Habakkuk 1:3 (NIV)
Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Habakkuk 1:9 (NIV)
they all come bent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.
In times we are facing, many wonder what is the Biblical view, or the Christian response to such issues like Covid-19 and the riots that are destroying the cities of America. Let's begin.
Rev 3:16 "So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth."
The ones who really get people killed are not the perpetrators of the crime as much as the ones who just let things happen. While they stand by in judgment watching "both sides" with disdain, they let wolves into the sheep pen.
They are the intellectually lazy, yet want to be perceived as intelligent by sycophants even lazier than they are.
These cowards provide intellectual cover for evil by not being able to join the concepts of morality with truth. In their ambiguity, they entertain ideas that people with common sense dismissed long ago.
They are always siding with the main stream. Unfortunately, the mainstream is constantly changing its flow when rocks of truth gets in its way. Like water, they always go along with the path of least resistance.
So, as they pontificate on high, with passive aggressive memes, liked by their own NPC echo chamber, they sleep soundly knowing they have "deeply searched all the possible angles" but can only conclude that everyone else is just dumber then they.
Even with overwhelming evidence presented to them, they yawn. You produce the video, the transcript of the confession, a scientist IN THE FIELD, it isn't worth their time!
Why? Because they might have to leave the safety of the sheep's pen. They see themselves as shepherds, but are sheep too scared to leave the fold.
Coward, pick a side. You are either right or wrong. You can't have it both ways.
The truth is, you picked a side a long time ago, you were just not comfortable wearing the name of baby killer or socialist or sodomite. You were "too smart" for that. So you lied to yourself, and let the evil through the gate as you held it open.
Every morning Democrats in Congress get together and look at the poor economic news, laugh and pat themselves on the back. They are thrilled. Do you know why? Because they finally believe they can defeat this president.
Joe Biden is literally an empty suit, and can't campaign, yet Dems in the halls of congress are hopeful. Why?
Did you know the birth name of Pat Sajak (host of Wheel of Fortune) is really Patrick Leonard Sajdak. He changed it for television! This reminds me of an experience preaching in Indiana many years ago. An older man walked up after services and asked me,
“Do you know your name?”
“Huh?" I said, caught off guard.
He persisted, “Have you been called by God?”
I had an answering machine at the time, but I wasn’t aware of any missed messages.
I told him, “I don’t know what you're getting at."
“If God has called you into ministry, he will give you a name. Do you know your name?" “I thought my name was Johnny.” I replied.
“If God calls you, He will give you a new name. I know my name!” Then he walked off. I don’t think he believed I was qualified to do my job, because I didn’t have an experience like his. Ironically, as I write this, I can’t remember his name, either of them.
Peter was named Cephas and Saul's name was changed to Paul, but they were apostles. I'm just a preacher who enjoys teaching the Bible and helping smaller churches. I mainly do it because I was told by many people, long ago, that I should be be doing it. Since then, I've assisted churches from the Midwest to Florida and now, the South West. What I hope to bring to the position is some humility. I don't assume your lives revolve around hearing me speak, nor do I need to be the center of all the church's attention. I don't need to pray before every potluck or teach every lesson. Actually, my goal is to teach you to do these things!
Unfortunately, some in my position like to pretend they are more important than they really are. If they possess something unique, they believe it enhances how others see them. It is just vanity in my opinion. I have no special name or ability, just a knack for teaching things in the Bible that most people skip over.
Names can be important, I admit that. The word "church", means to be called out. We who are a part of the church wear the name Christian because we follow the Christ. His name was Jesus of Nazareth. Originally, to be called a Christian was an insult because it was linked to a man who was crucified by the Romans as a criminal! (Acts 11:26, 1 Peter 4:16) Therefore, we must always be ready to give an account for the reason we would follow such a person the world views as evil. (1 Peter 3:15)
In that sense, the whole church has been called, but I don't think anyone in the church today has any more significance than another. We all have different roles, but no one is to "think of themselves more highly than they ought." (Rom 12:3).
Paul wrote to Timothy about a my type of ministry:
"But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of
an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry." (2 Timothy 4:5)
What were Timothy's duties? If you read both letters to Timothy and Titus, you will find an evangelist was commissioned to set up churches and install elders to lead those churches. Timothy did not preach weekly revivals and travel around with a musical ensemble, going from church to church, which is the modern use of the term. He actually ministered with the Ephesian church for many years. He was their located, long term, preaching minister. Biblically, called an evangelist. The word evangelist simply means, one who spreads the good news.
The modern expectations for the preaching ministry have little similarity with what an evangelist was in the New Testament. Today, preachers are viewed as MC’s (Master of Ceremonies) who wear three-piece suits, have all the answers, and keep the show moving on Sunday morning. Frankly, this sounds more like a game show host! Most people think that a preacher is suppose to act and function like a host or figurehead.
I've not been called to be another Pat Sajak. Titus 1:5, says an evangelist is to "set things in order". I have been called to do that. It was what I was hired for, it is what the Bible teaches I do and, luckily, I get to keep my own name!
“When the centurion and those who were with him saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!” Matthew 27:54
This is actually the most important question anyone could ask during their entire lifetime, whether Jesus was truly the Son of God.
People want to know where they came from, does life have meaning, and what will happen to them when they die.
Today, many people claim to have the answers: gurus, politicians, scientist, and philosophers. Only the one who truly speaks for God knows the answers to those questions. This person would truly be the Son of God.
John 10:14 (ESV)
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
I think it was called the Illinois Christian Teen Convention, or maybe it was something like the Illinois Christian Youth Convention, either way, I was there in the 90's with my friends from the First Church of Christ Georgetown, getting all on fire for Jesus! They had Degarmo and Key and DC Talk in concert, so you know it was about near impossible to leave without wanting to save the world.
It was a collection of 2000 teens, listening to awesome speakers and good Christian music. We had invited non christian friends for the trip, hoping they would obey the gospel, and we were hoping to become stronger Christians ourselves in the process. I remember the bus had around 50.
I was on the front row for the final night, pretty much right in the middle. Slightly older college kids were leading worship and exhorting us to carry the gospel into all the world. The world was going to hell and only we could save them!
The problem was (and still is) I am very particular about words. It is why I have become a preacher. I spend a lot a time with words and I take them seriously, even at age 16, though at times, I lacked some much needed common sense.
Then it happened, about 20 minutes before the end. The speaker challenged us to "Stand up and RE-DEDICATE our lives to Jesus!"
2000 teens stood, from all over Illinois to rededicate their lives to Jesus - all but one - me. I remained seated. I really "stood out" even though my posture was rigidly posterior. I was all alone.
I had dedicated my life to Jesus the previous year at church camp and I took it very seriously. I led Bible studies at the High School and I went over and taught Bible at the Jr. High. I helped organize our youth group, preached at church and even shared the gospel in jail at a very young age. I did not need to REDEDICATE, I was STILL DEDICATED. I felt it would have been wrong for me to stand up, to rededicate my life when I had not ceased believing what I stood for the previous year. I felt like it would have been wrong to rededicate my life to Jesus. I wanted Jesus to know nothing had changed!
Looking back on this, I was obviously missing the larger point, but I wanted Jesus to know I was still with Him, just as much as last year, so I stayed seated. The only one in 2000 screaming teens. It was truly embarrassing.
The speaker and all the song leaders just looked at me. "Stand up for Jesus! Rededicate your life! Repent, before it is too late!" Yes, the speaker was speaking to us all, but his eyes were firmly on me. He must have been thinking, "That poor kid, he needs Jesus soooooo bad. He must really be messed up and on his way to hell!"
Again, we were all led to sing another song standing, I remained seated. They preached some more as all the my fellows teens stood, yet still I, remained seated. They sang a final and last song, with everyone present on their feet, EXCEPT ME.
My resolve was commendable, my execution, not so much.
Today, I still sit alone much of the time, but I don't relish being alone. I try to fit in, but most of the time I can't walk in lock step with others. I'm introverted and don't like being apart of the crowd. Even though we Christians are apart of the church, it is a journey we must walk alone at times, because even the followers of Christ can loose their way.
The good shepherd will find you, if you know his voice. Hold tight till he comes.
This is a thought exercise. If you are not sure who is right about this football fiasco, try switching the parts around to see how it looks from the other side. Hopefully, this will help you figure out what is going on with the NFL and the national anthem. Since this has turned into a Right vs Left issue, let's take the Left and use one of their beloved institutions and see what protesting it would look like.
Imagine you are very progressive and you are proudly running a sodomite organization, like NAMBLA for instance, whose goal is the sexual exploitation of young boys. Now imagine, one of its employees started promoting Christian values. Don't you agree the sodomite organization has a right to fire that person since he is going against the mission of the group? I am a Christian and even I believe they have the right to fire a person like that!
Realize, the football players rights have not been violated in any way shape or form. They are being allowed to protest! Federally, the government can't do anything to them for protesting peacefully, and they are. But, free speech doesn't extend to the workplace. If I start saying things that my church doesn't believe in, they have every right to fire me. When you become an employee, your job is to make your company money or your organization flourish. If your speech is bad for business, you can be fired, and should be.
The NFL owners are allowing them to break the rules, which were set before, that all must stand respectfully at attention for the national anthem. Obviously it is because the owners are scared to be called racist, they are being allowed to kneel. If anything, the players are getting more rights, as they know they won't be fired for breaking the rules. I can't do that in my organization.
So, the football players are getting to do more than the average person. They are hurting their business and they still get to keep their jobs. That is actually not fair, not fair at all. They are being treated special because of the color of their skin. This is the opposite of oppression, it is actually elitism. Black NFL players have more rights than white people, and make a heck of lot more money than I do.
The Left is upset at the national reaction to their protest. Their message that this country is racist from top to bottom is failing. Even if the players are kneeling on behalf of others, they chose the wrong forum to do so. The national anthem is a military anthem and it looks like disrespect to veterans, not standing up for blacks suffering from police brutality. These black men are doing much better than most and should be thankful, not indignant.
They have every right to kneel, but they can't make anyone watch, and it can't be guaranteed they wont lose their jobs. Once the league starts losing major money, the rules will once again be enforced.
They have a right to fight for what they believe in, but no one has a right to make others listen. Obviously, I can't make you read this editorial. I hope you have, but I can't make you read this and I certainly can't make agree with it.
That is what they are trying to do, make you believe them. I don't.
When I worked for a Christian boarding school, I was asked by the director: "How many baptisms are you going to have this summer?" I said, "I don't know." He looked at me puzzled. I had given the wrong answer.
What I found out is they try to end the year with a bunch of baptisms so they can put in into their newsletter and send it to the churches to make it look like they are producing. Kind of like a business trying to impress its stockholders.
To me, the kids already baptized were not really Christians. They were very carnal, with no discernable difference between them and the non-Christian kids. They had gotten wet, but the Holy Spirit was not a part of their lives. Despite living at a Christian boarding school most of their life.
I did baptized one. He asked me, I did not ask him. We talked it over for a long time. I told him being a Christian would be a rough life. As a true preacher of the gospel I tried to talk him out of it, but I failed, he wanted to do it anyway!
I pray that Christ is still real to him today. Despite the mixed messages from the Christian community trying to help him and the temptations on the reservation it is hard to know what is right sometimes.
God bless that young man, but we had a 1 and only 1, for the newsletter.
Luke 24:47 (ESV)
and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
I spent a couple years working with the Apaches while in Arizona. It was a disappointing experience. It was not the fault of the Apaches but rather the "Christians." I had never seen so much selfishness as the churches that descended down upon that reservation like vultures. Essentially what I witnessed was an industry of tourism built upon the backs of the poor that allowed a bunch of people to feel good about themselves at the expense of the people we were trying to reach.
I witnessed indoctrination, baptisms out of coercion, emotional manipulation, kids taken from their parents for extended stays, racism, and even abuse.
Success is not measured by going home and telling your church you baptized twenty second graders during your mission vacation. Those same kids will get baptized again the next week when another church comes or "ask Jesus into their heart" when yet another church comes. It's all the same to them.
Kids will do pretty much anything for candy, and candy is cheap. The gospel cost too much apparently, to transport from the Midwest to Arizona. The mission trip you took that "Changed Your Life" most likely did nothing to change the people you were supposed to be helping.
They need longterm missionaries willing to model Christ. People who will teach them the truth, respect them as people, and who realize they are guest upon the reservation.
We can't be WASP descending upon a people stinging them with white man's religion. Instead we all need to follow the man from Palestine who died 2000 years ago to unify the nations, and to make us all the Kingdom of God. Until the Midwest can let go it preconceived notion of "This is how you do church" it's never going to be able to meet the people of the Southwest were they are, spiritually or geographically.
Known as an expert in all he surveys, he freely shares his opinions on politics, science & theology using diatribes based upon careless research from tertiary sources that presupposed what he thought in the first place.