Tag Archive | media

Facts, Fake News, and Finding Truth

Marquee

Throughout the last campaign season and continuing on through the first three months of this year, we have all heard the phrase that has become a staple of public discourse — the allegation and labeling of certain news reports as “fake news”.

We’ve come a long way from the days of Walter Cronkite — the most trusted man in America. Nowadays, “news” reports are peppered with opinion, innuendo, and bias from the very people who are supposed to be objectively reporting what is going on. From the very beginning of many news reports — especially those pertaining to President Trump and his administration — the commentary is framed in such a way as to support a conclusion that may or may not be factual.

Recently, President Trump came to Nashville for a rally. Since Nashville is a couple of hours from where we are in Chattanooga, one of my staff members volunteered to go to the rally and report back what he observed with his own eyes. Here is what he had to say…

After meeting up with a couple of friends outside of the city, we drove to the Nashville Municipal Auditorium for the rally with President Trump. We parked about 4 blocks away (after navigating through streets that were blocked off for security reasons), and walked to the auditorium. At the point at which we reached the venue, it was a little after 2p.m., with the start time of the rally scheduled for 6:30p.m. Upon walking past the front of the venue, we noticed lots of police, Secret Service agents, barricades, and people. The line had long-since formed, and stretched out of sight. There was a small area cordoned off near the entrance where a handful of protesters had gathered. The few signs on display addressed an array of topics and grievances, some of which were fairly odd. If you counted everyone in that area (sign or no sign) as a protester, there might have been about 20.

Street preachers

Street evangelists.

We proceeded past the entrance on the long walk to the end of the line. The crowd was calm, well-behaved, and respectful. Lots of smiling faces of people eager to see the President as people conversed, laughed, and occasionally broke into spontaneous cheers of “USA!… USA!…” and “Trump!…Trump!…”. There were a handful of street preachers with loudspeakers, preaching a message of salvation to a crowd who, for the most part, remained respectful of their right to be there. It was obvious that these people were not there to protest, but were simply there to use the opportunity to share the message of the Gospel with a fairly captive audience. When one of the bystanders engaged one of these men in a conversation, the street-preacher exclaimed that he had been to “other” events, and the current crowd was much more well-behaved and respectful.

#5

At this point in the line, we were only 8/10 of a mile from the entrance.

It was around 2:30p.m. when we finally made it to the end of the line. According to Google Maps, we were about 8/10 of a mile from the entrance. We got in line and began the long wait. Within 10 minutes of standing there, the line grew to extend roughly 150 yds. beyond the point where we were standing. Within 20 minutes, the line was once again out of sight. As we stood in the sea of red “Make America Great Again” hats, I was struck by a few things. In spite of the cold (and it got much colder), people weren’t complaining. The crowd itself was made up of young and old, men and women. There were a lot of high-school and college aged young people, as well as a lot of children. There were people dressed comfortably (sweatshirts and jeans), and others who were attired much nicer. There were poor people there. There were affluent people there. When the street vendors came by with hats, shirts, and buttons, people engaged them in conversation and broke out their wallets to purchase their wares. When the (very) occasional protester happened by with their signs (some of which were quite misguided and/or offensive), the crowd remained respectful and for the most part, did not engage them, even in the face of their contrary (and even bizarre) viewpoints. Those who chose to engage did so without name calling, or hate-filled aggression, but simply spoke to them about their grievance of choice, and shared why they believed them to be in error.

 

At 3:30p.m., the doors opened and the line began to inch forward. At one point, there was a commotion of police lights, and a huge cheer went up as the Presidential motorcade passed by. It was interesting to see strangers become friends, and listen to the conversations about the hope people felt in America once again.

As the line continued to move forward, the sun continued to set, and the temperature continued to drop, the crowd remained vigilant in their determination to see the President. At one point, after standing in line for more than two hours, one of the people standing next to me got a news report from one of the local news agencies on their phone. It was being reported that “hundreds of protesters had gathered to protest Trump”. We couldn’t help but laugh. From start to finish, we witnessed maybe 50 people protesting. Some of the signage of people we initially thought might be protesters turned out to be people who, with no chance of getting in, decided to utilize their time carrying signs in support of the President, and essentially being cheerleaders as they walked up and down the crowd, cheering on those in attendance.

We were roughly 2/10 of a mile from the entrance when President Trump took the stage. Those of us outside broke out cell phones, and watched the LIVE feed of what was happening inside. As the line sped up slightly, we remained hopeful that we would still make it in before the President finished.

It wasn’t to be.

We made it to within 40 feet of the doorway when the President began to close his remarks, and knew at that point that our 4-hour vigil had been in vain.

But actually… it hadn’t for me. I had come for the experience of witnessing first-hand what a Trump rally was about, and while I never made it to the doorway, I think I got just as good a sense of that during my time standing in line. What I witnessed was a lot of people who love our country and wanted to support a President who shares that love. The full house of nearly 10,000 people inside was what the country saw in news clips and social media stories. What they didn’t see was the literally thousands of people who stood faithfully outside, and never made it in… people who still felt pride in being there to support a President who has taken a lot of heat for standing up for them.

Well, my fingers and toes have finally thawed out, and I am thankful for the (albeit chilly) experience of spending a few hours with other Americans who have renewed my faith in the goodness and kindness of her people.

Proverbs 10:9 says…

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but whoever takes
crooked paths will be found out.

Trust but verify ReaganIn this day and time, finding out truth is not as complicated as it would seem. I believe we have become so used to instant gratification that we determine truth the same way. “If the media says it, it must be true”, may have had some relevance in times past, but today we live in an age where people speak before the truth is known, and report before all of the facts are in. I have seen it become such a vicious cycle: Someone reports a story which is proven to be false, then tries to manufacture data or spin the story in such a way as to try to maintain some degree of credibility. It seems that people have lost the ability to say “I was wrong”, when in fact those three words are a crucial starting point to regaining lost credibility. Oftentimes, an apology can get a lot better response than a defense.

Truth is not subjective. Truth is not open to interpretation. There is not such thing as “your truth” and “my truth”. Truth stands on its own power and authority. The Bible puts a great deal of importance on truth as we read…

The LORD detests lying lips,
but He delights in people who are trustworthy. ~ Proverbs 12:22

I think if we all slowed down and took more of an interest in the truth, we would find that honesty is still the best policy, and that being truthful in the first place is less exhausting that than the ensuing damage control involved when we sacrifice our integrity.

We might also find that the place of truth is the starting point of finding favor with God.

Unhinged

trump-swearing-inOn November 8, 2016, the American people spoke.

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United Sates.

And from that time until now, individuals, groups, and organizations have become increasingly hostile, hateful, lawless, and… well… unhinged.

We have seen protests, riots, assaults, and rampant crime in our streets, all under the guise of 1st Amendment rights. We have gotten a front-row seat to unprecedented obstruction with the “slow-walking” confirmations — courtesy of Democrats in the Senate — of President Trump’s cabinet (in fact, not since the inauguration of George Washington in 1789 has a president had to wait this long to have his cabinet confirmed). We have been subjected to a steady string of “false news” reports from a media openly hostile to our new leader and leadership. We have become witness to the spectacle of Hollywood liberal acolytes using award programs and entertainment platforms for the purpose of lecturing the “uneducated masses” on the evils of President Trump, Vice-President Pence, and anyone associated with them — seemingly from birth.


The 1st Amendment of the Constitution has long been a cornerstone of the American way of life. To know that we can worship, believe, speak our mind, and have a free press without fear of persecution from the State is a right we should be able to count on.
The 1st Amendment of the Constitution declares…

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.

IMG_1905Many of those who rallied behind the lawful election of Barack Obama, and told those on the opposite side of the aisle to “deal with it” are now becoming increasingly hostile to the rule of law. When “We won!” was the reply to those who disagreed with the incoming flood of immoral and, in some cases, arguably unconstitutional legislation, those of a Republican or Conservative bent did not flood the streets, obstruct traffic, destroy property, and participate in disgusting and offensive demonstrations.

Of what do I speak? Well, for anyone who has (some might say ‘wisely’) not viewed news programs or current events, allow me to get you (partially) up to speed…

  • On January 20 (Inauguration Day), rioters took to the streets in parts of Washington D.C., throwing rocks at police, smashing storefronts, and setting vehicles on fire, apparently in an attempt to disrupt the Inaugural parade route. Over 200 were arrested and charged with felony rioting (a federal offense that, if convicted, carries up to a 10-year prison sentence, and up to a $250,00.00 fine).
  • On January 21, The Women’s March on Washington took place on the streets of Washington D.C., and around the nation. While the group’s policy platform includes “reproductive rights, immigration reform, healthcare reform, religious discrimination (primarily that against Muslim Americans), LGBTQ rights, gender and racial inequities, workers’ rights, and other issues“, one of the co-chairs of the march was Linda Sarsour, a Muslim activist who allegedly advocates Sharia law. Among the highlights of the march were women dressed in “vagina” costumes, profanity-laced tirades and pontifications by celebrities such as Madonna, Ashley Judd, and Scarlet Johansson, and the marked absence of any pro-life women’s groups (who were told they were not allowed to participate because they were pro-life).
  • On February 1, riots broke out at UC Berkeley as the result of a scheduled lecture by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos. Yiannopoulous, a gay “right-wing” commentator, had to be escorted off campus by police amidst the cancellation of his lecture due to violent protests that included Molotov cocktails, masked agitators, and personal assaults on innocent bystanders. In the end, the campus upon which the “free-speech movement” began in 1964 has become a bastion of censorship and intolerance by the very people who are screaming for tolerance.

For all of their protests, riots, whining, and foot-stomping, those who protest our new administration seem to be missing an important fact…

We are a nation of laws. We pride ourselves in the rule of law. While other countries devolve into chaos and madness, America remains stable because of our laws. And while the former administration made it a point to ignore certain laws it didn’t agree with (particularly regarding immigration and social issues), the Trump administration promised to return to the rule of law. While liberals try their best to derail this administration at every single turn from doing what the American voters tasked it to do, those same voters are, for the most part, in favor of President Trump’s actions. Interestingly enough, the same people who are for the stonewalling of the Trump cabinet are the same people who are criticizing President Trump for not moving faster in accomplishing the goals he set forth in his campaign.

Seems a bit like criticizing a sprinter for not running faster… while ignoring the fact that his foot is chained to the floor.

So criticisms, tantrums, and protests aside, what does the Bible have to say about submission to authority…

 Coffee Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. ~ Romans 13:1-7

“Those who resist will bring judgement on themselves.” In the King James Version, it says it this way…

“…and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

Regardless of what any of us think of a politician or leader, we would do well to heed the words of Paul in this passage. Whether judgement falls as the result of our earthly actions by the hands of authorities here on earth, or judgement is stayed and awaits us in the afterlife, we can rest assured that God is good for His word, and that judgement for acts or rebellion against God-ordained leaders is inevitable.

I have lived through many presidents in my lifetime, and I have probably never agreed with any of them 100% of the time. Still, while I might be critical at times, I have always been careful to pray for our leaders, and while standing for what is right, do so in a law-abiding fashion. It seems that the words “civil disobedience” have come to mean whatever methods people decide upon in the heat of the moment. It is one thing to chant, picket, and protest outside of a building. It is quite another to violate someone else’s rights by burning property, physical assault, and making threats of violence. While it is lawful under our Constitution for an individual to stand up and regurgitate whatever banal ideology they choose, it is not lawful to threaten to kill the President or hurt innocent people. Signs and slogans make you a protester. Threats and violence make you a criminal thug. While one may land you in the newspaper, the other will likely land you in jail.

For the last 8+ years, many laws have been ignored simply because they were socially unpopular, particularly laws pertaining to immigration (hence “Sanctuary Cities”), and social/moral issues. As President of the United States, the person who occupies that office has taken an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution“. That includes abiding by the laws contained therein, or any laws passed legally through the legislative process set forth in the Constitution… whether or not that particular President agrees with their validity or not. The President himself is answerable to the people for how he carries out his oath. If a President disagrees with a law, then he has the right to have those in Congress try to advance legislation to repeal such laws.

I would contend that the ire against President Trump may have less to do with his lawfulness (or perceived lack thereof), and more to do with the reining in of an attitude that “laws were made to be broken”. Many (if not most) of the protests I have seen are people fighting back against the rule of law, protesting what should be common sense enforcement of the laws of our land. Whether it is immigration, gun control, etc… in most cases, we don’t need more legislation; we simply need to enforce the laws already passed and on the books.

At the end of the day (and to coin a phrase), there’s a new sheriff in town, and he’s dusting off a Constitution that has long been ignored.

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 Will Set You Free… part 2

Truth

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

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

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

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

We have become the caterers to the lowest common denominator.

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

There is truth in this world.

There is THE Truth.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Islam, the penalty for homosexuality is death.

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

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

Peace.

The Truth Will Set You Free… part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Propaganda.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t miss it! See you next week.

America: Find Your Voice

“One cannot wage war under present conditions without the support of public opinion, which is tremendously molded by the press and other forms of propaganda.” ~ Douglas MacArthur

KS77849Recently at our ministry, we have been inundated with phone calls asking what I think about what is going on in the world right now. Whether it’s the conflicts we see unfolding in Syria, Egypt, Libya, and the rest of the Middle East, or the rampant political correctness that is running amok, ruining our economy, and destroying our spirit of American exceptionalism, people have honest questions. Over these past many years, I have grown to ask myself, when I read or watch the media, “Is it fact, or is it propaganda?” Our government makes claims that seem unrealistic (at best), and then we see the American media walk in lock-step behind (and in support of) the claim.

Disagree?

Consider the “Arab Spring”. We were all told that the Arab Spring would bring democracy and positive change to the Middle East. However, instead of peace, democracy, and hope, what has happened?

  • Chaos has erupted in Egypt. Egypt was almost completely taken over by Morsi, Sharia Law, and the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Slaughter of American diplomats and their military defenders in Benghazi.
  • Questions abound as to whether we were better off dealing with the likes of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt. In my opinion… absolutely.

Now we have a civil war going on in Syria, with an American administration that wants to intervene, and help facilitate the collapse of that government. However, let’s stop for a minute and look at the record of Syria over the past 40 years, since 1973…

  • Syria has committed no aggressive act toward the United States.
  • Syria has not participated in an attack on Israel.
  • Syrian government soldiers have faithfully protected the Aleppo synagogue… the 2nd oldest Jewish synagogue in the world.
  • The Syrian government has protected the Orthodox church, including the 5000 Syrian Orthodox inhabitants (a community of believers that has survived since the time of Christ). They are one of the few communities that still speak Aramaic (the dialect spoken during the time of Christ).

Now, in just a matter of months, these so-called “Rebels” are undoing centuries of religious tolerance and peace; attacking and burning churches, and killing Christians. The Syrian government is protecting Christians, Jews, and Allawi Muslims from these Islamists that are attempting to take over the nation.

And now for the coup de grâce…

After years of being warned about “global warming this” and “climate change that”, it has been determined that the arctic has 1 million MORE square miles of arctic ice than just 1 year ago.  True science sees a trend toward global cooling – NOT warming! Taxpayers have, for years, been robbed of billions upon billions of dollars to help fund the myth of global warming that has been perpetrated upon the world. Climate expert Dr. Tsoris of the University of Wisconsin recently stated that the slight warming trend of the ’80’s and ’90’s (which amounted to 8/10ths of a degree) has reversed, and we are now in a cooling trend. As I write this, there are approximately 20 yachts trapped in Arctic ice, with summer just now coming to a close. In 1993, a British climatologist predicted the Arctic ice would be completely gone by 2013. Yet, in spite of overwhelming scientific evidence, as well a common-sense observation, our government is STILL funding the global warming hoax!

Personally, I am sick to death of diplomatic slight-of -hand, government-funded corruption and cover-up, and agenda-driven junk science. Give me the sacred Scriptures! Give me the reliability of God’s Holy Word! Give me the liberty that comes from the ONLY truth that brings freedom! Give me the church of the Living God — the stronghold of truth in a world running from deception to deception!

Now, a multimillion-dollar presentation entitled Do The Math (which affirms the global warming myth) is about to air on none other than Al Jazeera-owned Current TV. Al Jazeera is owned by Muslims, and Current TV was recently sold to them by it’s owners, including Al Gore.

Just so you understand: One of the loudest voices in the “climate change” camp sold his TV channel to a media company owned by “Arab Oil” — the biggest fossil fuel producers and polluters in the world.

Am I the only one that sees the irony here???

When are we the people going to get tired of being suckers and saps? When will we stop being sheep, led blindly to the slaughter of all that we hold sacred? When are we going to stand by the convictions and creeds on Monday that we espouse on Sunday?

When are we going to demand of our leaders the same standard to which they hold the people?

When are we going to frack and drill from the huge natural reserves that we have been blessed with, and stop funding the very people who are trying to kill us?

When are we going to find our voices, and remind the government that yes, we ARE still ONE NATION UNDER GOD?

Surely, if I know this, living (as I do) in Chattanooga, TN, someone in Washington D.C. knows it as well.

It is time to find our voice.

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.