President Trump and “The Snake”

 

Trump Serious

Yesterday, President Trump read The Snake to a highly supportive CPAC crowd. He used the short poem to illustrate the dangers of unrestricted, uncontrolled immigration.

However, any believer reading the piece will immediately recognize the snake (serpent) as representing the devil. Beyond the first recognition, any sin committed is coddling or showing compassion for the snake. Any temptation is an invitation to embrace the lure of the snake. Sin appears alluring and very attractive; in the end, it bites with far more poison than any snake.

Note: The poem is apparently lyrics from a song written by Oscar Brown, Jr, in 1963 and recorded by Al Wilson in 1969. Because the song is based on one of Aesop’s fables, it has been available in various forms for about 2500 years.

The Snake

On her way to work one morning

Down the path alongside the lake

A tender-hearted woman saw a poor half-hearted frozen snake.

His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew

“Poor thing,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you.”

“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake

Take me in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.

She wrapped him all cozy in a comforter of silk

And laid him by her fireside with some honey and some milk.

She hurried home from work that night and soon as she arrived

She found that pretty snake she’s taken in had been revived.

“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake

Take me in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.

She clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried

“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now surely you would have died.”

She stroked his pretty skin and kissed and held him tight

But instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite.

“Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’ sake

Take in, oh tender woman,” sighed the vicious snake.

“I saved you!” cried the woman, “And you’ve bitten me, heaven’s why?

“You know you’re bite is poisonous, and now I’m going to die!”

“Oh, shut up silly woman!” said the reptile with a grin.

“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in!”

Pastors: The Pulpit is Responsible for It

Finney Charles G

Charles G. Finney, the famous 19th Century evangelist and minister, during the Second Great Awakening had powerful and prophetic words for leaders in the ministry. During a sermon in 1873 Finney proclaimed:

Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits.

  • If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree.
  • If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it.
  • If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it.
  • If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it.
  • If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it.
  • If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it.
  • If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.

Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation.

The Law Complements the Gospel!

woman reading the bible in the darkness

“Some say that you must not preach the law. But you cannot preach the gospel without preaching the law; for you shall find, by and by, we are to preach something that the people must be saved by: it is impossible to tell them how they are to be saved, unless we tell them what they are to be saved from. The way the Spirit of God takes, is like that we take in preparing the ground. Do you think any farmers would have crop of corn next year unless they plough now? You may as well expect a crop of corn on unploughed ground, as a crop of grace, until the soul is convinced of its being undone without a Savior.”

Rev. George Whitefield

Leader of the First Great Awakening (1730s & 1740s)

Preachers Reply-Southern Baptist Convention Publishes Politically Correct, Gender-Neutral Bible

Recently, the piece published on the subject topic attracted some criticism (in Christian love, of course) from two ministers. My message began:

In a monumental departure from millennia of Biblical tradition, the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)—largest Protestant denomination in the United States—recently published a politically correct, gender-neutral version of the Bible.

Read about it here: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/06/southern-baptists-embrace-gender-inclusive-language-in-the-bible/529935/

The responding ministers referred me to:

https://cbmw.org/public-square/is-the-csb-really-gender-neutral/ and

http://www.dennyburk.com/have-southern-baptists-embraced-gender-inclusive-bible-translation-not-by-a-longshot/

The conversation was welcome and their points well-taken. They challenged my source and offered arguments that blunted the effect of the original source a bit. I chose to respond in principle with the following:

Thank you for the heads up and the article link as well as your detailed personal thoughts. It offers some good points. Your personal experiences with several key figures is very helpful. Another pastor also referred me to http://www.dennyburk.com/have-southern-baptists-embraced-gender-inclusive-bible-translation-not-by-a-longshot/

Clearly, I’m not a scholar of ancient Greek or Hebrew and Bible translators are flawed sinners like all the rest of us. Since their work product is presented to the public as the perfect, inspired, inerrant, Word of God, they have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders.

C.S. Lewis said, “For every new book you read, you should read at least one old one.” His reasoning was that every writer—or in this case translator—is subject to the biases of the culture of his time. Reading books—or perhaps Bible translations—helps neutralize or offset differing biases. When the Bible is translated, even a discussion of gender or gender inclusivity carries the risk of introducing the biases of our modern culture, despite the very best efforts to avoid it.

A writer of material in my morning devotions in the last two days, wrote, “Satan hangs out false colors and comes up to the Christians in the disguise of a friend, so that the gates are opened to him, and his motions received with applause, before either be discovered…Satan also tempts Christians in his gradual approaches to the soul…Thus Satan leads poor creatures down into the depths of sin by winding stairs, that let them not see the bottom whither they are going.”  William Gurnall, British Puritan preacher (1616-1679).

Denny Burk cites the Colorado Springs Guidelines so frequently, he practically elevates them to scriptural authority. The article I cited offers some interesting points; the two articles you referenced provide some powerful arguments. Rather than attempt a detailed compare and contrast, I believe we would agree that translating Gods Word, is risky and fraught with danger. It’s likely that Satan will attack Bible translators with greater persistence and subtlety than the rest of us.

It seems that translators should work with the objective of translating as close to the original language as possible, defining words as close to the original definitions as possible and as understood by the culture of that time. God inspired the original writers who were looking through the lens of their time. At the same time, a direct word-for-word translation can result in text that is unusually difficult or cumbersome for the modern reader; some smoothing of the language is necessary. The big caution is that any discussion among the members of a team of translators, driven by some aspect of our modern culture can lead to very subtle forms of error that become compounded over time.

If you’re still with me, thank you very much.

 

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 2)

While The Ten Commandments in the first table (refer to Part 1 of this blog) exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 2

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil.

In Asian TV dramas, the villain is not necessarily a murderous, unlawful villain; more often the “villain” is an unscrupulous emotional or spiritual villain resorting to various forms of skullduggery to break up love triangles. The most popular Asian TV dramas contain several overlapping love stories, because, “love covers a multitude of sins.” [1 Peter 4:8 NASB] For the sources of dramatic power in Asian TV dramas, here is the list:

  • The storylines are amazingly creative unlike anything American have been able to produce. American cultural decay has produced one-dimensional movie/TV characters with a keen intellect and a severely limited range of emotions. Asian TV still produces three-dimensional characters using the full range of God-given intellectual, emotional, and spiritual faculties.
  • Characters are fascinating, played by outstanding actors with endearing personal characteristics
  • Selected characters have a vibrant sense of humor, backed by a soundtrack that demonstrates musical humor
  • Drama aroused by conflicts and misunderstandings regarding ordinary and major life obstacles (romance, competition, illness, injury, separation, death)
  • Rich interpersonal relationships among the characters fully engage the viewer
  • Dramatic satisfaction is rooted in compelling illustrations of applying Biblical principles, producing the best possible results
  • In a love triangle, the leading man invariable ends up with the girl who routinely meets the needs of others.
  • Many scenes varying from heart-warming or heart-wrenching to heart-breaking, but nearly always reflecting positive character goals
  • Dialogue exhibits amazing wisdom in ordinary and challenging situations—characters seem to say precisely the right thing at exactly the right time. The expressions of rightness paint spectacularly beautiful word pictures
  • Most characters, other than villains, are positive role models. Even the villains repent by the end of the series.

American movies/TV routinely and aggressively break all ten of the commandments and then celebrates the outcomes. Asian TV celebrates godly virtues and character building.

So why not follow the Apostle Paul’s admonition, “…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” Why not entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than the sleazy, ugly, and evil. We cannot continue injecting ourselves with a dose of evil every time we turn on the TV or go to a movie.

If you have never seen any of the Asian dramas, you must try at least one. If you are curious, try “Autumn’s Concerto” (Taiwanese), “Descendants of the Sun” (South Korean), or “Tomorrow’s Cantabile” (South Korean). They are available on Netflix and other common outlets.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

What TV shows are far better than American ones? (Part 1)

American Asian TV Ten Commandments 1“…whatsoever things are true…honest…just…pure, whatsoever things are lovely…good report…think on these things.” [Philippians 4:8 KJV]

Entertainment is powerful—so powerful that it can be profoundly life influencing, if not completely life changing. Modern technology provides endless entertainment options and unlimited personal content choices. With such awesome power at our fingertips it makes compelling and inescapably good sense to entertain ourselves with the good and the beautiful, rather than sleaze and evil. Yes, there is an easy way!

Tragically, the American motion picture and television entertainment industries have declined to sewer levels. Although the decline is recently accelerating, decades of incremental decline have dragged many Judeo-Christian believers down along with the rest of the American culture. As Lot did long ago, we have in past decades pitched our tents towards Sodom and have long since moved in.

Many, especially younger believers, remain unaware of anything more than a modest cultural and entertainment decline. They persistently perceive themselves unaffected by it. Pride on steroids? You bet! Believers continue watching dramatizations of nudity, gratuitous violence, saturation profanity, rampant uncivil sarcasm, and people of low character portrayed as heroes. Once planted, the evil seeds grow in the intellect, emotions, and spirit. There is little or no understanding of the relentless and severe weakening effect on the viewers and virtually guaranteed future pain and suffering produced by weak character.

Although specifically Christian entertainment has improved greatly in recent years, much of it remains dramatically weak and—long term—there is not nearly enough of it.

However, there is a fascinating alternative, Asian television dramas made primarily in South Korea and Taiwan (available on Netflix and numerous other venues). The Asian dramas are wildly entertaining, sans the pervasive sleaze in American entertainment, and typically feature one or more strong moral themes.

The Asian dramas typically project a vibrant sense of humor and have captivating musical sound tracks using every imaginable musical genre. Most appealing are the endless dramatizations of beautifully applied Biblical principles. Examples are routine dramatizations of absolutely unconditional love surviving all manner of heavy duty obstacles and long periods of separation, forgiveness in particularly painful circumstances, and “love your enemies”—clearly one of the believer’s most difficult challenges. The overall message of the Asian TV dramas is that there is no conflict or misunderstanding that cannot be overcome in a loving, godly, manner.

Yes, you will likely have to read the English subtitles, but doing so does not weaken the drama at all. The viewer still enjoys and experiences all the emotions, laughter, and tears produced by the characters in the program. The actors speak just enough English for a Westerner to feel comfortable.

God’s very best floodlight for exposing the differences between American motion pictures/television and Asian television is The Ten Commandments. Consider the first table, comparing the attributes of American and Asian entertainment side-by-side with the Commandments. The contrast is so stark, it will seem like flashing neon to the reader. Since no mere mortal can one-up The Ten Commandments, no further commentary on the table is necessary.

While The Ten Commandments in the first table exposes the differences between American and Asian entertainment, the second table reveals the effects of the glaring differences. Take a look! Once again, the flashing neon-like table needs no further amplification.

To the seasoned Western viewer, the tables may be intellectually satisfying and spiritually appealing, but may seem emotionally a bit wimpy, begging the question, “Exactly, what is the source of dramatic power in the Asian productions?” For there to be a struggle between good and evil, there has to be some form of evil. Find out more in Part 2

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

I Must Decrease So That You Can Increase!

man looking at his big boss

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30 KJV] John the Baptist’s humble statement about his relationship with his cousin Jesus the Christ resounds loudly down through the ages. It applies to each of us today, regarding our relationship with the Lord and also our relationship with others.

Each of us must decrease so the love of God and the light of God can shine through each of our lives, becoming abundantly and conspicuously visible to others. Each of us must decrease so that others might increase. I (Lloyd Stebbins) must decrease so that YOU might increase. Humility demands it! God commands it!

Today, our schedules are voluntarily overcrowded with self; we have deliberately allowed little or no time to serve the needs of others. But wait! Serving others is an overarching Biblical imperative. Jesus, our perfect role model said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” [Mark 10:45 NIV]

We cannot draw attention to self and others at the same time. We cannot serve self and others at the same time.

Some say we must sacrifice self for the benefit of others. But scripture guarantees that the benefits returned outweigh perceived sacrifice. He said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you…” [Luke 6:38 KJV] The Apostle Paul, quoted Jesus saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive. [Acts 20:35 KJV] What do we have to give? Time, talent, and treasure!

It is a blessing to serve others. God blesses both the giver and the receiver, the benefactor and the one who benefits. If doubts linger, note that serving is not optional.  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” [Matthew 22:37040 NIV] Service is an expression of love; service is love in action; serving others is love made visible.

The world says, “Have it your way” (old Burger King commercial and Frank Sinatra’s popular song, “I did it my way.”). It is YOUR choice, your way or God’s way.

As for me and my house, we will acknowledge that Jesus is THE WAY–“I am the way, the truth and the life…” [John 14:6 KJV]—and whole heartedly strive to live accordingly.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Was General Douglas MacArthur Being Prophetic?

Douglas MacArthur

“History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.” [emphasis added]

General Douglas MacArthur, December 12, 1951

Today—The Best Devotions of My Lifetime!

Although personal devotions—time spent with the Lord—may vary day-to-day, month-to-month or even year-to-year, today was one of the very best devotional times of my life! The time was beyond rich. It was pervasive, exhilarating, and intensely joyful, producing waves of tears.

Afterword, I ran six miles to calm down. Following a shower, I’m still riding a spiritual high. Can’t help but share it. Here’s a summary.

The Bible

Like most believers, I begin by reading a chapter in the Bible—typically a chapter a day from Genesis to Revelation and then repeating the cycle. Rather than reading a weak modern devotional, there follows a series of devotional readings by great saints from the past. “It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between.” C.S. Lewis

American Minute

Today’s passage from American Minute was about the Alamo. It took 13 days for 3,000 of Santa Ana’s men to annihilate 189 Texans and Tejanos in the Alamo. Only a mother, her baby, and a servant survived. The deceased heroes included William Travis, Davy Crockett, and Jim Bowie.

During the 13-day siege and massacre, 66 others signed the Texas Declaration of Independence. It proclaimed, “General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna…having overturned the constitution of his country, now offers, as the cruel alternative, either abandon our homes…or submit to the most intolerable of all tyrannyHe denies us the right of worshipping the Almighty according to the dictates of our own conscience.” The deceased heroes were pioneers, but they were pioneers willing to give all for freedom, especially the freedom to worship according to their own conscience.

The Texas Declaration was reminiscent of the American Declaration of Independence, opening with the proclamation, “that all men…are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among them are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and ending with the absolute and uncompromising commitment, “with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, or fortunes and our sacred honor.”

Many of the American Declaration signers lost one or all three. The commitments to freedom and to God by the fighters at the Alamo and the signers of the American Declaration of Independence were total. Retreat—physical, emotional, or spiritual—was not an option.

The Puritans: Daily Readings

Each month there is a series of readings by a selected author. The February readings are by John Bunyan (known for The Pilgrim’s Progress; 1,300 editions/200 languages). These devotional readings are from Bunyan’s A Treatise of the Fear of God. The first few entries distinguish between ungodly fear and godly fear. Whoever preaches about the fear of God anymore?

Ungodly fear views God as a sort of celestial terrorist, causing people to flee from God. Godly fear, however, is an overwhelming awe, respect, and reverence for the power of God. It is a soul-deep awareness of the enormity of the sinful gap between God and man, leading to a profound desire to obey. Godly fear draws people toward Him.

There flows from godly fear a number of positive—even exciting—things, expressed in this devotional a day at a time. Today’s devotional focuses on Delight in God’s Commands. Rather than summarize, this one is so powerful and exhilarating it is reproduced here in totality:

Teach me thy way, O Lord; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear they name. [Psalm 86.11]

There flows from this godly fear a great delight in the holy commands of god; that is, a delight to be conformable unto them. “Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments” (Ps. 112:1) This confirms that which was said before, namely, that this fear provokes to a holy and reverent use of the means; for that cannot be, when there is not a holy, yea, a great delight in the commandments.

Wherefore this fear makes the sinner to abhor that which is sin, because that is contrary to the object of his delight. A man cannot delight himself at the same time in things directly opposite one to another, as sin and the holy commandments are; therefore Christ says of the servant, he “cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24);

if he cleaves to the one, he must hate and despise the other: there cannot, at the same time, be service to both, because that they are at enmity one with the other: so are sin and the commandments; therefore, if a man delights himself in the commandments, he hates that which is opposite, which is sin; how much more when he greatly delights in the commandments!

Now, this holy fear of God takes the heart and affections from sin, and sets them upon the holy commandments: therefore such a man is rightly esteemed blessed. For no profession makes a man blessed, but that which is accompanied with an alienation of the heart from sin; nor does any thing do that when this holy fear is wanting.

It is from this fear, then, that love to and delight in the holy commandments flow; and so by that the sinner is kept from those falls and dangers of miscarrying that other professors are so subject to; he greatly delights in the commandments. [emphases added]

There seems to be little fear of God in today’s preaching. But John Bunyan and numerous others graphically illustrate how the fear of God is a powerful influence on the believer and the believer’s journey to maturity.

George Whitefield: Daily Readings

George Whitefield was one of the best known preachers of The Great Awakening, a spiritual awakening so dramatic, pervasive, and powerful that it provided the spiritual driving force for the American Revolutionary War. This devotional was selected to discover more about the Awakening, its influence on George Whitefield, and the widespread transformation of the pre-revolutionary American people.

In a summary of today’s reading, Whitefield proclaims:

Christians are “the temple of the living God,” of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. They who once held a consultation to create, are all equally concerned in making preparations for, and effectually bringing about the redemption of man. The Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Holy Ghost sanctifies all the elect people of God.

Being loved from eternity, they are effectually called in time, they are chosen out of the world…by a free, voluntary, unconstrained oblation, they devote themselves, spirit, soul, and body, to the entire service of him who has loved and given himself for them…It implies no less than a total renunciation of the world; in short, it turns the Christian’s whole life into one continued sacrifice of love to God, so that, “whether he eats or drinks, he does all to his glory.”

The reading emphasizes the uncompromising totality the commitment that God expects from the believer.

The Imitation of Christ, Thomas â Kempis

Today, this great reformation saint also reinforced the totality of the believer’s commitment:

It is the mark of a perfect man, Lord, never to let his mind relax in attention to heavenly things, and to pass through many cares as though he had none…Let not the world and its brief glory deceive me, nor the devil trip me by his craftiness. Give me,

  • Courage to resist,
  • Patience to endure, and
  • Constancy to persevere.

Give me the soothing unction of Your spirit rather than all the consolations of the world, and in place of carnal love, infuse into me the love of Your name.

Day by Day with Jonathan Edwards

Today, Jonathan Edwards glorifies life in heaven. It is a place of perfect rest, but not a place of inactivity. Here’s a summary:

…But yet the rest of heaven does not consist in idleness, and a cessation of all action, but only a cessation from all the trouble and toil and tediousness of action…Perfection of happiness does not consist in idleness, but on the contrary, if very much consists in action…The angels are blessed spirits, and yet they are exceedingly active in serving God…God himself enjoys infinite happiness and perfect bliss, and yet he is not inactive, but is himself in his own nature a perfect act, and is continually at work in bringing to pass his own purposes and ends…So that they (saints in heaven) enjoy perfect rest yet they are a great deal more active than they were when in this world.

The Valley of Vision

The Valley of Vision is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. Read one each day they preface my personal prayer time. Today’s Puritan prayer reading focused on the gospel. Here’s the summary:

O Thou Most High,

Creator of the ends of the earth,

Governor of the universe,

Judge of all men,

Head of the church,

Saviour of sinners;

Thy greatness is unsearchable,

Thy goodness is infinite,

Thy compassion is unfailing,

Thy mercies ever new.

We bless thee for the words of salvation.

We are lost: but in it thou has presented to us

A full, free and eternal salvation;

Weak: but here we learn that help is found in One that is mighty,

Poor: but in him we discover unsearchable riches,

Blind: but we find he has treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

We thank thee for thy unspeakable gift.

Thy Son is our only refuge, foundation, hope, confidence…

Let us as Christians fill our various situations in life…

And may every place and company we are in be benefited by us.

After these readings and contemplations, my prayer time was unusually rich. As the Psalmist said, “my cup runneth over.”

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Devotions—Rich, Disciplined, Half-hearted, Flat or Non-existent?

Woman reading inside a huge book

Is your time with God—often called “devotions”—rich, forced self-discipline, half-hearted, flat, or non-existent? As a believer for decades, my own devotions have at varying times fallen into each category. However, for the last couple of years, my devotional time with God has become spectacularly rich. Each morning, I am virtually launched from the bed eagerly anticipating time with the Lord. Why? What changed? In part, it is because C.S. Lewis observed that:

It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read and old one in between. God in the Dock (1970)

Lewis’ likely concern was that a believer may pick up an armload of new books at the local Christian bookstore, all of which are well-written, by nationally known mature Christian authors. The books are great recommended reading.

However, despite the authors’ very best efforts, they are all influenced—to some extent—by their contemporary culture. American authors are subject to the influences of the seriously deteriorating American culture. Similarly, historical authors are subject to the cultural influences of their day. Reading books spanning the panorama of time helps to offset the cultural influences of any one particular time period.

Considering C.S. Lewis’ observation, if your devotional time lacks urgency and excitement, consider these suggestions, following a Bible reading with several other daily readings:

  1. Bible—Any reliable translation (Avoid paraphrases except perhaps for clarifying difficult passages in a translation.)
  2. Federer, William J. (2012). American Minute: Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis, MO). The pages, dated for each day of the year, include powerful quotations from famous figures. The daily reinforcement drives the inescapable conclusion that America was born in faith, grew to become the most desirable place on earth by faith, and only faced the most serious culture crumbling issues in recent decades.
  3. Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2012). The Puritans Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The daily readings were written by Puritan Leaders. Unknown to most people, the Puritans became a very large movement, spanning Western Europe and early America. The movement was prominent for over two centuries. The writings of some of the best British Puritans are in this volume. The depth of each daily page is truly impressive.
  4. Pederson, Randall J. ed. (2010). George Whitefield Daily Readings, Christian Heritage Imprint by Christian Focus Publications (Geanies House, Fearn, Tain, Ross-shire). The Great Awakening was a powerful spiritual awakening that swept America during the years leading up to the War of Independence, later known as the Revolutionary War. The Great Awakening inspired the yearning for freedom and the zeal to embark on a very high risk war. George Whitefield was one of the best known preachers of the era. His messages published as daily readings are both compelling and powerful.
  5. â Kempis, Thomas. (2004). The Imitation of Christ, Hendrickson Christian Classics (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA). Originally written circa. 1300 A.D. Thomas â Kempis was part of the Reformation. His book is written as a series of short undated meditations that are excellent for daily reading. It shines a very bright light on the gap between the way many believers live today and the life Christ intended them to live.
  6. Bennett, Arthur, ed. (2013). The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, The Banner of Truth Trust, (Versa Press, Inc. East Peoria, IL) The daily readings are prayers written by Puritans. Some are so rich they will bring tears to your eyes. Surprisingly, the American Puritans were nothing like the stereotype. They were actually colorful dressers, enjoyed a vibrant sense of humor, and knew how to throw a good party (Source: Their own diaries). Their defining feature was that they made no distinction between the sacred and the secular. To the Puritans, all of life was sacred.

Personally, I choose to read a chapter a day from the Bible, and a page a day from each of the other books. The collection inspires devotional times that are awesome, exciting, compelling, and growth producing.

Many popular modern devotionals potentially do more harm than good. They typically sandwich a feel good story between a couple of lines of Scripture at the top and a two-line prayer at the bottom. They lack substance, challenge, and fall woefully short of provoking a soul-deep relationship with God.

The late Dr. Howard Hendrix, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and Dallas Cowboys Chaplain, was fond of saying. “One of Satan’s most powerful weapons is to vaccinate people with a small dose of Christianity.”

Many believers read a chapter in the Bible, a page in a modern devotional, and mentally pat themselves on the back, convinced that they have satisfied their “obligation” for a daily devotional time. They are anxious to get on with “real life.” If we are truly devoted to the Lord, our devotion is continuous—all day every day, around-the-clock. The planned morning devotions are merely the kick start for the rest of the day.

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

“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

President Calvin Coolidge on Paid Protestors

But there is another … recent development … the greatly disproportionate influence of organized minorities. Artificial propaganda, paid agitators, selfish interests, all impinge upon members of legislative bodies to force them to represent special elements rather than the great body of their constituency. When they are successful, minority rule is established. … The result is an extravagance on the part of the government which is ruinous to the people and a multiplicity of regulations and restrictions for the conduct of all kinds of necessary business, which becomes little less than oppressive…”                                                          President Calvin Coolidge, 1926

What Does Trump’s Victory Mean for Believers?

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God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

Donald Trump has won the Presidency of the United States with a landslide electoral majority (Trump 290 v Clinton 232, Michigan count incomplete, but leaning Trump—16 electoral votes). It is a victory of:

  • nationalism over globalism,
  • democracy over socialism, and
  • faith in God over Humanism.

We have escaped the shackles of political correctness and the captivity of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

Collectively, the American people have said, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Network [movie, 1976] When Trump makes decisions or takes actions aligned with Scripture, we will stand up and cheer. When he makes decisions or takes actions inconsistent with God’s Word, we may stand up and boo—in love of course.

At times, the Israelites of old, “did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord.” At other times, they did that which was right in their own eyes. Later on, the Israelite kings did the same. When those in Judah persistently, “did what was right in their own eyes,” they were carried into captivity in Babylon. When those in Israel did the same, they were carried into captivity in Assyria.

For nearly, 200 years, Americans tried hard to “do what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” For the last 40 years, the Baby Boomers have wandered in a spiritual wilderness, “doing what was right in their own eyes.” The consequences have been tragic and catastrophic. We have increasingly, been carried into the runaway government captivity aggressively created by the elites of the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

What America looks like in four years will depend far more on the collective actions of believers than on the actions of President-elect Trump. It may be our last chance to restore America, our families, and stabilize the American culture for our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.
Trump’s victory has given the body of Judeo-Christian believers a four-year reprieve and an opportunity to once again, “do what is right in the eyes of the Lord,” to restore America. The alternative is unthinkable.

The Unthinkable

A Hillary Clinton victory would have carried us further into the ever tightening captivity of a malignant government that would continue to destroy the Constitution, the family, the free enterprise system, and catalyze a rapidly growing cultural exposure to  incursions of Sharia law.

A Clinton victory would have confirmed that a majority of Americans no longer understand the difference between right and wrong and no longer sense a conviction about the difference between good and evil. Why? Because one of the main tenets of the Humanist movement Hillary leads is that there is no such thing as objective truth and therefore no universal set of values, applicable at all times.

The Humanist movement, all of its aligned political groups, and Hillary are relentlessly, and vigorously running away from God as fast as possible. Since Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life…,” [John 14:6 NIV] they can only run from God by running from truth.

The ramifications of running from truth are incalculably immense. If there is no objective truth, there cannot be a lie because, by definition a lie is a deviation from truth. If there is no truth, there can be no values such as honesty and integrity, because those values must be built on a virtuous foundation of truth.

Without truth, there is no contrast between good and evil, because everything is seen as good (ultimate tolerance) and evil does not exist. The existence of evil is simply denied.

Humanism and its progeny lead to destruction of the family and destruction of the American culture. The Humanist movement encourages the resulting chaos, because chaos becomes the excuse for government to demand ever more socialistic power, growing continuously until the government self-destructs under its own weight. The pattern has been repeated endlessly throughout history.

The Unprecedented Opportunity

Instead, the election of Donald Trump to President of the United States stops or at least temporarily interrupts the downward spiral pursued by the liberal/progressive/socialist/Humanist/Marxist/globalist movement. The resulting opportunity for believers is a gift. It is unprecedented in our lifetime.

God has given believers a reprieve! We have four years to stand up, stand out, and speak out as fearless ambassadors of Christ.

NOW is the time for Judeo-Christian believers to wake-up, coalesce, and take action. Jesus declared, “You are the salt of the earth…” [Matthew 5:13 NIV] Think about it! No one else anywhere in the world can be the salt of the earth. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord.

Jesus immediately raised the stakes in the next verse, declaring, “You are the light of the world…” [Matthew 5:14 NIV] Once again, no one else anywhere on earth can be the light of the world. Only believers are qualified and empowered for that role. If we fail, there is no one else. If we fail, we will have failed our families, our countrymen and the Lord. We absolutely must not allow our light to dim and must not hide it under a basket, i.e. in our homes and places of worship.

If believers reading this are not yet feeling the heat, the Apostle Paul forcefully trumpets, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” [2 Corinthians 5:20 NIV] Does any of us have the brass to be a barrier to God’s appeal through us?

As believers, we ARE ambassadors for Christ 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We cannot choose not to be an ambassador. The only choice available to us is whether to be a positive ambassador, drawing others toward us and toward Jesus, or a negative ambassador, driving others away from us and away from Jesus.

As soon as people discover that you and I are believers, we live in a spiritually glass house. There is no shortage of people ready to proclaim us to be hypocrites or narrow minded, judgmental dupes or worse. We must not give them the excuse to do so.

Each of us is an ambassador, with every breath we take and every moment we live. Whenever we utter an unkind word, exhibit a facial expression that is less than loving, or do something that is even questionable, we are being a negative ambassador, driving people away from us and away from the Lord. Sharing our faith becomes virtually impossible.

Instead, if we set aside our pride, allow God’s love to shine through us and allow His unhindered appeal to reach all those around us, they will be drawn toward us and toward the Lord. As the visible vehicle of God’s love, our conversation will be uplifting, our facial expression will be warmly inviting, and our behavior will be beyond reproach. We will be viewed as a positive ambassador as the Lord and Paul intended. Sharing our faith becomes natural and comfortable.
We can pray, “Come quickly Lord Jesus.” [Rev. 22:20]. But in the meantime, we must accept the responsibilities He has imposed on us. For a moment, consider the testimony of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

“Now, Dr. Lowry said something about my having certain convictions as to a God in Heaven and an Almighty power. Well, I don’t think anyone needs a great deal of credit for believing in what seems to me to be obvious…This relationship between a spiritual faith…and our form of government is…so obvious that we should really not need to identify a man as unusual because he recognizes it. Our whole theory of government finally expressed in our Declaration…said…Man is endowed by his Creator…When you come back to it, there is just one thing…man is worthwhile because he was born in the image of his God…Democracy is nothing in the world but a spiritual conviction…that each of us is enormously valuable, because of a certain standing before our own God. Any group that…awakens all of     us to these simple things…is, in my mind, a dedicated, patriotic group that can well take the Bible in one hand and the flag in the other, and march ahead.” [Emphasis added.]

President Dwight D. Eisenhower,

November 9, 1954

We must be the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and strong positive ambassadors for Christ. We have no other choice. This may be our last chance before America drops into an abyss of her own making.

God has given believers a reprieve! Let’s not blow it. America and future generations of our families are depending on YOU and me.

Congratulations President-elect Trump! For you and the nation, we will:

Pray! Pray! Pray!

and

Act! Act! Act!

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

Is Progress Desirable or Despicable? How Do YOU Know?

Progress of lighting with candle, tungsten, fluorescent and LED

Desirable progress—People tend to think of progress as an improved standard of living (economic progress) or technological improvements in health care that can extend life span or improve the enjoyment of the existing life span (technological progress.

The creativity that produces desirable progress is unleashed by a virtuous culture and a competitive private sector with minimal government interference. A virtuous culture is one that fears God and is embedded with biblical virtues such as honesty, integrity, loyalty, trustworthiness, and faithfulness. These virtues and others incite attitudes and actions of humility, forgiveness, mercifulness, longsuffering, and a servant’s spirit. Every society without a strong and sound virtuous foundation collapses into chaos.

“Have you ever found in history, one single example of a Nation thoroughly corrupted that was afterwards restored to virtue?…And without virtue, there can be no political liberty. Will you tell me how to prevent luxury from producing effeminacy, intoxication, extravagance vice and folly?…I believe no effort in favour of virtue is lost.”

Founder/President John Adams

“A patriot without religion in my estimation is as great a paradox as an honest Man without the fear of God. Is it possible that he whom no moral obligations bind, can have any real Good Will towards Men? Can he be a patriot who, by an openly vicious conduct, is undermining the very bonds of Society?….The Scriptures tell us “righteousness exalteth a Nation.”

Abigail Adams

Despicable progress—To the liberal/progressive (Humanist/Marxist/Globalist) movement, progress means moving away from God and the Bible as well as biblical virtues, exchanging them for relentlessly increasing government control, Freedom is continuously sacrificed for all manner of security—cradle to grave security, including uniformly level economic (material) security, in general barely above subsistence level.

Essentially, the God of the Bible is exchanged for the god of government. It is the natural extension of the Humanist ideal the man becomes his own god. In short, the liberal/progressive elite compete to accumulate the greatest power and become the head god of government, all at the expense of you and me.

Despicable progress is fueled by any and all forms of real or perceived crises. Liberal/progressives use each naturally occurring or manufactured crisis as an opportunity to champion the “need” for expanded government control (read: bigger government). The lust for government control metastasizes and grows until it collapses under its own weight. Game over! United States and American culture gone…forever!

“They that would give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Founder/Benjamin Franklin

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

John Adams

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

What does it take to wake up the clergy?

 

A Rabbi’s Warning to U.S. Christians

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by RABBI DANIEL LAPIN

Note: Rabbi Daniel Lapin is nationally known. His bio is at the end of this piece. He has kindly provided a strong endorsement for my book.

I am certainly not a Churchill. I am not even a Revel. I am having enough trouble just trying to be a Lapin. But I am issuing a very serious warning about deep consequences, just as they did. It is a warning about the earliest stages of what could become a cataract of disasters if not resisted now.
During the 1930s, Winston Churchill desperately tried to persuade the English people and their government to see that Hitler meant to end their way of life. The British ignored Churchill, which gave Hitler nearly 10 years to build up his military forces. It wasn’t until Hitler actually drew blood that the British realized they had a war on their hands. It turned out to be a far longer and more destructive war than it needed to be had Churchill’s early warning been heeded.

In 1983, a brave French writer, Jean-Francois Revel, wrote a book called How Democracies Perish. In this remarkable volume, he described how communism’s aim is world conquest. For decades he had been trying to warn of communism’s very real threat. Yet in January 1982, a high State Department official said: “We Americans are not solving problems, we are the problem.” (Some things never change.) A good portion of the planet fell to communism, which brought misery and death to millions because we failed to recognize in time that others meant to harm us.

Heaven knows there was enough warning during the 1980s of the intention of part of the Islamic world to take yet another crack at world domination. Yet instead of seeing each deadly assault on our interests around the world as a test of our resolve, we ignored it. We failed the test and lost 3,000 Americans in two unforgettable hours.

I am not going to argue that what is happening now is on the same scale as the examples I cite above, but a serious war is being waged against a group of Americans. I am certain that if we lose this war, the consequences for American civilization will be dire.

Phase one of this war I describe is a propaganda blitzkrieg that is eerily reminiscent of how effectively the Goebbels propaganda machine softened up the German people for what was to come.

There is no better term than propaganda blitzkrieg to describe what has been unleashed against Christian conservatives recently.

Consider the long list of anti-Christian books that have been published in recent months. Here are just a few samples of more than 30 similar titles, all from mainstream publishers:

American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America
The Baptizing of America: The Religious Right’s Plans for the Rest of Us

The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

Piety & Politics: The Right-wing Assault on Religious Freedom

Atheist Universe: The Thinking Person’s Answer to Christian Fundamentalism

Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America

Religion Gone Bad: The Hidden Dangers of the Christian Right

What is truly alarming is that there are more of these books for sale at your local large book store warning against the perils of fervent Christianity than those warning against the perils of fervent Islam. Does anyone seriously think America is more seriously jeopardized by Christian conservatives than by Islamic zealots? I fear that many Americans believe just that in the same way that many pre-World War II Westerners considered Churchill a bigger threat than Hitler.

Does anyone seriously think America is more seriously jeopardized by Christian conservatives than by Islamic zealots? I fear that many Americans believe just that in the same way that many pre-World War II Westerners considered Churchill a bigger threat than Hitler.
Some may say that today’s proliferation of anti-Christian print propaganda is nothing to become worried about. To them I ask two questions:

First, would you be so sanguine if the target of this loathsome library were Jewish? Just try changing the titles in some of the books I mention above to reflect anti-Semitism instead of rampant anti-Christianism and you’ll see what I mean.

Second, major movements that changed the way Americans felt and acted came about through books, often only one book. Think of Rachel Carson’s 1962 error-filled Silent Spring that resulted in the pointless banning of the insecticide DDT and many unnecessary deaths. Other books that caused upheavals in our nation were Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle, many of Ayn Rand’s books and of course Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

No, I would advise you not to underestimate the power of books to alter the behavior of the American public, and I fear for an America influenced to detest Christianity by this hate-filled catalog.

It is not just books but popular entertainment also that beams the most lurid anti-Christian propaganda into the hearts and minds of viewers. One need only think of who the real targets of the recent hit movie Borat are. The brilliant Jewish moviemaker Sacha Baron Cohen, as his title character, using borderline dishonest wiles, lures some innocent but unsophisticated country folk, obviously Christians, to join him in his outrageously anti-Semitic antics. Cohen then triumphantly claims to have exposed anti-Semitism. In fact, he has revealed nothing other than the latent anti-Christianism of America’s social, economic and academic secular elites.

Even the recent PBS documentary, “Anti-Semitism in the 21st Century: The Resurgence,” managed to do more attacking Christianity than defending Judaism.

Richard Dawkins, an Oxford University professor, is one of the generals in the anti-Christian army of the secular left. American academia treats him with reverence and hangs on his every word when he insists that “religious myths ought not to be tolerated.”

For those with a slightly more tolerant outlook, he asks, “It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children?” He suggests that the state should intervene to protect children from their parents’ religious beliefs. Needless to say, he means Christian beliefs, of course. Muslim beliefs add to England’s charmingly diverse cultural landscape.

The war is against those who regard the Bible to be God’s revelation to humanity and the Ten Commandments to be His set of rules for all time. Phase one in this war is to make Christianity, well, sort of socially unacceptable. Something only foolish, poor and ugly people could turn to.

For those with a slightly more tolerant outlook, he asks, “It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children?” He suggests that the state should intervene to protect children from their parents’ religious beliefs.
We have seen how a carefully constructed campaign pretty much made it socially unacceptable to drink and drive. For years, there had been stringent laws against drunk driving. They achieved little. In the end, the practice was all but eliminated by groups allied with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and their effective ways of changing the way Americans thought about it.

We have seen how a carefully constructed campaign has pretty much made it socially unacceptable to smoke. In the face of a relentless campaign (dare one call it propaganda?), Americans became docile and forfeited the right to make their own decisions. Nobody was willing to stand up to the no-smoking tyrants. Nobody even asked whether health was sufficient grounds for freedom to be reduced. Now, entire cities and even states have banned smoking, not only in public places but even in privately owned restaurants.

Tyranny comes when citizens are seduced into trading freedom for the promise of safety and security.

Considerably more intellectual energy is being pumped into the propaganda campaign against Christianity than was ever delivered to the anti-smoking or anti-drunk-driving campaigns. Fervent zealots of secularism are flinging themselves into this anti-Christian war with enormous fanaticism.

If they succeed, Christianity will be driven underground, and its benign influence on the character of America will be lost. In its place we shall see a sinister secularism that menaces Bible believers of all faiths. Once the voice of the Bible has been silenced, the war on Western Civilization can begin and we shall see a long night of barbarism descend on the West.

Without a vibrant and vital Christianity, America is doomed, and without America, the West is doomed.

Which is why I, an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, devoted to Jewish survival, the Torah and Israel am so terrified of American Christianity caving in.

Many of us Jews are ready to stand with you. But you must lead. You must replace your timidity with nerve and your diffidence with daring and determination. You are under attack. Now is the time to resist it.

The Author
Prior to his immigration to the United States from South Africa in 1973 Rabbi Daniel Lapin studied theology, physics, economics, and mathematics in London and Jerusalem . He is the founding Rabbi of the Pacific Jewish Center, a now legendary Orthodox synagogue in Venice, California. He and his family relocated to Washington State in 1991 to develop Toward Tradition and host a nationally syndicated weekly radio show. Rabbi Lapin has written for the Wall Street Journal, National Review, Commentary, the American Enterprise, and the Washington Times, and has taught at the Christian Coalition, U.S. Army, Harvard Law School, and the Family Research Council. He also serves on the board of the Jewish Policy Center in Washington, DC, and was recently appointed to a U.S. presidential commission. He is the author of America’s Real War, Buried Treasure and most recently Thou Shall Prosper. Rabbi Lapin is the author of Buried Treasure: Hidden Wisdom from the Hebrew Language, Thou Shall Prosper: Ten Commandments for Making Money, and Americas Real War. Rabbi Daniel Lapin is a member of the Advisory Board of the Catholic Education Resource Center.

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?

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?