Tag Archive | Ron Philips

There Was A Time When…

red ryderEvery Christmas season, Americans have countless opportunities to view the holiday classic, A Christmas Story. Who can forget the adventures of Ralphie, his family and friends, and his trusty “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle“. Many of Ralphie’s experiences ring true, for those of us who grew up in the 50’s and 60’s (and even the 70’s). The sights and sounds, the camaraderie of friends relegated to playing in the great outdoors… who would be best friends one day, fighting the next, and back to “buddydom” the very next day. Many of us can relate to having friends like Flick or Schwartz…

And many can relate to having a Scut Farkus in our lives as well.

In Ralphie’s life, Scut Farkus (and his “little toadie” Grover Dill) were the community bullies, bullying Ralphie and his friends until one day Ralphie had had enough, and in a moment of pure rage, turns the tables on the bullying Farkus. From that point on, Scut and Dill never pick on Ralphie or his friends again, proving the belief that, for most bullies, all they need to back down is for someone to stand up to them.

While I don’t condone senseless violence, watching that movie reminds me that there was a time when friends stood up for friends, when right and wrong were simple choices, and the world (much like the television of the 60’s) was black-and-white.

I remember that there was a time when…

  • A person’s first reaction to seeing another person in distress was the lend a helping hand. It is maddening these days to see videos posted online and on the news of an individual being taunted, bullied, picked on, or beaten down with no one coming to that person’s aid, but to look and see a dozen people standing by — all with cell phones — videotaping the altercation. Romans 14:7 reminds us that “none of us lives to himself“. In his classic, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers wrote…

If you allow physical selfishness, mental carelessness, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer.

And friend, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our culture is suffering.

  • Freedom of speech, good or bad, was a basic right. Freedom of speech is a double-edged sword. The same right that allows a Christian to unashamedly share the love of Jesus also allows people to espouse some pretty offensive things — words of hate, negativity, profanity, etc. It is a simple right, guaranteed by our Constitution. Yet recently, the story came out that a university police department is encouraging students to turn people in for “hateful and/or hurtful speech”. One problem (of many) with such a rule is this: Who defines what constitutes “hateful or hurtful” speech? To a non-believer, the idea that they face an eternity in Hell, devoid of the presence of God might be considered “hurtful speech”. Sometimes the truth — regarding things of faith or not — hurts. The Bible says that, to someone who lives a life of spiritual disobedience, Jesus is considered “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (see 1 Peter 2:1-8). Does a person’s right — under any circumstances — to not having their feelings hurt trump another person’s right to free speech, guaranteed under the First Amendment of the Constitution? Whether we like it or not, starting down that path is a slippery slope to totalitarianism.
  • Police officers were respected in our communities, and supported by our leaders. Over the last few years, we have seen an increase in violence against police as a result of misleading stories and irresponsible reporting in the media, and lack of support of leadership in government. When criminals are afforded the assumption of “innocent until proven guilty” but police are not, we are on a dangerous path to societal rebellion and anarchy. When police have to go into hiding simply because they either did their job or protected themselves (or both), we are in danger of becoming a completely lawless society. In Romans 13:2-3, Paul writes…

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.

  • IMG_1905Men were men, women were women, and society knew the difference. The LGBT agenda has
    permeated every facet of our society. From local gyms where “transgender” individuals are allowed in opposite-sex dressing rooms (and those who object have their memberships revoked), to school systems where “transgender” students are (considered) being allowed into opposite-sex locker rooms… the lines of decency and propriety are rapidly disappearing…When a young girl is subjected to awkwardness and embarrassment in a locker room because a boy is in there who claims to “identify” as a female;

    When a national magazine selects a man who dresses up like a woman to be their “Woman of the Year”;

    When a group of black-robed justices defy the God-ordained institution of marriage —

    Such things bring to mind the warning of the prophet Isaiah…

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! ~ Isaiah 5:20

  • The world knew we were Christians by our love. While it is vitally important to stand for what is right, we as Christians have become known more for what we are against than what we are for. Oftentimes, instead of focusing on the Great Commission, we brow-beat a secular world over things that amount to no more than a diversion they don’t understand. We are inconsistent in our priorities, which sends a confusing signal to a culture watching us through a “microscope lens”. Consistency in the message of Christ matters, otherwise we seem disingenuous at best. For instance, IF I am going to boycott a secular organization, it should probably be less over the color of their “holiday” cups and more over their support of abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

CoffeeWith all of the mayhem that is going on in the world, we are seeing an unprecedented assault on Christians in our lifetime. Things may never return to “the good old days”, but there is definitely room and opportunity for improvement. Regardless of how we are accepted in today’s society, one thing is certain: We won’t change the minds of people in our culture until God changes their hearts, and what God will use to change their hearts is a Body of Christ that operates in righteousness, walks in unity, and talks in truth and love.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. ~ 1 Peter 3:15

Love is the language that all people understand, because love is the language of God. He IS love, and as creatures created in His image, love is our native language. For some, it may be deep and buried, but it is there…

And it is our responsibility and opportunity to try to find it.

When Life’s Not Fair

Through The Looking Glass2

American comedian Groucho Marx once said…

“The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

We’re all familiar with the saying that “life is not fair”, and most of us have probably experienced that reality…

What is fair about working your whole life, only to find your retirement has vanished?

What is fair about training hard for a sport, only to suffer a career-ending injury?

What is fair about a loved one being killed by the carelessness of someone else on the highway?

But here is probably the greatest injustice of all…

What is fair about being the only sinless person to ever walk the face of the earth, yet having to die to save the guilty?

As Christians, Jesus made two promises we can cling to when times get hard:

Promise #1… “In this world you will have trouble”.

Promise #2… “I have overcome the world.”

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.