Excessive Materialism Violates All Ten of God’s Great & Precious Commandments

For hundreds of years, America has been dominated by strong ideals. Among them have been a strong work ethic, a desire to achieve, and the right to enjoy the fruit our labor. That fruit is a gift from God. “…you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you are to remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, in order to confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18 NASB)

It is genuinely delightful to enjoy the honestly-earned results of personal labor. However, a preoccupation with the accumulation of material things, while sacrificing other important life considerations, is called materialism.

God draws a particularly serious line at excessive materialism. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” [1 Timothy 6:10 KJV] The ideals that have encouraged boundless materialism must be integrated with numerous other ideals and restrained by God’s infinitely wise Biblical limits.

Sadly, throughout most of the last century the American people have become largely anesthetized by an excessive devotion to materialism. Many seek materialistic goals as life’s highest priority to the exclusion of nearly everything else.

Do YOU place a higher priority on career than family? If so, you are devoted excessive materialism. If you instinctively deny the highest priority of career, ask yourself whether you commit more time each week to career or family. We spend our time on or with what we love. If YOU are spending more time on career that is your first love and you are tacitly devoted to excessive materialism, while not actually admitting it.

God’s view of excessive materialism is very harsh; such a view violates all ten of His great commandments.

  1. I am the LORD Your God…YOU shall have no other gods before Me.

Excessive materialism becomes an insatiable god that can never be satisfied no matter how much effort is exerted or how much time is committed. The god of materialism rapidly becomes addictive, seriously harming every other area of life. Short-term exhilaration becomes long-term sorrow. Ask any celebrity who has been in “rehab.”

2. YOU shall not make for Yourself a carved image…YOU shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD Your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

NYSE Bull

The statue of a bull outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) resembles the molded calf worshipped by the ancient Israelites at the base of Mt. Sinai, following their famous exodus from Egypt. Note that the image on the right is a modern replica of the Biblical statue. The exact appearance of the statue is unknown. Exodus 32:8 says, “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molded calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, which has brought you up from the land of Egypt.'”

Israelites Golden Calf
The NYSE bull statue is a clear image of the idol of materialism. People tacitly bow to the idol whenever they make a commitment to or actually pursue excessive materialism. Up-to-the-moment stock market reports are frequently broadcast throughout the media to remind people of their commitment to the idol—whether or not an individual has any personal investment in the market.

Most companies provide their employees with a 401k Plan and/or shares of stock in their own company. Both are linked to stock market performance and reports, further ensnaring others who may not otherwise have a personal interest in the stock market.

The bull idol is continuously fed (worshipped) by immersion in the American culture. The reminders, encouragements, and lures are everywhere. Consider the pervasive and compelling advertising, tangible and intangible rewards from a supervisor at work, and raves from friends and family when shown a new car or a new house or even a new outfit of clothes. Only a strong faith in God and a conscious, deliberate effort can enable an escape from the materialistic snare.

3. YOU shall not take the name of the LORD Your God in vain (Profanity).

The pressures of materialism are very great. Excessive materialism elicits excess anxieties. When frustrations exceed a personal limit, few can resist the temptation to at least occasionally spew an expletive linked to God’s name. The expletive of often attached to humor to cover the underlying guilt. “I got away with a little sin.” Little? Really?

  1. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days YOU shall labor and do all Your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD Your God. In it YOU shall do no work.

Jews observe a seventh day Sabbath; Christians observe a first day Sabbath. The differences are for another discussion. Regardless of the day chosen, the Sabbath is a day, commanded by God, characterized by rest and godly pursuits including worship. It recognizes and gives thanks for all that God has done for us and provides a regenerating physical rest for the body.

Throughout most of 400 years of American history—from the earliest settlements until recent decades all but the most essential work ceased on Sundays. The cessation created a nearly universal opportunity to enjoy the Sabbath and provided a visible reminder of the purpose of the Sabbath. The pressures of excessive materialism resulted in the repeal of most Sunday “Blue Laws” contributing to profaning the Sabbath, a generalized weakening of faith, and an accelerating drift of the American culture away from God. Today, most businesses operate on Sunday just as in every other day of the week.

5. Honor Your father and Your mother, that Your days may be long upon the land which the LORD Your God is giving YOU.

God designed the family as the essential unit of society. A strong family and a culture of strong families is the ONLY way to assure that godly virtues, values, and principles can be transmitted from generation to generation and on to posterity. The stability of America depends on strong families.

The God-designed family must be physically/geographically close enough to share love, responsibilities, and mutual accountability—all of which are vital to character growth and maturity. However, the relentless pressures of excessive materialism have driven many people to seek employment far away from their families, weakening or breaking important family relationships, reducing love to cheap attractions, and side-stepping an important source of personal accountability. Even retired seniors are encouraged to relocate to a warmer or drier climate, depriving their families of lifetimes of accumulated wisdom.

“Honor your father and your mother” extends to honoring all family members, loving them, and meeting their needs first, then meeting the needs of others after caring for the family. God promises a long life to those who do so. However, the family scattered by excessive materialism risks “extra” anxieties, which contribute to at least 25 health-related maladies that may effectively reduce the long life span, otherwise promised by God.

6. YOU shall not murder.

Excessive materialism has caused or contributed to the murder (abortion) of millions of unborn babies who were perceived to interfere with an apparently promising career. Excessive materialism has also been the motive for adult murder for the same reason.

7. YOU shall not commit adultery.

When excessive materialism becomes a god, it is spiritual adultery.

Excessive materialism also causes excessively long work weeks (50-70 hours per week), resulting in employees spending far more time with employees of the opposite sex than with their spouses, especially after hours and in traveling situations. The frequency of physical adultery skyrockets with the time available and frequency of opportunities for privacy (perceived secrecy).

8. YOU shall not steal.

Excessive materialism creates an incentive to cut corners morally, ethically, and legally. Any material gain beyond the agreed upon expense to others, resulting from cutting corners, steals from them.

For example, any business contract should be a win-win, meaning that there should be equal benefits to both parties. If one party is able to take unreasonable advantage of another party because of superior or inside information, creating a win-lose contract, the “winning” party is robbing from the other party.

9. YOU shall not bear false witness against Your neighbor.

Bearing false witness includes communicating or spreading false information (lying) about another person formally in a courtroom or less formally in business or other life settings.

Excessive materialism creates a motive to slander others for personal gain such as a raise in pay, a promotion, a desirable assignment, or a one-sided contract. The lie or pattern of lies seriously damages the life, reputation, and earning power of others. In contrast, we are obligated to stand up for the truth about others even if there is a personal cost to us.

God vehemently condemns false witness. “These…things the LORD hates, Yesare an abomination to Hima false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

10. YOU shall not covet Your neighbor’s goods

Coveting the goods of others is the root of excessive materialism. A trite old phrase, “keeping up with the Jones” (friends, neighbors, co-workers) captures the incentive for an unreasonable accumulation of material goods, beyond common sense affordability. The goods also fuel pride which is harshly condemned by God. “The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.” [Psalm 10:2]

Three Miracle Births—Virgin Birth is One + Two

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!

America’s Godly Culture

Throughout most American history marriage, treaties, government proclamations/resolutions, oaths of public office, oaths of witnesses in legal settings, and business contracts have all been traditionally rendered, affirmed, and sealed in the name of God. Hence, all of life’s major public and private actions have been made permanent based on the trustworthiness of God. The stability of the American culture rests on the same. Anything that weakens the perceived trustworthiness of God, weakens the American culture.

In reformer John Calvin’s Sermons on 2 Samuel, he wrote:
 
When we have made a promise in the name of God and have called upon him, let that promise restrain and govern us in the future. For example,
·                    When a man marries, let him think, “When we promised faith and loyalty to one another, was this not done before God in his name?”
o        Remembering that vow helps a husband to carry out his duty to live chastely with his wife and foster peace and harmony in his household.
o        The wife also, in remembering that she is joined with her husband in the name of God and that marriage is a sacred thing, will carry out her duty.
·                    Likewise, fathers clearly promise to nurture their children because they have made the solemn promise in baptism, to instruct those children in the fear of God.
·                    A magistrate (politician) who takes the oath of duty to carry out his office will carefully think of this in remembering that he made this promise before God.
·                    People by and by will take delight in keeping this magistrate’s laws, and everything else will fall into place [because the magistrate is accountable to God].
·                    When people [businesses] make contracts with one another, their agreements will be faithfully observed when they can say, “We have in this called on the name of God.”
So, then, what shall we think when we see people using the courts to rescind all their promises, so that nothing prevents their reversing their contracts, and they spend their time working out ways to be relieved of their promises? They bring forward excuses such as: “I have been defrauded in a certain situation that would cause me too much loss”
In the end, equity and fairness will not be maintained unless people remind themselves, “God was witness when I promised a certain thing. Therefore, I must not seek to be absolved before men. The main thing is that I look to God, bring myself before his judgement seat, and examine my conscience so I may keep the obligation to which I once committed myself.” [Emphasis added]
 
Look to God to solemnize and anchor all relationships. Do NOT look to the courts for an escape hatch. Why go to God to anchor all of life’s most important actions (God’s perfect wisdom), then later ask the courts to destroy the anchor (man’s seriously flawed shadow of God’s wisdom). Government courts have no authority to overrule God. Man clearly has no authority to overrule God and is in a fearsome place when he attempts to do so.
 
Today’s broken American culture cannot be repaired without first repairing the home and family. The American home cannot be repaired without the prominence and dominance of God. As the American home goes, so goes America.
 
As America sinks into an ever-deepening cultural abyss, the appeal of materialism and other worldly desires weakens; the appeal of God and heaven shines brighter. God is STILL the answer to all life’s personal and cultural questions/controversies.
 
Thomas Jefferson wrote in the American Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The pursuit of happiness could easily and perhaps more accurately be replaced with the “pursuit of holiness.”
 
Holiness precedes happiness; holiness is a prerequisite for sustained happiness. America will be restored to its former widely-envied position as the last and only remaining “hope of the world,” when a significant portion of the people once again understand the importance and vitality of holiness. Why don’t YOU take the lead starting now?

“Twas the Night Before the Election”

“Twas the Night Before the Election”:

‘Twas the night before the election
And all through the town
Tempers were flaring
Emotions all up and down!

I, in my bathrobe
With a dog in my lap
Had cut off the TV
Tired of political crap.

When all of a sudden
There arose such a noise
I peaked out of my window
Saw the Democrats and their boys

They had come for my wallet
They wanted my pay
To give to the others
Who had not worked a day

They snatched up my money
And quick as a wink
Jumped back on their bandwagon
As I gagged from the political stink

They then rallied their henchmen
Who were pulling their cart
I could tell they were out
To tear my country apart

‘On Pelosi, on Shumer!
On Feinstein and ‘Pocahontas’!
On Soros, On Sanders!
They screamed for more progressives!

They took off for their swamp
And as they flew out of sight
Laughing at the conservative voters
Who wouldn’t stand up and fight

So I leave you to ponder
On this one final note –
If you don’t want socialism,
GET OUT AND VOTE!!

Do Not Fail to Cast a Solemn Vote–2020

“I therefore urge upon all the voters of our country, without reference to party, that they assemble…at their respective voting places in the exercise of the high office of American citizenship, that they approach the ballot box in the spirit that they would approach a sacrament, and there, disregarding ll appeals to passion and prejudice dedicate themselves truly and wholly to the welfare of their country. When an election is so held, it…sustains the belief that the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

President Calvin Coolidge

“If a political character attacks a (religious) sect, this may not prevent even the partisans of that very sect from supporting him; but if he attacks all the sects together, every one abandons him and he remains alone…Moreover, all the sects of the Unites States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity.”

Alexis de Tocqueville

“Our enemy is a radical network of terrorists…The hate our freedoms-our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote.”

President George W. Bush

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.

Fall of Roman Empire Mirrors America Today!

Colosseum in Rome

When many of us were in school, we were taught that the Roman Empire fell, because it was overrun by barbarians from the north. Partly right, but only partly. Consider the constellation of conditions that existed at the time. Compare them with America today. The resemblance is inescapable and alarming:

  • Rome was overrun by illegal immigrants, initially assimilating, but later failing to learn the Roman language (Latin). Sound familiar today?
  • Roman military was widely dispersed throughout the known world and greatly strained. America today?
  • Rome had a trade deficit rooted in outsourcing grain production to North Africa. Rome was unable to protect the area from capture. Contrary to today’s media reports, corporate outsourcing is more a result of government actions than so called corporate “greed.”
  • Attila the Hun committed terrorist attacks. Today’s Global Terrorism Database provides information on 150,000 terrorist attacks
  • Roman welfare gave free bread to citizens. Juvenal (circa A.D. 100) said the Roman politicians pacified the citizens and bought their vote with “bread and circuses.” A contemporary quote proclaimed, “Those who live at the expense of the public funds are more numerous than those who provide them.” Today, people working for the government outnumber those in manufacturing by nearly 2:1. Nearly 100,000,000 people are out of work. Only those still collecting unemployment compensation show up in the unemployment statistics.
  • Citizens feared Roman tax collectors who were, “more terrible than the enemy.” Sound like the IRS?
  • Huge government bureaucracies created monstrous debt. Self-evident today.
  • Court favoritism was common. Self-evident today.
  • Infidelity and sexual immorality became normal. Political correctness says every behavior should be “tolerated.”
  • Perverted bathhouses Transgender restrooms and locker rooms anyone?
  • Gratuitous violence, as in gladiator fights, became common. The Roman violence was real. Today, the violence in video games, television, and the movies is so lifelike, they trigger brain responses very similar to real violence, thus numbing the public to violence that should be repulsive.

Do we ever learn from history? Should we learn from history? What are the risks of not learning from history?

The conditions listed above contributed greatly to the breakdown of the family. No civilization has ever survived the breakdown of the family.

Living for self (Humanism, liberalism, progressivism, Marxism, etc.) always leads to the decline of civilizations and ultimate ruin. Living for others (Judeo-Christian tradition, religious and political conservatism) creates a stable culture that can be passed on to subsequent generations. What are YOU willing to do to save America?

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

John Quincey Adams Compares God’s Blessings on Ancient Israel with God’s Blessings on America!

John Quincey Adams, sixth President of the United States and son of Founder John Adams provided a striking comparison of ancient Israel and modern America.

John Quincey Adams

“When the children of Israel, after forty years of wanderings in the wilderness, were about to enter the promised land, their leader, Moses…commanded that when the Lord their God should have brought them into the land, they should put the curse upon Mount Ebal, and the blessing upon Mount Gerizim. This injunction was faithfully fulfilled by his successor Joshua. Immediately after they had taken possession of the land, Joshua built an altar to the Lord, of whole stones, upon Mount Ebal. And there he wrote upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he had written in the presence of the children of Israel…

Fellow citizens, the ark of your covenant is the Declaration of independence. Your Mount Ebal, is the confederacy of separate state sovereignties, and your Mount Gerizim is the Constitution of the United States…

Lay up these principles, then, in your hearts, and in our souls…teach them to your children…cling to them as to the issues of life—adhere to them as to the cords of your eternal salvation. So may your children’s children…[celebrate the] Constitution…in full enjoyment of all blessings recognized by you in the commemoration of this day, and of all the blessings promised to the children of Israel upon Mount Gerizim, as the reward of obedience to the law of God.”*

*John Quincey Adams, “The Jubilee of the Constitution: A Discourse,” delivered at request of New York Historical Society, April 30, 1839.

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’s Catastrophic Collapse Is Actually Quite Recent

Depending on the depth of evaluation, the fall of the American culture has occurred over the last five decades or so. The seeds of that fall were sown much farther back in time. However, America’s catastrophic collapse, which finally seems to be capturing the attention of many is actually quite recent.

Bill Clinton

Consider the July 12, 1995 remarks of sleaze ball and former President Bill Clinton to students at James Madison High School:

“The First Amendment does not require students to leave their religion at the schoolhouse door…It is especially important that parents feel confident that their children can practice religion…We need to make it easier and more acceptable for people to express and to celebrate their faith…If student can wear T-shirts advertising sports teams, rock groups or politicians, they can also wear T-shirts that promote religion…Religion is too important to our history and our heritage for us to keep it out of our schools…Nothing in the First Amendments converts our public schools into religion-free zones or requires all religious expression to be left behind at the schoolhouse door…Government’s schools also may not discriminate against private religious expression during the school day.”

Compare the remarks made by the President of the United States, barely 20 years ago, with the relentless attacks today on virtually any expression or symbol of religion in the public schools systems. The schools have effectively become religion-free zones. The results are tragic.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Charles Finney Speaks on Politics and Religion

Finney Charles

Charles Finney, one of the leaders of the Second Great Awakening speaks on politics and religion:

“The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God…God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”

 

Why Do We Insist on Sending Our Children into the Darkness?

Boy Covers his Ears, hear no evil concept, grey background

Many Judeo-Christian believers and their leaders in the clergy fret and wring their hands about the loss of young adults to the faith. Christian and Jewish communities alike are losing massive numbers of young people as soon as they reach the age of moving away from home. Could the public school systems be part of the reason?

Consider the opening words of Psalm 1, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” [KJV] It is powerful Scriptural counsel.

Our children and grandchildren are precious gifts from God. Yet, we continue to immerse them, in the public school system, for 12 years in the “counsel of the ungodly,” smack dab “in the way of sinners,” all while occupying the “seat of the scornful.” The children are taught repeatedly that

  • the concept of sin is a relic of the religious myth;
  • all forms of behavior and lifestyles are morally acceptable;
  • none should have any form of a stigma attached. Refer to a previous blog (What the Public School is Teaching Your Children/Grandchildren is Shocking!) for a lengthy list of anti-Biblical messages relentlessly taught in the public schools

The authority figures with whom our children and grandchildren spend most of their waking hours are continuously teaching ungodly humanistic values. Why then should we be surprised by teenagers,

  • engaging in immoral—sometimes illegal—behaviors,
  • causing teen pregnancies,
  • displaying extremely selfish attitudes,
  • promoting ungodly liberal/progressive views,
  • using drugs and alcohol, and
  • ultimately, leaving the faith.

The Apostle Paul asks in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “…what fellowship can light have with darkness?” [NIV] None, of course! Then why do we insist on sending our children and grandchildren into 12 years of darkness?

There are few alternatives. Many faith-based schools have become elite to the point of demanding tuition in the range of $10,000 to $14,000 per year per child, simply outside the range of the average family. Some have also compromised the Judeo-Christian values that originally launched the schools. Consider two other options:

  • Home schooling: Home schooling was started by God, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” [Deuteronomy 11:19 NIW] God assigned the responsibility of education to the parents and has never changed His mind.

In modern times, the home schooling movement has massively matured. Consider A Beka Academy as one example of many. (http://www.abekaacademy.org/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1 ) Today, the number of home schooling families should be increased by at least a factor of 10.

  • Faith-based schooling: Drive across any city and observe church after church and synagogue after synagogue that are occupied on occasional week nights and on weekends. These places of worship ranging from a small neighborhood church to large campuses at mega-churches lie empty during prime weekday hours virtually all day every day Monday through Friday.

The physical facilities for Christian schools already exist just waiting to be used for schools. It is shameful to waste God’s resources on empty buildings, while the American culture continues to implode. However, to use the existing facilities as schools requires cooperation and collaboration among churches even across denominational lines.

I would advise no one to send his child where the Holy Scriptures are not supreme. Every institution that does not unceasingly pursue the study of God’s Word becomes corrupt…I greatly fear that the [schools], unless they teach the Holy Scriptures diligently and impress them on the young students, are wide gates to Hell. Martin Luther

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Check Out iVoterGuide.com

iVoterGuide

I have a sticker on my car window that says, “Pray, then vote!” But how? Yard signs are useless. The campaign literature that overloads our mailboxes is nearly useless, because most politicians are reluctant to express a position on important matters for fear of losing votes.

One of the best solutions is iVoterGuide.com. Just click on  https://home.ivoterguide.com/  It is a nationwide effort to provide voters with useful voting information and a project of Heritage Alliance (http://heritagealliance.wixsite.com/heritagealliance ), an organization dedicated to “Equipping Christians to vote wisely.”

At the site for ivoterguide.com, just provide your address and sometimes zip code to bring up your ballot the upcoming elections. Candidates are evaluated from very conservative to very liberal. Clicking on “side-by-side comparison” bring up a table that compares candidates for any particular race. The comparison provides information on each candidate’s endorsements and contributors, a legislative record for incumbents, and the candidates’ responses to a survey that requires an indicate of their positions on issues important to believers. The survey is a series of statements with which the candidate must strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, or strongly disagree. An example statement is, “Life begins at conception.”

Personal Note: After completing a survey myself, I was invited to participate on a panel that evaluated about a dozen candidates in South Florida races. Each panelist evaluated the candidates and then the entire panel met online to resolve discrepancies in the individual evaluations. It was a great experience.

Please check out the site for yourself and publicize it regularly within your congregation.

 

Alexis de Tocqueville: Compare 19th Century America with 21st Century America

Alesis de Toqueville

Anyone who has been a believer for more than a short time, has occasionally encountered awesome quotes by Alexis de Tocqueville. He was a social scientist who travelled America in 1831 and later wrote Democracy in America. Some of his quotes are very well known. Here is a lesser known one that is extremely powerful and must be compared with the conditions that exist today [emphases added]. What do YOU think?

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…This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation…The sects that exist in the United States are innumerable. They all differ in respect to the worship which is due to the Creator; but they all agree in respect to the duties which are due from man to man. Each sect adores the Deity in its own peculiar manner, but all sects preach the same moral law in the name of God…Moreover, all the sects of the United States are comprised within the great unity of Christianity and Christian morality is everywhere the same…There is no country in the whole world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence than in America…and nothing better demonstrates how useful it is to man, since the country where it now has the widest sway is both the most enlightened and the freest.”

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?