“The Greatest Destroyer of Peace Today is Abortion…”

mother_teresa“The greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?

Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use violence to get what they want. That is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion. … Many people are also concerned about all the violence in this great country of the United States. … But often these same people are not concerned with the millions who are being killed by the deliberate decision of their own mothers.

Jesus said, ‘Anyone who receives a child in my name, receives me’ … By aborting a child, a couple refuses to receive Jesus. Please don’t kill the child. … Give me the child. I am willing … to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.

From our children’s home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortion. … America can become a sign of peace. …

From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak – the unborn child – must go out to the world … then really you will be true to what the founders of this country stood for.”

Mother Teresa, National Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC, February 3, 1994

Declaration of Independence Signer Cites the True Foundation of Education

benjaminrush

Dr. Benjamin Rush signed the Declaration of Independence and later founded a Society for the Abolition of slavery. His views on education are as important today as when he first shared them.

“I proceed…to inquire what mode of education we shall adopt so as to secure to the state all of the advantages that are to be derived from the proper instruction of the you; and her I beg leave to remark that:

  • The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid on the foundation of religion.
  • Without this there can be no virtue, and
  • Without virtue there can be no liberty, and
  • Liberty is the object and life of all republican governments

But the religion I mean to recommend in this place is that of the New Testament…Its doctrines and precepts are calculated to promote the happiness of society and the safety and well-being of civil government.” Dr. Benjamin Rush

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Do You Think Joy and Happiness Are the Same? Wrong!

joy-of-the-lord

For unbelievers, there may be a certain interchangeableness of joy and happiness. Indeed, there are even some passages in the Bible that use the words for joy and happiness somewhat interchangeably. The overarching point here is that the pure joy that continuously comes from the Lord is vastly different than the occasional happiness that comes from man.

For believers, joy in the Lord is the persistent, upbeat, sense of peace and delight that arises, because the Lord first loves us and we in turn love Him as best we can. Joy arises from the continuous operation of God’s love, grace, forgiveness, mercy, and longsuffering in our lives. The joy of the Lord is permanent, dependable, reliable, and therefore an anchor of the believer’s life.

Some—especially prosperity TV preachers—claim that God wants everyone to be happy all the time. Really? Then why does God say that suffering is the most powerful tool for building strong godly character? Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds…” [James 1:2 ESV]

Clearly, God wants us to experience the inner joy that comes only from Him. That joy persists despite suffering and attracts others to a saving faith in Jesus. Suffering itself is not fun; it is often painful physically, emotionally, spiritually or all three. Suffering and happiness cannot coexist; for believers, suffering and the joy of the Lord MUST exist simultaneously. It is the most powerful route to building strong character and becoming an effective witness for God.

Happiness is a temporary response to the words and actions of others who will always let us down. In short, all-embracing joy comes from God, but fleeting happiness depends upon others. Consider the comparison of joy and happiness in the table.

joy-v-happiness

Happiness cycles frequently according to the ebb and flow, of outward circumstances. Happiness depends on others who are fickle and will always let us down.

The joy of the Lord should be rock solid. “…the joy of the LORD is your strength.” [Nehemiah 8:10 NIV] Nevertheless, since all people are flawed and sinful, there may be an occasional lapse of joy, but in a believer, it should be very rare.

Most believers are familiar with at least one stage 4 cancer victim who seemed to radiate the love of the Lord in the days just before death. Stage 4 cancer is no fun and can at times be very painful. Happiness becomes very scarce. When pain arrives, happiness often leaves. But true inner joy—the kind that only comes from God—can shine through despite the pain. It is the joy that shines through the pain that often draws people to Jesus.

The pervasive, immediate and eternal benefits of seeking God’s incomparable joy so far surpass man’s fickle, short-term happiness, that the choice of which to pursue is inescapably clear. Yet, we seem to devote most of our waking hours chasing man’s flawed and undependable happiness, often missing God’s sustained, perfect joy simply due to lack of time.

The joy of the Lord should and must be a permanent characteristic of every believer. It is simply a matter of getting pride out of the way and allowing God’s light and love to shine through. God’s light and love will attract others to Jesus, even, or perhaps especially, when outward happiness is at a record low.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Vote for God!

Open Bible on American Flag

Is it really possible to vote for God? Absolutely! Here’s why. Here’s how.

The American people have enjoyed the greatest freedom for living and self-determination since the Garden of Eden. The only other culture coming close was the ancient Israelites, during the time of the judges (before the kings), a period of about 400 years.

Movie director Cecile B. DeMille personally introduced his epic, The Ten Commandments, the story of the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hebrew slaves (later known as Israelites) from Egypt. DeMille billed the story as “the birth of freedom.” Thousands of years later, the Founders of the newly born United States of America tasked a small committee, including John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson with designing the Great Seal of the United States.

The Founders used the model of the ancient Israelites for many of the features of the new American government. The Great Seal committee was so inspired by the ancients that an early draft of the Great Seal proposed an embossed sketch of the Hebrews leaving Egypt. The draft was later set aside as excessively complex. However, its existence as part of the preplan underscores the affection the Founders had for the ancient culture and the inspiration they derived from it.

The Founders recognized that freedom and certain rights are gifts from God, not grants from government. Representative freedoms and rights were enshrined in the American Declaration of Independence and codified in the United States Constitution.

The role of future politicians was to protect those freedoms and rights from encroachment by the newly formed Federal government. The Constitution provided powerful protection by confining the Federal government within a very tight box. The Constitution itself could be amended only by a brilliantly well-chosen and deliberately burdensome amendment process.

The writers of the Constitution bound the federal government with very tight restrictions, because they understood that man’s sin nature produced a relentless concentration of power in virtually every culture throughout all time periods of recorded history. Secular philosophers call the same phenomenon “egoism.”

The Constitution was designed to be an anchor for the American government and the American culture. Nearly a century later, the emerging liberal/progressive Humanist movement proclaimed that the Constitution must be a “living” document that can change with the times. From that time on, the liberal big government view challenged the long-standing conservative small government view. The need to restrict the passions of men using a Constitutional lock box is the basis for today’s conservative view supporting small government.

Since the original Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were based, insofar as possible, on Biblical standards and a Biblical worldview, changes to the Constitution inexorably move the American culture away from the original Biblical worldview.

Voting for God is simply voting for candidates up and down the ballot who will do the most to protect those freedoms and rights that are gifts from God, not grants from government. For believers, sitting at home, on election day, is NOT an option; it is a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts. Voting for a third party candidate is NOT an option; it is a wasted vote and a failure to do what is necessary to protect God’s gifts.

After election day, November 8, 2016, the President of the United States will be either Donald Trump (nationalist) or Hillary Clinton (globalist). As voters, it is important to ignore the trash in the media to focus on the beliefs and actions the candidates are likely to pursue if elected.

As a nationalist, most of Donald Trump’s beliefs are aligned with the Biblical worldview. He is flawed like all candidates, but his actions as president will clearly do the most to protect God’s wonderful, incomparable gifts. Trump will do the most to protect the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the cohesiveness of the family.

As a globalist, Hillary Clinton’s liberal/progressive views and actions as president would be diametrically opposed to Trump’s. Hillary is determined to achieve unlimited abortion at taxpayer expense, greatly expand Planned Parenthood funding, destroy marriage as an important cultural concept, and virtually eliminate American sovereignty by eliminating borders and giving away sovereignty by camouflaging the giveaways in so called free trade agreements.

Finally, the judges appointed by the next president will serve lifetime appointments long after the president leaves office. Trump is committed to appointing conservative Constitutionalist judges, some from a list he has already publicized. Hillary is committed to appointing judges who will arbitrarily exceed Constitutional authority by “legislating from the bench.”

Will America survive or die? It is up to YOU! Vote for God! But first, pray and consider several quotes from those who loved America from the depths of their souls.

 

Religion in America…must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country; for if it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it

Alexis de Tocqueville

“You…are placed by Providence in the post of honor, because it is the post of danger…The eyes not only of North America and the whole British Empire, but of all Europe, are upon you. Let us be, therefore altogether solicitous that no disorderly behavior, nothing unbecoming our character as American, as citizens and Christians, be justly chargeable to us.

Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty of each individual…Continue steadfast, and with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, 1774

Boston Patriot Josiah Quincy proclaimed, “Under God, we are determined that wheresoever, whensoever, or howsoever we shall be called to make our exit, we will die free men.”

Vote! Vote! Vote! Vote at every opportunity including seemingly minor local offices. Vote thoughtfully after careful consideration of the record of each candidate and his/her specifically clarified views. Do not fail to vote; do not vote frivolously.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Awesome Puritans Get a Bum Rap!

An engraved illustration of the Pilgrim Fathers leaving England, from a Victorian book dated 1886 that is no longer in copyrigh

In modern times, the earliest American settlers have been wrongly whitewashed as a dour, always somber-faced people who led unpleasant legalistic lives constrained by an overly oppressive and complex matrix of strict rules they believed had Biblical origin. Ugh! Who would want to live that way?

However, to understand a historical people, it is always far better to read what they said and wrote themselves, rather than rely on third party historians who are often biased. The process is called using primary source material.

The Puritans left or handed down an abundance of personal diaries attesting to their colorful clothing (They may have worn black and whites on Sunday morning.), vibrant sense of humor, and enthusiasm for throwing a good party. Their personal testimonies are at stark odds with the modern stereotype.

Nevertheless, there is an overarching principle that drove the everyday lives of the Puritans, a principle that we desperately need to learn today. They made no distinction between the sacred and the secular. To the Puritans, all of life is sacred. Their view is refreshing, incredibly simple, elegant, and powerful.

But how did they derive such a view? The Puritans regarded every moment and every breath we take as a gift from our awesome, loving, God. What we do with every moment and every breath we take is our gift back to God. It our expression of gratitude, guided by His love for us.

The holistic Puritan view and example does not mean that we should live each day with a persimmon-mouth appearance, driven by an overly churchy attitude, while living the monastic life of a medieval monk.

It does mean that an overarching purpose of our life is to love and meet the needs of others. It also means that, whether we are with our family, at work, or enjoying recreational pursuits, we are continually sensitive to God’s desire for our life and well-being. After all, since He created us, He knows what is best for us and that deviations from God’s best always carry a price, sometimes a painfully heavy price. What is best for us? His Word, the Bible says it best!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Diversity Madness and Matrimony

Marriage License Closeup

Diversity! Diversity! Diversity! It’s everywhere; it’s proclaimed incessantly by the media; it’s embedded in many textbooks and taught as axiomatic throughout the educational system; it’s treated with Humanistic reverence by politicians. Diversity is the buzzword and allegedly one of the most important cultural goals of our time.

In truth, it is a powerful liberal/progressive/Humanistic weapon designed to convert America’s beautiful Judeo-Christian culture into a chaotic scrambled eggs-like mass of languages and customs that can be easily controlled by the globalist elite. Break the American culture by breaking the whole into an infinite number of parts that are easily scrambled and easily subdued.

Celebrate the differences, they said. Yet, there is one glaring exception to the insane diversity craze.

For decades, the same groups championing diversity without substance have loudly proclaimed that there is no difference between a man and woman except for a few pieces of external plumbing. Men and woman were regarded as interchangeable. A single parent was all that was necessary for a “family.” The God of the Bible was replaced by the god of government.

The attacks on the traditional American family have been brutal and relentless. The attacks are an essential part of the liberal/progressive/Humanist strategy of breaking the culture to facilitate a fundamental transformation from a democracy to a socialist state. The results have been so disastrous that they have become conspicuously clear to most people.

Celebrate the sameness, they said. But, the simple and relentless proclamation of no difference between a man and a woman is no longer sufficient. The differences are far too obvious. Then came Plan B. Instead of simply proclaiming sameness, they sought to smear the obvious differences.

The liberal/progressive/Humanist movement has increasingly smeared the two sexes into an imagined spectrum of maleness, femaleness, and gender identity. The movement has latched onto LGBTQ causes as the Plan B weapon. Regardless of obvious physical, emotional, and spiritual attributes, a man may self “identify” as a woman or a woman may self “identify” as a man.

God, it seems, can be overruled by a single selfish, self-serving statement of feelings. Humanist surgeons are all too happy to rearrange the external plumbing to accommodate perceived sexual “feelings.”

Further confusion is facilitated by emerging concepts such as gender and species-fluidity. Someone may identify as a man today, a woman tomorrow, a four-year old child the third day, and cocker spaniel on the fourth day. Watch out for the self-identified rabbits! That should slow down the body-mutilating surgeons a bit. Consider just two absurd examples.

Canadian Lauren Southern is clearly all woman. As an underground reporter, she exposes how easy it is to convince a doctor to certify that she’s a man. Using the doctor’s letter, she visits a government agency and obtains a government ID card legally declaring that she’s a man. Finally, Lauren exposes the disastrous cultural repercussions of such idiocy. Refer to “Lauren Southern Becomes a Man”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGpZSefYvwM Know in advance that there is a little bit of course language in the opening seconds of the video.

Lauren quickly observes that this diversity madness forces society to give up its sense of honesty, objectivity, and respect for facts. Reality is replaced by a “toxic hedonism” that celebrates feelings over objective honesty.

The second illustration is provide by the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) who visited Seattle University. In a series of interviews, the university students were genuinely unable to explain one of the most obvious facts of human existence, the difference between male and female. Statistically, at least a few of them must have been Judeo-Christian believers. Refer to “College Kids Say the Darndest Things on Gender,” https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=robo&p=YouTube+University+of+Seattle+male+v+female+interviews#id=1&vid=0b8857b4d833e74925f211394d5fed8a&action=click

Tragically, many Judeo-Christian believers have bought in to this insanity.

Folks, we’re in deep tapioca!

The problems incited by all the cultural lunacy are numerous, huge, and devastating. For now, consider just one. Each of us carries between 50 trillion and 100 trillion cells in our body. Each cell contains a nucleus, within which resides a strand of DNA that loudly and unambiguously proclaims the YOU are either a man or a woman. Nearly 100 trillion witnesses “take the stand” certifying that you are either a man or a woman. That binary distinction is clear, unarguable, and permanent. Feelings or identity does not change this simple conspicuously obvious biological fact.

It is astonishing how easily the public, including, believers, accepts the sheer idiocy of no difference or alternatively an unbroken spectrum of sexual “identities.”

The distinction between a man and a woman, is a creation of God and emerges from His limitless wisdom. In His infinite genius, God, “…created them male and female and blessed them.” [Genesis 5:2 NIV] “Jesus answered, Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’” [Matthew 19:4 NAS] “However, from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’” [Mark 10:6 NAS]

Celebrate the differences, God said.

If God made YOU a man that is awesome; if He made YOU a woman that is incredible. Be excited, thankful, and humbled by the God that created YOU as one sex or the other. Either way, you have an important and powerful role in the family of God and in your own home family. Celebrate the differences between a man and a woman, as God created them.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

The next blog will explore the magnificent differences between a man and a woman.

Wedding Vows? Anchor or Valentine?

At a time when our national culture is rapidly declining and serial-marriage seems to be becoming a tragic new norm or marriage is avoided altogether, this may be one of the most urgent and important messages I’ve written. The vital question is simple. Are the traditional wedding vows the immutable anchor expressing the Biblical worldview or have they devolved into the equivalent of a valentine?

No civilization has ever survived the breakdown of the family. Cohesive families are the bedrock foundation of all sustainable cultures. Sustainable families cannot exist unless anchored by a strong marriage that begins with a powerful, binding, and highly respected wedding. “Let marriage be held in honor among all…” [Hebrews 13:4 ESV]

A Godly wedding is an extraordinarily beautiful picture of the ultimate wedding between the perfect bridegroom, Jesus, with His bride, the body of believers. [Revelation 19:7-10; Ephesians 5:22,23; 2 Corinthians 11:2 KJV] The genius of God’s heavenly reunion is pictured by the earthly union. A marriage between a man and a woman honors God, when they enthusiastically live according to the sacred vows and tenaciously adhere to the exclusive and binding relationship to which they voluntarily committed. The preliminary process is familiar.

Following an initial meeting, a man and a woman form a physical/intellectual bond (mutual respect and appreciation, building to admiration), an emotional bond (What a hunk or chick! That hug feels rrrreally good!), and ultimately a spiritual bond (sense of peace knowing that the other is a mature and actively growing believer). At a later time, when they have grown sufficiently together, he proposes and she agrees to marry.

CAUTION: After months of preparation, many couples are so anxious and exhausted on their all-important wedding day that the vows seem to go by in a blur of sensory experiences. The vitality of the moment is often lost. Later, the married couple may attend other weddings as a guest, but may pay to little heed to the vows. After all, they’ve “been there; done that” and they are looking forward to the reception. Occasional mentions of wedding vow fragments on television shows or in the movies cannot possibly fill the gap of insufficient understanding.

In contrast, consider the genius, incomparable elegance, conspicuous power, and profound security of the traditional wedding ceremony illustrated in the graphic.

wedding-vows-3

It begins with a solemn promise that is total, sacred, and voluntary. As a commitment “before God,” confirmed by “these witnesses,” the promise declares that the entire ceremony is an act of worship.

The vows themselves are comprehensive. Each requires valuing the other before self:

  • Love—unconditional, holding spouse in higher esteem than self
  • Comfort—console and reassure at all times
  • Cherish—guard with care and affection; hold dear
  • Honor—show high regard, appreciation and respect
  • Keep—remain absolutely faithful, no exceptions

The scope is unlimited; it has no boundaries and the relationship is absolutely exclusive. They mutually pledge that nothing will ever inhibit or damage their marriage, regardless of life conditions (better/worse; richer/poorer; sickness/health).

The marriage is rock solid regardless of standard-of-living (aggregate value of accumulated stuff) or quality-of-life (personal health and richness of network of interpersonal relationships, beginning with the family and working outward. No outsider will ever be permitted to breach its bulwark.

The commitment is ultimate and ironclad, “…as long as you both shall live!

The wholeness of bond is characterized by firmly binding together, “…my life, my heart, and all my worldly goods.” They have unalterably bound themselves together, physically/intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

Finally, the seal becomes irrevocable, when they call for their marriage to be sealed by the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The earthly representation of that seal is the married couple’s first encounter with God’s incredible gift of physical intimacy, often referred to as consummating the marriage. Physical intimacy is the capstone of God’s process of bringing two people together in the unique, exclusive relationship called marriage.

Tragically, in modern America, far too many couples succumb to temptation, experiencing physical intimacy before marriage. When they do so, the experience is so powerful and binding that it effectively “scrambles the brain,” interfering with the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual bonding process, which is a vitally important prelude to the marriage decision. It becomes exceedingly difficult to determine whether or not a sex partner is the best candidate for a lifelong, exclusive marriage.

Now—What do YOU think? Are the wedding vows an immutable anchor or merely a valentine?

God’s way is always the best way. Your happiness depends on it; your future depends on it; your spouse depends on it. Your family depends on it. America depends on it.

There is nothing in any other social relations in any way parallel to the mutual attraction of the sexes. By missing this simple point, the modern world has fallen into a hundred follies…There is no dispute about the purpose of Nature in creating such an attraction. It would be more intelligent to call it the purpose of God; for Nature can have no purpose unless God is behind it.

G. K. Chesterton

The happy State of Matrimony is, undoubtedly, the surest and most lasting Foundation of Comfort and Love; the Source of all that endearing Tenderness and Affection which arises from Relation and Affinity; the grand Point of Property; the Cause of all good Order in the World, and what alone preserves it from the utmost Confusion; and, to sum up all, the Appointment of infinite Wisdom for these great and good Purposes [sic].

Benjamin Franklin

What does it take to wake-up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake-up the clergy?

 

The Family is God’s First and Most Important Support Group!

Families

It’s been trendy, among churches, in the last two or three decades to create all manner of support groups. There are support groups for people dealing with alcohol addiction; drug addiction; divorce; mentally or physically disabled children; and older people, with various forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease or other chronic illnesses (caregiver support groups).

However, God created the first and by far the most important support group. It’s called the family. Tragically, as Judeo-Christian believers, we have become professionals as slicing and dicing the family in every imaginable way. Walk into virtually any church and find the family shot gunned into widely dispersed groups based on gender, age, marital status or educational level. Each group is tightly proscribed, narrowly limited, and quickly becomes isolated, especially from the family.

The same situation exists whether the church is traditional (Sunday School) or contemporary (home-base groups). The contemporary church simply scatters the traditional Sunday School around the neighborhood, scattering the family as in the traditional church. The increasingly popular home based groups in some cases exert even more pressure on the family, because they are scheduled at different times and places, during the week.

The result is that the family is forcefully splintered at the very place where they should be reinforced as well as worshiping and learning together. Family members lose a sense of the panorama of time and how they fit into that panorama.

Of course, God views the entire panorama of time from the Garden of Eden to the return of the Messiah. Even with our human limitations, it is extremely important that we understand our debt to the 3-4 generations of ancestors who preceded us and our duty to the 3-4 generations of descendants who follow us.

The usual rationale for slicing and dicing the family at church is that each family member is at a different place in life and has different needs. Balderdash! Every family member has exactly the same need to learn that “God is love” and that His love is manifested through us as humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, longsuffering, and a servant’s spirit. Collectively, they represent the character of God and the lifelong journey to grow in them. Those are lessons the entire family can learn together. Each family member helps the others learn those lessons daily.

 

In modern America, the family is being blown apart. The modern church is structured in a way that facilitates the breakdown of the family. No statistics are necessary. It is self-evident that the family is breaking down among the bodies of believers nearly as fast as it is breaking down in the background secular culture.

The church, whether traditional or contemporary must be restructured to strongly reinforce and build up the family, rather than tearing it apart. Families must meet together, worship together, and learn together as they have for millennia. The devastating slicing and dicing of the family has only been part of the church structure for the last 100 to 150 years.

The family is God’s only support group. It is far more powerful than any other. There are major limitations created by the collapsing American culture. Generations are often separated by long distances. People find themselves single following a divorce that was not of their own choosing. There is also enormous cultural pressure to satisfy self, rather than serve others.

Here is a Biblical remedy. Consider forming numerous family support groups, where groups of families can reinforce each others experiences and learn about high risk activities and how to help family members who fall prey to those risks before the crisis occurs. Thus armed, a family, demonstrating a servant’s spirit, may want to consider informally “adopting” someone in crisis as a means of helping that person. Similarly, when generations are separated by long distances, a family may choose to adopt an older or younger generation family locally.

There is still a place for some of those support groups mentioned in the opening paragraph, but only for those people who don’t have the support of an immediate family.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Urgent Message to Pastors!

During the run-up to the American Revolution, the pulpits of America were aflame with righteousness. In contrast, it is not necessary to characterize today’s cultural chaos. Instead,

 shane-idleman

Consider carefully this word to pastors from Shane Idleman, nationally known pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship, in Lancaster, CA.

One of my great concerns is for the pulpits of America. Many are exchanging truth for tolerance, boldness for balance, and conviction for cowardliness…they are not aflame with righteousness. We don’t want to offend; we might lose our audience. We are not to seek the applause of men but the applause of God.

The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew. Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place.

Granted, there are many wonderful pastors and churches—I appreciate their ministry, but, as a whole, the church has drifted off course. They have lost the compass of truth.

As the moral and cultural war rages between our shores, the need to be awakened from our spiritual slumber has never been greater. “Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is tested” (Martin Luther). This battle is for the very soul of our nation. It’s our choice—stand or fall.

But there is hope for those who are teachable and humble. The journey with God begins with the first step in the right direction. Simply say, “Lord, I’ve been wrong…remove my carnality, crush my pride, draw me closer to You. I repent of my sin and I turn completely and unconditionally to you. You are my only hope. God help me!”

http://westsidechristianfellowship.org/articles/3-15-14-an-indictment-against-america-pastor-shane-idleman/

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Five Frightening Election Words!

donald trump

Here are five frightening words for all voters who backed losing candidates in the Republican primaries and who are threatening to sit out the November election because they don’t like Donald Trump:

Supreme Court Justice Barack Obama.

The choice in November is clear – it will be either Donald Trump or

Hillary Clinton, and a no-vote or a third party vote is the same as a vote for Hillary Clinton.

If Hillary Clinton, arguably the most dishonest and corrupt person ever to run for President of the United States, wins, she likely will name President Obama to the Supreme Court for several very good reasons:

  1. he has covered her backside, no easy task that, in the email server scandals and now wants payback;
  2. he claims credentials as a Constitutional lawyer;
  3. he is buying a mansion in Washington D.C. and has made no secret of his desire to stay in the capitol; and
  4. he could complete his “fundamental transformation”  of our Republic during a lifetime on the Supreme Court.

If that’s not enough to scare everyone into voting, I don’t know what will.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Greatest Destroyer of Peace is Abortion!

mother-teresa-2

“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself, and if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?…Please don’t kill the child…give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.”

Mother Teresa

National Prayer Breakfast

February 3, 1994

The Time for Believers to Act is Now—or Perhaps Never!

woman reading the bible in the darkness

The time for believers to act—and to act aggressively is now! There may not be another chance to be a positive and effective ambassador for the Lord until He returns. Generational drift has produce believers who are astonishingly ignorant of the Bible and its application to today most vital issues. Consider God’s own perfect words:

“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.” [James 4:1-6 NKJV Emphasis added]

The body of believers has become far too friendly with the world. It is a friendship that has distorted the Biblical worldview as perceived my many believers, especially the younger generations. The worldly-influenced distortions of the Biblical worldview has produced generations of sincere believers who are astonishingly ignorant of the pervasive nature of the Biblical worldview and how it applies to the powerful and devastating issues of our time.

Ponder just a few examples:

  • Abortion—Many have a vague notion that abortion is wrong, but are unable to clearly articulate why it is wrong. They may generally recall a Scripture verse where the Lord says, “I knew you when you were in the womb,” but many believers don’t know where to find it. Tragically, many believers have bought into the commonly held abortion exceptions for conceptions resulting from rape or incest and for protecting the health of the mother. They might even consider abortion when tests indicate that the baby might be born with some physical or mental limitations. Bottom line: Statistically, there is no difference between the rates of abortion among conservative Bible believers and the rate of abortion among atheists/agnostics.
  • Divorce—Today, many believers have essentially accepted serial marriage as a new norm. With unmistakable clarity God proclaims in Malachi, “I hate divorce.” Exactly what part of “I hate divorce” do people not understand? Most readers already know and understand the Biblical passages dealing with marriage and divorce. Nevertheless, the political notion of no-fault divorce that easily swept through most state legislatures greased the skids for believers to follow the world’s concept of divorce. Bottom line: The divorce rate among conservative Bible believers is statistically indistinguishable from the divorce rate among atheist/agnostics. Indeed, the United States, driven by Judeo-Christian tradition for centuries, now has a divorce rate among the top five highest in the world.
  • Same-Sex Marriage—For many believers, there is comfort in the God-given Biblical concept of marriage as one man, one woman, for one lifetime. Yet, they are unable to articulate why. They have gradually accepted alternative lifestyles up to and including so called “same-sex marriage.” Traditional marriage is carpet-bombed daily, by the media, the entertainment industry, liberal/progressive politicians, and the public educational system. Bottom line: Like Lot of old, many believers have long ago pitched their tent toward Sodom and have effectively since moved in. The tragic result is the catastrophic collapse of the American culture.
  • Strangers (largely government employees) raising the children of believers—In a devastating about face, the American culture now reveres career as a higher priority than family. Believers have succumbed to that siren song. There is no way a child can emerge into adulthood with solid soul-deep Biblical values unless the child is raised by his/her biological mom who is a full time homemaker, at least during child rearing years, and biological dad. It will not happen when a child is subjected to an endless round of babysitters, infant child care, nursery schools, before school care, after school care and so on. There is no substitute for a child’s God-given parents. Bottom line: The family is being intentionally obliterated by the myriad of forces that oppose it, while believers effectively roll over and play dead. The American culture, envied by the world since its inception, is rapidly falling into the dust bin of history.
  • Pornography—The explosion of the Internet has brought with it an explosion in pornography. It has become nearly impossible to avoid. While many believers will readily acknowledge that habitually viewing hard core pornography is wrong, they quietly accept the notion that a bit of soft porn is no big deal. Bottom line: Porn in any form is a big deal; it destroys relationships; it destroys marriages; it destroys families, thereby causing lasting damage to children. Yet most believers do not understand why and certainly are unable to articulate it.
  • LGBT adoptions—When they hear about LGBT adoptions, believers my feel a ripple of discontent pass through their heart and mind. Once again, they are unable to clearly articulate the associated problems from the perspective of a Biblical worldview. Bottom line: The rate of LGBT adoptions continues to increase with devastating effects on the American culture, while being tacitly supported by many believers.

Believers have become nearly indistinguishable from the world. If we want our children and grandchildren to experience even a fragment of a remaining free culture, the body of believers must act now, with determination and persistence. There is no time left. An occasional Bible class lesson or sermon on a controversial life-damaging topic will not come anywhere close to overcoming the widespread ignorance among believers.

There must be a very intense, all-out effort lead by the clergy. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Weekly group discussions—There must be intense weekly discussions for at least 8-12 weeks to cover all relevant issues. The discussions could occur within the traditional Sunday School or in home-based groups at any time.
  • Weekly sermons—Throughout the same period, there must be a reinforcing series of sermons on the same topics. People desperately want to hear from their spiritual leaders.
  • Suggested resource—An excellent resource is Dr. James L. Garlow’s book, Well Versed: Biblical Answers to Today’s Tough Issues. His book was just published within recent weeks and addresses many of today’s most vexing issues in 3-5 page bite size chunks. A sampling of topics includes political correctness, school choice and parental authority, marriage, schools universities and the Christian faith, abortion, sexual orientation, the judiciary, social justice, Israel, racism, and many more. All topics are addressed from an uncompromising Biblical world viewpoint.

We cannot fail to arm the believers within our sphere of influence with clear, accurate, easy-to-articulate Biblical information to wage the ongoing spiritual war.

But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their intimidation; do not be shaken.” But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to articulate a defense to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But respond with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who slander you will be put to shame by your good behavior in Christ.… [1 Peter 3:14-15 NIV]

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

The Gender Unicorn Is Coming To A Middle School Near YOU!

The relentless liberal/progressive effort to blur gender distinctions, invent new “genders,” and create new forms of “gender expression,” is currently invading an ever broadening list of public middle schools. The latest and most insidious wave is the Gender Unicorn:

gender-unicorn

Notice the similarity between the Gender Unicorn and Barney, the purple anthropomorphic tyrannosaurus rex, with whom many children are already familiar. Having already embraced a warm and fuzzy Barney, it becomes a very short step to embracing the Gender Unicorn.

The Gender Unicorn is clearly one of the most powerful and dramatic assaults on God, the Bible, and Judeo-Christian values of our time, just behind the U.S. Supreme Court ruling establishing the Constitutional validity of same-sex marriage

Believers are called upon by God to love everyone, regardless of lifestyle. But sin is still sin; it has never changed. The intimate actions of same sex unions are still an abomination to God. Adoptions be same-sex couples are still sinful. Any blurring of the God-given distinctions between men and women and their God-given roles is inviting the wrath of their Creator!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

America and Believers Go From Selfless to Selfish! (Part 2)

All Behavior has Specific Worldview Roots

World Globalization International Life Planet Concept

Selfish behavior is promoted by the Humanist worldview, provides short-term happiness leading to long-term pain, excessive personal stress and lasting uncertainty as well as broken families and cultural chaos. There are profoundly negative consequences to self, those within immediate contact, and continue to ripple through many others. Such behaviors are called sinful, because they are offensive to God and at the expense of others. Nevertheless, the apparent attractiveness of the short-term delight is so powerful that large numbers of people will go for it, regardless of the cost. Have YOU ever succumbed to the siren call? How did it work out for you?

Selfless behavior is promoted by the Judeo-Christian worldview, provides long-term, soul-deep joy, life satisfaction, greater certainty, strong families, a sustainable culture, less stress and reduced anxiety. However, the life enriching benefits do not come easily because they emerge slowly and seem a bit abstract compared to the immediate physical thrills of the Hedonistic pursuit of personal pleasure. Waiting is unnatural, especially in the modern culture, which demands instant everything. Still, the wonderful rewards are absolutely worth the pursuit and the wait!

For now, consider that many of the selfish behaviors are incited by the natural and powerful attraction between a man and a woman. The lure of physical intimacy can become nearly uncontrollable, especially in our modern American culture that has separated sex from love. Life is far more beautiful than when they are combined within the context of the marriage created by God.

Sex is the Capstone

Sex is the capstone of a loving, godly, relationship after two people have bonded intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. After a couple is married, physical intimacy “seals the deal.” Premature or illicit sex is such a powerful and bonding experience that it renders the parties virtually powerless to determine whether or not they are good candidates for a life-long marriage. Love has been sidetracked by lust.

The consequences of all sin ripples. Selfish behaviors always negatively affects others (many others). The particular consequences of sexual sin include:

  • sexually transmitted disease, which may cause death or result in lifelong medically forced abstinence
  • pregnancy and the stresses of dealing with an out of wedlock pregnancy
  • scarred and loss of rich and lasting family and other interpersonal relationships
  • damaged relationship with God
  • negative consequences rippling through family and friends for up to four generations

The reward of waiting, for physical intimacy until after marriage is a lifelong commitment and faithfulness of spouse and children. Sex and love cannot be separated without huge negative consequences that are painful and lasting. Rewards of waiting far exceed the apparent benefits of caving in to temptation.

Part 3 considers the impact of the acceptance or rejection of personal responsibility on individuals, families, and the American culture as well as a comparison of sinfulness and godliness as applied to daily living.

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Unplanned Pregnancy? A Different View!

Teenage girl with pregnancy test

Are you married and pregnant at what seems to be an inconvenient time? Are you unmarried and pregnant? Have you experienced the trauma of rape or incest and discovered that you are pregnant as a result?

The term “unplanned pregnancy” is today’s reigning euphemism for an inconvenient pregnancy or a pregnancy begun under immoral or illegal circumstances. The term implies that there are higher priorities in life than creating new life. Most of our modern life is the relentless pursuit of whatever satisfies man’s desires. However, scripturally there is no higher priority than loving God, creating new life, and raising the children to sustain a God-loving culture, from generation to generation. Any other priorities lead to a decaying culture that ultimately self-destructs.

It is doubtful that people in Biblical times ever considered a pregnancy to be unplanned. Married couples likely lived their life embracing every pregnancy that naturally occurred, praising God for the blessing of each new life. Perhaps that is why barrenness was considered such a curse. Of course, a pregnancy outside of marriage was typically followed by an “unplanned marriage.”

Child bearing is God’s special gift to women even when a conception occurs in immoral circumstances. Radical feminism, in the 1960s, turned God’s blessing upside down, proclaiming childbearing to be a curse unfairly imposed on women by evolution.

But what is a woman to do when a pregnancy results from a forced activity such as rape or incest which is immoral and illegal? Abortion is wrong. It crushes the life out of God’s precious gift. The details have been often discussed elsewhere.

The typical Judeo-Christian believer’s fallback is to advise the pregnant girl that if she senses that she is incapable of raising the child she consider placing it for adoption. That is a plausible intellectual choice for the do-gooders giving the advice. But it is an incredibly painful, emotional and spiritual decision for the girl.

With perhaps rare exceptions, a young woman cannot experience an abortion or give a child up for adoption without a lifetime of unconquerable regret and other negative consequences ranging from an unquenchable anxiety to serious guilt and a broad range of physical health issues triggered by the anxiety or guilt. In addition, the aftereffects of abortion or giving a baby up for adoption can elicit future issues with interpersonal relationships, especially with men.

For a discussion of the negative effects refer to http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2013/02/how-giving-up-child-affects-you-in-long.html. Lorraine Dusky is a blogger who cites several studies that explored and documented the long-term, virtually permanent, emotional and spiritual pain experienced by mothers who have given a baby up for adoption.

Often the baby destined for adoption is whisked away immediately after birth. It is considered best to separate the baby from the mother before they have had a chance to bond. However, she has already bonded for nine months. Bonding begins from the moment of conception, even when it occurs immorally or illegally.

Bonding continues as the mother experiences the early hormonal changes associated with pregnancy. The bonding continues later when she feels the baby’s movements and again when she experiences the hormonal changes preparing her for childbirth. The childbirth process itself is not merely biological. The mother bonds with the baby during the process. She experiences the triumph of nine months of bonding when the baby draws its first breath. She has clearly bonded with her baby not an alleged nonhuman fetus. The bonding is a beauty that only God could have created.

When the pregnancy was initiated by rape or incest, the initial trauma may well subside before the baby is born. An early decision to place the baby up for adoption will be revisited again and again, many times before the birth of the baby. Despite the adoption decision, the mother cannot help but daydream about what to name the baby and future experiences with the baby as an infant and throughout its growing years. For nine long months, she irresistibly fantasizes about her baby’s future, even after making the adoption decision.

There are perhaps a rare few for which adoption is appropriate. Examples may include a mother with severe mental illness or very long-term drug abuse. Aside from those exceptions, a mother should never be separated from her baby. The situation is bad enough if the father is in prison or wasted on drugs. The baby is already deprived of one parent. The solution is not to deprive the baby of the other parent. Most mothers will rise to the occasion, some surprisingly so, despite the unplanned nature of the pregnancy.

Outside of extreme circumstances, such as rape or incest, the father must also rise to the occasion. He is far more than a mere source of funds. Collectively, mom and dad have a huge responsibility to the God-given miracle they call their baby. That responsibility likely includes getting married, if they are not married already.

Among Judeo-Christian believers, the extended family must be available to help the teen mother or an older mother, single by circumstances beyond her control. The grandparents are not built-in, taken-for-granted babysitters. There is no substitute for the mother shouldering her own responsibilities. However, members of the extended family are or should be able to provide physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual support far beyond what is available through so called support groups. While adoption may be a consideration, it should absolutely be a very last resort. God’s family sticks together!

What does it take to wake up the body of believers?

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Home Happiness!

Home HappinessHome is the true wife’s kingdom. Very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a sacred trust, the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle there. In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife.

Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere.

Her hands fashion its beauty.

Her heart makes its love.

And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.

The woman who makes a sweet, beautiful home, filling it with love and prayer and purity, is doing something better than anything else her hands could find to do beneath the skies.

A true mother is one of the holiest secrets of home happiness. God sends many beautiful things to this world, many noble gifts; but no blessing is richer than that which He bestows in a mother who has learned love’s lessons well, and has realized something of the meaning of her sacred calling.

~ James Russell Miller (1840 – 1912)

Christmas Gift Suggestions!

Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness.

To an opponent, tolerance.

To a friend, your heart.

To a customer, service.

To all, charity. To every child, a good example.

To yourself, respect.”
Oren Arnold

Three Miracle Births—Virgin Birth is One + Two

Young Pregnant Mary with Manger

At this time of year, there is no shortage of people proclaiming skepticism or even scoffing at the idea of the virgin birth of Jesus. It was necessary, because the virgin birth was the only way Jesus could live a sinless life free of the sinful nature of pride that is the root of all sins. Nevertheless, the scoffers abound. They seem to catch media attention more often than believers.

The birth of Jesus is one of at least three miracle births in Scripture. God did the “impossible” in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, Zachariah and Elizabeth, and Joseph and Mary—three highly improbable births.

The birth of a child to a virgin is a one-time miracle. Mary became pregnant when she was “overshadowed,” by the Holy Spirit of God [Luke 1:35]. Since she was a healthy young woman, the rest of the gestation and birth process proceeded normally. For the God who created the universe, the Earth we call home, and all the plant, animal, and human life that makes up our environment, enabling a virgin to give birth is no obstacle.

A child born to an old woman is an even greater miracle than the virgin birth. At the birth of Isaac, Abraham was 100-years old and Sarah was 90-years of age [Genesis 17:17]. Scripture also tells us that at the birth of John-the-Baptist, his father Zechariah was an “old man” and his mother, Elizabeth, is variously described—depending on the translation—as “old as well,” “advanced in years,” or “beyond child bearing years.” [Luke 1:18] Having never previously given birth, both Sarah and Elizabeth were described as “barren.” The combination of old age and barrenness reduces that chances of pregnancy to virtually zero, apart from the intervention of God.

The birth of a child to an old woman can be viewed as a long-term continuous miracle or long series of miracles. The conception itself is two miracles. The reproductive systems of both the father and mother must be miraculously restored to youthful vigor. The conception must overcome the lifetime of barrenness, which confirms the miracle of the actual conception.

The mother’s womb must be effectively resurrected from the deadening effects of old age to harbor the baby and enable the formation of the umbilical cord through which she feeds and nourishes the baby. Her hormonal system must be quickened to support a growing baby and all the necessary changes to allow her body to carry the baby for nine months and eventually give birth. Prior to the actual birth, the mother’s hormonal system and the flesh and muscles, required for birth, must be rejuvenated to enable them to perform harmoniously at the time of birth.

Prior to the birth, the mothers’ breasts, that have never before nursed a baby, must be restored to youthful vitality to function and feed the newborn baby for a prolonged period of time. Today, the supermarket shelves are stocked with an array of infant formulas and baby foods. No such products were available in ancient Israel. A baby’s survival largely depended upon milk from the mother. Few alternatives were available, except perhaps goat’s milk.

The births-in-old-age enjoyed by Abraham/Sarah and Zechariah/Elizabeth were 2 – 3 year long continuous miracles or two amazing series of miracles from conception until weaning. Compare those long series of miracles with the one-time miracle of conception that occurred within the virgin called, “Mary,” who gave birth to Jesus.

Quite simply, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26 NIV]

Of course the real miracle of Christmas is not just that a virgin gave birth. The greater miracle is that Mary gave birth to the Messiah who came to save mankind from the ravages and ultimate death penalty of sin.

Merry Christmas to All!