Monthly Archives: October 2016

So, what is happening in our country?

Few could legitimately argue that the USA has little to no religious influence in its founding.  Whether you read the ‘Mayflower Compact’, the ‘original, unmodified charters’ of Yale, Harvard or Princeton or the plethora of insightful writings of not a few founding leaders, you cannot escape the fact that our history is replete with acknowledgements of the Divine sovereignty over our Republic.  We can and should remind each other that at one time ‘THEOLOGY’ played a predominant role in American life.  And, so, we were blessed.

Yet, as is so often the case, ‘IDEOLOGY’ soon replaced theology.  Churches in the Northeast, as soon as 1649, adopted a ‘Half-way Covenant’ in which church members were no longer required to demonstrate genuine salvation as a prerequisite for church membership.  Churches became secularized and the early colleges and universities, originally chartered to produce missionary workers, followed suit by turning away from God, becoming, themselves, bastions of godlessness.  Temporal values  replaced truth and the expedient displaced the eternal.  Abandoning the pursuit of holiness, integrity, honesty and humility, many chose to declare their own ideas as truth.  Refusing to use the Bible as the measurement of truth, human ideas were dubbed ‘progressive’ and ‘enlightened’ thought.  Instead of becoming wise, America become foolish in her cultural thinking as we worshiped at the alter of ‘self’.

Soon, another exchange took place.  ‘IRRATIONALITY’ replaced ideology .  While worshiping self, many leaders and ‘progressive’ thinkers, intoxicated by their own concept of self-importance, began to pretend that their thoughts could in some way produce reality.  This condition led some leaders to say that because they were elected, we all could work together and ‘ocean levels would lower and the planet would heal’.  Such lofty ‘rhetoric’ is fanciful at best and deluded at worst.  Only God can speak and what is spoken occurs.  No mere mortal has, can or ever will be able to produce such omnipotent results.

In the end, we are left to endure a relentless barrage of claims that are so absurd that only the most devoted partisan could accept them.  How else could you explain the acceptance of the claims, ‘What difference does it make now that we have 4 dead Americans’ including a US Ambassador or ‘There has never before been such a peaceful time in our history’ than now.

How did we get here?  In a way, it’s quite simple…

People decided that it was no longer ‘…worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God…’!  Romans 1:28.  Imagine that!

Decisions, decisions…what will I ever do?

No doubt you have been asked at least once, who you were voting for in this presidential election cycle.  And no doubt you have been as troubled as everyone else over the distressing state of affairs and the disgusting lifestyles and character of the candidates that have been put forth by the various political parties–conduct and character so repugnant that we could easily be persuaded to forgo the election this year.  Believe me when I say that I have been as troubled as everyone else.

Just under 30 days out from the election, I’m increasingly incensed by the ‘corruption’ and ‘carnality’ of the two main candidates.  For me, this choice is more than a simple ‘hold your nose and pull the lever for one of them’ type selection.  The candidates are so flawed that any choice is fraught with ominous consequences.  ‘So’, you say.  ‘What are you going to do?’   And, ‘how are you going to decide?’  Well, currently, I’m considering two scriptures.

First, I’m meditating on I Timothy 2:1f, where God inspired the Apostle Paul to write this counsel:  ‘I urge you, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority (at the time it was Nero), that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’  As I consider these words, I realize that I do have a choice if I choose to vote.  I can choose the candidate that affords me the best opportunity to live in ‘peace’ and ‘quiet’ with godliness.  I do not expect my chosen candidate to model Christ’s character.  (Some days, I wrestle with that myself)  After all, our governmental system is not a ‘theocracy’.  I’m reminded that we are not choosing a church leader.  But, since we are choosing a candidate for president of the US, which one affords us the best opportunity possible to live in peace and quiet.

Next, I’m considering Nahum 1:9, which reminds me that ‘Whatever they plot against the Lord, He will bring to an end…’.  This text tells me that God does not countenance those who attempt to subvert His Sovereign, creative designs and intentions.  So, I ask, ‘Is there a candidate that supports God’s design in marriage, in issues of life, in the freedom to practice godliness and in the protection of my family?’  Honestly, no candidate, in my humble opinion, satisfactorily models God’s designs.  So, I take the next step and ask myself which, if any, party platform more nearly resembles God’s designs and intentions.  Here, we may find a significant difference, not in the candidate, but rather, in the platform on which that candidate stands.  Now, my choice may come into clearer focus because the party platforms vary widely in their affirmations and exclusions of God and His designs. It may be wise to read each platform and consider the standards upon which the candidates stand and consider the people to whom each candidate is obliged.

So, as far as I am concerned, I will be voting I Timothy 2 and Nahum 1 on election day.  And at the end of the day, my conscience will be clear.


So What’s All the Fuss About?

Sometime during my middle teen years, I became aware of groups of people who felt a need to protest.  Because we had yet to purchase a TV, I only ‘heard’ about the marches.  There were anti-war protests, P.E.T.A. protests, anti-nuclear protests, anti-global cooling protests (yes, at one time global cooling was all the rage and a ‘hot’ button issue), anti-prayer in school protests, anti-whaling protests, anti-government protests and the like.  Men ran to Canada to escape the American Army draft.  Women burned articles of clothing in protest.  Farmers poured milk down the drain in protest of poor milk prices.  It was really ‘protest ad nauseam’.

Despite the rationale given to promote each march,  all protesters had this one motive in common:  ‘an unjust circumstance existed that they intended to correct using all of their available resources’.

Much effort and expense has always been expended in order to ‘right’ perceived  ‘wrongs’.

Without appraising each march or arguing the propriety of each effort, one thought has often recurred to me:  WHY HASN’T ANYONE EVER PROTESTED THE INJUSTICE OF GOVERNMENTS PUTTING PRISONERS IN A PRISON CAMP ON THE PLANET JUPITER?

You say, ‘now wait a minute, pastor.  Have you lost your mind?  That’s a stupid thought.’  To which I say, ‘Is it?’  To which you say, ‘Of course it is’!  To which I say, ‘Ok, Ok, it is’.

So what’s the point.  Just this–NO ONE PROTESTS THAT WHICH, TO THEM, IS UNREAL.  And there’s the point.  A protester only protests that which is a real circumstance that, to them, is so important that it deserves their attention and intentions.  Only ‘real’ issues deserve the investment of time, talent, tissue and treasure.  And that’s the reason no one is protesting the use of Jupiter as a prison camp site.  It’s not real!

Now, consider this:  What’s the reason atheists protest anything God?  Why do people react so vehemently to the use of the Bible in school?  Why do people want to stop prayer in public gatherings?  Well, we know the answer–BECAUSE– God, the Bible and prayer are REAL.  And people of rebellion are extremely uncomfortable around the ‘realness’ of God, the Bible and prayer.

So, whenever you feel the pressure of opinion against your faith, even if it comes from within yourself, remember this:  people only protest what is real.  In such a case, dissenters deserve our prayers and concern and God deserves our fidelity.  Let’s faithfully and lovingly live out Romans 12:16-21 all for the glory of God.