September 28, 2018

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could only do a little."

                                                                    - Edmund Burke -

I feel like I can do so little. I feel like a sense of moral vandalism has been perpetrated upon me. The fact is as Flannery O'Connor said, "The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."  I cannot stomach it. I am sick of it. "It" in a word is Congress.  As Mark Twain said, "There is no distinctly native American criminal class, save Congress."  A tradition without intelligence is not worth having, and that sounds like today's U.S. senate. I feel like I've been watching a circus. Have they lost their minds?

It seems to me that the radical progressives of the liberal left have conspired to keep the conscience of our country in a state of slumber. But we cannot afford to slumber, we dare not be asleep at the switch, for a bigger "switch" may take place and we may lose our country.  
And so, I dare to offend because I dare to be honest. George Orwell was right, "The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." The times we are living in are fearful and fraught with hate that seems to rule the day. This state of affairs is unthinkable, it is unconscionable, it is simply unbelievable.

BUT..... all that I see is not all there is to see. There are other realities at work. As Jesus reminds me; "Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God believe also in Me."    

I do believe, Lord Jesus, but help my unbelief.  Help me to see You in all Your glory and all Your goodness as the great God that You are.  For You are the only wise God, who is from everlasting to everlasting and has everlasting dominion forever and ever. I kneel at your feet. Thy will be done.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

September 7, 2018

The Last Temptation Is The Greatest Treason:
To Do The Right Deed For The Wrong Reason
T. S. Eliot

Now that is a brain teaser. But think about it. Eliot is simply asking us to think about the nature of our motivation. The nature of our actions has two components: what we do and why do we do it. Living the Christian life involves both actions and attitudes.

If you are like me sometimes you are not sure of your motives. My motivations are often a mixed bag! But you can be sure that the Lord knows our motives. The Apostle Paul realized that he was responsible to invest his life for significance. As such, he was able to make decisions as to how and with whom to invest his time, talent and treasure.

I think Paul lets us understand his thinking, his reasoning and his mindset for how and why he led his life the way he did. He reminds all of us what governed his decision making process: 
"I make it my ambition to be pleasing to Him. For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body whether good or evil." (2 Corinthians 5:9-10)
This is the same viewpoint that the Apostle John revealed as he warned his readers:
"And now little children abide in Him so that when He appears we will not shrink back in shame at His coming but have confidence." ( I John 2:28)

Hear the words of King David and let them settle into your soul:
Search me O God, and know my heart; 
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me, 
And lead me in the everlasting way.  
Psalm 130:23-24
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
September 21, 2018

Sacred Causes through Earthly Powers?
It is neither novel to articulate that we live amidst the darkening twilight of Christendom nor new to affirm that the power to rekindle civilization lies in the true Church of Jesus Christ However, how is this to be accomplished? Today many Evangelicals are suggesting that the church utilize political participation and sociological maneuvering to return our country to biblical morality. I tend to agree with the desired ends but wonder about the associations used for the means.
I am in opposition to same-sex marriage, transgender identity adjustment, abortion, and other key moral problems threatening our culture. I am appalled by the moral decay, philosophical utilitarianism, and pragmatism that rule the thinking of most of our political leaders, even those who name the name of Christ as their savior.
I desire freedom of religion for all Americans without being held hostage by any. But it appears that we have forgotten to ask a very important question; "What is the ultimate power and means to accomplish the ultimate goal?" It seems to me that it is the Gospel that is the power of God that can change lives, Romans 1:16-17. Paul did not tell the church to link up with the Jews to participate in a geo-political maneuver to fix the social corruption of Rome. Paul did not ask the church to participate in overthrowing the Roman government but instead "preached Christ crucified" as the answer to a lost and dying world; i.e. the Gospel.
Is it true that the power for this social agenda is to come from political-religious alignment? One wonders if sacred causes come through worldly powers. It seems that true change will only come from the Lord Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit in His people. The Great Commission still stands as our marching orders from the true head of the Body, not a Western Pope or Eastern Patriarch.
I am aware that we are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. I do not see the word "compromise" as a term that is fundamentally evil when used in the right context. I am concerned about our country and its moral decay. It seems that modern man does not have the capacity even to measure his descent and degradation. I feel tremendous blame is to be leveled against the evangelical church for its arrogance and for its blatant participation in worldly behavior as predicted by Richard Quebedeaux in his book; The Worldly Evangelicals in the early 1970's, as well as the failure to heed the warning issued by Richard Weaver in, Ideas Have Consequences in 1948.     

If the goal is to provide conservative, social / moral change for this country by protecting religious rights then societal change can be accomplished in many ways. The birth and growth of the modern political conservative party by the likes of Edmund Burke, Friedrich Hayek, Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, and William Buckley provided a strong platform for religious freedom. The political arm has a place, as Mark Hatfield and Richard Halverson demonstrated in the United States Senate. But there is always a danger of unintended consequences. Ultimately sacred causes cannot truly be accomplished by worldly powers.  
I wish to repudiate evil and return to the goodness that made this country great for its people, brought glory to God, and spread the Gospel of salvation to the world. In a
day in which we see political utilitarianism, religious pluralism, and soteriological inclusivism gaining acceptability, we must think carefully so as not to confuse or
compromise the glorious grace of the Gospel of God. For it is the power unto salvation.
After all, we must never forget that the devil is an angel of light and functions
as a liar and a counterfeit. As the Lutheran sociologist Peter Berger stated, "He who sups with the devil must make sure to use a very long spoon."
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

September 14, 2018

                      Some Things Are a Shame, but Not a Shock

The trajectory of our culture and our country is truly a shame given its powerful Christian heritage. But it is also not a shock. The Apostle Paul warned us that when people stop worshiping the Creator and start worshiping the creation things will not go well. (Romans 1) He also warned that it is possible for a person and a culture to sear it conscience and as such it can then do anything! (1 Timothy 4:2 )

I recently returned from a trip to California, the state where I was born and raised. The natural beauty still remains, but the culture has been corroded. It is truly a sensate society, a culture of carnality and sensuality. The overt homosexuality and covert attempts of transgender identity changing confirm the truth of Paul, that when man rejects and suppresses the Truth he then worships the self. (Romans 1)

California is truly a culture of narcissism. But let's be honest. This is the natural default of all of mankind apart from a relationship with the Savior. Christians of any culture must determine to do two things.

  • First, we must always heed the words of Paul:

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:1-2)

John also added, Beloved, do not love the world or the things of the world for if you love the world the love of the Father is not in you. (I John 2:15) 

Make no mistake, we are in a war. As C. S. Lewis reminds us; "Every square inch of the universe is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan." This means war!

  • Second, as believers in Jesus we are to be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). It does not matter in which state or country you live. Our calling is to bring the good news to a lost and dying world. For it is only Jesus who offers the only durable and reliable message of hope - eternal life.

Let me challenge you and myself to pray for an opportunity to share the Good News. Might I also challenge us to look for the opportunity... and might I challenge us all to take the opportunity when we see it.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,