January 29, 2020

“You Say You Want a Revolution”
What do Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Tiny Tim, Michael Jackson, The Village People, and Madonna have in common? Music, of course, but also Morality. They were the harbingers of a moral revolution. There are many others inside and outside of music who have provided a plunge in morality. But I think we all can agree we are living in and talking about a moral revolution the likes of which we have never seen before.

A cultural revolution and its moral renovation must always have an enemy, someone to point at as the problem to be blamed, overcome, and destroyed. As Theo Hobson, a British theologian and cultural observer, observes; cultural revolutions demand that-
“What was condemned is now to be celebrated.
What was celebrated must now be condemned. Those
who will not celebrate must now be condemned.”

Let’s think about how that works. Not many years ago homosexual behavior was condemned - not only a sin, a sickness, and illegal, but it was also considered wrong. But now, it is celebrated as good, right, normal, and by some, it is considered a divine gift. And so today, those who dare not to celebrate the virtue of homosexual behavior must be condemned.

Talk about a turnaround in thinking. What was vice is now virtue! Our world is not interested in what the Bible says. In fact, they see us as the enemy. As Harvard historian Arthur Schlesinger challenged us in 1989, “The mystic prophets of the absolute cannot save us. Sustained by our histories and traditions we must save ourselves at whatever risk of heresy or blasphemy.”

Christians individually and the church corporately will need to decide what is biblically right and what is biblically wrong. We must be able to flex our convictions with compassion. We must become wise in an unwise age and winsome in the midst of a culture that is growing ugly.

How do I do that? What does that look like?
Let me challenge you. I invite you to read the Gospel of Luke this week and keep a keen eye and see how Jesus lived in and responded to the culture of His day. Observe how He treated a variety of people and lived within institutions both sacred and secular. The 1st century and 21st century are miles apart technologically, but very similar morally. Perhaps we can learn something about how we should now live - from Jesus.
Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

 January 22, 2021

It Could Never Happen Here
Of course, it could, and it looks like it might. As Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote in the Gulag Archipelago: "There always is this fallacious belief it would not be the same here; here such things are impossible … Alas, all the evil of the twentieth century is possible everywhere on earth."

When the truth is relative, morality flexible, and ethics are based upon the situation, then you know that God is absent. In such a state, it is not that people believe in nothing, it is that they can believe in anything.

The Church of Jesus Christ is under unprecedented levels of persecution globally. Christianity in America is being marginalized and Christians are and will be ostracized.
  • What will happen when the leaders of government empower a culture of death through the policies of death with the procedures of death through Planned Parenthood?
  • What will be the result when Christian schools are either highly regulated or eradicated due to moral beliefs of sexuality and marriage?
  • What will be the outcome when it is illegal to preach, teach or say that homosexuality, lesbianism, or transgender behavior is a sin?
  • What will be the effect when homosexuals, lesbians, transgendered people lead departments of health and human services, become secretary of education, and advise from cabinet positions?
  • What will be the future when the CDC, WHO, NIH, and others simply ask the functional question “Can we do this?” and no longer ask the ethical question, “Should we do this?”

The danger from a governmental perspective was foreseen by James Madison. “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny”

The danger from a sociological perspective was foreseen by G.K. Chesterton when he warned; “Whenever you take down a fence you must always ask, what did that fence keep out?”

The danger from a spiritual perspective: When people worship the creature instead of the creator as evidenced by immorality and indecency then as Paul reminds us three times “God gave them over… God gave them over…God gave them over to their depraved minds.”  (Please read Romans 1:18-31.)

If this sounds like a half-empty view that is because it is. But there is another half. Paul also reminds us in Romans 1:16-17 that: “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation.” The spirit of the age is no match for the power of the Spirit of God. We call that the power of regeneration.                              

Serving Him with you, until He comes for us,

 January 15, 2021

When A Foothold Becomes a Stronghold
It goes without saying that America had been in the midst of a culture war and that those who hold to a biblical worldview have lost the war. Our society in many ways has transitioned and transformed from the sacred to the secular. Evidence abounds as you observe the attitudes and actions that prevail concerning Homosexuality, Transgender, Abortion, Christian Education, and freedom of religious speech. By any metric or measurement, the slide has been precipitous. Perhaps a quick look at our political “leaders” and their disgusting duplicity and hypocrisy provides ample evidence of the downward spiral as well.

It goes without saying that one reason for this decline is the reality of what the Apostles Paul and John remind us of: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces and principalities and powers." (Eph. 6:12) "...the whole world lies in the lap of the evil one." (I John 5:19)

It goes without saying that the devil has had a foothold on America for many years, but this has recently been exacerbated and extended. What has been a foothold has become a stronghold. The devil’s intent is to destroy Israel, distort the gospel of God’s grace, and disorient Christians in their faith. The secularized climate and anti-Christian culture, coupled with the corrosive and corrupt political class have left us with nowhere to turn but to the Lord Jesus Christ, which is where we should have turned all along.

It goes without saying that we are not to engage the corrupt culture by secular means to achieve spiritual ends. As Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5;

           “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ...

We are to provide a faithful presence as we “know Christ and make Him known.”

Serving Him with you, until He comes for us,

 January 8, 2021

  The Men of Issachar Understood the Times
and Knew What to Do 
The question is -- Will the church know what to do? Will the church understand the times we live in?  Will the church know how to live in a secularized culture after so many years of a society that at least acted in some way like they believed in the sacred?

The members of the 117th Congress who were just seated this week, overwhelmingly identify as Christians. Of our political leadership, 88% of the representatives identify with some kind of Christian religious affiliation. It is interesting to note that only 65% of the general American population identify as Christians. In 1961 the general population who claimed some sort of Christian affiliation was 94%. We have been moving in the wrong direction.

Our political leaders self-describe themselves as:

House of Representatives Religious Composition
  • Protestant – 236 members or 54.5%
  • Roman Catholic – 134 members or 30.9%
  • Jewish – 25 members or 5.8%
  • Unitarian Universalists – 3 members
  • Muslim – 2 members
  • Buddhist – 2 members
  • Hindu – 2 members

Senate Religious Composition
  • Protestant – 60
  • Roman Catholic – 24
  • Jewish – 8
  • Mormon – 3
  • Buddhist – 1
  • Unaffiliated – 1

Obviously, many of those who claim to be Christians do not believe the authority of the Bible, the deity of Christ, that salvation is by faith alone in Jesus alone, nor do they believe that heaven and hell are real and eternal. It is also self-evident that their views on social issues are often at odds with the Bible, i.e., abortion, homosexuality, and transgender issues. We all know that many are simply claiming a religious title or affiliation that is politically expedient.

Our society has and is transforming from what could be characterized as sacred to secular.
The perennial question of Francis Schaeffer- “How shall we then live?” has never been more important or relevant. The truth of scripture is that we are to live with a holy conduct and a heavenly outlook. (2 Peter 3)

"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?’ Thomas Jefferson

Serving Him with you,
Until He comes for us,

 January 1, 2021

A New Year, a New Chance to Excel!
 First Friday of 2021 with Fred
Let me be the first to welcome you to the first Friday of this new year. Most of us hope 2021 is better than 2020 was. I think most of us will always remember 2020 as the year of COVID, political corruption, and cultural collapse. WOW, I cannot wait for 2021 to unfold.

Living in today’s world it is essential that we know how to make good decisions. One of my goals this year is to grow in making wise decisions. One way you can do this is by becoming knowledgeable of God’s word and then applying it to a life situation. The result is called “wisdom” or applied knowledge.

The scriptures tell us that this is a skill we can learn and grow in through exercise. The author of Hebrews reminds us:

  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are mature, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil
Hebrews 5:12-14

Do not miss what he is saying to us. The problem for many Christians is that they drink milk (galaktos) instead of eating solid or strong (steroid) food. The result is that they are unskilled or unaccustomed to the word of righteousness. They are babies and not mature in understanding the word of God. The reason is that they are not trained (Greek word from which we get the word gymnasium). Those that are trained, have exercised their reason and are able to discern the difference between good and evil.

I hope to exercise my reason and learn to be more discerning of the Lord’s wisdom in my life as I study His inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word. You too?

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,