Friday, February 17, 2017

When A Nation Forgets God | When An Individual Forgets God

As we begin 2017, Trump is now our President. Whether one voted for him or not, agrees with his agenda or not, or even likes him personally or not, he is still President of the United States (our President). As individuals, specifically Christians, we can choose to love him, hate him, accept him, reject him, simply tolerate him, or perhaps (better yet) pray for him. According to Scripture, we owe that to God (first), but also to our fellow man.

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 2: 1-4
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

If we would pray for our leaders, perhaps we would have better leaders. Maybe we would see them make the right choices, the best choices; perhaps even the most biblical choices. We look to a President, but think of the many minds, hands, and feet that move about to make our government, our laws, our definition of liberty. Do we find ourselves discouraged in seeing a shortage of godly men and women in public office? What then do we say of the lack of godliness in our men, women, and children of society (even Christian society)?

Erwin W. Lutzer wrote a book entitled “When A Nation Forgets God”. Within its pages, Lutzer gives the reader “7 lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany.” This book has a copyright of 2010, so please do not take it out of context in trying to apply it to the current administration. The thoughts contained herein surpasses administrations, in that it should speak to each individual of any nation.

  • When God is separated from government, judgment follows.
  • It’s always the economy.
  • That which is legal may also be evil.
  • Propaganda can change a nation.
  • Parents—not the state—are responsible for a child’s training.
  • Ordinary heroes can make a difference.
  • We must exalt the Cross in the gather darkness.

To be (or become) a righteous, Christian nation, we must be (or become) righteous, Christian individuals before God. We cannot expect our nation to become something we are not. It must start at home.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thoughts | Presidential Election 2016 & Aftermath

Today is November 11, the third day after the 2016 presidental elections.

My initial thoughts on the morning of November 9 were:
Well Christians, it looks as though America voted in Trump (“the lesser of two evils”) even without the “self-righteous” voters like myself who voted for neither top candidate. Whether this is mercy amidst judgment or further judgment to come, let us remember that we promoted 2 Chronicles 7:14 and now have the responsibility to live it out in obedience to the One who is worthy to receive glory and honor and power.
These comments were directed toward Christians because (1) I am a Christian, (2) it was from Christians that the phrases "the lesser of two evils" and "self-righteous" (to toward those who would vote third party) were used, (3) by the promoting of Trump (whether him personally or for the platform he stands for) Christians will be responsible to hold him accountable, and (4) as Christians we are bound first to God and must therefore adhere to our quoted verse (2 Chronicles 7:14) while being obedient to the whole of God's Word.

Since the election we have seen the outcry of disagreement from many. There is no doubt that there would have likewise been an outcry had Clinton won. We have the freedom of election and we have the freedom of voice, and every American citizen should have spoken by personal vote and can now speak concerning the outcome of the populace vote. 

However, I do not understand why some college classes (deemed "higher education") feel as though they needed to cancel classes due to an election. Should all of America shut down the day after the election so that families can gather around to cheer or mourn for their candidate? Were classes canceled in the history of our nation when other candidates have won or lost the presidential election? Have we become a country or people where we cannot accept that we did not win or our candidate did not win? What happened to the cry of "tolerance" and "coming together" after the election? Is it not still relevant? 

I saw a tweet that I would like to share here:
I hope Donald Trump is a good president. Wanting him to fail, is like wanting the pilot to crash the plane that we ALL are on. REMEMBER THAT -- @ClipperKyle
This speaks volumes. Regardless of whether one voted for Clinton, Trump, third party, or not at all, this tweet should remind us that the choices Trump makes will affect us all, so why would not all of us pray and desire for Trump to be a godly, moral President? Again, we have free speech to share why or where we disagree with the vote or even Trump, but what is rioting (the harm and destruction brought upon people and property) in the streets doing to help America or one another? It shows that each of us must first examine ourselves, to ensure we are not merely hypocritically judging Trump (or others) by the same sins we carry deep within our own hearts. 

Its called repentance, and we as Christians and Americans need it.
May God show mercy and grace to a people and a nation worthy of his wrath and judgment.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Lone Survivor

Watching Lone Survivor (the movie about “Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005.”), it caused me to ponder a few things. I know, imagine that.

Looking at them as military personnel (not focusing on whether they were specifically Navy Seals), it shows the comradery and training many (even if not to this extent) of our military personnel go through and have with each other. It is a bond that perhaps some may never have experienced, whether absent from the military or never truly have had that close relationship with a friend. For they were a group of friends, a band of brothers, ready to stand together and give their lives for each other. John 15:13 says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Do we, as Christians, do that? Do we bond ourselves to other Christians, as friends and brothers in Christ? Do we stand with them and sacrifice ourselves for them in the cause of Christ? A good many American Soldiers are lost, yet they still serve and fight to protect one another and for all Americans, even when they may have tiffs with one another or even possibly disagree with the orders. Can that be said of us? To see their comrades in suffering and death causes distress, drawing empathy within the sternest of souls, while they press on to complete the given mission with all that lies within them. Do we?

When faced with those they considered the enemy, they chose grace and mercy toward life rather than judgment and wrath toward death. They were unarmed, untrained, and not aggressively attacking Marcus Luttrell and his fellow soldiers. Sure, they could and would lead others, who did desire to physically harm them, to their position, but they themselves were not true soldiers by definition. Just as many who contend against the things of God are merely mimicking that which they have seen and heard. They are not the militant anti-theistic who have directly waged war against God and Christianity. We should show them mercy and use opportunities given us to lead them to Christ. Attacking them with vengeance does not make us more Christian, nor does it endorse the cause of Christ. How America would be perceived by their actions was important to Marcus Luttrell and his team, just as it should be to us concerning the world’s view of God through us.

As usual, when we try to group all persons, sexes, races, nationalities, etc. together, we are often surprised to find detractors. When Marcus Luttrell was on the verge of capture, help came from where he least thought it would. From those he already counted his enemy. What he found was those who, though they did not know him nor really understand his orders and purpose for being there, had an oath by which they governed their lives (which was also unknown to him). As Christians, we should see this in those who are not Christian. Quite possibly they may be good people, persons of morals which do help us even in our times of need. We should not merely discount and avoid them, but rather try to understand them and befriend them that we may share the orders we have been given of the Lord.

Marcus Luttrell never intended to be the “Lone Survivor” and neither should we. We should prepare to obey the orders of our Lord, determine to stand with our brothers, and adamantly give all that we have on the battle field, even if we do end up being the last soul standing. We should stand our ground when necessary and show mercy when appropriate, striving to take the narrow high road at all costs.

Praise God for our military personnel, and may we desire to see them all come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. While they are sometimes called upon to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country (ultimately for each one of us), likewise should we give all that we have to ensure they receive the gospel call to repentance and salvation. We are soldiers. We need to act like it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Never too Young to Share the Gospel

According to this article, a first grader was told that she was “not allowed to talk about the Bible in school.”
Why not?
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Allowing the person (whether male, female, child, or adult) to share their views about a topic (just as everyone else apparently was) is not Congress or the School (or whatever Institution) establishing, choosing, or soliciting a particular religion over another (including non-religion). Well, actually the School was choosing to sensor religion.
The idea "to protect the other students from being offended" as a good defense is both shallow and defensive in itself. Was not she offended that she could not share her topic? What of the children who are taught by their parents there is no Santa Claus,or those who may not celebrate Christmas (or the Holidays) because of religious (or other) reasons? Should we not give any topics regarding Christmas as a way not to offend any? Why dismiss only Christian themes?
Tolerance, Equality? I think not!
We must be willing to teach our children (by word and action) to stand their ground when it comes to important things in life, no matter the cost. Today - not some distant future - is when Christianity, morality, and what is right needs to be understood, observed, and defended by our children (the next generations).
Tell your children you are proud - very proud - when they stand for truth and that which is right! They need your encouragement daily!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Year of the Bible

Tom Hayden, the mayor of Flower Mound, has declared "2014 the “year of the Bible.”"

Hayden said, "There's so much benevolence on helping your fellow person. And the morality that helped build our country is based on the values that are found in the Bible. And as we look at problems, maybe we're getting away from those values. And in my little small way, I want to encourage people to get back into those values."

I agree with Tom Hayden, and further believe this is something we - especially as Christians - should promote and live not only in 2014 but every day of our lives.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 states "...the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."

Imagine what we as individuals, families, churches, and a nation could become if we were to determine to walk daily in the wisdom of God's holy Word.

Give it a try...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Racism Cannot Be Allowed to Control Us

One of the things alive and well in America is racism. We saw that recently in the case of the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman trial (July 2013). And, interestingly, one can see racism differently looking at the same case.

How so?

Many protestors came out to supposedly give support for Martin and to his family, because they felt they were disrespected by the “not guilty” verdict granted Zimmerman and that Zimmerman profiled Martin – because of race rather than Martin’s actions and apparel, which Zimmerman claims to have associated with gangs of previous crimes in the area – with the intent to do him harm.

In the article here, it is claimed by Imani Henry, “We want to show love and respect to them,” but look at what some of these supporters and protestors did:

  •  threw rocks at police
  •  acted with disorderly conduct
  • said “the whole system is racist”
  • vandalized numerous buildings and cars
  • set random fires

I understand being upset and wanting to voice it, but I don't understand how these things show love and respect. How is the whole system racist? Can we honestly believe that the judge, jury, and defense are all racist? Hardly.

If we go back to the call Trayvon Martin had with Rachel Jeantel at the time if the incident, it has apparently been recorded that Trayvon Martin called George Zimmerman a “creepy a– cracka.” Is that racist? It seems that ““cracka” is a common term used to describe whites.” Could it be that when Martin noticed Zimmerman he became racist against Zimmerman, and thus wanted to do him harm? I am not suggesting he did or didn’t, but merely showing that “possible signs” of racism can be concluded from anyone on either side of the issue.

Kevin A. Thompson’s article “What if Trayvon Martin was My Son?” shows how we can easily see things short-sighted, one-sided, our-sided. He makes a great observation:
“It’s a funny thing about truth: we are so biased by our experiences it is nearly impossible for us to know the whole truth. Yet we are unaware of these biases so we are deceived into thinking we know it all. So when someone disagrees with us we claim they are either ignorant or evil. But often they are neither. Often when people disagree with us, they simply see a different part of the story which we don’t fully see.”

Jesse Lee Peterson’s article “Black Racism Killed Trayvon” shows racism is not contained to one race, but rather every ethnic group battles the inward churning of racism. Also, that there are those who live and are empowered merely because they keep racism alive and well for their gain. He makes the valid point:
“If Jackson, Sharpton and the NAACP hadn’t jumped on the Trayvon Martin case and made it into a racial matter, nobody would have heard of it. His death would have gone unnoticed, just like the more than 500 black youths that were murdered in Chicago in black-on-black violence last year. The attention on the Zimmerman trial is not about justice for Trayvon; it’s about intimidation and dividing the American people along race.”

Racism will govern us as long as we allow it to. In the words of Jesse Lee Peterson: “Whites have to overcome the fear of being called “racist.” Blacks have to be on the side of good and stand for what is right, regardless of race.”

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Generation of Immature Young Love

As I sit here and read this article [Underage Dating: The Elephant in the Social Conservative Living-Room], it is clear that it quickly cuts to the core of one of the major arteries of concern in our country today: Relationships. Relationships [especially intimate and sexual] are what are presently governing our current issues of abortion, children out of wedlock, living together versus marriage, and divorce [just to name a few]. This is not just a liberal or left-wing issue, but rather a conservative or right-wing problem as well.

We are teaching our children [even before their teenage years] that they should be considering relationships [more intimate that mere friendships] with the opposite sex. And we are leading them to develop these feelings at a time when most often they are not even mature or responsible enough to even complete their chores, give proper time to study, maintain respect for adults, and have a healthy relationship with their own family and friends. How can we expect them to adjust properly to a couple relationship, while denying [or refusing to acknowledge] that it will most often be merely sexual in nature?

By encouraging our children into relationships – especially at a time when we should be preparing them mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for adult life – we are rather [whether knowingly or ignorantly] pushing them to embrace their hormonal urges [not yet even fully developed or understood] to the opposite sex. When children cannot even understand [or consider] all the [future] consequences possible from a momentary lapse in judgment [which is still developing; for even we adults seem often to have a problem realizing this] and are seldom able to control their desires [even to such things as food, sweets, games, fashion, alcohol, pornography, etc.], how can we expect them to abstain from what their flesh, the world, and the devil so want to press them to do?

It all begins with a relationship which is based on fleshly desire, whether because of physical attraction, out of necessity [because everyone else is doing it], or parental push [trying to relive out their life through their children]. Because they are most often unable to discern what a relationship should be [because they are immature, and they aren't learning anything moral from society], it is usually based on a selfish motive of “what makes me feel good”. Such is why they jump from relationship to relationship, and some end up pregnant.

We aren't teaching our children commitment – neither to God nor relationships – and we wonder why our nation is falling apart. Why are we pushing our children to “young love” when there is so much more they need to learn and are lacking at such a time in their lives?

God help us!