February 22, 2019

                                  The Diminishing Church

The erosion of truth and the embracing of error is one of the ways the devil has schemed to dilute if not destroy the impact of the Church. (Remember, he is the father of lies!)  It is the corruption of convictions that leads to compromise. In a word -- we call it tolerance.
In the political arena we see many who are willing to pocket their principles so as to pilfer money or guarantee future votes. This week the fake news of Jussie Smollett and his attempt to turn fiction into political polemic has been revealed to be a provocative pronouncement that is actually a proclamation quite perverse. However, in the church we also see many who in the name of compassion or concern are willing to tolerate and compromise that which must never be capitulated -- The Truth.  

The early church, which was to be the pillar of the truth, (I Tim. 3:15) faced the problem of toleration in many ways. In Revelation 2:18ff many of the bond servants of Jesus, according to His own words, had tolerated the false, seductive and sensual teaching of a woman leader in the church of Thyatira named Jezebel. (I doubt that was her real name, but it was a good description of her actions; see the story of the original Jezebel in I Kings 16; II Kings 9)

The Church then (as now) had given into marital infidelity and materialistic idolatry. Jesus said that the church had tolerated Jezebel's false teaching. As a result, Christians, bond servants of Jesus, had engaged in sins that were perverse and prevalent in that society.

Unfortunately, the news of the day seems to remind us of the history of yesterday. Corruption and collusion as well as practices of perversion are ubiquitous, demonstrating that in our culture Christians are finding it very easy to trifle with the sacred and traffic in the secular.

As the late Warren Bennis observed in 1987, we live in a world that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. (He called this the VUCA index. Imagine how he would describe today's world.)  It is true that we are living in unstable times filled with uncertainty. But God in His grace has given to us His word that is Truth. In fact, it is as Francis Schaeffer called it, True Truth!  (John 17:17)

How shall we then live?  We are to live with holy conduct and a heavenly outlook. We should live this day in light of that final day when Jesus shall call us home either through death and resurrection or through the rapture of His church. Until that day always remember the words of Merrill Tenney speaking about the Bible; "This book will keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this book."

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,


February 15, 2019

                                   BACK TO THE FUTURE
                                                                 Future Shock

Living today we understand that some things are expected, and some are predicted and yet we still seem surprised when they happen.

In fact, in our surprise we often seem to experience a sense of collective despair. Some things are hard to believe that they are actually happening! Socialist, anti-Semitic Muslims, homosexuals and abortionists lobbying and voting for such views in the Congress of the United States of America!! Somehow the unthinkable has become tolerable.

I remember in college reading Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, George Orwell's 1984 and Future Shock by Alvin Toffler. These are works by Futurists who engage in Futurology in novel, Sci-Fi, and essay form. What they perceived and what they predicted reveal a high degree of prescience, both foresight and insight of what was and is and maybe, what shall be.

But for the Christian, Jesus is the one who was and is and shall be. He is the forever one, the coming one, and the only one. Christians must be futurists. We must live in the present and participate in the political reality of a republic, proclaim biblical truth and pray! But we must also have our mind on the future. Our citizenship is in heaven. Our future is forever. Our faith will lead us home.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

February 8, 2019

                                    Socialism and Spirituality?
Will we never learn from the past? It seems that to ask the question is to answer it. Why do we forget the people and philosophies of Marx, Chavez, Castro, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Upton Sinclair and and the carnage they engendered? Why do we forget the places and histories of Russia, Cuba, Cambodia, Venezuela and the disaster that has been brought upon millions of people? Why do we forget the damage of the Societies of Fabianism, Communism and the American Socialist Labor society? Why do we forget that socialism leads to a despotic regime of the strongest and results in death of the weakest? It promises a utopia and provides like an undertaker.

Enter today's manifestation under Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the oldest members and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest member of the U.S. Congress. Both desire that America take on the philosophy of Utopianism and a political theory of Socialism.
Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the government as a whole. This was suggested by Marx to be the transitional form of government between Capitalism and Communism. I suggest a brief history lesson if you do not remember Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the Gulags.

Many believe the spiritual expression of "commonism" should lead to the manifestation of secular communism. Do not be deceived. The early church did practice "commonism" for a time (Acts 2) but it also taught ownership, freedom and generous gracious giving. The Church did and does practice "communalism." "Commonism" was descriptive of what they did for a time and "communalism" is prescriptive of what the church is to be at all times. Communism does not teach or practice either of these virtues.

Political Socialism is based on philosophical Utopianism. But we as Christians must have a Biblical realism. We are reminded in Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12 of the ruinous fall of man. The result is that we are fallen and finite and the situation is fatal. But enter the King; for although we are fallen and it is fatal, it is not final. "It is Finished" is the clarion call of Jesus from the cross that sin is defeated and that we can be born again, united with the true King who brought the only durable rumor of hope which is the kingdom of God.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

February 1, 2019

The Love of God...
It is A Love You Could Never Earn and A Love You Can Never Lose
Dr. Dave Anderson

This message of love is the message that we have not only received personally but also what we are to share with others publicly. (John 3:16, 5:24) The irony is that it is such a tough sell to so many who resist, reject and rebel against the love of the Lord. It is not surprising that the devil seeks to pervert love and reduce it to sexuality. The sexual revolution is nothing more than a rebellion to what God declares to be true. Consider the resistance and rebellion of the homosexual community, the transgender community and all that is contained in the LGBT movement.

A biblical view of love is as pastor John Mitchell declared; "Love is sincerely wishing God's very best  for someone else  and doing what you can to see it come about." 
That is truly a revolutionary idea in this culture. But make no mistake; we are called to be spiritual thermostats, not thermometers. Our mission is not to reflect the environment around us but to change it. We make that change or better yet - - He makes that change by the power of His love through us. It was J. Vernon McGee who said: "There is a lot of sloppy agape in the church." Perhaps he was right and perhaps it is time to clean it up and clear it up.

The mark of a Christian is Love. Jesus reminds us that they will know we are His disciples if we have love for one another. Today the ability to be distinct and stand out from the world has never been easier although it might cost you a great deal.

God is Love and as such, God loves us. Tim Keller reminds us; "The only love that won't disappoint you is one that can't change, that can't be lost, that is not based on the ups and downs of life or on how well you live. It is something that not even death can take away from you. God's love is the only thing like that." (John 3:16)

Now that is a message to take to the nations.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,