Photo by Chad Runge / Creation Swap

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Have you ever come across this word "heresy" and wonder what it means? It's one of those fancy words that you sometimes hear around religious circles. But do you really know what it means? It wasn't all that long ago when I didn't. It was until after I became a Christian and started paying attention to theological doctrines did I come across the word "heresy."

I felt kind of foolish back then because, to be quite honest, I didn't know the Bible all that well. In church when the pastor was telling us to go to...say Hosea...I just had this blank stare. Okay, I at least knew there was an index. All I had to do was find that and I was good to go. So you can imagine that I was well behind in my understanding of fancy religious words.

It's not a bad idea, every now and then, to go back and look at some of the things you've learned over the years. I think God's Word even encourages it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9
6And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

What is it as human beings that we have the tendency to do? To forget. God tells us to basically do everything that we can to remember His Words. Why? So we don't forget.

Psalm 78:41-43
41They tested God again and again
   and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42They did not remember his power
   or the day when he redeemed them from the foe,
43 when he performed his signs in Egypt
   and his marvels in the fields of Zoan.

So, I think it's a good idea to refresh our memories of the things that are important to know and understand. But why heresy? Certainly there are hundreds or thousands of words in the Bible that have more relevance. That may be true. However, I think this is one of those words that bears significance due to the age in which we live. But first things first.

What is heresy? Well, one such definition can be found at


1. unorthodox religious opinion: an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by a religious authority

2. holding of unorthodox religious belief: the holding of, or adherence to, an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by religious authorities
guilty of heresy

3. unorthodox opinion: an opinion or belief that does not coincide with established or traditional theory, especially in philosophy, science, or politics
His views on child development were regarded as heresy.

4. holding of unorthodox opinion: the holding of an unorthodox opinion that is in conflict with established or traditional theory, especially in philosophy, science, or politics

A more simple version of this definition could be, "A heresy is a deviation from the truth."

I like the latter version because it fits my simple way of thinking. However, recognizing the context in which heresy is used is also important. So, we can't ignore the former definition either. A Biblical definition can help tie this together:

The Biblical Definition
I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. (Romans 16:17-18)

Now I like that. God's Word has a way of putting it clearly, doesn't it? God is not about confusion, He's about helping us as His children to navigate the bumpy and dangerous terrain we live in as Christians. As followers of Jesus Christ.

What's really at the heart of the matter though? TRUTH. Truth is under attack. But if we can't or don't recognize it, then we're in trouble. According to Romans 16, we're in danger of deception. And how will we understand or be able to recognize if we're being deceived? Paul tells us it's through the "teaching you have learned."

It's everything that God has been teaching us through His Word. We saw that back in Deuteronomy when God said to teach His commands and remember them. And in Romans, where Paul was pointing out how the disciples were instructing the Roman believers through Scripture.

Since Truth is under attack by the means of heresy, we need to be proactive and be immersed in God's Word everyday. But how much time do we really spend in studying God's Word? If we understood God's heart as in Deuteronomy, it would be every available moment. Obviously we have lives to live, so I don't think that's the issue. As an example, God tells us work is profitable in Proverbs 28:19. So it's not that God is telling us to do nothing else but spend every waking moment reading the Bible. The point is is that there is an emphasis in spending quality time reading, meditating, and understanding His Word.

We need to be prepared. We need to have a clear Biblical understanding of the world around us. Otherwise, we're going to be caught off guard. To me, that's why it's important to have a Biblical worldview. What is that? According to The Biblical and Christian Worldview for the 21st Century, it is taking the principles of God's Word and applying them to our culture in this way:

“The.” For every concept and principle, we set forth the challenge that it is Biblical, under the best principles of Biblical understanding (Hermeneutics).

“Biblical.” The Bible is the very Word of God written: infallible, inerrant, and as fully authoritative as its Source, the Holy Spirit of God (II Timothy 3:16-17). 

“Christian.” All those who believe that the Bible is infallible, inerrant, and authoritative for faith and action. But, all “Christians” do not believe the Bible in this way. Every discussion that claims to be “Christian,” as in “Christian” Worldview, is not necessarily Biblical.

“Worldview.” A word, derived from the German, weltanschauung. Worldview is the lens or grid through which we interpret the world, the universe, and every principle of what is right or wrong with all individuals, families, cultures, and nations.

“21st Century.” These Biblical principles are timeless, but they do have a particular application to each time period and culture of history.

Let's look at one specific example of what I'm talking about. In one instance, we have Nancy Pelosi saying that climate change legislation is a "moral issue" and that we have a "moral responsibility" to preserve "God's Beautiful Creation." On the surface, it's hard to take issue with that. It seems like a legitimate concern.

Now, the definition of heresy tells us that something is being deviated from the truth. And the Apostle Paul says, "By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people." So how can we take what we know to be true about heresy, AND examine what Pelosi said, AND then take all that and form a Biblical worldview?

First, we need to understand what the Bible says. Protecting the environment would seem to fall in line with Scripture. Doesn't it? God tells us that we should be good stewards (Luke 12:42; Matthew 25:14-30) of what He has given and entrusted to us. To be sure that covers a lot of area. And the environment certainly falls into that. Going back to the beginning, in the account of creation (Genesis 1:27-29), God entrusted man with the responsibility to subdue the earth and rule over it. A great responsibility. So, if we understand that the Scriptures must have continuity, then we have to say we need to take charge of the earth and manage it well.

Now here's where it gets a little fuzzy. Nancy Pelosi takes the truth and uses it toward her agenda. In the CNSNews article, she admits "I am fairly agnostic about the means to the end in terms of what mechanism is used. What we want, though, is to have a result. The job that the bill must do is have a result that we reduce our dependence on foreign oil as a national security issue, that we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels wherever they originate as a health and environmental issue, that we proceed with innovation so that we can be number one, continue to be number one in the world in innovation, competitiveness, by creating new green jobs for the future.”

Agnostic about the means? According to Ray Bohlin, the means might have some serious consequences. None of which Nancy Pelosi, in her own words, seems to be too concerned about. Bohlin says, "After exploring the question of global warming, we've found the science behind it to be questionable at best and the economic impact unnecessarily severe, particularly for minority families and businesses. This may raise a question in some people's minds as to why this is being pushed so uncritically by other world governments and by the media."

So if we use science objectively, not toward a particular agenda, we can see that human beings really don't have as much influence on climate change as Nancy Pelosi would suggest. There is another concern here, however. How will this legislation impact the nation? We know from basic economics that there will certainly be added costs to reducing "our reliance" on fossil fuels. We just don't have the necessary technology in place to smoothly transition from the old way to the new way. The economy will certainly feel an added negative effect and that in return will have a negative affect on businesses and families. Is this what Nancy Pelosi means when she's agnostic about the means?

I certainly believe in doing my part, even if sometimes reluctantly, to recycle, reuse, and help out the environment. Those are good things we can do. But is it a moral obligation to increase the influence of government and negatively impact families to the point where finances are strained and businesses, jobs, and society suffer? There are even those, according to Wikipedia, that believe overpopulation is an additional factor. Is that why so many liberal-minded people are for abortion? I certainly do not believe that God, the Author and Creator of life, would be for such measures.

Consider this. God does want us to be good stewards. But does that mean we should give preferential treatment to the environment at the expense of people? Matthew 6:25-26 says, "25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

God's heart is for people. And as far as abortion goes, there is a passage that talks about sacrifices of children that might have some relevance:

2 Kings 23:8-11

"8Josiah brought all the priests from the towns of Judah and desecrated the high places, from Geba to Beersheba, where the priests had burned incense. He broke down the shrines at the gates—at the entrance to the Gate of Joshua, the city governor, which is on the left of the city gate. 9 Although the priests of the high places did not serve at the altar of the LORD in Jerusalem, they ate unleavened bread with their fellow priests.
10 He desecrated Topheth, which was in the Valley of Ben Hinnom, so no one could use it to sacrifice his son or daughter in the fire to Molech. 11 He removed from the entrance to the temple of the LORD the horses that the kings of Judah had dedicated to the sun. They were in the court near the room of an official named Nathan-Melech. Josiah then burned the chariots dedicated to the sun." 

God has never been about the sacrifice of children, especially unborn children. I believe that is an abomination to God. You can read more about this on another one of my posts at Glory to God: Abortion.

So, does Nancy Pelosi's statement reflect the case for heresy? I believe it does. That's why we have to be ever so vigilant in understanding God's heart and God's Word. Let's not be so easily deceived or deviated from the Truth! There are many, many others out there spreading heresy just like this and we as Christians need to alert and expose it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Surely I can't be the only one to recognize the rhetoric has changed. Of course not, but as the mainstream media (MSM) would like to believe, most people have short memories. And I confess that I, too, have been guilty of this.

What, pray tell, am I talking about? Haven't you noticed? Well, I'm not surprised. The MSM has been very effective in pulling the wool over our eyes.

Do you remember, oh...a year ago, when the MSM was forcing their opinions down our throats about how desperately we needed health care reform? Oh, but not just any ol' health care reform. We needed the government's health care and for them to provide it for us. You know, the ludicrous notion that the government could control and regulate our health care and through these means it would be the most efficient, effective means to cover every man, woman, and child? By golly, the government is the answer to ALL our problems and that's that!

And do you remember when President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid were all saying that they were looking to cross the aisle and invite the Repulicans over to gain bipatisan support? And how about when the Dems started having hissyfits because the Republicans were shooting down all their wonderful ideas, thus essentially shutting them out of all of the discussions? Remember that? What about when they said the Republicans were just stonewalling? That they didn't have any ideas of their own but were only trying to get in the way of progress?

Well, do you? Is any of this ringing a bell? As it turns out, the Republicans did have a few good ideas. But the MSM would never let you know that. They were too busy misconstruing the facts and holding interviews with Barack Obama during the Super Bowl giving him face time and infomercials to promote his agenda. They were even more concerned about Obama's legacy than the facts.

It was pretty much the norm for the MSM, wasn't it? They did everything they could to get our focus off the main issues and only look at the agenda they were promoting. They disregarded intelligent discussions regarding the bill. If someone actually read the bill, that was amazing in itself. But for someone to look at what was actually being drafted and then use insightful and intelligent deductive reasoning to conclude something would happen as a result, he/she was met with hostility from the MSM and the administration and was made to look like a fool. Because the words "death panels," "abortion," or "rationed-care" didn't appear anywhere in the bill, the liberals mocked and scorned such views or ideas.

Now fast-forward the talk in the MSM today. After, of course, they infamously pass a watered-down version of the healthcare bill with a rarely used procedure known as the "deem and pass rule." (Of course, don't be fooled. Many amendments have been and will be on its way to tack on even more unfavorable parts of the bill they were forced to leave out initially.) Ironically, the MSM has now found an unusual disposition toward cutting healthcare costs.

Before the passing of the bill, all you could hear about was that this much-needed reform was the answer to our problems. Get everybody on board, insure everyone no matter the cost, and let the government administrate it all. Raise our taxes, raise our premiums, do whatever it takes. Let's vilify the insurance industry. They're the evil ones. But above all, let's get it passed. Our nation will suffer without it.

It was such bologna then, and it's bologna now. It was like the important thing was let's just get something done. Even if it isn't perfect. Let's just get this passed and then we can take care of the details.

What they weren't saying, though, is that it wasn't all true. For one, the insurance industry isn't the villain. That's like blaming the car dealers for the cost of an automobile without taking into account the cost of the parts and labor to assemble it. Can the insurance industry do things more efficiently to "help" reduce the cost? Of course. But let's not be naive to believe that insurance companies and brokers set arbitrary premiums for the sole purpose of profit. Are they in business to make a profit? Absolutely. And so is every other for-profit company doing business under the free market system. It works because of the risk and reward drivers that navigate it.

Business is not the enemy. If you believe that the capitalist economic system is the root of our problems, may I suggest you think about the alternative? What's the opposite of capitalism? Communism actually. But let's not kid ourselves on this subject. Even socialism has more public ownership than private. In any case, with socialism or communism you're putting the emphasis on the public working together toward a common goal to ensure success. This sound like a great concept, but logic tells us that people put more effort into working hard and efficiently when they have a personal stake in the outcome. According to James D. Gwartney, capitalism is a system that encourages a person to use their abilities to strive to succeed. It gives incentives to take risks and either reap its rewards or learn from its failures. The American model of this system has allowed this nation to rise above its competing systems of socialist and communistic economies throughout the rest of the world. All socialism and communism do is discourage personal success and limit the abilities for people to succeed beyond the scope of the government. This sounds more like enslavement than the freedoms we enjoy in America due to the political and economic system that was established by our forefathers.

But I digress. First, the misconceptions about the insurance industry wasn't true. Then it was the polls, the statistics, and the outright lies that were being fed by the MSM to get people to believe that unless the healthcare plan as proposed by President Obama and his colleagues was passed, our economy and life as we know it will get exponentially worse. They made us believe it was either now or never. That this was the best solution on the table.

However, the problem was not just with Obama's healthcare plan having issues of its own, the MSM was disregarding any input that was being presented by the Republicans. In fact, they were making every effort to either deny there were any such plans or ideas by the other party or they were discrediting any viable ideas and best as they knew how.

The part of all of this that probably upsets me the most though? The MSM seems to be doing an about 180 and are now reiterating many of the same suggestions the Republicans were trying to bring to light before the passing of the horrendous bill. But it's not about making sure that people can have affordable health care. It's about ensuring that the Democrat's healthcare plan is viable. To accomplish this, they need to help the administration cut costs in healthcare in every conceivable way. So they bring forth the cost-cutting and efficient measures that the Republicans were suggesting (when they believed that these ideas would help make insurance affordable without destroying our previous system) and are now using them to try to make healthcare affordable within the structure of the plan. This, of course, will bring about the rationing of care, which the liberals intensely denied would happen before the bill was passed. Now they assert that it's a near certainty that it will.

The proposals by the liberals are disingenuous at best. Before the passing of this horrendous bill, discussions could have been made about how Americans could do more to help make health care more affordable. NOW liberals are opening up to the different possibilities previously disregarded. In the Des Moines Register, they NOW talk about how "cutting health care costs begin with us." They argue that more health care is not necessarily better health care. Another article writes how miraculously there's NOW a change in how often breast cancer screening is needed. THIS kind of hypocrisy just infuriates me!

If there was ever a time that we needed new leadership in our government, it is now. I cannot believe the American people as a whole are satisfied with the direction the current administration is taking us. We need to remember how the liberals and the MSM misguided the American people during the whole health care debate. We need to remember how they redirected our focus on frivolous matters. How they kept the public from recognizing the many ways in how this administration was slowly and meticulously leading us down the slippery path toward socialism. We need to hold them accountable.

First, we need to be proactive and support solid, conservative-minded candidates. We cannot afford to sit on the sidelines anymore and just let politics happen. We need to get Christian conservatives values out there again and make them relevant in the arena of public opinion. Too long have we allowed liberals to have their voice and to ingratiate us with their liberal views such as abortion, same-sex marriage, and removing God from public consciousness. If we do nothing, we only have ourselves to blame.

Then, we need to replace how we receive our news: information and communication. I believe there has to be a delicate balance in understanding the opponents' points of view, but we can replace journalists and reporters that are slanted in their liberal biases. We need to counteract the liberals' strategy of controlling the media. Unfortunately, even now, the government is trying to control how we receive our information. But we can have a vote, and that is with our dollars. We should not support those organizations that do not promote Christian conservative values. We need to find those conservative voices out in the wilderness and support them and help change the public perception back to Biblical principles.

Remember what Edmund Burke said...

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Is Islam a Peaceful Religion?

With all the talk surrounding the Middle East and certain current events about terrorists and Islamic extremists, I thought it might be helpful to know exactly what Islam is and what it isn't. In writing this I admit I could be out of my league. My knowledge and/or understanding about Islam is pretty limited. What I do know, I think, has also been somewhat tainted by the mainstream media.

The first question that comes to mind is...what's the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist? Is there a difference? Muslim? Islam? Are they one and the same? Well, according to, there is a difference. Here is what it says:

Definition of Islam and Muslim

Islam – the meaning comes from the Arabic verbal noun (like a gerund) s-l-m. When appropriate vowel markers are added the word Islam appears. The etymology of s-l-m is to submit, accept, or surrender. From this comes Islam’s conventional definition of surrender to God.

Muslim – also has its roots in the s-l-m verb. It is a participle of the verb and refers to a person who engages in the act of submission, acceptance, or surrender. Therefore a Muslim is a person who submits to the will of God, or a follower of Islam.

Uses of Islam and Muslim

Islam – is generally used in conversation to denote the religion or community of believes as a whole. For instance: “The Islamic community in town will be celebrating Eid next week.” It is also used when talking about the religion as a noun unto itself. For instance: “Islam is based on the sayings of the Prophet Mohammed that have been written down in the Quran.”

Muslim – is generally used in conversation to qualify or distinguish a person. For instance, “Remember the Muslim man who works at the bank?” It can also be used as a simple description of one’s religious beliefs. For instance: “He is Christian but she is Muslim.” Because Muslims are a minority community in many countries and most of the West, describing someone as Muslim may also reflect on their lifestyle and choice of dress in addition to their religious beliefs.

Misuses of Islam and Muslim

Islam – grammatically speaking, Islam should only refer to the religion or acts done in the name of that religion, never a person who practices that religion. Islamic community and Islamic art are correct, Islamic man is not.

Muslim – should be used to describe all people of the Islamic faith but not the faith itself. You may say that you are interested in the religion of Muslims, but never in the Muslim religion.

Apparently then, my use of "Islamist" was incorrect. But the use of it does help put its meaning into context. For example, uses the word "Islamist" to describe certain members this way:

'Islamists' are the ones who believe that the peaceful methods do not work. The vast majority of Muslims do not object to the 'Islamist' methods because their goals are the same.

So whether you agree "Islamist" is a correct usage of the word, it doesn't matter. The fact that it is used by certain people to describe this sect of religion gives it some credence to its use.

Now, here's where it gets a little confusing. Guess how many different sects of Islam there is? According to, there are 73 divisions in Islam. To be quite frank, I have looked at these divisions and I have tried to read up on them, but it's very, very confusing to me. There are so many historical figures that are mentioned and I have no clue as to who they are and how they fit into the big picture. However, it appears that there are three major denominations of Islam. They are the Sunni, Shi'a, and Sufism. I think I can try to wrap my head around that.

At this point, I still don't have a real firm understanding of what Islam is. I have read the definition above, but it still isn't real clear to me. So, now I look at this website (and there are MANY such websites) from that, from my perspective, gives a better explanation than the others on Islam. You can read this for yourself, and it's an interesting read for sure, but the bottom line is that Islam follows a god named Allah, which the last prophet Muhammad received visions from. Then there's the Quran, which is pretty much the bible by which they go by, and their Five Pillars of Faith. Again, you can read it all at My purpose here is only to get to the basics.

Back to my original question: Is Islam a peaceful religion? I was actually struggling with this part due to recent, and some not so recent, events. I was thinking about 9/11, the Fort Hood incident, and the Time Square bomber. But are these isolated incidents from extremists? Or could it be that these attacks are the norm for a religion that refers to non-Muslims as the derogatory term infidels? I have to admit that I'm not 100% sure I know the answer. The only thing I can say for sure is that the Quran, for which if you are a devout follower, would have you take the position of war, or jihad. The Quran says this:

Sura 5:51 - "O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people."

Sura 9:29-31 - Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled. The Jews say, "Ezra is the son of Allah "; and the Christians say, "The Messiah is the son of Allah." That is their statement from their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved [before them]. May Allah destroy them; how are they deluded? They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.

Even after this, let me be clear. I know that just as there are those who claim to be Christians that aren't, I also believe that there are those who claim to be Muslim, but aren't. (I am NOT claiming that Muslims have the Holy Spirit and could show evidence of God in their lives, just that there are pretenders.) And there are apparently many, many different sects of Muslims that believe in different things. So I do believe it's possible that there are nominal Muslims that do not advocate killing unbelievers of their faith. I also believe it's possible that they seek peaceful relations. But the question of peace boils down to this. If you are a devout follower of the Quran, the bible of Islam, you most certainly have to follow the doctrines that lead you to jihad, or you're not the follower you claim to be.

If you need more from the Quran to substantiate these claims, go to Let Us Reason and Contender Ministries. They are real eye-openers. But if you want to get a better translation of the text, find a verse you want to verify, and look that verse up at It breaks down the Quran chapter by chapter and gives you a translation to your liking.

What's even more frightening to me, though, is the position our current administration has taken in regards to the Muslim faith. Our president really doesn't take this threat seriously. It seems that his main concerns are the conservatives and the corporations (or Big Business). But according to Dr. Erwin Lutzer, our country should be taking the threat of Islamist extremism seriously. Not just from a terrorist perspective. But from a global dominance position. Watch this youtube video on Muslim demographics. You might, then, appreciate what is at stake.

Think about this: If the Muslim population already has a quarter of the world's population, how much longer do you think it'll take for them to control all the world's governments? Do we really want to be ruled by Sharia law? Do women? Do minorities? Does the homosexual community? Don't think it can happen? Think again. Already we see certain Muslims being appointed in our current administration favoring Sharia law. And no, I'm not even talking about President Obama. Unless someone comes up with a case for it. But Muslims are now greatly represented and it will not take long for them to have complete control. They already have control over the U.N. Take a look, what is the leadership of the United Nations like? If they continue at this rate, the statistics are frightening. Will our country look like Israel does today, posturing against the Palestines? How much longer will that take? We may end up fighting for our very lives.

All of this may seem dismal. And humanly speaking, it is. I personally do not believe that Islam is a peaceful religion. I think they have ulterior motives and when they gain control through global dominance, it's going to be devastating unlike anything we've ever seen. We'll see persecution of Jews and Christians, unlike we've ever seen. And that's saying a lot considering there have been numerous martyrs of the Christian faith and of Jews just from the time when Jesus was here. that the end? The end of all hope? Of course not. As Christians, we know the ending. But don't we also know what are supposed to be the final few chapters of our history? Something about the tribulation? Something about a world population with different kings and nations rising up against Christians, and more importantly, our Lord Jesus Christ? I may be mistaken, but I think the end times are coming. And we're seeing the signs. Jesus had a lot to say about this in Matthew 24:

Signs of the End of the Age
 1Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. 2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
 3As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

 4Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. 8All these are the beginning of birth pains.

 9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

 15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house. 18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. 19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. 22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it. 24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. 25See, I have told you ahead of time.

 26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. 27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

 29"Immediately after the distress of those days
   " 'the sun will be darkened,
      and the moon will not give its light;
   the stars will fall from the sky,
      and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'

 30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. 31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

 32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. 33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. 34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Day and Hour Unknown
 36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.
 42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

 45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So for all you Saints out there, be prepared! And be alert! The end is near.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Can you think of a more contentious issue than abortion? As divisive as it is, one would be surprised to learn that 9% of Americans have either mixed opinions (4%), no opinion (3%), or don't even know what the terms mean (2%). What that means then is that at least 91% of people have strong opinions, one way or the other, regarding this procedure. And according to this Gallup poll, the difference is nearly dead-even (46% for pro-life and 45% for pro-choice) as of March 2010.

Normally I like to at least recognize both sides of an issue. Generally, I find it educational and informative for one to know what the arguments are from both sides. But this one, I cannot and will not give any recognition to a position that I find morally deplorable and reprehensible. So as such, my main purpose is to plead on the behalf of life.

Now since there appears to be 2% that don't get the abortion issue, I believe it would be beneficial to attempt to identify what they are. A definition of abortion that appears to be as ambiguous as possible is found under

Abortion: In medicine, an abortion is the premature exit of the products of conception (the fetus, fetal membranes, and placenta) from the uterus. It is the loss of a pregnancy and does not refer to why that pregnancy was lost.

If you're like me, you read that definition and said, "What?!? How come it doesn't refer to why the pregnancy was lost?" I have to go even further in saying that not only is this definition ambiguous, it borders on deception, if not lying. Interestingly, it leaves out some very important details as to what abortion really is. Details, that if you were new to all of this, that it would give you a much different perspective. According to AbcBirth, abortion is:

Abortion: The loss of a pregnancy by artificial or natural means. The lay public often refers to "abortion" as any artificial means to induce the loss of a pregnancy. Physicians and midwives refer to this type of abortion as "therapeutic abortion" or "elective abortion". Physicians and midwives also refer to miscarriages as "spontaneous", "threatened" or "incomplete" abortions.

Some other important terminology to understand the abortion debate can be found at Religious Tolerance. I'll list a few here that are relevant to the discussion:

Anti-abortion: This is a term whose meaning is in flux. Sometimes it is used as a derogatory synonym for "pro-life." Recently, it has been frequently used to refer to individuals and groups who take violent action against abortion providers or clinics, up to and including shooting staff and bombing clinics.

Anti-choice: Derogatory term used to refer to pro-life advocates, implying that their prime motivation is to control women and restrict their freedom. It is not. Almost all "pro-lifers" appear to be motivated by the belief that a fertilized ovum, embryo and fetus are a human person whose life must be protected.

Embryo: A stage of pre-natal mammalian development which (in humans) extends from 2 to 8 weeks after fertilization. It is termed a "bilaminar" or two layer embryo during its second week and becomes a trilaminar (3 layer) embryo during its third week. At 9 weeks it is generally referred to as a fetus.

Fetus: From the Latin fetus, meaning offspring, bringing forth, hatching of young. 2 A stage of pre-natal mammalian development which (in humans) starts 9 weeks after fertilization or at the gestational age of 11 weeks. Once born, the fetus is referred to as a newborn.

Life:  Sperm is a form of human life, because it contains human DNA. An individual sperm might have been alive for many months before it has the opportunity to approach an ovum. An ovum is a form of human life, because it also contains human DNA. It ripens and is expelled by an ovary many days before having the possibility being exposed to sperm. A new-born baby is a human life and a human person. Pro-life advocates typically believe that the transition from human life to human personhood happens at fertilization. Pro-choice advocates typically believe that the transition happens much later (e.g. when the fetus is viable -- capable of living on its own, or when its higher brain functions start to operate, or when it is born).

Pro-choice: A belief that women should be given free access to abortions if she wishes to terminate a pregnancy. People who consider themselves "pro-choice" take many positions. Some believe that a woman should have free access to abortions up until fetal viability; others say that a woman should be able to choose to have an abortion later in pregnancy.

Pro-life: In general, this is movement whose members believe that human life (in the form of a spermatozoon and ovum) becomes a human person at the instant of conception (or perhaps shortly after when a unique DNA is produced). Thus the lives of all pre-embryos, embryos and fetuses are to be protected under law until birth. The term has been embraced by some who feel that abortions should be totally unavailable, even to save the life of the woman. Others would allow a woman to have an abortion to avoid disastrous or disabling health problems. At the other end of the spectrum are persons who would allow abortions if caused by of rape or incest. According to one Pro-life group, legislators who have vote in favor of a partial birth abortion ban are now calling themselves "pro-life:" Pastor Matt Trewhella of noted that now even a person "who is only opposed to partial-birth abortions can sell themselves as pro-life."

(WARNING: The following paragraphs are graphic in nature.)

Now, keep in mind, these definitions are not based so much on a Christian perspective. But here is where a spade must be called a spade. I understand there are different definitions pertaining to abortions: therapeutic, elective, spontaneous, threatened, incomplete, or whatever. We all know what the main discussion here is about, and where abortion is being discussed everywhere in society. It's about the intentional, or elective, abortion of a life inside a womb. puts the definition in terms regarding the methodology:

Perhaps the best way to arrive a a fair definition of abortion is to take a look at the different methods that are utilized in the termination of a pregnancy. Dilation and curettage involves the forced dilation of the woman's cervix. After this the fetus is cut apart and dismembered and vacuumed from the mother's womb through a suction tube. After the unborn infant is removed, the abortionist must reassemble the various body parts to make sure that nothing has been left inside the mother. When this occurs it is called retained products of conception and can result in infection or further surgery for the aborting mother. Early in the pregnancy, a looped knife may be used to kill and cut apart the unborn child. In later term abortions, the abortionist will use forceps to tear apart the infant through violent twisting actions. Often the spine will need to be broken in two and the skull collapsed. Such descriptions can certainly do much to change an individual's definition of abortion.

After the fourth month of pregnancy, a procedure called saline injection may be used. The abortionist will use a long needle to inject a saline, or salt solution through the mother's abdomen into the amniotic sac. The infant will swallow this solution and be poisoned by it. The outer layer of the unborn child's skin may also be badly burned. This procedure takes time and the unborn child may suffer for an hour or more. In some cases, this approach does not succeed in killing the infant. The mother will then go into labor sometime within the next twenty four hours. She may give birth to a dead baby, but there have been cases of infants who were still living when they were delivered. If left unattended, as is often the case, these infants will die. There are many stories of individuals who have survived these late term abortions and gone on to be adopted and lead full lives. These survivors certainly offer a unique perspective on the definition of abortion.

Understanding abortion is important. Unless you allow yourself to come to grips on what abortion does, you can never fully appreciate the seriousness of situation. That is why I believe we all need to know the definition as put forth (as above) by And that is why so many pro-life advocates are pleading with our elective representatives that women who are considering abortion should know the behind-the-scenes actions that are part of abortion. For example, in Florida advocates were seeking to pass a measure that would "have required a woman to undergo an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion" as they were able to pass in Oklahoma. Unfortunately, this failed at the hands of its governor. Not only that, this has left many liberals upset that they're being forced to waste precious time AND saying it infringes on womens' rights to have an abortion. Another example of this is The Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act of 2010. This seeks to "ensure that women who are seeking an abortion are made aware that a child may be able to feel pain at 20 weeks of gestation and allows a woman to choose anesthesia for the baby if they decide to go through with the procedure." This is currently being presented before Congress by Rep. Chris Smith.

By now you understand what abortion is. But do you understand what is being done in regards to abortion? Are you aware that in some ways you ARE supporting it? Unfortunately, you are. Whether you like it or not. And whether it goes against your conscience or not. To the government, that is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that it is legal and they're going to use your tax dollars to ensure that their agenda is being moved forward. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), nearly a billion of your (recorded) tax dollars have been spent on pro-abortion organizations in the past seven years. And they say that's not including the amount that cannot be accounted for. What many people DO NOT even realize (including some uninformed Christians) is who these particular organizations are. Let's list out the five main ones the GAO discloses:

Advocates for Health
The Guttmacher Institute
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA)
Population Council and Sexuality Information
Education Council of the United States (SEICUS)

Planned Parenthood? Really? Isn't that an oxymoron? Interestingly, I have known Christians, and some well-meaning people, who were not even aware that Planned Parenthood was involved in such things. But if you have paid any attention at all to the news or read any current events in the newspaper, you would know that Planned Parenthood plays a BIG part in the abortion industry.

So, is this it? Again, no. Unfortunately, it's going to get worse. Like it or not, we're going to be supporting the abortion industry through our premiums and tax dollars in the new Healthcare Reform passed by Congress and signed by the President. You say that you don't believe it? Check out what the Family Research Council has to say about it. But it doesn't stop there. Abortion advocates are pushing for abortions to once again be allowed on military bases. (Who is it again that pays taxes that pays for our military?) And now the FDA is holding hearings on (which may already been approved) the use of yet ANOTHER 'Morning After' pill.  For those who are wondering what abortifacient drugs are, Life Issues Institutes describes it as "a drug or device which causes an abortion within the first one or two weeks of a human's life."

Of course, in this whole debate, I go on without even examining what the Bible, God's Word, has to say about it. First, I have to ask, "Would God support a procedure that basically dehumanizes and devalues life?" Life that David said:

 Psalm 139:11-14

11 "If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,"

 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.

 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.

 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.

AND life that Solomon said:

Ecclesiastes 11:5

5 As you do not know the path of the wind,
       or how the body is formed in a mother's womb,
       so you cannot understand the work of God,
       the Maker of all things.

Let us not forget that it is God who gave us life. Should we take God's place and determine whether a child is to live or to die? Does God not see even the sparrow that falls from the tree? God even knows us before we're born! So let's not think that God is unconcerned about these matters. Life that He gave is precious to Him. Life even inside the womb.

Now, if you're like me, you're asking what can be done? Is it hopeless? First of all, God is still in control. So no, it's never hopeless. But we can do our part. In whatever way God leads you, be a voice for the unborn. Speak out, vote, write your congressman, join pro-life organizations taking the fight to the government, and take part in the legislative process. But above everything else, pray. Pray is the most powerful weapon we have against the spiritual forces of darkness. And whether we realize it or not, we are in a battle.

Ephesians 6:11-13

11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.


Ephesians 6:14-18

14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
As Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "The chief purpose of government is to protect life. Abandon that and you have abandoned all."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


With all the talk in the world today about socialism, fascism, and all the other isms out there, it got me to thinking. I wonder how these different forms of philosophies fit into a Biblical worldview. If we believe we're in the end times, and I do, we have to pay particular attention to the world around us and understand isms a little better.

I wish I would have paid more attention in school. When I was in grade school, I didn't try to learn and regularly got C's, D's , and F's. I started showing some interest in middle school and high school but apparently I missed some real important formative years.  Now history fascinates me. Though I am particularly interested in US History, I am drawn to history in whatever form.

In history, there have been some good, some not so good, and some downright awful philosophical systems of government. The point in history, though, is to learn from people who have come before us. We should be able to recognize previous systems that have been oppressive, inhumane, or detrimental to humanity.

It seems that as a people, we don't do that too well. We don't seem to learn from the mistakes of others. But wise men store up knowledge and they're discerning. They evaluate the world in which they live and act accordingly.  We need to learn what has worked and avoid the monstrous mistakes of our predecessors.

So what does a Biblical worldview have to with isms? First, let's understand what Biblical worldview means.  For me, I believe it means how we view the world through the lenses of God's eyes. By that I mean we have to be able to interpret the world through what the Bible says.   Clyde F. Autio explains the Biblical worldview this way:

A person’s worldview, whether it be Christian, humanist or whatever is a personal insight about meaning and reality. It is how a person interprets, through his or her own eyes, a personal belief about the world. A person’s worldview tries to give reasons for how the facts of reality relate and tie together. The summation of these facts provides the big picture into which the daily events of a person’s life should fit.

I tend to believe that if we can learn from history about the isms we can apply a Biblical worldview to our current situation today.  Not only to learn what forms of philosophy to avoid in government but to apply a Biblical perspective to a system that would work best.  The problem that I see today is there is a lot of anger over how the government is trying to usurp power here in the USA. Of course, if you fail to realize that our freedoms hang in the balance and that the original philosophical system of capitalism is the path that our forefathers set us on, then none of this is going to mean anything to you. But if you do understand the implications, you need to also understand what it is that we're up against.

With all the talk of the isms, I for one wasn't sure what it was that we were losing our freedoms to. I think it's important that we understand so we can intelligently debate the facts. That seems to be the one thing the government has a hard time with. So let's look at what the isms are and see for sure what they mean.

In this blog by Bob O, he goes into some detail on a few of the more well-known isms.  Another site I've seen that does a fair job is at Restoring America.  But a more expanded list of the various philosophies can be found at The Phrontistery.  In any case, it wouldn't hurt to read a few of them and try to glean some understanding of these various philosophies.

The two that I would like to focus on at this point are capitalism and socialism.  I was going to mention communism, but as I was reading on it, communism is apparently a branch of socialism.  Although, by reading through the definition on All About Philosophy, communism does seem to put our current government situation into a better light.  But for now, let's look only at socialism as the broader economic and political system for comparative purposes.

Capitalism, according to, is a "social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.  Under capitalism the state is separated from economics (production and trade), just like the state is separated from religion.  Capitalism is the system of laissez faire.  It is the system of political freedom."

Socialism, according to, refers to "any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy."

Now, the first thing that we need to understand when analyzing the differences between these two system is which one fits the model of a Biblical system of government and economy better.  Kelly Boggs, writing from the Baptist Press, states that there isn't a political or economic model that comes straight from the Bible.  However, he does point out that capitalism does fit best against Biblical principles. does an excellent job at explaining how Biblical principles led our forefathers to establish the form of government, using capitalism, that has given America the ability to succeed.

After reading, I came away with a better understanding of what our nation was built on.  It helped me to see a Biblical perspective and those freedoms and principles that I want to hold on to as a believer in Christ and a citizen of the United States.  But when I look at what is happening today, with our President trying to redistribute wealth from the rich in order to govern the country he sees fit, I cringe.  Let's get one thing clear.  I am not wealthy and would surely benefit from paying less in taxes and letting the rich assume most of the burden.  But for me, there are two problems with this.  One, I find that in the Bible, God values work.  It seems by taking something from the wealthy, I'm actually taking something that isn't mine.  Secondly, I do believe in a system where those who work hard, succeed in life, and  take risks and reap rewards actually benefits a society.  These people would be the minds that dream big dreams, that invent and discover, and actually improve life through technology, medicine, science, and other such benefits.  When these are the people who take their resources and invest them in mine by giving me a job and helping me to learn and grow, why in the world would I want to do anything to inhibit that?

But what happens if our government and the current administration gets its way?  Is it going to bring about a better way of life?  Sure, the government can spend and mismanage our money, and find multiple ways to make it look like their ideas (socialist ideas) are working, but time is the big factor.  In time we will see, much like other nations that follow this model, that greater success comes from people who take ownership (as in capitalism) rather than those who rely on others to take up their slack (socialism).

I know that those who like the idea of socialism (socialism seeks to distribute, or rather redistribute, a society's wealth more "equally" to all its citizens) would love to believe that in this form of society, we would all work hard and we would all equally benefit.  But if you truly understood the condition of man, you would know that sin causes such a system to fail.  Man is wicked in nature and man will find ways to take advantage for self.  If there isn't motive for a person to succeed on his own, then there's not much chance that he'll contribute to the success of the whole.  That's sin.

So, do you understand what I mean about having a Biblical worldview in light of the condition of the world today?  We need to understand the times, and we need to understand the Bible.  If we sit back and do nothing, and say nothing, then we have only ourselves to blame.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


 This is a difficult subject. Probably because it hits so close to home. I am definitely not an expert on the subject and would welcome any comments, questions, suggestions, etc. that you may have.

Have you ever experienced pain from someone, or someones, that you knew you need to forgive, but couldn't? I would love to hear about your experience.

The reason I bring this up is because at my church our pastor is going through a series teaching on the Gospel. It has been a huge learning experience for the entire congregation. Our pastor, and elders, are very intentional about teaching God's Word that is going to produce a response from us to God. And through his teachings, God's Word pokes and prods and sometimes makes us very uncomfortable. And that is where this issue of forgiveness comes in.

Last week, Todd (our pastor) gave us some very clear applications to the teaching on forgiveness. He made it clear that through our sanctification process that God is working in us in this area of forgiveness. Among many, many other things of course. The thing that struck me was when Todd told us that if any of us was harboring unforgiveness that we should not come to church next week. Wow. He even admitted as much that not too many pastors would put out such a challenge. But Todd didn't hold back. Though the teaching was difficult for all of us to hear on some level, it comes straight from God's word. "Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison." Matthew 5:23-25

It makes sense, obviously. With Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, He goes through the most painful, agonizing death imaginable. He endured the pain, scorn, and shame of the cross for a reason. He was reconciling the world to Himself. "All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." 2 Corinthians 5:18-20

Since God has gone through so much in order for us to be reconciled, even choosing to forgive us of our most heinous of sins, how can we not but be thankful? However, though we are grateful we may still find it difficult to deal with the forgiveness of others ourselves. Why is that? I think part of it is because of God's nature. God's perfect love leads him to be able to forgive though we were enemies. And we're but man...imperfect.

Isn't that the kind of love that God has called us to? To love our enemies? Shouldn't that lead us to a place of forgiveness as well? Isn't that what love is? So if we are called to love and forgive, why is it so hard?

Like I said, for God it is part of who He is. God is love. But for us, though we are saved by grace and are being conformed into His image, we still are not perfect. Our love is not perfect. And our forgiveness is not perfect.

When someone hurts us, I mean really hurts us, it runs deep into our soul. Obviously, at some point we need to be able to forgive the offender. Not so much for that person's sake, but for ours. This website points out some real serious consequences to allowing unforgiveness to fester. It's certainly critical in our relationship with God since Jesus says, "But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:15

But my question is this: If we are unable to forgive someone, should we not go to church, the one place where God can continue through teaching and through fellowship with other believers, to help us process the pain where we can learn and eventually forgive? I brought this question before Todd and he made a very interesting point...if we are saying that we can't forgive, that doesn't necessarily mean that we're blatantly saying "no" to God. In some cases, when the pain is fairly recent, and depending on the situation and the extent of the offense (i.e. adultery, murder, etc.) it may not be an immediate response to be able to say, "Okay, I forgive!" For these kind of circumstances, it's going to take time and healing. But we need to be able to at least pray and ask God to help us. It may take awhile, but eventually we need to be able to love and forgive, just as Christ did with us. We certainly don't want to be guilty of the same thing as the unmerciful servant.

On the other side of this, if what we're saying to God is that I will not (or refuse) to forgive, then you are harboring unforgiveness and you are in very dangerous territory. Does forgiving mean that you forget or that the pain suddenly goes away? Does it mean you have to disregard your feelings? There's actually some pretty good answers to these difficult questions and more from Mary Fairchild at Christianity Guide. There's even a book on the subject that I understand is very good too. The bottom line is that we don't want to be at a place where we are refusing to obey God's clear instruction to forgive. If that is the case, it doesn't matter whether you go to church, or do all the right things, or pray to God. It's so serious of a matter to God, that He will not even listen to you.

The conclusion to which I came to is that I believe just as God reveals sin in your life and then you need to recognize the sin and deal with it and come to repentance, so it is with forgiveness. As God brings up certain pain and hurt in your life, you need to face it. It may take time and healing, but at some point we need to be able to release that debt we're holding over someone and give it over to God. He is the ultimate Judge. And when we do, when we finally give it over and choose to forgive despite how we feel, I believe we'll experience freedom.

Has this been your experience? How have you dealt with forgiveness? What process did you go through? Are you still harboring unforgiveness? I would be interested to hear what you have to say.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Taking Back America

I realize that this is not a popular topic, even among Christians. Opinions differ not only to whether the good ol' USA was birthed a Christian nation, but even whether it had Christian influence at all. Many history books today bear little claim that, other than the Puritans with difficult religious views, God or Christians made a mark on America's beginnings at all.

One may argue that this was never a Christian nation, but merely a nation for anyone, in any religion, to come and express their beliefs and worship whoever they please; to worship freely without repercussions in other words. Another may say that there was no evidence of a Christian influence at all, that our founding fathers were agnostic and were clearly leaving a country behind where religion was oppressive. They would die fighting, if necessary, to gain their freedom from religion in the new world. But there are still others that would claim that out of duty and obligation to the God of the Holy Scriptures, America was birthed from a direct desire to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That the majority of the founding fathers themselves were Christian and wanted to establish a people, a nation, a government, a way of life that reflected the Judeo-Christian beliefs that they put their faith in. 

History has been under an onslaught for years. It's actually no surprise if you consider that by definition it is a record of events that have occurred in the past, good and bad. The past tells us something about ourselves; many events that tell us that we were a wicked and perverse people. It's similar to exposing a sinner to his/her depravity. No one feels good when faced with their own sin, particularly an unrepentant sinner not wanting to come face to face with the very thing that burns their conscience or adds to their guilt. As evidence to this, here are a few quotes from well-known people on their thoughts on history:

"The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles" [Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels The Communist Manifesto]

"History is philosophy from examples" [Dionysius of Halicarnassus Ars Rhetorica]

"There is properly no history; only biography" [Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays]

"History is more or less bunk. It's tradition. We don't want tradition. We want to live in the present and the only history that is worth a tinker's damn is the history we make today" [Henry Ford]

"History is past politics, and politics is present history" [E.A. Freeman Methods of Historical Study]

"What experience and history teach is this - that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it" [G.W.F. Hegel Philosophy of History]

"History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake" [James Joyce Ulysses]

"The world's history is the world's judgement" [Friedrich von Schiller]

"Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes" [Voltaire L'Ingénu]

"That great dust-heap called history'" [Augustine Birrell Obiter Dicta]

"History [is] a distillation of rumour" [Thomas Carlyle History of the French Revolution]

"History gets thicker as it approaches recent times" [A.J.P. Taylor English History 1914-45]

"History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce" [Karl Marx]

But take a closer look at what history represents. If...and I stress looks at what history is from the perspective of a Holy God then you might look at it differently. Think about it, God is the Beginning and the
End, or the Alpha and the Omega. He's been writing His story (history) from the beginning. And is still
writing it on peoples' hearts.

History tells us something about where we've been, who we are, and where we're going. But like science and
other studies in academia, if we leave out God, then we're no closer to understanding anything as the rich man was when Jesus told him to give away all his wealth and follow Him.

So why is history so important in taking our country back? Because it's the foundation. Just like when Jesus was teaching about one "who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock." So it is about the founding of our nation.

Depending on who you choose to listen to on the subject, you may end up with a plethora of explanations on the US's founding. But there is so much evidence, written down in books and even part of our founding documents, that it's hard to ignore God's Word that is infused and penned into the heart of our nation.

Check out the founding documents and see for yourself whether you can sense God's providential hand sovereignly guiding our nation. God's principles are surely outlined in the vast majority of those pages. Even if the names Jehovah, or Almighty God, or the Lord God Almighty is not spelled out, His principles surely are. His divine nature and qualities seep from the pages with references to a Divine Author or Supreme Being, which now give to protest because the name God wasn't directly mentioned.

Check out the quotes from Eads Home Ministries and Our Founding Fathers  and you can see that there's plenty of evidence to support God's guidance, direction, and involvement. And you'll also notice that many founding fathers were indeed believers or at least acknowledged God's sovereignty on many occasions.

But what if, as crazy as it sounds, you're thinking to yourself that everything is going along just fine. That there's no need to panic. Perhaps that our Christian heritage is not in peril or under attack. I would probably suggest that you're hiding your head in the sand then. Even the President of the United States was so bold to declare that we're not a Christian nation. It wasn't a mistake or a slip of the tongue. He has not backed down from this statement and he completely agrees ideologically, along with other extreme liberals, that Christianity has no place in America. Google this very thing (type in "why we're not a Christian nation") and you can see the many various opinions from liberals who are adamantly opposed to anything Christian or having God in any part of our heritage.

Part of the problem stems from a takeover of our major communication outlets (i.e. the main stream media). The liberals believed back in the 60's and 70's that if they could control the source where people get their information, they could also control, or perhaps dictate, public perception. It's no secret that their goals are to sway public opinion. But what isn't so clear is who the main players are behind this takeover. Check out the Media Research Center and you get a general sense of who they are and their agenda. The main culprits, though, can arguably be the radical left liberals whose objective is to control America. One who stands out among the most radical, and that's saying something, is Saul Alinsky with his book Rules for Radicals.

We know there's a problem, but what can we do about it? How can we take America back? I think Christians and conservatives, for one, need to be united. Together they need to recognize the main issue, that the liberals and the socialists are trying to gain power, and together find solutions to counter it. If we can manage that much, we might be able to adopt some of the liberals' own strategies and begin to take back what was once ours. Already, we are seeing a difference with conservative talk radio, blogs, and other media sources. But we need to be vigilant and not let our guard down because even now the Fairness Doctrine is being used to try to circumvent conservatives efforts.

There are other concerns, other reasons that our country has been on a downward trend. We've been diverting ourselves from the principles that our forefathers held and haven't been doing much to deter it. We have been allowing sin to fester and saying nothing in regards to our culture. However, if we decide to hold onto the principles that our forefathers did, and engage our culture with our faith and the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we might see a turn around. We need to be engaged, and that includes our involvement in government policy and voting when we have the chance. Whether we like it or not, it makes a difference in the direction our nation takes in regards to social policy. And above everything else, we need to pray and look to God that He would forgive us of our sins and once again turn us back to those principles that our nation once held so dear, the very same principles that come straight from the Bible...God's Word.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Why marriage? Why should we even bother with the formalities? Isn't it basically a legal way of saying two people want to live together? So what's the fuss all about? And now that homosexuals are asking for the same rights as the heterosexuals, what's the harm?

But I ask again, why marriage? Where did this idea even come from? I'll be honest, until I started writing on this subject I never thought I'd be asking if marriage somehow originated from the animal kingdom, as in evolution. It's an interesting question, is it not? How, and more succinctly, why would marriage even begin if we evolved from apes, or monkeys, or some other creature? As I looked at this subject, it occurred to me that evolutionists have yet another question to answer to corroborate their theory. It doesn't make sense that as man evolved from the animal kingdom that out of ignorance, with no knowledge or need for such a system, we would have created a social order that would take primal instincts and relegate it to a restrictive notion as marriage.

In a comprehensive look at this question, has explained this in more depth. It appears that evolutionists have tried to answer this preposterous question, and their answers lack veracity. It's a leap in any case to first believe that something was created from nothing and then believe that life was brought forth by nonliving matter. But it's an even greater insult to the intelligence to suggest that ethics, morality, feelings, emotions, etc. somehow just evolved when it never existed. Where would the very idea develop? And why would man take something so primitive and free, as liberals like suggest about sex, and come up with a social institution like marriage that restricts them to boundaries and laws, thus making sex dull and confined as is their understanding?

By using this logic, therefore, wouldn't it suggest that as man evolved, man's intelligence and intuitiveness would also have evolved? So carrying this through, over time as societies became more aware of civilized behavior, wouldn't they begin to acknowledge the value and merit of monogamy, and even more so, marriage? Whey then, are those who support this theory trying to revert us back to primitive behavior? Isn't that counterproductive in the progression of evolution?

There's so many flaws in these hypothetical preconceived notions that it would take volumes of pages to repudiate them in great detail. And there are some that have done so within the Christian community. Let it suffice to say that I'm not buying it. Never have and never will.

So what are we left with then? If on one hand evolution is a weak argument for the institution of marriage, wouldn't it be safe to assume that it had to come from somewhere, perhaps Someone? My argument, rather should I say it's the argument of many faithful believers in a Creator, asserts that it came from the God of the Bible. I have seen no other book, resource, or explanation that would adequately disprove that God Himself created marriage for the enjoyment of his creation and for His glory.

If God then is the origin of marriage, wouldn't that imply there was a purpose to this structure? Contrary to most of the intellectual thought of today, marriage has a far greater purpose than just building upon stable relationships that nourish a need for care and compassion. It even goes beyond the feelings and emotions of love. suggests that "God's primary purpose for marriage is to use it to help shape us into the image of His Son." I would take that even a step further. The fact that God has saved us through His Son, Jesus, tells us there is a greater purpose. It's not about us. The ultimate goal is not even to save us and conform us into His Son's image. Everything God does is for the sole purpose of bringing glory to Himself. Jesus life, Jesus' death on the cross, Jesus' resurrection, our salvation, the community of believers, our worship all suggest that everything is to bring glory to God!

So what is it about marriage that brings glory to God? Marriage is a unique relationship that exemplifies God's nature. God is in a communal relationship with the Trinity. Though I can't adequately understand, let alone explain this, God is three persons in One. But in this unique relationship, God the Father is contantly pouring out His love and personification to the Son and the Spirit. The Son, likewise to the Father and the Spirit. And the Spirit to the Father and the Son. It's always a giving, committed, selfless action of love that one pours out to the other. It's the embodiment of what a "PERFECT" relationship looks like.

Given that God is the perfect example and that marriage is created to replicate God's nature, that must mean that marriage takes on the personality of God as well. In fact, when love is inserted in marriage in the relationship that God designed between a man and woman, doesn't in fact demonstrate this very thing? There is no better way to describe God's love than in 1 Corinthians 13:

 1If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

 4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

 8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

 13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

The question that comes to mind, though, is why is marriage only between a man and a woman? Well, in God's system of marriage, Jesus points out, "But at the beginning of creation God 'made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." There is no wiggle room here for discussion. Jesus says that marriage (in context Jesus was explaining why divorce is not really an option) is the original plan that God had for a man and a woman.

At, they put the answer to this question this way:

The image of God is both male and female and is reflected in a godly union between male and female where the creative power of God, His life-giving, His self-giving and His moral nature are perfectly expressed. This is only possible in a heterosexual union.

When God created a partner for Adam He created Eve - not another Adam. This means that perfect partnership requires some level of difference as well as a level of similarity so great that Adam could cry out loudly, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh". Sexual intimacy between a man and a woman is the normal method of male/female bonding (emotionally and physically) because it corresponds to the design of our bodies and because it is the normal means by which offspring are created.

If God had intended the human race to be fulfilled through both heterosexual and homosexual marriage, He would have designed our bodies to allow reproduction through both means and made both means of sexual intercourse healthy and natural. Homosexual anal intercourse carries a high risk of disease, this is recognized in Scripture where gay men are said to receive in their bodies the due penalty for their error (Romans 1:27).

So, in view of God's intention for marriage, we have to understand that going against this structure (i.e. same-sex marriage) is actually in violation of God's nature. Time and time again, the Bible warns against homosexual relationships. Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10 are examples of God's warnings against it. It's not something to be tolerated, but rather something to be warned against. Judgment follows something that is so radically opposed to God's character and His commands. Though the judgment came in Genesis 19:1-29 against Sodom and Gomorrah, the indictment actually was given earlier when God and Abraham were discussing the destruction of the cities. Genesis 18:16-33 The sin that was a stench to God was so great that destruction was going to be thorough and complete. And by reading the following chapter, you can see what kind of sin was so pervasive in those cities...homosexuality.

Let's not kid ourselves about what marriage is and what marriage is not. To some, they can't understand why Christians are so adamant in their fight against same-sex marriage. Aside from the fact the allowing same-sex marriage would bring in a host of other problems in regards to government, discrimination, and a host of social problems that would be pervasive, it's a complete disregard to the commands and ordinances of God. Our priority is not to placate man and ensure that we all are happy and content and comfortable. Our goal is the glory of God. And since homosexuality actually does the opposite, Christians are naturally going to be opposed to it. And the Glory of God is always something to take a stand on.