Finding Hope in the Aftermath of the Dallas Police Massacre

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What can possibly be said to attempt to bring healing from the aftermath of the bloodbath in Dallas? Twelve officers were shot, and five of them paid with their lives protecting protestors who were taunting and insulting them. Let that sink in for a moment. The fate of the other seven are uncertain at this point. Please make every effort to pray for them, and all of the families of the victims. Please also take time to read about the cops who certainly did not deserve to die that day. These were incredible men. Men of honor and courage.

Let me say upfront that I hate racism of any kind, which is why I can’t stand the so called #BlackLivesMatter movement. It is a product of racism, and hatred, and it mass produces more hatred and racism. It’s a movement completely birthed from series of lies that Michael Brown (from my hometown of St. Louis) died with his hands up saying “don’t shoot!” Even Obama’s Justice Department under Eric Holder found this not to be true. The reality is that he was attacking a cop, and trying to take his gun. To give this group respect and legitimacy that it does not deserve is to not only prevent making progress on this issue, but ensure that these problems get much, much worse.

I honestly take no pleasure in being right about who #BlackLivesMatter really are, since I’ve been writing about them since their founding. I am actually filled with nothing but sadness over this situation. As I’ve said before the fact that they are offended by saying #AllLivesMatter proves that this is a racist, and hate-filled organization.  Thankfully the police chief of El Paso TX, who is himself black, has described them as a “radical hate group.” The courage that he has shown proves again that this is not about black and white, but about right and wrong. It’s about culture and values, not race. But the dirty little secret is that black racism towards white people has been very mainstream for a long time now. As Thomas Sowell, economist and black conservative who grew up in Harlem during the era of segregation has so perfectly put it “I’m old enough to remember when most of the people saying racist things publicly were white people.” His point (as if it weren’t obvious) is that now it’s reversed.

The shooter himself has identified his own motives by saying that he wanted to “kill as many white people as possible,” particularly white cops. This according to the Dallas police chief, who is also black. But stating that fact is considered inflammatory, and even racist in our society that suppresses and even hates that truth. The shooter joins a long list of very evil people who want to start a race war.

Our president has said that his motives were unclear, which often seems to be the case when a particular set of facts conflict with his own narrative of reality. He himself has thrown fuel on the fire rhetorically by saying that “racial disparities” were to blame for the recent police shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota. If that turns out to be the case then I will gladly join the chorus of protests, but as Christians we must always be careful to deal with the facts of each case as they become more and more apparent. Maybe there was incompetence, and poor training, but no evidence of racial animus or hatred? Maybe in one or both the officers were justified, and feared for their lives? Maybe the individuals were treated differently because they were black? We simply don’t know at this point. Maybe the officers were more on edge because of their past experiences in dealing with young black males, who commit a very disproportionate amount of violent crime, and are now emboldened to not obey and not trust law enforcement due to the narrative that is being put forth by groups like Black Lives Matter, and the president. But I don’t assume that the cops are justified when things like this happen, and I certainly want justice for all involved, even though the dead can never be brought back to life. And the loss of their lives is certainly tragic at such young ages, whatever the circumstances may have been.

So yes I hate, absolutely HATE the fact that we can’t come together as a society and mourn the loss of all lives. I hate the fact that as a nation we are not motivated by truth, but by having our own biases confirmed. As Christians we should always seek to make truth one of (if not the) the primary motivating forces in our lives, even when it makes us very uncomfortable in our deeply held assumptions. Which is why it’s so important to look at the real statistics on crime and police shooting according to race. It’s not what you’ve been led to believe by the media. I actually beg you to read the above article, because it is filled with facts that overwhelmingly contradict the Black Lives Matters narrative and has the power to persuade those who are open minded.

My sincerest prayer is that we can come together to allow for true healing and reconciliation to occur. I may be naive, but I truly believe that God will open people’s eyes to see the danger of the hatred that is posed by this godless movement known as Black Lives Matter. I’m not saying they are wrong in every case, but this is not the civil rights movement 2.0. What MLK and others wanted was love, and brotherhood among men and women of all races. He wanted blacks to be able to be part of the American way of life, and treated as equals. Black Lives Matter wants to burn the system down, and ultimately is part of a global push for atheism/communism. BLM has already had rallies where they have chanted for dead cops, and are OK with starting a race war, as long as they think they can come out on top and right the wrongs of the past, and the present, as they perceive them. But go back and read what MLK said in his timeless I Have a Dream Speech– “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” And that was when discrimination based on race was the law of the land, and life was absolutely horrible for most blacks because of racism. Today so many of the wounds in the black community are self-inflicted, as evidenced by the out of wedlock birthrate, and staggering murder rate etc. These problems should have us all praying, and working for solutions, but BLM and the left in America insist that it is primarily due to white racism and “the historical legacy of slavery.”

I can also say that both blacks and whites feel like they are being treated unfairly in America in 2016. Whatever the case may be (and I certainly have my own opinions on that) the feelings of hatred and resentment have increased over the past few years, but what does the bible say? Jesus says in the sermon on the mount that even if we are being treated unfairly by those who hate us, that we are to “love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.” One of my favorite verses in the bible is when the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:21 to “not be overcome with evil, but to overcome evil with good.” And believe me, it is so easy to be overcome with evil these days, because it is advancing and multiplying, but yet God is sovereign, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against His church!

We must all examine ourselves however, since none of us is without sin. We are all guilty of prejudging people based on all sorts of things including race, and if we turn out to be right we pat ourselves on the back, instead of grieving that the individual is trapped in a lifestyle of sin and ultimate self-destruction. It’s always easy to see someone else’s sins, but difficult to see our own, because we always rationalize. We make excuses. Let us challenge one another to go outside of our comfort zone to be part of the solution, and make every effort to love and serve people who are different from us, and perhaps even very difficult to love. Let’s also remember that we all say incredibly stupid, hurtful things some times, that we wish we could take back. We must show each other grace, and mercy.

Let us pray that we can live differently in this very godless age, and demonstrate what life in the Kingdom of God is like where there is (or at least should be) no bitterness, no envy, no record of wrongs, no divisions based on color. But we all need to start here in 1 John 1:8-10, and honestly we need to come back to this passage daily.

“If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

But thank God for His indescribable mercy, and completely undeserved grace, without it we truly have no hope. May this be a turning point where we learn to live out our faith in a radical way for a much brighter tomorrow, for His glory!

Posted in ALL Lives Matter, Current Events, Forgiveness, Media Bias, Murder, Race, The Church, The Gospel | 7 Comments

Islamic Terror, Homophobia, and True Christianity

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The aftermath of the terrorist attack in Orlando, Fl at a gay night club called the Pulse has shown just how deeply divided we are as a nation. After 9/11 there was a sense of unity on the part of the American people that cut across so many boundaries (racial, partisan etc) that I long for now. While it’s true that the unity that came after 9/11 proved very short-lived, and was not rooted in principles, today we are incapable of even uniting in mourning the loss of 49 Americans who were murdered at the hands of an Islamic terrorist, and the approximately 50 others who were injured. We really shouldn’t be surprised by such division though, since seeking the truth in life is ultimately a very divisive undertaking. It’s a sad commentary on humanity that many people would rather remain deceived, rather than face uncomfortable truths. I have experienced this struggle countless times in my own life, and it continues to this day.

Like so many other Christians, I have been accused of hating gay people, but calling a lifestyle sinful and ultimately destructive, is very different from hating the people who practice it. All who continue in open rebellion against God are ultimately slaves to sin, and to the Father of Lies, who is the true enemy. I can only imagine the pain and horror losing a gay friend, coworker, or family member in a situation like this. My first reaction in a situation like this is one of immediate heartbreak and agony for the victims, and their families for so many lives to meet such a cruel, sadistic end. May we be ever faithful in praying for the families of the victims.

But then I think of eternity knowing that just as Hebrews 9:27 states “it is appointed for a man to die once, and after that the judgement.” The pain of knowing that people die apart from, and outside of the love and forgiveness of Christ should be almost unbearable to his followers. Too often we harden our hearts to this reality. I’m then reminded that God is the perfect judge of the human heart, and both completely sovereign and completely holy. We can all take comfort in that fact. If saying these things makes me a “hater” than so be it. I can assure any reader (gay or straight) that attitude does not come from a place of hatred, but of deep concern, and love.

Unfortunately in the aftermath, there have been many people on the left that have said to Christians (conservative Christians to be specific) we don’t want your sympathy, since you don’t support our agenda. There are even people like Sally Kohn of CNN, who have blamed Christians for contributing to the environment and fueling that hatred that allowed for this massacre. So an Islamic fundamentalist, who apparently struggled with same sex attraction himself, pledged allegiance to ISIS in an attempt to destroy as many lives as possible and Bible believing Christians are to blame!? See if you can figure that one out. That is worse than a lie. It’s pure slander. If anything, we have a church that is guilty of being too passive in the face of a gay agenda that is destructive to the fabric of our society, and which shreds our freedom to practice our faith publicly.

Now stop for minute, and imagine if this had been a conservative Christian who had carried out this attack. We would never hear the end of how awful Christianity is, and how hate-filled the Bible is. As Dennis Prager (a Jew) points out, Christians are constantly branded homophobic through guilt by association with the truly hateful Westboro Baptists. The Westboro Baptists are, for the record, a very obscure sect with a few dozen or so people who are mostly members of the Phelps family. They are not affiliated in any way with any mainstream Baptist denomination, and they are denounced by virtually every major Christian leader in America, and treated with the same disdain that the KKK is, but yet they are constantly used to smear all Christians.

Contrast that with the way that Islam is treated by the president, who refuses to mention even “radical” Islam in his remarks on this horrific event. He has essentially declared himself an expert on Islam, and feels compelled to tell members of ISIS who make it their life’s work to study and carry out the commandments of the Quran line by line, and verse by verse that they are not really Muslims, because “no religion condones violence” according to Obama. The reality is that the history of Islam has been soaked in blood since it’s inception, and that will never change as long as people continue to follow Muhammed’s example, and teachings.

What has been interesting in an unreal sort of way is that the media sees both Muslims and gays as victims of Christianity (and since the left is obsessed with race “white” Christianity in particular), so now the narrative has to about guns and gun control. People who are on the right understand that guns are morally neutral. It depends on who is holding the gun. I expect sinful human beings to do awful things to other human beings. This is multiplied a thousand fold, when you have a completely false religious system like Islam which teaches that God wants his followers to force people in submission through conquest and acts of terror. Thankfully I’m free from the delusion that people are basically good, or are born good. If that were the case then we’d have no choice but to blame the guns themselves.

The other interesting point that so very few people have made is that there is a coalition (maybe this is now coming undone) between the forces of secular fundamentalism that drives the gay pride movement, and the forces of radical Islam who see a common enemy in Christianity, and founding principles of America. But that should be the subject of another blog entry…

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Posted in ALL Lives Matter, Current Events, Homosexuality, Islam, Media Bias, Murder | 4 Comments

Is The Church at War?

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I came across an excellent, and highly recommended blog Matt Walsh recently entitled, “Christians, We Are At War. It’s Time We Start Acting Like It.” He makes the point that our modern version of “Christianity has been so watered down that we try to completely ignore passages from the Bible like the following…

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother,and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; a man’s foes will be those of his own household.”  Matthew 10:34-36

“For our fight is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” Ephesians 6;12-13

“on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, the world therefore hates you.20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you.” John 15:18-20

And the list goes on, and on…

Walsh responds to a reader of his that contacted him to accuse him of trying to bring back religious wars, and that his militant Christianity is driving people away from the church. His response is classic. The so called “religious wars” have never ceased. There has been a war between God and Satan from the beginning, between good and evil, and it won’t cease until the end of history. Souls are at stake. Our souls, and souls of our children. I encourage you to think about that the next time you hear a pastor say that he doesn’t want to talk about controversial topics, or get too “political.” Shakespeare famously said “All the world’s a stage.” The reality is that all the world is a battlefield. There is no area of life that Satan doesn’t seek to use corrupt, and destroy people with lies. I remember Chuck Colson saying that Satan can be much more effective in attacking entire cultures with lies rather than individuals. How true indeed!

Another great point that Matt Walsh makes in responding to the reader who says that militant Christianity is driving people away is to say “Good!” Let the church dwindle down to however many truly want the Truth of the Bible! Let those who are willing to follow Christ by taking up their Cross to the point of death (if necessary) stay, and let the rest leave. We don’t do anyone any favors by feeding them half truths, which is just a more polite way of saying lies. Let those who are frightened by the harsh truths of the Bible depart. It’s better that they get what they are looking for in the world, than watered down Christianity, which is not really Christianity at all. Perhaps when they see a real contrast, they will long to return.

We also need to recognize that Christ dividing the world is a very violent process, at least spiritually, emotionally. He also makes the point that Christ separating us from our sin with his sword of truth is violent, and perhaps terrifying, but it leads us to the Cross.

I heard RC Sproul recently recount a story of when (as a young man) he was speaking with a mentor of his, who asked him the question, “when you think of the Church, is the image that comes to mind one of a hospital or an army?” RC said without hesitation “an army,” but it was really a trick question. The Church should be both. I seen lots of churches over the years that functioned very effectively as hospitals for people that were left devastated by life, and their own bad decisions. I’ve seen very few that sought to effectively wage war against the Satanic strongholds, and lies of the culture that take the multitudes captive.

Again, I recommend that you read Matt Walsh’s blog in his entirety. It’s impossible for me to do it justice here, because he covers this subject in so much more detail, and honestly he’s a much better writer than I am.

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Posted in The Church, The Gospel, The Kingdom Gospel, Understanding Biblical Worldview | 2 Comments

RIP Harambe The Gorilla?

zoo-gorilla-child-hurtThe very fact that people would hold up a sign that says “RIP Harambe” is absurd on  many levels. Rest In Peace implies that the gorilla had a soul. Him having a soul would mean that he had to have been created by God, which true evolutionists deny as a possibility. But if God did in fact create gorillas, and humans, then we should find out what He values most in situations like the one that unfolded at the Cincinnati Zoo last weekend.

Romans 1 clearly warns against worshiping what is created, as does the ten commandments. The question I have for those who insist that a Gorilla’s life is just as important as that of a young boys is: doesn’t the fact that human beings can be sad or outraged over the death of a Gorilla show just how different we are from them? In other words, do you think if Harambe had killed this three year old kid (which he could have easily) would any of the his fellow Gorillas have been capable of the same responses? Do you think they were even sad or outraged over the tragic death of Harambe? The obvious answer should be no. The reason is that human beings are created in God’s Image, and animals are not.

Dennis Prager has conducted a thought experiment since the 1970s. He’s asked audiences that he’s addressed “If both your dog, and a stranger were drowning who would you save?” About one third say the dog, one third say the stranger, and the last third say they don’t know. This is disturbing, but not surprising since it’s easy for our feelings to dictate what we value more animal life vs human life, but again the Bible is crystal clear. Gorilla’s are incredibly awesome creatures, but the life of a human being at any age is infinitely more valuable. The fact that we live in a society where so many people are confused about this does not bode well for our future.

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Posted in Apologetics, Current Events, Origins, Understanding Biblical Worldview | 1 Comment

Is Free Speech Dead?

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A poll came out a few months back that showed that 40% of Millennials are OK with government limiting free speech that is considered offensive to minority groups. There are many other important findings from this poll, and it’s worth looking at in it’s entirety. But the statistic that I just cited represents a frightening trend for multiple reasons. The first is that there has always been the belief in America that even the most offensive speech has to be allowed, because otherwise free speech is utterly meaningless. No government can guarantee that someone won’t get offended without taking away this very precious, and even sacred freedom that allows for our way of life.

There is also no right not to be offended by what someone else says. Once upon a time in America, there used to be an understanding that said “I may vehemently disagree with what you have to say, but I’ll fight and die for your right to say it.” Accepting that idea was understood as part of becoming an adult, but unfortunately most universities in America teach young people to act like spoiled children. Free speech as long as you say what the Left deems is appropriate is not free speech at all, it’s totalitarianism. It’s also exactly what is destroying our institutions of higher learning.

There have also been countless examples of conservative speakers at college campuses in recent years that have been shouted down and their speeches shut down, lest the college students be exposed to ideas and opinions that they find offensive. Actually it’s worse than that, because those who shut down the free speech of others are unwilling to say I’d rather not have to hear what that individual has to say, and leave it at that. Such a position would still be intellectually cowardly, but would be infinitely better then trying to prevent others from hearing what the speaker in question has to say. In fact someone who’s confident in their position is willing to hear opposing points of view, and have an honest debate letting the audience decide who makes the coherent, and rational argument. Conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro was supposed to speak at Cal State LA a few months ago, and the university president cancelled the event under pressure from student groups there until they could find a panel of opposing viewpoints to counterbalance his. Shapiro showed up anyway, and the students that wanted to hear him speak had to be escorted in by security 2-3 at a time. While he spoke the lights were turned out, and Shapiro himself had to be snuck out by his security team who assessed the situation outside the theatre, and said that it was at the breaking point of a full scale riot developing! Rest assured the students who were responsible did not face any disciplinary action.

So this one of the many reasons I’m not optimistic about America’s future. College was supposed to be a place where there could be a “free exchange of ideas,” but the opposite of that is now true. At most universities you are required to “get in line, or else!” It would be wrong, no matter who was doing it. But as conservatives, and as Christians we recognize (or at least we should recognize) that such tactics are wrong, and dangerous. Donald Trump represents a response to the phenomenon of left-wing, secular fundamentalist bullying, even if he himself is neither conservative, or Christian. It’s also important to remember that you can’t become what you despise and hope to win the culture war. If you do then you haven’t really won, have you?

But this isn’t really about Trump, but about why what’s going on our society is so much bigger than this particular election. In other words, as long as universities are breeding grounds for this kind of indoctrination, then the freedom that we’ve always enjoyed in this country doesn’t stand a chance in the future. I would also add when pastors, and church leaders censor themselves in hopes of winning over more people (particularly young people) they’re not doing themselves, or the young people in question any favors. After all, is there any more offensive message in human history than the Gospel itself, which says that we are all wretched sinners who deserve God’s wrath and eternal judgment? Is there anything more repulsive to the modern mindset than the idea that we are in our natural state utterly depraved, and in desperate need of repentance before a perfectly holy and righteous God? If there is, I certainly can’t think of it…

Posted in Education, freedom of speech, Religious Freedom, The Gospel, Understanding Biblical Worldview | 3 Comments

Obama’s Transgender Tyranny

Obama-Transgender-Restroom-Mandate-900I honestly thought I was done writing about Obama. Although I have nothing but utter contempt for virtually everything he has done in office, I do not hate him. I pray for him (though not nearly enough) to be converted, to repent of his wickedness, and do what is right as the leader of the free world. I’m not holding my breath on any of this however. I am grieved by how many people (even professing Christians) are deceived by the lies of the Left, and will not repent of their support for his evil (yes I said it) policies, and will vote for another left-wing, anti Christian candidate in Hillary Clinton.

In just a few short months there will be an election. Obama will leave the White House, and he will travel the globe, and earn ridiculous sums of money giving really boring, incoherent, and illogical speeches. That may not be the case if he has struck a deal with Hillary to not prosecute her, in exchange for her nominating him to the Supreme Court. Anyway, my point here is that as terrible as Obama has been for America, for Christianity, and for the whole world it’s important to remember that the real enemy (other than the Father of Lies) is the Left. I’m not talking about liberals in the classic sense, and I’m not even talking about leftists, but the ideas of the left which are destroying the society we live in.

The idea that there is an absolute standard of morality is an abomination to the Left. The idea that there is a creator God, who is perfectly holy and righteous, who can make demands of us is even more offensive to the leftist mindset. It’s offensive because it means that there is a ruler of the universe who demands obedience, when the spirit of our age says that we must be autonomous, and feel free to do whatever we want, as long as it “feels good,” and we are “following our hearts.”

This is especially true with regards to issues related to sex, sexual orientation, and “gender identity.” It’s important for us as Christians to have compassion on people who are truly struggling with these issues, and those who are hurting because of the consequences of such confusion. I don’t know what it’s like to struggle with unwanted same sex attraction, and thankfully I doubt that I ever will. But based on past experience, I do know what it’s like to struggle with pornography, and to want to be free of that. Only the Gospel of Christ ultimately brings hope and clarity on these issues. That being said, a kid in school who has gender confusion/identity issues does not need to be told that he or she is really a member of the opposite sex. In fact it’s incredibly wrong to participate in such a farce. Such kids need prayer, counseling, and studies show that most young people who experience these issues during puberty do outgrow them.

Compassion for individuals should never translate into changing standards for society, especially for those who represent 2-3 people out of a 1,000. In other words, to mandate that all public schools in America must allow people who identify as a member of the sex which is the opposite of the one they were born into to be able to go the bathroom of the gender they “identify with” is insanity. It’s also unfair to the rest of the students to have to suffer through this entirely predictable experiment. It would be hilarious for it’s absurdity, if it weren’t for the fact that sexual predators can and will take advantage of this new law. If Obama’s mandate is obeyed, then every student must be taken at his or her word. Teachers and administrators can’t question an individuals feelings, no matter how suspicious they may seem. This is the tail end of the sexual revolution that began in the 60s. This madness now also applies to sports teams, locker rooms etc, and it’s the logical end of the idea that gender itself doesn’t matter, and that men and women are not fundamentally biologically different. Schools must comply with Obama’s mandate, or risk have their Title IX funding revoked. This is based on completely bogus reading of the law that says that there can be no discrimination based on sex. Forcing a person to go to the bathroom of the gender he or she was born into is not discrimination, it’s common sense. This is Obama rewriting the law on his own, ignoring the will of the people, and further making Congress irrelevant.

If this isn’t time to take a stand, and refuse to comply with a truly unjust law, then I don’t know when is. Sadly I fear based on experience most pastors won’t bring up this sort of “political” discussion from the pulpit, let alone organize protests. Lest we be deceived, countless kids are indoctrinated each year into a leftist/secular fundamentalist view of the world through our public “education” system. That means they are taught covertly, but thoroughly to reject, and hold in contempt the Law of God. I should know. I was one of them. Unfortunately most public school students are never even exposed to conservative ideas, and certainly not a true understanding of what the Bible teaches. This is really the core reason, in my opinion, why young people are so hard to reach with the truth of the Gospel. The fact that the church itself has become so marginalized, and isolated from the fabric of American life is also equally at fault. Most pastors and Christians fear mixing “politics and religion,” but as this latest lawless overreach by the Obama administration proves yet again, you really can’t separate the two. Christ is Lord of all, and when a left-wing, would be totalitarian government tells us to disobey God, and follow them further into chaos and anarchy, we must say enough. We will obey God and not men! (Acts 5:29)

For further reading, I strongly recommend what Dr. Brown has written on the subject, where he calls for civil disobedience, and what David French has written at National Review, who makes the case that we need to declare independence from the public school system, and come up with viable alternatives, or else the future is lost.

 

Posted in Current Events, Education, Election 2016, Engaging the Culture, Homosexuality, Politics, Religious Freedom | 5 Comments

The Incredible Shrinking Church

maxresdefaultSo I just finished watching a documentary called “When God Left the Building” and it is about the decline of Christianity in America. It is extremely sobering, and it calls for some real soul searching among those who want to actively follow Christ. The film claims that nearly 4,000 churches a year close, and that is an overwhelmingly depressing thought. It’s no secret that Christianity is in decline, but the thought of all those churches being unable to keep their doors open came as a revelation to me. It should cause all of us to stop and reflect on how and why this is happening, and what can be done to stop it. The film attempts to answer those questions, although not directly, it is a documentary after all. It does make some suggestions, and it’s a great conversation starter. I think it’s a movie that should be shown at churches and small groups across the country in order to facilitate that discussion.

Thom Schultz, the director of the film was researching the aforementioned phenomenon of the decline in church attendance and he uncovered some incredible parallels between what is happening with regards to the church in America, and the Kodak Film company. Kodak refused to embrace the digital camera revolution initially, and when it finally came around it was a case of too little too late. It went from being a name that was synonymous with camera and films, and one of the most successful companies in American history to being non-existent. Schultz seems to genuinely love both the church and photography, and to want to understand the nature of the problems that drove Kodak into bankruptcy, and the ones that currently plague the church.

The film also follows a church in upstate New York that has been around since the middle of the 19th century, that saw it’s attendance go from 900 to about 35. The church is filled with bickering, gossip, and infighting. The congregation and the elders are set in their ways.  They are faced with the harsh reality that they can either refuse to change anything, and try to keep the people they have, or they can try and grow out of their financial problems by trying to attract new members. They have to dip into the endowment fund every year just to keep their bills paid. The pastor seems to want to remain faithful to the Bible, and to help his congregation grow both spiritually, and in number. He is resisted and undermined at every turn. The former senior pastor before he took over says that he “doesn’t know what God is.” One of the elders says that rotary club and the church are essentially no different in terms of their mission.

The Kodak comparison is made to illustrate the point that young people in particular want something more interactive than a lecture/sermon. I can testify that the small groups that I’ve lead have allowed for audience participation and feedback, and they were extremely productive and rewarding. There is also the point that young people, even one who works for that particular church, but doesn’t attend regularly just don’t want the rigid structure of the service. I think a point that is lost in film is that young people are indoctrinated in secular humanism/leftism at a young age, and that there is a battle of worldviews that has been raging for centuries.

There is also a segment on the rise of megachurches, and how they represent kind of an “all things to all people” approach. There is a lady who attended one in Nevada for several years, and claims that she needed to remain relatively anonymous while seeking Christ at least initially, so it met her needs. You understand her perspective, but then you can’t help but be reminded that is not the model that is set up for the church in the New Testament. She realizes that she needs some kind of spiritual guidance that is more personal, and direct, and so she buys a bunch of books that her pastor has written so that she can have some face time with him at a book signing to tell him how much his work has influenced her life.

Schultz interviews an assistant pastor from Rick Warren’s  Saddleback church that was involved in ministry there seemingly every day of the week, who drops out so that he can spend time mentoring and caring for the kids in his neighborhood, while helping them learn to ride and fix bikes. Sounds great on the one hand, but there doesn’t seem to be accountability for him either in how he pursues this new endeavor. Rick Warren is interviewed as well, and he says several interesting things, one of which is to not just judge his church based on what it’s like to visit, but based on how missionaries have been sent out, and how many small groups they have etc.

The film also profiles a guy from Redding, PA who is a cop, but also a devout Christian. He talks about the heartache of seeing his friends die in the line of duty, or from suicide. He knows current friends from work are completely resistant to setting foot in an actual church, so he comes up with a plan that involves allowing seekers to come a pub, and ask questions and dialogue with members of his church. He has a burden for lost people. Most of his congregation resists the idea because they abhor the idea of endorsing alcohol and drinking. The wrestle with the classic question “what would Jesus do” in this situation?

The movie ends on a positive note showing “churches” that meet in apartment complexes in a major urban area, and who try to meet every need imaginable in local community from providing food, clothing, and medical care to those who need it, but also a sense of community and acceptance. There is also a church group on skid row in LA that serves homeless people where they are and finds the most creative ways to show them the love of Jesus. We are reminded that the church is not merely a building but body of believers- the hands and feet of the Lord.

“When God Left The Building” does not offer concrete answers, but it is a movie that’s impossible to ignore. It is short on Theology, but perhaps is because it’s only an hour and twenty minutes long. It invites us to care about the epic challenges that are facing the church in the 21st Century, and to become part of the solution.

See the trailer here…

Posted in Apologetics | 7 Comments

Trump Wins! America Loses… Big Time!

trump-gop-nomineeSometimes words fail me. Now is certainly one of those times. I truly believe that Ted Cruz was the last best hope for America’s future. Long before the Republican primary began, I realized that Hillary Clinton had to be stopped at all possible costs, because she was (and is) a very real threat to freedom, and stands dead set against the Judeo-Christian values that I cherish. She is also unfit to president based on her total failure as Secretary of State, and the loss of four brave Americans at our Embassy in Benghazi. As if that weren’t dishonorable enough, she has lied directly to the families of those victims in blaming the massacre on a youtube video. Hillary Clinton being elected president will complete the destruction of America. So before this election cycle began, I vowed that I would do everything I could to stop Hillary. In essence my attitude was Hillary will be elected “over my dead body.” That was before Trump became the likely nominee. Now he is the inevitable nominee.

I can say with certainty that Conservatism, freedom, and Christianity (at least in the public square) are all now dead in America. I know that may sound outlandish, or over the top, perhaps unbelievably hard to swallow, but this is really just the culmination of what has been going for decades, perhaps even a century. Things may change rapidly overnight (or I should say they may appear to) but the reality is that this has been long, long time in coming. The other reality is that there is really no political solution to our current problems. I’m not saying for a minute that you shouldn’t be involved at the local and state level in helping elect decent and God-fearing people, but the federal government has become what the founders feared. It has become an instrument of tyranny, and unfortunately (if you study history) the worst is yet to come. Many (but certainly not all) of those who support Trump want him to assume a role that is unconstitutional in defending common sense, conservative Christian values. This is not only naive, but a sure recipe for disaster. If we understand that human nature is fallen, then no man, even a great man, even a righteous, God-fearing man should be given the kind of power that many of Trump’s followers want him to have. The quote from Lord Acton comes to mind “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

So not only does Trump not care about the Constitution, but neither do many of his followers. I cannot under any circumstances go along with that. I could write an entire book on why I can never support Trump. It would be very methodical and well laid out, but also very boring and very unnecessary for those who know me at all, and for those who have followed Trump at all. Yes I care about illegal immigration, but even if Trump wanted to actually solve the problem his “solutions” are unworkable, and unrealistic to the point of absurdity. The same is true for his stance on Islamic terrorism. He would make these problems infinitely worse just by the fact that he is so irresponsible with virtually everything he says. I can only speculate, but I honestly don’t think he’s sane, and I’m not alone in that assertion.

If you just want someone to do something right now to try to quickly solve the cultural rot that has taken place in our country, then Trump is your guy, but beware, the “solution” may very well be worse than the original problem. I still can’t support Trump because he’s not a conservative, and he’s not honest, trustworthy human being. He’s the scum of the earth, and yet in godless America in 2016 he has become the nominee of the party that is supposed to represent conservative, bible believing Christians. I have no choice to sit this one out.

His rise in the polls has made me want to tune out, and stop caring, and certainly stop caring enough to write. I realize the error my ways now. I’ve got a lot of work to do, and a lot of writing about issues that really matter. Hillary vs Trump cannot be the “election of our lifetime.” They are opposite sides of the same coin. Uncovering objective truth is the defining value in my life, and if you’re reading this then I believe the same applies to you as well. Time to focus on ideas, and not an election process that gives us a choice that is really no choice at all.

Posted in Election 2016, Politics | 22 Comments

Bathroom Wars

 

We live in the age of feelings, which is in reality the age of stupidity. Modern America (which is dominated by the anti-Christian Left) insists that gender doesn’t matter, and reduces male/female biological differences to societal conditioning. The controversy over so called “transgendered bathrooms” is the latest evidence of just how insane our society has become. Stop and think about the ridiculousness of a muscular grown man with facial hair, and tattoos in the same bathroom with young girls. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so deadly serious, and such a recipe for sexual abuse. Obviously there will be men who go through so called “sex change” or “gender reassignment” operations, which are in reality a form of mutilation, and then go into a ladies bathroom. Although I’m convinced that individuals who are willing to go through that would be infinitely better off getting counseling rather than such radical “surgery,” there’s really nothing we can do as a society in keeping them from going into women’s restroom. On the other hand, allowing men who merely identify as women to use women’s public restrooms is off the charts stupid. It’s also dangerous.

The fact that we reject gender distinctions as a society for the sake of less than one percent of the population that is gender confused is a terrible indictment of modern America. It’s also an indictment of those of us who see the insanity of this, and yet remain silent. We are called to love our neighbors as ourselves, and staying silent and in essence endorsing this lunacy is neither loving towards the men who are either confused, or sexual predators, nor is it loving towards all of the women and young girls that may be traumatized, and or victimized by such laws. I’m honestly glad I don’t have a daughter in a society where such insanity, and immorality is being pushed. But I also can’t turn my back on those who are directly affected by this lawlessness right now. It’s easy to say when Christian bakers get singled out for financial, and personal destruction for refusing to bake a same sex wedding cake “well I’m glad I’m not in that profession,” but the fact is that the death of freedom will affect us all sooner or later. I’m reminded what MLK said “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” If I am in a situation where a man tries to enter the bathroom when my wife is in there, then I’d have no choice but to stop him, and disobey that law. I cannot render unto Caesar what belongs to God.

Target insists on allowing men who identify as women to use the women’s bathroom and dressing rooms. I don’t think the people who run Target really believe in this policy, if they did, they could have changed it a long time ago. They are in being influenced by the worst kind of gay activism, because they think that’s where the country is now. They also think this is in their best financial interests because gay activists, and radical leftists are the most likely to protest. They also figure that most Christians and conservatives will roll over and play dead on this issue. Targets is (at the very least) going along with a radical agenda that is anti-Science, and yes anti-God, because it is hostile to His design and created order. I know that there are countless other companies that are in bed with the LGBT agenda, but Target has crossed the line. If we continue to shop there as Christians then shame on us. I’ve signed the petition, and I refuse to spend another penny there, until they change this destructive policy. I encourage you to do the same.

 

Posted in Current Events, Homosexuality, Take Action, Understanding Biblical Worldview | 4 Comments

What do Jesus and Trump have in Common?

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On the surface, absolutely nothing. Dig a little deeper, and well there’s still nothing there, one says “punch protestors in the face, and I’ll pay your legal bills,” while Christ commands us to love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us. Consider this though; both of them are lightening rods for controversy. Both of them divide people up based on their responses to them. Now obviously I’m not suggesting for a moment that the a person’s reaction to Trump is anywhere near as important as his or her reaction to Christ, but I believe it is revealing nonetheless. What you believe about Trump will not determine where you’ll spend eternity, but I do believe that Christians should be able to discern a fraud when they see one. And the cult-like following that Trump has amassed is eerily reminiscent of Barack Obama’s first campaign for president in 2008. Those who follow Trump do so with their eyes completely shut to who he really is. Here’s the bottom line: there are a lot of Christians and conservatives who feel (rightfully I might add) like they’ve been bullied since Mr. “Hope and Change” first took office.  Now they want a bully who they think will protect them, even if he’s not really one of them. But be careful what you wish for! When we put our trust in a strongman (a would be dictator) to take control and “solve our problems,” or to “Make America Great Again” without true repentance, and spiritual revival which can only begin in the Church, we are setting ourselves up for a disaster of epic proportions.

My wife has been studying the book of Isaiah, and the parallels between America choosing Trump as a frontrunner of a major political party, and King Cyrus are interesting to say the least. I’d have to believe that it was a form of judgement a man like Trump were to be elected. Obviously it would be a judgment of our own choosing, but I’m convinced that’s often how it works- God gives us over to our own sinful desires, which turn out to be self-destructive.

Now my objection to Trump is not just based on principle, but also pragmatism. Trump has zero chance in the general election. He’s the one Republican candidate who polls worse than Hillary Clinton right now. His negatives are sky high. 65% of voters have an unfavorable view of Trump! I personally think it should be much, much higher, but for perspective that’s the same percentage of people that have an unfavorable view of Bill Cosby after all of the evidence that has come out that he drugged and raped dozens of women over the years. There are undoubtedly major news media organizations that would love for Trump to be the nominee. They know that he’s a disaster for the Republicans, and whatever will be left of conservatism in America. They will turn on him in a New York minute.

I personally lose all possible respect for any conservative, and or Christian that endorses “The Donald.” I don’t think that history will judge them kindly, and I’m fairly certain they will live to regret it. Ben Carson is really no exception. He’s not yet dead to me, but he’s on life support. Sarah Palin, Pastor Robert Jeffress, Chris Christie, and Senator Jeff Sessions have proven themselves to be calculating opportunists in my opinion. Ann Coulter has proven herself to be nothing more than a clown this election cycle. She is actually saying that Cruz and Fox News are “traitors, and have formed an Oligarchy against Trump” in their response to the violence at his rallies. More on that later in the blog.

I can understand reluctantly voting for him in the general election, because he represents the ever so slightly “lesser of two evils.” Again I can’t get there, but I condemn no one if that’s what their conscience tells them to do.  But I will ask the honest question (which is really the 64 Billion dollar question) could it be that voting for Trump for the sake of his Supreme Court Nominees would be putting our trust in the Court, and not in almighty God? And again, I see no evidence that Trump would nominate conservative justices. Everything is about “winning” for him, not standing on principle. Come to think of it, Trump’s only real guiding principle seems to be “winning.” Yet his “successes” in business have been wildly exaggerated to say the least. Would someone as brilliant as he claims to be really need to scam people out of money the way it has been reported with Trump University?

So you might ask, why endorse Ted Cruz when I’m advocating that we need to trust in God, and not men? Cruz stands on conservative, Biblical, Constitutional principles. Obviously no candidate is perfect, and I’m never going to agree with everything that any candidate says or does, but I believe he’s clearly the best left of anyone who has a shot at beating Trump, and then beating whoever the Democrats nominate. It’s about principles and policies, and Trump has neither. He never gives any details. His answers always end with, “It’s gonna great! The Wall is gonna yyuge, and I’m gonna make Mexico pay for it!”

Trump and the Violence in Chicago

Here’s what you need to know. Trump had a rally planned in Chicago, and bunch of fascists supporters of Bernie Sanders, and Black Lives Matter (BLM) showed up with tickets, so that they could be inside the actual event. It was organized by a group called Media Matters, and they are funded by left-wing billionaire, George Soros, who is a truly wicked guy, who takes pleasure in collapsing currencies, and seeing people’s lives deteriorate into chaos. As you probably already know, I have no sympathy for BLM. I think they are terrorists, racists thugs. You also need to understand that this is what the Left in America does. They don’t want to have free speech that they disagree with. It wasn’t enough to protest outside, they wanted to shut the event down from the inside, and they will do again, and again regardless of who the nominee for the Republicans is. This sort of thing happens constantly on college campuses across America to conservative speakers. They’ve done this exact same thing to Hillary and Bernie Sanders! Now Trump has openly called for violence against those disrupters, and protestors, and that is also unacceptable. Some conservatives are fed up, and want someone like Trump who encourages honest, hard-working people to literally fight back against such fascism. But can you imagine Reagan doing that? Can you imagine Abraham Lincoln doing that? Can you imagine MLK doing that? Can you imagine any true Christ follower saying “punch them in the face”?

Ted Cruz has actually proven that you can engage your protestors, and show how ridiculous their arguments really are. I’m all in favor of self-defense, but we can’t become what we hate. The Christian way is to “overcome evil with good,” and hatred with love.  I’m sympathetic towards anyone who has their rally shut down. I’m actually outraged that it happens, because it’s un-American. I believe that we have to expose the works of darkness, and hate evil, and injustice the same way that God does, but we must never hate the people who we disagree with, even if they hate us. And that is why I stand adamantly opposed to both Trump, and the fascist leftists who shut down his rally in Chicago.

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Posted in ALL Lives Matter, Awakening, Current Events, Election 2016, Engaging the Culture, Forgiveness, Politics, Race, Understanding Biblical Worldview | 5 Comments