Sunday, September 28, 2008

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Split: A Divided America

(including an email sent out 9/24/2008)

Today I watched a program on TV entitled: “Split: A Divided America”, a documentary on the many factors that divide Americans along political party lines. Later in the day, I saw an advertisement, which encouraged Christians to “Vote the Bible.” Trying to discern which political party and/or candidate seems to support biblical teachings has recently been a task that I have been pursuing.

If Christians are endeavoring to “vote the Bible,” then why is it that they too are divided?
Perhaps this is a dialogue that has become completely impossible to have today, and never the twain shall meet. If that is true, then the body of Christ in America is truly lost already, for a house divided cannot stand. Voting the Bible means to see what the word of God says and then seek to vote for the person(s) which have demonstrated by words/deeds to support what the word of God says. The goal is not to determine on whose side God is, but to determine who is on God’s side. If you would care to take part in this discourse, please present your choice of candidate, the issues which were important to you and scripture(s), when possible, which you believe exemplify how he/she is representing God’s commands or principles. I know that there are sincere Christians on both sides. I am not asking you to share your “feelings.” I am looking for an honest statement of your Christian biblical standards and facts supporting the basis of your decision.

To begin with, I will state that I am a Christian that presently happens to be biased towards voting for the Republican candidates. Notice, I did not say I am a Republican. It is not a party that I seek to uplift. Remember I said it was my goal to seek to be on God’s side, not the side of any particular party. In the past, I voted for Jimmy Carter, a Democrat. Democrat or Republican was not the information I found of importance in making my choice. I believed that he was a Christian and would do what was needed to protect the sanctity of life. God’s word says, “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.”(Jeremiah 1: 5) For me, that settled the question about being pro- life or pro- choice. Unfortunately, after he got into office, he did not support the sanctity of life. I seek to discern which candidate, regardless of political party affiliation, supports the teachings of God. Other examples of issues of importance to me are the sanctity of marriage, and relationships based on God’s purpose for making man and woman for each other rather than men for men or women for women. “Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis2: 24) The president has an effect upon what kind of judges are placed on the Supreme Court of our nation. It seems that the more liberal judges favor removing all evidence of faith in God more and more from public life creating a culture based increasingly upon secular, or humanistic values. “..they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord; they would none of my counsel: and they despised all my reproof. Therefore, they shall eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.”(Proverbs 1:29-31) This is only a sample of issues/scriptures; please add others as they come to mind.

I am sending this out to friends and family who profess to be Christians. Why only Christians? Well, it only makes sense not to send it to non-Christians. They have no need, desire, or reason to base their choice on any counsel given by God from His word.

I do not want to start any kind of feud. This is an opportunity for you to speak up without judgment or recrimination from others. This is not meant to be a debate where any of us is trying to convince another to change his/her “side.” It is merely an opportunity to state the issues facing Christians today and facts/scriptures that illustrate how your candidate supports the standard of God’s will in the Bible. It is also to encourage each of us to seek God’s will for our country based upon His word, and not on the basis of our “opinion” as humans. I look forward to learning from each of you in hopes that this discourse will promote understanding, and have a positive value for all of us. I also invite you to forward this on to include other Christians of both parties.

September 24, 2008

After I sent the above letter to several friends and members of the family, I received a response that I was “political baiting.” That was the farthest intent of my heart. However, something good did come of it. I had hoped to receive biblical knowledge and insight as to how we, as Christians, should develop and reach conclusions about voting in the will of God. Instead, I learned that even Christians can not come to unified bases for voting.

My sister, Phyllis, had previously been sent an email, which I have copied in part below. I also begged the forgiveness of anyone to whom I had sent my own previous email above. The concern was sincere, but it proves that one can be “sincerely wrong.”
The message below was far more uniting, and since it is truly seeking God’s wisdom, is the best action and insight I could have ever received. For that, I am sincerely thankful to my sister for passing it on to me.


This is the scariest election we as Christians
have ever faced. We all need to be on our knees. Do you believe we can take
God at His word? Call upon His name, then stand
back and watch His wonders to behold. His scripture
gives us, as Christians, ownership of this land and
the ability to call upon God to heal it.
I challenge you to do so. We have never been more
desperate than now for God to heal our land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 :
If my people, which are called by my name shall
humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and
turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from
heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal
their land.

During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill
who organized a group of people who dropped what
they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for
one minute to collectively pray for the safety of
England , its people and peace. This had an amazing
effect as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the
same thing here in America, The United States of
America and our citizens
need prayer more than ever!!
If you would like to participate: each evening
at 9:00 PM Eastern Time, 8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM
Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific, stop whatever you are
doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of
the United States , our troops, our citizens, for peace in the world, for wisdom and courage for our
leaders in the up-coming election, and that the Bible
will remain the basis for the laws governing our
land and that Christianity will grow in the U.S.
If you know anyone who would like to
participate, please pass this along. Someone said
if people really understood the full extent of the
power we have available through prayer, we might be
speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset
we have. Thank You.

Ginger Rahn

Friday, September 26, 2008

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Why Do You Vote?

Our founding fathers did not look on Christianity as a religion but rather a way of life. That was the basis for the foundation of our nation. Religions were the man made groups that were set up to worship in many diverse ways. In plain talk, the first amendment to the constitution prevents the federal government from setting up a form of or restricting the forms by which we worship and fellowship.

In 1947 the ACLU joined the Ku Klux Klan and justice Black of the Supreme Court to erect a wall of separation between church and state that never in our history existed. The ACLU submitted a friend of the court brief in the KKK case claiming this wall of separation.

Those of you with differing beliefs and non-belief are welcomed among us by the grace of God and our founding documents. Keep in mind that our founding documents state that our rights are granted by God and not man. What cannot be tolerated are those who would undermine the basic tenets on which our country was founded.

“God, in his providence has given unto us a Christian nation and it behooves us as Christians to prefer and to select Christians to rule over us.” John Jay – First chief justice of the Supreme Court.

John Jay along with Hamilton and Madison wrote the “federalist papers” which were used to explain to the states the reasons to ratify the constitution. They knew what the constitution meant and explained it in these papers.

Why would it be better to have a Christian leader? Because the tendency would be for them to have basic Christian principals, beliefs and value system. But ‘it ain’t necessarily so!’ It’s just that the chances are better. President Jimmy Carter is a good example. He professes to be a Christian yet he is obviously an anti-Semite. The Bible says that Christians are grafted into the vine of Judaism and therefore Christians are Jews. Again, the KKK has it wrong, claiming to be a Christian group and yet hating the Jews (Of course they hate a few others like the Catholics the blacks, and on and on.) despite the fact that Jesus was a Jew. Is there anything the man can’t get wrong?

Our Constitution defines what our rights are and that they are granted by Providence. Just what is it that we are willing to give up by bypassing the basic foundations of our country? I saw a college professor on TV the other day that stated that all of our founding fathers were atheists. Examples like this are rampant throughout our educational system. Is it any wonder our children are having trouble picking right from wrong?

Islam wants to destroy Israel because Israel knows the one true and living God. The God of Israel is the “God of our fathers” because we are a Christian nation. The Muslims know this even if some of us don’t. That is why we are second on their list for destruction.

Our courts are not functioning the same today as they did for the first one hundred fifty years of our history. The founding fathers set up the court to be controlled by the constitution not by precedent. Today they are even using precedent to establish laws never intended by the founding fathers. By judicial fiat we are now enjoying the inclusion of such things as the “Wall of Separation”, abortion on demand, prayer removed from schools and changes in the marriage laws.

I don’t consider myself to be either a Republican or a Democrat. I rather look on myself as a traditional constitutionalist with a Christian point of understanding. As I enter the voting booth, I think of what is best for the American way of life. America is without a doubt the greatest nation in the history of the world. What we need to keep in mind is what is best for America as a whole, rather than what is best for every little self centered group. United we stand and divided we will fall. The United States of America – all for one and one for all. Give me your tired, your poor, those yearning to be free. If you want to be an American then welcome to the country. If you want to establish a foothold for your culture here or adapt our culture to suit yours, don’t come here. America is a melting pot, not a multi cultural conglomeration.

America has been blessed by providence because of the way it was set up by the founding fathers. We have been able to be the most generous nation on earth because of the fine foundation on which we were established. Failure to understand why we are blessed is the first step in loosing what we have.

Rick Rahn

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

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The New Birth Issues A New, Sinless Nature

“Ye Must Be Born Again”

Living a victorious life in Jesus involves the continual struggle to put off the old nature and walk in the new nature of the rebirth in Jesus. It cannot be done without yielding to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
As Christians, we must constantly be aware that our old nature is in direct conflict with our new nature given to us when we were born again in Christ. Corruptible seed produces a corruptible nature. The seed of man is corruptible; the birth of man is natural. Therefore, the nature of man is sinful. The seed of God is incorruptible; the new birth is spiritual. Therefore, the new nature is sinless. (I John 3: 9)”Whosoever is born
of God doth not commit (practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot (as a usual practice) sin, because he is born of God.” This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the Bible. We cannot base our understanding of it on the basis of personal experience. We must keep in mind that the verse is talking about the new nature-not the old nature-because the old nature is not born of God. The old nature is born of fallen man, and is depraved. The new nature is born of God, and is holy.

First, let us examine what the verse says about the new nature:

(1) The new nature does not commit sin, because it is the product of the “seed of God.”
(2) The new nature cannot sin, because it is the divine nature of God (II Peter 1:4) and since God cannot
sin, the new nature that issues from His holy seed cannot sin.
II Peter 1: 4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye
might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust.”
Second, let us see what the Bible says about the old nature:
(1) The old nature does sin any time you let it sin.
(Rom. 6:12) “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts
As a child of God, you will keep under, or control, the old nature (I Cor. 9:27) by not yielding to the
desires of the flesh; or the old nature will keep you under, and you will live a defeated Christian life
(Rom.6: 13)
(I Cor. 9: 27) “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means,
when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,”
(Romans 6: 13) “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of un righteousness unto sin:
but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness unto God.”
(2) There is nothing good in the old nature.
(Rom. 7:18) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is
present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.”
The power to live a righteous life cannot be found in the old nature: it can only be found in the new.
(Gal. 2:20) “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and
the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me.”

If you have been “born again,” you have two natures-the old and the new- and you are walking according to one of the two. Remember what Paul said regarding his struggle against his old nature.

Romans 7: 19,22,23 “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” We can examine our Christian walk in the light of Romans 8:5,6 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 13: 14 states that we must “put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” Be not dismayed but stand upon this promise from His word. (II Philippians 1:6) “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

In today’s world of political correctness and “tolerance”, one who chooses to be conscious of the true meaning of right and wrong Biblically speaking, is more apt to be looked upon as a bigot. To take a stand against sin is so often regarded as being arrogant and self-righteous. I do not mean that it is right to try to thrust ones own beliefs and convictions upon another. Yet I do desire to continually seek His will as best I can that He may keep my feet upon the straight and narrow path. I pray that I may never close my heart to His continual corrections and changes within my own life. I thank the Lord that He has promised that He will not give up on me, no matter how many times I fail him.

I heard someone say that tolerance of homosexuality was a “social” problem. It was said that homosexuality and gay marriages were becoming more acceptable because people, as they see others practicing it, were becoming more “comfortable” with it. For those of you who may think I am “picking on” homosexuals, lets put that particular sin aside for right now and replace it with cheating and/or lying. Homosexuality is not a greater sin than cheating. Sin is sin in God’s eyes. Yet we humans try to categorize sin and depict one sin as being an abomination before God while we may designate another sin as being a little thing and not really all that bad. Cheating and lying seem to be regarded as very minor evils in today’s world. We’ve all heard of the idea of “little white lies.” It seems that people think that “everybody does it”, so it is now an acceptable thing to do because man has become more “comfortable” with it. Do we not see that these are the seeds that lead to desensitizing our consciences; thus, making us less and less capable of discerning good and evil?

The following is an example is just one example of how cunning deception is in seducing us to get caught in the trap of sin. I was in college and taking a test, which I was ill equipped to do. Fear of failure convinced me that looking on someone’s paper just this one time couldn’t hurt, could it? After all, cheating just one time was not all that bad and everybody does it. Well, I gave in to the temptation and did just that. After turning in my paper, the Holy Spirit convicted me of the terrible thing that I had done. Right away I knew that I must remedy the situation somehow. I asked the Lord to forgive me. But more than that, I prayed that I would fail the test. If I did not fail the test, I knew that I must go to my teacher, confess my wrong doing, and ask him to give me the failing grade that I deserved. Later that week I got the test back with the beautiful grade of “F”. Inwardly, I felt like leaping for joy. I praised the Lord for answered prayer. Once you do something that you know is wrong, and you don’t repent, you have headed down the slippery slope that could eventually lead to the bottomless pit of being enslaved by that sin. I know without a doubt, had I not listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit, it would have become easier and easier to cheat each successive time until I would completely quench that still small voice within that is meant to guide me and keep me on the straight and narrow path.

Philippians 2: 13 states “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
However if we, with stubborn and rebellious hearts refuse to acknowledge the power of the one true living God, then we have chosen to walk through life depending arrogantly upon our own limited intellect and opinions. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will never force Himself upon those who do not seek, want, or believe in Him and His ability to guide and lead us into all truth.

Each individual, at some point in life, will make a decision to follow God or to rebel against Him and follow in the light of their own finite understanding. II Timothy 3: 2-7 “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Consider the full meaning and impact of that last statement, for we see its effect today as man turns away from the real truth of God. We have people forever searching and striving to learn so often from every false teaching. Always saying “well that principle may have some truth, but we must consider the teachings perhaps of Buddha, or Gandhi, or whoever the latest and most popular Guru of the times may be.” Always willing to continue to “learn” from anything and everything except from the “truth.” I Timothy 4: The bottom line is that we often choose to live in the pride and arrogance of our own abilities and capabilities, forever choosing to live according to our own opinions and preferences, and rejecting the principles and commandments of the truth of God. So many today have a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” For example, within their belief system you may find many of the teachings from God’s word, even the very same scriptures. They will use bits and pieces when it seems to agree with their own opinions or life style preferences. Of course, there is no wonder that, for them, there are no absolutes, no real right or wrong. For the opinions and principles which they live by are forever subject to change, depending upon what is pleasing or “politically correct” to them at that period of time. (A man’s ways are right in his own eyes.) When I use the pronoun “they” I do not exclude myself, for I have been just as guilty as the next when it comes to being a hearer, but not always a doer of the word. But God and His word are the same yesterday, today, and forever. He has given us His commandments, not to use as restrictions or hammers with which to beat us over the head, as some may think. You are familiar with the saying,“God’s going to get you for that.” That statement is far from the real purpose of God’s commandments. Instead, His commandments are given to guard us against the enslavement of sin and self-destruction. His commandments are for the purpose of setting us free from the enslavement of sin, that we may walk in the light of His Word, which gives us liberty and freedom from the power of sin. Let me relate God’s commandments to a simplified example of a “commandment” that a parent might give to his/her child.. “Thou shalt not touch or play with fire.” Now, does that parent give that “commandment” to use it as a “hammer of control”? No, the “commandment” is given to set the child free from the consequences of being burned, hurt, or possibly even destroyed by the “sin” of playing with fire. A loving parent my sometimes choose to place their child in the safe confines of a playpen. Is the purpose of the playpen meant to be for the purpose of giving the parent total domination over the child? Of course not, as the playpen is a way of protecting the child from danger, so are God’s commandment and instruction. If we would but choose to stay within the confines of His instructions,
they would guard and protect us like a hedge against the encroachment of the fiery darts of the enemy.

To put off the old sinful nature and grow in the strength of becoming more Christ-like in our new nature, it is imperative that we seek God’s wisdom from His Word to be daily filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the daily process of being filled, fed, and formed by the Holy Spirit that will transform us by the washing of the water of the Word. Philippians 2: 13 “For it is God that works within you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

God does not wish that any would perish, but have life everlasting through faith in Jesus Christ, the one who paid for our sins. I Timothy 2: 3-6 “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come into the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”

Collosians 2: 6-8 “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, to walk ye in him; Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” I Timothy 4: 1,2 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” II Timothy 4: 3,4 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves, teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” In essence this is saying, man will prefer to hear only those things which are pleasing to themselves and reject that which is the truth of the Lord because it just does not fit into their own way of thinking. It’s kind of like that expression often used in reference to some one that is hard of hearing: He hears what he wants to hear, or perverts whatever is said in order to suit their own opinions or preferences. You know it is easy to listen to the words of a preacher who says to his flock that it really doesn’t matter what or in whom you believe; for there are many ways to God. If that is true, then Jesus died in vain and he is either who He says He is or He is the biggest fake and liar that ever existed. Jesus said:” I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life; No man comes to the Father but through me.”

I pray that we would all come to the saving knowledge of the truth through the one true living God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. If we deny the power of the Holy Spirit then we deny the Father and the Son. It is the Holy Spirit that leads and guides us into all truth. It is He that woes and calls to us to receive the Father, and the Son as our personal Lord and Saviour. It is He that convicts of sin, our need to repent, and our need of Jesus our Saviour.

One of the greatest principles to live and grow by is to seek to do those things which are pleasing in the sight of the Lord. We know what is pleasing to the Lord though the life of Christ, His Word, and the infilling of His Holy Spirit. He is able to keep and transform us into his image as we yield ourselves to Him in thought, word, and deed. Becoming more Christ-like, that is being transformed from our old corruptible nature into our new incorruptible nature, is not something that happens all at once, but is a daily growth process. Just as a little baby grows and learns in little daily steps, so is the growth of our new nature in Christ. God will perfect that which concerns us. He receives us just as we are, but He does not leave us as we are. Thanks be to God that He is ever working within us and never leaves or forsakes us. In this world, He tells us that we will have trials and tribulations. He also assures us that He gives us the Holy Spirit to comfort and grant us His peace. Therefore, He enables us to give thanks in all things regardless of our situation or circumstances.

Belief in the resurrection power of Jesus is not a crutch nor is belief in Heaven an escape. It is God’s intent that, through our knowledge of the gospel, we should begin our journey into heaven while we are in the here and now on Earth. If we begin our transformation now through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, then we have the opportunity to begin to taste and see that the Lord is good. The scriptures tell us that we can begin now to see heaven and its treasures, but only in part as a reflection as when we look into a mirror. However, eventually we will see and understand in full when we enter into Heaven and see Him face to face. Eternity in Heaven is the extension and fullness of what He begins within us now. God cares about our needs in the present, not just for eternity. He comes to breathe life into where we are now and then links that to eternity. That is why we must choose to believe in Him in the present time that He may begin to prepare us for life with Him in heaven. Heaven is a vocation, or a calling, for us to choose. It transcends far above that which we could ever imagine. If we have not opened to His calling in the present, we will not open to him in eternity. Thus we will be forever separated from him. Entering into Heaven is not something that we can do on our own. Eternity is now ours, not because we deserve it or have done anything to earn it, but rather is granted to those who love Him for He loved us first. God does not wish that any should perish, but that all would come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The choice is yours and mine to make. The Lord calls to each of us and asks, “What have you done with my Son?” What is your answer?

Ginger Rahn

Sunday, September 14, 2008

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“Christians, Let Us Hearken to the Voice of the Lord!”

The present world events that are unfolding seem to be so very troubling. I recently heard a quotation; "Evil triumphs when good men keep silent." Related to this was a conversation on TV about how anyone who disagrees with the "Progressive", or liberal, point of view in Hollywood, especially if they were new comers into that business, could not risk joining in on any politically oriented conversations which disagreed with the present trend of beliefs for fear of forever being ostracized in the business. This does not seem to be pervasive only in Hollywood, but more and more throughout the country and world in general. My point is not to up lift one political party over another. I believe that whether one is Republican, Democrat, or Independent, our government in general is not just broken, but turns a deaf ear to those who profess a belief based upon Judeo-Christian ethics. We are no longer a government of the people or by the people. The larger majority of American citizens profess to be Christians. Yet we have become a nation that is governed by the minority who would deny the place of God’s teachings, but exalt humanistic thought to the supreme level. I believe the true struggle is not between political parties but rather between the ever-increasing struggle to replace Christianity with Humanism in our country and in the world. The word tells us, (Proverbs 29:18) “Where there is no vision, my people perish.” In addition, the Lord has told us (Rev.3: 14 -16) “And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot, So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.” Our time here on Earth is short and must not be squandered. I pray that I shall not be one that is deemed by my Lord to be neither hot nor cold for Him. We, as Christians, are in a perilous position today. I pray that the Lord will open doors for these writings to be used in His service, not to incite division or anger, but to inspire and provoke each of us to indulge in serious thought and searching of our own hearts. For those who willingly turn to a good book to search for knowledge and wisdom, I pray that you may be led to search within the good book, the Holy Bible that you may be (Ephesians 4:23) “renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Let His light be shed abroad in our hearts. (Psalm 139:23, 24) “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

I believe that this country was originally founded upon Judeo- Christian principles. Yet, today it seems that if a Christian tries to take a stand for the standards as taught in the word of God, he/she is now labeled as standing up for stale, old, outdated, and, yes, even "foolish" ideas that are proclaimed to be outmoded ideas of days gone by. As Christians, even we are not all united in standing strong, without wavering, for what God has deemed as precious and valuable. Today we even see the body of Christ willing to have the value of life chipped away slowly but surely. Standing up to protect the life of the unborn today is less and less acceptable and is even considered to be something upon which we should we willing to compromise. Christians who do take a strong stand against abortion are depicted as dangerous, bigoted, and persons who have “Not had their consciousness raised sufficiently” to the higher level of correct thinking, or persons who have no compassion. Having said that, I wish to affirm that I am not saying that there is never a valid reason for aborting a child. However; it seems that if one is to be considered truly intellectually correct today, one must be willing to put God’s Word secondary to the individual “choice” of each woman. God said, "I knew you before you were in your mother's womb." How much more precisely could it have been stated as to when life begins? God said it, I believe it, and for me personally, that settles it. I wish to remind the reader here that this discourse is directed towards other Christians, not to unbelievers who of course don’t even know our Lord, much less care about His ways. Legislation in our Supreme Court has already placed abortion in the secular realm. I do not stand in the position of being judgmental of any one who has had an abortion. On the contrary, I know that, except for the grace of God, I could also have had to face that very decision myself as a woman. I thank God that I personally never did have to face that choice. I also thank the Lord that I could seek and receive His forgiveness had I fallen into that sin, just as King David was forgiven of murder. At the same time, I praise God that, when my teenaged daughter was faced with that decision, she did choose life for her son. Because of her decision, which was not forced upon her by us as her parents, for we knew it had to be her decision and not ours, we have the gift of our grandson, Devin. Where is it going to end? Some people have been ridiculed for “choosing” to have special needs babies, as if it were deemed as being wise to abort children that may not be perfect. Look at the lives of some that have come into this world without legs or arms and yet have brought wonderful gifts of art into the world. Or perhaps, just by their shear willingness to strive to do and be the very best that they could be, they became an inspiration to those of us who have been born “normal”. This is only one example of just how much our world has changed and is moving away, step by step, from the teachings of the word of God. Little by little, people are being taught that man’s evolving opinions are above and more important and "relevant" to life today. More and more we are being led to believe that there are no absolutes, no real right and wrong, but that everything is subjugated to how things have evolved to fit man's opinions at the time. How significant is this to the word of God, which also tells us “a man's ways are right in his own eyes." Another scripture tells us that there is a time when man will always be seeking and searching up and down every avenue endeavoring to learn, and yet will refuse to learn the truth. How explicitly does this describe the generation of today? We are willing to look towards the teaching of every Buddha, and every other guru that comes along, and yet we turn away from the truths as taught by the one true living God. I know that statement alone will turn off many, and I can just hear the gears of," how foolish, or brainwashed, she is to believe in only one way to God." Lord, grant me the courage to be forever willing to be a fool for Christ rather than join the ranks of those that presume to hold their own opinions as more precious and higher than the truths of God. The truths of God never change for He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Christians of America are standing at the crossroads that will forever determine if we are a people who truly stand for Christ and endeavor to be “salt of the earth.” Or are we willing to slowly, but surely, let His teachings be chipped away, diluted and pushed aside and designated as out of date and irrelevant in today's world?

I single out only a few of the "issues" that are slowly but surely being eroded away, knowing that these are not the only issues to be considered. As a Christian, I know that in putting myself out in the realm of diversity, I am also putting myself out there for ridicule and maybe even persecution. But I do not want to stand before my Lord one day and have to say I am sorry to Him for not having stood up for Him and His word at a time when I could have. I do not want to have to report to Him that I stood by and neither said nor did anything while His teachings were continually, one by one, being eroded, distorted, perverted, and even thrown out. Neither do I want to loose an opportunity to share the love of God with someone in hopes that even one more might come to the saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As Christians, we must NOT succumb to the politically correct way of thinking and begin to accept man’s opinions rather than God’s unchanging word. The present day teaching that we must accept homosexuality as just another life style, and not sin, is just one example of how man is promotes his “opinion” as superior to what God says. Don’t take that statement and go off into a tangent saying that I, or God, hate homosexuals. The person who claims to be a Christian and protests against homosexuality while holding up a sign that says “God hates Homosexuals”, is committing as great a sin as the sin he/she is protesting against. We are all sinners and come short of the mark. Yes, God does hate all sin, but He loves us all and calls each of us to Him to be saved. He says to come as you are, but thank God, He loves us so much. He promises to continue to do a good work within us, to change us more and more into His image, that we may truly know Him and receive His blessings. Understand that Lot did not leave Sodom and Gomorrah because of a “difference in attitude about the acceptance of a ‘lifestyle’ ”. Christians, the teachings of the Lord, are not up for debate or compromise. Either we stand with Him, or we stand against Him. “A house divided cannot stand.” We cannot sit on the fence or be double minded, or we allow ourselves to be blown in whatever direction that the present politically correct “wind” chooses to blow. At the same time, we are reminded that we are to love our neighbor as our selves. We are not called to be self righteous and spurn others because they are lost in sin. At one time, we were being told that we should not accept someone into our home because that person was a practicing homosexual. We searched our hearts and the Word, and reminded ourselves that while we were yet sinners, God did not tell us to “straighten up and fly right, and then I might consider to draw you unto me.” No, He demonstrates His love for us just as we are. We believe that choosing a lifestyle that is not according to what God’s plan for our best, does not mean that he casts us aside. If He loves us and asks us to come to Him just as we are, then who are we to choose to act just the opposite? Perhaps the love we show to others will be the only chance for us to show how unconditional God’s love for us really is. I don’t mean that we are to accept the sin; rather we are to love and accept the sinner just as God does for each of us. Then we wait upon the Lord to bring forth the conviction of sin and cause the heart to repent and turn to Him.

Yes, there are many paths to take in this life. But there is only one straight and narrow path-Jesus said, “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” As Christians, are we going to stand for, support, and be obedient to the truth as God reveals it to us in His Word? Are we truly going to be doers and not just hearers of His word? Or are we going to give into the modern and “politically correct” way of thinking that is deemed so highly by the world at large today? Either His Word is our standard, or it is not. We cannot say to ourselves, “Well, Jesus did not really say that (when it is something that is hard for us to hear, especially when it is a matter that hits a target close to our hearts).” Jesus did not come to do away with the word, but that the word would be fulfilled through Him. Every time we change or dilute His word it is kind of like a kid saying to his parent, “You did not say for me not to take the candy. You only said for me not to let you see me take the candy.” If it is in the word of God, then that word is from God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit for they are three in one and the Holy Spirit inspired all of the word. We cannot pick and choose which parts we are going to believe or obey. That is why, as Christians, we are encouraged to (II Timothy 2: 15) “Study (the word) to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of God.” If we Christians dilute, take away from, change or add to the word of God, how then are we to be the salt of the Earth? By what standard do we choose to live, by God’s Word or by our own fallible opinions?

You know, I am one of many seniors in this world today. From that point of view, I guess I should be glad for any and everything that the government of America might want to give to seniors as entitlements. Yet I do not believe that it is right for the government to take away from some, who may have more than I, to bare the responsibility of providing for my needs. When the government takes it upon itself to provide entitlements to be freely handed out, regardless of a person's willingness to work and strive for his/her own "American Dream", it promotes at least a portion of that generation that does not strive to become the best he/she can be, but rather one that chooses more to be mediocre and reach out for what is perceived as owed them by the government and others. When the colonies were being founded, some thought that work was beneath them and so finally, on at least one occasion, the rule had to be laid down, "If you don't work, you don't eat." II Thess. 3: 10 “For when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” I do not say that we are not to help our brothers and sisters. Charity, giving and helping others, has always been one of the cornerstones of Christian faith. As an individual, I praise the Lord, for the many times in my life when others have reached out in love and helped my family and me. I know what it is like to be the giver and the receiver of such blessings. I do believe when we, as a country, seek to have our government pay for everything for everyone, without regard to the individual's own responsibility to contribute, it is only serving to promote a self-centered,
self-serving generation within our culture. In doing so, the government is crippling and disabling a portion of our society. They are being robbed of the opportunity to receive the blessings of the fruits of their own labor, and the true use of the blessings of their God given talents and abilities. Also, when the "giving" is held in the hands of our government, we then find that each of us is then linked, willingly or not, in helping to financially promote actions that we would normally choose not to be a part of. True charity begins in the heart. Giving with cheerfulness is done out of choice, not out of demand from an outside source.

Judeo-Christian beliefs are becoming more and more watered down in America and throughout the world.
Everywhere you look it is increasingly popular to remove any and all signs of God our creator, who bestowed
upon us certain unalienable rights. God is being replaced with the religion of Humanism- the idea of the brotherhood of man whereby man himself is being lifted up as little gods who no longer need God because of their own inherent “goodness, superior intellect, and ability to reason.” Nothing could be farther from the truth.

At one time, God told King Saul to go in and kill the entire enemy in an area, including even the animals, and not to return with any of the spoils of war. Well, he did kill the enemy, but as he was returning, one could hear the bleating of the sheep taken from the enemy camp. What had Saul done wrong? Nothing. However, he had not done what he was told to do, and it caused great consequences to him and to his country. In not being obedient, he had committed a sin of omission instead of commission. We are often like that today. We want to say to God that we choose to obey these certain commandments and yet with others we seem to set them aside and behave as if they do not exist. Again, we are being Christians that want to pick and choose to obey the commandments of God only as they happen to fit into our own life style of what is acceptable to us at the time. God does not ask us to sacrifice for Him. Instead, God has made all of the sacrifices for us, specifically when He sent His Son to pay the price for our sins that we might be saved through grace and not through any works of our own. We are saved that we might then do good works through Him within us by the power of His Holy Spirit. I repeat, He does not ask us to sacrifice. He only asks us to be His obedient children. Obedience to Him then enables us to share in the riches of His Kingdom beginning with receiving His Son Jesus as our Savior and Lord, and ultimately reigning with Him in eternity.

When we stand before our Lord, we will each stand responsible for our own individual choices. We cannot say,
"Well Lord, I had to listen to the voices of the many others around me. After all, the people now say that this is acceptable, and surely your word didn’t really mean what it said literally." In my own experience, I remember there was a time that I was so afraid to truly ask the Lord to be my Savior and Lord of my life. I knew that He would change my life. At the time, my husband was not saved. I was fearful that God might somehow change my life so drastically that He would take Rick away from me. Yet, praise the Lord, the Holy Spirit convicted me that I could not wait on Rick, and I had to trust in the Lord first. Being persuaded or deceived by others is of no excuse. Each of us will be responsible for our own choices and decisions throughout our life. Each of us will have to take responsibility for our own choices and sin, either sins of commission or sins of omission. Because the Holy Spirit convinced me that I must put my trust in the Lord, my husband did receive Jesus later on that very same year.
He proved that I could truly trust in Him and in His word. (Matthew 6: 33) “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Because He has made us one, both in the flesh and the spirit, our lives have truly been changed. Our love for our Lord and for one another has grown stronger and deeper throughout the years.

The fight against sin in my life is a daily battle that I would continually lose if it were not for the power of the Holy Spirit. Sin is sin, none is lesser or greater than another. (Galatians 5: 16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Ephesians 6: 11, 12, 13) “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” I know that I personally have to fight against the wicked sin of worry. Why is worry so bad? For me, it represents disobedience, for the Lord tells us not to worry, but to cast all of our cares upon Him. I continually have to ask His forgiveness. Worry brings doubt and unbelief along with it. I thank the Lord for His mercy and grace.

God has given us His commandments to follow, not to reign over us as a tyrant, but rather to enable us to walk in freedom from the chains of sin. When horrible sicknesses come upon mankind, people, even believers, want to place the blame on God. At such times we are more likely to hear remarks like, “How can a loving God let such horrible things happen?” I would like to use a human analogy to illustrate the fallacy of such thinking. Parents give “commandments” to their children, not to exercise tyrannical control, but to protect them from danger. For example, a parent will give the commandment, “Thou shalt cross a street only at the cross walk after you have looked both ways and verified that no traffic cometh.” The parent will give this commandment repeatedly, and even act it out with the child. Then after a reasonable period of time, when the parent is sure that he/she has done everything possible to teach and demonstrate why this commandment must be adhered to, the child is then given the freedom, or free will, to actually go out on his own. Sometime later, the child chooses to “sin,” or disobey the parental commandment. If an on-coming car then kills the child, it does not matter if the sin was one of commission or one of omission. The final outcome is the same. Do we then point the finger of blame at the parent saying, “How can a loving parent let that happen to his child?” Of course not, we understand that the parent did all he could do to equip the child with all the necessary information and practice to walk in safety and freedom from danger. God has done the same for His children. So when man has to suffer the consequences of his own behavior that was based upon choosing to live according to his own “opinions” and refusing to live by God’s commandments, why do we then try to blame it all on God? Also, we live in a fallen world where good and bad things are going to happen to both good and bad people. The true issue is whether we are going to handle the adversities of life trusting in the Lord to help us through those trying times, or are we going to trust in ourselves and live as though God did not exist.

Are we going to be true followers of Christ and take a stand to support the doctrine of Judeo-Christian beliefs, or are we going to stand by silently and go down that slippery slope of compromise while God’s word is slowly diminished to the point of non- existence? Are we going to hold fast to the instruction and correction of the word of God that the Bible may continue to be the standard by which we endeavor to live, or are we going to give into the intellectualism of mankind and promote a world where right is wrong, wrong is right, and God and His Word is outmoded and perceived to be foolishness? Are we going to be satisfied to be found within the Laodicean Church that has the outward appearance of religion, but denies the power of the one true Living God? Christians we have been asleep too long. We must hearken to the voice of the Lord, and take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of the Lord. We must be a beacon and let His light shine in us. Let us unite as one in the Spirit of the Lord and proclaim His Word to the world with boldness as the disciples did when they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. (II Timothy 2: 14, 15) “Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; It is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.” (II Timothy 3: 1-7) “But mark this; There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.” Acknowledging a belief in the reality of Jesus is not what makes one a Christian, for even the devil and all of his demons know who Jesus is. Trying to be a “good person” is not sufficient, for we are all going to fail and “fall short of the mark.” Only by yielding to the power of God the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit and letting Him reign as Lord in my life can I endure to the end. Lord, help me to choose daily to die to myself and let you create in me a new heart that I may become more Christ-like and glorify you in all my ways. You are the potter, and I am the clay. Melt me and mold me more and more each day into your image.

Once again I repeat, “Evil triumphs, when good men are silent.” We are called to intercede for our country and for one another. (II Chronicles 7: 14) “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Let it begin in me.

Ginger Rahn