Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have a Great Thanksgiving...

As you prepare to
celebrate Thanksgiving,
take a moment to remember
the good fortune we enjoy as a nation.
The struggles we face can be met
with the assurance that Almighty God
will never leave us nor forsake us
according to His word!

This helped the Pilgrims of Plymouth during their maiden voyage
and subsequent arrival in America,
and it should help us today as well as we look to the future
of our Great Nation!

Love it or leave it!
So wherever you find yourself this Thanksgiving, I hope
your day is filled with God's blessing and favor!

Happy Thanksgiving World, we serve a Mighty God...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

That Which Divides...

This must be how we look to the watching world. One true church with many faces.

I've been thinking about the things that divide Christians and decided to jot some of them down. I'm sure you can add to this list, so please, feel free to do so with a comment or two.

Some of these are meaningless, and wouldn't stop two Christians from socializing or joining the same church. But, for some, these would keep them from socializing with you and you couldn't join their church if you wanted.

My recommendation; if someone withholds fellowship from you because of these, let it go. Pray for them and move on.

So, here we go...

That which divides:
  • Bible versions: KJV, ESV, NIV, NASB, etc., etc., (I know you KJV guys are HOT now, ain't-cha?
  • Church size: Small, medium, large, mega
  • Church building: Traditional, house, cathedral, organic house
  • Church mode: One meeting, multi-service, one location, multi-site, multi-campus
  • Church Government: Senior Pastor, Lead Pastor, Deacons, No Deacons, Elder led, Congregational led, Women Pastors, Women Deacons, etc.
  • Spiritual Gifts: Cessationist, full gospel (all gifts still exist), all speak in tongues, tongues don't exist anymore, no more "super-natural" gifts, etc.
  • Church structure: Program driven (programs for every family member), relational driven (little to no programs that would divide families), Youth groups, No youth groups, Children's ministry, No Children's ministries, etc.
  • Attire: Ripped jeans and shorts OK, Suit and tie preferred, Dresses for gals preferred, etc.
  • Smoking: Can, should Christians smoke squares, cigars?
  • Alcohol: BIGGY...Can, should Christians drink alcohol?
  • Communion: Weekly, monthly, quarterly. Grape juice, or red wine?
  • Worship style: Look out now...Contemporary, Hymns only, a blend of both, or something entirely different.
  • Worship music: Instruments, no instruments, organs, drums, electric guitar, or acapella?
  • Educating children: Homeschool, private school, public school (type 'education' to search this blog to see what I've wrote about this)
  • Working Wives: Can, should women work outside the home?
  • Eschatology: The study of end times. Pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, and so on. (Thank God our salvation isn't based on knowing that which Christ said only the Father knows!) OK boys, put away the charts... :D
  • Tattoos
  • Men wearing earrings
  • Modes of baptism
  • Paedo baptist vs. Credo baptist
  • Denominations: (There are over 300 branches of Christians, with over 38,000 different denominations. Yikes!)
And the list can go on, and on, and on, and for some, it does. Like Pharisees, some believers get so caught up in what divides us, rather than focusing on what unites us. And for that I have a list as well...

That which UNITES Christians:
  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ!
  • Amen...
PS - My own personal views for the above mentioned subjects are found in the Bible. What it teaches, I believe!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Catholics Beware...(Follow-Up)

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston removed Father Newman's letter calling Catholics who voted for Barack Obama to do penance before taking Communion from his church website. They didn't like him standing up for the unborn. Shame on those cowards!

Maybe Father Newman should nail another 95 theses to their door and become a Protestant...

I have spoken on this matter...may God's will be done!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catholics Beware...

"1. Voting for a pro-abortion politician when a plausible pro-life alternative exits constitutes material cooperation with intrinsic evil, and those Catholics who do so place themselves outside of the full communion of Christ’s Church and under the judgment of divine law."

Not my words, but those of Father Jay Scott Newman, in this letter to his parishioners.

Glad to see this Priest is willing to go against the over 60% of professing Catholics that voted for Barack Obama.

As a Protestant, I can honestly say that if I were Catholic, this would be the kind of Priest I'd want over me. Someone not too afraid of political correctness from a leadership position.

Despite my differences with the Catholic teachings, I must give a big KUDOS to Mr. Newman for standing up for the most fragile in our society, the unborn.

May the Gospel go forth...

Monday, November 10, 2008

It Isn't All Bad...

As only Voddie Baucham could, he has painted a clear picture for Christians to consider in this time of transition with the Obama presidency only 2 or so months away. The following 'Bold' face type is taken from his blog directly:

"It Isn't All Bad"

Obviously, I, like many of my readers, have been a bit discouraged in light of the recent election. And I don’t mean the outcome. Those of you how know me, or follow my blog know that I was disappointed long before the primaries ended, and have been a “third party” guy since long before this election (ironically, some accuse me of jumping on the third party bandwagon because the Republicans added a woman to the ticket). At any rate, Jesus is still on the throne. So don’t be discouraged. Here are ten things about which I am encouraged in light of the recent election:

1.Evangelicals will be forced to rely on the gospel instead of the government as the means of cultural transformation.

2.The reality of Gramscian Marxist cultural hegemony can no longer be denied (even McCain was at times running on a socialist agenda, i.e., the “bailout” of home owners). Perhaps Christians can have an honest discussion about the role of education and media in worldview formation, and the failure of both the church, and the family to assume a proper role in the matter.

3.Perhaps this judgment on our Republic (which I believe either ticket would have represented to some degree) will bring about sober repentance, reformation and revival in the church.

4.The pro-life movement has been re-energized. It seems those who love and believe in the sanctity of life, and desire to protect the unborn relied on Mr. Bush to “fix things” during his presidency. Now we know that was not the case. Though abortions have decreased slightly, the genocide continues. It never stopped. The government is not the answer! God alone will give us victory in this arena, and he will not share his glory with another.

5.Perhaps “conservatives” will dust off the Constitution and start holding our leaders accountable to it again. In the past eight years George W. Bush has in many ways made a mockery of the Constitution (the Patriot Act, “No Child Left Behind,” an undeclared, unconstitutional war, proposing the $700 Billion bailout, etc.). Unfortunately, many conservatives gave him a pass. I have a feeling Mr. Obama will be called to task for doing things Mr. Bush did in spades (i.e., the largest expansion of government in American history).

6.Mr. Obama is now ‘off script’ (as evidenced by his Nancy Reagan comment and subsequent apology), and will no longer be able to get by with vague rhetoric (Hope and Change will now have to be defined). His ‘smooth’ factor will be reduced by a factor of ten if his first press conference is any indication. Look for more “Joe the Plumber” type moments of honesty in the future. Perhaps he will soon be seen as a President worthy of the respect the office carries rather than a Messiah to be worshipped.

7.Mr. Obama garnered 52% of the popular vote (the first Democrat to get a majority of the popular vote since Jimmy Carter), and won the Electoral College by a two-to-one margin, thus completely negating the “wasted vote” argument used by many conservatives to chasten third party voters.

8.America circumvented the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton crowd and still got a black president. In fact, Jackson has been openly critical of Obama. Now the typical Jackson/Sharpton/NAACP crowd will have to find a new argument since a black man now holds the highest office in the land. No more, “The Man is keeping us down” since you don’t get higher than the White House. This was an American accomplishment whether you like the guy or not. Interestingly, our “secular government” was able to find a black president before many Christian organizations (i.e., the Southern Baptist Convention... I only mention them because I’m a Southern Baptist, and I know the powers-that-be would love to have crossed that bridge long ago).

9.The “discussion” about race/racism in this country now includes the racist comments and attitudes of the Jeremiah Wrights and Louis Farrakhans of the world. Before, black racism got a pass (i.e., the argument that blacks can’t be racist because they “have no power”). Now the Wright issue has forced Mr. Obama do distance himself from black liberation theology, and we may have a window of opportunity (in the church) to have a real “come to Jesus meeting” about the sin of racism on both sides

10.Bristol Palin can have her baby and get married away from the national public eye, and without the public scorn and ridicule that would undoubtedly have hounded her the way it is currently hounding her mother. In other words, this young woman can now be protected in ways that would have been impossible had her family been headed for the White House.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Are Pastor's Responsible?

With the election being on most people's minds right now, I thought I'd throw a question out there. Regardless of who you voted for, I'd like you to consider the following question: Are Pastor's responsible for how their members vote?

Simple question right? Maybe, maybe not. Depends who you ask.

With Obama getting 43% of peoples vote who attend church (or synagogue or mosque), and getting 95% of the black vote, along with 43% of the white vote, and 67% of the Hispanic vote, I have to believe there were a lot of Christian votes mixed in there.

So I'm wondering about the Christian vote.

Were the people of God properly prepared to make such a decision by their Pastors?

Did they know how to think critically and theologically about the vote? How to think like a Christian concerning the issues? Or did they just go on emotion and gut? I really don't care if they voted Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Constitution Party, etc. I just wonder if Christians were prepared theologically and who's responsible for getting them there? Themselves, their Pastors, or both?

If they weren't prepared theologically, do their Pastors bear some of that responsibility? If a Pastor's flock votes overwhelmingly for a candidate who supports and defends abortion and gay rights, has that Pastor been doing his job adequately? Or, is it even his job to prepare his flock for elections? I know there are certain things Pastors aren't suppose to say about politics from the pulpit, but is it enough to just say "It's our civic duty to vote. Regardless of who you vote for, just make sure you vote!"

Is this how most Pastor's prepared their flock for last Tuesday? If so, God help us...

Were Judges, Kings and Priests held responsible for Israel's behavior in the OT? Does the NT hold Overseers (Pastors) responsible for the condition of their churches? Has anything changed for today?

Do exceptions exist? Absolutely. No matter how well a Pastor can teach the sanctity of life, or uphold God's view of marriage and teach what the bible says about homosexuality, there will always be some in his flock who defy his teachings. But do the statistics make sense? Do Christians in America think and act like Christians in the voting booth, and what role do Pastors play in this?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Silence of the Lambs...

As the masses sat, stood, knelt and waited for Barack Hussein Obama to emerge like Jesus on water Tuesday night after being elected our next President, I couldn't help but think of certain things, people, places and times that I thought may have paralleled this moment in American history.

The names of Jim Jones, David Koresh, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, Kim Jung Il and others raced across my mind as I looked at the images and then eventually listened to Obama's acceptance speech.

Don't think of these men from their historical stand-point, what we know about them from history, but rather, try and think of these men from their humble beginnings. Before we knew what the ideologies of these men would produce. Before the bloodshed.

As Obama spoke and the cameras panned across the crowd gathered at Hutchinson Field in Chicago, you could see the masses soaking in every moment...every word...transfixed by every breath and gesture of their new President. From the family room of my home where I watched this unfold with my family, I couldn't help but feel sorry for the crowd, knowing that they were sold a bag of goods with nothing but empty promises in it. Nothing that will satisfy in the end. Nothing that will bring God's blessing upon this nation, but will rather ensure a further separation due to the bloodshed yet to be unleashed.

Barack has declared, “I have consistently advocated for reproductive choice and will make preserving women’s rights under Roe v. Wade a priority as President.” This means massive bloodshed. This means appointing possibly three or more Supreme Court Justices who would seek to preserve Roe v. Wade. Obama said he would sign an executive order overturning any legislation that in any way prohibits a women's right to any form of abortion. This may be the bloodiest 4-8 year period in American history coming up, and not because of war, the economy, or health care, but because of ideologies made real. Elections have consequences my friends.

Barack has gone as far as stating that he doesn't want his daughter's "punished with a baby" in a crisis pregnancy due to a bad choice. Realize what he's saying; if his daughter made a mistake and got pregnant, then decided she didn't want to keep the child, Barack would idly stand bye and watch his GRANDCHILD be murdered by the hands of a Doctor. Isn't this the opposite of the multi-generational faith and legacy that a man's suppose to leave this earth with according to scripture? Men are implored in scripture to be leaders, providers, teachers, visionaries, warriors and much more. Many many things we are implored to be, but murderers of our own progeny who have yet to be born we are not. This is shameful and evil to say the least.

And for those "so called brothers" who felt like they needed to vote for Obama because of the specialness of the moment, damn you for standing on the side of evil and injustice. God has called you to be a defender of the innocent, not a murderer of them. God has called Christians in general, and men specifically to be defenders of life, liberty, and the gospel. 1 Corinthians 16:13 says, "Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong." A vote for Obama defies all four of these biblical injunctions for men. There's no getting around this. You may wash your hands like Pilate, but you cannot wash your souls. To vote for a man who never met a fetus he wouldn't kill or a gay couple he wouldn't bless, defies your calling as a Christ follower.

The only thing Tuesday night lacked was the cyanide-laced kool-aid that I'm sure most people there and around the nation would gladly drink while Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" plays softly in the background!

Was John McCain the answer for America? Hardly, but I'd take my chances with a Patriotic war hero over a naked Marxist any day.

We are Israel of the Old Testament asking for Saul while God implores them not too, and even warns them of the coming destruction should their desires not line up with His. They got King Saul to be sure, and we got Barack. May the gospel lead our nation to repentance...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Dear Mr. Obama...

As a Veteran myself, I understand where this Veteran is coming from...