution is the supreme law of our land.

Period.

On December 15, 1791 (actually, 222 years ago this coming Sunday), the first ten amendments – The Bill of Rights – were ratified by the states. Right out of the gate, the very first amendment states:

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.

Now, fast forward to last year.

A baker in Colorado refused to make a cake for a gay couple who were getting married. After the exchange, the couple left and, instead of just finding another baker, filed a discrimination lawsuit against the baker. Now (this week, in fact), a judge has ordered the baker to make cakes for gay weddings, or face fines. In an interview, Jack Phillips (the baker) stated that:

“I don’t plan on giving up my religious beliefs … I don’t feel that I should participate in their wedding, and when I do a cake, I feel like I’m participating in the ceremony or the event or the celebration that the cake is for… My priorities would be towards my faith rather than towards my safety or security… If it came to that point, we would close down the bakery before we would compromise our beliefs, so that may be what it comes to. We’ll see.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/10/jack-phillips-gay-wedding-cake_n_4420252.html)

Freedom is a double-edged sword. I find it interesting that the same group of people who support gay marriage and scream on a regular basis about the “rights” of every immoral and un-Godly special interest group in this nation are the very ones who are all-too willing to infringe upon the rights of people like Jack Phillips, people with beliefs grounded in faith and the word of God.

You can’t have it both ways. If you are going to support the “rights” of homosexuals to marry in the name of freedom, then you have no choice but to support the rights of those who oppose it.

If you don’t, you are – by definition – a hypocrite.

In a recent interview with CNN host Piers Morgan, Pastor Rick Warren was asked about gay marriage. He made one of the best responses I have heard anyone make on the subject:

“I fear the disapproval of God more than I fear your disapproval or the disapproval of society. And so, I can’t change what I think God has said.”

Maybe that is where Pastor Warren and Jack Phillips get it, and others may not.

It’s all about fear.

But before you take that statement and run with it, please understand: I am not talking about “afraid of the dark, scared of your shadow, boogeyman” fear. I’m not talking about unreasonable and irrational fear of something or someone different than us. I am talking about a fear far more serious, far more consequential, and far too rare in our society today. I’m talking about the “fear of the Lord.” The Bible says in Proverbs 9:10 that…

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

“Knowledge of the Holy One.” Not the inane and contextually deficient arguments of liberals who think the Bible should “evolve” with societal whims. True “knowledge of the Holy One” is based on a solid understanding of the Living, Inerrant Word of God. There is a reason that the Bible is the “foundation of our faith”. A foundation does not change. A foundation does not move. A properly built foundation can withstand nearly anything. Even when the building upon which it is constructed collapses, a firm foundation remains, providing as solid a foundation for any new structure built upon it.

So, if you think a solid foundation is not important, let me ask you: Would you move into a house with an “evolving” foundation?

It seems that we, as a nation, are forgetting how precious freedom is. It is a slippery slope we travel when we begin to give up our rights as free people. Any nation is always a tyrant away from losing the very thing this nation was founded on, and freedom’s Holy light is always a errant breath away from being quenched for generations (have we so quickly forgotten the lessons of Nazi Germany and the Cold War?).

My friend, true freedom is only found in the Holy presence of God, and is subject to His will, His designs, and His rules.

So, given the choice between offending man or offending God, I’ll take my chances by offending man.

Given the choice between the disapproval of Piers Morgan, the liberal media, the homosexual lobby, the pro-abortion minions, and even society as a whole… or, the disapproval of God Almighty? I’m going to fall on the side of the Creator of the Universe over the created every time.

Given a choice between “evolving with society over time” or standing firm on the Foundation that will stand the test of eternity? It’s no contest… Eternity wins.