Sad state of affairs!

I don’t always watch the State of the Union, but I did last night.  For me, someone who follows the news and has been one of those for whom the last few years has seen our middle class families reaping the benefits of a booming economy, there were not a lot of surprises.  But what did surprise me was that it seemed the Democrat’s hate for Trump has so clouded their perspective that they could not celebrate with the rest of us all the truly good news that there is in our country, for blacks, Hispanics, women, Asians, blue collar workers, the middle class, factory workers, etc.  I get it, we completely disagree on the legalized murder of babies in their mother’s womb, but the vast majority of the rest of the news was in the plus column for all Americans.  You couldn’t even cheer a young black girl receiving a school scholarship or show support for the father of a son slain by an illegal immigrant.  I saw some Democrats applaud a few strategic announcements while at the same time not understanding why the lowest unemployment rate for blacks in history was not important but a 100 year old black air force great grandfather was – aren’t those both fantastic?  You can cheer for a family reunited but not for the news of great advancements for women in the workforce – really?  It truly is a sad state of affairs when hate for a terribly flawed president is the only focus while ignoring the glaring fact of our own flaws.  The divide is great, but it’s time to take a stand for what is good in our country.

Mixed messages for women?

I’m all for equality when it comes to the genders, I think women have been superior far too long:).  But in all seriousness, last night’s Super Bowl commercials and half time show was sure sending a mixed message when it came to women.  There were several commercials highlighting the amazing abilities of women and emphasizing that women can do incredible things – to which I say yes and amen.  These commercials were appropriate and respectful and in line with the “Me Too” movement striking out against the objectifying and abuse of women.  Then you have a halftime show that had JLO stripper pole dancing while wearing a crotch emphasizing outfit.  This nasty exhibition objectifying women was in complete contradiction and contrast to the efforts of those respectful commercials.  Progressive culture wants to have its cake and eat it too – well I’m going to call it what it is on its face – complete and utter hypocrisy.

Slimeball!

Just when you thought things can’t get any crazier, progressives prove you sooooo very wrong.  This past week had a liberal sports magazine (Outsports) label Fallon Fox the “bravest athlete in history”.  Fallon Fox is a guy who dresses like a girl (in modern terms – transgender) and has decided to mask his sick and misogynistic desire to beat up women by hiding in plain sight in the MMA fighting ring.  Understandably he always wins and has twice broken the skulls of his opponents forever altering their lives.  This is nothing more than a guy taking gross advantage of women!  Where is the Me Too movement?  Where are the police?  Why haven’t a bunch of real guys to taken this piece of slime out back to the shed and given him a taste of his own medicine.  Why? Why? Why do we put up with this fringe and deviant stupidity?  Where can it go from here? Up is down and right is wrong and sanity has left the building and it feels like the fat lady is preparing to belt out the final stanza of human history.  Bravery????  This guy is the pure definition of a huge pile of chicken @#$% who couldn’t hack it fighting guys and saw women as an easier target.  Unbelievable!!!  I’m done ranting now.

I put my pants on one leg at a time … how about you?

As we are on the brink of another denominational split over same sex marriage (The Methodist Church), I decided to read what I understood to be the most comprehensive book trying to explain, from a Biblical perspective, support for same sex marriage.  The book is by Matthew Vines and is entitled “God and the Gay Christian”.

Matthew takes several approaches to the subject and, for those who have not devoted their life to the love, study and reading of scripture, he comes across as knowledgeable in his arguments.  But when looked at more academically, Matthew takes the most obscure possible interpretations of some words, reads volumes between the lines in other cases and conducts Olympic quality gymnastics to pretzel his arguments into statements that appear to challenge 3000 years of traditionally held prohibitions in scriptures as it relates to homosexuality and same sex activity.  Not to mention that he quotes a plethora of secular philosophers.  But I will only focus on one of his more impassioned arguments – Forced Celibacy.

The 3rd chapter of his book entitled “The Gift of Celibacy” is a central theme for the whole book in which Matthew puts forward the emotionally touching argument that for the same sex attracted person, the traditionally held “non affirming” position on homosexuality and same sex marriage relegates the same sex attracted person to a life of forced celibacy, denying him/her the freedom to express his/her desires for the rest of their life.

Here is the problem with that argument.  As compassionate and inclusive at it sounds on the surface, that is actually the same struggle every one of us must address when faced with our own attractions which do not line up with scripture.  Just fill in the blank with the various attractions we all have that are prohibited in scripture whether greed, anger, gluttony, steeling, drunkenness, murder, gossip, lying etc.  I’m sure I just touched on probably everyone reading this blog and you can attest to the life long struggle you have had to engage in to deny yourself the freedom to participate in these various abominations/attractions.  We are all “born that way” or with a sin nature that manifest itself in a myriad of tendencies.  Why should we give a special status to those with same sex attraction?  Do they somehow put their pants or skirts on differently than the rest of us who may struggle with say anger (my attraction).  Why is it somehow different for me to deny my anger “attraction” for my whole life, essentially “forcing” me to try and be kinder and gentler for the rest of my life and yet there is some special status assigned for those with same sex attraction.

Some will argue that we should affirm same sex activity because it involves love or because it involves consenting adults.  But the same can be said of that TV that I love and am tempted to steal or adultery and sex before marriage which also involves two consenting adults and “love”.  Or how about that beautiful buffet that I love and am gluttonous towards or having that third, fourth or fifth drink while out with friends.  We ALL face wrong desires and yes, we face them for our WHOLE lives – Gen. 4:7 You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.

And just to be clear, as I don’t want to hyper focus on just one sin, we must all engage the battle for holiness regardless of the sin you are attracted to.  Don’t give up, don’t give in, keep fighting, keep your eyes on Jesus, keep resisting and keep winning those daily battles in our desire to please the Father.

The bottom line is that we are called to holy living as defined clearly in scripture and if you want to unrepentantly live otherwise you are free to do so.  Just don’t call yourself a Christian or practice your attraction within the Body of Christ as that is both blasphemous to our Holy Father and false advertising to the world at large.

Chick-fil-A: Get woke, go broke!

I absolutely LOVE Chick-fil-A and it has been my go to “fast food” for decades.  This past weekend Chick-fil-A announced that they were going to stop supporting certain Christian charities, such as the Salvation Army, that support education, homelessness and hunger in preference to non-Christian charities that support education, homelessness and hunger.  Did they not hear the story of last week when Ellie Goulding who threatened to not sing at the Cowboy’s Thanksgiving halftime show if the Salvation Army didn’t jump through certain hoops proving that they serve the LGBT community.  The Salvation Army DID NOT cave but simply provided the, already obvious, proof that they faithfully serve that segment of society in their commitment to not have some litmus test for who they serve.  Ellie Goulding wisely walked back her threat and is going to sing.

Really, Chick-fil-A???  Can no one in your corporate office read?  Does no one in your corporate office listen to the news?  Are the lights even on in your board meetings so you can see your growth chart over the past 10 years?  You have only benefited and grown to become the #3 fast food company in the nation as a result of support from almost every sector of American society because they could see though the pathetic accusations and attacks from the far far left (and because you make a killer chicken sandwich).  Now you decide to betray that support and trust by capitulating to the far far left.  What’s next, opening on Sunday?  This will not end well for you as evidenced by GLADD’s response yesterday saying that you didn’t go far enough.  And as sad (and hungry) as it makes me, this writer for one will choose to go elsewhere when I can from now on.  Where is the nearest Popeyes anyway?

That would be a different religion!

On season 20 of Survivor – Heroes vs. Villains – Russell Hantz came in 3rd place.  He will go down as one of the most colorful players in Survivor history for his physical and mental gamesmanship.  But his social game was severely lacking as he failed to get the votes necessary from his fellow contestants in the final “tribal council”.  In response to this loss, Russell claimed that there was a “flaw in the game” and that the those outside the game (viewers) should get a say in the final vote which he believed would have garnered him the win.  In response Jeff Probst, the host of the show, replied “that would be a different game” (not the game of Survivor).

This same attitude of there being a “flaw” in the “game” is quickly gaining popularity in modern or progressive Christianity.  Although I hate to reduce God’s word to some list of do’s and don’ts, as it is far more than that, the Bible IS our “rules book” which clearly and definitively spells out the requirements to be found in Christ (being a Christian).  Those “rules” include ALL of the following minimum requirements – repentance for (turning away from) sin, commitment to obeying God’s laws and embracing the atoning work of Christ.  I fully admit that this is a significant over simplification while still headlining the core essence of what it means to be a Christian.

There are countless individuals and denominations today who claim the name of Christ and yet are editing the rules of Christianity in a progressive effort to point out there is a “flaw in the game”.  It matters not how compassionate, popular or progressive these edits are, the simple fact is that to change the “rules” means they are engaging in a different “game” (religion) and therefore CANNOT be called Christians.  Whereas this may sound harsh, the simple fact remains that if you are trying to introduce chess pieces into the game of Scrabble you are no longer playing either chess or Scrabble – it becomes a different game.  In the same way, if you embrace the killing of babies in the womb, homosexuality, ignoring the poor in favor of your own financial security or “wink” at gossip, greed or gluttony; well then that would be a different religion and you should feel free to practice it.  Just don’t call it Christianity.

Being a Christian is no game!  Neither is it some club whose members periodically vote on new rules or eliminate old ones.  It is a commitment, to the best of our ability with the help of the Holy Spirit, to honor the Creator and his plan of salvation for those few (see Matthew 7:14) who find that narrow pathway that leads to eternal life.  If that sounds too harsh and exclusive for you, there are plenty of “other games” out there that might interest you.  But don’t, in some show of arrogance, come into the doors of the Church and try and change God. God NEVER changes with the shifting shadows of time or popular sentiment (see James 1:17).  Why would you do that?  Why not just go somewhere else and call it something else.  No one is forcing you to follow Christ or embrace God’s laws.  Find another club or group, make your own rules and call it whatever you want.  But don’t attempt (because that’s all it could be – an attempt) to change the Character and Nature of our Holy Creator – because that would be a different religion.

The blind leading the blind!

There are way too many people living today with their eyes closed.  They may be closed out of fear, they may be closed out of guilt, they may be closed out of ignorance, they may be closed because they don’t want to see truth and they may be closed out of anger, but the fact remains that there is an increase in self imposed blindness.  And just so I’m clear here, many who claim to be Christians are among those with their eyes closed for a mix of the reasons listed above.

75 years ago “Christian” eyesight, although not perfect, was much clearer on a vast array of moral issues which have today become negotiable if not actually promoted.  My problem with this, aside from the total disregard and affront it is to our Holy God, is the Biblical dishonesty that accompanies it.  For those with their eyes still open or at least not entirely closed I will try and explain.  This self serving departure from the word of God did not come about by some Council of Nicaea type gathering in which there was some revelatory awakening that we had the goal post in the wrong place.  No, its roots are far more self serving and demonic than that.

Increasing Humanism and a growing secular society was pushing back against traditional Biblical standards as the guide for societal conduct with the church being seen as some collective conscience or barrier to this self indulgent movement.  Churches became the target of accusations of intolerance and judgment.  In response, many in the church chose to turn a blind eye to God’s word and began to embrace a pseudo and false compassion for the purpose of peace at all cost.  That cost was fear of losing warm bodies in the pews and cold hard cash in the offering plates from those who held the purse strings of the church.  This pseudo compassion would have sounded truly noble but for the short sighted fact it had lost it focus on eternity and instead delivered a false sense of security for the here and now. This is a “house of cards” quick fix ceding of precious territory, God’s territory, for a false peace while at the same time condemning both the builder and the occupant to an eternity in hell.  The preacher promoters of this broad road approach to eternity are not only – not Christians, they have become the very tools of Satan to lull the hearers into a deadly stupor of fake compassion.  It is Satan-like arrogance on our part to think that pretzel like contortions or spin of God’s Word will somehow persuade God to suddenly change holiness standards established from the very dawn of eternity.

Conformity to the winds of societal change is nothing new in the world.  In similar fashion, as wrong as it was to start with, the Mormon Church bowed at the altar of public opinion in sacrificing their only means of attaining godhood (equivalent of Christian salvation) by complying with our nations outlawing of polygamy – “The only men who become Gods, even the sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy” – Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11 p. 269, Aug. 19, 1866.  And whereas it is clear that Joseph Smith introduced the doctrine of polygamy in an attempt to legitimize his own pedophilia and adultery, here we are barely 150 years later and parts of the Christian Church, in increasing numbers, is digressing from positions of God’s holy standards into the depths of debauchery.  We may not yet be embracing the exploitation of the under aged, but I fear it will not be long before the church joins the rank and file in America in turning a blind eye to the normalization of exploiting our children for sexual pleasure.  What did I just say?  If you can’t see the recent exaltation of drag queen story time for children in public libraries and the “oh isn’t that cute” headlines following pre-pubescent boys doing sexual dances in gay bars dressed in drag as the normalization of adult/child sexual interaction then you are among those with self imposed blindness.  Combine this with the constant onslaught of attacks on our teens from magazines like Teen Vogue where they give guidelines to our youth on how to get an abortion without your parents knowledge and give graphic instructions on anal sex and you have a recipe for a modern day leading to the slaughter of coming generations.

So what does the Lord require of us?  Yell and scream at secular society for their departure from God?  Of course not!  What role do we have towards the blind but to love and serve in kindness?  Let’s reserve the yelling and screaming, if necessary, to those yet claiming Christ but denying His authority by their lifestyle and advocacies.  If you see the blind and are indifferent or indignant you yourself do not see as God sees.  The Gospel is the light to the world and we are to be the torch bearers by lives lived in gracious sacrifice.  We till the soil and plant the seed and pray God brings the harvest.  And amongst ourselves we must do the same with the added charge of being faithful to speak the truth in love, not only for the misguided, but for our own benefit as well.

 

Ezekiel 3:17-21 – 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. 18 When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 19 But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. 20 “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. 21 But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

1 Samuel 3:11-14 – 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am going to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it ring. 12 On that day I am going to do to Eli and his family everything I said from beginning to end. 13 I told him that I would hand down a permanent judgment against his household because he knew about his sons’ sin—that they were cursing God—but he didn’t try to stop them. 14 That is why I have taken an oath concerning Eli’s family line: No offering or sacrifice will ever be able to make peace for the sins that Eli’s family committed.”