WHO DO WE TRUST, GOD OR MAN?

Those who believe in Jesus Christ are called to place their trust in the promises of God, not in the promises of man. Our government leaders pretend to listen to us but pursue their own goals. Only God our Creator loves us enough to be worthy of our praise.

  • Colossians 3:2 (NKJV): “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
  • Psalm 118:8 (NKJV): “It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man.”

POST-ELECTION FOLLIES

NOW THAT THE 2020 presidential election is over and the fractious aftermath has begun, those of us who confess our faith in Jesus Christ are called to lead our country as Christ wants us to.

Are we doing that?

From what I see, Satan has infiltrated the church and is sowing lies and discord. Take a look at the divisions within Christendom between those who support the  Trump-Pence Administration and those who support the Biden-Harris team.

Those of us who support the former President and Vice President are still being labeled “deplorable,” “racists,” “fascists,” and “haters,” even by those within the church who claim the mantel of Christ. 

Even the innocuous cry to ensure accountability in the election process sets the “religious left” off. Their calls for “unity” sound good but are really a cover for stifling dissent. Unity around one set of ideas is not unity, it’s conformity.

INFLAMMATORY RHETORIC

WE’VE SEEN THE INFLAMMATORY rhetoric of a false prophet, Beth Moore, who has shown more distain toward Christian conservatives than she has toward those openly living in sin and proclaiming their “pride” in so doing. 

Then people who claim the mantel of Christ use her false testimony against fellow Christians and promote their hostility toward us through the secular media.

Didn’t the apostle Paul show his disgust with Christians who dragged fellow Christians into pagan-run courts because they refused to settle differences in a peaceful and brotherly manner? (See 1 Corinthians 6).

How is it, then, that so many of our fellow Christians, who worship each week beside us, use the tools of anti-Christian pagans to denigrate fellow believers? 

Should we assume that those who make those charges are not true followers of Christ but merely the tares among the wheat?

DESCENT OF DARK AGES

AT THE OTHER END OF THE DIVIDE are confessing Christians who told us the world would end, or at least civilization would cease, if Trump-Pence lost the election. They said the Dark Ages would descend  upon us once again. 

They pointed to policy proscriptions the Democrats offer that include, but are not limited to: 

  • government-run health care, 
  • government-imposed redistribution of wealth,
  • increased welfare benefits, 
  • expanded abortion “rights”,
  • porous borders, 
  • same-sex marriage,
  • citizenship for illegal residents, 
  • voting rights for convicted felons, 
  • lowering the voting age to 16, 
  • ending America’s reliance on fossil-fuel energy, 
  • forcing employers to provide insurance coverage for abortion-inducing measures, 
  • placing stricter limitations on religious liberty, and
  • opposing Israel’s sovereignty.

They also noted Democrats said they might, among other measures:

  • eliminate the Senate filibuster,
  • add three or four Supreme Court justices (all leftist activists),
  • extend statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to ensure four more Democrat senators, and
  • expand “ballot harvesting” to ensure a sufficient number of Democrat ballots are provided to overturn any election at the national or state level won by Republicans.

Regardless of which administration is in power, God remains sovereign, and He will chart our course. As Christians, we are to pray for wisdom and lead by example.

DEPEND ON GOD

This is a gift, and only those who have placed their trust in Him for salvation can appreciate it. Those who are not “in Christ” cannot appreciate the gift, don’t recognize it as a gift, and, sadly, may not even want it.

How else are we to get through the days, weeks, months, and years ahead when the multitude around us are heading in the wrong direction, rejecting the voice of God, and pursuing their own ends. 

We can rest assured that God’s promises are good because He is faithful. May our hearts join together in song:

STANDING ON THE PROMISES

Standing on the promises of Christ my King

Through eternal ages let his praises ring

Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing

Standing on the promises of God

Standing, standing

Standing on the promises of God my Savior

Standing, standing

I’m standing on the promises of God.

O LORD GOD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, our King, our Righteousness, our salvation, we rest secure in Your promises to love us, protect us, and care for us, especially when we encounter troubled times. We pray for strengthened hearts that will proclaim Your glorious name and willing hearts that will live out Your commands. May we be Your hands and feet, O LORD, going about Your will. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. AMEN

TIME TO CANCEL ‘CANCEL CULTURE’

Our country is under assault from within, as the left-wing mob mindset gains ascendancy, shutting down dissenting viewpoints, especially those of political conservatives and Bible-based Christians. The evil is twofold: shutting down opposing voices while advancing an anger-based, hate-filled agenda. God’s Words will never pass away, regardless of the mob’s intent.

  • MATTHEW 5:44 (NKJV): “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.”
  • MATTHEW 24:35 (ESV): “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

 FREE SPEECH NULLIFIED

 “CANCEL CULTURE,” WHICH USED TO BE seen by many as just another overreach by the political left that could be disregarded, has become a cancerous blot on our country and its continued life as a republic. 

To be blunt, “cancel culture” is a fascistic impulse leaching from the radical left into mainstream liberalism with the aim of silencing all opposition. 

Opposition means “divergent viewpoint.”

It means, “If you don’t agree with me, shut up! Go away.” 

More than that is the mind-reading that interprets someone’s motives. If you disagree with a leftist, which is possible, then your motives are seen as malevolent regardless of what you say or how gently you say it.

There is no dialogue here. There is no room for equivocation. If you disagree with the leftist position on anything, you are immediately judged not only to be wrong but to be divisive and to harbor malignant motives.

You need to be “cancelled” or “deplatformed.” 

There is no room in that mindset for honest dialogue. They may threaten you physically for even voicing an opinion and then, if you respond with more respect than their comment warrants, they’ll claim you “bashed” them. 

Snowflakes? 

BIG TECH INFLUENCE

NOWHERE IS CANCEL CULTURE more prevalent than in the social media world controlled by Big Tech.   

Yes, the Big Tech operatives arrogate to themselves the right to censor divergent thoughts, but now even fellow users — called “Friends” — want to exercise that right.

They will block you or silence you or unfriend you — all legitimate responses, even if immature — but their bullying tactics are leading many conservatives to censure themselves.

They’re dropping from FaceBook and Twitter like passengers from a drowning ship. 

Who needs to cancel their voices if they willingly do so themselves?

How sad that the growing cancer of leftism wants to circle the wagons to protect themselves from divergent voices, to hunker down with like-minded weaklings, and to threaten dire consequences for anyone they don’t like. 

(The penalties are more severe for a minority, who has wandered off the plantation by not understanding their “class interest.”)

SERIOUS BUSINESS

WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND something fundamental here. This is serious business. Please, everyone,  take notice.

Slightly more than 150 years ago, our country at the time fought a War Between the States (Civil War) over many issues: slavery, economic power, states’ rights, and probably various turf conflicts that only historians are aware of now.

The dividing lines in most states were decided geographically. Perhaps in Maryland, a border state, was the divide more local.

Today, while there are geographic divisions in our country, the dividing lines are ideological. People see the world differently. 

If you took 12 issues of current importance and listed opinions into two columns, A and B, you very likely would find that anyone who placed himself in Column A on one item would be in Column A for the  other 11, as well. The same with Column B. 

That means whatever animosity was kindled with the first dispute was rekindled with the second one and ignited by the third item. That gets topped by the fourth item, and so on.

IS THIS HEALTHY?

WHO SEES THIS AS HEALTHY?

Some would say, “Don’t bother to tell me your divergent viewpoint. You won’t change my mind.”

Okay, why not?

Will you change my mind?

You could, but not if we don’t talk.

What if none of us, not any one of us — you or me or the other guy or gal — has a corner on absolute truth? 

What if we all could learn something from listening to someone else?

“Nope,” cancel culture says, “don’t talk to me. I’ll shut you down.”

Shameful.

PRAYER

ALMIGHTY AND GRACIOUS FATHER, we come into Your courts with thanksgiving and your gates with praise. Lord, we can do nothing without Your influence in our lives. You promised that all who believe in You will have life abundantly, will know the truth, and that truth will set us free. O Lord, we claim that truth and believe it with our whole hearts. Now, Lord, inspire our hearts to proclaim the goodness of Your love and the truth of Your design for us. Strengthen us, O Lord, through the trials and persecutions of the angry mob. Weaken their voice, O Lord, and strengthen ours. In Jesus’ name we lift this prayer. AMEN

POST-INAUGURATION DAY–A PERSPECTIVE

For those of us who believe the Trump-Pence Administration based its policies on conservative political principles and Christian moral principles, the advent of the Biden-Harris years feels like a dead weight. The Bible tells us our hope is in the Lord, not in man, and Jesus Christ will prevail. Our earthly lives will worsen as the time grows short for His return. The Lord tells us that those who persevere will be blessed with life.

  • PSALM 118:8 (ESV): “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.”
  • JEREMIAH 17:7 (NKJV): “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD.”

THE DARK FIRST DAY 

TODAY IS DAY ONE of the new Biden-Harris Administration, and already we are seeing evidence of the deepening divide within our country. More ominously, we are seeing a deeper divide within the body of Christ.

 The four-year reign of Trump-Pence has ended, and each man — and scores of top-level government officials — will begin the next phase of their lives, but we should take a moment to reflect on a few of their key accomplishments:

  • Full support for the lives of pre-born children
  • Support for male-female marriage as designed by God
  • Lowest ever unemployment rate among minority racial groups
  • Development of energy independence and exporter of energy
  • Transfer of US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, its capital city
  • Signing of peace treaties between Israel and Arab countries
  • Support for alternative schools and school choice to give parents the opportunity to send their children to schools that will educate
  • Forcing NATO countries to pay their share of mutual defense costs
  • Securing our southern border to halt the trade of illegal drugs and inpouring of illegal residents
  • Rebuilding our depleted military
  • Pulling back troops from long-term foreign engagements
  • Fully transparent administration with unrivaled press opportunities 
  • Oversaw development of potential life-saving vaccines in “warp speed” to combat the ravages of Covid.

Perhaps the sweetest of all was a return to wishing our friends and acquaintances “Merry Christmas” instead of the vapid “Happy Holidays.”

According to the Biden-Harris game plan, all of those measures are now under assault.

Apart from the disgraceful platform this duo brings to power is the legitimacy they will bring to ending any form of, or attempt to, dialogue in a civil manner among competing interests in any public forum. 

ALREADY THERE ARE CRIES TO:

  • Silence the voices of those who supported the Trump-Pence Administration in any way, 
  • Boycott private companies that hire anyone who worked in the administration or who voiced support for the administration in social media, 
  • Censure elected representatives in Congress those who raised legitimate concerns over the mishandling of mail-in ballots during the election,
  • Imprison those who are “science deniers,” i.e., anyone who disbelieves the political left’s views on energy consumption, energy production, climate change, efficacy of lock-downs and mask mandates,
  • Label as “racists” anyone (white people only) who do not bend to the accepted meme that American institutions are fundamentally and systematically biased against minority races,
  • Name white men (both a racist and a sexist claim) as the “problem” with American society, even though it was through white men that the “idea of America” was formed, established, and defended over the years.

A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE

A FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE between the way the political left and the political right view their policy differences, and each other as fellow  Americans, is also coming into sharp focus. 

In 2017, political columnist Charles Krauthammer opined the divide this way: “Conservatives think liberals are stupid. Liberals think conservatives are evil.”

The proposition easily can be put to the test. Simply talk to one another. 

The liberal will quickly move to an emotional argument around feeling, while the conservative will gravitate to a rational argument. That does not automatically make one side “right” and the other “wrong,” only that their methodology differs.

The liberal will make sweeping denunciations without support and offer policy proscriptions rift with error. Here’s an example: Biden-Harris want to stop development of the XL Pipeline from Canada, despite the fact that construction brings with it harmonious relations with our largest trading partner, thousands of high-paid union jobs, and a ready energy supply. By halting construction on unfounded environmental concerns, the liberals jeopardize all three points.

Rational? Not really. Placing displaced workers on food stamps and Medicaid may increase their dependence on federal government, but it does nothing to strengthen our country.

Try to make that point and see how quickly the liberal will engage in name-calling and attempts to make you “go away” and “shut up.”

Once a conservative voices a perspective different from the liberal’s, the liberal will begin the personal assault: “You’re racist, you’re fascist, you’re a science denier, you’re homophobic, you’re (whatever can be inserted here).”

That’s it. That’s their argument. They’ll boycott your business, slam you, embarrass you, assault you in restaurants, shout at you, and demand you give obeisance to whatever their particular grievance is at the moment. If you won’t salute “Black Lives Matter,” they see that as license to spit in your food and upend your table.

They can spend an entire year excusing left-wing violence in major US cities, treating the mayhem as “mostly peaceful” and necessary, yet go unhinged when a few people of mixed intent storm the Capitol while the President is speaking to his supporters at another location.

Again, try to point out the hypocrisy of their position, and they’ll threaten your children. 

You think that’s an exaggeration? Try having a discussion with a liberal and see how quickly they pivot from their argument to a personal attack. It’s what they do.

WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

WHAT ARE WE to make of all this? What are we to do in light of the changing of the guard at the White House?

Whatever solution one posits emanates from one’s core values. Those who believe that “might makes right” may try violence, force, or verbal assault. That would be a very harmful response, and we should all condemn those instincts.

Those whose values are secular conservative will engage the argument around economic and political issues, writing letters to their congressmen/women, engaging in debate forums, encouraging people to register to vote and turn-out when the day arrives, and patiently enduring until the next election. 

We can commend those instincts, but for those of us who are social conservatives, we find that approach shallow and missing an important  component.

Social conservatives — often dubbed the “religious right” — draw their values from the inerrant and infallible Word of God, the Holy Bible, comprised of 66 books, authored over a 1,600-year period in three languages (Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic) by 44 authors inspired by the Holy Spirit into creating a unified whole in which the Creator of the universe reveals Himself to mankind.

For us, it’s the foundational values of society that are most compelling. Yes, we can weigh in on energy policies and corporate tax rates and educational goals, but it’s the family unit — mother, father, children — that is the centerpiece of a sound society, and we believe those values are now under attack, fueled by liberal ideology and backed by government power.

God has designed us as either male or female and created marriage as an institution to bring us together into a whole. Look at it this way: God fashioned Adam in His image and gave Adam human characteristics patterned after God’s — we have thought, emotions, wills — although not to God’s extent.

When God created Eve, He took some of the characteristics He had given Adam and gave them to Eve, leaving Adam with a portion of the whole while giving Eve a portion of the whole. 

For Adam and Eve to be unified, as God is, they would need to come together as husband and wife in marriage.

That is foundational. There is no political or economic issue that rivals in importance the structure of the family.

When the very foundation of a structure is threatened, so, too, is the integrity of the structure.

That is where we are now. 

POSTSCRIPT

 O LORD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we give thanks for Your great mercy, Your patience, Your kindness. We also know You are just and call us to separate from the world’s values, which are self-centered, vicious, and destructive. We ask that You mold us into the men and women you intended in creation, and that we call on Your name so we can be healed. O Lord, we repent of our evil. Forgive us, Lord, and take us under Your wing. In Jesus’ holy and matchless name we pray. AMEN

WHY DO WE DISOBEY GOD?

Most people we know probably consider themselves to be “good” people and, because they’re good, assume they’ll go to Heaven some day. The Bible, however, says most people are not good people and that Heaven is reserved for those who realize their sin and repent of it. What’s more, those “good” people probably are not aware of their flagrant and repeated violation of God’s laws, among them, the Ten Commandments.

  • Genesis 2:16-17 (CSB): “And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.‘”
  • Psalm 79:9 (NASB): “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and forgive our sins for Your name’s sake.”
  • Exodus 20:2-3 (NKJV): “I am the LORD your God … You shall have no other gods before Me.”

GOD’S TEN COMMANDMENTS

Here’s a test you can try with a friend who’s a casual Christian. One of those CEO Christians who makes it to church at Christmas, Easter, and occasional other moments. It’s just a series of five questions. Try it and see what happens!

First, ask if they’ve heard of The Ten Commandments.

They’ll likely say, “Yes, of course.”

Then ask if they can name them.

They’ll probably get four or five right, maybe six, but unless they’ve prepped for the quiz, they’ll probably end right there.

Third, ask if they’ve ever broken one of them. They’ll probably say, “Sure, hasn’t everyone?” as a deflection, then you can ask, “Which one?”

Most likely, your friend will admit to having told a lie occasionally. You know, one of the “little” commandments, nothing big like murder or adultery.

Here’s the fifth question. Ask what punishment they received for breaking the commandment. 

They might stare at you like you’ve lost your mind, so maybe ask, “Did you expect any punishment?” Or even ask, “Did you think you deserved any punishment?”

CRIME WITHOUT PUNISHMENT

THE POINT OF THE EXERCISE is to show that while God has given His people, created in His image, clear commandments to follow, we tend to break them repeatedly, often with no thought of any consequences.

Look at Adam and Eve. God told Adam, directly and clearly, not to eat the fruit from one particular tree in the Garden, and Adam relayed that message to Eve. They were told if they disobeyed, they would die.

That’s a severe punishment in anyone’s book, and yet they still disobeyed God and ate from the tree. Yes, Eve was deceived, and Adam disobeyed, but they both knew God’s commandment and the certainty of God’s response.

Because of Adam’s sin, we all are born with sinful natures, yet while we are given a clear picture of God’s response to sin — banishment from the Garden, decay and death of our bodies, hardship in providing food and giving birth, and marital discord — we still disobey God and consider it “unfair” when we’re punished for it.

Yet God, in His mercy, also offers us forgiveness when we repent of, or turn from, our sin.

THE PSALMIST’S LAMENT

THE PSALMIST sings our lament when he cries out to God to save us from the penalty of our sin and forgive us “for Your name’s sake.” (Psalm 143:11)

It pains me to admit that I am part of that same disobedient process. When I disobey God, I tend to rationalize my actions to show I was “right” in what I did. 

You could be just as skilled as I am in providing rationale for your own disobedience. We’re good at it, and we don’t believe we should be punished.

Just as I repeatedly violate God’s law, I am convicted of my sin, and I repent and ask for God’s forgiveness. Then, I’m reminded that I should be as gracious toward others and just as forgiving when they violate “my” laws.

God has told us He will forgive us, He will not forsake us, and He will do all that He has promised us for His glory and His holy name.

We serve a glorious and merciful God. Let us give praises to the One who saves, to the One who removes us from the penalty of our disobedience.

PRAYER

O LOVING AND MERCIFUL FATHER, we are deeply grieved by our sinful hearts and our love of evil. We suffer from the penalty of our disobedience and praise You for Your willingness to forgive us when we repent. Lord, hear our cries for help. Strengthen our hearts to be obedient to Your will. We ask this in the name of Your obedient Son, Jesus the Christ, the Holy One of God. AMEN

GOD WANTS OUR PRAISE

At the close of 2020 and the dawn of 2021, what is the condition of our hearts? Are we giving glorious praise to the Lord our Creator, knowing He is in charge and we’re in His hands … or are we, like the pagan world, grumbling and complaining about the world’s ills? God calls us to praise Him. Our choice is to obey or disobey. Let’s choose to obey.

  • Isaiah 12:5 (NCV): “Sing praise to the LORD, because he has done great things. Let all the world know what he has done.”
  • Psalm 69:30 (NKJV): “I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
  • Colossians 3:16 (ESV): “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

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GUARDING OUR HEARTS

AS YEAR 2020 DRAWS TO A CLOSE, many people around the globe are hoping for a better tomorrow. No doubt, many believe God “owes” it to them after the crummy 2020 they’ve experienced. 

Are you one of them?

If so, on what do you base that hope? Is it your sense of balance, of fairness, that if the universe dumps on you one year, it should lift you up the next?

The truth is, God doesn’t “owe” us anything except what we deserve and that, according to His Word, is eternal punishment. Mercifully, God doesn’t give us what we deserve.

So, focus on this, if you would: God gracefully has given us so much to be thankful for, including forgiveness of sins and a promise of life in abundance.

Instead of grumbling about our fate, we should be on our knees giving God the praise, honor, and glory due Him.

We ought to praise our Lord!

SINGING BY A BONFIRE

IMAGINE THIS: IT’S A COLD NIGHT. Someone starts a bonfire in a nearby field. You run over and join the group. As you stand before the fire, your chest warms slightly, then more so, until eventually your chest is  burning up!

“YOU LEFT YOUR FIRST LOVE.”

REVELATION 2:4 (WEB)

You turn around, and your back, which had been cold, is now being warmed by the fire while your chest cools down. 

Walk away from the fire, and both your chest and your back cool down.

It’s the same when you walk away from the Lord, your passion cools down.

As the Bible says, “You left your first love.” — Revelation 2:4 (WEB) 

Isn’t that where most so-called Christians are, just lukewarm, casual, cultural Christians without a personal relationship with the Lord they claim to love and worship?

Let’s not be one of them.

STAYING IN PRAYER

THE REMEDY IS TO STAY IN PRAYER. Pray that the LORD will rekindle the fire in your heart, that He’ll move you closer to Him. Say, “LORD, fan the flames for me. I want to be hot with Your love all over.”

Make walking with the LORD your Number One priority for the day. Loving your wife or husband comes next. That leaves the rest of the numbers, from three on, to your children, your home, your job, your health, your ministry, your yard, your hobbies, and anything else you can list.

Once the priorities are set, you’ve built your house on solid ground.

He created us to worship Him.


HYMN OF PRAISE

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they existed and were created.”

— Revelation 4:11 (ESV)


The Lord commands us to bow down in worship. To honor Him. To adore Him. There’s no room in that command for grumbling. — Philippians 2:14 (NIV) 

The price was God Himself, in human form, dying on a Cross for our sins, for our debt, to reconcile the world to Himself. — 2 Corinthians 5:19 (NKJV)

ANCIENT HYMNS TO GOD

HOW DO WE LIFT OUR VOICES in song, as our Lord commands, instead of complaining about our lot as 2020 draws to a close?

Fortunately, the Bible tells us. (Are you surprised?) 

The psalms are rich with hymns to God, to His glory, His faithfulness, and His compassion.

Instead of marking the year’s change with a drunken chorus of “Auld Lang Syne,” let’s pray with grateful hearts to God who loves us.

Let’s use His own words:


MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE TO THE LORD, ALL THE EARTH!

SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS! COME INTO HIS PRESENCE WITH SINGING!

KNOW THAT THE LORD, HE IS GOD! IT IS HE WHO MADE US, AND WE ARE HIS; WE ARE HIS PEOPLE, AND THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE.

ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING, AND HIS COURTS WITH PRAISE! GIVE THANKS TO HIM; BLESS HIS NAME.

FOR THE LORD IS GOOD; HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER, AND HIS FAITHFULNESS TO ALL GENERATIONS.”

— Psalm 100 (ESV)

PRAYER

O GOD, OUR GOD, how majestic is Your name in all the  Earth.

O GOD, OUR HELP in Ages Past.

AMAZING GRACE, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

OUR LORD, through Your mercy, I am forgiven; through Your Love, I am redeemed; through Your grace, I am saved.

HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is our Lord God forever; He who was, who is, and who is to come, life without beginning and without end, from everlasting to everlasting. 

O GOD, YOU are the Alpha and the Omega.

TO YOU, O LORD, belong all the praise, honor, and glory.

HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

AMEN!

PROCLAIMING GOD’S TRUTH … WITH LOVE (Part 2 of 2)

As more and more church leaders — pastors, theologians, teachers, and elders — are led astray from the Bible’s inerrant truth, faithful Christians must be made aware and corrected. However, we must do so with love and gentleness. If we are haughty or judgmental, our own sin will interfere with the message.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV): “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of G od may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Peter 1:20-21 (ESV): “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 11:4 (ESV): “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

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(You can read Part 1 here)

SATAN INFILTRATES THE PULPIT

SATAN HAS INFILTRATED the pulpit of many so-called Christian churches, leading whole denominations to veer  away from preaching the Truth.

The shift from the church’s firm teaching of God’s Word as His truth, in keeping with the Bible’s claims for itself, takes place gradually.

Step-by-step, over time, the pulpit shifts from proclaiming God’s Word as “inerrant and infallible” to introducing “new” revelations into the sacred text, revelations deduced from recent revelation based on the reader’s “reasoning powers.”

A CASE STUDY

LET’S LOOK AT A recent example of a well-respected cleric in his denomination, who, driven to find Scriptural approval to support his beloved daughter’s homosexuality that included her same-sex marriage of 30 years, encouraged himself to believe in, and then teach others, false doctrine. 

Again, he is doing so motivated by his love for his daughter, which is commendable, even though God’s Word tells us — and him — that anyone who loves son or daughter more than Jesus is not worthy of Jesus (Matt. 10:37 NIV).

A link to the article is here.

The man — described as a retired bishop in his denomination, which is a position of influence over the teaching of church pastors who in turn teach doctrine to their flock — has magnified his error by encouraging others under his authority to believe a falsehood.

 IN EDEN’S GARDEN

THIS FALSEHOOD IS NO DIFFERENT from the original lie described in Genesis 3 in the Garden of Eden.  There, the devil, disguised as a serpent, told Eve to disregard God’s law that anyone eating from the tree in the center of the garden would die. 

Eve was deceived and so ate from the tree. She gave some of the fruit to Adam, who disobeyed God by eating the fruit.

In so doing, Adam and Eve brought judgment on themselves and, by extension, to the rest of mankind. 

We continue to suffer from their sin because our own natures, according to God’s Word, are sinful from birth onward:

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (ESV): “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

WHAT LIES AHEAD?

FIRST, THOSE OF US who are pledged to follow sound doctrine must, with love and compassion, admonish those who are straying.

We need to tell them through the Holy Spirit, that they need to come back to the Word of God.

John MacArhur, in his book, Final Word: Why We Need the Bible, said this: “However, true biblical Christianity requires a denial of every worldly value and behavior, and Christians must be willing to make a commitment to the Word of God, with a full understanding of the implications of doing so.” (Kindle, p. 25)

We are told that Scripture is “God-breathed” and inspired by the Holy Spirit and, as such, is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training others that each one of us will be equipped for every good deed.

That means we are to call our fallen brethren to repentance, not because we are holy and blameless, for we are not, but out of love and compassion for their souls and because their false testimony will lead others astray.

Second, we are to examine our own souls with the light of the Holy Spirit, to see where our own sin lies that we might root it out, all of this under the power and authority of God’s Spirit, not our own power.

Jesus instructed us to shine our light into the darkened world that others would see our good works and do what? Give the glory to the Father. Not to us, not to brag about ourselves, not to tout ourselves as holier than others, but to point to the Father, who alone is Good.

AVOID HARMING OTHERS

WE CAN DO SUCH HARM if we take our firm beliefs in God’s Holy Word and use it as a weapon to further our own agendas. We must guard against that. 

Just as we see those following apostasy down the road to ruin, so  we also are privy to following our own arrogance down a similar path.

Let’s be clear: Those who are teaching a false doctrine will not suddenly realize their faultiness and thank us for helping them out. Instead, they will point back to our own haughtiness, our self-righteousness, our judgmentalism as if our failings disqualify the truth of what we say.

Our sin will not disqualify the message, but it very well could disqualify us as proper messengers.

This burden should weigh heavily on our hearts. We should be burdened with the task of correcting those wallowing in doctrinal error, but in humility and weakness, we must ask Almighty God to direct our path so that we do not camouflage the message of Truth with our own sin in presenting the message.

POSTSCRIPT

SO, TO SUM, THERE IS a balance that must be struck between Truth and Love. Jesus did it perfectly. None of us can or will do it perfectly. Nevertheless, we must preach the Truth (“the message”) and present it with Love (“the method”). 

Failing to preach the Truth is not Love and cannot be confused with Love. We cannot allow those following a false teaching to believe God affirms their disobedient and deviant behavior. Neither can we interject our own sin by shining a light with a haughty, self-righteous attitude.

Yes, Jesus did it perfectly; let us imitate Him as best we can.

May God bless those who are following a false doctrine, even sincerely believing it to be true, but in so doing may He send messengers who with love and compassion can steer them back to the teaching of His Holy infallible and inerrant Word. 

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PRAYER

HOLY AND MIGHTY GOD, please forgive us who claim to belong to the body of Christ for our sin. While some in our midst teach, or practice, false doctrine, others of us fail to call them to account. 

MANY, EVEN IN the church, sin by following, promoting, or teaching false doctrine, especially in the area of sexual sin; while others of us sin in our pride, arrogance, and judgmental attitude when pointing it out, as though we, ourselves, are without sin. 

LORD, BECAUSE OF our sin, our message of repentance  often goes unheard. This allows those who practice sexual sin, whether same-sex or opposite-sex behavior, to continue in their deviant and disobedient actions because our testimony is tainted. Lord, only You can save Your children. Only You can calm the storm and right the ship. 

WE PRAY, LORD, that You will charge us who follow correct teaching to do so with humility and compassion and for those who promote and participate in a false doctrine to find a loving home within the body of Christ for them to return and to do so soon. 

LORD, WE LIFT this pray in the loving, holy, and just name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

PROCLAIMING GOD’S TRUTH … WITH LOVE (Part 1 of 2)

The Bible—God’s Holy Word—reveals God’s Truth to mankind. While written by men, each word is inspired by God, according to its own claim, with more than 300 Old Testament prophesies already fulfilled. Its chief prophecy was the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. To thwart God’s plan to redeem mankind, Satan deceives and distorts God’s Word. Faithful Christians must be aware of that and must defend the Bible’s truth claims against false teaching.

2 Cor. 10:5 (NLT): “We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

Titus 2:1 (NIV): You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine.”

James 3:1 (NET): “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.

John 17:17 (NASB2020): “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.”

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 FIGHTING AGAINST FALSE TEACHING

THE BODY OF CHRIST is under assault. That assault naturally comes from outside the church as Satan tries to thwart God’s plan to redeem fallen mankind.

More dangerous, however, is the daily assault from within the church. That danger is “false doctrine,” being preached from the pulpits in many churches.

That false doctrine comes under the heading of “Jesus Is Love,” which is true, but the false message being preached is that “Love” fully describes Jesus, when He described Himself as “Holy.”

The difference? “Holy” includes “Love,” but it also includes “Just.”

HOLINESS VERSUS SIN

A HOLY GOD cannot abide sin, and, yes, sin is real, and the Bible — God’s inspired and true Word — clearly spells out sin  as “actions, words, and thoughts that violate God’s commandments.”

Let’s examine some of the sins God names: drunkenness, slander, envy/jealousy, bearing false witness (lying), disrespect toward one’s parents, disobedience to governing authorities, and sexual sin.

Sexual sin, the Bible notes, covers sexual acts involving children; family members or close relatives; the neighbor, co-worker, or total strangers; and animals.

Then, there’s one more category, one that God highlights throughout the sacred text: physical relations with someone of the same sex.

Instead, God’s Word proclaims that proper sexual unions are confined to marriage partners, where one partner is male and one is female.

SAME-SEX ATTRACTION

SAME-SEX ATTRACTION has been siphoned out of the list of biblically named vices and presented, even within some churches, as an alternate “life choice,” considered to be as valid a  choice as opposite-sex monogamy.

In fact, many churches are teaching that the body of Christ must accept and validate behavior that the Bible clearly labels “deviant” and “unnatural.”

Churches that do so are peddling the false doctrine that God will condone homosexual behavior because “God is love,” and He wants His creatures to be happy and connected physically and emotionally with “the one they love.”

Some churches even teach that God’s Word is not to be taken “literally” and, thus, can be revised by the reader, according to his reason and experiences.

However, the Bible warns teachers not to deviate from “sound doctrine” nor to teach a false message, one contrary to God’s clear teaching (Titus 2:1 NIV). In his letter to the church in Galatia, the apostle Paul said those teaching a false message should be “accursed” (Galatians 1:9 NKJV).

This is God’s teaching about sexual sin, through Paul’s writing:

1 Thessalonians 4:3,8 (NLT): “God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. … Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”

LEADING CONGREGATIONS ASTRAY

HOW DO OTHERWISE well-meaning people go astray? How? Little by little, one step at a time … until the apostasy goes unnoticed. 

The apostasy starts in the pulpit and radiates out to encompass the congregation and, from there, spreads out to the community. 

The writer Brandon Medina, in his TheologyThink Tank article “Is the Bible the Literal Word of God?” poses the question rhetorically of whether anyone rationally believes the Bible is the “literal word of God.” He then says:

“This is a common refrain Bible-believing Christians hear, usually from the unsaved but increasingly from those even inside the church community: pastors, seminary teachers, and laypeople alike.”

Don’t miss that point: “Increasingly from those even inside the church community: pastors, seminary teachers, and laypeople alike.” 

Those “laypeople,” to be influential, are the elders, deacons, teachers, home group leaders, and other respected members of the local assembly. They may be the business leaders or other accomplished persons, at least by worldly standards. 

POSTSCRIPT

FOR THOSE WHO WANT to sound the alarm against false teaching, the Bible clearly says we must do so with love and gentleness, and for those of us who are not Jesus, that balance often is difficult (or nearly impossible) to do well. He did it perfectly; we’re called to imitate Him.

That makes it doubly important that we “pray in” so we’ll be connected to the Holy Spirit and then we can approach our brothers and sisters in an act of love.

May the Lord’s blessing rest upon those who obey His command to avoid sexual sin and may it rest upon those who, in love, speak the truth to those violating God’s order.

(Part 2 will be published after Christmas)

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PRAYER

HOLY AND MIGHTY GOD, please forgive us who claim to belong to the body of Christ for our sin. While some in our midst teach, or practice, false doctrine, others of us fail to call them to account. 

MANY, EVEN IN the church, sin by following, promoting, or teaching false doctrine, especially in the area of sexual sin; while others of us sin in our pride, arrogance, and judgmental attitude when pointing it out, as though we, ourselves, are without sin.

BECAUSE OF our sin, our message of repentance often goes unheard. This allows those who practice sexual sin, whether same-sex or opposite-sex behavior, to continue in their deviant and disobedient actions because our testimony is tainted. Lord, only You can save Your children. Only You can calm the storm and right the ship.

WE PRAY, LORD, that You will charge us who follow correct teaching to do so with humility and compassion and for those who promote and participate in a false doctrine to find a loving home within the body of Christ for them to return and to do so soon. 

LORD, WE LIFT this pray in the loving, holy, and just name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

MY WALK: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT

Sometimes, it’s good to be bold, to try something new, so writing about myself is my Christmas challenge to myself. This is not what I “do,” but it’s okay this time. We’ll see. Merry Christmas to everyone! God bless.

2 PETER 3:9 (NASB): “The LORD is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not willing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.”

JEREMIAH 29:13 (NKJV): “And you will seek Me and find Me, when  you search for Me with all your heart.”

JOHN 17:20 (ESV): “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word.”

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A CHRISTMAS TALE

“WHY DON’T YOU tell your readers something about your personal life?” my wife asked me recently. The question seemed innocent enough, but I scowled anyway.

“That’s not what I do,” I replied, sounding a bit more smug than I needed to be.

I thought quickly of some of the blogs I’ve read that I really found enjoyable, and many of them — gasp! — were personal columns.

“Mine have been more ‘teacherly,’” I continued. “You  know, the kind that give a message of encouragement for anyone. I don’t really want to share what I had for breakfast.”

Well, as I thought about it, another blogger, PK Adams, encouraged me further, so I’ll make the stab. Bear in mind, I’m of mixed opinion about this, but this is Christmas, and maybe this time, I could share just a slice of who I am.

HERE COMES THE DOG

AFTER A LIFETIME of “dog avoidance,” I’ve recently become the co-parent of a puppy Shih Tzu, possibly the cutest individual animal God ever created.

Here’s me with our dog, named Gracie. I call her “Puppy,” and I’m totally in love with her.

She has taken over our home in quick order: watches TV with us, sleeps in our bed (oh, yes, that didn’t take her long), enjoys outdoor walks, chases leaves, barks at herons, loves to play “toss and retrieve,” and goes bonkers when another dog is around. 

My wife’s daughter has Gracie’s sister. The two dogs wrestle and bark and run rings around the room, like two crazed animals. They are adorable (but ours is cuter :-))

CAROLINA IN THE MORNING

NOTHING COULD BE FINER, as the song goes, than Carolina in the morning, and I can agree. Here’s the  view out our patio window as the Sun rises over the lagoon. 

I guess those are pine trees of some sort, but I don’t really know and in our five years of living here, haven’t bothered to ask anyone. They look strange to me, unlike the trees we saw up North that shed their leaves every autumn.

We moved to South Carolina from the Washington, DC, area to enjoy a warmer climate, lower taxes, and fewer traffic jams. Now that I see what it’s like, I kind of wish we had made the move earlier. Of course, there was that thing about our jobs, but … 

Although I’ve lived most of my life along the southern rim of the Great Lakes, Southeast New England, and DC, I love the “New South.” 

THEN THERE’S FLORIDA!

ONE YEAR AGO, we bought a condominium in South Florida, oceanside, partly as an investment,  partly to be near family, and partly because it’s a great place to be!

Here’s the view through our screened-in balcony overlooking a tributary of the Intercostal Waterway. I love to sit on the balcony early morning with my Bible downloaded onto my iPad, sip my fresh brewed coffee, and enjoy God’s Nature while I study God’s Word. 

Life is good! 

But there’s more, and I’m running out of space, so maybe there’s hope for another personal column. I didn’t get to talk about this blog … or blogs in general. That could be interesting.

We’ll see. 

ABOUT THOSE VERSES

I LOVE BASING my blog posts on Scripture. Usually, I select three verses that “work together,” at least as I believe the Holy Spirit guides me.  

I also love grabbing verses from different translations. Maybe it’s the academic in me, or the journalist, which is how I earned my living before journalism became corrupt and one-sided (oops, I digress). 

The three I chose for this piece are as close to “life verses” as I can get. Each tells of the Savior’s love for me (and all of us who know Him). They comfort me in knowing that my salvation is secure because He wants me to be with Him. (John 14:3)

Praise God! I am so blessed.

PRAYER

O LORD, OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, how grateful  we are that You’re a God who loves us, who cherishes us, and who literally would do anything — even sacrifice Your only Son — to reclaim us. We are blessed, indeed. Forgive us when we are disobedient, and guide us into Your loving arms, then empower us to share the message of redemption with those You put in our paths. In Jesus’ Name we pray. AMEN

GOD’S GOOD GIFTS TO US

God’s goodness overflows in our lives. Sometimes these gifts manifest themselves in saving us from the effect of our poor decisions; sometimes they are long in coming, almost as a “life achievement” award. Yet, also, we are taught by His Word that for many of us, our rewards will not be apparent in this world but, as Romans 8:28 assures us, they will be showered on us in glory. What we all assured of in this world is the Lord’s promise in John 10:10b that He came to give us life in abundance.

James 1:17a (NCV): “Every good action and every perfect gift is from God.”

John 3:27 (KJ2000): “John [the Baptist] answered and said, ‘A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.'”

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THE LORD’S BENEVOLENT HAND

THE OTHER DAY I nearly lost my left eye.

OIP.WTKqPq5kyy4FCViBQ1c-9QAAAAI bent over to pick up a dead leaf from one of our indoor plants and failed to see a stabilizer stick jutting up that struck my forehead.

Barely an inch from my eye.

Surely, God’s angels were watching over me.

That incident is not even the most dramatic one in the last few days affecting me or members of my family, but just one example in my life.

God is good to us, and we see reminders of that every day.

NOT PROSPERITY GOSPEL

LET’S NOT MISTAKE God’s good gifts for the so-called “Prosperity Gospel.” God’s Word promises He’ll go through our trials with us, not that we will skate through life without them.

However, each one of us can cite numerous examples where we experienced a “near miss,” something that easily could have turned into one of those tragedies we all read about and say, “Hope that doesn’t happen to me.”TRAFFIC_DRIVING

There are many times we’ve been saved from a car running a red light, a flying object that misses our face,  or a heavy object that falls harmlessly beside our foot.

Often for me, it has manifested itself in driving situations, where I’m about to turn into the passing lane and am alerted by my car’s alarm of an oncoming vehicle that I failed to see in the mirror. I immediately thank God for watching over me.

When turning left in front of oncoming traffic, I pray for patience so that I don’t end up scooting in front of a car, a car that I swear has just sped up, but allow myself to wait for a clearer path.

“Love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” I recite the Fruit of the Spirit (Gals. 5:22-23 ESV) as a prayer, each time emphasizing the fourth word to restrain my impulses.

Not only in my own life, but how often has a loved one experienced God’s protective grace, and I don’t even know about it? If they don’t relate the story, I’ll never hear of it, but I still “know” that God’s protection abounds.

I did hear of one story. In July 2019, my daughter in Texas was struck by two cars — one from behind her and one from in front. While the car was a total wreck, she escaped with a concussion, and the children were unharmed.

I still thank the Lord for sparing their lives.

JESUS’ GREATEST SERMON

JESUS IN THE SERMON on the Mount tells us about God’s goodness … by contrasting His goodness with  man’s goodness.SERMON_ON_MOUNT

He tells a story of how mankind, being inherently evil, still has the capacity to do good things. He says a father, for example, will not give his son a stone if the child asks for bread, nor will he give the child a snake instead of a fish (Matt. 7:9-10).

The Master uses the example to assure His listeners that, if earthly fathers can give good gifts to their children, surely a good and loving Heavenly Father would “give good things to those who ask him” (Matt. 7:11 ESV).

I’m often amazed at stories of Good Samaritans who quickly doff shoes and clothing to dive into a pool or lake or ocean to retrieve another person they may not even know, sometimes at the cost of their own lives. (Just Google, “Good Samaritan dies saving another person” to see numerous examples.)

GOD’S GOOD GIFTS

A SPIRIT-FILLED PASTOR in the DC area a few years ago related a story of how, when their  children were young, they would stop by the roadside on the way to the Washington Zoo to pray for a good parking spot.

When the congregation registered surprise, he said, “Oh, yeah! God loves to give His children good gifts, … and we managed to find some pretty good parking spots, too!”Meditation.Raised Hands

All good gifts come from the Father, but how often do most people think to ask God for help in their everyday lives, even when the Bible (1 Thessalonians 5:17) exhorts us to stay in prayer throughout the day?

There are many times we can thank Him for His provision, like asking Him to bless the food we’re about to eat or help us find our car keys or pray that He’ll keep our dropped mobile phone from a cracked face.

While God is not a genie who grants our every wish, He is a personal God who created us to be in fellowship with Him and wants to provide for us.

Jesus said He came to the earth that we would “have life,  and have it abundantly” (John 10:10b NASB).

How sad for so many who cannot accept the existence of our Heavenly Father nor enjoy His loving goodness toward them.

When we stay in prayer all day, asking Him for favors, seeking forgiveness for something we’ve said, or asking Him to help us decide how to handle a thorny situation, we open the communication channels so God can speak to us … and that’s really the point of it all, isn’t it?

REJOICE IN THE LORD

THE APOSTLE PAUL exhorts us to “always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again — rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NLT).

Nearly 1,000 years earlier, the psalmist gave us the same message: “Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! … For the LORD is good.” (Psalm 100:1, 5a NKJV)

The Doxology, sung each week in many churches, says this: 

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.”

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PRAYER

image-13

OUR GOOD AND GRACIOUS HEAVENLY FATHER,  we thank you for Your loving kindness, Your mercy, and Your provision. Please forgive us when we take Your gifts for granted. Give us hearts that appreciate Your goodness. Praise the Lord! In Jesus name, AMEN

THE BODY OF CHRIST CONFRONTS A RIGGED ELECTION: WHAT NOW?

In light of what is likely to have been a rigged national election, what is the Bible-believing Christian — the true body of Christ — to do? How should we act? We are called by our Lord to witness for Him boldly. As citizens of Heaven, we must do that. However, we are also told to respect temporal leaders and pray for them, so we must do that, too. What happens when the church, itself, becomes the target?

Philippians 1:12-13 (CSB): “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually advanced the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard, and to everyone else, that my imprisonment is because I am in Christ.”

Matthew 13:24-26 (NKJV): “Another parable He put forth to them, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.’”

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“DARK WINTER” AHEAD

THE APPARENT VICTORS of the recent U.S. election for President and Vice President have promised a “very dark winter” is coming.

TWO CONCLUSIONS ARE EVIDENT.VOTING

FIRST CONCLUSION: The election results are highly suspect, leading 73 million Americans convinced the tabulation was fixed, and the election was stolen, meaning the “victors” are imposters.

SECOND CONCLUSION: The new administration will use the apparent “health crisis” as a pretext to implement draconian regulations over every area of our lives.

OBSERVATION: Polling shows that 99 percent of white evangelical Christians voted for the “losing” candidate, the incumbent President, not because of the individual’s personal qualities but because his policies were consistent with Christianity’s — and a well-ordered society’s — foundational values.

QUESTION RAISED: How do committed Christians, those who profess a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, react to the prospect of a rigged election giving sanction to strong foes of Christian values unfettered power to exert their will in response to a “crisis”? 

GLOOMY ASSESSMENT

GIVEN THE NATURE of the election’s outcome, credulity is stretched to the breaking point to believe the election was conducted “fair and square.”FRAUDULENT_MISREPRESENTATION

CONSIDER:

  • The apparent “victor” never campaigned,
  • The incumbent President increased his vote total by 10 million over the prior election, with the most votes of any sitting President in U.S. history,
  • Massive campaign to ensure one party casts its votes by mail-in ballot, which Democrats, like actor Rob Reiner, said would give them a landslide victory, 
  • The “victor” could not bring in with him one member of either the House or the Senate, while the apparent loser did,
  • Vote counting in several swing states stopped for three hours in the middle of the night while additional “ballots” were trucked in,
  • Credible reports were lodged, with supporting affidavits, of
    • Malfeasance in counting, with some voters being afforded an opportunity to fix or “cure” errors in their ballots, while others were not, 
    • Failure to account for different signatures on the ballot and envelope,
    • Numerous ballets counted in which the voters only chose a presidential candidate, ignoring down-ballot candidates,
    • Votes for the winning candidate run through the vote-tabulating machinery multiple times,
    • More people voting in a district than are registered,
    • Coding irregularities in the electronic systems used in some districts that reportedly switched votes cast for the losing candidate to be recorded for the victor.

This is the stuff of third-world banana republics. If the voting irregularities are not clearly identified and fixed before the off-year election in 2022, our republic may be irretrievably lost. 

Certainly, the era of two-party politics, as we have known it since the Republic’s beginning, will be damaged or even destroyed.

ANTI-CHRISTIAN AGENDA

WHILE THIS GLOOMY assessment of a dark winter coming was based on reaching a total of 10 million American citizens having been diagnosed with Covid, the phrase could serve as watchwords for the draconian specter of intense and overreaching government regulation of nearly every facet of our lives the administration-in-waiting represents.LEGISLATION

As such, it is a pretext for the new administration’s real agenda

Headlines tell us that Biden/Harris promise a four-year reign of terror by promoting:

  • Abortion-on-demand  
    • Allowing babies that survived abortion to die naturally
    • Rescinding “freedom of conscience” exceptions allowing health care providers to avoid performing abortions
  • LGBTQ+ “rights” being ratified into law
    • Requiring churches to perform “marriages”
    • Requiring court clerks to issue “marriage” certificates
    • Requiring vendors to support “marriages”
    • Requiring employers and insurers to honor “marriages”
  • Roll-back of religious liberty
    • Stifling freedom of expression
    • Regulation of personal energy use
    • Socialized medicine (Medicare-for-all)
    • Tipping the election machinery to benefit themselves:
        • Eliminating the Senate filibuster
        • Adding 1 or 2 new “states”with assured Democrat Senators
        • Giving amnesty to millions of illegal residents, whose amnesty will be a “gift” from the Democrats
        • Packing the US Supreme Court to ensure a liberal “progressive” majority
        • Opening the borders to increase the flow of illegal immigrants-to-amnesty status
    • Increase in racial tension
    • Harassment and punishment of those working for, and those supporting, the former President.

DIVIDED_USAIn other words, “everything is on the table,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the Senate’s minority leader, vowed. He said, if his party wins the two Georgia run-off elections on Jan. 5, 2021, Democrats will “change the world.” He later scaled it back to “change America.”

The phrase “never let a crisis go to waste,” used by many but popularized in the United States by left-wing activist Rahm Emmanuel, is the strategy governing the activities of the incoming Biden-Harris Administration.

The slang expression this scenario best fits is this: “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.”

JESUS IS SOVEREIGN

DESPITE THIS GRUESOME picture, there is no reason for committed Christians to despair, even in the midst of trials and tribulations, because our Lord Jesus is on the throne. He remains sovereign over all.

The Book of Revelation tells us that, in the end, Jesus wins, and his children will be victorious along with Him.

Revelation 15:4 (NKJV): “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.”

Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi also sounded a note of pure optimism and hope:

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV): “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

J3x.Turning From God-WorshipAs antipathy toward conservatives grows, especially those conservatives who are seen to be Christian, there could be a beneficial outcome to the Christian church, which has become too complacent in modern America. 

The fissures within denominations over doctrine, and the factions within non-denominational churches, could escalate as Bible-based members separate from the “cultural Christians” among them, just as in the Judgment Day, the wheat will be separated from the weeds. (Matthew 13:24-30)

In some cases, the casual Christians could “wake up” to the challenges; while in other cases, they would melt away to join their unchurched neighbors. In either case, what is left could be a more vibrant, alive church of Christians committed to their faith. 

Paul, from a Roman prison, writes: 

Philippians 1:14 (ESV): “And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.”

The faithful may well find themselves persecuted. What form that might take in the United States is yet to be determined, but, based on recent events, it certainly will entail branding, shaming, doxing, harassing at home or on the street or at restaurants, and even opposition at work.

Paul tells us: 

Philippians 1:29 (CSB): “For it has been granted to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him.”

We need to stay in prayer (1 These. 5:17) and know that our Savior will be victorious:

Job 19:25 (NET):As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that as the last he will stand upon the earth.”

David Schopp, a member of Community Bible Church in Beaufort, SC, characterized our circumstances this way:

“Right now, we can feel like darkness is closing in all around us. The challenges we are facing just seem to keep coming.  The best way for us to do battle and shine our light in the darkness is on our knees.” — David Schopp, 12-10-2020

On our knees. Indeed.

The apostle Paul again:

Philippians 4:7 (CSB): “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”lone_cross

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PRAYER

OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, we find ourselves in a gruesome situation in the U.S. where an incoming administration may have gamed the system to win the election and then promises to oppose every foundational issue sacred to Christianity. We know You remain sovereign, and we are to pray for their faithfulness to Your design. Strengthen us, O Lord, to be bold in our witness for Christ, even in the midst of harassment and possible persecution. In Jesus’ name we pray. AMEN